Twitch And Blizzard Team Up In Esports Collaboration

Today, Twitch and Blizzard Entertainment announced a two-year worldwide partnership. The deal includes third-party live streaming rights to select Blizzard esports content and special game content for Twitch Prime subscribers.

Twitch is acquiring the third-party streaming-platform rights to an assortment of Hearthstone, Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, and Overwatch esports content. The deal, running through 2018, supports the competitive sphere of Blizzard’s esports properties including the following programs:

  • Heroes of the Storm Global Championship (HGC)
  • StarCraft II World Championship Series (WCS Circuit)
  • Hearthstone Championship Tour (HCT)
  • Hearthstone Global Games (HGG)
  • World of Warcraft Arena Championship
  • Overwatch APEX League
  • Overwatch Premier Series

Blizzard is providing special in-game loot and deals to Twitch Prime members for Overwatch, Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm. Beginning June 20 and running through August 10, current and new Twitch Prime members will receive a Golden Loot Box for Overwatch, containing one guaranteed legendary item along with three other additional in-game emotes, voice lines, or character skins. Players can learn more here. Similar promotions for Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone players begin later this year.

 

Our Take
This is significant news for Twitch Prime members, Blizzard fans, and the gaming community at large. The development of this partnership likely signifies a growing trend of competitive gaming collaborations, ultimately determining the direction esports will take in the coming years. Although this deal only runs through 2018, look to see similar agreements being struck, dependent on the success of this one.

Beta Test Twitch And Blizzard Team Up In Esports Collaboration

How Assassin's Creed Origins' Combat Shatters Tradition

Assassin’s Creed Origins had a big debut at E3 2017, from our new cover reveal to a gameplay debut on an Xbox One X during Microsoft’s press conference. While visiting the development studio in Montreal, we spoke with game director Ashraf Ismail about how the new entry in the series is making some big changes to the classic combat formula. Veering more into action-RPG territory, Assassin’s Creed Origins hopes to offer players more choice with their inventory and combat style.

Watch the video below to learn more about the game’s biggest changes to combat.

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Click on the banner below to enter our constantly updating hub of exclusive features on Assassin’s Creed Origins.

Beta Test How Assassin’s Creed Origins’ Combat Shatters Tradition

Game Informer's Best Of E3 2017 Awards

Although this E3 only had a handful of surprises, the show still generated tons of excitement. With the show open to the public for the first time ever, E3 saw nearly 70,000 attendees. With flashy press conferences from the biggest publishers, we saw new IPs, reveals, and announcements that generated buzz amongst fans. After scouring the show floor and seeing these press conferences for ourselves, we’ve rounded up our best picks from the show. Here are our E3 2017 awards.

Best Action Game

SPIDER-MAN 

It’s been awhile since a high-flying action game has done Marvel’s wall-crawler justice, but Insomniac’s take on open-world web-swinging looks to be an unforgettable super hero adventure. Insomniac and Marvel have worked together to create a completely new take on everyone’s favorite web-head, so even Spider-Man diehards will be surprised to discover what’s in store for the hapless Peter Parker. Players will take on a series of story and side missions as they upgrade Peter Parker’s gear and battle through a roster of Spider-Man’s greatest foes. While Peter Parker is the Spider-Man behind the mask, Insomniac also teased that Miles Morales (Marvel’s current Spider-Man) would be featured in the game in some capacity. For more impressions based on our behind-closed-doors demo, head here.
Best Adventure Game

DETROIT: BECOME HUMAN

Detroit: Become Human features three android protagonists, and from this unique perspective, players observe a world where synthetic life is valued only for its service to humanity. This year’s demo focused on a rebellious android named Markus with the power to cause other androids to turn deviant, effectively allowing him to build an army and start an uprising. The team at Quantic Dream uses this premise to deliver a choice-driven narrative, implementing gameplay mechanics and adaptive storytelling that should be familiar to fans of the developer’s other projects like Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls. Read our three biggest takeaways from its E3 demo here.

Best Fighting Game

DRAGON BALL FIGHTERZ

One of the biggest surprises at Microsoft’s press conference, Dragon Ball FighterZ features some of the most gorgeous renderings of Goku, Vegeta, and other classic Dragon Ball Z characters we’ve seen yet. The fighting also accomplishes the tall task of taking the over-the-top action of the cartoon series and wrangling it into a fun fighting system filled with Instant Transmissions, Father-Son Kamehamehas, and lots of collateral damage. Throw in a three-on-three, assist-happy roster into the mix, and you have the recipe for both a classic fighter and what could be one of the best Dragon Ball Z games in recent years. For more on why Bandai Namco chose to go back to 2D fighters, read our interview with producer Tomoko Hiroki.

Best Multiplayer Game

STAR WARS BATTLEFRONT II

EA clearly listened to its fans’ request to bring a single-player campaign to Star Wars Battlefront II, but that doesn’t mean attention wasn’t also put on refining the multiplayer experience. We saw a good chunk of gameplay at the finale of EA’s press conference, and later got a chance to try multiplayer. We came away impressed with the changes, which include a new class system and redesigned weapons. Featuring cross-era characters and locales from both the prequel and sequel of Star Wars film trilogies, Battlefront II has lots of detail in its environments, and we look forward to seeing more. Read our in-depth preview of its multiplayer here.

Best Cooperative Game

SEA OF THIEVES

Sea of Thieves is Rare’s swashbuckling, multiplayer adventure where you go pillaging with friends and battling other ships across an open world sea. Originally announced at E3 2015, it made a reappearance this year and got a 2018 release window. Its wacky tone is reflected in both the cartoonish visuals and with its gameplay that doesn’t take itself seriously. You and a group of friends share tasks aboard a ship, including steering, hoisting sails, firing cannons, and more. After playing nearly half an hour of the game, we felt that Sea of Thieves showed promise and was the best cooperative title at E3 this year.

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Beta Test Game Informer’s Best Of E3 2017 Awards

Dead By Daylight Is Out Now On Xbox One And PS4

Asymmetric survival horror game Dead By Daylight is out today on Xbox One and PS4 in North America (Europe will have to wait until June 23).

A special edition version of the game is available at retail, featuring all the main killers and survivors and many other additions, including The Hag, The Doctor, maps, and more.

The 4v1 title pits one killer against four survivors, check out more in our original PC review here.

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Beta Test Dead By Daylight Is Out Now On Xbox One And PS4

Dungeon Defenders II Out Today

Dungeon Defenders II is out today. Players got a taste of the free-to-play tower-defense game in early access on PlayStation 4 and PC, but now it’s officially out on those platforms – as well as on Xbox One.

Trendy Entertainment says the game received more than 60 game updates during that early access period, and this release is the culmination of all of those tweaks and additions. The studio says it will continue supporting the game after it’s out, too.

Check out the trailer below for an action-oriented look at the game. If you like what you see, you can download it today at no charge. 

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Beta Test Dungeon Defenders II Out Today

Report: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Getting Box Version Soon

Someone has sent Call of Duty site charlieintel.com photos of a standalone, box copy of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, something fans have wanted since Activision first announced the digital remaster.

Previously, the digital version of the title was tied to last year’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. According to the story, the title will cost $39.99 and could be available on June 27.

We’ve reached out to Activision for comment, and will update this story if we receive any information on the topic.

[Source: charlieintel.com]

 

Our Take
The source also lists a possible release today, but as of the time of this writing, we’re not aware of it being available.

Beta Test Report: Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered Getting Box Version Soon

Five Reasons Why Hunt: Showdown Could Be The Next Big Survival Hit

Three years after Crytek originally debuted The Hunt: Horrors of the Guilded Age, the project has re-emerged looking quite different. Now titled Hunt: Showdown, the game retains the gothic-horror-shooter motif, but through many iterations, the game has found a unique niche in the “winner take all” competitive survival genre currently dominated by games like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and H1Z1: King of the Kill. 

Rather than mimic the popular battle royale formula beat for beat, Hunt remixes concepts like Evolve’s monster hunting, The Dark Zone’s unsteady alliances in The Division, and the horror setting to create a game unlike any we’ve seen before. Here are five reasons why fans of the survival genre should pay attention to the Crysis creator’s new shooter:

Rounds Begin By Tracking Monsters
Hunt begins with a central goal shared by all 10 players in the map – hunt down one or many A.I. controlled monsters across its sandbox map. To do so, you need to use detective vision to track down clues that may reveal the location of the monster. By touching one of the dark-energy pools you find, you get a brief glimpse of the monster’s whereabouts via a momentary vision. If you still haven’t pieced together its location by the third clue, the monster’s location is marked on your map. Since everyone is searching for the same targets and stumbling across the same set of clues, you occasionally run into other players while tracking. This creates uneasy moments similar to The Division’s Dark Zone, where you’re not sure if you should trust the other team. Do you keep to yourself and slide by undetected or take them out before they have a chance to train their sights on you?.

You need to use caution when engaging other players or the legions of A.I. monsters littering the map because sound carries far. The second you fire your weapon, other players will have a rough idea of your location, so sometimes it’s smarter to use stealth kills. 

Players Team Off In Pairs
Rather than leave you to your own devices during the monster hunting, Hunt pairs you off into five teams of two. This creates an interesting new dynamic, as you can coordinate flanking moves, create diversions, and better defend entrenched positions should all hell break lose. If one of you goes down in combat, you have a window to revive them as well. This is especially important because the rounds are permadeath. Once you lose your hunter, you lose all their weapons, gear, and skills. Escaping with your partner also imparts a valuable team bonus. Crytek says you could try to play solo as well, but it’s much tougher.

Once The Monster Is Vanquished, The Round Becomes PvP
After locating the target, the team we watched in our demo made its way to a barn where the monster was holed up. The gigantic tarantula scurries quickly, darting through windows and climbing along walls to avoid gunfire. After the frantic battle, the players made the killing blow. But vanquishing the monster isn’t the end game of Hunt: Showdown, it’s just the appetizer. 

After killing the monster, players must banish its evil spirit. Once this timed process starts, a beacon goes out that broadcasts your location to every player on the map. The incentive for other players to hunt you down? They can grab the bounty from you and claim the reward. Some may choose to engage head on, but others may just booby trap the doors to take you out if you try to flee. After the banishment concludes, then it’s time to head toward one of the exit points on the map. This chaotic skirmish is ripe for stream broadcasts, as the high tension is palpable whether you are playing or viewing. 

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The Atmosphere Drips With Tension
Using the excellent CryEngine, Hunt: Showdown is gorgeous, leveraging its high-resolution textures and lighting system to create creepy swamps, forests, and villages in the one-kilometer map. Set in the darkness, it’s hard to know whether that movement up ahead is simply the wind blowing foliage, an A.I. zombie, or a team of players tracking the enemy. Because sound carries far in this world, players are encouraged to stay in the shadows. For instance, if you accidentally brush by a chicken coop, their clucking may alert enemies and other players to your position. 

Hunt Is Permadeath, But You Don’t Lose Everything
Knowing you’re going to lose your beloved character, weapons, and skills during a survival game amps up the tension, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating to start from scratch every round. Hunt: Showdown introduces a “bloodline” concept to alleviate some of this irritation. Any passive skill that you have unlocked with a hunter (like speed shooting, being able to carry more supplies, and dual wielding) can be passed down to your new hunter as a purchasable skill using the in-game currency. You can also keep a stable of hunters with different skill loadouts.

Hunt: Showdown has no planned release date yet, but Crytek plans to involve the community in fine-tuning the game. Whether that means early access, closed alpha, or pubic beta is yet to be known, but expect to hear more in the coming months. 

Beta Test Five Reasons Why Hunt: Showdown Could Be The Next Big Survival Hit

Diablo III Rise Of The Necromancer DLC Launches Next Week

Blizzard is pulling back the curtain on the latest class addition to Diablo III. Here’s what you can expect from the Necromancer.

Modeled after Diablo II’s Priests of Rathma, the Necromancer class allows players to consume Essence from downed enemies and take direct control of undead creatures. The DLC launches globally on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC next Tuesday, June 27, and will set players back $15. For a better idea of what the class entails, here’s an outline of the Necromancer’s abilities, courtesy of Blizzard.

Siphon Blood: Drain the blood from your enemies, sapping their life away while healing yourself.
Skeletal Mage: Raise the skeletal remains of powerful sorcerers and direct their spells against your foes.
Corpse Explosion: Turn corpses into grisly powder kegs, blowing them up for massive area-effect damage.
Bone Spirit: Conjure an unearthly marrow spirit to hunt down your enemies and explode on contact.
Revive: Command fallen monsters to rise and join your unstoppable army of death.
Frailty: Curse your enemies to bring them closer to death’s door, killing them instantly at low health.

Rise of the Necromancer also includes four new class sets and over 30 new legendaries to collect, plus an in-game pet, two additional character slots, cosmetic wings, and more. Here’s an announcement trailer highlighting some of the extra goodies.

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For more on Rise of the Necromancer, check out our hands-on impressions from PAX East, as well as our video discussion from the closed beta.

Our Take
While some players will surely complain about the $15 price tag, you can’t accuse Blizzard of milking its player base. The developer has already provided continuous support and countless updates to Diablo III over the past five years (not to mention ongoing Diablo II support!), most of it for free. Given what a glorious time sink the game is, Rise of the Necromancer seems like a sound investment.

Beta Test Diablo III Rise Of The Necromancer DLC Launches Next Week

Project Rap Rabbit Fails To Kickstart

Project Rap Rabbit, the story-based rhythm-action music title with branching verses, has failed to meet its Kickstarter goal of £855,000. The title, from makers with experience on titles like PaRappa The Rapper, Vib-Ribbon, and Gitaroo Man, raised only £162,057 and will not continue on the crowd-funding platform.

“We sadly are not in the position to be able to fund further production for a future crowd-funding relaunch involving a title deeper in development,” read the game’s latest update, “and wouldn’t want to scale back our vision. As a result, work on Project Rap Rabbit cannot continue at this time.”

Still, the update further says that the creators (at both iNiS J and NanaOn-Sha) took meetings about the game at E3 last week, and hope to be able to continue working on it in the future.

[Source: Kickstarter]

 

Our Take
Best of luck to the developers, and while it’s a disappointing situation, kudos to them to not watering-down their vision.

Beta Test Project Rap Rabbit Fails To Kickstart