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Titanfall Review: Lovers of Shooters & Big Robots, This Game is for You

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The first-person shooter (FPS) genre remains the most popular video game genres in the world, with Call of Duty and Battlefield leading the charge. However, there has been much criticism, particularly from enthusiasts, about how little modern shooters have changed over the past decade. In a clear response to that criticism, new-kid-on-the-block Titanfall seeks to shake things up, but is it the savior many feel the genre needs or just another Call of Duty wanna be? Let’s find out.

Story

Created by Respawn, Titanfall is a multiplayer FPS that pits players into a futuristic war between two different factions wielding giant, heavily-armed robots and other spiffy technology like highly-functional and integral jetpacks. But considering multiplayer is the game’s selling point, there isn’t much in the way of story.

There is a campaign mode consisting of 9 multiplayer matches that you play through twice: once as a member of the overbearing galactic corporation known as the IMC (Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation) and a second time as a freedom fighting Militia. Respawn tries to create a coherent narrative and context for the conflict between the two factions, but fails to deliver anything innovative or compelling.

The idea of bringing narrative context into the intense gameplay of a multiplayer shooter is novel, but the execution leaves much to be desired. Most of the story is reduced to background noise in the frenetic action that is Titanfall.

Gameplay & Multiplayer

Story aside, Titanfall was developed around multiplayer first and foremost and it is in this area that it shines. Summoning a Titan for the first time and seeing its drop down from the heavens, ready to make mincemeat out of your enemies, is a truly memorable experience indeed. The matches are varied, fast-paced and intense, while all weapons have a great feel and a strategic use.

There are 15 different maps to choose from, all capable of holding up to 12 players. While that might seem little, Respawn focused its resources on delivering maps that are well-thought-out, fair and engaging, ones that strongly accommodate the core gameplay styles of the jetpack-wielding, wall-climbing soldier “pilot” and the intimidating, highly-destructive walking tanks.

Speaking of the titans, they are divided into three archetypical types, one focusing on raw destructive power, another on speed and one being a jack o all trades but a master of none. Each is truly unique, allowing you to tailor them to your own play style.

To stand up to the Titans, pilots are equipped with a myriad of tools — namely cloaking and speed-enhancing stims — that help them to safely get up close to them, climbing onto their shoulders and blasting their nerve centers. But be warned, the giants robots have “bug” zappers, among other defensive capabilities.

Titanfall is about balance — the maps are balanced, weapons and abilities are balanced, and the gameplay between soldiers and titans is balanced. Some of the best gameplay moments occur when two titans face off against each other as supporting pilots engage in battle around them. The action is so intense and the maps so well designed that sitting in a corner waiting for someone to come by will often get you killed. This is not a game for campers.

There are five game modes to choose from — Attrition, Last Titan Standing, Hardpoint Domination, Pilot Hunter and the good ol’ Capture the Flag — which is not enough for any modern-day shooter, let alone one that prides itself on multiplayer. A solid progression system allows you to level up and gain access to more powerful skills for both your pilot and Titan.

Graphics & Sound

Titanfall is an AAA title, so graphical expectations were quite high. Fortunately, it delivers the goods. Everything in the game looks gorgeous, from the vivid and dazzling maps to the pilots and titans that populate them. The character designs are superb and their animations fluid, while the weapons look and sound as how you would expect futuristic weapons to look and sound. Hearing a 12-foot tall robot engaged in combat near you is as thrilling as it is nerve-wrenching.

The soundtrack is comprised of various action-packed tracks that blend well with the intense gameplay. Though it won’t win any awards, it gets the job done.

Bottom Line

8.8

Great

Titanfall is a breath of fresh air in the first-person shooter genre. Although it lacks a compelling story and a large selection of game modes, its addictive multiplayer offers thrills unlike most other shooters, providing fast-paced gameplay that is as balanced as it is adrenaline-pumping. The maps are superbly-designed, eschewing quantity for quality. Weapons, abilities and gameplay systems all play together very nicely to deliver a grand experience.

PC

In Cyberpunk 2077, Lifepaths And Optional Companions Can Change Your Playthrough

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This is a game you will gladly play more than once.

CD Projekt has shed more light on Cyberpunk 2077, giving us a better idea of what players can expect from the single-player story.

The adventure by choosing between three different lifepaths for your custom character, each with a different starting location and story background that are strongly connected with the origin story for protagonist V. You can be a Nomad, Corpo or Street Kid.

Not only do the lifepaths define how Cyberpunk 2077 begins, but they also have dramatic consequences on specific missions. A Nomad, for example, will have more street smarts than a Corpo, but he might be out of his element in a board room, unable to properly lead a conversation.

When coming up with challenges, CD Projekt thought of how the different lifepaths could solve them as effectively as possible given their unique skill set. By delivering completely new experiences, the developer intends to give players plenty of motivation to play the game multiple times.

The class you choose also impacts how quests potentially play out.  Cyberpunk 2077’s fluid class system provided designers more opportunities to make quests even more nonlinear and develop new gameplay options that can change the story.

Finally, the game features optional companions that have their own motivations. Taking them along on certain quests can greatly change the outcome .

CD Projekt promises that each quest is handcrafted and has its own storyline, ranging from short skits to epic, multi-layered missions. There won’t be any fluff material like procedural missions.

By the look of things, expect to play through Cyberpunk 2077 at least three times. The game releases on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on April 16, 2020.

What are you most excited to experience?

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Xbox One

Gears 5 Players Get 5 Days Of Boost, 600 Scrap As Apology For Launch Troubles

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It’s quite the way to take accountability for the errors of one’s ways.

Those who suffered through the server issues that plagued the Gears 5 Ultimate Edition early access launch were not forgotten.

The game was marred by significant matchmaking and connection problems, with every game mode — campaign, Horde, versus multiplayer, etc. — experiencing extended matchmaking times. Players were even randomly kicked with a myriad of errors.

As apology for the shaky launch of an otherwise excellent game, Gears 5 developer The Coalition gifted all player with five days of boost for all XP earnings, as well as 600 Scrap.

Scrap, in case you didn’t know, is used to craft skill cards, something players missed out on earning as a result of the game constantly disconnecting.

Did you run into any of the Gear 5 launch problems, and do you think The Coalition did enough to make it up to players? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Switch

Get Ready To Play Overwatch On The Nintendo Switch

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Overwatch on the Nintendo Switch
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One of the most popular games of this console generation has come to the Switch.

Nintendo has officially announced Overwatch for the Switch.

Dubbed ‘ Overwatch Legendary Edition’, the game makes it Nintendo debut on October 15.

Overwatch on Switch has been requested since the console’s launch. Now that it’s here, what exactly are gamer getting?

For starters, you get all of the content that has been released so far, plus motion controls and other features.

Now for the bad news: considering the Switich’s weaker specs compared to the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, this version of Overwatch run at 30 FPS in both docked and undocked mode, while resolution is different between the two modes.

Overwatch running at 30 FPS was somewhat expected, but the fact that the high-speed nature of the game requires a smooth frame rate, makes it disappointing.

The lower frame rate may also be a problem for the future implementation of cross-platform play, seeing as the game runs at 60 FPS on both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Will you be getting Overwatch Legendary Edition for the Nintendo Switch? Let us know in the comments below.

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Offbeat

EA Sets New Guinness World Record For Most Downvoted Reddit Comment

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Records are usually to be admired, but definitely not this one.

Electronic Arts has won what has to be one of the worst Guinness World Record of the digital age.

The American game publisher has received the 2020 Guinness World Record for the most downvoted Reddit comment as a result of its controversial comment on Star Wars Battlefront 2’s lootboxes back in November 12, 2017. This dubious yet impressive feat was spotted in the Guinness World Records by Reddit user -amsha-.

EA’s unpopular comment received an almost unbelievable 667,821 downvotes, handily beating the second most downvoted comment by more than 600,000 votes. Oddly enough, it also received 109 Reddit Gold awards.

Here is the comment in full:

The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.

We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.

Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can.

EA’s comment is hated on a scale never before seen in Reddit history, and we don’t think it will be beat in the foreseeable future.

Simply creating a free account on the Guinness World Records website will allow you to look up every record to date, including the EA record, which is listed under “Most downvoted comment on Reddit.”

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eSports

Top 400 Women In eSports Combined Earn A Fraction Of What The Top Man Makes

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Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn Female-esports Starcraft 2 player
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Women’s esports has a lot of improving to do.

For people who deny that there’s a gender pay gap, eSports will probably make you reconsider your position.

The top 400 women in esports combined earn less than half of what the top male eSports pro has made alone!

Data gathered from EsportsEarnings that looks into the money generated by the top female esports reveals the cold-hard facts (see the chart below).

In addition to their combined earnings falling far below that of the top male player, not a single woman can be found in the top 300 earners in esports.

The top male earner is Johan Sundstein, a Dota 2 player who has earned $6,889,591.79 from tournaments.

Starcraft player Sasha “Scarlett” Hostyn ($333,456.35) and Halo: Reach player Katherine “Mystik” Gunn ($122,000.00) were the top earners one the women’s side. The top 400 women combined have earned $3,030,000.

As the only woman in the top 500, Scarlett ranks 329 on the list of highest paid esports professionals.

Female eSports Gamers Earnings
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PC

The Borderlands Games, And Handsome Jack

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The Borderland games helped define two generations of gaming.

Most gamers know about Borderlands in one way or the other, whether in passing or because of a strong desire to become the best gun collector,. You may play it for the story, you may like the characters, or you simply want to kill everything in sight in as many different ways as possible — no matter your compulsion, each of the three Borderlands games will give you a blast!

Now, what can we say that hasn’t been said already? Will you have fun with these games? Yes, absolutely, in fact, fun turns into a rather misleading word when it comes to this franchise in particular. Will you have freedom in this game? To an extent. Many story-driven games do not have such an open concept when it comes to gameplay compared to what Borderlands puts on the board.

This franchise offers plenty of aspects that help to create the feeling of freedom – from 4 playable heroes to millions of usable weapons, to how you approach the fight – and even with these in mind, Borderlands games cannot be regarded as an open-world release; and it’s for the better. The compact stories that go from title to title give a sense of roundness, and this feature is often lacking in the more open-ended titles.

Borderlands

Let us start at the beginning: Borderlands was released in 2009, almost a decade ago. And it still holds up! With the engaging story, hordes of enemies and the continuous race towards the prize, Borderlands carved out a place for itself in the hearts of many fans. There are at least two amazing, title-defining features in this one. First one is the art-style, exceptionally unique to Borderlands games.

Borderlands Vibe & Style

It might seem inconsequential at first gaze, but when most releases in the gaming industry try to polish their graphics, thus making them look as smooth as a movie scene. There’s something refreshing to see an echo of a comic-book style, accompanied by the whimsical details and outlines, all seemingly coming back to life right from your first glance. This original style became as much of a staple in Borderlands as the weapon system.

RNG Weapons 

And even the first Borderlands game had a fair share of weapons! This brings us to the next defining element of the series: random weapon generator. The famed and beloved feature has become the main talking point when it comes to Borderlands games; there’s nothing more bonding than gathering your friends, grabbing a cup of coffee, and comparing which one of you was the most blessed by the RNG gods!

The More – the harder

The first Borderlands also offer a solution to the players who beat the game but still want more. To put it simply, the game raises the difficulty with each playthrough; so if you thought you will get to mow down the enemy and laugh at how pathetic they are, you will instead get to mow them down and laugh at how they are no challenge to you even when almighty. Borderlands games engine boosts them even further! And this rise in difficulty is applied to the whole system in general – your quests and DLC content also climb the ladder the more you play – endless fun!

Borderlands 2

The second addition to the series also keeps much of the same charm – only now you add a concrete villain in the mix. So, each time you shoot at some cannon fodder, you can imagine that smug face, till finally, you can put a bullet – or a dozen – in it too! The number of playable characters increased as compared to the first instalment of Borderlands games, so you can freely adjust the gameplay to your style. The greatly beloved sense of exploration returns, as some of the missions in Borderlands 2 now have multiple ways it may be resolved. 

Weapons for Practicality

But the greatest change from the first is (once again) weapons system. While the randomness remains, there’s also the differentiation between the manufacturers of the guns. Depending on who made your weapon, its stats and features will be different. Thus, keeping a close eye on your loot and weighing your options is important here – or you can always just pick the biggest gun and see where that gets you!

Borderlands The Handsome Jack

Borderlands games also offer an extensive insight into the backstory of the villain from Borderlands 2, Jack. The game, wonderfully titled Pre-Sequel, follows him and his companions on their journey to become the tyrant… or gain vengeance of the evil Colonel, whichever comes first. The game employs many of the same systems as the second game in the series, but with a few minor additions. Basically, it’s a great continuous play when put together with Borderlands 2.

Borderlands 3

And this brings us to the latest instalment to the famed Borderlands games! Well, the following iteration is still in the works, but it still counts, probably even more. Borderlands 3 will feature 4 new playable characters, many of the previously known faces will return as NPCs (as is the tradition for the series by now), and the game boasts with the chance to travel outside of the enemy-infested Pandora as here, you’ll battle a horrendous cult and its leaders.

Genre-defining

The combat system has been adjusted in accordance with the previous games’ success and many of the previous issues will now give players ‘longer’ fighting chance as NPCs can revive them and vice versa. Also, weapons will have an alternate fire mode, so imagine the possibilities with this one! The newest from Borderlands games, also adds new vehicles, new environments, new goodies and a lot more. It’s quite a paradise for the shoot-and-loot genre fans, truly. So, just ask yourself this: what more could you expect from a genre-defining shooter series? Nothing but excellence.

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