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Monthly Archives: January 2021

Apex Legends sets new concurrent players record just ahead of Season 8

Apex Legends sets new concurrent players record just ahead of Season 8

Right as we come up on the Apex Legends Season 8 release date, the battle royale game has managed a new concurrent player record. Just shy of 130,000 players were having a go of it in Olympus this weekend.

That’s coming from Steam Charts, which has the tally at 129,928 players in the FPS game at one time on January 30. At time of writing, the amount’s at over 127,000, meaning people are hanging around in the multiplayer game, shaking off any rust, or getting the last of the current rewards before the seasonal change-over introduces new cosmetics and unlockables.

As I type, Season 7 is in its final hours. The season brought in Horizon, the astrophysicist who uses gravity to her advantage, featuring Newt, the adorable android sidekick. She’s proven popular, and her and Wraith have the highest win-rate at the moment, hence developer Respawn Entertainment’s choice to nerf her in the season changeover. Not that she’s alone in receiving some heavy tweaks, Kings Canyon is becoming bigger whatever the planned map alteration is.

RELATED LINKS: Apex Legends characters guide, Apex Legends skins, Apex Legends map guide

This Resident Evil 2 mod is a fully standalone prequel

This Resident Evil 2 mod is a fully standalone prequel

If you’ve ever been curious about the circumstances leading up to Resident Evil 2, a new fangame is about just that. Marvin’s Mod is a standalone prequel to the horror game that sheds a little light on Marvin Branagh, and Raccoon City just before the heroes turn up.

Made in the original Resident Evil 2, Marvin’s Mod chronicles the hours of Lieutenant Marvin Branagh of the Raccoon Police Department’s life leading into his arrival during Leon Kennedy’s half of the survival game. In a release trailer, Branagh encounters all sorts of T-virus monsters, from regular zombies, to zombie dogs, and the licker. He’s accompanied by Rita Phillips, an officer under his command who eventually gets to evacuate the police station during the 1998 outbreak, and a number of other side characters show up.

Aydan Watkins made the mod, reusing lot of the assets from Resident Evil 2 to the tell the story. Conveniently, you do not need to own any version of Resi 2 for this to run, you can just go to the official site, download Marvin’s Mod, and experience some classic PlayStation-era Resident Evil for nothing. Watkins has a Patreon, so you can support their work if you dig it, and a Twitter, to let them know of any issues, or shower them with praise.

RELATED LINKS: Resident Evil 2 review, Resident Evil 2 system requirements, Resident Evil 2 Tyrant

Asus’s easy toolless M.2 Q-Latch won’t be on all ROG, Prime, and Tuf motherboards

Asus’s easy toolless M.2 Q-Latch won’t be on all ROG, Prime, and Tuf motherboards

The best SSD for gaming is an NVMe drive, but before you can finally wave goodbye to long loading times, you must first brave the fiddliness of installing the thing. The M.2 interface uses some of the smallest screws in PC gaming, and while the best practice is to lay your system flat and let gravity do half the work, it’s easy to fumble and lose them in the process. Fortunately, Asus looks like it has the answer.

Alongside its new Z590 motherboard range, Asus has introduced the M.2 Q-Latch – a pre-installed screw that holds down a white piece of plastic and makes M.2 installation far easier. You’d be forgiven for thinking you’ve accidentally snapped something given how out of place it looks, but with it you can simply plug in your new M.2 SSD, press down, and swivel the plastic to keep the drive in place – no screwdrivers necessary.

It looks like the M.2 Q-Latch is missing on high-end motherboards like the ROG Maximum XIII Extreme and Hero, according to their product pages, but is present on other premium offerings in the ROG, Prime, and TUF line-ups. Hopefully it’s something that will work its way into all ranges, given the simplicity of it.

Bernie Sanders joins Skyrim, Dark Souls, Resident Evil 7 and more with these mods

Bernie Sanders joins Skyrim, Dark Souls, Resident Evil 7 and more with these mods

First, we had Bernie Sanders join the roster of Soulcalibur 6, now, he’s joined just about every other extremely popular game you care to mention. A YouTuber has compiled a video of the funniest and most cursed ways the US senator is now available in videogames.

Skyrim, Dark Souls, Resident Evil 7, Devil May Cry 5, and Fallout 4 are among the titles ToastedShoes has modded the Bernie Sanders chair meme into, using relatively simple skin mods from other creators. The first game is Star Wars Battlefront 2, modded by TigerVenom22, where Bernie becomes a floating Sith lord wielding Darth Maul’s double lightsaber. The next has a herd of Bernies in Fallout 4, courtesy of HcG x Grill, overrunning some poor vault-dweller, and a giant Bernie attacking a city like a kaiju.

After that, we have one of the highlights, Bernie Sanders taking on every role of the Baker family in Resident Evil 7, from MrMarco. Then, Skyrim but every NPC is Bernie, fulfilling someone’s absolute dream and another’s total nightmare, using modding work from HcG x Grill once again, and, of course, the dragon from the opening is Sanders too. Bernie takes over for the Asylum Demon in Dark Souls after, and a couple of other enemies besides, made by User619, who did the Soulcalibur 6 mod, and when he’s done there, he becomes the final boss in Devil May Cry 5, as put together by Apexprimebeast, before finishing with a gentle swim in Abzu.

RELATED LINKS: Best Skyrim mods , Skyrim: Special Edition mods, Skyrim: SE system requirements

The Medium has already covered development costs, says Bloober Team

The Medium has already covered development costs, says Bloober Team

The Medium has had a very successful launch, according to developer Bloober Team. The horror game has already recouped its development and promotion costs, says the team.

In an interview with Polish financial outlet money.pl, as translated by industry analyst MauroNL, Bloober Team isn’t coy about The Medium’s performance. Mauro’s excerpt from the piece reads: “Sales of The Medium reached levels that covered the production and marketing costs of the game, producer Bloober Team reported. The game debuted on the market on Thursday, January 28 this year.”

Several factors worked in The Medium’s favour on this – it’s a new game for the Xbox Series X, letting players stretch the hardware a little, it launched on PC and console, providing a larger audience, and it was on Game Pass day one, meaning word-of-mouth is high. Couple all of this with being a triple-A survival horror from a reliable studio, who managed to bring acclaimed Silent Hill composer Akira Yamaoka on board, and you have something that has a lot going for it.

RELATED LINKS: The Medium review, The best horror games on PC, The best adventure games on PC

Bungie is “discussing possible options” for Destiny 2 3-peeking

Bungie is “discussing possible options” for Destiny 2 3-peeking

Bungie is aware of the pesky 3-peeking in Destiny 2, and the developer is looking into solutions. Due to the complex nature of the problem, however, nothing is set in stone for a fix just yet.

A community manager for the multiplayer game tweeted about the growing outcry surrounding 3-peeking, the practice of using a third-person view to gain advantage in PvP. Between the sword and emotes, players have a number of ways they can take a look around corners that gives them a better vantage point than their opponents. As this is happening because of regular weapons and actions, finding a compromise is not easy. Swords are a commonly used heavy weapon that forms part of Destiny 2’s meta, and emotes are a long-standing source of income the studio wouldn’t want to disrupt too much lest people stop buying.

“The team is aware of the feedback around 3-peeking and currently discussing possible options,” Chris ‘Cozmo23’ Shannon, lead community manager at Bungie, tweeted. “No promises, as we are still investigating what changes are viable since it’s a complicated issue that affects both emotes, swords, and any potential, future third-person weapons.”

RELATED LINKS: Destiny 2: Beyond Light review, Destiny 2 exotics, Play Destiny 2

Dyson Sphere Program beginner’s guide

Dyson Sphere Program beginner’s guide

Dyson Sphere Program has hit Early Access with a head full of, well, Steam. It’s a game about building and automating production lines, and if you’ve ever played Factorio, you’ll have a pretty decent idea of what to expect. There are some key differences between Dyson Sphere Program and Factorio though, and if you’re new to the genre, the English translation may leave you with questions. Don’t worry – this guide will get you started, and you’ll be building stellar superstructures in no time flat.

The name of the game in Dyson Sphere Program is space optimisation, and to do that, you’re going to need to be thinking ahead. To start out, you need to set up basic resource extraction, eventually turning the resources into advanced finished products – so having an idea of how you want things to flow when you have multiple smelting, assembling, and research facilities is key.

Bear in mind that this guide is just a jumping off point, meant to familiarise you with the basic controls and concepts that form the foundation of Dyson Sphere Program.

Dark Souls modder recreates classic Halo maps to improve multiplayer

Dark Souls modder recreates classic Halo maps to improve multiplayer

The original Dark Souls game has just got a complete overhaul to its multiplayer thanks to one industrious modder. Inferno Plus’ Dark Souls: Remastest mod introduces classic Halo maps, power-ups, and reworks to weapons, spells, and abilities. Oh, and it removes most of the co-op restrictions from the old PC game. That’s only scratching the surface, too.

The mod jazzes Battle of Stoicism up with three Halo maps and two game types that can be played by up to 18 players. You can play Team Deathmatch and try to beat the other team to 30 kills, or Capture the Lizard, which involves swiping your enemies reptile and balancing it on your head while you return to your base – it’s as amusing as you’d hope it would be.

After creating a single-player version of Blood Gulch with bosses and the lot, Inferno Plus explains he set about improving Dark Souls’ multiplayer mode Battle of Stoicism. For Inferno Plus, part of the issue was that players were spawned in closer to each other and given little reason to go out and experience the maps.

RELATED LINKS: Dark Souls system requirements

The rumoured Nvidia 20GB RTX 3080 Ti’s benchmarks have popped up online

The rumoured Nvidia 20GB RTX 3080 Ti’s benchmarks have popped up online

We’ve heard rumours of a card that will fit in between Nvidia’s top-end 3080 and 3090 Ampere cards, either being called the 3080 Ti or 3080 20GB for a few months now. While there’s still no confirmation from Nvidia on the possible new entry, we’re now seeing alleged 3DMark scores that might be able to give us some insight on what this card is capable of and just how much it could cost if it sees the light of day.

A video was published on Chinese video-sharing site Bilibili by a hardware channel whose name translates to “Big hardware player”, claiming they have an engineering sample of the 20GB 3080 card. According to Videocardz, a rough translation of the video reveals a few claims.

Its reported 7999¥ price is equivalent to around $1,250, which seems plausible given the $699 and $1,499 price tag of the 3080 and 3090 respectively. Although, unless graphics card stock issues are sorted, the card will be costing significantly more than its MSRP anyway, with scalpers making big profits on Ampere cards right now.

RELATED LINKS: RTX 2070 Super review, RTX 2060 Super review, Best graphics card

The best Stellaris DLC

The best Stellaris DLC

Paradox’s take on the space 4X genre is slowly growing its DLC offering. It’ll still take a few years to grow to the size of the studio’s other games like Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II, but after three years there is enough of it that frugal gamers may still need some help picking through the options.

We’ve sent our science ships to scan each add-on for value, and how much they actually add to the game, and return with their results. So, come check out our breakdown of all of the add-ons and expansions released to date, what they’re good for, and whether they’re worth picking up.

There’s a fair few higher-priced expansions where the cost vs what you get can feel a little steep considering the feature sets can be quite lean. Since most major expansions are released alongside a free update, there’s an argument to be made that you’re subsidising all of the work that’s gone into the free patch. As far as value for money goes, though, you might be better off waiting until these are on sale – it’s your call.

RELATED LINKS: Stellaris review, Stellaris mods, Stellaris DLC guide

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