Halo 3 Drops on PC July 14th

Halo fans that have skipped out on the current gen Xbox and even the previous one will finally get the chance to play Halo 3 albeit on PC. Why has it taken so long for Microsoft to bring one of its most popular titles to computers? Apparently it is not as easy as it looks or one would think.

But Halo 3 isn’t the only thing up Microsoft’s sleeve on July 14th. The company has a slew of other announcements as well. As The Verge reports, this isn’t that surprising given Microsoft’s shopping spree of late to acquire game developers.

One game series that is expected to make a renewed appearance is the Fable series though that is purely gossip at this point. Microsoft has filed some legal paperwork around that IP but that doesn’t really mean much of anything.

Other titles include Hellblade II and Psychonauts II. Surprise titles could be another Perfect Dark game or a Banjo Kazooie title.

Of course, the majority of the anticipation is going to be for what comes for the next generation of consoles. With Sony already outlining its plans for the PS5’s next-gen games, Microsoft might be feeling the pressure to roll out its own titles.

It’s hard not to acknowledge that this year has been weird for the whole industry and well beyond. What would normally be revealed in massive public press outings is now instead relegated to the online space. It hasn’t seeped the hype away from many games but it has put a damper on some of the excitement. Not to mention the delays plaguing big-name titles from this generation (is anyone else expecting Cyberpunk 2077 to be delayed again? This author sure is).

Back to Halo 3, it’s interesting that Microsoft is revisiting that title and for PC no less. While many people might think the game’s day has come and gone, it has some staying power in terms of a compelling multiplayer experience and even a do-it-yourself mode when it comes to stage design. 

What do you think Microsoft will reveal on July 14th? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other video game articles by clicking here.

Watchdogs 2 FREE from Ubisoft

Ubisoft was giving Watchdogs 2 out for free during their Forward Conference event, but you can still claim the free gift.

Some users were having some issues claiming the game during the actual event, so it looks like Ubisoft is allowing anyone who visits their web page to claim the digital free game. Head over to this page to claim it now!

You’ll be asked to login and then be notified of your confirmation. Pictured below

Far Cry 6 Trailer Revealed

Far Cry 6 was revealed during the Ubisoft Foward event.

You might notice Giancarlo Esposito is featured in the trailer…aka GUSTAVO FRING of Breaking Bad. The trailer depicts Fring as El Presidente of a country that seems to be in rebellion.

The CGI graphics are quite nice judging from the trailer. We don’t get to see any game play, but the game has been announced to be coming February 18th, 2021. The game will release on all major consoles – PS4, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, PC, and Stadia.

Catch the trailer below.

Amazon MMO New World Delayed…Again

Amazon has announced that the highly anticipated MMO will be delayed to Spring 2021.

After feedback from the alpha, the developers have made the decision to delay the game. However, the initial beta will still be available on August 25th for people who already pre-purchased or are in the beta program. The initial beta will be only for a limited time.

This decision follows shortly after Crucible was yanked from the steam store and put back into a closed beta state due to underwhelming reviews. Amazon probably wants to avoid another flop like this. It would be really bad publicity to release 2 bad games back to back.

While this delay may be disappointing to some, I think we can agree that releasing a half baked game would be more detrimental. Lets hope they can polish it up to an amazing immersive experience!

See the full statement below:

Statement from Amazon

Valorant Patch 1.03

Another week another patch.

Lets dive into the big changes

  • Guardian
    • Price down to 2500
    • Fire rate reduced
    • More penetration power
  • Map bug fixes
  • Surrender will have a real button now
  • New Sudden Death Format
    • Must win by 2
    • Credits reset to 5000 every round
    • Every round alternates sides
    • If teams don’t win by 2, they may vote to call a draw
  • Some Spike Rush changes, but who cares.

Lets talk about these changes.

The guardian brings an interesting change. Essentially this nerfs its close range quickfire potential which used to be able to off someone quite fast. The price reduction is a decent buff, and with the increased penetration power, it can still be a solid choice for holding long positions. I imagine people who can get head shots off will be buying this gun a lot. The fire rate reduction doesn’t matter much, as firing it at full speed made it useless at mid to long range anyway.

The new sudden death will be MUCH MORE fair. After just coming off a 12-13 loss today, I welcome this change greatly. Especially since maps are often very bias towards either attacking or defending. Giving the teams a chance on both sides makes a lot more sense. The option for calling a draw is pretty cool too.

The patch should release soon. Here are the full notes

Review: Scariest $2 Game Ever? The Swine

Is this game worth the $2 on steam? Yes.

The Swine was recently released on June 18, 2020, developed and published by Vincent Lade. To give a quick synopsis with no spoilers – you are essentially living in what seems to be a cabin in the middle of nowhere with just yourself and your wife. Some creepy people in pig masks show up and the rest of the story is for you to find out by playing the game.

Game Play

The game is essentially an interactive story. You’re just there to experience it, your actions don’t have any effect on the outcome aside from advancing the story. There is no combat or any skill involved. However, that is not a bad thing. This game is meant to tell a story and it does it quite effectively. The story keeps you guessing and uneasy; it clearly establishes the spooky horror ambiance. I definitely got my fair share of spooks.

There’s something special about playing a story where you are in control of a character versus watching a movie. You’ll hear a lot of people say they love scary movies, but they can’t play scary games because it’s too immersive and the spook factor is threefold.

The game is only about 45 minutes long, but I took a little over an hour because I spent a little extra time being too spooked to progress. The game is short, but it is only $2 and I think it is worth every penny.

Graphics

The game has great graphics, its not cutting edge, but PLENTY good looking to be appealing to the eye. The only thing that was weird was that the books you could pick up and look at seemed to be in ultra low resolution to the point where I couldn’t read the book title. It could have been one of my settings, but other than that, very pleased.

Find The Swine on Steam – what do you have to lose? besides 2 bucks… and some sleep.

You can also watch me play the whole thing – *SPOILER ALERT*
Featuring Bonus Outlast Game play too…

Crucible Gets Sent Back to Closed Beta

The video games business is not the easiest to get into, even if it can potentially make you loads of cash.

It’s probably that aspect that lured corporate titan Amazon into the ring, but, as Bezos’ outfit is finding out quite quickly, building out a compelling battle royale game is a little bit tougher than making sure packages arrive on time, among other things.

Still, we have to give them credit. Crucible is solid, it not overwhelmingly good, and the company’s decision to take it back into beta to figure out how to make it better only bodes well for its future – at least that’s what we hope.

You see, there’s nothing more tragic than a load of cash being poured into a decent game that no one cares about. It’s like a kind of first-world tragedy that makes people say things like “well that money could have been better spent elsewhere.”

Yet Crucible may yet rise to the heights of the gaming industry. At least that’s the hope.

Colin Johanson, who helms Crucible’s devs, said of the return to beta, “We’ll continue following the roadmap we laid out previously and working on map, combat, and system changes to improve the Heart of the Hives experience as well as implementing other improvements based on your feedback and what we think the game needs in order to thrive.”

And, lest we forget, Fortnite wasn’t released on day one as a battle royale game. The “Save the World” mode was supposed to be the marquee presence out in the wild for the game, but that didn’t quite catch on with audiences. In fact, many critics at the time thought that Fortnite was going to be an expensive mess of a game that took nearly 10 years to come out. Not to mention that the “multiplayer mode” that was included with the game was overflowing with microtransactions – then the bane of any gamer’s existence.

Look at where we are now, though. Fortnite has not only overcome a weak core game to explode into popularity but has enabled Epic to pursue growth opportunities and strategies that were not previously available to it. In other words, Fortnite is printing the money that Epic is using to wage its campaign to become bigger, better, and more dominant in the industry than it could ever have imagined previously. That’s no guarantee that everything will work out.

But you know that Jeff Bezos has to be watching that phenomenon with keen interest. What better way to launch the Amazon Games Store than something like the company’s own Fortnite.

Whether Crucible is it or not, we know that Amazon is unlikely to give up. That should make for an interesting future. 

Have you had a chance to play Crucible yet? What do you think of it? What about the game’s return to beta status? Should this be a new trend in the industry for big-budget games that fail to capture their audience on the first go-around? Let us know your thoughts on this in the comments section below.

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Discord Moves Into the Mainstream

Change comes to us all, and, for popular gaming chat service Discord, the hope is that a few tweaks here and there will allow the platform to move into the mainstream and diversify its audience away from gaming.

Much like the efforts of Twitch in the past several years to move away from being a gaming-exclusive platform, Discord’s attempts to do the same is part of a broader shift in gaming media towards the mainstream in general.

“Games are what brought many of you on the platform, and we’ll always be grateful for that. Today, many of you use Discord for day-to-day communication. You’re sharing thoughts about books, music and art, creating servers to just be yourself and share moments with friends,” the company said in a press release about the pivot.

So, a chatroom service with fancy features? A forum with modern amenities? What is Discord going for exactly?

Let’s look at the press release discussing the change for clarification.

“We designed Discord for talking. There’s no endless scrolling, no news feed, and no tracking likes. No algorithms decide what you ‘should’ see. We designed Discord to enable the experience and feelings we wanted to recreate: being together with your community and friends. You’ve made your servers into personal spaces filled with people you invited and set the topics of discussion. Your communities all have their own rules and norms of engagement, giving people fun roles and adding inside-joke emojis.”

Looks like a chat room/message board to me, but with the Discord branding and user base, it could become so much more than that.

The company is almost pursuing a pseudo-social media strategy. Call it “Diet Facebook,” but what Discord is talking about, with the “community” and desire to fashion a “hub” for everyone, is nothing less than that. We know the company wants to move away from the video gaming niche or, at least, the perception that video games is what the company is all about. But what if Discord becomes one of the first major social networks out there dedicated to video games and the lifestyle? That would be a big development, but it’s not where the company wants to go…judging by this press release.

Yet that could end up happening anyway as more and more people log on and notice that Discord might offer a lot of options but its most robust content is in the gaming sector.

There is some reason to be skeptical that all of this will work out. Twitch, with Amazon’s push and money, is still largely regarded as a live-streaming service for gamers. That might change, but the battle is pretty uphill so far and the horizon really isn’t in sight. Plus, it isn’t like Twitch doesn’t have a lot of well-heeled competition in the form of Facebook and its properties as well as Google’s YouTube.

When it comes to big name services like Discord, however, the company seems to stand somewhat alone. Maybe there’s a chance it will all work out.

Do you use Discord? What do you think of the company’s proposed changes? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

Also, don’t forget to check out our other video games news by clicking here.

New Month…New Battle Royal – Hyper Scape

Ubisoft releases their Hyper Scape beta, if you can get a drop from twitch.

There is most definitely no shortage of battle royale style games nowadays. Ubisoft now has their own entry into the genre, titled Hyper Scape. Although to be fair this game is wildly different from any other BR game that we have seen to date.

The game is set in a hyper future setting and is much faster paced than most any other BR game we’ve seen. The game paces similar to Unreal Tournament. Extremely fast with lots of mobility and fast aiming. The game is so futuristic, you don’t even switch weapons with movement, they just materialize and float into your hands.

You’ll need to watch a twitch stream of Hyper Scape to earn a drop that has beta access. Similar to what they did to Valorant. Although a neat system, I don’t know how to feel about exploiting this beta drop system to artificially inflate viewership on twitch.

The game also has many unique mechanics to boot. On top of the unique city scape setting with tall skyscrapers, they deviated greatly from standard BR mechanics. There is no airplane to drop you, instead you deploy in a launch pod that you can control right off the bat. There is also no rarity level of guns, but rather you can fuse guns and make a more powerful version. You also get to pick up 2 equipment items at a time, which can offer things like healing/armor or protection/mobility. The equipment can also be fused to upgrade potency or cool down.

Mobility is key in this game, so you’ll find the map is riddled with jump pads and your character also has the ability to slide while running for those sick dodge moves.

There is also a twitch integration where viewers of streamers in Hyper Scape can vote on events that happen in the game real time. These events can include things like infinite ammo, enemy reveal, low gravity, and so on. Pretty nifty and a fun way to mess with the streamers that you watch.

Check back for more initial impressions as I log a few more hours into the game.

How to get into the beta.