Legends of Runeterra’s first major patch adds ranked mode, prepares for open beta

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Legends of Runeterra’s first major patch adds ranked mode, prepares for open beta

The Legends of Runeterra open beta is almost here. In anticipation of the beta arriving in the hands of thousands of players, developer Riot Games released early patch notes for the game. The notes feature economy changes, card changes, as well as a watchlist for features Riot employees suspect could get out of hand. The beta for Riot’s new collectible card game starts Jan. 23 for pre-registered players, and Jan. 24 for everyone else.

Here’s a breakdown of the open beta patch notes’ most interesting updates.

Ninja Theory teases new ‘experimental’ horror game Project: Mara

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Ninja Theory teases new ‘experimental’ horror game Project: Mara

Developer Ninja Theory is set to release its next project, competitive multiplayer game Bleeding Edge, and just announced a sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice for Microsoft’s next-gen Xbox. But the studio has at least one other project in the works, an “experimental” horror game called Project: Mara.

Project: Mara will be a real-world and grounded representation of true mental terror,” said Tameem Antoniades, co-founder of Ninja Theory, in a video announcing the project. “It will be based heavily on research, interviews, and firsthand accounts to recreate the horrors of the mind as accurately and believably as possible.”

Dishonored tabletop game returns to whalepunk role-playing world

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Dishonored tabletop game returns to whalepunk role-playing world

A tabletop role-playing game based on Arkane Studios and Bethesda Softworks’ Dishonored franchise is on its way. It’s being developed by London-based Modiphius, which has also created tabletop games based on The Elder Scrolls, Star Trek, and Conan.

The Dishonored roleplaying game is a 300-page hardback book that comes with custom 20-sided dice. Players can take on the role of a pre-made character or create an original character in the Empire of the Isles. This was the expansive world featured in the squalid but beautiful quasi-Victorian settings of Arkane’s fantastical stealth adventures Dishonored and Dishonored 2 as well as various DLC stories.

Anime soccer game lets you score extravagant goals

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Anime soccer game lets you score extravagant goals

Sports and anime have long been a perfect pair. Now Captain Tsubasa: Rise of New Champions is bringing video games into the mix as well and its first trailer is exactly as ridiculous and amazing as you would hope.

Captain Tsubasa players definitely want to kick the soccer ball with their feet and put it in the back of the opposing goal, but they’re using strikes infused with the power of tigers to get it done. According to the game’s announcement from Tamsoft and Bandai Namco Entertainment, it will feature several different modes, though it’s unclear what exactly that means.

Lord, where to even begin with this deer game on Steam?

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Lord, where to even begin with this deer game on Steam?

Ladies and gentlemen, I have found our first contender for game of the year 2020. Presenting Deeeer Simulator: Your Average Everyday Deer Game, a game that uses Goat Simulator-style hijinks as a building block for even more ridiculous shenanigans.

There is some physics-based silliness here, but what sets the game apart is that it gives you more tools and animals to unleash your chaos. You can, for instance, make the deer bipedal, which somehow allows you to shoot guns.

Tencent wants to buy Funcom, which is good news for its Dune game

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Tencent wants to buy Funcom, which is good news for its Dune game

Chinese megacorporation Tencent has formally offered to acquire Norwegian game developer Funcom. The all-cash offer has been extended to existing shareholders, and will reportedly pay more than 27% more than the current value of those shares. According to a press release, Funcom’s management supports the proposal. If completed, the acquisition would add to Tencent’s massive collection of high-profile international game studios.

In addition to its back catalog, Funcom is also working on a new survival multiplayer game based on Frank Herbert’s Dune. Today’s press release goes on to state that the developer plans to “increase the ambition level” of that project “with resources being allocated from other initiatives and possible additional financing.”

MLB The Show 20 gameplay trailer shines a light on defense

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MLB The Show 20 gameplay trailer shines a light on defense

MLB The Show 20’s release is less than two months away, and we finally have a look at the game in action. The first gameplay trailer for this year’s installment in the franchise shows off expected updates like roster moves and new animations, as well as some elements that appear to be entirely new for 2020.

As usual, the trailer has more cuts than a Michael Bay movie — the better to tease fans with brief glimpses — but it’s possible to glean a few things from the footage in conjunction with the livestream schedule that developer SIE San Diego Studio posted Wednesday on the PlayStation Blog.

Pokémon-inspired MMO Temtem has popular but shaky launch

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Pokémon-inspired MMO Temtem has popular but shaky launch

Pokémon fans have long asserted that a massively multiplayer take on the franchise would basically print money. With monster-collecting game Temtem’s release on Tuesday, it seems that the concept as a whole is a winner. Unfortunately, however, the cheery MMO can’t seem to handle all the attention.

Day one was plagued with issues for Temtem. I tried logging on multiple times yesterday to no avail; I couldn’t even connect to the servers. Once I actually got in, queue lines were long. And once that wait was over, I loaded into an extremely laggy world — only to be kicked back out after about 10 minutes. This morning, the queue was significantly better and I got in after a few minutes, but I still lost connection to the server fairly quickly. I haven’t been able to get my starter Tem yet, though I did make a very cute protagonist.

Pokémon Go live events coming to St. Louis, Taiwan, and Philadelphia in 2020

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Pokémon Go live events coming to St. Louis, Taiwan, and Philadelphia in 2020

Pokémon Go continues to be a global phenomenon, and its developer, Niantic, has seen enormous success in hosting events all over the world. Last year’s events in Chicago, Dortmund, and Montréal featured around 200,000 on-location players and millions of dollars in revenue for the developer. Niantic is sticking with that strategy in 2020, and has revealed the game’s live events schedule for the first half of the year.

Pokémon Go’s first on-location event in 2020 will take place in Taichung, Taiwan, to coincide with the local Lantern Festival. It will take place on Feb. 6 through Feb. 9. There are no ticketing details for this event so it’s possible it’ll be open to everyone in the area.

Xbox Series X prototype leak shows back ports

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Xbox Series X prototype leak shows back ports

After several weeks of speculation and reporting, we finally know what the back of the Xbox Series X prototypes look like, thanks to some images posted online.

The first images of the Series X prototype were posted on NeoGAF by user Curry Panda, and appears to show off all of the ports on the back of the upcoming system. The system includes two USB-A ports, an optical audio port, an Ethernet port, and one HDMI port, along with a power connection. The prototype also has a port that is for diagnostic reporting, according to Thurrott’s Brad Sams, who confirmed the images’ authenticity. Polygon has also reached out to Microsoft for verification and comment.