Activision has announced an end to random loot boxes in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It’s all about the Battle Pass now. According to the official blog post, there will be premium and free Battle Pass tracks and an in-game store in which you can directly buy whatever cosmetic bits you want, but random Kinder Egg style rewards are out. The team vows that any balance impacting items, like new weapons or attachments, will be available for free by playing the game.
If that’s not shocking enough, the team has committed to releasing all post-launch maps and modes to all platforms simultaneously! It’s almost as if someone working on Call of Duty was paying attention to the rest of the industry.
For a couple of days, Fortnite was unavailable to players. If you had logged in, you’d have just seen a black hole with no option to play. Of course, everyone assumed something big was coming, but when compared to Fortnite’s previous events, yesterday’s Chapter 2 release is quite literally a game-changer in a lot of ways.
The update’s features are numerous and the mechanical, as well as qualitative, differences from the previous version of Fortnite exert influence over almost every facet of the gameplay. There’s a completely new map in which bodies of water aren’t just obstacles. Thanks to the addition of speedy watercraft, lakes and rivers are actually highways to other parts of the map. Weapon tables have been reorganized and streamlined to make arsenals less finicky and obtuse. The XP system has been overhauled to provide easier progression with medals and challenges. The game’s community is still trying to figure out what it all means for their meta discussion.
Oh, but I did say “almost” everything is different. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that the 14-year old with lightning-quick construction menu mastery will still beat you. Sorry. It is still, at its core, Fortnite.
The PC version of Saints Row 2 is infamously troubled. When it first launched on Windows in 2009, the port was derided as sloppy, buggy, and slapdash. Despite being primarily done by CD Projekt’s localization team, the game had numerous graphical issues and broken quests. To make matters worse, the multiplayer was done through GameSpy, which shut down in 2013, and the game’s source code was lost during THQ’s bankruptcy sale in the same year. It’s been a mess for years and many PC gamers rightfully skipped right past it to the third and fourth installments.
There may now be hope for PC people that have never experienced the 3rd Street Saints in their home town of Stilwater! The missing source code has been found. In Volition’s Saints Row 2 anniversary stream, the studio revealed that with this original code, they can right the wrongs of the past and update the game to its intended performance. Additionally, they will add higher resolution support, farther in-game draw distance, all the DLC that’s only been available on console, and they are switching multiplayer over to Steamworks. Current owners of Saints Row 2 on Steam will get the updated version for free.
Maybe you’re waiting on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare for this holiday season. Perhaps you’re still playing Call of Duty: Black Ops 4? If you’re somewhere in the middle, bored of Black Ops 4, but impatient for the next Modern Warfare, you could be playing the other Call of Duty that just launched. In fact, you’d be joining about 100 million other players.
According to SensorTower, a mobile analytics firm, Call of Duty Mobile (launched on October 1st) surpassed 100 million downloads in its first week of availability. Apple owners accounted for a whopping 56.9 million unique installs, with Android players racking up another 45.3 million. To put that into perspective, Fortnite and PUBG had mobile launch week downloads of 22.5 million and 28 million, respectively. Call of Duty Mobile also generated more revenue in its first week than either title.
The most amazing part of all this success? It hasn’t even launched in China yet. Activision and Tencent have applied, but are waiting for approvals to release it in the Chinese market. Considering the curent dust-up over Blizzard’s snafu with a pro-Hong Kong Hearthstone player, maybe going slow is for the best.
Ubisoft is releasing Rabbids Coding for free today. It’s an educational title that teaches the basics of coding concepts via the antics of the Rabbids characters. It’s meant for a younger (seven and up) audience, but if you’ve never dipped into programming, it’s 32 lessons are a good primer for more advanced studies.
“Your goal in each level is to provide the simplest instructions possible to get the task done.”
Keep it simple, stupid! Rabbids Coding is available on PC for free through Uplay.
Wargroove, Chucklefish’s homage to Nintendo’s Advance Wars series, is getting new units in a free update. Previewed in this blog post, the Riflemen and Thief add some new wrinkles on this casual friendly combat game. The Thief, in particular, offers a different way to damage your enemy. Instead of attacking other units, the sneaky Thief hits your adversary where it really counts. Right in the bank account! The Thief steals gold from bases and strongholds, bypassing all that fighting nonsense.
If there is one thing a couple decades of strategy games have taught me, it’s that taking away the other guy’s money is a surefire path to victory. That, or Zerging him.
I’m playing Destiny again. No, wait. I’m back in the Tower hub for Destiny, but I’m playing Destiny 2. What happened? Also, why is my level 750? Why do I have a big fiery hammer superpower instead of my electric Tron shield? What happened to the farm hub? Where do I go next? What do I do now? I don’t even know what’s real anymore.
If you’ve been gone from Destiny 2 for a spell, (maybe to play other looter shooters) you’ll probably be as confused as I was. Things are kind of the same, but different. Destiny 2 is free to play now. No, really. Bungie just launched the Shadowkeep expansion, added a battle pass progression system with premium and free tracks, then made the base game along with a lot of previous expansion content free for anyone to try out. They also replaced the story start with a completely open Tower hub. Oh, Bungie moved the game from Battle.net to Steam for PC players as well! They’ve been busy, these rascals.
Confusing beginning aside, the strategy is probably a good one. In the absence of a cherry deal from a publisher or exclusive store, revitalizing an older title that always had a mixed reputation requires drastic measures to attract players. Everyone loves free stuff.
Is it the End Times? I’m only asking because after KFC decided to make a visual novel on Steam, Wendy’s has made an honest-to-gosh tabletop role-playing game. Feast of Legends may not be Dungeons & Dragons, but it does have rules for “Feast Mode” and a starter campaign set in Freshtovia.
The “Clapback Queen” has been the ruler of Freshtovia since 1969, and defends the realm from the treacherous evils of those who practice the dark art of frozen beef.
The first Borderlands game launched on October 20th, 2009 and Gearbox wants to celebrate with a month of Borderlands 3 in-game events. The Anniversary Celebration kicks off with Boss Week which has already started! From now until October 8th, the game’s boss monsters have modified loot tables that have increased chances of dropping rare goodies. Now is your chance to farm to your heart’s delight.
Later weeks’ events include Rare Spawn Hunt, Show Me the Eridium, and Mayhem on Twitch. While there are no details of those updates, the final week, Spooky Surprise, will likely coincide with the release of the Bloody Harvest, a Halloween-themed extravaganza.
Apex Legends’ Season 3 Meltdown starts today. The free game update comes with a new map, “World’s Edge,” that features molten lava and icy drifts. There’s also a Snowpiercer-ish train running through the map. Season 3 also brings a new player character to buy, if that’s your thing. Crypto is a surveillance guy, so he comes with drones as well as a backstory nominally tied to the new map.
Most importantly, Season 3 arrives with an all new Battle Pass with 100 levels of skins, in-game funny money packs, emotes, and other unlockables. Get your icy-hot cosmetics right here!
Ubisoft has teamed up with Concordia University and KnowledgeOne to create the Game Creator’s Odyssey. It’s a full online game design course built within the framework of a game. The course teaches basics, design principles, techniques, and best practices, while rewarding students with XP and level progression. If there’s one thing Ubisoft can teach game designers, it’s how to get players to fill bars.
As they progress through the course, students will discover the epic story of Nagato, a shinobi warrior. Just like him, they will practice their skills and challenge their knowledge to progress through the first part of the Odyssey. The story of our hero will evolve along with their own learning journey.
Unfortunately, people excited at the idea of finally playing a big sprawling Ubisoft RPG set in Japan will have to commit to signing up for a game design class with one of the academic partners using the course. For that kind of money you could buy all the microtransactions available in Assassin’s Creed Odyssey.
There’s a new Medal of Honor game coming, but its a VR exclusive. Medal of Honor: Above and Beyond is developed by Respawn Entertainment and Oculus Studios. Gamers with Oculus Rift VR kits that are eager to jump back into WWII will shoot, stab, and soldier their way through three “authentic” acts. First, as a member of the French Resistance, then a regular infantryman in Normandy, and finally a member of a special force taking out a secret German facility. Boots on the ground!
Beyond the shooty bits dressed up with VR frippery like reloading via full hand motions, the game comes with a story gallery featuring interviews with veterans and historical images. Imagine the ending of Band of Brothers, but now two inches from your eyes!
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is getting a large update that basically turns the game into a comic book superhero movie. Operation Dark Divide, the final operation update for Black Ops, adds a time-limited Heavy Metal Heroes mode on the Battle Royale Blackout map that features a tank, thrust-jumping, air-ramps, and full starting loadouts. It’s like The Avengers, but with less quips.
The in-game loot crates get more weapons, skins, and trinkets. Regular multiplayer will see one all-new map, along with a reimagined version of the original Black Ops map, Launch. Finally, Tag Der Toten, the last content drop for Zombies mode, will wrap up the Aether storyline.
It’s the last hurrah for Black Ops 4 before the players shift over to this year’s Modern Warfare. Despite that annual schedule, Black Ops 3 received support and new additions for years after launch, so one can hope that Black Ops 4 gets similar consideration.
You can get Code Vein from Bandai Namco in exchange for some of your tasty blood. Get to TwitchCon in San Diego on September 27th, during the launch of Code Vein, and take part in the Red Cross blood drive that will take place in Gaslamp Square to get a copy of the upcoming JRPG. The publisher recommends that participants register here for the event. The tie between Code Vein’s sexy waifu vampire hunter and donating blood in real life is a stretch at best, but giving blood is always a nice thing to do.
Sega and Sports Interactive are using a new eco-friendly package for retail versions of Football Manager 2020. The reinforced cardboard sleeve and recyclable polyethylene shrink wrap replaces the standard hard plastic case that you see now. The new packaging costs about 30% more than the current boxes, but that difference is partially offset with a reduced cost for shipping and destruction on excess manufacturing. Studio director Miles Jacobson estimates a 20-ton plastic savings over a print run, which would equal a gigantic difference if adopted by the gaming industry.
Going digital reduces a lot more plastic waste, of course, but pundits continue to debate the cost and energy of server farms against the distribution and manufacturing of media. Hit the pitch with your vuvuzela and make yourself heard!