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GTA Online Adds Collection Time Mode, Dewbauchee Specter Car

Grand Theft Auto Online shows no signs of slowing down as Rockstar today announced a new vehicle and Adversary mode that should give players more to do and a new ride to do it with.

Collection Time has two to four-player teams fighting over  literal bags of money. Each player starts with one bag of money, which drops upon death and can be picked up by anyone. The team with the most bags at the end of the match wins. To celebrate the launch of the mode, Rockstar is offering double cash and reputation rewards for playing Collection Time until January 30.

Also until January 30, players can save 25 percent on Benny's upgrades (including the Executive Upgrade, which adds the shop to players' own garage) to welcome the game's latest vehicle, the Dewbauchee Specter, a lightweight sports car.

 

Our Take
Dewbauchee is a pretty good name for a car. It's also nice to see Rockstar's still adding new modes for longtime GTA Online players to mess around in. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Why Overwatch Doesn’t Need A Story Mode

“All right, listen up!” says the echoing voice of Soldier 76, Overwatch’s anointed dad character. As part of the intro to the new seasonal mode, “Mei’s Snowball Offensive,” the camera pans over a view of the Ecopoint: Antarctica map, as if this were an action film. ”We brought you here because you represent the best, strongest, most effective warriors we…” The camera swoops down to a shot of Mei, copping a coy smile and hiding a snowball. With a chuckle, she launches it at the screen. “You can’t be serious,” a resigned Solider 76 says. His heart-pounding action flick has been ruined.

The intro’s a little long for something players are supposed to watch every time they want to play a match of Mei’s Snowball Offensive, but it works. It’s cheeky in just the right way, like a comedy skit, and it injects some personality into the mode.

It also offers some direct storytelling, something Overwatch currently lacks. That lack of narrative is one of the few knocks fans have against it. In editorials, social media, and Blizzard’s own forums, diehards have been asking for (and bemoaning the lack of) a proper story mode for the game since its release. But as much as fans are dying to know more about Overwatch’s world by playing the game itself, I don’t think the game should get that story mode any time soon.  

Mei’s Snowball Offensive is one of three seasonal modes Blizzard has dropped into Overwatch throughout the year. The other two modes have similar high-concept setups: In “The Summer Games,” the characters dress up as Olympic athletes to celebrate sportsmanship, although Lúcio is the only one who gets to play a new mode. In “Junkenstein’s Revenge,” they play out what could be the final act of a cheesy horror flick.

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These modes, all distinct “what-if” scenarios, cement Overwatch’s cast less as characters in a typical story and more the way Shigeru Miyamoto views the cast of the Mario games, as “a troupe of actors,” who can work different roles depending on the situation. How else can we explain how Jamison “Junkrat” Fawkes goes from being a Junker who builds explosives out of scraps to a mad scientist hellbent on creating an army of Zomnics? We aren’t meant to see these modes as part of the same timeline, but rather as a collection of stories featuring the cast of Overwatch.

This doesn’t mean Overwatch lacks any kind of consistent world-building or lore. One of the biggest draws of the game is how we can find out about Soldier 76, Mei, or Junkrat even without the presence of a story mode. Combing through Blizzard’s official comicswiki pages, and animated shorts, can paint just as good picture of who you’re playing as when you hop into a match of the non-seasonal modes. These stories turn Overwatch’s maps into parts of a world, its cast into interesting archetypes players are drawn to. But, since you won’t find any of it in the game’s menus, you can choose to disengage from that world entirely if you just want to dress up as Witch Mercy for the night.

Players being able to divorce themselves from that world is important, because it’s part of what has allowed the fan art and fiction community for Overwatch thrive so prominently. With Overwatch’s world as a guide but not a mandate, they have created new scenarios where these characters fight each other, or far more interesting scenarios that put them in a much more mundane light. Fans frequently play matchmaker for their favorite characters, and many popular couplings (like “PharMercy”) have proliferated; they’ve given characters new (often more endearing) backstories. The way Overwatch puts its plot in the background lets anyone use the characters Blizzard has created in the same way they do, as “a troupe of actors” taking part in myriad one-off shorts that don’t adhere to a strict timeline.

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That’s the world of any multiplayer game: a deluge of conflicting narratives, overlapping in messy and glorious ways. So far, Blizzard has embraced that. They’ve made the community fiction a part of their game by putting a nod to the “Gremlin” version of D.Va that began in fan art in the game. The game’s wider fiction is there if you want to dig deep, but you can forget it and have the game’s “story” be your matches, your Play of the Game, your favorite outfits, your favorite seasonal mode, or your own fan-fiction, and the game abides.

A full-blown story mode fleshing out the characters and lore of Overwatch would make these colliding fictions less fun. It would bring the “main” story Blizzard has crafted for these characters to the center in a way that would make the fan art and seasonal one-offs feel like they are no longer as “important” as whatever official plot Blizzard puts forth. I don’t think it would mean the end of these modes, or fan-stories, or fan-oriented Easter eggs. But as soon as the game has a “real” story mode, it becomes the main event, and everything else is a little curiosity, thrown to the side. Though there’s a lot of details to learn about the world of Overwatch, it still exists in an ambiguous state, which lets both Blizzard and fans fill in the gaps however they want.

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This isn’t to say that if Blizzard were to add a story mode, it would quash the output of fan art and fiction. These communities spring up for any piece of fiction with the potential to explore different character relationships (such as Mass Effect). But what’s notable about Overwatch is that in its case, the tangential stories share as much prominence in people’s minds as the officially-sanctioned story. When there isn’t much evidence to say that the PharMercy relationship, for example, isn’t canon, it can fill in a gap in people’s minds left behind by the ambiguous nature of Blizzard’s world-building thus far.

I have little doubt that if Blizzard actually did try their hand at a single-player mode for Overwatch, they’d knock it out of the park. And I get why fans would want a story mode to flesh out several of the plotlines teased in the animated shorts. The world they’ve built is ripe for exploring, and many of their characters would shine in the spotlight. But once that world is explored, once there’s an in-depth “official” version of these characters, fans will have less room to fill in the gaps themselves, and fun seasonal modes like Mei’s Snowball Offensive will lose some of their appeal. So I hope Blizzard sticks to the “troupe” approach, and continues to let us tell our own stories in its world.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

See Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s Breach mode deconstructed at GDC 2017

Heads up, game makers: 2017 Game Developers Conference organizers are happy to announce that Eidos Montreal will be backing a neat talk at the show about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided’s unique Breach mode. …


Gamasutra News

GTA Online Holiday Event Introduces Juggernaut Mode

New details have emerged regarding GTA Online’s holiday event, which includes the addition of a new Adversary mode called Juggernaut. In the latest mode, two opposing teams each must try and take out the opponent’s juggernaut character, even while attempting to keep their own Juggernaut from harm. In a fun twist, if neither team is able to take out the opposition before time runs out, then everyone transforms into a Juggernaut until someone is killed. 

In addition to the launch of the new Juggernaut mode, devoted GTA Online players can expect to find a re-imagined Pfister Comet sports car now available to drive, not to mention an ongoing snow-theme that is blanketing the game in white through December 26. Log in on Christmas day, and you can also expect to get a bunch of fun treats, including a set of pajamas (blue or white), a unicorn mask, and a whole stocking full of explosive munitions and ammo. 

You can read all about GTA Online's holiday shenanigans on Rockstar's official site

 

Our Take
If you’re part of the enthusiastic community that still spends time in GTA Online, it seems like a login this Sunday would be wise. 

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Battlefield 1 Update Adds New Map, Spectator Mode

Today DICE revealed the depth of December's planned Battlefield 1 update, and the additions are impressive.

Leading the way is the Giant's Shadow map, the first new one since the game's October release. The map is based on the battle of the Selle in 1918. "With a massive crashed airship casting its shadow onto the
battlefield, you can expect fierce combat on the open ground and river banks
alongside the Cateau-Wassigny railway," DICE says on the Battlefield blog. The free map is available to play on December 13 for premium members, and December 20 for the wider public.

The return of Spectator mode also allows players to observe other matches using a free-cam or switching between first- and third-person perspectives for any player participating in the battle. The update also adds another custom game type, Standard Issue Rifles, which limits class weapons to their faction's standard issue rifle.

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You can read in more details about these changes and the balance updates (which include shotgun damage) here.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Tekken 7 Adds A Pair Of Bears, Tournament Mode

After the end of Tekken 7's "King of Iron Fist" Tournament in Japan a few hours ago, we saw the return of two of Tekken's most adorable characters for Tekken 7: Kuma (Japanese for "bear") the Bear and Panda the… well, Panda.

The two look to play somewhat different, using different special attacks and combos. If the trailer is any indication, Panda prefers stylish hats for their beatdowns, while Kuma prefers to beat people up using fish. You watch the two fight it out in what could be 2016's most ridiculous trailer below.

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Along with the two characters, it was also announced that Tekken 7 will have a tournament mode. With it, up to eight players can set up single or double-elimination tournaments, talk and text each other during and between matches, and even hand out special prizes.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Scouts Reign Supreme In Battlefield 1′s New Custom Game Mode

DICE launched a new custom game variant in Battlefield 1 today
that puts scouts on the offensive.

The new game mode is called Line of Sight, and forces
would-be snipers out of their comfort zone. The Rush-based variant limits
players down to just two classes: scouts and medics. Scouts enjoy double bullet
damage, which should turn most of the rifles the class uses into one-hit-kill
weapons. As a result, medics better plan on packing their syringes if they want
to keep their team up and running (towards the next objective).

DICE also reaffirmed that Battlefield 1's free Giant's Shadow
map is on schedule for a December release, and that the first paid expansion
will be hitting in March of next year. For more on the game, read Bertz'
review
, and get educated with his Idiot's
Guide To Battlefield 1
.

[Source: DICE]

 

Our Take
I've been enjoying
Battlefield 1's large-scale multiplayer battles, and this kind of variety is a good incentive to keep coming back. Shameless plug: If you're
looking for some sweet custom emblems to taunt your opponents with, check
out my column
from earlier in the month.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Survival Co-op Mode Coming To Uncharted 4

Keeping in line with their drip-feed of free content, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is getting a survival cooperative mode in mid-December.

Uncharted 4: Survival puts up to three players against up to 50 waves of increasingly harder enemies over 10 maps on any difficulty. Pirate Warlord bosses invade every 10 waves, as evidenced by the Djinn-wielding Henry Avery in the trailer.

Survival mode also gives players some non-combat-oriented objectives like collecting items, defending a specific area, or taking out marked enemies. Modifiers also change the game up even further by enforcing specific limits like only dealing damage through pistols, melee attacks, or headshots .

Co-op survival has its own progression system, complete with Relic Challenges, exclusive vanity items (that can also be used in competitive multiplayer), unlockable upgrades, and customizable loadouts. Ranking up gives access to Survival-exclusive, one-use boosters, new items, and equipment upgrades. Players can also upgrade during matches by buying better weapons and Mysticals from the cash earned by defeating enemies and completing objectives.

Survival mode will be playable at the PlayStation Experience in Anaheim on December 3 and 4.

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[Source: PlayStation Blog]

 

Our Take
Co-op is a fantastic addition to the steady stream of free updates that Naughty Dog has patched in since the game's release in May. A whole new mode and game type is another great way to supplement the free competitive maps and cosmetic items. Also, I would not be surprised if we see a glimpse of the single-player DLC for Uncharted 4 at PSX in addition to this co-op mode.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

Two New Heroes And A Brawl Mode Are Coming To Heroes Of The Storm

During the Heroes of the Storm presentation production of this year's Blizzcon, Heroes of the Storm director Kaeo Milker showed off two new heroes and brawl coming to Heroes of the Storm. The latest brawl is called Blackheart's Revenge and will have teams of heroes fighting for different objectives, either helping Blackheart take the harbor or defending it from his onslaught.

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The first up for the new heroes is Varian, the first multi class hero. There will be at least six different ways to play him using either a sword and shield, or twin blades. The other hero is Ragnoros, who can hurl a wave of lava that fills an entire lane or take over a fort to become giant. Both heroes should be available in the coming weeks.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

How Overwatch’s New Arcade Mode Works

Buried under the news of Sombra's reveal at Blizzcon was the introduction of Overwatch's new Arcade mode (not to be confused with the Brawl type of the same name, now called "Total Mayhem"), which will offer a number of new game modes to play and allow everyone to earn three more Loot Boxes per week.

Taking the feedback that the current Brawl system, "didn't have enough oomph to it," (as Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan said), the Arcade is actually a sub menu, which houses a number of new modes, including the current Brawl. The Arcade mode will offer different kinds of a modes, which will be cycled in and out.

Whenever a player wins a match of a new game mode for the first time, they'll receive a single Loot Box. In addition, winning three matches of any game mode in the current Arcade rotation will net players an additional loot box and they can earn three loot boxes this way per week. The weekly timer will reset at the same time for everyone.

But what new modes are there in the Arcade? First, there's a new one-versus-one Mystery Duel mode, which will pit two players against each other in a best-of-nine match. Both players will play as the same hero in this mode, chosen at random each round. Another mode opts for a three-versus-three set up and uses a Counter-Strike-style elimination in a best-of-five format where teams can pick a single, unchanging team composition each round. To accommodate the less crowded mode, Blizzard built a new map, Eco Point, which acts as Mei's home base. The map is smaller than most other maps and was made for the short-lived matches of Elimination and Mystery Duel.

On top of that, some Brawl mainstays will make a return. The six-versus-six Mystery Hero Mode returns, and a new mode called "No Limits." When the Arcade update hits, Quick Play will stay the same, one hero per team limit from Competitive, while No Limits lets players stack up to six of the same hero. Finally, all the other brawls, like Super Shimada Bros. and We're All Soldiers Now, are funneled into a single playlist, called "All Brawls," and teams will cycle between all the Brawls between matches. A couple of new Brawls will enter the fray as well, including one which limits the map Ilios with the giant pit in it and that only lets you play as Lucio and Roadhog. Because all the new modes will split the playerbase, the client will let players know when they're playing in a low-popularity mode, and if a mode is consistently unpopular, it will be cycled out.

The Arcade mode will also host the seasonal modes, like Junkenstein's Revenge and Lucio Ball, though Kaplan did not make it clear whether these Brawls would rotate in and out like other modes, or if they'd only return during the appropriate times.

 

Our
I didn't feel Overwatch lacked variety (I appreciated the focused nature of Quick Play and Competitive), but this introduces is a ridiculous amount of new ways to play Overwatch. I'm really excited to play the new three-versus-three mode, and I hope enough people play it to keep the mode in rotation for a long time.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed