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    Replay – Star Wars: The Force Unleashed

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    force-site.jpg

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    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order releases today, so it felt like the right time to revisit a beloved Star Wars title from the last generation with The Force Unleashed. Join us live on the platform of your choice as we revisit Starkiller's dark and no-longer-canon origin story.

    The stream starts at 2 PM Central and you can subscribe over on YouTubeTwitchMixerTwitter, or Facebook to get notified when we go live! Enjoy the show!

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    New Gameplay Today – Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's Opening

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
    star-site.jpg

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    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is out now, giving players a chance to take on the role of a young Padawan who survived the Empire's Jedi Purge. Reiner reviewed the game for us and like it a lot, in spite of some rough spots. In today's NGT, he shows off the beginning of the game. It's a Star Wars!

    Leo and I are also joined by intern Nick, who happens to be a big fan of Clone Wars and Rebels. There's a fair bit of tutorializing early on, but we wrap up with a glimpse at some of the more open-ended exploration. Enjoy!

    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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    Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order Review – A Turbulent Thrill Ride

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    jedi234.jpg

    Publisher: Electronic Arts
    Developer: Respawn Entertainment
    Release: November 15, 2019
    Reviewed on: Xbox One
    Also on: PlayStation 4, PC

    A raw, untamed power courses through Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Much like a Padawan in training, this game is a student of the Force, not a master. The lightsaber is used skillfully, twirling in exhilarating ways to chop down Imperial troops, and the Force flows into acrobatic movements, but the Padawan’s motions are rough and unrefined. This inexperience fits with the story of a Jedi losing touch with the Force, but is more of a reflection of Jedi: Fallen Order missing a coat of polish.

    Jedi: Fallen Order reminds me of Naughty Dog’s first Uncharted game: an ambitious action experience that was just a little off in its delivery. Respawn has made a game that is every bit as ambitious, and despite showing a little sloppiness in execution, is an enthralling and fully featured Star Wars experience, hitting with a commanding bang in its cinematic presentation, environmental exploration, and journey shared between a Jedi and his droid.

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    The first shot of the game sets the tone for the entire adventure. We see a junkyard filled with giant derelict starships being dismantled by the Empire for parts. TIE fighters roar into view, and the camera pans to show the immense scale of this sequence. The detail showcased in this moment is impressive, looking like an expensive shot from a new Star Wars film. The orchestration that swells is also reminiscent of John Williams’ work, again making it feel like an epic cinematic experience.

    Just when it would seem Respawn is following George Lucas’ formula, the soundtrack switches to something different with a throaty alien singer that doesn’t sound like typical Star Wars. We then meet protagonist Cal Kestis, who is listening to this strange song through a pair of headphones as he works. This moment screams of something new, which Jedi: Fallen Order embraces fully. As the game unfolds, you see stormtroopers, a few familiar faces, and a Jedi learning the ways of the Force, but we see these iconic elements through the lens of new characters, worlds, and story ideas.

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    Cal is immediately likeable as a conflicted soul, and is brought to life wonderfully by actor Cameron Monaghan. Cal’s cohort, a droid named BD-1, is equally as fun to get to know, resembling a friendly lapdog more than any other droid in Star Wars. They have a playful banter and experience hardships with one another, and their bond forms the foundation for a hell of an adventure. They explore ancient shrines looking for clues that could hold the answer to resurrecting the Jedi Order. The mystery keeps the story engaging, as does the well-defined threat of the Inquisitors, Jedi-slayers who are hunting Cal and always seem to be one step ahead of him. Excellently penned flashbacks are sewn into this nicely paced narrative to add extra dimensions to the characters and conflict at hand.

    The one area where the story stumbles is in revisiting previously explored worlds for narrative reasons. As exciting as it is to dive deep into Dathomir’s witch tombs or see the untamed beauty of Kashyyyk, the reasons to return to these planets often seem like a bit of a stretch. The thinking is along the lines of “The door’s locked. Oh well. Let’s leave and see if we can find a way to open it on another planet.” That said, I enjoyed veering off of the story path to explore worlds on my own, since players can freely go to whichever one they want.

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    Jedi: Fallen Order’s most dynamic and entertaining quality is exploration. Cal begins with basic human abilities, but quickly remembers how to run along walls, double jump, and use the Force to push and pull objects. He taps into his gifts to navigate treacherous ground in finely crafted open environments filled with soaring verticality, snaking paths, and plenty of thrilling platforming and combat challenges. Cal’s acrobatic movements are reliable and easy to read, and should you fall, the game doesn’t punish you. You just take some damage and get another shot. Most of Cal’s actions fit into the Jedi playbook, but Respawn went a little too far in its attempts to create dynamic action, like lengthy Super Mario 64-like slippery slopes and odd gelatinous bouncy pads that don’t really scream “Star Wars.” It gets a little too gamey in these moments.

    Although you spend some time retracing steps through environments, shortcuts are placed in convenient spots and most areas are filled with secrets galore, such as additional stim canisters, outfits and ponchos for Cal, and paint schemes for BD-1 and the crew’s ship, the Stinger Mantis. The stim canisters are incredibly valuable, as the game is challenging (even on the default difficulty) and I usually found my health to be in the red, hoping another checkpoint was nearby.

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    Combat isn’t the central focus of Jedi: Fallen Order, and I was surprised (and pleased) that Respawn didn’t throw in encounters just to up the intensity at times. Stretches of play are without them and that pacing works well for the adventure aspects. Battles are where the biggest thrills and problems reside. Swinging the lightsaber feels damn good; it’s fast, powerful, feels dangerous, and delivers big results, like slicing rampaging beasts clean in two. Respawn’s decision to make combat more of a defensive game also pays dividends in terms of strategy and flow. I like that the fights are deliberately paced, and allow for multiple targets to be engaged at once, such as exchanging lightsaber blows with a purge trooper and then in between swings using Force Push to send a rocket back at a stormtrooper. You don’t just run into a room and start swinging. You strategize and pick at enemies carefully. Timing parries can be tricky, but should you succeed, reward you with a big hit or instant kill that looks amazing.

    The combat ideas are sound and lead to some awesome moments that make you feel like a true Jedi, but the enemies can throw kinks into your plans, as some of their movements are not telegraphed well, and you sometimes see animation hitches that can’t be predicted, and make parry efforts next to impossible. Additionally, archers and snipers sometimes freeze up and won’t fire at you, leading to a strange showdown where nothing is happening for 15 to 20 seconds. More troubling, I ran into numerous issues with BD-1 not healing me, although Cal audibly calls for it. Having this happen against the grueling end-game bosses was somewhat maddening. Given how many ledges are in most worlds, don’t be surprised if a combat encounter is interrupted by Cal getting knocked off a cliff and then magically reappearing to lock sabers again. It’s jarring, and speaks volumes to the combat being a little rough overall in terms of Cal's base movements. The visuals, while stunning in composition, can sometimes be affected by texture pop-in, lighting not displaying correctly, or enemies quickly dropping into place as a door is opened.

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    Despite these numerous little problems, Respawn’s maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success. I couldn’t put this game down, both for the thrill of exploring and wanting to see where the story took me next. The inspirations taken from Dark Souls, Uncharted, and Metroid Prime unite to create something unique that just happens to work incredibly well for this beloved license. Like most starships in this universe, Jedi: Fallen Order could use a little polish, but the rust doesn’t hold it back from roaring with excitement.

    starwarsjedifoboxstandard.jpg

    Score: 8.75

    Summary: Respawn Entertainment's maiden voyage with Star Wars is largely a success, but it's a little rough around the edges.

    Concept: A journey of discovery unfolds in a sprawling, open-ended adventure that succeeds in both story and action

    Graphics: The amount of detail on display in every area is incredible. However, enemy animations can be tricky to read, and some texture popping occurs

    Sound: The orchestrated score, BD-1’s unique chirps, and all of the voice work are superb and make for a hell of an aural Star Wars experience

    Playability: Traversal is slick, allowing players to run along walls, double jump, and using the Force to pull a vine to them with ease. Lightsaber combat is fluid and intense, but feels a little unpolished

    Entertainment: Jedi: Fallen Order tells a new Star Wars story and takes players to new places. It sits nicely alongside the Rebels and Resistance TV shows, which also dare to be different

    Replay: Moderately High

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    GI Show - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, Pokémon Sword & Shield, Game of the Year Chats

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,
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    On this week's episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we shuffle the deck - literally - as we record the episode out of order and confuse the host (cause that's the level of production we aim for here at GI). But one thing is certain, the show starts with Andy Reiner and Matt Miller talking Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order.

    Next up, Jeff Cork and I sit down to hear stories from Leo Vader and Ben Reeves about some recent travels to see Rainbow Six Siege and a new game Obsidian Entertainment called Grounded. While we have Leo on the show, we also talk a little about the recent release of Red Dead Redemption II to PC. 

    You have heard of Pokémon right? A wild Ben Reeves, Alex Stadnik, and Brian Shea appear to talk about the upcoming Switch releases, Sword and Shield.

    In this week's community email segment Kim Wallace, Jeff Cork, and Ben Reeves answer questions about co-op, help build a video game Mount Rushmore, and we help a reader through a tough time.

    And finally, I sit down with Jeff Cork, Dan "The Jacket" Tack, and Ben Reeves to hear their thoughts on what games they think are in the running for their games of the year. This segment will run the rest of the year as we bring in new editors every week to talk about games that have impacted their year as we lead up to Game Informer's Top 50 in the new year. 

    Thanks for listening! Please make sure to leave feedback below, share the episode if you enjoyed it, and follow me @therealandymc to let me know what you think. 

    You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Playlisten on SoundCloudstream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 at the bottom of the page. Also, be sure to send your questions to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show.

    Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show's intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

    To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the time stamps below.

    2:12 - Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order
    34:33 - Rainbow Six Siege: Shifting Tides
    40:22 - Red Dead Redemption 2 on PC
    51:52 - Grounded, Obsidian's new game
    1:02:50 - Pokémon Sword & Shield
    1:29:11 - Community Emails
    2:15:16 - Game of the Year Chats Pt. 1 - Featuring Jeff Cork, Ben Reeves, and Dan "The Jacket" Tack

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    WoW Classic - World Bosses and PvP Honor System Available

    Curse
    By Curse,
    WoW Classic - World Bosses and PvP Honor System Available
    Originally Posted by blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
    Get ready to put your skills to the test in WoW Classic. The PvP Honor system and world raid bosses Lord Kazzak and Azuregos are now available.

    Lord Kazzak
    Gather a group of your best trackers and fighters to venture into the Blasted Lands. Lord Kazzak resides deep in the Tainted Scar and patrols the area, ready to smite all who dare cross his path. Prepare yourselves for a fast and furious battle against time and watch out for his Shadow Bolt Volley, which causes massive amounts of raid-wide damage.

    Location: Tainted Scar—Blasted Lands
    Suggested Level: 60
    Players Suggested: 40
    Associated Quests: Priest—While players have a small chance to get the The Eye of Shadow as a random drop from elite demons in the world, Lord Kazzak is guaranteed to drop it. Following the quest, The Balance of Light and Shadow to its completion will reward the weapons Benediction or Anathema.

    Azuregos
    A member of the Blue Dragonflight, Azuregos makes his home in Azshara, guarding the magical artifacts left behind there. You’ll want to gather a group of comrades-at-arms to withstand his frosty reception and lay claim to the items he protects. To the victors go the spoils, and for some Hunters this means laying claim to the Ancient Sinew Wrapped Lamina. This item has a low chance to drop on elite blue dragons, but is a guaranteed item drop from Azuregos.

    Location: Azshara
    Suggested Level: 60
    Players Suggested: 40


    PvP Honor System
    The PvP Honor system has arrived in WoW Classic, opening the way for players to climb the ranks and earn PvP rewards.

    Climbing the Ladder
    Facing enemies who are within 10 levels of your own character and defeating them will earn you Honorable Kills. These Honorable Kills will help you advance in the PvP system and unlock access to a variety of rewards, such as a PvP trinket, cloak, potions, and more.

    Not all Honorable Kills are valued the same, however. Killing the same enemy multiple times will result in a decreasing amount of Honor gained until they aren’t worth anything more through the end of the day, when the system resets the diminishing returns.

    Diminishing Returns from repeated kills on a single target are as follows:

    • 1st: 100% of Honor
    • 2nd: 75% of Honor
    • 3rd: 50% of Honor
    • 4th: 25% of Honor
    • 5th (and beyond): 0% Honor

    Diminishing Returns also apply to killing faction leaders.

    Honorable Kill values are also weighted by the defeated player’s own rank and level. You’ll earn more Contribution Points by defeating players who have more PvP experience under their belt and have reached a higher rank than by defeating players who are new to the battlefield. Each week your rank will be updated based on your activity relative to the other members of your faction, but climbing to the top won’t be easy—it will take regular participation to maintain or increase your rank.

    You can also gain a large number of Honor by killing city faction leaders in Darnassus, Ironforge, Orgrimmar, Stormwind, Thunder Bluff, and the Undercity. Once Battlegrounds are available in WoW Classic, these will also provide Honor.

    Falling From Grace
    You will be given Dishonorable Kills for killing civilian NPCs which immediately impacts your Honor rating. Every dishonorable kill costs you some of the honor that you’ve earned in previous weeks, making it difficult to reach the higher ranks as long as you have any dishonorable kills counted on your record at all. These will appear in the Honor tab immediately.

    Tracking Your Meteoric Rise

    pvphonor0000.jpg

    You can check your status in the character information window (C) in the Honor tab. This shows your current rank as well as your honorable kills for the current day, the previous day, the week, the previous week, and over your character’s lifetime.

    There are 14 ranks, and each rank provides access to new rewards. You’ll need to head over to the Officer’s Barracks in Stormwind or Orgrimmar to purchase your new items.

    Alliance

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    Horde

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    Epic new challenges await—happy hunting!

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    Patch 2.6.7 - Incoming Balance Changes

    DiabloFans
    By DiabloFans,

    d3.png Diablo III Season 19 Begins On November 22!

    Patch 2.6.7 - Incoming Balance Changes

    Brandy has posted on the official forums regarding some balance issues that have surfaced in patch 2.6.7, and mentions that a small balance patch will release between now and the start of Season 19 to address some of these concerns.

     

    Originally Posted by Nevalistis (Official Post)

    Whew, okay, let’s see if I can address these.

    1. Bazooka - we definitely consider this an issue (as I’m sure you can see from our last change), but it’s proving trickier to address than we anticipated. While Bazooka is harder to execute now, we don’t like that a build more or less requires macros to use effectively. This is something we want to address, but it’s looking like that will be a longer term process beyond 2.6.7.
    2. We did make a change to Blighter for this reason in 2.6.7. If this wasn’t enough, we’ll continue to re-evaluate.
    3. We’ll be releasing a small balance patch between now and the start of Season 19 to address some of the balance concerns the community has brought to us. Still getting the final details on exactly what this entails. Stay tuned.
    4. Because we’ll be releasing a small balance patch, we’ll be resetting the Era again. We’re just waiting for that to happen first. :slight_smile:
    5. See point #3. This is also one of our areas of concern. We don’t want to “nerf it to the ground,” but we do want to pull it back. If AoV continues to need adjustments afterwards in either direction, we’ll keep looking at it in the long run, too. Sometimes finding the right balance takes us a few tries, and we appreciate your patience with us while work to get things where they need to be.

    I know it doesn’t always look like we listen or act immediately on feedback, and we can’t always act this fast; we’ve had a lot of conversations over the past couple of days regarding 2.6.7 and the areas where we could improve. Having a larger gap between patch and Season launch is serving us well in this regard.

     

    Lastly, I want to mention I’m working with the development team on a blog that focuses on Greater Rift Level Cap and our philosophy/approach around game balance. I think there’s some context the community is missing in our approach, and we want to explain this better and more clearly—it’s just going to take some time for me to put that communication together. I’m not trying to be mysterious; I just want to make sure we’re taking the time necessary to make things clear.

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