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A month after Red Dead Redemption 2 first released, its online multiplayer portion is now in beta. Red Dead Online borrows from both GTA Online as well as the multiplayer portions of the original Red Dead Redemption and incorporates RDR 2's massive open world, with all its fine details and mechanics. But Red Dead Online lacks what made that vast, slow, meticulous world work, and as a result it leaves the weakest parts of it painfully exposed.

Red Dead Redemption 2--the single-player experience--is not concerned with your priorities. There are plenty of side distractions, and a few details will change here and there depending on your honor, but there are some missions you just can't roleplay--you're locked into one playstyle or one outcome. That can be frustrating in the moment, but it's also a brilliant narrative device, one that gives you deeper insight into Arthur and his own struggle between what he wants to be and what he is. The fight against the game's guiding hand is what gives the story its impact; you have to be a little tired of Red Dead Redemption 2 to fully appreciate what it's trying to do narratively.

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All that is to say Red Dead Redemption 2 is not what I'd call "fun." In single-player, that's a good thing. But in Red Dead Online, the things that don't always feel good to play--the need to eat and sleep, the limited fast travel options, the often clumsy gunplay--have nothing to anchor them. There's a small amount of story content at the moment, but nothing so engaging and personal as to give you a purpose in this world. The purpose, it seems, is either to kill or be killed, and frequently, though there doesn't seem to be much of a reason to kill another player except to create chaos.

Currently, it's difficult to achieve anything or get anywhere without being killed, disconnected from the server, or both. But even when you do get to play the game, it feels dated. Your character is understandably silent, and NPCs even acknowledge it, commenting often on your reticence. But the disconnect between your character and the rest of the world is pronounced. A solo mission given by Red Dead Redemption's Bonnie MacFarlane, for example, involves a brief cutscene to give context, and then you're tasked with the chore of locating and returning a cart of hers. When you return with the cart, there's nothing--no cutscene, no acknowledgment from Bonnie at all. Just a pop-up with your slim reward.

Competitive multiplayer fares a little better. The snappy auto-aim is useful and gives some modes a looser, more fun feel, despite the clumsy gunplay, and getting headshots still takes skill. But movement is also clumsy, and it drags down the head-to-head modes. Accidentally ambling over rocks or struggling to mantle over a wall during a gunfight grinds everything to a halt, and the frustration is hard to shake.

Red Dead Redemption 2 as a whole is a lonely game filled with things to do. In single-player, riding alone through the plains and looking up at an enormous, open sky is powerful. In Red Dead Online, your emotional connection to the world and its inhabitants is missing entirely. There's also a lack of content in general--you can wrap up the story missions in a number of hours, and after that, you're left mainly to scrounge for money and wander aimlessly. In its current form, there's nothing about Red Dead Online that makes me want to keep playing. It just makes me want to go back to Arthur's story.

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As much as I like Red Dead Redemption 2, I would be more compelled to play Red Dead Online if it shedded the single-player's more belabored mechanics and opted for a faster, looser approach to the Wild West. The multiplayer experience would be better as a Western playground in earnest, rather than the blend of slow, solitary activities with potentially fun multiplayer chaos that it currently is. If GTA Online is any indication, there's a lot of potential for Rockstar to iterate upon and expand Red Dead Online, both in the amount of content available and the nature of that content. But for now, I'll stick with Arthur and the gang.


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A new seasonal event has begun in Monster Hunter World. The Winter Star Fest is now underway on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, bringing an assortment of new and returning Event Quests, as well as new winter-themed armor and other content, to the game for a limited time.

During the event, the Gathering Hub is decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and other wintry decorations. You'll receive two Lucky Vouchers as part of your daily login bonus rather than the usual one. Capcom is also giving players one free Winter Star Ticket.

Winter Star Tickets can also be earned by completing daily limited bounties; if you collect enough of them, you'll be able to forge the new Santa-themed Orion α and Orion armor, pictured below. You'll also be able to exchange the Winter Star Tickets for a snowman armor set for your Palico, and a new Event Quest--Timberland Troublemakers--will reward you with Bristly Crake Tickets which can be used to make the ridiculous-looking Bristly Pincushion hammer.

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On top of that, Capcom says "almost all" previous Event Quests, including those that were exclusive to the Summer Twilight Fest event, will return, giving you another chance to craft the Wiggler helm and other items. You can find the full event schedule on the official Monster Hunter World website.

Finally, all facilities will hold sales on in-game items throughout the Winter Star Fest, and a new seasonal platter is available in the Gathering Hub. Capcom has also added new winter coats for both the Handler and your Poogie. The Winter Star Fest is scheduled to run through December 17.


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After many rumors and teases, Niantic finally announced that PvP Trainer Battles are on the way to Pokemon Go. The developer hasn't confirmed when the highly requested feature will go live, but it did share some more details about how it'll work via Twitter.

While it's still unclear how Trainer Battles are initiated, Niantic revealed that there will be three separate Trainer Battle Leagues: Great, Ultra, and Master. Each League features a different Combat Power limit for your Pokemon: in the Great League, each monster can have a maximum of 1,500 CP; Ultra League's limited is 2,500 CP per Pokemon; and Master League features no CP restriction.

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"When designing Trainer Battles, we wanted to create an experience that everyone can enjoy and ensure that different kinds of Pokémon can show their strengths," Niantic wrote. "With Leagues in Trainer Battles, we hope to create a system that’s accessible to many Trainers."

Beyond that, there is still much we don't know about how PvP matches will operate. While the first teaser screenshot that Niantic shared looks similar to Trainer Battles from the core Pokemon games, it's still unclear whether Go's Trainer Battles will use the same combat system as Gym and Raid Battles--which ultimately boil down to tapping the screen quickly--or something closer to the main series.

We won't have to wait much longer to learn more. Niantic says Trainer Battles will roll out for Pokemon Go "soon" and that additional details are on the way. In the meantime, Pokemon Go's latest Community Day is underway. This one runs through the entire weekend and brings back all of the featured Pokemon and special moves from previous Community Days. Niantic is also bringing back six Legendaries for December's Field Research tasks.


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Rumors have circulated for some time that Rocksteady Games, the developer of the core Batman Arkham series, was at work on a new Superman game. With The Game Awards coming up next week and promising 10 new game announcements, there had been some speculation that such a project could be announced during the show. In fact, Rocksteady won't announce a new game at the show, nor is its in-development project a Superman game, according to the studio.

Rocksteady game director Sefton Hill tempered expectations on Twitter, stating, "Looking forward to #TheGameAwards this year! We're still hard at work in our development bunker so don't expect an announcement from @Rocksteadygames. When it's ready to show, you'll be the first to know. Spoiler: it's not Superman."

That doesn't necessarily rule out Superman being present in the studio's next game--some have their fingers crossed for a wide-ranging Justice League game--but it seems clear that it won't be a dedicated Superman game. He could of course be trying to throw fans off the scent, but that doesn't appear to be the case.

Rocksteady job listings from earlier this year revealed the studio is working on what it's deemed a triple-A game, as you'd expect. But what was more notable was the mention of it coming to "next generation platforms," which would suggest it's potentially years away from release.

While Rocksteady is known for its partnership with DC, rival Marvel has a new Avengers game coming from Crystal Dynamics and Eidos Montreal. Avengers 4 directors Joe and Anthony Russo were recently confirmed to be coming to The Game Awards, and while they're officially only there in the capacity of presenters, it still has fans hoping for some kind of news regarding the as-yet untitled Avengers project or the impending Avengers 4 trailer.


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It's been an exciting week for Destiny 2 players, as not only did it mark the start of Season 5 with a new update, but we learned about much of the content coming in Black Armory and in the coming months. The weekend has now arrived, which means a new visit from the mysterious merchant Xur. He has an array of Exotic items for sale, as you can see in the video above; here's what he has and where to find him.

Finding Xur is no different in the new season than it has been over the past 15 months. This week, Xur is located on Nessus. Head to the Watcher's Grave landing zone, hop on your Sparrow, and head straight and to the left. You'll quickly see a giant tree; make your way to the base and climb the branch outward to find Xur.

Bungie has revealed new Exotics coming to the game, so does that mean Xur's wares are more exciting than usual? If you're asking that question, you probably already know the answer--nope. It's another slate of Year One Exotics, with one weapon and one piece of armor each for Titans, Warlocks, and Hunters.

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The weapon is Riskrunner, the fun submachine gun that causes chain lightning to damage enemies. Hunters get the gauntlets Young Ahamkara's Spine (giving you enhanced tripmines when causing ability damage). Warlocks get the Karnstein Armlets gauntlets (melee kills restore health). And Titans get the Armamentarium chest armor (providing an extra grenade charge). Yes, this means both Warlocks and Titans actually have the same items for sale as last week, though Year Two versions of armor do at least have the chance to sport different perks.

  • Riskrunner (Exotic submachine gun) -- 29 Legendary Shards
  • Young Ahamkara's Spine (Exotic Hunter gauntlets) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Karnstein Armlets (Exotic Warlock gauntlets) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Armamentarium (Exotic Titan chest armor) -- 23 Legendary Shards

Xur also has the Fated Engram for sale, which is expensive but guarantees to decrypt into a Year One Exotic you don't already own.

You have until the weekly reset on Tuesday, December 4 to visit Xur. That day is a big one for the game, as it marks the release of The Black Armory, the first of three expansions releasing as part of the Annual Pass. It introduces the aforementioned new Exotics, a new Raid, and other new content, but it doesn't feature a new campaign. It does, however, increase the Power level cap to 650 (up from the current 600 max).


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It's hardly a week old, but EA's latest shooter, Battlefield V, is already on sale for $40 at Walmart and Best Buy right now. This sale price applies to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC versions of the game. The deal won't likely last long, so if you've been considering picking up this WWII shooter, you'll want to jump on this deal fast.

That's not the only Battlefield V deal going on right now, either. Best Buy also has the deluxe edition on sale for $72 (normally $80) on PS4 and Xbox One. That isn't as big of a discount as the standard edition, but the deluxe edition comes with 20 weekly airlift items, special assignment missions, and five sets of paratrooper outfits. And if you buy the game on any platform from Best Buy, it comes with a free steelbook case.

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Battlefield V is an online shooter that will be changing and expanding in the months to come. It already has a single-player campaign called War Stories and a number of multiplayer modes. Between now and March 2019, Electronic Arts will be releasing a slew of free content, including new modes, maps, a new Grand Operations mission, and a battle royale mode called Firestorm.

In our Battlefield V review, Michael Higham scored the game 8/10, writing, "The Battlefield series has a winning formula that Battlefield V doesn't deviate far from, at least for now. Conquest and the map roster don't mesh well together, however, Grand Operations--and the other modes within it--steal the show and foster some of the greatest moments the franchise has offered. You might be surprised by the impact of the slight changes made for this entry, especially when you're deep into pushing or defending objectives in Frontlines alongside teammates fulfilling their roles. That's when Battlefield V is at its best."

PS4

Standard Edition

Deluxe Edition

Xbox One

Standard Edition

Deluxe Edition

PC

Standard Edition


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Once again on Xbox Live, this week you can find discounts on digital Xbox One and Xbox 360 games across a number of genres. To get some of the deals, you'll need an Xbox Live Gold subscription, while others are available to everyone. In either case, all of these discounts end on December 3. Let's dive in and see what's available.

If you got used to last week's long lists of game deals, this week's meager offerings might come with a harsh dose of reality. Not many games are on sale this week, but even so, you might find something worth buying. For instance, if you missed (or have nostalgia for) the BioShock series, you can grab BioShock: The Collection for just $15 / £11.25 this week. If you're in a similar boat with Rockstar's LA Noire, you can scoop up the Xbox One version for $20 / £17.50.

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More recent releases that may be of interest include the gothic action-RPG Vampyr for $30 / £25 or the sci-fi action-RPG Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr for $48 / £42.39. And if you're looking for lighter fare, you can pick up Coffin Dodgers for $4.80 / £3.84 or Bridge Constructor Portal for $10 / £8.

You can find more games on sale this week below, including some on Xbox 360, or you can check out the full list on Major Nelson's blog.

Xbox One

Xbox 360


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Anyone with an active PlayStation Plus subscription who hasn't yet downloaded November's free games is running out of time to get them. All six games for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita will go back to regular price on Tuesday, December 4, when December's PS Plus games go free.

On PS4, you can grab Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, a remaster of the PS3-ear shooter from Epic Games. It's an over-the-top action game that incorporates a deceptively clever skillshot system. In our Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition review, Scott Butterworth wrote, "the experience absolutely holds up: the skillshot system remains wildly fun and inventive, the weapons are still a gruesome joy, and the writing... well, it's as distinctive as ever."

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The other PS4 game is Yakuza Kiwami, a remake of the first game in a series that's been making waves lately with Western audiences. It tells an intriguing story about Japanese gangsters, while also offering a buffet of side missions that range from delightful to absurd. Read our Yakuza Kiwami review for more information.

The PS3 games on offer in November are the multiplayer game Jackbox Party Pack 2 and the retro arcade-style collection Arkedo Series. And finally, PS Vita owners can pick up the adventure game Burly Men at Sea and a game styled after a B-movie from the '70s called Roundabout. Both Vita games are playable on PS4.

Come December 4, these games will go back to regular price and be replace by December's PS Plus games: Soma and Onrush for PS4, Steredenn and SteinsGate for PS, and Paper's Please and Iconoclasts for PS Vita.

Free PS Plus Games For November 2018

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PS3

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Week 10 challenges for Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 6--now in its final week--have been revealed, and while they're all pretty straightforward, one will require you to have good knowledge of the island. For Week 10's free challenges, developer Epic Games wants players to visit a Viking ship, a camel, and a crashed Battle Bus. In return, they'll be awarded with five precious Battle Stars that can be put towards leveling up their Battle Pass and unlocking cosmetics. Here's where to find all three locations.

If you've played a lot of Fortnite, you should have a pretty good idea of where to find these landmarks on the island. However, if you need a helping hand, we're here to provide it. The Viking ship can be found on the southwest of the map at coordinates B6. It's huge, so if you glide over there you will not miss it. The camel, meanwhile, is near Lucky Landing at the coordinates G9. Again, another one that you can't miss. The Battle Bus is slightly trickier as it has moved recently. While it used to be around Shifty Shafts, it's now at the map grid E3, which is to the west of Lazy Links.

All you've got to do to finish the challenge is head to those locations. However, make sure you finish the game--win or lose--as if you quit out immediately it will not count. To make things a little easier we've put together a video of ourselves completing the challenge, which you can watch above. Below you'll find the exact locations of the three landmarks.

Fortnite Viking Ship, Camel, Crashed Battle Bus Locations

  • Viking Ship: Southwest at B6, on top of the snowy mountain
  • Camel: Northeast at G9, near Lucky Landing
  • Crashed Battle Bus: West of Lazy Links at E3

That's just one of the challenges for Season 6, Week 10, alongside vehicle timed trials and other things. As previously noted, this is the final week of challenges for the season, which means it's also the last week you can unlock the cosmetics tied to the Battle Pass for this season. Once it's over, there's no telling when they'll be available again, so it's worth spending some time finishing challenges from this week, and previous ones, so you can get everything you want.

It might seem daunting, but we've been putting together guides for all the hardest challenges week by week. If you use our Fortnite Season 6 complete challenge guide, you'll get everything done in no time. You'll want to act fast, as Fortnite Season 7 is just around the corner.


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It's now Week 10, the last week of Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 6. What Epic Games has in store for the wildly popular battle royale title in Season 7--which could start as soon as next week--remains a mystery, but what we do know is that time is running out to get this season's Battle Stars, level up your Battle Pass, and unlock the cosmetic items attached to it. Once the season is over, it could be a long time before any of those items return, so if you've had your eye on a skin, bling, or harvester, it's now or never. Here's what to expect from Week 10 challenges.

Week 10's challenges are now available and, as always, come in two categories: free to everyone and exclusive to paid Battle Pass owners. In the free section, players will need to build 250 structures in exchange for five Battle Stars. Visiting a ship, a camel, and a crashed Battle Bus will also net you five Battle Stars (check out our guide for exact locations), while searching seven chests at either Tilted Towers or Paradise Palms will get you 10 Battle Stars.

In the paid Battle Pass section, meanwhile, you'll need to place Mounted Turrets in three different matches for five Battle Stars and complete three vehicle timed trials for 10 Battle Stars. This tier also has two multi-stage challenges. The first starts by landing at Lazy Links, while the second begins by getting a shotgun elimination. As you complete those, additional stages will reveal themselves. Take a look at the full list of challenges below.

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Fortnite Season 6, Week 10 Challenges

Free

  • Build structures (250) -- 5 Battle Star
  • Visit a Viking ship, a camel, and a crashed Battle Bus (3) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Search chests at Tilted Towers or Paradise Palms (7) -- 10 Battle Stars

Battle Pass

  • Place Mounted Turrets in different matches (3) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Stage 1: Land at Lazy Links (1) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Complete vehicle timed trials (3) -- 10 Battle Stars
  • Stage 1: Shotgun eliminations (1) -- 10 Battle Stars

Epic has launched Fortnite update 6.31 and, as part of it, a new feature that allows players to gift items to others. According to the studio this feature isn't going to be around for long, but it's described as an "initial gifting period," suggesting it could return in the future. The item shop currently allows players to buy cosmetics as a gift and then select someone on their friends list to send the item to.

In order to make use of the gifting feature, you'll need to have multi-factor authentication enabled, and you'll need to have been friends with a person for at least 48 hours before a gift can be sent to them. Gifts are limited to three in a 24-hour period and Epic will not refund any gift purchases. Fortnite's 6.31 update also added new shotgun variants and a fresh limited-time mode, among other things. You can get all the details in the full patch notes here.


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There's never been a better time to be a Nintendo Switch owner, because not only is the console a gateway to a library of excellent first-party titles, but the list of killer indies on the Eshop grows by the week. Better yet, those games tend to go on sale often. This week's Nintendo Switch Eshop sale features a fantastic selection of mostly indie games for cheap. Let's take a look.

At $20, the beloved--and exceedingly dark--roguelike game The Binding of Isaac: Afterbirth+ is half off this week. In it, you play as a boy whose mom goes nuts, so he retreats to the cellar, which is filled with monsters he has to fight using his tears. Yeah, it's grim.

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The Metroid-style game Cave Story+ is on sale for $15. If you think you have the reflexes to handle a bullet-hell shooter, Ikaruga is always a good choice, especially on sale for $10. For a game in the vein of The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, you can pick up Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas, also $10.

Velocity 2X is an excellent sci-fi game that's all about speed and collectibles; it's on sale for $16. And the gravity-manipulating game VVVVVV might not look like much thanks to its Atari-era graphics, but it's a lot of fun to play if you're into tricky precision platforming.

A number of other Switch, Nintendo 3DS, and Wii U games are on sale on the Eshop this week as well. You can find the full list here.


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One of the best additions in Destiny 2's Forsaken DLC is Gambit, a new mode that blends PvP and PvE. Two teams of four are separated into their own arenas to fight AI-controlled enemies, but periodically one person can invade the other side, killing enemy players. If you've played Gambit for any length of time, you've undoubtedly seen the weapon of choice for a huge portion of invaders: Sleeper Simulant. It's used so often not just because it's fun to use, but because it's incredibly effective--and Bungie is finally ready to do something about its popularity.

The Exotic linear fusion rifle, which was introduced in the Curse of Osiris DLC, has long been an excellent weapon. It's effective in both PvE and PvP, but whereas a few deaths to it can be brushed off in Crucible, its use in Gambit can be devastating. It features a perk that allows it to overpenetrate enemies and refract off hard surfaces, but a single hit with it, even at long ranges, is enough to wipe out a target. Carrying a few rounds of ammo and timing your invasion well can mean wiping out an entire enemy team, causing them to lose a great deal of progress.

Your feelings about Sleeper Simulant may depend on whether or not you have access to one. Whatever the case, there has been no shortage of complaints about the weapon dating back to the Gambit trial that took place just before Forsaken's release. Bungie has now finally spoken up about it, indicating some kind of change or nerf is on the way.

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"We're aware of reports that Sleeper Simulant feels too strong in Gambit," Bungie said on Twitter. "The Sandbox team is looking at potential changes to address this. Our goal is to retain the strength of the weapon, but tune it so it doesn't feel to be the only viable power weapon in Gambit. Stay tuned."

This was followed up by another tweet from design lead Josh Hamrick: "Sandbox has been operating with the goal of not employing nerfs when there are other methods of tweaking the game so that there isn't just 1 correct choice. That said, nerfs will still be needed from time to time. We promise to be judicious when & where we choose to employ them."

At this point, we have no idea how the gun will be changed or how other linear fusion rifles won't step right up in its place if it's nerfed. In the meantime, a new Destiny 2 update is out now that addresses some other bugs and complaints, including the relocation of Petra to a much more convenient location in the Dreaming City. Iron Banner is also now live--don't be surprised to see Sleeper Simulant show up prominently there, too.


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I lay restlessly in bed a few nights ago thinking about something I presume many people who have just turned 30 think about: Pokemon cards. I wasn't counting Mareep to lull myself into a slumber, nor was I dreaming of sliding down the freakishly long neck of an Alolan Exeggutor (not tonight, at least). No, I was thinking about how bloody expensive the Pokemon Trading Card Game is, and this made me unreasonably upset at roughly 1 in the morning.

For a lot of people, the Pokemon Trading Card Game is something they remember fondly from school. Opening booster packs of 10 randomised cards, comparing shinies with mates, and making ill-advised trading decisions based on the playground economics of each card's perceived worth. But for many, including myself, it's so much more than that. It's one of the best online and offline card games on the market, with the added bonus of fuzzy nostalgia in pocket-sized monster form.

A few years ago I got back into Pokemon cards. It was oddly fulfilling about being able to spend adult money on something I could rarely afford as a scruffy 11-year-old in secondary school. I quickly started playing and competing, thanks to the support of my local Pokemon League and the friendly bunch of players who turned up each Saturday morning. Building decks and taking my best Pokemon cards into an intense one-on-one battle was far more exciting than anything I had experienced in the video games. I was hooked.

Something you learn about very quickly in the world of Pokemon cards is the meta. Certain decks of 60 cards are just better than others, so if you want to be competitive you need to have one of those decks. It seems simple, but herein lies the inherent problem with The Pokemon Trading Card Game: the best decks have the best cards, and the best cards are often rare (or even ultra rare), which makes pulling them randomly from booster packs extremely unlikely and uneconomical. So unless you're funded by Team Rocket or you can convince someone to trade their very good cards for your not-so-good ones, the next logical step is to find someone selling the cards you need on eBay or through a collectible card seller online. But of course the rare, powerful cards are in high demand and have a premium price tag attached to them.

What I'm describing will of course sound familiar to anyone who has played any trading or collectible card game. To a certain extent it's just the nature of the beast, but other card games offer alternatives to you hemorrhaging cash just to keep up with the meta. Magic the Gathering, for example, widely supports multiple formats for veterans and newcomers on any budget, with limited formats like Draft and Sealed levelling the playing field, and a much larger player base to support this. Hearthstone, the popular online collectible card game from Blizzard, lets you break down unwanted cards so you can craft those you need. Pokemon, on the other hand, is effectively pay or lose.

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In 2012 a card called Darkrai-EX came along, at the height of my love and obsession for Pokemon cards. The deck winning all the local tournaments had four of these cards, and it was available as part of the Dark Explorers expansion, so obviously I needed it. I decided to take the plunge and drop £80 on a box of 36 Dark Explorers booster packs. After feverishly unwrapping them in what was, to be fair, a pretty cathartic pack-cracking binge, I couldn't believe what had happened: after all that money spent, I hadn't pulled a single Darkrai-EX, and I needed four. The card was selling for £40 a pop on eBay, so that was it. I packed it all in and I headed for the greener pastures of the "Living Card Games" by Fantasy Flight Games, which did away with randomised boosters and offered a more constructed experience with games like Android: Netrunner and A Game of Thrones: The Card Game.

This brings us back to me, years later, an adult, laying in bed thinking about Pokemon cards. The 2018 Pokemon World Championships have just taken place in Nashville, Tennessee. There, the best TCG players in the world get together and put their decks to the ultimate test. First place takes home a massive $25,000, so the pressure is on to pick the right deck and pilot it to victory. Of course, I'm playing Pokemon cards again. Nothing has since matched the gameplay experience for me so I couldn't stay away for long, but this time I'm determined to do it on a budget. I jump out of bed, switch on my computer, and begin to pore over the winning deck lists fresh from Nashville to see if I could afford any of them.

In the Masters Division a Zoroark / Garbodor deck carved a path to a first place victory. I looked up how much it would cost to buy these cards online and, at the time of writing, this deck would cost a whopping £237.40 ($305) to build. Second place went to a Malamar deck, another staple in the format, which carries a price tag of £145.52 ($187). In at third was a Zygarde / Lycanroc deck to the tune of £168.70 ($217), and finishing in fourth we have a deck using the recently released Rayquaza-GX from the Celestial Storm expansion. This one would cost £213.40 ($274) to build with cards purchased from online sellers, and as it happens similar Rayquaza decks also filled in three more spots in the top 10 at 5th, 7th and 10th.

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You can see the picture I'm painting here, but at this point I want to stress that merely owning an expensive meta deck doesn't guarantee victory. It takes a lot of skill, and hundreds if not thousands of hours of practice to play at the level seen at the Pokemon World Championships. To reduce the game simply to the cost of a deck would be a discredit to the incredibly talented, passionate, dedicated, kind, and friendly people who make up the TCG community.

The problem I'm facing, though, is that decks like Zoroark make up a huge percentage of what is currently played not just on the world stage but in local tournaments too. Zoroark decks alone made up nearly 30% of competitive play in the last season, so it's hard to ignore the fact that expensive decks do win games, whether that's at the highest level in tournaments, or friendly local games. Nearly every competitive deck includes multiple copies of the meta staple Tapu Lele-GX, which currently costs about £30 ($38) for one copy.

It's no surprise, then, that pack-opening videos are so popular on YouTube, with people (likely a lot of young children) living vicariously through those who can afford to buy endless booster packs and share the treasures within for the viewer at home. There's even an eight hour long video where an eye-watering $24,000 worth of Pokemon Sun & Moon boosters are opened up for over one million viewers.

At this point it seems to be widely accepted that this is just the cost of playing Pokemon cards. If you don't have the cash to front for the best cards, then you won't have the best chance when it comes to competing. Apply this to video games and the equivalent might be having to pay for better weapons in Call of Duty or Overwatch putting character abilities in loot boxes. There is already a lot of controversy surrounding loot boxes and "pay to win" content in video games as it is, but trading card game manufacturers aren't held to the same level of scrutiny.

So what's the solution? Am I doomed to weak budget decks or playing with printed proxies? Surely there is a way to lower the entry price for a competitive deck below £200, and below £100 or even £50 while we're at it. After all, one deck won't last you long, with new expansions releasing every few months and an ever-changing meta that sees new cards and strategies appearing like wild Zubat in a dark cave.

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Booster packs will never go away, they have been a part of the Pokemon Trading Card Game since the beginning, and to be fair a lot of people do love them. But for the competitive scene, I want competitive cards to be more accessible with cheaper reprints for those not able to fork out hundreds. Granted there have been some already, and the must-have Tapu Lele-GX will be included in an upcoming boxset--but at $50 and well after the card initially hit the metagame in May 2017, it's too little too late. Theme Decks are often a starting point for new players, so it's good to see recent releases include a handful of staple uncommon cards to help kickstart a competitive collection, but there's room for improvement. I would like to see The Pokemon Company make these cards easier to get ahold of and make powerful GX cards more frequent in booster packs, rather than the measly four or five you might be lucky enough to get in a full box of 36 boosters at the moment.

This will surely lead to a healthier meta, happier players, and more of them at that. I love the Pokemon Trading Card Game, but the thought of not being able to play because of my budget is literally keeping me up at night. I have a full time job and I can't keep up with the cost of Pokemon cards.

In my mind Richard Garfield, creator of Magic: The Gathering has the best mentality when it comes to cards, their availability, and their pricing structure: "I wanted to see the cards collectible in the sense of stamps, where you go to the post office and buy some stamps you don't expect them to be immediately worth $10 when you spent $2, but over time, they can be special."

Right, I'm going back to bed.

[Editor's note: Card prices were found using Chaos Cards and deck lists on LimitlessTCG.]


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Destiny 2's Forsaken expansion has brought with it a wide variety of new ways to spend your time. That's especially true following the weekly reset on Tuesdays, as you again find yourself with an array of refreshed activities. Among those are the weekly bounties offered by Spider, the vendor in the Tangled Shore. One of these poses a larger challenge than the rest, and for Week 3, that is the Wanted: Silent Fang bounty. Here's where to go and how to complete it.

Whereas many of Spider's Wanted bounties are not entirely clear about where to go and what to do, there's always one that presents itself in a different way. Rather than tracking down a Lost Sector, these present you with an Adventure on the designated planet. Silent Fang is found on the EDZ, in an Adventure appropriately titled Wanted: Silent Fang (recommended Power level: 540).

Start out by purchasing the bounty from Spider--as always, it costs five Ghost Fragments, which you can find inside Tangled Shore chests and by completing Public Events in the area. With the bounty in hand, head to the EDZ and start up the Adventure to begin. From there, this plays out like a typical Lost Sector, albeit one inside a Darkness Zone. That means dying will cause you to restart, so it's best to come with a well-equipped Fireteam. Silent Fang is a giant Fallen Captain; simply take him out to complete the bounty. You can watch all of this above--the one wrinkle is the need to occasionally throw explosives dropped by shanks at objects generating shields.

The unlocked chest's rewards likely won't be anything special, as the Adventure only promises Rare gear. But the corresponding bounty awards Powerful gear when completed, making this all well worth the trouble.

If you're looking for other sources of Powerful gear, you can also try out this week's Ascendant Challenge. Its specific location and objective have again changed, but you'll still need a Tincture of Queensfoil in order to get started. There's also a new Destiny 2 update out now that relocates Petra, and Iron Banner is officially underway with level advantages enabled--all the more reason to secure all the Powerful gear you can.


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The follow-up to Rockstar Games' classic western game Red Dead Redemption is fast approaching. Set 12 years before the events of the original game, Red Dead Redemption 2 will explore an expansive region of the American wilderness, with Dutch Van der Linde's gang on the run from lawmen during the last years of the wild west. Experiencing Rockstar's take on the open-world western from a new perspective, you'll uncover the history of the Van Der Linde gang, which has a young John Marston in its thralls.

We got the opportunity to play Red Dead Redemption 2, and suffice to say, it's shaping up to be one of the most detailed open world games we've ever played. You can find out more in our preview below where you can read about our experiences completing story missions and exploring the game's world. There's also plenty of details below on the game's narrative and all of its trailers. With its release date of October 26 approaching, we're beginning to learn a lot more about the base game, as well as its Red Dead Online mode.

Where Is RDR2 Set, And Is It A Prequel?

Set 12 years before the main events of the original game, the prequel focuses on the outlaw life of the Van der Linde gang, led by Red Dead Redemption's main antagonists. After a robbery in Blackwater (one of the original game's major towns) goes bad--the gang finds themselves on the run. Dutch, his right-hand man Arthur Morgan, and several members of the gang have to contend with a life on-the-run while confrontations with rival gangs and the law make their situation grow more desperate.

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Rockstar also released a description of the plot:

America, 1899. The end of the wild west era has begun as lawmen hunt down the last remaining outlaw gangs. Those who will not surrender or succumb are killed. After a robbery goes badly wrong in the western town of Blackwater, Arthur Morgan and the Van der Linde gang are forced to flee. With federal agents and the best bounty hunters in the nation massing on their heels, the gang must rob, steal and fight their way across the rugged heartland of America in order to survive. As deepening internal divisions threaten to tear the gang apart, Arthur must make a choice between his own ideals and loyalty to the gang who raised him.

The First Reveal

Debuting on October 20, 2016, the first trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 was a bit of a mood piece that showcased many locales in the game, while also portraying the somber tone of the main narrative. In this trailer, we saw several towns and locales, many of which are teeming with life and activity--such as ranchers rustling up some cattle, huntsmen bringing back their haul, and a group of citizens hanging out in the general store.

Who Are We Playing As?

Though the central character of Red Dead Redemption, John Marston, plays some role in the story--the main protagonist of the prequel is Arthur Morgan. As Dutch's right-hand man and enforcer for the gang, he'll handle much of the daily duties of keeping the gang in-check--which includes a young and less-experienced John Marston. When it comes to keeping the gang and its community afloat, Morgan is quite handy with picking up various jobs to ensure everyone is well fed and in good spirits. But as the story progresses, he'll begin to question his own resolve for Dutch's way of life, and whether he still has a place in the gang.

The Second Trailer

On September 28, 2017, the second trailer for Red Dead Redemption 2 debuted. In the new footage, we got to see more of Arthur Morgan and how ruthless he can be while on the job. During some of the story cutscenes, Morgan will use coercion and physical threats to collect money and information, all for the "benefit" of the community. For more info on this particular trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.

Who's In Dutch's Gang?

In Red Dead Redemption 2, we'll see Dutch's gang and its key players in their prime. While the original game had John hunt down and kill the remaining members of the gang, we'll see many of the familiar faces in relatively happier times. From the most recent trailer, we see Dutch Van der Linde, Arthur Morgan, Bill Williamson, Javier Esquela, Sadie Adler, Charles Smith, Micah Bell, Hosea Matthews, and of course John Marston in the roster. We'll also interact with other characters who would have a key role in the gang and in the lives of both Arthur Morgan and John Marston.

The Third Trailer

In the new footage released on May 2, we saw a deeper look into the game's narrative and how the gang functions. Along with the familiar activities like hunting, heists, and side-quests with the region's citizens, rob trains and banks, and take in shows at theaters. For the most part, the trailer focuses on the many connections you'll have with the members of the gang, as well as how your choices will affect them. For more info on the third trailer, check out our detailed breakdown.

First Gameplay Trailer

On August 9, Rockstar unveiled Red Dead Redemption 2's first gameplay trailer. The new footage revealed that the core mechanics from the original game were still intact, but almost everything had received a facelift. Wildlife is smarter and lives within its own ecosystem. Arthur Morgan can interact with the people around him in ways John Marston never could.

What's New In Red Dead Redemption 2?

While the sequel is largely in the same vein as its predecessor, focusing on exploration, hunting, shoot-outs, heists, and other side-activities where you'll interact with a number of unique characters--Red Dead Redemption 2 features a far more expansive world to dive into. We got our first good look at this world and how we'll be playing through in Read Dead Redemption 2's first gameplay trailer below.

The honor system from the original game makes a return, but now with far more detailed tracking. Along with the average citizen, members of your community will react to how well or how poorly you treat them. As the lead enforcer, Morgan will have to handle a ton of responsibilities, such as resource gathering, procuring funds, and making sure everyone in the community is happy.

There are a ton of new mechanics in Red Dead Redemption 2. For details on every new feature in the game so far, check out our comprehensive list of all the new features we've discovered so far.

How It Plays: Our In-Depth Preview

We recently got a hands-on with a near final-build of Red Dead Redemption 2. It plays much like its predecessor, but with a bevy of new features and systems that enhance its storytelling, combat, and overall progression. We got to experience two story missions, as well as a chance to goof around freely in the open world. There's a lot to unpack about how the upcoming sequel looks and feels, so be sure to read our in-depth preview detailing our impressions about how it plays.

How Will Online Multiplayer Work?

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Currently, Rockstar hasn't shared any info on how the online play will function. The original Red Dead Redemption featured online free-for-all and team deathmatch style gameplay in the open world, along with several co-op themed missions. While it's safe to assume that these sorts of missions will return, another long-lingering rumor is the appearance of a battle royale mode. Rockstar has recently confirmed that a public beta for the online mode is scheduled for a month after the game's launch.

How Can I Play RDR2? When Is Its Release Date?

Red Dead Redemption 2 is set for release on October 26 for PS4 and Xbox One. There are also plans for a collector's edition of the game called the Special Edition. Priced at $80, the package includes a copy of the game along with special missions, weapons and a physical map of the game world for players to own. There are also two additional packs for Red Dead Redemption 2 for premium prices, The Ultimate Edition and The Collector's Box--both priced at $100. While The Ultimate Edition has all items from the special edition--including additional DLC items to acquire--The Collector's Box does not include any digital items. Instead, it offers special playing cards, artwork, a bandit's bandana, a physical map of the game world, and a collector's coin in the set.

Though the original Red Dead Redemption never found its way to the PC, there's been some rumors that its sequel might. A mention of Red Dead Redemption 2's appearance on PC found its way online, but it has since been scrubbed.


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We may be only in the middle of 2018, but there's already an exciting roster of games releasing in 2019. Highly-anticipated games like Anthem, Days Gone, and Kingdom Hearts III make up only a small number of what's ahead. And that's not to mention the all the big games recently revealed at E3, like Resident Evil 2 Remake, Gears 5, and Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, which we can't wait to get our hands on. To help you keep track of all the games coming out next year, we've compiled a list of all the noteworthy release dates for the biggest ones confirmed to come out in 2019 so far.

More dates are sure to be confirmed as the year goes on, so be sure to check back often as we update this article with new additions or potential changes. But if you're looking for this year's release dates, you can also reference our feature on the game release dates of 2018.

January

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Game Platform Release Date
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey 3DS January 11
New Super Mario Bros U Deluxe Switch January 11
Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown PS4, Xbox One, PC January 18
Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes Switch January 18
Resident Evil 2 Remake PS4, Xbox One, PC January 25
Kingdom Hearts III PS4, Xbox One January 29

February

Game Platform Release Date
Anthem PS4, Xbox One, PC February 22
Days Gone PS4 February 22
Metro Exodus PS4, Xbox One, PC February 22
Anno 1800 PC February 26
Left Alive PS4, PC February 28
Trials Rising PS4, Xbox One, PC, Switch February TBA
Crackdown 3 Xbox One, PC February TBA

March

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Game Platform Release Date
Devil May Cry 5 PS4, Xbox One, PC March 8
Tom Clancy's The Division 2 PS4, Xbox One, PC March 15
The Sinking City PS4, Xbox One, PC March 21
Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice PS4, Xbox One, PC March 22

August

Game Platform Release Date
Shenmue III PS4, PC August 27

Big Games Confirmed for 2019

Below you can find a list of the biggest games that don't have explicit release dates but are confirmed to release sometime in 2019. We'll be moving each of these games into the release date sections above as soon as official dates are announced.

Game Platform
Babylon's Fall PS4, PC
Battletoads Xbox One, PC
Control PS4, Xbox One, PC
Catherine: Full Body PS4, Vita
Code Vein PS4, Xbox One, PC
Daemon X Machina Switch
Dead or Alive 6 PS4, Xbox One, PC
Final Fantasy VII Switch, Xbox One
Final Fantasy IX Switch, Xbox One
Final Fantasy X | X-2 HD Switch, Xbox One
Final Fantasy XII: Zodiac Edition Switch, Xbox One
Fire Emblem: Three Houses Switch
Gears 5 Xbox One, PC
In the Valley of Gods PC
Jump Force PS4, Xbox One, PC
Luigi's Mansion 3 Switch
Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story + Bowser Jr.'s Journey 3DS
Ori and the Will of the Wisps Xbox One, PC
Psychonauts 2 PS4, Xbox One, PC
Rage 2 PS4, Xbox One, PC
Samurai Showdown PS4
Sea of Solitude PS4, Xbox One, PC (Expected)
Skull & Bones PS4, Xbox One, PC
Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order PS4, Xbox One, PC (Expected)
The Surge 2 PS4, Xbox One, PC (Expected)
Total War: Three Kingdoms PC
Town (Working Title) Switch
Twin Mirror PS4, Xbox One, PC
Wasteland 3 PS4, Xbox One, PC
Welcome To Animal Crossing Switch
The Wolf Among Us: Season 2 PS4, Xbox One, PC (Expected)
Wolftenstein: Youngblood PS4, Xbox One, PC (Expected)
World War Z PS4, Xbox One, PC
Yoshi's Crafted World Switch


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We're less than a week away from the start of Fortnite's next season. Developer Epic has now confirmed Season 6 of its popular battle royale game begins next Thursday, September 27, giving you only a few more days to unlock any remaining rewards from Season 5. To help you accomplish that, the studio is offering a special bonus all players can take advantage of for a limited time.

All this weekend, Epic is rewarding players with considerably more XP than usual in Fortnite. From now until September 24, players will receive an additional 400% Match XP when playing Battle Royale mode. The bonus XP event will only run until 5 AM PT / 8 AM ET / 1 PM BST on Monday, so you don't have much time to take advantage of it, but it's the perfect opportunity to level up your Season 5 Battle Pass and unlock a few more rewards before Season 6 arrives.

Season 5 is scheduled to wrap up the following day, September 25, making this the last chance you have to complete any remaining challenges. Epic rolled out 10 weekly batches of missions throughout Season 5, plus 10 Road Trip challenges--Season 5's equivalent of Blockbuster challenges--that could only be completed by finishing all of the tasks within a given week. If you still need help completing any of the challenges, you can find tips for each in our Fortnite Season 5 challenge roundup.

We still don't quite know what to expect from Season 6, but some strange events have been happening in Fortnite in the lead up to the new season. Back in August, a mysterious purple cube appeared on the map after a lightning bolt emerged from the giant rift in the sky and struck the desert. Epic hasn't officially acknowledged the cube, but players quickly discovered it would react differently depending on how they interacted with it.

More recently, the cube began slowly rolling around the island. Fans had many theories as to where the cube was heading, but earlier this week, it sank into Loot Lake, turning the entire lake purple and bouncy. It's still unclear how this will relate to Season 6, but with the new season just around the corner, everything should be revealed in only a few days.


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Season 6 of Fortnite is nearly here. After much speculation--and a rather bizarre turn of events related to the mysterious purple cube that has been rolling around the island--Epic has finally confirmed when the new season of its massively popular battle royale game will begin, and it's very soon.

The developer announced on Twitter that Season 6 will begin next Thursday, September 27. It was presumed that the season would begin sometime next week, as the official Fortnite website stated that Season 5 officially wraps up on September 25, and Epic typically kicks off a new season shortly after the previous one ends. This, however, is the first time the developer has confirmed when Season 6 will start, although it hasn't shared any additional details beyond that.

That also makes this your last opportunity to complete any remaining challenges and unlock the rest of Season 5's Battle Pass rewards. To help you accomplish that, Epic is offering an additional 400% Match XP in Fortnite this weekend, from now until 5 AM PT / 8 AM ET / 1 PM BST on September 24. If you need help finishing up any challenges, you can find tips for each weekly set of missions in our complete Fortnite Season 5 challenge roundup. We've also put together a gallery of all the Season 5 rewards gallery so you can see what you can unlock.

We don't yet know what to expect from Season 6, but some strange events have been unfolding in the game ahead of it. Back in August, a lightning bolts struck the desert and left a mysterious purple cube in its wake, which fans had begun affectionately referring to as "Kevin." The cube would react differently depending on how players interacted with it; standing close to it would rejuvenate players' shields, but striking it would cause them to launch backward and take damage.

Soon after it materialized, the cube began slowly rolling around Fortnite's map. It was unclear what its destination was, but earlier this week, the cube plunged into Loot Lake and melted, much to the surprise of fans. Not only did it turn the water purple, but now the entire lake has effectively become a giant trampoline, boasting the same bouncy property the cube had. It's unclear how this all relates to Season 6, but we won't have to wait much longer to find out.


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Rockstar unveiled a deluge of new details about its highly anticipated open-world game, Red Dead Redemption 2. As part of the big information blowout, we unfortunately didn't get a new trailer, but the developer did release more than two-dozen new screenshots from the upcoming western. These showcase protagonist Arthur Morgan, some of the other characters you'll encounter, and the stunning environments you and the Van der Linde gang will trek through on your adventure across the American frontier.

The first set of images, which you can take a look at below, show off Morgan and various other members of the Van der Linde gang doing shooty things and riding horses across numerous and varied gorgeous outdoor and indoor environments. Click through the images in the gallery to see all of the newly released shots, and be sure to click each picture to bring it up in full size.

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In this next wave of screenshots, Rockstar really shows off its attention to detail. This lead image of the revolver showcases its intricate design, while you'll see in one of the other images that horses in Red Dead Redemption 2 look stunningly realistic and all-around really, really good.

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And in this final wave of new images, we see more of Arthur and company blasting enemies and another shot of Arthur on his horse overlooking a town in the distance.

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If you're curious about what you're seeing, we cover everything we witnessed in our Red Dead Redemption 2 hands-on preview. We discuss the two story missions we got to play through, as well as the other new features we discovered during our hands-on session with the open-world game. For even more, check out all of our coverage below.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details


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Like Grand Theft Auto V, Rockstar's next big open-world adventure, Red Dead Redemption 2, will feature a sprawling online component titled Red Dead Online. The mode will launch as a public beta this fall, and judging by the level of support GTA Online has enjoyed, it will likely receive a regular stream of updates for a long time to come. With a second open-world multiplayer game to support now, fans may wonder if GTA Online's updates will slow down, but Rockstar assures this won't be the case.

In an interview with IGN, Rockstar North director of design Imran Sarwar said the developer still intends to support GTA V's online mode after Red Dead Online arrives. "We still have big plans for Grand Theft Auto Online and we will continue to roll out updates for the foreseeable future," Sarwar said.

To avoid competition between its two big online games, Sarwar says Rockstar hopes to "stagger" updates for each one out so that players will be able to keep up with both, but there may be some overlap. "We vaguely plan to stagger the updates of both games so that players can switch between the two, but our development plans may not always allow this!" Sarwar said.

Rockstar still hasn't revealed many details about Red Dead Online. According to the studio, the mode is "an evolution of the classic multiplayer experience in the original Red Dead Redemption, blending narrative with competitive and cooperative gameplay in fun new ways." The public beta will go live sometime this November; those who own Red Dead Redemption 2 will be able to jump in for free, although the studio warns "there will inevitably be some turbulence at launch" given the scale of the endeavor.

Red Dead Redemption 2 launches for PS4 and Xbox One next month, on October 26. Rockstar recently shared some new screenshots of the game, as well as some new details about its sprawling world. You can read more about the title in our roundup of everything we know about Red Dead Redemption 2 so far.

Red Dead Redemption 2 News And Details


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You might be aware that GPU prices have skyrocketed in recent months. This is due in large part to the rise of cryptocurrencies, to which there are many. Bitcoin is the first and most popular one, but what is Bitcoin? We're here to demystify the topic for you. While Bitcoin and cryptocurrency are incredibly deep and complex topics, in this beginner's guide, we'll not only explain what Bitcoin is, but we'll also dive into how it's created, discuss its use-cases, clear up misconceptions, and much more. Here's everything you should know about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency.

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is the first decentralized digital currency. You can send and receive it to an individual via a peer-to-peer payment system anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. You can also purchase goods with it among several online sites and physical stores. Its decentralized design means that it isn't controlled by any one individual, central bank, company, or country. In short, Bitcoin is an open-source international currency.

Who invented Bitcoin? Satoshi Nakamoto wrote the technical whitepaper to Bitcoin in 2008 and the first Bitcoin was produced the following year. It's unclear who Nakamoto is, however, and there are rumors that the alias may represent more than one person.

What is the blockchain? Bitcoins are produced, or "mined", by individuals with high-end computers that solve encrypted math equations over a distributed online database called the blockchain. Whenever a Bitcoin transaction takes place, that data is encrypted and sent across the network for these mining computers to verify. They do so by decrypting the data. This process is known as cryptography and forms the backbone of security for Bitcoin (more on security later).

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Once the data has been decrypted, they are publicly stored in one megabyte blocks on the blockchain network. As an added security measure, these blocks are formed every 10 minutes and can not be altered. New transactions are stored on subsequent blocks, which link up to the old blocks in a chronological chain. The blockchain thus acts as a public ledger of Bitcoin transaction history.

Every miner keeps an up-to-date record of the blockchain, which is currently over 157GB, and gets rewarded with a small amount of Bitcoin for doing so.

Can Bitcoin be hacked? The way the blockchain is designed prevents Bitcoins from being spent again after they've already been used. The blockchain also makes it very difficult to create new Bitcoins out of thin air. In conjunction with the cryptographic measures outlined above, the Bitcoin blockchain is based on a consensus proof-of-work model. This means that not only do mining computers have to provide answers to the aforementioned encrypted equations, but in order for data to be added to the blockchain, a majority of the mining computers on the network have to agree that the computations were correct. To overcome this, an attacker would effectively have to hack the majority of computers on the network (to which there are hundreds across the world) at the same time while providing mathematical proof of work. This makes Bitcoin incredibly hard to hack. Security is arguably the cryptocurrency's greatest asset. To date, Bitcoin has not been hacked.

Some exchanges that act as an online meeting grounds for buyers and sellers of cryptocurrency have been hacked, however. The Mt. Gox attack is the most notable one. In 2014, 850,000 Bitcoins were stolen from the Japan-based exchange. Users can mitigate their risk by taking their assets off of these exchanges and storing them in cryptocurrency wallets.

How do cryptocurrency wallets work? There are two major types of cryptocurrency wallets. Perhaps the most accessible are digital wallets that act as an online address for you to store the keys to your Bitcoins/cryptocurrencies. USB-based hardware wallets allow you to store your keys offline and are generally deemed more secure as a result.

One common misconception is that these wallets store your Bitcoins/cryptocurrencies, but they only store the keys (passcodes) that allow you to open up your Bitcoins on the blockchain network so you could transfer them elsewhere.

How much is Bitcoin right now? In relation to the US dollar, the current value of Bitcoin is:

Bitcoin price on Bitstamp - http://dc-charts.com

Can you exchange Bitcoin back to your local fiat currency (Dollars, Pounds, Euros, etc.)? Yes. Similar to purchasing stocks from investment banks online, many cryptocurrency exchanges allow you to purchase Bitcoin for fiat and vice versa.

What determines the price of Bitcoin? Similar to stocks, the price of Bitcoin is determined by consumer trust. This is manifested by how much people are willing to invest in the currency.

Do you have to buy a whole Bitcoin? No. As a matter of fact, Bitcoins are divisible up to eight decimal places. The smallest denomination (.00000001 Bitcoin) is called a Satoshi.

How many Bitcoin are there? Currently, there are over 16.8 million Bitcoins. Nakamoto designed Bitcoin to max out at 21 million by the year 2140. Beyond then, no Bitcoins will be mined or created. The cap was implemented to prevent currency inflation. Beyond 2140, miners will reap transaction fees for maintaining the Bitcoin blockchain.

What is an altcoin? Altcoins are alternative cryptocurrencies to Bitcoin. Like Bitcoin, most of them are designed around decentralized blockchain technologies that typically involve miners working together on a network. Currently, there are over 1,000 altcoins. Many of them are attempting to offer unique use-cases. Ethereum, for instance, has its own unique blockchain that enables "smart contracts."

Smart contracts attempt to open up new avenues for conditional automations where trust is a key variable. For instance, in a future where self-driving cars can deliver packages to your house, a smart contract coupled with the blockchain could ensure that you won't be charged until the package has arrived at your house. This is a transaction that can occur without any human interaction.

Some altcoins are tying blockchain technologies to radio-frequency identification (RFID) tags so people can scan a product with their smartphone to validate the authenticity of moving goods in markets with high amounts of counterfeiting.

Proponents assert that there are many use-cases for blockchain technologies. One general appeal of altcoins is that many of them are attempting to better facilitate automation in business and between emerging smart devices.

Can I use my gaming PC to mine Bitcoin? You used to be able to mine Bitcoin with gaming GPUs, but Nakamoto designed Bitcoin to be harder to mine over time. This was done to mimic the scarcity and difficulty of mining gold. As such, application-specific integrated circuit chips (ASICs) were designed specifically to mine Bitcoin. You can use modern gaming graphics cards to mine altcoins, however. This is the reason why GPU prices have skyrocketed in recent months.

Why are GPUs used to mine cryptocurrency? Because mining cryptocurrency involves solving numerous encrypted equations, GPUs with their highly parallel architecture are inherently very efficient at powering through these computations. While the best modern consumer CPUs may have 4, 8, or even 16 cores to do the job, modern GPUs have hundreds of compute cores working in parallel. This makes them orders of magnitudes more effective.

How can I use my gaming PC to mine cryptocurrency? To mine cryptocurrency, you'll first need to set up a cryptocurrency wallet so you can deposit your earnings.

The easiest way for beginners to start mining is to join a crypto-mining marketplace. Nicehash is the largest one, and the company makes its money by taking a cut of mined coins. Nicehash also offers a benchmark that suggests what your specific PC should mine.

How successful a PC is at mining is largely determined by the speed at which it can compute an operation in the Bitcoin code. This is known as the hash rate and is measured in megahashes per second. Since mining cryptocurrency is very GPU-intensive, it can consume a lot of power. Thus, the ideal balance is to maximize your hash rate while minimizing power consumption.

Many retail outlets are selling six pack of GPUs for cryptocurrency mining.Many retail outlets are selling six pack of GPUs for cryptocurrency mining.

What are some of the risks to mining? Cryptocurrency mining can significantly raise your power bill and be detrimental to your hardware, since you would have to run them under heavy workloads for long periods of time. This can also cause heating issues. Furthermore, while mining a particular altcoin may be profitable one day, if the coin takes a financial crash the next, you could potentially lose money. Finally, while joining a crypto-mining marketplace is the easiest way to start mining, like exchanges, these marketplaces act as centralized hubs for cryptocurrency, and are more susceptible to hacks. NiceHash, in particular, was hacked towards the tail end of 2017 when 4,000 Bitcoins were stolen.

What are the best GPUs to mine cryptocurrency? This will vary depending on the altcoins you want to mine, but popular GPUs for mining on Nvidia's side at the moment include the Titan X, GTX 1080 Ti, and GTX 1070. On AMD's side, current popular picks include the RX 580, RX 570, RX Vega 64, and RX Vega 56. Many miners will also set up rigs with multiple GPUs working in parallel to bolster hash rates.

Where can you spend Bitcoin? There are many companies that accept Bitcoin. Some notable ones include Overstock.com, Expedia, and Newegg. More can be found here.

Where can I buy Bitcoin? The most common way is to purchase them from online exchanges.

What obstacles does Bitcoin face? The Bitcoin market is highly speculative and volatile. Regulations and tax rules are also currently in a state of flux. In addition, there is concern that certain countries may attempt to ban cryptocurrencies.


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March is right around the corner, and with it comes a new selection of titles for Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft is expanding its game subscription service with eight more games next month, including Rare's highly anticipated pirate adventure, Sea of Thieves.

The open-world pirate game makes its Xbox One and PC debut next month, and it serves as the flagship title for Microsoft's new initiative to bring all of its future first-party Xbox One exclusives to Game Pass at launch. Subscribers will be able to play Sea of Thieves beginning March 20, the same day that it releases in retail and digital stores.

Before Sea of Thieves arrives on the service, Game Pass subscribers will get access to seven more titles starting March 1, including Rise of the Tomb Raider, Super Lucky's Tale, Resident Evil Revelations 2, Oxenfree, and the classic Sonic game, Sonic CD. You can take a look at all of March's new Xbox Game Pass titles below.

Xbox Game Pass is a Netflix-style service for Xbox One. It features a library of more than 100 of Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles, with a new batch arriving to the service every month. A Game Pass subscription costs $10 per month, but those who are curious about sampling the service can sign up for a 14-day free trial. You can see the full list of Xbox Game Pass titles here.

New Xbox Game Pass Games in March 2018

March 1

  • Rise of the Tomb Raider
  • Super Lucky's Tale
  • Resident Evil Revelations 2
  • Oxenfree
  • Sonic CD
  • The Final Station
  • Euro Fishing

March 20

  • Sea of Thieves

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IntoX

A new week means a slew of new arrivals on Netflix. This week, though, brings even more titles than usual. With the arrival of March, tons of new movies, TV shows, and originals are all getting added to the service, giving you plenty of material to binge this week.

Among the movies being added this week are the two original Ghostbusters films, the Cruel Intentions trilogy--yes, a trilogy--300, and Jackass: Number Two. Additionally, Moon, the first film from Mute director Duncan Jones, will become available to stream on March 1. Other titles arriving include Forgetting Sarah Marshall, I Am Number Four, Revolutionary Road, and Adventureland.

When it comes to originals, Girls Incarcerated, B: The Beginning, and 21 Thunder will all debut this week. For Voltron fans, Netflix will also premiere the fifth season of Voltron: Legendary Defender, which consists of six episodes.

You can take a look at everything coming to Netflix this week below. After that, check out everything arriving on and leaving the service in March--as well as Hulu and Amazon Prime Video's offerings.

February 26

  • El Vato: Season 2
  • Heyday of the Insensitive Bastards
  • People You May Know
  • Sin Senos sí Hay Paraíso: Season 2
  • Winnie

February 27

  • Derren Brown: The Push (Netflix Original)
  • Marlon Wayans: Woke-ish (Netflix Original)

March 1

  • 300
  • 21 Thunder: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • 2307: Winter's Dream
  • Adel Karam: Live from Beirut (Netflix Original)
  • Adventureland
  • Algo Muy Gordo
  • Alpha and Omega
  • Battle Drone
  • Beerfest
  • Casino
  • Cruel Intentions
  • Cruel Intentions 2
  • Cruel Intentions 3
  • Deathgrip
  • Forgetting Sarah Marshall
  • Ghostbusters
  • Ghostbusters 2
  • Gridiron Gang
  • Guess Who
  • Hostage
  • I Am Number Four
  • I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry
  • Jackass: Number Two
  • Land Gold Women
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The Eighteenth Year
  • Martian Child
  • Moon
  • People Like Us
  • Revolutionary Road
  • Stuart Little 3: Call of the Wild
  • The Brothers Grimm
  • The Bucket List
  • The Descent
  • The Descent: Part 2
  • The Experiment
  • The Fifth Estate
  • The Gift
  • The Lazarus Project
  • True to the Game
  • Untraceable
  • Up in the Air
  • Wet Hot American Summer
  • Women at War 1939-1945

March 2

  • B: The Beginning: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • Flint Town: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • Girls Incarcerated: Season 1 (Netflix Original)
  • Les Affamés (Netflix Original)
  • Malena Pichot: Estupidez compleja (Netflix Original)
  • Natalia Valdebenito: El Especial (Netflix Original)
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: Season 5 (Netflix Original)

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PC owners eager to finally get their hands on Final Fantasy XV will have an opportunity to try out the game today. As promised, Square Enix will release a demo of the upcoming Windows Edition that offers a taste of the full experience.

The demo will be available through several different platforms--you'll be able to download it from Steam, Origin, and the Microsoft Store. As of this writing, the demo has not yet gone live, but we'll report back once it's available. A download size has not been announced. [Update: The demo is out now and weighs in at 21 GB, and the game's 4K textures are included by default. You can grab it on Steam, Origin, or the Microsoft Store.]

Just how much content is available in the demo is unclear. Square Enix said it consists of the tutorial and the "opening main quests," but just how many are included was not shared. Regardless, it should give you a sense of the game's combat and, perhaps more importantly, provide an ideal method for testing how well it runs on your computer. If you're interested in benchmarking, Square Enix has already released a tool for Final Fantasy XV to let you do just that.

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Final Fantasy XV: Windows Edition releases on March 6. It consists of the base game and its various DLC expansions, including those themed around each of your party members and the one adding the Comrades multiplayer mode. Additionally, if you purchase the game by May 1, you'll be entitled to Half-Life/Final Fantasy XV crossover content that lets you dress up as Gordon Freeman, complete with crowbar.


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Another week has gone by, and that means there is new Monster Hunter World content now available on both PS4 and Xbox One. While the most exciting thing going on right now is limited to PS4, there's something to occupy your time right now regardless of your platform.

PS4 players with a Street Fighter V save file on their hard drive still have early access to a special challenge quest called Down the Dark, Muddy Path. The actual particulars of what you're doing aren't exciting--it's an Arena where you hunt a Barroth--but the rewards include the materials to craft the armor based on Street Fighter's Ryu. Eventually, everyone on PS4 and Xbox One will have access to this quest and the Ryu gear, plus the Sakura-inspired gear still to come. For more on what to expect if you're eligible now, check out our guide on how to unlock Monster Hunter World's Ryu armor. You can see how it looks below--it literally transforms you into Ryu.

In terms of Limited Bounties, there's the usual assortment of additions. You'll need to hunt three bird wyvern-class monsters for one, hunt four Anjanath for another, and slay five tempered monsters for the third. These each offer their own set of rewards comprised of varying amounts of research points, armor spheres, and trade-in items (which are sold for zenny). A fourth limited bounty gives you even more of these rewards if you're able to complete the other three before these bounties reset on March 1/2 (depending on your platform).

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There are also a handful of new event quests to take part in. Two of these (Ya-Ku With That? and The Poison Posse) are fairly mundane low-rank quests, asking you to hunt two and three monsters, respectively. Wildspire Bolero is a high-rank, seven-star quest that tasks you with hunting five monsters--including a Diablos, who proves difficult for many players--in under 50 minutes. There's also Snow & Cherry Blossoms, a nine-star quest to hunt a tempered Legiana and Pink Rathian. This also has a time limit of 50 minutes but has the highest Hunter Rank requirement (30) of any event quest so far.

Finally, you still have some time left to complete the current challenge quest, excitingly titled Challenge Quest 1: Intermediate. As before, this places restrictions on the particular weapon types you're able to use, limiting you to those that fall under the umbrella of Sword & Shield, Hunting Horn, Charge Blade, Insect Glaive, or Light Bowgun.


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