Video games

  • From a Living Desert to a Volcano’s Peak: Exploring Forza Horizon 5’s Biomes and Seasons
    on July 26, 2021 at 5:46 pm

    While there’s no denying that flashy supercars and built-for-fun off-road vehicles are the stars of the show in the Forza Horizon series, it’s the widely varied, based-on-real-life environments that really make the games shine. Whether it’s kicking up dust while blasting across the Australian Outback in Forza Horizon 3 or leaving a swirling trail of

  • Microsoft Flight Simulator is a Fantastic Flying Experience on Xbox Series X|S
    on July 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    I just flew an Airbus A320 from my couch, and I can’t believe I just typed that. Having logged some time with the PC version of Microsoft Flight Simulator over the past year and going hands-on during its lead up to launch, I’ll confess that I remained cautiously optimistic about how well the simulator experience

  • This Week on Xbox: July 23, 2021
    on July 23, 2021 at 11:01 pm

    We know you’re busy and might miss out on all the exciting things we’re talking about on Xbox Wire every week. If you’ve got a few minutes, we can help remedy that. We’ve pared down the past week’s news into one easy-to-digest article for all things Xbox! Or, if you’d rather watch than read, you

  • Inside Xbox Series X|S Optimized: Sniper Elite 4
    on July 23, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    One of the biggest benefits of all that power in the hardware is giving developers the ability to make games that are Xbox Series X|S Optimized. This means that they’ve taken full advantage of the unique capabilities of Xbox Series X|S, both for new titles built natively using the Xbox Series X|S development environment as

  • Season 2 Kicks Off Next Week in Knockout City
    by Christopher Mercado, Technical Designer, Velan Studios on July 23, 2021 at 7:00 pm

    I’m here to give you the inside deets of the latest dodgeball to hit the streets with the start of Season 2 – Soda Ball! Alright, who’s thirsty? Dodgebrawlers all over the city have learned how to take advantage of [REDACTED]’s signature Boba Cola blend in their glorious beatdowns across Knockout City. A revolutionary shake-stable

  • The Great Ace Attorney Chronicles Is Already The Fifth Best Switch Game Of 2021
    on July 26, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    The jury's in.You might not really believe in the power of Metacritic — a review aggregation site — to represent the opinions of many, but for those of you who love the Ace Attorney series and want to see it succeed, this will be good news nonetheless.Here's the current top five Switch games on Metacritic for 2021, based on their average scores:Read the full article on

  • Raji: An Ancient Epic Enhanced Edition Coming As A Free Update To Switch
    on July 26, 2021 at 5:00 pm

    Due later this year.Raji: An Ancient Epic was a high profile Indie arrival on the Switch eShop last year, catching the eye with its ancient India setting and intriguing mythology. It's made its way onto various platforms since, and now it's been confirmed that an Enhanced Edition is arriving later this year; it'll be a free update for existing owners.As you can see in the trailer above it'll be adding a Hindi voiceover, 'new game modes' and revamped gameplay. It seems we'll need to wait a little longer for specifics on the new content in particular, but it'll certainly be welcome.Read the full article on

  • Streets Of Rage 4 DLC Finally Available To Buy On Switch Following 10-Day Delay
    on July 26, 2021 at 4:00 pm

    Update: "Critical patch now live".Update #2 (Mon 26th Jul, 2021): Coming ten days after the Streets of Rage 4 DLC launched on other platforms, it's now finally available to purchase on everyone's favourite handheld hybrid console family. Dotemu's Executive Director Cyrille Imbert had this to say in a press release letting fans know the DLC blockage on Switch has now been fixed:We want to take this time to first apologize to our Switch players - this should not have happened and we are tremendously sorry to have kept you waiting. We appreciate every single one of you for sticking by us, and can assure that we will work diligently so that this never happens again.Read the full article on

  • Just 10 Days Since Launch, Zelda: Skyward Sword HD Is Already Amazon's Third Best-Seller Of 2021
    on July 26, 2021 at 3:30 pm

    Not a bad start, eh?If Amazon's sales are anything to go by – and with Amazon being the world's biggest online retailer, we'd say they probably are – The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword HD is having a very solid start to life indeed.A quick look at Amazon's list of best-selling games of 2021 reveals that Skyward Sword HD is already the company's third best-selling retail game of the year so far. Only Super Mario 3D World + Bowser's Fury (which launched back in February), and the world-dominating Animal Crossing: New Horizons have sold better at Amazon this calendar year, with Skyward Sword nabbing that third spot after just ten days since launch.Read the full article on

  • Review: NEO: The World Ends With You - A Striking Return To The Streets Of Shibuya
    on July 26, 2021 at 3:00 pm

    The rhythm is calling you back.For the past 13 years, fans of the Nintendo DS cult classic, The World Ends With You have been practically begging Square Enix to whip up a new entry in the world of the original. The vibes of that first venture are flavour-rich, boasting a bouncy and energetic soundtrack, a loveable cast of characters, and a combat system just as unique as the rest of the game. So we were thrilled to bits when the news of a sequel came across our desk last year, although at the same time cautious, as we hold the tale of the first game close to our hearts.Would the story of the original have been better off left untouched by NEO: The World Ends With You? Do the creators really have the gusto to match or exceed the energy from that first waltz through Shibuya? Will the new protagonist Rindo and the rest of these runts ever be able to live up to the likes of Neku and company? We’ve been asking ourselves these same questions for weeks, months even, and thankfully it was all for naught. This new action-RPG romp through Shibuya’s streets is full of fresh beats and surprising treats to appease longtime fans and newcomers alike.Read the full article on

  • Almost 1,000 Activision Blizzard Employees Sign Open Letter To Leadership, "We Will Not Be Silenced"
    by Liana Ruppert on July 26, 2021 at 8:49 pm

    Nearly 1,000 employees of Activision Blizzard are speaking out against the company's "abhorrent" response to the details of the ongoing labor lawsuit going public. The response from executives denounced the lawsuit, claiming that details represented in the legal documentation were "unfounded," "distorted," and "untrue." You can read the full statement here, but now the employees hurt by the company's response and continued culture are speaking out, making it known that they will not be silenced as the lawsuit progresses.  Details on the allegations emerged last week when the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard, following years of investigation.  The incident once more puts a spotlight on the games industry around issues of misconduct, especially against women, recalling recent revelations from publisher Ubisoft. In the case of these latest claims against Activision Blizzard, the reason for the suit centers around "violations of the state's civil rights and equal pay laws," specifically regarding the treatment of women and other marginalized groups. The details of the lawsuit included allegations of widespread gender discrimination, sexual harassment, and an underlining "frat-boy culture" that has even contributed to the suicide of one female employee. After the details went live, Activision Blizzard quickly scrambled to get a statement out, a statement that further added fuel to the ongoing fire resulting from these allegations.  In a new open letter to Activision Blizzard's leadership, nearly 1,000 employees signatures have been added. The letter is in conjunction with hundreds of social media posts we've seen over the past weekend from current and former employees alike detailing their own experiences. The contents of the signed statement were first reported by Bloomberg, and Game Informer has independently seen the letter as well. The full letter is as follows:  To the Leaders of Activision Blizzard, We, the undersigned, agree that the statements from Activision Blizzard, Inc. and their legal counsel regarding the DFEH lawsuit, as well as the subsequent internal statement from Frances Townsend, are abhorrent and insulting to all that we believe our company should stand for. To put it clearly and unequivocally, our values as employees are not accurately reflected in the words and actions of our leadership. We believe these statements have damaged our ongoing quest for equality inside and outside of our industry. Categorizing the claims that have been made as “distorted, and in many cases false” creates a company atmosphere that disbelieves victims. It also casts doubt on our organizations’ ability to hold abusers accountable for their actions and foster a safe environment for victims to come forward in the future. These statements make it clear that our leadership is not putting our values first. Immediate corrections are needed from the highest level of our organization. Our company executives have claimed that actions will be taken to protect us, but in the face of legal action -- and the troubling official responses that followed -- we no longer trust that our leaders will place employee safety above their own interests. To claim this is a “truly meritless and irresponsible lawsuit” while seeing so many current and former employees speak out about their own experiences regarding harassment and abuse is simply unacceptable. We call for official statements that recognize the seriousness of these allegations and demonstrate compassion for victims of harassment and assault. We call on Frances Townsend to stand by her word to step down as Executive Sponsor of the ABK Employee Women’s Network as a result of the damaging nature of her statement. We call on the executive leadership team to work with us on new and meaningful efforts that ensure employees -- as well as our community -- have a safe place to speak out and come forward. We stand with all our friends, teammates, and colleagues, as well as the members of our dedicated community who have experienced mistreatment or harassment of any kind. We will not be silenced, we will not stand aside, and we will not give up until the company we love is a workplace we can all feel proud to be a part of again. We will be the change. The letter comes just days after former CEO and co-founder Mike Morhaime issued his own statement, telling former employees that he understands that he failed them when they needed him the most. His statement received mixed reactions from the industry and community members alike, with some former employees thanking him for taking responsibility. In contrast, others pointed out that he knew exactly what had been going on over the past decade.  As mentioned in our previous coverage, the report alleges that Activision Blizzard has many women dodging "unwanted sexual comments" and "being groped" during what is being called a cube crawl:  In the office, women are subjected to 'cube crawls' in which male employees drink copious amounts of alcohol as they 'crawl' their way through various cubicles in the office and often engage in inappropriate behavior toward female employees. Male employees proudly come into work hungover, play video games for long periods of time during work while delegating their responsibilities to female employees, engage in banter about their sexual encounters, talk openly about female bodies, and joke about rape. The lawsuit, a result of over two years of investigation, also claims that HR was fully aware of the culture happening and that attempts to seek help from Human Resources were reportedly ignored. "Employees were further discouraged from complaining as human resource personnel was known to be close to alleged harassers," details the lawsuit documents. "As a result of these complaints, female employees were subjected to retaliation, including but not limited to being deprived of work on projects, unwillingly transferred to different units, and selected for layoffs." The suit also details a significant pay gap between male and female co-workers, which alleges that many women are offered a similar role as a male counterpart at a much lower compensation rate. Game Informer has talked to many current and former Blizzard Activision Blizzard employees about the details of the lawsuit, with several male developers stating that they have posted their own salaries publicly to support their co-workers. The suit also details opportunities that were seen as primarily going to men first, stifling progressive growth within the company's infrastructure. The lawsuit details specific examples of alleged mistreatment, abuse, and other disturbing behavior through the years, which can be found here.  [Source: Bloomberg]

  • Indie Watch: Smaller Games Worth Keeping An Eye On
    by Marcus Stewart on July 26, 2021 at 8:15 pm

    We're firmly in the half of 2021 and inching ever closer to the holiday rush of big-time triple-A releases. While we’re excited to play the next Halo, Metroid, and Forza, it’s always worth keeping in mind the slate of promising indies releasing alongside the big guns. That's why we put together a list of smaller titles that we can’t wait to play, several of which we haven't spotlighted until now. These games are arranged in chronological release order, and a few are just around the corner. If you're itching to play something off the beaten path, hopefully you can find something here that perks your ears.  Eldest Souls Release Date: July 29 Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Are boss battles your favorite part of a Souls-like game? Eldest Souls may be right up your alley. This challenging title is a 16-bit boss rush that pits you against beings known as the Old Gods. Cutting down these intimidating adversaries with your oversized sword rewards abilities unlocked from an extensive skill tree. Despite emphasizing large-scale battles, you’ll also interact with NPC’s and complete sidequests. If you find your interest piqued, you won’t have to wait long to find out how Eldest Souls shapes up. It launches this week, July 29. Grime Release Date: August 2 Platforms: PC, Stadia Law requires that every indie list needs at least one Metroidvania, and Grime fills that quota. Besides its maze-like level design, the upcoming game also bleeds Dark Souls in all the ways you'd expect but with one big twist: your character’s head is an all-consuming black hole. By parrying incoming attacks, you can absorb enemies instead of cutting them down the old fashioned way (which you can also do). Suck up enough members of a certain enemy type, and you can adopt their traits to permanently augment your abilities. This adds a fun wrinkle to the well-worn dance of attack/parry/dodge. Grime’s surreal world and unique progression helps it stand out in a crowded pack of similarly styled games. Check out its free Steam demo to see if it’s up your alley.  Foreclosed Release Date: August 12 Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia, PC Cyberpunk! Sure, you might say the style has been done a lot recently but you should still keep an eye on Forcelosed. The game blends a stylish comic book-style presentation and a heavy focus on narrative with explosive action. You control Evan Kapnos who has had his identity “foreclosed”. That means he’s lost his job, his brain implants, and he’s cut off from his own city. Even worse, Evan must now escape before his identity and body is auctioned off. You’re armed with a symbiotic pistol that can be customized in a variety of ways (like firing explosive or stealth bullets) as well as special powers like telekinesis. You can also hack into electronics; this is a cyberpunk game after all. Who foreclosed Evan’s identity? That’s up to you to uncover. Road 96 Release Date: August 16 Platforms: Switch, PC Procedurally generated levels in games are nothing new but what about a procedurally generated story? That’s a feat that Road 96 will attempt to pull off. Set in a fictional country ruled by an authoritative regime, you’ll flee your home by hitchhiking to the border. The people you meet, how you interact with them, and the skills you learn all promise to constantly reshape the narrative in a more organic fashion than traditional choice-driven stories. With storytelling inspired by the works of Quentin Tarantino and the Coen Brothers, Road 96 is making a lot of big promises so here’s hoping it will stick the landing when it launches next month.  The Big Con Release Date: August 30 Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC Throw on your best oversized flannel shirt and relive the totally rad ‘90s in The Big Con, a comical puzzle adventure game about life as a teenage con artist. Your mother’s video store is in jeopardy of being absorbed by loan sharks. Saving the store calls on you to lie, cheat, and steal your way across a cross-country road trip. Pickpocket strangers, don disguises, spy on folks, and pull whatever dirty trick necessary to raise enough money to keep your mom’s business afloat. The Big Con is billed as the ultimate ‘90s time machine but even those with no nostalgia for the decade may find entertainment in its quirky humor and silly puzzle-solving. Lake  Release Date: September 1 Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC It’s 1986 and big city girl Meredith Weiss returns to her small hometown of Providence Oaks to deliver mail in place of her father for two weeks. By bringing parcels to the lake town’s colorful residents such as an old cat lady or snarky video store owner, you’ll reconnect with your humble roots. Some may find Lake’s laid-back tone and pacing boring, and that’s okay. We think there’s something utterly relaxing about the idea of driving a mail truck down scenic roads and dropping off letters. Plus, conversing with residents presents narrative choices that can branch the story in different ways. Who knows? During your stay you might find love or rekindle long-dormant friendships. Or you could accidentally send your truck into the game's titular lake. That's something you can do as well.  Aragami 2 Release Date: September 17 Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, Xbox One, PC 2016’s Aragami was a neat action stealth title in the vein of the Tenchu series with a cool hook in manipulating shadows to sneak around and eliminate targets. You’ll still have command over the darkness in Aragami 2, but the sequel ups the ante by pairing you with up to two friends in three-player online co-op. Having the option to tackle the story alone or in a group sounds awesome, as does the myriad of traditional and supernatural ninja tools at your disposal. Kunai, smoke bombs, teleportation, and invisibility are some of the slick abilities you and your friends have at your fingertips. Like a skilled ninja hiding amongst the reeds, Aragami 2 has all the makings of being a sneaky hit. Dordogne  Release Date: 2021 Platforms: Switch, PC Dordogne is one looker of a narrative adventure game thanks to its gorgeous art direction. Seriously, it looks like an interactive indie animated film. In terms of gameplay, it’s a point-and-click style puzzle game centering around Mimi, a woman exploring the home of her grandmother who recently passed away. You then travel back in time to play as a 10-year old version of Mimi to relive summers spent in this French countryside. As child Mimi, you’ll solve puzzles and collect keepsakes such as photos, all of which affect the present. Dordogne is overflowing with charm to the point that you probably need a soul transplant if you aren't smiling at it. We are looking forward to seeing more of it when it launches later this year.  Eastward  Release Date: 2021 Platforms: PC Eastward is set in a beautiful pixel art world on the brink of collapse. As dual protagonists John and Sam, you’ll embark on a journey to different cities, encountering the quirky remnants of humanity all while confronting dangerous creatures with your trusty...frying pan? Eastward’s gameplay is an action-adventure RPG with Zelda trappings where players use both characters in tandem to explore dungeons and overcome obstacles. The art direction, inspired by ‘90s Japanese animation, looks fantastic thanks to a 3D lighting system that makes the retro-style visuals pop even more. Eastward is tentatively scheduled to release sometime this year for PC and we’re desperately hoping it gets a firm launch date soon. No Place for Bravery Release Date: 2021 Platform: Switch, PC An old, retired warrior named Thorn is on a brutal quest to find his long-lost daughter. Locating her whereabouts calls on you to battle across a war-torn world in the style of a 2D dungeon crawler. Developer Glitch Factory name drops Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in describing No Place for Bravery’s parry-focused combat design; expect to face challenging foes that will probably humble you more often than not. When you aren’t surviving by the skin of your teeth you’ll be faced with making equally demanding moral choices in a narrative inspired by the developers’ own personal history. Namely in the role parents play in shaping the world for their children.  Nobody Saves the World Release Date: 2021 Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PC The shapeshifting dungeon crawler comes from Drinkbox Studios, the makers of Guacamelee and Severed. As Nobody, you have no form, color, or clothing for that matter. That is, until you find a magic wand that allows you to transform into different identities such as a magician, a vampire, and a horse. You know, everyday stuff. Nobody Saves the World is a top-down, procedurally generated dungeon crawler packed with color, personality, and variety as you mix and match forms to defeat enemies and solve puzzles. You can watch us take it for a spin in this episode of New Gameplay Today.  She Dreams Elsewhere Release Date: 2021 Platforms: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Switch, PC This surreal RPG centers on a comatose woman named Thalia who must battle her own nightmares in order to reawaken. The presentation and turn-based battle system is reminiscent of classic JRPGs, Shin Megami Tensei in particular. Players can also bond with their party members to learn about their stories via a Connection system. She Dreams Elswhere’s themes surrounding mental health (such as anxiety) and self-identity make it one of the more mature titles on this list, and one we find ourselves drawn to the more we see it. If you’d like to try before you buy, you can download a demo on Steam and Baldo: The Guardian Owls Released Date: TBA Platforms: Switch, PC Do you enjoy 3D Zelda games? How about Studio Ghibli? If you answered “Yes” to both questions, Baldo: The Guardian Owls should be in your crosshairs. This impossible to overlook gem takes players across a vibrant, magical open-world where you’ll try to decipher an ancient prophecy. Along the way you’ll explore intricate dungeons and solve all manner of puzzles while also defending yourself against monsters with your trusty sword and shield. Baldo is exciting in its ambition and we hope it can pull off everything it’s going for. Though its release window is technically labeled as “TBA”, we’re pulling for it to arrive before the year ends. For a recent look at the game in action, IGN recently showed off 13 minutes of gameplay.  Is there any game on this list that piques your interest? What upcoming indie game should we keep tabs on? Let us know in the comments!

  • Popular Final Fantasy 14 Encyclopedia, Poster, And Picture Books Are Being Republished, New Manga On The Way Too
    by Jason Guisao on July 26, 2021 at 8:00 pm

    If you clicked into this article, then, like me, you’ve been enamored with Square Enix’s classic Final Fantasy franchise. While XIV isn’t my preferred experience - I’m more of a traditional single-player JRPG kind of guy - I can say that I truly enjoyed the hours that I put into it a couple of months back. But any fan of the franchise should be excited to learn that a couple popular Final Fantasy XIV texts are being republished: an encyclopedia, a picture and poster book, and some new manga inspired by other IPs. Everything that's coming out is detailed below. Some covers haven't been finalized yet.  Click image thumbnails to view larger version                                                                                                              Encyclopaedia Eorzea, vol. 1 and vol. 2   Compiled by the development team, the two volumes of the encyclopedia delve into the locales, organizations, and history of the game world, Eorzea. Additionally, you can get some valuable insight into the regions beyond the main continent to the east. There’s also a complimentary code for the Namingway minion if you’re still unconvinced. Both volumes will drop on April 12, 2022 and you can pre-order them today.  Final Fantasy XIV Poster Collection Everyone loves posters. What if I told you that you could get 27 removable Final Fantasy XIV posters in one sitting? Sounds too good to be true, right? The poster collection book has stunning character art from A Realm Reborn and Shadowbringers. They’re even printed on press-varnished card stock. I have no idea what that means since I’m not much of a poster collector, but it sounds incredibly enticing. Pre-orders begin on August 10, and the book will actually be available on May 10, 2022. Final Fantasy XIV Picture Book (English Translated Edition) This one is a real treat. Lead Story Designer Banri Oda and Concept Artist Hiroyuki Nagamine have joined forces to make a picture book for all you Final Fantasy XIV fanatics out there. Don’t be fooled, this book is meant for all ages and, for the first time ever, it’s been translated into English for Western audiences. Pre-orders start on October 26, and the picture book itself drops on July 26, 2022.  SINoALICE and My Happy Marriage vol. 1 (Manga)   SINoALICE vol. 1 is inspired by Yoko Taro’s mobile game of the same name and drops on February 8, 2022. You can pre-order it today.  My Happy Marriage vol. 1 is a Cinderella-inspired historical romance. Personally, I love anything with the romance tag, so I’ll probably be grabbing this for myself. Pre-orders are scheduled for September 21 with a June 21, 2022 release date.  So which text(s) are you going to buy, or … are you planning to purchase them all? Let us know in the comments!

  • Halo Infinite Flight Test (Beta) Will Offer Weapon Drills As Part Of 343's Largest Technical Test To Date
    by Liana Ruppert on July 26, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    The Halo Infinite beta flight is dropping soon and 343 Industries wants to make sure that Insiders know what to expect before dropping into the world that gave us Master Chief once more. From weapon drills to Battle Passes, here is what you can expect from the upcoming early play period.  As with any testing period, the studio was very careful to ensure that players knew that there are going to be some "bumps" with the early play access, which is to be expected in any beta test. The team also let fans know that this is technically called a technical preview, simply because it's past the point of being alpha but not quite yet to the point of being as complete as the term beta suggests.  To prepare players for what sort of experience the Halo Infinite technical test will have to offer, the blog post reads: "We also want to be very upfront and transparent about the fact that we will certainly have some bumps and rough edges in this build. Our teams have been working hard to ensure that the build and experience are such that it can deliver on our goals, but this is very much still work-in-progress, and we expect some hiccups of varying degrees over the course of the technical preview. For further context, this technical preview is a couple of months behind where the development team and ‘main’ game build currently is given the process and time it takes to go through all the gates and steps before releasing to the public." Click here to watch embedded media With Halo Insiders preparing to "flight" the upcoming technical preview, a few of the core areas the team is looking for feedback on includes stability, online services, core gameplay, maps and modes, weapon drills, and menu/Battle Pass UI. The stability feedback is standard, as is server connectivity, but the weapon drills are going to really give players a chance to dive in deep into the familiar guns and new weapons joining the fray, as well. 343 is also looking for feedback regarding how the maps are designed and whether or not players feel that they flow naturally and that they feel "fun and fair." THis is one of the biggest technical previews for the company to date, which allows for a more encompassing experience for Halo fans to dive into. It also means a higher risk for things to go wrong, so please keep in mind that this is an early testing period, which means it is not going to be perfect or necessarily indicative of what will be available at launch. Feedback is crucial, so the more you have to offer, the better.  To learn more about the upcoming Halo Infinite beta technical test, check out the full blog post here. 

  • Digital Exclusive Mechanics Come To Magic: The Gathering Arena With Jumpstart: Historic Horizons
    by John Carson on July 26, 2021 at 7:18 pm

    Wizards of the Coast is changing the Historic format on Magic: The Gathering Arena in a huge way with its upcoming Jumpstart: Historic Horizons set. Not only are cards from Modern Horizons and Modern Horizons 2 hitting the client in this release, but so are 31 brand new Arena exclusive cards, some of which have mechanics only possible in a digital game of Magic. In an exclusive reveal with IGN, Wizards announced some cards coming to Jumpstart: Historic Horizons and looked at two new Arena-only mechanics. “Seek” brings the power of searching your library for a card but allows you not to have to shuffle your library. When a player “seeks,” a random card is chosen from their library using the predetermined variable in the rules text and is put into their hand. The deck does not shuffle afterward because the player doesn’t see any of the cards in their deck when the card is found. Another mechanic making its debut in Historic Horizons is called “perpetually.” When a card is modified “perpetually” by an effect, those changes stay with the card regardless of whether it’s in hand, shuffled into the library, on the battlefield, or exiled. Perpetual effects are permanent on that specific card for the remainder of that game. Parts of a card that can be affected include casting cost of spells, power, and the toughness of creatures. Our final look at the digital exclusive mechanics comes in the form of a new Planeswalker, Davriel, Soul Broker, which uses “Conjure” and a handful of choices that don’t exist on the card itself. Conjuring brings a card into existence from out of thin air and into your hand without the need for the conjured card to be in your library or sideboard. Examples given in IGN’s article include conjuring the dual land Tropical Island or card draw spell Ponder. Davriel allows conjuring up Manor Guardian, a creature which “seeks” a non-land card with mana value two or less upon its death. One of this Planeswalker’s abilities involves “offers” and “conditions.” “Offers” are choices like drawing cards or receiving an emblem for a permanent benefit for the remainder of the game, while “conditions” are equally punishing options as a price for your previous beneficial choice. For those who aren’t familiar with Jumpstart, it’s an event set where you pick two themed booster packs and shuffle them together. No experience with deckbuilding is required at all. Previous themes included goblins, unicorns, discard, lands, and elves. While the original Jumpstart had some variations to theme packs, new to Historic Horizons is the randomization of card slots within a theme giving even more possibilities for what can be found within a pack. Jumpstart: Historic Horizons is scheduled to hit MTG Arena from August 12 until September 9 and comes with these new mechanics among 31 Arena-specific cards in a massive 782 card set featuring tons of new cards injected directly into the Historic format. Magic also added its first Dungeons and Dragons-themed set this month, and you can read about its dungeon mechanic here.  Adding digital-exclusive effects is bound to be divisive among the Magic community. How do you feel about this change to Historic? Should a new format be created to house these big changes? Plant your respectful takes in the comments.