Game News

Activision goes to war over Call of Duty: Modern Warfare battle royale leaks

Activision is fighting Call of Duty: Modern Warfare battle royale leaks with subpoenas and online takedowns.

Modern Warfare's upcoming battle royale, reportedly dubbed Warzone, is one of the worst-kept secrets in all of video games. While it remains unannounced, players have found themselves accidentally transported into its tutorial, and there is detailed information relating to its map and mechanics online.

In fact, if you boot up Modern Warfare today you'll see a "classified" portion of its main menu. Clearly, this will turn into battle royale once Warzone launches. And Activision even released what very much looks like a teaser for the battle royale, with one soldier saying "the gas is closing in" before fan-favourite character Ghost drops in to say "they're targeting their own". The camera then pulls back to show soldiers dropping out of a plane into a warzone with, yes, a green gas closing in.

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It turns out 9 out of 10 Mass Effect players were Paragon

If you played BioWare's wonderful Mass Effect trilogy, you'll be familiar with its morality system.

Ostensibly reflecting "good" and "bad" playthroughs, the Paragon and Renegade system let players choose different lines of dialogue and key actions that each would each contribute in some way to their character's Paragon or Renegade score. Paragon points would be obtained for compassionate and heroic actions, while Renegade points were obtained for being ruthless or, well, a bit of a dick.

Paragon and Renegade each had their own scores, which meant being nice every now and then wouldn't adversely affect a player's dodgy rep, and vice versa. However, a certain number of points in either track would open dialogue options with significant impact (in the first Mass Effect, high scores would unlock high ranks in the Charm and Intimidate skills).

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This unlucky Call of Duty: Modern Warfare player was killed four times in a single Play of the Game

The Play of the Game feature is meant to showcase a single player's skill in a single round of a competitive multiplayer match. Usually you see the player downing three or four foes without dying. And usually, each foe is a different player.

But in this Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Play of the Game clip, the same player is killed four times.

Redditor Crossfingers uploaded a remarkable video to the Modern Warfare subreddit yesterday that showed how they were killed four times in a single Play of the Game. The video has proved incredibly popular, with over 35,000 upvotes.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Hot Coffee mod creator defiant despite legal threat

A Red Dead Redemption 2 modder has insisted their Hot Coffee mod is here to stay despite receiving a legal threat from the game's publisher.

The Hot Coffee mod, which was uploaded to Nexus Mods on 12th February, recreates the infamous Hot Coffee mini-game from 2004's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. It sees main character Arthur Morgan have sex with a prostitute, and was built with animations lifted from the drunk saloon mission with Lenny and the sounds the character models make when they get injured. No nudity is shown, and the mod is only available for the single-player portion of the game.

The original Hot Coffee was not normally accessible in San Andreas, but it hit the headlines after the release of the Hot Coffee mod for the PC version in 2005. This mod granted access to the mini-game, which portrayed sex between main character Carl "CJ" Johnson and his chosen in-game girlfriend. Assets for Hot Coffee were also found in the PlayStation 2 and Xbox versions, prompting the ESRB to re-rate San Andreas Adults Only, some shops to withdraw and recall the game, and federal and legal action as well as civil class actions.

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A year after it was pulled from Steam, Taiwanese horror game Devotion preserved at Harvard University

Devotion has secured its future at Harvard University a year after it was pulled from Steam.

The superb horror game, developed by Taiwan studio Red Candle Games, launched on Steam in the spring of 2019, but after it was found to contain an unflattering reference to China's president, Xi Jinping, it sparked an outcry among Chinese players that led to the withdrawal of its Chinese distributors, the closure of Red Candle's account on Weibo, one of China's largest social media platforms, and the removal of the game from Steam.

A year later, and with a re-release looking unlikely, Red Candle has finally found a home for Devotion - the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University.

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Metro Redux on Switch: the making of an 'impossible' port

It began with Doom 2016 - a Switch port so ambitious, it simply didn't seem possible. However, since then, a procession of technologically ambitious current-gen console titles have migrated onto the Nintendo console hybrid, culminating in the arrival of the wonderful Metro Redux from 4A Games - highly impressive conversions and perhaps the closest, most authentic first-person shooter ports we've seen. So what's the secret? How do developers manage to achieve such impressive results from five-year-old Nvidia mobile hardware?

"At first, I did have really big concerns performance-wise," admits 4A's chief technical officer, Oles Shishkovstov. "You know, going from base PS4/Xbox One with approximately six and a half or seven CPU cores running at 1.6 GHz to 1.75GHz down to only three cores at 1.0GHz sounds scary. The GPU was fine, as graphics can be scaled up and down much easier than, for example, game simulation code."

The results of the conversion work are certainly impressive bearing in mind the yawning gap in CPU specs. 4A started out by translating over the existing Metro Redux games from PS4 and Xbox One (and to stress the point, Switch doesn't get last-gen ports here), a process the 4A team carried out very quickly, but this early version of the game could only manage frame-rates of around seven to 15 frames per second. The games were entirely CPU-bound.

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Microsoft Flight Simulator has all the airports on earth

Microsoft Flight Simulator has all the airports in the world, its developers have said.

37,000 airports were manually edited by the developers.

In the video below, Sven Mestas, lead game designer at French studio Asobo reveals the astonishing work done by its airport team, which expanded on the 24,000 simulated airports in 2006's FSX, to the hugely ambitious target set for this year's game.

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4A Games on next-gen: "We are fully into ray tracing"

It's official. 4A Games are fully committed to ray tracing technology for its next big game and the implications are exciting. The firm is in preparing for the next generation with initial work concentrated around RT - strongly suggesting that ray tracing support isn't an afterthought built into next-gen console silicon, but a key feature of the design.

In an interview centred on 4A Games' excellent work in bringing Metro Redux to Switch, we asked CTO Oles Shishkovstov for his reaction to publicly revealed aspects of next generation console hardware. "We are fully into ray tracing, dropping old-school codepath/techniques completely," he told us.

The firm is keeping its cards close to its chest but 4A has already shipped Metro Exodus on PC with DXR ray tracing support and is currently assessing options for its next step. "Internally we experimented a lot and with spectacular results so far. You will need to wait to see what we implement into our future projects," Shishkovstov told us.

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Bethesda pulls its games from Nvidia's streaming service GeForce Now

Bethesda has pulled its games from GeForce Now, Nvidia's streaming service.

In a post on the Nvidia forum, a company representative provided a list of all the Bethesda games that left GeForce Now yesterday - and only Wolfenstein Youngblood survived the cull.

Here's the list:

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Valve insists Index VR will be back in stock before Half-Life: Alyx comes out

Valve has said Coronavirus means it'll have "far fewer" Index units for sale than planned amid the launch of the hotly-anticipated Half-Life: Alyx.

The virtual reality headset-exclusive Half-Life: Alyx comes out on 23rd March 2020, and while it works with any headset that supports SteamVR tracking, Valve has designed the game to make the most of Index and its controllers. For more on that, check out Digital Foundry's guide to the best VR headset for Half-Life Alyx.

As such, Index has been in hot demand - and while Valve promised it will be available to buy before Half-Life: Alyx's launch, it sounds like actually getting hold of one will be a real struggle.

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