The Division 2’s best encounters happen underground, and often without warning

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The Division 2’s best encounters happen underground, and often without warning

I’ve been sinking a lot of my free time into the open world of Tom Clancy’s The Division 2, but a few days back I had an encounter so bizarre that I swore it must be a glitch. But then it happened again. And again. Now, I’m actively seeking them out.

Each time I’ve run across them, I was deep below the streets of Washington. Each time the attack left me shaken. It’s almost as if, once underground, The Division 2 from a meaty third-person shooter into a solid little horror game. But they’re no accident. The way these encounters are designed speaks to the elegance of the entire game’s design.

Sony announces livestream for PlayStation news

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Sony announces livestream for PlayStation news

Sony joins Nintendo and Microsoft in the “holding your own news event” department with the announcement of State of Play, a live broadcast that will be held next week. Tune in on Monday, March 25, at 2 p.m. PDT for updates on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR games.

According to Sony, you can expect “new trailers, new game announcements and new gameplay footage.” But, more curiously, this isn’t a one-time thing: State of Play will return throughout the year with more news announcements for fans. Incidentally, Sony also pulled out of E3 2019, making State of Play something of a necessity for the company. At the time, a representative told Polygon that Sony was “exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019.”

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 has the original’s lead writer and vibe

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 has the original’s lead writer and vibe

Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines never had a chance. Released in 2004 in the same window as Halo 2, Half-Life 2, and Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, it sold fewer than 100,000 copies at launch. Most of its development team was laid off shortly afterward. But over the past 15 years, the PC role-playing game based on the popular White Wolf tabletop franchise has become something of a cult classic. Fans and critics hold up its ambitious story and emphasis on player freedom as evidence that Bloodlines arrived ahead of its time.

Now, under a new publisher and developer, Bloodlines is getting a second chance with an official sequel, Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2. Judging from a meaty demo showing during the 2019 Game Developers Conference, the original’s many fans have reason to be hopeful.

Valve redesigns Steam game library, adding Steam Events

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Valve redesigns Steam game library, adding Steam Events

Valve is making some big changes to Steam in the coming months with the addition of new features like Steam Events and a redesigned look for your game library. At the 2019 Game Developers Conference on Thursday, Valve’s Alden Kroll revealed a new, information-dense design for Steam libraries that will emphasize recently played and recently updated games.

Each user’s Steam library will now have its own homepage. Kroll showed an example page that displayed a user’s most recently played games at the top of that homepage, with the intention that a Steam user would be able to easily jump into one of their most played games. The redesign also made it clearer which Steam games a user’s friends were playing at the time, and which games had recently been updated.

Streamer pulls off five-game, no-hit ‘Soulsborne’ run, right before Sekiro launch

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Streamer pulls off five-game, no-hit ‘Soulsborne’ run, right before Sekiro launch

Twitch streamer The Happy Hob has been trying to complete a no-hit, back-to-back run of all five “Soulsborne” games — Bloodborne, Dark Souls 1-3, and Demon’s Souls — for months. He finally pulled it off this week after a nearly 18-hour playthrough of those five games, a feat he’s been calling the “God Run.”

According to Hob’s self-imposed rules for the God Run, if he was hit by an enemy or trap at any point during his playthrough, he would start the whole five-game run from scratch. (He could take self-imposed damage from falling in order to intentionally lower his health, however.) Hob came heartbreakingly close to completing the God Run in February, when he was infamously thwarted by the Demon’s Souls tutorial boss, Vanguard.

Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter’s best feature is its set bonuses

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Destiny 2: Season of the Drifter’s best feature is its set bonuses

Destiny 2’s Season of the Drifter has been out for three weeks, and players have already played hours of the new Gambit Prime mode. But the most interesting addition to Destiny isn’t any kind of activity, it’s the addition of an oft-requested feature: set bonuses.

In other games like Diablo or World of Warcraft, armor sets are multi-tiered perks tied to how many pieces of a gear set you’re wearing. Only wearing two pieces, you get one perk. But if you’re wearing all five, maybe you get three perks all themed around a central idea. It creates a hunt for loot that takes days or even weeks to pull off. But when you can roll into an activity decked out in set gear, you can feel your time investment paying off.

The Red Lantern combines dog-sledding with FTL, and is coming to Switch

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The Red Lantern combines dog-sledding with FTL, and is coming to Switch

The Red Lantern was one of the most promising games to be revealed in Wednesday’s Nintendo Direct. The first-person adventure tells the story of a woman determined to compete in the Iditarod until the dangers of nature get in the way.

The trailer suggests a blending of story-forward games like Firewatch with survival games like The Long Dark. We had the opportunity to speak with Timberline Studio co-founder Lindsey Rostal during Nintendo’s event at the 2019 Game Developers Conference, and she compared the player’s journey through the game to indie megahit FTL. Both games, Rostal explained, force players to make tough choices that ultimately create a unique story.

Stranger Things 3: The Game launches July 4 and plays like an SNES game

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Stranger Things 3: The Game launches July 4 and plays like an SNES game

Stranger Things 3: The Game will launch alongside season 3’s Netflix premiere on July 4. According to its creators, the game will follow the events of the show’s third season and star 12 playable characters — a few of whom are new to this season.

We had a chance to play the retro-style game on Nintendo Switch this week during Nintendo’s indie game event at the 2019 Game Developers Conference. Visually speaking, its pixelated isometric world resembles 16-bit classics like Zombies Ate My Neighbors. But its creators say the game’s design borrows more from the classic Sierra adventure and exploration games of the 1990s, which prioritize storytelling and puzzle-solving above combat.

Return of the Obra Dinn wins the Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival Awards

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Return of the Obra Dinn wins the Grand Prize at the Independent Games Festival Awards

The 21st annual Independent Games Festival (IGF) Awards were held Wednesday night at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco. Top honors went to Lucas Pope, who received the Seumas McNally Grand Prize for his work on Return of the Obra Dinn. This is Pope’s second time winning the award, which he also received in 2013 for Papers, Please.

Obra Dinn is a supernatural murder mystery set on board a 19th-century merchant ship. Players must piece together the events of a journey that took place five years earlier, all with the help of an unusual time-bending artifact. In addition to its narrative, the game is notable for its art style, which recalls the monochrome era of early PC gaming. Polygon included the game in our Polygon Recommends program, and ranked it second on our Game of the Year 2018 list behind God of War.

Nintendo eShop update delivers Final Fantasy 7 and Unravel 2

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Nintendo eShop update delivers Final Fantasy 7 and Unravel 2

The highly anticipated port of Final Fantasy 7 is finally making its way to the Nintendo eShop this week, after last year’s Nintendo Direct announcement that several games in Square Enix’s RPG series would arrive to the Switch (though Final Fantasy 8 was snubbed yet again.) Final Fantasy 7 will be available to download on March 26.

Unravel 2, the adorable sequel to 2016’s Unravel, is coming to Switch on Friday, March 20. This time around there are two Yarnys to control — in either single player or co-op mode — with new, more complicated puzzles to solve.