December 2017

Gaming News

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Bundled with Xbox One X this Holiday Season


The infamous Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds quickly rose to popularity when it was originally released on PC. Even though it’s still an Early Access title, the game enjoyed a ton of players and lots of success. Now, the biggest battle royale game we’ve seen in a while is coming bundled with the Xbox One X!

From December 17 to the 31st, all purchases of a new Xbox One X console will net you a copy of Playerunkown’s Battlegrounds as well. Be sure to check with your local retailers to see if they’re offering this promotion, but you can also buy directly from Microsoft through their online store or your nearest Microsoft Store.

PUBG is the leading game under Microsoft’s new “Xbox Game Preview” program, which is essentially their version of the Early Access tag on Steam. Right now there are only eight titles in the program, PUBG included. Along with other notable games like SubnauticaConan Exiles, and We Happy Few, the Xbox Game Preview program is trying to tap into that same market Valve caught with Steam’s Early Access program.

In fact, the main article even promises the same features like players being a part of the development process. You’ll be able to report bugs, influence new content, have a say in the game’s development, and more. How much of this applies to PUBG specifically we don’t know, but considering the team’s rocky status with the PC crowd, we can only hope for the best. While there’s no doubting that PUBG is probably one of the biggest – if not THE biggest – games right now, a lot of players have complained about optimization and bug fixing seemingly being low priority for the team.

Regardless, we hope that the new influx of Xbox players gives them the motivation to continue polishing the game. If you’ve been wanting to try the battle royale sensation and you’re in the market for an Xbox One X, it’s your time to shine!

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Gaming News

Add Some Hitman Cheer to your Holidays with the Happy Hitman Holiday


Nothing says holiday cheer any louder than  a festive hitman, right?

To end the year in the style Ioi Interactive, the team behind the new generation of Hitman games, is releasing a special holiday mission pack aptly titled the Hitman Holiday Pack. All PC, PS4, and Xbox One players will be able to download the Hitman Holiday Pack to gain access to the Paris set of levels.

This pack includes the first major story mission of the game “Showstopper”, plus all Escalation Contracts for Paris. There were also be a special “Holiday Hoarders” mission plus new Paris Challenge Packs and achievements. All Paris Elusive Targets will be re-activated as well, including future targets.

The best part? The Hitman Holiday Pack is absolutely free! Just head on over to your respective digital download platform and grab it to start enjoying the ultimate hitman experience. It’s only available from December 15 to January 5 though, so don’t miss it! Once you grab it, the Paris pack is yours to keep permanently, and should you decide to upgrade to full game, all of your progress will carry over.

Last year the Holiday Hoarders special Paris mission was introduced for the first time. Agent 47 may not be most morally good hero, but he definitely won’t let Christmas be ruined! In this special mission Santa is delivering presents around the Palais de Walewska, but two thieves are scurrying around trying to steal the presents for themselves. Stop them at all costs to protect the Christmas spirit… or, you know, you can just knock out Santa and steal his suit. Either way, upon successful completion of this mission, you’ll permanently unlock the Santa Suit for regular missions. Now you can spread holiday cheer all throughout the year like the awesome hitman you are!

You can read the full Hitman Holiday Pack details on the official website.

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Why Minecraft Isn’t Going Anywhere Soon

minecraft still strong

Minecraft is here to stay. Its simplistic art style works in its favor to create a timeless feel. The decision to refrain from implementing top of the line graphics that would become outdated has allowed Minecraft to retain its charm. The continued support and free updates for the game have allowed it to outlive many of its contemporaries.

The fact that the property was recently acquired by Microsoft at a significant price means that support is not likely to end anytime soon. Microsoft is determined to keep the game alive and progressing for as long as possible.

The most recent batch of updates is emblematic of this. The aquatic update will flesh out the long-neglected oceans of the game. That the game is being updated more than six years after its release is a testament to its staying power and presence in the public consciousness. The game has become a global cultural phenomenon that is now ingrained in the public consciousness. Years of updates have led to steady growth and have resulted in a massive and dedicated group of players.

The introduction of new blocks and creatures to the vast, as of yet largely unused, oceans of the game constitutes a significant expansion to the play of the game. The inclusion of new items to acquire and new monsters to fight expounds upon the possibilities available to the player in the vast sandbox that is presented to them. It is the dedication of the developers who continue to release these free updates years after the initial release of the game that continues to reinvigorate the game and prevent it from becoming static anytime soon.

This dedication is what makes the game such an enduring title and its purchase considered such good value. The constant additions made by the development team mean that in terms of hours of entertainment gained from it, there are few rivals in terms of value.
The forthcoming introduction of cross-platform play is a move that is likely to reinvigorate the game and its player base. People who were once unable to join one another’s multiplayer games will be picking the game back up again to play with friends who have the game on different platforms.

The expansion of the social aspect of the game is significant and has the potential to draw in a far greater audience than ever before due to its ability to connect across the previously strongly divided platforms. This unification of game clients looks to be only the first step in the continued development of the game now that it is a Microsoft property.

The unification of the game clients not only consolidates developer resources but also the communities of each of the platforms, into one that is centered around the game, one that transcends the frequent factionalism of the console wars. From this solid foundation, the game will continue to be supported and updated, to expand and grow and maintain its well-earned place in the sun.

Minecraft has carved out a niche for itself and filled it perfectly. Its simplistic art style and easy to learn mechanics make it timeless and accessible to children. It is because of these characteristics that it will not, unlike other games, be surpassed by more recent competition.

It is the core game-play that makes the game’s position so difficult to usurp. The game-play is its strength, not its graphics or engine. A newer game cannot supplant it simply by being shinier or made with newer technology. As a sandbox game that is simple enough to be played by children and with enough depth to entertain an adult, it fulfills its purpose completely.

Apex Minecraft Hosting are one of the leading providers of private Minecraft serving hosting in the US and worldwide.

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Reviews & Previews

Trianga’s Project: Battle Splash 2.0 Review


Trianga’s Project: Battle Splash 2.0 is a fast and friendly competitive third-person shooter. You play as one of four girls who wield powerful water weapons. It’s the ultimate water fight, and these girls are packing more than just water balloons; we’re talking water rocket launchers, water rifles, water submachine guns, and more!

Battle Splash is currently in Early Access testing at the moment, so we were a bit limited in the modes we could play. The game has three different modes: your standard team battle, team tactics which is just the regular battle mode but with elimination rules, and SBot Guidance which is essentially capture the flag mode but with a robot instead of a flag!

While the SBot Guidance mode is a fun little distraction, you’re going to see the most action in the two battle modes. Once you jump into a server, you can pick which of the four girls you want to play as. While the princesses of aquatic warfare have the same weapons, they each have their own unique abilities that can really bring the splashdown on the enemy team!

Let’s take Pentaga for example! Her special item is the Disk Dryer which is basically a fancy blow dryer! Did one of your teammates get splashed? Dry them off and revive them on the spot! Quadra’s special item is the Digital Shield which lets her project a shield in front of her that reflects projectiles and water balloons. Think Reinhardt from Overwatch!

Battle Splash sets out to be a fun and friendly shooter, and it does a great job at accomplishing it. The “water fight” setting cuts out all the violence that typically comes with shooters, and the bright and colorful heroines are a nice change too. We haven’t even mentioned the maps which are visual spectacles in their own right! One our favorites is the Paper World map, a beautiful, serene forest with paper highlights and rays flowing throughout the environment. The background music also really helps push the dream-like feel of the maps, as they’re peaceful piano pieces that set the mood. Maybe the songs do their job too well though, because sometimes they don’t represent the hectic water warfare occurring at the moment!

However, since Battle Splash is still in Early Access, there’s lots of room for improvement. You take damage at alarmingly fast rates, and the game doesn’t always do a great job of communicating that to you. Take the game’s name literally, because over half of our deaths were from splash damage from unknown sources. Since all the girls have access to the Rocket Launcher weapon, it can get quite hectic with all the water splashing around and you’ll most likely suffer a few deaths where you had no idea what happened. With some graphics polishing and more visual feedback, this can be fixed.

Something that also needs work is just the general feel of the game. This goes hand in hand with the previous problem of visual feedback being a little lacking, but the game also feels a little bit too “loose”. The girls run around the field really fast, and they don’t really feel like they have any weight to them. Of course, this could also be intentional to keep the fast-paced nature of the game intact. Regardless, some fine-tuning and can make movement feel a little more fluid and right.

Trianga’s Project: Battle Splash 2.0 is a fun little shooter. With cute characters, beautiful maps, and simple yet enjoyable gameplay, Battle Splash has a ton of potential. What’s even cooler is that the game features limited mod support, with more updates coming later! You can change the character models with your own if you so wish. With some weapon tweaking, polishing, maybe some new characters here and there with new abilities, the game could become something really special!

You can check out Trianga’s Project: Battle Splash 2.0 on Steam.

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Gaming News

Titanfall 2’s Next Update Operation Endeavor Launches December 19


Throughout the launch of big triple A shooters, Titanfall 2 quietly but calmly continues to trek on! The next major content update is coming December 19 and it’s officially called “Operation Endeavor”.

The first bit of news is for the cosmetics fanatics. Six guns are getting all-new Elite Warpaint skins and they are the Double Take, Cold War, DMR, R-201, R-97, and the G2. Individually these skins will run you $4.99 USD or you can get all six in a bundle for $19.99 USD.

In addition to this there will be two new holiday banners to spread the cheer around! The “Before Grapple” banner is our personal favorite because of how goofy it is, but Sleigher is pretty awesome looking too.

Now onto the gameplay changes. Five new featured modes are coming and they are:

  • Turbo LTS – Last Titan Standing with double core generation and dash regen, and every Titan is sporting a Turbo Engine Kit. It’s a chaotic Titan beatdown!
  • Spicy Attrition – Attrition mode but everyone’s ordnance ability is Ticks. Watch out!
  • The Otherside – All Phase Attrition. Spooky!
  • Rocket Arena – Live Fire with modified EPGs and autopistols. This one should be pretty fun for some rocket duels.
  • Turbo Titan Brawl – Same as Turbo LTS but in Titan Brawl mode instead.

Finally, the Grapple ability has been reverted back so that it has two charges again. The original intent was to get players to use the other tactical abilities because Grapple is currently the most used one. They felt that this was the wrong way to go about things, so the Grapple ability has been restored to its former glory! The G2 battle rifle now has an upward drift as it fires, but this only happens on the console version of the game.

That’s all for Operation Endeavor! Remember, the patch drops next week on December 19.

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Gaming News

A Way Out Lets You Play The Full Co-op Campaign with One Copy


A Way Out is a new co-op adventure game from Hazelight Studios, the same team that brought you Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. The game was originally announced a couple months earlier this year back during E3 2017.

A Way Out is a rather unique experience because the co-op is not optional; you must play through the story mode with a friend, either locally or online. Today, the team announced some rather cool news: if you buy a copy of the game, you can invite any of your friends to play through the full game, even if they don’t own the game themselves. That’s actually a really cool feature and something we’ve been wanting to see other games do. You can see a sample of this on Nintendo’s 3DS systems that have “Download Play” which lets you play limited multiplayer modes with friends who don’t own the game.

Like Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons, the game is focused on a narrative, cinematic experience. Players will assume the roles of Leo and Vincent, two convicted prisoners. Even though they don’t know each other, they quickly devise a plan to escape prison, and the game takes off from there. The game seems to have taken some inspiration from games like Indigo Prophecy, as a majority of the game will play out in split screen, even if you’re playing online. The neat thing about this is that the characters will always remain independent of each other – for example, one player might be in a cutscene while the other will be somewhere else watching from afar.

What’s also interesting is that A Way Out will be the first game published under the EA Originals brand, a new program dedicated to funding indie games. We’re sure that we’re not the only ones who didn’t expect this from EA of all companies, but we’re glad that it’s happening. Hopefully this is a start of a great new program for indie games. A Way Out is currently scheduled for a Q1 2018 release for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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Gaming News

Stardew Valley Multiplayer Beta Coming Q1 2018


The Developer Blog on Stardew Valley has released some encouraging news! The highly anticipated multiplayer update is coming along nicely, and the devs are working on implementing marriage between players which is going to be hilariously awesome. Festivals are finally getting implemented as well, meaning you’ll always have a dance partner at the Flower Dances – no more sad loneliness!

The multiplayer beta was originally planned to happen before the end of the year, but it’s getting pushed back – don’t worry! Now scheduled for a first quarter 2018 release, the delay is just a small one. It’ll be worth the wait, trust us – the extra time is for them to polish things up and test more.

Here’s some more news straight from the creator himself, ConcernedApe: the multiplayer update is now planned to have a big content update which adds a lot to the game! To keep things fun and secretive, we don’t know any details save for one mysterious screenshot of the player character fishing in what seems to be some sort of aquarium or undersea base. Cool!

Last but not least, the team announced a PlayStation Vita port during the beginning of this year. For those waiting for it, don’t worry – it’s still in development and will be available next year. The best part is that it’ll be Cross-Buy supported, so if you’ve purchased the PS4 version of Stardew Valley, you’ll automatically receive the Vita version for free!

In addition to all this, the game will language support for French, Italian, Korean, and Turkish. They’ve almost covered the whole world! These languages will come with the new content/multiplayer update. Whenever all of this new content drops, it’ll be big for Stardew Valley and we hope farmers all around the world get to enjoy it! Until then, we’ll see you in Pelican Town!

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