If you need to recognize something about Microsoft in recent years, it’s that they worked hard. The current generation of consoles has been dominated by the PlayStation 4, which has taken advantage of the public’s rejection of the initial Xbox One concept and has emerged as the market leader, selling over 100 million units in about 6 years.
There are no official Xbox One sales figures, but the console is thought to have roughly half of its main rival’s sales – not necessarily a bad figure, but still below its predecessor, the Xbox 360.
But it must be admitted that, in a difficult situation, Microsoft’s gaming division, which was now headed by Phil Spencer, did not stand still, making several decisions not only reactive to what Sony was doing, but making its own. proposals and concepts to expand and revitalize the brand.
In the console area itself, Microsoft has reiterated and improved Xbox One with several new versions, including a significantly more powerful Xbox One X. For example, unlike the management of their predecessor, Don Mattrick, Spencer and their team worked to implement a backward compatible system for Xbox One, capable of running not only Xbox 360 games and the original Xbox.
Xbox has also firmly embraced the policy of offering services to its consumers, with its big asset being the Xbox Game Pass, which allows subscribers to access a revolving catalog full of great games (most recently including GTA V), plus discounts for anyone who wants to. buy the game before it is removed from the program.
Game Pass also serves as a showcase for its main titles, making its great exclusive available to the program’s subscribers. And considering the company’s major studio acquisitions in recent years, including Playground Games (Forza Horizon), Ninja Theory (Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice) and Obsidian Entertainment (The Outer Worlds), this showcase should only get more flashy going forward.
Microsoft also seems to want to “decentralize” the Xbox public association as just a console: for a few years now, Microsoft has come back to value the PC market. Game Pass has its own desktop version, and exclusives like Gears 5 and Halo: Reach (part of the Master Chief Collection) are in its catalog.
More than that, in some cases, Xbox has made occasional alliances with potential rivals to expand its brand, such as selling its games on Steam and even porting titles like Ori and the Blind Forest and Cuphead for the Nintendo Switch.
It wasn’t a perfect way – Scalebound’s cancellation still hurts many people’s hearts – but Microsoft has prepared significant ground for the future. And by 2020, there is a chance to make a big splash in the competition.
The power of the new console is still officially unknown, but the trailer above gives us an idea of what can be done with a platform compatible graphics engine, and they are downright impressive. Microsoft has also indicated that it will be backwards compatible with generations past its release, and it seems that it will even run more than one game at a time.
The Xbox Series X arrives in late 2020, and will have as its flagship product Halo Infinite, whose mission is to revitalize the franchise after the warm reception of Halo 4 and Halo 5. But the game will also be available for Xbox One. and for PC, stressing that the name “Xbox” is not limited to one machine.
In addition, a classic franchise, Flight Simulator, will also return in style for all three platforms.
It is expected that Microsoft is hiding some cards up its sleeve, which should be revealed (expected) during E3 2020, but at this point, considering all the work of the games division, it is quite possible to imagine that Xbox end the year in a promising way.
Free Fire: check out what’s new in the February update
After being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Free Fire update should take place between February 25th and 26th, with great expectations from the community for impactful changes. In this case, among the main novelties is the exchange of maps, which will occur with the removal of Purgatory and the inclusion of Kalahari. The justification given by Garena to carry out the exchange is the community’s desire to have a map capable of yielding more action, in addition to Purgatory being considered very similar to Bermuda, the first map launched by the developer.
In addition, the update will also include numerous additions such as new items in ranked matches, the arrival of the Shield Weapon, a new weapon different from the traditional one; the introduction of a new item called an inhaler; the new functionality that will make it possible to silence allied players; new emotes, team code system and Bomb Squad mode. Finally, there will be the addition of the new character Steffie, in addition to Kelly Ventania and the new item of the AWM weapon, named as Piercing Ammunition.
Despite the different and important introductions, there will also be the correction of some problems, such as the bug in the skill of the character Alok, which made him stop while using the skill, and the changes in the weapons XM8 and AN94. The first one will take more damage, fire speed and movement while aiming. However, you will lose ammo, range and accuracy. The second, on the other hand, will achieve a higher rate of fire, greater range and better stability in retreat, but will suffer reductions in damage and power of the mouth.
Change of maps
As expected by the community, the Purgatory map, extremely criticized for being similar to Bermuda, will be removed from the classic (casual and ranked) mode to give entry to Kalahari, which promises to be different from the previous ones. Overall, the map seeks to add more challenges in different fields involving landscapes and items, which tends to make players study and explore new areas.
Furthermore, Kalahari is a desert map and, therefore, requires players to have another type of gameplay. Each area has its own style, which may vary from point to point. Therefore, it can and should be considered a map of survival rather than frank exchange. The developer’s goal is to balance the map so that players can reach and understand the expectations of the emergence of a new location in the game.
New Shield Weapon
As previously disclosed by Garena, the shield weapon will act as a protective shield that gives a certain advantage to the player who is equipped with it. Therefore, just as the name says, the weapon has a damage softener that creates a protective shield in blue color and, if the player receives any shot from the opponent at the time he is shooting, he will suffer less damage.
In a nutshell, the Shield Weapon will cause the player to take less damage when exchanging shots. However, it is worth mentioning that the item only works while the user is aiming. So, for example, the moment you are running, the player will be unprotected.
New Bomb Squad mode
Very similar to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Bomb Squad mode involves the “police and thief” style, in which a team plants a bomb and its opponents defend it. Altogether there are two teams with four players each, in a very similar way to the Contra Squad mode. In this case, the winning team will win the most matches in seven rounds.
Arrival of the character Steffie
One of the main novelties of the update, the character Steffie is a professional graffiti artist who has the Abrigo de Tinta skill, with a graffiti that reduces the damage of explosives and damage of shot in the cooldown of 45 seconds. The skill in question is exclusive to Steffie and cannot be used by other characters. Specifically, the new character is exactly the opposite of Alvaro’s strength and very similar to Andrew.
New items and weapons in ranked matches
In the group of items and weapons that will be included in the ranked matches are: VSS Bullet Saw, which is one of the least used weapons of Free Fire and will cause the enemies affected by it to bleed, in addition to causing more damage; Kar98 Biometric Sight, another very little weapon used by the community and which will have an accessory for the exclusive use of the sniper rifle, which will identify any living thing that appears on the map; Core of the M14’s Rage, which, unlike the previous examples, is a weapon widely used by the community with the item as permission to fire more accurately, besides increasing the rate of shots fired; Ice Pistol, which allows you to create walls of ice even from a long distance, and Double Cartridge, an item that allows players to reload their weapons more quickly. It is worth mentioning that the last two will be available only on AirDrops.
Outriders: a mix of Gears of War and Destiny for the new generation
Outriders is a game that represents the transition between generations of video games that we are about to experience. Confirmed for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, the game from the Polish studio People Can Fly carries with it several of the elements that defined the current generation, from PlayStation 4 and Xbox One: it is a hybrid between shooting game and RPG, focusing on collection of equipment and character classes. It looks familiar, doesn’t it?
But despite the well-known inspirations, the title published by Square Enix has some surprises. Four years in development for the four platforms mentioned above, in addition to the PC, Outriders is the result of a long process of transition to People Can Fly, which saw the departure of the creators of its most famous games after being acquired by Epic Games and passed most of the current generation working in Fortnite, before returning to independence.
Even with a different creative team, Outriders has reflections of the studio’s DNA and brings a mix of Gears of War gameplay, with a third-person perspective, the coverage system and shooting mechanics, with the narrative structure of the games as a service (although the PCF makes a point of saying that the game does not fit into this genre).
Outriders will tell the story of an alternative future in which society depletes Earth’s resources and is forced to emigrate to another habitable planet. A bloody war marks the departure of humanity from our planet, and the traumas are still alive when the colonists arrived at their new home, Enoch.
But everything goes wrong as soon as the Outriders, the team responsible for preparing the ground for the arrival of the colonizers, step on Enoch. A mysterious energy wave called Anomaly (anomaly) devastates the colonization team, but gives it mysterious powers.
Still, you are put into cryogenic sleep and wake up 30 years later, when the rest of the colonizers were forced to descend into Enoch’s soil and chaos reigned between men and women again. In this desolate world, your mission is to hunt for the origin of the anomaly, in the hope of giving hope back to a species that preserves only remnants of the civilization that once was.
A stunning world
The first thing that caught my attention during the Outriders test, conducted at the invitation of Square Enix in the United States, is the beauty of the graphics. The fact that the game is produced for the current generation should attract attention to its technical part and the version we tested, not yet finalized, really impressed. The first hours of play, which show an Enoch before the anomaly, are dazzling: the light passing through the trees and the vegetation textures show an environment that begins to show the potential of the new devices.
However, we still cannot say how the game will behave on each platform. During the test, People Can Fly avoided going into details about PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X (not least because the two machines do not have detailed technical specifications), and limited itself to saying that the PC used for the tests is equipped with a GeForce RTX 2080 Ti, top of the line among video cards on the market.
The level of detail and the size of the maps, coupled with the action, makes me have some doubts about how it will perform on current consoles, especially on the standard versions of PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, which already suffer to run some of the current games. But this is just speculation and we need to wait to see the performance of Outriders on these devices.
How it works
Much of the session – including the gameplay publicly released by Square Enix – takes place in the opening chapter of Outriders, which, according to People Can Fly, represents only a fraction of the environments that we will see in Enoch. Upon awakening from cryogenic sleep, his Outrider is launched amidst a scenario of war between groups that still preserve part of the colonizing spirit of those who left Earth, while others surrendered to madness and revolt.
Here the Destiny game structure begins to reveal itself, with a base on which you can buy items and chat with other characters. The dialogues are surprisingly long for a game of the genre, even with extra options that allow you to discover more about the world and the NPCs. The equipment system and even the menus are similar to the model popularized by Bungie in the current generation, with armor and weapons divided by rarity and power level.
The story’s progression dynamics, divided between main and side missions, also tries to emulate that of games as a service, but with a catch: instead of a fixed base, you will take it with you throughout your journey through Enoch, for through a customizable truck (which, unfortunately, we won’t be able to drive).
On the battlefield, Outriders best shows the results of their combination of family events. The first of them, directly transported from the times of Gears of War: Judgment, is the feeling of heaviness of the weapons and, mainly, the kick of the machine guns when it comes to lowering the finger on the trigger – something rare to see in the Destinys of life.
The second, and most important, is the use of your character’s powers. Altered by the events of Anomaly, your character develops the ability to manipulate different types of elements. This translates into four classes of play, three of which were revealed during the test: Pyromancer, a medium-distance fire trigger; Trickster, union of time and light control with teleports and long-distance strikes; and Devastator, manipulator of the ground with melee blows.
I played with Trickster and Devastator, and it didn’t take long for my character to become practically a God among the rank and file of Outriders missions, either disintegrating bodies with the Trickster light sword, or defeating six enemies at once with the wave. of land created with a Devastator punch.
Each class will have an extensive skill tree, divided into three different subclasses, but you will not need to follow one of the branches to the letter, which indicates a powerful arsenal available to the player at the most decisive moments of the adventure.
When we move to cooperative mode, in which up to three players can join the fight, the imbalance in your favor is huge. When it came time to test the cooperative mode, our group had so many powers at their disposal that it didn’t even bother to use the little walls to hide.
But, for those interested in challenges, Outriders found a way to offer them with fifteen levels of difficulty, called World Tier, which interfere with enemy levels and the item delivery rate. The most interesting thing is that the levels can be adjusted automatically: if you defeat many opponents without dying, the level of difficulty of the game increases; if you die many times, the difficulty decreases.
At first glance, Outriders does not seem to offer any outstanding elements, but with control in hand, the experience appears to be competent and fun. In addition to the promise of an adventure that goes through several biomes and an RPG with the intention of delving deeper into dialogues than other loot shooting games, the People Can Fly game can win over players.
LoL, PUBG and Overwatch tournaments are canceled or postponed due to the Coronavirus.
Coronavirus is affecting esports championships. Since the spread of the virus has reached a global level, several gaming tournament organizations such as League of Legends (LoL), Overwatch and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds (PUBG) have announced the cancellation or postponement of matches. According to the organizers, the changes seek to prevent the public, players, casters and staff from the events from being contaminated. So far, the changes have taken place mainly at events based in Asia, the region where the outbreak began. In Brazil, suspicions of the virus are being investigated, but no cases have been confirmed, and no tournament has been postponed so far. Check out some championships canceled and postponed because of the Coronavirus.
LPL: League of Legends
The Chinese League of League of Legends (LPL) and its respective second division (LDL) have been suspended indefinitely. In addition to the country’s main game competition being momentarily off the calendar, the Pacific Championshis Series has also been postponed. Game developer Riot Games has stated that the suspensions are part of a measure to preserve the safety and health of players.
The second week of the LPL was due to start its games in February, but there is still no forecast as to when the League and other respective Asian LoL events are due to start. The South Korean League (LCK) has also undergone some adjustments. Rather than being canceled or postponed, the games started on February 5 without the presence of fans.
Blizzard ordered the cancellation of Overwatch League games in China, the games that were supposed to take place in February and March. As China is the epicenter of the Coronavirus, there are still no predictions of the resumption of competitions. According to the company, updates about the championship should be published soon. With the danger posed by the disease, Chinese teams Shanghai Dragons and Guangzhou Charge announced the move of their training centers to South Korea. Overwatch League casters also left the country for security reasons.
World Electronic Sports Games is a competition that encompasses Counter Strike disputes: Global Offensive, PES 2020, Starcraft 2 and DotA 2. Recently, the official championship account on the Chinese website Weibo announced that the WESG Asia finals have been suspended indefinitely. in order to prevent contamination of the virus. The competition’s decisive games would take place in Macau, China, in March. With no prediction for the finals, the phases of WESG LATAM (Latin America) that would take place on February 15 were also affected and are not yet expected to happen.
Hong Kong Pokémon Championship
The Hong Kong Pokémon championships, scheduled to take place on February 2 and 9, have been completely canceled due to the Coronavirus. The organizers justified the measure to protect the health of the players and other people. The competition’s official page on Facebook published that the next event should be announced by social networks.
PGS: Berlim – PUBG
PUBG Corporation published a rescheduling announcement for the PGS: Berlin championship, which would take place in April 2020. Due to “fear of the Coronavirus”, the PlayerUnknown’s Battleground (PUBG) competition should be held on another date not yet announced by the organization of the event. Even though the PGS: Berlin competition is based in Germany, the concern about the disease is growing since cases of the Coronavirus have been confirmed in the European country. “The health and safety of our players, fans and employees is a priority at the moment,” said PUBG Corporation.