Eurogamer

Black Ops Cold War had the most downloaded Call of Duty beta ever

1 hour 44 minutes ago

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta was the most downloaded in franchise history, Activision has said.

Activision did not reveal how many downloads it saw, but we do know it beats out the previous record holder, the beta for Infinity Ward's 2019 first-person shooter Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

It perhaps doesn't come as much of a surprise to learn Black Ops Cold War is the biggest Call of Duty beta ever, given it launched at the tail end of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One's life and so had an enormous install base to appeal to.

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Pokémon Go adds new evolution mechanic for leek-wielding Sirfetch'd

1 hour 47 minutes ago

Pokémon Go has today added several of the latest creatures available in Pokémon Sword and Shield, to celebrate the release of the latter's Crown Tundra expansion.

Sirfetch'd, the Galarian evolution of leek-wielding duck Farfetch'd, is available now. It also comes with a new evolution mechanic - where you must complete a set task while the creature is your buddy.

To evolve Sirfetch'd, you'll need to have a Galarian Fafetch'd as your buddy and then make 10 excellent throws. Its evolution option will then unlock.

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Over 300m people have downloaded Call of Duty: Mobile

2 hours ago

Over 300 million people have downloaded Call of Duty: Mobile, Activision has announced.

Millions of people play Call of Duty: Mobile every month, Matt Lewis, general manager of Call of Duty: Mobile said in a video statement released to coincide with the game's first birthday.

Call of Duty: Mobile is a free-to-play shooter developed by TiMi Studios (a subsidiary of Tencent Games) and published by Activision for Android and iOS.

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Kentucky Route Zero's magical realism hides the raw economic realities of abandoned towns

2 hours 41 minutes ago

A while back, the BBC did a series on the trains that travel across the hills of India. These were services built during British rule, engines still humming along thanks to sheer determination. The last episode visited Shimla, the summer capital of British India, including the Chapslee Estate. It had turned into a small hotel, where the now-deceased Kanwar Singh spoke fondly of its charms. He described his services not as a business selling accommodation or food, but selling an "ambience" of a previous age.

Kentucky Route Zero, a point-and-click adventure that was a decade in the making and that released its final episode in January this year, seems to provide a similar type of ambience, one not based explicitly in time. The story follows Conway, an antiques delivery driver making his final stop, searching for the mysterious eponymous highway in a world drenched with magical-realism.

You might have conjured up images of hillbillies and farming knowing the game is based in Kentucky. But this couldn't be further from the truth, with designer Jake Elliot, along with Tamas Kemenczy and musician Ben Babbitt, speaking of diverse literature, plays and films, such as the work of Andrei Tarkovsky, all of which provided sources of creative inspiration. "We have a story of somebody making a delivery," Elliot says during a group video call with me, Kemenczy and Babbitt, "But of course it's run through with the emotional realities of why they're doing it and what it means for them. That's how I'd experience it."

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Here's a fresh look at all-new PS5 Spider-Man Miles Morales gameplay

3 hours 41 minutes ago

It's hard to believe, but next-gen is mere weeks away - and we just got a fresh look at one of the standout PlayStation 5 launch games, with Aoife seeing some 25 minutes of new Marvel's Spider-Man Miles Morales gameplay (look, can we just call it Spider-Man Miles Morales from here on out?)

There's plenty to dissect, and a neat introduction to a story that takes place a short while after the events of Insomniac's 2018 Marvel's Spider-Man (or Spider-Man, to you and me) as well as giving us a glimpse of the East Harlem district that Miles calls home. Needless to say, it's some impressive looking stuff.

Aoife also spoke to creative director Brian Horton to find out more, and to see where Insomniac took inspiration from Marvel's long-running comic series - and also where it chose to go its own way with some well-known characters.

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Hearthstone's Madness at the Darkmoon Faire expansion is out in November

15 hours ago

Blizzard's free-to-play card battler Hearthstone is poised to get a little bit spookier on 17th November when its latest expansion, Madness at Darkmoon Faire, arrives; plus, there's a free new PvP-focussed mode, Hearthstone Duels, launching a week earlier.

Starting with the expansions, Darkmoon Faire whisks players away to the creepy old carnival of the title, where something considerably more sinister than questionable ride safety protocols awaits. It is, you see, the location The Old Gods - timeless beings of fearsome power introduced in the 2016 expansion Whispers of the Old Gods - have chosen for their return to Azeroth.

In practical terms, Darkmoon Faire introduces 135 new cards, bearing "the taint of [The Old Gods'] corruption". That relates to the new Corrupt keyword, which changes its host card into a substantially more powerful version after higher-cost card is played.

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Here's a first look at Tom Holland as Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie

19 hours 2 minutes ago

As hard as it is to believe, the long-in-the-works Uncharted movie is, after almost a decade in pre-production and seven directors later, finally go; and with shooting now underway, the internet has been given a first glimpse of Tom Holland in the lead role.

A movie adaptation of Naughty Dog's beloved action series was, you might recall, initially announced all the way back in 2009. Since then, six directors - Travis Knight, Dan Trachtenberg, Shawn Levy, Seth Gordon, Neil Burger, and David O Russell - have joined and left the project, but a seventh finally stuck in the form of Zombieland and Venom director Ruben Fleischer.

Fleischer's inherited cast includes Spider-Man's Tom Holland as a young Nathan Drake and Mark Wahlberg (who was originally set to play Drake in an early, and rather massively ill-conceived, stab at the project) as his mentor Sully.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 players are going on a monster hunt

19 hours 17 minutes ago

Red Dead Online's Halloween update finally emerged earlier this week, and despite the addition of some nice new cosmetics, it's fair to say the community was hoping for a slightly spookier experience than what it got. Yet it's always possible to make your own fun - particularly in a game that's already quite creepy at times - and that certainly seems to be the case on the Red Dead Mysteries subreddit, where the community has decided to go on a monster hunt.

The target of this search appears to be some sort of Loch Ness monster - or at least, that's what players are guessing from listening to the sound files. Back in July, YouTube channel Obsidian Sky Studio uploaded some mysterious recordings they'd found in the game files using modding tool Open IV. I had a look myself, and sure enough, the batch of creepy sounds is there. Titled "rivermonster", the files can be found in an audio SFX folder, and feature about a minute's worth of harrowing noises that sound like a dinosaur got frisky with a steam boat.

Speculating that the sounds could actually belong to the legendary bull gator, Obsidian Sky Studio included them at the end of the video for comparison, and I think it's clear this is something else.

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There are official Assassin's Creed Valhalla shoes

20 hours 10 minutes ago

When I heard there was going to be official Assassin's Creed Valhalla shoes, I began thinking of thick snow boots, something sturdy for climbing through the fjords, or stomping on a Saxon monk trying to defend their home. Like an Ugg boot, perhaps, but with horns and blood.

Not so, Reebok reckons. Instead, the sportswear brand has come up with three different shoe variants with designs "inspired by the Northern Lights". Reader, I was lucky enough to go see the Northern Lights back in February and I do not know what Reebok means.

Two shoes feature main character Eivor's raven Synin, while another variant includes the game's twin battle axe symbol.

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The first Fire Emblem game is coming to the west… for four months

20 hours 34 minutes ago

If you hopped on the Fire Emblem train with the release of Three Houses last year, then you may well be wondering: how did this all start out? Where did the blue-haired sword boys all come from? The very first game in the series, Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light, was initially made by Intelligent Systems and Nintendo as an internal project and was never intended for commercial release. Eventually, of course, it did see an official release (and achieved unexpected commercial success) in 1990, but the title was never released outside Japan.

Until now, that is, as a western release has been announced for this December - but there's a catch.

As detailed by Nintendo, Fire Emblem: Shadow Dragon and the Blade of Light is set to release digitally on 4th December, and is currently listed at £5.39. It promises classic gameplay and characters from the original NES version "in their 8-bit glory" to mark 30 years since the game's original release.

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It's Rambo versus Terminator in Mortal Kombat 11

21 hours 23 minutes ago

NetherRealm has shown off Rambo in Mortal Kombat 11.

The video below shows off the 80s action movie character fighting against a raft of the fighting game's cast, including The Terminator.

Rambo, voiced by Sylvester Stallone, uses many of his iconic weapons from the films, including his survival knife and compound bow. He utilises explosives as well as traps. One of Rambo's moves sees him crawl along the ground, avoiding enemy attacks as he inches his way towards his opponent. He also gets to use his M60 in a special move as well as in his victory cutscene.

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Dear Esther, Rime, Gris in $5 mental health bundle

21 hours 31 minutes ago

Seven great games which all touch on the theme of mental health are now available for just £4.65 or $4.99, as part of the Safe in Our World 1st Anniversary Charity Game Bundle.

The bundle includes rhythm action game Avicii Invector, a project worked on and dedicated to the late DJ, the artful puzzle platformer Gris and The Chinese Room's melancholic Dear Esther: Landmark Edition.

Rime, a game our Bertie described as a "modern classic", is also on the list, alongside psychological thriller The Town of Light, which has already donated some of its sales to mental health charities.

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PlayStation 5 media remote has Disney+, Netflix and Spotify buttons

22 hours 15 minutes ago

Sony has unveiled an official PlayStation 5 media remote, which has dedicated buttons for four top streaming services: Disney+, Netflix, Spotify and YouTube.

PlayStation 5 will support these four services plus Twitch and Apple TV when the console launches, Sony confirmed today. The news follows previous reports Apple TV was being made available for the first time on PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Sony has a separate list of apps coming to PS5 which it does not specifically confirm for the console's launch date. These include Amazon Prime Video, MyCanal, Hulu and Peacock.

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Xbox Series X Auto HDR tested - what works and what doesn't?

22 hours 41 minutes ago

One of the greatest strengths of Xbox Series S and X is its backwards compatibility. Revisiting old classics, from the original 2001 Xbox, 360 and the Xbox One - Microsoft has maintained a through line across its console legacy. Not only are legacy titles playable, they're enhanced too with higher resolutions, smoother frame-rates, clearer texture filtering and faster load times. Auto HDR is the latest enhancement, drawing on a machine learning algorithm to add HDR to the majority of its back-compat titles on all Xbox systems. The question is - how good is it? Can it really compare to a native HDR implementation?

When well implemented, high dynamic range can transform the look of a game. Genuine HDR is not a given for new releases, even today. For the likes of Hellblade, Final Fantasy 15 or Sekiro, the effect elevates the image and heightens the realism of their lighting. Supporting displays with a high enough peak brightness - ideally 600 nits or more - bring out details that would normally be hidden in standard dynamic range. The sun's outline in Sekiro becomes more defined against a cloudy sky; Hellblade's overcast greys come out clearly with subtler gradients. Meanwhile dark detail pops out in caves or long grass. Fire takes on a more believable peak brightness in Resident Evil 3, while for racing games like Dirt 5, headlamps hit a realistic peak brightness on night-time tracks. Put simply: HDR lets us see a wider contrast of tones in bright and dark detail - plus a wider spectrum of colour in-between.

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Looks like an early build of Pokémon Sword and Shield leaked

23 hours 27 minutes ago

What looks to be an early, work-in-progress version of Pokémon Sword and Shield has appeared online, and fans are excitedly poring over its details.

The pre-release build was streamed last night on Twitch, apparently running on a debug Nintendo Switch unit. Simultaneously, fans began pulling apart and examining its files.

That Twitch stream is no longer available to view and the user's channel is currently inaccessible. But screenshots from the stream, along with sound files and other data pulled from the build and originally posted to 4chan, have been widely shared on Twitter where they still remain.

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EA faces class action lawsuit over loot boxes in Canada

1 day ago

It seems EA is once again facing legal trouble for its use of loot boxes, as the company is now facing a class action lawsuit in Canada.

As spotted by esports and gaming law blog The Patch Notes, the lawsuit was filed on 30th September by two individuals based in British Columbia and Ontario, Mark Sutherland and Shawn Moore. The suit argues that loot boxes constitute gambling, and that EA is operating an unlicensed gambling business in breach of the Canadian Criminal Code. It also argues EA is liable to the plaintiffs under common law (including unjust enrichment) and has breached consumer protection statutes such as the BC Consumer Protection Act by failing to publish the odds of winning prizes and tying loot boxes to gameplay progression.

The Patch Notes explains that because this is a class action, everyone in Canada who has bought loot boxes from EA since 2008 is covered by the suit, and the filing comes with a list of over 60 titles including EA's sports franchises, Mass Effect, Need for Speed, Battlefield, Apex Legends and more. The plaintiffs are seeking everything EA made through loot boxes since 2008 in damages, so if the suit was to be successful, it's safe to say EA would have to pay a whole lot of money.

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Golden Axed prototype creators livestream with Digital Foundry

1 day ago

Last week, as part of its 60th anniversary celebrations, Sega released an unfinished prototype version of a Golden Axe reboot that saw a small team from Sega Australia look to modernise and revitalise one of the company's beloved arcade franchises. Suffice to say, the sudden release of the original 2012 code caught its creators by surprise, and developer Tim Dawson's Twitter thread detailed at length a story of the project's inept mismanagement that took place in crunch conditions. Sega stepped in to apologise to the coders. As the prototype itself was only available for one weekend, you may have missed out on the opportunity to play it.

And that's where Digital Foundry may be able to help. DF Retro creator John Linneman is streaming gameplay from the prototype, and joining him to discuss the project in much more depth are two of the game's developers, Sanatana Mishra and Tim Dawson.

Now that the stream is over, we thought it would be a great idea to credit everyone involved with the development of the prototype:

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Super Smash Bros. Ultimate cuts Steve's meat

1 day ago

Steve's Super Smash Bros. Ultimate win animation no longer includes him grabbing hold of a suggestively-placed piece of meat.

Nintendo made the change today in a quickly-released update to the game, coming just a couple of days after Steve's meat-holding went viral online.

Indeed, today's small patch arrives only a week after Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's big 9.0 update which added in its Minecraft character DLC.

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Hideo Kojima confirms a new project is in development, says nothing about it

1 day 2 hours ago

Legendary video game developer Hideo Kojima has confirmed a new project is in development, but has said nothing about it.

In a statement issued on Kojima's official Twitter accounts and Kojima Productions' LinkedIn page, the Metal Gear creator said the studio was hiring for various roles at its Tokyo office.

In 2015, Kojima Productions split from Konami, becoming an independent studio. It released its first game, Death Stranding, in 2019.

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Ubisoft games getting cross-play and cross-progression via new Ubisoft Connect service

1 day 13 hours ago

Ubisoft has announced it's combining its long-running Uplay and the Ubisoft Club services into one free uber-service, called Ubisoft Connect, which will support cross-play and cross-progression for a raft of upcoming games.

Ubisoft Connect, which the publisher describes as an "ecosystem of players services for Ubisoft games across all platforms", will launch alongside Watch Dogs Legion on 29th October, and offers a combination of loyalty scheme and community features.

Similar to the current Ubisoft Club, Connect will enable players to earn various rewards as they work their way through their purchased games. "It's very simple!", explains the publisher on its FAQ, "Your Ubisoft Account has a level, which can increase by completing challenges and earning Ubisoft Connect XP. The more you play, the more you earn XP and level up".

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Darkest Dungeon 2 is going 3D, entering early access next year

1 day 15 hours ago

It's been well over 18 months since Red Hook Studios unveiled Darkest Dungeon 2, the sequel to its brilliant but brutal Lovecraft-inspired RPG, and now, after a tortuous wait, the game has resurfaced, along with the news that it's entering early access via the Epic Store next year.

The original Darkest Dungeon, which released in 2016, pitted players against an army of Lovecraftian horrors, battling in turn-based fashion across numerous trap-infested environs. It's biggest thematic trick came in the form of slowly encroaching madness, which would eventually send party members over the edge, imbuing them with (usually) negative quirks that made future excursions that much harder.

The resulting balancing act between deeper exploration and hero preservation managed to be both immensely stressful and unquestionably satisfying, earning the experience a huge following and plenty of critical acclaim.

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That Mansions of Madness video game adaptation is now an Arkham Horror game

1 day 16 hours ago

Asmodee Digital's video game adaptation of the hugely popular Lovecraft-inspired Mansions of Madness board game series has had something of a rejig, and will now launch on Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC under the banner of a different hugely popular Lovecraft-inspired board game series; say hello to Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace.

Mansions of Madness: Mother's Embrace was originally announced back in 2018, with an anticipated release date of Q1 2019. Evidently, that did not come to pass, but it'll now arrive - with its new name and with a new developer, Artefacts Studio, at the helm - next year.

Despite the name change, Arkham Horror: Mother's Embrace still very much resembles the game that was announced back in 2018 on the surface, although, given the scant gameplay details revealed previously, it's impossible to tell how much has altered under the hood.

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Here's a fresh gameplay look at supervillain strategy management hybrid Evil Genius 2

1 day 17 hours ago

If you've been eagerly awaiting news of Evil Genius 2, the follow-up to the cult classic strategy management hybrid, then today's your lucky day; Rebellion has just released a new six-minute look at some of the new features to be found when it launches in the first half of next year.

The original Evil Genius was the work of developer Elixir Studios (founded by former Lionhead and Bullfrog alumni Demis Hassabis) and released back in 2004. As you'd hope, Rebellion's sequel takes its predecessor's delicious central conceit, in which players are cast as supervillains hellbent on global domination, and aims to expand on it in interesting new ways.

One of Evil Genius 2's new additions takes the form of cover operations, enabling players to disguise their villainous lair as a legitimate business. It's a feature Rebellion has outlined previously but there's some extended footage of one cover operation type - a bustling casino - to be found in the developer's latest gameplay trailer.

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Humankind now arrives April 2021

1 day 18 hours ago

Sega has announced a new April 2021 release window for Humankind, the Civilization-esque strategy in the works at Amplitude Studios.

Humankind was originally due this year but got pushed into 2021 back in June. It'll finally arrive some 10 months later - though there's no exact date as yet.

Sega would, however, like you to know you can pre-order Humankind now and receive a couple of extra cosmetics for doing so. Look for the Digital Deluxe Edition on Steam, Epic Games Store and even Stadia now, where it is 15 per cent off.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez streamed Among Us on Twitch, and 400k people tuned in

1 day 20 hours ago

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez appears to be one of the few politicians to actually understand video games and Twitch - having previously attempted to stop the US Army from using Twitch as a recruitment tool. But yesterday AOC decided to use Twitch as a platform herself, organising a session of Among Us to encourage American citizens to vote in the upcoming presidential election. And it's safe to say the stream went down pretty well.

The stream was organised earlier this week after AOC put out a call for volunteers on Twitter, and she swiftly recruited big names such as Pokimane, Myth, hasanabi and hbomberguy, along with fellow democrat Ilhan Omar (who also has a very nice gaming rig, it turns out). AOC's newly-created Twitch account quickly accrued thousands of followers, and after dealing with some technical difficulties the stream last night peaked at 439k viewers, meaning it ranks within the top 20 biggest streams of all time for concurrent viewers (according to third-party website Twitch Tracker).

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Six months after launch, Final Fantasy 7 Remake got its very first patch

1 day 20 hours ago

Final Fantasy 7 Remake owners, take note! More than six months after the game's launch, a patch is slowly being rolled out worldwide (for what it's worth, it is available now on our PlayStation 4).

Why is this notable? Well, this is patch 1.01. Yes, it's the very first patch to be released for the game, more than half a year later.

What does it change? Well, see, this is where I must quell your excitement. Square Enix's notes (spotted by ResetEra) mention only "various bug fixes".

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Here's our first look at Wales Interactive's loved-up live action comedy

1 day 22 hours ago

Following its announcement back in June, we've got a proper look at live action specialists Wales Interactive's latest joint - a romantic comedy starring Doctor Who's Mandip Gill among others that's now set to release on PC, PS4, Switch and Xbox One next month.

You might know Wales Interactive from its other live action games (in my day we called them FMV, but also everything was black and white back then) such as The Bunker and Late Shift. Five Dates takes that formula and takes it to some... interesting new places.

The comedy part of its make-up isn't exactly clear from the trailer - though there is some twerking offered by way of light relief - but it's assembled a decent cast and its premise offers a fairly ingenious way to get around filming restrictions during the recent pandemic. How will it all stick together? Well, there's not too long to find out now.

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ScourgeBringer review - another Roguelite that's well worth your love

1 day 22 hours ago

Hitting an enemy in ScourgeBringer is like ringing a bell. There's something hollow going on, something metallic, something that resounds. And by hitting them I mean smashing them, which is the stun move and the knockback move and very different to the main attack in both the time it takes to play out and the time that's imposed before you can do it again.

Actually bells aren't quite right - or rather the bell move is a bit of a special case. Action-heavy Roguelites - Hades, Dead Cells - these games are feelings, really, textures at a push: they are about the particular flavour of connection being offered. Hades is that polished marble slide that ends in a headbutt. ScourgeBringer, bells aside, lives in its own hideously toothy mouth. This is a game about chewing: you chew through enemies but you also chew through the space they exist in. You chew through the pixel-pure air itself! If I play too long I worry my teeth will be grit and rubble by the end of it. But still I play on. Maybe all the bells I ring will eventually summon a dentist.

ScourgeBringer is wonderfully horrible and beautiful sci-fi. You are a white-haired force of nature billowing around a series of perfectly poky 2D chambers. The chambers fill with waves of attackers, which you chew through in order to unlock the various exits. The chambers themselves connect up to form realms, each capped with mini-bosses and then a mega boss known as a Judge. Beyond that, more realms, with their own twists. Ice? Tofu walls? A surprisingly brilliant reference to the classic cartoon Duck Amuck? Fail, and it's back to the start.

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Nintendo fans find Luigi hiding in Super Mario Bros. 35

1 day 23 hours ago

Super Mario Bros. 35, Nintendo's new platforming battle royale, hides a certain green-shirted secret.

Nintendo fans have discovered that Luigi is unlockable in the game - though there's still some disagreement around exactly what you'll need to find him for yourself.

After a day where the game's community worked to try and find out the exact unlock conditions, it now seems like the requirement is that you need to complete every stage in the game at least once. (Earlier reports suggested you also needed a Star Rank level within the game to find Mario's brother - but this does not now seem necessary.)

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is scaring the hell out of players with its Halloween update

2 days ago

Spooky season is upon us, and when it comes to dishing out the scares Modern Warfare really isn't playing around. Last night the game's Halloween event The Haunting of Verdansk went live, and it's safe to say players are feeling suitably haunted and scared. Or I am, at least.

The centrepiece of this update is, of course, limited time mode Zombie Royale - a variation of Warzone in which players become zombies when they die, but have a chance to return as a human if they kill enough "living" players. These aren't just your normal stumbling zombies, however, as they come armed with EMP blasts and gas grenades, can see the location of humans and their footprints, and boast a terrifying jump ability - making it all too easy for them to get on your roof. The final circles end up being particularly manic, with zombies coming from all directions (including the gas) and grenades making the whole thing spectacularly chaotic.

All this takes place on a night mode version of the Verdansk map, and this is where players are really getting some shocks. The event comes with a bunch of free Halloween rewards which can be found in supply boxes dotted around the map, but the catch is these are trick-or-treat themed... with the tricks being terrifying jumpscares. "I screamed like I've never screamed before," said one unfortunate victim on the Modern Warfare subreddit. And here's a look at a jumpscare in action:

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Dirt 5 is a PlayStation 5 launch title

2 days 1 hour ago

Codemasters has now confirmed Dirt 5 will launch for PlayStation 5 alongside the console itself - so from 12th November in some regions, and on 19th November here in the UK.

As on Xbox Series X, the next-gen version includes 4K and 120FPS options, plus faster loading. Expect "DualSense haptic feedback and adaptive triggers" as well.

As previously announced, there's a free upgrade to the PS5 version if you buy it first on PS4 (and you can play online cross-gen with other PlayStation owners).

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The Nintendo Switch and Animal Crossing bundle is reduced again if you missed it on Prime Day

2 days 1 hour ago

Update: Seems this bundle was popular enough to sell out once again. Now, your next best options are a Nintendo Switch with Just Dance 2020 for £299 or one with Mario Kart 8 Deluxe for £309. Or, there's special Nintendo Switch Fortnite Edition, which is due for release on 30th October.

Original story: The Nintendo Switch, bundled with 2020 smash hit Animal Crossing: New Horizons, is currently on sale over at Amazon UK. The high-demand console is being sold with one of its biggest games for a very respectable £299. That's £20 under the normal price, a very good discount for those who've been looking to buy the two items and get a head start on this year's Nintendo Switch Black Friday deals.

And yes, this discount applies to both the Grey and Neon Red/Blue Switch models, giving you a bit of choice on how toyboxy you like your consoles looking. Go with the brightly-coloured Joy-Cons to bring out your inner child, or select the functional grey controllers of adequacy for a more moderate experience.

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Someone should make a game about: fatbergs

2 days 2 hours ago

Be warned: this is a piece about fatbergs, which are really, really disgusting.

Somewhere nearby, underground, growing in the dark, there may lurk a fatberg. The fatberg is here. It has arrived. We have reached fatberg. We have achieved fatberg. We achieved it a while back in fact. The fatberg has been deployed. We are all fatbergers now.

Mmm. Fatburgers. The appeal of the fatberg, I think - the very early appeal - is that it is a word that lies across a strange linguistic divide. Do fatbergs have feet? Grant them feet for a second, at least. One of the fatberg's feet rests in the world of all things disgusting. But listen to it. Hear its whisper: fatberg! One of the fatberg's feet brushes up against something that sounds delicious. Who knew that this liminal world existed, that these two kingdoms, disgusting and delicious, had a shared party wall?

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2K under fire for adding unskippable in-game ads to the full-price NBA 2K21 a month after release

2 days 2 hours ago

UPDATE 21st October 2020: 2K has issued a statement on the unskippable adverts in NBA 2K21, suggesting their placement was a mistake.

In a statement issued on Twitter, 2K said the ad that sparked a backlash earlier this week "impacted our players' experience in a way we didn't intend, as these ads are not meant to run as part of the pre-game introduction".

2K has promised this will be fixed in future episodes of 2KTV.

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Mario Kart Live Home Circuit review - a glorious toy hemmed in by a few key restrictions

2 days 2 hours ago

How's this for counter-programming? As Sony and Microsoft prepare for a war fought over teraflops and with superfast SSDs, Nintendo's weapon of choice this Christmas is nothing more complex than a remote control car, neatly folded cardboard and a camera that's probably been ripped straight from the Nokia that got you through your university years. It is peak Nintendo.

Mario Kart Live Home Circuit is indeed a brilliantly Nintendo thing, a piece of inspired lateral thinking built around a moment of pure delight. It's also, as is Nintendo's way, technically limited, frequently frustrating and a touch on the expensive side. As per so many other Nintendo experiences, that magic makes suffering through those shortcomings just about worthwhile.

In Mario Kart Live Home Circuit, that moment of delight is a Lilliputian tour of your living room, seen from the viewpoint of a small, speeding remote controlled car. Setting it up is surprisingly simple; just grab the 1.1GB download from the eShop, boot up the software and then scan a QR code on your Switch's screen using the car's camera and you're good to go (maybe give the living room a good sweep too, and whatever you do don't go underneath the sofa because my mop can't reach there and I assure you it's disgusting).

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Fortnitemares 2020 features a Halloween concert from J Balvin

2 days 3 hours ago

Fortnite has revived one of its most popular characters for this year's Halloween event - and booked a big name for a concert.

Fortnitemares 2020: Midas' Revenge will see the fan favourite spy chief back in action after his apparent death earlier this year. Midas will appear in-game as a boss character, while new a new gameplay mechanic will see you return from the dead after being eliminated in Solo, Duos or Squad modes, eligible at winning a new Shadow Royale.

There'll also be new map changes, fresh challenges and free cosmetics to unlock, live from today until 3rd November.

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Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle is a 64-player battle royale game that's "first on Stadia"

2 days 12 hours ago

As if one retro-inspired 64-player battle royale adaptation wasn't enough for Stadia users to be getting on with, a second will soon be making its way to the streaming service in the form of Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle - and there's a demo available now.

Developed by Bandai Namco and Heavy Iron Studios, Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle is a 64-player battle royale experience in which chomp-mouthed participants attempt to be the last Pac-Man standing across 64 vibrantly themed, interconnected mazes.

"Invade other players' mazes, eat their dots and power ups - even other players! - and dominate the mazes!", is how Google pitches the new multiplayer adaptation in its announcement post, "But watch out: viewers can vote on power-ups that can cause you - or your opponents! - to stumble on the field and be eliminated from battle!".

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Risk of Rain 2 gets its version 1.0 release on Xbox One, PS4, and Switch today

2 days 15 hours ago

After almost 14 months of early access development on consoles, Hopoo Games' acclaimed co-operative rogue-like shooter sequel Risk of Rain 2 is getting its full version 1.0 release today on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Switch.

Risk of Rain 2, if you're unfamiliar, takes its 2D predecessor's breathless core co-op action - pitting players against an ever-more-relentless parade of enemies in an increasingly hilarious ballet of bullets and chaos - and transplants the whole thing in three dimensions.

Development on the console versions of Risk of Rain 2 has lagged a little behind the PC game throughout early access, but Hopoo has been focussing its attention on wrapping up work on PS4, Xbox One, and Switch since the PC release of version 1.0 in August.

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The Sims 4 prepares for a chilly winter with new Japan-themed Snowy Escape expansion

2 days 16 hours ago

We've barely said goodbye to Batuu, yet EA is back with another expansion for The Sims 4, this time bringing a (rather chilly) touch of Japan to its digital life sim in the form of Snowy Escape, which comes to Xbox One, PS4, and PC on 13th November.

Snowy Escape is The Sims 4's tenth Expansion Pack (as EA calls its larger-scale DLC offerings), following on from the likes of Eco Living, Discover University, and Island Living. As with those expansions, Snowy Escape whisks players away to a brand-new corner of the Sims world for appropriately themed gameplay thrills, this time granting access to the "majestic and serene" vacation resort of Mt. Komorebi.

This Japanese-inspired locale features an onsen bathhouse, scenic hiking spots with mountain and bamboo forest views, plus a whole range of extreme sports activities for Sims to indulge in, including skiing, snowboarding, sledding, and rock climbing. It's also the first of The Sims 4's expansions to feature both rental lots and residential lots, meaning Sims can either visit for a quick getaway or settle down permanently if they prefer.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla expansions head to Ireland and Paris

2 days 18 hours ago

Ubisoft has detailed the Assassin's Creed Valhalla season pass, which includes two large expansions set within Ireland and France.

The first, Wrath of the Druids, is due spring 2021 and sees you tracking druids, exploring Gaelic myths and delving into Irish history and folklore.

The second, The Siege of Paris, arrives summer 2021 and chronicles a key moment in Viking history while concluding the legacy of Eivor's clan.

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