Scouts Reign Supreme In Battlefield 1's New Custom Game Mode

DICE launched a new custom game variant in Battlefield 1 today
that puts scouts on the offensive.

The new game mode is called Line of Sight, and forces
would-be snipers out of their comfort zone. The Rush-based variant limits
players down to just two classes: scouts and medics. Scouts enjoy double bullet
damage, which should turn most of the rifles the class uses into one-hit-kill
weapons. As a result, medics better plan on packing their syringes if they want
to keep their team up and running (towards the next objective).

DICE also reaffirmed that Battlefield 1’s free Giant’s Shadow
map is on schedule for a December release, and that the first paid expansion
will be hitting in March of next year. For more on the game, read Bertz’
review
, and get educated with his Idiot’s
Guide To Battlefield 1
.

[Source: DICE]

 

Our Take
I’ve been enjoying
Battlefield 1’s large-scale multiplayer battles, and this kind of variety is a good incentive to keep coming back. Shameless plug: If you’re
looking for some sweet custom emblems to taunt your opponents with, check
out my column
from earlier in the month.

Beta Test Scouts Reign Supreme In Battlefield 1’s New Custom Game Mode

Ubisoft Outlines Second Year Of Rainbow Six Siege Content

Ubisoft has detailed the second year of content for Rainbow Six Siege that they confirmed a few weeks ago. From February 2017 to February 2018, Rainbow Six Siege will get eight new operators, new weapons, more cosmetic items, seasonal events, a full year of the Pro League, and four free maps that take place in Spain, Hong Kong, Poland, and South Korea.

There are multiple ways to get the Year 2 content. Current players can either buy the Year 2 Season Pass for $29.99 and get everything up front or earn it all via in-game credits. New players can buy the Complete Edition that comes with the base game, the Year 2 Season Pass, and the operators from the first season pass. The Complete Edition is available now on PC for $99.99 and will come to the Xbox One on December 6 and the PS4 at a later unannounced date.

Players can also buy the Year 2 Gold Edition now on PS4 and December 6 on PC and Xbox One for $79.99, which comes with the base game and the Year 2 content as it releases. Year 2 Season Pass owners get VIP status that yields early access for all eight operators, a 10-percent discount at the in-game shop, a 5-percent Renown boost, and two extra daily challenges.

Ubisoft is also phasing out the Year 1 Season Pass soon and rolling out the Legacy Operator Bundle. The Legacy Operator Bundle unlocks the operators from the first season and will be available in the in-game shop for 2400 credits.

Ubisoft will give more information on Year 2 at the Six Invitational, which takes place on February 3-5. For a more detailed rundown of Year 2’s content, check out Ubisoft’s post here.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Ubisoft]


Our Take
The Pro League and steady flow of free and paid content are great ways to breathe life into a game and keep its community entertained. This approach lets games live for long periods of time and is a key reason why some competitive games have such long tails.

Beta Test Ubisoft Outlines Second Year Of Rainbow Six Siege Content

Destroy Your Beloved Hometown With Cities: Skylines' Natural Disasters DLC

Just as players put the finishing touches on their perfect cities, Paradox Interactive has added a new expansion to obliterate your virtual citizens. Cities: Skylines’ new Natural Disasters DLC adds a variety of catastrophic events to the game, including earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, and meteors.

An extra challenge mode has been added as well, pitting players against the worst doomsday scenarios, or edit their own to torture their friends with. It’s not entirely one-sided though, as new features such as a radio broadcast system and various disaster countermeasures are part of the package as well.

Those of you who want to face nature’s wrath can buy the new expansion now for $14.99, or check out our review of the base game here.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Paradox Interactive]

Our Take
City-building sims are easy to lose thousands of hours in already, but this extra add-on seems to be for the most masochistic of fans. It won’t be long before we see people crying on streams about how their beautiful city was decimated by a combination tornado, earthquake, and flood disaster.

Beta Test Destroy Your Beloved Hometown With Cities: Skylines’ Natural Disasters DLC

Game Informer's Holiday Buying Guide 2016

Let us introduce you to a few things you didn’t even know you wanted. Whether you’re looking for a hot new item to add to your wish list or need that perfect geeky gift to give to a loved one, here’s a roundup of the best toys and tech money can buy this year. Who needs Santa? You have us.

Text by Ben Reeves & Matt Miller

Nav: Under $25 | $25-$50 | $50-$100 | $100-$250 | $250-$1000 | $1000+ | Media Shelf

UNDER $25 – HAPPY HOLIDAY; HERE’S A THING

Chicozy Cotton Avengers Alliance | $9.99
Dress your couch in the finest nerdery without breaking the bank. These stylish throw pillows are made out of a durable cotton linen and measure 18 inches square.

Fallout Antique Gold & Silver Vault 111 Pocket Watch | $15.00
Punctuality will still be in style even after the apocalypse. Keep perfect time during V.A.T.S. firefights with this 1.7-inch, antique-styled quartz pocket watch.

Society6 Dinosaur Art | $18.00
These gallery-quality Giclées come on ultra-smooth, 100 percent cotton paper, but you could print this art on old McDonald’s wrappers and they’d still look awesome.

Dishonored 2 Emily & Corvo Pop! Vinyl Figures | $19.99
Empress Emily Kaldwin and her father Corvo are deadly supernatural assassins, but they display their adorable side in these Funko vinyl figures.

Modern N7 Armour Stripe Scarf | $25.00
Stay warm and fashionable while touring the galaxy with this Mass Effect-inspired scarf made from 100-percent viscose. The scarf measures 30 inches wide by 72 inches long. Even Commander Shepard didn’t have this much style.

Nav: Under $25 | $25-$50 | $50-$100 | $100-$250 | $250-$1000 | $1000+ | Media Shelf

PaginateGrid();

Beta Test Game Informer’s Holiday Buying Guide 2016

Take To The 16-Bit Jungle In The First Teaser Trailer For Shakedown: Hawaii

The sequel to 2012’s Retro City Rampage is Shakedown: Hawaii, and there’s a shiny new teaser trailer for it just in time for PSX.

Retro City Rampage was a labor of love for indie developer Brian Provinciano, and the same appears true for his latest project. Shakedown: Hawaii looks like it features similar homage-heavy gameplay to the first game, with an updated look and some Metal Gear and Magnum, P.I. references thrown in for good measure. In fact, even this piece of promotional art may look familiar to longtime Game Informer fans…

If you dig the old-school art style, wait until you see it in action in the trailer below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more information on the game, visit the official site, or follow Vblank on Twitter.

Beta Test Take To The 16-Bit Jungle In The First Teaser Trailer For Shakedown: Hawaii

Ninja Theory Explains Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice Delay In New Video

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is no longer going to hit its 2016 release window. Developer Ninja Theory has pushed the game to 2017, and detailed how they came to that decision in a new video update.

Product development lead Dominic Matthews stated that one of Ninja Theory’s unannounced projects was canceled earlier this year, and that the fallout of that decision, “took time to sort out.” Matthews also cites the studio’s collaboration with Epic Games and others to “push the motion capture technology forward for the whole video games industry” as another reason for the setback.

Matthews also admits that Hellblade’s development progress just hasn’t gone as fast as they would have liked, but that being independent gives them the freedom to decide what happens with their game.

“One of the reasons we are creating Hellblade independently is because it puts decisions in our hands,” states Matthews. “Rushing the game out for release or compromising on quality is not something we are willing to entertain.”

Matthews also mentions that they don’t currently have a specific release date in 2017, but they will announce it when they do.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is scheduled to come out on PS4 and PC in 2017. Check out the last developer diary based around combat here.

[Source: Ninja Theory on YouTube]


Our Take
Ninja Theory’s transparency and honesty with Hellblade has been fascinating. Developers rarely share their development process, much less the specific reasons behind delays. It’s a bit like that Double Fine documentary Ben Hanson won’t stop talking about. Seriously. It’s like every day with that guy. Anyway, I’d love to see other developers continue this trend.

Beta Test Ninja Theory Explains Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Delay In New Video

The Virtual Life – Becoming A Monster In Tyranny

Tyranny is a CRPG in the style of Baldur’s Gate and Pillars of Eternity that has a novel concept: you play the bad guy. And we’re not talking a mischievous cackling Snidely Whiplash huckster, either. No, you are a capital-B bad person constantly doing evil things to the denizens of a fantasy land. I sat down with fellow editor Matt Miller, who reviewed the title, to talk about playing a game that lets us play the evildoer in year filled with despair and chaos.

Javy: Heya Miller. So let’s be real here for a sec: This year has sucked. This year has sucked hard. David Bowie, Leonard Cohen dead. The environment continues to fall to pieces. Tumultuous events happening all over the world. Despair around every corner. Real breaking of the seals kind of stuff, in a way.

I’ve had kind of a weird relationship with games this year. Like, they’ve always been escapist devices to me ever since I was a kid, but 2016 was the year they straight up became coping mechanisms in a way that’s maybe a little unhealthy? Titanfall 2. Wolfenstein. No Man’s Sky. All great ways to push my own problems, and anxieties about the world around me to the side and just not deal with things head on.

But then we have Tyranny, and Tyranny is a capital-I interesting game to me in that even though it’s about as fantastical as you can get, its dark world and the game’s inclination to force you to always be…well, pretty evil is an interesting experience to play in what feels like a pretty bleak time for humanity.

You ended up reviewing the game for us. What did you think of it? What’s interesting about it to you?

Miller: Well, I share your sentiment about this year’s frustrations. I’m a pretty optimistic guy by nature, but some of the events of recent months have really tested the bounds of that optimism. I’m of the opinion that games have a powerful ability to act as a catharsis for our feelings, including an outlet for aggression, a channel for our need to compete, and sometimes just as a way to step back from the frustrations of day-to-day life and inhabit a different mindspace for a while.

With those thoughts in mind, Tyranny arrived at an unusual time. No matter your take on the recent election here in the United States, in the forefront of everyone’s mind is the idea of leaders who might be acting in ethically questionable ways. Tyranny is a game that is fundamentally about enforcing and encouraging a corrupt and evil government, so it hits home for anyone whose mind has been considering the implications of power and corruption – whichever side of the political spectrum you happen to fall.

For me, Tyranny’s focus on corruption, manipulation, and strong-arming comes at a time when that’s not exactly what I’m looking for out of a gaming experience. But, at the same time, there’s no doubt that Tyranny is a solid and artful exploration of the concept of evil, and I can’t help but appreciate its approach to communicating about the nature of power.

You had a chance to explore the game as well, I believe. What was your experience like?

Javy: I came away with mixed feelings from my time with Tyranny. It was interesting; I actually got to chat with the dev team when they revealed the game, and one of the questions I asked was if there would be a “morally grey” path that, while not falling into lawful good or anything like that, would let players try to rise above the evil and they implied there would be that option.

However, most of the choices in Tyranny seem to fall between “be mildly evil” and “be incredibly evil,” and I just don’t know how I feel about that. It’s certainly a unique experience in the realm of games, especially when most games that let you be the bad guy often have a sense of humor (like Dungeon Keeper 2 or Overlord). However, it’s so somber and serious and out to make you be a bad person, there doesn’t seem to be a way to rise above it and man, I don’t know. I really feel like you’re holding out on the player by not offering them the opportunity to try and bring light into that world even if that attempt ends in failure.

Miller: Yeah, from a design perspective, the mostly evil choices in conversations and actions has an unusual effect. As I talked about in my review, I think there’s an unusual limitation on the sense of narrative freedom when you take one whole end of the moral spectrum out of the equation. If I’m playing a game with the choice to save an innocent, and then I brutally kill them instead, that instills a genuine sense that I’m playing an evil character. When that choice is taken away, and my only choice is to either kill him, or torture him, it lessens the impact of the choice for me.

Now, that said, I think Tyranny does some very interesting things to provide narrative agency in other ways, and I really appreciate that the game has so many branching paths even within the spectrum of mostly evil or barbaric choices. Do you know what I mean?

Javy: Oh yeah, for sure. Even though it restricts itself with that limited moral spectrum, it carves out that space and offers the player loads of narrative possibilities. The game’s opening, which has you making tactical choices on a battle map over a period of a few years during a war, is one of my favorite intros in a game in years because it literally shapes the game to come: the land, the factions, how people respond to you. It’s kind of astonishing at times. I loved how people would recall my actions during the war or how I had burned on faction or another.

I also really liked how the game managed to come up with factions who have their own interesting stories and clashing philosophical beliefs even in a world where, well, most people are scumbags. I think that’s the best thing I can say for Tyranny: it takes up a niche and then stretches that niche to its breaking point.

Miller: Yeah, you had mentioned “lawful good” before, which is an interesting idea to unpack. In Dungeons & Dragons, the moral spectrum is defined both by good and evil, but also law and chaos, and I think the latter of those two is where Obsidian went to find complexity. The two major factions you’re dealing with in the game are sort of representative of law and chaos. One leader and his forces are this very regimented and ordered group of soldiers, even if they’re still pretty evil. The other faction is this chaotic army of killers who have no respect for rule of law or the way things are supposed to be done, but they get their tasks completed through pure mob rule.

Between those two ideologies, there are some significant ideas to play with, and I think Obsidian did a good job of exploring that more nuanced understanding of morality in Tyranny.

One of the other topics I wanted to get your take on is the party members. For me, because most of my companions were pretty awful and unlikeable, I struggled to find a connection to them in the same way I would in some other similar RPGs. Did you find that to be true, or was there something refreshing or novel for you about AI teammates who were self-proclaimed murderers and traitors?

Javy: Initially i found it refreshing, but I think one of Tyranny’s failings is that it couldn’t make those characters interesting. It’s one thing to have monstrous characters as your companions, but you’ve got to make them intriguing in some way beyond how awful they are. Like, honestly, everyone who was my ally in this game felt like some third-rate Game Of Thrones henchmen who gets killed off by a random bandit. Evil and interesting is definitely a character type that’s possible, as proven by Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic’s HK-47 or even Saren in Mass Effect.

But yeah, notable companions is something that Tyranny doesn’t really do that well, and it’s bummer because it would be fascinating to find yourself working together with people who are downright villainous but have compelling reasons for being that way.

Miller: I think a couple of the characters had that quality. The most memorable for me was the beastwoman character (Kills-In-Shadow), who for me fit some of those criteria you described. Her culture was compelling, being sort of half-tribal and half-animalistic. She was disturbing, but also occasionally the mismatch of her attitudes with the other characters could be humorous, even if ultimately she was a pretty dark and disturbing companion.

But generally, I agree with you; I think I would have been much more enmeshed in Tyranny as a whole if I was more intrigued by the individual companions.

Another feature that we haven’t had a chance to talk about is the setting, which was actually one of the things I really liked in the game. In particular, I think the individual areas you visit, which are often wracked by these horrible magical edicts, really sell the idea of a world beaten into ruin. But I’ve talked to one of our other editors who played, and they didn’t love the setting as much. Where did you come down on that topic?

Javy: I was a big fan of it, actually. Maybe not the world itself in terms of the dark fantasy elements (they all felt pretty generic), but I think the amount of control you have over that world in the introductory sequence helps make it feel like it’s your own more than something like Baldur’s Gate or Pillars of Eternity even if its grandeur doesn’t match a setting like Arcanum: Of Steamworks And Magick Obscura.

But that doesn’t matter because we have such a strong role in helping shape the world. It’s truly a situation of interactivity making the stale and familiar fresh again, to the point that I’m looking forward to doing another full playthrough to see just how much everything changes.

So I guess since we’re talking about being EVIL, how do you think Tyranny stacks up against other games, like Dungeon Keeper, that also lets you be the bad guy/gal? Does its somber tone sets it apart, even if it doesn’t necessarily make it better? Do you think that Tyranny is worth playing through even if it might make the player uncomfortable, just for the novelty of the experience?

Miller: I think Tyranny is a really surprising game. Games like Dungeon Keeper or Overlord have a sort of mustache-twirling villainy to them that is amusing – kind of the same idea as that animated movie, Despicable Me. A sort of delighting in the bad guy, but in an amusing way.

Tyranny doesn’t really have that quality. It’s a deep and rewarding story, but it’s not tongue-in-cheek or humorous. It’s a pretty straight-faced attempt at confronting the nature of unchecked power, and a group of characters who have no choice but to act in evil ways to survive and thrive in that world.

Javy: Yeah, I’m still not entirely sure how to process Tyranny as an experience. It’s arrived at a curious moment in our history and perhaps, more than we’re willing to admit, serves as a clearer mirror to who we are than the vast majority of games. On one hand, I’m super thankful it exists because it’s the only game I’ve played in the last two months that has served as something other than pure escapism, existing as an artifact that reflects the time and forcing me to confront some of the realities the world we live in right now.

However, at the same time, Tyranny’s commitment to brutal nihilism feels short-sighted. To not allow the player to at least pursue hope is a limitation that borders on crippling.

I’m curious to see how the game’s reputation takes shape in the years to come. It’s a game that makes a classic, explicit, and sometimes compelling argument that the vast majority of people, particularly those with any smidge of power, are monsters. I hope that the future proves Tyranny’s underlying philosophy wrong but I’d be lying if I said that my optimism wasn’t in short, ever-diminishing supply as we find ourselves barreling toward uncertain times.

Did you play Tyranny? Let us know your thoughts about it in the comments below.

Beta Test The Virtual Life – Becoming A Monster In Tyranny

Pokémon Sun/Moon Set New Sales Record For Nintendo

The newest generation of Pokémon games have managed to smash the sales of former games in the series, as well as most other Nintendo titles. Sun and Moon have sold an astounding 3.7 million units in the Americas in the two weeks since the games came out, making it Nintendo’s fast-selling game ever in that region. Sun and Moon crushed the previous record held by Pokémon X & Y, with an 85-percent increase in sales.

To give you an idea of how crazy this is, X & Y sold 15.84 million games over the course of their entire lifetime, boosting sales of the series overall to over 280 million units.Though these numbers are impressive, it seems Sun/Moon hasn’t sold through its initial shipment just yet, which is probably a good thing considering the product shortages Nintendo fans frequently face.

If you’re still on the fence about this game, you can check out our review or watch us play it while Kyle Hilliard answered some questions. You can also check out Kyle’s favorite new monsters to catch in Sun and Moon.

Our Take
Nostalgia and Pokémon Go probably fueled these sales numbers quite a bit, but Sun/Moon also addressed some major problems plaguing the series. It’ll be interesting to see how much these numbers jump when the Christmas rush sets in.

Beta Test Pokémon Sun/Moon Set New Sales Record For Nintendo

Game Informer's Full Extra Life Murder Mystery

This year our Extra Life charity live stream displayed a host of Game Informer shenanigans, chiefly among them was the incredibly convincing murder mystery starring our beloved PC editor, Daniel Tack. 

For the second year in a row Tack was unable to join the crew for the 25-hour event. He still wanted to contribute, though, so he subjected himself to a series of poorly written, but beautifully directed skits from myself and Ben Hanson. During the live stream we released a new video or clue for every $5,000 raised. With the community’s help we were able to unmask the killer and bring Tack back to life and on the stream (sort of).

Check out the full saga below, and relive the full stream here!

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Beta Test Game Informer’s Full Extra Life Murder Mystery

Red Dead Redemption Rides Again On PS4 and PC Via PlayStation Now

If you’re a fan of Sony’s streaming service, the wait for Red Dead Redemption 2 just got a little easier. Red Dead Redemption will be available on PlayStation Now beginning December 6, making Rockstar’s western adventure available to PlayStation 4 owners and technically bringing the game to the PC for the first time.

The zombie-themed expansion Undead Nightmare will be playable the same day.

The PlayStation 3 version of the game will be available on PlayStation Now, which allows subscribers to stream classic PlayStation 3 titles to their PS4 or Windows PC. You can find out more about the service, including subscription rates, at the official site. If you’ve never played Red Dead Redemption, check out Matt Bertz’ review here.

 

Our Take
While it’s not as ideal a solution as a full remaster would be, it’s still terrific that PC players will finally be able to experience this outstanding game.

Beta Test Red Dead Redemption Rides Again On PS4 and PC Via PlayStation Now