Apex Legends is full of little tricks the game doesn’t tell you about–so much so that we compiled them into a guide. Even with a full rundown of things you should know that aren’t super obvious, there are lots of best practices that experienced and effective Apex Legends players know about that are easy for others to miss. One such thing everybody should know about is the way to extend your glide distance during jumps at the start of Apex Legends matches, something often referred to as “wave gliding.”
If you’re not already using wave gliding, you absolutely should be. It’s a trick that can help you extend your jumps by a few hundred meters, and make it possible to reach almost any area on the map from the drop ship. The trick is to balance the speed of your descent with the distance you want to cover: dropping at either too steep an angle or too gradual of one will keep you from getting those really long distances.
Wave gliding gets its name from the technique of alternating between gliding as far as you can and diving toward the ground below. When you glide basically flat toward your destination, the friction reduces your speed–which means your total glide distance is reduced as well. You can pick up more speed by diving, and while you lose a little distance because of the steep incline, you get more back from increasing your speed when you flatten out.
The good news is that balancing the dives and glides is pretty easy thanks to Apex Legends’ HUD while dropping. On the left side of the screen, you’ll see numbers that indicate your speed. Diving increases your speed significantly. The trick is to dive until your speed hits about 145, then level off and ride the burst until it falls to around 135. Dive again, pick up more speed, then level off again.
Using the wave glide technique is very useful for getting to those tough-to-reach places like Relay or Slum Lakes, and getting to those distant locations is a great way to get some high-quality loot while being less likely to run into other players before you’re ready. If you want to avoid conflict right out of the gate and get to your preferred jump locations, this is the way to do it.
The most effective horror can seep its way into the mundanity of our everyday lives, ruminating beneath the surface before wrapping its malevolent tendrils around our sense of comfort and familiarity. Years after it was removed from sale, the bite-sized slice of P.T. we were privy to still manages to evoke those trembling feelings of unease more potently than almost any other horror game since–making each trip around that unremarkable L-shaped corridor an intimidating test of nerves. Devotion, a new psychological horror game from Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games, evokes P.T.’s terrifying spirit to paint an inventive, thought-provoking, and insidious portrait of family life within the claustrophobic confines of a small Taiwanese apartment.
Set throughout the 1980s, Devotion focuses on a strained family of three: struggling screenwriter Du Feng Yu, retired singer and movie star Li Fang, and their sickly young daughter Mei Shin, who aspires to be like her mother. The game predominantly takes place within the five rooms of their modest apartment, with a narrative that takes you on a distressing tour through the years and various configurations of this intimate space. The attention to detail in each facet of the apartment is striking, as every nook and cranny is thoughtfully assembled to replicate an authentic, lived-in home. There are old newspapers being used as makeshift tablecloths, pencils and discarded scripts messily strewn across desks, a corridor that’s extravagantly decorated with the haphazard art of Meh Shin and her litany of crayons, and a calendar hung above the CRT TV that notates significant dates in the family’s lives. Each detail, no matter how meaningful or insignificant, establishes and effectively reinforces Devotion’s disconcerting sense of familiarity. This nuanced sense of place ensures that whenever your eyes are averted elsewhere and the apartment begins to shift and transcend its limitations–sometimes dramatically, other times subtly–it’s all the more unnerving when you turn around and come face-to-face with a surreal distortion.
All of these details, from the apartment’s transforming arrangement of rooms, its varying lighting, the tempestuous weather rattling away at the windows outside, and the way the building mutates around you, are all in service of Red Candle’s profound storytelling. The central tale is intimately focused on the family of three, but Devotion manages to weave a tangled web that deftly examines the impact that mental illness, societal pressure and expectations, and religious fanaticism can have on a beleaguered family. For as much as Devotion is about its characters and the fantastic way their development coalesces with that of the ever-changing apartment–with the increasingly dishevelled rooms acting as a poignant metaphor for the family–it’s also about a specific time and place; delving into the role of women in 1980’s Taiwan, feminine beauty standards, the infancy of mental health research and the stigmas attached to it, and the sometimes dangerous faith desperate people will place in religion. Explorations of Taoism and Buddhism might not completely resonate with a Western audience, but the story is told in such a way that it’s relatively easy to read through the lines and understand the awful, heartbreaking extremes people are willing to go to for those they love.
Taiwanese developer Red Candle Games, evokes P.T.’s terrifying spirit to paint an inventive, thought-provoking, and insidious portrait of family life
Impassioned voice acting brings Devotion’s limited number of cutscenes to life, but most of the story is told through the myriad items you gather, read, and manipulate as you traverse through different variations of the family home during 1980, 1985, and 1986. Puzzle solving is relatively straightforward, with any items you find inevitably being used to solve a particular conundrum. All of your interactions are geared towards unravelling the mystery of exactly what happened within the unassuming walls of this family home. A note you found earlier might inform a scene later on, while coming to understand the family’s relationship with one another will gradually evolve the context and meaning of certain trinkets aside from the revelations discovered in its most gut-punching moments. Devotion might be mechanically simple–knowing to put a camera on a tripod isn’t going to wrack your brain, for example–but its strengths come from simply immersing you in a place with an engaging story you’ll want to see through to its conclusion. There are a couple of jump scares, but they feel earned within the oppressive atmosphere achieved through ominous music, sounds, and unsettling imagery, with striking motifs tracing everything back to the family’s shattered lives.
Unlike a lot of contemporary horror games, Devotion also resists the temptation to dabble in frustrating trial-and-error stealth sections or monotonous conflicts with monsters in an attempt to heighten any perceived sense of excitement. There is one regrettable chase scene late in the game, which is undeniably Devotion’s lowest point, but it’s also brief and easy enough that it doesn’t overstay its welcome. At three hours in length it’s feasible to reach the end credits in one sitting, and that might be the ideal way to experience it. The pacing is almost immaculate aside from a plodding stroll towards the game’s final act, but even this is easy to push to the back of your mind once you’ve reached its stunning conclusion.
Devotion doesn’t quite match the anxiety-inducing frights that permeate each cautious step forward in games like P.T. and Amnesia: The Dark Descent, but its domestic terror burrows deep inside your psyche long after the final credits have rolled. The sorrowful story it tells meshes malice with tenderness, metaphor with stark truths, and achieves it all with the nuanced kind of environmental storytelling other games can only strive for. There are moments when it jumps out of the genre completely, surprising you with a sudden tonal shift, and others where the oftentimes clichéd presence of a children’s doll is used to signal a character’s poignant detachment. Everything Devotion does is in service of this story and its character development; you learn about these people’s lives, empathize with their plight, and come to understand their actions, even if you don’t agree with them. Home is where the heart is, and Devotion is a shining example of what the horror genre is capable of.
Editor’s note: At the time of publishing Devotion is not available to purchase on Steam. The game was pulled by Red Candle Games, which stated this was due to “technical issues that cause unexpected crashes and among other reasons.” The game was also caught up in a controversy surrounding art in the game which looked to be based on a meme of Chinese President Xi Jinping. Addressing this, Red Candle Games said “our team would also review our game material once again making sure no other unintended materials was inserted.” The game is expected to be made available again in the future.
In one of the biggest contracts in sports history, slugger Bryce Harper today signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies. Harper was previously announced as the cover star of Sony’s MLB The Show 19, but because he was a free agent then, the cover was only a placeholder that showed Harper in a nondescript hoodie. Now that he’s signed his record-breaking deal, Sony has released the official cover art showing Harper in his Phillies garb.
Harper’s deal, which has yet to be officially confirmed by the Phillies and is pending a physical, also includes a no-trade clause and no opt-out clause, so we could continue to see Harper playing for the Phillies until 2031. In the deal, Harper makes an average of $24.4 million per season. While massive, it doesn’t even crack the top ten of the MLB’s highest annual salary list.
Under his new contract, Harper will make more than $150,000 per game and almost $45,000 every time he steps to the plate, according to numbers crunched by Darren Rovell.
Harper spent his entire professional career as the right fielder for the Washington Nationals before signing with the Phillies today. The new cover for MLB The Show 19 with Harper in a Phillies uniform is just fine, but his beard looks weird.
MLB The Show 19, which launches on March 26, will be available in a Standard Edition ($60 USD) and a Gone Yard Edition ($100) that is exclusive to GameStop and EB Games. It comes with a New Era baseball snap back cap, a copy of the game, in-game extras, and more. A $100 Digital Deluxe edition will also be available; some of its extras include an allotment of Stubs, custom avatars, and more. An MVP Edition ($70), meanwhile, includes a series of digital extras and a steelbook case if you’re picking up the physical edition. Everyone who pre-orders any edition of MLB The Show 19 gets extra in-game digital content.
As Palkia exits the stage, Dialga takes its place as the legendary Raid boss Pokémon in Pokémon Go. The legendary cover star of Pokémon Diamond will be available starting March 1 at 4 p.m. ET until March 28 at 4 p.m. ET.
Dialga is a steel- and dragon-type Pokémon, which means you’ll want to whip out your strongest fighting and ground types to counter it. If you caught a Groudon back in January, this is your chance to show it off.
Similarly to Palkia, Dialga can have the Draco Meteor attack, which can make it a tricky and tough fight, especially if you don’t have enough players. The Silph Road experts are already chatting about Dialga, who they believe probably won’t replace Metagross as the best steel-type attacker, but nonetheless will be a good addition to any trainer’s Pokédex.
For the weather-boosted Dialga, challenge it during snowy or windy weather, but be prepared for it to hit you back harder than usual.
All three Resident Evil games are listed on Switch’s storefront for $30 / £30 apiece. Not only is that price tag surprising considering each game is several generations old by this point, it is $10 more than the titles cost on other platforms.
This certainly isn’t the first time the Switch versions of some games have turned out to be more expensive than on other consoles; since the system launched, many publishers have charged slightly more for Switch games to offset the cost of manufacturing cartridges. Such was the case with Rime and LA Noire, among others.
What makes this instance feel especially egregious to fans, however, is that Resident Evil HD and Resident Evil 4 aren’t receiving physical releases on the system; they’ll only be available digitally. Switch owners will be able to purchase a physical copy of Resident Evil 0, and Capcom is selling a Resident Evil Origins Collection that packs in both 0 and the original for $60–although reportedly only 0 will be on a game card, with the other included as a download code.
Three new pinnacle weapons are coming to Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter.
On the site for the new season, Bungie teased details about three new weapons tied to strikes, the Crucible, and Gambit. Pinnacle weapons are guns with unique perks built for certain activities. Like the previous season’s pinnacle weapons, acquiring these guns will require lengthy quest lines and mastery of the given activity. The quests will be available to all players.
The Vanguard pinnacle weapon is the Oxygen SR3, and it looks to be a Omolon scout rifle. It comes with the perk Dragonfly, which causes precision kills to create an explosion. However, a unique perk on the gun makes Dragonfly deal more damage based on the number of headshots a player lands before the explosion.
Bungie hasn’t detailed the quest yet, but the previous Vanguard quest asked players to get kills with a specific weapon type and complete strikes. Expect the Oxygen SR3 quest to be similar.
The Crucible pinnacle weapon is The Recluse, and looks to be a Veist submachine gun. This gun has a unique version of the Rampage perk, which usually increases weapon damage after a kill. With The Recluse, kills with any weapon increase The Recluse’s damage for a brief time.
Crucible pinnacle weapons are usually the hardest to get, and involve reaching the rank of Fabled in the competitive playlist. It’s unclear if that’ll be the objective for this season, but it’s a safe bet.
The Gambit pinnacle weapon is 21% Delirium, which looks to be a Suros machine gun. Like The Recluse, 21% Delirium has an altered version of the Rampage perk. Instead of kills increasing damage for a short time, 21% Delirium increases in damage until you stow or reload the gun. It’s unclear how interactions with Lunafaction Boots and Titan Barricades will affect this, since they refill the magazine over time, rather than requiring a reload.
The previous Gambit pinnacle weapon asked players to play a large number of Gambit matches, and get kills with that type of weapon. Bungie hasn’t said how you’ll get 21% Delirium yet.
We’ll update this post when we know more about these weapons, their perks, and the quests to acquire them.
Less than a month before its launch, MLB The Show 19 finally has its cover in place. This has to be some kind of a record for latest cover reveal in the history of console sports gaming.
Anyway, we’ve known since November the cover athlete would be six-time All-Star Bryce Harper, but not if that would be Bryce Harper of the Dodgers, Bryce Harper of the White Sox (lol), or Bryce Harper of the Phillies. Thursday’s news that Harper has inked a stupefying 13-year deal worth $330 million puts him in red pinstripes on the box for the PlayStation 4’s baseball flagship:
At the end of the 2018 season, weeks before Harper was to become a free agent, he turned down a 10-year, $300 million offer from his then-current team, the Washington Nationals. The 2012 NL Rookie of the Year and 2015 NL MVP was seeking a richer deal elsewhere, at a time when baseball’s biggest clubs appeared to be in a cost-control mode.
Free agency has complicated video games’ modern ritual of naming a cover star. Last year, 2K Sports named LeBron James for a special edition cover, even though he hadn’t yet signed with a new team. When EA Sports chose Cristiano Ronaldo for the cover of FIFA 19, he was in Real Madrid’s uniform; later he joined Juventus. Kyrie Irving was tapped for NBA 2K18’s cover as a Cleveland Cavalier, then was traded to Boston before the game’s launch; 2K Sports released a revised cover afterward.
Blizzard has started to outline its plans for the coming year in Hearthstone, including details on new Hall of Fame inclusions, its new approach to single-player content, and changes to quests and Arena. The Hearthstone Blog dubbed this the Year of the Dragon, and it will begin with the release of the first expansion of 2019.
As usual, the new year will bring several sets rotating out of Standard play, along with some hand-selected cards joining the Hall of Fame. Induction into this group means they’ll no longer be playable in Standard, and it’s usually reserved for cards that are especially powerful and potentially problematic going forward. This time the rotation includes some doozies.
The Druid card Naturalize, the Warlock card Doomguard, and the Paladin card Divine Favor are all being moved into the Hall of Fame. These are all mainstays that each class has had in regular use for years, but in each case Blizzard feels they overcompensate for class weaknesses in a way that hurts their class identity.
Two more shocking changes are to Baku the Mooneater and Genn Greymane, two cards that were introduced in The Witchwood. Ordinarily Blizzard would wait for cards from an expansion to rotate out on their own, but these two cards–which introduced powerful “Odd” and “Even” decks–have been too prevalent and risk overshadowing the new cards introduced this year. The fan community has been especially vocal about the adverse effect they’ve been having on the game. Gloom Stag, Black Cat, Glitter Moth, and Murkspark Eel are also joining the Hall of Fame, since each of them relied on the even/odd mechanic from Baku and Genn.
The blog goes on to explain that this year’s single-player experience will be one continuous story, with more customization and decks. A free chapter will hit a month after the first expansion, followed by other chapters for 700 gold each, or $20 for the bundle. Completing all five chapters will net you a special card back and Golden Classic pack.
Other quality of life improvements include the ability to re-roll legendary quests, a random card back option, a smarter deck builder, and Arena wins counting toward earning your golden hero. Plus Arena itself will get a big change, as the draft pool will consist of a mixture of sets from throughout the game’s lifespan. The first rotation will include the Basic, Classic, Curse of Naxxramas, Whispers of the Old Gods, Mean Streets of Gadgetzan, The Witchwood, and this year’s first expansion.
Finally, as Hearthstone prepares to say goodbye to the current year, you can get a login reward. Logging on between March 25 and April 2 will get you one pack each from Journey to Un’Goro, Knights of the Frozen Throne, and Kobolds & Catacombs. A special Tavern Brawl is also planned for that week. All of this suggests that the first expansion for Year of the Dragon will come sometime in April.
As fans of loot shooters find themselves wondering which one to play, here’s a reminder that Destiny 2 is as good as it’s ever been, and it’s only getting better.
On Tuesday, Bungie will put out Destiny 2‘s first big update since the Activision divorce two months ago, as the game enters the Season of the Drifter. If you have the Destiny 2 annual pass, you’ll get a bunch of new Gambit-themed content and quests. If you don’t, you’ll still get some cool stuff, like Gambit private matches and even a new exotic quest. This Bungie guide is pretty helpful:
For a good summary of everything that’s coming, check out this new eight-minute hype video that Bungie released today:
Orrrr if you don’t want to watch it all, here’s a quick summary:
There’s a new variant on Gambit called Gambit Prime that seems like a far more intense version of the PvEvP mode. It’s one round rather than three, and allows invading players not just to kill their opponents, but to steal their motes, denying them progress along the way. Also, the final boss will have raid-like mechanics that require your team to do far more than just shoot it.
There’s also a new Gambit-related PVE activity called Reckoning that we don’t know much about just yet. One Bungie dev compared parts of it to the Crota raid in Destiny 1. It looks wild, and it’ll give you rewards you can then use back in Gambit Prime.
In Reckoning, you can get special Gambit-themed armor based on specific roles: Reaper, Collector, Sentry, and Invader. Each of these armor sets will have perks tailored to a specific Gambit playstyle, which is a totally new (and very cool) concept in Destiny.
You’ll be able to do special bounties as a catch-up mechanic to quickly get up to power level 640 (presumably what you need for Reckoning) if you’re not there already.
There’ll be a quest called Allegiance that lets you pick a side—the Vanguard or the Drifter—and advance your version of Destiny 2‘s story accordingly. We’re also going to start getting Invitations of the Nine, bounties that offer “an exploration of the Nine and their mysterious place in the universe.” (The first one will show up with Xur on March 15.)
Also, Thorn is coming back, so get ready for PvP to be full of POISON.
The update, which is due to go live in the next day or two, will do three main things. First, common and uncommon equipment will no longer drop from end-game activities, helping put an end to the all too frequent pain of seeing what looks like a golden masterwork item in a pile of loot turn out to be a white item distorted by lighting effects. Second, the resources needed to craft masterwork items from blueprints will be reduced from 25 masterwork embers to 15. Finally, the random stat rolls on gear, which Anthem calls inscriptions, will now have benefits catered more specifically to the piece of gear they’re on.
“Many inscriptions are not useful to the item they are attached to,” Ben Irving, the game’s lead producer, wrote on the Anthem subreddit last night. “Due to this, players need to get many masterworks of the same item to find a ‘good one.’ Players want the frequency of masterwork drops to increase to help with the above OR…They want us to change how masterwork inscriptions work so that they are more ‘useful.’”
BioWare has decided to adopt the latter approach. Rather than boost the drop rates for masterwork and legendary items as some have requested, the studio has decided to make the stat rolls (inscriptions) on individual drops better so players don’t feel the need to keep grinding for additional ones.
This means better inscriptions on average for each masterwork item and no more useless inscriptions that don’t apply to the items they’re rolled on. The way inscriptions work is that they’re randomly generated and can belong to one of two categories: those whose effects apply to the entire Javelin and those whose effects apply only to the item they’re on.
Currently, it’s possible to grind for hours, get a new masterwork assault rifle, and then have one of the four inscriptions rolls on that assault rifle be something like “machine pistols do 9 percent more damage” with a gear icon next to it showing that bonus only applies to the gun rather than the entire Javelin, making it completely useless (since it’s not a machine pistol). Even when the stat bonuses aren’t item-specific, there can still be problems. The Colossus Javelin, for example, can’t even equip machine pistols, but the rest of its gear can still be full of machine pistol-related inscriptions.
Going forward, the inscriptions won’t be so random. If an inscription is item-specific, it will always directly benefit that item, e.g. an assault rifle with an inscription that grants 12 percent more ammo on assault rifles. If the inscription applies to the entire Javelin, it will directly boost damage output or survivability in some way. Since we still haven’t seen the new system in practice, it’s too early to say whether this will completely fix inscriptions. One of the other problems that currently exists is there’s no way to know what the best version of a particular inscription is, so when players re-roll their equipment for better ones, they have no idea what they’re aiming for. This particular update won’t address that.
It also won’t address one of the other problems with Anthem’s loot, namely that end-game rewards don’t feel in line with the difficulty of the missions they drop from. Tyrant Mine is the easiest of the three stronghold missions currently in the game so players keep running that one over and over, a recipe for boredom. In addition, running missions on higher grandmaster difficulties doesn’t seem to significantly ratchet up drop rates, leaving some players feeling like they’re not worth the trouble. “Looking into this,” Irving responded when one commenter on the subreddit asked about this particular issue. “Understand the problem space for sure.”