anthem

Sign Up for the Anthem Closed Alpha

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If you’re excited about BioWare’s upcoming Destiny-with-Mechs online co-op game Anthem, you could be among the first to play it next weekend. EA and BioWare are offering a limited Closed Alpha test that will run the weekend of Dec. 8-9. Sign ups close Monday, December 3, however, and it’s on a first come basis.

The Anthem Closed Alpha will be available for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It will require PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold memberships to play on those platforms. It’s limited to 18 and older, and you can only sign up for one platform.

The Closed Alpha will also require an EA Account, and the signing of a Non-Disclosure Agreement. That means anyone playing the Closed Alpha will be not be able to share their thoughts, screenshots, or video streams. The Alpha is primarily to test sever loads and provide feedback directly to EA and BioWare via a private forum.

How to sign up:

  • Head to the EA Community Playtesting site.
  • Sign in with your EA Account.
  • Choose your platform and time. Once your choices are completed, click Submit.
  • Signing up does not guarantee you’ll be invited to take part, it’s on a first come first served basis.
  • If you’re in, you’ll see a confirmation on the Community Playtesting site and you’ll get an email from us letting you know how to download the Anthem Closed Alpha game client. You will be able to pre-load the Alpha before the test time.

Anthem is the latest game from the Dragon Age and Mass Effect developer BioWare. BioWare is known for making blockbuster RPGs. Anthem represents a departure as an online multiplayer action-RPG. Players take on the role of Freelancers who have access to Javelins, powerful mech suits that are used to combat threats on the alien planet. The co-op action gameplay has been closely compared to Activision and Bungie’s Destiny series.

Anthem was officially announced at E3 2017, with a tentative release date of Q4 2018. It has since been delayed to the new launch date of February 22, 2019. It has not yet been rated.

lego movie 2

The LEGO Movie 2 Game Launching with the Film in 2019

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WB Games and TT Games have announced an official video game adaptation of the upcoming sequel, The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part. The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame will launch on Feb. 26, 2019 on PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Switch (physical Switch version on 3/26/19). The film is out Feb. 8, 2019.

While the game will be based on events from The LEGO Movie 2, it will feature characters and events from the original LEGO movie as well. Over 100 characters will be playable from both movies. Budding Master Builders will be able to rebuild Brickburg, changing the landscape and rebuilding roads and structures. Building special LEGO objects will unlock new areas and rewards.

“Packed with fan-favorite and exciting new characters, mysterious locations and action from both the sequel and the original blockbuster The LEGO Movie, The LEGO Movie 2 Videogame is a wild adventure for kids to explore,” said Arthur Parsons, TT Games Studios.

The LEGO Movie 2 (not yet rated) reunites the cast of Chris Pratt (Emmet), Elizabeth Banks (Lucy/Wyldstyle), and Will Arnett (scene-stealing LEGO Batman). It takes place five years after they saved their world from Lord Business (Will Ferrell). Now LEGO Duplo have invaded Brickburg. The heroes will have to travel to far off worlds to save their own.

The video game sequel has not yet been rated by the ESRB. The original was rated E10+ for Cartoon Violence and Comic Mischief. The original The LEGO Movie was rated PG.

Red Dead Redemption 2

Red Dead Online Beta Saddlin’ Up This Week

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A major part of Red Dead Redemption 2 is the multiplayer component, called Red Dead Online. Like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar Games had delayed the multiplayer until about a month after launch. Now we know the details of how the beta will roll out this week.

This week Red Dead Online will first be available in beta form to those who purchased the Ultimate Edition of Red Dead Redemption 2 on Tuesday, November 27, at 8:30 am Eastern/11:30 am Pacific.

On Wednesday, Nov. 28, the beta will open up to everyone who played Red Dead Redemption 2 on launch day (Oct. 26). After that, anyone who played within the first three days of release (through Oct. 29) can join in beginning on Thursday, Nov. 29.

The beta will fully open to everyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2 on Friday, Nov. 30.

This staggered roll out allows Rockstar to steadily increase the server load over the week, though if history is any indication, expect large server woes to accompany your multiplayer cowboy sojourns. As per the official online beta description, “As with most online experiences of this size and scale, there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch. We look forward to working with our amazing and dedicated community to share ideas, help us fix teething problems and work with us to develop Red Dead Online into something really fun and innovative.”

Red Dead Online is freely available to anyone who owns Red Dead Redemption 2 – though you’ll still need either PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold to play online.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is available now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It’s rated M for Mature.

black friday

Black Friday Gaming Deals 2018

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Black Friday has become a bit of a misnomer, as the formerly one-day sale event has not only extended though the weekend, but now into Thanksgiving week itself. The gaming sales are some of the best you”ll find all year.

Arm yourself with which games to go after from our Holiday Gift Guide, then check below for the best deals from publishers and retailers.

Note that most sales run through the weekend and include Cyber Monday. Also note that we’re skipping an Amazon section with the caveat that you should always check Amazon for everything you’re interested in, in case it’s on a timed Lightning Deal.

 

GameStop

GameStop is offering a $50 Gift Card when purchasing new consoles. That includes Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 (though not the spiffy new PS4 Spider-Man bundle).

You can get some crazy good deals on games, even recent games that just released earlier this year, like God of War ($17), Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($27), and Starlink: Battle for Atlas ($39).

If you want to clean up on older titles, you can take advantage of their Buy 2 Get 1 Free sale on last gen used games, including Wii U, 3DS, and Xbox 360.

If you want to avoid the crowds, you can get Free Shipping on orders over $35.

Nintendo Switch

There are a number of Switch bundles to choose from, including Diablo 3, Pokémon Let’s Go, and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, though none of them save you any money, save one. The Mario Kart Switch bundle may be one of the single hottest selling items this holiday season, as it includes a fantastic game (Mario Kart 8) for the same price as a Switch. You can find it at Target, Best Buy, Warlmart, GameStop, and Amazon.

A nice 2DS deal is also available that includes Super Mario Maker for $80. It plays all 3DS games, which is an amazing library, though Nintendo has all but discontinued it with the Switch’s arrival.

The Nintendo eShop has a nice sale though next Wednesday (11/28) if you’re looking to clean up on Switch games, especially indie games. Skyrim ($30), Monster Hunter Generations Ultimate ($44), Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle ($24), and Valkyria Chronicles 4 ($30) are among the best deals.

Sony PlayStation

If you’re looking to get a regular PlayStation 4, the Spider-Man bundle is the best deal around ($200), and you’ll find it at most retailers, and could easily be the second hottest holiday gaming item after the Switch Mario Kart bundle.

If you have a PS4 this may also be a good year for jumping into VR with the PlayStation VR Bundle, which includes two of the best VR games, Astro Bot and Moss, for $200.

If you play games online you’ll want to take advantage of the sale on a year’s worth of PlayStation Plus, currently just $40, a $20 savings.

You’ll find plenty of deals on games on the PlayStation Store as well, though none quite as impressive as GameStop’s so far.

spider-man

Microsoft Xbox One

The Minecraft bundle is a solid gift for younger gamers, and comes in at the very attractive price of $200. Microsoft is heavily invested in its Game Pass program, a sort of Netflix for games, and you can one month’s worth for only $1. The Game Pass sale actually lasts throughout the end of the year, making it a no-brainer for anyone getting an Xbox One this holiday season.

You can save up to 65% on Xbox Games in the Windows 10 and Xbox stores, and Xbox Live Gold members can save an additional 10%.

Steam

PC gamers always have Steam to rely on for regular seasonal sales. The Steam Autumn Sale runs through next Tuesday (11/27). Find deals on ARK: Survival Evolved ($20), Monster Hunter World ($40), Divinity: Original Sin 2 ($30), Civilization VI ($18), and Dragon Quest 11 ($41) just to name some highlights.

EA

Electronic Arts hasn’t had a great year, especially if you don’t really care about sports games. You can find deals on Madden, FIFA, Star Wars Battlefront 2 and The Sims 4. Titanfall 2 maybe be the best deal here, at 75% off ($5) on Origin.

Ubisoft

Recent Ubisoft releases like Far Cry 5 ($20) and Assassin’s Creed Odyssey ($40) are all on sale for Black Friday. If you purchase directly through the Ubisoft store and spend at least $40, they’ll throw in Rayman Legends for free. Other good deals include Assassin’s Creed Origins ($16), and The Division ($12).

Activision Blizzard

If online PC gaming is your jam, look no further than Overwatch ($15), World of Warcraft ($40), Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 ($48), and Destiny 2: Forsaken ($30), all on sale for Black Friday until Nov. 26.

Good hunting!