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Blizzard announce Starcraft Remaster

The original Starcraft game is set to be remastered this year by Blizzard. The game turned 19 years old earlier this year. Not only will we be seeing the campaign we fell in love with turn to 4K Ultra HD graphics but we can continue to battle online against players in the competitive mode.

The game isn’t just seeing a visual update of it’s previous graphics, but will also include new illustrations to help us relive the stories of Lieutenant Sarah Kerrigan and Praetor Fenix and our other favourite characters.

There have been no mentions of changing the game in anyway but revamping the audio and graphics. We hope it stays this way, as the original story and gameplay is the reason to go back. The original Starcraft game is currently free for those interested in reminding themselves why they love Starcraft or for those looking to see why they should.

Overwatch Patch Notes – 21 March, 2017

The latest Overwatch Patch is here, with the new champion Orisa joining the fray.

The new patch is bringing in a lot of champion changes to try and balance the roster.  To name a few:

  • Bastion is becoming a little less tanky to make him easier to deal with.
  • Ana will be dealing less damage to balance her out as a support and to make other support choices viable.

With Orisa being introduced with this patch, we could see a new tank meta arising. Where D.V.A and Reinhardt ruled previously we’ll have to wait and see if Orisa takes first as tank pick with her well rounded skill set.

To read the full  patch notes go to: https://playoverwatch.com/en-us/game/patch-notes/pc/#patch-35361

Ghost Recon Wildlands – stop kicking my team members

Having played Ghost Recon since closed beta, I have found one thing to be absolutely clear – it is meant to be played as a team. If this wasn’t made obvious by the fact it is simply more enjoyable in a team, the constant reminders to find a public match when I do attempt to play my campaign solo gives it away.

And whilst a public match should solve all my solo campaign woes of uncooperative AI and it being a little less stealthy, there are a few glaring problems in the way.

a) If I do join a public match, I don’t have to play with the other player(s). And they don’t have to play with me. You have the option to continue with separate missions whilst on the same map. Or the other player is AFK waiting for someone to join their match and you end up having to look for a new one.

b) If the player(s) is inclined to work as a team, unless all team members have a headset and microphone coordination is incredibly difficult. And when playing on elite difficulty, coordination is incredibly important.

c) If we get past points a) and b), there is still a high chance that the server will decided to play havoc with the team. Whether this is the loading screens to get into a team game or the random kicking of team members which results in the loss of a player mid raid on the Unidad, losing a member can severely hamper progress – especially when playing raid missions.

Starting to see the problem now?

And so the Ubisoft servers strike again. Being lucky enough to have three dedicated friends willing to team up with me, I have only had to deal with public matchmaking a few times. However, we have had more than a few missions failed when team members are kicked from the server for no reason. Whilst it is easy to keep going on the lower difficulties, once you are playing on advanced and elite a prepared and coordinated team makes all the difference in completing the campaign.

 

Ghost Recon Wildlands Review

Ghost Recon Wildlands is the latest game in the Tom Clancy pool. Bolivia has become prime drug country and the aim is to take down the Santa Blanca drug cartel as quietly as possible.

Playable in a solo campaign, with friends or matchmaking online to build the best team to wipe out the Santa Blanca. Even in solo campaign you are not alone – AI team members will join you to aid in taking out bases, avoiding the Unidad and intercepting convoys.

From the get go this game was full of forced conversation between team members and a whole load of navy jokes. We tried several ways of completing missions; guns blazing, stealthy, helicopters and running enemies over in cars. It soon became a routine of stealth though. Upgrading drones was priority and finding a decent sniper rifle was close second. In many cases going into bases was saved until we had killed all the enemies from a distance.

The game has the potentially for spending a lot of time doing side quests, convoys, helping rebels and collecting guns. But in many cases this was unnecessary and we spent time getting a single effective gun and then plowing through the story missions.  With the use of a helicopter – which we always tried to keep close by – moving between missions didn’t take long. Playing in this way was satisfying but at the same time the game didn’t seem long enough. There wasn’t enough of a story element to bother doing side missions after completing the main story line.

The emphasis on playing with other players was forced forward continuously. Pop ups appeared nearly every 10 minutes reminding you of the matchmaking queue and the AI’s capability to sync shot made many of the missions easy even on the highest difficulty.

Some bugs made gameplay hectic and resulted in death if you happened to be flying a plane or helicopter. Others had you running on top of your car whilst you were driving. No missing faces in this game though.

The overall verdict? Enjoyable in a group but quickly becomes routine. Take advantage of the wacky physics that appear and have fun blowing your team members up accidentally during stealth missions. A beautiful game but it doesn’t feel quite finished.

How clickbait changes journalism

We all hate clickbait. We hate the spamming of Buzzfeed links on our social media. Those lists where we’ll never believe number seven. Or what we’ll never guess about some celebrity. But we all click on them. We all take the bait and proceed to waste minutes of our lives on silly pictures and things we didn’t want to know, let alone guess.

And this is being mistaken for real journalism.

Whilst some news organisations – particularly tabloids – do have a penchant for sensationalising stories and therefore headlines, clickbait headlines are still a rarity within well known organisations. However, some are veering into clickbait territory which is harmful to the reputation of journalists due to the triviality of clickbait stories. It is obvious to most readers exactly what story they are about to see when they use these clickbait links but the contents of the articles are largely unfulfilling of the curiosity they inspire.

Whilst it is certainly clear that clickbait works – after all curiosity gets the best of everyone – I believe the use of clickbait to be a cheap headline. As unoriginal as tactless cliches and the Daily Mail’s stance on immigration, the current problem is that clickbait aims to entertain and draw an audience in too much. The tactics used to attract the audience trivialises the content it leads to making it less trustworthy.

The effects of clickbait and it’s infectious spread across the internet has been exacerbated by social media. We are inundated with links through Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more. Facebook is better at spreading it than most other social medias due to the separate pages we follow, putting their posts on our news feed. Each meme filed, politically opinionated, and plain ridiculous themed pages are a nest for clickbait links that end up all over our feed. This usually results in caving in to the curiosity or hiding everything from that page in hopes it will go away.

If clickbait could be used in a more appropriate and adjusted form (non sensational but effective in drawing in an audience) then it could be used in a creative and possibly impactful way. It currently as a whimsical attitude attached to it which makes it difficult to take those stories seriously. But it is good for local and personalised stories when used in a softer variety such as Ten things only Bristolians will know, for localised news. It is an effective way to connect to particular members of an audience but not for the wider readers.

Perhaps if our audiences can be sure that we are providing them with real news and information they want, then clickbait won’t be such a tragic part of internet journalism. But in its current state, all it does is remove high expectations from readers and set an overall lower quality level for reading and writing journalistic pieces.

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