Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

Rave in the Redwoods, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare's latest Zombies DLC, has hit the PlayStation 4, with Xbox One and PC versions soon to follow. This latest are features all new weapons, with one of the most coveted being the Vlad Crossbow. This walkthrough will be your guide in Rave in the Redwoods on just how to get the Vlad Crossbow.

Locating the Vlad Crossbow

Finding the Vlad Crossbow is the easiest part of this process. To locate the crossbow, head to the main cabin where you start the level. Inside the cabin, you'll find a gun cabinet that is bound by chains. This cabinet contains the Vlad Crossbow.

Now that you've found the crossbow's location, you just need to figure out how to unlock the chains so you can get your hands on it.

Unlocking the Vlad Crossbow

Opening the cabinet to get ahold of the Vlad Crossbow is a little trickier than finding it. You need first to have access to the boat. Luckily, we have a separate guide that will help take you through the process required to build the boat.

Once the boat has been constructed, you can travel to an island where you'll find a cabin. Inside the cabin, you'll find a character played by Kevin Smith, and inside the bathroom, a bucket full of sausages.

Once you've picked up the sausages, you need to acquire an item that zombies drop. The small pouch will fall at random, but after several minutes of killing zombies, you should have one. Head over to the fireplace near the main spawn point and use the pouch to activate rave mode.

Once you've started rave mode, you'll need to find three deer head trophies scattered throughout the level and throw sausages at them. The first deer trophy is inside the main cabin on the wall. When you throw the sausage at the deer head, it will become possessed and fly off the wall. Destroy it with gunfire and a ritual symbol will appear in its place. Pick up the ritual symbol by pressing Square on the DualShock 4.

To find the next deer head trophy, head to the mess hall. You'll find it near one of the doors. Repeat the same process that you did with the first deer head trophy and activate the ritual symbol.

The third and last deer head trophy is over at Camp Owl. Head to the second windows barrier and look inside the cabin there. Throw the sausage at the deer head trophy and shoot it, then activate the symbol.

You now have all three symbols you need to unlock the gun cabinet in the main cabin. Head back over there and interact with the cabinet and you'll receive the Vlad Crossbow Wonder Weapon.

For more helpful guides, visit the Shacknews guide and walkthrough section for more info on the plethora of titles.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Nintendo has announced that for the first time, it will air an ad during the Super Bowl, to promote its upcoming Nintendo Switch console along with Zelda: Breath of the Wild. 

The 30-second ad will be a shortened version of the video below. It shows off the Nintendo Switch console, and several games including Zelda, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, 1-2-Switch, Arms, and Splatoon 2, all set to a new song by Imagine Dragons called "Believer." 

Super Bowl ads are notoriously coveted, and as a result, expensive. Super Bowl 50 broke records with a base price of $5 million for a 30-second ad spot. Nintendo opting to purchase one of the expensive spots shows its willingness to dip into its coffers to promote the Nintendo Switch, as well as a clear attempt to make sure this console reaches the mainstream audience in a way the Wii U never did.

“The most anticipated video game system and video game of the year will be seen on the biggest stage of the year,” said VP of marketing Nicolas Chavez, in a statement. “Nintendo Switch will change how, when and where people play games. It’s only fitting that we’re changing how, when and where we advertise those games.”

Shacknews - Jason Faulkner

If you own an Oculus Rift, chances are you've played the Bullet Train demo, and afterward, been disappointed there wasn't more. Well, Epic Games is turning the fast-paced, Oculus Touch-centric gameplay of Bullet Train into Robo Recall, a full game that'll contain the same systems that made Bullet Train an Oculus must-play. Epic has released a dev diary that details just how Bullet Train evolved into Robo Recall.

The Robo Recall dev diary describes the challenges of creating quality VR content, and specifically what it's like to work with Unreal Engine 4 in VR development. Shacknews CEO Asif Khan had a chance to play Robo Recall, and from his experience with the title, it's safe to say the game looks like it'll be one of the best experiences available for the Oculus Rift upon its release.

Robo Recall hasn't received a firm release date yet but is slated to launch sometime in early 2017. We'll bring you more on Robo Recall as soon as we get our hands on it! 

Shacknews - Asif Khan

Landfall was one of my favorite seated VR games that I experienced at Oculus Connect 3 in October of last year. It is a top down virtual reality multiplayer game that allows for up to 4 players to go at it online in a futuristic battle featuring mechs (striders), and various weapon types. Now that a multiplayer beta is on the way, I had a chance to try it, and my earlier enjoyment was reinforced. 

Landfall includes several modes of multiplayer gameplay ranging from capturing territories or briefcase to straight up deathmatches. The objective modes give one team with a limited amount of revives (150-250 lives depended on the size of the map) against the defending team with an infinite amount of lives. This creates a unique layer of strategy as you don't really have to worry about your kill death ratio on defense. There are NPCs on both teams and their deaths count as one death for your team, but if you or your teammate dies, it counts as 10 deaths. 

As suspected, it's still incredibly fun. It incorporates mechs in a way that can really change the outcome of a game, and includes a wide range of weapons to choose from. I found myself changing loadouts during a game to find what combo of weapon and strider best fit the map. The game has a great art style that feels like you are playing with futuristic army men on a tabletop. Use of a traditional gamepad does not break the immersion of this game as it is a seated experience and you control your point of view by naturally directing your gaze. It is also really cool how the developers show all four players' virtual heads floating above the level so you can see where your opponent is looking and try to catch them by surprise. 

Landfall is a game that could have existed on a traditional console or PC environment but is enhanced by the immersion and sense of joy created with the power of virtual reality. I described it as a spiritual successor to Smash TV when trying to capture my feeling when playing the game yesterday. Landfall is a fun game that will have you talking smack with your friends the moment you pick up a controller.

Take a look at this gameplay footage that I captured from my experience yesterday.

For more videos, including gameplay and interviews, visit the Shacknews and YouTube channels.

The Landfall Multiplayer Beta begins on Thursday, February 2, 2017 only on Oculus Rift.

Shacknews - Brittany Vincent
Shacknews - David Craddock

Jan Paul van Waveren, known as JMP van Waveren and by his online handle, "MrElusive," passed away earlier today.

id Software co-founder John Carmack announced the passing of his friend on Twitter.

"Jan Paul van Waveren passed away today. The best developer I ever worked with, my right hand, and a good friend. It was an honor," Carmack wrote.

JMP van Waveren left his mark on the DNA of id Software and, in turn, on the games industry. He got his start as the engineer in charge of writing artificial intelligence for the bots in 1999's Quake III: Arena.

Following Quake III and its Team Arena expansion, JMP van Waveren wrote code for Doom 3 and Quake 4 before spearheading development of 2011's Rage as lead programmer. From there he joined the id Software Support Team that contributed to 2014's Wolfenstein: The New Order, in the role of lead graphics programmer.

That same year, van Waveren followed John Carmack from id Software and joined his friend and colleague at Oculus VR, where he worked as a senior engineer.

JMP van Waveren's body of work earned him industry-wide recognition. At the fourth annual NAVGTR Awards, a group of judges comprised of critics and writers awarded him the Outstanding Lighting/Texture Effects for the rendering technology engineered for Doom 3. Doom 3 put him back in the spotlight again when he and the Doom 3 team were nominated for the Game Developers Choice Awards 'Technology' award.

Before working in the games industry, van Waveren cut his teeth on game development by designing maps for a 24-map campaign called The Abyss for Doom II. The campaign is predicated on solving puzzles and navigating mazes.

JMP van Waveren may be gone, but fans of id Software games are familiar with his engineering prowess even if they do not realize it. Known as the Area Awareness System, or AAS, van the AI routines that van Waveren wrote for Quake III are still used for entity pathfinding in contemporary iterations of the company's id Tech game engine.

Sources: John Carmack (Twitter), Mobygames, Doom Wiki, Snapshot courtesy of Mobygames.

Shacknews - David Craddock

As announced last week, videogame documentarian Noclip has released its first Profiles piece centered on id Software co-founder and Doom co-creator John Romero.

Nearly 45 minutes long, the video documents Romero's activities in Ireland and recounts the many contributions he has made during his career in the industry.

Noclip's previous documentaries were grounded in the development of Rocket League and id Software's Doom reboot. Profiles is a miniseries that takes "a closer look at the lives of the people who play and make games," per a description by Noclips founder and games journalist Danny O'Dwyer.

Shacknews - David Craddock

An EA community manager tweeted about Skate 4 last weekend, but CEO Andrew Wilson put rumors concerning a skateboarding sequel during today's earnings report.

Wilson said that EA is "not presently" working on Skate 4, leaving the door open for the franchise to return when consumer demand and development resources align.

Skate has lain fallow since 2010's Skate 3 for Xbox 360 and PS3. Chief competitor Tony Hawk's Pro Skater made a comeback in 2015 with a fifth numbered entry, but the game was panned by critics in fans for rampant glitches and unpolished content.

EA dropped even more information during its earnings call, including huge sales for FIFA 17 and an announcement that BioShock's new game is an action-adventure rather than an RPG, and will release before the end of March 2018.

Shacknews - David Craddock

During its earnings report today, Electronic Arts CEO Andrew Wilson revealed that BioWare is working on an action-adventure game that will launch before the end of the 2018 fiscal year, meaning March 31 of next year.

Although the new game isn't an RPG, Wilson assured fans that they can expect "the great RPG character development and story progression that BioWare is known for."

BioWare vice president Aaron Flynn published a blog to follow up Wilson's tease during the earnings call. "In 2012, we began crafting a new universe full of new characters, stories, and gameplay," he wrote. "Our ambition is simple: Draw upon 20+ years of development knowledge and lessons to create something fun and new for you to enjoy with your friends. There’s nothing quite as exciting as building a new IP from scratch, and it will be even more thrilling for us to share more with you in the future."

Flynn promised more news on BioWare's next game "in the coming months." For now, the team is nose to the grindstone on Mass Effect: Andromeda, which launches on March 21 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC.

Shacknews - David Craddock

Electronic Arts disclosed its earnings report for the quarter ending on December 31, highlighting the success of several games and commenting on sales of digital games.

Executives proclaimed Battlefield 1 "the biggest Battlefield launch" ever with a player base that was 50 percent larger than Battlefield 4's active users during its launch period in 2013.

While EA did not disclose a concrete sales number, research and analytics firm told investors earlier this week that sales of Battlefield 1 hovered around 18 million. Representatives from the firm added that Titanfall 2 could "struggle a bit" to hit six million units sold.

Shooters aside, FIFA 17 stood tall as the best-selling console game in the world. No sales data was provided. The company did say, however, that over 10 million players went through FIFA 17's "The Journey" story mode.

Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes also performed well, with active player engagement time reaching a record high of 155 minutes per day.

In terms of overall performance, EA reported $1.15 billion in revenue for the third quarter, a slight increase from $1.07 billion during the same quarter last year. The company posted a loss of $1 million. On the bright side, that's far better than the $45 million loss it suffered at this time last year.

Executives anticipate net revenue to reach $4.8 billion for the fiscal year when the FY ends on March 31.

EA CEO Andrew Wilson lauded the company's portfolio of games released during the third quarter of the fiscal year, and expressed his enthusiasm for what the company has coming up.

"With the top console games and most-downloaded mobile portfolio in the industry for Q3, Electronic Arts is growing, engaging and exciting a global community of players," Wilson said. "We will continue to push the boundaries of play, with stunning new titles like Mass Effect: Andromeda, global competitive gaming tournaments and more amazing experiences coming in the year ahead."


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