Total War: Warhammer II Gets Its Release Date

At the highly regarded video and gaming expo in Los Angeles known as E3 2017, Creative Assembly released a great deal of new information, including game play footage, of the next chapter in their franchise rejuvenating saga, Total War: Warhammer. They also set the final release date as September 28, 2017, something fans of the game have been waiting to hear since the first information on the sequel was released several months ago.

 

The game takes place in the same world as the first Warhammer, but on another continent. It introduces races from the classic RPG game that we have yet to see in the Total War offering, including the lizardmen, high elves, and dark elves, as well as an unannounced fourth race. The challenge will also be more story driven than some other Total War offerings, with a central mission to the game as much as a goal of just conquering territory from your enemies.

 

Another great promise for this franchise is a post release add-on which Creative Assembly is putting together that will tie the original Warhammer game into this new map, creating a super campaign that involves both parts of the world. The Total War franchise did something similar with the theaters in Empire, but this is the first time two different generations of a game will be directly tied together.

 

And the in-game footage looks great. Not only does it show the pristine armies of the high elves, but also the awesome monsters at your command with the lizardmen. One of the heroes rides to battle on a tyrannosaur. There are several copies of the footage released from E3. One of the coolest is right here.

 

More updates are to come, especially on this mysterious fourth race promised as an add-on for those who pre-order. The developers have also promised an eventual third installation, which will again tie all three games together.

 

C9 Ray: A Prodigy in the Making

Jeon “Ray” Ji-won is one of the most mechanically gifted players in the NALCS. While his play is almost always flawless, he runs into mental struggles that occasionally hold him back. His manager, Jack Etienne, has helped him through these difficult times. Etienne provides an environment where Ray can speak freely in English without worry of correction or mistakes. With this confidence, Ray is able to get back to the top lane and dominate his opponents. Constantly switching out with Impact, Ray has learned to adjust to a six man roster and the implications for important games. He wants to make his name known as a talented prodigy who has much potential in years to come.

 

Jack has helped numerous players adjust to the LCS lifestyle and find success on stage. While building the Cloud 9 brand, he went through many different rosters and iterations of players. Today, he says that the current roster has the chance to make a statement on the world stage. A consistent bottom lane partnered with Jensen’s impeccable mid play is a recipe for success. A large part of the team’s success comes down to Ray’s ability to outplay opponents in the top lane. Ray has the highest number of solo kills in the NALCS, as he has dominated opponents from Ssumday to Hauntzer. Despite this success, there are still fundamental aspects of his game that need work. Jack is confident that with work, Ray will be an even more fearsome player. Jack has provided Ray with trips back home to Korea to ease his transition. This sort of hospitality is characteristic of the Cloud 9 brand, and it has lead them to world quarterfinals and NALCS trophies.

 

Froggen: A Western Wonder

Europe is home to many extraordinarily talented mid laners. Between Bjergsen, Froggen, and xPeke, it is known to be one of the most stacked roles across the globe. Nevertheless, Henrik “Froggen” Hansen has managed to stand out as one of the greatest Western mids of all time. While his teams have historically been mediocre, Froggen’s statistical performances have been exceptional throughout his career. He is well known for a farm oriented style that takes calculations into account from the beginning to the end of the game. Nevertheless, Froggen is a monster on carry champions and assassins. Because of this diversity, he is one of the most acclaimed players in Western history. Although he does not have a wealth of international successes, European players recognize his individual strength.

 

Today, he plays for Echo Fox in North America. After a difficult spring season, the team is looking to bounce back and secure a spot at the 2017 world championships. Accompanied by Akaadian and Looper, Froggen is a serious powerhouse in the mid lane. However, every week brings new challenges for the squad. While Froggen is able to gain advantages in his lane, others struggle and the team cohesion is just not there yet. Rick Fox is confident in his superstar’s leadership skills and ability to carry any game from behind. Teammates have confirmed that Froggen never gives up, and even in arduous situations, he is able to make clever macro decisions. This sort of experience is only possible with nearly seven years of top tier play. From season 1, Froggen has dominated the scene with his signature champ Anivia. In season 7, he draws bans on the bird and pressures other teams to find unorthodox counterpicks. He truly is a legend in his own right.

 

Catching Up to Korea

It is well known that Korea is the most dominant region in League of Legends. With multiple world championships and international titles to their name, other regions such as Europe and North America are far behind. However, it is important to make a distinction. Three of their world championships belong to SK Telecom T1. Within Korea, SKT is easily the most dominant team. Therefore, it is difficult to compare Western teams to Korea in general. We must acknowledge that SKT is on a completely different level than their counterparts. In this sense, top Western teams such as Team Solo Mid and G2 Esports might not be as far behind as previously imagined. They have superstar players that can carry games alone, and if left unattended, other players have the potential to pick up the slack. When we talk about gaps between regions, it is important to make these distinctions that bias each argument. Players, coaches, and meta all contribute to the holistic strength of a team.

 

Different analysts have different views on this issue. Some analysts such as MonteCristo argue that the majority of Korea is still vastly ahead of everybody else. Their macro and micro play have noticeable advantages that other teams simply cannot replicate. However, EULCS caster Martin “Deficio” Lynge believes otherwise. Because we don’t see too much international play to begin with, it is irresponsible to make blind judgments about relative strengths. Each region has their own playstyle, and until we see competition to make comparisons, we must abstain from these rankings. Regardless of which end of the spectrum you fall on, there is no question that SKT is a powerhouse that is feared by even top Korean teams themselves. Armed with a lineup of Faker, Peanut, and Bang, they are ready to take the world by storm and secure another championship.

 

Destiny 2 Will Reportedly Be Able To Use Unlimited CPU Cores

Upcoming game Destiny 2, developed by Bungie and published by Activision, will reportedly be able to utilize all of the cores of your PC’s CPU, no matter how many you’ve got.

 

One of the problems with PC gaming is the lack of the ability to fully utilize all of the cores of your CPU, so those with quad-core or higher CPUs haven’t been getting the full benefit of your powerful PC brain when gaming. Until recent DirectX updates, this was just a fact of life. But now games seem to be taking advantage of the new features and becoming more multi-core capable.

 

It’s an interesting claim, as the first incarnation of the game was only available on console, and it’s somewhat difficult to imagine they would’ve put all this extra work into developing the PC version to take full advantage of PC hardware, but maybe they did. And maybe such an act will serve to spur PC gamer confidence in the game and increase sales.

 

From what’s been seen of the PC version so far, it seems to be a solid port. The framerates are unlocked, it runs at ultrawide resolutions and 4K resolution. It seems that they really are putting the effort into it, so hopefully gamer trust won’t be misplaced.

 

With the new 18-core Core i9 CPU and the new AMD Ryzen line of CPUs boasting insane amounts of cores, a feature like this is ideal for using all those precious cores effectively. It’s also good news for streamers, who often have issues with performance due to their streaming setup and game both hogging precious resources. For the true heavy-hitting PC gamer or streamer, this is exactly the kind of feature they’ve been waiting for.

 

Ark: Survival Evolved Set to Leave Early Access

Ark: Survival Evolved has been out on Steam Early Access for quite some time now on PC, but it hasn’t received an official release date. Well, at least not until E3, where developer Studio Wildcard announced the game will officially release across all platforms on August 8.

 

The game has been out in early access since 2015 with various DLC and updates being released since then, so for many PC gamers this won’t seem like news, but for console players this news is big because Ark is finally coming to you.

 

The studio has announced that the official release will come with some surprise updates and new features that will continue rolling out even after the launch. There will be a great amount of now gameplay, creatures, and story elements, according to Studio Wildcard.

 

The studio remarked, “For those players who were excited with every update during Early Access, Ark’s going to become even more fun with surprise new content at launch & beyond, as we will continue to have a staggering amount of additional gameplay, creatures, and story elements in the works.”

 

Coming along with the release will be the modder-made map Ragnarok, released through the game’s sponsored mod program as the game’s first official expansion. Ragnarok is a 144 sq km map with tons of exploration and a dangerous active volcano, its own ocean ecosystem, and some of the most challenging dungeons to date. There will also be new content coming to Ragnarok that holds the keys to unlocking the map’s history and secrets.

 

The game will also launch with Oculus Rift and Playstation VR support. Those wanting to get in on the fun early should jump on it while its pricing is still low for early access. You can run over to Steam now and grab it for $30.

 

Age of Empires is Getting a Facelift

Age of Empires is a real-time strategy game near and dear to the hearts of many. Age of Empires 3 in particular brought a huge fanbase to the game and captivated audiences for years. Now, the original Age of Empires is getting a new HD remaster to appeal to the modern audience and bring the game back into the forefront of strategy gaming on the PC.

 

The original Age of Empires was released in 1997, and its graphics left much to be desired. The new Age of Empires Definitive Edition will feature fully modernized visuals and support for 4K resolution. The soundtrack has also been improved and if you can jusge it based on the trailer, it’s going to be fully orchestrated and pretty amazing.

 

The gameplay has also reportedly been improved and modernized with online multiplayer, but exactly what specific improvements have been made are unclear at this time. It can be assumed that some upgrades and balancing have been done, possibly with the inclusion of some new units. The UI has been modernized as well, along with attack-move, control group, and idle villager options. They have also added a friend system possible with Xbox Live integration, easy to do since Microsoft themselves are releasing this game.

 

At this time, all we’ve got is an awesome trailer and a call to join the beta. If you’re interested in joining their beta, you can sign up on their website and possibly be selected to enter the first closed beta and get an early look at the remastered strategy game.

 

Interest in this game seems to be quite high, since as of the time of writing this article their website is down due to a flood of traffic trying to sign up for the beta. It truly shows the special place this series has in many gamers’ hearts, and it’s nice to see the name in the headlines again.

 

Battletech Game Specifics Revealed At E3

Tabletop gamers are probably already well aware of the name Battletech, as it’s a popular board game involving weaponized giant fighting suits of armor set in a sci-fi world first conceived back in the 1980s. Video gamers however may have become familiar with a 2015 Kickstarter launched by Harebrained Schemes based on that classic board game.

 

The Kickstarter was a massive success, raising nearly $3 million and fully funding all of its stretch goals, including multiplayer and a fully voiced single-player campaign. Now, we get our first look at what over two years of development has brought at this year’s E3.

 

The game is a turn-based strategy game loyal to its turn-based tabletop counterpart. Everything a Battletech fan would expect is there: big, fighing mechs, awesome sci-fi setting, and lots of strategy.

 

They’ve included a full range of combat options with the battling mechs, including melee, ranged, and rocket-based attacks along with defensive options. Everything is managed by the player, including movements, sensors, and overheating.

 

Two trailers were launched at E3. The first one showed off the massive amounts of customization options and the game’s excellent soundtrack. The second trailer showed off the game’s combat. The game plays similar to other strategy games yet maintains its own slot as something truly unique with all of the different units and options. They also did an interview with popular gamer Day9, talking about the different modes of play and combat in detail in their own words.

 

The visuals are quite impressive in close range combat, but even the scenery in a full shot is beautifully drawn and looks like something out of a painting. A lot of the options available from the ship screen were not demonstrated yet, simply instead just showing off their existence. Hopefully the developer will be able to come through on their promises because we’ve all seen too many failed Kickstarters, and a lot of us are going to be pretty skeptical until we see it operating in its entirety.

 

 

XCOM 2: War of the Chosen First Look

Folks at the PC Gaming Show got their first look at upcoming Firaxis expansion XCOM 2: War of the Chosen.

 

Originally released February 5, 2016, XCOM 2 is a turn-based tactics game developed by Firaxis Games that has received near-universal critical acclaim. War of the Chosen, due out August 29 of this year, is slated to be a major expansion pack for this game and will bring with it a wealth of new content and features, more so than any previous expansion.

 

XCOM 2 fans will find much to love here. War of the Chosen brings an additional campaign with three resistance factions to unite and fight the aliens. Reapers attack from the shadows and sabotage. Skirmishers are defectors from the aliens that are human hybrids and can perform multiple actions per turn. Templars are psionic fighters who become more powerful as a mission progresses. These CHosen will change throughout the game, adapting and becoming more powerful.

 

There’s also more to explore with lost cities, creating some chaotic three-way fights between the aliens, XCOM, and some alien tech-mutated humans.

 

Fans who are hoping to get an early look can check out the trailer on YouTube. They have also just made the PC Gaming Show interview fully available, so check that out to hear the developers talk about the new game and what it brings to the table in their own words.

 

As an expansion pack, War of the Chosen will require the base XCOM 2 game in order to play. So be on the lookout for summer sales coming up to get your hands on the base game if you haven’t already and be able to experience all this exciting new content in a couple months’ time.