ubisoft

Major studio known to MMO fans primarily for The Crew and The Division.

The Crew 2 jolts into open beta with the help of Red Bull as Steam reviews hit ‘mostly negative’

There’s the waving flag for The Crew 2’s open beta test, so get out on the track this weekend and take the multiplayer’s vehicles for a drive before it’s all over on June 25th!

The test is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One and is free to all players. You will need an Ubisoft account to access it, however. There’s a lot to be mastered with eight modes that include street races, powerboats, aerobatics, motocross, and touring cars. All beta testers will secure an exclusive gold helmet once the game launches on June 29th.

If all of that isn’t crazy enough, Ubisoft and Red Bull partnered up for a “Face Your Ride” challenge. Players can submit their craziest stunts during beta in the hopes of driving a real Red Bull racing vehicle. The energy drink company said that this is the first of several promotions planned with the game.

As you caffeinate up for beta testing, make sure to watch the preview videos down below, and maybe keep an eye on the reviews too: On Steam, they’re already in the “mostly negative” zone.

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E3 2018: Hands-on with Ubisoft’s open-world pirate PvP game Skull & Bones

So, you want to be a pirate, but Sea of Thieves isn’t your cup of tea? If the issue was PvP, well, you’re probably out of luck, as Ubisoft Producer Karl von der Luhe emphasized at E3 this year that one of Skull and Bones chief strengths is that it lets you decide what kind of pirate you want to be: the kind who backstabs and murders his fellow buccaneer, or a wolf running with a pack. There’s no room for pacifists who just want to share Earl Grey and crumpets, alas.

While von der Luhe admits that Ubisoft admires what Rare’s done with SOT, it’s been clear for a long time that the two games are different enough to co-exist. They’re different takes on the pirate lifestyle. Even with the new hideout system for off-ship… um, town interaction, my demo of the open PvPvE area, the hunt grounds, further confirmed my feeling that Ubisoft’s game is more about the ship than it is about the pirate, something that surely has its own audience.

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The Divison’s new Shields are all about earning rewards for the sequel

When people know the sequel to their current MMO is coming out, they tend to be less inclined to complete in-game challenges in the current game. After all, why take part in The Division content now when the next game is on its way? The newest patch for the game has an answer for that: you want to earn shields. No, not the pieces of equipment that you tend to wear in various other MMOs, the unique collectibles that allow you to unlock rewards in The Division 2 for obtaining them.

Players can earn four shields right now, and more will be rolled out over time to give players new things to chase after. The patch also brings in new audio logs and various balance tweaks, so while you prepare yourself for the follow-up game you’ll still have plenty to do in the existing game. And, you know, hopefully you’re having fun anyway.

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E3 2018: hands-on with The Division 2 – a major upgrade over the original game

At this year’s E3, Ubisoft creative director Julian Gerighty said team behind The Division 2 tried to learn “everything” from The Division to help make the sequel better. As he reminded me, the original game’s final DLC was especially meaty in terms of PvE content and PvP balance, but it’s the first impressions of the game that mattered most: The initial Dark Zone iteration is still what gamers remember best, and that’s not necessarily a compliment. I myself was not impressed with the original demo back in 2015.

But based on my preview of The Division 2 at this year’s E3, I can say that Gerighty’s team obviously learned quite a bit – and absolutely improved on the original.

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E3 2018: Skull and Bones fleshes out its gameplay with the Hunting Grounds

Player choice and random map elements are the key to the meat of Skull and Bones’ replayability said Ubisoft at this week’s E3 2018. The studio made a concerted effort to show how its upcoming multiplayer pirate title wasn’t just PvP and nothing but.

In fact, the big reveal this week was the Hunting Grounds, which sounds more PvE than PvP. These special areas will be modified by “fortunes” set before players head toward them. When there, player crews will take on various quests while also having the freedom to simply explore and hunt boats. One such quest was to hunt down an NPC bounty hunter with another player.

“You log in and decide where in the world you want to go, which factions you want to take on, whether you want to do it by yourself or call your friends, or meet new friends within the world. All of those things are based on your own objectives,” said Creative Director Justin Farren.

The studio confirmed that it will be pushing out Skull and Bones some time next year. In any case, we have several videos from Ubisoft’s E3 showing after the break, so dig in!

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E3 2018: The Crew 2’s open beta starts on June 21

Ready to drive cars around? How about boats? Dirtbikes? Formula 1 racers? Planes? If it’s got an engine, you’re going to be racing it in The Crew 2, and you can find out all about that when the game’s open beta starts up on June 21st. Players can start pre-loading the beta now if you want to give the game a shot before it’s available for purchase.

If you need some convincing to try the game in the first place (which will, in turn, convince you to buy it or not), there’s a new trailer just below for the open beta. It features… vehicles. Lots of vehicles. Dirtbikes ramping off of planes, all sorts of fun stuff. Check it out just below, and get ready for the open beta running until June 24th.

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E3 2018: The Division 2 shows off its story and its early gameplay, launches March 15 – with raids

There’s no pretense that The Division 2 is not going to build on what worked for the original The Division. You can watch the story trailer just below and see that yes, it’s going to be adhering to a similar formula. It’s just that now, instead of dealing with the remnants of society in New York City, you’re cleaning things up in Washington, DC. And it turns out the best way to clean things up in the wake of the pandemic that has struck the city is by shooting a whole lot of insurgents.

Of course, if the new setting doesn’t captivate you, perhaps you’ll be more interested by the gameplay trailer just below showing off the first shots of actual group gameplay in action. Obviously, it involves a fair bit of shooting things, but you knew that going in. It’s a lengthy demonstration, but it seems to confirm that the heart of the first game is still present in the upcoming sequel. It’s all launching on March 15th.

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E3 2018: Elder Scrolls Online announces Wolfhunter and Murkmire DLC (oh yeah, and Elder Scrolls VI is coming!)

At Bethesda’s E3 presentation this evening, ZeniMax’s Matt Firor announced that The Elder Scrolls Online’s next DLC is called Wolfhunter, complete with werewolf theme. And even later this year, we can expect yet another DLC called Murkmire – yep, we’re diving into Argonian culture in Blackmarsh. Finally, right?! The company promises both this year – in the “second half of 2018.”

Firor says the game is up to 11 million players, with 1 million new in the last year. There’s a brand-new trailer for E3, focused mostly on Summerset, as well as a Murkmire teaser.

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E3 2018: BioWare’s Anthem has soloable co-op open world, no lockboxes, a sweet trailer, and a February 22 launch

At this afternoon’s EA Play, EA and BioWare have revealed Anthem’s brand-new trailer. The game is now slated to launch on February 22nd, 2019.

During the developer discussion, BioWare said it recognized the problems inherent in storytelling in a multiplayer shared world (reiterating Casey Hudson’s dev blog from not that long ago), but it thinks it’s found a way to reconcile driving the story without sacrificing multiplayer gameplay.

Characters will play as “freelancers” piloting Javelin exosuits, trying to survive in a hostile environment, and fighting the bad guys trying to exploit the power. There are four Javelins, each with a different way to play the game: Ranger, Colossus, Interceptor, Storm. “You are not your suit,” BioWare cautions; you can flip between them depending on the gameplay you want to take part in from moment to moment.

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The Game Archaeologist: Myst Online

The impact of Myst in 1993 was akin to an atomic bomb going off in the PC gaming world. The leap forward in graphical fidelity (aided by the large storage capacity of a CD-ROM and all of the full-motion video and gorgeous images tucked into it) captured gamers’ imaginations and made this adventure title the best-selling PC game of all time, at least for several years. Brothers Robyn and Rand Miller’s story about a stranger who had to solve puzzles through a good-looking (if deserted) landscape was devilishly difficult, yet that challenge kept players coming back for months and even years.

The Myst franchise surged forward at that point, with several sequels, remakes, and ports selling like hotcakes through the final game’s release in 2005. Yet something interesting happened along the way when an offshoot of the series — Uru: Ages Beyond Myst — evolved into an MMO. With a focus on multiplayer exploration and puzzle-solving instead of non-stop combat, it may be one of the very few MMOs out there that eschews fighting for brainpower.

It’s an oddity, no doubt, and despite it being an incredibly niche title, it has fascinated me enough to pull me into a research rabbit hole. So let’s take a look at Myst Online: Uru Live!

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The Division will roll out shields system, new legendary mission modes in next week’s update

You’re probably mentally gearing up to hear more about The Division 2 at E3 this year, but Ubisoft has reiterated its resolve to continue supporting the original The Division with this week’s announcement that update 1.8.2 will launch on all three core platforms next week on June 14th.

“Players can expect two new Legendary mission modes for Madison Field Hospital and General Assembly alongside the newest system to The Division—Shields,” says the company. “More information on the Shields system will be revealed soon! We are also introducing Reactivation Caches that will be granted to all players with the launch of 1.8.2. Designed with new players in mind, these caches welcome Agents back to The Division by preparing players for end-game activities.”

The patch is also expected to roll out balance tweaks for classified gear and a bunch of bug fixes. Ubisoft’s E3 presentation is slated for Monday afternoon, so stay tuned!

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The Crew 2 is getting an open beta while the original The Crew goes into maintenance

It’s probably not much of a surprise to hear that The Crew is slipping into maintenance mode, as patches had been quiet for a while and the sequel is slated to come out this month. But it has been confirmed at this point that there will be no more patches for the game from this point onward. Servers will remain online and playable, and maintenance isn’t ruled out for fixing imminent issues, but don’t expect any new content.

There’s hope for those who need some new online racing fun but aren’t ready to buy the sequel just yet, as the game’s beta site has teased that an open beta is coming soon and will be discussed more at this year’s E3. So you can get some new driving fun in before the game releases… it just won’t be in the original game. That’s not exactly a shock.

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Battle Bards Episode 121: Myst Online

The world’s first, best, and only MMORPG music podcast is back to venture into a rather obscure title, Myst Online! The Battle Bards delve into this odd, atmospheric soundtrack that isn’t quite like what we’re used to hearing in online games. There’s some love, some hate, some snark, and some indigestion. Also, we discover several of Syl’s greatest fears and force her to live through them.

Battle Bards is a bi-weekly podcast that alternates between examining a single MMO’s soundtrack and exploring music tracks revolving around a theme. MOP’s Justin co-hosts with bloggers Steff and Syl. The cast is available on iTunesGoogle PlayTuneInPocket CastsStitcher, and Player.FM.

Listen to Episode 121: Myst Online (or download it) now:

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