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Destiny 2 reveal trailer coming later this week on March 30 – here’s a teaser

28 Mar

As if the Destiny 2 hype wasn’t slowing building enough already, a fun little teaser video has been released by Bungie.

Bungie said to expect the reveal trailer to land this Thursday, March 30 at 10AM PT / 6PM BST.

Until then, watch the teaser. Cayde-6 (Nathan Fillion) should probably get out of Last City while he still can, we reckon.

With Destiny 2 said to arrive sometime in September, it’s only fitting more bite-sized morsels would be fed to the masses. It’s only five months away or so, after all. But a reveal trailer is really something.

The news follows a teaser image from Bungie which was announced in an official capacity earlier this week. The tease from Bungie followed platform leaks suggesting the MMO shooter would also arrive on PC, if German retailers are to be believed.

Rumors of a PC release aside, the latest leak corroborated those from last week, stating folks will be able to participate in a Destiny 2 beta as a pre-order bonus. Yesterday’s leak was for Xbox One, whereas the previous was for PS4.

It’s likely owners of Sony’s console will be handed early access to the beta before other platform owners get their chance.

Until Destiny 2 is completely revealed by Bungie and Activision, mark everything you see or hear as a rumor. For now, just enjoy Age of Triumph in Destiny 1.

It’s the last live update to the game, and will hopefully be a fitting tribute to everything your Guardian has accomplished.

This is what your new Lara Croft looks like

28 Mar

The Tomb Raider film is being shot right now, and here’s a peek at the new Lara Croft.

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Oscar winner Alicia Vikander is playing Lara Croft in 2018’s cinematic reboot, and here’s a first look at her in the role.

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The synopsis describes Lara as “the fiercely independent daughter of an eccentric adventurer who vanished when she was scarcely a teen.”

“Now a young woman of 21 without any real focus or purpose, Lara navigates the chaotic streets of trendy East London as a bike courier, barely making the rent, and takes college courses, rarely making it to class. Determined to forge her own path, she refuses to take the reins of her father’s global empire just as staunchly as she rejects the idea that he’s truly gone.”

“Advised to face the facts and move forward after seven years without him, even Lara can’t understand what drives her to finally solve the puzzle of his mysterious death.Going explicitly against his final wishes, she leaves everything she knows behind in search of her dad’s last-known destination: a fabled tomb on a mythical island that might be somewhere off the coast of Japan.

“But her mission will not be an easy one; just reaching the island will be extremely treacherous. Suddenly, the stakes couldn’t be higher for Lara, who—against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith and inherently stubborn spirit—must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown. If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.”

Talking to GQ, director Roar Uthaug describes how this video game adaptation draws on the entire Tomb Raider canon, and “not only highlights her incredible physical accomplishments but delves deeper into her humanity.”

The film is more along the lines of Crystal Dynamics’ reboot, with Lara starting out on her journey towards becoming the Tomb Raider we’ve become so well-acquainted with.

“That game was certainly part of what inspired our film. I think fans will be delighted to discover many touchstones from the game throughout the story.

“At the same time, this is not the kind of video game adaptation you often see, with a lot of CGI and effects. Our movie takes a more realistic, grounded approach. Lara Croft is a hero and a champion but she is not a superhero. She is very much human, and we see her deal with that humanity in many ways.”

What are your thoughts? Do you have high hopes for the film? Let us know in the comments.

Now that Destiny 2 has been announced this weekend’s PC build, pre-order bonus and Xbox One beta rumours are more interesting

28 Mar

Destiny 2 is all we care about today, apparently. What a shocking twist for VG247 dot com.

Many Destiny 2 rumours dropped this weekend, suspiciously close to Destiny 2’s official announcement, and Arekkz has rounded them all up.

First up, Italian website Lega Network posted a now-retracted article supposedly showing an image from an Italian Facebook page dedicated to Destiny 2. We don’t know if the Facebook page itself was official and posted early, or if i’s a fan page that got hold of something from a retail employee – or if perhaps the whole thing was complete bollocks from start to finish, so this one comes with a recommendation to add salt.

According to this source, pre-orders will net access to a Destiny 2 beta, and GameStop customers will also get a Cayde-6 action figure. Let’s hope that means the fan-favourite Hunter Vanguard will survive the destruction of the Last City in Destiny 2 – if any of this is legit.

Second, an image of a supposed Xbox One Destiny 2 poster did the rounds on social networks; here it is on Imgur, unfortunately without credit. It looks very much like the Destiny 2 posters that leaked last week, which of course may mean it’s a PhotoShop job or that both leaks are genuine. Similarly, the dodgy quality could be covering up a fake, or a result of a retail employee having to be very sneaky. Isn’t this fun? (Eurogamer‘s sources say the original poster leak was legit, if that helps you make up your mind.)

Anyway, according to this second, potentially also completely rubbish source, there will be a Destiny 2 beta for Xbox One players, too. We’d still expect to see PS4 players get early access like the first Destiny beta (Sony would have to woo Activision pretty hard to break up that little love-in) but with any luck, this one turns out to be true and the green team won’t miss out completely.

The third one comes from Sensnowy on Twitter; the German streamer was able to pre-order Destiny 2 on PC in a GameStop, and had the receipt to prove it. Of course, you could fake that, and it’s not like retailers don’t ever make mistakes (or just willingly offer pre-orders on speculative titles), but coming from a reasonably well-known name it’s pretty compelling and offers extra weight to the rumours Destiny 2 will come to PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

The receipt also suggests there’ll be a limited edition of Destiny 2, which is not at all surprising. Since we’ve seen Destiny console bundles in the past, you might look for a specially branded Destiny 2 PS4 Pro.

Finally, German retailer Instant Games is openly taking PC pre-orders, too, and again, while retailers often offer pre-orders on imaginary items, European retailers do have a tendency to just go ahead and reveal stuff American and UK chains stay tight-lipped about. (You can sometimes just wander into shops and buy games before release date, too; it’s very relaxing.) The description on the site mentions that details are unconfirmed, though, so we can probably write this one off.

None of any of this is super solid, but surely a full Destiny 2 reveal – complete with retailer pre-order push – is right around the corner. Destiny 2 is expected in September this year, after all.

PS4 Pro Media Player update drops tomorrow, adds 4K video support

27 Mar

PS4 Pro owners get a fancy update tomorrow.

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PS4 Pro owners are getting a Media Player update tomorrow that will let the app support 4K video playback. Obviously, you’ll need a 4K telly to take advantage of this.

The announcement was made over on the PlayStation blog, and once you download the update, you’ll be able to watch 4K videos in mp4 format (on a USB or home server) on the Media Player app.

The app will also support 4K VR video content.

“PS VR’s display resolution is 1920 x RGB x 1080, therefore 4K VR videos will be displayed in a higher image quality compared to HD VR videos. Capture stunning 360 degree 4K footage, and then immerse yourself in that footage in VR at home – just as if you’re right back in the scene you shot.”

The update goes live tomorrow, so keep an eye out.

StarCraft Remastered plays exactly the same as the original, but at a resolution that won’t make your eyes bleed

27 Mar

StarCraft, now in shiny HD to match your rose-tinted memories.

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StarCraft Remastered has been announced after months of speculation and years of noisy fan demand.

Due sometime in the second quarter, StarCraft Remastered includes the Brood War expansion and boasts updated visuals on units, buildings, and environments, as well as better audio and broader resolution support to suit modern screens. Blizzard boasts that the new HD version of StarCraft allows you to rapidly zoom in and out between a view of the entire battlefield and “the veins on a mutalisk’s wings”.

Speaking to Team Liquid, Blizzard said it had two goals with the new visuals: to maintain the distinctive unit silhouettes and animations, so old school players won’t have trouble recognising what’s going on, and to fill int the detail only hinted at by the limited pixel count of the original sprites.

You can compare the old and new graphics – in motion! – with a slider viewer on the StarCraft Remastered site.

Apart from the visual upgrade, there are a few other changes. New comic book style briefings link the missions, and all dialogue has been re-recorded, but Blizzard says it’s the same StarCraft story, just with a “fresh coat of paint”.

But that’s pretty much it; Blizzard’s clearly trying to avoid affecting gameplay. StarCraft Remastered uses the same engine as the original, everything’s still 2D, and the screen ratio is the same as it was as of Brood Wars. No changes have been made to balance, controls or features – at all.

Leaked Call of Duty: World War 2 promotional images show a franchise “going back to its roots” – rumor

25 Mar

Looks like the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise will indeed take the series “back to its roots” if these leaked promotional materials for Call of Duty: World War 2 are legitimate. Best file this as a rumor for now, though.

The leaked images were sent over to TheFamilyVideoGamers earlier this week.

Again, information provided to the outlet should be taken as rumor for now, but we must point out TheFamilyVideoGamers is a respected outlet and not one to a post a rumor as large as this without warrant, as they told us earlier this week.

This is one reason they sat on this information for almost an entire week before going live with it.

For one, Call of Duty isn’t a franchise TheFamilyVideoGamers would normally cover. The second reason they didn’t go live with it from the onset, was the person who sent the information was anonymous.

This isn’t uncommon, because no one wants to lose their job over sending a leak to an outlet. The person who sent the email over said the images came from someone close to the project at Sledgehammer – which is working on the next Call of Duty game.

Whether the person who sent the tip works for the developer themselves, or it was indeed sent to the source by a Sledgehammer employee cannot be verified.

Now that’s we’ve provided you some background on this rumor, let’s take a look at what appears to be early promotional materials.

Posters and steel cases of the Normandy landing

The posters and steel cases you see in the video from TheFamilyVideoGamers were likely shown during a marketing meeting with retailers.

It’s also possible the images came from focus group testing, where selected individuals of the public are asked for their opinion on consumer products. As someone who has participated in focus group testing in the past for products before they came to market (Tide To Go, Fazoli’s, space-age maxi pads, smelly dish soap), it’s not uncommon for companies to ask for a consumer’s opinion on logos, branding, artwork, or general interest.

If you look at the fonts on the five cases and poster, it’s the same font used on Call of Duty packaging such as Sledgehammer’s Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. Activision is also known for producing cases which feature artwork for special editions.

The first case shows aerial view of what is obviously Omaha Beach, while the second features a closeup of a solider with others in the background storming the beaches on D-Day.

Then, there’s another image of a third steelcase featuring the backs of soldiers heading towards the beach. The fourth case shows a soldier holding either a BAR or Thompson, it’s a bit hard to tell. Finally, the last case has sepia coloring with a close-up of a solider on the back, and a crop of the poster image on the front.

That’s a quite a large offering of game cases, which means either numerous editions are coming to market, some are retailer specific cases, or again, some are just early prototypes.

Taking the franchise “back to its roots”

In Activision’s last financial report, COO Thomas Tippl said Sledgehammer’s title would feature “traditional combat” as the studio is taking 2017’s Call of Duty “back to its roots,” as the space setting for Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare “just didn’t resonate.”

A World War 2 offering does make sense, if the franchise is indeed going back to its roots. The first three Call of Duty titles were set during World War 2, plus, Sledgehammer co-founder Michael Condrey previously expressed interest in developing a CoD game with this setting as far back as 2014.

In November of that year, Condrey told Metro UK a “next generation game with the latest production values and robustness” in a World War 2 setting “would be amazing.”

“Some of my favorite pieces of entertainment are set in World War 2. Band of Brothers, I’m a massive fan of Band of Brothers,” he said. “And [World War 2] is a great hero’s war, kind of the last that was recognized as a noble cause in a war.

“So yeah, I think a next generation game with the latest production values and robustness in a World War 2 setting like Band of Brothers would be amazing. Now, how would it play and how would the multiplayer work after the new movement set in Advanced Warfare? That’s a tougher question than I’ve had to tackle yet.”

PCgamesN also spoke with an inside source “ahead of the leak of this promotional art,” which corroborated the title of the next Call of Duty game, so that’s also something to consider.

Between comments made by both Activision and Sledgehammer along with the leaked promotional materials – again, if legitimate – it’s looking more and more likely this year’s Call of Duty will indeed be set during World War 2.

E3 2017 is only a couple of months away, so expect an announcement for the November title at that time – if not before.

Header image courtesy of TheFamilyGamers.

Destiny: Age of Triumph – here’s at look at Vault of Glass, Crota’s End, Shadow Thief Strike

23 Mar

You’ve seen the Destiny: Age of Triumph launch trailer, now you can look over numerous screenshots of the raids and some Treasure of Ages loot.

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Age of Triumph is the final, live update to Destiny, what with Destiny 2 reportedly releasing in September.

There will be plenty to do and celebrate in the meantime, as you well know.

Along with the new Record Book, there are Weekly Story and Feature Raid Playlists, Vault of Glass and Crota’s End enhancements, new Gear, Adept Raid weaponsOrnaments, Blue Flames from the Nightfall Strike return, and much, much more.

Have a look at images of the Raids and some of the contents found in the new loot boxes below. We’ll post images of the armor and weapons in another post. This should help out the folks who view the site on mobile a bit.

Destiny: Age of Triumph – Crota’s End Raid

Crota’s End – Heroic

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Destiny: Age of Triumph – Vault of Glass

Vault of Glass – Heroic

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Vault of Glass – Action

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Crota’s End – Action

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Destiny: Age of Triumph – Shadow Thief Strike Heroic

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Destiny: Age of Triumph – Shadow Thief Strike Action

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Destiny: Age of Triumph – Treasure of Ages: Some Content

Ghosts

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Sparrow

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Destiny: Age of Triumph will go live on Tuesday, March 28 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK. Patch notes are expected on Monday.

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The Destiny: Age of Triumph launch trailer will hopefully tide you over until release next week

23 Mar

Destiny: Age of Triumph is out next week, and you can give the launch trailer a watch below.

The final live update for Destiny 1 goes live on March 28, and includes all sorts of fun things to earn just for revisiting all the raids. It also includes the largest Record Book to date, the new Daybreak Nightfall modifier, and more.

Here’s a quick recap in case you missed any of the previous posts on Destiny: Age of Triumph.

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Players will complete new, and reprised quests and replay Story missions in Heroic Mode on a weekly playlist, earn Emblems, participate in Raids with Challenge Modes, earn new gear and Adept Raid weapons. There are 16 of the latter which can be earned when completing Challenges in the featured Raids.

All Raids now include a 390 Light Heroic Mode, and Vault of Glass and Crota’s End have been enhanced with new Boss Challenges. A Weekly Featured Raid has been added to the Director and will activate all Challenges for the selected Raid and “provide the best rewards.”

Raids now offer max level gear and new Ornaments and once the Weekly Featured Raid is completed, players will earn Mastery Tokens for Raid Ornaments. Blue Flames also return for who completed the weekly Nightfall Strike.

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Players will also earn, or can buy, the new Treasure of Ages loot box which contains either new items or every Eververse item to date. The boxes will also contain the new Age of Triumph armor and new shaders, and new weapon Ornaments.

Finally, “Please” and “Thank You” emotes will be available for free at the Emote Collection in the Tower.

Hopefully, all of this will hold you over until Destiny 2 arrives, reportedly on September 8. Nothing as been confirmed by Bungie on that end obviously, but it hasn’t officially denied the contents of the rumored leak from this morning.

Destiny: Age of Triumph will go live on Tuesday, March 28 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK.

Patch notes are expected on Monday.

Destiny: Age of Triumph – here’s a look at the Raid Gear, weapons and new Exotics

22 Mar

Today’s final Destiny: Age of Triumph livestream discussed the sandbox update to the game, and the studio showed off some of the armor players will be donning along with ornaments.

As previously reported, there will be new armor available in Destiny when Age of Triumph goes live.

The devs also said previously all raid gear will have two ornament slots, and they confirmed this again today but only showed off one slot.

We’ve taken a few screencaps of the flashy armor, and as usual, please forgive the poor quality.

Returning Raid Gear with Ornaments

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During the stream today, as you can see in Arekkz’s video above, the team at Bungie showed off Vex-themed gear which will be made available through the Vault of Glass raid. The old look is posted above, but in Age of Triumph, the armor turns blue and pulsates with an energy effect when an ornament is applied.

Gear from Crota’s End, the raid in Ocean of Storms on the Moon, is getting some flash as well as you can see below.

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One of the cool things about the Crota’s End set, as well as the King’s Fall and Wrath of the Machine armor below, and essentially all of the raid gear, is that if the player is hit the energy effect goes away. It will rebuild itself, but it provides a way for a teammate to know when another in the group has been hit.

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The Ornaments to make the gear look like the images above are Age of Triumph specific so when completing a raid, they are automatically earned. The best part, is you can apply the ornament to any raid gear set – not just for the gear tied to that particular raid.

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The Bespoke set above is from Age of Triumph, but as Arekkz notes, it’s a bit of a recycle job as it’s based on previous gear. Just a different color. However, when a player revisits raids by participating in the Speaker’s new quests, all three classes will earn class items such as Chroma customization options. This is how you can make the armor look different than what is seen above.

Those armor pieces come from Treasure of Ages loot boxes, and three can be earned per week.

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Weapons

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Along with Age of Triumph comes the return of elemental primaries, as previously reported.

All raid weapons will be making a return, such as Fatebringer, Praedyth’s Revenge and Vision of Confluence. Specials and Heavies will remain the same. However, Primaries will be different. When doing a raid, if the player gets a legendary drop, it will not have an element, but there will be an Adept version of the Primary.

For example: Fatebringer will drop in either legendary form or as the new exotic form with elemental damage. You can see how the ornament looks for it in the video at the 8:08 mark which shows Arc damage. That said, it will only drop when the raid is part of the weekly playlist.

We know the first raid in the weekly playlist when Age of Triumph launches will be Crota’s End, so if you get a Primary drop it will be the adept version. In other words, if you want a chance at an adept version of a weapon, you will need to try your hand at the weekly playlist raid.

Speaking of Crota’s End, Black Hammer will not make a return so you will have to make due with Black Spindle. So, there will be no 400 light version of Black Hammer, sadly.

Another change has been made to an exotic weapon, and its the Necrochasm auto rifle. It will now make all enemies explode when killed, and damage adjacent enemies. Before, this only occurred if the player landed a precision kill.

The stream also took a look at ornaments for weapons such as Dragon’s Breath, No Land Beyond and Suros Regime.

Suros has two: one is black and yellow and the other is an inverted scheme of the original look. Applying the ornament to Dragon’s Breath will give it a tiger skin pattern, and a camo pattern for No Land Beyond.

Weapon Changes

There will be a slight boost applied to Auto Rifles, which will make Necrochasm a lot better than at present, according to Arekkz. These weapons will now be more potent at close range.

Hand Cannons are getting nerfed slightly by having their range dialed back by about three meters. This is to put the weapons in a better position against the Primaries to make them more viable.

Also, the health regeneration nerfs have been rolled back slightly as well.

Skorri’s Revenge, the legendary pulse rifle, is more balanced and will only trigger full Super when a kill is landed. When the kill is landed and the Super is full, this will speed the charge rate of Super abilities for all nearby allies for one minute – again, if you get a kill while your Super is full.

Sidearms will respawn with ammo as always, but now with only one magazine. Special ammo crates will also reload the player’s weapon like with how the heavy weapon crates work.

There will be more detailed information once the patch notes for Age of Triumph are posted on Monday, March 27.

Destiny: Age of Triumph will go live on Tuesday, March 28 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm UK.

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Fixing Switch’s left Joy-Con desync issue could be as simple as a black piece of foam [UPDATE]

22 Mar

If you sent your Joy-Con off for repair, it’s quite possible all it took to fix the connectivity issue with your Switch controller, was a little piece of black foam. Since the story went live this morning, Nintendo has issued a statement on the matter.

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Update

Nintendo told Kotaku the issue with the controller wasn’t a design flaw and there were no “widespread proactive repair or replacement efforts” underway.

Instead, the issue was due to a “manufacturing variation” causing wireless interference with a “small number” of left Joy-Cons. Furthermore, the company told the site there won’t be future issues with the Joy-Con as the said manufacturing variation was corrected at “the factory level.”

This pretty much confirms what CNET found when it ordered a new Switch console, and didn’t experience issues with the controller.

Finally, Nintendo said it has found a “simple fix” can be made improve connectivity – the black foam piece, we reckon.

Original story is as follows.

Original Story

That’s according to a report from CNET Australia (thanks, Siliconera), which sent its left Joy-Con controller off to Nintendo for a fix.

According to the site, when the Switch controller was sent back, the only difference seen was the addition of a small square of black foam in the bottom right placed on top of the antenna traces.

CNET believes this is a “a piece of conductive foam” treated with either nickel, copper or both which is said to keep electronics from encountering radio-frequency interference. RFI issues can be caused by household items such as microwaves.

The site tested its theory and removed the piece of foam. Connectivity issues started up once more. To further test the theory, CNET purchased another Switch console and found there weren’t any connectivity issues with the left Joy-Con.

Upon taking the housing apart, it was noted the controller didn’t have the same piece of foam as the one sent off for service.

The site figures Nintendo has found a fix for the issue, and that new stock doesn’t have the same connectivity issues. That said, there were many Switch owners who didn’t experience these issues.

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.

Fallout 4 VR will be at E3 2017, is it going to be this year’s ‘It’s out right now’ moment?

22 Mar

Fallout 4 VR is going to be something special, according to Bethesda, and we’ll be seeing it at E3 2017.

Bethesda announced a fully-fledged VR version of Fallout 4, dubbed Fallout 4 VR, at its E3 conference last year. We weren’t shown any footage, but the developer promised at the time to release the game within 12 month.

Fallout 4 VR will make an appearance at this year’s E3, it’s now been been confirmed. Bethesda’s Pete Hines told HipHopGamer (video above, via GameRant) this little tidbit in an interview.

The YouTuber asked Hines for an update on the the game, Hines relayed the excitement game director Todd Howard had the last time they spoke. “Fallout 4 VR is the most incredible thing you’ve ever seen in your life,” Hines said, relaying Howard’s words.

“You can’t even imagine what it’s like, playing in VR and how realistic it looks and everywhere you turn your head. It is going to blow your mind. It is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen.”

Now that we know the game will show up during Bethesda’s E3 2017 conference, the company may pull another one of its “and it’s available now” moments and release it by the time the showcase ends.

If the game is indeed that far along in development, this outcome won’t be too far fetched.

Fallout 4 VR was announced for the HTC Vive, but it’s unclear if it’ll come to other PC headsets (or PSVR) at some point after the initial release.

Overwatch 1.9 update is live: go nuts with the new tank Orisa – here’s the patch notes

21 Mar

The latest hero has been added to Overwatch with the release of update 1.9.0.2. Or, update 1.9.0.1 if you are a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One user.

overwatch_orisa_origins_art

The update to Overwatch comes with the sixth tank to join the roaster, Orisa, which makes use of a rapid-fire Fusion Driver. According to Blizzard, the gun has good range and accuracy even at a distance; however, Orisa’s movement slows while firing and she has a lengthy reload time.

Her alternate fire, Halt! releases a graviton charge across the map which slows nearby enemies, and pulls them toward it before detonating.

Her Fortify ability boosts her personal defense and will reduce damage while making her “unstoppable for a short time.” She can throw a device that creates a curved, stationary Protective Barrier, which shields teammates from all sides. Her Ultimate is a high-powered Supercharger beaming a buff to allies within range, and increases damage the team inflict on the opposite team.

Other than the new hero, other updates have been made to Overwatch. Ana has had damage dished out by her Biotic Rifle
decreased; Bastion now takes 20% less damage while in Configuration: Sentry or Tank compared to the previous 35%; Junkrat’s explosions no longer hurt himself and Sombra’s teammates can now see hacked healthpacks through walls.

Many of these hero changes were reported previously when they went live on the PTR.

That’s just some of the hero changes noted, as there are more, but all of the information is posted below along with big fixes and general updates – and developer notes where applicable.

Overwatch 1.9 Update Patch Notes

General Updates

Competitive Play

On Route 66, the attacking team is now given 60 additional seconds after pushing the payload to the first checkpoint.
Developer Comments: This change will bring Route 66 in line with the other Escort maps.

Custom Game and Game Browser: When setting up a Custom Game, players can now disable or modify abilities activated with the secondary fire button

Hero Updates

Ana: Biotic Rifle: Damage decreased from 80 to 60

Developer Comments: Ana’s kit has several strong components, which makes her difficult to replace. Reducing her damage output will make her less threatening on attack and reduce her dueling capabilities.

Bastion

Ironclad: [XB1, PS4] Bastion now takes 20% less damage while in Configuration: Sentry or Tank (formerly 35%)

Developer Comments: After the last update, Bastion became a little too difficult to deal with, so we’re reducing his new passive to give enemies more opportunities to counter.

Junkrat

Total Mayhem: Junkrat’s explosions no longer hurt himself

Developer Comments: Previously, Junkrat’s projectile speed made him difficult to use at long ranges, but the damage he took from his own explosions made him difficult to use at close ranges. This change makes him more effective at close ranges, allowing Junkrat players to explore new strategies.

Mercy

Caduceus Staff: The amount of increased damage that’s done when boosting another player is now tracked under the match statistics and on the Career Profile page.

Sombra

  • Hack: Sombra’s teammates can now see hacked healthpacks through walls
  • Stealth: Sound effects and VO distance has been reduced to 15 meters when Sombra enters or exits Stealth
  • Translocator: Cooldown reduced from 6 seconds to 4 seconds

Developer Comments: Sombra can be devastating in the right hands, but infiltrating and harassing enemies could often feel difficult. These changes should increase her effectiveness and teamplay.

Winston

Barrier Projector: Ability cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends

Developer Comments: This change should help Winston do what he does best: distract the enemy team and block damage.

Zarya

  • Particle Barrier: No longer protects Zarya from knockback
  • Projected Barrier: No longer protects allies from knockback

Developer Comments: This is actually reverting a change that we made a few patches ago, which made players immune to knockbacks if they were hit by an effect from inside her barrier. This had some negative side effects, such as making targets immune to knockbacks from effects that pierce barriers, like Reinhardt’s charge and Winston’s Primal Rage punches. Now, these will cause knockback again. This does not affect knockbacks from effects that originate from outside her barriers, such as Pharah’s Concussive Blast. Those will still be blocked by the barriers, not causing any knockback.

Zenyatta

Orb of Destruction: Alternate fire cooldown has been reduced from 1 seconds to 0.6 seconds; Weapon spread has been removed

Developer Comments: Zenyatta’s alternate fire often felt too difficult to use due to its long recovery time. This reduction should make it a more viable option. Also, his weapon has always had a very small amount of spread. This wasn’t enough to change the way he was played, but it would occasionally cause shots to miss that would normally hit their target. Removing this small variance should help him feel more consistent.

Bug Fixes

General: When Teleporters, Shield Generators, and other player-owned objects are destroyed, the kill feed now properly displays the owner’s name

A.I.: Fixed a bug preventing Bastion and Torbjörn bots from taking a defensive position when turret abilities were disabled in Custom Games

Competitive Play: Fixed a visual bug that prevented your current medals from being displayed in the setup phase between rounds

Custom Game and Game Browser

  • Fixed a bug causing players to respawn in the enemy spawn room after being pinned against a car by an enemy Reinhardt on Oasis
  • A scoring requirement clarification has been added to the Capture the Flag settings, stating that each team’s flag will need to be secured before they can score
  • Fixed a bug that could cause certain settings to be displayed on the Custom Game’s information screen even when they weren’t being used
  • Fixed an issue preventing values from the “Ultimate Generation” setting from being correctly displayed
  • Heroes and maps are now sorted alphabetically under the “Find Game” filters in the Game Browser
  • Fixed a bug preventing Bastion’s Self-Repair ability from being disabled in the Custom Game settings

Heroes

  • Fixed an issue preventing Bastion’s walking animation from being triggered while Self-Repair was in use
  • McCree no longer receives credit toward his on-fire meter when his Flashbang is used against Mei’s Ice Wall
  • Fixed a bug that kept a successful Roadhog hook from counting towards the “Match Players Hooked” statistic when the enemy player was killed on impact
  • Fixed an issue causing Zenyatta’s feet to clip through his robe while his Sanzang skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug causing Reaper’s shotguns and D.Va’s mech to appear unusually large on the main menu

Maps

  • Training bots that are destroyed in the Practice Range are now displayed in the kill feed
  • Fixed a bug allowing more than one player to enter the Practice Range

Overwatch: you won’t get to pick Orisa in Competitive for a week after launch

21 Mar

Overwatch’s Orisa will be off limits to Competitive Play players for a few days after she becomes available.

overwatch_orisa_art_2

Last week, Blizzard finally confirmed the global release date for Overwatch‘s newest hero, Orisa. That date is today, by the way.

However, if you were planning on bringing the Guardian bot to Competitive Play right away, you may be disappointed to know that you won’t be able to that just yet. Blizzard says that, for one week after release, Orisa will not be accessible in Competitive Play.

The reason for this is that the developer wants everyone to spend enough time with her in casual so that they can learn her abilities and how to best play as or counter her.

This doesn’t apply to Quick Play or Arcade mode, where Orisa will be available as soon as the patch goes live. You’ll also be able to select Orisa in bot matches.

Orisa releases later today alongside the game’s patch 1.9.

Mass Effect Andromeda reviews: all the scores

20 Mar

Mass Effect Andromeda has been with critics for over a week. What’s their consensus on BioWare’s latest?

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Mass Effect Andromeda has already taken a viral beating after its ten hour EA Access trial produced a series of amusing animations errors and awkward dialogue.

But there’s a great deal more to Mass Effect Andromeda than the ten hours EA offered its faithful, and if we were put off by a little bit of jank, we probably wouldn’t be such massive BioWare nerds around here.

So let’s have a look at what critics have had to say about Mass Effect Andromeda after plugging away at it for over a week. Does it get better? Does it make more sense in context? Is it a good starting point? Will franchise fans get the service they long for?

All these questions, and more, are probably answered in the Mass Effect Andromeda reviews below. You could read them and find out, rather than just sifting through the scores. Just an idea.

In our own Mass Effect Andromeda review, we had to admit it’s a pretty rough effort – BioWare’s B-team, eh? – but with that lovely heart you might consider worth the effort.

There’s a definite spread to Mass Effect Andromeda’s reviews, and that’s not something we often see in such big releases. Very interesting.

All scores here are out of ten except where otherwise noted, and are arranged in descending order with outlets who choose not to award scores at the bottom.

Mass Effect Andromeda releases March 21 in North America and March 23 in Europe and beyond, for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Destiny: Age of Triumph – here’s a quick recap on Weekly Playlists, The Crucible, Bounties, more

18 Mar

If you missed the Destiny: Age of Triumph livestream earlier this week, Bungie has provided all pertinent information from it as well as a YouTube version for you to watch at leisure.

Luckily, the Age of Triumph information posted below for Destiny has been organized for a quick read by Bungie. So, if you are one of those who mentally shut down when confronted by a wall of text, this post is specifically for you. Because I love you, and only want you to be happy.

Of course, you can also follow the link above and read the entire report for extra nuggets of information, or watch the video from Arekkz who breaks it all down for you.

Without further ado, here’s the information once again.

Destiny – Age of Triumph Details

The Basics

  • Age of Triumph begins with a Quest held by the Speaker
  • The Director will feature a new set of Weekly Featured Activities
  • Daybreak Strikes include the Mayhem modifier from the Crucible
  • Earn three Eververse boxes each week through gameplay
  • The Nightfall buff is back

The Crucible

  • Changes were made to improve matchmaking quality and flexibility in earning rewards.
  • Number of Crucible playlists reduced to help draw Guardians into a more focused set of battlegrounds.
  • Five core playlists in the center row, and one rotating playlist in the top rotator will be added each week.
  • Private Matches will continue to remain on the bottom row.
  • Players who do not own Rise of Iron will find their offering each week in the top rotator. Can feature: Zone Control, Combined Arms, Mayhem Clash, Mayhem Rumble or Doubles modes.
  • Elimination will be available each week; will continue to be replaced with Trials of Osiris each weekend.

A preview of a week featuring Control, Supremacy, Elimination/Trials, Salvage, and Rumble is illustrated below. The following week will feature Clash, Rift, Elimination/Trials, Skirmish, and Rumble Supremacy.

destiny_age_of_triumph_crucible_preview

Bounties

  • Lord Shaxx will continue to offer weekly bounties, and will now offer one for each of the 6v6 core modes offered each week.
  • Daily Crucible bounties have been updated to be more inclusive of Guardians, regardless of which mode they play, which subclass they favor, or if they have a Fireteam available.
  • The Crucible Quartermaster will offer five new bounties each week for different weapon archetypes. This allows the player to earn a variety of Crucible, Iron Banner, and Trials of Osiris weapons from Year 2 and Year 3.
  • There is a Hand Cannon bounty that can reward an Eyasluna.
  • Trials of Osiris bounties have been updated and all are now able to be completed daily while Trials of Osiris is active.
  • Silver and Gold tier bounties will now feature Gear and Weapons from Year 3.

How the Weekly Story Playlist works

Each week, a curated playlist of Destiny story missions will be available and do not feature matchmaking. Fireteam requirements are one to three players, with a recommended 380 Light.

One of the following playlists will be featured each week, with various modifiers:

  • Earth and Moon: Contains missions from the release of Destiny
  • Mars and Venus: Contains missions from the release of Destiny
  • Dark Champions: Contains missions from Destiny: The Dark Below and Destiny: House of Wolves
  • The Taken War: Contains missions from Destiny: The Taken King
  • The Iron Lords: Contains missions from Destiny: Rise of Iron

Players may earn the following rewards:

  • Treasure of Ages: Once per week, rewarded upon first activity completion.
  • Legendary Marks: Five times per week, players will be rewarded with 20 legendary marks upon activity completion.
  • Materials: Five times per week, players will be rewarded with various Planetary Materials, Consumables, or Glimmer upon activity completion.

destiny

As previously reported, the Blue Flames are back. This means that when completing a Nightfall Strike, the Radiant Light EXP will grant increased Reputation and Experience gains until the next Weekly Reset.

At present, Bungie hasn’t provided details on how large the download will be, but in the coming weeks, the studio plans to announce Maintenance and Downtime for Destiny: Age of Triumph update 2.6.0. along with dates and times, console hard drive requirements and more.

There is a final livestream planned for next week on March 22 which will focus on the sandbox update, specifically armor and weapons. Be sure to tune into that.

Destiny: Age of Triumph kicks off on March 28 for PS4 and Xbox One.

Mass Effect: Andromeda known issues and troubleshooting tips for black screen, Origin and connection problems

17 Mar

If you’re having problems with Mass Effect: Andromeda on PC, hopefully some of these tips will fix them.

mass_effect_andromeda_ryder_vault_2

Now that the Origin Access trial of Mass Effect: Andromeda is live and on people’s hard drives, we’re starting to see a number of issues reported by players.

The most common is a black screen on game start-up. EA posted a workaround for this as well as a number of other known issues it’s currently aware of. Find all the details below:

Black screen on start-up or when alt-tabbing away and back

  • Check to see if you have the Corsair Utility Engine installed on your system.
  • If you do, try uninstalling it and then relaunching the game.

Alternatively, you can try pressing alt-enter to switch to windowed mode. Running the game in windowed mode or in borderless windowed mode makes alt-tabbing easier.

The game doesn’t launch, but it triggers a process in Task Manager

  • Your firewall or antivirus may be blocking ActivationUI.exe which is needed to start the game for the first time.
  • Add it (default location C:Program Files (x86)Origin GamesMass Effect AndromedacoreActivationUI.exe) to your firewall or antivirus whitelist and try launching the game again.

The game won’t launch at all

  • Make sure the download is at least 42% complete, which is when you’ll see the ‘Ready to Play’ notification.

Ryder is stuck in an animation and won’t respond to commands

  • Try switching between combat and exploration mode.
  • Try jumping.
  • Try opening and closing your scanner.
  • If none of these work, try saving and restarting the game.

Ryder is stuck somewhere in the game and can’t get out

  • Use fast travel to extract Ryder.

I turned on HDR and changed my display mode and now graphics look weird (for Radeon GPUs)

  • Try alt-tabbing away from the game and back again.
  • In your Radeon settings, try turning HDR off and back on again.

When it comes to connection issues, you need to remember the game uses peer-to-peer matchmaking. Multiplayer games are hosted on the machine and connection of one of the players in the lobby. Because of this, your connection to the host will matter.

If you’re having connection issues, or seeing any of these error codes: 10044, 5800, 5801, 5802, 5803, 9001 – try these general fixes:

  • Restart your router to refresh your connection.
  • Make sure you have an active PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold subscription.
  • Make sure you have an open NAT.
  • VPNs and proxies on PC may cause issues, turn them off.

If you’re still having connection problems, make sure the following ports are open (forwarded) on your router. These apply to all platforms.

  • TCP: 443, 17503, 17504, 10000-19999, 42210, 42130, 42230.
  • UDP: 3659, 10000-19999.

Until patches are released, these fixes will also work the game everyone will be getting on March 21 and March 23, so bookmark the page in case you run into any of them.

This Prey video introduces you to some of the scary Typhon aliens

16 Mar

A new video for Prey has been released, and it introduces some of the Typhon aliens players will encounter.

The video starts off with the Mimic, which in Prey absorbs organic matter enabling it to take on the appearance of an inanimate object. It uses this ability to ambush its prey. There is a more powerful Elite version to content with as well.

Players are able to use the Mimic’s power, Mimic Matter. This allows them to take the form inanimate objects, such as a teapot or coffee mug, to fool enemies before turning human once more for a surprise attack.

Prey_Nightmare_730x337
Prey_Phantom_730x411
Prey_SpecialPhantoms_730x466
Prey_Telepath_730x411

Other alien lifeforms include the Weaver, which can create various entities. The Weaver species will turn a human corpse into a Typhon hybrid called the Phantom, which can exhibit human behavior, but it is anything but human. It uses kinetic energy to blast the player, and it isn’t wise to try and fight it in close quarters.

Phantoms can also mutate into a variety of forms with different powers. Sometimes though, a Weaver will fails to create a Phantom, and instead produces an invisible and elusive Poltergeist Typhon.

The Telepath, according to the video, is the most dangerous of all Typhon aliens. It uses powerful psychic energy to control weaker willed organisms.

Also, players won’t run into just one type of Typhon at a time, because as they explore the Talos I space station, a wide variety of these creatures will be encountered.

Give the video a watch to find out more, and if you head over to the Bethesda website, Arkane Studios also provides extra information on each.

Prey will be released worldwide on May 5 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

This Prey video introduces you to some of the scary Typhon aliens

16 Mar

A new video for Prey has been released, and it introduces some of the Typhon aliens players will encounter.

The video starts off with the Mimic, which in Prey absorbs organic matter enabling it to take on the appearance of an inanimate object. It uses this ability to ambush its prey. There is a more powerful Elite version to content with as well.

Players are able to use the Mimic’s power, Mimic Matter. This allows them to take the form inanimate objects, such as a teapot or coffee mug, to fool enemies before turning human once more for a surprise attack.

Prey_Nightmare_730x337
Prey_Phantom_730x411
Prey_SpecialPhantoms_730x466
Prey_Telepath_730x411

Other alien lifeforms include the Weaver, which can create various entities. The Weaver species will turn a human corpse into a Typhon hybrid called the Phantom, which can exhibit human behavior, but it is anything but human. It uses kinetic energy to blast the player, and it isn’t wise to try and fight it in close quarters.

Phantoms can also mutate into a variety of forms with different powers. Sometimes though, a Weaver will fails to create a Phantom, and instead produces an invisible and elusive Poltergeist Typhon.

The Telepath, according to the video, is the most dangerous of all Typhon aliens. It uses powerful psychic energy to control weaker willed organisms.

Also, players won’t run into just one type of Typhon at a time, because as they explore the Talos I space station, a wide variety of these creatures will be encountered.

Give the video a watch to find out more, and if you head over to the Bethesda website, Arkane Studios also provides extra information on each.

Prey will be released worldwide on May 5 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.

Outlast 2 refused classification in Australia for the depiction of implied sexual violence

16 Mar

Unless a modified version of Outlast 2 gets resubmitted, the game will not see official release in Australia.

outlast_2_teaser

Outlast 2 will not see official release in Australia after the country’s Classification Board ruled against it.

Kotaku reports that the Classification Board classified it as a Games 1(a) title.

This particular classification is awarded to games that “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified.”

As the site notes, the game’s demo was given an R18+ rating earlier this year, but it seems the full game is taking things further than the board could allow.

Spoilers for Outlast 2 beyond this point.

The board’s ruling, received by Kotaku, reveals that the reasons for this decision involve an implication of sexual violence in one part of the game. Here’s one such scene the board referenced in its ruling.

“In one cut-scene in the game … a female creature prepares Blake for a ritual. She says, “I want to see your true face. Your seed will burn this world.” Shortly afterwards, he objects to having psycho-active dust blown into his face, yelling, “Nope! Nope!” before he stumbles into a forest clearing.

“His vision blurring, he witnesses what appears to a ritualistic orgy. His wife, Lynn, calls out for his help, saying, “It hurts! Oh god!,” as she hangs from chains on a raised platform at the front of the clearing. Humanoid creatures, their skin grey, spattered with blood and scarred, implicitly have sex as others pray, or chant, or gesticulate.

“One creature has another bent over a rock, thrusting as they implicitly have rear-entry sex, another sits astride the pelvic region of a creature prone on the ground, moving their hips rhythmically as they too implicitly have sex. Two other pairs of creatures in the clearing are also implicitly having sex.

“As Blake yells for the creatures to “Get away from her!” a female creature, her greyish breasts bared, pushes him onto his back, holds his arms to the ground and repeatedly thrusts her crotch against him. As Blake protests, saying “No! Stop that!” the creature thrusts again, before placing its face over his midsection and then sitting up and wiping its mouth.

“Although much of the contact between the creature and Blake is obscured, by it taking place below screen, the sexualised surroundings and aggressive behaviour of the creature suggest that it is an assault which is sexual in nature. The Board is of the opinion that this, combined with Blake’s objections and distress, constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence.

“In the Board’s opinion, the above example constitutes a depiction of implied sexual violence and therefore cannot be accommodated within the R18+ classification category and the game is therefore Refused Classification.”

Developers of Outlast 2 could resubmit a modified version of the game to get it rated, thus allowing the game to be legally sold in the country. Otherwise, those interested in playing it may have to resort to outside sources.

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