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Ubisoft's UPlay+ Goes Live, September Month Free

Ubisoft's games SaaS (software as a service) subscription platform, UPlay+, has gone live in select markets, such as the UK. The month of September is completely free, and is charged £12.99 per month thereafter. Unlike Origin Access, UPlay+ isn't tiered, and you get full access to over 100 AAA titles from Ubisoft, including their premium editions and DLCs. UPlay+ subscribers also become eligible to early-access beta access to upcoming games. You also get SaaS essentials such as the ability to cancel your subscription at any time, and renew it later (along with your data intact). There's a catch to the September FFA - you need to provide your credit card details upfront, which UPlay authenticates with a £1 reversible charge. On October 1, the first charge for £12.99 takes place, and your subscription rolls on. Reddit members have reported teething troubles with the payment gateway such as failed credit card charges.

Codemasters Reveal DiRT Rally 2.0 Season Two Content

Codemasters on 17th of May revealed the DiRT Rally 2.0 Season Two DLC will launch on June 4th 2019. New content, comprising of cars, liveries and environments, will be made available every two weeks with a primary focus on rallycross. Traditional rally fans can also enjoy a new location with the return of Wales and the Porsche 911 SC RS.

Debuted in DiRT 4, Group B rallycross cars are celebrated in Season Two with the inclusion of the Peugeot 205 T16 Rallycross, Ford RS200 Evolution, Lancia Delta S4 Rallycross and the MG Metro 6R4 Rallycross. With improved handling and graphical overhaul, the four vehicles will be a welcome addition when they are put through their paces on all rallycross circuits including the two brand new tracks, Bikernieki, Latvia and Estering, Germany. The new tracks are available weeks three and 11 respectively.

Hitman 2 to Get DirectX 12 Renderer Through a Patch Later Today

IO Interactive announced that "Hitman 2" will receive a new DirectX 12 renderer through a patch scheduled for later today. The game launched with only DirectX 11 support unlike the 2016 reboot of the franchise that was one of the posterboys of DirectX 12, and let you choose between the two APIs. The DirectX 12 renderer is expected to be better optimized for multi-core CPUs. Hitman 2 is published by WB Games, which likely emphasized on getting all of the base game out instead of the piecemeal episodic approach of the 2016 "Hitman," making IOI focus on content over technical advancements. The DirectX 12 renderer is now being retrofitted through a 1.8-gigabyte patch. Besides DirectX 12, the March 2019 update (v2.20) includes a new location, Hantu Port (Singapore), which will unlock as a DLC, with Sniper Assassin missions. The DirectX 12 renderer can be enabled through the Advanced Settings in the game's launcher.
The change-log follows.

Audio-Technica Debuts New Wireless High-end Personal Audio at CES 2019

At CES 2019 Audio-Technica is exhibiting an unprecedented number of new products. The wide variety of products on exhibit include the company's standard-setting ATH-M50xBT wireless studio monitor headphones, an all-new turntable lineup, the new top-of-the-line QuietPoint ATH-ANC900BT wireless noise-cancelling headphones and much more. The recently introduced ATH-M50xBT wireless over-ear headphones (SRP: US$199, available now) bring Bluetooth wireless technology to one of the world's most acclaimed pro audio and consumer headphones, the ATH-M50x. The ATH-M50xBT offers the same sonic signature that has made the ATH-M50x an audio industry standard, along with the convenience of on-the-go wireless operation.

The closed-back ATH-M50xBT's 45 mm large-aperture driver, rare-earth magnets and copper-clad aluminum wire (CCAW) voice coils deliver studio-quality sonic accuracy and musical enjoyment. The ATH-M50xBT utilizes Bluetooth 5.0 and is compatible with aptX and AAC codecs for the best-possible wireless audio reproduction. Controls mounted on the left earcup provide easy handling of phone calls and music listening. An internal battery provides up to 40 hours on a full charge, and the headphones can also be used in wired mode. Like all of Audio-Technica's new wireless headphones, the ATH-M50xBT is compatible with Audio-Technica's new Connect smartphone app, which provides an array of convenient tools and features.

Fallout 76: Atom Shop Prices Reach New Level of Absurdity

It seems many companies just never learn, you would think with Bethesda's various controversies surrounding Fallout 76 that they would have taken a step back and reevaluated their position. You would also think that their first decision would not have been to add more horrendously overpriced downloadable content to their Atom shop. However, instead of making an educated decision Bethesda continues to march straight for the cliff like a group of lemmings.

What did they do this time you ask? Well, they decided to offer more absurdly priced bits of cosmetic gear. First up was their Holiday Emote bundle for 1200 Atoms which is 50% off the regular 2400 Atoms. Next is the Mr. and Mrs. Claus outfits listed for 2000 Atoms, down from 3000. Finally theres the Red Rocket Mega Sign for 1400 Atoms. All told buying those three featured items from the Atom Shop would run you about 4600 Atoms or $40 which is coincidently the highest price the game sells for currently. It would appear Bethesda really wants to earn back their development costs on this one.

Square Enix Unveils NieR:Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition, Releases Feb 26, 2019 for $39.99

NieR:Automata on the PC platform is a love-hate affair, the former due to excellent gameplay and replayability via multiple "routes" and the latter no thanks to the game in need of performance enhancements and bug fixes that were promised nearly two years ago but yet to come to fruition. Overall, the game holds an overwhelmingly positive review feedback on Steam, and won many game awards from various video game publications last year. For those who were hoping, or just waiting, for a complete GOTY edition to come out, perhaps this news is for you.

Today, Square Enix officially announced the NieR:Automata Game of the YoRHa Edition that includes the full base game as well as the 3C3C1D119440927 Expansion DLC, four pod designs (Grimoire Weiss pod, Retro Grey pod skin, Retro Red pod skin, Cardboard pod skin), the Machine Mask accessory and two digital wallpapers. This releases February 26, 2019 for $39.99 for PC and the PS4, with the XBOX One having received a "Become As Gods" earlier this year that had brought with it performance improvements. It remains to be seen if the new edition gets a similar patch, which interested users must keep track of before committing to a purchase as many players today have had to resort to a third-party patch to get things smoothly running.

Battlefield V Update: Tides of War, Chapter 1: Overture Was Delayed, Live Now

For Electronic Arts when it rains, it pours, as Battlefield V continues to experience a multitude of issues. The various controversies and problems that plagued the game leading up to its release were terrible enough. Now with numerous bugs such as audio issues to squash along with balancing of guns and gadgets, DICE remains unable to catch a break. They have now discovered yet another problem, this time resulting in the delay of their first Tides of War content update "Chapter 1: Overture." This particular update was to deliver the new Panzerstorm map, vehicle visual customization options, The Last Tiger War Story, and the practice range among other things. All this new content will still be released but when that is is currently unknown.

DICE expects the delay to be a short one, but no official date for the launch has been set.

Update (5th Dec, 10:00 UTC): The update is now live and distributing via Origin.

Update (5th Dec, 14:30 UTC): We have just posted a detailed performance review of this patch across all three RTX graphics cards, at three resolutions each. To summarize, the performance gains are big enough that the RTX 2080 Ti can comfortably handle 4K again, and RTX 2080 be capable of 4K with some riders.

Battle Royale Mode Fans, Beware: Battlefield V's Firestorm Won't Be Available Until March 2019

A few weeks ago we learned that Battlefield V would have a battle royale mode called "Firestorm". PUBG and Fornite have made this game mode so popular that several games have tried to take advantage of this feature, and the latest title from EA and DICE won't be an exception. The problem is, that option won't be available at launch, and users will have to wait until March 2019 to enjoy this game feature. The roadmap for additional content has shown how Battlefield V will evolve in the next few months.

This gaming mode has been developed by Criterion Games in partnership with DICE, and 64 players in 16 squads will fight to be the last infantry squad. Before being able to play that mode users will be able to access other DLC such as "The Last Tiger" War Story, "Panzerstorm" (a new tank-focused map) and a new Practice Range mode. Between January and March we will see new content and co-operative modes such as "Combined Arms", and after that "Firestorm" and its Battle Royale mechanics will arrive. General availability for Battlefield V will start on November 20th.

Total War: THREE KINGDOMS Launches on PC March 7, 2019

Sega Games' latest entry to the Total War series was announced earlier this year, and now we know when it will be out along with more launch and order information. Total War: THREE KINGDOMS is, as expected, a turn-based real time strategy game and is set during the Three kingdoms time period in China (~190-280 C.E.). Fans of the Dynasty Warriors series will find familiar names and factions listed here, with players set to control one of 11 different factions led by warlords including Cao Cao, Lu Bu, Sun Jian and others. The game will launch first on Windows OS (on Steam) followed by MacOS and Linux support later next summer.

Despite the game being over 5 months from launch, we already have pre-orders available and that also comes with exclusive pre-order game content in the form of the Yellow Turban rebellion that precedes the main game and delves into the peasant rebellion against the Han dynasty. Whether you are a fan of this practice or not, you can check out the trailer below. The game itself is up for pre-order on Steam now for $60, and there is also a collector's edition for all of $160 which includes more content as seen here. As always, we caution against pre-ordering games- especially ones that announced pre-order DLC in advance.

On Ubisoft's Aim to End Finite Gaming Experiences

Lionel Rainaud, Executive Vice President of Creative for Ubisoft's Canadian studios, shared via a blog post an interesting, albeit not novel idea, for games. The aim is to end the disparaging of resources that is the finite game experience: as in, the game that you experience once or twice, but that once you've seen the campaign's completion and finished all the end content, goes back on the shelf never to see the light of your interest again: all the development time (measured in years) and effort (and dollars) for what amounts to an 8-hour experience (or less). The goal, then, seems to be to take online experiences to a whole new level, where a game's content can be constantly updated so as to keep the credits from rolling.
"(...) the will to not give finite experiences. The idea was that you have this conflict, and the resolution, and then it's finished - you've killed the bad guy, for instance. We build a strong nemesis, and the goal of the game is to kill him or free the country, we've done that a few times in our games. But when you succeed, you have to leave the game, because there is nothing else to do. So the goal was to break this, and say that you will be the hero of a region or population many times, not just once. And if you get rid of a dictator or an oppressor, something else is going to happen in the world, and you will have a new goal.

Lose by a Hundred, Lose by a Thousand: Black Ops 4 DLC Locked for Season Pass Buyers

Well, add this one decision by Activision to either a sensible, forward-thinking, profit-maximizing business decision or as another in a death by a thousand cuts scenario for the Call of Duty series. As big a behemoth as the series is, we doubt this will see the end of it; but whatever the side of that particular fence you're on, the decision to lock all eventually-launched DLC content behind a pay-once, get-it-all paywall seems to have struck the wrong cord with gamers and fans of the series.

Activision has announced that all future DLC releases will only be available and launched for Season Pass holders, and won't be able to be purchased in separate packages. There may be various reasons for this decision; one of them is that gamers are paying the development cost for DLC upfront, and thus, Activision knows exactly how much it can stretch the budget in each of the content releases. They can't change the actual release contents - those are set with the Season pass Announcement - but it's almost guaranteed they will scale back in map and asset complexity according to how many Season Pass bundles they sell - and thus, money they make.

Ubisoft Announces 'Hours of Darkness' DLC for Far Cry 5

Today, Ubisoft announced Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness, the first post-launch adventure, will release on June 5th across all platforms. The first DLC will transport players back in time as they play Hope County's Wendell "Red" Redler, who must find and rescue his fellow squad members from hostile forces during the Vietnam War. Hours of Darkness can be purchased as a standalone DLC or as part of the Far Cry 5 Season Pass and Gold Edition.

Far Cry 5: Hours of Darkness transports players into a war-torn Vietnam as they relive the harrowing experience of Wendell Redler from the main campaign of Far Cry 5. Playable in solo or online co-op, Hours of Darkness transports players from rural Montana to a dangerous jungle where they must rescue imprisoned squad mates, wreak havoc on the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army, and fight to get back home. This first DLC adventure will feature new gear and abilities as well as two different playable modes that will be unlocked after completing Hours of Darkness: Survivor Mode, giving players a limited load out for a more challenging play through, and Action Movie Mode, where a generous load out delivers over-the-top action.

Relic Terminates Development Of Further Dawn of War III Content

Relic Entertainment today announced that they were shifting focus and developing resources from developing any further content for Dawn of War III. As the third iteration in the RTS series has seen lukewarm response form critics, gamers, and the market as a whole, the company has said that "When a game underperforms, plans need to change. With Dawn of War 3, we simply don't have the foundation we need to produce major content. We're working in close partnership with Sega and Games Workshop to determine the best course of action, while shifting focus to other projects within our portfolio."

This likely means that no further updates will be delivered to the game, leaving players who were expecting to receive a new playable race in future DLC drops will remain wanting. Luckily, this means that Relic now has more resources to power onto other studio projects - one such could be the next iteration in the acclaimed Age of Empires franchise, which the company is currently working on. With Dawn of War being as expansive a universe as it is, it seems unlikely that the series will be put on ice and development of a franchise-related game won't be developed for Relic; however, that could still be an option. It remains to be seen what game,s and what projects, Relic Entertainment will choose to invest in.

Ubisoft Gets Serious On Far Cry 5 Season Pass: Zombies, Forests and Mars

Ubisoft has seemingly taken the "no holds barred" approach to the Season Pass and DLC packages for its upcoming Far Cry 5 game. Building upon one of its most well recognized franchises, Ubisoft has apparently (if allegedly, for now; we'll see when the actual content drops) for a CD Projekt Red-esque approach to DLC. Whereas before DLC options were relatively mundane and wouldn't set anyone's world on fire (except for Far Cry 3's expansion Blood Dragon), the company today announced that the Season Pass for Far Cry 5 will include three distinct environments for players to do battle in, alongside access to a digital copy of Far Cry 3 Classic Edition (the one with Vaas and the definition of insanity, yes).

Endless Space 2 Starts This Year with 'Vaulters' Expansion and Free Add-ons

Every year Amplitude celebrate the studio's anniversary with their players. For our seventh year of existence we're going BIG, kicking off with the reveal of the Vaulters Expansion for Endless Space 2!

THE VAULTERS EXPANSION - COMING JANUARY 25
This first Endless Space 2 Expansion re-introduces players to the Vaulters, an all-time fan favorite civilization that has been featured in all the Endless games. Did you know that in Dungeon of the Endless you play the crew that will ultimately become the Vaulters in Endless Legend? Auriga is a small world!!! Here's a quick overview of what you can expect from the "Vaulters" DLC. A new civilization means a new way to play, the Vaulters will have the ability to teleport and use the Argosy - their legacy super colonizer ship featured in the Prologue video.

Assassin's Creed Origins Gets 'The Hidden Ones' DLC on January 23

Today, Ubisoft announced that The Hidden Ones, the first downloadable content (DLC) for Assassin's Creed Origins, will launch on January 23rd, 2018, on all platforms. Ubisoft also revealed release dates for upcoming Assassin's Creed Origins post-launch content, including season pass content and free add-on content, available to all players. Players can continue their journey through Ancient Egypt with a wide variety of content, including several hours of new storyline expansions and quests, timed events and customization items.

DLC 1 - The Hidden Ones: This story-driven expansion builds upon the growth of the Brotherhood, taking players four years after the events of Assassin's Creed Origins, as they clash with an occupying Roman force in a new region of the world, the Sinai. This expansion will increase the level cap to 45, allowing players to continue to upgrade and customize their character. Players will have access to four new Legendary weapons, a new outfit, two new mounts and multiple new weapons, as well as two new levels for all crafted gear. The Hidden Ones DLC is available for all season pass owners or can be purchased separately on January 23, 2018.

Dragon Bones DLC Coming Soon to The Elder Scrolls Online

Zenimax Online Studios has revealed details on the first major update of 2018 for The Elder Scrolls Online - a two-dungeon DLC Game Pack called Dragon Bones, and Update 17, a free addition for everyone which includes a slew of new features and upgrades that make ESO better than ever. Dragon Bones and Update 17 are expected to launch in February.

The Dragon Bones DLC Game Pack will include two new dungeons - Scalecaller Peak and Fang Lair - available in both normal and veteran modes, with a veteran Hard Mode for each final boss. These new dungeons pit players against new and returning enemies, including plague-ridden ogres, powerful sorcerers and their undead creations, and even the reanimated bones of an ancient dragon.

Mass Effect 2 and 3 DLC Bundles Now Available for Direct Purchase on Origin

Purchasing DLCs for the Mass Effect 2 and 3 games has always been a pain, and expensive too. Players couldn't purchase the DLCs directly from the Origin Store. Instead, they had to buy special Bioware Points that are only sold in packages. Currently, the 800 and 1600 points packages cost $10 and $20, respectively. Due to the huge variation in Bioware Points between each DLC, players usually spend more than necessary to get enough points to purchase a specific DLC and sometimes end up with unused points. Although it's a little over due, EA finally puts the DLCs up for direct purchase on the Origin Store. The Mass Effect 2 DLC bundle is priced at $24.99, while the Mass Effect 3 DLC bundle will set you back $29.99. Just a reminder that the Origin Holiday Sale is still in effect, so you can get the standard edition for $6.49 if you don't already own them.

Total War: Warhammer II Rise of the Tomb Kings Campaign Pack Up for Preorder

Across the arid wastes of once-proud Nehekhara, legions of skeletal warriors and vast, terrifying constructs rise from the sands to serve their ageless masters. The Tomb Kings have awoken - to rebuild their glorious empire anew! New to both the Eye of the Vortex campaign and Mortal Empires in Total War: WARHAMMER II, the Rise of the Tomb Kings Campaign Pack introduces an entirely fresh campaign experience with a raft of race-specific gameplay mechanics, victory objectives, and lashings of authentic lore. In battle, the Tomb Kings field countless skeletal units, supported by towering stone constructs such as the Tomb Scorpion, Necrosphinx and the colossal Hierotitan.

In response to player feedback, Rise of the Tomb Kings does not contain a supplementary story campaign, but instead 2 additional Legendary Lords for a total of four, with their own skills, traits, quest-chains, legendary wargear and situational challenges. Players may embark on Tomb Kings campaigns as Settra the Imperishable, Khalida, Khatep and Nagash's former lieutenant, the malignant Arkhan the Black.

Bungie Vows to Stop Locking Destiny 2 Players' Activities Behind Latest DLC

A lot of controversy has hit Bungies' Destiny 2. If some concerns regarding the first game have been (somewhat) answered with the new systems and story integration of the latest Bungie release, the fact is that Destiny 2 has been, time and again, in the crosshairs of gamers for some reason or other. From weapons shipping with game-breaking bugs, to controversies regarding hidden experience scaling systems, it seems Bungie is moving from one trap to another in Destiny 2. And for the second time in a month, the company has vowed to start being more transparent, and listening more to the community they serve - and need.

The controversy now stems from Bungie's decision to lock players out of the late game content following the launch of Curse of Osiris. The idea was solid - increase the level of endgame activities, such as Raids and the Trials of the Nine multiplayer, to keep them relevant in the wake of new, higher-level equipment. However, this effectively locked players with only the base game from virtually all chances of succeeding in these activities, since only Curse of Osiris equipment could give players the Light level they'd need to have a chance at completing those activities. IN a blog post, Bungie has vowed to do better for gamers next time, and is moving to reset all base game activities to their base level - keeping base-game only players in the loop, and able to experience Destiny 2's systems.

The Division Update 1.8 Drops Tomorrow with Free Weekend & Free DLC Week

Today, Ubisoft announced that "Resistance," Update 1.8 for Tom Clancy's The Division will launch simultaneously on PlayStation4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC platforms tomorrow, December 5th. Coinciding with the release of Resistance, The Division Free Weekend is coming to all platforms from December 7th to December 10th. Additionally, all The Division owners will have free access to all of the expansions included in The Division's Season Pass (Underground, Survival, and Last Stand) from December 5th to December 10th. "Resistance," Update 1.8 is the largest free update thus far for Tom Clancy's The Division and expands the game map with a new area accessible to all players: West Side Pier.

Time to Get Tactical in Arma 3's Latest Mission Pack DLC

Bohemia Interactive today released the brand new Arma 3 Tac-Ops DLC Mission Pack. Delivering a true boots on the ground experience on a large-scale battlefield, players will be taking part in three distinct single player military operations. In Arma 3 Tac-Ops Mission Pack, players are tasked to lead an infantry, mechanized infantry, and/or special forces unit across an unrestricted warzone, often with multiple objectives to accomplish. The keys to success are thoughtful mission preparation, careful movement and positioning, skillful shooting, as well as patience.

Altogether, the missions should take at least 8+ hours to complete, which soon becomes more depending on playstyle and difficulty settings. Additionally, players can replay selected missions from the perspective of another unit. This, in turn, rewards them with a greater understanding of the military operation as a whole. Furthermore, people can watch special After Action Report (AAR) videos, which are presented by one of Bohemia Interactive's military consultants, and offer mission-specific insights on military tactics and combat.

Empire Divided DLC Takes Players Back to the Third Century in Total War: ROME II

SEGA Europe Ltd. today announced the launch of the new campaign DLC Empire Divided for Total War: ROME II. Empire Divided plunges players into the crisis of the third century, a do-or-die era for the Roman Empire. Players can embrace challenge of unifying the disparate Roman factions in glory - or playing as one of Rome's enemies, and dealing the killing blow.

Empire Divided breathes new life into ROME II, with 10 different playable factions, new victory conditions and new campaign features for players to contend with such as plagues, cults and banditry. Empire Divided also has a big narrative focus, as it chronicles the journeys of the characters and powers involved in this turbulent and fascinating time.

Civilization VI: Rise and Fall Expansion Pack Slated for February 2018 Launch

2K and Firaxis Games announced today that Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Rise and Fall, the expansion pack for the critically acclaimed and award-winning strategy title, will be available for Windows PC on February 8, 2018. Civilization VI: Rise and Fall brings new choices, strategies, and challenges for players as they guide a civilization through the ages. The expansion introduces new Great Ages, a new city loyalty system, and Governors while expanding existing Diplomacy and Government systems; and adds nine new leaders and eight new civilizations, a variety of new units, districts, wonders, buildings, and more. Players can now lead their empire into a Golden Age of prosperity or emerge triumphantly from a Dark Age into a memorable Heroic Age.

Free DLCs Coming to Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Before the Year Ends

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced various free content updates and features coming this year to Middle-earth: Shadow of War, providing players with new ways to continue the battle for Mordor and capture every epic moment. Upcoming free downloadable content (DLC) updates and features include:
  • Endless Siege - Defend your fortresses against Sauron's forces as the Dark Lord tries to reclaim Mordor in the Endless Siege. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Rebellion - Crush the rebel Ologs and Uruks in your forces as they seek to undermine the Bright Lord. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Enhanced Photo Mode - Capture every battle and siege and apply new filters, frames and textures with the Enhanced Photo Mode update. (Available 21st Nov)
  • Online Fight Pits - Challenge another player's Orc follower, Overlord vs. Overlord, to a fight to the death in the arena to earn powerful rewards and upgrades. (Available 5th Dec)
  • Brutal Difficulty - A new higher difficulty level even more challenging than Nemesis with no last chances. (Available 12th Dec)
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