Red Dead Online Leap Day Challenges All Involve Jumping, or Getting Jumped

You’d be forgiven for forgetting that today, February 29, is Leap Day. You know, the day that comes about every four years because calendars and planetary rotations are weird. In any case, Red Dead Redemption 2 developer Rockstar Games definitely did not forget, and threw in a little treat for observant cowboys and cowgirls in the game’s online mode.

First spotted by Reddit user Moonshiner, a list of daily challenges popped up in Red Dead Online tasking players with, well, leaping a whole bunch on Leap Day.

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Challenges include jumping from a horse onto a moving train, jumping from a horse onto a moving wagon, jumping from a horse onto…another horse, and jumping onto a horse from a height of at least three meters.

Nice one, Rockstar.

Reddit user jason21521 also pointed out that a daily challenge to “successfully fend off an ambush” could also count as “getting jumped.” Bit of a leap itself, but we’ll go with it.

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If you want some assistance completing these challenges and others in Red Dead Online, check out our Red Dead Online wiki, where you’ll also find our huge interactive world map and more.

We’re pretty sure that Rockstar would prefer people to leap onto horses rather than leap into bed, given that a modder created a new version of the infamous Hot Coffee mod.

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Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer/cowpoke for IGN.

The Best One Piece Moments of All Time

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The Straw Hat Pirates’ sprawling adventure across the Grand Line has been a staple of anime ever since the late 90s, and with more than 900 episodes, it’s fair to say that One Piece has had more than a few unforgettable moments. Narrowing down this list to just 10 of the best moments from One Piece was an extraordinarily difficult task, and some tough cuts had to be made, but regardless, here are our picks for the top 10 One Piece moments, as of episode 923 of the anime.

Note of course that by the very nature of this feature, there are going to be major spoilers for One Piece. We are holding nothing back here, but we will inform you before each entry what episode the spoiler covers so you can skip the ones you haven’t come across yet.

And with that said, let’s kick this off with:

10. Luffy and Katakuri Clash of Haki (Episode 868)

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The long epic battle between Luffy and Katakuri began to reach its climactic end as the few onlooking Big Mom Pirates berated both of them, an enemy and ally. With newfound respect for each other, they both unleashed their Conqueror’s Haki simultaneously creating this vibrant and impactful energy that knocked out the annoying pirates and destroyed the surrounding environment. This particularly epic moment beautifully portrayed the intensity and will power they both had without saying a word. After much fighting, they both saw themselves as equals and still had enough strength to use their Haki to continue their fight uninterrupted. Although Luffy has had a good chunk of Haki clashes by this point, this Haki clash between Luffy and Katakuri stands above the rest.

9. An Escape… And a Sacrifice (Episode 451)

Bon Clay

The friendship that developed between Luffy and Bon Clay over the course of the Impel Down arc is arguably one of the strongest bonds that Luffy’s ever formed with anyone outside of his crew or his family. Bon Clay just has this unique chemistry with Luffy because they’re almost kindred spirits with how wacky their personalities are. This was why it was so poignant when Bon Clay revealed his plan to help the Straw Hats escape Impel Down, which involved him fooling everyone by impersonating the Warden Magellan and telling the control room to open the gates to the prison. It was the second time that Bon Clay made a sacrifice for Luffy, and while it was also the last time, at least this time he was able to hear Luffy’s heartfelt appreciation for his friend.

8. What Happened to Zeff’s Leg (Episode 26) 


Sanji has one of the saddest backstories in all of One Piece. He just can’t catch a break. Young Sanji couldn’t care less about pirates, especially Zeff who was stranded on a deserted island with him. Nonetheless, the subtlety of Zeff’s actions made for a heartwarming moment when Sanji finds out that Zeff sacrificed his leg for him. The fact that Sanji thought Zeff was this horrible pirate the entire time only to find out that he’s one of the most selfless people he’s ever met is definitely one of One Piece’s most memorable moments.

7. “One Piece Exists!”  – Whitebeard’s Speech (Episode 485)


With the battle of Marinford underway, the war pauses as everyone focuses on Whitebeard’s final moments. In this emotionally charged scene, a dying Whitebeard reveals to the world in his last breath that “One Piece Does Exist.” At that moment, we realize in disbelief that Whitebeard has died standing up. One pirate age was ending, and a new one is being born.

6. Zoro Takes Luffy’s Pain (Episode 377)


This moment is what solidified Zoro as badass of the Straw Hat crew. With Luffy exhausted from his battle with Pirate Warlord Moria and the Straw Hats being taken out by Warlord Kuma, Zoro is left standing. Zoro, realizing he can’t win against Kuma he offers his life up in exchange for Luffy’s in which Kuma agrees but only if Zoro can take on Luffy’s injuries as his own. This emotional moment we realize the strong bond that Zoro, the pirate hunter, has forged with his crewmates and that he is willing to give up his life to spare theirs.

5. Usopp vs Luffy (Episode 236)

Luffy vs Usopp

There’s too much that goes into the fight between Luffy and Usopp to nail it down to one “moment,” so we’re going to cheat a little here and just encapsulate the whole thing into one. Everything involving the conflict between Luffy and Usopp at Water 7 is just so emotionally intense. Usopp knows he has no chance to win against Luffy, but he tries his best anyway because despite how much he respects Luffy as a captain, despite how much he loves all of his fellow crew, he simply cannot go through with parting with the Going Merry. There’s a lot of emotionally charged fights in One Piece, but Usopp vs Luffy hits the hardest by far.

4. Ace’s Death (Episode 483)

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The sound of crying fills the air as Akainu’s magma fist plunges through the back of Ace taking his life in front of Luffy. In Ace’s last heartfelt words, he thanks everyone for loving him as he dies on the battlefield. We feel the weight behind Ace’s death as we are stuck watching Luffy in shock, realizing just as he did that his life has forever changed.

3. “I Want to Live!” – Robin’s Cry For Help (Episode 274)


This moment is the pay off that we had been waiting what felt like a hundred episodes for. Ever since she left the Straw Hats without saying a word out of fear of losing her friends like she lost her family on Ohara, we along with Luffy and crew as well, had been waiting for Robin to do something, anything, to show some sort of resistance to the ruthless and Weasley Spandam. That moment finally comes in episode 274, where, upon gazing at her captain and crewmates on the other side of Enies Lobby, and seeing that they’re willing to go to war even with the World Government if it means having her in their lives, Robin finally responds to Luffy in one clear voice. And that’s all that Luffy needed.

2. Farewell to the Going Merry (Episode 312)

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Those who aren’t One Piece fans may find it weird to be emotionally attached to an inanimate ship, but anyone who’s seen the “funeral” of the Going Merry, likely knows what it’s like to shed tears over a dying boat. The way the focus shifts from crew member to crew member as they each relive their own introduction to the Merry while somber music plays in the background is just so beautifully done. And then they hit with you the emotional gut punch of the disembodied voice of the Merry saying “I’m sorry, I wish I could have taken you farther.” And then they hit you with Luffy, who had been holding his shit together up to this point, utterly breaking down, apologizing for every small thing he did to the ship. It all adds up to one of the most heartwrenching moments in all of One Piece.

1. “Luffy… Help Me” (Episode 37)


The scene with Luffy and Nami during the Arlong Park arc had one of the most defining moments for the Straw Hat crew and for many fans of the series. At this point, we’ve known Nami as a scheming confident woman who can take care of herself but her dire situation with the Arlong Pirates brings her to tears as her family and friends prepare to fight to the death. Seeing Nami drop to the ground in despair screaming in anger as she attempts to cut up her despised Arlong tattoo is one of the most heartbreaking scenes in anime. It’s at this moment that we see a different side of Luffy that’s calm and serious. With the last ounce of Nami’s stubbornness whittling away, she finally says to Luffy “help me”. This iconic moment followed by Luffy’s gesture of giving his treasured straw hat to Nami with a resounding “Of course I will!” is why Luffy and this wonderful series is beloved.

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This list was written by Mitchell Saltzman, Mike Mamon, and Yusuf McCoy, the three biggest One Piece fans at IGN. Thanks for checking it out, and let us know in the comments which moments would make your top moments in One Piece list!

Call of Duty Zombies Co-Creator Leaves Treyarch

After 13 years working on the Call of Duty Zombies mode, co-creator Jason Blundell has announced his departure from Treyarch.

The Treyarch Twitter account posted a short statement from Blundell about his departure and thoughts looking back.

“During my time at the studio, I’ve been privileged to work on a variety of projects, wearing many hats along the way, with my time on the Zombies team proving to be quite special,” Blundell wrote. “Clearly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t personally thank the group that continues to make it all worth it: The Zombies community! Your passion, enthusiasm — and frankly, your craziness — has been a continued source of inspiration. The beauty of Zombies is that it has always been about the interaction between us as developers and one of the most passionate player communities on the planet. These are memories I will cherish for a lifetime.”

Blundell first started at Treyarch back in 2006 as a producer on Call of Duty 3. Blundell’s career spans across seven different Call of Duty games.

His work on the Zombies mode in the Call of Duty franchise started immediately with Call of Duty: World at War. However, Blundell’s Zombies’ career truly took off in November 2016 when he became the co-studio head of Treyarch.

It’s unknown where Blundell is headed next and whether or not that includes game development.

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Take a look back at our Call of Duty coverage with Jason Blundell including the surprising rise of a Zombies mode, the introduction of a female protagonist, and if he can survive a real apocalypse.

If you’re keeping up with Modern Warfare, you can read the latest details we’ve learned about the game’s supposed Battle Royale mode.

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Jeffrey Lerman is a Freelance News Writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @Snakester95.

James Gunn Wraps Suicide Squad Filming With Tribute to Deceased Dad

Filming on James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad has officially wrapped. Director Gunn celebrated the accomplishment by sharing a photo of the cast and crew, along with a heartfelt tribute to some loved ones of his.

“And that’s a wrap on #TheSuicideSquad,” Gunn wrote. “My father died two weeks before we started filming and my dog died two weeks before the end. It was a hard, hard time in my life and yet the most fulfilling time I’ve ever had making a movie. The professionalism, talent, compassion and kindness of this cast and crew inspired me every day. Thanks to everyone involved in this film, in every stage of development, in every department – I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for you all. You are why I make movies.”

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Gunn’s Suicide Squad still has lots of time to bake before it’s ready for the filmgoing public, though. The Suicide Squad is scheduled to release on August 6, 2021. Margot Robbie (who can be seen front and center of the Instagram post) returns as Harley, alongside Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, Idris Elba, Joel Kinnaman as Rick Flag, Jai Courtney as Captain Boomerang, Guardians of the Galaxy star Michael Rooker, Nathan Fillion, John Cena, Peter Capaldi (Doctor Who), Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi, and SNL’s Pete Davidson, among others. Will Smith’s Deadshot reportedly won’t be returning due to scheduling conflicts. Gunn has previously teased that fans shouldn’t get too attached to the cast, indicating the film may have quite the body count.

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Producer Pete Safran has said the film is a “total reboot,” and not a sequel to David Ayers critically panned 2016 film.

While fans are no doubt happy to see Gunn lending his efforts to the DC cinematic universe, don’t get your hopes up for any James Gunn Superman movie. You might also be surprised to hear which screenplay Gunn says he’s enjoyed the most. Thankfully, we also have Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 to look forward to, which Gunn was re-hired by Disney to direct.

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Joseph Knoop is a writer/producer for IGN.

Now Playing: Persona 5, Metal Gear Rising, Animal Crossing, And More

Alien Hominid Invasion Is Just As Chaotic As The Original | PAX East 2020 Gameplay

One of the benefits of checking out new games at PAX East 2020 is being able to play the game alongside the actual developers. Such was the case with Alien Hominid Invasion, a sequel to the cult classic 2004 run-and-gun indie Alien Hominid. Actually, sequel isn’t the right word. Dan Paladin, co-creator of the original game, sees it more as a reimagining, but even that isn’t really the best description.

Both are cooperative run-and-gun games starring tiny violent aliens, but Invasion offers much more freedom than its predecessor. Where the first game locked you on an individual screen until you eliminated your foes, Invasion lets you freely explore each procedurally generated stage, moving in all directions. Your alien pals are much more mobile: they can double jump, dodge roll, and dive through the air to leap around–and onto the backs of–enemies.

Procedural generation is a big part of Invasion; Paladin wants each run to feel different. The world map lets you choose your path forward, with a variety of levels designed around suburbia, skyscrapers, moving trains, and more. Modifiers like infinitely spawning enemy hordes and better loot are also visible when choosing with stage to tackle next.

That’s another key difference in Invasion: a loot system. A variety of guns, passive abilities, and decorative hats can be randomly obtained while completing objectives in each level. If you make it to a loot dropoff point on the overworld map, all those goodies are yours to keep. But if you die, it’s all gone.

Objectives within the levels themselves range from collecting intel from fallen enemies, to finding missing items, and of course, to big ol’ boss battles. Our demo featured the fierce flying Megabot, which you can see in the gameplay video above. Paladin also teased that some familiar faces may make a return as boss fights.

Alien Hominid Invasion has no set release date. Developer The Behemoth will be launching the game on PC, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch, with the possibility of “other platforms” after that.

Game Release Dates Of March 2020: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, And PC

While the first two months of 2020 have seen a few big-name games hit the market, this year has gotten off to a fairly quiet start, largely due to the spate of delays that were recently announced. That’s all about to change in March, however. This month features a variety of highly anticipated releases for every platform, from the arrival of Animal Crossing: New Horizons to the long-awaited return of the Half-Life series.

Those aren’t the only major titles coming out this month. Nioh 2, the sequel to Team Ninja’s popular Dark Souls-inspired samurai game, will launch on March 13, while Ninja Theory’s PvP brawler, Bleeding Edge, lands on March 24. Capping off the month is Persona 5 Royal, an expanded version of one of 2017’s best games.

That’s only a small taste of this month’s releases. To give you a look at what lays ahead for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch, we’ve rounded up all the biggest games of March 2020 below. For a wider look at the titles still to come this year, be sure to check out our list of game release dates in 2020.

Animal Crossing: New Horizons (Switch) — March 20

Nintendo’s beloved life sim series is making its long-awaited Switch debut on March 20 with the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons. This time around, rather than settling down in a pre-existing village, you’ll be moving to a deserted island, where you’ll be able to build your town from the ground up. That’s not all that’s new in New Horizons; the game features a swathe of quality-of-life improvements, including the ability to terraform your island. It also makes clever use of the Nintendo Switch Online mobile app with a companion service called NookLink, which allows you to scan pattern designs and text chat with other players.

Further reading:

Doom Eternal (PS4, Xbox One, PC) — March 20

Ironically arriving alongside Animal Crossing: New Horizons on March 20 is Doom Eternal, the anticipated sequel to 2016’s critically acclaimed Doom reboot. Like its predecessor, Eternal is an unrelentingly violent shooter that pits you against the forces of Hell, which this time have overtaken the Earth. While the core gameplay remains the same, Doom Eternal introduces a slew of new weapons into the mix, as well as some new traversal options. Rounding out the package is an asymmetrical multiplayer mode called Battlemode, which has one Doom Slayer facing off against two player-controlled demons. Doom Eternal is also coming to Nintendo Switch later this year.

Further reading:

Half-Life: Alyx (PC) — March 23

After more than a decade of dormancy, Valve’s beloved shooter series is finally making a comeback this month with the release of Half-Life: Alyx. Set between the events of the original Half-Life and its sequel, the game follows the eponymous Alyx Vance and her father, Eli, as they’re relocated to City 17 following the Seven-Hour War. Half-Life: Alyx can only be played in VR, but Valve assures it’s a full-fledged Half-Life game, with a campaign approximately as long as Half-Life 2. The game is compatible with a range of VR headsets, including Valve’s Index; if you picked one of those up by the end of last year, you could get Half-Life: Alyx for free.

Further reading:

Full March 2020 Release Schedule

Release Date Game Platforms Pre-Order
March 3 Granblue Fantasy Versus PS4 N/A
March 5 Murder By Numbers Switch, PC (March 6) Eshop
March 6 Pokemon Mystery Dungeon: Rescue Team DX Switch Amazon
March 10 Langrisser I & II PS4, Switch, PC Amazon
March 11 Ori and the Will of the Wisps Xbox One, PC Xbox Marketplace
March 13 My Hero: One’s Justice 2 PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Amazon
March 13 Nioh 2 PS4 Amazon
March 17 MLB The Show 20 PS4 PlayStation Store
March 20 Animal Crossing: New Horizons Switch Amazon
March 20 Doom Eternal PS4, Xbox One, PC Amazon
March 20 Doom 64* PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Eshop
March 23 Half-Life: Alyx PC Steam
March 23 The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel III PC Amazon
March 24 Bleeding Edge Xbox One, PC Xbox Marketplace
March 27 One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC Amazon
March 27 Saints Row IV: Re-Elected Switch Eshop
March 31 Persona 5 Royal PS4 Amazon

*Doom 64 is only available on PS4, Xbox One, and PC as a Doom Eternal pre-order bonus.

Now Playing: The Biggest Games To Play In 2020 And Beyond

Everything To Know About Apex Legends System Override In 3 Minutes

System Override Collection, the next limited-time event for Apex Legends Season 4: Assimilation, begins on March 3. The new event adds plenty of fresh content to the game, though most of it will only be available for a couple of weeks.

In the video above, Jordan Ramée details everything new in System Override Collection. The most noteworthy addition is the new game mode, Deja Loot, but a brand-new heirloom for Octane and new heirloom system are pretty significant too.

If you’re looking for items to unlock, Apex Legends’ collection events are for you, as they all include 24 themed rare, epic, and legendary cosmetics that you can buy. System Override Collection is special, however, as it also follows the same pattern of Grand Soiree Arcade, which means it also has a prize track that allows you to earn a dozen more cosmetics through in-game challenges.

Just remember, you don’t have all the time in the world to unlock the new cosmetics. System Override Collection ends March 17. For the first week, the Deja Loot mode will take place on World’s Edge, while the second week will see the mode transition to Kings Canyon.

Relic Hunters Legend Is If Cartoon Network Made Destiny | PAX East 2020 Gameplay

Relic Hunters Legend is the follow-up to the freeware game Relic Hunters Zero, and this sequel is going all-out on making a Destiny- and Warframe-like experience. At its core, Relic Hunters plays like a top-down twin-stick shooter with different abilities on cooldown to help you take down hordes of enemies, but the game incorporates the loop of earning better gear and some RPG progression. The demo we played here at PAX East showed off some of the story elements from the start of the game, but the video above showcases one of the combat-centric instances that can be played in multiplayer.

The flow of firing away at enemies, throwing magnetic grenades, and using the melee dash kept combat moving and it was necessary to get the hang of it because Relic Hunters can get challenging; the boss fight at the end of the video is an example of that. As you play through Relic Hunters Legend, you’ll be picking up increasingly better weapons and armor and sifting through your gear in a character menu that draws inspiration from Destiny. Developer Rogue Snail also plans on treating Relic Hunters Legend as a service-type game with continual updates and post-release content.

Relic Hunters Legend is said to launch sometime this year for PC. If you want to check out more from the show, be sure to read our collection of games we’ve played at PAX East 2020.

Wolcen: Lords Of Mayhem Review – Choking On Ambition

There’s an air of familiarity to Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem. It’s an action role-playing game with heavy inspiration from Diablo and Path of Exile, from their high-fantasy gothic settings to their destiny-bound protagonists and plethora of abilities to dabble in. Wolcen wears its influences on its sleeve, and while it makes changes to their established foundations, it stumbles so many times along the way that it just feels lost by the end of it.

Wolcen’s opening obscures some of its more novel ideas, with a stale and predictable narrative that makes it feel generic. You play as one of three siblings born and bred for battle, but cast out from the only family you know when an unknown power awakens within you. It’s a plot filled to the brim with exposition, riddled with vaguely explained fantasy jargon and worldbuilding that never clicks into place. It’s easy to forget about entirely after the first few hours, with only the stilted dialogue and awkward cutscenes reminding you of the uninteresting events dressing Wolcen’s main draw.

The setting, however, doesn’t fall prey to the same oppressive medieval look. Gloomy caverns and bright, colorful forests are equally impressive backdrops for the equally outstanding visual details buried within them. The variation across Wolcen’s three acts is impressive too, as it whisks you between the opulent, gold-laden halls of an ancient sacred ground to the blood-drenched trenches of a chaotic battlefield.

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Wolcen’s most substantial twists begin with character creation. Outside of basic cosmetic options, your biggest choice from the outset is what weapon you want to start with. You aren’t asked which role you want to embody or what classic archetype you want to build towards. Wolcen won’t directly ask you that at any point, letting you craft whatever type of class you choose–in theory, at least.

Each weapon you equip changes your basic attack, but you’re free to pair that up with any combination of abilities. Abilities are picked up like loot, letting you learn spells, melee flurries, and ranged barrages and swap between them easily as any other piece of gear. Each of these abilities feeds off of either willpower or rage, which form two halves of the same resource meter. Consuming one generally fills the other, while basic attacks from your selected weapon will typically recharge one or the other in tandem. Your ability to pair together different abilities is restricted by how well they synergize within this tug-of-war between willpower and rage. It’s entirely possible to open a skirmish with spells that build rage, which you then use for abilities that both require it and build willpower in return, letting you seesaw between the two disciplines.

In the early stages I was able to create a mage-warrior combination, slashing foes with a single-handed sword while raining down ice on them with magical abilities. Each attack looks spectacular in motion; bright red glyphs accompany fire spells, with burning embers left in their wake glistening off the dark and dreary caves I found myself exploring the game’s opening hours. As you start layering abilities onto one another the screen is filled with a gorgeous cacophony of colors, not only communicating important information to you visually but coating the surroundings in stunning effects and reactions to the destruction you’re causing.

Wolcen lets you redefine your combat approach at any time, too, which allowed me to eventually skew towards a full mage in the later stages of the campaign. Although there’s a resource cost attached to rebuilding your character’s attributes and selected skills, it’s low enough to facilitate experimentation a handful of times during the campaign. It’s especially handy when your build just isn’t working, letting you start from scratch and build in an entirely new direction if you want.

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You define your character’s attributes by spending points on four talent archetypes–Ferocity for damage, Toughness for health, Agility for speed, and Wisdom for ailment effectiveness. You also have access to a daunting, large skill tree with rotating tiers, allowing you to create paths through it that combine talents from different disciplines. It’s an extraordinary amount of agency that can have you spending hours poring over damage percentages and critical chances, carving out a path for you to follow enroute to your perfect build.

The problem isn’t with the freedom Wolcen affords you, but rather just how broken much of it is. The large skill tree features hundreds of nodes that make incremental differences to your character, but a large portion of them don’t function as described. Abilities that are meant to cohesively work together don’t react in the manner you’ve carefully planned out, making whole builds entirely useless. It’s not only frustrating to waste the time pursuing a dead end, but it also limits the number of viable ways you can create a character entirely.

You’d be forgiven for not noticing this immediately, given how unbalanced Wolcen’s difficulty is. Its three long chapters are mostly padded out with extended linear sections where you’re shuffled from enemy encounter to the next, with each one hardly more challenging than the last. It’s satisfying at first to walk into a large group of enemies and watch them explode into a mess of gory guts, but the power fantasy wears thin when you’re so rarely asked to adjust your strategy to keep up with any semblance of challenge.

A sense of difficulty isn’t entirely absent, though. Each of Wolcen’s chapters features numerous boss fights, most of which increase the difficulty so drastically it often feels like a different game. While you were effortlessly mowing through waves of enemies just seconds before, most boss encounters give you confined spaces to work within and foes that can kill you instantly with single attacks, sending you back to the start of their multi-phased fights. These encounters forced me to entirely rework my character around them specifically, tossing aside strategies that worked just fine moments before. Overcoming these boss fights can be rewarding, with a similar sense of relief to that found in Soulsborne games. But they are continuously jarring to take on, especially when all the action surrounding them doesn’t match up to the same level of difficulty. It makes the long sections between boss fights feel routine and dull in comparison.

Exciting loot drops could alleviate the doldrums of making your way through Wolcen’s long and protracted chapters, but free-form class system means that you will be inundated with scores of weapons, armor pieces, and more that are either too worthless to equip or don’t apply to your playstyle at all. In the same vein as its skills, many of Wolcen’s rarer items also drop with attributes and magical abilities that don’t match the class type they belong to. You can only tell what type of item and what rarity it is at a glance, which can help you skip over many items you don’t consider useful without diving into your inventory. Yet despite this it’s incredibly easy to fill up your limited backpack space far too frequently, forcing you to pause the action constantly to sort it out. All this useless loot makes small excursions to side dungeons less interesting too, and you end up focusing on how repetitive their objectives are and how similar their overall structures start becoming.

All of Wolcen’s shortcomings are further exacerbated by an abundance of technical issues, which can range from irksome to game-breaking.

All of Wolcen’s shortcomings are further exacerbated by an abundance of technical issues, which can range from irksome to game-breaking. In my 20-hour campaign, I had instances where my character would refuse to walk straight, hilariously choosing to moonwalk through stages instead. This was accompanied by numerous instances of missing sound effects, enemies disappearing through level geometry, broken hit boxes preventing me from attacking, and subtitles that frequently mistook my female mage for a male protagonist. These didn’t halt my progress, but various other bugs made the already challenging boss encounters all the more infuriating. The worst of them cropped up during Wolcen’s final climatic encounter, which contains an incredibly easy to trigger bug that prevented me from doing damage to the boss and forcing me to restart the multi-staged fight, ending my time with Wolcen in considerable anger.

This is to say nothing of Wolcen’s online mode, which is kept separate from the single-player one–meaning you have to maintain two separate characters, and there’s no way to transfer your character from one mode to the other. Although online play lets you cooperatively tackle the game with friends, it introduces a whole host of other issues ranging from irritating lag on inputs to disappearing gear and progression wipes.

Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem is frustrating to play for the majority of its campaign, leaving you with little motivation to dedicate more time to endgame events. There are many technical issues that can be fixed to alleviate some of this frustration, but it’s the deeper ingrained problems with difficulty balance and character build viability that keep Wolcen from fulfilling its enticing promise of a free-form ARPG. It has all the elements in place to become another engrossing time sink, but it doesn’t execute well enough on any of them to make it worthwhile.