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  1. Past hour
  2. Jordan Vogt-Roberts talked a little bit today about the creation of the Metal Gear Solid movie, which he intends to direct, but he already has his eyes toward another video game franchise: Metroid. In an interview with IGN, Voght-Roberts talked about wanting to the sci-fi franchise justice and his ideas for what the movie could be. “I have a pitch for a Metroid movie," Voght-Roberts said. "They’ll never let me. It’s too crazy. It legitimately would be [Samus] alone. It would be a little bit of her talking to herself. As soon as they introduce other talking characters in those games, to me it loses everything. You put her alone and it’s almost got more to do with the silence of a movie like Drive. Like the quietness. and having it be like a real, intense mood piece, but mixed with sci-fi.” Voght-Roberts talked a bit about how Super Metroid influenced him and his filmmaking style. It seems unlikely Nintendo would ever go for it, but considering that the studio that made Minions is making a Super Mario movie, stranger things have happened. Who would be your ideal director for a Metroid movie? [Source: IGN] He's right that I'm sure Nintendo would never let him do that, and some studio executive would run in screaming at the idea even if Nintendo said yes, but I'd probably watch that. View the full article
  3. Yesterday
  4. Hello everyone, Last week we opened up Wave 2 of CitizenCon tickets, which are now available through July 30th. Alongside Wave 2, we also updated the RSI website with a new hub to meet all your CitizenCon needs. We’ll continue to add new content and information as we approach the event. We closed out the week with the conclusion of our Origin 600i Commercial Contest. With 46 commercials submitted, this was one of the toughest competitions to judge yet. Alas the votes are in and the dust has settled – congratulations to the winners! With that, let’s see what’s going on this week: The Alpha 3.2 Flyable Ships promotion ends tonight at 11:59 PM Pacific, so if you’re looking to pick up one of the latest additions to the Star Citizen universe, you still have time. Every week on Calling All Devs, designers, engineers and other developers from our five offices around the world answer backer questions submitted on Spectrum and voted for by YOU. Today, we shake things up and take full advantage of Live Game Director Todd Papy being in town with an all-Papy themed episode, available to watch now. Tuesday is lore day! The Lore Team will publish another in-fiction story to help cure your craving for more Star Citizen lore. Check out previously published lore posts here. Thursday will welcome another episode of Around the Verse where we’ll take a look at the latest Star Citizen news with a project update. Lastly, make sure to tune in this Friday at 9AM PDT / 4PM UTC for another episode of Reverse the Verse, broadcast live on our Star Citizen Twitch channel. This Friday’s show is coupled with an all new edition of Ship Shape that you won’t want to miss. Word on the street is that there may be some hints about what to expect in this week’s episode of Calling All Devs. Have a great week! We’ll see you in the ‘Verse. Tyler Witkin Lead Community Manager The Weekly Community Content Schedule MONDAY, JULY 16TH, 2018 Calling All Devs (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) TUESDAY, JULY 17TH, 2018 Weekly Lore Post (https://robertsspaceindustries.com/comm-link/spectrum-dispatch) WEDNESDAY, JULY 18TH, 2018 - THURSDAY, JULY 19TH, 2018 Around the Verse (https://www.youtube.com/user/RobertsSpaceInd/) Vault Update FRIDAY, JULY 20TH, 2018 Reverse the Verse Live – 9AM Pacific / 4PM UTC (https://www.twitch.tv/starcitizen) Roadmap Update RSI Newsletter Community MVP: July 16th, 2018 We are constantly amazed by the contributions made by the Star Citizen community. Whether it’s fan art, a cinematic, a YouTube guide, or even a 3D print of your favorite ship, we love it all! Every week, we select one piece of content submitted to the Community Hub and highlight it in this section. The highlighted content creator will be awarded with an MVP badge on Spectrum and be immortalized in our MVP section of the Hub. Don’t forget to submit your content to our Community Hub for a chance at seeing it here! Star Citizen Icons for Stream Deck by Replic_TuaniOne Replic has taken the time to create a set of Star Citizen themed icons for use with Elgato’s Stream Deck. With their submission quickly gaining popularity throughout the week, it was an easy decision for this week’s MVP! Details on the Community Hub. View the full article
  5. Back in April, Nintendo announced a contest for people to take their newly-purchased Labo kits and decorate them in interesting and creative ways. In the three categories Nintendo set (Best Decorated Toy-Con, Best Toy-Con Mod Using Toy-Con Garage, and Best Original Invention Using Toy-Con Garage), three winners were chosen in each category, so we'll show off a few right here. One of the winners of the Best Decorated Toy-Con is this Zelda-themed piano with a Master Sword sticking out the top. For best mod, this entry made a Simon Says out of the Labo house. The original invention category is the most likely one to blow people away and this solar-powered Labo accordion with a Switch inside of it goes even beyond those lofty expectations. You can find all the winners here. The next contest, which has the much broader categories of "Kids, Customizations, and Creativity," allows contestants to win a cardboard-themed Switch which isn't available anywhere else. That one runs from July 19 to August 20. View the full article
  6. DiabloFans

    Challenge Rift - Week 56

    Challenge Rift - Week 56: Challenge Rift Week 56 is live! If you are curious how Challenge Rift builds are chosen each week, you can view this official blog post! Challenge Rift 56 - NA by OSW_Zenkiki Punish Celerity Consecration Bed of Nails Steed Charge Spiked Barding Iron Skin Reflective Skin Bombardment Barrels of Spikes Laws of Justice Decaying Strength Finery Fervor Iron Maiden Divine Fortress Challenge Rift 56 - EU by OSW_Zenkiki Punish Retaliate Heaven's Fury Blessed Ground Judgment Mass Verdict Provoke Hit Me Iron Skin Explosive Skin Laws of Valor Critical Finery Hold Your Ground Heavenly Strength Holy Cause View the full article
  7. Looking forward to Jump Force but feel like it needs a much more super-deformed artstyle? Konami might have your back with the newly announced Jump Stadium, a four-player Smash Bros.-like for mobile phones. The announcement trailer goes through characters by the decades and shows off every single character, including a number of deep dives and a lot of obvious choices. You can check out the trailer below. A western release has not been announced, but it's not terribly difficult to download games from other regions on your phone. It is also likely that the game will have more characters added to it as time goes on, so the base roster is likely to expand even further. Which characters would you most like to see added? View the full article
  8. Montreal's Crea-ture Studios grabbed the world's attention with their skateboarding game Session at E3 when Microsoft showcased the title during their press conference. Session is coming to the Xbox One and PC, and will be in Steam Early Access and the Xbox Game Preview program in late 2018, with the first version of the title in 2019. I met with some of the dev team at E3, and asked them about some additional game details since we covered it late last year. Where Do We Go From Here? Since we last saw the game, a mid-spin catch mechanic has been added, which is just the start of how the game is going to continue to evolve until it hits Early Access and beyond. At that time Crea-ture says it wants the game to be "almost perfect" despite being an Early Access title. Having said that, it doesn't intend for the feature set to be locked at that time per se, but it will continue to add bits and work on what's currently there. One of the examples of this is the game's skater customization feature, which has already grown. There are plans to allow you to change the tightness of your trucks, board concave and width, and more. Beyond the game's launch, there may be DLC with future cities or parks depending on how the game does, but Crea-ture says the core gameplay will always be free, so they won't be selling tricks, for instance. A Full Bag of Tricks Session's tricks are performed by assigning each of the skater's legs to their own analog stick, making it more complex but also granting you more control. There is no scoring system in the game, but Crea-ture is considering putting in an indicator telling you which trick you've performed. In general, the title aims to give anyone their due if they can pull off tricks in the game, but it also wants to pack in optional features to help out those who want it. There are different control styles in the game, but there are no tricks that are restricted to one or the other. There are also ways to tweak the experience so you may be able to control the speed of the flip of the board, but still have the option to use an auto-catch mechanic. Because of the game's controls, players have the ability to practically create their own tricks due to the title's physics (take a look at some of the sweet tricks posted on the sub-reddit). While grinds at the moment are more input driven, giving you a specific outcome corresponding to your inputs, the studio is also working to make these more organic depending on the angle you approach the rail, for example. Most of the animations in the demos players are playing are placeholder. Crea-ture is tightening the timing of tricks, and trying to normalize them so people know what to expect. For instance, right now kickflips and heelflips are at different speeds. The devs want to cut down on these kinds of unexpected variances so players can be more comfortable with their tricks where applicable. For those situations when it all goes wrong, you can bail out of a trick, but there won't be a Skate-style Hall of Meat where players generate biffs for laughs. The studio is also considering requiring some sort of extra input or control compensation to land big drops like the one shown in the trailer at the Microsoft's E3 2018 press conference. Skaters of Different Stripes We've seen lots of street skating from the game so far, but ramp skaters worry not – Session has vert skating. Moreover, the team says it wants to differentiate how ramp and street skating feel, which makes sense. We don't know exactly how this will be achieved, but street and vert are different disciplines in real-life and should be treated as such in the game. Speaking of different disciplines, I asked about flatland tricks, but those aren't being planned for the game at this time. However, Session is embracing different aspects of skating in that there is a filmer mode where you can contribute to skating's tradition of skating alongside someone and catching footage of their sweet stunts. I hope to get more info on Session throughout the year, so stay tuned. The Ticker New NHL 19 Trailer Shows Off Impressive New Skating Engine NHL Esports Plans Involve Every Team/6v6 Play (ESPN) NHL 19 Loyalty Offers Lineup of Classic Cars Announced For F1 2018 Club Soccer Director 2019 Comes to Mobile/Tablets On August 9 MXGP Pro Launch Trailer View the full article
  9. It feels like Stranger Things' second season just came out, but Netflix is already teasing the third season with a commercial for Hawkins' Starcourt mall. The commercial is about as 1980s as you can get, complete with nostalgia of stores long past, cool guys standing around with walkmans and sunglasses on inside, and neon signs. Check out the short teaser below. The teaser ends with "Coming Next Summer!", so that is likely the target date for season three. Where do you expect the show will go next year? View the full article
  10. Live Developer Q&A Thursday 7/19 - Submit Your Questions Battle for Azeroth Pre-Patch Notes Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Battle Is Coming! Even as Azeroth’s wounds are tended, the shattered trust between the Alliance and Horde now proves hardest to mend. Amidst this age-old conflict, join your allies and champion your faction’s cause. New Events in Teldrassil and Lordaeron Beginning the week of July 24 and continuing for three weeks leading to the launch of Battle for Azeroth on August 14, experience the escalation of all-out war in Teldrassil, and later Lordaeron. A new chapter of the relentless conflict at the heart of the Warcraft saga is unfolding, and it’s time for you to take your place on the front lines! New Character Customizations The war with the Burning Legion has left orcs standing tall, a new posture option available to all orc player characters. Blood Elves now have access to golden eyes, as well as a few new faces. All of these new options are available at Barber Shops throughout Azeroth, and you can now alter your character’s skin color while you’re there. Player versus Player The PvP Honor and Prestige system has been updated. Your PvP progress in Legion has been converted into account-wide Honor levels, which you’ll continue to earn through PvP. All class specializations’ PvP Talents have been revamped. Hit default hotkey ‘N’ to get a look at your PvP Talents, and default hotkey ‘H’ to see the new PvP system. War Mode is Here You can now enable War Mode and venture out into a world full of others who have made the same dangerous choice. Enabling War Mode provides additional bonuses: All PvP Talents you’ve chosen will be available to use anywhere PvP can occur. You’ll gain an additional bonus to experience while leveling up. Earn additional bonus gold and Resources from World Quests. War Mode can be toggled on or off beginning at level 20 by visiting either Orgrimmar or Stormwind and setting your preference in the Talent pane (default hotkey ‘N’). Beware! Once you venture out in War Mode, all zones will become contested, including zones such as Northshire Abbey. Sanctuary areas will still be PvP free. Additional War Mode features such as Bounty Hunter and Air Drops will become available in the new zones of Battle for Azeroth. July 17, 2018 marks the end of the final Legion season of ranked PvP, and the post-season period has begun. Look for all the new PvP progression and rewards to unlock and become earnable after the launch of Battle for Azeroth in a few weeks. Strand of the Ancients and Ashran are no longer available. Social Features You can now create and join cross-realm social groups in World of Warcraft. Communities make it easier for you to find and play alongside adventurers who share common interests. Hit default hotkey ‘J’ to get started. Voice Chat is now available in all groups, Guilds, and Communities. Select the headset icon wherever you see it in game to talk with other players. Legacy Loot Mode Now, when you enter an instance at 10 levels or more above the maximum level of the content, Legacy Loot rules will be automatically enabled. Under Legacy Loot rules, drops will include a chance for all items that would drop for a full party or raid at the instance’s level. Classes Sargeras’ cruel, final blow dramatically impacted both Azeroth and all of its denizens. The power of every Artifact weapon has now been depleted. Some powers from Artifacts have now been incorporated into their specializations. Your characters that are just getting started in Legion content will still seek out and acquire Artifacts. Statistics In an effort to make displayed numbers more perceptible, values used for player and enemy statistics have been reduced throughout the game. This includes values such as item-level, damage, armor, health, and defense measurements. A number of spells and talents now again activate a global cooldown when used. Blood Elves' Arcane Torrent now removes 1 beneficial effect from all nearby enemies and restores 3% of your mana (previously silenced nearby enemies and interrupted non-player characters). All talents have been refunded for all specs. All classes and specializations have been updated for Battle for Azeroth. Death Knight (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Death’s Advance - Grants you increased movement speed and resistance to forced movement effects, knockbacks, and slows. Blood Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Consumption – Strikes all enemies in front of you with a hungering attack that heals you for 100% of its damage Hemostasis – Each enemy hit by Blood Boil increases the damage and healing done by your next Death Strike. Frost Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Frostwyrm’s Fury – Summon a frostwyrm who breaths on all enemies in a large area, dealing massive Frost damage. Obliteration – While Pillar of Frost is active, Frost Strike, Glacial Advance, and Howling Blast always grant Killing Machine and have a chance to generate a Rune. Unholy Army of the Dead and Raise Dead now have shorter cooldowns. Many other Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New spells and Talents include: Apocalypse – Brings doom upon the enemy, dealing damage and bursting Festering Wounds on the target. Summons an Army of the Dead ghoul for each burst Festering Wound. Grip of the Dead – Defile/Death and Decay reduces the movement speed of enemies within its area. Demon Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Demon Hunters have a new ability, Consume Magic – Consume a beneficial Magic effect from an enemy, removing it and granting you Fury or Pain. The spell previously named Consume Magic is now Disrupt. Demon Hunters now have Chaos Brand – Your Chaos damage (Havoc) or Fire damage (Vengeance) brands the target, increasing the magic damage the enemy takes from you and other players by 5%. Havoc Chaos Strike now has a consistent chance to refund Fury, instead of relying on critical strikes. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Immolation Aura – Engulf yourself in flames, dealing fire damage to enemies and generating Fury. Trail of Ruin – The final slash of Blade Dance inflicts additional Chaos damage over time. Vengeance Lesser Soul Fragments now heal based on damage recently taken (was previously a flat amount of healing). Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Charred Flesh – Fiery Brand increases the Fire damage you deal to the target. Gluttony – Consuming a Soul Fragment has as chance to activate Metamorphosis. Druid (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Druids now have Soothe – Soothes the target, dispelling all enrage effects. Travel Forms now each have a separate ability in your Spellbook. Balance Solar Wrath now has a chance to grant Lunar Empowerment, and Lunar Strike has a chance to grant Solar Empowerment. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: New Moon – Deals damage to the target, generates Astral Power, and transforms into Half Moon and Full Moon. Twin Moons – Moonfire deals increased damage and also hits another nearby enemy. Feral Some Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Feral Frenzy – Unleash a furious Frenzy, clawing your target multiple times and causing a Bleed. Awards combo points. Tiger Dash – Activates Cat Form and greatly increases movement speed, reducing gradually. Guardian In Bear Form, Druids now generate Rage in the same way as Warriors, with Rage generated from both melee attacks dealt and melee attacks taken. Some Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. Restoration Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Photosynthesis – While your Lifebloom is on yourself, your periodic heals heal faster. While your Lifebloom is on an ally, your periodic heals on them have a chance to cause it to bloom. Hunter (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) All Hunters now have Disengage as a baseline spell. Hunter Pet families now all belong to one of three specializations – Cunning, Ferocity, or Tenacity – and each specialization offers unique abilities, instead of stats. Hunters now have Command Pet – Commands your pet to perform its unique ability, based on the specialization of your active pet: Cunning: Master’s Call Ferocity: Primal Rage Tenacity: Survival of the Fittest Beast Mastery Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. Dire Frenzy is now Barbed Shot. New Talents include: Animal Companion – Your Call Pet additionally summons the first pet from your stable as a second companion to fight by your side. Killer Instinct – Kill Command deals increased damage against enemies below 35% health. Marksmanship The Marksmanship specialization has seen a major overhaul. Core Marksmanship abilities: Aimed Shot – A powerful shot that deals increased damage the first time it hits an enemy. Costs Focus. Rapid Fire – Fires a stream of shots at your target while moving. Generates Focus. Arcane Shot – A quick shot that deals Arcane damage. Costs Focus. Steady Shot – A steady shot that can be used while moving. Generates Focus. New Talents include: Double Tap – Your next Aimed Shot will fire a second time instantly without consuming Focus, or your next Rapid Fire will shoot additional shots. Streamline – Rapid Fire now lasts 30% longer. Survival The Survival specialization has seen a major overhaul, and is now an adaptive ranger who uses explosives and animal venom, in addition to coordinated attacks with their pet. Core Survival abilities: Raptor Strike – A vicious slash dealing heavy Physical damage. Costs Focus. Kill Command – Give the command to kill, causing your pet to savagely attack your enemy. Has a chance to immediately reset its cooldown. Generates Focus. Serpent Sting – Fire a poison-tipped arrow at an enemy, dealing Nature damage over time. Costs Focus. Wildfire Bomb – Hurl a bomb at the target, exploding for Fire damage in a cone. New talents include: Chakrams – Throw a pair of chakrams at your target, slicing all enemies in the chakrams’ path, then returning to you, damaging enemies again. Wildfire Infusion – Lace your Wildfire Bomb with extra reagents, randomly granting it one of three different enhancements each time you throw it. Mage (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Mages again have Arcane Intellect – increasing allies’ Intellect by 10%. Mages now have Remove Curse – Removes all Curses from a friendly target. Arcane Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. Arcane Missiles can now be launched at any time, with a Clearcasting proc sometimes making them free and fire faster. New Talents include: Amplification – When Clearcast, Arcane Missiles fires 1 additional missile. Reverberate – If Arcane Explosion hits at least 3 targets, it has a 50% chance to generate an extra Arcane Charge. Fire Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Pryoclasm – Consuming Hot Streak has a chance to make your next non-instant Pyroblast deal massive additional damage. Searing Touch – Scorch deals increased damage and is a guaranteed critical strike when the target is below 30% health. Frost Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Chain Reaction – Your Ice Lances against frozen targets increase the damage of your subsequent Ice Lances. Freezing Rain – Frozen Orb makes Blizzard instant cast and increases its damage. Monk (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Monks now have Mystic Touch – Your damage weakens the target, increasing Physical damage the target takes by 5%. All specs now have Leg Sweep baseline – Knocks down all nearby enemies and stuns them. Brewmaster Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Bob and Weave – Increases the duration of Stagger. Guard – Guard against future attacks, causing incoming damage that would have been delayed by Stagger to instead be prevented. Mistweaver Soothing Mist is once again a manually-cast channeled heal. While channeling Soothing Mist, Vivify and Enveloping Mist may be cast instantly on the target. Vivify now heals all targets that have Renewing Mist on them. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Rising Mist – Rising Sun Kick heals all allies with your Renewing Mist, Enveloping Mist, or Essence Font, and extends those effects. Upwelling – The longer Essence Font remains off cooldown, the longer the next cast of Essence Font may be channeled. The duration of its heal over time is increased. Windwalker Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Fist of the White Tiger – A powerful physical strike that generates 3 Chi. Tiger Tail Sweep – Increases the range of Leg Sweep and reduces its cooldown. Paladin (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Holy Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Avenging Crusader – An ability with a significant cooldown that causes your attacks to heal injured allies, increases your Crusader Strike, Judgment, and auto-attack damage, and speeds up the cooldowns of Crusader Strike and Judgment. Awakening – Light of Dawn has a chance to grant you Avenging Wrath for several seconds. Protection Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Redoubt – Avenger’s Shield bounces to an additional target and increases your Block. Unbreakable Spirit – Reduces the cooldown of your Divine Shield, Shield of Vengeance, and Lay on Hands. Retribution Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Selfless Healer – Your Holy Power spending abilities reduce the cast time and mana cost of your next Flash of Light, and increase its healing done. Wake of Ashes – Lash out at your enemies, dealing great damage to all enemies in front of you and reducing their movement. Demon and Undead enemies are also stunned. Generates 5 Holy Power. Priest (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Priests again have Power Word: Fortitude – Increases the Stamina of all raid and party members by 10% for 1 hour. Discipline Discipline Priests now know Desperate Prayer and Holy Nova. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Contrition – When you heal with Penance, everyone with your Atonement is healed. Luminous Barrier – Create a shield on all nearby allies that absorbs a fixed amount of damage for 10 seconds. Holy Renew now reduces the cooldown of Holy Word: Sanctify. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Cosmic Ripple – When Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctify finish their cooldown, you emit a burst of light that heals up to 5 injured targets. Holy Word: Salvation – Heals all nearby allies, and applied Renew and 2 stacks of Prayer of Mending to each of them. Cooldown reduced each time you cast Holy Word: Serenity or Holy Word: Sanctify. Shadow Mind Sear is again an active ability, causing damage to all enemies near the target, and generating Insanity. Shadow Priests now know Leap of Faith. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Dark Ascension – Immediately activates a new Voidform, then releases an explosive blast of pure void energy, damaging all nearby enemies and generating 50 Insanity. Dark Void – Unleashes an explosion of dark energy around the target, dealing damage and applying Shadow Word: Pain to nearby enemies. Generates 30 Insanity. Rogue (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Assassination Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Hidden Blades – Every 2 seconds, gain increased damage for your next Fan of Knives, stacking up to 20 times. Poison Bomb – Envenom and Rupture have a chance per combo point spent to smash a vial of poison at the target's location, creating a pool of acidic death that deals Nature damage over time to all enemies within it. Outlaw Saber Slash is now Sinister Strike. Run Through is now Dispatch. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Blade Rush – Charge to your target with your blades out, dealing great damage to the target and all other nearby enemies. While Blade Flurry is active, damage to nearby enemies is increased. Generates Energy. Loaded Dice – Activating Adrenaline Rush causes your next Roll the Bones to grant at least two matches. Subtlety Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Secret Technique – Finishing move that creates shadow clones of yourself. You and your shadow clones deal damage to both the primary target and nearby enemies. Shuriken Tornado – Focus intently, and then release a Shuriken Storm every second for the next 4 seconds. Shaman (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Tremor Totem and Earth Elemental are again available to all specs. Elemental Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Stormkeeper – Charge yourself with lightning, causing your next 2 Lightning Bolts or Chain Lightnings to be instant and trigger an Elemental Overload on every target. Unlimited Power – When your spells cause an elemental overload, you gain Haste. Enhancement Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Elemental Spirits – Reduces the cooldown of Feral Spirit and causes your Feral Spirits to be imbued with Fire, Frost, or Lightning. Totem Mastery – Summons four totems that increase your combat capabilities: Resonance Totem, Storm Totem, Ember Totem, and Tailwind Totem. Restoration Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Flash Flood – When you consume Tidal Waves, the cast time of your next heal is reduced by 20%. Earth Shield – Protects the target with an earthen shield, increasing your healing on them and healing them when they take damage. Warlock (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) All specs now know Shadowfury – Stuns all nearby enemies. Warlock Healthstones no longer share cooldowns with potions. Affliction Affliction Warlocks now know Summon Darkglare – A Darkglare from the Twisting Nether that extends your damage-over-time effects on all enemies, blasts its target for Shadow damage, and is empowered by every damage-over-time effect you have active on any target. Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Creeping Death – Your Agony, Corruption, Siphon Life, and Unstable Affliction deal their full damage 15% faster. Vile Taint – Unleashes an explosion at the target location, dealing damage over time to all nearby enemies and reducing their movement speed. Demonology Demonology Warlocks now know Summon Demonic Tyrant – A Demonic Tyrant that increases the duration of all of your current demons by 15 seconds while damaging your target. This specialization has received a major overhaul. New Talents include: Dreadlash – When your Dreadstalkers charge into battle, their Dreadbite attack now hits all nearby targets and deals additional damage. Summon Vilefiend – Summons a Vilefiend from Argus to fight for you. Destruction Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Grimoire of Supremacy – While you have an Infernal active, each Soul Shard spent increases the damage of Chaos Bolt by 8%. Dark Soul: Instability – Infuses your soul with unstable power, increasing your critical strike chance by 30% for 20 seconds. Warrior (Forums / Skills / Talent Calculator / Artifact Calculator / PvP Talent Calculator) Warriors again have Battle Shout – Increases the Attack Power of all allies by 10% for 1 hour. Arms The Arms specialization has seen adjustments to many core abilities: Overpower is now baseline – Overpower the enemy, dealing Physical damage and increasing the damage of your next Mortal Strike or Execute. Sweeping Strikes is now baseline – For 12 seconds, your single-target damaging abilities hit 1 additional nearby target for 75% damage. Tactician affects Overpower instead of Colossus Smash – Spending Rage as a chance to reset the cooldown of Overpower. Colossus Smash is now a major cooldown – Smash the enemy’s armor, dealing heavy Physical damage and increasing damage you deal to them. Mastery: Deep Wounds – Striking an enemy with Mortal Strike, Execute, or Bladestorm inflicts Deep Wounds, dealing heavy Bleed damage over time. New Talents include: Sudden Death – Your attacks have a chance to make your next Execute cost no Rage and be usable on any target regardless of their health. Warbreaker – Replaces Colossus Smash. Smash the ground and shatter the armor of all nearby enemies, increasing damage you deal to them. Fury Battle Cry is now Recklessness – Go berserk, increasing all Rage generation by 100% and granting your abilities increased critical strike chance. The Fury specialization has seen adjustments to some core abilities: Bloodthirst now has a consistent chance to Enrage you, instead of relying on critical strikes. Raging Blow now has 2 charges, has a chance to immediately reset its own cooldown, and no longer requires Enrage. Whirlwind now generates Rage per target hit. Furious Slash is now a talent, and the effects of the Frenzy talent have been combined with it. New Talents include: Meat Cleaver – Whirlwind has a chance to Enrage you and generates additional Rage per target hit. Siegebreaker – Break the enemy’s defenses, dealing physical damage and increasing your damage done to the target. Generates Rage. Protection Protection Warriors now know Avatar, Intimidating Shout, and Rallying Cry Many Talents and PvP Talents have been adjusted. New Talents include: Bolster – Last Stand’s cooldown is reduced, and it causes you to block all melee attacks. Menace – Intimidating Shout disorients enemies for an additional 4 seconds, and it causes all enemies to cower in fear instead of fleeing. View the full article
  11. Ubisoft has revealed that mobile title Hungry Shark World will be coming to consoles on July 17 after 500 million downloads on mobile. The Shark series, created by Ubisoft studio Future Games of London, has had multiple games on mobile platforms, with Hungry Shark World being the sixth. Hungry Shark World lets players swim around, fight other sharks and aquatic life as multiple types of shark, and obviously eat people. You can check out the announcement/launch trailer below. While the title is free to play on mobile, it is unclear what the pricing structure will be on consoles. Ubisoft did explain that the game will be optimized for consoles and also run better on the PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X than the base consoles. Hungry Shark World releases on July 17 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch. View the full article
  12. In a summer crossover event that should please fans of both Destiny 2 and New Gameplay Today, the latest episode of NGT is also part of our month of Destiny 2: Forsaken coverage! This means we get to bring on Destiny 2 lore PhD candidate Jeff Cork to talk about some of his favorite parts of Destiny 2's fiction, a subject he knows a lot about. So join us for a look at the second mission in Forsaken's campaign, "Scorned," as we talk about how Forsaken will hopefully improve on the storytelling in Destiny 2's main campaign and DLC with a more serious tone, the Barons, and our favorite kinds of fanatics. View the full article
  13. Getting through the Mega Man X games, especially some of the later ones, can be fairly difficult. If you're someone who gets frustrated by one-hit kills, bosses that seem to track you when short-hopping and take out half your lifebar, or infrequent checkpoints, the games can be hair-pullingly tough to play through with a lack of time. Mega Man X Collection is thus introducing Rookie Hunter Mode, a difficulty toggle which can be done per game or for every game in the main menu. In Mega Man X 1-3, the mode simply halves the damage you take. In 4-8, it also prevents you from instantly dying to spikes bottomless pits. Much like Mega Man Legacy Collection's various modifiers, you can simply choose not to use it if you don't need it. Additionally, the trophy/achievement lists for the collections have come out, hinting at a secret image for players to find. Almost exactly a year ago, Capcom included an image of what turned out to be concept art of Mega Man 11 inside the Mega Man Legacy Collection, so perhaps they are doing something similar again. Mega Man X Legacy Collection 1 and 2 launch on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC on July 24. [Source: 4Gamer via Siliconera] I don't mind the easy mode, especially if you can toggle it for specific levels and then turn it back off. Some of the later games can get rough with their spike-heavy design, so it's nice to let people just casually play through the series. View the full article
  14. RSI

    Calling All Devs

    Star Citizen Live Game Director Todd Papy is in studio for a special ALL PAPY edition of our weekly Q&A series. You can submit your questions for consideration in future episodes of Calling All Devs here. And for info on becoming a subscriber, go to: https://robertsspaceindustries.com/pledge/subscriptions View the full article
  15. New Trailer - Warbringers Animated Shorts Are Coming Live Developer Q&A Thursday 7/19 - Submit Your Questions Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums) Join us live on Twitch.tv/Warcraft Thursday, July 19, at 11:00 a.m. PDT, as we sit down with Game Director Ion Hazzikostas for our next live developer Q&A where he’ll be answering your World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth questions. You can submit your questions here in this thread or on Twitter by using the hashtag #WarcraftQA. As a reminder, please keep your questions short (40 words or less) so that we can get to as many questions as possible. We look forward to you joining us live on Tuesday! View the full article
  16. During E3 in June, Fortnite released on Switch, and it's a solid port. After spending time with it, however, I wondered how it would play with the aid (or hindrance, depending who you ask) of motion controls. Realistically I don’t know if I would use it, or if it would help my aim, but I would like to try Fortnite with motion controls. I would want them to function a bit like Breath of the Wild where they would only turn on when you aim down sights. Okay, bye! — Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) June 26, 2018 On July 12, Fortnite made it clear it was also curious about motion controls and updated the Switch version of the game to include them, so I decided to try them out. Motion controls are divisive, and my feelings on them fall somewhere in the middle of those like them and those who wouldn't be caught dead using them. Generally, I don't like them, but there have been a few occasions where I appreciate them. I like their implementation in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild for aiming with the bow and arrow, and I also like them in Mario Tennis Aces for aiming the Zone Shot, but not for general tennis. In Splatoon, however, I just can't get the hang of motion controls, despite many of the game's best players swearing by their use. Basically, I like motion control in moderation. I don't want to play a whole game with motion controls, but if I can activate them to adjust my aim slightly, I am happy. Thankfully Fortnite offers some settings to find this middle ground, but for the purpose of experiment, I turned everything up to the max at first. This was a bad idea. There are three motion control settings available on Switch: Motion Sensitivity, Motion Targeting Sensitivity, and Motion Scoped Sensitivity. Motion Sensitivity applies motion controls to everything. If you move the controller at any time, the camera corresponds, and when it is turned all the way up, it is incredibly erratic. The GIF below demonstrates what even some slight controller movement looks like with that setting pumped up to 1.0. I didn't move the controller too much, but when it is maxed out, the camera move very fast. My recommendation for this setting is to turn it down to zero. Motion Targeting Sensitivity applies to the motion controls that activate when you aim down sights. Below is a GIF of that setting turned up to 1.0, and it is similarly erratic and frankly only usable for those who have the steadiest hands. And finally, Motion Scoped Sensitivity applies motion controls when looking down a sniper scope. This is the setting I adjusted and struggled with the most. In the GIF below I have the Motion Targeting Sensitivity turned to about 0.25, which makes things much less erratic, but still felt a little too slow. I was the most comfortable having this setting at 0.50 – not so erratic that my reticle goes crazy at the smallest movement, but not so slow that I didn't get some kind of accuracy benefit from having it turned on. Sniping was a bit trickier, and I never found a setting I was fully comfortable with. Putting it at 0.50 made it too erratic, since the aiming requirement is much finer, so I dropped it down to 0.25, and that was about the best I could get it for my personal preferences. Here's one final GIF from the starting area with the 0.50 setting for the Motion Targeting Sensitivity. It's still not perfect, but it was where I ultimately where it felt like it actually gave me a targeting edge, even if it is a small one. As a recap, here are the settings I ended up locking in for all the motion controls. I tried making smaller adjustments, like trying 0.50 and comparing it to 0.60, but the change was so incremental that I didn't notice a major difference. It's also worth noting that using the d-pad moves the number slightly, while the control stick lets you select your number at larger increments. After playing through a few rounds with motion controls, I don't prefer the game with them turned on. I was hoping it would improve my sniping, but I couldn't find a setting I liked when looking through a scope. The Motion Targeting Sensitivity for aiming down sights, however, I could see myself using again. It would take some practice to get used to the different style of aiming, but even after a few rounds, I could already see myself gaining at least a little bit of extra accuracy. I doubt it could ever replace the mouse and keyboard, but I could see it offering a slight edge over controller players on Switch and Xbox One. Unfortunately, it seems like I will probably never be able to test my theory against PlayStation 4 players. For more on Fortnite, head here to read all of our features from when the game was on our cover in 2014. Needless to say, the game has changed a lot since then, but we were way ahead of the curve. View the full article
  17. New Trailer - Warbringers Animated Shorts Are Coming Three new animated shorts focusing on Sylvanas, Jaina, and Azshara are coming soon! View the full article
  18. Despite the unfortunate name, GTFO is filling an interesting niche in the co-op shooter sphere. Left 4 Dead-style horde waves, but with an Aliens aesthetic and – according to this trailer – disconcerting enemies. GTFO comes from the developers of Payday, and it looks like it uses their pedigree for tense cooperation while radically switching tones. The new teaser shows off shadow enemies, which only have shape when defined by an exterior light source. Because of this, they seem to appear out of nowhere, swarming the players and presumably scaring the pants off them. GTFO will release at the end of 2018 on Steam, and you can check out our in-depth thoughts on the game here. View the full article
  19. GameInformer

    I Want An Akira Video Game

    30 years ago today, the film adaptation of the manga, Akira, released in theaters in Japan. The legacy of both the film and the manga are important and far-reaching, both in the broader science-fiction landscape, and the cultural acceptance of anime across the world. You can see its influence in video games, but direct adaptations of the property are non-existent in North America and disappointing in Japan. I wrote this feature back in December 2012, but my desire for a video game based in Neo-Tokyo are as strong as ever on the film's 30th anniversary. Akira (Amiga/CD32, 1994) One of my favorite movies and comics of all time is Akira. I got my anime feet wet with Dragon Ball Z when I was young, but Akira was the first time I realized of what the medium was capable. After watching the movie dozens of times, I pursued the comics, and then watched the movie a dozen more times. Neo-Tokyo is one of my favorite fictional worlds, and the abrasive dynamic between friends Tetsuo and Kaneda has always fascinated me. I don’t know if it would work in a video game, but I would love to see somebody try. For the uninitiated, Akira tells the complicated story of government experimentation gone terribly wrong, and the lasting effects it has on the individual citizens of a future Tokyo and politically across the entire country. The story mostly centers on two teenage orphans, Tetsuo and Kaneda, but there is a huge cast of characters, gangs, factions, government agencies, and telekinetic children who are too powerful for their own good. Tetsuo and Kaneda are members of a violent biker gang in a city frantically trying to rebuild itself, and things only get worse when the government steals Tetsuo and awakens his latent powers. It all gets very violent, very quickly. Many of the themes and even story elements of Akira have made it into video games, perhaps most notably in Sucker Punch’s Infamous. Both Akira and Infamous open with a mysterious city-racking explosion, which sets the course for the rest of the story. Cole and Tetsuo are both overpowered super heroes with possibly misdirected senses of morality who are trying to figure out their roles both in what happened, and where they belong in this new society. Akira (Famicom, 1988) I got another minor taste of Akira in the form of The Lost and The Damned, Grand Theft Auto IV’s first DLC. It shared no themes with Akira whatsoever, but there were a few moments where you riding with your bike gang through Liberty City where I thought, “Man... I wish I was in Neo-Tokyo right now.” The dream would be to explore a large, open-world Neo-Tokyo with visually distinct sections. Neo-Tokyo is broken apart into areas in the midst of being rebuilt. Some areas are completely unaffected by the explosion, while other areas have been completely abandoned and destroyed, ruled by the assorted biker gangs that have found refuge in the few remaining buildings that have not yet collapsed. The first 10 minutes of the film offers a sort of tour through the Blade Runner-esque city showing off many different areas in a short amount of time. Then there is the consideration of who the player would actually control. I think regardless of what role you could conceivably take on, there could be interesting implications. You could be the severely overpowered Tetsuo and play a violent action game, or you could take on the role of Kaneda and try to tackle a giant any way you can. Even playing as a new character, or one who didn’t receive much exploration in either the film or comic could offer a different perspective on everything that happens. Akira Psycho Ball (PlayStation2, 2002) The first issue of the Akira manga was published in 1982, and the feature film released in 1988. The moment to strike on the series’ popularity has long since passed. There were three and a half attempts at a game though, which makes me slightly optimistic. All were exclusive to Japan, and only one released for the Nintendo Famicom, when Japan had Akira fever in 1988. In 1994 there was a game released for the Amiga, and in 2002 an Akira-themed pinball game released for the PlayStation 2. Apparently, the pinball game was the only game that was any good. There was a Super Famicom game in the works that was shown off briefly in 1993, but it was never completed. I love the idea of a modern Akira video game, but I have little confidence in one ever existing. I will probably never know if it is a world that could actually work in an interactive medium, but that doesn’t mean I can’t wish for one. View the full article
  20. For years, Nathan Fillion has been on the lips of many Uncharted fans when it comes to answering the question, just who would play Nathan Drake? The premise of Fillion, who gained fame playing Captain Mal in Firefly and later Richard Castle in Castle, playing the role of Drake has existed purely in the realm of speculation...until now. Film director Allan Ungar uploaded a 14-minute fan film to YouTube that stars Fillion as gaming's cockiest explorer. We don't want to spoil too much here but if you're into Uncharted, you should definitely make time to watch this. Well, there it is! Nerd culture's most popular Nathan as Nathan Drake. How did he do? Let us know in the comments below. View the full article
  21. Square Enix has announced that the Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood/Monster Hunter: World crossover starts on August 7 as part of Stormblood's Patch 4.36 update. The crossover brings in Rathalos, King of the Skies, as well as special game mechanics as an homage to Monster Hunter: World. This special event also includes a new armor set, minions, mount, and furnishings. For more on the crossover, including how it came to pass, check out Kim's conversation with Monster Hunter: World producer Ryozo Tsujimoto and Final Fantasy XIV director Naoki Yoshida. And go here for another look at the Final Fantasy XIV content that's coming to Monster Hunter: World. View the full article
  22. Duncan Jones teased his next project on twitter with a small trailer that heavily implies he's working on Rogue Trooper. The Hollywood director even goes as far as shaving a blue mohawk into his hair, one of the elements of the comic book series. Originally an '80s comic series published in 2000 AD, Rogue Trooper follows a futuristic, genetically manufactured super-soldier by the name of Rogue, who is seeking revenge for his fallen comrades at the hands of their general. His fellow soldiers have been downloaded into his gear and accompany him on his quest for vengeance. Duncan Jones' teaser mentions 2000 A.D., the year Rogue Trooper takes place and even the universe it resides in. Jones leaves nothing to the imagination. As promised... pic.twitter.com/6y3pzn2Cn1 — Duncan Jones (@ManMadeMoon) July 15, 2018 Rogue Trooper recently appeared on current generation consoles in the form of Rogue Trooper: Redux, a remake of Rebellion's game from 2006. The game met middling reviews, in its original form and the remake. Duncan Jones wrote and directed the Warcraft movie in 2016 and also directed Moon, Source Code and Mute, so hopefully he's a good fit for Rogue Trooper. View the full article
  23. Patch 8.0.1 - War of Thorns Quest Chain Spoilers ahead! The War of Thorns is the quest chain that leads up to the Burning of Burning of Teldrassil. This content may be broken up into multiple weeks. The War of Thorns is a set of faction specific story quest lines that showcase the events leading up to the Burning of Teldrassil. Sylvanas believes the key to the Horde’s survival is making sure that they gain as much Azerite as possible and keep it from the Alliance. She wants to occupy Darnassus so they can’t use it as a hub to transport Azerite. The Night Elf army is currently in Silithus and so she wants to use this time to strike before they return. If you are Alliance you will first be sent to Astranaar to defend it from Horde assassins. If you are Horde you are sent there to assassinate guards with the blood elf rogue Lorash. The Horde is held back from advancing into Darkshore as Malfurion calls upon the wisps to create a wall. Sylvanas theorizes that the wisps can be distracted by causing chaos in the forest. This allows the Horde to push through the barrier. Sylvanas also has Saurfang take some troops and scale the mountains of Felwood to attack from the North. Both factions fight for control at strategic points involving dealing with crazed furbolgs and fighting each other. The Alliance and Horde then fight for control of the Azerite near the shoreline. Sylvanas confronts Malfurion but he blinds her and flees There is then a stalemate at Wildbend River between the Darnassian forces and Horde army. Both factions unlock the world quests in Darkshore after completing the quest chain up to this point. These world quests provide catch up gear, order hall resources, and gold. The Alliance heads to Darnassus to rally what little troops they have. The Horde reunites with Saurfang in Lor’danel after the wisp wall is taken out. The Horde takes out Alliance troops and Saurfang wants to spare as many civilians as possible. Finally, both factions’ player characters approach Malfurion who is confronting Sylvanas directly. It looks like he has the upper hand until Saurfang strikes a blow from behind. The orc realizes what he did was not honorable, but Sylvanas tries to convince him otherwise. She leaves him to kill Malfurion and heads to Darnassus. Tyrande flies in to rescue her husband and Saurfang says he doesn’t deserve to kill him as he struck without honor. She aims her bow at him, saying she will kill him if he tries to stop her from saving Malfurion, to which he tells her to take him and get far away from Darnassus. She does so and leaves the Alliance character to go make sure the occupation of the city is tolerable. Meanwhile, Horde characters head back to the conquered Lor’danel. There is a missing cutscene before Darnassus is in flames and the tree is burning. Horde characters talk to Sylvanas on the Darkshore coast who says she didn’t anticipate this, but it will cause the Alliance to retaliate. Meanwhile, Alliance players head to Darnassus to help Mia Greymane, Genn’s wife, with the evacuation. Greymane comes through a Stormwind Portal to convince his wife to leave with as many as possible. In the end, Alliance players return to Stormwind and Anduin confirms that peace can never be achieved with Sylvanas as warchief. Alliance players are rewarded with the Smoldering Reins of the Teldrassil Hippogryph while the Horde receives the War-Torn Reins of the Undercity Plaguebat. Horde Alliance Burning of Teldrassil Aftermath Updates After the events of the Burning of Teldrassil, Darkshore has received a new sky box and a red tint with ash in the sky. Gilnean and Darnassian refuges are now found on the dock of Stormwind Harbor that previously had the ship which sailed to Darnassus. There is now a portal to Darkshore here and a boat to Boralus has taken the spot. View the full article
  24. Last week
  25. The details surrounding the upcoming Metal Gear film (we still don't know if it deserves the 'Solid' suffix yet) are vague, but as far as we know, it is truly happening and Kong: Skull Island director Jordan Vogt-Roberts is attached to make it. We also know that Vogt-Roberts is a big fan of Metal Gear and takes every opportunity he can to make sure everyone knows. The most recent example comes from a recent (and ongoing) series of tweets from Vogt-Roberts. On Friday, he pointed out that Metal Gear released 31 years ago and to celebrate the occasion, he is sharing some of his favorite fan art. He also partnered with actor Paul Eiding, who played Colonel Campbell in the series, to create a codec-style conversation detailing exactly what Vogt-Roberts is doing with his twitter fan art twitter thread. Through the voice of Eiding's Campbell, Vogt-Roberts also makes it clear, "We must stress that this is, quote 'fan art,' and is not meant to represent what is or is not in the forthcoming film." But hey – if this is the kind of art Vogt-Roberts associates with Metal Gear, then it's a pretty safe bet to assume he will try to emulate some of it for his film. You can check out the full tweet thread here, or below. ️Follow and retweet this thread to celebrate the 31st anniversary of @HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN's METAL GEAR with 31 pieces of never before seen nano-machine-infused-artwork. Tune in every day for new updates. Some surprises along the way... Join me with hastag #METALGEAR31st pic.twitter.com/t6vtydKmiE — Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) July 13, 2018 DAY 1 of #METALGEAR31st There’s many beautiful+insane+iconic images to come...but I want to start with this piece by Nick Foreman. The bond we formed via mechs reinforced that we should be loud w/ our love of this franchise as we may find friends & collaborators in the process. pic.twitter.com/5Zj4vRsu5T — Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) July 13, 2018 DAY 2 of #METALGEAR31st The impeccable @eddiedelrio_art helped me bring the “Gas Mask Samurai” to life in KONG. Cyborg Ninja & the Gekkos are two of the most iconic Hideo Kojima + Yoji Shinkawa designs. I wanted to see their potential in the same frame. Wish I could say more... pic.twitter.com/8OCkWH1zvY — Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) July 14, 2018 DAY 3 of #[email protected] created this for me and I have a good feeling he’s a dude I’ll be working with for the rest of my career. One aspect of Metal Gear that’s important for me to translate onscreen is the blending of horror imagery with stylized magical realism. pic.twitter.com/HEJCRSCKyK — Jordan Vogt-Roberts (@VogtRoberts) July 15, 2018 If you're interested in Metal Gear and its voice-acting, be sure to check out this in-depth feature covering every element of how Metal Gear Solid's voice cast came together, and what went into creating the iconic narrative. [Source: @VogtRoberts] View the full article
  26. GameInformer

    Four Things You Should Know

    InXile Entertainment’s The Bard’s Tale IV wears its heart on its sleeve: Starting a new game throws you into a full-motion video cutscene of four actual human people – two of them equipped with obviously fake elf ears – sitting in front of what looks like the interior of a hand-painted inn. Three of the actors listen intently as the fourth plays a small harp, introducing them to the story of the game you’re about to play. The whole thing is drenched in a warm sepia tone, and at the cutscene’s close, the actors tense up as if they’re turning back into a still image. It’s weird and awkward, but charming. Given the series’ old-school roots, it makes sense that The Bard’s Tale IV feels deeply nostalgic. It reminds me of the old computer games I used to play on the chunky Windows PC in my family’s basement work room. Its presentation may be sub-par, but below the surface lies an interesting battle system and intriguing world. Here are four things I learned from playing the game’s first two and a half hours. 1. The World Is Interesting, Even If You’re New To The Series Before you reach the main menu (and before the glorious FMV “elves”), a cutscene provides you with a primer on The Bard’s Tale’s world: Some gigantic plant-Cthulu gods called the Famhair turned apes into humans, who went to war with the elves and dwarves. The plant-Cthulus were eventually defeated and sealed away by a song, sung by a human woman cursed to sing it for eternity. I’m not sure how the humans continued to exist peacefully with the rest of the races despite being constructed by evil gods, but hopefully that gets explained in the lore somewhere else in the game. As someone who’s never played a Bard’s Tale game before, I appreciated how the game opened with a story that established some interesting tension for the world and introduced the power of song. It made me hope I was about to participate in something similarly epic. Once you’re in-game, the story you’re greeted with is different. A group of religious zealots called the Fatherites has been executing non-humans and magic users, which puts the multicultural, magic-using adventurers guild you’re a part of on the chopping block. The guild is attacked, and you’re forced to flee underground to the ruins of the old guild. You soon begin to find out that a mysterious group has been sending agents disguised as members of the non-human races to harass humans in order to incite more persecution from the Fatherites. The Bard’s Tale IV left me legitimately interested to find out more about how the in-game story and the opening cutscene are connected. 2. There’s A Potentially Deep Combat System The Bard’s Tale IV’s combat takes place in on a four-by-four grid. Your party has access to the eight spaces directly in front of you, and your enemies occupy the eight opposing spaces. Your positioning determines whether or not you can reach enemies with your attacks, and whether the enemies can reach you. There are directional attacks that do damage to all enemies within a certain column, as well as attacks that push or pull enemies within their grid. This means you can set up interesting combos like throwing caltrops onto the field in front of enemies with your rogue, then pulling them closer with your fighter’s taunt, ensuring that they take damage as they move over the spikes. Positioning your party also affects the outcome of the battle. It’s probably a bad idea to put your rogue and your magic-user in front, so you have the ability to move your fighter or your bard to the front lines between battles. Even the best-laid plans can go awry, though. If your enemies get the drop on you, your party’s positioning will flip, putting your squishiest members in harm’s way. 3. There Are Some Cool Exploration Elements I had fun with the game’s systems. As you gain party members, you gain access to Songs of Exploration, spells that can be used to open secret doors and solve puzzles. In the opening hours, it was obvious which song I was supposed to use. For example, an ability called “Hidey-Bide” reveals hidden item caches, and “Jarnel’s Eyes” reveals hidden corruption in the environment, such as shadowy figures disguised as villagers, as well as a large area of the map. These abilities made me feel a little more connected to the fantasy of being a bard. Locked doors around the world sometimes require short puzzles where you move gears around to create a working mechanism. These puzzles are a simple addition that could usually be completed by just moving the gears back and forth until I found the solution, but they were more interesting than traditional “find the key” doors (though I found some of those, too). 4. The Presentation Is ... Mixed The Bard’s Tale IV’s voice acting isn’t half bad, but everything else is sub-par. There are several types of cutscenes: the hand-drawn/painted cinematic that introduced the world’s lore, the FMV intro, and in-game animated scenes where characters walk around and talk to each other. Most bizarrely, the game’s major scenes are constructed with flat, blurry images of the character models, cut out and plastered in front of pre-rendered backgrounds. These images don’t move (no lip-synching) apart from being warped and stretched slowly to create the illusion of life. If you need help picturing this, imagine the Hearthstone cinematic trailers, but made with flattened 3D assets ... and also bad. The game’s in-game visuals aren’t the best, either. Lighting is okay, textures are muddy, and character models are chunky and lack variety. It also wasn’t as funny as I expected given the series’ reputation as one that attempts to make players laugh with all kinds of drunken debauchery. There were a couple eye-roll inducing jokes, like a pocket-picking skill for the rogue called “cavity search,” but I generally didn’t hear or read much that seemed like it was trying to make me laugh. Oh, except for when your enemies turn around and wave their asses at you. That happens sometimes. Yeah... The Bard’s Tale IV’s opening hours felt a little rough around the edges, but there were enough interesting ideas to leave me curious about the final game. We’ll see if InXile Entertainment will take full advantage of The Bard's Tale IV's potential when the game releases on PC on September 18. One thing's for sure: I'm looking forward to more of the fake-elf-eared guy. Let’s get more campy FMV in video games, please. View the full article
  27. In the summer, we do things that cool us off. That’s just conventional wisdom. We jump in lakes and lay in front of fans and eat gazpacho. Suggest hot chocolate in July and people scoff. But what if we’ve been going about it all wrong? What if the solution is leaning in to the heat, diving into even hotter activities to show the summer we’re not scared? What if doubling down on heat is the ultimate life hack? Welcome to hell – at least, the video game version. Games are all about escaping to impossible places, like the beautiful mountains of Skyrim, or the creepy caves of Brinstar, or in a surprising amount of cases, the bowels of Hell itself. Just like video game designers, I understand the appeal of hell. Sure it’s a life of extremes, but at least there’s no faffing around with the banality of everyday life. There’s probably less, “Oh it’s Tuesday again, do I have rice or quinoa tonight?” in hell. Plus, it’s a dry heat. Let’s beat summer at its own game here. Whether you want to murder your way through hell or skate over it, gaming has got you covered. Depriving this song of fiddle is its own kind of punishment Guitar Hero 3 No one could forget Guitar Hero 3’s iconic story. You know there’s that part where, uhh, you film a music video? And you go to prison at some point I think. Anyway, ultimately you sign a deal with the devil, and go play some sweet shows down in his sweet venue in hell. There are big spikes on all the amps, and demon dancers, and some dude swinging a big hammer around in the background. It’s all quite middle-school-sketchbook, which matches pretty well with the rest of Guitar Hero’s aesthetics. The best part of this version of hell is that Satan is a jealous little goat. Not content to simply let you party in his digs for the rest of eternity, he eventually comes down and challenges you to a guitar battle; “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” by The Charlie Daniels Band, naturally. Once you win, your motorcycle sprouts wings and you fly right back out of hell (presumably to a sponsorship with an energy-drink company or something). Pros: Lots of adoring fans Easy to leave Seems more like a party Cons: Having to tiptoe around Satan’s jealousy If you don’t like heavy metal or The Charlie Daniels Band, you’re really out of luck We got all kinds of skulls down here. Big ones, little ones, ones inside demon heads... DOOM Doom isn’t the first time hell appeared in games, but it does feel like some sort of baseline for the medium. Heavy metal, demons, chainsaws; all the hits are here. Throughout the series, hell has varied quite a bit though. From the long, skull-filled hallways of the first game to the unsettling ethereality of the third, right up to the unrepentant gore of 2016’s release, Doom has never steered away from hell’s abstract horror. There’s never a dull moment in Doom’s hell. Whether you’re finding keycards, punching cyberdemons, or tricking different factions into fighting each other, Doom provides a wealth of variety in its day-to-day Hell activity. Even better, hell provides a source of renewable energy! Who would have guessed that the solution to our climate problems could be solved instantly, simply by surrendering our bodies and souls to the demons below? Pros: Environmentally sustainable Ages well Cons: Your armor seems like it’d get really sweaty Seriously, where is that blue keycard? We got all kinds of hells down here. Arm hell, pink hel- oh is this the same joke? My bad God of War, God of War 2, God of War 3 Before anything else, Hades is an interior designer. That’s the only lesson I can take from the original God of War trilogy, in which Kratos goes to a completely different Hell three separate times. Hades just can’t decide on his aesthetic! So let’s run through our options: Spiky Hell (God of War): It’s very pink. That’s my main takeaway. It also has rotating blades and platforming challenges that are incredibly hellish. Structurally, it doesn’t make a ton of sense; why would Hades suspend a bunch of vertebrae to run across? But really, the main takeaway here is pink. Limb-y Hell (God of War 2): ARMS. That’s pretty much it. Underworld (God of War 3): Now this is a hell. Big, ugly architecture, brambled vines you can use to burn people alive, and multiple cerberuses (cerberi?). If I was Hades, I would definitely choose to live here. Also, this version of Hell is notable because it’s the only time you actually meet the god himself. Kratos doesn’t have great people skills, so you end up repeatedly smashing him against his own ceiling. But oh, what a lavishly designed ceiling it is. So, to sum everything up, Pros: Lots of variety Never a dull moment Cons: Two of the three choices are real bummers This really happened. Read the bible, haters. The Binding of Isaac “Sheol” is a Greek version of a Hebrew word that translates very roughly into some sort of underworld – the old testament wasn’t particularly clear on the details of hell. However, making abstract concepts grossly literal is one of The Binding of Isaac’s fortes. So, after descending through several layers of basements, caves, and wombs (yup), Isaac can enter Sheol. And then he can kill Satan. Sheol is dark, big, and confusing. Odds are, you’ll stumble around in the shadows for quite a while before finding the boss room. Once there, you’ll fight three different incarnations of the devil: a lil’ guy, a big guy, and some giant feet. Pros: Better than spending time in a womb, I guess Good if you like large cloven hoofs Cons: Dark, cold, presumably smelly You really thought this Binding of Isaac run would be done 20 minutes ago and you have to use the bathroom (pumping fist) Skate and destroy! Skate and destroy! Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 For a game that calls itself “underground,” you sure do a lot of skating in parks, cities, and other ground-level locations here. What ever happened to truth in advertising, Tony??? Thankfully, there’s at least one place that’s truly underground. That’s right: it’s hell. After defacing some sort of ancient temple with cool skater graffiti, Tony Hawk’s Underground 2 flashes “Burn in hƐㄥㄥ!!” on the screen, and opens up a whole new fiery area. In this area there’s ... well there’s a lot of concrete and half pipes and stuff. It is a skating game. But there are also demons that give you gnarly missions like “ㄥip Trick on toppa da two brokin ribs to nok em ovva.” To be honest, I have no idea what that means. But it’s probably because I haven’t lived the skater lifestyle. Meet me at the local Vans store, I have a lot of catching up to do. Pros: Sweet grinds, lips, and slaps Demons seem chill Cons: Entry requires the defacement of historically important sites Every L has been replaced with ㄥfor some reason Can't get your kids interested in the 14th century book? The game is probably about the same Dante’s Inferno Like the best kinds of dip, hell has many layers in Dante’s Inferno. Although some of the levels are more questionable than others – does “fraud” really deserve the same spotlight as “violence”? – you’ve gotta admire the title’s comprehensive catalogue of all things hell. Perhaps most infamous for the giant Cleopatra-like manifestation of lust that shoots enemies out of her nipples (yup), Dante’s Inferno spares no expense in showing off all the ways that hell can make things weird. There’s plenty of variety here, but it all seems outright unpleasant. It’s hard to imagine finding a little corner of this hell to settle down in. Pros: Can cater to your every sin Colorful neighbors Cons: Basically like the Jared Leto-Joker version of hell God of War is a better game, sorry There are literally no appropriate pictures of Agony. So here's Little Bear, a show I enjoyed very much as a child The Worst Version Of Hell Play Agony, the recent game we gave awarded a 3.5 out of 10. View the full article
  28. Gaming is for everyone, and intelligent and creative women have always been an integral part of bringing the biggest and best games to life. From Sierra co-founder Roberta Williams, who pioneered the graphic adventure genre with series like King’s Quest, to Brenda Romero, who has spent nearly four decades as a programmer and designer in the game industry on franchises like Wizardry and Jagged Alliance, women have made extensive contributions to the industry. This has only continued with women taking more leadership roles, such as Jade Raymond going from executive producer on Ubisoft’s juggernaut Assassin’s Creed series to co-founding and becoming a GM at EA’s Motive Studios. Continue reading... View the full article
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