Destiny 2’s Season Of Dawn has begun, returning to Mercury

Our old pal Osiris has once again done something daft in Destiny 2, so here we come to fix his time-travelling mess. Season Of Dawn, the second season since Shadowkeep, started today and it sends us to Mercury to deal with a giant weird Vex machine Osiris slapped together. He wanted to save his friend Saint-14 from the Infinite Forest, he accidentally gave the Cabal a time machine to win the war we ourselves won during the original campaign. Nice one, Osiris. Nailed it. Again. The fanciest parts of the new season are reserved for season pass owners, but newness is coming for everyone, even free-to-players.

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Shovel Knight’s final campaign is out now

The final Shovel Knight campaign launched today, letting us play as the dastardly King Knight in King Of Cards, and so did its battle mode Showdown. These are the final two big Kickstarter stretch goal features that developers Yacht Club Games have been ploughing through since first launching their rad retro-styled platformer in 2014. It’s taken longer than expected but damn, backers got a hell of a deal. Have a look in the trailers below.

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Premature Evaluation: Overstep

The year is something beginning with a three or maybe even a four. Brands have become omniscient beings of pure malevolent energy coursing through the planet’s fibre optic nervous system like a bad thought. Free speech is dead. Entertainment is king. Human flesh wars, as we primitive 21st centurions know them, have ended, replaced instead with proxy battles between sexy day-glo robots with narrow waists and lovely big metal thighs. Oh yes, you’d better believe it’s a weirdly convoluted backstory for a pretty straightforward free to play third-person arena battler. This is Overstep, and it’s in Early Access, which means it’s right here in my lap whether we wished for it or not.

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Wot I Think: MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

I was not sold at first. The opening two hours of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries are, well, they’re fine. Standard tutorials, taking you through the controls and basic concepts, plus some entirely standard “oh no the baddies killed the man, grr” plot business. I was wary, fearing it would be a forgettable linear fairground ride about Corporal Jack Magnum (I honestly can’t remember my character’s name) getting revenge on the… guys, for killing his dad, who… existed.

Then it opened up some more, and got a bit better. More options appeared, more concepts were dropped in, and it got better again. That was how it went, over and over. Mechwarrior 5 started out fine and just kept getting better the more I played it. My complaints about it are mostly minor, and the big one is more of a lingering doubt than a real problem. Overall, it’s safe to say that, after a very long break (and discounting the underwhelming MechWarrior Online, the definitive stompy romp series is back.

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Babylon’s Fall absolutely looks like a Platinum game

After its moody and information-light announcement at E3 2018, I wasn’t sure what to make of Babylon’s Fall. I expect slick, stabby, and slightly silly action from PlatinumGames, the makers of Bayonetta, Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Vanquish, and Nier: Automata. Yet here was this murky fantasy game being presented like Dark Souls? A new trailer today showed some of the game and oh mate, this absolutely is a Platinum action game. It’s got the lot: slow-mo, air combos, hookshot attacks, parrying a giant sword, and slaying a foe with their own weapon. All I need to see now is pert buttocks.

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MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries mechs guide

With so many Mechs in MechWarrior 5, it can be daunting for new players to know which ones are the best to take and which are the best to sell. The four different weight classes have their own play styles based on their armour, weapon variety, and speed. Some Mechs are also just flat out better or worse than others, so it’s worth knowing in advance what they are.

MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries Mechs guide

This MechWarrior 5 Mech guide aims to help you work out which Mechs you should be adding to your roster for your mercenary group.

There are four different weight classes of Mechs in MechWarrior 5. Each one has their own role to play in a squad, or “Lance”. A Lance has four slots which you can fill with four Mechs of your choosing. The only limitation is that you have a maximum “Deployable Tonnage” for every mission. This sets a limit on the maximum combined weight of all of the Mechs on a mission, meaning you can’t just rock up to a tiny base using an entire squad of massive Stalker Assault Mechs. Every Mech also has a range of variants, which all have different weapon slot types. There isn’t enough information out there to list every single variant for every single Mech type, but we have data on stats such as speed and weight.

The first thing you need to know about weapons is that certain weapon types can’t be equipped onto smaller Mechs. For example, you can’t have a “Flea” packing Particle Projector Cannons, which can be equipped to heavier Mechs such as the Battlemaster. The second thing to know is that weapon types are colour coded:

  • Blue: Energy weapons – infinite ammunition but weaker than ballistic weapons.
  • Yellow: Missile weapons – lots of ammunition, but have limited range and require you to lock onto the target to hit them reliably.
  • Purple: Ballistic weapons – deal decent damage and can be fired at range, but have a lower ammunition count than missile weapons.
  • Red – AMS weapons – designed specifically to destroy enemy missiles.

To find out more about each Mech weight class, click the links below:

  • Light Mechs
  • Medium Mechs
  • Heavy Mechs
  • Assault Mechs

Light Mechs – MechWarrior 5 Mech stats

The Light class of MechWarrior 5 Mechs are normally the speedy support units in your Lance. They’re generally used to annoy the larger enemy Mechs by taking pot-shots, or destroying the non-Mech enemies to allow your Lance to focus on more dangerous enemies. You have eleven different models of Light Mech, each with their own varieties for altering their stats and equipment slots. The varieties on offer are:

  • Commando – 25 tonnes
  • Firestarter – 35 tonnes
  • Flea – 20 tonnes
  • Javelin – 30 tonnes
  • Jenner – 35 tonnes
  • Locust – 20 tonnes
  • Panther – 35 tonnes
  • Raven – 35 tonnes
  • Spider – 30 tonnes
  • Urbanmech – 30 tonnes
  • Wolfhound – 35 tonnes

As for which ones are generally the ones to pilot, provided you have a reliable Lance full of heavier Mechs, I’d go for a speedier Mech that can pester the enemy forces a little better, zipping around the map and completing any objectives they can. Any Mech with a speed of over 97.2km/h is ideal, but for their sheer speed ratings, the Jenner, Locust and Spider have higher maximum speeds and thus are a bit better at pestering slower Mechs by running around them. They do sacrifice a bit of either firepower or armour for this extra speed though.

Panther and Raven are slower than average, but have generally more armour to compensate. I also have a soft spot for the Wolfhound, which despite being a bit slower, can be equipped with a lot of laser weapons. In fact, the only Light Mech that seems to not be as effective is the Urbanmech. It’s incredibly slow in comparison to every other light Mech thanks to its armour rating being a bit higher. It’s as slow as the Annihilator – the slowest Assault Mech – so I’d generally shy away from Urbanmechs if possible.

Medium Mechs – MechWarrior 5 Mech stats

The most models in the roster of MechWarrior 5 Mechs can be found in the Medium Mech class. Effective piloting of the Medium Mechs means striking a balance between pestering enemy forces, while at the same time hunting town Light Mechs from the opposing side. The options for Medium Mech models are:

  • Assassin – 40 tonnes
  • Blackjack – 45 tonnes
  • Centurion – 50 tonnes
  • Cicada – 40 tonnes
  • Crab – 50 tonnes
  • Enforcer – 50 tonnes
  • Griffin – 55 tonnes
  • Hunchback – 50 tonnes
  • Kintaro – 55 tonnes
  • Phoenix Hawk – 45 tonnes
  • Shadow Hawk – 55 tonnes
  • Trebuchet – 50 tonnes
  • Vindicator – 45 tonnes
  • Wolverine – 55 tonnes

You’ll start the main campaign with access to the Centurion Medium Mech and honestly, it is pretty good for the opening hours. It has slots for three different weapon types and has better armour than the Light Mechs. However it is vastly outclassed in all respects outside of weapon variety by many other Medium Mechs.

The best models include the Crab, Griffin, Hunchback, and Wolverine. These Mechs still need to be a little nimble, any Medium Mech with a base speed of roughly 81km/h or more should be plenty, but they should also be packing a little more firepower and armour to protect the smaller Mechs in your Lance. The Assassin Mech can fulfil both roles as a Light and Medium mech, as it’s faster than many Light Mechs, at the cost of some firepower.

Heavy Mechs – MechWarrior 5 Mech stats

Getting into the Heavy Mech territory, your focus will have shifted away from pestering enemy tanks and planes, and instead gunning directly for enemy Mechs. You’ll have plenty of bulk to hand and depending on the weapons you equip, you’ll either be getting close to your enemy or launching a barrage of missiles from afar. The Heavy Mechs are:

  • Archer – 70 tonnes
  • Black Knight – 75 tonnes
  • Cataphract – 70 tonnes
  • Catapult – 65 tonnes
  • Dragon – 60 tonnes
  • Grasshopper – 70 tonnes
  • Jagermech – 65 tonnes
  • Marauder – 75 tonnes
  • Orion – 75 tonnes
  • Quickdraw – 60 tonnes
  • Rifleman – 60 tonnes
  • Thunderbolt – 65 tonnes
  • Warhammer – 70 tonnes

Your role is to provide the most bang for your buck, so prioritising armour and firepower over speed is the key to success. Most Mechs of this class come in with a top speed of around 64km/h, which is honestly enough for what you need. To give you an idea of how fast that is, the Centurion in the Medium Mech class is the same speed, so you don’t need more speed. As for the best ones, I recommend the Cataphract, Jagermech, Orion, and Thunderbolt.

It’s also worth noting here that by the time you’re finding Heavy Mechs, you’ll probably be caring a little more about Deployable Tonnage. It’s therefore better to deploy Medium Mechs, rather than either the Quickdraw or Dragon. The deployable tonnage saved will enable you to bring a few heavier Mechs with better weapon variety and armour into battle.

Assault Mechs – MechWarrior 5 Mech stats

The heaviest of all of the MechWarrior 5 Mechs are the Assault class. These hulking mechanical monstrosities have the best armour, the most weapon slots, and the best potential range. However, these Mechs are the most expensive to maintain, generate the most heat, and are incredibly slow. Pilots of the Assault Mechs should primarily try to destroy enemy Heavy and Assault Mechs. Here are all of the Assault Mech models in MechWarrior 5:

  • Annihilator – 100 tonnes
  • Atlas – 100 tonnes
  • Awesome – 80 tonnes
  • Banshee – 95 tonnes
  • Battlemaster – 85 tonnes
  • Cyclops – 90 tonnes
  • Highlander – 90 tonnes
  • King Crab – 100 tonnes
  • Mauler – 90 tonnes
  • Nightstar – 95 tonnes
  • Stalker – 85 tonnes
  • Victor – 80 tonnes
  • Zeus – 80 tonnes

You’re not going to be zipping around the battlefield in Assault Mechs, as they generally have a speed of around 48km/h. If we’re honest, having decent ranged weapons on an Assault Mech can deal some heavy early damage to the enemy team. Good examples of this include the Stalker, Atlas, and Nightstar.

As Assault Mechs are also expensive to maintain, you may get some success with the likes of Annihilator, Victor, or Zeus. However, their armour is low compared to other Mechs of a similar class, and the Annihilator has the same speed as the Urbanmech – the worst Light Mech – so its usefulness is limited.

There’s plenty more to discover with regards to Mechs. While Instant Action mode has a taste of the available Mechs that you will be able to pilot in-game, it’s possible that there are hidden Mech variants in the campaign mode that boast better overall stats or weapon slot compositions. Until these are found, you can pass the time by climbing aboard your Mech and getting used to how they run with help from our [cms-block].

MechWarrior 5 guide – 25 tips that beginners need to know

It’s been 20 years since the last MechWarrior game hit store shelves. So much has changed since that time. We now primarily use WSAD keys to move in shooters, while USB powered control pads have become more commonplace than joysticks. It’s very likely then that you’ll either be coming back to MechWarrior after years away from the series, or are discovering it for the first time. I’ve played through a few hours of MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries to come up with 25 tips that you’ll need to get started.

MechWarrior 5 Mercenaries guide

25 MechWarrior 5 tips and tricks for beginners

I’ve split each of the below MechWarrior 5 tips into different sections to make it easier to digest what is initially quite an intimidating game. These will include details on what type of game MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is, some basic controls and key tips for adjusting movement to your liking. Then I’ll be going over some more intricate details on combat, your Mech loadouts, and managing your very own mercenary group.

How to play – MechWarrior 5 tips

Our first few tips are to tell you what kind of game MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is, the game modes that are available, and the mission types for completing contracts.

  • 1) MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is a futuristic shooting game where the aim is to complete missions by destroying enemy Mechs, tanks and aircraft. This is done by piloting fully customisable Mechs with different weapons and load-outs. While it’s a lot more complex, MechWarrior 5 is similar to Titanfall in that you use giant robots in battles.
  • 2) You will initially play MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries in a singleplayer story campaign mode, but you will also get the option later on to play the campaign in cooperative mode. This allows you to team up with three other players online to complete missions.
  • 3) You can also play MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries in cooperative mode via Instant Action mode. Doing so will allow you to select certain scenarios to complete, or customise your own from a list of options.
  • 4) There is a campaign with story missions, but you’ll also be taking on mercenary contracts to improve your group’s reputation with the factions across the galaxy. These non-story missions are divided into five types:
    • Assassination – Destroy a specific enemy Mech that’s protected by other Mechs.
    • Defense – Defend a point from enemies for a certain amount of time.
    • Demolition – Destroy a target facility.
    • Raid – Destroy key targets and escape while being constantly attacked.
    • Warzone – Larger scale skirmishes with many waves of enemy Mechs.
  • 5) Completing missions in the campaign will reward you with reputation points with the faction who sent the contract, as well as C-Bills and salvage. C-Bills are currency that can be used to buy and sell weapon parts and Mechs, pay your recruited pilots, and travel across the galaxy. Salvaging parts is worth doing as you can always sell surplus parts to spend on other things, and the number of Salvage Points you gain increases as you improve your reputation with that faction.

Movement – MechWarrior 5 tips

This next batch of tips are for getting used to how movement works. MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries has some rather complex movement that is covered in the tutorial, but there are some things that not even the tutorial tells you that may prove to be useful.

  • 6) During the tutorial, it’s worth getting used to how movement works before doing anything else. Remember that the W and S keys are for acceleration and reversing respectively. You won’t slow down by letting go of either button with the default settings, but you can change this so that your Mech slows down by letting go of either button by turning on “Enable Throttle Decay” in the Gameplay settings.
  • 7) While moving, make good use of the F key to realign your Mech’s legs and torso. This will turn the legs to face the direction your torso is heading in, which can make manoeuvring around the battlefield a little easier. This can be enabled automatically if you switch on “Enable Arm Lock” in the Gameplay settings.
  • 8) Use a mixture of first-person and third-person cameras by pressing the V key. First-person helps with precision, while third-person ensures it’s harder for enemies to sneak up on you.
  • 9) Always target the enemy you are fighting against. Pressing the R key while aiming at a target will get you information on your enemy. This will appear in the top-right hand corner of the screen and will show you the active weapons on the target, as well as how much health they have left on each part of their chassis. When you’re a little more familiar with the weapon types, you can also use this to work out if you should engage the target at close range or from afar.
  • 10) Learn which target reticle is which by looking at the weapon table. You’ll see a symbol to the left of your equipped weapons, which corresponds to its own target reticle in the HUD. You can see the cooldown for these weapons in the reticle if you turn on “Enable Crosshair Cooldown Pips” in the Gameplay settings.

Combat – MechWarrior 5 tips

Since MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries is primarily a combat game, some of the MechWarrior 5 tips you’ll see here are for how to fight effectively against the enemy Mechs, while at the same time keeping yourself as safe as possible.

  • 11) Pay attention to which Weapon Group you assign your equipped weapons on your Mech. You have up to six Weapon Group slots, all fired from the numbered keys, so you will want to know which button fires which weapon at all times. Those with a gaming mouse with lots of spare buttons can take advantage of rebinding each numbered key to its own mouse button.
  • 12) Keep the targeting module on an enemy to lock onto it as this will ensure that missile weapons can home in on their target.
  • 13) Never, ever, let the Mech overheat. Doing so will leave you vulnerable to enemy firepower and may result in you losing some of the Mech’s weapons. All weapons generate a little heat, so keep an eye on the temperature gauge at all times. You can equip Heat Syncs to your Mech to reduce the heat gained, but don’t rely on them to keep you from overheating.
  • 14) Tanks are susceptible to lasers or auto-cannon damage, while missiles are best for dealing with aircraft. Try to take them out from afar if you can, as they can prove to be a bit of a nuisance if enemy Mechs also join in the firefight.
  • 15) Pay attention to the range of your weapons and how far away you are from your target. All weapons have a minimum and maximum range threshold. You can see which weapons won’t be effective against your target on the weapons table to the bottom right of the screen, as they will be highlighted in orange.
  • 16) Destroying specific parts of enemy Mechs will give you different advantages. Taking out their arms means destroying a weapon they have equipped, while destroying legs hinders their movement. For Heavy Mechs with thicker armour, aim to destroy limbs, while for Light fragile Mechs, try to go for the quick kill by blowing up their cockpit or torso.

Loadouts – MechWarrior 5 tips

The load-out menu is not exclusively for the Mechs that you pilot. As the leader of a group of mercenaries, you’ll be commanding a squad, or “Lance” of Mechs that will take on each mission contract. These MechWarrior 5 tips are for ensuring you aren’t caught off-guard when jumping into a mission. For more details on the Mech’s weight classes, head to our [cms-block] guide.

  • 17) Make sure you have some short-medium range weapons on your finalised load-out. The last thing you want is for a particularly fast Mech to sprint past the point at which you can attack it, so it’s good to have a backup should this happen.
  • 18) Have enough of the correct ammunition type equipped to your Mech alongside your equipped weapons. These have to be the same ammo type as your equipped weapon. The more ammunition you have equipped, the more shots you can fire in that mission. Laser weapons don’t require ammo but do generate heat, so are a good last resort.
  • 19) You can also change which weapons fire with which button by clicking the Weapon Groups in the load-out for each Mech. It’s best to have every weapon attached to a specific limb to have its own Weapon Group. You can also change Weapon Groups by pressing arrow keys while in mission or press the backspace key to cycle through the weapons in sequence.
  • 20) When you are maintaining your Mechs, make sure you click the “Wait” after clicking “Start Work” to your repair and modification requests. This will advance time, executing your orders to repair and change equipment. It is also cheaper and takes less time if you repair Mechs outside of conflict zones. If you are inside of a conflict zone, use the Starmap to move your HQ to a safer area.
  • 21) Use the toggles in the Load-Out menu for the mech to adjust front armour and back armour. Doing so will affect your Mech’s overall weight, so it’s important to get the balance between armour and weight just right. Weight is determined by your Mech type.

Managing mercenaries – MechWarrior 5 tips

Finally, we have some MechWarrior 5 tips that are focused on managing your mercenary group. This includes recruiting new pilots to join your forces, accepting contracts from factions, and building your reputation.

  • 22) You can purchase new pilots for your Mechs in Industrial Hubs. You’ll be able to learn which star systems are Industrial Hubs when you travel to them. As soon as you get crew members, make sure the Mechs they pilot have up-to-date equipment. If your allies are underpowered, you may find your entire Lance overwhelmed by enemy forces.
  • 23) When accepting a contract, don’t forget to adjust the Negotiation Points. You can change the base C-Bill (or credits) you get for completing the mission, how much salvage you can claim upon finishing the mission, and damage coverage your employer will cover when you complete the mission. I highly recommend at first focusing on increasing the C-Bill reward, then getting extra salvage.
  • 24) Try to assess which type of Mech would be best suited for the mission at hand. Heavier Mechs with more armour, such as the Atlas, might be better suited to Defense missions. Smaller Mechs, like the Spider, can be useful for quickly completing Demolition missions.
  • 25) It’s best to improve your reputation with a handful of factions, rather than please everyone, as every contract mission completed will also reduce your reputation with another faction. However, don’t let that stop you taking lucrative contracts from “hostile factions”.

Those are our MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries tips so far. We’re still exploring the game as it is very complex with the amount of configurations for Mechs, as well as an entire universe to explore, and contracts to fulfil. You might even have your own tips to share in the comments below to help get newer MechWarriors started.

Our best budget NVMe SSD is getting a new, faster 1TB model

When the WD Blue SN500 came out earlier in the year, it went straight into our best gaming SSD rankings thanks to its low price and nippy read and write speeds. The only thing it was really lacking was a nice, cheap 1TB model. Thankfully, WD are about to rectify that with the introduction of their new Blue SN550 SSD, which not only adds that aforementioned 1TB size capacity to the mix, but also offers even faster read and write speeds.

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Have You Played… Gang Beasts?

A lot of my friends from school have done things like have children or move to other countries now, but in the wilderness years of 2010-2016 we still all returned to our home town every Christmas, primarily to see our families, but also, secondarily, to get absolutely destroyed on Christmas eve.

A tertiary reason was that my friend Tim, who has now both had a child and moved to another country, would have an annual Christmas LAN party at his house. There were a few games that cropped up at these. When Gang Beasts first appeared, around 2014 or so, it entered heavy rotation.

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Wot I Think: Darksiders Genesis

Howdy pardner! Git yerself a mighty glug of moonshine and meet me down at Dysentery Dan’s place, ‘cause we’ve got ourselves a roundup to… oh. Wait. Wrong game. It’s the horses that threw me off, you see. I always associate them with cowboys, now. But this is not the Cowboy Game. This is Darksiders Genesis.

Nevertheless, while this prequel spin-off to the hack-and-slash series is – as you might expect – a mix of isometric enemy-mulching and super-stylish character-focused action, it’s also more than a little equestrian. Indeed, in between funneling demons at your fists, it lets you clomp about on what RDR2’s Arthur Morgan would consider to be a very fine selection of boahs indeed.

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