Ubisoft announces Watch Dogs: Legion, due March 6, 2020

During its press conference at E3 this year, Ubisoft revealed the next entry in the Watch Dogs series, set to take players to the streets of post-Brexit London, England. The subtle ways corporations and the government controlled the population in the past games have now fully changed into an oppressive regime, if much of the tone in the reveal trailer is to go by. City streets are filled with armed forces and military drones, against whom players would amass a large resistance force from the general population, in the aim to take back freedom.


The recruiting mechanic promises to be a big selling point in Watch Dogs: Legion, as developers state we’d be able to take control of any NPC in the city to offer vast variety in approaching targets. Each will also offer a randomized set of skills and gadgets to give players room for experimentation. This sounds like a tall order on the developers, who appear to strive giving personality to each those random NPCs, and hopefully they can pull it off without much downgrade elsewhere. One would quickly remember the finalized state of the original game, which at E3 showed considerably more potential than what we got in the release’s final form.


Watch Dogs: Legion is currently set to release on March 6th, 2020 – to be available through PC, Xbox One, PS4, and Google’s upcoming game streaming service Stadia. On the initial platform, my bet is it’ll be exclusive to the Epic Store for a period of time, although we’ll see the distribution platforms closer towards release. Ubisoft further revealed a gameplay walkthrough clip, which can be seen below.

Epics snags Metro Exodus from Steam just weeks before the game releases

Since revealing their own storefront in 2018, Epic Games have been busy snagging titles from under Steam’s nose, whether be it smaller indie projects, or the few bigger guns in upcoming releases. One can’t deny Fortnite’s success played a huge role here, giving Epic loads of cash to spend on luring developers away from PC’s biggest distribution platform. It doesn’t even care for the rather simplistic platform it built, which yet lacks cloud saving out of all things that Steam gave us as quality of life improvements. Despite that, developers shift to it without much thought, and one could see the reasons here; Epic takes a 12% cut from publishers, whereas Steam has always remained at consistent 30% demand of revenue.

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Rocket League pioneers full cross-platform play between all gaming systems

In a news announcement made by Psyonix today, Rocket League now includes PlayStation 4 among the list of platforms you can play seamlessly between. Gamers on PSN, Xbox One, Steam and Nintendo Switch can now join in random matchmaking with or against each other, enabling even faster loading times to get into the game. This marks a big achievement for cross-platform play, as Sony is known to tightly safeguard its platform in multiplayer gaming. Enabling Rocket League to be included in the PS Cross-Play Beta program is also a huge step towards integrating seamless multiplayer between various systems, with more games to hopefully follow in the future.

Cross-platform play in Rocket League is available across all online game modes, regardless whether you play casual and competitive. All one has to do is have the feature enabled in Gameplay options tab, but it is usually available by default. Psyonix are also working to integrate cross-platform parties in their first update this year, which will allow players “to partner up with friends on any platform with the push of a few buttons.” Online multiplayer is already quite fast to get into, so now with more players available across the world, it will be an absolute breeze to join online matches across all game modes.

Razer expands its accessory lineup with a new gaming monitor

image credit: Razer

In recent time, it seems like every gaming brand is trying to get the biggest slice of the market by expanding their lineup to include as many and diverse related products as possible. Especially Razer. The brand has grown significantly over the past few years, coming out with their own mobile phone in 2017 (and subsequently the Razer Phone 2 in 2018), a range of accessories to go along with them, and now they announce their first gaming monitor. Razer Raptor is a 27” WQHD screen with 144Hz support and a few neat design tricks, incorporating the brand’s signature black slate look with a Chroma light strip at the bottom. It may just be the most impressive unit on the market, although its eventual release will tell us if it can truly stand apart among the high-end competition.

Apart from RGB lighting that we never needed a monitor to have, the Raptor 27 has some interesting build elements that I’ve yet to see from other similar products. First off are its ultra-thin bezels around the screen, measuring in at just 2.3mm wide to maximize the screen estate. This not only makes the display look fantastic, but also sets the brand apart from majority of its competition. Gaming monitors typically don’t prioritize that feature, so it is nice to see Razer build on that along with exceptionally solid specifications. Second, there is a built-in cable management system along the back, with plenty of space to route all your gaming peripherals if you’re the type to care for exceptionally clean desk space. The presence of an RGB strip doesn’t add much to the design, and frankly, the industry’s need to shove these light strips has gotten out of proportions, but at least the Raptor 27 will match along nicely with all your other Razer accessories.

image credit: Razer

The detailed spec sheet shows some impressive numbers, although has much of the same component structure to high-end gaming screens from the likes of Asus ROG. The panel is a 2560×1440 WQHD IPS display, and Razer claims it has up to 178° wide viewing angles. Of course, the refresh rate here wouldn’t be your typical 60Hz, with Razer aiming for ultra-smooth precision performance with 144Hz enabled through AMD FreeSync. The color range is a “95% DCI-P3, wider than sRGB for cinematic quality” and gets an HDR400 certification. Razer seems to be going full blast here to create what they call an “ultimate esports gaming monitor,” and the Ultra Low Motion Blur technology employed here provides a further 1ms response time. Connecting ports include HDMI 2.0a, USB-C and 2 Type A USB 3.1, so you could even charge your phone from the Type C slot when gaming.

The Razer Raptor 27 is certainly an impressive display on paper, and packs the latest technology to please e-sports gamers who require absolute precision from their screens. Incorporating some interesting design elements such as the cable management system, the Raptor 27 further guarantees a desk free of wire clutter, and adds Razer’s signature Chroma lighting to have more RGB around your setup than you’ll ever possibly need. Launching at $699.99, you’re certainly paying a high premium for a computer screen, but so far, looks like Razer’s entry into the market will be quite worth it.

Sunset Overdrive makes its way to PC after 4 years

 

Developer Insomniac Games surprisingly confirmed release of their wacky open-world shooter Sunset Overdrive in recent few days, and today it releases worldwide on the platform. Available to purchase through Steam and the Microsoft Store, the game includes two DLC packs and retails for $19.99, which is quite a good deal for one of the most underrated open world IPs. If you missed it in 2014, there’s now an opportunity to experience the definitive edition, although details are scarce whether the PC port improves any visual aspects.

Sunset Overdrive failed to receive extensive attention during its release window, overshadowed by some higher profile titles, but critics were generally accepting of the fun experience it provided. Mashing multiple games together, it features a vibrant open world along the lines of Saints Row 4, and especially shines in player movement which resembled Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, as you grind along the metal rails spread throughout the city. The mutant outbreak caused by a certain energy drink is as silly as story premises go, but ties in well with the gameplay activities you’d be doing. With a diverse selection of crazy weapons to top it off, Sunset Overdrive really shines as one of the underlooked gems in open-world gaming.

Insomniac Games also released a trailer to accompany the PC launch of the game, which you can check it out here:

Blizzard announces a mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal

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At BlizzCon 2018, Blizzard unveiled a little surprise for mobile gamers by announcing an online action RPG Diablo Immortal. It’s set in between Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction and the third main title, and will come to both iOS and Android platforms. There’s a trailer to go along with it, and the game’s webpage offers the ability to pre-register already.

Diablo Immortal is being developed from the ground up for mobile devices, and will make the most out of touchscreen controls. We could certainly benefit from another high-profile aRPG on the platform, and the format has shown to integrate well into mobile controls. Players can expect to find a lot of the same features introduced in Diablo 3, including full multiplayer support and co-op quests. Immortal even has a lot of resemblance to the third title’s graphics.

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The game’s trailer showcases some impressive graphics and visual design, and looks almost on par with the bigger Diablo releases. Immortal looks to control smoothly, with an easy touchscreen layout and directional movement. Players will battle hundreds of demons on their adventure, and can choose to do so alone or co-operatively. With six familiar classes to choose from, Diablo fans will have an absolute blast playing this on their mobile devices.

Diablo Immortal is certainly a departure for the series, and an unexpected spin-off, but everything shown in the trailer looks promising, and I can’t wait to be able to check it out. The final release date hasn’t been announced yet, but will likely happen sometime early 2019. For now, there’s cinematic and gameplay trailers to check out:

Gameplay:

 

Cinematic:

Activision is giving away a free copy of Destiny 2 on Battle.net

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Who doesn’t like free stuff? We as gamers especially enjoy getting our hands in various freebies, from small indie titles to large profile games. With free to play events, free trials and giveaways, gamers are spoiled for choice when it comes to trying out new titles, especially when they get to keep the full game. For the next three weeks, if you game on PC, Blizzard are giving away a free copy of Destiny 2 through Battle.net online store.
The giveaway lasts until November 18, and anyone with a battle.net account can grab a full version of the game at no cost. Destiny 2 is offered through gifts, and users will find a new item located in that category, upon which they claim a free copy to own. There are no further conditions required to keep the game, which makes the giveaway pretty sweet.

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Neither Blizzard nor Activision typically give out free games, let alone such a fairly recent release as Destiny 2, but this giveaway commemorates the one year anniversary for the title. Further, it is likely a move to attract a large new base of PC gamers to the title, which isn’t a bad deal to start with. You don’t get a cheap or very old title here, but instead a triple A release from a year back.
Destiny 2 is Bungie’s improved successor to the original IP, and although many have compared the two upon release, it brings a lot of new elements to elevate the shoot and loot FPS. As a first release on the PC platform, it is a very competent port and looks spectacular on high end hardware. Whether you like its gameplay style and long term progression, this is a deal that’s hard to pass buy. For a game that still retails for $80 CAD, this is an incredible giveaway and you should head over to Battle.net to grab a copy of Destiny 2 at no cost.

Update: giveaway ended Nov 18