News Roundup November 6th

by Huey Chewwy


Lots of news out of Blizzcon today!  Here are some of the highlights.

Overwatch has been confirmed for a Spring 2016 release date that includes not only PC (as originally announced), but an Xbox One and a Playstation 4 release as well.  The console versions and a special edition of sorts for PC will be labeled as Overwatch Origins edition.  These $59.99 editions come with all 21 characters along with more skins and other goodies.  PC players also have the option of a $39.99 version that is the core game which includes all characters at launch but with no extra content.  It is nice to see Blizzard bringing another game to consoles after the success of Diablo III on the last and current gen systems.

World of Warcraft Legion got a little more info and a new cinematic trailer.  The game is available for pre-order and sign-ups for the beta are on-going.  

Activision Blizzard Studios will be the new division within the giant company that will produce tv shows and movies of its franchises.  The first two projects are a Skylanders tv show and a (surprise) Call of Duty movie.  Skylanders Academy will be an animated show featuring many characters from the franchise.  Voice talent on board is Justin Long as Spyro, Ashley Tisdale as Stealth Elf, Norm McDonald as Glumshanks, Jonathan Banks as Eruptor, and Richard Horvitz  as Kaos.  The first pilot episode is scheduled for second quarter of 2016.  There are no details for the first Call of Duty movie, and is scheduled for 2018.  Leading this Activision Blizzard Studios will be Nick van Dyk, former Vice-President for Disney.  Nick will be serving as co-president with another individual who has not been named at this time.  

You might remember a long time ago (if the early 2000's are considered a long time ago) Blizzard was helping with work on Starcraft: Ghost.  The game was a action stealth adventure in almost the same vein as Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, staring a character named Nova.  Unfortunately the game never seen a release, but Nova did appear in Starcraft II: Wings of Liberty.  We will see Nova once again in DLC mission packs, the first of which features the aforementioned character.  You can expect this first pack of DLC in Spring of next year.  

A new Arena mode is coming to Heroes of the Storm, which looks to be all sorts of crazy.  Players will compete in a 5 on 5, best of three rounds, with one singular objective.  Leveling is gone, death timers are shortened, and layouts will change every round.  In Arena mode, you won't have to worry about which heroes you've unlocked, as ALL heroes are available for play.  The catch is you will be given three random heroes to choose from, which is sure to keep things interesting and fun.  

Get ready for another adventure in Hearthstone with The League of Explorers.  Expect new locations, new tactics, and 45 new cards to add to your deck.  Best of all, this new addition is coming next Thursday on November the 12th for $19.99.

As promised, here is the full trailer for the upcoming Warcraft movie.  The movie hits next year on June 10th.

In other news not involving Blizzcon, Halo 5: Guardians is getting Shotty Snipers for its weekend playlist.  XP will be increased and you can find this game type on all arena maps, excluding Breakout variants.  Getting pulled from rotation is the Orion map, which an exploit that allows players to Ground Pound off the map without dying.  REQ packs seem to be a fun little addition to the Halo multiplayer experience.  You can buy these packs with points earned from matches or purchase them with real money.  Apparently, a LOT of packs have been purchased with actual money with over $500,000 in revenue from REQ packs.  This money isn't exactly going in Microsoft's pocket, but rather into the Halo World Championship prize pool which has been raised to 1.5 million dollars.  That is half-a-million dollars in micro-transactions in a week.  Time will tell if 343 follows in the steps of EA with different variants of packs each weekend since this new REQ system has proven very popular.

Ahead of the its release, Ubisoft has given out the minimum and recommended specs for Assassin's Creed Syndicate on PC.  Check out the information below to see if your rig will run the newest entry into the Assassin's Creed series.

Minimum requirements

Supported OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10(64bit versions)
Intel Core i5 2400s @ 2.5 GHz or AMD FX 6350 @ 3.9 GHz
6GB or more RAM for Windows 7, Windows 8.1, Windows 10
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660 or AMD Radeon R9 270 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0)
DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
DirectX compatible sound card with latest drivers

Supported OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64bit versions only)
Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.5 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
8GB RAM
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 760 (4GB) or the newer GTX 970 (4GB) or AMD Radeon R9 280X (3GB) or better
DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
50 GB available hard drive space

*For a recommended experience, the game requires a video card with at least 3GB of VRAM when playing at a full HD resolution.

It appears that the free-to-play version of Borderlands for the China market will not be happening.  GamesIndustry.biz reports that 2K has cancelled the Borderlands game and closed the 2K China studio, resulting in 150 members being laid off.  Citing reasons for the cancellation, a quote states "We determined that the additional time required to finish current projects at the studio, particularly Borderlands Online, would not yield a favorable return on investment."  

Looking to get an Xbox One this weekend?  If so, take a good look at these deals.  Buying an Xbox One bundle could get you extra games or another wireless controller depending on the retailer outlet. These deals are good this weekend from November 6th through the 8th 

  • Microsoft: Choose 2 free games with an Xbox One Bundle, $100 off Xbox One with Kinect consoles and 2 free games.
  • Gamestop: Free Xbox One Wireless controller and an additional game with purchase of any Xbox One bundle.  Get $100 towards an Xbox One with the trade-in of a PS3 (120GB+) or Xbox 360 (250GB+).  Offer good through November 21st.
  • Best Buy: A free game and a $50 Best Buy gift card with purchase of any Xbox One Bundle (Nov 6th-7th).  A free game with any Xbox One bundle (Nov 8th)
  • Amazon: Free copy of Mad Max with purchase of any Xbox One bundle.
  • Target: A free game and $50 Target gift card with purchase of any Xbox One bundle (Online only Nov 6th-7th)  A free game with any Xbox One bundle (Nov 8th online only)

For a look at how Avatars will work on Xbox One, check out the video below where Xbox Live's Major Nelson and Richard Irving show off how Avatars fit into the new Xbox One experience.