GameSentral Rewind 162

This is the GameSentral Rewind, a daily recap of the top gaming headlines.

PUBG test server patch adds custom games spectator mode, new crates, weapon skins

PUBG Miramar map

Patch #11 is hitting PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds’ test servers soon with custom game spectating, new crates, and weapon skins, along with a host of bug fixes.

The patch may hit live servers within the week, with the live server update schedule being revealed later.

After the update, players will be able to watch ongoing games from the lobby’s custom match list. Games that have Public Spectating enabled can be viewed in Custom Match, and private matches can opt to use passwords to allow selective viewership.

A new paid crate and frying pan skin have been added. The Equinox Crate will offer weapon skins, and has a 25 percent chance to be earned as a Weekly Random Crate. Players will need a Weapon Skin Key to unlock the crate, which can be purchased from the Steam Store.

The Target Practice frying pan skin will cost 5,000 BP and can be separately purchased. Drop rates for the Equinox and Weekly Random Crate have also been revealed.

The patch also changes the Weekly Random Crate reset time to Thursday 00:00 UTC, and adds a marker to the map that reveals the flight path of the plane until players disembark.

NBA Playgrounds sequel coming this summer

NBA Playgrounds 2

Saber Interactive’s arcade basketball game NBA Playgrounds is getting a sequel this summer.

NBA Playgrounds 2 will continue to offer two-on-two basketball action in the NBA Jam style. According to a press release, Saber is expanding on the original game with a suite of new modes, both for local and online play, along with additional courts set in locations around the globe.

The game is headlined by the new Playgrounds Championship mode, an online league setup with global rankings across “multiple competitive solo and co-op division ladders for players to climb,” according to Saber. The company is introducing a single-player season mode where players take a team through the NBA regular season and playoffs in an attempt to become champions. NBA Playgrounds 2 will also offer modes that Saber patched into the original game after launch, like the 3-point contest.

According to a PlayStation Blog post from Saber CEO Matthew Karch, four-person online play with “any combination of human and AI opponents” will be available in the game.

In addition, the game will rely on dedicated servers for network connections.

“We know lag was a problem in the first game for some and this should address the concern.”

Matthew Karch; Saber Interactive CEO, in a PlayStation Blog post

Playgrounds 2 will launch with a roster of over 200 current and retired NBA players, including:

  • Stephen Curry
  • Kevin Durant
  • James Harden
  • Kyrie Irving
  • LeBron James
  • Russell Westbrook
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo
  • Anthony Davis
  • DeMar DeRozan
  • Damian Lillard
  • Karl-Anthony Towns
  • Shaquille O’Neal
  • Earvin “Magic” Johnson
  • Julius “Dr. J” Erving
  • Allen Iverson
  • Larry Bird

Like in the original game, players will unlock new athletes can earning virtual card packs.

NBA Playgrounds 2, which is being published by Mad Dog Games, is set to launch this summer on PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One.

New Call of Duty: WWII community event goes live on PS4, Xbox One, PC

Players can now take part in the limited-time Blitzkrieg event in Call of Duty: WWII on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that introduces a new game mode, weapons, and more.

The event runs until May 8 and features a new, limited-time mode called Ground War, which will be available for the entire event. It pits two teams of nine players against each other across Team Deathmatch, Kill Confirmed, Domination, and War modes.

Activision has also made the HQ a playable map in Party Games. That map is a permanent addition to the game available in Prop Hunt, Gun Game, and Free-For-All modes.

Beyond the new map and mode, Activision introduced six new weapons to the game: the Type 5, ITRA Burst, and M2 Carbine rifles; the Type 38 sniper; the Sterling SMG; and the baseball bat. Players can also take on a new Community Challenge, which will net them various rewards like a new helmet, weapon charm, and an exclusive Rosie II Grease Gun variant.

On April 20, Activision will kick off another challenge that tasks players with collectively completing 75 million Orders and Contracts in multiplayer. Even if the goal isn’t achieved, the publisher says that players will earn rewards “at each step along the way.”

New mobile-only Castlevania game announced

Castlevania Grimoire of Souls

Konami announced Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls today, an iOS game that pays homage to the series with cameos from throughout its long history. The new game brings an emphasis on multiplayer, with up to four players fighting together and reviving each other in real-time. It also includes Boss Rush and 4v4 modes.

According to Silicon Era, the game takes place in the future after Dracula has been vanquished. New characters Genya Arikado and his assistant Lucy serve as the main playable cast, working in a secret anti-Dracula research division of the Japanese government when Genya receives a letter warning him that Dracula’s been revived. The character bios hint that Genya is at least part-vampire, while Lucy is a powerful magician. Other Castlevania canon characters like Alucard, Simon Belmont, Charlotte, Maria, and Shanoa will be available as well.

So far, Konami has only confirmed that the game is coming to Japan. Players there can register to participate in Grimoire of Souls’ closed beta through its official site until the end of April.

Peggle free on Origin for a limited time

Peggle

Peggle is free to download on Origin for a limited time, slashed from its usual $5 price tag.

If you haven’t played this masterpiece of a game, you aim and shoot a ball from the top of the screen. The ball bounces and ricochets between colorful pegs on its way to the bottom. Each peg you touch disappears. Clear out all the orange pegs and you can move on to the next level.

Each new world grants you a “teacher” with its own limited power that helps you clear pegs in creative ways.

BioWare focusing on story for Anthem

anthem

BioWare will focus on delivering an engaging story, world, and characters in Anthem after the failings of Mass Effect: Andromeda.

In a blog post, studio general manager Casey Hudson discussed how BioWare will learn from the mistakes made from Andromeda including the lack of a story DLC resolving the plot of the Quarian Ark, saying that it’s something the studio needs to avoid going forward.

“As you know, we were not able to deliver story DLC for Andromeda – this was as frustrating for us as it was for players, and it was something we knew we had to solve in future games.”

Casey Hudson; BioWare general manager, in a blog post

Hudson also acknowledged that BioWare needed to spent more time on Andromeda’s story elements, which is why the studio is refocusing on creating a rich story for Anthem.

“We need to delight players with new experiences and innovation, but we must stay focused on the importance of the world, character, and storytelling elements that players expect from our games. And our games must be designed to continue delivering new stories and experiences, in an ongoing relationship with players in the worlds we’re evolving together.”

Casey Hudson

Anthem is scheduled to launch on PS4, PC, and Xbox One in 2019, after originally being planned to launch in 2018.

“It will be unlike anything you’ve played, but if we do it right, it will feel very distinctly BioWare.”

Casey Hudson

Pokemon Go’s next community day event announced

pokemon-go

Niantic has announced that May’s Pokemon Go Community Day is scheduled for May 19, and will feature another popular Pokemon from the Red and Blue versions.

As always, the event begins at different times depending on your region and will run for three hours.

  • US: 2pm ET/11am PT-5pm ET/2pm PT
  • Europe & Africa: 10am-1pm UTC
  • Asia-Pacific: 12-3pm JST

During the event, any Lure Modules that are activated will last for three hours. Players will also receive triple the normal amount of Stardust for capturing Pokemon.

The featured Pokemon during May’s Community Day is Fire-type Charmander. During the event, Charmander will spawn in much greater numbers than usual.

Ubisoft E3 showcase date, time announced

ubisoft-e3-2015

Ubisoft will hold its E3 2018 press conference on June 11 at 1pm PT (4pm ET) at Los Angeles’ Orpheum Theater. The company will also host pre- and post-shows.

The event will be the big coming-out party for The Division 2, which was announced with little details and promised more to come at E3. Also around that time, The Division will be updated with a new Crests system that unlocks rewards in the sequel.

Beyond that, we might get another look at Beyond Good and Evil 2, which we’ve already seen sporadic teases of. Other contenders include the publisher’s suite of franchises like Splinter Cell and Watch Dogs.

Ubisoft has also taken to using the show as counter-messaging for its corporate troubles as it faced a hostile takeover attempt from Vivendi. Since that concern has now ended, the company might make a public sigh of relief here too.

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