Saturday, December 4, 2021

Quake Receives A Fresh Update With Machine Games Providing A New Horde Mode

Quake, which was re-released for modern consoles and PC back in August, is receiving even more love from the devs at Bethesda and Wolfenstein developer Machine Games with a new mode and content added with Update 2. Out today on all platforms, Update 2 brings a host of big fixes, but most importantly, an entirely new Horde Mode. Developed by the team at Machine Games, Quakes Horde Mode pits teams of 1-4 local or online players (or bots!) against swarms of AI enemies on four brand new horde maps. Every third wave of baddies will include a boss which coughs up a silver key which can be cashed in to collect more weapons and items, bolstering your arsenal for further battles. Click here to watch embedded media Also included in Update 2 is an add-on called Honey where you'll "delve deep into the darkness to conquer a deadly plague infecting the land." It's a new Quake experience authored by senior level designer Christian Grawer from Machine Games. Quake is making its Epic Games Store debut today, as well. Pick it up there if EGS is your PC game launcher of choice. You can find the full contents of Update 2 here.  Are you going to squad up with friends and take on rounds of devious Quake hordes? Let us know in the comments!

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    UPDATE: Raven Software Lays Off Members Of Its QA Team

    Update 12/03/21 7:19 p.m. Central time: A new report from The Washington Post further details today's layoffs at Raven Software. According to the outlet, "at least a dozen" contractors on Raven's QA team have been let go. As the outlet points out, that's about one-third of the QA department's overall testers. More contractors are expected to be told between today, December 3, and next Wednesday, December 8, if they're being promoted or laid-off, Washington Post writes.  According to the report, Activision-Blizzard has ended its staffing partnership with the company Tapfin. It will be expanding its partnership instead with the company Volt. Contractors not affected by today's layoffs will now be Volt employees. They will also receive a $1.50 raise, bringing their hourly total up to $18.50 per hour, and increased bonuses and benefits, employees told Washington Post.  Employees affected by layoffs will have their contracts ended on January 28, though according to the outlet's report, people are allowed to leave the company earlier if they so choose. Some have already chosen to do just that, the outlet says.  Read The Washington Post's full report at the link.  Original story: Raven Software, one of the primary development studios behind Activision's annual Call of Duty series, has laid off a number of people within its QA department – some of which recently relocated to Madison, Wisconsin, where the company is based.  News of the story first broke on Twitter, where Raven team members began posting about the layoffs, criticizing the company's decision, and asking people to reach out with any potential work for those affected. As of this writing, it's unclear how many people were laid off.  "Our QA team does incredible work but this will not only increase their workload but crush morale," one Raven employee said on Twitter. In a separate tweet, they said the layoffs occurred today after people "were promised, for months, that Activision was working towards a pay restructure to increase their wages." "This is sickening," another employee posted to Twitter. "I've watched my colleagues one by one say they're being let go after being promised that things would be better. The devs being fired are star workers and amazing people, let go just to save a couple bucks on everyone else's promotion. #FireBobbyKotick instead," they said, referencing the ongoing issues surrounding Activision CEO Bobby Kotick, who it was recently reported had known for years, as well as neglected to inform its board of directors, about the company's issues with sexual misconduct.  According to Raven employees, some of the members of Raven's QA department affected by today's layoffs had recently moved to Madison, Wisconsin, for their positions. One employee says some people had paid for the move "out of their own pockets." According to employees and further reported by The Washington Post's Shannon Liao, the final day for employees terminated will be January 28, 2022.  "We're all reeling from this," one employee said. "Lot of tears. Lots of people terrified for their future. Lot of amazing, highly competent testers getting laid off after YEARS of crunch after crunch after crunch. I'm as furious as I am shattered." This story is still developing. Game Informer has reached out to Activision for comment and will update the story should we hear back.  If anyone affected by today’s layoffs would like to speak with Game Informer, the writer of this piece can be reached via email: [email protected] Hester is also available via Signal. Direct Message him on Twitter for his Signal number. GI can guarantee anonymity to anyone requesting.

    Wizards Of The Coast Introduces Alchemy, A New Digital Exclusive Magic: The Gathering Format

    After playing around with cards and mechanics exclusive to Magic: The Gathering Arena, Wizards of the Coast is expanding into supporting a new digital-only format called Alchemy. This new format and everything that comes with it will launch on December 9.  Alchemy is built on the Standard format and its yearly rotation of sets. That means when the time comes for a year's worth of cards to drop out of Standard, they will lose legality in Alchemy as well. However, a pool of new, Arena exclusive cards will be added a few weeks after each Standard-legal set launches, meaning we'll see new batches of digital cards every few months. Players will find these via Alchemy booster packs or by cashing in wildcards like any other card in Arena. Our first Alchemy infusion will play off of the most recent pair of Innistrad sets and is called Alchemy: Innistrad, bringing 63 cards into the client. Most if not all of the cards will feature rules and mechanics that are more at home in a virtual card duel than at the kitchen table.  Jumpstart: Historic Horizons introduced Arena players to mechanics like Perpetual, Seek, and creating non-token spells out of thin air; rules that make permanent changes to cards, find cards in your library without the need to shuffle afterward or go around the deckbuilding considerations of the game. Alchemy will be playing in this space yet again. You'll see creatures that will affect cards drawn on the turn to reduce or increase a spell's cost, or ones that may care about who took the first turn in the game. A new rules text word called "draft" will work a lot like Hearthstone's Discover, allowing a player the choice of adding one of three cards (chosen randomly from a larger pool) to their hand.   The second huge change for Alchemy is the addition of rebalanced cards with different text or mana costs from the originally-printed Standard card. This concept was tested during a very quick Mirror, Mirror event over the summer. For example, the green artifact Esika's Chariot, which has been a strong force in Standard for months, will now have a lower Crew cost but will enter the battlefield creating one 2/2 cat token instead of two. Because Wizards now has the option to rebalance problem cards, there will technically be no bannings in the Alchemy format. Instead, cards will be tweaked to an appropriate power level. Omnath, Locus of Creation will now be one mana more expensive to cast, and its abilities have been toned down slightly.  Rebalanced cards will exist separate from the original printings and will feature an Arena "A" at the bottom of the card and next to the spell's name at the top. This powershifting of cards won't just be a tool to bring down a strong effect but is being used to make cards better as well. Cosmos Elixer, seen below, now adds a Scry 1 effect to its life gain trigger. Cards introduced through Alchemy and rebalanced cards will be making their way to Historic and Historic Brawl legality, making these formats still the place to play all of your digital collection from throughout the last few years. The new alternate Standard, Alchemy, and Alchemy: Innistrad will hit MTG Arena on December 9.

    Halo Infinite: 343 Industries Is Working To Add Fiesta, SWAT, And Free-For-All Playlists Before End Of Year

    343 Industries is preparing for the launch of the Halo Infinite campaign next week, but it’s also kept multiplayer feedback and improvements as one of its top priorities.  The team recently updated its multiplayer progression system to give players increased XP for the first six matches of any given day in response to calls from the community for battle pass progression to be sped up. Another popular ask from the community involves playlists, or specifically, the lack of dedicated free-for-all and SWAT playlists, amongst others such as a Slayer playlist.  Click here to watch embedded media Halo community manager John Junyszek released an update on Twitter today in regards to playlists, and he said some highly-requested ones are on the way.  “We’ve been reading your feedback, and we’re working on plans to add Fiesta, Tactical Slayer (SWAT), and Free-For-All playlists as we speak,” Junyszek said on Twitter. “They won’t land by Dec 8, but the team is pushing to get them in before the end of the year.”  Junyszek continued and said that 343’s goal for events, such as the recent samurai-themed Fracture: Tenrai event, is to try new modes prior to adding to playlists. This seems to be the case with Halo Infinite’s Fiesta playlist, which debuted during the Fracture: Tenrai event. Junyszek said the team will be monitoring the community’s feedback after creating a Fiesta, Tactical Slayer, and Free-For-All playlist later this month.  A Social Slayer playlist (with multiple variations) is also in the works (we see this request the most), but we won't be able to get that one ready until after the holidays. We hope you can understand and enjoy the ones that make it in before the team takes a well-deserved break! — John Junyszek (@Unyshek) December 3, 2021 He also said that a Social Slayer playlist, which will feature multiple variations of Halo’s classic deathmatch mode, is also in the works, but that such a playlist won’t be ready until after the holidays.  “We hope you can understand and enjoy the ones that make it in before the team takes a well-deserved break,” Junyszek said.  For more about Halo Infinite, read about how Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers will receive monthly multiplayer bonuses starting next week, and then check out this exclusive side-by-side video showcasing the infamous 2020 Halo Infinite campaign demo alongside what it looks like today.  Are you excited about these new playlists? Let us know in the comments below!

    Nobody Saves The World, Drinkbox’s Upcoming Action RPG, To Get Demo Next Week

    Drinkbox Studios has revealed that it is releasing a demo for its upcoming action RPG, Nobody Saves The World, next week.  More specifically, the demo will hit Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, and Steam on December 7 as part of The Game Awards Festival. Like many of the demos playable in previous Game Awards festivals, this Nobody Saves The World sneak peek will only be available for a limited time.  Click image thumbnails to view larger version                                                                                                               “This demo will allow players to experience the opening hours of the game, giving them a preview of the silly and creative form changing action the game is all about,” a press release about the demo reads. “Players will also be able to play the demo with a friend, as the demo will support online co-op within the same platform ecosystem.”  The press release also teases a sooner-rather-than-later release date for Nobody Saves The World, although an exact date is not given. Drinkbox says the game will be out “VERY early in 2022” on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, Steam, and Xbox’s cloud gaming platform. It will also hit Xbox Game Pass.  In Nobody Saves The World, you will control a “featureless nobody” that can transform into a slug, a ghost, a dragon, and more in this game from the creators of Guacamelee.  “Complete quests to discover and swap between 15+ varied and distinct Forms,” the press release reads. “Mix and match abilities in unexpected ways to unlock and complete even more challenging quests. Explore a vast overworld – on your own or with a friend online – while clearing shape-shifting dungeons in an effort to stop The Calamity and save the world.” Nobody Saves The World was announced back in March, and it quickly gained traction as yet another exciting indie from Drinkbox Studios. We learned back in August that it’s launching in early 2022 – now we know it’s launching in very early 2022 – and it features support for online co-op. For more, watch this New Gameplay Today about Nobody Saves The World.  Are you excited for Nobody Saves The World? Let us know in the comments below!

    The eShop Gems Of The Year: 2021 Edition | All Things Nintendo

    As we approach the end of 2021, every podcast and major outlet is starting to reflect on the best the year had to offer. This week, Brian invites Game Informer associate editor Jill Grodt to talk about the best indie games that came to Switch over the course of 2021. The pair runs down a ton of indie games you can find on the eShop, giving you a wide variety of titles to help you potentially find something new that you might have missed earlier in the year. If you'd like to follow the people from this episode on Twitter, hit the following links: Brian Shea (@brianpshea), Jill Grodt (@Finruin) The All Things Nintendo podcast is a weekly show where we can celebrate, discuss, and break down all the latest games, news, and announcements from the industry's most recognizable name. Each week, Brian is joined by different guests to talk about what's happening in the world of Nintendo. Along the way, they'll share personal stories, uncover hidden gems in the eShop, and even look back on the classics we all grew up with. A new episode hits every Friday! Be sure to subscribe to All Things Nintendo on your favorite podcast platform. The show is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts. 00:00:00 – Introduction 00:01:36 – First Nintendo Game/Favorite Nintendo Game 00:06:53 – Why Are Indie Games Rarely "Favorite Games of All Time"? 00:15:02 – Jill Grodt's "Fall for Indies" Column 00:18:43 – The eShop Gems of the Year 00:20:22 – Blue Fire 00:21:58 – Unpacking 00:26:48 – Death's Door 00:29:40 – Unsighted 00:31:50 – Toem 00:36:07 – Lost in Random 00:41:14 – Dodgeball Academia 00:43:31 – Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion 00:45:43 – The Forgotten City 00:50:10 – The Binding of Isaac: Repentance 00:53:29 – Hoa 00:56:31 – Griftlands 00:57:55 – Dreamscaper 01:01:57 – Eastward 01:04:11 – Ender Lilies: Quietus of the Knights 01:05:28 – Loop Hero 01:09:18 – Tails of Iron 01:11:06 – Olija 01:12:31 – Wytchwood 01:18:12 – Definitive Ranking: Upcoming Indie Games If you'd like to get in touch with the All Things Nintendo podcast, you can do so by emailing [email protected], tweeting to Brian (@BrianPShea), or by joining the official Game Informer Discord server. You can do that by linking your Discord account to your Twitch account and subscribing to the Game Informer Twitch channel. From there, find the All Things Nintendo channel under "Community Spaces." For more Game Informer podcasts, be sure to check out The Game Informer Show, which covers the weekly happenings of the video game industry, and Video Gameography with host Ben Reeves, which explores the history of video games – one series at a time!

    Replay – Happy's Humble Burger Farm

    Okay, things are going to get weird today folks. Get ready to join the replay team as they take on… The Barnyard Buds. What? Yeah, we don’t know either, but we’re going in! Get ready for thrills, chills, and all the best banter you can shake a burger at when we take over running the Happy Humble Burger Farm for a night of beef patties and tasty lettuce. We might get scared. Really scared. The Replay Crew loves to check out some unusual titles as we head into the holiday season, and what better what to celebrate the joyous spirit than with some incredibly disturbing restaurant horror with barn animals?  Click here to watch embedded media You’re right, there’s no better way. Should the animal antics prove too disturbing, there’s a chance we’ll roulette out to something else, too! You’ll have to come join us live for all the action only on the Game Informer Twitch channel, where you can subscribe for exclusive access to the game informer Discord! Moo!

    The Best Halo Infinite Multiplayer Tips I've Learned From Watching TikTok

    I’ve played a lot of Halo Infinite since its free-to-play multiplayer suite launched during the Xbox 20th Anniversary Celebration last week. Coincidentally, I’ve also watched way too much TikTok since then. It’s a real problem I’m dealing with right now. In-between the cooking tutorials and cursed comedy sketches populating my For You page, I’ve stumbled upon several Halo Infinite multiplayer tips that positively affected my knowledge and skill. In the spirit of Thanksgiving – and being the generous person I am – I’d like to give back to the gaming community by sharing a curated list of the best videos I’ve watched while doom-scrolling this hellscape of a social media app.  Win Stockpile Matches Quickly With The Razorback: Stockpile is an objective-focused mode introduced in Halo Infinite that requires each team to fight for a limited quantity of Power Seeds that they must install in their base generator. This Big Team Battle mode is hectic, but a little team cooperation goes a long way. My friends and I typically form an assembly line of sorts by throwing the contested deliverables across the map to each other in a chaotic-but-humorous fashion. However, TikTok user lord_shacks spotlights a much better strategy that employs the warthog’s turretless cousin, the Razorback. @lord_shacks Loving this game, hope everyone else is too! #Halo #HaloInfinite #Tip ♬ original sound - kiegan 🙂 Change The Default Enemy Outline Color: There are several options hidden within the depths of Infinite’s numerous menus that can give you a competitive advantage. The first piece of UI-related advice you should follow is to change the default outline color of enemy players. Pick a bright color like yellow to better contrast the game’s industrial color palette. Thanks for the great tip, hyrockr.  @hyrockr Pro Tips for Halo Infinite #halo #infinite #xbox #gaming #twitch ♬ Hung Up (SDP Extended Vocal) [Edit] - Madonna Double Jump With The Repulsor (You’re Using It Wrong):  This one is an Alex Van Aken original. After a few games experimenting with the Repulsor, an overlooked gadget in Halo Infinite, I’ve learned to use it to double-jump to previously out-of-reach platforms. This trick is especially beneficial when playing modes like Capture The Flag and Oddball on vertical maps like Aquarius and Bazaar. Don’t forget me when you see pros use this strategy in the Halo Championship Series.  @itsvanaken Halo Infinite Tip: Double Jump with the Repulsor #halo #haloinfinite #xbox ♬ Lazy Sunday - Official Sound Studio You Can Fire The Cindershot Around Corners: Insert your best “curve the bullet” joke here. Shout-out to wisespade7 for the spicy tip. @wisespade7 #wisespade7 #halo #haloinfinite ♬ Lofi Jazz Hip Hop Chill Instrumental Background Music Christmas - Lesfm Use The Grappleshot to Hijack Wasps and Banshees:  The Grappleshot has been stealing headlines surrounding Halo Infinite, and rightfully so. It's enjoyable to wield the traversal-focused gadget since you can use it to swing above enemies, steal power weapons as they spawn, and even latch onto other Spartans to execute stylish melee kills. One of my favorite ways to use the Grappleshot is to hijack oncoming vehicles; however, I’ve failed to perform as excellent a move as my friend MrBadBit does in this video. @mrbadbit Being able to Grapple-jack Airships will forever be the best feeling in a game. #fyp #haloinfinite #Halo #haloinfinitemultiplayer #xbox #xboxseriesx ♬ original sound - MrBadBit Shoot Grenade Stations For A Sneaky Detonation: If you’ve played Halo Infinite for any number of minutes, then you’ll know that players are constantly lobbing grenades across the map. While overwhelming an enemy Spartan with explosives is usually an acceptable way to get a kill, sometimes there’s an even better approach. You can find grenade stations scattered throughout each arena in Infinite, and you can shoot them for a cheeky remote detonation. 343 Industries created a Mythic-tier medal for pulling this stunt off, too.  Fine, I didn’t learn this tip from Tiktok. But I think my friend Jesse did, and he told me about it, so it counts. FYI you can shoot grenade stations to trigger a remote detonation in Halo 💣 — Alex Van Aken (@itsVanAken) November 22, 2021 Offset Your Weapons For Screen Real Estate: Rounding out our list is one more UI-related setting you should tweak. TikTok user tazamlive discovered a way to move weapons to the corner of the screen by adjusting a slider called Weapon Offset. Thank God we can finally see what’s in front of us when using the M41 SPNKR rocket launcher.  @tazamlive Will start uploading more helpful Tips for halo infinite! #halomultiplayer #haloinfinitetips #helpful #foryoupage #fyp ♬ original sound - dave_FS20 I hope this finely-curated list of Halo Infinite multiplayer tips will serve you well in future matches. Stay tuned to our exclusive coverage hub if you’re looking for more information ahead of the game’s official launch. If you found one of these TikToks particularly helpful, be sure to follow the creator. Oh, and be sure to leave a comment below, letting me know what you think about this innovative video game guide!

    PlayStation Working On Xbox Game Pass Competitor With Three Tiers Of Service, New Report Reveals

    Sony is reportedly working on an Xbox Game Pass competitor that will include three tiers of service and essentially see PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now merge.  This news comes by way of a new Bloomberg report that says the service will be subscription-based, much like Sony's current Plus and Now offerings and of course, Xbox Game Pass. The service, currently code-named Spartacus, will let PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4 owners pay a monthly fee for access to a catalog of both modern and classic games.  Click here to watch embedded media The subscription will be spread across three different tiers and Bloomberg’s report says the first (and cheapest) tier will basically be what players get with PlayStation Plus at the moment. The second tier will open players up to a larger library of PlayStation 4 games and eventually PlayStation 5 games. The third tier would include the services of the first two tiers and access to “extended game demos, game streaming, and a library of classic PS1, PS2, PS3, and PSP games,” Bloomberg writes.  Bloomberg’s report points towards Spartacus releasing in Spring, which is also when PlayStation Plus and Now will be merged. Sony reportedly plans to keep Plus’ branding around after the new service is out, but Now will be phased out. One important thing to note is that Bloomberg says the documentation it reviewed revealed that details on the service have yet to be finalized so there’s a chance things could change between now and its supposed Spring release.  While waiting to learn more about Spartacus, be sure to check out the December PlayStation Plus lineup.  [Source: Bloomberg] Do you think this Spartacus service sounds like a true competitor to Xbox Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below!

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