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Shack News
Shacknews Recent Articles http://www.shacknews.com/rss?recent_articles=1 en-us ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission PSVR Hands-on Preview: The VR Platformer We've Been Waiting For http://www.shacknews.com/article/105071/astro-bot-rescue-mission-psvr-hands-on-preview-the-vr-platformer-weve-been-waiting-for http://www.shacknews.com/article/105071/astro-bot-rescue-mission-psvr-hands-on-preview-the-vr-platformer-weve-been-waiting-for <p>ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission is the latest game from developer JAPAN STUDIO ASOBI!. This team is known for THE PLAYROOM and THE PLAYROOM VR. ASTRO BOT is a spinoff and features the VR BOTS from their past titles. ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission is certainly one of the most innovative VR platformer games. The game balances challenging 3D platforming with a very familiar level design and art style that is enhanced by virtual reality.&nbsp;</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/ASTRO BOT Screenshot 05.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="395" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The demo I tried out last week featured two levels. The first one was much like a 3D Mario game, but with some VR twists. The developers take advantage of the fact that players are immersed in the world. At different points in the level, I had to headbutt an obstacle out of the way or look around or underneath an impediment to track down one of ASTRO BOT's buddies. At the end of the level, which featured some difficult jumps and moving platforms, your robot pals are tallied up. This is similar to the red coin mechanic in Mario, but the developers made some of these little buggers very difficult to track down. Audio queues helped signal where to look, but players have to keep their head on a swivel to save all of ASTRO BOT's lost compatriots.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/ASTRO-BOT-Hands-On-Preview-PSVR-Shacknews.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The second level was a boss battle. Everything about this battle reminded me of my favorite Nintendo games. From battling Andross at the end of Star Fox 64 to fighting countless Mario bosses, ASTRO BOT's massive boss battles are truly a nod to the rich history of 3D platformers. Adding to this is an incredible soundtrack that makes the battles seem even more epic. In the demo from last week, ASTRO BOT had to do some serious dental damage on a massive monkey. The developers truly use every aspect of the PS4 ecosystem in this game as they actually found a use for the DualShock4's touchpad. Players are able to flick a grappling hook out of their controller, which is visible in game, and rip out ASTRO BOT's enemy's teeth. After a prolonged battle that required jumping over rings of fire and taking down countless minions, I was victorious and my good buddy ASTRO BOT let out some adorably joyful noises.&nbsp;</p> <p>ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission is easy to pick up and play, but will definitely provide a solid challenge to more hardcore gamers. The full version will feature over twenty levels. ASTRO BOT will have to navigate cities, dark caves, beaches, forests, and even ride in a mine cart. The game will also feature six huge boss battles as well as 26 extra challenges for the platforming perfectionists out there.&nbsp;</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/ASTRO BOT Screenshot 01.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="393" style="undefined" /></div> <p>This is the most exciting platformer game to hit virtual reality since Lucky's Tale launched with Oculus Rift. The game is simply delightful. Every aspect of the game is well thought out from the music to the level design, and the developers take full advantage of the PSVR HMD and the DualShock 4 with their unique gameplay mechanics. I will be looking forward to playing ASTRO BOT: Rescue Mission when it launches exclusively on PSVR.</p> Wed, 23 May 2018 06:00:00 PDT Asif Khan Creed: Rise to Glory PSVR Hands-on Preview: Cut Me, Mick http://www.shacknews.com/article/105070/creed-rise-to-glory-psvr-hands-on-preview-cut-me-mick http://www.shacknews.com/article/105070/creed-rise-to-glory-psvr-hands-on-preview-cut-me-mick <p>Survios made a big splash at GDC 2018 when they announced a&nbsp;<a href="http://deadline.com/2016/12/mgm-gary-barber-funding-board-vr-studio-survios-1201869528/" target="_blank">partnership with MGM</a> to bring the Rocky boxing franchise to virtual reality. The VR developer is known for past titles&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103254/sprint-vector-review-vr-victory-lap">Sprint Vector</a> and Raw Data and has always had a knack for unique gameplay mechanics. This is most definitely true in their latest title Creed: Rise to Glory.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Creed-Rise-To-Glory-Hands-On-PSVR-Shacknews-Preview-Screen.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>I tried out the demo at E3 Judges Week at the Sony event. After strapping on the PSVR, I went through some brief tutorials to get myself&nbsp;acquainted with the controls. Creed: Rise to Glory uses the PlayStation Move controllers in conjunction with the PS4 Camera to track your moves.The game's controls are super intuitive. Players can jab, cross, hook, and uppercut their opponent with similar ease to actually boxing. The game also rewards players who are able to block punches and wait for their perfect time to strike.</p> <p>There are certainly some gameplay mechanics that are truly unique to VR. When your opponent lands a solid punch on you, your character will remained stunned until you place your hands in the same manner as they appear on screen. Another new mechanic that is a callback to Survios' Sprint Vector game is called "Phantom Melee." If players are unfortunate enough to get knocked down, they are cast way outside the ring and have to swing their hands in similar motion as Sprint Vector to get back to their body before the countdown hits ten. This is a truly immersive way to capture the struggle of getting up that is a lot more innovative than mashing the A button in Punch Out.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/get-up-lil-mac.gif" alt="" width="700" height="656" style="undefined" /></div> <p>I was able to wreck my CPU opponent with ease after he got a few early licks in. At one point I was so immersed in the game that I accidentally ripped off the headphones I was wearing while blocking and proceeded to complete the demo without them on. Creed: Rise to Glory was definitely a solid workout, much like Sprint Vector, and it is awesome to see Survios bring such a beloved movie franchise (with some very special voice actors) to virtual reality. This VR title will certainly scratch the boxing itch for fans of the sport while remaining accessible and fun to folks who don't know Mike Tyson from Tyson Chicken Wings.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 23 May 2018 06:00:00 PDT Asif Khan God of War and Far Cry 5 Headline April NPD Video Game Sales Report http://www.shacknews.com/article/105065/god-of-war-and-far-cry-5-headline-april-npd-video-game-sales-report http://www.shacknews.com/article/105065/god-of-war-and-far-cry-5-headline-april-npd-video-game-sales-report <p>Players who have been curious to learn how April of 2018 stacked up in the video game sales market can wonder no more. Industry analyst Mat Piscatella of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/home/" target="_blank">The NPD Group</a> has put together a new report concerning all video game and related sales for last month, and perhaps unsurprisingly, big games like God of War and Far Cry 5 made the top of the sales list.</p> <p>The report indicates that dollar sales of game software rose all the way up to $359 million in April, a growth of 13 percent compared to the same period last year. Overall software spending is also up nine percent year over year, which now puts the figure at a smooth $1.9 billion.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/K0u_kAWLJOA" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Naturally,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104435/guide-collectibles-and-walkthrough---god-of-war">God of War</a> was the best selling game in April, earning the highest profit ever garnered by a PlayStation exclusive during its launch month. The game's success actually helped April 2018 reach the highest-ever dollar sales figure per month since recording began back in 1995.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104024/guide-collectibles-and-walkthrough---far-cry-5">Far Cry 5</a> wasn't too far behind God of War, ranking second in overall April sales, and the Nintendo Labo Variety Kit had a strong showing, coming in fourth behind third ranking entry <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/mlb-the-show-18">MLB 18: The Show</a>.</p> <p>Hardware sales also managed to increase year over year by 15%, rising all the way up to $225 million for the month. The rise is similar when viewed year-to-date, as hardware spending increased by 14$ overall to a whopping $1.2 billion for the period. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/playstation-4">PlayStation 4</a> once again topped these sales figures, with the Limited Edition God of War PlayStation 4 Pro 1TB model earning the highest number in dollar sales. The&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/nintendo-switch">Nintendo Switch</a> with standard Red/Blue Joy-Con controllers lead the hardware sales in overall volume. </p> Tue, 22 May 2018 16:30:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Overwatch League Standings After Stage 4, Week 1 http://www.shacknews.com/article/105064/overwatch-league-standings-after-stage-4-week-1 http://www.shacknews.com/article/105064/overwatch-league-standings-after-stage-4-week-1 <p>The last leg of the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/101828/a-guide-to-the-12-overwatch-league-teams">Overwatch League</a> regular season has begun. Stage 4 means there's only a few weeks for the Overwatch League teams to try and stake their position in the playoffs. However, with $125,000 on the line in the individual Stage 4 playoffs, even those at the bottom of the standings still have something to play for. No matter what, there's a lot of money on the line. And for those teams who do make the postseason, they have a crack at winning the first Overwatch League championship in <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104837/first-overwatch-league-grand-finals-will-be-played-in-barclays-center">Brooklyn</a>.</p> <p>As Overwatch continues to move forward, most recently with Tuesday's <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/105050/overwatch-patch-12401-begins-anniversary-nerfs-brigitte-a-little-more"> Update</a>, it's important to remember that Stage 4 is being contested under version 1.22.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>An update on Overwatch League Stage 4 <a href="https://t.co/CREJEA13Vq">pic.twitter.com/CREJEA13Vq</a></p> &mdash; Nate Nanzer (@natenanzer) <a href="https://twitter.com/natenanzer/status/996433020008652800?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 15, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>So for anyone who misses the dominant Brigitte, at least it's possible to live on vicariously through the pros of the Overwatch League.</p> <p>Now let's take a look at the current standings.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/London_Spitfire_entrance_5-19-18.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467" /> <p class="caption">Photo credits: Blizzard Entertainment</p> </div> <h2>Overwatch League Standings After Stage 4, Week 1 (Win-Loss, Map Differential)</h2> <ul> <li>1. New York Excelsior (29-3, +73)</li> <li>2. Boston Uprising (22-10, +23)</li> <li>3. London Spitfire (20-12, +32)</li> <li>4. Los Angeles Valiant (20-12, +24)</li> <li>5. Philadelphia Fusion (20-12, +15)</li> <li>6. Seoul Dynasty (19-13, +16)</li> </ul> <ul> <li>7. Houston Outlaws (18-14, +19)</li> <li>8. Los Angeles Gladiators (18-14, +11)</li> <li>9. San Francisco Shock (13-19, -14)</li> <li>10. Dallas Fuel (7-25, -49)</li> <li>11. Florida Mayhem (6-26, -58)</li> <li>12. Shanghai Dragons (0-32, -92)</li> </ul> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Pan-Seung__-Fate-_Koo_and_Indy_-Space-_Halpern_5-16-18.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467" style="undefined" /></div> <h2>Game of the Week</h2> <p>While New York appears to have its place at the top of the standings, it seems to be the 4, 5, and 6 teams that are going at it and trading places to try and lock down as high a seed as possible. The first day of Stage 4 say the Seoul Dynasty face off with the Los Angeles Valiant. And while Seoul went into the week with a solid fourth place spot, the Valiant sought to take their spot.</p> <p>It didn't look like Seoul was about to toppled, though, especially after they took the first map on Blizzard World with authority. But the Valiant rebounded quickly, taking Horizon Lunar Colony and Lijiang Tower, before completely asserting themselves on the fifth tiebreaker map on Nepal. With Brady "Agilities" Girardi helping lead the way as Junkrat and Pharah and Terence "SoOn" Tarlier eventually calming his nerves enough to go on a tear with Widowmaker, the Valiant opened this Stage 4 as one of the teams to beat.</p> <p>Relive the full match below.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://player.twitch.tv/?autoplay=false&amp;video=v262249518" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <hr /> <h2>Stage 4, Week 2 Schedule</h2> <p>This is the schedule for the first week of Stage 4:</p> <ul> <li>Boston Uprising v. Dallas Fuel - 5/23, 4PM PT</li> <li>Florida Mayhem v. Los Angeles Valiant - 5/23, 6PM PT</li> <li>Houston Outlaws v. Los Angeles Gladiators - 5/23, 8PM PT</li> </ul> <ul> <li>London Spitfire v. San Francisco Shock - 5/24, 4PM PT</li> <li>Los Angeles Gladiators v. Florida Mayhem - 5/24, 6PM PT</li> <li>Philadelphia Fusion v. Shanghai Dragons - 5/24, 8PM PT</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Los Angeles Valiant v. Boston Uprising - 5/25, 4PM PT</li> <li>New York Excelsior v. Seoul Dynasty - 5/25, 6PM PT</li> <li>San Francisco Shock v. Houston Outlaws - 5/25, 8PM PT</li> </ul> <ul> <li>Seoul Dynasty v. London Spitfire - 5/26, 1PM PT</li> <li>Shanghai Dragons v. New York Excelsior - 5/26, 3PM PT</li> <li>Dallas Fuel v. Philadelphia Fusion - 5/26, 5PM PT</li> </ul> <p>All of the action can be seen on the Overwatch League <a href="https://www.twitch.tv/overwatchleague" target="blank">Twitch</a> channel or on the <a href="https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/" target="blank">Overwatch League website</a>.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 16:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Happy Hour: A Tuesday Treat http://www.shacknews.com/article/105063/happy-hour-a-tuesday-treat http://www.shacknews.com/article/105063/happy-hour-a-tuesday-treat <p><span>Welcome to Happy Hour, our new Twitch gaming talk show. Today, the gang chats about&nbsp;Days Gone, Fortnite jetpacks, Unreal Gold, and more while playing a few games. Join the Shacknews TeamSpeak server if you'd like to get in on the action. We are going live at 5 PM ET on the&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.twitch.tv/shacknews/" target="_blank">Shacknews Twitch channel</a><span>. Check it out!</span></p> <p><iframe width="620" height="378" src="https://player.twitch.tv/?channel=shacknews" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" scrolling="no"></iframe><a href="https://www.twitch.tv/shacknews?tt_content=text_link&amp;tt_medium=live_embed" style="padding: 2px 0px 4px; display: block; width: 345px; font-weight: normal; font-size: 10px; text-decoration: underline;">Watch live video from Shacknews on www.twitch.tv</a></p> <p>Tune into Shacknews every weekday afternoon for some live streamed hijinks! The VOD will be added to the post the same day after the stream is complete.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 14:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Special Olympics & Xbox Team Up For First Gaming Tournament At The USA Games http://www.shacknews.com/article/105062/special-olympics--xbox-team-up-for-first-gaming-tournament-at-the-usa-games http://www.shacknews.com/article/105062/special-olympics--xbox-team-up-for-first-gaming-tournament-at-the-usa-games <p>The 2018 USA Games takes place July 1-6 in Seattle this year,&nbsp;bringing together more than 4,000 athletes and coaches for 14 Olympic&nbsp;team and individual sports. Today, Special Olympics USA Games announced that it is hosting its first ever gaming tournament with Microsoft as the premier partner.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"> <p>We&rsquo;re excited to announce that we&rsquo;re sponsoring the first gaming tournament with the Special Olympics at the USA Games later this summer in Seattle <a href="https://t.co/pm3GKwrrRD">https://t.co/pm3GKwrrRD</a></p> &mdash; Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) <a href="https://twitter.com/XboxP3/status/998957863476256770?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">May 22, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async="" src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script> <p>&ldquo;Many of our athletes are avid gamers and research indicates playing video games can potentially boost cognitive and motor skills of people with intellectual disabilities,&rdquo; said Beth Knox, President <g class="gr_ gr_1323 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="1323" data-gr-id="1323">and</g> CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. &ldquo;We are thrilled to partner with Xbox to bring the first-ever video gaming tournament to the USA Games. We hope everyone will come out and support the competitors in this pilot event.&rdquo;</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/special-olympics-usa-games-microsoft-xbox-partnership-first-tournament-re3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="317" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The new event is an evolution of the Microsoft's partnership with Special Olympics, which has been ongoing since 2014. Microsoft will provide&nbsp;Xbox gaming stations at the 2018&nbsp;USA Games fan zone, featuring Forza Motorsport 7, Minecraft, Super Lucky's Tale, and more. In the official competition, eight teams will compete in Forza Motorsport 7. The teams will consist of an athlete <g class="gr_ gr_1632 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar replaceWithoutSep" id="1632" data-gr-id="1632">with</g> and an athlete&nbsp;without an intellectual disability.</p> <p>&ldquo;At Microsoft, we believe that gaming is for everyone so we&rsquo;re proud to pilot the first gaming tournament at the Special Olympics USA Games this summer,&rdquo; said Phil Spencer, head of gaming at Microsoft, in the official announcement. &ldquo;Competitive video gaming is enjoyed by players around the world, and our goal with this pilot tournament is to challenge biases and break down barriers while providing an empowering and fun experience for all players.&rdquo;</p> <p>Just last week, <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104979/microsoft-reveals-xbox-adaptive-controller-the-result-of-ablegamers-collaboration" target="_blank">Microsoft revealed the Xbox Adaptive Controller</a>. The versatile device, which revolutionizes the gaming experience for gamers with limited mobility, was created with help from AbleGamers, The Cerebral Palsy Foundation, Craig Hospital, SpecialEffect, and Warfighter Engaged. These partnerships and developments are solid steps for inclusion for gaming communities that deserve more recognition. You can find out more about the 2018 USA Games on the official website.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 14:35:00 PDT Charles Singletary Dreams Interview: Balance Between Creativity and Gameplay http://www.shacknews.com/article/105059/dreams-interview-balance-between-creativity-and-gameplay http://www.shacknews.com/article/105059/dreams-interview-balance-between-creativity-and-gameplay <p>Originally intended to be the showcase software release for the Playstation Move controllers, Dreams has soldiered on through development for what seems like ages. Thankfully, the game appears to be nearing a <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102418/dreams-is-ready-to-wake-up-in-2018" target="_blank">final release in 2018</a>. The Shacknews team were present at Sony&rsquo;s media preview event in Los Angeles last week to get a look at Dreams first hand. We got a chance to speak with Media Molecule Creative Director Mark Healey about the gameplay demo that was shown at the preview event.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7zgsluwYsNs" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Healey helps to answer the question: &ldquo;What is Dreams?&rdquo; Gameplay mechanics and designing the game to accommodate the creative impulses of millions of players were the focus of Mark and his team at Media Molecule. Also discussed are the realities of balancing the design between conventional video game players and creative types who may not be familiar with video game tropes or conventions. The studio has lots of experience with letting users build content within the framework of their games, as they previously made the Little Big Planet games. For an in-depth look at Dreams,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/105025/dreams-hands-on-preview-media-molecules-masterpiece-in-the-making" target="_blank">check out Asif Khan&rsquo;s thoughts</a> on what he played at the Sony preview event.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 13:00:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Days Gone: Exclusive Interview with Game Director Jeff Ross http://www.shacknews.com/article/105057/days-gone-exclusive-interview-with-game-director-jeff-ross http://www.shacknews.com/article/105057/days-gone-exclusive-interview-with-game-director-jeff-ross <p>Days Gone has been in development for a long time. The title makes its public debut way back at <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/95363/e3-2016-days-gone-is-a-zombie-game-behind-the-times" target="_blank">E3 2016 during Sony&rsquo;s press conference</a>. News from Sony and developer SIE Bend was nonexistent until E3 2017, when the game got an extended demonstration and showed off gameplay for the first time publically. In the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/e3-2018" target="_blank">march towards E3 2018</a>, SIE Bend invited some of the gaming press to get a closer look at Days Gone at a Sony preview event last week. The Shacknews team was able to secure an interview with Jeff Ross (not that Jeff Ross), director of Days Gone, and get the scoop on what to expect out of this PS4 zombie apocalypse.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/XPlQ6NDipCw" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Ross explains the action seen in a gameplay demonstration that was shown at the event. Some of the game&rsquo;s mechanics are explained for the first time, including the upgrade system and ways the protagonist can improve his motorcycle. Also discussed are the famous zombie bears that were first seen during the E3 2017 demo. Ross was less than forthcoming on when the game will hit PS4 consoles, stating that the game had a release date, but he couldn&rsquo;t disclose it. Days Gone has many fans excited and landed a spot on our&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103571/most-anticipated-ps4-games-of-2018" target="_blank">Most Anticipated PS4 Games of 2018</a> list.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:40:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Interview: Blackout, MP Changes, and More http://www.shacknews.com/article/105055/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-interview-blackout-mp-changes-and-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/105055/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-interview-blackout-mp-changes-and-more <p>Activision and Treyarch made waves throughout the video game world when they took the wraps off the newest Black Ops game during a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104962/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-live-stream-reveal-time-and-date" target="_blank">preview event held in Los Angeles</a> last week. Black Ops 4 represents the biggest shift in focus ever seen from title to title in the history of the Call of Duty franchise. The biggest change is the absence of a single player campaign mode,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104397/cod-black-ops-4-rumored-to-ditch-campaign-focus-on-multiplayer-and-co-op-modes" target="_blank">a rumor that was finally confirmed onstage</a> at the preview event by Treyarch. Multiplayer and cooperative modes are the sole focus of the development team this time around. While at the preview event, the Shacknews street team got some time to chat with David Vonderhaar, Design Director at Treyarch, and he explained many of the big changes coming to Black Ops 4.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/H6hA95hNX54" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Vonderhaar goes over the revamped Zombies Mode, the new Specialist characters, an overhaul of the healing mechanics, and teases some info on Blackout, the new battle royale mode. We asked about the Nintendo Switch, but Vonderhaar simply offered a "no comment." PC players should make note that Black Ops 4 will be the first Call of Duty title that will not be appearing on Steam. Instead, the game will be hosted <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104996/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-dumps-steam-joins-overwatch-on-battlenet" target="_blank">via the Blizzard App and Battle.net</a>. Publisher Activision owns the Call of Duty franchise and Blizzard, so it makes sense to leverage the resources at their disposal. The company&rsquo;s loot shooter sequel Destiny 2 appeared on Battle.net last fall.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:20:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Heroes of the Storm May 22 Patch Reworks Lunara & Diablo for Nexomania http://www.shacknews.com/article/105054/heroes-of-the-storm-may-22-patch-reworks-lunara--diablo-for-nexomania http://www.shacknews.com/article/105054/heroes-of-the-storm-may-22-patch-reworks-lunara--diablo-for-nexomania <p>Earlier this year, Blizzard pledged to bring&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104665/heroes-of-the-storm-begins-its-lore-push">more lore</a> into Heroes of the Storm, while noting that there would still be plenty of other events the prioritized fun for the sake of fun. The latter has arrived, as Heroes of the Storm goes <a href="https://twitter.com/all_in_2018" target="blank">ALL IN</a> with the Lucha-themed <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104925/heroes-of-the-storms-nexomania-celebrates-lucha-with-skins-mounts-and-more">Nexomania</a> event. That's the best way to celebrate this Rusev Day.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Rusev-Day.gif" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>But this Nexomania is about more than masks, posedowns, pyro, and four-hour pay-per-view events that go on about an hour after they're supposed to end. This latest Heroes of the Storm update offers up some noteworthy reworks to a handful of the game's heroes. The following changes come from the <a href="https://news.blizzard.com/en-us/heroes-of-the-storm/21788602/heroes-of-the-storm-patch-notes-may-22-2018" target="blank">Heroes of the Storm</a> website:</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/rRk1wpD2acc?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>Lunara</h2> <ul> <li><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Abilities</span></b> <ul> <li><b>Nature's Toxin (Trait)</b>: Damage reduced from 34 to 30.</li> <li><b>Wisp (E)</b> <ul> <li>Mana cost removed.</li> <li>Wisp Movement Speed increased by 100%.</li> <li>Vision radius reduced from 7 to 6.</li> <li>Additional functionality: When a Wisp is in a bush for 2 seconds, its vision radius is increased by 75%.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Talents</span></b> <ul> <li><b>Level 1</b> <ul> <li><b>New Talent: Sentinel Wisp (E)</b>: When a Wisp is in a bush for 5 seconds, its vision radius is increased by 200% and reveals the surrounding area.</li> <li><b>Photosynthesis</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Cruel Spores (Q)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Hippity Hop (Z)</b>: After not Basic Attacking or taking damage for 5 seconds, increase the Movement Speed bonus of Dryad's Swiftness by 10%.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 4</b> <ul> <li><b>Timelost Wisp (E)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Skybound Wisp (E)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Dividing Wisp (E)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Blossom Swell (Q)</b>: Moved from Level 1. Additional functionality: Now also increases Noxious Blossom's range by 25%.</li> <li><b>Siphoning Toxin (Trait)</b>: Moved from Level 7. Heal amount reduced from 18 to 9 Health per second. Additional functionality: When an enemy Hero has 3 stacks of Nature's Toxin, this Healing increases to 28 per second.</li> <li><b>Nature's Culling (Trait)</b>: Moved from Level 7.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 7</b> <ul> <li><b>Choking Pollen (Q)</b>: Moved from Level 16. Bonus damage reduced from 125% to 50%. Additional functionality: This damage bonus increases by an additional 50% against enemies who have 3 stacks of Nature's Toxin.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 13</b> <ul> <li><b>Pestering Blossom</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Endless Spores (W)</b>: Casting Crippling Spores while at least 2 enemy Heroes are afflicted with Nature's Toxin reduces its cooldown by 3 seconds.</li> <li><b>Let Them Wither (W)</b>: Moved from Level 16. Adjusted functionality: No longer increases Crippling Spores' Slow amount. Instead, increases Crippling Spores' Slow duration by 1 second and causes it to no longer decay.</li> <li><b>Giant Killer</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Abolish Magic (Active)</b>: Moved from Level 20.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 16</b> <ul> <li><b>New Talent: Accelerated Contamination (Q)</b>: While at least 2 enemy Heroes are afflicted with Nature's Toxin, Noxious Blossom's cooldown recharges 100% faster.</li> <li><b>Invigorating Spores (W)</b>: Attack Speed bonus reduced from 50% to 30%. Additional functionality: Basic Attacks against enemy Heroes with 3 stacks of Nature's Toxin deal damage equal to 1.5% of their maximum Health.</li> <li><b>Unfair Advantage (Trait)</b>: Moved from Level 13. Bonus damage increased from 50% to 60%. Now also deals this bonus damage to Rooted and Stunned Heroes.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 20</b>: <ul> <li><b>Forest's Wrath (R)</b>: No longer increases Thornwood Vine's speed. Additional functionality: Thornwood Vine now applies 2 stacks of Nature's Toxin.</li> <li><b>Boundless Stride (R)</b>: Additional functionality: Now also decreases the Leaping Strike&rsquo;s cooldown by 5 seconds.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Intensifying Toxin (Trait)</b>: Nature's Toxin deals 40% more damage to enemies afflicted with 3 stacks.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>While Lunara gets some new gameplay additions related to her Wisps, Blizzard is aiming at adding some new fiery abiltiies to Diablo. He's the second hero to get a major rework, not only getting some new attacks and abilities, but also getting some new ways to heal himself. Here's what he looks like:</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/bURk4rqh-zU?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <h2>Diablo</h2> <ul> <li><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Abilities</span></b> <ul> <li><b>Shadow Charge (Q)</b> <ul> <li>Range increased from 7 to 8.5.</li> <li>Mana cost increased from 60 to 70.</li> <li>Damage reduced from 75 to 40.</li> <li>Terrain collision damage reduced from 150 to 120.</li> <li>No longer grants Armor.</li> <li>Now also increases Movement Speed by 15% for 2 seconds.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Fire Stomp (W)</b> <ul> <li>Now unleashes fire waves in a large cone in the chosen direction, rather than a 360 degree area around Diablo.</li> <li>Number of fire waves reduced from 8 to 5.</li> <li>Multiple fire waves can now hit the same target.</li> <li>Cooldown increased from 6 to 8 seconds.</li> <li>Mana cost reduced from 40 to 30.</li> <li>Outgoing fire wave damage reduced from 54 to 12.</li> <li>Returning fire wave damage reduced from 81 to 36. Damage dealt by returning fire waves now counts as critical damage.</li> <li>Now Heals Diablo for 125% of the damage dealt to Heroes.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Overpower (E)</b> <ul> <li>Mana cost reduced from 60 to 40.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Lightning Breath (R)</b> <ul> <li>Range increased from 10.5 to 12.</li> <li>Each tick of Lightning Breath damage now also Slows enemies hit by 5% for 2 seconds, up to a maximum of 50%.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <ul> <li><b><span style="text-decoration: underline;">Talents</span></b> <ul> <li><b>Level 1</b> <ul> <li><b>New Talent: Feast on Fear (Passive)</b>: Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower Heals Diablo for 15% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds.</li> <li><b>Soul Shield (Active)</b> Moved from Level 7. New functionality: Activate to gain Spell Armor equal to 25 plus 50% of Diablo's current Souls for 4 seconds. 60 second cooldown. Every time Diablo damages an enemy Hero, reduce this cooldown by 1 second.</li> <li><b>Bulwark (Q)</b>: Removed.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 4</b> <ul> <li><b>New Talent: Sacrificial Soul (Q)</b>: Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge grants 5 Souls and 15 Armor for 4 seconds. While at 100 Souls, increase this Armor to 30.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Souls to the Flame (W)</b>: Fire Stomp grants 1 Soul every 3 times it damages an enemy Hero and Heals for an additional 1.25% of its damage dealt per Soul.</li> <li><b>Life Leech (Passive)</b>: Moved from Level 1. New functionality: Diablo gains 1 Soul and Heals for 1.5% of his maximum Health for every Basic Attack against an enemy Hero. While at 100 Souls, increase this Healing to 3% of his maximum Health.</li> <li><b>From the Shadows (Q)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Speed Demon (Passive)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Demonic Strength (E)</b>: Removed.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 7</b> <ul> <li><b>New Talent: Eternal Flames (W)</b>: When Diablo Stuns an enemy Hero with Overpower or Shadow Charge, Fire Stomp&rsquo;s cooldown is reset.</li> <li><b>Malevolence (Passive)</b>: Using Basic Abilities causes Diablo&rsquo;s next Basic Attack within 6 seconds to deal an additional 100 Spell Damage. Stores up to 2 charges.</li> <li><b>Soul Feast (Trait)</b>: Removed.</li> <li><b>Diabolical Momentum (Passive)</b>: Basic Attacks now also reduce Fire Stomp's cooldown. Cooldown reduction granted per Basic Attack decreased from 1.5 to 0.75 seconds.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 13</b> <ul> <li><b>Devastating Charge (Q)</b>: Adjusted functionality: Now increases Shadow Charge's terrain collision damage by 100%, rather than a percentage of the target&rsquo;s maximum Health. <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Quest</span>: Each time an enemy Hero takes terrain collision damage, increase this bonus by 15%, to a maximum of 75%.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Cruelty (Passive)</b>: Stunning an enemy Hero with Shadow Charge or Overpower increases Diablo's Attack Speed by 50% for 5 seconds, up to 100%.</li> <li><b>Hellfire (W)</b>: New functionality: Each enemy Hero hit by Fire Stomp grants 2% Spell Power for 10 seconds, up to 30%.</li> <li><b>Fire Devil (W)</b>: Removed.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 16</b> <ul> <li><b>Debilitating Flames (W)</b>: New functionality: Enemy Heroes hit by Fire Stomp are Slowed by 5% for 4 seconds, up to 50%. Heroes Slowed 25% or more by Debilitating Flames deal 50% less damage.</li> <li><b>New Talent: Overpowering Nightmare (E)</b>: Gain 2 additional charges of Overpower, with a 2 second cooldown between uses.</li> <li><b>Fearful Presence (Active)</b>: Removed.</li> </ul> </li> <li><b>Level 20</b> <ul> <li><b>Dying Breath (R)</b>: Now reduces Apocalypse's cooldown by 20 seconds per enemy Hero hit (to a minimum total cooldown of 5 seconds), rather than reducing its cooldown by a static amount.</li> <li><b>Hellstorm (R)</b>: No longer increases Lightning Breath's range. Bonus duration increased from 50% to 200%.</li> <li><b>Lord of Terror (Active)</b>: Now also grants 5 Souls per enemy Hero hit.</li> </ul> </li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><iframe width="700" height="349" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0U3VF3id8Kw?rel=0" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>These changes are now up and running. Nexomania is set to run through June 11 and the festivities begin with the player selecting their tag team partner: La Parca Lunara or La Pantera Sonya. Each offers different rewards, but only one can be chosen and there's no taking that choice back.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 12:05:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Hearthstone Update 11.1.1 Nerfs Quest Rogue, Wrecks Even Paladin http://www.shacknews.com/article/105053/hearthstone-update-1111-nerfs-quest-rogue-wrecks-even-paladin http://www.shacknews.com/article/105053/hearthstone-update-1111-nerfs-quest-rogue-wrecks-even-paladin <p>With a snap of their fingers, the folks at Blizzard's Team 5 have made Hearthstone just a little more balanced. That includes both Standard and Wild, as a handful of problematic cards have been brought down a notch and made a little more fair.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Uther-So.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="467" /> <p class="caption">"So. Your Even Paladin deck is ruined."</p> </div> <p>As noted in the <a href="https://us.battle.net/forums/en/hearthstone/topic/20764426707" target="blank">Hearthstone forums</a>, the following cards have been changed:</p> <ul> <li><b>Naga Sea Witch</b>: Now costs 8 mana. (Up from 5)</li> <li><b>Spiteful Summoner</b>: Now costs 7 mana. (Up from 6)</li> <li><b>Dark Pact</b>: Now Restores 4 Health. (Down from 8)</li> <li><b>Possessed Lackey</b>: Now costs 6 mana. (Up from 5)</li> <li><b>Call to Arms</b>: Now costs 5 mana. (Up from 4)</li> <li><b>The Caverns Below</b>: The quest reward (<b>Crystal Core</b>) now reads: For the rest of the game, your minions are 4/4. (Down from 5/5)</li> </ul> <p>Shacknews previously went into a <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104940/hearthstone---analyzing-the-upcoming-update-112-nerfs-and-changes">deeper dive analysis</a> on these changes and what they mean to the Hearthstone meta going forward. This includes helping the Quest Rogue cope with these changes and looking at what the Even Paladin can do now that Call to Arms is no longer available to them. While many of these cards are still practical, those looking to dust them can get the full value of each card from now through June 5.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 11:00:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia In Fortnite 4.2 Update Patch Notes, Jetpack Arrives & Solid Gold Event Returns http://www.shacknews.com/article/105052/in-fortnite-42-update-patch-notes-jetpack-arrives--solid-gold-event-returns http://www.shacknews.com/article/105052/in-fortnite-42-update-patch-notes-jetpack-arrives--solid-gold-event-returns <p>In Fortnite, the game is about to change in a big way.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103592/fortnite-hunting-rifle-replaces-previously-touted-jetpack" target="_blank">Jetpacks were delayed back in February</a> and replaced with a new hunting rifle, but the high-flying accessory is finally here. In addition to introducing the new backpack item in update&nbsp;4.2, the all-legendary-drops limited time event returns for round two with a shotgun and jetpack event coming this weekend.</p> <p>Something of note that comes with the addition of the jetpack is the introduction of the "backpack" item type. This first addition changes things up along by giving players limited flight in the Battle Royale mode for Fortnite, but could open up the door for more gameplay modifications in the future. Could there be some ghostbusting in the Save The World mode? One could hope.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/mRnx9CeYP8g"></iframe></p> <p>The full <a href="https://www.epicgames.com/fortnite/en-US/patch-notes/v4-2-contentupdate" target="_blank">patch notes for Fortnite v4.2 can be found on the official website</a>, but we've got the highlights below:</p> <h2>Patch Note Highlights</h2> <p><strong>Battle Royale</strong></p> <ul> <li>Jetpack added <ul> <li>Legendary rarity</li> <li>Found in treasure chests</li> <li>The first of new "Backpack" items: <g class="gr_ gr_2091 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="2091" data-gr-id="2091">Only</g> one carried at a time, <g class="gr_ gr_2092 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="2092" data-gr-id="2092">takes</g> an inventory slot, can be moved to different positions, cannot be used alongside targeting mode</li> </ul> </li> <li>Limited Time Mode: Solid Gold v2 <ul> <li>All weapon drops are legendary</li> <li>50% extra stone and metal resources gained from farming</li> </ul> </li> <li>Limited Time Mode: Close Encounters (available Friday, May 25) <ul> <li>Shotgun &amp; Jetpack combat</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p><strong>Save The World</strong></p> <ul> <li>Doubled weekly limit for flux in the weekly store (available Wednesday, May 23)</li> <li>Archaeolo-Jess, a new outlander&nbsp;hero, added to the event store (available Wednesday, May 23)</li> </ul> <p>Stay tuned to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/chatty" target="_blank">Shacknews</a> for more updates!</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 10:55:00 PDT Charles Singletary Unreal Gold is Free on GOG.com for 48 Hours to Celebrate 20th Anniversary (Update: Also Steam!) http://www.shacknews.com/article/105051/unreal-gold-is-free-on-gogcom-for-48-hours-to-celebrate-20th-anniversary-update-also-steam http://www.shacknews.com/article/105051/unreal-gold-is-free-on-gogcom-for-48-hours-to-celebrate-20th-anniversary-update-also-steam <p>Through much of the history of Shacknews, anyone who considers themselves to be a part of this community at some point or another has been asked "Quake or UT?" There are many fans of Quake and many fans of Unreal Tournament who have frequented the Shacknews pages over the years. But what about those who have not discovered the magic of the latter's predecessor, the original Unreal? The same Unreal that first released 20 years ago today?</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Unreal-3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="560" /></div> <p>Unreal was first released in 1998 by the folks at Epic MegaGames (now simply Epic Games), serving as one of the first real outings for the original Unreal Engine and also as one of the earliest designer credits for a young Cliff Bleszinski. Now this pioneer in the first-person shooter genre is on GOG.com and going for absolutely free.</p> <p>In Unreal, players step onto an unknown and dangerous planet called Na Pali, where they must survive the hostile Skaarj and find a way off the planet. In addition to the numerous single-player missions, the Return to Na Pali expansion is also included.</p> <p>Unreal ranked #91 on the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/86404/shacknews-chatty-communitys-top-100-pc-games-of-all-time-100-80">Shacknews Chatty Community's Top 100 PC Games of All-Time</a> list. Looking to see what made this such a classic? Pick it up for free from <a href="https://www.gog.com/game/unreal_gold" target="blank">GOG.com</a>. This deal is set to last until Wednesday at 10AM PT.</p> <p><strong>Update</strong>: The Steam version of Unreal Gold is also available for free. Visit&nbsp;<a href="https://store.steampowered.com/app/13250/Unreal_Gold/" target="_blank">Steam</a> in the next 48 hours to claim your copy.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 10:25:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Overwatch Patch Begins Anniversary, Nerfs Brigitte A Little More http://www.shacknews.com/article/105050/overwatch-patch-12401-begins-anniversary-nerfs-brigitte-a-little-more http://www.shacknews.com/article/105050/overwatch-patch-12401-begins-anniversary-nerfs-brigitte-a-little-more <p>The <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104941/overwatch-anniversary-event-includes-petra-deathmatch-map--first-free-for-all-competitive-season">Overwatch Anniversary</a> has begun. There are copious amounts of new skins out there, along with a new <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/105022/overwatch-trailer-steps-into-the-deathmatch-temple-of-petra">Free-For-All Deathmatch map</a>, for those who balk at concepts like "teamwork" and "togetherness."</p> <p>But Tuesday's patch also includes a few reworks for some of the game's heroes, including even more nerfs for the newest one. These changes originally debuted on the PTR earlier this month and are now making their way across the rest of the game. According to the <a href="https://us.forums.blizzard.com/en/overwatch/t/all-overwatch-patch-notes-may-22-2018/107944" target="blank">Overwatch forums</a>, players can look forward to some further adjustments for Brigitte, along with a couple of buffs for Ana and a noteworthy nerf for Hanzo.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Overwatch-Brigitte-003.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <h2>Brigitte</h2> <ul> <li><b>Rally</b>: Maximum armor per player reduced from 150 to 100</li> <li><b>Shield Bash</b>: Cooldown increased from 5 to 6 seconds</li> </ul> <p>Brigitte's nerfs pile on to the big one introduced during the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104171/overwatch-prepares-for-retribution-and-new-rialto-map-next-week">May 3 Rialto</a> patch. That patch reduced the cone angle of her Shield Bash. Now her Shield Bash has a longer cooldown to go along with that. Also, the maximum armor from her Rally further brings her down to the level of other heroes while keeping it relatively useful.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Overwatch-Ana-004.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="423" /></div> <h2>Ana</h2> <ul> <li><b>Biotic Rifle</b> <ul> <li>Projectiles will now pass through allies with full health</li> <li>Ammo increased from 10 to 14</li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p>Ana's changes are pretty interesting, because they open the door to some sick trick shots. If a skilled Ana player can spot a teammate that needs a hand, there's a chance to plan a shot that goes through a fully-healed teammate and reaches the teammate in need. More novice heroes can also try and rapid fire their way to healing everyone, since Ana now has some additional ammo available.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Overwatch-Hanzo-1.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="401" /></div> <h2>Hanzo</h2> <ul> <li><b>Storm Arrows</b>: Damage reduced from 80 to 70</li> </ul> <p>Hanzo's recent rework left him a little too powerful. Fortunately, Blizzard has recognized the overwhelming power of his new Storm Arrows. The Overwatch team has taken Hanzo's other changes into account and scaled back the damage of these powerful new weapons.</p> <p>Overwatch's patch is available now across all platforms.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 10:05:00 PDT Ozzie Mejia Sea of Thieves Patch Notes 1.0.8 Include Previously-Removed Item Sharing Feature http://www.shacknews.com/article/105049/sea-of-thieves-patch-notes-108-include-previously-removed-item-sharing-feature http://www.shacknews.com/article/105049/sea-of-thieves-patch-notes-108-include-previously-removed-item-sharing-feature <p>As promised, Sea of Thieves has received constant after-release support in the form of updates, and the latest one &ndash; Update 1.0.8 &ndash; includes a multitude of bug fixes, color blind support, and updates to those damnable squawking chickens. This latest patch isn&rsquo;t expected to arrive until Wednesday, but Rare has let us all take a look at&nbsp;<a href="https://www.seaofthieves.com/release-notes">the patch notes</a> a bit early.</p> <p>One of the most important features in video games is color blind support, and Sea of Thieves has finally received this essential tool. Players who struggle to see certain colors (especially those red Xs on treasure maps) can now opt for a high contrast X that appears as a white X with a black outline. It&rsquo;s a small change, but one that should grant more accessibility to players that need it.</p> <p>Caged chickens have now been calmed down. No longer will a galleon full of chickens wake the dead as they&rsquo;re ferried to the Merchant Alliance. This wasn&rsquo;t the only audio-based update, as an on-screen icon will now display whenever your voice is being broadcast in-game. A host of audio updates has also hit the Legendary Hideout for those pirates who have reached that status already!</p> <p>Finally, as mentioned in the title, item sharing has been re-added after being removed shortly after update 1.0.7 went live. The issues it caused have been fixed and everything should be working as intended (hopefully). Now players can give one another bananas or cannonballs without running back to the ship or looking for barrels on an island.</p> <h2>Download and Installation</h2> <p>Download size:</p> <ul> <li>Xbox One: 800MB</li> <li>Xbox One X: 800MB</li> <li>Windows 10: 800MB</li> </ul> <p>For Windows 10 players struggling to get the game to update, check out our guide on <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104285/how-to-update-sea-of-thieves-on-pc">how to update Sea of Thieves on PC</a>.</p> <h2>Updates</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Loud-Chicken-Sea-of-Thieves-108.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <ul> <li>On to the Next! - Players can now discard unwanted voyages within the Quick Menu. No more having to propose them on the Captain's Table and cancel them!</li> <li>Did You Hear That? - When you are transmitting voice over your mic, an icon will now appear on screen to let you know that you are doing so.</li> <li>Stories Untold - Players will now come across more Lore books on their adventures.</li> <li>Give and Take - Resource Crates which are being held by players can now have items put into or removed from them.</li> <li>Distressed Chickens - The unsettling sound of a squawking chicken whilst caged is now... more bearable.</li> <li>Music of Legends - The musical sting that plays when entering the Legendary Hideout has been updated.</li> <li>Updated Voice Lines - Legendary Tavernkeeper Louise, the Pirate Lord and the Order of Souls NPC Olivia now have new ghostly-sounding voice lines.</li> <li>Visual Effects - Improved multiple VFX of weapon impact to grass terrain, and cannon impact to water.</li> <li>Icons - Updated the Chests UI to make it clearer that players can scroll through the filter tabs. Icons are now also prettier, bigger and generally better.</li> <li>Out Of Stock - Shipwrights and Weaponsmiths will no longer stock the eight cosmetic pieces which weren&rsquo;t visually distinct enough.</li> <li>Launch Crew Eye of Reach - We kept it in for an extra week due to its popularity, but this time-limited item has now been removed from the weapon shops!</li> </ul> <h2>Player Settings</h2> <ul> <li>Colour Blind Accessibility - There is now a High Contrast 'X Marks the Spot' option in the Accessibility Settings. Enabling this will change the red X on the map to white with a black outline, which we understand will be easier to view for red-green colour blind pirates.</li> <li>Aim Sensitivity Slider - Player can customise their controller and mouse sensitivity specifically when aiming with each ranged weapon. The Blunderbuss, Flintlock Pistol and Eye of Reach each have their own slider to adjust.</li> <li>Shhh! - Additional muting options have been added to "My Crew". These now include the ability to mute voice, text chat and non-verbal phrases separately.</li> </ul> <h2>Performance Improvements</h2> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Gunplay-Lag-Sea-of-Thieves-108.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <ul> <li>Whilst on the ship and in multi-ship scenarios, performance has been improved.</li> <li>Server optimisations to reduce latency.</li> <li>Frame rates while streaming islands have been improved.</li> <li>Improved gunplay in high-latency network conditions.</li> <li>Multiple server and client crash fixes. Further improvements and optimisations for all platforms are ongoing.</li> </ul> <h2>Fixed Issues</h2> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/2dSkU9zDfIA" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <ul> <li>Issues with giving items have been resolved and the feature is now re-enabled.</li> <li>Skeleton Fort keys will no longer drop into inaccessible locations.</li> <li>Dates displayed on pocket watches will no longer go out of sync.</li> <li>Fixed areas on Smugglers Bay and Plunder Valley where Bounty Skeletons were not spawning.</li> <li>Pirates should no longer lose their clothing upon respawning after death.</li> <li>Changing your bucket at the equipment chest will make the water spill out instead of just vanishing. So be careful not to flood your ship!</li> <li>Players should no longer encounter an issue where they are unable to interact with reward items floating in the water once they leave the area and return.</li> <li>Barrels of Plenty no longer disappear when respawning onto your ship after death.</li> <li>Improved skeleton movement in Skeleton Forts.</li> <li>Instruments will no longer sound muffled / cut out when being played on the back of a sloop.</li> <li>Opening the vanity chest multiple times in a short span of time will no longer cause your pirate preview to stop appearing.</li> <li>It is now possible to loot all items in Skeleton Fort vaults.</li> <li>The prompt to talk to the Merchant Alliance NPC on Sanctuary Outpost is no longer missing her name.</li> <li>Chicken movement should no longer appear jittery.</li> <li>Pirate Legend band in the Hideout now play audible shanties.</li> <li>The legendary Tavernkeeper was loading the wrong text loadout &ndash; the correct text loadout has been rebound to the NPC.</li> <li>Players will no longer incorrectly hear ambient sounds (storms/rain/birds) after using a mermaid, exiting the Ferry or being teleported after getting stuck.</li> </ul> <p>These Sea of Thieves&rsquo; updates and improvements appear to happen every week, which is a nice rhythm to be in as problems that were once plaguing certain players are being addressed. We&rsquo;re now a little under a week until <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104990/hungering-deep-inside-xbox-stream-details-latest-sea-of-thieves-content">The Hunger Deep surfaces in Sea of Thieves</a>, and we here at Shacknews are preparing to tackle whatever monster pokes its ugly head above the waves!</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 10:00:00 PDT Sam Chandler Sony CEO Says PS4 Entering End of Its Life Cycle, PSVR Growth Below Market Expectations http://www.shacknews.com/article/105048/sony-ceo-says-ps4-entering-end-of-its-life-cycle-psvr-growth-below-market-expectations http://www.shacknews.com/article/105048/sony-ceo-says-ps4-entering-end-of-its-life-cycle-psvr-growth-below-market-expectations <p>The PlayStation 4 hit the scene on November 15,&nbsp;2013, and has <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/102746/ps4-console-sales-down-in-2017-software-sales-skyrocket" target="_blank">moved over 70 million units since</a>. Hardware sales are slowing up while software continues to climb and, almost five years later, Sony's PS4 is entering the final phase of its lifecycle.</p> <p><a href="https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-05-22-sony-prepares-for-the-final-phase-of-playstation-4s-lifecycle" target="_blank">GameIndustry.biz reports</a>&nbsp;via a Wall Street Journal reporter that Sony's management has expressed to investors that the final phase of the PS4 is upon us. The news comes from a presentation led by Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida where the team set the expectation that the bulk of profit will come from services instead of hardware.</p> <p>The report goes into further detail regarding Sony's strategy going forward:</p> <blockquote>"In an official statement about the strategy, Sony emphasized the importance of expanding the audience for PlayStation Network, which has annual sales exceeding &yen;1 trillion and more than 80 million MAUs. Key metrics used to measure progress will be frequency of logins and time spent per session, while Sony also said it aims to increase subscriber numbers for PlayStation Plus.</blockquote> <blockquote>Kodera said that Sony would be investing in more exclusive games for PlayStation platforms, including both new IP and refreshing existing IPs. However he described the period leading up to March 2021 as a time for SIE to "crouch down" while preparing for more growth after that point."</blockquote> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/OSdWQKTPcT4"></iframe></p> <p>The PlayStation 4's massive install base, refocusing on services and software should serve the company well as the company begins its transition to their next console. PSVR, on the other hand, was presented as a challenging area that needs improvement alongside the PlayStation Vue platform.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 09:35:00 PDT Charles Singletary Rec Room Devs Add Free, Cross-Platform VR Battle Royale Mode http://www.shacknews.com/article/105047/rec-room-devs-add-free-cross-platform-vr-battle-royale-mode http://www.shacknews.com/article/105047/rec-room-devs-add-free-cross-platform-vr-battle-royale-mode <p>There are a handful of social VR games that give gamers a chance to interact and play a host of mini-games with friends or strangers and Against Gravity's <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/98308/top-10-vr-games-of-2016" target="_blank">Rec Room is one of the premier ones</a>. Paintball, charades, and other experiences are already part of Rec Room's bundle of fun, but a new one is on the way: Battle Royale. On June 7, 2018, Rec Royale will have 16 players fighting to survive in the wilds of a national park.</p> <p>In the <a href="https://blog.us.playstation.com/2018/05/21/rec-room-for-ps-vr-gets-free-new-rec-royale-mode-june-7/" target="_blank">PlayStation blog post</a>, Against Gravity's community designer Shawn Whiting recognizes the many players that have been using Rec Room's custom room, maker pen, and sandbox machine mechanics to create experiences inspired by&nbsp;the battle royale game mode. "<span>These player-created rooms, along with persistent community feedback, gave us a clear signal that players were hungry for something like Rec Royale," he says.<br /></span></p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/rec-room-battle-royale-16-player-national-park-free-cross-platform.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="378" style="undefined" /></div> <p><span>16 players will maneuver through and around camps, mountains, forests, outposts, ravines, and lakes as they seek out loot. A new backpack system has been added, allowing for quick swapping and storing of weapons and power-ups. PlayStation Plus users will receive an exclusive paintball burst rifle skin, but the game doesn't require a subscription. It's also cross-platform and free.</span></p> <p>Rec Royale will go live on June 7, but a public alpha test will take place from May 25 to May 27. The mode will launch with solos, but Whiting added that support for squads and other modifiers are being researched. Rec Room is available for free on HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PSVR. Stay tuned to Shacknews for more updates.</p> <p></p> Tue, 22 May 2018 08:40:00 PDT Charles Singletary Co-op FPS Earthfall Gets Release Date, Gearbox Handling Physical Publishing Duties http://www.shacknews.com/article/105045/co-op-fps-earthfall-gets-release-date-gearbox-handling-physical-publishing-duties http://www.shacknews.com/article/105045/co-op-fps-earthfall-gets-release-date-gearbox-handling-physical-publishing-duties <p>In the upcoming game&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/103935/gdc-2018-exclusive-earthfall-interview" target="_blank">Earthfall</a> from Holospark, 3D printers and aliens will clash in the co-op survival game for up to four players. The game will hit the Xbox One, PS4, and PC digital storefronts on July 13, 2018, and Gearbox publishing will be bringing physical boxes to retail on the same day.</p> <p>&ldquo;Once we got our hands on Earthfall, we couldn&rsquo;t stop playing it! It's the modern co-op horde shooter we've been missing for so long,&rdquo; said Brad Schliesser, director of sales at Gearbox, in the press release. &ldquo;We knew Earthfall was the perfect addition to our growing publishing efforts at Gearbox.&rdquo;</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ELCpNyoNHqE"></iframe></p> <p>&ldquo;We are excited to bring Earthfall to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on July 13. By partnering with Gearbox Publishing on a physical release, even more fans will be able to get their hands on Earthfall on launch day,&rdquo; said Russell Williams, CEO of Holospark. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve been hard at work on Earthfall since it first launched in Early Access last year, and we&rsquo;re really proud of what the game has become. Our thanks to everyone that played Earthfall and shared their feedback, whether that was on Steam or in-person. You&rsquo;ve helped make the game what is it today.&rdquo;</p> <p><a href="https://www.earthfall.com/media/" target="_blank">Earthfall</a>&nbsp;will land on July 13, 2018, with a $29.99 price tag. A special deluxe edition will be available for $39.99 and will include exclusive character and weapon skins. Stay tuned to Shacknews for additional updates.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 08:05:00 PDT Charles Singletary Star Control: Origins Preview: Space Odyssey http://www.shacknews.com/article/105038/star-control-origins-preview-space-odyssey http://www.shacknews.com/article/105038/star-control-origins-preview-space-odyssey <p>The Star Control series has been around for a number of years and has taken on several iterations in its existence. However, it&rsquo;s now been well over a decade since there&rsquo;s been a real sequel. Fortunately for fans of the classic space <g class="gr_ gr_70 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="70" data-gr-id="70">RPG</g> the team at Stardock is well on their way to bringing the series to the next generation in the form of Star Control: Origins.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/star-control-origins-preview-one.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Origins <g class="gr_ gr_48 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="48" data-gr-id="48">takes</g> place several lifetimes before any of the other games in the franchise. An alien race known as the Scryve have decided that humankind&rsquo;s continued existence is not a great idea and are preparing to wipe the Earth and its inhabitants from the universe. In order to save the Earth and all their stuff on <g class="gr_ gr_52 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="52" data-gr-id="52">it</g> players will have to take on the role of the planet&rsquo;s first interstellar space captain and explore the cosmos for a solution to Earth&rsquo;s impending doom.</p> <p>As players make their way to the stars they&rsquo;ll be entering a universe full of alien races that already have history working for or against each other. This means some races will have a predisposition to a player's existence and others can be persuaded to align with Earthlings, or at least not try to kill them. Doing missions to build relations or gain access to new tech will present themselves as players traverse the 700 stars and 3,000 unique planets that make up the game&rsquo;s map. Players will have the option of staying on course to save the world or getting lost in the many side quests that the universe has to offer.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/star-control-origins-preview-two.png" alt="" width="700" height="391" /></div> <p>When diplomacy fails, players will take on their enemies spaceship to <g class="gr_ gr_67 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="67" data-gr-id="67">spaceship</g> in an Asteroids-style over-the-top battle. Players will be able to accrue up to 16 ships and a get their hands on a number of weapons at their throughout the game including standard blaster shots, a short distance beam that sort of resembles a lightsaber coming out of a ship, or a black hole gun that pulls its targets inward. Surrounding areas will also play a factor in combat with larger objects pulling projectiles into their gravity and spaceships slingshotting around planetoids in order to get a speed boost.</p> <p>Along with exploring the vastness of space, players will be able to use rovers to land on alien planets and explore for minerals and discover hidden secrets. Sometimes there might even be stranded vessels or crew that need rescuing. Overall there will be sixty planets types for players to explore all with varying environments and their own levels of gravity. Landing rovers on planets also <g class="gr_ gr_55 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="55" data-gr-id="55">involves</g> playing a mini-game where you fight against harsh winds in order to land the vehicles within a target area. Landing too far off from the target can damage or even destroy a rover.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/star-control-origins-preview-three.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Collecting resources from planets and quests will be key to upgrading and expanding ships. The ships themselves will be extremely customizable. Basically, any part can be added or integrated into a ship in an almost Lego-like manner. Taking parts and assembling new crafts will help players improve their chance of survival and unlock different weapons as well.</p> <p>Beyond the massive single-player campaign, Star Control: Origins will offer extensive modding tools for fans that will allow them to create their own sci-fi adventures. Meaning, fans could make themselves their very own Star Trek universe or maybe something a little more whimsical like a Futurama-verse.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/star-control-origins-preview-four.png" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>While the full game doesn&rsquo;t have a release date just yet, players lucky enough to get into the beta can check out Star Control: Origins PvP mode Fleet Battles right now. Fleet Battles gives players a chance to build a team of ships from any of the alien races in the game and pit them against their opponents. Figuring out what ships counter the offensive or defensive moves of an enemy will be key to coming out on top in the long run.</p> <p>What I find most interesting about Origins is that it combines a lot of straightforward action gameplay of bygone years with an impressive amount of depth to a rather expansive story. At this point, it&rsquo;s hard to say whether or not Star Control: Origins will bring the series back into the spotlight, but it&rsquo;s looking like it has a good chance of drawing in fans of sci-fi RPG&rsquo;s and classic space combat. Star Control: Origins is set to release later this year for PC and its PvP closed beta is currently in process.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 06:00:00 PDT Blake Morse All Bases in State of Decay 2 http://www.shacknews.com/article/105044/all-bases-in-state-of-decay-2 http://www.shacknews.com/article/105044/all-bases-in-state-of-decay-2 <p>Choosing the right base in State of Decay 2 requires careful planning and resource management, and is a task made easier by knowing about all the bases in a given area. There are currently three maps that players can survive on, and those are: Drucker County, Cascade Hills, and Meagher Valley. Each of these maps hold several bases, and finding the best one is essential for surviving the undead horde.</p> <h2>All Bases in Drucker County</h2> <p>Drucker County is a large area full of fields,&nbsp;rocky plateaus, and several areas containing densely clustered buildings. Spread out around this region are six optional bases with a seventh base that is required as part of the story. Each of these bases sit at one of the main points of the map, though choosing a base at the edge will mean a greater distance must be travelled to collect resources or help other enclaves.</p> <p>Before a new base can be claimed, all the rooms and areas must be entered, and then all the zombies must be killed. A counter will appear at the top of the screen displaying the amount of rooms that must be checked and how many have been cleared.</p> <h3>Vogel House</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Vogel-House-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>This is the very first base available in Drucker County, and is found in the middle of the map. It&rsquo;s the basic base available at all locations, offering only three small slots for additional <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104971/how-to-build-a-base-in-state-of-decay-2">base building</a>. The only way to supplement this base is to&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104975/how-to-claim-an-outpost-in-state-of-decay-2">claim outposts</a> to replace the function of certain facilities like farms and latrines.</p> <h3>Barricaded Strip Mall</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Barricaded-Strip-Mall-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Barricaded Strip Mall is found in the north area of Drucker County and is one of the more expensive bases in the entire area, requiring a massive 3,500 influence and eight survivors to unlock. However, this high price brings with it a lot of existing facilities and available slots. Make sure you know&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104973/how-to-earn-more-influence-points-in-state-of-decay-2">how to earn more influence points</a> to help you unlock this base faster.</p> <ul> <li>Employee Bathroom</li> <li>Sheltered Beds 2</li> <li>3x Parking</li> <li>Tae-Kwon-Do Gym</li> <li>High-End Kitchen</li> <li>Urgent Care</li> <li>Laundromat (clearable)</li> <li>3x Large Slots</li> <li>1x Small Outdoor Slot</li> </ul> <h3>Wheelhouse Truck Stop</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Wheelhouse-Truck-Stop-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The Wheelhouse Truck Stop is located on the western side of Drucker County and will set players back 1,000 influence and requires five survivors. Due to the cheap price of the Wheelhouse Truck Stop, don&rsquo;t expect a lot of available building slots.</p> <ul> <li>Outdoor Beds</li> <li>Restaurant Kitchen</li> <li>Huge Fuel Storage</li> <li>Seating Area (clearable)</li> <li>Seating Area (clearable)</li> <li>4x Parking</li> <li>Auto Shop</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> </ul> <h3>Mike&rsquo;s Concrete</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Mikes-Concrete-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Another base can be built in Mike&rsquo;s Concrete, a building in the west of Drucker County. This site offers a couple of large outdoor slots as well as a few sheltered beds. Given that the base is located on the edge of the map makes it easier to access main roads. Claiming this base requires 1,500 influence and six survivors.</p> <ul> <li>Sheltered Beds</li> <li>Sheltered Beds 2</li> <li>Machine Shop</li> <li>4x Parking</li> <li>Huge Fuel Storage</li> <li>Backup Generator</li> <li>2x Large Slots</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Cabin Park Motel</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Cabin-Park-Motel-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Another base can be located in the deep south of Drucker County. The Cabin Park Motel is a reasonably priced (1,000 influence and five survivors) base that offers a small step-up in space from the starting community. Including the clearable areas, the Cabin Park Motel offers five slots for facilities to be built, which should come in handy when trying to <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104977/how-to-improve-morale-in-state-of-decay-2">improve community morale</a>.</p> <ul> <li>Sheltered Beds 2</li> <li>Heavy Track (clearable)</li> <li>Country Kitchen</li> <li>Old Well</li> <li>2x Parking</li> <li>Seating Area (clearable)</li> <li>2x Large Slots</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Wally&rsquo;s Bar and Grill</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Wallys-Bar-and-Grill-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Wally&rsquo;s Bar and Grill is another base in Drucker County that is located in the middle-east area of the map. This is situated next to a main road and a dirt road, and given its central location, makes it easy to reach other areas of the map. This base is also exceptionally cheap to acquire, costing only 500 influence and four survivors. However, because of its cheap cost, it doesn&rsquo;t have the best slots or existing facilities such as sheltered beds, meaning beds must be built as an out-of-pocket expense.</p> <ul> <li>Bar and Grill</li> <li>2x Parking</li> <li>Seating Area (clearable)</li> <li>Seating Area (clearable)</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Knight&rsquo;s Family Drive-In</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Knights-Family-Drive-In-Drucker-County-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Knight&rsquo;s Family Drive-In is located on the very eastern side of Drucker County and offers its own kind of fortified walls. This potential base site has ample parking with a primary focus on smaller slot sizes. Claiming the drive-in as the base will cost 1,000 influence and requires six survivors, but it&rsquo;s worth it for the verticality of the area.</p> <ul> <li>4x Parking</li> <li>Gate Tower</li> <li>Employee Bathroom</li> <li>Concession Kitchen</li> <li>Drive-in Theater</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>3x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h2>All Bases in Cascade Hills</h2> <p>Cascade Hills is the most mountainous region in State of Decay 2, and all of the bases are fairly spread out, with the exception being the three planted right around the middle. As for the best base in the area, that award goes to the Container Fort with its high-level facilities and its large quantity of available slots.</p> <h3>Justineau House</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Justineau-House-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The Justineau House is the first, and free, base players will receive upon entering Cascade Hills. This has the exact same setup as every other starter base, but for the uninitiated, it has three small outdoor slots for facilities to be built.</p> <h3>Bridge Fort</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Bridge-Fort-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Bridge Fort is likely to be the next base that is found, as it is on the southern bridge that crosses the eastern river in the heart of Cascade Hills. With only 500 influence and four survivors needed to claim it, Bridge Fort is a decent early-game acquisition.</p> <ul> <li>Sheltered Beds</li> <li>3x Parking</li> <li>Western Watchpost</li> <li>Eastern Watchpost</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Church on the Hill</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Church-on-the-Hill-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Church on the Hill is located in the middle of Cascade Hills, to the left of the eastern river. A slight step-up in cost from Bridge Fort, Church on the Hill requires 1,000 influence and five survivors, though it does offer an elevated position and quite a few facility slots.</p> <ul> <li>Bell Tower</li> <li>4x Parking</li> <li>Pews (clearable)</li> <li>Pews (clearable)</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Container Fort</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Container-Fort-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Container Fort, as mentioned in the Cascade Hills introduction above, is likely going to be the prime real estate in the area. This contains the best pre-installed facilities as well as several slots for base upgrades. The only downsides to the Container Fort are the costs and the lack of beds. Claiming this base requires 3,500 influence and eight survivors.</p> <ul> <li>Firesafe Storage 3</li> <li>3x Parking</li> <li>Workshop 3</li> <li>2x Large Slots</li> <li>5x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Loch and Keogh Self Storage</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Loch-and-Keogh-Self-Storage-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Loch and Keogh Self Storage is found in the northwest area of Cascade Hills and offers quite a few built-in facilities. There are also a few rooms in the base that can be cleared out for better expansions. Claiming this base requires 1,500 influence and six survivors.</p> <ul> <li>Elaborate Storage</li> <li>2x Sheltered Beds</li> <li>Secret Distillery</li> <li>3x Parking</li> <li>1x Watchtower</li> <li>Abandoned Locker (clearable)</li> <li>Abandoned Locker (clearable)</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Corner Office</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Corner-Office-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>The Corner Office is one of the three bases located in the middle of Cascade Hills. To find this base, head between the two rivers and strike out north. Being in the center of the map has its benefits as it allows for easy access to all areas of the map without requiring too much fuel consumption. To unlock the Corner Office base, players will need 1,000 influence and five survivors.</p> <ul> <li>Chic Eatery Kitchen</li> <li>Overlook</li> <li>Sheltered Beds</li> <li>2x Parking</li> <li>1x Large Slot</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>3x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h3>Mohr and Mohr Distributing</h3> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/Mohr-and-Mohr-Distributing-Cascade-Hills-All-Bases-State-of-Decay-2.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" style="undefined" /></div> <p>Mohr and Mohr Distributing is an outlier in the collection of bases in Cascade Hills as it cannot be found by climbing a survey tower. To find this base, players will need to manually drive to the northeast of the map and look out for the base on the right-hand side of the road. Despite its remote location, the Mohr and Mohr Distributing base boasts a few choice facilities and expansion slots, and for the low price of 1,500 influence and six survivors.</p> <ul> <li>Sheltered Beds</li> <li>Sheltered Beds 2</li> <li>Machine Shop</li> <li>4x Parking</li> <li>Huge Fuel Storage</li> <li>Backup Generator</li> <li>2x Large Slots</li> <li>1x Small Indoor Slot</li> <li>2x Small Outdoor Slots</li> </ul> <h2>All Bases in Meagher Valley</h2> <p><em>Coming soon!</em></p> <p>There are quite a few potential bases scattered around the three maps in State of Decay 2, and all of them offer excellent options for expansion. Picking the right base comes down to personal preference, though the more expensive a base is, the better it will be for the long-term. Aside from building the base and helping survivors, it&rsquo;s important to know&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/105002/how-to-destroy-plague-hearts-in-state-of-decay-2">how to destroy plague hearts</a> so that State of Decay 2&rsquo;s &ldquo;win state&rdquo; can be achieved.</p> Tue, 22 May 2018 05:55:00 PDT Sam Chandler Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 & 2 Review: Classic Rockman http://www.shacknews.com/article/105042/mega-man-legacy-collection-1--2-review-classic-rockman http://www.shacknews.com/article/105042/mega-man-legacy-collection-1--2-review-classic-rockman <p>Nintendo Switch owners may still be pining for classic Virtual Console support, but even though the retro-flavored service still doesn't appear to be in Nintendo's grand strategy, the old-school charm lives on in new Switch releases like the Mega Man Legacy Collections one and two. More than a way for modern gamers to revisit a set of classic titles from the series' past, these new collections are the latest and most feature-packed way of enjoying the games centered around the traditional Mega Man formula.</p> <h2>The Blue Bomber Returns</h2> <p>At this point in time, the original&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/mega-man-series">Mega Man</a> is over thirty years old, and even though the Mega Man Legacy Collections one and two are both brand-spanking-new, the games themselves clearly hearken back to a different era of electronic entertainment. The first Legacy Collection groups together Mega Man releases one through six, encompassing the entirety of the original NES series. On the other hand, Legacy Collection 2 groups together Mega Man 7 from the SNES, Mega Man 8 from the original PlayStation, Mega Man 9 from the PlayStation 3 and Wii era, plus Mega Man 10, which originally released for Wiiware, the PlayStation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade in March of 2010.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/mega-man-legacy-collection-snake-battle.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>For the uninitiated, the Mega Man series focuses around the story of the android known as Mega Man as he attempts to rid the world of the evil robotic influence spread by Dr. Wily. His adventures take on the form of classic two-dimensional sidescrolling platforming action, with overall presentation and difficulty varying wildly from one release to the next. Fans of the series will feel right at home with these classic releases, occasional bouts of slowdown and all, but players new to the series may be in for a bit of a shock when they discover just how challenging these games are.</p> <h2>Turn Back Time in Mega Man Legacy Collection</h2> <p>The primary draw to the first Mega Man Legacy Collection is the title's new Rewind feature. Using the left bumper, players can rewind the game and fix any mistakes they may have made during their current run. In effect, this means players can get infinite retries on any enemy encounters, difficult platforming areas, or boss battles. The feature is meant to help the experience feel more approachable for newcomers who might not be prepared for just how challenging Mega Man games can be, but its implementation goes well beyond a quick fix for casual blunders.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/mega-man-legacy-collection-mm2-screen.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Given enough time using it, the rewind mechanic feels less like a helpful tool and more like something that was meant to be a core part of the gameplay. In fact, especially in the earlier Mega Man titles, the rewind becomes so useful that players might be left wondering how the games could ever be beaten without it. In a way, knowing that it's always available dramatically changes the general strategy: without the need to remember enemy locations or room layouts from previous runs, players can take a more action-oriented approach, learning from their mistakes and correcting them on the fly.</p> <p>As the developers intended, this function does make the 8-bit Mega Man titles more approachable to casual players. There's a lot less pressure knowing that each level won't have to be restarted because of an ill-timed jump or frustrating "ledge bat" type enemies, and Mega Man purists can ignore the function entirely if they so choose. Either way, the rewind does make for quicker runs overall, and more experienced fans should have no problem using the rewind to beat some of the featured games in 90 minutes or less.</p> <h2>Revisiting Series Highlights in Mega Man Legacy Collection 2</h2> <p>Fans won't find the Rewind function making its way into Mega Man Legacy Collection 2. Its omission isn't a point of contention, however &mdash; the newer games are certainly challenging, but they aren't as brutally hard as games in the original series were. Of course, that's not to say that the development team hasn't included any extra goodies.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/mega-man-legacy-collection-2-border.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The biggest change introduced in Legacy Collection 2 that's meant to make the games more approachable is the choice to make use of the added Extra Armor Mode, a toggle in the game's general options menu that essentially makes the experience less punishing by allowing the stoic blue hero to take more damage before perishing. On top of that, the game now includes several additional checkpoints so players won't ever be too far from where they last died &mdash; no more restarting entire levels just because of one missed jump.</p> <h2>Extra Content, Bonuses, and More</h2> <p>The cherry on top of both Mega Man Legacy Collections is the suite of various bonus features. In the game menus, players will find art galleries, time trials, a music player, a character and enemy museum, stage remixes, and more. Within the games themselves, bringing up the pause menu also offers up options to change the video size, frame borders, and even a selection of different video filters like scanlines or CRT-based filters that help the games feel like they're being played on original equipment.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/mega-man-legacy-collection-1-challenge-listing.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The presentation overall is very slick, with simple menus and a general theme that fits in very well with the series' history. Most games also offer their own independent save states &mdash; in the first six games, players can literally save and load at will, returning to any place in the game they so choose. Of course, players can always make use of the original password save systems if they so choose, and taking screenshots or video clips on the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/nintendo-switch">Nintendo Switch</a> makes it easy to share accomplishments or even game progress with other players.</p> <p>All things considered, the inherent value of Mega Man Legacy Collections one and two can only be determined by specific player interest. These collections might be nice and new, but the experiences within are distinctly old-school, providing the sort of gritty, challenging platforming action that feels increasingly rare in the current era of gaming. It may be that all the added bells and whistles won't be enough to bring modern gamers around to the traditional Mega Man formula, but for series fans keen on diving back into the classic releases, both Mega Man Legacy Collections are an absolute treat.</p> <hr /> <p><i>This review is based on download codes provided by the publisher. Mega Man Legacy Collections 1 and 2 are available in digital stores on May 22 for $14.99 and $19.99, respectively. The games have been rated E for Everyone by the ESRB.<br /></i></p> Tue, 22 May 2018 00:01:00 PDT Kevin Tucker Paradox Interactive Bringing Grand Strategy Titles To Life As Board Games http://www.shacknews.com/article/105040/paradox-interactive-bringing-grand-strategy-titles-to-life-as-board-games http://www.shacknews.com/article/105040/paradox-interactive-bringing-grand-strategy-titles-to-life-as-board-games <p>There's hot news incoming for game fans with a penchant for the occasional tabletop experience: as revealed over the weekend at PDXCon in Stockholm, electronic entertainment development studio&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/paradox-interactive">Paradox Interactive</a> has licensed four of its different video game intellectual properties to turn into new board games.</p> <p>According to <a href="https://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2018-05-21-paradox-people-were-coming-to-us-in-droves-asking-if-we-could-make-board-games" target="_blank">GamesIndustry.biz</a>, Paradox took to the convention floor to showcase physical board game versions of Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis, Hearts of Iron, and Cities: Skylines, the likes of which were all in various stages of the development process. Shams Jorjani, vice president of business development for Paradox, says the new games present an opportunity for experiences like Europa Universalis to go back to their tabletop roots.</p> <p>"Europa Universalis started out as a board game, and [creative director Johan Andersson] took it into the digital space," Jorjani said. "Board games have always been very popular with everyone in the company. It's just that our business has always been focused on building our digital growth, and you don't plan on doing anything except for being that kind of company."</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/y-YbesNEXTM" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></p> <p>Jorjani went on to say that studio fans expressed a strong interest in the company creating different board games based on their digital games, which sparked a change in thinking about how Paradox might make the most out of its various IP.</p> <p>"Paradox Interactive is about making digital games, and doing cool stuff with our IP in the digital space," he said. "It just got to the point where it became so abundantly clear that there [were] so many cool opportunities. People were coming to us in droves asking if we could make board games. We looked at that and said this is a a really cool way not necessarily to make tons and tons of money... But to expand what our IPs are and how people play them."</p> <p>The GamesIndustry.biz report states the four different IP licenses will create four entirely different games from four different companies. Jorjani stated that each of the games will be extensively tested by the Paradox crew, making sure that they all align with the electronic version in specific ways &mdash; "you can still marry your horse in Crusader Kings" was one mentioned highlight. Free League has taken the <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1192053011/crusader-kings-the-board-game-lead-your-dynasty-to" target="_blank">Crusader Kings board game to Kickstarter</a>, but as for the progress on the rest of the games and their related release dates, we'll have to wait and see.</p> Mon, 21 May 2018 18:15:00 PDT Kevin Tucker State of Decay 2 Review: Community Catastrophe http://www.shacknews.com/article/105039/state-of-decay-2-review-community-catastrophe http://www.shacknews.com/article/105039/state-of-decay-2-review-community-catastrophe <p>The original State of Decay was a rough, yet fun community-focused zombie survival game that dropped players into the thick of a post-apocalyptic town and allowed them&nbsp;to implement their ideas on how best to survive the shambling hordes. State of Decay 2 isn&rsquo;t an attempt to break the mold, but merely a shot at enhancing a solid foundation while injecting online multiplayer. Despite a host of bugs, glitches, and poor design decisions, State of Decay 2 provides an addictive routine where you&rsquo;re always just one more supply run away from the putting the controller down.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/state-of-decay-2-review-re8.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>The foundation of the State of Decay 2 experience is community survival. I started off with a small crew in a small base and had the freedom to recruit new members, build structures within the home, or move to other bases. The ultimate goal is to clear the map of plague hearts and the journey through this main objective is an engaging&nbsp;and delicate dance between collecting resources, managing crew morale, building up the base, helping other crews on the map, and taking down the growingly difficult plague hearts.</p> <p>The extent of my routine was apparent early and there's a lot of repetition, but the RPG progression of the individual survivors made the repetition compelling. Survivors are a resource like any other that you gather, but you can shape them to fit your playstyle and home base aspirations.</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="394" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/QFe7G3Vu1YU"></iframe></p> <p>The zombies are expectedly grotesque, especially the variant plague zombies, with their pulsing and crawling skin. Assets, from run-down buildings to trailers to rusting vehicles, all have solid textures. Vehicles specifically showed most of the visual flair, deteriorating over time and gathering smears of blood as I ran over zombies. Speaking of vehicular zombie-slaughter, that&rsquo;s a practice I learned to limit. Survivors can only carry so much and, in an effort to maximize the efficiency of each run for resources or to clear infestations, trunk space is priceless. The frustratingly limited inventory management, which prevents you from easily passing items from one survivor to another, makes trunk space even more important unless you want to burn time dropping items to pass along.</p> <p>Light is a major key in State of Decay 2 as well and the design team knocked it out of the park in this regard. <g class="gr_ gr_106 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="106" data-gr-id="106">Night</g> is exceptionally dangerous, especially when walking or driving through areas you&rsquo;re not familiar with. The view distance is poor even with your vehicle&rsquo;s lights on. Furthermore, the game&rsquo;s different towns have no power for the most part&nbsp;so building interiors are harrowing as well, even during the day. My survivors all come equipped with a chest light, but the small circle of illumination still kept me on my toes.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/state-of-decay-2-review-re3.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>If the plague zombie&rsquo;s crawling skin was peak visual creep, the yell of the screamer variant serves that purpose aurally. Sound design was, overall, good. Sound cues serve many purposes, ranging from the call for help from a stranger to the distinct squeal of&nbsp;unique zombie variants</p> <p>Regarding sound, the games mini-map gives off a circular pulse for every act. Whether I was rummaging through a fridge, starting the car, or a zombie is banging on one of the entrances to my base, there was an indication on the map to let it be known how far that sound is ringing out. Of course, every one of these noises can attract the attention of enemies and that either ruined a run while away from my base or was used to my advantage to distract.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/state-of-decay-2-review-re6.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>There were rarely ever moments where I felt the sound effects or cues screwed up my experience, but graphical glitches and bugs regularly tossed my planning right down the drain. A careful drive could be ruined by some objects that rendered late or by sketchy collision detection. I was also attacked through closed doors and walls, much to my annoyance. Also, a couple design decisions were troublesome. Tall metal fences can&rsquo;t be knocked down and neither can short metal fences, but the later can toss your vehicle many feet into the air or allow you halfway over them only to leave your vehicle spinning tires uselessly.</p> <p>Driving around feels weighty and results in a satisfying thud when you run over the many zombie pedestrians. The various vehicles control differently from each other and that played a part in what type of run away from base I&rsquo;d make. My faster police car, for example, could get me to objectives and survivors <g class="gr_ gr_72 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-del replaceWithoutSep" id="72" data-gr-id="72">faster,</g> but didn&rsquo;t have the trunk space for efficient resource grabbing.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/state-of-decay-2-review-re7.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Moving around on foot and the combat <g class="gr_ gr_70 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="70" data-gr-id="70">were</g>&nbsp;largely solid. There&rsquo;s a delay in your first attack that feels like it artificially makes things difficult when facing large groups, but the dodge button helps counter it.</p> <p>Online multiplayer is something I felt was missing from the first State of Decay and the sequel delivers the goods. I teamed up with a friend by taking one of the survivors from my own community, going into the friend&rsquo;s, and helping him gather resources and fight the zombie plague. Resource gathering is the foundation of State of Decay 2 and the developers balanced out the process for online multiplayer by setting claims on the search points for each player. For example, when entering a warehouse, roughly 30% of the points in the space can be searched by me, the guest. The rest is reserved for the host, but he was able to drop items that he wanted me to hold on to. Once the session was done, I <g class="gr_ gr_117 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar multiReplace" id="117" data-gr-id="117">was rewarded</g> resources for my own community.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/state-of-decay-2-review-re4.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="394" /></div> <p>Overall, State of Decay 2 feels like a game that should have a home in the game preview section of the Xbox library. The community building is fun enough to engage my zombie survival fantasies but it&rsquo;s held back by a consistent slew of bugs. Throughout my experience, my military truck constantly flickered, my player regularly fell halfway into the ground, companions would entirely disappear when I switched between them while away from base, and there was one bug I experienced twice that made my UI disappear and it seemed like any progress I made past that point was not recorded.</p> <p>State of Decay 2 is repetitive, but fun when it works. When it doesn&rsquo;t, you'd be forgiven for a few rage quits. In a game where any misstep can result in losing an important survivor for good, to have this happen not due to my own mistakes, but a bug or glitch, is frustrating. The RPG progression of survivors mixed in with the community building makes&nbsp;the repetitive structure work and rewards players that wish to continue cultivating new communities.&nbsp; The game comes at half the price of most high-profile releases or as part of the Game Pass library and there's plenty bang for your buck. Hopefully, the developers will continue to iron out the game's fixable issues over time<g class="gr_ gr_131 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Style replaceWithoutSep" id="131" data-gr-id="131">.</g></p> <hr /> <p><g class="gr_ gr_131 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_disable_anim_appear Style replaceWithoutSep" id="131" data-gr-id="131">This</g> review is based on a code provided by the publisher.&nbsp;State of Decay 2 is available digitally via individual purchase for $29.99 or as part of the Xbox Game Pass service on May 22. The game has been rated&nbsp;M by the ESRB.</p> Mon, 21 May 2018 18:00:00 PDT Charles Singletary Happy Hour: Conan Exiles Returns http://www.shacknews.com/article/105036/happy-hour-conan-exiles-returns http://www.shacknews.com/article/105036/happy-hour-conan-exiles-returns <p>What is best in life?&nbsp;To crush your enemy streamers, to see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentations of their subscribers!</p> <p>Conan Exiles&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/98927/conan-exiles-could-end-up-with-a-castration-option" target="_blank">caused quite a stir</a> went it entered Steam Early Access back in early 2017. Based on Robert E. Howard&rsquo;s character from a 1930s series of stories published in Weird Tales magazine, the game puts the legendary Conan into an survival-RPG MMO. The character gained international fame thanks to a movie adaptation starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1982. Predictably, the game caught the attention of the video game world for its aggressively accurate dong physics. To celebrate the game's official launch out of Early Access, Shacknews dong experts Chris Jarrard and Charles Singletary will sit down with Conan Exiles tonight on the official Shack Twitch channel (<a href="https://www.twitch.tv/shacknews" target="_blank">twitch.tv/shacknews</a>) at 7&nbsp;PM ET (4 PM PT).</p> <p><iframe width="700" height="384" src="https://player.twitch.tv/?channel=shacknews&amp;muted=true&amp;autoplay=true" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" scrolling="no"></iframe></p> <p>For those wondering what the Shacknews Twitch channel could really be, tonight&rsquo;s stream aims to answer that question. Join us for a chance to witness history as we see the gang try and survive in a land of pain and deadly creatures. For those that know us, you can probably guess how this will shake out (pun intended). WARNING: This stream is intended for mature audiences.</p> Mon, 21 May 2018 15:45:00 PDT Chris Jarrard Gen 1 Alolan Forms Arriving in Latest Pokemon Go Update http://www.shacknews.com/article/105035/gen-1-alolan-forms-arriving-in-latest-pokemon-go-update http://www.shacknews.com/article/105035/gen-1-alolan-forms-arriving-in-latest-pokemon-go-update <p>Fans of developer Niantic's hit AR-based mobile title&nbsp;<a href="http://www.shacknews.com/topic/pokemon-go">Pokemon Go</a> will be excited to learn that a bunch of new pocket monsters are about to be added to the game. The studio has just announced that the Alolan forms of classic first generation series monsters are the next to arrive in-game, and they'll be here just in time for the summer hunting season.</p> <p>Niantic is keeping the details pretty light on this latest update, as might be obvious through the game's silhouetted teaser image featured below. However, we do know that the variants from both Pokemon Sun and Pokemon Moon should be arriving "in the coming weeks," according to a post made to the <a href="https://pokemongolive.com/en/post/alolakanto-pokemon/" target="_blank">official Pokemon Go website</a>.</p> <div class="articleImage full" style="width: 700px;"><img src="https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/shacknews/assets/editorial/2018/05/alolan-gen-1-pokemon-go.jpg" alt="" width="700" height="367" /></div> <p>"Whether your forecast calls for rain or shine, we're celebrating all around the world by introducing some special Pokemon from the tropical Alola region to Pokemon Go," the post reads. "Get ready for some of the Pokemon originally discovered in the Kanto region to appear in their Alolan forms!"</p> <p>There were a total of 18 different Gen 1 Alola-region variants featured in Pokemon Sun and Moon. These included variants of Raichu, Vulpix, Dugtrio, Meowth, Rattata, Sandslash, Grimmer, Golem, Muk, and others. That said, it's not clear whether or not just some or all of these creatures will be arriving in Pokemon Go. Still, we know they're coming, and they should be arriving soon. Until they're released, players can expand their knowledge by checking out some of the latest details surrounding the <a href="http://www.shacknews.com/article/104895/pokemon-go-fest-tickets-sell-out-following-technical-difficulties-with-website">upcoming Pokemon Go Fest 2018</a>.</p> Mon, 21 May 2018 14:50:00 PDT Kevin Tucker
Slashdot: News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters
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SpaceX Flies Satellites For Iridium, NASA In 10th Launch of 2018
Creeping Lava Now Threatens Major Hawaiian Power Plant
Computer History Museum Makes Eudora Email Client Source Code Available To the Public
Trolan's LJ
Oh yeah
Pointless entry to signify life
Communications Update; Part Deux
Communications Update
CCNP... completed
Things you overhear...