Tales of the Shire is a cozy village sim where you can’t run, but you can skip

The march of big-budget Tolkien fantasy has hit gaming yet again. While ignoring Gollum’s misadventures, another game, Tales of the Shire, offers a gentler, low-stakes way to play in the universe of Bagginses, lembas bread, and Gandalf.

Set somewhere between the end of The Hobbit, but before it all kicked off in Lord of the Rings, Tales of the Shire sees you settling into Bywater, helping fellow villagers achieve their tasks and dreams. That involves fishing, farming vegetables and cooking up a storm to improve your relationships and unlock new recipes and possibly other activities.

The game’s simple but effective home decoration system allows you to move a single book or an entire table (and everything on it). In fact, the whole of Tales of the Shire seems designed as a gentle introduction to cozy gardening game mechanics, with its cooking and general good-neighborly activities. A cute system of bluebirds helps you navigate the snug but packed hamlet. (If it’s not a village, it’s a hamlet, right?). And when you run – you don't run, you skip.

If anything, it’s a bit too familiar. You can fish, farm and cook some dishes, and these activities offer rewards that can all be tracked elsewhere in the village, just like countless other farming and village life sims. The overarching aim is to help turn Bywater into a bonafide village by helping your neighbors with their various projects and challenges. During a brief demo, I was tasked with developing a new menu for the local inn. I had to pick my ingredients and seasonings carefully to hit the right flavor profile of dishes representing the story of Bilbo Baggins’ adventures to steal treasure from a dragon. But Tales of the Shire isn’t reinventing the genre.

The Tolkien references are present but not overwhelming — this is another cute countryside village that needs a bit of help — just that everyone has hairy big feet. The development team told me their writing team included a “Tolkien expert” to make sure that sidequests, stories and characters still fit cohesively into the author’s vision. I think that generally means maximum whimsy. Expect lots of food-based chilling by the riverbanks and cozy errands.

Tales of the Shire

Even the relationship mechanism between your customizable character and the rest of the village is based on making dinner to forge bonds and deepen connections. Hosting a mean dinner party opens up more quests, and – just as crucial – more potent recipes for schmoozing and feeding other villagers. Meal crafting itself is a relatively short minigame in which you can riff off base ingredients to incorporate your guests’ favorite flavors. Some fish, for example, may have a salty or hot flavor profile, improving your odds of making a new friend. A little graph guides your cooking prep as you aim for the best consistency and texture for your culinary creations.

According to the team behind it, Tales of the Shire is intentionally slow-paced. It aims to be forgiving and doesn’t punish the player if they mess up a task or fail to complete it. Time passes slowly, giving the player enough time to walk (or skip) to other parts of the village. My demo was a relaxing, if predictable, jaunt around the Shire, but could be a tempting new game for Animal Crossing or Stardew Valley fans, all with the cultural pull of Tolkien.

Tales of the Shire will be released later this year for PC, Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/tales-of-the-shire-is-a-cozy-village-sim-where-you-cant-run-but-you-can-skip-130027018.html?src=rss

The Morning After: The biggest announcements from Nintendo Direct

Nintendo sidestepped sharing the spotlight with all the other gaming companies at Summer Game Fest last week, promising its own Direct later in June. And that happened yesterday, teasing a lot of new games with Nintendo favorites. Mario games, yes. Zelda games, yes, and even a new Metroid game, confirmed. (More on that below the fold).

The funny thing is the new Zelda game is all about… Zelda. You play as the princess in The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom. It opens where most Zelda games finish, with Link defeating Ganon. But just as he frees Princess Zelda, our usual hero is sucked into an alternate dimension. The game is played top-down and borrows the art style of the Link’s Awakening remake. However, Zelda’s main weapon and tool is the trirod. With this, she can copy many items and use these “echoes” to navigate the world. You can even create echoes of monsters to fight for Zelda.

Nintendo’s 40-minute update also included release dates for the forthcoming Dragon Quest remake, a new Mario Party title and news that feline adventure Stray is coming to Switch.

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— Mat Smith

Here are all of the just-announced Copilot+ PCs with Snapdragon X chips

Black Myth: Wukong is pretty, intriguing and as challenging as it looks


The Solo Buds cover the basics, but that’s about it. Audio quality is flat, unless you’re listening to Dolby Atmos content in Apple Music, but at least the earbuds are comfy with long battery life. Then again, they only cost 80 bucks.

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Fisker has officially declared bankruptcy. The US-based startup filed for Chapter 11 protections and plans to restructure its debt and sell its assets. This means the Alaska EV with a designated cowboy hat space — not a joke — will likely never happen. Fisker revealed in a recent report that it had produced 10,193 units of its sole EV available, the Ocean SUV, in 2023, but only delivered 4,929 vehicles.

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Habbo Hotel: Origins, on Mac today, revives the 2005 PC game in all its nostalgic glory. If you never played Habbo Hotel 20 years ago, the game is an online community, in the format of, well, a hotel. Your avatar can chat with your friends in the virtual hotel lobby and spend in-game credits on furniture and accessories.

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After 18 years and a complete reboot, Samus Aran will return in Metroid Prime 4: Beyond, next year. We got our first glimpse of the game too, with Samus duking it out with aliens in typical Metroid style. The teaser ends with the reveal of a new big bad. It’s wearing a suit like our hero but is flanked by two floating metroids. Ominous? Yes.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-the-biggest-announcements-from-nintendo-direct-111547910.html?src=rss

Black Myth: Wukong is pretty, intriguing and as challenging as it looks

Black Myth: Wukong is gorgeous. It’s built up a lot of momentum, feeding trailer after gorgeous trailer, and at Summer Game Fest this year, I finally got to play it. Is it just a gorgeous tech demo with a heavy dose of Chinese mythology or your next gaming challenge?

A Chinese folk story, Journey to the West, inspired Game Science Studio’s action RPG. You play as the “destined one,” a monkey hero wielding an extending bo-staff and a handful of magic spells. I was given the higher-specced (though undisclosed) PC rig to play on, ensuring all that Unreal Engine 5 eye candy had a fighting chance of running smoothly. While less than an hour with a game won’t give the definitive answer, Wukong ran smoothly despite my chaotic play style. The game has been held up as a major example of next-gen graphical tech, so I’m relieved it didn't chug during my demo.

I played a relatively early part of the game, starting with the Forest of Wolves and the Guanyin Temple. I fought my way through several typical wolf-humanoid enemies, a bigger mid-level boss and then a giant wolf creature. On the way, I unlocked the ability to transform into one of the monsters, summoning their flaming weapon and opening up new attacks and skills. Midway through the demo, an old man with a head like a ginseng root gave me an immobilization spell with its own cooldown meter and offered me a brief reprieve against more dangerous foes, like the final giant wolf. He also briefly transformed me into an insect, able to fly over enemies' heads. This was fun but will apparently only be available at certain points in the game — you won’t be able to dodge all the fights.

However, you won’t progress (or even stay alive long) unless you get a handle on the basics. Attacks are separated into light and heavy, with the ability to charge the heavy attack for even stronger blows. Given how stamina drains during attacks, you’ll need to keep on top of defense, too, with jumps and dodges. Dodge perfectly, and time slows a little, an extra illusion of yourself appears and you get to pull a few extra moves before an enemy realizes what happened.

As you progress, you earn points to unlock new skills from a talent tree, which teases three staff styles to switch between. I unlocked the ‘pillar’ style, so my character could vault up to the top of his staff and ‘grow’ it by holding the strong attack button. This way, you avoid ground-level attacks. But if enemies hit your staff, your stamina (but not your health) takes a hit.

Releasing the button unleashes an extra strong move that seems to daze enemies if it interrupts their attack. It’s high risk, high reward and, like the best action RPGs, there’s nothing more satisfying than nailing the timing and move choice. Wukong’s battle system means you can’t just spam attacks and dodge rolls, as both burn through a stamina bar, which sits next to your health bar. The destined one also carries a rechargeable health potion, but he has to pause to use it. More risk and reward: If you don’t use it in a timely way, you’ll die and get reincarnated a few minutes down the mountain and have to face (or run past) most of the enemies you’d already dispatched — the fundamental backbone of soulslike games like Wukong. The battle system seemed responsive, and the biggest challenges came from groups of warriors: I had to combine evasion with prioritizing, say, the archer, before other enemies.

Black Myth: Wukong
Game Science

It’s all elevated by how good the environment looks, the bizarre monster design and the quiet, unsettling soundtrack. The giant wolf boss I encountered was small potatoes compared to other enemies the developer teased in earlier trailers — I want to fight that dragon. While the protagonist was entirely taciturn during my demo, Game Science, the studio behind the game, says the player will “uncover the stories behind various characters, understanding their love and hate, greed and anger, past lives and present.” I’m intrigued to see how that goes.

Black Myth: Wukong is, finally, almost here. It launches on PC and PS5 on August 20, 2024.

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/black-myth-wukong-hands-on-preview-sgf-2024-133059684.html?src=rss

The Morning After: US Surgeon General says social media needs warning labels like cigarettes

The US Surgeon General, Vivek Murthy, says social media should come with warning labels, writing in The New York Times that social media is an “important contributor” to the teen mental health crisis. Last year, he issued an advisory making similar arguments, saying social media posed a “profound risk” to teen mental health. In his latest op-ed, Murthy cited a study showing higher social media use was associated with an increased risk of anxiety and depression, as well as a survey where almost half of teens reported “social media makes them feel worse about their bodies.”

He also noted warning labels alone wouldn’t make social media safer — I mean, people still smoke — but would help better inform everyone. “There is no seatbelt for parents to click, no helmet to snap in place… there are just parents and their children, trying to figure it out on their own, pitted against some of the best product engineers and most well-resourced companies in the world.”

He’ll need support from Congress to make this happen, however. Cooperation in US politics has not been common this decade. However, there has been recent bipartisan support to curtail tech companies' powers — look at the TikTok saga.

— Mat Smith

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The next Nintendo Direct takes place later today

McDonald’s pauses AI-powered drive-thru voice orders

Neopets is back

The US has sued Adobe over its awful subscription rules


Oh, speak of the devil. TikTok has announced its new AI-created digital avatars for both creators and brands on the app.

According to TikTok, the AI personas should make it easier for creators and businesses to create branded content with a “human feel” — even if that human feel is an uncomfortable stranger staring at you from a bus stop across the road. There are two kinds of avatars: stock avatars based on paid actors and custom avatars based on existing creators and brand spokespeople. As Karissa Bell puts it, they give M3GAN vibes. At least, the company’s own rules require this kind of content to have prominent disclosures.

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Logitech has unveiled a mixed reality stylus for Meta Quest headsets — but not the Quest Pro. The MX Ink helps users craft more precise designs and illustrations — although I’m not sure how many pro-level artists are using consumer-grade VR headsets… But hey, maybe it will give Sony some competition.

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Nikon’s $2,500 Z6 III has the world’s first “partially stacked” 24.5-megapixel (MP) sensor. That allows for high-speed shooting in features like RAW video and faster autofocus and both photo and video modes. In short, better than the several-years-old Z6 II. So, er, what is a partially stacked sensor? They’re rare (and expensive), having so far only appeared on Sony’s A1 and Nikon’s own Z8 and Z9. Circuits cover the entire sensor, so it can read pixel data far more quickly than regular CMOS sensors. On the Z6 II, circuits cover only the top and bottom parts of the sensor. So it’s faster than normal CMOS sensors, but cheaper than stacked ones.

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-us-surgeon-general-says-social-media-needs-warning-labels-like-cigarettes-111538368.html?src=rss

The Morning After: Apple may be planning thinner iPhones, MacBooks and Watches

According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple’s mission to make its thinnest product ever won’t stop at the iPad Pro — the company also has plans for a skinnier Macbook Pro, Apple Watch and iPhone. Gurman says the slimmed-down iPhone — also rumored by The Information could come as early as 2025, with the introduction of the iPhone 17 line.

A thinner iPhone is likely to be more expensive than current generation devices, however. Remember 2017’s iPhone X, which ditched the home button but cost more? That, again.

Meanwhile, on Engadget, we’ve got even more Summer Game Fest news. Did the show end last week? Yes. Are there still embargoed games we’re itching to talk about? Definitely, yes!

— Mat Smith

Microsoft’s Xbox refresh can’t compete with its leaked roadmap

Doctor Who: The Legend of Ruby Sunday review: What legend?

Cybertruck buyers say they’ve been told deliveries are paused due windshield wiper problems

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According to a Reuters report, the US military used fake social media accounts to discredit China’s COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines during the height of the pandemic. In one example of the US’s anti-vax messaging cited by Reuters, an account in 2020 tweeted, “COVID came from China and the VACCINE also came from China, don’t trust China!” The campaign also pushed the narrative that China’s vaccines were “haram” — forbidden under Islamic law. In a statement to the publication, a Pentagon spokesperson brought up China’s own disinformation campaign, and said the military “uses a variety of platforms, including social media, to counter those malign influence attacks.”

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Metaphor: ReFantazio has been a long time in the making. It was announced in 2017, but we finally got to play through a three-part demo last week at Summer Game Fest. Atlus and the game’s director, Katsura Hashino, are both known more for (semi-) grounded urban fantasy/school life simulations of Persona than wizards and elves, and ReFantazio, in that sense, represents a big departure. As do all the British accents. Expect cockneys, Liverpudlians, and more, all represented in fantasy equivalents. The gameplay of battles, however, is turn-based, strategic and tied to the strength of the bonds with your allies. And yep, that sounds very Persona.

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In this week’s Engadget podcast, Cherlynn and Devindra discuss their final thoughts on Apple Intelligence and the company’s upcoming software teased at WWDC, and they chat about some of our coverage highlights from the pseudo-E3 Game Fest.

Listen here.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-morning-after-apple-may-be-planning-thinner-iphones-macbooks-and-watches-111531784.html?src=rss

The biggest threat to Marvel Rivals is all the other rival team shooters

Marvel Rivals pits its greatest heroes against each other and it’s a lot of fun. It’s also a familiar kind of fun if you’ve ever played Overwatch. As Overwatch 2 fights to hold onto players (and attract new ones), there’s no shortage of new games with similar team PvP dynamics, modes and characters. Like Valve’s leaked Deadlock title, or PlayStation’s Concord, or Star Wars: Hunters. Add the now console-bound (and more strategy-heavy) Valorant, and yep, there are a lot of team shooters on the horizon. Oh and I forgot Foamstars, like most of us. 

Rivals, made by Netease, has a headstart, however, with a roster of characters that most of us have heard of. These are also heroes whose powers and abilities we already know. And it’s certainly a roster: 19 characters, expanding now to 21 for the next wave of tests.

I was going to complain that this is a heady number of characters and combinations to learn, or at least get used to. But, well, Overwatch launched with 21. One leak, data-mined from the closed alpha, suggest there are plans for up to 39 characters. Oh my.

Briefly playing this alpha-build demo at Summer Game Fest offers a glimpse at the game, and nascent metas (combinations of characters and team builds), but it takes time to evolve and coalesce. It also takes time for me to get good at a new team shooter.

Like the original Overwatch, Rivals pits six heroes/villains against six other Marvel characters, with familiar team goals of escoring a slow-moving object, or protecting zones from the opposing team. It’s not all Marvel Presents… Overwatch, though.

I liked the destructable environments, with some walls taking only so much damage before crumbling and exposing your hero. It kept me on my toes. Other unique gameplay features include "Dynamic Hero Synergy," a sort of baked-in meta where two (sometimes three) characters can augment each other in battle.

One example of this happened as I found early success with Groot. Groot is a tank-type player, with the ability to make Mei-styled walls, just made of plants, not ice. However, if Rocket, his Guardians of the Galaxy team-mate, is on the same team, it increases the duo’s damage output. And Rocket can ride around on Groot’s shoulder, too. Cute.

I mentioned the Groot-Mei connection, but other skill overlaps with Overwatch characters are obvious, but with a twist. Hela, queen of Hel, has a few similarities with Overwatch 2’ s Kiriko, with the ability to escape tight spots, but swapping healing for a focus on damage dealing.

Meanwhile, Black Panther’s lunge attack gets an instant cooldown if you hit an enemy, mimicking Genji’s dash attack that recharges if you get a kill.

The third-person perspective, which a few early testers found divisive, takes some getting used to. Look, I get it: when the core USP of a game is the global juggernaut that is Marvel's intellectual property, you want to see what you paid for. You want to see Iron Man blasting Magik from the skies, Loki faking his death as he circles back around to attack Namor’s weak spot. In first person, a lot of that character design is lost, and your team mates and enemies rarely stand still in order for you to appreciate their character designs and lore.

I’m not sure why, but playing this kind of game from a third-person perspective made movement feel, somehow, sluggish. Unless you’re Spider-Man, who has an uniquely high level of mobility and speed compared to the rest of the current roster.

Overwatch 2 struggled with a lack of PvE features as well as the major change to 5v5 team battles. For a lot of Overwatch players, the game has fallen out of favor. However, for a lot of people it’s still the team shooter to beat. Will the draw of Marvel’s greatest heroes (and villains) be enough of a draw, and can NetEase sustain Rivals appeal when it launches? A closed beta test, which will include PS5 gamers this time, is scheduled for July.

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/the-biggest-threat-to-marvel-rivals-is-all-the-other-rival-team-shooters-182005638.html?src=rss

Dragon Age: The Veilguard is a fantasy epic filled with big decisions

Dragon Age: The Veilguard was given a proper unveiling at Summer Game Fest, with an Ocean’s 11-style intro to the gang of heroes and fantasy character tropes that will make up your cadre. Bioware also invited me to a hands-off demo of Veilguard, where I got to briefly see the character creation setup and the opening chapter of the game, as you join the likes of Varric and other characters from Dragon Ages past.

It does look different, though. I’ve only dipped into the Dragon Age series in the past, but the character style of Dragon Age: The Veilguard (especially in the trailer) looked, initially, like some kind of League Of Legends-style spin-off or even a, gasp, mobile game. There’s undoubtedly a cartoonish spin on characters, although Solas, the primary antagonist (and sadsack elf), seems to be his miserable, mournful self.

The environments we saw during the demo are suitably fantastical. During parts of the game, several vantage points appear to show off all the mystical landmarks. Oh, and a large chunk of the opening chapter is a town under siege by dimensional beasts.

Other significant changes appear in combat. While you’ll still be able to pause to consider tactics and enemy targets in a controller-friendly move, unique attacks for your character can be launched from a quick launch menu while the battle continues around you. It appears that The Veilguard could be more fast-paced than its predecessors.

I watched several battles between Rook, your custom-made character, and allies, including crossbow-wielding Varrik, fan-favorite Harding the scout, and the frostmage (and detective?!) Neve. We weren’t able to issue commands to our allies, but you will be able to in the final game. We watched a rogue build in action, which combined bow attacks with close-quarters dagger moves. If you choose a warrior, expect to focus on defense and heavy strikes, while a mage seems to lean on ranged combat.

It’s an action RPG, though, and you’ll have to work with your party members to strip away armor and protection before doing damage. Parries seem to form the core defense mechanic for rogues, but Veilguard Game Director Corinne Busche noted that, alongside difficultly modes, there are custom difficulty settings you can make fast-twitch battle mechanics more forgiving.

While we only got a brief look at the character creation process, you’ll be able to choose from different voices, fantasy races, and even a cool triangular ‘build’ generator for the body of your character. The dadbod dwarf mage of your dreams is, finally, here.

For fans of the series, though, the latest installment is aimed at expanding the world you probably already love. Areas and spots mentioned in passing in previous games will open up for exploration later in the game, we’re promised. When crafting a character, you’ll be able to flesh them out with one of several back-stories, which will often tap into groups and organizations from the series’ past. They’ll also get referenced by both your companions and other characters in-game when relevant. Neve and our build of Rook had a connection through a group in Rook’s past.

The decision wheel is here, too. While the battles and the monsters and the dragons are a core part of Dragon Age, the series is best known for letting players take the story into their own hands, making decisions, forgiving enemies (or not) and more. That looks like it’ll be a core part again of Veilguard. As Rook reacts to Varrik’s approach to Solas, as he wields dimensional forces, you can say it’s a bad idea, and your companions will act accordingly. Was it a bad idea? You’ll have to wait for the release, which is sometime in fall 2024.

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/dragon-age-the-veilguard-is-a-fantasy-epic-filled-with-big-decisions-150030570.html?src=rss

Assassin’s Creed Shadows is a tale of two very different assassins

The long-running Assassin’s Creed video game industrial complex has finally reached Japan – and I’ve been waiting. Assassin’s Creed Shadows is set in feudal Japan, in the late 16th century, to be precise, at a time of political upheaval that birthed the ninja. While I didn’t get to play Shadows, at Summer Game Fest 2024, Ubisoft offered a hands-off gameplay demo, revealing how the game will play with two different but equal protagonists.

If you missed the initial reveal, Shadows' protagonists are Yasuke, a powerful outsider samurai who can strike the armor off enemies, and Naoe, an assassin/ninja with a killer “sickle on-chain” kusarigama and those traditional AC killing methods — she has a wrist blade.

Instead of choosing a single character to play the entire game, you can switch between the characters for assassination runs and exploration segments. I prefer my assassinations stealthy, so I was surprised by how intrigued I was with the beastly Yasuke.

Yasuke is based on a historical figure: An African man who served as a retainer to the Japanese lord Oda Nobunaga for roughly a year. Naturally, this is Assasin’s Creed, so the team has taken some liberties with historical fact. Here, he plays the part of an outsider, a foreign-born samurai walking a path of honor. He’s also a powerhouse. What he lacks in parkour elegance and dive drops, he makes up in having the power to cut down powerful enemies, charge through doors and enemies and scare the crap out of locals. As Yasuke walked through a village in the demo, villagers rushed to get out of the towering samurai’s way, bowing respectfully at the side, while children just gawped, frozen still.

As the duo fight to end the corruption rife in Japan, they’ll learn hints and tips on where to find their next assassination target. These will narrow down where you need to search. Once you’ve identified where they are, the characters can then task NPC recruits to hoedown exactly where, although this mechanic wasn’t explained in any detail.

Later in the demo, Yasuke cuts down some abusive guards and goes head-to-head with another samurai, and I got a deeper look into how Yasuke fights. He’ll have a range of weapons, and this time, he was swinging a hulking club, cracking skulls and armor alike.

After Yasuke wins his duel with the samurai opponent – with swords – he’s joined by the other main character, Naoe, the assassin. She moves like an assassin, vaulting up walls and kicking off surfaces before launching her grappling hook into roof awnings directly above her. Like the most recent AC entries, she can utilize Eagle vision for a better view of enemies and obstacles. A new addition in Shadows is the ability to kill light sources like lanterns and fires, so Naoe can easily get up close and assassinate. She’s not the only one with upgrades – I also saw Yasuke wielding a musket-style single-use gun during the demo too.

The game is very pretty, too. I say this as a huge fan of the style of Sucker Punch’s Ghost of Tsushima. Ubisoft’s take is a more detailed one: there are more people simply living in this feudal Japan. The shifting seasons and weather make for even richer environments, too. In a later assassination attempt during the demo, Naoe had her infiltration interrupted by a torrential downpour. I’m not sure yet whether this will affect visibility dynamics, but hopefully, it will have some effect on how you play Shadows.

I’m intrigued. I’ve long carried a torch for the cult ninja series Tenchu. It offered its own takedown animations (in PS1 graphical glory), grapple hooks and stealth gameplay. It also offered two different characters: a speedy kunoichi assassin and a powerhouse ninja with samurai moves. Doesn't that sound a little familiar?

Assassin's Creed Shadows will land on November 15, coming to PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PC, Mac and iPad.

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/assassins-creed-shadows-gameplay-demo-sgf-2024-200016644.html?src=rss

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time remake is still happening and it’s coming out 2026

After all the delays, studio switches and confusion, and following plenty of updates on those spinoff Prince of Persia games, Ubisoft's SGF 2024 presentation included a release... year for its troubled Sands of Time remake. We're not really getting any more details yet, but it's confirmation that the project is still underway. It's just years away, still. 

Ubisoft Montreal, which worked on the initial Sands of Time. took over the project from Ubisoft Pune and Mumbai, scrubbing the launch date of January 2021 in the process. Back then, Ubisoft Montreal was apparently "building upon the work achieved" by its studios in India. Last year however, producer Jean-Francois Naud revealed that the project was still "in conception" — so what exactly did those Ubisoft studios make? It sounds like a mess. And this is about a game that's a reboot of a reboot. 

Catch up on all of the news from Summer Game Fest 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/prince-of-persia-the-sands-of-time-remake-is-still-happening-and-its-coming-out-2026-195002200.html?src=rss

Canon is making a new lens to capture spatial video for Apple’s Vision Pro

Alongside announcing its next-generation OS for Vision Pro, Apple wants to improve the content you can capture and share on the headset. It's getting help with that from camera mainstay Canon, which is working on a new dedicated spatial lens for its R7 camera.

While details are light for now, the new lens, shown briefly during WWDC’s big presentation, is a lot more subtle than previous stereo lenses. It’s a 7.8mm f/4 lens with STM (stepping motor technology) that keeps focus quiet and smooth.

In the past, Canon has dabbled with lenses aimed at VR and spatial content. Its last spatial lens was $2,000, so this probably is outside the remit of most of us. (That said, if you bought the Vision Pro, you might have that in change.) 

Intriguingly, Canon previously said that none of its current cameras are fast enough to offer video that matches the Vision Pro. We’re waiting to hear exactly what kind of video (and at what refresh rates and resolution) this lens-and-camera combo can capture. 

Apple also followed up with updates to its 180-degree 3D 8K video format, partnering with Blackmagic to create a new workflow to make Immersive Videos easier to capture and work with.

Catch up here for all the news out of Apple's WWDC 2024.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/canon-is-making-a-new-lens-to-capture-spatial-video-for-apples-vision-pro-173600145.html?src=rss