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The Sims 4: Journey to Batuu impressions: Stay home




The Sims 4 has been out for more than six years. In that time the base game has received 37 pieces of DLC split between expansion packs, game packs, stuff packs, and two free packs. Each type of DLC varies in price and size, with Journey to Batuu being a game pack, which are generally middle of the road in both. The question is, does Journey to Batuu provide players with the same value as other game packs, or is it just trying to cash in on the Star Wars brand?

Pack your bags

Sims 4 Journey to Batuu Review

In The Sims 4, Batuu is a destination players can visit by pulling up their phone and choosing the option to take a vacation. Once they arrive there are three regions to visit: the Resistance Encampment, Black Spire Outpost, and First Order District. Each region is home to one faction and each faction offers several missions to build reputation within that group. As players gain reputation and rank, they will unlock more things to do within that faction’s region and earn rewards to be used both in Batuu or back at home. Players will also encounter iconic characters from the Star Wars universe and, while I’m sure you can guess some of their names, I’ll leave it at that to avoid spoilers.

Once players begin exploring Batuu they’ll be given an introductory mission to learn the ropes. You’ll freshen up, change your wardrobe, and get some food. After that you’ll need to get to know each of the factions and decide which one you want to work with. You can work with two if one is the Scoundrels, but you can’t gain reputation with the First Order and Resistance at the same time for obvious reasons. It’s best to work with one at a time if you wish to experience everything Batuu has to offer.

A working vacation

Before I started with missions, I decided to explore Batuu. I began with the Black Spire Outpost and was underwhelmed. There’s Oga’s Cantina which acts as the only building in the outpost players can enter and walk around in. There are numerous food and shopping options, but these are buildings you simply click on to bring up a menu. You can’t enter and explore them, and each requires a credit unique to Batuu. There’s The Dwelling where players can sleep, freshen up, or deal with their outfit. Unfortunately, this is also handled via pop-up menu; there is no quarters for players to call home while they’re on Batuu.

This extends beyond the Black Spire Outpost. Both the First Order District and Resistance Encampment lack interiors of substance. You can walk around outside and click on buildings, but mostly you’re choosing a menu option. About 90 percent of gameplay in Batuu takes place in the streets of each region, which are not extensive, with the other 10 percent taking place in Oga’s Cantina if a mission takes you there.

The missions themselves are fine, but they suffer greatly from the Batuu location being underrealized. It’s a lot of walking up to panels and clicking on menus, opening crates, or clicking on NPCs and checking an ID or having a conversation. If you’re thinking the missions are on par with the tasks found in the Get to Work expansion, they aren’t. Get to Work has far more depth to it.

Minimum wage

Batuu is not void of the odd cool moment. There are iconic characters to meet as you increase your faction reputation. It was nifty to see the Millennium Falcon parked in the Black Spire Outpost, an X-wing in the Resistance Encampment, and a TIE Echelon in the First Order District, but that’s just eye candy. If you get your reputation maxed out with each faction you can explore each one but, you guessed it, that’s just a menu and a progress bar.

The highlights of my time on Batuu were more about stuff than missions. I enjoyed building a Lightsaber that I could then use to spar with and upgrade my Fitness. Players can build their own Droid and it’s a lot of fun to shock random people in the street or instruct it to break into a crate for you. You can even take your Droid home when you leave Batuu. Lightsabers can also go home with you and you can continue to spar with other Sims who have their own. This action was probably my favorite of the DLC. It was cool to watch my Sim spar with [Redacted] while I was in the Resistance Encampment.

As players level up their reputation with each faction, they’ll also unlock new clothing items and other goodies. It wasn’t long before I was walking around Oga’s Cantina as a Stormtrooper, and I’m sure I’ll find a reason to wear that outfit when I head back to the real Sims world. Still, it’s not enough.

The holiday is ruined

Even with a few cool moments scattered throughout my time in Batuu, there’s just not enough there for me. It’s a game pack, the same as Outdoor Retreat. Both packs require you to go on vacation, but it’s hard to fathom how Outdoor Retreat, a DLC that came out more than five years ago, can be more fleshed out than Journey to Batuu. How is it I can rent a cabin to stay in while visiting Granite Falls, but I don’t have so much as a tiny living quarters when I visit Batuu? How is there the Forgotten Grotto in Oasis Springs for me to explore, but when I explore the Batuu Caves in the Resistance Encampment it’s by clicking on a menu option, then checking work emails while I wait for a progress bar to finish?

When Journey to Batuu was announced there was a lot of backlash from fans about how nobody wanted this. Players wanted bunkbeds and other base game quality-of-life improvements. I’m not against Star Wars making its way to The Sims 4. We’ve got Vampires and Realm of Magic game packs that push past reality, so Star Wars isn’t out of place. My problem is this is the 10th game pack since release, and I struggle to think of one more poorly realized than Journey to Batuu. Players needed a reason to change their tune on Star Wars content in The Sims 4, but all they’re getting are Lightsabers, cool outfits, and a reason to say, “We told you so.”

These impressions are based on a PC download code provided by the publisher. The Sims 4: Journey to Batuu will be avaiable on September 8, 2020.

Bill, who is also known as Rumpo, is a lifelong gamer and Toronto Maple Leafs fan. He is known for his guide writing and, unsettlingly enough, enjoys grinding out in-depth collectible articles. Tweet him @RumpoPlays if you have a question or comment about one of his guides.



‘Cyberpunk 2077’ won’t require a high-end gaming rig




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Cyberpunk 2077
CD Projekt Red

In the latest edition of Night City Wire, CD Projekt Red revealed the minimum and recommended PC specs for Cyberpunk 2077. The good news is you won’t need a high-end gaming rig for it to run decently — so don’t worry too much if you missed out on the first batch of GeForce RTX 3080 GPUs this week.

On the CPU end, you’ll need at least an Intel Core i5-3570K or an AMD FX-8310. On the graphics front, the game will require a minimum of an NVIDIA GTX 780 3GB or an AMD Radeon RX 470. If you want to see Cyberpunk 2077’s digital version of Keanu Reeves in his full glory, the recommended specs jump up to at least a Core i7-4790 or Ryzen 3 3200G processor and a GTX 1060 6GB or Radeon R9 Fury GPU.

You’ll need at least 8GB of memory (12GB is recommended) and 70GB of free storage space. Cyberpunk 2077 will run on the 64-bit version of Windows 7, but Windows 10 is recommended. It also requires DirectX 12.

Those aren’t super demanding specs, and most recent mid-range gaming PCs and laptops should be able to handle the action RPG well enough. You’ll be able to find out just how well when CD Projekt Red releases Cyberpunk 2077, at long last, on November 19th. It’ll be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on that date, and it’ll hit Stadia before the end of the year as well.

You’ll be able to play it on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S through backwards compatibility. Versions optimized for those consoles will arrive next year, and you’ll be able to upgrade for free if you buy Cyberpunk 2077 on PS4 or Xbox One.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.







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Evening Reading – September 17, 2020




Good evening Shacknews, it’s Thursday night in America, you’re all so close to the weekend. You can do it. Only Friday to go, and Friday’s are already kind of a weekend. Have you all recovered from trying to pre-order your PS5s yet? What a mess that all was and continues to be. Let’s take a moment to forget about how many times we’ve refreshed our carts and spend some time clicking links!

In case you missed it at Shacknews:

That damn helicopter robot made me laugh so damn much. Look how stupid it looks. I love it and I need it. Must protect at all costs.

And now… Other Stuff From The Internet!!!


“But, my liberties” they cry, as the ventilator is applied. It boggles the mind to think of the mental gymnastics some people perform to convince themselves that wearing a mask infringes on their rights. 

Can I see your qualifications, please?

As I suspected, you have none.

Doomscrolling time

Look at all these people in the comments who totally had a subscription but are now choosing to cancel.

Geometry Wars is the real GOAT

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was a must-have title. A game so simple and yet so addictive. Even Retro Evolved 2 was pretty great, and 2014’s third major entry in the series, Dimensions, added more depth to the game. While we know what happened to Bizarre Creations, whatever happened to Lucid Games creating more sequels?

Have you played it?

Among Us is gaining a lot of traction. People seem to really dig it. Maybe it’s time to get together and play it?

Friendly dog looking for good home

Far out, that’s a terrifying looking dog. It’s giving off some real Pet Sematary vibes.

Survival of the fittest starts young

Gotta get those kids training so that they’re the fittest.. Hamsters? Guinea pigs? Gerbils?

Meownster Hunter

Here’s a lovely photo of Blake’s kitty cat, Beemo. Not hunting monsters at the moment.

There you have it, Shacknews, your Evening Reading for September 17, 2020. Please consider subscribing to Shacknews Mercury to support our site for as little as $1/month. 

Here’s a picture of Rad, on my lap, taking a selfie. He’s a good boy.

What are you up to tonight? Let us know in the Shacknews Chatty comment thread below.

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he’s found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There’s nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 


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Let’s talk about This Week at Bungie – September 17, 2020




We’re coming up on the last few weeks before Destiny 2: Beyond Light finally releases. As part of Bungie’s ongoing feeding of precious information into our mouths and brains, we’re taking a look at some changes coming to Ghosts in Beyond Light, as discussed in the latest TWAB.

This Week at Bungie – September 17, 2020

The biggest takeaway from This Week at Bungie this week is the changes coming to Ghosts with Beyond Light. Players will be pleased to hear Ghosts are no longer going to be used solely as a means to summon a Sparrow or swapped out for the planetary farming you require. Ghosts will now feature a slew of valuable mod slots and energy with which to use them.

destiny 2 ghost changes mods

Mina Jasinksi, a designer at Bungie, gave players an insight into what they can expect from their Nolan North friend when Beyond Light drops in November. Here are the SparkNotes-like bullet points:

  • Ghost Shells will now have energy levels and access to mods with various energy costs instead of being pre-loaded with specific perks.
  • This treatment has been applied to all Ghosts outside of the Generalist Shell, so you can use your favorite Ghost Shells, regardless of tier.
  • A selection of mods will be available on all Ghost Shells by default, while the remaining ones will be obtainable via various gameplay sources. Information on where to find these mods can be learned from Collections.
  • Ghost mods will be obtained from gameplay reward loops and will not be purchasable from Eververse.
  • Ghosts now have four mod slots. Three are unlocked by default, and the fourth is unlocked by Masterworking the Ghost Shell.

Each Ghost will now feature four separate mod slots broken up into Experience, Tracking, Economic, and Activity. Players will need to Masterwork a Ghost in order to access the Activity mod slot.

destiny 2 ghost mods

Most of the old Ghost perks have been brought forward with some combining into a single mod. Take, for example, the destination-specific perks. These perks will now be “globally effective” meaning no longer switching out Ghosts if you’re taking a jaunt to the Moon after the EDZ. This change will be reflected in a higher energy cost.

Jasinksi was also quick to get in and settle any minds that were beginning to think of play-to-win possibilities:

You’ll be able to select your favorite Ghost Shell based on appearance without any detriment to your experience. Whether you purchase a Ghost Shell from Eververse, earn it from the newest raid or pull an old favorite out of Collections, your Ghost will have access to all the same mods across your account.

The changes to Ghosts will certainly help players hone their builds even further. With this change, it looks like Destiny is finally rediscovering its RPG roots, especially after what we’ve seen in the Stasis subclass reveals (Warlock, Titan, and Hunter).

This Week at Bungie also draws attention to a memorial that will take place in-game. In honor of Matt Helsom, a friend of Bungie’s from Vicarious Visons who passed away last year, there will be a short quest on Mars for players to experience. Players will be able to find a message in the Director that will set them on their way.

destiny 2 xbox game pass

There is also some news regarding Destiny 2 coming to Xbox Game Pass. On September 22 at 8:00 a.m. PT, Destiny 2 will make its way to Microsoft’s Netflix-like game service. For the first two hours, players from that service won’t be able to access Forsaken or Shadowkeep until Hotfix goes live at 10:00 a.m. PT.

The Destiny 2 servers will be offline during this window anyway, so it’s not really going to affect many people for long.

Aside from a mention that Triple Infamy will be active next week, that about wraps up the critical information from This Week at Bungie for September 17. You can read all the other bits and piece on the blog and remember to swing by the Shacknews Destiny 2 guide, it’s where we keep our collection of god-roll Destiny 2 content.

Hailing from the land down under, Sam Chandler is relatively new to the industry, getting his start a few years ago as a writer-for-hire. After bouncing round a few universities, securing a bachelor degree, and finding his feet, he’s found his new family here at Shacknews as a Guides Editor. There’s nothing he loves more than crafting a guide that will help someone. If you need help with a guide, or notice something not quite right, you can Tweet him: @SamuelChandler 


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