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    IO Interactive Giving Away Paris Hitman Level In Holiday Pack

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

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    It's been a year of ups and downs for Hitman developer IO Interactive, having split from owner Square-Enix but retaining the rights to the Hitman license. The developer is ending the year by giving away arguably the game's best level, Paris, for free alongside a holiday pack.

    The timed pack is only available from December 15 through January 9 as the Hitman Holiday Pack on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It includes the first post-tutorial story mission, the Paris runway mission "Showstopper," all of the levels escalation missions, challenge packs, and any Paris-related Elusive Targets when they get re-activated in 2018.

    Downloading the pack makes it permanent and the remaining episodes can be purchased separately if you want. Whether you do that or get the Game of the Year edition, your progress and unlocks will carry over.

    Additionally, last year's Holiday Hoarders mission, which involves a teleporting Santa and the plot of Home Alone, is coming back. If you have the mission from last year, you also get the ability to wear the Santa outfit in all the levels in the game.

    Hitman originally released its first episode in March 2016 and the full season one in January of this year. A Game of the Year edition released recently with the first new content since wrapping up season one. You can watch us play the Game of the Year edition right here.

     

    Our Take
    Paris was a fantastic level and trying to do the story mission in different ways cemented it as one of my favorite games of 2016. I am glad everyone gets the chance to play it now.

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    Bungie Update Announces Free Destiny Comic And The Dawning Event Timing

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    dawning_5F00_2017_5F00_snowballs_2D00_61

    This Week At Bungie, Bungie's blog post that announces and reviews news for Destiny 2, showed off a new comic and detailed The Dawning festivities.

    The comic, called Fall of Osiris, tells the story of how the vanguard hero went from lauded commander to traitor. It is written by Ryan North, the writer behind Dinosaur Comics and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, in concert with Bungie's narrative team. The comic is coming soon and will be available for free on Bungie's website.

    The Dawning decorates the Farm and the Tower with a winter wonderland feel. The festive atmosphere gives the opportunity for snowball fights, either with playful pelts on the farm or in strikes where snowballs deal extra damage. In addition, Mayhem is back in Crucible, reducing cooldown times for abilities. You can check out the full details of The Dawning here.

    The Dawning will start on December 19 and continue to January 9, giving you plenty of time to take part.

    [Source: This Week At Bungie]

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    Around the Verse

    RSI
    By RSI,

    Sandi Gardiner and Steve Bender host this week’s episode, taking a look at the physics and control systems being implemented for atmospheric flight. Plus, another installment of “Burndown” keeps you up to date on the development process.

    And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions

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    Injustice 2 Free Trial Now Available On PlayStation 4 And Xbox One

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    intern_2D00_brainiac_2D00_610.jpg

    Injustice 2 has a free weekend going on from December 14 to December 18 on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

    The free trial lets you play through the first three chapters of game's much-lauded story mode, as well as using the game's main roster in all of the multiplayer modes. Multiplayer, as does the free trial as a whole, does require players have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, however.

    All the progress made, including unlocks, story mode progression, and crates received, will carry over to the full game as long as it's played on the same account as the free trial. If you already own the game, you can log in during the free weekend period and gain 2000 source crystals. 

    The game recently launched on PC just recently, so it is not included in this free trial.

    Injustice 2 recently added Hellboy to its DLC roster and has announced the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as upcoming DLC, as well. You can read our review of Injustice 2 right here.

     

    Our Take
    As someone who wants to experience the story mode of Injustice 2, I think this free trial will be a good way to see if the game as a whole is up my alley.

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    Destiny 2: Curse Of Osiris Review – A Precarious Balancing Act

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

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    Bungie faces the unenviable task of balancing established plans for content roll-out and simultaneously responding on the fly to an anxious and vocal community, many of whom have valid and frustrated feelings about this sequel’s problems in the endgame. Curse of Osiris is colored by that debate. This first expansion is a flawed and in-progress attempt to serve the game’s multiple masters – both casual and hardcore enthusiasts. Viewed on its own merits, I found a lot to enjoy, even if the core story, missions, and new setting elements don’t live up to their potential. At the same time, the release coincides with a few important updates that encourage deeper commitment. 

    Long hinted at in the series’ fiction, the curtain is finally pulled back on the mighty warlock Osiris. Framed as the fantasy fable of the grand wizard lost in the mystical woods, the narrative framework has a lot of potential, especially with the addition of the reality and time-experimenting Vex enemies at center stage. Unfortunately, despite a few attractive cinematic moments, the story fails to reach full stride. I never got invested in the conflict or its MacGuffin villain. 

    Mercury is a breathtaking new artistic backdrop, dominated by imposing architecture and the dazzling bloom of sunlight. The gates that lead into simulations of different timelines make for the sort of rich sci-fi concepting Destiny 2 should embrace. Yet again, the idea doesn’t live up to what it could be. The patrol space is too compact to compel a sense of exploration, and the connected network of gateways doesn’t capitalize on the breadth of locales and situations suggested by the conceit. The semi-random and interlinked puzzle-piece nodes of the simulated Vex Infinite Forest fail to differentiate the individual missions from one another. Likewise, the story missions that flow through both Mercury and other destinations offer few surprises or memorable action sequences.

    Crucible play maintains the focus on teamwork and deliberate pacing that was present at launch months ago. I was disappointed to not see any new playlists or game modes, as PvP needs to be refreshed, notwithstanding some important and welcome balance tweaks that help even the playing field between weapons and classes. The limited playlist options harm replayability, and something needs to happen to inject increased variety into moment-to-moment play. Thankfully, several excellent PvP maps lend freshness. From the dimly lit halls of Titan’s arcology to the shimmering cliffs of Mercury’s distant past, these are thoughtfully constructed battlefields with Bungie’s usual practiced eye for chokepoints and lines of scrimmage.

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    The new Eater of Worlds raid lair reuses some environment features from Destiny 2’s first raid, but don’t be fooled. This six-person cooperative expedition may be shorter than previous raids, but it boasts a few great encounters and an awesome boss fight. The puzzles are intriguing and logical without being obtuse, and the action scenes are intense and gratifying. Raid loot continues to need work, lacking the breadth of rewards and exciting drops that characterized the first Destiny raids.  

    Several new additions offer an olive branch to players struggling to find meaningful long-term investment. New masterwork weapons provide a fun chase for randomized perks and the ability to speed up the super recharge rate through more orb creation, but without breaking the game’s balance. A separate weapon forging mechanic demands an enjoyable grind for resources, and increased reason to engage with excellent activities like strikes and adventures. The new heroic adventures, with their challenging modifiers and fierce enemy combatants, make for great cooperative fun, and I hope they soon expand into other locales beyond Mercury. The frustrations of randomness in the token economy are also partially addressed, with a smart system to afford players who have already invested in a lengthy grind the option to purchase missing set pieces from some vendors. As a collector, it’s one of my personal favorite new features.

    I’m dismayed that the crunch of vault, mod, and shader inventory remains unresolved. At times I simply turn the game off because I can’t stomach the task of managing more item juggling. In a loot-focused game about progression and collection, it’s a significant problem. I’m also increasingly troubled by the prevalence and number of rewards looped in with the microtransaction system. When Destiny 2 is struggling to find meaningful rewards to engage players in day-to-day play, it seems tone deaf to hide ships, ghosts, sparrows, ornaments, and armor sets behind a loot box system with only the stingiest paths to acquisition through natural cycles of play. 

    This release doesn’t occur in a vacuum. Curse of Osiris launches amid public backlash against certain Destiny 2 systems, including XP throttling and select content being locked behind the expansion purchase. Beyond that criticism, the expansion doesn’t hit the high notes it could have reached. Even if some features, characters, and new locations deserve more depth, this first DLC pack hides some thoughtful renovations and new opportunities for adventure behind an underwhelming first few hours. The robust community has a lot to say about the game, and I share some of the concerns being voiced. Simultaneously, my frustrations are tempered by several fun activities and loot chases that continue to keep me engaged. 

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    The FCC Votes To Repeal Net Neutrality

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    fightforthefuture.gif

    The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 in favor of repealing net neutrality rules put in place two years ago. The rules in question prevent internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing certain content, or requiring consumers or companies to pay a premium to have access to a "fast lane." The vote also removes Title II designation from the internet, which removes its classification as a "public utility."

    The next step in the FCC's battle to repeal the net neutrality rules is likely to happen in court. If ultimately adopted, the changes won't take place overnight, but once the rules are removed, internet service providers will be free to experiment with new fees and new ways to bundle content on the internet. The changes could have sweeping implications for gamers, who have become substantially more reliant on the internet with the explosion of online gaming over the past 15 years, as well as ever-increasing download sizes. These changes could also drastically affect streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video, among many other services.

    Within minutes of the decision, numerous individuals and organizations expressed dismay, with some promising counter action. Netflix released a statement on Twitter, expressing disappointment. Attorney Generals from multiple states have announced plans to sue the FCC over the decision, while California Senator Scott Wiener has announced plans to introduce a bill in January that would make FCC rules a requirement in the state. "If FCC won’t protect free/open internet, we will," Wiener said in a tweet.

     

    Our Take
    With fewer restrictions on how companies can charge websites and consumers, these changes certainly prioritize the desires of internet service providers over consumers and websites. The vote today also occurred amid withering criticism from numerous corners who found fault with the FCC's period of public comment on the topic, widely believed to have been polluted by outside forces. With these new rules, internet service providers would be able to block its consumers from accessing competitors' apps, or throttle a streaming service if the service doesn't want to pay additional fees to the ISP. While the FCC will likely have to defend its decision in court, which could prove to be its biggest fight, today's vote as it stands has profound and potentially devastating implications for the future of the internet.

    View the full article


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