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How to become a superstar detective in Disco Elysium – The Final Cut, out March 30

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Being a detective isn’t easy at the best of times – you have to inhale corpse stink and ask grieving families tough questions, for starters. But imagine waking up with a horrible hangover and no memory of where you are to then find out you’re the lead investigator of a murder case. No warning, no morning coffee; just you in your underwear, sore as hell, splayed awkwardly on the trashed floor of a rented room.

That’s what happens to our main character in Disco Elysium – The Final Cut. He’s a man in need of some serious help (even before his hideous tie tries to strangle him). Fortunately, we’ve made sure there is plenty of assistance available throughout the game. Here’s a quick rundown of how to progress from yesterday’s drunken mess to today’s law enforcement superstar.

Cure the hangover

It’s a good idea to deal with that head-splitting hangover first off. People have suggested all kinds of hangover cures throughout the ages: rubbing lemons on skin, drinking pickle juice, eating raw eels. They won’t help much but they are fun. Luckily, we’ve got a more effective range of cures that you can purchase over the counter at the local Frittte.

The most sensible option is a bottle of magnesium. Take this and the detective’s head should stop pounding. You might also want to grab some ammonia to help stop him puking when confronted with any nasty smells – beyond his own beer bottle breath, that is.

Painkillers such as Nosaphed and Drouamine are an essential purchase too. Once you have some of these, if you ever find yourself running low on health you can just hit left on the d-pad to instantly feel a bit better.

Reconstruct crime scenes

With a clear head, one advantage our detective will soon discover he has is being able to reconstruct crime scenes with his mind’s eye. This is done using a skill called Visual Calculus.

There are 24 skills in total, all of which can be improved to open up new possibilities in the investigation, but you’ll probably want to focus on the ones that suit your personal policing style – whether that’s calm intellect, physical aggression, or anything in between. This is a role-playing game, after all.

Opt to level up Visual Calculus and you might be able to figure out the weight of the person who left a footprint behind in the mud. Or you could even calculate the trajectory of a bullet that’s been shot through a window with mathematical precision. Very smart, very forensic, it may even impress your partner.

Tool up

Can’t get through a locked door? Unable to see inside a dark room? Need to motivate yourself by blasting some big tunes from your shoulder? This is what the tools in Disco Elysium – The Final Cut are for.

These items can be equipped in either of the detective’s

Surreal narrative adventure Where the Heart Leads hits PS4, PS5 on July 13

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When husband and father Whit Anderson descends into a sinkhole to save the family dog, he unwittingly tumbles into a journey through time. Suddenly enveloped by visions of his past, present, and future, Whit discovers he can change them, altering the course of his and others’ lives forever.

Surreal narrative adventure Where the Heart Leads hits PS4, PS5 on July 13

Memories to make

Hi everyone! Thanks for checking out Where the Heart Leads, our game about relationships spanning a lifetime of interactions where you, the player, make choices that change your world.

From the jump, our focus was to create a narrative experience that wraps its arms around you—like a well-worn, comfortable couch, or your favorite sweater, or a luxurious van. You get the idea. We’ve built a narrative framework and a subtle incentive, but it’s all to support your journey forward. The decisions are yours to make.

And there are lots of decisions. You’ll guide family man Whit Anderson through his past, present, and future as he reflects on his life and the pivotal moments where one choice or another made him who he is. With thousands of choices and dozens of endings, the story is very much yours to write. Along the way, maybe we can learn something about each other.

Meaningful moments create a mark on us which we can easily recall at a later time.

Our own families and the people we admire provide endless inspiration when making a game like this. And while not directly related, games like Heavy Rain, Oxenfree, Xenogears, and Vagrant Story all contributed to the game’

Nour: Play With Your Food’s sous chef: an interactive soundtrack

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No two dishes made in Nour: Play With Your Food are alike. A delicious interactive exploration into the aesthetics of food and drink, Nour lets you play with your food in ways your mother told you not to. This beautiful, chaotic yet comforting game demanded a soundtrack that reflects each player’s unique preparations and plating. What started as a soundtrack ended up as an instrument.

Play sweet melodies and manipulate the environment via random acts of cookery, rhythmic prowess, or even your singing voice. Beginner or expert, reckless or meticulous, every chef creates a song to match their pièce de résistance.

I’m Maximilian C Mueller, a musician and designer – and today, your maître d’Nour’s music. James Morrison (aka Fluke Nukes) and I cooked up a feast for the ears to accompany this feast for the eyes.

Ambience: Season to Taste

Adaptive background music to complement your dish.

The music heats up, cools down, rises, mixes, and melts. What you hear is a unique combination of ingredients cooked per ever-changing specifications set by the way you play; no two play-throughs will sound the same. Wreak havoc, show restraint, and so too will the audio.

Adaptive game music is often categorized as “horizontal” (e.g. the music changes when entering a room), or “vertical” (e.g., tempo increases or an instrumental element is added when entering combat). Nour’s music is diagonal and has a cherry on top. Player actions and their frequency comprise a measure of chaos used to generate a cohesive song from a large pantry of ingredients. Together with a dash of stochasticity and a pinch of salt, this fluctuating measure acts as a conductor, guiding the scene sound. Put simply, the dish you create creates the song.

Have a listen to some evolving music captured in-game while you read:

Marshmallow Flutes and Noodle Harps

Conjure food and make a melody, create a dish and make a song.

Each time a food is introduced into the scene, a sound comes with it. What does a marshmallow sound like? An airy flute! An ice cube? The high notes of a grand piano played staccato of course! It was great fun choosing these sounds and even more fun subjecting those sounds to the trials of gameplay. Don’t worry about playing sour notes; every button press is always in tune. Once in the scene, the foods act as percussion instruments, singing the sound that announced them on impact. I love setting up a pile of ice cubes and slamming something into them to create an icy physics music e

The world is your canvas in Chicory: A Colorful Tale, coming to PS5 and PS4 this spring

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Hi everybody! I’m Greg Lobanov, director of Chicory: A Colorful Tale. I’d like to give you a peek behind the scenes at what inspired us while developing this game and what you can expect when Chicory: A Colorful Tale launches on PS4 and PS5 later this year.

When all of the world’s color vanishes in Chicory: A Colorful Tale, it will come down to you to restore it with a magical paintbrush. 

I’m a game designer and I really love making things; it’s my perfect zen place to be. And a part of that process includes meeting and talking with other creative people and learning about their processes and feelings. I wanted to encourage our players to engage their creativity and play this game in a more personal way. There might not be one right answer for anything, but that’s what makes this world so fun to explore.

This game’s unique painting mechanic was the starting point for the entire project. We wanted to center the player’s individual creativity at all times, and that decision had far reaching effects on every aspect of the story, world and puzzle design. 

The game is generous with giving the player options for personalizing their world. Besides being able to draw on everything all the time, you can also collect decor items and plants which you can place anywhere. All your art and decorating decisions are persistent throughout the adventure, which makes it extra rewarding to come back to an old place along your journey. Most side quests involve you creating something which leaves a permanent mark on the world, too, and often those things will attract the attention of other characters and cause them to gather somewhere new. And by the way, there are a lot of side quests (Chicory is an adventure game after all)! You can get to know some of the 100+ characters in the game as you deliver their mail. Or you can spend some time in art class recreating masterpieces. 

We’ve taken full advantage of the new DualSense wireless controller to bring a sense of depth to Chicory’s gameplay in a way we’ve never experienced before.  You can paint using the touchpad, and the controls are specially arranged to make it easier to do that. There is also an option to flip the controls so left-handed players can draw with their dominant hand if they prefer. Not to mention we’ve added lots of soft texture rumbles which makes the whole thing feel warm and cozy, like petting a cat. 

Playtesting this game has revealed really interesting diversity in the way players engage with it. Some players come for the adventure, and love discovering new places and solving tough puzzles. Other players soak into the cozy, laid-back world and take their time painting things without worrying too much about what their next task is. Making a game for all kinds of folks was important to us, but also a tricky thing to balance, which is why we wanted to

Worldbuilding for asymmetrical spy co-op in Operation: Tango

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In Operation: Tango, you and a partner act as either the agent, Angel, or the hacker, Alistair, working together through complex puzzles to help save the world. This asymmetric co-op has you playing in the same world but through completely different views, and no matter which role you play, Operation: Tango ensures that you get to experience all the beauty this near-future world has to offer. 

Building a world that is seen from two completely different perspectives is not an easy task, but Operation: Tango navigates these waters with ease as you get to explore the “real” world as the agent, or the digital one as the hacker. The shining quality is what you and your partner bring to this experience; having to rely solely on verbal communication to relay what you are seeing to your partner, there are countless ways to have fun in a world you’re working together to save. 

(Left) The Agent places tiles on the interface to create walkable paths for the hacker. (Right) The Hacker must navigate a virtual labyrinth in order to disable a vault’s security system

Whether you are a casual gamer, a seasoned games veteran, or even a speedrunner, Operation: Tango strives to keep the game visually interesting for all ages and skill levels, while also providing unparalleled asymmetric gameplay. Each area of the world is built with unique themes, colors, and inspirations, really lending both the agent and hacker the global feeling of travelling within this near-future world. Balance is key in any asymmetric world, and Operation: Tango makes certain that there is no “main character” but equal partners, and equally interesting worlds to explore. 

From beautiful natural landscapes to the electronic vibes of the internet, Operation: Tango takes a lot of inspiration for the art style and feeling from Keiichi Matsuda’s short film “Hyper Reality” as well as the style of Canadian animator Robert Valley, who is famous for animating for the band Gorillaz. This blends into a world that is filled with augmented reality and interfaces that feel alive in the hands of either the agent or hacker. 

(Left) Keichi Matsuda’s “Hyper Reality” overloads the viewer with an extreme portrayal of augmented reality full of advertisements and redundant labelling. (Right) Operation: Tango balances augmented elements with the need to guide players and focus their attention on information relevant to their mission. 

The art style translates from not just the characters and the landscapes around them, but also to the puzzles themselves. Making it feel like a new technology but with familiar puzzle concepts is one of the things Operation: Tango does best. You and your partner have to really work together to communicate what you’re se

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