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PC

Shadowlands will fix one of World of Warcraft’s biggest problems

One of the biggest problems in World of Warcraft is the way the game has stacked expansions such that new players will emerge in the world of Cataclysm, the MMO’s third expansion. After clearing Cataclysm, fans go through content from the first and second expansion, before rocketing ahead to the fifth expansion onwards. Add in removed content, quick experience gains, and an expansive fantasy world, and things get tough. Many players turn to YouTube videos and explainers from guild members or friends understand World of Warcraft’s story.

The next expansion, Shadowlands, is finally tackling this problem in a comprehensive way. While we learned some of this at BlizzCon, Blizzard released new details in a blog post in early April.

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Shadowlands is bringing back tons of tools and toys to World of Warcraft classes

New players will be going to an island called Exile’s Reach. This mysterious place tells a new story, and encourages players to go through a series of trials that will teach them about their class. New heroes will learn about mechanics like how to interrupt a spell, taunt a boss, and heal a friend. These small tutorials will be specific for every class, and the zone is capped off with a two boss mini-dungeon to bring all those new lessons together into one place.

Death Knights and Demon Hunters, the two hero classes, will start with their own class-specific zones. Veteran players can choose to opt-out of Exile’s Reach, and complete the 1-10 experience in their race’s starting zone.

Once new players complete their starting zone, they will be sent to play through Battle for Azeroth’s zones; veterans can choose to level through any of the existing expansions, which will take from level 11 all the way to the Shadowlands.

When the Shadowlands alpha is available, players will be able to test the Alliance version of Exile’s Reach, as well as some content from the expansion’s leveling zones.

Corsair K70 keyboard

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PC

Xbox One Project xCloud Beta Adds Three EA Titles

Project xCloud is Microsoft’s game-streaming service. Currently still in beta, the program has been available to select users since October last year. With big Microsoft titles like Gears 5, Halo 5: Guardians, Killer Instinct, and Sea of Thieves all on the service, EA becomes the newest company to add games to the service.

Dragon Age: Inquisition, Unravel Two, and The Sims 4 are all big titles for Microsoft to scoop up. Whether you’re a fan of Bioware’s RPG series, ready to traverse puzzles with the power of yarn and friendship, or just someone who enjoys the satisfaction of living through and managing the lives of their Sims, these three are some of the best titles to come out of EA in the past few years.

There is no word on when the streaming service will be ready for testing on other platforms. The Inside Xbox April 2020 announcements only touched on Project xCloud, including the addition of the three EA titles, with the streaming service preview set to open up in 11 more countries across Western Europe on top of the original four countries it began in.

If you are lucky enough to live in a country participating in the beta preview, you can still sign up to be a part of the program. To participate you’ll need a compatible Android device, a Microsoft account, an Xbox One controller with Bluetooth, and an internet connection with 10Mbps downloads.

Project xCloud is also available on iOS, but with fewer games and features currently available.

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eSports

Valorant Is “One Of The Greatest Games I’ve Played In A Very Long Time” Says Shroud

Shroud, Polish-Canadian streamer and former Counter-Strike: Global Offensive professional player, just added to the hype surrounding Riot’s first person shooter VALORANT. Apparently, he was part of the alpha playtest that took place this weekend, and the game effectively ruined every other game for him.

“I was already kind of bored and I didn’t know what to play, but after playing VALORANT, it makes it all worse,” he said in a stream, explaining that it’s because he’s now played “a f***ing gem, and now I’ve got to go back to trash.” He’s not the only one to think so, especially considering his CS: GO background. Back in February, the game’s commentator and former player HenryG said that the game, then only known as Project A, was the best game he played since CS: GO. 

And just like HenryG before him, Shroud’s opinion also holds sway in the minds of his fans and admirers. He started playing CS: GO professionally back in 2013, with one of his biggest achievements being a first place finish at ESL Pro League Season 4 in 2016. Since he left professional CS: GO completely back in 2018, he has become a full-time streamer with more than 7 million followers.

The leaked gameplay video from this weekend shows a training level with an open map and shooting ranges where you can set your preferred options and hone your skills. It also teases two game modes, Spike Planting and Spike Defuse. The closed beta for the game starts this weekend, and you can try to get access to it through a series of simple steps (although it’s not guaranteed that you’ll manage it, since Twitch drops are randomized).

People’s opinions on everyone praising VALORANT are, unsurprisingly, divided, with a part of the community getting increasingly hyped for the game, and the other believing that all of this is paid and part of Riot’s marketing campaign. There’s really no way to know whether Riot is willing to drop some cash to get more people excited for this title, but we definitely hope VALORANT pays off, because otherwise, we’ll still be stuck with Overwatch and CS: GO. 

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Nintendo

Buy Two, Get One Free Deal Has Doom Eternal, Persona 5 Royal, And More Up For Grabs

Buy two, get one free sales on games have become a regular occurrence at Target, but the retailer’s newest one is perhaps its best yet. Target’s B2G1 free game sale includes a wide variety of Switch, PS4, and Xbox One games. Last year’s hits like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Devil May Cry 5, and Death Stranding are well-represented, but you can also snag brand-new and upcoming releases in the promotion. Originally, Target’s ad stated that new release games and pre-orders wouldn’t be eligible, but it turns out the ad was misleading. Of course, Amazon is matching Target’s B2G1 free sale by hosting one of its own.

If you haven’t picked up Doom Eternal yet, you can grab it in Target’s B2G1 free sale. Four new PS4 games are also eligible for the sale: Persona 5 Royal, which releases tomorrow; MLB The Show 20, Nioh 2, and Dreams. Come Friday, you’ll want to keep an eye on Resident Evil 3 Remake at Target. The highly anticipated remake is featured in the sale, but pre-orders are currently sold out at Target. Since the sale runs through Saturday, April 4, there’s a chance Target will restock upon release.

Target’s B2G1 free includes hundreds of games, so you’ll definitely want to browse the full sale. We’ve rounded up some of the best deals below, too.

Both the Xbox Store and PlayStation Store are hosting big sales this week as well, so there are plenty of digital PS4 and Xbox One games to grab for cheap right now. If you’re looking for something to play without spending money, we’ve rounded up all of the free games you can download right now.

B2G1 free eligible games at Target

  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare — $60 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Darksiders: Genesis — $34 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Death Stranding — $30 | PS4
  • Devil May Cry 5 — $25 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Doom Eternal — $60 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Dreams — $40 | PS4
  • FIFA 20 — $60 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Fortnite: Darkfire Bundle — $30 | Switch
  • Ghost Recon Breakpoint — $20 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Just Dance 2020 — $40 | Switch
  • Kingdom Hearts 3 — $30 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Madden NFL 20 — $60 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 — $60 | Switch
  • MLB The Show 20 — $60 | PS4
  • Mortal Kombat 11 — $25 | PS4, Xbox One
  • NBA 2K20 — $60 | Switch
  • Nioh 2 — $60 | PS4
  • The Outer Worlds — $40 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Persona 5 Royal — $60 | PS4
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 — $38.49 | PS4, Xbox One
  • Resident Evil 3 Remake — $50 | PS4, Xbox One (SOLD OUT)
  • Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order — $60 | PS4, Xbox One

Best Deals This Week

  • Play Lots Of Great Free Games While Staying Inside
  • Amazon Just Launched A Big Sale On PS4, Switch, And Xbox One Games
  • PS Plus Drops To $40 In Limited-Time PS4 Deal
  • Where To Buy A Nintendo Switch Right Now
  • Fantastic Sale On Steam Games Includes Pre-Order Discounts On Resident Evil 3, Trials Of Mana

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Categories
PC

Xbox One Games With Gold For April 2020 Revealed

While April’s PlayStation Plus freebies for PS4 leaked early, Microsoft’s Games with Gold lineup announcement arrived at basically the latest possible moment. As always, the newest batch of four games will be staggered across the month, with the first two games unlocking tomorrow, April 1. Xbox One users get to keep Games with Gold free games in their library as long as they have an active Xbox Live Gold or Game Pass Ultimate subscription.

Slightly Mad Studio’s 2017 racing sim Project Cars 2 will be free throughout the whole month of April. Project Cars 2 features a staggering collection of more than 180 vehicles to choose from and 140 tracks across 60 locations. The realistic sim earned a 7/10 in GameSpot’s Project Cars 2 review for its fine-tuned physics, dynamic weather system, and sheer variety of racing formats, which includes off-road contests with rallycross cars.

Xbox 360 title Fable Anniversary is also up for grabs on April 1. A remastered version of the original entry in the Microsoft series, the action-RPG also earned a 7/10 in GameSpot’s Fable Anniversary review. While the original Fable never truly lived up to its pre-release hype, it’s still a fun game that’s worth checking out if you’ve never visited Albion. Fable Anniversary will be free for subscribers through April 15.

Come mid-month, members will be able to pick up Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle and Toybox Turbos. Knights of Pen and Paper bundle includes both of the well-received games in the series, which feature gorgeous pixel art and interesting turn-based combat. Meanwhile, Toybox Turbos is a top-down tabletop racing game with 35 customizable vehicles and 18 zany tracks.

Subscribers still have until April 15 to snag the excellent platformer Shante: Half-Genie Hero, one of March’s Games with Gold freebies.

Xbox Games with Gold for April 2020

Xbox One

  • Project Cars 2 (April 1-30)
  • Knights of Pen and Paper Bundle (April 16-May 15)

Xbox 360

  • Fable Anniversary (April 1-15)
  • Toybox Turbos (April 16-30)

Best Deals This Week

  • Play Lots Of Great Free Games While Staying Inside
  • Amazon Just Launched A Big Sale On PS4, Switch, And Xbox One Games
  • PS Plus Drops To $40 In Limited-Time PS4 Deal
  • Where To Buy A Nintendo Switch Right Now
  • Fantastic Sale On Steam Games Includes Pre-Order Discounts On Resident Evil 3, Trials Of Mana

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Categories
News

5 great non-gaming Xbox One apps to use during lockdown – Reader’s Feature

A reader suggests five Xbox One apps that aren’t games but may be just as useful for getting through self-isolation.

While Microsoft’s Xbox One is a gaming console it still has its fair share of amazing apps and during a tough crisis you most certainly will want to unwind and relax during the difficult times ahead. The Xbox One offers a great multimedia experience and can provide hours of entertainment even when you are not playing a game and are looking for something to enjoy with the whole family. Here are five great Xbox One apps that you should give a try and will find useful to have installed.

Mixer

One of the best live streaming apps out there, which offers you the chance to sit back and enjoy various live streams of games that are currently popular; as well as some other classic games, along with the ability to earn sparks and level up in streams. You can use sparks to support various streamers you like, so when you are ready you can choose what sparks to use and when. It is a fun way to not only support other streamers, but you can also make yourself more visible to people also watching the stream. Also, with the live talk and radio shows it’s a great experience to be able to watch other non-gaming livestreams that the whole family can enjoy. You can also livestream gameplay yourself and enjoy interacting with a great, supportive community.

Twitch

Although similar to the above-mentioned app, Twitch does offer other gaming streams and has some cool features different to Mixer. It’s a great second alternative to use if you cannot find any livestreams of the games you want to see and also has its fair share of great streamers. For example, Sizzsars and Oxiegrog, two of my favourites, along with some impressive streamers who help make this streaming service a fun alternative place to come to. With streamers also offering live shows and radio stations it’s a great way to enjoy this app and relax.

YouTube

Full of great video content and incredible creators, with a good search feature, this app will also seek out other video creators similar to each other and list them on tabs for you to see what’s available, without the need to spend hours searching for them. You are also able to watch livestreams as well, which ensures that you can log in, sit back and enjoy this apps’ great features.

Microsoft Edge

Although the app has a few unfixed issues it still is a great way to quickly browse any website directly from your Xbox and is also a great way to look at websites you enjoy from the comfort of your console, as well as being used to access email services. It’s a handy way to quickly check emails without the need to switch on your PC all the time and also allows you to access services online that require you to log in via the website. It is also a great way to access the Internet from your TV and console.

Skype

This app is especially useful for those on Xbox One who would like to talk to their families while in quarantine. The app allows video and voice communication as well as allowing multi-conferencing, ideal for people to talk with each other directly from the Xbox One or for those on other systems. The app comes in handy for people who want to keep in regular contact and is a brilliant way to talk with loved ones while they and themselves are in quarantine. Skype can also be used to make phone calls, another handy feature.

While dealing with a pandemic these are great ways for Xbox One owners who want to take a break from playing games to get more enjoyment out of their gaming system and help cope with the coronavirus outbreak.

By reader gaz be rotten (gamertag)

https://youtube.com/watch?v=NJwnLdAfl3o%3Fversion%3D3%26rel%3D1%26fs%3D1%26autohide%3D2%26showsearch%3D0%26showinfo%3D1%26iv_load_policy%3D1%26wmode%3Dtransparent

The reader’s feature does not necessary represent the views of GameCentral or Metro.

You can submit your own 500 to 600-word reader feature at any time, which if used will be published in the next appropriate weekend slot. As always, email [email protected] and follow us on Twitter.

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Nintendo

I’m the only one having fun on my Animal Crossing island

Animal Crossing: New Horizons is a cute game, but don’t be fooled. There are lots of options to cause chaos, and I’m seizing each and every one of them. Is this the most productive way to play the game? No. Am I creating things I can share with my friends to enrich their lives? Also no. I’m having an absolute blast, and making everyone else on the island miserable in the process.

First of all, I’m a force of ecological destruction. Every time I take a Dodo Airlines flight to another island, I end up ripping everything up from the ground and selling it. I leave the island completely bare, stripped to the roots.

Did you know that outdoor cats are a controversial topic among ecologists, because the little beasties roam out and just start murdering birds around them? They’re not doing it for food; it’s mostly for fun.

That’s me on Animal Crossing. I didn’t even know about the tarantula-spawn strategy! I was just ripping up tree trunks and smashing rocks while laughing, and then leaving the island behind forever. I can’t imagine how the innocent animal villagers on these islands felt as I razed their island paradise.

Am I more polite to the inhabitants of my island Hårga? Absolutely not.

As soon as I set up shop, I made sure to set the right tone with my new friends.

Image: Nintendo via Polygon

I make sure to regularly check in with my villagers, ensuring that we keep that early rapport going. Communication is important.

Image: Nintendo via Polygon

In these early days, nearly every fish and bug I catch is of interest to the museum’s curator, Blathers. I donate the fish en masse, because they hold no interest to me. But I lovingly hand Blathers each bug, one by one, and relish in his squawking and panic. I make him tell me about every single insect. No exceptions. When I captured a Man-Faced Stink Bug, I cackled and immediately raced off to the museum to wake Blathers up. Hey, buddy, guess what I found? He hated it. It was fantastic.

Image: Nintendo via Polygon

My first villager, Hamlet the hamster, is a pretty cool guy. Every time I go to chat him up, he wants to tell me about how much he’s been working out. He beat my husband Aaron at basketball, he brags. His muscles glisten with sweat. He’s going for a run. I humor him and his constant fitness-based chatter. We go for walks together and sit by the lake. He even taught me how to make a really sweet honeycomb floor! At Nook’s Cranny, I saw a gift that immediately brought him to mind. So, I bought the hamster cage and took it to my big hamster friend’s feet.

He put on a smile, but I knew he was shaken. I had exposed the Goofy and Pluto paradox of Animal Crossing. He wasn’t so far apart from that hamster, running on its little wheel. I make sure to remind all of my new villager friends of this grim fact. I picked up an aquarium for Jeremiah the Frog, dropped it in his lawn, and then stared meaningfully through his windows. I know your secret, Jeremiah. You’re only half a man, and the rest an animal.

Illustration: Cass Marshall/Polygon

I’m playing Animal Crossing: New Horizons with the mischief of a child. I’m not trying to be malicious. I’m just like a toddler who sees an awesome looking, clearly expensive and elaborate layer cake. And I want to put my hands all up in there. No, I don’t know why. Yes, I’m vaguely aware I’m making someone angry somewhere. No, I won’t stop. Yes, I’m already wrist deep and having a great time.

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PC

One Year Of PlayStation Plus Available For $38

For a limited time, PlayStation Plus, one of the best deals in gaming, is going for an extra-great price.

Over at Ebay, you can get a year of PS Plus on sale for $38. While the listing describes the product as a “subscription card,” this is an emailed code you’ll receive within 24 hours, according to the reviews. After receiving the code, you can then redeem it in the PlayStation Store. If you already have a membership, it’ll be extended by 12 months.

The listing mentions that there are “limited quantity available,” so make sure to take advantage of this deal while it lasts. A 12-month PS Plus subscription rarely drops below $40, so it’s worth snagging a code at this price when you see it.

PS Plus grants access to online multiplayer as well as free monthly games. This month, members can claim Shadow of the Colossus and Sonic Forces at no cost. March’s free PS Plus games are available until April 7.

Best Deals This Week

  • Amazon Just Launched An Awesome Sale On Switch, PS4, And Xbox One Games
  • Xbox One Games With Gold For March 2020 Revealed
  • PS4's Free PS Plus Games For March 2020 Now Available
  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons: Best Switch Accessories, Amiibo, Plushies, And More
  • New Baby Yoda Merch Revealed–See Everything Here

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Categories
eSports

ESL One Los Angeles Dota 2 Major will be held completely online starting March 28

ESL is making sure people get their Dota dosage.


This article is brought to you by StatBanana, the best Dota 2 strategy tool.

ESL and Valve have decided to completely reformat the ESL One Los Angeles Dota 2 Major into an online, regional league based tournament that’s inviting more teams to compete when it begins on March 28, the companies announced today.

There will be more teams competing and the tournament is going to last longer. It’s been extended to run from March 28 to April 19 due to the new format forced upon the tournament organizers by the coronavirus pandemic. 

Instead of the usual six regions, ESL is combining the CIS and Europe together into one big region but adding an additional three teams on the EU side and six on the CIS side. There are still two teams that haven’t been announced, but they’ll be from Europe to even up the sides. 

Outside of that, North America, South America, and Southeast Asia will all run as individual brackets with four teams each (with one squad added for SEA and two for NA and SA from the original Major roster). Even with the smaller size, each bracket will still be double-elimination.

China is being expanded to six teams and will also have its own bracket. All matches in every bracket will be best-of-three, except for the grand finals. 

“It’s the best, and more importantly, the safest decision for players, coaches, team staff, fans, and our event crews while still keeping the core of esports alive, ESL said. “We are happy that our sport can go on even in the most difficult of times and we hope to bring you some great entertainment during the quarantine period and overall dynamic situation.”

For the EU/CIS region, ESL has entered a multi-year deal with Maincast, a broadcast company out of the CIS, to help power the event. More details about how this massive 16-team playoff will be run are going to be announced prior to the event beginning, along with the full schedule. 

It’s unclear how the Dota Pro Circuit points will be given out due to the changed format, but Valve is still involved and some form of compensation outside of the prize money will be awarded. Here’s how the $375,000 prize pool will be split up across the five regions. 

  • EU/CIS – $200,000
  • China – $55,000
  • SEA – $40,00
  • NA – $40,000
  • SA – $40,000

A full breakdown of when each region will begin to play, along with more details about the impact of this tournament on the DPC and which teams will be added to the EU/CIS playoffs, will be released prior to the March 28 kickoff. ESL is also going to making similar changes to ESL One Birmingham, which is going to run in at a to be determined time in May through June.

Fans who were planning to attend ESL One Los Angeles will receive a full refund on tickets. Tickets purchased for the on-site event in Birmingham will also be refunded. 

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News

One Piece Pirate Warriors 4 Gum Gum Punches Into Stores With Launch Trailer

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is about to launch this week and the action-packed trailer showcases the game’s insanity. The game is based on a popular anime series that has spawned multiple movies, card games, and other media.

According to Destructoid, this RPG/fighting game will have a story campaign as well as different multiplayer modes. It will have over 40 playable characters, including heroes and villains from the franchise, battling it out against hordes of enemies. For the first time in the series, pirate captains Big Mom and Kaido will be playable characters.

The story of One Piece follows the story of Monkey D. Luffy, a young boy who gets the power of rubber after eating the gum gum fruit. He uses his elasticity to fight enemies and can throw punches from a distance. He is immune to electricity but incapable of swimming. He sets off on a quest to find the One Piece treasure with his crew, the Straw Hat Pirates. On his adventures, he crosses paths with a wide range of human and non-human characters, often having to do battle with them.

The gameplay in the One Piece: Pirate Warriors games is a mashup of RPG elements and button-bashing fighting with a bit of humor thrown in. There are the usual missions to find objects or meet up with other characters, but you have to fight your way through masses of enemies. The fighting is where the games really shine and it’s thrilling to beat waves of enemies and bosses using your abilities. By having so many playable characters in the game, each with their own powers, the game never gets repetitive or boring. Additionally, One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 will be the first in the series to be released on the Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

Developed by Koei Tecmo Games and Bandai Namco, the first game in the One Piece series was released in 2012 to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the franchise. The sequels were released in 2013 and 2017 to decent reviews. Thanks to its diehard anime fanbase, the franchise has managed to sell over four million copies.

One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4 is being released on March 27 for all platforms. There is also a special Collector’s Edition also available, but stocks are selling fast. Hopefully, the new game can build on the franchise and keep things exciting.

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