It’s that time of the year again, where Steam guns for our wallets. Steam always puts out crazy seasonal sales with close to rock bottom prices on all types of games. To sweeten the deals even more, your first purchase of $30 or more will net you another $5 discount.
There are way too many games on sale to even consider listing them out so check the store out for yourself. Sales will run until July 9 so don’t wait too long!
Riot released some pre-patch notes for the upcoming ranked patch. We mentioned last week that ranked should be releasing very soon. They are already teasing us with some details with many welcome changes.
Most importantly, they are making playing with friends easier than it was in beta in terms of rank disparity. A lot of people were finding it hard to keep playing with friends because someone only 6 ranks away was unable to queue up with their friends due to matchmaking restrictions. It didn’t help that people could rank up faster than their own squad mates by getting top frag and high combat scores.
Riot will still block players who have HUGE skill disparity, but for the most part it should be balanced out well enough to not make you lose your squad mates.
There has also been an update to the rank icons! I think people made a big stink at how ugly they were in beta, so they finally put some effort into them. They also swapped the top rank from Valorant into Radiant to avoid confusion.
No definite balance fix yet for solo vs 5 stacks, but they are still working on ways to balance that out as well. The release of ranked might come a few days after the patch, similar to beta, but we don’t know for sure. Either way its coming VERY soon, so ya’ll better get your aim good now.
Ziegler tweeted that we could be seeing Ranked mode released next week.
Valorant has been available to everyone worldwide since June 2nd. The release has been quite smooth, none of the crazy issues that we were seeing in early beta have reappeared.
Looks like Riot has confidence in their game now, and after about 3 weeks of letting everyone assimilate into the game, ranked mode will be making an appearance very soon! Take that with a grain of salt though, as Zeigler says it will “likely” be out, which could entail possibility of delays.
For those not familiar with the series – Outlast is a horror series which had 2 installments prior to Trials. Outlast 1 & 2 were released in 2013 and 2017, respectively. The series has been acclaimed to create extremely spooky environments and scare the living daylight out of you. I can personally attest to this. Which brings me to my next point…
The new Outlast with have COOPERATIVE PLAY. Will the game still be as terrifying if you have 3 other buddies playing the game with you? I am excited to find out. Initial impressions from the trailer are still as eerie as ever. It doesn’t tell much, but the game will be set in the cold war era. All we get to see are some doctors drilling into your head and installing night vision.
The next scene shows someone trying to help you, I guess alluding to the co-op aspect.
Currently the game is scheduled to release for PC in 2021.
Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?
Card games are a genre that has transitioned into the digital era with grace but also with a lot of legacy features that some of us don’t really find appealing.
Sure, you can justify that the business models that underpin games like Hearthstone by pointing out all of the free content you get but it still makes it a bit annoying to have to shell out cash each and every time you want to upgrade your deck.
At least with a physical game you have cards to hold. In the virtual world, you have nothing other than a printout of your receipt (if you want that).
One game that is charming enough to make us forget the DLC tax that holds it all together is Legends of Runeterra, a fun deck game based on the League of Legends IP.
You don’t need to be familiar with that game, but it might help make everything click with you that much more. One thing that we had a hard time wrapping our head around is the “why” behind this game. Does the world need another fantasy-based card game?
The jury is still out on that and it is a shame that almost any contender in this genre is compared with the aforementioned Blizzard property or the real OG, Magic the Gathering.
It might strike you as a copy of something superior at first glance, but what we have on offer here is innovative enough to warrant a second look.
For one thing, the action of the game moves much faster than either of the other games we mentioned. There is some tie in with the League of Legends lore but it won’t impact the game nor how you play it.
Again, we enjoyed how it assumed we knew nothing about one of the world’s biggest multiplayer games and that helped acclimate and establish the game as its own thing.
Another thing that we appreciated is that the game somewhat holds your hand or even helps guide your strategy.
A gameplay feature called the “Oracle’s Eye” will show you the impact of your moves down the road and this gives you loads of insight into how the mechanics of everything works. It’s pretty invaluable, especially if you’re not familiar with this kind of card game.
Graphics are serviceable if somewhat bright and generic from some perspectives. Overall, Legends of Runeterra delivers where it matters but there is one nagging issue.
The purchase of new cards is just a frustrating feature for a video game. We get it: If you’re used to this kind of thing, that mechanic probably isn’t a big deal. And for gamers raised in mobile ecosystems, the occasional purchase is justified. But when you’re trying to fall in love with a game and decide whether or not you want to put more of your time into it, the last thing you want to think about is a potential tax on your fun.
Because let’s face it, you’re going to have to upgrade your deck eventually. That’s just the way these games are. If you can stomach that, then Legends of Runeterra offers just enough of a change in the core game play that we think it merits a look.
So we’re a few days into Valorant 1.0 release. They introduced one new agent, Reyna, aka, the most OP agent. Let me give you a rundown of all of her abilities and why they are broken as hell.
Leer – this is her flash bang ability. Except it can go through walls and stays in the air for a period of time and blinds (near sights) anyone that looks at it during that time. You can dodge it by not looking at it, but guess what, your back would be turned to her and she could just mow you down. You could also just shoot it down with a couple shots, but that means taking your aim away from Reyna/enemies and pointing your gun at the orb, which gives enemies PLENTY of time to gun you down first. The funniest part is that this is probably her least overpowered ability.
Devour/Dismiss – Reyna can also buy a pool of 4 charges that can be interchanged between using devour or dismiss. If she kills an enemy she is able to choose between these two skills to activate. Devour, heals Reyna to FULL health, yes, she can literally leave every skirmish with an enemy and if she kills them, regain all of her health, up to 4 times in a round. Her other choice, dismiss, instead makes her invincible and transparent (but still visible), giving her more move speed to reposition herself after killing someone. But Riot decided that this wasn’t already OP enough, so Reyna can OVERHEAL herself and gain more than 100 health….
So we haven’t even talked about her ultimate ability yet and her abilities are all 5x stronger than all the other agents in the game. Her flash makes Phoenix’s look useless in comparison and she can heal much faster and more times than Phoenix. Her mobility skill outshines Jett’s as well. Reyna becomes invincible and quicker when she moves away, while Jett can only dash once (unless she gets 2 more kills) and Jett can still be shot and has a delay after the dash ends before she can shoot again.
I guess this didn’t already seem broken enough, so Riot decided to give Reyna the most ridiculous ultimate ability ever seen in any competitive shooter game. EMPRESS. Once she activates her ult, Reyna gains – INCREASED FIRE RATE, INCREASED RELOAD SPEED, REDUCED RECOIL. Wow, seems like a pretty strong ult, BUT THAT’S NOT ALL. She can also now see all of her enemies outlined in a bright red glow making them 3x easier to spot.
Her ult is so ridiculous, it requires another paragraph to explain what else it does. Her ult also modifies her devour dismiss abilities. Whenever you get a kill while you have your ult active, it will devour the enemy, automatically…without using an orb. Yes, you heard me, you get a free heal after every kill while in Empress mode. Also, if you trigger dismiss during Empress, you actually become fully 100% invisible and invincible to the enemy, letting you move anywhere you want with no detection. With all of this going on with her ult, you would think you could just wait for it to run out before fighting her, right? Wrong. Her ult timer, which is already long off the bat, RESETS every time she gets a kill. Don’t forget that if she has full armor, she can overheal to having a total of 200 health.
There is no other agent that is currently this imbalanced.
Which clown designed this agent and got it approved? I thought I was playing Valorant, not League of Legends. I hope Riot doesn’t follow the same path and make new agents overpowered so everyone spends money to buy them.
Amazon is getting ready for its closed beta of New World, their new open world MMO. The game is planned to be released only for PC with an official release on August 25th, 2020. The Steam page is already available with pre-purchase options.
The game is currently in alpha, with the closed beta right around the corner, you can sign up for a chance to get in on it, or simply pre-order the game for guaranteed access. Most of the people in the alpha are still under NDA, so we won’t know mass opinions on the game until we arrive in the beta.
According to developers, the game will revolve around a classless system and players will get to choose what they want to progress in. Player will work to establish settlements and territories while fighting off the “corruption” that will create resistance and fight against you as you progress deeper into the world.
Initial game play footage reveals a pretty fluid combat system where timing and skill may play a bigger role than in other MMOs. Many are optimistic about Amazon’s first entry into the MMO space following their recent release of Crucible, which was an entry into the shooter genre.
The Valorant beta ended on May 28th, so what’s next?
After grinding ranks in Valorant beta, it has come to an end and unfortunately all of that hard work will be wiped for the full game release. But, beta testing is always a crucial step in any game and the Riot team has made great efforts towards bug fixes, game balances/enhancements, and improving security from hackers.
There will be another update that coincides with the release, along with a new agent that was teased in their release trailer. Also featured was the title of their first season, which will be “Ignite”. We don’t have a detailed list of updates officially from Riot yet for the release patch, but there are talks of some buffs to Omen’s abilities (teleport will stay the same). Also the new agent may have some sort of vampire-esque skills (lifesteal?).
Either way, I am pumped for the release! The game had a rocky start with bugs, an abundance of crashes, and terrible Vanguard implementation, but most of it seemingly seemed to be worked out by the end of beta. The game grew on me, and I find myself wanting to play it now that it’s gone.
Gears of War makes an entry into the turn based world.
Microsoft has pulled the old trick once again, releasing Gears Tactics as their turn based game spinning off of the Gears of War world. A little different than how they created Halo Wars as a real time strategy game. Many compare Gears Tactics directly to X-COM.
The Gears of War franchise has largely used almost the exact same gameplay mechanics since 2006 with its original installment. I found myself losing interest after heavily playing GoW2 and a little of GoW3. Gears tactics brings a very refreshing and much needed break from the typical third person shooter style.
This game is immediately enjoyable from the start. I started the game in normal mode and it definitely has a great difficulty balance off the bat, you will easily die if you don’t actually put some thought into your moves.
Each character has a certain number of action moves they can pull each turn, such as shooting, reloading, healing, or tossing nades. They also have an interesting mechanic called overwatch, in which your characters (or enemies) can cover an area and shoot at anyone that moves through it.
Playing this game gave me flashbacks to Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which I had beaten a little while ago. You have a set of main characters, and along with them, you can recruit a rotating pool of soldiers as well. There’s also a mix of classes such as support, heavy, sniper, etc.
There is no grid system that you have to move your characters through, which makes the game feel very fluid and open. You will also be using the good old signature GoW slide into cover pretty much every move, which is as satisfying here as it is in third person (so is the chainsaw).
The game surprised me with how they blend the bird’s eye view with third person action views. I thought the graphics would be dumbed down like how most strategy games are, but when action scenes are shown, it looks almost exactly like a regular Gears game.
There were times where I thought to myself, “oh the animators/designers definitely cheaped out here, like when I chainsawed someone in the upper body and somehow his legs fall off instead, or when you rescue someone from a torture chamber and he looks fully intact and healthy. But nothing was bad enough to subtract from the experience, I just chuckled to myself and kept playing. Attention to detail is not this game’s strong suite.
This game can push your PC pretty hard; I am running it at 1440p, 144hz on ultra. It looks wonderful and as a PC player, I couldn’t ask for more.
If you like strategy games or are a Gears of War player – don’t sleep on this title. I am thoroughly enjoying this and I would recommend it. The combat is surprisingly fluid and the level design is excellent in providing a challenge. Everything that was satisfying in a regular Gears game is still satisfying here – chainsaws, headshots, explosions, sliding around, etc.