The Quest Log: April 25, 2017

Welcome back to the Quest Log, gamers, your place for the latest highlights in gaming news and rumors. Heroes of the Storm 2.0 rolls out today, so I know what I’ll be checking out later tonight, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Check out the headlines below!

Heroes of the Storm 2.0 Goes Live, Brings Overwatch’s D.Va Along for the Ride

We reported last week that Blizzard would be giving away a bunch of free heroes this week as part of their celebration for the just-released version 2.0 update to Heroes of the Storm, and that day is here. The real big news, however, is the third and final new hero they’ve just revealed: everyone’s favorite pro-gamer turned freedom fighter, D.Va. Miss Song is a personal favorite of mine in Overwatch, and I’m very excited to see how she plays in the online brawler.

Blizzard’s kicking off the update’s launch with a 4-week event in which players can earn mounts for HOTS and skins for Overwatch. Also, check out the sweet cinematic above showing off HOTS’ two newest heroes battling it out with Diablo in the new, Overwatch-themed map, Hanamura.

http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/heroes20/

SNES Classic Edition Rumored to Be in Production

Nintendo surprised nearly everyone earlier this month by announcing that the NES Classic Edition was being discontinued, but Eurogamer’s reporting on a rumor that might help to explain the move. Citing “sources close to (Nintendo),” they’re saying that a miniature SNES is already in development. It’s not necessarily a surprise given the NES CE’s popularity, but take the rumor with a grain of salt nonetheless. If true, it’s plausible that Nintendo had to free up production for their next diminutive gaming machine. 

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-04-19-sources-nintendo-to-launch-snes-mini-this-year

South Korena Presidential Candidate Releases StarCraft: Brood War Maps

Despite being nearly 20 years old, the original StarCraft and its expansion are still very popular in South Korea, so maybe it won’t come as a surprise to hear that Moon Jae-in, a presidential candidate in the country, has created and released two maps for the real-time strategy game. They’re as simplistic as they come with the only noteworthy element being that he’s spelled his name out in mineral deposits, but I can’t help but think that the US is lacking in game-savvy politicians of our own.

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2017/04/20/a-south-korean-presidential-candidate-just-released-a-star-craft-map-as-part-of-his-campaign.aspx

The Quest Log: April 21, 2017

Hope you’re as ready for this weekend as I am gamers. This weeks’ going out with a bang–I’m talking free games galore–in the gaming news department, so check out our highlights below.

EA: So, Activision, you got something special up your sleeves for COD this year?

Activision: Do we ever. We’re gonna see your WW1 shooter and do one better. World. War. 2. That’s right: TWO.

EA: Haven’t you guys done a half-dozen of those already?

Activision: Pfft. Whatever.

— Okay, this conversation probably didn’t happen.

Call of Duty: WWII Officially Announced

All we’ve got so far is a teaser image and a title, but the next COD has officially been announced. Looks like the series is returning to its roots as a World War II shooter, which were all the rage when Call of Duty first hit store shelves. I’m sure that dev work started on the game well before Battlefield One launched last year. I’m also sure that I’m not the only one who feels like Activision is looking to jump on the retro war shooter fad.

https://www.callofduty.com/uk/en/wwii

 

Original StarCraft Goes Free-to-play

That remaster that we talked about a few weeks back is still on the way. In the meantime, Blizzard just rolled out a patch to the 19-year-old strategy game, which, actually makes a number of significant improvements to the game in order to make it more palatable on modern systems. In addition to all of those, the game and its expansion are now totally free to download and play. If you’ve always wondered what all the fuss was about, now’s the best time to find out.

https://starcraft.com/en-us/articles/20674424

Blizzard to Give Away 20-hero Bundles to Heroes of the Storm Players

Blizz has just been killing it lately, and HOTS is no exception. With version 2.0 due out on the 25th, they’ve been showing off new heroes, new maps, and an updated loot box system that’s reminiscent of Overwatch’s. To celebrate the release of the single most significant patch the game has ever received, they’re giving every player who logs into the game after the update goes live enough of the in-game currency to buy any one of four 20-hero bundles. HOTS is a good time even for players like me who may not actually enjoy typical MOBA-styled titles, so it’s worth checking out.

http://us.battle.net/heroes/en/heroes20/megabundles/

Saints Row 2 Is Free on Steam and GOG

Blizzard aren’t not the only ones giving away free stuff this week. GOG started giving away the second Sainnts Row title earlier this week to promote the arrival of Saints Row 4 and its DLC on the DRM-free digital retailer. Not to be outdone (and probably because I’m sure the game’s publisher doesn’t want to play favorites), Steam also has the game up for grabs on their site. It looks like you’ve got a limited window of opportunity to nab it, so do so quick.

https://www.gog.com/news/saints_row_2_giveaway_deep_silver_sale_gog_connect

http://store.steampowered.com/app/9480/

The Quest Log: March 27, 2017

Happy Monday, gamers! And welcome back to The Quest Log, where you’ll find the hottest gaming news highlights. When I started collecting news items to highlight here, I didn’t intend for Activision Blizzard to dominate the post, but here we are…

Bungie Officially Announces Destiny 2

After a very official-looking poster began making the rounds on the internet last week teasing a September release date and an upcoming beta test, Bungie have finally made Destiny 2 official. All we have from them at this point is a very simple and uninformative teaser image, but expect to see some more substantial news right around the corner, especially with the Age of Triumph event kicking off tomorrow.

https://twitter.com/DestinyTheGame/

Blizzard Reveals StarCraft Remaster

Well, they’ve finally gone and done it. Over the weekend, Blizzard surprisingly pulled the curtain back on StarCraft Remastered. Here’s what fans of the classic RTS can expect:

We’ve remastered our units, buildings, and environments, improved game audio, and broadened our supported resolutions. Illustrated interludes bring the struggles and victories of heroes like Artanis, Fenix, Tassadar, Raynor and Kerrigan to life like never before. Most importantly, the strategy gameplay that StarCraft perfected years ago remains unchanged.

A trailer’s live that demonstrates the upgrade in resolution. On top of audio and visual enhancements, the remaster will also integrate fully into Blizzard’s modern social and multiplayer platform.

https://starcraft.com/en-us/

“Battle.net” Is No More

It’s the end of the era (but not really). Blizzard’s online gaming service and game client will henceforth be known only as the “Blizzard App.” Battle.net first launched along with the original Diablo and helped to usher in an age of online gaming that was more accessible and more compelling to gamers than it had ever been before. The studio laid out their plans some time ago to phase out the name “Battle.net” in favor of a more cohesive developer identity, so while this isn’t a surprise, it might take some getting used to.

Image courtesy of Reddit user /u/Sawovsky

Final Fantasy XV March Update Brings New Content to Final Chapter

The long-awaited March update to Final Fantasy XV has gone live, bringing with it a number of improvements aimed at the epic RPG’s endgame, including buffs to some upper-level spells and an “alternate” route to progress through the game’s ultimate chapter, allowing players to take control of Gladio and Ignis as they search for Noctis. The update is free to all owners of the game and launches on the eve of “Episode Gladiolus,” the DLC mission that launches tomorrow and stars, you guessed it, Gladio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TLrB7N-XfPs