West Virginia is so ready for its Fallout 76 closeup

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West Virginia is so ready for its Fallout 76 closeup

West Virginia is, uh, really leaning into this Fallout 76 thing. But who could blame them, really?

The state’s tourism board on Thursday announced a partnership with Bethesda Softworks to promote Fallout 76, which is, of course, set in the wild, wonderful 35th state. “It’s finally time the rest of the world sees what a gem West Virginia is,” Gov. Jim Justice said in a joint statement, with the kind of suspender-popping promotional pride that is a governor’s constitutional duty to project, along with putting ribbons on things at the state fair.

Black Ops 4 multiplayer makes you think you’re better than you are

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Black Ops 4 multiplayer makes you think you’re better than you are

Let me start by saying that I am a fine Call of Duty player. Which is to say that I can generally not be a detriment to my team overall. In previous Call of Duty games, I would average slightly more kills than deaths, which I view as a victory over the youngster masses.

But I noticed something weird in Black Ops 4. I was doing, like, way better. I was consistently racking up overwhelmingly positive kill-to-death ratios the likes of which I had never seen before.

How Black Ops 4 is handling the return of serious competitive play

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How Black Ops 4 is handling the return of serious competitive play

When Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 was first announced, one of the standout features that developer Treyarch announced was the return of League Play, a popular competitive feature from Black Ops 2.

League Play doesn’t have much of an analogue in traditional console shooters; instead it finds its roots in more competitively-focused PC games like League of Legends or Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. The return of a more focused ranked mode in Black Ops 4 was a sign of Treyarch’s bigger plan to create a competitive ecosystem that exists entirely inside Black Ops 4 called the World League Hub.

I blitzed through a free Call of Duty-themed escape room — and had a blast

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I blitzed through a free Call of Duty-themed escape room — and had a blast

Sweat beads on my brow and rolls down the side of my face as I snap open the heavy weapons chest. Inside is an unexpected treasure: a remote-controlled car with a flashlight strapped on top. Then we realize that the heavy aircraft controller that we examined and put aside earlier wasn’t just a prop; it’s an essential part of the puzzle. “This is what it’s for!” Not only is the car equipped with a little flashlight, but there’s a camera mapped to the controller; it’ll need to be our eyes in retrieving the next clue from the darkened storage space nearby. Before long, we have our hands on a little lockbox, which gives us the next key we need and a hefty cash bonus to boot.

Destiny 2: Forsaken comes with previous expansions starting next week

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Destiny 2: Forsaken comes with previous expansions starting next week

Destiny 2: Forsaken has been out a little over a month, and Bungie has decided to alter the way it sells the new expansion going forward. In this week’s blog post, This week at Bungie, the team announced that all copies of Forsaken will now come with Warmind and Curse of Osiris packaged in. This reduces the amount of content players need to purchase before jumping into Forsaken, as they can now simply purchase Destiny 2’s standard edition and Forsaken to be all caught up.

Previously, players were required to own Destiny 2, both previous expansions and Forsaken before they could play. This change to Forsaken will go into effect on Oct. 16, the same day Festival of the Lost, Iron Banner and the latest patch are added to the game.

Call of Duty Blackout abandons battle royale’s roots as a survival game

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Call of Duty Blackout abandons battle royale’s roots as a survival game

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launched last night without a traditional single-player campaign. In its place there’s a new mode called Blackout, a battle royale-style game based loosely on hit titles such as PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite. Many expected the mode, a collaboration between Treyarch and Raven Software, to be a quick cut-and-paste job. After spending a few hours with the final product, it’s clear that’s not the case.

Not only is Blackout a rock-solid online experience, the game has its own unique style of play. It deviates from the traditional model of the battle royale genre, all but abandoning its roots as a survival game.

Hitman 2 gets competitive with a 1v1 ‘Ghost Mode’

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Hitman 2 gets competitive with a 1v1 ‘Ghost Mode’

Hitman 2 will let players battle each other in a one-on-one, real-time competitive mode, a challenge to see which player can assassinate five targets before their opponent can. You can see the game’s new competitive Ghost Mode in action in the trailer above.

Two players will start each match of Ghost Mode side-by-side, both playing as Agent 47 (one’s a lot paler). They can’t attack or interact with each other; each player exists in their own separate reality that’s unaffected by the actions of their opponent. Players will have access to Hitman 2’s arsenal of weapons, items and outfits, and the game will give them “ghost crate supply drops” during their respective missions.

Latest Xbox One update finally brings back Avatars

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Latest Xbox One update finally brings back Avatars

Microsoft’s October 2018 update for the Xbox One is here, and it’s a big one, headlined by the return of Xbox Avatars in an upgraded form.

The update, which began rolling out Thursday, introduces what Microsoft refers to as “new Xbox Avatars.” Their arrival is a year late — the company originally unveiled its revised Avatars during last year’s E3, with a launch planned for fall 2017 at the time. Instead, Microsoft delayed the release and started beta-testing the new Avatars with members of the Xbox Insider Program this past June.

Next World of Warcraft patch to replace and retire old Azerite traits

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Next World of Warcraft patch to replace and retire old Azerite traits

In this week’s World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Q&A, game director Ion Hazzikostas spoke about how the upcoming Tides of Vengeance patch will handle older Azerite traits. While the development team had originally stated that it would not be retiring old traits, Hazzikostas announced that there has been a shift in philosophy.

About halfway through the Q&A, a viewer said they were concerned about how few and far between the new, more interesting Azerite traits will be when simply thrown into the existing pool. Hazzikostas delved into why the team has decided to replace existing traits, as well as the kind of traits that players should expect to go away.

Pokémon Go nerf doesn’t look good for ol’ Blissey

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Pokémon Go nerf doesn’t look good for ol’ Blissey

Competitive Pokémon Go players are anticipating a major, upcoming upheaval in the battle scene, thanks to Niantic’s announcement that it intends to rebalance the game. The developer has already hinted at what kinds of changes it plans to make — and it sounds like they’re aimed at kicking the best gym defenders out of their top spots.

“Changes to Pokémon effectiveness in battle” that Niantic is working on include adjustments to HP, defense and stamina points. Those last two are the most crucial for players who are used to maintaining control over gyms indefinitely, thanks to the Pokémon they’ve left to defend it.