Blizzard Tweaking Overwatch Skill Ratings, Season 3 To Start Sooner Than You Think

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Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer has shared some upcoming changes to the way Competitive Play ranks your skills, while also revealing that Season 3 is getting a new starting date.

In a post on Battle.net, Mercer outlined the upcoming changes. First the big news: Based on player feedback, Blizzard has decided to cut the length of Overwatch's offseason in half. Starting at the end of Season 2, players will now only have to wait one week to get back into competitive play. Season 2 is slated to end on November 24, meaning Season 3 will start on December 1. A new countdown timer will help you keep track of when to hop back in.

Additionally, Season 3 will no longer reset a player's Skill Rating, which led to more chaos in the opening weeks as players were reevaluated by the system. Season 3 will instead use your previous season's rating as a jumping-off point. Mercer says the team is also tuning the system so that you will start off slightly lower than your skills may resemble; last season the opposite was true, which led to some players seeing their Skill Rating plummet in the opening weeks. Mercer says most players will see higher Skill Rating gains towards the start of season before leveling out.

Fan-Made Sonic Utopia Aims To Capture The Hedgehog's Best Features

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Sega has been scrambling for well over a decade trying to revitalize Sonic. Fans have been trying too, with Sonic Utopia being the latest fan-made project.

YouTube users The Great Lange, Murasaki Fox, Tpot, and DeviantArt user PicsAndPixels have come together to make an open, 3D Sonic game from scratch that takes inspiration from a menagerie of the Blue Blur's games.

"Sonic Utopia is an experiment that not only tries to expand on Sonic gameplay in an intuitive way in 3D," claims The Great Lange, "but also aims to capture the best of Sonic's style and tie it together in a cohesive experience."

Bethesda No Longer Sending Early Review Copies To The Media

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Bethesda No Longer Sending Early Review Copies To The Media

In a new blog post, Bethesda announces that review copies for its upcoming games won't be sent to media outlets until the day before release.

"At Bethesda, we value media reviews," the post begins, before going on to say that the company is now fully committed to a policy that it began with this year's Doom, when it did not send out review copies to the media until the day before release. At the time, Bethesda justified the delay by citing Doom's online components as the reason for the decision. "All three elements are important parts of the complete DOOM experience and are meant to be experienced as part of a complete package," the publisher told us. "As DOOM's SnapMap and multiplayer modes both require access to a server that won't be live prior to launch, review copies will arrive on launch day."

However, Bethesda now says it will continue applying the policy to the upcoming releases of Dishonored 2 and Skyrim Special Edition - both single-player only games. Bethesda says the reason is behind the decision is that "we want everyone, including those in the media, to experience our games at the same time."

Some Big Horror Hits Are Getting Spooky Sales On PSN And Xbox Live

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If Christmas inching ever-closer wasn't enough to scare your bank balance then these Halloween sales might just do the job. There are some impressive deals on both consoles, with some multi-platform games seeing similar discounts. Resident Evil 4 which we recently finished a Super Replay on, is one of the highlights of either sale, though the PSN one is $3 cheaper at $11.99.

PlayStation users have plenty of frights to choose from. The newly remastered Dead Rising games are discounted up to $13.99 if you need some more interesting ways to kill zombies. There's even a few cross-buy delights with Grim Fandango:Remastered, Neverending Nightmares, Paranautical Activity, and Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror all getting their price tags trimmed. The wonderfully unique Oxenfree is also on sale, in three different flavors depending on if you want a theme or extra PSN avatars.

On the Xbox side of things, it starts off big with Mortal Kombat XL for $32.49. Dying Light is also reasonably priced if psychological horror is more your speed. The Resident Evil sales continue with 0, 5, and 6 available for both Xbox platforms. Finally, Dead Space is dirt cheap at $4.54 and is backwards compatible with Xbox One, which makes it almost perfect for the sale.

Halloween Comes To Grand Theft Auto Online In New Free Update

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Halloween Comes To Grand Theft Auto Online In New Free Update

Like other popular online games, Grand Theft Auto Online is receiving its own free Halloween-themed event. From now until November 16 on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, Los Santos' online inhabitants will be able to wear new face masks and face paint, buy two new cars, and play the new Slasher Adversary mode.

The Slasher mode pits seven players against one shotgun-equipped "Slasher." If the fodder can survive being stalked and underpowered for three minutes, they are granted a shotgun to turn the tides. The two new vehicles are the Lurcher Hearse and the Fränken Stange, each having a slightly different take on the Halloween spirit. The face masks and 30 new face paints will also help players adapt to the season, with the Halloween face mask option being the default for online heists for the duration of the event. Any of these items that you acquire will be yours forever, but you can only earn them until November 16.

Grand Theft Auto Online is also celebrating its three-year anniversary with some limited-time sales and events. Players can expect a new Lost and Damned Adversary mode, discounts on a variety of vehicles and guns (until November 7), and a free $250,000 deposit into their GTA Online account for players who log in from now until October 31. For a complete rundown on the update, check out Rockstar's extensive list of anniversary goodies here.

Halloween Update And Anniversary Sale Come To Grand Theft Auto Online

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Halloween Update And Anniversary Sale Come To Grand Theft Auto Online

Like other popular online games, Grand Theft Auto Online is receiving its own free Halloween-themed event along with celebrating its three-year anniversary. Starting October 28 and ending at an unspecified date, PC, PS4, and Xbox One players will be able to buy the new skull-laded Sanctus motorcycle and play in the new Lost vs Damned Adversary mode. Along with the new content, last year's Halloween items and vehicles will also be returning for the event along with bonuses that will be detailed on Friday.

The new and unique Lost vs Damned Adversary multiplayer mode pits "Angels" against "Devils" with the day-night cycle on a 60-second timer. Angels get more health, armor, and better weapons during the day while the Devils see those benefits at night.

Grand Theft Auto Online is also celebrating its three-year anniversary along with Halloween. Players that log on from now until October 31 will receive a $250,000 deposit into their GTA Online bank account. A variety of weapons and vehicles are also on sale until November 7 along with the new Pegassi Vortex motorcycle. For the complete rundown on discounted items, check out Rockstar's extensive list here.

PSA: Free-To-Play Version Of The Tomorrow Children Is Available Now

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PSA: Free-To-Play Version Of The Tomorrow Children Is Available Now

The co-op sandbox/city-rebuilding sim The Tomorrow Children launched with a paid early access version in early September, with promises of a free-to-play option later down the road. Apparently, the game's child laborers have finished paving that road: Developer Q Games is releasing the free version of The Tomorrow Children today, alongside a Halloween update that includes a free costume. Players who log in between now an November 2 can pick up the Halloween-inspired duds.

Early impressions of the game have been a little mixed (though Reiner thought what he played was fairly fun), but that hasn't stopped players from accruing some dizzying in-game stats, which you can check out at the link below. Q Games says a recently released update has added new islands, powers, and missions to the game, so now may be the perfect time to check it out.

[Source:Playstation Blog]

This Dubious Doctor's Note Has You Covered For Skyrim Special Edition's Release

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This Dubious Doctor's Note Has You Covered For Skyrim Special Edition's Release

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Special Edition comes out Friday, October 28, and after nearly five years since the original game was released, the temptation to immediately start a new Dragonborn marathon will be strong. That's going to be tough for everybody with weekday commitments, though. Fortunately, Bethesda Marketing VP Pete Hines has given this some consideration.

In case you don't have the day(s) off and need an excuse to stay home and play Skyrim SE, Uncle Pete has you covered. pic.twitter.com/BHtjoFHCdV

Please note that Game Informer has not been able to verify Dr. Born's board credentials, and does not endorse the recreational use of Nirnroot.

PSA: GameStop Is Now Accepting Retro Trade-Ins At All Stores

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After a successful pilot program and expanded online offerings, GameStop is now accepting retro trade-ins at all retail stores nationwide.

GameStop announced its desire to get back into the retro games market in 2012, and expanded its efforts in 2015, offering NES, Genesis, SNES, N64, PS1, and Dreamcast games for purchase online. However, trade-ins for retro games and consoles was previously limited to specific areas.

Today, the company has announced that retro trade-ins of games, systems, and controllers can now be done at all GameStop stores. Additionally, GameStop's online offerings have expanded to include the Sega Saturn, Game Boy Color and Advance, GameCube, and Xbox. For more details and to browse what games are available to purchase, head to GameStop's retro section.

Dark Souls III Ashes Of Ariandel Launch Trailer Seeks The Fire

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Dark Souls III Ashes Of Ariandel Launch Trailer Seeks The Fire

Dark Souls III's first of two expansions subtitled, Ashes of Ariandel, is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and with it comes a launch trailer that looks daunting even for the most hardened adventurer.

Naturally the expansion features new areas, bosses, enemies, and weapons, and Ashes of Ariandel also adds new PvP modes (take a look via this recent trailer).

Dark Souls III's second planned expansion is slated to come out early next year.