Archived News:

Tuesday, Dec 03, 2019

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season One and Battle Pass Launch

Season One is now officially underway in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare on all platforms for the military first-person shooter. Activision Games Blog has details on the season, which includes what they are calling the largest free content drop in the history of the Call of Duty series. The new season also brings the game's first Battle Pass, which is outlined in this blog post. Here's a Battle Pass Trailer and here's an overview of the news:
Starting today with Season One, players across all platforms can jump in together to play new multiplayer maps, modes, co-op experiences, in-game events and more. In addition, the new Modern Warfare Battle Pass System gives players more ways to customize their experience by earning new content, including base weapons, weapon blueprints, weapon charms, and other vanity items just by playing the game.

The Season One Battle Pass can be purchased using Call of Duty Points unlocking access to up to 100 tiers of new earnable content. Plus, players who complete the Battle Pass will earn even more Call of Duty Points than the cost they paid for the pass itself, delivering a ton of value. Players can also purchase the Battle Pass Bundle which includes all the same earnable content plus 20 tier skips for instant access to cool new equipment.
Continue here to read the full story.

Rainbow Six Siege Operation Shifting Tides Begins

Operation Shifting Tides is now in full effect in Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, kicking off Season 4 of Year 4 in the tactical shooter. This includes two new operators who are now available to those who own the Year 4 pass, a rework of the Theme Park map, new skins, and more. Here's an Operation Shifting Tides – Kali & Wamai Trailer and here are the details:
Today, Ubisoft announced that Operation Shifting Tides, the fourth and final season of Year 4 of Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six® Siege, is now available for PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC, including UPLAY+, Ubisoft’s subscription service for Windows PC*. Operation Shifting Tides brings two new Operators, Kali from India and the Kenyan Wamai to the game. The Theme Park map has also been completely reworked to improve playability and aesthetics, alongside many other improvements.

Owners of the Year 4 Pass can play with the new Operators immediately, while the rest of the players will be able to unlock these Operators starting December 10 using Renown or R6 Credits. Additional seasonal new content, including the Theme Park map rework, are available for free to all players.
Continue here to read the full story.

SuperData on Digital Spending

SuperData Research offers their analysis of Black Friday's and Cyber Monday's impact on video games, saying this year's sales pushed digital spending to a record $4.36B. Word is: "The surge in digital games spending also comes from a growing preference among gamers to purchase gaming content digitally. According to a recent SuperData survey, 42% of gamers do most of their game spending digitally compared to only 16% of gamers who prefer to spend more on physical purchases." Here's more:
Consumers flocked to online retailers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday to take advantage of deep discounts offered by digital storefronts like PlayStation Store and Steam during the busiest shopping days of the holiday season. Overall, digital spending rose 9% compared to the same weekend in 2018 thanks to in-game content deals and big releases that include Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Death Stranding. In addition to a seasonal boost in premium console and premium PC revenue, in-game spending in free-to-play games climbed to $3.3B worldwide, up 13% compared to last year’s sales event while premium PC generated $300M, an increase of 13% for the segment.

NVIDIA on Framerates in Competitive Gaming

Readers of this site probably don't need anyone to prosthelytize them about the benefits of higher framerates in playing videogames. But since they make graphics cards, NVIDIA is prepared to do just that with some new articles and videos on the topic. Here's what they've got for us:
NVIDIA presents the second detailed study in our ongoing efforts to understand how graphics performance affects competitive gaming and esports in a new study titled “Why Does High FPS Matter for Competitive Gaming?”

In the first study, titled “Unlock Your Full Potential - How Higher Frame Rates Can Give You An Edge In Battle Royale Games” NVIDIA product manager Gerardo Delgado outlined how having the right hardware, a fast GPU and a high refresh rate G-SYNC monitor can help you reach your full potential on the battlefield by enabling faster reaction times.

When playing competitive games like Fortnite, CS:GO, or PUBG, players often measure their skills based on their Kill/Death ratio (K/D ratio). A higher K/D ratio means that the player wins their battles a higher percentage of the time - securing the victory.
Continue here to read the full story.

Into the Black

Link of the Day: Butthole/Anus/Perenium Sunning. Mooning the sun taint my cup of tea.

Phoenix Point Released

Phoenix Point is now available for Windows and macOS on the Epic Games Store, offering the new turn-based strategy game/RPG from Julian Gollop, creator of the classic X-COM series. The game is available in three different flavors: There is a Standard Edition with the base game, a Deluxe Edition with bonus digital content, and an Ultra Edition which includes the bonus content from the Deluxe Edition as well as a Season Pass covering five future DLC releases. Here's the previously released Launch Trailer, and here's word on the game:
Phoenix Point puts players in the midst of a desperate fight to take back the Earth from a mutating, alien menace. Featuring turn-based tactical combat on procedurally generated maps, and resource management on a global scale, Phoenix Point offers endless replayability and a brutal challenge.

Following a global environmental disaster, the Pandoravirus appeared and began reshaping creatures, including humans, into hideous mutants. Unable to stop the progress of the virus, much of human civilization was wiped out -- only small enclaves remain, separated by their principles and the vast landscape. The Phoenix Project, an ancient failsafe against global catastrophe is the only hope to unite mankind and take back the planet.

Lead the Phoenix Project from its base at Phoenix Point. Research and develop new technologies and techniques, plan operations, build alliances to unite the planet-- or simply destroy your rivals. It's up to you to save the planet and rebuild civilization, but there may be much more to the alien threat than meets the eye.
Continue here to read the full story.

PC Halo Reach Released

The Windows edition of Halo Reach is now available on Steam, offering PC gamers the chance to play the latest installment in the first-person shooter series. This is part of the PC edition of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, and the listing says the collection is required to play. However, Halo Reach is also being sold individually, which is a little confusing. Here's what they say, including a orphaned double-asterisk footnote that we added from the Master Chief Collection listing:
Halo: Reach* comes to PC as the first installment of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Now optimized for PC, experience the heroic story of Noble Team, a group of Spartans, who through great sacrifice and courage, saved countless lives in the face of impossible odds. The planet Reach is humanity’s last line of defense between the encroaching Covenant and their ultimate goal, the destruction of Earth. If it falls, humanity will be pushed to the brink of destruction.

Game Features:

  • PC Settings/Optimizations: Halo: Reach is now optimized for PC and looking better than ever at up to 4k UHD and at least 60 FPS.** Other PC native settings include mouse and keyboard support, ultrawide support, adaptive sync support, FOV customization, and more.
  • Campaign: Experience the first chapter in the Halo Saga and fight your way as Noble Six through 11 unforgettable missions
  • Multiplayer: Start your Spartan Career today with Halo: Reach’s iconic multiplayer featuring an overhauled progression system, generation-defining player customization, over 20 unforgettable maps, as well as classic game modes such as Firefight and Invasion. While Forge and Theater will be delivered later in 2020, enjoy access to millions of community-created maps and game types that have been migrated over from Halo: Reach on Xbox 360 for use today on PC.
  • Firefight: Fight alone or with squad mates to survive against endless waves of enemies deploying with ever-increasing difficulty.

*Halo: The Master Chief Collection is required to play the (digital only) Halo: Reach.
** Look to system requirements for guidance on hardware minimum specs to achieve performance metrics

Resident Evil 3 Remake Cover Art Uncovered

Gematsu notes that gamstat found cover art supporting long-standing conjecture that a Resident Evil 3 remake is in the works. The artwork was discovered on the server for the PlayStation Store, so this seems like a strong indication that an updated version of the survival/horror game is coming. They show three versions of the cover, one for Resident Evil 3, one for Biohazard RE:3, and one for Biohazard RE:3 - Z Version.

New AMD Drivers

AMD Drivers and Support now offers new version 19.12.1 Radeon Software Adrenalin 2019 Edition Windows drivers for AMD graphics cards. These don't promise support for any additional games, but they add support for new Radeon RX 5300M GPUs and fix a couple of issues, crashes in The Outer Worlds and some stuttering problems:
Support For

  • Radeon RX 5300M

Fixed Issues

  • Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience stutter in some games at 1080p and low game settings.
  • Some Radeon RX 5700 series graphics products may experience an intermittent crash to desktop when playing The Outer Worlds™.

Steam Controller Sold Out?

There are posts on Reddit and ResetEra indicating that Valve may be cancelling some orders of the Steam Controller made during the Steam sale (thanks VG247). As was noted when these went on sale for $5.00, Valve stated these controllers are being discontinued, and it seems that the bargain price quickly caused demand to outstrip supply. An oddity noted in one of the posts is that while the user's order of the controller was cancelled and refunded, their order for controller accessories was not. Here's an explanation from Steam support that someone posted:
During our recent sale, we mistakenly took more orders for the Steam Controller than we were able to fulfill. As we are no longer producing this product, we are unable to send you a Steam Controller and have refunded your purchase.

You should have already received a full refund of your purchase amount to the payment method that you used. Some payment methods take several business days to show the refunded amount has returned to your account.

We sincerely apologize for the confusion and inconvenience.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to respond to this help request

Avatar Game Lives

Answering a question on the topic, the Avatar Twitter account confirms that the planned Avatar game announced almost three years ago is still in the works (thanks DSOGaming). They simply say: "Still being developed!" They also include a link to Massive's The Avatar Project Website which doesn't bolster their case very well, as it lists a bunch of job openings along with 2018 copyright notices. On the other hand, there are currently four sequels planned for James Cameron's smash sci-fi movie, so the game could take eight more years and still release concurrently with the planned final installment in the series.
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