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eSports

Riot’s “current thinking” is to not have agent bans in VALORANT

A pick and ban system won’t enter the tactical shooter anytime soon.


It looks like nothing can stop you from picking your favorite VALORANT agent—unless it’s your teammate.

VALORANT senior game designer Trevor Romleski discussed the possibility of a pick and ban system in today’s blog post. While Riot has considered a “draft phase for agents,” it appears the developers will stray away from a ban system for the time being.

“We expect teams to have set plays and strategies that will require very specific agents,” Romleski said. “Banning an agent would invalidate that entire strategy, and we don’t want to discourage practice.”

The Riot dev explained that a ban system often removes a player’s “star agent,” impeding them from showing off the skills they’ve cultivated from practice.

To ensure that a ban phase isn’t necessary, Riot is holding itself accountable to creating a balanced and healthy meta. This would mean that no “agent-facilitated strategy” emerges from having a character that’s overpowered or oppressive.

Since VALORANT is home to 11 unique agents, even banning two of them could adversely affect a match. Players who main a specific agent would be forced to use an uncomfortable pick and underperform.

But Riot has plans to release “about six agents a year,” which means the roster could potentially double in two years. While that’s not as many as League of Legends’ 148 champions, banning might be a future consideration to maintain balance.

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Nintendo

Switch Eshop Credit Is Up For Grabs In Nintendo's Next Splatoon 2 Tournament

Nintendo is hosting another competition in its colorful Switch shooter Splatoon 2 later this month. The Turf War July 2020 tournament kicks off on Saturday, July 18, and the prize is $25 USD in My Nintendo Gold points.

Every member of the winning team will take home 2,500 My Nintendo Gold points, which can either be redeemed for rewards on the My Nintendo website or used as credit toward select games and DLC on the Switch Eshop. The tournament is open to players in North America, and each match will be contested in Turf War.

Registration is open now until July 18, 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. To enter, you and your teammates will need to create an account on Battlefy. You can read the full rules for the Turf War July 2020 tournament here.

Although Splatoon 2 is no longer receiving content updates, Nintendo continues to periodically release patches for the game. The company recently rolled out the version 5.2.2 update, which resolved two exploits–including one that allowed players to reach the opposing team’s spawn point in Starfish Mainstage–but didn’t make any other balance adjustments. You can read the patch notes on Nintendo’s support website.

In other Switch news, Tetris 99 is kicking off its next in-game competition this week. The game’s 14th Maximus Cup takes place from July 3-6, and everyone who amasses at least 100 points during the competition will unlock a cool Xenoblade Chronicles theme.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

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PC

The New Trackmania Is Out Today, Here's Some Details On Its Complex Subscription Model

The newest entry in the Trackmania series is officially out today on PC at the Epic Games Store and the Ubisoft Store. The game was previously delayed due to the outbreak of coronavirus. As a remake of the highly-regarded free Trackmania Nations, fan interest is running high for this new game, titled simply Trackmania. However, some in the community are expressing concerns and confusion about its three-tiered subscription model.

As shown by the rather complex diagram below, the three tiers of the new Trackmania are Starter Access, Standard Access, and Club Access. Standard Access and Club Access are each a subscription of $10 and $30 a year respectively, while Starter Access is free. Essentially, Starter Access allows players to sample 25 of the game’s pre-made tracks, while Standard Access unlocks daily competitions, the Track of the Day, player creation servers, and the track editor. Club Access grants players the ability to create their own custom servers, participate in online rooms, and compete in the official Trackmania leagues.

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/4Xrf5kz7Klc

Given that previous Trackmania games revolved so heavily around user-created content, it would appear that the Club Access is key to enjoying the game to its fullest, especially if you plan on hosting your own server with your friends. However, if you’re just trying to sample what Trackmania has to offer, both the Starter and Standard Access might help you get your bearings.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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News

Arcano Is A Co-Op VR Shooter Inspired By Robo Recall

It’s a bit of a crime that Epic Games’ Robo Recall never got a sequel. Arcano looks like it could fill that void, though.

Developed by Neuston, Arcano is a co-op focused VR shooter due out later this year. In the game, you take on the role of an elite agent and fight your way through missions either in solo play or with a friend. Take a look at some pre-alpha footage below (and take note that the grey box environments are not actually going to be used in the final game).

It might be early days but Arcano already shows a promising degree of polish. You can see a lot of Robo Recall in the gun combat; bullets fly at you in highlighted rings to make them easier to dodge or block with your handgun, and there are slow-motion grenade explosions to boot. Plus there’s other elements like climbing walls and flying drones (Neuston was tellingly behind Drone Hero from 2017) to add some variety.

The game is produced by Jonas Johansson, who worked as a senior programmer on the Crysis trilogy at Crytek and on Just Cause 2 at Avalanche. Speaking to Upload, Johansson explained that Arcano will offer a base package with introductory elements like a shooting range free of charge. Missions will be available to buy.

“Then, as an agent hired by Arcano, you’re given these over the top missions, and this is what the game is all about,” he explained. “Sneak into a building and hack a computer, hang from under a helicopter in mid-air, etc. The missions are designed from the ground up for co-op, and they’re best played with a friend (although you don’t have to).”

Arcano is aiming to arrive on SteamVR in December. For now, you can keep up with the game on a Discord channel.

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PC

GOG Is Giving Away Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies For Limited Time

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of our most anticipated games of 2020, but due to the latest delay, it’s going to release near the end of the year. Cyberpunk 2077 will now release November 19, and if you’re feeling sad about the recent delay, GOG has some free stuff to make you feel a little better.

From now until July 4, you can claim the Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies Collection for free on GOG’s homepage. The Goodies Collection includes both previously released Cyberpunk 2077 content as well as never-before-seen items. The bundle gets you printable posters, digital wallpapers, gang graffiti, and steelbook art. You’ll also get detailed screenshots and weapon blueprints for the upcoming game.

If you still need to pre-order Cyberpunk 2077, one of GOG’s best deals is back as well. The Ultimate Red Collection bundles Cyberpunk 2077 with copies of every Witcher game for $87.77. You’ll receive Cyberpunk 2077’s general pre-order bonuses along with GOG’s exclusive bonuses, and for a limited time, you’ll also receive discount codes for merch at the CDPR merch store, Jinx, and Dark Horse / Things From Another World. Here’s everything the bundle gets you:

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (pre-order)
    • DRM-free PC copy of Cyberpunk 2077
    • Game soundtrack
    • Digital art booklet
    • Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook
    • Desktop and mobile wallpapers
    • GOG exclusive: Print-quality Cyberpunk 2077 posters
    • GOG exclusive: Exclusive digital booklet about the game
    • GOG exclusive: Additional set of wallpapers and avatars
    • Limited-time pre-order bonus (ends July 4): Discounts on official merchandise
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – GOTY Edition
  • Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition
  • The Witcher – Enhanced Edition
  • The Witcher Adventure Game
  • While many of these games are already on sale separately–The Witcher 3 is currently down to $15–this is still a great bundle if you’ve been looking to play The Witcher series on PC, especially considering how much you’d pay for these individual games elsewhere.

    If you’re not interested in the Witcher games but know you’ll be playing Cyberpunk 2077 on day one, you can, of course, pre-order the game on its own at GOG. You’ll still get the exclusive pre-order bonuses on top of the general ones, and you’ll get the merch discount codes as well (if you pre-order before July 4). See our full Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order guide for more information on the game’s special edition, collectible figures, and more.

    Best Deals This Week

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    Source: Read Full Article

Categories
Mobile

NBA 2K21 Cover Star Is Blazers' Damian Lillard

Although the details involving NBA 2K21 largely remain a mystery, one piece of information has now been revealed. NBA 2K21’s cover star will be Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard.

The news was shared by NBA reporter Shams Charania as part of an interview with Lillard himself. You can check out the cover, as revealed by Charania, below, along with the interview.

It looks as though Lillard will be on the cover of the standard edition of the game, but we know 2K21 will have three cover stars. In recent years, alternate players would be placed on the covers of the game’s special edition and international-themed editions.

“It means a lot,” Lillard said. It’s one of those things like a signature shoe, not just anybody gets it. … Every time I come across a game that is my favorite year of a game, the way that you recognize it is by–AI was on the cover, or Kobe was on that cover.”

Lillard was in the midst of arguably his best season before the NBA shut things down in March, although the Blazers were likely to miss the playoffs due in no small part to injuries.

Given the uncertainty surrounding the NBA season due to COVID-19, it’s unclear what impact there might be on the NBA 2K21. A release date has not yet been announced, but a new 2K game typically is released in October, near the start of the upcoming season. With the current NBA season–which would normally be over by now–only set to resume at the end of July, a start date has not been locked in for the 2020-21 season.

Among other platforms, NBA 2K21 is headed to PS5 and Xbox Series X. A video teaser of 2K21 on PS5 was recently revealed, showcasing some stunning visuals–albeit without showing us any typical gameplay.

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PC

Ubisoft Is Reworking How It Deals With Employee Complaints After Multiple Allegations

Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot sent a memo to employees detailing how the company plans to rework its “solutions and tools [that] detect, report, and resolve any incident or serious problem” after numerous allegations against Ubisoft workers have come to light.

“I have gathered all of my direct reports to address this subject and your feedback,” Guillemot wrote in a memo originally reported on by Business Insider. “I would like us to thoroughly review all of our systems so that these types of situations cannot happen again.”

Guillemot didn’t specifically mention sexual harassment in the memo despite Ubisoft being at the center of many allegations over the last week. The company suspended vice presidents Tommy François and Maxime Béland after an internal investigation into several claims of misconduct according to a Bloomberg report. The two were responsible for overseeing worldwide development of the studio’s games.

Ubisoft has been under heavy fire following a number of victims who have reported misconduct by the studio’s employees. Product and brand marketing manager Andrien Gbinigie was accused of sexual assault on June 22, which Gbinigie denied in a now-removed Medium post. This was followed by Assassin’s Creed Valhalla creative director Ashraf Ismail leaving Ubisoft on June 24 in the wake of accusations of infidelity.

“We have started by launching investigations into the allegations with the support of specialized external consultants,” the studio said in a statement on June 25. “Based on the outcomes, we are fully committed to taking any and all appropriate disciplinary action. As these investigations are ongoing, we can’t comment further. We are also auditing our existing policies, processes, and systems to understand where these have broken down, and to ensure we can better prevent, detect, and punish inappropriate behavior.”

Guillemot said that he will “personally follow each of the situations that have been reported” and that he “won’t accept anything less” than a welcoming and respectful company culture and environment.

GameSpot may get a commission from retail offers.

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Categories
PC

GOG Is Offering Free Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies For Limited Time

Cyberpunk 2077 is one of our most anticipated games of 2020, but due to the latest delay, it’s going to release near the end of the year. Cyberpunk 2077 will now release November 19, and if you’re feeling sad about the recent delay, GOG has some free stuff to make you feel a little better.

From now until July 4, you can claim the Cyberpunk 2077 Goodies Collection for free on GOG’s homepage. The Goodies Collection includes both previously released Cyberpunk 2077 content as well as never-before-seen items. The bundle gets you printable posters, digital wallpapers, gang graffiti, and steelbook art. You’ll also get detailed screenshots and weapon blueprints for the upcoming game.

If you still need to pre-order Cyberpunk 2077, one of GOG’s best deals is back as well. The Ultimate Red Collection bundles Cyberpunk 2077 with copies of every Witcher game for $87.77. You’ll receive Cyberpunk 2077’s general pre-order bonuses along with GOG’s exclusive bonuses, and for a limited time, you’ll also receive discount codes for merch at the CDPR merch store, Jinx, and Dark Horse / Things From Another World. Here’s everything the bundle gets you:

  • Cyberpunk 2077 (pre-order)
    • DRM-free PC copy of Cyberpunk 2077
    • Game soundtrack
    • Digital art booklet
    • Cyberpunk 2020 sourcebook
    • Desktop and mobile wallpapers
    • GOG exclusive: Print-quality Cyberpunk 2077 posters
    • GOG exclusive: Exclusive digital booklet about the game
    • GOG exclusive: Additional set of wallpapers and avatars
    • Limited-time pre-order bonus (ends July 4): Discounts on official merchandise
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – GOTY Edition
  • Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales
  • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings – Enhanced Edition
  • The Witcher – Enhanced Edition
  • The Witcher Adventure Game
  • While many of these games are already on sale separately–The Witcher 3 is currently down to $15–this is still a great bundle if you’ve been looking to play The Witcher series on PC, especially considering how much you’d pay for these individual games elsewhere.

    If you’re not interested in the Witcher games but know you’ll be playing Cyberpunk 2077 on day one, you can, of course, pre-order the game on its own at GOG. You’ll still get the exclusive pre-order bonuses on top of the general ones, and you’ll get the merch discount codes as well (if you pre-order before July 4). See our full Cyberpunk 2077 pre-order guide for more information on the game’s special edition, collectible figures, and more.

    Best Deals This Week

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    • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
    • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
    • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

    Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

Steam Summer Sale 2020 Is Live With Skyrim, Doom, GTA 5, And More

Summer is always a busy time for deals, and while huge sales from Nintendo, Xbox, and PlayStation have already ended, one of the season’s biggest gaming sales just launched. Every June, Steam users look forward to an absolute truckload of PC games going on sale as part of the platform’s annual Summer Sale, and the time has finally come: Steam Summer Sale 2020 is live now, as predicted by a developer at SteamDB back in May. The sale includes major discounts on a ton of great games, including Rainbow Six Siege, Disco Elysium, Skyrim, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Grand Theft Auto V, and Terraria. It’s one of the best times of the year to bulk up your game library. Don’t miss it if there are any titles you’ve been looking to snag.

Steam Summer Sale 2020 dates and times

Steam Summer Sale 2020 kicked off Thursday, June 25, and will run until July 9, ending at 10 PM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM BST.

Steam Summer Sale 2020’s best deals

As usual, literally thousands of games are seeing major markdowns across nearly every genre, from first-person shooters and action-adventure games to city-building games, horror games, and more. See our full roundup of Steam Summer Sale 2020’s best game deals for our recommendations on what to grab.

  • A Plague Tale: Innocence — $15.29 ($45)
  • Jackbox Party Pack 6 — $21 ($30)
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain — $6 ($20)
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 – Complete Edition — $17 ($50)
  • Doom Eternal — $30 ($60)
  • Disco Elysium — $30 ($40)
  • Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun — $6 ($40)
  • Helldivers — $10 ($20)
  • Tabletop Simulator — $10 ($20)
  • Total War: Warhammer II — $20.39 ($60)
  • Dragon Quest Builders II — $36 ($60)
  • Titanfall 2 — $9.89 ($30)
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – Special Edition — $16 ($40)
  • Outer Wilds — $16.65 ($25)
  • Dark Souls III – Deluxe Edition — $21.24 ($85)
  • Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot — $36 ($60)
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — $30 ($60)
  • Rainbow Six Siege — $8 ($20)
  • Grand Theft Auto V — $15 ($30)
  • Rust — $20 ($40)
  • …and more

Cheap games under $10

If you’re on a tight budget this summer, you can fortunately find some incredible games for dirt cheap in the Steam Summer Sale–some of them are just a few bucks. Games like Celeste, Undertale, Darkest Dungeon, and Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice will cost you less than $10 apiece right now, and they’re absolutely worth playing. For more budget recommendations, see our roundup of the best cheap games under $10 in Steam Summer Sale 2020.

  • Celeste — $10 ($20)
  • Undertale — $3.39 ($10)
  • Moonlighter — $6.79 ($20)
  • Darkest Dungeon — $6.24 ($25)
  • Papers, Please — $5 ($10)
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice — $9 ($30)
  • …and more

Best PC exclusives on sale

Most multi-platform games make their way onto Steam at some point, but there are still plenty of games that launch on PC and don’t get ported to other platforms right away. For that reason, it’s worth paying extra attention to PC exclusives during Steam Summer Sale, as you’re likely to find the best prices on these games that you’ll find in a long time. Put that gaming PC to good use and check out our list of the best PC exclusives on sale at Steam, including Total War: Three Kingdoms, Gears Tactics, and Half-Life: Alyx.

  • Half-Life: Alyx — $45 ($60)
  • Gears Tactics — $40.19 ($60)
  • Total War: Three Kingdoms — $45 ($60)
  • XCOM: Chimera Squad — $15 ($20)
  • Tabletop Simulator — $10 ($20)
  • Black Mesa — $13 ($20)
  • …and more

Steam Summer Sale theme and trading cards

While last year’s Steam Summer Sale had a unique Grand Prix theme, Steam Summer Sale 2020 looks to have a more generic summer road trip theme. There’s no real mini-game this year, but you can earn Summer Sale trading cards. You’ll get one trading card for every $10 USD that you spend; plus, you’ll earn one card a day during the sale by completing your Discovery Queue. You can then craft those cards to gain levels for the Summer Road Trip Badge.

A “Road Trip Special” is also available during the Steam Summer Sale. You can save an additional $5 on any purchase of $30 or more. The discount is applied at checkout. There’s also a free sticker to claim each day the sale is live.

Steam Summer Sale introduces Points Shop

Steam has launched the Points Shop alongside the Summer Sale, which will now be open year-round and lets you earn points as you shop. You’ll earn 100 points for every dollar you spend, whether that’s on a game, DLC, application, soundtrack, or in-game items. Those points can then be redeemed for Profile or Chat items, including animated avatars, frames, backgrounds, and badges.

You can also redeem your points to get a background or emoticon for games you already own, including those that were previously associated with trading cards. Another new feature: Community Awards, which let you reward reviews or other user-generated content that you find particularly insightful, heartwarming, or notable in some other way. There are also badges you can earn by rewarding others’ content.

Unlike previous Steam sales where items you earned expired after a certain amount of time, any Point Shop items will be yours to keep and have unlimited uses, with the exception of a special Summer Golden Profile that you can purchase–it’ll display for up to 30 days.

Best Deals This Week

  • Steam Summer Sale 2020 Live Now
  • PlayStation 5 Pre-Order Guide: Get Notified When PS5 Pre-Orders Go Live
  • Over 3,000 Steam Deals, Free Game Available In New PC Games Sale
  • Here's Where You Can Get A Nintendo Switch Lite
  • All The Free Game Promotions You Can Claim On PS4, Xbox One, PC, And More
  • Best Budget Monitors Under $200 – Cheap Monitors For Working From Home

Source: Read Full Article

Categories
News

Here's Why The PS5 Is Such A Large Console

Many people were surprised by the striking design of the new PS5, which abandons the black box design of recent console generations for bold curves and a striking black-and-white color scheme. While it didn’t take long for players to start making memes about the appearance of the console, others have noted its increased size over its predecessors, the PS4 and even the original “fat” PS3. According to recent quotes from one Sony official, however, it would seem that the size of the console is due to the heat it creates. It’s not a big surprise, but it shows just how powerful the machine is going to be and the potential it has for impressive games.

When one commenter asked on LinkedIn why the console is so bulky–as spotted by VG247–PlayStation’s vice president of UX design Matt MacLaurin replied: “Thermals. This gen is little supercomputers. While the 7nm process delivers amazing heat performance for the power, the power is very extreme.”

However, there might be other reasons for the large size. A leaked patent seems to suggest that Sony is building a cartridge that might work with the PS5. Some observers have speculated that it’s an external solid-state drive that will slot into the console for memory management, but there’s no official word if that’s the case. We still don’t know how much the PS5 will cost, or the PS5’s full line-up of games, but odds are likely that more details will come out over the coming weeks.

The Xbox Series X is also a huge console, but it sports a PC-like form factor that is more familiar to players. The console, like the PS5, can be placed horizontally or vertically.

GameSpot has officially kicked off Play For All–a celebration of all things gaming. Join us as we bring you the summer’s hottest news, previews, interviews, features, and videos, as well as raise money for COVID-19 relief efforts and Black Lives Matter with the help of our friends from around the gaming world. Check out the Play For All schedule for more.

Play For All 2020 News And Events

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