Pokemon Go's next Community Day is almost here. Niantic's monthly event returns this Sunday, October 21, giving players around the world another opportunity to capture rare Pokemon, take advantage of in-game bonuses, and even add a special move to their repertoire.
While every Community Day lasts three hours, the particulars of each event vary by month. To help you get prepared, we've rounded up all the information you need to know about October's Community Day below, from its start time in each region to the bonuses that are available and featured Pokemon you'll be able to catch.
During each Community Day, one particular species of Pokemon will appear in the wild much more frequently than usual, giving you a chance to further fill out your Pokedex. While the newly added Gen 4 Pokemon may be on all players' minds right now, the featured Pokemon this month is Beldum, a Steel/Psychic-type first introduced in the series' Gen 3 games, Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire.
Beldum is a highly sought after Pokemon, so you won't want to miss your chance to catch as many as you can; not only is it fairly rare, it's capable of evolving into Metagross, an especially powerful monster that would make a great addition to anyone's team. You'll also have a chance of finding a Shiny Beldum during the event.
There's an added benefit to capturing as many featured Pokemon as you can. Typically, if you manage to evolve the monster into its final form before the event ends, it will learn a move it normally isn't able to. Such is the case with this month's Community Day; if you evolve Beldum into Metang and then Metagross during the event hours, it'll learn the powerful attack Meteor Mash.
Any Metang that evolves during the event will learn the move, even if you've obtained it before the Community Day began. However, it will only be able to learn the move if it evolves during the event, which means you'll have a fairly brief window of opportunity to get the attack. Fortunately, this time Niantic is giving players one extra hour after the Community Day ends to evolve Metang and learn Meteor Mash, so you'll have a little more time than usual to get it.
Unlike most of Pokemon Go's other real-world events, which are typically hosted at a particular location, each month's Community Day takes place during a specific window of time, meaning you can participate from anywhere. The event is also available around the world, although its hours will vary depending on your region.
Regardless of where you live, the Community Day runs for three hours, during which time you'll find increased spawns of the featured Pokemon and be able to take advantage of the featured bonuses. These hours are typically consistent each month, so if you've participated in previous events, you'll already know when it'll be available. If you're new to the game or simply need a refresher on its schedule, you can see the event hours for each region below.
Europe, Middle East, and Africa
On top of increased spawns of a particular Pokemon, Niantic always offers players a helpful bonus to take advantage of during the Community Day. This time, Pokemon Eggs will hatch at a quarter of the distance they typically require, meaning you'll be able to hatch Pokemon four times as fast while the event is running. There's also one recurring bonus in each Community Day: any Lure modules that are used during the event will remain active for three hours, rather than their typical 30-minute duration.
Posted on 21 October 2018 | 4:00 pm
We’re giving away 25 Virtual Tickets to BlizzCon 2018 (scroll down to enter below)! The Virtual Ticket is a $50 USD value that unlocks hours of exclusive video programming from Blizzard, including livestreams of everything happening at BlizzCon, from the history-making moments at Opening Ceremony to panels, community events, cosplay contests, and epic closing acts.
The BlizzCon Virtual Ticket also comes with commemorative in-game items for every Blizzard franchise. Blizzard has already released in-game items for ticket holders such as a legendary skin for Sombra in Overwatch. Future items for Diablo III, Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm®, StarCraft® II, and World of Warcraft® will be released as they become available between now and BlizzCon.
BlizzCon takes place this November 2-3, but the celebration is already underway with exclusive video content premiering every week at www.blizzcon.com.
To enter for a chance to win a BlizzCon 2018 Virtual Ticket, scroll down below. No purchase necessary. Twenty-five (25) winners will be chosen when the competition ends October 21, 2018, at 11:59PM PT.
If you win a code, please go here for instructions on how to redeem it: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/11263.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 10:09 pm
We're giving away PS4, Xbox One, and PC codes for Call Of Duty: Black Ops 4 to fifteen (15) lucky fans! Scroll down to enter.
This is not an instant win. No purchase necessary. Competition ends at 12:00 PM PT on October 26, 2018, in which 15 winners will be chosen at random and emailed a code for the full game (MSRP: $60).
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 10:08 pm
Destiny 2 players eager to get their hands on some new Exotic items are (possibly) in luck. Xur, the mysterious merchant and servant of the Nine, has popped up once again in Bungie's shooter with a refreshed lineup of Exotic items for sale, and he's got something that may be of use for Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters. Here's what he's selling from now until the next weekly reset on Tuesday, October 23, as well as where to find him.
Xur is apparently a fan of moons of Jupiter; he was recently found on Io, and that's again where he's located for this week. Bungie continues to reuse his standard spot for each map, meaning he can be found in Giant's Scar. Spawn in at that landing zone and make your way forward through the building in front of you, and then follow the path to the left. Just up on a hill, you'll find a small cave he's hanging out in.
Festival of the Lost and Iron Banner may be underway, but there's nothing unusual about Xur's lineup of items. He has a piece of Exotic armor for each class, as well as one weapon: Crimson, the hand cannon. This is an excellent gun, firing a three-round burst and featuring the Cruel Remedy perk, which heals you when you get a kill and refills the magazine when you get a precision kill.
On the armor side, Hunters can pick up The Dragon's Shadow chest armor, which reloads your guns and provides a speed and handling buff after a dodge. Warlocks get the Crown of Tempests helmet, which speeds up arc ability recovery when you get arc ability kills. And Titans can get the Ashen Wake gauntlets, which improve fusion grenades by letting you throw them faster and causing them to explode on impact.
The full lineup and prices are as follows:
Also from Xur, you can pick up a Five of Swords challenge card for adding modifiers to Nightfall strikes (which is needed to do the weekly Powerful gear challenge to score over 100,000 in the Nightfall). Additionally, he has the Fated Engram, which is pricey at 97 Legendary Shards but is guaranteed to decrypt into a Year One Exotic you don't already have.
As noted above, Xur's lineup may not be thrilling (though Crimson genuinely is great), but there's plenty else happening in the game. You can get curated Iron Banner rewards from taking part in the Crucible mode, and we're still in the first week of the three-week-long Halloween event, Festival of the Lost. This features a new activity called the Haunted Forest that's fun and offers a path to a 600 Power level auto rifle called Horror Story--just be careful when going for the chest at the end.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 4:26 pm
It's easy to assume that because Starlink: Battle For Atlas is geared toward younger audiences, it isn't for you. The toys-to-life component and the cast of Saturday morning cartoon characters are both major aspects of the game that might fly right over your head--it's definitely where I sat for much of the game's pre-release marketing.
But after only a few hours with the game, Starlink's strengths quickly pushed through to me: It’s a satisfyingly accessible spaceship combat game, with seamless exploration that takes the best cues from games like No Man's Sky and Elite: Dangerous, and comes with all the trimmings of Ubisoft's brand of open worlds (for better and worse, according to our review.)
There's one specific thing that's really piqued my continued interest in Starlink, though: At E3 in 2018, I saw a behind-closed-doors demo of the then most recent technical demo of Beyond Good & Evil 2. And if you want to know what this mysterious sequel is going to feel like, playing Starlink is your best bet.
BG&E2 is a game that still has an air of mystery about it, especially if you haven’t been following the development blogs and livestreams very closely. There’s a lot to describe about what I saw (read the preview if you’re interested) but essentially, the game has an ambition to be a massive and multiplayer open-world space exploration game, and Starlink is just that.
The demo I saw at E3 showed a co-op duo exploring, sneaking, and fighting in an underground tomb, and over the course of 30 minutes, seamlessly transition into city, planet, space, and galaxy exploration and combat. They hoped onto vehicles and got into dogfights above the city, flew high in the sky to marvel at the enormous curvature of the planet, blasted off into the stratosphere to reach their mothership parked in space, and hit hyperspeed to start heading towards new planets.
At the time, my only points of reference were No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous—both games with impressive scope, and both games I thought of as outliers in terms of what to expect from massive, open-world games. But now, a few months later, Starlink has shown me a much closer example of what Beyond Good & Evil 2 looked and felt like to me, both technically and structurally. Starlink’s seamless and gradual transition between ground-based combat and questing, free-range dogfighting, and space travel has distinct parallels to what Beyond Good & Evil 2 is trying to achieve, though the BG&E2's pace felt slower, making its scope--the world, the galaxy--feel much larger.
There’s other Ubisoft technology I could see in Beyond Good & Evil 2 pulling from, as well. The enormous, persistent map of The Crew 2 is an example of how they're possibly going to systematically render their world, allowing multiple people to exist at opposite ends of a land mass. The sheer size of Assassin's Creed Odyssey's map makes me believe that populating the enormous planet I saw in the BG&E2 demo is a feasible feat--albeit one that could only be achieved with the enormous development manpower the company wields.
And if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, released only a couple of weeks before Starlink, you might have noticed that Ubisoft is attempting to ape, or at least try their hand at integrating a lot of the major ideas from other open world games into their own. There were arguably various levels of success there, a lot of these components get me excited about how they might be adapted to the Beyond Good & Evil 2 narrative. Branching quests from The Witcher 3, with their varied consequences, has the obvious benefits of enriching world building. The recruitment system from Metal Gear Solid V would make sense in building your crew of Space Rebels. The nemesis system from Shadow of Mordor could potentially be incredibly exciting if you had bounty hunters tracking you down across the galaxy. In the same way, Starlink is the latest, and most directly analogous experiment into exploring Ubisoft's capabilities in adapting the No Man’s Sky and Elite Dangerous model of open-world galaxies for their grand space opera.
Ubisoft is pulling Beyond Good & Evil out of the cult-classic status, and it's likely to become a major flagship release for them in the future. But in the meantime, their open-world releases suggest that they're taking steps towards learning how to build the enormous open-world galaxy they need to tell their story. The lofty ambition for the game that I saw in that E3 demo is now a much more palpable idea in my head, with Starlink providing a tangible jumping-off point. So, if you have any interest in Beyond Good & Evil 2, that Ubisoft toys-to-life game might be more exciting to you than you think.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 3:00 pm
Barring a small handful of spin-offs, the Pokemon series is making its proper debut on Nintendo Switch next month with the release of Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee. Based largely on the classic Pokemon Yellow version, the Let's Go games return the franchise to its roots in many ways. As in the original, the story is once again set in the Kanto region, and you'll only encounter the first 151 Pokemon (plus the newly revealed Meltan) during your adventure.
The Let's Go games also diverge from tradition in some dramatic ways, particularly in their connection with Pokemon Go. Not only are you able to transfer certain monsters you catch in the mobile game over to the Switch titles, they also employ Pokemon Go's catching mechanics, meaning you're no longer be able to battle wild Pokemon.
GameSpot recently had an opportunity to sit down with Pokemon: Let's Go director Junichi Masuda and lead game environment designer Kensaku Nabana. Through an interpreter, we discussed what it was like reimagining the traditionally 8-bit world of Kanto in 3D, what changes the development team made in bringing the games to Switch, and how the new Mythical Pokemon Meltan came to be.
Despite being inspired by Pokemon Yellow, Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee seem to introduce a lot of new elements not found in previous Pokemon games. What new things should we expect?
Junichi Masuda: The main flow of the story plays out very much like Pokemon Yellow Version. One of the reasons we wanted to do this is that we imagined a lot of fans of the original game were going to be playing through it. There are different parts, but I think they'll recognize the main beats of the story and feel some nostalgia there.
At the same time, we did add a decent amount of sub-events that weren't in the originals. It kind of gives it a different feel because there's a lot of trainers alongside their Pokemon in the actual world itself, so it would be a different impression than the original game, while also covering the same story.
Team Rocket seems to play a more prominent role in Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. Does this mean we'll see more of Jessie, James, and Meowth during the story?
Masuda: Yeah, they definitely appear more in the game than in the original Pokemon Yellow Version. With these two games, we really set out at the very beginning with a main target in mind, which was younger kids who maybe didn't own their own smartphones and weren't able to really participate in the Pokemon Go craze that happened. They weren't able to go out and join in on that fun, so really providing them with a really fun experience that also had some of that Pokemon Go gameplay. But at the same time, we wanted to introduce these new players, for whom this might be their first Pokemon game, through the original story, kind of ease them into the Pokemon experience that way.
Also, I thought it would be fun if players who maybe enjoyed the original game--they're now much older, probably in their 30s--they'd be able to interact with maybe their own kids or other kids that they know that are playing the game. They would actually know the general flow of the story, maybe able to give advice like where to go next and things like that. With Team Rocket, because the animated series is popular--it's in like 85-plus countries--I imagine a lot of those younger kids will have seen the animated series, even if they haven't played the game. So, we're trying to add in the elements like that to make it easier for them to get into the world and recognize the setup.
In the original games, your rival was a huge jerk, but the one in Let's Go seems much friendlier. Why the change?
Masuda: I think the biggest reason that rivals were more of a jerk in the early days is that we were just limited with what we could express with the pixel graphics. There's not much you can do with that kind of little sprite on the screen, so we worked harder to characterize them through dialogue and give them certain personalities. Also, because it's just dialogue and there's not a whole lot going on on the screen, it doesn't give as harsh of an impression even if they're jerks, I think. Now we have HD graphics and the visuals are much more impressive. If you also made him a jerk, the impression would be a lot stronger on players. Another thing, just my own personal take, is that it feels that people with those kinds of personalities these days are not as accepted by players, I think, as they were back then.
In the original games, there was text or some sort of setting where "Pidgey eat Caterpie," for example. That was fine back then, I think everybody liked it. But, I think, as Pokemon has gone on, the fans kind of have their idea of what Pokemon should be. If we did that now, I think a lot of people wouldn't really like it, it would give them a bad reaction.
What about the old man standing outside Celadon Gym who says he loves looking at the pretty girls? Did you have to tone that down as well?
Masuda: Yeah, we definitely re-evaluated all those kinds of things. But at the same time, the fact that you remember that means that it was something memorable. We had to be very careful about which things to change and which things to keep as they were. Definitely check it out for yourself and see if he's still around.
What was it like having to reimagine the Kanto region in 3D? How hard was it to recreate the world for an HD console?
Kensaku Nabana: I was in elementary school when Pokemon Yellow Version came out, and I remember playing those games as well as a fan myself. So, when we were first starting out in the development of this game, we all went back and played Pokemon Yellow Version again, and I just tried to remember the world of Pokemon that was in my imagination when I was playing those games, because you had to fill in the gaps a lot back then. Really try and take what was in my imagination then and redesign the areas to look like that image I had in my head.
Also, keeping in mind that we put the focus on having a lot of Pokemon in the environment, walking around in the overall world this time around, so [we focused on] making the visuals look like something where that wouldn't seem strange. We initially explored a more photorealistic direction, but we settled on this more anime style approach, these cuter visuals.
It definitely leaves a strong impression, seeing how different some very famous scenes from the old game are in Let's Go, such as the first time you come to the S.S. Anne and see how much more majestic it looks. For some areas like Lavender Town, which was very creepy in the original games, how did you go about expressing that in Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee?
Nabana: Lavender Town is definitely one that I don't want to talk too much about and have you discover for yourself, but I definitely have the same impression as you. It's kind of this creepy, unsettling place. So, I initially approached it with that in mind and designed it to make it look like it would give that impression. But that wasn't enough for Mr. Masuda. He was like, "You've got to make it feel even creepier." He gave me a lot of specific directions to do that. So, I think it will be fun to see what it looks like.
It doesn't seem like held items and abilities are in these games. What is the reason for that?
Masuda: Yeah, that was actually a conscious decision. We don't have held items or abilities or eggs, or a lot of features that weren't in the original generation that got added later on. We had to be very careful in selecting which things we would update from the original games and which ones we would keep the same. I did like the appeal of the simplicity of the original Generation 1 games, as this being an entry title for new players joining the franchise to really experience something very similar to what kids did 20 years ago, but [we also wanted people to] enjoy some of these new gameplay gimmicks, like the Poke Ball Plus and the connectivity with Pokemon Go.
But, of course, we did have to update some other things. For example, we added more types later on and Pokemon got re-typed, so those exist in the game. And, obviously, you weren't able to run in the original game. We were only able to create four-way movement, so we decided that we probably couldn't do that today and it made it much easier to move around, I think.
Even though held items aren't in it, we've seen that Mega Evolutions are. Can you tell us how that's going to work? Traditionally, your Pokemon has to hold the right item to Mega Evolve.
Masuda: No real details, but I can guarantee it's very simple. We didn't really think too much about it and just kept it very simple to trigger Mega Evolutions.
Please tell us more about the new Pokemon, Meltan. Was it always planned to debut first in Pokemon Go? And was it designed in collaboration with Niantic, or internally at Game Freak?
Masuda: We definitely planned to debut it in Pokemon Go from the very beginning. We had talked about in the early stages of even Go's development that we want to debut a Pokemon, and we worked with Niantic to kind of figure out that functionality. I've been working on the development of Go since the beginning as well, so I've always had it in mind. But the design, that was done internally at Game Freak. I gave some specific setting directions to one of our designers who was also a fan of the original games and played them as a kid, so he had a really good idea of what I was looking for, based on this kind of very simple metal nut design. He definitely probably had the original Kanto Pokemon designs in his mind and tried to keep it as simple as possible. You know, they were more kind of basic back then compared to some of the more modern designs. He worked on that, and then once it was finished, we gave all the assets and everything to Niantic, we planned the event and had them execute on that, and it worked out.
Following up on Meltan's design, here in the States he's been given a joking/affectionate nickname of "Nut Boy." I'm curious how you feel about that nickname and if, perhaps, he has a similar nickname in Japan?
Nabana: I haven't really seen a lot of nicknames in Japan yet, but for the design, we really tried to make it look like it was kind of a more realistic-looking object, like something that maybe you could see it in real life. It would look weird, but it wouldn't stand out too much. Initially, I thought this would be a very divisive design, like some people might like it but some people won't. It looks really strange, but if you look at it more closely, it's kind of cute at the same time. But it seems like the reaction has been generally really positive, and that's been a lot of fun. There's been tons of fan art already and it was revealed just recently, so it's been exciting for us.
In the DS and 3DS games, there were a lot of events at stores that gave out free Pokemon via download codes. Is anything similar planned for Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee?
Masuda: The functionality from the previous games is in there, it's called Mystery Gift. It's in the game and I'm sure there'll probably be something, but I think with the limited selection of Pokemon, they're all fairly easily catchable in other games. I'm not sure how often or how frequent it's going to be with these particular games.
We’ve talked about transferring between Pokemon Go and Let's Go. When the "core" Pokemon game planned for 2019 arrives, will there also be transfer possibilities between Let's Go and that title?
Masuda: We're definitely always thinking of that kind of forward-moving functionality, especially since we've introduced the Pokemon Bank. Now, up to Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, you're able to store your Pokemon. We know they're very important to everyone. I mean, obviously, people would be very sad if they couldn't use their Pokemon in a future game. So, it does get complicated when you talk about the details and we're still figuring it out, but we do have plans to find ways to let players use their Pokemon in the next game.
What are your favorite Pokemon games?
Masuda: Definitely Red and Green for me is the most memorable. It was a six year development with just nine of us, so we have a lot of memories from that time, both good and bad. One of the other things was that we didn't have much expectation that the game would be played by millions of people at the time. We were just developing it. At any time the company could have gone under and it may not have been released. But yeah, a lot of memories from that time.
Nabana: Red and Green, that's where I started as well. I played those games and I have great memories playing them, but over the 20 years as time went on, I think the memory got glamorized even more. It starts to just become this legend in my mind. Of course, we tried to make Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee, the re-imagining of that, to kind of live up to those. It gets more and more beautiful in your mind as time goes on, so that's what we tried to do. So those are probably my favorite games, just in my memory.
But as a developer, I think being able to work on these games and try and update them for the modern time and work as a team lead on these games, that was probably my favorite experience so far.
Going back to Red and Green and how arduous the development process was. Is there anything from back then that you wanted to specifically address or implement when updating the adventure for Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee?
Masuda: With Red and Green and even games after that, at Game Freak we always wanted to have Pokemon appear in the overworld, in the field itself. But, specifically with the original games, there was no way of doing that with the Game Boy hardware. It just couldn't handle it. We really wanted to make them feel like living creatures that are in the world with you, so you'll see on Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee they'll all have their own little unique movement characteristics. Some of them will run up and stop. They're kind of curious. It'll be fun to just discover how they all react to you.
One final question: any chance we see Pikachu's scrapped evolution, Gorochu, someday?
Masuda: You're probably not going to see it. None of the Pokemon that we worked on, got to a point, and then discarded them have actually ever re-appeared yet, so I would say the chances are low. One of the reasons for that is that we always have this base criteria at Game Freak of being able to explain why a certain Pokemon is in the world or why it exists in that world, trying to make it feel believable within the fantasy. And usually the ones that get rejected are Pokemon that we weren't able to justify, I think. Usually there's a reason for why they weren't implemented, and as long as that reason still exists, they probably won't be put in the game.
We always say Pokemon isn't a "character game." It's not a game where it's just the characters, but it's a game that shows this world where these living creatures are existing in a space. That's kind of a slight nuance, but that's what we always try to go for at Game Freak. It's not good enough that they're just cute. (Laughs) They have to have something more to it.
Nabana: I've worked on Pokemon designs myself and it really is a very arduous, time consuming process. You've got to talk to a lot of people, a lot of back-and-forth and really be able to justify it before we get to a final design.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 2:05 pm
Even some 20 years after it debuted, the Pokemon series remains one of Nintendo's most beloved and lucrative franchises, but developer Game Freak is making a concerted effort to broaden its appeal even further with Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Let's Go Eevee. Rather than continuing to build upon the mechanics that have been steadily accumulating with each successive generation, the upcoming Switch games deliberately simplify many of the series' elements in order to draw in new and lapsed fans. From what we've seen of the games thus far, this results in some genuinely welcome quality-of-life changes, but for hardcore players, it also makes the titles feel a little rudimentary compared to other installments.
We recently had an opportunity to go hands-on with a new demo of Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. Whereas the E3 build was set entirely within the Viridian Forest, this demo dropped us off at the foot of Mt. Moon. In past games, caves had always been some of the most frustrating areas to explore (particularly so in the original Red, Blue, and Yellow versions) due to how frequently you would be beset by random encounters. In the Let's Go titles, however, wild Pokemon appear in the overworld, so you're now free to choose whether you want to engage a Pokemon or continue exploring. There is still some randomness to where and when Pokemon will appear; occasionally a monster will spawn unavoidably, forcing you into an encounter anyway. But by and large, having Pokemon roaming the overworld makes traversing the Kanto region more enjoyable.
Since their unveiling, Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee have been billed as reimaginings of Pokemon Yellow rather than straight remakes, and that distinction was evident as we explored Mt. Moon. While the titles seem to follow the same general story beats as the classic Game Boy game, they also diverge in some unexpected ways, most notably in our encounter with Team Rocket. In the original Yellow version, Jessie and James first appear toward the end of the cave, after you've obtained one of the fossils. Here, you cross paths with them immediately upon entering Mt. Moon. Rather than battle you on the spot, however, the villains flee, leading you into the heart of the cave. Pokemon: Let's Go director Junichi Masuda teased that there are many other new instances like this peppered throughout the game, and Team Rocket in particular will play a more prominent role, showing up more frequently throughout the course of the adventure than they did in the original.
Another notable new feature in Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee is local co-op play. While previous Pokemon games allowed you to team up with a friend for Multi Battles, the Let's Go titles are the first to give another player the ability to drop in and join the adventure at any time simply by waving a second Joy-Con. The second player is fairly limited in terms of what they can actually do; they're not able to initiate battles nor pick up items, and the camera will not follow them if they happen to venture off-screen. Rather, their purpose is primarily to assist the main player. During battles, for instance, they'll also send one of your Pokemon out onto the field, turning the contest into a two-on-one affair. They can help capture wild Pokemon as well by throwing their own Poke Ball during the catching phase, greatly increasing your chance of success. Older players likely won't have much reason to use this feature, as it makes what is already a more leisurely take on the series even easier, but it's particularly well-suited for parents who want to adventure alongside and guide their children through the game.
The biggest difference between Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee and past games is how you capture Pokemon. As previously revealed, the Let's Go titles employ Pokemon Go's catching mechanics, meaning you won't need to battle a wild Pokemon and whittle its health down in order to capture it. Despite this, your party will still earn experience points each time you catch a new Pokemon, just as they would if you had battled it, giving you an incentive to collect as many monsters as you can. This greater emphasis on catching Pokemon also means you now carry your Pokemon Box around in your item bag. This is a particularly handy change, as you can now swap Pokemon in and out of your party from the menu screen rather than having to visit a Pokemon Center each time you want to change them out. You're also able to rename any Pokemon you capture directly from the party screen instead of through the Name Rater, another convenience brought over from Pokemon Go.
Still, while you don't fundamentally lose any of the benefits you'd typically receive from wild Pokemon battles, their absence will likely be the most divisive aspect of Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee. Wild battles have always been the perfect opportunity to raise and test out new Pokemon; without them, the only battles you'll engage in are against other trainers, who traditionally could only be challenged once. The games also eschew held items and Pokemon abilities, two other staple elements of the series. While this brings them closer in line with the original Yellow version, since both of those mechanics were introduced in later games, it removes a layer of strategy from battles.
It remains to be seen if Pokemon: Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee will have enough depth to sustain hardcore fans' interest, but they're shaping up to be a good entry point for new and younger players. The games launch for Nintendo Switch on November 16. Alongside them, Nintendo is releasing a Poke Ball-shaped controller called the Poke Ball Plus, which retails for $50 and comes with the Mythical Pokemon Mew. You can read more about the titles in our roundup of everything we know about Let's Go Pikachu and Eevee.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 2:00 pm
Netflix has announced that Luke Cage will not be returning for a third season. The news comes just a few days after the announcement that Iron Fist has been canceled, leaving just Jessica Jones and Daredevil as the last Defenders standing on the streaming service.
"Unfortunately, Marvel's Luke Cage will not return for a third season," reads a joint statement from Netflix and Marvel. "Everyone at Marvel Television and Netflix is grateful to the dedicated showrunner, writers, cast and crew who brought Harlem's Hero to life for the past two seasons, and to all the fans who have supported the series."
Showing solidarity, Iron Fist star Finn Jones posted an image on Instagram in response to the news. It shows his character, Danny Rand, combining the power of the Iron Fist with Luke Cage's own overwhelmingly destructive abilities.
While the Iron Fist series had a shaky start, general consensus is that its second season showed some improvement. Luke Cage, however, started much stronger. Like many of the Netflix and Marvel shows, it suffered from bloat, with more episodes than there perhaps needed to be. Despite this, Luke Cage had a distinct identity and a grit that many appreciated. Its first season was bolstered by strong performances from Mike Colter (Luke Cage), Simone Missick (Misty Knight), Rosario Dawson (Claire Temple), and Mahershala Ali (Cottonmouth).
The series also had a visual and musical flair that many of the other Marvel shows on Netflix don't. It very much leaned into an aesthetic that could carry the feeling of living in Harlem and the culture that shaped it and represents it. In one memorable scene Mahershala Ali's Cottonmouth watches on as rapper Jidenna delivers a performance of Long Live The Chief to an empty club. In another, an iconic image of rapper Biggie Smalls is used to perfectly encapsulate Cottonmouth as a character.
The two cancellations come at a time when Disney is working on its own streaming service. Thus far Disney has confirmed Season 7 for Star Wars: The Clone Wars and a new live-action Star Wars series are in production for the service. In terms of Marvel offerings, Disney has said it will have TV shows based on "beloved superheroes" that may not have had their own spotlight on the big screen. Reports have suggested that Tom Hiddleston is lined up to reprise his role as Loki and Elizabeth Olsen as Scarlet Witch for these.
Daredevil Season 3, meanwhile, is available now and returns to the struggle between Matt Murdock and Filson Fisk that made the first season so compelling. However, the third season also introduces another Marvel villain into the mix. Read our Daredevil Season 3 review to find out whether if it's successful or not.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 12:07 pm
After the amazing gaming year that was 2017, many wondered how well 2018 would turn out. Fortunately for everyone, it has been great. The first half of the year has yielded a wealth of fantastic games, and there's more on the horizon. Upcoming games for the rest of this 2018 include slew of hotly anticipated new games, like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Red Dead Redemption 2, Spider-Man, and a whole lot more. To help you keep track of all the games coming out and what has already released, we've compiled a list of all the noteworthy release dates for the biggest ones confirmed to come out in 2018 so far.
Game release dates change all the time and new ones arrive every month. Be sure to bookmark this page, as we'll be updating this article with more release dates or any potential changes to any of the dates below. And if you're eager to figure out the release dates from games next year, you can also reference our feature on the game release dates of 2019.
|The Escapists 2||Switch||January 11|
|Forged Battalion||PC||January 16|
|Kerbal Space Program: Enhanced Edition||PS4, Xbox One||January 16|
|Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition||PS4, PC||January 16|
|Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth - Hacker's Memory||PS4, Vita||January 19|
|Kirby Battle Royale||3DS||January 19|
|Iconoclasts||PS4, Vita||January 23|
|Lost Sphear||PS4, Switch, PC||January 23|
|OK KO: Let's Play Heroes||PS4, Xbox One, PC||January 23|
|The Inpatient||PSVR||January 23|
|My Time at Portia||PC||January 23|
|Velocity 2X: Critical Mass Edition||PS4, Vita||January 23|
|Celeste||PS4, Switch, PC||January 25|
|Dust and Salt||PC||January 25|
|Dragon Ball FighterZ||PS4, Xbox One, PC||January 26|
|Monster Hunter World||PS4, Xbox One||January 26|
|Railway Empire||PC||January 26|
|Dissidia: Final Fantasy NT||PS4||January 30|
|Railway Empire||PS4, Xbox One||January 30|
|Batallion 1944 (Early Access)||PC||February 1|
|Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age||PC||February 1|
|Night in the Woods||Switch||February 1|
|SteamWorld Dig||Switch||February 1|
|EA Sports UFC 3||PS4, Xbox One||February 2|
|Shadow of the Colossus||PS4||February 6|
|Civilization VI: Rise and Fall (Expansion)||PC||February 8|
|Dragon Quest Builders||Switch||February 9|
|The Seven Deadly Sins: Knights of Britannia||PS4||February 9|
|Under Night In-Birth Exe: Late[st]||PS4, PS3, Vita||February 9|
|Crossing Souls||PS4, PC||February 13|
|Dynasty Warriors 9||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 13|
|The Fall 2: Unbound||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 13|
|Kingdom Come: Deliverance||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 13|
|The Longest Five Minutes||Switch, Vita, PC||February 13|
|Monster Energy Supercross: The Official Videogame||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||February 13|
|Radiant Historia: Perfect Chronology||3DS||February 13|
|Secret of Mana||PS4, PS Vita, PC||February 15|
|Bayonetta + Bayonetta 2||Switch||February 16|
|Fe||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||February 16|
|Age of Empires: Definitive Edition||PC||February 20|
|Metal Gear Survive||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 20|
|Xenon Valkyrie+||Xbox One||February 20|
|Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus||Switch||February 22|
|Stellaris: Apocalypse||PC||February 22|
|Past Cure||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 23|
|Sword Art Online: Fatal Bullet||PS4, Xbox One, PC||February 23|
|Yume Nikki: Dream Diary||PC||February 23|
|Gravel||Xbox One||February 26|
|De Blob 2||PS4, Xbox One||February 27|
|Immortal Redneck||Xbox One||February 27|
|Payday 2||Switch||February 27|
|Riftstar Raiders||Xbox One||February 27|
|Bravo Team||PSVR||March 6|
|Final Fantasy XV: Royal Edition||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 6|
|Scribblenauts Showdown||PS4, Xbox One, Switch||March 6|
|Fear Effect Sedna||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||March 6|
|Devil May Cry HD Collection||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 13|
|Pure Farming 2018||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 13|
|Burnout Paradise Remastered||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 13|
|Kirby Star Allies||Switch||March 16|
|Assassin's Creed Rogue: Remastered||PS4, Xbox One||March 20|
|Attack on Titan 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||March 20|
|Sea of Thieves||Xbox One, PC||March 20|
|Titan Quest||PS4, Xbox One||March 20|
|A Way Out||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 23|
|Detective Pikachu||3DS||March 23|
|Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom||PS4, PC||March 23|
|Atelier Lydie & Suelle: The Alchemists and the Mysterious Paintings||PS4, PC, Switch||March 27|
|Far Cry 5||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 27|
|MLB The Show 18||PS4||March 27|
|Outlast 2||Switch||March 27|
|Agony||PS4, Xbox One, PC||March 30|
|Extinction||PS4, Xbox One, PC||April 10|
|Owlboy||PS4, Xbox One||April 10|
|Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice||Xbox One||April 11|
|Wild Guns Reloaded||Switch||April 17|
|Yakuza 6: The Song of Life||PS4||April 17|
|Metal Max Xeno||PS4, Vita||April 19|
|God of War||PS4||April 20|
|Nintendo Labo Variety Kit||Switch||April 20|
|Nintendo Labo Robot Kit||Switch||April 20|
|South Park: The Fractured But Whole||Switch||April 24|
|Super Mega Baseball 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 1|
|Killing Floor: Incursion||PSVR||May 1|
|Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia||PC||May 3|
|City of Brass||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 4|
|Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze||Switch||May 4|
|AO International Tennis (originally AU, NZ only)||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 8|
|Conan Exiles||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 8|
|Destiny 2: Warmind||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 8|
|Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire||PC||May 8|
|Raging Justice||Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 8|
|Tacoma (first released on Xbox One, PC)||PS4||May 8|
|Immortal Redneck||Switch||May 10|
|One Piece: Pirate Warriors 3||Switch||May 11|
|Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 11|
|Battle Chasers: Nightwar||Switch||May 15|
|Dragon's Crown Pro||PS4||May 15|
|Horizon Chase Turbo||PS4, PC||May 15|
|Little Witch Academia: Chamber of Time||PS4, PC||May 15|
|Omensight||PS4, PC||May 15|
|Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey Redux||3DS||May 15|
|Far: Lone Sails||PC||May 17|
|Hyrule Warriors: Definitive Edition||Switch||May 18|
|Little Nightmares: Complete Edition||Switch||May 18|
|State of Decay 2 (Ultimate Edition)||Xbox One, PC||May 18|
|Ancestors Legacy||Xbox One, PC||May 22|
|Mega Man Legacy Collection||Switch||May 22|
|Mega Man Legacy Collection 2||Switch||May 22|
|Runner3||Switch, PC||May 22|
|Space Hulk: Deathwing - Enhanced Edition||PS4, PC||May 22|
|State of Decay 2 (Standard Edition)||Xbox One, PC||May 22|
|Tennis World Tour||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||May 22|
|Dillon's Dead-Heat Breakers||3DS||May 24|
|Dark Souls Remastered||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 25|
|Detroit: Become Human||PS4||May 25|
|Agony||PS4, Xbox One, PC||May 29|
|Legend of Kay Anniversary||Switch||May 29|
|Sega Mega Drive Classics||PS4, Xbox One||May 29|
|Street Fighter 30th Anniversary Collection||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||May 29|
|BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle||PS4, PC, Switch||June 5|
|The Elder Scrolls Online: Summerset||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 5|
|Onrush||PS4, Xbox One||June 5|
|Shaq Fu: A Legend Reborn||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||June 5|
|Vampyr||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 5|
|MotoGP 18||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 7|
|Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido||Switch, 3DS||June 8|
|Unravel Two||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 9|
|Fallout Shelter||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||June 10|
|Jurassic World Evolution (Digital)||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 12|
|Fortnite: Battle Royale||Switch||June 12|
|Hollow Knight||Switch||June 12|
|Moss (Physical)||PS4||June 12|
|Super Bomberman R||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 12|
|LEGO The Incredibles||Xbox One, PS4, Switch, PC||June 15|
|The Lost Child||PS4, PS Vita||June 19|
|Mario Tennis Aces||Switch||June 22|
|New Gundam Breaker||PS4, PC||June 22|
|The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 26|
|Crash Bandicoot N.Sane Trilogy||Xbox One, PC, Switch||June 26|
|De Blob Remastered||Switch||June 26|
|Far Cry 3 Classic Edition||PS4, Xbox One||June 26|
|Lumines Remastered||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||June 26|
|Nier: Automata Become As Gods Edition||Xbox One||June 26|
|The Crew 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 29|
|MXGP Pro||PS4, Xbox One, PC||June 29|
|Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus||Switch||June 29|
|Jurassic World Evolution (Physical)||Xbox One, PS4, PC||July 3|
|Red Faction: Guerrilla Remastered||PS4, Xbox One, PC||July 3|
|Mushroom Wars 2||Switch||July 5|
|Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor – Martyr||PS4, Xbox One||July 5|
|Shining Resonance Refrain||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||July 10|
|Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker||Switch, 3DS||July 13|
|Earthfall||PS4, Xbox One, PC||July 13|
|Octopath Traveler||Switch||July 13|
|Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion||PS4, Xbox One, PC||July 17|
|Sonic Mania Plus||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||July 17|
|Mega Man X Collection 1+2||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||July 24|
|No Man’s Sky||Xbox One||July 24|
|The Banner Saga 3||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, Mac||July 24|
|Hello Neighbor||PS4, Switch, iOS, Android||July 27|
|Chasm||PS4, Xbox One, PC||July 31|
|Code of Princess EX||Switch||July 31|
|Titan Quest||Switch||July 31|
|Yakuza 0||PC||August 1|
|WarioWare Gold||3DS||August 3|
|Dead Cells||PS4, Xbox One, PC Switch||August 7|
|Flipping Death||PS4, Xbox One, PC Switch||August 7|
|Overcooked 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC Switch||August 7|
|Monster Hunter World||PC||August 9|
|Okami HD||Switch||August 9|
|Madden NFL 19||PS4, Sbox One, PC||August 10|
|We Happy Few||PS4, Xbox One, PC||August 10|
|Death's Gambit||PS4, PC||August 10|
|The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 1||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||August 14|
|World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth||PC||August 14|
|Guacamelee! 2||PS4||August 21|
|Shenmue I & II||PS4, Xbox One, PC||August 21|
|Gone Home||Switch||August 23|
|F1 2018||PS4, Xbox One, PC||August 24|
|Little Dragons Cafe||PS4, Switch||August 24|
|Night Trap: 25th Anniversary Edition||Switch||August 24|
|Blade Strangers||PS4, Switch, PC||August 28|
|Donut County||PS4, PC, iOS||August 28|
|Into the Breach||Switch||August 28|
|Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate||Switch||August 28|
|Pro Evolution Soccer 2019||PS4, Xbox One, PC||August 28|
|Yakuza Kiwami 2||PS4||August 28|
|The Messenger||Switch, PC||August 30|
|Two Point Hospital||PC||August 30|
|Divinity: Original Sin 2||PS4, Xbox One||August 31|
|Naruto to Boruto: Shinobi Striker||PS4, Xbox One, PC||August 31|
|Wasteland 2||Switch||August TBA 2018|
|Destiny 2 Forsaken DLC||PS4, Xbox One, PC||September 4|
|Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age||PS4||September 4|
|Player Unknown's Battlegrounds||Xbox One||September 4|
|Gone Home||Switch||September 6|
|Immortal: Unchained||PS4, Xbox One, PC||September 7|
|NBA Live 19||PS4, Xbox One||September 7|
|SNK Heroines: Tag Team Frenzy||PS4, Switch||September 7|
|Yo-kai Watch Blasters: Red Cat Corp and White Dog Squad||3DS||September 7|
|NBA 2K19||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||September 11|
|Cities: Skylines||Switch||September 13|
|Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition||PS4, Xbox One, Switch||September 13|
|Wasteland 2: Directors Cut||Switch||September 13|
|Nintendo Labo Vehicle Kit||Switch||September 14|
|Shadow of the Tomb Raider||PS4, Xbox One, PC||September 14|
|Light Fingers||Switch||September 14|
|Capcom Beat 'Em Up Bundle||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||September 18|
|Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country DLC||Switch||September 21|
|South Park: The Stick of Truth||Switch||September 25|
|Valkyria Chronicles 4||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||September 25|
|The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||September 25|
|Life Is Strange 2 -- Episode 1||PS4, Xbox One, PC||September 27|
|Dragon Ball FighterZ||Switch||September 28|
|FIFA 19||PS4, PS3, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Switch, PC||September 28|
|Astro Bot Rescue Mission||PSVR||October 2|
|Forza Horizon 4||Xbox One, PC||October 2|
|Fist of the North Star: Lost Paradise||PS4||October 2|
|Mega Man 11||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||October 2|
|Assassin's Creed Odyssey||PS4, Xbox One, PC||October 5|
|Super Mario Party||Switch||October 5|
|Disgaea 1 Complete||PS4, Switch||October 9|
|Mark of the Ninja: Remastered||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||October 9|
|WWE 2K19||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||October 9|
|Child of Light||Switch||October 11|
|Call of Duty: Black Ops 4||PS4, Xbox One, PC||October 12|
|Luigi's Mansion||3DS||October 12|
|The World Ends with You: Final Remix||Switch||October 12|
|Lego DC Super Villains||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||October 16|
|Starlink: Battle for Atlas||PS4, Xbox One, Switch||October 16|
|Valkyria Chronicles||Switch||October 16|
|Warriors Orochi 4||PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC||October 16|
|Syberia 3||Switch||October 18|
|Dark Souls Remastered||Switch||October 19|
|Soulcalibur VI||PS4, Xbox One, PC||October 19|
|Just Dance 2019||PS4, Xbox One, Switch||October 23|
|My Hero One's Justice||PS4, Switch||October 26|
|Red Dead Redemption 2||PS4, Xbox One||October 26|
|Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game||PS4, Xbox One, PC||October 30|
|The Quiet Man||PS4, PC||November 1|
|Diablo III: Eternal Collection||Switch||November 2|
|Overkill's The Walking Dead||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 6|
|The Walking Dead: The Final Season Episode 3||PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||N/A|
|World of Final Fantasy Maxima||Xbox One, Switch||November 6|
|Ride 3||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 8|
|Hitman 2||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 13|
|SNK 40th Anniversary Collection||Switch||November 13|
|Spyro Reignited Trilogy||PS4, Xbox One||November 13|
|Fallout 76||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 14|
|Underworld Ascendant||PC||November 15|
|Civilization VI||Switch||November 16|
|Pokémon Let's Go Pikachu/Let's Go Eevee||Switch||November 16|
|Battlefield V||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 20|
|Wreckfest||PS4, Xbox One||November 20|
|Darksiders 3||PS4, Xbox One, PC||November 27|
|Katamari Damacy Reroll||Switch, PC||November 30|
|PS4, Xbox One, PC||December 4|
|PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||December 4|
|PS4, PSVita||December 4|
|PS4, PSVita||December 4|
|PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch||N/A|
Below you can find a list of the biggest games that don't have explicit release dates but are confirmed to release sometime this year. There are also games listed that we expect to launch in 2018. We'll be moving each of these games into the release date sections above as soon as official dates are announced.
|Chocobo's Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy!||PS4, Switch|
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:49 am
Only a couple years after Fallout 4's release, Bethesda surprised fans by officially announcing Fallout 76, the next entry in its beloved post-apocalyptic RPG franchise. The new game was revealed in a trailer after a series of teases, and Bethesda discussed it in more detail at E3 2018 and at QuakeCon 2018. We even got an opportunity to play the game at a recent hands-on preview event. While there's still so much we do not yet know about Bethesda's upcoming game, the company has offered some clarity on Fallout 76's most curious features and additions to the Fallout formula.
To ensure you're kept up to date on everything there is to know about Fallout 76, we've compiled all the information we have on the game so far: our in-depth preview, the platforms it's on, its online functionality, its anti-griefing features, and where the game falls in the series' timeline.
Fallout 76 is a prequel to all of the previous Fallout games. Set in 2102, you play an inhabitant of Vault 76 who emerges from the shelter 25 years after the bombs fell on America. Your task is simple: explore what remains of post-apocalyptic America and rebuild civilization.
Longtime fans will likely recognize Vault 76; although it's not a place we've visited before, this isn't the series' first mention of it. Both Fallout 3 and 4 reference it and, according to the Fallout Wikia, this West Virginia-based vault was occupied by 500 of of America's best and brightest minds. Unlike the more grotesque experimental vaults in the Fallout universe, Vault 76 is a control vault intended to be opened 20 or so years after a nuclear war. But if the Vault was supposed to open 20 years after the bombs fell, why have 25 years gone by? The story likely has a few surprises in store.
Fallout 76 uses the Creation Engine, the same engine used to make Fallout 4, but it will purportedly feature much more graphical detail than its predecessor. Game director Todd Howard has said that Fallout 76 has new rendering and lighting technology, which allows for "16 times" the detail.
Bethesda Game Studios, the Maryland-based developer responsible for the Elder Scrolls series and both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, is at work on the game. In addition, Bethesda Game Studios Austin--formerly BattleCry Studios--assisted in fine-tuning the Creation Engine to support multiplayer functionality.
Fallout 76 is a much different sort of game from its predecessors. It's "entirely online," but don't worry, you'll be able to play it solo too. According to Bethesda, the idea to take this approach to open-world survival came four years ago, when it started to work on building a multiplayer Fallout experience. Howard described the game's approach to survival as "softcore," which means death doesn't equal loss of progression.
You can form a party with up to three other players. You won't be able to manage your placement in servers when you login, as you'll automatically be inserted into a session with others upon booting up the game. Of course, you also have the option simply join alongside your friends and play together.
Howard commented that Fallout 76 will have dedicated servers that will support the game "now and for years to come." At launch, there will only be public servers, but Bethesda plans to introduce private servers that will allow players to invite friends to play in order to prevent undesirable behavior.
Some classic mechanics from past games will be changing to accommodate the shift to online play. For example, V.A.T.S has been reconfigured to work in real time, while still allowing players to target specific enemy body parts. But this time around, it has been updated to be more of a tool that allows you to spot out dangers in the environment.
According to Howard, Fallout 76's world is four times the size of Fallout 4. There are six different regions to explore, and each has its own unique style, risks, and rewards. Confirmed areas include the West Virginia State Capitol, The Greenbrier, Woodburn Circle, New River Gorge Bridge, and Camden Park. Contained within each area is a variety of new creatures to encounter, some of which are based on West Virginian folklore. You can take at the full map in the image below.
Like previous games, players will spend the majority of their time exploring and completing quests. However, Fallout 76 will not feature any human non-player characters, as all surviving humans will be controlled by active players. Instead, the game will use combination of robot NPCs, collectible recordings, and environmental storytelling in order to give players what they need to piece together quests and the story at large.
Given the game's premise of rebuilding the world, there will be base-building elements similar to Fallout 4. You will be able to set up a bases anywhere using an item called the Construction and Assembly Mobile Platform, or CAMP. These can be placed down in the world and allow you to construct an impromptu camp. At E3, we got to see the player laying down walls and decorating the base with pool tables, toilets, and other household objects. As the "mobile platform" part of the name implies, your CAMP can also be picked up and relocated, allowing you to move your base anywhere in the world.
While you can help build the world, you can also destroy it. If you have the necessary nuclear launch codes, it's actually possible to access a missile silo to fire a nuke at any point on the map. Doing so irradiates the chosen area, but it also allows for the opportunity to discover rare weapons, gear, and items. Be wary; nuking an area also causes more powerful enemies to show up, making it more difficult to survive. But don't be discouraged by this, the CAMP blueprint system makes it easy for players to quickly rebuild their homes, and if they're privy to an incoming threat, they can pack their things and move to a new location.
As an online experience, player choice is said to be incredibly important, going as far as giving players the freedom to choose who are the heroes and who are the villains. Early footage showcased multiple players engaging in combat and participating in friendly activities, which seems to indicate that players have the freedom to choose their paths in the world of Fallout 76.
You'll have similar character creation tools as Fallout 4. However, you're free to change your appearance at any point. In addition, you can also utilize the game's new photo mode during the creation process to better see how your character looks, as well as snap some shots you can share on social media.
The SPECIAL system returns and it's a bit different. Like previous games, SPECIAL encompasses the following stats: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility, Luck. You're given one point to put into any of those stats every time you level up. The first thing you do when you emerge from the vault is pick a SPECIAL and then you pick a perk in that particular SPECIAL. Essentially, every SPECIAL is a pool of points for your perks.
But unlike previous games, perks are now cards you can equip and unlock as you rank up in a given SPECIAL; though, you're free to swap cards out at any time if you want to alter your build. Each SPECIAL characteristic you develop has a perk card cap of 15. These perk cards can be enhanced further from one to five points to increase their power.
You can obtain additional perk cards via Perk Card Packs (four random cards), which you earn every two levels initially (1-10), and then every 5 after that. You can also pick one perk card per level, usually from your SPECIAL choice. There are hundreds of Perks cards you can unlock, so naturally SPECIAL ranks cap out after a while (you gain a rank up in a SPECIAL each time you level up). At level 50, you'll stop increasing SPECIAL ranks, but you'll still get card packs.
When you shoot someone you do a little bit of damage, which can be equated to lightly slapping them in order to challenge them to a duel. In response to this, the other player can choose to ignore or engage. If they engage in a battle with you, they'll start to take full damage. The one who is killed in this consenting PvP match has the option to seek revenge. Doing so gives that person the opportunity to get double the rewards granted they're successful.
If you'd rather choose to ignore a PvP match, there's no way to escape being killed--despite the small damage dealt to you during the initiation phases. However, if you are killed by a player under these circumstances, that player becomes a Wanted Murderer and will receive no rewards from having killed you.
A Wanted Murderer is marked on the map as a red star and a bounty is placed on their head. Players looking to cash in on this bounty aren't visible on the Murderer's map. If the murderer is killed, the money from that bounty is taken out their stock.
In order to give players time to properly acclimate to how Fallout 76 plays, PvP won't be available to players until level five. And if you perish from any PvP encounter, the only thing you'll lose is the junk you've been collecting, which can be reclaimed after death if not already picked up by other players. You can always store junk in stashes found around the world, so as to safeguard a portion of your stock. Armor and weapons are retained in your inventory after death.
We recently got a hands-on with a build of Fallout 76. It plays similarly to Fallout 4, but it features some new additions that subtly shift the paradigm established by past entries in the series. We got to experience three hours of the game, exploring a decent chunk of the opening area while taking on quests and generally working cooperatively with the players around us. There's a lot to unpack about how the upcoming multiplayer open-world RPG, so be sure to watch the video above and read our full thoughts in our in-depth preview detailing what we got to play.
It's possible to chat with your teammates and even strangers you discover out in the world. It's area-based so your ability to hear other plays will vary. But if you want nothing to do with strangers, it's possible to mute their voices entirely.
Fallout 76's beta will be available exclusively to those who preorder the game. Bethesda said that it will begin selecting participants from the pool of pre-orders on October 23 on Xbox One first. The plan is to start small and expand over time with PS4 and PC to follow on October 30. For more details, you can check out Bethesda's Fallout 76 FAQ for more details on how to redeem your code.
Fallout 76 is being developed for PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and is currently scheduled to be released on November 14. Unfortunately, there's no word about a Nintendo Switch release, which didn't seem out of the question after the Skyrim re-release made it to that platform.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:44 am
The follow-up to Rockstar Games' classic western game Red Dead Redemption is fast approaching. Set 12 years before the events of the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2 will explore an expansive region of the American wilderness, with Dutch Van der Linde's gang on the run from lawmen during the last years of the wild west. Experiencing Rockstar's take on the open-world western from a new perspective, you'll uncover the history of the Van Der Linde gang, which has a young John Marston in its thralls.
We got the opportunity to play Red Dead Redemption 2, and suffice to say, it's shaping up to be one of the most detailed open world games we've ever played. You can find out more in our preview below where you can read about our experiences completing story missions and exploring the game's world. There's also plenty of details below on the game's narrative and all of its trailers. With its release date of October 26 approaching, we've learned a lot more about the base game, as well as the first details about its Red Dead Online mode coming in November.
Set 12 years before the main events of the original game, the prequel focuses on the outlaw life of the Van der Linde gang, led by Red Dead Redemption's main antagonists. After a robbery in Blackwater (one of the original game's major towns) goes bad--the gang finds themselves on the run. Dutch, his right-hand man Arthur Morgan, and several members of the gang have to contend with a life on-the-run while confrontations with rival gangs and the law make their situation grow more desperate.
Rockstar also released a description of the plot:
America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.
Debuting on October 20, 2016, the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 was a bit of a mood piece that showcased many locales in the game, while also portraying the somber tone of the main narrative. In this trailer, we saw several towns and locales, many of which are teeming with life and activity--such as ranchers rustling up some cattle, huntsmen bringing back their haul, and a group of citizens hanging out in the general store.
Though the central character of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston, plays some role in the story--the main protagonist of the prequel is Arthur Morgan. As Dutch's right-hand man and enforcer for the gang, he'll handle much of the daily duties of keeping the gang in-check--which includes a young and less-experienced John Marston. When it comes to keeping the gang and its community afloat, Morgan is quite handy with picking up various jobs to ensure everyone is well fed and in good spirits. But as the story progresses, he'll begin to question his own resolve for Dutch's way of life, and whether he still has a place in the gang.
On September 28, 2017, the second trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 debuted. In the new footage, we got to see more of Arthur Morgan and how ruthless he can be while on the job. During some of the story cutscenes, Morgan will use coercion and physical threats to collect money and information, all for the "benefit" of the community. For more info on this particular trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
In Red Dead Redemption 2, we'll see Dutch's gang and its key players in their prime. While the original game had John hunt down and kill the remaining members of the gang, we'll see many of the familiar faces in relatively happier times. From the most recent trailer, we see Dutch Van der Linde, Arthur Morgan, Bill Williamson, Javier Esquela, Sadie Adler, Charles Smith, Micah Bell, Hosea Matthews, and of course John Marston in the roster. We'll also interact with other characters who would have a key role in the gang and in the lives of both Arthur Morgan and John Marston.
In the new footage released on May 2, we saw a deeper look into the game's narrative and how the gang functions. Along with the familiar activities like hunting, heists, and side-quests with the region's citizens, rob trains and banks, and take in shows at theaters. For the most part, the trailer focuses on the many connections you'll have with the members of the gang, as well as how your choices will affect them. For more info on the third trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.
On August 9, Rockstar unveiled Red Dead Redemption 2's first gameplay trailer. The new footage revealed that the core mechanics from the original game were still intact, but almost everything had received a facelift. Wildlife is smarter and lives within its own ecosystem. Arthur Morgan can interact with the people around him in ways John Marston never could.
On October 2, Rockstar finally showcased the second round of gameplay footage it promised. It dives more deeply into the game's side-activities, as well as the nature of the world and its varying systems. In addition, there's an in-depth look at how the sequel's dead eye system works.
While the sequel is largely in the same vein as its predecessor, focusing on exploration, hunting, shoot-outs, heists, and other side-activities where you'll interact with a number of unique characters--Red Dead Redemption 2 features a far more expansive world to dive into. There are a ton of new mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2. Below you can find a bulleted list of many of the new features in the game, but for all the details on everything new, check out our comprehensive list of all the new features we've discovered so far.
We recently got a hands-on with a near final-build of Red Dead Redemption 2. It plays much like its predecessor, but with a bevy of new features and systems that enhance its storytelling, combat, and overall progression. We got to experience two story missions, as well as a chance to goof around freely in the open world. There's a lot to unpack about how the upcoming sequel looks and feels, so be sure to read our in-depth preview detailing our impressions about how it plays.
Currently, Rockstar hasn't shared any info on how the online play will function. The original Red Dead Redemption featured online free-for-all and team deathmatch style gameplay in the open world, along with several co-op themed missions. While it's safe to assume that these sorts of missions will return, another long-lingering rumor is the appearance of a battle royale mode. Rockstar has recently confirmed that a public beta for the online mode is scheduled for a month after the game's launch.
Rockstar released the game's launch trailer, which shows Dutch and Arthur talking about one more big score, before life can improve for their gang. Soon there's scenes of explosions, gunfire, and internal strife, set against talk of loyalty. It's a fairly short, but very sweet trailer.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is set for release on October 26 for PS4 and Xbox One; you can begin pre-loading on Friday, October 19. In terms of file size, Red Dead Redemption 2 is about 99 GB on PS4. You'll need to have even more room if you're going digital, as the installation process will require an additional 50 GB on top of that. Xbox One owners, meanwhile, will need to have 107 GB to install the game.
There are also plans for a collector's edition of the game called the Special Edition. Priced at $80, the package includes a copy of the game along with special missions, weapons and a physical map of the game world for players to own. There are also two additional packs for Red Dead Redemption 2 for premium prices, The Ultimate Edition and The Collector's Box--both priced at $100. While The Ultimate Edition has all items from the special edition--including additional DLC items to acquire--The Collector's Box does not include any digital items. Instead, it offers special playing cards, artwork, a bandit's bandana, a physical map of the game world, and a collector's coin in the set.
It's worth noting that the PS4 version will have special content that's exclusive to that version for 30 days. There is still no word as to what the PlayStation-exclusive content is, but now we know it's for Red Dead Online and that Xbox One owners will have to wait to check it out.
Though the original Red Dead Redemption never found its way to the PC, there's been some rumors that its sequel might. A mention of Red Dead Redemption 2's appearance on PC found its way online, but it has since been scrubbed.
Although the system itself doesn't sport a unique design, there will be a Red Dead Redemption 2 PS4 Pro bundle. Priced at $400 in the US, you're essentially getting a copy of the game for free. However, this doesn't include any of the aforementioned special editions; it's just a standard edition version of the game. The bundle is available for pre-order now.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:22 am
The Assassin's Creed franchise has always been a mixture of three different stories. There's the present day narrative, the historical Assassins vs. Templars story, and also the tale of Those Who Came Before--the Isu--and the creation of their Pieces of Eden. Prior to Assassin's Creed Odyssey, the franchise wove together these three narratives into one playable story across each of its games, but Ubisoft's newest title splits its campaign into three separate parts.
As a result, beating Assassin's Creed Odyssey's main campaign--Kassandra or Alexios' story--and watching the last cutscene is not the end. Kassandra and Alexios' quest does conclude, but the ending to both the present day narrative and the Isu story can only be unlocked by completing certain optional quests. In total, there are three "final" cutscenes in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, and the optional two are fairly easy to miss. Read ahead to make sure you don't.
The rest of this article delves into several of Assassin's Creed Odyssey's mid- to late-game features and missions. If you haven't at least finished Episode 7 of the game--you'd have unlocked the "Legend in the Making" Achievement/Trophy--then turn back if you don't want to be spoiled. If you're at least at that point, don't worry. We won't be going into detail about what Odyssey's three endings are or the serious lore implications some of them have. This is just a guide for how to reach those endings.
This is the first storyline you unlock in the game, and probably the first you'll complete. The game's main story--as it primarily focuses on Kassandra and Alexios' quest to reunite their family--is called Odyssey, and it's the only mandatory narrative you need to complete to beat Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Doing so will cause the game's credits to roll.
The Odyssey storyline can end in several different ways depending on your actions throughout the game. Who you saved, which targets you killed, and what dialogue options you picked determine one of nine different conclusions to Kassandra and Alexios' story. However, if you want to know what happens to some of the other characters--both during ancient Greece and in the present day--as well as how Assassin's Creed Odyssey ties into the rest of the franchise, you'll need to finish the two optional stories.
You'll discover the Cult of Kosmos relatively early into Odyssey's storyline, and from there it breaks off into a separate questline called Hunt The Cult Of Kosmos. Snippets of this storyline will interweave into Odyssey throughout the rest of the game, but to complete Hunt The Cult of Kosmos, you'll need to do a lot of optional assassination missions.
Completing Hunt The Cult Of Kosmos unlocks an extra cutscene that completes the present day narrative. Layla and her companions' story is left fairly open at the end of the game, so if you want to see what happens next, you'll have to finish Hunt The Cult Of Kosmos. To do that, you'll need to kill the leader of the cult, who's known as The Ghost of Kosmos.
Getting to The Ghost is not nearly as straightforward as the game's other targets. There are eight branches of cultists, seven of which have six members while the last only has one. You'll need to follow clues to discover the identities of every low-ranking member, find each one, and kill them; that's the only way to learn the identities of the Sages they serve. Each of the eight Sages hides a clue to The Ghost's identity, so once you've dealt with them, you can go after the cult's mastermind.
You will need to be a high level--somewhere between 48 and 50--and carry very good armor and weapons to deal with some of the cult's strongest members. Because of how long Hunt The Cult Of Kosmos is, there's a good chance you complete the other two storylines first, but the order doesn't matter. Some of the cult's members are relatively weak--between levels 15 and 20--so you can start hunting for their identities while completing the other two storylines and return later to kill any high ranking cultists after Kassandra/Alexios has grown stronger.
The final cutscene is unlocked by completing the third narrative, Between Two Worlds, which only becomes available once you discover the lost city of Atlantis during the Odyssey storyline. Between Two Worlds is the shortest storyline in Assassin's Creed Odyssey, but it's arguably the hardest.
To complete it, you'll need to overcome four mythological creatures in the world. Three of them--the Minotaur, the Cyclops, and Medusa--are some of the game's hardest boss battles. The fourth, the Sphinx, is a series of challenging riddles. You'll start Between Two Worlds about three-quarters of the way through Odyssey, but you'll probably still need to level up a bit before taking this storyline on.
You definitely want to complete Between Two Worlds, though. The four mythological creatures represent some of the most fascinating side quests, amazing fights, and clever puzzles in the entire game. Plus, the cutscene you earn for completing the storyline provides both answers and further questions to the Isu, the Pieces of Eden, and what might be included in Assassin's Creed Odyssey's upcoming The Fate of Atlantis DLC.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:20 am
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is out now, and it continues the franchise's history of explosive multiplayer, first-person shooter combat. Old mechanics and features return, such as the fan favorite Zombie mode, but the game implements several changes to the Black Ops formula. We've compiled everything we know about Black Ops 4 below.
Black Ops has a pretty lengthy history. The first Black Ops, releasing in 2010, takes place during the Cold War in the 1960s, switching between CIA operatives Alex Mason and Frank Woods. 2012's Black Ops 2 moved the story to 2025 and follows Alex's son, David Mason. 2015's Black Ops 3 continues the previous game's journey into the future and focuses on operatives in 2065.
The first Black Ops featured the first playable protagonists in a Call of Duty game to speak during gameplay, and not just cutscenes. Its sequel introduced the Grief and Turned variations to Call of Duty's Zombies mode. The third game was the first Call of Duty title where Activision and Sony's partnership created limited-time exclusive DLC content for PlayStation consoles.
Black Ops 4 is the seventh Call of Duty game developed by Treyarch, one of the many video game companies under the Activision umbrella. The game is the first Call of Duty title to lack a traditional single-player campaign, instead including individual missions that each focus on the backstory of one of Black Ops 4's multiplayer Specialists. The feature is similar to the Operator missions from Rainbow Six Siege, but are more story-driven and tie together in an overarching plot. The missions take place between 2025 and 2065, making Black Ops 4 a sequel story to Black Ops 2 and a prequel to Black Ops 3.
Call of Duty Black Ops 4 launched on October 12 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The game has a fairly large Day One update, so be sure your system of choice has enough hard drive space. The game comes with special Deluxe, Digital Deluxe, Pro, and Mystery Box Editions, all of which are detailed in our buying guide.
After spending time with the game following its launch, we've published our full Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 review. In it, GameSpot reviews editor Kallie Plagge offers a look at each of the three main modes, writing, "Black Ops 4 isn't short on content, and its three main modes are substantial. Multiplayer introduces more tactical mechanics without forcing you into them, and it largely strikes a good balance. Zombies has multiple deep, secret-filled maps to explore, though its returning characters don't hold up and prove distracting. Finally, Blackout pushes Call of Duty in an entirely new direction, making use of aspects from both multiplayer and Zombies for a take on the battle royale genre that stands on its own. Sure, there isn't a traditional single-player campaign, but with the depth and breadth of what is there, Black Ops 4 doesn't need it."
Black Ops 4 includes a lot of features and mechanics that might be familiar to an experience Call of Duty player, but completely foreign to franchise newcomers. If you need any assistance, turn to one of our Black Ops 4 guides, which should provide you with all the help you need to get started with multiplayer, Zombies, and Blackout.
For the first time in a Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4 ditches health regeneration. Firearms employ both hitscan and projectile damage, instead of just the former in the game's new ballistics system. Predictive recoil patterns and weapon customization return. Together, it makes for a more tactical experience that promotes teammates working together instead of playing as a lone wolf. Several classic Call of Duty modes--including Zombies--return in Black Ops 4, but the game also features the series' first battle royale mode, called Blackout.
Black Ops 4 launches with 14 multiplayer maps--Frequency, Contraband, Seaside, Payload, Hacienda, Gridlock, Arsenal, Icebreaker, Morocco, Militia, Jungle, Slums, Firing Range, and Summit. In November, the Call of Duty classic map Nuketown will launch for free, making a total of 15 maps in the Black Ops 4 base game. More maps will launch later as paid post-launch DLC.
Just like its predecessor, Black Ops 4 will feature Specialists in multiplayer. Each Specialist has their own unique loadout and is designed to handle specific tasks. There are 10 in Black Ops 4, six of which--Ruin, Prophet, Battery, Seraph, Nomad, and Firebreak--return from Black Ops 3. The other four--Recon, Ajax, Torque, and Crash--are completely new to the series.
Blackout incorporates all the hallmarks of previous battle royale games. Up to 100 players drop onto a map and have to battle it out until only one player or team remains. Weapons and equipment can be scavenged from buildings, and vehicles can be found on the road and used to cross the map more quickly. The safe areas where players can survive gradually shrinks over time, forcing the survivors closer together into more hectic firefights. The mode can be played solo, or in squads.
Blackout is a little different from games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite. For one, the map in Blackout is fairly large and encompasses a wide variety of different terrains and landscapes instead of focusing on a single theme, like a forest or desert. Blackout is the largest battlefield seen in any of the Call of Duty games, incorporating numerous landmarks and Easter eggs from past titles. There's also a slight PvE element to Blackout, as computer-controlled zombies wander around certain areas of the map. Killing them lets you earn special loot items from Call of Duty's Zombie mode, like the Ray Gun and Cymbal Monkey.
The cooperative Zombies mode returns in Black Ops 4, but this time it features two separate storylines for you to play. The first, titled Aether, follows the reestablished Zombies storyline from the first three Black Ops games. The second, called Chaos, features new characters--Scarlett, Stanton, Diego and Bruno.
Like the Call of Duty titles in recent years, Black Ops 4 will have content that's exclusive to the PS4 for a limited time. This exclusivity period includes all seasonal events, new Specialists, and post-launch multiplayer maps. However, instead of the PS4 having a two-to-four week head start on the other system, the console will only have exclusive access to post-launch content a week early.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:19 am
You'll notice that there are a lot of characters to unlock in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout mode. With a total of 29 characters, the battle royale mode features a variety of characters from past Blacks Ops multiplayer, zombies, and story campaigns. If you're vying to get them all, you'll need to do a little legwork.
To unlock most of these characters, you'll often need to complete a specific set of challenges associated to them. After finding a special item for the character on the map, you'll activate this special challenge, which often includes getting kills with a specific weapon, taking out zombies, or using specific support items.
Below you can find a list of all the characters you can unlock. It's worth noting that not every character in the character select menu is unlockable yet; we assume they'll be made available at a later date. We'll be sure to update this feature as that information becomes available, as well as provide more detail on the characters we're currently missing.
If you're new to Blackout mode, be sure to check out guide highlighting tips you should know before starting. You can also read our informative feature that details Black Ops 4 as a whole in all of its modes. For folks more curious about how Blackout compares to Fortnite and PUBG, check out our in-depth comparison feature. Otherwise, be on the lookout for more Black Ops 4 guides in the coming days.
Only a couple of the Blackout characters are unlocked from obtaining their special items and completing their mid-match challenges.
Unlocked at Echelon 60
Unlocked at Echelon 80
Unlocked at Echelon 80 Prestige
With the exception of Shadow Man--who is unlocked via the Blackout pass--all of the zombie characters are unlocked by discovering a special item on the map and completing the challenge objectives.
Characters from the Multiplayer category are unlocked by finding their special item and completing their challenge objectives. It's worth noting that many of their weapons and equipment can be found and used regardless of whether you're playing as them or not. It's more of a cosmetic choice at the end of the day.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:18 am
Battle royale style games took off in popularity last year thanks to PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and reached new heights with Fortnite. Now, the Call of Duty franchise has hopped onto the fray with Black Ops 4's new Blackout mode, which you can read about in our Black Ops 4 review. If you haven't experienced battle royale for yourself, but plan on hopping into Black Ops 4, this is for you. We'll run through some of the basics of the mode and cover the ways in which Call of Duty puts its own spin on it.
First off, you can enter matches either as a lone wolf (solo), with a partner (duos), or a team of four (quads); you'll be matched with up to 100 players who choose the same group size option. Every player gets flown over the map in the same trajectory--visualized when you pull up the map--and it's up to you when and where to drop. Exiting the helicopter has you deploying your wingsuit, and you can glide horizontally to go further out or look straight down to drop faster.
The overall goal is to be the last player or team standing since everyone has one life, which makes combat encounters much more tense and risky compared to traditional Call of Duty multiplayer. Now more than ever, you should be aware of your surroundings; that or have a teammate watch your back. Also keep in mind that you can revive squadmates if they fall, but be sure to do so before they bleed out or take more damage from enemies.
Another basic ingredient of battle royale is the impending pressure of a deadly circle closing in on the battlefield. Every match has the circle contracting on a random area of the map, and it gets smaller as the match goes on to force remaining players into combat. If you get caught outside the circle, you'll take damage until you can get into the safe zone.
Blackout's map is much larger than any previous Call of Duty map since it has to accommodate 100 players. However with size of the map, it also induces a slower pace; so expect plenty of downtime between encounters. This change of pace may take a while for Call of Duty veterans to adjust to, but it also feeds into the high-stakes nature of combat in battle royale games since one small mistake can cost you an entire match.
There are 14 concentrated areas in the Blackout map, many of which pay homage to past Black Ops maps. For example, Nuketown Island, Estate, and Array will look and feel similar to the multiplayer maps they're named after. The in-between of these main locations is interspersed with smaller towns and groups of buildings that can have valuable loot. But vast forestry and open fields make up most of the terrain, so be on-guard when traversing between locations as firefights may break out at any moment.
Luckily, vehicles litter the map. An ATV doesn't provide much protection but it can get up to two players around from point A to point B fairly quickly. The cargo truck fits up to five players and doesn't leave the squad as vulnerable, but it moves pretty slow. Getting through the river that splits the middle of the map is quite easy with a zodiac boat, which holds up to four players. And unlike most battle royales, Blackout features air transportation via the helicopter that has five seats total. That's not the only means of air travel, though; you can deploy your wingsuit by sprinting and jumping off a building and holding the jump button.
You start each match without anything in your inventory and must loot all your equipment--a stark contrast to Call of Duty's tradition of letting players customize their loadouts. You're allowed to carry two weapons and have to scavenge for the proper ammo type for each as well. The following is a list of all the weapons available to loot in Blackout:
Attachments are crucial for getting the most out of your weapons. A reflect sight or 4x scope will come in clutch for nailing precise shots with ADS, and a grip or stock will help control your recoil, but you need to scavenge for those items and get them onto your gun. Zombie weapons add a twist to combat, which can be found in zombie supply stashes after killing AI-controlled zombie hordes at certain locations in the map, like the Asylum. Even the sillier items find their way into Blackout, like the Ray Gun, Monkey Bomb, Acid Bomb, and RC Car (though it doesn't explode). Look out for blue beacons that shine in the sky as this indicates stash locations where you may get your hands on these rare items.
You'll also have to loot armor in Blackout; there are three levels and each one provides better protection (level 3 armor is the only one that'll protect from headshots). Backpacks open up five additional item slots, which comes in handy later in a match as you loot more useful equipment. And it goes without saying that stocking up on health items is important, too; first aid and med kits heal 25 and 50 health, respectively. Trauma kits will fully heal you and tack on an additional 50 health temporarily.
Be on the lookout for supply crates that randomly drop onto the map throughout the match; you're likely to find high-level loot, but creates a hotspot for preying enemies.
In another interesting twist, Blackout's take on battle royale also brings in the familiar Perks system, which act as consumable items found across the map. Each perk has a specific effect, usage limit, and duration. While some may be more useful than others, it's important to know what your equipped perk does as it can make the difference between life and death, especially in their most effective situations. The following is a perk list and what they do:
Black Ops 3 introduced Specialists, unique characters that provided a variety of ways to play the game with their own attributes and abilities--akin to a hero shooter. While you can choose to play as a certain Specialist in Blackout, the equipment that was once tied to them are now items found in the field. Those abilities--such as the razor wire, mesh mines, and grappling hook--are hard to find, but they can give you a significant advantage when used in the right situation.
You can unlock different characters to play as in Blackout, as detailed in our guide on that subject.
Those are the basics when it comes to playing Call of Duty Black Ops 4's Blackout mode. Battle royale veterans may know how the rules work, but the equipment system and map are still things that need to be experimented with and explored on your own. The most important thing to do is to play more and more matches to get a feel for how Call of Duty's take on battle royale flows. And now that you know what you're getting into, take the next step and check out our Blackout beginner's guide.
For a more comparative look, see how Blackout, Fortnite, and PUBG differ from one another. We've spent a lot of time with the game and working to reach a verdict on it, but check out our Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 early review impressions in the mean time.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:17 am
Although Call of Duty's popular multiplayer and Zombies modes return in Black Ops 4, it's the new battle royale mode, Blackout, that's making waves. At its core, Blackout utilizes the same basic formula as other battle royale games, like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, but Black Ops 4 implements some unique mechanics to differentiate itself from the competition.
One of the more notable additions is the inclusion of perks. Perks do have a long-standing history in Call of Duty, but the mechanic hasn't been seen in any of the other major battle royale games yet. In Blackout, you can hold onto the perks you find and use them whenever you want, much like the weapons and items you scavenge throughout the match. However, just as long-range weapons have more value at the start of a battle royale and short-range weapons at the end, each perk in Blackout is best suited for different stages of the game.
In this guide, we break down all of Blackout's perks into three categories: early-game, mid-game, and end-game. If you're new to Call of Duty, or just struggling to figure out when a specific perk should be used, this guide should help.
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In our review, GameSpot reviews editor Kallie Plagge awarded the game an 8/10, describing Blackout as a mesh of both "multiplayer and Zombies for a take on the battle royale genre that stands on its own."
In the beginning of any battle royale, there's not much risk. You might run into an armed opponent before you've found a weapon yourself, but dying so soon isn't too bad. You can just immediately queue up again into another match. So if you do happen upon a valuable perk, save it and don't waste it. Instead, look for and use perks that will get you past the initial scramble for weapons, armor, and health.
Looter: Reveals nearby loot and stashes, which is great for arming yourself if you haven't found a weapon.
Engineer: Reveals all nearby vehicles and enemy equipment, which helps you find transportation for reaching high-level loot areas before other players.
Brawler: Increases melee damage and gain 50 health for each melee attack landed, which is really only ideal if you happen to be unlucky enough to not find a single weapon.
The mid-game is the slowest portion of any battle royale game. You'll run into small pockets of other players but your biggest concern is staying ahead of the encroaching danger zone. At this point, you and everyone else still alive should already have at least one weapon, so you have to be careful when entering buildings. When trying to survive until the final two circles, you'll want to rely on perks that ensure you can outmaneuver both the danger zone and enemy players.
Outlander: Take less damage and move faster when outside the safe zone, which helps if you find yourself caught in the danger zone and struggling to return to safety.
Squad Link: Teammates become visible through walls, so you can easily find your friends if they're suddenly ambushed while you're all looting.
Paranoia: Creates an audio cue for when you're being targeted by an enemy, which is more valuable now than in the end-game. You'll be contending with more snipers in the mid-game.
Awareness: Makes enemy footsteps louder, which is helpful for identifying threats if you're holed up in a building while you're waiting for the end-game.
Dead Silence: Silences your movements when running and opening stashes, which, like Awareness, is ideal for making sure you can look through a house without fear of ambush.
Skulker: Moving while crouched and prone, which you'll specifically be doing a lot of in the mid-game to avoid snipers, is made faster.
Iron Lungs: Gives you steady aim while scoped and allows you to breathe underwater for longer periods of time. The former makes you a better sniper--which is ideal for mid-game--and the latter helps if you're escaping an enemy player or an approaching danger zone by swimming underwater.
The remaining five perks are best saved for the final two circles in Blackout. At this point, there shouldn't be more than 20 players and everyone will be very close together. It's a near constant firefight, and you'll have to suffer more than a couple hits if you haven't found an ideal position to hole up.
With that in mind, you'll want to focus almost exclusively on offense at this point. Blindly running around won't help, but closing the gap on your enemy and dealing quick, powerful damage is key. Grenades come into play a lot more in the end-game, so even if you're not the target, you'll have to contend with flashbangs and splash damage. You always want to be able to see your enemy so you know when to heal and when to fight back.
Consumer: Health and consumable items activate 50% faster, so you can both heal yourself and your teammates more quickly.
Medic: Health items and team revives replenish more health and activate faster, which lets you use your healing items more efficiently and not waste them after taking severe damage.
Mobility: You move and switch weapons more quickly, while also being able to fire, use items, and reload while sprinting. You also don't take any fall damage. Being able to run, gun down an enemy, and quickly reload is invaluable near the end of Blackout.
Reinforced: Reduces explosion and fire damage, as well as the effect of razor wire, flasbangs, and concussion grenades, which is helpful for both dealing with enemy grenades as well as any bad throws on you or your teammates' part.
Stimulant: Increases health cap by 100, which increases your likelihood of surviving more powerful weapons and nearby grenades.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 1:16 am
By now it's almost become rote to say that Finnish developer Remedy is a specialist in narrative-focused games. After all, the studio is best known for Alan Wake, Max Payne, and Quantum Break, games where narrative was squarely at the forefront (even down to the episodic nature of its most recent title). So it was somewhat of a surprise during this year's E3 when Remedy revealed Control as its next big game. While seemingly still embracing some of the time and environmental manipulation mechanics of its previous titles, Control is apparently moving away from the strong linear narratives Remedy is best known for to instead be a more open-ended, free-flowing story experience.
That's not to say, however, that Control won't have a cohesive story. Rather, as Remedy creative director Sam Lake told us during a recent interview, the story won't be told in a strictly linear way, with players interacting with the plot depending on how (and where) they move through the game's strange environments. Control is also eschewing a simple, easily digestible narrative, according to Lake. Rather, this sci-fi story is aiming to emulate the uncertainty and doubt of films like Annihilation and shows like Legion. In the below interview, Lake talks to GameSpot about what experience Remedy wants players to come away with while playing Control, what the main influences for the game were, and Alan Wake's move to the small screen in the form of a brand-new TV show.
In previous interviews you've used the genre term "new weird" to describe what you're doing with Control. Can you tell us more about that?
If we look at many science fiction and fantasy things, they give you a relatively safe world where there is an answer and there is a chosen one and it's simplified. But new weird, even though it uses the same elements, approaches them more from real-world perspective where maybe there is no answer. Maybe there is a mystery. Maybe we are dealing with unexplainable forces that go beyond current human understanding. Maybe there is a theory for what this is. Maybe there is a competing theory. Maybe they both make sense. There can be answers, I think. But you still need to make up your own mind and do your own interpretation and piece these things together.
One inspiration for us going into this was Jeff Vandermeer's Annihilation, and the book especially. The movie came out and it's definitely cool as well. Other sources of inspiration for me for maybe this fragmented, hallucinatory, trippy storytelling world are Legion as a show, and Mr. Robot in some ways. Mr. Robot especially does interesting things with the voice of narration. And always for me, Twin Peaks.
How big a risk do you think it is for you guys to try to break away from the stuff you've done before and experiment in this more free form, different approaches type of narrative?
It's a challenge, certainly; but we always want to try out new things with every project. We also had the perspective that we've now done a couple of games that were very linear, structured episodically, and it feels like the right time to break away from that, to try creating a deeper world where the player can keep coming back to and find new things and keep on playing. So that was a starting point for me and Mikael Kasurinen, who is our game director. A challenge? Yes, but you need to have that. You need to keep it interesting.
Is Control the size or style of game that you see Remedy focusing on in future projects?
We definitely strive to learn from every project. And I feel that we are always taking a step back and looking critically at the idea of, what is a Remedy game? And what are the ingredients we feel are working really well for us? And what are maybe some things that we would put into a lesser role and come up with something new at the same time? There are definitely new elements here that we feel excited and positive about, and I can see them being elements in our future games as well. But it's always also game-specific and project-specific. This is Control and this is the style for that. For something else, we'll see.
That's an interesting question that you just brought up. What is a Remedy game? We've talked a lot about the new things you're trying in Control, but do you see any through lines from all your previous projects into this one?
They have all been, in some ways, the model of a hero's journey. Which I like a lot and I think it works, especially well in this loose framework for an action game. It's a very strange, weird dream-like hero's journey, but it's one nonetheless. [There's also the] idea of a family in some ways, and a family that has been broken. We have those ideas and themes in Control as well.
Are there any nods to your previous games in this? Is there a chance of having a fully-connected Remedy games universe at all?
Well, if you are familiar with our games, there always are nods [to other games], such as Easter eggs or other things. To me, that's always been a natural way somehow to approach this, and it doesn't go any further than that. I think that's part of the mystery to be discovered in this game.
Recently there was news about an Alan Wake television show moving forward. What's your involvement with that?
Alan Wake is important to us, and important to me, so we want to be involved because it didn't make any sense to just sell the rights and see it go. It just felt like there are interesting ideas that we could pursue of how to have a dialogue between the game and the show. And it also feels like, through the years, there is so much Alan Wake lore that's up here that is really good potential material for the show. So yeah, definitely we'll be involved. I guess the official role is executive producer, which is a very kind of crude, loose term but yeah, Peter Calloway, who is the showrunner, we have a dialogue going on. And we are sitting down together and brainstorming on this.
Are you interested in telling the story of the game again or do you want to start from a different path?
Yes and no. It doesn't make sense to me to tack them to a show just because they were part of the game. I think that we want the show and we want certain core ideas but first and foremost, it needs to be a great show. But also at the same time, I think it will give us opportunities where we had certain ideas in the game that we didn't have an opportunity to really explore or go deep into. And I'm looking forward to the idea that in the show, we can actually expand and go a lot deeper into certain things that were important, or I felt were important, but we couldn't really do a lot with them.
Will this get us to an Alan Wake sequel?
Yeah, I hope so. I would love to do more Alan Wake, but yeah, nothing to tell you about that.
Posted on 20 October 2018 | 12:01 am
Crunchyroll has announced that Funimation has decided to break off the two anime streaming services' partnership. Both Crunchyroll and Funimation have been partnered for the past two years, but the two will officially split on November 9.
While partnered, the websites have been working together to simulcast certain anime in both Japanese and English, so that viewers can choose to watch popular series--like My Hero Academia and Attack on Titan--in either language on the same day. Prior to the partnership, most anime released in Japanese with English subtitles first, and anyone who wanted to watch the series in English would have to wait weeks for it to be dubbed.
Crunchyroll has confirmed that all currently-airing "simulcasts and series that premiered during the partnership will continue to be available on Crunchyroll" and "all home video releases will be released as scheduled and all pre-orders will be fulfilled." However, after November 9, Funimation will no longer be offered as a part of the VRV bundle--a service which allows you to subscribe to dozens of animation streaming services such as Crunchyroll, Rooster Teeth, and Machinima.com for a discounted price. Also, certain series will be dropped from Crunchyoll and Funimation.
Although an official partnership with Crunchyroll hasn't been announced, Hidive is joining the VRV family. Smaller than both Crunchyroll and Funimation, Hidive has made a name for itself by streaming some of the best anime exclusives from the past two years--and the website shares series in both Japanese and English. 2017's Princess Principal and Land of the Lustrous are especially memorable, and the currently airing Bloom Into You is one of the most gorgeous anime series we've ever seen. The streaming service is owned by Sentai Filmworks so it also shares anime licensed by the company, like the critically acclaimed zombie ecchi Highschool of the Dead and award-winning Made in Abyss.
Although we reached out, Crunchyroll declined to comment on whether Hidive's induction into VRV would mean the two websites would start sharing their exclusives. Crunchyroll also declined to comment on whether Hidive would start dubbing some of Crunchyroll's shows. However, the streaming service did tease that more announcements will be shared prior to the end of 2018.
If you're looking for anime to watch on Crunchyroll, Funimation, and Hidive, check out our Fall 2018 anime watch guide. It includes every anime debuting on the three websites, as well as Netflix and Amazon, and lists the seven series that you should add to your queue.
Posted on 19 October 2018 | 11:59 pm
Microsoft has announced four Xbox One backwards compatible games have been X-enhanced. This means that these Xbox 360 titles run at a higher resolution and nine times the original pixel count on an Xbox One X.
All four games--Portal: Still Alive, Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2--are developed by Valve. When all is said and done, it's technically five games, as Half Life 2: The Orange Box is a combined collection of Half-Life 2, Portal: Still Alive, and Team Fortress 2. You can buy the games digitally from the Xbox Store or use the original Xbox 360 discs. The addition of these four games brings the number of Xbox One backwards compatible X-enhanced titles to 21, a list that also includes games like Red Dead Redemption and Skate 3.
First releasing in 2007--as part of Valve's The Orange Box bundle--Portal: Still Alive is a 3D puzzle platformer that focuses on a battle of wits between the silent protagonist Chell and the psychopathic A.I. antagonist GLaDOS. Half-Life 2 and Team Fortress 2 have had long-standing effects on the video game industry, such as the former playing a huge part in the success of Steam's launch and the latter inspiring titles like Overwatch. The Left 4 Dead series temporarily revitalized interest in zombie video games with campaigns centered around teamwork-based first-person shooter combat and a multiplayer horde mode.
Starting today, four more Xbox One Backward Compatibility titles will be enhanced for Xbox One X. Enjoy playing Half-Life 2: The Orange Box, Portal: Still Alive, Left 4 Dead, and Left 4 Dead 2 with enhanced visuals and higher resolutions on Xbox One X https://t.co/7q7myPS0gC pic.twitter.com/bdUjeDvnhG— Larry Hryb (@majornelson) October 18, 2018
All of these games have received near perfect scores on GameSpot for their impressive gameplay and well written stories. In our Portal: Still Alive review, we gave the game a 9/10. In our Half-Life 2 review, we gave the game a 9.2/10. In our Team Fortress 2 review, we gave the game an 8/10. In our reviews for Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2, we gave the former an 8.5/10 and the latter a 9/10.
Posted on 19 October 2018 | 11:57 pm
In Update 2.0.4, the most recent patch for Destiny 2, data miners discovered evidence that Thunderlord, an Exotic machine gun from the original Destiny, could be returning. Not only that, but players might be adventuring to the Cosmodrome, the opening area of the first game, to earn the weapon.
According to Polygon, the data miners have discovered Feeding Frenzy, one of Thunderlord's original perks, in Destiny 2's database. The perk isn't currently attached to any weapon in the game, which matches up with an earlier pattern established by Destiny 2's Whisper of the Worm, an Exotic sniper rifle. Whisper of the Worm is a renamed variation of Destiny's Black Spindle, a gun with an original perk called White Nail. The White Nail perk appeared in the data of Destiny 2's Warmind expansion prior to Whisper of the Worm being added to the game.
The data miners also found audio files that suggest a future Destiny 2 update might send players back to the Cosmodrome, further hinting Thunderlord is on its way to Destiny 2. Thunderlord is the first Destiny Exotic weapon ever revealed to the world, shown off during Destiny's E3 2013 gameplay reveal demo. When Destiny launched, the mission was tweaked so that players wouldn't earn such a powerful weapon right at the game's start. However, these data mine leaks could be hinting that Destiny 2 will allow us to replay that mission as it happened back in 2013, and we'll earn Thunderlord just like the Guardians did in that first demo.
Bungie has not revealed whether or not any of this is true, although some players believe that if the Cosmodrome mission and Thunderlord weapon are coming to Destiny 2, it will be a part of the Festival of the Lost, a limited-time Halloween-themed event currently going on right now. As part of the event, on October 30, you'll have access to a new quest line where you can track down Master Ives' killers. Bungie has remained rather coy on what these quests are, simply stating in a blog post that there will be "powerful" rewards.
Destiny 2 is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Festival of the Lost continues until November 6 at 10 AM PST / 1 PM EST / 6 PM BST.
Posted on 19 October 2018 | 11:56 pm