Xbox Platform RSS Feed | Xbox RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Anthem Demo Dates Announced Sat, 08 Dec 2018 11:09:22 -0500 William R. Parks

Following a new trailer at Thursday's Game Awards, Anthem is starting to step into the spotlight prior to its February launch. This is further established by the beginning of the game's closed alpha, set for this weekend, and while not everyone will be able to participate in this testing phase, a newly announced demo will give players an opportunity to tryout the game before its release.

Anthem's demo will be made available in two stages, first to "VIPs" on January 25 and then to all players on February 1. The VIP Demo will be for players that pre-order the new multiplayer RPG as well as EA Access and Origin Access subscribers.

This is a different approach than the one EA has taken with the closed alpha, where preference is not given to pre-orderers and subscribers, however, the rest of the potential player base will not be far behind with the Open Demo. That said, VIPs will receive an "in-game item celebrating their trailblazing spirit." 

"It's time for the fans to get their hands on Anthem and experience it for themselves," Lead Producer Mike Gamble states in the demo announcement. "We truly hope they enjoy this taste of flying and fighting in this brand-new world our team has been crafting for many years."

Since the game's official announcement at E3 2017, BioWare has focused first on familiarizing fans with Anthem's gameplay. This is indeed a logical approach, as Director Jonathan Warner has indicated that the studio is taking a gameplay-first approach to developing this one.

However, with the trailer showcased at The Game Awards, it is clear that BioWare is also committed to offering an elaborate story and expansive world in Anthem. This will feature factions and NPCs to engage with and a powerful force capable of tearing the universe asunder.

While it remains to be seen how gameplay and narrative will coalesce in the game, it seems that fans of BioWare's previous releases need not worry that they have gone in an entirely new direction here. Fortunately, with this newly announced demo, everyone is going to have the opportunity to experience the game before buying it.

14 Awesome Multiplayer Weapons in Monster Hunter: World Sat, 08 Dec 2018 11:07:54 -0500 Tim White

Monster Hunter: World becomes a substantially different game depending on whether you're playing it alone or with others. In multiplayer mode, monsters get much tougher and often attack differently. As such, your favorite weapons to use when playing alone might not be ideal in co-op, and vice-versa.

With hundreds of weapons to choose from, finding a few that you love can seem overwhelming. MHW is pretty well balanced, and different players will always have different preferences; this guide is certainly not intended to be The Final Word in the best weapons, only to highlight some of our favorites and point out their niftiest features.

Note: Because not all players may have access to limited event weapons, they are not eligible for inclusion in this list.

Note #2: Weapon damage ratings (weak, low, average, high, outstanding) are assessed relative to typical damage values for that class of weapon, not against all weapons; the strongest dual blades are obviously going to have much lower base damage than the weakest hammers.

Charge Blade

Often considered the most difficult weapons in the game to master, charge blades are slow and have complex move sets, but make up for it by having excellent offensive and defensive capabilities, whereas most other weapons aren't so great at one or the other. All other factors being equal, charge blades have the highest damage potential of any weapon class. Their large shields can also block all but the very strongest Elder Dragon attacks.

Our pick: Devastation's Thorns

Attack power: High
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
Not only does this charge blade deal pretty good damage to just about everything, it's utterly devastating to Elder Dragons, and only slightly less so to anything else with an aversion to dragon damage. Its impact phials make its non-elemental axe form attacks even more potent, and with teammates around to pull some of the aggro, you'll be free to attack more liberally, ensuring that this weapon's high elderseal stays active at all times. (The shield component of this weapon is also super strong, if you're a tanky charge blade user.)


Hammers have the shortest range of any weapon other than dual blades, but they're built specifically for hitting things in the face and stunning, so they're great for getting monsters that like to rage frequently to take a chill pill.

Our pick: Pandemonium's Root

Attack power: High
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
As a hammer user in a party with others, your main job is generally to hit the monster in the face repeatedly in order to stun it as often as possible (and to break its parts for extra drops). This weapon's 270 dragon damage and average elderseal are both pretty darn good for a hammer with such high base damage, and the same is true of its single level two decoration slot. You can do (a little) better in terms of raw damage, but you'd have to sacrifice some of the extras.

Dual Blades

Dual blades have the fastest attack speed of any weapon, but deal the least damage per hit (obviously). This makes them superb for inflicting status effects, and their unique demon mode is capable of dealing out surprisingly big damage for such little weapons.

Our pick: Fire and Ice

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: The biggest limitation of dual blades for solo players is the fact that your DPS is compromised by needing to dodge frequently, but with teammates around, dual blades users generally pull the least aggro. This means you're free to take advantage of both ice and blast damage at impressive values of 240 each. As long as your target doesn't fully resist either, you can dish out a lot of pain with this weapon, especially if you bring armor that enhances affinity or Blast Attack.


Greatswords are both slower than charge blades and less damaging on a DPS basis. You might ask: "Why use them, then?" Well, they're easier to handle and they boast higher damage per hit, making them the best choice for waking up sleeping monsters. They also don't limit dodging quite as much as charge blades do.

Our pick: Purgation's Atrocity

Attack power: High
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
This is the third strongest greatsword in terms of base attack power, and it boasts another 150 dragon damage and high elderseal on top of that. With other hunters helping out, you should be able to attack more aggressively, taking full advantage of all that hard-hitting goodness. Adding Health Regeneration to its single augmentation slot has the potential to make you nigh unkillable.

Long Sword

Long swords are the most popular weapon in Monster Hunter: World according to the wandering Wyverian, and it's not hard to see why: they're the most versatile and flexible weapon class. Featuring decent range, damage, and speed, long swords are a solid choice if you're not sure what to expect or if you'll be taking on several different monsters at once.

Our pick: Reaver "Calamity"

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
The Reaver "Calamity" is the single hardest hitting long sword—759 base damage is amazing, considering how quick these weapons can be. 210 dragon damage and high elderseal, along with two augmentation slots, make this decision kind of a no-brainer, even though it lacks decoration slots. Recruit some teammates to pull aggro so you can go to town on the target undisturbed.


These truly weird weapons are tricky to master, but capable of both great offense and defense in skilled hands. They're not quite as good at either as charge blades, but they're somewhat more user-friendly and even I (a devout charge blade user) have to admit that gunlances are way cooler.

Our pick: Earthshaker Magda Lahat

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: Green
Decoration slots: 

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
Don't be underwhelmed by this weapon's middle-of-the-road attack power or its absence of decoration slots—it boasts long-range shells and level 4 shells, making its ranged attacks among the most devastating to be found in its class. Being a Zorah Magdaros weapon, it also makes everything explode with a whopping 420 blast damage. With fellow hunters distracting the monster, you can fire off slow, long-range charge attacks in relative safety—or shoot the monster right in the face at point-blank range if you're in charge of tanking.


I must confess that I know less about lances than any other weapon, but to the extent that I've used them, I find them to be a better choice for multiplayer than for solo play. They lack the ranged and burst damage options of gunlances, but offer better maneuverability, better defense, and more consistent (if lower) melee damage, making them a more "vanilla" (but still useful) weapon.

Our pick: Empress Lance "Blaze"

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 2 (x1), Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
If you're a lance user in a party, odds are you're the designated tank. Keeping that in mind, it's hard to ignore the free rank of Guts you get from this lance, which will let you survive a fatal hit once per battle. Its 20% affinity is bested only by a small handful of other lances, and you've got 180 blast damage as well. Taken as a whole package, this weapon makes you a veritable bastion of defense while also granting above-average offensive potential.

Switch Axe

If a charge blade and a greatsword had a baby, that would be extremely weird, and the baby would be a switch axe. These awkward weapons have a strange feel and rhythm to them, but make good offensive weapons in trained hands. They lack both the incredible damage potential and the major weaknesses of their parents.

Our pick: Jagras Raider III

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1), Lv. 2 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
As you've no doubt learned, rarity isn't everything when it comes to comparing different weapons. Though the Jagras Raider III is "only" a rarity 6 weapon, that does mean you get three augmentation slots to play with. What's more, it has dormant sleep damage of 240 (you'll need Hidden Element to take advantage of it) and 210 exhaust power, meaning it's capable of tiring monsters out fast and frequently. Since monsters can't use their worst attacks when they're exhausted, your teammates will thank you.

Sword & Shield

The bread and butter of fantasy melee weapons, the good old sword n' board does it all. While long swords are also versatile weapons, they're mostly offensive in nature, whereas swords and shields are better suited for defensive play. They also have a unique property: they're the only class of weapon that permits item usage (and slinger shots!) in combat while blocking, which is an enormous advantage during tougher fights.

Our pick: Grand Barong II

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
You're never going to get superlative damage output with a sword n' board, so embrace its other strengths instead. The main attraction here is the 300 paralysis damage that can lock monsters down for your allies to wail on, but it's dormant, so you'll need to invest in Hidden Element. It also grants a +10 defense bonus, which is unusual for this weapon class. Swords and shields are designed to be versatile, so do whatever makes the most sense for you with its three augmentation slots and single level three decoration slot.

Insect Glaive

An insect glaive was the first weapon I tried in MHW, and I hated it at first. It's now my second favorite weapon type. Glaives take some getting used to, but they offer the best speed and mobility of any weapon, and they have some nifty extra abilities too. Glaive users spend most of their time in the air, excel at dodging and mounting, and can inflict multiple element or status effects on the fly with different glaive and kinsect combos.

Our pick: Xeno Shmaena

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: White
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x2)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
Few glaives offer stamina boost as a kinsect bonus, but this is one of them. (Note that this refers to your kinsect's stamina recovery, not yours; this boost allows you to dispatch your bug more frequently.) 15% affinity is decent for a glaive; you can boost that number way higher if you're an affinity-based fighter, or just focus on keeping the monster under low elderseal with an unrelenting barrage of aerial attacks. Consider allocating a few armor skill slots to Handicraft to boost this glaive's offensive potential.

Hunting Horn

It's not quite fair to say that hunting horns are useless to solo players, but they're definitely intended to form the backbone of a party. Their buffing and healing songs will be of limited use to lone hunters, but can overcharge a party's abilities to an impressive degree.

Our pick: Teostra's Orphée

Attack power: High
Sharpness: Blue
Decoration slots: 

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
As any experienced Monster Hunter vet will tell you, status effects are often way more dangerous than a monster's direct damage attacks—but Teostra's Orphée has you covered on both sides. It can play Divine Protection and All Ailments Negated songs, and it can also turn the tables on enemies by boosting your allies with an Abnormal Status Attack Increased song. It can't restore HP directly, but that's about the only support task it can't do.


Bows are definitely meant to be used in multiplayer, as they're primarily for distracting or lightly stunning enemies and for inflicting status effects. They're ideal for lazy players that don't like to do much dodging, too; stay well out of range, and monsters will rarely bother to come harass you.

Our pick: Xeno Metora

Attack power: Average
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x2)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
This bow can use power coatings by default, which means if you want access to the two it doesn't have (sleep and paralysis), you can add them via decorations in order to support the team more effectively. Its 15% affinity, low elderseal and 180 dragon damage are all respectable, making it more physically powerful than many other bows as well as useful for keeping Elder Dragons under control from a safe distance.

Light Bowgun

As you might expect, light bowguns fire more quickly and permit greater mobility than their heavy counterparts at the cost of reduced damage. They're great with support ammo for inflicting status effects, and they can plant mines in the ground to set up traps for moderate damage.

Our pick: Devil's Madness

Attack power: Outstanding
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
This bowgun is hard to control and has negative affinity, but it's got great base damage and two augmentation slots to play with. However, it has a hidden property that isn't openly advertised: it deals amazing slicing damage, making it superb at severing monster parts from afar. Most light bowguns don't really distinguish themselves from one another, so this one stands out from the crowd and can be a great support weapon.

Heavy Bowgun

Beefier and slower than its little brother, heavy bowguns can be particularly challenging to use effectively without teammates, as they're slow and unwieldy, and they make dodging difficult. But if you do have a friend or two backing you up, heavy bowguns become much more useful.

Our pick: Empress Cannon "Styx"

Attack power: High
Sharpness: N/A
Decoration slots: 
Lv. 3 (x1), Lv. 1 (x1)

Why it's great for cooperative play: 
There are stronger HBGs out there, but damage isn't what this weapon class is all about anyway. The main draw here is the free rank of Spare Shot, which grants every shot fired a chance to not consume ammo; this means you can support your team effectively throughout much longer fights. After that, the medium-tier affinity rating and decoration slots are just added bonuses.


There you have it! Hopefully you'll fall in love with at least a few weapons from this list, but even if you don't find your forever weapon, perhaps you've learned something useful about different ways to evaluate other options.

Keep an eye on our Monster Hunter: World hub page for more guides.

Mortal Kombat 11 Release Date Announced at The Game Awards Fri, 07 Dec 2018 17:32:45 -0500 William R. Parks

As promised, last night's Game Awards not only focused on celebrating a year of great games, but it also looked forward to what the future of gaming holds, showcasing a slew of new game trailers and announcements. Amongst these reveals was one that is likely to have stood out to fighting game fans the world over: Mortal Kombat 11 is on its way.

Mortal Kombat 11 is set for release on April 23, 2019, and it is coming to PC, PS4, Xbox One, and Switch. This reveal was accompanied by an extravagantly violent trailer featuring Raiden and (apparently) two Scorpions locked in a brutal battle. While the meaning of these multiple manifestations of the undead ninja is open for speculation, there are further concrete details for fans to latch on to.

One such piece of information is that those that pre-order Mortal Kombat 11 will not only get access to Shao Kahn as a playable character, but they will also be invited to the fighter's closed beta. Pre-orders open on December 7, and the beta is scheduled for March, though it is important to note that only PS4 and Xbox One owners will be able to participate.

Furthermore, Mortal Kombat 11 will give players "unprecedented control to customize the fighters" with its new Custom Character Variations, and it includes a cinematic story mode. Additionally, it has been confirmed that the fighter utilizes a more powerful graphics engine than its predecessor.

While all of this information is a healthy start to getting fan excitement going, a Community Reveal Event is scheduled for January 17, and many further details are likely to be presented then. This may include elaboration on the "new and returning Klassic Fighters" that are said to comprise the game's roster.

Last weekend, an alleged Mortal Kombat 11 QA tester took to 4chan, leaking many details about the new fighter, including that it would emphasize customization and be revealed at The Game Awards. While these two statements are now proven, it is not a guarantee that the leaks are valid in full.

However, for those that do not wish to wait for new details at the Community Reveal Event, these assertions are still available on 4chan.

Just Cause 4's Region Strikes are the Definition of Disappointment Fri, 07 Dec 2018 16:14:32 -0500 Jonathan Moore

In my Just Cause 4 review, I was pretty lenient on region strikes, the secondary missions you undertake to gain control of new regions. Now I'm beginning to think that was a mistake. 

This morning, I played three region strikes back to back to back. All three of them had the exact same flow:

  1. Destroy generators on one side of a Black Hand facility
  2. Destroy generators on the other side of the facility
  3. Destroy generators where the first generators were (because more have magically appeared completely out of thin air)
  4. Drive a vehicle to a hacker hiding in a garage
  5. drive said hacker to a set of terminals
  6. Defend hacker as he hacks terminal 1
  7. Then defend as he hacks terminal 2
  8. Then defend as he hacks terminal 3 

This. I performed this exact sequence three times in a row in three different regions. I've got one word for this tripe: disappointment. 

Why Are They So Bad?!

Sometimes, these missions exchange generators for breakers and remove the shenanigans of chauffeuring hackers from Point A to Point B, but this is the computational equivalent of semantics.

There is no difference between the two seemingly disparate objectives in any sense of the word. To hide the fact region strikes are mundane as all hell, Just Cause 4 will sometimes(!) let you push the buttons yourself (woooooow).

All this does is save you from the utterly inane claptrap that is killing 75 infinitely-spawning Black Hand soldiers while also furiously honking the horn of an artillery truck while a halfwit hacker runs from passenger side to driver's side helplessly trying to get in, taking half a bar of damage in the process. 

In the handful of cases you aren't escorting and defending said hacker, it's entirely possible to take over a Black Hand facility without firing a single shot in anger -- or even a single shot at all.

Why, Though?!

You could just use your tether to fly from one end of the base to the other pressing buttons. Eventually, Sargento, one of the game's rebel leaders, will come across the comms and give you an appropriately undeserved "Attaboy!" for your efficient, yet utterly unsatisfying efforts. 

Oh yeah, you can also extract hostages sometimes. But this is still escort and defend. It's always escort and defend or press buttons. Always. 

My point is this: Just Cause 4 wastes the plethora of zany options at its disposal by pigeonholing every region strike into a paint-by-numbers snoozefest that does a very poor job of engaging the player.

This aspect of the game is just plain lazy, completely laughing in the face of its own creatively wacky ethos. Of course, you get to blow shit up, but that only covers the underlying blemishes so much. It's infinitely more fun to just randomly wreak chaos than capitulate to these missions. 

Seriously, Why?!

Problem is, you ultimately have to do region strikes to progress and get better gear and vehicles. You have no choice but to submit yourself to this repetitive and mundane test of player will and patience.

I don't mind some defense and escort missions; I don't mind some hacking/stealth/espionage missions. I'd wager you don't mind some either, especially as their inclusion tweaks the blistering action-movie pace of the series in sometimes interesting ways. However, it's downright unacceptable to leave so much on the table and not even give the appearance of trying. It's not just unacceptable -- it's disappointing.

Like, why doesn't the weather system play any part in some of these takeovers. Aside from one (one!) region strike "thoughtfully" placed inside a sandstorm, there's not so much as a single drop of weather in the 40 other strikes. Yeah, you have to do this 40 other times.

Let us control a tornado, for God's sake; let us use it to demolish everything in sight and wipe out mobs of soldiers in glorious tornadic wonder. I dunno, maybe let us use a lightning storm to fry a base's infrastructure like you do early in the game. I mean, let us at least have the chance take over a base in a full-scale assault, putting Frontline squads to even greater (and even more interesting) use.

OMFG, Why?!

Nearly anything would be better than the mind-numbing repetition found in region strikes. Anything. 

At the end of the day, it's all emblematic of a sad state of affairs for the Just Cause sequel. Since the series is so predicated on user choice and "emergent" gameplay, continually handcuffing players into a singular playstyle undermines the entire experience. Historically, you've been able to use the game's toolset to light the world on fire as you see fit -- or slap rocket boosters on the ass end of a cow and let er' rip.

Once you've blasted a burly bovine into the stratosphere, there ain't no goin' back. Forced into rote mission repetition, it simply feels like in some of its most promising moments, Just Cause 4 chose to leave its "emergent gameplay" on the cutting room floor.

Before setting it on fire. 

Then loading it into the deck gun of a Conquistador Warship and launching it out to sea. 

'Tis the Season to Be Gaming: A Guide to 2018's Winter Gaming Events Fri, 07 Dec 2018 12:14:21 -0500 Victoria B.


This month will be filled with all sorts of new content for you to enjoy, so be sure to celebrate the season by playing with your friends this month while these additions are available.


We'll be keeping an eye out for more announcements from developers as new holiday events arise, so check back for further updates.


Killing Floor 2 -- Twisted Christmas: Season's Beatings 


Killing Floor has tons of new content for its players this season with Season’s Beatings.


Play as killer Santa Clause as you slice through zeds and take on Krampus to reclaim your workshop on the new map Santa’s Workshop.


You can also fight the crowds of Black Friday zeds in the new map Shopping Spree. On top of that, use an arsenal of new weapons which include Krampus Battle Axe, M32 Grenade Launcher, Fire Axe, and the Road Redeemer.


Oh, and did we mention that the one and only Gary Busey voices Badass Santa? That alone is worth checking out. 


Rocket League -- Frosty Fest


No official announcements have been made regarding Rocket League’s Frosty Fest. However, last year’s event ran from December 11 to January 2, and it brought all sorts of antennas, toppers, wheels, rocket boosts, and decals.


Playing various matches, including hockey, rewards players with snowflakes, used to obtain new holiday content.


While we wait for the Frosty Fest to return, we can still look forward to the recent Rocket Pass 2 announcement, which will be available starting December 10. Buying a premium upgrade for this pass ($9.99) will include the new Artemis Battle-Car.


Fortnite -- Winter Royale: Season 7


Winter Royale will officially dropped on December 6 and the seventh season has brought all sorts of holiday-themed themed content. Remember, however, this content comes at a price. You must purchase the battle pass for exclusive tier content, primarily skins.


Some of these new skins include:

  • Srg. Winter -- A ripped and battle worn version of santa
  • \n
  • Yetti -- A blue skinned monster with white fur and crossed eyes.
  • \n
  • Pajama -- A burger onesie complete with slippers and a googly eyed hood.
  • \n
  • Lynx -- A legendary sleek cat suit.
  • \n
  • The Ice King -- Another legendary skin of a cloaked man with glowing blue eyes and icy boots.
  • \n

Once jumping from the bus with your new skin and gear, you’ll find the map coated in snow and ice to fit the season.


Destiny 2 -- Dawning 


Destiny 2’s Dawning event will be returning once again this year, but at a later time that it’s previous release.


The official start date will be December 11, but no end date is currently in sight. You’ll find the farm and tower decorated, Dawning engrams, game modes, and quests.


Though there are few announcements on what to anticipate in this year’s Dawning event, there may be returning game modes and content. Be sure you check into the Crucible once the event is released because the developers may bring back last year’s Mayhem PvP mode, which lowered cooldowns for intense and fast-paced matches.


Another added feature were snowball fights. It is likely you will be able to pummel your friends and enemies with snowballs both inside and outside matches.


New quests and milestones usually come with the winter updates, and though there are no official announcements on what they could entail (outside of confirmed powerful gear drops), rumors suggest it could be centered around Eva Levante.


Rewards and engrams for the crucible, strike, and quests are bound to contain themed armor, weapons, shaders, and more.


Overwatch -- Winter Wonderland


It’s round three for Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland event, so here’s what you should expect as far as game modes, skins, loot boxes, and environmental map changes.


This update will be active December 11 to January 2, but for those of you who have added new game modes to your wish list, you may be disappointed.


The Overwatch team has expressed that they will not be adding new game modes for events this year and will instead bring back recurring seasonal game modes while focusing on new heroes and balancing current ones.


This means we will most likely be seeing “Mei’s Snowball Offensive” on Ecopoint: Antarctica and 2017’s “Yetti Hunter” on Nepal return to the arcade for the winter season.


However, some of the maps will be adjusted to fit the holidays. The locations that will be festive and decorated with snow, lights, and trees this year include Blizzard World and King’s Row.


Along with these game modes and environment changes, be prepared for new legendary and epic skins, one of which Overwatch has already announced as Zarya’s Snowboarder Legendary skin, equipped with furry bear hat and tail.


This year’s previous Halloween Terror event brought with it nine new skins, so players can expect a similar turnout for 2018’s Winter Wonderland. Loot boxes are also bound to contain seasonally themed sprays, emotes, highlights, and voice lines.


Monster Hunter World -- Winter Star Fest


Capcom is joining the festivities this year with their latest update for Monster Hunter: World, the Winter Star Fest. Log in each day between November 30 and December 17 for rewards, consumables, quests, costumes, emotes, and festivities.


Celebrate the season at the The Celestial Pursuit, which is decked with cascading lights and ornaments. NPC characters also don winter wear to match the holiday spirit.


Along with changes to the environment, you will find new gear for your hunter. Every day that you jump into the game, you will be gifted with Winter Star tickets. Gathering star tickets will allow you the craft the new Orion winter gear for your journey, along with adorable snowcat costumes for your paleco and sweaters for your pig, Poogie

If you missed special event quests throughout the year, you will now be able to seek them out again since the star fest is bringing back old and new quests for players. Be sure to keep up with the winter schedule here to avoid missing opportunities. 


Sleigh bells ring in the distance. Gamer’s rage, but we won’t listen. It’s a beautiful site. We’re happy tonight. Season events are coming 'round again.


December is here -- and you know what that means. Holiday events are back on our PC’s and consoles this month with new winter and Christmas updates. It’s time to dive back into those games we love and spend these cold days wrapped in a warm blanket with a steamy cup of coffee.


Let's warm up, boot up, and level up. 

The Game Awards: Pre-Show World Premieres Include Switch Rhythm Game Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:50:34 -0500 QuintLyn

Prior to the official kick-off of the annual video game celebration The Game Awards, fans and attendees got first-looks at several new games and a surprise announcement.

Sayonara Wild Hearts

The evening kicked off with the reveal trailer for a new Nintendo Switch Rhythm game from Simogo titled Sayonara Wild Hearts. The trailer gave a brief look at some of the characters but didn't offer any other information about the game other than that it should be available sometime in 2019.

Journey to the Savage Planet

The second early announcement was for a game from a brand new studio. Canadian company Typhoon Studios, along with 505 Games, Epic Games, and the Makers Fund, revealed their sci-fi adventure game Journey to the Savage Planet.

While the devs don't plan to show much in the way of gameplay until next year, they did explicitly state it is not a battle royale or survivial game.

The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe

Possibly one of the biggest surprises among the announcements at The Game Awards was from the developer of The Stanley Parable. Five years after the game originally launched on PC, it is now coming to consoles.

It won't be a direct port, however. Instead, it will be an Ultra Deluxe version containing new endings and content along with the base game.

Among Trees

Another unexpected reveal was from self-described micro-studio FJRD Interactive. Their first game, Among Trees, is a survival adventure game slated to come to early access on Steam next year.

Not a lot is known about the gameplay, but the graphics are definitely eye-catching.

For more things Game Awards, head over to our Game Awards hub.

The Game Awards: The Outer Worlds Trailer Out-Fallouts Fallout Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:45:35 -0500 QuintLyn

Tonight, at The Video Game Awards, Obsidian, the developers of Fallout: New Vegas, premiered the trailer for their upcoming sci-fi game, The Outer Worlds -- a single-player, first-person sci-fi RPG.

The trailer starts with the player's character waking up from stasis in an unfamiliar place. It's filled with quirky characters living in a vibrant world (or worlds since we're talking about a galaxy here).

The player will find themselves caught up in a huge conspiracy that threatens the galaxy, and they must deal with various factions fighting for control. The story's still a little hazy, but the game essentially looks like Fallout in space. 

The Outer Worlds is built upon the player choice, with each decision made affecting how the story plays out.

Already, YouTube commenters are looking at this as not only a spiritual successor to Fallout: New Vegas, but some have declared it the game that will "rescue us" from Fallout 76. Others are noting it's as if Fallout had a baby with Borderlands.

Even without comparing the game to anything else, it looks stunning. I know I can't wait to get my grubby hands on it.

The Outer Worlds does not currently have a release date, but it will be coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. 

Obsidian was recently acquired by Microsoft. 

The Game Awards: BioWare Highlights Story In Anthem Trailer Fri, 07 Dec 2018 00:14:57 -0500 QuintLyn

If the world premiere trailer at The Game Awards 2018 is any indication, BioWare isn't skimping on story when it comes to Anthem. The game has been on the radar of most gamers since it was first announced, with many looking at it as a direct competitor to Bungie's Destiny series. However, there's still a lot we don't know about the game.

With the game being a BioWare title, many hope it will have the kind of story they've come to expect from the developer after games like Mass Effect and Dragon Age.

Tonight's trailer offered players a look at the game world, including several NPCs players will interact with, various locations, and the game's main big bad, the Monitor.

While the trailer doesn't offer any new info on gameplay, it does go some way to indicate players might be getting what they expect from BioWare when it comes to narrative.

Anthem will reportedly have two demos ahead of its 2019 release. The first demo will be only available to those who pre-order the game. It will run for two days, beginning January 25 and ending January 27. Anthem's second pre-release demo will run from February 1 to February 3. 

You can see more trailers, as well as Anthem gameplay, over at the game's official YouTube channel

Where to Pre-Order Far Cry New Dawn Thu, 06 Dec 2018 23:50:13 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Far Cry New Dawn may have just been announced at The Game Awards, but a handful of retailers and marketplaces, including Amazon, Gamestop, PlayStation Network, Steam, and the Xbox Marketplace, already have pre-orders locked and loaded for the game's February 19, 2019 release. 

New Dawn will, of course, be available in both physical and digital formats, and there will be two editions, a $39.99 standard edition and a $49.99 deluxe edition.

As of this writing, and since the game was just announced, we don't know the exact pre-order bonuses each retailer will be providing, but we do know that the deluxe edition will give you access to "additional weapons, outfits, and vehicle skins". We will update this article when bonuses for each storefront are announced.

Here's where you can pre-order each edition right now. Note that not all platforms and editions are available on every storefront at the current time, but they should be made available in the coming days. 


PlayStation 4
Xbox One


PlayStation 4
Xbox One

Best Buy

PlayStation 4
Xbox One

PlayStation Network

Xbox Marketplace


Set in post-apocalyptic Hope County, Montana, the newest installment in the long-running FPS series is set 17 years after the ending of Far Cry 5, and it is the first game in the franchise to be a direct sequel. 

Based on the game's reveal trailer, players can expect more Mad Max than Fallout, as well as a vibrant color palette that rivals the one seen in Rage 2.

Far Cry New Dawn will also feature online co-op play, and allow players to craft new weapons from old items, including (hopefully) the high-profile saw-gun that's been heavily featured in the game's trailers. 

The Game Awards: Far Cry: New Dawn Is A Post-Apocalyptic Montana Romp Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:54:03 -0500 QuintLyn

Over the past week, The Game Awards and Ubisoft have been busy hyping up the reveal of the next title in the Far Cry franchise.  Of course -- as is the case with such highly anticipated games -- there was a bit in the way of leaks cluing people in to what the focus of the game might be.

Well, now we know for sure.

Far Cry: New Dawn's official trailer was aired about halfway into the award show, giving fans their first true look at the game's post-apocalyptic universe.

New Dawn in a standalone sequel to Far Cry 5. It takes place in Hope County, Montana, 17 years after a planet-wide nuclear apocalypse. Interestingly, the game doesn't appear to take on the dark and gritty look and tone that most people associate with the apocalypse.

The trailer features two tough-as-nails ladies that seem to be right at home in their new world. They also appear to be people you probably don't want to mess with.

Aside from giving viewers and over-all feel for the upcoming game, the trailer did offer one other bit of information. Players can expect to play Far Cry: New Dawn in February 2019.

Fortnite's X-4 Stormwing Plane Locations and Stunts Guide Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:49:50 -0500 William R. Parks

Today marks the beginning of Fortnite's seventh season, and it has brought a bevy of changes and content, including a wintery biome, new challenges, and the game's first ariel vehicle, the X-4 Stormwing Plane.

While this new vehicle may have a lot of fans excited, some may be wondering where to find one and what they can do with it once located.

The X-4 Stormwing Plane can seat up to five players, a pilot and four passengers, and it spawns in specific locations throughout the battle royale's map. While an X-4 will not always appear at every one of these locations, and there are likely to be more possible spawn points, this map (compiled from confirmed locations provided by Heavy and Eurogamer) can act as a guide for those that are looking to make their first Fortnite flight.

  • D3: On the mountain northeast of Pleasant Park
  • F3: By the river south of Lazy Links
  • B5: In the mountains north of Viking Village
  • F5: On the mountain west of Dusty Divot
  • I5: On the mountain by Loney Lodge
  • A8: In the hangers at Frosty Flights
  • B8: In a camp east of Frosty Flights
  • E8: On the mountain north of Happy Hamlet
  • H8: On a hill between Fatal Fields and Paradise Palms

As some players might expect, the new iceberg biome (at the bottom-left of the map) appears to have a high density of new planes, though there are opportunities to nab one throughout the map.

Once an X-4 has been acquired, and the basic controls have been understood, players can move on to performing stunts in their new plane. This includes flying the vessel upside down, by pressing the roll right and roll left inputs simultaneously, as well as the ability to perform an evasive maneuver by quickly pressing a roll button twice.

With the ability to locate an X-4, and some tips on trick flying, players should now be ready to hop in a plane and conquer their next Battle Royale match. Just remember, for those that are manning the plane's machine gun, this mounted weapon can overheat, and prolonged firing should be avoided when possible.

CS: GO Gets a Battle Royale Mode, Goes Free-to-Play Thu, 06 Dec 2018 21:36:42 -0500 William R. Parks

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive has been available for over six years, and, despite the myriad of multiplayer shooters that have come since its release, it is still one of the most popular shooters ever made. That said, it seems that Valve is still looking to get more players into the fray, as the company has just announced that the game is now fully free-to-play and includes a new battle royale mode called Danger Zone.

Danger Zone is a lightning-quick battle royale experience, with a full match lasting around 10 minutes, that is "built on CS:GO's tactical gameplay." It features traits that will be familiar to many fans of the genre, including airdropped equipment, caches to loot, and a shrinking play-area, however, the new game mode has unique aspects that some players may find intriguing.

Specifically, Danger Zone's map contains special missions that can be completed, granting those that participate additional rewards. Throughout the course of a match, players may find themselves escorting hostages to a rescue zone or eliminating a high-value target in service of bettering their load-outs. 

Danger Zone can be played solo or as a duo/trio, with players entering alone joining 16-player matches while those that join as a squad will enter 18-player matches.

Furthermore, anyone that would like to try out Danger Zone can do so at no cost, as CS:GO is now officially free-to-play. This is down from a $15 price tag, and players that paid full retail for the title previously will be given a "commemorative Loyalty Bade they can display on their profile."

Additionally, these paying players will be upgraded to Prime Status, which gives them access to the Souvenir MP5-SD submachine gun as well as the Danger Zone Case, which features "17 community-designed weapon finishes, and the Horizon knives as rare special items." New players can also pay $15 if they wish to be granted Prime Status.

With CS:GO's addition of Danger Zone, the battle royale genre continues to grow ever more ubiquitous. Fortnite shows no signs of slowing down, Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 shirked a single-player campaign for its battle royale mode, and even Rockstar is getting in on the act with Red Dead Online.

While it remains to be seen if CS:GO's new game mode will be able to pull any players away from these established titles, its free-to-play status is certainly a valiant attempt.

Was the Official Name of Far Cry 6, Box Art Revealed in Twitter Leak? Thu, 06 Dec 2018 15:46:27 -0500 Jonathan Moore

As we quickly approach tonight's The Game Awards and the highly anticipated reveal of the new Far Cry game/spin-off/something, it appears that the game's box art and title have potentially been leaked on Twitter. 

Shared by Wario 64 and reported by IGN, the alleged leak purports that the next installment of the Far Cry series will be called Far Cry: New Dawn

As of this writing, the veracity of the alleged Xbox One X box art has not been confirmed, either by Ubisoft or anyone else for that matter. However, we only have a few more hours before we know if the leak is true or not. 

Yesterday, we reported on the surprising teaser trailer that seemingly tied the game to the events of Far Cry 5. Although those threads are tenuous in regards to story, it is believed that the game will take place in some type of post-apocalyptic setting perhaps brought on by the nuclear fallout caused by Eden's Gate at the end of FC5

Whether Far Cry 6 ends up being set after the events of the previous game or not, or if it's actually called New Dawn or something entirely different, we do know that it is currently in development for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. 

You can tune into The Game Awards tonight starting at 8:30 p.m. EDT to find out. The awards show will be broadcast on Twitch, YouTube, Xbox Live, and PlayStation Network, as well as a handful of other services such as Mixer and Caffeine.  

Avalanche Recognizes Just Cause 4 Issues, Outlines Planned PS4, Xbox One, and PC Updates Thu, 06 Dec 2018 14:07:05 -0500 Jonathan Moore

Just Cause 4 released only two days ago, but the game already has a "mostly negative" rating on Steam from more than 1,400 reviews. Scrolling through the reviews and looking at the comments reveals that many players are primarily dissatisfied with the state of the game's graphics, as well as its overall performance. 

As laid out in our PC evaluation of the game, Just Cause 4 does suffer from some rather unfortunate graphic miscues, including severe pop-in, inconsistent rendering, and "potato-tier" cutscenes, the latter of which should have been fixed at launch but still remain two days on.

However, as we've found out from various colleagues and other players, those graphics issues are also found in the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game as well. 

On top of those issues, and perhaps much more distressing, is that Just Cause 4 also has numerous stability issues, making the game difficult to play. 

In response to player feedback, Avalanche Studios New York has issued a statement regarding the release state of the game: 

Hello Everyone,

Firstly, we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Just Cause 4 to date. We’re a small but very passionate team here at Avalanche Studios New York, and each and every one of us has put our hearts into this project for the past three years.

Due to the complexity of Just Cause 4’s vast open world and advanced physics systems we understand that a number of you are experiencing various technical issues. Even though the game has now launched, this is just the start of our continued support on Just Cause 4. We are actively monitoring your feedback very closely and have a team of engineers at Avalanche Studios working hard on updating and improving the game. Once these fixes have been through internal and first party tests then we’ll be rolling them out ASAP.

In good news, we are already planning to release the first wave of improvements and aiming to have these available to everyone in the next couple of weeks. 

Although we currently don't have a solid release date for Just Cause 4's upcoming patches outside of "the next couple of weeks", we do know that they will focus on the game's graphics, specifically lighting, texture mapping, motion blur, vegetation rendering, and transitions. 

For PC players in particular, Avalanche will work to fix problems with menu navigation for mouse and keyboard, movement key remapping, and various vehicle issues. 

Just Cause 4 is the latest release in the Just Cause franchise and features a brand-new Apex engine. It is currently available for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 

Typhoon Hunter Brings 5v1 Mode To Prey Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:49:02 -0500 QuintLyn

Typhoon Hunter, the next -- and final -- update for Prey adds a new multiplayer mode and a new VR experience to the game.

The multiplayer, which bears the update's name, is a 5v1 hide-and-seek mode. One player takes on the role of Moran Yu while the others play as Mimics hiding in plain sight, disguised as everyday household objects.

In order to win, the player in the role of Yu must track down and destroy all five Mimics before time runs out.

The Typhoon Hunter multiplayer mode will release on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on December 11. Players can expect a VR version for both PC and PlayStation VR early next year.

Speaking of VR, while Typhoon Hunter VR won't be available just yet, players can look forward to TranStar VR, a single player escape-room campaign. Available for both PC and PlayStation VR at the same time as Typhoon Hunter Multiplayer, TranStar VR casts players in the role of a TranStar employee on Talos I just days before the events in Prey. In order to escape, they'll need to solve puzzles and complete various objectives.

Prey: Typhoon Hunter is available for free as part of the Prey: Digital Deluxe and Prey: Mooncrash packs. The Digital Deluxe can be purchased for $39.99 by those who haven't bought the game yet. Or, if you already own the base Prey game, pick up Mooncrash for $19.99.

Fallout 76 Review: An Exciting Experiment Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:45:34 -0500 Synzer

Fallout 76 is different from previous Fallout games in a big way -- multiplayer. It seems very clear to me that this is the main focus and selling point of the game, so everyone should keep that in mind when reviewing and reading reviews.

I, and many other fans of the series, have wanted to be able to play co-op/multiplayer in a Fallout game. For people like me this was a dream come true when it was announced. Although multiplayer is a huge part of this game, you can still play solo.

There is more to this game and some changes that don't only apply to only multiplayer, so I've taken all of that into account when I came up with my thoughts, and score, of Fallout 76

What I Liked


It should be no surprise this is first on my list and easily my favorite thing about this game. I'm the kind of person that enjoys single player games, but think about how I'd have even more fun if I could play it cooperatively with another player.

Fallout is no exception.

The ability to play through the whole game with one or more friends is so fun and adds much more depth when deciding how to build your character. In previous games I might make multiple characters to see different things.

For example, if I want to hack terminals, I need to have a high Intelligence stat. If I do this, I'm missing out on other things I could do. If I play with friends though, somebody can choose to have a high Intelligence stat to hack the terminals, and the other players can do other things to cover what's missing.

It's fun to plan out things and compliment each other to survive the world of Fallout. I realize that this only applies to those that play with a dedicated group of friends, but it is still a cool concept.

It also makes exploration easier and more enjoyable. If I go up against a tough enemy alone, I might have some trouble. If I do it with a friend or two, it will be much easier. We can also search areas more thoroughly and take less time doing so.

Perk and Building System

fallout 76 perk cards

I like that perks are in cards now. This allows you to get many different perks, but also lets you swap them out. If you decide you don't want a perk anymore, or don't see anything you want at the time, that's fine! You can just put a different perk on, so you have much more flexibility.

Building is very similar to how it was in Fallout 4, but now you can put your base nearly anywhere you want, and even move it at will.

You can also save a layout to a blueprint so that you can easily build again if you move, though this feature doesn't always work the way I'd like it. Depending on how you set it up, it can be hard to find another location with the same terrain so that you can actually fit the blueprint in the area.  

Getting Power Armor and other useful items

I love how you can get power armor early in the game, even if you can;t use the armor pieces until later. Power Armor is definitely one of the coolest items you can acquire in Fallout, so it's nice to have them in abundance.

Since this is an online game, things respawn, so that makes getting power armor and other great items even easier.

Events and other Randomness

Events are fantastic because they give you a constant stream of things to do when you aren't doing the main or side quests. They will just popup in an area and you have a limited time to complete them.

Letting players fast travel to these events, and giving rewards to everyone in the area, is a great way to put players in contact with each other. I do see instances where some players could just leech off of others, but it is still a good system.

There are also so many cool moments that can happen since it is an online game. You might meet someone having trouble on a quest or a certain enemy, then jump in to help them. You might be minding your own business in your C.A.M.P. then get attacked out of nowhere by a group of players trying to take your stuff.

The amount of spontaneity this game allows gives the game the potential to last a long time for multiplayer-oriented players who want to play the game in less of a rush.

What I Didn't Like

Carrying Weight and Stash

I think things weigh too much in this game. This causes me to go back to C.A.M.P. or find random stations more than I'd like and makes the game feel more like an inventory simulator at times.

Bethesda has already announced plans to increase player stash, which helps, but my real problem is the player carrying weight. This causes some players to feel like they need to invest in Strength, certain power armors, or perks just to make the game less tedious.

fallout 76 power armor chassis

Lonely Atmosphere

It's almost funny how even though this is a multiplayer Fallout, it feels more empty and alone than previous games. The lack of living NPCs really makes the game feel more empty than anything.

All your interactions are through notes or recordings, and anyone you  do end up finding probably already died a while ago. Now, I haven't seen every single thing in the game -- but it doesn't look like I'll be running into another human that isn't a player anytime soon.

Solo play and Lag/Freezing

I must admit that even though I love the multiplayer aspect of the game, I do not enjoy playing the game solo. Sure you can do it, there's perks for being solo, but it just isn't much fun like it was in previous games.

The fact that it is online, even when playing solo, makes it a struggle to play at times. I need to logout of the game anytime I 'm going to be away for even a few minutes because my hunger and thirst bar will deplete. Then, I'm going to use more items than I need, just to keep my character functional.

I've also run into lag and freezing multiple times while trying to play through. One time I saw an enemy and went to engage, but the game stuttered for about ten seconds.

When it smoothed out, I found myself being attacked by three enemies. If this was a dangerous area, that could have meant I was dead without anyway to defend myself.

The game completely froze multiple times as well and I was forced to shut the game down and restart it. The good thing is that the game auto saves and you won't lose progress, but it is still frustrating, especially if I'm in the middle of an event with a  group of strangers.

Final Verdict

I think this is an enjoyable Fallout experience, but one very tailored to playing with others. It is a decent enough game to play solo, but I don't think many people will enjoy it if they never play multiplayer.

fallout 76 photo mode

My honest opinion is that if you don't want to play multiplayer, you probably won't like Fallout 76.

However, if you really enjoy playing co-op and have always wanted to play Fallout with others, this is the game for you.

New Red Dead Online Update Addresses Economy Concerns Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:59:37 -0500 William R. Parks

Since the launch of Red Dead Online's beta, the game's economy has been a hot topic of conversation amongst the community, with some players voicing serious worries about its balance.

Today, Rockstar begins to address these concerns with Red Dead Online's first update.

To begin, today's update offers an overall increase to the cash and gold rewards players can expect from a myriad of activities, including Free Roam missions, Free Roam events, replays of "Land of Opportunities" missions, and the Showdown Series playlist. Additionally, the new update "balances" the value of certain pelts, animal skins, and fish, which may assist players as they attempt to build their bank accounts.

The compliment to these increased rewards are a general reduction to the cost of weapons that players can purchase from the Wheeler, Rawson & Co. Catalogue, as well as from Gunsmiths. Outlaws that have already purchased weapons through these means should not worry that they have overspent on their artillery, as Rockstar will be reimbursing the cost difference directly starting today.

The company has further indicated that it may take until December 10 for all eligible players to receive these reimbursements.

Furthermore, this update will offer a gift to all players that have participated in Red Dead Online's beta. Specifically, all players that have logged into the game prior to 3 a.m. EDST on December 6 will receive $250 in-game currency as well as 15 gold bars. Some players will begin receiving this gift today, and it will reach all eligible players by Friday, December 14.

In the announcement of the update, Rockstar further assures that it has every intention to continue improving and balancing Red Dead Online. This includes fixes for "persistent bugs that are causing some players to be kicked from sessions," and players can expect these tweaks to come next week.

As players begin to sink their teeth into Rockstar's newest multiplayer sandbox, reception has been varied. While our writers have praised Red Dead Online for its stability and the amount of content it contains, others have criticized it for issues with griefing and the requirements that must be met in order to obtain the game's many high-priced items.

It remains to be seen if today's update will pose an acceptable solution to the latter concern, but, at least, it does suggest that Rockstar is indeed listening to the voices of the community.

6 Strategies for Survival in Mutant: Year Zero Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:47:41 -0500 Tim White

Do you really like X-COM, except for its overbearing insistence on making you miss seven 95% shots in a row? Mutant: Year Zero will treat you better, but it's still an unforgiving game that expects you to play by its rules. Set your Stalkers up for success by sticking to these six key strategies.

1. Searching for Extra Loot is Not Optional

Most games are built in such a way that players can cruise through the main campaign without focusing too heavily on side errands and still be successful. Mutant: Year Zero is not really one of them.

Especially on higher difficulty settings, you'll need to thoroughly scrounge every area in order to recover enough supplies to carry on. Common scrap and weapon parts are found everywhere and are used to buy stuff and to upgrade your weapons, respectively.

Looting it up in Mutant Year Zero

Artifacts are much rarer, but are even more important to your long-term success; they can be exchanged for permanent perks that benefit the whole squad.

Finally, unless you're a brilliant strategist or just extremely lucky, you'll be going through medkits and grenades (see tip #5) like candy. Both can be found in fairly healthy quantities, but often just out of plain view. Search high and low to keep your stocks full(ish).

2. Stealth is Also Not Optional

X-COM veterans in particular may think it's possible to build your squad in such a way that you'll be successful running into open combat, guns blazing.

It really isn't.

You might be able to get away with Rambo tactics on easy difficulty (which is called normal), but on normal (hard) or higher, enemies will consistently outnumber and outgun you. Even if you survive a particular knock-down-drag-out fight, you won't power through on a regular basis.

Mutant Year Zero positioning

Positioning your squad for devastating ambushes is absolutely critical. I generally put my heavy gunner (Bormin) on overwatch and leave the others to stealthily snipe or support as needed for the first turn of combat, but the basic principle of preparing thoroughly for each and every fight is what matters here.

If a concealed squad member manages to one-shot an enemy that's unaware of them, you can continue picking off stragglers for free as long as you remain undetected. When someone eventually notices what you're doing (and they will), you'll definitely want to already have a trap set for them.

The outcome of the first turn of a battle is usually a good predictor of the final result, so hit hard, hit fast, and make sure each party member's gear and skills synergize well together.

3. Take the High Ground

This probably seems obvious—the tutorials do tell you to take the high ground, but they don't really emphasize how important it is. If there's a hill, rooftop, or vehicle, get on it ASAP.

Being above your target makes it easier to hit them, and harder for them to hit you. What's more, it effectively shuts down (or at least hampers) melee enemies, who will have to climb to get to you, and will often need to cross open ground in the process, making themselves choice targets.

4. Half Cover is No Cover

I don't mean that half cover (indicated by a half-filled shield icon during movement) is literally useless, but it should be viewed as only marginally better than no cover.

Taking cover in Mutant Year Zero

Some characters will gain skills that allow them to gain full-cover bonuses from half-cover positions, but until then, don't underestimate how accurate even regular enemies can be. The second rule of survival in Mutant: Year Zero (behind hit hard, hit fast) is don't take damage.

Full cover provides significantly better protection than half cover, but it's also harder to find. If you can't leave a great position to get within range of the enemy, so be it—let them come to you, which they eventually will. Hold your castle and be patient.

5. It's Raining Men Grenades

As we've already mentioned, dominating the enemy during the first round of combat is key to keeping your squad healthy and well supplied. One of the best ways to do that is to inflict big damage on multiple targets at once, before any of them have a chance to spread out.

Enemies often clump together when they think they're safe, and if you've been searching each map carefully, you should always have at least a few grenades on hand at all times. Use 'em.

If you've got enough ordinance to spare, battles that would otherwise be tough can sometimes be won during the first turn without any of your Stalkers taking a scratch.

For even more first-round devastation, set all but one squad member in overwatch and have the last person trigger the trap by tossing the grenade.

In most cases, you don't need to worry too much about using your last grenade. As long as you maintain good loot hunting habits, you should find more explosives soon enough.

6. Heal Freely (Out of Combat)

During combat, medkits restore a set number of hit points, but out of combat, a single one will fully heal a squad member. This may seem like a no-brainer, but maybe it doesn't, especially if you're a conservationist used to hoarding supplies in games.

How to heal out of combat in MYZ

As a rule of thumb, you should generally heal out of combat anytime a party member falls below 50% health. This may feel wasteful, especially since your medkit reserves will rarely reach double digits, but rest assured, the game is designed to be played this way.

Heading into combat in a weakened state dramatically increases the odds of allies being knocked out. Not only does this mean at least two missed turns for you (one for the unconscious Stalker and one for the person who has to revive them), it's also an inefficient use of relatively uncommon medkits.

A proactive approach will eliminate, or at least mitigate, most of these problems.


There you have it! Mutant: Year Zero is a challenging but fair turn-based strategy game. Knowing when to be conservative and when to give it all you've got will make your team's dangerous and difficult journey much more manageable.

Be sure to periodically check our Mutant: Year Zero hub page for more guides in the near future.

Fortnite: How to Complete All the Season 7, Week 1 Challenges Thu, 06 Dec 2018 10:44:21 -0500 William R. Parks

Fortnite's seventh season is now live, and with it comes a slew of new content for fans to sink their teeth into, including snowy peaks, an ariel vehicle, and a brand new creative mode. As always, a new season also means new challenges, and the Season 7, Week 1 challenges are now available.

For players that do not own a Battle Pass, there are three free challenges:

  1. Pickup an item of each rarity [5]
  2. Dance in different forbidden locations [7]
  3. Play matches with at least one elimination (HARD) [5]

The first and third challenges should be easily completed after playing a few matches, however, dancing in the seven forbidden locations will take a bit more work. This type of challenge was first introduced in Fortnite's third season, and it requires that players bust-a-move in front of signs depicting a crossed out dancer. Forbes has shared this handy map to help players find these locations:

While this is the full extent of this week's free challenges, Battle Pass owners will have access to four additional challenges (two of which consist of multiple parts):

  1. Stage 1: Dance on top of a crown of RV's; Stage 2: Dance on top of a Metal Turtle; Stage 3: Dance on top of a Submarine
  2. Deal Headshot Damage to opponents [500]
  3. Stage 1: Search Ammo Boxes in a single match (HARD) [5]; Stage 2: Search Chests in a single match [3]; Stage 3: Search Supply Drops in a single match [1]
  4. Eliminate opponents in different Named Locations (HARD) [5]

Challenges two, three, and four are easy enough, and should be completed through standard play, but the remaining multi-part challenge will require some additoinal effort.

In this challenge, players will need to find the three specified locations (in the order listed) and dance in them. An easy task, but players may be lost attempting to find these locations. Once again, Forbes has shared maps with them indicated:

There is a lot to explore and experience with today's Fortnite update, and plenty of players are certain to be excited about the newly introduced cosmetics. Completing these first week challenges is a great opportunity to get a jump-start on acquiring them.

Fallout 76 Rusted Key -- Where to Get It and How to Use It Wed, 05 Dec 2018 21:21:02 -0500 Synzer

Fallout 76 has a lot of secrets and hidden items that you normally would not find unless you randomly stumbled upon them.

The Rusted Key and Alien Blaster weapon are two such items. I'm going to show you where you can get these items, where to use the Rusted Key, and what you get from the room it opens.

Rusted Key Location in Fallout 76

The Rusted Key is not in a landmarked location or marked on the map at all. It is in an open container in the water near a collapsed house.

If you look on the map above, my marker and location is where you can find the Rusted Key. It is in the northern part of the map, northeast of the Eastern Regional Penitentiary.

When you find the container, you'll see the Rusted Key and Alien Blaster inside. Unfortunately, there isn't any ammo for the Alien Blaster in or near the container.

You can find ammo for the gun near the Black Mountain Ordnance Works north of the Mothman Museum in the Forest region. 

Now let's see where to use the key. 

Where to Use the Rusted Key

The place you want to visit is called Freddy Fear's House of Scares. This is to the east of the Route 66 icon on the map, as you enter the Mire region.

When you reach the location, go to the back of the building and up the stairs. You'll find a red door that requires the rusted key to open. There are some crafting materials and a safe with some moderately useful items inside.

There is one important item that you can find under a desk, called the Stolen Terminal Passcode. I haven't found where to use this, but I believe it leads to a bunker somewhere. Scouring forums and the game's Reddit threads, it doesn't seem any other players know either, so we'll update this guide when we find out. 

Now that you know where to get and use the Rusted Key in Fallout 76, you can pick up your own Stolen Terminal passcode.

If you know where it leads or know of any similar secrets, let me know in the comments below. 

To find more tips on Fallout 76, such as how to farm mutations or farm springs, be sure to check out our Fallout 76 guides hub