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    New in GTA Online: The Ocelot Ardent Plus Bunker and Vehicle Discounts

    Valve
    By Valve,
    7d03a99c5472272e9c93ebb33137f0673b53a0b1.jpg

    The mad scientists at Ocelot are back with another automotive beast - The Ardent. Effortlessly suave and equally ferocious, the Ardent pairs some good old-fashioned front-mounted machine guns with retro aesthetics. Pick up yours today from Warstock Cache and Carry.

    DOUBLE PAYOUTS, BONUSES & MORE THROUGH AUGUST 28TH

    From variations on Juggernaut to Resurrection, jump into the Bunker Series playlist or launch any Bunker-based Adversary Mode to earn Double GTA$ & RP through August 28th. If you're more at home behind the wheel, run wild in the explosive Vehicle Vendetta Adversary Mode, dishing out double GTA$ & RP rewards as well.

    Stack some extra paper by selling boosted exotic vehicles as Vehicle Cargo Sell Missions are doling out double payouts. If you're yet to start trading out of a Vehicle Cargo Warehouse, be sure to take advantage of a 25% price drop running this week.

    And whether you're gunning down your foes through the cavernous halls of a Bunker or peddling luxury vehicles to buyers across the state, your Bunker R&D team will be firing on all cylinders as Research and Manufacturing speeds are boosted 25%.

    BUNKER, OFFICE & VEHICLE DISCOUNTS

    The illegal arms trade is the perfect arena for the vicious and ambitious - and with Maze Bank Foreclosures striking 25% off the Smoke Tree Road Bunker, there's all the more reason to get your hands dirty.

    And what better place to plot your illicit affairs than from behind your floor-to-ceiling window on high in the Maze Bank Tower? Now through August 28th, Dynasty 8 is offering 25% off ALL Executive Offices.

    Live the high life for less with 25% off the following vehicles:
    • Rocket Voltic
    • Cognoscenti 55
    • Schafter LWB
    PREMIUM RACE & TIME TRIAL SCHEDULE

    Stack your paper to the sky and earn serious RP with the following Premium Race & Time Trial events, live from August 22nd - August 28th:
    • Premium Special Vehicle Race - "Pulse" (Locked to Rocket Voltic)
    • Time Trial - "Coast to Coast"
    Launch Premium Races through the Quick Job App on your in-game phone or via the yellow corona at Legion Square. The top three finishers will earn GTA$ and you'll get Triple RP regardless of where you place. To take a shot at the Time Trial, set a waypoint to the marker on your in-game map and enter via the purple corona. Beat par time and you'll be duly rewarded with GTA$ & RP payouts.

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    So Far Crackdown 3 Feels Like A Game From Another Era

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    Crackdown3car_2D00_61117_2D00_610.jpg

    Recent delays for the third entry in this super-powered series have bummed out Crackdown fans, as Microsoft announced Crackdown 3 is now due to ship out in 2018.  During Gamescom 2017, I had the chance to spend a little time throwing cars and evildoers around in a slice of Crackdown 3 and while I had a load of fun, I also have some concerns.

    The original Crackdown was the forefront of sandbox games that delighted in giving players as much power as possible and then setting them loose upon an open-world to wreak havoc. It was an impressive entry the super-powered strain of open-world games (like Mercenaries, The Saboteur) that followed in the wake of Grand Theft Auto III's revolutionary open-world design. For its time and place, Crackdown wasn't just a great game: it was also an important one.

    However, Crackdown was also released in 2007. Better games that utilize its systems and thematic focus have come and gone. This leaves the a huge, lingering question: how does Crackdown 3 set itself apart from the likes of Saints Row, Agents of Mayhem? And the answer after having stomped around Crackdown 3's city for half an hour with my super-powered agent, their arsenal of weapons, and some hand grenades? Well, I'm not quite sure to be honest.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    Don't get me wrong. I had a good bit of fun with Crackdown 3. Loading up a prebuilt agent with a shotgun and super strength, I tore down streets, picking up cars and hurling them into henchmen. I blew away bad guys, picked up their corpses, and flung them into the sky. It was a hoot. But these thrills are the sort that fade after you do them a few hundred times and you're left with a desire for something more. I'm still having trouble fathoming what that hook is.

    Crackdown 3's city seems pretty but otherwise uninteresting. The shooting is clunky and not fun. There's also a narrator that's incessantly cheering and criticizing you, as you go after enemy agents and clear the city of foes.

    I walked away from my demo of Crackdown 3 mostly enjoying the experience but not being sold on the full game as an enticing, multi-hour journey. Crackdown 3 feels like a game from another era, one that didn't worry too much about story but just wanted players to have action-packed, ludicrous fun. However, open-world games have changed so much since the original game that I find myself wondering why I'd choose to play this over the zany, over-the-top action of Saints Row IV. And despite multiple informative marketing pushes, a hands-on demo, and a goofy vibe that's easy to appreciate (Terry Crews!): I still don't have an answer, and I don't think I'm alone in that boat either.

    Hopefully Microsoft will use the time afforded by the game's most recent delay to craft an answer to that question.

    For more on Crackdown 3, you can check out our previous preview by Joe Juba.

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    Five Things We Noticed From Our Hands-On With The Xbox One Version Of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    bgrounds0713_2D00_610.jpg

    During Gamescom 2017, we got some hands-on time with the Xbox One version of the smash hit Early Access battle royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, playing a full match for more than 30 minutes.  The version of the game we played was on a PC but, according to a Microsoft representative, was "running" the Xbox One version of the game. We also played with the Xbox One Elite controller. With that in mind, here are a few details we noticed during that time.

    PUBG Plays Well With A Controller Instead Of A Mouse & Keyboard
    The Xbox One controller managed to make all the integral functions of PUBG (going prone, switching views, the item screen) surprisingly easy to handle. Changing your perspective between first-person and third are tied to your shoulder buttons, while action buttons like jumping/reloading are tied to the X/Y/B/A buttons.  As someone who's balked at the idea of playing this game with anything other than a mouse and controller, I didn't find myself missing them during this match.

    This Version Is Slightly Uglier Than The PC Version
    While character models and buildings looked great up close, things get a bit dodgy when you're looking out across the horizon. The draw distance in this version of the game isn't great, fields and entire towns muddy from a distance as well as from the air when you're dropping in look like muddy blobs. It's not a substantial downgrade but the difference is noticeable if you've spent any time creeping around the Battlegrounds on a decent PC.

    The Performance Is Strong
    While you might be disheartened to hear this version isn't as pretty as the original PC one, the Xbox One version we played managed to get one of the most important aspects of PUBG correct: the technical performance. There were no hitches, crashes, or chopiness during our match. The FPS was consistently in the 30-40 range even when multiple players were onscreen and in close quarters combat.

    Vehicle Handling Could Use Some Work
    Driving a car on the Battleground is already a risk, as it makes you a target while you speed across roads and plains. However, commandeering them in this version of the game is even riskier, as the handling feels choppier and sluggish thanks to how it responds to the thumbsticks on the Xbox One controller.

    It Feels Like A Proper Port (So Far)
    While we've only played one match of the game, we walked away feeling pretty satisfied with this work-in-progress port. The jury is still out until the Xbox One version of the game has been released into the wild, of course. However, this port looks to retain everything that makes PUBG so enticing (the ambitious scope, the Battle Royale hook, the technical performance needed to make the game consistently compelling) at the cost of a minor visual downgrade.

    For more on PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, be sure to check out our Virtual Life column on the game here.

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    The newest Assassin's Creed wants to modernize the decade-old series.

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    AC_2D00_610.jpg

    Whenever I play a new Assassin’s Creed game, I feel like someone trying to rekindle my love for an experience long past. The roller coaster of emotions the series has taken me on, veering between enraptured enjoyment and seething dislike depending on the entry, has been incredibly tiring to the point of just wanting to swear off the series were I any more willing to do so. After some time with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Origins, I am more optimistic about the series’ willingness to reinvent itself than I have been previously.

    Breaking Conventions
    “It is a question we ask ourselves,” starts Origins director Ashraf Ismail. “Is Assassin’s Creed just about a hidden blade and a hood?” Ismail describes the conventions of the series, from leaps of faith to tombs, as things the team has to consider. After eight mainline games, trying to make an Assassin’s Creed game that captures every game’s essence is nearly impossible, and the conventions of the series have to be challenged to create a unique, modern game. Origins accomplishes this by revamping the fighting system, introducing loot for weapons and armor, and tying homages to the series to new mechanisms.

    The World Fights Back
    For the first time, battles are not about just presenting mild inconveniences on your way to the next objective. If Bayek is forced into a position of needing to engage in battle, he is equipped with a weapon, a shield, and a bow to fight his way out. When I came across a fort to take out, I headshot a few enemies and engaged the rest in close combat. I got well and truly beaten by other shielded enemies before I finally stopped trying to play the game like every other Assassin’s Creed title and actually get aggressive with enemy bandits. It is not expressly more difficult than other games in the series, but my mindset with the game had to change before I could tackle it effectively.

    This Is Not Just Bayek’s Quest
    The previous Assassin’s Creed title released in 2015, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, had two protagonists telling equal parts of the story as a contrast to every other game following a single character. Assassin’s Creed: Origins walks that idea backwards, but not completely. Introduced at Gamescom, Bayek’s wife Aya will be playable for certain missions in the game. It also sounds like there will be more playable characters than just Aya and Bayek.

    “It is primarily Bayek’s story and journey, and this is the decision we had made because it was what we came to in terms of when we were building this experience, the narrative, the gameplay, this is the experience we wanted to create,” Ismail said. “So, it was a choice that we made [not to split the campaign]. Having said that, we have other playable characters, we’re just not yet announcing who they are.” 

    Making Side Quests Matter
    As the last member of a group of warriors, Bayek ends up getting lots of requests from the people that inhabit the world. Some citizens tasked me with chasing down a child stealing coin purses in town. After chasing him down, I ended up defending him against some bandits. The thief explained that his family had been sold to bandits to use as thieves, so I was sent to check out the place they were apparently being kept. I discovered a ship fire and, in the process of investigating what went wrong, I had to convince a merchant to tell me what he saw by breaking his wares. Eventually, I freed the child thief’s sister from her captors and she asked me to meet her somewhere else to help exact her revenge. Side quests are nothing new for the series, but it is certainly one of the most extensive ones I’ve played in the Assassin’s Creed games and helped the world-building immensely. It also was not about tailing anyone, which is a plus.

    The Challenges Of Accuracy
    Assassin’s Creed has always had some problems being culturally sensitive. Middle-eastern Altair was played by Nolan North, an entire game set in France only had British accents, the series has made some decisions for presumably marketing reasons that ended up backfiring. With Origins, Bayek is made as authentic as possible, from voice to skin tone to dialogue, but not every character is quite as accurate.

    “In terms of the more British accents, it was actually, that was the balance we did when we have a Greek character. So, for example, Cleopatra [having a British accent],” explained Ismail. “Having said that, we tried to stay true to all, representing all the different cultures that exist there. Egyptian, Greeks, Romans – we tried to make sure they sounded as accurate as we could.”

    I left Assassin’s Creed: Origins not entirely convinced this would be the game to redeem the series for anyone who has lapsed. There have been a number of bad games in the series, but perhaps the bigger concern is the how few and far between the great ones have been to even it out. Origins could end up being that game, but we’ll find out on October 27 for sure.

    Check out our gameplay of Assassin's Creed: Origins below.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    View the full article


    Splatoon 2 To Receive New Salmon Run Stage Today, Nintendo Reveals New Bubbly Weapon

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    splatoon2_2D00_shifty_2D00_station_2D00_

    Nintendo revealed a plethora of new updates coming to Splatoon 2 with a Gamescom trailer. The biggest bit of news is that a new stage will be added to the game's Salmon Run mode called The Lost Outpost and that map will go live today.

    A new map called Manta Maria will also be added to the game on August 26 while a new weapon set featuring The Bubble Blower will be available on September 1.

    You can watch the trailer for all the new upcoming content here:

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    For more on Splatoon 2, be sure to check out our review.

    View the full article


    Watch Us Play Nine Minutes Of Star Fox 2 On The SNES Classic Edition

    GameInformer
    By GameInformer,

    starfox_2D00_610.jpg

    One of the most intriguing aspects of the SNES Classic Edition is the inclusion of the unreleased Star Fox 2, and we recently got a chance to play it.

    Star Fox 2 was developed and completed in time for a 1995 release, but Nintendo shelved it to begin its transitional 3D work on the Nintendo 64. It was thought the game would never see the light of day, but that all changes on September 29 with the release of the SNES Classic Edition.

    In the video below, you get to watch Imran's playtime, hear his impressions of the thought-lost game, and more.

    (Please visit the site to view this media)

    For more on the SNES Classic Edition, to see its menus and other games in action, and hear the new music that was composed for the console's menus, head here.

    View the full article


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