Desktop Platform RSS Feed | Desktop RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Skillshot Media Partners With Northside Hospital On Esports Medicine Program Fri, 22 Feb 2019 10:15:40 -0500 QuintLyn

Today, Hi-Rez Studios' esports subsidiary Skillshot Media announced a unique partnership with the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network of Atlanta. The two organizations are working together to create an Esports Medicine Program for SMITE and Paladins pros.

The comprehensive program will apply Northside Hospital's extensive knowledge of sports science and sports medicine to esports in an effort to improve player performance while minimizing risk of injury.

Just as with traditional athletes, esports professionals are at risk of injuries related to competition. The most common of these are carpal tunnel, spine issues, brain fatigue, and ocular strain. Skillshot's partnership with Northside Hospital will combat these with preventative care, including pre-performance screenings and weekly endurance training. A team/league doctor will be provided for tournament play.

Teams will have access to Northside Hospital's Sports Medicine experts who will assist them with managing their overall health and provide nutrition advice. The players will also have access to an injury training room.

Skillshot Media President Todd Harris notes that the company is "thrilled to partner with Northside to provide complementary injury-prevention services for players." He added that discussions with Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network made it apparent that the organization is "not only taking early notice of the rising trend of esports injuries, but also [aspires] to serve [Skillshot's] pro players just like athletes in traditional sports."

In addition to assuring the health of SMITE and Paladins esports athletes during the 2019  season, this partnership also allows for more research into esports-related health issues that can benefit the entire esports community. Throughout the season, the research portion of the partnership will spend time looking at injury prevention, measuring mental stamina, and more.

Dr. Vonda Wright MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Chief of the Northside Hospital Sports Medicine Network, spoke on behalf of the hospital about the partnership, saying:

As the convergence of  technology expands our definitions of ‘athletes and competition,’ Northside Sports Medicine is proud to step into this unique role. The growth of esports is a worldwide phenomenon, and Northside is ready to provide elite sports medicine and performance therapy to the professionals of Skillshot Media.

Through preventive care and innovative research, we hope to maximize performance while minimizing injury for these pro players, while setting a standard of care for esports athletes at every level.

This is the first partnership of its kind in esports, and a major indication that Skillshot Media and Hi-Rez Studios takes the health of its professional SMITE and Paladins players seriously.

Hopefully, the players and teams will take advantage of these services in order to assure longer-lasting careers. 

Population Zero Pre-Alpha Testing Comes To A Close Thu, 21 Feb 2019 19:46:55 -0500 William R. Parks

Over the past weeks, Enplex Studios has shared a number of details about its upcoming survival MMO Population Zero, including information on the game's building and character progression systems. While pre-alpha testing has already given some players first-hand access to these gameplay mechanics, the company has announced that these tests are reaching their conclusion.

The final Population Zero pre-alpha test is scheduled to take place from February 23 to 28, and it is available exclusively to those that have purchased the Commander Founder's Pack through Enplex's website. Commander access costs $80, and it grants players a number of additional perks, such as exclusive in-game items and developer materials.

At the close of the pre-alpha session, the developer has indicated that it will "be hard at work on a large update." The launch of this update will signal the beginning of Population Zero's next phase, alpha testing, and an opportunity for even more players to see what it has to offer.

In order to participate in the game's upcoming alpha tests, players need to purchase the Sentinels Founder's Pack for $50 on the developer's website. Additionally, the Pioneer Founder's Pack grants an "increased chance to be selected for alpha tests," and it costs $20. Of course, Commanders will have full access to this next round of testing.

Players that purchase Commander access before the conclusion of pre-alpha testing are also set to receive another new perk when the the alpha test begins: a legacy version of the Colonist Suit. Enplex has provided an image of this item, but no further details are currently available.

With the step toward Population Zero's alpha phase on the horizon, the company has also taken a moment to highlight the game's jungle biome. Specifically, Enplex has stated that, in this region, players will not only be able to explore the ground, with trees providing natural avenues to high up locations.

The company has also revealed the screenshots of the jungle biome that are seen in this article. For players that have already been drawn in by the game's unique art style, these images are certain to keep their interest piqued.

More details on accessing Population Zero's alpha test can be found on Enplex's website.

Anthem: Complete Crafting Guide Thu, 21 Feb 2019 18:22:41 -0500 Synzer

Crafting in Anthem can be confusing at times, as, if you don't know where to look, the game doesn't tell you right away how to do it. The good news is that once you find out how it works, and where to look, it isn't too difficult.

This guide is going to fully explain how the crafting system works in Anthem, including how to unlock blueprints. It will also cover the many different things you can craft, along with the different available rarities.

Crafting Basics in Anthem

Before crafting, you should first know how to determine the rarity, or quality, of items in the game. These are the rarities from most to least common:

  • Common (White)
  • Uncommon (Green)
  • Rare (Blue)
  • Epic (Purple)
  • Masterwork (Orange)
  • Legendary (Yellow)

The color indicated is what the item looks like when you loot it during a mission. You are able to craft up to Masterwork quality, and you will need a number of materials to do so. The required materials depend on what you are crafting, and you will also need the blueprint for the specific item, which will be explained later. 

anthem crafting avenging herald

These are the materials you will need for each type of craftable item: 

  • Weapons
    • Chimeric Compound
    • Chimeric Alloy
    • Ember
    • Weapon Parts
  • Universal Components
    • Chimeric Compound
    • Chimeric Alloy
    • Ember
  • Class Specific Items
    • Chimeric Compound
    • Chimeric Alloy
    • Ember
    • Class Parts

How To Get Crafting Materials

The materials needed for crafting are found in a number of ways:

  • Chimeric Compound comes from gathering from plants in the world as well as salvaging items.

  • Chimeric Alloy comes from gathering from minerals and parts in the world as well as salvaging items.

  • Embers come randomly when gathering from anything in the world, but they aren't guaranteed. You can also get them when salvaging items of uncommon rarity or higher.

    There are different types of Embers, and they are related to item rarity. For example, salvaging Masterwork items will grant Masterwork Embers, which you will need to craft Masterwork weapons.

  • Weapon Parts can be found in gathering piles sometimes or by salvaging any gun.

  • Class Parts can be found in gathering piles sometimes and by salvaging a class specific item. For example, if you salvage an Interceptor-specific component, you will get Interceptor parts.

To note, all of these items can be bought from the store with Coin, the in-game currency. That said, I would not recommend buying materials unless there is absolutely nothing else you want to purchase.

Currently, crafting materials come very easily, with Masterwork Embers being a possible exception. These Embers are the only things I would consider buying with Coin, and I would only do so after finding something really good to craft.

How to Unlock Blueprints

The other extremely important aspect of crafting is unlocking the necessary blueprints. How this is done differs depending on what you want to craft, so I'll explain the method for each category.


Common weapon blueprints are unlocked the first time you receive that weapon. From there, you must unlock the higher rarity versions of the weapon by completing challenges with the weapon equipped. 

To note, you can't just kill 10 legendary enemies and unlock the Epic version of a weapon. Instead, you need to complete the Uncommon challenge, then the Rare challenge, and then you can work on the Epic challenge.

These challenges require you to kill enemies. The number and rank of the enemies that you need to dispatch depends on the rarity of the blueprint you want to unlock:

  • Uncommon: Defeat 50 enemies with the weapon.
  • Rare: Defeat 25 Elite enemies with the weapon.
  • Epic: Defeat 10 Legendary enemies with the weapon.
  • Masterwork: Defeat 10 Legendary enemies with the weapon.

anthem thunderbolt of Yvenia blueprint

You don't need to get the killing blow in order to complete these challenges — you only need to damage the enemy. You can also check you weapon and gear blueprint progress by opening the Challenges menu and then selecting either gear or weapons.

Gear (Abilities)

Like weapons, gear blueprints are unlocked by completing challenges with the Ability equipped. The challenges are:

  • Uncommon: Complete four Missions or World Events on Normal+ difficulty with the Ability equipped.
  • Rare: Complete eight Missions or World Events on Normal+ difficulty with the Ability equipped.
  • Epic: Complete 12 Missions or World Events on Normal+ difficulty with the Ability equipped.
  • Masterwork: Complete 35 Missions or World Events on Grandmaster 1+ difficulty with the Ability equipped.
Components & Sigils (Consumables)

Blueprints for components and sigils are unlocked through Anthem's Faction and Rep system. If you want more details on this, check out the Anthem Faction, Rep, and Rewards guide.

This is what is required to unlock these blueprints:

  • Components
    • Class-Specific: Increase Sentinel Rep for all three ranks.
    • Universal: Increase Freelancer Rep for all three ranks.
  • Sigils
    • Weapon Sigils: Increase Arcanist Rep for all three ranks.
    • Elemental: Complete Strongholds.


That's everything you need to know about crafting in Anthem. Now you can work on unlocking all those blueprints and make some really nice weapons and gear.

How to Link Your Apex Legends Account to Twitch Thu, 21 Feb 2019 10:54:30 -0500 Sergey_3847

Apex Legends, the latest battle roayle shooter from Respawn, has not only set a new record for viewers on Twitch, but it also partnered with the streaming platform for a free giveaway to all users who will link their EA accounts to Twitch Prime.

If you want to get a free legendary skin for Pathfinder and 5 Apex Packs, then follow our quick guide below for all the info you need.

Step 1: Link Your EA Account to Your Platform

If you're playing Apex Legends on PC or a console (PS4 or Xbox One), then you should already have your EA Origins account activated and linked to your platform.

Make sure that you are logged in to Apex Legends with the right e-mail by checking your status at

Step 2: Sign in to Twitch

If you don't have a Twitch account yet, then go to Twitch and register by signing up.

Now you need to upgrade your Twitch account to Twitch Prime, which can be done at the official Twitch Prime page. Just press the "Try Twitch Prime" button and follow the registration process.

Then, use your login and password to sign in. If your EA account is active, then Twitch will ask you to authorize EA to access your Twitch account.

Confirm the authorization.

Step 3: Link Your EA Account to Twitch

After the confirmation, Twitch will ask you to sign in using your EA account. Here you need to enter your EA e-mail address and password.

Finally, Twitch will ask for your permission to link your EA and Twitch accounts.

Confirm by pressing "Yes, link them" and you should be ready to receive your giveaway at Apex Legends.

For more Apex Legends guides at GameSkinny, check out the list below:

Metro Exodus Guide: How to Free the Slaves Thu, 21 Feb 2019 10:53:11 -0500 Sergey_3847

Reputation plays a huge role in the Metro series of games. The same rule applies in Metro Exodus, where you define whether you will get a good or a bad ending with your own actions.

One way to get a good reputation is to help people out. That's why one of the most important missions in the game involves freeing slaves in the Caspian region.

It's not an easy mission, so if you want to know how to complete it with a good result, then follow our step-by-step guide below.

Step 1: Snipe All the Guards

Anna will tell you about the slave ship in the Caspian region, which you can find in the northwestern part of the map. The marker will be added to your map, and you really should wait before it gets dark in order to start the mission.

As you approach the dock with the slave ship, you will notice that there are lots of guards checking the perimeter, so be sure to get a sniper rifle, which will help you greatly.

In this way you can take out all the guards from a distance and without alarming the rest of the guards. Also, if you have enough ammo, it would be wise to extinguish all the sources of light before going all in.

Step 2: Get on the Ship

Use the zipline at the dock to get on the slave ship. When you're on board, turn right and extinguish all the torches.

Be as stealthy as possible when you're inside the ship: crouch, knock out enemies from behind, and shoot those lamps. Move slowly towards the center of the ship until you hear slaves speaking in the distance.

This is the sign that you're getting closer to the prison cells. Now prepare your sniper rifle and be ready to kill many guards.

Step 3: Open the Prison Cells

When you're done with all the guards, get inside the control room and switch on the panel on the wall. This will power up the prison cells.

Then, walk out of the control room on the other side of the bridge and look for a lever. It's right above the prison cells. Push the lever and watch the slaves fleeing from their cells.

Finally, use the zipline on the bridge and leave the ship through the door with an exit sign on it.

For other Metro Exodus guides at GameSkinny, check out the list below:

Respawn Introduces The Havoc Gun In Apex Legends Wed, 20 Feb 2019 22:36:40 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Respawn's smash-hit Apex Legends only recently launched, yet it has already garnered a massive following in its short lifespan. While fans are expecting a big new content update to come to the game in March, Respawn recently promised a smaller update that would bring a new weapon to the battle royale shooter.

That weapon is Havoc, and, following a brief tease from the developers, it's live in the game as of now. The trailer above shows this new weapon in action, and it provides details on Apex Legend's latest gun.

Havoc is an energy rifle, and it strongly resembles a fully automatic assault weapon. It seems to handle similarly to the Devotion machine gun as well.

One major new feature that comes with Havoc is how it supports hop-ups. Hop-ups are rare attachments that you can fit onto a gun in order to boost its capabilities in one form or another. One of these hop-ups, the Turbocharger, speeds up firing time for guns that require a charge, while the Select Fire hop-up changes burst-fire guns to automatic.

Typically, guns in Apex Legends can only take one of these hop-ups, but Havoc supports both of them, though not simultaneously. Turbocharger shortens the time it takes for Havoc to reach its full output capacity, while Select Fire actually lets you change from automatic to firing a single, charged shot. This essentially makes Havoc a gun that covers short, mid, and long-range targets, depending on how you choose to use it.

Providing fans with a small surprise update, right before a large one, suggests that Respawn is committed to making good on its promise that Apex Legends will be a live-service game with plenty of content support and patches to help keep things interesting. That said, it remains to be seen if the Havoc will become a mainstay of many players' arsenals.

Red Dead Online Beta Update Coming February 26 Wed, 20 Feb 2019 16:02:13 -0500 QuintLyn

On February 26, Red Dead Online Beta players will have a slew of new content to enjoy, with the game's first title update set to introduce new Free Roam Events, Showdown Modes, and Races. 

The game's new Free Roam Event, called Fool's Gold, is reportedly a unique twist on the spirit of the Old West. Players will compete to control a protective suit of armor made out of gold, but there's a catch: Whoever owns the suit might be protected when they're wearing it, but they'll have to fight to keep it.

While wearing the armor, players will earn points for their kills, which will only make it that much more appealing to other players as those points can be added to the attacker's totals.

For those looking for something maybe a bit less dangerous, the update will also introduce Fishing Challenges. Players can opt in to attempt the challenges, at which point they'll be supplied all the gear they need to compete. There are different types of challenges based on where the players are fishing and the supplies provided will be appropriate to the body of water.

To make things even more relaxed, fishers involved in a challenge won't have to worry about being shot.

As for Red Dead Online's new Showdown Modes, three are in the works: Up in Smoke, Soils of War, and Plunder. Unfortunately, details on these haven't been provided as of yet.

However, the update will also introduce new weapons to the game, including a high-capacity repeater rifle, and a rare shotgun. Players can also expect new clothing designed to make their characters even more unique.

There will also be a series of balances and changes, which are detailed on the Rockstar site.

To celebrate the upcoming update, Rockstar Games is holding a special Bonus XP week. All week long, players can earn 20% more XP on everything they do in the game. Rockstar also encourages players to be on the lookout for more events, giveaways, and additions while they continue to prepare Red Dead Online for the official release. 

Previously, the developer released several updates that focused on the game's economy and griefing. Other updates have introduced various modes and tweaks as well, including Gun Rush and matchmaking improvements. 

Paradox And Microsoft Offer Players Modding Platform On PC And Xbox One Wed, 20 Feb 2019 14:39:04 -0500 QuintLyn

Paradox Interactive and Microsoft announced a surprising new joint project today, titled Paradox Mods. Billed as "the first-ever open modding platform that enables distribution of user-created game modifications (mods) across multiple platforms", Paradox Mods is a free offering on both Xbox One and PC.

The platform utilizes GoG and the Paradox launcher to allow players to easily upload their mods on both PC and the Microsoft console, creating the first direct way for modders to share on a console. Modders simply upload their creation one time via the in-game or web interface and it's available across both platforms.

To get things rolling, Paradox Mods is already available as part of a free update to Paradox Interactive's survival-strategy game Surviving Mars. It already includes over 30 mods all tested on console. Fans of the modding scene will recognize the names of several creators whose mods are included in this update, including Silva and ChoGGi.

The 30 pre-selected mods also provide players with both useful and fun options, ranging from self-sufficient greenhouses to Martian car washes. All players need to do to access these mods is to log into their Paradox account from Surviving Mars and open the "Mod Manager" located at the bottom of the screen.

From there, players can simply select the mods they're interested in and the game will automatically download and install them.

The update also includes mouse and keyboard support for the Xbox One version of Surviving Mars, offering players another way to experience the game.

Players who want to check out the mods that are available can find them on Paradox's site. Keep in mind that the site lists all mods and not just those that are available on console.

Paradox Mods support will come to other games at a later time.

Dino Crisis Mod Roars Into Resident Evil 2 on PC Wed, 20 Feb 2019 13:16:33 -0500 Jonathan Moore

One of the benefits of PC gaming is that a large majority of games allow for mods in some shape or form, opening the door for myriad unique experiences on the platform. 

Since its release a month ago, Resident Evil 2 has received a relatively steady stream of modifications from the community. We've collected some of the best in a nifty list, which includes first-person mode and swapping Mr. X with Nemesis, among a handful of others. But this mod, which brings Dino Crisis into the RE Engine, calls for special attention. 

While it might be a far cry from a full conversion mod and is only a reskin of RE2's base models, the mod from Crazy Potato over on Nexusmods provides a glimpse of what a Dino Crisis remake might look like on modern hardware. 

In the mod, Crazy Potato swaps Claire for Regina and Leon for Dylan Morton, the commanding officer of the TRAT squad; Sherry also gets a small tweak with a new Dino Crisis jacket. Although the changes to both Leon and Sherry are relatively minimal, Claire's alternate costume is the most obvious and striking. 

In addition to the above, players also have access to a new gun, the Glock, which can be acquired by playing Clair's Scenario A while using the mod. 

Released in 1999, Dino Crisis quickly drew comparisons to Resident Evil because of its overall aesthetic and reliance on claustrophobia. However, it managed to set itself apart from the zombie series by employing more frenetic gameplay, dinosaurs, and real-time 3D environments. 

Perhaps obviously, Dino Crisis was heavily inspired by the Jurassic Park films, with the game mirroring elements of those movies, such as highly intelligent velociraptors and the continuous threat of a marauding T-Rex. 

When it released, Dino Crisis received positive acclaim from fans and critics alike; reports indicate that the game sold some 2.4 million shortly after launch, a noteworthy achievement in 1999. Pull up any "best games on the PlayStation" roundup and Dino Crisis is sure to make an appearance. 

Since the release of Resident Evil 2, the conversation around future remakes of Capcom classics has intensified, with many hoping for a Resident Evil 3 remake in the RE Engine. The fervor around the potential RE3 remake was further stoked when Resident Evil 2's producer, Yoshiaki Hirabayashi, recently told Dualshockers that for the remake to happen, fans need to let Capcom know. 

Perhaps Capcom's latest questionnaire concerning the Resident Evil 2 remake is the perfect place to do just that and the perfect place for Dino Crisis fans to let the company know they want more than just a mod. 

Anthem Guide: Factions, Rep, and Rewards Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:30:49 -0500 Synzer

Anthem has several missions that are not part of the main story and these involve the game's Factions. These are more than just side missions because there are multiple rewards you can obtain by completing them. The rewards range from crafting blueprints to cosmetics and legendary contracts.

This guide will explain everything you need to know about the Faction system in Anthem, as well as the rewards you get from them.

Factions in Anthem

There are currently three Factions you can gain rep for in Anthem, Arcanist, Freelancer, and Sentinel.

Arcanists are scholars, scientists, and researchers of the world, Shapers, and Shaper relics. They try to make sense of everything and discover secrets.

Freelancers are independent lancers, those with Javelins, who protect those in need. They don't answer to anyone and do a wide range of jobs to help humanity. The player character is a Freelancer.

Sentinels are the police or military force of Anthem. Their primary job is to protect the people of Antium, but there are several branches. One such branch is at Fort Tarsis, and the Sentinels spend their time patrolling to keep civilians safe.

Rep and Rewards

As you progress through the game, you will unlock missions for each faction and will start to gain reputation with them. When you gain enough rep, you will rank up that Faction and unlock rewards. There are three total ranks for each Faction and rewards for each rank.

Anthem freelancer faction rep

These are listed as Loyalty and can be found under Challenges > Factions in the menu.

Arcanist Rep (Sigil Blueprints)
  • Arcanist Loyalty 1 - Uncommon (Green) quality Sigil Blueprints for each of the game's nine guns.
    • Sigils are consumable items you can use before a mission to get boosts such as increased damage for a specific weapon or ability type.
  • Arcanist Loyalty 2 - Rare (Blue) quality Sigil Blueprints for guns.
    • You also get Tungsten, Silver, and Platinum metal colors for cosmetics.
  • Arcanist Loyalty 3 - Epic (Purple) quality Sigil Blueprints for guns.
    • You also get Bronze, Brass, and Copper metal colors for cosmetics.
Freelancer Rep (Universal Components Blueprints)
  • Freelancer Loyalty 1 - Uncommon (Green) quality universal component blueprints and the Standard wear state customization option.
    • Universal components can be used on any Javelin and provide passive effects.
    • The wear state is how your Javelin's armor looks. You initially have dirty or old looks.
  • Freelancer Loyalty 2 - Rare (Blue) quality universal component blueprints and the Clean wear state customization option.
  • Freelancer Loyalty 3 - Epic (Purple) quality universal component blueprints and the New wear state customization option.
Sentinel Rep (Iconic Component Blueprints)
  • Sentinel Loyalty 1 - Uncommon (Green) quality iconic component blueprints.
    • Iconic components are the class specific components, such as Fire Inscription for Storm Javelins.
  • Sentinel Loyalty 2 - Rare (Blue) quality iconic component blueprints.
    • You also unlock Tin, Iron, and Lead metal colors for cosmetic customization.
  • Sentinel Loyalty 3 - Epic (Purple) quality iconic component blueprints.
    • You also unlock Nickel, Chromium, and Titanium metal colors for cosmetic customization.

Even though you can get the components as drops, it is nice to be able to craft them. This allows you to craft multiples until you get one with the bonuses you want. It also allows you to craft some that you are unlucky to never get, or ones for Javelins you don't normally use.

Anthem component crafting

As you rank up each Faction and complete the missions for them, you will eventually unlock Legendary Contracts as well. You can check out the How to Unlock Legendary Contracts guide for more info.


That is everything you need to know about the Factions and their rewards in Anthem. Leave a comment if you have any further questions. Be sure to check back for additional Anthem guides.

Anthem Guide: How to Unlock Legendary Contracts Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:28:49 -0500 Synzer

There are a lot of ways to get loot and increase your chance for Masterwork and Legendary gear in Anthem. One of these ways is by completing Legendary Contracts. We knew these would be in the game, but there weren't a lot of details on how you get them, or the frequency you can complete them.

This guide will give a full explanation on Legendary Contracts and how to unlock them.

Contracts and Legendary Contracts in Anthem

Contracts are side missions, or expeditions, that you can complete for loot and reputation for each of the game's three factions. Think of these as shorter missions and you eventually can repeat them as many times as you want. A Freelancer's work is never done.

Legendary Contracts are the much harder big brothers and sisters of normal contracts. These have you dealing with much tougher enemies and situations for a higher chance of great loot. These are not for low geared players, you will have a tough time if you don't go in prepared. You ever died six times within 10 seconds? I've seen it happen to players that thought it wouldn't be too difficult.

You can get one per day per faction, so a max of three Legendary Contracts each day. There is no guarantee you will get any Masterwork or Legendary items, I didn't on my first one, but you are more likely to than normal contracts. I actually got at least one Masterwork item for the two Legendary Contracts I did after the first one.

anthem masterwork plasma star

Legendary Contracts show as purple versions of the normal contract icon on the map. You can also check these in your journal after you've picked them up. Once you open up the journal, there will be a "Legendary Contracts" section under "Agent Contracts".

How to Unlock Legendary Contracts

Now that you know the irresistible benefits from completing one of these, you're probably asking how to actually get them. If not, I'm going to tell you anyway:

  • Complete the main story, or Critical missions as the game calls it
  • Reach level 30
  • Complete a faction's two quest lines
  • Complete a repeatable Contract

The first two are pretty straightforward, but let me explain the last two.

Each Faction has two quest lines you can complete. Every mission and Contract you get during this time is part of that faction's story. You can check your progress by going opening the menu then go to Challenges < Expeditions < Agent.

Anthem faction missions

Once you complete them, you will unlock repeatable Contracts. These are just random contracts, even though the name never changes, that you can complete as many times as you want.

There will be times when you cannot progress the story of a Faction. When this happens,. make sure you talk to everyone at Fort Tarsis that has the chat bubble icon on the map. Conversation will lead to missions, even if it seems they have nothing to do with any of the factions.

You will also sometimes just need to leave Fort Tarsis and come back for to continue. Go on a mission, join Freeplay, complete a different contract, or do a Stronghold, then come back.

Once you complete your first repeatable Contract, a Legendary Contract will appear. After completing that, it will reappear once per day. You also need to complete this for each Faction if you want all three.

Let's say you complete the Arcanist missions and unlock Legendary Contracts. You will only get them for the Arcanist faction. Once you do the same for Freelancer and Sentinel, you can get those as well.


That's all you need to unlock Legendary Contracts in Anthem and start your hunt for the best loot in the game. Leave a comment if you have any further questions or need more clarification, and feel free to take a look at our other Anthem guides.

Metro Exodus Guide: How to Save Duke Wed, 20 Feb 2019 11:07:51 -0500 Sergey_3847

Duke is one of the main companions in Metro Exodus. His mission is the first major challenge Artyom will face in the Volga region.

Before you begin, though, know that this portion of the game should be approached with extreme caution; depending on your actions, your reputation will be affected in one way or the other. 

Note: Minor spoilers follow. 

Step 1: Escape the Church

As you approach the church in Volga, you'll notice it is full of cult members. However, don't kill them. To get Duke out alive, you need to reach the boat on the other side of the church without causing a stir. If you must dispatch a cult member, do it quietly and strategically by knocking them out from behind.  


Step 2: Steal the Bandits' Boat

Once you've found your way out of the church and reached the boat, don't take it; instead, swim along the channel. Eventually, you will arrive at the bandits' camp. Here, you need to steal one of the bigger boats, which will take you to the cult leader.

To reach the boat, follow the same stealthy approach as before. Try not to kill anyone, or only a few if necessary. If you kill too many enemies, you garner negative reputation points amongst the survivors at the end of the mission, so be careful.

Run from one boat to the other until you reach the riverboat; go inside the cabin and activate the engine.

Step 3: Talk to the Cult Leader

Once you arrive at the cult leader's base, slip through all the rooms and get to the elevator unnoticed.

Take your time and crouch whenever you can to reduce noise. If needed, knockout enemies by hitting them from behind. When you reach the elevator, go up to the top floor.

Make your way through the last section of the base and enter the cult leader's room at the end. If you did well, Duke will enter the room and you will both escape alive.

For other Metro Exodus guides at GameSkinny, use the listing below:

Day One Anthem Patch Fixes Load Time, Crashing Problems Tue, 19 Feb 2019 12:15:53 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

BioWare's highly anticipated upcoming action game, Anthem, launches February 22, but players have been digging into the early access version for about a week now.

While some fans are divided on how enjoyable the game is, and some YouTubers have decried the many bugs and problems holding Bioware's newest creation back, the Reddit consensus is generally more optimistic, highlighting Anthem's positive aspects. 

Regardless, the game's day-one patch is set to fix the game's current issues.

The biggest change it will make is to load times. Reddit user dragonoob44 timed various load times and found it takes roughly two and a half minutes to load Freeplay, a further 20 seconds to get to the rewards screen, and a minute-and-a-half to get to Fort Tarsis.

Total, between starting the mode and changing gear, the load times added up to approximately seven minutes.

Other day-one fixes include the infinite loading screen bug, as well as several crashing problems, issues with gear modifiers, and disconnection complications.

Of course, how far the patch goes in shortening load times or resolving other issues remains to be seen.

Below you can find the official patch notes outlining all of the fixes the patch plans to bring. 

High-level Fixes

  • Improved loading times
  • Fixed many infinite loading screens
  • Fixed multiple challenges not tracking properly
  • A number of issues have been fixed that were causing players to disconnect or crash
  • Weapons and gear now have numbers present for modifiers

General Fixes and Improvements

  • Loot Reveal and Expedition Summary now correctly play during the end of expedition screen.
  • The gather party mechanic has been made more lenient in a number of situations
  • At the end of expedition screen players will no longer get stuck on "Recording Victories" or "Skipping All".
  • Game no longer hangs in Javelin menu when unlocking the second, third or fourth javelin
  • During the mission “What Freelancers Do” dying after killing Junkmaw & freeing Arcanists leaves you unable to progress, this has been fixed
  • Challenges now unlock for players at the correct levels
  • Fixed some camera issues during cutscenes
  • Legendary Contracts can now be accepted from the Social Hub contract board
  • Some enemies have had their shield values decreased
  • Loot now properly drops for players who are downed
  • The texture quality on the NPC Prospero has been improved
  • Final boss of strongholds now drop loot instead of only being shown on the end of expedition screen
  • Fixed the time outs on echoes and relics to prevent griefing and to handle disconnections properly
  • Players can no longer fall through the floor during the 3rd trial in the Fortress of Dawn
  • Completing the tutorial expedition will now show the correct Ranger appearance
  • After disconnecting, rejoining an expedition will now place you back into a squad if you were in one previously
  • Corrected an issue where players could not interact with each other in the launch bay in certain circumstances
  • Corrected an issue during the Mission "Bad Deal" where outlaws won't spawn, blocking progress
  • The start of expedition screen has been improved
  • Addressed a variety of situations where killing enemies does not properly progress world events
  • Opening a chest now increments Tomb of the Legionnaire progress for all squad members present
  • Scar snipers can no longer shoot through Storm Shield
  • Corrected an issue where players would get stuck on the end of expedition screen in some situations
  • Players will no longer get disconnected if joining the "Finding Old Friends" mission while the cinematic is playing
  • Addressed a number of situations where players can get stuck on the environment in the launch bay
  • Increased the damage of the electric status effect
  • Corrected an issue where the Shield of Dawn could be crafted with less materials then intended in some situations
  • The Platinum Mission feat now grants completion as intended
  • Status effects can more reliably be applied to Titans


  • Fixed an issue that would cause a Stronghold server crash after defeating the last boss
  • Temple of Scar - Players can no longer get stuck in the mined tunnel in the explosives room
  • Temple of Scar - Players can no longer be blocked from entering the explosives room due to fog wall
  • Fixed Tyrant Mine so people that join the stronghold in-progress do not end up locked away from their team
  • Adjusted lighting in Tyrant Mine underwater section to make it easier to navigate to the exit
  • The Swarm Tyrant will no longer get stuck in the side cave entrances in some situations
  • Corrected an issue where players would spawn into different areas of the Tyrant Mine in certain situations

Gear and Weapons

  • After having 1st pilot unlock suit after tutorials, creating a new pilot and going to forge no longer causes load screen hang
  • Ice damage bonuses are now correctly applied on ice gear
  • Suit-wide bonuses from inscription are now functioning properly
  • Players can no longer salvage equipped items
  • Javelin specific gear and/or weapons are no longer able to be used on javelins they aren't intended for
  • Corrected an issue where in some circumstances Masterwork Components do not have any inscriptions
  • The Endless Siege Masterwork Autocannon no longer displays a damage increase of 0% in its tooltip


  • The Colossus javelin is now able to activate its shield more quickly after using an ability or firing a weapon
  • The Storm javelin now reacts to getting hit when its shields are up
  • Fixed an exploit that allowed the Storm's ultimate attack to be used more times than intended
  • The Colossus javelin can now shield and revive at the same time
  • Interceptor Combo Aura has been increased in power and now has a damage over time component


  • Non-Masterwork materials purchased from the crafting store now show as their proper rarity instead of incorrectly showing as Masterwork


  • Additional Mouse and Keyboard control improvements have been made


  • Some conversations were not popping up the reputation points post conversation completion, this has been fixed
  • The squad screen now displays the correct information for each player
  • Fixed a number of issues where subtitles will no longer get stuck on the screen after dialogue has finished as often
  • Settings should no longer reset upon exiting and restarting the game on Xbox One
  • Motion blur can now correctly be turned off
  • The Electric Status Effect now shows scaled damage properly
  • An option has been added to hide the Squad Member HUD
  • The edge of the compass will now pulse to indicate enemy locations
  • A notification has been added in Fort Tarsis if a player's vault is at the cap of 250 items
  • On the "Repair the Strider" step of "A Cry for Help" the search radar has been adjusted to correctly lead the player to all 4 tools
  • Primer and Detonator icons have been added to all Interceptor gear
  • Corrected a user interface issue where a player’s ultimate would show as available when it isn't

Between the extensive launch day patch for Anthem and the promised content updates for the endgame, it's apparent BioWare plans on fully supporting and optimizing Anthem for a while to come. 

Locations Guide for Suit, Armor Upgrades in Metro Exodus Tue, 19 Feb 2019 11:56:07 -0500 Sergey_3847

Although weapons are probably the most important pieces of gear in Metro Exodus, it's your suit that prevents you from dying instantly in post-apocalyptic Russia.

Fortunately, there are a number of various suit and armor upgrades in the game strewn throughout the game. Each new upgrade piece will add something unique to your suite, and help you complete missions in a far more effective way.

Below, we'll show you all 13 possible locations for suit and armor upgrades in Metro Exodus. We'll also briefly look at the Top 5 upgrades at the end of this guide. 

Compass Upgrade

One of the most important pieces of gear you can find in Metro Exodus is a simple compass, which is available in the very first location, Volga.

Just head north from the railway and locate a crashed airplane. Get inside and grab it from the cockpit.

Obviously, you will need to install it using a workbench. But as soon as you do, the compass will show you the way to your next objective without constantly opening and closing the map.

It's super convenient and saves you a ton of time.

Extended Filter Upgrade

The initial gas mask filter in Metro Exodus isn't particularly good, as it needs to be replaced every couple of minutes. But you can find an extended filter in the central-northern part of Volga.

It can be seen inside an abandoned bunker on one of the tables. As soon as you equip it, you will notice that this filter holds a lot longer than your typical vanilla gas mask.

Ammo Pouch Upgrade

In the same area as before, you will find a prison facility that still holds several people. You can free them and as a reward, you will get a key that will play an important role later in the game.

But what you're really here for is a large pouch for ammo, which can be found right at the backside entrance into the building. Grab it and you will be able to carry a lot more ammo than before.

Throwing Weapons Harness Upgrade

Carrying more ammo is great, but how about being able to carry more knives? If you're a stealthier player, this upgrade is an important one. 

You can find a harness upgrade at the gas station located in the eastern part of Volga. Just enter the building and go inside the storage room behind the locked doors.

Take the harness and never worry about not having enough throwing weapons on you.

Battery Charge Controller Upgrade

The flashlight and night vision goggles are essential tools in Exodus, so it is a good idea to get the battery charger since it allows you to preserve a lot more energy. But be ready for one of the hardest puzzles in the game.

The battery charge controller can be found inside the fisherman's house on a small island in the southern part of Volga. You can use your boat to get there; you will also need a can of gas to be able to start the generator located in the hut nearby. This will open the door into the house.

As you enter the house, switch on the electricity and follow the ramp to the second floor. Drop down through the hole in the floor and switch on another generator.

Enter the next room and open the metal door. Behind the door, you will find a man on the electrocution table. Unfortunately, you have to kill him by switching on the electricity.

Now, you can finally get your battery charge controller.

Reinforced Helmet Upgrade

If you're playing on a high difficulty setting, then you simply need to get a better helmet, as enemies tend to aim straight at your head.

You can find a reinforced helmet in an abandoned building, which can be found to the east of the fisherman's isle.

Just go inside and equip it. 

Metal Detector Upgrade

Finding ammo and metals can be really hard at times. Often, you simply don't see these valuable items nearby because of low light conditions. But with a metal detector, you can't miss a thing.

To get this upgrade, take a short trip to the southeastern part of Volga and break the lock on an abandoned bunker. Inside the bunker, you will find the metal detector on the table.

Night Vision Goggles Upgrade

The last suit upgrade in the Volga region is the night vision goggles. It can be found inside a terminal located in the eastern part of the map.

If you've been kind enough to release the prisoners from the prison before, then you should have received a key that opens this terminal. 

Go inside and the goggles will be on a table. 

Motion Scanner Upgrade

If you enjoy playing in a stealth mode, then having a motion scanner is simply a must. It will allow you to detect the movement of your enemies from cover, keeping you alive longer.

You can find this armor upgrade on top of the base at the northern part of the Caspian level.

Just take all the ladders to the top floor, and you will find it on the table near a shelf with gas cans.

Extra Bright Flashlight Upgrade

Nights can get really dangerous in Metro Exodus. This is when all of the most furious mutants wake up and start hunting for prey. Fortunately, they are terribly scared of light, which you can produce using an extra bright flashlight.

All you need to do is go to the northern shore of the Caspian area, where you will find a shipwreck.

Go inside and pick up the flashlight from the chest. Just be sure to get a battery charger before using it.

Armored Glass Upgrade

If you go west of the shipwreck location, you will soon stumble upon an inhabited cave. You will need to use the ladder to get up to it, but when you do, you will find an armored glass in one of the chests.

This item is an alternative piece of headgear, which could be used instead of your helmet. But if you have the reinforced helmet from before, then you can skip this one.

NVD Amplifier Upgrade

In the southeastern part of the Caspian area, you will find an abandoned air control center. Go inside the building and follow the stairs to the top floor. You will soon arrive at the radio room with an NVD amplifier.

You can use it to turn your night vision goggles into a heat vision goggles, which is a far more advanced piece of gear.

Consumables Carrier Upgrade

From the previous location, walk a bit to the north; you will arrive at a fork in the road. Turn left, which will lead you to a small cave.

Inside the cave, you will find a consumables pouch, which will allow you to carry even more medkits and other consumables.

Top 5 Upgrades

Remember that you don't need to find all 13 gear upgrades, as most of them are not essential. However, here are the top five that you should be looking for the most:

  1. Compass
  2. Reinforced Helmet
  3. Night Vision Goggles
  4. Ammo Pouch
  5. Consumables Carrier

These suit and armor upgrades will make your time on the surface much more manageable. 

If you're just starting out, then be sure to head over to our beginner's guide. To see why we said Metro Exodus was almost the perfect game, you can read our official review

Tripwire Announces NVIDIA Ansel Support For PC Version Of Maneater Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:25:46 -0500 QuintLyn

Tripwire's Maneater, the single-player action RPG in which players take on the role of a shark, is slated to launch on PC via the Epic Games Store later this year. When the game launches, it will include support for NVIDIA Ansel, offering players the ability to create high-quality screenshots.

Using Ansel, Maneater players will be able to capture shots from any direction, having the ability to adjust them in post-processing using filters while capturing HDR images in high-res formats. And to make things even more interesting, players will be able to share 360-degree shots via mobile, PC, or VR.

To give players an idea of what they can do using NVIDIA Ansel to compose screenshots in Maneater, Tripwire decided to share some screenshots. When viewing them, keep in mind that these are from the pre-alpha build of the game and that this is one of the first looks the public has had of the game since it was announced at E3 last year.

Considering the game's unique premise and setting, players should have no trouble composing interesting underwater images as they try to survive the dangers of the open water while seeking revenge against the humans that threaten them.

While playing as the shark in Maneater, players will be able to wreak havoc along the coast, tear apart swimmers and divers, sneak up on them in swamps, explore sunken wrecks, and more.  

As each player makes their way through the game, their shark will evolve, allowing for customization. Through this system, sharks will be made to fit specific playstyles. The goal, however, will remain the same, eat, terrorize the humans, and get revenge.

With the rise of photo modes in games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, Spider-Man, and Metro Exodus, it's little surprise such a mode will be included with Maneater

Dataminers Uncover Potential New Apex Legends Modes and Characters Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:08:38 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Updated 2/20/2019: More recent Apex Legends datamining efforts have uncovered code for Founders' Packs and Starters' Packs as well. The code didn't provide much detail about what could be inside the packs, other than labeling them "consumables."

However, it did indicate the packs, if they end up in the game, are completely separate from the packs already in existence.

Original Story

Leaked information about upcoming games and features is common in today's digital environment. Tech-savvy gamers use their skills to dig into files and see what might be in store for the future.

The same is true for a dedicated set of Apex Legends fans, who recently divulged new information about possible additions to the fast-growing battle royale game.

The tentative new additions center around a new mode, some new Legends, and new cosmetic updates — in other words, skins. As with all datamining efforts, finding evidence of updates and additions in the files doesn't mean the material will find its way into the game at some point. Some dummy files tend to get left in game data, and sometimes, plans change, and the data isn't used after all.

The alleged new mode is referred to as Survival. However, the leak's source, @RealApexLeaks (Gaming Intel's Aadhav Kandasamy Suresh) didn't reveal much information about it. Apart from the name, the dataminer uncovered some NPC data, including "Hosts" and some other NPCs that potentially offer commentary or cheer players on.

There is also some information in the files about Kill Replays being added to the reported Survival mode, although that too remains to be seen. 

Another mode players may see making its way to the game is Recruit Mode. This gameplay mode seemingly expands on the game's existing team aspects, pitting up to three teams against each other, with each team consisting of 20 members. If a member revives a killed opponent, then that opponent joins the healing team.

Suresh also found files related to singles and duos modes, which, if true, would suggest Apex Legends won't be based on three-player squads forever.

Data for two new Legends popped up as well, though Suresh noted nothing could be confirmed about either. The first is a character called Octane, whose ability is Stim (a speed doubling ability from Titanfall 2), and the second's name is Watson, who has an ability called Tesla Trap.

Lastly, the rumored cosmetic content is reportedly exclusive to Twitch Prime members and would include a new Pathfinder skin and five Apex Packs. Apex Packs grant you new skins and other cosmetic items, including potentially rare Heirloom items.

Whether some or all this content finds its way to the actual game remains to be seen. However, the first major update for Apex Legends is planned for March, so it's possible fans might learn something new around then.

Get Your Speedrun Fix With This Week's ESA Marathon for Save the Chiildren Mon, 18 Feb 2019 16:01:27 -0500 Ashley Shankle

While they might get the lion's share of the attention, the Games Done Quick marathons aren't the only speedrun marathons in town. The European Speedrunner Assembly (ESA) has been running its own marathons over the past few years, and the time has come for ESA Winter to take up a whopping five days of your February.

Starting today and lasting until January 23, ESA Winter features a host of games and runners in a familiar format that garners donations for the Save the Children charity; 86% of every dollar donated to Save the Children goes to its mission.

ESA Winter itself is coming out swinging, with a healthy mix of popular and recent titles in its first day. Some fantastic runs for Darksiders 3, Horizon Zero Dawn, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, and Resident Evil 2 are just some of the titles displayed today.

However, some of the best is yet to come; the list of titles coming to the marathon is a very juicy mix of old and new. Some notable runs to watch tomorrow, February 19, are XCOM 2, Tony Hawk's Underground 2, Mega Man 11, and what appears to be a Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition game.

... Wait. D&D?

Yep. It's ESA.

The rest of the week is packed with further gems that require some serious skills. Dark Souls, Super Mario Odyssey, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, Kingdom Hearts 3, and many more games will be run this week as ESA Winter pushes on to raise money for Save the Children.

ESA has come a long way from its sound-issue-laden beginnings, and its game spread this time around is nothing to scoff at.

Check it out, scan the schedule, and be sure to donate to Save the Children if you can. 

Fear the Wolves Review: A Half-Baked Battle Royale Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:59:46 -0500 Sergey_3847

Fear the Wolves, a new battle royale game from Vostok Games, has just left Early Access on Steam. Those of you who have had the chance to play Survarium, another game by Vostok, will have a clear idea of what to expect from this one. Unfortunately, that is not much.

Fear the Wolves follows the traditional battle royale formula, with a few extra concepts on top to make it standout from the rest of the games in the genre. But ultimately, it's a half-baked attempt at an increasingly hyped idea.


Fear the Wolves is set in the Chernobyl zone, which is under constant threat of a radioactive cloud. Everything looks old, rusty, and practically ready to collapse at any second.

For a moment, you might think that this would make for an interesting and original setting for a battle royale game. However, Fear of the Wolves' world looks almost exactly like PlayerUnkown's Battlegrounds' first map, Erangel.

While other new battle royale titles have tried to find their own distinct look when it comes to world-building, in this game, there is nothing but the same old buildings and barns PUBG players will have seen many times before. That said, there are a few original things in Fear the Wolves map, but the execution is questionable.

For example, the game has a dynamic weather system, which seems great on paper but doesn't work here. While changing weather could add to a sense of immersion, sound plays such an important role in any battle royale game, and when weather gets stormy in Fear the Wolves, you get completely distracted by the noise of the rain instead of hearing your enemies approaching.

Gameplay Mechanics

One of the biggest innovations that has been implemented in Fear the Wolves is the game's take on the so-called "ring of death." Here, actually, it's not a ring, but more like squares, which fill out the territory and narrow down the safe zone of the map. These squares are the aforementioned radioactive cloud, and it damages players who get within its borders. 

Notably, this cloud doesn't move in a linear fashion. This makes things a bit annoying, as you often can't figure out where to move next because the cloud can simply get there first and destroy your plans. That's not even the worst part though, as there are also anomalies that manifest out of nowhere that can kill you instantly.

All of these "innovative" mechanics don't make the game more exciting. On the contrary, they make it terribly frustrating, and it completely kills the experience.

There is one thing that the developers did get right though: a change to the way matches begin. When the game was first released through Early Access in 2018, matches started as they do in many other battle royale game, with players dropping from the sky.

This landing mechanic was executed horribly in Fear the Wolves, as there was no possibility to control the speed of the landing or manually release a parachute. This led to matches starting slowly, which, obviously, many players did not like.

Now, you simply spawn in a random location on the map, and you are immediately ready to go. No more waiting to land, and that is a good thing here.

Another feature that sets Fear the Wolves apart from the rest of the pack is the end-game. Instead of needing to kill all of the opponents on the map, players just need to be able to survive until a helicopter arrives. The player that gets to the helicopter first wins the match.

Additionally, the final stages of a match introduce violent wolves to the map. These beasts appear from the woods, and they're quite terrifying. However, the AI is pretty bad, so there is no problem killing them or getting away as needed.

Graphics and Optimization

With the release of Fear the Wolves, the visual have improved slightly from the game's Early Access days. However, the FPS drops remain untouched, and it looks like it's going to take a lot more effort to fix that issue than many players thought.

Another problem is the network problems and unreliable servers that regularly blackout in the middle of a match. This occurs despite the fact that there aren't even that many players on the servers.

This is the main issue that have to be fixed as soon as possible. A game that requires quick reactions is simply not playable with constant lag, and this problem is likely to suck all of the joy out of the experience for much of the game's playerbase.


  • Wolves, as the PvE element


  • Unoriginal setting
  • Unnecessary dynamic weather system
  • Frustrating "ring of death" mechanic
  • Lack of weapons and attachments
  • Lag and glitches

If you look really hard, you can find a few redeeming qualities in Fear the Wolves. If the developers had one more year to polish the game, then it could even be a decent alternative to PUBG. But the fact is that the game is currently in worse shape than many other battle roayle games that are free-to-play.

Of course, if the game gets better with bug-fixing patches and more good content, then it does have a chance to survive. However, that ship may have sailed, and Vostok may simply not be able to salvage Fear the Wolves.

[Note: A copy of Fear the Wolves was provided by Focus Home Interactive for the purpose of this review.]

The Spirit of the '90s Is Alive in ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:36:21 -0500 Ashley Shankle

Console wars may not be a huge thing today, but back when I was growing up in the early '90s, they were roaring and they were fierce. Sega Genesis or Super Nintendo? Sonic or Mario? Arcade-y games or RPGs?

Whichever console you pledged allegiance to in the early portion of the decade affected your social circle in school, and probably which friends' houses you'd go to. Close friends for the same console, somewhat estranged for the other.

If you had a Genesis and you had a friend with a SNES, you'd probably try to go to their house once in a while to check out their games. Maybe you'd act snooty and say what you have at home is better. Maybe you'd push those feelings of wanting a SNES deep down because you knew you'd never get one.

The same would apply to SNES owners with a friend who had a Genesis, too. It was a weird time.

My family wasn't rolling in money, so I only had a Nintendo, PC, and Game Gear until 1997, but I'd hound my friends and family to let me come play their Genesis for years before that. So although I didn't have a Genesis, I was a Sega kid at heart. Sonic was crazy cool, the Shinobi games consistently blew my mind, and ToeJam & Earl just kept finding its way into my life.

I'd go to someone's house who had a Genesis, and they'd either have the first or second game in the series. It was inevitable: It seemed like everyone who had a Sega Genesis had ToeJam & Earl or the sequel.

(Image source)

When I finally got my Genesis in 1997, ToeJam & Earl was one of the first games I grabbed. Before I knew what a roguelike was, I was restarting (see: losing) ToeJam & Earl again and again.

I loved that it was different each time, and opening presents to see what they did was pretty satisfying to little Ashley. At one point, I even had dreams about running from the devil enemy to save my presents. One might say I played a little too much ToeJam & Earl, but such is the nature of the beast. At least that is what I tell myself.

Growing Pains

For many Genesis owners in the '90s, ToeJam & Earl was their first taste of a randomized game. It was certainly my first taste, but by no means was it my last. From there, I went to freeware Castle of the Winds on PC, and to increasingly difficult titles as I got older and even into today. 

For many reasons, TJ&E lit a fire in me for roguelites and roguelikes that has yet to go out, the burning need for games that will always surprise, always challenge, and always force me to consider their unpredictable natures. 

Although it was a graphically impressive platformer at the time, I skipped buying ToeJam & Earl in Panic on Funkotron because it abandoned those roguelike qualities of the original. I'd played it enough, I was done.

Sega kids who owned a Dreamcast may have been as excited as I was when they heard TJ&E was being developed for the Dreamcast, but were most likely equally disappointed it never made it to the console. Releasing one of my favorite childhood games on a non-Sega platform (Xbox) almost immediately after the Dreamcast died felt like a punch to the gut. It honestly felt like the end to those characters and the series.

I'm sure some other Sega kids can echo having a similar feeling, too; they can also probably relate to my excitement regarding the launch of the ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove Kickstarter in 2015 and its subsequent funding. 

While Panic on Funkotron on the Genesis veered a little too far from the original formula and Mission to Earth on the Xbox seemed to flub up the series' classic gameplay, Back in the Groove promised to stick to the core top-view gameplay found in the first ToeJam & Earl, while still being fresh.

Today, less than a month ahead of Back in the Groove, I can say that it's not so much that the game "seems" to stick to the core gameplay found in the original game, but that it really "does" it. I can't say much just yet because embargoes, but I can say that fans of the 1991 original will find themselves feeling at home with Back in the Groove, as I certainly have.

(Image source)

Time Wins

Over the years, there are little details you forget about a game you haven't played in a while. Perhaps a longer than optimal introduction, a whole aspect of the gameplay, or little bits of information like what certain items do. It's only natural, totally normal.

Of the original TJ&E, I still remember looking for secret passages, collecting ship pieces, and using presents to my benefit and occasional dismay. With Back in the Groove on the horizon, I started thinking about how the series may have affected my tastes in games even today. 

Both of the TJ&E's Genesis games oozed the era's funk and hip hop culture, and they were completely made in that style. The music, the dialogue, the entire feel of each game was something otherworldly yet familiar to anyone who stepped foot outside at the time.

ToeJam & Earl was born of an era filled with platform-based tribalism that no console generation has been so subject to since, and in some ways, it encapsulates what made some people choose the Genesis aside from its lower price. Thanks to Sega's marketing, the Genesis was framed as being the "cool" console, and games like TJ&E and Panic on Funkotron did a lot to aid that perception.

Even now, it's impossible not to think about the overall package of these games because they seem to be developed with that exact window and that exact timeframe of North American media and culture in mind, and both titles play it up without an ounce of shame or derision.

Nothing in TJ&E seemed out of place in the early '90s. ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove could not have come at a better time.

Nostalgia for the 1990s is at its peak and, sans the odd Nicktoon reboot, nothing could do a better job of displaying the sort of attitude so unique to the early portion of the decade than the revival of a game series so dripping with earnest love for that point in history.

We all know who won between Sega and Nintendo now, 25+ years in the future. I could write a thousand more words on my personal theories about the differences between Sega and Nintendo kids, but those differences mean little now in the ever-ticking face of time.

To say one is a "Sega kid" or "Nintendo kid" today is just foolish, it just doesn't work that way anymore. Things have changed. However, to take a dip in that pool to take a dip into a time where we were all more optimistic, more focused on the now and not the past or the future makes all those old memories come flooding back like they were just hidden in the cabinet under the sink and waiting to be found. It's a good feeling.

If at some point you did consider yourself a Sega kid, mark your calendar for ToeJam & Earl: Back in the Groove's release on March 1. It's not 1991 anymore, you can get it on any one of many platforms, PS4, PC, Xbox One, Switch, whichever. Take your pick.

You won't have any trouble remembering what it was like back then, you won't even do it on purpose. It just happens, as with all things.

8 Best Mods For The Resident Evil 2 Remake Fri, 15 Feb 2019 22:41:15 -0500 Ty Arthur


With the RE2 remake still a fairly new release, we can expect to see many more mods arrive in the coming months. This brief list is just the tip of the T-Virus iceberg.


What did you think of these picks, and have you found any other must install Resident Evil 2 remake mods? Let us know what we missed in the comments section below.


If you're wondering, yes, the nude mods have started arriving, but we generally keep those articles separate. You can take a gander at what's available so far over here.


Fixed Camera Angle Mod (Unfinished)


This is an unfinished mod that isn't quite ready for public consumption yet. When completed, it will be another way to bring some of the classic Resident Evil 2 feel to the remake, switching to the old school fixed camera angle.


Personally, I always felt the fixed camera angles of the early RE games were more of a hindrance to be overcome than a desirable aesthetic we should return to. To each their own I suppose...


Swap Mr. X With Nemesis (Unfinished)


Oh boy, this one is just going to further fuel many fans' strong desire for a full fledged Resident Evil 3 remake. Sadly, it is currently a work in progress that can't actually be downloaded yet, but the promising preview video shows Tyrant, the infamous Mr. X, replaced with a skin of Nemesis from RE3.


Hopefully, this mod doesn't turn out like the horde of super awesome looking Fallout mods that never seem to ever get finished. If you notice a download link finally go up for the Nemesis mod, be sure to leave us a comment.


Classic Claire


Not too keen on some of the updated character models and outfits? A handful of classic themes are returning now through mods, including this one that gives Claire her old red outfit back.


This mod is still a work in progress, as most of these early mods are. As such, you may notice some issues occasionally with weapons clipping oddly in the new model.


Vignette Removal


If you hadn't noticed, the RE2 remake features a heavy vignette effect that darkens the edges of the screens like an old photo. While that looks cool for a while, it also makes it difficult to see certain details.


If you'd prefer more clarity, this mod simply removes the effect. It gives you overall brighter and lighter visuals that are easier to make out while running from horrible creatures.


VHS Filter


Another one clearly inspired by segments of Resident Evil 7, this mod simply makes the game look more old school by adding in occasional VHS tracking lines. This makes it feel more like it came out in the '80s or '90s before the advent and widespread usage of disc-based technology.


This mod is simple, but it is effective in changing the tone of the game. Furthermore, when it is combined with the first-person mod, it becomes very clear that we need a VR rendition of Resident Evil 2 post-haste.


Classic UI


The whole point of a remake is to bring a classic game up to modern standards, but some players may still prefer elements of the original RE2. That's where this mod comes in, changing many of the remake's upgraded UI elements to those from the classic, old school release. 


Just want some of the changes but not all of them? A future update to the mod is expected to bring a toggle option so that you can choose which classic elements you want to keep and which to jettison.


First-Person Mode


Did you love the first-person view of Resident Evil 7 and want to see it return in the RE2 remake? That's a lot easier than many would have thought, as this nifty little mod shows.


Surprisingly, the first-person mode is mostly seamless, with just a few hiccups here and there. If there's a top candidate for something from the mod community that the developers need to make official, it's this one right here.


X Gon' Give It To Ya 


Let's start off with the best mod hands down — one in which a Resident Evil 2 meme becomes reality. Yep, you can now hear DMX's X Gon' Give It To Ya, rather than the original soundtrack music, every single time Mr. X chases you around the mansion.


This one requires a good deal of work, as it isn't available as a straight mod through any of the usual sites. Instead, you've got to download it through a file hosting service and then manually make changes to get the song to play.


The links and files have been removed a few times already, but they keep popping back up. This is why we've linked to the instructional post above instead of directly to the mod.


You had to know it was coming. Now that the Resident Evil 2 remake is finally here, the avalanche of fan made mods has begun to arrive.


Sadly, there's no Steam Workshop support yet, which mostly limits the options to the big sites like Nexus Mods. Despite that limitation, there are already some mods that you simply have to download to enhance your experience when returning to this classic zombie shooter, and some, like this Dino Crisis mod, that are just dripping with nostalgia.


In the following slides we round up the best options currently available, including a handful of mods that make the game more like the original '98 version — which is kind of ironic, but sometimes nostalgia gets the best of us. These mods also cover major UI changes, such as adding in a first-person mode.