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Black Ops 2 multiplayer: future imperfect

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 12:16 GMT By Dave Cook

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 multiplayer shakes things up considerably. VG247′s Dave Cook asks if Treyarch has spread its bets wisely enough.

Console development is often lambasted by those who champion new ideas. ‘Innovation on consoles’ is dead they say, as they scoff at the latest Resident Evil 6 and Halo 4 reviews. Those numbers are getting pretty high aren’t they?

Call of Duty: Black Ops is the 9th core entry to Activision’s juggernaut franchise. Now that’s a high number indeed. You’re right though, you’ve always been right: it looks just like every other game in the series. What has console gaming become if not a grease-stained production line manned by staff too afraid to dream a little bigger?

Compare it to the indie and PC market with its new IP and bright ideas. It’s an unspoiled paradise of innovation and imagination. If only the console market could get to that magical promised land. Unfortunately it’s become too big to fit through the gate.

“Black Ops 2 is confidently the biggest attempt to change the multiplayer template since the original Modern Warfare. But these changes don’t necessarily make it better as a whole.”

Console developers often peer through the shiny gold bars of this lush heaven, staring on in envy as Gabe Newell lounges by the pool feeding grapes to Notch. Somewhere within the utopia, Team Meat are riding their unicorns through a forest made of entirely dreams.

Luminaries like Jonathan Blow walk a hedge maze lined with paper money. They don’t need it after all, they’re not in this industry to win it. It’s an market founded on free ideas, not a yearly shooter series that doesn’t change much with each instalment. This is what gaming should be about shouldn’t it?

Well no, that’s not how the world works actually. Granted, few publishers know about the cyclical release ethos better than Activision, a powerhouse of long-standing, corrosive franchises such as Guitar Hero and Tony Hawk.

But Call of Duty – for everyone’s bitching and moaning about it – has yet to see that same decline. Its DNA is so ingrained into the popular subconscious, its long-standing mechanics and traits burned into the minds of its fans for Activision to ever allow significant slack on the leash.

But why should they? The series has never been healthier in terms of raw sales, and regardless of complaints focused on how similar it looks on the screen to its predecessors, Black Ops 2 is confidently the biggest attempt to change the multiplayer template since the original Modern Warfare. But these changes don’t necessarily make it better as a whole.

You do have to sit down and play it to get past the visuals however, and only then will you begin to appreciate Treyarch’s effort. I’ve often said on these pages that new IP is a wonderful thing, and even I can admit that Black Ops 2′s multiplayer is not perfect. But to change it too much would be suicidal, that much is clear.

The Call of Duty series sells so well because it’s superb at what it does, not because we’re all closed-minded gamers with no desire to explore new avenues. It’s an effective showcase of twitch gunplay and deafening spectacle. If you’re not a fan of it, then that’s perfectly fine.

That core gameplay remains in Black Ops 2, but while the action around players has slowed considerably when compared to Modern Warfare 3′s unfettered madness, there is a renewed emphasis on fast, pure gun vs gun gameplay that revolves around balance.

“The measure of your skill isn’t just in how good your kill-death ratio is, gauged instead by the overall contribution to your team’s final score, and this is another area where Treyarch has really thought about what Call of Duty was lacking.”

Newcomers and regulars will have a tough time adjusting to Treyarch’s new hit detection mechanic. Players take less shots to go down then ever before, and body placement is more important than ever. Shoot an opponent below the waist in a stand-off and you’re already dead. Precision is vital now, and that’s something anyone who has felt cheated by Call of Duty games in the past will surely appreciate.

This revised damage model works on most counts but it still feels like it needs further iteration, as inconsistent damage and questionable deaths begin to return. Knife lunge has also been reduced significantly but panic knifing remains an issue.

It does mean that the amount of bogus knife deaths per game has gone down, but the mechanic seems to stumble even when you’re toe to toe with players, as your point-blank swipe fails to register.

Still, arguably the biggest change to the series’ selection box of staples is the overhauled create-a-class system. Birthed at Treyarch from a paper board game called ‘Pick 10′, the system gives you ten points to spend on any gear you want.

Everything costs one point, from guns and attachments, to lethal devices and perks. It’s amazing how quickly your allowance runs dry when trying to replicate your favourite classes from previous Call of Duty instalments. That mindset doesn’t fly here any more, and while the model reduces unbalance it often feels curbing.

It has been meticulously geared towards keeping everyone on a relatively level playing field. Sure you might have a player with four perks, but he or she will have to sacrifice grenades or their secondary weapon for the pleasure.

The system marks the death of the overpowered ‘win-all’ class, and it’s the best move Treyarch could have made. However, Wildcards bend the rules at the cost of a point and allow you to carry one extra perk, grenade or tactical device, among others.

Score Streaks are the next big change and these do away with killstreak rewards altogether. Now the measure of your skill isn’t just in how good your kill-death ratio is, gauged instead by the overall contribution to your team’s final score, and this is another area where Treyarch has really thought about what Call of Duty was lacking.

You will have a really hard time earning Score Streak rewards by just killing people. Chances are you’ll occasionally get your lowest tiered option – such as a UAV or Hunter Killer drone, but heavy hitters like the AGR robotic turret or the Lightning Strike bombing run will require cooperation to reach.

“Score Streak rewards have also been well-planned to remove avenues for air supremacy. Nightmares of Modern Warfare 2 rounds spent huddled indoors away from the watchful cannons of an AC-130 are a thing of the past.”

Obviously objective-based game types are a better way of boosting your Score Streak given their teamwork nature, and as such Team Deathmatch rarely sees an abundance of active score rewards.

New mode Hard Point is perfect for teamwork – which is based on King of the Hill rules – as you receive bonus score for getting multi-kills, defending objectives and using your tool-set wisely. Chaining these factors is the key to earning quick rewards, and racking up high scores is certainly gratifying.

The low score rewards for vanilla kills dulls the desire to go on lone wolf missions around each of the 14 maps,instead fuelling cooperation. Solo play and kill-grinding will likely continue, but the means are here to get people working together more efficiently.

Score Streak rewards have also been well-planned to remove avenues for air supremacy. Nightmares of Modern Warfare 2 rounds spent huddled indoors away from the watchful cannons of an AC-130 are a thing of the past, and instead you have a manner of robotic threats to contend with.

Many of these rewards have secondary functions, such as detonating a Hellstorm Missile mid-flight to create a cluster bomb affect over a wide area, or taking over from the AI and controlling your AGR, Dragonfire or Sentry Gun manually. The added layer of control is certainly welcome.

Perks have also been down-tuned to offer mild buffs such as Lightweight’s faster movement and Blind Eye’s protection against air support. The polarising Ghost perk is now unlocked at level 55, which is the last rank. It now only hides players off the radar when they are moving, exposing campers at all times. It shows that Treyarch has been listening to fans.

Instead, gun upgrades acquired through skill make more of a difference, such as stabilising fore grip, select fire modules, FMJ rounds and an MMS scope that paints enemies through walls.

The weapon themselves are relatively equal in power, and there are little surprises, except the first three-round burst rifle – the SWAT-556 feels like another Type-95 at first – but then you soon realise that it’s not as powerful as it first feels, just more stable.

There are subtle handling differences here and there that will help you decide which is the firearm for you, but if you’ve played Call of Duty before you will pretty much know what to expect. The only big change is the select fire attachment that lets you switch between single shot and automatic discharge.

“Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 offers – at a mechanic level – the best multiplayer experience the series has delivered. It’s an actual test of skill, not killstreak chaining, manipulative load-out mixing or anything that might seem a tad unscrupulous to players.”

Good tools are nothing without fun maps however, and while the original Black Ops maps – as garish as they seem now – had character, the same cannot be said for all of the new locales. There is a clinical vibe running throughout these arenas, as robotic as the drones and robots running around them.

There are a few stand-out maps however, such as the circular bullet train station Express, which occasionally sees a high speed shuttle barrel round the track, hammering any people or devices in its path.

Raid is a sore point, as its open areas and blind spots make every manoeuvre potentially suicidal. This map is an example of the anti-camping ethos run amok. Metldown on the other hand is a campers paradise, giving players plenty of cover to hunker down behind and slaughter you with ease as you pass.

It’s a mixed bunch, but it frankly shits all over Modern Warfare 3′s selection. Some maps are the usual facilities that you’re probably bored of by now, but the moving robot factory in Drone, the shifting freight containers of Cargo, and the futuristic cruise ship of Hijacked feel fresh and expertly designed.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 offers – at a mechanic level – the best multiplayer experience the series has delivered. It’s an actual test of skill, not killstreak chaining, manipulative load-out mixing or anything that might seem a tad unscrupulous to players. But the game will likely receive the usual torrent of flack from sceptics.

Treyarch has shown that it has the development chops to take a slight gamble with its latest multiplayer, just as FIFA 13 took a gamble with its expanded trick system and First Touch engine. That’s what Call of Duty is after all, a yearly sports game, but with big fuck-off guns instead of a football.

As such Treyarch deserves praise for looking at many of the areas fans took umbrage with, actually listening, then tweaking and rebalancing them for the greater good. The life and soul of the party may have diminished slightly, and some areas may still exist to infuriate, but there is still plenty of fun to be had for now.

Disclosure:

  • This review was written using a retail copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 bought by Dave himself at £44.99 and reviewed at home. VG247 did not attend the game’s official review event..

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19 Comments

  1. tenthousandgothsonacid

    44:99 !?! Dude you were done :)

    Tesco have it at 25 quid mate.

    One question, which platform did you review it on ?

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Dave Cook

    I know, my local ASDA told me they weren’t having a midnight event, but they bloody well did :(

    Xbox 360 for me as all my mates have it on that.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. reask

    Really like your hands on articles Dave keep up the good work. :)
    How is the leauge thing working out for us less accurate players?

    Also would the accuracy thing be similar to say bf3?

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Dave Cook

    @3 League play takes five matches to qualify and unfortunately by that point I didn’t have time to really get into the tables. But yeah it’s a nice way of bracketing players into skill categories. It works :)

    On accuracy it’s not BF3 as there’s no bullet drop or real delay, but yeah accuracy is important to dropping people quickly. Chances are when you start you’ll die a lot. The old tricks won’t work as well in this one. It’s harder.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. absolutezero

    Why would changing the multiplayer completely be suicide when thats exactly what IW did in the first Modern Warfare?

    My history with CoD is a little bit of a love/hate relationship. CoD 2 in particular was fantastic and it still is in some respects so much so that its a much better WW2 shooter than World at War. CoD 3 was terrible in all respects. Modern Warfare still has the best campaign of the entire series. World at War was another mis-tread and was pretty offensive. MW2 was laughable and felt like it was created by two different teams within Infinity Ward, one making the ugly open American levels the other working on the more focused enjoyable SAS parts. Blops was my last meeting with the series and it again depressed the shit out of me, it became not really all that much of a game anymore.

    All the bravado and stacking up and monster closets just fell away to be revealed as the game mechanics that they are. It became a series of inputs as a slowly wandered behind my pack of AI allies and let them kill everything for me. Left Trigger Right Trigger rinse repeat.

    As it stands right now I have no real interest in the series what so ever, I would say I was a fan right up until MW2 and wanted to give it a chance to win me over again.

    I can kinda understand its continuing appeal to most of the people that buy it, its like football at this stage. A male soap opera you can use to make small talk with people.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. reask

    That,s me flucked so. :)
    Thanks dave.
    Are you putting any vids up later now that the community is live?

    #6 2 years ago
  7. ManuOtaku

    For what i did read i think i will give it a shot, i wasn´t that good in MW2 and MW3, my ratio was 0.68 aprox., but seeing that there is some key changes and because of those i might get the chance to being better at the game i will get it just to see is the COD for my style, thanks dave your review made one more copy sold for this game, thanks again.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. AmiralPatate

    An honest opinion on Black Ops 2, that’s something refreshing. Shoutout to Dave.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Dave Cook

    @5 bear in mind man I’m talking strictly about multiplayer in this piece. Zombies is tomorrow, I’m out of town Thursday so campaign will land on Friday.

    AI is a sticky point I agree. You’ll see what I think on Friday :)

    @8 Thanks :)

    #9 2 years ago
  10. absolutezero

    Oh of course Dave I understand completely. I just wanted to ask the question at the start and then my brain started vomiting everywhere.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. lama

    good read! i like the direction they are going, but im still not interested in playing this game.

    also it’s a shame you weren’t invited to the event!

    #11 2 years ago
  12. DrDamn

    @Article
    Great read Dave. Picked up a copy (360) in Tesco for £25 with a £25 PSN card. I’ll spend the PSN money on Vita stuff anyway. So even if I hate it I can trade again for little loss.

    @11
    It’s unlikely they weren’t invited, it’s a new site policy. Giving you more confidence that the view is unbiased and honest.

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OrbitMonkey

    I have my copy… & I’m nervous… Y’know change & all that :-/

    Still, life is change, can’t wait to see what’s what :-)

    #13 2 years ago
  14. ManuOtaku

    #12 Doc i recomend Dokuro, where is my heart, sound shapes and escape plan for the vita, in that particular order

    #14 2 years ago
  15. Dave Cook

    @13 it’s hard at first mate. The increased damage takes some getting used to.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. ManuOtaku

    #15 well Dave, that will level in the same way the playfield, the COD veterans will need to adjust too, therefore i might get a chance after all ;)

    #16 2 years ago
  17. stretch215

    Man, grabbed this at midnight and didn’t put it down until 5 am, playing mp and having a blast. Multi-team ftw!

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Hunam

    I grabbed it last night too. But… it’s really colourful. It’s kinda off putting as it’s like going to war with a cartoon.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. LuLshuck

    Seriously who makes these maps? I sold mw3 a week after having the game because the maps were small and im going to have to do the same thing with black ops 2, whoever is designing these horrible maps needs to play mw2

    #19 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.

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    Blizzard is heading to gamescom 2015 in August and it will have 500 game stations set up for attendees to get their hands on five of its titles. The developer will be set up in Hall 7 and those who stop by will be able to get hands-on with the latest content for Heroes of […]

  • PS4 price cut to £299 in UK

    Sony has dropped the price of the PS4 in the UK. For a limited time only, you can grab the console for £299.99 from Argos, Game, Tesco and Very. Go to Amazon.co.uk and you’ll get it for £289. You’ve only got until April 28, then it goes back up to £349. Go, go, go. For […]

  • Mad Max: first ever gameplay footage revealed

    Today, we get to finally take our first look at gameplay from Mad Max. Avalanche and Warner Bros. have shown off the first gameplay trailer for Mad Max today. The trailer below offers a look at melee combat, car combat, customisation and much more. Give it a watch below: There are a few new screenshots […]

  • Overlord: Fellowship of Evil has four-player co-op like we figured

    Codemasters has pulled the veil back on the next Overlord game, and its a four-player co-op game called Overlord: Fellowship of Evil. Rhianna Pratchett is back to write the story. The game may be co-op at its core, but it can still be played single-player. Each of the four playable character have strengths and weaknesses, […]

  • Update now available for Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, Pokemon X and Y

    Pokemon Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire along with Pokemon X and Y are being updated by Nintendo to fix a few bugs and in-game text. There’s also the possibility of a few hacks and exploits being fixed. Per Nintendo Life (via Serebii), both patches are 250-270 blocks in size, and it’s a mandatory update which […]

  • Side-scrolling cover shooter Not a Hero gets a demo

    Not a Hero, the upcoming game from OlliOlli developer Roll7, has received a demo. The demo for Not a Hero was made available today on Steam. In the game, you play as Steve, the campaign manager for BunnyLord. A time-travelling rabbit who’s running for mayor of London. Think this is an absurd premise? This trailer […]

  • You have until April 30 to export your Green Day: Rock Band tracks to Rock Band 3

    Harmonix has announced that those looking to export their song collection from Green Day: Rock Band into Rock Band 3 can only do so until the end of the month. April 30 will be the cutoff date for anyone who wants to export tracks from Green Day: Rock Band into their Rock Band 3 library, […]

  • Batman: Arkham Knight minimum, recommended, and ultra PC specs revealed

    Batman: Arkham Knight is looking like it’s going to be quite a taxing game. Nvidia has released a list of the minimum, recommended, and ultra PC requirements for Batman: Arkham Knight. Here’s the full thing: Minimum OS: Win 7 SP1, Win 8.1 (64-bit Operating System Required) Processor: Intel Core i5-750, 2.67 GHz | AMD Phenom […]

  • Bloodborne patch 1.03 is live, reduces loading times, fixes suspend/resume bugs, more

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Bloodborne. The patch reduces loading times, adds item descriptions to loading screens, and fixes other various bugs. From Software has pushed update 1.03 live to all Bloodborne owners. As promised, it reduces loading times by approximately 5 to 15 seconds. Another new addition is showing item descriptions instead of […]

  • Battlefield 4: first look at Community Map in action

    Get your first look at the map designed by the community of Battlefield 4. Battlefield 4′s community-designed map is a reality. DICE has recently updated CTE to include an early version of the map. It’s not fully textured as Westie is about to show you, but the layout is nearly finalised. Westie goes over the […]

  • Microsoft apologises for uploading misleading Witcher 3: Wild Hunt footage

    Xbox’s YouTube channel uploaded a video of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt yesterday that was captured from the PC build. The most recent gameplay video for the The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt appeared on the Xbox YouTube channel and showed a quest from the game’s opening section. A few minutes after it had gone live, […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator’s new game is Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey

    Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is the game Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets has been working on. Patrice Desilets has just announced that the next game his indie studio Panache Digital Games is making is called Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey. The announcement comes from Desilets’s keynote at the Reboot Develop event in Croatia. The trailer started […]

  • Bloodborne: Cathedral Ward closed door mystery solved

    The mystery of the locked door at the bottom of the Cathedral Ward in Bloodborne has been solved. Bloodborne, like earlier From Software games, is filled with doors that don’t open the first time you try them. Some will give you “locked” messages, others “does not open from this side”. Some of these will open […]

  • Assassin’s Creed creator Patrice Desilets is revealing his next game now [UPDATE: ended]

    Patrice Desilets, one of the original creators of Assassin’s Creed is hosting a presentation where he’s expected to talk about his next project. Patrice Desilets has emerged once again. This time he’s attending development conference in Croatia. Desilets is giving a live keynote and there’s a good chance we’re going to hear about his next […]

  • Destiny House of Wolves: everything you need to know about gear upgrades & The Reef

    Bungie revealed plenty of important details in last night’s Destiny stream. Let’s go over everything. Alex wants to make sure you don’t miss any of the information revealed yesterday. Most of it affects all Destiny players too, even those who don’t intend on buying House of Wolves. During the first stream, Bungie explained the armour […]

  • Mod-friendly Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access in May

    Galactic Civilizations 3 will leave Steam Early Access next month for a full release, Stardok has announced. The developer called the game the “largest and most diverse strategy sandbox to date,” as players have a variety of tools such as diplomatic treaties to resource exchanges, and United Planets resolutions to hundreds of research directions for […]

  • Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim is out next week on PC – here’s the pre-order trailer

    Ys 6: The Ark of Napishtim will be released next week on PC, and today, we have a pre-order trailer for you. The game will be made available on April 28 for $19.99/€17.99/£13.99 on GOG, the Humble Store and Steam. Along with improvements over the original PSP version, it will contain less backtracking, controller support […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – full gear set up to level 34 in PvP and PvE, upgrades, more

    The Destiny: House of Wolves livestream this afternoon was chock full of information. Read onward for our full report. According to Bungie, Petra Venj, who serves the Queen, is the main story agent who leads the player through the main series of quests. Players who complete bounties will be able to level up in her […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves – watch the livestream right here

    Bungie will host a Destiny: House of Wolves livestream at 2pm EDT today, and you can watch it right here. Watch live video from Bungie on www.twitch.tv The stream will introduce the new social space, The Reef, as well as gear upgrade paths. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player […]

  • FIFA Ultimate Team: week of April 22 team includes Barcelona, Chelsea players

    This week’s FIFA 15 Team of the Week is now available for FIFA Ultimate Team players. Each team member, as with previous weeks, is selected base on the previous weekend’s matches. Here’s the list of players now available: Starting GK: Claudio Bravo – FC Barcelona (Spain) CB: Leonardo Bonucci – Juventus (Italy) CB: Ömer Toprak […]

  • Sony’s Spring Fever Sale winds down with Shovel Knight and Call of Duty discounts

    It’s the final week of Sony’s Spring Fever Sale which means more games have been added to the mix. Shovel Knight, which launches today is one offer, and the rest are all Cal of Duty titles. The Taken movie series is on sale as well. With Shovel Knight available today on PlayStation 3, PS4 and […]

  • Drivers for Xbox controllers, voice messages, more features available in Xbox One preview

    Microsoft has announced new features coming to Xbox One and the Xbox App on Windows 10 through the preview program this month. Some of the new features have been requested by the community for both Xbox One and Xbox One SmartGlass. Here’s what to expect, straight from the horse’s mouth: Xbox on Windows 10 Game […]

  • Total War: Warhammer has been announced for PC, Mac, SteamOS

    Total War: Warhammer has been announced after previous teases from The Creative Assembly touched upon it. The game will contain “gigantic monsters, flying creatures, legendary heroes and storms of magical power.” It is also the first in a trilogy which includes two additional standalone titles and extra content packs. It will feature thousands of warriors […]

  • This video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt features a quest from the prologue

    A new video for The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been released, showing off the Precious Cargo quest contained in the game’s prologue. The quest tasks Geralt with helping a merchant retrieve a mysterious box from the swamps. The scene looks familiar, but we’ve seen so many videos for the game it’s hard to tell […]

  • Limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online kicks off tomorrow on consoles

    The limited public beta for The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited will launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One tomorrow, and Sony has provided details on the tester for those who’ve been invited to participate. The beta test contains the full version of the game and will run from April 23-27, and will start and […]

  • Dying Light debuts in second place on Media Create charts

    Techland’s Dying Light made its debut in Japan lats week, coming in a respectable second place behind Nintendo’s Girls Mode 3: Kirakira Code. The zombie shooter sold 25,530 units on PlayStation 4, while the top earner for the week moved a little over 55,000 units on 3DS. Another western release when landed on the chart, […]

  • Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven will release in the west this June

    Lord of Magna: Maiden Heaven has been given a release date by XSEED Games, which announced the localization back in February. The title will launch for 3DS in North America on June 2 digitally and through retail. It will be an eShop only title in Europe and Australia when it releases on June 4. A […]

  • This Overlord video teases four new faces of evil

    A new Overlord game is in the works, going by the previous teasing and this video – which teases the possibility of four-payer co-op. Or just four characters to choose from. We don’t know just yet – all we know is the team is asking you to “join the fellowship.” A new entry in the […]

  • GTA movie will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar’s Sam Houser, the BBC confirms

    The GTA movie Game Changer will star Daniel Radcliffe as Rockstar co-founder and president Sam Houser, theBBC has confirmed. The BBC also confirmed Bill Paxton will play Jack Thompson, a role Paxton already confirmed last week when speaking with Deadline. Here’s the synopsis per the BBC: “Conceived for an adult audience, this special 90-minute drama […]

  • Take a look at Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode

    Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold’s Classic Mode has received a trailer today. Etrian Odyssey 2 Untold will come with two modes, Classic and Story. Classic Mode was trailered today and in it, you’ll get to make your party by choosing from 13 classes. You’ll be able to customise them too using the character creation tool. Revamped […]

  • Shovel Knight: Plague of Shadows to come with new challenge mode

    Shovel Knight’s upcoming expansion Plague of Shadows will bring with it a new challenge mode. Shovel Knight developer Yacht Club Games has revealed the challenge mode, one of the new additions coming to the game with the free Plague of Shadows expansion. “Are you more into digging than distillation? Already have your Feats book long […]

  • Nvidia releases complete graphical guide for GTA 5

    Those with GeForce cards will be happy to know that Nvidia has released a comprehensive graphical tweaks guide for GTA 5. Nvidia usually produces graphical guides for the big AAA games, and GTA 5 is no different. Their guides offer in-depth coverage of each in-game setting, how much they affect framerate, if they can be […]

  • Cthulhu voodoo: why Bloodborne is the best Lovecraftian game

    Sherif Said tackles Bloodborne’s links to Lovecraftian horror, explaining why you should face the madness and immerse yourself in its lore. Spoilers inside. No other game could commit to its themes so religiously without feeling the need to compromise its vision and veer towards accessibility. Bloodborne stands tall above any game that dares attach itself […]

  • WWE 2K15 is coming to PC this year

    WWE 2K15 will make its way to PC this spring. WWE announced that WWE 2K15 will make its debut on PC in the spring. The game will be based on the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions, both of which came out in November. MyCareer and 2K Showaces modes are included, as well as all […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new mod adds snow to GTA Online

    If you’re looking to get some snow in your GTA Online, someone figured out a way. Modder ECB2 created a mod that works with GTA Online on PC. The mod is called “Snow in GTA Online” and it does what it says on the tin. YouTube channel imperfectplayers captured a video showing it in action. […]

  • Deals with Gold: Call of Duty edition

    Xbox Live Deals with Gold for the week of April 20 are now live with mostly Call of Duty games. Various Call of Duty games are on sale on Xbox One and Xbox 360 through Xbox Live this week. Indie games Never Alone and We Are Doomed managed to sneak in as well. With the […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: PSN sign in problems fixed in new patch

    Patch 1.03 is now live for Mortal Kombat X and it brings an end to the aggravating sing in issue encountered by some users on PS4. Mortal Kombat X 1.03 patch has been released. The patch fixes bug CE-34878-0, which affected the PlayStation 4 version. The bug caused users to have to log in and […]

  • GTA 5 PC: new patch fixes Windows Media Player issue, getting stuck in the clouds

    GTA 5 has received a new patch on PC to fix issues caused by the lack of Windows Media Player and getting stuck between online matches. Patch 335.1 is now available to all owners of GTA 5 on PC. The strange issue that affected those who didn’t have Windows Media Player installed, has been fixed. […]

  • Halo 3: ODST and Relic remake come to The Master Chief Collection in May

    Halo 3: ODST and Halo 2′s Relic map remake are coming to Halo: The Master Chief Collection next month. 343 Industries has announced that Halo: The Master Chief Collection owners will get Halo 3: ODST campaign and the Relic remake in the next content update, due in May. And as promised, the April update has […]

  • Rockstar says Social Club wasn’t hacked, account details leaked from other websites

    Following a number of reports from users who had their Social Club accounts hijacked, Rockstar has confirmed that the service has not been hacked. Over the last couple of days, a few users on Reddit and Rockstar Twitter support started reporting getting kicked out of their GTA Online sessions and seeing an error telling them […]

  • That Destiny: House of Wolves teaser is packed with new intel, Reef reveal at 11.00am PST today

    The new Destiny: House of Wolves social space was revealed more fully than you might believe in today’s teaser. A teaser for a Destiny: House of Wolves’ new social space went live earlier to advertise today’s full reveal. But resident Destiny expert Arekkz went over the teaser with his very fine-toothed comb and turned up […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront content not shaped by DLC plans, says producer

    Star Wars Battlefront may have DLC on the cards already, but DICE hasn’t built the game with extra content in mind, apparently. Star Wars Battlefront releases on November 17, and then on December 8, before the launch of the new movie, it’ll receive a slab of tie-in DLC. This early, pre-meditated content drop is a […]

  • We’ll finally get a look at Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June

    CI Games will show off Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 at E3 in June, according to the event’s official website. The Lords of the Fallen developer confirmed the game was in the works back in December as a AAA “production effort”. It is set during a modern day conflict in Eastern Europe and players will be […]

  • Ultima 7 Complete, Wing Commander 3, others added to Humble Origin Bundle 2

    The Humble Origin Bundle 2 has been updated with four more titles. The new titles are for Windows only and are SimCity 2000, Wing Commander 3: Heart of the Tiger, Wing Commander 4: The Price of Freedom and Ultima 7: The Complete Edition. All can be yours if you pay above the current average, which […]

  • Don’t Starve Together has been updated to inlcude Reign of Giants expansion

    Don’t Starve Together has been updated and now includes “the vast majority” of the Reign of Giants content. Players who currently own Don’t Starve on Steam will get Don’t Starve Together for free when it exits Early-Access. During Early-Access, current owners of Don’t Starve get 2 copies of Don’t Starve Together through the Frontier Pack […]

  • Xbox Live Gold Members can play NBA 2K15 for free this weekend

    NBA 2K15 is free to play this weekend on Xbox Live for Gold Members in celebration of the NBA Playoffs. All Gold Members can play the basketball game for free starting at noon PDT April 24 through 12.01am Monday, April 27. Should you decide you want to purchase the game, your progress will carry over […]

  • Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power hits Steam Early Access and is 10% off

    Trine 3: The Artifacts of Power has finally arrived on Steam Early Access and until April 28, you can knock 10% off the list price. After that, the title will run you $19.99/€19.99/£14.99. There’s also a three-pack available if you want to buy some friends a gift. It will run you $44.99 with the 10% […]

  • You can now grab Killing Floor 2 through Steam Early Access

    Killing Floor 2 is now available through Steam Early Access. Players who purchase Killing Floor 2 during Early Access for $29.99/₤19.99/€26.99 will given free content which carries over to the full release and even more content upon release. The Early Access version of the game contains the following, per Tripwire: Three non-linear levels – The […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves livestream will reveal The Reef social space tomorrow

    A Destiny Twitch stream will take place tomorrow and provide a sneak peek at the House of Wolves expansion. The stream takes place at 11am PDT/2pm EDT tomorrow and will show The Reef social space along with a look at new Vendors. House of Wolves contains new Strike missions, The Prison of Elders three-player arena […]