Shacknews - Shack Staff

It's time for another top ten! Grab your Katana, strap on your black belt, and sharpen all the throwing stars you have. This week Greg is diving deep into the gaming world to flush out the top ten Ninjas in video gaming history.

Shacknews - Shack Staff

Curious about the Steam Controller and Steam Machines? Andrew gets to go hands-on with both while talking to Chris Sutphen about the new Alienware Steam Machine.

Shacknews - Steven Wong

Xbox 360 backward compatibility on the Xbox One opens a door to a world of gaming possibilities. But with thousands of games to choose from, which games are worth revisiting first? To narrow down the choices, we're focusing on games that have new generation follow-ups either out now or in the near future. Furthermore, these are games that (at the time of this writing) do not have ports or remastered editions announced yet for the Xbox One.


The Mass Effect Trilogy 

Since Mass Effect Andromeda releasing in 2016, you'll have plenty of time to relive the epic trilogy that started it all, beginning with the original Mass Effect. Although the finale may still be controversial to some, the trilogy's experience as a whole is still generally regarded as one of the best in gaming history. Plus, considering all the different classes, decisions, and Paragon/Renegade alignment possibilities, there still some worth in revisiting these games.


Fallout 3 and New Vegas

Considering how Fallout 3 ends, there is a strong chance that we'll see a connection between in and Fallout 4. What better way to prepare for that possibility than to start wandering the wasteland in search of violence, glory, and Nuka Cola? By revisiting Fallout 3 and New Vegas, you'll better be accustomed to its gameplay, so you won't be stuck trying to remember which perks work best together when Fallout 4 releases in the fall.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 1 & 2

We can't be certain if Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 will mark an end to the trilogy (which is sort of a quadrilogy if you count World at War), but we do know that the best way to prepare for the game is to play through the first parts to get a better sense of the story and its characters. The events of Black Ops 3 relate directly to what happens in part 2, and so on. See what it took to go from drone warfare to drone and cyborg warfare.


Batman: Arkham Asylum and City

Watch Gotham and the Batman Arkham series evolved by playing all the games back-to-back. Players begin with the dark and claustrophobic hallways of Arkham Asylum, and then their world expands with Arkham City, where hallways are replaced with darkened streets and mayhem. All the events of the previous games help build to what happens in Arkham Knight, especially Joker's demise. This is one trilogy that is worth revisiting in its entirety to catch all the little nuances that happen in the third chapter.


Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition

To better understand the events that occur in Mortal Kombat X, check out Mortal Kombat Komplete Edition. It's the game that completely reboots the original plot into one mega sized fighting game that starts with the Mortal Kombat tournament and concludes with a plot to merge Earthrealm with Outworld. A lot of bodies drop between the beginning and the end, creating one blood-soaked lead-in to the 10th game.


Dishonored

It has been almost three years since Dishonored first released, giving fans one of the best steampunk-themed supernatural assassination games around. Dishonored 2 releases in the early half of 2016, and will feature Emily Kaldwin as a fallen empress turned killer. To fully understand her rise to power, fans should revisit the previous game and see how Corvo got his vengeance on. What lessons did he pass on to a young Emily? Was it all chaos and blood, or did he take the high road? We don't know if decisions made in the first game will have any impact on the sequel, but better safe than sorry, right?


Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut

Humanity saw a cybernetic renaissance during the events of Human Revolution, but the golden age will be long over by the time the events of Humanity Divided start. Play the story from the beginning to truly understand what led to the mechanical apartheid, and why the augmented are treated as second class citizens. With all the events that come packed into the cyberpunk thriller, getting a little refresher on previous events could go a long way towards preparing you for what's to come. Just remember, it's not the end of the world, but you can see it from here.


Just Cause 2

We're pretty certain that there will be no connection between Just Cause 2 and 3, but that's no reason to hold back from causing a ton of mayhem. You play as Rico Rodriguez, and your mission to seek out and kill your one time friend and mentor, who has disappeared on the island paradise of Panau. It's a beautiful place with plenty of scenic locations ready to be blown up. It's a great big violent playground to check out before Just Cause 3 throws more at you in December.


Mirror's Edge

Fans have been waiting a very long time for a follow-up to the free-running Mirror's Edge, and their wishes will be filled when Mirror's Edge Catalyst releases in February. While waiting, fans should warm up with the original Mirror's Edge and get to leaping from tall buildings and karate chopping armed guards in the throat.


Gears of War Trilogy

Yes, the first Gears of War game is being remade into Gears of War Ultimate Edition for the Xbox One, but that's just one out of three games. To get the full story in time for the release of Gears of War 4 this fall, you have to turn to the originals, which are only available on the Xbox 360 right now. It just so happens that Gears of War 3 will be available through the Games with Gold program this month, so that's one that's already taken care of for subscribers.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Virtual reality is the next big battleground in video games and Sony is preparing to take the field with its own Morpheus peripheral. To learn more about it, Shacknews had the opportunity to talk to the director of PlayStation Magic Labs, Richard Marks, at E3 2015.

"It's funny, because almost every genre is being explored in VR that already exists and some new kinds of games, too," Marks told Shacknews' John Gaudiosi. "So it isn't just one kind of thing makes sense for VR. It's really all the different game genres, but some reinvented for VR, I would say."

Marks goes on to list a number of the Morpheus games on display, including the online multiplayer Rigs, Super Hyper Cube, the Harmonix music visualizer, and more. Check out the full interview below.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Marvel Heroes 2015 has been celebrating its second anniversary for a couple of weeks, but Gazillion is aiming to continue rewarding its players beyond that. In fact, tomorrow is going to introduce one of the game's more interesting events in the form of a masssive $25,000 giveaway.

Players that log in on Wednesday, July 8 will get a chance to look for five extremely rare Vibranium Ticket drops, which are hidden somewhere in the game. Any one of these drops is worth $5,000 a piece. The contest is open to all Marvel Heroes 2015 players, regardless of character level, with Vibranium Ticket drops possible across all game modes. While the contest is set to run until August 31, any winners that step forward and declare themselves to Gazillion will receive special recognition during the Marvel Heroes 2015 panel this Friday at San Diego Comic-Con.

The full rules are available on the Marvel Heroes 2015 website.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

The Predator is about to stalk its prey in Mortal Kombat X tomorrow. But before it steps into the arena, NetherRealm took to its Twitch channel to reveal just what it could do.

The latest NetherRealm stream showed off the Predator's three different fighting variations, all of which sport distinctly different Predator masks. The Warrior style utilizes the Predator's agility, giving it some crazy aerial moves and overhead strikes, as well as an unblockable self-destruct attack that will harm Predator, but also hurt opponents more, depending on how close it hits. The Hish-Qu-Ten variation grants the creature its plasma projectiles, making it more of a zone fighter. Finally, there's the Hunter variation, which gives Predator a slew of grenades (reminiscent of Cyrax) and snare traps, making Predator more of a defensive fighter. As a defensive fighter, Predator also gets a heal ability.

Regardless of which variation is used, the Predator looks to be a long-ranged combatant. It uses its projectiles, smart discs, and the long reach of its claws to its advantage. It also has a number of moves inspired by the iconic films, including a leaping scimitar-style leaping strike that was pulled from the scene where the creature attacked Carl Weathers. And of course, it can cloak itself in mid-fight. While cloaked, the Predator can take up to five hits and will take no chip damage from blocking attacks.

The Predator arrives for Mortal Kombat X Kombat Pack owners tomorrow, with all others getting it on July 14. For more on the Predator and its abilities, including NetherRealm devs showing off its Fatalities and Brutalities, check out the full NetherRealm stream below.

Watch live video from NetherRealm on Twitch

Shacknews - Daniel Perez

Warner Bros. and NetherRealm Studios have revealed the Mortal Kombat X Predator Bundle will be available starting on July 7 for those who already own the Kombat Pack, while those who don’t own the pack will be able to purchase it separately on July 14.

The Predator Bundle will include Predator as a playable fighter and three new character skins that include Commando Johnny, Infrared Scorpion, and Carl Weathers as Jax.

Mortal Kombat X fans will also receive the Klassic Fatality Pack, which offers four klassic fatalities from the original Mortal Kombat including Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Sonya and Johnny Cage as well as access to the Kold War Scorpion Skin for free on July 7.

Offering classic fatalities is a great idea as we certainly appreciate the nostalgia factor of performing some old-school fatalities on our opponents. We hope this won't be the last time we get such an addition as we'd love to see classic fatalities from Jax, Liu Kang, and Raiden.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

After Chapter 3 Batman receives reports of a suspicious man on a rooftop with a burning bat symbol. You’ll need to head around the city and locate the signal, and speak with Azrael to find out what this mission set is all about.

Looking for more Batman: Arkham Knight content? Check out our guide to all the Perfect Crime victim locations, as well as our complete guide to the Occupy Gotham side mission.

Haven’t picked up Arkham Knight yet, and wondering if it’s as good as people say it is? Check out our review to see our thoughts on Rocksteady’s final chapter in the Arkham Trilogy.

In order to complete this mission set you’ll need to finish each Combat Challenge without being hit. Completing this side mission will grant a total of 8 WayneTech Upgrade Points.

Combat Trial 1 – Just the Beginning - X:3038, Y:2667 Location: Miagani Island, Kingston, rooftop west of Bank of Gotham

Speak with Azrael to start the mission. For this challenge you’ll have to defeat six soldiers without being hit. We suggest using your counter abilities, and keeping an eye out for any opponents until the challenge is complete.

Combat Trial 2 – Showing Great Skill - X:2774, Y:1448 Location: Founders’ Island, Otisburg, south of Fire Station

This second challenge pits Azrael against seven thugs, and a Brute. Keep an eye out for any thrown objects and melee weapons. In order to easily take down the Brute use your Cape Stun followed up by a Beat Down to finish him off easily, and a quickly. Remember that you cannot get hit a single time, or the challenge will restart.

Combat Trial 3 – A Competent Warrior - X:1905, Y:2343 Location: Bleake Island, Chinatown, west of traffic circle

This challenge features ten soldiers and a Medic. Deal with the Medic first by using the Remote Electrical Charge or Counter Throw. Once the Medic is down, simply take out the following enemies using your Counter and Beat Down moves. Remember not to get hit.

Combat Trial 4 – The Final Challenge - X:2505, Y:2246 Location: Lady of Gotham Island

The final Combat Challenge of the mission set features six Combat Experts who are all equipped with melee weapons. During this challenge the Combat Experts will constantly charge or attack with their dual weapons. Counter their attacks, and take all the enemies down without letting Azrael be damaged to complete this challenge.

Finale – Reconstructing Memories – Coordinates Not Available Location: Bleake Island, Chinatown, Clock Tower

Now it’s time to put your detective skills to work. As Azrael grapple up to the Clock Tower and then drop down into a hidden area. Once inside the area use the console to look up a date concerning a man named Michael Lane.

Your job this time around is to scan and reconstruct a group of memories that have been tampered with. In order to complete this you must scan four unique Order of San Dumas Lithographs. We’ve provided the time stamps below for easy access.

  • 00:00:00
  • 00:05:55
  • 00:16:44
  • 00:28:92

Once you’ve scanned all four, and reconstructed the memory the mission set will end, and Azrael will be ready to take on his next task without your help.

Shacknews - Josh Hawkins

Near the end of the third chapter of the game, Batman will be advised of several Watchtowers that have been set up all around Gotham. There are twenty-one of these Watchtowers around the three islands, and each one is protected by gun emplacements and several soldiers.

Looking for more Batman to help you complete Operation Knightfall? Check out our in-depth guide to the Perfect Crime victim locations. We also have several other guides covering the Campaign for Disarmament, and the Own the Roads Most Wanted side missions.

Haven’t picked up Batman: Arkham Knight? Check out our full review to see what we think of Rocksteady’s latest Caped Crusader video game.

When taking out the twenty-one Watchtowers settled across Gotham, you’ll need to sneak past enemies, and destroy a central command console using your Explosive Gel. Shutting each Watchtower down will score you an additional WayneTech upgrade point.

Watchtower 1 Location: Founders’ Island – Ryker Heights, close to Stagg’s Airship Alpha

The first Watchtower you’ll have to complete is actually located right next to Stagg’s Airship. There are around five armed guards, a Boa Sentry Drone, and an additional soldier with a tracker that can pick up on your Detective mode.

Watchtower 2 Location: Bleake Island – Chinatown, west of Urbarail Station

This tower features several gun emplacements around the outer edge of the building. Two unarmed soldiers also patrol the area inside. Glide towards the window, then dive kick the nearest enemy before taking out the command console with your Explosive Gel.

Watchtower 3 Location: Bleake Island – The Cauldron, southwest of traffic circle

This Watchtower is guarded by seven armed soldiers, as well as a Medic. Grapple to the highest point in the southern area of the tower, then drop each soldier you can using your Silent Takedown, and Feat Multi-Takedown combat attacks. Once everyone is clear, divert your attention to the command console and take it out.

Watchtower 4 Location: Bleake Island – The Cauldron, opposite police station

The fourth Watchtower is protected by seven thugs, two Brutes, and three gun emplacements, and is a bit tricky to takedown. First you’ll want to use the Disruptor to take down the two armed thugs patrolling the area, then use your Remote Hacking Device to sabotage the sentry turret before attacking the rest of the enemies. Just remember to be away from the turret within thirty seconds when the hack wears off. Once the area is clear, take out the command console and move on.

Watchtower 5 Location: Bleake Island – The Cauldron, roof of Sionis Industries

This Watchtower is located on the roof of Sionis Industries, and is protected by five criminals, a Boa Drone Operator, and a Mingunner. We suggest using your Silent Takedowns to pick the enemies off one by one. It is also worth noting that two of the enemies at this Watchtower are immune to your Detective Mode, and thus you’ll need to find them the old fashioned way. Once the place is clear, and the Minigunner is down, take out the command console and call it a day.

Watchtower 6 Location: Miagani Island – Kingston, roof of Penguin’s first Weapons Cache

Located near Mercy Bridge, this Watchtower is protected by eight highly-armed soldiers and a Minigunner. The best thing to do here is deal with the soldier with the Detective mode Jammer, and then take the others out one by one until only the Minigunner is left standing. Now take out the Minigunner and destroy the command console to finish up this Watchtower.

Watchtower 7 Location: Miagani Island – Kingston, roof of Bank of Gotham

This Watchtower is protected by two gun emplacements along the northeastern edge. Eight soldiers, two Combat Experts, a Medic, and a Brute also patrol this area, so be careful. There are also three Weapon Crates that you can sabotage if you need to. Take out the armed soldiers and the medic first, then focus on the others until only the Minigunner is left standing. Now take him out, then destroy the command console using your Explosive Gel.

Watchtower 8 Location: Miagani Island – Kingston, north of Wayne Tower

To find this Watchtower head over to the eastern side of Grand Avenue Station, and keep an eye out for the four gun emplacements scattered around the area. The soldiers here are unarmed, however, there are two sentry turrets guarding them. Take out the turrets first by destroying the console on the eastern tower, and then focus your attention on the enemies. Once everything is clear, take out the command console and move on to the next Watchtower.

Watchtower 9 Location: Miagani Island – Kingston, apartment building east of the hospital

Three gun emplacements, five soldiers, and several Shock Mines protect this next Watchtower from harm. First you’ll want to lure the soldiers away from the gun emplacements so that you can take them down without getting shot a thousand times. Once the soldiers are down, blind the turrets, and destroy the central command console.

Watchtower 10 Location: Miagani Island – Kingston, north of Grand Avenue intersection

Grapple up to the middle of the walkway on the northern side of Grand Avenue’s intersection, and then blind the two gun emplacements here before destroying the command console.

Watchtower 11 Location: Miagani Island – Bristol, roof of hospital

Located on the rooftop of Elliot Memorial Hospital’s western tower, this Watchtower is guarded by several enemies and gun emplacements. Grapple to the very top to find a console that you can destroy the take out two of the gun emplacements, then drop down to the enemies below. Use a Fear Multi-Takedown to even the odds

Watchtower 12 Location: Miagani Island – Bristol, Botanical Gardens

There are two Gun Emplacements placed on each corner of the Botanical Gardens. In order to start the brawl, we suggest taking down the Boa Sentry Operator, then dealing with the other enemies. Once the Watchtower is clear, turn around and take out the command console.

Watchtower 13 Location: Miagani Island – Bristol, east of Salvation Bridge

This next Watchtower is located on the rooftop overlooking Salvation Bridge. Here you’ll find two Gun Emplacements situated along the north and southwestern corners. First use your Remote Hacking Device to blind the turrets, then take down the five soldiers and Brute that are left protecting the Command Console.

Watchtower 14 Location: Founders’ Island – Drescher, next to Perdition Bridge

There are six criminals guarding this Command Console, as well as an automated turret. We suggest taking the turret out first, then dealing with the thugs before you take out the console.

Watchtower 15 Location: Founders’ Island – Drescher, docks north of Penitence Bridge

First examine this Watchtower from a high rooftop to find that it is guarded by seven unarmed soldiers, as well as two Brutes. Drop down into the area and take out the enemies, before dealing with the Command Console.

Watchtower 16 Location: Founders’ Island – Ryker Heights, roof of Cale Anderson building

It’s time for another challenge. This Watchtower is guarded by four Minigunners, two Medics, and two Stealth soldiers. First take down the medics and Stealth soldiers. Once they are clear, it’s time to deal with the big brutes and their miniguns. Take them out using the Counter technique, then deal with the Command Console before leaving the area behind.

Watchtower 17 Location: Founders’ Island – Otisburg, south of Penitence Bridge

Approach this Watchtower from the northern or western side, and take out the turrets protecting the southeaster edge of the area. Once the turret is down it’s time to deal with the six unarmed soldiers, and then take out the Command Console.

Watchtower 18 Location: Founders’ Island – Otisburg, roof of GothCorp

Protected by seven armed soldiers, a Stealth soldier, and a Medic, this tower is a bit dangerous for low level players. In addition to that, there are also several Gun Emplacements on the southern side of the building. Use Silent Takedowns to take out the soldiers, then deal with the Command Console before leaving the area behind.

Watchtower 19 Location: Founders’ Island – Otisburg, east of Port Adams

There are two Gun Emplacements, as well as two armed soldiers and a Boa Sentry Operator. We suggest taking out the Operator first, and then you should be safe to deal with the other two soldiers, and take out the Command Console.

Watchtower 20 Location: Founders’ Island – Ryker Heights, south of Wayne International Plaza

This next Watchtower is protected by seven soldiers and a Brute. We suggest making use of the crane high above the area to examine the Watchtower and find the best route for your skills. Once you’ve learned the enemies’ patrols, drop down into the fray and take them out. Once the area is clear use your Explosive Gel to take out this Command Console.

Watchtower 21 Location: Founders’ Island – Otisburg, abandoned building west of Fire Station

The final Watchtower of the game is protected by several Gun Emplacements on the backside of the Fire Station, as well as three soldiers, two Combat Experts, and three Medics, and a few turrets. First, take out the turret and the Medics, then deal with the rest of the enemies. Once you’ve cleared the area use your Explosive Gel to take out the final Command Console, then apprehend the Militia Leader and take him back to GCPD for lockup and detention.

Shacknews - Ozzie Mejia

Over the years, Team Fortress 2 has gone from a must-play team-based FPS to a PC gaming phenomenon to a solid shooter that's largely taken for granted. That tends to happen after a remarkable run that's almost reached a full decade. So it's easy to look at the recent Gun Mettle update and dismiss it as a token effort to try and keep the game fresh.

But after playing through the update throughout the weekend, Gun Mettle is a refreshing reminder of what makes Team Fortress 2 such an amazing game. It's such a minor addition, but the idea of adding an extra incentive and a goal to aspire towards has made a world of difference. Unfortunately, it's also another reminder of why it can be so easy to toss TF2 to the wayside.

The Gun Mettle Campaign is a $5.99 pass that essentially borrows one of the better ideas of more popular MMORPG games. It introduces daily quests. More often than not, they'll center around three of the game's latest maps, all designed by the TF2 community. For example, there's Payload map Borneo, where points will be awarded based on captures or how many times the cart is defended. There's also Snowplow, which rewards points for capturing objectives. It's a great way to help people re-familiarize themselves with the game and get used to some of the changes many of the weapons have undergone. There have been quite a few.

The incentive of getting new, unique weaponry has been compared by some to a similar idea implemented by Valve's other multiplayer juggernaut, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. With Team Fortress 2, the idea arguably works even better, especially when so much of the game's enjoyment comes from the boisterous characters and their borderline-slapstick behavior. Why not have some cool weapons to show off in-between dancing like a goofball or using some of the new custom taunts?

Getting back into the groove of TF2 was a treat, like revisiting an old friend from college. We stayed up until four in the morning, getting drunk without needing to worry about what was happening the next day. Then there were the moments that reminded me that not all of those times were necessarily good. After completing one of the daily contract, I received a "Conceled Killer Weapons Case," a case that would require a Gun Mettle key to open. This is an item that costs real money. It's an item that costs real money on top of the $5.99 entry fee that I had already paid earlier.

Granted, not all of the contracts pay out boxes that need an extra fee to enjoy the spoils, but the nickel-and-diming of TF2's economy is a stark reminder of why I was going back to the game less and less. While it's admirable that a portion of the money goes to the TF2 map makers, it's disappointing that TF2's economic model hasn't taken any sort of step forward, especially given how many players the game still draws. It has a big enough audience that it should be above this sort of thing.

For those that have been looking for a good reason to check out Team Fortress 2 again, the Gun Mettle update is as good as things will get. Unfortunately, that means seeing Team Fortress 2 again, warts and all. While it's entirely possible to just ignore these extra crates, it still hurts to just have them sit in your inventory, taunting you with a potential special prize inside. It hurts just as much as it did all those years ago.

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