The first DLC for Far Cry 5 is less apocalyptic and more Apocalypse Now

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Hours of Darkness, the first installment of three planned DLC packs for Far Cry 5, goes back in time to the jungles of Vietnam. You’ll play as Wendell Redler on a prisoner of war extraction mission. New weapons, enemies, and vehicles will be provided in the paid DLC and they will carry over into the main Hope County campaign. Items like the Vietnam-era M16, SVD sniper rifle, props, and NPCs will also be available to everyone for free in the game’s editor as assets for creating user-made scenarios. A Survivor Mode that reduces weapons and makes the game harder in many ways, and an Action Movie mode that makes everything even more ridiculous round out the DLC pack.

Hours of Darkness for Far Cry 5 will be available on June 5th.

A new dawn rises in State of Decay 2

, | Game reviews

Night of the Living Dead invented zombies. So what if the word zombie comes from Haitian mythology? So what if the concept was inspired by the “vampires” in Richard Matheson’s Last Man on Earth? So what if the theme is a variation on the 1956 Invasion of the Body Snatchers? When George Romero gathered some buddies to make a no-budget amateur movie in Pittsburgh, thousands of miles from Hollywood, he invented a new mythology. But it wouldn’t be fully realized until Dawn of the Dead. Years later, with a budget for better production values, with a larger crew on a more conventional shoot, with better actors, better effects, better cinematography, a better set, better distribution, and better marketing, he realized a fuller expression of what he created in his first movie. They’re both classics. But Dawn of the Dead is a timeless work of genre filmmaking and mythology.

State of Decay 2 is to State of Decay what Dawn of the Dead is to Night of the Living Dead. Continue reading →

Gamers are already drawing battle lines over the Battlefield V trailer

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That’s Battlefield V from DICE and Electronic Arts. It has women in combat, cricket bats, prosthetic limbs, jaunty music, combat sliding, window leaps, grenade shooting, samurai swords, and cars falling out of the sky capped off with a V-2 rocket attack. It’s World War 2 gone amok and for some people this is apparently a bridge too far despite Battlefield being the franchise known for platoon wing-walking and sniper shots after ejecting out of crashing helicopters. It’s a series that markets itself with “Only in Battlefield” to highlight the wacky things people do in the game. Add women and the disabled and somehow that’s the line crossed.

In the reveal event hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, DICE ran through a dizzying checklist of changes to the franchise. First, no season pass or DLC map packs will be sold. New maps and modes will be included with the base purchase for all players, funded by cosmetic bits and bobs in loot boxes. (Presumably DICE will use lessons learned from the disastrous launch of Battlefront 2.) The single player War Stories vignettes returns with scenarios set in Norway, Rotterdam, North Africa, and France. Physical interaction has gotten an overhaul with players able to roll and slide in prone positions, leap through and over obstacles, and injured players can be dragged to new areas for safety before healing. Speaking of healing, all players will be able to perform a limited revive, with the medic being the only class able to fully heal and revive. Say goodbye to active spotting, as enemies are automatically spotted depending on your class, proximity, and being in your field of view. New game modes include a Combined Arms cooperative mode that’s procedurally generated, and Grand Operations PvP with multi-day battles. Exciting changes, or sacrilege depending on your outlook.

Battlefield V launches on October 19th, but Deluxe Edition buyers will get early access beginning October 16. Origin or EA Access subscribers can get in even earlier on October 11th.

Videogaming joins the Special Olympics

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From ESPN to multi-million dollar prize pools, video game tournaments are taking root in the mainstream. Esports are now part of the best Olympics. Special Olympics USA and Microsoft are partnering to present the first-ever Special Olympics video game tournament as part of the 2018 Seattle Games. On Monday, July 2, eight teams consisting of pairs of athletes will face off in Forza Motorsport 7 and race for the gold. Additionally, fans will be able to play Forza 7, Minecraft, and Super Lucky’s Tale at booths all week during the event. Beth Knox, President and CEO of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, pointed out the developmental benefits of video games.

“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.”

Microsoft has been a partner of Special Olympics USA since 2014. If you’d like to attend the 2018 Seattle Games or help out, information is available here.

How much money is in Fortnite esports? All the money.

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Epic is putting up $100 million to fund the esport prize pool for Fortnite Battle Royale. That’s $100 million straight from the company’s own funds, rather than crowdfunded by fans. How crazy large is that prize pool? It’s more than the total for the ten most popular games of 2017 combined. It’s epic money. According to the studio, the funding is being done with an eye towards fun and inclusivity, although it’s not clear yet what that really means for the competitive events.

Here is your first look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s take on Battle Royale

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That’s Blackout, the new Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Characters taken from throughout the franchise’s history spawn in a giant map and fight it out until one team or person is left standing just like all the other Battle Royale games. Blackout’s delineator (besides the brand power) is vehicles. Lots and lots of land, sea, and air vehicles. According to Activision, the “biggest map ever created for Call of Duty” is needed to encompass all the action. There’s no word yet on how many combatants at a time will be battle-royaling out at the same time.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is launching on October 12th. The PC version will exclusively be available through Battle.net.

State of Decay 2: the first four

, | Game diaries

The first was during a misunderstanding with another group of survivors. Russell was one of the first four people in our group. He was our soldier. You could tell he was military, and not just because he had a badass sniper rifle and wore camo. You could tell because it said so on his character panel. When you do the tutorial, you pick a set of two starting characters and then the tutorial adds a doctor and a soldier, because it knows you’re going to need them. Russell was our soldier.

Continue reading →

The found footage of State of Decay 2

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Nothing is going to equal the dissonance of the original Dead Island trailer in relation to that game, but this campaign for State of Decay 2 sure doesn’t match the goofy jank of an open-world sandbox. There’s the Found Footage of Coach video above and a Medical Log of Nurse. The sequel to one of the best zombie survival games made is coming on May 22nd for normal folks and four days earlier for Ultimate Edition preorders. The marketing from Microsoft is ramping up and these spots are reminiscent of the Halo 3 Believe commercials. Somber, self-serious ads that turned out to have more gravitas than the product deserved. Everyone wants their zombie games to feel like the last few desperate minutes of Night of the Living Dead, when most of them play like the pie fight in Dawn of the Dead.

If you want to compare the tone of the videos with the actual game before launch, check out Tom’s livestreams of State of Decay 2 all this week!

Worlds collide with Diablo II in Starcraft II

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That’s gameplay from the just-launched mod, The Curse of Tristram: Destruction’s End. It attempts to recreate Diablo II in Starcraft II. That’s seven player classes, three difficulty modes, co-op, new random global events, and most of the main story campaign. Creator Etienne Godbout has been working on it for four years and while there are still some bugs, and it’s definitely a beta, it’s an impressive effort from a lone modder. Doubly so, when you consider the Starcraft II engine is being stretched to the limit to make this work.

The Curse of Tristram is now available in Starcraft II’s arcade mode.

A Monster Hunter movie makes as much sense as the last five Resident Evil movies

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The Monster Hunter movie begins filming in September. Variety reports that Paul W.S. Anderson will direct and Milla Jovovich will star as the titular hunter of monsters. The production budget is estimated to be about $60 million through Constantin Films, which is no doubt pleased with Anderson’s proven ability to wring money from a tired, effects-heavy franchise. There’s no word on the plot yet, but since it’s based on the bombastic fantasy series from Capcom, you can likely expect 40% of it to be costume changes, 30% gathering materials, and the rest of the movie consisting of killing the same couple of monsters again and again to get the right drops.

Best thing you’ll see all week: Revenge

, | Movie reviews

Does cinema need an homage to the excesses of 70s rapesploitation? Because that’s precisely what first-time writer/director Coralie Fargeat has done in this formulaic throwback to utter trash like Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave, and others I’d just as soon not name (Spanish horror director Adrian Bogliano is responsible for a particularly egregious one in 2004). Her debut movie, Revenge, suggests it’s time to make rapesploitation fun again.

Continue reading →

New owners have a bulletin for APB: Reloaded

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APB: Reloaded is getting another revamp. Little Orbit has purchased the action MMO and plans to revitalize the game. The announcement from Little Orbit CEO Matthew Scott promises to keep the community of players informed and acknowledges that the new owners have a lot of work ahead of them. One of the big first tasks revealed is an engine upgrade from Unreal Engine 3 to 4. New content is slated as well as housekeeping like GDPR updates to player agreements.

There’s been a lot of speculation over the last couple months about who would be crazy enough to take on this game. And I’m not going to try and sugarcoat it, we know that the confidence in this game is at an all time low, and odds are you haven’t heard of us at Little Orbit. But that’s OK.

APB: Reloaded infamously began as the ill-fated followup to Crackdown from RealTime Worlds in 2010. After liquidation and shutdown that same year, the game was purchased by K2 Network and published by GamersFirst in most of the world. Although it’s not very popular in the US, the game has dedicated fans in South America and Russia.

The Next Generation in Bridge Crew? Make it so!

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Ubisoft has announced DLC for Star Trek: Bridge Crew, and it’s a doozy for fans of the 90’s. The Next Generation expansion adds the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701D, Data-style android crew, Romulan and Borg enemies, and two new mission types. Patrol is a free-roam journey from hotspot to hotspot, Resistance is a storyline featuring a grueling run from a Borg cube. Hopefully, you won’t end up married to the Borg Queen. Excelsior!

The Next Generation arrives on May 22nd for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR with other versions launching on July 21st.