Tag Archive

Major Quake Champions Patch Makes Fundamental Changes To Loot System, Adds Bots

Posted on June 8, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Sabre Interactive and Bethesda released a brand new patch for Quake Champions yesterday that adds many features that the community have been asking for since the Open Beta last summer. Bots, further Champion adjustments and a fundamental redesign of how the tribolt weapon works. Despite all of the positive additions the one thing that’s been widely panned by the QC community is how skins are crafted and what “shards” can be spent on. 

Positive: Bots Now Exist But Not Like You Think 

Veterans of previous Quake games have always had offline bots as a fallback option for when a stable internet connection isn’t available or to spend countless hours practicing against in order to hone those twitchy fragging reflexes. QC’s developers have spent a lot of time working on the fundamentals of QC and while bots have always topped the list of requested features, only now nearly 12 months after the Open Beta are we seeing playable progress on them. 

For those hoping for offline bots to practice against will be disappointed that not only is Quake Champions still not playable without a connection to the central server but the first stage of QC bots cannot be used in custom games or parties. 

On the positive side, Quake Champion’s bots are pretty challenging. You can face off against one of them in the brand-new tutorial. Bots wil also be used fillout the roster of games where another player disconnected or there isn’t a high enough population to fill out a team roster. Bethesda has promised that adding bots to Custom Games with selectable difficulty levels will come in a future patch. 

Here’s Bethesda’s official description of bots:

BOTS GALORE – Want to hone your skill? Did some quitter bail from a game mid-match, leaving your TDM crew a bit short? Well, now Bots are here to save you. That’s right, the same kind of AI that will soon reach singularity and grow into our apocalyptic overlords now powers (optional) enemies in-game! Featuring a scalable skill level to help players practice and improve in training mode, Bots will also automagically fill slots in live games where needed. This small, first phase of the impending robo-pocalypse – in Quake form – supports Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Instagib modes. More exciting updates on our road to Matrix-style Armageddon are scheduled to come soon!

Positive: Champion Stats Are Now Aligned 

Individual champion statistics are no more! Instead all of the available characters are divided into Light, Medium and Heavy and the heroes within these categories will share the same armor, health and speed statistics. 

Here’s the rundown: 

Balance Changes: In addition to the more on-the-surface improvements, Quake Champions is receiving some under-the-hood tweaks to improve the overall balance of the game. These changes include alterations to movement speed, health and armor stacks for Light, Medium and Heavy Champions as well as changes to certain weapon statistics and specific Champions abilities. 

Negative: Skins Can No Longer Be Crafted, Shards Are Only Usable For Loot boxes 

Oh dear… so this change is not “controversial”, it’s downright removing player’s ability to choose what kind of rewards that they want to work towards. Prior to yesterday’s update duplicates found within Backpacks or Chests (loot boxes) would reward players with “shards”. Saving up between 300 – 600 shards players could purchase pieces of a given skin set. While very grindy and still reliant on RNG loot boxes – which are predatory – did provide players with some agency on the type of things they could unlock through play. 

Under the newer system duplicates no longer provide shards at all and individual pieces cannot be crafted at all as well. Want that really cool Scalebearer skin or want to relive Quake III with the classic machinegun skin? Better hope it drops from a chest which you can only get with real money or by leveling up after a couple of hours. It’s all RNG.

Are you enjoying this latest Quake Champions patch? I’d love to hear thoughts on this latest update to Bethesda’s soon to be free-to-play online shooter in the comments. 



Getting To Quake Champions Hasn’t Been Cheaper With New $4.99 Entry Level Pack

Posted on March 19, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

The arena FPS genre hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of activity – especially with games like Battleborn and Unreal Tournament 4 seeming to cease development. Bethesda’s Quake Champions might be the last true arena deathmatch FPS game in production, not counting the AFPS indie offspring like DUSK and TOKIK.

Previously access to Quake Champions was divided between the previous closed beta test players who are able to play the game in “free to play mode” through the Bethesda Launcher or by purchasing the $29.99 USD “Champions Pack” which provides access to the Quake Champions client and all of the released / future champions.

Now players on Steam have the chance to get access to the base game for $4.99 USD which includes unlocks for two champions – Ranger and Scalebearer. Ranger will be unlocked for all players by default whether they’re playing in F2P mode or this newly released $5 pack. Scalebearer is an interesting choice to provide at a low cost – he’s a giant hulking tank class champion who has a plentiful health pool and is able to obliterate enemies in his way with his charge ultimate. Truth be told Scalebearer is probably my favorite champion in the game with the versatility that his kit can provide.

Quake Champions exited closed beta last August and has been available in Early Access ever since. It does make use of micro-transactions and blind RNG boxes (both provided for “free” and paid with in-game currency for real money). We’ve covered in the past why RNG boxes in AAA games can set a bad precident and be harmful to players in general but also those with addictive tendencies.


Throwback World War II FPS Battalion 1944 Announces Beta

Posted on January 10, 2018 by Rae Michelle Richards

Indie developer Bulkhead Interactive confirmed that their ambitious WW2 shooter, Battalion 1944 will enter exclusive closed beta from January 19th thru the 22nd. Players who pre-purchased from the Humble Bundle Store or backed the game on Kickstarter will get guaranteed access. Everyone else is able to enter on the game’s official website for a chance to participate.

Built upon the technology of Unreal Engine 4, Battalion 1944 is focused on “skill based gameplay” – meaning that pay to win mechanics and some of the comforts we’ve come to expect like auto-aim and movement assists aren’t present. The game features era-accurate weapons and is focused primarily on infantry combat – so you won’t be hoping into a tank and blowing up entire enemy teams, sorry. One of the more unique aspects is the ability for individual players to form teams (called Battalions, of course) – where they can collectively work together based up their skill and progression to unlock rewards. Battalion 1944 also features both LAN and clan support, something they a lot of modern FPS games have done away with as they move towards Games As A Service.

Howard Philpott, Creative Producer on the game had this to say:

“the action in a Battalion 1944 encounter is as feverish as it is credible. We’ve looked to bed the play down in maps that are both competitive and authentic, for which our trips to Normandy proved immensely useful”.

After the closed beta weekend Battalion 1944 will enter Steam Early Access for $11.99 USD and will include six as of yet unannounced gameplay modes.


War Pike Added To Online Monster Slaying Title Dauntless

Posted on November 22, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Dauntless is an early access online monster slaying, title not unlike Capcom’s own Monster Hunter, series that offers players the chance to take down larger than life enemies using a variety of different weapons.  

The War Pike is a brand-new weapon type coming to the game with this December’s Sharpen Your Skills update. As a polearm the War Pike brings a bit of a difference in terms of gameplay mechanics for seasoned hunters out there who might be sued to the other four weapon classes. Instead of memorizing specific sets of inputs to maximize damage the War Pike allows players to chain basic and heavy attacks together for seamless interwoven combat. As slayers successfully land successive hits their special meter will fill, allowing them to pull off devastating finishing moves. Once a finishing move has been earned it can be stored as a “charge” for use later on, this is especially useful when playing as a party and coordinating strategy together. 

Over on the official Dauntless blog you can read all about how the War Pike works, its role in group content and how it differs from the other four weapon types on offer. 

Dauntless is currently in a paid closed beta available through random key give away or through a $39.99 USD “Founder’s Pack”. It is expected to enter open beta, and eventually fully supported free to play launch, sometime in 2018. 


Fortnite (PVE) | Early Access Review

Posted on October 30, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

First marketed as a unique crossover between Minecraft’s base building & resource collection and Gears of War’s Horde Mode, Fortnite has been in the news recently for the success (and controversy) of its Free 2 Play Battle Royale mode. After spending countless hours playing the “Survive The Storm” Player Vs Environment mode on two different platforms I’m ready to give my detailed impressions of Fortnite’s PVE experience as it currently exists.

Early Access Disclaimer:  A copy of “Fortnite: Founder’s Edition Standard” was provided by Epic Games for the purpose of this review. No other loot pinatas or other Microtransactions were provided by the publisher.  This review reflects the state of Fortnite’s Player Vs Environment experience as it existed in Late September / Early October 2017.

Gameplay: Some Assembly Required

As I sat down trying to summarize Fortnite’s gameplay into a digestible description, I found the game almost indescribable. This isn’t because Fortnite is a bad game – far from it, Fortnite has quickly become one of my daily “go to” game alongside Overwatch and Final Fantasy XIV when I want a multiplayer fix.  It is just that there are so many interlinking systems to be found within the game that it is easy to imagine the unsuspecting player being overwhelmed at first blush.

For simplicity’s sake, I’m going to refer to the on-foot, in-engine 3rd person matchmaking multiplayer missions as Mission Gameplay and the menu driven, statistic management and item management portions of Fortnite as Housekeeping to keep things straightforward.

Mission Gameplay

Activities within Fortnite are divided into numerous mission types where the player must work alongside a team of up to 3 other survivors to secure an objective/survivor / x # of items within a large open chunk of the map and build a well-protected fort before initiating a horde mode-like defense sequence. If this sounds formulaic, it is, but the amount of creative freedom Fortnite affords players when it comes to base construction, strategy and bonus objectives allow each match of Fortnite to feel unique.

The opening segments of any mission within Fortnite can be thought of as pure chaos – an entire team of people working towards a common goal but each with their own needs. Player A might find the objective before anyone else is ready to begin the Horde mode defense section while Player B is searching for Server Racks to finish their Daily Quest and Player C is saving survivors to bolster their ranks (more on that in the next section). Uncoordinated teams or those with poor communication are often doomed to failure – especially during limited timed events and higher tier missions.

When it comes time for a team to construct their fort to defend their objective what is the best choice? Iron walls with protected by a constructor’s Forcefield? Cheaper wooden walls defended by all four Heroes with Melee weapons? The open-ended nature of HOW teams come to achieve their common goal is one of the beauties of Fortnite. I’ve played the same mission four times and had a different outcome every time: In one instance an entire team built a Zombie funnel with wooden walls lined with spike traps and on the same mission in another team we lined the front of our fort with jump pads which would cause the Zombies to fly into the air and land to their deaths.

Forts can be broken down into 4 basic components: Floors, Walls, Roofs, and Traps (which can be placed on either the Walls or Floor). Every Hero shares the same four basic kinds of Floors Walls and Roofs – Iron, Wood, and Stone but a team has to consider how much of each resource they have on hand. Each player can carry a maximum of 999 of each resource and the inventory for these is persistent between matches but when you begin reinforcing a well-constructed fort with Tier 2 or 3 defenses, individual resource pools can dry up rather quickly.  I lost more than a few missions simply because our team hadn’t brought enough resources to secure our entire Fort design and the back of the Fort was nothing more than a couple of timber pieces nailed to the wall.  Just as communication is key to WHEN an objective should be claimed, it is also just as important when it comes to fort design, which portions to upgrade and the team’s defense strategy.

Managing Statistics Is A Game In of Itself In Fortnite


Once the action has calmed down, the heroes have saved the day and completed their mission what is there left to do in Fortnite? It turns out quite a bit, as long as you don’t mind managing and manipulating various statistics.  When not in a combat scenario players are encouraged to level up their playable heroes, manage groups of survivors who provide party wide buffs and additional boosts and spend their skill points. This probably sounds a lot like the back-end busy work of managing a party within an RPG, and not a shooter, yup, one of the most difficult things about Fortnite can come from deciding what type of build you’re going for and not the terrifying monstrosities of the storm. 

Leveling Up Heroes– Fornite’s heroes don’t just have a unique look and personality too them. All of them can be divided amongst four key categories: Constructor, Soldier, Outlander, and Ninja. Each class has its own strengths, for example, Soldiers can lob explosive grenades and have a buff to ranged weapon damage while Ninja’s gain a double jump and bonus to melee weapon damage. It is possible to pull two identical heroes with the same rarity (more on that in a bit), name, type & level yet still have them be different thanks to the randomization of the passive abilities that each Hero possesses. As you level up your playable heroes using XP from Llamas & missions you’ll gain an assortment of randomly tiered passive & active abilities. 

Managing Survivor Squads  – Survivors are non-playable “characters” that can be thought of more as collectible baseball cards than characters you’ll see in the game world. Sometimes after completing a mission, you’ll be rewarded with a handful of “survivor cards” & they can also be obtained from the Llamas for real-world cash as well. Each survivor has a “personality type” and “profession” and it is up to the player to slot these survivors into the appropriate squad (Tech, EMT, Firearms, Base Defense etc) to maximize their potential stats boosts. The higher the levels on your particular squads, the larger the passive boost from that squad and just like Heroes, Survivors are leveled up with their own unique form of XP points. 

Spending Skill Points / Research Points  – Skill points are accumulated passively regardless of whether or not you are playing Fortnite. Spending Skill Points on one of the four research trees allows you to gain purely passive buffs such as a small addition to your party’s fortitude, damage or build time or increasing a number of total items that you can carry.  

Recycling Duplicate or Fully Maxed Out “Cards” – Heroes, Weapons, Traps, and Survivors all come packaged as “Cards” complete with statistics, an independent level and Rarity. It may not seem important when you first start playing the game but the rarity of a card essentially determines how far into the overall progress that you can use it. After several dozen hours I’ve reached account level 25 and am doing missions that are rated for Heroes at power level 40. From my experience, it seems that Green (or uncommon) weapons and heroes max out around this point and I’ve started recycling them into the few blue (rare) drops that have the same type. Once a particular card has reached its maximum level and is no longer useful to you, or you have a duplicate, you can recycle individual cards into the various XP types and feed that gained XP into newer items.  


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Small Hotfix Patch Released For Quake Champions Early Access

Posted on October 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Yesterday Sabre Interactive & id Software released a small hotfix for the Early Access version of Quake Champions. These fixes come just two weeks since the latest game update which brought with it new content & champion adjustments but also had players reporting increased lag during matches / other performance issues and problems with the game’s’ social functions.

In addition to performance fixes related to the loading & unloading of characters, this hotfix also addresses problems that may occur when a player has a large number of friends on their contact list. Also added to the game is a brand new vanity item for Ranger, “The Keepers Head”, which ties into the upcoming The Evil Within 2.

Here are the full patch notes:

  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing on loading/unloading from game
  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing in customization screen when buying item with both platinum and shards at the same time
  • Fixed crash some players were experiencing on purchasing vanity items in customization
  • Fixed issue where players were being kicked from match while loading into Burial Chamber with the exception of the Spectator
  • Fixed in-game Contacts list so it properly shows player’s online/offline status and no longer causes performance issues with larger Contacts lists
  • Fixed issue when Spectating a player that died did not show the death animation and instead showed the player select screen
  • Fixed issue where Sorlag’s acid spit ability was doing double damage at certain distances
  • Improved double landing sounds for all Champions
  • ‘The Keeper’s Head’ vanity item added for Ranger. Instructions on how to obtain it can be found here: http://steamcommunity.com/game



‘The Architect’ Update For Osiris: New Dawn Released With 33% Off Sale

Posted on September 11, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Multiplayer space survival title Osiris: New Dawn received the substantial ‘Architect’ update today alongside a 33% discount on Steam for the next week. To celebrate the release developer Fenix Fire released a brand-new trailer, a list of major features for this update and a screenshot gallery. 

In the new ‘Creative Mode’ players are not constrained by the need for building materials, the bodily needs for survival or filling out tech trees. Gameplay sliders allow the host of a game session to adjust individual values like Structure Decay, Fall Duration, and many others. The introduction of Stackable Habitable Spaces provides fledgling architects with new dwellings to add to their favorite base designs. 

Here is a full feature list provided by Fenix Fire’s PR representatives: 

  • Creative Mode – Players can now enjoy a near-limitless sandbox game mode to build all sorts of amazing structures. Huge highways, large walled buildings, and massive landmarks are just some of the custom structures that can be made. 
  • New Base Defenses and Utilities – Gamers can make use of different wall materials to reinforce their base of operations and take advantage of new electric fences, sling turrets, and electro-dome defenses. 
  • Stackable Habitat Structures – Increase the colony’s livable space with stackable habitat structures connected with automated elevators. 
  • Better Starting Equipment – A new beginning point as well as better starting equipment will ease new space adventurers into the harsh alien environment. 
  • New Weapon: Bolt Rifle – The update introduces the powerful Bolt Rifle, a higher-powered, single shot weapon with tremendous range. 
  • Batch Crafting and Auto Mining – Automate multiple crafting needs with Batch Crafting and never worry about searching for excavated minerals with the new Auto Mining option. 
  • Rebalanced Skill Trees – Skill trees for every class have been rebalanced for better overall player progression. 
  • New Gameplay Sliders – Customize the game with a huge assortment of slider options including Structure Decay Speed, Hover Duration, Fall Damage and much more. 

If you’d like to check out the trailer here it is:

Osiris New Dawn launched in Steam Early Access almost a year ago in September 2016. It holds an overall “Mostly Positive” rating according to Steam User Reviews and received the “Best New Survival” award at the 2016 Penny Arcade Expo West. Until September 18th it is available for the discounted price of $18.75 CDN. 

New Screenshots:


This post contains images and copy-text that were provided by either this game’s developer or PR agency, editorial comments by our staff are not the viewers of the game’s developers and vice versa. 



Quake Champions Releasing On Steam Early Access As A Paid Product This Coming Tuesday

Posted on August 17, 2017 by Rae Michelle Richards

Bethesda and  more specifically id Software have a large convention coming up on Thursday August 24th – QuakeCon. To celebrate the convention’s namesake or perhaps capitalize on the finals for the Quake Champions World Championship $1 million dollar tournament that is coming to a close at QuakeCon, Quake Champions will leave open beta testing and appear on Steam for the first time since the game’s announcement.

Let’s get the bit of news that is probably going to polarize possible new players before diving into the meaty details of the first Early Access patch – Quake Champion’s monetization model. Originally Champions was advertised as a free to play title and it is clear from the titles core design that this is still the case: renting champions, multiple forms of currency and loot boxes are all still in the game. What is changing with the Early Access release on Steam is that Quake Champions will not be free to play right out of the gate.

Returning closed & open beta testers can still play the tittle for free in ‘free to play mode’ (meaning Ranger only with rentals via ‘favor’ or in app purchases) but only players willing to fork over $29.99 USD (increasing to $39.99 USD once Early Access ends) to gain access to the game, all 11 Champions currently available and any future champions released in 2018. New free to play players who did not participate in the beta phase will be welcome into the game but it is unknown when that will occur – Bethesda simply says ‘at a later date’.

So what will the first Early Access patch bring to the game? First and foremost is a brand new champion in the form of Doom’s DoomSlayer protagonist. Clad in his UAC green armor from last year’s excellent reboot, the Doom Slayer joins the original cast of Quake Champions and B.J Blazkowicz from Bethesda’s Wolfenstein franchise in the arena. Quake Champions players can also look forward to the release of two new maps, brand new Rune Challenges, in-game voice chat and an in-game Lore browser that will feed players in-universe tidbits of information just like Doom (2016) did.

Here is a summary of the new features coming to Quake Champions:

  • Two New Maps: Church of Azathoth and Tempest Shrine
  • Rune Challenges: Players will be rewarded for completing new Rune Challenges found in Backpacks
  • Lore System: Players will find Lore Items hidden throughout Arenas in vases. By collecting all 10 Lore Items for a specific Champion, they will unlock that Champion’s high-end Lore Skin.
  • Improved New Player Onboarding: New features to help get fresh fraggers up to speed include a movement tutorial, shooting gallery and the ability to choose a skill level
  • New Customization Options: New options include new Champion skin sets and weapon shaders
  • In-Game Voice Chat

I’ve covered Quake Champions extensively over the past couple months and participated in both the closed and open beta test phases. You can read my impressions of an early Closed Beta build of the game right here and I’ll be posting up to date impressions from the Early Access build of Quake Champions later next week.



Rising World Is A Fun Minecraft Alternative To Explore

Posted on January 18, 2017 by Les Major

There are tons of Minecraft like titles out there and it’s hard to tell what isn’t just more of the same. Back in the earlier days of the series, many indie titles filled the gap of similar games on Xbox 360 before the titan of voxel building made the leap to consoles. There’s one thing that I always wanted in a game of this type though, and that was smoother landscapes. EverQuest Next: Landmark had a style like that, but unfortunately it seems to have gone through some complex times and won’t be around much longer. However Rising World is in early access and already it’s looking like a wonderful game in this style to play.

The big thing I always wanted out of Minecraft was exploration. In general though, I feel that it’s more about building and online play than really getting out there and seeing the world. Rising World however has given me some neat surprises in my first few experiences that it makes me want to wander. One of the latest updates even adds dungeons! Currently they are just empty ruins to explore, but enemies are on the way. An abandoned shack I found, which is tied to that update, did contain a treasure chest and the remains of a skeleton.

I like that the trees in Rising World use physics as they fall. It’s something nice that has been included in some other games, like The Forest I do believe, but it’s neat to see the tree actually topple and roll down a hill. Then you chop it up into logs and craft them into lumber. With the game having smoother polygonal mesh over the voxel world it’s build upon, everything feels more like an adventure in a non-building first person open world game. But you can indeed build in Rising World as well.

Rising World Crafting

Having only just started the game I’m not too sure about things like smoothing terrain to build a happy little home on. Which of course I’m sure I could just make a block foundation for instead. However Rising World does come with an in game journal to give you some gameplay info as well. It is your usual fare of crafting, building, and the like, but with a more natural looking world and some neat stuff to explore. With a variety of biomes and some neat stuff to create it’s a neat place to let your imagination run wild for awhile. That and the game is still in early access as well so further updates are on the way. You can check out Rising World right now on Steam.

I’m enjoying the single player aspect and from what I’ve heard that’s a favored focus for the game. I have yet to try out multiplayer however.


Early Access MMORPG LinkRealms Going Free To Play

Posted on October 2, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

LinkRealms a Steam Early Access MMORPG that attempts to recreate the glory days of Ultima Online will go free to play as of October 10th developer Mythyn has announced. They believe that the game is ready for a wider audience thanks to the success of recent updates that have brought features like criminal status, newcomer enhancements and class adjustments to the game.

Mythyn describes their game as a “hardcore sandbox MMORPG” with a set of “old school design choices” and challenging dungeons. Basically, it sounds like this game ignores every genre convention or breakthrough that has occurred since the mid-90s.

Currently once a player purchases LinkRealms from Steam for $19.99 they gain access to the full game with no restrictions. Mythryn’s press release did not outline how their free-to-play implementation will work or if there will be a paywall that might limit players from progressing past a certain point.

Here is how they currently describe their in-game shop (Shame they use gender specific pronouns in their descriptions :/)

Non-Invasive Shop  
Pay once (or get a Beta Key) and play for free – forever. All of the content is available to you with no restrictions. Using the in-game store helps supporting the development team, but nothing a player can purchase is going to make him suddenly powerful or give him an unfair advantage. Linkrealms welcomes all players to the community” 

Reaction to the Early Access version of the game has been mixed with some players pointing out that a single guild owns entire server economies and that dungeon farming is rampant. Others have lamented the lack of features like a hotbar, meaning that spell and abilities must be manages from multiple windows. 


H1Z1 King of the Kill Leaves Early Access On September 20th

Posted on August 31, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The competitive post apocalyptic survival title H1Z1: King of the Kill will be heading out of Steam’s Ealy Access program on September 20th developer Daybreak Games has announced via press-release.

A number of additional features will come with the launch of the game including an improved user interface, support for multiple competitive seasons, a new scoring system that takes the number of kills & other factors into consideration and Twitch.TV integration as well.

Here’s hoping that all of these improvements lead to a smoother overall experience. We preview H1Z1: King of the Kill – the Battle Royal style multiplayer mode that was once part of the entire H1Z1 package before being split off  into it’s own stand-alone game– back in early 2016 when the game launched. To be honest over the 20+ hours I’ve put into the title I’ve found King of the Kill to be a love / hate kind of game. There’s always a pile of tension as you’re in the top 20, wondering who or what might be around the next corner but getting to that tension means 20 – 40 minutes of wandering around a barren map looking for crafting items.


Here is how Daybreak games described the ranking system they will be implementing:

  • Scoring System  Progression outside of matches is evolving to foster the natural competitive spirit of the H1Z1: King of the Kill community. A new and more dynamic scoring system after each match will award points to players based on their placement, their kill total and when in the match those kills took place, with higher points going to kills that take place later on. This new system will give players immediate feedback on their performance, as well as the opportunity to earn in-game rewards. It will apply only to solo matches at launch.

Updates to the world map will also be coming down the line. If you’ve spent dozens of hours like I have learning the trek from co-ordinates like H9 to A4, be prepared for a few curvle balls to be thrown your way with “The Arena”.

As the devs outlined:

The Arena, a Totally Revamped World Map – This larger map is designed to improve the pace and performance of matches overall, with additional points of interest for showdowns and surprises, better loot distribution for player spawns, and greatly improved graphics and lighting.

  • The Arena will be a focal point of action for those playing H1Z1: King of the Kill at PAX West this weekend at Booth #1909, and later when some of Twitch’s top streamers and players compete in the second annual H1Z1 Invitational on Oct. 2, 2016 at TwitchCon.

Perhaps all of these changes will lead to a more immersive survival experience. I’ll be at PAX West and will try and go hands on with the new Arena map if time allows. Worst case I’ll snap a few pictures of the booth!


Killing Floor 2 Launches On PlaySation 4 This November

Posted on August 16, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Tripwire Interactive’s co-operative FPS zombie slaying title Killing Floor 2 will be coming to PS4 in both digital and retail flavors on November 18th thanks to publishers Deep Silver and Iceberg Interactive.

Killing Floor 2 was first playable on PlayStation 4 back at E3 where Tripwire demo’d the title on PlayStation 4 dev-kits, allowing attendees to try out the co-op action for themselves.  The PS4 version was originally revealed at the 2015 PlayStation Experience alongside a PS4 Developer Diary Video.

We covered Killing Floor 2 back in August of last year while the title was still in Early Access on Windows PC. I really enjoyed the games high energy and upbeat soundtrack and the bright splashes of color Killing Floor 2 brings to the usually drab world of the post-apocalyptic undead.  Tripwire interactive have been busy iterating on the title in the subsequent months since I last previewed the game, adding new maps and expanding upon existing player roles.


Guardians of Ember Coming To Steam Early Access This September

Posted on August 14, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

Veteran game developers Runewater have announced their latest game Guardians of Ember will be available on Steam Early Access next month. This brand new isometric hack & slash action title looks to take more than a few cues from Blizzard’s Diablo franchise from both a gameplay design and graphical style perspective. For fans of the genre, this might be one to keep an eye on ahead of it’s September Early Access release.

Guardians of Embers describes the game as an action title where players must defend the world of Olymdale from a mysterious dark menace. As a hero players have a choice between one of six classes but after they reach level 15 the game’s dual specification system kicks in, allowing players to chose a secondary class. The finished game promises to include 60 randomly generated dungeons, each with their own difficulty level.


Here is a rundown of the features that Runewater hopes to include in the final release:

– dual class system (available from level 15)
– near unlimited character optimization (4 races, 6 classes, over 300 of active and passive skills)
– randomized dungeons with individual difficulty settings
– crafting and enchanting system: Design your perfect equipment
– housing system: Decorate your own house with hundreds of items
– engaging story with hundreds of quests
– various PVP options (1vs1, 3vs3, 5vs5 – ranked and unranked)

Guardians of Ember is expected to be in Early Access for 3 – 6 months. The initial launch will include the first two Acts with the final 3 Acts coming further into development.  For more information on the game check out their Steam Early Access page, sadly no initial price for the game is available as of press time.

Here is the debut trailer:

Here are the minimum specs:


    • OS: Windows Vista or newer
    • Processor: Core 2 Duo 2.4G or better
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: GeForce 9800 GTX+ or Radeon HD 4850
    • Network: Broadband Internet connection
    • Storage: 10 GB available space


We Happy Few preview

Posted on August 6, 2016 by Fionna Schweit

We happy few is a game that appeared from nowhere to immense hype. A video at the Microsoft press conference showed a grim dystopian world in 1960s England. E3’s trailer peaked the interest of all involved with its dark atmosphere and air of mystery.  Well mystery no more, the folks at Compulsion Games have given PC gamers a chance to play their game while its still in early access.

There is no story in the game, but its possible that you could be spoiled by my discussions of game mechanics, the atmosphere, and the perceived back story so far. So, if you are super concerned about spoilers I suggest you stop reading.

Ok, so lets start with basics, this is in fact a survival game. Though nothing about survival was shown at E3, media outlets (including us) reported that it was a survival game. No one really knew what form that would take, but this version of the game, despite having no story, does feature all of the survival elements.

We play as Arthur Hastings

We play as Arthur Hastings

The game opens with the same intro at E3, we are in an office tasked with ensuring that no history sneaks by our censoring old newspapers.  Since this is a story free demo, we get our best indications of whats going on in the world from these articles. Just like the E3 trailer you can go right to the party your office is holding if you want. But, this is an open world game, so I spent some time looking around. I was well rewarded, you can use the censorship machines in several other rooms, giving you more background.

From these other rooms I was able to glean a good bit of backstory.  We appear to be in a future 1960’s where England lost at last part of World War 2, and was occupied by Germany.  Either because of the occupation or to before it, a happiness pill was tested. This pill is the “joy” we heard about in the trailer, and seems to be a main plot point of the game. Those who refuse to take their joy are called “downers” and exiled to a rundown part of the city.

During the intro I also learned that our main character seems to have a brother, and that an article about his brother is what triggers his remembering. Not wanting to get too far behind I finished the intro section, was captured after running away, and found myself waking up in a dark tunnel.

Much to my surprise the upper left of my screen was occupied by a series of status icons, food, water, sleep, and health.  These meters are in a constant state of draining giving the game its survival aspect. So after waking up I made my way around the starting area. The area is an old tube station where theres a bit of tutorial.

Here we get to see that the game mostly is going to involve collecting raw materials, then crafting things.  After being directed in some basic crafting, we get released out to the open world. Did I forget to mention that? Yah this is a fully open world game. Your time will be spent wandering around finding missions, exploring for resources, and making sure you get back to your base in time to sleep before you die.

This guy want to kill you

This guy want to kill you

The game has solid core mechanics, you have to eat frequently and your days are bounded by the need to find a place to sleep. I found plenty of water, but much of the food I found was spoiled or rotted. This food true to form of any good survival game made me sick. Sickness was a constant companion in the world for me. Though there were pills that could help mitigate these but they were a much sought after resource and I traded some of mine away to ensure I had a place to sleep. That was a mistake by the way.

You are not the only inhabitant of this grim dark place where downers are sent. No its well populated. You will find all sorts of people running around. Some of these people just wander, some offer missions, and some are hostile. I didn’t spend much time in combat, but the system is very basic, at the point I was at in the game the most powerful weapons I had access to were cricket bats. The rest was fists and pointy sticks and clubs.

I was able to map about 40% of the first map in my longest play through. Two hours of play and that was just  40% of the first area. This is going to be a large game, with many NPC’s and quests to do, in addition to the simple survival objectives. The game does feature perma death, and since I wanted to get a good feel for the game, I played with this option on.

Permadeath is what makes this game so exciting right now. Even without the main story line, there is this element of danger which is just so very thrilling. I found myself spending so much time on the scavenging and looking to stay alive that I honestly didn’t really need story. That is not to say that it won’t be even better with a story, but I liked it so much already it can’t go anywhere but up.

Sleep is very important

Sleep is very important

Nothing quite felt as exciting as running on very little sleep (which takes away from stamina, which is vital for fighting) and knowing it was going to be a long way back to my home, fraught with danger.  But if I can make it back ill get to keep all the loot I am currently carrying.

The game offers that oh so tempting dichotomy between the want to explore and find raw resoruces, and the staying close enough to home to not die. There are other games that have nailed this in the past, but as nearly as I can tell We Happy Few is doing it in a vastly different way.

I really cant wait to get the story that goes along with the current gameplay. Its incredibly rare for a game to hold me based only on its gameplay and not its story. I can think of only a couple of examples, Rocket League, and Overwatch being two notable ones. This game managed to do that. Since its endlessly repeatable and features permadeath, I feel like there are basically unlimited options for play through here. During my play through I did find a few small physics bugs, and ended up stuck a few times, but since this game is going to be early access, there is plenty of time for the developers to fix these small issues.



Breaking All The Rules With Lawbreakers [E3 Hands-On]

Posted on June 21, 2016 by Rae Michelle Richards

The man behind Microsoft’s chainsaw wielding Gears of War franchise, Cliff Bleszinski left Epic Games back in 2012 but he hasn’t been sitting idle in the subsequent four years. He’s formed a new studio, BossKey, and they brought an alpha version of their upcoming arena shooter Lawbreakers with them to Los Angeles last week. After playing several rounds of this in your face shooter at E3 with the development team and quite a few hours with the Friends & Family alpha at home, I’m here to tell you how CliffyB is about to come back in a big way!

Lawbreakers is a role-based first person shooter with a focus on vertical gameplay built using the Unreal 4 engine. Just like the other titles that ClifyB has had a hand in creating, the combat in this game is frantic, somewhat twitchy and gorier than most R rated movies.  The emphasis on verticality during combat isn’t just a bullet point on some press-release, it is essential to succeeding in Lawbreakers. During a match it isn’t uncommon to watch your foes & teammates swing across the map, jetpack around objectives and slam downard onto the ground in the middle of a pack of rivals. Freedom of movement and quick speed are core gameplay components to what sets Lawbreakers apart from other role-based shooters.


Players should be fully aware that CliffyB’s trademark ‘*%#$% you’ attitude is all over the world of Lawbreakers, and especially within the personalities of the characters.  The grey and brown pallets from Gears of War and other interactive experiences that Cliffy has had a say in are replaced with bright particle effects, colorful textures and wonderfully rendered explosions. I suppose there is a bit of juxtaposition between the bright graphics and watching your shaved head, rocket slinging character telling the competition that she is going to ‘fucking kill you all’.  The whole aesthetic package feels like that trademark rough attitude combined with brighter colors that we’ve seen from other role based shooters.

Each team in Lawbreakers is comprised of four separate roles, from which teams can mix & match and swap at any point upon death. Unlike a competing game like Overwatch role switching, at least based upon the several hours I have spent with the game, is more about finding roles that you are comfortable with rather than reacting to your opponent’s strategy.  Here is a brief rundown of all four available roles:


Assassins – Agile and able to swing long distances across the map, Assassins are able to deal damage using two sharpened blades and a powerful energy shotgun for up close encounters. The fast paced grappling hook can be used to not only to escape heavy firefights but also to pull yourself toward weakened foes to land the killing blow.

Enforcers – If you’re looking for a run and gun class perhaps you should consider the enforcers. They carry a standard issue assault rifle but for all that they lack in unique or powerful weapons they gain in support abilities. Enforcers are able to speed up time itself around friendly targets, they can also use an electromagnetic charge to disable opponents. An enforcer’s ultimate allow them to unleash a powerful rocket attack.

Titans – Best described as the “tankiest” role that Lawbreakers has to offer the Titans are all about taking as much punishment as possible and dishing out just as much pain in return. They are armed with both a chain lightning gun and a hammerhead rocket launcher to decimate their foes. A Titan’s ultimate unleashes a torrent of built-up electrical energy burning any enemies in their path.

Vanguards – Want to take to the skies? The Vanguard is the class for the aspiring pilots everywhere, with their jetpack allowing them to thrust forward at great speed towards the battle. In terms of armaments the Vanguards use a poweful chaingun as their primary weapon, with a hand-mounted pulse blast as their backup.  A Vanguard’s ultimate allows them to unleash a targeted mid range missile blast which is almost always a one hit kill.



During E3 we played a brand new mode that tasked both teams with capturing control points that would randomly spawn around the map. The team that captured the most points out of a set of best of 3 would win the round, these control points really emphasized the frantic vertical nature of Lawbreaker‘s first person combat.  Another mode, Battery, was available during the Friends and Family alpha that was held over Steam this past weekend. Each of these modes allow players to think strategically and try out their favorite roles in different ways. Folks from Nexxon have assured us that Lawbreakers will not be a free-to-play title and will not be a $59.99 USD release – it will enter Early Access after several more alpha tests over the course of the summer. 


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