Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network CoD: Black Ops Cold War Unleashes the Horde with Zombies Free Access Week https://www.gameskinny.com/zuql1/cod-black-ops-cold-war-unleashes-the-horde-with-zombies-free-access-week https://www.gameskinny.com/zuql1/cod-black-ops-cold-war-unleashes-the-horde-with-zombies-free-access-week Mon, 11 Jan 2021 16:16:02 -0500 Josh Broadwell

For the first time, Treyarch is offering a free trial of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's Zombies mode during its Zombies Free Access Week. The Cold War Zombies trial runs from January 14 through January 21 and includes several modes, plus a save transfer option to carry data into the full game, should players purchase it.

Zombie Free Access Week's first mode is Die Maschine, a traditional Zombies experience where players work in teams to uncover the secrets behind the otherworldly menace or die trying. 

Cranked mode adds a new layer of tension to Die Maschine in the form of a destruction timer. The timer starts counting down once the first zombie dies, and the player's operator explodes if they don't fell another zombie before the timer reaches zero.

PlayStation owners can try an exclusive Zombies mode called Onslaught. This is a multiplayer mode for two players, tasking teams with surviving against waves of even more aggressive zombies than usual while the safe zone keeps shifting. Staying alive means unlocking special weapons blueprints that, like other progression data during Zombies Free Access Week, carry over to the main game for those who purchase it.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies Free Access Week coincides with Treyarch's mid-season update for Black Ops Cold War, so there's plenty to sink your teeth into for those who do decide to go whole hog and purchase the full game.

[Source: Treyarch]

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Mid-Season Update Adds New Zombies, MP Modes https://www.gameskinny.com/yqlqv/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-mid-season-update-adds-new-zombies-mp-modes https://www.gameskinny.com/yqlqv/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-mid-season-update-adds-new-zombies-mp-modes Fri, 08 Jan 2021 15:30:22 -0500 Josh Broadwell

A new Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War update is on the way, bringing more mayhem for Zombies and multiplayer on January 14. A separate update, live now, adds two new 2v2 multiplayer modes.

Cold War's mid-season update introduces the Sanatorium map for Fireteam and Dropkick, a new 6v6 multiplayer mode where teams fight for control of the nuclear codes.

The game's Zombie mode also gets a couple of new features. First is Cranked mode, where each destroyed zombie resets the timer that's counting down to the end of the world. The mid-season update also adds Raid to Zombie Onslaught's maps, and PlayStation Cold War players get Dark Aether intel.

All that drops on January 14, with more content to follow. For now, two new multiplayer modes are live in Cold War: Gunfight Blueprints and Dirty Bomb Duos. 

Gunfight Blueprints is a 2v2 mode that drops players in with random loadouts and a goal of finding the best weapon blueprints. Dirty Bomb Duos is a Fireteam mode where 20 players in teams of two try to detonate more bombs than their counterparts.

[Source: Treyarch]

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Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Zombies Survival Tips & Tricks Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/1rg0h/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-survival-tips-tricks-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/1rg0h/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-survival-tips-tricks-guide Wed, 09 Dec 2020 12:09:54 -0500 John Schutt

Zombies mode makes a triumphant return in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, and there are some significant changes to systems and progression structure in this version of the mode. Whether you’re a Zombies veteran or Cold War is your first foray against the undead, there’s a lot of new information to take in and strategies to learn about.

This Zombies tips and tricks strategy guide will go over the five most effective ways to survive into high rounds in Zombies, covering weapons, perks, upgrades, resource management, and more. If Dark Ether camo is your ultimate goal, keep reading. 

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Zombies Survival Tips & Tricks Guide

How to Make a Zombie Train

One essential skill to develop in Zombies is running a train. In short, you want to move all the zombies into a rough line, then kill them all at once with a few magazine dumps.

It’s a vital talent because to do anything in Zombies, you need points. And the only way to get points is by killing zombies.

You’ll get:

  • 90 points for a regular or explosive kill
  • 115 points for a critical headshot kill

To put that into perspective, it costs more than 5,000 points to unlock all the doors leading to the power switch if you take the optimal route.

In Cold War’s Die Maschine map, the best place to learn to build and maintain a train is the starting area. Wait for all the zombies to climb over the fence or out of the ground, then start moving in a circle around the trees. Steer clear of going around the tank, as in later rounds. It’s liable to get you killed.

As you move in a circle, keep an eye out for new zombies spawning. They will often do so right in your path, and you’ll need to dodge between the train behind you and the undead in front of you. Sprinting is usually enough to get you through, but use the slide if your way forward is closing too fast.

An important note: even sprinting zombies do not move faster than your standard walking speed. Sprinting serves primarily to put distance between you and the train, so you have time to turn around and shoot.

Keep in mind that you can also manipulate the shape of the train by slowing down, stopping, and moving from side to side. Zombies will always attempt to take the shortest possible path to you, so you can mold and shape your train with careful movement as zombies appear and shamble toward you.

In smaller spaces, training takes a little more finesse, as you won’t be able to pull as many zombies into a group safely. Such areas call for a more aggressive culling, so rather than having 20 or more undead around you, keep no more than 10 in the area at any given time.

Regardless of how many zombies are in your train, eventually, you’ll need to kill a few or all of them if you want to go fast. Aim for the head and empty as many bullets into them as feels safe, then resume training.

How to Turn on the Power

Upgrading your weapons and armor doesn’t happen without power, so once you’ve built up 6,000-8,000 points, you can open the way. You can also clear a path one door at a time, but you need to be sure you can get back to your kiting zone safely.

Start your journey through the door at the far end of the starting area. Do not go through the bunny door. Head up the stairs, then turn around. Run up against a destructible wall with an X on it. If you see Juggernog and broken plane parts, you’ve gone the right way.

From Juggernog, keep to the right until you come to another destructible wall. Blow it up and proceed through the blast doors that open to your left.

You’ll come to a "T" intersection with openable doors on one side and debris on the other. Take the door and make your way to the particle accelerator chamber.

Once you’re in the accelerator room, head to the opposite side and open the grates blocking off the room bathed in red light. Hit the power button, then the two other buttons on either side of the room. The power will now be on.

Upgrades and Resource Management


Cold War Zombies introduces crafting to the undead experience, and you’ll be collecting materials of all kinds from the zombies you kill. The two materials that matter are Scrap and Salvage.

  • Scrap is a green drop
  • Salvage is a blue drop
    • You can view how much you have of each at the bottom of the score screen

There are many uses for Scrap and Salvage, but only two are important from the very beginning: weapon and armor upgrades.

Empowering your weapon increases both its rarity and damage, with an increased cost for each improvement. In previous iterations of Zombies mode, all weapons had set damage and the only way to improve them was through using the Pack-a-Punch machine.

Upgrading your weapons grants a modest increase to base damage. The first upgrade is 250 Scrap, then 500, then you’ll need blue Salvage to improve it further.

You might find your first level of armor from a Zombie drop, but getting Level 2 and Level 3 armor takes Scrap and Salvage. Armor isn’t quite as important as raw damage, but you take 50% less damage from all outside sources so long as you have some. Self-damage through things like the Ray Gun or falling go straight through but does not cost armor.

How to Open Pack-a-Punch

Putting your weapon in Pack-a-Punch is a little more complicated now.

Once the power’s on, an Anomaly will appear in the particle accelerator room. Activate it to go into the Aether realm and head up the stairs leading away from the power button.

Now the map will have purple portals all over it. One of them will be marked on your map with a star. Go to that one. Be sure to save a few thousand points, as you might need to open a door or two to get there.

Reach the marked portal and activate it for 500 points. You’ll be transported to a room with a wire-mesh-looking machine part. Pick it up and take it back to the accelerator room, where the Pack-a-Punch machine awaits in a similar wire-mesh outline.

Place the part, then prepare to take your equipped weapon to a whole new level.

There are three grades of Pack-a-Punch, the same as standard weapon upgrades.

  • Level 1 is 5,000 points
  • Level 2 is 15,000
  • Level 3 is 30,000

For camo grinding, you’re unlikely to need more than Level 2 Pack-a-Punch, as experience begins to fall off at Round 20.

No matter how far you go, though, you’ll want to use the machine at least once. Standard-issue weaponry can carry you to the upper rounds, but it’s much more comfortable to have a bright and shiny Pack-a-Punched gun to make the journey.

Perks and Weaponry

Zombies has Create-a-Class now, so you can bring every weapon into the mode and unlock camos for them, which you’ll want to do if you want the Dark Ether camo.

Grinding weapon XP will take you some serious hours, as you’ll be taking every weapon to Level 50 to unlock all its camo challenges, then using it even more to unlock each skin. And you’ll be grinding every gun, launcher, melee, and special weapon this way. It’s 150-200 hours at the absolute fastest. Buckle up.

Making your way to the pinnacle of Zombies will see you using most, if not all, of the Perks available. However, there are three perks you’ll want no matter what: Juggernog, Stamin-Up, and Deadshot Daiquiri.

Juggernog: There's no reason not to pick up Jugg the instant you have the ability. It’s a flat increase to your health, to a maximum of 250. You start with 150, so an ultimate upgrade of 100 HP on top of any armor makes it hard for you to go down. Not impossible, but you’ll have to mess up something fierce.

Stamin-Up: You go faster. That’s the perk. Both your walking and sprinting speed increase by around 25%. That means a more comfortable escape from a horde, easier movement from place to place, and a better quality of life.

Deadshot Daiquiri: Deadshot is a flat, random damage boost to headshot damage. When Deadshot activates, your headshot damage doubles, and with a Pack-a-Punched weapon, your magazines usually double in size, too, so start a train and rack up the points.

Upgrades on the Field

Field Upgrades are your “Oh, shit” button. They’ll allow you to turn invisible, summon a powerful bomb, wreathe an area in fire, freeze every zombie close to you, or heal yourself and your allies. At their base, they’re all good, but you’ll be improving them with Raw Aetherium Crystals you accumulate by advancing rounds and completing challenges.

All upgrades have their uses, but Ring of Fire and Healing Aura are by far the most useful, both for yourself and if you’re playing in a group.

Healing Aura: Exactly what it sounds like, this upgrade heals you over time and, once upgraded to Level 3, can revive downed teammates. It’s got a long cooldown (which you reduce by killing zombies), but if you or your team need a pick-me-up, Healing Aura is where it’s at.

Ring of Fire: Exactly as it states on the box, activating this upgrade wreathes you in a ring of purple Aether fire that deals high damage over time to any zombie near you or in the path of flames you leave behind.

That's it for our Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies survival guide. There are more minor aspects of the Zombies experience that will optimize your runs further, but maximize your efficiency with the above five factors, and you can’t go wrong. If you found these tips helpful, consider giving this guide a share! 

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Black Ops Cold War Cutscene Lag Fix Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/svjcg/black-ops-cold-war-cutscene-lag-fix-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/svjcg/black-ops-cold-war-cutscene-lag-fix-guide Mon, 07 Dec 2020 12:09:15 -0500 Sergey_3847

Black Ops Cold War is is filled with excellent cutscenes throughout its relatively short main campaign, but unfortunately for many players on both console and PC there's a heap of cutscene lag that makes them choppy and essentially ruins them completely. Luckily, this can be fixed.

This guide will provide you with possible solutions to the cutscene lags in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, including PC, PS4/PS5, and Xbox One/Xbox Series X.

Black Ops Cold War Cutscene Lag Fix for PC

The major source of problem for all PC players during the cutscenes in the game is the V-Sync setting. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to the game's main menu
  2. Select "Settings" option
  3. Click on "Graphics" tab
  4. Disable "Gameplay V-Sync" feature
  5. Disable "Menu V-Sync" feature

You can also reduce the display resolution to "1280x720", which has worked for most players.

The last possible solution is to enable the "Unlimited" option at the "Framerate Limit" menu.

Black Ops Cold War Cutscene Lag Fix for Consoles

Cutscene Lag Fix for PS4 and PS5

For now, the only thing that actually helps players to avoid lags on consoles is  the lower display resolution. Here's how to do it on PS4/PS5:

  1. Go to the PSN menu
  2. Select "Settings" tab
  3. Go to "Sound and Screen" menu
  4. Select "Video Output Settings" option
  5. Go to "Resolution" screen
  6. Change resolution to "720p"
Cutscene Lag Fix for Xbox One and Series X

And here's what you need to do on Xbox One/Xbox Series X:

  1. Go to Home Screen
  2. Select "Settings" option
  3. Go to "General" tab
  4. Choose "TV & Display Options" feature
  5. Go to "Resolution" screen
  6. Change resolution to "720p"

These simple steps should help you fix the lag temporarily until the developer releases an official patch.

That's all you need to know on how to fix the cutscene lag in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. If this article helped you, be sure to spread it around.

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Essential Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S Games for the 2020 Holiday Season https://www.gameskinny.com/nbia6/essential-xbox-one-xbox-series-xs-games-for-the-2020-holiday-season https://www.gameskinny.com/nbia6/essential-xbox-one-xbox-series-xs-games-for-the-2020-holiday-season Fri, 18 Dec 2020 22:21:48 -0500 GS_Staff

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/61bb814b256c438085166ecc7131f12b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/61bb814b256c438085166ecc7131f12b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13521","description":"

Control

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S Physical)
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  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X Digital)\n
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    • Currently included in Game Pass Ultimate
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Control may very well be on of the greatest games of the last generation. Developed by Remedy Games — who also brought us the incredible Alan Wake, as well as Quantum Break and Max Payne — Control wows with super slick gunplay and super power usage.

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It's a game that pulls players into an engaging world with engaging combat.  The Federal Bureau of Control is under siege and supernatural abilities are commonplace. Fans of the X-Files or sci-fi horror should not miss out on this action-adventure game.

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We couldn't help but gush about it in our review, saying that "Control is undoubtedly Remedy's biggest and weirdest game yet. In many ways, it's also their best, all while it paves the way for a Marvel-like connected universe." Yeah, it connects to all of their previous games in some fashion, creating a video game universe unlike any other. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/90ef2a99d434aa12fc369b80c16cbf43.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/90ef2a99d434aa12fc369b80c16cbf43.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13520","description":"

Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1, X|S
Get it on:

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Kingdoms of Amalur didn't get the fairest shake with its original release on the Xbox 360, but the Re-Reckoning version of the game on modern platforms brings this much-talked-about RPG to life  and with a wealth of additional content on top of the original version's already robust world and gameplay.

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This is one of those re-releases that original fans dream of, but also one that's accessible to new fans. Thankfully, many of the hiccups from the original game have been ironed out here, so it's both faithful and the best way to play the game. 

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If you're a loot hound — or know someone who is — and like RPGs, Re-Reckoning is a no brainer. 

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In our review, we said that "Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning feels like a breath of fresh air. Just like the game's protagonist, it rises from the ashes, with a blank slate and zero expectations, to deliver a powerful story, addictive gameplay, and a shockingly stylish world that's pulsing with personality and is ripe for exploration."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b9441f4a9fca5e244f97184d0471920.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b9441f4a9fca5e244f97184d0471920.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13528","description":"

Wasteland 3

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S Physical)
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  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
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    • Currently included with Game Pass Ultimate
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After waiting for a sequel to Wasteland 2 for six years — and suffering through a few delays along the way — fans finally got their hands on Wasteland 3 earlier this year. Luckily, it was all well worth it. Mixing tried and true CRPG mechanics with modern sensibilities, Wasteland 3 is an unmitigated success. 

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There's no surprise that there's a lot to do in Wasteland 3, a game that can take upwards of 71 hours to beat for those looking to uncover everything. Sure, a single playthrough isn't as long as some other RPGs on the Xbox platform, but there are so many different builds and ways to play the game, that multiple playthroughs are almost essential. 

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There's story, there's strategy, there's combat. It looks absolutely fantastic, and it's funny, to boot. 

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We said that "Wasteland 3 is, without a doubt, one of the best games of the year. Despite its dark, gloomy atmosphere, it manages to shine through humor and characterization. The world-building is second to none, with a wide range of locales to visit, creating a sense of epic-scale and adventure. It’s a game where your choices have real consequences as you play judge, jury, and executioner."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/66e871aab2adc9a72ca9f3a61e987ecd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/66e871aab2adc9a72ca9f3a61e987ecd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13530","description":"

Streets Of Rage 4 

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $24.99 - $34.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S Physical)
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  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
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    • Currently included with Game Pass Ultimate
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They say you can't keep a good fighter down, and with Streets of Rage 4, developer Dotemu proves that one of the best beat em' ups of the 1990s is still one of the beat em' ups of 2020s. 

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The most obvious change is the game's updated coat of paint, which looks absolutely gorgeous on last- and current-gen consoles. Peel back the surface just a bit, and you'll find a game that pays respect to the franchise but makes enough thoughtful changes to forge its own path. Combat is as you'd expect it, though that doesn't mean it's any less effective. 

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After playing Streets of Rage 4 earlier this year, we said "Streets of Rage 4 is the best kind of revival. It absolutely revels in the franchise’s roots, but the designers have put a lot of thought into what does and does not work in the old arcade beat-‘em-up formula." Read more here

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/509a8b510064477c899f18c3c783a5c8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/509a8b510064477c899f18c3c783a5c8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13529","description":"

Maneater

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $29.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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Maneater may be one of the most surprising games of the year, and if you like action-packed chaos and mayhem, one of the best.  

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Fans of Jaws and Shark Week will revel in the chum-filled waters of Maneater, which follows an orphaned bull shark out for revenge. As your growing shark swims from the alligator-filled swamps of Fatwick Bayou to the sailboat-clogged harbor of Prosperity Sands and beyond, you'll chomp down on everything from fish and turtles to swimmers and bounty hunters. 

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You'll even unlock new skills, evolutions, and deadly shark skins along the way, giving you extra bones to rip your prey to shreds or electricity to shock them when they fall in the water. 

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We gave Maneater a 9 because of all of the things it does so well, with our review saying "In a time of global crisis, however, a game where you can turn your brain off and eat anything and everything in sight is just the kind of detachment we need. Even if it wasn’t on your radar at all, Maneater is a title that will gobble you up for a few hours of blissful escapism."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f20820237186917f53397c1c93cae02d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f20820237186917f53397c1c93cae02d.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13519","description":"

Dirt 5

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ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1, X|S
Get it on:

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Dirt 5 isn't to be overlooked if you've got the itch for a good racing game, especially if you enjoyed its predecessor, Dirt 4. It improves on many of that game's mechanics and systems, even if the Xbox versions aren't able to use the awesome haptic feedback features available in the PlayStation 5 version. 

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Dirt 5's varied terrain, comprehensive career mode, and lush visuals are a feast for anyone who enjoys the genre even a bit. But don't go into this thinking it's Gran Turismo: this is a rally racer through and through. 

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You can read more about Dirt 5 and all it has to offer in our review, where we said it's "a huge racer with tons to do," has "gorgeous presentation," and comes packaged with "tight, responsive controls." 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/703274a00872f849408d1fcd7d2b8dde.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/703274a00872f849408d1fcd7d2b8dde.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13522","description":"

Ghostrunner

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $29.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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Ultra fast-paced and brutal, Ghostrunner can put even the highest skilled players to the test with its cutthroat swordplay and silky smooth maneuverability. An action-packed platformer set against a neon cyberpunk futurescape, Ghostrunner is part Mirror's Edge, part Ninja Gaiden where precise timing and movement a strategic keys to success. Get hit, and you die. You'll have to start from the checkpoint. 

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This is a solid buy for anyone who's all about gameplay and isn't too worried about story, at least in the traditional narrative sense. If you pay attention, there's a lot to learn from its world.

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We gave Ghostreunner a solid 8, saying, "it's fast, frenetic, and, even in the face of its weaker moments, endlessly satisfying."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d3a8663a7d9f5b80e9e66189ae606d20.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d3a8663a7d9f5b80e9e66189ae606d20.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13515","description":"

Cake Bash

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ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $19.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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There's nothing better for the soul and bad for your interpersonal relationships like a good, old-fashioned party game. Cake Bash doesn't just make you compete with friends in its minigames, campaign, and multiplayer modes  it makes you hungry too! You are trying to become the tastiest treat around, after all.

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Our review for this indie darling perhaps says it best: "With a variety of entertaining games, some lively stages, and good replayability, it’s a fun experience, especially with friends. We only wish there was more of it on offer. Though some minigames feel a little finicky, it’s otherwise a sweet treat all around." Read more about Cake Bash here

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e5bfe7df695bbdc24d46ad61eb9efaf2.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e5bfe7df695bbdc24d46ad61eb9efaf2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13514","description":"

Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

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There's no series that does skateboarding better than Tony Hawk's Pro Skater. Sure, there's the Skate series, which has received favorable marks over the years, but nothing holds a candle to the prolificness of the THPS franchise, or its grip on the cultural zeitgeist 21 years after the launch of the first game. 

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This faithful remake of the first two games in the series can't be beat — even compared to more recent entries. it makes you forget that 2012's Tony Hawk's HD ever existed. 

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Featuring absolutely no cut content from the first two games in the series and even some new additions (skaters, boards, and online multiplayer), as well as tricks from later games, Pro Skater 1 + 2 isn't to be missed.

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That doesn't mean it's perfect, but we gave it high marks for its graphics, faithfulness, and old-school arcade feel. Read more about it in our review.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4d872732d4dd5c5bb48644543f31af30.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4d872732d4dd5c5bb48644543f31af30.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13527","description":"

Immortal Fenyx Rising

\n

ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n\n

Immortals Fenyx Rising may look like just another open-world Ubisoft game, and while it may share certain aspects with games like Assassin's Creed Odyssey, such as its Greek mythology trappings, it takes some of those elements and flips them on their head. 

\n

As expected, there's a lot to do here, with plenty of places to explore, myriad items to discover, and tons of skills to unlock. There's "breezy combat and excellent writing," and the art style is inviting. It helps that the game is funny too. 

\n

For us, "Immortals Fenyx Rising has undeniable charm." It's well worth the price of admission for fans of Ubisoft, open-world games, or just plain ol' well-made games.  

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3dd5bad59ed0ddbe7b936751414663c9.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/3dd5bad59ed0ddbe7b936751414663c9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13513","description":"

Journey to the Savage Planet

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $29.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n
    \n
  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S Physical)
  • \n
  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
      \n
    • Included with Game Pass Ultimate
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

You may not have heard about Journey to the Savage Planet since it had a relatively quiet launch way back in the beginning of 2020, which was about 624 years ago at this point. But that doesn't mean it isn't a 3D action-adventure game well-worth checking out. 

\n

Zany, satirical, and totally bonkers, Journey to the Savage Planet sends you to planet AR-Y 26 as part of an exploration expedition meant to find a habitable planet for humanity. It's a tale we've played through before, but the character behind Journey to the Savage Planet — not to mention its creative design choices and fun gameplay — make it stand out. 

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Players can explore and conquer solo or in co op, though co op is relegated to a purely invite-only system. There's unfortunately no couch co op or online matchmaking here. 

\n

We gave the game an 8 for getting "exploration and traversal" right, as well as it's "colorful and light-hearted" world. We said that "Journey to the Savage Planet is an amalgam of many genres in a single 15-20 hour experience" that stands as a "charming debut from a promising new studio."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fa5c80eabd1b7bf8b5511dcd6658df54.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/fa5c80eabd1b7bf8b5511dcd6658df54.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13512","description":"

Star Wars: Squadrons

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $39.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n
    \n
  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S physical)
  • \n
  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
      \n
    • Part of EA Play through Game Pass Ultimate on console
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

Star Wars fans have waited a long, long time for a proper space-flight combat simulator — since the days of the legendary X-Wing and Tie Fighter series. Star Wars: Squadrons delivers (in spades) a thoughtful and respectful modern take on that classic gameplay. recent updates to the game have added the much-requested B-Wing, custom multiplayer matches, and new starfighter armaments. 

\n

Between a campaign worthy of the storied series and the intensely immersive flight and combat to the blood-pumping multiplayer that serves as a nice middle ground between the old games and Battlefront 2's Starfighter Assualt mode, Squadrons is not to be missed by any fan.

\n

In our review of the game, we said "Star Wars Squadrons is an instant classic and an ode to the space combat sims that came before it. It's the closest thing to a new X-Wing or Tie Fighter we're going to get."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/144a7052863d0255e83762892ed273a4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/144a7052863d0255e83762892ed273a4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13511","description":"

Watch Dogs: Legion

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Buy it from:

\n\n

Watch Dogs: Legion is the third installment in the Watch Dogs franchise that began back in 2014. While it features similar gameplay and world-building as its predecessors, the most interesting mechanic Watch Dogs: Legion brings to the table is the ability to recruit any character in London to the grander cause. Such an ambitious addition works extremely well, too, adding a sense of depth unseen in the first two games and a whole heck of a lot of character types to dive into.

\n

Never before has being a part of a rebel hacker group been so slick, so much so in our review, we said that WDL "throws out a decade of Ubisoft's cluttered-map open worlds in favor of exciting systems that deliver unique emergent moments consistently."

\n

It's not perfect — as of this writing, there's still a pesky game-breaking bug near the end of the game in the Series X version that Ubisoft is working to fix — but it's a solid entry in the series all fans should check out. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d7e2a09b4d85d146dd5543575d531090.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d7e2a09b4d85d146dd5543575d531090.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13510","description":"

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $59.99 - $69.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n\n

This year's Call of Duty should be a given for any FPS player with an Xbox Box One or Xbox Series X|S. The perennial first-person shooter's newest offering brings with it a ton of multiplayer gameplay and plenty of weapon customization options to keep any fan busy. There's a sizeable campaign mode, to boot, not to mention the always-popular Zombies mode. 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X natively, though owners of the Xbox One version is backwards compatible with the Series X, or it can upgrade to the Xbox Series X version at no additional cost. So it's really a win, win, win. 

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In our review of Black Ops Cold War, we gave it top marks for a "tight, high-action campaign mode, tons of weapon customization options in multiplayer, [and for having] plenty of content right away." We also said that, unsurprisingly, "zombies mode is hard to put down."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/380bf57fcc58463387f4b6849a451d36.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/380bf57fcc58463387f4b6849a451d36.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13526","description":"

Grounded

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ESRB Rating: T
MSRP: $29.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n
    \n
  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
      \n
    • Currently included in Game Pass Ultimate
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

If you've ever wondered what it would be like to play in the backyard of Honey, I shrunk the Kids, you'll want to give Grounded a look. It's a survival adventure game where you're small and the world is big — literally. 

\n

Grounded may only be in Early Access through Xbox Game Preview with its story and systems still in development, but it already has a lot to offer. You'll craft spears and shovels, hunt bugs, build shelters, and survive myriad dangers — all while trying to get un-shrunk. 

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On top of what's currently available, Obsidian has been dutifully adding new elements and mechanics to the game since it released in July. The extensive development roadmap can be seen over on the Grounded website

\n

In our Early Access review, we said that "Grounded proudly reveals its unique take on the well-tread survival genre by injecting familiar mechanics with a youthful spirit. With Grounded, Obsidian walks back years of survival games moving ceaselessly toward dreary post-apocalyptic worlds and instead imagines a colorful little-big sandbox where insects are intimidating behemoths."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/abf57fdaba09f88d3c013814cc1453ba.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/abf57fdaba09f88d3c013814cc1453ba.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13524","description":"

Gears Tactics

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ESRB Rating: M
MSRP: $59.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n
    \n
  • Amazon (XB1, Series X|S Physical)
  • \n
  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
      \n
    • Currently included in Game Pass Ultimate
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

Xbox One actually has a surprising number of good tactics games in its catalog: XCOM and XCOM 2, Wargroove, Battletech, Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun, Mutant Year Zero, Battletech, and Into the Breach are just a few. But fans can add Gears Tactics in as one of the best entries. 

\n

As with other similar genre games, there are squads, there are over-head perspectives, there are action points, and there are abilities like overwatch. Since Gears Tactics is a prequel to the original Gears of War, the story gives Gears fans another look at the franchise's universe, 12 years before the first game. 

\n

We played the game when it released in early 2020, saying "Gears Tactics takes the intense third-person action of the console game into the realm of PC-centric turn-based tactical strategy. Thanks to intuitive controls, Gears Tactics is easy to get into even for players who have never played a turn-based tactical squad game before. It’s just a shame there’s not more here."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e2c51aa7c969f41dc212943d4ca7ac16.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e2c51aa7c969f41dc212943d4ca7ac16.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"13523","description":"

Ori and the Will of the Wisps

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ESRB Rating: E
MSRP: $29.99
Platforms: XB1, Series X|S
Get it on:

\n
    \n
  • Microsoft Store (XB1, Series X|S Digital)\n
      \n
    • Currently included in Game Pass Ultimate
    • \n
    \n
  • \n
\n

Ori and the Blind Forest is one of the best platformers to launch on any platform in recent memory. Released in 2015, it currently has an 88 on Metacritic and a commanding 90 on OpenCritic. So how would Moon Studios and Microsoft Studios follow that? With a sequel that's just as good — if not better. 

\n

Ori and the Will of the Wisps takes most everything fans love about the original game and improves upon it. It's draw-droppingly gorgeous world is only rivaled by its tight platforming mechanics and fulfilling Metroidvania design. There's a lot to do in Will of the Wisps, making it a game fans can come back to again and again. 

\n

In our review of the game, we said "Ori and the Will of the Wisps is another triumph return for the series — a beautiful game with only the smallest blemishes to its luster. If you want to play a beautiful, often difficult Metroidvania with some of the most satisfying combat and traversal mechanics the genre has to offer, Ori and the Will of the Wisps will give you plenty to be excited about."

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/2020-xbox-series-games-b5094-0afe6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/0/2/2020-xbox-series-games-b5094-0afe6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"216686","description":"

The holiday shopping season is here, which means it's time to stock up on games — or buy them for other people, of course. 2020 marked the launch of Sony's PlayStation 5 and Microsoft's Xbox Series X and Series S, all of which are backwards compatible with their respective prior platforms.

\n

Although Halo Infinite was delayed out of the Series X|S launch window, leaving the consoles without a launch exclusive title, there are tons of great games ready to fill the void, some third-party, some first-party. 

\n

In making this list, we tried to avoid overlap with our other list marking the essential games for the PlayStation 4 and PS5. Maybe it's a misguided endeavor because so many great games launched for both platforms, but we had to draw the line somewhere for each list or both would go on and on. 

\n

Here's that list so you can find even more great Xbox One and Series X|S titles, like FUSER, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time, Doom Eternal, Resident Evil 3, and more. 

\n

Here we're focusing on some of the other essential titles for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S owners to pick up this season and into 2021, from shooters and space flight sims to everything in between. There's something for any sort of gamer in this list, so let's get started.

"}]]]>
Black Ops Cold War Zombies - How to Play Nuketown '84 https://www.gameskinny.com/rs4gx/black-ops-cold-war-zombies-how-to-play-nuketown-84 https://www.gameskinny.com/rs4gx/black-ops-cold-war-zombies-how-to-play-nuketown-84 Thu, 26 Nov 2020 11:24:43 -0500 Sergey_3847

A fan-favorite multiplayer Nuketown map from the original game is back in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War exclusively for the Zombies mode. This map has changed significantly from its first appearance, including its name, which is now Nuketown '84. This guide will provide you with tips on how to play the new Nuketown '84 map.

Only PS4 and PS5 players will have access to this map for now. The Xbox and PC players will be able to play the Nuketown '84 map only in November 2021. If you own a PlayStation console, then keep on reading our guide.

How to Play Nuketown '84

To actually start playing the Nuketown '84 map is really simple. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Go to main menu
  2. Select "Zombies" mode
  3. Choose "Zombies Onslaught" option
  4. Click on "Onslaught Nuketown" map

This will instantly take you to the Nuketown '84 map filled with nostalgia and a cool new easter egg.

How to Unlock Nuketown '84 Easter Egg

In order to experience the Nuketown '84 map in full you need to unlock a new easter egg, which changes the perception of your character to a thermal vision.

If you wish to unlock this easter egg, you need to look out for mannequins that are scattered all around the map. There are 26 mannequins in total and they're really easy to spot, so you can't miss them.

If you manage to headshot all of them in under 2 minutes, you will unlock a new thermal vision and a song, which will be available in your Zombies menu.

Nuketown '84 Map rewards

The new map also offers players some unique rewards!

If you simply log into the game before December 3, 2020, you will get the following items:

  • Shotgun Blueprint
  • Sticker
  • Calling Card
  • 2x Charms

You can also get three new blueprints by completing the following tasks on the Nuketown '84 map:

  • Hellhawk QBZ-83 (assault rifle): Kill five megaton zombies
  • Primal Hunter (handgun): Reach the Bronze level
  • Crowstorm Type 63 (tactical rifle): Earn seven Onslaught chalices

That's all you need to know on how to play the Nuketown '84 map in the Zombies mode. For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, visit the game's main page for more tips and tricks, as well as our official review. 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies — Best Weapons Tier List https://www.gameskinny.com/lkrjg/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-best-weapons-tier-list https://www.gameskinny.com/lkrjg/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-best-weapons-tier-list Tue, 24 Nov 2020 14:56:51 -0500 Sergey_3847

Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War can be approached in a number of different ways, from searching for Easter eggs and hunting Dark Aether crystals to simply shredding zombies with the mode's best weapons.

This tier list of the best weapons for the Zombies mode in Black Ops Cold War includes wonder weapons, old favorites, and some new and unexpected items.

S-Tier Weapons

D.I.E. Shockwave
  • Type: Wonder Weapon
  • Magazine: 60 (+infinite)

This elemental energy weapon is unique to Zombies and is the best of the bunch. You can read our full guide on how to obtain D.I.E. Shockwave and all four upgrades in this guide.

The best part about D.I.E. Shockwave is its infinite ammo. Since you'll be dealing with hordes of enemies, you don't want to spend time reloading.

The best of this weapon's four elemental upgrades is probably the Electrobolt, which uses lightning energy to roast the undead. It can instantly deal with any zombie boss, no matter how difficult.

Gallo SA12
  • Type: Shotgun
  • Magazine: 7 (+21)

Gallo is a new name for an old Call of Duty favorite: the SPAS-12.

This semi-automatic shotgun can be upgraded into a real nightmare weapon. It comes with a silencer, but you can increase its destructive power with these attachments and Perks: 

  • Barrel: 24.8" Task Force
  • Body: SWAT 5mW Laser Sight
  • Magazine: Stanag 12 Round Tube
  • Handle: MIKE Force Rear Grip
  • Muzzle: Serpent Wrap
  • Stock: Marathon Stock
  • Perks: Gung-Ho, Ghost, Pack-A-Punch

You can purchase the Gallo SA12 off the wall at the plane crash site. .

A-Tier Weapons

Ray Gun
  • Type: Wonder Weapon
  • Magazine: 20 (+40)

The Ray Gun has seen its ups and downs in terms of power since its first appearance in Call of Duty: World at War, but Cold War has made this weapon a viable zombie killer once again.

It uses powerful projectiles that blast through waves of zombies like a hot knife through butter. However, it may be a tad more difficult to get it this time around.

The Ray Gun appears (extremely) rarely inside mystery boxes. If you don't have any luck there, you can also mine Dark Aether crystals, which can also drop the gun from time to time.

RPD
  • Type: Light Machine Gun
  • Magazine: 75 (+150)

The RPD is another legendary weapon that has performed very well in Zombies mode over the years.

Just like the Gallo shotgun, it must be upgraded to stand on its own alongside wonder weapons. Use the following attachments and Perks:

  • Barrel: 16.9" MACV Division
  • Underbarrel: MI6 Ergonomic Grip
  • Magazine: Salvo 85 Rd Fast Mag
  • Body: SWAT 5mW Laser Sight
  • Muzzle: Muzzle Brake 7.62
  • Stock: Tactical Stock
  • Perks: Pack-A-Punch, Speed Cola

The RPD can be unlocked at Level 4 and equipped immediately.

B-Tier Weapons

M16
  • Type: Tactical Rifle
  • Magazine: 30+60

The M16 is another old-timer from the Black Ops multiplayer days, when it was a top-tier weapon. Now its power is overshadowed by wonder weapons.

Still, it remains one of the most powerful rifles in the game, especially in a pinch. When upgraded via a Pack-A-Punch machine, it turns into the Skullsplitter, which is a bulkier and even more dangerous version of the M16.

You can upgrade it further using the following attachments and Perks:

  • Barrel: 20.5″ Task Force
  • Underbarrel: Field Agent Foregrip
  • Magazine: Salvo 54 Rnd Fast Mag
  • Body: SWAT 5mw Laser Sight
  • Muzzle: Silencer
  • Handle: Task Force Rear Grip
  • Stock: Raider Pad
  • Perks: Pack-A-Punch, Speed Cola

The M16 unlocks at Level 10.

XM4
  • Type: Assault Rifle
  • Magazine: 30 (+60)

This is a brand new weapon exclusive to Black Ops Cold War, and it looks like it's the one weapon that can seriously compete with the M16 in Zombies.

It has a high fire rate and quite an impressive range, which is good for taking out zombies from a distance. Once you're ready to upgrade it, be sure to use the following attachments and Perks:

  • Barrel: 13.5” Task Force
  • Underbarrel: SFOD Speedgrip
  • Magazine: SAS Mag Clamp
  • Body: SOF Target Designator
  • Muzzle: Flashguard 5.56
  • Handle: Airborne Elastic Wrap
  • Stock: Raider Pad
  • Perks: Cold Blooded, Ghost, Pack-A-Punch

Just like the RPD, this assault rifle unlocks at Level 4.

Knife
  • Type: Melee

If you want to up the difficulty in Zombies, you can simply use the Knife, which is the perfect melee weapon.

The best part is that you can upgrade it by way of a Pack-A-Punch machine, which will turn it into the Closing Argument. It deals twice as much damage and can insta-kill a zombie.

Another benefit to using the knife is that you'll get extra points for each kill. 

These are the best weapons for Zombies mode in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, visit the game's main page for more tips and tricks, as well as our official review. 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Zombies: How to Unlock All Wonder Weapons https://www.gameskinny.com/d5eqj/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-how-to-unlock-all-wonder-weapons https://www.gameskinny.com/d5eqj/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-zombies-how-to-unlock-all-wonder-weapons Fri, 20 Nov 2020 15:13:57 -0500 Sergey_3847

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players can unlock four new wonder weapons in the game's Zombies mode. All four variants are based on a single D.I.E. Shockwave base weapon and four elemental upgrades. This means that you need to unlock the base weapon first, and then chase the rest of the upgrades.

This guide will provide you with the required steps on how to unlock these wonder weapons.

How to Unlock D.I.E. Shockwave Wonder Weapon

Before you can obtain the base wonder weapon, you must turn on the power generator by following these steps:

  1. Pay 500 credits to enter the green door of the building at spawn
  2. Go upstairs to the second floor
  3. Pay 750 credits to clear away the barricades
  4. Turn left and enter the bedroom
  5. Pay 1,000 credits to open the door at the perk machine
  6. Approach the red cross
  7. Pay 1,250 credits to clear away the debris
  8. Enter the Facility through the tunnel

Once you're inside, look for a door of the Control Room. Search around and you should find it quickly, then follow these steps:

  1. Turn left once you're in the Control Room
  2. Pay 1,500 credits to enter the Medical Bay
  3. Pay 1,500 credits to enter the Particle Accelerator room
  4. Follow the power marker
  5. Pay 1,750 credits to turn on the power

When the power is finally on, you will get a prompt that the Megaton boss is outside. Go out to kill both of his clones and pick up the Golden Key Card.

Now you need to go back into the Facility and enter the Weapons Lab. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Use the Golden Key Card on the computer
  2. Pick up the D.I.E. Remote Control
  3. Go back to the very first building at spawn
  4. Enter the living room on the first floor
  5. Search for the glowing blue light and interact with it

This will activate the D.I.E. Machine, which you can use to kill zombies that start swarming the room. Once they're killed, a smaller room with the D.I.E. Shockwave weapon will be revealed.

How to Unlock Wonder Weapon Upgrades

Once you've obtained the base wonder weapon, you can start your search for four elemental upgrades.

Cryo-Emitter

The ice variant can be accessed on the top floor of the building at spawn.

  1. Locate the box to your left, which is on the edge of the building
  2. Shoot it and pick up the dropped flask
  3. Locate a tree with fungus near the pond
  4. Lure another Megaton zombie to that location
  5. Let it interact with the fungus

The radioactivity from Megaton will turn the fungus into a slush, which you need to fill the flask with.

  1. Return to the Medical Bay at the Facility
  2. Locate a box at the entrance to the Particle Accelerator room
  3. Use the radioactive slush in the flask to unchain the box

You will find the first elemental wonder weapon inside the box, which is the Cryo-Emitter.

Nova 5

Go back to the top floor of the first building and locate a gasbag at the other end of the building, which can't be reached on foot. Use the suction ability on your wonder weapon to pick it up. Then:

  1. Return to the Weapons Lab at the Facility
  2. Insert the gasbag into the machine near the blueprint on the wall
  3. Defeat the Plaguehound

When this is done, pick up the gasbag and go to the crashed plane outside the Facility. There will be a box near the plane, which you can break with any melee weapon. Inside you will find Nova 5, a toxic wonder weapon.

Electrobolt

At the Facility, enter the Particle Accelerator room and look under the Pack-A-Punch machine. There you will see a portal to the Dark Aether, where you need to collect three crystals at the following locations:

  • Plane Crash Site: near the entrance of the tunnel that leads to the Facility
  • Nacht Der Untoten: above the stamina machine located on the roof of the first building at spawn
  • At the Pond: on your way to the Facility tunnel

All three crystals spawn separately, so you will need to re-enter the portal three times for each of the crystals.

Once you have all three crystals, go back to the Particle Accelerator room and shoot the box on the first floor with all three crystals. It will open up revealing the Electrobolt wonder weapon.

Thermophasic

Enter the Dark Aether at the pond and locate a small box under the crashed plane. Break the box with any melee weapon and pick up a fuse. Then:

  1. Return to the Weapons Lab at the Facility
  2. Insert the fuse into the plasma cutter
  3. Leave the Dark Aether
  4. Go back to the pond

You will see a truck with a small box inside. Open it and pick up the final wonder weapon, Thermophasic.

That's all you need to know on how to unlock all wonder weapons in Cold War Zombies. If you found this guide helpful, consider giving it a share! 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Poison Cabinet Code https://www.gameskinny.com/nday2/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-poison-cabinet-code https://www.gameskinny.com/nday2/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-poison-cabinet-code Thu, 19 Nov 2020 16:56:23 -0500 JosephYaden

Figuring out the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War poison cabinet code in the Desperate Measures mission can be tricky. Unlike many Call of Duty campaigns in the past, Cold War's campaign gives you a bit more freedom, with a non-linear structure across a handful of its missions. 

In this guide, we'll show you everything you need to know about obtaining the poison cabinet code in Black Ops Cold War. (Spoilers ahead.)

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Poison Cabinet Code

Around a third of the way through the Desperate Measures mission, after you've requested a tea appointment with the General, you'll be instructed to poison his tea.

Before you can do that, you'll need to shut down the cameras, then head downstairs to Kravchenko's office to obtain the poison. Of course, you can't just open the cabinet that contains the poison, so you'll need the locker combination to get in.

When you enter the office, you'll notice a computer on the left and a periodic table on the wall to the right. If you search through the computer, you'll find the following elements mentioned:

  • S  16
  • Re  75
  • Nd  60

Look at the periodic table on the wall to figure out the combination in conjunction with the elements listed above. Each element features a number next to it, which we have highlighted above.

From there, you should have your code: 167560. Go ahead and type it in, and you'll gain access to the cabinet that contains the Nova-6 poison.

Now, walk back to the General's office, let the guard know you're ready to meet with him now and be prepared for one of the tensest moments of the game.

Once you're at the desk with the General, pick a cup of tea to poison. Whichever one you pick, the General will grab the opposite of the one you poisoned. 

He'll ask you what's on your mind, so point to one of the objects behind the general and swap the cups quickly after he turns around. Then, look at his cup of tea, and select the option "Drink up, my friend." He'll then take a drink and you can pretty much guess what happens next.

And with that code, you should have everything you'll need to successfully get into the cabinet to obtain the poison you can use on the General. There are other things to do in this mission, but this is the quickest method for taking down the General. For more on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, visit its hub page here and if you found this guide help, consider giving it a share!

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Black Ops Cold War: Zombies Split Screen Fix https://www.gameskinny.com/0pp5k/black-ops-cold-war-zombies-split-screen-fix https://www.gameskinny.com/0pp5k/black-ops-cold-war-zombies-split-screen-fix Thu, 19 Nov 2020 12:00:33 -0500 Sergey_3847

CoD Zombies is best with friends, but currently only console Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War players can access split screen multiplayer at all. Some players are having trouble getting split screen to work in Zombies as well, but we have a fix for that.

Some PS4 and PS5 players are having problems activating split screen in the Zombies mode. This guide will provide you with a possible fix to try before the official patch comes out, which should take care of this issue for good.

How to Play Cold War Zombies in Split Screen

Before encountering any issues you will need to activate the split screen mode on your PlayStation console by following these steps:

  1. Connect a second controller to your console
  2. Log in under a different name (use another account)
  3. Go to Multiplayer menu in Cold War Zombies
  4. Press X to activate Split Screen mode

If you've done all this, the console may show the first error message: "You need PlayStation Plus to access this feature". You can get around this.

After you get the error, press OK then try step 4 once again by pressing the X button.

This time you will get a second error message: "This content cannot be selected at this time". Ignore it and press OK, then repeat step 4.

If luck is on your side, this should be it and you should be able to play Cold War Zombies in split screen mode. If that's not the case, then keep on reading for a possible solution.

How to Fix the Split Screen Issue

The following fix has been spotted by the Reddit user Bloodwink, and it has worked for a number of players. Here's what you need to do:

  1. User 1 needs to add User 2 to their friends list
  2. Press X in the game as User 1
  3. Log in as User 2
  4. User 1 can now invite User 2 to their game
  5. Enter Zombies mode as User 1
  6. Exit the game
  7. User 1 can now open social menu on PSN
  8. Allow User 2 to quick join your game

If you've done everything right, split screen should now be active for both users in the Zombies mode.

That's all you need to know on how play in split screen mode in Cold War Zombies. For more Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War guides, please visit our dedicated hub page.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review — Changing With the Times https://www.gameskinny.com/lr0u7/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-review-changing-with-the-times https://www.gameskinny.com/lr0u7/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-review-changing-with-the-times Fri, 20 Nov 2020 14:50:22 -0500 JosephYaden

 After spending a considerable amount of time with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's multiplayer beta, we were worried the full release would fall short. While it certainly doesn't hit the same way Modern Warfare did in 2019, Cold War is an excellent addition in the series, due in part to the sheer amount of content it offers and little embellishments that make it stand out. 

Cold War is broken up into three sections (soon to be four when it gets integrated into Warzone in December). It comes with a single-player Campaign, multiplayer, and the beloved Zombies mode fans have grown fond of over the years. Right off the bat, Cold War has a tremendous amount of content for you to enjoy, and it's only going to become bigger, thanks to the promise of future updates.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review  Changing With the Times

Following Treyarch's last entry, Black Ops 4, which did not feature a single-player Campaign, the community was vocal about missing a strictly offline mode that leans into the narrative. Thankfully, Cold War's campaign is one of the best in years, offering surprises and twists you might not expect. 

The Campaign gives you choices to make, from your character's origins to the things they say and decisions for which characters to save. While many of the choices don't make a huge impact overall, it's a step in the right direction  it moves away from the very linear story modes fans have grown tired of. 

Call of Duty campaigns have never been known for being long, and Cold War's is no different. You can finish the story mode in around six hours or so depending on the difficulty you choose, and if you opt to find all collectibles and do side missions (that's right there are side missions!), your playtime will longer than that.

Despite its relatively short length, there's never a dull moment, and the story mode offers tremendous variety not just in gameplay but in setting, as well.

One moment you're tasked with taking down a series of enemies stealthily in a city, the next you're in a helicopter mowing down foes in a beautiful jungle, and after that, you're sent to a snowy Russian area where you take down opponents with a sniper.

We'd much rather have a short, thrilling campaign that never lets up than a long story mode that drags on too long with lots of fluff.

The overarching aspect that ties this campaign together is its sense of high production value. Playing Black Ops Cold War often feels like you're watching a movie, simply due to its presentation and the stellar performances from its actors. Games don't need to be like movies to be good, but it's enjoyable when a game draws inspiration from film to feel more cinematic.

I also appreciate little additions like the ability to grab an enemy to use as a human shield or acquiring intel to figure out who a mole is  all features that feel refreshing.

One of the campaign's highlights is a trippy section in which you must recall past events while being injected with a memory serum. We won't spoil it, but it's wild and proves that a first-person shooter doesn't have to play by the rules. 

The main hook of this package, of course, is its multiplayer mode, which offers much of what you've grown to expect from Call of Duty over the years. It has many beloved modes like Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy, and Domination, along with new modes like VIP Escort and Fireteam: Dirty Bomb.

VIP Escort, in particular, is really fun and feels much more tactical than you might be used to, taking a page out of a Rainbow Six book. In it, you must escort a specific teammate who serves as the VIP to one of two points, while making sure the enemy team does not take them out. It's a welcome change of pace from the usual chaos of multiplayer.

Beyond that, the maps Cold War has to offer are mostly pleasing. It features eight at launch that all feel and look unique, with some featuring large open vistas and others more geared towards close-quarters engagements. Eight maps might not seem like much, but it gives the community a chance to learn them without feeling overwhelmed. Plus, Treyarch will be adding more maps for free as the game continues to evolve, so there will be plenty more later down the line.

The maps themselves are mostly enjoyable despite none of them reaching the highs of those found across other iconic Call of Duty games. The standout map is Armada, which is comprised of large, multi-leveled ships you can traverse either via zipline or through the water. Overall, the biggest issue with the maps is that they all feel too big for traditional 6v6 modes. At times, matches would feel empty, despite having the max number of players. 

There are a slew of new additions with Cold War's multiplayer mode, as well. The most prominent of these is the Scorestreak system, which allows you to rack up Killstreaks, even after death. This might sound like a broken, imbalanced mess, but it actually works quite well. You can earn Scorestreaks faster if you don't die, but even inexperienced players now have a way to rack up their Chopper Gunners or UAVs. It also incentivizes playing the objective instead of only aiming for kills. 

I also really appreciate the customization options available with the game's weapons, giving you tons of attachments to unlock to tailor to your playstyle. This keeps the gameplay loop going, with many reasons to continue playing and earning rewards. Each attachment features a breakdown of how it impacts the weapon, even down to the exact millisecond, perfect for those who want to dive into the nitty-gritty stats. 

Other changes include shotguns as sidearms, which are a welcome change since so many players relied on them in past games. Now, they're less powerful and treated as a supplemental weapon, not a primary. Treyarch also implemented the ability to ping your surroundings, just like in Warzone, though, most players seem to ignore this feature, sadly. 

The biggest issue with Cold War's multiplayer mode is the way it looks, even on PS5. Not only is it just flat out not as good-looking as Modern Warfare, but the color palette is muddy, making it very hard to see enemies against the drab backdrop of their surroundings.

This, when combined with the oversized maps, makes matches play out more sporadically than you might be used to. You'll spend much of your time looking for enemies, only to be surprised by someone who was blending into their environment. The "flow" seems to be altered due to these key changes. 

Interestingly, the single-player campaign doesn't suffer from these visual issues, and in many instances, it looks quite beautiful. 

And, of course, we'd be remiss if we skipped discussing Cold War's Zombies mode, which is just as over-the-top and chaotic as you'd expect. The progression system from the game's multiplayer carries over into Zombies, but with a few additions specific to taking out hordes of undead.

The great thing about Zombies mode is that it offers a refreshing change of pace from the traditional Multiplayer mode. Sure, it gets hectic, but since you're working together with teammates against AI, it doesn't get as frustrating as playing against other players who have put way more time into the game than you might've. 

There's something so satisfying about earning powerups and mowing down hundreds of zombies to earn points, which you can use to buy upgrades and perks. Much of the Zombies mode leans into nostalgia, so if this is your first time, you might not appreciate it as much as someone who has played it since the World at War days.

Because of that, it might be a turnoff to newcomers, especially when considering just how complicated things can get. There are tons of things you need to know, like how to unlock new areas, upgrade weapons, and how to complete the Easter Eggs. While you'll still probably have a good time if you stumble through, it's not always self-explanatory how to "win." 

Though, it is nice to be able to choose between the Die Maschine Endless and 20 Round modes. That way, you don't have to worry about meeting your inevitable demise. There's also the timed-PlayStation exclusive Onslaught mode, which is a different take on the Zombies formula.

In it, you and another player must power up an orb by killing zombies. Take out enough zombies, and the orb will migrate around the map. Chasing a high score on each map is fun enough but nowhere near as exciting as the traditional Zombies mode since it doesn't allow you to spend points to gather upgrades. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Review — The Bottom Line

Pros

  • Tight, high-action campaign mode
  • Tons of weapon customization options in multiplayer
  • Plenty of content right away
  • Zombies mode is hard to put down

Cons

  • Muddy visuals make enemies hard to see
  • Multiplayer maps feel too big

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is a memorable entry in the long list of games in the series. Even if its particular themes aren't for you, it's tough to deny the amount of bang for your buck offered with this game. You can spend hundreds of hours in the multiplayer alone, not including the Campaign and Zombies pillars. 

Its biggest issues are its visuals and muddy color palette, which cause players to blend into the environments. Despite this, there's a lot of fun to be had with this year's entry. The vast amount of content at launch is enough to draw players in, while the promise of more will keep players around. 

[Note: Activision provided the copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War used for this review.]

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GameSkinny's Best Games of 2020 https://www.gameskinny.com/is88r/gameskinnys-best-games-of-2020 https://www.gameskinny.com/is88r/gameskinnys-best-games-of-2020 Thu, 31 Dec 2020 09:00:02 -0500 GS_Staff

To look back on the year that was in video games, we've collected our highest-reviewed games of 2020 into a "best of" list. We're a small staff at GameSkinny, so going the traditional "staff voting route" doesn't really make a whole lot of sense for us. The most democratic way to make a list like this is to include any game with a score of "8" or higher. So that's what we've done. 

This list will not include DLCs (such as The Foundation or AWE for Control), expansions (such as Destiny 2 Beyond Light), or hardware reviews. It will contain ports and remakes of games. 

Here are our best games of 2020, starting with a real good one and getting better from there. 

13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim

Publisher: Atlus
Developer: Vanillaware
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 10/10

What we said: 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim mixes smart design with superb storytelling, then slathers the whole package in gorgeous style. 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim spins a web of mystery around you, then chuckles smugly as you think you've found your way out only to realize you're in the middle of a maze.

Read the review

A Fold Apart

Publisher: Lightning Rod Games
Developer: Lightning Rod Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, iOS
Rating: 9/10

What we said: A Fold Apart is about hope and how love can get us through even the toughest of times. In that way, it's timeless. 

The game is so incredibly charming and so accurately depicts the rigors and pleasures of being in love that I can't help but adore it. The first title from Lightning Rod Games isn't perfect by definition, but even with a few tiny blemishes, it's only a fold apart. 

Read the review

Amnesia: Rebirth

Publisher: Frictional Games
Developer: Frictional Games
Platforms: PC, PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Though its scares don't reach the heights of the original, Amnesia: Rebirth remains a must-play horror game for delivering a story more akin to a brilliant novel.

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Among Us

Publisher: Innersloth
Developer: Innersloth
Platforms: PC, Switch, Mobile
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Flaws aside, Among Us is a clever game that deserves its time in the spotlight. It works a surprisingly complex concept into a simple and accessible package where matches are quick, fun, usually hilarious, and sometimes even intense.

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Animal Crossing: New Horizons

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: The latest Animal Crossing is also the best, full of life, charm, and near-endless ways to make your very own island paradise.

New Horizons is bursting with personality and charm, with opportunities to create something new and completely you. It's compelling and also one of the most chilled out games you'll ever play. In short, there's nothing quite like Animal Crossing: New Horizons.

Read the review

Assassin's Creed Valhalla

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Assassin's Creed Valhalla builds its world around a familiar formula, but with a compelling story and plenty of things to do, it's a game series fans will find inviting.

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Astro's Playroom

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Team ASOBII
Platforms: PS5
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Astro's Playroom proves that the DualSense's haptics and adaptive triggers are for real — and that Astro Bot could have a very bright future on PlayStation 5. Though it's short and may lack enemy variety, Astro's Playroom makes up for it in character and heart. 

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Atelier Ayesha: The Alchemist of Dusk DX

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Gust Co. Ltd
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Atelier Ayesha DX is a solid entry starting off the Dusk trilogy, with compelling crafting and gameplay loops, as well as plenty of loveable characters. Overall, Atelier Ayesha DX is a great entry in the series whether you're new to it or just finding it now. 

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Atelier Escha and Logy: Alchemists of the Dusk Sky DX

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Gust Co. Ltd
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Atelier Escha & Logy DX refines the formula Ayesha laid out and other new features that make it not just the best in the Dusk trilogy, but one of the best Atelier games in general. All in all, Atelier Escha & Logy DX is easily the best entry in the Dusk trilogy  With refined mechanics, better combat, and seriously compelling crafting systems, it even stands among the top entries in the Atelier series on the whole.

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Atelier Shallie: Alchemists of the Dusk Sea

Publisher: Koei Tecmo
Developer: Gust Co. Ltd
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Though Atelier Shallie falls short in some ways, it's still a solid package with compelling crafting and combat systems. Atelier Shallie is the weakest part of the Dusk trilogy. It's ambitious in doing away with the time system and trying for a more flexible approach. But there's just not enough worthwhile content to make the freedom and flexibility a satisfying trade-off for the systems it does away with, and it doesn't make good use of its own strengths.

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AO Tennis 2

Publisher: Big Ant Studios
Developer: Big Ant Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: AO Tennis 2 feels like a sports sim built first and foremost to correct its predecessor's mistakes, and that's a directive that pays off for tennis fans. Not without issues, AO Tennis 2 is my pick for the best tennis game on the market today. There's obvious room to grow, but this has quickly become Big Ant's best series in their ever-expanding catalog of sports titles.

Read the review.

Before We Leave

Publisher: Balancing Monkey Games
Developer: Balancing Monkey Games
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Before We Leave is a relaxing take on the post-apocalypse and city building, with enough benefits to overcome its hiccups.

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Bloodroots

Publisher: Paper Cult
Developer: Paper Cult
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Bloodroots is a high-speed slash-and-bash extravaganza that always makes you want to beat "just one more level." A good game can be really fun when things are going well and you feel skilled and empowered. A great game remains fun when you feel like a useless idiot who can't do anything right. Bloodroots is a great game. 

Read the review.

Blood Rage

Publisher: Asmodee
Developer: Exozet Games
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Blood Rage: Digital Edition is a strong port of the popular tabletop game that's challenging for both newcomers and veterans alike. Blood Rage: Digital Edition is a really strong port of a popular tabletop game. 

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Battletoads

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Rare
Platforms: PC, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Battletoads returns after 26 years, and it's a love letter to gaming past and present. The urgency at which it propels you through its runtime is both a blessing and a curse, as it’s hard to put down but ultimately a short affair. 

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BPM: Bullets Per Minute

Publisher: Awe Interactive
Developer: Awe Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: BPM: Bullets Per Minute is a challenging rhythm shooter that’s difficult to master but highly satisfying. It's not a forgiving experience, and though it's difficult to master, BPM proves surprisingly easy to pick up and play. 

Read the review.

Bubble Bobble 4 Friends

Publisher: ININ Games
Developer: Taito
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Bubble Bobble 4 Friends is, for the most part, exactly what fans would have hoped for. It’s a modern classic that keeps all the charm we loved about the original 80s game. There’s a significant graphics improvement of course, but the gameplay itself is largely identical.

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Cake Bash

Publisher: High Tea Frog
Developer: Coatsink
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: There’s a lot to love about Cake Bash, and High Tea Frog has made an excellent party game for their debut title. With a variety of entertaining games, some lively stages, and good replayability, it’s a fun experience, especially with friends. We only wish there was more of it on offer. Though some minigames feel a little finicky, it’s otherwise a sweet treat all around.

Read the review

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Treyarch, Raven Software
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is full of content that series fans will enjoy and offers a few unexpected surprises along the way. The vast amount of content at launch is enough to draw players in, while the promise of more will keep players around. 

Read the review.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Beenox
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is a mostly commanding return of the game's classic single-player, though not without a few hiccups. It is a functionally updated retelling of a story millions know and played in their formative years. The characters and politics are somehow as relevant today as they were back when the game first released, and it still sounds, plays, and looks better than most shooters on the market.

Read the review

Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Tamsoft
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is legitimately the best arcade sports title to come out since Rocket League. The simple, easy truth here is that if you're craving an arcade soccer game, you really should buy Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions. 

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Carrion

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Phobia Game Studio
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Carrion is a beautifully orchestrated symphony of blood, guts, and dismembered limbs. While Carrion won't win any awards, it plays out much like a late Friday night feature, full of gruesome horror and satisfying effects. More importantly, it doesn't outstay its welcome.

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Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Toys for Bob
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Ultimately, Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time had a lot riding on it. Being the sequel to a 22-year-old game likely presented Toys for Bob with some developmental challenges, but the development team nailed nearly everything about this sequel. The Crash series has seen its fair share of mediocre (or even bad) entries, but Crash 4 is a big step in the right direction, and the future of the series couldn't be more exciting. 

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Crusader Kings 3

Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Paradox Development Studio
Platforms: PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Crusader Kings 3 is the best looking and most accessible the series has ever been. If you've always been intrigued by the idea of Crusader Kings but bounced off of it, Crusader Kings 3 is the best way to get started. 

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Deliver Us the Moon

Publisher: Wired Productions
Developer: KeokeN Interactive
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: A narrative journey through space so intriguing and full of compelling puzzles that it easily papers over some minor cracks in execution and major leaps it asks the player to make.

Just as the interesting minutiae of the plot are enough to overcome some of the issues I had with the macro-level concept, the overall experience was more than enough to make up for having one or two bouts of irritation.

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Demon's Souls

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Bluepoint Games
Platforms: PS5
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Demon's Souls is an instant classic, one of those rare retellings that stands triumphantly alongside the original as an essential experience. This remaster stands as a shining example of how transformative reimaginings can be, and how, with loving dedication, a remaster can be just as revolutionary and memorable as its source material.

Read the review.

Desperados 3

Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Mimimi Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Desperados 3 is a much-belated sequel that strikes the right balance between classic gameplay mechanics and modern sensibilities. It's a welcome return for the series. Mimimi Games has proven once again that they know the genre, as both Desperados 3 and Shadow Tactics demonstrate.

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Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PS5, Xbox Series X|S
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition makes a great game even better with a new character, new modes, and overhauled visuals for next-gen consoles. Devil May Cry 5 may not have a whole lot that's truly new to offer, but what it does add and change manages to elevate an already excellent action game into the upper echelon of the entire genre.

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Dirt 5

Publisher: Codemasters
Developer: Codemasters
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Dirt 5 continues Codemaster's tradition of creating some of the finest racing games around that have neither the words "Gran," "Forza," or "Speed" in the title.

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Disgaea 4 Complete+

Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Disgaea 4 Complete+ is the definitive version of the game, with upgrades galore, tons of content to get lost in, and one of the strongest casts in the series. Disgaea 4 Complete+ is one of the stronger entries in the series, with its outlandish cast and relevant, if loose, story.

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Doom Eternal

Publisher: Bethesda 
Developer: id Software
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Stadia, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Doom Eternal absolutely delivers on all-fronts by blasting us with one of the most intense and satisfying single-player shooter campaigns in years. From the moment you kill your first enemy with the starting shotgun to when you revel in the explosion of blood from your final enemy, Doom Eternal is a nearly non-stop thrill ride that exceeds almost every expectation.

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Dragon's Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age Definitive Edition

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Dragon Quest XI Definitive Edition makes one of the most joyous and downright wonderful gaming experiences of all time even better. The Definitive Edition of Dragon Quest XI is the perfect salve. It's a game unashamed to be a video game, and it's one that embraces its roots in a charming, beautiful way. It's unashamedly jolly and light, but most importantly, it's comforting.

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Dreams

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Media Molecule
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 9/10

What we said: On one hand, Dreams is a bottomless bag filled with toys, vignettes, and indie games. On the other, Dreams is a must-own for anyone who's ever been curious about game design. Dreams is the best platform for anybody who loves playing tons of indie games, or who would like to make one themselves, or even just those who'd like to network into a game development community.

Read the review.

Fall Guys

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Mediatonic
Platforms: PC, PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Despite unbalanced team-match dynamics and pesky server issues (which the developers are ironing out) sometimes interfering with the fun, the simple approach of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout makes these negatives seem meaningless in the long run. This is not only the game we want in 2020 — but it's the game we need. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout is a comfort blanket that provides some warm, friendly fun with friends.

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Final Fantasy 7 Remake 

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Final Fantasy 7 Remake faithfully updates Midgar and the original’s enigmatic cast of antiheroes for a new generation, masterfully weaving its own grand tale in the process. In fact, it could be the best Final Fantasy game I've ever played — period.

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Fort Triumph

Publisher: All In! Games
Developer: CookieByte Entertainment
Platforms: PC
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Fort Triumph expertly blends genres into a strategy experience that's infinitely fun and endlessly charming. Fort Triumph is just a lot of fun, and the charm oozes from every arrow wound, spell singe, and sword strike, making it a very easy recommendation indeed. 

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Fuser

Publisher: NCSOFT
Developer: Harmonix
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: FUSER would be an incredibly special game if it came out last year. But now, in late 2020, it almost seems necessary. This game is already something very, very special, and it's only going to get better as the community grows. After all, it's always better to make music with friends.

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Gears Tactics

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: The Coalition
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Gears Tactics takes the intense third-person action of the console game into the realm of PC-centric turn-based tactical strategy. Thanks to intuitive controls, Gears Tactics is easy to get into even for players who have never played a turn-based tactical squad game before. It’s just a shame there’s not more here.

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Get Packed

Publisher: Coatsink
Developer: Moonshine Studios
Platforms: Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Get Packed is strangely not the only indie co-op arcade game about moving furniture to launch recently, but it ends up standing out with its own kind of hilarious chaos. Get Packed is playable for up to four players in local or online play and across several modes, including a campaign, versus, and destruction. Whichever you choose, the colorful and bubbly characters and levels you've come to expect from games like this are back once more.

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Ghost of Tsushima

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sucker Punch
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Ghost of Tsushima offers an amazing open-world experience and satisfying combat, only mildly held back by its writing and characters. Ghost of Tsushima does a lot of things right. Its got fun combat, a wonderfully designed world, and top-notch sound design. Neither the story nor the characters moved me in any real way, even though I could tell both were trying.

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Ghostrunner

Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: One More Level
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: In Ghostrunner, a single slash divides life and death. It's fast, frenetic, and, even in the face of its weaker moments, endlessly satisfying. Ghostrunner offers satisfying combat in a well-constructed, beautiful cyberpunk world. You will feel more and more powerful as the game moves on, and moving through the world is always a wonderful experience.

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Hades

Publisher: Supergiant Games
Developer: Supergiant Games
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Hades is everything great about the roguelite genre all but perfected. Few games aim as high, and fewer still reach their goals. Hades does, exceeding even the loftiest expectations.

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Half-Life: Alyx

Publisher: Valve
Developer: Valve
Platforms: PC
Rating: 10/10

What we said: While the "VR-only" part may alienate many current PC gamers, it's a triumph that a VR title as excellent as Alyx exists at all.

The release of a VR game like Half-Life: Alyx is a momentous occasion. Not only is this one of the very first AAA VR games to break the bubble, but it's also a revival of one of the most beloved game franchises on the planet, following up on a nearly 13-year hiatus that left us all on a very inconvenient cliffhanger.

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Huntdown

Publisher: Coffee Stain Studios
Developer: Easy Trigger Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Huntdown is a throwback run and gun shooter that cares about style and rewards precision. Huntdown understands the genre and its influences, and it carves its own path. It's short enough that you can play through it in a single sitting, taking four to six hours, depending on the difficulty you choose. 

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Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Omega Force
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity is a heck of a Warriors game and a fantastic love letter to Breath of the Wild and Zelda in general. Maybe Age of Calamity is a stop-gap to tide fans over until Breath of the Wild 2, but no effort was spared in making it a quality game.

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Iron Harvest

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: King Art Games
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Iron Harvest leverages its unique setting and strong design into an impressive and memorable RTS. If you're looking for a strong, single-player RTS with a unique world to explore, Iron Harvest is a perfect option. 

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Immortals Fenyx Rising

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer:  Ubisoft Quebec
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch, Stadia, Amazon Luna
Rating: 8/10

What we said: It may look like a Breath of the Wild clone, but Immortals Fenyx Rising has a lot of unique charm that makes it a must-play for fans of the genre. Immortals Fenyx Rising has undeniable charm. Your mileage may vary, but don't sleep on this one. It's worth the adventure.

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Journey to the Savage Planet

Publisher: 505 Games
Developer: Typhoon Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Journey to the Savage Planet is a satirical and colorful Metroidvania that survives its corny jokes thanks to fun traversal and worthwhile exploration. With an intriguing world and creature design, the right amount of retro principles, and a surprisingly long post-credits tail worth chasing, Journey to the Savage Planet is a light-hearted, charming debut from a promising new studio.

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Kingdom Hearts: Melody of Memory

Publisher: Square Enix
Developer: Square Enix
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Melody of Memory is a nostalgic, rhythmic celebration of Kingdom Hearts that fans of the series and the genre will adore. Drawing upon a rich soundtrack that ranges from original songs to Disney hits, there’s a lot to love in this new spin-off, but don’t expect any major story developments.

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Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning

Publisher: THQ Nordic
Developer: Kaiko
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning changes little from its original release because it doesn't need to. This is immediately one of the best RPGs you can play this entire generation.

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Kunai

Publisher: The Arcade Crew
Developer: TurtleBlaze
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Classic components come together to form a stellar slashing platformer, with the titular kunai providing a particularly high note.

Metroidvania games remain a popular niche in the gaming community with good reason, and KUNAI is a worthwhile addition to the genre. It's easy to pick up and get going, but it provides enough escalation as you progress to keep you interested as you move from sector to sector, picking up new toys and perks along the way.

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Maneater

Publisher: Tripwire Interactive
Developer: Tripwire Interactive
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Maneater's deep combat and deeper oceans provide just the type of blissful escapism we need right now. Even if it wasn’t on your radar at all, Maneater is a title that will gobble you up for a few hours of blissful escapism. 

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Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer:  Insomniac Games
Platforms: PS4, PS5
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Insomniac wanted to please Miles Morales fans with their latest Spider-Man adventure. The result is a damn near perfect action-adventure game. It’s also close to being perfect when it comes to representation. Black and brown people fill out most of the roles and do so with gusto. Their performances, at times, eclipsing what came before. I’m thoroughly pleased with what Insomniac has accomplished.

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Magic: ManaStrike

Publisher: Netmarble
Developer: Netmarble
Platforms: Android
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Magic: ManaStrike is a very familiar strategy game that includes some classic characters to make for an all-around fun time. There is a constant stream of rewards for those who don't want to spend money, too, so you never feel hamstrung for not wanting to buy in-game items. It's fun and has enough depth to make for some interesting strategies, the more you play. 

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Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection is an excellent little package that is sure to please fans both old and new.

Overall, you'd be hard-pressed to beat the Mega Man Zero/ZX Legacy Collection. All of the games are enjoyable, the new features make them far easier to consume for modern players, and the love to the series spills out of every frame. It's just a very good collection of very good games, even if the title is utterly absurd. 

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Metro Redux 

Publisher: Koch Media
Developer:  4A Games
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Metro Redux arrives on the Nintendo Switch with a bombastic statement: absolutely nobody's safe from Switch-ification. 

Metro Redux on Switch feels like one of those rare Switch games that shouldn't exist. I mean that in a very, very good way. I also mean it in the sense that, thematically and technically, it doesn't seem like it would be a great natural fit for Nintendo's portable gaming console.

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MLB The Show 20

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: SIE San Diego
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: MLB The Show 20 doesn't rewrite the script, but its numerous tweaks to gameplay, modes, and options makes it the best baseball game around. MLB The Show 20 still feels like the most complete baseball title available — comfortably so, in fact. But it doesn't feel like a significant evolution over last year's entry in the series. 

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Mortal Shell

Publisher: Playstack
Developer: Cold Symmetry 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Far from being a pretender, Mortal Shell is a sometimes exceptional entry to the genre. Its stumbles are noticeable only because there is so much to enjoy.

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Moving Out

Publisher: Team17
Developer:  SMG Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Moving Out's familiar brand of local-multiplayer party-game fun lets everyone join in on the fun, laughter, and cursing. Whatever your preference is, Moving Out certainly provides the same flavor of co-operative tension and burst-out-loud laughter as Overcooked. 

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Murder by Numbers

Publisher: The Irregular Corporation
Developer: Mediatonic
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Murder by Numbers is an exquisite detective puzzler with wonderful writing, gorgeous graphics, and masterful music. The comparisons to the Phoenix Wright series are instantly evident. Not only do the visuals share the same motif of hand-drawn 2D sprites, speech boxes, and thick lines, but the gameplay is very similar, too. 

The soundtrack is lively, bouncy, and upbeat. It's inspirational and uplifting when the moment is happy, it's imposing and harsh when the pressure is on, and it's cold and gloomy when the protagonist doubts themselves. 

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My Hero One's Justice 2

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Byking 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: My Hero One's Justice 2 is a lot like the original, with a few minor adjustments that might entice you to enter the arena once again. Make no mistake, My Hero One's Justice 2 is a good, fun arena brawler on its own merits. Taken on its own, the game really does provide an amazing adaptation of the My Hero Academia franchise.

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NHL 21

Publisher: EA
Developer: EA Vancouver
Platforms: PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: NHL 21 provides more of the same, and with the uncertainty of the real world season, even less of what few changes fans come to expect of yearly releases.

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Nioh 2

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Team Ninja
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Nioh 2 takes everything great about the first game and dials it up. Despite a few returning gremlins, this is an instant hit for fans of the series. Nioh 2 is essentially more Nioh, but better. Fans of the series will find plenty to enjoy here, and newcomers won't feel like they had to play the first game to appreciate what it has to offer.

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Not for Broadcast

Publisher: TinyBuild Games
Developer: NotGames
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Who knew that overseeing a bunch of media personalities who say so little by saying so much could be so fun? Not For Broadcast is excellently paced. As soon as you pull up behind the switchboard, you're presented with a smorgasbord of screens, buttons, and switches. While it would be easy to overwhelm new players with options, the game takes it slow.

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One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4

Publisher: Bandai Namco
Developer: Koei Tecmo
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is not only one of the best One Piece games but possibly one of the best Musou games around. When you throw in the ability to grind out your skill trees and chase ever more impressive kill counts, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is a game with an incredible level of replayability.

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One Step From Eden

Publisher: Humble Bundle
Developer: Thomas Moon Kang
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: One Step From Eden is a fantastic rogue-like deck-building game that is a few small tweaks away from perfection. Like most roguelites, One Step From Eden is brimming with replay value but can easily be played in short stints, too; each run takes 30-60 minutes to complete — or, more often, 5-10 minutes to lose.

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Ori and the Will of the Wisps 

Publisher: Xbox Game Studios
Developer: Moon Studios
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Ori and the Will of the Wisps is another triumph return for the series — a beautiful game with only the smallest blemishes to its luster. If you want to play a beautiful, often difficult Metroidvania with some of the most satisfying combat and traversal mechanics the genre has to offer, Ori and the Will of the Wisps will give you plenty to be excited about.

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Othercide

Publisher: 
Developer: 
Initial Release Date: 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Othercide is a modern gothic take on turn-based tactics. It's stylish, difficult, and a solid addition to the genre. If you want a tough take on turn-based tactics, Othercide is a great pick-up. If you've tried the genre before and bounced off because of the gameplay, it isn't going to change your mind.

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Orcs Must Die 3

Publisher: Google
Developer: Robot Entertainment
Platforms: Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Though its name offers no way around it, the creative ways you dispatch foes makes Orcs Must Die 3 perhaps the most addictive Stadia exclusive to date.

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Orwell's Animal Farm

Publisher: The Dairymen
Developer: Nerial 
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Orwell's Animal Farm faithfully recreates and even reinvents the classic allegory at a time when it's never been more relevant for some players. There's absolutely an audience for this game, and if you find yourself in it, Orwell's Animal Farm is a timely, effective reimagining of one of the last century's most notable allegories.

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Paper Mario: The Origami King

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Intelligent Systems
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Despite a combat system that gets old quickly, Paper Mario: The Origami King's writing, puzzles, and worldbuilding make it the best entry since The Thousand-Year Door.

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Persona 5 Royal

Publisher: Atlus USA
Developer:  P-Studio
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Persona 5 Royal improves on the original in almost countless ways, big and small, to deliver a top-notch RPG for new and old fans alike. If you haven't played Persona 5 countless times, you're in for a real treat. Persona 5 Royal is easily the best Persona game yet and one of the best RPGs available right now.

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Pikmin 3

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Eighting 
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Pikmin 3 Deluxe is the best the series has to offer, a showcase of creative design and smart strategy. It's one of the most enjoyable experiences on the Switch.

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Pumpkin Jack

Publisher: Headup
Developer: Nicolas Meyssonnier
Platforms: PC, Xbox One, PS4, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: With levels reminiscent of beloved 3D platformers and an irresistible audiovisual experience, playing Pumpkin Jack this Halloween is exciting and youthful like trick-or-treaters finding the house giving out full-size candy bars.

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Rune Factory 4 Special

Publisher: XSEED
Developer: Neverland
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Rune Factory 4 is an abundant RPG, full of fun characters, things to do, and a compelling network of interlocking systems. While Rune Factory 4 might not reach the epic heights of Xenoblade Chronicles 2 or Dragon Quest 11 S, and as a simulator, it might get overlooked for Animal Crossing: New Horizons. However, Rune Factory 4 manages to be something else entirely and manages it very well.

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Resident Evil 3 Remake

Publisher: Capcom
Developer: Capcom
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Resident Evil 3 is a decent horror-action game that falls short of the Resident Evil 2 standard. To be fair, though, RE3 is trying some new things. It's much more of a straightforward action game than RE2, keeping a lot of the trappings of survival horror while emphasizing RE4-style shoot-'em-up gameplay. 

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Robotics;Notes ELITE & DaSH

Publisher: Spike Chunsoft
Developer: Mages Inc.
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Robotics;Notes ELITE & DaSH give fans lighthearted adventures with the Robot Research Club in the Science Adventure universe. Fans of the Science Adventure series, and visual novels in general, will enjoy Robotics;Notes ELITE. While it doesn’t quite reach the incredibly soaring highs of Steins;Gate, it is more enjoyable than the underwhelming Chaos;Head.

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Sackboy: A Big Adventure

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Sumo Digital
Platforms: PS4, PS5
Rating: 9/10

What we said: After a six-year absence, PlayStation’s knitted icon returns in stunning form in one of the year's best platformers. With an A-list cast, superb visuals, and some strong co-op gameplay, Sackboy: A Big Adventure successfully proves that Sackboy can thrive without LittleBigPlanet’s creation mechanics, all while still paying homage to his roots.

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Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin

Publisher: XSEED
Developer: Edelweiss
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Sakuna: Of Rice and Ruin is a bold genre fusion that pays off with superb farming and combat systems plus a cast of characters you'll remember for a long time to come. It might ask you to take it on its own terms from time to time, but that's a small price to pay when the experience is this rewarding and unique.

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Sakura Wars

Publisher: SEGA
Developer: SEGA 
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Sakura Wars' unique LIPS system, thoroughly charming cast of characters, and great writing more than make up for its less than stellar combatIt's a strong reboot, and one I truly hope heralds an encore for the series. There's nothing else quite like Sakura Wars, and that's a compliment.

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Samurai Shodown

Publisher: SNK
Developer: SNK
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: 2019's Samurai Shodown is finally available for the Switch, bringing one of the foundational Japanese fighting games to a brand-new audience. Samurai Shodown has managed to make the trip to the Switch without sacrificing more than a little bit of graphical fidelity. 

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Sayonara Wild Hearts

Publisher: Annapurna Interactive
Developer: Simogo 
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 10/10

What we said: In its one-hour runtime, Sayonara Wild Hearts transcends video games and becomes not just a playable pop album, but a hypnotic self-help soundtrack. It's an endorphin factory. Sayonara Wild Hearts is more than a game for me. It's a catharsis vessel. It's a story of self-love. It's a reminder that some things break but that doesn't make us broken. It was once a dream and now forever a memory. It's transcendent and undying, but, of course, it is. Wild Hearts Never Die. 

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Serious Sam 4

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: Croteam 
Platforms: PC, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Serious Sam 4 is a delightfully old-school first-person shooter that doesn't bring a ton of new stuff to the table but still hits all the right notes. Serious Sam 4 is a strong, polished, old-school shooter. The massive, open-air firefights are a fairly unique element to first-person shooters, and panicked kiting of hundreds of enemies is the name of the game.

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Shantae and the Seven Sirens

Publisher: WayForward
Developer: WayForward
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Shantae and the Seven Sirens is a welcome return of a now-classic platforming series. Shantae has been weaving her magic for nearly 20 years and still feels distinctive amidst the sea of other platformers. Her latest romp might not feel quite as fresh as Half-Genie Hero, but it’s still a worthwhile, highly entertaining adventure.

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Spiritfarer

Publisher: Thunder Lotus Games
Developer: Thunder Lotus Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, Stadia
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Spiritfarer is a finely crafted piece of artistic commentary on what it means to let go, and it's far and away one of the best games to come out of 2020.

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Star Wars Squadrons

Publisher: Motive Studios
Developer: EA
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Star Wars Squadrons is an instant classic and an ode to the space combat sims that came before it. Squadrons does a lot of things right. And it's the closest thing to a new X-Wing or Tie Fighter we're going to get. Though it's a stand-alone game, it's also a fantastic complement to Battlefront 2's starfighter assault mode, giving aces new and old two very good options to choose from. 

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Stories Untold

Publisher: Devolver Digital
Developer: No Code
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Stories Untold is a boundlessly smart and stylish adventure game that both celebrates the past while changing the future. Stories Untold is a unique adventure game smothered in atmosphere. Switch players will have to contend with the port's less-than-ideal UI, but provided they can get over that relatively small hump, the rest of the game is an unsettling, intelligent, fourth-wall-breaking success.

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Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town

Publisher: Natsume
Developer: Marvelous Interactive
Platforms: PC, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Story of Seasons: Friends of Mineral Town might not re-invent the wheel, but it's an excellent reminder why the formula the original helped create is so beloved and long-lasting.

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Streets of Rage 4

Publisher: Dotemu
Developer: Dotemu
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Streets of Rage 4 is a surprisingly decent return to form for a franchise that's been collecting dust for over 25 years. It plays a bit of a trick on you if you’re a fan of this sort of game, where you fall into your old patterns almost immediately, but the game is built to smack you down if you do. Instead, it’s got a simple combat system with some real depth to it, and which only gets more fun as you add players in co-op.

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Surgeon Simulator 2

Publisher: Bossa Studios
Developer: Bossa Studios
Platforms: PC
Rating: 8/10

What we said: While some sequels fail to build upon the entries that came before them, turning into bloated, convoluted messes, Surgeon Simulator 2 reshapes the original idea into something entirely new. 

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Super Mario 3D All-Stars

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Nintendo
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Little effort was put into modernizing Super Mario 3D All-Stars, and somehow, that's still more than enough. Super Mario 3D All-Stars is a satisfying gift for the series' 35th anniversary.

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Super Mega Baseball 3

Publisher: Metalhead Software
Developer: Metalhead Software
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Super Mega Baseball has never been given the accolades it's deserved, but this is the year baseball fans will finally notice this all-star. Don't let a lack of MLB licensing turn you away. This is a serious baseball sim in every way except for the silly naming conventions of its athletes.

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The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel 4

Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nihon Falcom
Platforms: PC, PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Trails of Cold Steel 4 brings the Cold Steel series to a spectacular conclusion with some of the best storytelling in the genre and improvements to every gameplay system.

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The Last of Us 2

Publisher: Sony Interactive Entertainment
Developer: Naughty Dog 
Platforms: PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Last of Us 2 is an emotional rollercoaster that doesn't always hit the mark with what it tries to pull off. It does, however, provide enough amazing highs to outweigh its unfortunate lows.

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The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners

Publisher: Skydance Interactive
Developer: Skydance Interactive 
Platforms: PC, PS4
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The Walking Dead: Saints & Sinners would be a great game even if it wasn't in VR. Suffice it to say Saints & Sinners definitely suffers from some modern-day VR problems, but it's still a great sign of the immersive and exciting things to come.

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Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1+2

Publisher: Activision
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 1 + 2 makes good on its promise of revitalizing a legendary franchise, but it's modern twists aren't all clean landed.

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Vitamin Connection

Publisher: WayForward
Developer: WayForward
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Vitamin Connection is one of the best games on Switch. It's extremely fun, creative, and great with a friend. An easy pill to swallow. To bring this love-letter in disguise to a close: Vitamin Connection is a game that everybody should play. 

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Void Terrarium

Publisher: NIS America
Developer: Nippon Ichi Software
Platforms: PS4, Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: There's a lot to love about Void Terrarium, with its touching story and unique approach to the mystery dungeon genre, even if does occasionally frustrate. Void Terrarium is special for how it balances challenge and accessibility to create its own unique identity, a balancing act many other games struggle with. If you're new to the genre, it's a great place to start.

Read the review

Wasteland 3

Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: InXile Entertainment
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Wasteland 3 invokes feelings of classic RPGs such as Fallout and manages to nail the feel and tone perfectly in a modernized setting. While the game often falls into some of the genre's more vexing traps, such as percentage damage idiosyncrasies and lackluster character models, it’s hard to deny its engaging power. 

Read the review

Watch Dogs: Legion

Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Platforms: PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, Stadia
Rating: 8/10

What we said: Watch Dogs: Legion throws out a decade of Ubisoft's cluttered-map open worlds in favor of exciting systems that deliver unique emergent moments consistently. Watch Dogs: Legion drastically revises the Ubisoft open-world blueprint it has leaned on for over a decade. 

Read the Review.

Wintermoor Tactics Club

Publisher: Versus Evil
Developer: EVC
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch
Rating: 8/10

What we said: The indie strategy game Wintermoor Tactics Club is one of the better children's books I've ever played. Kids will love it, but adults may find it too simple. Really, the highest recommendation I can make for Wintermoor Tactics Club is that it’s a funny, weirdly true-feeling interactive children’s book, with just enough tactical action to keep you interested throughout.

Read the review

Xenoblade Chronicles: Definitive Edition

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Monolith Soft 
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Xenoblade Chronicles Definitive Edition makes one of the best RPGs even better, despite not spreading its improvements evenly over the whole package.

Read the review

Yakuza: Like a Dragon

Publisher: SEGA
Developer: Ryo Ga Gotoku Studio
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S 
Rating: 10/10

What we said: Yakuza: Like A Dragon isn't just a great Yakuza title — it's legitimately one of the best modern role-playing games there is. Yakuza: Like A Dragon is an uplifting and hopeful story told with heart, supported by satisfying RPG gameplay and a host of entertaining side-missions and minigames. 

Read the review

Ys Origin

Publisher: Dotemu
Developer: Dotemu 
Platforms: Switch
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Ys Origin on Switch is one of the most focused, fluid, and exhilarating action RPGs around. Read our review to see why it absolutely should be on your radar.

Read the review

Zombie Army 4: Dead War

Publisher: Rebellion 
Developer: Rebellion
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Rating: 9/10

What we said: Ever wanted to dodge zombie sharks while on a quest to destroy the undead animated by evil wizard-Hitler? Well, it doesn't get much better than Zombie Army 4. The game's shooting mechanics, its level design, and its ranking system come together in a much more satisfying way [than the core Sniper Elite series]. 

Read the review.

That's it for our list of the best games of 2020. What were your favorite games? Let us know in the comments below! 

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Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War Full PC Specs Declassified https://www.gameskinny.com/36gpx/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-full-pc-specs-declassified https://www.gameskinny.com/36gpx/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-full-pc-specs-declassified Fri, 30 Oct 2020 20:12:16 -0400 GS_Staff

Treyarch and Activision have released the full PC specs for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War ahead of the shooter's November 13 release date. The specifications include the game's minimum requirements all the way up to its ultra RTX requirements, five in total. As expected, the highest graphics settings are gonna' require a beefy rig, to say the least. 

Lower-end recommendations, on the other hand, are closer to what Treyarch and Activision suggested for the Cold War beta, though the minimum specs now demand a slightly less powerful PC. 

A quick look at the hard-drive space required for Cold War reveals that, for most players, the newest Call of Duty is close in size to 2019's Modern Warfare. The game's install size is between 50GB (multiplayer) and 175GB (the full game) depending on what modes players choose to install.

However, those hoping to run the game on the highest settings, 4K ultra with ray tracing enabled, can expect an install size of 250GB at launch. 

Per a recent entry on the Call of Duty blog, here are the recommendations from least demanding to most. 

Minimum Specifications

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (v.1803 or higher)
  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD (at launch): 50GB (MP only), 175GB (all game modes)
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 / GeForce GTX 1650 or Radeon HD 7950
  • DirectX 12 compatible system Required
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

Recommended Specifications

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5-2500K or AMD Ryzen R5 1600X processor
  • RAM: 12GB RAM
  • HDD (at launch): 175GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 / GTX 1660 Super or Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • DirectX 12 compatible system Required
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

Recommended Specifications (Ray Tracing)

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 1800X
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD (at launch): 175GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070
  • DirectX 12 compatible system Required
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

Competitive Specifications

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest update)
  • CPU: Intel i7-8700K or AMD Ryzen 1800X
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD (at launch): 175GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 / RTX 3070 or Radeon RX Vega64 Graphics
  • DirectX 12 compatible system Required
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

4K Ultra RTX Specifications

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Update)
  • CPU: Intel i9-9900K or AMD Ryzen 3700X
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD (at launch): 250GB HD space
  • Video: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
  • DirectX 12 compatible system Required
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

The trailer above outlines some of the platform-specific bells and whistles PC players can expect with Black Ops Cold War, including 4K graphics, an uncapped framerate, RTX shadows, ambient occlusion, DLSS, reflex technology, ultra-wide monitor support, and multiple monitor support.

Explosions are included on every platform.  

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is set to release on November 13 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S. PC players can pre order either the standard edition ($59.99) or the ultimate edition ($89.99) on Blizzard's marketplace. It is exclusive to Battle.net. 

If you didn't get a chance to check out the alpha or beta for the game, you can read our thoughts on the alpha here and the beta here. Black Ops Cold War doesn't reinvent the wheel (at least not in the time we've spent with it), but it is more of the Call of Duty fans have come to love. Stay tuned for our full review of Cold War when in releases in just a few short weeks. 

[Source: Call of Duty blog]

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Launch Trailer Turns Up the Heat https://www.gameskinny.com/s32r7/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-launch-trailer-turns-up-the-heat https://www.gameskinny.com/s32r7/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-launch-trailer-turns-up-the-heat Mon, 26 Oct 2020 20:04:02 -0400 GS_Staff

There are only a few weeks left until the latest Call of Duty deploys on PC and current- and next-gen systems. There's been an alpha, and there have been betas, and we know a whole lot about the game already, from maps to loadouts and everything in between. But we still haven't gotten the bombastic launch trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War we've been expecting.

So it's about time, right? 

Publisher Activision thought so too and has finally released the Cold War launch trailer on YouTube. You can see it, set against the soundscape of New Order's Blue Monday 88, in its explosive glory below. 

It's more Call of Duty, that's for sure, a fact bound to delight long-time fans of the series. Set during the Cold War, this year's entry in the FPS franchise may be inspired by true events and feature real-world figures such as Ronald Reagan, but the expected liberties will most likely mean some unexpected (and fictitious) consequences in the game's campaign. 

The launch trailer focuses on that mode completely, but Black Ops Cold War will, of course, prominently feature an array of multiplayer modes, including the Battlefield-inspired Combined Arms. Activision has also confirmed that Cold War will connect with the battle royale Warzone

On top of all of that, Zombies will make a return this year. However, the two-player Onslaught mode will be exclusive to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 for almost a year, until November 1, 2021.

For those who still haven't pre ordered Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, there are several options available, of course, as well as several upgrade paths based on what next-gen system, if any, they plan to buy. We've outlined everything you need to know in our pre order guide here

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more on Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in the coming weeks, including our official review. 

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Beta PC System Requirements https://www.gameskinny.com/lilg4/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-beta-pc-system-requirements https://www.gameskinny.com/lilg4/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-beta-pc-system-requirements Thu, 15 Oct 2020 16:51:36 -0400 GS_Staff

Editor's note: If you landed here hoping to find the full PC specs for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, you can find the full launch recommendations here

PlayStation 4 operatives got their hands on the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War beta last weekend. Our impressions left us wanting more, but for those fans after more Call of Duty and nothing else, the beta just may hit all the right notes. 

The PC beta of Cold War is launching this weekend, starting October 15 for those who pre ordered the game or secured a code through a Twitch Drop. According to Treyarch, players can receive a code through a Twitch Drop until October 16 at 11:59 p.m. PDT. All they have to do is link their Twitch and Battle.net accounts, then watch "streams with Drops Enabled" for at least four hours."

The Cold War PC start time for everyone else starting October 17 at 10 a.m. PDT. It runs through October 19.

Here are the PC specifications straight from Treyarch. 

Black Ops Cold War Minimum Recommended Specs

  • OS: Windows 7 64-Bit (SP1) or Windows 10 64-Bit (1803 or later)
  • CPU: Intel Core i5 2500k or AMD equivalent.
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 670 2GB / GTX 1650 4GB or AMD Radeon HD 7950.
  • RAM: 8GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Requires DirectX 12 compatible system

Black Ops Cold War Developer Recommended Specs

  • OS: Windows 10 64 Bit (latest Service Pack)
  • CPU: Intel Core i7 4770k or AMD equivalent
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 970 4GB / GTX 1660 Super 6GB or AMD Radeon R9 390 / AMD RX 580
  • RAM: 16GB RAM
  • HDD: 45GB HD space
  • Network: Broadband Internet connection
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible
  • Requires DirectX 12 compatible system

These surprisingly lenient requirements are currently just for the beat period. They could very well change between now and the Cold War's release on November 12. Stay tuned for an updated spec sheet in the coming weeks. 

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Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War Beta Impressions: It's Call of Duty, All Right https://www.gameskinny.com/b5ulm/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-beta-impressions-its-call-of-duty-all-right https://www.gameskinny.com/b5ulm/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-beta-impressions-its-call-of-duty-all-right Mon, 12 Oct 2020 11:23:21 -0400 John Schutt

The Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War PS4 beta is behind us. There have been marked improvements over the alpha from late September, but many of the concerns voiced in our Cold War alpha impressions remain. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is still plenty of fun to play, but the newest FPS in the franchise does little to reinvigorate the series the way previous Treyarch games have. We’ll know even more after the PC beta, and when release comes, but even though I'm not completely sold, I think Cold War will do fine.

What Was New in the Cold War Beta?

The Cold War beta brought us a new map, a preview of the progression system, and two new/revised modes. All of the modes on offer are enjoyable enough save for the new Combined Arms mode, though that’s more a fault of the map design than the mode itself.

New Map: Cartel

Taking place in a drug cartel’s supply and distribution depot, the newest map isn’t as cumbersome to play as Miami (or sometimes Moscow), but it’s not nearly as good as Satellite, by far the best map Black Ops Cold War has so far shown us. 

Cartel makes heavy use of the traditional three-lane model and takes a few cues from 2019’s Modern Warfare with the addition of some rather potent power positions. 

In standard 6v6 play, where I spent most of my time, the map played reasonably well. Domination was a chaotic mess for the middle, as it should be, and Kill Confirmed and Team Deathmatch were a little on the slower side. Its smaller size worked well in Combined Arms.

Even a newer player could wrap their head around where to expect enemies, and which way would best serve their playstyle in just a few matches.

Don’t expect to be floored by Cartel, however. It’s not Slums or Summit or Nuketown and lives more in the middle of the quality scale for Treyarch maps. Like the rest of Black Ops Cold War, it serves its purpose admirably, and little more.

New Modes: VIP Escort and Combined Arms Assault

In VIP Escort, a variant on single-life, round-based modes, one player on the attacking team becomes the VIP, with only a pistol and a single UAV to defend themselves. The rest of the attackers must escort the VIP to one of two evac choppers, which shift locations every round. No one else has streaks of any kind.

Like Warzone, you go down rather than instantly die, and your teammates can revive you, but if you get taken out in a downed state, you’ll be spectating.

Playable on every map in the beta, VIP Escort is an interesting variation on the model codified by Search and Destroy. In essence, a player becomes the bomb. Rollout timing is key, as is solid communication if you want to win, but there’s still plenty of room for misdirection and heads-up play. 

Matches are quick, as well, especially on the smaller maps. Defenders win if they kill either every player on the opposing team or the VIP. One false move from anyone spells defeat, but like any other Call of Duty mode, a single player can turn the tide of an entire match. 

It’s a fun mode, but it’s unclear if VIP Escort will make a significant dent in the Search and Destroy player base. The concept is novel, but unless SnD is a trainwreck at launch, I don’t see this new mode being played except for novelty.

Combined Arms Assault doesn’t bear much mention. It takes place on the larger Combined Arms maps and asks both teams to capture a set of points starting with the map’s center, then one just outside their spawn. I experienced one of two outcomes: stalemate or steamroll, and I think that’s as much a fault of the maps as the playstyles Combined Arms incentivizes.

You don’t have to jump on the point if you can conveniently keep an entire team at bay from a hill, sniper or no. 

Progression and New Perks

Where we were stuck with just a few options in the alpha, the Black Ops Cold War beta introduced its leveling and gear unlocking systems in greater detail. If you’re familiar with 2019’s Modern Warfare, the same basic principles apply here.

You earn access to weapons, perks, streaks, and equipment based on your level. Weapon attachments are tied to a particular weapon’s level, and you earn them in the same order across weapons and weapon types.

Gaining the levels themselves works much the same as it always has, too. Early progression happens quickly, then drops off steeply around Level 20 or so. The same is true of weapon leveling. 

There is a set of new perks atop the nine we saw in the alpha. Most aid or deter detection in some way. From Assassin marking high-score players and rewarding their defeat to Paranoia alerting when someone aims at you, survivability over killing ability seems to be the name of the game in Black Ops Cold War

The problem is that while new perks are interesting, they seem more interested in novelty than in actual utility. Why would you want an alert with Paranoia when you can have resistance to tactical equipment with Tactical Mask or detect equipment and scorestreaks with Engineer? And that’s just the first slot.

With all the heavy hitters — Ghost, Ninja, Cold Blooded, and Gung-Ho — in the third slot, it’s almost smarter to load with the Perk Greed Wildcard and be effectively invisible.

What Else Changed From the Alpha to the Beta?

Hit detection

Hit detection was improved, which, while not a high bar to clear, was a welcome change. I felt like I had more control over where my bullets were going and more confidence that I’d actually get a kill after shooting an enemy for more than a couple seconds.

Whether that’s an improvement to my aim or the netcode, I can’t say, but I think it’s a bit of both.

Gun balance

Gun balance got a look at, too. Many of the best guns, from the MP5 to the Krieg to the AK-74u onwards, are still dominant, but poor performers like the LMGs were brought into the competition.

Snipers weren’t the enormous problem they were in the alpha, which was nice, though they still dominated at their proper ranges or in the hands of someone who really knew what they were doing.

Streak and objective reward systems

The streak and objective reward systems got tweaked, as well, with consecutive kills rewarding score based on the game mode rather than on a linear curve.

Domination and Kill Confirmed, for instance, saw their objective score values increase significantly while kill score progression was flattened about as much. TDM saw it’s kill score increased across the board without the fast ramp-up seen in the alpha.

You’re still better off going for kills if your team has the advantage, but you get quite as far as you once did.

Streak score values

Lastly, streak score values saw across-the-board increases, with a UAV going from 800 points to 1,000 points, and everything going up from there. High-level streak spam was down significantly as a result, but all were still attainable by a skilled player.

They were about as effective as they were in the alpha, though the few Attack Helicopters I managed to get didn’t do a lot. 

Final Notes

All in all, the Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War beta did little to change my opinion on the game. It's not the revolution we saw back in Black Ops 2, nor is it the earth-shaker that the earliest entries could boast. 

Map design and flow are still serviceable, and the game’s fundamentals remain solid. The new additions — progression, a set of new modes, and a new map — either do little to build or improve on the core experience or are genuinely unfun to play. Even the new perks don’t seem to be better choices than what’s been powerful in every other game in the series, and likely won’t see a ton of use outside of their novelty.

Combined Arms, in whichever form you’d like, is still a mess. Weapon balance and spawn logic need a lot more attention.

The sound design is good, but footsteps remain overly loud. And I still don’t know if I agree with kill streaks carrying over through death. There has been significant tuning to some of the largest issues the alpha faced: kill vs. scorestreaks and snipers specifically. 

Black Ops Cold War is, in a word, fine. It’s more than fun enough to warrant a purchase at its base price. We’ll need to see how Zombies and Warzone play out, and how predatory the microtransactions become, but if you’re getting tired of Modern Warfare 2019, I think Black Ops Cold War has everything you’ll want in a Call of Duty title, so long as you don’t expect anything more than exactly that.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Alpha Impressions: A Huge Hybrid https://www.gameskinny.com/1y8hl/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-alpha-impressions-a-huge-hybrid https://www.gameskinny.com/1y8hl/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war-alpha-impressions-a-huge-hybrid Mon, 21 Sep 2020 15:43:46 -0400 John Schutt

The recent alpha test for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on the PS4 revealed a game in dire need of an identity. It still plays like some of the better games in the storied series. Nevertheless, its various ideas and gameplay mechanics pull from every corner of the franchise, settling on none of them as a foundation for the broader experience.

Everything in Black Ops Cold War is a strange hybrid of what's come before. The class system, the killstreaks and scorestreaks, gun handling, map design — everything is a mishmash of past installments with no clear vision of a way forward.

Cold War is a perfectly enjoyable game, to be sure, and more fun for me than last year's Modern Warfare. However, its hodgepodge nature concerns me for its long-term viability.

The Nuts and Bolts of Gameplay

At its core, Black Ops Cold War is still very much a Call of Duty game. The gunplay is tight, the movement is satisfying, the streaks are powerful, and the maps are able to keep the action constant. It's hard to find anything that doesn't work as intended, but it's equally difficult to discover something that stands out.

The gunplay, for one, is perfectly functional and keeps to the Treyarch tradition of a slower time to kill and a need for more consistent aim. All of the weapons have their quirks and, despite a few standouts, are reasonably balanced. You won't be insta-melting people from across the map with a submachine gun, for instance.

Up close, it's no contest. Unless you catch your opponent off guard, as of the alpha, any of the SMGs will dominate to early mid-range. ARs take over at slightly longer distances, and Tactical Rifles — burst and single-shot weapons — compete at those ranges, as well. Snipers will be receiving significant tuning before the beta, which is welcome as their alpha variations are incredibly powerful.

Light machine guns and shotguns are the odd groups out, as most engagements during the alpha called for faster-moving, more reliable weaponry. You could make them work; it just took adjustment.

If the gunplay is traditional Call of Duty fare, the Create-a-Class system is where Cold War starts to hybridize. There's no Pick 10, a hallmark of Treyarch games for three straight entries. Instead, they smashed it and the Gunsmith system from Modern Warfare 2019 into one odd amalgam that works but is awkward at the best of times.

Wildcards are back, and you can use them to have up to eight attachments on your gun. Or you can have six perks in any combination, or two primary weapons, or multiple grenades.

There are over 50 attachments per weapon, all with their pros and cons, and you get access to several "field upgrades" like a Jammer or Proximity Mines that recharge over time. It's kind of a mess, but it's a mess that works about as well as it can. 

If you were hoping for a familiar return to scorestreaks with Treyarch at the helm, you'd be disappointed there, too. Every action you take does still reward score toward your streak, but because they no longer reset on death, their point values are much, much higher.

Usually, that wouldn't be an issue, but in Cold War, the only way to reliably achieve the highest streaks is to get multiple kills to stack a point bonus. Objective play is incentivized only because it gives a pittance of score: killing is how you progress up the ladder.

It's a combination of every streak system Call of Duty has ever seen: streaks that don't reset like Modern Warfare 3's support variation and builds primarily through kills but gains a little from objective play. Again, kind of a mess.

Maps, Maps, Maps

Looking for a return to standard three-lane maps? Nope, not in Black Ops Cold War.

Map design pays lip service to the three-lane standard, but ditches many of the fundamentals that made older Call of Duty maps flow so well. The asymmetry from Modern Warfare 2019 is back, but very little of its verticality returns. 

The only map with any significant ups or downs is a desert map called Satellite, with its valleys and positions looking down on the rest of the area. The other 6v6 maps in the alpha, Miami and Moscow, are mostly flat with the occasional power position at a slightly higher elevation. 

Despite the alterations to design philosophy, the maps do flow rather well, especially considering how much larger they are than previous entries. Cold War takes cues from Call of Duty 4, constraining troop movement in buildings and hallways to make up for the distance players have to cover between ends of a map. Miami's closest analog is Crossfire from CoD4, for instance, not any "classic Treyarch" design.

And there's nothing "classic Treyarch" about the 12v12 maps in the new Combined Arms Domination mode. Both maps seem more like experiments than well-built play spaces, with Armada taking place in the middle of the ocean on three separate warships. The snow map, called Crossroads, brings tanks back into play, and it's downright huge. 

Neither plays remarkably well, as the spawn system still needs work. Both maps are trying to take notes from the likes of Battlefield without the team or point spawning mechanics that make bigger maps work. As it was in the alpha, no matter how many points a team owned, they would spawn at the same location over and over again.

Thankfully, spawn traps were uncommon, but it was frustrating to hold four flags and have to run for 45 seconds only to be shot in the back and have to repeat the journey.

Aesthetics and Technical Details

You're likely to be disappointed (again) with the graphics of Black Ops Cold War if you were expecting something on par with the technical achievement of Modern Warfare. Models, textures, animations — it's all a downgrade, though not by much. 

In the absence of graphical horsepower, Cold War goes for an 80's action movie aesthetic, mixing the neon streets of Miami with the propaganda-laden halls of a Moscow bus station. Color and variations on theme play a much more significant role in 2020's Call of Duty than in 2019's. Given a choice between the two, I'd rather have a broader focus on brightness than the same shades of washed-out grey and brown. 

Character and world animations are also less realistic and detailed than Modern Warfare, but they all have something last year's game sorely missed: style.

Sure, it might not be realistic to add a flourish when reloading a gun or detonating C4, but Call of Duty isn't the game for all that. Classic entries in the series like Modern Warfare 2 and CoD4 eschew what a reload should look like in favor of the Rule of Cool, where what looks good trumps what's true.

Treyarch has always understood the need for flashiness over function, and while that's downplayed a little here, it's still present. 

There's sadly not as much going for Cold War on its back end. The hit detection, for one thing, has always been spotty in Treyarch games, but it felt way off in the alpha. I could get hit markers by aiming both at my enemy and behind them if they were moving, and the number of times where I put enough bullets into somebody's back only to lose the fight anyway was too high to count, gitting gud notwithstanding.

There were desync issues as well. What I would see and what my enemies would see were often on two different planets. Console remains peer to peer, and there needs to be some serious networking work done to tighten up connections between clients.

Perhaps most troubling of all was the performance and aim assist. I was playing on a standard PS4, and in heated gunfights or with a lot of action on screen, the framerate would start to chug something fierce. Textures and high-res models also took time to load in, sometimes staying low-poly for much longer than they should have any reason to. 

The game also felt clunky to control, especially regarding aiming. The aim assist in Cold War felt egregiously strong. The area where it kicked in was also much larger than the player model, and my aim would sometimes be pulled above someone's head rather than actually on their body. 

Final Thoughts

I'm of two minds about Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War, its overly long name notwithstanding. On the one hand, I enjoyed the core gameplay, and I liked the way it looked, sounded, and felt moment to moment. On the other, I wanted there to be more than just a rehashing and re-smashing of old or borrowed ideas. 

Treyarch is in an impossible scenario, what with a new console generation to design for, being forced to take over development mid-swing, and the ongoing need to work from home. So I get why they had to cut corners, especially on current-gen (because of course, we haven't played next-gen yet). It doesn't make the product we got our hands on feel any more satisfying.

Based on the alpha, if I were to rate Cold War on a sliding scale of Call of Duty games I liked, I'd put it squarely in the middle. It has nothing that made the worst games in the series bad, but nothing that elevates it to the best entries.

Time will tell if new maps, modes, changes, and optimizations can take the game higher. For now, I can confidently say that this game will admirably fill your need for arcadey, shooty fun, but it will do little to knock your socks off.

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All Confirmed PS5 Launch Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/vpnv7/all-confirmed-ps5-launch-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/vpnv7/all-confirmed-ps5-launch-titles Thu, 01 Oct 2020 17:17:03 -0400 Daniel Hollis

One thing the PS4 absolutely nailed was its lineup of games. As is Sony's penchant, the company released multiple highly-acclaimed first-party titles throughout the console's lifespan.

With the PS5's launch on the horizon, multiple sequels to or reimaginings of those games are ready for release at launch — or at the least, in the works.

Spider-Man: Miles Morales and a remake of the legendary Demon's Souls will be launch titles (alongside a remake of 2018's Spider-Man), while both God of War: Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West are expected to make an appearance in 2021, bringing the PS4's legacy of fantastic experiences into next-gen.

Below, we've collected all of the confirmed PS5 launch titles so far. As we get closer to the next-gen system's November 12 launch date, we'll be updating this list as more games are confirmed. 

All Confirmed PS5 Launch Titles

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales

Headlining the first-party exclusives ushering in a new generation is Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales. The newest installment in what we hope is a long-lived series, Miles Morales plans to continue Insomniac Games' take on the Spidey universe with Miles Morales as the titular hero.

The PS5 edition of Miles Morales will include numerous enhancements over its PS4 counterpart, such as 4K resolution, 60FPS, and ray-tracing. More excitingly is the addition of a remaster of the original Marvel's Spider-Man, including all of those upgrades and more.

The ultimate edition of Miles Morales retails at $70, making it the same price as other Sony first-party exclusives on the PS5, just with the bonus of two games instead of one.

Demon's Souls

The remake of the original Demon's Souls is one very long in the making. Fans have been wanting this game for what seems like ages, and it's almost here. 

While other games are operating cross-gen, Demon's Souls will be solely for the PS5, made from the ground up to utilize the full horsepower of the PlayStation 5 to deliver a truly next-gen experience.

The hard-as-nails gothic fantasy will pit players against classic From Software bosses such as the Flamelurker and the Tower Knight. The recent PS5 showcase proved that the graphics have been completely reworked, offering beautifully moody lighting, intricate combat animations, and terrifying creature designs. The PS5's DualSense controller is also said to have a few tricks up its sleeve to provide new and exciting ways to play.

Godfall

Following the success of loot-based games such as DestinyThe Division 2, and Marvel's Avengers, Gearbox's upcoming looter-slasher, Godfall, looks to reimagine the genre with swords instead of guns. The hook this time is focused on melee-based combat.

Numerous gameplay demonstrations up until this point have clearly shown the bar is being upped for this next-gen experience. While the game will also be available on PC, playing it on PS5 will be the only place to dive in for console-only players.

Even though its release is just around the corner, there's still a lot we don't know about Godfall, such as if it will have cross-play. However, we do know it will not feature any PvP modes, instead focusing on solo and co op play. 

Sackboy: A Big Adventure

If the current generation has proved one thing, it's that platformers are making a comeback. Sackboy: A Big Adventure aims to open the PS5's lifespan with the mascot of LittleBigPlanet guiding the way.

Invoking gameplay elements from goliaths such as Mario, the cutesy platformer is the only genre torchbearer to launch with the next-gen system, but it's shaping up to be a good one.

Sackboy: A Big Adventure will include single-player and multiplayer for up to four players in co op, as well as a slew of costumes to make your adventures even sillier. If you've ever played a Little Big Planet game, you have an idea of what to expect here: zany levels, lots of platforming, and a fun soundtrack.

Destruction AllStars

Perhaps a launch-day underdog, Destruction AllStars is what you'd get if you mixed Twisted Metal with Fortnite and Rocket League. It's a vibrant vehicle-based combat game that pits players against each other in a chaotic arena.

There are 16 characters to choose from initially, and though we don't yet know much about them, they're all sure to have their strengths and weaknesses, lending to a variety of playstyles.

Combat can also be extended outside of vehicles if those vehicles are destroyed. Players are ejected from the car and able to continue the carnage on foot.

Offering both online and offline play, it has all the trappings of a great multiplayer game for the console's launch.

Astro's Playroom

An easy choice to recommend for day one PS5 players. Astro's Playroom will come pre-loaded onto every PS5 for free, so everyone will get a chance to check it out.

The title features the same mascot seen in the Astro Bot VR game and will follow a similar function to that PSVR title.

Astro's Playroom will be a showcase game for the PS5's DualSense controller, which comes equipped with numerous new features such as adaptive triggers and haptic feedback.

The 3D platformer will allow players to feel in-game elements, such as sand, through the controller's vibration functions, and the triggers will react naturally to the world, letting players feel the tension of objects — at least according to Sony. From what we've seen, though, Astro's Playroom does look like a lovely little platformer, however long it is. 

The Pathless

The Pathless is an enigmatic action-adventure game coming from developer Giant Squid and publisher Annapurna Interactive. One of two indie games coming to the PlayStation 5 at launch, The Pathless is draped in mystery and takes place in a large, vibrant open-world. 

Like other PS5 launch titles, it will feature 60 frames per second and take advantage of the DualSense, though we don't know exactly what extent just yet. 

The developers have said that there will be no mini-map with players instead being directed by a magical mask, where verticality and flight are key. All in all, The Pathless looks like a unique launch-day experience.

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

The Assassin's Creed games have always been huge, going all the way back to the original. Assassin's Creed: Origins stepped things up with an even bigger world, offering nearly 100 hours of content for completionists. Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla is aiming to build on that legacy in the biggest outing yet.

Set during the age of the Vikings, Valhalla will find players in ninth-century England, as ferocious tribes scour the land. With what looks to be on-brand visceral combat, there are sure to be dozens of complex quests for players to partake in — and the naval combat from Black Flag and Odyssey will make a return, though, as Ubisoft says, "scaled back." 

Valhalla will be the first installment in next-gen systems, taking full advantage of the hardware. Expect 4K visuals with a supported 60 frames per second.

Madden 21

2020 is the year of starts and stops for the sports world, though the NFL has mostly made things work in the league's first month. But whether the season makes it to the Big Game or not, Madden 21 brings the gridiron action to your home, with some beautiful next-gen enhancements to boot.

The game may not have received rave reviews this year on PS4 and Xbox One, but it will take advantage of PS5-specific features such as haptic feedback, fast load times, better lighting and player models, and enhanced audio.

If you were on the fence about Madden 21 before and are picking up a PS5, this version of the perennial football franchise looks to be the best option. 

Dirt 5

While games such as Gran Turismo are built around solid simulator controls, Dirt 5 is set to take the racing genre back to its arcade roots in muddy, off-road action.

Dirt 5 will feature a career campaign mode, with voices from industry legends such as Nolan North and Troy Baker. It’s looking to be a high-quality narrative that will have players racing between various locales while making choice-based decisions.

While the title was originally intended to release a month before the PS5, its date was pushed back to come alongside the console launch and take full advantage of the hardware. 4K resolution and even the option to bump things up to 120 frames per second on applicable TVs is available. Simply put, Dirt 5 is going to be stunning.

Just Dance 2021

Crank up the tunes and get your dancin' shoes. Just Dance 2021 is set to electrify living rooms with four dozen songs from then and now available through the base game. Players will get a month of Just Dance Unlimited for free with Just Dance 2021, which features a huge catalog of tunes. 

Of course, co op play is back (did you ever guess it wouldn't?), so it's sure to be a must-buy for anyone looking for a party game to play with friends and family at launch. 

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

Not only will Destiny 2 be playable on the PS5 at launch, but Bungie has decided to make their massive Destiny 2 expansion, Beyond Light, available as well, giving legacy players something to sink their teeth into right from the start. Providing more than a few new additions, the latest add-on is expected to drastically change up the entire game.

Beyond Light is the beginning of the developer’s road map to the future with Destiny 2. The decision was made to not release a true sequel (at least anytime soon), but instead build upon the foundations of D2. The latest expansion will add new powers, locations, and raids to partake in.

Whether you’re a series veteran or new to the franchise, Beyond Light is ushering in the PS5 with a new beginning for Destiny 2.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

It wouldn’t be a console launch without Call of Duty, and Black Ops Cold War is this year’s big FPS hitter. Following on from the success of Modern Warfare and, more notably, Warzone, the latest entry is bringing to bear everything that made both so popular — and more.

The campaign, set during the height of the Cold War, features multiple endings and is more open-ended than previous installments. Additionally, the multiplayer has a heavier focus on vehicles, with an entire mode dedicated to the more Battlefield approach. Warzone will tie into Cold War and, to the delight of many fans, Zombies will be making a comeback as well. 

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is set to be a thunderous package of epic proportions and likely to scratch that high-octane itch for launch-day players. See what we thought of the recent alpha here

Watch Dogs: Legion

If there was an award for the most ambitious PS5 launch game, it would go to Watch Dogs: Legion. Players will be able to play as almost any NPC they come across in the game, each with their own unique personalities, traits, and specialties.

The series has come a long way since the 2014's Watchdogs, which was met with a rather lukewarm reception by players at the time.

Legion, though, ups the anty in almost every way, and though it will also be launching on current-gen consoles and wasn't built from the ground-up for the PS5, it will come with a free upgrade to the PS5 version, which, of course, will have more extensive features. 4K visuals, ray tracing, and much more are awaiting players who dive into this latest entry on PlayStation 5.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

More than a simple remaster, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is aiming to bring some pretty robust changes to the much-loved game.

As a PS5 release, the title is expected to pull a lovely 4K and reach up to 120 frames per second. Perhaps the most notable inclusion for this version is having Vergil as a playable character. In addition, Capcom has promised new story content, difficulty modes, and gameplay tweaks to truly make this the definitive edition of the game.

So whether you've already dived in once or been looking for an excuse to do it all again. Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is looking to be a strong entry into the PS5's launch day line-up.

Observer: System Redux

Observer was originally released in 2017 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Set in a cyberpunk future, it's a perfect stand-in for a video game version of something like Blade Runner — with a heaping helping of horror tossed in. 

Despite its age, Observer's next-gen trailers shared by Bloober Team have shown the next-gen upgrade look incredible, and the game will hit 4K 60 frames per second on the PS5. That includes HDR and ray tracing. 

The game is also set to receive new cases, mechanics, and gameplay enhancements, so there's something new for those who may want to revisit its world on the PlayStation 5.

NBA 2K21

Much like Madden 21, NBA 2K21 didn't necessarily hit-the-court running with its current-gen version, which was released to barely-better fan reception. Though we thought it "lacks fresh ideas," we are hopeful for the PS5 version. 

New features are expected in the next-gen package, including character creation options. But most importantly, the graphics will be completely upgraded for its release.

On launch day, a next-gen upgrade path will open up for the Mamba edition of the NBA title, allowing those who picked up that version on the PS4 to dive into the PS5 version of the game. 

No doubt, more games will be confirmed over the coming weeks, so be sure to check GameSkinny for a regularly updated list of the first wave of titles. Also, be sure to check out the Xbox Series consoles guide for every confirmed game coming on its launch day!

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All Confirmed Xbox Series X, Series S Launch Titles https://www.gameskinny.com/ud7v3/all-confirmed-xbox-series-x-series-s-launch-titles https://www.gameskinny.com/ud7v3/all-confirmed-xbox-series-x-series-s-launch-titles Mon, 21 Sep 2020 15:13:35 -0400 Daniel Hollis

It's almost unimaginable to think we are only a few weeks from the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S hitting store shelves. Both of Microsoft's next-gen consoles are set to arrive on November 10, and launch will come packed with a strong lineup of playable titles.

While it was undoubtedly a blow to fans when Halo Infinite was delayed earlier this year, there's still a strong selection of first-party games releasing for each console this November. That's not to mention the third-party titles that will round out the launch catalog for the XSX and XSS. 

With that in mind, here's every game coming at launch. 

All Confirmed Xbox Series X, Series S Launch Titles

Gears Tactics

The Gears of Wars franchise is bringing its X-COM inspired tactics games to the XSX and XSS on launch day with Gears Tactics. While the game launched on PC earlier this year, the November 10 release marks the jump to consoles, including Xbox One.

With the franchise based around cover-based combat, the transition to a tactics-based shooter feels incredibly natural. We reviewed the game when it first released, describing it as brutal, thrilling, and tactical. 

Providing in-depth, thoughtful management of your Gear's squad, the game will no doubt be a demanding launch day experience. It also packs some beautiful graphics that will shine on Microsoft's newest consoles.

Tetris Effect: Connected

Having already released on PC and PS4, Tetris Effect: Connected blends the classic puzzle game with pulse-pounding music and is set to release on Xbox consoles (both current- and next-gen) on November 10.

The main hook for the Xbox Series X and Series S editions of Tetris Effect: Connected is the inclusion of multiplayer, a feature long-time fans have been clamoring for since launch.

That functionality will be arriving as a limited-time exclusive on Xbox systems, featuring new competitive and co-operative modes for players to dive into online. Between the story-driven titles coming on day one, Tetris Effect: Connected could make the perfect palette cleanser between titles or for those looking for a more party-oriented multiplayer title.

Yakuza: Like A Dragon (Yakuza 7)

Marking a massive departure from the series' formula, Yakuza: Like A Dragon (Yakuza 7) looks to boast an addictive turn-based combat system. The story, of course, will be an intense crime drama, sprinkled with elements of humor for good measure. Both elements will be seen prevalent in the game's combat, which features the series' famous brutality, with tongue-in-cheek special moves such as summoning a giant crab to aid in battle.

Outside of fighting, side activities and mini-games will make a comeback. New to Yakuza: Like A Dragon will be go-karting, which will have you dashing around the streets of Kamurocho in various races.

Overall, it's looking to be a great transition from previous Yakuza titles to the new guard moving forward, and it will be available on Xbox Series consoles November 10, launching for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on November 13. 

Assassin's Creed: Valhalla

It wouldn't be a console launch without an Assassin's Creed title. Valhalla will whisk players away on an intense adventure in the age of the Vikings. It seems Valhalla will be bigger and better than past installments, boasting a large open world. Featuring brutal combat, deep RPG mechanics, and in-depth exploration both by foot and by sea, there will be hundreds of hours of content to dive into right at launch.

Building upon the series' formula, the new entry will bring a whole host of enhancements to take advantage of next-gen hardware. Running at 4K and 60FPS, Assassin's Creed: Valhalla will also come with higher resolution textures and improved shadow quality. It will also utilize the console's SSD to create fast loading times, consistently putting you into the action faster. 

The Falconeer

If you're looking for something different and unique, then The Falconeer may be right up your alley. The game is set to be an open-world air combat experience where you control a falcon, fending off a multitude of creatures in exhilarating aerial battles. By using the different, customizable classes at your disposal, you will complete quests, discover secrets, and unlock new upgrades for your falcon.

Exploration and battles can also take place beneath the waves, as your falcon can sweep down and explore the depths of this big fantasy world. Keep an eye out for what some are saying is Star Fox meets Sea of Thieves.

Madden 21

Sports fans planning on picking up and Xbox Series X or Series S are in luck: Madden 21 will be available on launch day. While Madden 21 is out now for current-gen systems (PC, PS4, and Xbox One), numerous technical and visual enhancements are planned when the Xbox Series X and Series S systems arrive this November.

The enhanced version is said to come with blazing-fast load times and reimagined character models. Additionally, there will be deferred lighting and rendering to make stadiums more visually impressive. Games will come to life with spatialized audio technology, to create a truly immersive Madden experience.

We reviewed Madden 21 at launch and said that "Die-hard Madden fans will be disappointed in a complete lack of attention given to Franchise mode and MUT, but the addition of The Yard and a much more rounded Face of the Franchise mode soften the blow somewhat."

Dirt 5

After the intensity that was Dirt Rally on the Xbox One, the series is set to return to its arcade roots with Dirt 5, sporting a variety of offline and online modes for players to drive through.

Most notable is the inclusion of a story-driven campaign; Dirt 5 will feature a single-player experience with voice work from industry legends such as Nolan North and Troy Baker, as you follow a narrative that pits you against your in-game nemesis. 

With a wide variety of locales, including ice-based tracks, Dirt 5 will bring an impressive level of visual detail to the series. Vehicles will be more detailed, and it's sure that the XSX and XSS SSD will get races moving faster.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

Acting as the fifth expansion for Destiny 2, the upcoming Beyond Light expansion will change up the ever-growing looter shooter in numerous ways.

One of the most anticipated inclusions is the ability to venture to Europa, one of Jupiter's icy moons. Here, players will confront the Darkness and learn to harness it as a new power for their guardians. There will also be new missions, multiplayer maps, gear, weapons, and a brand new raid to partake in.

To make room for the new content, older, less-used D2 content will be added to the vault. With this, developer Bungie will have the ability to swap out old and new content at a moment's notice and keep the on-going Destiny 2 experience fresh for years to come.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Can you imagine a console launch without a Call of Duty game? Luckily, the Xbox Series X and Series S will have Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War available a few days after launch on November 13.

Following on from the huge success of last year’s Modern Warfare, the latest installment in the perennial FPS franchise will perhaps be bigger and louder. Featuring a single-player campaign with a branching narrative, the high octane action is carried over into multiplayer, which comes bundled with multiple new modes and enhancements.

Fans of Call of Duty Zombies will be happy to know the classic mode makes a return, too.

Pre orders for current-gen and next-gen platforms are already live, though the game does follow a somewhat confusing upgrade path for Xbox owners. Check out our pre order guide for buying links and info on how Xbox One owners can upgrade to the XSX and XSS versions. We also detail how backwards compatibility will work.  

Watch Dogs: Legion

It seems like this open-world action-adventure title has been in the works for years, but it’ll finally be in players' hands when it launches on October 29 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The game will be available on November 10 for Xbox Series X and Series S. 

Legions' open-world playground will come enhanced with a variety of next-gen upgrades, including ray tracing. Venturing around the streets of a futuristic London will have never looked so beautiful.

Watch Dogs: Legion also comes with a fantastic new mechanic: being able to play as (almost) any NPC in the world — even London's grannies. The sheer creativity on offer is staggering and will no doubt be a visual and mechanical showcase for the Xbox systems.

Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition

Devil May Cry 5 was already a looker on the Xbox One, so releasing it on the Series X and Series S is a no brainer. However, this is more than just a typical remaster, as it completely overhauls not only some of the game's graphics, but also some of its gameplay, too.

Alongside the fantastic visual improvements and inclusion of ray tracing, Vergil is also set to be a playable character in DMC 5: Special Edition. New modes will be added to ramp up the game's difficulty, and extended storylines will further flesh out the narrative.

Whether you’ve jumped in before or it’s your first time, Devil May Cry 5: Special Edition is a perfect reason to revisit one of the best games in the Xbox One era. Check out our review of Devil May Cry 5 to see why it's "one hell of a good time."

NBA 2K21

The popular basketball simulation returns with a next-gen upgrade. NBA 2K21 may have released earlier this month to great fan reception, but the Xbox Series X and Series S versions are determined to deliver the better experience.

NBA 2K21 won’t be offering a free upgrade to next-gen like numerous other titles, and that’s because 2K Games believe the next-gen version is a complete overhaul over its current-gen counterpart; it’s set to come with a variety of visual and performance upgrades.

Judging by previously released footage, the enhancements are set to be night and day between generations, meaning that the Xbox versions will (probably) offer the definitive experience for $69.99. 

We even said in our review that "if you can hold out for the next-gen version, we'd advise doing so."

Observer: System Redux

Observer is a fantastic sci-fi horror title on the Xbox One from the creators of the eerie SOMA. Now, a completely re-worked next-gen version has been announced for launch day and will utilize the Xbox Series X and Series S to their full advantage.

Featuring entirely new missions, gameplay mechanics, and locations, Observer: System Redux is more than a next-gen patch/upgrade. 4K resolution, better textures, new animations, ray tracing, and HDR lighting have also been incorporated to take advantage of the next-gen hardware.

If you haven’t played Observer before, the Xbox Series X and Series S versions are the perfect places to dive into the modern sci-fi horror classic.

That's all of the Xbox Series X and Series launch titles for now. No doubt more games will be confirmed over the coming weeks, so be sure to check GameSkinny for updates to this list. Also, be sure to check out the PS5 launch titles list for every confirmed console coming on to Sony's new system on November 12!

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Play the Multiplayer Alpha for Black Ops Cold War This Weekend https://www.gameskinny.com/otgbl/play-the-multiplayer-alpha-for-black-ops-cold-war-this-weekend https://www.gameskinny.com/otgbl/play-the-multiplayer-alpha-for-black-ops-cold-war-this-weekend Thu, 17 Sep 2020 23:22:34 -0400 GS_Staff

PlayStation 4 Call of Duty fans can get their first taste of the multiplayer component for the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War this weekend. The multiplayer alpha will be available to all PlayStation 4 players beginning September 18 at 1 p.m. EST, and it will end on September 20 at the same time. 

A PlayStation Plus membership will not be required to participate in the alpha, except for those players who live in Germany. 

To access the alpha, all players need to do is go to the PlayStation Store, scroll down to "What's Hot," scroll right to the Cold War alpha, and download the alpha. Those who already have Call of Duty Modern Warfare or Warzone can download the alpha through the menus in those games. 

Matches will play out in four modes across five maps. Domination, Kill Confirmed, and Team Deathmatch will have the largest map rotation with Miami, Moscow, and Satellite, while Combined Arms: Domination, a "vehicle-exclusive twist on traditional Domination," will see action on Armada and Crossroads. 

Some of Cold War's customization systems will be on display during the alpha, such as Create-A-Class, Gunsmith, and Scorestreak. 

Multiplayer was first revealed on September 9 through an in-depth dive into what Treyarch plans to bring to the war table when the first-person shooter releases on November 13. Confirmed modes include those above (Domination, Kill Confirmed, TDM, and Combined Arms), but they will also include Search & Destroy, VIP Escort, and Fireteam. 

Field Upgrades and Wildcards will change moment-to-moment combat and swing matches, and tweaks to animations and player movement will add wrinkles to the overall experience. For example, an extensive Activision blog post said that sprinting and jumping will be more realistic. 

For those unable to drop into this weekend's alpha, there will be two Cold War beta periods in October. The first beta will be exclusive to PS4 owners and take place from October 8 to October 12, while the second weekend will be open to those playing on PS4, PC, and Xbox. It will feature crossplay and take place from October 15 to October 19. 

The first two days of each beta weekend will only be available to those who pre order Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

The latest entry in the perennial first-person shooter franchise will launch on November 13 for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S. It will have several upgrade paths for current-gen players looking to move to next-gen platforms in the future. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for our thoughts on this weekend's alpha, as well as our official review and guides later this winter. 

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