New Quake II Remaster Adds 8-Player Splitscreen On Xbox/PC

The classic id Software shooter Quake II is back and looking better than ever in a new remaster that’s out now on all the major platforms. And for folks playing on Xbox Series X/S and PC, you’ll be able to invite seven of your best friends over to play together on one (hopefully) big screen.

August 10 marked the start of QuakeCon—the annual Iid-sponsored, fan-focused event featuring LAN parties, games, press conferences and more. And to mark the start of this popular con, id Software, and Bethesda announced the release of the previously rumored Quake II remaster. 

Originally released in 1997, Quake II was the follow-up to the tremendously successful Quake, which was one of the first fully 3D first-person shooters ever made. The sequel changed up the narrative and setting, moving the action to space and introducing the Strogg, deadly aliens who would appear in later Quake titles, including the forgettable Quake 4. While Quake II is sometimes overshadowed by its multiplayer-focused sequel Quake III Arena, it’s still a fun game that pushed graphics forward, in particular with its robust support for some of the earlier 3D graphics cards. And now the classic game has been remastered and released across PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC.

Bethesda / id Software

The first thing that caught my eye when looking at the store page for Quake II on Xbox—which is launching as part of Game Pass—was the mention that the game supports eight-player splitscreen. I know it’s not the first game to support so many players via splitscreen, but that’s still a pretty rare thing. How many games even support that many players locally, let alone via eight separately rendered boxes on one screen? Wild! And it’s always nice to see a PC game include splitscreen support, too.

Other features included in the new Quake II remaster

But there’s a lot more in this remaster. The package includes the original Quake II, the N64 version of Quake II, all of the original expansions and multiplayer maps, plus a new campaign developed by MachineGames, aka the folks behind the modern Wolfenstein games.

Quake II remastered also supports 16-player crossplay PvP, online co-op, gyro control on Switch and PS4/PS5, widescreen displays, and includes “restored” cut content including unreleased maps.

That’s a lot of Quake II! And if you don’t have Game Pass, you can buy the Quake II remaster on your platform of choice for $10 starting today. And if you want to check out the first Quake, that got a similar remaster in 2021. You can check out some great tips for that game that we wrote up back when that was released, too.

Amazon MMO Finally Adds Horses, Skyrockets In Popularity

New World, Amazon Games’ fantasy MMO, has finally added horses to its previously horseless (and entirely mountless) setting of Aeternum. First released in 2021, New World has had players clamoring for rideable critters ever since, and although the privilege of straddling a horse, lion, or other mount, available only through the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion, will set you back $30, it’s nonetheless pushing New World to the very top of the Steam sales chart, PC Gamer noticed.

Outside of its reportedly abysmal development period (how very Amazon), New World’s most unattractive feature, its players suggested, was its lack of mounts.

“You can tell the game has no mounts because as soon as you get into an area with general chat there are a dozen people complaining about not having mounts at any given time,” Mike Fahey wrote in a Kotaku review. Otherwise, the game is delightful enough for people who like to fiddle, abundant in crafting, hunting, and cooking opportunities. Because of this, New World once attempted to combine its Joann Fabric sensibilities and no-mount policy in one cutesy, bizarre lore note, which explained that local efforts to domesticate animals “have led only to injury and a lot of swearing.”

“Therefore,” the note continued, “it’s important to transport ONLY as many goods as your own back can bear. Do not overburden your packs or carts. […] Your joints will thank you!”

Yeah, no one, no matter how tired they are from New World’s generous crafting opportunities, is buying that. And, clearly, Amazon couldn’t even convince itself that no mounts were a good idea; the description for the Rise of the Angry Earth expansion indicates it’ll finally reveal to players “the secret to taming and riding animals.”

The expansion lets you ride horses, wolves, and lions sheathed in customizable armor, and you can set your new pets’ names. Additionally, among new abilities and expedition quests, the Angry Earth expansion will introduce a Riding Trade Skill so you can “earn upgrades like increased speeds, buffs, attachments and higher tier consumable food for your new friend,” its description says. The expansion is currently available for purchase, and New World itself is discounted on Steam ($16) until October 10.

Sony Adds Free Movies To Most Expensive PlayStation Plus Tiers

An image shows the Sony Pictures Core app on a flatscreen television placed next to a PlayStation 5.

Image: Sony

Today, Sony announced a new app coming to PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles that’ll offer PlayStation Plus Premium and Deluxe members access to a bunch of Sony Pictures Entertainment films.

Sony Pictures Core, a rebrand of Sony’s streaming service Bravia Core, will let PlayStation users purchase or rent up to 2,000 Sony films “straight from your console.” The offerings include big-name titles like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, Uncharted, Bullet Train, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. You can download the Sony Pictures Core app in the Media section of the PS Store on your console. And depending on your Playstation Plus subscription tier, a select assortment of those may be available to you for free.

According to the PlayStation blog post, PS Plus Premium and Deluxe subscribers will receive the added bonus of an ad-free, curated list of 100 films like Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV and Resident Evil Damnation, which will be updated “periodically” to stream as part of your membership. Sony also announced that Sony Pictures Core will have an “early access” window where folks can purchase films like Gran Turismo, the app’s first exclusive movie, before they become available on any other on-demand home video service.

Read More: The Gran Turismo Movie Is Part Cringey Playstation Commercial, Part Endearing Underdog Story
Buy a PlayStation 5: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Toward the end of the blog post, Sony teased “additional benefits” to come for PlayStation Plus members in the future, saying:

We hope you’ll enjoy Sony Pictures Core and all the films that will be accessible through the app. It’s part of our shared goal with Sony Pictures Entertainment to bring together this curated collection of wonderful films to elevate the PlayStation experience. This is just the beginning, and we plan to evolve the offerings and benefits of Sony Pictures Core over time—including a selection of hit anime content from Crunchyroll. We’re looking forward to more exciting things to come, so stay tuned!

The app is available today. Bravia Core will officially rebrand as Sony Pictures Core next year.

Mortal Kombat 1 Switch Patch Adds Missing Mode, Technical Fixes

Two fighters face off in Mortal Kombat 1.

The Switch version of Mortal Kombat 1 released in an absolute state. It’s one of the widest gaps in quality we’ve seen between Nintendo’s device and its console contemporaries. But for better or worse, NetherRealm Studios and the port teams at Shiver Entertainment and Saber Interactive are still supporting it, and making efforts to edge it nearer to justifying its $70 price tag.

The Switch version’s latest patch went live on October 11, and promises some general “visual improvements” to the notably fugly port. But on top of general polish, the patch also brings Invasions, a feature previously missing on Switch, that has been live in Mortal Kombat 1’s other versions since launch on September 19. Invasions’ seasonal events marry the game’s fighting mechanics with a board game mode and RPG mechanics. Each season lasts about six weeks, meaning while the other platforms’ versions of Mortal Kombat 1 are reaching the end of the first season on October 30, the Switch port is getting a late start.

Buy Mortal Kombat 1: Amazon | Best Buy | GameStop

Missing an entire mode wasn’t great, but the Switch port’s biggest issues were technical,both in its graphics and performance. YouTubers, like Madlittlepixel, have taken the updated Switch version for a test ride, and while it’s still a poorer experience on the handheld, there’s less chugging, smoother fights, shorter load times, and fewer crashes.

NetherRealm / Madlittlepixel

The full list of updates reads as follows:

  • Season 1 of Invasions
  • Gameplay balance changes
  • Leaderboards fixes
  • Visual improvements and general bug fixes
  • Performance improvements
  • Stability fixes
  • Localization fixes

Ultimately, a Switch version is never going to reach the heights of the PC, PlayStation 5, or Xbox Series X/S, because this is vastly older and lower-spec tech, but at least there are some notable improvements here. It still feels egregious to charge the same amount of money for a demonstrably worse version of the same game, however. For more on Mortal Kombat 1’s better versions, check out Kotaku’s review.

GTA Online’s New Update Adds Ghosts And An Urban Legend

Grand Theft Auto Online’s latest update unleashes ghosts across the world of Los Santos, letting players track down and photograph them for rewards. And one of these ghosts might look kinda familiar if you’ve played GTA IV’s Lost and the Damned DLC

Every October for years now, GTA Online has enjoyed an influx of spooky new game modes and creepy secrets to celebrate the Halloween season. Last time it was killer cars and aliens. This year, Rockstar has added 10 ghosts to the online crime sim and tasked players with photographing these haunting spirits. One of these phantoms is returning GTA character Johnny Klebitz, making real an old GTA urban legend.

GTA Series Videos / Rockstar Games

Fans have already figured out where and when all 10 ghosts appear, as seen in the video above. They’re spread out all around the large GTA Online map. Some appear in places you’d expect, like old cemeteries or abandoned homes. Others are chilling near waterfalls or inside trailers. The ghosts only appear during certain in-game hours, and players have to photograph them to “expose” them.

One of these ghosts is not like the others…

Once you’ve captured the first nine ghosts—who appear to be random, generic characters—on film, you can find a 10th and final ghost in Sandy Shores, north of Los Santos.

This 10th apparition, haunting a trailer park, is none other than the ghost of Johnny Klebbitz, the protagonist from Grand Theft Auto IV: The Lost and the Damned. And, spoilers for a 10-year-old game, Klebitz was beaten to death by GTA V protagonist Trevor Phillips in the opening hours of that game. In fact [lowering voice and putting a flashlight under chin] he was killed in the same spot where, a decade later in 2023, his ghost now lingers! According to players visiting Klebitz’s spirit, you can hear him yelling about Trevor before you snap a pic.

Seeing the ghost of a former GTA protagonist is a neat Easter egg by itself, but this is also Rockstar making real a previously debunked urban legend that after Klebitz was killed you could find his ghost hanging around the Sandy Shores trailer park. Although players claimed to hear his ghost yelling or found evidence of his spirit haunting the area, these were all lies and hoaxes spread online in the years following GTA V’s release.

Once you’ve found Klebbitz’s ghost and have captured the final photo of him, you’ll walk away with $250,000, 5,000 XP, and a new skin for the Albany Brigham vehicle. This new skin turns the car into a legally distinct ride that resembles a certain ghost bustin’ vehicle from the movies. A pretty sweet reward for a fun round of Halloween shenanigans.


Mortal Kombat 1 Adds Scary Microtransactions With New Fatality

Mortal Kombat 1, NetherRealm’s newest entry in its three-decades-old fighting game series, continues its predecessors’ tradition of pulling gut-yanking, brain-pounding final moves, or Fatalities, to the delight of its gore connoisseur fans. But some of those fans are frustrated. MK1’s recent patch introduces seasonal Fatalities—cool, but you have to pay for them.

Is no body horror sacred? October 23 patch notes indicate NetherRealm issued a ton of gameplay and performance changes to its $70 game, like improved AI and more balanced combat, but it hid the less desirable details about the premium Halloween Finisher among them. It won’t actually make it to the game’s Premium Store until later this week, publisher Warner Bros. Games said on Twitter, but it seems likely that it’s the same themed Fatality Mortal Kombat leakers revealed in September.

Leaked footage shows that, during the Fatality move, you slam a grimacing jack-o’-lantern over your opponent’s face and wait for bugs to slink out. Your enemy then doubles over and you pop their head off with a powerful kick, observing as it flies through space and slams into a front porch decorated for Halloween. The doorbell rings like you’re trick-or-treating, and blood waterfalls around the cracked pumpkin skull. “FATALITY,” the screen announces in vampire red.

Update 10/27/2023 8:24 p.m. ET: The “Happy Halloween” fatality is now up for sale in Mortal Kombat 1‘s Premium Store. It’s price? A whopping $12 USD. Original story continues after the tweet.

It looks like a fun move, and it’s October-ready, but fans stopped feeling as excited about it when they realized they’d have to pay extra for it.

“Pretty bad new precedent set by the devs charging for Fatalities now, and if people pay for it then it will only get worse,” one Reddit user said. “Next they might start charging $0.10 every time we call out our [support fighter] Kameo.”

“Why the hell did I pay for a [$110] Premium Edition […] yet NR has the cheek to try to force more paid content already?” a Twitter user responded to WB Games. “Greedy business practices before quality.”

NetherRealm apparently hasn’t learned from its 2019 game MK11, which gained notoriety among fans for what Kotaku writer Mike Fahey called its “oppressive” grind, which encouraged players to spend thousands of dollars on in-game currency to avoid suffering through tedious amounts of gameplay to unlock rewards. MK1 is also offering a free Halloween Variant, a purplish, cobwebbed middle school dance, to the Cage Mansion Arena, but it doesn’t take the sting out of giving more money to a game you thought you already paid for.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.