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Monthly Archives: September 2020

Windows is getting a new Task Manager just for gaming

These days, the Task Manager offers a lot more than a quick CTRL+ALT+DEL out of a crashing program, and includes options to monitor how your CPU, memory, and GPU are being utilised by various applications. That’s useful information when you’re gaming, but it’s tough to get to the Task Manager without interrupting your game. But now it looks like Microsoft plans to make it easier.

A new Task Manager widget has been added to the Xbox Game Bar in the latest Insider beta, as Windows Central notes. This will let you pop open a lightweight version of Task Manager directly through an in-game overlay, see which applications are sucking up CPU, GPU, RAM, or disk resources, and immediately close them.

If you want access to the Task Manager widget now, you’ll need to opt into the early build via the Xbox Insider Hub on the Windows Store. Otherwise, you’ll need to wait for the widget to be properly added via the usual Windows updates. (Eventually.)

This Sims 4 meets Among Us mod is exactly the terrible, wonderful thing we needed

Among Us has been the perfect pandemic mix of fear, paranoia, and good times with friends, and it’s now so popular that it’s spilling over into other games. Players have been designing potential Rainbow Six Siege Among Us skins, and now it’s time for modders to take over. Of course, that means you can now dress your Sims up with custom Among Us outfits.

The Among Us outfit for The Sims 4 is available through Nexus Mods (thanks, Game Informer) in a variety of colours appropriately matched to the original. Given the disdain for hands in Among Us, you can get versions with or without humanoid paws. The mod also features a number of hats to match, including a crown, a roll of toilet paper, a post-it note marked ‘dum’, and a crown. You know, like from Fall Guys – because one crossover just isn’t enough.

An update for the mod has even turned the dead body into an outfit, so your sim can strut around the house cut in two with a single white bone standing as a monument to life.

Save up to 32% on Razer Kraken gaming headsets

No gaming setup is complete without some good cans on your head and a microphone pointed toward your mouth. Whether you intend to use it to communicate with your teammates or accuse them of being the imposter is a different kettle of fish. But if you want good quality from your two-in-one headset, it’ll cost ya – unless you reap the benefits from these stellar Razer Kraken deals.

Whether it’s the budget-focused Razer Kraken, its premium RGB Ultimate upgrade, or top-of-the-line esports-driven Tournament Edition with THX Spatial Sound you’re in the market for, there’s money to be saved.

Amazon US has the standard Razer Kraken listed at $60.99 (20% off), while the same model is down to just £54.56 (32% off) in the UK. The Razer Kraken Ultimate with all its Chroma RGB lighting is $99.99 (23% off) in the US and £114.99 (12% off) in the UK. And finally, the green Razer Kraken Tournament Edition is $78.09 (22% off) in the US and £69.08 (31% off) across the water.

Call of Duty: Cold War Zombies adds loadouts and makes DLC free

The Call of Duty: Black Ops – Cold War Zombies reveal has arrived, and there are some big changes this time around. Progression now ties in with the broader battle pass just like multiplayer and Warzone, you can bring in loadouts, and there’s going to be no more paid DLC.

You’ll now be able to bring in your Gunsmith weapons to Zombies, which means you’re no longer going to be starting with just a pistol. You’ll still be able to upgrade during a match with Wall Buys, the Mystery Box, and the returning Pack-a-Punch machine, so there’ll still be plenty of in-match progression.

With battle pass integration in mind, this iteration of Zombies is dropping paid DLC, so you’ll get your post-launch content updates for free. Time played in Cold War Zombies will advance you along the battle pass track, just like in other online modes. The mode will also feature cross-play and cross-progression across all versions of the game, including both next-gen and current-gen consoles.

Among Us 2 cancelled, RuneScape coming to Steam, Nier Replicant release date | Latest PC gaming news

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Among Us devs double down on the original, RuneScape AND Old School RuneScape are coming to Steam, and here’s when Nier Replicant is due.

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Support SpecialEffect with this year’s Humble One Special Day Bundle

2020 has been a difficult year for many of us, with a sizeable population turning to videogames as a source of escapism from all the doom and gloom. So charities like SpecialEffect, who have continued their good work despite the global pandemic hindering their efforts, deserve your support. Humble has once again teamed up with the charitable organisation to offer several indie games as part of its latest bundle.

At the first tier of the Humble One Special Day Bundle 2020 – which unlocks if you pay the measly sum of just £0.77 / $1 – you can dive right into Surgeon Simulator: A&E Anniversary Edition. This includes all the updates, including that one, and will get you trained up for Surgeon Simulator 2.

Also featured in tier one are Smoke and Sacrifice – a survival game that gives off Don’t Starve vibes, and the Celeste starter pack for Idle Champions of the Forgotten Realms – a free game in which you click on enemies as your band of adventurers slowly marches ever forward.

Old School RuneScape’s Trailblazer league kicks off next month

Jagex has revealed when you can play Old School RuneScape’s next league, Trailblazer. The OSRS Trailblazer release date is set for October 28, so mark it in your calendar.

If you’ve been out of the loop, the new league will last two months and be based in Misthalin. You start things off with a fresh account, and you have to complete tasks to unlock more areas. You may want to take a moment to ponder what areas those will be, though, as you can’t unlock them all. So it goes with RuneScape’s leagues, completing tasks will earn you points you can use to unlock Relics. It’s also worth noting that everyone will be playing as an ironman or ironwoman. That means no trading between players, and everyone’s experience rate will be five times faster. Also, to accommodate the increased number of iron players, certain shops are getting more supplies and accelerated restocking rates.

There are other changes on the way, too. The Dragon Slayer 2 quest unlock suggestion is getting removed, five Runecraft will be added as a starting stat, and the Dramen staff is being thrown into the starting equipment.

XCOM Long War mod creators are making their own 4X strategy game

Pavonis Interactive, the same team that made the Long War and Long War 2 mods for both XCOM and XCOM 2 respectively, is developing a grand strategy game called Terra Invicta, which you can back now on Kickstarter.

Chances are that if you had any passing interest in modding Firaxis’s excellent turn-based strategy games, you’ll have heard of Long War. They’re widely celebrated mods because they both meaningfully expand on what makes both XCOM and XCOM 2 so intense to play, while also giving you new gameplay mechanics and toys to blast away the alien scum.

Terra Invicta is described in the Kickstarter post as “a grand strategy alien invasion game”. Nothing wrong with sticking to what you know works, and it seems that you’ll be taking on the role of one of several human factions looking to dismantle the aliens’ invasion plans in the title. Since none of the factions can agree on the best strategy to rid Earth’s colonies of the alien incursion, each of the available factions have their own agenda and goals.

EA Play comes to Game Pass PC in December

EA Play is becoming part of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate on November 10 alongside the launch of Xbox Series X – but that addition only applies on console. On PC, we’re going to have to wait a bit longer for EA Play, as Microsoft has confirmed that it’ll get bundled up with the home computer library in December.

EA Play will be available through all PC flavours of Xbox Game Pass in December. That includes both the basic $9.99 / £7.99 Xbox Game Pass PC subscription, and the $14.99 / £10.99 Xbox Game Pass Ultimate bundle, which includes both PC and console Game Pass, Xbox Live Gold, and access to xCloud streaming services.

It’s important to note that EA Play is $4.99 and only includes access to the publisher’s vault of older titles, like Titanfall 2, the Mass Effect and Dragon Age series, and older Battlefield and EA Sports titles. New games are typically added about a year after launch, though that’s not a consistent rule.

You’ll only be able to unlock “30-40%” of the Diablo 4 skill tree on a single character

Diablo 4 is still quite some time away, and Blizzard is still ironing out many of the details of how the mechanics will work come launch. Diablo 4 will force you to make tough decisions about your build, and you might need more than a single character to fully explore a single class – you’ll be able to unlock a fraction of items on the Diablo 4 skill tree by the endgame.

“Players will not be able to acquire every Skill Tree node,” Blizzard points out in a new dev update blog. “We’re currently aiming for 30~40% of the nodes filled in for endgame, so that players can have very distinct, and different ways they build out their character.”

Skills and talents have been revamped since we last saw them. Now the skill tree is divided into two sections – it’s literally a tree, so you’ll find active skills in the branches and passive upgrades on the roots, with separate skill points and passive points to spend in each section. The skill section will get you access to both active skills and upgrades for those skills, while the passive buffs get you more general character upgrades.

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