In a surprise move, Activision has revived the multiplayer servers for a number of Xbox 360-era Call of Duty games, and it’s proved to be a popular decision. In fact, this past weekend, Xbox 360 Call of Duty games reportedly had more players than both Halo Infinite and Battlefield 2042 combined.
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According to the Call of Duty news account ModernWarzone, this weekend saw more people playing Xbox 360-era CoD games that were released over 10 years ago than there were playing contemporary first-person shooters like Halo Infinite and series rival Battlefield 2042. Xbox fan account IdleSloth84_ corroborated this news with screenshots revealing that there were 123,852 people playing CoD: Black Ops, 11,514 people playing CoD: Black Ops II, and 79,619 people playing CoD: Modern Warfare 3 on Xbox 360 servers. CoD:Black Ops was first released in 2010, and CoD: Modern Warfare 3 was released the following year.
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While the server fixes come at an auspicious time for enthusiastic players inclined to celebrate in the streets about Microsoft and Sony coming to terms with their joint custody over the mega-popular first-person shooter franchise, reliving the glory days of these decade-old games on current-gen Xbox consoles is coming with some last-gen problems.
Unfortunately, hackers are reportedly still present in the old-school servers, and the gameplay is feeling a bit off on the Xbox Series X/S, as some players are experiencing input delay on their ninth-generation consoles. Currently, it’s unknown whether Activision will continue working to improve the experience of these older games for players who are experiencing issues.
Finding nonsensical solutions to a problem is a core part of the Dungeons & Dragons experience, and not many people know that better than actor and Critical Role DM Matt Mercer. With Baldur’s Gate 3 out this week, it seems only natural that a D&D superstar would make his way to Larian Studios’ RPG set in that universe and also come up with a ridiculous play like stacking a few dozen boxes on top of each other to get over a defensive wall and into a castle.
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Mercer, who appeared on a stream playing the game alongside Larian founder Swen Vincke, accomplished this feat by stacking 45 boxes to make a staircase. Using the jump command, Mercer scaled the makeshift stairs until he was high enough to fire an Arrow of Transposition, which teleports the user to wherever the projectile lands. Honestly, the whole thing kind of broke my brain.
I’m around 25 hours into Baldur’s Gate 3, and I’m still wrapping my head around how much chaos it allows for. More often than not, when we think of RPGs and systemic chaos we think of open-world games where there are all these clockwork systems that we disrupt as the player and watch disorder unfold. But I think Baldur’s Gate 3 is more impressive in that it gives you so many tools to navigate the world and find creative solutions that can support something like making a giant staircase of boxes and then teleporting via arrow. It rules.
As more players get their hands on Baldur’s Gate 3, we’ll no doubt see more people pulling off impressive nonsense, but shoutout to Mercer for ringing in release day with this terrific display.
While we might not have outlined anything this wild, we can give you some early-game tips to help you get started in Baldur’s Gate 3.
Reviews have started pouring in for Starfield, the highly anticipated and allegedly gargantuan space RPG from Bethesda, which comes out worldwide on September 6. And though the reviews are mostly positive, and reports suggest that this may be the least buggy Bethesda launch yet, one content creator has pointed out a major problem with the Xbox and PC exclusive: accessibility.
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Steve Saylor, a content creator and accessibility consultant who has worked with studios like Naughty Dog, Ubisoft, and Raven Software, posted a Starfield accessibility review on YouTube, calling it “extremely disappointing.” “I didn’t know when Todd Howard said on @KindaFunnyVids that they would have big font mode that was all they would have,” Saylor tweeted.
Starfield’s accessibility problems
“If folks were hoping space would be accessible, it is not,” he says in the 13-and-a-half-minute long video. “I wish I could say that this was going to be the first accessible hit from Bethesda–it is not. Sadly, not even close.” Saylor’s video then shows the accessibility tab in Starfield’s settings menu, and the four options available: general subtitles, dialogue subtitles, toggle iron sights, and large menu fonts, all of which can simply be toggled on or off.
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The big font mode is a crucial feature, since so much of Starfield relies on navigating text-heavy menus. “For the majority of the in-game menus—and there are a lot—the text is not perfect, but manageable,” Saylor, who is legally blind, said before pointing to the enlarged text’s lack of further customization options as another problem.
But the lack of font customization is most egregious when it comes to subtitles. There’s no ability for players to change the font-type, color, or background opacity for the subtitles, and since Starfield uses a stylized, computer-y font throughout, Saylor worries that it may be an issue for folks with dyslexia. “If you’re not happy with the default, you’re out of luck,” he said. The biggest issue is the contrast—there’s so little contrast throughout the menus and the in-game hud, and because the text is white it can often get lost on lighter-colored planets or even in bright parts of space (though Starfield swaps the font to blue when in your spaceship).
The Xbox Series X and S version offers some degree of button remapping that could help players with motor disabilities, but it’s unclear how well that works on PC. Saylor notes that Starfield has a small selection of “okay” accessibility features that don’t require customization, like a center dot that helps with motion sickness and high-contrast visuals when using the in-game scanner. But the overall offering pales in comparison to that of blockbuster games like The Last of Us Part II, which has around 60 different accessibility options including a high-contrast mode, a magnification feature, text-to-speech options, and customizable subtitles.
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Despite all of this, Saylor makes sure to point out that he still loves Starfield (he praises its “gorgeous soundtrack” and “intriguing” companions), and makes it clear that the blame for its lack of accessibility should not be placed on Xbox’s shoulders—Microsoft has made accessibility a cornerstone of its gaming business in recent years—but on Bethesda’s.
“Some folks may think that modding will help with accessibility, and yes, modding Bethesda games has helped in the past. But that is not the best way to get around accessibility,” Saylor told Kotaku over X (formerly Twitter) DM. “Only because if Bethesda releases a patch or an update, that mod could break, and it’s up to the modder to want to go in and fix it. Which can take time and there’s no guarantee it will be done. I wanted to add that to my review, but didn’t have time.”
It’s unclear if future Starfield updates will add more accessibility options, but with Bethesda now under the Xbox umbrella, you’d certainly hope so. Starfield launches for Xbox and PC on September 1 for players who shelled out for the special edition, and September 6 for everyone else.