Modern Warfare 2 on PlayStation has controversial exclusive features

modern warfare 2 playstation exclusive content confirmed

As is tradition with Call of Duty these days, Modern Warfare 2 has some platform exclusive features. More specifically, those playing Modern Warfare 2 on PlayStation gain access to five different exclusive benefits. These benefits vary from small conveniences to controversial game changers.

Two of the less impactful features are the Battle Pass Bundle Bonus and Combat Packs. The Battle Pass bonuses only apply to PlayStation owners that purchase the Battle Pass Bundle. In this scenario you will gain an additional 5 tier skips over other platforms. Meanwhile the Combat Packs give PlayStation Plus members a handful of exclusive cosmetics.

Beyond that that the benefits begin to get more controversial. PlayStation users benefit from exclusive experience bonuses when playing Modern Warfare 2. This includes exclusive monthly Double XP events and a 25% bonus to weapon XP when partied up with other players. Although this experience boost applies to all party members even if the other members aren’t on PlayStation.

However, the exclusive benefit that has bothered the community most is the extra loadouts. PlayStation users gain access to an additional two loadout slots as soon as they reach level four. This means that PlayStation players have twelve custom classes rather than the standard ten. There is no current method to earn or purchase additional classes on any other platform.

This won’t be the case forever

modern warfare 2 playstation exclusiv

PlayStation users having exclusive benefits in Modern Warfare 2 and its predecessors has been a thing for a while. The first Call of Duty to have PlayStation exclusive features was Black Ops 3. Before this Xbox actually had exclusive features instead with DLC coming to Xbox consoles early.

With Microsoft in the process of buying Activision Blizzard a return to the past looks likely. Call of Duty probably won’t become an Xbox exclusive but Xbox players might begin to see exclusive features show up. That won’t be the case for a little while though as PlayStation’s deal is thought to last until at least 2023.

Bayonetta voice actor defends her claims of being underpaid

The original Bayonetta voice actor Hellena Taylor has come under fire over recent claims. On October 15 Taylor posted a Twitter video accusing Platinum Games of underpaying her. This video has accumulated almost ten million views but the developer has accused Taylor of lying. After more information surfaced Taylor followed up that initial tweet with a response.

Taylor has slammed claims that she is a “liar,” and a “gold digger,” with her simply wanting to make a living wage. However, her initial claim that she was only offered $4000 could be deemed misleading. It turns out she was actually offered $10,000. After Hellena reached out to director Hideki Kamiya this offer was increased to $15,000.

The Bayonetta voice actor was still not happy with this rate and decided to turn down Platinum’s offer. She insists that any claim that she was offered $4,000 per session for five sessions is a total fabrication. Furthermore, Taylor insists that she did not ask for $250,000 or even six figures at all.

To be clear even $15,000 isn’t great considering the service Taylor is offering. She is the voice of by far the franchise’s most notable character for the English release of Bayonetta. Given the scale of Bayonetta its understandable that Taylor would have expected to have made more.

Misleading fans

bayonetta 3 gameplay screenshot press image

However, her exact pay isn’t what necessarily what fans are upset about. But rather it’s the lying that is bothering people. In her initial tweet the Bayonetta voice actor was adamant she was only offered $4000 for the role but this isn’t true. She was instead offer $4000 for a cameo after turning down the main offer to voice Bayonetta herself.

Also, Taylor’s claim in her new tweet chain stating that the Bayonetta franchise is worth $450 million without merchandise is questionable. The true value of the series is unclear but it is almost certainly nowhere near that high given its sale numbers.

First two Mario Party games are coming to Nintendo Switch Online

mario party switch online

Nintendo is adding two more classic games to its Nintendo Switch Online library. Coming to the Switch Online service are both Mario Party released in 1998 and its sequel Mario Party 2 that followed in 2000. Both of these games will be playable for eligible users on November 2.

To be eligible you’ll need more than just a standard Nintendo Switch Online membership. Like with the other Nintendo 64 games, Mario Party and Mario Party 2 will require the Expansion Pack membership. The Expansion Pack membership is an annual subscription that costs $49.99. For that price you get a far larger collection of classic Nintendo games to play.

If Mario Party and Mario Party 2 being added makes the Nintendo Switch Online + Expansion Pack worth it is up for debate. With these new additions the full membership now grants access to 11 Nintendo 64 games, the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Booster Course Pass, the Animal Crossing: New Horizons – Happy Home Paradise DLC, the Splatoon 2: Octo Expansion, plus a variety of retro NES, SNES, and SEGA Genesis titles.

With the full subscription users gain access to a total of 219 retro games. That is impressive but keep in mind that not all of those games are equally good. Some are classics like Mario Party that can last hours but others featured as part of Switch Online are forgettable at best. Even so, it’s a strong collection that will appeal to a lot of people.

Get the party started!

mario party n64 gameplay upscaled

If you have ever played a Mario Party game then you already know what to expect. This infamous friendship destroyer of a party game offers some of the best fun you have with friends and family. If you can get a few people together to try out Mario Party and Mario Party 2 it is well worth doing.

Minecraft 1.20 update will bring camels and bamboo to your worlds

minecraft 1.20 update camel mob

Mojang has revealed the next update coming to Minecraft. The Minecraft 1.20 update has been announced through the sandbox game’s official Twitter account. Although it is a relatively small update it still introduces some exciting new features to keep your worlds fresh. This includes a new mob, building material, and several skins.

Starting out with the mob Minecraft players will soon be able to find a new friend in the desert. Camels are being added to Minecraft as a ridable mob that can carry up to two people. They spawn in desert villages and offer a fun alternative to horses.

Another new feature of the Minecraft 1.20 update is bamboo. Bamboo already exists in Minecraft but has limited uses. This update will expand bamboo greatly by turning the farmable plant into a new building material. With bamboo you can now construct planks, pillars, doors, and a new boat variant.

Steve has been the default Minecraft character since Mojang’s sandbox game was released. Later on, Alex joined Steve as the default female character. With this update Mojang is adding an additional seven new default skins to improve Minecraft’s representation. The addition of Sunny Efe, Noor, and the others will give players more choices to look how they want without using custom skins.

The Minecraft 1.20 update also introduces some smaller improvements. For example, you can now build a hanging sign and chiselled bookshelf to give your builds a slightly different look. It’s nothing major but new items are always a welcome change.

Not long to wait

minecraft 1.20 update bamboo house and boat variant

You won’t have to wait long to try out the new update. A specific release date has not been announced but the revealing tweet states that it will be playable is “just a few days”. Keep in mind that is only for the beta so this update won’t be added to the live game for a little while.

Modern Warfare 2 will only require a phone number on PC

modern warfare 2 phone number only on PC

Activision Blizzard recently revealed its controversial plans to force players to link their phone number. To access Modern Warfare 2 players will have to register a phone number on their account. However, it turns out this isn’t quite as restrictive as we first thought.

A follow up developer blog was recently posted explaining the specifics of how SMS verification will work. In this post Activision explains that SMS verification will not be required for everyone. Depending on the platform you play on you might not need a phone number at all.

For one, anyone playing Modern Warfare 2 on console will not require a phone number. This restriction is being put into place exclusively for PC players likely as a deterrent for cheating. It’s no secret that cheating is often more accessible on PC than it is on console so this makes sense.

But even if you play on PC this restriction may still not affect you. Anyone who is playing Modern Warfare 2 or Warzone 2 through Battle.net is unlikely to need to change anything. On Blizzard’s very own distribution platform the requirements are unchanged from what they were for the original Warzone. If you’ve played Warzone since May 2020 on Battle.net you’re good to go.

However, if you intend to play Modern Warfare 2 through Steam, you will need a phone number. Your phone number will need to be linked to your Steam account or the upcoming Call of Duty game won’t be playable.

Why SMS verification?

modern warfare 2 1440p gameplay m4 assault rifle mounted

Although it isn’t popular there are some good reasons to implement SMS verification. The most obvious benefit is that it forces banned cheaters to purchase a new phone number every time they make an account. Furthermore, if the rumors of a competitive mode are to be believed SMS verification can prevent players from smurfing as easily.

Crash Bandicoot 4 is coming to Steam later this month

Over the last year or so Activision has become increasingly interested in moving its games to Steam. New Activision games like Modern Warfare 2 are not being released as Battle.net exclusives. The exceptions to this rule are few and far between. Now joining the growing list of Battle.net exclusives to move to Steam is Crash Bandicoot 4.

The newest Crash game was released on the Epic Games launcher last year but a Steam release was nowhere to be seen. However, that is changing as Activision has confirmed that a Steam release is around the corner.

According to the leak posted by Twitter user Nibellion, Crash Bandicoot 4 will arrive on Steam on October 18. This was revealed alongside more information suggesting that a new Crash Bandicoot will be revealed at this year’s The Game Awards.

The Game Awards are an annual award show where developers and community members are rewarded for their work. It’s also used as an opportunity for publishers to show off new gameplay and occasionally new games altogether. That seems to be the case here with Activision supposedly set to show off a new Crash Bandicoot game.

The return of Crash

crash bandicoot 4 platforming gameplay 4k screenshot

Crash Bandicoot 4 coming to Steam is great for multiple reasons. For one, it means that PC players now have more choice to pick the platform they want to play on. However, the most exciting part of all this is that it shows that Crash is truly back.

It’s easy to forget now but at one point it looked as though Crash Bandicoot was over. The popular platformer went a staggering nine years without a single mainline entry. Even then it was the remastered collection with a true sequel not releasing until a further three years later. Those dark days are behind us now and we can once again look forward to what Crash has to offer.

Future Halo games will likely utilize the Unreal Engine

A new report has been released detailing what the future of Halo could look like. Journalist Jeremy Penter posted on Twitter that the Halo developers are considering a switch to the Unreal Engine. This would be a first for the series which has otherwise relied on first party engines.

The latest mainline Halo game runs on the Slipspace Engine. Slipspace is a first-party engine developed by Bungie specifically for Halo. It is a revamped version of the Blam Engine that was first used back in 2001 for Halo: Combat Evolved. Development of the Blam Engine began in 1997 and it has been the basis of Halo’s gameplay ever since.

Today the Blam Engine isn’t just used for Halo. An overhauled version of it called the Tiger Engine is still used by Bungie today to make Destiny. However, after over two decades Halo looks to be ditching it in favor of the Unreal Engine.

The main advantage to using the Unreal Engine is that it produces gorgeous visuals. Be it spectacular AAA games like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice to beautiful indie games like Octopath Traveller, the Unreal Engine has housed some of the best-looking games on the market. Seeing a developer with 343 Industries’ resources have a go with it would be incredible.

Just a report

hellblade senua's sacrifice made using unreal engine 4

Even though Penter seems confident in his sources this is just a report. Until Microsoft or 343 Industries speaks up nothing is official. It’s very possible that this decision isn’t final and that we will never see a Halo game made using the Unreal Engine.

Furthermore, even if it is real it’ll take some time before we see it in action. If the decision was made recently then you can expect to wait at least two to three years before a practical example is shown off. Until then the thought of the Unreal Engine coming to Microsoft’s signature franchise remains nothing more than a hopeful rumour.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure PC port has some hefty requirements

sackboy a big adventure pc port october release date

Earlier this week Sony unveiled another one of its PlayStation exclusives would be coming to PC. This time around it’s Sackboy: A Big Adventure that is getting a PC port. The 2.5D platformer is coming to PC on October 27 but not everyone will be able to play it.

It turns out that the Little Big Planet spin-off is going to have some hefty specification requirements. At the top end the recommended specs to play at ultra are a Nvidia RTX 3080, Ryzen 9 3950 or equivalent, and 16 GB of RAM. These high-end components will be required to maintain 60 frames per second at 4K resolution.

Those playing at 1440p will instead need an RTX 2070, Ryzen 7 3700x or equivalent, and 16 GB RAM. Although this is more accessible it’s still fairly steep for just 60 FPS, 1440p gameplay. Most other PC ports are not as demanding as Sackboy: A Big Adventure.

Once we come down to 1080p the requirements to play at 60 FPS do become more manageable. Playing at 60 FPS at 1080p only requires a GTX 1070, Ryzen 7 2700, and 8 GB of RAM. If you can settle with just 30 FPS a GTX 1060 and a Ryzen 5 1500x will suffice.

Finally, the PC port of Sackboy: A Big Adventure can be run on as little as a GTX 660 and an AMD FX-630. However, users will specs as low as these will only be able to manage 30 frames per second at 720p resolution.

Requirements are going up

sackboy a big adventure pc requirements

We’ll find out in due time if Sackboy: A Big Adventure has porting issues but its high requirements are more likely just a sign of the times. As game engines get more advanced PC requirements to run games are going up. This is not a trend that will stop anytime soon as games becoming increasingly demanding.

New RuneScape gamemode Fresh Start Worlds gets underway today

fresh start worlds runescape new game mode gets underway

A new gamemode is getting underway today in RuneScape. Named Fresh Start Worlds it’s a time limited mode that developer Jagex is running to attract new players. It was first pitched around a month ago but was not overly well received. Jagex has since reworked Fresh Start Worlds to better appeal to RuneScape players.

The gist of the mode is that all players start over with a reset economy and earn experience at an increased rate. When the servers go live today there will be no items listed in the Grand Exchange. All participating players will have to earn everything from scratch. Although unlike Old School RuneScape’s Leagues, players won’t be ironmen so they will be able to freely purchase items.

Another mechanic of Fresh Start Worlds is that RuneScape players will be able to earn boons. Boons are exclusive progression rewards that provides bonuses and perks. These are rewarded based on progress point milestones and will not transfer to the main game. One example is the Boon of Endurance that provides infinite run energy. There’s also the Boon of Healing which acts as an infinite food supply.

Why take part?

fresh start worlds runescape rewards inverted skill capes halo pets

Fresh Start Worlds is primarily aimed at attracting new players but there are reasons for existing players to take part too. For one there’s a set of unique skilling pets with a golden halo equipped. Also, all RuneScape players that log in to Fresh Start Worlds will receive the unique Luna legendary pet.

If pets aren’t your thing, then what about skill capes? Achieving either level 99 or level 120 in any skill on a Fresh Start Worlds server reward a unique skill cape. These skill capes utilize an inverted color scheme when compared to their regular counterparts. For example, the Slayer mastery cape is now red with black trim rather than black with red trim.

Respawn Entertainment calls out its community over harassment of devs

respawn entertainment community harassment apex legends

It’s not every day that you see a large developer striking back at its community. However, that’s exactly what has happened today with Respawn Entertainment. Respawn are best known for creating Apex Legends and has recently fired back at its community over the harassment of its developers.

The announcement made via a tweet on Respawn’s Twitter account. The tweet reads: “We welcome community input, however the line between construction feedback and the harassment of our dev team cannot be crossed”. It also goes on to emphasize that to protect its employees Respawn is taking a “zero tolerance,” stance and is willing to “take appropriate action”.

To close out the tweet Respawn shifts the focus from harassment to praise. The Apex Legends developer acknowledges that community feedback is important in creating the best experience possible. However, that doesn’t excuse the abuse and attacks being made against certain Respawn employees.

The exact trigger for this tweet is unclear but it’s fair to say that Respawn has a point. Some particularly vocal members of the Apex community regularly criticize individual developers and are not afraid to make it personal. There are even some professional players that are guilty of this. Wanting changes in a game you love is one thing but attacking developers directly is never acceptable.

Abuse of developers

respawn harassment announcement twitter condemns community

Unfortunately, stories like this are not all that uncommon. Respawn may be the latest developer to be affected by community harassment but it certainly isn’t the first. And realistically speaking it won’t be the last either.

The difficulty for developers is figuring out what they can do to stop it. For the worst offenders legal action can be taken but that doesn’t work in most cases. There are countless hateful comments posted on social media every day from anonymous accounts. It’s not easy to take action against those accounts in a meaningful way.