assassin's creed origins

Assassin’s Creed Origins Will Add Educational Discovery Tour Mode

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The Assassin’s Creed series is known for meticulously crafted worlds based on interesting eras of history. October 27 will see the release of Assassins’ Creed Origins, based in Ancient Egypt. This week Ubisoft announced a new non-combative exploration mode called Discovery Tour, coming early 2018 as a free update.

Discovery Tour will let players explore the world of Ptolemaic Egypt with audio guided tours, completely free of combat, story, or time restraints.

“From the beginning the Assassin’s Creed franchise has always explored pivotal moments in history, from the Third Crusade to the Italian Renaissance, and this year Ancient Egypt.” said Jean Guesdon, Creative Director of Assassin’s Creed Origins. “It’s a dream come true for us to offer Discovery Tour by Assassin’s Creed: Ancient Egypt, an educational mode built specifically for people to learn more about the incredible history of Ancient Egypt through the interactive experience made possible via a video game.”

In Discovery Mode players can explore all the locations within the game, including the Nile Delta, Giza plateau, and cities of Alexandria and Memphis. The guided audio tours are curated by professional historians and Egyptologists. Each narration will focus on a different aspect of Ancient Egypt life, such as mummification or the Great Pyramids.

discovery tour

This sounds like an incredibly cool feature to create an interactive learning tool within a AAA game world. Eliminating timing, quests, and combat would allow students and adults to learn about history while enjoying walking around Ancient Egypt. Given Ubisoft’s impressive attention to historical detail in all the Assassin’s Creed games, it’s a shame it took this many games to bring us this feature.

Assassin’s Creed Origins is launching October 27 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s been rated M for Mature. The Discovery Tour mode will be added as a free update early 2018.

 

survival mode

Skyrim’s New Survival Mode Will Be Free for One Week

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Bethesda Game Studios announced a new Survival Mode for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition. If you own the Special Edition on Steam you can opt in to the beta right now. Survival Mode will be added to PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One “early next month.”

Here’s how to access the Survival Mode beta on Steam:

  1. Log into Steam.
  2. Right Click on The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition in your Library.
  3. Select Properties.
  4. Select Betas.
  5. A drop down menu will appear. Select the available beta option
  6. Select OK.
  7. Wait for the game to update.

Survival Mode will be free for one week when it launches. Then it will be added to Bethesda’s controversial paid mod program, Creation Club, which was announced earlier this year at E3.

Survival Mode adds lots of challenging new features and gameplay quirks aimed to make Skyrim play more like an open-world Survival-Crafting game, which have become popular in the last few years.

Here are a few of the major changes Survival Mode includes:

  • Hunger – You’ll need to eat food to live, or risk some nasty penalties. You’ll also need to cook food to avoid food poisoning.
  • Disease – Speaking of food poisoning, diseases are much more harsh. You’ll have to donate money at a shrine to cure them.
  • Fatigue – You need to regularly sleep in a bed or suffer numerous penalties to magicka and stamina.
  • Temperature – Skryim is generally a cold place, and that will be reflected in this new mode. You can die from exposure. Campfires become your lifeline.
  • Fast Travel – Disabled. Pay for carriages and boats, or get a horse. Long journeys will leave you fatigued.
  • Health Regen – Disabled. Need food, potions, and spells to gain health.
  • Leveling – You’ll need to sleep in a bed to level up, as in The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
  • Carry Weight – This one hurts. Carry weight has been significantly reduced, and encumbrance will cause fatigue.

The one bright spot in this harsh new mode – vampires and werewolves can feed on victims to restore hunger, and are more resistant to the cold weather. Embrace your dark side!

The Creation Club has been met with some harsh criticisms from the large Skyrim and Fallout fanbase. It’s a way for Bethesda to host mods on their website rather than the Steam Workshop, and make sure all mods are compatible, localized, and (mostly) bug-free. But mods have traditionally been purely community driven and curated, with the best modders often receiveing donations or even setting up Patreon accounts.

Much of what this Survival Mode adds can be found in an old mod called Frostfall, for example.

Skyrim Survival Mode is set to launch in Early October. Grab it while it’s free in the first week.

 

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Reaches 10 Million Sold

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Every year brings another runaway indie success story. Last year was Stardew Valley, but this year it’s unquestionably PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. The online multiplayer Battle Royale may be a mouthful to say but it has resonated with gamers. It has sold over 10 million units since it first launched via Steam Early Access in March.

That’s right, it’s still not technically released yet.

“It is amazing and gratifying to see the love and support the passionate fans have shown to PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” stated Chang Han Kim, Vice President and Executive Producer for Bluehole. “Watching the thrilling moments during the PUBG Invitational with the great feedback from viewers is a realization of the continuing popularity of PUBG. Our team is working diligently to bring a solid gameplay experience for full launch on the PC and Xbox One Game Preview versions later this year.”

Recently PUBG hit a peak for concurrent users at over 970,000 during the PUBG Invitational event at Gamescom. The Invitational featured 92 players from 19 different countries. Players competed in four different game modes including solo and duo. Viewership on Twitch.tv reached over 500,000.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds drops up to 100 players onto an 8 x 8 km island where they must scavenge for supplies, weapons, and vehicles. The only goal is to be the last person standing. Circled zones force people to move into tighter areas and promote conflict. The online game has been especially popular for live streamers.

Currently PUBG is only available via Steam Early Access. It’s coming later this year to Xbox One as part of their Game Preview program. PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds is set to officially launch in early 2018 on Xbox One, and later this year on PC.

PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been rated M for Mature for Intense Violence, Blood, and Gore.

 

life is strange

Square Enix Announces Life Is Strange Mental Health Campaign

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The first prequel episode to adventure series Life is Strange, Before the Storm, launches tomorrow on August 31. Square Enix is timing its arrival with a fund-raising campaign on social media called “Your Friend, Me.” The campaign celebrates the importance and strength of teenage friendship, which is the focus of the Life Is Strange episodes.

Life Is Strange fans are encouraged to post supportive video messages about friendship, as if sending that message directly to a friend who has impacted them. Shared videos should use the hashtags #LifeisStrange and #YourFriendMe. For every video done in this way, Square Enix has pledged to donate $5 (up to $25,000) to The Jed Foundation.

“We are grateful to Square Enix for helping to raise awareness for mental health and JED’s work,” said John MacPhee, CEO at JED. “We all encounter life’s challenges and support from friends can help us get through those difficult times. ‘Your Friend, Me’ is a wonderful way for people to share their story and express their genuine appreciation for a friend, all while spreading a positive message and helping to make a charitable contribution to JED.”

The Jed Foundation is a non-profit that works to prevent teenage suicide and protect and foster the mental health of teens and young adults.

The Your Friend, Me campaign kicked off at the GameStop 2017 Expo in Las Vegas on Sunday, August 27. Square Enix provided video booths where attendees could create and submit their videos.

Life Is Strange: Before the Storm is a three-episode prequel to 2015’s Life Is Strange, starring 16-year old Chloe. The first episode launches August 31 for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. No release date has yet been announced for episodes two and three. The episodes are rated M for Mature.