If you still haven't tried out Overwatch, now you have a chance to jump in cheaply. Right in time for the holidays, Blizzard has discounted the PC version of Overwatch by 50%--bringing the price down to $20. And if you're looking to get a bunch of cosmetic items, too, you can grab the Game of the Year Edition for $30--bringing it in line with the PS4 and Xbox One versions.
These are some of the better deals we've seen on the game since its release, especially $20 for the base game. If you're just looking to jump in and don't need a handful of skins and Loot Boxes, then this is the way to go.
However, if you do want some of the extras, the Game of the Year Edition is on sale for $30 across all platforms. Blizzard has discounted it on PC on Battle.net, while the physical console versions are available at Best Buy and Amazon. If you happen to have Gamers Club Unlocked at Best Buy, you can get an additional discount to bring the price down to $24. The digital version on PS4 is also $30 through the PlayStation Store. The Game of the Year Edition comes with the base game as well as 10 Loot Boxes, 5 Hero skins, and digital items for Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Starcraft II.
In other Overwatch news, the game's holiday update went live recently, adding a ton of winter-themed items and a new game mode. You can see all the new Overwatch Winter Wonderland skins in our gallery.
Some links to supporting retailers are automatically made into affiliate links, and GameSpot may receive a small share of those sales.
The day has finally come. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters, after premiering Thursday night. Naturally, the latest Star Wars film will be the top-earning movie of the weekend. With the first box office results in, though, there is a better picture of exactly how well The Last Jedi is doing.
According to Deadline, the film grossed $45 million in the United States and Canada on Thursday night, the second-biggest Thursday night gross of all time. That puts The Last Jedi on track to gross over $200 million in its opening weekend alone. That would make it the highest opening weekend of 2017--Beauty and the Beast currently holds the crown with a $174 million debut. However, it trails the opening of Star Wars: The First Awakens, which grossed $247 in its opening weekend. That number stands as the biggest opening weekend of all time.
While The Last Jedi isn't beating The Force Awakens at the box office, it is grossing much higher than 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first standalone film in the Star Wars franchise opened to $155 million in the United States and Canada, eventually grossing $523 domestically. Meanwhile, The Force Awakens earned $936 million in its entire domestic run.
Both films crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide, which The Last Jedi should have no problem doing once its theatrical run comes to a close. Considering the movie also has a Metacritic score of 86 and audience reaction group PostTrak says theater goers are giving the film a "definite recommend" rating, The Last Jedi's going to do very well. That's good news for director Rian Johnson, who will next tackle the development of an entirely new Star Wars trilogy to come after Episode IX. Johnson's next Star Wars films will center on new characters in a different part of the galaxy.
If you've already seen The Last Jedi and have questions, GameSpot has you covered. You can check out our coverage of the identity of Rey's parents, a look at who Snoke is, and any other The Last Jedi spoilers, questions and theories you may have.
Pokemon Go's most recent Legendary Pokemon, Ho-Oh, may no longer be available, but players didn't have to wait long for a new Legendary to replace it. Beginning today, December 15, players around the world will have a chance to encounter the Legendary Ground-type Groudon for a limited time.
Groudon marks the first Legendary Pokemon from Gen 3 to appear in Pokemon Go. Like previous Legendaries, it can be encountered as a Raid Battle at Gyms. You'll need to team up with other players in real-life to battle it; only after bringing Groudon down will you have a chance to capture it. Groudon will appear in the game until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 9 PM GMT on January 15, 2018.
Dozens of other Pokemon from the series' Gen 3 games, Ruby and Sapphire, were introduced in Pokemon Go following last week's big update. 50 new Pokemon can now be found in the game, including Torchic, Mudkip, Swablu, Wailord, and Salamence. The remaining Gen 3 monsters will be rolled out later.
New Pokemon weren't the only additions last week's update brought to Pokemon Go. Developer Niantic also introduced a dynamic weather system. Now, the weather in the real-world will be reflected in-game, which affects how often you'll encounter certain Pokemon; Water-types, for instance, will spawn more frequently when it's raining. In addition to that, Niantic also added the ability to create Battle Parties. Players can save teams of up to six Pokemon to use in Raid and Gym battles.
Fortnite is getting into the holiday spirit. Starting today, its holiday-themed event for the PvE Save the World mode is now live, adding a whole bunch of new activities and items to try out. It's part of a bigger update that also includes some changes and additions for the Battle Royale mode.
Survive the Holidays is highlighted by a new questline that tasks you with bringing "the holiday spirit to everyone in the husk-ridden world," according to developer Epic's patch notes. You'll get a bunch of Snowflake tickets for participating in the event, which can be used to buy special items like Holiday Survival Llamas.
In addition, the update adds several, more difficult versions of certain mini-bosses. Husk, Husky, and Smasher have all been made tougher and feature randomized gameplay variations. The update also overhauls the Survive the Storm mode, which features a winter-themed map, 3-day and 7-day versions, and new enemies.
Finally, Survive the Holidays also adds new Heroes and weapons. You can now play as Sarah Claus (an Alchemist), Blitzen BASE Kyle (a Warden), Snow Stalker Jonesy (a Demolisher), and Fragment Flurry Jess (a Reclaimer). On the weapons side, you can try out a couple of new snipers and a snowball launcher.
The Battle Royale mode also gets a few winter-themed additions. You can try out the Snowball Launcher, and there'll also be a holiday Battle Bus as well as "other gifts waiting for you around the island." Epic also implemented a bunch of tweaks and changes to gameplay, which you can read about over at its website.
All of this is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This event marks the beginning of Fortnite Season 2, which comes with a lot of other items and activities. Buying a new Battle Pass will get you access to all the cosmetics Season 2 runs from now until February 20, and you can read all of its patch notes here.
One of Destiny 2's major new features arrived recently as part of a post-Curse of Osiris update. Masterworks present what amounts to a new class of weapon, providing players with another thing to hunt down in their journeys. Unfortunately, the way they work can be a little confusing, and as is often the case with Destiny, it's not explained well in-game. Here's what you need to know about Masterworks and Masterwork Cores.
Masterworks are variants of Legendary weapons. They track your kills in either Crucible or PvE, provide Orbs when you secure multi-kills, and--most importantly--provide bonus stat perks. These affect a single attribute--such as reload speed, stability, impact, magazine size, or blast radius--and can be re-rolled if you would prefer a different buff.
You can obtain Masterworks like any other item; once you hit Power level 250, you'll have a chance for Legendary weapons to drop as Masterworks versions. The Raid and Trials of the Nine both offer a "very high chance" for their drops to be Masterworks, making them the most reliable way to obtain new ones. But you're also able to get them from vendors, Strikes, standard Crucible matches, and so on.
An alternative path involves forging a Masterwork yourself, although the cost for doing so is somewhat high. Any Legendary you own now has a new Masterwork Upgrade option on its Details screen. This will allow you to turn a standard Legendary into a Masterwork version; you can choose for a Vanguard or Crucible version, depending on what kills you want it to track. This process costs 25 Legendary Shards and 10 Masterworks Cores.
But how to get Masterwork Cores? That's where the drops become all-important: Unwanted Masterwork weapons can be dismantled, a process which yields Masterwork Cores. The number you'll obtain varies; in our experience, it tends to be 1-3 Cores per dismantle, meaning you may need to acquire quite a few weapons to complete this process.
Masterwork Cores also serve another purpose. As noted above, you can re-roll the stat bonus on your Masterwork weapon. This is called reworking a weapon, and it costs 25 Legendary Shards and three Masterworks Cores. There's no telling what bonus you'll get from reworking, so be sure that you're okay with ditching your current bonus before going through with the process.
Masterworks are expected to expand in the future in a number of ways. Bungie has already said it plans to introduce Masterwork versions for other types of gear in the game. It also plans to highlight the weapons' kill tracking in more ways, such as displaying the number on the Crucible kill screen. In the meantime, you can check out all of the Masterworks weapons we've found so far.
In a pivotal Star Wars: The Last Jedi scene, one character urges another to "let it all die." The character is talking about relics of past generations: Jedi, Sith, rebels, empires. At times, this movie feels determined to do just that. If 2015's The Force Awakens bent over backward to be like the original movies, The Last Jedi does the same to buck your expectations. It doesn't "let it all die," but it does clear away enough of the old to set the newest Star Wars trilogy on a surprising path toward its conclusion.
The Last Jedi's determination to move forward comes with good and bad consequences. On one hand, there are genuinely shocking moments in this movie. Characters you thought were good have a dark side. Those who should be wise act foolishly, and a single decent act doesn't suddenly make a bad guy good. If you think you know which way this thing will go purely on a narrative level, you're probably wrong. For a Star Wars movie, that unpredictability is refreshing.
But The Last Jedi treats many of the series' vestiges with equal contempt, no matter how distant or relatively near in the past they are. More than one character or plot established in The Force Awakens gets unceremoniously blown up here. After Episode VII, this trilogy's path felt too familiar; now, it might go anywhere, but that's also made the whole endeavor feel shakier, like the plan might change again before it's all over. The plot being unpredictable is refreshing; axing entire storylines from The Force Awakens before they ever had a chance to pay off seems sloppy.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi picks up more or less right where The Force Awakens left off. Rey has traveled to a distant corner of the galaxy to get Luke Skywalker back in the fight, and General Leia's Resistance alternately flees and fights the much more powerful First Order. Without the need to introduce so many new characters, The Last Jedi does what middle trilogy movies do: It lets us spend more time with those already established.
Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is still a hot-headed but skilled Resistance pilot. Finn (John Boyega) is struggling to find his place in the Resistance as a First Order deserter. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has quite a job convincing Luke (Mark Hamill) to come out of exile, while Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)--a.k.a. Ben Solo--battles his inner conflict, not to mention Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Leia (Carrie Fisher) leads the Resistance against overwhelming odds. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is still pointless. Chewbacca chewbaccas. BB-8 is still great.
Add to this already unwieldy cast: Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico, an intensely likable Resistance maintenance worker who gets in above her head; Benicio del Toro's DJ, a thief who toes the line between good and bad; and Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo, an utterly unnecessary addition who takes screen time away from better characters.
What really doesn't help The Last Jedi is how grossly bloated it is with circuitous subplots, narrative cul-de-sacs, and detours that amount to little more than distractions. The movie's main event is actually a drawn out stalemate between Snoke's armada and Leia's pathetic forces, which probably wasn't a smart structural choice for a middle movie that would have threatened to drag even without a lengthy standoff in the middle.
Various characters on both sides give regular reports on the Resistance ships' dwindling fuel supply, which graciously serves to signal to audiences approximately how much more foot-tapping non-action remains before the movie gets good again. There are entire schemes, mutinies, and double-crosses that serve only to tread water while The Last Jedi's many moving pieces all get into place for a finale that is, admittedly, awfully grand.
That sounds grim, but The Last Jedi gets many important things right too. Like The Force Awakens, it's beautiful to behold. It's also just the right amount of funny. Even the Porgs, which drew such a following before the movie had even released, provide the right amount of cute without feeling overused.
Luke Skywalker's decades-long arc pays off in a way that Han Solo's, sadly, did not in The Force Awakens. Yet Luke's scenes never dissolve into pandering or fan service; in fact, his journey provides more surprises than any other plot in the movie. Carrie Fisher's performance comes with surprises too, although the exact details of her plot will surely cause some to wonder how much of the film was changed after the actress's death in late 2016. Regardless of whether we ever find out, The Last Jedi is a beautiful send-off for the iconic character and the actress who played her.
Most importantly, The Last Jedi provides real momentum and growth for its core characters. Poe, Rey, Finn, and Kylo were all right where we left them when the movie started, which made it easy to jump straight into the conflict. By the end, they're in very different places.
Episode VII and, now, Episode VIII have accomplished something as difficult as it is crucial: They've made us care about a new generation of Star Wars heroes. Looking toward the past in these movies has been fun and emotional, but the new trilogy was always going to live or die by what it added to the series, not what it rehashed. And the journeys of characters like Rey and Ben Solo are starting to feel as nuanced and essential as those of Han, Luke, and Leia in the original trilogy. Regardless of where it ends, that's something to admire, and despite its issues, The Last Jedi overall is as enjoyable a Star Wars film as The Force Awakens was before it.
|The Good||The Bad|
|Characters introduced in Force Awakens continue to evolve||Bloated with unnecessary subplots and distractions|
|Luke and Leia's journeys and payoff||Some new characters add little|
|Stylistically beautiful and funny||Treads water for much of the middle|
|Subverts the series' established tropes and provides genuine surprises|
Amazon and Twitch Prime subscribers can now pick up another free game. For a limited time, the clever and stylish first-person shooter Superhot can be yours for PC if you have an Amazon Prime membership.
Beginning today, December 15, Prime subscribers will be able to download the full game--which normally retails for $25--at no cost. The free period runs until just before Christmas, on December 24. To claim your copy, click on your Prime Loot tab or visit Superhot's Twitch page. You'll be able to download and play the full game through the Twitch desktop app.
Superhot originally released in February 2016. The game's defining feature is its unique time-stopping gameplay mechanic. Time only elapses while you're moving; stop, and everything will freeze in place until you begin to move again. GameSpot awarded the title an 8/10 in our Superhot review and called it "a clever game with deep, hidden elements that require committed and thorough examination."
Twitch Prime is included in Amazon Prime, so if you're already a member of the premium service, you'll be able to take advantage of this free offer. Superhot isn't the only freebie available right now; subscribers can also get a Bomb Voyage Weapon Camo & Winter Siege Supply Drop Pack in Call of Duty: WWII, a Golden Classic Card Pack for Hearthstone, and other rewards. You can learn more about Twitch Prime and begin a free trial on Twitch's website.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out in theaters now, and if you want some impressions, you can read our Star Wars: The Last Jedi review or dig into a roundup of the biggest Last Jedi reviews from around the web right here. But if you're looking for spoilers, from the Easter eggs and little details you might have missed to full-on plot discussion, we've got a rundown of all our spoiler-filled features here.
This goes without saying, but everything below this story is a potential spoiler. If you haven't seen the movie yet, and you don't want to know what happens, then you should head back to the GameSpot homepage.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoiler discussion. In this video we discuss all the things that we felt went right and wrong with the new Star Wars. The new characters, the old characters and Porgs. This is also the video you'll find embedded up above.
Who is Snoke? We'll start light because, frankly, we don't have a lot of answers ourselves. But here's what little we've learned about the enigmatic Supreme Leader from the events in The Last Jedi. Essentially, Snoke is still an enigma, and now that he's dead, it's more likely that the only way we'll learn more is through expanded universe media.
What's the deal with those dice? Luke pulled a pair of golden dice from the dashboard of the Millenium Falcon, but you'd be forgiven if you didn't know the trinket's origin; we haven't seen them since the original Star Wars trilogy. The dice's significance is a mystery, though it's rumored that their the dice Han used when gambling to win the Millennium Falcon. But it's likely we'll get a more concrete answer in the upcoming standalone Solo film.
Who are Rey's parents? This question is, at least partially, still up for conjecture. But if Kylo is to be believed, Rey's parents are inconsequential characters we won't hear anything else about. While that seems like it could be a narrative letdown after Kylo Ren's reveal to be a Solo/Skywalker, Rey's lineage does fit into the broader Star Wars universe. After all, Anakin came from otherwise unremarkable beginnings. And then the orphaned stable boy at the end of the film seemed to show latent force abilities as well. So, we don't really know who Rey's parents are, but The Last Jedi seems to indicate that it doesn't really matter anyway.
Why did Luke die? Following his battle with Kylo, we learn that Luke was projecting a non-corporeal version of himself across the cosmos. But the strain of such a strong illusion took its toll on the aging Jedi. But it's likely this isn't the last we've seen of Skywalker. Much like the passing of Ben Kenobi and Yoda, Luke became "one with the Force," his body disappearing into nothing. So it's likely he'll be a guiding presence for Finn, and possibly Kylo, in the trilogy's finale.
SPOILER WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally arrived in theaters, letting fans experience the next chapter in the Skywalker saga. As classic characters like Luke and Leia work with the next generation of the resistance--Rey, Finn, Poe, and series newcomer Rose--to rise up against the First Order, The Last Jedi answers many questions posed by both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the film franchise as a whole. One of those questions happens to be something fans have been debating since The Force Awakens first hit theaters: Who are Rey's parents?
Rey has shown through both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi that she is very powerful with the Force, which led to a number of fan theories over the past couple of years. Some thought she was somehow the child of Obi-Wan Kenobi, while others thought Luke Skywalker himself was her father. In that particular theory, her mother is Mara Jade--Luke's wife in the expanded universe. Yet another theory posited that Rey could be Kylo Ren's sister, another child of Leia and Han Solo.
As it turns out, none of those are the reality--or, at least, that's what viewers are led to believe. During their confrontation on Snoke's ship in The Last Jedi, Kylo tells Rey she already knows who her parents were. "They're nobody," he says to her. Kylo adds that they probably sold her off for drinking money and are now buried in a pauper's grave.
While this might be disappointing for some fans, it makes Rey a more mysterious and interesting character. It also gives her a connection to Darth Vader that Kylo will never have. Anakin Skywalker, like Rey, came from nothing. He was a "nobody" who was strong with the Force and ended up changing the galaxy. Of course, it was for the worse. Rey, on the other hand, can save it.
However, that's all dependent on whether Kylo is being honest. While viewers are led to believe Rey knew the truth about her parents, Kylo is also extremely powerful with the Force and could have been manipulating her. It's entirely possible that Episode IX will reveal that Kylo was lying about her lineage.
That said, having Rey come from nothing to lead a new generation of Force-sensitive warriors is a very interesting turn of events for this new Star Wars trilogy to take. Do you enjoy this revelation about Rey's parentage? Tell us in the comments below. After that, take a look at our extensive Star Wars: The Last Jedi feature for more theories and answers to all of your questions.
In honor of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we're giving away a Chewbacca with Porg Funko Pop! One (1) winner will be chosen after the giveaway closes on Friday, December 22 at 11:59PM PT.
Open to US residents only, void where prohibited.
Enter below (the additional entries are optional to increase your chances of winning):
GameSpot Universe is our official entertainment channel focused on comics, movies, TV, anime, giveaways, and more! We find you movie easter eggs, recap shows like Game Of Thrones and Rick And Morty, and tell you who the hell are certain comic book characters like Cable from Deadpool.
GameSpot's Best Games of 2017 has finally kicked off, so join us as we unveil what we thought were the 10 best games released this year. At the #6 spot is Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is available on PlayStation 4. Read on to see why we chose it as one of the best for 2017.
It's a commonly held fantasy that our race to master technology will one day cripple humanity as we know it, be it the result of unchecked hubris or an egomaniacal ruler. Horizon Zero Dawn flirts with the possibility of a fractured society clawing its way back to enlightenment after just such a collapse. But unlike our own stone-age ancestors, Horizon's primitive people must shepherd the burden of a previous era's mistakes while battling mother nature and trudging through their own rocky development.
For them, it means a life of many hardships. For us, it results in an exciting open-world game with ferocious robotic monsters patrolling breathtaking landscapes. Guerrilla Games wields the sci-fi-tinted man-against-nature conflict with apparent ease, and its first post-Killzone work is an artistic and technical marvel that's also highly enjoyable to play. Rumbling with Horizon's fiercest enemies requires confidence and deft timing. In the span of a couple seconds, you can sprint, dodge, craft ammo, and reload your bow or slingshot, and maybe leap off of a boulder for a slow-motion killing blow between a pair of incandescent eyes. Impressively, Horizon does all of this without breaking a sweat.
Our capable character is a young warrior named Aloy, whose connection to the world runs deeper than most, and sure enough, her journey of discovery is punctuated with frequent surprise. Faced with a turning point, she's forced to reflect on former truths and accept a new reality that propels her headlong into a battle larger than any tribal conflict or wild robotic encounter, with a touching payoff as her ultimate purpose comes into view.
At a time when nobody would blame you for feeling burned out on open-world games, Horizon came along and re-lit the smoldering flame.
The steps Horizon takes to put us at destination's door are consistently well designed and action packed, but it can be just as fulfilling to blindly wander off and soak in your surroundings. Enjoy a nice day of hunting boar in sunny woods, and stay up late to stalk mechanical deer under chilling moonlight. Aloy is also a capable climber, granting you access to mountain tops and the roofs of ruined skyscrapers. The sprawling painterly views tempt you with promises of beauty and danger alike, all thanks to Guerrilla's creative prowess.
At a time when nobody would blame you for feeling burned out on open-world games, Horizon came along and re-lit the smoldering flame. It fell back on a few common practices seen in other games, sure, but it's predominantly defined by unique traits and accomplishments. You look back on it once the credits roll in awe of where you've been and what Aloy has become. And once you're done processing the impact of the ending, you'll wonder: where will this possibly go next? It's not immediately clear, but we can't wait to find out.
SPOILER WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally out in theatres, with critics and fans generally lauding the latest adventures of the Skywalker clan (not to mention series newcomers such as Rey, Finn, and Poe). And while this new film does answer some of the burning questions set up in The Force Awakens, there are still more mysteries to be sifted through. And one of the biggest questions we still have is: Who exactly is Snoke?
Snoke, the puppet master behind both the First Order and Kylo Ren, was first introduced in The Force Awakens, but little was actually disclosed about his origins. We had hoped more would be revealed about the enigmatic baddie in The Last Jedi, but sadly, Kylo Ren's treachery means Snoke is no more, with the film divulging no further details about his former master.
So what do we know about Snoke? Very little, it seems, with the films themselves simply presenting Snoke as the leader of the First Order who also was extremely strong in the dark side of the Force (witness the lightning power he uses to dispel Rey in The Last Jedi). Snoke is similarly a mysterious figure in other non-film Star Wars media, so all fans are left with is speculation. By far the most popular prevailing theory is that Snoke is actually the mysterious Darth Plagueis, the never-seen Sith master of Emperor Palpatine himself.
What are your theories about Snoke? Tell us in the comments below. And for more The Last Jedi questions and theories, check out our extensive feature. And don't forget to read our Star Wars: The Last Jedi review.
The phenomenally popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds made its console debut earlier this week when it released on Xbox One, and it's already proven to be very popular on the system. Those who may be looking to jump in to PUBG but don't own an Xbox One yet will soon have a chance to pick up both at once, as Microsoft is bundling the game with its new Xbox One X for a limited-time.
Beginning December 17, those who purchase an Xbox One X in participating regions will get a copy of PUBG (which contains a download code for the game) right out of the box at no additional cost. The promotion only runs through December 31, however, so you'll have until the end of the month to score a free copy of the popular survival game with your new Xbox One X.
PUBG is available in early access on Xbox One via the Xbox Game Preview program. It costs $30 to purchase the game--the same price as the early access version on PC. However, the game doesn't perform quite as well on Xbox as it does on PC. Despite its early rough patches, PUBG already drew more than 1 million players on Xbox One in its first 48 hours.
Xbox One X launched around the world back in November. It's the most powerful console to date and costs $500. A growing number of games have been updated with 4K support and other enhancements when played on Xbox One X. Xbox One players can also purchase exclusive cosmetic item packs for PUBG, the second of which is only available from December 14-17. A new desert map called Miramar will also be added to the game in the near future.
Finding gifts for the PC gamer can be tough considering there are just so many dang peripherals out there. That's why we've done the dirty work for you and have outlined the best bang-for-the-buck keyboard, mouse, monitor and more that will serve as excellent gifts this holiday season.
A mechanical keyboard is a valuable asset to PC gamers, but they tend to come at a hefty price. Corsair offers some of the better options out on the market and for $100, the K68features everything you'd need out of a keyboard. It's water and dust resistant, so you don't need to worry about accidentally spilling drinks at your desk and destroying an expensive piece of equipment. Dedicated media keys come in clutch and the Cherry MX Red switches give you smooth, linear, and precise keystrokes.
Logitech has a great reputation when it comes to gaming mice and the G403/G703 shows why. It's a simple mouse that fits into your hand whether you use a claw grip or palm grip. Those who prefer a heavier mouse can insert the included 10 gram weight. Two side buttons are easy to hit with your thumb and the distinct tactility of the mouse buttons help with rapid clicking. The G403 uses a Pixart PWM3366 optical sensor, which is extremely precise. The wired version (G403) goes for $70, but can be found for cheaper while the wireless one (G703) will run you $100 unless it's found on sale.
For a long time, the Xbox 360 controller was the de facto controller of choice for PC gamers due to its XInput support. The Xbox One controller is even better, however, with improved joysticks. The newer variants also support Bluetooth, so you can go wireless without a dongle.
Kingston's HyperX brand found its way into PC gaming peripherals not long ago and its headsets have been highly regarded. The Cloud Alpha released this year and provides exceptional sound quality. Just as important is comfort; this headset has dense velvet-like ear pads that form nicely around your ears. The microphone is detachable so you can get it out of the way if you don't need it. HyperX's Cloud Alpha connects through a 3.5mm connection and can be used on any device that supports the audio jack. Overall, PC gamers will appreciate its sound and build quality.
There are a lot of gaming monitors on the market, but LG makes a really good one with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which will be able to give you a viewing advantage in games that support ultra wide resolutions. It also helps that it's under $200. LG's UM57 25UM57 uses a 25-inch 1080p panel that offers just five millisecond of delay. This is good enough for most gamers. It also uses an IPS display, which means it offers vibrant, realistic colors and wide viewing angles.
With the recent price drop of the Oculus Rift to $400, now is arguably the best time to get a VR headset, especially since the Rift has a more mature library that includes great games like Superhot VR, Robo Recall, Echo Arena, and more. This price also includes the Oculus Touchcontrollers, which retailed for $200 alone earlier this year. It helps that the Rift is also much easier to set up than the competing HTC Vive.
The current cryptocurrency craze has dramatically increased the prices of modern GPUs, but you can still get a good graphics card for under $200. For instance, you can find Asus' 3GB Phoenix Fan Edition GeForce GTX 1060 for $193, and it happens to be a great GPU for maxing out most games at 1080p.
Logitech's C922 webcam is great for both streaming and video calls. It has two different modes that allow you to shoot at either 1080p with 30FPS or 720p with 60FPS. The C922 also offers low-light correction, so you can use it in dim environments.
Whether you want to stream or simply want a high-quality microphone, Blue Yeti's USB microphone has you covered. It has three condenser capsules, which allow you to switch among multiple recording patterns that include cardioid, bidirectional, and omnidirectional.
Another week has passed, and in Destiny 2, that means Xur has arrived once again to hock his Exotic wares. Unlike his first post-Curse of Osiris appearance, however, this one is more meaningful, thanks to the release of the game's latest patch. Here's a walkthrough on how to find Xur this week and a look at what he's selling.
Xur has taken up residence in a new location for him, on the Tower. That means you'll first need to gain access to that social space in order to check out what he has for sale. In order to reach him, spawn into the Tower and head toward the northeastern part of the map, where Dead Orbit is stationed. Behind their area is a set of stairwells; start to head up those, and you'll encounter him toward one of the lower levels.
Unlike last week, none of the gear Xur is selling is exclusive to Curse of Osiris. He's got the usual selection of one Exotic weapon and one piece of Exotic armor for each class. More notably, he also has some new item types. This marks Xur's first weekend since the release of Destiny 2's 188.8.131.52 update. As a result, he now sells Three of Coins and Fated Engrams. These Three of Coins work a bit differently than those in Destiny 1, as they simply increase Exotic drop chances for four hours. Fated Engrams provide you with an Exotic item you don't already own, but you're limited to purchasing one per account each week. Here's the full Xur lineup this week:
This has been a big week for Destiny 2, as the 184.108.40.206 update introduced Masterworks weapons and some other notable changes. However, the planned Faction Rally event was canceled as Bungie, in response to player outrage, makes changes to what content non-DLC owners have access to. Additionally, Bungie announced the details of Destiny 2's The Dawning event, which launches soon to celebrate the holidays.
Far Cry 5 looks to strike a balance between the familiar and the foreign. After the mountain ranges of Kyrat and the tropical charm of the Rook Islands, you could not have picked a more divergent locale than the state of Montana. Yet if you've never driven by a farm or don't know zen-like serenity of fly fishing, it takes little to no time for any Far Cry fan to get acquainted with Hope County.
If you've retained some muscle memory from forays in Far Cry 4 or even Far Cry Primal, you should be able to make small work of many of the initial missions in Far Cry 5. As before, it's largely about studying enemy patrol patterns, knowing how to read alert meters, and mastering stealth takedowns. But unless you're a Far Cry stealth savant, being able to switch gears and go in guns blazing is an equally useful skill.
Your adversaries--the followers and leaders of the Eden's Gate cult--will make sure that the further you go to retake the land from them, the stronger their fanatical pushback. Every bit of territorial takeover gets you closer to the showdown against Joseph Seed, "The Father", and leader, of Eden's Gate. But first, you have to take out his three siblings who control various regions of Hope County. This pathway to the final boss feels like a less ambitious version of the route to El Sueno in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. That doesn't imply Far Cry 5 will be a lesser experience, though between the abundance of helicopters and means to infiltrate bases from the skies, it's hard to avoid comparisons to Ubisoft's early 2017 hit. Both games even have a helicopter shooting puzzle.
Incidentally, our most recent hands-on session shed little new light on Eden's Gate, aside from the affirmation that their followers are some of the most rage-filled enemies in series history. Their idea of cleansing the land means poisoning the water system, even if it results in drugged out animals. It also means getting rid of Hope County's history, right down to its gravesites. It makes for a suitable introductory bonding session between you and optional Gun-For-Hire Grace Armstrong. You can win her over by helping fend off cultists attempting to destroy graves around her church. Whether you follow Grace's lead and snipe followers from the church tower or take the fight to ground level, there are a lot of weapon options in Far Cry 5, provided you can find or afford them.
So far, the most engrossing aspect of Ubisoft's vision of a cult-occupied county in Montana is the illusion that its creatures and citizens live and exist independent of your involvement, for better or worse. You can emerge from a forest to find a bear and a bull in a life-and-death struggle on a farm or you can drive by a couple of cultists on the road ready to execute a pair of non-believers. Obviously, and with a quick enough draw, you can affect the outcome of these conflicts--just be aware that cultists, bears, and bulls will reciprocate your hostility. If the heart of Far Cry is the cycle of recognizing, acting upon, and creating opportunities, what we've played of Far Cry 5 is a promising sample of this continuing trend of rich emergent gameplay.
It remains to be seen whether there'll be a meaningful take-away from Far Cry 5's provoking premise of religious fanaticism. This interpretation of rural America could be inviting enough to make up for the lack of a meaningful message. Even with all the cultists roaming Hope Valley, this could be the first Far Cry worth spending time in "just to hang," whether that means going fishing or taking a tractor for a spin. It's even gratifying to take a plane up and discover landmarks that are impossible to see at ground level. We didn't exactly spot Nazca Lines, but there were landmarks that could be interpreted as extra-terrestrial in nature. We're curious to see what those mean.
We're in mid-December now, and new game releases have finally slowed down a bit. If you're looking for something to occupy your weekend, though, Steam is holding a free weekend for two games. For a limited time, you can try out Homefront: The Revolution and H1Z1.
Homefront: The Revolution is a first-person shooter that centers on a story in which North Korea has conquered the United States. You have to join up with other guerrilla fighters to attempt to break the North Korean hold on the country. You can read more about it in our review here. In short: it's not an amazing game, but still has some interesting ideas and is worth trying out for free.
H1Z1, meanwhile, has morphed several times over the years. It was announced as a DayZ-like survival game, but has since been split into two titles. H1Z1 is now a Battle Royale-style game in the vein of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and in fact PlayerUnknown helped create the original version of H1Z1 before he started work on PUBG. Although H1Z1 has some notable differences from PUBG--most significantly, a much greater focus on crafting--it's nonetheless one of the better Battle Royale games out there.
Homefront will be free to play until Sunday at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 10 PM BST, while H1Z1 will be playable through December 21. If you like either title, you can buy a copy for 75% off right now. Homefront is $7.50 (originally $30) and H1Z1 is $5 (originally $20).
Following a beta earlier this month, Capcom will soon allow PlayStation 4 owners to sample the upcoming Monster Hunter: World once again. This time around, it's dumping the PlayStation Plus requirement of the first beta test, allowing everyone on PS4 to give the game a try.
World's second beta kicks off on December 22 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM GMT (4 AM AET on December 23). It will run for a total of four days, ending at the same times on December 26 (or December 27, for those in some time zones). Although PS Plus is not required to download it, you'll presumably still need a subscription if you hope to try out the game's online multiplayer mode, although that is unconfirmed.
Capcom did not say if there would be any new content available in this second beta. Those who participated in the first test will be able to use the same client they already downloaded, so hopefully you haven't deleted it yet. Pre-loading for newcomers will begin on December 18, giving you a few days to get it downloaded before the beta begins.
Unfortunately, there's still been no word about a beta for Xbox One players. The same is also true for PC, although that comes as less of a surprise given that version doesn't have a release date and won't launch at the same time as the console versions.
World launches for PS4 and Xbox One on January 26. The PS4 version will boast some exclusive freebies in the form of crossover content themed around Horizon Zero Dawn. All versions of the game will also get free Mega Man-themed content and new monsters as free post-launch DLC.
A new game based on Cartoon Network's popular animated series Adventure Time is coming to home consoles and PC next year. Titled Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, the game is an open-world pirate adventure published by Bandai Namco.
In Pirates of the Enchiridion, players can take control of many fan-favorite Adventure Time characters, such as Finn, Jake, Marceline, and BMO and explore the various kingdoms of the Land of Ooo, which have been "cut off from each other" by a flood. Finn and Jake can navigate the world in their own boat and recruit other characters to be a part of their crew. You can see a gallery of some nice-looking screenshots from the game below.
Bandai Namco hasn't shared any details about Pirates of the Enchiridion's plot, but the game will feature an "original" story, and Finn and Jake will have to interrogate other characters for clues during the course of the game. Bandai Namco says the game will also boast "tactical combat" and a progression system for your heroes.
Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion releases on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC in Spring 2018. Beginning today, December 15, developer Outright Games is holding a competition to name Finn and Jake's ship in the game. You can find more details about the competition on Outright's Facebook page.
First-person shooters, survival-horror games, RPGs, adventure games, and real-time tactical strategy games; these are all genres that PC has used throughout its existence to solidify itself as one of gaming's most popular platforms. If you love to play on PC, this was a good year, as 2017 offered mastercraft executions of every genre mentioned above. Each yielded an ambitious spirit, pushing forward its respective genre with fresh ideas and mechanics, while also expanding upon what has come before. In no particular order, here are our picks for the best PC games of 2017.
Total War: Warhammer II is one of the most well-crafted strategy games in PC gaming history. With the second installment, developer The Creative Assembly has expanded the mechanics of the first, while still retaining its sandbox structure. At the same time, the game better utilizes its narrative, tapping into the decades of lore that the Warhammer franchise now consists of.
This sequel adds a sense of dynamism and urgency to a series where many players feel safe slowly creeping across the campaign map, knowing that even if their front line falls, their home cities are stoic and safe. In addition, the scale and enormity of its combat is unparalleled, especially in the Mortal Empires campaign, which combines everything from the first game with everything you see in Total War: Warhammer II. Battles are not long, arduous, drawn-out affairs, nor do they end too quickly for you to appreciate the size and force of what you're seeing.
The addition of the Vortex campaign and a wider variety of quests far exceed the experience of the original. The game also expands the formula with numerous spells and new marching monsters and units, and the resulting concoction is a strategy game that both Warhammer and Total War fans are guaranteed to love.
Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice leverages the strengths of video games as a medium and delivers an experience that is unlike anything else released this year. It's a bold game that explores mental health--specifically psychosis--through the lens of a character-action game wrapped in Norse mythology. The game tackles an important and often misunderstood illness, and allows you to better understand it through visual and aural presentation.
Developer Ninja Theory has a long history of developing action games that are fast and fluid in movement while also being mechanically deep and complex, but for Hellblade, the developer scaled this back somewhat. Playing Hellblade can feel rough and sluggish, but this feeds into the mind-state of its main character, Senua. Returning from self-imposed exile, the young Pict warrior grapples with her inner-demons as she attempts to save the soul of her lover, Dillon.
The act of fighting against demonic apparitions feels like a struggle, as Senua summons every ounce of energy in her body just to keep moving forward, one step at a time. And all the while voices in her head pull her in different directions, some guiding her, while others undermine and belittle her. The result is an experience that feels raw, unsettling, as well as frustrating and disempowering. It can be difficult to play but, ultimately, it's also a unique and enlightening experience.
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard marks a return to form for Capcom, which reconnected with its survival-horror roots to deliver a Resident Evil that is both modern and faithful to the series' legacy.
The game casts aside the third-person perspective for first-person, and in doing so, ratchets up the nerve-wracking tension throughout the campaign. Crucially, however, it leans on the genre pillars that it both established and popularised; bullets and healing items are in short supply, and enemies require strategy and a steady hand to take down.
From the early moments of breathlessly running around the Baker home, hoping and praying not to cross paths with Jack, the psychotic patriarch of the family, to the nail-biting cat-and-mouse game in Marguerite's bug-infested cabin, and the intense fight for survival at the end, Resident Evil 7 is edge-of-your-seat gaming at its finest.
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus never lets you forget who you're fighting, and why. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the characters, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones. The far-future technology of the Nazi regime is exhilarating to partake in--high-powered laser weapons are exciting to use, after all--but it's also a grotesque display of their ruthless subjugation of all corners of the world.
That said, a tongue-in-cheek tone reminiscent of Inglourious Basterds strikes the right balance with the game's incredibly heavy subject matter. The New Colossus has a completely bonkers storyline, and it's elevated by satisfying Nazi-killing action and a self-awareness of its own dark humor. It also manages to make combat exciting without becoming a power fantasy--it's straight-up difficult, and its mechanical, heavily armored enemies can seem impossible to take down at times. But regardless of whether you take a stealthy or guns-blazing approach, you'll be rewarded with a thrilling fight once you do emerge victorious.
The most memorable thing about The New Colossus, though, is its direction. Carefully choreographed cutscenes give more gravity to an already great cast of characters, and the timing of specific moments (all spoilers) makes them all the more impactful. Wolfenstein's tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist--and come out of each battle ready for another fight.
Divinity: Original Sin II snuck up on a lot of people, with buzz before it's release just simmering under the surface of the gaming community. It wasn't long after the game released that this wonderful RPG was on everyone's lips. Fascinating stories of how parties and individuals alike were solving problems and conquering dungeons, secrets and tidbits and little "did you knows" were passed between wannabe adventurers like excited children in class.
The game's story is compelling and involved, but it always encourages you to make it your own with a multitude of opportunities to experiment and choose your own path. Quests can be completed without blindly following objectives, murders can be solved by eating flesh, traps can be thwarted by talking with dogs, and quest givers can be spoken to by communicating with their ghosts. It's the stuff CRPG lovers adore, dialed up to 11.
By far the biggest attraction of Divinity: Original Sin II is the incredible amount of freedom you get, but it helps that the game is built upon a foundation of expertly designed mechanics. Being able to build up your character's abilities and equip them with numerous weapons continually fuels the desire to experiment and customize your party.
Divinity: Original Sin II is a massive accomplishment. It embodies everything that fans have come to adore about CRPGs, accommodating any and all inclinations you have to craft your own adventure. If there's any game you should play on PC this year (or in the years to come) it's Divinity: Original Sin II.
GameSpot will be unveiling its picks for the best games of the year throughout all of December. Check out our Best of 2017 hub for even more.
It's the middle of the month, and that means now is your last chance to grab some of December's free Games With Gold titles before they return to their normal prices. You have through the end of today, December 15, to pick up episodic adventure game Tales From The Borderlands on Xbox One and the backwards-compatible rhythm game Child of Eden for Xbox 360.
On Xbox One, co-op action game Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide will continue to be free through the end of the month. On December 16, more freebies will become available, including Back to the Future: The Game on Xbox One and Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death for Xbox 360. That game also plays on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.
You can see December's full Games With Gold lineup below. January's freebies have not been announced yet but that should happen relatively soon, given the upcoming holiday. We know there won't be any more games added to the backwards compatibility catalog for the remainder of the year, as Microsoft's team is taking some time off.
In other Xbox news, the NPD Group has announced that the Xbox One drove more revenue in November than any other console. However, the PlayStation 4 was the best-seller when it came to units sold.
Following not long after the limited-time Game Awards Flash Sale from last weekend, a new set of discounts have arrived on the PlayStation Store. With the holidays drawing near, Sony has kicked off Week 1 of its 2017 Holiday Sale, which offers a ton of discounts on PS4, PS3, and Vita titles.
As per usual, the biggest selection of deals are reserved for PS4, with PS Plus subscribers taking an additional percentage off nearly all of the eligible titles. This week's lineup features a handful of great titles, such as Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition ($30 with a PS Plus subscription, $36 without), Hitman: Game of the Year Edition ($36/$42), Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition ($10/$12), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ($13.39/$16), Batman: Arkham Knight ($9), and Wipeout: Omega Collection ($16/$20). Some other notable discounts include:
PS3 owners, meanwhile, can find discounts on BioShock and BioShock 2 ($4/$5 each), as well as BioShock Infinite ($7.39/$10), Grand Theft Auto IV ($8), Grand Theft Auto V ($20), Borderlands 2 ($4/$5), and an assortment of PSOne and PS2 classics, including Suikoden II ($5/$6), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($5/$6), and Silent Hill ($3/$3.59). On Vita, you can find discounts on Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma ($20/$28), Axiom Verge ($12), XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus ($5/$7), God Wars: Future Past ($20/$24), and other titles.
Many of these deals will be available until December 19, while some will be around until just after Christmas, on December 26. As this is only the first week of the PSN Holiday Sale, Sony will presumably add another selection of discounts next week. Until then, you can see all the deals available right now on the PlayStation Store.
The latest selection of Deals with Gold are now available on Xbox One and Xbox 360. This week's lineup is fairly slim compared to what was available last week, but Xbox Live Gold members can still find a few noteworthy games on sale for both of Microsoft's consoles.
Following last week's surprise announcement of Mega Man 11, Xbox One owners can pick up all of the Blue Bomber's classic adventures at a discount, as both Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 are on sale for Gold members. The former is available for $6/£4.80, while the latter costs $13.39/£8.03. Gold members can also find discounts on Poi ($13.39/£10.71), Caveman Warriors ($10.04/£8.03), Bridge Constructor ($3.30/£2.64), Dex ($10/£8), The Surge ($20/£16), and Styx: Shards of Darkness ($12.50/£10). Non-Gold members, meanwhile, can find discounts on Iron Wings ($14.39/£11.51) and Maria the Witch ($2.50).
A pair of Mega Man games are also on sale this week on Xbox 360. Both the series' 2008 revival, Mega Man 9, and its follow-up Mega Man 10 are available for $6/£4.05 each. Other discounted games include Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga ($7.49), The Escapists ($5/£3.74), Remember Me ($5/£3.74), and Contrast ($2/£1.59).
This week's Deals with Gold will only be available through 3 AM PT/6 AM ET on December 19, after which they'll be replaced by a new batch of discounts. You can see all the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on sale this week on Major Nelson's blog.
The latest free update for Grand Theft Auto V's GTA Online mode is now available. With this installed, PC, PS4, and Xbox One players can all take on The Doomsday Heist, a brand-new online heist for GTA Online and the biggest piece of content Rockstar has rolled out for the mode to date. [Update: It turns out the update holds more than we thought, as it also includes a new Red Dead Redemption 2 tie-in mission of sorts, seen in the video above.]
Rockstar describes The Doomsday Heist as a "massive new adventure" in which players will team up to thwart "a plan so diabolical it could end life as we know it." The heist spans three acts, each of which "involves negotiating multiple ruthless Freemode prep missions, tactical setup operations, and experimental weapons and vehicles." Rockstar says that all three acts of The Doomsday Heist end in an "over-the-top finale" that will net you a hefty payoff.
In order to participate in the new heist, one of your crew members will need to own "one of the previously undisclosed IAA facilities hidden under Southern San Andreas." That will give you access to the advanced planning room that maps out how to complete each new mission. Players who own the facility also get the option to have either their own Strike Team or Orbital Cannon, a devastating weapon "capable of immolating any patch of ground that incurs your wrath."
In addition to the new heist, today's update introduces "dozens" of new weapons, vehicles, clothing options, and other content to GTA Online, such as your own Mammoth Thruster jetpack and The Avenger, a turreted aircraft capable of vertical take-off. Other new vehicles available in GTA Online now include:
Finally, Rockstar has added eight new Achievements and Trophies to earn. The developer has brought back Criminal Mastermind challenges for all three acts of The Doomsday Heist, as well. Each finale mission also has Elite Challenge objectives for an even steeper challenge and additional rewards.
The Doomsday Heist is the first new online heist Rockstar has introduced since the missions were first introduced in 2015. It's available to play for free for all Grand Theft Auto V players and is one of the many new content updates Rockstar has rolled out this year, including the aircraft-centric Smuggler's Run expansion.
Given the game's different take on the series and the lack of Hideo Kojima's involvement, many Metal Gear fans have been skeptical of the upcoming "spin-off episode" of Metal Gear Solid V, Metal Gear Survive. Fortunately, players will have an opportunity to try the game for themselves in advance of its release, as Konami has announced a beta for the game launches next month.
Survive's beta will run from January 18-21 on both PS4 and Xbox One; there's no mention of a PC beta test, although the game is also coming to that platform. According to Konami, it will provide an opportunity "to jump into co-op mode to build, defend, and fight alongside friends online." No further specifics on what's included were shared.
Those who participate in the beta will receive bonus items in the full game. These include a FOXHOUND name plate, a Metal Gear REX head accessory, and a bandana. It's unclear if there will be a way to unlock these without having played the beta, or if they'll be available at all in the PC version.
Coinciding with this news, Konami shared the video above. It opens with producer Yuji Korekado providing an overview of the game before diving into a look at the single-player and the function that the Base Camp serves in single-player and co-op. We get a look at hunting animals, crafting, and combat, as well as how your Base Camp will periodically come under attack, forcing you to plan ahead and then defend it when necessary.
Metal Gear Survive releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 20. It was originally due out this year, but it was delayed back at E3. It marks the first Metal Gear game to be released by Konami since Kojima, the series' creator, parted ways with the studio.
With Red Dead Redemption 2 slated for release next spring, Rockstar is ready to begin drumming up interest in the game among Grand Theft Auto V players. Following the discovery of some kind of RDR2-related content in GTA Online files, Rockstar has officially announced the details of a new crossover mission and weapon that launches today.
GTA Online players should receive an email in-game that provides a clue to help them pursue "rumors of a lost relic from the frontier." According to the dataminers' discovery, this will entail a scavenger hunt of sorts that takes players all across San Andreas to take pictures of various landmarks. Doing so will unlock a free new gun for use in GTA Online, which Rockstar has revealed is the Double-Action Revolver.
Once you get your hands on that, you'll be eligible to participate in a Headshot Challenge during Freemode. If you're able to complete that successfully, you'll get $250,000 in GTA Online and unlock the Double-Action Revolver for use in Red Dead Redemption 2. It's unclear at this point if it will be usable in RDR2's single-player, multiplayer, or both.
This scavenger hunt comes not long after the launch of the Doomsday Heist update, GTA Online's biggest update so far. In addition to the titular heist, it introduces a variety of new vehicles, cosmetics, and other new elements to GTA V's multiplayer mode. All of that is available now.
As for Red Dead Redemption 2, we know it's due out during Spring 2018, no sooner than April 1, 2018. Rockstar hasn't gotten any more specific than that, nor has it shared much about the game itself. We've gotten some trailers and screenshots, but beyond that, we're still waiting to learn more about its single-player--and any details at all about multiplayer.
Final Fantasy XIV's annual Christmas-themed event is here. The Starlight Celebration kicked off this morning, and Square Enix has detailed some of the holiday-themed items and rewards you can get during the limited-time event--including an adorable new mount.
The Starlight Celebration event began on Friday, December 15, at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET and runs through the rest of the month. You'll need to be at least level 15 to participate in the event, and completing quests will get some new Christmas-themed decorations for your home. But the best reward is the Starlight Bear, a cuddly new mount dressed like Santa. Just look at him.
Players will get the Starlight Bear mount as a reward for completing the Starlight Celebration's quest series. In addition to being adorable, the Starlight Bear knows a few unique tricks. Like your typical bear, it can fly through the air. It can also, fittingly enough, throw presents, which explode into a cloud of stars and snowflakes. You can get a look at those abilities in the screenshots above.
Other items you can get during the Starlight Celebration including four new furnishings: the Starlight Stew Set, Starlight Log Set, Starlight Sapling, and Starlight Celebration Advertisement. You can also get a Starlight Gateway music roll for your Orchestrion. The Starlight Celebration event ends at 6:59 AM PT on December 31. You can read more about it on the Final Fantasy XIV website.
Outside of a few individual game discounts, sales in the Nintendo Switch Eshop have been rare up to this point in the console's life. Now, Nintendo of America has kicked off the digital store's first big sale ahead of the holidays, and it includes discounts on a bunch of great Switch games.
Among the discounted titles Switch owners can find are Overcooked: Special Edition ($16), Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ($13.39), SteamWorld Dig 2 ($15), Yono and the Celestial Elephants ($12.49), The Mummy Demastered ($14), and Party Golf ($10). Other discounted games include The Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($18.74), Slime-san ($10.19), Tallowmere ($6.29), Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas ($10), Tumblestone ($9), and Unbox: Newbie's Adventure ($15).
Nintendo UK has also begun its own holiday sale in the Switch Eshop, with an even bigger selection of deals to choose from. It features many of the same titles that are currently on sale, along with a handful of other notable Switch games. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is £33.32, Rocket League is £11.28, Puyo Puyo Tetris is £24.49, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is £18, Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack is £25.19, and Just Dance 2018 is £33.32.
The UK holiday Eshop sale ends on December 28. Nintendo hasn't specified when the North American sale ends, though it will presumably be around the same time. Both regions also have a number of Wii U and 3DS Eshop games on sale right now. You can see the full list of games that are on sale in North America here, while the UK list can be found here.
More games are out now for Nintendo Switch. It's another busy week for the hybrid console; a total of 20 titles arrive on the Eshop, the bulk of which released for the system on December 14.
Among the games available this week is Yooka-Laylee, the Banjo-Kazooie-style 3D platformer by Playtonic Games. The game makes its Switch debut several months after it released for other platforms, and it comes with all of the updates and improvements Playtonic rolled out recently, such as a new camera system and improved controls. The Switch version also boasts custom achievements, and up to four players can play Yooka-Laylee's mini-games using a single Joy-Con each. You can read more about the title in our Yooka-Laylee review.
Likewise making its Switch debut this week is Enter the Gungeon, the 2016 dungeon-crawler/bullet hell game from Devolver Digital. The game features four protagonists, each of whom has their own unique abilities. Up to two players can team up to shoot their way through procedurally generated dungeons in an effort to find the Gungeon's ultimate treasure: a gun that can kill the past.
A number of other noteworthy titles are out now, as well, such as Gorogoa, a beautiful and inventive picture puzzle game which we thought was one of the coolest games you might've missed at E3 2017. There's also Mutant Mudds Collection, a compilation of the fun platformer Mutant Mudds and its sequel, Super Challenge, as well as the Mudd Blocks puzzle game. Other releases include the latest ACA Neo Geo game, The Last Blade; the retro-style style dungeon-crawler Hammerwatch; and the clever bridge-building game Poly Bridge.
Out earlier this week was The End Is Nigh, the harrowing new platformer from the creator of Super Meat Boy. Meanwhile, the remastered classic SNES RPG Romancing SaGa 2 arrives on December 15. You can see the full list of this week's Switch releases below.
A patch is coming to Nintendo Switch's open-world RPG, Xenoblade Chronicles 2. This marks the first update for the game since it released earlier this month, and along with a few bug fixes, it makes some welcome improvements to its map. Monolith Soft head Tetsuya Takahashi detailed the forthcoming changes in a post on Nintendo's website.
The version 1.1.1 update rolls out for Xenoblade Chronicles 2 next Friday, December 22. It makes a handful of quality-of-life changes, most notably to the in-game map. "When you press the X button, the Skip Travel screen will open the map to your current location," Takahashi wrote. "We hope this will make it easier to spot Skip Travel locations and Salvage Points on the map." Additionally, you'll be able to display a 1:1 zoom on the mini-map by pressing the left control stick in.
The 1.1.1 update also adds a new easy mode to the Tiger Tiger mini-game, which is the only way to unlock more customization parts for Tora's artificial Blade, Poppi. Those who purchased Xenoblade Chronicles 2's expansion pass will also get the following set of items:
The Xenoblade Chronicles 2 expansion pass costs $30 and adds a lot of new content to the game throughout 2018, the first piece of which is a new quest that is slated to arrive sometime in January. Other content on the way to the game next year includes a new Rare Blade, a challenge battle mode, and a new story.
Xenoblade Chronicles 2 is available exclusively on Nintendo Switch. GameSpot awarded it a 7/10 in our Xenoblade Chronicles 2 review. Critic Peter Brown said, "[I]ts often clumsy nature keeps it from being the next groundbreaking Switch game, but Xenoblade 2 is worth pursuing if you've got enough patience to let it blossom." If you're intimidated by the game's battle system, we've put together a detailed Xenoblade Chronicles 2 combat guide.