Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

It's taken a lot of effort for the developers at Sony Santa Monica to release a game as big and bold as God of War, and those efforts continue in the form of the game's frequent updates. The latest update version 1.12 has arrived, and within it, players will find an all-new option to adjust the game's text size.

The launch of God of War has gone fairly well, though it would be a lie to say the release has gone perfectly smoothly. Though the game seems to run mostly fine for the majority of players, some gamers have been experiencing a number of different issues. Most noteworthy was a problem with the game displaying in the wrong resolution, resulting in black bars on both the top and sides of the screen. This was addressed in the previous God of War update version 1.11.

Other players have reported problems with the game's text being much too small, especially and particularly running in the PlayStation 4 Pro's higher resolution mode. This latest patch version 1.12 addresses that specifically, as players who dive into the game's Options and then Accessibility page will now find a new option to increase the text size to suit their tastes.

Jonesing to learn more about the exploits of Kratos and his son Atreus? Head on over to our God of War walkthrough and guide, where we dive into details regarding specific campaign missions and shed light on the locations of many of the game's special collectible items.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

The God of War experience continues in the mission titled The Black Rune. Our walkthrough follows Kratos and Atreus in their search for the namesake artifact, besting a series of puzzles and traps before culminating in a standoff with two powerful bosses.

The Black Rune Walkthrough - God of War

With Atreus back up and about, hang around Freya's hut to learn more about the game's lore. Once everyone has had chance to speak their mind, head through the door and follow the path to head back toward Tyr's vault.

Return to the Boat

Take the lift down to the lower level, then find the boat sitting on the shoreline. Start to drag the boat back to the water to have a little chat with Atreus.

Return to Tyr's Vault

Once the boat is back in the water, start paddling back toward the Lake of the Nine and moor the ship outside Tyr's vault.

Use the Sand Bowl

Now that Kratos and Atreus have returned to Tyr's vault, make another attempt to interact with the sand bowl in the middle of the room. Doing so will prompt Atreus to read out a clue: "Death itself I swallow to spring forth life tomorrow." Look around the different words written on the wall to locate the rune that says Earth. Afterward, the floor of the room will begin to descend.

Retrieve the Black Rune

After the room settles, head the door on the north side to discover the location known formally as Tyr's Vault. Approach the center of the room to watch a series of rings known as the runestone move about, which will lead directly into the next mission objective.

Deactivate the Vault's Defenses

Take aim at the outer spinning ring, then use the Winds of Hel energy on the ball in the adjacent room to have it drop down and disappear. Walk into the other room with the wheel, the interact with it to open a door to a corridor filled with deadly spinning blades. Use the Leviathan axe to freeze one of the remaining blades, then walk into the treasure-filled room at the end of the passage.

After heading back into the main room, a number of draugr will spawn. Take them out, then grab any loot they may have left behind. With the room now clear, once again use the Winds of Hel with the middle ring, this time using its power to activate the sphere in the newly-opened vault room. A few enemies will spawn, so take them out, then spin the wheel to open up another trapped passageway.

On the other side, once again open the door back into the main room. Head out and climb up a nearby pillar to reach the upper story and get a better look at the inside ring. Take out the draugr, then hit the rings to move them about. Climb down the nearby chain to reach the floor, then hit the outermost ring and use the Winds of Hel energy on the sphere within the most recently opened room. Doing so will bring up yet another wheel, this time one that will lower the runestone.

Escape the Trap

Kratos will become ensnared by the vault's defenses. To free him, players need to help Atreus solve a puzzle involving three symbols — a sun, a moon, and a shield representing Midgard. Have Atreus pull the left bar to lower the sun, then the right to lower the shield. After that, have Atreus pull the middle bar to have the moon slide to the left. When it's in position, have him pull the right bar again, then the left, then the middle bar. With all of the symbols on the right-hand side, instruct Atreus to pull the right bar to drop the sun, the middle to slide the other two to the left, then the right to raise the sun back up.

With the symbols in their proper sequence, the room will drain. Kratos isn't out of the water yet, though, as the floor panel begins to rapidly ascend toward a spike-filled trap. Here Atreus earns his keep, stopping the mechanism and freeing Kratos.

Retrieve the Black Rune

Head back into the main room and climb the chain down to the ground floor. With the area's defenses deactivated, the Black Rune will float while smoking menacingly in the center of the room. Before grabbing it, Kratos and Atreus will have another talk, so sit back and enjoy the cutscene.

Their talk concluded, Atreus will use his knife to break the spell surrounding the Black Rune. To Kratos' disappointment, the rune appears to be blank until Atreus has a closer look. As soon as he does, a powerful duo of guardians will awaken.

In this battle, Kratos must face off with both the Grendel of the Ashes and the Grendel of the Frost. Tag teaming the two isn't exactly easy, as players will have to alternate between the Leviathan axe and the Blades of Chaos to take them down.

Keep Kratos' back toward the center of the room, making efforts to pin the Grendels against the wall and group them together whenever possible. Whittle away at their health bars, making sure not to get attacked from behind. With persistence, the vault guardians will go down, and Kratos can claim the Tartarus Rage ability.

Exit Tyr's Vault

Head to the double doors on the south side of the room to exit Tyr's vault. Interact with the bowl of sand to rise back up through the area's entrance to the roof of the structure above.

This is the end of The Black Rune quest, but not yet the end of Kratos and Atreus' journey. Up next is The Return to the Summit. Be sure to stop by our extensive God of War walkthrough and guide to stay current on all of the game's various missions and collectibles.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

The God of War series often plays host to bold and unusual characters, and the latest entry is no exception. A mysterious figure known only as The Stranger shows up within the game's first chapter and immediately makes his strength and skills in combat known, giving players a good reason to wonder who he is and what he's capable of.

Those who have made progress into the later missions in God of War will come to know more about The Stranger; likewise, players who don't want to spoil any of the game's secrets can simply wait to have the game explain the Stranger's significance at its own pace. For everyone else, we're happy to provide some details below — just be warned that this information will contain spoilers.

Who is The Stranger?

The initial boss battle encounter with The Stranger will leave some players reeling, concerned about whether or not the man is truly invincible. He's clearly skilled in battle, plus he definitely seems to be taking a specific interest in Kratos. Naturally,  there's good reason for that.

As it turns out, The Stranger is actually a moniker for the god known as Baldur. He's based on the god Baldr in Norse mythology, the offspring of Odin and Frigg, brother to Thor, said to have been so fair in appearance that he cast a light from his body wherever he went.

Things are a little different within God of War — in the game, Baldur is eventually revealed to be Freya's son. He keeps popping up throughout the adventure for a number of reasons, most of which are obvious. After all, Kratos is a renowned godslayer, and his presence in the Norse realms surely spells disaster for those who stand in his way.

More than just another powerful figure to fight against, Baldur's role also ties into the game's themes of fathers and sons and the loyalties they share to one another. Freya provides assistance to both Kratos and Atreus, but Baldur is determined to take them out — a directive that's eventually revealed to have been given to him from Odin himself.

Now that The Stranger's identity has been revealed, learn even more about Kratos' latest adventure by heading over to our God of War walkthrough and guide hub, full of stories detailing missions, collectibles, and more.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

The ninth story mission in God of War is titled The Sickness, and this walkthrough will cover the path Kratos must take to brave the fiends of Helheim and secure a much-needed remedy by felling the massive guard found at the Bridge of the Damned.

God of War - The Sickness Walkthrough

Carry Atreus out to the boat, get in, then paddle through the caverns and into the Witch's Cave. Continue toward the quest marker until docking at the pier with the white flag. Use the lift to reach the upper level, then follow the path up to Freya's hut to trigger a cutscene.

Use Freya's Boat to Return Home

With the mission objective now clear, head through the door and climb into the festively decorated boat. Kratos will set off down his path automatically, so sit back and wait until he arrives at the dock. From there, turn to the right and climb the hill, fighting enemies along the way, then enter the cabin. Inside, Kratos will pull out a familiar set of weapons.

With the Blades of Chaos locked and loaded, head out the door and lay the hurt down on the group of foes that have amassed together outside. Once they've all been cut down, Kratos will spot a new door to the realm travel temple appear within the courtyard.

Return to the Realm Travel Room

Head through the portal, then start making way down the frozen path and take the door to Brok's shop. After catching up with him, go to the Realm Travel room and travel to Helheim.

Reach the Bridge Keeper

Exit through the double door to reach the frozen expanse known as Helheim. Take out the enemies that stray into Kratos' path, then look for the brier patch blocking the path. Loot the chest next to the briers, then strike them with the Blades of Chaos to set them alight and clear the passageway.

One the other side, take out the enemies, then follow the path up to and through the giant stone archway. The path forward will be blocked by a door, so turn to the left and burn the briers, then turn right, burn the bushes, and follow the narrow ledge across to the other side.

Another patch will be blocking a treasure chest on the right side of the area; open it, being careful not to get flanked by enemies. Afterward, climb to the top of the taller stone pillar, grappling around to the side where necessary, then climb down the other to reach the bottom of the ledge. Claim the chest hidden between the two pillars, then head toward the cliff's edge to drop into a new area.

Take out the foes, then burn the brambles to climb up to the ledge above. Take out the stones on the right hand side to drop a pillar, drop down again, then climb on top of the pillar to reach the climbable portion of the wall. Burn the briers, then look for the climbable wall on the right-hand side. Follow it up, then climb another wall to reach the Bridge of the Damned.

Defeat the Bridge Keeper

Drop down the cliff and prepare for battle. The Bridge Keeper known as Mattugr Helson is both ugly and unfriendly, and will jump into action the moment he sees Kratos. Focus attacks on his legs, making sure to back away when he begins slamming his illuminated column on the ground.

Occasionally the Bridge Keeper will teleport, and when he reappears, he'll often send out a set of minions to attack Kratos. Take them out, dodging the Keeper's frozen projectile attack, then resume hitting him full-force. His attacks follow a fairly simple pattern, and players shouldn't have too much trouble taking him down assuming they don't allow him to open up too much distance.

Once Mattugr has been taken out in a most violent fashion, Kratos will claim his prize. Watch the brief cutscene, then prepare for the trek back to the Realm Travel Room.

Return to the Realm Travel Room

At the rear of the arena will be a door that Kratos can't yet open. Next to a nearby pillar, Brok will make an appearance, granting Kratos with the Winds of Hel. Use it to open the door, then use it again on the second and third doors down the path. Eventually Kratos will come upon an ice cave covered in brambles; burn them, then squat and crawl through the corridor. Use the Winds of Hel again to open the door, then do battle with the knight resting on the other side.

Once through the stone archway, take out the enemies, then take the stairs down and follow the path back to the area entrance. Hit the Realm Travel Room and travel back to Midgard.

Deliver the Heart to Freya

Brok will provide a quick update on his efforts with regard to Realm Travel. From now on, Kratos will be able to use passageways in both directions, so head over to the portal opposite Brok's work station and step through. Navigate the path to arrive back outside Freya's cabin. Freya will hold up her end of the agreement, so sit back and watch the cutscene play out.

This conversation with Freya marks the end of The Sickness, paving the way for the upcoming mission The Black Rune. Stay on top of the rest of the game's story and collectibles by checking out Shacknews' God of War walkthrough and guide.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

It looks like Campo Santo's intriguing narrative adventure Firewatch left something of an impression on Valve. Campo Santo has announced that it has been acquired by the digital store platform, proclaiming the good news that feels like an "obvious match" for the developer.

If you're concerned about the team's next big title, In the Valley of Gods, don't freak out just yet. Don't even worry about Campo Santo's livelihood. Valve apparently plans on leaving the team intact in its entirety, though the studio will soon be relocating to Seattle. Sounds pretty cushy, if you ask me.

"In Valve we found a group of folks who, to their core, feel the same way about the work that they do (this, you may be surprised to learn, doesn’t happen every day). In us, they found a group with unique experience and valuable, diverse perspectives," said Campo Santo on its official blog.

"They asked us if we’d all be interested in coming up to Bellevue and doing that there and we said yes."

The studio has been in business since it was founding in 2013, releasing its first and only release Firewatch to positive reviews from critics and consumers alike in February 2016. It's been on an upward trend since there, as the tale seems to have really resonated with folks. This is obviously a big move for Campo Santo, so it should be interesting to see where the crew goes from here. Nowhere to go but up, in my estimation. 

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

It's not often that a game as big as God of War can release without issue. Though many players have been able to enjoy the game just fine as-is, others have been experiencing an issue where the game wouldn't properly display in full screen, with the image being flanked on all sides by black bars. Fortunately, the developers at Sony Santa Monica have seen fit to release a patch that fixes the God of War aspect ratio with the new update version 1.11.

God of War owners who have their PlayStation 4 systems set up for automatic updates should already have the patch downloaded and applied to their game. The given patch notes are pretty vague, but the update version 1.11 looks to have addressed the full screen problem for most players.

Those who haven't yet downloaded the patch may want to set some time aside, as it weighs in at 6.2GB total, not including the 1.2GB needed for the 1.10 patch. Again, it's not totally clear exactly which issues the latest patches address, but considering their file sizes, it's safe to say the team touched on several different aspects of the game.

We here at Shacknews are still making our runs through Kratos' latest adventure, and all those who want to make the most out of the experience would do well to head over to our God of War walkthrough and guide hub, where we've featured several different quest-based guides as well as tips on how and where to track down the game's many collectibles.

Shacknews - Kevin Tucker

The eighth part of our God of War walkthrough concerns the questline titled Behind the Lock. Getting through the mission is a breeze, but players willing to explore a bit will spot a number of opportunities to collect treasure and close another of the game's Realm Tears.

Break the Three Seals

Find the binding points on the door, then use the chisel to crack open the seal. Head through the door and out into the courtyard. There's a chest here that can be opened by having Atreus shoot down the bowl behind the climbable wall. There's also a sealed gate blocking access to a number of items; destroy the first seal behind and above the entrance to the courtyard, then climb the wall on the far side. From the new vantage point, look back down to spot the second seal sitting within an alcove in the ruins below. Finally, jump down to the holding cells on the lower ledge and turn 180 degrees to spot the third seal hiding in the ice across the gap. Jump down and head through the open gate to score a Glacial Catalyst and a chest containing Hacksilver.

Climb back up the rear wall, then use the chain to drop down into the dining hall. Speak with Sindri if desired, then approach the door at the back room of the hall. Use the chisel to break the binding on the door, then proceed through. A treasure chest can be found on the left side of the chamber; grab the nearby World Tree Sap from behind the wooden barricades and use it on the chest to claim a Solid Svartalfheim Steel.

Grab another fistful of World Tree Sap and throw it onto the shield-shaped object stuck in the rafters. Have Atreus shoot it with a shock arrow to drop a massive blue crystal. Pick it up, then carry it to the end of the chamber and slot it into the contraption. Have Atreus shoot it with a Light Arrow to reveal a Realm Tear.

Puzzle It Out

Head through the door at the end of the hall, then take a look around the room to spot a wheel on the floor and a carriage suspended on a rope above. Hit the chain with the axe to free the carriage, then roll it to the lower end of the rope. Head behind the wall and instruct Atreus to climb up the platform and onto the carriage, then use the wheel to lead him back to the scaffolding on the other side. Once there he can drop a chain down for Kratos to climb.

Ride the carriage back down again, then jump across the gap and drop the other chain below. Afterward, head beneath the giant's finger and use the chisel to break the seal on the door. Walk through and into the Northern Dock. From here, climb the chain on the left side of the room and head outside.

Return to the Lake of the Nine

Find the boat on the shoreline and climb in, then paddle down through the nearby cave passage, crashing through any floating barrels to claim some easy Hacksilver. Enjoy the idle banter on the trip back to the Lake.

Go to Tyr's Vault

Follow the objective heading to find the entrance of Tyr's Vault. Use the increasingly useful chisel to break the seal and head through the door.

Explore the Vault

Within Tyr's Bridge Interior, approach the panel with the missing images to get a bit of lore, then head to the center of the room for a little reading lesson with Atreus. Unfortunately, the tender moment will be cut short by the arrival of an unexpected guest. A cutscene will begin, and when it finishes, the Behind the Lock questline will end.

The end of this mission drops players straight into the next quest titled The Sickness. Players can catch up on other mission guides and collectible locations by heading over to our God of War walkthrough and guide.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

PUBG is about to introduce several new changes to both weapon balance and attachments in-game in the coming weeks, according to an update posted via Steam. PUBG Corp. has announced that it's looking to make it so that no one singular gun will "feel" as though it's better than the others available to you, based on the philosophy that you should simply choose a weapon based on how effective it is depending on the situation as well as personal preference. Thus, weapon balancing is in the cards, though there isn't a specific date as far as when you'll be able to expect these changes.

In addition, alterations are being made to weapon attachments, namely to add more for you to choose from. Similar to the ideology with the weapons being made more "equal," PUBG Corp. is aiming to help players choose attachments that feel right based on the situations rather than there being one that's "best."

Finally, the level three helmet is being changed up a bit as well. Normally it gives you an extra life of sorts, as it'll save you from a headshot you'd otherwise die from. It's being removed from loot spawn tables and sent only to care packages, so it'll be even harder to come across going forward.

These changes will be rolled out to test servers in the near future, but there isn't a planned testing or release period just yet. Once there is, we'll know about it as PUBG Corp. plans to send out an announcement.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent

Still trying to wash the taste of 2005's disastrous DOOM movie out of your mouth? It looks like Universal Pictures is indeed working on bringing a new film adaptation of the franchise to light. While rumors had previously swirled around a few years ago regarding a potential new entry in the series, nothing had been confirmed, until now.

The news comes via actor and Letters from the Fire vocalist Nina Bergman, who tweeted that she had "just signed all the paperwork" as the film's scriptwriter. "I get to go back to Bulgaria again and work with some of my favorite people," the tweet read.

Previously, it had been rumored that Universal was scouting someone to act as a scriptwriter for what would eventually be a complete reboot of the franchise, but we haven't heard anything else about it since then.

Curiously, Bergman doesn't exactly have the greatest track record as an actress, appearing in films like Sharknado 3 and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in addition to other semi-obscure media and commercials. She's a talented singer, but it remains to be seen why Bergman was selected for the scriptwriting job. I'm not trying to knock her, but I'm just wondering if she really is the best person for the job. 

Fortunately, all she really has to do is write a better script than the Karl Urban and Dwayne Johnson-fronted DOOM flick. That shouldn't be particularly difficult. Here's hoping Universal doesn't see a complete rehashing of the other movie's failures. 

Shacknews - Joe Stasio

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It’s always nice to have guests here at the Cartridge House (yes, capital H). Today, Josh Hawkins of Greenlit Content decided to grace us with his God of War knowledge and so much more. Besides our favorite Nordic father-brother, the fam runs through the latest releases in gaming before discussing the rumors and news regarding the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops IVand Battlefield 5. We wrap up the show with another violent trip down memory lane. As always, thanks for listening!

On Today’s Show- Joe Stasio- Chris Buffa- Andrew Zucosky- Josh Hawkins

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