July 2020

Amazon's Crucible retreating back into closed beta

1 year 11 months ago

Less than six weeks after launching Crucible, Amazon are taking their free-to-play multiplayer shooter back into closed beta. It was not well-received or well-played, and last weekend didn’t even break 200 players in-game at the same time. So they’re taking it back into beta to fix and improve, then presumably relaunch later. Those player numbers are honestly not uncommon for a new multiplayer shooter, because it’s a perilous genre and most flop, but I imagine they’re a touch disappointing to a company worth $1 trillion.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

Cyberpunk 2077's Wall-Running Mechanic Removed 'Due To Design Reasons'

1 year 11 months ago
CD Projekt Red has cut the wall-running mechanic seen in previous Cyberpunk 2077 gameplay trailers "due to design reasons." In an interview with GameReactor, Cyberpunk 2077 level designer Max Pears explained the decision. "Ah, the wall runningthat is something that we removed due to design reasons, but there's still going to be a lot of flexibility in how you move, that's for sure." Previously, gameplay has shown the player-character using Mantis Blades (the game's sword-like appendages that can be hidden inside your own arms) in combination with wall running, in order to perch in hard to-reach spots. You can see the wall-running in action via this timestamped link to the 48-minute gameplay demo from 2018. In the clip, V uses her Mantis Blades to run along a wall, scan  some goons, before leaping down and assassinating them. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/08/27/cyberpunk-2077-gameplay-demo"] It's not clear from Pears' comments whether Mantis Blades could still be used to perch in some way - perhaps in designated spots rather than anywhere a wall-run could reach. Pears did make a point of noting that there will be other methods of traversal available to the player when the game launches on November 19. In other Cyberpunk 2077 news, you can check out the PC-exclusive ray-tracing effects that were revealed last week by Nvidia.
Author
Jordan Oloman

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Amazon's Crucible Is Headed Back To Closed Beta a Month After Release

1 year 11 months ago
Amazon's free to play team shooter Crucible has been pulled back into closed beta just a month after its official release. Crucible's developer Relentless Studios revealed the news on the Crucible blog yesterday, announcing that as of today, the game will shift back into a closed beta state once more, in order to "focus on providing the best possible experience for our players." Despite the drastic change, Relentless is still following the roadmap it announced in early June when it decided to pull two of Crucible's three game modes from circulation after its player base dwindled just weeks after launch. The team are focusing on "map, combat, and system changes," and made it clear that the Crucible experience will remain much the same for those who have been playing since launch. [ignvideo url="https://www.ign.com/videos/2020/05/27/crucible-review"] "You'll keep all the progress and customization items you've already earned, and the battle pass, reward tracks, and in-game store will continue to be supported," the statement reads. Relentless is also setting up a "community council" of players who they'll be consulting for feedback, and the team will be scheduling dedicated time each week to play the game with the current community. Crucible's most popular game mode, Heart of the Hives, has remained and Relentless is working on a number of new features, trying to improve the game using feedback from fans.
Author
Jordan Oloman

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Samsung 870 Qvo SSD announced in capacities up to 8TB

1 year 11 months ago

Samsung released its latest 2.5-inch SATA SSD today, the 870 Qvo, which comes in capacities up to 8TB - twice as big as the largest 860 Qvo model released in 2018 and substantially bigger than most desktop hard drives. It's an impressive milestone, even if UK pricing for the largest 8TB model is nearly £800. Still, with game install sizes ballooning out of control - I'm looking at you here, Warzone - a massive new SSD could be just what the doctor ordered.

So how have Samsung produced a 7mm tall SSD that packs in so much storage space? Unlike most of Samsung's drives, the Qvo series uses QLC NAND, meaning it stores four bits per cell instead of two (MLC, used on Pro series drives) or three (TLC, used on Evo series drives). That, combined with vertical stacking of the flash memory modules, allows the Korean chaebol to offer higher capacities than would otherwise be possible for a given price or form factor, which has lead to the existence of that flagship 8TB model.

* signifies data that has yet to be confirmed by Samsung, but was previously rumoured.

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Someone should make a game about: The Phantom Tollbooth

1 year 11 months ago

Who doesn't love a book with a map in the front of it? And here's one of the best. Look at that landscape - The Kingdom of Wisdom! Check it out, the Foothills of Confusion rising from the Sea of Knowledge. The Forest of Sight, the Mountains of Ignorance, and in the distance the Castle in the Air.

This is The Phantom Tollbooth, a book that I suspect will always feel like a bit of a secret, even though it's been made into films and TV shows and has sold over three million copies. It's a children's adventure, written by Norton Juster, who was an academic and an architect and was meant to be writing something else at the time. It was published in 1962 with wonderfully energetic sketches by Jules Feiffer, who was Juster's friend and - do I remember this correctly? - perhaps room-mate.

The Phantom Tollbooth tells the story of Milo, a young boy who, now I'm re-reading as an adult, is clearly suffering from ennui. Everything is boring and disappointing. He comes home one day to find a gift in his room - a tollbooth that he sets up and drives through in his little toy car.

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A spoiler-heavy interview with The Last of Us Part 2 director Neil Druckmann

1 year 11 months ago

SPOILER WARNING: THIS ARTICLE DISCUSSES THE FULL STORYLINE OF THE LAST OF US PART 2, INCLUDING ITS ENDING.

Before The Last of Us Part 2 was released - but after we had finished playing it, and after its plot had leaked online - we had a chance to interview the game's director Neil Druckmann. It was too good an opportunity to discuss the game's full storyline and radical structure with its creative lead to miss. So here is the second, spoiler-heavy part of our chat - and please, only read on if you have already finished the game.

When you get to the second half of the game, it's so sad that you're meeting these people (and these dogs) that you've already killed. And it's like... I was feeling shame. And I was feeling guilt. I'm not used to feeling those things in games. That's an uncomfortable feeling.

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Atari's New Console, The VCS, Launches This Fall

1 year 11 months ago

The Atari VCS, the console/PC hybrid from the legendary game company, is finally releasing this fall. Atari VCS backer units for those who supported the system's Indiegogo campaign will ship by October, while all subsequent pre-orders and retail units will arrive holiday 2020.

The Atari VCS home screen

Not only that, but the neon reimagining of its classic title, Missile Command: Recharged, will be a launch title. Missile Command: Recharged launched on Switch, PC, iOS, and Android in May to positive reception. The VCS version delivers platform-exclusive features including Classic Joystick compatibility. The VCS version of Missile Command: Recharged will launch digitally this fall through the Atari VCS store, with additional games to be announced soon.

Author
Brian Shea

A Plague Tale Innocence Has Sold Over 1 Million Copies Since Launch

1 year 11 months ago

A Plague Tale Innocence was one of last year’s indie gems; in particular, earning critical acclaim for its striking story and engaging characters. Today, we’ve learned that its commercial performance has been equally impressive as developer Asobo Studio and publisher Focus Home Interactive celebrated the game exceeding 1 million units sold since launch.

David Dedeine, Chief Creative Office and Co-Founder of Asobo Studio said of the achievement:

“The entire team at Asobo Studio is extremely proud of the path A Plague Tale: Innocence has taken in one year, with Focus Home Interactive by our side. Every day more and more players are discovering the story of Amicia and Hugo, which is for us the greatest source of motivation. We can’t wait to bring other adventures and strong emotional experiences!”

John Bert, Chief Operating Officer at Focus Home Interactive also weighed in:

“It’s a testament to the talent of both our teams that we have achieved this important milestone. It has always been a great pleasure to work with the team at Asobo Studio, and we are proud to continue our partnership with another ambitious upcoming title. These brilliant results only strengthen our resolve to keep working with such talented partners to deliver the most unique and exciting games on the market.”

For those who haven’t yet played A Plague Tale Innocence, it’s a story-driven stealth adventure game about two young children living in medieval France who are desperately trying to escape the clutches of a nefarious cult. All the while, the world around them crumbles from a mysterious plague.

Author
Alex Gibson

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WWI Shooter Tannenberg is Releasing on Consoles This Month

1 year 11 months ago

Tannenberg, the follow up to the popular WWI shooter Verdun from developers M2H and Blackmill Games, will see a release on PS4 and Xbox One on July 24. You can check out the most recent trailer celebrating the announcement of the console versions below.

Tannenberg takes place on the Eastern Front as opposed to the Western Front of Verdun. For the non history buffs reading this, an Eastern Front themed game means that instead of composition of American, French, and Brits, you’ll be able to play from the perspective of Russian, Roumanian, Latvian, Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and of course German soldiers, in Tanneberg.

The console release of Tannenberg will contain a new map, Przemyśl, which is featured in the trailer above.

While Battlefield 1 got a lot of the glory for bringing WWI into the spotlight, Verdun actually did it first back in 2015 and the series has continued to stay in the time period.

If you’re interested in a more authentic WWI shooter that’s a bit different from the mainstream shooters, do a little research on Verdun and Tannenberg and see if it might be for you.

Author
Ed McGlone

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Spring Leaves No Flowers shows why games need more characters to come out

1 year 11 months ago

My earliest experience with trying to find out whether a character in a video game was homosexual was stalking the BioWare forums in 2008 or 2009. I was looking for information about which romance options in the upcoming, exciting new RPG Dragon Age: Origins were going to allow for a women-loving women option. Of course they weren’t really lesbians back then; characters in the BioWare games of that period weren’t really straight or gay or bi. They didn’t really have a sexual orientation. They were heterosexual in a “het is default” way, but sometimes could also enter a relationship with a player character of the same gender.

But even when that happened, it didn’t really reflect much about them as characters (other than some rather unfortunate replication of stereotypes, I suppose, where the wholesome Alistair couldn’t be romanced by a male player character, but the amoral, promiscuous elf Zevran could serve as “the gay option”). And the fact of any given character being said “gay” option was something that you knew going into the game. Both in and out of character, they were completely out of the closet. There was never any real need for them to have a coming out.

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Author
J. Szpilka

The 75Hz model of our favourite AOC gaming monitor is down to £144

1 year 11 months ago

The AOC 24G2U is one of the [cms-block]s you can buy right now, but the 144Hz model that Katharine reviewed has been out of stock for absolutely ages. The good news, though, is that you can get its cheaper 75Hz model for a new low of just £144 right now if you head on over to CCL’s Ebay Store. If you don’t think your graphics card is quite up to running games at 144Hz, this is a great bargain.

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Author
Alan Martin

Fortnite: Save The World leaves early access, but isn't going free-to-play

1 year 11 months ago

You will be forgiven for thinking that Fortnite: Save The World had already left early access. This is what many see as a strange appendage to Fortnite Battle Royale, but is actually the original PvE game that arguably birthed an entire epoch – all, apparently, while remaining in early access. It’s a brazen assault on the fabric of meaning, but it’s also maybe not all that weird, because developers Epic Games say that yesterday marks the point where “development of new content will slow down”. “The main story is complete”, they say.

It doesn’t mark the point where it will go free-to-play, as was once planned. I suppose that may well make business sense when part of your videogame is big enough to worry Netflix.

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Author
Matt Cox

Crysis Remastered is coming July 23rd, leaks say

1 year 11 months ago

Update: Wildly, Crytek have delayed the formal announcement, while acknowledging that everyone has seen the leak anyway.

Today is the day for Crytek for formally reveal Crysis Remastered, though the release date and trailer have apparently already leaked anyway. The prettied-up re-release of the supersuit shooter is coming on July 23rd, according to a Microsoft Store page that went live early before being pulled down. Here, check out the trailer.

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Author
Alice O'Connor

SSD deals of the week – 1st July 2020

1 year 11 months ago

Samsung 860 Evo - Best gaming SSD

With the launch of Samsung’s 870 Qvo SSD yesterday, there are some great SSD deals to be had this week, particularly if you’re in the US and you don’t mind opting for Samsung’s slightly older 860 Qvo SSD. There are also some tasty UK SSD deals on Samsung’s 860 Evo SSD to be had as well, plus loads of big savings on WD SSDs as part of Amazon’s recent deals haul.

To help you get the very best SSD deal around, we’ve listed all of the lowest prices for our [cms-block] recommendations in all sorts of size capacities and form factors. Whether you’re looking for the best SATA SSD deals or the biggest savings on today’s super fast NVMe SSDs and portable SSDs, here are the cheapest SSD deals of the week.

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Author
Katharine Castle

Nintendo seemingly no longer cares about 3DS vulnerabilities, as hacker bounty program shifts entirely to Switch

1 year 11 months ago

The 3DS is on its last legs, that much is clear. For months we haven't gotten any 3DS announcements from Nintendo, who keeps parroting that the 3DS is a "gateway device" for the younger crowd. But as the Switch ventures further into more affordable territory with the Switch Lite, that tune has changed considerably.

Another more recent development involves HackerOne: a bounty site that allows developers to post "bounties" for vulnerabilities in the efforts of essentially crowdfunding security fixes. According to prolific Switch dataminer OatmealDome, Nintendo has dropped the 3DS from their program entirely, and may have even admitted that "the current security situation" is untenable.

Based on a message provided directly by Nintendo (through HackerOne's systems), a representative for the company explains that they have "dropped the 3DS from the program," and that as of July 15, 2020, they will no longer be taking any messages regarding the system. Instead, the Switch will be the sole focus going forward.

This is just one more nail in the coffin for the 3DS (Nintendo hasn't picked out a casket yet) and could be the final harbinger horseman of doom. At some point Nintendo will likely formally announce that they will no longer be supporting the 3DS with firmware updates: at which point the Homebrew scene will have a field day.

OatmealDome [Twitter]

Nintendo seemingly no longer cares about 3DS vulnerabilities, as hacker bounty program shifts entirely to Switch screenshot

Author
Chris Carter

Final Fantasy XIV's huge upcoming 5.3 patch is out in August

1 year 11 months ago

Nearly three months ago Square Enix gave us an update on when the next Final Fantasy XIV patch would arrive, but the news wasn't looking great due to the current pandemic situation. Originally it was set for a mid-June release date, but that was subsequently pushed several weeks. As of today, it's set in stone for August 11.

The news comes directly from producer Naoki "YoshiP" Yoshida, who once again apologizes for the delay, which is a bit further out from the original target. Yoshida says that the team did "everything they could" to prevent it, but the YoRHA: Dark Apocalypse raid, which is a follow-up to the previous guest-NieR storyline, specifically needs more time for testing and debugging.

Evidently Square Enix has gone back to their offices to some capacity to keep things moving, trying to follow social distancing guidelines and other regulations to make that happen: which caused a further delay. Unfortunately, although Yoshida is confident that the team can get back to the regular three to four month update cadence, "there is no way" for them to recover from this current schedule. They'll try their best, but everything going forward seems to be pushed back.

It's all completely understandable. An MMO has so many moving parts, not to mention all of the design and vocal work that goes into a project like Final Fantasy XIV. We'll hear Yoshida and his team's next moves on July 22, when the next producer live letter debuts. For now, he left us with a tease, which you can check out below.

Author
Chris Carter