Apex Legends Season 1 is Here!

You read that right ladies and gents, just one week after Respawn took to Reddit to call out dataminers giving out misinformation about their hit battle royale game… they announced everything those dataminers leaked previously. But hey, Season 1 of Apex Legends is almost here! As announced on the games official Twitter account, tomorrow will mark the beginning of Wild Frontier, and the release of the first battle pass for the game.

In their full press release on the games website, they lay out the entire battle pass for fans to drool over until its released. Throughout the 100 levels of the battle pass players will be able to unlock rewards ranging from weapon skins, themed stat trackers for each character, intro quips for each character and more. The announcement of the battle pass also confirmed the release of the next legend in the game Octane. There will be rewards to unlock for the new legend in the battle pass as well and many players are anxiously waiting to see what Octane brings to King’s Canyon.

The battle pass will cost just 950 Apex Coins (roughly 10 USD) similar to the Fortnite battle pass. If you are young, dumb, and broke high school kids (do I get points for a dated pop culture reference?) or just dont feel like the battle pass is for you, there will be Apex Packs and stat trackers for you to earn for free.

Check out the battle pass for yourself at the link above and let us know what you guys are looking forward to most in the comments below or on Twitter. Don’t forget to follow our Twitch channel to keep up with us, and even join us in Kings Canyon.

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No Man’s Sky Beyond: Our Wishlist for the New Update

Hello Games must have been reading our minds because I kid you not I was wondering when they were going to be announcing their next update for No Man’s Sky just yesterday. Now 24 hours (and one Twitter meltdown by yours truly) later, we have an idea of what is next to come for the space exploration game. They made the official announcement of the next update called Beyond, a large three part update that is proclaimed by Hello Games to be even bigger and better than previous updates (you can find the announcement on the game’s official website).

Beyond is being described as a culmination of three updates interwoven into one. The announcement of the update gave us just the first of the three updates to the game, which includes all new multiplayer and social experiences. The game will now be a full online experience where players can interact with one another. Hello Games is refraining from calling it an MMO because their are no subscriptions or microtransactions, but in essence… it’s an MMO now (hence my Twitter meltdown).

The bad news in this announcement is that they only announced that first part of the update and are going to announce the other two over the next two weeks. The good news, though, is that we get to let our imaginations run wild with ideas of what the other two parts to Beyond might be. I have a couple of things that I would personally love to see added into the game that are not completely out of the realm of possibility.

Our buddy Simon, who you guys would recognize from our CoD podcast, joked that he would never play the game unless there was a battle royale mode that spanned multiple planets in a star system. As sarcastic as he was when he said it, my ideas arent terribly far off from what he brought up. They also are two interconnected ideas so I feel like they would fit in with the theme of Beyond as a whole. The first part of it being a true, fleshed out PvP experience.

PvP

The past two and a half years since launch, Hello Games has been committed to bringing narrative, exploration, cooperative play and crafting to the heights they currently, and have done a fantastic job. Now that the PvE experience has reached the potential Hello Games envisioned initially, it feels like the right time to shift focus towards new PvP experiences.

There are a couple ideas I have conjured up on how they could potentially approach PvP. They could do a traditional matchmaking system where you have ground or air combat with whatever multi-tool or ship you have in your playthrough and just do match made games, or another thought I had was implementing PvP star systems. You could have a designated filter on your galaxy map that will show you which star systems are PvP enabled and which are PvE only.

Updated Faction System

The third piece to my dream Beyond update would be to add depth to the faction system. There are currently faction based quests and ways to gain or lose reputation with the different factions in the game, but it still feels a little shallow and you dont entirely feel like apart of a certain faction. I would love to see them have you ally more closely with these factions and build on the bits of lore that you find within the universe.

How They Would Intertwine

These two concepts would work very well together because the updated factions and lore can attribute to why the PvP events are happening. You can even have full faction based PvP if you so choose. Have conflicts between Gek and Vy’Keen players scattered in different star systems. Another idea is have PvP arenas of sorts in certain Vy’Keen systems (I chose them because they are the brutish warrior race). These two concepts play so well off of each other so I feel like these would be such great pieces to the game.

Other Ways it Could Impact the Game

With an improved faction system I feel like it would be a great opportunity to continue world building by adding new, complex building types that are unique to each faction. For example, in a Vy’Keen system, you might see remnants of warrior base camps on planets or intricate well made Gek cities. This would make each planet feel more alive and unique.

With PvP, it gives them an opportunity to add new types of mods for the multi tools to help cater to combat more and even add new vendor types that can help you better equip yourself for battles.

The possibilities for Beyond are endless at this point and this is all just wild daydreaming but I would love to see those changes implemented into the game. The evolution of No Man’s Sky has been amazing and I hope they continue to bring new exciting things to the game (like my ideas listed above) so that the game can continue to captivate the fans that stuck with them through this development cycle.

What big changes do you want to see hit No Man’s Sky in the Beyond update when it drops this Summer? Sound off below or let us know on Twitter!

Shaggy’s Fate With Mortal Kombat 11…

It has been a great time over the last month with some amazing Shaggy memes hitting social media out of no where. The memes have been taking the beloved character of Scooby Doo, and they have been turning him into an all mighty demi-god character that is Shaggy. Through the time of the memes it has been noticed by higher ups at Nether Realm thanks to a petition to introduce Shaggy into the Mortal Kombat Universe as a DLC for MK11. At first it seemed like all fun and games just some jokes with the community that was a distant dream to happen in the game… Then Ed Boon started making tweets about Shaggy…

Hi? Lo? Mid? Grab? I will mix your shit up in fighting games! – Ed Boon

This started to pick up some traction by the community and people started to hope that this might become a real thing, such as myself. There were many fans of the genre starting to draw up concept art, think of names for combos, and voice lines for the character’s fatalities and intros. This was going so far at one point this is what exploded the internet…

Hack and Slash Shaggy variation πŸ˜‚

-Ed Boon
When Ed Boon dropped this photo on twitter everyone took a second to think.. wait did we do it? Is this going to happen. Even myself I told everyone I’m going to dedicate my life to become the best Shaggy one trick in MK11… People started to think if they could have the rights to Shaggy which it did seem possible with Nether Realm and Scooby Doo being owned by Warner Bros. there is a possibility…Sadly it was finally confirmed that we would not be seeing the lovable mystery solving goon that is Shaggy with a tweet of #RIPShaggy. It was fun while it lasted but it is defiantly crazy to see how far a petition can go in the gaming industry.
Thanks for checking out our article on Shaggy’s Fate with Mortal Kombat 11. Make sure to leave your thoughts in comments below. What was your favorite idea for Shaggy as a character in Mortal Kombat 11? If you could see any character introduced to the franchise who would it be? Make sure to follow us on social media!
-Brandon Maj

Outward: The Most Interesting Game You Haven’t Heard Of

Ninedots Studios was founded back in 2011 with the goal of pushing the potential that games have to offer. Their first two games – Brand and GoD Factory: Wingmen – were both well received, with GoD Factory getting greenlit on Steam and published by Bandai Namco; however, their next project, Outward, looks to be their most ambitious project yet and a big step towards their goal.

Outward is an unique take on the open world RPG genre. It doesn’t tell the story of a young knight and his rise to prominence or the leader of an army facing an impossible threat, just a story about you. Who you are in Outward is quite simple, you are an adventurer living life in the land of Aurai. That is what makes Outward such an intriguing prospect, it gives you the freedom to do what you want and play how you want.

There is a big, beautiful world for you to explore with four different biomes within it. Two different mountain regions with varying weather and enemies, a desert region that has extremely warm and cold temperatures depending on the time of day, and a marsh that has poisonous waters. The changes in the weather in the game will also change the way you go about navigating the world. Your character is effected by extreme temperatures (both hot and cold) and you will want to pack appropriate clothes for the right conditions.

Your pack is something that is unique to the game as well. Backpacks will vary quite a bit in size and will effect your characters movement. If you carry around a large pack you will be able to fit more loot and supplies with you but you will be sluggish while carrying it. You will be able to remove your backpack and explore and fight without it on but you run the risk of losing it.

These types of mechanics are why Outward has my interest piqued. The world feels very much alive in a way that many RPGs haven’t explored yet. For example, if it snows during the winter, snow will actually accumulate on the ground. You will also see events that take place in real time; so if someone were to ask you for help and you decide to continue on with other things, that person doesn’t just stay there waiting for you to come back they carry on with the task without you. Sprinkle in survival elements, dungeons to explore and towns to explore, and you have a game that could help lead the RPG genre forward to new depths.

Hopefully Ninedots desire and efforts to test what games can be inspires other studios to test the boundaries of not just the open world genre, but all types of games. I would highly recommend checking out some gameplay so you can see some of what Outward has to offer before it drops on March 26th (which you can find here).

 

Madden 19 First Thoughts…

We are getting close to the start of the NFL season, and that means madden is here! Myself and Manny got our hands on the Hall of Fame edition of the game nearly a week ago, and so far we have had a very good time. I have always been a huge fan of the madden franchise where on the other hand Manny hasn’t purchased a current Madden since Madden 13 and hasn’t played one since Madden 16.

I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had in Madden in almost 3 years now. Last year really fell short for me and I quit playing after only about two months of being released. Where most Maddens I continue to play until after Christmas. I have always been a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) for the excitement of pack openings and the grind to make your team better throughout the season and different holiday events that pop up through the year. So, I will admit ALL of my time spent on the current Madden has been all in MUT over the past week of the game. I really enjoy the different aspects this year to make it much easier to figure out what you want to do and the game is much more straight forward for MUT. This is my first time ever playing MUT Squads (a new game mode that was implemented in last years Madden to allow you to play MUT with your friends.) Manny and myself have played a few matches so far and overall it has been really fun to play with your friends in this game mode. We did a huge pack opening the first day of launch and it was incredibly fun we got some amazing cards in our packs. Manny even pulled a 90 overall Legend card which blew my mind. There is a new addition to MUT this year that I’m sort of having a bit of a love-hate relationship with currently. That is the new upgrade progression system. Now there are cards in the game that you can upgrade with new tokens. Which yeah is really cool and all but at the same time I feel like it makes it so much easier now to get a really good team, which is something I always loved about the grind it meant a lot when your team’s overall was around an 85. Well, after the first week my team overall is already a 79… which usually took me about a month to achieve, and I know if I spent more of my tokens I could probably break the 80 overall threshold. Which scares me because the grind is what always kept me around playing Madden to get my team as close to a 90+ as possible, and I have a feeling I may hit that in the first month if I keep grinding like I am. All in all the Madden Ultimate Team is very fun again this year like most. Now for the gameplay.

This years Madden has the smoothest gameplay I have ever felt in a sports game. Most of you are probably thinking “shouldn’t the newest game always feel smoother then the last?” Well yes it should but honestly Madden 18 felt clunkier then 17, and others have felt worse then previous years. This one has it all so far. The passing and running are very fluent while the new player movement system is fantastic and really allows you to combo different special movements with the ball carrier. Also hit sticks on defense seem to make a much bigger impact, but are also way harder to land now. You pretty much either force a fumble, or you are giving up a huge play. I really love that they have fixed a lot of the gameplay issues from last year. The only thing that is bothering me when it comes to actual gameplay is when you begin running on a play the ball carrier or defender doesn’t accelerate like old maddens. It’s very slow, and feels kind of weird. The two best parts about the new player movement system in Madden 19 has to be the celebrations and the fact that different players are slower then other players. To touch on this first, in most Maddens my 90+ speed running back would get caught by a 67 speed Defensive lineman running down the sideline, which was super unrealistic to me. They have finally fixed this problem! The second portion the statement previously… touchdown celebrations are in the game and they are so fun and exciting! Everytime you score now you just get so excited to see which celebration your character will go with after you choose. It really makes scoring feel even better now in Madden 19!

I am going to give Madden 19 an 8.8 out of 10. The MUT is extremely enjoyable, and from what Manny has told me about franchise you have so much more control this year as a player with bonus rewards mid game and different goals throughout the season. The only things so far holding me back to give the game a higher rating is the MUT progression system, MUT Squads not allowing you to play with just 2 players, and the acceleration aspect of the game. That being said the game has some amazing new additions with player movement, and prior to Madden 19, the highest I would have scored another Madden would be around a 8.2, so this game takes the cake with the new motion system! Let us know why you thought of the article and your options of Madden 19 in the comments! Make sure to hit the star so we know you enjoy the article! Untill next time.

-Brandon Maj

Country Roads, Take Me Home

Since it’s announcement on May 30th, Fallout 76 has been the talk of the town and there are several reasons why. It all started with the games lengthy announcement: a 24 hour live-stream filled with a whole lot of nothing, topped off with an appearance by industry icon Todd Howard. Throw in an online only announcement and the implementation of player controlled nukes and you have a game full of both excitement and controversy, but Bethesda wouldn’t have it any other way.

After their E3 Showcase last month, many people were worried that Fallout 76 was going to be filled with PvP griefers among other issues. For me personally, I even had my own reservations about the different direction they were taking the game… but then I remembered, this is Bethesda we are talking about. The game studio that has made two of my favorite games of all-time (Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Fallout 3) and haven’t put out a bad title… ever? So I put my own reservations aside and decided to wait until I knew more details about the game.

Now after details continue to emerge about a lot of the controversial aspects of the game, I am all in for Fallout 76. The biggest concern I had from the start was that with the game being online only and having PvP that it would take away from the core focus of the game which is rebuilding America. Thanks to clarification from Pete Hines, it seems as though the PvP will not be something that’s a constant issue for players that want to focus on the PvE and building aspects of the game. My concerns with the nukes – which would allow players to bomb a part of the map potentially destroying other players C.A.M.Ps – were also squashed with the explanation that they would not be so easy to obtain and use. Players will have to find multiple keys spread across the map, fight their way into heavily guarded bunker, and blindly launch the nuke. They will not be able to purposely attack other players, and those in the blast radius will be notified.

So hopefully this little article helps put your minds at ease as well. Bethesda seems to be putting mechanics in the game to assure that the game’s focus stays rebuilding the country and not a free for all. While we eagerly await the BETA, which is set to launch this October, let us know what you guys are excited about most with Fallout 76!

Black Ops 4 Beta Dates

The dates have finally been announced when the beta will drop for Black Ops 4, the upcoming installment for the Call of Duty franchise. It has been a sigh of relief the last few years when the developers have allowed us to indulge on early gameplay for multiple reasons. The biggest of course is for the not so hardcore fans to know if they will be interested in the newest Call of Duty. Then another benefit for the hardcore fans is they will be able to express their opinions of different gun balances pre launch. Even though some people may view the Call of Duty as a second evil to EA with their microtransactions, it really has been much appreciated that we have been getting betas for the past few games. Yes, for most part the franchise has become stale, but I will argue that the recent Call of Duty installment betas have lead to a much more polished game release.

Multiplayer Beta Dates:

Playstation 4 (First Weekend):

Start: August 3rd 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 6th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Playstation 4 and Xbox One (Second Weekend):

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

PC:

Start: August 10th 10am PT / 1pm ET

End: August 13th 10am PT / 1pm ET

Black Ops 4 Blackout Beta: Classified

There are a plethora of different elements the community is eager to get their hands on in the beta. Black Ops 4 is trying it’s best to make Call of Duty feel innovated again, but this could be its ultimate downfall. As much as the community complains about Call of Duty being stale by not taking risks, these same people lash out when the game does change (jet packs). There is potential for a pivotal year for Call of Duty with the addition of new combat changes such as self healing, medics, five man matches, and BATTLE ROYALE… this could be a huge turning point for the franchise. If pulled off correctly, fans will find their love for the game again. But if the additions lack, it could be the final dagger to the heart for the franchise. As a long time Call of Duty lover… I really hope this could be the change we are needing.

Let us know what you think about the upcoming Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4. Are you interested with the changes? Are you buying in on a AAA title making a battle royale game mode? Are you excited for a possibly new tactical game play with self healing? Or do you just want Call of Duty to die already?

-Brandon Maj