Category Archives: Video Games

Fortnite Wins Big With new Game Mode

The developers at Epic Games have been working hard to make 2018 the year that Fortnite completely draws beyond the reach of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Fortnite and PUBG are currently going head-to-head in a variety of different places, including the mobile market, but that doesn’t mean that Fortnite’s developers have forgotten about the core gameplay experience. Epic Games recently announced the release of an all-new game type: Blitz Mode.

Last month savvy gamers will have heard the news that Epic Games was teasing a new slate of game modes to go alongside their always-popular Battle Royale. One of those game modes that was teased went by the name of Blitz Mode. Blitz Mode looks to dramatically change the core gameplay experience for players that are looking for something new. In Blitz Mode, gamers will have to clear out their enemies in the 15 minutes of allotted time. The match features a tightened storm, an increased rate for chests, weapons, and ammo, and harvest resources have been amplified.

The goal with the Blitz Mode will be to increase the tempo of the game while giving new players a chance to showcase their stuff in a less stressful matchup. Epic Games claims that this new mode will allow the game to be more ‘fast and intense’. The new mode comes out at a time when Fortnite is seeing increased resistance from the PUBG developers who have announced a global mobile version of their own game. Epic Games knows that they have to prove themselves strong with their new updates from here on out.

Blitz Mode is now available for console and PC gamers but there is no telling just how long the mode will be available. Epic Games have made it a habit of theirs to rotate in game modes in order to test the player base. Blitz Mode will have gone online just after the 3.3 Patch which included a ton of bug fixes as well as the vaulting of a popular grenade — the smoke grenades. Patch 3.3 also showcased Supply Llamas, remote detonation explosives while pulling the Boogie Bomb from play.

‘Dark Souls’ Gets Nintendo Switch Port, Showcases Improved Engine.

Nintendo stunned the world with the Switch as it rapidly became their best selling console in the prolonged history of the legendary gaming company. One of the major reasons that the Switch found such success was that Nintendo opened up their doors to have more third-party access from other developers in the industry. Now, the Switch is racking up amazing title additions to their library and one of the most surprising additions is that of ‘Dark Souls’.

‘Dark Souls’ is an absolute classic in the world of hardcore gamers. The legendary fantasy series is known for its visceral gameplay and unforgiving difficulty. ‘Dark Souls’ has been a mainstay on consoles and the series is continuing to grow, now Nintendo is getting their first chance to bring it into their catalog. Nintendo will be porting the original ‘Dark Souls’ which premiered on the Xbox 360 and the PS3. Gamers were right to be skeptical as to the quality of the port to the Nintendo console/handheld but so far the early reviews have been nothing but positive.

The team at Digital Foundry put together a string of gameplay footage from the PS3, Xbox 360 and the upcoming Nintendo Switch version which was teased via the Nintendo Direct. Using their analysis tools, Digital Foundry was capable of deducing that the Switch port of the game will sit at 1080p when docked and 720p when the Switch is taken mobile. This is in line with what Nintendo has been targeting in terms of their ported upgrade quality. Digital Foundry also went on to deduce that the Nintendo Switch footage did not feature new textures or extra remodeling efforts, though at this point in time we don’t know if Nintendo has any plans to actually address new models or textures.

One of the most exciting aspects of the ‘Dark Souls’ port is that it shows Nintendo is serious about catering to older gamers. The title is slated to release on May 25th but more news will drop in the meantime.

Fortnite Earns $1.5M on iOS

“Fortnite Battle Royale” has quickly become the most popular video game in the world after launching in September 2017. The game was already being enjoyed by millions of video game fans on the PS4, Xbox One and PC, but it just launched on the iOS smartphone operating system a few days ago. Putting a survival shooter that requires a lot of skill to succeed on a mobile phone seemed like a bad idea, but “Fortnite Battle Royale” has already earned over $1.5 million dollars during its first four days on mobile devices.

“Fortnite Battle Royale” was able to quickly amass the big earning by becoming the top download in a total of 47 countries on its first day of availability. Unlike other popular mobile and console video games, “Fortnite Battle Royale” is completely free to download and play. Most of the earnings have come through the purchase of the $10 Battle Pass subscription that rewards players with special cosmetic items for their character in the game.

The massive earnings for “Fortnite” on iOS are impressive when you consider that the game is not available to everyone at the moment. Only people that have received a special invitation can download the game on their iPhone. These invitation are being limited to ensure that game runs smoothly. The game’s earnings are only going to skyrocket when everyone with a iOS or Android smartphone can get their hands on the game.

The earnings are even more impressive due to the fact that millions of people are already enjoying the game on their game console or personal computer. “Pokemon GO” had the same instant success, but that was only playable on a mobile device. Since the mobile download is just an extension of the original game, console gamers have no incentive to purchase anything through the app. All of their progress and items are instantly available once they download the mobile version. Most video game experts think the “Fortnite” phenomenon is going to die soon, but that does not look likely.

‘Sea of Thieves’ Now Available on Xbox One and Windows

The highly anticipated pirate-themed video game “Sea of Thieves” was released on March 20, 2018. Available on Microsoft Windows and the Xbox One, with cross-platform play, it features an open-world in which dozens of players can engage ship battles, fight sea monsters and scavenge for loot.

“Sea of Thieves” was first announced in 2015 at Microsoft’s annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). Developed by Rare, Microsoft unveiled the game’s Unreal Engine 4, which offered realistic physics paired with smooth, fluid gameplay. Rare and Microsoft had originally planned to launch “Sea of Thieves” in 2017. Like many games, however, the launch date was pushed back.

Something that makes “Sea of Thieves” stand out from other games is its unique open-world, pirate-themed gameplay. It features a shared world in which multiple groups of players will frequently encounter each other. “Sea of Thieves” also features multiple environments, including oceans, underwater caves, land and towns. Furthermore, it includes some comical gameplay elements like the ability to shoot someone out of a cannon.

Because of its focused on a multiplayer style of gameplay, there’s been some concern over griefing in “Sea of Thieves.” While players can perform solo missions, this doesn’t offer the same experience as having ship battles between two or more groups. Unfortunately, some players join games with the purpose of ruining their teammates’ game. Known as griefers, they’re a common problem among many team-oriented multiplayer games, and “Sea of Thieves” is no exception.

In an interview with BBC, developers explained how they they are trying to stop griefing. For instance, players can’t attack other players in their crew. They can swing their sword or use other weapons pointed towards their crew, but this doesn’t cause damage. A player’s attack will only cause damage to non-player characters (NPCs) and players who aren’t a part of their crew.

Rare developers also designed a shared reward system in which all players of a crew are equally rewarded when one player completes a mission. This means a single player can’t steal his or her crew’s reward.

Finally, developers have implemented a feature that allows players to place abusive players in jail. Once jailed, the player is unable to interfere with other players’ gameplay, thus encouraging a healthy environment in which players work together to achieve a common goal.

‘State of Decay 2’ to Launch March 22

The sequel to the 2013 zombie-based survival game “State of Decay” is expected to launch on March 22, 2018. Developed by Undead Labs and purchased by Microsoft as an exclusive title for Windows and Xbox One, “State of Decay 2” improves on many of the elements that made the original game such a hit.

“State of Decay 2” focuses on survival and player development. It begins like its successor, with the player stranded alone in a hostile environment that’s overrun by zombies. You must then scavenge for weapons, food and equipment while also searching for other survivors. As you connect with other survivors, you can establish a base in the zombie-filled landscape, which you can upgrade for perks.

There are a few major changes to “State of Decay 2,” one of which is deeper customization. Survivors can have random attributes, for instance, that affect their statistics or skills. If a survivor has asthma, he or she will have reduced stamina, thus preventing them from sprinting long distances. A survivor with a a high pain threshold, on the other hand, benefits from increased attack power as well as higher XP from completed missions and killed zombies.

Perhaps the greatest feature of “State of Decay 2” is multiplayer. While the original “State of Decay” was well received by critics, it was strictly single player. “State of Decay 2” takes a different approach by supporting four-player co-op.

While there’s no word yet on when or even if “State of Decay 2” will be released, Undead Labs has hinted about possible spinoff games. According to The Verge, Microsoft’s Shannon Loftis said seed intellectual property (IP) could encourage developers to create new games. Being that “State of Decay” has become such a popular title for the Xbox One, we’ll probably see follow-up titles released in the future. Whether they are direct sequels or spinoffs based on IP, however, remains to be seen.

Mobile PUBG Is an Acceptable Play Experience

“PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds” has been the independent darling of 2017’s gaming landscape, to the point that it has now gone to iPhone and Android devices. While seasoned gamers may balk at the notion that a PC shooter could work just as well on an iPhone as it does on PC, the evidence indicates that both platforms are equally suitable. Despite the small size of the screen, everything seems to play well without requiring a controller, like the console releases necessitate. What may surprise most users is just how well the mobile version of PUBG maintains the sense of tension; headphones allow mobile players to track gunfire just as easily as someone playing on PC.

Others have commented that, much like with gaming PCs, anyone looking to experience mobile PUBG should do so only if they have a fresh model of phone. While graphics have taken an understandable hit for the sake of accessibility, with buildings being less populated and terrain being flatter and blurrier during while parachuting from the starting plane, the overall experience is one that is synonymous with what people expect from PUBG. Notably, the refresh rate on some phones may exceed that of a console experience. One reviewer, Matthew Gault of Motherboard, remarked that mobile PUBG is kinder to gamers who lack a specialized gaming mouse or lightning reflexes. Indeed, he feels that the mobile experience places everyone on equal footing in regarding to gaming skill.

One welcome distinction between the mobile version of PUBG and its contemporaries would be the inventory. Mobile PUBG automates loot collection, prioritizing whatever equipment your character is currently using; wielding an M16 will ensure that your character will focus on 5.56mm ammunition without having to push anything. While raiding a downed player’s corpse for gear involves a few more hoops, the game features quick item slots for one-shot items like bandages. The one major drawback to mobile PUBG? Tank controls combined with a touch interface for aiming.

PUBG Hits the Mobile Market

Are you ready to acknowledge the fact that the gaming world is now in all-out war? PUBG and Fortnite, both developed independently of one another, have been competing for dominance in the battle royale genre for the past year. While both games are markedly different, the core of their content is the same: dominating up to 100 enemies in a vast game map that is replete with weapons. Fortnite seemingly took the upper hand earlier this month when it was announced that the title would be coming to the mobile market. Well, PUBG wasn’t one to be outdone and the developers behind the hit game have already announced plans to bring their star title to mobile markets.

So, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is coming to mobile gamers everywhere after the title had found success on the PC, making it one of the best selling games of all time in Steam history. PUBG mobile will hone in on the core gameplay elements that the console and PC versions of the title made so popular: 100 player battle royale game modes. The goal in Battle Royale is to outlast your opponent and the mayhem will be making its way to mobile in much the same fashion.

PUBG was developed for the mobile market in collaboration with a mobile gaming company named Tencent. Chen Jerry, the VP at Tencent, praised the work that had gone into PUBG. Jerry went on to say, “We are working hard to create an authentic PUBG mobile experience that players new and old will love.”

PUBG Mobile is hitting the mobile market with direct competition but the PUBG team already has a leg up on their competition. Whereas Fortnite is a free console game, the mobile version is on invite-only. PUBG is a paid experience on console/PC but the mobile version of the game will be available on iOS and Android platforms for free. PUBG will be able to immediately steer the market toward their brand of mobile battle royale.

Discord Adds e-Sports Teams to Verified Servers Program

Discord, a gaming-centric chat application, has paired up with several e-sports teams, broadening the grasp of its verified servers program. In short, users can instantly confirm if they are conversing with an official team via a gray “Verified” badge. Discord has verified 20 new pro team servers, dedicated to games like “Defense of the Ancients,” “League of Legends,” “CounterStrike: Global Operative” and “Overwatch.” Some of these new verified teams include the Overwatch League and pro-gaming groups like Cloud 9, Echo Fox and 100 Thieves. Despite these improvements, Discord has not evolved its program to verify individual players nor the servers of individual players, as the application already offers a Partners program to interested game streamers.

Previously, Discord’s verification badge was limited to musicians, game studios and publishers; it still lacks support for community servers. For a server to qualify for the badge, the server must have a moderator team, two-factor authentication and explicit content filtration. Discord’s expansion is one more step toward growing out of its beta build days, where it had little in the way of deterrence from toxic subcultures and online trolling from the alt-right. While other social outlets like Facebook and YouTube already have the means to verify accounts, verification can help sort the imitators from the genuine articles.

Fake accounts are a known problem with Discord, especially when users can list themselves as whatever appellation they want to be recognized by; any user who operate the program on multiple devices is bound to wind up with duplicates of the same name. Despite Discord’s community guidelines having a specific mention about abstaining from the creation of spam accounts, the worst-possible enforceable punishment for flagrant abuse is deletion of the account.

Fortnite Battle Royale Brings New Changes to Battle Pass Customization.

Epic Games has been bringing the heat with their free online FPS-battler ‘Fortnite: Battle Royale’ and the changes keep on coming. In a genre of gaming that is extremely competitive, free offerings like Fortnite need to constantly offer something special in order to keep gamers clued in. Sometimes, this takes the form of making a gameplay adjustment — such as removing a popular but imbalanced weapon like the SMG. Other times, it means adding new layers of customization in order to keep gamers entertained.Recently, Epic Games announced that they are allowing more customization to be had for your online soldier by way of editing your character’s own back.

Fortnite has been notoriously reliant upon a cash-shop in order to keep their online game afloat as more and more updates are rolled out throughout the beta phase. This means giving gamers the chance to make changes to their character that don’t affect the actual quality of the game. Epic Games has made this possible by releasing a slew of different skins and shields and now they are allowing you to modify your torso. What does this mean more specifically? We’re glad that you asked.

Now, you are able to change up your back. Anything that a character’s skin might possess, such as a shield or the Love Ranger wings, can be filtered out. Anyone can wear these items now, so long as they are quired, and the Back Bligns are going to be added in through the Battle Pass option. You are going to be able to mix and match your different outfit options in order to end up with a completely unique character by the time that you are done. Along with this update, you’ll also be seeing some new skins coming out in the near future so keep your eyes peeled.

Breath of the Wild Named Game of the Year at DICE Awards

The Game of the Year is a highly coveted title, with dozens of games lobbying for the spot in multiple awards shows even prior to release. At the 21st DICE Awards in Las Vegas, 2017’s lucky winner was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

This decision likely won’t be a shock to many, as Breath of the Wild was one of the consistently best reviewed games of the year, instrumental even in the success of the Nintendo Switch on which it launched. Currently holding a 97 on Metacritic from over 100 reviewers, the game was undoubtedly the favorite of many critics and audiences alike during the year, making both the nomination and win unsurprising.

In total, Breath of the Wild won four awards during the show: Game of the Year, Adventure Game of the Year, Outstanding Achievement in Game Design, and Outstanding Achievement in Game Direction. Aside from Zelda, though, Nintendo cleaned house in multiple other categories, with Metroid: Samus Returns, Fire Emblem Heroes, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, and Super Mario Odyssey all taking home awards in different categories.

Additionally, Nintendo executive Genyo Takeda was given the lifetime achievement award for his many accomplishments throughout his career, chief among them being his involvement in the development of some of Nintendo’s best consoles like the Wii.

The only game to come close in number of awards was Studio MDHR’s indie darling Cuphead, which won three awards (Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition) while being nominated for five.

All in all, it seems that even in the modern era, Nintendo still reigns as king of the video game world.