Watch Dogs: Legion Characters – 7 Tips To Get The Best Recruits

The big selling point of Watch Dogs: Legion is that just about any character you encounter in its futuristic open-world London setting can be added to your squad of hackers, provided you put in the work. But anybody who’s taken a profiler out onto the street knows that there are a lot of people who wouldn’t be all that helpful to DedSec as it fights fascism and organized crime. Some people are more talented and more useful than others, and finding them is a job unto itself.

There are some shortcuts you can take, though. If you know where to look and you’re willing to put in the effort, you can grab some high-quality recruits. Legion also helps out by making good recruits a little easier to come by at points. But really, the trick is to build a well-rounded team that can fill a lot of roles. To get that, you’ll want to explore London and learn where you can find different kinds of people with a variety of perks and weapon loadouts.

We’ve compiled a few quick tips that can help you get a quality DedSec team together without spending hours profiling every Londoner walking down the street. Here’s what you need to know to get good hackers, drivers, and brawlers in short order to build your resistance. We’ve also got a bunch of tips for starting out in Legion that’ll help you build your resistance.

Liberating districts is tough, but extremely rewarding in getting you some of the best recruits you can find.
Liberating districts is tough, but extremely rewarding in getting you some of the best recruits you can find.

1. Liberate Districts For The Best Recruits

You can use your profiler to scan anybody in London and evaluate how useful they’d be on your team. It’s something you should do often, as you never know when someone might have an interesting skill or an item that turns out to be very helpful. But the most reliable way to get some of the best operatives on your DedSec squad is to complete objectives in each of London’s eight districts in order to turn them “Defiant.”

It’s worth noting that liberating a district can be a lot of work. It usually requires you to complete several objectives, with some being a little easier (like hacking Albion billboards in unguarded areas) and others requiring some infiltration (like freeing prisoners from a police station). Once you’ve done that, you’ll usually open up a special mission related to that district. In Westminster, for instance, you’ll sneak inside Big Ben and use a spider bot to hack the clock’s holographic displays to knock out some Albion propaganda.

Completing all the work in a district gets you a high-level operative with special perks. Westminster earns you a spy with some slick combat moves and a host of special gear, including a spy car with hidden missile launchers, a silenced handgun, and a spy watch that can disrupt enemy electronics. Other district operatives include a getaway driver, a roboticist who can summon drone bees to attack people, and a hacker with a bunch of passive perks that make all your network infiltrations go a lot smoother. While your other operatives will largely come from random encounters in the world, liberating districts is a reliable way to get some of the best characters in Legion.

Bagley will help identify solid recruits and mark them with a green dot, but you'll need to find them within a certain amount of time.
Bagley will help identify solid recruits and mark them with a green dot, but you’ll need to find them within a certain amount of time.

2. Bagley Tags Recruits You Should Check Out

As you progress through the story in Legion, Bagley will start to make recruitment a little easier. Running around London, you’ll start to see recruits marked with green dots over their heads and on the map. This marker indicates higher-tier potential agents you should check out, who usually have useful skills to round out your team. There’s a catch, however–these recruits only appear for a limited time, and if you don’t profile them when you can, you can miss out on them or find them harder to win to your side.

When you see green dots, you’ll definitely want to profile them and see if they’re useful to you. It seems that you can save these recruits to chase them down later, circumventing the ticking clock–but you do have to at least locate and profile them before the timer runs out. Once you do, you can complete their missions and bring them aboard at your leisure.

The Deep Profiler is key to changing the minds of people who don't have a positive opinion of DedSec.

3. Some Recruits Are Tougher Than Others

You’ll notice when profiling recruits that they sometimes have a red “thumbs down” icon near their names. That indicates that the person is not a fan of DedSec. The more thumbs down, the worse their opinion of the group is. Members of the authorities such as police or Albion soldiers usually have a lowered opinion of DedSec, but it can apply to anyone, and you can’t recruit that person until you raise your standing with them.

This is where the Deep Profiler comes in. You’ll need to buy this upgrade in the Gear menu, but once you have it, you can unlock more information about potential recruits. You’ll see a few ways you can help them, like erasing their debt with a loan shark, to raise their opinion of the organization. After that, you can use the Deep Profiler to see the person’s schedule and find them in the city, where you can talk with them to initiate the recruitment process.

Characters in London are reactive, though, so just as your actions can raise their opinion of DedSec, you can also lower it. Hit somebody with your car and they will be less willing to join the resistance, for instance, so it’s worth being careful how you treat people.

Recruits with team perks can empower your whole squad, even if you don't plan to utilize those operatives much.

4. Look For Team Perks As Well As Individual Ones

As you’re decking out your DedSec team, you’ll be tempted to look for players with cool guns, special hacking capabilities, and unique items. Those will be good when you control those characters on particular missions. But some characters get perks for the whole team as well, and while they might not be the best operatives to take into an Albion base or a Kelley gang hangout, they can still be very helpful to your resistance movement.

If you fail a mission, get too hurt, or find yourself grabbed by the cops, the character you’re controlling when you’re injured or arrested will be put out of commission for a set period of time if you’re playing without permadeath mode engaged. Recruit characters like doctors or lawyers and you can reduce those timers–a doctor will help your team recover from injuries more quickly, while a lawyer can reduce arrest times. There are other handy perks that can help your whole team more effectively escape cops or earn more money from hacks, so keep in mind the benefits of some recruits that might go beyond using them on your next caper.

5. Learn The City For Good Recruits And Watch Your Environment

As you start to put together the team you want, you’ll probably find gaps in your roster that you want to fill with characters who have specific skills. There are a bunch of unique types of potential characters–not just skilled hackers, but powerful brawlers, skilled drivers, drone-controlling roboticists, and more. When you find you need specific skills, you might also discover that profiling random people on the street isn’t an efficient way to find what you’re looking for. There are tricks to finding operatives of various types, however.

First, if you’re looking for characters with a particular occupation, look around the environment for likely places to find them. Construction workers let you call highly useful cargo drones, so having one on the squad is a good call–and as you might have guessed, you can find them on construction sites. Look for hospitals to recruit doctors and police stations or Albion sites to recruit authority figures. Complete brawling challenges to find strong fighters.

Certain kinds of people also hang around particular London districts somewhat reliably. Tech-focused hackers like Camden and Nine Elms, while government types are usually in Westminster. Places with parks and tourist attractions, like Camden and Westminster, also have their fair share of street performers like magicians or living statues (who have some fun, useful perks–like the ability to hypnotize onlookers or hide in plain sight). Explore and pay attention to where you are so you’ll know what kind of recruits to expect in a given area.

The right uniform can make it much easier to sneak around a restricted area.

6. Uniforms Make Life Much Easier

Perks and weapons from certain recruits are great, but don’t overlook how handy the clothes of a given profession can be, as well. A lot of areas in London are restricted to people off the street, and you can get yourself attacked, arrested, or even killed if you wander into them. But with the right look, you can infiltrate many of those locations much more easily, and the right recruits can get them for you.

As you might expect, among the benefits of getting a cop on your side is their ability to blend in with other cops; the same goes for Albion soldiers, construction workers, and doctors. Prioritize getting some useful uniforms early on and you’ll make it easier to finish some tougher missions or to reach lore items or tech points hidden in restricted areas where you would otherwise be hunted.

Watch out for recruits with perks that can make them a liability in the field.

7. Avoid Crappy Perks

It might not be immediately obvious if you’re not looking closely, but not every perk is positive. Some operatives might have drawbacks that can make them tougher to use in certain missions. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should dismiss them out of hand, but it’s important to pay attention and know what you’re getting into with certain recruits.

There are a host of features of different elements that can make your operatives harder to use. Gambling Addiction and Shopaholic will see you losing money at random moments as your operatives use DedSec funds to feed their vices; Low Mobility means an operative can’t move as quickly or climb as easily, which can make getaways tough; and Hiccups make staying hidden during stealth difficult. You’ll also see characters with Death Wish or Doomed characteristics–these are people who are much more likely to die on missions. Doomed characters can keel over at random times, while Death Wish characters are more likely to get killed in action when fighting. They may have useful perks or aspects that you need which make the tradeoff worth it, but make sure you know what you’re getting before you do the work of recruiting a new character to the team.

Now Playing: Watch Dogs: Legion – Recruitment Mission Gameplay

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The Mandalorian Season 2 Episode 1: 21 Easter Eggs & Things You Missed From “Chapter 9”

The wait is over. The Mandalorian’s Season 2 premiere has arrived on Disney+. That means more great moments with The Child, aka Baby Yoda. Of course, there’s also the story of Din Djarin, aka Mando (Pedro Pascal), traveling the galaxy in an attempt to return his young companion home and the shenanigans they get themselves into along the way.

In the new episode, Mando and The Child wind up back on Tatooine in search of another Mandalorian and wind up in the middle of a conflict between the citizens of Mos Pelgo led by Marshal Cobb Vanth, the Tusken raiders they tend to war with, and the Krayt dragon trying to eat them all. There are also a number of Easter eggs and call backs to all corners of Star Wars lore to find. from an unrecognizable John Leguizamo cameo to Gamorreans to possibly Boba Fett, Here are 21 references from “Chapter 9 – The Marshal”.

Destiny 2: Where Is Xur This Week? Exotic Items / Location Guide (Oct. 30-Nov. 3)

With the weekly reset on November 3, we’ll be in the final week of Destiny 2 before the launch of Beyond Light. This weekend marks your last chance to finish up the Festival of the Lost activities, and the penultimate visit by Exotics vendor Xur in the Season of Arrivals. Head to Titan, to the The Rig area, to find Xur this week. For his weapon, Xur is offering Skyburner’s Oath. Hunters can pick up the Ophidia Spathe chest armor; for Titans, there’s the Eternal Warrior helmet; and for Warlocks, Xur has the Transversive Steps leg armor.

Xur Location

Look for Xur in a small, nondescript building near the edge of the Rig's platform, near the water on the north side.
Look for Xur in a small, nondescript building near the edge of the Rig’s platform, near the water on the north side.

Use the Titan transmat zone on The Rig and hop on your sparrow, heading east along the edge of the platform. After passing under some scaffolding, look for a low building on the edge of the platform on your left. Inside the dark structure, you’ll find Xur, enjoying the shadows.

Xur Exotic Items

Skyburner’s Oath is Xur’s weapon this week, one that’s great if you’re facing Cabal enemies. The scout rifle does extra damage to Cabal and penetrates Phalanx shields, which makes it very handy if you’re knocking out raids on the Leviathan before they go in the Destiny Content Vault. But if you’re not a fan of his other options, Xur also sells an Exotic engram that will decrypt into an Exotic you don’t already own. He also has the Five of Swords challenge card, which lets you enable modifiers for Nightfall Strikes.

  • Exotic Engram — 97 legendary shards
  • Skyburner’s Oath — 29 legendary shards
  • Ophidia Spathe — 23 legendary shards
  • Eternal Warrior — 23 legendary shards
  • Transversive Steps — 23 legendary shards
  • Five of Swords — free

Skyburner’s Oath (Scout Rifle)

If you have a problem with the Cabal, Skyburner's Oath is a great solution, especially in Leviathan raids.
If you have a problem with the Cabal, Skyburner’s Oath is a great solution, especially in Leviathan raids.

An oldie but a goodie, Skyburner’s Oath is an excellent anti-Cabal weapon. The gun does extra damage to Cabal enemies and goes straight through Phalanx shields, making blasting through any Cabal PvE missions a whole lot simpler. It also fires explosive slugs that seek enemies when you’re firing from the hip. Aim down the sights, and the slugs will take on a slower rate of fire but hit for more damage, and fire straight rather than seeking.

Ophidia Spathe (Hunter)

You get two throwing knives for the price of one with Ophidia Spathe.

Lots of Hunters love their powerful melee throwing knives, and Ophidia Spathe feeds your addiction to their low-fi kills. The Exotic gives you a second knife for every melee charge, which can be great with melee-focused Hunter builds in both PvE and PvP. It’s a simple and effective Exotic if you want to make knife headshots the focus of your playstyle.

Stats:

  • Mobility: 4
  • Resilience: 9
  • Recovery: 21
  • Discipline: 9
  • Intellect: 14
  • Strength: 6
  • Total: 63

Eternal Warrior (Titan)

Eternal Warrior makes Titans much tougher to kill after they activate their Fists of Havoc Super, which can help you clean up the other team in the Crucible.

Eternal Warrior provides a major boost for your Fists of Havoc Super, which can be very helpful in the Crucible. When you activate the Super, the Exotic grants you an overshield, making you a lot tougher to kill as you chase down Guardians (or plow through a wave of Thralls).

Stats:

  • Mobility: 2
  • Resilience: 11
  • Recovery: 19
  • Discipline: 15
  • Intellect: 6
  • Strength: 7
  • Total: 60

Transversive Steps (Warlock)

Use Transversive Steps to speed yourself as a Warlock--the boots give you faster sprint speed and reload your equipped weapon while sprinting.

Warlocks aren’t always the speediest class, but Transversive Steps helps them be a little more fleet-footed. The boots increase your sprint speed, with the added benefit of reloading your equipped weapon after a short period of sprinting. If you’re trying to stay on the move and in the fight in either PvP or PvE, Transversive Steps can help keep you firing.

Stats:

  • Mobility: 14
  • Resilience: 12
  • Recovery: 7
  • Discipline: 18
  • Intellect: 9
  • Strength: 2
  • Total: 62

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Genshin Impact Adds PS5 Compatibility In New Update

Genshin Impact, the popular-open world gacha-based RPG, will be playable on PS5 via backwards compatibility. The upcoming Version 1.1 update, titled A New Star Rises, will add next-gen compatibility capability, along with brand-new quests–concluding the Liuye stage of the main storyline–and four new playable characters. A New Star Rises releases on November 11.

Of those new characters, two are 5-star, including Childe and Zhongli. Childe is a Hydro archer that can switch between long-range and melee attacks. Zhongli is a Geo polearm that can deal damage in large areas, cast strong defenses, and petrify enemies. The other two new characters, Xinyan and Diona, are 4-star and not much has been revealed about the duo. From character images, it appears Xinyan might have a music-based attack in her arsenal.

Gallery

A new Reputation system will also be part of the update. Travelers can build up their Reputation for each city they travel to, and in turn gain rewards like region-exclusive items and customizations.

Players will also be able to access Genshin Impact’s first seasonal event, Unreconciled Stars. A terrifying catastrophe facing Teyvat takes center stage, and players will combat the crisis through new quests and co-op challenges. New rewards, including 4-star character Fischl, can be earned.

In her Genshin Impact Review for GameSpot, Heidi Kemps rated the game 7/10. She commented, “Overall, Genshin Impact is a solid game hampered a bit by the restrictions its free-to-play model imposes. The overall production values are high, and the core gameplay is solid. In particular, the elemental interaction system is a ton of fun and gives the game a distinct personality.”

Genshin impact is free-to-play on Android, iOS, PC, PS4, and Nintendo Switch. PS5 owners will also be able to play the gacha game on November 12, when the next-gen console releases.

Now Playing: Genshin Impact Video Review

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Why Blumhouse Won’t Reboot Iconic Horror Like Halloween And The Craft

While reboots and remakes have been pretty standard for the movie industry over the past decade or more, there are also the rare franchises that just keep moving forward, finding new life without starting from scratch. That’s especially the case with the horror genre, where beloved movies like Halloween and The Craft are being kept alive to tell stories to a new generation of viewers, without throwing out the original films in their respective series.

In 2018, Halloween hit theaters as a direct sequel to John Carpenter’s 1978 original film of the same name–and there’s two more on the way. What’s more, The Craft: Legacy picks up nearly 25 years after the 1996 original Craft film, following a new group of young witches as they tap into their dark sides. Either of these movies would have been easy to imagine as a reboot, and in Halloween’s case, that’s already happened once before–lest we forget that franchise’s ridiculous complicated timelines and the two Rob Zombie movies many of us would rather forget.

But for the founder of Blumhouse Productions, the company behind new installments of those franchises, that was never an option.

Speaking to GameSpot about Amazon Prime Video’s Welcome to the Blumhouse films, Jason Blum spoke about the importance of honoring the legacy of the iconic horror franchises his company oversees. “I think it’s crucial. I think otherwise, what’s the point? I hate the idea of, ‘Yeah, that old one worked. Let’s call the new one that,'” he explained. “I think you have to respect what existed before you if you’re going to continue it. I think we did that with The Craft[: Legacy].”

That’s especially the case with Halloween. The next film, Halloween Kills, will arrive in theaters next year, once more with original series creator John Carpenter involved as a producer.

“John Carpenter created the whole f***ing thing. I think to erase him from that as you went forward on Halloween, I don’t know, I thought that was a weird thing to do,” Blum said. “I always said, if we were going to do it, we had to do it with him. And I’m glad I said that. I’m glad we did.”

Fans of Halloween are glad he did, as well. The 2018 Halloween was a critical and commercial success, and managed to bring Jamie Lee Curtis back to the franchise. Now we just have to wait a year to see what happens next in the series. Based on the new trailer for Halloween Kills, it’s going to be a bloody and disturbing journey when the sequel hits theaters on October 15, 2021.

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Everyone Wins With PS5 And Xbox Series X

With the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X/S coming up very soon, people understandably want to know which system is right for them, which dovetails with the contentious “console war” debates about which plastic box is better than the other plastic box.

It’s well and good to get all the information and make an informed decision about which console to buy, since we’re talking about hundreds of dollars. But at the end of the day, we should remember that the big three–Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo–are all playing different games, measuring success differently, and succeeding in their own ways. As a result, the idea of a console war is sillier and less productive than ever.

There are plenty of reasons to be excited about the launch of the new consoles this year, and this post will round up some of them. Of course, you may not be excited about or interested in next-gen, and there are plenty of very good reasons to hold off buying a shiny new PlayStation or Xbox until 2021. But this story aims to highlight what gaming is doing right in 2020.

The Pure Power

If you are inclined to buy a new console this year, both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X are billed as incredibly fast, powerful systems that are promising a series of upgrades over their predecessors. In particular, the reduction in loading times is expected to be impressive across each console, helping people get into games faster than ever.

The power of the new systems also allows some games on PS5 and Xbox Series X to run at 120fps, which is double the current limit of the existing generation. This new frame rate limit promises to make games feel smoother, and it could be particularly exciting for multiplayer games. Recently, Microsoft announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection will offer 120fps support on Xbox Series X, and Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War has been revealed to reach 120fps on both PS5 and Xbox Series X.

For Xbox Series X specifically, the horsepower of the new console has allowed developer The Coalition to reduce input latency for Gears 5. For both campaign and multiplayer, latency is improved substantially, which should go a long way to help the game feel more responsive on the next-gen console.

With PS5 and Xbox Series X only just entering the start of their lifecycles, it’s exciting to think about all the new gameplay systems and features that teams will discover and create as they continue working to unlock the power and potential of these consoles.

Pricing And Free Upgrades

The PS5 and Xbox Series X are not as expensive as many believed they might be. At $500 USD for each system’s top-line edition, that works out to comparatively less money than the price points for the PS4 and Xbox One at launch back in 2013, which come to around $550 in today’s money. Additionally, Sony and Microsoft are offering disc-free versions of their new consoles that allow players to get into next-gen at a lower price.

The cute little Xbox Series S console–which is no technical slouch–is only $300 USD, while the PS4 Digital Edition–which is exactly the same as the standard PS5 but with no disc drive–is $400. These are remarkably low prices for a next-gen console, considering how console prices had previously been trending upwards. The costs are also surprisingly low given the unavoidable costs associated with NVMe storage in particular. This driving-down of price is a good thing for fans hoping to save some scratch, provided they feel comfortable moving forward without discs and embracing a future where the games you buy aren’t really yours.

Along with a series of third-party developers and publishers, Sony and Microsoft are helping to smooth out the frustrations of the shift to a new console generation by giving players free upgrades to the next-gen editions of games when they’re released. If you’ve already bought titles like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Destiny 2, Cyberpunk 2077, Marvel’s Avengers, Madden 21, or Borderlands 3, you’ll automatically get the next-gen upgrade for free when it’s released on the same console family. Microsoft has its own Smart Delivery system that allows you to pick up a game on Xbox One and get the Series X edition upgrade at no extra cost. Sony has a similar initiative where you can get a free upgrade from PS4 to PS5 for games like Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Sackboy: A Big Adventure, and Horizon Forbidden West. Not every game gets a free upgrade, however.

Another important next-gen factor for pricing is that, for the first time with a major next-gen console, you’ll be able to get one through a mobile phone-style subsidized program. Microsoft’s All Access program lets you get a Series S for $25/month or a Series X for $35 per month. Sony doesn’t have its own dedicated program like this, but retailer GameStop is offering payment plans for the new consoles, and we hope they become permanent.

Exciting New Innovations

In addition to flashier graphics and smoother frame rates, the new consoles promise to deliver new innovations beyond what was possible on current-gen hardware. For example, the PS5’s DualSense controller is making a big step forward with haptic feedback that promises some exciting functionality. In NBA 2K21, the adaptive triggers will become more resistant as your player becomes fatigued. Additionally, the controller will rumble with different intensity levels depending on how big a collision is.

In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, the haptic feedback makes the controller rumble to alert players to where attacks are coming from. Bethesda’s Deathloop uniquely uses the controller’s technology to completely block the player from firing a weapon when their weapon jams in the game. We also just recently learned how the PS5 game Astro’s Playroom will use the haptic controls in the DualSense, and it seems very encouraging and innovative. It’s exciting to contemplate what other next-gen games might have in store for the controller.

For Microsoft, the Quick Resume feature on Xbox Series X, which allows you to suspend games and return to them exactly where you left off, is a standout feature of Microsoft’s new console. It’s a literal game-changer, and it’s made possible thanks to the extra horsepower in the machine, as GameSpot’s Michael Higham called out in a recent preview.

Subscription Services Are Taking Hold

The launch of the next-gen consoles also marks the proper kickoff of the PS Plus Collection service for PS5 users and the expanded profile of Xbox Game Pass on console and PC. Xbox Game Pass is a value-rich subscription package that gets you every first-party Microsoft game at launch–which now includes The Elder Scrolls 6 when it’s released–as well as a huge catalog of third-party games. Some maintain that Xbox Game Pass represents the best overall value for money for any subscription service across not only games but also TV and movies, and it’s not hard to see why. For Xbox Series X, Game Pass and backwards compatibility support mean many people will have access to literally thousands of games to play on the console from day one.

While Microsoft is pursuing a software and services-first approach for its next-gen strategy and doesn’t care much if you buy any hardware, Sony is sticking with a hardware-first approach. That doesn’t mean the company hasn’t adopted any attractive subscriptions, however. The PS Plus Collection, which is included with the cost of PS Plus, looks like a phenomenal offering with 18 PS4 titles in the collection at launch. This includes Sony exclusives like God of War, Bloodborne, Detroit: Become Human, and Uncharted 4, as well as third-party games like Batman: Arkham Knight, Battlefield 1, Final Fantasy 15, Mortal Kombat X, and Persona 5.

So Many Options

Unlike previous console generation changes, Sony and Microsoft are offering multiple options for how you can buy into next-gen. As mentioned above, both Sony and Microsoft have disc-free editions of their systems available, providing a less expensive alternative for those who are ready to embrace a fully digital future. This has never happened at the launch of a new console generation. Outside of that, Microsoft’s next-generation strategy is not strictly focused around any single piece of hardware. With xCloud, you can stream Xbox games to your phone or tablet, and play them almost anywhere. Additionally, all first-party Xbox games are also on PC–with cross-save and progression–so you have yet another option. Sony has been slower to embrace PC, but the company has begun to release its titles for computers, such as Horizon Zero Dawn. And using PlayStation Now, you can stream a giant library of PlayStation games to your PC.

It’s also notable that many games will continue to be released on current-generation consoles, so players don’t necessarily need to upgrade to the new boxes right away.

Backwards Compatibility

Console generation transitions historically tended to be painful moments when older games, consoles, and accessories were rendered obsolete. But not any longer. Both the PS5 and the Xbox Series X will support thousands of games from previous generations. The PS5 will play 99%of PS4 games according to Sony, while the Xbox Series X plays titles not only from Xbox One, but also from Xbox 360 and the original Xbox. Even the plastic peripherals you may have lying around will also be supported, as Harmonix recently announced that next-gen consoles will support Rock Band 4’s guitar and drum controllers so you can continue to be a living room rockstar.

Another nice benefit of the PS5 and Xbox Series X is that buying into these consoles instantly makes the games you already have much better, in many cases, without having to pay extra. Microsoft has gone to great lengths to enhance backwards compatibility games with things like auto-HDR and other improvements, while PS4 games on PS5 should experience a range of improvements right away thanks to the power of the new machine it’s running on.

The Switch Factor

While the conversation around games and new consoles in 2020 is understandably focused on the PS5 and Xbox Series X, the Nintendo Switch is actually the system that is poised for the greatest success this holiday. According to NPD analyst Mat Piscatella, the PS5 and Xbox Series X may face shortages, so the Switch is expected to be the top-selling platform in the US. The Switch remains a remarkable console that can be recommended to nearly anyone.

The Switch has some of the best, most highly rated games available anywhere, and its unique hybrid nature sets it apart from the competition. It has been some time since Nintendo purposefully went head-to-head with its console competitors, and that strategy continued with the Switch generation to great success. The Switch’s biggest 2020 hit, Animal Crossing: New Horizons, has sold a jaw-dropping 22.4 million copies, which is an astonishing figure overall, and especially for a game that is only available on one platform.

Nintendo is also releasing a marquee exclusive this year with Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity, which is a prequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And Nintendo has the limited-time Super Mario 3D All-Stars Bundle, which will no doubt be a top-seller this holiday as it bundles three of the most iconic and beloved Mario games of all time into one updated package.

2020 (And Beyond)

2020 has brought great suffering, hardship, and distress to many for a variety of reasons. Gaming has been a wonderful way for many to pass the time, stay connected with friends, and relax amidst the pandemic and political upheaval across the world. The new consoles coming this year, and the enduring popularity of the Switch, should continue to provide a means of escape and entertainment, now with shinier graphics and more bells and whistles, and that’s something well worth getting excited about. Looking to 2021 and beyond, it’s fun to think about what kinds of innovations the new consoles will deliver once developers find their footing and discover how to make the most of their super-charged engines.

What’s Your Favorite Horror Game of All Time?

Welcome back to Game Spook!, our yearly Halloween-themed episode. And what an episode! Not only is it Game Spook!, it’s also our 600th edition of this humble little podcast. Thank you so much to everyone who watches every week!

On the docket for this episode: The Co-op Mages discuss their favorite horror games from every generation, Control comes to Switch, Watch Dogs Legion, and so much more. The music this episode is from Castlevania Bloodlines.

Watch the video above or hit the link below to your favorite podcast service.

Listen on:

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Find previous episodes here!

The Story Behind The Mandalorian Season 2 Premiere Creature

Full spoilers follow for The Mandalorian Season 2, Episode 1 — “The Marshal.”

[poilib element=”accentDivider”]

As The Mandalorian returns to Disney+ for its second season with the episode “The Marshal,” a creature we first heard about in the very first Star Wars movie finally made its live-action debut: The krayt dragon!

Well, we should say it made its first living live-action debut in the show, as we have seen a quite dead krayt dragon before… but more on that in a bit.

But what exactly is a krayt dragon, how does it differ from a sarlacc, and what was that pearl the Tusken Raiders pulled out of the poor thing’s carcass? Let’s, um, dig into it!

krayt-dragon-mandalorian

What Does The Mandalorian Want With the Krayt Dragon?

Well, how do we put this gently? He wants to, um, kill it.

When Mando returns to Tatooine in search of other Mandalorians who might be able to help him return Baby Yoda to the child’s people, he winds up in the small mining town of Mos Pelgo. There he encounters Cobb Vanth, a.k.a. The Marshal (played by Timothy Olyphant), who is wearing… wait for it… Boba Fett’s armor! The Mandalorian winds up working with Vanth to kill the krayt dragon, which has been attacking not just Mos Pelgo but also the Tusken Raiders who live in the surrounding desert area.

In the end, and with great effort, Mando, Vanth, the people of Mos Pelgo, and the Tusken Raiders band together and defeat the beast, but only after suffering a bunch of casualties. In payment for his help, Vanth returns Fett’s armor to Mando.

C-3PO walks by a krayt dragon skeleton in A New Hope.
C-3PO walks by a krayt dragon skeleton in A New Hope.

What Is a Krayt Dragon?

Of course, the Legends (or Expanded Universe) has a bunch of info on krayt dragons (including in Knights of the Old Republic), but as far as canon sources go, we got our first idea about these creatures in A New Hope when a stranded C-3PO shuffles past the skeleton of one on Tatooine.

Also in that film, Obi-Wan Kenobi imitates the call of a krayt dragon as he approaches Luke Skywalker’s landspeeder in order to scare off the Tusken Raiders who have attacked Luke and Threepio.

These creatures aren’t technically dragons… but they are giant and, while they don’t exactly shoot fire from their mouths, they are capable of expelling a venom which seems to essentially digest, or burn, whoever is unlucky enough to get hit by the icky substance. As we see in The Mandalorian episode, the dragons are able to burrow underground and travel that way, which makes them reminiscent of the graboids from Tremors. But they’re also kaiju-sized beasts, or at least the one in “The Marshal” is. They also have a Dune sandworm feel, so Warner Bros. probably isn’t too happy with Lucasfilm right about now. (Dune is also believed to have been an influence on George Lucas when he created Star Wars.)

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As for how the krayt relates to the sarlacc, another creature found on the sand planet, it seems that the dragons are mighty enough to kill (and eat) sarlaccs and take up in their caves. That’s what Mando implies happened with the krayt in the Mandalorian episode, but despite the apparent presence of Boba Fett at the end of the segment (as played by Temuera Morrison) — or his armor, as worn by Vanth — there’s no reason to believe this is the same sarlacc pit from Return of the Jedi, where Fett had seemingly met his end (to be slowly digested over a thousand years) before the Morrison reveal here. Hey, there’s more than one sarlacc pit on Tatooine, O.K.?

What Is the Krayt Pearl?

Late in “The Marshal,” after the krayt has been killed, we see the Tusken Raiders harvesting the creature’s body, apparently for meat (even Mando has a huge chunk that he wraps up in a Star Wars doggie bag). But then one of the sand people finds what they’ve been presumably really looking for — a white globe about the size of a bowling ball. This is a krayt dragon pearl, and it’s worth a bundle.

It has been established in Star Wars media like the novels Heir to the Jedi and Aftermath: Empire’s End that krayt dragons ingest stones, which over time and the course of digestion could eventually become a pearl. Their value comes from the fact that the ingested stone sometimes has a kyber crystal in it, which of course is what powers lightsabers.

IGN’s own Max Scoville reminds us that “in the old EU, one of Jabba’s guards killed a krayt dragon, stole its pearls, and ran off with Yarna d’al’ Gargan, Jabba’s six-breasted dancer, and they used the pearls to buy her cubs out of slavery and to book passage off Tatooine. They lived happily ever after and Yarna later danced at the wedding of Han and Leia. So in conclusion, krayt dragon pearls are a big deal.”

And that’s why the Tusken Raiders were so psyched to find the pearl. They basically just won the lottery!

The krayt dragon pearl in The Mandalorian.
The krayt dragon pearl in The Mandalorian.

For even more on The Mandalorian Season 2, check out the full list of celebrity guest stars who have appeared on the show, dig in on that Phantom Menace Easter egg from Episode 1, and consider whether or not the series used the plot of an unmade Star Wars movie.

Amazon’s Truth Seekers Is A Charming, Spooky Binge

Amazon PrimeVideo has released a new show, just in time for Halloween–and it’s perfect for the season. Truth Seekers, starring buddy comedy duo Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, is all about paranormal investigation with a goofy twist. Clocking in at only eight episodes, it’s a great weekend binge if you’re for a spooky time to distract yourself from the lack of costume parties and trick-or-treat this year.

The set up is relatively simple. Frost plays Gus Roberts, a self-serious and deeply eccentric broadband internet technician who moonlights as a paranormal investigator with a YouTube channel. Roberts is one of the best at his boring day job, so he’s tasked with training up a rookie, Elton John (Samson Kayo)–and yes, the name is the punchline of more than a couple very funny jokes. Elton, as it turns out, is both a coward and a person who is genuinely sensitive to paranormal occurrences, so Gus quickly ropes him into his investigative side-hustle, despite Elton’s protests.

Simon Pegg plays Dave, Gus’s boss, and while Pegg’s reduced role does keep him away from Frost more often than not through most episodes, the two still find time to be charming together. And they’re not the only British comedy juggernauts to be found in the show–Julian Barratt of cult-classic Mighty Boosh fame plays the series’ villain, Dr. Peter Toynbee; BAFTA breakthrough Susie Wokoma plays Elton’s sister Helen, and Malcom McDowell plays Gus’s aging father-in-law Richard.

It’s an incredibly funny combination, especially when you factor in Frost’s chemistry with Kayo who sells the charmingly befuddled and anxiety-ridden Elton at every opportunity. The gags themselves are snappy and more often than not, heartfelt in off-beat ways. Helen suffers from debilitating agoraphobia but runs a make-up YouTube channel and loves to cosplay, if she can actually pull it together long enough to go to a convention. Gus’s eccentricity comes from some deep-seated family trauma that may make him a bit prickly but keeps him genuinely devoted to the few people close to him. It’s all very kind, even when it’s going out of its way to also be absurd and irreverent.

In terms of the supernatural stuff, you likely won’t be kept up at night–it’s clear that Truth Seekers prioritizes the goofs over the ghosts, even though there are definitely ghosts to be found. It’s a bit less graphic than something like Shaun of the Dead. But it’s in that that general neighborhood, with a slightly less budget. The visual effects are serviceable but probably won’t blow you away, which actually kind of adds to the camp of the whole thing once you get used to it. If you’re a fan of other cult-y, obscure British comedy shows like Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace, you’ll have no problem acclimating at all.

All told, Truth Seekers may be pretty surface level in terms of story, but it never overstays its welcome, shines a spotlight on some very funny people, and is arriving just in time for Halloween weekend. It’s a worthy watch, especially if you’re finding yourself starved for new content as the year continues to drag on.

All eight episodes of Truth Seekers are streaming now on Amazon Prime.