A big esports weekend is coming up. Here's a brief roundup of what's worth checking it out:
The Halo 5 World Championships are here! That means OpTic Gaming will probably win again, but maybe Liquid will come out on top? Who knows! Check it out here on Twitch, with the semis running from 1pm EST to 10pm EST today, and the finals at 5:30 EST Sunday.
You can check out all the League of Legends regular matches going on at their respective Twitch channels. North America has Immortals v. Counter Logic Gaming and Team Liquid vs. Team Solo Mid both at 3pm EST. China's Royal Never Give Up,will be playing at 6am EST tomorrow if you want to see some top tier play in the early morning.
For Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, check out the Esport Championship Series 3 semifinals here at 2pm EST (VirtusPro v. Space Soldiers and Fnatic v. North) and at 7pm EST (Complexity v. Renegades) with more on Sunday.
For more Esports coverage this weekend, check out the Twitch Esports twitter.
SMITE officially turns 3 years old on March 25th, and Hi-Rez is celebrating by holding tons of sales and events all weekend long including sales on chests, free gems, double everything and free chest rolls.
Friday, March 24th
Saturday, March 25th
Sunday, March 26th
Monday, March 27th
In addition, Hi-Rez is also holding this years community skin contest, where players will get to submit their own designs for potential god skins and the community will vote to see which one will become an actual skin in game.
Here is a rundown of the community skin event schedule...
Vote for Theme – March 24th to March 27th
Submit your Design – March 28th to April 11th
Vote on Top 10 – April 14th – 17th
Vote on Top 3 – May 9th – May 11th
Winner Announced – May 12th
Horizon Zero Dawn sold 2.8 million copies in less than three weeks. Correy Bunnell gained recent fame for posting on a forum board back in 2007 that he wanted to work for Nintendo, then appearing, 10 years later, in the credits for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. And, just in time for Mass Effect: Andromeda's launch week, BioWare is once again fending off online threats and abuse against its developers.
What are you playing?
Patrick Aloia, Staff Writer, email@example.com
Hello all, from sunny Florida! Taking a vacation this week, and trying to stay outdoors, so gaming has been light. A lot of casual Hearthstone between outdoor activities, and some Binding of Isaac to wind down in the evenings. I have decided that tonight is my Oxenfree night. I'm going to wait until my girlfriend goes to sleep and dive into the spooky summer camp game in earnest—and I should actually have stuff to report back afterwards.
Russell Archey, Staff Writer, @NeoScyther
I'm soon going to be part of the crowd with these where you can just insert a certain game as my response and that's it. I'll be spending some of my free time exploring more of Hyrule in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. I have a good amount of the shrines done as well as two of the Divine Beasts, so I have a ways to go in terms of finding most of the things in the game (screw finding every Korok Seed, I'd like to have some semblance of a life). Beyond that I'll also be diving into Out of the Park Baseball 18, OotP's latest in their series of baseball simulation games. While I'm typically terrible at guiding a team to success, I'm curious to see if and how they'll improve upon last year's entry.
Sean Colleli, Staff Writer, @scolleli
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has become a way of life in my house. It's the first game in quite a while to leave me sleep deprived, and my fiance is hooked now, too. It's hard, it's majestic, it's at times frustrating but utterly engrossing. Now I just have to figure out how to write a review that's less than 10 pages long, lest Randy kill me. I'm also really digging into Turok 2 Remastered, an N64 classic brought back by the brilliant Night Dive Studios. I love how gleefully violent, gory, and corny the whole thing is. I missed Turok 2 back in the '90s, so I'm glad I can catch up now. I might also actually sign back into No Man's Sky, if Randy lets me know if the Path Finder update is worth any time at all.
Chapel Collins, Staff Writer, @ChapelCollins
I started playing Ghost Recon on a whim the other day. Not Wildlands, either, I'm talking the OG 2001 Ghost Recon. It has been a spiritual experience for me. I'm having another Dark Souls moment, where a game is so good that it threatens to ruin other games like it. It's so tense, thoughtful, and smart. I swear the AI behaves more realistically in this 16-year-old game than any recent shooter. So yeah, I guess I'm playing Ghost Recon now.
Kinsey Danzis, Staff Writer, firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm continuing my post-review adventures in Mass Effect: Andromeda like Randy, taking my time to explore every niche of every planet where last week I didn't have the time. I feel like I've come back home, even though it's in an entirely different galaxy; the game is just so distinctly Mass Effect, even with its flaws (and, I say as I look at the wonky animations, especially with its flaws). Now that I have the time to just spend time admiring the landscapes in between fending off raiders on Kadara and Remnant on Havarl, I plan to do so—but don't think for a second that that means I'm not going to be going back to my Vanguard roots as much as humanly possible. Maybe a display of battle prowess will woo Vetra.
Charles Husemann, Editor-in-Chief, @chusemann
This weekend will be light on gaming as I will be out of the house most of the weekend. After a busy week with lots of social interaction I am hoping to spend some quality time "de-peopling" with Elite: Dangerous. Nothing like the quiet black of the universe to recharge and refocus. My plan is to spend some quality time sucking up to the Federation so that I can rank up to earn my pass to the Sol system. I might shelve my Asp Explorer in exchange for my more combat-ready (and cheaper) Viper Mk IV so that I can hunt down some bounties and wrap up a few massacre missions. Time permitting I might pick up Mass Effect: Andromeda to see where that rabbit hole goes. It's not a perfect game but there is still a lot of Bioware/Mass Effect magic woven in.
Randy Kalista, Staff Writer, @randykalista
All the folks dissing Mass Effect: Andromeda on Twitter couldn't stop me. Better luck next time, tweets! Planetfall in 30. Andromeda also inspired me to dust off Stephen Ambrose's Undaunted Courage, a book based on the journals and letters written by Meriwether Lewis (of Lewis & Clark Expedition fame). Sure, Andromeda has a few goofy animations. But it'd take a lot more than that to keep my hands off a BioWare game. I'm too busy mapping my route through the Heleus Cluster, navigating the shoot-first politics of the Kett, and rising up to my role as a scavenger, explorer, expedition leader, scientist, soldier, son, brother, and A+ alien lover. Check it, it's all in the job description.
Nicholas Leon, Staff Writer, email@example.com
I'll be revisiting my time in Star Wars: Battlefront II. There's just something about the chaotically hectic battles of that game that are pulling me there. All thanks to the AI, of course. Sure it's a bit dated and a little easy, but they're also a whole lot more deadly than the ones from the newest Battlefront. I think I'll also try my hand at Mount & Blade: Warband, it seems to be a much similar game to Battlefront, except it's not scifi. I miss old-school bot multiplayer, where the bots were actually a force to be reckoned with.
Matt Mirkovich, Staff Writer, @Stillmywords
I'm focusing on getting all of the endings to NieR: Automata. Now that Breath of the Wild isn't my focus, I can move to another open world game. Then I can go back to another open world game and try to get the platinum trophy from Horizon Zero Dawn. I picked up Mass Effect: Andromeda this week as well, and maybe I'll give that a shot this weekend.
John Yan, Senior Hardware Editor, @TheJohnYan
This weekend, I'll be trading commodities as I try and get enough money to buy a Python in Elite: Dangerous. I've had pretty good luck with my trade routes, which Randy has heartily approved of [I have not. -ed], so hopefully I can make good headway into earning about 70 million credits. Even though the ship only costs 56 million, I need the extra money to outfit it and pay the insurance. I'll also try and make some progress in finishing The Last Guardian. I want to get that off my plate. From what my friends say, about 10 hours should be enough to get through the entire game.
Shaking up the tabloids across the "dot net," Battle.Net, Blizzard's software distribution platform for its games, has changed it's name to simply Blizzard. I watched this happen before my eyes mid-HearthStone game, but for more discussion on the switch, check out the reddit thread on r/Games where a users wax nostalgic and debate the merits of the name change. Some are concerned about the weight of the terminology:
"Doesn't really makesense though," says user virtueavatar, "If you tell a friend 'I'm opening Steam' or 'I'm opening Battle.net', they know what you mean." They go on to say that people will "never quite understand 'I'm opening Blizzard'" which speaks more to the nostalgia Battle.net inspires than any kind of practical concern about an app's functionality. Someone also says "App is just a shit word in general."
Others on the thread suggest the change is due to Blizzard's "marketing-heavy" nature, which is definitely possible. It doesn't help that Battle.net sounds like a name for a website that feeds on children's brains in a technophobic episode of CSI, so the change is probably for the best.
Though my heart is heavy for the good times on Battle.net, I think I'll recover from this sudden change, and so will the rest of us.
Updates to come as the story develops.
DotEmu and Lizardcube have revealed a new character for their upcoming game Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap. Now when the game comes out on April 18th on the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch (the PC version will come a little later), you can play not only as Wonder Boy, but Wonder Girl. While the change looks to be purely aesthetic from watching the trailer (and there's a new Wonder Girl sprite for the retro-look option), they do make an interesting point in their dev blog: "It is a small detail, but keeping in mind that an 8 year old girl could be playing the game today, we felt that it was the right thing to do."
It's almost here. It's so close I can feel it. Persona 5 launches in just a little over a week on April 4th and
You can see Atlus USA unbox the beautiful "Take Your Heart" Premium edition of the game which includes special packaging, an art book, a Morgana plushie, a special tote bag based on the high school in the game, a soundtrack and of course, the game itself. If you want a Premium Edition, you need to order it now as there is only a handful of them left.
One of the best maps from Titanfall was Colony, providing both close quarters and open areas in ample amounts. Starting March 30, you can return to the map in Titanfall 2 with the new free update.
In addition to the new (old) map, there's a new (old) weapon, the R101 Assault Rifle, a new grapple hook animation, and new customization options.
You can watch the trailer below.
Ryse: Son of Rome was a launch title for the Xbox One, and as such has been a constant top-tier contender for Xbox's monthly Games with Gold, so much so that it has become a bit of a meme.
Well, it's finally happening, alongside three other stellar games: Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 2 for the Xbox One's other title, and Darksiders and Assassin's Creed: Revelations for the Xbox 360.
Even though newer games in both 360 series have already been on Games with Gold, Revelations and especially Darksiders are both excellent titles that I'm happy to see as a part of the program.
2K and Firaxis Games just revealed Persia's leader in Sid Meier's Civilization VI—and not to give it away, because it's not like it's in the title or something, but it's Cyrus II.
Cyrus II of Persia, more commonly known as Cyrus the Great, founded the Persian Empire (also called the Achaemenid Empire) which was the largest empire the world had ever seen. Prior, of course, to Alexander the Great, but whatever. He built his astounding empire through military campaigns, beginning with the surprise invasion of his grandfather Astyages. The logical followup to that was, naturally, conquering Syria, Judea, Patrea, Babylonia, Elam, and Lydia, after which he declared himself "King of the Four Corners of the World."
Want to check out the King of the Four Corners of the World? Watch the trailer below and check out the official blog here—and good luck declaring all those surprise wars.
The devs behind Mass Effect: Andromeda didn't wait long for this (and thank goodness they didn't). The game's first free event, Multiplayer APEX missions, is now live, and once I turn in for the night you better believe I'm jumping right in.
Starting right now, players can join the elite APEX forces and participate in the first of multiple story-based missions that feature new playable characters, items, and weapons. Each one lasts for a limited time, though, so be sure to keep up with them. In the first one, "Drack's Missing Scouts," players will investigate a new map, Firebase Paradox, for a potential kett threat.
If you're like me and are curious as to how this will be different from normal multiplayer, then go check it out now. "Drack's Missing Scouts" will only be available until March 27 (Monday), and I don't know if you could physically stop me from seeing what it's all about. I mean, the Gladiator? Just LOOK at her!