‘Hi-Fi Rush’ is an action rhythm game you can play today

Here's a pleasant surprise from Xbox and Bethesda's Developer Direct showcase: a full game you can download (almost) right away. The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks has unveiledHi-Fi Rush, a combo-driven brawler with rhythm game elements. You play Chai, a would-be rockstar who fights a robotics company with the help of the beat. Think Devil May Cry or Bayonetta crossed with a music game, or a very pretty spiritual sequel to Crypt of the NecroDancer. You aren't forced to play to the beat, but you're rewarded for staying in sync with high-powered combo moves and finishers.

Not surprisingly, style plays an important role. The game revolves around its anime-inspired cel-shaded look, its non-stop humor and a mix of both licensed and original music. Streamers don't have to panic about copyright violations — there's an "alternate audio mode" to keep the soundtrack legal during broadcasts.

The title will be available later today for Xbox Series X/S and Windows PCs (through the Epic Games Store, Microsoft Store and Steam). It's also available through Game Pass on these platforms. This is a distinct change of pace for Tango, which is better known for dark, moody titles like Ghostwire: Tokyo. You might not mind, though, particularly if you're looking for something more upbeat.

‘Hi-Fi Rush’ is an action rhythm game you can play today

Here's a pleasant surprise from Xbox and Bethesda's Developer Direct showcase: a full game you can download (almost) right away. The Evil Within studio Tango Gameworks has unveiledHi-Fi Rush, a combo-driven brawler with rhythm game elements. You play Chai, a would-be rockstar who fights a robotics company with the help of the beat. Think Devil May Cry or Bayonetta crossed with a music game, or a very pretty spiritual sequel to Crypt of the NecroDancer. You aren't forced to play to the beat, but you're rewarded for staying in sync with high-powered combo moves and finishers.

Not surprisingly, style plays an important role. The game revolves around its anime-inspired cel-shaded look, its non-stop humor and a mix of both licensed and original music. Streamers don't have to panic about copyright violations — there's an "alternate audio mode" to keep the soundtrack legal during broadcasts.

The title will be available later today for Xbox Series X/S and Windows PCs (through the Epic Games Store, Microsoft Store and Steam). It's also available through Game Pass on these platforms. This is a distinct change of pace for Tango, which is better known for dark, moody titles like Ghostwire: Tokyo. You might not mind, though, particularly if you're looking for something more upbeat.

‘GoldenEye 007’ will hit Switch and Xbox on January 27th

One of the best-loved Nintendo 64 games is coming to Switch Online's Expansion Pack this week. Back in September, Nintendo revealed that GoldenEye 007 was coming to the service and now that day is almost upon us. You'll be able to start playing the game on your Nintendo Switch starting on January 27th. The game will be available on Xbox on the same date.

It's unusual to see a licensed game arrive on Nintendo's subscription service, but GoldenEye 007 is one that many fans have been looking forward to replaying (or even playing for the first time). It remains to be seen how well Rare's classic first-person shooter will hold up almost 26 years after it debuted on the N64. Hopefully, Rare has improved the janky controls and awful framerate from the original game.

There are some new additions to the Switch Online version, though, including a widescreen mode and online multiplayer. So, you won't necessarily need to cram around the same TV to take on your friends in a "slappers only" deathmatch.

Rare is also bringing a "recreated" version of GoldenEye 007 to Xbox consoles this Friday with dual analogue stick support, 4K resolution and "a consistent refresh rate." Oddly, there's no online multiplayer on the Xbox version, though there's still four-player splitscreen support. You'll be able to access it through Xbox Game Pass. If you have a digital copy of the Rare Replay collection, you can download GoldenEye 007 to your Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S at no extra cost.

‘GoldenEye 007’ will hit Switch and Xbox on January 27th

One of the best-loved Nintendo 64 games is coming to Switch Online's Expansion Pack this week. Back in September, Nintendo revealed that GoldenEye 007 was coming to the service and now that day is almost upon us. You'll be able to start playing the game on your Nintendo Switch starting on January 27th. The game will be available on Xbox on the same date.

It's unusual to see a licensed game arrive on Nintendo's subscription service, but GoldenEye 007 is one that many fans have been looking forward to replaying (or even playing for the first time). It remains to be seen how well Rare's classic first-person shooter will hold up almost 26 years after it debuted on the N64. Hopefully, Rare has improved the janky controls and awful framerate from the original game.

There are some new additions to the Switch Online version, though, including a widescreen mode and online multiplayer. So, you won't necessarily need to cram around the same TV to take on your friends in a "slappers only" deathmatch.

Rare is also bringing a "recreated" version of GoldenEye 007 to Xbox consoles this Friday with dual analogue stick support, 4K resolution and "a consistent refresh rate." Oddly, there's no online multiplayer on the Xbox version, though there's still four-player splitscreen support. You'll be able to access it through Xbox Game Pass. If you have a digital copy of the Rare Replay collection, you can download GoldenEye 007 to your Xbox One or Xbox Series X/S at no extra cost.

GTA Online PC players hit with game-breaking exploit

A new exploit in the PC version of Grand Theft Auto Online is causing players to lose game progress and in-game currency, with some accounts becoming corrupted or banned. The exploit, a “remote code execution,” was distributed through the developer of the North Online GTA cheat mod.

The exploit can reportedly impact anyone, not just players in the same multiplayer lobby as the attacker, according toBleepingComputer. That means anyone currently online and playing the game on PC is at least theoretically vulnerable to attack. (Console players are unaffected.) Engadget reached out to Rockstar for comment, and we will update this article if we hear back.

The company tweeted this acknowledgment of the fiasco on Monday.

North's developer removed the abusive elements on January 21st and apologized (their changelog read “bad judgement on my part for adding this public.”) Although GTA Online doesn’t block harmless community-created mods, those distributing cheats or other hacks tilting the game’s competitive balance may face real-world consequences. Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive have previously taken legal action against cheat makers, including the creator of an infinite-money hack who was ordered to pay $150,000 plus attorney fees in 2019.

A workaround for corrupted accounts, which some players have claimed works, is to delete the “Rockstar Games” folder from the Windows Documents folder before reloading the game. However, we recommend avoiding the PC version until Rockstar cleans things up.

GTA Online PC players hit with game-breaking exploit

A new exploit in the PC version of Grand Theft Auto Online is causing players to lose game progress and in-game currency, with some accounts becoming corrupted or banned. The exploit, a “remote code execution,” was distributed through the developer of the North Online GTA cheat mod.

The exploit can reportedly impact anyone, not just players in the same multiplayer lobby as the attacker, according toBleepingComputer. That means anyone currently online and playing the game on PC is at least theoretically vulnerable to attack. (Console players are unaffected.) Engadget reached out to Rockstar for comment, and we will update this article if we hear back.

The company tweeted this acknowledgment of the fiasco on Monday.

North's developer removed the abusive elements on January 21st and apologized (their changelog read “bad judgement on my part for adding this public.”) Although GTA Online doesn’t block harmless community-created mods, those distributing cheats or other hacks tilting the game’s competitive balance may face real-world consequences. Rockstar and parent company Take-Two Interactive have previously taken legal action against cheat makers, including the creator of an infinite-money hack who was ordered to pay $150,000 plus attorney fees in 2019.

A workaround for corrupted accounts, which some players have claimed works, is to delete the “Rockstar Games” folder from the Windows Documents folder before reloading the game. However, we recommend avoiding the PC version until Rockstar cleans things up.

Fortnite’s native iOS version won’t allow players to spend V-Bucks after January 30th

The native iOS and macOS versions of Fortnite are about to become even more limited. Since the start of its legal feud with Apple back in the summer of 2020, Epic Games has allowed players who had Fortnite installed on their devices prior to the game's removal from the App Store to continue playing. However, due to the removal, Epic hasn’t updated those versions of the game, meaning they’ve been stuck on Fortnite’s 13.40 release for more than two years. Effectively, that meant they’ve existed in a sort of limbo. All of the gameplay changes Epic has made to Fortnite since then (and there have been many), as well as all new cosmetics and seasonal passes the company has introduced, haven’t made their way over to the native iOS and macOS releases. Now those versions are about to become even more restrictive.

Starting on January 30th, Epic won’t allow you to spend Fortnite’s V-Bucks currency within the game’s iOS, Mac and Google Play versions. You’ll also need to be over the age of 18 to play. “We want all versions of our games to use the current suite of Epic Online Services including parental controls, purchasing defaults, and parental verification features,” Epic said on Twitter. “We are not able to update the app on these platforms given Apple and Google’s restrictions on Fortnite.”

In December, the company introduced new accounts designed specifically for younger players. They prevent kids from spending money in Fortnite’s in-game store and using voice chat without a parent’s consent. That same month, the Federal Trade Commission announced Epic had agreed to pay $520 million to settle allegations it had violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act and “tricked millions of players into making unintentional purchases."

Most players won’t be affected by the restriction since there are ways to access Fortnite without going through the App Store or Google Play Store. On iOS and macOS, for instance, you can play the game through GeForce Now. On Android, meanwhile, it’s possible to download the native version of Fortnite directly from Epic’s website.

‘Birth’ is the macabre indie game quietly crushing the convention circuit

Madison Karrh’s booth at Summer Game Fest 2022 was on the far right side of the demo area, hugging a wall at the front of the small industrial space in downtown Los Angeles. Her game, Birth, was one of the first projects you’d see after grabbing a swag bag, but it was easy to overlook in a sea of neon pixels and mainstream names like Street Fighter, Cuphead and Sonic. Birth is a thoughtful game of bones, puzzles, loneliness and decay, rendered in earth tones and captivating, hand-drawn vignettes. In a Day of the Devs cluster at Summer Game Fest, the Birth booth was a bubble of respite from the fast action showcased on surrounding screens.

“Showing Birth at conventions feels like putting my whole, raw, beating heart on a table in front of a bunch of strangers and asking if it is enough for them,” Karrh told me a few months after Summer Game Fest.

Summer Game Fest 2022
Engadget

Birth is, essentially, a game about death. It’s an introspective experience with an entire city block to explore and small surprises in every scene, and it invites people to play with their deepest insecurities. Physics and logic puzzles are hidden in cafes, apartments and bookstores, each one welcoming players to engage with thoughts of mortality and loneliness. Build your own companion out of scattered bones and organs, peel back bandages to remove foreign objects from human limbs, interact with skeleton creatures, let your mind wander while organizing eyeballs, poke at all manner of decaying animal carcasses.

Nothing about Birth is harsh; from color palette to gameplay, this is an experience built for slow afternoons and sleepless nights. Even in the middle of a busy game convention, it’s a soothing way to play with terrifying topics.

“As humans, we know that we will die,” Karrh said. “Yet there is so much joy and art and love that gets created regardless of this looming fact. Maybe even because of it. I think about the limitations of mortality every day, and I want my portrayal of death and decay and loneliness to be as soft and gentle and genuine as possible.”

Half a year after Summer Game Fest, I still can’t get Birth off my mind. The themes are heavy, but the game is not, and this balance is a testament to Karrh’s eye for design and visual appeal. When it comes out on February 17th, Birth will be her third release on Steam, and her largest project to date.

“Day-to-day loneliness can be an embarrassing thing to admit to feeling,” Karrh said. “I hope the tender art style and the silly physics of the game make it feel more like having a contemplative, clumsy conversation with a friend.”

Birth
Madison Karrh

After Summer Game Fest, Karrh took Birth to Cologne, Germany, for Gamescom, the largest video game convention of the year. There, it was one of 130 games in the Indie Arena, sandwiched between sprawling adventures, city builders, sci-fi combat and metal music. Thousands of people streamed past her booth, some stopping to play for a few minutes and others lingering for an hour. Karrh never rushed players through their time with Birth, even though it meant fewer people ultimately got their hands on it.

“I was just so honored and smitten with the fact that people chose to spend so much of their time with my game in a sea of other delicious games,” Karrh said. “Birth doesn't appeal to everyone, of course – I think the minimal, dark art style of my booth filtered out the humans who wouldn't be interested. It is a slow, intimate game and I didn't want anyone to feel rushed. People waited in line, people brought their friends back to show it to them. It felt like everyone was giving me a big giant hug.”

After Gamescom, Birth made its way to San Francisco for the Day of the Devs showcase in November. This was its fourth convention appearance of the year, adding a trip to London for WASD in April. Birth is a small game that’s been on a worldwide tour, and in the process it’s plucked Karrh out of her own isolated game-development hole. Even after Birth comes out – and even though it’s a single-player game that’ll likely be consumed by people sitting alone in dark rooms – this game represents true human connection for Karrh.

Birth

“I have lived most of my twenties in tiny studio apartments surrounded by other tiny studio apartments full of strangers,” she said. “As a solo game dev, I spend a lot of time sitting alone at my desk. It took me a very long time to accept that if I wanted to create as many games as I could, that I would need to spend a huge chunk of my life alone. I used to worry that I was wasting my life making games, and that I should be running around the city and kissing humans and falling in love. Fortunately, I have grown out of this insecurity and I think I have connected on a deep level with humans through making games.”

In the end, Birth is designed to be played solo, but it’s a game about the most universal shared experiences that humans have. In this sense, it’s impossible to truly play Birth alone.

“Loneliness is, oddly enough, a shared feeling,” Karrh said.

‘Birth’ is the macabre indie game quietly crushing the convention circuit

Madison Karrh’s booth at Summer Game Fest 2022 was on the far right side of the demo area, hugging a wall at the front of the small industrial space in downtown Los Angeles. Her game, Birth, was one of the first projects you’d see after grabbing a swag bag, but it was easy to overlook in a sea of neon pixels and mainstream names like Street Fighter, Cuphead and Sonic. Birth is a thoughtful game of bones, puzzles, loneliness and decay, rendered in earth tones and captivating, hand-drawn vignettes. In a Day of the Devs cluster at Summer Game Fest, the Birth booth was a bubble of respite from the fast action showcased on surrounding screens.

“Showing Birth at conventions feels like putting my whole, raw, beating heart on a table in front of a bunch of strangers and asking if it is enough for them,” Karrh told me a few months after Summer Game Fest.

Summer Game Fest 2022
Engadget

Birth is, essentially, a game about death. It’s an introspective experience with an entire city block to explore and small surprises in every scene, and it invites people to play with their deepest insecurities. Physics and logic puzzles are hidden in cafes, apartments and bookstores, each one welcoming players to engage with thoughts of mortality and loneliness. Build your own companion out of scattered bones and organs, peel back bandages to remove foreign objects from human limbs, interact with skeleton creatures, let your mind wander while organizing eyeballs, poke at all manner of decaying animal carcasses.

Nothing about Birth is harsh; from color palette to gameplay, this is an experience built for slow afternoons and sleepless nights. Even in the middle of a busy game convention, it’s a soothing way to play with terrifying topics.

“As humans, we know that we will die,” Karrh said. “Yet there is so much joy and art and love that gets created regardless of this looming fact. Maybe even because of it. I think about the limitations of mortality every day, and I want my portrayal of death and decay and loneliness to be as soft and gentle and genuine as possible.”

Half a year after Summer Game Fest, I still can’t get Birth off my mind. The themes are heavy, but the game is not, and this balance is a testament to Karrh’s eye for design and visual appeal. When it comes out on February 17th, Birth will be her third release on Steam, and her largest project to date.

“Day-to-day loneliness can be an embarrassing thing to admit to feeling,” Karrh said. “I hope the tender art style and the silly physics of the game make it feel more like having a contemplative, clumsy conversation with a friend.”

Birth
Madison Karrh

After Summer Game Fest, Karrh took Birth to Cologne, Germany, for Gamescom, the largest video game convention of the year. There, it was one of 130 games in the Indie Arena, sandwiched between sprawling adventures, city builders, sci-fi combat and metal music. Thousands of people streamed past her booth, some stopping to play for a few minutes and others lingering for an hour. Karrh never rushed players through their time with Birth, even though it meant fewer people ultimately got their hands on it.

“I was just so honored and smitten with the fact that people chose to spend so much of their time with my game in a sea of other delicious games,” Karrh said. “Birth doesn't appeal to everyone, of course – I think the minimal, dark art style of my booth filtered out the humans who wouldn't be interested. It is a slow, intimate game and I didn't want anyone to feel rushed. People waited in line, people brought their friends back to show it to them. It felt like everyone was giving me a big giant hug.”

After Gamescom, Birth made its way to San Francisco for the Day of the Devs showcase in November. This was its fourth convention appearance of the year, adding a trip to London for WASD in April. Birth is a small game that’s been on a worldwide tour, and in the process it’s plucked Karrh out of her own isolated game-development hole. Even after Birth comes out – and even though it’s a single-player game that’ll likely be consumed by people sitting alone in dark rooms – this game represents true human connection for Karrh.

Birth

“I have lived most of my twenties in tiny studio apartments surrounded by other tiny studio apartments full of strangers,” she said. “As a solo game dev, I spend a lot of time sitting alone at my desk. It took me a very long time to accept that if I wanted to create as many games as I could, that I would need to spend a huge chunk of my life alone. I used to worry that I was wasting my life making games, and that I should be running around the city and kissing humans and falling in love. Fortunately, I have grown out of this insecurity and I think I have connected on a deep level with humans through making games.”

In the end, Birth is designed to be played solo, but it’s a game about the most universal shared experiences that humans have. In this sense, it’s impossible to truly play Birth alone.

“Loneliness is, oddly enough, a shared feeling,” Karrh said.

‘Endless Dungeon’ will hit PC, Xbox and PlayStation on May 18th

Sega has at last revealed when folks will be able to snap up Endless Dungeon. The action-packed game is coming to Steam, Epic Games Store, Xbox Series X/S, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 on May 18th. A Nintendo Switch version will be available later.

Endless Dungeon, from developer Amplitude Studios, was previously slated for a 2022 debut. It's a squad-based blend of a tower defense game and a twin-stick shooter. Players are tasked with both protecting a so-called crystal bot and progressing further into a dungeon.

You can team up with three friends or go it alone and control three characters by yourself (you'll have direct control over one and bark orders at the other two). Endless Dungeon is a roguelite, so you'll gradually unlock persistent upgrades, weapons and characters.

Alongside the release date announcement, Sega opened up pre-orders for most platforms. You'll get early access two days before the official launch, as well as some extra goodies, by pre-ordering the “Last Wish” digital edition. A physical Day One edition with a card game and art book is available too. Sega also released a new trailer which shows some more chaotic gameplay: