Blizzard Outlines Virtual Ticket Goodies, New World Of Warcraft-Themed Overwatch Skins Included

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Blizzard Outlines Virtual Ticket Goodies, New World Of Warcraft-Themed Overwatch Skins Included

You don't have to attend BlizzCon to get some of the show's exclusive items. You just need to purchase the virtual ticket for $49.99. The virtual ticket gives you two days of viewing for the All-Access Channel, as well as the Community Night contests held on Friday. You also get virtual loot for some of Blizzard's biggest games, including Overwatch.

To celebrate 25 years of Warcraft, Blizzard is adding two World of Warcraft-inspired skins to Overwatch. With the virtual ticket you'll get the cool Illidan Genji and Tyrande Symmetra legendary skins.

In World of Warcraft, the virtual ticket gives you murloc-fied faction leaders Finduin and Gillvanas. You also get a Wendigo Woolies outfit. Heroes of the Storm nets you a BlizzCon spray and portrait, and a Celestial Deepcrawler mount. StarCraft II is getting three Brood War-era skins and portraits, and Diablo III is giving players a pair of wings. In Hearthstone, Blizzard is giving out a mysterious Golden Legendary card as well as BlizzCon 2019-themed card backs.

The Pokémon Sword And Shield Digital Issue Is Now Live

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The Pokémon Sword And Shield Digital Issue Is Now Live

Digital subscribers to Game Informer can now learn the behind-the-scenes story of Pokémon Sword and Shield! Following today's cover reveal, our digital issue is now live to subscribers on web browsersiPad/iPhone and Android devices. Individual issues will be available for purchase later today. You can download the apps to view the issue by following this link. All of these digital options are included in a standard subscription.

The issue launches later this week on our third-party subscription apps including Google PlayKindle, and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your existing print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Pokémon Sword And Shield Have Mechanics To Let You Use Your Favorite Pokémon Competitively

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Pokémon Sword And Shield Have Mechanics To Let You Use Your Favorite Pokémon Competitively

The latest entries in the Pokémon series are making several tweaks to the franchise's long-running conventions. From introducing autosave to getting rid of the Exp. Share item in favor of an automatic solution, Sword and Shield change several things about the standard play of a Pokémon game. While Game Freak was open about a lot of the behind-the-scenes information surrounding the development of Pokémon Sword and Shield, the team was a bit cagier about a new battle mechanic it could only tease.

Exp. Share Is Baked Into Pokémon Sword And Shield

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Exp. Share Is Baked Into Pokémon Sword And Shield

During our trip to Game Freak for this month's cover story, we learned a ton of tidbits about Pokémon Sword and Shield and what went into making it. One of the smaller, yet interesting pieces of info we learned involves Exp. Share, an item that splits the experience earned in battle to all Pokémon in the player's party.

According to director Shigeru Ohmori, Pokémon Sword and Shield does away with this item. However, when we followed up with Ohmori about whether that means we need to train up each individual Pokémon, he confirmed to us that every Pokémon in your party gets equal experience automatically as you progress through the game.

This revelation occurred during our filming of our Rapid-Fire video interview, which you can look forward to later this week. For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

HMs Are Not In Pokémon Sword And Shield

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HMs Are Not In Pokémon Sword And Shield

Since the start of the Pokémon series, Hidden Machines (HMs) have been a staple. These special moves, which could be taught to multiple Pokémon, then used in battle and in special circumstances outside of battle, were replaced in Sun and Moon with Ride Pokémon. During our trip to Game Freak's Tokyo headquarters for this month's cover story, we asked about the role of HMs in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

According to planning director Kazumasa Iwao, HMs didn't fit into the philosophy of Pokémon Sword and Shield. "I think they played a role in the series traditionally to be like the relationship between a door and a key; the HM will unlock something and you’re able to progress and feel the ability to go to a new place," he says. "We didn’t have them in Sun and Moon, and this time around, we didn’t feel it really matched the concept, especially with the Wild Area and wanting to have this higher degree of freedom. The player can kind of choose how they want to engage with the gameplay. Having the more HM-based elements, we didn’t feel it really matched the game, so this time around they’re not in it."

For more on Pokémon Sword and Shield, head to our hub by clicking the banner below.

Pokémon Cut From Sword And Shield's National Pokédex Will Return In The Future

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Pokémon Cut From Sword And Shield's National Pokédex Will Return In The Future

Fans are eagerly anticipating Pokémon Sword and Shield, but some of the biggest news coming out of summer was regarding what won't be in the first mainline Pokémon console RPGs. During E3, producer Junichi Masuda explained that not every Pokémon will make the leap into Sword and Shield. This news left many fans disappointed, so I caught up with Masuda during our trip for this month's cover story to dive deeper into the reasoning for the cuts.

According to Masuda, the sheer number of Pokémon the series had accumulated over the last two-plus decades got to the point of being unwieldy. "Up until now, we’ve been proud we’ve been able to include so many Pokémon in the games, but as a result of that, there’s actually been quite a few features or gameplay ideas that we’ve had to abandon in the past," he says. "Going forward, thinking about the future of Pokémon, we want to prioritize all those new gameplay ideas, new ways to enjoy the game, and want to challenge ourselves at Game Freak to create new ways to enjoy the game. That’s really what drove the decision for this new direction."

Pokémon Sword And Shield Introduce Autosave To The Series

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Pokémon Sword And Shield Introduce Autosave To The Series

During our trip to Game Freak's Tokyo headquarters for this month's cover story, we learned all kinds of behind-the-scenes information about Pokémon Sword and Shield. While talking with the developers about the new features coming to Sword and Shield, director Shigeru Ohmori mentioned autosave occurring in the Wild Area.

Normally after you perform a trade, you'd need to stop and save, but instead, Game Freak figured out a way to incorporate seamless saves into the Wild Area. "When you connect with them to actually trade or do some kind of interaction, it then seamlessly switches to a synchronous connection," Ohmori says. "It’s also saving in the background, which is something we previously didn’t do, so there’s quite a bit going on in there that is represented in the Wild Area."

At the mention of "saving in the background," I asked Ohmori if that happens throughout the rest of the game, or if that's restricted to the Wild Area. "It’s a new feature we’re implementing: full autosave functionality," he says. "Traditionally in Pokémon games, it’s an important thing to write your report to record your save, and that’s always been a staple, like, "Remember to save your game!" We do have an autosave feature this time, where you can just adventure and it’ll constantly save the game."

Sword And Shield's Max Raid Battles Could Be Among Pokémon's Most Challenging Encounters

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Sword And Shield's Max Raid Battles Could Be Among Pokémon's Most Challenging Encounters

Pokémon Sword and Shield are introducing myriad new mechanics to the series. One of the biggest new additions is the ability for Pokémon to grow to massive proportions. While this is most prominently on display in battles through the Dynamax and Gigantamax mechanics, players can also challenge powerful giant Pokémon in cooperative Max Raid Battles. We spoke with the developers to learn more about these encounters.

Initially, the Max Raid Battles were called something more generic like "cooperative battles," but following Pokémon Go's implementation of co-op raids, the word was entered into the vocabularies of Pokémon fans across the globe. "The initial concept of having cooperative battles against a Pokémon – the raid idea – came before raids were even implemented in Pokémon Go, but we saw Pokémon Go implement this raid feature and how popular it was for people to get together in the same space and enjoy these cooperative experiences," director Shigeru Ohmori says. "I think there was some influence like how in Pokémon Go, you don’t need to be a hardcore battler to enjoy the raid battles. It’s really easy to invite a friend. We wanted to have that element in Sword and Shield’s raid encounters as well."

November Cover Revealed – Pokémon Sword And Shield

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November Cover Revealed – Pokémon Sword And Shield

Fans have long-requested a mainline Pokémon RPG on consoles, and after remaking the first-generation titles in last year’s Let’s Go games, Game Freak is finally giving fans their wish in Pokémon Sword and Shield. We traveled to Game Freak’s headquarters in Tokyo, Japan to get the behind-the-scenes story of these games. We spoke with the game’s director, producer, planning director, and art director, picking their brains on the direction of the series and what they hope to accomplish with the upcoming Switch titles.

To celebrate the occasion, we have three different covers, which you can see below.

Click the images for higher resolution

Terminator T-800 Joins The Fight In Mortal Kombat 11

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Terminator T-800 Joins The Fight In Mortal Kombat 11

Warner Interactive and NetherRealm Studios have officially revealed what we've all known for a while now: The Terminator is coming to Mortal Kombat 11. More specifically, it's the T-800 model, as portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.  

The reveal was accompanied by a gameplay trailer, which highlights a nice slice of his moveset. He's able to blast enemies with his shotgun (complete with the fancy reload animation from Terminator 2), headbutt them with his metal noggin, and basically rule the arena like the unstoppable killing machine that he is. There are some other great moments in the clip, like showing off what happens when he gets hit with fire (thanks a lot, Scorpion!) and his fatality. 

The T-800 is hitting Mortal Kombat 11 on October 15, or October 8 if you have the Kombat Pack. Those are the same days owners of the pass will be able to get the Harley Quinn-inspired skin for Cassie Cage, as well as Kano's "Cash Machine Kano" skin and Johnny Cage's "Red Carpet Johnny Cage." Sonya Blade is getting a "Cyborg Hunter" skin, too, which sounds like a nice pairing for the T-800.