Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s closed multiplayer kicks off today on PlayStation 4, giving players a chance to play the game over the weekend. Dan Tack has been playing a bit, and he takes me and Ben Hanson on a tour through some of the game’s modes and new character customization. And before you start judging, he wasn’t warmed up.

Check out the video below for a look at hardpoint, team deathmatch, and control, as well as plenty of killcam footage. Did I say he wasn’t warmed up? Because he wasn’t, OK? Sheesh!

Look for Black Ops 4 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 12.

Lost Soul Aside is an action game we’ve been keeping our eye on. The game made a big splash on the PSX show floor last year, where the character action title attracted huge lines as part of Sony’s China Hero Project initiative to bring promising games from China to the world stage. The one-man developer Yang Bing caught Sony’s attention, which supplied resources in exchange for timed exclusivity.

At the recent ChinaJoy, a digital entertainment expo in and about China, Sony showed off some footage from China Hero Project games. This included a new trailer for Lost Soul Aside, which has clearly improved with the extra development resources since PSX.

The newest trailer features a lot more than was available at the PSX demo. While the original target date was 2018, the current trailer describes it as a “work in progress,” so it’s unlikely to make it this year.

An eagle-eyed fan has finally found a fabled Metroid in Donkey Kong: Tropical Freeze. The little creature floats in the background during an underwater section in the game, hiding among the coral and other similar octopus-like creatures. While it seems like some fans spotted the little guy long ago, the Easter egg has remained in obscurity since the release. 

Retro Studios has a history with Metroid as the creators of the beloved Metroid Prime series. Tropical Freeze already had another Metroid reference in the form of a more easily found Easter egg in the game already, which involved Samus’ ship in the background of a level. While Metroid Prime 4 is on the horizon, Retro is not involved with the development. In fact, nobody seems to be sure what Retro is working on.

For the most recent info on Metroid and Metroid Prime 4, check our review of the Samus Returns remake and our interview with Nintendo.

A new Discord feature available today allows the designation of “priority speakers” within voice calls. When the priority speaker talks, the voices of all others will be lowered.

Discord announced the feature via Twitter in an extremely strange…trailer?

 

When I finally get the guts to take on Destiny 2’s raids, I’ll definitely consider using this feature.

If you’re excited to get Fortnite on your Android device, don’t start looking for it in Google’s Play store. Epic Games has decided to release Fortnite as a direct download on Android systems, which is an unusual move. This means that players will have to download Fortnite through an installer directly off the game’s official website sometime later this year.

Epic’s CEO Tim Sweeney told GamesIndustry.biz that the studio was motivated by economic efficiency.

“The 30 percent store tax is a high cost in a world where game developers’ 70 percent must cover all the cost of developing, operating, and supporting their games,” Sweeney said. “There’s a rationale for this on console where there’s enormous investment in hardware, often sold below cost, and marketing campaigns in broad partnership with publishers. But on open platforms, 30 percent is disproportionate to the cost of the services these stores perform.”

At the same time, Sweeney praised Google for creating open platforms that enable studios like Epic to deliver games however they like. This falls in line with the developer’s long-standing criticism of closed systems like Apple’s. 

[Source: GamesIndustry.biz]

 

This is an unprecedented move. Google’s play store helps get eyes on many developers games, but it does come at a cost. But, if any game can bypass that system it will be Fortnite.  

Square Enix’s 16-bit-inspired RPG Octopath Traveler isn’t flawless, but it features a stunning tilt-shift art style, eight playable protagonists, and a genuinely fun turn-based combat system. Read our review if that sounds interesting to you.

Thankfully, this unique gem seems to be getting its due, as Nintendo of Europe recently tweeted about the title’s success.

[Source: Eurogamer]

 

JRPGs seemed to be on the downswing for a while, so it’s wonderful to see a new IP in the genre sell well. Hopefully this means Square Enix will take some time and invest in a sequel with less grinding.

Steamforged Games is no stranger to adapting video games to a tabletop setting; it handled both the Dark Souls and Resident Evil 2 board game conversions. Both of those games have a serious lack of robot dinosaurs though, so the studio’s next project is an adaptation of Guerrilla Game’s smash hit, Horizon Zero Dawn.

The project is still very early in development. Despite official collaboration with Sony and Guerrilla, the game will still be funded through an upcoming Kickstarter campaign. However, based on Steamforged’s history (Dark Souls and Resident Evil 2 far exceeded their funding goals), the success of this adaptation is virtually guaranteed. 

Both Dark Souls and Resident Evil 2’s tabletop versions have featured unique takes on cooperation and a whole suite of detailed figurines. Based on the target renders in Steamforged’s announcement, Horizon Zero Dawn’s iconic creatures will be satisfyingly miniaturized. Whether the game will be competitive, cooperative, or some mix of the two is as-yet unknown. 

 

Our Take
Board games have a really gratifying permanence compared to the digital transience of modern video games. Having a version of Horizon with lots of little pieces and detailed art is a great way to remember one of the best titles of last year. 

Red Dead Redemption II is bound to be filled with deadly scoundrels, predators, and assorted ne’er do wells. It only makes sense that you’ll want to be as prepared as possible before you head out into the wilds. Rockstar has created another crossover between its two big franchises, which could help give players a little edge – and pass the time until Red Dead II’s October release date.

GTA Online players can accept a series of new bounties from Maude Eccles from their iFruit phones. Once they’re all taken care of (dead or alive, of course), the location of a new stone hatchet will be revealed. Collect it, and it’s yours. If you complete its associated kills challenge, you’ll earn a cool $250,000 bonus of in-game currency, and also unlock the weapon for use in Red Dead Redemption II.

It’s similar to last year’s double-action revolver challenge.  If you missed out on that one, don’t worry – Rockstar is giving players another chance to earn the weapon, so keep an eye open for an in-game text that will tell you how to get it.

Red Dead Redemption II is coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.

Blizzard has released another cinematic trailer for World of Warcraft’s upcoming Battle for Azeroth expansion, focusing on Horde warrior Varok Saurfang. In it, Varok struggles with his past when he encounters an inexperienced troll on the eve of battle.

For another cinematic from the upcoming expansion, take a look at this one from a few days ago. It centers around Sylvanas Windrunner.

World of Warcraft’s Battle for Azeroth expansion launches August 14 on PC.

The latest expansion in the ever-growing Pokémon Trading Card Game releases today. Celestial Storm contains Pokémon across all generations, but despite the “Sun and Moon” name, it shines the spotlight on Gen 3.

We were sent several booster packs, as well as the Hydro Fury and Leaf Charge decks to see what we could pull out of the new expansion. While Ultra Prism emphasized Gen 4 and Forbidden Light shined a hard spotlight on Gen 6, Celestial Storm is heavily focused on the third generation of monsters. That doesn’t mean I didn’t get a few Pokémon from the other gens. I especially liked the occasional cards from Gens 1 and 2, but if you’re a lover of the Hoenn region, this is an expansion for you.

Check out the gallery of my favorite cards I pulled from the Pokémon Sun and Moon – Celestial Storm expansion below and if you want to see more of the recent expansions from Pokémon TCG, check out our other galleries.