Madden’s biggest improvement? Photo mode on PS5, Xbox Series X

about X hours ago from
Madden’s biggest improvement? Photo mode on PS5, Xbox Series X

Early in my newspaper career, when I had to do a little bit of everything to get the paper out, and did little of it with much expertise, I remember the feeling of Christmas-morning joy at finding that I had actually shot a sports photograph worth running at four columns wide, vertical, on the section front.

Digital photography, the ability to shoot unlimited images from a high school football game, and to see each one the instant after it’s snapped, has robbed a lot of shutterbugs of that unique feeling of good fortune. But it’s exactly the one I recall when I go into the postgame highlights that Madden NFL 21 saves for me and come out with half a dozen Sports Illustrated-worthy still frames that I almost have no right to claim.

Xbox’s Auto HDR support comes to Windows PC

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Xbox’s Auto HDR support comes to Windows PC

The Auto HDR feature that Xbox Series X users have been enjoying since the console’s launch in November is coming to Windows PC gaming, giving about 1,000 games a boost to high dynamic range lighting and color.

HDR provides deeper contrast, richer color luminance, and a wider range of colors to a picture. You need an HDR-enabled monitor to take advantage of it, of course. There are natively rendered HDR games for PC already; Auto HDR upgrades the visuals of games mastered in standard dynamic range with DirectX 11 or DirectX 12.

Sony is giving away Horizon Zero Dawn and 9 other PS4 games

about X hours ago from
Sony is giving away Horizon Zero Dawn and 9 other PS4 games

Horizon Zero Dawn, plus another nine indie games, will be free to everyone with a PlayStation 4 or PlayStation 5, beginning next month, as Sony expands its efforts to support folks keeping safe and socially distant in the final stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Horizon Zero Dawn Complete Edition will be available free between April 19, at 8 p.m. PDT, and 8 p.m. on May 14. A PlayStation Plus subscription is not necessary to access the game.

Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s new transmog system has problems

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Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s new transmog system has problems

Ubisoft finally gave players the ability to transmog their armor in Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla’s latest patch. Unfortunately, that ability comes with an in-game price tag that many players feel is a little too steep. Even worse, that’s not the only problem players have found with the system, or the game’s new patch.

Valhalla’s transmog feature lets players change the look of a piece of armor without changing its stats, but it can only be done at Gunnar’s blacksmith, and costs 50 silver. While that price isn’t terribly steep in the grand scheme of things, it can add up quickly if you’re frequently changing your gear’s look. And, as many players on Reddit have pointed out, it’s a frustrating cost to pay for a purely cosmetic feature.

EA Play on PC is coming to Xbox Game Pass subscribers

about X hours ago from
EA Play on PC is coming to Xbox Game Pass subscribers

Electronic Arts and Microsoft are teaming up to bring EA Play to Game Pass subscribers on PC. Starting on March 18, at 5 p.m. EDT, Game Pass subscribers on PC will have access to the full library of EA Play games for no additional charge, Microsoft announced on Wednesday.

EA Play’s PC library has more than 60 games, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, FIFA 20, as well as games from the Madden and Battlefield series, and the new addition of Star Wars: Squadrons. EA Play also includes monthly rewards for certain EA games including Ultimate Team packs for FIFA, and a weapon charm for Apex Legends. Finally, EA Play members also get free 10 hour trials of certain games including FIFA 21.

Warhammer 40K Necromunda is getting a proper first-person shooter

about X hours ago from
Warhammer 40K Necromunda is getting a proper first-person shooter

Necromunda: Hired Gun, a first-person shooter set in the world of Warhammer 40,000, appears to have leaked on the Microsoft online storefront. Developed by the same team behind Space Hulk: Deathwing, the game puts players in the role of a mercenary hunting criminals and mutants on the mean streets the Imperium’s most famous hive world. The listing mentions that it will be available for both Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles.

Launched as a tabletop miniatures game in 1995, the Necromunda universe focuses on the violent battles between working-class gangs in a massive, industrial spire city in the 41st millennium. The game pits small forces — usually about six miniatures — against each other on a highly three-dimensional game board. Its universe is known for its bloody violence, but also its sense of humor.

Where does Doom go next?

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Where does Doom go next?

The Doom Slayer’s saga will come to an end when id Software and Bethesda Softworks release The Ancient Gods — Part Two, the second expansion for Doom Eternal, on March 18. While that story has already provided some pretty wild twists and turns across two games and the downloadable content, the biggest question will soon be what comes next, and how closely it’s tied to this version of Doom’s universe.

In an interview with Polygon, Doom Eternal game director Hugo Martin likened it to different directors taking on adaptations of comic book characters. There were the original Doom games, then the horror-heavy Doom 3, followed by the return to a more action-oriented take on the series in Doom (2016), and now Doom Eternal and its two story-driven add-ons. If each of those eras in Doom’s history was like Batman under the care of Tim Burton, Christopher Nolan, or Zack Snyder, the next game id Software releases in the franchise will likely continue under the same umbrella as this current series.

Kingdom Hearts lore book Character Files gets first English translation

about X hours ago from
Kingdom Hearts lore book Character Files gets first English translation

Kingdom Hearts fans will get a chance to read Square Enix’s deep dive into the characters and lore of the role-playing series this fall with Kingdom Hearts: Character Files, an oversized hardcover book that will be released in English for the first time.

Originally released in Japan in February 2020, Kingdom Hearts: Character Files is getting an English-language localization courtesy of Dark Horse. It’s coming to book stores and comic shops on Oct. 19, for $39.99.

Another major tabletop gaming convention cancels its 2021 in-person event

about X hours ago from
Another major tabletop gaming convention cancels its 2021 in-person event

Organizers behind another major tabletop gaming convention announced the cancellation of their 2021 event on Monday. The Nova Open, a staple in the miniatures wargaming circuit, won’t be happening this year. It was set to take place Sept. 1-5 in Arlington, VA. Organizers cited the continued uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After months of careful planning, consideration of available data, and communication with our partners and attendees,” the organization said in a newsletter, “including the hundreds of individuals that contributed to our surveys over the last few months, the Executive Board has made the difficult decision to cancel NOVA Open 2021.”

Riot Games clears CEO of harassment, discrimination allegations

about X hours ago from
Riot Games clears CEO of harassment, discrimination allegations

Riot Games’ investigation of chief executive Nicolo Laurent, following a workplace discrimination lawsuit filed against the League of Legends company in January, was “unable to find any evidence that would justify a sanction of any kind,” a committee of the company’s board of directors said on Tuesday.

A special committee of the board said it “concluded that there was no evidence that Laurent harassed, discriminated, or retaliated against” Sharon O’Donnell, a former executive assistant whose civil suit alleges Laurent did do such things. The committee, formed from Riot board members who are not company co-founders, hired an outside law firm to investigate the matter. That firm and the committee reported the results in the statement posted to the company website.