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Games with Gold: Injustice: Gods Among Us and Shadows: Awakening are now free
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Since it's the halfway point of a month again, it is time for another Games with Gold promotion. As previously scheduled, Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers can now claim two more bonus games as a membership benefit, with them being the fighting game Injustice: Gods Among Us and the isometric RPG Shadows: Awakening.
Both games have backward compatibility support for newer generation consoles. As such, Shadows: Awakening can be played on Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S systems, while Injustice: Gods Among Us is up for grabs across the Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X|S systems.
Use the links below to directly claim the games on to a Gold activated account:
Shadows: Awakening (Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One)
Injustice: Gods Among Us (Xbox 360, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S)
If anyone missed it, The King's Bird from the previous Games with Gold wave is still available for claiming as well. This is slated to be replaced by the July games of the promotion on June 30.
Keep in mind that the games claimed through the service are attached to accounts in different ways depending on their original platforms. Xbox 360 titles will continue being playable even after Xbox Live Gold is allowed to run out, but Games with Gold Xbox One games are only playable while the account has an active subscription.
Razer finally goes Ryzen, new Blade 14 powered by Ryzen 9 5900HX is here
by Sayan Sen
Razer - known for its gaming and related lifestyle products - has always used Intel processors in its laptops and notebooks. However, that is set to change as the firm announced today its new 14" thin and light Blade 14 gaming notebook powered by a Ryzen 9 5900HX.
The 5900HX is a part of AMD's Zen 3-based 5000 series mobile processor lineup that the company launched earlier this year at CES. It is one of AMD's new 'HX' mobile CPUs and that means the chip can burst past the 45W TDP which most of the other 'H' rated chips are specced at. Thanks to the available power, the 8-core Ryzen 9 5900HX comes with a pretty high base clock of 3.3GHz and can boost even higher, reaching 4.6GHz. You can view the entire Ryzen 5000 mobile processor lineup here.
The Razer Blade 14 features a 165Hz Quad HD (1440p) screen and to power these many pixels at such a high refresh rate during gaming sessions, the company has included Nvidia's RTX 3080 as dedicated graphics.
Despite all this power-hungry hardware, the firm claims up to 12hrs of battery life. To keep the notebook cool in the thin chassis, Razer has used vapor chamber cooling instead of heat pipes used in bulkier systems.
In the audio department too, Razer claims the laptop is pretty impressive as it features 7.1 channel surround sound powered by THX Spatial Audio.
In terms of ports, the Blade 14 has:
2x UBC Type-C (3.2 Gen 2 Charging - Display Port), 2x USB Type-A (3.2 Gen 2), 1x HDMI 2.1 (Up to 4K 120Hz), 1x 3.5mm audio port. Price-wise, the new Ryzen-powered Razer Blade 14 starts at USD $1799.99 / €1,999.99 MSRP and is available now at Razer.com, RazerStore retail locations, and with select retail partners. You can read more about the Blade 14 here.
Halo Infinite multiplayer detailed, brings in personal AIs for players
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
It was only yesterday that 343 Industries unveiled the first gameplay of Halo Infinite multiplayer, and already, another information drop has landed. The studio today gave an overview of the free-to-play venture's updated sandbox, the new Academy training system, bots, Spartan customization, battle pass, and other elements.
The Academy will be an onboarding experience for new players to Halo multiplayer, providing tutorials, weapon drills, and even a training mode with bots for those looking for a warmup before matchmaking.
The grappling hook that has gotten a lot of focus is a piece of equipment you pick up in multiplayer, letting you swing around maps while pulling in weapons and other equipment as well as zipping towards players and vehicles. Powerups like overshield and camouflage are now user activated after picking up, and dying before getting to activate means they drop on the ground for someone else to use.
Meanwhile, vehicles now have a damage system, letting wheels and various parts break off in combat affecting their maneuverability. Speaking of vehicles, 343 is introducing the Razorback as a more spacious and robust version of the Warthog, and alongside troops, it can also carry detached turrets, power weapons, fusion coils, and even objective items in a storage compartment on its back.
The new Personal AI system lets Spartans choose a helpful companion in multiplayer, complete with appearance and personality customization. These will give you "moment to moment updates" such as instructions to go back to base after picking up an enemy flag. Don't worry, the Halo announcer is still there for jumping in with quips for the big moments.
Moving on to customization, your super soldier's body type, voice, optional prosthetics, individual armor pieces, weapons, vehicles, and more can all be tinkered with heavily. Moreover, it's not just in-game this can be done, as both the HaloWaypoint website and app will allow the capability from the outside.
The studio reiterated that there won't be any loot boxes in Halo Infinite, and all content that can be unlocked via progression, the battle passes, or purchased on the shop will be cosmetic in nature. Battle passes will also remain in the game after a season ends so players could go back and earn something they missed out on later.
Halo Infinite's campaign and the free multiplayer portion is coming to PC via the Microsoft Store and Steam, as well as Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles this holiday. Head here to sign up for upcoming flights. The title will have cross-progression across all platforms, and while crossplay will also be a feature, it's unclear if this is only for certain modes or if it will be enabled across everything.
Eidos-Montréal is making a Guardians of the Galaxy game, launches this October
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
Square Enix today announced another Marvel superhero game coming out of one of its studios, joining Avengers from Crystal Dynamics. This time, it is the Guardians of the Galaxy that's being turned into video game form, and Eidos-Montréal is developing. The studio is most known for its RPG series Deus Ex, but here, it's all about third-person superhero action while traveling across the galaxy.
This is a completely single-player action game following an original story, and the studio has confirmed there won't be any microtransactions or DLC here.
Interestingly, you will only be taking the role of Peter "Star-Lord" Quill here, the self-proclaimed leader of the Guardians, while the rest of the ragtag team including Rocket, Groot, Drax and Gamora is there for support both in combat and when making dialog choices that continue the storyline.
“The Eidos-Montréal team is honored to have the opportunity to work on such an iconic franchise alongside our trusted collaborators at Marvel Entertainment,” said David Anfossi, Head of Studio at Eidos-Montréal. “Our teams are known for revisiting IPs and bringing their own twists and craft to the stories and the art surrounding them. As you will experience, it’s no different for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.”
During combat, players will be able to use Star-Lord's jet boots for quick dodges and short hovers while utilizing his Element Blasters for dealing damage. Special moves that involve the rest of the Guardians can also be triggered while in combat. Eidos-Montréal is also promising a "killer soundtrack" that is a mixture of hits straight from the 80s and original music.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy has an October 26, 2021, launch date attached to it, and as for platforms, PC, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5 are gaining the title. It will also be available for cloud play via the GeForce NOW platform. Pre-orders are now live.
Here are all the Xbox Game Pass arrivals announced at the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
The Xbox and Bethesda Showcase today had quite a hefty selection of premieres and updates, including Starfield and Xbox Mini Fridge, and a massive portion of them was also announced to be Xbox Game Pass arrivals on day one. Alongside those, the company also put together another list of already-launched games that will be coming to its subscription platform today.
The 10 games available today are mostly from Bethesda's catalog that were missing from the previous wave that landed when the ZeniMax acquisition went through. Moreover, Yakuza: Like a Dragon is also here, one of the most well-received RPGs from last year. Here are the games:
Yakuza: Like a Dragon (Cloud, Console, and PC) Arx Fatalis (PC) Dishonored: Death of the Outsider (PC, Cloud, and Console) Doom (Cloud and Console) Fallout (PC) Fallout 2 (PC) Fallout 3 (PC, Cloud, and Console) Fallout: New Vegas (Newly added for PC, Cloud, and Console) Fallout: Tactics (PC) Rage (Cloud and Console) The Evil Within 2 (PC, Cloud, and Console) Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus (PC, Cloud, and Console) As for what's coming later, here's what Microsoft had to show regarding Xbox Game Pass locked in games with at least a release window, sorted by the dates:
Microsoft Flight Simulator (Cloud, Xbox Series X|S) – July 27 Hades (PC, Cloud, and Console) – August 21 Among Us (Cloud and Console) – 2021 Dungeons and Dragons: Dark Alliance (PC, Cloud, and Console) – June 22 The Ascent (PC, Cloud, and Console) – July 29 Twelve Minutes (PC, Cloud, and Console) – August 19 Psychonauts 2 (PC, Cloud, and Console) – August 25 Aragami 2 (PC, Cloud, and Console)) – September 17 Sable (PC, Cloud, and Console) – September 23 Scorn (PC, Cloud, and Series X|S) – Fall 2021 The Anacrusis (PC, Cloud, and Console) – Fall 2021 Back 4 Blood (PC, Cloud, and Console) – October 12 Age of Empires IV (PC) – October 28 Forza Horizon 5 (PC, Cloud, and Console) – November 9 Shredders (PC, Cloud, and Console) – December 2021 Halo Infinite (PC, Cloud, and Console) – Holiday 2021 Hello Neighbor 2 (PC, Cloud, and Console) – 2021 The Gunk (PC, Cloud, and Console) – 2021 Finally, we get to the games that do not yet have a launch date attached to them, but will still be day one arrivals to the subscription platforms of Microsoft:
A Plague Tale: Requiem Atomic Heart Redfall Eiyuden Chronicle Hundred Heroes Eiyuden Chronicle Rising Contraband Party Animals Replaced Slime Rancher 2 Somerville S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl Starfield The Outer Worlds 2 As always, Microsoft teased even more game announcements for the service that will be coming soon, which will probably happen later this week to join the first June wave. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is currently discounted to $1 for three months for anyone who wants to give the subscription a try.