Eurogamer

The latest Xbox One system update - rolling out now to alpha testers - has several handy new features for fans of streaming, shopping and avatars.

For the first time, broadcasting via Mixer will let you toggle on the ability to include "everything" you're doing on your console - including on the dashboard.

Until now, Mixer would pause any time you switched games or brought up the Home screen. There are options to hide your email and notifications for your privacy.

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Realm Royale

The battle royale genre is a cut-throat business, and its latest victim appears to be Hi-Rez Studio's Realm Royale.

The game was released on Steam in early access on 5th June, and despite attention from high-profile streamers such as Ninja it has failed to retain public interest. According to stats on Steamdb (via GitHyp), the game has lost 94 per cent of its player base in only two months. Peaking at 105,440 players on June 10th, the number yesterday slipped to a mere 5561.

Realm Royale began life as a game mode in Hi-Rez's (more successful) hero-shooter Paladins. Realm Royale differs from other battle royales in a few ways: there are five different character classes, there's a crafting system, and players transform into chickens when killed. Yet even this gimmick has failed to prevent players from flying the coop.

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Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six® Siege - Amethyst Weapon Skin

This year's Pride month had a greater presence in gaming than any before it. Several companies adopted pride colours over their well known logos, PlayStation sponsored London Pride and The Last of Us 2's lesbian kiss took centre stage at E3, the world's biggest gaming event. The talk online seemed to be that gaming was now an inclusive space and the conservative elements holding it back had at last been vanquished.

Adopting Pride colours sends a message to the ignorant out there but did this show of support translate into any meaningful action? Not really. PlayStation sponsoring London Pride was the strongest effort made by any large video game company and while public celebrations of queerness are important, paying to essentially have PlayStation branding all over a parade doesn't exactly strike me as real support. "Corporate pride" is a real problem and it goes without saying, big companies and corporations are not your friends.

It was still more than what most companies did. No public donations to LGBT charities, shelters or activist groups. No efforts to help out queer developers, to boost their presence on platforms like Steam. Nothing.

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Eurogamer

Bloober Team, the developer behind the wonderfully surreal haunted house horror Layers of Fear and cyberpunk spook-'em-up Observer, has revealed a new teaser trailer for its latest horror title, Project M li s.

Project M li s was originally unveiled back in March, with an appropriately enigmatic, cinema-themed announcement trailer. It's being published by Gun Media, and is yet another first-person horror experience from Bloober Team - but given that I've absolutely adored the developer's previous dalliances with the genre, you won't hear any complaints from me.

Both Layers of Fear and Observer, while far from perfect, are rich in disorientating dream-like terror and surreal, breathlessly inventive visual set-pieces - and Bloober Team's brief new 35-second snippet of Project M li s suggests that the studio isn't yet out of ideas when it comes to finding visceral new ways to unsettle its audience.

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Gone Home

Gone Home is the latest indie game port due for release on Nintendo Switch, publisher Annapurna Interactive has announced.

The narrative adventure is out soon, too - next Thursday, 23rd August.

First released back in 2013 on PC and later for consoles, Gone Home is a engrossing tale with a spooky house setting. As a 21-year-old freshly returned from a year abroad, you arrive back to find an empty family home. Over the game's handful of hours, you'll slowly discover what's been going on.

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Eurogamer

My cab driver is a fiery, sunburst-haired Celtic fan who has plenty to say about the current state of Scottish football.

As we drive from Glasgow airport to Celtic Park to play PES 2019, the latest version of Konami's long-running football video game series, he mentions a player who arrived to play in the Scottish league thinking the standard would be awful, but told press he was impressed by the level of play and enjoyed the challenge.

All the Scottish transfers last season amounted to as much as Chelsea paid for one player, he adds.

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Eurogamer

The latest Fortnite update has dropped, and this time, it's all about skilful long-distance shooting. Not good news for me, then.

In the notes for update v5.21, Epic finally announced it's added the heavy sniper rifle, which was originally discovered by dataminers on StormshieldOne several weeks ago. The weapon deals a high amount of damage to players - between 150 to 157 points worth, in fact, but the main impact it should make is on buildings, where bullets can deal a huge 1100 points of damage. The only downside is increased reload time, but as highlighted by commenters on Reddit, the heavy sniper rifle only takes one second longer to reload than the bolt-action.

When the heavy sniper was initially leaked, some players expressed concern it was an "anti-building" addition. It will be interesting to see how the update changes the game's current meta, particularly as scoped assault rifles are also being removed, while the minigun is receiving a nerf.

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Eurogamer

Beloved British shooter series TimeSplitters has been bought by Koch Media, and it sounds like something is in the works.

TimeSplitters was created by the Nottingham-based Free Radical Design back in 2000 by many of the team behind the legendary Goldeneye. It spawned two sequels - the best of which was TimeSplitters 2 - but the franchise has now lain dormant for more than a decade.

As Free Radical Design became Crytek UK, and then Deep Silver Dambuster Studios, Crytek has held onto the TimeSplitters license. There were initial efforts to investigate a revival of the brand, but nothing transpired.

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Lovely Planet

Jerks, that's what they are, plain and simple. I'm talking about the cube-shaped villains that populate the vivid world in Lovely Planet, a speed-running game that's haunted me ever since I purchased it in a Humble Bundle over three and a half years ago. Yet for some reason, I decided to buy it again a few months back, this time for the Xbox.

Playing difficult games for the sake of being frustrated is nothing new, even in recent years as we all secretly agree games are much easier than they used to be. For example, something that's always struck me about Dark Souls, apart from the mystifying acclaim lauded on the series, is the enjoyment people share regarding its difficulty. The repetitive "YOU DIED" dissolving onto the screen when you're beaten by an enemy has become a great meme, prompting the kind of feelings you might experience through cold rejections from a potential employer or an unrequited crush.

Lovely Planet is that stuff too. There isn't much of a story to the thing, but it appears that you've missed your trip to the lovely planet and have to get past all of the enemies and obstacles to make the next flight to that wonderful new world spinning in the background. And don't be fooled by the cheery soundtrack. (Personally, I would compare it to the work of Lullatone, a delightful musical duo who are the embodiment of "quirky".) There are many ways to die: you can succumb to the bastard cubes that spit bullets towards you, or a descending apple that forces you to restart the level, or you might simply lose your footing and fall off one of the numerous platforms.

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Eurogamer

Activision has announced that Blackout, Call of Duty Black Ops 4's so far only briefly seen battle royale mode, will begin its private beta testing schedule on September 10th.

The caveat here is that the Blackout beta start date only applies to PlayStation 4 users at present; it looks like interested parties on Xbox One and PC will once again be forced to sit it out until Sony's exclusivity window expires.

News of the Blackout beta, if you're wondering, comes via a brief video on the official Call of Duty Twitter feed (see below), which also teases solo, duos, and quad modes for Black Ops 4's battle royale experience - so nothing particularly revelatory there.

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