Mass Effect: Andromeda PC Patch Addresses Sound, Keyboard Issues

Ahead of the game’s full release tomorrow, a new patch has arrived for the PC version of Mass Effect: Andromeda that addresses some of the issues players have been encountering.

Specifically, this update targets problems with black screens caused by a conflict with the Corsair Utility Engine (used for managing certain Corsair accessories, like keyboards and headsets), sound issues in multiplayer, and F-keys not functioning properly in multiplayer. That’s according to producer Fernando Melo, who shared the details on Twitter (via PC Gamer).

Additionally, as of yesterday, server-side fixes were on the way to resolve a problem where certain Challenges could not be completed.

One thing you shouldn’t expect to see resolved–at least on launch day–are the animation issues that have been the object of a great deal of ridicule over the past few days. With players getting their hands on Andromeda through EA Access and Origin Access, numerous bugs and animation gaffes have surfaced, but BioWare has said fixes for the latter won’t be available at launch.

GameSpot’s Andromeda review is now live and makes note of the issues we ran into, none of which “rendered the game unplayable, but they were noticeable and pervasive.” Also be sure to check out our new documentary series on the making of Andromeda.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date And Bonus Features Announced

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter will be released on home video in May, Sony announced today. The sixth and potentially last entry in the series will arrive via digital stores on May 2, with the DVD/Blu-ray scheduled to arrive on May 16.

The home video version comes with a series of extras, including two featurettes, the first of which is titled “Explore the Hive.” The second is called “The Badass Trinity & The Women of Resident Evil.” Another featurette will cover movie’s stunts and weaponry.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter DVD/Blu-Ray Release Date And Bonus Features Announced

Additionally, The Final Chapter‘s home release comes with a “sneak peek” at the new CG film, Resident Evil: Vendetta, as well as what’s referred to by Sony as a “Retaliation Mode.” When watching the film with this toggled on, viewers will hear 30-plus minutes of commentary from director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich.

Across six movies, the Resident Evil film series has passed $1 billion at the worldwide box office, making it far and away the most successful video game movie franchise ever.

Anderson and Jovovich have time and again said The Final Chapter is indeed…the final chapter, at least for them. It’s possible the series will live on with a different director and star.

There appears to be a business opportunity to make more Resident Evil movies, as The Final Chapter has made more than $300 million worldwide against a budget of $40 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

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New Xbox One/PC Features, Including Custom Gamerpics, Coming Soon For Insiders

Microsoft has announced a wide range of features it will release in the coming weeks for “select” Xbox Insider members on Xbox One and Windows 10.

These include some additions that Microsoft has been talking about for quite some time, including Arena, which allows Xbox Live users to participate in tournaments–in this case, for World of Tanks. Profiles will also show a user’s Arena tournament history and any upcoming tournaments, as well as a button allowing to join that person’s broadcast if they happen to have one going.

New Xbox One/PC Features, Including Custom Gamerpics, Coming Soon For Insiders

Custom gamerpics finally make a comeback, allowing you to set a custom image from your Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, or mobile device. However, unlike many of the other features outlined by Microsoft today, this is one that will “be in preview longer than other features to ensure it’s great for everyone when released.”

Clubs and LFG both expand, allowing you to see detailed information about players trying to join your LFG party; search for LFG posts related directly to an Achievement; and pin posts to the top of the Club feed. In your Activity Feed, you can hide specific posts, pin posts to the top, and filter by several things (friends, games, or clubs).

New filter tools are also on the way for the My Games and Apps section, allowing you to look exclusively at Xbox One or Xbox 360 games in your library. Microsoft will also add captive portal support for Wi-Fi and, on Windows 10, the ability to select audio input and output devices for Party chat, which has frustratingly been impossible up until now.

All of the new features, which are detailed in full in an Xbox Wire post, will arrive in the next few weeks for certain Xbox Insider members. There’s no proper release date for when everyone else will get their hands on them, but the Creators Update is due out sometime this spring. It removes Snap mode and introduces new Guide and Home screens.

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Overwatch PTR Update Tries Out Major Lucio Changes

The latest update to arrive on Overwatch‘s public test realm introduces some significant alterations to Lucio and his ability to buff or heal nearby teammates.

Put simply, the changes buff many of Lucio’s abilities but limit his ability to aid his entire team at any one time. The area of effect on Crossfade has been reduced from 30 meters to just 10, but the amount of health restored by his healing song has increased by 50 percent. To help players adjust to this, a visual effect has been added temporarily that helps to demonstrate the new range of Lucio’s songs. On a related note, his Ultimate, Sound Barrier, sees its range drop to 30 meters to 20.

It’s not all bad news for Lucio, as other changes are being made to compensate for this. His weapon’s projectile speed has increased from 40 to 50, and wall-riding provides him with a 30 percent movement speed boost. Jumping off a wall also provides an additional “burst of speed.”

Blizzard provided some explanation for this in the patch notes, saying, “Lucio has often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team. The goal of these changes is to keep those elements feeling strong, but making them harder to apply to everyone on your team at all times. The end result is that he should feel stronger with teams that he can stay close to but not as strong when on teams with heroes that are often spread out (such as Pharah, Widow, Genji, etc).

“Much of Lucio’s character power was tied up in his large passive auras, which caused other elements of his kit to be weakened over time in an attempt to balance him. Now that his auras are more focused it will allow them to be much stronger and allow Lucio to be more active in his role.”

Regarding the visual effect indicating Crossfade’s range, principal designer Geoff Goodman said in a forum post, “[W]e’re looking at getting a more permanent (and better looking) visual indicator at some point, and potentially making it an option to enable/disable.”

Overwatch PTR Update Tries Out Major Lucio Changes

As always with PTR updates, these changes to Lucio may or may not make it into the live game intact. Overwatch’s newest character, Orisa, for instance, quickly faced balance adjustments after being introduced on the PTR.

Elsewhere in this update, Blizzard has introduced a new system meant to reduce the frequency of draws in Competitive Play. Similar to the way a winner can be named on Escort maps based on which team pushed the payload further, Assault maps can declare a winner “based on which team captured the largest portion.” To sufficiently test this out, Competitive Play on the PTR will only see Eichenwalde and Hanamura pop up in the map rotation for now.

Eichenwalde is again the subject of a change in this update, as there’s a new path from the attackers’ spawn leading to the capture point. Custom Games gain a new ability to save a preset, while the Hero Gallery is now home to backstory information about characters and “some of their lore-inspired skins.” There are also bug fixes, which you can see in the full patch notes.

All of this is already available on the PTR version of the game, which is accessible to owners of the PC version. There’s no word on how soon these changes might be implemented in the full game, but we do know a patch adding Orisa arrives tomorrow, March 21.

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Dead Rising 4's Mini Golf, Frank-As-A-Zombie DLC Expansions Detailed

Two new DLC packs are on the way for Dead Rising 4 in the near future, and Capcom has now provided further details about what they consist of.

After outlining the game’s DLC prior to release, Microsoft today shared more about the upcoming Frank Rising and Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf packs. Frank Rising is an “all-new single-player story” that covers the events of an outbreak in Willamette where Frank becomes infected. A “former ally” deems him incurable, but Frank “find[s] help from an unlikely resource” as he seeks a cure.

Dead Rising 4's Mini Golf, Frank-As-A-Zombie DLC Expansions Detailed
Dead Rising 4's Mini Golf, Frank-As-A-Zombie DLC Expansions DetailedDead Rising 4's Mini Golf, Frank-As-A-Zombie DLC Expansions DetailedDead Rising 4's Mini Golf, Frank-As-A-Zombie DLC Expansions Detailed

Along the way, he’ll gain new strength and abilities, none of which were specified. He no longer eats food to stay alive, instead being forced to “feast on others to survive,” though he still endeavors to save at least some survivors.

Frank Rising launches for both the Xbox One and Windows 10 PC versions of the game on April 4 for $10 or as part of the season pass.

Following that is Super Ultra Dead Rising 4 Mini Golf, which Microsoft would only say launches for both platforms “soon” for $10 (or in the season pass). Courses are set in the Willamette Mall and the town itself, and Frank provides play-by-play as you progress. There are different clubs, costumes, and balls to unlock, as well as power-ups to help you kill zombies while getting the ball in the hole. In addition to playing on your own, there’s four-player online multiplayer and local, turn-based co-op.

Dead Rising 4 released for Xbox One and Windows 10 in December, followed by a Steam release just recently. A free update arrived at the end of January with new content alongside a free trial version on Xbox One.

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Top 10 UK Sales Chart: Horizon Zero Dawn And Zelda Drop As Ghost Recon: Wildlands Holds On To No.1

Ghost Recon: Wildlands has finished top of the UK physical sales chart for the second week running. Ubisoft’s open-world game was the biggest UK launch of 2017 so far last week, and it has held on to the No.1 spot for the week ending March 18.

Below Wildlands, Lego Worlds rises one position in its second week on sale to No.2, which pushes Sony’s PlayStation 4 exclusive Horizon Zero Dawn down one place to No.3.

Grand Theft Auto V continues to chart well, up one spot to No.4, while fellow evergreen title FIFA 17 is up to No.5 and Nintendo Switch launch title The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild slips two places to No.6.

Next week’s chart may be be shaken up by Mass Effect: Andromeda, which launches in the UK on March 23 (March 21 in North America). For now however, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, Lego Worlds, and Horizon Zero Dawn are enjoying the podium positions.

You can read the full top 10 sales chart below. Note this table does not include digital sales data, and so should not be considered representative of all UK game sales.

  1. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  2. Lego Worlds
  3. Horizon Zero Dawn
  4. Grand Theft Auto V
  5. FIFA 17
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  7. Rocket League
  8. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  9. Minecraft: Xbox Edition
  10. Forza Horizon 3

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Mass Effect: Andromeda Review Roundup

It’s been nearly five years since the last entry in the Mass Effect franchise. Mass Effect 3 launched in 2012 to mixed reception, with fans disappointed by BioWare’s ending to the trilogy and characters they’d grown to love so dearly.

The latest in the series, Mass Effect: Andromeda, brings the series to a whole new galaxy, with new locations and new personalities to explore. We recently interviewed BioWare about the controversy surrounding the end to the original trilogy and how that affected the development of Andromeda–check out The Story of Mass Effect: Andromeda – Episode 1 and Episode 2 to find out more.

For now though, let’s dig into reviews for BioWare’s latest sci-fi adventure. In our own verdict, critic Scott Butterworth said the game “feels like a vision half-fulfilled.” He said it contains “a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly.” Find out more in our full Mass Effect: Andromeda review.

For a selection of other critics’ opinions, check out the roundup below–or for a wider view on critical opinion, you can take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Developer: BioWare
  • Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
  • Release: March 21 (March 23 in Europe)
  • Price: US $60 / £50 / AU $100

GameSpot — 6/10

“In many ways, Andromeda feels like a vision half-fulfilled. It contains a dizzying amount of content, but the quality fluctuates wildly. Its worlds and combat shine, but its writing and missions falter–and the relative strength of the former is not enough to compensate for the inescapable weakness of the latter. As a Mass Effect game, Andromeda falls well short of the nuanced politics, morality, and storytelling of its predecessors. For me, the series has always been about compelling characters and harrowing choices, so to find such weak writing here is bitterly disappointing. Yet even after 65 hours, I still plan on completing a few more quests. The game can’t escape its shortcomings, but patient explorers can still find a few stars shining in the darkness.” — Scott Butterworth [Full review]

IGN — 7.7/10

“Mass Effect: Andromeda is an expansive action role-playing game with a few great moments that recapture the high points of the landmark trilogy that came before it, and energetic combat and fantastic sound effects contribute to a potent sci-fi atmosphere. Without consistently strong writing or a breakout star in its cast to carry it through the long hours and empty spaces, however, disappointments like a lack of new races, no companion customization, and major performance problems and bugs take their toll.” — Dan Stapleton [Full review]

Game Informer — 8/10

“When taken as its own journey (and not in comparison to Shepard’s saga), Mass Effect: Andromeda is fun, and the important parts work. The narrative isn’t astounding, but keeps you invested and drives you forward. The combat is entertaining whether you’re in single-player or multiplayer. The crew isn’t my favorite, but I like them and they have some good moments. Even with its other problems, these are the largest forces shaping your experience with Mass Effect: Andromeda, and they make it worth playing. At the same time, I was often left looking through a haze of inconveniences and dreaming about the game it could have been.” — Joe Juba [Full review]

Polygon — 7.5/10

“After a number of complaints, it might seem odd to end on such a positive note. Let’s be clear: I’m conflicted about Mass Effect: Andromeda. There’s a lot of roughness throughout the game, and the technical issues, while not game-breaking, are often incredibly distracting.

“But it’s my time with the cast that I’m still thinking about, and the mysteries about the world that haven’t been answered that make me feel like I’m waiting once again for a new Mass Effect game. And if I’m judging a game by where it leaves me, Andromeda succeeds, even if it stumbled getting there.” — Arthur Gies [Full review]

PC Gamer — 80/100

“In the end, Andromeda still manages to be more than the sum of its parts. As a critic I can point to the things that don’t quite work, the things that could be better, the things that should be better after 10 years and four of these games. I can also appreciate where improvements have been made, the basic pleasure of an improved combat system and a full-feeling, spectacular sci-fi world to explore.

“Yet I’m also aware that when I’m in Mass Effect’s zone a lot of these dry pros and cons don’t seem to matter as much. This is a series that has always been good at getting under your skin, that has built its reputation on the moments when all of those disparate elements, good and bad, cohere into an adventure that feels like it’s happening to you. Andromeda can still do that. It’s not perfect. It’s not consistent. But for a story about vast journeys and fresh starts, it also feels a little like coming home.” — Chris Thursten [Full review]

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Intel Announces Crazy Fast $1520 Optane DC P4800X SSD

In July 2015, Intel announced a new memory technology called 3D XPoint, and asserted that it would be 1,000 times faster than traditional NAND flash at the architectural level. After roughly 20 months, the company has revealed its first 3D XPoint drive, the DC P4800X.

Intel is calling its 3D XPoint SSDs Optane drives. Taking into account hardware and software overhead, Intel asserts that the P4800X is roughly five to eight times faster than leading SSDs at low queue depths, which is where most SSDs do their work. Specifically, the company says that it will allow for 2GB/s random read and write speeds. In terms of pure throughput (speed), Intel says the drive is roughly three times as fast as the company’s DC P3700 drive, which is a bold claim considering that the P3700, an NVMe drive, is capable of delivering 2,800MB/s sequential read and 2,000MB/s sequential write speeds.

Intel Announces Crazy Fast $1520 Optane DC P4800X SSD

The new Optane drive also uses the PCIe NVMe interface, and features a new Intel Optane controller. Coupled with the new 3D XPoint architecture, the P4800X is said to use secretive materials that allow it to run much faster than NAND SSDs.

Intel says that its Optane drives will automatically accelerate existing applications and claims that the P4800X will consume roughly 12-14 watts under a heavy load, which slightly more power-efficient than competing high-end NAND solutions.

There are several caveats to the SSD, however. It’s not a drive that’s designed for long sequential read and write sessions, which is useful when you’re transferring large files. Intel asserts that traditional high-end 3D NAND drives are better at those tasks, and says they will exist alongside Optane SSDs as a result. Another big caveat is that the drive is designed for data centers, though consumers with 200-series motherboards and Kaby Lake CPUs will be able to use it. The last caveat is that the drive is very expensive. The 375GB SSD will cost $1520.

While the P4800X is geared for enterprise solutions, you can expect to see Intel bring its Optane drive technology to consumers in the near future.

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New Prey Gameplay Video Is A Walkthrough Of The First 35 Minutes

Warning: The video featured in this article contains spoilers for Prey.

Bethesda has released a video of the first 35 minutes of Prey, for those of you that are excited about Arkane’s upcoming action game and don’t mind a few early game spoilers. The video showcases some of the abilities players will have at their disposal as protagonist Morgan Yu.

It also digs into the upgrading and crafting system, in addition to providing a closer look at the weird shape-shifting aliens you’ll be up against. To reiterate, there’s a fairly big plot revelation early in this video, so if you want to go into Prey fresh, you may want to skip this video.

Prey is being developed by Dishonored developer Arkane’s Austin studio. It is a re-imagining of the 2006 original and replaces the canceled sequel originally in development at Human Head Studios.

Prey’s release date has been confirmed as May 5. It will be available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It is considered to be a spiritual successor to System Shock, and we also think it’s been inspired by BioShock. We recently went hands on with Prey, and you can see our thoughts on it here.

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Sonic Forces Debut Gameplay Video Has Death Egg Robots Destroying City

Sega has released the first gameplay video for Sonic Forces, the game formerly known as Project Sonic 2017.

The video shows the Blue Blur bolting through a city under siege, collecting rings, using his homing attack to destroy enemies and, of course, leaping between platforms. All the while, Death Egg Robot sentinels can be seen in the background toppling buildings and launching bombs.

Sonic Forces is coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch in late 2017. It runs on a brand-new engine that Sega is calling “The Hedgehog Engine 2.” The new name is a reference to the battle between the forces of good and evil.

In other Sonic news, Sonic Mania has been delayed from this spring to summer. A more specific release date hasn’t been provided yet, but Sega showed off the game again, teasing new enemies, preorder bonuses, a collector’s edition vinyl album, and the return of the Flying Battery Zone. You can watch a video of that here.

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