Announcement

DC5n United States software in english 60 articles, created at 2021-12-06 06:01 articles set mostly positive rate 4.8
(1.01/2)  1 
0.1
Miles Morales returns in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) trailer

The first look at the sequel to Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse reunites Miles Morales and Gwen Stacy before sending them Across the Spider-Verse. 2021-12-06 03:14 2KB www.digitaltrends.com

(0.12/2)  2 
0.3
gamerant.com

Players who have Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl should consider adding the Fire-type, Growlithe, to their team. 2021-12-06 02:25 3KB gamerant.com

(0.06/2)  3 
0.4
gamerant.com

Leakers and dataminers believe that they have confirmed Fortnite fan speculation regarding the return of the iconic Tilted Towers location. 2021-12-06 01:16 3KB gamerant.com

(0.03/2)  4 
0.6
gamerant.com

One Skyrim player celebrates their favorite adoptable orphans with a heartwarming poem dedicated to their digital daughters, Sofie and Lucia. 2021-12-06 01:06 3KB gamerant.com

(0.03/2)  5 
0.7
gamerant.com

One talented fan of Skyrim decides to carve a real-life replica of the Wabbajack Staff, featuring the different faces of the one found in-game. 2021-12-05 23:36 3KB gamerant.com

(0.02/2)  6 
0.8
gamerant.com

One resourceful fan of Animal Crossing: New Horizons manages to recreate a functional version of the game's iconic cherry speakers. 2021-12-06 01:57 3KB gamerant.com

(0.02/2)  7 
0.1
Fortnite: Receive your next objective in the Joneses and drop off supplies location

Your guide to the latest Fortnite quest. We show you where to receive your next objective at the Joneses and where to drop off supplies 2021-12-06 00:20 2KB www.pcgamer.com

(0.02/2)  8 
0.3
Best elliptical machine deals for December 2021

Elliptical machines give a solid cardio workout without damaging impact. We found the best elliptical deals available this month. 2021-12-05 22:53 2KB www.digitaltrends.com

 9 
0.4
New drone owner? Check out this video before you fly

With drones again expected to be a hot-ticket item over the holiday season, the FAA has launched a safety campaign urging new pilots to follow the rules. 2021-12-06 03:00 2KB www.digitaltrends.com

 10 
1.1
The best Australian PC gaming deals this week

Last updated: December 6.A couple of times a week, we trawl through the deepest, darkest corners of the world wide web in order to unearth some of the best PC gaming deals in Australia. This story will largely focus on highlighting PC hardware and peripherals discounts, but if there are any appealing AU-exclusive games bargains, we'll include them too.Without further ado, here's our current selection of deals — as always, if you spot anything else good, let us know in the comments section below. This round-up will be updated weekly. or just whenever there's an especially good bargain to be had. As bargains expire, we'll remove them from the page. For a wide range of deals, as well as live price comparisons, check out our sister site Getprice. 2021-12-06 02:54 5KB www.pcgamer.com

 11 
0.4
Honeybees Survive Weeks Buried Under Volcanic Ash in La Palma

Five hives survived about 50 days covered in volcanic ash. To stay alive, they sealed their hives with bee glue and ate their honey stores. 2021-12-06 02:52 3KB gizmodo.com

 12 
0.6
gamerant.com

The Game Awards' involvement with The Matrix Resurrections promotional material continues as it seemingly confirms a rumored Fortnite collaboration. 2021-12-06 02:37 3KB gamerant.com

 13 
0.0
gamerant.com

Ubisoft's newest For Honor trailer officially reveals the final season of its fifth year, teasing its frozen setting and a new character. 2021-12-06 02:31 3KB gamerant.com

 14 
0.2
EBI Inc. background check service review

EBI Inc. is a customizable background check service to help optimize your talent acquisition process. 2021-12-06 02:30 5KB www.techradar.com

 15 
1.5
Death Trash patch fixes 'a crash caused by Fleshworms eating puke'

There's nothing about gorepunk RPG Death Trash that isn't delightfully grotesque, and that extends to its patch notes. A tweet following the latest one simply notes: "Uploaded a hotfix for a crash caused by Fleshworms eating puke."The latest patch for the Early Access RPG brought it up to version 0.7.30, and added an infection system. Actions like using implants and eating the meat that grows out of the ground in Death Trash's peculiar post-apocalypse increases your infection value, but you can lower it with the puking skill. "The main purpose of the infection system is to bring more of the narrative layer into the direct gameplay," the patch notes, er, note, "to give more raison d'être to the puke ability, and to replace the previous energy system, which we weren't really happy with."In Death Trash, vomit can be picked up and carried around your inventory along with various other gross things. Like fleshworms, which can be found around the groundmeat and tamed with a successful animalism check. Then you can pop them in your bag to be hurled at enemies.This is the main cause of the bug, as a follow-up tweet explained. "Some players were carrying Fleshworms as well as puke in their bags. Then they walked into a mine, their body exploded, all items dumped on the ground, the worms survived, and, finally free, immediately ate the dumped puke." Fleshworms aren't supposed to eat the remnants of a Technicolor yawn, it turns out. Not just because that's yucky, but because it crashed the game. Fortunately the hotfix was quick and now it's safe once again to roam the wastes with a bag full of fleshworms and chunder, as god intended. 2021-12-06 02:16 3KB www.pcgamer.com

 16 
0.6
gamerant.com

And what are the tiny flames that illuminate the pathways through the dangerous lands? 2021-12-06 02:00 5KB gamerant.com

 17 
0.1
gamerant.com

After a very successful launch that was followed by weeks of uncertainty, New World's reviews and player numbers are not in their best state. 2021-12-06 01:51 3KB gamerant.com

 18 
0.6
gamerant.com

Overwatch players are making the most of the Experimental Mode's changes, and this includes Mei players turning into Cryo-Freeze missiles. 2021-12-06 01:47 3KB gamerant.com

 19 
0.7
gamerant.com

A Halo Infinite player shows off their impressive run with the Grappleshot and its grappling hooks in the game's multiplayer. 2021-12-06 01:41 3KB gamerant.com

 20 
0.3
No surprise: NSW iVote fails during local council elections

The NSW Electoral Commission had planned and tested for 500,000 online votes, but on election day it just wasn't enough. Critics are not surprised. 2021-12-06 01:41 5KB www.zdnet.com

 21 
0.6
NASA’s skywatching tips for December include a comet called Leonard

December's night sky offers a good look at Venus, a comet called Leonard, and the annual Geminids meteor shower. Check it out! 2021-12-06 01:30 3KB www.digitaltrends.com

 22 
0.3
gamerant.com

The Game Awards 2021's handling of recent Activision-Blizzard controversies is causing a stir leading up to the big show later this week. 2021-12-06 01:29 5KB gamerant.com

 23 
0.4
gamerant.com

A viral video implicates a higher-up and engineer executive at Sony for allegedly attempting to meet up with a 15-year old boy. 2021-12-06 01:21 3KB gamerant.com

 24 
0.0
Australia commences work on electronic surveillance law reforms

Under proposed reforms, Home Affairs will look to revamp various concepts regarding when law enforcement agencies will be able to access data to prevent serious crimes and security threats. 2021-12-06 01:19 6KB www.zdnet.com

 25 
0.2
Watch Henry Cavill politely explain Warhammer is not World of Warcraft

Henry Cavill appeared on The Graham Norton Show recently to promote The Witcher season 2. It's Norton's job to make celebrities seem grounded and human with a light ribbing, and it's their job to respond with humor and be impossibly good-looking while he does, which is exactly what happened when Norton brought up one of Cavill's nerdy hobbies—collecting, painting, and gaming with Warhammer miniatures. Except that what Norton said was, "You paint, is it War… World of Warcraft?"You can watch the clip above, and you should because it's charming. Cavill explains that miniature wargaming has two halves to : "There's the painting/modelling side of the hobby, and then there's the gaming side of the hobby." When asked what he does with his miniatures after painting, he replies, "Then you, erm, you put them together in little armies and you fight against someone else's army. It's actually—it is fun! It sounds ridiculous, but it is fun."Norton goes on to asks whether Cavill invites other people over to play with his "toys", and that's when Tom Holland (one of the show's other guests, there to promote the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home) raises a hand and asks, "Can I come over and play? It sounds amazing!" Cavill says he can, and from there the fanfic practically writes itself.Cavill has previously explained he spent his quarantine time painting Warhammer miniatures, and even on the set of The Witcher he couldn't stop thinking about it. He makes a fine ambassador for a hobby that has included celebrities like Robin Williams and Peter Cushing. I leave you with this lovely video of Cushing and his collection of historical miniatures, which PC Gamer's Jon Bolding brought to my attention. 2021-12-06 01:18 3KB www.pcgamer.com

 26 
0.1
gamerant.com

Director Guillermo del Toro gushes about his love of Film Noir in a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Searchlight's Nightmare Alley. 2021-12-06 01:00 3KB gamerant.com

 27 
0.2
gamerant.com

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl developer Ludosity vaguely teases that a new fighter is coming to the game, due for announcement in a matter of days. 2021-12-06 00:46 3KB gamerant.com

 28 
0.0
Windows 11: Give yourself more time to roll back the upgrade

After a Windows 11 upgrade, you have 10 days to roll back to the previous Windows 10 installation. If that deadline seems uncomfortably short, you can use a built-in Windows tool to extend it to as much as 60 days. 2021-12-06 00:28 4KB www.zdnet.com

 29 
0.3
gamerant.com

Many will agree that the modding community is vital to the longevity of Skyrim, but a recent removal suggests the studio may not always concur. 2021-12-06 00:27 2KB gamerant.com

 30 
0.4
gamerant.com

A recent Genshin Impact leak apparently reveals the release date for one of the upcoming characters, the long-waited Yae Miko. 2021-12-06 00:26 3KB gamerant.com

 31 
0.2
Australia's audio-visual archive gets AU$42m from Canberra to preserve at-risk collection

Around 240,000 known audio‑visual collection items are expected to be digitised and preserved by Australia's National Film and Sound Archive. 2021-12-06 00:20 2KB www.zdnet.com

 32 
0.0
gamerant.com

The Forest is an atmospheric survival horror with plenty of chilling elements, but the enemies are what make it a truly frightening experience. 2021-12-06 00:10 5KB gamerant.com

 33 
0.7
Five new Steam games you probably missed (December 6, 2021)

On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done. If nothing catches your fancy this week, we've gathered the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of the 2021 games that are launching this year. 2021-12-06 00:04 5KB www.pcgamer.com

 34 
0.3
gamerant.com

Full Tilt can be pretty daunting for new Fall Guys players. Here's how gamers can navigate this round. 2021-12-06 00:00 5KB gamerant.com

 35 
0.2
gamerant.com

Fans believe that Charlie Cox’s Daredevil will be a part of Spider-Man: No Way Home, but Marvel doesn’t need to use the Multiverse as the reason. 2021-12-06 00:00 6KB gamerant.com

 36 
0.0
gamerant.com

Resident Evil is a global mega-franchise, but the first Silent Hill game remains a more thoughtful, cerebral experience for horror fans. 2021-12-05 23:40 4KB gamerant.com

 37 
0.1
NSW Transport and Cisco to run AI and IoT trials to ease congestion on public transport

Several buses, ferries, and light rail services in Sydney and Newcastle will used to investigate how a real-time view of those services can guide improvement for reliability, future network decisions, and repair work. 2021-12-05 23:36 4KB www.zdnet.com

 38 
0.6
gamerant.com

Xbox Game Pass is unquestionably worth the subscription fee, but which of the available games are the best use of your hard drive space? 2021-12-05 23:35 71KB gamerant.com

 39 
0.1
Spotify Pulls Content of Comedians Fighting to Get Royalties

Comedians John Mulaney, Jim Gaffigan, and Kevin Hart are part of a group of comedy writers seeking to be paid for the copyright on their jokes. 2021-12-05 23:35 5KB gizmodo.com

 40 
0.2
Collect and combine some 1200 monsters in creature RPG Siralim Ultimate

If you're a fan of creature collecting and in-depth RPG mechanics, I've got a game for you: Siralim Ultimate, the latest release in the indie RPG series of monster collecting and combining games. It's all about building up a party of powerful monsters, combining the best into other, more powerful monsters, throwing them into 6v6 monster battles, and using them to clear not just a main story but bojillions of procedurally generated dungeons. 2021-12-05 23:31 2KB www.pcgamer.com

 41 
0.6
gamerant.com

Reports indicate that Microsoft has enabled a feature that warns Microsoft Edge browser users if they try to download Google Chrome. 2021-12-05 23:08 3KB gamerant.com

 42 
0.8
Here’s how and where you can watch the best 4K content

Here is where you can find the best 4K content. This list highlights the best places to find 4K and HDR content, both on-demand and live. 2021-12-05 23:04 17KB www.digitaltrends.com

 43 
0.6
gamerant.com

While the future of the Eternals is in question, one of the writers confirms that Richard Madden's Ikaris will definitely not return. 2021-12-05 23:00 4KB gamerant.com

 44 
0.3
How to watch Yellowstone season 4 episode 6 online where you are

Sparks are ready to fly at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. Here we explain how to watch Yellowstone season 4 episode 6 online from anywhere. 2021-12-05 23:00 3KB www.techradar.com

 45 
0.4
Remote working jobs: 5 problems we need to solve in 2022

Remote working, flexible working and hybrid working are all here to stay. We've demonstrated that they can work - the task now is to make sure they do. 2021-12-05 23:00 9KB www.zdnet.com

 46 
0.4
gamerant.com

Gamers can get a bundle of 60+ indie games from itch.io for only $5, with all proceeds going to the World Land Trust charity. 2021-12-05 22:51 2KB gamerant.com

 47 
0.2
gamerant.com

The Sims 4 has had numerous game packs and expansions, but what is still missing from the experience? 2021-12-05 22:46 7KB gamerant.com

 48 
0.0
Activision Blizzard 'will not be a part' of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley says

Annual festival of trailers and also some trophies The Game Awards is just days away, and host Geoff Keighley has announced that "Beyond its nominations" Activision Blizzard won't be involved. The Game Awards are "a time of celebration for this industry," he wrote on Twitter, "the biggest form of entertainment in the world. There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community. I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change.  We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world's best games."Since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace back in July, allegations like Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick telling an assistant he was going to have her killed have raised questions about whether it's appropriate to promote the company during a celebration of what's best about games.In an interview with The Washington Post before this statement, Keighley was asked about Activision Blizzard's involvement with The Game Awards. "We want to support employees and developers," he said and, "We have to think very carefully about how to proceed here." While there are six major games scheduled for reveals, Keighley confirmed that neither Diablo 4 nor Overwatch 2 would be shown during this year's awards.Traditionally Blizzard saves big announcements about its games for BlizzCon, but Activision has shown off its games during previous The Game Awards—last year, a trailer for the first season of Call of Duty: Warzone. The advisory board, who are not involved in the nominations or voting process but instead "guide and advance the mission of The Game Awards", includes Activision president Rob Kostich.Call of Duty is nominated for Best Esports Game and Call of Duty: Warzone for Best Ongoing this year. Here's the full list of 2021 nominees.The Game Awards are an in-person event this year, though they'll also be livestreamed via more than 40 platforms, and will be held on December 9. As well as the absence of Activision Blizzard announcements, there won't be any NFT games. 2021-12-05 22:44 4KB www.pcgamer.com

 49 
0.4
Best home internet deals for December 2021: AT&T, Spectrum, Optimum and more

Find the right internet service for your home. Here are the best home internet deals to help you enjoy faster speeds and save cash. 2021-12-05 22:44 4KB www.digitaltrends.com

 50 
0.9
Here's your Steam page for the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

Behold! Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection has a Steam page.The collection is a remaster of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the most recent two games in the series. The Uncharted games are sprawling, set-piece action adventure romps filled with explosions and guns and pirates and modern-day buried treasures of various sorts. 2021-12-05 22:39 1KB www.pcgamer.com

 51 
0.1
Last chance to land 5 years of Ivacy VPN for $1 per month

News, Reviews & Betas which includes large community peer support At just $60 for the entire billing period, this Cyber Monday week treat yourself to a premium VPN service. Unblock geo-protected streaming services and regain your online privacy. Ends Dec 5th. 2021-12-05 22:38 2KB www.neowin.net

 52 
0.4
Broncos vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch NFL Sunday Night Football from anywhere

Here's how to get a Denver Broncos vs Kansas City Chiefs live stream and watch NFL Sunday Night Football from anywhere, as Vic Fangio's improving team take on a very well-rested KC. 2021-12-05 22:28 2KB www.techradar.com

 53 
0.1
How to watch Gervonta Davis vs Isaac Cruz and live stream title fight from anywhere

Undefeated Gervonta Davis will need to be at it from the first bell against the ferocious Isaac Cruz - discover how to watch a Davis vs Cruz live stream online from anywhere. 2021-12-05 22:21 2KB www.techradar.com

 54 
0.5
gamerant.com

Destiny 2 players are continuing to toy with the game's transmog system, and a Guardian has come up with a great Dark Souls-inspired set. 2021-12-05 22:20 3KB gamerant.com

 55 
0.4
What if Microsoft advertised Windows 11 honestly?

I think it is safe to say Windows 11 has not been enthusiastically received, due to a number of issues, such as limiting who can upgrade, the very unfamiliar and immature new start menu, simplified right-click menu, limited widget system and much more. This has not stopped Microsoft from touting the new OS however, but […] 2021-12-05 22:20 1KB mspoweruser.com

 56 
0.5
Here’s a list of portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for some portable tech devices to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded a list of must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a Tesla Coil rechargeable lighter to a folding Bluetooth keyboard on our list. 2021-12-05 22:17 10KB www.digitaltrends.com

 57 
0.2
gamerant.com

The manga will adapt the Year 2 sequel series with illustrations by Shia Sasane. 2021-12-05 22:15 2KB gamerant.com

 58 
0.4
Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack review

The Tajezzo PZ5 is packed full of features that proved themselves useful, especially if you get around on two wheels. 2021-12-05 22:09 5KB www.techradar.com

 59 
0.6
Best board games 2021: For adults, families, two players, and more

Video games? Who needs them, when you and your friends can gather around a table and play some board games? Here are our favorites. Start planning game night. 2021-12-05 22:04 14KB www.digitaltrends.com

 60 
0.4
gamerant.com

Though the game is surrounded by controversy, The Last of Us 2 dominated The Game Awards 2020 in a way that has not been matched this year. 2021-12-05 22:03 6KB gamerant.com

Articles

DC5n United States software in english 60 articles, created at 2021-12-06 06:01

 

 1 /60 

0.1
Miles Morales returns in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) trailer
(1.01/2)

As seen in the Oscar-winning animated film, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Peter Parker isn’t the only Spider-Man in the multiverse. Now, Sony Pictures Animation has finally unveiled the first trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One). Via EW, writers and producers Phil Lord and Christopher Miller confirmed that the Spider-Verse sequel is now going to be two movies instead of one. Within the extended preview scene, the multiverse’s latest Spider-Man, Miles Morales, is reunited with Gwen Stacy, the Spider-Woman from another Earth. And poor Miles does a very bad job of hiding his romantic interest in Gwen. But it won’t be long before Miles’ alter ego runs into yet another Spider-Man. Who is the second Spider-Man in that clip? He’s Miguel O’Hara, the Spider-Man in the year 2099 who made an appearance in the end credits of the first movie. Miguel has been in the comics since his debut in 1992, but he made his first appearance on the big screen during the post-credits scene of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Miguel is also very aggressive with Miles in this trailer, but we don’t know why the two Spider-Men are fighting. Both are heroes, and yet they may find themselves at odds with each other. Shameik Moore is reprising his role as Miles Morales/Spider-Man, alongside Hailee Steinfeld as Gwen Stacy/Spider-Woman. While the first film took place primarily in Miles’ world, the sequel will take Miles and Gwen on an adventure in other worlds as well. Regardless, they will reunite at some point with Peter B. Parker, as voiced by Jake Johnson. Oscar Isaac is also reprising his role as Miguel O’Hara/Spider-Man 2099 with a much larger role in the sequel. Most of the new cast remains under wraps for now. That said, Issa Rae, the star of HBO’s Insecure, is joining the cast as the voice of Jessica Drew, the original Spider-Woman. Lord and Miller are executive producing the film and co-writing the script with Shang-Chi writer David Callaham. Joaquim Dos Santos, Kemp Powers, and Justin K. Thompson will direct the film for Sony Pictures Animation. Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One) will hit theaters on October 7, 2022. According to Lord and Miller, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part Two) “will be out sometime in 2023. We will sleep again in 2024.”
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
08bf682489e4b67409e59167e35769a1

 

 2 /60 

0.3
gamerant.com
(0.12/2)

In the Pokemon anime, Growlithe served as Office Jenny's signature Pokemon. While these Growlithe would solve crime or need rescuing from Team Rocket, the Growlithe in Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl can spend time aiding players on their journey or snoozing away in a PC storage box. Unfortunately, those who have Shining Pearl will not be able to find Growlithe in the wild. Growlithe is an exclusive Pokemon in Brilliant Diamond, and it won't appear until after the main story is completed. RELATED: Every Pokemon Exclusive to Brilliant Diamond (& Where to Find Them) Despite Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl having more Fire-type than its originals, Pokemon Diamond and Pokemon Pearl, some of these Pokemon are only available in the post-game. Growlithe's habitats are in several hideaways, but until players defeat Cynthia and the Elite Four, it won't appear. Another requirement is the National Dex. This can be obtained by seeing every Pokemon in the Sinnoh region. Luckily, players don't need to catch 'em all unless they're looking to fill up the pages. With this complete, travel to Sandgem Town and speak to Professor Rowan to get the National Dex. Pokemon from the Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn regions will now be available to catch in the wild and the Grand Underground. Growlithe appears in the following hideaways: If Growlithe isn't appearing, exit and then re-enter. To increase the chances of Fire-types appearing, players can add statues to their Secret Base. Certain statues will increase the appearance rate of Pokemon with a specific type. Depending on the habitat players visit, Growlithe can appear as low as level 16. Shining Pearl players can either get a Growlithe or Arcanine via trading. If they get Arcanine instead of Growlithe, they'll need to breed Arcanine with a Ditto at the Pokemon Daycare to get a Growlithe egg. Since Vulpix is considered Growlithe's counterpart (high Defense/Special Defense, modest Attack/Special Attack) and is Shining Pearl exclusive, consider trading one for Growlithe. Trainers who catch Growlithe may want to evolve it into Arcanine using a Fire Stone. Level up Growlithe so it can learn all of its best moves before giving it the Fire Stone. This will save trainers from having to give Heart Scales to the Move Tutor just for Arcanine to "remember" its better moves. Both Growlithe and Arcanine have solid Attack, Special Attack, and Speed. This makes it ideal for battling, but be careful it doesn't go up against something that can easily pick away at its modest Defense and Special Defense. Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Pokemon Shining Pearl are available now on Nintendo Switch. MORE: Pokemon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl Video Shows What Happens When a Ditto Uses Transform on a Shiny Ditto
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
6ac0c1e1cb74b7552486ad307086273e
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
3fe31945ebee59601ceafd082a9247ff
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
391b23496366a2ce04c3f59ba7561cb4

 

 3 /60 

0.4
gamerant.com
(0.06/2)

Fortnite has just gone through one of its biggest, world-changing events yet. The end of Chapter 2 saw Fortnite 's map flipped on itself, prepping the game for an all-new map in Chapter 3. However, while Epic Games had the opportunity to reinvent Fortnite with the chapter shift, some things are more familiar than expected. Watchful Fortnite fans looking at Chapter 3's map noticed something interesting buried beneath the snow. With the clarity of leaks looking deeper into the Season, Fortnite insiders believe Tilted Towers is making yet another return. To be clear, Tilted Towers is currently not available in Fortnite Chapter 3 Season 1. That's because a large section of Chapter 3's map is currently covered in snow; the map has been hidden on the underside of the world, after all. Plus, it's the holiday season. However, comparing the overhead view of the area reveals building structures that line up with Tilted Towers from past seasons. In other words, it appears that Epic Games has hidden one of Fortnite 's most beloved areas beneath the snow to be uncovered later. RELATED: Fortnite Chapter 3 Character Trailer Reveals Spider-Man Skin and More This is where the work of leaders, dataminers, and insiders comes into play. It's unofficially confirmed that the snow currently covering Chapter 3's map is going to melt week by week going forward, as it's only here for a brief seasonal celebration. That means Tilted Towers is going to be available this Season, as confirmed by a leaked map showing what everything looks like without all of the snow. If that wasn't enough, another leak teases that there are Fortnite challenges to be completed in Tilted Towers as soon as week 8. There is one caveat, however, as the leaked version of the map with all of the snow melted doesn't reveal the full Tilted Towers area. Rather, there's something wrong with the area, as if it's been covered in stone or lava. Perhaps there's something more going on with Tilted Towers than meets the eye. Tilted Towers is one of Fortnite 's most iconic points of interest. It goes all the way back to Season 2 of Fortnite, where it quickly become one of the most popular drop locations in Fortnite history. With that in mind, Epic had to destroy it, which it did just a few seasons later. Epic has since brought back Tilted Towers, or pieces of it, several times since. Stuff like this is what makes the start of Chapter 3 so exciting, as no one really knows what to expect. Not only has Epic made an entirely new map for Fortnite, but it's also using clever ideas like snow to hide some of its secrets so that they're discovered at a later date. Even leakers can't figure out all of Fortnite 's secrets, it seems. Fortnite is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/X, and mobile devices. MORE: Fortnite: Where to Place Surveillance Cameras in a Single Match at Mighty Monument
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
6ca3e180512bba37c8706c94224e85ef
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
c15eda4c8dde613f3194555278b7e8c6

 

 4 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com
(0.03/2)

The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is a landmark title that has helped determine the direction of open-world games and RPGs as a whole for the last decade. This incredibly popular game is well-known for its intricate world, branching narrative options, and countless vivid characters. However, some members of Skyrim 's extensive cast seem to be more beloved than others, as shown by one player who wrote a heartwarming poem dedicated to Sofie and Lucia. Sofie and Lucia are not characters with significant links to the overall plot of the game. The two of them are some of the many young orphans that Skyrim players can adopt after meeting the requirements. Although they are both level 1 and provide relatively few gameplay benefits, it appears that the girls have still left their mark on the memories of many gamers. RELATED: Skyrim Player Has Logged Over 1,000 Hours and Only Has 17 Achievements Redditor letterlegs shared a 16-line poem titled "To Sofie and Lucia", which serves as a tribute to the gamer's favorite digital daughters. Several lines directly reference the situations Sofie and Lucia are in when the Dragonborn encounters them – Lucia begging in order to survive in the city of Whiterun, and Sofie selling flowers and flower baskets for a living in Windhelm. The poem states that the Dragonborn has lived countless lives, but Sofie and Lucia will always be their daughters. "Why are you begging alone beneath bare branches? And you, in the snow, have you sold any flowers? I will buy them all. You do not recognize me, but I know you well. I have lived countless lifetimes, as beggar, and prince, I have done great things, I have stared into Oblivion's eyes and laughed. But each time we meet, no matter who you may see, you will always be true daughters to me." Sofie and Lucia are only two of many orphans that can be found in Skyrim, but the pair have some remarkably tragic circumstances. Sofie's mother died when she was young, and her father was a Stormcloak who died in battle. When the Dragonborn encounters her, she's sleeping outside the house of Niranye, a merchant and fence associated with the Thieves' Guild. Lucia's mother also died, her father doesn't seem to be in the picture, and her aunt and uncle kicked her out when they took her mother's farm. With stories like these behind them, it may be easy to see why letterlegs got so attached. It appears that other fans also have strong feelings about Skyrim 's adoption mechanics. Several users shared their stories of adopting Sofie or Lucia as well as other unfortunate orphans players can encounter. Others mourned that Skyrim players need adoption mods in order to take home more than two of these troubled children. One user, in particular, requested a poem dedicated to Meeko, a dog that can be recruited as a follower or adopted as a pet. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available now on PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. MORE: Most Hated Skyrim Characters
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
f72646f2c042206eacec649486f4df87

 

 5 /60 

0.7
gamerant.com
(0.03/2)

Despite releasing over 10 years ago, many gamers continue to explore the open world of The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim. Along their journeys, players often run across dangerous foes that must be taken down in battle. Fortunately for players, the game features a number of different armaments. One of the weapons present in Skyrim 's is the Wabbajack. Created by Sheogorath, the Daedric Prince of Madness, the Wabbajack is a staff with unusual properties. One of the intriguing aspects of the weapon is that it has the power to cast a number of different spells. However, the staff comes with a catch for those that choose to wield it: the spells cast are often unpredictable. Some of the characteristics of these various spells include disintegration, transformation, and empowerment. In addition to its use in battle, the weapon has an unusual appearance. RELATED: Skyrim Player Has Logged Over 1,000 Hours and Only Has 17 Achievements Recently, a fan of Skyrim decided to recreate the Wabbajack in real life. In a post on Reddit, a user known as Dittograin shared pictures of the creation. One of the highlights of the design was that each of the 3 sides of the staff included a different face with a unique expression. In addition, the wood featured a dark brown color similar to that of the item seen in the game. Due to this ingenious design, turning the staff would reveal a different facial expression. In addition to showing off the impressive carving, the artist detailed the work put into the design. According to Dittograin, the staff was made out of Basswood. In order to complete the look of the iconic Wabbajack, the artist used oil paints along with a gel stain finish. In addition, they revealed that woodcutting was their full-time job and that this particular project took over 20 hours to complete. This unique carving by Dittograin has caught the attention of many members of the Skyrim community on Reddit. With over 6,300 upvotes in less than a day, fans were impressed with the level of craftsmanship on display. In addition, some even joked about whether the staff could cast spells in real life. The artist responded, “I messed up somewhere, the spells don’t work.” Furthermore, some wanted to know if the artist would consider selling the piece. Unfortunately, Dittograin wished to keep the item as a unique piece of art. This isn’t the only work of art created by the Skyrim community recently. A couple of months ago, another talented fan painted a breathtaking picture of Alduin, with the dragon soaring over the starry skies of Tamriel. It’s exciting to see fans of Skyrim continue to come up with stunning fan art 10 years after the game was first released, and time will tell what other creations gamers make in the coming days. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim is available on PC, PS3, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. MORE: Most Hated Skyrim Characters
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
f72646f2c042206eacec649486f4df87

 

 6 /60 

0.8
gamerant.com
(0.02/2)

Since its inital launch back in March of 2020, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has cultivated a dedicated and loving fanbase. With various celebrities and even entire sports teams using Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a way to connect with a larger audience, this game has become, in many ways, a cultural phenomenon. This has obviously resulted in a massive amount of fanmade content. One of the most alluring aspects of Animal Crossing: New Horizons as a whole is the resources the game gives its player base so that they can properly envision interesting in-game creations. For instance, one player managed to recreate the town of Onett from Earthbound within Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Now, one fan of Animal Crossing: New Horizons has recently created something much more tangible. RELATED: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fan Remakes The Lost Woods From Breath of the Wild A Reddit user named Oomoo_Amazing made a physical version of the cherry speakers from Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The DIY recipe for the cherry speakers in-game is given to the player by Tom Nook after receiving the first three housing kits for new villagers to come to the island. The cherry speakers can play music in-game, and it seems that this physical version of the speakers will also be usable. According to the user, the speakers will play the entire Animal Crossing: New Horizons soundtrack. Given that Animal Crossing is home to some of Nintendo's most relaxing music, the speakers will certainly provide some serene background noise. Not to mention that, considering the music will be coming from a set of speakers that look exactly like a speaker set from Animal Crossing: New Horizons, it will likely make the experience that much more meaningful. In any case, it's amazing to see how Animal Crossing: New Horizons' popularity has continued to persist. With so many users still active online and sharing such impressive content, Animal Crossing: New Horizons will likely manage to maintain its success for several years. The addition of features such as Kappn's mystery islands should only add to the game's longevity, as players have been provided with plenty of additional content. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for Animal Crossing: New Horizons going forward. While the final free content update for Animal Crossing: New Horizons released back in early November, it's a little hard to believe that no additional Animal Crossing content will release. It's possible that paid DLC content could release at some point in the future, but as of right now, it's impossible to know what to expect. Animal Crossing: New Horizons is available now for the Nintendo Switch. MORE: Animal Crossing: New Horizons Fan Improves System Kitchen With Clever Trick
gamerant.com
gamerant.com
69efcb5358e44b77a659c34a8741d42e

 

 7 /60 

0.1
Fortnite: Receive your next objective in the Joneses and drop off supplies location
(0.02/2)

More Fortnite Chapter 3 Guides Fortnite Chapter 3: Everything we know Best Fortnite skins: Finest virtual threads Fortnite Creative codes: Best custom maps Fortnite Crew skins: What's next for subscribers How to Slide in Fortnite: Cha-Cha Real Smooth Fortnite Chapter 3 is here, and one of your first quests is to "receive your next objective in the Joneses and drop off supplies." Basically, you're a spy for the Foundation and the Seven, who need you to drop off supplies as a cover for snooping around several locations. This will let you figure out where the Joneses' allegiance lies. But this fetch quest can be a pain if you don't know where to look. So we've gone through the trouble for you to locate all supplies locations. For your trouble, you'll get a bonus 25,000 XP to help boost your battle pass. Read on for the full guide. Recieve your next objective in the Joneses (Image credit: Epic Games) First, head to The Joneses, a major POI in Fortnite Chapter 3. It's located in the east and a bit south of the bay. The Joneses is a pretty modest couple of cabins, a trailer, and a watchtower. You'll find Jonesy NPCs littered about that will sell you weapons or other assistance. When you reach the location, one of the members of the Seven will contact you via radio and brief you on your mission to drop off supplies as a cover for snooping. You're looking for three of these supply drop-off spots. (Image credit: Epic Games) Here's where you can find three of the supply locations. All you have to do is interact with each. (Image credit: Epic Games) You'll find one by a door to the north building, one sitting outside the building to the easy, and one by the watchtower to the southwest. That's that. You've officially completed the challenge. Congratulations, and don't forget to check out all our other Fortnite guides for Chapter 3. How to slide in Fortnite How to get the Fortnite Crown Everything we know about Fortnite season 3
Fortnite: Where to Discover the Device location guide
pcgamer.com
e0f8640810db17a98841b907b567baca

 

 8 /60 

0.3
Best elliptical machine deals for December 2021
(0.02/2)

If you’re shopping for home cardio equipment and trying to decide between a treadmill or an elliptical machine, listen to your joints. Many people prefer ellipticals because they put less stress on their bodies compared to the impact of running on a treadmill. With an elliptical machine, your feet never leave the pedals, which minimizes the potentially damaging impact on joints. Equally important to note, is that, unlike treadmills, most elliptical machines have handles that provide both an upper and lower body workout. If your 2021 goals include better cardiovascular conditioning, you’ll be all set with an elliptical machine ready to use. Below, we’ve collected some fantastic elliptical deals, after scouring many storefronts. Elliptical training works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and anterior tibialis. Also, ellipticals work your quadriceps and hamstrings harder than treadmills. When you use the movable handles on most ellipticals, you also exercise your triceps, biceps, and shoulders, which doesn’t happen with most exercise bikes. Using an elliptical allows you to follow the natural path of your feet and legs when they are in motion. The motion that your ankles, knees, and hip joints make during walking, jogging, or running is the same motion that an elliptical makes. Also, ellipticals provide a weight-bearing exercise, which is essential to prevent the onset of osteoporosis. Since ellipticals exercise more muscles simultaneously than most other cardio exercises, you can burn more calories and fat in a short period. Studies show most people report that they didn’t think they worked as hard during workouts with an elliptical machine as when they were on a treadmill. This means that you are actually working out harder than it feels like you are. Many elliptical machines today feature menus of challenging exercise programs that mimic hill climbing or interval training, which can make workouts more enjoyable and less repetitive. Many machines also have heart rate monitors and controls that allow you to optimize your workout based on heart rate control. As you can see, there are many benefits to investing in an elliptical machine. There are hundreds of brands and elliptical machine models, but we have you covered. We’ve put together a list of some great deals on ellipticals for your home gym — some even double as an exercise bike. Also, be sure to check out our fitness equipment deals page for other items to round out your home gym.
Best treadmill deals for December 2021
digitaltrends.com
3fecc3e031bc464e3c1a7af4b31697c5

 

 9 /60 

0.4
New drone owner? Check out this video before you fly

With drones once again expected to be a hot-ticket item over the holiday season, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched a safety campaign urging new pilots to follow the rules and take care. The effort includes a video (below) highlighting the basics and a “12 days of drones” social media campaign with posts featuring various drone-related safety rules. The FAA reminds new recreational flyers that any machine weighing 250 grams or more needs to be registered at the FAADroneZone website before it takes off, and that an FAA-issued registration number needs to be displayed on the outside of the aircraft. After that, head to this website to find out how to take the free UAS (unmanned aircraft system) safety test that all new recreational flyers are required to take. FAA rules for safe flights include operating your drone at or below 400 feet and keeping your aircraft within your line of sight at all times. Respecting other people’s privacy is also important. In other words, don’t go flying it over someone’s yard or close to people in a private space. With a few rogue drone pilots causing problems in the skies over the years, the FAA feels compelled to point out what’s obvious to the vast majority of pilots who operate their drones responsibly. And that is: Don’t fly your drone near other aircraft, regardless of their size. Crowded stadiums during major sports events are also off-limits. The FAA also warns drone pilots to stay well away from wildfires as the presence of such aircraft could hamper efforts to tackle the blaze from the air. Finally, as with any vehicle, only operate your drone with a clear head and definitely not after guzzling booze or taking some other brain-befuddling substance. Follow the rules and you’ll have a safe environment in which to enjoy your drone and refine your flying skills, thereby lowering your risk of a calamitous crash. Looking for a new drone? The Mini 2 is a solid budget option from DJI, while the Mavic Air 2 offers a few more bells and whistles at a decent price, as does the Air 2S with its larger sensor. There’s also the advanced Mavic 3 drone, released by DJI just recently. For current deals on drones under $500, Digital Trends has you covered.

 

 10 /60 

1.1
The best Australian PC gaming deals this week

Shopping for bargains? Try these stores Amazon Australia Dell Australia eBay HP Lenovo Microsoft Australia The Good Guys Last updated: December 6. A couple of times a week, we trawl through the deepest, darkest corners of the world wide web in order to unearth some of the best PC gaming deals in Australia. This story will largely focus on highlighting PC hardware and peripherals discounts, but if there are any appealing AU-exclusive games bargains, we'll include them too. Without further ado, here's our current selection of deals — as always, if you spot anything else good, let us know in the comments section below. This round-up will be updated weekly. or just whenever there's an especially good bargain to be had. As bargains expire, we'll remove them from the page. For a wide range of deals, as well as live price comparisons, check out our sister site Getprice. Cheap gaming PCs in Australia Dell G15 Ryzen Edition Dell G15 Ryzen Edition| Ryzen 7 5800H| RTX 3060| 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD| AU$2,299 AU$1,839 A well specced machine at this price, which you could feasibly use as a work and productivity PC that also plays games. In addition to the specs above, it has a 15.6 inch 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. Via Dell. Cheap gaming monitors in Australia Dell 27 (S2721DGF) Dell 27 (S2721DGF)| AU$799 AU$519.34 Veteran bargain hunters know you should never pay full price for anything Dell (they're always on sale) so if you've had your eye on this LED-backlit LCD display, here's a good time to grab it. It's a QHD affair with a 165Hz refresh rate and AMD FreeSync Premium Pro. If you're after a QHD curved affair with AMD FreeSync Premium, that's even cheaper at the moment, down from AU$599 to AU$399. Via Dell. Cheap gaming keyboards in Australia Cheap gaming mice in Australia Razer DeathAdder V2 wired mouse Razer DeathAdder V2 wired mouse| AU$139.95 AU$66 A very nice price on our favourite gaming mouse, which combines simplicity with ruggedness with the usual RGB adornments. This is a AU$73.95 saving on a mouse with one of the best sensors available, and will make the majority of gamers happy. Via Amazon. View Deal Logitech G203 Hero Lightsync Logitech G203 Hero Lightsync| AU$69.95 AU$35 This is our second favourite gaming mouse, chiefly for its balance of quality and affordability. This discount ain't going to make it a better mouse but it is going to make it even more affordable: it's now the cost of an extremely cheap night out. Via Amazon. View Deal Logitech G703 Hero Lightspeed Logitech G703 Hero Lightspeed| AU$189 AU$104.50 This classy wireless affair has a 16,000 DPI sensor, as well as 1:1 tracking and 400+ IPS. It's a damn smooth unit, in other words, and this is a substantial discount on a usually fairly pricey rodent. Via Amazon. View Deal Razer Deathadder V2 Razer Deathadder V2| AU$139.95 AU$69 A good price on this well-rated gaming mouse, though it's been down to as little as AU$60 before. Boasts a best in-class 20,000 CPI sensor and optical click sensors. We scored it an admirable 88 back in 2020, so well worth investigation, though maybe wait until Black Friday. Via Amazon. View Deal Cheap gaming storage in Australia Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe SSD Samsung 970 EVO Plus 2TB NVMe SSD| AU$349 AU$299 For our money, this is the best NVMe SSD for PCIe 3.0 speed, and it has that dependable Samsung reliability too. This is the 2TB model and that amount of space for a touch under AU$300 is good stuff, especially from a prestigious brand. If you're after just 1TB, that's currently AU$155, down from AU$189. Via MWave. View Deal Crucial P5 Plus 1TB NVMe SSD Crucial P5 Plus 1TB NVMe SSD| AU$259 AU$239 When it comes to PCIe 4.0 NVMe storage, the Crucial P5 series is usually on the affordable side. This AU$20 discount doesn't seem to be a lot but it is, at least, a discount on some blisteringly fast storage. Via Scorptec. View Deal Cheap gaming chairs in Australia Secretlab Titan Evo (2022 series)| Secretlab Titan Evo (2022 series)| AU$679 from AU$644 at Secretlab (save AU$35) It may not be the most jaw dropping discount, but a nice AU$35 off the best gaming chair is much better than nothing. It sits right at the top of our best gaming chairs list for a reason: This thing is comfortable, stylish, and full of useful, innovative features. View Deal A note on affiliates: some of our stories, like this one, include affiliate links to online stores. These online stores share a small amount of revenue with us if you buy something through one of these links, which help support our work evaluating components and games.

 

 11 /60 

0.4
Honeybees Survive Weeks Buried Under Volcanic Ash in La Palma

Tens of thousands of honeybees in Spain’s Canary Islands can now add “survived a volcano” to their bucket list. Well, since they’re bees, we’ll add it for them. A gripping and delightful report in the New York Times on Saturday told the story of five hives of honeybees who were left unattended after the eruption of the Cumbre Vieja volcano in La Palma, which blew on Sept. 19, for about 50 days (their beekeeper had been forced to leave the area). In recent weeks, when the beekeeper returned, he found the hives covered in volcanic ash. Inside the hives, however, the scene was totally different. The beekeeper found tens of thousands of live honeybees, part of the local Canary black bee species, who had managed to carry on despite the heat and poisonous gases released by the volcano, the Times reported. They may have also gotten lucky because they were covered with light and porous ash, which allowed air to pass through the hives. Not all honeybees on La Palma were so lucky, though. Spanish news agency EFE reported that a group of hives closest to the Cumbre Vieja’s main cone had been covered completely by lava, which killed them. Antonio Quesada, a fellow beekeeper and a spokesperson for the Gran Canaria Beekeepers Association, told the outlet that that a key part of the bees’ survival was propolis. Produced by bees, propolis is a sticky substance made from resins the insects collect from plants and buds. Often called “bee glue,” propolis is often used to smooth rough surfaces or seal crevices in hives. Spatial audio Water resistant A whole new look The La Palma bees used propolis for the latter. Quesada said they managed to seal themselves inside their hives to protect themselves from the volcanic gases, which can be potentially harmful to people, animals, vegetation, and property. The bees also thought about food and ate from the honey stores they had inside their hives. “It’s incredible how such a tiny animal that has been around for hundreds of thousands of years can maintain that resilience, that ability to survive,” Quesada told the outlet. That’s not all they did, though. Although they sealed themselves in their hives, they made sure to leave a miniscule pathway to the outside so they could get out one day. T he moral of this tale is that honeybees are the best preppers for the end of the world. Considering how things are going, we could learn from them. Cumbre Vieja is still erupting, after all, and scientists have no idea when it’ll stop.

 

 12 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

The Game Awards ' has closely advertised Lana Wachowski's The Matrix Resurrections at the same time as its own promotional material for Thursday's awards show. Recently, The Game Awards has shared that The Matrix Resurrections ' second theatrical trailer will drop tomorrow alongside the opening of ticket sales. But another tease embedded in this news hints at something that may not necessarily be film-related, and has fans excited for a games-related announcement. The Game Awards will still be the grand stage for high profile world premieres, and perhaps something will be shared tomorrow relative to The Matrix that fans will get a greater glimpse of next Thursday. RELATED: Geoff Keighley's The Game Awards 'Hype Trailer' Celebrates Nominees, Teases Surprises The Game Awards' teaser states that other "EPIC announcements" are in store and to stay tuned until tomorrow. The Game Awards' emphasis on "EPIC" appears to explicitly signify the Fortnite developer Epic Games. However, until tomorrow's announcements confirm or deny anything, this is still a rumor and not confirmed to be true. Rather, it would not surprise many fans if a collaboration was to be announced since its rumored leak, though it would surely be exciting for players to enjoy Fortnite skins for The Matrix 's Neo. If true, players are sure to see skins pulled from the upcoming fourth installment as well as skins from either of The Matrix 's original entries, as is customary now with franchise character crossovers. It is also uncertain whether or not Neo alone will be invited into Fortnite, or if he will arrive as a pair with Trinity, similar to how Resident Evil 's Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield were added to Fortnite. "EPIC announcements" is plural and suggests that more than one announcement is to be made. This could refer to other Fortnite or Epic Games-related announcements, but one other potential announcement could be the recently rumored The Matrix Awakens movie tie-in. If this "Unreal Engine 5 Experience" is closely tied to the film itself and not to a more general video game adaptation, it is just as likely that this project could be shared alongside The Matrix Resurrections ' other content tomorrow. Further, Neo and Trinity's Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss were recently announced together as The Game Awards presenters, so it would be an opportune occasion to announce their characters' debut into Fortnite while both of them are promoting The Matrix Resurrections. But whether The Matrix 's characters crossover into Fortnite or are announced for a new IP entry tomorrow, players would be fortunate enough to witness The Matrix 's return to the medium in either form. The Game Awards streams live on December 9, from 5 p.m. PST / 8 p.m. EST. MORE: Explaining The Game Awards Activision Controversy

 

 13 /60 

0.0
gamerant.com

For Honor 's medieval-style action mixing a wide array of unique fighting styles and striking visuals have made it a popular title among fans of the hybrid of action and fighting games. The game has received consistent updates over the nearly five years since its release with Ubisoft frequently introducing new characters to the four unique factions. Now, with the game's fifth year starting to draw to a close, Ubisoft recently released a new trailer teasing Year 5's final season dubbed 'Frozen Shores'. For Honor 's unique gameplay based on mixing elements of hack-and-slash games with one-on-one fighting games has carved out a unique niche among the fighting game community. The game has received frequent updates since launching in February of 2017 with its seasonal content cycle adding new Heroes, maps, and story campaigns based on its many different cultural inspirations. For Honor 's most recent season, Tempest, added Halloween-based events and a new Samurai Hero, and the upcoming "Frozen Shores" looks set to take For Honor 's action to the frozen north. RELATED: For Honor and Dead by Daylight Are Crossing Over in New Halloween Event A recent trailer released Thursday on Ubisoft's official YouTube gives fans a taste of what they can expect out of presumably the final chapter of For Honor 's fifth year. The trailer depicts an intimidating-looking pirate ship trapped amidst icy waters before panning out to give fans a teasing silhouette of a new character arriving to For Honor in the upcoming update. The 'Frozen Shores' update is slated to arrive later this week with an official release date of December 9th. A 'Warrior's Den Recap' post released alongside the new trailer details some of the releases Ubisoft has planned for the thrilling conclusion of Year 5 of For Honor. The season will kick off on December 9th with a brand-new Battle Pass and the Frostwind Celebrations Christmas event with Testing Ground and a new Dominion Series to come later. A second major update during the season will come roughly around the halfway point with a brand new Hero, a staple of For Honor 's year-ending seasons, and new Armor Variations coming on January 27th. For Honor 's popularity over its five-year lifespan has seen plenty of crossovers with other popular action and fighting games. For Honor 's 2021 Halloween event added the Survivors of the Fog game mode as a collaboration with Behaviour Interactive's popular Dead By Daylight, and SNK previously featured For Honor 's Warden in Samurai Showdown as a DLC character. With the popular action-fighting game quickly approaching the conclusion of its fifth year and its recent addition to Game Pass, For Honor will look to continue its trend of success as the game moves into its sixth year. For Honor is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The Frozen Shores update will release on December 9th. MORE: 8 Thing You Didn't Know You Could Do in For Honor

 

 14 /60 

0.2
EBI Inc. background check service review

Hiring an applicant for a position at a job can easily turn into a painful and convoluted process. There have always been challenges and pitfalls at every step along the way, from the screening of applicants to the whole interview process. Now there are new difficulties, such as the challenges with COVID-19 and mandated testing requirements, or the need for a background check to now not only encompass prior criminal activity, but also a plethora of social media accounts as well. With a recent hiring surge, the ability to streamline the process has gone from a want to a requirement. EBI Inc is a company that is designed to deal with these challenges of hiring applicants for your workforce. It offers an array of services, such as background checks, drug testing, criminal record checks, and pre-employment screenings to offload these tasks from your Human Resources department, and outsource them to this company that brings decades of experience with these matters into your company with accreditation from the National Association of Background Screeners (NAPBS). After all, especially smaller HR Depts. will not have the in-house staff to deal with all of these complicated matters. Oh, and in case you were wondering, EBI stands for Employment Background Investigations, which is based in the US in Owings Mills, Maryland. EBI offers a variety of services that can serve the needs and act as a partner for the screening and onboarding of candidates. It can also be part of the ongoing relationship of a company to manage employees, such as with occupational health, or ongoing drug screening. Other services offered cover areas including onboarding, credit checks, social media screening and background checks among a long list of available options. Let’s take a closer look at the background checks that EBI offers. We want to point out that EBI does not take the “One size fits all” approach, and rather takes the time to understand your company’s needs. The emphasis here is to understand your existing workflow, and to integrate it fully and easily. With a ridiculous amount of customizations available- we are talking about 55,000 possibilities, EBI can really offer a unique offering to each of its companies that it deals with. For those that don’t know where to start, there are also a number of pre-built screening packages, which may suffice for many organizations that don’t have such special needs. EBI indicates that its background checks have a 99.9% accuracy, and perform “Internal Quality Audits Each Month,” so it can make that statement. Having a service interruption due to downtime can be anywhere from annoying to catastrophic when in the process of onboarding new candidates. EBI has this covered, and claims an “Industry-leading 99.96% uptime,” making it highly reliable, and dependable. EBI also has your company for other services, such as what they offer to deal with the challenges of a workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic. Need a COVID-19 test and not sure where to get it from? EBI offers not just one but two: an easy to perform saliva swab that gets sent to a lab within 48 hours to obtain a secure result, and a rapid nasal swab test done on site, with a result in 30 minutes. They also have a catalog of masks for outfitting your employees to keep them safe in the workplace. EBI does offer direct support options, which are often preferable, and can often resolve a complicated issue. We appreciate that EBI provides both a direct phone number, and also a direct email address for initiating contact for support to a company that uses its services. It is also a nice touch that there is separate direct support via dedicated email and toll free number for candidates should they encounter any issue with their application. The hours of operation are not listed. EBI also points out that the support is 100% US based, which users often prefer. It also indicates that 97% of calls are handled by live agents, and 98% of calls get answered within three rings. Where this falls short is the lack of other support offered as it is somewhat limited. We did find a FAQ with some predone articles. There is also a resource library which had a handful of webinars, and a pair of eBooks, including “Reopening & Rebuilding Your Workplace with Employee Needs & Organizational Culture in Mind”. However, EBI falls short as there was no option for chat assistance, nor a support forum. EBI offers a menu of services that can accommodate a firm looking to outsource a single task, or several. Just like every company is unique in terms of size, geography, sector, and workforce, so will be their needs that EBI could potentially assist with. Therefore, it is not unreasonable that EBI does not indicate pricing on their site, and rather has a contact portal to “Request an Employment Screening Consultation.” We also want to state that after an extensive search for pricing, we conclude that it is very opaque, and did not find a hint of it anywhere. EBI is a powerful entry into the background investigation area, with an offering that offers a high degree of customization. We also like the other services offered that complement this, such as employee drug testing, COVID-19 tests, credit checks, and references and credentialing. We would like EBI to be more upfront on its pricing, with some transparency as it is difficult to comment on how expensive this service is to its competitors, and most do provide pricing info without company contact. Overall, EBI does provide a solid offering to this segment of the market, and it is well worth checking out if your company is looking to outsource any of the above tasks. We've also highlighted the best background check services

 

 15 /60 

1.5
Death Trash patch fixes 'a crash caused by Fleshworms eating puke'

There's nothing about gorepunk RPG Death Trash that isn't delightfully grotesque, and that extends to its patch notes. A tweet following the latest one simply notes: "Uploaded a hotfix for a crash caused by Fleshworms eating puke." The latest patch for the Early Access RPG brought it up to version 0.7.30, and added an infection system. Actions like using implants and eating the meat that grows out of the ground in Death Trash's peculiar post-apocalypse increases your infection value, but you can lower it with the puking skill. "The main purpose of the infection system is to bring more of the narrative layer into the direct gameplay", the patch notes, er, note, "to give more raison d'être to the puke ability, and to replace the previous energy system, which we weren't really happy with." In Death Trash, vomit can be picked up and carried around your inventory along with various other gross things. Like fleshworms, which can be found around the groundmeat and tamed with a successful animalism check. Then you can pop them in your bag to be hurled at enemies. This is the main cause of the bug, as a follow-up tweet explained. "Some players were carrying Fleshworms as well as puke in their bags. Then they walked into a mine, their body exploded, all items dumped on the ground, the worms survived, and, finally free, immediately ate the dumped puke." Fleshworms aren't supposed to eat the remnants of a Technicolor yawn, it turns out. Not just because that's yucky, but because it crashed the game. Fortunately the hotfix was quick and now it's safe once again to roam the wastes with a bag full of fleshworms and chunder, as god intended.

 

 16 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

Arguably one of the eeriest places in Middle Earth is the Dead Marshes, which Gollum leads Frodo and Sam through on the way to Mordor. It is a quiet and demoralizing land, without any birds or living things, so they try to give Gollum some Lembas bread, which chokes him. As they peer into the murky water, they see ashen faces peering back at them, and Gollum explains that there was a deadly battle fought there long ago which resulted in the loss of many lives. So what was this battle, and who are the people that fought in it? The fight, known as the ‘Battle of Dagorlad’ took place in the Second Age of Middle Earth, when the evil Lord Sauron first rose to power. A host of elves and men known as the Last Alliance marched from their kingdoms all around the Misty Mountains to meet him in battle and prevent him from taking over Middle Earth. Two elven armies, led by Malgalad and Gil-galad, were joined by warriors of Men led by Anarion and Elendil, the two kings of Gondor upon whom one of the Argonath are based. But the elven armies were not united, and half of them charged against the enemy before the command was given, which resulted in them being slaughtered on the spot. The battle is said to have raged for months, in which the alliance painstakingly pushed the enemy back through the black gates and to the fields which eventually became known as the dead marshes, due to the thousands of bodies who came to find their final resting place there. RELATED: How Old Are The Nine Members Of The Fellowship? A great many of Sauron’s forces were displaced, forcing him to withdraw and regroup his orcs ready for another onslaught. A further seven years passed with the Alliance trying to maintain the vantage that they had gained, and Sauron re-weaponizing his army ready for the next stint of the fight. After the seven years, the Alliance had pushed back the foes so far that Sauron himself entered the battle, coming to the war zone in his physical form. This is the scene from the prologue of the Fellowship of the Ring, in which Elrond of Rivendell is fighting, and Isildur cuts the One Ring from Sauron’s finger, shattering the blade Narsil which is later reforged to become Aragorn’s Sword. In the version in the books, Thranduil, who many viewers will recognize as Legolas' father from The Hobbit films, was also involved in the battle, and after losing his father Oropher, was forced to return to the woodland realm of Mirkwood, just north of Fangorn Forest. The set for the Dead Marshes was built and filmed in the car park of the filming studios in New Zealand. The hills and mounds within the marshes were built using sandbags, which were then painted and covered in grass and moss. The set was then flooded with a mixture of water and colored paints to give the water its sort of greenish sickly color. The dead bodies in the water were prosthetic dummies built by the amazing sculpting and costume teams of Weta Workshop, and then they were fully submerged to create the drowned effect. The background of the scene was filmed against a green screen and then digitally added later by Weta Digital, as well as the pervasive soundscape of battle-cries and swords clashing that gives the scene its ominous feeling. The little flames that can be seen were a combination of actual fire and digital enhancement. As for these strange lights throughout the dead marshes, there are many theories about what exactly they are. Although the books are not explicit, they do describe them as ‘dimly shining smoke’ or ‘misty flames flickering slowly above unseen candles.’ Many Lord of the Rings fans believe the lights to be the shimmering souls of those unrestful dead who thrive below the waters, whereas others believe the lights to be a kind of Will O'the Wisp. The legend of these strange creatures comes from old English folk-tales and fairy stories, meant to act as a warning and a deterrent from wandering off the path on a dark night where one can easily get lost. Stories have changed over time, but the original concept for these wisps was that they would lead foolish travelers into the marshes where they would drown, which fits with the concept of Lord of the Rings as Gollum, who used to be Smeagol says ‘Don’t follow the lights.’ However, the legends changed at some point to suggest that Wisps had become spirit guides who were trying to help lost travelers and lead them back to safety. It could be suggested then, that the lights of the Dead Marshes are Willows that have gathered around the dead trying to lead the souls there out of their dark trapped state, and into the proper resting places of their people, i.e. for the elves it is the Undying Lands, and for the men of Gondor it may be the burial mounds of their forebears. There is a theme throughout the Lord of the Rings, this idea of people and their spirits being trapped until they have found peace or achieved their purpose. The same can be seen of Gandalf who is trapped on the tower of Orthanc, the Soldiers of the Dead who are trapped until they fulfill their oath to Aragorn, and the Ringwraiths, who are trapped in a realm somewhere between living and death. Many of the other creatures are able to find peace after the war of the ring is won, but it is never stated whether or not the souls of the Dead Marshes ever find their way out of their watery graves. MORE: Who Is Arwen's Mother And Why Is She Absent From The Films?

 

 17 /60 

0.1
gamerant.com

The Amazon Game Studios MMO New World 's launch was a massive success. Steam charts showed a record of over 700,000 concurrent New World players on day one, leading to huge server queues. Its all-time peak came just a few days later, at over 910,000 players. If New World 's numbers and community engagement had frozen right then and there, things would have likely been different for the Amazon release. However, players were quick to find design issues that prevented them from truly playing the game the way they wanted. Still, enjoyment seemed to last thanks to an engaging PvP - the Faction Wars - and interesting PvE potential with Expeditions and lots of gathering and crafting. What really started to spread negativity within the community and drove players away was New World 's duplication glitch and the subsequent economic disaster, starting a chain of events that led to less communication from the developer and more distrust from players. As it is now, it's hard to say whether the game is still worth jumping into. RELATED: New World Server Fully Owned by a Single Company The state of New World post-launch wasn't too bad, but it was clear the game was not ready to be released when it was. After plenty of bans that dealt with cheaters and exploiters, most of them permanent, players were happy about the developer's renewed communication as it shared future plans. There was a lot of hype surrounding the release of the "Into the Void" November update, which was meant to introduce lots of enemies and a new weapon, as well as fix old issues and address more pressing problems. However, the patch was filled with secret changes to New World 's core mechanics, like the way players could farm for endgame gear and increase their Watermark and Gear Score. The crafting system was also changed in a way that makes it more difficult to get to level cap with crafting skills, simply because it costs more Gold and more materials to do the same thing in more time. These things combined had a negative impact on the community, especially because with all its nerfs, New World still had a lot of known issues. The most recent patch in New World changed the way Motes are obtained, and it included even more nerfs. However, things are looking up thanks to how Amazon promises it will deal with the Watermark system in coming patches; introducing an Expertise value to determine what level players' gear will be. The December patch is currently available on the public test realm, and it includes an engaging holiday event. Currently, New World is a great game to play for newcomers and those who have been playing for a while, so much so that they have their preferred gear and builds as well as skills leveled up. For those in between, New World is not at its best, because the most fun aspects of the game (and its coming patch) are leveling and the PvP endgame. This means that those who have already leveled up their characters but are a long way from getting the gear and skills they want are likely going to enjoy New World the least. Ultimately, Amazon seems willing to pour more effort and resources into the game to improve moving forward, and there is hope the developer will listen to its community. New World is available now on PC. MORE: New World: The Best Weapon Combos

 

 18 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

Overwatch is currently in a lull as Blizzard focuses its development efforts on Overwatch 2. That means new content for Overwatch is rare, and the meta is quick to be stale even when changes are made. Luckily, Blizzard recently introduced a new Experimental Mode full of exciting changes for players to check out. This round of the Experimental Mode allowed content creators to pick the changes, and they took full advantage of the opportunity. A clip of Mei recently shared on Reddit captures the fun of these adjustments, and also why they'll never be released on live servers. The clip in question features a Mei player showcasing one of the experimental changes made to her kit for the limited-time event. Mei uses her Ice Wall ability to climb to an upraised area of the map. She then charges to where the action is below her, leaps into the air, and uses her Cryo-Freeze ability mid-air. Normally, doing this would result in nothing other than Mei's frozen body falling to the ground, leaving her invulnerable until she unfroze. In this Experimental Mode, however, Mei became a giant ice missile. RELATED: Overwatch 2 Reportedly Making Major Changes to Mei After using her Cryo-Freeze, Mei plummets onto the enemy team and absolutely destroys them. She gets four instant kills, including a Reinhardt with his shield up. Mei broke right through and brutalized the opponents, and they never even see it coming. The victims likely don't expect to be destroyed, as in the base version of Overwatch, the Cryo-Freeze doesn't do any damage. In the Experimental Mode, though, Mei's Cryo-Freeze does a staggering 2,000 damage. Basically, if Mei can maneuver so that she lands on top of her opponents with Cryo-Freeze, which is relatively easy since she has an Ice Wall that can elevate her, she can instantly kill any opponent so long as they don't run away. Some will say that Mei's new Cryo-Freeze is overpowered, and they're absolutely correct, as 2,000 damage is a lot. But at the same time, Experimental Mode is for experimenting, and this is a huge success of an experiment. It's exciting to think that a Mei player has the power to force a team to spread out. It's an ability that adds interactivity, making Overwatch a more dynamic experience. Obviously, this feature will never make it to Overwatch 's live servers, but perhaps Blizzard will be struck by inspiration. The developer could experiment with the Mei's Cryo-Freeze knocking opponents back and then shattering when it hits the ground, or perhaps it'll briefly freeze targets who are hit instead of doing a straightforward amount of damage. Experimental Mode is all about thinking about Overwatch in a different way, even if a few teams have to be team-wiped in the process. Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. MORE: What Overwatch 2 Should Change About Mei

 

 19 /60 

0.7
gamerant.com

While Halo Infinite players wait patiently for the campaign to be released, they are continuing to come to grips with the game’s multiplayer. In online matches, there are several different spots where players can pick up power items and activate their special perks to gain an edge. In a tribute to Halo Infinite ’s Grappleshot, one player showed off an impressive highlight with the item. Halo Infinite ’s multiplayer launched last month and brings back some memorable features from previous game’s multiplayer modes. The Grappleshot and its grappling hooks is a new addition to the series, however, and the gadget allows players to hook onto structures and enemies and pull themselves toward them. RELATED: Extended Halo Infinite Campaign Gameplay Shown Off in New Video This short clip comes from Halo Infinite 's Capture The Flag mode and shows Redditor u/BossHawgKing taking full advantage of the three shots they get with the Grappleshot. In the first use of this power item, this player attaches to a huge boulder and flies across a narrow portion of the map, getting right up close to an enemy to melee their way to their first kill. The second use is on an oncoming enemy Warthog, as the player latches on with the grappling hook, pulls themself into the passenger seat, and then kills the driver. The final and most impressive use of the Grappleshot comes just as u/BossHawgKing drives the Warthog off a cliff with the enemy gunner still onboard. They connect themselves to the cliffside just in time to save themselves, leaving the enemy to fall to their death. Power items in Halo Infinite can be incredibly useful during matches and, when used like this, the grappling hook can turn the tide of battle. Though it is relatively easy to acquire and use, getting to this level of skill with the item would likely take quite a long time. Either way, for those players looking to get a Grappleshot in a match, they need only check the item's spawn points or listen to narrator announcements. Though replicating this clip would be quite the challenge, the Grappleshot still gives players an almost immediate advantage over those who don't have one. The power item makes escape much easier and opens new ways to approach combat. Then again, items like Active Camo and Overshield can lead to even more options and much better odds in close-quarters combat. The other power items can be even more helpful on certain multiplayer maps in Halo Infinite, too. Either way, players have a new clip to admire thanks to this showing by u/BossHawgKing. The mulitplayer beta for Halo Infinite is out now for Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The game fully releases on December 8th, 2021. MORE: Halo Infinite Should Bring Back These Fan-Favorite Maps

 

 20 /60 

0.3
No surprise: NSW iVote fails during local council elections

New South Wales' iVote online voting system failed on Saturday during the state's local government elections, with an unknown number of voters unable to exercise their democratic rights. In a media statement released on Saturday evening, the NSW Electoral Commission (NSWEC) blamed "the increased volume of people using the iVote system". "Almost triple the number of voters have used iVote at these elections than any previous election", NSWEC said. "At the 2019 NSW State elections 234,401 votes were cast using iVote. At close of applications at 1pm today [Saturday] 652,983 votes had been cast using the system since it opened on 22 November." Voting is compulsory in Australia. However NSWEC said any eligible voter who "applied to use iVote" but was unable to cast their ballot would be excused from paying the AU$55 penalty. "The Electoral Commissioner may also determine, after the elections have finished, that other categories of electors should be excused for having a sufficient reason", NSWEC said. Curiously, the state's Local Government Act was amended earlier this year specifically to allow iVote to be used for council elections. This was directly in response to "the challenges of COVID-19". These elections had been postponed twice due to the pandemic, from the original date in September 2020, to September 4 this year, and then to December 4. One might wonder, therefore, why iVote couldn't cope with traffic levels a mere three times above the previous state election. Surely it should have been clear that the pandemic might cause many, many more people to vote online? In response to ZDNet's questions, an NSWEC spokesperson said that the iVote system was prepared based on the usage at previous state elections. "As a contingency the system was planned and tested for a capacity of 500,000 votes -- double the capacity required for the 2015 and 2019 NSW State elections", they said. "There were 283,699 users in 2015 and 234,401 users in 2019. Use of iVote is subject to strict eligibility criteria and criteria for this election were substantially the same as those previous elections. More than 671,000 votes were cast via iVote at this election." Where possible, NSWEC had introduced additional capacity as volumes increased but could not meet demand on election day, they said. Dr Vanessa Teague, a cryptographer with a particular interest in privacy and election security, isn't surprised by the failure. Starting in 2015, she and her colleagues have found numerous flaws in iVote, problems which NSWEC has often downplayed. "Every serious investigation of iVote found serious problems", Teague tweeted on Saturday. That even includes a review [PDF] commissioned by NSWEC itself as recently as July. "What happened today should surprise nobody", Teague said. "[NSWEC] apologises to voters not able to vote as a result of the outage; no apology to candidates who may or may not have failed to get elected as a consequence of their supporters being excluded." As Teague noted, local government elections often have narrow margins. "Of course the really important point is: where is the evidence of eligible voter intent in any of those 650,000 votes, when we know the system that received them had serious IT problems?" she asked. "We may simply not have enough information to determine who deserved to be elected." Australian election authorities have traditionally pushed back against criticism of their software systems. At the federal level, in March this year the Australian Electoral Commissioner Tom Rogers made it clear that external system audits are not welcome. "We work with a range of partners, including the Australian Signals Directorate, the Australian Cyber Security Centre, we've had our internal code audited and checked", Rogers told a Senate committee. "And not being rude, I'm sure that Dr Teague is a wonderful person, but we've had sufficient checks in place to assure ourselves that that system is running smoothly." Justin Warren, chief analyst at PivotNine, continues to be amused by this resistance -- not only in electoral matters but right across government. "We keep trying to help governments to be good at computers, but they are remarkably resistant to being helped", Warren told ZDNet. "One thing I've learned from consulting is that sometimes people insist on shoving beans up their nose and there's nothing you can do to stop them. You have to wait patiently until they ask for help getting them out." NSWEC is required by law to release a full report on the conduct of the election by May 2022. Readers may like to consider whether that's soon enough.

 

 21 /60 

0.6
NASA’s skywatching tips for December include a comet called Leonard

NASA has released its monthly update of tips on what to look out for in the night sky in the coming weeks. Three things stand out for December: Venus, Comet Leonard, and the Geminid meteor shower. First up, Venus, the second planet from the sun. After the moon, Venus is the second brightest object in our night sky, making it the easiest feature to spot among this month’s goodies. NASA recommends looking out for Venus as the moon appears to pass close by on December 7. Clear skies will also offer a glimpse of Jupiter and Saturn. Check the image below to see how they’ll be positioned in the night sky in the coming days. A recently discovered comet called Leonard will make its closest pass of Earth on December 12. NASA says there’s a chance you might be able to spot Comet Leonard with the naked eye, but adds that as the brightness of a passing comet is hard to predict, having a pair of binoculars at hand will offer your best chance of viewing it. “In the first couple of weeks of December, Comet Leonard can be found in the east before sunrise, passing between Arcturus and the handle of the Big Dipper,” NASA explained on its website. “It approaches the horizon right around the time of its closest approach to Earth, meaning it’ll likely be brighter but more challenging to observe. It then switches over to being an evening object after around December 14, for just a little while after the sun sets, as it begins its long haul outward from the sun again, progressively fading in brightness.” December means the return of the Geminid meteor shower where you can observe bright streaks of light flashing across the dark sky as small particles of asteroid debris burn up in Earth’s atmosphere. This year’s meteor shower is set to be at its most active overnight on December 13 and 14, when you might be lucky enough to catch up to 40 meteors an hour streaking across the sky. NASA notes that the sun will be 80% full at that time, meaning its brightness could adversely impact the visibility of the shower. But it adds that as the moon will be setting at around 2 a.m., this leaves early birds with a couple of hours before dawn to catch the best of the shower. “The meteors appear to radiate from the constellation Gemini, which you’ll find high in the west,” NASA said, adding that although most annual meteor showers are caused by Earth passing through trails of dust-sized particles of comet debris, “the Geminids are one of the few meteor showers that are caused by debris from an asteroid that crosses Earth’s orbit — in this case, one called Phaethon.” If you need more help identifying star formations in the night sky so that you can more easily identify this month’s treats, check out these excellent astronomy apps for iOS and Android.

 

 22 /60 

0.3
gamerant.com

The Game Awards usually tries to stay away from big controversies. If someone is upset about what it has to offer, it tends to be because they don't agree with what title won Game of the Year. Host and organizer Geoff Keighley appears to know that for the most part he shouldn't "take sides", and instead try to stay above the fray. As someone who wants to be seen as an ambassador for the gaming industry, he tries to stay out of the worst light. However, sometimes attempting to stay above the fray can be seen as taking sides, as is the case with how Keighley and The Game Awards are currently dealing with ongoing Activision Blizzard controversies. While Keighley said his show will go out of its way not to celebrate the company itself, avoiding specific mention of Activision-Blizzard appears to be the lengths the show will go in addressing everything that's happened over the last year. RELATED: The Game Awards 2021: Predicting Best Ongoing Game Winner By not drawing attention to Activision Blizzard's alleged sexual misconduct cases and ongoing investigations, Keighley feels the yearly show's focus can stay on games. He's also made it clear that he wants workers who were not involved in any affairs the higher-ups are accused to not be caught in the crossfire - they shouldn't have their hard work ignored because of the actions of people they have no control over. However, when dealing with a situation where so much has been alleged against Bobby Kotick and other execs at Activision, there's a real danger of erring on the side of caution. Many of the kinds of employees Keighley is alluding to are also not happy about the way the industry has dealt with their company's faults. Employees are staging protests in light of Kotick still leading Activision, and it's possible some might feel as though they are being ignored while The Game Awards tries to sidestep larger controversies. The announcement that The Game Awards won't be featuring Activision doesn't go far enough for some. Established voices in the industry like Mike Drucker made it clear he felt as though the decision to "focus on trailers" sent the wrong message. In fact, he felt so strongly about it that he made several comments about the decision to "act like Sweden" in this particular situation. Drucker was far from the only person who didn't agree with the decision, as Konami started trending on Twitter over the weekend as backlash against The Game Awards. Many pointed to the last time Keighley had a part to play in dealing with controversy, at which time he had taken a very different tact. When Hideo Kojima had his very public split with Konami, Keighley did more than just issue a statement or talk about the situation on social media. Instead of ignoring the situation at that years' Game Awards, Keighley went out of his way to invite the famed director on to talk about how he didn't agree with the way the company was handling their split. Some who have voiced their displeasure at The Game Awards deciding to try and stay neutral have wondered why Keighley seemingly felt compelled to comment on the Kojima situation, but not handle the Activision situation in a similar fashion. The Game Awards have yet to occur as of this writing, so it's unclear whether an official address to the controversy is being added to the show. While some have voiced opinions calling Keighley a hypocrite when it comes to handling allegations at Activision compared to Konami and Hideo Kojima, others think there might be something else behind why The Game Awards is sidestepping the Call of Duty publisher's latest controversy. There are some high-profile industry figures on the official The Game Awards' advisory board, including from Activision-Blizzard. At the top of the list of people who make up the advisory board is Activision's president, Rob Kostich. While Kostich isn't coming under the same fire as Bobby Kotick when it comes to calls for his resignation, there were more than a few people on social media who wondered if a member of Activision's leadership serving on the advisory board have a hand in The Game Awards staying silent about the company. There is currently no indication that The Game Awards 2021 is sidestepping the Activision controversy because Kostich is on its board of directors. It's not entirely clear what, if any authority the board has over the way that the show is pulled off. However, the Activision president having direct ties to TGAs is certainly something that has added to backlash against the way this situation is being handled. After backlash to The Game Awards' handling of the Activision harassment accusations hit a crescendo, Keighley attempted to explain his position more on social media. He said that he understands there is no "place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community." He also doubled down on his previous statements about wanting his show to be a celebration of the video games industry, saying, "I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world’s best games." The Game Awards 2021 streams on December 9, starting at 5:00 p.m. PST. MORE: The Game Awards 2021: Predicting Best Direction Winner

 

 23 /60 

0.4
gamerant.com

Earlier today, a viral video appeared online implicating a senior Sony executive for allegedly trying to meet with a 15-year-old boy. George Cacioppo, the Senior Vice President Engineering on PlayStation Network, has worked at Sony Interactive Entertainment since September 2013, but this video has led to immediate termination by Sony. YouTube channel People v. Preds posted the video earlier today, with screenshots, messages, and pictures that were supposedly shared between Cacioppo and who he believed to be a 15-year old boy also accompanying the video. People v. Preds had used a decoy in this meeting, pretending to be the boy that Cacioppo was supposedly trying to meet. Sony reacted swiftly to this video, terminating Cacioppo shortly after it appeared online. In an email statement, Sony stated that it was aware of the situation and “the employee in question has been terminated from employment.” RELATED: US Lawmakers Call on Video Game Developers to Better Protect Children From Online Predators The video depicts a cameraman approaching Cacioppo, who was using the name “Jeff” for this planned meeting. Cacioppo, who is 64-years-old, can be seen answering the door in a PS5 T-shirt. In the video, Cacioppo walks back into the house, closes the door, and refuses to answer any questions from the cameraman, who proceeds to yell that he would call the cops on Cacioppo. Allegedly, Cacioppo—reportedly as “Jeff”—was communicating with the decoy pretending to be a young boy on the website Grindr. The two exchanged pictures and planned to meet up for an inappropriate sexual relationship. The decoy said he would use an Uber to meet him, and Cacioppo was allegedly waiting for him. Outside of the aforementioned statement from Sony, there has not been much officially said regarding the situation. Neither Cacioppo nor the San Diego Police Department (as this is where the alleged events take place) have commented on the matter, and it’s unclear if the SDPD were called. Before working at Sony and with PSN, Cacioppo has a long history in and outside the gaming and tech industry. According to his Linkedin Profile, Cacioppo has worked in the engineering industry since 1978, including Hazeltine Industrial Products Division, Digital Equipment Corporation, Adobe, PalmSource Holding Co, Intuit, and since 2013, Sony. As the situation develops, those following should keep an eye for future acknowledgments and statements from those at Sony and PlayStation. Many likely appreciate Sony's swift action on the matter, and it's likely new developments crop up in the coming weeks if not days. MORE: ESA Decries Harassment Within the Video Game Industry Source: People v. Preds [ 1] [ 2], CNET

 

 24 /60 

0.0
Australia commences work on electronic surveillance law reforms

The Australian government has commenced work to reform the country's electronic surveillance laws that have been labelled as overly complex, inconsistent, and incompatible with the current technology landscape. The federal government committed to reforming these laws earlier this year after a review into Australia's intelligence community found comprehensive legislative changes were required, specifically in repealing existing powers and combining them to avoid duplication, contradictory definitions, and any further ad hoc amendments to existing laws. "In short, we conclude that the legislative framework governing electronic surveillance in Australia is no longer fit for purpose", the review said. The review said that problems with the framework have accumulated after 40 years of continued amendments. The laws in question enable agencies to use electronic or technical means, that would normally be unlawful, to covertly listen to a person's conversations, access a person's electronic data, observe certain aspects of a person's behaviour, and track a person's movements for the purposes of preventing serious crimes and security threats. Read more: Australia's tangle of electronic surveillance laws needs unravelling The federal government's initial work, coming in the form of a discussion paper [PDF], has set out the guiding principles for how it will approach making these electronic surveillance law reforms. Among these principles is that the reforms will look to develop a new single Act that better protects information and data, and ensures that law enforcement agencies have the appropriate powers to investigate serious crimes and security threats. Currently, there are three different sets of laws focusing on electronic surveillance, with the Surveillance Devices Act (SD Act) being enacted 15 years ago, the ASIO Act and Telecommunications (Interception and Access) Act being 40 years old, and the foundations of the surveillance framework dating back to decisions made in 1949. In the discussion paper, Home Affairs said it envisions the new Act will "harmonise the existing warrant framework" to provide more consistent safeguards on the authorisation and use of electronic surveillance powers. Under the current framework, some powers such as accessing stored communications need separate warrants while other powers such as accessing telecommunications data can be authorised internally. "Despite the overlap between powers and their similar levels of intrusiveness, they are not subject to a consistent approach in terms of thresholds, purposes, safeguards, or accountability", Home Affairs said. According to the discussion paper, the reforms will also look to modernise and streamline the laws by updating key concepts and clearly identifying the agencies that can seek access to this information, while balancing that with ensuring the laws are clear, transparent, and usable. The concepts and definitions that government will reconsider range from the definition of communications, to the distinction between content and non-content information, to the kinds of providers that hold relevant information and data, and the kinds of information that may be obtained through surveillance and tracking devices. It noted that the current definition of communications, which primarily focuses on conversations and messages, does not appropriately represent modern-day communications. "There is now a wider range of information and data passing over the telecommunications network, such as machine-to-machine signals between servers, routers, and modems that enable the network to route communications to their intended destination", Home Affairs wrote in the discussion paper. "Whether something is a communication therefore has significant consequences for whether that information is protected. As a result, there may be gaps in the limits, controls, and safeguards that apply to this information, even where it is passing over the telecommunications network." The discussion paper also confirmed that government would follow the review's recommendation to not add more judicial oversight to these powers as part of the reforms. Instead, Home Affairs outlined that it would like for only the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security and the Commonwealth Ombudsman to continue overseeing the use of electronic surveillance by law enforcement agencies. As part of the discussion paper's release, Home Affairs will also be seeking consultation about the reforms. It will be accepting submissions to the discussion paper until mid-February next year. Last week, the Commonwealth Ombudsman published its report [PDF] to Home Affairs on the extent to which law enforcement agencies have complied with the SD Act. In the report, the Ombudsman found that South Australian Police had no process for destroying records as required by the SD Act. The state police agency said it would prioritise implementing a destruction regime. The Ombudsman also found the Australian Federal Police (AFP) failed to destroy protected information for over a month after they were authorised for destruction four times. There was also one instance where the AFP took five months to destroy a piece of protected information. The AFP also disclosed two instances where it collected data outside of a warrant provided under the SD Act. One of those instances entailed the AFP collecting 12 files from a device despite the warrant for collecting information from that device having already expired. The Commonwealth Ombudsman also revealed it found three instances of the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC) not destroying protected information as soon as practicable as required by the Act, eight instances where the agency did not destroy protected information within five years, and several instances where the ACIC certified protected information for retention after it had already been certified for destruction.

 

 25 /60 

0.2
Watch Henry Cavill politely explain Warhammer is not World of Warcraft

Henry Cavill appeared on The Graham Norton Show recently to promote The Witcher season 2. It's Norton's job to make celebrities seem grounded and human with a light ribbing, and it's their job to respond with humor and be impossibly good-looking while he does, which is exactly what happened when Norton brought up one of Cavill's nerdy hobbies—collecting, painting, and gaming with Warhammer miniatures. Except that what Norton said was, "You paint, is it War… World of Warcraft?" You can watch the clip above, and you should because it's charming. Cavill explains that miniature wargaming has two halves to: "There's the painting/modelling side of the hobby, and then there's the gaming side of the hobby." When asked what he does with his miniatures after painting, he replies, "Then you, erm, you put them together in little armies and you fight against someone else's army. It's actually—it is fun! It sounds ridiculous, but it is fun." Norton goes on to asks whether Cavill invites other people over to play with his "toys", and that's when Tom Holland (one of the show's other guests, there to promote the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home) raises a hand and asks, "Can I come over and play? It sounds amazing!" Cavill says he can, and from there the fanfic practically writes itself. Cavill has previously explained he spent his quarantine time painting Warhammer miniatures, and even on the set of The Witcher he couldn't stop thinking about it. He makes a fine ambassador for a hobby that has included celebrities like Robin Williams and Peter Cushing. I leave you with this lovely video of Cushing and his collection of historical miniatures, which PC Gamer's Jon Bolding brought to my attention.

 

 26 /60 

0.1
gamerant.com

After several pandemic-related delays, Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley is finally set to premiere in theatres at the end of December. Recently, fans of del Toro's work got to see their first look at the new Neo-Noir thriller when the first trailer debuted online back in September. Now, Searchlight Pictures has released a short featurette that explores del Toro's love of film noir and gives fans a behind-the-scenes look at this mammoth production. According to the official synopsis from Searchlight Pictures, Nightmare Alley follows "an ambitious carny (Bradley Cooper) with a talent for manipulating people with a few well-chosen words [who] hooks up with a female psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett) who is even more dangerous than he is." The new film is the second adaptation of the 1946 novel of the same name. The original film was released by 20th Century Fox in 1947 and was directed by Edmund Goulding. It starred Tyrone Power and Helen Walker in the roles that Cooper and Blanchett will play in the 2021 adaptation. The original film was critically acclaimed when it was released and remains one the most influential and memorable Film Noirs of all time. RELATED: Guillermo del Toro's Nightmare Alley Gets A Star-Studded Trailer The two-and-a-half-minute Nightmare Alley featurette opens with del Toro, who describes his new film as "the flipside of the American dream." Castmembers Willem Dafoe and Blanchett gush about the director's body of work, describing his films as "otherworldly" yet "Grounded in reality." Del Toro then describes his love for Film Noir, saying that for this film he "tried to study the language of the period." We then get some behind-the-scenes footage of del Toro directing stars Cooper and Blanchett before the featurette ends with del Toro saying that he wants Nightmare Alley to be "the modern equivalent of the movies that people complain they don't do anymore." While del Toro and co. certainly have their work cut out for them, the new adaptation looks absolutely stunning. The new featurette goes to great lengths to show off the production value and scope of what looks to be another stylistic and visionary film from del Toro, who is known for his fantastical films such as Pan's Labyrinth and the Academy Award-winning monster film The Shape Of Water. Nightmare Alley was primarily shot in 2020 in Toronto, Canada, but was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully, after a short hiatus, production was able to resume and the film was completed in time for a 2021 release date. The film was initially slated for a November release but was pushed back to December. Nightmare Alley features a stacked cast, which includes Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn, Mary Steenburgen, and frequent Del Toro collaborator Ron Perlman. Nightmare Alley will premiere in theatres on December 17th, 2021. MORE: Guillermo del Toro’s Superhero Duology Is (Almost) Perfect Source: SearchlightPictures| YouTube

 

 27 /60 

0.2
gamerant.com

Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is picking up steam with some new content, and the latest announcement is bringing much speculation within the platform fighter community. It has been revealed that another character will soon make their way to the game, with the announcement coming in just a few days. Sparking a surprisingly lively competitive scene, Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl released earlier this year as a new entry in the platform fighter genre. Coming from established development studio Ludosity, the game ended up with much more depth than would be expected of the average licensed cartoon tie-in game. RELATED: Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl Mod Makes It More Like Super Smash Bros. Melee In a Twitter post, Ludosity announced that a new character will be joining the ranks very soon. The post provided no more details other than the reveal date of December 7, but speculation began immediately among fans; a surprisingly high amount in the replies are guessing that the next fighter will be Garfield, the rights to which were acquired by Viacom last year. This comes just shortly after revealing that DLC costumes are coming to All-Star Brawl, so content delivery is certainly ramping up. While Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl already includes a decent array of characters, it is nowhere near the level of something like Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, and this could be a good thing; more characters means the game will be more difficult to balance. However, some players feel that All-Star Brawl is missing out on many iconic Nickelodeon characters like Jenny from My Life as a Teenage Robot and Blue from Blue's Clues. As such, updates and DLC are the perfect opportunity to make the game a more worthwhile purchase for fans of such underrepresented classic series. It is worth noting that Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is not without competition anymore. Even though Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received its last fighter recently, a new challenger is approaching by the name of Warner Bros. MultiVersus. Multiversus and All-Star Brawl are directly competing with each other and each have similarly iconic casts, so Ludosity and Nickelodeon will need to pull smart picks for upcoming fighters to stay ahead. With development ending on Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the time has finally come for other studios to take platform fighters in new and exciting directions. The future is bright for the platform fighter genre, and as more developers jump in with unique takes, platform fighters will continue to grow and evolve. If the current trends keep going, even more iconic characters could appear in existing or new games, with All-Star Brawl and Multiversus potentially being the beginning of a platform fighter Renaissance. Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl is available now on PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. MORE: 8 Major Differences Between Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl And Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

 

 28 /60 

0.0
Windows 11: Give yourself more time to roll back the upgrade

When you upgrade a PC to Windows 11, you have the option to hit a big Go Back button (Settings > System > Recovery) and restore your previous Windows 10 installation. But you only have 10 days to exercise that option; the clock starts ticking as soon as you finish the Windows 11 install, and when you reach the 10-day milestone, those rollback files are permanently deleted. My colleague David Gewirtz discovered this setting last week, and hoo boy I am here to tell you he did not like it one bit. The 10-day limit is "bonkers", he wrote, adding that it is "ridiculous and arbitrary [and] seems completely random." And then he speculates as to the reason. "Why? Just because." Somewhere in Redmond, I am certain, the product managers in charge of Windows 11 upgrades are reading that and pounding their heads on a desk in frustration. Is that default setting new? Nope. That's been the rollback rule for every Windows 10 feature update for more than five years. Is it arbitrary? Of course it is. There's no right or wrong number of days, and you could probably make a case for extending the deadline to 14 days, or 21 days, or even 30 days (which is what the rollback period was for Windows 10 from its initial release in 2015 until the arrival of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update in July 2016). But is that really a good idea? As Mr. Gewirtz noted, "there may be reasons why a rollback from a major Windows upgrade might not be possible." Indeed, with each day that passes after a major upgrade, the likelihood that a rollback will cause problems increases. You've installed new software, updated drivers, tweaked settings, and otherwise mucked about just enough to ensure that trying to go back to the status quo ante will be a less-than-positive experience. Microsoft product managers hate it when their customers have an unpleasant experience. And, of course, those uninstall files take up multiple gigabytes of disk space that you might need for other purposes. As those poor, quietly sobbing Microsoft product managers will tell you, telemetry data confirms that the overwhelming majority of people who decide to roll back their upgrade do so in the first week or so. They quickly discover an incompatibility with a crucial software program or find a device that doesn't work quite right or just decide that their cheese was moved a bit too far, thank you very much. I assume we can agree that it would be absurd to allow a Windows user to try to roll back an upgrade after six months or a year or two years. That would probably end in heartache, right? But here's the thing. You, the knowledgeable Windows expert, the IT professional, the snarky ZDNet pundit… you can, with a few quick commands, extend that rollback period from its 10-day default to a full 60 days. The magic happens courtesy of the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool (Dism. exe), which is built into all modern versions of Windows. Don't take my word for it. It's all documented in a dry but authoritative Microsoft support article, "DISM operating system uninstall command-line options", which explains its purpose thusly: To make this magic happen, start by opening a Command Prompt session as an administrator and running the DISM tool with the correct arguments. (If any part of that sentence confuses you, maybe just stop right here and ask a knowledgeable friend for help before you go any further.) From that administrative command prompt, type the following command, choosing any number between 1 and 60 after the Value parameter: That command sets a value in the Windows registry that tells the operating system to delay removing the rollback files until the number of days you specified have passed. (You could also make this change using the Registry Editor tool, but there's no reason to do that.) That's it. You're done. You may now evaluate Windows 11 for a full two months, secure in the knowledge that you can exercise your right of rescission at any time. Cheers.

 

 29 /60 

0.3
gamerant.com

There is no telling whether The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim would have enjoyed such a lengthy release, stretching all the way back to 2011, were it not for the dedicated community of modders, beavering away to add new content or make the game better overall. The Bethesda epic is even ripe for total conversion mods, in which the game ceases to be the vanilla iteration and becomes something so much more different. On top of that, fans are often keen to fix some of the many bugs that plague Skyrim, but it seems that the developer has taken exception to one popular mod. In a post on Reddit recently, it seems as though an add-on called Reconciliation, which looks at addressing some of the the glitches and bugs in Skyrim, has been removed from the mod page, at least on the Xbox version. While there doesn't appear to be any official reason as to why it's been removed, which would have been done at Bethesda's request given that it's the console port and not on PC through something like Nexus Mods, there are a couple of theories being banded around. RELATED: Skyrim Mod Adds Fall Guys Characters to the Game Some in the thread believe that it may be something to do with the Unofficial Skyrim Special Edition Patch, or USSEP, a very popular add-on that also looks to fix a lot of, if not all, bugs in the game. A number of comments seem perplexed as to why the studio would find Reconciliation unworthy of being available, especially given that the mod creator, Snipey360, used aspects from other mods with permission, according to a report. This suggests that Bethesda is seeking to keep USSEP as an important tool for players to use, so getting rid of Reconciliation essentially removes any potential for competition. At the time of writing, the studio has not given any response or reason as to why Snipey360's mod has been removed. It's a bit of a shame, especially given that Skyrim is infamous for its bugs and glitches, which range from harmless and even amusing, to downright game-breaking. Having numerous options for a patch or mod that fixes these bugs is part and parcel of the modding community. Bethesda has even embraced mods in The Elder Scrolls 5, with a cavalcade of additional ones being inserted into the Anniversary Edition. It doesn't make a lot of sense that the company would remove this specific one. Perhaps it will get reinstated at some point in the future, but fans are a little miffed at the developer for such a questionable act. The Elder Scrolls 5: Skyrim - Anniversary Edition is available for PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. MORE: Skyrim: 7 Creation Club Mods That Break The Lore

 

 30 /60 

0.4
gamerant.com

Genshin Impact has taken the industry by storm with an enormous player base that keeps growing with each day. One of Genshin Impact 's main features is its unique character design, both visually and lore-vise. It does not come as a surprise that new character additions create so much hype for each new update, as they are one of the game's main draws. Even though Genshin Impact Version 2.3 arrived a couple of days ago, multiple leaks have already revealed information about version 2.4. Further, the official Genshin Impact social media accounts have revealed Shenhe and Yun Jin, t wo new polearm characters. RELATED: Genshin Impact Players Want Less RNG In Artifact Farming Leaks are pretty common in the world of Genshin Impact, and interesting info on Yae Miko has come up numerous times over the last couple of months. Since her appearances in two update previews, Yae Miko has become a fan-favorite character, so many are obviously excited to hear more about her arrival. A recent leak by a credible Genshin Impact leaker on Reddit has apparently revealed a timeline for future content, and it claims that Yae Miko will debut in update 2.5. The same leaker was the first one to accurately predict the arrival of the new region Enkanomiya, so the information is worth taking into consideration. Previous leaks about Yae Miko have been claiming that she could be one of the strongest DPS characters in Genshin Impact, on par with Ganyu, Ayaka and Hu Tao. When it comes to her weapon type, there is currently no official information or credible leaks. However, the design of the character heavily indicates that her Element will be Electro, which is no surprise since she's heavily tied to the Inazuma region. There were multiple rumors over the last couple of days about this unusual region, and after a leak revealed the Enkanomiya map along with its teleport points, fans have additional information about its type of access. A post on the Genshin Impact Leaks subreddit has revealed that the region will work similarly to the limited Archipelago region players had the chance to explore in update 1.6. According to miHoYo's usual update schedule, Genshin impact Version 2.5 should arrive around February 16, 2022. Yae Miko is expected to arrive alongside another double banner re-run, which is becoming a pattern since rumors have suggested that Xiao and Ganyu will get their own double re-run in update 2.4. This means that after Xiao and Ganyu, players could have the option to pull for another two limited characters like Zhongli or Kazuha in update 2.4. Genshin Impact is available now on Mobile, PC, PS4, PS5, and a Nintendo Switch version in development. MORE: Genshin Impact: Can A Geo Party Be Viable? Source: Reddit

 

 31 /60 

0.2
Australia's audio-visual archive gets AU$42m from Canberra to preserve at-risk collection

The Australian government said it will hand more than AU$47 million to digitise and preserve at risk archive material held by the National Film and Sound Archive (NFSA), and seven other national collecting institutions, and to maintain the National Library of Australia's (NLA) Trove website. Of the total, NFSA will receive AU$41.9 million over four years to digitise and store audio-visual collection material held across eight national collecting institutions, and AU$5.7 million over two years will be used to support and enhance the NLA's trove website to 30 June 2023. The NLA launched a revamped version of its online culture and research portal Trove last year, following a four-year modernisation and digitisation project that received AU$16 million in backing from the federal government. Around 240,000 known audio‑visual collection items will be digitised and preserved under the program. This will include material such as the Australian War Memorial's peacekeeping collection, the NFSA home movie collection depicting Australian life throughout the 20th Century, the personal recordings and film of Sir Robert Menzies held by the NLA, and important cultural material held by the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies. "As Australia's audio‑visual archive, the NFSA has more than three million items in its collection, including a significant number of film, video, and sound recordings in analogue formats", Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said. "This funding will protect important elements of Australia's audio‑visual history from being permanently lost due to material deterioration. "This is critical to preserving our identity and heritage, increasing the public's access and ensuring the archives are available to future generations." The cash injection is part of an overall AU$67.7 million commitment the federal government made in June to help the National Archives of Australia further preserve the Commonwealth's aging records, as well as to invest in cybersecurity, an area Archives of Australia was previously scrutinised for lacking where the federal government's Top 4 mitigation strategies were concerned.

 

 32 /60 

0.0
gamerant.com

After a four-year-long early access beta phase, The Forest was finally officially released in 2018, and gamers were impressed with the elements of exploration, the non-invasive but compelling story, and the freedom of the gameplay. But one of the most memorable aspects of The Forest was definitely the enemies that the player encountered. With a few different enemy types to contend with, the player had to deal with a number of threats in their surrounding environment in addition to trying to survive on the remote peninsula. From cannibalistic tribes to deformed mutant humanoids, the constant threat of enemies encroaching on the player's base was a perpetual cause of tension throughout the game. The combination of unique enemy AI and terrifying designs helped to make The Forest a truly unforgettable experience, keeping players on edge as they controlled protagonist Eric LeBlanc on his search for Timmy. RELATED: Sons of the Forest Fans Have Theories About Timmy Endnight Games' The Forest is a survival horror game with an open-world environment and non-linear gameplay. The protagonist of the game, Eric, finds himself stranded on a forested peninsula after he survives a plane crash. At first, it seems that he is alone in this unsettling environment, but it isn't long until the player encounters some of The Forest 's other characters. While managing Eric 's food and water gauges as they attempt to forage and hunt to ensure their survival, they have to gather resources to construct defensive bases to protect themselves against the enemies that prowl between the trees and in the subterranean caves. In addition to fighting off cannibalistic mutants, the player must search for Eric's missing son who was taken after their plane crashed at the beginning of the game. Their search for Timmy reveals a shady underground lab complex owned by Sahara Therapeutics – a secretive research company whose experiments were responsible for the outbreak of mutants across the peninsula and are basically The Forest 's answer to The Umbrella Corporation. For a horror game to be successful, it has to meet several requirements. It needs an intriguing premise and a compelling story that pulls in the player and immerses them in the world of the game, it needs effective sound design and unsettling environments, and most importantly, it needs creepy enemies for players to either run from or fight against. When a developer gets all of these elements in place, the game becomes more than just the experience of a few hours – it stays with the player long after they have put down their controller or switched off their screen. While fast-paced enemies that run full-pelt towards the player in a slathering screaming horde can certainly be terrifying, it's when an enemy design adds something extra that they become truly unsettling. What makes the enemies in The Forest so effective at causing chills to run up a gamer's spine is that they don't immediately attack; at least not to begin with. They stalk, study, and surround the player with clear tactical strategies and adaptive AI. At the start of the game, most enemy types are barely hostile, but this soon changes as the player increases their base and encroaches on more of their territory. Nighttime also triggers more aggressive behaviors, and the combination of the growing darkness and the increased hostility is a classic formula to cause maximum terror. There are several enemy types within The Forest. The variety of cannibalistic mutants that patrol, skulk, and run about the forested areas are humanoid in appearance, but this does not mean their presence isn't unnerving. They can be male or female, pale, skinny, painted, masked, or "regular", with different types displaying differing behaviors and attacks. Undoubtedly the creepiest among these tribes are the leaders, often shown with decorative attachments like skulls held aloft above their heads on poles or severed limbs splayed out from their backs like some kind of hideous backpack. The sight of these cannibals is enough to strike fear into the heart of even the most hardened of players, but what makes them truly creepy is their behaviors. They can be hard to predict and can either be aggressive or more hesitant, strategic or more random. While the cannibalistic enemies are unquestionably upsetting, the crown for the creepiest enemy has to go to their more mutated brethren: the Cowman, Armsy, and Virginia mutants. These more aggressive and disturbing antagonists are decidedly less human-like and sport a number of additional appendages that are not just fixed to their backs for decorative purposes. The often faceless, convoluted creatures are capable of inflicting much higher damage, and therefore the sight of them in-game causes more unease for the player. Their disfigurations are the exact definition of nightmare fuel, and once their presence in the game becomes more frequent as time passes, the snap of a twig or the rustle of leaves takes on much more sinister significance as the player is increasingly surrounded by these hideous enemies. The Forest is available now on PC and PS4. MORE: Horror Game Sons of the Forest Explained

 

 33 /60 

0.7
Five new Steam games you probably missed (December 6, 2021)

On an average day, about a dozen new games are released on Steam. And while we think that's a good thing, it can be understandably hard to keep up with. Potentially exciting gems are sure to be lost in the deluge of new things to play unless you sort through every single game that is released on Steam. So that’s exactly what we’ve done. If nothing catches your fancy this week, we've gathered the best PC games you can play right now and a running list of the 2021 games that are launching this year. WorldBox Steam‌ ‌page ‌ ‌ Release:‌ December 3 Developer:‌ Maxim Karpenko Launch price:‌ $20 ‌|‌ ‌£15.49 |‌ ‌‌AU$28.95 Launched into Early Access last week, WorldBox is a god game that tries to put as much destructive power into your hands as possible. You'll preside over a world with four races, each of which is capable of forming kingdoms and warring with others, and you might find it fun to just sit back and watch how this all plays out. Or, you could trigger a zombie apocalypse, send in some acid raid, usher a UFO visitation or better still, whack a giant crab in there and see what happens. It's basically a huge being-an-asshole simulator; Joseph dug it when he played an early build back in August. As for this Early Access release, it's the culmination of years of work and there's a lot to muck around with in there, though developer Maxim Karpenko expects another two years of development while new features like religions are added. Paper Bride (Image credit: HeartBeat Plus) Steam‌ ‌page ‌ ‌ Release:‌ December 3 Developer:‌ HeartBeat Plus Launch price:‌ ‌$7.19 |‌ ‌£5.21 ‌|‌ ‌AU$10.35 Drawing from traditional Chinese folklore, Paper Bride is a fascinating horror game about a bride who literally turns into paper. The groom, understandably miffed about this, wants to figure out why this happened and ideally reverse it, only he finds that everything else related to the imminent wedding has turned to paper too: the food, the decorations. Paper Bride is a puzzle-oriented horror game with a point and click interface, so don't expect terrifying pursuits or scrappy combat. Expect a rich, disquieting atmosphere and some unique storytelling. Mechajammer Steam‌ ‌page ‌ ‌ Release:‌ December 3 Developer:‌ Whalenought Studios Launch price:‌ ‌$22.49 |‌ ‌£18 ‌|‌ ‌AU$32.35 Here's a tactical turn-based RPG with a unique setting and art style. It's ostensibly "cyberpunk", but more specifically, it's set in an "off-world grindhouse jungle colony". As far as I know, that is a setting not yet tackled by a videogame. As you roam this literal urban jungle in search of an escape, you'll need to team up with—or wage war on—mercenaries and gangs, and you'll need to be extra careful when you do so because your decisions matter here: Whalenought Studios calls it an immersive sim. Some players are reporting some launch week woes, but once those are ironed out this looks like a treat for serious RPG lovers. Highrise Mogul Steam‌ ‌page ‌ ‌ Release:‌ ‌December 3 Developer:‌ Olli Arkko Launch price:‌ ‌$9 |‌ ‌£6.74 |‌ ‌AU$13.05 Highrise Mogul looks like a modern take on SimTower: your job is to build a perfect highrise building full of offices, apartments, maintenance staff and places to relax. But it wouldn't be a tycoon game if it was all about building nice things, so you'll also need to manage the power grid, run PR campaigns to spruik your skyscraper, and make sure tenants follow the rules. The Steam page promises that, if you want, you can be the "most ruthless micromanaging landlord", which sounds like an absolute blast. Leenie Boog Steam‌ ‌page ‌ ‌ Release:‌ December 3 Developer:‌ Alexander Bazhenov Launch price:‌ ‌$4.49 |‌ ‌£3.59 |‌ ‌AU$6.75 This creepy survival horror game is apparently set during a "Thousand-Year War" but, more to the point, it includes an absolutely horrendous antagonist who's presence even in the trailer is going to give me nightmares. It's a first-person affair and it's all about stealth and evasion, so don't expect to cathartically murder the horrible Leenie Boog (that's the weird dog's name, didn't you know). There is a slight whiff of Five Nights at Freddy's here, but only because the stalker looks like a murderous living toy. These games were released between November 30 and December 6 2021. Some online stores givers. us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info. ‌

 

 34 /60 

0.3
gamerant.com

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has just kicked off its sixth season, and the new update brings a fun, kid-friendly party theme to this platforming game alongside several new game rounds. One of these is Full Tilt, a modified version of the classic See Saw event that challenges players to navigate over platforms that can tilt in a full, 360-degree range of motion. RELATED: Games You Should Play If You Love Fall Guys Full Tilt is the natural evolution of See Saw, bringing all the mayhem of the original game mode while adding dastardly traps, tricky obstacles, and persistent blockades. It can be a difficult game to navigate, especially for new players, but there are a few tips that can help get any player across the finish line. One of the featured obstacles in Full Tilt is a ring of blue force fields that can halt a player's progress when trying to get to the next platform. These force fields open and close at set intervals, making them both frustrating and easy to surpass when timed properly. The best strategy to best this obstacle is to head toward the nearest field that's already closed. The speed at which the Fall Guys beans move means that most players will reach the gate right as it's about to open, making for an easy path forward. As if the constantly shifting platforms in Full Tilt weren't enough, there are also additional obstacles on some of the platforms that can throw players off or hinder progress. One of these is a set of blue force fields that will shut off and on in sequence, blocking players stuck on the wrong side. There is, however, a way to get around the force fields. The edge of the field doesn't extend all the way to the end of the platform, leaving a small gap that players can walk through to get around the force field. It's a narrow path, but using it can mean the difference between qualification and elimination. Full Tilt will often appear in the Fiesta playlist as either the first or second match of any game show, which means there will usually be large groups of players all vying for the top spot. This can cause no small amount of chaos, with throngs of beans struggling to make it from one platform to the next. RELATED: The Best Battle Royale Games For Beginners It's almost always wisest to take a path with fewer players on it, as the tilt on the platforms will be much more manageable. Too many players on one side of a platform can result in a fully vertical tilt that leads to every player sliding off into the slime below. While Full Tilt has its own, intrinsic difficulties, Mediatonic decided to throw some additional challenges into the mix by adding obstacles to several of the platforms. These can be as simple as a spinning arm or as devilish as a rotating ring of rubber pylons. Learning how each trap behaves is key to succeeding in Full Tilt, especially for the player vying for first place. Each trap requires careful timing and positioning, and getting knocked into the slime by one can end a good show prematurely. Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has had the diving feature since its initial launch last year, and the action is just as useful today as it was back then. Diving provides a small additional bit of distance when trying to land a jump, which comes in handy during Full Tilt. The most useful aspect of diving, though, is how the player's bean reacts after landing. One of the most common mistakes players make is to trust their bean's balance when making a tricky jump, and this can lead to a quick elimination. Diving ensures the player will get back on their feet and back in the race quickly. There are numerous platforms to jump to in Full Tilt, and most of them will carry the player closer and closer to the finish line. But it's prudent that players pay close attention to which platforms they're jumping to, as some might not provide the quickest path. RELATED: Most Innovative Indie Platformers For the first few legs of the game multiple platforms will lead to the next checkpoint, but as the game goes on the path will grow more narrow. Note which platforms are closest to the checkpoints and finish line, as there's nothing worse than getting having to double back to a previous platform to keep moving forward. While it's usually best to avoid crowds when trying to make it through a game of Full Tilt, there's some benefit to sticking with a small group and letting them take the lead. Balanced platforms tilt downward when a player jumps on them, making them easier to leap to from any adjacent platform. Giving other players a lead can provide a player with easy to reach platforms for almost the entire duration of the game, all-but-guaranteeing qualification from the round. But this is still a battle royale, so players should still keep an eye out for any chance to take the lead. Full Tilt is the perfect example of Fall Guys chaos that made the game so popular in the first place, spawning hilarious fan comics and memes. But that chaos does make it hard to see all the features each mode has to offer. For instance, just below some of the platforms in Full Tilt are golden drums that, when jumped on, launch players into the air. They provide an assist many players aren't even aware of, and they can lead to both funny and useful moments in the game. The trampolines can be a lifesaver when stranded on a tilted platform, and the boost they offer can be used to bridge wide gaps, saving precious time in the race to the finish. MORE: Multiplayer Games To Play If You Love Fall Guys

 

 35 /60 

0.2
gamerant.com

In the past few months, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil has been in the news quite often due to rumors of his potential involvement in the upcoming Marvel project, Spider-Man: No Way Home. Even though the actor has denied it several times, fans theorize of his appearance in the much-awaited film and expect him to be another character that appears after the Multiverse is activated. However, introducing Matt Murdock into the MCU does not require such antics. The main focus of Spider-Man: No Way Home seems to be Tom Holland’s titular character trying to keep his true identity a secret. When he approaches Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange for assistance, a botched spell activates the Multiverse, inviting several characters from the comics and previous Spider-Man films to arrive in his world. But, there would be an easier way to bring Daredevil into the mix. RELATED: Doctor Strange 2 LEGO Set May Reveal The Real Identity Of A Big Villain In the popular Netflix series Daredevil, which premiered in 2015, Cox’s character was much darker than any of the ones that fans had gotten used to seeing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite being an isolated series, Daredevil made several references to the MCU and was loaded with Easter eggs. In one of the episodes, a newspaper clipping about the Battle of New York is seen posted in Ben Urich’s office, who happens to work at the Daily Bugle in the comics, which appears in the live-action Spider-Man films. In another scene at a police station, Stan Lee’s photograph is spotted on the wall in the background. Even though the co-creator of Marvel comics, who died in 2018, does not make a cameo in the series, his presence was still included in this interesting manner. Fans were always aware that Murdock was not officially a part of the MCU, but he was still a Marvel character, a fan-favorite at that. Bringing him into the MCU should not require a lot of antics, because at this point, fans will accept him wholeheartedly nonetheless. The Multiverse does not have to play a role in bringing him into the same universe as Holland’s Spider-Man. In the Netflix series, Cox is seen living the dual life of lawyer Murdock by day and vigilante Daredevil by night. Even in his superhero avatar, he is mostly seen fighting street-level crime in Hell’s Kitchen. He is never seen fighting any global-level threats, which would require the involvement of any other Marvel heroes. It would be very easy for Marvel to bring him into the MCU fold by explaining that he was always around, but flying under the radar. Hell’s Kitchen also features prominently in Marvel's Spider-Man, the video game released in 2018. Even in the game, it was most famously known as the site of Fisk Tower, which is owned by Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin. The character prominently featured in Netflix’s Daredevil series and was portrayed by Vincent D'Onofrio. So, if Cox’s Daredevil was to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a connection between the heroes could easily be formed, without using the Multiverse as an excuse. Speaking of Kingpin, the character is rumored to be a part of the ongoing Marvel series Hawkeye, with episodes premiering on Disney Plus every Wednesday. Fans believe that D'Onofrio’s Kingpin will be a part of Hawkeye and will go up against Jeremy Renner’s Clint Barton and Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop. With Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez, aka Echo, already fighting the two heroes, it seems quite probable that Kingpin will be the next character to join the MCU, considering he is Echo’s adoptive father. If Kingpin were to appear in Hawkeye, it would pave the way for Cox’s Daredevil to enter the MCU moving forward. In the Netflix series, Kingpin is Daredevil’s arch-nemesis. While Kingpin has not been an Avengers-level threat yet, his involvement in Hawkeye could spell disaster for the future. If he were to wreak havoc in the MCU, it would make sense for Daredevil to follow. It could either be to stop him, or help with other threats affecting the MCU’s most-loved heroes. The Netflix series was not Daredevil’s first live-action appearance, though. The character first appeared in the 2003 standalone film Daredevil and was portrayed by Ben Affleck, who later took on the role of DC’s Batman. Till date, it is considered by hardcore fans as one of the worst standalone Marvel films, most of which were produced and premiered before 2008’s Iron Man, which set up the MCU. Fortunately for Netflix, the streamer’s series about the hero received a lot of positive feedback from fans and is one of the best isolated Marvel series to have been aired. Apart from Daredevil, Netflix also produced Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Punisher. At one point, some of the heroes even came together to form an Avengers-style plot, The Defenders. The series did not fare too well, which could be credited to the fact that each individual character was very different from the other. The isolated Marvel series on Netflix all had very distinct styles and tones. This isn’t to say that the MCU lacks diversity, but bringing the four Netflix characters together seemed like a much bigger feat than assembling the Avengers. The Avengers seem to have more in common and the chemistry between the characters is quite apparent. With regular crossovers, the MCU films have established a cohesiveness that is more believable. The Defenders on the other hand seemed to be forced together, with none of their philosophies matching at a broader scale. Between all the chaos, Cox’s Daredevil still stood out as a fan-favorite character, and despite his standalone Netflix series being cancelled in 2018, fans have had hope that he would be brought back and initiated into the MCU. The actor’s splendid work at portraying Daredevil has been constantly praised by both fans and critics and it isn’t surprising that they want to see more of him in the MCU. Whether Marvel will deliver to fans’ requests remains to be seen. More: Artist Theorizes How Shot From Spider-Man: No Way Home Trailer Will Look In Film

 

 36 /60 

0.0
gamerant.com

The Resident Evil franchise is stronger than ever, with its zombie hordes and biomutants rampaging across both consoles and the silver screen in 2021. The comparison with Konami’s dormant Silent Hill franchise couldn’t be starker, with the iconic town and many of its denizens such as Pyramid Head seemingly all but disappeared into the mist. However, despite this disparity, the 22-year-old original Silent Hill is still arguably a better and more chilling horror game than any Resident Evil title that has ever been released thanks to its unique strengths. Silent Hill eschewed the B-movie gore and soap opera plots of its rival to create an unrivaled disturbing experience. RELATED: Silent Hill Player Points Out Funny Detail About Fog World Version of 'Konami Burger' Restaurant Despite reverence afforded to Konami’s now-legendary Team Silent, which created the first four Silent Hill games, the group was originally considered to be a gang of misfits. Cobbled together from various faltering projects, the team was tasked with creating a Resident Evil clone, and then given very little guidance or oversight. These humble beginnings resulted in a landmark survival horror game. Rather than the schlocky science-fiction premise of Capcom’s bestseller, Team Silent pursued a disturbing paranormal feeling that was greatly influenced by the surrealist works of creators like David Lynch. Silent Hill terrified players by distorting the familiar into horrifying parodies, such as the famous sequence in which a school transforms into a hellish nightmare, or when the protagonist is attacked by deformed nurses inside a hospital. The title demonstrates remarkable restraint and maturity, making it feel like a truly adult horror experience. Akira Yamaoka ’s musical score avoids cheesy orchestral swells in favor of haunting ambience and unsettling, cacophonous soundscapes. Its creature design is also understated, with claw-handed children and half-glimpsed horrors emerging from the dark to terrify players without relying on jump scares. Although Silent Hill 2 is deservedly showered with praise, many of the seminal title’s best features were conceived in its predecessor, such as the use of fog to mask the PS1’s technical shortcomings, or the broken radio that frightened players by emitting static whenever a monster was approaching. The first Silent Hill is a true masterpiece that advanced the video game horror genre. RELATED: How Junji Ito's Art Would've Made Silent Hills the Scariest Series Entry Yet Resident Evil is about gore, zombies, jump scares, and battling grotesque monsters. These elements are all highly effective, and have propelled the franchise to blockbuster status. However, fans of disturbing shows like Twin Peaks or more thoughtful horror movies like Jacob’s Ladder or Rosemary’s Baby have found the first Silent Hill better scratchs this itch. The Resident Evil games tell stories about evil mega corporations battling against specialist police units, and about people who gain superhuman powers after exposure to bio-engineered viruses. The first Silent Hill was about a man searching for his missing daughter, one who encounters a pseudo-Satanic cult along the way. The former is undoubtedly fun, but the latter is not played for laughs at any point. In cinematic terms, it's comparable to zombie B-movies versus more thoughtful titles like Hereditary or The Witch. This different theming also affects gameplay. In Resident Evil, players are often trained law enforcement officers, adept at firing guns and fending off attackers. In Silent Hill, players controlled Harry Mason, an everyman who was recently involved in a car accident. Harry had no combat experience, and the game’s mechanics highlighted this by making his shots inaccurate and his melee attacks weak. The title remains one of the earliest and most effective examples of using a disempowered protagonist to heighten a game’s scares, a trend that has continued into more recent releases like Outlast. Resident Evil is a classic horror franchise beloved by fans, but for gamers looking for a slice of pure psychological horror, the first Silent Hill remains a must-play. However, whether the troubled franchise is able to recover and reboot itself as successfully as Capcom’s zombie epics remains to be seen. MORE: Horror Games Need to Stop Trying to be P.T.

 

 37 /60 

0.1
NSW Transport and Cisco to run AI and IoT trials to ease congestion on public transport

The New South Wales government has teamed up with Cisco to trial the use of AI, IoT, and edge computing technology to improve the reliability of public transport in Sydney and Newcastle. As part of the trial, Transport for NSW (TfNSW) is using IoT to enable physical objects to be "digitised" and connected to the transported network via sensors, while edge computing will be leveraged to take real-time data from connected objects to enable faster decision making. AI, meanwhile, will be used to assist with understanding data and automating the process. The technologies will be connected to several buses, ferries, and light rail vehicles in both cities, the state government said. "We've partnered with Cisco to investigate how a real-time view of vehicle supply and customer demand, and performance, can guide future network decisions, and monitor road conditions to identify where repair work is needed", Minister for Transport and Roads Rob Stokes said. "We're using AI, Wi-Fi, and edge computing on Pitt St near Central Station to capture real-time data and identify high-risk events. "We'll be able to keep a close eye on vehicle movements as more commuters and pedestrians head back to Sydney's busiest transport hubs as COVID-19 restrictions continue to ease." The state government added the data captured will also be used to monitor assets and understand the comfort of customer journeys in real-time. According to Cisco Australia and New Zealand transport and infrastructure general manager Simon Young, TfNSW is the only agency in the world to be trialling the company's AI system. "These trials represent the strength of the partnership between Cisco and Transport for NSW to co-innovate and use technology to solve some of the most pressing and challenging problems facing transport agencies", he said. These trials, however, will not be the first time TfNSW has tapped into AI and data analytics. In September, the agency said it was using AI to develop predictive algorithms to help national, state, local governments manage their road safety performance. TfNSW teamed up with iMove Cooperative Research Centre (CRC), the University of Technology Sydney, the International Road Assessment Programme (iRAP), and geospatial data firm Anditi, to develop a faster and more automated method to extract raw road data. As part of the initiative, dubbed the accelerated and intelligent road assessment program data collection (AiRAP) project, the group plans to deliver what it refers to as usable data for 20,000km of NSW roads using TomTom's MN-R next-generation map data, as well as extraction techniques and machine learning for Lidar data. Pilot assessments will also be conducted on a sample of local, state, and national highway roads to prove the methodologies. At the end of last year, TfNSW partnered with Microsoft to develop a proof of concept that uses data and machine learning to flag potentially dangerous intersections and reduce road accidents. As part of the proof of concept, Transport for NSW ran a trial in Wollongong to uncover five potentially risky intersections. It involved 50 vehicles generating more than a billion rows of data over a 10-month period, before Databricks and Azure were used to curate, ingest, and interpret the data. The telematics data was used to identify speed, harsh braking, harsh acceleration, and lateral movement just before the intersection. It was then compared to patterns of existing crash investigation data. Since the trial, two out of the five intersections have been scheduled for modification.

 

 38 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

Microsoft’s Game Pass service is easily worth the price of admission. Many might balk at the concept of having their video game library locked behind a subscription service, but the fact is subscribers get access to an incredible selection of titles spanning from indie darlings to triple-A blockbusters for a surprisingly affordable monthly fee. Related: Everything You Need To Know About Xbox Game Pass With such a dizzying array of fantastic titles on display, it can be a daunting task deciding which ones are worth a player’s time. Given that the cost of entry is taken care of with the subscription fee, the most pressing matter is determining the best use of your hard drive space. Thankfully, the diamonds of this collection are readily apparent. Here’s a look at the greatest games that Xbox Game Pass has to offer. The selections listed here will include games available on EA Play, which is included with a subscription to Game Pass Ultimate. The adventures of the Master Chief have never been as accessible as they are in the Master Chief Collection. This gathering of Halo games is the definitive collection of 343 Industries’ endeavors to immortalize the series. Not only is every mainline Halo game (not counting Halo 5: Guardians) included, but the fantastic Halo 3: ODST and Halo: Reach were added as well. From beloved campaign co-op to thrilling Firefight matches to iconic multiplayer modes, the Master Chief Collection has it all. Anyone who thinks of themselves as a Halo fan should consider it a must-play from Xbox Game Pass. And for those who have never completed the Master Chief’s saga, there is no better way to finish the fight. Stardew Valley is easily one of the most zen experiences to be had in its genre. That’s quite a statement when discussing farming sims, but really, it’s so much more than that. With dashes of dating sim and retro action-RPG thrown into the mix and sealed up in a charming 16-bit aesthetic, SDV tasks players with moving out to the countryside to restore their grandfather’s farm after inheriting it — as one does in a farming sim. Players grow crops, find romance, assist the locals with their various problems, dive into the mines to fight monsters and liberate riches, and more over the course of their stay in the Valley. But one of the best parts of Stardew is easily the relaxed sense of progression. At no point are players prodded to advance the storyline, they’re free to live as they please as they eke out a living selling turnips, raising goats, hatching dinosaur eggs, and bashing slimes. Hate spiders? Kill them with fire. Or clipboards. Or high-powered magnum revolvers. You can kill spiders with a lot of different things, really, and Kill It With Fire showcases a whole gamut of spider extermination methods. Cast as a humble homeowner, the game tasks you with one fairly straightforward goal — kill the spiders infesting your abode by any means necessary. Players are confronted with increasingly complex extermination scenarios involving zany physics — spiders can hide beneath every nook and cranny, and keeping track of the various bits of furniture and decor you’ll overturn in pursuit of your arachnid adversaries is likely more pressing than the spiders themselves. Progressing through the levels will unlock a bevy of interesting implements of spider destruction. It’s a delightful indie jaunt that’s well worth killing a few hours for. The Wild at Heart occupies a space between Pikmin and a 2D adventure game from yesteryear. It’s an impressive feat that The Wild at Heart takes such complex mechanics and translates them flawlessly to a game that can be enjoyed without needing much dexterity. The game follows two young kids exporting a mystical forest after they run away from home. The comparisons to Pikmin come from its gameplay loop, where players need to manage a sizeable team of “Spritelings” (which have different abilities depending on their type) that these two discover on their adventure. It’s a must for fans of small indie games or Xbox players starved for Nintendo-style adventure games. It’s likely safe to dub Mortal Shell as the most souls-like of the Souls-likes, as the majority of the core gameplay elements are going to be immediately and intimately familiar to those steeped in FromSoftware’s iconic catalog. However, that isn’t to say it’s without its own distinct identity and nuances. One major facet that sets it apart is in the name — Shells. Players begin life in Mortal Shell as an overly tender slab of beef jerky but inhabit several different bodies, or “shells,” that have unique play styles and capabilities over the course of their venture. In addition to several other unique mechanics, players can expect a sharp execution of the other Souls trappings: parries and ripostes, bombastic boss fights demanding sensitive timing, and a decrepit, moldering world begging for a savior. Dark Souls fans are sure to find themselves at home. 343 Industries surprised the world during its 20th-anniversary celebration livestream with the announcement that the Halo Infinite multiplayer beta would release on that day. Anyone with access to a PC or Xbox console could play the online multiplayer component of the latest entry in the Halo series. The fact that it is still in beta in no way detracts from the experience. Players can jump into a Big Team Battle or a ranked Arena match and have the time of their lives. Well-crafted maps, new weapons, and entertaining game modes keep Infinite feeling fresh. Plus, it just caters to Halo fans in all the right ways. Halo nostalgia is real, and Infinite completely satisfies it. The Forza Horizon franchise has always done an incredible job blending the appeal of arcade racers like Burnout with the realistic precision controls of the Motorsport games. Horizon 5 is no exception, and it just so happens to be one of the best-looking games available on next-gen consoles. Like its predecessors, Horizon 5 has players exploring an open world and completing a wide variety of objectives and races. Mexico has no shortage of gorgeous locales to drive through while setting up for the Horizon Festival. It's a game with so much to do — it's almost too easy to pick a direction, start driving, and find something worthwhile on the Horizon. It Takes Two is a fantastic game, but it’s a bit misleading to label it as a single game. It treads over so many genres, it feels like multiple games in one package. And not only does it offer more than you might expect, it provides subscribers with one of the best cooperative experiences of the decade. Players take control of Cody and May, a married couple on the brink of divorce. The two are magically turned into dolls, which of course leads to a variety of hijinks as they make their way through a now larger (and more dangerous) world. From sliding down pipes to escaping from vacuums to battling wasps, there are so many ripe opportunities for engaging gameplay, and It Takes Two takes advantage of them all. Fans of Telltale's brand of choose-your-own-adventure stories will feel right at home with Last Stop. The game is very light on any traditional gameplay (even by the standards of modern games in the genre), but its plot, visual style, and narrative pacing more than make up for any mechanical shortcomings. Last Stop follows three interweaving characters and plots spread out across six chapters. Each chapter is broken up into a 20-minute section for each character. And frankly, the bite-sized nature of each mini-arc helps propel the game's supernatural plot from start to finish. The game's structure makes it the perfect fit for Game Pass and gamers looking for more story-oriented games in the genre. Boyfriend Dungeon wears its style, theme, and heart on its sleeve — players will be able to guess from the title alone whether or not the game is for them. Surprise! Boyfriend Dungeon is about dungeon crawling and figuring out which of the game's many romance options makes the best partner for fighting through said dungeons. Boyfriend Dungeon is a fairly stripped-down dungeon crawler, with a very light skill tree and little in the way of enemy variety. But what it lacks in loot, gear, and customization, it more than makes up for with personality and style. It also doesn't overstay its welcome or expect players to sink hours into learning any complex systems before its short runtime is up. It's a game that's more about the friends made along the way than gearing up for a big final encounter. The final product of one of the most popular Skyrim mods, The Forgotten City is one of the most intriguing games you can pluck from the Xbox Game Pass library. Set in an ancient city from a long-ago time, you and its denizens are stuck in a time loop that appears nigh unbreakable. Using your knowledge of coming events and some experimentation, it is up to you to figure out what is going on. The Forgotten City is a fantastic blend of an RPG and a mystery game. Aside from just progressing your character, the elusive nature of the plot will have you continuing on your journey. Add to that ingenious writing, and you’ve got yourself a story experience you will never forget. Nothing makes for a great time quite like fending off a horde of zombies alongside your friends. Back 4 Blood is an FPS shooter that has been clearly styled in the same vein as Left 4 Dead, which makes a great deal of sense considering Turtle Rock did develop the original zombie-slaying shoot ‘em up. Up to four players can team up to tackle a mission-based campaign, each of which ends up with the group fleeing into the relative safety of a safe room. There are even special types of “Ridden,” as Back 4 Blood terms its zombies, to contend with on the journey. The gunplay is crisp and satisfying — it makes a clear evolution from Left 4 Dead by incorporating attachments and ADS mechanics without sacrificing the loose, fast, and frenetic run-and-gun action. In a nutshell, if a zombie-shaped hole has been left in your heart since 2009’s Left 4 Dead 2, Back 4 Blood will occupy that space snugly. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a love letter to both the manga and anime of the beloved franchise. There is no shortage of iconic stances, animations, and easter eggs for Dragon Ball fans to sift through. It cannot be understated: FighterZ 's visuals flawlessly capture the feeling of watching Dragon Ball. It also happens to be an incredible game in its own right. Dragon Ball FighterZ is a 3-vs-3 tag battle fighting game. Like Marvel Vs. Capcom, players choose a team of combatants at the start of each match and can swap between them for combos. The fights are fast-paced, frenetic, and competitive. The game has an incredibly deep combo system (with some built-in auto-combos for players new to the genre) that includes all the polish fighting game fans expect from Arc System Works. A must for fans of the series and genre. Guacamelee 2 follows in a long line of excellent 2D platform/exploration titles inspired by Metroid and PS1-era Castlevania games. The second Guacamelee is a largely standalone experience (players won't be missing much skipping the first game), and it perfectly scratches that Metroidvania itch. Guacamelee separates itself from other games in the genre with a robust combo-based melee combat system and a colorful luchador world begging to be explored. The sequel is a touch more challenging than its visuals might suggest, but it manages to stay difficult without being frustrating. It’s an incredibly confident title that fans of the genre won’t want to miss. Sable is an absolutely gorgeous game, with an unforgettable artstyle that stands out from others found in the massive collection of games already available on Xbox Game Pass. The cartoonish aspect heightens the game’s sense of wonder as you guide Sable, the titular main character, through the desert landscapes of her world. While the game is rather sparse when it comes to side quests and activities to do, the freedom to roam through the wide, arid deserts is a large part of its appeal. The game is not all that long, and it is definitely more of a relaxing experience than an action-packed adventure. There is a short stack of horror games in the Xbox Game Pass library, but the titles that are available provide plenty of scares. Visage makes for a fine addition to this already tantalizing collection of spine-tingling, skin-crawling horror games. Visage stands alongside its peers as one of the most suspense-filled psychological horror titles to date. RELATED: Best Horror Games On Xbox Game Pass It calls to mind the infamous P.T. for Kojima’s abandoned Silent Hills project. Players must walk through hallways full of ominous visions, all while being tormented by grotesque figures that silently stalk them. Though there is no major action to be found in Visage, the superlative atmospheric tension is more than enough to keep you disquietingly engrossed in the slow-paced experience. When you hear Obsidian’s doing a classically styled CRPG, it behooves any RPG enthusiast to sit up and pay attention. As mentioned, Pillars of Eternity was made in the tradition of true genre classics, like Baldur’s Gate and Icewind Dale, but takes place in an entirely unique setting as opposed to D&D’s Forgotten Realms. Pillars of Eternity ’s richly detailed fantasy realm of Eora has a lore and mystique all its own. Players take the role of a “Watcher” — a spiritual medium of sorts that can interact with souls — as they investigate the mystery behind the Hollowborn Plague, an affliction that causes newborn children to be born without souls, rendering them stillborn for most intents and purposes. Obsidian’s penchant for imaginative writing and vibrant character work shines through the host of recruitable companions players will encounter while building their party, and the RPG mechanics themselves are deeply gratifying for theorycrafters and CRPG nuts. Flashy action is what Scarlet Nexus is all about. Players take on the role of Yuito Sumeragi or Kasane Randall, new recruits to the OSF, a task force dedicated to eliminating monstrous, supernatural-type creatures known only as Others. Powerful Psionic abilities and classic anime melee weapons make combat a bombastic affair. The best thing about Scarlet Nexus is how straightforward its gameplay and narrative can be for fans of the genre. It knows its identity; it knows its fans. If anything about Scarlet Nexus calls to you after your first few minutes of playing, you can rest assured that the remainder of the game will be just as enjoyable. The Artful Escape is exactly as its title describes, an escape into a multidimensional, otherworldly soundscape that is as artful as it is indescribable. The indie adventure game follows Francis Vendetti, an aspiring musician who is struggling to get out from under the shadow of his famous, folk-singing uncle. In an effort to find his own identity, Francis begins a cosmic journey that is nothing short of extraordinary. Players get to tour the universe alongside Francis as he discovers himself and who he truly wants to be. The Artful Escape is less of a game and more of an experience, but this unique aspect of the title makes it a definite gem in the Xbox Game Pass library. If there was a hole in your heart after you finished Valve’s Portal games, and no other title has been able to fill it since, then perhaps you should give Superliminal a try. Rather than utilizing portals and momentum as part of its puzzles, Superliminal is all about perspective. The way you perceive something leads to the solution. This might sound obtuse and vague, but it’s quite brilliant in execution. A small item can be made to seem as large as a house when you hold it just right. For instance, grabbing a soda can and holding it right in front of your face can make it seem larger than it really is based on perspective. Superliminal takes this idea and goes wild with it, leading to a number of mind-bending puzzles involving distance and light. It perfectly showcases how a different point of view can solve almost any problem. Though it is a very short game, it is an absolute must-play if you want a title that can turn your world upside down. Solidly designed cooperative stealth-action games are a rarity, but Aragami 2 manages to pull it off in fine fashion. As a member of a clan of undead ninja-guardians, it falls to you and up to two stealthy comrades to utilize various shadow powers, stealth, and good, old-fashioned katana combat to harass, harry, and sabotage an invading army as it pillages your homeland and slays your people. Aragami 2’s stealth and combat mechanics straddle a fine line between simple accessibility and depth, providing just enough nuance to get players hooked but dodging a learning curve that seems impenetrable to newcomers. It’s definitely worth more than a spin, especially if you have a couple of friends to bring along for the ride. Like Slay the Spire (also among the Best Games on Game Pass), Monster Train is a run-based deck-builder where players pick a starting character/clan and do their best to assemble the ultimate deck before a climactic showdown. Monster Train's claim to fame is a unique three-tiered floor system where players can set up their defenses and monsters to protect their core HP sitting at the top of the train. The system combines the best deck-builders with this unique mechanic, and an enormous number of different characters and abilities to give players a near-infinite number of strategies and combinations. Anyone riding the Monster Train will quickly find their route to an OP deck — and that's half the fun. Is sixteen years too long to wait for a proper sequel? Probably, yes. But that doesn’t make the result any less satisfying to experience. Psychonauts 2 hits with all the vibrance and zany, third-person action-platforming madness that solidified the original as a cult classic. Players once again control Raz Aquato as he continues to climb the ranks of the legendary Psychonauts. But this isn’t summer camp anymore; this is the big leagues. A new villain has arisen to plague the minds of everyone’s favorite psychics, but the familiar mechanics of the original game are back with greater polish. It’s fantastic to see a Psychonauts sequel that still carries the heart and charm of the original. Perspective is a key element to immersing yourself in The Medium ’s style of horror. Marianne’s journey through the spirit world while at the Niwa Resort does not rely on jump-scares for imparting a sense of suspense. Rather, it is all about atmosphere. The game’s conceptual basis of layered realities evokes shades of Silent Hill, which is certainly not an unflattering comparison to make. The novel notion of showing players Marianne’s movements in both the real and the spirit world is the highlight of the game. If a steadily-paced horror game that bases its ambiance on these dual aesthetics sounds like your cup of tea, then The Medium is the perfect Game Pass title for you. Wilmot's Warehouse is one of the most "oddly satisfying" game ideas around. In it, players control a small cube that is in charge of organizing a shipping factory and fulfilling customer orders in a timely fashion each month. The core idea is simple enough, but things get complex quickly because of the overwhelming number of different items players need to catalog (and the fact that they are only labeled with a simple image). In practice, the game is all about creating the most efficient factory layout possible by associating concepts. For example, does a winter hat belong next to the "winter" inventory or the "hat" inventory — and in the busy Q4 season, will you be able to remember what you chose? Twelve Minutes is a harrowing escape room-style mystery game, where players find themselves trapped in a 12-minute time loop that ends in tragedy. Every cycle, players need to use what they've learned to get one step closer to piecing together the plot. It's an exhilarating premise made even better by its setting. The cerebral thriller puts players in control of a husband and wife (played by James McAvoy and Daisy Ridley) minutes before an aggressive cop (Willem Dafoe) shows up to cuff them. True to the genre, it's a brutal endeavor ripe with twists and turns. Put simply, Quake brought a lot to the FPS genre — it popularized fully 3D-rendered environments, internet-based multiplayer deathmatches, and a ton of other features that have become part-and-parcel to the genre as a whole. Its inclusion in the Xbox Game Pass library is a blessing for those who want to explore the early foundation of first-person shooters. Though the weapon sandbox is fairly straightforward, the breakneck speed with which players can move around maps is the highlight of the game. Fast-paced action is delivered whether you are competing in matches against other players or blazing through the story levels. The visuals of Quake, even in its remastered state, are rather dated, but the sheer entertainment value inherent in its mechanics is ageless. Before Donut County or Hole. io, there was Katamari Damacy. The original game is about absorbing everything in sight. Katamari Damacy 's bright and colorful world casts players as the Prince of the Cosmos, who has to help rebuild said cosmos by rolling up enough material to make a star or moon. It is the best kind of ridiculous. Players slowly push around a sticky ball that picks up everything it touches. Levels deal with progressively larger and larger objects, and the whole process is equal parts funny and satisfying. Anyone who never played the original when it debuted on PS2 and is interested in quirky or unique game design should check out the world of Katamari Damacy. Supergiant Games’ smash hit roguelike dungeon crawler already had an immense following, and now Game Pass subscribers finally have the chance to see what the hype is all about. Cast as Zagreus, a son of the dour death god himself, players are tasked with guiding the cocksure anti-hero in battling through Tartarus as he seeks to escape the drab realm of his father and take up residence with his Olympian cousins. Of course, he’s met with significant resistance — initial failure is a certainty, though players will have the opportunity to unlock upgrades, boons, and more between runs to improve their odds with the next attempt. The action itself is buttery smooth, playing as an isometric hack-and-slash ARPG with a host of intriguing weapons and powers for Zagreus to peruse in his quest. However, it’d be criminal to not draw particular attention to the presentation. The game’s lighthearted yet artfully detailed take on Greek mythology is the core of its charm. The cast of characters is brought to life with a strikingly vibrant art style and brilliant voice acting. Hades is definitely one for the books, and its arrival on consoles is sure to seal the deal. The Ascent mashes together several elements that get along swimmingly — the charm and action of a twin stick shooter meet the loot-heavy shenanigans and progression elements typical of isometric action-RPGs in a delightful cyberpunk setting. Players control “Indents,” so-called employees of a massive corporation as they work to pay off their contract’s debt. Up to four players can roam the gritty arcology of the planet Veles, engaging in shootouts with rival gangs or mechanized ferals. Combat in The Ascent is intuitive and never feels like a grind. If anything, despite the raucous, neon nature of the world, lighting up the streets of the metropolis with a handful of friends is simultaneously relaxing and exciting. The Ascent keeps players riveted with the entertaining gunplay without bogging them down in hard-to-learn systems. It’s everything one could want in a cyberpunk-themed game. A violent black and white puzzle platformer starring a small child in a nightmarish world, Limbo is one of the most striking games ever made. An early indie game darling, Limbo has players moving through the stark environment, solving puzzles and trying to escape with their life. RELATED: Best Indie Games On Xbox Game Pass Despite its bleak aesthetic, Limbo is still an incredibly thrilling experience. It's a game that tries to keep its player's stomach in knots during cinematic moments, and even manages to surprise during its puzzle sequences. It's easy to see why so many developers are still trying to emulate Limbo's success today. The Gears of War franchise is emblematic of third-person cover-based shooters with a heavy emphasis on cooperative gameplay, but at this point, the original titles are starting to really show their age. This is what makes Gears of War: Ultimate Edition a fantastic get on Game Pass — it gives players a chance to experience the series’ roots with a fresh coat of paint and some great quality-of-life improvements. The graphics have been generally enhanced, enemies can be spotted, and weapons can be switched during mad dashes from cover to cover. But aside from these improvements, this Ultimate Edition lets players take a peek at the beginning of Marcus Fenix’s journey and reintroduces the chainsaw-action of the series’ staple weapon, the Lancer. What more could a Gears fan want? Lumines is unquestionably one of the best Tetris-style puzzle games and helped pave the way for its developer to make Tetris Effect in 2018. The original Lumines is still a feast for the senses, combining pattern recognition with a carefully curated soundtrack and a constantly evolving aesthetic. RELATED: Best Xbox Game Pass Games For Kids The game's core loop has players matching tiles that drop from the top of the screen in non-conforming patterns. Unlike Tetris, tiles aren't removed from the screen when players complete a 'line' or 'shape.' Instead, blocks are cleared to the beat of the music by a line that sweeps across the screen from left to right. Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a gaming experience like no other. It manages to capture the trial of living with psychosis and tell a moving story at the same time. You play as Senua, a Viking warrior seeking to set her lover’s soul at rest by traveling to Helheim. Her journey is harrowing as the voices she hears in her own head plague her (and the player) with doubts and bits of advice. Grotesque hallucinations haunt every one of Senua’s footsteps. While her quest is grueling, and it often makes you question whether or not the whole venture is worth it, it culminates in one of the most satisfying endings in gaming history. Hellblade proves that battling your own demons is a fight worthy of recognition and esteem. If you’re expecting a quiet time tilling soil and planting crops, Farming Simulator 19 will turn those expectations on their heads. Being busy is the name of the game as you have to manage how much money your farm is earning with upgrading tractors and other pieces of equipment in order to thus acquire more land and grow yet more crops. The detail given to this farming simulation is a delight for any fan of the genre. And what makes Farming Simulator an even better addition to the Xbox Game Pass library is the ability to play it with friends. The title supports multiplayer, which means groups of friends can spend quality time being agricultural entrepreneurs together. Mash the combat system of a hack n’ slash RPG up with a fighting game and you wind up walking right into For Honor ’s neighborhood. Featuring an over-the-top roster of vikings, knights, and samurai wielding an array of deadly weaponry, the combat might seem heavy-handed and bombastic at first — but scratch the surface and you’ll find nuanced movesets tempered by intuitive blocking and parry systems. The game comes with an appropriately hamfisted campaign mode, but the real treasure is its suite of multiplayer offerings: heart-pounding one-on-one duels, chaotic team battles, and even a few PVE bits all offer unique experiences of their own. Golfing has never been more relaxing or stress-inducing than in Golf With Your Friends. This casual golfing title might seem like an enjoyable co-op experience for a group of friends to partake in. But beneath this seemingly tranquil surface is a turbulent and infuriating game that will break friendships instead of clubs. Easing a golf ball into a hole becomes a practice in impossibility thanks to convoluted courses. From water falls to ghosts to black holes, an array of jaw-dropping obstacles stand in the way of making par. Is it annoying to sink every swing on a single hole? Yes. Is it easy to get lost in the dazzle of new courses? Most certainly. Is it an immense amount of fun to play? Always. Fans of turn-based strategy games like XCOM or Fire Emblem might scoff at the idea of the action-packed Gears of War franchise being turned into a tactics game, but the result is an impressive first foray into the genre. Gears has always been about player positioning, flanks, and coordinated strikes — the translation to top-down strategy game is remarkably seamless. Related: Best FPS Games On Xbox Game Pass Strategy game fans who have never touched a Gears title before should absolutely make the time to try out Gears Tactics. The game strikes an impressive balance in its complexity. Newcomers to the turn-based strategy genre won't feel overwhelmed, but veterans will be pleasantly surprised by some of the very specific tweaks and customizations offered. A Plague Tale: Innocence is a 14th-century alternate history story with fantasy elements that follows two noble siblings chased out of their home by the English. Set during the advent of the bubonic plague, the two find themselves wrapped up in a larger-than-life plot to find a cure for the Black Death while evading both political and religious forces that have their own ambitions. Despite its fascinating overarching narrative, the game is mostly centered around its heroes' relationships and their fight for survival. Fans of triple-A blockbusters will feel right at home going through Plague Tale's stealth-action gameplay. The game has a very satisfying sense of progression on account of its naturally evolving plot, solid gameplay mechanics, and the intriguing player abilities obtained throughout the game. Doom (2016) was the revitalization the series needed to prove to the world that it was still relevant. For a long time, Doom was considered a game of a bygone era, influential but no longer in its prime. Id Software changed all that with the creation of Doom (2016). The Doom Slayer came roaring back into existence, ripping and tearing a new place for himself in the gaming landscape. Not only did this reboot bring Doom back into the cultural awareness, it showed that a single-player campaign that is well-crafted and vigorous good fun can entice players just as much as, if not more than, another battle royale. Doom (2016) is not one to miss for fans of fast-paced shooters and action-packed combat. Let's get this out of the way: Yakuza: Like a Dragon is a perfect jumping-off point for anyone new to the Yakuza series. It's a whole new cast of characters in a whole new area. Yes, there are nods to the rest of the franchise, but there's nothing to hamper newcomers' enjoyment. Unlike the rest of the Yakuza games, Like a Dragon is a JRPG in the vein of Dragon Quest or classic Final Fantasy —complete with a party of loveable characters on a noble quest. What fans of the genre won't be expecting is how well these tropes translate to a modern-day crime drama about found family. Yakuza: Like a Dragon is fun, funny, and an absolute joy to play through. Don't miss it! The gorgeous vistas of the world are reason enough to give Microsoft Flight Simulator a try, as they truly flex the capabilities of Microsoft’s latest generation of Xbox consoles. However, in addition to the beautiful rendering of the entire planet, the game also gives players an opportunity to test out piloting skills thanks to its intuitive, simulated aircraft controls. A variety of realistically rendered airplanes are at your piloting disposal, replete with interactive features and instruments that lend a deep sense of immersion to this already-stunning simulation title. Take to the sky under a variety of weather and environmental conditions and earn your wings in the way of your choosing. Co-op fun of any sort is always a welcome addition to the Xbox Game Pass library, and those who own a subscription can now celebrate the inclusion of Gang Beasts on an already jam-packed roster of great games. Goofy wrestling in silly costumes makes the violent thrashings seem hilarious and adorable. The stages on which players combat each other are simplistic in design, but wacky in concept, from outdoor elevators to churning factory floors to an active subway tunnel. Dipping into a game of Gang Beasts is enjoyable to the extreme, making this lighthearted title a must-play for anyone who wants to have a bumbling brawl. Man of Medan is a campy horror movie brought to life by light gameplay elements. From the makers of Until Dawn (PS4), this particular scary story centers around a group of teens who come across a haunted ship while sailing the Pacific Ocean. It does not go well. Needless to say, Man of Medan is an absolute blast to play with friends, and it takes this co-op experience one step further by creating custom control options for friends playing remotely or in person. The online play dynamically shows players different cutscenes and events depending on whether or not the characters are together or apart. It's a really effective trick and a great way to enjoy a cheesy horror flick. Knockout City is a competitive dodgeball game that's easy to learn but hard to master. Fans of competitive shooters who struggle with twitch-based gameplay will feel right at home with Knockout City. It uses the very familiar rulesets of popular 3v3 multiplayer modes (i.e. Team Death Match), but doesn't award victory to the team who can score the most headshots. Instead, Knockout City is more about positioning. The game uses a lock-on targeting system, so knocking someone out has more to do with where a player is standing and how well coordinated the opposing team is. It's an impressive spin on the genre reminiscent of Splatoon — and who doesn't love a pain-free game of dodgeball. Make no mistake, Darkest Dungeon sets players up for a brutal, turn-based roguelike experience. Cast as the unlucky beneficiary inheriting a cursed estate, players must recruit a party of daring-yet-vulnerable adventurers to root out the corruption that has overtaken it. Combat is as deadly for the body as it is the mind — characters have a sanity statistic that will erode as they’re subjected to the Lovecraftian horrors inhabiting the various biomes, driving them to depths of madness. “Lovecraftian horrors” is quite literal here, as the themes and creature designs are very clearly inspired by Lovecraft’s timeless tales of cosmic horror and rendered in a brilliantly vibrant, almost comic book-like art style. Add in the voice talent of Wayne June narrating the experience and you’re in for a memorable (if grueling) adventure. The iconic mechanics of the more recent titles in the Mortal Kombat franchise were perfectly paired with the DC Universe in Injustice. Superpowered characters exchanging bone-shattering blows was already NetherRealm’s essential bread-and-butter, so that should come as no surprise. The sequel simply polishes an already explosive formula — from iconic mainstays like Batman and Superman to relatively deep digs like Blue Beetle and Atrocitus, the roster is bursting with heroic and villainous selections sure to delight the considerable intersections between DC and fighting-game fans to no end. Hollow Knight's exploration and genuine sense of discovery are easily some of the best in the genre. It's a shining example of how to make a Metroidvania in the modern era. Hollow Knight never trades in its mystery or world-building for padded side quests or game-breaking boosts. RELATED: Best Soulslike Games On Xbox Game Pass It remains a somber, magical, and deceptively challenging game all the way through. It definitely takes a page from the Dark Souls series, so be prepared to wander into new areas with caution, and get ready to learn every boss' pattern exactly. Halo ’s initial foray into real-time strategy was certainly a twist for the established FPS juggernaut, especially for consoles. But it went over surprisingly smoothly — the controls were intuitively mapped for controllers, and the streamlined gameplay made for a great RTS title for fans of both the genre and the mainline Halo franchise. Halo Wars 2 didn’t fix what wasn’t broken, but added enough nuance to the formula to make it a rock-solid sequel. At surface level, it’s a competent RTS title. But the devil’s in the details — Halo Wars 2 included a surprisingly well-crafted cooperative mode for tackling its campaign, and said campaign manages to preserve the bombast and grandeur expected of a Halo title even with the drastic shift in genre. What’s more is that the hotly anticipated Halo Infinite seems to be drawing on lore elements introduced in Halo Wars 2 (namely the antagonistic Covenant rebel faction known as the Banished), so it’s certainly worth it to get caught up on the opposing forces arrayed against the Master Chief in the upcoming game. Spiritfarer casts you as a ferry master shepherding souls to their final resting grounds. It sounds grim, but behind its premise is an incredibly hopeful game about love, loss, and growth. The game's art design allows it to walk the line between tackling a depressing subject and remaining the soothing experience players expect from a management sim. Spiritfarer wears a lot of hats. Premise aside, at its core, it's a light farming and relationship sim. It mixes and matches a lot of elements fans of the genre will be familiar with, including crop planning, gift-giving, and plenty of crafting. It has a lovely world to explore, and even some light platforming thrown in for good measure. To label Elite Dangerous as an ambitious space flight sim would be an understatement at best. Players are let loose into an almost terrifyingly impressive 1:1 recreation of the Milky Way galaxy as we know it, free to pursue whatever spacefaring adventures their hearts desire. RELATED: Best PC Games On Game Pass As to what precisely that entails, the possibilities are exceedingly broad. Whether you’ve always dreamed of braving the unknown reaches of deep space to make new discoveries, piloting a starfighter on the frontlines of an interstellar war, or literally flying a glorified space taxi as you shuttle passengers from one space station to the next, Elite Dangerous has got a role for you to fill. The density of the flight controls might be a bit intimidating at first, but the thrill of participating in its continuously unfolding narrative alongside a dedicated community of fellow pilots is a feeling rarely replicated by other multiplayer titles. Equal parts puzzle game and platformer, Human Fall Flat tasks players with navigating a series of surreal dreamscapes that revolve around a central theme. Each level introduces new mechanics that play a key role in traversing the clear-cut geometry of the environments. The oftentimes bizarre conceptual basis of the stages themselves coupled with the reliably hilarious implementation of the game’s physics practically guarantee an uproarious time, but the puzzles themselves are thoughtfully designed. The experience is made all the more enjoyable when played alongside one or more friends — cooperatively brainstorming solutions to puzzles is surprisingly exhilarating… when you’re not busy trying to figure out new and exciting ways to throw one another into bottomless pits. The first Outlast game took horror fans by storm, and the second solidified the series’ foothold in the genre. Outlast 2 places players in the hapless shoes of Blake Langermann, a journalist who quite literally crash-lands into a hellish situation with no hope of escape. As with the first title, running and hiding are the only viable options when confronting the terrors of the night, whether they be the deranged cult members of the local town, the fiendish shapes that pursue players in Blake’s nightmares, or the deformed and infected Scalled. The scares of Outlast 2 reach into core fears regarding human nature. The game utilizes this horror in an effort to craft an unnerving story experience that leaves one with a contradictory sense of numbness and fright. The original Psychonauts was the definition of “hidden gem” when it released in 2005. Despite critical acclaim, the hysterical puzzle/platformer didn't find much of an audience until years later. With a sequel finally here (fifteen years and three console generations later), there's never been a better time to play through one of Double Fine's most beloved titles. Fans of any 3D open-world platformers, collectathons, or adventure games will feel right at home in the world of Psychonauts. Not only is it one of the funniest games ever written (alongside the likes of Portal), but the creativity of its level design rivals some of Nintendo's best worlds. Applying a marvelous open-world formula to a purely underwater environment is a phenomenal concept, and Subnautica pulls it off with aplomb. After crashing onto a watery alien world on a single lifepod, players must do their best to survive using the resources at their disposal. Not only are food and water constant concerns, but the terrifying creatures of the deep must be contended with as well. The survival genre might be oversaturated at this point, but Subnautica proves that with a few unique elements and a captivating atmosphere, even a small indie game can stand out in an ocean of similar titles. Grim Fandango has players exploring and solving puzzles in a film noir version of the Land of the Dead. It is easily one of the most striking and unique games in the Xbox Game Pass portfolio. Grim Fandango 's sheer creativity makes it a treat to go through, but that’s not the sole merit it sells itself on. The game has an incredible style and sense of place, but it also backs all of its pizzazz up with equally compelling characters. But fair warning! For as great as Grim Fandango 's world and writing are (and yes, they still hold up today), it is worth mentioning that this is a classic adventure game. There's very little hand-holding to speak of, even in the remastered edition on Game Pass. That said, there's no shame in looking up a puzzle or two. Though there are plenty of strategic titles available to play on Xbox Game Pass, sometimes all anyone really needs is the ability to be a goat for a short while. Thankfully, Goat Simulator has this covered. The delightful physics of the game can keep players entertained for hours, long after they’ve uncovered many of the secret achievements and hilarious references it contains. The joy of being a destructive goat is brought to life in this riot of a title by Coffee Stain Studios. And while the actual functions of being a real-life goat are largely ignored for comedy’s sake, the fantastical nature of Goat Simulator keeps entertainment levels at an all-time high. Look like a goat. Act like a goat. Be like a goat. Very few developers can live up to the incredible quality of Nintendo games. In 1998, Rare released Banjo-Kazooie on the N64, and managed to compete —and in some ways exceed— the genre-defining Super Mario 64. Luckily, the HD re-release of Banjo-Kazooie holds up remarkably well. With so few traditional 3D platformers releasing to pick up the mantle, it remains one of the best games in the genre readily available today. The original Banjo-Kazooie builds on the open-world hub design popularized by Mario 64, and expands on it with an interlocking array of shortcuts and secrets. Combined with some incredibly creative abilities, a loveable cast, and an unforgettable soundtrack by the legendary Grant Kirkhope — it's obvious why fans are still clamoring for a Banjo-Kazooie 3 years later. EA’s track record with Star Wars properties may have seen a fairly recent low point, but Squadrons contributes to their redemption arc in fairly fine fashion. Though the title may imply a relation to the iconic N64 title, Squadrons is most certainly a more immersive brand of space flight sim. That said, it’s likely one of the more accessible recent entries into the genre when compared to the likes of Elite Dangerous. RELATED: The Best Star Wars Games to Play in 2021 The campaign’s not quite robust, but still weaves a decently compelling narrative as players experience both sides of the ongoing conflict between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire in the aftermath of the second Death Star’s destruction. However, the multiplayer suite is clearly the star of the show. The thrilling 5v5 dogfights make for intense instant-action space battles, while Fleet Battles offer a more tactical experience as you and your squadmates strategically assault the enemy’s capital ships while defending your own. The game’s fantastic visual performance in VR is just the cherry on top. Read our review here. A heartfelt delight from start to finish, Undertale is an indie darling for a reason. It takes typical tropes found in old-school RPGs and uses them to spin a surprisingly deep tale that takes player action into consideration. Players accompany a young child through an underground world of monsters as they try to make their way back to the surface. These “monsters” are full of kind-hearted insight and jovial humor, and talking to each one is part of the game’s charm. Undertale is the kind of game that comes around once in a lifetime, and it is a must-play title for any fan of the RPG genre. Though the challenges that Undertale presents can be arduous, its story is nothing short of miraculous. It’s the kind of game that fills you with determination. Fable 2’s critical reception upon launching in 2008 was on par with the landmark release of Bethesda’s Fallout 3 — no mean feat considering the impressive legacy of the latter. Fable 2 isn't an 80+ hour epic open-world RPG with endless possibilities. Still, the decisions players make and the impact these have on the world still feel more tangible than a lot of modern games with branching narratives. Fable 2's setting evokes whimsy and wonder, but it never feels toothless or childish. It's a perfect taste of the universe Lionhead and Peter Molyneux created and a great entry to jump into before the Microsoft Studios franchise reboot set to release on the Xbox Series X| S Though the walking simulator genre is not for everyone, What Remains of Edith Finch is an undeniably unique experience. Edith Finch returns to her old family home to uncover the secrets behind a family curse. While she explores the rooms of the creaky and gargantuan Finch house, she chases after the stories of her deceased family members. Players are treated to a smorgasbord of experiences as they dive into the memories of the Finch family. Scenarios are played out that will delight and shock players as they are taken through both lighthearted adventures full of imaginative magic and narratives that evoke an ineffable sense of cathartic despondency quite unlike anything else in the medium. Becoming immersed in a science-fiction universe that is as well-crafted as Prey ’s is an experience like no other. Thrown into the mind of Morgan Yu, players must unravel the mystery behind the catastrophe that has befallen the Talos I space station. A strange alien life form known as the Typhon has taken over, and Morgan must contend with the peculiar threat they pose to the humans left alive on the station. Arkane Studios blends aspects of Dishonored, BioShock, and Soma in a masterful fashion, allowing players to choose how they wish to tackle problems they encounter. They can proceed in a stealthy fashion, upgrade weapons and go in guns blazing, acquire almost supernatural powers from Neuromods, or use the handy GLOO Cannon to tackle the Typhon menace. The appeal of Prey comes not only from the immersive world of its narrative but from the diverse array of playstyle options it gives its players to do with as they will. Grand strategy games make for a precious commodity on consoles, as the genre’s innate complexity and densely layered menus don’t tend to translate well. Stellaris, however, breaks that mold in fine fashion. After selecting (or generating) the civilization of their dreams, players are placed at its helm as it discovers faster-than-light (FTL) travel and begins its journey amongst the stars. Whether by military might, diplomatic intrigue, or economic guile, the general goal is establishing interstellar supremacy. But as the saying goes, it’s the journey and not the destination. The myriad of potential events that may unfold as you guide your civilization along the path to victory is truly astounding. Occurrences that range from humorously bizarre to terrifyingly cataclysmic lurk behind every discovered planet and unmapped corner of the galaxy. Players will chase clues left behind by ancient precursor civilizations, encounter all manner of alien races, explore the furthest reaches of known space, and so much more. No two games will ever turn out the same. Dragon Quest XI follows a silent protagonist and his band of merry friends as they explore impressive vistas and small towns in a typical JRPG fashion. Unlike the modern Final Fantasy games, Echoes of an Elusive Age sticks to the traditional turn-based battles of yesteryear. Yes, Dragon Quest XI is still an aggressively traditional JRPG, but that doesn't stop it from being a first-class game and a must for any fans of the genre. Square Enix has been iterating on the Dragon Quest formula for three decades, and it shows. It's hard to imagine a more polished and complete package than Dragon Quest XI. Read our review here. Bethesda’s latest spin on the definitive post-apocalyptic roleplaying experience isn’t without its detractors, but it’s hard to argue that anyone’s getting a raw deal with its inclusion on Game Pass. As the Lone Survivor of Vault 111, players are immediately faced with tracking down their son after he’s snatched from the Vault by a mysterious band of mercenaries and scientists. It’s a simple and lofty motivation, but factoring in an irradiated wasteland rife with terrifying mutants, raiders, and long-abandoned ruins concealing vital supplies, it becomes apparent that the road’s going to get bumpy. Fallout 4 took a significant (and fair) amount of flak for its relatively rail-roaded narrative and lackluster dialogue navigation, but frankly, there’s still a lot there to love. RELATED: 10 Most Breathtaking Locations In Fallout 4 Describing a wasteland ravaged by nuclear war as “beautiful” doesn’t roll off of the tongue, but Bethesda’s signature open-world charm is still well-intact. The Commonwealth serves as a compelling setting, from the ruins of Boston to the Glowing Sea. And as per usual, there’s a near-endless amount of content for players to explore and uncover. And once poring over the vanilla content has lost its luster, one can turn to an impressive and accessible selection of mods to spice up their playthrough utilizing the modding community’s boundless creativity. There’s nothing quite like coasting past Great Britain’s stunning vista at 150 mph with lo-fi beats propelling each and every drift. Forza Horizon 4 makes simulation racing seem easy, expertly mixing arcade racer challenges with precision controls. Not to mention that Horizon 4 is easily one of the best-looking games on modern consoles — and it looks even better on the Series X. The Horizon franchise has been polished and refined over 15 years, and it shows: Forza Horizon 4 is the benchmark all other racing games are judged against. Read our review here. There’s a little bit of extra magic in Tetris Effect that takes it to another level beyond being a run-of-the-mill adaptation of the 1984 tile-matching phenomenon. Of course, this is Tetris at its core, which needs no explanation. The crowning jewel of Tetris Effect is its roughly 2-hour long “Journey Mode,” which whisks players between a series of audio-visual vignettes. These occupy the space between a live concert with electric lighting and lasers and a state-of-the-art planetarium visit. Combined with a multiplayer mode, and a tremendous version of the original game, Tetris Effect: Connected is the full package. Titanfall 2’s relatively understated presence in the FPS genre is more than a bit puzzling, because it was the object of significant critical acclaim upon release. And its die-hard fanbase has quietly asserted that it’s handily one of the most solid shooters to have ever hit the market for years since. Frankly, they’ve got a lot going on to support that opinion. The game’s campaign is practically as solid as its multiplayer suite, with the former weaving a compelling sci-fi narrative around pilot-in-training Cooper and his surly oversized robot acquaintance, BT-7274. RELATED: Xbox Game Pass: 15 Best Multiplayer Games On The Service Big mechs and wall-running mechanics go a long way on their own, but Respawn’s take on the FPS formula just feels polished in a way that many contemporary shooters don’t — and is more than partially responsible for its remarkable overnight success with Apex Legends. Telltale's The Walking Dead resulted in the studio's meteoric success, as well as the contemporary popularization of the graphic adventure genre. Capitalizing on the popularity of The Walking Dead following its adaptation into a wildly popular television series, Telltale's take on The Walking Dead is initially told from the perspective of former convict Lee, whose journey to prison is interrupted by the zombie outbreak. Eventually, the focus shifts to the young Clementine and follows her evolution into a savvy survivor hardened by the ravages of the post-apocalypse. The unfolding narrative bends and shifts responsively to the player's choices throughout the game, making every dialogue option seem tense and impactful while ensuring that no two playthroughs end up telling the same story. Beauty is not often associated with video games, but Ori and the Will of the Wisps is a beautiful title. The artistry with which character motions and backgrounds were created is astounding. Even the music that accompanies players along their journey with Ori is gorgeous. However, Ori is not simply a great game because it looks good. It is functionally exquisite as well. The precise platforming from the first game, Ori and the Blind Forest, is still in place, with even more tools of traversal at players’ disposal. New combat mechanics have been added to Will of the Wisps as well, and they are extraordinary to execute. Ori and the Will of the Wisps is the complete package: jaw-dropping visuals, emotional storytelling, and perfectly honed gameplay elements. Read our review here. Though subsequent titles were released after it, Mass Effect 2 remains the pinnacle of the series. Commander Shepard and the rest of the Normandy SR-2 crew face a grave threat to the galaxy. The Reaper menace is ever-growing, and players must assume the role of Commander Shepard as they plan to tackle this foe. RELATED: The Best RPGs On Xbox Game Pass Mass Effect 2 is truly BioWare at its finest, with compelling dialogue between characters, engaging combat sequences, and a high-stakes story that ends on an unforgettable note. Despite the age this classic RPG is showing, it is a game worth playing. Slay the Spire popularized and perfected the deck-building rogue-like in one fell swoop. It's an impeccably well-balanced game that threads the needle between being simple enough for newcomers and deep enough for veterans of the genre. Because Slay the Spire is a single-player game, enemies aren't confined to the same rule-set as the player, which lets every enemy feel unique and exciting. Any fans of drafting table-top games or classic TCGs like Magic: The Gathering owe it to themselves to give Slay the Spire a try. A large part of The Evil Within’s appeal comes from its cinematic approach to the genre. An unnerving ambience is key to immersing players in Detective Sebastian Castellanos’ plummet into abject horror. Trapped in the mind of a sadistic killer, Sebastian is confronted with gruesome scenes at every turn, and players are tasked with relentlessly pressing forward no matter the next nightmare that awaits them. Reminiscent of the Resident Evil series, The Evil Within forges its own identity with bloody imagery that borders on hallucinogenic and a combat system that is as measured as it is gripping. If one can find the resolve to pick up this gut-churning title, The Evil Within’s established take on horror makes it impossible to put down. Despite weathering criticism concerning a lack of content at the outset, Sea of Thieves has steadily been accruing more in-game activities for players to pursue as it sails along. Rare’s delightfully vibrant pirate simulator plops you onto a dock with a ship — and the rest is up to you. Whether you sail about completing tasks for one of the trading companies, seek out other players for some PVP thrills, or aimlessly hop about from island to island slaying skeletons with no particular aim in mind, the game doesn’t push you in any particular direction. However, that’s an intrinsic part of its charm. It can certainly be played solo, but earnestly, you'll want to grab a friend or three before diving in. The pirate’s life truly shines when it’s lived alongside a few loyal crewmates. The Elder Scrolls has been synonymous with the very concept of open-world RPGs for decades now, and Skyrim is the title to show if a demonstration is required. All memes aside, the Dragonborn’s quest to defeat Alduin is a spectacle rarely equaled by RPGs in general, and a lot of that is due to the fact that it has as many chapters as the player would like it to have. The frigid province of Skyrim is unforgivingly gorgeous, and the amount of “optional” content is nearly endless. Factor in the innovative decision to make a stunning library of user-generated mods available on Xbox consoles, and you have what is likely the most content-rich game currently available on Game Pass. For the most part, games based on the Alien movie franchise have been frantic shooter affairs, clearly drawing their inspiration from James Cameron’s space marine sequel film, Aliens. Alien: Isolation chooses instead to base its environments and style of horror on Ridley Scott’s classic original Alien. Fans of Scott’s film will undoubtedly be pleased by Isolation, as the entire title serves as an homage. However, the game does not rest on the movie’s laurels. Alien: Isolation creates one of the most suspenseful horror experiences ever played in a video game. This is all owing to the fantastic AI of the titular Alien. The perfect predatory instincts of the Xenomorph make players feel as if their every step is heard, and when the Alien is in play, there is no relief from that tension. A Way Out distinguishes itself from nearly every other game on the market by not just offering a co-op mode, but by making it the essential centerpiece of the experience. Emphasis on “essential,” as it can’t actually be played in single-player. Players take on the roles of Vincent and Leo, two inmates planning an escape from the prison where they are currently being held. Little do they know the twists and turns their adventure will take. RELATED: EA Didn't Think A Way Out Would Sell A Way Out takes players on a unique journey, albeit an occasionally awkward one. Stiff dialogue and forced emotional moments aside, the perfectly absurd narrative and strangely integrated (yet thoroughly fun) mini-games weave together an uproarious experience for you and your partner of choice. Yakuza 0 is the quintessential Yakuza game. The 1980s origin story casts players as Kiryu Kazama and fan-favorite Goro Majima as they get their start in the criminal underbelly of Kamurocho and Sotenbori. It takes the core beat-em-up combat from the original games and refines it in one of the richest open-world games available today. Despite being a little older, and a little less polished than Judgement (2019) or Yakuza: Like a Dragon (2020), Yakuza 0 is the perfect blend of everything that makes the series so beloved. Doom ’s explosive 2016 reboot was a tough act to follow — a fact that didn’t seem to elude id Software when it came to designing the sequel. Following the events of the Doom Slayer’s initial outing, the forces of Hell have invaded Earth. From there, the narrative unfolds as expected: the Doom Slayer’s got a job to do, and it’s going to involve a lot of shotgun shells. Doom Eternal, pardon the cliche, turns every knob up to eleven, tears them off, and forgets that they existed to begin with. It may have seemed impossible to make the fevered rhythm of Doom 2016’s combat even more of an arrhythmia-inducing experience, but id Software did just that by expanding the Slayer’s arsenal and unleashing even more terrifying demons for him to loose it upon. Read our review here. Finding the perfect co-op game can be a bit of a struggle, but Overcooked 2 has got that covered. This absolute treat of a game allows up to four players to bumble about different kitchens preparing familiar dishes. RELATED: The Best Local Co-Op & Split-Screen Games On Xbox Game Pass Hilarity ensues as each kitchen needs to be cleared within a certain time limit. If the game feels like a breeze after the first playthrough, Overcooked 2 adds challenges to the mix by including secret levels and additional stars to earn. Don’t hesitate to join the Onion King and his faithful dog Kevin as they seek to halt the Unbread after they were raised using the Necro-nom-nom-icon. It’s one scrumptious journey. Looking at screenshots of Wolfenstein: The New Order, it would be easy to mistake it for a modern-day retreading of the 1980s corridor shooters its predecessors popularized. However, The New Order set the stage for a 21st-century version of Wolfenstein that lives up its lineage and forges a new path for the series. It matches the smooth gunplay id Software fans expect with a dusting of RPG tropes (i.e. skill trees, branching narrative paths, and side quests), and the whole package comes together exceptionally well. The WWII alternate history narrative expertly switches between the ultra-violence and bombast id Software is known for and —somehow— manages to tie into an emotional core with a beautifully drawn cast of characters. The latest series of Wolfenstein games (developed by MachineGames) are easily some of the best single-player first-person shooters available today, and The New Order is the best place to start. Dishonored was a phenomenal stealth title, and its sequel follows in its footsteps while managing to take some big strides forward on its own. Dishonored 2 is a gem that has gone vastly unappreciated. It continues the story of Corvo and Emily as they work to regain the throne after a coup. Players can pick between one or the other to play as, and both Corvo and Emily are given unique skills, making Dishonored 2 highly replayable. In addition to that, Dishonored 2 is home to one of the most innovative and exciting levels in video game history, utilizing a time-travel mechanic in a manner that astounds and inspires. Danger. Darkness. Dwarves. Everything that needs to be known about Deep Rock Galactic can be summed up in its tagline. Up to four players can dive into the dangerous mines of Hoxxes IV, braving the enemies that lurk in the darkness as doughty dwarves. The straightforward nature of Deep Rock Galactic ’s gameplay belies the deeper system in place. There are multiple mining assignments players can tackle, intuitive upgrade paths, and a delightful hub area where players can relax (or randomly bellow “Rock and Stone!” between pints of ale) before diving into a tense mission. Deep Rock Galactic knows what its strengths are, and it knows how to play to them. All players have to do is prepare themselves for a good time. There’s a whole suite of Battlefield goodness available via EA Play — and frankly, if the series’ signature multiplayer madness is your jam then you’re better off opting for one of the more recent titles. However, Hardline deserves a special mention on account of its relatively innovative campaign. RELATED: Best EA Games On Xbox Game Pass (Through EA Play/Ultimate) In a genre where single-player offerings often play second fiddle to the multiplayer component, Hardline ’s bombastic police drama is a diamond in the rough that’s more than worth the price of admission. Obsidian Entertainment is back at it again with a unique take on the survival genre. Players assume the role of kids who have mysteriously become minuscule in a strange Honey-I-Shrunk-the-Kids kind of scenario. Now no larger than an ant, these kids have to find out what happened to them and survive the perilous environs of an average backyard. Grounded is currently in early access, so there are portions of the title that are still in progress. That said, even in this state, the game is an utter joy. Collecting grass blades to construct shelter, pebbles to make hammers, and water droplets to quench your thirst puts a fresh sheen to this rather crowded genre. The only thing to watch out for? The spiders. Common spiders are the primary enemies in Grounded, and for those who suffer from a touch of arachnophobia, a sudden attack from one of them can be practically heart-stopping. Veteran FPS developer Bungie released this sequel to its wildly acclaimed MMO-FPS hybrid in 2017 and it doesn’t seem to have slowed down since. With three expansions under its belt at the time of writing and two more slated for release in 2021 and beyond, now’s as good a time as any to take up the mantle of a Guardian and see what the hype is all about. RELATED: Destiny 2: Everything You Need To Know About Armor Stats There’s a metric ton of continuously-expanded content on the table here that a singular paragraph isn’t even going to scratch. So while you’re entirely able to dive into it as a solo player, you’re much better off embracing its social aspect and linking up with a few friends (if not an entire clan) to ensure you really get the most out of Destiny 2. Peggle is a straightforward puzzle game, make no mistake about that. Players shoot a set amount of balls to clear a level of an array of pegs in the center of the screen. That is the gist of the game. However, its simplicity is all part of Peggle ’s genius. There is nothing more satisfying than to aim that cannon, shoot that ball, and then watch it bounce from peg to peg. A further layer of strategy is added to the game when different characters, with different ball-shooting abilities, are unlocked. The basic nature of Peggle ’s premise should not deter anyone from playing it. Besides, nothing beats the exultation of hitting that final peg, when the screen zooms in on the ball in slow motion and the triumphant sounds of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy trumpets forth. The latest mainline entry in the Gears franchise is one of its boldest. Gears 5 rolls right into new territory with a fresh multiplayer mode, a partial open-world experience in the middle of the campaign, and a devastating story twist that has left fans reeling. As with any Gears title, Gears 5 offers a robust campaign co-op experience with up to three players. The game follows Kait Diaz and her companions as they struggle to hold the line against the encroaching wave of the Swarm. Action is the order of the day any time a player picks up Gears 5, and between roaring a Lancer’s chainsaw at an enemy and diving for cover from an onslaught of bullets, there’s hardly a moment left to breathe. Read our review here. Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is the best lightsaber game of the modern era. Developer Respawn lovingly combines heavy exploration (think modern Tomb Raider games), with a more nuanced battle system in the vein of God of War or Dark Souls. The game takes place in the fallout of Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith, and puts players in the role Cal Kestis — an untrained Jedi Padawan. With subtle touches like using Cal’s lightsaber as a flashlight or customizing its hilt, Fallen Order feels like a 21st-century love letter to the Star Wars toys and action figures of decades past. It's also a fantastic action-adventure game. Read our review here. Slime Rancher drops players onto the Far, Far Range, where their job is to cultivate and care for the adorable Slimes that gather in the region’s various zones. Each type of Slime, be it a Honey Slime, a Puddle Slime, a Quantum Slime, and so on, plops out valuable Plorts, which can be sold on the Plort Market. With the earnings for selling what is, in essence, excrement, players can purchase upgrades to their Ranch to further their endeavor of collecting yet more Slimes. Its gameplay loop is simple, but Slime Rancher offers players who want to relax into a friendly simulation game a delightful time. 11 bit's recent reputation for generating thoughtful, yet heartwrenching conceptual titles holds true with Frostpunk. Set in the late 19th century following the onset of a cataclysmic volcanic winter, Frostpunk tasks players with managing a group of survivors as they struggle to survive the sub-zero temperatures — and themselves. While the elements are brutal enough to contend with using limited resources and the precise application of heat sources, players will be confronted with ethical dilemmas that demand one sacrifice or another. Implementing necessary policies will disenfranchise, if not outright endanger their population in many scenarios, putting your ideals and humanity in jeopardy as you struggle to answer a singular question: how far will you push the people under your care for the sake of seeing another frostbitten day? In a marvelous return to form, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard terrifies players with a mix of hideous creatures to contend with and tense moments of resource management. Rather than buckling down with the more action-oriented setpieces of its predecessors, Biohazard grounds players in a single location for the majority of the game. As Ethan Winters, you must navigate your way through the peril-riddled and decrepit Baker house in search of your missing wife, Mia. The game’s switch to first-person perspective from the Resident Evil franchise’s typical third-person viewpoint is a gamble that pays off as players now have to deal with monsters face-to-face, in a very literal sense. Obsidian Entertainment played to its strengths here, and it shows. As the lucky person chosen to be plucked from a derelict colonist ship (unsubtly dubbed “The Hope”) to raise some hell, Halcyon essentially your oyster. Whether you’re a guns-blazing commando or a smooth-talking pacifist, Obsidian’s taken pains to ensure that you’re able to dismantle or decide the delightfully morose corporate deadlock ruling over Halcyon in your own way. The Outer Worlds excels in terms of writing, features a vibrant cast of characters, and packs in an impressive amount of player agency given how narrative-heavy it is. In short, it’s a fine dose of good, old-fashioned RPG goodness. Read our review here. Combine the measured horror of Resident Evil 4 with a cold and unfeeling sci-fi environment, and Dead Space is the end result. Players join Isaac Clarke as he traverses the dark, metallic hallways of the USG Ishimura, a gargantuan planet-mining spaceship. Gruesome terror lurks around every corner in the form of Necromorphs, the reanimated corpses of the Ishimura’s crew. Though Dead Space was first released in 2008, it maintains an unrelenting sense of dread that exceeds the bounds of most modern horror games. Its atmosphere will linger in your memory long after you’ve finished the game, and whispers of “Make us whole” will haunt your worst nightmares. Is there really any respectably concise way to describe Minecraft? Having managed to reach 200 million sales since its humble 2011 origin, this unassuming little sandbox title pays dividends with the sheer breadth and variance of content it's capable of. Feel like testing your mettle against the elements and an array of hostile creatures that emerge after nightfall? Survival Mode is the place to be. Into quite literally creating your own fun, or just wanting to channel your inner architectural visionary without limitation? Creative Mode is the answer. Of course, there's also a maddening depth of community-generated content to explore as well. Of all the titillating titles available on Game Pass, Minecraft is the one most likely to never make egress from your hard drive. NEXT: Best Xbox Game Pass Games For Kids

 

 39 /60 

0.1
Spotify Pulls Content of Comedians Fighting to Get Royalties

Although some of us might forget since we’re too busy laughing, comedians, like songwriters, write content to entertain us. There’s a difference though: Songwriters get paid royalties for their written work, comedians don’t. In the age of streaming, comedians are hoping to change that, especially considering the popularity of their content on digital platforms. But t hey’ve just run into a wall named “Spotify.” Spotify took down the work of hundreds of comedians, including big names like John Mulaney, Jim Gaffigan, and Kevin Hart, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday. Mulaney, Gaffigan, Hart, and other comedians are represented by Spoken Giants, a global rights company that’s leading the fight to get radio and digital platforms, such as Spotify, SiriusXM, Pandora, and YouTube, to pay comedians royalty payments on the copyright for their written work. According to the outlet, the streaming giant been in negotiations with Spoken Giants but couldn’t reach an agreement. On Thanksgiving, Spotify informed Spoken Giants that would pull all work by comedians represented by the organization until they could come to an understanding. Spoken Giants CEO Jim King, a former executive of music rights company BMI, told Gizmodo in a statement that the company has a “clear process” for engaging with digital service providers, digital platforms, and radio to discuss compensation for comedy writers. Unfortunately, he said, Spotify removed the work of individual comedians rather than continue negotiations. “In music, songwriter royalties are a very basic revenue stream, so this is not an unfamiliar concept and our work is based on established precedents and clear copyright language,” King said. “With this take-down, individual comedians are now being penalized for collectively requesting the same compensation songwriters receive.” Spatial audio Water resistant A whole new look King said that Spoken Giants reached out to Spotify after it removed its members’ work but has not received a response. He added that the company had requested an immediate meeting with Spotify to resolve the situation. If the fight to pay comedy writers for their work seems to have come out of the blue, that’s because for a long time there wasn’t a lot of money to collect. Comedy was not generally played on traditional sources, such as radio. With the advent of digital platforms, that’s changed. Now comedy is being played “a lot” on these platforms, according to Spoken Giants. After pointing out that Spotify paid a “significant amount” of money for the content it took down, a company spokesperson told Gizmodo that Spoken Giants is disputing the rights of various licensors. Comedians are currently paid as performers through their label or distributor. In addition, they’re paid digital performance royalties by SoundExchange when their work is played on a digital platform. “Spotify has paid significant amounts of money for the content in question, and would love to continue to do so,” a Spotify spokesperson said. “However, given that Spoken Giants is disputing what rights various licensors have, it’s imperative that the labels that distribute this content, Spotify and Spoken Giants come together to resolve this issue to ensure this content remains available to fans around the globe.” A big issue is where the royalty payments Spoken Giants and other rights organizations are clamoring for will come from, the Journal pointed out. Spotify closed deals with comedians’ labels and distributors thinking that it had already covered all the royalties that needed to be paid out. Now Spoken Giants says it needs to pay a royalty on the writing. There are seemingly two options: Spotify could take some of the money it pays label s and distributors to pay comedy writers, or it could pay the royalties on written work without touching the other payments. Considering Spotify’s resistance to paying higher rates to publishers and songwriters, something tells me a bigger price tag will be a hard sell.

 

 40 /60 

0.2
Collect and combine some 1200 monsters in creature RPG Siralim Ultimate

If you're a fan of creature collecting and in-depth RPG mechanics, I've got a game for you: Siralim Ultimate, the latest release in the indie RPG series of monster collecting and combining games. It's all about building up a party of powerful monsters, combining the best into other, more powerful monsters, throwing them into 6v6 monster battles, and using them to clear not just a main story but bojillions of procedurally generated dungeons. Siralim Ultimate is the fourth game in the series, with the previous three released over the last five years. It spent the last few months in Early Access, and as of writing has 95% positive reviews. Ultimate's got a lot going on, with more than 1200 creatures, each with its own unique ability, all of which can be combined into millions of permutations, and finally influenced by each of 30 different character classes. You can also do. a lot more. There are artifacts to equip your creatures with, and spell gems, and honestly I believe the developers when they say that the sufficiently devoted could play this game forever. It is rare that I don't call bull-honkey on the phrase "Infinite End-Game Content" but I'm pretty sure you'll get tired of Siralim Ultimate before you run out of stuff to do. Siralim Ultimate is $20 US on Steam, where it's 10% off until December 10th, 2021.

 

 41 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

In 2001, the United States government filed an antitrust lawsuit against Microsoft, alleging it had abused monopolistic power in bundling its Internet Explorer browser with its Windows PC operating system. The lawsuit was ultimately settled, and the settlement's effects expired in 2007, but Microsoft has been tentative with how aggressively it pushed its browsers over others on Windows since. It seems that Microsoft is ready to start ramping up the browsers wars again, though, with a new effort to dissuade people from downloading Google Chrome. Microsoft has reportedly implemented a feature in Microsoft Edge intended to dissuade users from downloading Google Chrome through the web browser. If Microsoft Edge users browse to the download site for Google Chrome, they'll receive unrequested prompts to the browser insulting Chrome and encouraging users to stick with Edge. Microsoft Edge doesn't actively prevent the user from downloading Google Chrome, but the prompt does try to redirect users away with misleading buttons. RELATED: Internet Explorer is Being Shut Down Next Year Multiple different messages can be sent to the user if they visit the Google Chrome download website. These messages include, " 'I hate saving money", said no one ever. Microsoft Edge is the best browser for online shopping", "That browser is so 2008! Do you know what's new? Microsoft Edge?" and "Microsoft Edge runs on the same technology as Chrome, with the added trust of Microsoft." These messages are accompanied by a single button with its own quote. The shopping message, for example, has a button reading, "Shop smarter now." That button will redirect users away from the Google Chrome website, of course. But what's especially frustrating is that there's no clearly indicated button saying, "Stay" or "No, thank you." There is a small "X" in the corner, but it's easy to miss. The intent is obviously to keep users on Edge, and Microsoft is willing to test what users may feel is appropriate in order to do that. As of October 2021, browser usage reports claim that Google Chrome is used by anywhere from 52.5% to 66.7% of internet users. Edge, on the other hand, is reported to be used by between 3% and 4.6% of browsers. Microsoft clearly has room to grow, but Chrome's market dominance will be hard to upend without aggressive efforts. For comparison, Apple's Safari browser is akin to Microsoft's Edge in that it's the default browser on iOS devices. However, as of iOS 14, Apple makes it relatively straightforward for iOS users to switch away from Apple's Safari and to Chrome, Edge, Firefox, or several other browsers; there are certainly no prompts warning users not to switch. Microsoft 's changes are bound to be controversial, as they hearken back to 2001 in uncomfortable ways. MORE: 10 Best Internet Browser Games, Ranked Source: Neowin

 

 42 /60 

0.8
Here’s how and where you can watch the best 4K content

Not sure where to watch the best 4K content out there? Once upon a time, a 4K TV was a luxury reserved for the wealthy. Not anymore. Today, you can get 4K TVs for less than $500, and with 8K just around the corner, they’re bound to become even more affordable. But despite the great price, finding good 4K content still isn’t that easy. Just because it exists doesn’t mean it has become standardized on every platform. Once you know where to look, though, there’s plenty of 4K content available. Yes, you’ll need to pay for it, and you’ll need the right gear, but it’s worth the visual experience. We’ve found all the best sources of 4K content around and have gathered them here for you. Cost: $15 per month. Requirements: Only select devices support 4K HDR on HBO Max and it’s not exactly clear which devices do and don’t. While HBO has definitively stated that Android TV, Chromecast with Google TV, Chromecast Ultra, 4K Fire TVs, Apple TV 4K, and the Android TV-powered AT&T TV support HBO Max in 4K, that’s the entire list at the moment. While HBO Max launched without 4K compatibility, it caught up by making the day-and-date release of Wonder Woman 1984 available in 4K. Warner Bros. also announced that it would release its entire 2021 slate on HBO Max at no extra cost to subscribers, all of which will be available in 4K. No word yet on whether other content will eventually be made available in 4K. Cost: $18 per month for the Premium plan that includes Ultra HD content. Requirements: Recommended internet speed of 25Mbps or higher; a 4K Ultra HD smart TV with the Netflix app built-in, from manufacturers including Samsung, LG, Panasonic, Sony, Vizio, Philips, TCL, and Hisense; or a compatible 4K Ultra HD TV connected to any of the recent 4K-capable Roku streamers, Amazon Fire TV Cube, Google Chromecast Ultra, or Google’s latest Chromecast with Google TV, among others. Netflix, a constant innovator, was one of the first services to offer 4K Ultra HD content, which took flight with the second season of its original series House of Cards. Since then, the content has been growing consistently — all of the service’s major original series are now being shot in 4K, and some in HDR and Dolby Vision, including recent hits and old favorites. Netflix is also continuously adding new original 4K films and breathtaking nature docs to its library among select 4K blockbuster titles. If you’ve made the leap to 4K Netflix, but for some reason you’re not getting it, head to our guide on how to fix it. Cost: Included with a $120 per year or $13 per month Prime Membership; select titles for a rental start at $6, and titles for purchase range from $10 to $20. Requirements: Recommended internet speed of 25Mbps or higher; a 4K UHD TV with the Amazon Prime app installed or installable, from manufacturers such as Samsung, LG, Sony, Vizio, TCL, and Panasonic; or a compatible 4K Ultra HD TV connected to 4K-capable Roku streamers, Chromecast, Nvidia Shield TV streamer, Apple TV 4K, and (of course) Amazon Fire TV 4K-capable streaming devices. Amazon’s “free” service — which comes with a Prime subscription — launched with 4K Ultra HD versions of some of its original series like Mozart in the Jungle and Transparent and has since expanded to include most of its original series, as well as lots of other television series and films. Amazon also streams many of its original series in HDR, including Jack Ryan in Dolby Vision. The service also has a rotating selection of 4K Ultra HD movies as part of its Prime collection; the exact number of specific titles available will vary from month to month. As for the not-so-free selections, Amazon sells a number of 4K Ultra HD titles starting at around $20. Cost: Starting at $6 for an ad-riddled experience, $12 for ad-free. Requirements: Recommended internet speed of 16Mbps or higher; select 4K UHD TVs, including 4K Vizio SmartCast TVs and LG TVs; compatible 4K streaming devices, such as Apple TV 4K, Xbox One S or Xbox One X, Roku 4K devices, Google Chromecast Ultra or Chromecast with Google TV, or Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick. After pulling its entire catalog of 4K content without so much of a sniffle to its customers back in 2018, Hulu has once again ventured into the wonderful world of 4K Ultra HD. Originally only available for Apple TV 4K and Chromecast Ultra owners, 4K support has since been expanded. You’ll find most of your 4K content in Hulu Originals, but not all of them are available that crisp. You’ll also find a smattering of 4K movies, but these are a lot more scarce and take a bit of work to find. Expect Hulu to expand its selection throughout 2020 and beyond. Cost: $6 per month Requirements: Select Ultra HD TVs by Samsung, Sony, and LG; Streaming boxes and sticks like 4K-capable Roku devices, Apple TV 4K, Chromecast, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV, and Xiaomi Mi Box S; Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Many of the services featured on this list existed before the 4K streaming explosion, so their respective content injections were slow and painful, but you don’t have to worry about that with Disney+. There are over 600 movies and shows to choose from, many of which are available in 4K Ultra HD and HDR. You can expect most new stuff to be delivered in 4K, including Star Wars spinoff series The Mandalorian, Marvel’s WandaVision and their latest films, and all the National Geographic documentaries you can handle. Keep digging, and you’ll see that Disney+ even offers some of your favorite classics at this level of fidelity. Cost: Starting at $6 for new release rentals, $20 for new release purchases; Apple TV+ is $4.99/month Requirements: Compatible 4K UHD TV; Apple TV 4K streaming box; minimum internet speed of 25 Mbps for 4K streaming Following the release of the Apple TV 4K, iTunes began adding a selection of 4K and HDR content to its store. These titles are available to purchase or rent. Finding content in the iTunes store is easy — icons flag the content as 4K, HDR, and/or Dolby Vision (Dolby’s proprietary HDR format). One perk of iTunes is that the 4K versions of titles cost the same as the HD versions, which is drastically cheaper than most other services. Additionally, you can find 4K content on your Apple TV 4K across apps. 4K content is available from streamers like Amazon Prime Video, Netflix, Disney+, HBO Max, ESPN, as well as Apple Originals from the Apple TV+ subscription. In most cases, you will not have to pay extra to view available content in 4K when using an Apple TV 4K. Cost: Some rentals are free (ad-supported); paid 4K rentals start at $3, or $10 to $20 for purchase. Requirements: Recommended internet speed of 10 to 11Mbps or higher; Select Sony, Samsung, Vizio, LG, and Roku-equipped 4K TVs and Blu-ray players; Xbox One X or Xbox One S; 4K-enabled Roku streamers, Apple TV 4K, Chromecast Ultra/Chromecast with Google TV, or Nvidia Shield TV device paired with compatible 4K Ultra HD TVs; Windows 10 PC Movie rental/downloading service Vudu has been quietly working its way into the 4K Ultra HD conversation. The service has slowly expanded the number of supported devices and is constantly adding more. Vudu’s library is continually updated with many of the latest UHD movie releases, and it’s now one of the better services for finding UHD films to show off your 4K TV’s capabilities. It’s also part of Movies Anywhere, which lets you store your digital vault from multiple services. Cost: Free; $12 per month for YouTube Premium subscription; $2 to $15 for film rentals/purchases. Requirements: Recommended internet speed of 25Mbps or higher; Ultra HD TV with Android TV OS and select Samsung, LG, Sony, Sharp, and Hisense TVs, as well as Vizio SmartCast TVs; Xbox One S and Xbox One X; 4K-capable Roku streamer, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV, or Chromecast Ultra or Chromecast with Google TV hooked up to a 4K TV. Keep in mind that the number of TVs that support YouTube’s brand of 4K is still in flux — just because there’s a YouTube app doesn’t mean it’ll be in 4K — so check with retailers before making a purchase. Thanks in large part to its massive army of video contributors and a barrage of 4K cameras now on the market, YouTube has quickly become one of the best sources for 4K Ultra HD content. You won’t find a big catalog of films or TV series, but those looking for some brilliant scenes to show off their TV’s mad 4K Ultra HD skills will find them here — everything from nature videos to high-flying stunts. And perhaps best of all, most of it is free — such as the popular HDR Channel. Cost: $1 to $10 per rental. Requirements: Recommended minimum download speed of 10Mbps or higher; app available on select Samsung, Hisense, Vizio, and Sony Bravia Ultra HD TVs, 4K-capable Roku devices, Apple TV 4K, Amazon Fire TV, Nvidia Shield TV streaming box, or Windows 10 PC. As the self-proclaimed host of the largest 4K Ultra HD library of streaming content available, Ultraflix hosts several hundred hours of 4K nature documentaries (including multiple titles originally created for Imax), dozens of concerts, videos from musical acts, and hundreds of hours of sci-fi, action, comedy, and drama, all for rental in 48-hour blocks. Cost: Starting at $2 for TV episode rentals, $3 per movie for a 24-hour rental, and $10 to $35 for purchases. Requirements: Sony 4K Ultra HD TV; 4K Ultra HD TV with HDCP 2.2 copyright protection and a PlayStation 4 Pro for 4K Ultra HD playback (other Sony devices are supported, but they do not have 4K playback). Sony’s video on demand (VOD) service allows the purchase and rental of more than 200 movies and TV shows. It’s one of the less common services on this list, with only select 4K Sony devices — TVs, Blu-ray players, and the PlayStation 4 Pro — being compatible. That’s not a great situation if you’re not all-in on Sony, but PlayStation Video has a sizable library of 4K content. Sony regularly runs promotions for films coming out of its own studios, such as Spider-Man: Homecoming or The Dark Tower. If these bonuses are important to you, PlayStation Video is a perfectly fine source for 4K entertainment. Cost: Rentals start at $5 (varies by title) and movies cost $15 to $35 to purchase. Requirements: Recommended minimum 10Mbps download speed; select Samsung and LG Ultra HD TVs, PC, or 4K-capable Roku streamer hooked up to 4K Ultra HD TV. This service was originally known as M-Go, before Fandango purchased and rebranded it. It offers 4K UHD movies for either purchase or rental, as well as a healthy selection of films that are also offered with HDR. Unlike some other services, FandangoNow has a list on its website that makes it easy to see which movies are available with HDR, and what is only available in standard 4K. Cost: $6 rentals, $10 to $30 for purchase. Requirements: 20Mbps internet connection; 4K-capable Android TVs from Samsung, Sony, or LG; Chromecast Ultra or newer Chromecast with Google TV, Nvidia Shield TV, or 4K-capable Roku streamer connected to a 4K TV, among other Google devices. Google has its own 4K streaming devices, the latest being the Chromecast with Google TV (which has replaced the Chromecast Ultra), and the Google Play Store has a selection of 4K movies available for rental or purchase. This service isn’t just relegated to the Chromecast, however. Any 4K-capable streamer that supports Google Play — such as Roku devices or the Nvidia Shield — can access these movies via the Google Play app. Cost: Starts at $55 per month. Requirements: 30Mbps internet speed recommended; Streaming devices like Chromecast Ultra, Fire TV, Roku, or Apple TV; Select Ultra HD Android TV sets by Sony, Sharp, Hisense; Nvidia Shield Android TV box; Xiaomi Mi Box In July 2018, FuboTV became the first live-sports TV-streaming service to offer programming in 4K with HDR. At first, the only games to take advantage of this increased visual fidelity were 2018 World Cup matches, but the service later added some NCAA football games in 4K as well. While 4K content is still fairly limited, the service is equipped to show both Fox and FS1 in 4K with HDR10, so if nothing else, expect to see more live sports making use of these technologies moving forward. Fubo also has a limited selection of 4K content on-demand, so check it out if you want a first-hand preview of what the live events might look like. Cost: $4 to $16 per 4K Ultra HD title on demand; live channel requires DirecTV Choice or higher package. Requirements: On-demand: Manufacturer-certified DirecTV 4K-ready TV (or standard 4K TV and 4K Genie Mini) and DirecTV’s Genie HD DVR (model 530 and up). Live: Previous requirements plus the latest Genie HD DVR. Pioneering the first 4K Ultra HD service for any cable or satellite provider, DirecTV has delivered a handful of VOD movies in 4K since 2014. Currently, DirecTV offers a wide range of 4K movies, including titles like Tenet, The New Mutants, and Promising Young Woman. The channel also offers live programming on a limited, event-based schedule, which you can preview at any time right here. Cost: $8 per 4K Ultra HD title on-demand, live packages start at $60; $10 per month access fees. Requirements: Dish Hopper 3, 4K Joey (optional add-on for more than one TV), and compatible 4K Ultra HD TV, Dish Network programming package. With the introduction of its Hopper 3 hardware and 4K Joey, Dish joins a growing list of cable providers offering 4K content both live and on-demand. As long as you’ve got the equipment, the money, and the ability to commit two years to pay it, live 4K programming is available on any channel that offers 4K, though that is an admittedly small list at this point. As more channels add 4K programming, you’ll theoretically be able to access it as long as the channel is in your programming package. A fair number of movies are available in 4K on-demand as well, for $8 per rental, compared to $3 for standard definition and $7 for high definition. In August 2018, Dish added Epix’s full catalog of 4K movies to its catalog. This brought titles like Arrival, The Magnificent Seven, Star Trek Beyond, and Transformers: The Last Knight to the service in 4K. You’ll either need to subscribe to Epix for $7 per month or the Dish Movie Pack for $10 a month, but in general, more 4K content is better than less 4K content. If you can’t find what you’re looking for in 4K via Dish’s live or on-demand offerings, the company’s hardware also supports Netflix and Amazon Prime Video streaming in 4K, though you’ll need the appropriate subscriptions to access them. Cost: Free to Xfinity TV customers. Requirements: Xfinity XG1v4, Xi6, or select Roku devices, select 4K TVs from LG, Samsung, and Sony. Comcast premiered its own 4K service in December 2014 with a streaming app. For now, there are limited titles available, most of which fall under the umbrella of Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal’s library. At first, 4K content was only available from a VOD app for Samsung UHD TVs, but the service eventually released 4K set-top boxes with support for live broadcasts, though you can’t yet record the higher resolution feeds. The service also offers Netflix integration and even includes a subscription in some packages, letting you watch Netflix in 4K via your Xfinity set-top box. Cost: Ultra HD Blu-ray players run anywhere from $80 to $1,000; Ultra HD Blu-rays average $15 to $30 per movie. Requirements: 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray player, discs, and compatible 4K Ultra HD TV. A physical format some have dismissed as obsolete in the streaming age, Ultra HD Blu-ray discs and their corresponding players offer the best way to watch 4K Ultra HD content in terms of quality. The platform exhibits fewer artifacts than highly compressed 4K streams and brings along HDR10 and Dolby Vision support (along with Dolby Atmos and DTS:X immersive sound). Just note you will need an Ultra HD Blu-ray viewer to view them, or an Xbox One S or Xbox One X. Requirements: Xbox Series X ($499), PlayStation 5 ($499), PlayStation 4 Pro ($400) or Xbox One X ($400) console and 4K UHD TV. Price: About $20 to $60 per game, plus fees for additional content and premium online services. While there’s plenty to watch from the services and platforms discussed in this article, it’s not the only form of entertainment your 4K TV can enhance. For the gaming crowd, there are now four 4K- and HDR-compatible consoles on the market: The Xbox Series X, PlayStation 5, and the immediate predecessors PlayStation 4 Pro and the Xbox One X. Xbox Series X, Xbox One X, Xbox One S, and PS 5 all support 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, although PS4 Pro does not. The PS4 Pro does play HD Blu-rays and supports 4K streaming on Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. Each console has its own list of 4K and HDR titles ( PS4, Xbox), as well as its own premium online services with perks like online play and complimentary games every month. All of the consoles listed above support HDR. Be sure to check out our guides for how to enable HDR for the new generation, as well as the Xbox One X and PS4 family of consoles.

 

 43 /60 

0.6
gamerant.com

While Eternals has only been in theatres for less than a month, one of the film's writers is hinting at what fans can expect in future sequels. According to co-writer Kaz Firpo, Richard Madden's powerful Ikaris is confirmed to not be returning at all. In Eternals ' finale, the guilt-ridden Ikaris ultimately decides to fly into the Sun after his loyalties to the Celestials and their plans to destroy Earth in order for the Emergence to occur (the birth of the new celestial Tiamut) forced him to kill Ajak (Salma Hayek) and betray the rest of the Eternals. While it may have been obvious to many, other fans were speculating whether or not Madden's Ikaris could potentially make a return (considering his gifted powers and how he is built like Superman). RELATED: The MCU Cosmic Phase Still Needs To Stay Grounded But in a new interview with Comic Book Resources, Firpo confirmed that Ikaris is dead and will not be returning. "What is the melting point of an Eternal? How long does it take to literally melt an Eternal robot?" added Firpo. "For what it's worth. yeah, it was always that. He can't bear to face his family after what he's done, which he realizes.” While Ikaris' ultimately failed to stop the other Eternals from preventing the emergence, his beliefs and ideals were hinted at during the whole film, as he told Ajak where stands and why he continues to serve the celestials. This duality then creates a very engaging character due to Ikaris believing he is doing the right thing. "I don't think that Ikarus even thinks that he's wrong, I think that he just has so much regret", Firpo further added. "He's very sorry. I think he's sorry for the way he lived his whole life on this planet, and that's a lot of burden to carry. So really, that act is basically saying, 'I made a mistake, but I can't face my family, and I can't go on living.'" In terms of deciding how the former Eternal would pass, Firpo recalled, "It began as an exile that I think, throughout the course of the filmmaking, really became something that needed to be definitive. It really is a moment of saying, 'It's sacrifice.' It's sort of saying, 'I can't serve the Eternals. If I can't serve the Celestials, and I can't be with my family, then I choose this third option', which — for him — really is oblivion. So yeah, he dead." Firpo's comments come shortly after director Chloé Zhao interpreted Ikaris as Marvel's version of Superman, and how the hero's missions can interfere with his love for others and humanity. Madden expressed his thoughts on the character, and how the divide between his duties and his love for characters like Sersi (Gemma Chan) set up a conflicted yet compelling character, ultimately being the reason that the actor was drawn to the role. While Ikaris' absence will surely be missed, Zhao's skills as a director and knack for writing three-dimensional characters will most definitely be present in any future sequels. In terms of plot details for a sequel, fans can expect Kit Harington's Dane Whitman to have a much larger screen presence, as it is hinted in Eternals' post-credits scene that he will take up the Ebony Blade and become the Black Knight in order to rescue Sersi and a few other Eternals from the celestial Arishem. For now, though, fans will just have to make their way back to the theatre to experience the first film all over again. The film also stars Angelina Jolie as Thena, Kumail Nanjiani as Kingo, Brian Tyree Henry as Phastos, Barry Keoghan as Druig, Don Lee as Gilgamesh, Lauren Ridloff as Makkari, Lia McHugh as Sprite, and Harish Patel as Karun. Eternals is now playing in theatres. MORE: Hawkeye: 7 Things About Kate Bishop The MCU Changed From The Comics Source: Comic Book Resources

 

 44 /60 

0.3
How to watch Yellowstone season 4 episode 6 online where you are

Tyler Sheridan’s phenomenally popular TV series made an explosive return in November, and we’re pretty sure we now know who ordered the Dutton family attacks. But a tense showdown in this Sunday’s episode should make that crystal clear. Below we'll explain how to watch Yellowstone season 4 episode 6 online from anywhere today. *Warning: Potential season 4 spoilers ahead* We’re half way through the new season and, if the latest promo is any indicator, sparks are going to fly in this week’s episode. Lloyd’s a festering pile of resentments, given Rip beat him in front of the bunkhouse crew for fighting with fellow rancher Walker. The old timer’s still fuming that Walker stole “his girl”, and episode 6 promises to settle their feud once and for all. We also saw Jamie about to confront Garrett over his involvement in the attempted Dutton murders. That was, until estranged girlfriend Christina showed up bearing his young son. Her desire to reconcile might placate Jamie temporarily. But it still looks as if a tense encounter between father and son is about to erupt. Expect more of Jimmy’s Texan adventures, while Beth meets animal rights activist Summer Higgins (Piper Perabo) rummaging around her father’s kitchen. Not only does Summer’s political agenda threaten the ranch, but we suspect Beth will be mighty jealous of any other female presence in her dad’s life. So, saddle up for more shocking revelations and family drama, as we break down below how to watch Yellowstone season 4 episode 6 online now. Away from home but want to catch up on episode 6 of Yellowstone? You'll be unable to watch new episodes due to annoying regional restrictions. Luckily, there’s an easy solution. Downloading a VPN will allow you to stream episode 6 online on-demand no matter where you are. It's a simple bit of software that changes your IP address, meaning that you can access on-demand content or live TV just as if you were at home. Use a VPN to watch Yellowstone from abroad Sadly, this excellent neo-Western drama starring Kevin Costner hasn’t found a streaming home in the UK. The first two seasons were broadcast on the Paramount Network UK over a year ago, but fans across the pond are still waiting on an air date for seasons 3 and 4. You can buy seasons 1 and 2 on Amazon Prime Video, though, from £1.89 per episode or £12.99 per season. So newbies can get a taste of the scintillating cowboy drama that’s yet to come. And, with Peacock becoming free to Sky and Now TV customers later this year – with programming ad-supported – all four seasons of Yellowstone could be ready to stream pretty soon. Remember, though, that if you’re away from your home country you can still access your streaming service subscription from anywhere, if you download a good VPN and follow our instructions above.

 

 45 /60 

0.4
Remote working jobs: 5 problems we need to solve in 2022

It's coming up to two years since a global pandemic tore up the traditional model of work, and many of us are still getting used to it. While some companies have seen employees trickling through their doors again, others continue to spend the week logged in to work from whatever corner of the house offers the most comfort. Meanwhile, the idea of remote, flexible or 'hybrid' working becoming the norm continues to divide opinion. One thing that's clear as we head towards 2022 is that nobody has all this figured out yet. Yes, many companies have started putting together plans for how and where employees commit their time to them in future, with more flexibility around remote working set to be an enduring theme. But we have yet to see how this plays out in the long term, or whether organizations can sustainably reconfigure their workforces in a way that satisfies employees' new expectations of work, while meeting the strategic and commercial needs of the business. SEE: Setting goals for remote workers is hard. Here's what managers need to know Then there are the more immediate issues we need to address, with many employees still facing the same WFH headaches now as they were back in the Spring of 2020. Here are five things we need to right with flexible and hybrid working in 2022. One lesson that employers learnt early in the pandemic is that good work can be delivered regardless of where employees are logging on from, and that hours spent online is not necessarily an indicator of productivity. That said, hard work is inherently tougher to notice outside of an office environment. This makes it trickier for employees to get ahead, and is one of the reasons that workers have reported finding career progression so difficult over the past two years. Women are disproportionately affected by this: while they are more likely than men to be attracted to remote-working jobs – largely thanks to the increased flexibility they offer – this also makes it more difficult for women to be noticed by (predominantly male) company decision-makers. Women are already more likely to be overlooked when it comes to advancement opportunities; remote working could lead to even greater imbalances unless organizations can provide equal footing to both at-home and in-office workers. Managers will need to pay more attention to the output of their workers, rather than basing their assumptions on how many days a week they spend in the office. Hybrid, flexible and remote working are closely intertwined, but they are not interchangeable terms. Hybrid working refers to the idea of splitting time between working in an office and working from home or another remote location, whereas flexible working tends to incorporate models of work that offer more freedom around how and when employees work. This can include flexible start and finish times, split shifts and non-traditional working weeks. When it comes to setting their future working policies, employers need to be absolutely clear about what it is they offer. Businesses shouldn't, for example, say in a job ad that they offer flexible working, when in fact they require all employees to work the hours of 9-5 and mandate in-office work days on Monday and Friday. Exactly how flexible businesses get with their working models remains to be seen, but it's likely to be a key battleground in the fight for tech talent. Employees are no longer swayed by salary alone, and businesses that can restore some harmony to employees' work-life balance stand a greater chance of securing the talent they desperately need. An uglier side to the shift to remote working is the more invasive methods used by employers to keep tabs on what their employees are up to while working remotely. According to research by professional trade union Prospect, more organizations than ever are using software tools designed to track the activity or productivity of workers in their own homes, including creepy technology that monitors employees through their computers' cameras. In the UK, a committee of MPs and peers is so concerned about the rise in automated surveillance that they have called on the government and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) to take urgent action to regulate its use. There's no denying that remote working creates challenges for management, but exactly how businesses choose to tackle this will set the tone for remote working in the coming months and years. Employees want remote working because of the freedom and flexibility it offers, both of which will be undone by hard-handed – and borderline unethical – methods of making sure that workers are doing what they are being paid to do while working from home. SEE: Finding remote work a struggle? Here's how to get your team back on track Here's the rub: most employees want to do a good job, and to be trusted to work independently. Companies who don't demonstrate this trust risk souring the relationship with their workers, who might ultimately decide to go elsewhere. Striking a balance between direction and autonomy in the remote-working domain is tricky, and something that many managers are still trying to figure out as we head towards 2022. But organizations should use this as an opportunity to get creative about how we think of the management challenge, rather than turning to a questionable technological solution. Are you paying employees based on how much you think they're worth, or where they've decided to live? This has proved another divisive topic in the complex conversation around remote work, and one that many organizations will be contending with as they draw up their post-pandemic workplace policies. It's a tricky one. Salaries usually take into account where the job is located and the associated cost of living, meaning a developer role based in London or New York will typically carry a higher salary than one based in a rural town. If an employee chooses to relocate to a cheaper city, should their salary be adjusted accordingly? SEE: Google staff could face pay cuts if they work from home permanently Some argue that remote workers should be paid less if they are no longer spending money on the daily commute or exorbitant living costs. The opposing argument is that remote working already benefits employers by reducing costs. For one thing, they are no longer having to spend as much money on heating and powering offices – whereas employees' utility bills go up. Companies also save on office rental and upkeep if they choose to downsize. Employees are unlikely to suggest they should be paid less for doing the same job somewhere else, though some might willingly take a pay adjustment if it means more freedom over how and where they work. And yet, lowering salaries impacts workers far more than keeping them the same affects the companies paying them – meaning companies who do decide to lower salaries for remote-working employees need to make clear their justification for doing so. While there are many benefits to being able to work from home, the pandemic also demonstrated the negative consequences of working in the same place we eat, sleep and relax. The always-on culture that surrounds modern working, in which employees are increasingly answering calls and firing off work-related emails outside of office hours, was already leading to increased rates of burnout and anxiety. When COVID-19 lockdowns bit in 2020, employees felt even more pressure to be reachable at all times as work demands increased and restrictions prevented them from going elsewhere. SEE: Email overload? These new 'right to disconnect' rules could be the answer Remote working may make work more flexible, but it also makes it easier for employees to take their jobs – and any job-related stressors – home with them. If we want to make flexible working sustainable in the long term, we need better protections to stop the boundary between work and private life blurring, or disappearing completely. Some countries are already taking steps to tackle this issue. Portugal, for instance, recently introduced a law that makes it illegal for employers to contact their employees outside of their regular working hours, except in exceptional circumstances. Policy makers want a similar 'right to disconnect' law introduced EU-wide, which would protect digital workers from any repercussions from not responding to workplace demands made outside of their contracted hours. We don't need to wait around for new laws to bring about positive change: all it takes is a bit more awareness from employers about how and when they're communicating with employees, and encouraging them to practice good working habits. The Monday Morning Opener is our opening salvo for the week in tech. Since we run a global site, this editorial publishes on Monday at 8:00am AEST in Sydney, Australia, which is 6:00pm Eastern Time on Sunday in the US. A member writes it of ZDNet's global editorial board, which is comprised of our lead editors across Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.

 

 46 /60 

0.4
gamerant.com

The gaming industry isn't alone in aiming to give back to its community, as many gamers wish to raise money and donate to various charities and support various different causes. Examples range from proceeds going towards the preservation of a game museum to more local changes. Others wish to take the money raised to support the conservation of the wildlife, and gamers can do just that with the World Land Trust Charity Bundle - a collaboration between Plant Based Gaming, itch. io, and indie publisher Future Friends Games. Itch.io have provided indie game bundles for charity events like this before. Last year, one itch.io Bundle earned over 7 Million dollars raising money for both the NAACP's Legal Defense & Education Fund and Community Bail Fund, in support of #blacklivesmatter and civil rights. This time, this indie game bundle comes courtesy of Plant Based Gaming, an organization that focuses on showcasing video games that have an emphasis on nature, conservation, and education. The efforts resulted in over 60 games being bundled together, starting at quite a fair price. RELATED: Itch.io Jokes About Renaming 'Sensitive Content' Section to 'Unspeakable Games' In Response to Apple Lawyer Comment This bundle is available through itch.io and is able to be bought at $4.99 as the minimum price. As mentioned on the bundle's page, all the money made from the sales of this bundle will be going towards the World Land Trust (WLT) Action Fund. The WLT is an international conservation trust that works to save, protect, and restore critically threatened habitats for wildlife. The page further states that these efforts shall be used to greatly address the on-going climate change issue. The games included in this itch.io bundle include some acclaimed yet understated gems, such as Coffee Talk, Old Man's Journey, Daniel Mullins' The Hex, A Good Snowman is Hard To Build, and more. The 60+ games included in the bundle total $450 in value, which makes it quite a steal for many indie gamers. This itch.io charity bundle will only be available for a limited time, and will only be running for about a week. However, despite the short amount of time, the charity bundle has already passed its initial target goal of $10K, with over 4500 contributors having bought this bundle. As of writing, the bundle has raised nearly $30K, showing that gamers will glady donate some money to a good cause such as this. The World Land Trust Charity Bundle will be available via itch.io until December 10. MORE: To The Rescue! Interview: Cute Dogs, Charity, and The Story Behind The Shelter Simulator

 

 47 /60 

0.2
gamerant.com

The world of the Sims is, most players would think, full to bursting point. And yet even with so many expansion packs, there is still so much missing that could be filled out and built upon in future material. RELATED: Things Cut From The Sims 4 Since the release of The Sims 4 way back in 2015, players have mourned the lack of some content. So, taking all that into account, this list will bring together certain things from previous games, as well as things fans have always wanted to be added into the series. Hopefully, players will get to explore these avenues in future Sims 4 expansions. Since the Cottage Living pack came out, Simmers the world over have been craving more rustic content. Many have been creating many more mods that appease their need for agriculture, but lots of fans still seek more farming content. Farming sim games are huge — just look at the Story of Seasons and Stardew Valley fame. Even Animal Crossing has caved and added pickable plots. If a farming expansion pack was to come out, it would surely be glorious and well-received among the fanbase. Sims could grow their own food and live sustainably, create a business, and more. Plus, if players don’t want to turn their thumbs green, they don’t have to! It is unlikely that Maxis would choose to release this as a pack, but something players have sorely missed from previous games is crime, burglary, and other threats. Gone are the days of having a heart attack as a stripy burglar sneaks onto one's property. Many players miss the suspense that this feature added to the game. RELATED Sims Spin-Offs That Need To Be Brought Back There are no emergency services in Sims 4, unless one counts the doctor career in the Get To Work expansion. Half of the game used to involve keeping Sims safe and well and avoiding crime and house fires, but now there is nothing nefarious except Don Lothario (and, with the appropriate pack installed, the occasional vampire). Many players are begging EA to bring back some level of threat to The Sims. Yes, Sims can walk around and run between plots, or get a taxi. But many players find that boring. Previous games had cars, as well as vacation specific taxis. Even bikes! To get a bike in The Sims 4, players need the University pack. It seems absurd that in 2021 there are still no cars available for use in Sims 4. Simmers sorely need more options for Sims to travel around. A bus system or public transport would be amazing, or even something smaller like skateboards or rollerblades. There could even be different transport options for different neighbourhoods to compliment the different feels. It is no secret that The Sims 4 took a huge step back compared to other games, in terms of content and character creation. One facet that was omitted in the jump between Sims 3 and 4 is the ability of true customization. A new pack could re-introduce the colour wheel and other customization options, to allow playes a fully immersive experience. Being locked to less than 15 hair colours can really limit the creativity of create a Sim, and a lot of furniture swatches don't currently match. Despite all the other improvements, this was a huge negative that still affects the popularity of Sims 4. Another cornerstone of the Sims franchise is the lore: the stories, characters, buildable plots and deep-dives into families' pasts. Sadly, this is another thing that is a bit thin in the fourth iteration. RELATED Things You Didn't Know About Bella Goth A new pack akin to the Sims Stories expansions of old would be amazing. With new stories, families, and characters, the possibilities would be endless. A pack like this could bring back pivotal characters from previous games. Perhaps they'd be in a new neighbourhood with a story for each household, and plot points to complete. The Sims 4 is very focused on minutea, and smaller things for Sims to spend their time doing. With packs like Bust the Dust, Tiny Living, and knitting themed additions, it is clear where EA's priorities lie in terms of game building. With that in mind, a great addition would be an arcade and gaming themed expansion! There are a couple of PCs, game consoles, and funky bits of tech available, but this could so easily be expanded. Simmers could make entire arcades and gaming rooms, like so many have in real life. Another missing feature that disappeared as the series progressed was sandbox neighbourhood creation modes. Sims 2 had the ability to create as many neighborhoods as players could imagine, choosing the terrain, mapping out roads and adding decorations. A new expansion featuring a sandbox creation mode would add so much to the latest game. RELATED The Weirdest Sims 4 Mods Players would even settle for free lot placement in existing neighbourhoods, as there's really not a lot of options for building a new mansion. Previous games had many more options that Sims 4 could, and should, bring back. Speaking of neighbourhood customisation, the shopping aspect is a smaller element that could really be brought up to speed. With the Get To Work expansion, shops can be created and businesses run, but compared to the offerings in real life, its all a little thin. Many players would love a mall expansion, or even an outdoor shopping district like the Old Town in Sims, or Downtown in Sims 2. The Get To Work expansion brought retail into the game, but outside of having a till and a property, there wasn't too much that players had to comply with. A resurrection of Open For Business is definitely needed. The game already has cats, dogs, fish, and frogs that players can catch outside, though they don't do anything. All in all, it's quite a a boring selection for such a huge game. While dogs can be made to look like foxes, the options are very limited. A good case for a new expansion would be exotic, or just more, pets. Sims 3 had horses, Sims 2 had wormrats, and Sims had talking parrots. Many feel the latst game is sorely lacking. Imagine: lizards, gerbils, and more. Cottage Living added some farm animals, but they're not quite the same. Outdoor Expansion packs are a big one. Players want stuff for garden based activities, pools, parks, picnics — the list is endless. As of now, there are trees and bushes and a couple of fountains, but a real outdoor pack could add so much. So far, the only outdoor pack players really have is the specific Outdoor Retreat expansion. From skateboards to streetlamps, road signs to rope swings, Sims need some TLC for their outdoor areas. A revamp of parks and outdoor meeting spaces is overdue. Players want less of the tiny stuff packs, and more out-of-the-house additions. The Sims 4 is available now. MORE Every Sims 4 Neighbourhood, Ranked

 

 48 /60 

0.0
Activision Blizzard 'will not be a part' of The Game Awards, Geoff Keighley says

Annual festival of trailers and also some trophies The Game Awards is just days away, and host Geoff Keighley has announced that "Beyond its nominations" Activision Blizzard won't be involved. The Game Awards are "a time of celebration for this industry", he wrote on Twitter, "the biggest form of entertainment in the world. There is no place for abuse, harassment or predatory practices in any company or any community. I also realize we have a big platform which can accelerate and inspire change. We are committed to that, but we all need to work together to build a better and a more inclusive environment so everyone feels safe to build the world's best games." Since the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing filed a lawsuit against Activision Blizzard alleging discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace back in July, allegations like Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick telling an assistant he was going to have her killed have raised questions about whether it's appropriate to promote the company during a celebration of what's best about games. In an interview with The before this statement, Keighley was asked about Activision Blizzard's involvement with The Game Awards. "We want to support employees and developers", he said and, "We have to think very carefully about how to proceed here." While there are six major games scheduled for reveals, Keighley confirmed that neither Diablo 4 nor Overwatch 2 would be shown during this year's awards. Traditionally Blizzard saves big announcements about its games for BlizzCon, but Activision has shown off its games during previous The Game Awards—last year, a trailer for the first season of Call of Duty: Warzone. The advisory board, who are not involved in the nominations or voting process but instead "guide and advance the mission of The Game Awards", includes Activision president Rob Kostich. Call of Duty is nominated for Best Esports Game and Call of Duty: Warzone for Best Ongoing this year. Here's the full list of 2021 nominees. The Game Awards are an in-person event this year, though they'll also be livestreamed via more than 40 platforms, and will be held on December 9. As well as the absence of Activision Blizzard announcements, there won't be any NFT games.

 

 49 /60 

0.4
Best home internet deals for December 2021: AT&T, Spectrum, Optimum and more

It’s hard to imagine living today without a consistent internet signal and if you experience frequent interruptions, you understand how frustrating it can be to rely on an insufficient internet signal. Fast and stable home internet is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Many people rely on the web for work, learning, and communicating with distant loved ones. You also need high-speed internet for data-hungry activities such as online gaming and the streaming of movies, live sports, and TV shows. So whether you want to cut the cord, improve your online gaming experience, or just upgrade your sluggish internet service to a faster one, this up-to-date roundup of the best high-speed internet deals and bundles is the place to start. Thankfully, the ubiquity of high-speed internet means that you can get the bandwidth you need for cheaper prices than ever before. As fiber-optic networks roll out across the country, gigabit internet is also more accessible. You should also check out these wireless router deals to save even more money on equipment rental fees. Verizon’s high-speed internet service has a lot to offer, with speeds starting at 100-200 Mbps for $40 per month, and new customers get a free year of Disney+ (which reverts to just $7 per month after your free year is up). The best value is arguably the $80/month Fios Gigabit plan which includes 940 Mbps internet and a free router rental, and Verizon is now allowing you to build your own internet, TV, and phone bundle so you can create a customized package that won’t leave you paying for stuff you don’t want or need. AT&T is a solid option if you’re looking to bundle internet with TV. High-speed Internet 1000 fiber optic plans start at an introductory $40 per month right now, or you can opt for a AT&T TV + Internet bundle for $95 per month with no extra fee for unlimited data allowance (a $30 value). New customers who bundle TV and internet can also get a Visa card worth as much as $300. Spectrum internet plans start at $50 per month with speeds of up to 400 Mbps which isn’t a mind-blowing deal by itself, but the ISP is offering free modem rentals as well as free antivirus software with your plan. Basic speeds start at 100 Mbps, too. Furthermore, if you’re locked into a contract with another ISP you’re unhappy with, Spectrum is offering up to $500 to buy it out for you. Internet plus TV bundles also start at just $95 per month, which is one of the better deals going for a package of this kind. Xfinity is a solid no-frills choice if your needs are moderate. The 100 Mbps “Performance 100” plan starts at $40 per month, and for $15 more you can bundle that plan with a basic TV package (upgraded TV and internet packages with 200 Mbps internet can be had for just $5 more). High-speed internet-only gigabit plans start at $80 if you don’t need TV bundled. You can also save $15 with Xfinity’s free self-installation kit. Basic internet plans from Cox run the gamut from $30 per month for 10 Mbps download speeds up to $80 per month for speeds of up to 500 Mbps, with two tiers in between these two. Cox also has its high-speed “Gigablast” internet plan which starts at $100 per month, giving you even faster download speeds of up to 940 Mbps. TV and internet bundles are available starting at just $90, with 150 Mbps speeds and 140+ channels. Windstream plans start at introductory pricing of $36 per month for the Enhanced Kinetic package (200 Mbps speeds with no data cap), but you can enjoy speeds of up to 1,000 Mbps with Windstream’s high-speed internet plans that start at just $66 — making this ISP one of the cheapest options for gigabit internet. It’s also a great value if you’re looking to bundle, with basic TV and internet packages start at $55 and TV and gigabit packages available for as low as $75. Suddenlink offers 200 Mbps Internet for $25 per month. Suddenlink’s 1 Gig internet is $45 per month with the option to add on TV service for as low as $24 per month. Customers can pick the level of internet, TV, and mobile phone service they want and change their level of service at any time with no penalty. New customers also currently receive a $200 Visa Prepaid Card and HBO Max is included for one year. Looking for more great stuff? Head over to our curated Deals Hub.

 

 50 /60 

0.9
Here's your Steam page for the Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection

Behold! Uncharted: Legacy of Thieves Collection has a Steam page. The collection is a remaster of Uncharted 4: A Thief's End and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, the most recent two games in the series. The Uncharted games are sprawling, set-piece action adventure romps filled with explosions and guns and pirates and modern-day buried treasures of various sorts. Legacy of Thieves collection is coming to PC—and PS5 I guess—in 2022. We first heard a little hint about an Uncharted PC release earlier this year, with confirmation this summer. These Uncharted games are just the latest in the slew of Sony's previously PlayStation -exclusive releases hitting our website's titular platform. Those being games like Horizon: Zero Dawn and God of War, of course, as Sony continues to walk the line between pissing off PlayStation owners and releasing PC games. Uncharted will be one of the first games released under its new PlayStation PC label. PlayStation also recently acquired a company known for producing some pretty good PC ports. They're doing a movie based on Uncharted too. If I've understood things right it stars Spider-Man.

 

 51 /60 

0.1
Last chance to land 5 years of Ivacy VPN for $1 per month

If you use the internet, you likely know how important it is to protect your data in an increasingly dangerous cyber environment. But like other essential tasks that tend to be tedious (like filing taxes early and brushing your teeth for the full two minutes), most installing and running a VPN can sound unappealing to many: sure, they encrypt your internet traffic and hide your location — but they can also run frustratingly slowly, delaying the way you’d usually use the internet for entertainment and work. That’s where Ivacy VPN is different: not only will the speedy service let you browse and stream lag-free, it also offers real-time threat detection technology, removing malware and viruses at the server level. It ensures that all your downloads and devices stay totally secure, so you can stay safe online without being inconvenienced. In addition, all plans allow 10 simultaneous logins and unblocks BBC iPlayer, Disney+, Hulu, and major Netflix regions including U.S., France, Japan, UK, Australia, Germany, and Canada. With Ivacy, you can enjoy protection anywhere by connecting to 1,000+ servers in hundreds of locations. You’ll have unrestricted access to your favorite apps and websites, no matter where you are in the world. There’s also a dedicated secure downloading feature using P2P optimized servers, and useful extensions available across browsers and platforms, whether you’re an Android or iOS user, with split-tunneling available for both. And unlike other players in the digital security space, Ivacy VPN has a decade of experience delivering excellence, receiving a 4.7/5 TrustPilot rating and a 99.8% crash-free performance. This offer also includes FREE encrypted 2TB Cloud Storage and on top of that a FREE Password Manager tool. It's also available in Europe and other regions (clicking on the below link will show local currencies). Get a five-year subscription to Ivacy VPN for just $0.99 per month. (offer ends Dec 5). As an Ivacy affiliate, Neowin may earn commission from qualifying purchases.

 

 52 /60 

0.4
Broncos vs Chiefs live stream: how to watch NFL Sunday Night Football from anywhere

The Chiefs are back! Or are they? Patrick Mahomes and co. looked like they were finally getting something going before their bye, and they'll be put to the test by an unpredictable Broncos team that has quietly put together one of the league's more solid defenses. Read on as we explain how to get a Broncos vs Chiefs live stream and watch NFL Sunday Night Football online from anywhere. Vic Fangio's men have allowed an average of 17.2 points per game over the past five weeks, a mark that KC have really had to toil to get to most games. And despite blowing hot and cold, they've been taking down some big game, namely the Cowboys, a resurgent Washington, and the Chargers, rookie cornerback Patrick Surtain coming up with a career game last weekend. The Chiefs' 41-14 demolition of the Raiders three weeks ago was their most convincing performance of the season, but they followed it up with a frustrating showing against the Cowboys. The important thing is they still got the win to cling on to the AFC West's top spot, but the Broncos are just one victory behind. Follow our guide for how to watch the Broncos vs Chiefs online and get an NFL live stream wherever you are in the world right now. If you've mismatched a holiday or you're away on business and you want to watch your country's coverage from abroad, then you'll need to use a VPN. This will help you dial in to a location back in your home country to avoid geo-blocks and regain access to the content and services you already pay for back home. A VPN is generally perfect for this as it allows you to change your IP address so you appear to be in a completely different location when the big game is on. Use a VPN to live stream Broncos vs Chiefs from anywhere

 

 53 /60 

0.1
How to watch Gervonta Davis vs Isaac Cruz and live stream title fight from anywhere

Undefeated lightweight world champion Gervonta "Tank" Davis (25-0) fights the ultra-aggressive Isaac "Pitbull" Cruz (22-1-1), one of the hardest hitters in the division, in a title showdown that promises to be explosive right from the first bell. So read on as we explain all the details you need on how to watch a Davis vs Cruz live stream and catch all the boxing action online from anywhere in the world. Of course, you can't mention punching power without a salute to Davis's extraordinary 96% knockout rate. The American's fists have decided his past 16 consecutive fights, an extraordinary six-year run that has included title fights at super featherweight, lightweight, and super-lightweight. Cruz - four years Davis' junior at 23 years old - has already racked up 24 professional fights, including five in the past two years. But it's his 53-second annihilation of Diego Magdaleno last year that put him on the map, a brutal demonstration of body-punching that twice sent the former lightweight contender sprawling in under a minute. The Mexican was parachuted in as a late replacement for Rolando Romero, and this fight should be all the more thrilling for it. Follow our guide below to watch a Davis vs Cruz live stream online from anywhere. We've rounded up ways to watch the boxing in various countries around the world below. But if you're abroad this weekend and your home coverage is geo-blocked, then the only alternative that we know is to use a VPN to dial in to a country where the fight is being shown. The software is generally ideal for this as it allows you to change your IP address and appear to be in a completely different location - and all through a safe, encrypted connection. Here's how to get started. Use a VPN to live stream Davis vs Cruz from anywhere Sadly there's no confirmed broadcaster for Davis vs Cruz in Australia at the time of writing. The only alternative is to use one of the best VPN service providers to tap into coverage from another nation, as described above. The software is generally ideal for this as it allows you to change your IP address and appear to be in a completely different location - and all through a safe, encrypted connection. But do bear in mind that most paid streaming services do require a credit card based in the country the service is from.

 

 54 /60 

0.5
gamerant.com

With Destiny 2 featuring so many incredible armor sets and Exotic armor designs, it was inevitable that players would end up playing the "fashion game", so to speak. Destiny 2 players can mix and match armor pieces that belong to five different slots, with them being the helmet, chest armor, gauntlets, legs, and a class item that varies depending on the player's class selection. Hunters have their popular signature cloaks, Titans get a mark - a small drape usually falling down on one leg - and Warlocks have bonds, which act as armbands. There are several ways to acquire new armor sets in Destiny 2, as well as universal ornaments, which can be effectively used as skins immediately. As for regular armor, however, players have to acquire Synthweave from Ada-1's bounties, which can then be used as part of the Armor Synthesis process - also known as transmog - to unlock any piece of armor as a universal ornament. Armor Synthesis was not always in the game, but it was added with Season of the Splicer, and since then, many players have been creating or recreating incredible looks in Destiny 2. RELATED: Halo Crossover Confirmed by Latest Destiny 2 Image? A popular trend is to try and make Destiny 2 sets that look like characters from other franchises, such as the Green Power Ranger or Patrick Star. A great look was shared on Reddit by a user called Young_Rasta97, who managed to make their Titan look like a character from Dark Souls, which other players immediately associated with a specific boss: the Pursuer. The Pursuer is a recurrent boss that players encounter in Dark Souls 2, and it is known to be a threat because of its immense power after players defeat it for the first time in the Forest of Fallen Giants. The Pursuer is a boss with a huge greatsword and shield, and unassuming players would think it was slow, but it can actually close distances easily - making it an intimidating foe in Dark Souls 2. Thus, Young_Rasta97's set is all the more appropriate because it's an Arc Titan with a Cuirass of the Falling Star, which powers up the Super called Thundercrash, which in turn transforms the Titan into a quick Arc missile that covers great distances. Next week is going to be huge for FPS fans, with the release of Destiny 2 's 30th Anniversary Pack and the official release of Halo Infinite. Likewise, February is going to be a big month for both Destiny 2 and Dark Souls fans, considering that both The Witch Queen and Elden Ring will be released. For fans who love both franchises, this armor set is a lot of fun to see. Destiny 2 is available on PC, PS4, PS5, Stadia, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. MORE: Destiny 2 Expansions and Seasons Tier List

 

 55 /60 

0.4
What if Microsoft advertised Windows 11 honestly?

I think it is safe to say Windows 11 has not been enthusiastically received, due to a number of issues, such as limiting who can upgrade, the very unfamiliar and immature new start menu, simplified right-click menu, limited widget system and much more. This has not stopped Microsoft from touting the new OS however, but Twitter account FireCube has asked what a more realistic, honest ad for Windows 11 would look like. The deeper truth of the satire is that Windows 11 is really perfectly designed for people who live 100% in the Microsoft ecosystem, but that in reality, this does not describe most people. Do our readers feel Microsoft could do better? Let us know below.

 

 56 /60 

0.5
Here’s a list of portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

Electronics seem to keep getting smaller and smaller, and everyone has their own specific gadgets that they never leave home without. You undoubtedly have a smartphone with you whenever you leave the house, but that’s not to say there couldn’t be a few more conveniences. If you’re in the market for some new tech or a few cool add-ons, we’ve rounded up a large handful of palm-sized devices to add to your EDC loadout. If you know where to look, you can get affordable prices on key finders, SD cards, car USB chargers, wireless earbuds, portable speakers, and more. Below are some of our favorite portable tech deals going right now, from a folding keyboard to a cheap smartwatch. Not only do these deals fit in your pocket, but they’re also generally cheap enough that you can fit them into your budget, as well. The one major drawback with cool tiny gadgets these days is that they can easily get lost. If you need some help keeping tabs on the small stuff, Tile Mate item finders are just the ticket. The keychain-sized Tile Mate is a diminutive 1.3 inches long and is just 0.2 inches thick. Simply attach a tracker to any item and you can use the Tile companion app to locate it virtually anywhere. Even without the app, you can still find nearby items by remotely making the Tile vibrate, flash, or ring. A single Tile costs around $22, but this four-pack of Tile Mate trackers is available from Amazon for under $60 with free shipping. Also, be sure to take a look at some of the best Bluetooth trackers for more options. This multi-tool combines several go-to tools into one handy, convenient sized device you can take anywhere with you. It is equipped with more than 16 functions including a metric and standard sized closed wrench and bit driver, TSA-compliant serrated edge and handy scoring tip, a bike spoke wrench, bottle opener, and more. The tool is made of durable stainless steel, lightweight, and fits onto your keyring. If the palm-sized portable chargers whet your appetite for cool gadgets but you want something with a bit more juice, the Anker PowerCore 10,000 is another excellent pocket-friendly power bank. Its 10,000mAh battery can charge your iPhone multiple times, even though this PowerCore is barely larger in length and width than a credit card. Like other Anker power banks, this unit also boasts Anker’s proprietary PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology, which optimizes charging speed for different devices, ensuring that you’re not waiting around too long for your gadgets to recharge. This very practical charger rings in below $40 on Amazon. SD and MicroSD cards are a cheap, portable way to move tons of data, but not all computers have slots to accept them, and even laptops that do typically only have one. Plus, if you only have a MicroSD card, then you need an additional adapter to use it with the SD card reader anyway. The Anker USB 3.0 SD card reader can make your life a little easier. It has SD and MicroSD card slots that let you read and write both simultaneously on any computer. It’s compatible with all types of MicroSD cards, too, and will only set you back around $15 from Amazon. This is a great piece of equipment for photographers and on-the-go professionals. Another great gadget from Anker isn’t necessarily one you’ll carry in your pocket all day, but it is nonetheless something you don’t want to leave home without: a speedy car charger. The PowerDrive Speed 2 USB charger plugs right into your car’s 12V outlet and features two high-speed USB ports that pump out 30 watts of combined power for juicing up your tech. Anker’s IQ2 technology allows this handy charger to detect and automatically optimize the power output for compatible devices, letting it power many phones up to 80 percent in about 35 minutes. You can score the PowerDrive Speed 2 car charger for around $20. A good pair of earbuds is invaluable if you’re frequently on the move and don’t want to be without your music and other entertainment, and when it comes to in-ear headphones, you can’t beat a classic: The Panasonic ErgoFit earbuds remain one of the best and most popular pairs you can buy, with more than 50,000 Amazon reviews. If you don’t want to dish out the cash for a pair of wireless earphones like the AirPods, these headphone earbuds are available in a variety of colors at around $10 on Amazon (and just a few bucks more for the model with an in-line microphone). Gone are yesterday’s bulky, goofy-looking Bluetooth earpieces — a quality miniature Bluetooth earbud like this one from JLab is a simple, lightweight, and low-profile way to use your phone totally hands-free. Whether you’re on the road or just walking about and want to keep both of your hands untied, this handy mono headset lets you make and receive calls without even having to take out your phone. The JLab Bluetooth earbud is a cheap portable gadget and the black model is available for under $40 from Amazon. Earbuds are great to have on you, but having the cable become a tangled mess in your bag or pocket is no fun to deal with (and it always seems to happen no matter how neatly you tuck them away). The Tophome earbud holder and cord organizer, made of thick genuine leather, ensures you never have to deal with that hassle again. This is the perfect gift for anyone who hates tangled cords, and is currently under $10 from Amazon, so it’s a smart purchase for traveling techies. Need a light? Electric lighters like this one put a whole new spin on old-school designs. Fluid lighters can be messy and can run out of fuel quickly — the famous Zippo, while an all-American classic, is notorious for this — not to mention that lighter fluid and butane canisters are an extra expense. The Tesla Coil arc lighter, on the other hand, uses an internal rechargeable battery to project a windproof electric arc that is produced instead of a flame. The design is environmentally friendly and delivers up to 300 lights on a single charge. When it needs more juice, simply plug it in and power it up via the included USB charging cable. No wicks, flints, fluid, or gases to fuss around with. You can score this unique tech gadget for just $17 from Amazon. If you love to take pictures with your phone but find the camera’s capabilities a little bit limiting, then this top tech gadget is for you. The Amir clip-on camera lenses feature sturdy aluminum-and-glass construction. The bundle contains a 180-degree fisheye lens, a 0.4x super wide-angle lens, and a 10x macro zoom lens for detailed close-up shots. The metal housing is also water- and dust-resistant. The universal clip-on design works with most popular brands of Android phones as well as the latest Apple iPhones. The Amir smartphone camera lenses come in at under $20 on Amazon. With most smartphones already sporting a high-resolution camera, this awesome attachment is a great piece of EDC gear for any burgeoning photographer — though it’s not that good for selfies. A good RFID wallet provides an extra layer of security for the digital age, keeping your credit and ID cards safe from remote readers. You don’t have to sacrifice style for function, however, thanks to the leather Travelambo wallet. This minimalist wallet is made of genuine leather lined with RFID-blocking material. It has six card slots, an ID window, and a compartment where you can tuck away a few bills. Best of all: It’ll only set you back $10 to $15 from Amazon depending on your color choice (there are a ton), making it a pretty smart purchase for security-conscious individuals. It never hurts to have a bit of extra storage (especially when you’re frequently on the move), and now you can replace those bulky thumb drives with this super-compact MicroSD card from Samsung. The Evo Select MicroSD card offers a lot of space and speed for the money, with 95MB per second read and 20MB-per-second write speeds. It even comes with an SD adapter (or you can use it with the Anker card reader if your computer lacks an SD card slot). The Samsung Evo Select MicroSD card with SD adapter can be yours from Amazon for under $10 for the 32GB model. Many of us have flashlights on our phones, but they aren’t always convenient to use or the best option. This nano torch from Streamlight, one of the best flashlight makers around, is the perfect addition to any keychain. This powerful and compact flashlight is perfect for navigating small, dimly lit spaces or just providing LED light where it’s needed the most. The Streamlight 73001 keychain flashlight is available for around $5 on Amazon, and makes the perfect night light when you need it most. These folding keyboards are nothing new, but most of them — even fairly compact models — aren’t very pocket-friendly gear. This folding wireless keyboard from MoKo is the perfect solution, giving you a miniature set of QWERTY keys that folds down to roughly the size of a large smartphone for easy storage. Its metal and polymer construction is both durable and light, weighing in at roughly seven ounces. The MoKo folding wireless keyboard is compatible with any Bluetooth-capable iPhone, Windows, or Android phone or tablet, and is available for around $30 from Amazon. The Bellabeat Leaf health tracker is the fitness tracker that she’ll actually want to wear. This fitness accessory can be worn as a necklace or bracelet without looking bulky or obtrusive, and syncs with both iOS and Android to collect activity metrics via the companion app. The Bellabeat tracks steps taken, calories burned, sleep quality, stress levels, menstrual cycles, and more. You can pick up this perfect hands-free tech gift for as low as $88 right now, and check out our review to see why we love the Bellabeat family of stylish health trackers. Wireless speakers are arguably the most popular implementation of Bluetooth technology today, allowing you to take your music virtually anywhere. Most of these speakers won’t easily fit in your pocket, but this one from Momoho is an exception. This tiny, cool tech gadget packs a two-hour battery life, delivering great sound from a package that fits in the palm of your hand. Measuring the same size as a quarter, the Momoho speaker can be your pocket party companion for as little as $17 from Amazon. It may not come with Alexa like the Amazon Echo hub, but it’s a great way to bring your music with you. Looking for more great stuff? Find tech deals and much more on our curated deals page. Follow @dealsDT

 

 57 /60 

0.2
gamerant.com

A manga adaptation of Shōgo Kinugasa’s Classroom of the Elite: Year 2 light novels will start serialization on December 25, the January 2022 issue of Kadokawa's Monthly Comic Alive magazine revealed. Classroom of the Elite ran in Media Factory’s MF Bunko J imprint from 2015 to 2019, with a total of 14 collected volumes. The Year 2 sequel series continues to follow the main cast from the original and began serialization in January 2020. The light novel series has amassed six collected volumes so far. RELATED: The Irregular at Magic High School: Reminiscence Arc Promo Reveals December 31 Airdate A manga adaptation of the first light novel series illustrated by Yuyu Ichino began serialization in 2016. The series also runs in Monthly Comic Alive with its 11th collected volume having released in June. Shia Sasane will handle the illustrations for the Year 2 manga, taking over for Ichino. A 12-episode anime adaptation of the light novel series produced by Studio Lerche aired during the Summer 2017 season. The studio is best known for its work on Danganronpa: The Animation, Assassination Classroom, and Toilet-Bound Hanako-kun. Seiji Kishi directed the series with Ryō Takahashi handling the composition. Kishi is best known for directing the Persona 3 film series as well as Persona 4: The Animation and most recently Fate/Grand Carnival. Takahashi has worked on a number of anime including Citrus, Arifureta, and the J.C. Staff produced anime film, Sing a Bit of Harmony. The anime is licensed by Crunchyroll and Funimation in English. Seven Seas licenses the light novel and manga in English, having released the 9th volume of the light novel in September. The first volume of the manga series will release in February with the first volume of the Year 2 light novel is set to release in May 2022. Source: Anime News Network MORE: 'Kono Light Novel ga Sugoi!' 2022 Rankings Reveal Most Popular Series, Characters

 

 58 /60 

0.4
Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack review

The Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack is a hardshell backpack with an LED display that offers multiple features and oodles of style. If you regularly ride bikes or motorcycles then you can appreciate most of its features as quality-of-life improvements, but there's still plenty of fun to be had simply wearing it around town. You can get the bag in two styles, a black model that has an 'exposed' display with visible screws, and a white version with an inset screen and a slightly different shape. Both have the same features and dimensions so this is purely down to aesthetics over actual function, though we did notice that the exposed screws on the black version of the bag made removing the protective plastic film almost impossible without digging around with a pair of tweezers. You can see some plastic still present in our review images to reflect this. The design isn't going to appeal to everyone, but with a retail price of $359 (around £270 / AU$510), the Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack is hardly something you'll grab on a whim. For context, that makes it pricier than some designer backpacks from brands like Ted Baker, Radley and Michael Kors, so before we start singing its praises (and it does have many), we'll be blunt – this bag should be much cheaper. It did go on sale as part of a crowdfund project on Kickstarter with early bird prices though, so it could very well be more affordable when it officially becomes available. The features and build quality are great, but the high pricetag makes it difficult to recommend. Right, onto the good stuff. The Tajezzo PZ5 Smart Backpack isn't just a bag to throw your laptop into, equipped with a microphone and speaker, an LED display and a smart control on the bag strap to switch between different modes. We took the bags around a busy event, throughout central London and a busy theme park, and we did naturally end up using all of these features. You can connect to the bag via Bluetooth to take calls thanks to that built-in mic, though we couldn't find a way to have the audio play through headphones whilst using the bag's microphone. If you did want to answer your phone, be prepared for everyone in the vicinity to hear your conversation. By doing this though, we did confirm that both the microphone and speakers are pretty impressive, with clear vocals detected through the mic even in a busy environment. The speakers are also seriously impressive for something built into a bag. Located along the top rear, directly behind your ears when wearing it, the volume is loud, the bass is punchy and just a genuine pleasure to listen to. It's unlikely you'd find much of a use for this when walking around (unless you're one of those youths who likes to blast their 'music' on public transport), but it was especially useful for taking calls while biking around, improving safety by negating the need to wear headphones. The LED display is rather simple. There are a few different light modes to choose from: Music Mode that fluctuates with your tunes, Breathing Mode that just calmly, uh, breathes, Night Mode for a solid line of light and Sport Mode, which detects rapid deceleration to flash red if you come to a sudden stop. That's a pretty neat safety feature for riders, though we wish there was some way to build an indicator feature into the bag too. The voice that lets you know what mode you're switching to is hauntingly bad, but Tajezzo has informed us that a new, improved English vocalization is being developed so we've left that off our list of cons for now. There's a 5,000 mAh battery pack that powers the bag and also charges other devices, with three cables: a USB-C, Lightning, and Micro USB. 5,000 mAh isn't a lot, working out to around a full charge on most modern smartphones, but Tajezzo informed us that a larger battery pack wasn't possible with the design of the backpack. We found it was enough to use the bag for a day and charge a phone after heavy use, but you'll need to recharge the backpack daily if you want the full benefits. The bag is charged via the Micro USB and takes around four hours to regain a full battery. The hard shell is seriously well built. It was able to support the weight of our reviewer as a step stool, and protected the innards from torrential rain. You can fit a 17-inch laptop inside with few issues, and there are separators in the bag itself to keep your belongings from rattling around in the case. As a standard backpack, it serves its purpose well, but that hard shell is a real benefit if you're worried about coming off your bike at speed and want to protect expensive gadgets and tech. The fit is on the small side. The straps are adjustable and have anti-theft mechanisms to secure yourself in, but even at the largest size it was a snug fit around the shoulders. If you're a healthy weight and have a slim frame then you'll be fine, but anyone muscular, or with a wide frame might find it gets a little tight after a few hours of wear. In all, this is a really fun bag. It's not worth the standard retail price, but the features did prove useful, and we were stopped multiple times by people on the street to compliment the style of the backpack, so this could go down a real treat with fans of streetwear fashion or Cyberpunk aesthetics. If you have cash burning a hole in your pocket and you need a bag to wear while riding a bike or motorcycle, it's a great product, but otherwise you might not use all of the features that have made it so expensive.

 

 59 /60 

0.6
Best board games 2021: For adults, families, two players, and more

If you haven’t been paying attention, board games have really made a comeback over the past couple of years. Especially now that we’re allowed to gather again, board games are a good choice. With so much of our lives mediated through screens, it’s refreshing and humanizing to play face-to-face with people. Millions of people have taken the step from the tedious Monopoly and Life of their youth to modern gateway classics such as The Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, or Cards Against Humanity, but where do you go from there? What is the best board game? We’ve hand-picked this list of fantastic games to suit a wide range of players and interests, showing off just a sample of the most fun and interesting games that have been released in the last few years. Since you have likely been stuck at home for months, these might be just the thing you need for some new activities to do with the family. Ah, the simple pleasure of laying down tiles to build a bustling French town. What could be better? How about squatting on your friend’s plot of land and claiming it as your own, turning all their hard work into sweet, sweet points for yourself? That magical feeling can be yours in Carcassonne, a game that looks charming and simple, but hides a competitive core. Gameplay in Carcassonne is straightforward: When it’s your turn, you draw a tile at random and then place it next to one of the already-placed tiles that make up the growing landscape. Connect roads to roads, fields to fields, cities to cities, and then place your workers down to claim these features as your own. If two different areas eventually collide, the player with the most pieces there will end up scoring all the points in the end, so you have to decide whether to build in isolation, watching from afar as you friends bludgeon each other over prime land, or get in on the action yourself. Modern board gaming isn’t just about zombies and elves and space marines. Sure, there’s a ton of that, but every year the range of possible tabletop experiences grows by leaps and bounds. Enter Fog of Love: a romantic comedy board game for two. Both players create their own fictional character and work through one of several scenarios with fixed chapters and randomized scenes, charting the course of their relationship to its happy (or unhappy) ending. It’s an elegant game that strikes an incredible balance between mechanics that create an interesting puzzle to solve while keeping story and character forward, instead of getting lost in abstract min-maxing. Fog of Love ’s genesis speaks worlds about its revolutionary place in the industry. Designer Jacob Jaskov played and loved hundreds of board games, but his wife was never interested in any of them. For all the industry’s growth and diversification in the last several decades, games still almost exclusively focus on external conflicts, and never on internal, character-driven stories. Jaskov developed Fog of Love for this uncompromising audience of one, and the result is an exquisitely sharp application of some of modern gaming’s best design practices and ideas, while also totally defying industry convention. Its Walmart-exclusive distribution deal in the US hopefully speaks to a radical diversification of the mainstream board gaming industry in the near future. Buy at Walmart Some games are built entirely around a single idea or theme, with every mechanic designed to serve it. For others, a “theme” is just a thin aesthetic veneer over its crunchy, abstract systems. Azul, a game about laying beautiful tiles for the Portuguese royal palace, is squarely the latter. Players compete to build the most complete and aesthetically-pleasing square of colorful tiles. Drafting tiles from a shared pool, combined with rules for how to lay them or save them for future rounds, makes for a satisfying puzzle that’s easy to learn, but hard to master and plays well (and differently) at its full range of two to four players in just about half an hour. When building a game collection, it’s important to have a range of weights and interaction-styles. Azul is a fantastic “opener” for a game night, since it plays quickly and provides a constant stream of interesting decisions without ever overwhelming players into “analysis paralysis.” It also features a pleasant level of passive-aggressive interaction (through denying tiles to other players), making it important to keep up with what your friends are doing without ever putting you into direct clashes, which can be the perfect, congenial tone that some people like to set for an evening of laughter and conversation around the table, with games as the excuse to get there. In Gloomhaven, two to four players team up for a co-operative fantasy adventure campaign that spans hundreds of hours, with over a dozen, unique characters to unlock. You’d be forgiven for thinking this was a video game, but no, Gloomhaven is the latest massive dungeon crawl board game to blow up on Kickstarter. Players assume the role of wandering adventurers in a persistent world full of treasure to find, monsters to hunt, and dungeons to clear, accruing new items and abilities as they go. It’s standard video game fare, but Gloomhaven has set the board gaming world ablaze for how elegantly it distills that experience into an analog format. Fantasy dungeon crawl is a crowded genre in board games as well as video games. Historically dungeon crawls fall under the “Ameritrash” lineage, with their mechanical excess, focus on simulation, and a heavy dose of randomness. This tracks from poorly aged classics like Hero Quest to Gloomhaven’s immediate Kickstarter precedent, Kingdom Death: Monster. While similar in the broad strokes as ponderous coffin boxes, laden with ridiculous amounts of monsters and loot, Gloomhaven takes a more restrained and thoughtful approach than KD ’s maximalism, with tighter mechanics reminiscent of European-style board games There are big board games, and then there’s Twilight Imperium. Fantasy Flight’s signature strategy game of galactic diplomacy and conquest is famously massive, hosting four to six players in a galaxy that takes up an obscene amount of table square footage, pounds of plastic miniature spaceships, and up to eight whopping hours of playtime. Every player assumes the mantle of a unique alien civilization, competing to be top dog in space in the wake of a galactic empire’s collapse. Whether you want to be savvy traders like the Ferengi, haughty imperialists like the Centauri, or a hive mind like the Formics, the expansive mechanics and broadly sourced archetypes of TI allow for basically whatever flavor of space opera tickles your fancy. TI ’s first edition released in 1997, making it ancient by the standard of contemporary board games. Several iterations have tightened up and streamlined the rule set towards more elegant, Eurogame-style mechanics and a vastly more appealing visual presentation. The 2017 fourth edition incorporates 20 years of player feedback, making a surprisingly smooth and refined version of a game that by all rights should be massively unwieldy. There are myriad, more focused versions of the TI fantasy now available in board and video games (from Eclipse to Stellaris), but nothing quite matches the maximalist grandeur of TI 4th Edition when you want to go all-in on a day of pretending to be on Babylon 5 with your friends. As the themes and mechanics of modern board games grow increasingly elaborate, sometimes you just want the simple thrill of beating someone to the finish line. Flamme Rouge is a brilliant bicycle racing game that elegantly distills the real-world mechanics of team cycling into a fast, fun, strategic, and family-friendly board game. Each of 2-4 players controls two racers (a “rouleur” and a “sprinteur”), each with a corresponding deck of cards with the numbers 2-9 (the rouleur has an even spread of 3-7 while the sprinteur has a more boom-or-bust deck with twos and nines in the mix). Every turn each player draws four cards from each deck and chooses one for each of their riders to determine how far they move down the two-lane, modular track. Drafting and exhaustion mechanics encourage you to stay in packs and end with exactly one space (but no more) between you and the next rider in a rule set that is remarkably easy to teach because of how cleanly it distills real-world cycling. Racing games are as old as board games themselves — Snakes and Ladders traces all the way back to ancient India as a meditation on karma and morality. Note “meditation,” however: the “roll and move” mechanic at the heart of Snakes and Ladders was random and non-interactive by design, but in modern gaming “roll and move” has been relegated to children’s and “Ameritrash” games. Flamme Rouge ’s card-driven racing mechanics keep some of that randomness, but temper it to put skilled decision-making front and center. As the general complexity of board game rules goes up, Flamme Rouge is an excellent reminder for the value of elegance and simplicity. Espionage and associative vocabulary have never gone so well together. Codenames is a spy-themed party word game where two teams compete to locate all of their agents first. Random words are laid out in a five-by-five grid. Both teams’ spymasters can see a card that tells them which words are for each team, which are neutral, and which one is the black assassin word. The spymasters take turns saying one word and a number. Their team has that many guesses (plus one) to find the words associated with that clue. Pick correctly and the word gets covered with their color and they continue. Guess wrong and the turn passes, unless they picked the assassin word, which means they lose immediately. The first team that finds all of their words wins. It’s extremely simple and easy to teach, but the granular variability of the words makes it an interesting and challenging puzzle. Few games have been so rapidly embraced by the community as classics as Codenames was in 2016. Czech designer Vlaada Chvátil has become a notable auteur of modern board gaming; his games, which include Space Alert, Dungeon Petz, and Galaxy Trucker, vary widely in terms of mechanics, but are generally unified by being side-splittingly hilarious. In addition to the original Codenames, the publisher has subsequently released a visual version with Codenames: Pictures and a naughty, Cards Against Humanity- inspired version called Codenames: Deep Undercover. Like Battleship, but in real time and with teams, Captain Sonar is a thrilling game of dueling submarines designed for up to eight players. It begins with two teams setting up on opposite sides of the table and dividing into different roles. The captain, for instance, charts their course on a transparency with a marker over the map and decides when to fire torpedoes, while the engineer works to maintain the sub’s systems as it takes damage. Players can also take on the role of the radio operator, who must listen to the other team’s chatter to deduce their location. It’s a tense battle of wits that requires teamwork, quick thinking, and clever deduction. We’ve seen team-on-team duels with interlocking mini-games like this before — just take a look at the excellent Space Cadets or its spin-off, Space Cadets: Dice Duel — but combining it with hidden movement and deduction like in Letters from Whitechapel or Fury of Dracula is an absolute stroke of genius. The game also comes with five scenarios that have different maps and special rules, along with a turn-based variant for more methodical play, adding more replay value to an already great base game. The world is being wracked by four horrific diseases. A team of experts must race around the globe to find cures before society descends into chaos. First released in 2007, Pandemic is a tense, fun, and challenging cooperative game for two to four players. Easy to learn and hard to master, it is widely considered a classic and an excellent introduction to what modern games have to offer. Pandemic Legacy uses that foundation for one of the most exciting and surprising games we’ve ever played. Like 2011’s Risk Legacy before it, Pandemic Legacy ties each individual session into a larger campaign, with the events of one game having permanent effects on the board and subsequent games. Each game represents one month of the year and you can play each month a second time before moving on if you fail the first attempt, with the challenge modulating up or down based on how you are doing. Every month adds new mechanics from a veritable Advent calendar of boxes and compartments full of stickers, cards, and components that alter the game in both small and sweeping ways. All at once it would be overwhelming, but the game’s gradual evolution keeps the challenge fresh and creates a gripping and twisty narrative. Over the course of the year, cities will irrevocably fall, characters will form relationships and develop post-traumatic scars, viruses will evolve, and within even just a few games your copy of Pandemic Legacy will be unique. Don’t research too much because surprise is part of the fun; this is easily one of the best games in years. Supposedly popularized by biker gangs, this game played with coasters is perfect for playing at a bar. Everyone has three roses and one skull, laying them face down one at a time in front of them until one player bets on how many they can flip without finding a skull. Everyone else goes around either raising or folding until someone finally has to test their luck. Succeed twice and you’ve won the game, but find a skull and you lose one of your cards at random. It’s like poker, but with much simpler math. Skull is a beautifully stripped-down game of bluffing and bravado that is as tense as it is easy to learn. The game is so simple that once you know the rules it’s easy to just make your own copy with a stack of coasters and a marker, which is great in a pinch at a bar, but the artwork and components are so nice that you’ll want to own the official edition.

 

 60 /60 

0.4
gamerant.com

Developed by Naughty Dog, The Last of Us 2 is one of the most impactful games of the eighth console generation. The visual quality of The Last of Us 2 is highly regarded, and its narrative was effective for many by blurring the line between heroes and villains. While the game failed to please everyone, including some ardent fans of the first game, The Last of Us 2 cleaned house in most gaming awards ceremonies for 2020. With over 300 awards nominations, The Last of Us 2 is regarded as one of the most acclaimed games of all time. The impact of The Last of Us 2 was especially seen during The Game Awards 2020, one of the most prestigious ceremonies in gaming. It snagged seven awards, making it the most awarded title in the show's history. While 2021 brought its fair share of blockbuster titles that have impressed general players and critics alike, none have managed to make as much of a statement as The Last of Us 2. RELATED: Why The Last of Us 3's Infected May Not Evolve So Much The Game Awards features a variety of categories, allowing a wide range of games the opportunity to receive recognition. Some awards garner more attention than others, and the one most have their eyes on is Game of the Year. It is decided through a combined vote, with 90 percent of voting weight coming from The Game Award's jury, and the rest coming from ordinary gamers who can vote online. In 2020, the Game of the Year award went to The Last of Us 2. This puts it alongside acclaimed games such as God of War (2018), Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice that also won the award in recent years. The Last of Us 2 also received the award for Best Action/Adventure game 2020, beating out big games such as Ghost of Tsushima and Assassin's Creed Valhalla. Best Game Direction was another category it dominated, said to go for titles with "outstanding creative vision and innovation in game direction and design." In 2018, God of War also won the trio of Best Game Direction, Best Action/Adventure, and Game of the Year. In fact, God of War is a title that held the most Game of the Year awards from publications and media outlets before The Last of Us 2 broke its record. However, Naughty Dog pulled off a few more tricks that made its iconic game stand out. RELATED: Joel's Growth in The Last of Us Franchise Explained What helped The Last of Us 2 dominate The Game Awards 2020 was that it managed to excel in many different categories. It was one of the most visually impressive games available on PS4, with a dystopian version of Seattle bursting with detail and character. The might of nature is on full display, as trees and vegetation overpower what were once indomitable cities. The Last of Us 2 was nominated for Best Art Direction but lost to Ghost of Tsushima, a game that features a picturesque rendition of Japan's Tsushima Island. Although Naughty Dog's game did not win, being nominated alongside Ghost of Tsushima, Hades, and Final Fantasy 7 Remake is an achievement in itself. Where the game did succeed is with its audio. The game was nominated for Best Score and Music thanks to work by composer Gustavo Santaolalla and Mac Quayle, but lost to Final Fantasy 7 Remake. However, it did win Best Audio Design, beating out titles such as Resident Evil 3 Remake and DOOM Eternal. The Last of Us 2 's accolades do not end there. The game also swept awards thanks to its compelling narrative, as well as the sterling performances from actors and actresses. The game illustrates the way each person has the potential to be both benevolent or beastial. For its choices, The Last of Us 2 won Best Narrative. It was also nominated twice for Best Performance thanks to Ashley Johnson's role as Ellie and Laura Bailey's role as Abby, with Bailey ultimately winning. In 2020, a new category was added to The Game Awards: Innovation in Accessibility. According to The Game Awards, this is a prize given to games containing "features, technology, and content to help games be played and enjoyed by an even wider audience." The award went to The Last of Us 2, which has an array of features to make the game more accessible. This includes visual aids and options that allow gamers to adjust the gameplay to their capabilities. This year's The Game Awards has numerous great games competing for various accolades. In the Game of the Year category, titles such as Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart, Deathloop, and Resident Evil Village are in the running. Deathloop appears to be leading the pack overall with nine nominations under its belt, but it still falls short of The Last of Us 2 's eleven nominations in 2020. Deathloop is the only game that has the possibility of matching The Last of Us 2 's record of seven awards, as the game with the second-most nominations is Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart with six. While Deathloop is an achievement by Arkane Studios, the likelihood of the game winning seven awards is slim. The competition is tough, and it faces juggernauts such as Returnal in the Best Game Direction category, Kena: Bridge of Spirits in Best Art Direction, and Life is Strange: True Colors in Best Narrative. The Game Awards 2021 is set to be an exciting evening celebrating another year of amazing games, in spite of controversies surrounding its stance on Activision-Blizzard that have cropped up. While the games that have been nominated certainly deserve their time in the limelight, it seems unlikely that The Last of Us 2 's dominance will be matched this year - or possibly any time soon. The Last of Us 2 is available now on PS4. MORE: The Game Awards 2021: Predicting the Game of the Year Winner


Total 60 articles.
Version: 9.83.38380-256015. Input files: 1, items detected: 70, scanned: 70, accumulated: 60, inserted: 60, exclude filters: 0, include filters: 0, empty media: 0, filtered media: 0, duplicated media: 0, not matched limits: 0, passed http check: 0, not passed http check: 0, http check errors: 0, skipped: {total: 10, by unique value: 0, by limits: 0, by similarity: 10, by unicity: 0, by dates: 0, by classifier: 0, by blacklist: 0, by mandatory tag: 0, from input files: 0}, bad dates: 0, similar from same domain: 14, unique Ids: 0, unchangeble patterns: 1404, words comparisons: 594567/32917, python: 2.7.13 (default, Sep 26 2018, 18:42:22) [GCC 6.3.0 20170516]; the same images URLs found 70 times; total 0 languages detected: {}; {u'text': {u'chars': 411023, u'bytes': 1667804, u'words': 54062, u'sentences': 2896}}
Created at 2021-12-06 06:01