Ghost Recon: Wildlands may be ready for launch soon

, | News

Ghost Recon Wildlands’ Special Operation 2 is launching on July 24th. More Ghost War versus multiplayer characters, new maps to fight in, more cosmetic loot to purchase. All fairly standard stuff for multiplayer content. What is notable is the new Ghost Mode coming to the single player and co-op campaign. The new feature enables permadeath, restricts you to one main weapon and one sidearm, disables inventory management unless you’re at a gear station, reloading early loses unspent ammo, and (this is the big one) turns off the AI team. Finally, an end to the garbage squad chatter! Goodbye faux stealth NPC.

The free update addresses a lot of the criticisms we had with the game in its original launch state. Say what you will about Ubisoft’s open world game design, but they’ve shown a willingness to listen to players and support their games for a good stretch of time.

The stars of Uncharted and Destiny trade roles

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That’s hunky star Nathan Fillion playing Nathan Drake in an Uncharted short film. While it’s an unofficial fan production, this is something fans of the Naughty Dog action game series have wanted to see for a long time. Thankfully, director Allan Ungar did too. Between ABC’s The Rookie going from pilot to series, Fillion was able to squeeze in some time for the passion project.

“This is what we set up to make, what we set out to do when we sat down for vegan Thai food. It’s a fifteen-minute short film. It’s our tribute to the character. For right now, we’re very happy with this just this being what it is.”

Nathan Drake is famously voiced by Nolan North in the games, so it’s a bit coincidental that at about the same time the Uncharted short was hitting the web, Nathan Fillion confirmed that he does not voice Cayde-6 in Destiny 2’s upcoming Forsaken expansion despite voicing the character previously.

“I wasn’t available for this last instalment – it’s not me doing the voice for Cayde-6. In a wonderful, amazing turn of events – it’s actually Nolan North!”

When a door closes, a window opens. Something like that.

The man who gave us Warcraft is working on a Rogue Trooper movie

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Duncan Jones is developing a movie based on the Rogue Trooper property. Rogue Trooper is a British comic character that first appeared in 1981 in the pages of 2000 AD. There’s a videogame relationship in the form of a 1986 Commodore 64 game, a 1990 Amiga game, and a 2006 game from Rebellion which was given the HD teatment with a 2017 Redux Edition. Jones even linked to the Rebellion game’s site in his announcement.

Grandma is looking fine in Total War: Rome II

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The next big update for Creative Assembly’s Total War: Rome II is a doozy. The Ancestral Update (currently in beta testing) features a host of long-requested additions and tweaks to the almost five year old game. One of the most anticipated changes is the return of family trees. This was a large part of the strategic gameplay in the first Rome, so its absence in the sequel was always puzzling. It’s finally coming! Players will be able to track family fortunes, marry into and out of power and wealth, and piss off sullen teenagers with bad career decisions. War never changes.

Why didn’t anyone say the mimics in Prey: Mooncrash can now wear hats?

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I don’t know what’s going on with the mimics wearing Uncle Sam top hats and Asian bamboo hats in this free update for Prey: Mooncrash, but I love it. Bethesda promises more free updates in the future, including one that features the “Typhon Hunter” multiplayer revealed during E3. How long must we wait for the inevitable skins that turn mimics into mudcrabs?

Prey: Mooncrash is one of Tom’s picks for the best games of 2018 (so far)! You can watch him fumble around in the DLC for a couple of hours here.

Someone did want Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive to live

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Remember Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive? It was 2001 squad tactics game in the vein of Commandos, except set in the rootin’ tootin’ Old West. It’s now compatible with modern PC systems thanks to THQ Nordic. The publisher has updated the game to work with Windows 7, 8, 10 and Macs and Linux! Yeehaw partners! They’ve even restored a “long lost” demo mission to the game.

“A challenging level from back in the old days when some games still had rather difficult demos.”

That’s called shade cowboy, and it’s being thrown in your lily-livered face! Desperados: Wanted Dead Or Alive is available on Steam and GOG.

Marty McFly has nothing on Warframe’s hoverboards

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Warframe’s next content update has hoverboards. Honest-to-gosh trick flip, Back to the Future 2 style decks that float. The Fortuna expansion takes players to Venus and gives them the opportunity to skim over the surface of the planet and even do tricks on a customizable board. Auto-inflating Nike sneakers not included.

The astonishing cluelessness of The Crew 2

, | Game reviews

The Crew 2 is a real surprise. Not at all what I expected. It’s actually astonishing. Maybe even breathtaking. It seems completely, utterly, stupenduously, jaw-droppingly unaware of why I played The Crew. It flagrantly violates the conventional wisdom that videogame sequels are better because game design is an iterative process. Design something, improve on it for the sequel, repeat. But The Crew 2 doesn’t feel the least bit iterative. It simply can’t compare to The Crew. It’s as if it never even heard of it. It’s not just one step forward, two steps back. It’s not even no steps forward, two steps back. It’s popping the clutch when you didn’t know the car was in reverse and plunging over a cliff. It is one of the worst open-world games I’ve played, and easily the worst caRPG I’ve ever played.

Continue reading →

Google plays Quake 3 better than you

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Google’s DeepMind artificial intelligence research arm has created bots that have learned to play Quake 3: Arena capture-the-flag. Unlike the gaming bots we’re familiar with which are programmed for specific games and get hidden cheats, DeepMind’s creations learned to play using visual input like humans do and received no information that would not be available to a person. They were actually playing the game and getting better with practice. A mere half-million practice games later, and the bots could beat “strong” human teams 74 percent of the time. Make the bots teabag opponents, scream profanities, and disconnect to avoid losing and we might have something.

American Truck Simulator heads to the land of granola, Mighty Ducks, and Portlandia

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SCS Software presents Oregon! The Beaver State! The Pacific Northwest is a decidedly different landscape from what players are used to in American Truck Simulator’s current build. According to the devs, the upcoming expansion goes all in on the forest industry that makes up a large part of Oregon’s economy. Despite the prevalence of big rigs loaded with lumber, players won’t be able to recreate the crash from Final Destination 2, but I’m sure you’ll all try anyway.

The best games of 2018 (so far!)

, | Features

Top ten first half of 2018

The year is only half over and it speaks volumes that when I sit down to make a list of my favorite ten games so far, there’s no room for Into the Breach, Subnautica, or Vermintide 2, all of which are brilliant in ways I haven’t fully explored yet. I mean, seriously, what kind of list doesn’t include any of those games?

After the jump, that kind of list Continue reading →

Calm down Trevor. Grand Theft Auto 6 in 2019 isn’t happening.

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Some players of Grand Theft Auto V’s online mode have been seeing the above message flash on their screens the past couple of days. It may look official, but it’s not. Rockstar confirmed that the message is a hoax perpetrated by one or more players that have hacked the system to show custom messages to online players. Sanity check! As much as you may want this to be true, Rockstar’s focus through 2019 is going to be on Red Dead Redemption 2.

In related news, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick told GamesIndustry that Red Dead Redemption 2 matching Grand Theft Auto V’s 100 million total unit sales is not a realistic goal.

“It’s hard to expect anything to perform as well as the most profitable entertainment product of all time.”

We’ll get a real Grand Theft Auto 6 announcement someday. It likely won’t come in the form of a text message for in-game players.