Monday, April 12, 2021

Destiny 2: Season 14 Iron Banner Weapons Revealed

Earlier today, we talked about the various nerfs that are being implemented in Destiny 2: Season of the Chosen ahead of season 14 on the horizon. The reason behind the wide swath of nerfs is that the studio is bringing in a ton of new weapons and gear for the upcoming season, and the team is making preemptive changes to ensure that those arrivals fit right in. While we don't know even a small portion of what's on the way, Bungie did reveal the new Season 14 Iron Banner weapons on the way to help ease the blow of the most recent nerfs. Iron Banner is slated to kick off one last time in Season of the Chosen on April 13 at 10 a.m. Pacific until April 20 at the same time. This will be the final Iron Banner before season 14, so get in there if you still need to complete the Iron Sharpens Iron Seasonal Challenge. Saladin also offers weekly bounties that are great for leveling, especially for those trying to get to 1325 for Grandmaster Nightfalls.  Regarding what's next, here's our first look at the new weapons on the way for the upcoming season:  The Hand Cannon and Sniper Rifle, seen above, will be familiar for dedicated Guardians, but there will also be brand new weapons joining as well. "Our goals moving forward are to continue bringing some Year-1 weapons up to speed with random rolls, but also bringing some new rewards into the fold when possible," said Bungie in its most recent update. "This always depends a bit on what resources we have for a given season, but we’re looking forward to a few new Iron Banner-themed tools for your arsenal." There will be new armor in Iron Banner as well, but the studio isn't ready to share that first look quite yet since it won't be ready to debut for a few more seasons.  I'm interested in seeing how the new weapons operate, given the recent meta changes. It's nice to see a blend of returning favorites and new weapons. While I like that Bungie keeps bringing back familiar items, it does get a little exhausting when returning gear takes a priority of brand-new weapons and armor. What do you think about our first look at the new weapons for Destiny 2: Season 14 Iron Banner? Sound off with your hopes and Guardian-driven dreams in the comment section below! 
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    Doomguy And Isabelle Collide In Epic Cosplay Again

    The perfect cosplay doesn't exis... Last year, the Internet fell hard for the most epic friendship ever: Animal Crossing's Isabelle and Doom's Doomguy. The duo is surprisingly wholesome, so much so that even id Software itself lent itself to the joke. Now, one cosplayer is bringing the pair front and center once more, though this time with Isabelle not hanging out with the Doom Slayer. Instead, she's becoming the Doom Slayer. The Isabelle Doomguy cosplay comes courtesy of @Mads_Five on Twitter. The self-proclaimed "space monk" has an impressive cosplay history, but it's her Animal Crossing x Doom crossover nod that really brought the biggest smile to my face:  While the duo isn't "canon," it was a a period on the internet that was drenched in feel-good vibes and adorable artwork. Memes, videos, and fanart ran rampant, showing how Isabelle is the very best helper when it comes to taking to the hoardes of hell alongsider her good pal Doomguy.  I will never stop being impressed by incredible creations like this. Crafting that armor, stylizing the wig down to perfection, the detailed weaponry? All of it takes time, dedication, and passion that results in something truly incredible. As the cosplay community continues to grow and flourish, I can't help but to enjoy every second spent in the rabbit hole of celebrating some of our favorite franchises through fan tributes like this. That, and Doomguy x Isabelle will never cease to be just the cutest thing ever.  Like the cosplayer's work seen above with her cleverly done Isabelle Doomguy? You can support her right here. Feel free to also drop some lovely thoughts on this cosplay in the comment section below! 

    WWE 2K22 Teaser Trailer Promises To ‘Hit Different’

    After a year away, 2K announced it’s stepping back in the wrestling video game arena with the reveal of WWE 2K22. The publisher debuted a brief teaser video during Night 1 of Wrestlemania 37 that doesn’t offer much in terms of in-game footage but serves to get fans excited that the series is making a comeback. Rey Mysterio headlines the trailer in a cinematic match-up against Cesaro. The live-action video incorporates gameplay footage of the same bout, providing glimpses of the superstars’ in-game character models. Unfortunately, outside of the game’s tagline of “It Hits Different”, the trailer doesn’t divulge platforms, a cover star, or a release date.  This marks the return of WWE 2K after it took a year off in 2020. Besides the pandemic complicating game development, the other big reason for the hiatus was that the previous game, WWE 2K20, was an unmitigated disaster. It launched with a myriad of technical issues that made it nigh unplayable at times, and the game’s more outrageous bugs launched a thousand memes that made it the laughing stock of the gaming world. While Visual Concepts went back to the drawing board, Saber Interactive released the arcade-style WWE Battlegrounds last September in place of a 2K game.  As someone who reviewed WWE 2K20 (and hated it), 2K22 has a steep mountain to climb if it wants to right the ship. Glitches are one thing, but the series has long suffered from legacy issues like the sluggish and overly convoluted gameplay and scaled back features. 2K22 needs to do a lot more than not catch fire while playing it; the series needs a fundamental redesign from the ground-up.  The main problem has been that, as an annual series, you can only change so much with such a tight deadline and, in theory, who cares? WWE 2K is the only major wrestling sim in town (at least for now), and fans buy these games in droves no matter what because of that. That doesn’t create much incentive to shake things up, but, to their credit, 2K and Visual Concepts said it's taken 2K20’s reception to heart and promises a substantial overhaul for 2K22. With an extra year of development, not to mention the added horsepower of the new consoles, they're in a better position to do so than ever before. We'll just have to cross our fingers and hope for the best.  Are you excited for WWE 2K22 and what do you hope to see in the game? Let us know in the comments. 

    Meet Dota 2's New Hero: Dawnbreaker

    Have hammer, will smash. That's not the official catchphrase of the new Dota 2 hero but it definitely should be. Meet Dawnbreaker, the latest hero to arrive in the MOBA Dota 2. She comes at the perfect time with the Dota anime making its Netflix debut just last month. A new update has gone live and it's a pretty big one. With Radiant Mid change and various other map tweaks, the new update is more than just the new character, but the new character is arguably the biggest part. Dota 2 new hero: Dawnbreaker Dawnbreaker is a mele-heavy hero that was "molded from the heart of a young metallic star." She's a warrior from the Children of Light and wields a massive hammer like it weighs nothing. Her primary move (Starbreaker) utilizes said hammer by spinning it around in three quick moves. Upon the final spin, she slams the meaty end of the hammer down to deal massive amounts of damage to her foes.  Dawnbreaker shines in the heart of battle, happily crushing enemies with her celestial hammer and using the energy released to heal nearby allies. At one with the mass of her weapon, she revels in hurling her hammer through multiple foes and then converging with it in a blazing wake. Created to rival ancient forces of chaos and darkness by descendants of the first light, Dawnbreaker only taps her true cosmic power to fly to the aid of her teammates — eager to rout her enemies on the battlefield no matter where they may be. Her three other abilities include: Celestial Hammer:  Dawnbreaker hurls her weapon at a target, damaging enemies struck along the way. The hammer pauses briefly at the destination before flying back to her, leaving a blazing trailer that slows enemies.  Luminosity: After three attacks, Dawnbreaker powers up, charging her next attack with a critical hit that heals all allied heroes around her for a portion of the attack damage dealt.  Solar Guardian:  She creates a pulsing effect at a location near an allied hero anywhere on the map, damaging enemies and healing allies with each pulse. After a short duration, she flies to the target location, dealing additional damage and stunning enemies upon landing.  She looks like a pretty killer character and the lore surrounding her origins is nothing short of fascinating. Dota 2 has been getting a lot of love lately, and it's nice to see. Hopefully, the anime also drew new players in to see what all of the fuss is about. There is a reason why the Dota 2 community continues to be strong since the game's launch back in 2013, and now is a perfect opportunity for new players to see exactly what that reason is. General updates According to Valve, here are the general changes you can find with the latest Dota 2 update:  Terrain updated with various changes Added Water Power Rune. Spawns at both Power Rune locations only at minute 2 and 4. Instantly restores 100 health and 80 mana when used. Can be used to fill bottles. Starting at 6 minutes, Power Runes spawn as usual on one side. Added +2 Attributes leveling for up to 7 times (for the 7 empty levels from 1-26), and can be leveled in any order (via clicking on the talent tree circle). They will automatically be leveled if there are no other options available. Level 30 no longer grants all remaining talents. Instead level 27/28/29/30 will grant you the remaining level 10/15/20/25 talents Outposts no longer give XP at the 10/20/30/etc minute mark Outposts now provide XPM while controlled (XP = 2*Minute). No extra XP granted when controlling two outposts, similar to the existing rules. Notes: Compared to the previous version at 10/20/30/40 minutes, total XP given per player changed from 150/500/1050/1800 to 110/420/930/1640. The XP is provided on the minute mark The amount you get for each minute at the start is 2/4/6/8/10/12/14/16/18/20 for minutes 1 through 10 Bounty Runes after the initial set are reduced by 10% Bounty Runes no longer spawn in the river. The amount these runes gave is now provided automatically over time through GPM. Bounty Runes now spawn every 3 minutes in the respective jungle area (total rune count reduced from 4 to 2) Bounty Runes no longer disappear when new ones spawn, they now spawn alongside the previous one if it isn't picked up At minute 0, Bounty Runes spawn in the jungle and at the power rune locations (4 total at the start of the game) Various cast ranges and movement speed talents/items/abilities have been replaced or toned down (these are included in-line with the item and hero sections below) Hero kill assist gold now adjusted based on the relative NW difference between the two teams. For example, if your team is down 5,000 gold and the enemy has 50,000 total net worth, your assist gold will be worth 10% more. Heroes now start the game with 1 TP scroll rather than 3 Heroes now gain 1 TP scroll on death TP Scroll cost increased from 90 to 100 Heroes with 1.0 turn rate now have 0.9 turn rate Heroes with 0.5 turn rate now have 0.6 turn rate Turn rate effect on time to turn improved by 20% Aghanim's Scepter: Roshan drop now requires you to activate it to consume it (has no effect until consumed) Aghanim's Shard: Now drops on the second Roshan kill, and only that one (has same activation mechanics as the Scepter drop) Increase building teleportation range from 575 to 800 (affects TP scrolls and Boots of Travel) Outpost teleport base channel time reduced from 6 to 5 seconds Outpost vision reduced from 700 to 500 Captains Mode initial picking phase changed from 1st-2nd-1st-2nd to 1st-2nd-2nd-1st Hoodwink added to Captains Mode Couriers no longer have vision when inside Roshan's pit Wards can now be denied from full health by any allied player if the ward is placed in a spawn camp box Ancient neutral creeps armor increased by 1 (except for the Ancient Golems) Neutral Items now fly towards the killing hero, rather than spawning under the dead unit Hero ban count for matchmaking increased by 6 (still chance-based) Buyback cost reduced from 200 + NetWorth/12 to 200 + NetWorth/13 Courier respawn time reduced from 60 + 7*Level to 60 + 6*Level Backdoor protection damage reduction increased from 40% to 50% Hero-to-hero item transfer range increased from 150 to 300 Tree respawn interval reduced from 5 to 3 minutes The following abilities no longer destroy trees: Earth Splitter, Mortimer Kisses, Meteor Hammer, Macropyre. Reduced the radius of tree destruction on the following abilities: Wild Axes, Gust, Power Cogs, Vacuum, Fire Remnant, Relocate, Tether, Blinding Light, Skewer, Doppelganger, Telekinesis, Firesnap Cookie, Spit Out, Spider Legs, Blast Off!, Toss, Snowball, Powershot, Will-O-Wisp. Are you excited for the new Dota 2 hero with Dawnbreaker? What do you think about the other changes with the latest game update? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below! You can also find the full patch notes, including item changes, right here. 

    Age Of Empires IV Releases This Fall

    Today, an Age of Empires fan preview event held online showcased new content coming to the entire franchise, but also a significant amount of new information on the upcoming Age of Empires IV. Gameplay was showcased along with a number of other interesting tidbits! Age of Empires IV is slated to arrive sometime in fall 2021.First, one of the most important information points is that Age of Empires IV features asymmetric civilizations. This means that playing as the Delhi Sultanate is going to be much, much different than playing as the Mongols, both in what units you can create and more importantly, how your strategies involving resources, expansion, combat and all other facets play out. While previous Empire games may have hinged mainly on a few special units to create civilization identity, Age of Empire VI is heavily focused on unique gameplay for each faction.  Eight different factions are expected to be available at launch, each playing wildly different from one another. That said, maintaining the “paper-rock-scissors” philosophy for core unit types like pikemen, archers,mounted units, etc was also important, so any civilization can engage with the opponent at this base level, regardless of their overarching philosophies and gameplay mechanics. The Mongols for instance, are nomadic and focused heavily on the stone resource, and are able to move quickly and spread out across an entire map. Mongols can pack up and move their entire base, which makes for massive mobile presence in a game. In stark contrast, a faction like the Delhi Sultanate may be interested in hoarding all the berry bushes because they can do special things with them instead of branching out or hunting at the onset of a game. There are four core resources in Age of Empires IV, but each civilization prioritizes their weights differently. If you’re a real-time-strategy enthusiast, just think about how cool it’s going to be to have eight disparate factions to engage with here. Good luck with the balancing Relic!  Gameplay showcased at the event highlighted the Delhi Sultanate and their powerful War Elephants. Viewers were treated to watching the Elephants stomp over everything with archers firing, spearmen attacking, and more during a slice of action. The combat looks a lot like the Age of Empires that people know from the legacy titles, so fans are probably going to be happy about that. There are four ages to tap into, which should also resonate well with current fans that are used to the structure of Age of Empires II. Players weave their way through Medieval, Feudal, Castle, and Imperial Ages, with all the assorted keeps, castles, trebuchets, and other technology you’d expect. One little change that players will see is that melee units like knights no longer whack on buildings and castles with swords, instead they will switch to torches and other brick-busting fare when they execute attacks on settlements. It’s a simple sort of cosmetic shift, but it makes things look more realistic than having Brave Sir Edward attempt to take down keep walls with a broadsword. Viewers also got to see a chunk of campaign and campaign philosophy for Age of Empires IV. The campaign takes a sort of documentary approach, aiming to convey a somewhat historical tale as the player engages with real-world locations with story and scale. Instead of simply giving the player new units or tools each campaign mission as a sort of filler experience before they get to the meat of multiplayer or custom maps, the campaign tackles things with a history hinge. In the Norman campaign, players are treated to Duke William of Normandy and his mission to take control of England from King Harold. This arc features events such as the Battle of Hastings and charts the Duke’s descendants such as William II and Henry I as the story makes its way toward modern day England over the generations. In addition to the Norman campaign, three other civilizations have the campaign treatment to explore in Age of Empires IV. Age of Empires IV campaigns tap heavily into historical figures to tell its tales. As much as Age of Empires IV is featured, the Age of Empires legacy titles haven’t been ignored either. Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition is getting new campaigns, co-op historical battles, and more later this year. A new civilization, The United States, is coming to Age of Empires III on April 13. Can’t wait for Age of Empires IV to arrive? A closed beta period has been announced, and you can sign up at the official website. Relic is bringing Age of Empires back, and I can’t wait to try out each and every civilization when the game arrives (finally!) this fall. What do you think about Age of Empires IV? Do you still play Age of Empires II? Did you like Age of Empires III? How do you feel about the current state of the real-time strategy genre? Let us know in the comments!

    Here's What's Coming Next For Star Wars Action Figures

    Today's Hasbro Pulse Fan Fest began with the announcement of a new Fortnite action figures line, and concluded with a handful of reveals for Star Wars' Vintage Collection and Black Series lines. Disney Plus' The Mandalorian remains a strong focus for Hasbro, but various video games also grabbed the spotlight for a number of figure reveals.Along with new Vintage Collection figure announcements for Luke Skywalker (Hoth), the Emperor's Royal Guard, Han Solo (Endor), and Admiral Akbar, Hasbro debuted a new subgroup of Gaming Greats. This wave consists of a Heavy Battle Droid from Battlefront II, a Shadow Trooper from The Force Unleashed, and a Scout Trooper and Electrostaff Purge Trooper from Jedi: Fallen Order. All of these figures are currently available for pre-order at GameStop. The Gaming Greats line is exclusive to retailer. For the fan-favorite Black Series, Hasbro unveiled a slate of exciting figures. From the film side, we're getting new figures of Aurra Sing and General Lando Calrissian. From The Mandalorian, the trigger-happy assassin droid ZERO (or Q9-0) is getting a great looking figure, as is Koska Reeves, the Mandalorian in Bo-Katan Kryze's group. And from the animation side of the Star Wars universe, Hasbro is releasing a figure of Tech, one of the main characters from the forthcoming Bad Batch show. The most surprising Star Wars announcements were for two fringe characters that are getting pricey collectibles. You'll soon be able to wear a replica of Wedge Antilles' helmet, which consists of forest green coloring and a similar shape to Luke's traditional X-Wing helmet. This Black Series collectible will release for $99.99 this summer, and features electronic lights and sound effects. Hasbro is also commemorating another X-Wing hero in plastic with a vintage collection two-pack that consists of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story's Antoc Merrick and his light blue X-Wing fighter. This product hits in the fall for $99.99. We didn't get the Boba Fett announcement we were hoping for. Everyone wants a figure of him based on his time in The Mandalorian, but it looks like we'll have to wait a little longer for that one. Here's hoping he comes seated on a particular throne shown in the second season's final episode. What did you think of Hasbro's showing today, not just for Star Wars, but Transformers and Fortnite as well? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below! Disclaimer: GameStop is the parent company of Game Informer

    Mass Effect Legendary Edition Officially Goes Gold

    Good news, Turian lovers and N7 hopefuls alike! Mass Effect Legendary Edition has officially gone gold. The news was confirmed by project director Mac Walters, ensuring that no delays are on the horizon for the Mass Effect trilogy remaster slated for next month. Walters took to his Twitter account with a fitting GIF of Shepard and company partying it down during the Citadel pizza. Pop that dextro-friendly champagne and order that pizza from the Vorcha, because it's time to board the Normandy once more and show the galaxy how it's done:  While the Legendary Edition is a remaster and not a remake, that doesn't mean the small changes can't impact the game in a thoughtful way. Not just visually either. The upcoming remaster includes all of the previous DLC, making it easy for those that may have missed out on the incredible adventures of the Citadel DLC, Shadow Broker, Leviathan, and so many more.  As part of our cover story last month, we dove deep into what the Mass Effect Legendary Edition as to offer players. From Mako tweaks to character improvements, there is a lot to look forward to for returning players. For newcomers to the series, the ability to play the entire trilogy as it is meant to be played (thanks to the included DLC) is great way to jump right into the fray.  To learn more about Mass Effect Legendary Edition, check out our exclusive game hub here. From no multiplayer to lost code that can never be recovered, we asked it all. 

    Dungeons & Dragons Movie Delayed

    The upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie has been delayed, moving to a 2023 launch instead of the projected May 27, 2022 release previously planned. The Dungeons & Dragons movie's new release date following the delay is now set for March 3, 2023, making it the second delay to hit the film since it was first announced. The first delay pushed the movie's release from November 19, 2021, to May 27, 2022, but COVID-related issues and the uncertainty surrounding the film industry's future forced plans to change.  The film was expected to begin filming before Summer this year in Ireland. The confirmation (courtesy of Comicbook's Christian Hoffer) of the movie's delay did not confirm whether or not the production schedule was also pushed back.  Taking point on the upcoming movie is both John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein as the film's directors. We also know that Chris Pine, Regé-Jean Page, and Michelle Rodriguez are all signed on as part of the cast, but further revelations are currently being kept under wraps.  There are also a few other Dungeons & Dragons projects in the works currently with numerous live-action TV takes. No word yet on if this delay will impact those as well, but the possibility is there given that the timing was specifically centered around the movie's release.  With the future still mostly unknown outside of the delay, we are interested in seeing where our readers would like to see the Dungeons & Dragons movie go in terms of its story. We don't really know much of anything about what the story will be, which begs the question: Which characters would you like to see up on the big screen, and who would you like to see take on those roles? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section below, and tell us what you'd like to see out of the latest D&D adaptation!

    Pac-Man 99 Review – AN EXCELLENT Game To Play While Doing ANOTHER THING

    I have played 128 games of Pac-Man 99, but I'm only half certain I know what I'm doing. Lacking any kind of tutorial, Pac-Man 99 leaves players to learn and understand its systems for themselves – making for a frustrating introduction to a visually busy game. However, once I cleared that initial hurdle, I found myself reaching for Pac-Man 99 time and time again – if only because of how unobtrusive it is. Taking cues from Super Mario Bros. 35 and Tetris 99, Pac-Man 99 is a modern twist on the Pac-Man action you've known for four decades: go around a maze picking up small pellets and larger power pellets while avoiding the five ghosts on-screen that can end your run. The twist here, however, is now you're pitted against 98 other online players. Pac-Man 99 is, essentially, a battle royale experience where you compete against the group to be the last player standing. The bulk of the gameplay features Pac-Man’s classic maze-running action, but pick-ups on the left and right side of the maze allow you to gobble ghosts and send attacks at other players, such as ghost Pac-Men that can either slowdown or end a player’s run. By and large, I found this twist on the familiar formula to be a fun challenge – it's satisfying to figure out when to save your attacks before unleashing them on the opposition. However, getting to the point where you actually understand how to play Pac-Man 99 is a whole other story. The game lacks any kind of tutorial, which leaves it up to players to figure out how to actually play the game. If you're willing to bang your head against the first dozen matches or so (a frustrating experience, to say the least), you eventually get the hang of it. But in the early hours, there's so much happening on-screen that Pac-Man 99 seems inscrutable. Early in my playtime, the complete lack of tutorials turned me off. While I've since learned how to enjoy Pac-Man 99, many of its systems remain bewildering. Using the Nintendo Switch's face buttons and right analog stick, you can choose ways to attack other players, with options labeled Stronger, Random, Speed, Knockout, and so on. However, I never fully understood the clear difference between some of those attacks. Pressing and moving the buttons doesn't offer detailed visual feedback, and it’s unclear how my attacks impacted other players. Despite this, I still enjoyed my time with Pac-Man 99. While many of the systems are opaque, through enough trial-and-error, I got good enough to frequently place in the top 25. Unlike many other battle royales, matches of Pac-Man 99 are relatively quick and reloading into a new match is painless, which I also appreciated. On top of the battle royale mode, Pac-Man 99 also has a Score Attack, CPU Battle, and Time Attack single player modes, though by and large I found these unremarkable and not nearly as fun as the base mode. It's also worth pointing out all single player game modes are locked behind a $15 paywall, as is a lot of the cosmetic content, but the battle royale mode is free. If you're itching for more Pac-Man, it's certainly there, but as far as I'm concerned the best this game has to offer is the free mode.  Pac-Man 99 is not a particularly difficult game, but it is engaging, and I found myself wanting to play more and more. However, the electronic music that plays over the menu and during matches is repetitive and annoying (there are maybe two or three songs in the whole thing), so Pac-Man 99 has become my go-to podcast game. Which, if you ask me, is an underrated genre. The other night I sat down and listened to the new episode of Today, Explained by Vox while playing – I recommend it, it's a good one.  To enjoy Pac-Man 99, I had to accept the frustrations that came with learning its systems. While it does an embarrassingly poor job of explaining the hows-and-whys of its mechanics, once you figure them out on your own, it's a good way to fill lulls in your day. Pac-Man 99 has become my go-to when I want to do something else, and I can't think of much higher praise for a game of this caliber. It fills a niche in my life where I can stay occupied with something fun without the need to devote all of my increasingly limited attention to it.

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