The Project CARS 3 bold design changes have been well received by critics

Project CARS 3

When Project CARS 3 was first revealed last June, some fans were concerned over the drastic change in direction. Whilst the first two games in the series were hardcore racing simulators, the third opts to be a simcade instead. Such a bold design change hasn’t really ever been seen in a racing game franchise before.

The first two games focused entirely on delivering the best wheel racing experience possible. Similar to other competitive sim racers like Asseto Corsa and iRacing, Project CARS was never a great option for controller players. However, the third in the series is now a great controller game resulting in a more accessible experience for most.

All Project CARS 3’s changes

Project CARS 3 corvette racingFor one, racing is no longer limited to just traditional grand prix circuits. Project CARS 3 sees the introduction of casual street racing venues similar to that of Slightly MAD Studios’ earlier games. It’s clear its inspiration comes from a mix of the Forza games and Need For Speed Shift.

Unlike the previous two titles, Project CARS 3 also implements a more defined progression model into its career mode. Much like the Forza and Gran Turismo series, there’s a far bigger focus on collecting different cars for different events.

Equally, much like the Forza series, This game sees both an upgrade system and a decal system introduced. This means you can customize cars you own to look and perform exactly how you want. However, this does mean the classic racing discipline restrictions are more or less gone.

These changes have overall been well received by critics, but it feels as though Slightly MAD Studios made one big mistake. It’s not that Project CARS 3 is a bad game, it’s just that it shouldn’t be called Project CARS 3 in the first place. Adopting a spin-off franchise similar to the Forza Horizon series would have been the better option.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit Remastered looks to be in the works

Hot Pursuit

American publisher Electronic Arts no doubt has its hands full right now. There’s already confirmed releases for FIFA 21, Madden NFL 21, and Star Wars: Squadrons. On top of that, recent news regarding Battlefield 6 suggests it could be the biggest in the franchise yet. But it’s the new leak of a potential Hot Pursuit remaster that’s got everyone’s attention.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit was released in 2010 as a soft reboot to the 1998 original. It was the last game in the series developed by Criterion, with Ghost Games taking over afterward. Whilst not necessarily the most iconic Need For Speed, most fans will have fond memories of it.

Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit

Speed Hot Pursuit supercar race

The news of a potential remaster was leaked via multiple postings across two different stores. First, Amazon removed an Xbox One listing for Hot Pursuit Remastered. This was followed by Australian retailer Mighty Ape doing much the same.

It’s listing on Amazon had it priced at £34.99 (roughly $45) which seems reasonable for a remaster. For many, it’s probably not the game they expected EA to green light. After all, the likes of Carbon and Pro Street have never been given the reboot treatment and are more widely liked.

The choice to remaster Hot Pursuit probably comes from the fact Criterion was responsible for it. After the fair success of Burnout Paradise Remastered, Criterion were handed back full development rights over the Need for Speed franchise. Remastering a game that it made in the past would certainly be easier than working on someone else’s title.

Regardless, Electronic Arts’ eagerness to get Criterion back into active development is nice to see. It has been responsible for some of the best arcade racing games ever made with Hot Pursuit itself outperforming just about every Need for Speed since. Hopefully, we’ll get to see more from them in the future.

Battlefield 6 is targeting 128 player lobbies and a battle royale

Battlefield 6

We know that DICE is currently working on an upcoming installment in the Battlefield franchise. Previously Electronic Arts’ signature FPS, the warfare simulator has dropped off with Apex Legends taking its place. Regardless, expectations are still high for Battlefield 6 and a new leak gives players plenty to be excited about.

Industry insider Tom Henderson took to Twitter to reveal some details regarding Battlefield 6. Although Henderson is best known for his Call of Duty leaks, it’s reasonable to assume he has inside info from EA too. After all, DICE and Infinity Ward likely share information between one another.

Battlefield 6 leaks

Battlefield 6 combat

According to Henderson, the next Battlefield will be targeting 128 player lobbies. This means that all of the maps will be big enough to function in a 64 versus 64 match format. However, there will still be a 32 versus 32players option for those who want that old school Battlefield feel.

Otherwise, DICE is supposedly very interested in reexploring the battle royale genre. Battlefield fans will no doubt remember the developers first attempt, Firestorm. Several fundamental gameplay oversights and lack of support led to its eventual demise. DICE will need to do everything possible to avoid Battlefield 6 falling to the same fate.

However, if DICE were to dedicate more resources to a battle royale it definitely could work. Remember, Call of Duty’s first attempt, Blackout, was not received well. And yet Warzone has gone down as a huge commercial success. Recent numbers suggest Warzone has attracted over 75 million players since launch.

There will be some concerns over the server refresh rates that Battlefield 6 ends up using. There were times in Battlefield 5 where the servers couldn’t even keep up with 32 a side. Doubling that number is going to require either a server upgrade or a Hz drop. The latter would result in far less responsive gameplay.

Atlus to ditch PlayStation exclusive business model after Persona 4 PC success

Persona 4 atlus

Persona developers Atlus have recently been on record confirming it is looking into changing its business model. Up until now, the majority of Persona games have bene exclusive to PlayStation platforms. However, thanks to the success of Persona 4 Golden’s PC release, this could be changing.

In an interview with NintendoSmash, Atlus acknowledges Persona 4 Golden has been a “critical success.” Due to this, the publisher is seriously considering “simultaneous multi-platform releases,” for all its major franchises going forward.

Why did Atlus go all in on PlayStation?

Persona q2 3ds atlusFor many gamers it’s difficult to understand why Atlus even subscribed to a PlayStation exclusive model in the first place. Just to be clear, Sony has zero ownership over the Japanese publisher. Equally, it is not believed Sony have ever paid to keep Persona on its signature platform.

Instead, the best reason gamers have come up with is Atlus’ head director just likes PlayStation. It was probably first put on Sony’s consoles because it was cheap to do but over time this stopped making sense. Atlus has grown into a huge company and could easily afford porting to other platforms. Especially given the extra revenue it would make in doing so.

Interestingly, there is one Persona spin-off series that has managed to escape the PlayStation trap. Persona Q is a chibi styled dungeon crawler that is instead exclusive to Nintendo platforms. Both games in this series are only available on 3DS with the latter not finding its way onto Switch despite being released in 2019.

Regardless of its past intentions, Atlus seems to be ready to ditch its outdated third-party exclusive model. Hopefully, we’ll be able to see Persona 6 and any other spin-offs in the franchise find their way onto PC, Switch, and perhaps even Xbox.

Borderlands 3 is free to play on all major platforms this weekend

Borderlands 3

Released last September, Borderlands 3 is the latest entry in Gearbox’s legendary looter shooter franchise. However, up until now there’s been a significant pay wall in the way preventing players from trying it out. Thankfully as of this weekend, anyone interested will be able to give it a go for free.

Borderlands 3 is free-to-play on every major platform it was released on this weekend. That includes PS4, Xbox One, Steam, and even Google Stadia. Unfortunately, Switch owners are out of luck as Borderlands 3 never found its way onto Nintendo’s hybrid console.

Is Borderlands 3 worth trying out?

Borderlands 3 music bossFor free? Most definitely. Even with its notable faults its still a very well made game with an interesting enough plot. It’s possible you’ll be able to power through the whole story in one weekend although that will require some serious dedication. If you’re just playing through the story normally, expect a full playthrough to take around 20 hours.

It would be best if you can find a friend or two to play along with as Borderlands 3 is designed primarily to be a co-op game. And thanks to this year’s new shared loot and level scaling systems, lower level friends will no longer have a rotten time getting killed over and over.

If you do enjoy your time with it and choose to pick it up, consider buying the DLC too. Currently there’s three released pieces of DLC: Moxxi’s Heist, Guns, Love, and Tentacles, and Bounty of Blood. The first two bring back classic Borderlands characters not featured in the regular story, like Gaige and Timothy Lawrence.

For further information be sure to check out our review of Borderlands 3. It provides an in-depth breakdown of the gameplay, narrative, and graphics. Otherwise, you can purchase the looter shooter on the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store, Steam, and Epic Games.

Warzone Season 5 trailer shows off new open stadium and Apex inspired train

Warzone Season 5

Activision just dropped its latest trailer showing off Call of Duty: Warzone’s Season 5 content drop. Although there have been a few teasers already, this is the first official in-depth reveal. Alongside the announcement of Shephard’s Shadow Company, the new trailer confirms that some big map changes are on the way.

Most notable is the opening up of Stadium, a central point of Verdansk that is currently inaccessible. With the beginning of Warzone Season 5 though Stadium will open up and become a new hot point for loot drops. Also, it is heavily rumored that players will be able to fire a rocket out of the top of the Stadium.

Warzone Season 5 is here

Warzone Season 5 trailer On top of the stadium update Warzone players can expect a new way to get around Verdansk. Coming alongside the Season 5 update is the long-awaited train. It will work similarly to Apex Legends’ where the train speeds around the perimeter of the map. Also, it will feature a ton of loot making it an appealing landing spot for those looting for early gunfights.

The train tracks themselves were actually added at the start of Season 4 but were simply cosmetic. Thankfully, this update will change that and should help speed up the general flow of Warzone’s gameplay.

As for new guns, It is all but confirmed that both the AN-94 assault rifle and APC9 SMG will be coming with Season 5. The former is a 5.45 caliber rifle that can supports an 1800 round per minute 2-round burst fire mode. The latter is another fast firing personal defense weapon comparable to the P90 and MP7.

Finally, an old favorite looks likely to return. Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare’s R700 sniper has been found in the game files. A fully functioning version is in the files of Modern Warfare and is likely to be added half-way into Season 5. It is expected to a high caliber designated marksman rifle.

Overwatch tank Orisa was close having teleportation as her ultimate

After some questionable experimentation with Moira’s kit as of late, Blizzard have come under fire from some fans. There are concerns about how the developer is mis-judging the state of the game and not understanding what players want. And if recent news about Orisa is anything to by, this might be true.

In a recent Reddit Q&A lead hero designer Geoff Goodman responded to some interesting questions. One of which was inquiring about how many unused hero concepts Blizzard have lying around. Whilst also explaining the general process his team goes through in designing a hero, it’s his comments on Orisa that have caught the attention of many.

Orisa was almost even scarier

Bastion ultimate

It turns out that Orisa’s first concept featured a teleportation ultimate ability. When used it would allow her to teleport anywhere on the map in a drop pod of sorts. Coupled with her halt ability this could have made for some crazy flank plays in the right hands.

To be fair to Blizzard, this was in the very early stages of her development. Goodman himself even goes on to say that his team “didn’t have a character yet,” but was rather just trying out ideas. Also, it’s not exactly worth getting up in arms over. Blizzard try wild ideas all of the time and many don’t see the light of day.

Case in point, Bastion’s original ultimate was a remote mine that, when detonated, would spray explosive in all directions. Given Overwatch’s shift toward mobility and away from builders, this wouldn’t have aged well.

Thankfully, neither Bastion nor Orisa received either of these wild changes. Overwatch may have its problems but at least Blizzard usually knows where to draw the line. That is as long as a certain Swedish knight isn’t involved. But that’s a topic for another day.

The next Call of Duty just got leaked thanks to a packet of Doritos

Doritos

Leaks about the next Call of Duty game have prevalent over the last couple of months. And yesterday we saw the biggest and most reliable leak yet. As part of a Doritos’ advertising campaign, a packet spread online references the next CoD installment.

As revealed by the leak, the next Call of Duty will most likely be called Black Ops: Cold War. Although it is a bit of a mouth full, the branding make sense. The Black Ops franchise is huge and with the success of the Modern Warfare reboot, a similar approach seems sensible. As for the Cold War part, the original Black Ops released in 2010 was also set in the Cold War.

What have Doritos revealed?

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War crossbow

It’s not just the game’s name that has been leaked. The promotion itself features a competition that starts October 5. Given that Modern Warfare was released at a similar time, October 25, this could hint at Cold War’s release date.

Although the source hasn’t been officially verified, it does seem reliable. Doritos and Activision have ran annual partnerships for several years now. The idea being that if you want to get the edge on your opposition, you can purchase Doritos for some double XP.

The same promotion is usually matched by both Monster Energy and Mountain Dew. This means you should have plenty of choice if its something you’re interested in. Regarding the double XP, the small print suggests it’ll be limited to 1 hour per day and 40 hours total.

This leak follows a successful datamined that revealed the name of several multiplayer maps. Amongst these were Black Sea, KGB, Miami, Moscow, and Tank. A handful of campaign missions were found too such as Stakeout and Revolution. Either way, it shouldn’t be long until Activision confirms if this Doritos leak is real.

The Halo Infinite reveal has some fans concerned over its sub-par visuals

Halo Infinite

Microsoft’s big announcement in its Xbox Games Showcase was the official unveil of Halo Infinite. Infinite is the upcoming mainline Halo game set to release alongside the Xbox Series X. However, when fans finally got to see it there were some serious questions about its visual fidelity.

Screenshots from the reveal have been shared countless times on Twitter emphasizing its rough edges. Many of the NPCs and environments look a little too simplistic and even plain ugly at times. The new brutes in particular were so bad that it’s turned into a global meme.

The justification for Halo Infinite

Halo Infinite Masterchief

To 343 Industries’ credit, this new visual design isn’t completely unjustified. Many fans felt Halo 4 and 5 abandoned the iconic look that earlier Halo games had. To counter-act this, Infinite is supposed to look more simplistic and streamlined, just like the original trilogy.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t received overly well. After all, Microsoft had hyped Halo Infinite up to be the standout game in its next generation catalogue. So, when all it had to show was something that probably could have ran on the Xbox One X, fans were understandably disappointed.

Equally, to rub salt in the wound, it turns out the gameplay we saw wasn’t even on an Xbox Series X. Instead, the demo was showcased on a PC with similar specs to Microsoft’s next gen console. Even though Xbox Marketing GM Aaron Greenburg assures the experience is similar to the real thing, it isn’t a great look.

Thankfully, there is still time for Microsoft to turn things around. Halo Infinite is very much a work in progress and with several months still to go, the visuals could improve. Also, the stream was capped to just 1080p and therefore may have not been representative of the true 4K graphics. Only time will tell as to if Infinite will succeed or flop.

You can no longer purchase 12 months of Xbox Live Gold membership

Xbox Live

As spotted by TechRadar, Microsoft has made an unusual change to its long-standing membership model. For the first time since Xbox Live debuted in 2002, gamers can no longer purchase 12 months of Gold membership at once. However, options to buy both one month and three months are still available.

Microsoft itself didn’t give too much information with this, simply providing a generic statement when questioned. An unnamed spokesperson said, “Xbox has decided to remove the 12 months Xbox Live Gold SKU from the Microsoft online store.” The lack of an explanation as to why is somewhat concerning as it suggests the American tech giant might be hiding something.

The Xbox Live annual package is dead

Xbox Live Gold membership

The most likely reason for this decision is that Microsoft is planning some kind of change for its online services. As for what this could be is difficult to guess but it could have something to do with Project xCloud.Project xCloud is a cloud streaming service currently in beta testing. The idea is that you’ll be able to use it to stream your favorite Xbox games on any device regardless of specs. In other words, via the power of Wi-Fi or mobile data, you could be playing the next Forza Motorsport game at 4K settings on your phone.

What if Microsoft was planning to integrate xCloud into the existing Xbox Live Gold membership. It’s possible that doing so could result in a price hike down the line. Perhaps the 12-month fee was too steep, so it is adapting its business model to seem more appealing.

Of course, that is purely speculation and should be taken as nothing more. Until Microsoft gives us more details on both the Xbox Series X and the future of Xbox Live, we can’t know for sure. Considering dropping a comment below and let us know what you think about this change.