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The best horde mode zombie shooter is free to play this weekend on Steam and PS4

24 Mar

There is no excuse not to check out Killing Floor 2 this weekend.

Killing Floor 2, the zombie shooter from Tripwire, is celebrating the release of new content with a free weekend and a big sale. From now until March 28, the game will be free to play on both Steam, as well as PS4 for the first time ever.

The free trial can be downloaded in any region, or from Steam if you’re on PC. It offers unrestricted access to the content. The game is also on sale both on the PlayStation Store, as well as Steam for 33% off and 50% off respectively.

Earlier this week, the game received a big content update titled The Descent, bringing two new maps and weapons. This is Killing Floor 2’s second free update this year, after Tropical Bash in January.

I named Killing Floor 2 one of the best shooters of 2016, a no-fuss zombie shooter that focuses on pure, satisfying mechanics above all else.

Watch the trailer above for the latest content update if you’re unfamiliar with the beautiful carnage of Killing Floor. The game supports six players in co-op, or 12 in the Versus mode.

The best horde mode zombie shooter is free to play this weekend on Steam and PS4

24 Mar

There is no excuse not to check out Killing Floor 2 this weekend.

Killing Floor 2, the zombie shooter from Tripwire, is celebrating the release of new content with a free weekend and a big sale. From now until March 28, the game will be free to play on both Steam, as well as PS4 for the first time ever.

The free trial can be downloaded in any region, or from Steam if you’re on PC. It offers unrestricted access to the content. The game is also on sale both on the PlayStation Store, as well as Steam for 33% off and 50% off respectively.

Earlier this week, the game received a big content update titled The Descent, bringing two new maps and weapons. This is Killing Floor 2’s second free update this year, after Tropical Bash in January.

I named Killing Floor 2 one of the best shooters of 2016, a no-fuss zombie shooter that focuses on pure, satisfying mechanics above all else.

Watch the trailer above for the latest content update if you’re unfamiliar with the beautiful carnage of Killing Floor. The game supports six players in co-op, or 12 in the Versus mode.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition launch trailer reminded us of how satisfying it was to pull off those skillshots

24 Mar

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition’s skillshots still look amazing, 4K or not.

Gearbox and People Can Fly have released the launch trailer for Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, the remastered and expanded re-release of the six-year-old shooter.

On top of the enhanced visuals, improved frame-rate and 4K support for PC and PS4 Pro, Full Clip Edition comes with a couple of different bits of new content, including all add-ons from the original.

Six new Echo maps have been added, bringing the total to 30. Echo is a challenge mode that tracks your high score and puts it on a global leaderboard. Completing the campaign unlocks Overkill mode, which increases the difficulty and provides unrestricted access to areas, weapons and skillshots.

The game also has a four-player co-op horde mode with 20 waves, playable across 12 maps. Finally, if you pre-order, you get to play as Duke Nukem for the entire campaign, complete with new dialogue.

Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition is out April 7 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Let’s see if the new weapon variants in Battlefield 1 are any good

24 Mar

What about those new Battlefield 1 weapon variants? Are they worth the grind?

Battlefield 1 now has four new weapon variants for all four of the level ten class weapons. All of them are currently in the hands of the CTE testers, so it’s time to hear their thoughts.

Our Battlefield expert Westie has naturally been playing with all of them, and in the video, he offers his opinion on whether or not they bring something new to table, and if we’re going to see used by players once they hit the live game.

The biggest thing to note here is that three of the four come with bipods, emphasising a stationary play style. While you can use them on the move, they work best when deployed.

Generally speaking, Westie is pretty positive on the new additions. I won’t spoil his impressions for you, so watch the video, even if you’re just looking for gameplay footage of the new toys.

Street Fighter 5 free to play next week on Steam, CFN being overhauled

24 Mar

Changes are coming to Street Fighter 5, and Capcom is giving everyone a chance to give them a go next week.

street fighter 5 Kolin

Capcom has announced that some big changes are coming to Street Fighter 5, particularly to the Capcom Fighters Network (CFN).

The publisher said it’s been working hard to address connectivity issues players have been running into since launch, and has now completely rebuilt the CFN for a better online experience.

In order to test it out, Capcom is making Street Fighter 5 free to play on Steam from March 28 to April 3. The beta client will be separate from the main game, and will only include access to the game’s online modes.

Existing players’ CFN username and other stats will carry over to the beta, whereas new players will get to create CFN logins. All of the game’s fighters will be unlocked, including post-launch characters. Anything earned during the beta, as well as stats recorded, will be wiped after April 3.

This build will also come with the season 2 balance adjustments, which is good news for competitive players. Capcom detailed a list of improvements players should see with the new CFN, check out the full thing at the link.

The beta kicks off, only on Steam, at 1pm PT, 4pm ET, 8pm GMT on Tuesday, March 28. It wraps up at 12pm PT, 3pm ET, 7pm GMT on Monday, April 3.

Outlast 2 will be released in Australia after all

24 Mar

Australians will get to play Outlast 2 like everybody else.

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Outlast 2 has been successfully classified by the country’s rating board. The game received a R18+ rating, after it was refused classification for the same rating last week.

The game now has its own page on the rating board’s website, and will be released April 26, one day after the North American release date. Usually, when a game receives a rating after reevaluation, it would do so only after edits were made.

In the case of Outlast 2, developer Red Barrels did not say if changes were made. “There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide,” the studio said in a statement to Press Start.

Later, the Australian Classification Board told IGN that it will not provide a report on its decision until March 25, at the request of the game’s local distributor.

The board is “satisfied that the original version of the game that was refused classification has been modified to allow the game to be classified R18+.”

Outlast 2 is out on PC, PS4, and Xbox One beginning March 25.

For Honor patch 1.04 released, here’s what it does

24 Mar

For Honor’s latest patch does a bit of housekeeping, and fixes a bug introduced with the previous patch.

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For Honor has a new patch available, version 1.04. The update was released yesterday on PC, PS4, and Xbox One following server maintenance.

1.04 doesn’t bring many changes, but it does have a fix for the Conqueror glitch the previous patch introduced. Ubisoft also said the update includes fixes to improve match stability.

Find the full notes below:

General (all platforms):

  • Various bug fixes to improve performance and match stability.
  • Addressed the Conqueror graphical glitch introduced in the last Live Update as part of our ongoing session stability fixes.

Xbox One specific

  • Added functionality to enable/disable invites.
  • A player that is in a state that cannot be joined (Story Mode, Practicing, Loading Screens) will not be able to send invites
  • Game invite options will no longer be greyed out if there’s a free slot

In other For Honor news, the game recently came under fire after players calculated it would take years to earn enough Steel to be able to afford everything in the in-game store without paying money, which prompted the developer to respond.

Unfortunately, the response only helped fuel the fire. Server issues are still being reported by players to this day, which also isn’t helping the game’s case.

Overwatch update 2.08 brings back Capture the Flag, out now on PS4 and Xbox One

24 Mar

One more Overwatch update before the weekend.

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Blizzard has released a new Overwatch patch on PS4 and Xbox One. This is a small patch, meant as a follow up to update 1.9, the big one released earlier this week.

The new update, version 2.08, readjusts Orisa by slowing down her movement speed when firing, and brings back Capture the Flag mode. See the full patch notes below:

General

  • [PS4] Capture the Flag maps and mode have been reactivated

Bug fixes

  • PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented background music from playing
  • [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented the Damage Amplified value from being displayed correctly
  • [PS4/XB1] Orisa’s movement now slows slightly while firing in midair

Here’s what Blizzard had to say about the Orisa change: “Much like D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Orisa’s Fusion Driver is intended to slow her movement while she is firing. However, unlike D.Va, there was an issue that prevented this slow from working while firing from the air.”

There is no similar update on PC since some of what it brings is already available there.

Destiny: Xur location and inventory for March 24, 25

24 Mar

Come see if Xur’s inventory is worth getting excited about this week.

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Xur: Agent of the Nine, the Exotics vendor in Destiny, has returned to hopefully tempt you with a new batch of gear and weapons. Xur takes Strange Coins, so make sure you’re loaded up on those before checking out his stack.

Xur has been spotted by the large door near the Speaker. You have until 9am GMT on Sunday, March 26 to grab what you want.

Take a look at what he’s got this weekend below:

If you’re considering Thunderlord, you should definitely get it. It’s not unmatched, but it remains a pretty good choice.

Next week with the release of the Age of Triumph update, Xur’s inventory could look different. For now, the usual four items take the spot.

Former BioWare animator explains why animations in Mass Effect: Andromeda are the way they are

24 Mar

To really understand why facial animations in Mass Effect: Andromeda are of a lower-than-expected quality, you need to take a few things into consideration.

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It’s no secret that many of the animations in Mass Effect: Andromeda are sub-par. Though people turned the worst ones into memes, nobody actually had any idea why they turned out the way they did.

That’s because most people are not animators working for game studios. Which is why this Twitter thread from Jonathan Cooper, an animator for Uncharted 4 developer Naughty Dog who previously worked on Mass Effect and Mass Effect 2, is worth your attention. Right off the bat, Cooper said that comparing animations in scripted games like Uncharted with what you get in a big RPG is unfair.

This quantity over quality approach necessitates that “designers, not animators” sequence pre-created animations “like DJs with samples and tracks.” Cooper then shared an example of the cinematic tools used for Dragon Age: Inquisition and The Witcher 3. Although different, they both allow designers to assemble animations in the scene from a pool of pre-made ones.

When you consider the amount of content a game like Andromeda has, even allowing designers to use this method for scene creation will take too much time. So what happens, according to Cooper, is that all dialogues are split into tiers based on importance and likelihood of the player seeing them. This is possibly the reason story scenes look more polished than some random conversation with a quest giver.

According to Cooper, what’s likely responsible for the state of the animations in the final game, and why the algorithm quality was lowered, is perhaps because BioWare planned to hit every line by hand, which would have taken enormous amounts of time.

Cooper added that part of why fans have received Andromeda’s animations so poorly is because they’re more discerning, which in turn makes developers’ jobs more difficult.

Hit the link above for the full thread. While this may not improve your time with the game, it’s definitely an eyeopener, providing a perspective we rarely get.

This Absolver gameplay footage may be the most interesting thing you watch today

23 Mar

It’s time to take a good look at Absolver, one of the most interesting games coming this year.

Absolver, the action MMO from Sloclap and Devolver, has such an obvious premise you wonder why no one else thought of it before. The answer is, probably, because it’d be really hard to execute.

Absolver’s pitch is that it’s a melee-focused MMO. It has a lot in common with fighting games in that you can chain attacks together, block or parry them. Only in this case, they’re all based on actual martial arts moves. You learn new moves by fighting other players or NPCs who know these moves and can teach you.

In the video above, via IGN, we get a decently long demo of many of the game’s system, offering the most comprehensive yet look at some of its core mechanics. Absolver’s simple art style gives way to the incredibly punchy combat system, which looks very approachable and easy to read.

The footage goes on to show what stances are and how each player will be able to customise their moves within each stance. We also get a brief look at gear and the many underlying systems that make up this very interesting brawler.

Absolver is out sometime this year.

Leaked Destiny 2 poster reveals September release date, pre-launch beta

23 Mar

We may have our first look at promo art for Destiny 2.

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Leaked Destiny 2 posters and artwork have popped up online, revealing a September 8 release date. The poster, likely originating from an Italian Retailer, was posted on NeoGAF.

It mentions the release date at the top, as well as confirm that a beta will take place. The full sentence is cut off, but it probably refers to the beta as a pre-order bonus. Either that or pre-ordering gets you early access to the beta.

Here it is:

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Since then, Italian website League Network posted two other posters, sporting the same artwork. They’re watermarked, so we won’t include them here, but you can hit the link to see them.

Sadly, other than offer a different angle, they don’t reveal much else. That said, it’s worth pointing out that the poster header carries the same PlayStation blue accent seen around game covers whose publisher has a marketing deal with Sony. This was the case for the original Destiny and its expansions, and looks like it will continue with the sequel.

Bungie recently said that the next game will be such a big leap forward most of what you gathered in the three years of Destiny will not carry forward.

Destiny 2 has long be rumoured to be built on a new engine, with a PC version reportedly also in the works. At the time, some reports predicted the game would miss its usual September slot. At least for the time being, this appears to not be true.

Battlefield 1 – watch gameplay of the four new weapon variants

23 Mar

You can already tell some of the new weapon variants in Battlefield 1 will be favoured by many.

Earlier this week, DICE revealed four new Battlefield 1 weapon variants. Each of them is designed to make certain weapons more viable, or add nuance to already effective options.

The four variants hit the game’s CTE recently, all available for the those at class rank 10 and beyond with each of the four main classes.

In the video above, YouTuber DANNYonPC shows off footage of the Hellriegel 1915 Defensive, Selbstlader 1906 Sniper, Huot Automatic Optical, and the Martini-Henry Sniper. Reaching rank 10 is not enough, though, as you’ll still need to fulfil the unlock requirements for each of them.

The Selbstlader 1906 Sniper in particular looks like it could make the weapon more desirable, which it is definitely not at this stage. The Martini-Henry, on the other hand, may lead to another nerf for the powerful rifle.

DICE has yet to reveal when the four new variants will hit the live game.

The new Overwatch player reporting system is exactly what the game needed

23 Mar

Overwatch is setting an example once again. This time, it’s for something as simple as implementing competent anti-abuse measures.

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If you frequent the Overwatch sub-Reddit, or any forum that regularly discuses the game, you will have no doubt ran into many reports of players getting abused by others during matches, especially in Competitive Play.

The reasons for such offensive comments can be as small as someone not agreeing with your character pick, to people straight up losing it every time they hear a feminine voice. Like many games, Overwatch does include a report feature that’s about as typical as you’d expect.

Unfortunately, despite Blizzard repeatedly reassuring players that reports get investigated, the reporting tools just weren’t up to snuff for a game as complex as Overwatch. This often lead to people using the report button for things it wasn’t designed to do.

Good news! It looks like this is about to change. The game’s PTR currently has an overhauled player reporting system. This system is already a huge improvement for a couple of reasons.

As you can see in the GIF above via Redditor Arsenal2454, there are now seven, very distinct reasons for reporting a player.

You have spam, abusive chat, cheating, griefing, inactivity, bad Battletag (username), and poor teamwork. Whenever you go to report a player, you will be able to tell Blizzard exactly why you think they should be punished.

The other reason this system is very promising is that it gives a clear explanation of the type of actions each category covers, and what it does not. For instance, you can report a player for poor teamwork if they’re not pushing the objective, not when they pick a hero you don’t think is appropriate for the mode.

Hopefully, Blizzard will act on the reports received and all players will get to enjoy a less toxic environment.

All the Mass Effect: Andromeda romance scenes we’ve come across so far

22 Mar

The culmination of all the flirting in Mass Effect: Andromeda.

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Romancing love interests has always been an integral part of roleplay in Mass Effect, and Mass Effect: Andromeda is no different.

Depending on whether you choose to play as Scott or Sara Ryder, your available romance options will vary. This, in turn, affects the romance scenes you’re going to get in the game.

We’re going to list all the in-game scenes for both male and female Ryder as we come across them. Here’s what we have so far:

Some of these videos contain minor spoilers, not mention they’re probably NSFW.

Scott Ryder

Cora

Vetra

Peebee

Gil

Reyes (story spoilers)

Sara Ryder

Peebee

Liam

Jaal

Suvi

We’ll update the story with more videos as they appear. For now, you should definitely take a look at our updated romance guide. All you need is there, including how not to lock yourself out of certain romancing certain people.

GOG Galaxy’s biggest update yet puts Steam, Origin, Uplay etc to shame

22 Mar

GOG Galaxy is coming out of beta soon, with a host of features we wish other clients will copy.

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GOG Galaxy, the optional client offered by DRM-free store GOG.com, is leaving beta in April. If you’re currently using the app, however, you will be getting the upgrade to patch 1.2 today.

Patch 1.2 comes with a number of key features, some of which compete with the likes of Steam and Origin. The biggest one, though, benefits players of the classic games GOG specialises in selling.

The feature is cloud saves, something Galaxy will offer to any game on the platform, regardless of whether or not the game naively support it. Classics such as Planescape: Torment, or Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines will benefit from this the most. What’s more, cloud saves can later be downloaded without the need for Galaxy to be installed.

Another major feature going live with 1.2 brings users the ability to customise Galaxy’s own features to their liking, turning what they want off and on as needed. GOG says this prevents bloating the client for those who don’t require advanced features.

Behind-the-scenes improvements include a hibernate mode that drops CPU usage when playing a game and a decrease in battery life usage when the client is idling. Other additions include a bandwidth limiter, fps counter, screenshot capturing, achievement rarity, in-game overlay, download scheduling and more.

Visit the official Galaxy page for more, or to download it. Unlike Steam, you can completely ignore it and continue downloading your GOG games from the website.

Battlefield 1 is getting 4 new weapon variants for the 4 main classes

22 Mar

DICE is currently testing four new weapon variants in the Battlefield 1 CTE, to be later added to the live game.

DICE has made a surprise move recently by making four new weapon variants available on the Battlefield 1 CTE servers. The variants offer a different take on each of the four level ten class weapons.

The new variants come with unlock requirements, too, similar to DLC weapons in the They Shall Not Pass expansion. In the video above, Westie offers his take on why, for at least three of them, the variants bring big changes.

Let’s go over the new variants and their unlock requirements as they currently stand in the CTE:

Assault – Hellriegel 1915 Defensive

This variant comes with a 120-round drum magazine and a bipod. It offers more rounds in the magazine, and it’s deigned for stationary use. To unlock it, you need to get 300 kills with the Hellriegel 1915 Factory, and 25 kills with AT Mines.

Medic – Selbstlader 1906 Sniper

This version of the Selbstlader 1906 comes with a sniper scope and a bipod. It offers increased range for an already accurate weapon. You need 300 kills with the Factory variant, and 25 kills with rifle grenades to unlock it.

Support – Huot Automatic Optical

This variant includes improved sights and a foregrip. It’s designed for on-the-move combat and offers greater control over recoil. To unlock it, you’ll need 300 kills with the Low Weight variant, and 25 kills with Limpet Charges.

Scout – Martini-Henry Sniper

The already very powerful Martini-Henry gets a sniper variant with a long-range scope and a bipod. As you’d expect, this could make the weapon more effective at further ranges, if for nothing else than replacing the iron sights. You need 300 kills with the Infantry variant, and 25 kills with the bayonet charge.

Obviously, you need to reach level ten for each weapon’s respective class, since all unlock requirements are tied to the level 10 class weapons.

Daytona USA and two more games added to Xbox One backwards compatibility

22 Mar

Daytona USA is now backwards compatible on Xbox One.

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Microsoft has added three new games to the list of Xbox 360 games backwards compatible on Xbox One. Major Nelson revealed them to be Daytona USA, Stacking, and Tower Bloxx Deluxe.

As always, if you already own these games on Xbox 360, they will show up in the Ready-to-Install section of your library. If not, you can purchase them from either your console or the Xbox Store website.

Daytona USA is priced $10, Stacking will run you $15, and Tower Bloxx Deluxe is $10.

Major Diablo 3 patch 2.5.0 out now, adds new features, items, quality-of-life changes

22 Mar

Diablo 3’s long-awaited 2.5.0 patch has been released on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Blizzard has deployed patch 2.5.0 for Diablo 3 across PC and consoles. The patch is among the game’s most feature-packed, bringing a number of big improvements and changes.

The two biggest features are the Armory, and the crafting material storage. The Armory allows you to save up to five different builds per character. Each build will keep track of everything it includes, such as as socketed gems, skills, as well as Kanai’s Cube powers. The Armory can be found at the different town hubs.

What’s more, when you equip any of your saved builds, the game will automatically swap the necessary gear and items between the character stash and the inventory.

The crafting mat storage is basically a one-stop storage for any of the crafting materials you obtain. This frees up space in the shared stash by automatically assigning them to a separate menu.

There’s also a new item type called Primal Ancients for players who finished their Season journey, and managed to find all the gear needed for their build. Blizzard says these items give high-level players something to work towards. Primal Ancients are also available for regular characters gaining Paragon levels.

In short, Primal Ancients are items guaranteed to come with Ancient-level stats, and the maximum number of sockets. They can only be found after reaching Greater Rift 70 solo with at least one of your characters.

The patch notes include changes to Adventure Mode, some quality of life fixes, and more. Hit the link for the rest. Patch 2.5.0 also brings Seasons to consoles, though the first console Season won’t start until March 31.

For now, you can spend the time getting acquainted with the new features and learning all the Season tricks you can from the PC players who’ve been at it for a while.

No Man’s Sky patch 1.23 improves frame-rate on PS4 Pro, adds option to lock or unlock the frame-rate

22 Mar

No Man’s Sky continues to get improvements, and this time the additions benefit the PS4 version.

The recent No Man’s Sky patch, dubbed the Path Finder update, brought PS4 Pro and 4K support, but it wasn’t without its issues.

Which is why the new patch, version 1.23, is good news to players on Sony’s console. First of all, the patch improved the frame-rate on PS4 Pro when running in 4K mode. Players of the PS4 version, even on the base console, can now also lock or unlock the frame-rate.

Digital Foundry spent some time with the new patch and concluded that up to 5fps have been added to the 4K mode on PS4 Pro, making the frame-rate much more consistent at 30fps when locked. For HDTV owners, the 1080p mode produces “flawless” 60fps.

As far as unlocking the frame-rate on the base model, the site found that some sections of the game actually ran at 60fps. On planet surface, performance drops to 30fps at the lowest point, but generally manages 30-50fps. In this case, the report recommends capping the frame-rate rather than suffering the drops.

Patch 1.23 also came out on PC, bringing some general fixes for many of the bugs introduced recently.