Battlefield 3: Reality Mod launches this week after seven years of work

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Battlefield 3 is one of the best first-person shooter games ever made. At launch it was renowned as the pinnacle of game graphics but that was a while back. Eleven years later and it still looks decent but it hasn’t aged flawlessly. To keep it looking fresh the modding community has been working on the Battlefield 3: Reality Mod.

The Reality Mod is an overhaul for DICE’s once flagship shooter. Led by Stefan Roos, the project aims to improve just about every aspect of Battlefield 3. That includes a visual overhaul, gameplay innovations, and multiplayer servers that support over 100 players.

On the mod’s official page, the developer describes its goal as creating “immersive gameplay and a more realistic experience”. One of the standout changes is that Battlefield 3: Reality Mod changes how the game plays. Whilst the original Battlefield 3 is a fast-paced shooter, this mod focuses more on tactical team-based gameplay. That’s something that Battlefield players have been crying out for after Battlefield 2042 disappointed many by removing many teamplay-centric aspects of the franchise.

Battlefield 3: Reality Mod does this by removing a lot of the core features that made the original game casual friendly. There’s no squad spawning, the maps are larger, UI clutter is reduced, and the voice chat is proximity based. Only some of these features will be available for version 0.1 at launch with more coming in the future.

Almost here

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If this all sounds exciting then I have some great news for you! Although the Reality Mod isn’t quite playable yet its launch isn’t far away. The Reality Mod will be playable from July 17, just under a week from now. Of course, you’ll need to purchase a legal copy of Battlefield 3 plus its DLC to play it. It does not matter if you are using an Origin or Steam version of the game.

NBA 2K23 PC release will not be the next gen version

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2K Games has confirmed that NBA 2K23 on PC will not be the next gen version. This is the third year in a row where PC players have been given the last gen version of the popular basketball simulator. Unsurprisingly, the decision hasn’t gone down well with the community feeling neglected.

In a pre-order FAQ posted on its official website the publisher explains the decision. It states: “For now, the focus was on assuring NBA 2K23 was optimized for the new consoles (PlayStation®5, Xbox Series X|S), while also making sure the experience remains fresh and innovative for players on other platforms”. If that response sounds familiar it’s because this is exactly what 2K said last year, but with 2K23 being replaced with 2K22.

Is 2K telling the truth or is this generic PR vomit? The reality is that most PC gamers don’t have very powerful machines. A look at Steam’s June 2022 hardware survey shows that the three most common graphics cards are the GTX 1060, GTX 1650, and GTX 1050 Ti. All of those are far less powerful than the GPUs present in the next-gen consoles. Due to this 2K probably doesn’t want to make NBA 2K23 next gen on PC because it’s scared of losing potential sales.

The way most publisher get around this problem is by optimizing their games. A well optimized game is capable of taking advantage of more powerful hardware whilst still running on less powerful cards. But that would take additional resources that 2K doesn’t seem prepared to invest.

The countdown

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On the off chance you’re still interested the FAQ also reveals NBA 2K23’s release date. It will launch on September 9 on all major consoles and PC. There are five versions available: Standard Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, Michael Jordan Edition, and the Championship Edition. More information on these editions can be found on the 2K store page.

Summer Games Done Quick 2022 has raised over $3,000,000 for charity

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This year’s Summer Games Done Quick festival has come to a close. Summer Games Done Quick 2022 was amongst the most successful GDQ events of all time raising over $3,000,000 for charity. The total raised came to $3,016,200 all of which is being donated to French charity Médecins Sans Frontières.

Médecins Sans Frontières is French for Doctors without Borders. It is an international charity that provides essential medical treatments across the world. Some of its main areas of work include addressing conditions like diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and hepatitis C. Doctors without Borders’ operations primarily take place in poorer regions where vulnerable people can’t get the help they need.

If you’re unaware Games Done Quick is an event where the world’s best speed runners come together to raise money. There are several GDQ events ran throughout the year and Summer Games Done Quick 2022 is the biggest of this year. It started out as a small event raising just $21,000 but over the course of a decade it has grown substantially.

Not only did Games Done Quick raise a lot of money for a good cause but this was also the first in-person GDQ event since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a great occasion for those involved to meet in-person whilst helping those in need.

What’s next for GDQ?

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The next GDQ event to follow Summer Games Done Quick 2022 is Flames Fatales. Flames Fatales is a special GQD event that features the best female speed runners in the world. It will be run from August 21 to August 27 aiming to raise money for the Malala Fund. The Malala Fund us a charity that encourages and funds education opportunities for young girls in less privileged parts of the world. The last Flames Fatales managed to raise $132,000 with this year’s looking to beat that number.

NBA 2K23 cover athlete – Devin Booker set to be the one

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Every year the same question is raised amongst the basketball community. Who is going to this year’s NBA 2K cover athlete? Usually, this news is confirmed through the game’s publisher 2K Games. However, this year we got an inside take from an unexpected source, Shams Charania. According to Shams Devin Booker is set to be the cover athlete for NBA 2K23.

Devin Booker follows in the footsteps of past stars including Luka Doncic, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Stephen Curry. There’s no doubt that Booker is a suitable fit with the Phoenix Suns shooting guard putting up 27 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists on 47% shooting last season.

Plus, it’s clear that Phoenix values him massively as Booker recently accepted a sizable contract extension to stay at the Suns. The franchise’s star shooting guard signed a $224 million super max extension making him one of the best paid players in the NBA. Now alongside that deal Devin Booker wll also be receiving a handsome cheque from 2K Games to become the NBA 2K23 cover athlete.

But why should we trust a source that isn’t 2K? Charania is a renowned member of the NBA media and has built up a reputation of reliably breaking big stories. Ordinarily he sticks to the league itself but it’s possible that he has connections at 2K Games too. After all, 2K and the NBA have been working in cooperation with one another for over two decades.

Other versions of NBA 2K23 cover athlete

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We know that Devin Booker will appear on the game’s cover but about other stars. In past years NBA 2K has launched with multiple versions including both a next generation and legendary edition. We don’t know if the next generation version will be used this year but a legendary edition seems likely. It’ll be interesting to see what all-time great 2K opts to team up with this time around.

Persona 5 Royal will come with all 45 DLC packs on PC Game Pass

Persona 5 Royal will come bundled will all 45 DLC packs when it arrives on PC Game Pass. The PC port of Persona 5 was revealed at the Xbox & Bethesda Games Showcase 2022. Alongside a Steam release, it will also make its way onto PC Game Pass.

In what form it would come to game pass was unclear though. After all, Persona 5 Royal has a lot of DLC, and buying it all separately is expensive. Thankfully, Persona fans won’t have to worry about that. All of the popular JRPG’s DLC is included as part of its integration into PC Game Pass. That’s over $70 worth of DLC for just $10 a month.

Currently, publisher Atlus has only confirmed this deal for Windows. It is still unclear if the Steam version of Persona 5 Royal will come with all of the DLC like its PC Game Pass counterpart. Windows may be being used as an umbrella term to cover all PC versions or this deal is exclusive to PC Game Pass.

But what do you even get with the DLC? For the most part, Royal’s DLC consists of various cosmetics. These cosmetics include costume packs, soundtracks, and customizable BGM. However, PC Game Pass subscribers will also gain access to the challenge battle mode which is the most impactful piece of DLC for Persona 5 Royal. In challenge battle mode you go head-to-head with the protagonists from past Persona games.

Persona on PC

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Persona 5 Royal is making its way to PC on October 21. It was launched as a PlayStation exclusive in 2019 but Atlus has now opted to port it across. Following Persona 5 Royal’s port is Persona 3 Portable which will also make its way to PC. However, a specific release date for Persona 3 has not yet been given.

Best deals to grab before the GOG Summer Sale ends

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The GOG Summer Sale ends on June 27. That means that you only have a few days left to purchase some of the best DRM-free games at a discounted price. But it can be tricky to decide what games are worth picking up with over 3500 games on sale. So here are the best deals to grab before the GOG Summer Sale ends.

Those looking for some AAA action should consider Cyberpunk 2077 at 50% off. Alternatively, The Witcher 3: Wildhunt is just £5.00 at 80% off. Considering that Wildhunt has a 93 score on Metacritic and is considered one of the best RPGs ever made, that’s an absolute steal. Another great AAA recommendation is No Man’s Sky at 50% off. It was once a meme but Hello Games’ sandbox has come a long way and is now well worth playing.

When it comes to indies you are spoiled for choice. Some highlights include FTL: Advanced Edition at 75% off, Gris at 75% off, Stardew Valley at 20% off, Banished at 66% off, and Hollow Knight at 50% off. All of these are staple indie games that define their respective genre. You would be missing out if you didn’t try them all at least once.

DRM-free

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All of the best deals available in the GOG Summer Sale are DRM-free. DRM-free games come with a download link with no strings attached. Once a DRM-free title is purchased you are free to use it as you wish. It’s not restricted to one platform or device.

Some people prefer this as they have more control over what they own. When a game is purchased on Steam or the Epic Games Store, you don’t necessarily own anything. Instead, you are simply buying a license that gives you the right to play that game. But a DRM-free game is yours to keep forever.

Bungie lawsuit forced Destiny 2 cheaters to pay out $13 million

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Back in August developer Bungie took action against Elite Boss Tech. Elite Boss Tech is an organization that sells cheats for a variety of online games. Bungie sued Elite Boss Tech with accusations that the cheat group were infringing on its copyright. Almost a year later and the outcome of the Bungie lawsuit is that the Destiny 2 cheaters have to pay out $13 million.

In addition to the sizable fee, Elite Boss Tech is also having its future software creation limited. The organization can no longer create any software that uses Bungie’s intellectual property. This is a permanent injunction that will never be lifted.

The amount to be paid was decided through statutory damages. The judge called that for each breach of Code § 1201 Elite Boss Tech would have to pay $2000. Code § 1201 refers to the circumvention of copyright protection systems. In other words, attempts to work around and ignore copyright protection for monetary gain. Since the targeted software was downloaded 6765 times, Elite Boss Tech owes a total of $13,530,000.

The implications of this Bungie lawsuit could be massive. Of course, this is going to put Elite Boss Tech in a tough position and potentially even bankrupt its owners but that’s not the main story. Moving forward publishers will be able to use this case as a referral point for future lawsuits. Don’t be surprised if other AAA publishers are inspired and start taking legal action against major cheating organizations.

Caught on a technicality

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Interestingly, Elite Boss Tech’s mistake wasn’t creating illegal software. Even though a lot of people dislike cheating you can’t sue someone for creating a script. However, since Elite Boss Tech was selling the script as a Destiny 2 product it was breaking copyright laws. Cheat software often contains the impacted game’s name in the software’s title so this same outcome could easily be applied to other cases.

Activision has ‘no widespread harassment’ according to Activision

Activision Blizzard has finished conducting a review of its various culture issues. This was done in response to the various harassment and abuse allegations several employees claimed against the publisher. However, Activision has found that there was “no widespread harassment,” contrary to the allegations.

The findings were published in a document posted on Activision’s investor website. It contains a lot of PR jargon but the general gist is that Activision believes that the claims made against it were overstated. The publisher acknowledges that improvements can be made but does not believe that any of its leadership was aware of the problems.

The document reads “the Board and its external advisors have determined that there is no evidence to suggest that senior executives ever intentionally ignored or attempted to downplay the instances of gender harassment”. Additionally, American lawyer Gilbert Casellas believes that there was no widespread harassment or systemic issues at Activision. It is worth noting that Casellas was hired by Activision to conduct the investigation.

Activision goes on to detail the steps it has taken to improve its company culture. This includes efforts to fix pay disparity, banning alcohol in the workplace, and waiving arbitration for individual claims of sexual harassment.

Be skeptical

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Needless to say, you should be extremely skeptical of any claims made in this report. Naturally, Activision would want to say that Activision has no harassment issues. Especially in a report that will be shown to investors, the people responsible for pumping money into the company.

Also, the fact that the investigation was conducted by a team hired by Activision largely invalidates it. Large compensation was likely provided in order to overlook certain aspects and present the company in a good light. If Activision wants these claims to be taken seriously by anyone an independent investigation has to follow.

Infinity Ward is hiring to create an open world RPG

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When I say Infinity Ward, you probably think of Call of Duty. After all, the California-based studio is best known for the Modern Warfare games that it has been working on since 2007. Some of them have even broken records with Modern Warfare 3 selling over 31 million units. But it looks like Infinity Ward is finally changing things up by creating an open world RPG.

As spotted by Twitter user @TheExesFile, Infinity Ward has begun hiring for a new game. It is looking to bring in a new creative director who will be challenged to work with the team to create an open world RPG. If this goes ahead then this will be the first non-Call of Duty title Infinity Ward has released in its history.

That is assuming this isn’t also a Call of Duty game. An open world RPG Call of Duty may sound unusual but it’s not out of the realm of possibility. Games like Tom Clancy’s The Division have already proven that a serious military aesthetic can work in that genre.

If Infinity Ward does create an open world RPG it will establish a lot of firsts. A game of that nature requires quests, world-building, interesting lore, and large detailed environments. For the most part, these are not features that you would typically find in a Call of Duty game. Even so, Infinity Ward is a huge studio and would certainly have the manpower and talent to pull it off.

It’s already been filled?

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A strange twist in this report is that the job listing has now disappeared. Shortly after it was spotted Activision took it down which either means one of two things. It got filled extremely quickly or it was an accidental posting. Either way, we now know more about what’s in store for Infinity Ward’s future.

Xbox Game Pass to start supporting demos later this year

Microsoft has announced plans to improve Xbox Game Pass. It intends to introduce demos where Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be able to try out upcoming games. This service has been titled Project Moorcraft and is a way for consumers to try out games before they launch.

Project Moorcraft will be exclusive to Xbox Game Pass members. It doesn’t matter what tier of Game Pass you own as this will be accessible on all of them. There are also benefits for participating studios who opt into the program. If their demo performs well, they will be compensated suitably.

An exact release date is not provided but Microsoft has an idea of when this will begin to roll out. The current plan is for Xbox Game Pass to support demos before the end of the year. That means that you can expect a lot of the games announced at this year’s Summer Game Fest to be included. This should be especially true of any first-party games made by Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, or Activision Blizzard.

Microsoft has also teamed up with Samsung to offer smart TV owners something new. Those with a compatible TV will be able to play Xbox games via the cloud. This will require an active Xbox Game Pass membership to play most games. However, Fortnite will be playable regardless of if you have a membership or not. Much like the demos, this is going to be integrated at some point in 2022.

Sound familiar?

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Xbox isn’t the first major games company to offer a service like this. Sony has created a mandate that forces all developers selling games for over $34 to offer free trials. Whilst Microsoft’s service will require Xbox Game Pass, Sony’s requires PlayStation Plus Premium. These features are pro-consumer and therefore are a great addition to each respective premium service.