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Desperados 3 review: Quickest save in the West

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THQ Nordic and Mimimi Games have not been quiet about their return to the Desperados series. Desperados 2 came out in 2006 and feelings are mixed among players about it. For the first return of the series in 14 years, THQ Nordic went this time to Mimimi Games for Desperados 3. Mimimi is no stranger to the tactical strategy space. In 2016, they launched a similar style of game set in Japan’s Edo Era to solid acclaim in the form of Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun. There may not be ninja stars and samurai here, but Mimimi Games puts their pedigree to work in Desperados 3 in fantastic ways. It’s not easy, and sometimes it’s downright cruel, but when a plan comes together in Desperados 3’s vast and varied Wild West, it’s supremely satisfying.

The origin of John Cooper & Co.

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Those familiar with the Desperados may also be familiar with its longtime protagonist and bounty hunter John Cooper and his gang of outlaws. Desperados 3 once again puts Cooper front and center in its story, but this time it takes a trip back to before Cooper became the hardened hunter fans may know. It tells the story of Cooper’s beginnings, following in the footsteps of his father’s trade and hunting the criminal mark that killed his dear old dad. It also shows the formation of and arrival of familiar partners in Cooper’s gang of outcasts.

Desperados 3 is an isometric real-time tactical strategy game like its predecessors in which you sneak or gun your way through a mission and often take on some special objectives in the process. It plays very much like similar real-time tactics franchise Commandos where you don’t have nameless units and types, but rather specific and limited heroes each with their own specialty and abilities. You start with the likes of Cooper, who has two revolvers, a knife that he can stab or throw at enemies (which he must then go collect), and throw fake coins to distract enemies. But then you get folks like Hector who can deploy a bear trap, whistle to draw in foes, carry two dead bodies around at once, and the like.

Desperados 3 is a good step in for fans and newcomers with the origin of John Cooper and the formation of his gang. Desperados 3 is a good step in for fans and newcomers with the origin of John Cooper and the formation of his gang.

Your characters’ abilities aren’t the only things at your disposal too. Each of Desperados 3’s levels from the dusty Colorado to backwoods river towns to the bayous of New Orleans is filled to the brim with colorful and myriad personality. In a town where a particular target likes tangling with the local bull, will you dispose of his men to get to him and kill him directly or piss that bull off enough to fatally wreck your mark for you? These are the kind of fun choices you make in addition to pursuing the objectives of Desperados 3’s vast and varied environments.

The more you play through the game, the more of John’s gang you collect, the more you can do at once with your growing and capable crew, and the more rabid of a challenge the game throws at you to strain your new expanded abilities. It makes for a good point after 14 years because new players of the Desperados franchise can just jump in here without being brought up to speed while people that have played through the other games and know what’s up will get to see something new as well. Players even get to see and use some familiar characters besides John Cooper himself in addition to some new and cool faces.

Bristling with bullets & bodies

Desperados 3's levels aren't just full of good narrative and strategy. They're also just kind of vast and beautiful. Desperados 3’s levels aren’t just full of good narrative and strategy. They’re also just kind of vast and beautiful.

At its surface, Desperados 3 offers choice in how you can play the game. Will you go silent or will you go loud? In reality, it truly depends on the situation. Every single level in Desperados 3 is overpacked with bad guys who will alert other bad guys if you get caught by them. And if there are a lot of bad guys left, they can quickly overwhelm you. It only takes one of your characters dying to fail a mission, so stakes are always kind of high. That means going silent is often the best choice until you can thin the herd or are close enough to finishing an objective to make a loud escape.

To the silent end, they have a cone of vision that can be manipulated by obstructions in the environoment (you can make your characters crouch behind small obstacles or in low light to avoid detection) or by character abilities like Kate O’Hara’s temporarily blinding perfume. What’s more, while most of Desperados 3 is played in real-time, there is also a “Showdown Mode” in which you can freeze time (except in the highest difficulty), and queue up actions for all of your characters. Even if you unfreeze time, they only act when you hit execute, meaning you can either do it right away, unfreeze time and wait for more favorable conditions, or even set one of your characters to do an active ability, and then execute your Showdown actions in coordination with them. We’re talking stuff like queuing Cooper to throw his knife at one opponent and queuing O’Hara to shoot another with her quiet derringer in Showdown Mode, and then setting Hector to whistle to lure them into range in real-time before activating the killing blows.

Showdown Mode feels like a symphony of glorious action when you do it well. But this is also a game of best-laid plans. You will fail. A lot. And some of it feels technical, some of it cruel, and some just downright frustratingly unfair. Sometimes an enemy spotting their killed or tied comrade and starting their randomized patrol just doesn’t put them in the place you need them to be. Sometimes you miss an enemy cone of vision that has an extremely far range and puts the hornet’s hive right on your butt, and sometimes the game just doesn’t react the way you think it should for any random number of other reasons.

That last one feels particularly troublesome with Showdown Mode. See, even if you hit Execute to start your Showdown Mode actions, if you activate the freeze in Showdown Mode again afterwards before your characters finish their actions, they will not complete the action they were told to execute. This can be embarrassing (or enraging) when you activate O’ Hara to blind a foe, then activate Showdown Mode again to put Cooper into play before she does it. Suddenly, she’ll stop her action and leave Cooper out in the open, alerting guards, and taking bullets to the chest when he goes for his move. Even the slightest mistake can ruin you in Desperados 3 and there are a million and one ways to fail that are a fair share of logical and upsetting to discover. It makes success when you finally get past a particularly difficult chokepoint in a mission all the sweeter.

How the West was quick-saved

Desperados 3 features a ton of fun environmental options in levels. Wanna blow enemies up with their own dynamite as they wire it? You can. Desperados 3 features a ton of fun environmental options in levels. Wanna blow enemies up with their own dynamite as they wire it? You can.

It’s worth noting, Desperados 3 also offsets its insanely lopsided opportunities for error with one of the easiest-to-access quick-save features I’ve ever seen in a game. Press the quick save key and you lock a snapshot of your exact moment. Press the quick load key and you’ll go right back to it. You can also make manual saves, but the quick save system remembers up to three previous quick saves and even reminds you of how long it’s been since you last saved your game in a mission – a notification that you can turn off anytime, but very much comes in handy in the thick of things because this is a game where you do not want to forget to save if you’ve just completed a difficult part.

It can be said that Desperados 3 knows exactly what it is asking of you when you pit your one to five gang members up against armies of outlaws that will swarm you the moment you make even the slightest flaw. It dares you to be loud when you shouldn’t. It demands that you be methodical to the degree of a mad man, and defeating it’s challenge gives you a brief moment to turn your cries of anguish into sighs of euphoric joy as you press forward. And if you really feel like taking yourself to insanity, Desperados 3 packs on higher difficulties and level challenges (everything from not quick-saving at all to completing an objective a certain way or in a certain amount of time) to ensure there’s almost always a harder task you haven’t conquered. The quick save system doesn’t make things trivial, but it does save this from being an otherwise endlessly frustrating experience if heaven-forbid you had to rely on predetermined checkpoints.

It’s us against the West, gang

Showdown Mode can feel like Desperados 3's most janky feature at time, but it's still beautiful when you orchestrate a perfect series of actions against your enemies. Showdown Mode can feel like Desperados 3’s most janky feature at time, but it’s still beautiful when you orchestrate a perfect series of actions against your enemies.

Desperados 3 was gone for so long, folks have had a while to get any bad taste about Desperados 2 out of their mouths. Even then, THQ Nordic going to solid strategists like Mimimi Games was arguably the right call. Desperados 3 is nail-biting tough, yet with enough depth and accessible cushion to make the journey more than worth it. Its characters are fun to utilize alone and in tandem, its story is an engaging romp, and its environments are chock full of good reasons to explore them in full. Whether you’re new to John Cooper and his bounty-hunting gang or an old hand on the quickdraw, Desperados 3 may be one of the most fleshed out mixes of challenging, accommodating, and satisfying tactical strategy experiences around, Western or otherwise.


This review is based on a digital retail copy provided by the publisher. Desperados 3 is set to release in the US for Steam on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on June 16, 2020.

TJ Denzer is a player with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. When he’s not handing out beatdowns in the latest fighting games, exploring video game history, or playing through RPGs with his partner, he’s searching for new food and drinks in the constant pursuit of good times with good people inside and outside the South Texas area. You can also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

Source: https://www.shacknews.com/article/118611/desperados-3-review-quickest-save-in-the-west

Gaming

Stack Sports and Battlefy Partner to provide sports organizations…

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Stack Sports and BattleFy Logos

“It’s really amazing to see the world of sports and esports coming together,” said Jason Xu, CEO of Battlefy.

Stack Sports and Battlefy are Partnering up to provide sports organizations an all-in-one technology solution for esports tournament and event management. This partnership brings together the platinum standards of technology in sports and esports, to help organizations deliver professional and safe programs to kids around the world.

Battlefy is home to over 230 thousand independently operated esports tournaments and leagues across the globe. Their platform makes it easy for anyone to create, manage, and market tournaments for a huge variety of game and competitive formats. Battlefy provides full flexibility to design and monetize the perfect experience, using features such as automated scoring, match stats, and solo/team competition modes, as well as sponsorship management, loyalty programs, and full service event management for organizations looking for amazing tournaments that are fully managed.

With existing clients such as FIFA, Bundesliga, Turner Sports, Vancouver Canucks, and Red Bull; Stack Sports is confident that Battlefy’s innovative technology is perfect as it’s premier partners in the professional and amateur space. With the growing popularity of esports, partnering to provide innovative technology to traditional sports franchises fits well with Stack Sports mission to increase participation and transform the sports experience.

“Following the addition of esports to the Stack Sports ecosystem and CaptainU recruiting platform this year, we’ve seen consistent growth in these programs,” said Jeff Brunsberg, Chief Revenue and Strategy Officer. “We intend to continue to invest in this space and offer sports organizations the very best tools available and we believe Battlefy will help us do that.”

The Battlefy team provides the best-in-class service for event organizers with an open communication platform and a full white glove support team. With a global footprint, the staff offer a level of support unmatched for brands. Spanning from Vancouver all the way to Jakarta, the team operates across New York, Paris, London, San Francisco, Sao Paulo, and more. This allows them to help organizations think globally about their esports events and activations. This Partnership will continue to grow the capabilities Stack Sports offers while meeting the need for more remote and contactless programming in traditional sports.

“It’s really amazing to see the world of sports and esports coming together,” said Jason Xu, CEO of Battlefy. “I was an active kid growing up, playing soccer and badminton competitively. I learned a lot of life lessons on the field that I applied to playing esports and vice versa. Battlefy and Stack Sports have the opportunity to bring out the best of both worlds, and help kids continue to experience competition and sportsmanship in these trying times.”

About Stack Sports

With nearly 50 million users in 35 countries, Stack Sports is a global technology leader in SaaS platform offerings for the sports industry. The company provides world-class software and services to support national governing bodies, youth sports associations, leagues, clubs, parents, coaches, and athletes. Some of the largest and most prominent sports organizations including the U.S. Soccer Federation, Little League Baseball and Softball, and Pop Warner Little Scholars rely on Stack Sports technology to run and manage their organizations. Stack Sports is headquartered in Dallas and is leading the industry one team at a time focusing on three key pillars — Play, Improve, and Engage. To learn more about how Stack Sports is transforming the sports experience, please visit http://www.stacksports.com.

About Battlefy

Battlefy is the virtual YMCA for esports. Our digital platform is home to over 230 thousand esports tournaments and leagues from the popular game developers, consumer brands, sports organizations, colleges & high schools, professional teams, streamers, gaming communities, and fans. With competitions across every major game title, our mission is to help everyone with a passion for esports build an amazing and authentic experience for their fans, customers, employees, and friends.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/stack_sports_and_battlefy_partner_to_provide_sports_organizations_global_online_technology_for_esports_tournament_and_event_management/prweb17490991.htm

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AR/VR

League of Legends World Championship to feature immersive Mixed Reality experience through Rokid Vision glasses

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In Augmented Reality and Mixed Reality News

October 22, 2020 – Rokid, a provider of augmented and mixed reality (AR/MR) glasses, has today announced that its technology will be available for fans to use at this year’s League of Legends (LoL) World Championship tournaments and opening ceremony for the event finals held in Shanghai, China.

Fans of the popular MMORPG game will be able to use a pair of Rokid Vision AR glasses to experience LoL live at the event and to witness an immersive experience featuring a dragon from the game hovering over the Shanghai Oriental Pearl Tower and flying up to them in their seats, transforming the spectators experience and transporting fans to the Summoner’s Rift, an in-game location from LoL.

Furthermore, whilst wearing Rokid Vision, fans will be able to witness the space surrounding them change to include personalized features such as highlights of the game, close-ups of a favorite player, team names, logos, and other information.

Rokid first introduced its Vision mixed reality glasses at AWE USA 2019. Through a combination of Rokid’s binocular optics, AR and AI capabilities, the glasses extend existing user interfaces with augmented and mixed reality (via a USB-C connection) for devices including phones, laptops, gaming consoles, helping to enhance productivity, entertainment, and gaming. The glasses are also 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) enabled, allowing users to experience more natural interactions with the 3D virtual content that is projected within their visual field.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, there are limited seats at the 2020 League of Legends Global Finals, and many fans cannot attend in person to watch. This is therefore the first time that League of Legends fans will be able to use AR glasses to watch the finals, thanks to Rokid.

This is not the company’s first time employing the use of its AR and MR solutions to offer event fans new experiences though. In 2018, Rokid, in partnership with Teslasuit, created an immersive experience for Formula 1 fans. The experience utilized data and camera footage collected from Formula 1 vehicles, and using the Rokid Vision glasses and Teslasuit’s somatosensory haptic suit, reproduced tactile feedback that enabled users to experience the visual impact and physical experience of driving a Formula 1 car.

For more information on Rokid and its augmented and mixed reality offering, please visit the company’s website.

Image credit: Rokid

About the author

Sam Sprigg

Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he covers news articles on both the AR and VR industries. He also has an interest in human augmentation technology as a whole, and does not just limit his learning specifically to the visual experience side of things.

Source: https://www.auganix.org/league-of-legends-world-championship-to-feature-immersive-mixed-reality-experience-through-rokid-vision-glasses/

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Gaming

2020 Videogame Spending Reaches Highest Level in 10 Years

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Overall spending on total physical hardware, software and accessories, and digital console and PC content increased 25% over the same period in 2019, according to The NPD Group. In the most current quarter (July – September) sales were up 7% over the same time period last year.

Overall spending on total physical hardware, software and accessories, and digital console and PC content increased 25% over the same period in 2019, according to The NPD Group. In the most current quarter (July – September) sales were up 7% over the same time period last year.

Gains were seen across each of hardware, software and accessories. Strong growth across Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One led to an overall hardware category sales increase of 46% versus the same period last year. Sales of video game accessories including gamepads, headsets, steering wheels and other peripherals increased 39%.

“During the pandemic, many people have turned to video games not only as a source of entertainment, but as a way to stay in touch with friends and family with online play,” says Joan Ramsay, Industry Analyst for Canada Entertainment for the NPD Group. “What we’ve seen, in addition to new players discovering gaming, is more video game players playing for more hours, while spending more in the process. They are discovering that the industry provides a wide variety of ways to play to meet every budget, interest and device.”

Top Performing Video Game Titles

Among the best-performing titles so far this year are:

  • Animal Crossing: New Horizons
  • Call of Duty: Modern Warfare
  • The Last of Us: Part II
  • Final Fantasy VII: Remake
  • Super Mario 3D All Stars
  • Ghost of Tsushima
  • Marvel Avengers
  • Grand Theft Auto V
  • Mario Kart 8: Deluxe
  • NHL 20

“We expect that these strong sales will continue through the end of the year, buoyed by the continued success of Nintendo Switch and the launch of the new hardware platforms for Playstation and Xbox next month,” says Ramsay.

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Source: https://www.prweb.com/releases/2020_videogame_spending_reaches_highest_level_in_10_years/prweb17493308.htm

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