dauntless

Dauntless Welcomes Half a Million New Players On Launch Day

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Phoenix Labs announced that over half a million new players joined up to hunt monsters in the Shattered Isles in the first 24 hours of Dauntless’ release on May 21. This brings the total number of players for the free-to-play monster hunting game to over four million worldwide, following a year-long stint in beta. Those numbers equate to over 2 million hours played and 3 million hunts.

Dauntless is a free-to-play co-op action-RPG. Players take on the role of slayers to join forces and hunt large monsters, known as behemoths, choosing from several different weapon styles. The free-to-play game is supported by seasonal hunt passes, which can be purchased to unlock a seasonal progression system full of cosmetic items. If this sounds like a cross between Fortnite and Monster Hunter, you’re on the right track.

One of Dauntless’ biggest perks is cross-platform and cross-progression between PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. The developers refer to it as One Dauntless. By linking an Epic Games account you can play with anyone on any platform, and your progress and characters will carry over between devices.

“After a year in Open Beta and a ton of great feedback from over 3 million Dauntless players, we’re proud to bring our game to console and expand our PC audience through the Epic Games store,” said Jesse Houston, CEO and Co-founder, Phoenix Labs. “When we first started talking about ‘One Dauntless,’ we knew it was a truly audacious goal. No one has ever launched on console with full cross-play support from the start, but we believed in our vision and, thankfully, our friends at Epic Games, Sony, and Microsoft did too. Keeping the community connected is one of our top priorities, and with all the new players coming in at launch, there’s never been a better time to be a Slayer in Dauntless.”

Dauntless is available for free on PC (Epic Games Store), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s also coming later to Switch and mobile devices.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Adds Challenging New Critical Mode

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Kingdom Hearts 3 received a free update today that adds a challenging new difficulty setting called Critical Mode.

Critical Mode makes two simple but, well, critical changes. Sora’s maximum HP and MP are halved, and the frequency with which situation commands and unity attacks pop up is much lower. On the plus side, enabling Critical Mode opens up exclusive new moves that Sora can unleash.

The Critical Mode update also now allows players to carry over their hard-earned late-game keyblades into a new game. When starting a new game, keyblades will revert back to their starting power level. But you’ll be able to wield many keyblades much earlier than normal.

One of our chief complaints about Kingdom Hearts 3 was how simplistic and easy the combat was. We’re not sure if halving Sora’s stats and reducing the powerful situational moves will improve the gameplay, but we’re always glad to see more options.

Kingdom Hearts 3 is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s rated E10+.

the game awards

Team Up with the Avengers in Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 this Summer

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Marvel has revealed the release date for Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order. The cooperative action game will be out exclusively on Nintendo Switch on July 19.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 stars a large roster of Marvel heroes, including all of the current MCU Avengers (Iron Man, Hulk, Black Panther, the Guardians of the Galaxy, etc) as well as additional popular Marvel comics heroes like Deadpool, Wolverine, and Spider-Gwen.

The story is based around Thanos and The Black Order, first introduced in the films in Avengers: Infinity War. The heroes team up to race around the universe to gather the Infinity Stones before Thanos can get his hands on them.

“Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order brings gamers and Marvel fans together in a new action RPG exclusive to Nintendo Switch,” said Nick Chavez, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Nintendo of America. “With a huge cast of Super Heroes to choose from, assembling your ultimate team, strategically combining skills to unleash powerful attacks, and preventing galactic devastation with friends has never been more fun or immersive.”

The Black Order is the first Marvel Ultimate Alliance game in over  a decade. Marvel Ultimate Alliance 2 released in 2009 on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The co-op action-RPG series features arcade-like gameplay as players assemble four-player teams, level up, and combine powerful abilities.

The game will feature 4 player multiplayer both locally and online (Nintendo Switch Online membership required for online play).

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order is coming exclusively to Switch on July 19. It’s rated T for Teen.

gog

GOG Welcomes the Lord of Terror with Diablo Rerelease

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Digital PC game store GOG added a seminal classic of PC gaming to its library: 1996’s Diablo. For the first time you can now purchase Diablo outside of Blizzard (or retail), for $9.99. It does not include the 1997 Hellfire expansion, which was released by a different company.

Like many of GOG’s rereleases, Diablo has been closely preserved to its original release, with 20 FPS SVGA graphics. Up to four players can journey beneath Tristram together through direct IP connection or the older version of Blizzard’s Battle.net multiplayer lobby. Note that playing online requires opening up ports and your firewall as Diablo predates modern online safeguards.

A few tweaks and updates have been included to support modern PCs, including Win 10 support and proper upscaling for higher resolutions.

While not the first dungeon crawling loot fest, Diablo is often considered the grandfather of the entire genre. Play a warrior, rogue, or sorcerer and explore randomly generated dungeons, fight monsters, and nab loot. Diablo was a huge success that begat an entire genre of co-op hack ‘n slash games that persists to this day.

Diablo was the most requested game on GOG. To this day it’s often voted as one of the best and most influential games of all time. Though its gameplay hasn’t aged quite as well, with clunky controls and muddy graphics. Diabl0 2, released in 2000, was a massive improvement in every way, and is even more highly regarded. Diablo 2 is currently available via Blizzard’s store.

Diablo represents the first of several classic Blizzard games that will make their way onto GOG. The partnership is due to the fact that these games’ older infrastructure prevent them from being sold and played via Blizzard’s modern Battle.net digital storefront. Blizzard’s solution is to remake them, such as with 2017’s StarCraft Remastered and WarCraft 3 Reforged, coming later this year. The original Warcraft 1 and 2 will be coming to GOG as well.

Diablo is rated M for Mature.