Plugged In

Crucible Chronicles — Iron Banner Snipe Hype

Being a true account of the author’s trials and travails in Destiny 2 PvP

Vol. 6

This past week was the second post-Forsaken Iron Banner, as well as something called Festival of the Lost. Full disclosure: I haven’t even touched FotL. Busy couple of weeks, which is partly why this edition of Crucible Chronicles is a little late (I know! I’m sorry!).

However, I did dive into Iron Banner. I wasn’t planning to, mind you. But then a clanmate alerted me to the fact that the venerable Lord Saladin was offering up a god-rolled Bite of the Fox, an aggressive-frame sniper rifle. His roll came with snapshot sights and moving target, which is a top-tier combo to have on a sniper.

But of course, you couldn’t just walk up and take it. Rather, you had to complete the “To be Precise” bounty, which required 50 precision (headshot) kills in Iron Banner matches. And of course, due to general busyness, I didn’t begin my quest for this godly sniper until about 1:30 a.m. eastern time on Monday night — less than 12 hours before the weekly reset, after which it disappeared forever. Hoo boy.

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Review: ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’

With last year’s return of “Call of Duty” to its World War II roots in the aptly titled “Call of Duty: WWII,” I was once again at peace with the popular first-person shooter series. After years of futuristic settings and a dramatic shift away from the “boots on the ground” feel of combat caused me to all but abandon Activision’s flagship franchise, I gladly welcomed the bombed-out German bunkers, bolt-action sniper rifles and bloody bayonet charges I remembered from earlier installments.

You can therefore imagine my reaction when Activision revealed that this year’s “Call of Duty” game would be a continuation of the “Black Ops” brand. Developed by Treyarch, it was the “Black Ops” series that introduced much of what I don’t like about modern “Call of Duty” games to the franchise. And they were eliminating the single-player campaign, too? Clearly this was shaping up to be a year in which I took a hard pass on “Call of Duty.”

Much to my surprise, however, that isn’t going to be the case. With “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4,” Treyarch has found the sweet spot between old-school gameplay and new-school features, creating a experience that appeals to both my kids (who swear “Black Ops 3” is the best “Call of Duty” game ever) and myself (who hates “Black Ops 3” with the burning passion of 1,000 suns.)

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Review: ‘Assassin’s Creed Odyssey’

“Assassin’s Creed Odyssey,” Ubisoft’s most recent entry in the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise, features a dramatic departure from the series’ established gameplay formula. With a large open world filled with an abundance of side missions and secrets to discover and a greater focus on combat, this version of “Assassin’s Creed” has more in common with modern action-RPGs like “Far Cry 5” and “Horizon: Zero Dawn” than it does with any of its predecessors.

Maybe that’s why it has cemented itself as my favorite “Assassin’s Creed” game of all-time.

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Crucible Chronicles — Getting competitive

Being a true account of the author’s trials and travails in Destiny 2 PvP

Vol. 5

What do I really want out of Destiny 2, or any game, for that matter? Well, there’s immersiveness; I want it to feel as real as possible. And I like a certain atmosphere. (Dark sci-fi with a touch of mysticism? Check.) But at the heart of it, I like playing real-time action games against other human players. In other words, I like to compete.

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‘Fallout 76’: More hands-on impressions

You can accomplish a lot of things in three hours. Experiencing everything a “Fallout” game has to offer isn’t one of them. Yet last week at The Greenbrier resort, during a special hands-on event hosted by Bethesda, three hours is all the time I got to spend poking around the virtual West Virginia landscape in “Fallout 76,” by far the most ambitious title to ever bear the “Fallout” name.

The limited playtime prevented me from exploring much of the map, which is four-times larger than “Fallout 4,” or from partaking in player-vs.-player combat. While my team did encounter other groups of human players in our travels, we did so before reaching Level 5, which is a prerequisite for engaging in PvP. I also barely scratched the surface of base building, which plays a much larger role in “Fallout 76” after being introduced in “Fallout 4.”

A full recap of my “Fallout 76” adventures can be found here, but I wanted to share a few additional thoughts that didn’t quite make it into that piece:

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Review: ‘The Golf Club 2019’

Despite what happened at the Ryder Cup over the weekend, this has been a great year to be a golf fan. From the return of Tiger Woods to dramatic finishes at the majors, 2018 has seen a little bit of everything on the links. Not to be overlooked is the return of the PGA Tour to the video game landscape in “The Golf Club 2019.” While the finished product may not be as fleshed out as what players came to expect during EA Sports’ time producing golf games, the inclusion of the PGA Tour license establishes a solid foundation for future versions.

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