Star Wars Battlefront‘s hero units are powerful, which means that the guy in this video doesn’t have a chance against Luke Skywalker… Unless, of course, Luke Skywalker doesn’t watch where he’s Luke Skywalking. This is very much the sort of Battlefront we like to see: silly, ridiculous Battlefront.
There are still a few more days to play the beta. If you’ve tried it out already, how are you liking it so far?
The super-team landscape is changing. Not only are the Avengers moving towards an all new lineup, but a newly released synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse reveals that the X-Men will have a new leader in the forthcoming film. Up until now, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier has been at the helm, but the synopsis suggests that Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven will soon head up our favourite band of mutants.
“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god,” begins the official blurb. “Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”
As first assignments go, it sounds like quite a challenging one for the new leader of the X-Men. It’s not clear just why Xavier has been sidelined, although this might be the beginning of his traditional role as mentor rather than out and out leader. We’ll find out for sure when the film lands in the UK on May 19 2016 and the US on May 27 2016.
From the hard to the near-impossible, Super Mario Maker users /love/ making levels so difficult they’ll make your eyes water – check out the dastardly P is for Pain if you want a taste of peak cruelty. Crafting ultra-challenging courses has become the in-vogue thing to do on Wii U, but what does Nintendo producer Takashi Tezuka make of this user-generated masochism?
“When you design levels for a product, you need to take into consideration a wide range of users,” says Tezuka in the latest issue of Edge. “This limits the amount of extremely difficult courses to only a fairly small part of the whole game. I expected that the users who wanted to play more of the hard courses would be attracted to Super Mario Maker, so it’s not surprising to see that a lot of difficult courses are being made.”
“There is a tendency for the courses people make to be a little harder than they think they are,” he adds. “The creator already knows the design, where they have placed their traps, and the best route to take. So it would generally be easier for them to play through than someone trying it for the first time. As a result, the course ends up being more difficult than the creator meant it to be.”
So now that Super Mario Maker has been out in the wild for a little while, have there been any levels that have caught the veteran producer’s eye? “I’ve been watching lots of different courses on YouTube,” comments Tezuka. “It was quite a surprise how much fun it was to watch the videos, without even playing myself. There are so many intriguing and inventive courses, like one which you couldn’t beat if you picked up a mushroom. It’s been a huge motivation for us developers to do better.”
Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 has your fleshy opponents taken care of by letting them puke themselves to death, but what about mechanical enemies? With no stomachs to take advantage of, you’ll have to get right to the heart of the matter by … well, ripping out their hearts. See for yourself in this video showcasing new Cyber Core abilities:
Okay, okay, so they’re “power cores” and not beating hearts. Still, one could say that a robot’s power core is the heart of its being, yes? Besides, they’re located right in the robot’s chest and explode when thrown. Any doctor, especially one that’s on TV, will tell you that’s typical behavior for the body’s most important organ.
Betas are really meant to test network code and check things work rather than let people get a free go on something early. That often gets forgotten, so here’s a ton of changes posted by Black Ops 3‘s design director David Vonderhaar following player feedback from the COD beta.
It’s a good mix of major gameplay changes – Black Hat and Rejack are getting an overhaul – and minor tweaks, like adding more detail to the kill cam. And, if you played on PS4, then you should be getting an email soon about an exclusive dynamic theme as a thank you for all the shooting.
• Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
• Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
• We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
• We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
• During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
• Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
• By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
• Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
• Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped. Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.
Because you’ve always wanted to know exactly how it sounds to be hunted by something awful in a clown mask. To celebrate us killing off the teens of Until Dawn, Sony and Wimbledon Studios have created a binaural experience that’s, quite frankly, rather terrifying.
Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the video is fully interactive. Will you hide under the bed or in the wardrobe when the psycho comes knocking? Mmm, just what you need on a Friday morning. Equally horrific choices.
Binaural means an audio experience that replicates the the human ear and as such is significantly better than surround sound. Go on, crank up those headphones…
Xur, Destiny‘s visiting weekend merchant, cigar aficionado, and dapper man about town, has returned to the Tower to once more throw out Exotic goodies like some kind of hysterical guest at a wedding where the confetti is guns and armour. Time to polish up those Strange Coins (only the shiniest are good enough for a classy gent like Xur) and get over to the Vanguard hall to peruse his wares.
Though actually, maybe don’t rush this week. While Xur has brought along a decent selection, it lacks any real must-haves, and once more presents a total dearth of weapons.
An Insurmountable Skullfort (Exotic Titan helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
In all, it’s a ‘quite nice’ armour selection, though there’s nothing here this week that 100% demands you give up an Exotic slot. The Insurmountable Skullfort has one of the best armour names in the game, and is pretty useful for Titans who play with a great deal of get-stuck-in momentum, being that it starts you off with pre-loaded melee energy, converts melees into grenade cooldown, and bestows health regen during Storm Fist kills and Orb collection. But it’s not quite essential.
The Knucklehead Radar’s star ability gives you a full radar when scoping any primary weapon. Certainly very useful in the Crucible, especially if you find yourself losing a lot of snap-confrontations, and of course, the helmet’s increased Super energy from PvE kills is undeniably valuable. Though that perk has been appearing on a fair few of The Taken King’s Legendaries, so you probably don’t want to give up an Exotic slot for that one alone. And the Claws of Ahamkara? Not that great, unless you really, really build your game around melees. Its more relevant powers both speed up hand-thwacks and deliver a second charge of your special, souped-up version on every cooldown. Again, a good set-up, and could actually be a room-clearer is you have your Thunderstrike set up to chain lightning, but its value is rather, shall we say, “specific”?
If you’re absolutely adamant that you must buy something this week (maybe you’re trying to wean yourself off a horrific shopping addition by only buying pretend things), the legacy Exotic Heavy engram might be worth a roll, but do bear in mind that you’ll just be using it to fill out your year one Exotics list, and not all of those can be ported over to year two. And Gjallarhorn is staying dead. Don’t kid yourself.
As ever, Xur will only be around for a couple of days, from now until 10am UK / 2am Pacific on Sunday 11 October. After that, he’s gone for another week…