Blog Archive

Monday, 5 October 2020

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Beta Receives New Trailer

call of duty black ops cold war

Following its recent alpha, Activision's Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will have its multiplayer beta later this week. A new trailer is currently available, showcasing the maps and modes that will be available. Check it out below.

Among the modes included are Team Deathmatch, VIP Escort, Domination, Kill Confirmed and Combined Arms (with Kill Confirmed replacing Hardpoint from the alpha). PS4 players will receive access to the beta first with pre-orders getting it from October 8th to 9th. The PS4 open beta runs from October 10th to 12th.

Next weekend sees Xbox One and PC pre-orders gaining early access from October 15th to 16th while the PS4 open beta returns. All platforms will receive access from October 17th to 19th. If you're on current-gen platforms, note that the trailer features footage captured on next-gen platforms. Treyarch has also promised that the beta will be "quite the upgrade" over the alpha.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is out on November 13th for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and PC.


Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time – Xbox Series X Version Listed by ESRB

crash bandicoot 4 it's about time

Activision's Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time recently released for Xbox One and PS4 and has been doing fairly well, at least in the UK physical charts thus far. Those eager to play it on next-gen consoles may prefer to wait. According to a new ESRB listing, the platformer is coming to Xbox Series X.

While a PS5 listing hasn't been found yet, it's expected to release for that as well. The question now is when the sequel will arrive for next-gen consoles. Could it release in time for launch or later? Furthermore, will current-gen owners receive a free upgrade or not?

Time will tell so stay tuned. In the meantime, check out our tips and tricks for Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time here. As a follow-up to Naughty Dog's original trilogy, it sees Crash and Coco venturing through the multiverse to repair the space-time continuum. New playable characters include the likes of Doctor Neo Cortex, Dingodile and Tawna.


Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered Announced, Releases in November

Need for Speed Hot Pursuit Remastered

Electronic Arts' other worst-kept secret Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered has officially been announced with Criterion Games as the developer. It's out on November 6th for Xbox One, PS4 and PC (both Steam and Origin) with the Switch version arriving on November 13th. Check out the official reveal trailer below.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered features higher-resolution models, improved shadows and reflections, more particle effects, better anti-aliasing and SSAO and much more. It also runs at 4K resolution and 60 frames per second on PC (PS4 Pro and Xbox One X can run it at 1080p/60 FPS or 4K/30 FPS) . Cross-platform play between all platforms is also confirmed along with all of the DLC content, which adds another six hours of gameplay.

Other changes include new achievements, wraps and car colours along with updates to Photo Mode. While Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered will retail for $39.99 on consoles, it will only cost $29.99 on PC. Stay tuned for more details and gameplay footage in the coming weeks.


Ghost of Tsushima Update 1.1 Adds New Game Plus, Armor Loadouts and More

Ghost of Tsushima: Legends has a release date but Sucker Punch Productions has even more new content coming for single-player fans. Update 1.1 will add New Game Plus, which carries all of the techniques, gear and cosmetics over into a tougher playthrough. You'll also get a new horse, new Charms can potentially change the way one plays and additional upgrade tiers for the sword, bow and armor.

A new merchant called the Ghost Flower Merchant appears who will buy the new Ghost Flowers. It's possible to find them while exploring but any Tales or activities completed in the previous playthrough can be done again for Ghost Flowers. These will net new vanity gear and armor dyes exclusive to the mode. You can also acquire the new Charms from the Ghost Flower Merchant.

But wait, there's more. Armor Loadouts are also being added, allowing you to save cosmetics, armor and Charm set-ups in a convenient slot to switch when needed. Photo Mode is getting new options and there are also New Game Plus Trophies to earn. Ghost of Tsushima's update 1.1 is out on October 16th for PS4 – stay tuned for more details in the coming weeks.


Ghost of Tsushima: Legends Out on October 16th – Classes, Story Missions and More Detailed

Ghost of Tsushima Legends

Sucker Punch Productions has announced that Ghost of Tsushima: Legends, the online co-op mode coming as a free update, will be releasing on October 16th. The mode will launch with story missions for two players and survival missions for four players while a raid is planned to release "in the weeks following launch." Legends is accessible after downloading update 1.1 and then downloading an unlock from the PlayStation Store.

A new character, Gyozen the Storyteller, is introduced and will serve as the means to access Legends lobbies. However, it's possible to access the mode from the title screen as well. The story missions consist of Gyozen's tales about "what's really happening in Tsushima." Completing them will provide harder difficulties with new encounters and tougher foes though the rewards will also be better.

Survival is more straightforward – four players simply battle waves of enemies for as long as possible, completing bonus objectives to increase rewards dropped. Blessings can be used in these missions, including summoning a Spirit Bear for battle. As for the raid, it's set in Iyo's Realm and touted as "an epic three-part adventure that will require excellent teamwork and communication to overcome."

Four classes are available to choose from in Legends – Samurai, Assassin, Ronin and Hunter – each with their own unique ability, Charms and ranged weapons. Progressing with each class will unlock an alternate ability as well. The Samurai is meant for frontline fighters and can use Hachiman's Fury to slice multiple foes at once.

The Hunter is the range-focused class and uses explosive arrows along with the Eye of Uchitsune for a multi-headshot attack. Ronin can summon a Spirit Dog (which can be petted) and revive allies with the Breath of Izanami ultimate. Finally, there's the Assassin who deals massive damage with a single strike and can teleport across the field with Shadow Strike to reach foes quickly.

Along with new masks, armor and emotes, there are new cosmetics with everything unlocked through in-game progression and no microtransactions. Photo Mode is also here along with new Trophies (which are separate from the base game). Stay tuned for more details en route to the mode's launch.


Borderlands 3 Arms Race Mode "Changes Everything" – Gearbox CEO

Borderlands 3 Moze

Gearbox Software has finished delivering story expansions for Borderlands 3 but isn't necessarily done with DLC. Its next batch will feature new skill trees for the current Vault Hunters along with a brand new mode. In an interview with GameSpot, the development team finally revealed its name – Arms Race.

Lead level designer Graeme Timmins said that the goal of Arms Race is "to make the gun game in our game of millions of guns really matter. And I can talk about that game mode for hours. I'm so excited about it, but we'll have to wait. I'll say it's got its own environment and just leave it at that."

CEO Randy Pitchford also chimed in, hyping up Arms Race as being a "totally new game." "I cannot wait until [we can] share more about this, until people can experience it. Because it's fricking cool. It's a totally new game. The way it feels to me, when I play it, it's like, 'Holy crap. This changes everything.' And I think it's going to be a lot of fun."

Though Gearbox is pretty cagey on what Arms Race is, it has clarified what it isn't, which is a battle royale mode. It's also something that hasn't been seen before so it could possibly be a mix of several different genres. One thing is for sure – this isn't for those interested in a more narrative-driven experience.

As Pitchford notes, "So I think some of the folks that maybe are only interested in narrative experiences, we might lose them. But the folks that love the RPG loot and love that gear fighting experience, and also maybe folks who play completely different games… I have a feeling some Call of Duty folks are going to turn their head and go, 'Wait a minute. What's this?' Even some battle royale people are going to go, 'That sounds interesting. I want to check that out.' It's not a battle royale game, though. So we're not doing that."

Time will tell, as usual, with the DLC releasing later this year. Borderlands 3 is currently available for Xbox One, PS4 and PC but will also launch for Xbox Series X/S and PS5. Four-player co-op split-screen will be possible on all those platforms but 4K/60 FPS is only for single-player mode on Xbox Series X and PS5. Stay tuned for more details on a release date in the coming weeks.


Turn 10 Studios Possibly Providing Support for Fable's Development

fable

Playground Games and Turn 10 Studios have been working in synergy over these past few years, with both developers co-managing the larger Forza franchise, through Horizon and Motorsport respectively. While Turn 10 Studios are working on the next Forza Motorsport game, Playground Games have moved on to some completely new, with a reboot of Fable.

However, it seems Playground might still be working with Turn 10, receiving support from the studio for Fable's development to at least some extent. As pointed out by VGC, the LinkedIn profile of Bill Geise, Design Architect at Turn 10 Studios, mentions that he is currently working as Design Architect on Forza and Fable.

Geise has been at Turn 10 Studios since 2004, and has been involved in the development of every single Forza Motorsport game, including having been the creative director of the previous three.

It is, of course, entirely possible that Microsoft first party studios are working together on an in-house Microsoft project- though Turn 10's involvement in Fable isn't something we have heard anything official about so far.

Fable and Forza Motorsport are both currently in development for Xbox Series X and PC. Neither of them have release dates yet.


Destiny 2 Xur Exotics – Hard Light, Mask of the Quiet One, Ophidia Spathe

Destiny 2 Xur

The weeks continue to count down to Destiny 2: Beyond Light where a large amount of content will be vaulted. In the meantime, those looking to complete their Exotic collections can look towards Xur. He's currently at Giant's Scar on Io and will remain there until tomorrow's weekly reset.

This week's Exotic weapon is Hard Light, an energy auto rifle costing 29 Legendary Shards. It's known for its ricochet rounds, which have reduced damage falloff (and can deal more damage when bounced off walls). The weapon is also capable of switching between Arc, Solar and Void on the fly.

The Exotic gear this week isn't too crazy, consisting of Ophidia Spathe (Hunter chest), Mask of the Quiet One (Titan helm) and Skull of Dire Ahamkara (Warlock helm), each for 23 Legendary Shards. Ophidia Spathe is good for those who want extra knife charges as a Way of the Thousand Cuts Gunslinger while Mask of the Quiet One regenerates health upon killing enemies when critically wounded. Not the best selection but still worth looking into.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light is currently slated to release on November 10th for Xbox Series X/S, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, PC and Google Stadia.


Xbox Will Take 45% Next-Gen Market Share At Most, Says Michael Pachter

Xbox Series X_S

Microsoft have taken some big steps in preparation for next-gen that seem to have put them in a very strong position for years to come, from Xbox Game Pass to launching a cheaper next-gen Xbox variant to having bolstered their first party lineup incredibly with multiple studio acquisitions over the past couple of years- including, most recently, all of Bethesda (which in particular could have significant impact on the industry).

But the question is- with everything that they've done so far, are Microsoft in a good position to capture a chunk of marketshare from PlayStation and inch ahead of its competition? Industry analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities doesn't believe that that will happen. Speaking to GamingBolt in a recent interview, Pachter said that while Microsoft will surely see an increase in marketshare, they would at most take 45% of the market.

Pachter first spoke about the Xbox Series S, commenting that the lower-end console will likely drive mainstream sales eventually. "It's really going to be interesting to see what happens with that cheaper Xbox, because purchase intent looks very low for that thing," he said. "Mostly because I guess there's some awareness that it has only a third of the teraflops the Series X does. And I don't even know what a teraflop is, so I don't know what that matters. What I do understand is that the Series S will play next gen games, just not at 4K and 240fps or whatever.

"And I would say more than two thirds of gaming households still don't have a 4K TV, so if I don't have a 4K TV, then I don't really care about the higher end one, unless I buy a new TV – because even on 1080p, the games will look stunning. So I think that price point might be a differentiatior, even though right now, early adopters and hardcore fans don't seem to be too interested in it."

Pachter also taked about Xbox Game Pass and Microsoft's strengthened first party pipeline, but said that Xbox will still probably go over 50% marketshare, owing to the strong presence PlayStation has in the Japanese and European markets.

"I think Game Pass makes the Xbox audience bigger," Pachter said. "I think that for $40 a month, getting Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, and an Xbox console will get them some marketshare, so I would say best case Xbox takes 45% of the market, and Sony keeps 55%. And worst case, 60-40. It will be hard for Microsoft to go over 50, because Sony just has a great brand and loyal fans in Japan and Europe. I think you'll win a few of those customers with the cheaper Xbox, a few from Game Pass, a few from the Bethesda acquisition, a few more from the other acquisitions they have made. But it will be hard for them to go over 50% overall."

Finally, Pachter highlighted Microsoft's Xbox All-Access program, which allows purchasers to get an Xbox Series X / S with 24 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for monthly instalments over the next 24 months. He noted that Xbox All-Access and Game Pass collectively the Xbox system more convenient and accessible.

I think the instalment purchase, which is really what most cellphones do, makes consoles more affordable for a lot of people, because most people may not have $500 lying around for a new console," Pachter said. "So that $40 a month plan that gets you Xbox Live and Game Pass, you don't need to buy very many games, you can do a $40 a month plan and get a Series X, and then buy 2 games a year that aren't on Game Pass, let's say FIFA and Call of Duty, and that's really it, otherwise you're always going to have something to play. And that's a pretty good deal. So, we'll see how it goes, I'd be curious to see if it gains them more than 5 percentage points of marketshare."

Xbox All-Access is only available in 12 nations for now, though hopefully, Microsoft will be working on bringing it to more parts of the world as well. Meanwhile, the fruits of Microsoft new first party portfolio's labour won't ripe for a couple of years yet, but looking at the sheer talent of disposal, there's certainly cause for optimism.

During our interview, Michael Pachter also spoke to us about whether (and how) he thought Sony could respond to the Bethesda deal with an acquisition of their own. He also discussed the PS5 Digital Edition, and the issues he sees with it.

Our full interview with Pachter will be live soon, so stay tuned for that.


Monster Hunter Rise Gets Concept Art For Starter Armor, Wirebug, And More

Monster Hunter Rise

With the final support for Monster Hunter World starting to wind down, it's time to go back to a portable version of the franchise with Monster Hunter Rise. The game was announced earlier for the Nintendo Switch and will be hitting stores in March. It's still a good way away, unfortunately, but we got some concept art to tide you over in the meantime.

Via the official Twitter, we've gotten a nice amount of concept art from the game, including the starter armor as well as the wirebug, which will allow you to swing around in combat. We've seen all of this in action in gameplay footage, which you can see through here as well as here. They also included a new piece of eerie art of a hunter at shrine ruins during a hazy and spooky night. Check them out below.

Monster Hunter Rise will be available exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on March 26th 2021.


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