Hands-On With Overwatch 2 Co-Op

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Overwatch 2 Co-Op

Since the original release of Overwatch, players have clamored for more story-centric content offerings. At Blizzcon 2019, I had a chance to check out some of the new story content coming to Overwatch 2. You can read a whole lot more about the upcoming title in our upcoming cover story, but for now I loaded in with 3 friends to take on a smattering of evil robots. Before our game began, we had the option to opt into "expert" difficulty, but me and my companions decided that normal would be a good way to cut our teeth before diving into a harder mode. As Mei, I was joined by Reinhardt, Lucio, and Tracer for a bustling co-op adventure in Rio de Janeiro.

Across the entire experience, cut scenes kept the story flowing as we moved from area to area. The escapade begins by clearing a club out - standard grunt enemies that didn't really offer any challenge, but eased us into the experience. After mopping them up, we get our first supply chest - filled with items of various color-coded rarities that offer essentially a long cooldown ability to your base kit. I select a corrosive grenade while my allies grab other assorted support gear. Nothing special in this chest in terms of rarity, mostly greens, but we expect that will change later down the line.

Hands-On With Overwatch 2 Co-Op

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Overwatch 2 Co-Op

Since the original release of Overwatch, players have clamored for more story-centric content. At Blizzcon 2019, I had a chance to check out the new story content coming to Overwatch 2. You can read a whole lot more about the upcoming title in our upcoming cover story, but for now I loaded in with three friends to take on a smattering of evil robots. Before our game began, we had the option to opt into "expert" difficulty, but my companions and I decided that normal would be a good way to cut our teeth. As Mei, I was joined by Reinhardt, Lucio, and Tracer for a bustling co-op adventure in Rio de Janeiro.

Across the entire experience, cutscenes kept the story flowing as we moved from area to area. The escapade begins by clearing a club out – standard grunt enemies that didn't really offer any challenge but eased us into the experience. After mopping them up, we get our first supply chest – filled with items of various color-coded rarities that offer essentially a long cooldown ability to your base kit. I select a corrosive grenade while my allies grab other assorted support gear. Nothing special in this chest in terms of rarity, mostly greens, but we expect that will change later down the line.

Diablo IV Barbarian Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Barbarian Skills And Abilities

Barbarians don’t spend a lot of time talking. They jump straight into battle and lay waste to armies with any weapon they get their hands on. In Diablo IV, Barbarians are basically walking weapons racks. During our recent cover story visit to Blizzard, we went hands on with the game for two whole days. Here’s a breakdown of everything we learned about the Barbarian class in that time.

“Within this world of barbarians that you know and love, you can really start to tinker a little bit and somewhat paint the picture of a barbarian you really like – and it’s all based on the thematic of weapons,” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “You’re bashing the hell out of demons in their face, that’s what you want to do. You want to leap in there, you want to slice and dice them, you want to cut them in half and keep going.”

For more on Diablo IV, be sure to check out our online coverage hub, which includes deeper dives into the Sorceress and Druid classes.

Diablo IV Barbarian Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Barbarian Skills And Abilities

Barbarians don’t spend a lot of time talking. They jump straight into battle and lay waste to armies with any weapon they get their hands on. In Diablo IV, Barbarians are basically walking weapons racks. During our recent cover story visit to Blizzard, we went hands on with the game for two whole days. Here’s a breakdown of everything we learned about the Barbarian class in that time.

“Within this world of barbarians that you know and love, you can really start to tinker a little bit and somewhat paint the picture of a barbarian you really like – and it’s all based on the thematic of weapons,” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “You’re bashing the hell out of demons in their face, that’s what you want to do. You want to leap in there, you want to slice and dice them, you want to cut them in half and keep going.”

For more on Diablo IV, be sure to check out our online coverage hub, which includes deeper dives into the Sorceress and Druid classes.

Diablo IV Sorceress Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Sorceress Skills And Abilities

Sorcerers are elemental masters. They command primal energies and lay waste to armies with tornados of fire, lightning, and ice. With the flick of a wrist, they make giants tremble. During our recent cover-story visit to Blizzard, we went hands-on with the game for two days. Here’s a quick overview of what we learned about the Sorceress class in that time. 

“The Sorceress is about, 'I’m using your elements to really manipulate these monsters,'” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “In the demo, you can see one freeze monsters until they slow down and then get frozen before they finally just shatter. You can start to really manipulate the enemies around you until you’re at range and you’re safe, which is really cool.”

For more on Diablo IV, be sure to check out our online coverage hub, which includes deeper dives into the Barbarian and Druid classes.

Diablo IV Sorceress Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Sorceress Skills And Abilities

Sorcerers are elemental masters. They command primal energies and lay waste to armies with tornados of fire, lightning, and ice. With the flick of a wrist, they make giants tremble. During our recent cover-story visit to Blizzard, we went hands-on with the game for two days. Here’s a quick overview of what we learned about the Sorceress class in that time. 

“The Sorceress is about, 'I’m using your elements to really manipulate these monsters,'” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “In the demo, you can see one freeze monsters until they slow down and then get frozen before they finally just shatter. You can start to really manipulate the enemies around you until you’re at range and you’re safe, which is really cool.”

Ice Blades: Conjure ice blades for a few seconds that rapidly slash enemies and chill them.Hydra: Summon a three headed hydra for a few seconds. Each head spits fire at nearby enemies.

Diablo IV Druid Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Druid Skills And Abilities

Druids are one with nature – and that nature is deadly. Over the course of a single combat encounter, they can rapidly shapeshift between bear, werewolf, and human forms. Using a mix of magic and brute strength they are an imposing force. During our recent cover story visit to Blizzard, we went hands-on with the game for two days. Here’s a quick overview of what we learned about the Druid class in that time.

“What’s nice about the druid is you get this interesting mix of melee and ranged, and you get this really cool visual when you’re switching between forms,” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “I think that, from a visual side, we’re excited about the fact that you cast cataclysm, you’re in druid form, you’re like boom and become a bear and then you’re a werewolf which is visually super exciting.”

For more on Diablo IV, be sure to check out our online coverage hub, which includes deeper dives into the Barbarian and Sorceress classes.

Diablo IV Druid Skills And Abilities

about X hours ago from
Diablo IV Druid Skills And Abilities

Druids are one with nature – and that nature is deadly. Over the course of a single combat encounter, they can rapidly shapeshift between bear, werewolf, and human forms. Using a mix of magic and brute strength they are an imposing force. During our recent cover story visit to Blizzard, we went hands-on with the game for two days. Here’s a quick overview of what we learned about the Druid class in that time.

“What’s nice about the druid is you get this interesting mix of melee and ranged, and you get this really cool visual when you’re switching between forms,” says lead animator Nick Chilano. “I think that, from a visual side, we’re excited about the fact that you cast cataclysm, you’re in druid form, you’re like boom and become a bear and then you’re a werewolf which is visually super exciting.”

For more on Diablo IV, be sure to check out our online coverage hub, which includes deeper dives into the Barbarian and Sorceress classes.

Hands-On With Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

At Blizzcon 2019, I went hands-on with Hearthstone's auto battle mode, Battlegrounds. I also had the chance to play for this month's cover story gauntlet, so be sure to check out the upcoming issue for more. So what makes 8-player FFA brawl different than say, Teamfight Tactics or Dota Underlords? While it still has many of the core tenets of the genre, like family synergies (mechs, beasts, murlocs, etc), Battlegrounds has some key elements that make it stand out. The most important of these elements is the concept of the hero (although Underlords now has this feature in some respect, but it's quite different here). At the beginning of each match, players select from a few different hero options from a giant pool of 24 characters - many of which players may remember from single-player missions.

These can be accents that simply buff your minions or provide you with more options or resources over the course of a match - or they can be quite zany and game defining. One example is A.F. Kay, who works both from a flavor and function standpoint, as you essentially skip your first few turns in exchange for a significant boost in power afterwards. You can quite literally get up from the keyboard! Others allow you to "lifetap" for bonus coins, shoot out Ragnaros fire blasts, toss hats, and many other interesting effects.

Hands-On With Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

about X hours ago from
Hands-On With Hearthstone: Battlegrounds

At Blizzcon 2019, I went hands-on with Hearthstone's auto battle mode, Battlegrounds. I also had the chance to play for this month's cover story gauntlet, so be sure to check out the upcoming issue for more. So what makes 8-player FFA brawl different than say, Teamfight Tactics or Dota Underlords? While it still has many of the core tenets of the genre, like family synergies (mechs, beasts, murlocs, etc), Battlegrounds has some key elements that make it stand out. The most important of these elements is the concept of the hero (although Underlords now has this feature in some respect, but it's quite different here). At the beginning of each match, players select from a few different hero options from a giant pool of 24 characters - many of which players may remember from single-player missions.

These can be accents that simply buff your minions or provide you with more options or resources over the course of a match - or they can be quite zany and game defining. One example is A.F. Kay, who works both from a flavor and function standpoint, as you essentially skip your first few turns in exchange for a significant boost in power afterwards. You can quite literally get up from the keyboard! Others allow you to "lifetap" for bonus coins, shoot out Ragnaros fire blasts, toss hats, and many other interesting effects.