Gears 5: Getting the Most Out of the Multiplayer Modes

Microsoft and The Coalition have truly delivered on the latest game in the Gears of War franchise, the simply named Gears 5. Not only does its single-player campaign deliver in spades, but it also has multiplayer that’s built to last. Between traditional content, new DLC that adds a promotional boost to the game, and some new modes, there’s a lot here for players to uncover.

In fact, it might be too much for some, as Gears 5’s general multiplayer is definitely on the competitive side. Chances are that you will die a few times before you get the hang of it. Not to worry, we’re here to help! We’ve broken down the three general components of multiplayer below, along with some tips that will help you come out on top, or at the very least help your side win a few battles. Dig in!

Horde Mode Gets a Makeover

The classic Horde Mode makes a return with Gears 5, but not quite in the way that you’d expect. While the general rules are still the same – survive waves of enemies that come at you – The Coalition has tweaked things a bit to make it more character-based than ever.

Gears 5 supports up to five people in a group, which gives you a bit of balance when it comes to covering the bases against incoming enemies. You’ll want to work closely with your team. If one member goes down, you’ll want to quickly revive them because you’re going to need every bit of firepower you can get your hands on.

As enemies are defeated in this mode, they’ll drop Power. You’ll want to pick this up, as it will help your character with upgrades and additional items. These include helpful defensive tools such as machine gun turrets and barriers laden with spikes. There are also secondary weapons you can pick up as well.

You’ll want to pile these on, as each tenth wave brings a new boss to battle. They’re going to take a lot of firepower, so the best thing we can suggest with this is to take cover often and set up your shots. They’re going to get tougher from here, so make sure you find whatever to keep yourself safe from incoming fire.

Going back to Power, you’ll want to keep an eye on the Power Tap. It can be located on the map with each wave. You’ll need to capture and defend this point to the best of your ability, as it will grant you extra Power to buy more goods.Don’t worry about a majority of Power going to another player; it’s divided up equally, so loot fiends don’t get everything to themselves.

Finally, each character actually has different attributes that can lend themselves to battle. This kind of takes the Overwatch approach, but it’s neat regardless. Kait Diaz, for example, can turn invisible and get the jump on opponents. Marcus Fenix can automatically land headshots for a limited time, mowing down incoming enemies, and JD Fenix can use an artillery strike to rain fire on unsuspecting foes. These abilities can only be used sparingly, but they’re excellent when you’re in a pinch or about to be overwhelmed.

Someone can even play as Jack if they prefer. He’s actually a great robotic character, as he can take out marked enemies and even hijack certain ones to do his bidding for a short while. Don’t let his small size fool you – he’s devastating.

Don’t forget you can pick up on Perks and Skill Cards as well. These will give you additional boosts over the course of your battle, combined with your Power. Up to four can be stored in all, and the more the merrier, especially when you’ve got adversaries that are coming at you non-stop.

Skill cards are a great booster in themselves, as you can increase certain things with your character, from melee damage to a speed push. And if you have duplicates, they can actually be given to other cards to help them along.

Overall, Horde has gone through some major upgrades, and is well worth playing, even if you think you’ve “conquered” it before. There’s a lot of great additions that both die-hard fans and newcomers will want to check out. Just make sure you have a good team on hand – you’re going to need it.

Come With Me and Escape

Speaking of a survival-based mode, it’s time to look at the latest addition to the Gears franchise: the Escape Mode. This was hinted at a few months ago, when Microsoft and The Coalition were building hype for the game.

It’s the opposite of the Horde mode. Instead of waiting for enemies to come to you, you go through their base, cleaning them out and working together as a team to blow it sky high and escape in one piece. It provides a nice twist on the proceedings, and is well worth putting a squad together for.

However, you don’t have five players to lean on here. Instead, Escape only comes with three. That means you’ll have to work more tightly with your group to keep them in one piece. If one goes down from damage, you’ll need to work much more quickly to revive them, lest you’re left behind with one less soldier and a whole bunch of foes that are angry at you for being in their house. Granted, you can find a Swarm pod and bring them back into battle – provided you can make it there. It’s nice to have an opportunity to save them the second time around, just in case you miss out.

Like Horde, Escape Mode has its own set of skills via ability cards. These become available as you level up your character, and you can fit them into slots to utilize them. The harder the difficulty you play at, the better the cards get. However, if you’re just getting started, you’ll have your hands on some good ones, such as Crazy Tough (increasing your strength for a limited time) and Bloody Shot (a nice taste of explosive firepower).

Each character also has their own perks, like Horde, but they tend to lean more towards helping the team out. For instance, take Lahni. They can push towards their foes with more attitude than other characters, giving them a boost over the competition for a limited time. Others, however, can help heal a team and even a little bit of ammunition. Take a look at the available selection and see which ones are best for you.

When you do get into battle, don’t waste ammo. You’re going to run low, along with your team, so make sure to snag whatever you can get your hands on. Some weapons work better than others for certain soldiers, so see which ones will work properly for you.

Finally, when it comes to getting the high score on the leaderboard, keep in mind that all kinds of dedicated players are getting into this Gears 5 mode. Don’t push yourself or your team too hard. Just keep at it with your headshots and “skillful” skills to get that score climbing, and find that right synchronicity as a team before you attempt to tackle the higher difficulty settings. Remember, you want your team to work with you, not against you. Jump in and give it a shot!

Traditional Multiplayer

Finally, there’s the gamut of traditional multiplayer mode, which will no doubt be the most popular among the Gears elite. There’s a lot to dig into here, particularly with the “bonus” characters. Those who pre-ordered the game will gain access to the Halo: Reach pack, as well as the Terminator: Dark Fate pack, with Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor and a T-800 to boot. Yes, Dave Bautista, the wrestler-turned-actor, is a playable character as well. So you’ve got a lot to choose from when it comes to jumping into battle.

As usual, we’re reintroduced to modes like Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, Escalation and Guardian, which are mainstays for this series. Then there’s Arcade, which provides a fun little twist on things, actually making the game somewhat easier for those that aren’t used to jumping into such a mode. It’s a splendid way for them to be introduced to it, should the other modes be too much to bear.

As for how to survive in multiplayer, there are a few general rules to keep in mind. These will make all the difference between life and death, particularly with the close-range fire that the series has become known for.

First off, you’ll want to master the movement of your character. This means using the defensive roll to get out of harm’s way quickly, as well as scrambling to cover. The cover mechanic is more crucial than ever in a game like this, especially with those that are trying to fire at you from a distance. Remember, you can “hug” the walls if you need to find a new vantage point, or jump over from one cover point to another if you feel like it’s getting a little too hot for its own good.

Just don’t stand in place. This is likely to be a fool’s mistake because it makes you an easy target for cannon fire. Instead, use running to your advantage and put yourself in a spot where you can set up shots without making yourself a simple target to mow down. It’ll take practice, but Arcade Mode is a wondrous place to start if you want to get the hang of things.

You may also notice that you now have Active Reload. This lets you reload your weapon at any time, even if you think you already have a full clip. As with before, Gears 5 utilizes a double-touch system. You start the reload by pressing the button, but then you’ll want to hit it again while the cursor is in the white zone, so you can finish it quickly. If you don’t, you’re going to be stuck for a couple of seconds completing the reload, and that’s a real difference maker when you’ve got someone coming at you with Gnasher.

Along with movements and reloads, you’ll also want to get the hang of sticking very closely with your team. Wandering away will make you an easy target to enemies, especially if you’re got two or more coming at you. By staying together as a squad, you stand a better chance of survival, since someone can easily “get your back” while you reload, or you can set up some kind of ambush, with someone coming around the other side. 

You’re also able to “mark” certain enemies or objects, in case you want to shot off something significant to your teammates in the team of battle. Not everyone can shout out an enemy location, but marking it makes it simpler to see where they need to go, or where a threat could be lying.

Blindfire can make a difference as well. While in cover, you have the option to fire without sticking your head out. Half the time, you may not hit anything, since it’s not the most accurate. However, blindfire can serve other purposes, like doing some damage to an enemy if they’re within your range, or perhaps even distracting someone long enough for one of your teammates to come running around to clean house.

Finally, don’t be afraid to use other weapons besides your guns. We’ve discovered that the Lancer is ideal for sawing someone in half, provided you aren’t charging at someone to the point they’re clearly seeing it. If you’re able to gain an advantage to where someone can’t see you coming, then sure, activate your Lancer and go nuts (you can also blast with a Gnasher, it’s up to you, but there’s something rad about nailing that melee kill).

For that matter, grenades are awesome. They deliver a bigger bang than in previous games and with a decent amount of range. If you’ve got a couple, go ahead and hurl them out when you think you’ve got your enemies pinned. At the very least, if you don’t get them with the explosion, they’ll roll out of the way long enough to put them within firing range.

These general tips should help you get accustomed to the multiplayer modes that are featured in Gears 5. You’ll still need to apply plenty of skill to get the most out of it, but you’ve got ways to build up in Horde and Escape. Arcade Mode will also help you get accustomed to the multiplayer like never before. Give it a shot!

Gears 5 is available now for Xbox One and Windows 10 PC.

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Gears 5: What To Expect From This Weekend’s Tech Test

As some of you got to experience this past weekend, Microsoft, alongside the developers at The Coalition, hosted a special Tech Test for the multiplayer portion of Gears 5, also known in some circles as the latest chapter in the Gears of War series. While this doesn’t really provide a taste of what’s to come in the new Escape mode or the single player campaign, it does deliver info on what many players have been waiting for – the game’s heavy multiplayer component.

There are portions that fans will be able to jump back into this weekend like the Boot Camp mode. This will essentially walk you through gameplay basics. There will also be a mini-Tour of Duty with numerous challenges that give exclusive rewards which will carry over into the final game when it rolls around in September. The fan favorite King of the Hill returns, along with the competitive game type Escalation.

All of these will be available starting on July 26th at 10 AM PDT, and run through July 29th around the same time. That gives you three days to run wild and see what to expect from the improved sequel and you’ll be able to get a taste of the new TrueMatch technology that The Coalition is introducing with the game.  It utilizes AI Cloud Computing to adjust certain parameters with matchmaking, based on Skill Rating, location, and other player assets. Though it’s still in the testing phase, it sounds pretty cool nevertheless.

Now, lets walk through some of the experiences we had with each of the modes to get you ready for what’s to come.

Boot Camp

First up is Boot Camp mode, which introduces you to some of the basics. Even if you’re ultra savvy in what Gears has to offer, you’ll still have to walk through this. While that can be a little annoying, it never hurts to get a refresher. Besides, when’s the last time you really played Gears of War 4 anyway?

The game plops you down into an interactive battlefield where a new recruit, Bairdthrough, walks you thorough the basics. First up is movement, which is simple enough to get through. Then you’ll learn how cover works by dodging the lasers of your robo-assistant. Then practice begins, as you take down drones with aiming and shooting techniques. The video below gives you a good idea of how it all comes together.

You’ll also get an idea of the right areas to throw grenades for explosive impact. This includes targeting enemies weak spots such as legs, or to Baird’s personal liking, the head. Obviously.

More weapons are introduced as you progress, including the Lancer and the Gnasher shotgun. You can experiment with these over the course of multiplayer however you see fit, but the real fun comes with the up-close executions. Here, you can tap the B button to knock an enemy down, and then hold the B button to perform a real personal execution. This can result in a number of finishers, like sawing someone in half with a Lancer (old-school!) or smacking their head off with a rifle. It all depends on who you’re taking out, and how viciously you need to finish them off. Again, the video above provides a good demonstration of this.

You can also execute enemies by yanking them over cover and countering when they come closer to you. This is useful, as you can catch them off guard when they’re trying to flank your position. It’s pretty neat catching someone when they least expect it, and you can kill them quickly. Yep, take that, punk.

The exercise comes to a close with a quick team skirmish. It’s here you learn the general basics of how it all comes together, working alongside a squad of AI droids that essentially let you do all the dirty work. It’s not nearly as entertaining as working alongside friends, but it lets you apply everything you’ve learned in the best way possible, so who are we to complain? Following this, your time in Boot Camp is done, and you can start multiplayer. (But you can try it again, in case you need a refresher.)

Escalation II

Now we get to Escalation. The Coalition set out to make it deeper than ever before, so you’ll want to keep these things in mind when it comes to jumping in this weekend.

First, make sure you rely more on your team this time around. We learned during our sessions this past weekend that running around as a rogue cannon, even with years of Gears experience, is merely asking for trouble. That’s because enemies working together as a team can quickly get the jump on you, so make sure you keep close tabs with your squad. That way, you can work together on picking your targets. What’s more, if someone’s injured, you’re able to heal them quickly and avoid becoming an army of one against an overwhelming force.

Like before, you attempt to control two of three points on a map to earn 250 points overall for the round, or a quick Domination victory if you get all three. That’s easier said than done in some cases, if only because the enemy team will try to overrun your rings in an effort to maintain control for themselves. Keep in mind that with the start of each new round, respawn times get shorter, and new weapons become available. Keep tabs on these, because they’re going to be really helpful against adversaries.

One thing we learned the hard ways is that there’s a new lives system. Respawns are very limited within this mode, so you’ll want to play it carefully. This is why teams are so much more important in Gears 5, because getting killed quickly takes diminishes your respawns. If you run out, you’re stuck watching from the sidelines. Watch the ticker in the upper left corner to see how many lives you have left, and make sure you pace them out accordingly. Don’t rush unless you absolutely have to, and don’t play foolishly!

Some players will go after those with low respawn counts, so make sure they’re protected if they’re on the field. You’ll miss their needed numbers later. Completely eliminating the other team from the battlefield will score you an instant win.

Weapon selection is vital with a game like this. You can upgrade a weapon, place a weapon randomly on the battlefield, or even disable another team’s weapon for all three rounds. There are upgrades with each decision that you make, so don’t necessarily rush into each option with your team. Balance things out and see what works best for your squad. Those grenades may come in handy during later rounds. Who knows, taking away a rival’s weapon may just do the trick for a round.

Finally, make sure to watch your spawn positioning. They’re a little more forward this time around than in the previous Escalation mode, with players more spread out. You can arm the front players a little better, although that could cost you picks depending what you give them. Respawn times can also dwindle with each countdown leading up to halftime.

There’s a lot of strategy to play around with here, so be patient, but have some fun with it.

King of the Hill

Last but not least, fan favorite King of the Hill makes its return for the Gears 5 beta test. For those unfamiliar, this mode has been around since the good ol’ days in the PC version of the original Gears of War, so it should bear a lot of familiarity with fans.

It’s got a little bit in common with Escalation, but instead of taking control of different rings in a stage, the focus is on a primary ring for a short period of time. The goal is for a team to capture as many of these points as they can over the duration of the round. Capture enough of these areas, and the team wins the match, but don’t expect to keep control of these rings easily. As the development team noted, the idea of this mode is to control these areas, and yet “enjoy the carnage” that comes with it.

Most of the team-based rules that applied with Escalation will likely come into play with King of the Hill as well. This includes playing as a team, dividing up points with weapons, and making sure to watch yourself on respawns. That said, you’ll also want to make sure your points are well guarded while not leaving yourself too vulnerable to enemy fire, which can come from literally any direction, depending on your location on the map. There are a number of favorites here, so be prepared for enemies to come at you from pretty much everywhere. (Isn’t that the glory of Gears, though?)

Fortunately, the rings are big enough that you can take a pretty good defensive stance as a team. That means you can have one or two teammates working on taking down enemies from behind cover, while having a couple running around picking off those that may be coming from other directions. But take heart as that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get off easily and get everyone that comes your way. They’ll have strategies that assure that you’ll want to stay on your toes Just because something works for a little while doesn’t mean it’s always going to work.

The best thing you can do is develop a strong team dynamic and make sure you work closely with them. Don’t mess around too much and don’t waste too much of your ammo. It could run out on you, forcing you to rely on your sidearm. Even that could run out, leaving you high and dry against someone that’s far more well armed. Rely on your teammates, watch out for weapon refills, and time your shots. It never hurts to keep moving either, unless you’re defending your ring spots in certain areas. In that case, keep your cover, and watch out for those that may be coming around the bend for you.

How Can I Take Part In the Test?

This is pretty much the last Gears 5 beta test that will take place before the game’s full release this September, so how can you take part? Well, there are a number of ways.
Perhaps the easiest, and most affordable, is the Xbox Game Pass which comes with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate (Xbox Live) program anyway. You can pre-download the beta automatically, which should make it good to go once the weekend rolls around.

Don’t have Game Pass or the Xbox Live program? Not to worry. Simply pre-order the game, either standard or Ultimate Edition, and you should be able to obtain access to the beta. You’ll get a code through the retailer that you ordered the game through, and should be able to download it that way. Check in with them, as well as the official Xbox Wire page with information on the beta, for more details.

This is definitely a party you shouldn’t miss. What’s more, you can unlock not only progress over the course of the three day event, but also rewards that can be used in the full game. That’s not a bad thing at all. Oh, and we did mention that the beta is free to take part in, right?

Gears 5 will release on September 10 for Xbox One and Windows PC. Those of you with the Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or Gears 5 Ultimate pre-order can start playing on September 6!

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Dauntless Weapon Tier List

Anytime a new game comes out with multiple options or customization choices, a tier list is never very far away. In the case of the recent free-to-play, Behemoth-slaying hit Dauntless, the weapons you choose define how you play the game. 

While each weapon that can be equipped has the ability to level up, gain different elemental values, and can be affected by mods and cells, they also bring different types of play styles. As of the beginning of Season Six, there are six different types of weapons that players can choose from: Chain Blades, Swords, Axes, War Pikes, Hammers, and the Ostian Repeaters. 

S Tier – Chain Blades

Dauntless Weapon Tier List chain-blades

The deadly Chain Blades in Dauntless may not look like much, but Kratos would be proud.

By far, the Chain Blades are the quickest moving attack that also gives plenty of distance for the player, if needed. Anyone who has played a God of War game knows how these work, giving a very acrobatic style to anyone using them.

Plenty of Behemoths can have pretty random feeling attacks, so the ability to pull yourself in at will, attack with the close range Bladed attack, then Chain Push out to use your Chain Throw is a crazy feat. Be careful, though: The long range Chain Throws consume the same stamina you use for running and dodging!

This weapon is pretty simple to use for newcomers to the game, but comes with some devastating combos for those who have mastered it. Later on in the game, other attacks can be equipped that are even more swift and destructive! The Chain Blades may not be designed for brand new players, but those who can master them could easily get S++ on every match!

A Tier – Sword

Dauntless Weapon Tier List sword

The Sword in Dauntless can only be considered the “Balanced Boi.”

The Sword is among the most balanced weapons in the entire game. For the uninitiated, the Sword can hit with light attacks at a faster speed and a heavier attack that is ever slightly slower. 

From the get-go, it’s notoriously powerful and offers a super speedy Overdrive attack. This “empowered” rage-like state is not unlike a berserk mode. Attacks don’t have to make direct contact in this mode since it creates short burst waves as well. These can be useful if you get knocked back at all and still want to deal a little damage without getting too close. But, why bother? Hitting your activate button again will send you shooting forward quite a bit to close the distance and get a few more powerful hits in before Overdrive ends. Even later mods like Ardent Cyclone don’t deal as much damage as Overdrive. 

Additionally, when paired with cells that can keep you from getting staggered and can help you resist direct damage, the Sword can give the most bite for the bark. If you want balance in both early levels and in the long term, you can’t go wrong with the Sword.

A/B Tier – War Pike

Dauntless Weapon Tier List

Dauntless’ War Pike is the quickest way to a Behemoth’s heart: stabbing it directly.

The War Pike, at its core, is pretty alright. It stabs quickly and offers a nice long range blast. It pierces and can wound and sever Behemoth Parts, being a powerful ally to anyone who uses an Axe. At the center of it all, it’s a thorough weapon than can be well respected. 

The special allows players to gather ammunition and then Pike Blast using a quick time event to get the perfect accuracy. Piercing attacks can wound the Behemoth and open up tears in their armor/skin for players to focus on. Harvesting, likewise, can cause chunks of the Behemoth to fly off, such as tails. 

It’s not until way later Behemoths that you’re likely to find yourself in a party of War Pike users. Late game masters of War Pikes utilize Pike Blasts to become truly devastating  when against high level creatures. While this isn’t normal for those early in the game, it deserves an honorary A-tier just for this fact, with a B-tier for anyone newer to the game.

B Tier – Axe

Dauntless Weapon Tier List axe

In a whirlwind, Behemoth slayers can get a bunch of hits if timed right with the Axe!

While a tad bit more clumsy than the Sword and War Pike, the Axe focuses on severing and breaking Behemoth parts. You might notice a horn or a tail tip come off in battle every so often and, during battles, you’ll see scrapes and tears on the skin of the Behemoth start to appear. That’s where the Axe really shines!

By attacking the wounded areas, the Axe deals bonus damage. Be sure to pair up with someone who has the War Pike because they deal mostly in causing that wounding. By holding the attack button, a spinning attack can tackle some good, melee-level hits. If you’re into some heavy-but-slow damage, the Axe is designed for you.

The special is where the Axe falls apart a tad bit. Flight of Ruin is a throwing move that has a lot of potential for missing. It leaves you vulnerable while the Axe isn’t in your hand as well. The recall takes some real precise timing and angles to really do good damage as well. I don’t recommend using this move with Behemoths that move around a lot.

C Tier – Hammer

Dauntless Weapon Tier List hammer

While it may be slow, the Hammer is great for staggering Behemoths!

In a word, the Hammer can be described as “clunky.” Yea, this might be a matter of debate for some players, but hear me out. It’s the slowest of the weapons by far, animation-wise. However, it can prove useful in staggering enemies for your much-quicker teammates to devour. The concussive blasts are the real saving grace of the Hammer user.

While the Hammer offers the most possible actions in a single weapon, between standard strikes, aerial attacks, singular and full-bearing concussive attacks, and evasion, it stands as the hardest weapon to control and utilize. If you choose to handle the Hammer, be careful with your ammo and don’t forget to reload. 

If you want to do the most damage, you need to be directly next to the Behemoth, which is dangerous territory for anyone not equipped with a Nine Lives Cell and protection from getting knocked back. Getting close quickly isn’t an issue though with a nice lunging attack combo, mixed with the Hammer Jump and Double Jump techniques. If you can angle it right and the Behemoth doesn’t sprint away before your animation finishes, the Aerial Strike can do some good damage as well.

It’s not all bad. We didn’t put the Hammer in D or F tier for a reason. If used right, it can be great for staggering Behemoths and dashing away. In a game that focuses on dealing as much damage as possible to a single enemy in a short time, Hammers might not be the best fit for most people though.

X Tier – Ostian Repeaters

Dauntless Weapon Tier List -ostian-repeaters

The Ostian Repeaters are what you make of them! Find a good combination and they’ll be the best friend you could ever have!

The Ostian Repeaters are the only wildcard when it comes to a weapons tier list for Dauntless due to their very nature of customization. They are the one true enigma of the game. 

You see, the Repeaters rely on the determination and creativity of the player to come up with the most devastating combo of parts to assemble together. Starting out, the initial vanilla Ostian Repeater parts give some pretty heavy attack numbers but don’t offer much in the way of “extras.”

Players get a Basic shot, Skillshot ability, Thrown ability, and two types of reloading. Cut and dry, right? Well, mods tell a very different tale and can affect the way the Repeaters work significantly. Changing out the barrel, chamber, grip, frame, or prism can add different elemental damage types, add additional drops (like buffs or mines), or even add missiles and additional projectiles to the mix. A single button press can really unleash hell against a Behemoth if modified right.

However, if modified wrong or under-powered, it could easily put the Ostian Repeaters in an F-tier. Because of the customization that comes with these guns, there’s absolutely no way to place them properly in a tier list. At their best, they’re a difficult-to-achieve S-rank, but they’re nothing without their mods at base value. Welcome to X-tier, where you (the player) solve for X.

Final Thoughts On The Weapon Tier List

While the disastrously speedy Chain Blades easily take the cake as “best weapons in the game,” I’m particularly fond of how the Sword plays. It was easy to get comfortable with when I just started out and still does what I need it to as I progress later into the game and come across bigger, badder Behemoths. I’ve tried dabbling with other weapons, but none of them gave me the pizzazz that I was hoping for in early quests. 

The Ostian Repeaters always intrigue me when I see teammates utilize them correctly, having seen someone go solo with them during a Danger alert and win the battle for us single-handedly. If not for the late-game devastation that the War Pike offers, I’d easily put them hand-in-hand with the Axe, with no difference in tier at all.

The Dauntless developers, Phoenix Labs, sometimes add additional weapons, such as Grenades only being added during late summer 2018 and the Ostian Repeaters coming late 2018. Additionally, updates come pretty rapidly now that the game has officially gone out onto the Epic Games Store and is awaiting the imminent Nintendo Switch launch. So, it’s not unheard of that we could eventually see a new weapon to really shake up this list.

 

Check out our PlayStation 4 review of Dauntless to see how much we loved it! Then, go play it by downloading the game from the Epic Games Store (yea, It’s free to play).

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Multiplayer Predator Game Announced

There have been 31 Predator games made since the first one came out in 1987 and yet, despite being an incredibly obvious choice for player vs player game we’re only now really getting around to doing that. Yes, a multiplayer Predator game has been announced. The game is called Predator: Hunting Grounds and it looks like an asymmetrical game like Friday the 13th with one person playing a Predator while others play an elite paramilitary team. This is such an obvious setting for this type of game that it really is surprising that it hasn’t been done before.

But, asymmetrical multiplayer games don’t seem to be very successful. Friday the 13th is easily the most successful of the genre but compared to other genres it’s a bit niche. Even the Bioware asymmetrical multiplayer game Shadow Realms never really got to see the light of day despite being an excellent game and fairly complete in terms of development.

The good news is that Predator: Hunting Grounds is being developed by IllFonic, the creators of the mildly successful Friday the 13th game. Unlike Friday the 13th, Predator: Hunting Grounds is going to be a PS4 exclusive, at least at launch. This might help it find some success as Friday the 13th was PC first then moved to PS4 and Xbox One later.

However, the top comments on the trailer aren’t positive. There seems to be a lot of disappointment that the game is multiplayer. Making it a multiplayer game gives the game some much-needed replayability, which these days really is a necessity. It will be interesting to watch how people feel about the game as time goes on. The game is scheduled to launch sometime in 2020. Check out the trailer, which doesn’t feature any gameplay below.

Source: Playstation State of Play Stream

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Three New Dune Video Games on the Way

Its been a while since the last Dune video games were released, 18 years in fact. The last one was Frank Herbert’s Dune in 2001 and was based on the 2000 Sci-Fi Channel miniseries. The game was such a failure that the studio that created it, Cryo Interactive Entertainment went bankrupt after its release. But, that was the early 2000s. Now, nearly 20 years on we’re getting a new Dune movie (with names like Dave Bautista, Oscar Issac, Josh Brolin, and Jason Momoa) and three new Dune video games as well.

These games will be made by a studio that has had a lot of success with older IPs, Age of Conan creators, Funcom. Legendary Entertainment and Funcom have entered into a six-year-long agreement that will see three Dune games being made at the very least. The games will be for both PC and consoles and at least one of them will be an Open World Multiplayer game.

So, if we look back at the Q3 2018 report Funcom gave when we saw six games in the pipeline for the company we can see things a little more clearly. Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden launched on December 4th and currently has a 79% positive rating on Steam, plus a Metascore on Metacritic of 78.

The top-secret Conan game being made with Petroglyph is a strategy game called Conan Unconquered which will be released Q2 2019 for PC.

The Funcom IP game being made by Rock Pocket Games that is set to release on Halloween is still a mystery. Though looking at the studio’s official site you see that they’re working on a story-driven first-person horror game that draws elements from H.P. Lovecraft called Moons of Madness. This may not be the game they’re working on with Funcom, but it sounds like it would be right at home in the universe of The Secret World.

The top-secret Heroic Signatures game being developed in house is still a mystery. Though in the Q3 report it didn’t have a release date, now in the Q4 report it has been given a release date of 2020.

The top-secret Conan single player game is still top secret, but it has also been given a release date of 2020, so there has been some progress there.

Finally, from the Q3 2018 report, there was the top secret open world multiplayer game. We now know that this is the Dune multiplayer.

We also now know that Funcom has 13 total active projects that include 5 new projects plus 8 existing or prototype games. Which, according to my math…tells me we have some games that haven’t made it in the quarterly reports yet and haven’t been announced.

 

Please excuse the non-Dune images, we don’t have any of the new Dune games yet so we used Conan instead. That’s practically the same thing…right?

 

Source: Funcom Quarterly Report

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Breach Hits Steam Early Access in January

The multiplayer “dungeon brawl” of Breach looks to be about ready for prime time. QC Games has confirmed that Breach early access will arrive to Steam users this coming January, bolstered by player feedback during the game’s recent testing.

breach early access

“The reception we’ve received from everyone who’s played the game has been nothing short of amazing, giving us confidence that we’re definitely on the right track in our development of Breach,” states game director Gabe Amatangelo. “We look forward to taking the next big step of bringing Breach to a wider audience in January 2019 through Steam Early Access.”

As is often the case with these things, early access will be a paid affair, though the complete game will launch free-to-play. According to the game’s Steam page, the plan is to keep early access short and release the game by next summer, barring any major adjustments needed based on community feedback.

Until then, there will be an extended technical alpha test running between November 30th and December 2nd which will introduce the Chronomancer class to players. Testing is scheduled to begin at 1pm EST and will wrap up at 12am EST. There is no expected downtime for the game’s servers.

Naturally, the announcement comes with a fresh new trailer. That can be seen below.

Our Thoughts

It’s good to know that testers have been enjoying the game enough to push forward into early access. We’re looking forward to seeing how this piece of multiplayer gaming shapes up as we move into next year.

Source: press release

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Bethesda Under Investigation for Deceptive Trade Practices Regarding Fallout 76

How has your Fallout 76 experience been? If it’s been buggy enough to make you want a refund, you’ve perhaps run into some roadblocks on that front. That’s were a Fallout 76 legal investigation comes into play, as a law firm has formally announced their intent to look into what they’re calling “deceptive trade practices.”

fallout 76 legal investigation

Migliaccio & Rathod LLP, a law firm based out of Washington, D.C., is looking to see if Bethesda is playing dirty pool for releasing a “heavily glitched game” and refusing to issue refunds as a result of consumer frustrations with said glitches.

“While minor bugs and glitches are expected with the release of most new games, Fallout 76 launched with a 56GB patch that has proven to be but a starting point for the game’s problems,” reads the law firm’s statement. “Gamers who have tried to receive a refund because of the game’s myriad glitches have been unable to do so since they downloaded the game, leaving them to deal with an unplayable experience until patches bring it back to a playable state.”

The law firm is asking for those who have attempted to get a refund from Bethesda to contact them via email or phone number in what sounds like the beginnings of a class action lawsuit. That said, Eurogamer astutely points out that the firm has penned a number of such announcements before without any additional follow-up.

Our Thoughts

Bluster, or a shove against corporate greed? It certainly can be read both ways and just allowing refunds would be the easiest solution for Bethesda in either case. Still, the fact that this particular law firm has ineffectively beaten the drum against corporations like this before does put a bit of doubt on the seriousness of these moves.

In any case, here’s hoping that those who feel ripped off do get recompense…and don’t wreck a store over the matter.

Sources: Migliaccio & Rathod website via MMORPG.com, Eurogamer

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Red Dead Online Game Modes Leak Ahead of Release

With Red Dead Redemption 2’s multiplayer mode due to go live for some starting today, we’ve got a bit of advance information courtesy of a dataminder: specifically, news about Red Dead Online game modes including what sound like story missions and a battle royale mode.

red dead online game modes

The leaks were shared on Twitter by a user named Illogicalmods, who dug up several text files from Rockstar’s Social Club website. These text files include what look like journal entries to several story missions involving a man by the name of Horley, who appears to be your liaison to Red Dead Online’s activities and presumed overall narrative.

The files also offer brief descriptions of game modes in the multiplayer game:

  • Hostile Territories, a team-based point capture mode.
  • Most Wanted, a “tactical race to the top” that sees players trying to kill as many people for points without being taken down themselves.
  • A Name Your Weapon mode which limits the types of weapons players can use and awards points for landing kills with “trickier” weapons.
  • And the battle royale mode Make It Count, which has players using specific weapons to determine the last one standing in a slowly shrinking play space.

The unearthed feature list also has some word about different types of races that players can join in on, as well as good old-fashioned team-based deathmatch modes.

As announced yesterday, Red Dead Online’s beta will be opening in staggered steps; today will become available for those who bought the Ultimate Edition, the 28th will be open for those who bought the game on day one, the 29th will allow those who played during the game’s launch weekend, and the 30th opens the beta to every owner of the game.

Our Thoughts

We’re really not terribly surprised that Red Dead Online is hopping on that bandwagon, but at least it sounds like there are other things for players to do if battle royale isn’t their cup of tea. Or campfire instant coffee if you want to stick to thematics.

Sources: Rockstar Newswire, Twitter via Eurogamer

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Dragon Hound – Monster Hunter Meets World of Tanks

No matter how many games with monsters and hunters you might play, there is always a name that pops out: Monster Hunter. Capcom’s quintessential series has millions of fans worldwide and very few studios dare to pick a fight with it.

Dauntless is one of the latest entries in the genre and it seems to be doing well for itself, despite the predictable competition from Monster Hunter World. Oddly enough, the free-to-play co-op game is benefiting from the ‘Monster Hunter effect,’ as Capcom’s game opened the genre up and caused a spike in sign-ups.

Now, another monster hunting game is rearing its ugly, scale-ridden head: devCAT’s Dragon Hound, currently in development for PC using the Unreal Engine 4.

Mounted Hunter Online

DevCAT is the Korean studio best known for its acclaimed Mabinogi and Vindictus MMORPGs. The latter was praised as featuring some of the best MMO action combat pre-TERA and Black Desert Online, so it could be assumed that they would build on that. A sequel, or even a completely different game improving on Vindictus’ mechanics crossed my thoughts several times, but it wasn’t meant to be.

Instead, devCAT decided to risk it all and try something entirely new – for them, at least. Originally known as Project DH and introduced to the world during G-Star 2016, Dragon Hound holds a lot of promise while at the same time leaving a bittersweet taste. The reason for this is that Dragon Hound’s battles are all based on mounted combat, without the option to get off your mount and take a different approach to the battle.

Dragon Hound dragon attack

This may be personal bias, but no matter just how tactical or mechanically advanced the mounted combat may be, being stuck with your mount all the time sounds like a cop-out. It feels as they have this hugely promising battlefield and yet you are being severely restricted in your movement. The developers say that you should see your character as a centaur, which is more than enough evidence that you will never be able to fight on foot. Hopefully the matches won’t turn into boring sessions of circling around a dragon while shooting at it.

Dragon Hound’s Game Director is keen to say that despite all the Monster Hunter comparisons, his game is more of a mix between Monster Hunter and Wargaming’s World of Tanks. As odd as it may sound, this is probably due to the use of ranged weapons and horses, making you feel like you are controlling a vehicle. A tank, so to speak.

That being said, Dragon Hound still has significant depth to it, especially when it comes to monsters. So far, there are 30 different creatures planned and while the name may give you a hint on the kind of foes that await you, it’s not all about dragons. We’ve spotted other antagonists such as a huge boar-like animal and a bizarre dragon-giraffe hybrid.

Dragon Hound landscape

Getting Under Your Skin

Dragons are fire-breathing winged creatures with thick skin, but sometimes you will need to get under it to be successful – or at least, to pierce through it. Dragons and other creatures include internal damageable organs such as heart and lungs, weak points that don’t need to glow bright red for you to realize just how important they are. If you manage to hit these vital organs instead of aimlessly shooting around, the battle may be over sooner than you think. Obviously, it’s easier said than done.

Eyes are also noticeable weak points, so if everything plays out as expected, the creatures should have a lot more trouble finding out who and where to attack. The same goes for limbs, as a focused attack should severely limit a creature’s movement or ability to strike back. Each battle is expected to last 10 minutes on average, with larger creatures requiring around 15 minutes. It’s all very enticing on paper, but let’s see how it effectively turns out when all these features are properly implemented.

Dragon Hound bow and arrow attack

By now you are probably thinking which class to pick and what kind of weapons each one gets to use. DevCAT has decided not to include a restrictive class system, meaning that whatever your decision, you will always be able to equip the weapon that your heart desires. Dragon Hound’s arsenal is said to be comparable to the one used during World War 1, but there is clearly some thrilling steampunk imagination at work, as it is shown by the gigantic vehicle used to drag the fallen creatures and where your hunts begin. Long range weapons such as Gatling guns and shotguns evidently play a vital role in the gameplay, but you can also expect some melee weapons for those moments when you need to get up close and personal with the creatures.

It will certainly come as a big surprise to you that Dragon Hound won’t feature any PvP modes. In current days, this almost sounds like shooting yourself in the foot, but that is the plain truth. My guess is that the developers have fiddled and toyed with the idea until they decided that it wasn’t viable or that it wouldn’t add significant value to the game.

Far from considering Dragon Hound an actual MMO, they are labeling it a team-based multiplayer online game. There is no word on the maximum number of players that can participate in a raid, but there are other features such as a tower defense mode that requires a larger number of players.

Dragon Hound stable

Up in the Air

Intentionally or simply a remarkable coincidence, Dragon Hound seems to borrow Dauntless’ concept of the floating isles. The villages in devCAT’s game are floating and they are prone to rotation, switching positions on a weekly basis. Apparently, this was designed with the intention of creating some sort of artificial limitation to the way that players burn through content. By restricting the window of opportunity to attack certain creatures, it will delay those specific encounters for some days. If this is as linear as it was explained, we can’t say for sure, but let’s hope that there is always something to do while you wait for your next big hunt to open.

Dragon Hound is one of the few high-profile PC games coming out of South Korea’s G-Star 2018. In a sea of mobile releases, it’s always great to discover a new and exciting game that dares to think outside of the box. Considering Nexon’s penchant for western releases, we would say that Dragon Hound is highly likely to reach North America and Europe, but we are probably a couple of years away from that. In the meantime, I recommend you to keep an eye out on this one, especially if you are a fan of Monster Hunter and… World of Tanks. Because we have seen stranger things.

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A Triple-Nuke Strike Crashes the Fallout 76 Servers

The continuing shenanigans surrounding Fallout 76 nuclear strikes has hit a new zenith. Following an earlier report of players decrypting nuke launch codes, we now have a story of three nuke strikes launched simultaneously that ended up literally bombing the online title’s servers.

fallout 76 nuclear strikes

A group of players who were the first to launch an in-game nuke when the title went officially live decided to see what would happen when three nukes were fired into the same area. The intent was to see if the triple-strike would spawn a stronger version of a Scorchbeast Queen — a high-level enemy that drops extremely valuable crafting loot when defeated.

What happened instead is that the servers crashed when the players approached the area where the bombs fell, booting the players out of the game and ultimately leaving the question of what lay in the aftermath unanswered.

As for the game itself, a patch out today has introduced a number of bug and feature fixes, along with improvements to the game’s performance and server stability. A recent dev blog also stated plans to bring other updates like additional Stash space, push-to-talk functionality for PC, and an FOV slider for PC. Patch notes for the new version are here.

Our Thoughts

What better way to test the new patch’s server stability than to drop another three nukes on the same spot again, eh? We expect this particular group of players will be the source of more than a few nuke-based stories in the coming weeks or months.

Sources: Digital Trends via VG247, official site

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