Xbox Games With Gold gave out $1,196 worth of games in 2019. Were they any good?

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Xbox Games With Gold gave out $1,196 worth of games in 2019. Were they any good?

Last week Microsoft made available the last two titles in 2019’s Games with Gold lineup, closing out the year with another 46 offered to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. Were any of these any good? What would they otherwise cost? In short, what do the data say about the value of this Xbox Live Gold benefit, which has been a part of the service since 2013?

We’ll try to answer that question for this year as we have the past five years, along with a few other questions. Such as: How old is the game? Did Microsoft publish it? What publisher did Games With Gold use the most? And did these appear earlier on PlayStation Plus?

Modder slips the surly bonds of P.T. and explores Silent Hill outside

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Modder slips the surly bonds of P.T. and explores Silent Hill outside

Another week, another discovery in 2014’s P.T., the free, playable teaser experience for Hideo Kojima’s dear-departed Silent Hills. This time, a modder found a way to step outside the demo and explore the surrounding town.

Noticing that the exterior in the game’s concluding cutscene was not pre-recorded, Lance McDonald simply patched the game to connect P.T.’s starting room to the map file used in the ending sequence. Good thinking!

Crusader Kings 3 lays out the schemes behind its new scheming

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Crusader Kings 3 lays out the schemes behind its new scheming

Crusader Kings 3 is coming next year, and before Paradox Interactive clocks out for the holidays, developers shared this update on what they’re doing with the grand strategy game. Specifically, how CK3 will enable your scheming, murdering and other palace intrigues.

I like the way Petter Vilberg chuckles when he says “Once the target knows that there’s a scheme against them, they will be taking every possible measure to protect their life.” So you better keep it on the DL. That means recruiting loyal, tight-lipped agents and having a Varys-level spymaster running the plot for you.

MLB The Show 20 closed beta begins in January, here’s how to sign up

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MLB The Show 20 closed beta begins in January, here’s how to sign up

MLB The Show 20 will have a closed beta in January, Sony San Diego Studio announced today. Players who are invited will be able to play three online multiplayer modes, plus the player-versus-CPU mode of The Show’s Diamond Dynasty, an ultimate-team style suite of offerings that’s been around for about a decade now.

Signups for the PlayStation 4 exclusive are being taken right now. If you get in, you’ll be notified via the PS4 dashboard’s notification menu — not your email. Players will be notified on Jan. 13, 2020, and may download the beta client that day. The beta begins Jan. 14 and runs until Jan. 20 at 11:59 p.m. PST.

The Witcher author and CD Projekt end royalties dispute with licensing agreement

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The Witcher author and CD Projekt end royalties dispute with licensing agreement

Andrzej Sapkowski, author of The Witcher series of novels, and CD Projekt Red, developer of The Witcher series of video games, have signed a new licensing agreement. The announcement comes more than one year after Sapkowski publicly demanded more than $16 million in royalties. Terms of the agreement were not released.

The story begins with a rare interview with the reclusive Sapkowski, granted in 2017. In that revealing conversation, the author said that when CD Projekt approached him about The Witcher video game, which was released in 2008, he dismissed the industry outright.

Apple Arcade just got a surprise, gorgeous Lego game

about X hours ago from
Apple Arcade just got a surprise, gorgeous Lego game

Continuing its streak of steady surprises releases, Apple Arcade has one more goodie for its subscribers before the holidays: Lego Builder’s Journey, a more meditative take on the Lego universe. Where most Lego games adapt existing properties into an action romp, Builder’s Journey tries for a more artistic approach.

Lego Builder’s Journey is “poetic” puzzle game about “connections,” according to the App Store description.

Become muscle Santa in Grindstone

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Become muscle Santa in Grindstone

To say I like Grindstone would be an understatement — it’s the standout game for me so far on Apple Arcade, and has been since it was released in September. Most of Grindstone’s updates so far have been bug fixes and minor tweaks, but for the holidays, developer Capy Games released the first content update for Grindstone.

The best part? Jorj is now muscle Santa. The “stocking stuffer” update was released on Apple Arcade on Thursday and added a new festive holiday outfit for Jorj: the Santa outfit, which gives players a chance to spawn presents that award resources after attacking. Likewise, the update added the ability to turn off the extra beat-’em-up animations at the end of the level. A Christmas miracle for Grindstone’s slobs — the bad guys — indeed: “There’s a more merciful, cute way of getting your crown from the slob,” Grindstone developer Dan Vader told Polygon.

Call of Duty Dog leads Santa’s sleigh in this wacky Modern Warfare Easter egg

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Call of Duty Dog leads Santa’s sleigh in this wacky Modern Warfare Easter egg

There’s a Christmas-themed Easter egg (oxymoron, n’est-ce pas?) inside Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and it guest stars Riley, aka the good-boy Call of Duty dog from Call of Duty: Ghosts.

As spied by Multiplayer First (which wrote up a handy-dandy guide for how to find it), the Easter egg sends Riley streaking across the sky at the head of Santa’s sleigh, with Capt. Price in the jolly old elf’s seat.

18-year-old Morrowind mod project releases 60 new quests, massive new map

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18-year-old Morrowind mod project releases 60 new quests, massive new map

The Elder Scrolls 3: Morrowind is almost 18-years-old. That also happens to be how long modders have been working to expand the game’s already enormous world. The modders working on Tamriel Rebuilt have been slowly adding pieces to Morrowind and this week they released one of their biggest additions ever.

The original version of Elder Scrolls 3 was supposed to include the entire Morrowind region, not just the central island of Vvardenfell that comprised the final game. Developers at Bethesda eventually slimmed down their vision before release. Ever since the scope of the original game changed, the modders at Tamriel Rebuilt have been working to put the piece back together and rebuild the missing mainland in the game.