With the next set of expansions for Ubisoft's The Division delayed so that the base game can be improved, it looks like the next big update to game will change things up quite dramatically. Version 1.4 of The Division will do away with the difficulty modes in favour of a World Tier system that will effect everything from roaming the city streets to replaying missions. But also, pretty much all gear, player health, weapons, stats and more are being re-done.
In a new lengthy post, the developers have presented a pretty mathematical look at the changes coming to stuff like gear and skills that all sound like an almost complete rethink of The Division's end-game.
In Update 1.4, all gear will lose their skill bonuses, while backpacks, holsters and knee pads gain new performance mod slots. This means that you’ll have more choices which mods you want to use and no longer have to be annoyed that the god roll gear piece you got came with a modifier you didn’t want in the first place. This limits the current RNG and makes it easier for you to customize your gear to fit your build. These new slots won’t replace any of the current ones. Current performance mods will lose their major bonus, and their skill bonus will be rebalanced and rerolled.
As per the post it seems that the changes being made to the game are to shift it away from the 'bullet sponge enemies but you die in two hits' feel of the current game in favour of a more balanced shooter experience. Which is all well and good, but gear losing skill bonuses paints the picture of a game that's in the midst of an action-RPG crisis. Which means Gear Sets and Weapons with wild and interesting bonuses may be a thing of past, in favour of a more streamlined build system. Which in a sense, is a bit of a shame.
All gear in World Tier 2 and higher will have all three base stats – Firearms, Stamina, Electronics – on them, one of these stats will be higher than the others.
Other bonuses, like crit chance and headshot damage, will be scaled down to fit the new game balance.
Gear will lose their skill bonuses, but backpacks, holsters and knee pads will gain new performance mod slots, making them easier to customize to fit your build.
Gear Sets will have their Gear Score adjusted to the same levels as High End gear.
Stat overlaps between Gear Scores have been removed.
High End gear talents have been rebalanced.
Scavenging has been removed from the game.
Some of the changes sound like they're for the better though, with the confusing "different varieties of stability (horizontal stability, initial bullet stability and stability) and accuracy (accuracy, hip fire accuracy)" now changing to single stats.
Be sure to read the full, lengthy post on all the changes. And if you're playing on PC the new Public Test Realm servers are expected to go live next week. Something that has sorely been missing from the game, which has even led to a number of highly publicised and unwanted exploits.
Out October 25, the wintery Ashes of Ariandel expansion for Darl Souls 3 looks to continue the series trend of inspired enemy and boss encounters. In a new gameplay video from Tokyo Game Show we get to see a bunch of unedited combat with some weirdly proportioned foes before diving into a somewhat spoilery montage of bosses.
Like a giant wolf that would make even the wolves from Game of Thrones think twice before jumping into battle.
Based on the title, we kind of got excited too. But alas no, an underwater mode is not coming to Rocket League. But instead a rather beautiful new arena in the deep ocean called the AquaDome. After playing through the rather excellent BioShock remaster this seems like the perfect way to transition back out of Rapture when it launches next month.
And it'll be released alongside some cool new DLC cars. Check it out.
Oh well, all good things must come to an end. And after a string of impressive free games, next month's Xbox Games with Gold lineup looks pretty uninspiring. Probably because the words 'Super Mega' are followed by 'Baseball'. Add in yet another backwards compatible racing game, and the list doesn't improve all that much. But, they're still free. So we'll still be adding them to our library.
Here's the full list:
October 1-31: Super Mega Baseball: Extra Innings (Xbox One)
October 16-November 15: The Escapists (Xbox One)
October 1-15: MX vs ATV Reflex (Xbox 360)
October 16-31: I Am Alive (Xbox 360)
As Blizzard's networking service that launched all the way back in 1996 to coincide with the release of the original Diablo, it looks like the company is finally going to be shifting away from the name Battle.net. And in keeping with the recent launches of Blizzard Streaming and Blizzard Voice, they'll be keeping it nice and simple by prefacing it all with the name Blizzard.
The announcement was made via a community update.
We’re going to be transitioning away from using the Battle.net name for our gaming service and the functionality connected to it. Battle.net technology will continue to serve as the central nervous system for Blizzard games—nothing is changing in that regard. We'll just be referring to our various products and services using the Blizzard name instead. You've already seen this recently with things like "Blizzard Streaming" and "Blizzard Voice," and more changes are on the way.
When we created Battle.net, the idea of including a tailored online-gaming service together with your game was more of a novel concept, so we put a lot of focus on explaining what the service was and how it worked, including giving it a distinct name. Over time, though, we’ve seen that there’s been occasional confusion and inefficiencies related to having two separate identities under which everything falls—Blizzard and Battle.net. Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn’t as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology.
We just wanted to make sure everyone was aware as we moved forward with this change over the next several months; we’ll provide any relevant updates as the transition progresses.
So does this mean that the Battle.net app will be renamed to Blizzard.net?
And by creative we mean they find ways to bend time, manipulate gravity, create doppelgangers to distract foes, and then set up elaborate explosive traps. Instead of the usual shooty shooty stab stab. The original Dishonored was beloved by fans because of the freedom it gave them to approach each situation, including combat. And from what we see here, Dishonored 2 dials everything up to 11.
Stopping time to throw a body from a ledge only to jump down and then catch it. Whilst setting off an explosion in the distance? Yep, we can't wait to get our hand on this either.
Ahead of next month's Closed Beta for GWENT: The Witcher Card, aka the most exciting card-based event of this holiday season (that's right screw you, Christmas cards), CD Projekt RED are looking to give a select number of people access to help test the servers. Or as they put it, kill them.
The event will take place this weekend, at specific times, and you'll need to keep a close eye on the GWENT Twitter and Facebook pages for access info. The times aren't exactly Australia friendly with the first date being this Saturday the 24th from 3:00AM to 7:00AM AEST, and then again on Wednesday the 28th from 6:00AM to 10:00AM AEST.
Crazy timetable to be sure, but we'd be willing to make the sacrifice for our first taste of standalone GWENT.
Recently Riders of Icarus reached its million player milestone, thanks in part to the recent western release of the MMO. But developers WeMade aren’t resting on their laurels, or mounts, with the new “Rift of the Damned” update coming later this month. In addition to a new zone that will focus entirely on airborne exploration and combat, and new quests and even a new dungeon, the expansion will also introduce several new mounts. Including the aforementioned flying whale.
'Children of Arkham', Episode 2 in Telltale's Batman series is out now, and to mark the occasion we've got a fancy new behind the scenes video showcasing some of the key voice actors talking about their roles and the characters. So sit back and watch Bruce Wayne/Batman (Troy Baker), Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Laura Bailey) and Harvey Dent (Travis Willingham) talk about the process. Even if watching people voice animated character you've come to know is always a little weird.
Ahead of next month’s launch we now know what to expect, content-wise, with EA and DICE’s Battlefield 1. Map-wise the game will launch with nine maps set across varying landscapes ranging from desert to forest to muddy trenches. In terms of game modes Battlefield staples Conquest and Rush are returning, alongside a suite of new and old ways to play.
Including a very cool sounding Capture the Flag mode called War Pigeons and a multi-map, epic new mode called Operations.
Plus, hinting at the opportunity to once again take out the head-Nazi himself, Hitler. As a special pre-order bonus for the PC and Console title due for release February 2017, players will get access to a special Target Führer DLC where they'll be given the chance to take out Hitler at a U-Boat base. Sniper Elite 4 is also the most visually impressive title in the series yet, and it's mix of long range combat with over-the-top x-ray kill cams, is something to behold.
The one where the dude from The Walking Dead is naked on a beach and cradles a baby. Or something. Death Stranding, the new open world title from Kojima Productions, is still very much a mystery. And that mystery has now extended to talking about a potential release date for the PlayStation 4 game with Kojima stating that it will be out before the next Olympics. And before when the film Akira is set.
Which is a round-about way of saying 2018. We think. Anyway, Death Stranding is being developed using an existing and well-known engine, so that may help get it out sooner than the long development cycle we saw with Metal Gear Solid V. Again, we don't know if that's Unreal Engine 4, or what. Mystery!
Here's the weirdo E3 trailer to refresh your memory, or lack thereof, of what Death Stranding may be.
For those that played the Battlefield 1 beta you may have found the classic Conquest mode to be a little weird. That's because capturing and holding objectives was the only way to score points for your team. Leaving all the high kill-count gaming freaks out there scratching their heads as their team lost. Even though they totally owned the other side, kill-wise. Well, looks like the experiment is ending with Conquest going back to the ways of old in time for the game's launch.
Daniel Berlin, Lead World Designer on Battlefield 1, posted the following over at the official site.
I’d like to talk to you about the Conquest game mode. When we build a new Battlefield game it’s important for us to try new things, we want to stay fresh and renew the franchise with each new installment. However, it’s equally as important that we take the feedback that you, the community, are giving us. That is why we're going to be making changes to the Conquest game mode ticket system for launch. The next time you play the game, capturing the objectives AND getting kills will both contribute towards the final score of a Conquest match. You have spoken, we have listened!
Which, is great news. Also the team is making changes to Rush mode based on feedback. Plus, the Light Tank is getting a much needed nerf. And the Support class will be getting some new gadgets to deal with those pesky vehicles.
Speaking with USA Today, Microsoft Studios Publishing general manager Shannon Loftis reiterated that next year's Project Scorpio will run first-party titles in native 4K. Following from the recent PlayStation 4 Pro announcement, and it's 4K-upscaling, it seems that Microsoft is taking every opportunity to tout the capabilities of its still very mysterious Project Scorpio console.
And hey, it's like we're back in the '90s and in the midst of an all-out console war. With Microsoft being second-place Sega to Sony's dominant Nintendo. The full quote singles out first-party releases, probably because those are the ones that the company has full control over. And much like the PS4 Pro, adding Scorpio-specific features to a title will be optional.
Any games we're making that we're launching in the Scorpio time frame, we're making sure they can natively render at 4K.
By the time the Scorpio launches it's expecting that 4K displays will be more present in homes than they are now. But to maintain 4K, the question of price will certainly factor in to see if the Scorpio can compete with the more wallet-friendly $559 PS4 Pro.
Even though we're still a few weeks away from the October 11 release date for Gears of War 4, Microsoft has debuted the launch trailer for the highly anticipated muscle-bound shooter. And it doesn't disappoint, with many a glimpse at some impressive set pieces. And explosion business. And monsters. And the return of Marcus Fenix.
Check it out. And if you're wondering why the music sounds a little familiar that's because it's a cover of Metallica’s "Nothing Else Matters".
As a title that will support Windows 10 and Xbox One cross-play we're pretty excited to see how that pans out.
What initially started as a visual mod that aimed to give GTA V's already impressive Los Santos a cutting edge sheen, has also added things like new weapon load-outs for police, new physics, and even rejigged car handling and destruction. Called GTA V Redux the impressive mod is also the work of one man, Josh Romito. And it looks incredible.
In a recent Reddit AMA, Josh pointed out that the mod was made possible through editing existing game files.
The entire project consists solely of edited game files and data. Xml, meta, dat, and texture files! No scripting was done for the development. All features were made possible, only by editing the core game data files.
Naturally you'll need a serious rig to be able to run this at any sort of playable frame-rate. As it adds all new 4K textures, global illumination, and some very pretty and lifelike shrubbery. In addition to the high-def violence.
The Battlefield website now lists the PC system requirements for Battlefield 1, letting you know what sort of horse power you'll need to effectively horse around. On horseback! And they're not too shabby, with the latest version of DICE's Frostbite engine being touted as the most optimised yet.
The recommended video cards are the GeForce GTX 1060 and the Radeon RX 480, which is good to know. Here the specs.
Thanks to the release of Warcraft (2016) on DVD and Blu-ray we’re taking a look back at the lore of Warcraft the movie, its relationship to the latest World of Warcraft expansion, Legion, and over 20 years of awe-inspiring gaming history. Of which there's a lot! Like, over twenty years worth. Starting with Blizzard's first game in the franchise, Warcraft: Orcs & Humans, debuting all the way back in 1994.
Which also dealt with the opening of a mysterious Dark Portal that ushered in the Orcish Horde.
In terms of when the film is set the events depicted occur about 25 years or so before the franchise’s most well-known creation, World of Warcraft. In many ways it mirrors the events of 1994’s Warcraft: Orcs and Humans, as that also dealt with the meeting of two races. The Orcs, who are fleeing the dying world of Draenor to find a new home in the land of Azeroth, and the humans who are targeted by the Orc Horde to power a mysterious Dark Portal. One that allows for passage between two worlds. For those that are unfamiliar with Warcraft this setup may seem a little out there. But the dying world of Draenor, the Fel, and the creation of a Dark Portal are all present in Warcraft’s well documented history.
Now that the dust has settled after last weeks PlayStation 4 Pro announcement, that being the substantially more powerful PlayStation 4 console due for release in November. We now know that the majority of the titles that will take advantage of the console will not actually run natively in 4K. But instead be upscaled from an almost-there resolution using a speacialised technique. In a new interview with Digital Spy, Sony's Andrew House has responded to claims that using the 4K moniker is a little misleading.
Here's the exchange.
"4K Gaming" is quite a loose and nebulous term that's quite open to interpretation. Are we going to see native 4K gaming on the PS4 Pro or will the majority of it be upscaled?
I would say the majority will be upscaled – at least based on the game portfolio I have seen to date.
Does that make it feel like a misleading term?
No, I don't think so. I think that whatever the term is, it's a question of whether people see a demonstrable difference in the game experience or not, rather than the term we use to apply to it.
I think that's what people are looking for and they'll make their judgement as to whether that's working for them or not.
A fair response, as perceived visual quality is indeed up to the person doing the watching. But then again this response does err on the side of the real problem with trying to sell 4K to the masses. Unless you see the results in person, with the ability to switch back and forth between regular HD and UHD, the difference isn't immediately understood.
But it's there.
Be sure to check out the full interview, as even though the responses are measured, he does respond to Microsoft's recent uptick in touting the (admittedly still long way off) Project Scorpio as the true 4K console. Plus, chalking the lack of a UHD BluRay drive to users preferring to stream media. Again, a fair response. But for a device aimed at the hardcore market that wants the very best in graphics, surely those people are aware of the significant bump in quality that a 4K BluRay has over a 4K stream.
A team based shooter with a dude in shiny armor that can generate a big blue energy shield. If you're thinking Overwatch, then its no wonder Paladins is already looking very familiar. From SMITE developer Hi-Rez Studios, there's probably some key differences between its take on the whole team-based shooter deal and Blizzard's Overwatch. But then again there's a character that looks almost identical to Reaper too.
But hey, this is the sort of art-style pioneered by Blizzard that we've seen adopted throughout the industry with games like DOTA, LoL, and even SMITE. So visual similarities are to be expected.
Check out the launch trailer.
And if you're keen to check it out head on over to Steam, then come back and let us know what it's like.
If you've been living with being called xXxDoomGiantl337 since creating your Battle.net account over a decade ago, Blizzard are now offering you the chance to switch things up. Name wise. With a one-time BattleTag change for $13.45 AUD. But being a one-time deal, probably best to put a bit more thought into it this time around. Or be prepared to drop another 13 bucks. But then again, anything would be better than being known as CosbyFan1138.
If I want to change my BattleTag, does it have to be something unique? BattleTags do not need to be unique. You can use any name you want, as long as it follows our Naming Policy. Each BattleTag is assigned a numeric ID to create a unique identifier (for example, FallenSlayer#3592).
Will changing my BattleTag affect my friends list? Your friends will now automatically see you listed under your new BattleTag, but otherwise your friends list will not be affected by this change.
Will new accounts still get a free name change upon creation? Yes. All new Battle.net accounts will continue to receive one free BattleTag change upon creation.
You may not have heard of them but Digital Homicide recently had 18 poorly received games on Steam. And we say recently because Valve has since removed the developer's titles after a lawsuit was filed seeking $18,000,000 from 100 Steam users by Digital Homicide. Claiming "personal injury" from negative reviews and comments on its titles ranging from the usual "shovelware" critique to claims that the developer stole assets. A particular sticking point, as that's led Digital Homicide to also sue popular YouTuber Jim Sterling for $15,000,000.
The games in question which are no longer available on Steam include Krog Wars and The Slaughtering Grounds. The latter of which Jim Sterling posted the following critique of back in 2014.
Needless to say although this might sound ridiculous the Judge on the matter has sided with Digital Homicide developer James Romine granting a subpoena order against Valve to provide the identities of 100 Steam users.
But even so, if this trailer for the studio's Star Scream on Orion is any indication of what its titles look like. Then surely there's room for criticism.
And deep down we kind of wish that this was part of the game when it launched last year. X-Wing versus Tie Fighter battles in orbit around Star Destroyers. Flying down an incredibly detailed Death Star trench. Boarding the giant battle station to take down its defenses. The goals are not only clear, but they just about sum up the perfect vehicle and on-foot Star Wars experience.
There's no denying that Star Wars Battlefront is visually one of the most impressive games on the market, and the new Death Star DLC continues this trend as the game heads to the stars for the first time. And we really enjoyed the arcade-like fighter controls of the base game, so what we see here looks genuinely exciting.
The new Death Star DLC is out this month as part of the Season Pass.
Debuting over the weekend at Tokyo Game Show comes our first look at gameplay from the upcoming Metal Gear: Survive from Konami. A weird proposition to be sure, as this is the first non-Kojima led Metal Gear game from the publisher since his much publicised departure. And the fact that it takes place in alternate dimension filled with creatures. Zombies if you will.
In speaking with IGN series creator Hideo Kojima didn't exactly have kind words to say about the new title. "The Metal Gear games are about political fiction and espionage. Where do zombies fit in with that?"
Fair point, but the series has also had enough weirdness and supernatural elements in them to warrant this type of experience. What we see here, with stealth, crafting, resource gathering, and co-op gameplay certainly looks interesting.
For the SimTower lovers out there comes a modern retelling of that age-old tale. The one where an all-seeing dude sits atop a cloud, or a nearby sidewalk, and uses their x-ray vision to observe, command, and build their very own skyscraper. It's probably safe to say that Project Highrise is the spiritual successor to SimTower, it offers up a similarly calming and enduring gameplay loop that can only come from this type of sim.
From our review.
Without a doubt Project Highrise is inspired by SimTower, you can feel its presence throughout the game. But, much like the excellent Cities: Skylines, Project Highrise aims to modernise things with a clean and visually appealing minimal aesthetic, more intuitive construction options, and thanks to seamless Steam Workshop integration the inclusion of things like community mods. Right from the start the differences to SimTower are clear. Differences that range from feeling like a natural evolution of ideas through to some that feel like an over simplification. One of the big changes comes with construction. Pretty much everything from new floor-space down to setting up an office for rent needs a little digital guy to go to the right location and build it. It’s very cool to watch.