Developer 343 Industries has released a new patch for Halo Infinite. Amongst other changes it has reintroduced various skill jumps into Halo Infinite. These skill jumps were previously removed but the community was not happy about the decision. The developer has changed its mind and brought them back to make players happy.
Several popular jumps have been re-added. These are the key door and house panel on Live Fire, the double doors on Bazaar, the P side edges on Aquarius, and the Pizza Parlor on Streets. All of these were removed during the Season 2 update as they were unintended. But just because something is unintended doesn’t mean players want it removed.
For those not informed, skill jumps are techniques in Halo Infinite that allow the player to reach certain areas faster. These usually involve quick platforming segments to reach somewhere quicker than you could otherwise. The community likes them as it’s a way of increasing the game’s potential skill ceiling.
Skill ceiling matters
The skill ceiling of a game refers to the highest possible ability a player can have. Games that are designed to be competitive usually have a high skill ceiling whilst more casual games will have a lower skill ceiling. Not all games require a huge skill ceiling but a competitive shooter like Halo benefits greatly from it.
With skill jumps back in Halo Infinite players now have multiple ways to gain an advantage on the opposition. They can outshoot them, out position them, and outmaneuver them. Mechanics like skill jumps aren’t newcomer-friendly but they are an integral part of what makes a competitive game so addictive. These small mechanics that players have to master keeps them engaged. Seeing them removed and thus the skill ceiling reduced was disappointing so it’s great to see 343 Industries reverting the change.
Publisher Bethesda has announced that two of its games are being delayed. The two games being delayed are Starfield and Redfall. The announcement was made in a tweet posted on Bethesda’s official Twitter. It sees this as a necessary step to polish up both games to the standards its fans expect.
The tweet reads: “We’ve made the decision to delay the launches of Redfall and Starfield to the first half of 2023. We want to ensure that you receive the best, most polished versions of them. We can’t wait to share our first deep dive into the gameplay for both Redfall and Starfield soon.”
Having to wait until 2023 to play both games isn’t ideal but delays are usually justified. The last thing anyone wants is a Fallout 76 situation where a blatantly unfinished product is shipped out. At least with this delay, it’s more likely that both games will be as good as they deserve to be.
Judging by the tweet it appears as though more news on both titles is coming soon. Given the timing of this announcement, you can probably expect this news to drop during Summer Game Fest 2022. That’s the annual games show that has replaced E3 in the last few years.
Disappointing but fair
No one wants to see a game like Starfield delayed. It promises to be one of the most ambitious space RPG games ever made but something of that scale takes time. We’ve already seen a game just like Starfield dishearten fans at launch because of a lack of development time, No Man’s Sky.
No Man’s Sky may have turned things around since with its developer Hello Games making some great additions but the point still stands. Bethesda does not want to go down that same path so it’s important that Starfield delivers from day one.
Back in January, publisher Bandai Namco took down the online servers for three of its games. The servers affected were for Dark Souls: Remastered, Dark Souls 2, and Dark Souls 3. This was done as a precaution as a security exploit was found that had some terrifying implications.
This security breach allowed invaders to run code on someone else’s computer. Known as Remote Code Execution, it is a process that can cause permanent damage to both the machine and its contents. It would theoretically be possible to hijack someone’s PC, steal information, and then hack or blackmail them with whatever was found.
At the time of the exploit, Bandai Namco took down the servers to deal with this. This process was described as a “temporary deactivation,” insinuating that the servers would be back up at some point. However, it has now been over three months since then and all three games are still unplayable online on PC.
The console versions of Dark Souls are still playable as their servers were never infiltrated. It could be that they use a different server system which is safer or that consoles don’t provide a means to input code. Either way, this is an issue that solely affects Dark Souls’ PC fanbase.
Is a fix coming?
We have no idea. A patch was released for Elden Ring shortly after launch that likely addressed this. Although it’s possible that Elden Ring never had the issues to begin with and Bandai Namco simply took down its servers to be safe. If it’s the latter then a fix for the Dark Souls trilogy looks increasingly unlikely.
The sad reality is that there isn’t that much of a motive for Bandai Namco to fix it. All of the Dark Souls games are years old and don’t sell many copies anymore. If the publisher found out that this problem was bigger than it initially thought the best play may have been to simply ignore it. Although if that will sit fine with the community as a long-term answer is to be seen.
When you think of Zenyatta you probably think of a deadly glass cannon that hits hard but has no means of escape. When a Zenyatta gets dived on his only chance of survival is landing some tough shots or getting saved by a teammate. But thanks to the new Overwatch 2 patch Zenyatta can now fight back with a vicious kick.
Zenyatta has been given a passive ability called Snap Kick. Snap Kick makes it so that Zenyatta’s melee attack now deals 50% more damage. Previously he dealt 30 damage but this has been increased to 45. But that isn’t the change that has gotten the community talking so much.
Instead, it’s Zenyatta’s new ability to kick people in Overwatch 2 that has sparked discussion. More specifically, his ability to kick people off the map thanks to the hugely increased knockback effect his melee now has. The distance of a Zenyatta kick is comparable to Lucio’s Soundwave. It doesn’t have the vertical knockback of Soundwave but distance-wise its more or less the same.
Blizzard’s justification for buffing his kick is that they want to give Zenyatta the ability to fight back. The shift to five versus five in Overwatch 2 has made vulnerable characters like Zenyatta unable to stay alive. Hopefully, this change lets him knock enemies back to a suitable range for him to deal damage. Or at the very least it results in some hilarious clips of flanking Zenyatta’s kicking people off the map.
Alongside Zenyatta’s Snap Kick a handful of other supports in Overwatch 2 also got buffed. Ana saw her Biotic Rifle gain three more ammo at the cost of her Biotic Grenade’s duration not lasting as long. Similarly, Baptiste’s Biotic Launcher was given three more ammo to make healing easier to upkeep. Finally, the knockback of Brigitte’s Shield Bash has been doubled.
A new update just dropped for Dead Cells introducing Assist Mode and several other accessibility options. Assist Mode consists of a variety of sliders that can be adjusted to make gameplay easier. Some of these sliders include enemy damage, enemy health, trap damage, longer parry windows, and trap speed.
It isn’t just the sliders that are being adjusted. Several accessibility features have been added to allow more people to enjoy the game. Some examples of these new features include sprites being outlined in-game, holding a button to jump/roll a second time, and button remapping. These can be freely toggled and tweaked to better fit your preference.
Developer Motion Twin has made some tweaks to the visuals too for those with certain vision deficiencies. There are some fully customizable color-blind settings for all aspects of the user interface. You can change the font freely too. A text resizer is planned for some time in the future.
Both Assist Mode and the accessibility options can be toggled via Dead Cells’ menus. As for why they’re being added, the developer’s intentions are clear. In the announcement blog post, it states that it wants Dead Cells to be “tough but fair.” By introducing these new features, it is turning Dead Cells into the game it originally visioned by allowing players of more difficult circumstances to enjoy it.
In recent years we’ve seen developers make a conscious effort to improve accessibility. Even more interesting is that games that were previously known for their difficulty are beginning to offer easier solutions. Not everyone is a fan of this shift but all in all, it is a good thing. Those will disabilities or older gamers with worse motor skills shouldn’t be stripped of the right to enjoy games. There’s nothing wrong with a game being known for its difficulty but that doesn’t mean it can’t offer easier solutions for those that need them.
For some time, there have been rumors of a Warcraft mobile game being in the works. It got leaked a few years back but any details beyond its existence have been unknown. That is until now. On the official Hearthstone Twitter account, an announcement was posted that it will be revealed very soon.
Unfortunately, not much else was revealed. The Tweet features a picture of a cog with a blue lightning bolt inside of it. As far as we know that could be essential to the game’s story or a random image that was chosen because it looked nice. Blizzard is making a very conscious effort to not give anything away.
If you’re interested in seeing what Warcraft mobile is about then you’ll want to check out the reveal stream. It is taking place on Blizzard’s website on May 3 at 10 am Pacific Time. That’s 1 pm Eastern Time, 6 pm British Standard Time, and 2 am Japan Standard Time.
As for what we’ll see in the reveal I can only speculate. I’d imagine it will either be a gameplay showcase of sorts or a cinematic trailer to hype up its release. Blizzard is well known for its spectacular cinematics with Warcraft, Hearthstone, and Overwatch all benefiting from them over the years.
Blizzard’s redemption arc
As a company, Blizzard Entertainment has made a lot of unpopular decisions in recent years. Be it the Hong Kong scandal of 2019 or the sexual assault allegations of 2021, it hasn’t been popular as of late. Even on the games front, it released Warcraft III: Reforged which was panned by critics for being a lazy remaster released solely to milk fans.
But with Overwatch 2’s popularity, the porting of Diablo Immortal to PC, and now Warcraft mobile things are looking up. It still has a lot of work to do if it wants the trust of its fans back but with Bobby Kotick on his way out once Microsoft takes over a comeback looks possible.
Developer Iron Gate has revealed in a press release that Valheim has reached over ten million sales worldwide. The open-world survival game first launched into early access in February 2021. For a project that started so small to reach ten million sales in just over a year is an incredible achievement.
And it isn’t just sales numbers where Iron Gate’s creation excels. It managed to reach almost 500,000 concurrent players at launch maintaining a similar number up until the end of March. Even now it regularly exceeds 40,000 concurrent players which is on par with games like Sid Meier’s Civilization VI, and Yu-Gi-Oh! Master Duel, and Terraria.
Iron Gate’s CEO Richard Svensson spoke more about the achievement. Svensson says: “We never imagined Valheim would become so big, not even in our wildest dreams, and the past year flew by faster than we anticipated.” From a small indie project to one of 2021’s most successful games, Valheim has reached sales number no one saw coming.
Svensson continued to confirm that a “new mysterious biome,” is in the works too. That most likely will be included as part of the upcoming Mistlands update that has previously been teased. Outside of the occasional glimpse though we don’t know much about it. Although you can expect a new biome, new enemies to fight, and new equipment to create.
Iron Gate has grown
In the same statement, it is confirmed that Iron Gate has grown considerably. The development team behind Valheim has doubled since launch with further growth expected to follow. The studio’s ambitions for Valheim continue to grow further every day. It has already established itself as one of the best survival games on the market but the developer isn’t stopping there. With more work and time invested Valheim has the potential to become one of the true greats of gaming.
A passionate fan of Elden Ring is attempting to recreate the experience as a Game Boy title. The ambitious project was shared on Reddit by the user –shin- in a post that has almost four thousand upvotes. The craziest part is that the creator intends for the demake to run on real hardware.
That’s right, you’ll be able to boot up an actual Nintendo Game Boy and play his creation. Although that probably won’t be an option anytime soon. A playable demo is planned for the end of May which will be hosted on Itch.io. Any plans for a full release after that are not confirmed.
The demake has been created using GB Studio 3.0. It’s a new piece of software that -shin- themself describes as “really impressive.” And there’s no reason to doubt that verdict given how good his project already looks. The one-minute clip seen in the Reddit post could easily pass for a genuine Game Boy game released back in the ‘90s.
There are some risks with creating an Elden Ring Game Boy demake. Most notable is that it’s practically begging for a cease-and-desist order by FromSoftware. FromSoftware hasn’t had much history when dealing with matters like these but there are reasons for assuming the worst-case scenario. Generally speaking, Japanese developers tend to have the biggest problems with fan projects. There are legitimately memes about how Nintendo invests millions of dollars specifically to takedown its fans’ ideas.
But there’s hope
The positive is that there’s a chance that this won’t be taken down. A game called Bloodborne PSX was released earlier this year and still remains up to this day. You can’t pay for the game but there is an option to donate to support the developer. Perhaps if -shin- were to follow a similar strategy this project will see the light of day.
An employee at DICE has confirmed that specialists will be receiving a rework in Battlefield 2042. The confirmation was posted on Twitter by Frederik Drabert, a game designer at the Swedish based studio. He claims that these changes can be expected over “the course of this year.”
The tweet was posted in response to a Battlefield fan who asked if specialists would be removed. Drabert doesn’t think this will happen but a rework is in the works. Battlefield fans will be happy to hear this. It isn’t exactly what was wanted but knowing that there are plans to fix the game’s issues is uplifting.
What exactly this rework will look like is unclear. Several fan proposals on Reddit tried to categorize the specialists by traditional Battlefield classes. Some examples include Casper as a Recon class option and Maria as a Medic class option.
However, any potential rework for the Battlefield 2042 specialists probably won’t look like that. Drabert continued to say that implementing a system of this nature “is not that easy.” He claims that the specialists are heavily integrated into the game design and a lot of work would have to be done. Even so, Drabert doesn’t outright say that this idea is out of the question. Just that it would require a lot of time and resources to implement properly.
It’s a long way back
For many Battlefield 2042 was a break of trust. Franchise fans were promised a love letter but were instead given something beyond recognition. Rather than build on past instalments to create a definite Battlefield game DICE tried something radically different. It didn’t work.
Now it is faced with the daunting task of amending its past mistakes. The one positive is that it some seem eager to do so. Too often have we seen developers run away and start over with a new project. But DICE isn’t abandoning Battlefield 2042. At least not for the time being.
The Overwatch 2 beta gets underway on April 26 and will feature one of the game’s new heroes, Sojourn. But developer Blizzard Entertainment isn’t making fans wait to see her abilities. A new gameplay trailer dropped showing off what Sojourn can do and it’s got people very excited.
Sojourn’s primary weapon is an electrically charged automatic rifle. Named the Railgun it has two firing modes. One is a fast fire rate comparable to Soldier: 76 whilst the other is a high impact shot suitable for delivering finishing blows. Despite being a projectile weapon the rounds it fires travel very quickly. This makes the Railgun a strong medium to long-range weapon.
Furthermore, she is an exceptionally mobile hero. Sojourn’s Power Slide ability allows her to quickly slide to gain horizontal speed and then leap into a high jump once the slide is finished to gain vertical speed. This lethal combination makes Sojourn one of the most mobile heroes in Overwatch 2.
Her tactical ability is Disruptor Shot. When used this ability fires an energy shot that slows down any enemies within its range. Also, damage will be dealt to anyone who cannot get away from it fast enough. It looks as though Disruptor Shot will pair well with other abilities and ultimates.
As you’d expect from any badass fictional railgun, her primary weapon can also fire a huge beam of energy. Her ultimate ability Overclock charges up when used and then unleashes a piercing beam that deals massive damage.
The Overwatch 2 PvP beta begins in just under two weeks but not everything will get an invite. If you’re interested then be sure to sign up as soon as possible. This can be done over on the official Overwatch website. Beta participants are selected based on a variety of factors including Battle.net region, when you signed up, and your computer hardware specifications.