Hitman 2 Expansion Pass Retires on Haven Island


The end of the Hitman 2 roadmap is on the horizon. The final piece of DLC included in the expansion pass is set to arrive on Sept. 24. In case you’ve also lost all grasp on time, that’s next week. Expansion pass and Hitman 2 Gold Edition owners can use their ticket to a tropical paradise in the Maldives called Haven Island soon.

IO Interactive has just released some details on the new location. Haven Island will feature one full-fledged campaign mission called The Last Resort, Contracts mode support, over 75 new challenges, tons of unlockable starting locations and items (yes, that includes a new suit that probably looks like it came from Pitbull’s wardrobe), and seven new trophies/achievements at launch.

The Last Resort is a straightforward assassinate-and-dash. You have three targets to eliminate then you’re free to escape. You’ll also be free to tackle three optional mission story challenges. Completing them along with all 75+ side challenges unlocks a new weapon. Of course, a new Hitman location means new disguises and unique ways to kill people.

This piece of DLC picks right up from where The Bank in New York left off. Agent 47 was tasked with assassinating the director of the Milton-Fitzpatrick bank and retrieving data for a client back then. Now, he travels under a fake identity as a guest on Haven Island. IO Interactive promises more details as we get closer to the 24th.

Hitman 2 Gold Edition is available for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

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This Death Stranding Fan Art Poster Is Incredibly Eerie


With the release of Death Stranding coming up rapidly, some fans are trying to find ways to make the wait until release go a bit more quickly. For one Denis Istomin, it seems that putting together some new art based on the game is how they’re coping with the final weeks before release.

Shared on Twitter recently, Russian artist Istomin gave us a look at their take on the world of Death Stranding. The poster features the game’s main character, Sam Porter Bridges, in the foreground while in the distance we see one of the beast-like monsters that will be present in the world. At the top of the print is the stylized logo that we’ve seen before for Death Stranding.

Within the past week, we have seen more gameplay from Death Stranding, including a look a deeper look at these beast type creatures. Creator Hideo Kojima has said that these enemies will appear throughout the game and will apparently vary in size, too.

I think my personal favorite part of this fan poster from Istomin though is the use of color. It’s a very vibrant poster that uses lots of blues, reds, and purples, but it’s also simultaneously pretty creepy looking. While not specifically a horror game, Kojima Productions has definitely created a world that seems eerie and Istomin has captured that same tone in this piece.

Death Stranding is set to launch on PS4 later this fall on November 8. To see more from Istomin, you can check out their Instagram account and store page that sells art prints based on other famous properties such as Evangelion.

The post This Death Stranding Fan Art Poster Is Incredibly Eerie by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.



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NBA 2K20 Review — Double Dribble


I’ll be honest: after NBA 2K19 last year, I half-expected to not have much anticipation for the series moving forward. It wasn’t that 2K19 was an atrocious game, but I didn’t like the direction that things were headed in, especially when it came to microtransactions and some of the game’s modes. But as this summer started to end, I found myself once again with an itch to play some video game basketball. And, I mean, how could I not with the offseason that the NBA just had?

So as I dove headfirst into NBA 2K20, I was actually excited to see how 2K and Visual Concepts looked to improve this year’s edition once again. What I found though is perhaps the franchise’s most derivative entry in quite some time. While the team at Visual Concepts usually implements new ideas and features in each NBA 2K game more than other sports titles, NBA 2K20 fails in this pursuit and instead feels far too similar to last year’s game in all of its major areas.

MyCareer is still the mode that many will likely pour most of their time into with NBA 2K20 and in some important aspects, things have improved in this area. The biggest upgrade that MyCareer has received this year comes in the way of the story. Typically, the narrative that comes in this mode is decent at best, with writing and performances that are often just bearable. Thanks to a collaboration with Springhill Entertainment, the production company owned by LeBron James, NBA 2K20 has received a much-needed upgrade when it comes to storytelling.

Rather than just focusing on the glitz and glamour of professional basketball in MyCareer this year, the game decided to try and tell a somewhat meaningful story that hones in on the responsibility that comes with being a superstar player. The mode’s main character, known as Che, is also just a generally likable protagonist that you want to root for. It’s not a story arc that’ll keep you thinking long after you finish its 2-3 hour runtime, but it does try to show a different side of the NBA this year and the journey that comes with joining the league.

The writing and performances have also stepped up quite drastically. No matter how you feel about past NBA 2K games, the voice acting and writing has often felt lackluster at best and cringe-inducing at worst. In NBA 2K20, the script feels much more natural and conversational. Guest stars like Rosario Dawson and Idris Elba also help break the streak of bad performances that the franchise has had when it comes to guest roles. We’ve come a long way from the days of Spike Lee shouting, “Shazam!”

The character creator in MyCareer has also received a slight overhaul in NBA 2K20 if you’re someone who really likes to get in the weeds with customization. The options you’ve had when it comes to designing your player in recent years has become increasingly stale, so this was one change I was happy to see Visual Concepts implement. It’s not a major boost to the larger NBA 2K20 package, but I enjoyed being able to create my own player that looked like he was straight out of the 1970s ABA rather than just another generic character.

Other than these tweaks though, MyCareer has, for the most part, remained pretty similar to last year. The Neighborhood is once again back, but the game doesn’t force you into this area in between every game, causing longer load times. The Neighborhood itself, in terms of layout, is also relatively the same as in 2K19, which I’m fine with.

Of course, I can’t go without talking about microtransactions when it comes to MyCareer, because you’re still going to be met with the option to spend money frequently. Character progression has remained the exact same in NBA 2K20, meaning that VC, the game’s virtual currency that you can buy with real money, is still your go-to source for everything you may desire. Want to upgrade your player’s three-point shooting? That’ll cost VC. Want to snag a new pair of Jordan’s? Yup, that too will cost you VC.

NBA 2K20 gives you VC constantly, so you’re never going to be totally broke, but when it comes to buying what you want, well, that’s another issue entirely. The cost of certain things in the game, whether they be cosmetic or stats-based, is often far higher than the amounts you’ll earn through natural means. For example, after every MyCareer game that I played this year, I would say on average I was earning right around 1,000+ VC. To merely upgrade my character to a point where I’d say he is average (in my estimation I would consider this to be an 80 overall) I needed to spend roughly 40,000+ VC just to increase his skills. That’s a whole lot of hours of grinding just to get to a point where you feel decently competent with your player on the court.

This is also just assuming you pour all of your VC directly into your MyCareer character, too. If you opt to buy some new swag to wear around The Neighborhood, you could be paying as much as 25,000 VC for a single item. Not every single piece of gear will cost this much, but for some of the more “exclusive” items, values skyrocket quickly.

The prices are just as outrageous in NBA 2K20 as they’ve pretty much always been. The only semi-positive thing I can say is that I do feel like the rate at which you earn VC this year, whether it be through playing games or other means, seems to have increased by just a bit. That’s just conjecture on my own part though and I can’t really directly verify as much.

In the pursuit of full transparency, I also feel it is important to mention that the version of NBA 2K20 that I was sent by 2K was that of the Legend Edition. This means that out of the gate, I had 100,000 VC at my disposal in-game. I could have opted not to receive this version and instead could have reviewed the standard edition, but I do feel it is vital to see how far your VC actually goes in these games, especially from a review standpoint.

NBA 2K20 is still way too reliant on VC across almost all of its modes and something has to change about this. Will it? Probably not, but it definitely impacts my enjoyment of the product, which is a shame because NBA 2K20 is still really fun to play.

While NBA 2K20 from a gameplay perspective still feels fantastic, I do have to say that this is probably the least that the franchise has been iterated upon in quite some time when it comes to improving the core mechanics. Is that a bad thing? Well, yes and no. There comes a point where it’s hard to shake things up too much without also potentially screwing up what it is that has made the gameplay so good. Visual Concepts has still made a handful of updates to the gameplay of NBA 2K20 this year, but they’re all incredibly minor and probably won’t be noticed by many.

As for what else is new this year in NBA 2K20, the WNBA has finally been added to the series for the first time. This is something that NBA Live brought in a few years back and 2K is now following suit. While it’s nice to see that the women’s professional league has been added to the game, there’s not much you can do with the league outside of the Play Now and Season modes. Still, it’s a step in the right direction for those who have been wanting an experience like this in an NBA 2K game.

Other than MyCareer, NBA 2K20’s usual slate of other supporting modes are back around this time and don’t offer much that would be considered new or different. MyLeague and MyGM are likely the two big season modes that most will gravitate to if they’re looking for a season-by-season game mode and each is still fun in its own way even if it does just feel like updated rosters are the biggest change.

MyTeam is likely the biggest mode other than MyCareer that most will play and there have actually been a fair amount of changes in this realm for 2K20. New additions such as Card Evolution give you goals to strive for while you play games with certain players. Timed events have also been added and Triple Threat, the mode’s 3v3 offering, has seen some changes, but not all of them are for the better.

My biggest problem with MyTeam though is that it’s just still so dang grindy. I understand why it is this way, but I can never get invested enough in MyTeam to dedicate large amounts of time to it, especially knowing that I’ll just have to hit the reset button 12-months from now. Plus, MyTeam is filled with potentially more money-making practices and randomized elements this year than any other NBA 2K game before. The entire mode just seems to be one major grind solely for the purpose of making you invest money, not because it wants to actually offer a compelling experience.

And once again this year, I also continue to struggle with input lag when playing online against others via MyTeam, too. This has been a common issue I’ve had over the years (I know for a fact it isn’t because of my own Internet connection) and to see it still being a problem here with NBA 2K20 is upsetting. Maybe the game is just too fast-paced to get eliminate lag entirely, but when I feel like there’s a 1-2 second gap between when I release the shoot button myself compared to when my player lets go of the ball in-game, that’s a problem. Assuming others who play NBA 2K annually have these issues, I truly have no idea how they get past it.

I also think it’s important to mention glitches, performance issues, and other bugs that I failed to come across this year. Even though the community surrounding NBA 2K20 has said loudly since launch that the game has been filled with a variety of problems this year, I really had none whatsoever in my own time with the game. I can only report on my own personal experience with NBA 2K20, and for the most part, the game has run well and has been devoid of any clear problems.

NBA 2K20 feels like a transition game for 2K. The full package still offers hours upon hours of basketball enjoyment to be had, but it doesn’t feel like any worthwhile improvements were made compared to 2K19. Plus, microtransactions are still present around nearly every corner, constantly beckoning you to just drop a few dollars into the game. I wish this would change, but I know it’s pretty much never going to at this point.

This is the least impressed I’ve been with an NBA 2K title out of the gate this whole console generation, which says a lot. With both Xbox Scarlett and PS5 arriving next year, I hope the team at Visual Concepts is gearing up big time to bring this series into next-gen. Until then though, NBA 2K20 just feels like more of the same game I’ve already been dabbling with for the past year.

The post NBA 2K20 Review — Double Dribble by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.



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Bloodstained and Jump Force Highlight New Additions to Xbox Game Pass


Microsoft has today announced more games that will be coming to the console side of Xbox Game Pass before the end of September, and it’s actually a pretty great slate.

Starting tomorrow on September 19, both Bandai Namco’s Jump Force and 505 Games’ Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night will be landing on Game Pass. Both titles released earlier this year and were highly anticipated by many fans. In addition, both games are also enhanced for Xbox One X owners. If you’ve been holding out to play either of these before the end of the year, here’s a great opportunity to dive in.

That’s not all that will be coming before the end of the month, though. Next week on September 26, three new games will also be hitting the subscription service with Bad NorthLEGO Worlds, and Dirt Rally 2.0. In the case of Bad North and Dirt Rally 2.0, both games are also enhanced on Xbox One X.

All in all, considering that other games like Gears 5Dead Cells, and Metal Gear Solid HD Collection also landed on Game Pass this month, September has been a specifically strong month for the service, at least in my own eyes. Game Pass continues to have a great balance of both triple-a and indie gems landing on the platform and hopefully, that will continue moving forward.

As a reminder, Xbox Game Pass typically retails for $9.99 each month. Right now though, you can get two months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for only $2.

The post Bloodstained and Jump Force Highlight New Additions to Xbox Game Pass by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.



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The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening Receives a Charming Story Trailer


If you didn’t realize already, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening releases in just a matter of days – time sure does fly! Ahead of its anticipated launch this Friday, September 20, an adorably short story trailer has been uploaded highlighting a brief overview of what to expect from the remake. Those that are familiar with the series will remember the beautiful song played throughout the trailer, this time with English lyrics and beautifully haunting vocals that will for sure hit Zelda fans right in the feels.

The trailer, as mentioned, isn’t particularly long – coming in at only 30 seconds, but it’s just the right amount to get us really excited and eager to get stuck into some gameplay. If you’re looking for a much longer trailer, thankfully Nintendo launched one last week at 4 minutes long which shows you all of the main elements of Link’s Awakening. This video is especially helpful to those who are new to The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening.

For those fortunate enough to live in Europe, a Limited Edition for The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has been made available. The Limited Edition version comes with a physical version of the game, 120-page art book, and a SteelBook case for the game. I’m happy to say I snagged one of these when it was first announced so I’m excited to get my hands on it on launch. If you reside in North American, a Dreamer Edition for the game was revealed at E3 2019 Nintendo Direct which includes the game and a “Dreamer Art Book.”

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening will arrive exclusively on Nintendo Switch in a few days on Friday, September 20. You can check out The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening – Story Trailer, below.

 

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Players Will Get In-Game Reward at Launch


In-game rewards for playing a game’s beta are nothing new. Hell, Call of Duty’s been doing it for years with in-game calling cards and emblems being rewards for playing WWII and Black Ops 4’s betas. Now, it seems that Infinity Ward is taking this a step further, as it has revealed the reward for beta players of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and, to my surprise, it’s actually a weapon blueprint called the Hammer Shotgun.

For those wondering exactly what that means, allow me to explain it to you. Blueprints are, essentially, pre-made plans for customized weapons in Modern Warfare. All blueprints, right now, utilize the same in-game attachments as the normal weapon, however, they give each gun an exclusive look. For example, the Hammer Shotgun is the standard .725 shotgun, customized with a grip, silencer, red-dot sight, and more, as well as an exclusive visual look.

According to Infinity Ward, if you reach, or have already reached, level 10 in the Modern Warfare beta, you’ll receive the Hammer Shotgun when the game launches in October. As of the time of this writing, it’s unknown how normal players will be able to earn the Hammer Shotgun. If you want to check out the shotgun for yourself, you can find an image of it at the top of the article.

Earlier today, it was revealed that most of the game’s post-launch content will hit all platforms at the same time, with some content coming first to PlayStation 4 users.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will hit store shelves on October 25, 2019, and will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Windows PC. If you pre-order the game, you’ll be available to get your hands on the game’s beta, which is having its second test weekend on Thursday of this week.

The post Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Beta Players Will Get In-Game Reward at Launch by Tanner Pierce appeared first on DualShockers.



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Overwatch and Razer Pair Up for This Ridiculous (and Awesome) Lúcio-Inspired Headset


The Razer Nari Ultimate Headset is already great, and today it got a little bit better with this Overwatch-themed re-skin. With this release, you’ll be able to look just like Lúcio, everyone’s favorite support hero and DJ. They won’t come cheap though: a standard Razer Nari Ultimate costs $199.99, and this Lucio-inspired set costs $229.99.

DualShockers has reviewed the Razer Nari Ultimate. As you’d expect from a high-end company like Razer, the headset performs very well. From a practical standpoint, nothing has changed here. It’s still full-sized, still features Razer’s Hypersense haptic technology, and still very comfy.

However, this release definitely looks different. You’ll notice Lúcio’s frog-logo on the outside of the earcup as well as a substantial helping of the blues, yellows, and greens associated with the character. In typical Razer fashion, the set looks simultaneously cool and also a little obnoxious. I’m into it.

My favorite part about the release, though, are the goofy lines on the product page. For instance: “As a support hero, Lúcio excels in keeping his teammates in prime, fighting condition during long battles. Similarly, this headset aims to keep you at your best during Overwatch marathons.” Razer’s marketing has always been a little cringe-inducing, and I’m happy to see that this trend continues.




If you can’t get enough Lúcio in your life, Razer is also featuring the character on their Goliathus mouse mat. Once again, Razer knocks their marketing out of the park: “Boost your gameplay by pairing your mouse with a slick, micro-textured cloth surface woven for speed and precision—a reflection of the iconic skates Lúcio cruises around the map on.” Good enough, Razer.

 

The post Overwatch and Razer Pair Up for This Ridiculous (and Awesome) Lúcio-Inspired Headset by Joseph Schaffner appeared first on DualShockers.



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Activision Says “Most” Post-Launch Content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Will Release Simultaneously Across All Platforms


For years, one platform has typically received add-on content for each year’s iteration of Call of Duty before others. This generation, that platform has typically been the PS4, thanks to the partnership that Activision and PlayStation have. This year, however, with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, it seems as though this practice will be ending.

In a new blog post from Activision today, the publisher revealed that nearly all post-launch content that comes to Modern Warfare will be hitting all platforms at once, rather than coming to one earlier than the others. This move is seemingly to make crossplay easier, which Modern Warfare will be boasting this time around.

“Most Post-launch gameplay content, including new multiplayer maps, new multiplayer modes, special ops missions and more will release simultaneously across all platforms,” Activision stated in the post. However, it was said that Activision’s its partnership with PlayStation will still continue and that “PS4 players will have an exciting Day 1 advantage.” More information on just what this is and on future plans for post-launch content are said to be unveiled closer to the release of Modern Warfare.

Many fans have been begging for this move to come to fruition for quite some time, so it’s good to see it finally happening. Crossplay seems to be a big focus for the team at Infinity Ward this year with Modern Warfare and hopefully it’ll only help grow the game’s community moving forward.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will launch next month on October 25 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game’s beta period is set to kick off again later this week on Thursday, September 19 in Early Access before going live for all this weekend.

The post Activision Says “Most” Post-Launch Content for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Will Release Simultaneously Across All Platforms by Logan Moore appeared first on DualShockers.



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Tetris 99’s Latest Maximus Cup Includes Rewards for Super Kirby Clash


During September 6’s Nintendo Direct, battle royale puzzle game Tetris 99 got a hefty update that added several new modes and features that increased its longevity. Super Kirby Clash, a free-to-start Nintendo Switch version of the 3DS’ Team Kirby Clash Deluxe, was also announced and release that day. Today, Nintendo revealed on Twitter that the two will be crossing over this weekend.

The two titles are crossing over through a Maximus Cup. Tetris 99 has done this previously with games like Splatoon 2 and Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Players will be able to net themselves the limited-time Super Kirby Clash theme by getting 100 event points, just like in previous events. Interestingly, this crossover will actually sweeten the deal by rewarding players in Super Kirby Clash as well. Those who hit the aforementioned event point requirement will also get 99 Gem Apples in Super Kirby Clash.

Considering Gem Apples can be purchased with money, this Tetris 99 Maximus Cup seems like a good way for avid Super Kirby Clash players to save some money. The Super Kirby Clash themed Maximus Cup will be going on between September 20 at 12am PT and September 23 at 11:59pm PT.

Both Tetris 99 and Super Kirby Clash are available for free on Nintendo Switch. That being said, a physical version of Tetris 99 is available physically and can be picked up on Amazon.

The post Tetris 99’s Latest Maximus Cup Includes Rewards for Super Kirby Clash by Tomas Franzese appeared first on DualShockers.



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CD Projekt Red Discusses Cyberpunk 2077’s First-Person Perspective


In a new interview with VGC during the Tokyo Game Show, CD Projekt Red designer Max Pears Cyberpunk 2077‘s first-person perspective.

“I hope people understand that we have thought about this and there is logic to our process,” says Pears. “We’ve not just thrown this in randomly: there is a lot of thought that’s gone into it.”

Pears mentions that while some people have strong opinions about the game being in first-person, the developer feels it’s the right choice for the game. When asked if any if there would be any third-person parts, Pears said most of the levels he’s worked on are all in first-person.

“Hopefully when people get their chance to experience it for themselves, they’ll understand why we’ve gone in that direction,” Pears concludes.

The news of Cyberpunk 2077 being in first-person was addressed earlier this month and CD Projekt Red’s Global Community Lead Marcin Momot says this will benefit its “gameplay and story-telling perspectives.” Additionally, Momot said players will get to see their character in the inventory screen, while they’re driving, and during certain cutscenes.

This isn’t the only Cyberpunk news to come from TGS. Pears also commented on the game’s multiplayer and the developer’s thought process behind it. Additionally, actor Keanu Reeves visited the Cyberpunk booth and lived his best life.

Cyberpunk 2077 launches on April 16, 2020 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A Google Stadia version will also launch at a later date. The game is available for preorder on Amazon now.

The post CD Projekt Red Discusses Cyberpunk 2077’s First-Person Perspective by David Gill appeared first on DualShockers.



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