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E3 2018: Top 5 Biggest Nintendo Direct Announcements

E3 2018 is receiving mixed reviews but there’s no denying there have been some incredible announcements and reveals. Nintendo was the last major gaming company to hold their press conference and they did it in the classic Nintendo style. Hosting a Nintendo Direct on June 12th, they stunned the gaming community with some massive gaming news.

These top 5 biggest announcements from the Nintendo Direct were both a cause of excitement and utter disbelief. After reviewing some of the best announcements from Nintendo’s press conference, be sure to jump to the bottom of the page for the even more Nintendo news from E3 2018.

Splatoon 2 The Octo Expansion Available Today!

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In a big surprise to every Splatoon 2 fan, Nintendo told the world the first paid expansion will be available today, Wednesday, June 13th. This news broke yesterday, a classic move by the world-renowned game company. The Octo Expansion is a new single-player adventure and includes over 80 new missions. Taking on the role of Agent 8, players will use this new character to fight their way through an underground facility to make it to the surface of Inkopolis. The Octo Expansion will cost $19.99 on the Nintendo eShop.

Fortnite Battle Royale Available on Switch

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Following speculation and leaks, Epic Games confirmed their monstrous smash hit, Fortnite, will immediately be available on the Nintendo Switch. Nintendo loves their last-minute announcements and Fortnite is no exception. Unfortunately, there was no mention of Nintendo-exclusive skins or content but it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine a Link or Mario skin making it to the Nintendo version. Fortnite is a fantastic shooter for the hybrid console and having the option to go mobile is a perfect fit for this specific Battle Royale game. As of now, there is no cross-play with PS4 Fortnite players and PS4 gamers can’t even transfer over their progress.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate – Character Roster – Ridley Request Granted

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The wait is finally over and the latest Super Smash Bros. announcement was well worth it. Dubbed, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, the game will include all the characters from the series’ history. That’s over 60 fighters people will have the chance to play. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is an entirely new game, not a port. They completely redesigned all the characters, even the classics like Metal Gear Solid’s Snake, to improve their look and the way they play. The Nintendo Direct even let fans know the highly requested, Ridley from Metroid, whom fans have been asking Nintendo to include for over a decade will make it to the upcoming Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. The game will be available on December 7th of this year.

Super Mario Party

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This fall, Nintendo fans will be able to play a brand new Mario Party on the Switch. Called, Super Mario Party, the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct presentation offered some impressive gameplay and additional details. Super Mario Party invites Switch players to get together with other Switch owners to play a kind of local multiplayer. This modern version of a LAN party gave Super Mario Party the ability to feature minigames that encourage secret collaboration between players, working together to take down the competition, unbeknownst to the other individuals using their own Switch console.  The world can expect to dive right into the newest addition to the Mario Party family on October 5th, 2018. 

Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC

Nintendo’s E3 2018 press conference revealed that the latest Xenoblade Chronicles 2 DLC will work off of a pair of previous updates the game received in March. Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna The Golden Country will be available to season pass holders late this summer. Gamers will have a chance to pick up a stand-alone retail package of the new storyline on September 21st. Season pass holders will be able to explore this legendary new adventure as early as September 14th.

Now for More from the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct!

Hollow Knight is now available on the Nintendo Switch.

Daemon Machina, a new mech-based action game, will release on the Nintendo Switch in 2019.

Fire Emblem: Three Horses, a brand-new Fire Emblem was announced during the Nintendo Direct.

The original arcade eSport, Killer Queen Black has been given new life and this multiplayer action/strategy platformer will be making its way to the Switch.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle Donkey Kong Adventure is coming!

Fallout Shelter can be played on the Nintendo Switch right now!

Octopath Traveler, from Square Enix, is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch on July 13th. A demo will be available on the Nintendo eShop on June 14th.

Dragonball FighterZ is coming to the Switch this year!

Captain Toad Treasure Tracker will be available on July 13th.

And so much more! Stick around as the Gigamax Games crew continues to reflect back on all E3 2018 had to offer.

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Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon YouTube Playlist

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon YouTube Playlist

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is a Kickstarter stretch goal for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Ritual of the Night will be a spiritual successor to Castlevania’s non-linear, RPG-style entries and it seems as though the world is excited to get their hands on it. Bringing in a considerable amount of attention, the developers promised an interim game, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon if one of their Kickstarter goals were met. Keeping their promise, PC and Switch gamers are now able to get their hands on the 8-bit Curse of the Moon.

Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon – Gigamax Games on YouTube

Holding true to the feel of an old-school Castlevania game, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is infectious. The simple yet exciting gameplay is addicting and challenging. It continues to bring the Gigamax crew back and the choice of difficulty makes it enjoyable for gamers of all skill levels. Whether someone is looking to breeze through an 8-bit masterpiece or if they are searching for their next challenge, Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon is built to deliver both.

Graphics, Gameplay, and Indie!

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The graphics are beautiful, especially for its 8-bit art style and the gameplay mechanics are all incredibly smooth. Overall the game is an enjoyable and exciting precursor to the full, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night which is expected to release this year. Any indie game lover on the PC or Switch might want to consider picking up Curse of the Moon if the wait for Ritual of the Night is becoming too difficult to bear. Beyond just holding gamers over, this game is an absolutely beautiful experience for anyone that enjoys this kind of 8-bit style non-linear RPG.

Thank you from, Gigamax Games!

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by the Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon Playlist page on Gigamax Games. This will be the place to find all the latest episode of this 8-bit indie game. If you enjoyed the playlist and want to see more, leave a comment at the bottom of this page or on any of the videos on YouTube.

Don’t forget to Like, Comment, and Subscribe for more!

Watch out for new videos every Tuesday and Thursday and articles every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!

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Fallout 76: Taking Inventory of Vault 76

Fallout 76: Taking Inventory of Vault 76

Fallout fans all over the world were ecstatic to find out about Fallout 76, Bethesda’s upcoming online survival RPG. Taking a step away from their traditional single-player role-playing games they’re so well known for, Fallout 76 is going to be something entirely different. The renowned developer did mention that there will be more information at E3 2018. E3 is taking place on June 12th but this is what the world knows about the mysterious new Fallout game so far.

Fallout 76 Official Teaser Trailer

What We Know

Fallout 76 is expected to release on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. According to PCGamer, Amazon’s pre-order page leaked a possible release date, July 31st of this year. As of now, this still remains unconfirmed and Amazon’s current page lists the release date as December 31st, 2019. 

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Kotaku reported last Wednesday (5/30/18), a day after the official announcement was first made, that Fallout 76 will be a completely experimental new entry to the Fallout series. It is hinted that the new Fallout will have quests and a story, just like every other Bethesda Game Studios creation that came before. Base-building, similar to the mechanic that Fallout 4 uses, will also be included.

Players will take the part as a Vault Dweller in the new title. Emerging from Vault 76, the world will be much different than any of the previous games. The new game was named after lore that was mentioned in both Fallout 3 and Fallout 4, Vault 76. This vault was intended to be opened only 20 years after the nuclear war, which could lead to a much less “civilized” setting.

What’s Next?

There aren’t many more details floating around about Fallout 76. The good news for gamers is that Bethesda has plans to open up the curtain at E3 2018, which is only a few days away. With the incredible reception the announcement received, there’s no doubt that Bethesda will command a considerable amount of airtime.

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Stay up to date with all the latest news surrounding Fallout 76 and checking back on Gigamax Games. The crew will be watching E3 in its entirety and report all of the details Bethesda decides to share with the world.

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Capcom Announces Mega Man 11 and amiibo

Capcom Announces Mega Man 11 and amiibo

Mega Man fans will be excited to hear Mega Man 11 will be released on October 2nd, 2018. Capcom made the announcement on Tuesday, 5/29/18 that their new game will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC. Mega Man 11 will be the first Mega Man the world has seen since Capcom released Mega Man 10 back in 2010.

The impending release of Mega Man 11 wasn’t the only thing for gamers to get excited about. Capcom revealed to Japan a brand-new Mega Man amiibo. It will be included with the Collector’s Package in Japan but Western gamers will need to pick up Mega Man 11 amiibo Edition. The Western version also includes 4 stickers, a Dr. Wily logo patch, a “stage select” microfiber cloth, the game, and the amiibo.

Celebrating 30 Years of Mega Man

Gamers have been enjoying this classic character for 30 years and the developer is making it clear they’re not done yet. In the gameplay above, it’s obvious Capcom made some amazing improvements to this classic world. The easiest change to spot was their move away from the 8-bit art style. Mega Man and the enemies are much more “life-like” in this latest game. The new 3D graphics are stunning but the game still maintains the classic feel of the franchise. Mega Man 11 will feature, what seems to be, high-quality voice acting as well.

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Capcom isn’t just improving the look of their game, they’re adding some new systems as well. The trailer shows off the Double Gear system where players can use new abilities to slow time or make Mega Man stronger. However, there is a limit to the Double Gear system. Using it will cause the overheat bar to rise and if it reaches the top, players will have to wait before using Double Gear again.

Keep Your Eyes Open!

The Gigamax crew are big fans of the Mega Man series and will be keeping a close eye on any future announcements about the new release. For a little look at the previous Mega Man Capcom released in 2010, come take a look at playlist below.

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Best Improvements Coming To Battlefield V

Best Improvements Coming To Battlefield V

Battlefield is back in a spectacular way. It’s been sixteen years since Battlefield 1942 revolutionized first-person shooters and now DICE wants to shake things up once again with Battlefield V. Set in World War II, Battlefield V brings with it brand new game modes, mechanics, and systems. These changes will excite and possibly even worry some longtime Battlefield fans.

This week, DICE released the official reveal trailer for Battlefield V. Besides being visually stunning, it offered some great insight into what fans can expect in October of this year. 

Free DLC But At What Cost?

DICE officially revealed that Battlefield V DLC’s will be following a similar model to the way Overwatch handles theirs. Any and all DLC’s will be completely free for all players, no Premium Pass required. However, DICE will be relying on a steady stream of income from selling cosmetics that will not impact a players effectiveness in combat. The developer did make it clear that all the cosmetics will be able to be unlocked by playing the game as well.

New game modes – Multiplayer and Singleplayer

Eliminating paywalls isn’t the only way DICE plans on improving their latest Battlefield game. A new cooperative mode called ‘Combined Arms’ is being added. It was designed to bridge the gap between singleplayer and Battlefields in-depth multiplayer. This four-player co-op mode uses a mission generator that gives players the power to customize their experiences easily and can take place in a variety of different environments. If a mission gets out of hand, players will be forced to make a hard choice. They can either choose to keep everything they found up until that point, or push through and complete the mission which pays off in a big way.

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[Image Source: Gameinformer.com]

Operations, the new mode that made its first appearance in Battlefield 1 is returning as ‘Grand Operations”. Not only will the maps evolve throughout the game, the game modes will change throughout the duration of the battle as well.

DICE gave an example of how one of the Grand Operations will play out. Set in Rotterdam, the attacking forces will begin in an airplane and drop down behind enemy lines, tasked with taking out the Defenders long-range artillery cannons. Defenders, in AA cannons, will be targeting these troop-carrying planes. Day two is a classic Operation game mode but it’s now called Breakthrough. Day three, the map transformed into a battle-torn version of Rotterdam. This is where players can see the destruction bombing runs have left behind. If attackers are able to score a decisive victory, the battle will end on day three. The battle will progress to day four if the score is close and that will be the new Last Stand mode. Ammunition is low, vehicles are either far and few between or nonexistent. If a squad is wiped, they cannot respawn so cooperation, revives, and resupplies are essential.

New Mechanics

DICE wants to put more emphasis on squad cooperation. Players will only get a limited amount of ammo and grenades and players can’t regenerate back to full health after being shot. This will make medics and classes with ammo resupply gadgets absolutely vital. Gamers can also pick up ammo from downed enemies or regenerate health on a flag position. Resupplying at a flag point is only possible if one was constructed.

All of this could have a massive impact on the way snipers play the game. So before a sniper finds that perfect hiding spot far away from the front lines, they’ll need to either have a buddy there with supplies or go around and collect enough ammunition to hold them over. This could address those frustrating moments where it seems like there’s just no place to hide from an ace sniper in a well-fortified position.

Fortifications and Improvements To The Frostbite Engine

Speaking about fortified positions, every player will be capable of making fortifications. They will even be able to rebuild parts of broken down structures. This new mechanic isn’t just isolated to the inside of buildings, gamers can deploy sandbags out in the open, set up anti-tank obstacles, barbed wire, and even resupply centers near flag positions.

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[Image Source: Gameinformer.com]

The Frostbite Engine has been a staple of the battlefield games. Being able to destroy buildings and cover not only changes the landscape but it can also force the opposing team to change their strategy. However, in Battlefield V, DICE takes it even a step further. Now, the broken parts of buildings aren’t just rendered objects, they are actually the “real” pieces of the structure. If an artillery shell hits the outside of the building, debris will be launched inwards and vice-versa. Furthermore, pieces of a destroyed wall might even be hanging on by a thread, only to fall after a nearby explosion shakes the Earth.

Towing Weapons and Grenade Spam 

Coming to Battlefield V is the ability to move around those once stationary AA guns or the mighty .50 cal. Tanks can tow these tide-turning weapons around the combat zone, absolutely transforming how these weapons will be utilized. Repositioning these heavy-hitting weapons to where they will be most useful, either to defending important objectives or use them as a means of attack. Players can use the towed AA guns or .50 cals while attached to the tank. Tanks can fire the main gun as soldiers on the towed AA or .50 caliber guns launch a barrage of lead at the enemy. 

The issue with grenade spam is something DICE has been working to address for quite some time. Their response to this is letting players shoot grenades out of the air and if they react quick enough, throw grenades back.

Character Environment Interaction

The way characters interact and affect the environment has also been upgraded in a massive way. Not only have the graphics taken a massive step forward, the environment reacts to gamers being present in the landscape. Adding an incredible layer of realism, when players are wading or running through water, they will lift their legs higher. Soldiers can even slip when running on mud or rocks. Characters will also charge to cover will all their might, aggressively throwing and banging their bodies on the cover when running to the new position. High grass will respond to gamers movements, potentially giving away their position to the enemy.

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[Image Source: Ign.com]

Character Customization

Character customization has become incredibly popular throughout the gaming community. DICE took a good hard look at Battlefield V and invested in the trend. Gamers can now customize their soldiers head to toe. Face paint, facial features, hair, pants, upper torso, and accessories are all in play. This new mechanic will give players a chance to truly make their soldier their own. Female soldiers can also be found around the battlefield. DICE announced they are always willing to sacrifice historical accuracy for fun and having the option to choose and customize their character to their liking always makes a game more enjoyable.

There are so many impressive improvements and changes coming to Battlefield V. The Gigamax crew are all huge fans of the series and cannot wait to get their hands on DICE’s next game. The new WWII is expected to release on October 19, 2018, but if this seems like an unbearable weight, there’s always some Battlefield 1 gameplay below.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Getting Battle Royale Mode

Black Ops 4 Getting Battle Royale Mode

After a multitude of teases and consistent leaks over the past couple of weeks, Activision finally revealed their latest addition to the Call of Duty series, Black Ops 4. Like the games that have come before it, Black Ops 4 will contain a variety of new and returning game modes such as Call of Duty’s hit zombie mode. This year’s installment to the series will feature Treyarch’s take on the Battle Royale genre.

Who’s Surprised?

Currently being called, Blackout, the new mode will have players battling until there is only one left standing much like the popular games PUBG and Fortnite. Blackout sets itself apart from the aforementioned titles by relying heavily on the previous Black Ops titles. Treyarch already stated that it wants to make a Battle Royale mode in their own way and to achieve that, they added elements from the entire series into the mode.

According to the developer, the map that players will drop into is the biggest one the company has ever made and will incorporate locations from previous Black Ops games. Players will also be able to use weapons and items from every entry of the series, including the infamous RC Car. Another new twist that Treyarch is including is land, air, and sea vehicles that will randomly spawn around the map. Finally, players will be able to take control of famous names from the series like Reznov, Hudson, and Mason.

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The Reveal Continues

Activision also dropped a bunch of other details about Call of Duties: Black Ops 4 during today’s special reveal event. On top of Blackout, the developer discussed the brand new zombies campaign at length. The mode places a stronger emphasis on mystery and is set across three maps. The company mentioned that Black Ops 4 won’t have a traditional single player campaign, instead, the game will have solo missions that focus on each of its Specialist characters.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12th, which is a month earlier than the series typically releases. PC players will need to have a Battle.net account in order to buy the game as it is being exclusively sold through the service. A beta is going to be held for the game but Activision has yet to set a date for the test. Pre-ordering Black Ops 4 will gives gamers a chance to take part in the highly anticipated beta-test.

Be sure to stop by Gigamax Games in October for gameplay as the crew will surely be picking this game up if nothing else out of curiosity.

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For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

For Love of the Game: Sea of Thieves Review

Review by, William Griston – Gigamax Games Contributor 

Rare always managed to excite my imagination, starting with their entries in the Donkey Kong Franchise on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. Goldeneye, Perfect Dark, and the Highly Underrated(amongst people who haven’t played it, that is) Conker’s Bad Fur Day on the Nintendo 64. When Microsoft acquired Rare from Nintendo in the early 2000s, I was pretty disheartened. I had expected the monolithic Microsoft to utterly destroy the Rare I knew. I am sure many of you have experienced the same palpable dread from time to time when it comes to this hobby.  With Bethesda’s acquisition of id Software, those fears were proven immature with the eventual release of Doom(2016). Easily one of the best shooters I’ve played in the last decade.

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After a faltering start on both the Original Xbox and the Xbox 360, those misgivings were finally assuaged with Sea of Thieves. Sea of Thieves is a return to form for the legendary Rare. the world is brimming with soul, passion, and character. Often criticised for its’ lack of content, the much-maligned Sea of Thieves quickly endeared itself to me. I wasn’t a “day one” player like much of the initial player base, but I did get into the game shortly after it was released(about a week), and was quite enamored with the world that Rare managed to craft.

From The Beginning

Sea of Thieves offers a rather large oceanic sandbox with a plethora of well designed and unique islands to explore by yourself or with a cadre of like-minded scoundrels of the sea.

The game opens up inside a fairly nondescript tavern with a bevy of pirates for you to choose as your avatar, you can lock specific models and generate more if you so choose. After choosing your pirate, you’re greeted with a screen giving you the option of playing on a Galleon(3-4 Player Vessel) or a Sloop(1-2 Player Vessel).

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The names of the various islands and outposts have a pirate-y feel to them(Keel Haul Fort, Shark Fin Camp, Skull Keep, Tri-Rock Isle). The dearth of Ocean to explore is both a blessing and a curse, with a tailwind you can cross the map in short order. With a headwind, you’re in for a slow trek across what seems to be an endless sea pocked with little bits of adventure. The RNG factor of the Wind led my crew and me to name our vessel “The Br(e)aking Wind” because you’re never too old for fart jokes.

The weakest part of the game is definitely the PVE(Player vs Environment) aspect of the game, as you’re limited to four different kinds of radiant quests given to you from one of three factions.

The Gold Hoarders, The Merchant Alliance, and finally The Order of Souls.

I am partial to the Gold Hoarders quest line, which has the stereotypical pirate’s map with an X marks the spot mechanic as well as cryptic poems of the riddle maps which start of with something like “Crescent has riches vast, from forgotten stories in the past.”

Next is the Merchant Alliance Quests, which are in essence timed fetch quests.

Go collect 300 chickens and go to this island before a fixed amount of time has passed. I found these quests to be pretty mundane if we’re being honest.

Finally, we have the Order of Souls quests, which give you a single quest or a series of quests to find and eliminate a crew of skeletons and claim the skull of the Captain.

The faction quests are akin to the quests that you are given in Skyrim, in that they generally target islands in fairly close proximity to each other, and if you pray to RNGesus, your vessel.

Where Sea of Thieves Shines

Where the game truly shines is the PVP(Player Versus Player) aspect, assuming you can find a crew of individuals with the few things required for success in Sea of Thieves: A working mic,  ears, and a couple thumbs. Sarcasm aside, with a properly crewed and run Galleon, you can rule the seas with nary a vessel to challenge your prowess. I have had the most fun trying to hit the other vessels with a Gunpowder Barrel, or simply firing myself over in a Cannon and attempting to wreak as much havoc as I can while my shipmates send a barrage of lead. The cacophony of cannons playing a boisterous dirge for the soon to be doomed ship. Something my crew and I try to do is start off our play with a Skull fort, after which we try not to visit an outpost until someone has to log off, we find that having a belly full of loot makes the PVP that much more exciting.

You play a bit harder when you have something to lose.

The meat and potatoes of the game is definitely the sailing aspect, and you are going to be doing a lot of it. Steering the vessel is done on the poop deck with the wheel, which will turn one or two full revolutions left or right depending on whether or not you’re on a Sloop or a Galleon

On each side of the ship, there are controls to raise, lower, and rotate the sails. Which controls operate which sail are pretty obvious even to a neophyte. The main key to traversing the seas is catching the wind as much as possible, otherwise, you are in for a long voyage.

Final Thoughts

Graphically, Sea of Thieves has the best looking and most realistic water effects I’ve ever seen in a video game. The character models are cartoony and have that stylised Rare feel to them, as do much of the Islands, vessels, and buildings themselves. Assuming you’re on a PC, even on the lowest graphical settings, you’ll have a gorgeous well-designed game to play.

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If you’re looking for a sandbox pirate game with enough content to keep you going for at least a week or two at a casual pace, and you enjoy PVP interactions, you’ll love Sea of Thieves.

If a set goal with a clear road of advancement is more your speed, I’d give Sea of Thieves a pass.

Regardless, I’ll be continuing my journey.

See you on the Seas, Y’arr. This article was based upon the PC/Microsoft Store version of Sea of Thieves, and may not be applicable to the Xbox One Version in any way shape or form.

Review by: William Griston, games way more than he should, but still not enough.

Want to get involved with Gigamax Games and start contributing your own content? Find out, how!

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Bungie Plans Unprecedented FPS Mode for Destiny 2

Bungie Plans Unprecedented FPS Mode for Destiny 2

Destiny 2’s Warmind DLC is quickly approaching its release date. Many fans are already excited for what Bungie has planned for after their second expansion. The game’s publisher, Activision, is teasing players with the promise of an unprecedented mode for not just Destiny 2, but all first-person shooters in general. Although, details of this new mode will not be revealed until E3 2018.

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Activision’s Big News

This news was revealed in a post-earnings conference call with investors where Activision’s president, Cody Johnson, responded to how Bungie plans on continuing to improve the Destiny 2 experience through the rest of this year. Johnson added that the company recently invited some dedicated Destiny fans to the office to preview Warmind and their response was “very positive.” Apparently, they were not only pleased with the upcoming expansion, but with the roadmap and teased fall content as well.

Johnson was sparse on details but said that the content is “an incredibly engaging new mode–one that introduces a whole new style of play for first-person shooter gaming generally and certainly for the shared-world shooter space that Destiny created. It’s a really exciting development. It’s one of the things we think will really speak to the community when it comes out in the fall.” (https://bit.ly/2roqcJ9)

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What Will The Fans Think?

While fans are surely sitting on the edge of their seat to see what Bungie has planned, Johnson clarified the full details will not be revealed until after Warmind is released. The company is expected to make their big reveal at E3 this year, which is taking place in LA on June 12th through 14th.

All of this information is part of Bungie’s effort to help make their future content vision more visible to the community. Currently, the company laid out a roadmap that extends through the summer, but very little is known about the third expansion that is slated for this fall. The original Destiny faced some of the same criticism that Destiny 2 is receiving, while the first game made up for these mistakes with The Taken King expansion, fans are now eagerly awaiting to see if Warmind or the fall expansion will be the same saving grace.

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God of War PS4 Review – Kratos Never Looked So Good

If you were a fan of the first three God of War games or the various side stories that were released on the PSP/Vita, the latest entry in the series is a huge departure from what you’ve played before. God of War on the PS4 takes some huge risks that are all ended up being wildly successful. They highlight what a positive change bringing more maturity to a well-known game/character can do for a long-running IP. While many may be turned off by the brutal difficulty the beginning hours of the game may hold, it is important to stick with it and get comfortable with the new mechanics. With an open world, side quests, and actual character development, this is God of War like you’ve never seen it before.

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God of War Like Never Before

Fans of the series will immediately notice that the first ten minutes does more to develop Kratos as a character than any game before it. The game opens with Kratos teaching his son, Atreus, the basics of wilderness survival,  showing a side of the protagonist that many didn’t believe existed. Instead of just murdering every being in sight, age has brought some restraint to our hero, allowing the game to take an introspective look at how murdering every Greek God weighs on his conscience and how he tries to hide from his demons. That’s not to say Kratos is an open book, in fact, he’s quite the opposite, only revealing his deepest thoughts when speaking to his son and when thrown into moments that shake our previously unshaken hero to his core. God of War is absolutely packed full of these kinds of intense moments.

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This game is packed to the brim with monstrous battles. Players will not need to go far to fight their next massive foe or group of enemies. A lot of this is thanks to the new side quest system that is full of unique adventures that are as fleshed out as the optional quests in The Witcher 3. Not only do the side quests offer visual splendor, but they deliver a deeper look into the relationship between Kratos and his son, Atreus. While Kratos may seem more vulnerable emotionally, that does not make him any less of a savage.  When pitted against some of the ugliest/scariest monsters Norse mythology has to offer, the Kratos the world has grown to know and love comes out.

The New Combat System

Combat has taken a huge turn in this entry. With every swing,  dodge, and block being deliberate and a keen eye necessary to watch the move of every enemy on screen, it’s unlike anything a God of War fan has experienced. Instead of relying on the hack and slash nature of the previous titles, the new game takes a few cues from Dark Souls and puts an emphasis on proper timing, blocking, and dodging.

Every enemy now has a combat level and if pitted against an enemy above a players gear level, the fight will be next to impossible. Even enemies that are at your gear level pose a serious threat and unprepared gamers will quickly learn not to underestimate even the grunts of the fantasy army. Kratos still uses his host of unique finishing moves that will make even the most vetted God of War fans cringe as enemies literally get torn to pieces.

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As previously mentioned, gear score is a huge part of moving forward. Completing side quests, exploring, and killing strong enemies will pay out in unique material drops that can be taken to the smithy and be crafted into new armor and weapon upgrades to increase Kratos overall level. RPG fans will recognize the color-coded equipment system with white being common and orange being top tier. Unique items have interesting perks attached to them that add spectacular bonuses to Kratos while in combat. There are even a few different armor sets for Atreus even though he doesn’t have a real health bar. Instead, his equipment makes him better in the different support roles he plays.

Final Thoughts 

God of War doesn’t feel like a sequel, it feels like a perfect restructuring of a series that was quickly growing old and tired in its ideas. This game is essential for any PS4 owner and could easily be a frontrunner for game of the year. The developer took a huge risk in fundamentally changing nearly every aspect of the game but ultimately, it is exactly what the series needed. Hopefully, other reboots will learn from the success of this game and strive to reach the same level of quality.

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Radical Heights Gameplay First Impressions

Radical Heights Gameplay First Impressions

Gameplay from Boss Key Productions new Battle Royale game, Radical Heights is beginning to surface. The early access is now available for free on Steam and gamers have a lot to say about it. Boss Key Productions is a relatively new developer, founded in 2014 and their most well-known game so far was Lawbreakers. The underwhelming sales and performance of Lawbreakers has gamers uncertain whether or not Radical Heights will be able to catch the gaming world’s attention.

Gameplay from GameSpot

A Redemption Story

Lawbreakers fell flat against other hero based shooters like Overwatch or Rainbow Six Siege to name a couple. Now Radical Heights is going up against monstrous Battle Royale games this time around. Fortnite and PUBG have absolutely stole the world’s attention when it comes to the Battle Royale genre and the indie game ‘Darwin Project’ has also captured the imaginations of gamers. Huge hits like Grand Theft Auto V, Overwatch, and the Division all have or had at one time rumors circulating that they’re exploring a Battle Royale mode. Even the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 has seen its share of Battle Royale rumors. Boss Key is up against some heavy hitters and the jury is still out if Radical Heights will be able to find its own spot in this competitive genre.

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Exploring the gameplay that’s coming in, Radical Heights has some interesting features that make it stand out. The 80’s game show themed setting gives the entire game a different feel when compared to the other massively popular Battle Royale games on the market today. PUBG’s gritty shooter experience and Fortnite’s cartoony graphics don’t come close to the experience Boss Key Productions created with Radical Heights. If it’s better or worse, that still remains to be seen. However, unique is absolutely the word to describe the setting Boss Key created.

Something A Little Different 

The waiting lobby lets player race with BMX bikes, creating a little more of an interesting pre-game experience. When the match starts and gamers jump into the relatively small map, one of the first things they’ll notice is landing is a bit rougher than Fortnite or PUBG. There is no parachute and instead, the character does a classic 80’s combat roll on landing. It is yet to be seen if this will only be a feature during early access but it actually adds a bit of excitement to the game. Forgoing the parachute allows gamers to get on the ground and into the action quicker. Beyond these interesting additions, the gameplay itself stands out among the current Battle Royale environment.

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One of the most exciting features that are unlike the aforementioned Battle Royale games is the cash system. Around the map, there are cash registers and other objects that can be broken open and cash comes falling out. Players accumulate cash to buy guns and gear from vending machine-like objects located around the map. Instead of collecting all the equipment around the map, this new mechanic is an exciting feature. These vending machines have the potential to be a focal point of action and epic battles. There are still health packs and even food that can be found around the map but gear to win games will all come from the vending machines. 

Not only can people buy equipment with the cash they pick up, they can save it for later matches. Players can withdraw or deposit cash at any time during a map at one of the Cash Back machines and can also use the money they earn to purchase cosmetic items in between rounds.

Combat and Final Impressions

The combat is intense, violent, and exhilarating. Fast-paced, the game doesn’t have some of the long lulls that can be found in PUBG’s original two maps. Even though it’s in its early access, the game runs relatively smooth and seems to be put together well. The inside of buildings are a bit bare but the shooting mechanics and gunplay seemed tight and responsive.

Overall Boss Key Productions may have missed the mark with Lawbreakers but Radical Heights has a great chance of leaving a strong impression on the gaming community. Going up against international hits seems to be Boss Key Productions play and if Radical Heights hits big it could redeem the young developer.

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