Tag Archives: xbox one

The Division 2’s Big New Update Is As Promising As It Confusing

Ubisoft’s sprawling loot shooter The Division 2 just received its biggest free update since its March launch…except most of it isn’t really free until next week, except for two parts that won’t even be free then, but some of the free stuff won’t be out until the week after next, and one promised part is on ice and…Shall we start this over?

On Tuesday, The Division 2’s Title Update 5, which happens to also be considered the game’s first episodic expansion, was added to the game.

There’s a chart for what’s in it:

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The update includes two new missions that extend the game’s story, one of which I played last night and liked a lot. That mission, called Manning National Zoo, involves hunting down the leader of the enemy Outcast faction while fighting enemies throughout dilapidated wildlife exhibits. If it seemed like Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed artists were showing off with their downloadable content last week, well, check out what their Division 2 artists can do with a mission set in a zoo:

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The mission took me about 90 minutes to solo, with a few tricky skirmishes and some time spent just soaking in the sights. It’s a very fun mission with a lot of eye candy as you fight your way through habitats set up for lions, crocodiles, birds and more. There isn’t that much wildlife around, but there are a few neat creature cameos.

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Like much of Episode One, the zoo mission is available in The Division 2 now for people who bought the $40 year-one pass. It’ll be available for free for all players on July 30. The idea is that The Division 2’s downloadable content will be available for free, unlike that of its predecessor. The paid approach to DLC backfired in the first Division when Ubisoft tried to charge for new Underground and Survival modes while the base game was essentially on fire with problems and player complaints. By the end of The Division’s second year, Ubisoft was releasing a huge map-expanding expansion for free, a sign of things to come.

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Aside from the story missions, the other major new content in the update is the Expedition, a new set of missions being offered in three parts. The first, accessible this week, is fine so far but not great. It’s set in Kenly College’s library and kicks off an overall investigation into the fate of a convoy that went missing nearby. It’s best to think of each part as a medium-sized mission with some goals to complete.

The game’s developers have pitched the Expeditions as more puzzle-based content that will ask players to think through what they’re doing. This first installment in the library isn’t that much of a puzzle. It starts with the discovery of an “echo” hologram that depicts members of the Outcast carting around some improvised explosive devices. The player can activate parts of the hologram to trigger what’s described as investigation. The investigations amount to going to different parts of the library, getting into shootouts with Outcasts, solving some basic puzzles such as activating four power nodes in the correct order, and picking up some audio logs along the way. The gunfights are slightly more intricate than most of the standard story missions, asking players to, say, stay in a specific area while a hack occurs, but they’re not complex. The audio logs are scant but good, as they’re more in the style of the ones from the first Division, telling stories of people in the college from before the societal collapse rather than after.

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Missing from the Expedition is something called a Mastery System, which the developers said would incentivize replaying the investigations. Last week, the developers said it was not coming together well enough to release yet. A second Expedition area opens next week for all players (as well as the first one for those who don’t have the year-one pass), with a third to follow presumably a week later. It’s not clear if this three-parter is the only Expedition or if there will be more.

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The new update also includes an easier difficulty for the game’s raid. It supports matchmaking and is intended to enable more players to experience its sequence of events, but the new “discovery” difficulty level also limits loot payouts: This version of the raid won’t drop the elite gear that’s obtainable by completing the default version.

Ubisoft’s developers have shown that the update includes a new flashlight pistol mod, answering player complaints that some areas of the game were too dark. It also appears to add a batch of audio logs that provide more information about major characters. It’s accompanied by a timed “apparel event” that rewards players who complete various in-game activities with silly, gaudy summer vacation wear.

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Perhaps more important than any of this, though, is that the update is overhauling the game’s gadget-based skill system. While the game’s new content isn’t available to all players yet, these balance changes are. They ratchet up the power of players’ skills, be they shields, drones, turrets, seeker mines, or whatever, while also greatly reducing the cooldown on them. This follows months of frustration from players who said that skills were too weak to build a character around.

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I’ve played most of the game solo and from day one have relied on skills such as the assault drone to help me through tough encounters. From the start, I had to manage my approach to in-game combat around long waits while my drone would cool down. I’d activate it, get it to attack some enemies while I focused on others, then wait more than a minute while it stopped working before I could use it again. After the patch, my drone is a near-constant companion. Its cooldown dropped to about 38 seconds, and with some gadget upgrades, I’ve shortened that further. It’s also clearly more powerful and has been effectively perforating enemies. This feels different and, so far, much more satisfying.

The game’s changes to skills were trialed on a PC-only public test server earlier this month. Strangely, all of the aforementioned content was as well, meaning that year-one pass owners are actually not the first members of The Division 2 player base to go through Episode One’s new missions. That’s provoked some discussion about what value the year-one pass has. Currently, the pass gives owners a chance to play stuff early while earning loot they can retain in the game.

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The year-one pass also gives owners access to a slew of small but enjoyable missions called Classified Assignments, which actually weren’t on the PTS. The two that came out in May were polished and fun, with little audio log narratives threaded throughout. Two more are part of this update for year-one pass owners, with no announcement about when they’ll be available to others. I’ve played one of the two new ones set in an aquarium. It involves rescuing some civilians while fighting Outcast enemies and learning how the people and fish coped during the societal disaster afflicting The Division’s world. I liked it.

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There’s no single thing for players to sink their teeth into with this Title Update 5 / Episode One addition to The Division 2, and there’s nothing about it, cool Classified Assignments aside, that makes it easy to recommend the game’s year-one pass. There are, however, myriad interesting things being added to the game via this update, and at least a short burst of fresh adventures to experience. Of course, it’ll take weeks to see how all that’s been added and tweaked shakes out. As a sign of the heft of the game’s free updates, it’s encouraging. As a marker of the developers’ progress with improving the game, it shows the team moving in a good direction.

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Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Once Again, It’s Time To Kill Some Nazis

It feels like only yesterday that I played through the last Wolfenstein game and now a new one is almost here. Wolfenstein: Youngblood is a smaller spin-off starring BJ’s two daughters. I can’t wait to kill some Nazis during the 80s.

I’m still impressed that this game, like the last Wolfenstein title, is coming to Switch. I’ll never play those games on Switch, the performance is just too rocky for me, but it is still incredible those games run at all on what is basically a tablet.

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Beyond Wolfenstein, a few big ports and new games are dropping this week. A new Fire Emblem is coming to Switch, Beyond: Two Souls is hitting the PC and Tetris Effect jumps from the PS4 to your computer. And for folks wanting to play Wargroove on their PS4, this is a good week for you. Sadly, no crossplay though. Come on, Sony. Quit being dumb.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, July 22

  • Rise: Race The Future | Switch
  • Flutter Bombs | PC
  • Life ed | PC
  • Elsinore | PC, Mac
  • Beyond: Two Souls | PC

Tuesday, July 23

  • Must Dash Amigos | PC
  • Wargroove | PS4
  • Automachef | Switch, PC
  • Date A Live: Rio Reincarnation | PS4, PC
  • Tetris Effect | PC
  • Vane | PC
  • Run The Fan | Switch
  • High Noon Revolver | Switch
  • Flaky Bakery | PC, Mac
  • Gravity Ball | PC
  • Poly Soldiers | PC
  • Super Demon Boy | PC
  • Rising Kingdoms | PC

Wednesday, July 24

  • Pawarumi | Xbox One, Switch
  • Battleship | Switch
  • Rise: The Vieneo Province | PC
  • Champions | PC
  • Dark Data | PC, Mac
  • Ancient Battle: Alexander | PC, Mac
  • Break My Body | PC, Mac

Thursday, July 25

  • Mighty Switch Force! Collection | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Fantasy Strike | PS4, Switch, PC, Mac
  • Furwind | Xbox One
  • Zombie Driver Ultimate Edition | Switch
  • Elea – Episode 1 | PS4
  • Raiden V | Switch
  • Songbird Symphony | PS4, Switch, PC
  • Monster Boy And The Cursed Kingdom | PC
  • Caged Garden Cock Robin | Switch
  • Picross Lord Of The Nazarick | Switch
  • Collide-a-Ball 2 | Switch
  • Super Mega Baseball 2: Ultimate Edition | Switch
  • Gunpowder On The Teeth: Arcade | Switch
  • Smoots Summer Games | Switch
  • 60 Seconds: Reatomized | PC, Mac

Friday, July 26

  • Kill la Kill The Game | PS4, Switch, PC
  • Decay | Xbox One
  • Remothered: Tormented Fathers | Switch
  • Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot | PSVR, PC (VR)
  • Wolfenstein: Youngblood | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses | Switch
  • Tetsumo Party | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Titans Pinball | Switch
  • Garage Mechanic Simulator | Switch
  • Sheep In Hell | Switch
  • Seeders Puzzle Reboot | Switch
  • Dark Bestiary | PC, Mac
  • Storm Tale | PC, Mac
  • Post Soviet Zombies | PC
  • Bandits | PC
  • Knightin’ + | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

Sea Of Thieves Gets Monthly Updates And The First One Is Pretty…Explosive

Sea of Thieves, Rare’s chill pirate hangout game, has been on the upswing lately. After an expansive (and excellent) Anniversary Update that brought story quests and cooking to its cartoony high seas in May, Sea of Thieves is upping the ante yet again with monthly updates. Log into the game now on Xbox One or PC and you’ll be greeted by the very first one, the Black Powder Stashes.

Like the name suggests, the update brings quests that send players off in search of gunpowder barrels. As you complete voyages and score the extremely expensive booty, you’ll be able to earn new titles and exclusive cosmetics for your ship.

As far as updates go, it seems a little light—the most interesting thing here is the way gunpowder adds some more tension to the Sea of Thieves loop. Ferrying loot back and forth becomes a lot more intense when that loot can blow up your entire ship with one lucky shot from a foe.

The prospect of monthly updates, however, is exciting. While it lacked variety in much of its first year, Sea of Thieves has only gotten better with time, and its developers remain vocal about their plan to continue that momentum. Giving players a reason to log in and see something new on their voyages every month is an excellent move. It brings Sea of Thieves closer in line with other live service games like Destiny 2, with one important distinction: You can’t play sea shanties in Destiny 2

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: Avengers And Everyone Else, Assemble!

The Avengers, their friends and some of their foes are hitting the Switch this week with the release of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3. Pick your favorite hero and argue with your friends who is getting stuck playing with the right Joycon.

I really loved that first Ultimate Alliance game. Played a lot of it back in the day on 360. Never really got into the second game as much, for whatever reason. But that first game was great. Do you remember that section where you play classic Activision games, like Pitfall? And all the different endings and Easter eggs. Hope this new game is as fun as that first one.

For fans of European truck racing, lucky you. FIA European Truck Racing Championship is coming out later next week for multiple platforms.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, July 15

  • Break The Game | PC
  • Kim Shooter | PC
  • Aura | PC
  • C64 & AMIGA Classix Remakes Sixpack 3 | PC

Tuesday, July 16

  • Must Dash Amigos | Xbox One
  • LOST ORBIT: Terminal Velocity | Xbox One, PC
  • Distrust | Switch
  • Let’s Sing 2019 | Switch, PC
  • Forklift – The Simulation | Switch
  • Defend The Keep | PC
  • Shrine Of The God-Ape | PC
  • ATRIUM | PC, Mac
  • Killsquad | PC
  • The Last Aura | PC, Mac
  • Moi Mei | PC
  • Nightmare Reaper | PC
  • Summer Catchers | PC

Wednesday, July 17

  • Initial2: New Stage | Xbox One
  • Night Call | PC, Mac
  • Let’s Go Nuts | Switch
  • 8bit Pigeon Hunter | PC
  • Grizzland | PC

Thursday, July 18

  • Growtopia | Xbox One
  • Gabbuchi | PS4, Switch, PC
  • Etherborn | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Warlocks 2: God Slayers | PC
  • FIA European Truck Racing Championship | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Caladrius Blaze | Switch
  • Royal Roads | Switch
  • World Cruise Story | Switch
  • Battle & Crash | Switch
  • Tarot Readings Premium | Switch
  • Archlion Saga | Switch
  • Golf Defied | PC

Friday, July 19

  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order | Switch
  • Redeemer: Enhanced Edition | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Lost Ember | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Welcome To Hanwell | Xbox One
  • Astro Bears | Switch
  • Jim Is Moving Out! | Switch, PC
  • Mini Trains | Switch
  • Colloc | PC
  • Hack.88 | PC
  • Gorytale | PC, Mac
  • Subs | PC

Saturday, July 20

  • Moon Tycoon | PC
  • Chibi Volleyball | PC, Mac

Source: Kotaku.com

Assassin’s Creed’s Original Director Is Back With A Weird Game About Human Evolution

I was sitting in an interview room asking the ever-cheerful Patrice Désilets about the controls in his first new game since 2010’s Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and he lit up.

He imagined an Xbox controller and rattled through the button assignments.

“‘A’ is all about the reflexes,” he said. “‘B’ is about the communication, ‘X’ is about the senses—the smell and the hearing—and ‘Y’ is about analyzing with your intelligence. The bumpers are your two hands and eventually the trigger is about your emotions.”

This is pure Patrice Désilets, best known as the director of the first three Assassin’s Creed games, and it’s much of the reason why anyone might be excited about the fact that he’s finally, nearly ready to release a new game again. The new one from his studio of three dozen developers is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey and is slated for a PC release on the Epic Games Store on August 27, and then for Xbox One and PS4 in December. It’s strange, which is the norm for Désilets. And he’s not positive you’ll like it, which is the norm for him, too. He doesn’t make the stuff you’d expect.

“I would not be able to do a normal game,” he said. “If people are like, ‘I like your game. I understand it.’ That I would be stressed about.”

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He’d be stressed if people heard about Ancestors and immediately said they liked his game and understood it?

“Yeah,” Désilets said. “That would mean I didn’t do my job.”

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Ancestors is a third-person action-adventure game that spans eight million years, starting its players off in 10,000,000 BC. You control generations of prehistoric primates, starting as a baby, trying to reach the age of 15, spawning and skipping ahead to control the next generation. They’ll learn to survive, learn to hunt and will slowly evolve. Some babies will turn out to have unique traits, Désilets said. “Maybe the ability to digest meat. And if that baby survives long enough to mate and pass it to another generation, then suddenly your species is capable of eating meat. If the player’s character dies, they take control of another member of their primate clan, hoping to bring the evolutionary advances to their offspring.

He says there’s no shortage of material for the game and offers Kotaku an exclusive: “You won’t be able to make fire” because that comes after the eight million years the game is covering. That could go in a sequel, perhaps.

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He keeps himself from explaining much more about this one. “I don’t want to say a lot,” he said. “Because the real pleasure is set in the discovery of it all.”

The idea of Ancestors is that you’re following the path of evolution, learning new skills and experiencing the gradual transformation from ape to human with bonus points if you make any advances faster than they supposedly happened in reality.

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“I’m asking the question to every player: ‘Hey homo sapiens, do you think you’re intelligent enough to survive like our ancestors did?’”

Désilets used that line on me when we chatted at this year’s E3 in Los Angeles last month and also during a showcase with my friend Geoff Keighley, for whom Désilets brought several minutes of a pre-recorded playthrough of the game. In it, you can see the continuity of game design interests from the same person who was the visionary behind Prince of Persia Sands of Time and Assassin’s Creed, as the player-character does a lot of climbing in a beautiful and old place (in this case the trees of a prehistoric African jungle) with nary a standard video game hero nor gunshot to be seen.

Skip ahead to about the 9:30 mark to see a playthrough of Ancestors’ opening minutes.

The game is unusual. It has characters who don’t speak, though they can communicate in some ways. Désilets says there are a variation of the kind of squad commands you might find in a covert ops game. The characters wear no clothes (there’s a “lot of fur” which helps them achieve an acceptable game rating). There’s no single lead character, no individual hero’s tale.

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Even the aforementioned controls sound distinct, not just because he’s doing another experimental button scheme, but because he’s decided to trigger actions at the moment a button is released rather than when it is pressed. “That’s how we do it in real life,” he said. We think, then we act. Well, sometimes.

Désilets did not bring a playable build of the game with him to E3, saying it would have been too taxing for his small team to create a demo for the show as they race to finish the game for a late August PC release (it’s not slated for consoles until December). This was both understandable and worrisome, for anyone, myself included, eager to know if Désilets still has it.

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Back in 2003, Sand of Time was a revelation, mixing exhilarating running and jumping with a game-long dialogue-driven love story and spicing it up with the ability to rewind failed jumps and try them again.

When Désilets was tasked with cooking up a Sand of Time sequel for the dawn of the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation, he concocted Assassin’s Creed, a game about a man in modern times using a device to relive the lives of his assassin ancestors, first as a 12th century Syrian during the Crusades and then as an Italian during the Renaissance. The controls for those early Assassin’s Creed games were based on the idea of puppetry: top button for the head, middle buttons for the arms, lowest button for the legs.

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He says he got tired of making Assassin’s Creed games and left publisher Ubisoft after the third one, Brotherhood. That concluded a decade of productivity and hits, followed by a decade of no released games. He tried making a new one at THQ before the studio collapsed and Ubisoft brought him back, only for him to leave again. At E3 in 2015 he started talking to me about his small new studio, Panache, and his idea for Ancestors: “Assassin’s Creed meets the Civilization tech tree.” The game would be episodic (it no longer is) and surely out sooner than 2019.

Désilets did not bring his team’s game to his E3 interviews, but he did bring a picture of the three dozen people making the game at his studio, Panache. That’s unusual. Why’d he do it? “I’m fucking proud of those people,” he said. “Have you seen what they’re doing? They’re 35. Not 800. Thirty-five dedicated people to making something unique.”

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Tossed a softball about whether the game is really going to be fun enough, he snarks: “No it’s really boring.”

He swears he’s never made a game he’s had this much fun playing and promises that, no, he’s not just saying that because he is currently making this one: “It’s the game I play the most in all my career. You like the Prince, you like Assassin’s. Me, I was fucking bored at the end of playing that game.” He tells the story of playing it recently, of being an elder protecting two babies during a rainstorm, trying to keep them alive to make humanity possible. He gets dreamy about it, wistful that he’s not playing as we speak. “I need my fix. It’s been a week now. I need to go back home and eventually get myself lost in the savannah with my crew and go kill a fucking leopard.”

Source: Kotaku.com

The Week In Games: The Doctor Will See You Now

Dr. Mario has fired his brother, Dr. Luigi, and now has control over the clinic once more and he is ready to start giving people pills. So many pills. Dr. Mario World for phones is coming out later this week.

I don’t think Mario is qualified to be a doctor, and I don’t think Luigi is any more qualified, either. What I want to know is, who in the Mario universe is actually qualified to be a doctor? Wario? Bowser? Peach? Toad? I think we can safely say Yoshi is not doctor material.

Beyond a new Dr. Mario game, next week has a few other things releasing for various platforms. It is still summer time out there, so we are still in the quiet season for video game releases. Dragon Quest Builders 2 comes out next week, God Eater 3 comes to Switch and for those of us who love puzzles, but don’t want to actually put together a real puzzle, Bepuzzled Jigsaw Puzzle: Aquatic drops at the end of the week on Steam.

Other stuff is coming out this week! Check out the list below:

Monday, July 8

  • Square Norm | PC
  • Detonation | PC
  • Life ed | PC
  • Arcade Simulator | PC, Mac
  • Cooking Trip: Back On The Road | PC

Tuesday, July 9

  • Bear With Me: The Complete Collection | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • They Are Billions | PS4
  • Umihara Kawase Fresh! | Switch
  • Senran Kagura: Peach Ball | Switch
  • KEIKA – A Puzzle Adventure | PC
  • SINNERS | PC
  • Adventures Of Isabelle Fine: Murder On Rails | PC
  • Master Of The Forbidden Sea | PC
  • OldWar 2 | PC
  • Hyperlight Ultimate | Switch

Wednesday, July 10

  • SolSerpah | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Doughlings: Invasion | Xbox One
  • Grass Cutter – Mutated Lawns | Xbox One, Switch
  • Emoji Charades | PC
  • Godhood | PC, Mac
  • Dr. Mario World | Android, iOS

Thursday, July 11

  • Tiny Metal: Full Metal Rumble | Switch, PC
  • Blazing Chrome | PS4, Xbox One, Switch, PC
  • Eagle Island | Switch, PC, Mac
  • RED HOT VENGEANCE | PC
  • Skulls Of The Shogun: Bone-A-Fide Edition | Switch
  • Professor Lupo And His Horrible Pets | Switch
  • Doodle God: Crime City | Switch
  • Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Feet | Switch
  • Dead In Vinland – True Viking Edition | Switch
  • Metaloid: Origin | Switch
  • Wayout | Switch
  • Vektor Wars | Switch
  • Psyvariar Delta | Switch

Friday, July 12

  • Dragon Quest Builders 2 | PS4, Switch
  • Lethal League Blaze | PS4, Xbox One, Switch
  • Aggelos | PS4, Xbox One
  • God Eater 3 | Switch
  • Streets Of Rogue | Xbox One
  • 1000$ | PC
  • Poly Mole | PC, Mac
  • Neon Slashers | PC
  • Royal Life: Hard To Be Queen | PC
  • Spy Tactics | PC, Mac
  • Isotiles 2 | PC, Mac
  • Super Mutant Alien Assault | Switch
  • Mad Bullets | Switch
  • Distrust | Switch

Saturday, July 13

  • Bepuzzled Jigsaw Puzzle: Aquatic | PC

Source: Kotaku.com

The Division 2 Is Testing Some Much-Requested Features

This image of The Division 2 would be even darker if not for the addition of—gasp—a flashlight! Coming soon to the game, it seems.

There’s going to be a lot less to complain about regarding The Division 2 if a batch of features going live in a test build this week make it into the proper game later this month. Ubisoft’s impressive but contentious shooter appears to be getting flashlights (much requested!), badly needed buffs for gadget skills, and even matchmaking for its raid, though there’s a big catch to that last one.

The changes are all part of the Public Test Server build for the game’s Title Update 5, scheduled for a July release. Anyone who own Ubisoft’s cover-based shooter on PC could start accessing the new PTS yesterday, though a bug appears to have delayed some key content until today.

Different aspects of Title Update 5 are being tested in phases. Today, PTS players can test two new story missions that will be part of the update.

On Wednesday and Thursday, Ubisoft is letting them try the game’s notoriously difficult eight player raid on a new “discovery” difficulty setting that will allow for matchmaking. This is one of the bigger deals in the update.

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When The Division 2’s raid launched in May, many players complained that the new multiplayer mission wouldn’t allow for matchmaking, despite a promise in marketing materials that “every activity” in the game would have it. Instead, players had to manually sync up with seven others, which Ubisoft developers said they felt was important to assembling groups that would work through the raid as an effective team. (Similar games, like Destiny 2, have taken the same approach.) The developers later said they would work on a compromise offering. It’s unclear if this is the entirety of it. Matchmaking support for an easier version of the raid will allow more players to see its content, but said “discovery” version of the raid won’t pay out the game’s top loot rewards.

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The PTS’ patch notes also describe a slew of buffs being made to the game’s turrets, drones and other equippable gadget-based skills. These were badly needed, as players striving for the most powerful character builds have all been running the same gun-centric loadouts. Some of these changes were demonstrated in the weekly State of the Game developer stream last week, with more detailed in new PTS patch notes yesterday. While the nature of the PTS means the buffs being tested may change before release in the main game, they should lead to dramatic increases in damage for gadget skills—five-fold in some cases.

Somewhere in the PTS, players will be able to find flashlight attachments for pistols. Believe it or not, this is something players have clamored for. Parts of the game can get pretty dark.

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As many problems as this Public Test Server might solve, it’s also introducing a new one. Later this week, from Friday through Sunday, the test build will feature the game’s new puzzle- and exploration-based Expeditions mode, giving testing players a big head start on what the game’s live content manager, Yannick Banchereau, recently told us will be a mysterious, puzzle-based experience. Letting PC test players have a crack at them all this week certainly seems like it’ll spoil some of that challenge. After all, the inclusion of coded messages in The Division 2’s pre-release beta led to those messages being cracked weeks before the game was fully released. In response to a player complaining about Expeditions being offered to PC PTS players, The Division 2’s creative director, Julian Gerighty replied: “Too late for this one – will consider for the next.”

Title Update 5, which includes the new story missions, the Expeditions and presumably the features or some variation of them being tested on the PTS, is expected to go live later in the month. It’ll all be free, though players who have paid for the game’s year-one pass will get a week’s head start, presumably shortly after the PTS ends.

Source: Kotaku.com

Here’s July 2019’s Games With Gold Lineup

July’s Games With Gold lineup is a strange mix of family-friendly games and horror themed games. Inside is a wonderful and creepy platformer that you should play right away and don’t spoil yourself for how that game ends.

As always, these games are only “free” if you have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription.

July’s Games With Gold are:

Xbox One

  • Inside (July 1 – July 31)
  • Big Crown: Showdown (July 16 – Aug 15)

Xbox 360

  • Castlevania: Symphony of the Night (July 1 – July 15)
  • Meet The Robinsons (July 16 – July 31)

Source: Kotaku.com

Sony, Microsoft, And Nintendo Come Out Against Trump’s Tariffs On Gaming Consoles

Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo have joined forces to tell the U.S. government that its newly-proposed tariffs on goods imported from China would hurt consumers, put jobs at risk, and stifle innovation, according to a joint letter sent by the companies to the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

As part of its ongoing trade war with China, the Trump administration has proposed $300 billion in tariffs, or taxes on foreign goods, on most consumer goods. This would include a 25 percent tariff on video game consoles. “For those purchases that do go forward despite tariffs, consumers would pay $840 million more than they otherwise would have,” the console manufacturers argue, citing a report by the Trade Partnership Worldwide economic group.

In the joint letter dated June 17, the companies say that 96 percent of video game consoles imported by the U.S. are manufactured in China and that due to the custom hardware inside of them, they can’t easily be made elsewhere. “The video game console supply chain has developed in China over many years of investment by our companies and our partners,” the companies say. “It would cause significant supply chain disruption to shift sourcing entirely to the United States or a third country, and it would increase costs—even beyond the cost of the proposed tariffs—on products that are already manufactured under tight margin conditions.”

They go on:

“Each video game console comprises dozens of complex components sourced from multiple countries. A change in even a single supplier must be vetted carefully to mitigate risks of product quality, unreliability and consumer safety issues. Tariffs would significantly disrupt our companies’ businesses and add significant costs that would depress sales of video game consoles and the games and services that drive the profitability of this market segment.”

The companies don’t speculate what the 25 percent tariff would do the the prices that consumers will pay at the cash register, but they do argue that the effects of the increased costs would be felt throughout the industry, including by companies both big and small who make games.

“Because of the deep interdependence of video game consoles and game software, and due to the price sensitivity of video game console purchasers, tariffs on video game consoles would not only harm our companies, consumers, and retailers, but will also disproportionately harm the thousands of small and medium-sized software and accessory developers in the United States,” the companies say. “Thus, these tariffs would have a ripple effect of harm that extends throughout the video game ecosystem.”

It’s still not completely clear if and when the new round of tariffs will go into effect. Trade talks between the U.S. and China are currently ongoing, and yesterday Bloomberg reported that the new tariffs could be suspended from going into effect if progress is made at the Group of 20 summit taking place in Osaka, Japan this weekend.

Source: Kotaku.com

This New Sega Game Sure Looks Like ActRaiser

SolSeraph, coming July 10 to PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, and Xbox One, is a combination of side-scrolling platformer and overhead strategy in which the player is a divine being tasked with rebuilding civilization while protecting humanity from demons and monsters. In other words, it’s a dead ringer for the Super Nintendo classic ActRaiser.

Developed by Quintet and published by Enix in 1990, ActRaiser for the Super Nintendo was exactly what I just said SolSeraph is, a mash-up of platformer and city-building simulation with divine themes. Enix followed it up with ActRaiser 2 in 1993, but stripped it of all the simulation parts, thus defeating the whole purpose. The series has been dead since then.

SolSeraph, developed by Ace Team of Rock of Ages and Zeno Clash fame, is obviously a spiritual successor to ActRaiser. It’s got the same themes, similar gameplay, and the name is even the exact same number of letters with an inner cap in the same place. It’s even got music from Yuzo Koshiro, the composer behind ActRaiser’s amazing soundtrack.

Will SolSeraph be the sequel ActRaiser fans deserve? We won’t have to wait long to find out.

About the author

Mike Fahey

Kotaku elder, lover of video games, toys, snacks and other unsavory things.

Source: Kotaku.com