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Monday, 16 November 2020

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Gets a Gorgeous Launch Cinematic

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands, PC, Activision-Blizzard

I'll never forget the first time I saw the original World of Warcraft cinematic. The level of detail and fidelity was absolutely jaw-dropping back in 2004. Sixteen years later the cinematic team hasn't lost that flair for cinematic. Today, we finally got to see what Shadowlands' cinematic looks like, and, as you might expect, it's phenomenal. At this point, I'm just keeping up with WoW's lore in hopes that one day they put out a full movie or series that uses the cinematics team's style. Give it a look for yourself below.

World of Warcraft: Shadowlands is set to be a great expansion for new players to hop into. It brings a massive level squish to make the daunting task of hitting the max level a bit easier. Plus, Activision-Blizzard has added a brand new starting zone that lets players easily learn how to hop into the somewhat bloated MMORPG. There's plenty there for old players too; however, as someone who started playing this game in middle school, it's increasingly feeling a bit dated.

Don't let my jaded perspective get you down though. Even though I'd love to see a WoW 2 (whatever that actually means), I think Shadowlands has a lot of neat ideas. Not least of which is the new covenants you can join. These should provide even more replay value, especially if you're someone who runs multiple alt characters as I do. Sure, I'd like to see some bigger changes, but what Blizzard has on offer this go-around is very promising.

Fortunately, we don't have to wait much longer to check it out. World of Warcraft: Shadowlands launches on November 23 on PC.

The post World of Warcraft: Shadowlands Gets a Gorgeous Launch Cinematic by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Review in Progress — Forgetting its History

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Review

Editor's Note: This review is not yet finalized and will be changing in the near future. What you can find below is our thoughts on mostly the campaign of Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War. Our extended thoughts on multiplayer and Zombies will be coming soon.


If it's November of any given year, that means there's a new Call of Duty title gracing store shelves and digital marketplaces. This year's title is another entry in the Black Ops series, so if you're expecting anything similar to last year's Modern Warfare, you're sure to be disappointed. So far, I've only played enough of the game's campaign to feel confident in reviewing it alone; a complete review including the game's multiplayer will be coming later on in the week, so keep an eye out.

For now, I'll be focusing on the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's single-player campaign. Recent Black Ops titles have set themselves far into the future, picturing what warfare and covert operations will look like when jetpacks are also readily available. This entry, however, is a return to the earlier Black Ops titles in almost every way. Taking place in 1981 during the (you guessed it) Cold War, players fill the familiar shoes of Alex Mason, a man obsessed with numbers, and a mysterious character named Bell, who players assume the role of for most of the game.

From its first mission, Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War takes steps to demonstrate how it's differentiating itself from other titles. Players start by ambushing a house filled with enemies ringing in the new year and chase their team's target across rooftops. When he's finally captured, players get to actually choose what to say in the form of a dialogue tree. At least for me, this was a huge change for a Call of Duty title. I'm more accustomed to letting the game's characters do the talking while I have fun running and gunning.

That being said, being able to actually get involved in the game's story is extremely welcome. Every dialogue choice has an effect on the game, from the innocuous to the explicitly obvious ones. There are multiple points where players can choose to throw that target off the roof as soon as he spills the beans, or players can capture him for further interrogation right there, changing the game's ending in its very first mission.

Dialogue trees are just one of the many departures from the Call of Duty norm that Treyarch has decided to make. The second comes almost immediately after the first mission wraps up – you're introduced to the new Black Ops team and the safehouse you'll all be calling home while working to prevent the actions of Perseus, a Russian agent that has changed the balance of the Cold War every time he's come into play. This base of operations is also where players will be spending their downtime. That's right, there's time spent in a Call of Duty title not purely blasting bad guys away with enormous weaponry.

And really, it's pretty nice. For once, players will get to learn a little bit about the characters they're working alongside. It's something that the Call of Duty series desperately requires, or at least has for me. Take for example Captain John Price, as he was in the original Modern Warfare games. He's beloved in the older Call of Duty groups for being an all-around badass, but outside of that, players don't really know much of anything about him. He's like John Wick if we only saw the parts of the movies where John Wick shot people; that's his only personality trait. Instead, players get to actually learn a little bit about their crewmates, and I ended up taking every opportunity I could to do so. These small, short interactions reveal the most interesting pieces of dialogue in the entire game.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Review

But once you get back to the story of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, things go downhill quickly. The game moves at a blisteringly fast pace and wraps up in about six hours total. Over the course of my first playthrough, I struggled to stay engaged with the game's continually developing story of espionage, intrigue, and who stole however many American-made nuclear warheads. In fact, without looking at the notes I took while playing it, most of Black Ops Cold War's campaign is a blur – it all mushes together into one extended combat sequence. There are a few key sections of missions that stand out. One of these sequences places players in the shoes of a CIA plant in the Lubyanka, the center of the Soviet-era KGB. Another has players fighting through a Russian model of a typical 1980's American suburb. These situations are fun, although only because they offer delightful changes in scenery.

Additionally, players have access to side-missions that can be accessed from the safehouse. These one-off missions don't boast a huge amount of content, but unlocking them is the real joy. The two missions require players to gather evidence from other main story missions to be completed successfully. Once gathered, players have to use that evidence to solve puzzles, with one requiring them to pick out targets from a large group and another tasking them with decoding a message. This process is unlike anything I've seen in a Call of Duty title and it's genuinely pretty fun. It plays into the entire espionage theme of the game, which makes it such a pity that the missions you end up unlocking are pretty underwhelming.

When mission variety is as drab as it is in Black Ops Cold War, the saving grace of games like these is usually gunplay, but that's not the case here either. Guns in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War are the worst they've felt in any Call of Duty title I've ever played. I should say that I never played Advanced Warfare or Black Ops 3 and 4, but regardless, this performance is simply poor. Every weapon lacks weight, and the ones that are supposed to have that boast an undeniable heft, like the game's Gallo SA 12, which I recognized as the Spas-12 from other CoD titles. This hulking, automatic shotgun doesn't let out a deep thump with every shell fired, but instead an unsatisfying "Bap!" The franchise's staple AK-47 has its own similar quirk, dinging like a bell with every round let loose.

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Review

These issues, compounded with the extremely limited variety of weapons that players have access to over the course of the campaign makes the act of killing bad guys uninteresting and unsatisfying and is a death knell for any game based around doing that exact thing.

However, the largest issue I ran into with Black Ops Cold War was presented in its final moments. Black Ops games are known for their twists and turns, and this one is no exception. It has its mysteries, and there are hints toward something larger presented sparsely by easily-missed optional dialogue throughout the game. But when things come to a head and players are going through the game's final mission, the biggest mystery it has is finally revealed, and just as quickly as players are made aware, it's resolved. It was incredibly disappointing to have the most interesting plot point in this game presented and then wrapped up so quickly when it should have taken a more front and center position.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War does some things right. It takes some brave, new steps for the franchise; it branches out with dialogue trees, downtime, evidence, and side-missions, all of which add at least something to the game. It's not always something of substance, but they never take away from the overall experience. I can certainly appreciate the attempt to make something different here and hope that future Treyarch CoD titles continue to implement these changes.

However, the core experience of a CoD campaign relies on a gripping story, providing consistently fun and varied missions, and solid shooting mechanics, all of which Black Ops Cold War lacks. The campaign here is worth playing through once to familiarize players with the game's guns and mechanics, but past that, I can't recommend playing through this story multiple times to experience each end. It's simply not worth it.

The post Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Review in Progress — Forgetting its History by Otto Kratky appeared first on DualShockers.


Minecraft Goes to a Galaxy Far, Far Away With Latest DLC

Minecraft, Star Wars, Mojang

Minecraft has had a busy last few months. First, Mojang revealed the next big title update that's set to come in 2021. Then, Minecraft Dungeons added cross-platform play to its Diablo-lite offerings. And now, fans are getting some exciting new DLC. That's right, Minecraft is getting several new pieces of official Star Wars content. Check it out.

The Star Wars DLC pack adds content from both the original trilogy and The Mandalorian. It includes a new map and a bespoke texture set. Plus, a brand new skin pack that includes almost all of your fan favorites. Not to mention mob and items reskins, a UI upgrade, and a licensed soundtrack. Truthfully, it's quite the collection for both Minecraft and Star Wars fans. They've done so much work to bring the universe fans love into the block-based world.

Now obviously, if you're on PC you could probably bring most of this into your gameworld already via mods. However, for players on consoles, this is a great addition. And having it all in an official pack makes it a much easier process for everyone. So, if you're a more casual Minecraft player, this is perfect regardless of which platform you play on.

Minecraft is available now on everything but your toaster. The Star Wars DLC should be in the game today. And make sure to stay tuned for updates around the upcoming Caves & Cliffs update. It's set to launch sometime next year, so we'll surely have more news on it in the coming months.

The post Minecraft Goes to a Galaxy Far, Far Away With Latest DLC by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


TimeSplitters 2 Remake Rumors Debunked by THQ Nordic in SpellForce 3 Easter Egg

TimeSplitters

Originally released in 2002 for the PS2, GameCube, and Xbox, TimeSplitters 2 has stood out as one of the cult classic shooters of that era of gaming. While fans have hoped over the years that the series might be revived in some form through either a remake or new entry, a recent easter egg from SpellForce 3's latest expansion seemed to give hope that this might finally come to fruition with a remake of the series' second installment. However, publisher THQ Nordic seems to (for now) have put those rumors to bed, so fans will have to just keep hoping for the time being.

According to Eurogamer, THQ Nordic has quelled rumors that the publisher has a remake of TimeSplitters 2 in the works after fans discovered an easter egg in SpellForce 3: Fallen God, the latest expansion for the publisher's tactical role-playing game. As seen in the video clip below, one of the game's merchants sells a variety of items that are meant to be a hoax, in this case including a box that players can purchase for "TimeSplitters 2 Remake."

You can check out the video clip below:

As noted by Eurogamer, THQ Nordic explained that the in-game TimeSplitters box is "just an innocent Easter egg," with the publisher stating that "the vendor in the game is a character known especially for not telling the truth." Specifically, it was noted by THQ that the vendor also features other items in his inventory that are also meant to be tongue-in-cheek jokes. Alongside the TimeSplitters box, the vendor also has boxes that players can purchase for "cancelled" titles like Biomutant and the Gothic remake: however, both projects are still in active development by THQ Nordic.

Unfortunately, it seems like TimeSplitters fans will have to keep their hopes up for news on what to expect from the franchise moving forward, despite what the SpellForce 3 easter egg might have hinted at. However, with THQ Nordic having acquired the franchise in 2018, there are at least signs that the publisher might have plans to resurrect the series in some fashion.

The post TimeSplitters 2 Remake Rumors Debunked by THQ Nordic in SpellForce 3 Easter Egg by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Capcom Publishes Official Statement on Ransomware Cyber Attack, Apologies For Possible Customer Info Leak

Capcom ransomware cyber attack story feature

Capcom on November 16 issued an official statement regarding the ransomware cyber attack it has been targeted by. In the statement (Japanese, English) Capcom most notably started with an apology. While Capcom previously stated on November 4: "There is no indication that any customer information was breached", the investigations' results as of November 16 now proved there is a possibility information about Capcom customers and business partners have been leaked.

Possibly leaked personal information include names, addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, birth dates, gender information. The statement has a detailed list by region and categories of all possibly leaked personal information. The situation could be worse. as we can note that the list doesn't include passwords or credit card info.

Capcom explained that the unauthorized access to its internal system, the cyber attack, was discovered before dawn on November 2, and how it took swift measures to minimize the impact of the attack. Most notably shutting down its system. Requesting the help of a third-part cybersecurity company. Reporting to and consulting with a major software company, a major security specialist vendor, law offices specialized in cybersecurity. The Osaka Prefecture Police Department, the General Data Protection Regulation in Europe, and the Personal Information Protection Commission in Japan.

Next, Capcom explained the attack was a made to order ransomware that specifically, "skillfully" targeted Capcom, including how information on the servers have been encrypted and the access logs deleted. Which makes it difficult to investigate the full extent of the attack.

Lastly, Capcom mentioned it is safe for players around the world to keep playing Capcom games online, that it will take necessary steps so this never happens again, and that it believes the effects of this incident on Capcom Group's business results (for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021) will be negligible. Capcom will continue coordinating with law enforcement authorities in the world and give follow up reports on the investigation's results.

The post Capcom Publishes Official Statement on Ransomware Cyber Attack, Apologies For Possible Customer Info Leak by Iyane Agossah appeared first on DualShockers.


Halo Infinite Won't be at The Game Awards but 343 Industries Says it Will Have an Update Coming Soon

Halo Infinite

News on Halo Infinite has been nearly nonexistent since Microsoft and 343 Industries announced earlier this year that the next-gen shooter would be delayed to 2021. Ahead of what is likely the year's largest remaining video game event, The Game Awards, some fans have started to theorize that perhaps Infinite could reappear at the showing next month. It turns out, however, this won't be the case.

In a thread over on Reddit, 343 Community Director Brian Jarrard confirmed that the studio has no plans to show off Halo Infinite during The Game Awards. That being said, it doesn't sound as though there will continue to be a lingering silence around the project for long.

"Full disclosure we don't have anything planned for the VGAs, but are hoping to offer at least a high level update within the next few weeks so we can kind of restart this journey together after the holidays," Jarrard said in response to questions of Infinite appearing at the event. "Pulling together something like a demo or big beat for the VGAs is an enormous amount of work and would cause challenges with current milestones of the holidays. I know it's hard to wait, but the team is going to make the most of this extra time and we want to make sure we can put our best foot forward and commit to greater transparency and dialog on the road ahead. We'll get there and get the train going again."

Card

This is perhaps unsurprising in some regards and it continues to show that 343 is clearly keeping its cards close to the chest until it has something more to show of Infinite. Still, I am curious to see what this "high level update" Jarrard mentioned will feature. At this point, any new trailers or gameplay seems to be out of the question, but I imagine the studio will provide some general guidance on what it plans to do in order to launch the game next year.

For now, all we really know about Halo Infinite is that it's planned to release next year across Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and PC. As for The Game Awards, this year's event is set to occur on December 10. Even if Halo itself doesn't end up appearing, perhaps something else from Xbox Game Studios will.

The post Halo Infinite Won't be at The Game Awards but 343 Industries Says it Will Have an Update Coming Soon by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


Bloodborne Threaded Cane Gets An Incredible (And Working) Fan-Made Recreation

While it's been five years since its release, Bloodborne has still left a mark for those that made their first ever trip to Yharnam. The PS4 exclusive by From Software has continued to spark the imagination of fans in the years since its debut, including some exceptional cosplay and recreations from the game's haunting gothic setting. However, one fan has taken things to the next level by recreating one of the game's most iconic weapons, the Threaded Cane.

Bloodborne fan Mitori (Twitter) shared their fan-made recreation of the Threaded Cane weapon which is not only extremely accurate to the game, but also works and can extend its blades. You can check out a video of the Threaded Cane in action along with some photos:

While the blade doesn't fully extend into a whip like in the original game, it's still an impressive recreation that brings one of Bloodborne's most iconic weapons to life. Of course, we've also seen plenty of other incredible fan creations tied to the From Software classic, including a funky bass remix of its boss battle music, a near-perfect Lady Maria cosplay, and the Bloodborne Zelda mashup called "Yarntown."

Bloodborne is available now on PS4 and can also be played through backward compatibility on the PS5; the game is included as part of the PlayStation Plus Collection for PS Plus subscribers.

The post Bloodborne Threaded Cane Gets An Incredible (And Working) Fan-Made Recreation by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Next Gen is Here! PS5 and Xbox Series X Launch Weekend — DualShockers Discussion

In case you hadn't heard, this past week was an exciting one for gamers everywhere with the official launch of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X/Series S. The long-awaited debut of Sony and Microsoft's new consoles is well worth celebrating, and now that the systems are finally out, it's time to ask: what do we think so far?

Following the launch of the next-gen consoles, the DualShockers team gathered to share our thoughts on what we think (so far) of Sony and Microsoft's new hardware in our latest DualShockers Discussion. This time around, we have a trifecta of the DS staff giving their impressions of the new consoles with Mario Rivera (Video Manager), Ryan Meitzler (Features Editor), and Joel Taveras (Co-Founder).

You can check out the full DualShockers Discussion video below:

Overall, in the nearly hour-long video we go through our first impressions of both the PS5 and Xbox Series X from our first weekend with the systems. We go over what we like and don't like about the systems, some of the games that dove into over the launch weekend, what we're hoping to see from the consoles in the future, and much more, so dive in and join us in our conversation on what awaits for Sony and Microsoft.

For more on the next-gen consoles, you can read our full review on the Xbox Series X right now from Logan Moore (Managing Editor), who had the system ahead of its launch last week. We also have reviews coming later this month for both the PS5 and the Xbox Series S, so stay tuned for our official verdicts on those systems once we have some more time to fully assess what they both have to offer.

The Xbox Series X/Series S are both available now worldwide, and the PS5 is available now in select countries ahead of its worldwide release on November 19, 2020.

The post Next Gen is Here! PS5 and Xbox Series X Launch Weekend — DualShockers Discussion by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Fortnite and Marvel Tease a New Venom Skin For Nexus Wars Event

Fortnite, Venom, Epic Games

Fortnite is in the middle of their Nexus War seasonal event. Players have been able to unlock skins for superhero favorites like Iron Man, Wolverine, and Groot. Today, Fortnite and Marvel are teasing a new skin for Venom. It's quite the get for the team at Epic Games. I mean, they can probably bring in whatever cross-brand promotion they want with all that V-buck money. However, Venom is one of the most popular Marvel characters.

Fortnite's Nexus Wars event runs through the end of the month, which means you won't have a ton of time to pick up Venom's skin. Though, if you've been keeping up with the season, I doubt you'll struggle much to pick him up. And, if you haven't been playing much, you'll earn tons of other rewards while you work to unlock him.

With the fourth season set to run out relatively soon, it'll be very interesting to see where Epic goes from here. In current pop culture, it doesn't get much bigger than Marvel. I suppose they might take a break from working with another IP for a season or two to keep them feeling special. They've done that before, but Fortnite has gotten so big they might just jump to some other massive property immediately. We'll know soon enough.

Fortnite is available now on pretty much everything. Look for the Venom to enter the game soon, and keep your eyes peeled for the announcement of the next season. Hopefully, it's something even more fun than Marvel.

The post Fortnite and Marvel Tease a New Venom Skin For Nexus Wars Event by Ricky Frech appeared first on DualShockers.


Kena: Bridge of Spirits Listed for Q4 2021 Release via PlayStation Website [Update]

Kena Bridge of Spirits screenshots RotWisp

UPDATE: Well, turns out that we got our answer on this ordeal pretty quickly. Ember Lab has confirmed that Kena: Bridge of Spirits is still very much on track to launch in Q1 2021.


Originally slated to launch this year, developer Ember Lab announced a few months back that it would be delaying Kena: Bridge of Spirits to an unannounced date in Q1 2021. While no news on the game's impending launch has since been touched on by the studio, new information has now come about claiming that the title could be even further off than expected.

Spotted on the official PlayStation websiteKena: Bridge of Spirits has now appeared with a pending release date that has it set for Q4 2021. As of this moment, Ember Lab hasn't announced that the game has been delayed any more than what was already stated earlier in 2020, but considering this new launch window is appearing on a pretty legitimate page, it does raise questions.

That being said, until Ember Lab has something official to say about a new launch window for Kena: Bridge of Spirits, you should take this information with the usual grain of salt. A delay of 6+ months past what was already expected would be quite substantial, although it's not unfounded. There's also the possibility that this label on the PlayStation site could just be a mere typo, as well.

Regardless of what the truth might be, we should likely hear more about Kena: Bridge of Spirits from Ember Lab soon enough. Whether the game is delayed again or it is still set to release early next year remains to be seen, but in either instance, more incoming news seems inevitable. Until then, all we know officially is that the title will launch on PS4, PS5, and PC whenever it does release.

The post Kena: Bridge of Spirits Listed for Q4 2021 Release via PlayStation Website [Update] by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.


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