My Top 3 Halloween Events

Gamers looking to get into the Halloween spirit have been invited to take part in numerous events over the past few weeks, including two in some of the top games on the market and one of the most popular mobile games of the year.

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Overwatch players were greeted to a spooky new main screen which introduced new character skins on Oct. 11. Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event came with new Halloween-themed character skins, including Mercy’s Witch skin and Symmetra’s Vampire skin, victory poses and voice lines.

The Hollywood map is changed to reflect the season, with movie posters showing horror movies and the skybox changed to be nighttime.

Players were also introduced to a new brawl type called Junkenstein’s Revenge, which is a horde game-type. Players can choose between Ana, Hanzo, McCree and Soldier: 76 to fight against Junkrat’s zombie robot horde and his partners Mercy, Roadhog and Reaper. The entire brawl is narrated by Reinhardt as if it was a fairytale.

Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event ends Nov. 1.

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 In Destiny, the Festival of the Lost returned for its second year on Oct. 25. The masks from previous years return, allowing players to look like characters from the series. The candy collecting mechanic has also returned, this time letting players buy items with full bags of candy.

Only Playstation 4 and Xbox One players can participate in Festival of the Lost, which will wrap up on Nov. 8.

Following its lackluster start this past summer, Pokémon Go started its first holiday event on Oct. 26, though many players were able to access it on Oct. 25.

Players will find a boosted number of ghost-type pokémon on their travels, as well as a boosted number of candies: players are rewarded 6 candy for catching a pokémon and 2 for transferring them. Players’ buddies, pokémon that collect candy from a certain distance traveled, will also get candy four times faster.

Pokémon Go’s Halloween event will end on Nov. 1.

Destiny: Rise of Iron Has Puppies (and Lore)

Originally posted Sep. 26.

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Game company Bungie’s recently released expansion DLC for their game Destiny gives players a better look at the history and lore.

Released on Sept. 20, the DLC marks the second big expansion – and the fourth expansion in general – to the base game. Players take their characters back to Old Russia on Earth to learn more about the Iron Lords from their remaining member, Lord Saladin. Saladin has already been a staple character to the series, ringing in the Iron Banner event every month. But now players can learn his backstory and the tragedy that befell the Iron Lords.

The DLC begins with a cinematic revealing the history of the Iron Lords. The graphics for the cutscene are far above what Bungie released with the base game two years ago; facial expressions and details, such as the characters hair, are beyond what was possible then.

A new main storyline is available to players, as well as a new patrol and social zone. The Plaguelands is also available to patrol on Earth, making for the first time that there are two patrolable zones on one planet. The new social zone, The Iron Temple, is also located on Earth.

Also available are three new multiplayer maps, a new strike, and a new raid.

There are also, as usual, added weapons, shaders, armor, and a higher light-level cap- players can now reach a light-level of 385. Also added are new enemies, or at least reskins of the Fallen.

Like the calcified fragments in the Taken King DLC, there are new collectibles called clusters. These are located throughout the new play area, hidden back in corners and crevices. Some of which are only available during missions.

The story for Rise of Iron seems lackluster in its delivery, rushing by as players are thrown from mission to mission, much like Destiny’s base missions. The cinematics, as said before, are more eye catching, but the story doesn’t seem to take hold like the graphics do.

As with every launch, there are also a number of glitches. With every server reset, lag among peers in a cooperative game is expected, but not among enemies. Fallen will jump around, teleporting from one place to another, or randomly spawn right in front of you.

If readers are Destiny fans, the DLC is cautiously recommended. The graphics updates and new play areas are nice and fun to explore, but the story fails to hold ground; it’s very similar to the base game that was put out two years ago.

Rise of Iron is available for purchase for the PS4 and Xbox One through the PlayStation Store and the Microsoft Store for $30. Players must also have the Taken King DLC. Also available to buy is Destiny: The Collection, which includes the base game, first two DLC, The Taken King, and Rise of Iron for $59.99 at all major game retailers and the previously listed online stores.

Sony Unveils New PS4s

Originally posted Sep. 12.

At Sony Interactive’s New York Conference on Sept. 7, two new PlayStation 4 models were announced.

The PlayStation Slim model had been leaked online in late August, but was officially confirmed at the conference. The model is a slimmer, lighter and “more energy efficient” version of the company’s PlayStation 4, according to Andrew House, President and Group CEO of Sony Interactive. It will be available Sept. 15, and is currently available for preorder from Amazon for $299.

The other console that was announced was the PlayStation Pro. Originally named the PlayStation Neo, the Pro console is “designed to stand alongside and compliment the PlayStation 4,” said House. The Pro’s graphic processing unit is twice as powerful as the original PlayStation 4’s at 4.20 teraflops. It will also contain a one-terabyte hard drive.

The games will be the same discs and downloads, but the in-game models and graphics will be more detailed on the Pro. House said that the Pro will also improve the framerate on the future PlayStation VR, the company’s virtual reality headset.

The following games are some that are already released, but are expected to be forward-compatible with the Pro: Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, The Last of Us: Remastered, The Witness and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited.

The PlayStation Pro will be released on Nov. 10, but is already available for preorder on Amazon for $399.

House also announced that, through a firmware update, all PlayStation 4 models will be compatible with High Dynamic Range TV sets. HDR TVs are capable of 4k HD playback, allowing for a more realistic and detailed image than a current HD TV.

A new PlayStation 4 controller with USB connection for control has also been announced. This will allow players to play without a constant bluetooth connection, as the current controllers rely on it even when they’re plugged in to charge.

There were not any new games announced, but various upcoming games were used to show of the Pro’s abilities. These games included Mass Effect Andromeda, Horizon: Zero Dawn, Watch Dogs 2, and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare.

Nuka-World: Raiders and Rollercoasters

Originally posted Sep. 6.

In Fallout 4’s Nuka-World DLC, gamers can finally play as the evil raider scum they’ve always dreamed of being in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic franchise.

The DLC, released Aug. 30, takes players outside of the main map of Fallout 4 to the Magic Kingdom-like theme park Nuka-World, based on the major soda company found throughout the franchise. It begins with the discovery of the Nuka Family Radio popping up on the Pipboy, as most radio stations in the game do, leading players to find the Nuka-World Transit Station.

After fighting the first enemies of the DLC, which consists of Gunners and their assaultrons, players find someone begging them to save their family, who were taken by raiders in Nuka-World. They climb aboard the train to the theme park, which takes players straight to a sadistic gauntlet built by the raiders, and eventually becoming the head of their gangs and dealing with them whining about how they hate each other.

On top of the new main quest, players are welcomed to more side quests that allow them to obsessively collect items and old characters to return, including Sierra Petrovita from Fallout 3.

With a new DLC comes new items, weapons and enemies – as is usual in games across the board – and the new items in Nuka-World are no surprise. The majority of them are souvenirs from the park and new Nuka-Cola flavors, and the new weapons are even less of a surprise – save for the Thirst Quencher, a water gun players receive within the first thirty minutes of play. The new enemies are variants on old enemies, except for the irradiated ants.

The DLC has many things working for it, but one of the most frustrating things as a Nuka-World visitor was the “boss battle” with Overboss Colter in the beginning. To defeat him, players are given a weapon to make him vulnerable to attacks, but they cannot damage him with it.

So instead, players have to pause the game by opening their inventory after making him vulnerable and switch to an actual weapon. This happened multiple times during the fight, but players lucky enough to unlock a special perk in the main game, can end the action early.

I also discovered minor glitches while playing, most merely being a missing texture or other graphical glitch, though another was a collectable hidden in another object to the point where it was impossible to reach.

Overall the DLC has considerable replay value just from the beginning: The story was compelling, the graphics were still entrancing, the soundtrack continued to be an earworm and the gameplay continued to be enjoyable.

The DLC can be purchased through the PlayStation Store, Microsoft Store or Steam for $19.99. The season pass for Fallout 4, which gives access to all DLC, is available for $49.99. Fallout 4 is available at all major game retailers and the previously listed online stores, starting at $39.99.

If you need me, I’ll be leading my new raider gang onto the roller coasters and ferris wheel.