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2019-01-19
The Iron Banner is in full swing and the final Forge of The Black Armory has been unlocked, so there's plenty to do in Destiny 2 this week. The weekend also means that Xur ventures back into the solar system, ready to sell to Guardians from his batch of Year One Exotic weapons and armor. If you're still chasing Izanagi's Burden and have to wait three more weeks to complete the Dreaming City's Shattered Throne, Xur's offerings might tide you over.You'll find Xur on Io this week. Head to the Giant's Scar region, then ride your sparrow north to look for a cave in the northwest wall of the area. As is always the case, he's offering three pieces of Exotic armor, one for each class, and an Exotic weapon. While all copies of Exotic guns are identical, it's worth checking out Xur's armor: Each piece of Exotic armor gets random perk roles, which means you might be able to buy a more useful version of something you already have.This week's Exotic weapon is Vigilance Wing, an Exotic pulse rifle that packs a punch. Instead of the usual three-round burst of weapons in the pulse rifle class, Vigilance Wing fires five rounds with each pull of the trigger. It also gets more accurate when you're the last living person on your fireteam, which includes amping up your recovery time to make you a little more likely to survive--which makes it great for Crucible.In the armor department, Hunters can snag the Orpheus Rig boots, which give you more shots in the Moebius Quiver version of the Shadowshot super, and gives you back ability energy for each enemy you tether with your Shadowshot arrows. For Warlocks, it's the Varity's Brow helmet, which is great if you have an energy weapon you particularly like. The helmet restores grenade energy for each energy weapon kill you make, for nearby allies as well as yourself. Finally, Titans get Hallowfire Heart, a chest armor piece that amps up the recharge rate of your solar abilities, especially when your Super is active.Here are all the Exotics Xur offers this week and what they'll cost you:Vigilance Wing (Exotic pulse rifle) -- 29 Legendary ShardsHallowfire Heart (Exotic Titan chest armor) -- 23 Legendary ShardsOrpheus Rig (Exotic Hunter leg armor) -- 23 Legendary ShardsVerity's Brow (Exotic Warlock helmet) -- 23 Legendary ShardsYou can also buy a Fated Engram, if you can afford it. Dropping 97 Legendary Shards on the item will grant you one Year One Exotic you don't already have for that character. Xur also offers the Five of Swords challenge card for free, which allows you to add difficulty modifiers that increase your score in Nightfall runs.The Iron Banner this weekend also means you have something to do while we wait on the next big event of Destiny 2's ongoing content rollout. That's another Exotic weapon quest, known as The Draw, which drops on January 29. If you're hungry for even more Exotics, check out our guide for hunting down Jotunn, one of The Black Armory's best.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
Alita: Battle Angel won't be in theaters until February 14. However, some cities are getting a taste of the upcoming manga adaptation early, thanks to a new interactive experience. Alita: Battle Angel - Passport to Iron City opens on January 23 in Los Angeles, with an installation in New York City following on January 25 and Austin on January 29.Interactive experiences tied to movies are nothing new, whether it's the opening of Neibolt haunted house to promote the horror movie It or the Ready Player One event that sent visitors into the OASIS. After having the opportunity to try out the LA experience ahead of its opening, though, I can say with confidence that Passport to Iron City is unlike just about anything else.The experience is a collaboration between iam8bit and TSG Entertainment, along with 20th Century Fox and Lightstorm Entertainment, that transports users from their world to Iron City, the cyberpunk city of the future in which the film is set. And right from the start, as writer and producer James Cameron explains, the entire 12,000 square foot space works hard to immerse you in the world of the film, starting with a stop at the Kansas Bar, which has been meticulously recreated to resemble the actual set used in production.The bar actually serves wine and beer--including city-specific brews that are exclusive to the experience--for a fee. While the drinks, which include non-alcoholic options, aren't free, they do help in setting the tone that Kansas is an in-world pub you're free to hang out in. Like Iron City itself, Kansas is filled with actors playing characters and hints in the decor that could be very useful upon setting foot in Iron City, the proverbial "game board" of the experience, which is filled with elaborate sets and characters that are fun to interact with and filled with useful clues if you get them talking.Once you're in Iron City, that's where the fun begins. Upon arrival, you're divided into teams that are competing to collect the most credits. The team that stands tall at the end--in the preview, it was my team--walks away with a special coin created for Passport to Iron City, which claims to be worth 1,000 credits.How do you win credits, though? Great question.The bulk of Passport to Iron City involves a series of team-based activities and scavenger hunts, each of which is worth a specified number of credits. They range from something as simple as piecing together a puzzle containing propaganda critical of the Factory--the in-world government--to digging through a tech scrapyard to find the highest-value items in an activity that includes some elements of an escape room.What makes Passport to Iron City work, in this regard, is the challenges are all different enough that they appeal to different strengths. While one of the activities is based on how good your sense of smell is, another finds you tracking criminals on the loose in Iron City with the Factory's surveillance equipment.Of course, you could just wander around the experience, admiring what's been built. Good luck with that, though, as Passport to Iron City has figured out how to turn the entire thing into a very competitive affair. Near the entrance of the experience is a scoreboard, which keeps real-time track of the credits earned by each team. I definitely didn't expect to find myself rushing around the play area trying to solve riddles and decipher words in other languages. After realizing that my team's score depended on it, though, it was hard not to get wrapped up in what was happening. Even as the experience came to a close with one final challenge involving all teams, everyone was shouting at and cheering on a game of motorball--Iron City's favorite pastime--as if we were watching a real sporting event unfold.That all said, even those with no knowledge of Alita: Battle Angel--the movie or the manga it's based on--aren't going to be left out of the action. I know practically nothing about the franchise, but managed to easily figure out enough to operate within the experience. Still, fans of Alita will be able to pick up on small details scattered throughout the experience and may even have a bit of a leg-up in some of the challenges.It's simply a fun and engaging experience set that draws you further into the world of the movie. I had very little interest in the film before visiting Passport to Iron City. Now I feel like I know the world a bit better and am curious to see how it unfolds on the big screen, even if I'm still unclear about how all of the cyborgs fit in.What's more, I want to see other films take this approach to promotions. Yes, trailers and TV spots are still a useful tactic for many films, but as major blockbusters dive deeper and deeper into their world-building, why not take the audience into that world and let them explore pieces of it on their own?Alita: Battle Angel - Passport to Iron City opens in Los Angeles on January 23, with New York and Austin locations following soon thereafter, with no announced end date. You can find out far more information and purchase tickets to the experience on the official website.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
Ubisoft has announced how PvP play will look in The Division 2. There will be two forms of PvP multiplayer in the game--the first of which takes place in the game's Dark Zones.Similar to its predecessor's Dark Zone, The Division 2's three Dark Zones--of which there is an east, south, and west--are PvEvP areas where you can choose to take action against other players. In a blog post, Ubisoft explained how it has changed the way players will perceive you if you perform aggressive actions against others. There are three statuses you can hold if you attack other players in one of the Dark Zones.If you're mostly performing aggressive, yet relatively harmless actions--such as stealing from other players or hijacking a supply drop--you'll be labeled as a Rogue. As a Rogue, you can enter Thieves Den, which operates as a black market that randomly moves around the Dark Zones. Exiting the Den returns you to your normal state, but killing a player while Rogue will cause you to become Disavowed.Being Disavowed paints a target on your back. Any other player that kills you earns a bounty, so you'll have to be careful while exploring the Dark Zones. If you kill enough players, you'll be upgraded to Manhunt status. You'll still have to contend with bounty hunters while at Manhunt status, but you'll be able unlock huge rewards if you can reach one of the three random SHD terminals and clear your notoriety.The Division 2's second form of PvP play is a more traditional, organized multiplayer called Conflict. Conflict is split into two modes, Skirmish and Domination. Skirmish is team deathmatch, while Domination is focused on capturing objectives and defending them from the other team. Ubisoft has announced three maps for both modes will launch with the game: Capital Ruins, Stadium, and Georgetown.The Division 2 releases for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 15. The PC version of the game, previously scheduled for Steam, will now come out exclusively on the Epic Games Store. If you want to try out the game before deciding whether or not to buy it, there's a beta scheduled for all three systems that launches next month.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
This week's PSN sale may be fairly underwhelming, but those aren't the only deals to be had on the PlayStation Store right now. Sony has kicked off a surprise PSN flash sale in the US, offering discounts on a ton of great titles for PS4, PS3, and Vita. But you'll need to hurry, as the deals won't be available for very long.From now until January 21, more than 200 PS4 games are on sale for $20 or less. That includes the acclaimed platformer Hollow Knight, which is available for $9.89. Also on sale is Tearaway Unfolded, the PS4 port of LittleBigPlanet developer Media Molecule's Vita platformer; it can be yours for $10. Meanwhile, Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition and LA Noire are down to $20 apiece, and Just Cause 3 is $8.If you've got a soft spot for classic titles, you can pick up Dragon's Lair Trilogy for $10. The fast-paced frisbee game Windjammers is also on sale for $7.49, while Rockstar's first western, Red Dead Revolver, is discounted to $9. Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap, a great remake of the classic Sega Master System game, is $10, and the arcadey Super Mega Baseball 2 is $12.Other notable deals include Life Is Strange - Complete Season ($6), Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition ($10), Floor Kids ($12), Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris ($6), and Life Is Strange: Before the Storm - Complete Season ($6.79). You can see some other PS4 deals below.The PSN flash sale is scheduled to end at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET on January 21. The full list of deals can be found on the PlayStation Store and the PlayStation Blog.Bully -- $9Cat Quest -- $6.49Children of Zodiarcs -- $10.79Divinity: Original Sin - Enhanced Edition --$10Dragon's Lair Trilogy -- $10Floor Kids -- $12Forgotton Anne -- $16Hollow Knight: Voidheart Edition -- $9.89Just Cause 3 -- $8Killing Floor 2 -- $9.89LA Noire -- $20Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris -- $6Lego City Undercover -- $9Life Is Strange - Complete Season -- $6Life Is Strange: Before the Storm - Complete Season -- $6.79Red Dead Revolver -- $9Slime Rancher -- $10Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition -- $20Super Mega Baseball 2 -- $12Tearaway Unfolded -- $10Thief -- $5Toki Tori 2+ -- $3.74Windjammers -- $7.49Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap -- $10Ys Origin -- $10Zero Escape: The Nonary Games -- $15Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma -- $20Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
A new Power Rangers fighting game, titled Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid, has been announced. Despite featuring characters from the mobile game, Power Rangers: Legacy Wars, Battle for the Grid is a brand-new title that's been designed with consoles in mind.According to a tweet from the official Battle for the Grid Twitter account, the game will "feature a completely brand new battle mechanic" in comparison to Legacy Wars, as well as "different movesets" for each fighter. Hasbro creative director Jason Bischoff tweeted that Battle for the Grid would include both a story mode and online PvP, DLC content, and both cross-play and cross-progression across systems. He added that, unlike Legacy Wars, Battle for the Grid would not be free-to-play.An announcement trailer for Battle for the Grid teases what combat in the new game looks like. On Battle for the Grid's official website, combat is described as being "easy to learn but hard to master" with the challenge coming from knowing "when to strike, not how."Battle for the Grid features heroes and villains from throughout the Power Ranger franchise's years of TV shows, movies, and comics. The announcement trailer sees Mighty Morphin' Green Ranger v2, who's still the best version of Tommy Oliver, taking on both Mighty Morphin' Red Ranger and Super Megaforce Yellow Ranger. Battle for the Grid's website also confirms Lord Drakkon--an alternate universe version of Mighty Morphin' Tommy Oliver who went on to become an evil Green/White Ranger hybrid that desires to destroy every Ranger across the multiverse--will be in the game as well. According to the game's website, there are 11 more characters scheduled for the game, but their identities have not been revealed.Power Rangers: Battle for the Grid is scheduled to release for Xbox One, PS4, Switch, and PC in April 2019. If you pre-order the game, you'll receive the Mighty Morphin' Green Ranger v2 character skin.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
GameStop reported its sales results for the 2018 holiday season, which showed the company suffering decreases to many of its top revenue generators. Hardware, software, and pre-owned sales all decreased in the 2018 season, whereas accessories and digital currency grew.The total global sales for holiday 2018 were $2.63 billion, which was a 5% decrease compared to the 2017 holiday period. But that compares the nine weeks ending January 5, 2019 to the nine weeks ending December 30, 2017, which the store notes isn't a comparable sales period. By shifting the sales periods to end on January 5 and January 6, respectively, total store sales increased 1.5%. That includes a 3.6% increase in the US that helped offset a 3.1% decrease internationally.The company also broke down several types of revenue for comparison. New hardware sales were down 6.1%, due to the Xbox One X launch in 2017. It says this was partially offset by the growth in Nintendo Switch sales. New software decreased 8.3%, due mostly to Black Ops 4 launching outside of the holiday window in October 2018, versus Call of Duty WW2 in November 2017. Its pre-owned sales declined 16.4%. Technology brands sales were not included in the comparable store sale measure, but decreased 19.3% due to a decrease in store traffic.Some revenue streams did grow, however. Accessories grew 28.7% based on controller and headset sales, whereas collectibles increased 3.7%, and digital receipts (such as digital currency) increased 16.8%.Despite the mixed news, GameStop sales were up today, rising 1.01% to $15.93. At one point it even hit its highest figures since September. This all comes amid reports that GameStop could be up for sale itself, as two private equity companies seem interested in the purchase. That deal may reportedly be finalized by mid-February.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
Niantic is kicking off a new type of event in Pokemon Go this weekend. On Saturday, January 19, the studio is holding the game's first-ever Limited Research event, which will feature special Field Research tasks--and an opportunity to catch a new Shiny Pokemon--for a limited time.Much like Pokemon Go's monthly Community Days, the Limited Research event will only run for three hours. During that window of time, you'll be able to receive special Limited Research tasks when you spin the Photo Disc at a PokeStop. These tasks can be completed at any time after you've obtained them, but they'll only be distributed during the event hours, and you'll only get one from each PokeStop you visit.Every Limited Research task will culminate in an encounter with Feebas, the first form of the majestic Water Pokemon Milotic. Additionally, Niantic says you'll have a chance of coming across a Shiny Feebas, making this the first time this particular Shiny will be available in the game. You can find the event hours for each region below.On top of the Limited Research event, Niantic is holding a big Hoenn celebration in Pokemon Go right now. Until January 29, Gen 3 Pokemon will appear much more frequently in the wild. Moreover, you'll have a chance of catching Shiny variants of Zigzagoon and Taillow, while any Shroomish you evolve into Breloom will learn the move Grass Knot.The Gen 3 Legendaries Groudon and Kyogre have also returned as part of the Hoenn celebration, giving you another chance to add them to your collection. There are new Field Research tasks revolving around Gen 3 Pokemon as well, and new avatar items based on Team Aqua and Team Magma--the villainous teams from Ruby and Sapphire--are available in the game's Style Shop.Pokemon Go Limited Research Event ScheduleThe Americas and Greenland11 AM - 2 PM PT2 PM - 5 PM ETEurope, Middle East, and Africa10 AM - 1 PM UTCAsia-Pacific12 PM - 3 PM JST (January 20)Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
Atlus has released a new trailer for Catherine: Full Body. The trailer depicts some of the more graphic scenes from the game.The new Catherine: Full Body trailer was put together in a joint partnership between Atlus and Japanese pop-rock band Sekai No Owari, according to Game Informer. The video features one of the band's songs, titled Re:set. Beginning with remastered scenes from the original Catherine, the trailer eventually starts showcasing some of the new cutscenes included in Full Body.The trailer itself is still in Japanese, and hasn't been translated with subtitles yet. However, based on this trailer, it looks like the inclusion of Rin--a new love interest vying for the attention of protagonist Vincent against the titular Catherine and Katherine--is going to create new outcomes to certain plot points that were not seen in the original game's story.Rin isn't the only new addition to Full Body in comparison to the original Catherine. Atlus has announced the game will have a Safety mode, which, according to Gematsu, will allow you "to skip stages you have not cleared with the press of a button, and solely enjoy the event scenes." Full Body will also feature online battles and new difficulty levels as well. Although Atlus has not confirmed DLC for Full Body outside of Japan, Gematsu did notice that the Japanese version of the game is getting some. If the same expansions launch in North America and Europe, we can expect plenty of bundles that include different voices for Catherine, with each one performed by a different actress.Catherine: Full Body is releasing for PS4 and PS Vita in Japan on February 14. The game has been confirmed to launch in both North America and Europe for PS4, but an official release date has not been announced.When the original Catherine released in 2011, we gave it an 8.5/10 in our review, describing the game as a "story-heavy puzzler" that is "mature and occasionally profound" in its exploration of "sexual fidelity, personal responsibility, and trust." Originally only available on consoles, Catherine was ported to PC in January 2019.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
History Channel has ventured into the world of reality competition shows, and thus far, they've all been a lot of fun. Forged in Fire has weaponeers forging their own weapons. Knife or Death--hosted by WWE Hall of Famer Goldberg--puts bladesmith's weapons through a rigerous gauntlet to test its durability. And now, Knight Fight--hosted by WWE's Jay "Christian" Reso--has competitors in full armor fighting each other with actual weapons.On the surface, the idea of armored warriors fighting each other is exceptionally appealing, until you start asking yourself, "How do they do this without killing each other?" According to one of the show's judges and host, Reso, it's all pretty safe. "Most of them are from a league called, The Armor Combat League," Reso told GameSpot. "And they do have their own armor that they feel comfortable in and they do have a tendency to lean towards certain weapons, like all the weapons that are used in the show itself, are blunted, but they're full size, scale, everything of the originals."The show itself seems like a crazy idea, but even considering everything is about as safe as you can make it, Knight Fight is still a wild concept for a series. The first promo for the show, which you can see below, lean heavy towards non-stop action."It's got a little bit of everything in it," continued Reso. "Action and obviously, with the interviews and stuff that we do with the Knights themselves, the competitors. Their personalities shine through in that, of course you have different personalities and different sized of each competitor, which also makes it interesting."While these real-life knights are beating the hell out of each other in battle, one thing Reso found compelling was how they treated each other after each round. "The thing was the camaraderie to me that the guys had. I mean, they're in there dealing out punishment and taking punishment, in between rounds they're kind of shouting over to one each other from across the ring asking, as in, 'Hey, good round?' or, 'You okay?' or things like that. The sportsmanship, the camaraderie is what kind of, like you said, the brutality of it and the action and how much each competitor wanted to win, but at the end of it, they were all shaking hands, patting each other on the back and making sure they were all right."The winners will combat each other every week until there's only one knight standing for the season finale, and they'll go home with $10,000 and a championship belt. You can watch the madness unfold for yourself when Knight Fight comes to History Channel on Wednesday, January 23 at 10 PM ET / PT.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
If you're looking for something new to play on Xbox One--and you have an Xbox Live Gold subscription--then you're in luck. As part of its next Free Play Days promotion, Microsoft is giving Gold members a chance to try out three titles at no charge this weekend.From now through January 20, Gold subscribers can download and play Override: Mech City Brawl, Metro 2033 Redux, and Metro: Last Light Redux for free. You'll have full access to each throughout the trial period, and you can keep your Gamerscore and any achievements you earn if you decide to pick the titles up after the free weekend ends.To jump into the games, simply download them from the Gold member area on your Xbox One's dashboard. Each is also discounted as part of this week's Xbox One game sale, so you can pick them up for cheap if you're interested in continuing your adventures. The sale prices will be available through January 21.Microsoft regularly offers free weekends for select games through its Free Play Days promotion. Last weekend, Xbox Live Gold members could download and play Halo 5: Guardians at no charge. Subscriptions cost $10 for one month, $25 for three months, and $60 for one year.The free play weekend is a good opportunity to revisit Metro 2033 and Last Light, as the next installment in the series, Metro Exodus, is set to launch on February 15--a week earlier than originally scheduled. Unlike its predecessors, Exodus features some large, sandbox-like environments, although we thought the game feels best when it sticks to its roots.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
A major change is happening at Pixar. Lee Unkrich, the longtime creative team member that directed films like Coco and Toy Story 2, has announced his departure from the animation studio. The news was shared in a simple tweet, reading, "After twenty-five incredible years, I've decided to leave Pixar. The time has come for new adventures."While he doesn't specify what those adventures are, it seems his plan is not to jump to another studio. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Unkrich explained, "I'm not leaving to make films at another studio; instead, I look forward to spending much-needed time with my family and pursuing interests that have long been back-burnered."After twenty-five incredible years, I’ve decided to leave Pixar. The time has come for new adventures. pic.twitter.com/0KZyHXhs8L — Lee Unkrich (@leeunkrich) January 18, 2019He leaves the company with no further projects in the pipeline, though he is one of those responsible for the story of the upcoming Toy Story 4. His departure comes at an interesting time for Pixar, shortly after the news that former boss John Lasseter--who was ousted from the company in 2018 after allegations of sexual misconduct--was named head of Skydance Animation.Unkrich started at Pixar in 1994 as the company was working on the original Toy Story, a movie in which he served as editor. From there he was involved in a number of titles for the company, including co-directing Toy Story 2, Monsters Inc., and Finding Nemo. His most recent film for the studio, Coco, won Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song at the 2018 Academy Awards.Where Unkrich goes from here may be a mystery, but those at Disney and Pixar aren't holding back their well-wishes for the animator. "Lee arrived at Pixar as we were crafting Toy Story, and he's had a profound effect on all Pixar films since. He literally taught us rookie filmmakers about staging, composition, and cutting," Pixar's chief creative officer Pete Docter told THR. Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn added, "Lee has left an indelible mark on the world of film, and we are so grateful for the passion and talent he has brought to each movie he has worked on. He'll always be part of the Disney-Pixar family, and we will miss him."Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-19
There's more to war than just weapons and politics. Ace Combat is a series that showed us just that, hitting its stride in the early '00s with an enchanting mix of jet fighting and human melodrama. But in the past decade, its entries suffered from putting less importance in its signature stories. It dropped four games' worth of fictional lore in favor of real-world locations, traded pathos for machismo, and attempted to add cinematic blockbuster bombast to the clinical nature of flying jets, all at the cost of losing its identity. Thankfully, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown brings the series back on course and is a significant return to what it was in its prime: a thrilling interpretation of modern aerial combat that also tells a war story with heart, a conscience, and personal stakes.The narrative of Skies Unknown dives back into the fictional series universe last seen in 2007 and deals with a conflict between the familiar powers of the Osean Federation and the Kingdom of Erusea. You play a silent, faceless Osean pilot who will go through some changing allegiances, but half of the plot actually occurs in cinematics that run parallel to and separate from your actual missions, and come from the perspective of seemingly minor players around the periphery. It's a war story that pivots with the actions of its small cast of characters as much as it does military victories, and leans heavily into themes of the human condition--the greys of fabricated ideas like nationality, borders, and cultural identity as well as the ethics of advancements in technological warfare.To be clear, there aren't many nuanced discussions to be had between the pronounced personalities of the cast; this is a drama first and foremost. Radio chatter is filled with bold statements of ideology ("As long as our nation stands the young will carry on!"), and sometimes it feels like there's a naivety in the writing for entirely different, slightly juvenile reasons ("How penal is this penal colony?"). It's regularly hammy and melodramatic, but the entire endeavor is so wide-eyed and earnest, so endearingly heartfelt and ultimately optimistic in nature, that it's easy to let yourself be swept up and moved by it all.Larger-than-life voices amp you up over the radio when you're flying into a sortie, adding an infectious passion to the affairs. They remind you what you're fighting for and sometimes make you feel bad and question your actions. The overlapping conversation can be a little distracting when you're trying to dodge a missile, but it's that vital human element that keeps you really invested in this game about shooting down planes.But that's not to say that aerial combat in Ace Combat 7 is anything but superb. The fundamental actions of chasing down enemies at high speeds, out-maneuvering them to line up a clear shot, or banking hard to avoid an incoming missile while your dashboard beeps and flashes wildly at you is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat constantly. Skies Unknown strips away recent mechanical additions to the series seemingly in service of returning to simplicity--gone are the wingman commands of Ace Combat 6: Fires Of Liberation and, thankfully, so are the in-your-face, on-rails close combat mechanics of Ace Combat: Assault Horizon.Your focus lies solely on your plane and your surroundings. There's a variety of familiar factors to take into consideration while flying--different air and ground-based threats, the topography of terrain when fighting at low altitudes--but a significant new element is clouds and the tangible risks and possibilities they invite. Juking into a bank of clouds can break missile locks and give you the element of surprise, but come at the cost of reduced visibility, the possibility of icing up your plane and hindering maneuverability, and even things like strong wind currents and lightning strikes messing with your ability to keep control of your jet. Clouds are legitimately useful strategic considerations, on top of just being a pretty thing to admire, and they make the skies of Ace Combat 7 a more interesting place to be.There's also an impressive variety of distinct scenarios across the game's 20 campaign missions. Generally, the scope of most battles are quite large and require you to split your attention between different kinds of skirmishes across the map with a broader objective in mind. But many missions also come with unique challenges that make for some memorable moments--dogfighting in a thunderstorm at night, stealth canyon runs, and avoiding huge area-of-effect blasts in the midst of a busy battle are some enjoyable standouts. The game's few boss-style encounters are a highlight too, as you go up against impossibly good ace fighters and the game's white whale superweapon--which itself fills the map with a terrifying amount of hostile drones. There are a few scenarios that aren't as exciting, however--hunting for trucks in a sandstorm and chasing ICBMs grew tiring pretty quickly, and the game's final challenge was a tricky exercise in plane maneuvering that feels like it necessitates multiple retries by design, which puts a damper on an otherwise grand finale.The act of retrying will inevitably come with a pang of resentment, too, since checkpointing in Skies Unknown is sparse. Checkpoints typically only occur only at the halfway point of a mission, and it's common to get 20 minutes into a battle before failing to hit an objective and having to start from the very beginning. This can get frustrating in the tail end of the campaign, where threats are more abundant and more relentless and the overall demands are higher. Granted, there is a light emphasis on score performance, and your mission score persists even if you need to retry from the halfway point, but a little more generosity wouldn't have gone astray.Ace Combat 7 features a straightforward, peer-to-peer online multiplayer component featuring 8-player Battle Royal (free-for-all deathmatch) and team deathmatch modes. Dogfighting with other human beings is certainly a lot more challenging and frenetic, and because matches are only five minutes in length, they consistently feel fast-paced and full of excitement. The planes and equipment you unlock as part of the campaign carry over to multiplayer and vice versa, but everything has an assigned value and you're able to play matches that have a limit on how much you can bring, which helps keep a level playing field.Online sorties also feature a weighted scoring system where leading players are clearly marked and have a higher score value attached to their destruction. In my experience, it's an idea that works well in practice, stopping you from being a target if you're doing poorly and keeping you on your toes if you're doing well. It also allows for some great match dynamics too--there were plenty of times where I was falling behind in score, decided to zero in on the leading player, and made a spectacular comeback to take the lead in the last few seconds.The PlayStation 4 version of Skies Unknown also features an exclusive VR mode consisting of an Ace Combat 4-inspired mini-campaign. There are only three missions, and their objectives are less complicated than those of the main campaign, but even so, the experience of flying from the cockpit of a plane is engrossing. The feeling of speed and height is literally dizzying, the ability to freely look around and track a target with your gaze is terrific, and the act of pitching and rolling your plane is so effective at eliciting a feeling of actual g-force that I personally had a hard time doing more than one mission at once without breaking out into a nauseous sweat. It's a shame that there's no option to play the main campaign in VR--the head tracking and freelook alone would be incredibly useful--but the mode is a great addition nonetheless.Good aerial combat is important for a game involving jet fighters, but it's a given quality for Ace Combat. Skies Unknown boasts a beautiful photorealistic world, entertaining mission variety, and a reason to get excited about clouds. But most importantly, it carries renewed devotion to the history and stories of its fictional universe, and with that, it brings back the human, emotional center that makes it remarkable. Ace Combat 7 is a fantastic return for a series that is at its best when it wears its heart on its wings.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Pioneer, the sci-fi project teased within Watch Dogs 2, has seemingly been canceled. A trailer for the space exploration game was found in a Watch Dogs 2 mission that had you infiltrate Ubisoft's real-life San Francisco office. However, ex-Ubisoft game director Alex Hutchison has now cast doubt on the project's status."RIP Pioneer," he stated on Twitter, including a link to the game's trailer. When followers asked if this meant the project was dead, he simply responded with crying emojis. Ubisoft has declined to comment, but then the game was never officially announced in the first place. It was seemingly due to be revealed at E3 2017, before needing to be "retooled," according to Kotaku's sources in November 2016.RIP Pioneer. 😭 https://t.co/YP8LK1s6fX — Alex Hutchinson (@BangBangClick) January 15, 2019Hutchison is now working on Journey to the Savage Planet at new studio Typhoon. He previously worked on Far Cry 4 and Assassin's Creed III at Ubisoft and Spore while with EA.There's no sign, meanwhile, of a third Watch Dogs game, which has been heavily rumored to be set in London. The next major Ubisoft title to launch will be February's Far Cry: New Dawn.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Free games are always good, and PlayStation Plus members can try an extra one for a limited time soon. This weekend the PS4 shooter Firewall Zero Hour is free for anyone with an active PS Plus subscription, though you'll also need a PSVR headset to play.Firewall Zero Hour launched in August 2018 to a positive reception. The tactical shooter is multiplayer-based, pitting squads of four against each other. It ordinarily costs US $40 / £25 / AU $40, so to be able to play it for free is quite the deal. The offer is valid from January 18-20.January's free PS Plus games are also live now. PS4 owners can pick up Steep, an extreme sports game from Ubisoft that lets you ski, snowboard, and glide in a wing suit to go from a mountain's snowy peaks to its powdery base. The other PS4 game for January is Portal Knights, which takes the building component of Minecraft and constructs around it an RPG that encourages crafting and exploration.The PS3 freebies are Zone of the Enders HD Collection, which contains remastered versions of two PS2 mech combat games, and the music/rhythm game Amplitude. PS Vita owners can grab Fallen Legion: Flames of the Rebellion (also playable on PS4) and Super Mutant Alien Assault.PS Plus members should note that, starting in March 2019, Sony will no longer give away free PS3 and PS Vita games for PS Plus members. If you subscribe to PS Plus primarily for those free titles, you'll want to turn off your subscription's auto-renewal option or cancel it then.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Now that all the Forges are unlocked in the latest expansion for Destiny 2, The Black Armory, players are busy grinding for new Exotic weapons and completing all the expansion's secrets. But for those who still working on grinding up to the new Power level cap of 650 and completing all the things the last expansion, Forsaken, had to offer, there's the Dreaming City's Ascendant Challenge.This week, the curse has been reset in the Dreaming City, which means the Shattered Throne dungeon is no longer available--a bummer for anybody who needs to finish it to unlock Izanagi's Burden from The Black Armory. It also brings us back to Week 2's challenge. Below, you'll find a complete guide on where you need to go and what to do to complete this week's bounty to earn Powerful gear.The Ascendant Challenge always involves you heading through a portal to the Ascendant Plane, but the particulars of what you're doing are entirely different from week to week. To start out, you'll need a consumable item called the Tincture of Queensfoil. With a Tincture in hand, make your way to the Garden of Esila area near the southernmost point of the map, as seen in the image below. Consuming the Tincture will provide you with the Ascendance buff that allows to see a Taken portal that's somewhat hidden on a cliffside. Jump in, and you'll be teleported to the Ascendant Plane's Forfeit Shrine.Once you're there, you'll have to fend off Taken--or just avoid them--while trying to secure three Arc Charges around the area. Once you pick one up, head toward the center starting area, near the giant Blight ball. Walk into the bright point at the bottom to dunk the charge you're holding. Repeat the process two more times and you'll receive an endless supply of Super energy that will help you to kill all of the remaining Taken in the area. Once they're dealt with, you can complete the bounty (netting you Dark Fragments and Powerful gear) and open a chest.Given that the bounty (not the chest) offers Powerful gear--a reliable way of increasing your Power level--this is an activity you'll definitely want to take part in once you're able. But bear in mind it is a challenge, so be sure to come prepared. It can be done solo, but having multiple teammates to grab charges and draw the enemies' attention can help immensely.Info from Gamespot.com
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