The Apex Legends cross-play beta is right around the corner

Apex Legends

As we’ve known for some time now, Apex Legends is going to support cross play. However, before now we hadn’t received an official release date on when to expect it. Thanks to Respawn’s latest update post, we now know the beta is closer than expected. You’ll be able to try out cross play as early as Tuesday, October 6.

Cross-play is becoming an increasingly popular addition in many battle royale. We’ve already seen Call of Duty: Warzone and Fortnite implement it and now Apex is set to follow. When it’s introduced, cross-play will let you play Apex Legends with friends regardless of platform. The beta will support PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

The next step for Apex Legends

Apex legends crossplay update

For many, this update is considered the next step for EA’s world famous battle royale. Apex Legends has already been responsible for implementing many genre defining features. So it’s lack of cross-play did feel a little out of place.

Cross-play will be enabled by default however users will have a toggle option to turn it off. This will be easily accessible via the in-game settings. If you’re playing on Xbox One though you will also have to enable or disable the console’s cross-play option. This can be found in the System Settings application.

Once you’re partied up you’ll have access to everything a regular Apex Legends squad would. That includes voice chat, pinging communication, and text chat. Unfortunately, this update won’t be including cross-progression. According to Respawn, this will be discussed as a potential update closer to the Steam launch later this year.

Finally, the addition of cross-play has seem some adjustments made to the Apex Legends matchmaking algorithm. When a PC player is in a lobby you will always be placed in a primarily PC populated game. This is to prevent mouse and keyboard players being matched with controller players where possible.

FaZe Clan signs future NBA star Bronny James on a long-term deal

FaZe

The FaZe Clan has had a long history in competitive gaming. From its early days of Call of Duty quick scope montages, it has since grown into one of the most successful eSports franchises of all time. And the latest edition to its line-up suggests they’re now ready to go mainstream.

Announced on the official FaZe Twitter account, the eSports organisation has signed Bronny James to a long-term deal. This deal will see the future NBA star partner up with FaZe as a content creator. It should benefit both parties with FaZe getting mainstream marketing whilst Bronny James can grow his streaming platform.

This is smart from FaZe

LeBron James son joins FaZeDespite his likely NBA focused future, Bronny James has established himself as a legitimate streamer. He has over 330,000 followers on Twitch and regularly streams a large variety of games. Amongst these include NBA 2K20, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Fall Guys.

It’s no secret as to where his popularity comes from. As I’m sure many of you are aware, Bronny James is the son of NBA superstar Lebron James. The three times NBA champion and 16 times NBA All-Star is widely considered the greatest basketball player of this generation.

Even if its an indirect connection, having a link like that is a huge win for FaZe. Also, it’s very possible that Bronny James could grow to incredible stardom himself in the future. When millions are watching him score baskets on TV in years to come, FaZe will receive plenty of exposure.

The only real concern for FaZe is that Bronny may not be able to focus on his steaming career going forward. Being a competitive NBA player is a lot of work and balancing that whilst actively streaming seems difficult. Regardless, it should be interesting to see how this partnership works out.

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.

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.

Most Wanted contracts removed from Call of Duty: Warzone after just two days

Most Wanted

In the early hours last Tuesday, Infinity Ward dropped its latest update for Call of Duty: Warzone. As well as introducing the new Bruen Mk9 LMG and Gunsmith customs, it added a new contract to Warzone. Dubbed the Most Wanted contract, it has now been removed after being live for just two days.

The rapid change comes in response to community outcry slamming the decision to replace Bounty contracts. Whilst they were still available in solos, every other mode featured Most Wanted contracts in their place instead.

The problem with Most Wanted contracts

Many players were not happy with the new contract for a few reasons. For one, by removing Bounty contracts you also remove one of the largest motives for fast-paced, aggressive gameplay. Equally, the rewards for completing a Most Wanted contract were quickly drawn into question.

The idea was that when your team completes one, you are gifted with a team revive. The downside is that whilst active everyone on the map would know exactly where you were. Effectively a high risk, high reward option for skilled players to gain a huge advantage. However, when it released this was not the case. Instead, you would only revive already dead teammates meaning it is way too situational.

call of duty warzone most wanted contract acquired

In five minutes, you are better off just looking around for the money to revive your team. At $4500 per person, it is not that difficult to revive multiple teammates on your own. Just focus on completing Recon and Scavenger contracts and you will get the money in no time.

This is not Infinity Ward’s first community outcry and it will not be its last. The developer has been known to ignore community issues, so it is at least nice to see them addressing this so quickly. I would expect Most Wanted contracts to return at some point in the future and when they do, who knows what the player base will think.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered trailer leaked

Modern Warfare 2

Before Modern Warfare 2019 dropped many Call of Duty fans were hoping for a Modern Warfare 2 remaster. Unfortunately, neither Infinity Ward nor Activison Blizzard seemed overly interested at the time. However, that looks to be changing very soon if the recently leaked trailer is anything to go by.

Originally sourced from an early German PlayStation Store listing, the leaked trailer confirms the existence of an MW2 remaster. In the trailer we see many iconic moments from Modern Warfare 2’s campaign. This includes the Gulag escape, snowmobile chase, and the ever iconic No Russian mission.

Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

Modern Warfare 2 RemasteredExisting owners of Modern Warfare 2019 and Call of Duty Warzone will benefit from a new content drop too. The upcoming Classic Ghost Bundle will add Modern Warfare 2’s Ghost as an operator, as well as an M4A1 Task Force blueprint. As it features a unique finishing move, player card and plenty more, you can expect it to be on the pricier side.

Speaking of price, the listing itself had Modern Warfare 2 Campaign Remastered available for $29.99. For that, you will get access to a graphically enhanced version of MW2’s seven-hour campaign. The trailer doesn’t provide any details of a potential Spec Ops game mode, meaning it probably won’t feature.

Modern Warfare 2 Campaign RemasteredAs for when you can expect to play this, the trailer says, “Available now,” rather than stating a release date. Given this and the suggested release date in the leak, a launch as early as March 31 is a real possibility.

We have zero information regarding the multiplayer or if it will come in the future. With Modern Warfare 2019 being so successful, it seems unlikely Infinity Ward would launch another title to take away from it. If Modern Warfare 2’s multiplayer did get remastered, it would split the player base. Instead, Call of Duty fans will probably have to wait until Treyarch’s 2020 title for something fresh.

What Made Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Such a Strong Entry?

A couple of days ago @charlieINTEL tweeted out asking fans what their favorite Call of Duty of the decade was. What was supposed to be a friendly tweet to encourage some community interaction ended up fueling the nostalgia train. It turns out fans are very fond of Black Ops 2, the 2012 iteration of Activision’s hit FPS. So much so that Black Ops 2 managed to trend worldwide.

So that got me thinking. It’s clear that Black Ops 2 is a beloved game. I myself would rank it as either the second or third best Call of Duty ever made. But why is that? What made Call of Duty Black Ops 2 so awesome?

Black Ops 2’s Rewarding Grind

Black Ops 2’s Rewarding GrindGrinding in video games can either make or break your experience. As someone who grew up with RuneScape, arguably the king of grind, I can get behind a well-designed grind. But what makes for a good grind? In my head, it comes down to three factors.

Firstly, It has to be rewarding relative to the time taken to complete. Secondly, it either has to not require much focus or not be overly repetitive. Not many players tend to enjoy a repetitive, long, and high effort grind. Finally, you need to be able to show off your achievement.

Black Ops 2 ticks off all three of these criteria with ease. Challenges are based on a unique set of requirements dependent on gun type. For example, shotguns and snipers required one shot kills whilst assault rifles required headshots. After you’ve completed so many you get access to the harder challenges. These were unique for each gun, but some examples include getting five kill streaks, getting double kills, and getting kills with no perks equipped.

These challenges weren’t repetitive as they differed greatly from gun to gun. Also, Call of Duty’s gameplay is inherently random and unpredictable. Depending on the map, your teammates, and your enemies a game can play out very differently. Last but not least, you can damn well bet you could show off your achievement.

Diamond guns were top tier cosmetics. Some players feel many of the exclusive camos throughout the years have been lackluster. For instance, Modern Warfare’s Damascus camo often finds itself under fire for just this. However, this wasn’t the case for diamond. Everyone thought diamond guns looked amazing. They provided a real reason to grind, so you could show off your efforts to the world.

Every Gun Was Viable

Every Gun Was ViableGun balance in Call of Duty is an interesting topic. Many of Call of Duty’s earlier titles often failed to balance weapons at all. Just think of the laser M16A4 from CoD 4 or the akimbo Model 1887’s from Modern Warfare 2. Equally, there have been some really bad weapons throughout the years. Consider Advanced Warfare’s EPM3 or the Uzi from Black Ops 1.

Fortunately, Black Ops 2 did a great job of neither having overly strong or weak weapons. Sure, the MP11, MSMC, and LSAT were all very good but not unbeatable. Other options such as the Remington shotgun, FAL, M8A1, and AN-94 were all extremely competitive choices. Even more niche weapons such as the Type 25, PDW, and MTAR had a defined purpose.

Check out any Black Ops 2 pro game from back in the day. It doesn’t matter what you choose. Now, look at the guns used throughout the various rounds. In this MLG Anaheim VoD I’m using I’ve seen the M8A1, MK-48, DSR, MSMC, MP7, and AN-94 on just the first map played. For comparison, any Advanced Warfare game would just be filled with ASM1s and BALs. Truly, it’s seriously impressive that so many guns were viable even at the highest level of play.

Create a Class: Pick Ten System

Create a Class: Pick Ten SystemThe Pick Ten System was introduced as a means of replacing CoD’s traditional class layout. Rather than just picking one thing in each slot, players could now choose to allocate their ten points however they wanted.

For example, they could spend several points kitting out their primary at the cost of either a secondary weapon or perks. Alternatively, they could go all in with six perks but only have a limited primary weapon at their disposal. Anyone who has played a newer Call of Duty, not you Modern Warfare, should be familiar with this system.

Well, it was Black Ops 2 that introduced this superior class layout. No longer were players tied to a limited selection based on what the developers wanted them to use. Above all, they could now pick almost any combination of options and create a class truly unique to them.

Scorestreaks

black ops 2 scorestrewaksSpeaking of things Modern Warfare ditched for no reason, scorestreaks were also a product of Treyarch’s innovation. Debuting in Black Ops 2, scorestreaks aimed to reward objective focused playstyles with various streaks. The idea was to encourage players to capture, defend, plant, and defuse objectives to earn powerful scorestreaks.

As we’ve seen with Modern Warfare, removing these makes everything campier. This is because if kills are the only measure of success, players aren’t going to run out and risk dying. Similarly, if you place a reward on playing the objective, players are obviously going to be more eager to do so.

Not only that, but Black Ops 2 also did a fantastic job of making the gameplay feel fast but not too fast. Personally, I love Advanced Warfare, but I know many felt it was just too much. Especially on console where fast, reactive aiming can be difficult. But this doesn’t mean a slower game like Ghosts or Modern Warfare is ideal either. There has to be a sweet spot somewhere in the middle.

I think Treyarch did a great job of promoting faster playstyles whilst maintaining that core Call of Duty feel. Certainly, newer games have failed to manage both of these simultaneously. They’re either too fast and don’t feel like Call of Duty or so slow that boring, low skill playstyles are overly rewarded.

Well that’s my thoughts on Black Ops 2. In brief, it’s great game that clearly gets the credit It deserves. What did you think of Black Ops 2? Do you agree that it’s a top-tier Call of Duty or were there too many flaws you couldn’t ignore? Be sure to let us know in the comments.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Review

Call of Duty

Call of Duty

Another year, another Call of Duty game. It’s fair to say many fans feel Activision’s once hit FPS has gotten stale over the years. Recent titles have struggled to meet fan expectations by neither delivering a fresh experience nor reproducing a classic beloved one. Infinity Ward has used Modern Warfare as an opportunity to start over. The question is, did it work?

Not Exactly a Call of Duty Game

Not Exactly a Call of Duty GameOf course, by name, it is still technically a Call of Duty game. However, it shares surprisingly little in common with its predecessors. Similarly to 2014’s Advanced Warfare, Modern Warfare 2019 completely changes how CoD is played. Whilst Sledgehammer brought Exo Suits and rapid-paced gameplay, Infinity Ward has done the exact opposite.

Modern Warfare is the slowest paced Call of Duty game to date. This is a result of several factors stacking up. Firstly. the traditional three-lane map design has been ditched in favor of verticality. Also, gameplay changes such as increased sprint out times, a smaller radar, and the audio rework all contribute too.

I have to admit in my first thirty or so levels, I didn’t particularly like this game. It felt as though camping was being rewarded whilst the classic rush playstyle was officially dead. However, it’s not quite that simple. Even though rushing in without thought will get you killed, that doesn’t mean everything has to be slow. Modern Warfare is the first Call of Duty game to promote more tactical gameplay.

Don’t get me wrong, this is no Rainbow Six Siege. Despite that, gunfights definitely have some kind of extra element to them. Instead of just seeing people and reacting quicker, this year requires you to think things over. What are the map’s power positions? Can I hear someone around the corner? Do I need to pre-aim to win a gunfight? Should I catch them off guard by playing faster? Not considering these options will leave you struggling to perform.

Call of Duty’s New Ground War

Call of Duty's New Ground WarGone is the old school 9v9 Ground War. Instead, we have a new Battlefield inspired large scale combat game mode. Ground War now takes place on huge battlefields between two teams of 32 players. For those who are still looking for an older, faster-paced CoD experience, this could be the answer.

It compares similarly to Battlefield 3. The scale of combat isn’t quite on the level of Battlefield 4 or any of its sequels. Equally, it’s not as fast-paced as a Bad Company 2 or Hardline. Call of Duty’s Ground War rework is one of the best changes the series has seen in a long time. As a huge fan of Battlefield 3, Modern Warfare is a blessing.

The incredibly fast time to kill can feel overly punishing on regular modes. Here though it fits better as encounters happen infrequently enough that you can’t get spawn killed. Generally speaking, if you die on Ground War it’s probably your own fault. That is with one exception.

Sniping is too powerful. Since snipers don’t suffer from near as much bullet drop as they do in Battlefield, they dominate certain maps. Most notably, the city landscape of Tavorsk District is prime for long-range snipers to camp skyscraper rooftops.

Ground War has its clear flaws. I would argue the biggest problem is that Call of Duty was clearly not designed for 64 player war. The Battlefield games provide many support options to make prolonged combat sustainable. Classes like the Assault and Engineer help maintain a balance between vehicles and infantry. Modern Warfare missed this memo. With so little anti-vehicle options, they tend to dominate. Unless the Javelin and Stinger get massive buffs, I doubt this will change.

Progression Model

Progression ModelI think a lot of people who play Call of Duty appreciate an in-depth progression model. Having goals and objectives to grind for can be a big factor in what makes for a good CoD game. Modern Warfare 2 had its iconic Calling Cards where you could show off your 2500 kills with any weapon or killstreak. Black Ops 2 introduced diamond guns for dedicated specialists. So what does Modern Warfare have?

Short answer, a lot. The standout feature is how gun leveling works this year. They’ve effectively evolved Modern Warfare 3’s gun-leveling system. Most of the weapons can reach a max level of 71. Maxing a gun out will take you many hours to achieve.

Gun leveling is a requirement to get the best attachments and gun specific perks. Gun perks stack on top of the three primary perks you have on a class. For example, Sleight of Hand is not a regular perk this year. If you want to reload quicker you have to level up a gun and attach it to that specific weapon.

If its cosmetics you’re after, the newest Call of Duty game doesn’t disappoint. As you level up weapons different tiers of camo challenges get unlocked. You start off with Woodland and Digital but can work your rap up to more stylish camos like Tiger and Reptile.

Completing all of these challenges nets you a nice gold gun. Completing every camo challenge for every gun in a class (shotgun, pistol, etc.) nets you a flashy platinum gun. Finally, there’s even a goal for the most hardcore of players. Completing every gun camo challenge in the game unlocks the Damascus camo.

Final Verdict

The Guise of NightThe changes take some time to adjust to but they’re not bad. Just like Sledgehammer Games did five years ago, Infinity Ward has taken a risk. Bold development choices led to Advanced Warfare becoming my favorite Call of Duty game ever. I’m not saying Modern Warfare is there yet, but these changes are definitely for the better.

Not only is the gameplay a refreshing change when you get used to it, but Modern Warfare also does a great job of bringing back a top tier progression model. Ground War’s changes, whilst flawed, offer a haven for those still desiring a classic, faster paced shooter. Given how little I liked the beta, I thought Modern Warfare would be yet another underwhelming Call of Duty title. However, it has performed well beyond my expectations. This is a seriously good FPS.

How to Get PS4 Games for Half Price: A Cheapskate’s Guide to Game Sharing

Game Sharing PS4

Here’s a nifty way to share PS4 game libraries with a friend without needing to swap discs. If you’ve got a friend who you trust (I know they say trust no one, but sometimes you need to let someone in), and you’re a starving games journalist (not required), PS4 game sharing is the way to go.

Game Sharing

Game Sharing

Game sharing isn’t a secret by any means, but it’s so rarely talked about that I feel like many gamers aren’t aware of it. Other than the trust thing, the only drawback is that you and your friend have to be cool with only buying games digitally. You also need to have an online connection when playing in order for PSN to verify your games.

You probably remember activating your PS4 as your “primary PS4”. This allows profiles other than yours can play the games you have downloaded, as long as the player is on your system. This is one method of game sharing. However, you can also play your digitally owned games by logging into your profile on a separate PS4 and downloading the games you own.

Setting your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4

Destiny Game Sharing PS4
A great game to share. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/newgamenetwork/8486223007/

To recap: Anyone can play your digital games on your primary PS4. You can play your digital games on anyone’s PS4 as long as you’re logged into your PSN profile.

Which means you can set your PS4 as your friend’s primary PS4, and set his PS4 as your primary. You’ll be able to play your friend’s games on your system (since it’s activated as “their” primary), and if you stay logged into your PSN profile, you can play any games you own as well. Same goes for your friend on their system. Voila. Game sharing.

Let’s say your friend owns a digital copy of Call of Duty: Fill-in-the-Blank Warfare. Using this trick, you can both play that one copy of CoD:FitBW at the same time. Heck, you can even play multiplayer together, even though you’re a freeloader who doesn’t actually own the game.

This is how my friend and I work things out. When a new game comes out that we both want to share, one of us buys the digital copy and the other sends half the game’s cost via e-transfer to whoever paid the full price. Now we both have access to the game.

Here’s a step-by-step process of how to go about game sharing:

Call of Duty Game Sharing PS4
Play CoD multiplayer together with just one copy. Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/revo27/6989054848/

  1. Log into your PS4 and go to the Settings tab.

  2. Select PlayStation Network/Account Management.

  3. Select Activate as Your Primary PS4.

  4. Select Deactivate.

  5. Get your friend to follow steps 1-4 on their PS4.

  6. Log into your PSN account on your friend’s PS4 and follow the same steps, except this time select Activate.

  7. Get your friend to log into their PSN account on your PS4 and do the same.

Activate as your primary PS4

This is what it looks like.

You can find your friend’s games by logging into their account on your PS4 and checking out their library (the games they own won’t show up in your account’s library unless you already have them downloaded). Then you download the ones you want to share. Again, this only works for digitally-owned games. You still need to swap your discs, pesky physical media that they are.

There you go! You’ve taken the next step in your relationship, and you can finally learn to trust again. Or, you know, you ignore your trust issues and just save money by splitting the cost of the games you share. You do you.

Next Call Of Duty To Take Place In Far Future

While it is absolutely no surprise that there is another Call of Duty title on the horizon, it is interesting to hear that it might be set in the far future with such features as space combat.

NeoGAF user Shinobi, a trusted industry insider, has shared fragments that might hint at the type of game we will be receiving this fall.
“Very far future.

Space combat.

Full on sci-fi.”

Considering we have nothing as far as what to expect from CoD 2016 beyond this and the Eurogamer report on the matter, this opens the floodgates as far as speculation goes.

Will it be a sequel or spiritual successor to Ghosts? Will we embark on missions set entirely in space, in the vein of Star Wars or Battlestar Galactica? Who knows, but the notion of ‘full on sci-fi’ suggests that this year, Infinity Ward wants to step away from Ghosts, which upon release, received less than brilliant reception from both critics and the community alike.

Despite that reception, I fancied Ghosts quite a bit and was, until this point, anticipating a more polished and creative sequel. I am now not too sure if I want space ships and blaster rifles or more Riley with his adorable military outfit.

I guess it will be up to Infinity Ward to demonstrate why we should get excited again.