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  • Xbox Game Pass Announced

    xbox game passThe Xbox Game Pass has been announced and it's seeking to be the Netflix of gaming.

    The newly announced Xbox Game Pass will cost users a monthly fee of $9.99, but with it will come unlimited access to over 100 titles. Unlike Netflix, users of the Xbox Game Pass will be able to download their games and play them - there will be no limit to the amount of games a player can download at once, as long as they have enough internal memory and their Xbox Game Pass subscription is still active.

    Some of the games included in the Game Pass are older titles that can be picked up for cheap, both digitally and in physical form, but a lot of the games are recent releases. Most titles on the list so far are considered to be very decent games, too.

    Highlights of the Game Pass include access to Halo 5: Guardians, Gears of War Judgment, Gears of War Ultimate Edition and NBA 2K16. The Xbox Game Pass also includes a number of classic Xbox 360 titles and arcade games such as Kameo, Hexic HD, Perfect Dark Zero and Fable 3.

    So far the Xbox Game Pass is limited to select users, but it will be rolling out to the public later this year. It's expected that more games will be added to the Xbox Game Pass regularly, but most new titles will be Xbox One exclusives. There may be a waiting period between a game release and it's availability on Xbox Game Pass, though. While Gears of War and Halo 5 are available, neither Halo Wars 2 nor Quantum Break are available on Xbox Game Pass yet.

  • Halo to See Changes to Iconic Radar

    halo 5 radar updateThe radar has been an iconic part of the franchise ever since the Halo: Combat Evolved days. Over the years, the radar has had a number of changes but it has mostly remained the same.

    The trouble with this is that much of the rest of the Halo gameplay experience has evolved. The radar is now a little outdated and it certainly needs some more love to fit better with the gameplay available in Halo 5: Guardians.

    343 Industries has finally started working on changes to the radar, and the new tweaks will soon be ready to test in an upcoming multiplayer playlist.

    An official update post on Halo Waypoint mentioned, 'Nearly 16 months of player feedback and game data has driven some interesting internal explorations to alter the way the Motion Sensor functions in Halo 5. On Thursday, March 9, we will kick off a public test of this new Motion Sensor to gather player feedback and metrics to help determine if this has a potential place in Halo 5 going forward, as well as potential learnings and implications for future Halo FPS titles."

    So far it's important to note that the changes that'll be viewable on March 9 are nothing more than a test, but the feedback taken from the test will help to shape the future of the motion radar in Halo games.

    In the new test radar, things have been simplified and only non-silenced weapon fire and Spartan abilities like sprint, Spartan Charge, Ground Pound, Stabilize and Clamber will trigger the radar.

  • Street Fighter to Hit ELEAGUE

    street fighter v eleagueWell, well, well - what a surprise! Street Fighter will be a part of the next ELEAGUE and will be televised across the world on the TBS network.

    The fighting game community hasn't quite had the same growth in the last few years that the FPS and MOBA genres have. Finally though, Street Fighter V is coming to ELEAGUE and it could mean great things for competitive fighting games in the following years.

    The ELEAGUE Street Fighter V invitational event will begin on March 27 and it will run through March 30. A total of 48 players have been invited to the event, most of which have of course had their names heard in previous Street Fighter V events.

    Thanks to the amazing Capcom Pro Tour rankings, ELEAGUE has already sourced 32 of the highest rated players on the leaderboards. 16 more players will be invited to the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V event by Capcom. So far we're not sure who these 16 players will be, but they're likely to be competing players or those well known in the scene.

    The prize pool for the ELEAGUE Street Fighter V tournament will be $250,000 and the invitational event will take place at the G Fuel ELeague Arena in Atlanta. After the invitational event is over, ELEAGUE will broadcast four weekly events on Friday, April 7, Friday, April 21, Friday, May 5 and Friday, May 12. All four of these events will also be available for viewing on Twitch.

    The final event will take place on May 26 - this event will see the final few battling it out live, and the grand finals will be held at 10 PM ET and broadcasted on TBS.

  • New Overwatch Character Orisa Announced

    overwatch orisaAfter what seemed like an endless wait, the next Overwatch character has finally been announced. The next Overwatch character to make it into the roster is named Orisa, and she is already playable in the public test realm.

    It may be some time before Orisa gets pushed to live servers and to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but we still have all of the information we could possibly need about Orisa from the public test realm.

    Orisa has been nicknamed the "Mechanical Peacekeeper" and unexpectedly she has a very robotic appearance. Orisa is a straight out tank, and once again her appearance really shows it. She's big - Orisa is essentially a robotic centaur with a gattling gun.

    Her main abilities allow Orisa to provide barriers and shield to her team, which gives teammates the option to tank it out themselves for a little longer in fights. Her ultimate is called Supercharger and this is the only offensive ability she has in her arsenal. With Supercharger, Orisa boosts the damage of her surrounding teammates for a short period.

    Hopefully, it won't be long before Orisa is pushed out to live servers and to the console versions of Overwatch. The last character to launch was Sombre, and this character spent a long time in the public test realm before finally being pushed to the live servers. Orisa seems, on the surface, a lot easier to balance, so hopefully we won't be waiting too long whatsoever.

  • Injustice 2 to Feature Gear System

    injustice 2 gear systemFighting games can be highly competitive titles. They're so competitive, in fact, that even the smallest of balancing changes can make or break a player's viability at high-level play. For this reason, the newly announced Injustice 2 gear system is a little scary.

    Injustice 2 will be getting a gear system that players will be able to follow as a sense of progression while playing. All of the cosmetic choices available with the gear options are exciting, and players will have to work hard to get some of the rarer items. The scary part is that these gear items do offer players with inherent bonuses.

    Firstly, players will be able to improve their favorite character's base stats simply by leveling up over time. That's right, players that play for longer will not only have a higher skill level, but they'll also have a distinct in-game advantage. Injustice 2 will also support a loop drop system that will allow players to earn loot from finishing and winning games. The loot rewarded to players feature additional stats boosts.

    The stats that players will be able to improve by leveling up characters or by equipping unlocked gear are strength, health, defense, and ability. Strength determines the amount of damage dealt, health determines the amount of health points, and defense determines the amount of damage that can be blocked out.

    The final stat, ability, is a little different. This one affects how often a character can perform their special abilities. More special abilities can be equipped through the gear system as well.

    Every last item provides some kind of stat boost, with rarer items providing more specific changes. Wearing an entire set of the the same items, for example, a headpiece, torso, legs, arms and unique character specific item from the same set will provide players with a set bonus.

    So how does this system affect competitive play? The best solution the Injustice 2 developers have is the ability to switch off item and level bonuses when searching for online matches. For this reason, the game will most likely remain a system for casual players to get more involved with their favorite characters. High level and competitive play will most likely see the 'stats bonuses' feature switched off.

  • Mass Effect Andromeda Multiplayer Details Shared

    mass effect andromeda multiplayerMass Effect Andromeda is just around the corner and Bioware has been sharing content for the game like crazy. In the past couple of months we've had hours of gameplay footage uploaded to the Mass Effect Youtube channel, and now details about the multiplayer portion of Andromeda have been revealed.

    So far we only have details we've managed to scrape from some Twitter images posted by Mass Effect producer Fernando Melo.

    In Mass Effect Andromeda multiplayer, players will have access to a character selection screen before they get immersed in the action. As opposed to having characters from the main storyline, the characters will be different species and classes. For example, players will have the chance to play as a Human male vanguard or a Krogan female infiltrator. Each class and species will have their own unique abilities and traits. Health and shield values will be different across class and species too.

    There won't be a truck load of customization options for multiplayer, but players will be able to choose some options for their armor's appearance and the armor colors and patterns. Players will also be able to level up each available character individually. So far we're not sure what benefits leveling up will provide in Mass Effect Andromeda's multiplayer.

    Unfortunately, the previously planned multiplayer beta for Mass Effect Andromeda has now been cancelled. This means that players will need to wait till March 21 to play Mass Effect Andromeda once it releases on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

  • Ghost Recon Wildlands Open Beta Live

    ghost recon wildlands betaThe Ghost Recon Wildlands open beta has started - players can already sign into Uplay, Steam, Xbox Live or PSN to install the open beta.

    The beta should now be live for all users in regions across the world. Currently, the beta is live on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam. Currently, the beta download size is sitting at roughly 24GB for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. However, if you installed the previous PC beta you'll only need to download 19GB worth of data.

    Either way, you may want to start downloading now - this will be your last chance to give Ghost Recon Wildlands a try for free before the game is officially released. The open beta will remain open until Monday the 27th, so you've still got lots of time to get the game download and get playing.

    This time round, the open beta for Wildlands will have a total of two regions for exploring, as opposed to the full game's 21 different regions. The first region is Itacua, which was first seen in the previous beta period. The second region is called Montuyoc and it hasn't yet been seen by the public.

    To encourage players to try out the open beta, Ubisoft is also offering any players that play the beta now with an additional mission in the full game. Players will need to play the beta during this week and also purchase Ghost Recon: Wildlands before March 31 to get access to the mission, however.

  • Elder Scrolls Online Gets New Housing Patch

    elder scrolls online housingA previously PC-exclusive update for Elder Scrolls Online has finally made it's way to the Xbox One and the PS4. The update in question adds housing to the world of ESO for the first time since the game's release.

    The new free update is called Homestead and with it, players will be able to purchase their very own home to call their own. Once a home is purchased, a player can customize the interior in a variety of different ways. The Homestead options available include roughly 40 different rooms and buildings types, ranging in size, price and functionality.

    All of the available player houses in Homestead are instanced, so every player can own their own version of any house they please in the game world, so long as they've got the gold for it of course.

    The very high-end houses are essentially separate islands off of the mainland of Tamriel. There are ten different types of islands, all of which are themed around one of the 10 playable races in Elder Scrolls Online.

    With the introduction of housing, players now have the opportunity to craft new items - all of the 2,000 different decorative interior items can be bought, crafted and traded between players.

    This is by no means a necessary update for Elder Scrolls Online so to see that it's been pushed out for free is refreshing and we're excited to see what might come out of the Elder Scrolls Online development camp next.

  • New Battlefield 1 Guns in DLC Test Servers

    battlefield 1 they shall not passBattlefield 1 is soon going to be receiving an arsenal of new weapons as part of the next upcoming DLC for the game. A lot of the new weapons have already made their way onto the public test servers so we've already got plenty of information to share on the new guns.

    All of the new guns will be a part of the 'They Shall Not Pass' DLC pack. In total, there will be 11 new weapons included in the new DLC - some are completely new, while others are modifications or variations of existing guns. There also seems to be a total of three new melee weapons coming to Battlefield 1.

    The three melee weapons are a Nail Knife, a Trench Fleur and a Cogwheel Club. Like the other weapons in the base game of Battlefield 1, none of the new guns or melee weapons will be available straight out of the gate. Players will need to unlock the weapons, either via specific challenges or in some cases purchasing them with skill points.

    The new weapons will be released to the public in March - it's not been 100% confirmed yet but it's likely that the weapons will be exclusive to those who own the season pass and those who purchase the They Shall Not Pass DLC.

    On top of including new weapons, They Shall Not Pass will include a number of new maps, the playable French faction, new game modes and two new tanks.

  • Nintendo Switch Availability May Be Limited

    nintendo switch availability 2017Because of the popularity surrounding the Nintendo Switch, getting hold of a console on launch day may prove to be a little difficult. Currently, most Nintendo Switch consoles are being picked up via pre-orders, so if you're interested in picking up the console too, it's advisable to do this as well.

    Alternatively, if you're planning to pick up a Nintendo Switch on launch day, you may be better off heading to the midnight launch. GameStop merchandising director Bub Puzon has mentioned that "We will have a limited supply of the Nintendo Switch systems on launch day for walk-in customers. Our teams made this happen. I would strongly suggest customers plan on attending one of our midnight launch events for a shot at securing one of these extra units. They will go fast!"

    As you can imagine, this ethos is likely to be replicated with most other retailers and online stores.

    The Nintendo Switch is set to release on March 3 - so far there is a total of 39 different games that have been confirmed for the platform. To begin with, however, just six titles will be available at launch. The six launch titles are The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, 1-2-Switch, Super Bomberman R, Just Dance 2017, Skylanders Imaginators and I Am Setsuna. All six games will retail for between $40-$60, while the Switch itself will be on sale for $300.

    A number of other games are set to release throughout the remainder of 2017, with Super Mario Odyssey landing during the 2017 Holiday period.

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