Weekly Recap #399 Mar 13th – CoD: Warzone Launches, PSO2 Announces Open Beta, & E3 Cancelled?!
Transcript and timestamps follow.
Call of Duty drops a free to play battle royale, Riot gets into tactical shooters, planetside 2 comes out of blue with a major update and you better buy up all the toilet paper you can because Phantasy Star online 2 is going open beta!
Whats good everyone! JamesBl0nde here with your weekly recap for gaming news and announcements for the week of March 13th, 2020.
Leading off this week is a major new release, especially if you’re a fan of Call of Duty or enjoy battle royale games, as Activision launched its free-to-play Call of Duty: Warzone. Warzone is a battle royale style game featuring 150 player matches with two game modes: Battle Royale and Plunder. As usual, Battle Royale features a ‘last man standing’ mechanic while the arena slowly shrinks as players are surrounded by deadly gas. Get eliminated in this mode, and you will be thrown in the Gulag for a chance to fight another player 1v1 for the chance to be redeployed. Plunder is a mode that puts players in a race to loot, steal, and complete contracts to be the one who earns the most cash. Currently the game features one zone, which has over 300 points of interest and multiple environment types. It also features five different vehicles to get around, including a helicopter. And all of this comes with synced progression with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so if you have the game – or get it in the future – you’ll have all the content that you’ve earned in either game. It’s pretty big and according to Activision, 6 million players have checked out the game in its first 24 hours, so it may be the next big battle royale to follow.
Valorant Gameplay Preview: 1:49
Riot also slipped a preview of its new 5v5 tactical shooter Valorant last week and it’s already looking pretty smooth. The game’s supposed to marry precision shooting with ‘hypernatural’ powers but there’s much we still don’t know. You can check out the full gameplay preview at the link in the description below and of course keep an eye on mmohuts.com for future updates.
Also out this week is Bless Unleashed, which launched on Xbox One on Thursday. Bless Unleashed is a free to play action MMORPG and features 4K and HD support for those who really enjoy eye candy. At launch there are 13 zones to explore, seven field bosses to challenge, plus six dungeons, eight lairs, and eight arena challenges. There’s been a lot of changes based on feedback during beta testing so if you’ve got an Xbox One and are looking for something new to try, why not give it a shot?
Meanwhile Phantasy Star Online 2 is finally gearing up for its open beta in the west, announcing that it will begin on Tuesday, March 17 at 5 pm Pacific. It will include the first three episodes of the game as released in Japan, with fully localized text and voice acting in English, plus additional quality of life improvements and balance changes from the current versions of the Japanese game. This beta is still only on Xbox One, so if you’re on PC only, you’re still going to have to wait for your turn to roll around. Usually it’s the other way around on these type of games, oh well, we’ve waited this long, why not wait a little more.
Another open beta coming up is for the free to play MMORTS Starborne. Scheduled to start on April 2, Starborne puts you in charge of your own space station in a 4x style gameplay with other players. Starborne’s been in alpha, but the new beta build will add a new map, new victory conditions, new things to discover, an in-game tutorial, and much more. It’s all free so go click the link below to find out more and sign up.
And not to be left out, Last Oasis has also announced its early access will begin on March 26 on Steam. This woodpunk survival MMO has looked pretty promising so far. The team behind the game, Donkey Crew, has also promised that they are planning new PvE and PvP content, new biomes, new features, and much more in 2020. Might be worth wishlisting on Steam to keep up on the updates!
Moving on, Legends of Aria has announced its first DLC, Dark Sorcery, set to launch later this month with a price of $19.99. This new expansion continues the game’s story with a new dungeon, the Monolith, which features a new race of enemies that have been contained and twisted within. Two new sorcery skills and of course new loot will also be added. Citadel Studios has also hinted that they will soon reveal their plans to leave Early Access. Guess that means they are happy with the current state of the game.
On another note – Planetside 2 has finally released a major update after a long period of silence! Called Escalation, the update introduces a new guild-based end game tournament called the Outfit Wars. These take place monthly and Outfits can qualify on the new Desolation asteroid map. There’s also a new War Assets system for Outfits, a new cross-empire social zone, and a new vehicle: the Bastion Fleet Carrier, which includes mannable turrets, artillery cannons, mobile vehicle respawn points, and more.
In other news, Paladins has launched its Sands of Myth update last week. A key part of this update is a visual rework of the popular map Frog Isle, making it a lot more – well, froggy. There’s also new Death Cards to taunt your defeated enemies, and a new Commendation system to encourage good player behavior in matches. There’s also a new Egyptian-themed Battle Pass, including skins for Tiberius, Raum, Ying, and Maeve.
Mentioned last week, TERA has went forward and launched a new update on PC this week, called Kaia’s Anvil. This update introduces two new dungeons: the Corrupted Skynest and the Forbidden Arena, both 5-player dungeons. There’s also a new tier of Mythic Gear to collect. And to aid players, En Masse has increased the daily cap on Adventure Coins used to access dungeons. There’s also a special event going on until April 7 where you can earn Darkan’s Verdant Wings for completing 28 dungeons. All the details are in the link below.
En Masse has also launched an update for its arcade brawler Closers, introducing players to the new area of Busan where players can go investigate a new incursion of dimensional monsters. There’s of course some new costumes to collect, special Busan packages on discount, and an ongoing event where you can earn extra rewards as you check out the new content.
Destiny 2’s Season of the Worthy update has also gone live this week. We’ve hyped this one up last week too but a quick recap – this update has introduced Rasputin challenges, Seraph Tower public events, new Seasonal rewards, and most importantly the return of the Trials of Osiris competitive weekend tournaments once held in the original Destiny.
Meanwhile, the European Destroyers are starting to sail out in World of Warships with Update 0.9.2. This introduces the early access period for European Destroyers in Tiers 5 and up. These ship feature long-range torpedoes, good anti-aircraft defense, and a repair party function. The other highlight is a major balance change to the HE Shells skill, nerfing it some to try to balance it with other skills. There’s new cosmetics and more, so make sure you check out the full details below if you’re interested.
E3 Expo Cancelled: 7:50
Finally while I know everyone’s trying to keep coronavirus off their mind, it’s important to note that this week E3 announced it will be cancelled because of the virus and offering full refunds to those who have already paid for tickets or exhibition space. E3 was already looking pretty grim this year with Sony having pulled out again, so this isn’t entirely a surprise. It’s not the first game expo to be cancelled either – GDC has been postponed too. Looks like it’s going to be a rough year for everyone, including gamers. Hopefully we’ll see a few companies host a digital showcase for what we would have seen at E3, we’ll see how it goes.
Either way that’s about it for all the major news and announcements for this week. For more information on the news topics, check the links in the description below, feel free to discuss the news or even more news in the comments below and don’t forget to like, subscribe, hit that little bell icon to get notifications and of course share this video! But until next time guys that’s going to be it for me… I’m JamesBl0nde… see ya out there gamers!
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