Call of Duty battle royale became a reality upon the release of Black Ops 4 on October 12, 2018. Ever since, Treyarch’s take on the “100 enter, one leaves” sub-genre has risen to a high status of popularity with many gamers and critics alike praising it as one of the best battle royale experiences available. Arguably un-seating the first mega-hit in the battle royale sub-genre, PUBG, Blackout seems to have taken a strong second place position underneath Fortnite depending on who you talk to. Since Black Ops 4 didn’t release with a story mode campaign though, there is a certain crowd of people who may have skipped the game. Now, starting January 17, 2019, Treyarch will offer a free trial period for Blackout which gives potential players a chance to see what they’ve been missing.
A lot of people are not liking 76, and despite our Fallout 76 Review, countless controversies surrounding business practices that we are not fans of and are impossible to defend have emerged. Perhaps most tragic, BattleCry studios being renamed to Bethesda Game Studios (Austin) means that the actions of a “B-Team” are directly affecting gamers’ perception of the core studio who have been busy working on their next big single player RPG; Starfield. This is of course, Bethesda’s own fault for being misleading about who made 76 before and during its many marketing blunders and anti-consumer decisions.
The result is that Starfield and The Elder Scrolls VI will be immensely crucial in Bethesda’s long road ahead of earning back gamers’ trust and will now likely face enormous pressure paired with already high expectations being set by their fantastical marketing campaigns. However, part of The Elder Scrolls VI’s pre-development phase has already drawn its first controversy before the nearly completed Starfield has even been given the chance to see light of day. Well respected composer Jeremy Soule (credited for Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim soundtracks) has confirmed earlier this week that he has not been asked to return for development of music for The Elder Scrolls VI soundtrack.
As previously announced during a official community update, Bethesda Game Studios has launched the December 11th update for Fallout 76 for PC versions of the game. PlayStation 4 and Xbox One gaming platforms are set to get the patch two days later. A number of key aspects regarding this patch have been surfaced in Bethesda’s patch notes which include Atomic Shop items becoming visible directly from workshops, the option to hop worlds if your base location is already occupied, and more.
Phil Spencer has been quoted as saying that “for a long time, Xbox was like the Garage of Microsoft”. His aim to re-invent the Xbox brand has begun to take shape behind-the-scenes, but will only truly be felt during the next-generation of consoles games. It takes time to make changes at major companies, Spencer inherited a mess from Don Mattrick whose infamous DRM scandal can be largely blamed for the deficit between PS4 and Xbox One this generation. Earning back the reputation of Xbox with gamers will take time. It also takes a long time for game studios to produce new games, and that’s a big part of what Phil Spencer has been initiating, exclusives for Xbox.
In a new series of articles to be released periodically by Bethesda Game Studios, it has been confirmed that Fallout 76 will be receiving an update on December 4, 2018 as well as December 11, 2018 providing a bevy of bug-fixes as well as new features to the game. Among the features included in the announcement are some we’ve heard about before (such as an increase to the game’s stash limit, push-to-talk voice chat on PC, etc.), as well as brand new features announced for the first time in this article.
Bethesda has launched a new update for Fallout 76 through a 47GB update which will attempt to address a number of minor bugs in the game. The patch also aims to improve frame rate and game stability which had sometimes suffered from dips, freezes, and crashes. User interface improvements, C.A.M.P. tweaks, and other changes are also expected to be made.
[Update #2: Lord Fluffy, the Diablo streamer who asked if Diablo Immortal will come to PC, has released a detailed overview of the context behind his question and Activision Blizzard’s reaction]
[Update: Activision Blizzard stock value has dropped 7.2% (resulting in $3.7 billion USD lost) following the Diablo Immortal announcement discussed below]
Some companies are so loved by gamers that they can do no wrong. Others discover, they are no longer part of that club! In a disastrous move, Activision Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal for mobile to close out their keynote speech at this year’s Blizzcon 2018. The game is being developed by NetEase and will see the franchise delve into the free-to-play MMO genre.
The original Diablo 2 producer has come out and said he doesn’t believe Blizzard understands gamers anymore. Fan reactions to this announcement have been so negative that the PR team behind this game is now censor criticism from the internet as a petition against its release is gaining momentum. So why are people so upset? Where did it all go wrong?
The day before last we reported on how Black Ops 4 had instituted a fun but overbearing reward system for gameplay unlocking everything from stickers to put on guns, gun skins, spray paint designs, character costumes and outfits, to even a brand new Blackout character (at tier 199).
We heard your feedback in our comments section as well as social media and while many of you agreed with our assessment that the grind required to unlock these items was just too much. It turns out that Treyarch may have heard your voices as well, and it turns out they’ve found that they agree.
The Blackout mode in Call of Duty has gone up against the odds of the most currently popular game Fortnite and fared quite nicely. Asserting itself somewhere in the top 3 alongside PUBG, Black Ops 4 is surprisingly taking fans by storm. Battlefield V’s battle royale mode has not yet been shown to the public… at all. And those who buy the upcoming EA DICE title when it releases Tuesday, November 20, 2018 will have to wait a significant amount of time to see what it’s like as well.
[Update: RDR2 takes 90 minutes to install, better get a movie ready or go for a jog while waiting!]
Could today’s leaked footage of Red Dead Redemption 2 gameplay been an intentional move by Rockstar Games meant to distract players from the news of 100 hour work weeks and the game being on two Blu-Ray discs? Or was it just a reviewer gone rogue? Either way, we’ve got both of those juicy news stories packed into one for you all.
For those who still remember the game that was first debuted as “RPG and FPS had a baby”, it might seem a bit surprising to see just how successful and popular the Borderlands series has become enduring years of success in the game industry. While fans of the genre have had no shortage of copy cats to choose from, the anticipation for Borderlands 3 information is real.
Gearbox has confirmed the third game to be in development but have remained tight lipped about it for some time, perhaps next-gen will be the time to bring out a full reveal. While waiting for that, the new opportunity to play Borderlands 2 in virtual reality has arrived. PlayStation 4’s PSVR platform is often host to timed exclusives like Fallout 4 VR and will now be the only place you can get Borderlands 2 VR for the time being.
Phil Spencer inherited a mess from Don Mattrick when he took over the Xbox brand after their famous failure in marketing at the beginning of this game console generation back in 2013. Long term damage occurred to the brand from the aggressive and confusing messaging of Microsoft’s later cancelled “always online DRM” system for the Xbox ONE. In addition to this, a mismanagement of publishing deals and lack of foresight in studio investment has led to an unmistakable lack of exclusives on the console throughout this entire games console generation.
Excellent games take a long time to develop, and with Phil Spencer steering the Xbox brand back towards the right direction behind the scenes, the fruits of this labor have yet to materialize. In order to ensure that such a problem won’t happen again, and gamers know that Xbox takes this situation seriously – Microsoft announced at E3 2018 that they’ve been acquiring a number of respected game development studios and even creating some of their own.
Ninja Theory (best known for Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) is one of the studios Microsoft has acquired as well as Undead Labs, Playground Games, Compulsion Games, and more. This week we also received the news that the final stages have been entered in a deal between the Xbox team and the development house behind Fallout: New Vegas and Pillars of Eternity. Obsidian Entertainment will become a subsidiary of Microsoft if this deal goes through, further bolstering the company’s commitment to Xbox and gaming overall.
For years small, family owned shops that sell video games have violated their contracts with major gaming companies in a practice known as “breaking street dates”. This process is that of gamers getting their hands on brand new games days (or weeks) before the actual release date of the title. Store owners sell the game ahead of time (often at an extra premium) upon receiving their shipments, then simply ring up the transaction after the fact on launch day.
One of the most popular games that traditionally gets its street date broken is the Call of Duty series. The biggest problem with that is the competitive nature of online multiplayer shooter games. Getting to play the game early can lead to a massive advantage as early players begin memorizing maps, weapon styles, and various other aspects. Treyarch have done something about this problem though, and you may see players bragging on social media, holding their Black Ops 4 discs in hand, but they won’t be gaining an edge this time.
It’s like classic Resident Evil, the samurai version. In my experience few titles have lived up to the awesome nostalgic feel and excellent gameplay design, level design, as well as atmosphere of the original Onimusha: Warlords released for Sony PlayStation 2 in the first month of 2001. It was a magical time. A powerful console none of us knew would take the world by storm in such a way to end up leading the industry as the highest selling games console to this very day. Onimsha was an enchanting title encompassing a perfect mix of action, role playing level ups, balanced equipment, strange and unique enemies, and a solid story to drive it all.
Today, Microsoft has announced their plans for investing in the future of cloud gaming. While they recognize that this new service is unlikely to be any gamer’s main platform of choice for the foreseeable future, Project xCloud is more about working out the kinks and glitches to be prepared for when that day comes that cloud streaming video games are a viable option. Using their massive Azure server platform (which was also offered as a source of dedicated servers for Xbox ONE games), Microsoft will deliver cutting edge cloud gaming through Project xCloud to devices like PC and smartphones. Unlike other cloud gaming services, Microsoft’s xCloud has custom features and controls built for each game.