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  1. FireShot Capture 4399 - Path Of Exile_ Delirium Wants To Show_ - https___screenrant.com_path-exi.jpg The Path of Exile newest League update has been announced as Delirium, an expansion which comes not only with new league mechanics, but also with fundamental changes in how characters can be built. This Delirium League will focus on spawning a misty alternate reality in certain areas of GGG’s ARPG, creating new nightmarish enemies and twisting current enemies into more deadly versions. Influenced by both the Diablo video game series and Magic: The Gathering, Path of Exile has long been known for its dark fantasy, massive League updates, and infamously convoluted systems. Ever since the game's original PC release in 2013, Path of Exile has presented fans with a wide variety of randomly generated entertainment and a plethora of expansions and updates which constantly improve the game's replayability. In the latest trailer for Path of Exile: Delirium, a creepy new master is seen instructing players to embrace potential madness in the quest for better loot. Simply put: The mist of Delirium makes all enemies harder, but also increases drop chances. As with other Leagues, new unique items, skills, and crafting materials will be added to the game. Delirium also showcases a much more important change: As visible on the Path of Exile announcement page, the new POE League will introduce Cluster Jewels, a new type of jewel that can open up new passive skill tree paths at the edges of POE’s massive passive skill map. Cluster Jewels can have 280 various random effects and a variety of nodes – they can also be socketed into each other, allowing players to create whole new skill trees to follow, branching off of just one jewel node. POE calls this the most significant change to its build creation since 2016, when Ascendancy classes were introduced. It could easily allow for alternative takes on very traditional POE builds that were previously stretched across the skill map in order to get important nodes. It’s a great way to keep players around during a competitive 2020 release schedule. Maps in the endgame will also be receiving changes, including improvements to the UI and more concrete methods to spawn endgame bosses. A new item, Delirium Orbs, will now be able to craft maps to spawn the Delirium mists. Similar to the Scarabs added during the Betrayal league, these orbs will make it easier to find specific items in maps as well. Players can also collect materials to unlock a Simulacrum map and fight an as-yet-unknown final league boss. Path of Exile continues to lead the ARPG market, at least for now. During the press tour, GGG founder Chris Wilson discussed how the game continued to pick up new players in 2019 at the same rate it has for years, and each new league finds the game sitting comfortably near the top of Steam play charts with no notable ARPG competitors. But the future is a different question. Players worry about the game growing too bloated with lingering League content as POE 2’s beta (currently unscheduled, potentially playable at the end of 2020) draws closer. POE 2 is an excellent opportunity to focus content for both games and remove some dead weight. It’s likely that GGG is using the upcoming leagues to test out just how some of these changes will be received. That makes the new jewel paths of Delirium particularly interesting, if they’re intended to stick around – or perhaps even be the foundation of a system for Path of Exile 2.
  2. FireShot Capture 4407 - Riot Games FPS Project A Official Tit_ - https___screenrant.com_riot-gam.jpg A recent trademark filed by Riot Games has revealed the title of their highly anticipated competitive first-person shooter previously titled Project A. The trademark calls this project Valorant, and suggests that Riot is eager to push it forward as highly competitive and eSports driven product. Project A was originally teased during Riot’s 10th-anniversary celebration livestream, along with Riot’s upcoming TCG, Legends of Runeterra, and the League of Legends console and mobile game, Wild Rift. Along with the then-titled Project A, Riot teased various other untitled projects such as an ARPG as well as their long-awaited fighting game, which has been rumored to be in existence for over three years. Lastly, they revealed a self-produced television series titled Arcane. Now, a report by Respawn First has revealed that Riot Games has filed a trademark which could finally name their upcoming FPS project. Valorant’s trademark was filed on February 20th, 2020 and is still pending. A Twitter page for the game, @PlayValorant, has already amassed over 5,000 followers at the time of this writing, including many including popular FPS streamers and eSports players. The followers consist mostly of established internet personalities and professional video game players, which have led many people to believe that this is in fact Riot Games' Project A, which has been classified as a class-based first-person shooter with combat somewhat similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and has already been revealed to have been tested by multiple professional CS:GO players. FireShot Capture 4408 - Riot Games FPS Project A Official Tit_ - https___screenrant.com_riot-gam.jpg Riot is currently dealing with a lawsuit due to gender discrimination in the workplace. The company could pay up to 400 million dollars. The initial reveal of these events caused many employee walkouts and has culminated into this ongoing legal battle, which saw the initial proposed settlement (for ten million dollars) being withdrawn, and recent developments show that this lawsuit could be setting the stage for more elaborate developments in the future. On top of that, Riot has been expanding its brand in 2020. Announcing multiple video games as well as a developer-focused publishing branch by the name of Riot Forge which has been responsible for two upcoming titles, The Ruined King and CONV/RGENCE. The former is a turn-based RPG developed by Airship Syndicate, who are known for Darksiders Genesis and the latter features Ekko in the steampunk setting of Zaun and seems to be an action-platformer. While Riot vows that League of Legends will remain their focus, these new titles suggest that they are eager to branch out. Many gamers have begun comparing this herculean task as Riot attempting to stand next to industry titans such as Blizzard. Blizzard similarly expanded its name past strategy games and ARPGs with shooters, MOBAs, and MMOs. With Valorant, Riot is attempting to create a competitor for both Overwatch and CS:GO, the two most popular shooters on the PC. The new decade will seemingly be a tumultuous one for Riot, however, their rapid expansion project has millions of gamers excited for the future.
  3. "Seasons don't fear the reaper. Nor do the wind, the sun, or the rain." It's a song I've heard a million times—but I've never heard it like this. The classic Blue Oyster Cult chorus floats above the downtempo drumbeat from Post Malone's Better Now, the synth pads from J. Balvin and Willy William's Mi Gente, and a light piano flourish from Lady Gaga's Born This Way. The result is haunting, a chillhop medley that sends goosebumps up your spine. Then it's over, or rather ruined, as Blue Oyster Cult's poetic ode to everlasting love is interrupted by the opening synth from Party Rock Anthem, and everyone in the room winces and then starts laughing. Today marks the announcement of Harmonix's new game, Fuser. It's a hell of a lot of fun, and I knew that as soon as I walked in to my demo last week—because I'd already played it. Well, sort-of. Except the game I played was called DropMix, and Harmonix released it in 2017, and it was—how do I say this—a $100 collectible card game that required a physical board, mobile app, and some kind of external speaker to play, on top of booster packs. bdxEa8VtSqEEjuk7KQHmAP-970-80.jpg "Fuser's got a lot in common with DropMix from a mechanical standpoint. It's got none of the headaches DropMix came with, having cards and boards and all that," as Harmonix's Daniel Sussman so eloquently put it during my demo. Harmonix made a fantastic game, in DropMix. One of their all-time best. The problem was nobody could find it. The required RFID-reading base station was hard to find, and the packs of cards that served as expansions were even more scarce. Point being, if you were one of the lucky few who played DropMix then Fuser will seem very familiar. It's built around the same ideas and the same tech. For those who weren't so lucky: Fuser is essentially a DJ simulation. The nightclub type, not the radio type. You play by building mashups on the fly from a catalog of seemingly unrelated songs, silently praying the whole time that the end result is magical and not simply cacophonous. cfQMxmCNwtxKvDfi3UPTbR-970-80-2.jpg There are four turntables across the bottom of the screen. They're color-coded (to match the Xbox face buttons), and ostensibly tied to one of four categories. There's one turntable for drums, one for bass or background piano/synth, a third for lead instruments like guitars and more aggressive synth melodies, and the last for vocals. Every song in Fuser's 100-song tracklist is split out into these same four components, allowing you to mix-and-match. Thus you can take the drums from one song, say The Clash's Rock the Casbah, and pair it with the vocals from another, like 50 Cent's In Da Club. Layer in the guitar from All-Star by Smash Mouth and you have an unholy creation that will haunt your nightmares. It's a surprisingly harmonious nightmare though, because Harmonix built out some amazing tech for first DropMix and now Fuser. There's a lot going on behind the scenes. Fuser first needs to sync all four tracks to the same tempo, a practice known as beatmatching. But that's the (comparatively) easy part. Fuser also needs to make sure all four tracks are in the same key. That's simple enough when pitch-shifting from one major key to another, but Fuser also needs to contend with changing tracks from major to minor keys, and vice versa. VyxrkMwVJRzzW7N7pCERcQ-970-80-3.jpg [Side note: If you're not up on your music theory and have no idea what I'm talking about, might I recommend listening to Rudie Obias's classic remix Smells Like Teen Spirit in a Major Key? You'll understand after about ten seconds, I promise.] Having spent a lot of time making music in Ableton over the years, it's hard to overstate just how impressed I am with Harmonix's underlying tech. It's what drew me to DropMix in the first place, and Fuser both refines and expands the player's toolset. Dig past the press-a-button-play-a-track surface level and you can adjust pitch on the fly, or speed up and slow down playback at a whim, or even see where "interesting" or "noteworthy" parts of a song start before you press play—if, for instance, you want to switch tracks right as the chorus kicks off. It's a music sandbox with a game draped around it. Fuser keeps the familiar five-star ratings from Rock Band, but points are a bit more ambiguous than just hitting the right note at the right time. Here, your audience satisfaction is a measure of "Freshness." If a track is on the turntable too long, the crowd starts to get impatient. You're encouraged to constantly switch it up to keep the masses appeased. Fuser also provides opportunities for extra points, which conveniently double as ways to nudge the player in new directions. You'll take dynamically generated audience requests on a regular basis, like "Play more '90s music" and "I want to hear some rock." There are also broader skill-based tasks, like dropping discs on the downbeat or soloing a specific track. XmoVqRMKCgbamjh6RSLoLS-970-80-4.jpg And maybe some people will get really into score chasing. Harmonix has definitely tried to accommodate those players—the ones looking for a more traditional videogame out of Fuser. As Sussman said to me though, "We've spent a lot of time thinking about what 'skill' in a game like this really means. It's not just about satisfying the requests. The real difference between a good Fuser player and a bad Fuser player is your ability to operate with intent—not just do everything the game's asking you to do, but to do it in a way where you're happy with what you're hearing." That's where I landed after my all-too-brief hands-on time. Forget scores. Fuser's about the flow state, the point where you get lost in the game and in your own musical instincts. It's surprisingly easy to do here. Earlier I mentioned that each of Fuser's four turntables is "ostensibly" linked to one of the four stem categories, i.e. drums, bass, melody, and vocals. That's actually an oversimplification. Selecting a song and tapping one of the four face buttons will instantly swap the corresponding part onto the designated (color-coded) turntable, but holding the button down lets you control where each disc lands, allowing you to place two drum parts and two synths, or three pianos and a vocal track, and so on and so forth. If I did my math correctly, there are something like 25 billion combinations you can make with the core 100-song tracklist. A lot of those are probably terrible. For instance, you can layer four different vocal tracks on top of each other for an instantaneous headache. Every so often you strike gold though, and you get chillhop Don't Fear the Reaper, or a dance-ready Rock the Casbah in a major key, or Old Town Road except Lizzo interjects with "Feelin' good as hell" every few seconds. AkNc9zntDCYTrKCeBkz8QM-970-80-5.jpg Fuser is a creative endeavor. You're making music, and it's as easy as tapping a few buttons. Layer two tracks together, you've made something new. Layer four tracks together, there's a chance you've made music nobody's ever heard before. Not even Harmonix. And that's before we get into pitch-shifting, changing the tempo, swapping back and forth between two discs on-the-fly, and all of the more advanced features that make Fuser more than simply a digitized DropMix. There's a lot going on, and I found myself wishing I had a mouse to do it with during the demo. Harmonix did confirm Fuser will support mouse and keyboard, though it's ironing out the specifics. Still, when I asked about it Sussman did say "I think the PC audience is going to be really interesting to watch. I expect them to be a different breed from console gamers for a game like this." Playing to our egos perhaps, but I do think a mouse's precision and speed will come in handy. A simulator this robust also begs for an audience, and luckily Harmonix is thinking ahead on that front. Asked about copyright regulations with Twitch and YouTube—always a thorny topic—Sussman said "We pitched Fuser to [musicians] as a super social game where players have the creative agency to make something and share it with the world through social and everything."
  4. FireShot Capture 4420 - GOG's New Refund Policy Seems Too Goo_ - https___screenrant.com_gog-refu.jpg Popular game distribution platform Good Old Games (commonly referred to as GOG and created by the same team behind Cyberpunk 2077) has announced a major update to its refund policy and philosophy: Now all players can refund a product up to 30 days after purchasing. Players will be able to automatically get a refund even if they have already installed and played the game. This is a significant change to the previous GOG rules, which prevented buyers from returning a game on the platform if they had downloaded it or launched it even once. This new video game refund policy is significantly more generous than other platforms on the market. On Steam, for example, refunds are limited to 14 days, and gamers can’t return games if they’ve been played for more than a couple of hours. Epic Games has also implemented a 14 day limit on game refunds, and a game becomes ineligible if it's been played for two hours or more. GOG recently announced their new change with a message saying, “Everyone at GOG believes in a ‘gamers-first’ approach… your purchase safety and satisfaction come first for us.” Refunds will be available in either GOG Wallet funds, or as a cash refund based on how players originally bought the product. If some used a gift to purchase a game, the giver who bought that particular gift must be the one to apply for a refund. All games at GOG remain DRM-free. FireShot Capture 4421 - GOG's New Refund Policy Seems Too Goo_ - https___screenrant.com_gog-refu.jpg While the policy change has earned plenty of online praise (especially in the wake of fiascos like Warcraft 3: Reforged) it’s important to note that there are some limitations to the new rules. GOG still reserves the right to deny any refund for reasons tied to the individual situation, and makes it clear that if someone is obviously taking advantage of a refund to cheat the system, it’s not going to work out so well for them. The game service also added, “Please respect all the time and hard work put into making the games you play and remember that refunds are not reviews. If you finished the game and didn’t like it, please consider sharing your opinion instead.” It’s undoubtedly a bit easier for GOG to implement this policy as the platform traditionally focuses on independent and older titles. However, GOG is still also affected by many modern-day game trends and does contain some AAA titles. When Telltale pulled its games from Steam, GOG also lost some older Telltale games it once had, diminishing the size of their storefront slightly. However, this latest move positions GOG as the competitive platform it deserves to be, and invites more comparisons to both Steam and the Epic Store. It will be interesting to see how they respond.
  5. FireShot Capture 4422 - Xbox Boss Thinks TV Design Will Have _ - https___screenrant.com_xbox-fut.jpg Today, Xbox division head Phil Spencer shared his thoughts regarding the future of gaming and its connection with the future of television. Spencer predicts a move toward game streaming, suggesting that as streaming technology through television grows, gaming technology must follow the same path in order to offer players the best gaming experiences they can. Microsoft has already shown a shift in focus toward game streaming with its intended release of Project xCloud, which aims to deliver a massive amount of Microsoft games from all three of its current generations of consoles to mobile devices. Currently, it’s only available in beta for both Android and iOS devices, but with the less than stellar launch of the Google Stadia, it’s likely that Microsoft will be pushing the official release of Project xCloud soon. TwinFinite reports that Spencer commented on the future of game and console design during his interview on the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences’ Game Maker’s Notebook podcast. Spencer spoke mostly about the prevalence of multi-device streaming, including music and TV shows. He states that he can see gaming going the same direction, where one console and TV is the main gaming hub, but those games can be played from any device in or out of the home. Spencer remarks that most households have more than one TV now, and being able to easily access games exclusively through the one TV that a console is hooked up to is limiting. He wants Microsoft and Xbox to keep up with the shifting television environment by allowing gamers to take their games from one TV to another without having to reconnect a console. FireShot Capture 4423 - Xbox Boss Thinks TV Design Will Have _ - https___screenrant.com_xbox-fut.jpg The Xbox Series X, due to release this holiday season, will also offer gamers a variety of improved gameplay experiences. The new Xbox boasts more power and better graphics than past consoles, and any Series X games that release at launch will also be playable on the Xbox One. Microsoft hopes that this will establish fans of Series X launch games and encourage them to purchase the Series X in order to experience the improved gameplay and graphics. Most important, however, are the rumors surrounding a cheaper, all-digital version of the Xbox Series X that will be released after the initial console. The console would be another Google Stadia competitor, and will likely work with Project xCloud to store save data and game files and transport those to other devices. Xbox’s move to game streaming through Project xCloud and an all-digital Xbox Series X console will cater to the television needs that Spencer observes in his Game Maker’s Notebook interview. With the rise of multi-device households, it makes sense that home game consoles will want to capitalize on that and give players access to their games in as many ways and on as many devices as possible. It’s appealing to players to have the option of starting a game in one room, and being able to continue where they left off on their mobile device or on another TV in their house. It's clear that Microsoft wants Xbox to remain an entertainment hub for the entire family, and they want as many people playing as possible.
  6. Patriot will test out its new external Viper PXD M.2 SSD on a PS4 at PAX East, a move that could translate onto the next-gen PS5 Patriot might've low-key revealed the PS5's first external SSD solution for high-speed gaming and data transfers. Screenshot from 2020-02-27 12-11-11.jpg Patriot Gaming will publicly test out its new external Viper PXD M.2 SSD at PAX East with a PlayStation 4 to see how the drive works with consoles. And the game they're using for the test is Insomniac's Spider-Man, the same game Sony used to showcase the PS5's ultra-fast loading times. This test could be a tease for the PlayStation 5's external storage solutions and compatibility for the console's customized SSD. Massive speed discrepancies are expected between current external HDDs and the new higher-end PCIe 4.0 SSDs found in the PlayStation 5, and Patriot's compact and lightweight 2TB PXD could be a solution to this problem. The Viper PXD is a PCIe 3.0 4x M.2 form-factor SSD that utilizes Phison's E13T memory controller to hit up to 1GB/sec read and write speeds on the NVMe 1.3 protocol. The PlayStation 4 can't utilize the PXD's full power, though; the PXD has USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C interface, but the PS4's most powerful port is the USB 3.1 Gen1 Type-A port on the back that hits 5Gbit/sec, which roughly allows for 625MB/s data transfers. So the PlayStation 4 will only use roughly 62% of the PXD's maximum data speeds. The PlayStation 5, on the other hand, is likely to feature new USB 3.2 Gen2 ports to enable faster reads and writes to and from external storage. "The brand-new Patriot PXD m.2 PCIe Type-C External SSD, the next generation of portable storage solutions, will be showcased and tested on the PlayStation 4 with Marvel's Spider-Man video game. This PCIe m.2 based SSD over USB 3.2 Type-C connectivity brings superb speed and stability utilizing the Phison E13 PCIe controller, capacities from 512GB to 2TB," reads a press release. Screenshot from 2020-02-27 12-12-27.jpg It's not the blistering-fast Samsung 980 QVO PCIe 4.0 SSD with 6th gen QLC flash that's expected to power the PlayStation 5, but it doesn't need to be; The external drive needs to be fast enough to somewhat match the system's base drive. Again nothing's been confirmed so far, but the timing is quite interesting and Patriot could be setting itself up to capitalize on the new wave of external next-gen console storage solutions. And it could be testing the waters to see how current-gen plays with the PXD (and any other higher-end external drives it releases) so it can prep for the PlayStation 5. Patriot PXD External SSD Specs Phison E13T Series Controller; Latest USB 3.2 Gen2 Type-C Interface Capacity up to 2TB; Bus speed up to 10Gbit / sec Type-C to Type-C, Type-C to Type-A cable included SEQ Performance Read up to 1,000MB / s, Write up to 1,000MB / s; 4K Aligned Random Write: up to 85K IOPs Patriot's PXD external SSD is the next generation of portable storage. The PXD bridges the gap between USB 3.0 flash drives and high speed PCIe based SSDs. Utilizing the Phison E13T PCIe controller, the PXD supports the SuperSpeed USB 10Gbps standard. With its USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connector, the PXD ships with two cables (type-C to type-A, and type-C to type-C) for compatibility with the latest PCs, laptops, and MacBook. Setup is a breeze, just plug and play like any USB flash drive. The sleek, compact, aluminum body is designed for maximum durability. At just over 10 cm X 3 cm, and weighing in at just 35 grams, the PXD is the perfect solution for those who need large superfast storage in a compact design. The PXD is the ideal choice for those road warriors who are on the go, extending the storage of your favorite gaming consoles, or storing your favorite video or music libraries. Sony's PlayStation 5 console will release in Holiday 2020, and it may cost $499. Check below for more info on everything we know about the PlayStation 5 so far: PlayStation 5 specs and details: Custom SoC with second-gen Navi GPU, Zen 2 CPU 8-Core, 16-thread Zen 2 CPU at 3.2GHz Navi GPU at 2.0GHz with 36 Compute Units Navi, Zen SoC uses new AMD RDNA 2.0 architecture Ultra-fast SSD Support for 4K 120 Hz TVs Ray-tracing enabled 8K output support (for gaming) Plays all PS4 games Separate games that ship on BD-XL Blu-ray discs New controller with extensive haptic and tactile feedback
  7. jnGM62J97yP7z8GUEzcAXb-970-80.jpg The fantasy 4X strategy game Master of Magic was originally released in 1994, and after a rough start courtesy of some serious bug issues, did quite well for itself and is now regarded as one of the top 4X games of all time. It eventually found its way to GOG, where it's also been well received, and last summer the rights to the game were acquired by publisher Slitherine. Slitherine didn't say what exactly it had in mind for the game, although developer director Ian McNeil told us at the time that we could expect something to happen in the near future. And now it has: More than a quarter-century after its release, Master of Magic has new DLC, Caster of Magic. Caster of Magic adds new spells, units, and city buildings, and makes improvements to the wizard customization and diplomacy systems. It also incorporates new, more challenging AI, more difficulty levels, and more map generation options. The DLC is actually based on a Master of Magic mod developed by Seravy, who said on their website that while it's not available for free anymore, the upside is that they're getting paid. "I'm hoping this money will ensure I’ll be able to continue developing Caster of Magic in the future no matter what happens, and ideally, produce proper source code for it as a next step in development. As you already know, Caster of Magic was developed entirely by hacking the executable files as no one has the source code for the game anymore," they wrote. "While I was able to get very far using the current approach, at this time the really important missing features—enabling more than 4 enemy wizards in the game for example, or adding new content without having to remove the same amount of existing stuff—will require source code. That said, this is a plan for the future, and as long as possible I will keep patching the current Caster of Magic." Seravy's optional anime portraits for Master of Magic are not included with the DLC, by the way, and remain freely available for download. Master of Magic: Caster of Magic goes for $3 on GOG, and also Steam, where it and the base game are now available.
  8. FireShot Capture 4430 - Blizzard's Newest Diablo 4 Update Has_ - https___screenrant.com_diablo-i.jpg Blizzard’s new quarterly update for Diablo IV did little to alleviate fears of shallow skills and talent systems. This isn’t the first time Blizzard has upset its loyal fanbase, with the failed release of Warcraft III: Reforged still fresh in many player's minds. Diablo IV was announced in November of last year, during Blizzcon 2019. With the announcement came a brutal, compelling Diablo IV cinematic trailer that revealed one of the main villains of the highly anticipated ARPG. Alongside the cinematic, fans saw gameplay and some lucky attendees of Blizzcon even got to visit the booths to try the new Diablo game out. The announcement came off the heels of a rocky past few years with Blizzard, particularly for Diablo fans, as Blizzcon 2018 was marred by an underwhelming Diablo mobile game, Diablo Immortal. This compounded on a consistently criticized World of Warcraft expansion and the critical failure of the Warcraft III remaster has fans extremely worried about Blizzard’s future. Blizzard’s new official quarterly update outlines various improvements said to be made to Diablo IV, however, many fans, as evidenced by the community's response on Reddit, are not convinced. While the UI changes and inclusion of PC controller support are undoubtedly good, some of the biggest issues posed by fans weren’t even addressed, particularly in the simplified itemization which was shown in the demo and the apparently hollow shell of talent and skill customization. With titles like Path of Exile featuring incredibly complex and varied skill combinations and elaborate itemization, Diablo IV’s demo looked more like a rough draft to many. It features only three major stats (attack, defense, and life) and only a basic set of skills to choose from. FireShot Capture 4431 - Blizzard's Newest Diablo 4 Update Has_ - https___screenrant.com_diablo-i.jpg One Reddit user writes, “Don’t get your hopes up to high. Blizz is not the Blizz that made D2 anymore. POE completely dominates the field what D3 could have been. So i think Blizz will aim for a more ‘easy-going’ casual arpg with D4.” This brewing discontent with Blizzard’s recent direction can mostly be boiled down to longtime fans feeling betrayed or spurned by the mega-corporation as it drifts away from niche demographics and attempts to net in the largest possible user base. In the process, it might have lost a lot of its artistic direction and innovative game design. With that said, Diablo IV does feature a grittier art style more in line with the beloved Diablo II, which fans are happy about, and everything shown was a positive improvement over the demo, as the UI progress is clarified and has been changed based on previous criticisms. However, the immediate refusal to acknowledge Diablo IV's biggest criticisms may be the first in a long line of dismissals from Blizzard. Many players can cite various new ARPGs which have more interesting systems at play. Path of Exile is currently the most popular one, with a free to play monetization model which never lapses into tediousness. The recently released Wolcen: Lords of Mayhem, while plagued with launch problems, is still receiving a relatively positive reaction for its beautiful graphics and iteration on Path of Exile’s systems. There are options for starved Diablo fans, and considering that Diablo IV may forgo the complexity many hardcore players love, these fans might need to look elsewhere.
  9. FireShot Capture 4442 - Xbox Series X Quick Reboot Is Better _ - https___screenrant.com_xbox-ser.jpg Although Microsoft has already revealed some exciting details about the Xbox Series X, one of the most exciting could be the console's ability to quick resume a game even after a full system reboot. Microsoft initially announced the console as Project Scarlett at its press conference at E3 2019. However, the real reveal came at the 2019 Game Awards when the company presented the next-generation console as the Xbox Series X. Since then, Microsoft has started releasing more information about the new console. The Xbox Series X has some impressive specs that include a GPU with AMD's latest Zen 2 and RDNA 2 architectures that offer the system twice the processing power of the Xbox One. The Xbox Series X will provide 4K resolution at 60 fps, with a possibility of going all the way up to 120 fps. The company has also promised vastly improved graphics performance from the new system. More importantly, the Xbox Series X supports cross-generation play, meaning that players can play all Xbox games, going back to the very first Xbox console, on the new system. Smart delivery also means that players will only have to buy a game once for any Xbox console to play it on the Xbox Series X. But that's not all. Microsoft's Larry Hryb (aka Major Nelson) spoke to Xbox director of programming manager Jason Ronald on the Major Nelson Podcast about the quick resume feature on the Xbox Series X. Although the Xbox Series X already allows players to quick resume a game they're already playing, allowing them to dive back in without dealing with re-loading anything, the quick resume also works even after a full system reboot. To sum up, players can turn off their Xbox Series X, but still jump right back into a game quickly when they want. FireShot Capture 4443 - Xbox Series X Quick Reboot Is Better _ - https___screenrant.com_xbox-ser.jpg Even better? Quick resume works with multiple games so that players can instantly jump into and out of titles. And it can do that even after a full system reboot and software update. Quick resume is, obviously, a game-changer, pun intended. Ronald spoke about how the feature would make it nearly impossible for gamers to go back to older consoles once players get used to using quick resume. Microsoft has been very transparent with details about the Xbox Series X, in direct contrast to its main competitor, Sony, which still hasn't revealed any new information about its next-generation console, the PlayStation 5, other than a logo - although the company provided details on its technology very early into the development process, so it's not like fans have no idea what to expect. It's going to be interesting to see how Sony decides to remain competitive during the next round of console wars, especially as it seems that Microsoft currently has the most ammunition to win those battles.
  10. FireShot Capture 4446 - Baldur's Gate 3 Gameplay Reveal Makes_ - https___screenrant.com_baldurs-.jpg Larian Studios revealed the first look at Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay footage today during PAX East 2020, giving fans a look at what the RPG will play like as it gets closer to early access in its development cycle. Baldur's Gate 3 took the gaming world by storm when it was first announced by Larian Studios, and will be the sequel to two of the most important RPG fantasy titles in the history of the video game industry, placing a lot of expectation on the title, especially after the incredibly long wait between its second iteration and its upcoming third instalment. Baldur's Gate 3 will feature a story that centers around mind flayers invading and attacking other races, although their motivation for doing so has yet to be revealed. Baldur's Gate 3 will be part of Google Stadia despite the latter accidentally placing a release date on the game ahead of schedule, while also naturally slotting into a place on the PC platform as well. Larian Studios is famous for the Divinity Original Sin series, which is legendary among RPG fans for the amount of customization and choices present within the narrative - features that also helped Baldur's Gate make a name for itself in its earlier iterations. During PAX East 2020, Larian Studios demoed the first look players would get at Baldur's Gate 3 gameplay. The presentation began with a look at the game's intro cinematic, complete with a mind flayer inserting "tadpoles" into heroes' heads in an effort to transform them into mind flayers as well. The game's character design system was also demoed before the player character began exploring a beach they had washed up on following a crash before finally leaping into combat. Combat is turn-based, and is quite similar to what fans became accustomed to with Divinity Original Sin. Players will have many tactical options, including seeking high ground for damage advantages, attacks of opportunity, and more, while players can see the dice rolls behind the game's combat as it is occurring. The demo, which was amusing with a number of mishaps, also confirmed there would be friendly fire on characters. The battlefield in Baldur's Gate 3 is incredibly detailed, and pops visually in a way that is new to the franchise - not surprising, given it's long absence, but welcome all the same. Honestly, a lot of Baldur's Gate 3's gameplay looked extremely similar to Larian Studios' Divinity: Original Sin 2, and that comes with both positives and negatives. Fans of the franchise might be concerned that it is a little too close to a different series from the same studio, but the comparisons from a technical and visual standpoint are positive - offering a similar amount of choice in combat, dialogue, and character customization. Ultimately, it's likely Baldur's Gate 3 will diverge from Larian's other games as the gameplay progresses - the fight shown was a very early one - but the improvements are enticing and the story will likely hit home for fans as it develops. Baldur's Gate 3 has no official release date, and is currently confirmed for both PC and Google Stadia.
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  12. FireShot Capture 4453 - Kingdom Under Fire_ The Crusaders PC _ - https___screenrant.com_kingdom-.jpg Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is the second game in the Kingdom Under Fire series, an obscure set of strategy RPGs from the early 2000s. The Crusaders in particular released for the original Xbox console in 2004. The franchise is most notable for the release of Kingdom Under Fire II in 2019, after a stunning 11-year development period. Now, developer Blueside has released a PC port for The Crusaders in the hopes of introducing a new generation of players to their tactical adventure. Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders is a real-time strategy game with elements of third-person hack and slash action. It puts the player in charge of several battalions of troops, one of which is led by their main character. Most of the game sees the player controlling the action from afar, directing each of their troops and issuing special commands with the help of an interactive minimap. When armies meet, though, the player is given direct control of the protagonist, who can cut and chop their way through the enemy troops with satisfying efficacy. The game is not simple. The intricacies of the tactical gameplay are quite dense and difficult to master. Fortunately, the learning curve is decently generous. The first few missions are pretty easy, and in-depth training missions are offered between missions. The trade-off for these difficult systems is an accurate and satisfying recreation of taking part in a large-scale medieval battle, with soaring arrows and clashing steel. It can be frustrating positioning all your troops where you want them, and the timing of certain special moves can be difficult and annoying to get a feel for, but when two armies meet, things get very exciting, very fast. These brutal, thrilling battles are underscored by a heavy metal soundtrack that feels very out of place at first but is good at getting the blood pumping when the hammer falls. The sound mixing can get a bit overbearing though; simply put, the game is very loud. Audio controls in the pause menu can allay this somewhat, but it's worth noting. Word to the wise and the noise-sensitive: brace yourself when your archers start firing. FireShot Capture 4454 - Kingdom Under Fire_ The Crusaders PC _ - https___screenrant.com_kingdom-.jpg Almost all of the problems players will experience with this port of Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders come from its very nature as a port. The graphics look exactly like they did in 2004, which is to say, they don't look great. The visuals don't stand in the way of the gameplay, of course, but the controls do. It is painfully obvious that this game was not designed to play on PC. Every in-game tutorial offers Xbox controls. You're given an overlay with PC controls that you can refer to at the push of a button, but it doesn't pause the game, which can be quite terrifying when in the thick of a battle and need to remember a crucial control. Worse, in a game this dense, the overlay can't cover absolutely everything. More intuitive controls, like overworld map navigation, have been excluded, which would be fine if the port didn't suffer from its fair share of bugs. When something stops working the player would be forgiven for assuming that they just don't know the proper controls for it, especially if the overlay fails to tell them. Since the Xbox controls are mentioned in voiced lines, it might be a bit too much to expect the PC controls to be worked into the base game, but a more comprehensive system of learning them is absolutely invaluable, especially in a game as complex as this one. FireShot Capture 4455 - Kingdom Under Fire_ The Crusaders PC _ - https___screenrant.com_kingdom-.jpg Even when the controls do work, they're not always the best. To be perfectly frank, the camera controls are bad. When you're not in combat the camera has a nasty habit of doing whatever it wants, be it zooming in on two or three random soldiers when you're trying to take in the field as a whole or sticking your point of view behind a tree that you just can't seem to get away from. You can control the camera by holding the alt key and moving the mouse around, but it doesn't move in an intuitive way; it swivels around in odd patterns and it's hard to get it to focus on a point and stay there. This all but forces you to rely on the minimap, which isn't too much of a sin; it works fine, and there's no disobedient camera to worry about. You can expand and minimize it with the push of a button and direct your soldiers wherever you need them to go. It's a bit frustrating to be boxed in to the map like that, but it beats the alternative in almost every way. If you're a fan of real-time strategy and classic medieval combat, Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders isn't a bad option. The graphics are wildly out of date and the fantasy is about as generic as it comes but these are minor issues compared to the fun tactical gameplay and the sheer tactile thrill of wading into a sea of combatants and going wild with your blade. What aren't minor issues are the shortcomings of the control scheme; the dysfunctional camera and counterintuitive controls are almost as big of an obstacle as the orc army you have to wipe out. There's a lot of fun to be had with this game, but it has more than enough frustration to go around too. It's up to you whether the risk is worth the reward. Kingdom Under Fire: The Crusaders releases February 28, 2020 on PC. FireShot Capture 4456 - Kingdom Under Fire_ The Crusaders PC _ - https___screenrant.com_kingdom-.jpg
  13. One of the ways you can nurture your devious little medieval ruler in Crusader Kings 3 is by exploring the lifestyle system. It's the subject of the team's February update, and Paradox has been posting accompanying developer diaries on the specifics over the last month. Check out the update video above. Lifestyles are how you decide what parts of the game you want to focus on. If you want to go deep into the religious system, become incredibly pious and maybe even start your own faith, the Learning lifestyle might be a good idea. If you just want to paint the map one colour and conquer the medieval world, however, the Martial lifestyle will probably be more your speed. Each lifestyle comes with a trio of perk trees and focuses that let you define your character further. The learning lifestyle lets you pick the Theologian focus, for instance, giving you an immediate bonus to your learning skill and piety, at which point you can start working your way down the accompanying perk tree. The perks can be pretty major additions to your list of abilities. Dive into the Avaricous tree in the Stewardship lifestyle and you'll be able to blackmail and extort people for cash and sell off minor titles, along with a slew of other decisions, schemes and bonuses to help you fatten up your coffers. So you're not just watching a bunch of arbitrary numbers going up. Crusader Kings 2 offered lots of ways to specialise your character and their heirs, but the sequel's lifestyles are more overtly inspired by RPGs. Instead of just picking a focus and letting the game take over, there's a clear path for you to follow if you want to build a specific kind of character. Crusader Kings 3 doesn't have a release date yet, but it's due out this year.
  14. FireShot Capture 4463 - What Makes Baldur'_ - https___screenrant.com_baldurs-gate-3-how-true-seq.jpg Baldur's Gate 3 is releasing later this year, and fans of the series have been excited to discover new details about the game. With a plethora of Dungeons and Dragons video games out there though, what makes Baldur's Gate 3 a true sequel? Lead Writer Adam Smith recently filled Screen Rant in on what makes the third entry in the series an actual followup to Baldur's Gate 2. Hasbro announced that the title would be coming to Steam Early Access later this year. In addition to this news, they also revealed that the game would not be exclusive to any platform, and therefore could potentially come to consoles at a later date. Yesterday, during PAX East, fans were given the first gameplay footage of Baldur's Gate 3. The game's reveal footage showed that the game would feature turn-based combat, as well as give players access to D&D style mechanics like attacks of opportunity. The environments have also gotten a considerable graphical update since the last game released. During an interview that Screen Rant did with Lead Writer Adam Smith, he was asked what makes Baldur's Gate 3 a true sequel to the other games in the series. In his opinion, it is Baldur's Gate 3 because of the emphasis it puts on the previous games' stories while still being its own separate thing. Smith believes that the previous storyline has ended, and rather than retconning or picking up random plot threads, his team wanted to work on something completely new. Smith says, "There were scars left by these events. But there's a new conflict with new adversaries. There are new movements in the world, or in the worlds, that will create new adventures and opportunities, new threats." The reason why this is such a tricky question though is that there have been dozens of Dungeons & Dragons games over the years set within the same universe. It is particularly important to note that both the Sword Coast and Neverwinter Nights series are both set in the Forgotten Realms, just like Baldur's Gate. Smith acknowledged that Baldur's Gate 3 could have been a sequel to either one of those games. Once again though, he believes that the team's focus on the previous Baldur's Gate games' story makes it fit much better within that series. Baldur's Gate is one of the most beloved RPG game series of all time. Since the series has been around for two decades and has experienced several remakes and expansions, more and more new fans discover the series every year. The recent resurgence of popularity for Dungeons & Dragons has only increased the demand for games set within this universe. Hopefully, Baldur's Gate 3 can deliver when it releases later this year. Baldur's Gate 3 will release later this year on Steam Early Access.
  15. FireShot Capture 4464 - Dungeons and Dragons is Set to Crosso_ - https___screenrant.com_dungeons.jpg A listing from Penguin Random House has revealed that Wizards of the Coast is planning a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign setting in the Magic the Gathering world of Theros. Wizards had success with its previous Magic campaign setting, Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica, in 2018. This is set to be the second campaign setting release this year, following Explorer's Guide to Wildemount, a setting based on the popular live-play podcast Critical Role. Wizards of the Coast has been experimenting with Magic settings in D&D for some time now; in 2016, following the Magic set Battle for Zendikar, Wizards released an online document called Plane Shift: Zendikar, a free PDF with a smattering of new character options and guidelines for setting a Dungeons & Dragons campaign in the world of Zendikar. This started a brief series of Plane Shift documents that ended in 2018 when Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica was released. This was a full-length printed campaign setting that offered a number of character options including new races, subclasses, and character backgrounds to fit the setting. Ravnica has been arguably the most popular Magic setting since its first appearance all the way back in 2005, so its honor as the first Magic setting to get its own D&D book is easy to justify. The success of Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica seems to have spurred Wizards to keep the Magic settings coming. Earlier this week Penguin Random House preemptively listed a new D&D book called Mythic Odysseys of Theros, set to release sometime in May. Theros first appeared in a set of the same name released in 2013, and its popularity led to a return set called Theros Beyond Death, which released on January 24th of this year and is currently the most recent Magic set. Theros is a world heavily inspired by ancient Greek mythology, featuring mythical creatures and powerful heroes, as well as omnipresent gods who interfere frequently in the lives of their mortal supplicants. The setting is illustrated very well in the cover of Mythic Odysseys, which briefly appeared online before being removed along with the rest of the listing. The cover depicts a warrior decked out in Greek armor doing battle with a fearsome hydra. FireShot Capture 4465 - Dungeons and Dragons is Set to Crosso_ - https___screenrant.com_dungeons.jpg As popular as the setting has been thanks to its Greek influences, the most recent set has experienced some controversy. Following the poor handling of the novel that accompanied the previous set War of the Spark, the story material for Theros Beyond Death was delayed indefinitely; no novel was released, and story updates were never posted on Magic's website. This has disappointed fans greatly, as some very popular characters appeared in Theros Beyond Death and players bemoaned missing the chance to learn more about them. The official statement from Wizards is that it is waiting for the proper time and channel to release the story materials. A return to prominence for the setting in the form of a Dungeons & Dragons book could be just the opportunity they're waiting for. Mythic Odysseys of Theros has all the elements of a promising D&D supplement. Fans of Magic who enjoyed Guildmaster's Guide will surely enjoy the opportunity to broaden their Magic horizons in D&D, and even players who've never touched Magic will likely find Theros's easily recognizable source material to be an accessible way to bring some variety to their games, perhaps in the form of their own ancient Greek epic. Throughout the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, there's been a huge emphasis on the freedom of players to tell their own stories, and Mythic Odysseys of Theros is sure to be an invaluable addition to DMs' toolboxes when it comes out in May.
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