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Fall Guys is going free to play ahead of Switch, Xbox launch

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout, 2020’s free-for-all battle royale party hit, is going free-to-play two years after its original release. The bean-filled game is also brawling its way to even more platforms, including Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, and the Epic Games Store.

Fall Guys Free for All Announcement Stream

Fall Guys originally released in 2020 on the PlayStation 4 through PS Plus and PC via Steam for $20. With the game making its way to other platforms, crossplay is finally being implemented, allowing beans to play together regardless of console.

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Not only is the game going free-to-play, but an all-new season is on the way titled “Free For All.” The new chapter of the knockout game brings fresh rewards, events, progression systems, levels, and challenges. Like FortniteFall Guys is also introducing a new in-game currency called “Show-Bucks,” which can be used to purchase the season pass. While a new currency is being introduced, Kudos and the existing free progression pass will remain implemented.

Mediatonic is also giving something to those players who previously purchased Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout before its new free-to-play transition. Anyone that’s paid for the full game will receive a free Legacy Pack bundle featuring the three costumes Veggie Dog, Regal, and Feisty Dwarf. Early adopters also get the free premium season pass for the new Free For All season, complete with 100 Tiers.

Fall Guys‘ new free-to-play update and console ports to Xbox, Switch, and Epic Games Store will drop on June 21. Players can also get in on the new FTP fun by preregistering on the Fall Guys website, which gives access to exclusive perks.

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Nier Automata launches on Nintendo Switch this fall and its not a cloud version
2B jumping with sword in hand in Nier Automata.

Nier Automata: The End of Yorha Edition will launch for Nintendo Switch on October 6, as announced during the Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase. This version of Nier Automata features all previously released content, including additional modes and costumes. It's available to pre-order now.

Nintendo Direct Mini: Partner Showcase | 6.28.2022

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As Dusk Falls is like Xbox’s own spin on Black Mirror: Bandersnatch
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As Dusk Falls looks and plays unlike anything Xbox Game Studios has published before. Because this game, Pentiment, and Grounded are currently Xbox Game Studios' only titles slated to release this year, a lot of pressure is on As Dusk Falls to impress. But trailers haven't done a fantastic job at showing just what As Dusk Falls' narrative and image-based presentation have in store for players.
As Dusk Falls - Official Launch Date Announce - Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022
As such, I was really interested in going hands-on and seeing where As Dusk Falls fell on the narrative game spectrum. Is it a long and very involved choice-driven game like Heavy Rain or Detroit: Become Human? Does it hew closer to Telltale's classic narrative adventure game style? Ultimately, As Dusk Falls feels more like an interactive show like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, with occasional quick-time events pushing the boundaries of what exactly an interactive game can be.
What is As Dusk Falls? 
As Dusk Falls is a choice-driven adventure about a hostage situation in a small Arizona town in 1998 and how the people involved had to live with their actions. I played the first two chapters of the game, which take place during the hostage situation. Vince, a former airplane mechanic whi's embroiled in marriage problems and a lawsuit after the airline blamed him for a work accident, has to stop at an Arizona motel with his father, wife, and daughter after their car is run off the road during a move to St. Louis. Unfortunately, three brothers desperate for money steal from the sheriff of the small town near the hotel and ultimately hold Vince, his family, and other people at the motel hostage so they can negotiate with the cops and escape.
While that's the baseline of the adventure no matter what, how exactly the events transpire, the character relationships, and even who lives and dies can change depending on the choices you make as a player. Some of these had real palpable effect during the first two chapters, especially the choices that result in people getting injured or killed. It's a serious, grounded story that feels like a TV show brought to life in interactive form. It calls back to interactive show like Bandersnatch, or even the live-action segments of the video game Quantum Break, although choices are a lot more frequent here. Also, As Dusk Falls isn't live-action or even animated like a TV show.
Rather, as you can see in the trailers, As Dusk Falls presents itself via a series of images with voice-over, like a motion comic. It's certainly an unusual presentation for a narrative video game, but does have its advantages. As the player, I can fill in the blanks of what the images don't show, just like I could while reading a comic or novel. It also means when choices pop up, the game can naturally stop and let you choose without making the pause seem awkward within the game's world. Dialogue choices that branch the narrative in various ways are the crux of As Dusk Falls' gameplay, although button mashing or swiping quick-time events will occasionally pop up during action-heavy scenes. 
The quick-time events are pretty basic, and I could see As Dusk Falls working with a mode that doesn't include them at all. Still, they push the experience over the edge to still be a "game" and will provide opportunities for more interaction in the game's multiplayer mode that lets players vote on dialogue choices and actions. Because of the limited interaction by the player outside of the occasional choice, the comparison to something like Black Mirror: Bandersnatch becomes much more accurate than even a Telltale video game. Playing As Dusk Falls feels like you're watching a good TV show or experiencing a choice-based motion comic or audiobook.

As Dusk Falls' style is definitely not for everyone, but if it does click with you, the odd presentation will become charming. It definitely helps that the art, voice acting, and script are up to the challenge in the game's first two chapters because As Dusk Falls will live or die on the strength of its script. It's a lot more grounded than something like Bandersnatch was in terms of story, but if you enjoyed that attempt at an interactive show, you'll like what As Dusk Falls has to offer. It pushes the boundaries of what an interactive game can be, and it's certainly one of the most experimental titles to come out of Xbox in recent years.
As Dusk Falls launches for PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S on July 19. Like all Xbox Game Studios-published titles, it will be available on Xbox Game Pass on day one. 

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Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play. Here’s why
Wrecking ball and his ball mech.

Overwatch 2 is going free-to-play this October. The upcoming competitive shooter from an embattled Activision Blizzard was expected to launch in 2023, but we learned that it was coming a bit earlier than expected and would be free during the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase on June 12. Still, this is a shocking shift for one of Blizzard's biggest franchises and one that has a lot of implications for the pace of updates and new content. Ahead of a livestream that gives more details about the free-to-play shift, Digital Trends spoke to some members of the development team, including Game Director Aaron Keller and Overwatch VP and Commerical Lead Jon Spector, to learn why exactly the Overwatch 2 team decided to embrace free-to-play.
Overwatch 2: Reveal Event | June 16
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At launch on October 4, Overwatch 2 players can expect three new heroes (including a support character teased in the release date trailer), six new maps, over 30 new skins (including a mythic skin for Genji), the Push game mode, and the game's first battle pass. Barring any issues that cause the team to reschedule, the second season will begin on December 6 and introduce another new tank, a new map, and a battle pass with over 30 new skins. More heroes, maps, modes, and the PvE story campaign will start to roll out throughout 2023.
Blizzard plans to make seasons last nine weeks, with three or four new heroes added yearly. If you play games like Apex Legends or Valorant, this cadence of releases should be familiar to you. Keller and Spector claim that other successful free-to-play games aren't what caused Blizzard to make this shift. Instead, they say factors like lowering the barrier of entry for interested players and not wanting to hold on to finished content played a part in Overwatch 2 going free-to-play.

"We don't want to develop things and try to pool it together into a big box release; we'd rather just put content out when it's ready and do it as quickly as we can," Keller says. "As we kept working on some of the more innovative gameplay for the PvE side of Overwatch 2, it meant that it was going to take longer for any of our PvP features to go public. We want to release stuff as frequently as we can, but it was taking us too long to be able to get it in front of our players."
The original Overwatch has floundered since it stopped getting significant content updates in 2020 so Blizzard could focus on Overwatch 2. By releasing the sequel as a free-to-play game this year, that long wait ends -- and players won't have to worry about it happening again for a long time. The developers also stressed that Overwatch 2 would feel more like a sequel than an update when it launches, thanks to the new content and rework into 5v5 matches. Spector explains that many systems fell in place simultaneously, like cross-play, cross-progression, and the seasonal model, so it made sense to lower the barriers to entry and launch free-to-play this year.
"We are dedicated to putting out content frequently and consistently in perpetuity."

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