Shacknews - Chris Jarrard

Much like the breathtaking jungle island paradise from Avalanche Studios’ Just Cause 2, the world created for 2015’s Just Cause 3 would not be complete without the inclusion of multiplayer insanity. A project in progress for more than a year, NANOS GBR’s JC3:MP mod breathes new life into the colorful open-world chaos simulator. Owners of Just Cause 3 can now do their thing in the Mediterranean republic of Medici with hundreds of other players.

The mod itself can be grabbed on Steam and be ready to play in minutes. Multiple modes of play are available, including races, deathmatches, and role-playing. Players who want even more will be able to create custom gameplay modes and variations thanks to the mod’s custom server API.

While the mod has been available to try previously in beta versions, this week’s Steam release marks version 1.0, but the NANOS GBR team is not stopping there. Continued updates and support have already been announced as well. Features that are new to version 1.0 include a revamped UI and the ability to join on your buddies via your Steam Friends List.

You can check out the launch trailer for JC3:MP below.

Shacknews - Chris Jarrard

For those who have a poor sense of awareness or simply don’t get out much, we are living in the year 2017. Hearing about some thing or place being recreated in Minecraft is certainly not the novelty that it was in 2012 (or 2010 for that matter), so to make waves with a project in in 2017 with Minecraft, builders must have something special. Map-maker Criand has such a project, the Chernarus map from DayZ.

Chernarus made its debut back in 2009, with the release of Arma 2. It is an enormous map with multiple square kilometers of forest, hills, farmland, and a few Eastern European villages. It remains very popular and has seen release in Arma 3 via fan ports. The map was well suited to the variety of mission and skirmish types found in the Arma series. The same qualities made it the perfect choice to be the foundation of the runaway PC mod hit, DayZ.

Veterans of Arma and DayZ will find the Minecraft recreation instantly familiar. The project took almost 3 full years to complete, according to Criand. While the map has not been publically released, it can be experienced in-game via this server address: play.mcraftz.com

A zoomable, interactive map is available and there is a full image gallery over on Imgur.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

San Diego Comic-Con is going on right now, and there have been some very cool announcements and trailers shown off. Today we finally got a peak at a movie based on a book that highlights video games and virtual reality in a very unique way. Ready Player One may not be the most critically-acclaimed book ever written, but it looks like it may be an awesome action-packed movie. Please take a look at the Ready Player One trailer that was just shown at SDCC 2017.

The movie is set to blow our collective minds in 2018. What do you think of today's Ready Player One trailer from SDCC 2017? Let us know in the comments section.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Niantic has been celebrating the one year anniversary of their smash hit mobile app Pokemon Go for all of July. The celebration was meant to culminate with a massive gathering of Pokemasters at Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago today. After several hours of network connectivity issues at the event, the 20.000 fans turned restless. There are reports that several attendees threw garbage of the stage as Niantic Labs' CEO John Hanke tried to settle everyone down.

Things didn't improve and the crowd continued to get more and more restless as the large screen that was meant to display worldwide progress of the Pokemon Go Fest goals just sat there reminding them that they couldn't even play the game that they traveled all the way to Chicago to play.

Niantic Labs' CMO Mike Quigley took the stage to explain that the Pokemon Go development team was working on a fix to the issues, but it appeared that it was too little too late. Shortly after being booed off of stage, Niantic announced that all attendees would be issued refunds. This is yet another black eye for the popular mobile game that has had quite a history of being a bug-riddled mess. 

Pokemasters in attendance will be given refunds as well as $100 worth of Pokecoins for their troubles. This is a decent amount of damage control, but it is hard to escape this level of public embarrassment. Did you attend Pokemon Go Fest in Chicago today? Let us know in the comments section.

In case you missed it, check out our feature on The Making of Pokemon Go.

Shacknews - Asif Khan

UPDATE: Walmart's site is now displaying this error. Please understand. The SNES Mini was on sale for a whopping 25 minutes before this happened. We can assume that they are sold out or their site collapsed underneath the stampeding heard of Nintendo fans.

Super Nintendo Classic is available for pre-order at Walmart. This is not a drill. We repeat. This is not a drill.

Here is the link again. SNES Classic Pre-Order at Walmart.com.

Shacknews - Jason Venter

If you’ve played The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and its expansions, you already know the game’s world is one of the most expansive and beautiful you’ll find on the PC, even to this day. The more than two years that have passed since its debut have done little to diminish that, but there comes a time when every gorgeous game can look even better.

HalkHoganPL, a modder known for his work with multiple blockbuster titles, has been working to improve the visuals in The Witcher 3 almost since the game arrived. He calls that effort The Witcher 3 HD Reworked Project, and he recently updated it so the game looks more stunning than ever before.

The latest update brings a variety of welcome enhancements, including many textures that were created from scratch. They are more responsive to lighting sources, which produces a more vivid world, and the overall impact on your frame rate should be minimal. The edges of bricks protruding from stone walls now look more detailed, tiled roofs now seem more weathered, and even plant life has dramatically improved in some instances.

To play the modded version of the game, you will need the Nexus Mod Manager, if you don’t have it already. You also must make sure the mod itself is given priority, or other mods you previously installed may interfere and produce errors or performance issues.

Check out The Witcher 3 HD Reworked forum topic for more details and support, and happy witching!

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Best Buy has a sale going on right now and running through Saturday night. It is Black Friday in July! We took a good look at the sale and have highlighted some deals for PC gamers. Amazon is also price matching these deals, so we are including links to both stores when available. Please take a look.

Best Keyboard Deals

Best Mouse Deals

Best TV Deals

Best Mac Deals

Best Gaming Deals

Those are definitely deals worth looking at this weekend. Check out our guide for the Best 4K TVs For PC Gamers for more information.

Shacknews - Jason Venter

The Destiny 2 beta is one of the biggest things going, with players diving into the online experience and reporting back on their experience to Bungie. A lot of those comments were positive, at least when they didn’t involve server errors, but it’s also clear the game has some room for improvement ahead of its official launch later this year.

In a post to the official Destiny 2 website, Bungie describes the week’s excitement and shares some comments from key members of the development team.

“We had many updates to the original, but Destiny 2 is a brand new game using brand new technology in order to deliver an awesome experience,” notes Jared Berbach, Destiny 2 producer. “This new technology needs a lot of testing. This testing ultimately helps us validate that our new server model is working as we thought it would, and at the quality and scale we had hoped.”

The post assures fans Bungie is listening to the comments that have been flooding in. Most of the feedback apparently relates to the loot players have been gathering, and to moments of action that define the game. Naturally, players have a lot to say about the popular PvE mode, which the beta’s design lead has addressed in some detail.

“The PVE game tuning has changed pretty significantly since the Beta build was deployed,” said Rob Engeln. “The nature of a Beta of this scale requires that it’s based off a build of the game that is now months old. So, in many cases, your feedback is helping us validate changes that were previously made based on internal feedback and playtesting. For example, we too felt that ammo (especially power ammo) was too scarce in PvE. In addition to retuning the drop rates, we built a system that guarantees power ammo drops for you and your Fireteam from certain enemies, giving power weapons a more reliable and predictable role in your arsenal. Other areas where we’ve made significant tuning changes include grenade effectiveness in PvE, Boss vitality, and weapon damage against non-player combatants.”

Bungie isn’t yet ready to share its ultimate conclusions from the beta event, which remains ongoing (testing just opened on the additional PlayStation 4 and Xbox One platforms, for instance, and the team plans to open The Farm for an hour on Sunday so players have a chance to experience the new social hub). Still, there is reason to remain hopeful about the final project even if you feel some of the balancing isn’t quite right in the beta.

Destiny 2 arrives on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on September 6, 2017. Make sure that you get plenty of practice during the beta, so you’ll be ready to swarm the servers once the game reaches store shelves.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

Greetings, citizens. Friday has fallen, and as we wave goodbye to the work week now quietly disappearing behind us, we welcome the weekend as it crests above the nearing horizon. Today isn't just a day for celebrating another week slain, however; it's also a great chance to check in with Modojo and catch up on all of the latest stories in the mobile and portable gaming universe. Grab your polearms and steel yourself for victory as we rally the troops for this week's Modojo Rewind.

The Imminent Arrival Of The First-Ever Pokemon Go Fest

Arguably one of the biggest stories in the mobile gaming arena this week is the first-ever Pokemon Go Fest. Set to kick off tomorrow, July 22 around 10 a.m. local time, the event is promising loads of activities for players on-scene as well as around the world. There is one thing to mention, however, and it's that there's a chance that attendees will be caught in the rain. This coupled with the fact that attendees aren't allow to bring umbrellas makes for a potentially-awkward mobile gaming situation. Luckily, we've got all the information trainers need to prepare for inclement weather at this year's Pokemon Go Fest.

Since it's not a game to stay out of the headlines, Pokemon Go has also been making the news this week for a new problem that sees Raid Bosses running away after players have spent all of their available items trying to catch them. It seems that the game may be experiencing a glitch -- that, or there may be some type of time-based limitation on how many Raid Battles players are allowed to participate in. For anyone that might be affected by this problem, we've got ideas on why raid bosses run away and what players can do to combat the issue.

Lastly, a recent foray into the latest Pokemon Go APK has revealed the first clues as to how Legendary creatures will work in the game. A number of new modifiers have been introduced that appear to control the visibility of Legendary creatures as well as a condition that labels Raid Battles as Legendary or not. With these snippets of code in-game, players are likely to see Legendary creatures appearing very soon.

Splatoon 2 And Other Headline Stories

Nintendo Switch players have been waiting a long time to get their hands on Splatoon 2, but the game has finally arrived, and it seems fans are loving it. We've been seeing a lot of players of all skill levels jumping into the game, and for them, we've written up a number of guides and handy how-tos, including how to disable the game's motion controls, how to unlock Hero weapons in the game's multiplayer, and many others. For a full look at everything we've gotten up so far, feel free to check out Modojo's Splatoon 2 guide hub.

There have been a few other surprising stories this week, too. One of Tim Schafer's first games, the phenomenal PC adventure Full Throttle, has made its way onto iOS in the form of Full Throttle Remastered. It offers many of the same bonuses as players might find in the PlayStation and PC remaster, albeit with a conveniently-light $5 price tag.

We've also gotten our first looks at Nokia's new Nokia 8, a budget-oriented smartphone that comes with a number of flagship-level features, and have plumbed the depths of the internet to reveal all of the changes that Injustice 2 mobile players can expect from the game's latest patch version 1.5, including considerable overhauls to character abilities and overall balance.

As always, these stories and loads more can be found over on Modojo, your go-to resource for news, reviews, and guides in the mobile and portable gaming arena.

Shacknews - Bill Lavoy

Pokémon GO Fest is set to kick off at Grant Park in Chicago on July 22, 2017, but players around the globe will be joining the fun. Of course, this means that they must figure out when exactly Pokémon GO Fest begins in their time zone, which is what we’re here to help you with today.

What is Pokémon GO Fest?

Pokémon GO Fest is the one-year celebration for the release of Pokémon GO. The event will be held at Grant Park in Chicago, Illinois, and gives Trainers an opportunity to catch a wide variety of Pokémon, including some that have never been seen before.

The official Pokémon GO Fest website details what players can expect to fill their time without throughout the day, but emphasizes that this event will include thousands of Trainers in Grant Park, and millions from around the world. All of them will have to work together to unlock in-game rewards.

Although it’s not clear if this applies to players around the globe or just in Grant Park, those participating in Pokémon GO Fest can expect to unlock a unique in-game medal to be displayed on their profile page.

Grant Park is also going to feature a walking course with PokéStops that award special 2km Eggs that can only be obtained in the park. This, besides the experience, is likely to be one of the most sought-after rewards for Trainers that are planning to spend the day in the park.

What Time is Pokémon GO Fest?

Pokémon GO Fest takes place from 10 a.m. CDT on Saturday, July 22, 2017, and concludes the same day at 7 p.m. CDT. For those on the West Coast, that is 8 a.m. PDT until 5 p.m. PDT. If you’re on the East Coast, Pokémon GO Fest runs from 11 a.m. EDT until 8 p.m. EDT.

Of course, Trainers from all over the world are going to look to take part and earn special rewards, so if we missed your time zone above, you can use a time zone converter to do the math yourself.

To keep up to date on all things related to Pokémon GO, besides when the event begins in Chicago, visit the Shacknews Pokémon GO hub.

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