News

Found my new jam

by: Nicholas -

Music is important. It motivates us in all different ways: to keep moving in exercise, to help you get through a bad situation, anything. 

The same goes for video games, as well. When you just need to relax and explore a world wholly unique to the one you live in, it can rejuvenate you in ways other media can't. 

So what if I were to tell you there was a way to combine these two elements and make your life better? Well there is, and the answer is young scrolls.

A content creator that edits audio from various games in the Elder Scrolls series, their latest song is Filthy Rich, which takes dialogue from the character of Jiub and remixes it into a hot bop. 

It's giving me life right now, helping me grind while I reach the top of the proverbial pyramid. 

THQ Nordic opens shop in Japan

by: Sean Colleli -

THQ Nordic has just announced that they're opening a distribution outlet in Tokyo, Japan. The extension of the THQ brand will be headed up by Yuji Kato, a 20 year veteran of the gaming industry, who will be managing a team of other marketing and development mainstays. Details are a bit thin on the ground right now and it seems that for now, this outfit will focus mainly on marketing and distribution as opposed to development. That said, with the Japanese market booming in recent years with studios like Fromsoftware and Platinum Games, it makes sense for THQ to extend their brand. I've always had a soft spot for THQ and their IP and I was happy to see their comeback a few years ago, so I'm looking forward to what they accomplish in the land of the rising sun.

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First expansion announced for Age of Wonders: Planetfall

by: Carter -

At its annual event, PDXCON, Paradox Interactive announced "Revelations", the first expansion for Age of Wonders: Planetfall. The expansion launches on 11/19/19 for a retail price of $14.99 and is available within the Planetfall Season Pass.

 

Key Features:

  • Anomalous Sites Mechanic - Explore 30+ mysterious sites filled with traps and powerful enemies to reap unique rewards and uncover great secrets. Encounter unique choices based on each faction or Secret Technology.
  • Additional Campaign Missions - Experience the awakening of the Es’teq dynasty and the rise of their Heritor descendants with 10+ hours of new content across two campaigns.
  • New Secret Tech: Heritor - Use ancient Heritor technology to drain the essence of enemies, fueling the opportunity to use powerful abilities, create strong Entropy weapons, and summon new units.
  • Tomb World Scenario - Challenge yourself to complete this deadly new Scenario, where Heritor enemies create an onslaught of destruction. This scenario also includes a new multiplayer questline to allow more players to join in on the action.
  • 'The Forgotten' NPC Faction - Broken, insane, or otherwise unfit for Heritor’s utopian society, The Forgotten were never meant to be resurrected.
  • Threats to Your Empire - Reapers are robotic assassins created long ago to destroy those who were friendly to the Heritor cause, but now hunt all who walk the planet. Equally deadly are the Megasow and Piglets, bio-engineered wildlife gone rabid after the fall of the Star Union, which will devour anything in sight. 
  • Locations, Pick-Ups, & Mechanics - Visit an Essence Gash or Es’Teq Well locations to supply new combat effects or abilities to your units. The Holopad pickup provides diplomatic rewards and additional influence over allies and enemies. Take over Imperial Defenses like the new Soul Beacon, Cluster Mine Launcher, or Firestorm Missile Silo to aid in combat.
  • Free Content - All players will gain the ability to take over the new Imperial Defenses, unlocking Operations that boost the combat effectiveness of your colonies. In addition, the Orbital Relays mechanic boosts your empire’s infrastructure to allow for nearly instant unit transportation between sectors - but beware of sabotage interference by enemies!

Borderlands 3 announces free seasonal event, "Bloody Harvest"

by: Carter -

With Halloween just around the corner, Borderlands 3 has released details around its first free seasonal event: Bloody Harvest. 

The event features lots of new content, including Haunted enemy types, the Terror combat mechanic, a new unique Legendary weapon, and a new boss fight against the fearsome Captain Haunt. Bloody Harvest challenges yield a bounty of cosmetic rewards, including Vault Hunter skins, a weapon trinket, and more.

The event will run from 10/24 through 12/5. For more detail, check out this blog post

 

Hitman 2 is getting a Halloween themed mission tomorrow

by: Nathan -

2spooky4me 

Hitman 2 is celebrating the Halloween holiday with a brand new Halloween themed Escalation mission. The new mission will be available to everyone for free and will take place on the Hawke's Bay map which has been given a complete face lift with Halloween themed decorations. Expect to see skeletons, pumpkins, crows and a lot more. 

Players who complete all of the Escalation missions will permanently unlock new gear including the tactical Wetsuit and the Bat Skuriken rewards. 


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One new and seven classic mechs in upcoming BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal

by: Randy -

BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal is rocking the deck plates in one month. I can't wait. The laborious turn-by-turn combat is perfect for people looking for a faithful translation from tabletop to video game role-playing. But it's the introduction of new mechs that always steals the show.

And Heavy Metal introduces a total of eight new mechs—seven of them classic, one of them brand spanking new, made specifically for this Heavy Metal expansion. Additionally, Harebrained Schemes adds eight new weapons systems, one of which is the Mech Mortar, the first area-of-effect (AOE) weapon in the game, and new Inferno Missiles that coat enemy mechs in burning fuel. Hooray!

Also, new Flashpoint mini-campaign brings two legends from BATTLETECH lore to the table: the Bounty Hunter and the Black Widow of Wolf's Dragoons. A derelict cargo ship has drifted into the Periphery from deep space, and it's time to go scavenging.

I'm guessing more videos are lined up for the next four weeks, introducing the classic mechs as well as that chipmunk-cheeked newbie. I really enjoy BATTLETECH, but I'm not savvy enough about its universe to name these new ones on sight alone.

Heavy Metal is the third and final part of the BATTLETECH season pass, so if you've paid for that, you've already paid for this. If you don't have the season pass, Heavy Metal is $20 standalone. That's the kind of price that makes the $50 season pass sound reasonable, which includes Flashpoint ($20), Urban Warfare ($20), and this upcoming Heavy Metal ($20), of course.

BATTLETECH: Heavy Metal lands on November 21 

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Art of Diablo mentions Diablo IV and rumors of Diablo II Remaster

by: John -

It's no secret that Blizzard is working on Diablo IV. I mean, who wouldn't be with the success of the last three? Rumor is that there was a video shown to the employees of Blizzard talking about the next fight with the Lord of Terror.

While Blizzard had a huge misstep talking about Diablo Immortal last year, we might actually get news on the title we all really want. A reddit post showed off an image of a German magazine talking about The Art of Diablo. In it, there's a mention of good ole Diablo IV. The release date of this book? November 3rd or a day after Blizzcon.

So while this could be a coincidence, it could also mean that Blizzard will finally talk about the much anticipated sequel. Maybe this will wipe away the awful taste left in our mouths after last year's "Don't you all have phones" scene.

Besides Diablo IV, there's rumors going about that Blizzard will also announce a remaster of Diablo II. Considering that Blizzard has done remasters for a few of their past games, this news wouldn't be too big of a surprise. Diablo II is still played a great deal today and a remaster of it would really be a great way to introduce new folks to the game as well as draw in some fans.

If both of these come true, it'll really be the year of Diablo at Blizzcon 2019.

PlayStation 5 news and info the past few weeks

by: John -

Well, it's been an interesting past few weeks for PlayStation 5 news. First off, Wired had the exclusive with Sony Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan where the console was officially named PlayStation 5. Holiday 2020 was the release window announced at the time, but no one knew if this means around Thanksgiving time so it would take advantage of the Holiday shopping rush or later on.

Many details were given in the Wired article such as it will feature a 4K Blu-ray drive, house an SSD, and giving more granular control over what you want installed. Don't play single player, you'll be able to install just the multiplayer component should the game allow it and vice versa.

Haptic feedback and variable tension control on the triggers highlight some of the new changes to the controller, but not all the features have been talked yet. What could Sony be up to in improving their already awesome Sony style controller?

We finally got some pictures of the dev kit and it does look like that weird V shaped console that was leaked a while ago. Who knew that the leak was true.

But let's get back to the release of the console itself. Holiday 2020, like I said, was announced but Tweaktown is narrowing it down to December, which would put it past Black Friday. Things could change, of course, but we'll know in a year if Sony is going to pass up on releasing it during the beginning of shopping season.

Another rumor is the price tag with a European shop saying it'll cost $500. This I'm a lot more skeptical as pricing entries could always be a place holder and as with the previous rumor of a December launch date, we've got over a year to go before the release happens and things can change a lot.

So instead of focusing on launch windows or pricing, it's probably best to focus more on what the system will have for now. It most likely won't look like the V shaped dev kits when it finally comes out and you can be sure it'll be backwards compatible with the PlayStation 4.

We've got a full year and change to digest PlayStation 5 news, but for now, it's certainly exciting to be a fan of consoles and Sony to hear what the next generation is going to bring.

Modern Warfare 2019 looks pretty on PC

by: Nicholas -

With Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on the way with just under a week, it's safe to say the hype is real. 

But what's realer? Why, how much better it looks on PC, if you must ask.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's PC trailer just dropped yesterday, and along with already gorgeous visuals from the game's new engine, the trailer boasts of a number of additions to this particular platform:

4K graphics

Uncapped frame rate

Expansive customization options (which probably means real-time shadows and grass, I guess)

64 player ground war matches (which consoles already have with multiplayer's biggest mode)

And last but probably the most important: crossplay and ultrawide and multimonitor support.  

One small caveat is that the game is exclusively available on Blizzard's Battle.Net.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare launches October 25th.

So, what are you playing?

by: Randy -

Correlation doesn't imply causation, we know, but Donald Trump joined Twitch and one of Twitch’s #1 games turned into a black hole there for a minute. Fallout from #BoycottBlizzard continues, while video game companies warn pro players and staff to not talk about politics. And Outside magazine asks if video games can replace the outdoors.

So, what are you playing?

Sean Colleli
Video games replacing the outdoors. Alarmist fluff. The dearest VR rig can't even come close. And that ranch sounds like a scam bilking people. Gaming is like anything: people who are running from something can use it as a place to hide. There are less financially ruinous ways to get back into a healthy rhythm.

I just dislike the condescending tone a lot of these articles are written in.

Eric Hauter
While waiting for another game to download yesterday, I dipped my toe back into the post-game of Concrete Genie. I knew that I would be able to go back into the game to run around and create more artworks on the wall of my city by the bay, but I was surprised at how much real gameplay was left when the story ended. No, there aren't any real quests, and the story doesn't continue. But there are an awful lot of secrets to be discovered, and collectibles still floating around (some of which require some real brain-power to reach). 

I'm going to go ahead and do some trophy clean-up on Concrete Genie, stopping short of actually platinuming the game (as I do). After a week or so away from the game, it felt good to slip back in and revisit my handiwork. 

I've also started playing the 10-hour demo of Dragon Quest XI on Switch. I know that this will eventually lead to me buying the full game. I don't wanna talk about it.

Charles Husemann
After nearly a year of grinding characters, I finally have the pieces necessary to unlock Jedi Knight Revan in Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. That's right, almost a year of grinding to get the necessary characters needed to unlock the meta mandatory character from the Old Republic. I've had a few detours here and there, but this character will unlock the ability to spend another six or seven months grinding character shards so that I can unlock Darth Revan which will give me the ability to spend more time grinding so that I can use both Revans to unlock Darth Revan. I could spend money to decrease the time but where's the fun in that?

After that I'll be spending some time with BLOPS 4, Diablo 3, and possibly the console version of Stellaris which just hit Game Pass.

Randy Kalista
I'm allowed to say exactly two things: 1) We have Death Stranding, and 2) our review goes up November 1. Wish I could say more, but Kojima's non-disclosure agreement ain't playin'. I mean, I've been assigned to U.S. military bases with experimental weaponry that were treated with less secrecy.

All that aside, I'm heading back into Control's Brutalist paradise—if that's even a phrase—so I can break out the in-game camera for the newly added photo mode. Photo modes are the definition of criminal entrapment for people like me. Especially when a game's architecture and environments are as bold and beautiful as the Federal Bureau of Control headquarters. Brutalist architecture is meant to be top heavy and authoritarian and oppressive. Who knew it could be mesmerising and transportive, too?

And this is only tangentially video game-related, but our Slack D&D group is gaining momentum. Not that we're superstar role-players like the McElroy family or as beautiful as the cast of Critical Role. Well, maybe Eric is those things. But throwing dice and hitting the books really brings to light how lazy video games have made me. (And I say "lazy" in the nicest way possible.) So much happens behind the curtain in a video game RPG that is wholly raw and exposed in a tabletop RPG. Anyway, here's to hitting the books again. I haven't tried being a real dungeon master in probably 25 years.