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PlayStation Blogcast 307: Classically Fascinating

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Listen in to this week’s Blogcast for our first thoughts on PlayStation Classic, as well as a #SpiderManPS4 post-launch interview with creative director Bryan Intihar. Enjoy!

Stuff We Talked About

  • PlayStation Classic
  • Marvel’s Spider-Man interview w/ Bryan Intihar
  • Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s new Blackout mode
  • Creed: Rise to Glory
  • Hollow Knight
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4

The Cast

Official PlayStation Blogcast: Sid ShumanOfficial PlayStation Blogcast: Justin MassongillOfficial PlayStation Blogcast: Kristen Titus

Sid Shuman – Director of Social Media, SIEA
Justin Massongill – Social Media Manager, SIEA
Kristen Titus – Social Media Specialist, SIEA

Thanks to Cory Schmitz for our beautiful logo and Dormilón for our rad theme song and show music.

[Editor’s note: PSN game release dates are subject to change without notice. Game details are gathered from press releases from their individual publishers and/or ESRB rating descriptions.]

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PlayStation Now Adds Downloading of PS4, PS2 Games

We are excited to announce that starting today, you will be able to stream as well as download PlayStation Now games to your PS4 system so that you can play both locally and offline, all with a single subscription. Almost all PS4 games in the service, including Bloodborne, God of War 3 Remastered, NBA 2K16, Payday 2 Crimewave Edition and Until Dawn, will be available for download, in addition to the PS Now lineup of classic PS2 games remastered for PS4. This feature will be gradually rolled out to PS Now subscribers over the next couple of days, so if you don’t see the feature on your PS Now today, make sure to check back again soon.

Downloaded PS Now games will support all user-purchased DLCs, microtransactions, and add-ons, as well as PS4 Pro enhancements for subscribers using a PS4 Pro system. And remember, you do not need a PlayStation Plus membership for online multiplayer on PS Now – which stays the same for both streaming and downloaded games.

If you’ve already started a game via streaming on PS Now and want to continue playing locally on your PS4, you can transfer your save file from the PS Now cloud to your console with a PS Plus membership (sold separately). This is done by transferring the save file from the PS Now cloud to your PS Plus cloud storage, then transferring it from the PS Plus cloud storage to your PS4 system. Check out this page for step-by-step instruction videos on how to transfer your game saves.

Note that you will need to connect your PS4 system to the internet every few days to verify your PS Now subscription, even if you’re only playing downloaded games.

A quick reminder that there are a few days left to get in on our summer price promotion, which ends September 25. Try PS Now for a full month at just $9.99 (new subscribers only) with our special intro offer, or get a full year for just $99.99 USD. And if you’re a PS Plus member, you can take advantage of the exclusive discount on the 3-month pass for PS Now for just $29.99 ($44.99 regular price). Although note that in order to take advantage of the $9.99 intro offer, you will need to purchase that directly, as the 7-day trial will transition into the standard monthly subscription.

This is a great time to catch up on PS4 games that you missed or discover new franchises through PS Now. Let us know what you’re going to be streaming or downloading in the comments below!

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Warface Out on PS4 With New PvP, PvE Content

We would like to thank our CBT and early access participants. We owe it to your efforts and feedback that allowed us to be more thorough and efficient in the last stages of development.
As such, we see no reason to delay the release any longer. Warface is now available at PlayStation Store, with all-new content added!

Meet the fast-paced PvP mode Blitz

Everyone’s familiar with Plant the Bomb and Team Deathmatch — after all, these are the bread-and-butter of PvP gameplay in most games. How about mixing them up a bit? That’s when you get an awesome, one-of-a-kind hybrid: Blitz!

Just like in Plant the Bomb, the action is focused around an explosive device, but in Blitz, the clock is ticking as soon as the round begins. With the bomb planted and activated, two sides face off for a tension-filled 90-second match: attackers need to defuse the bomb and avert disaster while defenders need to make sure it explodes.

Blitz is a game mode always packed with dynamic gunfights and plenty of room for tactical gameplay and teamwork — you’ll always be on the edge of your seat!

As for the mode’s setting, we’re introducing a new map which includes chokepoints and numerous access paths, which makes defense non-linear and every scenario unique. Welcome to Hawkrock.

Introducing new PvP map Hawkrock

Hawkrock will be the first map to feature this game mode. The action unfolds in a countryside estate, hidden within which is the bomb location, containing the transmitter and crates carrying stolen prototypes.

Despite the size of the map, there are a dozen of access paths, elevations, underground passages, vantage points and crossings to leverage for an advantage! Some paths are gated, but these obstacles prove futile against a solid C4 blast, so a sudden assault is always an option.

But this isn’t the only new map we’re introducing. Other preexisting game modes are getting new locations.

An all-new PvE raid: Earth Shaker

If you’re more into PvE, you’ll definitely like our new raid Earth Shaker. This one is a true test of skill and will take a tight-knit, well-organized team to complete — especially when tackling the new mission in our insanely difficult Nightmare level!

This time, the Warface squad is deployed to Sector H26, at the foot of an active volcano somewhere in Africa. First you take the approximate whereabouts of a Blackwood research facility, then you add suspicious—and most importantly, unnatural—seismic readings, and you’ve cause for worry.

Satellite scans proved futile and UAVs are deterred or disabled on sight, and that justifies a ground covert op.

Intel suggests the research site is well-guarded and employs highly-advanced defensive turrets. Each of these “marvels of engineering” carries different equipment and thus different danger, and when deployed you’ll have to adjust your strategy.

Some turrets will require you to stay away and use cover, others will force you to be quick on your feet and overwhelm them with suppressive fire.

PlayStation Plus perks

As we have announced during early access, a PS Plus subscription will not be required to play Warface on PS4. Nevertheless, an active subscription will have its benefits! To start with, it will provide the owner with a VIP Booster, which increases your experience and other in-game currency gains in PvE missions and PvP matches. Apart from that, players with an active subscription will be eligible for various gifts that will be released in future updates.

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Introducing PlayStation Classic, with 20 Pre-Loaded Games

PlayStation Classic

Almost 25 years ago, the original PlayStation was introduced to the world. Developed by Sony Computer Entertainment, it was the first home console in video game history to ship 100 million units worldwide, offering consumers a chance to play games with real-time 3D rendered graphics in their homes for the first time.

Today, we are excited to announce that we are bringing back the original PlayStation experience in a new miniaturized version – PlayStation Classic! The console will come pre-loaded with 20 classic titles, including fan-favorites such as Final Fantasy VII, Jumping Flash, Ridge Racer Type 4, Tekken 3, and Wild Arms.

The mini console is approximately 45% smaller than the original PlayStation, and it emulates the original’s look and feel by featuring similar controllers and packaging. Long-time fans will appreciate the nostalgia that comes with rediscovering the games they know and love, while gamers who might be new to the platform can enjoy the groundbreaking PlayStation console experience that started it all. All of the pre-loaded games will be playable in their original format.

PlayStation Classic

Available for pre-order at select retailers across the US and CAN, each unit will also come with an HDMI cable to connect to their TV, a USB cable, and two controllers for local multiplayer within compatible titles. PlayStation Classic will be available for $99.99 USD (MSRP) / $129.99 CAN (MSRP) on December 3, 2018 – a historic date for all of us at PlayStation.

Visit for more details on regional availability, and stay tuned to the Blog for the full lineup of titles coming to PlayStation Classic. There are more fan favorites, and we can’t wait to share more details in the coming months.

PlayStation Classic

What are your favorite original PlayStation memories? Share in the comments below!

*AC adaptor sold separately

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Ace Combat 7: Pre-Order for Free Ace Combat 5, PS4 Theme and More

Hello Ace Combat fans! It’s time to jump back into the cockpit and feel the rush of superior air power! You are invited to climb into the most advanced warplanes ever developed and fly headfirst into breathtaking cloud-filled skies and cityscapes and experience some of the most intense aerial battles ever presented in the 20 years of the Ace Combat series’ history.

Ace Combat 7

Ace Combat 7Ace Combat 7

Here are just a few of the planes you’ll be able to fly:

  • F-22/A Raptor
  • F-35C Lightning II
  • Eurofighter Typhoon
  • Sukhoi-35 Flanker E
  • F-16C Fighting Falcon
  • F/A-18F Super Hornet
  • A-10A Thunderbolt II
  • Sukhoi-33 Flanker D
  • F-15C, F-15E, F-15K
  • Sukhoi-30SM
  • Mig-29A Fulcrum
  • F-14D Tomcat
  • F-2A

And on top of that, you will also be able to feel the thrill of flight in Virtual Reality, a mode exclusively available on PlayStation 4!

Lastly, we’re super jazzed to be able to offer a very special™ offer. Pre-purchasing Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown from PlayStation Store will include the following incentives:

  • Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown dynamic theme (delivered instantly)
  • A McDonnell Douglas F-4E plane and three aircraft skins (delivered at launch)
  • Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War (full game, delivered at launch)

However, we know some of you prefer to purchase games physically, so this same offer (minus the dynamic theme) will be available when pre-ordering at retail too!

Ace Combat 7

Ace Combat 7Ace Combat 7

Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown will be available at retail and on the PlayStation Store for $59.99. A season pass that includes three additional planes, three additional stages, and a bonus in-game music player will also be available for $24.99. You will also be able to purchase a deluxe edition that includes the base game and season pass, as well as acquire the digital-only incentive Lockheed F-104 Starfighter plane.

What plane are you looking forward to jumping into most in Ace Combat 7?

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Pub Party Sale: Deals from 505 games, Kalyspo, Bigben

Welcome to PlayStation Store’s Pub Party, where we’re celebrating three awesome game publishers – 505 games, Kalyspo, and Bigben – bringing savings up to 60% all week long. Plus members save up to 70% off.

Check out the full lineup below and be sure to join us at PS Store before our Pub Party comes to an end September 25 at 8 a.m. PT.


Platform Title Sale Price PS Plus Price Original Price
PS4 2DARK $11.99 $8.99 $29.99
PS4 ABZU $13.99 $11.99 $19.99
PS4 ADR1FT $5.99 $3.99 $19.99
PS4 ASSETTO CORSA $17.99 $14.99 $29.99
PS4 ASSETTO CORSA SEASON PASS $11.99 $9.99 $19.99
PS4 BLACKGUARDS 2 $11.99 $7.99 $39.99
PS4 BRICK BREAKER $3.99 $2.99 $9.99
PS4 BROTHERS: A TALE OF TWO SONS $5.99 $3.99 $19.99
PS4 DEFENSE GRID 2 $4.49 $2.99 $14.99
PS4 DUNGEONS 2 $8.99 $5.99 $29.99
PS4 DUNGEONS 3 $14.99 $9.99 $49.99
PS4 GRAND AGES: MEDIEVAL $11.99 $7.99 $39.99
PS4 HANDBALL 17 $14.99 $9.99 $49.99
PS4 HOW TO SURVIVE 2 $4.49 $2.99 $14.99
PS4 HUNTING SIMULATOR $11.99 $7.99 $39.99
PS4 LAST DAY OF JUNE $9.99 $7.99 $19.99
PS4 MOTORCYCLE CLUB $9.99 $7.99 $19.99
PS4 OUTCAST – SECOND CONTACT $11.99 $7.99 $39.99
PS4 PAYDAY 2: CRIMEWAVE EDITION $11.99 $9.99 $19.99
PS4 PAYDAY’S MOST WANTED BUNDLE $9.99 $7.99 $19.99
PS4 PIXEL PIRACY $4.49 $2.99 $14.99
PS4 PREMIUM POOL ARENA $4.99 $3.99 $9.99
PS4 RAILWAY EMPIRE $35.99 $29.99 $59.99
PS4 RUGBY 18 $17.99 $11.99 $59.99
PS4 SNIPER ELITE 3 $8.99 $5.99 $29.99
PS4 SNIPER ELITE 3 SEASON PASS $11.99 $8.99 $29.99
PS4 SUDDEN STRIKE 4 $17.99 $11.99 $59.99
PS4 TENNIS WORLD TOUR $35.99 $29.99 $59.99
PS4 TERRARIA $5.99 $3.99 $19.99
PS4 TROPICO 5 $8.99 $5.99 $29.99
PS4 TROPICO 5 – ESPIONAGE $3.99 $2.99 $9.99
PS4 TROPICO 5 – WATERBORNE $3.99 $2.99 $9.99
PS4 TT ISLE OF MAN – RIDE ON THE EDGE $29.99 $23.99 $59.99
PS4 VIKINGS – WOLVES OF MIDGARD $17.99 $11.99 $59.99
PS4 VIRGINIA $2.99 $1.99 $9.99
PS4 WRC 5 & 6 DELUXE PACK $23.99 $17.99 $59.99
PS4 WRC 5 ESPORTS EDITION $13.99 $10.49 $34.99
PS4 WRC 6 $19.99 $14.99 $49.99
PS4 WRC 7 $24.99 $19.99 $49.99
PS4 WRC COLLECTION $43.99 $32.99 $109.99

Note: All pricing is for U.S. only and subject to change.

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Ghost Recon Wildlands: New Mood Matchmaking Feature, Free Weekend

Ghost Recon Wildlands sets players loose in a huge open world, challenges them to take down a vicious drug cartel, and gives them the freedom to do so using all the tools the Ghosts have at their disposal. In the year and half since the game launched, it has grown considerably, adding the Ghost War PVP mode, the permadeath-enabled Ghost Mode, and free missions built around the Predator, Splinter Cell’s Sam Fisher, and Operators from Rainbow Six Siege.

If you’ve yet to experience piling into a chopper with friends or executing a flawless team sync shot, there’s a perfect opportunity coming up this weekend, when the Ghost Recon Wildlands Free Weekend will be available for PS Plus members from September 20-24.

Beginning at 12:00 am Pacific on September 20, you’ll be able to dive into everything the base game has to offer, including the PVE campaign (playable solo or with up to three co-op teammates) and Ghost War. And if you want to keep playing after the free weekend ends at 10:00 am Pacific on September 24, all editions of the game will be discounted until October 2.

You can grab the Standard Edition for 60% off from PlayStation Store, or the newly launched Year 2 Gold or Ultimate editions for 40% off. The Year 2 Gold Edition includes the Year 2 Pass (which grants one-week early access to all Year 2 Ghost War classes, along with special equipment packs), while the Ultimate Edition comes with the Year 2 Pass, as well as Season Pass Year 1 (which includes the Narco Road and Fallen Ghosts expansions) and additional perks.

The free weekend coincides with a major new update for Ghost Recon Wildlands, which is now live. Titled Operations & Maintenance, the update includes a number of gameplay improvements, and introduces Mood Matchmaking, a new feature that lets players set “mood” preferences (like competing story missions or exploring the open world) to help them find players with similar goals in public matchmaking for campaign co-op. Also, Operations & Maintenance will add a new item pack for Year 2 Pass owners, a practice that will continue with each future title update.

To find out more, we chatted with Senior Producer Nouredine Abboud about the latest update and the ways Ghost Recon Wildlands has grown since its launch.

What’s surprised you most about how Ghost Recon Wildlands has grown, and how the community has embraced the game?

Nouredine Abboud: It has been a year and a half since we released Ghost Recon Wildlands, and the demand for a second year of live content was really rewarding for us in the studio. We have been thrilled to see how each new update has brought more content and diversity to our open world, and the positive reaction to our thematic crossovers went above and beyond our expectations. We’re super happy to see the love for bringing other Tom Clancy characters to the Wildlands, and the continued support and feedback from our community has been a big driver for us.

From the Predator and Sam Fisher to Rainbow Six Siege Operators, there have been so many surprising missions added to the game since launch that new players can still experience – how did these come about? What were your goals with these missions?

NA: With Ghost Recon Wildlands, we have tried to build a coherent world in which the Ghosts need to take down a drug cartel in a fictionalized Bolivia. But, we also wanted to extend the universe of the brand to new experiences and partnerships too, which is what we did with the Predator, Splinter Cell, and Rainbow Six brands. Seeing the amazing feedback we got from these releases, we will look into how we can keep on building this shared universe in the future!

Ghost War PVP is a free addition to Wildlands that regularly gets new classes, modes, and maps. What motivates the team to continue expanding this competitive mode? What aspects of GRW do you think thrive in this mode?

NA: The Ghost War PVP mode has been one of the key post-launch releases for Ghost Recon Wildlands, one that was embraced by the community for its unique take on open-ended 4v4 matches. Ghost War is all about the tension and the intensity of a game of hide-and-seek, mixed with the thrill of military shootouts. It is extremely interesting to see the meta of the mode evolve with every new class and every new map we release. The positive community reaction makes us excited to keep supporting Ghost War with new classes and features with the upcoming Special Operation updates.

Overall, what’s been the main focus of the updates you’ve been making to GRW since its launch?

NA: Our main objective after the launch of the game and its DLC has always been to try and build a healthy community of players that we keep entertained and engaged, and also to find new ways to attract new players to the game. For example, we are releasing the Operations & Maintenance update to address issues and quality-of-life proposals from the community, and we have released the new Ghost Mode as part of Special Operation 2, which lets players try to complete the main campaign of the game under thrilling new conditions, including permadeath.

What’s your advice for someone interested in getting into GRW for the first time?

NA: We have a trial version of the game available on all platforms that allows anyone to try the full game for five hours, either solo or with friends in co-op. Most of the post-launch missions, like the Predator or the Splinter Cell ones, are deliberately quite difficult, so try to complete a few provinces and build up your skills and arsenal before you take them on. Free weekends are a great opportunity to try the Ghost War PVP mode, too, as all classes are temporarily unlocked!

What is your goal when designing Challenges?

NA: Challenges allow us to create recurring events and keep the community engaged in PVE and PVP. Our goal with the Challenges is to add more diversity to the game, and try to address the different playstyles and difficulty levels of our players. We have recently added bigger rewards to the PVE Challenges, for instance, which allow you to get your hands on new vehicles or Prestige Credits.

Who do you think the new Mood Matchmaking system will appeal to?

NA: Mood Matchmaking will give PVE players several options for who they would like to matchmake with, based on their game mode and their current objective. We think it will be a useful tool for anyone looking for a great co-op experience, either with friends or with new acquaintances.

Being able to play with other gamers that share the same objectives you do definitely works to enhance the overall experience of playing co-op. You and your team will be more focused and more efficient, which we believe will improve your games.

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Creed: Rise to Glory Gets PvP Mode, 10 Tips to Take the Title

Hi everyone! We’re excited to announce Creed: Rise to Glory will be launching September 25 with an online PvP mode*, where you’ll be able to settle the score with friends or challenge unassuming contenders in Quick Match.

This PS VR boxing experience features intense 1:1 boxing gameplay set against the rich backdrop of the Creed film universe. With a Career mode charting the ascent of Adonis Creed as he trains with Rocky Balboa and additional Freeplay and Training Montages, Creed: Rise to Glory has plenty of options for when you feel like raising your gloves.

Before you step into the ring, we decided to ask our devs what advice they have for PS VR players about to enter the ring next week.

  1. Practice Makes Perfect – The knowledge you gain in training exercises will prepare you for the fight ahead. For instance, the treadmill exercise gives you a solid idea of how much effort you should be putting into knockdown recovery.
  2. Vary Your Punches and Approach – The best boxers are strategic on when and where they swing. Take advantage of short openings or trigger powerful combos.
  3. Know When to Defend – Blocking and fast reaction times are crucial to a clean KO. Sometimes it’s better to stay on defense and wait out attacks, or time a perfect dodge and catch your opponent off guard.
  4. Keep an Eye on Your Gloves – The lower your stamina, the longer it takes for your stamina to start recovering. Take a breather and block a few hits while your gloves are still orange and before they flash red. Pacing is everything.
  5. Put Some Muscle Behind It – The more effort you put into your swings and movements, the more that gets translated in game. Harder hits will cause more damage, faster strides will increase running speed. But be careful! Don’t overextend or overexert. Know your limits (and your playspace**)!
  6. Dodging for Stamina – In single-player modes, triggering a slow-motion dodge will recover the player’s stamina–perfect for lining up a powerful punch or quick combo.
  7. Always Block in PvP – Make sure to block your opponents hits as much as you can! A successful block in PvP Mode gives you some stamina back. Likewise, if you hit when your opponent is blocking, your stamina will get drained.
  8. Read the Opponent – When the opponent rears back for a power hit, be prepared to either dodge or block using both hands. While blocking is safer, the hit will drain your stamina on impact and you’ll lose the opportunity to counter the swing.
  9. The Third Knockdown – If you make it back on your feet from a third knockdown, take caution: the next knockdown comes quickly, and there is no recovering from it.
  10. Stay (Not) Thirsty – VR boxing is not an idle pastime. Please make sure to stay hydrated, and occasionally check the status of your headset. Take frequent breaks and keep a towel nearby!

We can’t wait to share what we’ve created with the PlayStation community. This is a title we as a company were excited to take on to bring our own spin to the VR boxing genre. We’ll be continuing to refine the player experience post-launch, and would love to hear your feedback!

Thanks again for your interest in Creed: Rise to Glory, and we’ll see you in the ring September 25.

*PS Plus is required for online play.
**As with any VR title, we highly advise playspace awareness and assume no responsibility for what may ensue outside the playspace area. This includes but is not limited to: broken televisions, controllers, light bulbs and/or windows, drywall repairs, medical bills or noise complaints. Standard practice. Good luck.

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Beta Feedback: How You’re Helping Shape Blackout in Call of Duty Black Ops 4

We hope you’ve enjoyed the Blackout Beta as much as we’ve enjoyed playing it along with you. Armed with your incredible feedback, we continued to update the Beta throughout the week and will keep listening as we improve the game in time for launch. That’s what betas are for, after all.

Blackout is our own distinctive Battle Royale, and we knew we had to make this something special for our fans from the start. Our teams have set out to create a uniquely Black Ops experience, featuring time-tested Call of Duty gameplay, signature Treyarch design philosophy, and a celebration of 10 years of Black Ops heritage. We know we have to nail the things that people love about the genre, improve on the elements that we want to take to the next level, and bring plenty of new ideas to the table. Your feedback this week has been encouraging to say the least, and everyone here at the studio can’t wait to show you what’s coming in the future.

With the Beta wrapped up and everyone counting the days to October 12th, we’d like to take this opportunity to look back at the biggest feedback items that came from the community and provide some deeper insights into what we’re doing to improve the game, just as we did following the Multiplayer Beta. Here’s a look at some of the hot topics we’re tracking between now and launch:


Armor’s role in Blackout is inherently unique compared to its role in MP. You only live once in Blackout, and you’re rewarded for scavenging in areas that often put you in perilous positions, especially as the Collapse gets smaller in the late game. For this and other reasons, we’ve been cautious about making sweeping changes to the way Armor works, though we’ve made some tweaks during the Beta and continue to evaluate how Armor will work at launch.

Every Item in the game, from Armor to Weapons to Perks, is constantly re-evaluated to ensure they fit in the correct place in the game’s meta. You can expect Armor to be tuned multiple times as the game, and the gameplay content, evolves over time.

Some changes to Armor since the start of the Beta include:

  • Spawn frequency of Level 3 Armor has been reduced by 75% compared to its initial spawn rate in the Beta.
  • Level 3 Armor will now most frequently be found in Stashes and Supply Drops, though it may occasionally spawn in the world.
  • Level 3 Armor now breaks sooner and passes more damage to the player wearing it, and still offers headshot and other types of damage mitigation. We’ve heard your concerns that Level 3 Armor was still perhaps too powerful by the end of the Beta, and will be evaluating the data to see what other tweaks may be required.
  • Level 2 Armor was also minorly adjusted during the Beta and will potentially be tweaked further in time for launch.
  • Players will see an indicator of the condition of their own Armor, and those of their teammates, in the HUD. This provides a more granular indicator of the damage that your Armor has taken beyond the Armor icon and will let you know if it’s time to seek out a replacement.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout

Audio Adjustments

We saw several reports of footsteps sounding louder or quieter than expected, and not always being able to tell the direction enemies were coming from. Others reported an uneven balance of footstep volume between teammates and enemies. We’re on it. Improvements to how audio will work at launch include:

  • Sounds will be properly impacted by walls, floors, ceilings, and other objects in the world. This means enemies directly above or below the player should no longer sound louder than expected.
  • The volume of the cargo plane, punching, game countdown timers, and everything else you’ve brought to our attention (and many things you have not) will be reviewed in-depth as part of that process. The game has not yet had its final audio mix.
  • Teammates’ footsteps will be quieter compared to enemy footsteps.
  • The Awareness Perk will further reduce the loudness of the footsteps of your teammates.
  • All audio presets will be available at launch in the Options menu. Audio presets can make a big difference, and we offer many choices for those who play with headphones or surround sound.

Inventory & Item Management

On the first day of the Beta, the community almost unanimously asked for faster Item pickups. As a result, we made pickup speed as fast as possible while still protecting players from accidentally picking up an Item when attempting to reload.

Console players have asked for an option in Settings to allow them to tap a button to instantly pick up an Item. We like this idea a lot, and want to be sure we get it right and test it thoroughly.

The Quick Equip menu can be fantastic for making Inventory adjustments quickly, but could also get in the way of picking up Items, opening doors, or entering vehicles. We adjusted the Quick Equip menu so it automatically closes after a few seconds with no interactions. We are also looking into the feasibility of closing the Quick Equip menu if the player performs other actions such as firing a weapon, changing stance, starting a Sprint, etc.

We’ve already improved the proximity and height at which you can interact with Items on the ground so you don’t have to look down at that Item so precisely. It’s being tested now and is very likely to be in when the game comes out.

Last but not least, we are creating designs for other “quality of life” improvements to these very important game systems including, but not limited to:

  • Evaluating options to improve the Stash interface when looting enemies and containers on console.
  • Adding a new method to allow you to quickly remove all Attachments from a weapon.
  • Incorporating a way to swap Attachments between Weapons, if both Weapons support the same attachment.

And finally, we’ve got some fun Beta stats to share. While the (very unofficial) numbers, Mason, are still coming in across all platforms, we’ve poked through the data to find some of our favorites to share:

  • Players eradicated 7.5 million Zombies. Don’t worry, there’s plenty more where those came from.
  • Squadmates were revived 26 million times. Thanks for being team players.
  • 3.3 billion Items were picked up. That’s “billion” with a B.
  • Over 64 million Stashes were spawned. That’s a lot of loot.
  • The longest Combat Axe kill distance was 213 meters, or about 698 feet. Well done!
  • Players managed to eliminate 123 people with a basketball. Is ball still life?

Most kills by an individual player:

  • Solos: 25
  • Duos: 29
  • Quads: 25

Most kills by a team:

  • Duos: 32
  • Quads: 38

And that’s a wrap. Please keep your feedback coming and give us your detailed thoughts in our official post-Beta survey. Thank you for taking this journey with us so far, and know that we’re committed to listening and communicating with you along the way to make Blackout the best experience it can be. This is just the beginning.

– Treyarch

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2D Combat Racer Speed Brawl Hits PS4 Tomorrow

Speed Brawl, the stylish, anime-inspired 2D combat-racer, arrives at PlayStation Store on September 18. Today, we get to hear from the game’s Art Director, Eric Angelillo, and Creative Director / Writer, Lee Thomas, about some of the inspirations behind this loud and unabashedly fast game ahead of its release.

Speed Brawl

Lee (L): We’d always pitch Speed Brawl as Streets of Rage meets Sonic the Hedgehog, but we used Street Fighter for a while because, amazingly, some people didn’t know what Streets of Rage was!

Eric (E): But way before that it was a puzzle platformer called Luna — actually we changed that to Lady & the Moon — which of course got completely overhauled and became a brawler.

L: Well we’d just made two brawlers; Big Action Mega Fight! and then OK KO! Lakewood Plaza Turbo with Cartoon Network…

E: So Lady & the Moon was initially a sort of palate cleanser.

L: We got quite far into the development, and Eric had already started this really cool and evocative look for the game…

E: Until we realized there were like 11 million other puzzle platformers also in development.

L: Some of them are so good, but there were just SO many.

E: Right, so even though we liked what we had, we went back to what we knew best: cooperative games about punching stuff.

L: Eric was a Streets of Rage and Marvel vs. Capcom fan, I was a Two Crude Dudes and Final Fight enthusiast… The slight age difference meant we had different touch points but we both loved the same types of worlds. Fantastical but true to life… in a manner.

E: And then we threw in some Sonic, because faster is better, right?

L: For sure. We took the Victorian setting of Lady & the Moon as a jumping off point – added a little bit of the social satire inspired by our mutual love of Paul Verhoeven, and a sprinkle of War of the Worlds.

E: He means the Jeff Wayne musical he always makes me listen to.

L: Oh, of course!

Speed Brawl

E: Visually, it was important for us to bring some freshness to a Victorian-set game. Power Stone was a good touchpoint, but then we wanted to push it further. I thought; what would an 80’s cartoon or anime look like if it was set in the 19th century? So we took some classic Thundercats inspiration and mixed in some Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure and Dragonball for good measure.

L: Don’t forget Streets of Fire and Bubblegum Crisis!

E: Is that where Invincible came from? We used a Pat Benatar track as our opening song for the game and its trailer. Lee loves Streets of Fire and wanted to use Nowhere Fast as if it was orchestrated by Vince Dicola.

L: Invincible is from The Ballad of Billie Jean, an 80s film starring Helen Slater (Supergirl). Our sound and music team Vibe Avenue did an awesome job with that. We’d done Big Action Mega Fight! with them, and what they’ve done on Speed Brawl is outstanding.

E: So yeah, we have London, the Victorian era, a race of lunar creatures and brawling…. That’s when we called it Brawl Britannia, right?

L: Ha, amongst other things… I remember Fistgal and A Call To Fists were floated too.

E: Speed was something Dan Menard, our Producer, was really excited about; carrying momentum into a combat game. He was obsessed with Guy Ritchie’s Sherlock Holmes and also Jackie Chan movies. The way the fight scenes were choreographed and how the characters used their environment as a weapon.

L: Especially that scene in Sherlock Holmes where Robert Downey Jr. has this whole pre-cognitive fight sequence… Like a puzzle he was putting together, and then executes.

E: That’s how we came up with the pole swinging and wall kickoffs of the game, this sense of exaggerated physics and the world as a weapon. The race format came from ways we were looking at how this game could be enjoyed online, or with streamers and friends.

L: That, and the feeling of having a game you could play with your brother and sister. It’s cooperative, but one of you gets to show off how good you really are. Ha!

E: So I started drawing… and Lee started writing… and this tandem process just kept the ball rolling… OH, shall we talk about the time we had an actual ball in the game?

L: We will never talk about the ball again! The rest of the elements fell into place, and games like Speedrunners and Rivals of Aether came and went, leaving their marks on the team.

E: Vince, our Senior Programmer and the combat design lead on Speed Brawl, played everything from Dragon’s Crown to Bayonetta. We all played Monster Hunter on 3DS and our ambitions for items and repairing and crafting were explored. We even used to have a ‘wear and tear’ mechanic where you had to heal brawlers in a hospital between fights.

L: It’s fun to look back at the process. The game has looked and felt twenty different ways by now.

L: We’ve played the game ourselves many, many times, it’s been really interesting to see our own tastes and favorite characters evolve. We’re really excited to see what players are going to do with the game.

E: We fought for a long time about how the game should be played during development, with everyone on the team being in a slightly different camp. We eventually learned that we couldn’t cater to everyone, but that the differences in our playable characters could speak to different players’ preferred play styles.

Speed Brawl

L: Speed Brawl is about having a blast, but there’s a lot of layers to peel off in order to be as fast and as effective as you can be. We wanted it to be broad but also be an engine for something potentially competitive.

E: Plus, we’ve got some really cool competitive features coming post-launch, right?

L: Head-to-head mode, more social functionality, not to mention more characters and scenarios. There’s just a lot more game and story.

Speed Brawl

E: But the most important question is: Who’s going to be the fastest speed brawler?

L: My runs are definitely going to be faster than yours, Eric.

E: Yeah, but mine will be more stylish.

Speed Brawl