Destiny 2’s First Iron Banner is Up for This Week: Here’s What’s New

Iron Banner is up for this week in Destiny 2, complete with new Banner armor and weapons.

Iron Banner is up for this week in Destiny 2, complete with new Banner armor and weapons.

Destiny 2 just got its first Iron Banner event this week and people have been hitting the playlist to get the sweet new armor and weapons that Lord Saladin can offer. The event runs until next week’s reset, which is October 17, so hit up the rounds as much as you can to get the goodies you can get.

There are a few things to note about Destiny 2’s new Iron Banner. First of all, you need have already beaten the game’s main story and reach level 20. After speaking with Saladin in the Tower, you will gain access to Iron Banner’s own Crucible playlist, which has different Quickplay and matchmaking modes. Iron Banner functions differently as well, with matches being 4v4 instead of the original Destiny’s 6v6 matches. You can also join Iron Banner with a Fireteam or solo up to challenge other players. Furthermore, power levels are not factored into the game. The game will reward you with Iron Banner tokens whether you win or lose, but winning will obviously net you more rewards. Trading these tokens in to Saladin will reward you with Iron Banner Engrams which will drop a variety of Banner exclusive armor, weapons, and shaders, all of which look awesome.

Iron Banner also brings a small, yet funny easter egg honoring a very edgy Overwatch character. If you manage to score 25 kills without dying and get the “We Ran Out of Medals” challenge, Saladin-whose voice actor is the same as Overwatch’s Reaper-will say the following :

DIE, DIE, DIE… (coughs) Sorry. I’ve been watching too many Iron Banner matches. What time is it? Shaxx? Shaxx, are you there? Can you get me a water? Stop yelling, it’s just a question! …

It’s a great shoutout to another great FPS series, which is no surprise since Activision has its hands on both Destiny 2 and Overwatch (both are managed by Activision, with Activision-Blizzard handling Overwatch).

Check out the Iron Banner event this week while it still lasts. Don’t worry though, if you’re still looking for a challenge, the Prestige mode of the Leviathan raid will follow up Iron Banner, so get your Fireteam ready and gear up for a challenging raid run.

Stardew Valley Switch Edition is a Pleasantly Familiar Yet New Experience

Stardew Valley is out now for the Nintendo Switch  and its great.

Stardew Valley is out now for the Nintendo Switch and it feels great on the Switch. 

Stardew Valley was released once more for the Nintendo Switch, complete with a new control scheme. All the content created in game thus far has been ported over to the Switch’s current build and it is loads of fun. I already have my first playthrough of the game on  PC, but starting over anew felt good, mainly because I knew what I was doing this time around. Stardew Valley is an extremely relaxing game, but can be a brutal micromanagement simulator if you are into that kind of stuff. The Switch version of the game retains the fun of the game on PC but adds more control over…well the controls of the game.

Not much of the game has changed from the PC version with the exception of the controller mapping for the Switch version, and it is an extremely comfortable experience. In my few hours of playing it, I’ve played it in both mobile mode and console mode and both experiences feel completely fresh. The main reason I feel like I’m not just replaying the same content over again is because the control mapping on Stardew Valley feels like the game should have been a console game first. The movement through the movement sticks feels crisp and actions are a lot more reliable. I don’t feel like I’m going to accidentally hit my axe when trying to open chests and interact with things. The game also feels slightly more fast paced, as interactions don’t require I use a mouse anymore to hover and click over the items and people I want to talk to. Things such as the fishing mini games also feel way easier to handle now that it is all managed through the use of the Y button on the controller rather than the awkwardly designed controls for PC.

In terms of gameplay and content, Stardew Valley remains relatively the same. I played the game before the implementation of different farm types, so trying those features out on the Switch did give that unique, new feel to the game. The main thing, however, was that the experience felt new and enjoyable because I knew what to expect next and new what I needed to do in order to efficiently make the most of each season. That is not to say that everyone should go online and find optimal guides to play the game; Stardew Valley  is an experience based on what you, the player, want to experience. When I first started playing the game, I had never tried playing a farming game before. What made Stardew Valley special then and now is that the game runs at your pace, not the other way around. Sure, there is a lot in terms of managing your time and resources efficiently, but there is no penalization for not optimizing your time. There is no “end” to the game, as it continues forever. Sure, you may eventually finish all your buildings, dungeon crawling, and romancing, but there’s always something new to try in the game. The game does a great job at not only implementing the farming mechanics it has, but it also did fantastic at adding a simple, yet fun, dungeon crawling mechanic. Although the leveling is rudimentary and the variety of armor and weapons is not as diverse are more dedicated crawlers, Stardew Valley adds a perfect balance of two different worlds for all to enjoy. Finally, the relationships that you can create in Stardew Valley are definitely memorable and surprisingly real at times. You can interact with virtually everyone in the town and learn more about their personality, histories, and just general life. There will be funny moments, sad moments, and heartwarming moments, but all feel as if you were interacting with real people.

The best thing of all is that Stardew Valley is only 15$ on the Nintendo eShop! If you want to enjoy a relaxing farming experience with a hint of combat, check out Stardew Valley!

Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon Expansion is Out This Week, Here’s What You Should Know

Warframe's Plains of Eidolon expansion comes out this week with a ton of new features and content.

Warframe’s Plains of Eidolon expansion comes out this week with a ton of new features and content.

In case you haven’t heard, Warframe will finally be releasing its highly anticipated Plains of Eidolon expansion this week, much to the surprise of many fans. Although no concrete date has been announce, Plains of Eidolon is expected to release sometime towards the end of the week. PC players will be the first to be graced with this massive new content drop, with consoles receiving it sometime in November.

So, what is Plains of Eidolon? This new expansion is essentially a major overhaul to the game’s core mechanics, adding a massive 5 square kilometer land for your Tenno and Warframes to explore. A new story line will be implemented to cover the relevance of Plains of Eidolon with the Tenno and a new weapon crafting system will be implemented. Unlike your usual weapon craft, the Plains crafting system will allow you to make unique looking melee weapons, complete with varying stats and properties, based off of whatever parts you use to create it. There will also be a day/night system, with 100 minutes of sunlight and 50 minutes of night. This mechanic is used to compliment the addition of the massive Eidolons, sentient machines that roam the plains  during nightfall. You will also be able to travel both on foot and in air, making your traveling very efficient and convenient for mission running and/or exploration. Although you are using your Archwing to travese by sky, you are only explicitly using its flight mechanism, Archwing weapons will not be accessible during flight.

New fishing and mining mechanics have also been added to Plains of Eidolon as well. Crafting a spear will allow you to fish and return your bounty to traders in the hub city of Cetus to create consumables to assist you during your exploration. Mining will give you rare gems that can be crafted into powerful accessories and weapons, with rarer gems found in hidden caverns. Cetus will host an array of different vendors who will sell a variety of different items for you. Cetus will have a bounty system, as well as stores that can allow you to forge your own unique weapon, refineries for gems, and traders who can sell you items to customize your companions and Orbiter. There are even vendors who sell paper mache Warframe masks for your Operator.

In Cetus, you can craft your custom weapon at Hok’s Anvil  via component based crafting. The weapon, the Zaw, is a modular weapon that uses interchangeable parts that chances the weapons appearance, function, stance, and stats. The three parts -the strike, grip, and link – are all obtained via crafting blueprints you purchase from Hok.  You can name your weapon and improve it with an item called Gilding as well, although were not sure what Gilding does exactly.

Digital Extremes is also dropping the Focus 2.0 overhaul, which changes the Operator skill tree to be more combat focused to accommodate for the changes made to your Operator. In Plains of Eidolon, your Operator will now have a more direct influence in gameplay, allowing you to equip them with armor and weapons to help them survive the Plains. According to DE, your Focus points will be refunded to you immediately at launch so that you can respec for the incoming content.

Finally the new glass Warframe Gara will be making their way to Plains, along with glass themed weapons to use. There are also new mod cards that can be equipped in sets to give the user a set bonus, which adds more abilities and buffs on top of what the mod cards provide individually. This is a pretty interesting addition to mod card use, as most cards unofficially worked in tandem with each other, but now you will have mods that will provide you with neat bonuses to improve your warframe and weapon performance. In more technical aspects, fall-off damage has been added to reduce effectiveness of weapons past 300m and the Gear Wheel gets minor updates to accommodate 12 items on it.

Are you hyped for this new content? Keep an eye out for more news about Plains of Eidolon, as we will review all the changes in depth when the content drops. DE has also partnered with Twitch once more to promote Twitch Prime, Twitch’s partnership with Amazon and their Prime membership. If you have a Prime membership, you can instantly unlock Soma Prime and Scindo Prime, high end weapons within the game. Also, if you haven’t done so already, check out Warframe on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, available for free.

OverWatch’s Halloween Terror is Back This Year

Overwatch's halloween is back with new seasonal loot!

Overwatch’s halloween is back with new seasonal loot!

Couldn’t get the awesome halloween skins for your favorite heroes last year? Well, you’re in luck, because Overwatch brought back their Halloween Terror event once more, bringing back last year’s skins while bringing in some new stuff!

First off, Junkenstein’s Revenge is back again with more PvE goodness. Team up with 3 other people to fight off hoardes of enemies to complete your objective in the Spooky Eichenwalde map. In addition to the event, Junkenstein’s Revenge: Endless Night is added to the Arcade, which is the main PvE event in endless mode, complete with a leaderboard to show off your survivability!

Spooky Eichenwalde and Spooky Hollywood are now added to the map rotations across all games, so you can enjoy the Halloween spookiness as you play. 50 new seasonal items have also been added to the loot table for this event, including all new legendary skins for Reaper, McCree, Zarya, and others, which you can see below:

Vampire Reaper Legendary Skin

Vampire Reaper Legendary Skin

Van Helsing McCree Legendary Skin

Van Helsing McCree Legendary Skin

Totally 80's Zarya Legendary Skin

Totally 80’s Zarya Legendary Skin

Check out Overwatch’s Halloween Terror 2017, going on now from October 10-November 1 and hope to RNG you can get your favorite skins and emotes!

A Car Noob’s First Impressions of Gran Turismo: Sport

Grand Turismo Sport comes out next week, but you can try the beta this week!

Grand Turismo Sport comes out next week, but you can try the beta this week!

Grand Turismo: Sport  comes out next Tuesday, but the beta is available for this week for all to try. I haven’t played a Gran Turismo game since the PS2 days, so it was a bit intimidating to see what the iconic driving simulation game had to offer. The hefty 43 gig beta is surprisingly robust however, with a plethora of things to try out before the main game is released. The beta also featured a VR mode preview, but we have yet to experience that feature yet.

The first thing we tried out for the beta was the game’s “Driving School”, which teaches players techniques vital to playing the other modes of the game. It felt like I was actually in a driving school, sans the parts where I had to break my own records for making turns down tracks and such. In the full game, completing the Driving School will also you to compete in competitions held. The reason there is a wall for competing is due to the fact that GT Sport wants the player to race competitively but fairly, so the Driving School courses help develop the techniques you need to know to race efficiently without crashing into other people senselessly.

We then tried out the two stages that the beta offered, with each stage giving you a free car. The missions each stage provided became increasingly difficult, but fortunately there were videos on screen to teach us how to properly complete the mission with a gold rating. Very much like Driving School, these missions also teach certain techniques that can help during races, but these missions aren’t mandatory for a “license”.

One of the cool-and rare- things that the GT Sport beta does is allow you to save your progress for the final release. This means, all vehicles, cosmetics, and currency you build up during  your play through of the beta will carry over to the main game, should you decide to purchase it.  Not only are the content you unlocked carried over to the final release, but all the missions and Driving School courses you complete carry over as well!

It definitely takes getting used the controls in GT Sport, especially if you have never played racing/driving simulation games before. The vehicle controlling is very much unlike what you would be used to in a typical action game with vehicles; the cars in GT Sport, as expected, move very realistically. This essentially means that you will have to employ actual techniques used in real track/rally racing to stand a chance against the AI or your fellow competitors in online races. Another thing you may want to consider is investing in some kind of steering wheel peripheral for the game, as the controls on controller feel restricted.

I was also pleasantly surprised at how in depth the customization in GT Sport is. First off, you have full access to how your car will look, complete with different parts from different, real world manufacturers. You can also tune your car to improve performance and there’s also an option to customize your driver, although the options there are restricted to how your driver’s helmet and suit will look.

Although Gran Turismo Sport  seems to be a call back for the dedicated GT community, it does squeeze just enough room in for newbies like myself to experience it. There is a lot to learn in terms of the technical aspects of playing the game, but I do admire the amount of history that is put into this game, both figuratively and literally (there’s a museum mode of sorts that gives you historical information on different car brands and such). I also appreciate that many of the things in GT Sports actually involve real world concepts in actual racing and cars, so I feel like I am learning as I play.  Gran Turismo Sport is out next Tuesday on PlayStation 4 and the beta is up for a few more days if you want to check it out yourself!

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