Dark Souls On Switch Looks Better Than 360/PS3 Version

We’ve learned little of the Nintendo Switch version of Dark Souls Remastered, except from a short gameplay clip that spent a lot of time showing off a Dark Souls Amiibo. However, a deep analysis of this gameplay already reveals some important graphical improvements coming to the game.

In an attempt to discern any meaningful differences between the Switch version and the original Dark Souls on Xbox 360 and PS3, Digital Foundry took a close look at the gameplay clip that was recently shown in a Nintendo Direct, which you can see in the embed above. From this footage, Digital Foundry was able to determine that the game was, in fact, running in 1080p.

If this clip was actual Switch gameplay, then this would be in line with Bandai Namco’s target of 720p in portable mode and 1080p docked. This is a big boost from the original versions, which outputted at 1024×720.

Although it was able to determine this resolution increase, Digital Foundry had trouble finding any other meaningful graphical changes from the 360/PS3 versions. This doesn’t mean that the Switch release won’t have any changes to textures or lighting; rather, the trailer simply doesn’t show them right now. Digital Foundry did find “extra pockets of shade,” which indicate that the port may add ambient occlusion. You can read more of Digital Foundry’s analysis here.

This is great news, since it suggests that the Switch version might be more than just a straight port, and it indicates that the game seems to be running well on the console. It’s also no small feat, considering that Dark Souls ran poorly on its original consoles, so hopefully the full game bears this out. It’s currently scheduled for release on May 25 and will have a technical test sometime before that.

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Author: Alex Newhouse

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Far Cry 5 Campaign Length Revealed For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

Ubisoft’s next big open-world game, Far Cry 5, launches next week on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. But how long is the campaign? Executive producer Dan Hay says you should budget a good chunk of time to play the campaign–around 25 hours–but that’s just the start. “I would say that a good player will go through it in 25 hours,” Hay told GameSpot during an interview recently.

Hay went on to say that, based on playtests, Ubisoft has seen players getting distracted from the main story with things like fishing or hunting, which will extend the total playtime. Of course, everyone plays differently, and in a game like Far Cry 5 that lets you play your own way, 25 hours could turn into many more.

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“What we’re seeing is people going into the world and just spending four or five hours fishing or hunting, or just doing stuff that we hadn’t really prepared for,” Hay said. “So it really depends on how you play.”

In addition to the campaign–which can be played in co-op–Far Cry 5 will have a map-editor that you can use to build head-to-head game types or anything else you want. This gives the game an opportunity to stay relevant and keep people playing for a long time in the future.

Regarding the new map and mode editor for Far Cry 5, we asked Hay if the tools are robust enough to create something like PUBG or Fortnite.

“That would be super cool,” he replied. “Obviously we are growing the tools with every iteration, and this time it was a big, big growth rate for us.”

Hay went on to say that he thought Far Cry 4‘s map editor was “clunky,” going on to say that he hopes that the advancements for Far Cry 5 make the tools easier to use and more intuitive.

Far Cry 5 launches on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 27. In other news, Ubisoft recently announced Far Cry 5’s Season Pass, and it takes players to places like Mars and the Vietnam War. We also recently learned more about the game’s microtransactions and how the campaign is playable offline.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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UK seeks warrant to examine Cambridge Analytica servers after Facebook data misuse

Authorities from the UK Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) are in the process of obtaining a search warrant to examine the internal servers of data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica after reports outlined how the company misused the Facebook data of up to 50 million users.

Facebook sent members of a digital forensics firm, called Stroz Friedberg, to perform its own independent audit of Cambridge Analytica, but Stroz Friedberg “stood down” when UK authorities requested they wait until a warrant is secured for the ICO’s own criminal investigation. Facebook revealed the turn of events in a blog post update this afternoon.

The London-based data…

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Author: Nick Statt

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Fortnite May Have Helped Kill Paragon, But It’s Turned Into A $12 Million Gift For Other Devs

Epic Games announced earlier this year that it would close the doors on one of its ongoing projects, the third-person MOBA Paragon. Part of its rationale for doing so was trouble acquiring and retaining players, but the massive success of Fortnite‘s Battle Royale mode–which has required more of Epic’s resources–was also a contributing factor. With a move made today, the success of Fortnite and death of Paragon is suddenly great news for many developers.

In addition developing games of its own, Epic is the studio behind Unreal Engine, which is licensed by numerous companies to create their own games. As of today, Epic has decided to not let the work it did on Paragon go to waste. A “full array” of Paragon’s assets have now been released to all Unreal Engine 4 developers. Epic estimates the cost of building those assets–which include 20 “AAA-quality characters” and their skins, animations, visual effects, and dialogue, as well as environmental assets–at over $12 million, which is an eye-opening figure. And that’s now all in the hands of developers for free from the Unreal Engine Marketplace.

What this means is that UE4 developers can now freely grab those assets and put them to use in their own projects. In addition to what’s already available, Epic will also release even more Paragon assets that cost millions of dollars to produce. These will be released this spring and summer. More details for developers are available here.

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It’s an unusual move to see, as developers rarely give away assets even from unreleased projects. Just how developers choose to make use of these assets remains to be seen. You probably won’t suddenly see Paragon characters running around in Friday the 13th: The Game or other UE4 games, but the work Epic has already done may benefit other developers, particularly younger ones who can learn from it.

Paragon remains playable for the time being, but Epic is offering refunds for all purchases ever made in it. Paragon’s servers will shut down on April 26.

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Author: Chris Pereira

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Uber’s self-driving car showed no signs of slowing before fatal crash, police say

Uber’s self-driving car was traveling at a speed of 40 mph when it struck a 49-year-old woman in Arizona Sunday night, and did not show significant signs of slowing down, police said today.

The pedestrian, Elaine Herzberg, was transported to the hospital, where she later died. Herzberg, who was pushing a bicycle across the street, “may have been” homeless, Tempe Police Sgt. Ronald Elcock said in a press conference. There was a safety driver behind the wheel of the vehicle, identified as Rafael Vasquez, 44. There is no sign that the driver was impaired, policy said. An Uber spokesperson confirmed that Vasquez is employed as a safety driver by the ride-hailing giant. The vehicle was traveling in autonomous mode at the time of the crash.

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Author: Andrew J. Hawkins

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Sea Of Thieves Cinematic Trailer Stars Sean Astin As A Pirate Museum Curator With Asthma

Sea of Thieves is the next big game from Microsoft, and as such, the company is throwing a lot of marketing effort behind it. Today, Microsoft released a new trailer for the Xbox One and PC game featuring The Goonies, Rudy, and The Lord of the Rings star Sean Astin. The actor plays the curator of the “Museum of More Pirate.” He wanted to be a pirate–“Fame, fortune, scurvy–I wanted it all,” he says–but he has asthma so his dreams of swashbuckling adventures never worked out.

Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg said Astin is a “perfect” fit for this Sea of Thieves cinematic trailer for a number of reasons, one of which was that The Goonies was in fact one of the early inspirations for the game overall. Greenberg also said Astin has a certain level of charm and enthusiasm that fits with the tone of the game.

This is the cinematic launch trailer for Sea of Thieves. The gameplay launch trailer was released last week, and it includes a tease of a mighty kraken.

Sea of Thieves launches on March 20 for Xbox One and PC. You can buy it outright for $60 on either system or get it on Xbox One with an Xbox Game Pass subscription ($10/month). Starting with Sea of Thieves, all of Microsoft’s first-party games will launch into the Game Pass catalog, including the next Halo and Gears of War titles.

In other news, Microsoft has announced a promotion where you can get a free copy of Sea of Thieves when you buy a new Xbox One X. Additionally, you can check out this schedule to see when servers go live where you live, and find out what’s in the game’s cheeky day-one patch.

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Author: Eddie Makuch

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The OnePlus 6 will probably look a lot like this

With the Oppo R15 officially announced in China today, we have a good idea of what OnePlus’ next phone might look like, since OnePlus often sources designs from the company Oppo, which shares the same investor. For instance, the OnePlus 5 bears a strong resemblance to the Oppo R11, and the OnePlus 5T ended up looking almost identical to the R11S.

The OnePlus 6 is rumored to have a 19:9 notched display, according to a leak from earlier this month spotted by Android Central. Likewise, the R15 has a notch that imitates the iPhone X’s look, hinting that the OnePlus 6 might also sport an interesting haircut.

The rest of the R15’s specs include a 6.28-inch, 2280 x 1080 OLED panel with slim bezels, a 3,450mAh battery, and a MediaTek Helio P60…

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Author: Shannon Liao

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