You May Need to Lower Your Expectations For Next-Gen Graphics - IGN
Next-gen game reveals may look familiar, but they'll be exciting for reasons we can't see on the surface.
Todays Xbox Series X third-party gameplay showcase has come and gone, and the public reaction seems to generally be one of disappointment. Thats less because the games themselves didnt seem cool they did, especially reveals like The Medium or The Ascent for me and more because this display that was hyped as the worlds first proper glimpse at next-gen gameplay was, well, a little anticlimactic.But Ive got some unfortunate news for you if you were hoping to see a graphical leap on par with past console generation jumps today: lower your expectations. Games running on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will definitely be prettier than games running on this gen, and Im sure whatever first-party games Microsoft and Sony are cooking up will be tailored toward knocking peoples socks off in that regard. But people should also be prepared for the fact that the majority of the next-gen games revealed over the next few months will likely look like they could be current-gen games at least on the surface. Graphics have currently plateaued somewhat when it comes to immediately obvious improvements especially when shown off in an E3-style reveal trailer where players are used to seeing the most polished, unrealistically dolled-up version of a game anyway. As our own Bo Moore broke down last month, the Series Xs 12 teraflops of GPU power isnt just about better graphics, its about better simulations. Improved lighting, hair effects, water simulation, and dozens of other little things working in realtime. Its going to be gorgeous, but in a more subtle way than weve come to expect. The extra polygons and higher resolution textures that came with previous generational leaps make for a more noticeable next-gen jump especially when games can already do pretty impressive things with lighting right now. Additionally, since the PS4 Pro and Xbox One X have enabled the use of 4K mid-generation, the PS5 and Series X dont have a resolution bar above that to blow you away with at the moment (8K is little more than a marketing buzzword at this point), leaving less room to really flex in terms of fidelity growth. Similarly, the extra power of these new consoles will mean framerates get significantly faster which is a big deal! but thats something that wont easily be conveyed in a trailer. There are undoubtedly graphical improvements happening, but they are somewhat invisible ones. This generation still looks incredible, so the bar has been set high. But its not just that those upgrades will be harder to notice: its also that the current bar is set incredibly high. This generation still looks incredible. PCs with RTX graphics cards have given us a glimpse of what the next-gen could look like for over a year now, but even those aside, this is surely the most graphically impressive final year of a console cycle ever. If last years E3 demo is to be believed, Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and even in 2018 Red Dead Redemption 2 was making landscapes with lighting that I genuinely didnt think was possible on current tech. With that in mind, its going to be a tricky task for next-gen games currently being shown off to top the graphical prowess of the ones we still know are coming in 2020, especially since next-gen launch titles will often have to run on current generation systems as well and third-party studios havent had years to work with this new tech. And Im sure theyll only get better if this generation has proved anything, its that developers certainly know how to make the most of their hardware over time. For the first time in potentially the history of video games (excluding Nintendo, who stopped prioritizing raw graphical power years ago), better graphics isnt the biggest hype-worthy angle of a new console launch. What we should be most excited for instead are internal upgrades like the lightning-fast load times built-in SSDs will provide. Its harder to hype up something like that in a trailer, but will improve next-gen games far more than better hair physics ever could. (I cant tell you how excited I am that weve probably seen the last of those silly loading screens disguised as shimmying through a small gap or slowly opening a door, even if that door doesnt look any prettier.) There are tons of reasons to be excited about next-gen that aren't raw graphics. There are tons of reasons to be excited about the improvements the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 will bring, but OMG this looks unbelievable probably wont be the prevailing one at launch. Again, Microsoft and Sony will almost certainly prove me wrong in that regard once first-party games are revealed, but those insanely refined, built-solely-for-this-system examples will be the exception rather than the rule. So for now, dont expect next-gen gameplay to mean some mind blowing thing youve never seen before. Odds are it will be something very similar to what youve seen (one game from todays show was even first shown off three years ago) but with tons of subtle improvements that are hard to truly appreciate until youre sitting down and experiencing them for yourself. This holiday season will look very familiar, but that doesnt mean it wont be extremely exciting. Tom Marks is IGN's Deputy Reviews Editor and resident pie maker. You can follow him on Twitter.
Netflix's Hollywood: Season 1 Review - IGN - IGN
Here's what we thought of Ryan Murphy's alt-history limited series, Hollywood, which is now streaming globally on Netflix.
Ryan Murphy has long been one of the industry's most prolific creators, and he shows no sign of slowing down after his reported $300 million deal with Netflix. Over the past decade, Murphy has become synonymous with creating provocative series like FX's American Horror Story franchise, as well as thought-provoking (and Emmy winning) historical dramas under his American Crime Story banner (The People v. O.J. Simpson, Versace). With Hollywood, Murphy (along with frequent collaborator Ian Brennan) brings his storytelling talents to post-World War II Tinseltown, creating a lavish backdrop for his intriguing - but flawed - alternative history tale about a group of aspiring actors and filmmakers looking to make it big at all costs.The series definitelylooks the partthanks to its authentic sets, music, and costumes, which really showcase the glitz and glamour of Hollywood's golden age. Murphy proves once again that he knows how to create engaging characters thanks to an impressive ensemble - with each character offering a unique glimpse into Hollywood's social and political spheres, from the very poor to the extravagantly rich. And for a limited series with only seven episodes, Murphy is able to accomplish quite a bit of character development in Hollywood's early episodes, although the show becomes weirdly disinterested in exploring their arcs in the back half of the season, preferring easy and convenient plot contrivances instead of actual growth. One of the characters you'll follow in Hollywood is David Corenswet's Jack Castello, a handsome, dreamy-eyed farm boy who wants to be the next big-screen icon. After receiving multiple rejections from the studios, Jack gets desperate and starts working at a gigolo gas station owned by Dylan Mcdermott's Ernie.One of Jack's first clients is Avis Amberg (portrayed by Patti LuPone), a former actress who's now in a loveless relationship with the head of a prominent Hollywood studio. Sure, their first sexual encounter is a bit on the awkward side, but Murphy gives Avis a poignant backstory and a reason for cheating on her husband beyond Jack's good looks. There's a sadness to her that's palpable and really pulls you in thanks to a commanding performance from LuPone. Murphy is also particularly interested in exploring Hollywood's perception of race and sexual identity throughout the series. Two other characters who enter Jack's orbit are Jeremy Pope's Archie and Jake Picking's Rock Hudson (yes, that Rock Hudson). But since this is an alternate history, Hudson's life plays out a bit differently than you may remember. In this particular storyline, Murphy is attempting to examine what Hollywood might have looked like if an openly gay actor wasn't afraid to show his affection towards his boyfriend in public. It's a fascinating premise that's never fully explored since Murphy ends his tale before the viewer gets to see the aftermath. If Hollywood were set up for a multi-season run then perhaps we might look forward to seeing how this alternate history plays out, but since we know this is a limited series with no sequel in sight (for now), the series fails to make a lasting impact when it swings for social commentary. That's not to say that the time spent with Archie and Rock isn't memorable. Archie's drive to become the first African-American writer to win an Oscar is an engaging underdog story. Pope imbues his character with plenty of charm and moxie, proving he's not afraid to let the world know who he loves and what's on his mind. In contrast, Picking's portrayal of Hudson is much more reserved but no less effective as the muscle-bound Midwesterner struggles to come to terms with his sexuality. Together, Archie and Rock are a watchable pair whose story feels shortchanged by the time the credits roll. The rest of Murphy's troupe each have their moments to shine, like Jim Parson's Henry Wilson, an ambitious Hollywood agent who uses Rock's trusting nature against him. After watching the former Big Bang Theory star play the role of a goofy nerd for nearly a decade, seeing him as the villain takes some getting used to, but Parsons nails it. There's also Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec), another historical figure who's not as well known as many of her white counterparts, but was considered to be the first Chinese-American movie star. Murphy uses his ability to alter history in order to give Wong the recognition she was denied during her time. But like so many of the other plotlines throughout Hollywood, we're (probably) never going to see how all of the radical changes Murphy makes are going to play out.
The Last of Us Part 2, Ghost of Tsushima Get New Summer Release Dates - IGN - IGN
After being delayed indefinitely, The Last of Us Part II will be released in June, with Ghost of Tsuhima pushed to July.
Naughty Dog has released a message from its official social media account addressing The Last of Us Part 2 leaks as well as the new June 19 release date.In a short tweet, Naughty Dog writes, "We know the last few days have been incredibly difficult for you. We feel the same. It's disappointing to see the release and sharing or pre-release footage from development. Do your best to avoid spoilers and we ask that you don't spoil it for others."Naughty Dog added, "The Last of Us Part 2 will be in your hands soon. No matter what you see and hear, the final experience will be worth it." Naughty Dog seemingly acknowledges the leaks from over the weekend. While we won't share those details here, it's best advised to avoid any potential leaks or spoiler posts online for The Last of Us Part 2. A message from the studio: pic.twitter.com/f0TzIZXUIB Naughty Dog (@Naughty_Dog) April 27, 2020 Original story follows. After being delayed indefinitely, The Last of Us Part II will be released on June 19, with Ghost of Tsushima pushed back to July 17.Announcing the news on the PlayStation blog, Sony Interactive Entertainment Head of Worldwide Studios Hermen Hulst said he wants to "personally congratulate and thank both the teams at Naughty Dog and Sucker Punch Productions on their achievements, as we know its not an easy feat to reach the finish line under these circumstances.Both teams have worked hard to deliver world-class experiences, and we cant wait to see what you think of them when they release in just a few short months." While Sony announced both new release dates for these PS4 games, it has yet to provide an updated release date for Marvel's Iron Man VR, which was also delayed alongside The Last of Us Part 2. When reached for comment on the PSVR exclusive, a Sony representative told IGN "SIE will provide an update in the coming weeks on the release timing for the game." Ghost of Tsushima, the samurai open world game by Infamous creator Sucker Punch, was originally scheduled for June 26, but has clearly been pushed back to allow The Last of Us Part 2 some breathing room. Hulst puts the delays down to "some disruptions to our working styles" caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Last of Us 2 was recently delayed from its May 29 release date, and Sony began issuing automatic refunds because of the indefinite nature of that delay. Director Neil Druckmann explained that this was because the COVID-19 crisis had meant a supply of physical copies couldn't be guaranteed, which would have been unfair to those in regions with less digital infrastructure in place. With story spoilers now seemingly in the wild, the slightly shorter-than-expected wait will be welcome news. To fill that wait, perhaps you could read our hands-on with The Last of Us' long-awaited sequel, and our discussions with Druckmann about Joel's role in The Last of Us Part 2, why The Last of Us Part 2 isn't an open world game, and how dogs affect stealth and combat in The Last of Us sequel. The delay means that Ghost of Tsushima will likely still be the last major Sony exclusive for PS4, ahead of the release of PS5 in Q4 this year. Joe Skrebels is IGN's Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter.