Blizzard just released Diablo Immortal, a new spin-off set between the events of Diablo 2 and Diablo 3. Or as you more likely know it, the “Do you guys not have phones?” game. Its announcement flopped but fans were more hopeful when Blizzard revealed a PC port was coming. However, given its state, the developer may as well of not bothered.
Despite being free-to-play Immortal has one of the most predatory business models ever seen. It’s so ridiculous that a YouTuber called Bellular News figured out that it would cost around $110,000 to max one character.
This crazy price tag is a result of how Legendary Gems work in Immortal. Free players are hard-capped up to a certain level. Once this level is reached you are forced to use Legendary Gems to progress further. Unless you are willing to spend big time the only way to get these gems is by getting very lucky.
And when I say very lucky, I mean astronomically lucky. Diablo Immortal is designed in a way that players are supposed to tire out from the grind and resort to their wallets. But on the off chance that you feel up to the grind, what exactly would it take?
According to Bellular News, roughly ten years of playtime. Not ten hours, days, or even months. Years. That’s not playing the game each day for ten years either. That’s ten years of actual play time meaning 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Blizzard strikes out again
Be it the ongoing sexual assault allegations, lazy remakes, or nuking of entire esports Blizzard is making a lot of unpopular decisions as of late. The choice to now follow that up with an anti-consumer mobile game is certainly bold if nothing else. The beloved publisher people used to love is long gone and in its place is one of the industry’s worst culprits.
SEGA has revealed a new console, the Mega Drive Mini 2. It is a remake of the original Mega Drive first released in 1988. It was introduced to the North American market a year later and rebranded as the SEGA Genesis. The Genesis is widely recognized as the most iconic SEGA console ever made.
This remake was revealed as part of an online broadcast on SEGA’s official YouTube channel. According to the broadcast the Mini 2 will launch in Japan on October 27. It will cost ¥9980 which is around $75. If that pricing stays consistent across other regions, then it will cost £60 in the UK and €70 across Europe.
Although a worldwide release date hasn’t been confirmed it probably won’t be too different from the Japanese one. The first Mini released in 2019 found its way to Europe just two weeks after its initial launch. Therefore, the Mega Drive Mini 2 could release worldwide sometime in mid-November.
Unlike the first Mini, this successor will also include games from the SEGA CD. The SEGA CD was an expansion for the Genesis that allowed owners to play some games using a disc instead of a cartridge. Games loaded through a CD featured faster CPU processing and enhanced graphical fidelity. The most famous SEGA CD game is Sonic CD which was released in 1993.
What’s in store for SEGA?
Outside of the Mini 2, the rest of the year looks to be relatively quiet for SEGA. Company of Heroes 3 is coming out in 2022 and Endless Dungeon is listed as “coming soon”. Outside of those two games, SEGA has nothing else confirmed to be launching this year. However, you can expect that to change with big events like Summer Game Fest 2022 coming up. What other games SEGA has planned for us is to be seen.
Developer Stunlock Studios has posted a blog detailing the future of V Rising. The new blog post provides some insight into V Rising as well as a first look at the vampire survival game’s development roadmap.
Moving forward the team at Stunlock Studios is starting out by making sure that “everything is in order”. This means that before major new content is added the technical aspects of the game will be addressed first. Players can expect this to come in the form of bug fixes, balance tweaks, server optimization, and various quality-of-life improvements. The improvements made will be based on data and player feedback gathered in the first few weeks of early access.
Once this is done Stunlock intends to add more content to flesh out the experience. Be it more bosses, lands, castle upgrades, or equipment, there is plenty in store for the popular indie game. The developer even hints at a future 1.0 release when the game leaves early access which it promises will be “something very special”.
Specific details regarding the roadmap for V Rising are not provided. It’s likely that the developer is working on it but doesn’t want to commit to anything whilst other improvements are still being implemented. Even so, we can reasonably assume that there will be a content drop of some description before the end of the year.
An overwhelming success!
V Rising has taken the industry by storm becoming a universal success since launch. As of last week, it passed over one million players and 150,000 concurrent players. Those are some of the best numbers of any current game on Steam. It follows in the footsteps of other successful indie survival games like Raft, Rust, and Valheim. If it manages to have the same long-term success as those before it though is still to be seen.
Video game movies are nothing new and if anything, are becoming increasingly popular. Years back they were viewed as joke films that rarely impressed anyone but times have changed. The recent successes of Sonic the Hedgehog, Detective Pikachu, and Mortal Kombat have shown that film movies can be good. And now potentially joining that list is a Gran Turismo movie.
According to Deadline, a movie is being made based on Sony’s signature racing game series. It is currently in early development and is being directed by Neill Blomkamp. Blomkamp is best known for directing District 9, a hit sci-fi film released back in 2009.
This is a new development as it was previously believed that a TV series was in the works. But it appears as though plans have changed and now Sony Pictures wants to produce a movie instead. It’s no surprise really that a film company like Sony would want to make a film out of one of its most successful game franchises.
Even so, a Gran Turismo movie does raise some questions. Unlike most video game movie adaptations this isn’t based on a game with a story. Gran Turismo is a simulation racing game that has players build up their garage for various events. How exactly does that translate into a good film?
Let’s not forget that we’ve seen a racing game movie before. In 2014 Electronic Arts gave Touchstone Pictures the green light to produce a Need for Speed film. The result was one of the worst movies of the year. Not even Aaron Paul’s brilliant acting could save it.
Sony’s other works
Sony has been pushing to bring its best game franchises to the big screen. Alongside Gran Turismo, there is also a The Last of Us show, Horizon on Netflix, and God of War on Amazon Prime. It will be interesting to see if any other iconic Sony games are adapted in the future.
Eleven years ago, Bethesda released The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. In 2016 a remastered version would come to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 with a Switch port following a year later. Just last year we got a Skyrim port to PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S too. It’s even got a VR port of all things. Now yet another port of Skyrim is one the way with the Switch set to receive the Anniversary Edition.
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Anniversary Edition has been developed to celebrate the game’s 10th anniversary. The Switch port of the Anniversary Edition was leaked via a Taiwanese rating board as spotted by Switch Brasil. This isn’t an official announcement by any means but rating leaks like these tend to be reliable.
As to why Skyrim Anniversary Edition is coming to Switch, we don’t know. Skyrim itself is already available on Switch although this newer version is a little different. The Anniversary Edition supports Creation Club which is Bethesda’s modding platform. And as an added bonus this premium version also features the reworked fishing minigame.
On other platforms the Anniversary Edition is offered as a paid upgrade. Those that own the base game can get the extra content of the Anniversary Edition for a set fee. If Switch owners will also be eligible for this offer is to be seen.
Skyrim is on everything
The joke that you can play Skyrim on anything becomes truer by the day. At this point there isn’t a single major platform that the eleven-year-old RPG isn’t playable on. In a way it’s incredible that over a decade later it still manages to sell so many copies. Although after all these years all Elder Scrolls fans really want is the next game in the series. As to when that will arrive is unknown.
Right now, the Epic Games Mega Sale is live offering hundreds of great titles for affordable prices. To celebrate the sale Epic has teamed up with Gearbox to offer a great deal. From today until May 26 Epic Games Store users can pick up Borderlands 3 for free.
Borderlands 3 is the latest mainline game in Gearbox’s signature looter shooter franchise. At launch, it received mixed reviews with some critics feeling as though its story wasn’t as well-executed as its predecessors. Even so, it is mechanically speaking the best game in the series. Those looking for a more fun looter shooter than this will struggle to find one.
The only catch is that this is only the standard version of the game. That means that you get access to the vanilla product’s content but none of its additional DLCs. Although given that Epic Games is offering Borderlands 3 for free it’s difficult to complain. The extra content would have been nice but the base game still has a twenty-hour plus story. Add on the post-game to that and you’re looking at between fifty and seventy hours for each character.
If you’re interested then all you have to do is boot up the Epic Games Launcher. This can be downloaded on the official Epic Games Store website. Once it’s loaded log in to your Epic account, search for Borderlands 3, and click ‘Get’. Once you’ve added it to your library Borderlands 3 is yours to keep forever.
There’s more to come!
This is only the first week of the Mega Sale. Three more weeks are coming which will all bring with them a variety of new sales and free games. We don’t know what free games are coming yet but it’s worth keeping an eye out. If the first of four was as big as Borderlands 3 don’t be surprised if something even better is on the horizon.
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.