Apex Legends' new hero is five-time Hyperfighting Federation champion Forge

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Apex Legends' new hero is five-time Hyperfighting Federation champion Forge

Apex Legends is almost a year old, and developer Respawn will be celebrating its free-to-play battle royale game's first birthday on 4th February by ushering in a new season. And now, in preparation for the big day, it's outlined a few of the additions coming to Season 4 - subtitled Assimilation - including a brand-new Legend by the name of Forge.

Forge, as his beefy demeanour and hefty championship belt might suggest, is a five-time Hyperfighting Federation champion, and the first Legend to have a (fictional) corporate sponsor in-game, thanks to Hammond Robotics. Respawn isn't going into much mechanical detail about Forge just yet, but hints that he's an "up close and personal" brawler with a mean left hook. As part of Forge's introduction, Respawn is teasing "big map changes" for World's Edge, similar the King's Canyon update in Season 2.

Also new to Apex Legends' fourth season is the Sentinel, a bolt-action sniper rifle that "feels really powerful". Again, Respawn is being coy about specifics, but teases that the weapon is a little different to other sniper rifles in-game, thanks to its new charge mechanic.

Disco Elysium's new Hardcore Mode makes Martinaise even more miserable

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Disco Elysium's new Hardcore Mode makes Martinaise even more miserable

Developer ZA/UM's acclaimed open-world detective RPG, Disco Elysium, struck a chord with many last year - and those players looking for an excuse to do it all over again can now take advantage of its newly launched Hardcore Mode.

As its name suggests, Hardcode Mode isn't for the faint of heart, introducing a range of changes designed to make your life in the dilapidated city district of Martinaise even more miserable.

For starters, the difficulty of every Check goes up, meaning your chances of failure are much higher, and money is considerably harder to come by too (expect to value your few possessions more than ever). Making matters worse, pharmaceutical costs are increased and their effectiveness is reduced - so you'll likely feel the pull of booze and cigarettes more often in order to keep your head clear and your courage high.

Dishonored is getting the tabletop RPG treatment later this year

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Dishonored is getting the tabletop RPG treatment later this year

Dishonored, developer Arkane Studios' sublime stealthy action-adventure series, is getting the tabletop RPG treatment later this year, courtesy of Modiphius Entertainment.

The Dishonored Roleplaying Game, as it's known, will initially be released in the form of a 300-page hardback Corebook, containing everything players need to begin their steampunk-inspired adventures across the Empire of the Isles.

According to Modiphius, the Corebook features an in-depth look at Dishonored's world, its history, and its people, plus a comprehensive storytelling guide. The latter includes rules for playing as various roles - which range from "grim assassins and rugged criminals, to intrepid explorers and stoic crown loyalists" - alongside antagonists and story hooks for inspiration.

It looks like Bloober Team is teasing a return to its sci-fi horror Observer

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It looks like Bloober Team is teasing a return to its sci-fi horror Observer

Developer Blooper Team, purveyor of psychedelic horror delights such as Layers of Fear and last year's Blair Witch game, is in a teasing mood - and it looks very much like its excellent sci-fi horror adventure Observer is making a return, be it for a sequel or something else.

Over on Twitter, the developer has released a brief new teaser video, accompanied by the message ">new_incoming_call_ >sig: ch120n 1nc02p02473d_". And while there's no explicit mention of Observer, there are enough hints to connect the dots.

For instance, not only does the video sport a cyberpunk aesthetic near identical to that seen in the original Observer, the logo of Chiron Incorporated - the nefarious corporation at the heart of Bloober's sci-fi horror - also appears slap bang in the centre. Oh, and a sharp-eyed fan has already spotted a revealing message - "Daniel, are you there?" - hidden within.

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD's new PC patch lets you take a ride inside a cube

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For reasons unknown (but not unappreciated), Sega released a new update for Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD on Steam, enabling players to ditch their traditional roly-poly spheres and take a tumble using rather less ergonomic cubes, triangles, and even stars.

Sega announced the new feature over on Super Monkey Ball's Japanese Twitter page, explaining that AiAi's traditionally spherical mode of transport can be altered while on the game's character select screen by typing "cube", "triangle", or "star" with a keyboard. If all goes well, you should hear a confirmatory sound effect.

According to Sega, the feature will only work during Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD's main game, and there are no guarantees that it'll be possible to clear every stage while tumbling around in a non-regulation Monkey Ball. In order to return to AiAi's regular ride, players simply need to exit the main game or enter "sphere" while on the character selection screen.

EA's Tetris games are vanishing from mobiles

about X hours ago from
EA's Tetris games are vanishing from mobiles

EA has begun removing its Tetris games from mobile storefronts, and it all seems connected to another official Tetris game which has arrived in their place.

As of 21st April, EA will be retiring its Tetris mobile catalogue for good, meaning players have until then to play and use up any in-game items they may have acquired. An update post to explain this is still viewable on the App Store - but Tetris 2011 and Tetris Blitz have both now vanished entirely from the Google Play store.

That's a real shame for those who spent money on EA's games, and it all seems linked to another company - N3twork - which today released a new officially-licensed Tetris game of its own. It's called, well, Tetris - and is available for free on both iOS and Android. It looks like a very traditional version with some nice backgrounds... and ads, unfortunately, unless you're willing to stump up £4.99.

World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth ends with a whimper

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World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth ends with a whimper

World of Warcraft expansion Battle for Azeroth has come to an end in story terms with a cinematic that's more than a let down, and it riffs heavily on the end of Lord of the Rings - perhaps too heavily.

Quick background: the Alliance and Horde ended up coming together (making all that fuss about Sylvanas a bit meaningless) to fight a greater, other-world threat (a plot Blizzard has repeated a lot over the years). The greater, other-world threat this time is Lovecraftian nightmare N'Zoth - one of Warcraft's Old Gods. N'Zoth's arrival in the world of Azeroth was a cool moment for Warcraft lore nerds like me - this was the first time we'd seen an Old God in the flesh, so to speak.

This week, Blizzard released a new raid called Ny'alotha, The Waking City, and players cleared it in a bid to get new loot and see one of World of Warcraft's traditional story-ending in-game cutscenes. N'Zoth's arrival in Azeroth was a momentous moment. Surely the payoff would do it justice.

Pokémon-like MMO Temtem says its servers can now keep up with demand

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Pokémon-like MMO Temtem says its servers can now keep up with demand

Temtem's launch has been something of a roller coaster, as while the game has experienced significant demand, it's also been struggling to keep up with said numbers. Thankfully it seems the situation is now under control, as developer Crema says it's managed to stabilise the servers.

Launched in early access on Tuesday, Temtem is essentially Pokémon but an MMO - and this popular combination earned it a peak of nearly 32k players on Steam. Unfortunately, this started causing problems, with players experiencing long queue times, login problems and lag issues. At one point Crema had to cap the game at 20k players, and noted players could request a refund if they didn't want to wait for the servers to stabilise. At least the community seems to be making light of it.

Judging by the honest (and quite sweet) flow of updates on Temtem's Twitter, the team's been working diligently to get things back up and running - and after multiple hotfixes and server restarts, Temtem says it can now deal with over 27k users at once.

Hearthstone player Blizzard banned has no regrets over Hong Kong protest

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Hearthstone player Blizzard banned has no regrets over Hong Kong protest

Blizzard's decision to ban a pro-Hong Kong Hearthstone player who staged a mid esports match protest made headlines in October last year. Now, in a new People Make Games interview, Blitzchung has said he has no regrets for speaking up - that it was simply something he had to do.

Last October, a huge backlash erupted after Blizzard banned Blitzchung and fired the casters he had been streaming with. After enormous internal and external pressure, the developer eventually issued something of a backtrack before an outright apology at BlizzCon - but the damage had been done.

A copycat incident was followed by a full-on anti-Blizzard protest at BlizzCon 2019, as Blizzard lost corporate sponsorship money and US politicans got involved. The fallout was felt around the industry, while fans acted to turn Blizzard's own characters into protest symbols.