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Posts tagged “Blizzard Entertainment”

Try Overwatch for free, pick it up at a discount during Blizzard’s Black Friday sale

Have you played Overwatch? You haven't? Well, for the next week, you've no excuse not to at least give it a go. Blizzard's Saturday morning shooter is offering a free trial from today 'till next Wednesday, letting you try your hand at Overwatch without spending a penny. With Blizzard's extended Black Friday Sale kicking off today too, it'll be a hell of a lot cheaper…

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Feature: It's french for "skeleton"

Have You Played… Diablo?

So here I am, ctrl-f’ing my way through the 1,200-deep list of games we’ve covered in this column, beginning to feel like this is the real dungeon crawl, when I find the treasure at the bottom of the crypt: nobody’s written about Diablo. Bloody Diablo. As I realise it’s free for me to write about, the memories spring back like a set of enchanted rags,…

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Feature: A wild west of spliced heroes and Mercy death squads

Overwatch’s custom games offer the exciting twists Overwatch 2 won’t

All my years of muscle memory are gone. Overwatch's custom games tab, where hero powers are traded furtively in dingy dens and game balance lies dead in the corner, has stripped them out. With the introduction of Overwatch’s workshop, players are able to make wild game-modes with the official tools, and share them with ease. I've fought an entire enemy team grafted onto Doomfist. I’ve…

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Mercy’s Recall Challenge gives the Overwatch medic a more practical set of scrubs

Resident Overwatch Medic Mercy has always looked a little more superhero than surgeon. That's fair, of course - she spends far more time in warzones than the ward. But I doubt skin-tight latex is the sort of thing you'd wear to fill out perscription slips. This week Blizzard kicked off the Mercy Recall Challenge, letting players earn a more professional skin for Dr Angela Zeigel…

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Hearthstone’s auto-battling Battlegrounds mode is now in open beta

Blizzard have launched Hearthstone's new Battlegrounds mode into open beta for everyone, following a week of early access for the moneybags. Though the name "Battlegrounds" suggests battle royale, this mode is following a newer craze, Auto Chess. Like the Dota 2 mode and those it inspired, players build and upgrade an army of units then send them into battles against a rotating lineup of other…

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Blizzard VP Jeff Kaplan wants Blitzchung’s ban “reduced more or eliminated”

Slowly, but surely, Blizzard have opened up about penalising Hearthstone pro player Ng Wai "Blitzchung" Chung for a pro-Hong Kong protest during October's Grand Championship finals. But after a delivering yet another wholly underwhelming public statement, it's hard to say they've handled the situation well. As it happens, that opinion isn't limited to aggrieved fans. Last Friday, Blizzard vice president Jeff "from the Overwatch team"…

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Blizzard blasted by US congressman for letting racism fester in World of Warcraft

Last week, Blizzard once again returned to Anaheim for Blizzcon 2019. But rather than welcoming Blizzard to his city for their annual convention, Rep. Lou Correa - a Democrat congressman for Anaheim, California - accused them of fostering online radicalisation in World of Warcraft. Less than a month after finding themselves in the US Government's crosshairs for their mishandling of a Hearthstone championship protest, Blizzard's…

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Feature: Two doesn't need to be

Overwatch 2 doesn’t look like a sequel, but a true sequel would be doomed to disappoint

Overwatch creative director Jeff Kaplan says he wants to "redefine what a sequel means", but I'm loath to let him get away with that. When he talks about Overwatch 2's focus on co-operative missions, essentially expanded versions of the first game's underwhelming seasonal PvE events, I just hear a man telling me I should lower my expectations. The more I think about it, though, the…

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Feature: A new way to tell the same story

Overwatch 2 focuses on the story, but doesn’t seem to correct any of its issues

If you’ve played one of Overwatch’s lore PvE events, you probably know what to expect from the bulk of the new stuff that’s unique in Overwatch 2. The mostly-sequel format of its release means that a cleaner UI, new heroes, and a new map type will be added to the first game at the same time that the sequel launches, leaving a new look for…

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Feature: It's always online again

Diablo 4 mixes up the darkness of its dungeons with a varied overworld

Diablo 4 was revealed yesterday in a swirl of blood and grime and men talking about the lure of the darkness both in the trailer and onstage. I chatted with a couple of the developers about the new world they’ve created, the monsters they filled it up with, and their painterly inspirations. And I played a bit. It was surprisingly well lit.

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Hearthstone adding Battlegrounds, an Auto Chess-ish mode

Blizzard announced the next Hearthstone expansion, Descent Of Dragons, today at BlizzCon. It'll add new cards with new abilities - the usual expansion stuff. More curiously, Blizzard also announced Hearthstone: Battlegrounds, a new mode they say is inspired by the Auto Chess. Y'know, the burgeoning genre which began as the Dota 2 mod Dota Auto Chess and has already spawned Valve's Dota Underlords and the…

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Blizzard’s president apologised on stage at BlizzCon for Hearthstone Hong Kong omnishambles

Blizzard could announce Diablo IV, Overwatch 2, a new WoW expansion, and Hearthstone Auto Chess live on stage at BlizzCon--and they did--but none of that would sit right if they didn't address the cloud over this year's fanfest. Their decision to harshly punish a Hearthstone pro player for declaring "Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our age!" in a post-match interview has upset many over the…

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Overwatch 2 announced, adding a hearty kick of PvE

After a run of leaks and rumours, Blizzard today announced Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon. The FPS sequel will feature "a ton" of PvE and story bits, director Jeff Kaplan said in stage at BlizzCon, including "highly replayable" cooperative missions. A new core PvP mode is in too, along with new maps, new characters, and new looks for old characters. It'll feature cross-game multiplayer with the…

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World Of Warcraft: Shadowlands will tear into the afterlife

After a world's been trashed enough, how can you further raise the stakes (and the ruckus)? Mate, stuff it, tear open a route into the afterlife and give the already-dead a kicking. Blizzard today announced Shadowlands, the eighth World Of Warcraft expansion, where Sylvanas Windrunner will do just that. Off we'll go into heck, exploring, murdering, and meeting new people.

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Diablo IV announced, looking awfully bloody

After a number of reported false starts, Blizzard were today finally ready to announce Diablo IV. Oh dear oh dear, someone's only gone and released another ancient evil, so once again it's up to us to click on monsters until their bellies burst with a blast of gold and swords. Lilith, the Daughter of Hatred, is the big nasty this time. She created the world…

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Warcraft III: Reforged’s beta is out this week, leading the charge into BlizzCon

As BlizzCon approaches, like a dark storm cloud full of cosplay, earnest fan questions, and rumour stomping announcements, there’s at least one thing we know that's guaran-damn-teed. Warcraft III: Reforged’s beta will finally be starting this week in the lead-up to the convention, bringing the newly remade RTS to the two thousand and nineteens. Waves of keys will soon be going out very soon to…

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Rumour: Overwatch 2 will have more PvE and be playable at BlizzCon this week

ESPN, "the leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment entity"*, have apparently got their hands on Blizzard's Overwatch 2 notes. They've got a source and a training document that say the game will be revealed at BlizzCon later this week, and will include "PvE features" involving "in-game items" and "hero talents". This gels with a report from 5 months back, plus it's a pretty logical move. Still,…

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Someone built Tetris in Overwatch

In the year of our lord 2019, as games embrace embrace the power of community-driven Workshop content, they are all destined to become Tetris. I pin this on the spirit of Tetris itself, reaching out from the 1980s in an ongoing life or death struggle for cultural relevance. If Tetris was a character in American Gods they'd be smashing it. Someone has used the Overwatch…

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A cheeky hint of Diablo IV ahead of BlizzCon

With BlizzCon less than a fortnight away, the chatterers are chattering: will this be the year Blizzard announce Diablo IV? Last year they announced the mobile spin-off Diablo Immortal at their fanorama and, well, soon insisted they were working on "multiple unannounced Diablo projects" to calm disappointed fans. Will this be the year? Blizzard are wisely keeping schtum, but Diablo IV is mentioned by an…

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US Congress members ‘concerned’ over Blizzard’s Blitzchung ban

Blizzard’s dropped ball over Hearthstone pro Chung “Blitzchung” Ng Wai voicing his support for protesters in Hong Kong continues to roll downhill at alarming speed. Now joining the players, casters, and Blizzard employees making their discontent heard are members of the United States Congress from across the political spectrum. Incredible job, Blizzard.

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