A much-anticipated update is now available for Dishonored 2, adding a New Game Plus mode.
As announced last week, Dishonored 2’s take on the mode allows you to replay the game using any Bonecharm traits or runes you discovered during your first playthrough. More importantly, it also allows you to access both Corvo and Emily’s abilities regardless of which character you choose to play as, which should open the door for even more interesting combos.
This free update comes just over a month after the game first released on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. Another conspicuously absent feature–the ability to go back and replay specific levels–won’t arrive until a new update arrives in January. That will also provide “custom difficulty” settings to tailor the experience to your liking.
FIFA 17 is getting into the Christmas spirit by giving away 12 days’ worth of free items in Ultimate Team.
You’ll receive a free gift–be it coins, a pack, or something else entirely–every day by logging into FUT. Every player will receive a special Christmas-themed kit the first time they log in during this period, with an added bonus freebie if you log into the web app. The festival also includes a number of new squad building challenges, with new player prize cards up for grabs. For full details on the squad building challenges, check out the EA Sports blog.
The promotion started December 16, though confusingly the web app states that FUTmas will end on January 3–18 days after it started.
The holidays come to Minecraft today, as Microsoft has released this year’s Festive Mash-Up Pack for the sandbox game on Windows 10 PC and mobile. The $4 DLC comes with 21 “cheerful” skins, as well as a themed texture pack and a new holiday-focused world to explore.
As you can see in the announcement trailer above, the new world is a snow-covered one featuring frozen lakes and Minecraft’s take on log cabins. There also appears to be a snowball fight mechanic. Some of the skins are for Santa and Krampus, while you can also dress up like a reindeer.
The patch that adds Minecraft’s holiday DLC is called the Ender Update. This brings both versions up to “near-complete” status compared to the Window 10 PC edition. You can read more and see the patch notes here.
Microsoft did not say if the Festive Mash-Up pack is coming to the console versions of Minecraft. The next expansion for the console editions adds a number of Fallout items.
Minecraft is not the only game celebrating the holidays with special content. Check out GameSpot’s roundup here to see all the other games that are taking part.
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Space game Star Citizen has a first-person shooter section called Star Marine, which is playable now on PC in an early access build.
The news was revealed in the notes for Alpha Patch 2.6.0, which has now been released for the Public Test Universe of Star Citizen. Included in this early version of Star Marine are two maps, called Station Demien and Echo Eleven, and two modes: Elimination, a standard free-for-all game type, and Last Stand, in which “Outlaws and Marines wrestle for control of four key computer access points to earn points for their team.”
Elsewhere in the update, a new horde mode is now available in Arena Commander, called Pirate Swarm. Increasing numbers of pirate enemies will converge on your position, with the number of bad guys increasing with the number of players in your party. There’s also new missions on the Crusader settlement, plus a new bleeding mechanic, which saps your health if any of your limbs enter a “ruined” state (10% health or less). For more, check out the official Star Citizen subreddit.
Minecraft fans have something to look forward to this week, as new official soundtracks for the sandbox game’s Greek/Chinese Mythology and Battle Mode expansions arrive on December 21.
Ahead of that, composer Gareth Coker has shared a few of the moody and atmospheric tracks on his Soundcloud page. We’ve embedded a sampling of the tunes below. The Interactive Academy award-winning composer also did the music for Ori and the Blind Forest and Ark: Survival Evolved.
“4J Studios has really given me a huge creative tableau to work with, which I suppose is fitting given that this is Minecraft,” Coker said in a statement. “It was also wonderful to work with a team that supported live music, as the vast majority of work on these three albums contains live musicians.”
Coker also shared some insight into his process for composing the songs.
“When writing music for Minecraft Greek and Chinese mythologies, I tried to keep the music fairly restrained and in keeping with the general pace and feel of the original game, but emphasizing the cultural and historical elements that these mythological settings bring to the table,” he said. “We end up with a mix of live orchestra, solo ethnic instruments, and pulsing background synth elements to help keep the player engaged. The main difference between the two is that the Chinese Mythology has a stronger emphasis on melody and traditional instruments, while the Greek mythology is overall a little more ambient.”
You will notice that the Minecraft Battle Mode songs are very different, stylistically, and that makes sense given the subject material.
“It is a lot faster-paced and contains a great deal of excitement, to help match the gameplay in these mini-games,” Coker said. “4J Studios were particularly keen on having melodies and riffs play throughout these mini-games, and that’s where the emphasis lies in the music here, as well as matching the huge variety of settings, which vary from fantasy, to steampunk, to the wild west, and more.”
Coker also spoke about the unique opportunity he has with Minecraft to write music for an incredibly open-ended game. There are also challenges associated with this, he said.
“One of the most enjoyable parts about creating all this music–and it’s not something that happens too often for composers for film, TV, or games–is being able to create music that isn’t necessarily tied to a fixed narrative,” he said. “This is actually its own challenge, as having a fixed narrative & picture can make decisions a lot easier, instead of having a blank canvas! However, as a result, I think I’ve been able to create tracks that have a natural ebb/flow and while enhancing the in-game experience.”
Right on schedule, Resident Evil 7‘s PC demo landed on Steam today, letting a new group of players get a taste of the horror game that arrives in January.
The Beginning Hour demo, as it’s called, can be downloaded right here on Steam for free. “You wake up alone on the floor of an abandoned farmhouse. Daylight is quickly fading. You must find a way out,” reads a line from the demo’s description.
The demo’s full minimum and recommended system requirements can be seen further down the page.
When Capcom announced the Resident Evil 7 PC demo earlier this month, the developer said there would be a “multitude of PC-specific settings and graphics options.” Courtesy of someone on NeoGAF, we now know that they include things like dynamic shadows, ambient occlusion, bloom, chromatic abberation, and much more. You can see the graphics options menu here.
Resident Evil 7 launches on January 24, 2017 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. That’s just a few days before the new movie, Resident Evil: The Final Chapter, comes out in theaters on January 27. Check out the newest trailer for Resident Evil 7 above, while the latest Final Chapter trailer can be seen here.
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Activision’s Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare takes the top spot on the UK sales chart for the week ending December 17. According to sales monitor Chart-Track, it is the seventh Call of Duty title to hold the top spot during Christmas week.
Further down the chart, Ubisoft’s Steep finally manages to break into the top ten, reaching No.9 in its third week on sale. Rounding off the top ten is 2K’s Mafia III. You can take a look at the full top ten below. This table does not include digital sales data, and thus should not be considered representative of all UK game sales.
MLB Advanced Media is a partnership between 30 Major League Baseball club owners, banding together to provide online services for the league, including the MLB website, and various club sites. BAMTech is a streaming provider and subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media.
Riot was quick to confirm that the deal will not affect how viewers consume League of Legends content in 2017 in an interview with Yahoo Esports. ‘We first and foremost believe in making sure that the content is in places where the fans want to watch it, so that will continue to be the case,” said co-head of esports and head of merchandising for Riot Games, Jarred Kennedy. “We believe in making content freely available, and it will continue to be freely available into the future. We have no plans to change that.”
“That’s not to say that we won’t innovate down the road. Maybe there is something super cool that we create that has to be behind a premium experience so that fans want to buy into it,” clarified co-head of esports Whalen Rozelle.
BAMTech president of business and media Bob Bowman stated that the initial commitment of $50 M annually is only the beginning. “I hope we’re going to do a lot more than that. That’s the minimum guarantee, and I hope we’re going to exceed that by a large margin. And I expect that we will,” he said, citing the fact that esports are a digital-first property, compared to traditional sports.
Effects of the deal are anticipated to start becoming evident from 2018, with teams and players expected to see monetary benefit from deals signed in 2018 and beyond.
There is 1,500 Gamerscore up for grabs. As you can see in the full list below, some achievements are from the original and others are completely new.
Halo Wars: Definitive Edition launches on December 20 for people who preorder the Halo Wars 2 Ultimate Edition. Codes are going out in waves, and it could take 7-10 days to get your code, Microsoft says.
Also in 343’s blog post, the developer teased what sounds like all-new Halo projects. “I can’t really say anything of substance but yesterday we had a studio-wide presentation by Tim Longo, Halo Creative Director, on some super interesting topics pertaining to super secret future stuff,” 343’s community manager said. “All I can say is that I left that meeting feeling very excited.”
Additionally, 343 talked about a new “Olive” helmet that players can obtain in Halo 5. Everyone who makes a map or mode using Forge that is selected by 343 for Matchmaking will get the helmet. Halo 5’s recent Monitor’s Bounty update improved Forge substantially–get all the details here.
343 also teased that another “secret” helmet for Halo 5 will be discussed “soon.”
The blog post covers numerous other subjects, one of which is a delay for the recently released Voices of War Halo 5 multiplayer announcer pack. People in non-English regions have to wait longer.
“We are deeply sorry for this delay and the resulting inconvenience this brings to Halo 5 fans across the world,” 343 said. “We appreciate your support and enthusiasm for Voices of War and are working to release it worldwide as soon as possible. We’re unable to commit to a firm ETA at this time but expect it will take at least several more weeks to resolve.”
343 also clarified that the Voices of War DLC is not localized for non-English countries. “All three announcer voices will be in English, regardless of the language your console is set to,” it said.
Additionally, 343 said it’s heard the feedback about an uncapped frame rate option for Halo 5: Forge on PC–but it’s not coming, at least not officially.
“We’ve heard fan requests for this functionality loud and clear and the team has looked deeply into this issue,” 343 said. “Unfortunately, since all of the game code and logic for Halo 5–in both the client and dedicated servers–is fundamentally built around and assumes 60hz, it’s not going to be possible to implement this change.
“Currently there are some community “hacks” that allow players to go beyond 60hz but doing so really highlights the issues as physics start to break, particle effects misfire, water and surfaces behave incorrectly and so on. This is certainly something the team will continue to think about as we move into the future but is unfortunately beyond scope for Halo 5: Forge.”