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Wednesday, May 6



Kael'thas confirmed as newest 'Heroes of the Storm' character, just missing a solid release date

5 comments Andy Lau - 5:40pm (PST) Like Share

Blizzard to answer questions on May 12

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Blizzard has confirmed Kael'thas Sunstrider will be the latest addition to the Heroes of the Storm roster. The announcement was made recently on the game's Twitter page, with a piece of official artwork depicting the fallen ruler.

Kael'thas made his first appearance in Warcraft III and is a boss in World of Warcraft. "The Sun King" led his elven people during the events of Warcraft III, before he eventually aligned with the Burning Legion and labeled a traitor. More recent tweets show some screenshots of Kael'thas in action, displaying his heroic abilities.

 

Details about the new hero are scarce, but fans will have an opportunity to find out more on May 12. Developers will host a Q&A session on Reddit at 2:30 PM Pacific to chat about the character, at which point hero designers John Hodgson and Kent-Erik Hagman will be answering fan questions for about 90 minutes.

This will be the first new character to enter the Nexus since Sylvanas was added in March. Heroes of the Storm is currently in closed beta, with the open beta phase beginning on May 19 and the official launch happening June 2.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves' new Strike 'The Shadow Thief' screenshots give first look

1 comments Lydia Sung - 5:34pm (PST) Like (1) Share

New Strike heads back to the Moon

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Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves may not be adding a new raid, but the upcoming expansion will bring plenty of other content, including a new Strike called "The Shadow Thief." The Strike was mentioned during today's House of Wolves livestream, and a number of new screenshots offer a quick look.

The Shadow Thief will be sending Guardians back to the Moon, this time to fight Fallen rather than Hive. Players will be tasked with tracking down the Fallen mercenary Taniks, who has sought refuge on the House of Wolves Ketch. With the betrayal of the Fallen in the Reef, the race is now divided between friendlies and hostiles.

The rest of the first Shadow Thief screenshots can be found below. Although House of Wolves will not be introducing a new raid, the expansion brings a good share of new content beyond just the Strike. Today's livestream was actually focused on the Firefight-inspired "Prison of Elders" mode, which will be adding some PVE-driven challenges alongside the Trials of Osiris PVP events.

Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves will be out May 19. Be sure to check out our coverage of the upcoming expansion so far, and watch today's livestream below.


Watch live video from Bungie on Twitch


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Destiny's House of Wolves expansion to introduce sidearms, Firefight-inspired 'Prison of Elders'

6 comments Lydia Sung - 4:55pm (PST) Like Share

Why isn't Expansion II out yet? Why?

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Today's Destiny Expansion II: House of Wolves revealed yet another major addition to the endgame content, this time for PVE. The "Prison of Elders" introduces a wave-based mode inspired by Bungie's own Firefight, first introduced in Halo 3: ODST back in 2009. On top of the new mode, House of Wolves will also be introducing sidearms.

The standard Prison of Elders setup features a level 28 arena that support matchmaking, unlike the new Trials of Osiris PVP event. House of Wolves level designer Matt Sammons exmplained, "It has randomized elements, it's combat-focused."

Should the level 28 arena prove too easy, players can seek out greater challenges through the level 32 arena, the 34 version, or the ultimate level 35 scenario. Normally, the arenas alternate through five challenges per week, but the 35 arena will always be set on "Skola's Revenge."

All challenges can be tackled as many times as you like, but the rewards per challenge can only be earned once. Progress in Prison of Elders won't be saved either, so it's an all-or-nothing deal.

The House of Wolves stream shown earlier today focused on the level 34 challenge "Urrox's Grudge." Each round consisted of three waves, and each round had an active gameplay modifier, similar to the various modifiers and burns we already see with daily and weekly Strikes. Downed Guardians can be revived by a teammate, though once the entire team goes down, the round will reset.

Certain objectives might activate as well once a new round begins. In "Cabal Hell," for instance, the team had to defuse three mines that acted like capture points. All the while, the players had to fend off enemy waves. The Prison of Elders' Baron, Variks, can also gift the team weapons or ammo during the rounds.

Exotics and Legendary gear can be acquired through Prison of Elders, and some weapons and armor will actually be exclusive to this new mode. The new Etheric Light resource, used for upgrading old gear can also be acquired this way.

Today's House of Wolves livestream also included an announcement for secondary weapons, a new set of weapons to be added with the expansion. Sidearms can act as secondary weapons and boast both elemental damage and a high rate of fire.

If you missed the livestream or just want to see it again, the entire thing can be viewed below. The Prison of Elders gameplay might be worth watching.

Destiny's upcoming Expansion II: House of Wolves will be out in two weeks on May 19. A prologue trailer revealed that the Queen of the Reef had been betrayed, and she is understandably... upset.


Watch live video from Bungie on Twitch


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CD Project developers give a tour of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt's monster bestiary in newest trailer

1 comments Lydia Sung - 12:29pm (PST) Like (1) Share

Plus tips on how to defeat some of these monstrosities

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A Witcher's job isn't easy, as highlighted in the latest trailer for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. In "Monsters," the devs at CD Projekt make a guest appearance, introducing us to some of the monsters Geralt faces in Wild Hunt.

As the primary aspect of Witcher's job is basically to hunt and kill monsters, which are understably a complete pain to deal with. Fortunately, every Witcher is equipped with the weapons and abilities required to face the ferocious creatures. Harpies, for instance, don't really enjoy fire.

The trailer isn't particularly heavy on gameplay, and mostly serves as a behind-the-scenes look from the CD Projekt devs. However, we have seen more direct game content in the last few weeks, including a playthrough of the "Precious Cargo" quest.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt will be out May 19 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

 
 

Silent Hills' playable teaser erased, 'P.T.' no longer available for download

16 comments Rory Young - 10:52am (PST) Like Share (1)

So long and thanks for all the heart palpatations

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One of the greatest games of 2014 is no longer available, as Konami has removed the Silent Hills playable teaser P.T. entirely from Sony's storefront. That means that not only is P.T. delisted, but it is completely unavailable to download even by previous owners of the game. P.T. only exists on PlayStation 4 systems that had previously downloaded and installed the game, and on a dark and cold Konami server likely now gathering dust in some basement. Konami has not provided comment on the the extent of P.T.'s removal, nor have they said whether the teaser will return in one form or another in the future.

To be fair, Konami did warn gamers that P.T. would be delisted yesterday. A campaign across social media reminded us all to download P.T., or at least acquire the game through the PlayStation Store for future download. Many are likely now sore out of luck, having not fully downloaded the game prior to Konami's complete eradication of P.T. Expect to see PlayStation 4's on eBay selling for extra if they have P.T. downloaded in the future, similar to how phones with Flappy Bird are extra valuable too.

The initial removal of P.T. is entirely understandable, as the short game is itself an advertisement for Silent Hills. Since Silent Hills has been canceled, it's likely that Konami has no future plans to retain the licensing required for the name and for the likeness of Norman Reedus. Yet legacy versions of games are almost always left available for users who previously "purchased" the game, so they can download it in the future. Either this isn't the case for free demos "purchased" through PSN, or Konami is eradicating the game by intent. There are many reasons a publisher might want to do this, but few to none that will seem reasonable to your average game player.

And so today we say goodbye to P.T., the playable teaser for a game named Silent Hills which will never exist and one of the scariest games made in years. Why do bad things happen to good games? I'd like to hope that a little bit of Silent Hills and P.T. will live on, pieced together bit by bit until completion within our nightmares.

 
 

This is the Oculus Rift, available Q1 2016 with pre-orders starting late 2015

4 comments Rory Young - 10:13am (PST) Like (1) Share (1)

They can't beat the Vive's launch, but they can at least start pre-orders

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Oh, how far the Oculus Rift has come since its Kickstarter origins in August 2012. Today the now Facebook owned 3D tech developer gave its first look at the retail version of their headset. Two surprisingly low-resolution renders of the Oculus Rift were shown, accompanied by a hard confirmation that it will be launched in Q1 of 2016. Few detailed were otherwise shared about the launch Oculus Rift, but the post did assure readers that there are plans to reveal all of the details fans want to know about in the weeks ahead. VR gaming on PC is that much closer to reality for your average consumer.

What can be said about the final version of the Oculus Rift? It's difficult to say. The only readily noticeable aspects of the headset are its surprisingly simple black design, especially simple compared to its sleek futuristic initial design, and the form-fitting mask which looks intended to seal tightly around the user's face. Otherwise, the bulk of the mask's weight will still sit over the yes and the weight-bearing portion will still focus on a single strap that goes over the top of the head. Though the strap may have changed to a solid piece of plastic with cushioning, rather just a simple cotton strap. It's difficult to tell from the renderings. And it'd take a more familiar eye than mine to tell if there are any technical changes noticeable in the renderings.

Here's the short description that Oculus provided to the latest version of their 3D headset:

"The Oculus Rift builds on the presence, immersion, and comfort of the Crescent Bay prototype with an improved tracking system that supports both seated and standing experiences, as well as a highly refined industrial design, and updated ergonomics for a more natural fit."

Sexy, comfortable, powerful. You'll never want to take it off.

All that's left to mention is that Oculus also announced plans to open up pre-orders for the Oculus Rift later this year. I think this is notable in two ways. First, is, despite the billions Facebook has put into the company they still have this Kickstarter mentality of getting as much support -- both monetarily and grassroots -- as they can get before actually releasing a product. Second is that this is quite clearly a response to HTC and Valve's upcoming 2015 Vive release. If Oculus can get Rift pre-orders open before the Vive starts being sold, maybe they won't lose as many customers. That and they'll be better able to measure just how much of their audience is jumping to the Vive based on preorder sales.

Expect more information on the Oculus Rift's retailer version, including its technical specifications, in the weeks and months to come.

 



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Categories: PC Games
 
 

Tuesday, May 5



Mortal Kombat X PC patch pulled after causing save data loss, fix is on its way

0 comments Andy Lau - 10:34pm (PST) Like Share (1)

Issue has been pinpointed a new patch is on the way

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Warner Bros. pulled today's Mortal Kombat X PC patch after users reported deleted saves after the update. The patch was meant to improve PC performance and bring the port to parity with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions. However, shortly after the patch went live players claimed it had wiped their save data, deleting everything from character unlocks to online stats and Krypt progress. The patch was pulled soon after developers were able to verify the issue.

A representative at Warner Bros. posted a statement to the Steam community, assuring PC gamers that the issue has been found and a proper fix will be on its way.

We have pinpointed the issue resulting in the Save Data Loss and are in the process of testing the fix in a new patch. Once fully tested, we will look to post it later this evening and will make another announcement at that time. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work through this.

The PC version of Mortal Kombat X has been criticized on the Steam discussion boards for being a subpar port. To make matters worse, those who downloaded the whopping 15.8 GB patch needed to download another 15.2 GB just to revert to the previous version.

Understandably, PC fans of Mortal Komat X are upset as they await a competent fix for the game, and negative user reviews can be found all over Steam. Players have gone so far as to start a Change.org petition, seeking refunds and reimbursements from all companies involved in the game's development.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

GOG Galaxy enters open beta, DRM-free PC gaming platform and Steam competitor goes live

9 comments Rory Young - 9:32pm (PST) Like (1) Share

The revolution will be DRM-free

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GOG.com, formerly known as Good Old Games and run by CD Projekt RED's parent company, has today launched the open beta for its DRM-free online gaming platform. Introducing GOG Galaxy, a PC platform intended to compete with the likes of Steam, Origin, Uplay and Battle.net to name a few. Except GOG Galaxy isn't trying to step on anyone's shoes. At least, not yet. Imagine GOG Galaxy as the pacifist of the group, calmly scooping up games that are willing to meet a stricter set of rules for the sake of its customers. Just remember to mark today down, because this could be the the proverbial snowball rolling down a mountainside.

GOG Galaxy, much like its predecessors, will feature all of the in-game, social and community features a PC gamer would expect from such a platform. I'm talking about friends lists, online chat, multiplayer matchmaking, achievements, game library collections and simple one-click online installation. Some things are still in the works, GOG Galaxy is still in beta after all, but things like in-game overlays and the ability to send game invites or join a friend mid-game will be added soon. However GOG Galaxy goes beyond that too. After all, why create a platform that another service already provides? No, GOG Galaxy was founded on the idea that other platforms won't, or can't, provide services that GOG believes are fundamental.

The core of these ideas is DRM. GOG was founded as a DRM-free gaming storefront and those principles carry over into its platform. Games owned through GOG can be installed directly via online, or stored offline via a back-up installation. This installer can be saved to an external disc, drive or cloud as you please. Games in GOG Galaxy will work whether the player is online or offline. Heck, if an update breaks a game post-launch, GOG is even planning to offer a Rollback feature that lets the player restore to a prior state with just a single click.

Other non-direct DRM features that are still part of the shared GOG vision include things like privacy. GOG promises directly to never track personal data, let alone look at it. In fact, the entire GOG client is intended to be as lightweight as possible so as not to drain on a computer so your game can use everything it needs to provide the best experience. The client will only do what's necessary for the player, which is why they also allow everyone the ability to choose which and what features they want. If you don't want something, then it won't be a part of your client. Heck, if you don't want the GOG client, that's okay too. All GOG games will still be accessible through the storefront without requiring access to GOG Galaxy. GOG says, "we want to make [GOG Galaxy] so good, you'll actually want to use it."

Who knows, though. GOG Galaxy could turn out to be absolute junk, just like Steam, Origin and so many PC gaming platforms have been throughout the past. These things aren't easy to make, let alone high enough quality to persuade gamers to switch to in an already saturated market. Yet if anyone can do it, it's GOG. They've proven themselves the new "People's Storefront," providing high quality products that meet their values -- the values of their clients. It's hard not to cheer for them, in all honest.

Check out GOG Galaxy's open beta over at the official GOG website. Read through their list of features, check out their fact, and watch their announcement video one more and then decide whether you're interested in giving this crazy idea a chance.

Categories: PC Games
 
 

Mirror's Edge sequel expected to come out early 2016

4 comments Lydia Sung - 7:31pm (PST) Like (2) Share

Faith's return is imminent, if a bit far off

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The long-awaited sequel of DICE's unique 2008 parkour adventure Mirror's Edge has been given a release window of early 2016. That's right, Faith is finally returning next year, eight years after her debut. 

Publisher EA revealed today during a financial presentation its plans to bring Mirror's Edge 2 to PC and consoles next year, within the January 1 through March 31 window. Presenters did not specify which consoles Mirror's Edge 2 would be released for or any specific details regarding game content.

Last summer, DICE general manager Karl Magnus Troedsson stated that development this time around would focus more heavily on combat, rather than solely on the parkour. Currently, most of the studio's efforts are on this year's Star Wars: Battlefront reboot.

 
 

Titanfall 2 will not be ready until sometime after April 2016, according to EA

2 comments Lydia Sung - 6:54pm (PST) Like Share

Development is taking some time

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The Titanfall sequel will not be out until for a while, publisher EA confirmed today during an earnings presentation. In fact, we shouldn't expect to even a release date until fiscal 2017, or after April 2016.

During today's call, EA's chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen announced the timeline, which is understandably broad. During the conference earlier today, a question about Titanfall 2 (not the offical title, mind you) was posed, leading Jorgensen to explain, "You should assume that's not in fiscal '16; it's more likely in fiscal '17."

EA's 2017 fiscal year runs from April 1, 2016, through March 31, 2017. This means based on Jorgensen's answer, the second Titanfall game won't be out anytime before next April.

Respawn and EA announced back in March that the Titanfall sequel would be headed to PlayStation 4 as well as PC and Xbox One. The first Titanfall was released over a year ago in March 2014 for Xbox consoles and PC but marketed as an Xbox exclusive.

Categories: Console Games PC Games
 
 
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