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Category Archives: News

Anthem devs propose new skill trees, artifacts and a Destiny-style UI

Oh dang, they’re really giving this Anthem comeback a proper shot aren’t they? 3 months after we last checked in with BioWare’s beleaguered loot ’em up, the studio has returned with a fresh look at the game’s revamped UI, along with a new approach towards character skills and robot-suit loadouts aimed at fixing the base game’s seemingly-limited build options.

Writing on the BioWare blog, studio director Christian Dailey dives into a number of ideas the team are playing with in regards to Javelins (yer big robots), builds, and skill trees. Apparently, a key piece of feedback around the game’s launch was that Anthem didn’t offer “satisfying Javelin Builds”, which has pushed the team to completely revamp the way they approach your RPG battlesuits.

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For starters, though, the entire loadout screen has been given an overhaul. It’s looking rather Destiny 2 now, a cleaned-up page setting your character in centre, framed by a more easily readable set of inventory slots. Weapons are now either primary or secondary, while Mods and Artifacts replace the previous components system. Abilities are now also shown inside the loadout screen, and are now permanent unlocks rather than drops.

You might’ve noticed a new word there, mind. In place of components, which Dailey admits were kinda naff, Artifacts have been proposed as more substantial, exciting kind of drop for more dramatically mixing up your Javelin. “Each Javelin type would have a distinct Artifact catering towards its class fantasy,” Dailey explains. “For instance, your Ranger’s rocket pod would be upgraded into the Skyfell Launcher Artifact, a pair of back-mounted pods that transform into powerful rocket launchers.

“These Artifacts would change in appearance, depending on what parts you equip. There’s also an opportunity to allow for more interesting decision making. The parts you equip would contribute to a powerful passive ability generated by the Artifact.”

Dailey also dives into the idea of distinct skill trees and experience levels for each Javelin class – even exploring the idea of further specialisations once you cap out a single mechsuit. The team reckoned that pilot level wasn’t really a “satisfying measure of your progress”, and are trying to find ways to make you feel like you’re improving at actually flying a specific Javelin by unlocking new passives and abilities.

It all sounds quite nifty, for sure. But then, poor customisation wasn’t exactly Anthem’s worst problem, and it’s still hard to picture the world where the failed loot shooter makes a comeback. Even BioWare apologist Alice B lamented that the game’s constant finicky interruptions kept leading to “mounting, hair-tearing, exhausting, defeating frustration” in her Anthem review back in the day.

The small team at BioWare Austin have been quietly plugging away at this rework for some time now, only surfacing every so often to reassure that yes, the Anthem job is still going. With such a seemingly impossible task, I can only wish them the best of luck.

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Gears POP! Game Servers Are Shutting Down

Gears POP! was a surprise reveal blending the worlds of Funko POPS and Gears of War into a tactical mobile game that was announced right at the same time as Microsoft’s Gears Tactics. A more playful experience with some of our favorite Gears characters, the name alone was not enough to keep this train chugging. Unfortunately, the studio behind the title, Mediatonic, has announced that servers will be shutting down permanently early next year. 

The studio took to the Gears POP! blog to share the latest update. “Thank you Gears,” begins the farewell. “Together we have taken on countless waves of Horde and vanquished foes on the Versus battlefield but sadly Gears Pop! is closing on April 26, 2021. Until that time, we’re bringing back some of our most popular events, increasing Bounty rewards, and upping the drop rates for Legendary Pins. Effective immediately, in-app purchasing has also been disabled. Thank you for your understanding and support.”

The servers will remain active, with pins still usable, until April 26, 2021. Refunds will be automatically issued for anything purchased within 90 days of October 28, 2020. Anything bought between July 30 – October 28 is eligible, according to the site, though refunds themselves might take a few weeks to process. 

While some have shown interest in keeping the game alive, Mediatonic added that there are many factors that go into keeping a game like this active and functional beyond just keeping the lights on in the servers. Bug fixes, content updates, balance changes; they all factor in and this is something that the team can no longer maintain. 

Mediatonic is the same studio behind Fall Guys — an adorable battle royale game with a jelly bean twist — which has seen an incredible amount of success since launch. With that online adventure still dominating in popularity, it’s good to see that the team has other creations to share with the world. 


What do you think about Gears POP! and the servers shutting down? Are you sad to see it go? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

[Source: Mediatonic]

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Watch Dogs Legion’s perfectly normal London features flying cars, cyborgs and ghosts

London’s a weird place. As a Scot, I’ve always found my trips to the giant English sprawl to be bewildering affairs, as suited blokes ferry themselves from one Pret A Manger to another packed anchovie-like in screaming metal cans. Thank goodness then, that Watch Dogs Legion‘s condensed capital is an equally strange place – and it couldn’t possibly just be launch-week weirdness, right?

Legion’s PC edition may not have launched with the same game-breaking bugs it found on Xbox, but that hasn’t stopped Ubisoft’s latest open world from being a little bit broken. The Watch Dogs Reddit has been punctuated by some rather bizarre occurrences, such as this player’s slow getaway into the stratosphere.

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With the game procedurally generating a resistance movement of random humans, it’s natural you’d get a few oddballs in the mix. I’m not sure, however, what caused this dapper young businessman to be endowed with these robotic vocal cords. I’m not usually one to make fun of someone’s voice, but someone really oughtta take poor Dalton here back to the workshop.

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Encountering a cyborg on the streets of Westminster is one thing. It’s quite another to be recruited into an underground resistance movement by your own doppelganger.

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It appears a few folks are having trouble riding motorbikes in this game, hitching on hidden geometry or spontaneously taking flight. Our next player’s not having any problems getting around, per say, but I have to admit their operative has an… unusual driving style.

My operative is having a bad day. from r/watch_dogs

And if you’ve ever wondered why the Tube’s so dark, you’ll be surprised to find it’s got nothing to do with the underlit tunnels. Rather, the architects of the underground simply don’t want you to discover the great void that exists below the capital.

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Finally, and fittingly for the season, some folks are taking out ghosts with good ol’ fisticuffs.

Apparently there are ghosts in the game from r/watch_dogs

More generally, the subreddit is filled with confused folks getting used to driving on the left for a change. That’s not something we can help you with, I’m afraid (and frankly, we shouldn’t, considering how often we’re made to drive on the right in games) – but if you want some proper advice, head on over to our Watch Dogs Legion guides hub.

Broken or not, it’s just a shame all the NPCs in Watch Dogs Legion are tossers, far as Nate’s concerned. Well, almost all of them.

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Steam’s spine-chilling Halloween sale has begun

A creak behind the door. A shiver down your spine. A shriek pierces your ear, but before you can turn and run, you see it – thousands of hapless videogames, slashed into pieces by big Gabe’s discount knife. Oh, The Steam Halloween Sale has very much begun, dear readers, chopping the recommended retail price out of the storefront’s finest games – be they spooky or otherwise.

Running from today through November 2nd, The Steam Halloween Sale 2020 is back, with bone-chilling discounts on countless games regardless of how scary they may be. If you are in the mood for a scare, though, then this year’s event does conveniently offer different lineups for Horror games, plus non-horror works that just happen to contain terrifying themes.

Spooky events? For me? Aw, you shouldn’t have.

As well as sorting by genre or features (co-op, third-person, VR), there’s a special carousel slot for games currently running haunting Halloween events. From The Long Dark’s surprisingly ghastly Escape The Darkwalker event to Deep Rock “Ghoulactic” and No Man’s Sky’s Dead Space-ish ghost ships, there’s a lotta limited-time haunting from typically un-scary games.

Valve themselves have even brought back Dota 2’s infamous Diretide event for the first time in seven years. Seven years! Why, it feels like only yesterday the feeds were plastered with “volvo giff diretide?

As for deals, its your usual affair of small-to-massive price-cuts on pretty much every game sitting on Steam. Current horror game de jour Phasmophobia might only a paltry 10% off, but both Amnesia: The Dark Descent and A Machine For Pigs are going for pennies with a 90% discount – perfect to get you tuned in ahead of Amnesia: Rebirth.

I’m kinda surprised to see such paltry options from Steam’s new points shop, mind. Valve made a big fuss over their introduction back in this year’s summer sale, but even compared to that event’s underwhelming offerings, the Halloween items are a bit naff – just one background and one frame to spend your nonsensical e-bucks on.

The Steam Halloween sale wraps up at 5pm UK time on Monday – enough time to snag a last-minute spook before we all hunker down for the long, cold winter ahead.

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Square Enix Reveals New Final Fantasy XVI Art And Story Details

Remember waiting years for Final Fantasy XV and desperately lapping up any new information on it? After the reveal of Final Fantasy XVI last month, some fans were bracing themselves for another long road of sparse information. But today, we’re already learning more about the upcoming RPG; Square Enix launched a website providing additional background. Some new key art backs up a detailed synopsis of the world, central characters, and lore.  

The website introduces us to stoic protagonist Clive Rosfield, his affectionate younger brother Joshua, and their trusted childhood friend, Jill Warrick. The brothers Rosfield share an interesting dynamic in that Clive, the brave and dedicated knight, merely guards the Phoenix’s awesome power while Joshua, a sheepish bookworm, is the human chosen to wield it. It’ll be fun to see how the relationship between them and their sister-from-another-mother Jill plays out. 

The crystal-laden world of Valisthea also gets some fleshing out, including lore on the individual kingdoms that feature tantalizing redactions regarding the Eikons they command. Eikons are Final Fantasy XVI’s version of the classic summoned monsters, while Dominants are the blessed (or cursed) souls chosen to wield them. For a visual look at what’s to come, check out the gallery below for some of the beautiful new artwork for both the characters and environments. 

Final Fantasy XVI is slated to launch on PlayStation 5 as a console exclusive… and Square Enix is not giving any information surrounding possible releases on Xbox Series X/S or PC. There’s no launch date yet, but Producer Naoki Yoshida promises the next big reveal will come in 2021. While we endure the seemingly long wait to release, check out this video where we discuss what we’d like to see in Final Fantasy XVI

How’s Final Fantasy XVI shaping up? Share your thoughts in the comments! 

[Source: Final Fantasy XVI]

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Xbox Games With Gold November 2020 Free Games Revealed

Sony revealed its PS Plus November lineup earlier this week, including Bugsnax being free for PS5 owners, and now it’s Microsoft’s turn to show off the Xbox Games With Gold November free games lineup. While there is no Bugsnax, it does include Full Spectrum Warrior, which is a treat in its own right. 

Full Spectrum Warrior is a really awesome strategy game that has an interesting US military background. As a veteran myself, I was instantly drawn to this game a few years after launch. While it’s not a title many would immediately go “ooh, shiny,” it does offer a unique experience if you like feeling stressed out of your mind with intense gameplay. 

Xbox Games With Gold November

For the full lineup: 

  • Aragami: Shadow Edition ($24.99 ERP): Available November 1 to 30
  • Swimsanity! ($24.99 ERP): Available November 16 to December 15
  • Full Spectrum Warrior ($14.99 ERP): Available November 1 to 15
  • Lego Indiana Jones ($19.99 ERP): Available November 16 to 30

Another pick to consider is LEGO Indiana Jones. It’s a fun game with an appropriate amount of challenge and is a great pick for all ages. Aragami: Shadow Edition is also an intriguing pick, though it was met with mixed reception. It’s a dark game, much darker than the other titles in the lineup, and allows players to take on the role of an undead Assassin. It’s pretty dope; cheesy at times, but enjoyable. Best part? It’s free if you’ve got the membership, so no harm in checking it out! 

Just like with the PlayStation Plus lineup, an active Xbox Live membership is required to claim the latest free games. The best part? They are free, so if you don’t like them simply uninstall and nothing in your world changes dramatically other than a few lost moments. No big. 

Missed the PlayStation Plus November reveal? You can catch up on that with our previous coverage here


Thoughts on the Xbox Games With Gold November lineup? What titles are you hoping to see become available for December? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below and tell us all of those Team Green desires! 

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The Elite Gamer Call Of Duty: Warzone Winners Have Been Announced

Call of Duty: Warzone pro players faced off in the Elite Gamer Call of Duty: Warzone Pro-Am Championship. You can watch the finale right here. Taking home the $15,000 grand prize of the $25,000 prize pool were Ka’ale “Pacesetter” Haili and Jason “Gangstazsalute88” Conway.

The competition was sponsored by Cox Communications in partnership with professional Call of Duty League organization Florida Mutineers, and featured a mix of celebrities and pro gamers, including MMA Flyweight Champion Demetrious “Mighty Mouse” Johnson. That’s a lot of Call of Duty! Check out the brackets below for a look at how the main event played out…

$5000 of the prize purse was donated to the Call of Duty Endowment (an organization that helps veterans discover career options and provides other various veteran support tools) ahead of upcoming Veterans Day. You can find out more about the Elite Gamer tournament series here.

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Check Out The Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War PC Trailer

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is almost here, arriving on November 13. The PC edition features 4k graphics and uncapped frame rate, and of course you can make the game look incredible with those wild new video cards. In a trailer released today, Activision highlights PC performance. Raytracing. Ambient lighting.

All kinds of cool stuff you can tweak and tune is available to create a customized Call of Duty experience. Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be available on Battle.net alongside Blizzard titles and other Call of Duty PC games. Check out the flashy new trailer for a look at what’s coming in just a few weeks!

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Far Cry 6 And Rainbow Six: Quarantine Delayed

COVID-19 is still ongoing and many industries continue to be impacted with work from home orders and other pandemic-related roadblocks. Because of that, two more games have been delayed due to the ongoing virus with Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six: Quarantine both being pushed back. 

For those excited about the next step for Far Cry, Far Cry 6 initially had a February 18, 2021 release date set. Unfortunately, that has been pushed back beyond Q1, which puts the launch window anywhere between April 2021 all the way until March 2022. Rainbow Six Quarantine has also been shifted around, slated for a similar window and Far Cry 6. 

In a recent investor’s call that GI was a part of, Ubisoft chief financial officer Frederick Duguet offered the below statement: 

Despite having moved Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine to 2021-22 to leverage their full potential in the context of production challenges caused by COVID-19, our new non-IFRS operating income targets for 2020-21 remain within the boundaries we set back in May. Being able to maximize the long term value of our IPs while at the same time maintaining solid financial targets highlights the increasing recurring nature of our revenues, the strength of our portfolio of franchises, confidence in our holiday season release slate, and current supportive industry dynamics.

The good news is that revenue is up due to many being stuck at home, so it makes sense, from a business perspective, that the drive to keep the focus on current live-service games is there. With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla and Watch Dogs Legion also on the horizon, the decision to delay the aforementioned titles isn’t going to have its usual impact. 

With a surge in digital game sales due to COVID and digital-focused systems, the industry is riding an odd edge between momentum and uncertainty. CEO Yves Guillemot added: 

“The videogame industry is benefitting from very strong momentum. It is by far the fastest-growing segment of entertainment and is driving unprecedented consumer engagement and social interactions. In this context, our strategy and competitive advantages continue to be fully validated by recent industry announcements of consolidation and new platform launches. The value of videogame IPs has never been so strong and these announcements highlight the importance of owning a deep and diversified portfolio of high-quality franchises. Thanks to this major asset, which we have built up organically over more than two decades, Ubisoft has entered into fruitful partnerships with the biggest technological and videogame platforms, who are all thrilled to onboard our content.

At the same time, we continue investing to increasingly leverage our direct-to-player relationship. Over the past ten years, we have built our proprietary online distribution and services ecosystem, our unique identifier across games and platforms, and our unparalleled production capacity. These are formidable assets for strengthening this direct relationship. Through multiple entry points and business models, and with the introduction of Ubisoft Connect, we aim to offer players frictionless access and enriching experiences across our full catalog of games. This will expand discoverability, traffic, and global engagement to ultimately provide meaningful value for our players, our teams, and our shareholders over the coming years.

The ongoing situation, and all of 2020, really, will have a lasting impact on many industries, including gaming. It will be interesting to see how the business and consumer sides of this coin adjust with the new generation. 


What do you think about the decision to delay Far Cry 6 and Rainbow Six Quarantine? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! 

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World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands dives into the afterlife next month

We’re back on track for a trip to hell, adventurers. After last month’s delay failed to give us a new release date, Blizzard are now confident in their ability to deliver World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands by the end of November. It’s not the Halloween launch I imagine they were hoping for, but hey – what better way to close out this year than by yeeting ourselves into the fantasy underworld?

To get us all prepared for a trip out of mortality, Blizzard have released a new story trailer for the sinister expansion. Truly, I have no idea what is going on in Azeroth these days.

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While originally planned to launch back on Tuesday, Blizzard delayed Shadowlands last month – citing a need for polish, balance, and to tighten up some interlocking systems. Today, executive producer John Hight returned with a message explaining that they’re on track with those changes, believing the team can get the game on shelves by November 23rd.

“Since we first told you about our decision to delay, we’ve used the time to further polish the expansion and shore up the endgame, including overhauling the combat and rewards in the Maw, and reworking the Covenant systems to make your choice more immediately impactful and have clearer long-term goals. Now the team is in a great position to get things the rest of the way to the finish line before November 23—and as always, we’re committed to working with you to improve the game for as long as you’re out there playing it.”

In addition to the awaited release date, Hight gave dates for both the pre-launch Scourge Invasion and the expansion’s first raid. On November 10th, the world map will periodically flood with the undead, turning players into zombies that risk infecting even more players. Following the expansion’s launch, Castle Nathria will test raiders with Shadowlands’ first endgame challenge, opening its doors on December 8th.

The world being divided by timezones and all, Blizzard have put together a nifty little map explaining when, exactly, Shadowlands will open up. For us in the UK, we’ll be taking a trip to the underworlds at 11pm on Monday, November 23rd.

For the time being, you can check out some of the wild changes made in the pre-expansion patch wot hit earlier this month. I popped in myself with the last of some BlizzBucks I’d acquired over the years, and it’s all quite neat. The tutorial zone actually works as a tutorial, the levelling experience has been handily condensed into a mere few hours, and I must’ve spent 500 gold dipping into the new customisation features at the barbers.

Let me know if Sylvanas bites the dust in this one, and maybe – just maybe – I’ll consider jumping back aboard the WoW-train.

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