Dishonored 2 Free Update Adds New Game Plus Mode Today, a Month After Release

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.

Despite the absence of all this, we quite liked Dishonored 2. It made GameSpot’s lists of the best PS4 games and best Xbox One games for 2016. You can check out our full review here.

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FIFA 17 Giving Away Free Items in '12 Days of FUTmas'

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.

Publisher EA has given away a number of free kits for good causes in the past few weeks, most notably to commemorate a number of Chapecoense players who died in a tragic plane crash. The company also gave away a rainbow-colored kit to support the Premier League’s #RainbowLaces campaign, which aims to support LGBT people in the football community. Lastly, FIFA Mobile got exclusive Games for (RED) content to help fight AIDS.

We enjoyed EA’s giant soccer game here at GameSpot–critic Nathan Ditum awarded it a 9. For more, check out our full FIFA 17 review. Alternatively, check out our list of all the games with Christmas 2016 events and updates.

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Dress Up as Krampus or Santa in Minecraft's Holiday DLC

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.

Dress Up as Krampus or Santa in Minecraft's Holiday DLC

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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Star Citizen's Shooter Segment, Star Marine, Now Playable

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.

Star Citizen is the most successful crowdfunded project of all time, with funding passing the $113 million mark earlier this year. The game’s single-player campaign mode, Squadron 42, was recently delayed out of 2016. The full game, meanwhile, remains unreleased almost four years after its crowdfunding campaign first began.

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New Minecraft Soundtracks Coming This Week, Listen to Some Songs Here

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.”

New Minecraft Soundtracks Coming This Week, Listen to Some Songs Here
New Minecraft Soundtracks Coming This Week, Listen to Some Songs HereNew Minecraft Soundtracks Coming This Week, Listen to Some Songs HereNew Minecraft Soundtracks Coming This Week, Listen to Some Songs Here

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.”

In other news about Minecraft, a DLC pack containing Fallout worlds and characters is coming to the console versions.

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Resident Evil 7 Demo Hits PC, Numerous Graphics Options Revealed

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.

The Resident Evil 7 Beginning Hour demo is already available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Resident Evil 7 Demo Hits PC, Numerous Graphics Options Revealed

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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Top 10 UK Sales Chart: Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare Dominates in Xmas Week

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.

Following Infinite Warfare is a pair of EA titles: FIFA 17 at No.2 and Battlefield 1 at No.3. Ubisoft’s Watch Dogs 2 moves up two places from last week, rising from No.6 to No.4. Grand Theft Auto V continues its run in the top ten at No.5.

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.

  1. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  2. FIFA 17
  3. Battlefield 1
  4. Watch Dogs 2
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. Final Fantasy XV
  7. The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition
  8. Dishonored 2
  9. Steep
  10. Mafia 3

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Annual $50M League of Legends Deal Signed Between Riot Games and MLB Advanced Media

BAMTech, a subsidiary of MLB Advanced Media, has signed a USD$50 million annual deal to work with Riot Games on the monetization and commercialization of League of Legends.

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.

Annual $50M League of Legends Deal Signed Between Riot Games and 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.

Annual $50M League of Legends Deal Signed Between Riot Games and MLB Advanced Media

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.

Surprise over such a large investment is dulled by the fact that League of Legends surpassed 100 million monthly players back in September. This isn’t the first time investors from other sports have gotten behind esports, with NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers joining the industry after picking up and merging Team Dignitas and Team Apex, and Boston Celtics player Jonas Jerebko acquiring the Renegades.

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Halo Wars: Definitive Edition Achievement List Revealed; New Halo Projects Teased

As part of its latest weekly blog post, Halo developer 343 Industries has published the full Achievement list for the soon-to-launch Halo Wars: Definitive Edition for Xbox One and PC.

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition Achievement List Revealed; New Halo Projects Teased

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.”

343 has already basically confirmed Halo 6, so that could be one of the projects.

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.

Halo Wars: Definitive Edition Achievement List Revealed; New Halo Projects Teased

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.”

You can read 343’s full blog post here.


2 Bugs are Better Than 1 – Win a Skirmish Game with Dual Scarabs – 10gs

24 Hours of Quality – Play Halo Wars for at least 24 total hours – 20gs

A Means to an End – Completed Mission 13 on any difficulty – 10gs

Adjudicate the Arbiter – Complete the Campaign on Heroic Difficulty – 30gs

Alas, Poor Andrew Thomas – Collect your first Skull – 5gs

Backscratcher – Complete any Campaign Mission in Co-op Mode – 10gs

Basically Naïve – Win 10 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 10gs

Battened Down the Hatches – Mission 11: Save all the Airlocks – 5gs

Beaming with Pride – Mission 13: Destroy 25 units with the Scarab – 5gs

Big Al’s Scooter – Win a Heroic Skirmish Game against the AI un under 10 minutes – 10gs

Build for Success – Completed Mission 2 on any difficulty – 10gs

Covenant “Hot Drop” – Mission 3: Kill at least 5 Covenant Units with the Bridge.5gs

Crushed Colors – Improve your Score in any Campaign Mission – 10gs

Dancing with the Beam Queen – Completed Mission 7 on any difficulty – 10gs

Detour the Great Journey – Complete the Campaign on Legendary Difficulty – 50gs

Didn’t Get to Second Base – Mission 14: Don’t claim an extra base – 5gs

Don’t Stop Me Now – Win 40 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 70gs

Drain Cleaner – Kill 20 enemy squads with a continuous Covenant Leader Power on Memorial Basin – 30gs

Empire Builder – Win a game in every Skirmish Game Mode – 5gs

Endless Fun – Mission 2: Destroy every Methane Tank – 5gs

Epic Grinder – Obtain a lifetime campaign Score over 1,000,000 – 40gs

Evacuation of the Fittest – Completed Mission 10 on any difficulty – 10gs

Everything’s Better with Bacon – Mission 1: Ram 50 Grunts with Warthogs – 5gs

Forging a Way to History – Completed Mission 15 on any difficulty – 10gs

Freak on a Streak – Gain at least 15 population from a single wave in a Reinforcement game – 20gs

Gallivant around the Galaxy – Win a game on every Skirmish Map – 25gs

Graverobber – Collect all Skulls – 30gs

Great Form! – Completed Mission 6 on any difficulty – 10gs

Halo Academic – Unlock 20 Timeline Events – 15gs

Halo Historian – Unlock All Timeline Events – 40gs

Halo Undergraduate – Unlock a Timeline event – 5gs

Handy with Tools – Mission 12: Repair the Power Core in less than 4 minutes – 5gs

Hardly Tardy – Finish five missions under Par Time on Heroic difficulty – 10gs

He’s Got the Jack – Mission 5: Jack 5 Covenant Vehicles – 5gs

High Class Escort – Completed Mission 4 on any difficulty – 10gs

KillJoy – Disrupt 5 active Leader Powers in a single game on Blood River – 20gs

Living Loving Bug – Get a Scarab during a Reinforcement game – 30gs

Lovely Bunch of Coconuts – Collect 8 Skulls – 15gs

Maximum Effort – Win 50 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 90gs

Meet Sergeant Forge – Completed Mission 1 on any difficulty – 10gs

Micro Manager – Mission 7: Do not destroy any Power Node – 5gs

Momma’s Boy – Get a Gold Medal on any mission – 5gs

Most Valuable Deck Hand – Completed Mission 11 on any difficulty – 10gs

Mr. Punctual – Finish all missions under Par Time on Heroic difficulty – 15gs

My Virtual Friends Love Me – Win a 3v3 Skirmish game with 2 AI Allies – 10gs

Never Leave a Man Behind – Finish a game with 5000 net resources contributed to your teammates on Memorial Basin – 15gs

Noob n0 M0r3 – Win a Public game on Xbox LIVE – 10gs

Officer on Deck – Win 20 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 30gs

One and Done – Score the winning point in a game of Keepaway against Legendary AIs – 30gs

Own Worst Enemy – Get a Gold Medal with all Debuff Skulls Active – 20gs

Patience IS a Virtue – Completed Mission 5 on any difficulty – 10gs

Penny Pincher – Get a winning High Score with 10 or less Squads against the Heroic AI – 10gs

Playin’ the Field – Win a Skirmish Game with every Leader – 15gs

Pull Hard, Pull Deep – Win and never trail in a Tug of War game – 20gs

Racing the Clock – Finish one mission under Par Time on Heroic difficulty – 5gs

Ramblin’ Man – Mission 8: Use Elephants to train 100 infantry – 5gs

Ready for the Sequel – 100% Completion – 75gs

Rhino Hugger – Mission 6: Successfully protect every Rhino – 5gs

Running the Show – Win 30 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 50gs

Saving the Parade – Completed Mission 8 on any difficulty – 10gs

She’s my Fixer Upper – Completed Mission 12 on any difficulty – 10gs

Signed, Sealed, Delivered – Completed Mission 14 on any difficulty – 10gs

Smash and Grab – Completed Mission 3 on any difficulty – 10gs

So Lonely At the Top – Win and have the highest score in a Public Game on Xbox Live – 20gs

Soldier of Ares – Win 75 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 110gs

Staving Off the Infection – Completed Mission 9 on any difficulty – 10gs

Sweet Naptime – Mission 9: Put every Colony in Hibernation Mode at the same time – 5gs

The Procrastinator – Mission 10: Disrupt all Tractor Beams – 5gs

The Real Winner – Mission 4: Save Adam – 5gs

Thinkin’ About My Doorbell – Mission 15: Open the Doors in order – 5gs

Titan – Get 20,000 points in any Skirmish Game – 15gs

Tour Coming Through – Hot drop 50 squads to your Covenant Leader in a single game on Barrens – 30gs

Walk-off Winner – Use one of the 6 Major Leader Powers to destroy an enemy’s last unit – 30gs

Wall of Recognition – Get a Gold Medal on every Campaign Mission – 30gs

Weapon of Zeus – Win 100 Skirmish or Multiplayer Matches – 130gs

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Terry Crews Wants to Be in Overwatch, Visits Blizzard

Terry Crews visited the Blizzard headquarters this week to meet with the Overwatch team, sparking speculation that he may end up voicing a yet unannounced character.

Terry Crews Wants to Be in Overwatch, Visits Blizzard

In a recent thread on Reddit, Terry Crews said, “I would LOVE TO PLAY DOOMFIST,” via a verified account at the suggestion from a fan.

This sparked a lot of excitement from Reddit’s Overwatch community, with the thread recording 1222 responses at the time of writing.

The Brooklyn Nine-Nine and The Expendables star threw fuel on the rumor-fire by visiting the Overwatch team at Blizzard headquarters. Nothing has been confirmed from either Crews or Blizzard, but fan speculation is running high.

While you’re waiting to hear whether Doomfist is announced as a playable character, check out Jeff Kaplan’s comments on fan disappointment with Mei’s winter skin, a roundup of all of the winter skins, and Blizzard’s announcement of an in-house book publishing label.

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