Assuming that the game is now stable enough in order for you to take advantage of it, Battlefield 4's double XP weekend for Premium members begins today. Previously scheduled to ring in the new year last Sunday, December 29, the event was postponed due to the "intermittent connectivity" issues we've been covering since the game launched in late October last year.
Not killed enough undead monstrosities this Christmas? Let Valve fix that for you. Left 4 Dead 2 is now free on Steam. In case you've missed it thus far, Left 4 Dead is blooming brilliant. You and up to three human buddies fight through 90 minute missions set in different zombie-infested locales across America. The zombie throngs are managed by an AI director, which measures your health and stress levels and doles out varying degrees of punishment to match your perceived mood. Watch out, also, for the special infected - hideous supermutants with unique ways of punching/eating/melting your face.
Maybe we should all start buying multiplayer games three months after launch. Releasing an online monolith that'll be played by millions is complicated business when there's no way to stress test against those huge numbers, but Battlefield 4's problems extend beyond connection errors and crashes to its shooting systems which, as a shooter, are almost all of its systems.
Fortunately, patch-o-geddon continues. The latest one fixes a bug that could see you shot to death if changing stance into cover. A desync while crouching could leave your phantom hitbox head exposed even when your vision was safely behind scenery. DICE have also "increased the camera height when crouching and moving to more accurately reflect the actual height of your soldier", cranking soldiers up from Tom Cruise to Liam Neeson altitudes. There are also some crash fixes, which are listed below, as lifted from the latest update on Battlelog.
Team Fortress 2 is currently on the first day of a promising update, the Two Cities update. The first city: Mannhattan. Day one’s reveal includes a new map for the game’s siege-defense style mode, Mann vs. Machine, and a slew of weapon effects and bonuses you’ll earn from playing there.
The tenth Call of Duty game came out this week, and by all accounts it's full of the same man-shootiness we've come to expect from the series. It's also not well optimised for PC. The frame-rate bobs all over the place and the apparently unshakeable mouse acceleration makes aiming feel slippery and weird. Players sensitive to narrow fields-of-view have also been suffering with Ghosts.
The good news is, there are a few tweaks and fixes popping up to alleviate the worst of it. Here are a few you might want to try from around the web.
Battlefield 4 Mythbusters video shows that you can revive friends in midair, save them by diving on bombs
Server troubles aside, Battlefield 4 is as bonkers as previous entries in the series, as the mythbusters team have discovered. For example, you can dive on a planted bomb while screaming "noooooo!" and absorb the force of the explosion with your body, saving your friends from certain death. Or you can dive after a dead friend who's falling off a skyscraper and revive him with electric paddles in midair, allowing them to activate their parachute and glide to safety. A Hollywood action movie director somewhere absolutely needs to steal this sequence for their finale. Michael Bay, this is your chance for redemption.
The video also shows a man shooting a rocket through the gap in a chopper to hit another chopper behind it. Time to spend the next ten games of BF4 trying to replicate this in a live environment.
Where to start? That must be the big question facing DICE right now as they try and wrangle Battlefield 4 into a stable state. Players have been reporting disconnection errors, freezes, crashes and a smattering of bugs. DICE have tabled a list of fixes they're working on on the Battlefield 4 forums, which includes a bug that stops server queues from working and various client instability problems.
Developer Overkill Software has been uncommonly dedicated to communicating with fans of its recently released heist shooter Payday 2, absorbing feedback, and releasing sweeping overhauls of game systems. Payday 2 was solid but had a few problems when Craig reviewed it, but since release, Payday 2 has been updated 13 times, receiving a new heist, new masks, a rebuilt economy and unlocking system, new skill tree descriptions, and numerous balancing tweaks.
Overkill also frequently answers fans on Twitter with screenshots of new characters and plans for future updates. In a lot of ways, this continued support and free updating of a game is the kind of attention we’d see from the team behind an MMO. A Halloween update has already hit, and more free content is on the way. David Goldfarb, game director at Overkill, says that they plan to continue to support the game for the foreseeable future.
Battlefield 4's first expansion pack, China Rising, will be with Premium players on December 3, Videogamer note. Players who opted for the pricey premium package get the five planned BF4 Xpacks two weeks before general release, which means China Rising should be available for everyone on December 17. It'll add four new maps set in "the vast and majestic Chinese mainland", which will be full of new vehicles and "high-tech military equipment". Please be lasers, please be lasers, please be lasers.
My allies and I creep through a terrorist-infested office block, eyes on each other’s backs, every possible sightline covered. After a brief, clinically precise shoot-out down in the car park, from where we chose to enter the building, we haven’t seen another enemy for some time. Enemy layouts are randomised in Takedown, so while you always know what to expect, you’re never quite sure when to expect it.
Nvidia put out some unofficial Call of Duty: Ghosts system specs a couple of weeks back suggesting that Infinity Ward's peppy manshooter would require a 64 bit OS, and they were right. The Call Of Duty site now has the official specs, which adjusts the 50GB install to a 40GB one (lets face it, 30GB of that is hi-res dog), but retains the 6GB RAM requirement. Watch Dogs, another game designed to span the gap between current and 'next-gen' console hardware, needs similar tech.
We can expect system requirements to quickly jump up when we start seeing ports of games that target the PS4 and Xbone exclusively next year. Will the similarity of the new console hardware to PC architecture make for smoother ports? I can only hope. Meanwhile, get yer Call of Duty: Ghosts system requirements right here.
It's a bit early in the day for explosions, you might think, but frankly September hasn't exploded enough for my liking. This video of Battlefield 4's multiplayer mode is the salve. There are small splodes, big splodes, rocket-powered splodes and loud, crumbling dam-splodes. These are splodes for the splode connoisseur. As you savour the impact and aftershock of each one, know that you'll be able to cultivate your own on October 1, when Battlefield 4 goes into open beta.
This is what the end looks like. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2's final DLC, Apocalypse, comes to PC September 26, marking the final batch of new content for developer Treyarch's latest entry in the venerable shooter series, according to a press release. The DLC includes four multiplayer maps and a new zombie level full of enemies that mix the robotic with the supernatural.
If Wargaming.net went full time into the CGI trailer making business, I'd probably be okay with that. Back in June they marked their 60 millionth registered World of Tanks player with pounding, industrial spectacle. Now, they've swooped into GamesCom with a World of Warplanes trailer that's just as dramatic, if a little more graceful. And hot on the teaser's tail is an announcement: the multiplayer dogfighter's official release date.
A new video posted by Overkill Studios, developers of Payday 2, walks us through a bank robbery as played by the QA team. The walkthrough shows how the different robber classes and equipment will interact during a heist, and how the whole thing can fall apart in an instant. Plus, it looks like a lot of fun.
It's become a tradition now for Call of Duty DLC to offer re-skinned, re-worked versions of classic levels and the final Black Ops 2 map pack is no exception. And in another nod to a deeply-held pastime, the new DLC—Apocalypse—releases August 27 first for Xbox Live customers, "with other platforms to follow," according to a press release.
Tripwire Interactive have executed the final phase of an almost half-year long rescue mission. After identifying the winning maps of a $35,000 mapping contest, they managed to smuggle the first batch into Red Orchestra 2 back in April. Now, they've returned, and those that were left behind have become the brave survivors of Operation: Counterattack Map Pack 2.
ShootMania was supposed to be the TrackMania of gun-games: a simple shooter in what’s become a tornado of killstreaks, unlocks and customisation. And it is, but only if you look at the bits where a mouse- click fires a gun at a bunny-hopping enemy. The rest is a rebuilding of the competitive FPS, but with an odd logic that suffuses everything from the menus to the movement.
It’s clear I’m in thrall to Nadeo’s eccentricities even before a shot is fired. ShootMania Storm’s menu screen is full of tiles. The biggest one is Storm, but to the right there’s a collection of smaller tiles with ‘Royal’, ‘Battle’, and ‘Joust’ written on them, and to the far right there’s TrackMania Stadium, an entirely different game. Er, which one of these makes people explode?
You would think that, of all times and all places, a future space war between aliens and humanity would be the last place you'd find people getting bashful about women serving in the military. I can't imagine screechy pterodactyls care which gender they're chewing on. If gooey bio-reptiles can get past these prejudices, can't we all? *Cue inspirational music* So it's good to see that Natural Selection 2 developer Unknown Worlds have announced the addition of a female marine, planned for an upcoming update to the multiplayer FPS strategy.