Warcraft III: Reforged Survey Gauges Interest in Soft Relaunch

Hot off a recent game update – patch 1.35, which has re-added custom campaign functionality alongside a slate of balance chances and fixes – Blizzard have just sent out a survey for Warcraft III: Reforged, aiming to get some valuable feedback on various topics. There’s the usual questions regarding playing habits and game quality, but one particular question is quite interesting. Here’s a screencap of it:

warcraft 3 reforged survey

Warcraft III: Re-Reforged

Undoubtedly, Blizzard is looking to gauge interest into whether it’s financially feasible to pour more money into Warcraft III. It’s no secret the game’s budget was gutted before it released and ended up shipping with fewer features than the original. The game has been getting a constant, if slow, roll of patches in the past year, and it seems Blizzard’s new management is looking to fix some of its past mistakes.

Now, looking at this survey question, the features under the “Potential New Reforged Features” headline aim to address some of the sore points with the game in its current state:

Legacy Warcraft III In-Game Art Update is an interesting one. The Reforged art-style was panned for making it harder to distinguish units from different players and for overall blending a bit too much with the background. This feature sounds like the game would get a third set of art, this time more closely matching the original direction – perhaps in poly count as well.

UI/UX Revamp (Menu, Lobbies, Chat, etc.) is definitely something that should be on the list regardless of whether this plan of re-reforging goes through or not. The new menu is absolutely worse than the old one, performance-wise.

Storage Size Reduction is an interesting one as well. Players had no choice in continuing to play the game without downloading and extra 30 gigabytes of data, regardless of whether they’d purchased Reforged. I myself ended up with 30GB of lost space due to having the battle.net client set to auto-update. While I don’t see the ‘base game’ reducing its size in its current state, I could see this feature being implemented in an opt-in basis depending on the type of art you wish to use. For example:

  • If you only want to use the original art, you don’t need, like, 25 of those gigabytes so you don’t have to download them.
  • If you want to use the potential third art update we discussed above, maybe that’s only 8GB on top of the base game.
  • If you want to use the Reforged art, then you’re still at 30GB.

Reforged Campaign Improvements probably refers to taking another crack at the campaign missions and either properly ‘reforging’ the entire campaign, as initially promised, or at least re-doing the missions that have already been changed quite a bit but weren’t loved by the fans.

Reforged Environment Art Rework is likely an effort to bring color back to Azeroth and make the environments feel more lively; less drab, less conflict with the Reforged unit/building assets, and so on.

What do you think of this potential third coming of Warcraft III? Does it sound appealing, or has your faith in a well-made Warcraft III remaster been permanently lost? Let us know in the comments below.

Epic Holiday Gift for December 29th: Dishonored Definitive Edition & Eximius: Seize the Frontline

It’s the last day of the Epic holidays! Well, technically yesterday was the last day with a game that could only be claimed for 24 hours, and with today’s additions, we’ve back to the usual schedule of 1-2 free titles per week.

This week we’ve got the Definitive Edition of Dishonored, as well as Eximius: Seize the Frontline, which we’ll briefly talk about below.

Dishonored – Definitive Edition

The first Dishonored released all the way back in 2012 (a decade ago!) and received positive enough reviews, exceeded sales targets and as such, spawned a sequel as well. The Definitive Edition contains three DLCs and addon packs that were all bundled up together in this 2015 re-release:

  • The Knife of Dunwall, a DLC where you take on the role of Daud, the assassin who killed the Empress.
  • The Brigmore Witches, a DLC that concludes Daud’s story.
  • The Dunwall City Trials, 10 distinct maps each featuring a variety of stealth, combat and mobility challenges.
  • The Void Walker’s Arsenal, a bundle previously only given through pre-ordering that includes unique character bonuses, additional bone charm slots and more.

In terms of gameplay, Dishonored is a peculiar mix of Assassin’s Creed, Clive Barker’s Undying and Deus Ex. The outcome of each mission depends on the way you play the game, that is to say, the choices you make: Do you plow through enemies or sneak by? Will you shoot them dead or cast some spooky spell? If this sort of game doesn’t suit you, at least give it a try before giving up on it for the great soundtrack and A-list cast of voice actors.

I mean, it’s a Bethesda game, it can’t be outright bad.

Eximus: Seize the Frontline

Eximus is a very different vibe and quite a unique game overall. While its reviews, at least on the Epic Game Store, aren’t great, the game can’t be faulted for trying to bring something different to the table.

There’s two ways to play in Eximus: As a Commander, which is the ol’ RTS experience of building a base, training and army and so on, and as an Officer, which turns the whole game into an FPS! The game format is 5v5 (which in itself is very much a MOBA team size, there’s another genre point for Eximus) and the Commander of the team is voted on at the start of the game.

Each team shares a base, resource and tech tree. The Commander takes care of the base, sends support on the frontlines and can also join the front, although getting assassinated has consequences, so careful about over-extending!

Next week we’re back to normal and we’ve got another two games lined up: Kerbal Space Program and Shadow Tactics – Aiko’s Choice (this one’s a standalone expansion, which is a bizarre term that contradicts itself but alright!).

Have you played either Dishonored or Eximus? What was your experience like? Let us know in the comments below!

Epic Holiday Gift for December 28th: Mortal Shell

We’re back with yet another free title from Epic Games! Today we’ve got Mortal Shell, a game that, it should be noted, can be played ‘for free’ already if you’re subscribed to PlayStation Plus, tier Extra or higher. Mortal Shell was previously available on Xbox Game Pass, until it left in November and made the move.

The Basics

In a bit of a theme continuation from yesterday (where you cycle through weapons), in Mortal Shell you’re expected to cycle through corpses! Take over the bodies of fallen warriors and use them for your own means (read: combat). This action RPG was released in 2020 and remastered for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S in 2021. The game’s combat features third-person melee combat.

The game is free to claim only until tomorrow, roughly 23 and a half hours from now, so grab it while you can! Epic also likes to provide a hint for the next game to become free, so if you want to try decoding the following gift box, let us know what the next title may be:

epic mortal shell hint for 29th dec

Have you already played through Mortal Shell? Tell us how it was in the comments below!

Epic Holiday Gift for December 27th: Severed Steel

While Christmas has passed, we are still in the ‘holiday season’ at least until New Year’s, and Epic Games feels the same way! Today’s free game has been revealed to be Severed Steel, a single-player FPS indie with lots of fun offerings.

The Basics

Severed Steel is an FPS shooter developed by Greylock Studio and published by Digerati. It released in September 2021 and can best be described as a ‘parkour shooter’.

Take on an entire ‘superstructure’ of baddies while wall-running, diving, flipping, sliding and all you’d expect from a protagonist that didn’t skip acrobatics practice. If interacting in such a beautiful way with the environment wasn’t enough, you can also destroy it, a rare opportunity in most shooters.

One interesting thing to note is – because you only have one gun-approved hand, you can’t reload! Shoot all your bullets then pick up a new weapon from the corpses of your foes. Don’t expect Severed Steel to play like a well-choreographed dance routine as the AI has been designed to be dynamic, unscripted and squad-based – this means no two battles are the same!

Additionally, the game features its own level editor, allowing you to both create your own experiences and play other players’ maps.

The game is free to claim only until tomorrow, roughly 23 and a half hours from now, so grab it while you can! Epic also likes to provide a hint for the next game to become free, so if you want to try decoding the following gift box, let us know what the next title may be:

That crown looks somewhat familiar.

Did you already try Severed Steel? How did it play? Let us know in the comments below!

Epic Holiday Gift for Christmas Day: Death Stranding Director’s Cut

Merry Christmas! If you haven’t been too excited by the free gifts Epic has been giving out the past 10 days or so (a bunch of them were already handed out before), well, that changes now. To celebrate this loot-filled, annual occasion, Epic Games is giving out the Director’s Cut of Death Stranding for free. Why is this a big deal? Well, for starters, the game is getting a sequel, so you know it was successful, but there’s so much more to it. Let’s do a quick intro on what the game’s about and the success it had.

This is the cinematic reveal trailer; you can find the gameplay trailer further down the article!

The Basics

Death Stranding is a game created by Hideo Kojima, a name you keep hearing every few months, for good reason. He’s the man behind the critically-acclaimed Metal Gear series and his work laid the foundation for future stealth games.

After a bad breakup with Konami in 2015, he started his own independent studio and Death Stranding is what came out.

The game stars Norman Reedus of Walking Dead fame as a courier in a post-cataclysm USA, working to reconnect various survivor colonies together through a wireless communications network. Without spoiling it any further, Mads Mikkelsen‘s in it, and you know whatever he does ends up being great.

Death Stranding was nominated for numerous awards and won quite a few of them, notably Best Game Direction at the 2019 TGAs, and Game of the Year at the Golden Joystick Awards. It’s also getting a film adaptation!

The game is free to claim only until tomorrow, roughly 23 and a half hours from now, so grab it while you can! Epic also likes to provide a hint for the next game to become free, so if you want to try decoding the following gift box, let us know what the next title may be:

epic death stranding teaser for tomorrow

Have a great, food-filled day and we’ll see you tomorrow!

Epic Holiday Gift for December 24th: Metro: Last Light Redux

Merry Christmas Eve! Betwixt our gift wrapping, tree decorating, and cooking, we’re taking the time to bring you Epic Games’ newest game being given out for free – Metro: Last Light Redux!

Initially released in 2013, the game’s ‘Redux’ version (the one you’re getting) came out in 2014 to bring the entire franchise to the new generation of consoles (PS4 and Xbox One). Epic Games is giving out ‘Last Light’, which is the second entry in the franchise, after ‘2033’ and before ‘Exodus’.

The Redux version includes all available DLC and graphical improvements over its original release.

The Basics

The Metro game franchise exists because it’s actually inspired by the Metro book series (which I whole-heartedly recommend giving a read). Without spoiling too much, here’s the premise:

The year is 2033, and the last (at least, known) vestiges of humanity reside in the Moscow underground metro system after nuclear Armageddon has wiped out most of humanity and left the surface world uninhabitable. Those who survived are living in fractured communities spanning several subway stations, eating mushrooms, insects and exploring other, uninhabited stations for more supplies.

There’s also the surface monsters. Some of the people who weren’t wiped out by the nuked have mutated into terrifying creatures, which you’ve seen in the trailer linked above. Mysterious, murderous gas, mutants, hostile factions – what better premise for a post-apocalyptic shooter?

Bonus fact: The third (and currently, last) book in the series is a direct novelization of this game. The first book (Metro 2033) came out in 2005, followed by Metro 2034 in 2009. The Metro 2033 game released in 2010, followed by ‘Last Light’ (this one!) in 2013, followed by the Metro 2035 book and finally, followed by Metro Exodus (game!) in 2019. That’s a lot of Metro, in a very weird order!

Teaser for Tomorrow

The game is free to claim only until tomorrow, roughly 23 and a half hours from now, so grab it while you can! Epic also likes to provide a hint for the next game to become free, so if you want to try decoding the following gift box, let us know what the next title may be:

epic metro hint for christmas

If you’re spending Christmas tomorrow off of the ol’ endless scrolling simulators, we wish you a merry Christmas! If not, we’ll still be here, announcing what newly free game Epic decides to throw our way, so see you then!

Have you played the Metro games? Read the books perhaps? Did either vibe with you? Let us know in the comments below!

Epic Holiday Gift for December 17th: Costume Quest 2!

Epic Games’ Santa Claus roleplay continues with another new game, free to claim for 24 hours! Today we’ve got Costume Quest 2, a game that – judging by my own library – has been offered for free before. Regardless, if you missed it the first time, now’s a good time to grab it! Let’s see what Costume Quest 2’s all about.

The Basics

Costume Quest 2 (released in 2014) is a quirky little game that seems to have found its way out of Halloween and into Christmas. The single-player RPG adventure has you assuming the role of either Wren or Reynold, the protagonist twins. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to stop a dentist names Dr. Orel White from destroying Halloween all the while traversing the timeways: In the past, before your hometown was founded, and in the future, a dental dystopia. All of this horror just because Halloween and its candy is bad for your teeth!

The gameplay is a mix of exploration, quests, trick-or-treating and monster fighting in turn-based combat. The ‘costume’ in the quest refers to how you battle monsters, which is by donning costumes and becoming gigantic. Aight.

It’s important to note the plot picks off right after the end of the first game’s DLC, Grubbins on Ice, so if you’re looking to dive deep into CQ2, it might be worth giving the first entry (and its DLCs) a shot.

The game is free to claim only until tomorrow, roughly 23 and a half hours from now, so grab it while you can! Epic also likes to provide a hint for the next game to become free, so if you want to try decoding the following gift box, let us know what the next title may be:

costume quest 2 hint for tomorrow

Have you played Costume Quest 2 already? What’s your opinion of it? Let us know in the comments below!

Epic Holiday Gift for December 15th: Bloons TD 6!

The time of weekly freebies is over for Epic Games, as the holidays are bringing us one free game to claim each day! Our free game for the 15th of December is none other than BloonsTD 6! Let’s take a quick look at what this game’s about.

The Basics

Bloons TD 6 is a tower defense game, meaning your objective is to annihilate waves of enemies using well-placed towers before they reach the end of their path. The genre was revitalized in the early 2000s with custom maps like Element TD and Gem Tower Defense in Warcraft III, and there’s now plenty of equally creative and endlessly fun games to choose from. Bloons TD 6 is one of the biggest names in the franchise, scoring a 10/10 on Steam and getting the ‘overwhelmingly positive’ reviews out of a massive ~197,000 reviews.

The game more than just towers and upgrades, though: Heroes, active abilities, co-op boss events, cosmetics, the list is long. Here’s some of the big features:

  • 4-player co-op.
  • Odysseys, a sort of gauntlet of 3-5 maps connected in theme, rules and rewards.
  • A robust content browser that lets you browse others’ Challenges or Odysseys or create your own.
  • 22 towers, each with three upgrade paths and unique active abilities.
  • 13 heroes, 20 signature upgrades, 2 special abilities (I know this sounds like random numbers if you haven’t played the game, but it’s quite a lot of stuff!).
bloons td 6 summer map

The Mega Holidays Update

… just came out! If you’ve played the game before, this’ll certainly be more exciting than if you’re new, but regardless, it goes to show that a game launched in 2018 is still receiving updates; that’s always a good sign. Here’s the patch notes:

  • Battle against the awesome resistances and immunities of The Armored Behemoth, Dreadbloon!
  • Uncover the tower-buffing placements on the new Beginner map, One Two Tree!
  • Slay the Bloons in festive spirit with the new Captain Churchill skin, Sleigh Churchill!
  • Trophy store items, quality of life improvements, balance changes and much more!

Grab Bloons TD 6 quickly, for it’s getting replaced by another game in 23 hours! We don’t know what’s going to come up tomorrow, but rest assured it’ll probably be as much of a banger as this one!

Have you played Bloons TD 6 before? Are you into tower defense games at all? Let us know in the comments below!

The GOG Winter Sale is Live! Deals & Freebie

We’re officially in the holiday season, gaming-wise, with the first of quite a few Winter sales going live on GOG. Aside from what is clearly a juicy amount of price reductions on a boatload of games, we’ve also got a game that can be claimed for a limited time. Let’s see!

Ghost of a Tale – Claim Now

Ghost of a Tale is a fantasy action-RPG developed by primarily by one person: Lionel Gallat, a DreamWorks and Universal Pictures veteran. The game was funded through Indiegogo and raised 48,700 euros, releasing on the 25th of July, 2016.

You play as Tilo, a minstrel mouse in a medieval world inhabited purely by animals. The game design has you focusing on exploration and immersion, featuring stealth elements (disguises!), quests and fancy conversations with both allies and enemies alike.

Ghost of a Tale is free to claim through the GOG shop for another 43-ish hours since this article’s release. That means there’s a whole two days to get it! Do note that by claiming this gift, you’ll activate e-mail marketing from GOG, as pictured below.

The Deals

There’s 95 pages of discounted games & DLCs, or roughly four and a half thousand things that are a bargain. Of those, about 3000 are full-fledged games, so if you’re feeling adventurous, you can go ahead and parse through the entire catalog, but we’ve singled out a couple titles we feel are definitely worth picking up.

As always, we’ll have links to the games as well as their price and discount at the bottom of the article for your convenience.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Game of the Year Edition

Yep, it’s the third Witcher again. We normally wouldn’t nominate a game twice for this sort of “deals” article, especially on the same storefront, but with its free next-gen update coming literally tomorrow, now is the best time to get into the game, or replay through it if you’ve lost your CD or account that was tied to your previous purchase.

witcher 3 next-gen update
Make sure to read the full patch notes so you know what to expect with this new update.


In an effort to avoid spoilers for those who only played XCOM: Enemy Unknown (which is a reboot of the series, so there’s even more lore behind it), XCOM 2 takes place twenty years after its predecessor. Released in 2016, the game launched with much-appreciated features such as procedural map generation and mod support, which earned all the critical acclaim it received, being nominated for multiple end-of-year awards. If you’re looking for a turn-based tactics video game, something that doesn’t have the pacing of, say, Starcraft, when XCOM 2 is currently on sale for a ridiculously good price.

xcom 2 park
Really, it’s just like the Sims, but with guns. Please do not take this comment seriously.

Prices & Discounts

Prices may vary based on your region.

The GOG Winter sale lasts until the 2nd of January, 2023. Make the most of it!

What are you grabbing from GOG this holiday season? Let us know in the comments below.

Game of the Week: Path of Exile – The Forbidden Sanctum

It’s Monday, which means we’ve got a new game recommendation for you! This week we’ve put up Path of Exile’s brand new league, ‘The Forbidden Sanctum’, which launched Friday and has you traversing a roguelike labyrinth in the never-ending quest for loot and time-limited challenge reward microtransactions.

Why have we chosen this week and not the last, given that’s when the league launched? Well, Path of Exile has a trend of releasing a league, taking the weekend off, then buffing it to a fun, workable state the following two weeks until it becomes an enjoyable experience. This is week one.

That means it’s prime-time to start working your way to the endgame, as by the time you’ll reach it, the Sanctums should be in a much better state than they are right now! But we’ll get into that in the next part of the article.

Additionally, if you want a deep-dive into Sanctum as well as everything else that came with the update, check out our recap of the league’s announcement livestream, as well as the Q&A, which contains a link to the full patch notes.

the forbidden sanctum fire trap beam
You know it’s good when there’s fire lasers.

The Forbidden Sanctum – Basics

First of all, if you’re new to Path of Exile, here’s a quick primer on what ‘The Forbidden Sanctum’ is in the context of the whole game:

  • Every three-four months, Path of Exile releases a new league – these are more commonly referred to as ‘seasons’ in most games.
  • Each league has you creating a new character, completing new challenge rewards (that award skins and other MTX), and most importantly, they introduce a new system, complete with its own mechanics, to the game.
  • The system this league is the Sanctum, which we’ll discuss after this bullet point list finally ends.
  • At the end of each league, a decision is made and there are three options: The league is absorbed into the main game and is here to stay for the foreseeable future; the league is taken out of the game for an indeterminate amount of time and reworked, then added back in or; the league is not ‘going core’, as it is most often described, and is never added back in, or only minor aspects of it remain in the core game.
the forbidden sanctum layout
Afflicted fountains replenish your Resolve in exchange for an Affliction, which sort of sucks but hey.

The Sanctum Itself

The Sanctum runs tries to emulate a roguelike labyrinth experience. The layout is as follows: Four floors, each with a boss at the end, and each floor has eight rooms.

You get to do one room per zone/map. You may save up to eight rooms and run them all at once later. Your objective is to reach the end of the Sanctum (that’s 32 rooms) to get all the sweet loot, without getting hit too much.

Sanctum has its own player resource, which is Resolve. Resolve acts as a sort of health bar that is independent of your actual heal and defenses, and you lose Resolve when you get hit by monsters or traps. When you run out of Resolve, you’re booted out of the Sanctum and you run is effectively over.

the forbidden sanctum pact
Accursed Pact, which gives you both a Boon and an Affliction (explanation below).

The Current Issue

Sanctum’s current issue is that is seems to do the opposite of what roguelikes are known for – the power boosts are mostly uninteresting, and the detrimental effects are absolutely punishing.

Boons (the good stuff) are certainly rarer than Afflictions (the bad stuff), but really their main issue is that even if you find one, your chances of getting something that enhances your build are very low. The vast majority of boons directly affect Sanctum mechanics (afflictions, aureus – the league currency – and resolve) instead of your actual power. Roguelikes succeed when you find the perfect combination of Boons that skyrocket your build to god-like, even if they come with major trade-offs, but the Boons here barely affect your actual performance in terms of, say, damage.

Afflictions are much more common than Boons, at least early on, and they’re certainly quite punishing. Here’s an example of an Affliction: “Lose 20 Aureus coins when hit”. This basically guarantees you’ll end each room with barely any coins (that can be traded to regain Resolve or buy Boons) and can brick your run from the second room you enter.

This is something we’re expecting will receive a solid amount of tuning in these coming weeks. It’s happened before, with Heist league for example, and it made a night-and-day difference in terms of the success of the league. Sanctum is looking to be quite promising, so we’d bet Path of Exile will be worth investing time in for the next few months.

the forbidden sanctum offer
In a bit of a gamble, the Sanctum offers you one of three rewards. What you pick will depend on how well you expect to perform.

Have you already dabbled in the Sanctum? How did it feel for you so far? Let us know in the comments below!