Call of Duty: WWII Blitzkrieg Community Event lasting till May 8th

by: Nicholas - - 0 Comments

Call of Duty: WWII's newest event, the Blitzkrieg, launches players into new maps, game modes, and weapon variants. 

The pretense is that the Germans have breached the Allied front lines, so there are now two new additions to help fight them back: Ground War, a 9 v 9 game mode, as well as a free playable map in HQ for the game modes Prop Hunt and Gun Game. 

Ground War will include six new playable weapons, including the Itra Burst rifle, the Type 5 semiautomatic, the Sterling submachine gun, the M2 Carbine, and the Type 38 sniper rifle. 

There are also some new digs and accessories that players can dress their guns up with, so they can look cute while killing Nazis. 

The Blitzkrieg Community Event lasts till May 8th. 

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Alexa can now track your stats in Call of Duty: WWII

by: Nicholas - - 0 Comments

In what surely is a breakthrough for artificial intelligence analyzing our every move so that they can one day pinpoint our weaknesses for the domination of the human race, Amazon's Alexa can analyze your playstyle in the Domination game mode in Call of Duty: WWII.

In addition to that, this Alexa Skill can fine-tune your unique style in order to help your improve your gameplay. 

It can also track what contracts you have available or are currently doing. 

Alexa Skill is currently in Beta for the countries of US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. 

The Thrill of the Fight - major update and on sale

by: Dave - - 0 Comments

In my deeply considered opinion, there is no better deal that a late-stage Early Access title in Steam. Sure, there may still be a few features to add and bugs to squash, but the game has pretty much been developed to its final state.

As an example, The Thrill of the Fight, an amazingly good VR boxer, has released a major update that merges the beta branch into the main, soon-to-be-released branch. Already a bargain at $9.99, it is also now on sale for $7.99 on Steam. Thrill of the Fight is, by far, one of my favorite VR games, along with being pretty much the only cardio workout I need. A three-round fight has me huffing & puffing for a good half hour after the final bell has rung. Besides the non-traditional health benefits, it is actually great fun!

The Thrill of the Fight is available in the Steam Store here. The $7.99 price is good through April 23rd.

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Fornite's 50v50 mode returns with a double XP weekend

by: Nathan - - 0 Comments

Fornite's popular and limited 50 v 50 mode returns and has some improvements to go along with it. 

The popular limited time mode, 50v50, is back with improvements in Fortnite Battle Royale! In this new version, each team has a bus that approaches from opposite directions of the map. On the map, the friendly bus has a blue outline, and the enemy has red. The final storm circle is visible on the mini-map from the start and players are given 10 minutes to loot the map as the storm closes in on the circle, then five minutes to fight, and another five minutes as the storm shrinks to the end.

Supply drops come in batches of 3-6, fall every two minutes, and only land in the final storm circle. A dotted line has been been added to the map to indicate “battle lines” between the two teams. While players can cross the line, this will make running into enemies more likely! Other tweaks have been made, including increases to resource gathering, item spawns, ammo, and more.

Players will also earn double XP from today, April 19th through Sunday, April 22nd. 

Shenmue I and II relaunching on PS4, Xbox One, and PC

by: Kinsey - - 0 Comments

In response to overwhelming demand, Sega has finally announced that Shenmue I and II are going to be re-released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It's been lauded as one of the greatest gaming series of all time, so it seemed like only a matter of time before something like this reared its head (what with the recent wave of remasters and relaunches).

You'll follow Ryo Hazuki as he attempts to avenge his father's death and uncover the mysteries behind the Dragon Mirror. The game, as before, will bring to the table its unique combination of jiu-jitsu combat, investigation, role-playing, and even real world elements such as day/night cycles and shifting weather.

Of course, it's not all the same, or else it wouldn't be worth much as a re-release. New features include fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface, and both original Japanese or English voiceovers.

Both physical and digital editions will be available for pre-order. Though we don't have an official date yet, we know it'll be sometime this year, and SEGA will keep us updated here.


HyperX dominates Red Dot Awards with three peripherals

by: Kinsey - - 0 Comments

Not one, not two, but three of HyperX's PC peripherals were recently announced to have won 2018 Red Dot Awards for product design. For around fifteen years, the company has been developing and refining products for PC users, but in the past couple of years it's really distinguished itself.

First up on the winner's list is the HyperX Alloy Elite RGB gaming keyboard. Using its NGenuity software, the user can customize and save up to three lighting profiles to the keyboard's on-board memory, but of course it has far more color options than just those three. Its unique quick access buttons (such as lighting customization and audio) and sturdy build made it quite a contender for the start, and it's no surprise that it took the Dot.

Then we've got the HyperX Pulsefire Surge RGB gaming mouse, which I talked about a little while ago—and frankly, I'm not surprised it won the Red Dot Award. It has a similar lighting system to the keyboard, with its three on-board save slots, not to mention that it was designed with pure comfort in mind, and is apparently a pleasure to use. Not too bad to look at, either. There are a couple other specs on the last post that any interested buyers might want to check out. (Let's just leave it at 16,000 DPI to set the tone.)

And of course, the picture wouldn't be complete without audio—everything but the kitchen sink, you might say. Launched earlier this year, the HyperX Cloud Flight wireless gaming headset won the Red Dot Award in part for its comfort—rotating memory foam ear cups—and in part for its battery power—up to 30 hours, which is at the top of its class.

HyperX seems to be the model of consistency as of late, with quality design in both performance and comfort. I thought my new keyboard may have cemented me with Razer, but it looks like I may be taking some trips over to the HyperX camp in the near future—and honestly, I'm pretty excited about it.

Destiny 2 details on Iron Banner, power cap, and exotics getting more exotic

by: Rob - - 0 Comments

Iron Banner is a bit late coming, was set to be on last week, but is available now. It's 6v6 Control. So yeah, more of Destiny 1 is appearing in Destiny 2, and it's a lot of fun actually. Which begs the question which is being asked over and over again with this game: why was it ever removed in the first place? Destiny 2 dedicated itself to a 4v4 PvP mode and nearly every result and side effect of that change has been negative. From a team shooting meta to less engaging matches, the whole mode is a mess. At least for this week the fun is back. 

And perhaps the power fantasy is on it's way back also. Concrete details have been revealed on the buffs to some of the exotic weapons. Most of Destiny 2's exotics have felt pretty ordinary thus far. If anything seeing these changes in action the pendulum may have swung too far into being overpowered, but that's just more of what this game needs right now. Go bonkers, blow stuff up, feel like the space wizard Destiny sets you up to be. If there are side effects that create an unbalanced playing field, especially in PvP, worry about that later. PvP balance is an overrated concern that won't matter anyway if the player base keeps dropping like it has. 

You can see one of the new exotic weapon buffs below in the Graviton Lance video. Graviton Lance was one of the first exotics I ever received in the game and it didn't take long for it to be forever consigned to my vault gathering dust as it offered no reward worthy of taking the single exotic slot I could equip. However send a few shots kick off a chain reaction that just about obliterates a whole mob. I guess nothing is forever, and it's time to reach back into that vault. More videos of some choice exotics are available in the blog post This Week at Bungie.

That post also reveals some changes to the way the power cap works. It details the differences between the soft cap (where everyday activities can easily level up a player to) and the hard cap (the maximum power level that is attained only by the true endgame activities). With the Warmind expansion, the power cap is increasing from 330 to 380. The soft cap will sit at 370, but the big change is the trickle from 370 to 380 will be much slower than before. Bungie aims to make reaching 380 feel like an achievement. I'm not sure if frustratingly trickling the rewards is the right way to go about it though. That seems artificial. Probably would have been abetter idea to just lock the 370-380 rewards behind the toughest activities like Trials and the Raid, but they seem to committed to a game where everybody can get their participation trophy, they just need the patience to grind it out. 

Star Wars Battlefront II return of the microtransactions

by: Rob - - 0 Comments

It's fitting really. Just as Star Wars Battlefront II introduces a new game mode on Endor from the Return of the Jedi film, it also sees the return of the controversial micro-transactions which has derailed the game's image thus far. Hopefully this go will be a kinder, gentler micro-transaction implementation.

Firstly, let's touch on that new game mode. In the Night on Endor update, players will get a chance to battle along side and as an Ewok or Stormtrooper. The Ewoks kick off the ambush with their spears and other primitive weapons and every Stormtrooper eliminated adds an Ewok to spawn into the battle until the Empire's forces are eliminated. However, the Stormtroopers get to strike back with vastly superior weaponry and try to hold out in the dark of night until the extraction can arrive. 

But with that game mode sees the return of Crystals, the currency of the Battlefront micro transaction economy. Real world money can be used to purchase crystals, and crystals are used to purchase skins (or "Appearances" in the game's parlance) for your Battlefront characters. Appearances can also be earned through progression of in-game activity. This update seems to shift back into the more accepted version of micro-transactions that gamers are willing to tolerate: no pay to win, cosmetic only. It does speak to a larger point to how committed EA are to the micro-transaction model that even after the tsunami of negative press and downgraded revenue projections from the backlash, they are still steadfastly committed to reintroducing the model in some form. It would seem the smarter play would be to appeal to the goodwill of the player base staying away, but if this any indication of the future of AAA EA titles, expect full prices to be followed by micro-transactions hell or high water. 

The new mode and the crystals are back in the game today with the latest update. More information about crystals and the economy that surrounds them can be found in the FAQ on the Battlefront forums.

Buff and nerf everything with the Assassin's Creed Origins Animus Control Panel

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

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Assassin's Creed Origins players on PC will soon have a full-blown (and 100% legit) hacking tool at their disposal. Ubisoft is handing over the keys to an intimidating number of gameplay features that you can tweak with the new Animus Control Panel.

This control panel will let you modify any number of gameplay features. Play as different NPCs in the game but with Bayek's full skill set. Play with running speed ramped up 200%. It looks floaty and unnatural, but who cares. Kiss your mounts goodbye at those speeds. Or make combat easier or harder by adjusting damage dealing or hit points. Let Bayek tame more animals so that he can have an army of hippos following his every move across Egypt. Most importantly, bring back one-hit assassinations. There's a button for that.

This is a fun feature. Assassin's Creed Origins won't necessarily be a better game for it [GN score 8 out of 10], but it's super cool that Ubisoft is putting this tool in your hands.

The Assassin's Creed Origins Animus Control Panel is a free download for PC players only, available April 19.

Two hours of turn-based BattleTech action from the devs themselves

by: Randy - - 0 Comments

[CORRECTION: This gameplay is from publisher Paradox, not from developer Harebrained Schemes.]

A turn-based BattleTech is nearly here. Finally. I'm excited. Several of us at Gaming Nexus (though I don't happen to be one of them) even Kickstarted the project back in September 2015. The project was funded in 53 minutes. People have been wanting mech turn-based strategy so hard.

Below are a couple very recent videos of the developers at Harebrained Schemes publishers at Paradox playing the campaign. They zip past the story bits, simply because they want to save that mostly for the players, and to show off a little faster combat than the YouTube influencers have been showing.

BattleTech sports some very rough but organic terrain which you'll learn to interpret and bend to your advantage. And while most of your strategizing will take place from a drone's eye view some 300 feet up, the camera is good at zooming down into an over-the-shoulder camera if you need to confirm line-of-sight, and also when the guns and missiles fly. It's always nice to get a close up of the explosions and all the damage notifications popping up off your opponent's mech. The first map the devs publishers tackle is both treed, dusty, lightly rainy, and filling up with smoke from brutalist architecture getting smashed. Good stuff.

BattleTech launches April 24 on PC.