A while back it was hinted that Niantic was working on a Harry Potter game similar in style to Pokemon GO. Today Niantic and WB Games has released a new teaser trailer for the game, now called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. Not a lot has been revealed about the game so far but the premise seems to be that certain magic is creeping into the muggle world and its up to the witches and wizards of the wizarding world (the players) to quell the magic and to stop the exposure of the wizarding world to muggles. As with Pokemon GO, players will be able to explore their real world surroundings but instead of finding and catching little critters, players will be able to cast spells and encounter iconic characters and...ahem...fantastic beasts. Interesting little plug there for an upcoming movie.
One tactic that publishers like to do to garner interest is have free play weekends for those that have not purchased a game. Its a smart strategy as it gets people on the fence into a full version of the game to see if they really want to purchase it or to show off recent additions that may attract new players.
UBISoft is having one of those this week with Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege, with free play from Nov 15th - 18th. With a recent patch fixing a multitude of issues, its looking like UBISoft wants to show off a cleaner game than what was originally published. The free weekend is for PC, Xbox and PlayStation platforms, with Q&A pulled directly from the official page below:
FREE WEEKEND Q&A
The free version of Rainbow Six Siege offers access to all maps, modes and 20 Operators, giving you the full Siege experience over the Free Weekend.
WHEN CAN I PLAY?
You can access the Free Weekend during the following times for each platform:
In the latest episode of Geek & Sundry, actor Joseph Gordon Levitt sat down to go through his original Magic: the Gathering card collection. You may be asking yourself why this is interesting? Well, the entire point of this video is to give an example of how game’s can affect and play a role in our lives. The influence of Wizard’s classic TCG has played a role in both his career choices and life in general. It is an interesting watch for fans of Magic and proof that games of all kind can have positive and lasting effects on players.
Its that time again, when rare Executive Produce Joe Neate walks us through his weekly Sea of Thieves developer update. With X018 coming last week and it being announced that Sea of Thieves would be getting
Joe gets into Shrouded Spoils first, which is the next content update which is coming late November. At this point they are into the final stages of testing and the content update trailer is being produced currently. Joe talks about his mistake going after a skeleton ship and how it hammered him once he attacked.
Secondly, he goes into the experience and announcements from X018 in Mexico City last week, specifically getting into some info on The Arena which was announced at the show. I encourage you to take a view and see where the udpates are at and where they are headed.
Microsoft has had a busy couple of weeks with a large amount of info coming out at X018 last week, and now the release of the Nov '18 Xbox Update today. The biggest addition is support for keyboard and mouse, with Fortnite being one of the first titles to get it (per Mike Ybarra Microsoft VP for Xbox) on his twitter feed earlier today. In addition, updates for Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa, Amazon Music app introduction and expansion of Search were introduced. You can check out all the details at the link above, or I have brought them over and posted below:
Mouse and Keyboard Support for Xbox One
As revealed by Phil Spencer on the September episode of Inside Xbox, the November update brings mouse and keyboard support to Xbox One! With support for mouse and keyboard, developers can now choose to add mouse and keyboard support for their games on Xbox One. This enables both developers and players with more choice on how they want to play.
Announced at X018, Fortnite will be one of the first titles to support mouse and keyboard input, matchmaking players using the same input together with one another to ensure a fair and fun experience for everyone. Fortnite’s support for keyboard and mouse launches alongside previously announced Warframe via today’s update, with Bomber Crew, Deep Rock Galactic, Strange Brigade, Vermintide 2, War Thunder and X-Morph Defense adding support in November, and Children of Morta, DayZ, Minion Master, Moonlighter, Vigor, Warface, and Wargroove adding support in the future.
Additionally, we’re partnering with Razer to offer gamers a premiere mouse and keyboard experience through an all new Razer-created ‘Designed for Xbox’ mouse and keyboard. Built from the ground up for gaming on Xbox One and Windows 10, it will come equipped with a dedicated Xbox key, and support for the new Xbox Dynamic Lighting capability – enabling immersive game-controlled lighting effects.
Try out mouse and keyboard in some of your favorite games today and be sure to tune into CES in January to learn more about the ‘Designed for Xbox’ mouse and keyboard coming from Razer.
Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa Updates
Launched in the U.S. last month, the Xbox Skill for Cortana and Alexa allows gamers to get more done using just their voice. This feature will continue to grow and improve over time, based on fan feedback. Coming this week, we have the first set of updates:
*Alexa Beta for the U.K. (EN-GB): The Xbox Skill for Alexa is now in Beta for all Xbox gamers in the U.K. with the addition of U.K. English voice recognition. To get started with Alexa, just say, “Alexa, open Xbox.”
*Cortana improvements: In the U.S, the Xbox Skill for Cortana becomes easier to use. Cortana will automatically discover and pair your Xbox, so there’s no need to login. Just say “Hey Cortana, pair my Xbox” to any Cortana device (mobile phone or Harmon Kardon Invoke speaker). Try your favorite commands, like “Hey Cortana, start Netflix” or “Hey Cortana, pause my Xbox.” Get started with the latest Cortana on Android or Cortana on iOS app this week.
*New Commands added: In response to fan feedback, we’re adding a few new commands to both the Cortana and Alexa skill. Now, you have the ability to fully close a game or app via “Quit [game or app name]” or use your assistant as a controller with our new navigation mode. This lets you use your voice to hit the “A” button or navigate around your console (e.g. up, down, left, right, A button, B button). Just say “Start navigation mode” or “Press [button name]” to try it out!
Amazon Music app comes to Xbox One
Amazon Music is launching a brand-new app for Xbox One in the U.S. on Nov. 14th, with availability in more countries coming soon. The Amazon Music app for Xbox enables Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers to stream more than 50 million songs and thousands of playlists and stations through their Xbox One family of devices. Prime members can also use the app to stream more than two million songs and hundreds of playlists and stations at no additional cost to their membership with Prime Music. Download the new Amazon Music app from the Store today!
We’re expanding search to include results from Xbox Assist and games you have “Ready to Install” or currently own as part of your memberships, including Xbox Game Pass, EA Access, and more! This makes it easier than ever to find the game you are looking for and start playing.
The folks over at West Virginia Tourism popped on twitter today to announced that they have been collaborating with Bethesda to develop an interactive companion map of real-life West Virginia locations depicted in Fallout 76. Its kind of a quirky piece, but I find it fascinating and very interesting, as it shows the lengths that game devs go to ensure realism and authenticity are used as much as possible. If you want to check it out, you can visit the official site of West Virginia Tourism and read about the locations. Meanwhile, from the site, here is a description of what you will find:
Welcome to Real-World West Virginia
Zoom, scroll and hover around this exclusive interactive map of all Fallout® 76 locations found in real-world West Virginia. These locations inspired the forested, rolling mountain landscape for the game, and you can experience them all first-hand on your own escape to the Mountain State.
With a name like Void Bastards, I shouldn't be surprised that this video's opener greets you with a little alien that says, "Surprise, buttface!" then shoots a spitwad of energy at you. Led by Irrational Games co-founder Jonathan Chey, Void Bastards puts you in a first-person-shooter world but requires some strategic thinking on your part. By "strategic thinking" they don't just mean "do I shoot them with the machine gun or a rocket launcher?" You're actually going to be scoping out maps of the derelict spaceships you're boarding, taking note of important resources, and making command decisions about what primary and secondary objectives take precedent, and which objectives perhaps don't get done at all.
I like the comic book look and feel. Games that seem like they're trying too hard for a laugh don't usually get my attention, but this one has some cutely gross parts mixed in with some stupidly fun-looking parts. Void Bastards claims inspiration from games like System Shock 2 and BioShock, but seems to have a lighter sense of humor, at least compared to those particularly excellent horror-lite shooters. I mean, someone shouts a very British, "Biscuits revoked!" before pumping somebody out of an airlock, so if that's the stuff that gets you rolling in the aisles, by all means. Yet the logistics and planning stage certainly makes it feels smarter than your average FPS.
Void Bastards is coming to Xbox One and PC in early 2019.
EVE Online used to be my jam. But after watching this EVE Online: Onslaught video, Onslaught being the new, free expansion that launched Tuesday, I can tell I've been out of the game for entirely too long. I don't know half of what they're talking about anymore. "Ansible Jump Gates"? Those look neat. What do they do? Pharolux Cyno Beacons and Cyno Jammers? Wow, those sound neat. No idea what those do either. Abyssal Deadspace Co-Op? Yay! Was it only single-player before? New Triglavian Ships. New ships are always cool! Are these only for the bad guys, or can I buy one? A New Activity Tracker? I've always wanted a new activity tracker. Is this thing tracking every in-game activity I'm engaged in?
Then the Onslaught video gets to new visual effects for jump gates, and finally we're back in territory that I can understand. Jump gates. Those are important. They're prettier now. They even show off some symbology that probably mean something important to people that've played the game more recently than five years ago...or 12 years ago, depending on how far out-of-date I want to prove my knowledge of the gameplay is.
More complete update notes are on the official website.
My out-of-touch old-man joking aside, here's briefly what's happening in the EVE Online: Onslaught update:
EVE Online turned 15 years old this year. I'm currently putting that in my pipe and smoking it. It's only on PC, and there are legitimate ways to play the game for free without paying the monthly subscription price.
Battlefield V is coming out this week for some and you want to get the best performance out of it if you're on a PC and have a NVIDIA card. With that, NVIDIA has released 416.94 drivers that will give you just that.
Now, the game won't have DXR ready on release as that feature will be enabled in a future patch by EA. Coincidentally, or maybe not, Microsoft has re-released their October Update that you'll need to support DXR. So with that and the drivers in place, we're just waiting on EA to finally see how well the RTX line of cards work and to see if it's really worth it.
The drivers are also ready for Fallout 76, which releases tomorrow.
For Hitman 2, the drivers add Ansel and Highlights support for those that love to take really good screenshots or want their best moments recorded without having to do it manually.
Grab the drivers with the GeForce Experience app right now.
Looks like the fan favorite Nuketown map from previous Treyarch Call of Duty games will be making it's way onto Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 this week. A fresh trailer shows the re-imagined "NUK3TOWN" map as some kind of Cold War era soviet base. The map is scheduled to release on November 13th, and is exclusive PS4 first for at least a week, and then other platforms will be given access.
Nuketown is definitely an iconic Call of Duty map. It's been around the block a few times, appearing in every Treyarch game since it's inception in Black Ops. While it's not necessarily my favorite multiplayer map, there are plenty who enjoy it and are no doubt anticipating its arrival.