Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Call of Duty: Warzone Adds Solos Mode

Infinity Ward officially adds Solos mode today in current rotation of available game modes for Call of Duty: Warzone.

Within first 24 hours of release, free-to-play battle royale game Call of Duty: Warzone by developer Infinity Ward and Raven Software has drawn over six million players and by fourth day, that number reached more than 15 million.

Warzone initially launched with three-player squads play last week and many were constantly requesting for a solos mode. Infinity Ward closely listened to community feedback and has added a solos mode today for all lone warriors.

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Call of Duty: Warzone Adds Solos Mode

RELATED: Call of Duty: Warzone Revealed

Operators can now go by themselves throughout Verdansk and standard rules of battle royale will be in place for Solos. However, Gulag system will only redeploy squads and you are done for good if you are taken out in a 1v1 gunfight.

Though going solo against 149 other players may be a tough challenge for many, some people love those odds. Drop into a remote area to prepare for survival and build your loadout before engaging rival players in an intense firefight.

RELATED: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Season 2 Live Now

Since there are no teammates to watch your back, you would be wise to keep self-revive kits or buy Stations for yourself. Try to confirm kills or risk enemy operators coming back from zero health using kit of their own to get back at you.

Battle royale games have been a popular genre in recent years and therefore, Warzone had no trouble picking up steam. In 2018, publisher Activision saw similar hype with Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 last-man standing mode Blackout as well.

RELATED: Call of Duty 2020 Will Be Black Ops 5

Although gaining immense popularity among fans, Warzone had a large download size and lacked in variation of game modes. Solos have been a much-anticipated mode and Infinity Ward really surprised all players by rolling it out so quickly.

Call of Duty: Warzone stands out as biggest battle royale game out there on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One today. Apparently, developers are currently testing out four and five-player squad matches to introduce in a future update.

Nintendo Indie World Showcase March 2020

An all-new stream for Indie World Showcase unveils first wave of indie games coming to Nintendo Switch on 2020.

In last two months, Nintendo has broadcast two Nintendo Direct livestream focused on Animal Crossing and Pokémon. Now, a showcase of upcoming indie titles on Nintendo Switch is just about to unload bunch of new announcements.

New waves of third-party titles are taking center stage of today's Indie World Showcase presentation from indie developers all over the world. More than 20 games are displayed, few of which are simply ports of major releases.

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Nintendo Indie World Showcase March 2020

RELATED: Trials of Mana Remake Demo Release Date

Have a look at latest Indie World Showcase episode for all new indie games coming to Switch this year.

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Blue Fire | Nintendo Switch

In mystical kingdom of Penumbra, action-adventure title Blue Fire sends you on a quest to uncover hidden secrets of a forgotten land. There are temples to explore, interact with survivors and a lot of priceless items to collect.

You will be facing menacing enemies, overcome traps and even traverse uncharted territory. Your goal is to locate a way to lost land of The Void to by overcoming various challenges through 3D-platforming for precious rewards.

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Baldo | Nintendo Switch

Inspired heavily from JRPG titles, Baldo is an action-adventure RPG tale of a fantasy journey from developer/publisher NAPS Team. A prophecy for birth of a pure heart child is fulfilled and a threat of no heart creature is on rise again.

There are puzzles to solve, dungeons to explore and traveling to new towns as part of gameplay mechanics. Rich with character variations and an amazing open-world, the game gives away a tone you usually find in Studio Ghibli anime movies.

RELATED: Zombie Army Trilogy Coming to Nintendo Switch

I Am Dead | Nintendo Switch

Take a trip to coastal town of Shelmerston as a ghost of your former self in puzzle game I Am Dead. Make good use of your ethereal abilities like passing or seeing through wall and much more to uncover mysteries of the small island.

Walk alongside recently-deceased apparition of Morris Lupton and his dog Sparky to learn about an incoming disaster. This journey into afterlife arrives on Switch from developer Hollow Ponds and publisher Annapurna Interactive.

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Blair Witch | Nintendo Switch

Out for Switch by this summer, psychological survival horror title Blair Witch from developer Bloober Team and publisher Lionsgate Games is a video game adaptation based on Blair Witch series of renowned live-action movies.

Players will be wandering around creepy forest of Black Hills solving case of a missing boy as former police officer Ellis Lynch with his trusty canine companion, Bullet as he finds himself fighting against endless nightmare in dark.

RELATED: Dragon Quest XII Confirmed

Exit the Gungeon | Nintendo Switch

Launching later today, Exit the Gungeon is a spin-off sequel to 2016 bullet hell shooter title Enter the Gungeon. Moving away from its predecessor, this game takes a platform style approach as shown in its official trailer.

Players will wield an ever-changing weapon as they loot their way out of escaping Gungeon and developer Dodge Roll has made an extensive overhaul to in-game mechanics with change of playing perspective, new weapons and enemies.

RELATED: Pokémon Sword and Shield Becomes Fastest-Selling Switch Game Ever

For majority of games, Nintendo has stated their timed-exclusivity to Switch console in advance for the record. Those who can't wait any longer till summer can pick their Joy-Cons to play PixelJunk Eden 2 and Exit the Gungeon later today.

Recent episode of Nintendo Indie World was meant to premiere concurrently with annual Game Developers Conference, which got cancelled earlier and pushed back to summer 2020 due to concerns over novel Coronavirus outbreak.

Monday, March 16, 2020

Trials of Mana Remake Demo Release Date

Square Enix will be releasing a free demo for Trials of Mana Remake on Switch, PC and PS4 very soon.

As fans of Seiken Densetsu series awaits release of upcoming action role-playing game Trials of Mana Remake on April 24, 2020, developer/publisher Square Enix is releasing a demo ahead of its launch to let players have some fun.

You can take an early peak at modern reimagination of 1995 classic RPG title in a free demo version, which will become available on March 18, 2020, for players on Nintendo Switch, PC via Steam and PlayStation 4 platforms.

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Trials of Mana Remake Demo Release Date

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You can join in to explore some early parts of the game by choosing one main character and gather your party members from a roster of six heroes to go on a story adventure, which can change depending on select characters.

You can also enter a boss battle against an arachnoid known as Full Metal Hugger and veterans will notice subtle change in combat mechanics. There are drastic visual changes made overall to appeal to a new-generation of audience.

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Full Metal Hugger Boss Battle

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Most changes are on aesthetic level as Square Enix had to build the entire game with a 3D engine and redesigned its 2D aspects. Several elements that were not present in original Trials of Mana are added to latest HD remake version.

Although redesigned solely for current-gen gaming platforms, characters models have mostly received PlayStation 2-esque treatment that will surely receive appreciation from hardcore Mana fans and group of newcomers as well.

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Coming closer to launch in a month, a final trailer has also been released offering glimpse of in-game action.

RELATED: Final Fantasy TV Series Confirmed

For long, fan-favorite Mana series were not released on Western markets until Collection of Mana came to Switch. Shortly afterwards, decision for a full remake was made with a worldwide release window set for early 2020.

Demo for Trials of Mana Remake will allow you to choose your party combination and let you carry over save data to full game at launch. Though Switch version will be up for download at Japanese eShop, anyone can play it region-free.

Gears 5 to Get Free Xbox Series X Upgrade

Microsoft and The Coalition will be delivering free Xbox Series X upgrade for Gears 5 at launch this holiday.

Last month, Microsoft has revealed specs for upcoming Xbox Series X and highlighted its Smart Delivery feature that would allow players to enjoy right version of any and all of Xbox Game Studios releases on Xbox One or Series X.

Ahead of holiday 2020 launch, full specs of new Xbox hardware is revealed recently and it ends with an announcement from tech director of The Coalition developer studio, Mike Rayner of an optimized version of Gears 5 for Series X.

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Gears 5 to Get Free Xbox Series X Upgrade

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Rayner and his team showcased in-game footage from latest installment of Gears of War series in ultra settings reserved for PC platform. They ran an improved version of Gears 5 opening cut-scene in 4K at 60 FPS, twice the rate of Xbox One X.

Series X version to feature higher texture resolutions and 50% high particle count compared to ultra specs for PC. Teaming up with Epic Games, they managed to upscale all quality presets of console version on equal level of PC ultra settings.

RELATED: Gears 5 Breaks Xbox Game Studios Launch Record

Currently, Rayner and dev team is busy working on a version that can run at 120 frames per second in next-gen for multiplayer matches. According to Microsoft, it only took their studio two weeks to come up with such progress.

The Coalition has confirmed that Gears 5 will support Smart Delivery and will be fully optimized for Microsoft's next-gen console. Those who already own a copy will get Xbox Series X upgrade for free when it launches this holiday season.

Resident Evil 3 Demo and Resistance Open Beta Release Date

Capcom officially announced a release date for a demo of Resident Evil 3 Remake and an Open Beta for Resident Evil: Resistance.

Fans who are worried sick to get their hands on a playable demo of upcoming survival horror game Resident Evil 3 Remake can finally relax now as developer/publisher Capcom has finally announced an official date of its release.

It has been revealed earlier that Resident Evil 3 Raccoon City Demo will be launched on March 19, 2020 for PC via Steam, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, followed by an Open Beta for Resident Evil: Resistance that begins on March 27.

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Resident Evil 3 Demo and Resistance Open Beta Release Date

RELATED: Resident Evil 3 Remake Demo Coming in March

You can take a brief glance of what to expect when RE3 Raccoon City Demo finally arrives within a few days.

RELATED: Resident Evil 3 Remake Gameplay and Images Reveal

Players would be allowed to explore parts of Raccoon City as former S.T.A.R.S. member Jill Valentine where she attempts to make an escape from a town of undead nightmare in a highly-anticipated demo, which is only days away.

Though you are not getting access to full game, it would be wise to pay attention to ammo and item management for sake of survival. If you are cornered or in doubt, avoid confrontation or make use of newly added dodge move feature.

RELATED: Resident Evil 3 Remake Grave Digger and Nemesis Screenshots Leaked

Then form your own Resistance from March 27 onwards in asymmetrical co-op horror and try to escape from grasp of a Mastermind. Work together in a group of four survivors to stay alive against all creatures and traps thrown against you.

Capcom has yet to clarify whether Raccoon City Demo for Resident Evil 3 Remake will be a limited time ride like Resident Evil 2 Remake "1-Shot" Demo of last year but then again, people won't have to wait much longer to find that out.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Sony Wants to Buy Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill from Konami

Old rumor of Sony looking to buy popular Konami franchises is refueled by recent reports of Silent Hill reboot.

For weeks, reports of a Silent Hill reboot game by Hideo Kojima is out there and two more franchise of developer/publisher Konami has joined that list, according to another recent rumor from image-based bulletin board 4Chan.

A user on 4Chan who claimed to be a Konami employee, states earlier that Sony Interactive Entertainment is interested to purchase Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill series to produce a series of PlayStation 5-exclusives.

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Sony Wants to Buy Castlevania, Metal Gear and Silent Hill from Konami

RELATED: Konami and Hideo Kojima Rumored to Work on Silent Hills Reboot

A full reboot of Castlevania series in style of Bloodborne and Castlevania: Lords of Shadow is planned for SIE Japan Studio. Sony previously helped Konami with PlayStation 4 ports of Rondo of Blood and Symphony of the Night in 2018.

Apparently, Sony wishes to remake Metal Gear and Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake from military action-adventure series from decades ago that spearheaded stealth genre in video games with franchise creator Hideo Kojima on board.

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They are also pushing Konami for a soft reboot of their iconic survival horror game series Silent Hill with Kojima in charge. There are even several attempts of reviving Kojima's 2015 canceled title Silent Hills for next-gen console PS5.

Creator of Silent Hill and Siren game series, Keiichiro Toyama and lead concept artist of The Evil Within series, Ikumi Nakamura are involved as well. Several former alums related to series are also joining a development team under Japan Studio.

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Although often times 4Chan posts leads to dead ends and should be taken with a grain of salt, this leak from January 2020 nicely aligns with many recent reports by reliable sources as well as hints from involved individuals of dev teams.

By end of last year, Kojima stated to try and awaken his horror soul to make a scariest horror game, which fans took as a nod to cancelled Silent Hills, starring actor Norman Reedus (The Boondock Saints, The Walking Dead) in lead role.

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Masahiro Ito, artist who worked on Silent Hill games have been making his own share of cryptic Tweets as well. He mentions of being in team of a game that he wishes not to get cancelled, which is another clear hint at Silent Hills.

Moreover, Sony is reportedly pushing Konami to revive their old IPs and resolve differences with Hideo Kojima for some time. While they are ready to fully fund these ambitions projects, Kojima would be given full creative control.

Friday, March 13, 2020

Konami and Hideo Kojima Rumored to Work on Silent Hills Reboot

Recent rumors suggest that Hideo Kojima and Konami will team up to revive Silent Hill franchise through a reboot.

When a massive dispute between Hideo Kojima and developer/publisher Konami has led to the former to leave company back in 2015, an attempted reboot of fan-favorite Silent Hill survival horror series was being shelved for good.

Earlier this year, there was a rumor of Konami working on two new titles from their iconic series. A latest rumor suggests that Sony is apparently trying to revive Silent Hills for PlayStation 5 console with Kojima and Konami on board.

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Konami and Hideo Kojima Rumored to Work on Silent Hills Reboot

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Shortly after Kojima's departure, Komani has cancelled his ambitious project and removed its demo titled P.T. ("playable teaser") from PlayStation Store and even after five years of its cancellation, fans are still clamoring to bring it back.

After seeking out various developer studios to get a pitch, Konami ended up settling for two new Silent Hill games. One of them is a series reboot and another will be more in episodic format like most titles from Telltale Games.

RELATED: P.T. Modder Finds Way to Explore Silent Hills Town

Having a track record for trustworthy sources, Twitter user Aesthetic Gamer has posted the following lately.

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One source states that creature designer Masahiro Ito of original series is currently working on one of those new game. 1999 Silent Hill director and writer, Keiichiro Toyama along with composer Akira Yamaoka is also reportedly returning.

Rumor has it that, this trio is assembled by SIE Japan Studio for a soft reboot of the franchise, joining up with development team of Project Siren, a group that previously worked on 2008 PlayStation 3 horror game Siren: Blood Curse.

RELATED: Silent Hills P.T. Remake for PC by Fan

For a rumored second game, Sony is interested to re-launch Kojima's canceled title in anticipation of upcoming next-gen release as a PS5-exclusive by having Konami own the IPs and let Kojima Productions continue its development.

Given past history between Metal Gear series creator and its Japanese publisher, it seems quite impossible for any collaboration among them but Sony has stepped in to build a bridge to patch things up for a series reboot of Silent Hill.

RELATED: Konami Shuts Down Silent Hills P.T. Remake

If Sony can somehow manage to make two new Silent Hill games as PlayStation 5-exclusive, they can be a driving force to sell more consoles. There are plans to include VR support to promote next-gen PlayStation VR device as well.

An immense fan-demand for scrapped Silent Hills game has forced Sony to seriously rethink its revival. Although it took years for Konami to get Silent Hill series back in track, fans would finally see Kojima making the scariest horror game.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Control: The Foundation DLC Release Date

Remedy Entertainment will be releasing The Foundation, first-ever paid DLC expansion for Control on March 26.

One of the most heavily praised release of last year, action-adventure game Control from developer Remedy Entertainment and publisher 505 Games made a decent debut on PC via Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Remedy has yet to explore many distant parts of Oldest House through additional post-launch content and a brief teaser trailer on social media recently announced March 26 release date for The Foundation, first paid DLC of Control.

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Control: The Foundation DLC Release Date

RELATED: Control Post-Launch Content Roadmap

Latest teaser features a conversation between protagonist Jesse Faden and most probably, security chief Simon Arish. She is worried for Head of Operations Helen Marshall, who went missing nearing end of story mode campaign.

She would likely to head to Black Rock Quarry, which is supposed to be a foundation for Oldest House. Given how Federal Bureau of Control headquarters keeps dealing with weird stuffs, a mysterious new journey awaits Jesse for sure.

RELATED: Control and Death Stranding Gets Most Nominations at DICE Awards

Only two weeks left to release, teaser for The Foundation expansion gives away details that are pretty vague.

RELATED: Control DLC May Have Alan Wake Crossover

Remedy has rolled out a photo mode update as well as end-game mode Expeditions for free last year. The Foundation, however is their first major expansion pack and will get at least one more follow-up DLC titled AWE later.

The Foundation DLC will arrive first on PS4 as a standalone purchase and owner of Season Pass will receive it for free. Players on PC platform and Xbox One console will eventually get their hands on the expansion on a later date.

Sea of Thieves: Heart of Fire Update Live Now

Latest free monthly content update Heart of Fire for Sea of Thieves adds new Tall Tale, weapons and more.

Due to last minute discovery of an issue, developer Rare Studio and publisher Microsoft Studios had to push back release of latest Heart of Fire monthly content update by a couple of days for 2018 action-adventure title Sea of Thieves.

Heart of Fire free update is now rolled out on Windows PC, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox One for eager pirates to let them take on new voyages, experience story-driven Tall Tales, earn Pirate Legend status, rewards and much more.

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Sea of Thieves: Heart of Fire Update Live Now

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Before going in-depth of major features added in Heart of Fire update, take a look at its official trailer below.

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This month, Duke is handing out special Athena's Run voyages only for Pirate Legends on behalf of Pirate Lord. It will send them in quest for precious treasures and if you are not legendary yet, tag along as part of someone else's crew.

You can be part of this adventure even if you are non-Legend and have spoils of riches to cash them in to mysterious stranger. Or you can go up against a Pirate Legends to take them down, instead of working together and steal their loot.

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Clash of Pirate Legends

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Pirate Lord encourages everyone to look for Athena's Treasures that includes objects like chalice of ancient fortune and keg of ancient black powder and more, which earns you gold and invaluable Athena's Fortune reputation.

Exchange enough treasures with mysterious stranger to unlock Commendations and Ghost ship cosmetics. Heart of Fire update also introduces throwable explosive weapons Blunderbomb and Chainshot to use against hostile enemies.

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Earn Rare Treasures

RELATED: Xbox Live Gold Free Games for March 2020

Newest Tall Tale mission picks up from Seabound Soul storyline as Sir Arthur Pendragon is still seeking for location of Captain Flameheart at Devil's Roar to save souls of his lost crewmates, with two-timer Stitcher Jim following his trail.

Sea of Thieves: Heart of Fire free update adds fresh cosmetics, emotes and pets to Black Market. Much-requested Royal Sea Squirrel set has recently arrived on Pirate Emporium and there are discounts on many select items.

Naughty Dog Needs to Work on Its Crunch Culture

Employees working at Naughty Dog are reaching limits of their "crunch culture" to release The Last of Us Part II.

In video game industry, "crunch" or working extra hours out of your regular schedule to meet deadline is an unavoidable term for most companies even though they are extremely frowned upon by loyal fans and game journalists.

According to new reports from Jason Schreier of Kotaku, developer studio Naughty Dog tends to encourage workplace crunch culture to its team just to get their game complete in time, including upcoming The Last of Us Part II.

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Naughty Dog Needs to Work on Its Crunch Culture

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Schreier talked to a bunch of past and present employees of the studio under anonymity to learn that Naughty Dog used crunch culture in many of their past game development cycle and it started to get messy with TLoU Part 2.

People who work there are content under current management team and although they don't outright tell anyone to work overtime, there is a sub-textual implication of getting the job done at all costs, says a former developer.

RELATED: The Last of Us Part 2 to Feature Nudity & Sexual Content

When they had to delay The Last of Us Part II to May 2020, it was simply because game director Neil Druckmann thought the game was not up to Naughty Dog quality yet and needs more polish to avoid narrowing original vision.

Therefore, this delay announcement did not put developers at ease and they had to go double as hard. This timely postponement has only helped narrowly avoid a messy situation among studio employees that was almost inevitable.

RELATED: The Last of Us Part 2 Gameplay Details

In some cases, Naughty Dog doesn't even try to hide their workload and looks for individuals that are willing to work extra hours. New staffs are encouraged to work longer periods just to try and make things close to perfect.

Some developers are hoping for The Last of Us 2 to fail just so it could prove that poor working conditions don't work, which seems unlikely for a game that is praised in all preview events and a studio known for their approach to perfection.

RELATED: The Last of Us Part 2 Wraps Shooting

This cycle of extensive pressure force employees to crunch hard until Naughty Dog ships a game that scores great. Once it starts generating bonuses, senior employees leave studio and thus, creating a cycle of recruiting and departures.

Last year, there were reports of Rockstar Games pushing developers for 100 hours of work weeks during development of Red Dead Redemption 2 just to launch it in time, which got rave reviews and sold pretty well on all platforms.

RELATED: Neil Druckmann Talks The Last of Us Inspiration

Crunch culture has always existed in game industry but only came under fire when reports started exposing its brutal practices recently. Earlier this year, CD Projekt Red admitted that they have to crunch to get Cyberpunk 2077 out in time.

Video game industry is not doing away with its terrible crunch culture anytime soon unless of course customers start questioning on what does it cost to make their favorite entertainment products, so a serious change comes from within.

NASCAR Heat 4, Overwatch and Verdun on Xbox Free Play Days

Free Play Days event brings NASCAR Heat 4, Overwatch and Verdun for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members this weekend.

Back again for a new week, Xbox Free Play Days event brings a new lineup of games for all members of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate monthly services to enjoy on their Xbox One consoles for this weekend.

Use your membership right now to sign in at Microsoft Store from March 12, 12:01 AM PST/3:01 AM EDT to download and play NASCAR Heat 4, Overwatch and Verdun for free until March 15, 11:59 PM PST/2:59 AM EDT.

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NASCAR Heat 4, Overwatch and Verdun on Xbox Free Play Days

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Despite having some shortcomings with online features, racing simulation game NASCAR Heat 4 returns as a grand improvement of its predecessor titles from developer Monster Games, with many of its old mechanics reworked.

Players are allowed to join an existing team or start a new one as a solo driver to earn contracts and build a reputation in exciting career mode. You can literally take all of its collection of cars to drive on any tracks except for dirt courses.

RELATED: Xbox Game Pass to Add NBA 2K20, Ori and the Will of the Wisps and More

A pioneer in hero shooter genre, Overwatch lets you choose from a vast roster of character that are armed with extraordinary powers and advanced weapons to engage in team-based combat against each other on futuristic locations.

Based on 1916 event Battle of Verdun, squad-based shooter title Verdun takes you back gritty landscape of World War I to play four different game modes; Attrition, Frontlines, Rifle Deathmatch and Squad Defense in Europe.

RELATED: Xbox Live Gold Free Games for March 2020

If you end up liking what you've been playing all weekend and want to keep that up, simply purchase these titles at a limited time exclusive member discount to carry over your in-game achievements, progress and Gamerscore.

For starters, Verdun Standard Edition is offering 50% off on its regular price and is coming dirt cheap for $10 only. NASCAR Heat 4 Gold Edition can be yours at 30% less and is bundled with a Season Pass for complete experience.

A Short Hike, Anodyne 2 and Mutazione Free on Epic Games Store Now

For this week, Epic Games Store is offering free copies of A Short Hike, Anodyne 2 and Mutazione on PC.

To let you expand your ever-growing collection of PC titles at Epic Games Store by each passing week, Epic Games is adding more free games to their giveaway list and plans on to continue throughout entirety of this year.

Epic Store will be giving out a total of three different titles for free and anyone with a free account can add those in their online collection to own them forever by simply claiming before March 19, 7:00 PM PT/10:00 PM EDT.

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A Short Hike, Anodyne 2 and Mutazione Free on Epic Games Store Now

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This week's freebie starts rolling with A Short Hike that is about exploration and making your way to a summit somehow. As you try to find your way through Hawk Peak, discover treasures, interact with fellow hikers and take your time.

Then hop onto strange worlds of indie action-adventure game Anodyne 2: Return to Dust from developer/publisher Analgesic Productions that allows you to swap between 3D landscapes to 2D to let you explore an emotional story.

RELATED: Epic Games Store Will Continue Free Weekly Games in 2020

Finally, become part of a community of mutants in fantasy adventure game Mutazione, which is developed by Die Gute Fabrik and lets you play as a young girl named Kai who visits a mysterious small-town to look after her grandfather.

For next week's giveaway, Epic Games Store plans to offer 2013 first-person exploration game The Stanley Parable by Galactic Cafe and 2014 stealth 2014 action-adventure title Watch Dogs from Ubisoft for free on March 26, 2020.