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Rainbow Six Siege photo
Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege gets frigid for its first free map


Black Ice
Feb 02
// Brett Makedonski
As classics such as The Thing and Alien vs. Predator have taught us, people get hurt when the temperature goes down. Rainbow Six Siege is already about hurting people (killing them, in fact!), so the game's fi...

Review: Call of Duty: Black Ops III: Awakening

Feb 02 // Chris Carter
Call of Duty: Black Ops III (PC, PS4 [reviewed], Xbox One)Developer: TreyarchPublisher: ActivisionReleased: February 2, 2016 (PS4) / TBA (PC, Xbox One)MSRP: $14.99 ($50 Season Pass for four packs) When it comes to map design, Treyarch is one of the best in the business. One of its go-to staples is the three-lane approach, which allows for all sorts of interesting firefights and strategies throughout every game type. It takes it to an extreme here with Gauntlet, as it hosts three unique themes in each lane -- tropical, arctic, and industrial. Each area evokes feelings of the past Black Ops maps, Jungle, Discovery, and Kowloon respectively, which is good company to be in. Gauntlet is instantly recognizable, and really feels like three maps in one. If anything it's a bit too tunnel-oriented as folks will no doubt have issues with a lack of elevation (especially in the arctic and jungle themes), but it gets the job done and I'm glad it's in the rotation. [embed]338194:62083:0[/embed] Splash (pictured up top) is typical Treyarch at its finest. It's an absurd water park map that wouldn't feel out of place at Disney World's Caribbean Beach Resort. It's bright, it's littered with shops and rides, and even has a Main Street area. Water slides dot the landscape, as do cute mascot signs that top the previous meta Burger Town franchise -- it would feel right at home in the wackier Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare games. It's crazy that you can consistently read the detail on individual signs now as well (a few of which made me laugh, like the "no selfie stick" one), instead of haphazardly trying to read blurry scrawls. It's one of my favorite maps in years, with a wide array of open areas and indoor close-quarters combat sections. Skyjacked, quite simply, is a remake of Hijacked from Black Ops II. This map was a bit divisive in the community due to its close-quarters focus and propensity to promote camping, so most of you have already made up your mind on it. Personally it was one of my favorites, so I'm glad to see Treyarch bringing it back here, and was happy to play it again. The new theme isn't a half-measure like some past remakes, as the entire affair now takes place in a floating fortress, set to the backdrop of an ongoing city battle. It's a remake of a good map that's made even better due to jumpjet and wallrunning capabilities. There's usually one map that I outright dislike in a pack, and this time it's Rise. It's far too gated and familiar for my tastes, and is nearly indistinguishable from a few industrial levels included in the base package (namely Exodus). There are times where you'd think a cool new area is just waiting around a corner, but then the game doesn't allow you to actually go there due to invisible walls. It's almost like they spent too much time building the other three to really put the proper amount of care in here. If it comes up in the rotation I usually cringe. Der Eisendrache (The Iron Dragon) caps off the DLC, which immediately adds more of an incentive to pick up Awakening. Peppering in one zombie (or alien) map is a strategy the other Call of Duty developers (Infinity Ward and Sledgehammer) have adopted for good reason -- the sheer amount of depth in these things keep people coming back for more. I really dig the whole castle theme, which basically goes full Wolfenstein from the start. I'm sad to see the Jeff Goldblum crew seemingly isn't returning for more, but the original cast is iconic enough to last, spearheaded by Steve Blum's Dempsey. The animated intro certainly helps give the level a different feel as well, and it's crazy that Treyarch is still building upon the lore it created so many years ago in World at War. Der Eisendrache surprised me as well with its open layout, with plenty of room to move, lots of teleporters, and tons of secrets that players will be tracking down weeks after launch. As Nikolai even remarks during Der Eisendrache, "will there ever be an end to this nightmare?" Not as long as Activision keeps selling DLC, there isn't! But one man's nightmare is another man's video game, and the good news is that each Call of Duty developer has been pushing itself harder in recent years to justify the price. If you still play Black Ops III, you can't really go wrong with Awakening -- especially since the new maps are now built into normal playlists from the get-go.
Call of Duty DLC review photo
Four maps and some zombies
It's still crazy to me that I'm loading up a Call of Duty DLC pack first on PlayStation 4. After years of Microsoft-dominated timed exclusivity Sony finally has its shot at heading it up, and it has perfect timing with Black Ops III. As one of the best Call of Duty games in years, it allows Awakening plenty of room to breathe, and lets Treyarch be its unconventional self.

Metal Gear Online photo
Metal Gear Online

Quiet will be playable in Metal Gear Online


More DLC scheduled for March
Jan 30
// Jordan Devore
Boy, Metal Gear Online. I sure forget about that in a hurry. Those of you who have stuck with The Phantom Pain's multiplayer suite and plan to continue doing so might be pleased to know that more content is coming in March 20...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Disney will not allow EA to break canon with Star Wars Battlefront


But I want to be BB-8!
Jan 30
// Zack Furniss
While we've known since last month that Star Wars Battlefront is going to focus on the original trilogy for this release in the series, we didn't know exactly why. An EA earnings call (via VideoGamer) has shed some light on w...

Warhammer photo
Warhammer

Vermintide is getting a free Last Stand mode


By the end of February
Jan 28
// Jordan Devore
Recent talk about multiple upcoming Games Workshop projects reminds me that I missed Fatshark's Left 4 Dead-ish take on the property, End Times - Vermintide, and need to remedy the situation before long. Some good news on tha...
Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

Ubisoft spills the beans for The Division's Season Pass


DLC is the place to be
Jan 28
// Chris Carter
The Division is an Ubisoft game, so it will have DLC. Lots of it. We all assumed this, now we know -- the publisher has laid out their plans openly before its March launch. In addition to free regular updates, there will...
Dying Light Nightmare photo
Dying Light Nightmare

Dying Light's Nightmare mode looks like a treat


When the apocalypse isn't bad enough
Jan 26
// Nic Rowen
No Easter egg weapons, longer nights, tougher zombies, and less survivor's sense. Sound like fun? No? Well, I guess that is kind of the point of Dying Light's Nightmare mode, part of the upcoming Enhanced Edition DLC. Don't w...
Battlefront DLC photo
Battlefront DLC

These are Star Wars Battlefront's DLC plans


Some free, some paid
Jan 26
// Jordan Devore
Despite liking Star Wars Battlefront quite a lot initially -- far more than I would've expected, going in -- I think it has been, what? A month since I last played? That weekend bonus XP event in December is the last time I r...
MKX Cyber Sub-Zero photo
MKX Cyber Sub-Zero

Cyber Sub-Zero sneaks into MKX as Triborg's fourth variation


Triborg looking cool
Jan 25
// Nic Rowen
I never understood the popularity of Mortal Kombat's cyber-ninjas. I mean, you'd think if anyone could appreciate a pack of robots in a fighting game it would be me, but Cyrax, Sektor and the rest of the metal gang always see...
Elder Scrolls Online photo
Elder Scrolls Online

The Elder Scrolls Online: Thieves Guild's trailer is the least sneaky thing possible


Steal everything... with explosions!
Jan 22
// Joe Parlock
One of the coolest questlines in both Oblivion and Skyrim was the Thieves Guild. Sure, it’s never been as memorable the Dark Brotherhood, but I always find planning heists and dealing with the politics of a band of thi...
Batman photo
Batman

Here's a roundup of all the major Batman: Arkham Knight DLC packs


There's tons of useless junk too
Jan 21
// Chris Carter
A number of people have asked me how all of the DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight has measured up since the Season Pass is done. My response is simple -- you can skip out on the pass itself. Instead of paying out for a bunch...
EDF Mission Pack 1 photo
EDF Mission Pack 1

Earth Defense Force 4.1 has some new missions


The first DLC level pack is out
Jan 15
// Jordan Devore
Unsurprisingly, Earth Defense Force 4.1: The Shadow of New Despair is getting extra missions post-release. The first DLC pack, Time of the Mutants, released this week on PlayStation Network. It's $9.99 for 26 levels. A second...
Mortal Kombat X photo
Mortal Kombat X

Alien and a drunken fart man killing everything in a new Mortal Kombat X video


Both silent and deadly
Jan 12
// Brett Makedonski
Few video game trailers are as effective and efficient as the Mortal Kombat X new character videos. They show the fighters, one at a time, destroying the opposition as you could theoretically do if you were controlling ...
Dying Light gameplay photo
Dying Light gameplay

Take to the country with 16 minutes of Dying Light's The Following


First 16 minutes of gameplay
Jan 11
// Steven Hansen
Dying Light was one of the unexpected hits of 2015, with its parkour hook providing just enough to help stomach yet another zombie game. IGN has The Following expansion producer Tymon Smektała with a guided tour of the ...
Hardline Getaway DLC photo
Hardline Getaway DLC

Battlefield Hardline gets Getaway DLC, if anyone's playing


Don't ax me no questions
Jan 07
// Steven Hansen
Sure, everyone's busying themselves on Battlefield: Star Wars, who wants to mess with a year-old, Visceral-developed Battlefield Hardline? Some people, maybe, as EA's Night at the Roxbury is still getting support. The Getawa...
Just Cause 3 photo
Just Cause 3

New Just Cause 3 patch coming 'later' this month


Expect new DLC later this month, too
Jan 06
// Vikki Blake
The first instalment of Just Cause 3's Air, Land and Sea Expansion Pass DLC - Sky Fortress - is almost complete.  "Whilst one side of the studio is working on patches, fixes and optimisations for the game, which wil...
The Binding of Isaac photo
The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ expansion will have new items, bosses, and possibly your voice


Also coming to PS4 and Xbox One
Jan 05
// Zack Furniss
I haven't even touched The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth yet (I'm waiting for the PlayStation 4 version since that's where my save file is), yet Edmund McMillen and Tyrone Rodriguez are already talking up the next expansion, A...

Review: Batman: Arkham Knight: Season of Infamy

Dec 23 // Chris Carter
Batman: Arkham Knight: Season of Infamy (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: WB Games MontrealPublisher: Warner Bros.MSRP: $9.99Released: December 22, 2015 Infamy is a bit confusing. It's not an "Arkham Episode," that's detached from the story by way of a menu option. It's an actual extension of the narrative, taking place before Batman initiates the Knightfall Protocol (the ending), and it's integrated into the open-world campaign. In other words, if you've reached 100 percent completion in the game, just load up your file to start the DLC. Four new missions pop up as a result of booting up Infamy, which you can complete in any order, featuring Mr. Freeze, Mad Hatter, Ra's al Ghul, and Killer Croc. Each one is roughly 30-45 minutes long. Let's start with the Mad Hatter, the weakest link in the chain. His effectiveness as a Batman villain has always been questionable, and that goes double for his appearance in Arkham Knight. He was fine as a throwaway sidequest included in City, but the return of his presence does little to justify a premium price here. You'll be done with his bit in less than 30 minutes, running around Arkham with a minor series of fetch quests before confronting him at the Gotham City Police Department headquarters, and enduring another hallucination that amounts to nothing more than three easy combat challenges. It's a neat concept but it's so fleeting that I barely had time to digest it. Killer Croc is another of those one-dimensional foes that often functions as the muscle of an outfit -- a trope that leads you down a predictable storyline in the Infamy add-on. A prison ship has crash-landed compliments of an escape attempt by Croc, and you'll gallivant across the environment, chasing him down for a bit (with more fetch quests in tow of course). Consisting of a few platforming sequences and some combat, there's basically no thinking involved here in just about every facet of the short quest. It works better than Mad Hatter's portion though because most of it isn't comprised of re-used environments, and there is a nice brief reunion with Nightwing. [embed]328895:61630:0[/embed] Mr. Freeze on the other hand, is a villain that has always had a more interesting, nuanced characterization. He's not truly evil in the traditional sense -- rather, he sees his schemes as a means to an end, to save his wife Nora. The actual objectives for his quest aren't all that enthralling, but it's the only one that features Predator sequences, and the concept (and the exploration of his relationship with Nora) is compelling enough to see the tale through until the end. Plus, it has a Batmobile sequence that has more of a reason to exist than most of the ones in the campaign. Ra's al Ghul's quest is the other highlight of the pack, taking place mostly in Eliott General Hospital. Hush's part in Knight was extremely disappointing, especially after the buildup from City, so it's nice to see his family's legacy featured front and center to some degree. Along with some brand new zones you'll also work through a rather intriguing subplot featuring the League of Assassins (who are some of the only new enemies in the Infamy pack), and the Lazarus Pit -- one of the wackier bits of Batman lore. There's also a choice at the end that's actually pretty interesting that I won't spoil here. As a premium add-on, Season of Infamy really fails to produce much that feels like it's essential to the Arkham Knight experience outside of two tales. But on the other hand, it has a number of nice little touches, most notably a small expansion of the GCPD HQ, adding another wing (along with some easy WayneTech upgrade points), and the mission structure in the weaker two stories is competent at the very worst. If you really loved Knight and have been avoiding all the DLC thus far, Infamy is probably worth checking out at some point -- even if it's the only thing you buy piecemeal. [This review is based on a retail build of the game purchased by the reviewer.]
Batman DLC review photo
Ice to see the end of the Season Pass
I've refrained from reviewing most of the DLC for Batman: Arkham Knight outside of the Batgirl add-on, because of the short nature of the mission-based tales. But Season of Infamy has four missions, so that means it's four times as good, right?!

Arkham Knight DLC photo
Arkham Knight DLC

Batman: Arkham Knight's last DLC out this week


I'm cool on it
Dec 20
// Nic Rowen
The last of the Arkham Knight DLC will be arriving on Dec 22, just in time to land in the stocking of all the naughty children of Gotham. The new pack includes the expected alternate looks for Batman and his whip (this time f...

Review: Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper

Dec 16 // Brett Makedonski
Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper (PC, PS4, Xbox One [reviewed])Developer: Ubisoft MontpellierPublisher: UbisoftMSRP: $14.99Released: December 15, 2015 (PS4, Xbox One), December 22, 2015 (PC) Assassin's Creed Syndicate: Jack the Ripper takes place 20 years after the main game ends. In that time, Evie has traveled to India and learned and perfected a non-lethal fear technique. With it, she's able to send her enemies into a panic, often causing them to flee in terror. Predictably, that's the main gameplay allure in this DLC. Both Jack the Ripper (he's playable) and Evie share this fear mechanic. The add-on nicely juxtaposes the two characters in alternating sequences. In one, Jack will callously and barbarically kill anyone in his way, sending those who see him running scared for their lives. In the next, Evie will use these same fear methods to mostly skirt combat in a completely different, yet equally effective, manner. Jack's sections are easily the most interesting this expansion has to offer. In them, haunting visual prompts pop up like "kill them all" and "leave no witnesses," as if they're coming straight from Jack's twisted mind. As he continues on his homicidal bent, the screen will briefly distort, adding another troubling layer of visual tension to the already disturbing scene. [embed]326720:61550:0[/embed] Evie, on the other hand, spends most of her time trying to unravel the mystery of Jack the Ripper, but always one step behind. Much of her focus is on crime scene investigation and pursuit. Like in Syndicate proper, Evie's tendencies are rooted in stealth and cunning. It's here that we learn most about The Ripper through examining his actions. This is where Jack the Ripper falls flat. Even though Ubisoft doesn't go too crazy in divulging his story, what is told feels contrived. Again, Jack the Ripper is best as a faceless boogeyman. It would've worked if Ubisoft simply sent Evie to protect London from Jack. Instead, he's unnecessarily shoehorned into Assassin's Creed lore, and the expansion is worse off for the artificiality of it all. Unlike main Assassin's Creed installments, Jack the Ripper benefits tremendously from a streamlined approach. The add-on quickly ushers the player from mission to mission, with little dillydallying in between. Ubisoft couldn't resist the urge to pad the expansion with some trademark side events, but they're not pressing, not in-your-face, and ultimately not really important. It's just three hours of mostly quality main story content. Jack the Ripper can't aspire to reach the heights that Syndicate did. But, it also doesn't suffer the same setbacks. In a game where open-world strain can become a serious problem, this add-on is a mostly-focused reprieve. Sure, there are some fumbling moments, but there are also some elegantly-handled ones. Given the difficult source material and the obvious danger of stumbling, Jack the Ripper mostly doesn't, and that feels like a best-case outcome. [This review is based on a retail build of the game provided by the publisher.]
Jack the Ripper review photo
Whodunnit?
The tale of Jack the Ripper is one of mankind's great enigmas. More than 100 years ago, someone savagely murdered at least five women in the Whitechapel district of London. He maimed his victims so unthinkably that his legend...

Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Revel in the mystery that's cast by Dying Light: The Following's eerie teaser


When there's nowhere else to run
Dec 16
// Brett Makedonski
Dying Light shelves the parkour and the zombie bashing in the story teaser trailer for its next add-on, The Following. Instead, it wonders aloud exactly how the survivors might go about escaping this hellhole and if a c...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny with all the DLC is cheaper than just The Taken King add-on today


Savings that will have you over the moon
Dec 14
// Brett Makedonski
As we inch toward the end of the year, retailers keep doing all they can to turn their existing inventory into profit. Destiny is the beneficiary of the holiday sales creep today, as the legendary edition of the game is ...
Assassin's Creed photo
Assassin's Creed

Assassin's Creed Syndicate's Jack the Ripper DLC coming next week


December 15
Dec 10
// Chris Carter
Assassin's Creed Syndicate has been teasing its Jack the Ripper DLC for weeks now, but this is the first time we've had a really good gander at it. All told, it actually looks quite meaty, and the new story trailer isn't hal...
The Witcher 3 DLC photo
The Witcher 3 DLC

The Witcher 3's second expansion looks lovely


Blood & Wine
Dec 08
// Jordan Devore
There's no snow where I live, thank goodness, but it is cold and rainy. Gloomy vibes all around with no end in sight. I don't want to think about it, so excuse me for a moment while I get distracted by these warm screenshots ...
Dying Light photo
Dying Light

Dying Light: Enhanced Edition will be free for owners of the base game (minus the expansion)


$60 otherwise if you want the expansion
Dec 06
// Zack Furniss
Chris liked Dying Light well enough, and I did too, back at the lovely Rely on Horror. I haven't played it since it released earlier this year, but the way Techland is handling the new Enhanced Edition is compelling...
Destiny photo
Destiny

Destiny's a racing game now too


Get on your Sparrow
Dec 05
// Brett Makedonski
Destiny, a shooter that everyone was down on in 2014 and then very high on in 2015, isn't just a shooter anymore. It's also a racer. Bet you didn't see that coming. Sparrow races are going to be a part of Destiny on December...
Call of Duty photo
Call of Duty

The first Call of Duty: Black Ops III DLC is coming in early 2016


PS4 first, of course
Dec 05
// Brett Makedonski
Black Ops III getting stale yet? It has only been out for a month so I'd hope not. But, if it is, reinforcement is coming soon. Toward the beginning of Sony's PlayStation Experience keynote, it was revealed that the Awakening add-on is slated for early 2016. Of course, Sony's getting its money's worth for its sizable investment and touting it as a 30-day exclusive to PS4. Money talks.
Battlefront DLC photo
Battlefront DLC

Star Wars Battlefront's Battle of Jakku DLC is just okay


But at least it's free
Dec 02
// Jordan Devore
Oh thank goodness, more content for Star Wars Battlefront. While The Battle of Jakku hasn't seen a wide release yet (that's happening on December 8), the free new DLC is now available for folks who pre-ordered the game. It's ...
Star Wars photo
Star Wars

Star Wars Battlefront's Jakku DLC looks like a good start


Casualties aplenty
Nov 30
// Jordan Devore
The first wave of free Star Wars Battlefront DLC debuts tomorrow for players who pre-ordered the game, while everyone else can get it a week later on December 8. As we've heard a few times now, the Battle of Jakku is made up ...
Rocket League photo
Rocket League

Play ice hockey in Rocket League


Here comes a Snow Day!
Nov 26
// Vikki Blake
Psyonix has confirmed that from December 14, you'll be able to jump into the Winter Games event, Snow Day, in Rocket League. The ice hockey-inspired playlist (well, it's a puck instead of a ball) replaces the Mutator Mashup a...

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