Blizzard moves one step closer to printing their own money

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WoW Tokens, introduced in April 2015, can now be spent in other Blizzard games besides World of Warcraft. Blizzard announced that going forward, players will be able to convert their WoW Tokens into 30 days of game time for World of Warcraft, or redeem them for $15 each deposited directly into their accounts as Battle.net Balance. These funds can be used for purchasing a variety of items Blizzard offers for sale, such as Overwatch loot crates or Hearthstone card packs. Previously, the WoW Token was only useful as a way for speculators to legitimately exchange real money for in-game gold or game time, and only in the MMO. With the change to WoW Tokens, market fluctuations reflect the enhanced uses.

WoW Tokens cost $20 real money when purchased in the World of Warcraft in-game shop, so savvy traders will need to take advantage of the gold exchange rates to make a profit on the virtual coins. Careful players should note that the already brisk business for stolen Battle.net accounts will likely rise due to the WoW Token’s newly increased value.

Rainbow Six Siege introduces magical powers in its second year

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Rainbow Six Siege’s Year Two is about to start. Ubisoft’s tactical team shooter is getting another eight operators and four maps set in Spain, Hong Kong, Poland, and South Korea throughout 2017. The first update, Operation Velvet Shell, will add two characters that screw with the game’s established strategies via magical powers. Mira can create one-way firing windows in walls like a sorceress with a shotgun, and Jackal can track enemy footsteps to their source using what can only be described as witchcraft.

The game’s creative director Xavier Marquis revealed to PC Gamer that Ubisoft plans on bringing the total count of operators to at least fifty, with “aspirations of reaching twice that amount” over its lifetime. The game already has 28 character classes, and the developers plan on adding eight more in year two, leaving players with at least a couple more years of collecting virtual shooter men. Since Ubisoft is already leaning on superpowers for their newest operator additions, how long will it be before characters from For Honor start showing up in Rainbow Six Siege like Blizzard’s cross-promotional efforts?

Simon Parkin asks a question that really shouldn’t be asked

, | Features

I can understand why Simon Parkin, one of the rare videogame critics worth reading, seems to be feeling some anxiety about his job. A lot of people feel must feel that way, whether they’re plumbers, doctors, or social workers. But Parkin implies his anxiety is unique. So he’s written an article about writing articles about videogames:

But no matter how scintillating the text, when the real world starts to tremble, when fascism begins to rise, when the bombs start to fall, when real lives and real rights are imperilled, the job of writing about [videogames] is further undercut. Why waste our time focused on fictional quests when so much of the real world is in need of repair?

Now maybe I’ve missed it, but I don’t see anyone writing these articles about books, movies, or music.

Continue reading →

Resident Evil 7: Silent Hill: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre feat. Blair Witch Project

, | Game reviews

Resident Evil 7 has a strong opening, a sagging middle, and a disappointing finale. In other words, it hews closely to the arc of most horror. But to Capcom’s credit, this Resident Evil is taking pages from books it hasn’t previously read. I’m not convinced it understands those pages, but at least it’s attempting something other than the usual roiling mass of black goo with bright orange weak points you have to shoot. For a while at least. It’ll get to that. But before it plods through its sagging middle to its disappointing finale, Resident Evil 7 is at least trying.

After the jump, found FPS isn’t a thing. Continue reading →

Stardock will let the market decide which version of Ashes of the Singularity will win

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Stardock’s and Oxide Games’ high-performance PC real-time strategy game, Ashes of the Singularity, and the standalone expansion, Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation, have been on parallel development paths since the expansion launched in November of last year. The developers’ intent was that the base game would be the more casual-friendly title, while the expansion would focus on the hard-core RTS audience.

According to Stardock’s Brad Wardell the games’ code will be merged with the next update, making things simpler for the developers. The benefit for base game owners is that they will get most of the quality-of-life improvements the expansion brought. But that’s not all! People who participated in the early access program for the base game will actually get Escalation added to their Steam libraries for free. Owners of Escalation will get all future DLC for free, if they purchase the game before the next update. Founders, the brave souls that pre-purchased Ashes to get the base game and all future DLC, will get the sequel to Escalation for free.

Thus, putting Escalation and the base game on equal footing, we can see which game has more players. Ashes or Escalation. I know you hard-core RTS players are convinced that Escalation will win. Don’t be so sure. I love them both but it’s Ashes, not Escalation, that my friends tend to prefer for LAN parties due to the relative simplicity.

Ashes of the Singularity’s 1.51 update and Escalation’s 2.1 update is scheduled to be released on February 16. The free upgrades will be available on that date to qualifying owners.

The two universes of Galactic Civilizations 3 and Stellaris are getting bigger

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The universe is expanding! So holds the theory that everything is moving outward and away from each other. You’re already slightly farther away from the center of the universe than when the day started. Science! Soon, both Galactic Civilizations 3 and Stellaris will grow as well. More science!

Galactic Civilizations 3: Crusade, features improvements to the core concept of “civilizations” in the game. Stardock is adding a new campaign, new alien civilizations, a new graphics engine, and a new resource system with this expansion. Espionage will offer options for sneaky rulers, and an economy based on the citizens themselves should please the economists out there. Additionally, Crusade changes planetary invasions into interactive tactical challenges instead of being a mostly hands-off affair.

The revamped invasion system in Crusade allows a citizen to be trained as a soldier in order to invade worlds. Strategic and challenging, invasions will require careful planning as you train your legions and determine which tile to attack first. Be careful not to forget to defend your own worlds from your enemies, too!

Galactic Civilizations 3: Crusade is coming in the Spring for Windows PC and will cost $19.99.

Stellaris: Utopia will go big for construction and social engineering. Megastructures like Dyson Spheres, ringworlds, and outlet malls will be all the rage for advanced space-faring cultures. Utopia will also give players new tools to use in their galactic bureaucracies including rights for citizenship, traditions to ease expansion, and bonuses for rapid exploration. The expansion will also allow would-be emperors to guide their factions through evolution.

As your species advances and gains new traditions, it can choose how it wants to evolve as it is further enlightened. You can choose between a biological path, a psionic path or a synthetic path, with various options within these broad categories.

No pricing or launch date has been announced for Stellaris: Utopia.

Why play Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 with these high-tech rifles when you can use a bow?

, | News

The video above details the best ways to kill people in Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3, except it misses the best method. A bow and arrow. You can get a set in the season pass for the game, and you can snag the whole package for free if you pre-order. CI Games announced the discount offer that will give early bird buyers the $30 season pass at no additional cost, if they’re willing to open their wallets before the official launch date.

Citing the “long-term investment” in the community, CI Games CEO Marek Tyminski committed to supporting the game with additional content throughout the year. The season pass will include two single player story expansions, two multiplayer maps, an exclusive in-game vehicle, a special sniper rifle and the all-important compound bow and arrows.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 will launch on PC and PlayStation 4 on the 4th of April.

The Elder Scrolls Online finds another continent

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Vvardenfell is coming to The Elder Scrolls Online. ZeniMax Online Studios announced The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind expansion. Parts of the dark elves’ territory have been available to players in ESO, but the Morrowind addition will open up an area the developers say is equal in size to the MMO’s base game. It’s full of giant mushrooms and volcanoes. Luckily for everyone, The Elder Scrolls Online is set about 700 years before the Red Mountain exploded, so there will be plenty of Cliff Racer action. Along with the new play space, Morrowind will feature a new character class in the form of the Warden. The Warden gets a War-Bear and uses druid magic to fight enemies. He’s like Grizzly Adams with spells.

The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind expansion will cost $40 for current players, or $60 for a new player bundle that includes the base game. The expansion is set to launch on June 6th for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

John Romero’s about to make you his taco truck driver

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That image is from Gunman Taco Truck. It’s a post-apocalyptic game in which the player owns the last taco truck in the world. Travel the wasteland, kill mutants, buy cooking supplies, and sell tacos. There’s side-scrolling action and a bit of a simple business sim mixed together. It’s the first game from Romero Games. That’s John and Brenda Romero’s indie studio in Galway, Ireland.

Gunman Taco Truck was based on an idea from the couple’s son, Donovan Brathwaite-Romero, when he was nine years old.

Over 2 years and lots of fun have gone into making Gunman Taco Truck an unforgettable experience, and the realization of Donovan’s dream of making a video game. Donovan has been learning how to code for the past 3 years.

Gunman Taco Truck is available on Steam and the Humble Store.

Somebody decided Enter the Gungeon didn’t have enough guns

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Enter the Gungeon, the room-by-room bullet hell from Dodge Roll and Devolver Digital, now has more firepower. The free Supply Drop update adds 200 new deadly rooms, seven new enemy types, bosses, costumes, a challenge mode, and 33 new guns. John Wick would approve!

Players will come across new guns like the Bullet Gun, a gun shaped like a bullet that shoots guns and those guns shoot bullets, and new companions like Ser Junkan who gains strength and power as you carry more and more literal junk with you through the Gungeon.

Beyond this, Dodge Roll plans to release an expansion later this year or in 2018.

Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now game will ask you to get out of the boat

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Francis Ford Coppola, the acclaimed director of numerous films like Peggy Sue Got Married and Jack, is helping to create a videogame based on Apocalypse Now. It’s being directed by Montgomery Markland, executive produced by Lawrence Liberty and written by Rob Auten. According to the godfather of The Godfather, the game will be a “psychedelic horror RPG” that puts players into the shoes of Captain Willard on his quest for Colonel Kurtz.

“I dove into the Vietnam War without a parachute. And today I’ve been joined by new daredevils; a team who want to make an interactive version of mine and John Milius’ story that puts you in the middle of the war.”

Fans of 2012’s Spec Ops: The Line can see the obvious potential with adapting Apocalypse Now and its wartime existential horror into a videogame, but according to the report in Glixel, the developers want to downplay the combat aspects and have players think more about the choices Captain Willard had to make in the story.

“In the film when the chief character is killed by a spear and he tries to puncture Willard with the spear that’s sticking through his chest you know that there’s just some kind of visceral hatred and fear. We’re giving players the ability to alter their own versions of the story, what if you didn’t kill the person with the dog? What if you didn’t trade the fuel for time with the Playboy bunnies? All these decisions that are made in the film. The ability to take a really fraught and intense environment, character-centric choices and bring these two things together, that’s the plan.”

American Zoetrope is asking for $900,000 on their Kickstarter for the project.