the division 2

Play Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 Open Beta Next Month

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Ubisoft is hosting an open beta for upcoming sequel Tom Clancy’s The Division 2. The open beta, meaning anyone can download and play for free, will run the weekend of March 1 through March 4. It will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.

The Division 2 is set several months after the events of the first game, in which a deadly epidemic has ravaged much of the world. Players once again take on the role of elite international humanitarian agents known as The Division.

This time the action shifts from New York City to Washington D.C., where the agents work to take back control of the nation’s capital.

“Building upon more than two years of listening to and learning from The Division community, Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 will offer a substantial campaign that organically flows into a robust endgame, to create a cohesive and meaningful experience for all types of players,” states the official press release.

The Division series are shared-world online multiplayer shooter-RPGs (whew). Agents form squads, take on missions, explore a post-apocalyptic city, hunt for loot, level up, and even hunt other players in specific PvP zones. The Division became Ubisoft’s best-selling game when it launched in 2016. Over the years Ubisoft and developer Massive Entertainment have provided numerous well-received updates and expansions.

The Division 2 is set to release on March 15 on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s available to pre-order in Standard, Gold, and Ultimate Editions, as well as two Collector’s Editions. It’s rated M for Mature.

monster boy

Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom Review

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Available On: PC, PlayStation 4, Switch, Xbox One

Nostalgia for the action-platformers of the 80s and 90s have helped fuel the modern indie game industry, from spiritual successors to direct recreations. Monster Boy and the Cursed Kingdom is a modern take on the old and underrated Wonder Boy series.

The first new Wonder Boy game since 1994 has been given an astonishing overhaul, with gorgeous hand-drawn animations, a bombastic musical score, and a lengthy campaign that hits every checkbox of regional themes. Unfortunately it also dregs up some of the more unforgiving challenges and obtuse puzzle designs of that era, holding back an otherwise fantastic original entry.

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apex legends

Apex Legends Hits 10 Million Players

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Last week EA and Respawn Entertainment surprised everyone by announcing, and immediately releasing, a fully-formed battle royale-style multiplayer shooter based on the Titanfall series.

In the week since, Apex Legends has become a smash hit. After only 72 hours, Respawn Entertainment declared that over 10 million players had played the game, including 1 million players logged in at the same time.

“This has been a truly incredible journey. We knew it would be risky to take the franchise in this direction, to go free to play, and do a surprise launch. But we fell in love with Apex Legends and wanted, needed, other people to play it too,” says Vince Zampella, co-founder, Respawn Entertainment.  “From all of us at Respawn, thank you for giving us and Apex Legends a chance. Thank you for joining us on this journey.”

The elephant in the room is comparing Apex Legends’ explosive success to Fortnite’s currently huge popularity in the genre. In fact, it took Fortnite about two weeks to hit the same number of players.

EA and Respawn utilized a modern approach to marketing: live streams and influencers. This strategy paid off with a genre that lives and dies by its popularity. Some of the most popular streamers, such as Ninja and Dr. Disrespect, have completely switched from Fortnite to Apex Legends. And it helps that the game is quite good.

Interestingly, Apex Legends has gained popularity with Twitch audiences, yet Fortnite’s have not decreased. This suggests that Apex Legends may be bringing more newcomers into the genre instead of poaching Fortnite fans.

Apex Legends still has a long way to go before it can challenge Fortnite’s 200 million-strong players for king of the battle royale genre.

Apex Legends is available for free, with optional in-game purchases, on PC (Origin), PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It’s rated T for Teen for Blood and Violence.

lego marvel collection

LEGO Marvel Collection Assembles Three Marvel LEGO Games

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Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games, along with The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment, have announced the LEGO Marvel Collection. This new compilation combines three Marvel LEGO video games in one package: LEGO Marvel Super Heroes (2013), LEGO Marvel’s Avengers (2016), and LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 (2017), as well as all their DLC.

LEGO Marvel Collection will be available for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on March 12.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is the bestselling LEGO game, and that’s really saying something. It released on both last gen and current gen consoles in 2013 and featured over 150 characters from all over the Marvel universe. The story centered on the world-destroying Galactus coming to Earth, prompting heroes and villains to team up and work together.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes is also notable for including the full Marvel comics roster, including the X-Men and Fantastic Four. More recent Marvel games tend to focus squarely on the Avengers from the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

LEGO Marvel’s Avengers was a more focused game that directly retold the events of the first two Avengers movies and many MCU films, starring the heroes and villains from those films.

LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2 is a middle-ground between the two others, offering an expanded roster but still neglecting many characters outside of Marvel’s cinematic cope (like the X-Men and Fantastic Four). The gameplay is top notch, featuring an exciting hub world that includes multiple worlds, eras, and dimensions thanks to an invasion by the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror. The lengthy campaign is written by comic scribe Kurt Busiek.

The sequel also received a constant stream of movie and TV tie-in DLC, including Black Panther, Runaways, and Avengers: Infinity War.

The LEGO Marvel Collection will launch on March 12 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. All three games are rated E10+.