Classic Doom games updated with 60 fps, quick saves, and add-on support

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Classic Doom games updated with 60 fps, quick saves, and add-on support

Bethesda Softworks’ re-releases of the first two Doom games are getting some nice upgrades. Both Doom, the 1993 original, and Doom 2 have been updated to support 60 frames per second visuals, quick save functionality, and “curated” add-ons, including Doom co-creator John Romero’s 2019 release, Sigil.

Doom and Doom 2 now natively support 60 fps on “all platforms,” Bethesda said on its website. That’s a big boost from the original 35 fps frame rate. Those games also have new quality of life features, including a “Quick Weapon Select feature, improved Level Select function, added Aspect Ratio and Brightness options, [and] a new split-screen HUD.” Players can also quick save their games by pausing Doom or Doom 2, then pressing R/R1/RB, depending on platform (quick loads are performed with L/L1/LB from the pause screen).

20 weird and wonderful indie games for 2020

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20 weird and wonderful indie games for 2020

Just before the holidays, I mentioned on Twitter that I was pulling together a story about the most anticipated games of 2020. I asked for recommendations, particularly indie games, to include in the list. The response was overwhelming, so much so that I couldn’t even begin to fit all the suggested games into our initial list of 50.

The top-50 list did include highly anticipated indie games including 12 Minutes, Carrion, Griftlands, Minute of Islands, Nuts, The Red Lantern, Sable, Saturnalia, Skatebird. Spelunky 2, Spiritfarer, and more. But there are so many curious and intriguing indie games coming out, I wanted to highlight a few extra gems.

The effort to unionize the video game industry just got a shot of adrenaline

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The effort to unionize the video game industry just got a shot of adrenaline

Emma Kinema, co-founder of Game Workers Unite — a grassroots organization eager to unionize the video game industry — has joined the Communications Workers of America, one of the nation’s largest and most influential labor unions. Together with Wes McEnany, who has experience in fighting to raise the minimum wage in Boston and St. Louis, they will lead a new initiative to organize workers in the gaming and technology sectors. Called Campaign to Organize Digital Employees, its goal is to support unionization efforts in both the gaming and the technology sectors.

The Communication Workers of America, or CWA, represents more than 700,000 public and private workers in diverse industries, including education, law enforcement, and manufacturing. At its core, the CWA is a group of workers in the telecommunications, internet technology, media, and entertainment industries whose interests and expertise align well with the video game and technology sectors.

Apex Legends’ new event is a Grand Soirée hosted by Pathfinder

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Apex Legends’ new event is a Grand Soirée hosted by Pathfinder

It’s a new decade and Apex Legends is celebrating the start of the 20s with a new event. It’s called the Grand Soirée Arcade, a giant party hosted by Pathfinder. The event will bring seven new modes, prizes, and skins to the game.

The Grand Soirée’s main feature is its Limited-Time Mode Arcade. The arcade will feature a new game mode every two days. Respawn has already shown us what the modes will be along with a brief — if occasionally unhelpful — description of each mode:

Pokémon Sword and Shield boosts Gigantamax rates for Lapras, Alcremie, and more

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Pokémon Sword and Shield boosts Gigantamax rates for Lapras, Alcremie, and more

For those on the hunt for Gigantamax Pokémon, the spawn rates for Lapras, Coalossal, Alcremie, Flapple, and Appletun have increased in Pokémon Sword and Shield.

Players in Pokémon Sword will see Gigantamax Flapple and Coalossal spawning more often in their raid dens, where players from Pokémon Shield will see Gigantamax Appletun and Lapras more often. Both games will have Gigantamax Alcremie spawning more frequently.

Hearthstone’s next solo adventure, a big dragon battle, launches in January

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Hearthstone’s next solo adventure, a big dragon battle, launches in January

Hearthstone’s Solo Adventures have arguably been the best part of the card game in 2019. The story campaigns offer a more puzzle-oriented, roguelike approach to Hearthstone’s usual card-combat formula. The final Solo Adventure for Year of the Dragon, Galakrond’s Awakening, will arrive on Jan. 21, bringing a yearlong story to an end that began with April’s Rise of Shadows and continued with Saviors of Uldum in August.

Galakrond’s Awakening takes place in the Northrend region of Dragonblight. World of Warcraft players know this region from the Wrath of the Lich King expansion, where they could explore Dragonblight and find the giant skeleton of Galakrond, an enormous protodrake. Now, that skeleton comes to life and takes a starring role in the culmination of Hearthstone’s Year of the Dragon storyline.

TV makers are finally addressing the scourge of motion smoothing

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TV makers are finally addressing the scourge of motion smoothing

This year, Hollywood filmmakers are making headway in their ongoing crusade against gimmicky television technology such as motion smoothing. A number of major TV makers — including LG, Vizio, and Panasonic — announced at CES 2020 this week that some of their 2020 TV models will support a new feature called “Filmmaker Mode,” which disables video post-processing so as to present movies and TV shows the way they were intended to be seen.

“Filmmaker Mode is a mode in which we can ensure that the original intent of the filmmaker — the technical aspects of the film, and the way in which we finish the film in the edit suite and the color timing room — gets to the viewer the way that we intended,” said director Christopher Nolan in a recent promotional video for the feature.

All the Pokémon confirmed so far for Sword and Shield’s expansions

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All the Pokémon confirmed so far for Sword and Shield’s expansions

The new Pokémon Sword and Shield expansions — The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra — will bring more than 200 Pokémon into the games. Developer Game Freak announced the expansions during a Pokémon Direct this morning, showcasing a number of creatures that’ll appear in the game, including three entirely new Pokémon: Kubfu, Urshifu, and Calyrex. Later, the Japanese Twitter account tweeted out more that’ll appear in the Galar region come the expansions.

Likewise, more Pokémon will have Gigantamax forms — most importantly, Sword and Shield’s three starters.

Galarian Slowpoke comes to Pokémon Sword and Shield

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Galarian Slowpoke comes to Pokémon Sword and Shield

The newest Galarian-form Pokémon has come to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield: Slowpoke.

As part of a software update released on Thursday, developer Game Freak is teasing the dual expansions coming to Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield with a new Galar region Pokémon. Galarian Slowpoke will be available to catch outside Wedgehurst Station after speaking with either Klara (in Pokémon Sword) or Avery (in Pokémon Shield). According to Game Freak, that new Galarian Slowpoke has wandered in from the Isle of Armor, allowing players to catch it.

Pokémon Sword and Shield starters are getting Gigantamax forms

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Pokémon Sword and Shield starters are getting Gigantamax forms

During this morning’s Nintendo Direct, Game Freak revealed two expansions for Pokémon Sword and Shield which, in addition to introducing totally new monsters, will also add new forms for existing fan favorites. Notably, Inteleon, Rillaboom, and Cinderace are getting beefed-up Gigantamax forms.

While the trailer only briefly touches upon these new iterations, Game Freak did show off imagery which gives us an idea of what to expect. Rillaboom’s mane expands, and the gorilla will also gain two more drums. Cinderace, meanwhile, will be able to ride an enormous fireball. Inteleon seems to have become a sniper, which will spur Pokémon Gun memesters while also raising serious a hilarious moral quandary.