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Updated: 46 min 1 sec ago

Sea of Thieves adds firebombs, flammable ships, and a ghostly Tall Tale

6 hours 1 min ago

Sea of Thieves might have had a relatively low-key few months in recent times, but Rare is pulling out all the stops in the multiplayer pirate adventure's latest update. Known as The Seabound Soul, it introduces a brand-new story mission, a series of slightly bamboozling limited-time voyages, fire and flammable ships, plus a whole lot more.

Personally, I'm most excited about Sea of Thieves' brand-new Tall Tale - the first new story mission to be introduced to the game since the Anniversary Update's sweeping Shores of Gold campaign in April. Rare's inaugural attempt at incorporating story into Sea of Thieves was an absolute delight, slickly presented, mechanically diverse, and full of genuinely memorable, swashbuckling story beats, so I've been eager for more.

The Seabound Soul might only be one mission but if its tale of legendary pirate Sir Arthur Pendragon, captain of the infamous Blackwyche, comes even close to capturing the highs of its predecessors, it'll be a real treat. Oh, and it's probably worth mentioning that it's started by visiting the derelict galleon on Shipwreck Bay.

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Categories: Video Games

There's a Divinity: Original Sin board game in the works

Thu, 21/11/2019 - 00:38

Larian Studios' acclaimed RPG Divinity: Original Sin is getting the board game treatment, and the project is doing the old Kickstarter dance right now.

Divinity: Original Sin - The Board Game, as it shall be known, is the work of Lynnvander Studios, a team whose portfolio predominantly features licensed titles including board game adaptation of Cowboy Bebop, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dragon Ball Z, and more.

Lynnvander's Divinity: Original Sin is described as a branching, narrative adventure for up to four players, "filled with tactical combat and meaningful choices". It's set in the world of Rivellon and, despite lacking the number at the end of its title, is specifically based on Divinity: Original Sin 2, albeit with new stories, side quests, skills, items, and monsters.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo details free-to-play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp's two new subscription plans

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 22:28

It might look adorably wholesome, but Nintendo's free-to-play mobile offering Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp is home to some of the company's most egregious monetisation practices. Not content with its current level of nickel-and-diming, however, Nintendo has now fully revealed two new optional subscription plans launching for the game today.

The first of these, called the Cookie and Depot Plan, grants subscribers five free fortune cookies a month. Cookies, if you're unfamiliar, are essentially Pocket Camp's take on loot boxes, each costing around £3 and rewarding a single random piece of themed furniture or clothing - although, inevitably, duplicates are possible and drop rates for rarer items are extremely low. Nintendo says the plan will feature cookies from select older sets no longer in circulation.

Additionally, those running out of in-game storage space for accrued items are also being firmly nudged in the direction of the Cookie and Depot Plan. The subscription, which costs $7.99 USD (around £6) a month, will provide an expanded inventory too. Here's a video in which Nintendo tries to wrap its latest mobile monetisation gambits up in a cute bow:

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Categories: Video Games

Borderlands 3's first campaign DLC is Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 19:57

Borderlands 3's first campaign-based paid DLC has been revealed. It's called Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot, and it's coming to PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on 19th December.

Moxxi's Heist of the Handsome Jackpot, as you might well assume, focusses its narrative eye on Moxxi, the fancy-hatted ringmaster of Borderlands' Underdome.

This time around, she's assembling a crew to plunder the derelict space station casino of the title - one "packed with unique zones worthy of Handsome Jack's lavish lifestyle and dirty dealings" but now on full lockdown following his untimely demise.

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Categories: Video Games

FIFA 20 gets South America's Copa Libertadores exclusively in March 2020

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 18:56

FIFA 20 will get the Copa Libertadores tournament exclusively in March 2020, EA Sports has announced.

South America's biggest club tournament hits the game as part of a free update that also includes the Sudamericana and Recopa. The update is for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game. EA's note to press does not mention the Switch version, which will come as no surprise to FIFA fans who play on Nintendo's console.

The update adds a host of new clubs from Uruguay, Perú, Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and more, such as River Plate, Boca Juniors, Flamengo, Corinthians, Racing, Indepentiente U. Católica and Colo-Colo.

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Categories: Video Games

Lidl is already winning Black Friday with this Xbox One S deal

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 18:00

Where will you be looking for an Xbox One on Black Friday? GAME? Amazon? Argos? Wrong! Get out of the house and get yourself to Lidl.

Lidl's latest deals brochure is out in the wild and eagle-eyed shoppers have spotted that the low-cost retailer will be selling an Xbox One S All-Digital Edition for only £129 on Black Friday. That's a huge £70 off the recommended price of the console, which comes bundled with copies of Minecraft, Sea of Thieves and Forza Horizon 3.

Now, the very important thing to keep in mind with this version of the Xbox One S is that it doesn't feature a disc drive. You'll have to get digital versions of all games. However, pair this up with an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription and you'll be laughing.

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Categories: Video Games

Rejoice! The world's biggest car company is coming back to Forza

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 17:36

You might have thought that the announcement of a new Half-Life would be the week's biggest gaming news, but you'd be wrong because - hallelujah! - Toyota is coming back to Forza.

Okay, maybe you're not as excited as someone who loves Akio Toyoda and his beautiful machines as much as me, and someone who's the proud owner of a mk3 Supra (two owners since new, a mere 180k on the clock), but still - having the world's biggest car company back in one of the very best driving games is something worth celebrating.

The licence has in recent years been in a strange stasis with only Gran Turismo prominently featuring the brand - while all sorts of odd statements emerged from Toyota regarding its approach to video game licensing. Eurogamer spoke to Playground Games' Ralph Fulton late last year about what exactly was going on with the deal.

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo Labo Kits on Switch drop to £30 ahead of Black Friday

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 14:26

Update: Sadly, ShopTo has now increased the price of the Variety Kit up to £40 instead. The next best price is £34.79 at Amazon. Still better than the recommended price, but not as good a deal as it was a few hours ago. We'll keep an eye on these to see if they're reduced again any time soon.

Original story: If you missed the cardboard craze last year, now's a pretty good time to jump in with Nintendo Labo, as both the Variety Kit and the Robot Kit have been heavily discounted over on ShopTo in the lead-up to Black Friday.

Either would undoubtedly have your child beaming on Christmas morning; plus they would leave less of a dent in your current account at their current price. The Nintendo Labo Variety Kit and the Nintendo Labo Robot Kit are available at £29.85 each, which is a saving of approximately £70 if you pick up both.

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Categories: Video Games

Dicebreaker Recommends: Cube Quest, a board game that lets you conquer a kingdom with a single finger

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 14:00

Cube Quest: Clash for the Crown is chess as snooker. Armed with a handful of plastic cubes and your most accurate digit - you can take your pick as to index or middle - you and another player take it in turns to flick cubes across the game's board to push each other's king cube off the neoprene mat. The first to do so wins.

It's not just about the flicking, mind. There's also a dash of strategy in the mix. You have two different types of units: a dozen orc-like grunts and four armoured strikers. (Variant rules introduce more complex units like healers.) The difference between the two - other than their appearance - comes into play once they cross into enemy territory. Any cube that successfully lands on the opposite half of the board with a picture of its unit face-up is safe and stays where it is. Any cube that lands with a silhouette showing, however, is captured by the enemy and must be rolled like a die. A face returns it to your own castle ready to be propelled back into the fray, while a silhouette sees it removed from the game for good.

This means that playing it safe and trying to tactically slide your cubes into battle like particularly awkward curling stones can be just as viable as going for broke with full-force shots aimed at smashing through your opponent's defences and scattering their cubes across the table - your own fingertip accuracy permitting, of course.

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Categories: Video Games

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order players are leaping into a game-breaking bug

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:52

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is all about Metroidvania-style levels and unlocking new paths after acquiring abilities - but what happens when the player accidentally leapfrogs this process, and there's no backup save option or fast travel?

Nothing good, apparently, as a number of players have become so stuck on Dathomir they've been forced to restart their entire game.

As experienced by Kotaku's Kirk Hamilton and others (seemingly across all platforms), while you're not supposed to jump the bridge gap on Dathomir until late game, it's actually possible to do so before acquiring the double jump ability. Players who tested the limits (and succeeded) have found themselves stuck between a rock and a hard place: unable to progress further through Dathomir, where locked Force abilities are required, and unable to return across the gap without double jump.

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Categories: Video Games

Fortnite Chapter 2's first season extended until February

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:22

The first season in Fortnite's Chapter 2 relaunch will now be its longest yet.

Epic has confirmed an extension for the current season - Chapter 2 Season 1 - until February 2020.

It means there won't be a big season change before the game's expected Christmas events, although in a blog post today Epic promised plenty to keep players busy.

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Categories: Video Games

Shenmue 3 review - a faithful follow-up to an all-time classic

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 13:00

Against all odds, here it is. 18 years on from the last episode, and well after most had given up hope that Ryo Hazuki would ever find his way out of the Guilin cave where Shenmue 2 so abruptly ended, perhaps the most remarkable thing about Shenmue 3 is that it exists at all. Even more remarkable, then, that director Yu Suzuki - himself an absentee from the frontlines of games development for almost two decades - has delivered a worthy successor to what many consider an all-time great. Shenmue 3 takes the template of those age-old Dreamcast games and refines it in small, numerous ways - delivering a game that's both faithful and finessed.

What this is not, though, is a reimagining. This isn't the game to make a Shenmue devotee of the doubtful, and the curious circumstances behind Shenmue 3's development have made for a curious game; completely ignorant of modern trends in open world gaming, or indeed trends of the last 20 years, it's as if it has been developed in a sealed bubble, emerging as a relic of the past. It is archaic and arcane, as its predecessors often were, though it now no longer has the allure of being at the vanguard of video games. From being one of the medium's most expensive productions, Shenmue 3 is explicitly double-A; it's a straight-to-DVD follow-up to an old blockbuster.

Yet it still has that cinematic sweep, and manages to stay true to the aesthetic and ambience of the originals. Shenmue was one of the original open worlds, and you may well point to other open world games that came in its wake that have evolved almost beyond recognition since back then; Grand Theft Auto, which had its first 3D outing a month after the launch of Shenmue 2, or even Yakuza, the series formed from Shenmue's ashes. Shenmue exists in its own bubble, though. It always was, and always will be, its own thing; a softer, more stately thing that moves with the urgency of a 70s wuxia film and cares not for more modern action flourishes.

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Categories: Video Games

Infinity Ward nerfs Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's dreaded sniper shotgun again

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:38

Anyone who's playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's competitive multiplayer portion will know about the dreaded 725.

This shotgun has plagued multiplayer since Infinity Ward's first-person shooter launched. The issue: with the right attachments, it's a sniper shotgun.

Infinity Ward has so far struggled to get the balance right with the 725, issuing multiple nerfs that have, at times, had unintended effects. A nerf on 11th November actually ended up buffing the shotgun, and it continues to dominate certain maps.

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Categories: Video Games

Terrifying Alien: Isolation mod puts far too many Xenomorphs in one level

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 12:36

As if Alien: Isolation isn't scary enough, modder Matt Filer has gone out of his way to make it even more terrifying by importing multiple Xenomorphs into certain levels of the game.

Appropriately named Aliens: Isolation, Filer uploaded a video of the mod showing eight xenomorphs pacing around a tight corridor, before eventually one of them spots him and - well, you can guess what happens next.

For most people, one Xenomorph is too many Xenomorphs, yet Filer says there are some players who still wanted more of a challenge, so this mod is for them.

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Categories: Video Games

Someone should make a game about: Light switches

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 10:00

Hello, and welcome to our series which picks out interesting things that we'd love someone to make a game about.

This isn't a chance for us to pretend we're game designers, more an opportunity to celebrate the range of subjects games can tackle and the sorts of things that seem filled with glorious gamey promise.

Check out our 'Someone should make a game about' archive for all our pieces so far.

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Categories: Video Games

Rust is getting 10 new playable instruments in its wholesome first "premium" DLC

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 01:47

If you're like me, then you'll firmly believe that all games could be vastly improved with the addition of a melodious hooter that you can blast a proper tune out of when spirits are low. And developer Facepunch Studios is clearly on the same page because it's just announced that Rust's first "premium" DLC will add a whole new range of musical instruments.

Rust already has one playable instrument in the form of the acoustic guitar, but the brutal multiplayer survival game's entirely wholesome new paid DLC will introduce an additional 10 - something that fans seem to have been genuinely clamouring for.

In total, Rust's instrument pack will usher in the wheelbarrow piano, junkyard drum kit, the shovel bass, the xylobones, the sousaphone, cowbell, canbourine, jerry can guitar, pan flute, and, finally, the plumber's trumpet. Which is not the delightful euphemism it might initially seem to be. Pictures of each and every one can be found in the official announcement post.

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Categories: Video Games

Here's what you'll need to turn your Oculus Quest into a PC VR headset

Wed, 20/11/2019 - 01:11

Back in September, Facebook announced that it would soon be launching Oculus Link, a new cable-software combo enabling owners of its self-contained, tether-free Oculus Quest headset to enjoy the benefits of PC VR, and the expansive Rift software library. Oculus Link has now entered beta and, to accompany its arrival, Facebook has detailed exactly what interested parties will need to take advantage of the feature.

Assuming you've already got an Oculus Quest (which is somewhat critical for everything else to function), the first thing you'll need to ensure is that your PC meets the minimum specifications for the Oculus Link beta - which, it's worth noting, are a little different to those of the Rift.

You'll need Windows 10, at least 8GB of RAM, an Intel Core i5-4590/AMD Ryzen 5 1500X processor or higher, and one available USB 3.0 port. The real sticking point, however, will likely be your graphics card, with the Oculus Link beta only supporting a very limited number.

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Categories: Video Games

How does Halo Reach on PC improve over Xbox 360?

Tue, 19/11/2019 - 23:24

It's been a long wait but Halo: The Master Chief Collection is finally coming to PC. At X019 last week, Microsoft confirmed that the planned episodic roll-out of the collection is set to kick off on December 3rd with the arrival of Halo: Reach. We went hands-on with the port at the event, grabbed a bunch of capture and dug deep into the settings menus. We also spotted the intriguing addition of an 'enhanced mode' that uses the extra power of modern hardware to further upgrade the Reach experience beyond resolution and frame-rate alone.

System requirements for Reach are slight to say the least - which is perhaps not surprising when you bear in mind that the original game launched just over nine years ago for Xbox 360. 343 Industries says that an Nvidia GTX 770 (pretty much on par with a GTX 680 or GTX 960) is good enough to deliver 60 frames per second at 4K resolution - and you can get an idea of what that experience looks like by taking a look at the video embedded on this page.

Based on our playtest of the PC game, 343 Industries has stuck to the Master Chief Collection template established by the Xbox One compilation. New assets - if any - are thin on the ground: this is effectively the original Reach, liberated from the 1152x720 resolution of the Xbox 360 game. That's absolutely fine as despite being mastered to last-gen standards, the art design still holds up beautifully today. Performance-wise, the original release had some issues maintaining its 30fps target frame-rate - a situation resolved by the revamped Xbox One back-compat rendition of the game. Obviously though, PC goes much further: at X019, the game ran very smoothly at 60fps and it'll be interesting to see if the port can be unlocked to run faster still.

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Categories: Video Games

Fans think recently released PlayStation advert is teasing new Crash Bandicoot game

Tue, 19/11/2019 - 22:04

Fans of Crash Bandicoot might be in luck. Recently spotted shenanigans in a new PlayStation commercial join a pile of mounting evidence suggesting that a new Crash game is on the way.

The advert in question, titled It's Time to Play, features a procession of high-profile video game mascots interacting with non-video-game humans - with one segment, in a nod to Crash Team Racing, featuring Crash and pals roaring around a car park. Here's where the mystery lies.

It's a bit of a blink-and-you'll-miss-it moment, but as the mostly familiar karting procession closes in on the camera, a second mask can be seen hovering just behind Coco. Floating masks aren't, of course, anything new in Crash, but this particular once has not, as far as fans can make out, been featured in a game before.

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Categories: Video Games

The Outer Worlds' latest patch fixes font size issues, foliage envy, and more

Tue, 19/11/2019 - 19:25

If you've been enjoying your time with Obsdian's satirical space RPG The Outer Worlds, but have grown weary of squinting against the cold glass of your TV screen in order to decipher its teeny-tiny text, then rejoice: today you may finally slump back in your chair. The Outer Worlds' latest patch is out now and introduces, among other things, font size options for the game.

According to Obsidian's handy patch notes for The Outer Worlds' 1.1.1.0 update, a font size option has been one of the community's top requested features since launch, and players on all platforms can now embiggen the fonts used in conversation text, cinematic subtitles, bark subtitles, and terminal text. You'll find the option in the Settings menu's UI tab.

For the most part, update 1.1's remaining changes are focussed on bug fixing and balancing - certain crashes should no longer happen, muffled sound should be a thing of the past on PS4, problematic companion quests and achievements should now be working as intended, and the Prismatic Hammer will no longer do thousand of points of damage at higher levels.

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Categories: Video Games