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Updated: 2 hours 9 min ago

Snag This Classic Strategy Game For Free At GOG

2 hours 13 min ago

PC games store GOG gives out free games regularly on its homepage, and the next freebie available for shoppers is Paradox Interactive's grand strategy game Europa Universalis II. To claim the game, simply head over to GOG's homepage and click the "Get it free" button on the banner at the top of the page. The game will immediately be added to your GOG account, and you can download and start playing the DRM-free copy right away. The giveaway is only running for a few days, ending October 24 at 6 AM PT / 9 AM ET, so claim it now or whenever you have a chance.

Claim free game at GOG

Spanning the years 1419 through 1820, Europa Universalis II casts you as the leader of a country fighting for dominance. You'll command everything from military and political alliances to scientific development and exploration of the New World, and you'll also experience true historical events and people like Joan of Arc and Napoleon. Europa Universalis II also features expanded systems for diplomacy and trade, including the ability to demand gold, provinces, or diplomatic agreements as a result of peace, and its new tutorial makes the game far more approachable than its predecessor. The game received an 8.5/10 in GameSpot's Europa Universalis II review.

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Assassin's Creed Valhalla DLC Roadmap Announced, Here's What's Coming

2 hours 14 min ago

Like the Assassin's Creed games that came before it, Assassin's Creed Valhalla is getting a heap of post-launch DLC, some of which is free, and other parts are included with a $40 season pass.

The season pass includes two major expansions, as well as a special quest themed around Beowulf. The Legend of Beowulf quest focuses on the hero Beowulf, leading up to players uncovering the "monstrous truth" behind the character. This quest will be available on launch day for season pass owners, but Ubisoft did not say when or if the quest will be made available to everyone else.

DLC 1: Wrath of the Druids

The first of the expansions is titled Wrath of the Druids, and it's scheduled for release in Spring 2021. "In this new adventure, players will journey to Ireland and unravel the mysteries of an ancient and mysterious druidic cult, tracking and discovering their members," reads a line from the description. "Diving into Gaelic myths and folklores, they’ll need to fight their way through haunted forests and dazzling landscapes while gaining influence among Gaelic kings."

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Borderlands 3: Here's An Early Look At Amara And Fl4k's New Skills In The Designer's Cut Update

2 hours 14 min ago

On November 10, Borderlands 3 will see the beginning of its Year 2 content with the Designer's Cut update. In addition to the new Arms Race mode, another big highlight from this new content drop are the new skill trees for each of the vault hunters, allowing them to use additional action skills and buffs to alter their playstyles even more.

GameSpot had the chance to get some early hands-on time with the Designer's Cut, and we spent some time experimenting with the new builds for the vault hunters. Throughout this week, we'll be sharing details and gameplay showcasing the new skills vault hunters can utilize in combat. Starting off with Amara and Fl4k, we have new gameplay and a more detailed breakdown of their new skills below.

We've spent some time playing both characters and fleshed out their respective skill trees, so here's a quick rundown of some of their new abilities and how they can alter Amara and Fl4k.

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New Demos Let You Try Immortals: Fenyx Rising And 64-Player Pac-Man Stadia Game For Limited Time

2 hours 14 min ago

Google has announced that all Stadia users will get access to a handful of demos over the course of this week, including Ubisoft's upcoming action-adventure game Immortals: Fenyx Rising.

Over the next three days--October 20, 21, and 22--Google will update the list of available demos Stadia players can check out. The demos themselves will be live for one full week.

The demos Stadia players can check out include Humankind, Immortals: Fenyx Rising, and Pac-Man Mega Tunnel Battle. Mega Tunnel Battle's demo is available to play now, while Humankind goes live on October 21 and Immortals: Fenyx Rising drops on October 22. Immortals: Fenyx Rising, previously called Gods and Monsters, is an open-world action-adventure game set against the backdrop of Greek mythology. It, along with Genshin Impact, have garnered a lot of comparisons to Nintendo's The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.

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Red Dead Online Celebrates The Spooky Season With A Halloween Pass

2 hours 51 min ago

Like many games with an online component, Red Dead Redemption 2 is also preparing to celebrate Halloween. After a new October event that appears to be taking some inspiration from Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare was leaked earlier in the year, developer Rockstar Games has confirmed the existence of the Halloween Pass for Red Dead Online.

It'll cost players 15 gold bars to purchase, or if you haven't been saving your gold while exploring the old frontier, you can also pay $10 USD for 25 pieces of the in-game currency.

The Halloween Pass has 20 levels of rewards that can be unlocked through experience points gains, and each earned rank will give players items such as the skeletal Zavala machete, painted ram horse masks, and mystical variations of full weapons.

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Apple Is Removing App That Allowed Google Stadia Streaming On iOS

2 hours 56 min ago

The situation for games streaming on Apple devices is dire. Whether you're an iPhone or iPad owner, there are currently no official ways to stream games with Google Stadia or Microsoft's Xbox Game Streaming. And very soon, the one unofficial way will be forced off the App Store.

Stadium is a third-party application that allowed streaming from Google Stadia on iOS devices by providing a web-based bridge between the service and your device. Essentially, Stadium was just a new web browser that was able to reliably run Stadia games, while supporting Bluetooth controllers connected to your iOS device. It turns out that last feature is part of the reason why Apple is kicking the app off its App Store, which isn't surprising to its developer.

Zachary Knox, the developer of Stadium, explained in a Reddit post that the app utilized extensions that allowed controllers to communicate with Apple's internal WebKit API (the backbone of all browsers on iOS). This is in violation of Apple's rules, which were cited as the reason for the app's removal. The functionality of the app, which allows game streaming despite Apple's own reservations over native streaming apps, was not mentioned.

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Seinfeld Co-Creator, Stars Reunite For Virtual Democratic Fundraiser

3 hours 6 min ago

Even though it's impossible to imagine there is anybody left in the US who is still undecided about who to vote for in the upcoming election--upcoming, as in, it's happening in two weeks--fundraisers to help get the word out continue to pop up with increasing frequency in the home stretch. The Texas Democratic Party has announced it will be holding a virtual reunion of Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jason Alexander, and Larry Davis--the stars and co-creator of Seinfeld--on October 23 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET.

The event, titled A Fundraiser About Something, will be hosted by Seth Meyers and "special guests" as they discuss their favorite Seinfeld episodes and dish on behind-the-scenes memories. A donation of any size, with $1 being the floor, is all that's required to gain admission to the event which will only be live-streamed exclusively at the scheduled time Friday.

The fundraiser comes at a time when the popular '90s sitcom has become a prominent meme of the moment in the election. Over this past weekend, Louis-Dreyfus and also Alexander signal-boosted a tweet by political action committee The Lincoln Project noting the similarities between President Trump and Elaine Benes' dance moves.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light Story Trailer Reveals The Power Of The Darkness

3 hours 46 min ago

Destiny 2: Beyond Light will add plenty of new content to developer Bungie's sandbox, with one of the primary draws being the ability to finally wield the power of the Darkness. While Guardians can harness Stasis energies to wreak havoc on their enemies, they won't be the only life-forms capable of doing so.

A new story trailer for the expansion has revealed that a gathering of Fallen has also been gifted with those dark powers.

Bungie has also posted character descriptions on its site, detailing the enemies and allies who you'll encounter, such as the new Fallen Kell Eramis, her lieutenants, and a few other familiar faces.

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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Getting Optimizations For Xbox Series X And Series S

4 hours 6 sec ago

With the launch of the Xbox Series X and Series S just around the corner, Microsoft is continually adding to its growing list of exclusives that will be enhanced for its new consoles. Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be included, too, with support for 120 FPS and up to 4K.

The collection will receive an update on November 17 (a week after the console launch) that will optimize the entire catalogue of Halo classics for the capabilities of the new consoles. That means 120 FPS support in both the campaigns and multiplayer, as well as up to 4K support and additional split-screen optimizations on the Xbox Series X, although the tweet makes has mention of the capabilities of the Series S version of the game. The update will be free, of course, as Microsoft includes it in its Smart Delivery program. The game is also included in Xbox Game Pass on console and PC, as well as Xbox Game Streaming on Android.

Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a staggering assortment of Halo titles, including the original Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, Halo: Reach, and Halo 4. It does not include Halo 5: Guardians, and Microsoft is adamant it won't be added in the future.

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Yakuza: Like A Dragon Trailer Shows Off Next-Gen Advanced Crustacean AI

4 hours 46 min ago

Yakuza: Like A Dragon marks a milestone for Sega's long-running sandbox RPG, as this will be the first entry in the series that arrives on next-gen consoles as a launch game.

Featuring a variety of graphical enhancements on PS5, Xbox Series X, and Xbox Series S, the latest Yakuza game starring new protagonist Kasuga Ichiban also has a few other next-gen features that sets it apart from other next-gen launch games.

All of these can be seen in the trailer below, which features advanced crustacean AI, optimized protagonist optimism, and a slightly disturbing glimpse into the game's immersive role-playing.

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Xbox iPhone And iPad App Updates Let You Play Remotely

4 hours 55 min ago

Microsoft has issued an update to its Xbox apps on iPhone and iPad, which enables remote play to stream games from a local Xbox One console to your mobile device. The feature supports Xbox One and will support Xbox Series X and Series S games, but doesn't work with backward compatibility for Xbox 360 or original Xbox.

This is similar to PS4 remote play on iOS, which was added via the PS4 Remote Play app last year. That's a separate app entirely, while the Xbox remote play functionality is folded directly into the main Xbox app.

This is distinct from Microsoft's xCloud streaming service, which is now offered as part of Xbox Game Pass. That feature streams games directly to your device from cloud servers. Microsoft has had some trouble getting that functionality on iOS due to Apple's policies, but the company is reportedly planning to bring the functionality through a browser app. That's also the method being used by its competitor game streaming service, Amazon Luna.

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Uno Is Going Sustainable And Ditching Cellophane With Nothin' But Paper Edition

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 22:00

Uno, the popular card game that's been around since 1971, is making a major step towards sustainability. Today, Mattel has launched Uno: Nothin' But Paper, a new edition of the game that ditches cellophane wrapping and is 100% recyclable.

This is the first Uno deck to release without cellophane, and it's going to become the standard going forward. In 2021, all of Uno's paper decks will ship without cellophane, as part of Mattel's on-going efforts to go 100% recycled/recyclable by 2030.

This new edition, which retails for $6, is available from today. Its cards feature a beautiful new design, which you can see in the images below.

Uno: Nothin' But Paper edition (all images courtesy of Mattel)

Uno is the most popular card game in the world, so while each deck only uses a small amount of cellophane, cutting it entirely should ultimately make a big difference.

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John Wick Is Getting A Licensed Roller Coaster

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 17:19

With three successful movies, two more on the way, a video game, and a number of spin-offs for both TV and cinema in the works, John Wick has been a hit for Lionsgate. Now, the company wants to turn its star franchise into a 10-story roller coaster for its Motiongate theme park in Dubai, Variety reports.

The "John Wick: Open Contract" ride, along with another coaster designed after the Now You See Me franchise, is due to open early next year in Dubai. Lionsgate have shared renderings of what both rides are expected to look like.

From the descriptions, it seems that most of the theming will take place in the ride queue. Riders will get to choose whether they want to help John Wick or hunt him, with each option taking them on a different route through the queueing area. It sounds like both options culminate in the same actual ride, however. The queue may end up being the best part for John Wick fans--it's designed after the franchise's iconic Continental Hotel.

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The Batman Is Borrowing Virtual Filmmaking Techniques From The Mandalorian

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 16:53

While the Star Wars films are known for flying into remote and beautiful locations to get the perfect shot, TV show The Mandalorian pioneered a brand-new type of filmmaking by shooting mostly in a studio against LED screens. Now, according to ILM's chief creative officer Rob Bredow, The Batman will be using some of the same techniques for key scenes, THR reports.

As you may know if you've watched Disney's behind-the-scenes series about the making of the Mandalorian, the show was mostly shot against a giant screen called "The Volume," which runs on Epic's Unreal Engine. The technique has been called virtual production, and the success of The Mandalorian has led to ILM creating a new production unit called StageCraft dedicated to virtual production.

Speaking at the VIEW visual effects and animation conference, ILM's Rob Bredow revealed that The Batman has used these techniques for some scenes. The upcoming DC film, which is being filmed in London, won't be using the Manhattan Beach Studios where The Mandalorian was filmed. Instead, Bredow explained, the team built an LED wall around a physical set that had already been constructed in the UK.

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Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2 Has Lost Its Senior Narrative Designer

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 16:10

Cara Ellison, the senior narrative designer for Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2, has moved on from the project. In a statement given to PC Gamer, publisher Paradox Interactive has confirmed that Ellison is no longer involved with the game.

"We can confirm that Cara Ellison has decided to leave Hardsuit Labs and is no longer working on Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines 2," the statement reads. "Cara brought fresh ideas to the project and many of her contributions will be present in the game launching next year."

Ellison has secured a new position--she's now a Senior Narrative Designer at League of Geeks, the Australian developer of Armello. The studio's next game remains a secret, but it will be published by Private Division.

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Phasmophobia Hackers Are Terrorizing Streamers With Jump Scares

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 15:53

Ghost-hunting game Phasmophobia has become a surprise hit since it launched in early access, especially among Twitch streamers who are getting into the spirit of Halloween. Unfortunately, the game appears to be plagued by hackers, with some now appearing to target the lobbies of players who are live on stream.

As a PVE game, Phasmophobia hasn't implemented anti-cheat, but some players are calling for it to be added to cut down on hackers who are making the game unenjoyable for others. At its most innocent, hacks can be used to increase the number of players allowed to join a lobby for those who want to play with more than three other people, but the hacking tools are also being used for harassment. A Google search currently turns up numerous YouTube videos and forums providing guides on how to hack the game.

Multiple Twitch streamers have had their private lobbies raided by hackers, who then spawn ghosts into the lobby screen to inflict jump scares on streamers enjoying a moment of rest. While the game is a horror game designed to cause a scare or two, these kinds of unexpected scares are more confronting, and can cause genuine distress for the players experiencing them.

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Jeff Bridges Announces He Has Lymphoma, Says The Prognosis Is Good

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 15:31

Veteran and esteemed actor Jeff Bridges has announced he has Lymphoma, which is a type of cancer.

He made the announcement on Twitter, referencing his character from The Big Lebowski, The Dude. "As The Dude would say.. New s**t has come to light. I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma," he said. "Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good. I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery."

As the Dude would say.. New S**T has come to light.
I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Although it is a serious disease, I feel fortunate that I have a great team of doctors and the prognosis is good.
I’m starting treatment and will keep you posted on my recovery.

— Jeff Bridges (@TheJeffBridges) October 20, 2020

There was an immediate outpouring of support for Bridges, and he followed up with a second tweet where he said he is "profoundly grateful for the love and support from my family and friends."

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Genshin Impact's Newest Playable Character Is Explosives Expert Klee

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 15:26

Although Genshin Impact borrows a lot from Nintendo's Breath Of The Wild for its open world, it's also a gacha game--which means new characters will be inbound fairly regularly. The next event banner character Klee may not be new to the game, but she's about to be summonable for the first time.

Now that Venti's banner event has ended, pyro expert Klee will be the next character you'll have an increased chance of pulling from event wishes. You'd have to spend some serious money to guarantee a Klee pull, but free-to-play players will also have a higher chance of snagging her during the event.

Klee, of course, isn't new to the game in general. She resides in "solitary confinement" in the Knights of Favonius headquarters, where a knight named Wood stands guard in front of a locked door. Klee also has a story quest available from Adventure Rank 32 where players can learn a little more about the pint-sized explosives expert.

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The Mandalorian Season 2: New Trailer Reveals Mando's Season 2 Quest

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 13:11

A new trailer for The Mandalorian Season 2 has appeared, giving us a look at what to expect when the show returns to Disney+ on October 30. We've previously had a full trailer, but this "special look" gives us some more details about what Mando and his crew are up to this time around.

It seems that our hero is trying to reunite The Child (aka Baby Yoda) with his "own kind", which is exciting--Yoda's species remains a vague part of Star Wars lore that the series could potentially define. It also looks like Greef Karga (Carl Weathers) and Cara Dune (Gina Carano) will be given much more to do this time around.

You can watch the trailer below.

The Mandalorian has proved popular with Star Wars fans--and a future movie is not out of the question.

The Mandalorian Season 2 will run for eight episodes, as Season 1 did before it. Here's everything we know about the series right now.

Cliff Bleszinski Reflects On Studio Closure And Which Games Are Inspiring Him Right Now

Tue, 10/20/2020 - 12:32

Lawbreakers, the first game from Gears of War director Cliff Bleszinski's Boss Key Productions, struggled to make an impact in the hero shooter market--so much so that the studio eventually closed, having only released one other game, the Early Access Radical Heights. Now Bleszinski, who retired from games and has been working in the world of theatre as a producer, is writing a book about his life--and it's leading to some reflection.

In a Facebook post, Bleszinski says that as he works through the section of his book about forming his own studio, it's bringing up some feelings for him. "In spite of it being difficult, in a way, it's therapeutic," he says. "The first two years were a blast but the tail end was extremely difficult on everyone and I've had more than enough time to reflect on my time running that studio."

"We should have started with a small, indie game FIRST before trying to make the shooter we ultimately did," he reflects, before digging into the specific issues Lawbreakers faced. Bleszinski has previously lamented how it was a mistake to release Lawbreakers on PS4 rather than Xbox One, which he reiterated in this post. "I already had a core base of fans on Xbox," he writes.

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