Halo: Reach PC Beta Begins, Immediately Gets “Illegally Distributed”

The first of the Halo: Reach PC betas began this weekend, and it took no time at all for people to do what people do. Tyler Davis of developer 343 Industries announced on Twitter that the first beta test, or “flight” in the Halo parlance, was “illegally distributed online” just after release.

Those who download or play the “illegal” copy of the game could have their accounts banned, while they might also be blocked from future beta tests.

According to Davis, this type of illegal activity is no surprise to 343.

“We knew this was something that likely would happen with our early flights,” he said. “We are prepared for how to handle it on our ends and this is just more so a reminder warning to people that if they circumvent it there are consequences.”

The first Halo: Reach PC beta began on June 28 and is scheduled to end on July 1. Another element of controversy surrounding the beta is that some people believe 343 gave preferential treatment to streamers or content creators in regards to access to the beta. This is not true, Davis said. Five out of six people granted access to the beta were chosen based on their PC hardware configurations, Davis said. The rest were content creators or “close friends” of 343 including professional gamers who have worked with Microsoft in the past. The terms of the Halo: Reach PC beta test state that footage cannot be streamed online.

Over time, 343 will expand the Halo: Reach for PC beta tests to include more people and provide access to different parts of the game. “We see the excitement and eagerness from the community to participate in these flights, and we hear you,” 343 said in a blog post. “Just know that we are going to continue to invite more over time and get as many people in and providing feedback as possible but it’s going to take some time so please hang in there.

The next beta test for Halo: Reach on PC will be released … at some point. “As stated many times before, it’s ready when it’s ready,” 343 said.

There will be beta tests for Halo: Reach on Xbox One as well, but there is no word on when they might begin. In all cases, you need to sign up for the Halo Insiders program for a shot at getting in.

Halo: Reach is coming to PC through The Master Chief Collection, which will be available on Steam and Windows. It’ll likely be a very long time before each title is released, as 343 is planning these betas for each title, spanning Halo: Reach, Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and finally Halo 4. Each game will be sold individually, while Xbox Game Pass subscribers on Xbox One or PC can get them all as they’re released at no extra cost.

Microsoft will also offer pre-release beta tests for Halo Infinite on Xbox and PC, but there is no word yet when they will begin.

Source: GameSpot.com

Void Bastards: new challenge modes soon, DLC after that

Void Bastards’ creators have begun talking about post-launch support, Ta month after the game’s well received release on PC and Xbox One. Immediately on deck are some challenge modes, which Blue Manchu promises will be free to everyone.

“We’re still ironing out the details, but expect challenges like: stealthing your way past super tough enemies, being forced to rely on amped-up authorization skills to take over ship systems, and managing a super fast but hard-to-control client,” developers said by way of the game’s Steam page yesterday.

The team also hinted at an expansion, in the form of DLC featuring “an entirely new organization, complete with a new opponent and new ships.” That was accompanied by a .gif teasing some unit called Nemesis, which is apparently staffed with space-cleaning robots. More news, about a new weapon, will be coming in the next week.

Void Bastards teaser image of a maid robot called the Tydy Bot.
The Tydy Bot, teasing some new content for Void Bastards.
Blue Manchu

Void Bastards launched May 29 (arriving in the Xbox One Game Pass library that day, too) and count us a fan of the witty, free-wheeling space piracy adventure, done in a comic-booky style. Our review gave it a Polygon Recommends thumbs up as much for the style as for the procedural generation that can give your plucky privateers a shot of good fortune — or bad luck. Here’s a guide for players new to the game.

Source: Polygon.com

Infinity Ward dev says ‘no comment’ to unconfirmed rumors of Battle Royale mode being in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

A new rumor has popped up on the internet this past week of a possible addition of a Battle Royale mode in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.

The rumor comes from YouTuber TheGamingRevolution who claims to know a person that has the information on what Infinity Ward is working on for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and claims that there is in fact a Battle Royale mode in development for the new title this year.

The video post to his channel, viewable here, states that a “source” tells him the Battle Royale mode is currently in development with 152 players and a map that is 3x the size of Black Ops 4’s Blackout. He also states that Infinity Ward is reportedly targeting 200 players for the mode.

We want to caution right out that this information is not confirmed by any means from anyone at Activision or Infinity Ward. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare has been announced to include Campaign, Multiplayer, and Co-Op mode only. Back in May, when we were at Infinity Ward, the studio declined to comment on the addition of such mode in this game.

In addition, information that CharlieINTEL last heard was that there was no Battle Royale mode in active development for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. TheGamingRevolution’s source claims that the mode was sent into development recently to be in the game.

A fan asked Infinity Ward’s Art Director, Joel Emslie, about this rumor and he replied with a GIF that says ‘No Comment.’

There’s no acknowledgment that this is real at all, but we will update as we get more information.

comments below

Source: CharlieIntel.com

Maybe Death Stranding works better as a PSOne game

I know de-make videos are fun, either as a satire or a thought exercise, and Lord knows they’ve given me plenty to ponder on sleepy Saturdays and Sundays over the past decade. So, pardon me for saying this, but shouldn’t Death Stranding, like the actual game, launch first — and then someone de-makes it?

This would seem to be a prerequisite for any game that doesn’t have a cult of personality built up around it or its creator. But its especially necessary for a game like Death Stranding, whose point and purpose is still inscrutable to me, three years after it was first shown, four months before its release date, and one month after a nine-minute video finally showed some gameplay. And that was, basically, Norman Reedus doing kung fu with a foot locker tied to his back, and getting to inaccessible places with a device called a ladder.

But I will say this for the de-make’s illustrator, Ben Parker: He may be onto something here. Death Stranding’s gameplay may be better suited for a lower-resolution, less realistic presentation. Two decades ago, PlayStation players had no problem suspending their disbelief for the kind of unaccountably weird and underexplained things that Death Stranding has shown, because in their primitive renderings of three-dimensional worlds, pretty much everything was “stylish” and surreal.

Even if we’re watching Death Stranding in a more suitable milieu, it doesn’t override my original reaction to the gameplay that was shown: boring as hell. But that may be the chuckle-worthy loading times Parker slipped in every 30 seconds or so.

Death Stranding arrives to confound us all on Nov. 8 for PlayStation 4.

Source: Polygon.com

Summer Games Done Quick 2019 Raised Over $3 Million Dollars In One Week, Setting A New Record

Photo: Summer Games Done Quick (Twitter)

Summer Games Done Quick 2019 has been a huge success and earlier this morning it was announced that the event had raised $3,003,889 for the charity Doctors Without Borders. This easily beat last year’s total of $2.1 million and is a new record for the popular SGDQ event.

The week-long event showcases a variety of speedruns of different games, all streamed across the internet. Fans can donate money to get certain games played or interact in other ways with the streamers, like to name characters or save games.

SGDQ 2019 received over 50k individual donations over the week, with the average donation hovering around $60.

If you missed any of the speedruns, you can catch up on the official Games Done Quick YouTube channel, where streams are still being uploaded so fans can watch later on.

The next Games Done Quick event will support Able Gamers charity and will take place in September at TwitchCon. Another GDQ event will happen after that in January 2020.

Source: Kotaku.com

Star Wars Battlefront II Fans Are Loving The Recently Added Droidekas

You might call them Droidekas or you might call them destroyer droids, but whatever you call them, these rolling death machines were recently added into Star Wars Battlefront II. Since being added fans have seemingly fallen in love with the new droids, posting clips of how deadly they are, how buggy they can be, how useful they are in objective game modes and also how they are too big for some doors.

First seen in action in the prequel film Star Wars: Episode I, these droids are extremely dangerous due to how fast they can fire their dual blasters and their powerful shields. The droids have since popped up in many different movies, cartoons, comics and video games, including the older Battlefront games.

On June 26, Dice added the long requested Droidekas into the game. Originally when fans asked about these droids, Dice wasn’t sure they would ever be added into the game. Back in February of this year, developers at Dice explained that they weren’t coming and that part of the reason was due to how hard the droids would be to animate. They also feared balance issues, with some players pointing out that in the older Battlefront games the Droidekas could be a little overpowered.

But even before this, the hype over destroyer droids was building due to an image that seemed to show a Droideka in the background. Dice eventually confirmed that this was a Droideka, but it was unfinished and wasn’t supposed to be used in that screenshot. Now, nearly a year later, the rolling death machines are finally in the game. And fans are having a blast with the droid.

GIF: UNDEADMURDERER123 (Reddit)

Across the Battlefront subreddit, you can find multiple clips of players using Droidekas to wipe out multiple clone troopers in a matter of seconds.

Other players have begun using the droids to rush objectives and activate them before the enemy team can react or stop them.

Because the Droidekas roll so fast and have portable shields, they can be hard to stop, especially for less experienced players or those not prepared for a pack of destroyer droids to roll into their base right as the round starts. Odds are, after some time this strat will become less viable as people get better at shooting the fast droids rolling past them.

Another player was able to use the relatively short size of the new droid to their advantage to hide behind a rock and hold a base by themselves. These strategies and moments are causing some players to worry that the droids might be a little unbalanced. But the Droidekas are far from perfect and deadly machines.

Because they move so fast and control differently than any other droid or soldier in the game, players are launching themselves off ledges and directly into large groups of enemy troopers.

Another issue: Droidekas are a bit buggy. These droids might need some extra work to fix some issues that players are encountering. The funniest bug includes a player accidentally activating what appears to be a “dance mode.” Someone even added music to the clip.

Though my favorite thing players have discovered while playing with the Droidekas is that at least one door on the level Kamino is too small for the wide and round body of the Droideka.

Screenshot: Brooksmc5 (Reddit)

Poor droids.

Too thic for their own good.

Source: Kotaku.com

A Link to the Past, Super Metroid can merge into one game — and even share items

Summer Games Done Quick closed out yesterday afternoon with quite an unusual mashup: Super Metroid and The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past on Super Nintendo. Randomizers are mods in which all of the items in a game are redistributed to different locations, effectively creating a new puzzle for players to solve. This one does that, but for two games, that then play as one game. Cooperatively, even.

If all that puzzles you, well, you’re not the only one. Just watch and try to follow along the commentary from Andy and Ivan. But yes, that’s Samus and Link carrying around objects from one game in the other’s world. These two are playing the same game cooperatively, with the goal of killing both Ganon and Mother Brain before finishing the story of either original game.

And if you still can’t understand what’s going on, try playing it for yourself, assuming you have ROMs for both games. This is courtesy of the samus.link crossover item randomizer, The game is generated when players take ROMs for both titles and plug them into the web application, which spits out a new ROM for play.

This randomizer builds off work done by the communities behind the A Link to the Past Randomizer and the Tournament Super Metroid Randomizer.

Heavy caveat here, as I am not a modder, much less a programmer. But in lay speak, four predetermined doors in both games will transport players from one world to the next. How this is possible, well, I’ll leave it to Harris Foster, the community manager for Finji (the studio started in 2014 by Rebekah Saltsman and her husband Adam, the creator of Canabalt).

Because the ROM layout of the original games does not overlap, the randomizer app is able to merge them together smoothly and share items across worlds. Using items from one world in the other requires new logic tricks to be modded in to accommodate them, as the patch notes mention. At the 17:04:00 mark, Ivan begins a more detailed explanation of how all this is possible, particularly playing the game cooperatively. Bottom line, this can be played on hardware and not just emulation, as they are doing here.

As a viewer notes, this isn’t really a speed run, as the game changes every time and so there’s nothing to benchmark a time to. But it is a fascinating watch for fans of both games, and one you can jump into and play for yourself with a little bit of work.

Source: Polygon.com

How the MCU built to Tony Stark’s final Avengers: Endgame moment

“You can rest now.”

Pepper Potts’ (Gwyneth Paltrow) final words to Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) aren’t just a callback to earlier in Avengers: Endgame. As the hero slowly dies from using an Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos (Josh Brolin) and his army out of existence, Pepper’s words are a tragic reminder of what Tony struggled with ever since emerging from the cave in Iron Man (2008): obsession. Obsession to change his legacy. Obsession to protect his loved ones. Obsession to save the world.

“You can rest now” — those final words hold a connection to moments across Tony’s entire character arc, spanning 10 Marvel films. They even resonate with exact bits of dialogue from his prior nine appearances in the MCU, lines that all stem from Iron Man’s inception: he couldn’t rest the moment he realized that Stark Industries’ weapons were falling into the wrong hands.

With Avengers: Endgame taking a final bow in theaters this weekend (with added footage), and Spider-Man: Far From Home on the horizon, we look back at the moments that connect to this key line from the MCU.

IRON MAN (2008)

“There is nothing except this. There’s no art opening. There is no benefit. There is nothing to sign. There is the next mission and nothing else.”

Early in his first screen appearance, Tony asks Pepper to retrieve files from his office so that he can track where his weapons are going. Pepper refuses. She worries that he’s going to get himself killed if he continues with his Iron Man heroics. But this is Tony’s response.

It’s the first sign that Tony Stark is not just dedicated to, but obsessed with righting his weapons-manufacturing wrongs. Yinsen (Shaun Toub), the man who saves Tony in the cave and who pleads that he not “waste” his life, also suggests that Tony is “a man who has everything, but nothing” since he has no wife or children.

Tony’s response to Pepper highlights the nothingness, the emptiness of art openings, of benefits, of celebrity (and also sets up the significance of family to Tony down the line). All that Tony can do now is good, and with his suit, that’s a lot. “I shouldn’t be alive, unless it was for a reason. I’m not crazy, Pepper. I just finally know what I have to do. And I know in my heart that it’s right.”

IRON MAN 2 (2010)

“It’s about legacy. It’s about what we choose to leave behind for future generations.”

Iron Man 2 doesn’t do as much with Tony’s arc as it probably should. But at the Stark Expo at the beginning of the film, Tony talks about legacy, and it’s key to his future.

In Iron Man, Yinsen asks Tony if he wants his legacy to be the havoc that his weapons wreaked, and Tony works to change that. Iron Man 2’s opening idea continues that line of Tony writing his legacy by recreating his image, changing his heart, making up for his mistakes, and trying to become a better father than his own was. It’ll just be a little while before he can enact that last part.

IRON MAN 3 (2013)

“I love you. I’m lucky. But honey, I can’t sleep. You go to bed. I come down here. I do what I know. I tinker. Threat is imminent and I have to protect the one thing that I can’t live without. That’s you.”

It’s not that The Avengers (2012) doesn’t have any important lines, but the significance of his willingness to sacrifice himself to stop a nuke from hitting New York — the turning point in Tony Stark’s overall arc — is only verbalized later. In fact, it’s the crux of Iron Man 3.

The film starts out with Tony not paying enough attention to Pepper, but in the above scene, he finally breaks and confesses to her about how New York has left him with crippling anxiety and insomnia. He can’t rest — but not necessarily because of his weapons. He’s already done so much good, especially after New York. He can’t rest because of the revelation of “gods, aliens, other dimensions,” which leaves him terrified of what else might come. He’s just “a man in a can.” He has to prepare for the worst to protect the person he loves, the person he might be able to start a family with.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)

“A hostile alien army came charging through a hole in space. We’re standing 300 feet below it. We’re the Avengers. We can bust arms dealers all the livelong day, but that up there, that’s… that’s the endgame. How were you guys planning on beating that?”

The infamous Avengers: Endgame namesake scene. In an attempt to create “a suit of armor around the world,” Tony accidentally gives birth to Ultron. And “birth” is the truth of it, as Ultron (James Spader) lashes out almost like a bratty son. In response, the rest of the Avengers chastise Tony for his arrogance, and they’re right.

Tony’s intentions are good, but because he can’t rest, he can’t see his mistakes. Instead, he works tirelessly with one thing in mind: If he does nothing, the endgame will come. If he does nothing, it’s his fault.

AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON (2015)

“Saw ‘em all dead, Nick. Felt it. The whole world too. Because of me. I wasn’t ready. I didn’t do all I could…” “It wasn’t a nightmare. It was my legacy. The end of the path I started us on.”

Talking to Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) at Hawkeye’s (Jeremy Renner) barn, Tony now considers the legacy of Iron Man, instead of just Tony Stark. Did the “superhero” bring this alien madness to Earth? Is this all a process of escalation? And will that ultimately cause the death of his friends? The nightmare, a vision of the Avengers dead and an alien army charging to Earth again, appropriately comes in the shadow of a Leviathan carcass from the Battle of New York.

Tony is just a man in a can, but he puts an incredible burden on his own shoulders. “I wasn’t ready. I didn’t do all I could.”

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

“A few years ago, I almost lost her, so I trashed all my suits. Then, we had to mop up Hydra. And then, Ultron. My fault. And then, and then, and then, I never stopped because the truth is, I don’t want to stop. I don’t want to lose her. I thought maybe the accords could split the difference. In her defense, I’m a handful.”

Iron Man 3 ended with Tony blowing up all of his suits and getting surgery to have his core removed. It’s… a weird ending in retrospect, and was possibly a result of Robert Downey Jr. potentially leaving the role soon after. But this moment in Civil War reworks that idea. It makes that ending rather sad, as here, Tony is admitting to his crutch. He wants to be with Pepper, to have a family with her — the film throws in a pregnancy joke, like Avengers: Infinity War will later do — but he has an obsession. And that obsession is what drives him to make mistakes while dealing with the Sokovia Accords.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016)

“When you can do the things that I can, but you don’t, and then the bad things happen, they happen because of you.”

Civil War is also where Tony gets his first taste of fatherhood. Essentially filling the role of Uncle Ben, Tony becomes a mentor to Peter Parker (Tom Holland). When recruiting him, he makes sure that Peter has his head in the right place. And this line echoes the idea at Tony’s heart: Heroes need to act. Peter has that in him. He just needs a father-figure to help him get there.

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017)

“What if somebody had died tonight? Different story, right? Cause that’s on you. And if you died, I feel like that’s on me. I don’t need that on my conscience…” “If you’re nothing without this suit, then you shouldn’t have it, okay? God, I sound like my dad.”

In a confrontation that Tony later describes in very fatherly words as the “tough-love moment [Peter] needed,” the elder Avenger scolds Peter for taking on more than he had the capacity to, and endangering others and himself in the process. As if he didn’t have so much on his plate to worry and lose sleep over already, Tony couldn’t handle Peter dying because of him.

Not too long before this, before Peter gets into trouble, Tony tells Peter that he believes in him and that he’s doing a good job — an effort to “break the cycle of shame.” In turn, this moment plays the same function, of Tony being the dad he needs to make sure this young kid — who will deal with being Stark’s obvious successor in Spider-Man: Far From Home — turns out better than he did.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018)

“No, it’s you who doesn’t understand that Thanos has been inside my head for 6 years since he sent an army to New York and now he’s back! And I don’t know what to do.”

In a confrontation with Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), as they argue over whether or not to take the fight against Thanos to Titan, Tony speaks directly to the psychological fallout of New York, and the struggle he’s had since Iron Man 3.

Then, Thanos was coming. Now, Thanos is here. Is Tony ready? Has he done enough? The end of Infinity War, which sees Tony lose Peter, the son he never had, leaves Tony with the crippling thought that he didn’t.

AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019)

“You can rest now.”

Avengers: Endgame gives Tony a family, which, as Yinsen suggested all those years ago, is what would really give him purpose. It also plays on his tragic impulses.

Infinity War suggested that Tony didn’t do enough, but Endgame offers him, right when gets the family he wanted, one last shot to do something. He could never have both, but he could never stop chasing both. So, of course he takes the opportunity, even if it might kill him. In truth, rest for Tony Stark could only come through death. As for the future: he’s got a lot of people carrying on his legacy.


Kyle Kizu is a freelance film writer from Los Angeles. His writing has also appeared in The Hollywood Reporter.

Source: Polygon.com

Polygon plays Superfight with Spider-Man: Far From Home star Jacob Batalon

You and your friends could be having much better arguments. Can a T-rex fly a fighter jet? Can wind defeat gravity? Could anything psyche out Bruce Lee?

Superfight is a game all about absurd debates over who would win a fight. We played it on our latest episode of Overboard, Polygon’s card and board game show, with special guest Jacob Batalon.

Batalon, who portrays Ned in Spider-Man: Homecoming and the upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home, proved to be something of an expert in super heroics, making quick work of our ‘heroes’ in the process. We really shouldn’t be surprised, after all, he is friends with Spider-Man.

Playing Superfight is super easy. Two players draw three character and attribute cards, select one of each, and then prepare to make a case for why their fighter is better. But before they do, they must grab one more random attribute card from the deck. Yes, these random attributes can and will mess up your perfectly crafted super hero, but it’s not like Spider-Man choose to be bitten by a spider. Remember, with great power comes great responsibility, even if that great power is an inability to ever stop dancing.

Once both players have made the case for their fighter, the rest of the players sit in judgement and vote on the winner. The winner earns a point and the next player gets a shot at the king because the winner stays on until someone can defeat their hero. Like with any ‘creativity’ game, Superfight is as fun as you and your friends make it, so don’t worry too much about the points (and we’re not just saying this just because we got absolutely annihilated by Jacob Batalon).

To see just how Batalon completely destroyed us, check out the video above, and make sure you subscribe to Polygon’s channel for more great videos. You can watch previous episodes of Overboard here.

Source: Polygon.com

Create Written Notes From YouTube Videos Instantly With this Chrome Extension

Image: Pexels

There are a ton of informative YouTube videos out there. When you’re watching one where you’re hoping to learn something; however, you have to take your own notes on the topic for later. Gnotes is an extension that can help with that.

When you’re watching a YouTube video you might want notes for, the Chrome extension can create those notes in real time.

Unlike a transcription app that would just transcribe the whole thing for you, Gnotes has you identify what parts of the video are important to you and then it creates notes specifically for that portion. For instance, maybe you watch a 15-minute video on how to do something, but you really just need information from the last few minutes written down.

The extension uses YouTube’s transcription feature to create the notes, so they’re not always perfect, but they can be helpful. Here’s a video explains how it works:

Notes are created as a Google Doc, that can then be edited. The notes it creates has a screenshot from the video to remind you what was happening, as well as a time stamp and link to get you back to exactly that point in the video if you need a little visual recap.

Notes can be downloaded as a Word file or a PDF and shared with others or saved to your phone or another device for easy access later on.

This is obviously not something you’re going to want or need to do for every video you watch, but for those where you need to write a few things down it can make that note-taking process go a lot easier.

Source: Kotaku.com