Overwatch’s New Anti-Cheat System Sounds Great in Theory

Blizzard released another developer update for Overwatch last week, detailing a number of changes for the summer season of the game and a new anti-cheat system. An update video like this has been expected, with the upcoming annual Summer Games event and a rumored thirty-first playable hero on the horizon.

Ever since the release of the game in 2016, Blizzard has been trying to combat the influx of Overwatch‘s cheaters and toxic players. Given the longstanding popularity of Overwatch, it’s not surprising that these elements of the player base continue to be a problem for the rest of its community. But this problem is still a top priority for Blizzard, and the developer has been diligent in working out ways to deal with it, including a streamlined reporting feature and the implementation of a rating system for players with good behavior.

Related: The Best Overwatch Fan Forums

The latest video in director Jeff Kaplan’s ongoing series of updates highlights Blizzard’s most recent attempt to curb cheaters: an automatic shutdown system for matches where cheating is detected. If the server picks up on any kind of illicit actions that break the fundamental rules of the game, such as aimbots or wallhacks, it will automatically shut down the match. None of the players on either team will be penalized for the match shutdown, so their ranks and ratings will not be impacted in competitive modes. This feature has been live on Overwatch‘s Public Test Realm for a little while, but Kaplan says it will be added to the full version soon and that it will be the next major evolution of cheat detection in the game.

The idea has gotten a broadly positive reception within the Overwatch community, many of whom are no strangers to playing with (and against) cheaters. A Reddit post discussing the feature is filled with the comments of people sharing their thoughts and experiences with cheating, and their gratitude to Blizzard for its uncommon dedication to keeping the game as fair as possible. However, others have raised legitimate doubts about this feature; many are afraid of false positives within the system and worry about how it could be exploited.

While this may be the most comprehensive anti-cheat method that Overwatch has had yet, it remains to be seen how effective it really is. As any sufficiently popular multiplayer game ages, it will attract more and more cheaters looking for holes in the system. It’ll be great if this system can consistently identify and shut down cheating properly, but it will get very frustrating very quickly if it gets too many false positives.

Next: Blizzard Working on Diablo 4 and Overwatch 2, Cancelled StarCraft FPS

Source: PlayOverwatch/YouTube, Reddit


2019-07-15 01:07:43

Connor Trinske

Twitch Streamers Protest Amazon Prime Day By Going Offline

Amazon workers around the world are striking July 15 and 16 – the dates of the company’s Prime Day promotion – to protest poor working conditions, and some Twitch streamers are logging off in solidarity. Twitch is owned by Amazon, along with companies such as Audible, Comixology, IMDb, and Whole Foods, and protestors are calling on people to boycott all of them during the sales event.

The protests were sparked by the allegedly unfair working conditions at Amazon’s warehouses, which have been widely reported. Workers have complained that they’re made to work long hours in hot, sometimes dangerous conditions without breaks for low pay. One undercover journalist reported that workers sometimes urinated in bottles at their work stations because they weren’t able to take bathroom breaks. Workers in Minnesota, where one of the largest U.S. strikes is being held, have argued that Muslim workers are given unfair workloads while fasting during Ramadan and say that Prime Day’s expanded one-day shipping options this year put more pressure on already overworked employees. In addition to working conditions, employees are protesting Amazon’s ties with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. A 2018 report found that Amazon technology powers some of the key technology behind ICE, including facial recognition software.

Related: Why Terry Crews Prefers Caffeine Streaming To Twitch

None of that is directly tied to Twitch, but streamers joining the boycott say that using any of Amazon’s services in spite of the strike is tantamount to crossing a picket line. The boycott is primarily being organized through Twitter, using the hashtags #AmazonStrike, #PrimeDayStrike, and #NoTwitchScabs. Streamers large and small are joining in, both canceling their regular streams for Monday and Tuesday and urging others to do the same. Waypoint’s Patrick Klepek and Rogue One screenwriter Gary Whitta are among the more well-known streamers publicly supporting the boycott, which also calls on users not to watch any streams for the next two days.

Of course, only a small part of Twitch’s streaming population is participating in the boycott. Twitch is hosting a special stream called Twitch Sells Out to promote Prime Day with dozens of streamers taking part, not to mention the thousands of other users who don’t know about the strike at all or are choosing not to support it. In a Reddit thread about the boycott, some users raised questions about streamers whose livelihoods could be affected by taking two days off, while others mocked or criticized the idea, saying that it won’t matter to Amazon in the long run.

As streamer ThePedanticRomantic points out, though, the boycott isn’t meant to bring down Amazon, but to show workers that people are listening to their grievances and organize like-minded people. Jeff Bezos may not care if some streamers take the day off, but the protestors likely will.

Next: Bernie Sanders Will Be The First Presidential Candidate Twitch Streamer

Source: Patrick Klepek/Twitter, Gary Whitta/Twitter, Reddit

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2019-07-15 01:07:23

Bryan Lawver

Watch Dogs & HitRecord Partnership Sparks Ubisoft Wage Controversy

Ubisoft is partnering with HitRecord to commission 10 songs for the Watch Dogs: Legion soundtrack, and it’s drawn the ire of some game developers. HitRecord, founded by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, is a platform where users can collaborate on all kinds of creative projects, from music to short films. Unlike this collaboration, which was started by Ubisoft, projects are usually initiated by members of the site and only occasionally become commercial products.

This isn’t the first time that Ubisoft has worked with HitRecord, nor is it the first time that it drew criticism for it. During the publisher’s E3 2018 presentation, it announced that it was using HitRecord to solicit art and music for Beyond Good & Evil 2. The companies described the project as a unique opportunity for fans to participate in the development process, but for some, it sounded more like speculative work (or spec work) – an arrangement where a worker (usually a freelancer in a creative industry) submits work to a client without guarantee of payment, sometimes taking the form of a contest or a test to secure future commissions. While Ubisoft and HitRecord’s first partnership got its share of praise, it also led some artists and game designers to speak out against it under the #nospec hashtag on Twitter, which has long been used to call out spec work.

Related: Watch Dogs Legion Is Designed To Be Replayed Over 20 Times

Despite the criticism, Ubisoft recently announced that it’s working with HitRecord to commission music for Watch Dogs: Legion, and some of the same people who criticized the first partnership are voicing their displeasure. Scott Benson, co-founder of worker-owned developer The Glory Society and co-creator of Night in the Woods, tweeted about the partnership and shared his thread criticizing the Beyond Good & Evil 2 deal from last year. Mike Bithell, developer of the upcoming John Wick Hex, and Rami Ismail, co-founder of Vlambeer, also spoke out against the arrangement, suggesting that Ubisoft instead commission specific artists to write new music for the game or license existing tracks.

Other Twitter users have pointed out that arrangements like this lead a lot of artists to spend time on work that goes nowhere and drive the price down for the successful submissions. Already, the project has received hundreds of submissions from dozens of different users on HitRecord. Most of those won’t make it into the game, and those that do won’t earn much for their creators. According to Ubisoft, $2,000 is set aside for each song, and that money will be split up among everyone who had a hand in the winning submission.

Some have defended the partnership as a rare opportunity for hobbyists to earn money for their work and lesser-known artists to get a credit on a game as big as Watch Dogs: Legion. The sheer number of submissions just days after the project’s announcement speaks to how many people think it’s a fair deal. But it’s undoubtedly Ubisoft reaping most of the rewards at the expense of creators, paying just a fraction of what it would for music under a traditional contract while reducing its need to hire full-time employees in an already precarious industry.

Next: Beyond Good & Evil 2 Beta Aiming To Launch By The End Of 2019

Source: Ubisoft, Mike Bithell, Rami Ismail, Scott Benson

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2019-07-14 09:07:47

Bryan Lawver

Sekiro Mod Gives The Game An Easy Mode | ScreenRant

A new mod for From Software’s Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice aims to make the game a bit more approachable by adding an easy mode. When Sekiro was released this year, it drew mountains of praise from reviewers, but plenty of players and professional critics alike were also turned off by its extreme difficulty.

Sekiro’s release sparked the latest round of a long-running debate involving players, developers, and critics over difficulty in video games. Some argue that implementing easy modes would go against the creative vision of developers – particularly those like From Software, who are famed for their games’ unrelenting challenge. Others say that such a compromise would be worth it to allow more people to enjoy the game, noting that extreme difficulty can serve as an even greater impediment for people with any number of disabilities. Developers like God of War‘s Cory Barlog and Rami Ismail even weighed in to refute the idea that making games more accessible was a compromise in the first place.

Related: Celeste Creator Has Sekiro Easy Mode Suggestions

The new mod, called Sekiro The Easy, certainly isn’t restrained by From Software’s intent, and it’s likely to help people who initially struggled with the game make a bit more progress. Just released last week, it’s currently climbing the charts at Nexus Mods. Sekiro The Easy makes a number of mostly statistical changes to lower the game’s difficulty, without affecting enemy behavior or placement or introducing new items. The biggest change is a buff to attack power and defense, which will help new players take down foes faster without falling quite as quickly themselves. It also removes the need to spend a limited currency called Spirit Emblems to use the game’s abilities and weapons, as well as removing fall damage, increasing buff durations, and nerfing a powerful status effect that could originally kill players outright.

Sekiro The Easy isn’t the only mod made to address Sekiro’s difficulty. Some offer wide-ranging balance changes to the entire game, while others fixate on single issues like Spirit Emblem costs or buff durations. There are even mods available to make the game harder, for players who really want to push themselves. The good thing about Sekiro The Easy is that it bundles a lot of changes into one mod, so players don’t have to search for mods that address each individual issue, which makes it ideal for new players who may not even understand what the more granular options do. It also doesn’t completely remove the game’s challenge, so players will still have to master Sekiro’s precise deflection system to survive.

It’s only been a few months since Sekiro launched, but From Software is already talking about its next game. That game, Elden Ring, doesn’t have a release date yet, but it will be interesting to see what lessons the developer takes from the uproar ignited by Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice.

Next: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review – A Brutally Difficult Masterpiece

Source: Nexus Mods


2019-07-13 11:07:15

Bryan Lawver

Gears of War 5 Lead Explains Why Smoking Was Really Removed

Although tobacco use has never been particularly prominent in Microsoft’s flagship cover shooter, it was rumored that Gears of War 5 would be removing all references to smoking as a result of anti-tobacco activism. But lead developer Rod Fergusson says the choice was made due to personal preference.

This comes directly after reports that anti-smoking organization, Truth Initiative successfully lobbied Gears of War developer The Coalition to cut all tobacco references and imagery from its upcoming sequel. Slated for a fast-approaching September 10 launch, Gears 5 was revealed at last month’s E3 to be shaking up the thirteen-year-old franchise in a few ways bigger than the omission of character Michael Barrick’s cigars. Along with an outlandish, character-driven trailer, an all-new mode called Escape was revealed, which will pit three players against the Swarm in a novel fight for survival that doesn’t come quite close to revolutionizing the series like Gears of War 2‘s Horde mode.

Related: New Gears 5 Map Draws Comparisons to BioShock

Responding to a now-removed Game Informer tweet about the Truth Initiative’s apparent anti-smoking victory, Rod Fergusson, studio head of The Coalition, implied that smoking likely wouldn’t have played any prominent role in the final release of Gears 5, anyway. Referring to pre-release concept art for Gears of War 2 in which a character could be seen smoking a cigarette, Fergusson backs up his anti-smoking track record in a tweet of his own when pointing out smoking’s inevitable absence from the game, saying, “I stopped it.” Though his rebuttal is undoubtedly a form of mild damage control, Fergusson later expanded upon his distaste for tobacco and its health risks when sharing that his father, who smoked, died early when Fergusson was only a small child.

In reality, it’s hard to say that the Gears of War franchise has ever done much to glorify smoking among young people, especially when considering that the most visible smoker of the COG bunch, Michael Barrick, is portrayed as a deeply damaged madman – hardly a role model for children in a series of M-rated games. Nevertheless, with the growing popularity of Juul and other vapor-based tobacco brands among kids and teens who can just get their hands on Gears 5 digitally, the removal of all tobacco products and references from the upcoming gorefest is probably for the best – regardless of who can claim responsibility for the deed.

It’s hard to say if this bit of controversy thrown The Coalition’s way was hardly deserved, but it should raise some concerns at the studio and Microsoft that this smoking debacle generated as much if not more buzz than the game’s somewhat lackluster showing at E3 2019. Ever since Epic Games’ departure from the franchise, fans have feared that Gears of War will get the axe in favor of new IP if its public zeal ever fades too greatly. And Gears 5 will have to deliver in a big way if The Coalition wants to secure further sequels.

Next: Gears 5 Won’t Have A Season Pass or Gear Packs and All Maps Are Free

Source: Rod Fergusson/Twitter



2019-07-13 01:07:25

Phillip Tinner

Grandma Beats Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess in 750 Hours

A grandmother has finally defeated Zant and Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess after a little over 750 hours. The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess was released in 2006 and instantly became a seminal title for the Nintendo Wii. It stands at third for most critical acclaim for a Zelda title, just behind Orcarina of Time and the most recent game, Breath of the Wild. Like all of Link’s adventures, many are still playing and talking about it, today.

This isn’t the first time that someone’s grandma has found her way into gaming. 82-year-old YouTuber Shirley Curry made headlines in 2016 after one of her videos playing Skyrim went viral. Even after beating the main quest, Shirley continued to explore the different areas and dungeons, of which Skyrim has plenty. She always broadcasted her travels in the land of the Nords, but her channel got a significant boost when she became famous on the internet. At some point, even Skyrim developer Bethesda took notice and has confirmed that Shirley’s likeness will be used for an NPC in The Elder Scrolls VI.

Related: Zelda: Breath of the Wild Climbing Gear Location Guide

According to Digital Trends, another longtime gaming grandma is getting some attention. Reddit user millerischris (whose real name is Chris), shared the story and revealed that it took his grandmother 755 hours to save Hyrule and Midna, the Twilight Princess. Chris bought a Wii and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess for her 11 years ago, and she has finally wrapped her journey up, clocking in at 754 hours and 31 minutes. “I would help with the occasional challenge or two when she asked,” Chris said, “but she did 99% of the work, including the final fight!” Nintendo even sent her a physical map to help her beat the game.

Chris said that his grandmother has always loved puzzles and Zelda, dating all the back to the original NES. He also confirmed that once she starts a puzzle, she finishes it. After his post began to gain traction, Chris’ grandmother created her own Reddit account, GramieGreat, and started answering questions. She revealed that Snowpeak and City in the Sky were her favorite areas, and that she still plans on going back to finish the Trial of Ordeals. “Had a couple years when I didn’t touch this,” she wrote, “but it was always there waiting for me.” She continued to go back over the years and eventually beat the game.

It will be interesting to see how many more grandparents are willing to share their gaming stories as time goes on. Many people who played games as adults in the 80’s and 90’s are getting older and continuing their hobby in their later years. Some may even pick up gaming after retirement as a stimulating way to pass time. RPG puzzles can keep wits sharp and platformers are a great way to stretch out reflexes. Stories like Shirley’s and GramieGreat’s are great ways to bring communities together and show that different people from all walks of life enjoy solving puzzles and saving the princess.

Next: Link’s Awakening Remake Could Spawn Zelda Maker

Source: Reddit, Digital Trends


2019-07-13 01:07:13

David Brown

Gears 5 Eliminating Smoking Due to Anti-Tobacco Org’s Concerns

Gears of War 5 developer The Coalition has announced that it will not feature smoking or tobacco in any form ahead of this weekend’s ELeague Gears Summer Series International. The upcoming Gears of War sequel is the sixth game in its series, the third with The Coalition at the helm, and is being published by Xbox Game Studios, while also being part of the Xbox Play Anywhere program at launch.

The decision to eliminate all references to tobacco products in Gears 5 came after the not-for-profit organization Truth Initiative met with members of the ELeague’s parent company, Turner Broadcasting, and Turner subsequently reached out to members of The Coalition. This marks the second big victory for Truth this month, as they recently convinced Netflix to remove cigarettes from shows like Stranger Things that are aimed at younger audiences. As e-sports continue to become a more popular form of entertainment, Turner’s ELeague believes this is the right image to project moving forward and has begun openly promoting their partnership with the Truth Initiative.

Related: Cyberpunk 2077 Won’t Allow Players To Attack Children Or Story NPCs

Although previous games in the Gears of War series have featured characters smoking both cigarettes and cigars, studio head Rod Fergusson has been adamant that their exclusion moving forward is a step in the right direction. In a recent statement published by Variety, he revealed that he had personally been affected by the dangers of smoking and promised to “avoid highlighting or glorifying smoking in Gears 5 and throughout the Gears of War universe moving forward.”

Gears 5 will be showcased July 13th-14th at Turner Studios’ ELeague Arena. The tournament will feature eight pro Gears of War teams in a single-elimination bracket and firsthand looks at some of the game’s new content. Fans curious to see what professional Gears 5 multiplayer looks like can tune in live on Twitch through ELeague’s channel.

While the removal of tobacco products in media that may be accessible to children is understandable, it’s hard to ignore the double standard placed on the influence of tobacco versus the influence of violence. Whenever statements are put forth that deride video games for their inclusion of things like blood and death, the argument is quickly raised that there is no statistical correlation between actions portrayed on the screen and how a player goes about their daily life. Gears 5 is still M-rated, after all, and the alteration of what probably amounted to one or two cutscenes of someone holding a cigar seems rather small in comparison to the gallons of entrails and Locust bits the Fenix family has spilled over the years.

Next: You Can Now Turn StarCraft Entirely Into A Cartoon And It Looks Awesome

Source: Variety


2019-07-12 08:07:43

Christopher Teuton

COD: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Gameplay Reveal Coming On August 1

A multiplayer gameplay reveal for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare is coming on August 1, 2019. The silence surrounding Modern Warfare has been very odd considering the game is coming out in just a few months before the end of 2019, and this will be the first time fans will have the chance to see the core multiplayer playlist in action.

Activision and Infinity Ward recently revealed the first gameplay of a new game mode coming to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare called Gunfight, which is perfectly suited for players on a tight schedule; however, it’s completely separate from the main multiplayer playlist. While it may be different from the regular multiplayer, Gunfight shows the very familiar user interface, as well as the fast and fluid gameplay that fans have come to expect from the series. There were also some cool surprises like quick execution animations shown off for the first time.  Infinity Ward has said in the past that Call of Duty: Modern Warfare will increase the player count with 20-player matches.

Related: Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Makes “No Russian” Look Like Amateur Hour

Activision announced that the full multiplayer reveal will be coming on August 1 via Twitch, and Gunfight was just a small piece of the bigger picture. Players can likely expect the staple Call of Duty game modes to make a return, like Team Deathmatch, Domination, and Search and Destroy. As of right now, though, no other new modes have been revealed outside of Gunfight. The gameplay itself looked very promising, and it’ll be exciting to see it for the first time in large-scale battles.

Infinity Ward is making big changes to the multiplayer offerings in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare with full cross-play support and the absence of a traditional season pass. The changes will ensure that every player is able to have access to the latest content and multiplayer updates without being restricted by any sort of paywall. Everyone will also be able to play together across PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and there’s a new cross-progression system being included in the game, tying together each mode more closely. Hopefully, players will hear more about how that works when the full multiplayer reveal comes on August 1.

So far, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare looks to be making more meaningful and thoughtful changes to the series as a whole. It’s a breath of fresh air considering the newest change to the annual first-person shooter came in the form of a shoehorned battle royal mode in last year’s Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. This looks to be a more connected Call of Duty title, and it’ll be interesting to see how the game tackles cross-progression, as well as if these changes carry over into the inevitable entries that will follow.

Next: The First Ever Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Multiplayer Screenshots

Source: Activision, Twitch


2019-07-12 03:07:57

Jordan Boyd

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep’s Finishing Moves Explained | ScreenRant

Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s finishing moves won’t just be cosmetic, according to Bungie general manager Mark Noseworthy and franchise director Luke Smith. Bungie first demonstrated the finishing move system during the Destiny 2: Shadowkeep reveal, which demonstrated Guardians gaining the ability to smash targets into the ground with their fists or to rip them apart with knives to launch them off into the distance.

Since then, more news about Destiny 2: Shadowkeep has steadily trickled out, but Bungie has remained tight-lipped about how finishing moves will slot into the upcoming expansion. The new era of Destiny 2 will begin with a restricted, free-to-play version of the game called Destiny 2: New Light, which will grant players access to a limited amount of content to re-acquaint them with the franchise now that it is free from the looming shadow of Activision. Shadowkeep will also be the first major content release for Destiny 2 since Bungie split from Activision in a famous severance that many believed would never happen, with the developer now holding sole publishing rights to the franchise and its future games as well.

Related: Destiny 2’s PS4 Exclusive Exotic Weapons Prove How Dumb Console Exclusive DLC Is

While many expected Destiny 3 to emerge out of the split, however, Bungie has doubled down on making Destiny 2 into the game that many believed it could be when it launched just under two years ago. In an interview with PolygonDestiny 2 team members Noseworthy and Smith finally opened up a little more on Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s finishing moves, which won’t just be for show after all – they’ll provide tangible benefits to team members instead. According to the interview, players will be able to add mods to their armor that enhance finishing moves – which briefly render players vulnerable to attack and expend an unknown amount of Super energy – Guardians can create unique effects tailored to their upgrades. Smith’s example was generating ammunition for a Fireteam after each finishing move. Smith also explained how Shadowkeep finishing moves worked:

“When enemies get below a certain health threshold, they’re going to have an indicator that means they can be finished.”

According to Noseworthy, the team considers finishing moves closer to combat-specific emotes than truly meaningful gameplay mechanics, but the fact that they offer real boons to party members will at least mean players don’t get chewed out by squadmates for attempting them. There will be multiple different finishers each player has access to, and Bungie plans to make sure that eventually they’re able to equip multiple different finishers at once, with the execution of them randomized. That feature won’t be present during Destiny 2: Shadowkeep‘s launch, however.

Though the system is still very much in development, it feels like exactly the sort of infusion of fun that will benefit Destiny 2 as it barrels towards the most important expansion date in the game’s brief life cycle on September 17. Bungie prioritizing entertaining but beneficial ways for Guardians to express themselves is exactly the sort of content that Destiny 2 has lacked under Activision’s guidance, and it bodes well for the game’s future iterations, too. While questions remain about how long Bungie plans to support Destiny 2 past Shadowkeep before attempting to build a new Destiny from scratch on its own, for now, players who checked out from the game will likely want to give it another look come this fall.

Next: Destiny 2’s DLC Unsurprisingly Underperformed For Activision

Source: Polygon


2019-07-12 02:07:23

Cody Gravelle

Pokémon Sword & Shield: Dynamax & Gigantamax Differences Explained

Pokémon Sword & Shield will be introducing the Dynamax mechanic to the series, which also has an off-shoot called Gigantamaxing – and there are key differences between the two. The Dynamax transformation allows any Pokémon to grow to a huge size and gain access to special new moves, while specific Pokémon can transform either further through Gigantamaxing, which gives them even more power.

Pokémon Sword & Shield won’t be using the Mega Evolutions or Z-Moves from the previous entries from the series, which means that their distinct presence in the competitive battling scene will be absent for the time being. They have been replaced by Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing, which offer a temporary boost in power, in comparison to the battle-length Mega Evolutions or the one-shot hit of the Z-Moves.

Related: Every New Pokémon Revealed During Sword & Shield’s Nintendo Direct

The ability to transform a Pokémon into a giant will be a huge part of Pokémon Sword & Shield, so it’s important to understand the mechanics behind how they will work.

In order to perform the Pokémon Sword & Shield Dynamax transformation, players will need to acquire an item called a Dynamax Band, which means that they will likely be given one at an early point in the story. The Dynamax Band can only be used in specific locations that are made to accommodate giant Pokémon, such as Gyms.

When it’s their turn, players can transform their current Pokémon using the Dynamax button, which will turn it into a giant. A Dynamax Pokémon will have its stats increased for the duration of the transformation; it only lasts for three turns. A Dynamax Pokémon will see all of its moves transformed into Max Moves, which will change how they function. One example that has been given involves the Normal-type move Scratch. If a Pokémon with Scratch undergoes the Dynamax transformation, then it will turn into a new move called Max Strike, which adds the additional effect of lowering the enemy Pokémon’s Speed stat.

It’s possible for four players to take on a Dynamax Pokémon during Max Raid battles, which can be found in Pokémon Dens in the Wild Area, and they won’t revert to normal after three turns have ended. Each player can only select a single Pokémon for these battles. There are some Dynamax Pokémon that will be protected by a barrier that needs to be hit a certain number of times in order to break it, while others can neutralize the abilities and stat buffs of other Pokémon. If the player’s Pokémon is knocked out in battle, they can cheer on their allies during their turn in order to give them beneficial effects.

If a Pokémon lands the winning blow on a Dynamax Pokémon, then players have a chance of catching that Pokémon. The other players will also get one shot each at catching it if the previous player fails. All of the players can win items from Max Raid battles. The caught Pokémon will return to normal after the battle ends.

It’s possible for all Pokémon to use the Dynamax transformation, but there is a second form known as Gigantamaxing, which allows the Pokémon to grow even bigger and change their appearance.

There are currently only three Pokémon that are confirmed to be able to perform the Gigantamaxing transformation – Alcremie, Corviknight, and Drednaw. It’s stated that these Pokémon will usually undergo the regular Dynamax transformation, but certain individuals among the species will use the Gigantamax transformation instead. The reason why only certain Pokémon can use the Gigantamax transformation in Pokémon Sword & Shield is unknown, but it’s stated that it’s possible to catch them during Max Raid battles.

A Gigantamax Pokémon won’t just take on a new appearance, as they gain the ability to perform a powerful G-Max Move in battle. There are three G-Max Moves confirmed so far:

  • G-Max Finale (used by Alcremie) is created from a Fairy-type move and will heal all damaged Pokémon on Alcremie’s team, while also damaging the opponent.
  • G-Max Stonesurge (used by Drednaw) is created from a Water-type move and has an effect similar to Stealth Rock, while also damaging the opponent.
  • G-Max Wind Rage (used by Corviknight) is created from a Flying-type move and will remove beneficial effects from the opponent’s side of the field (like Light Screen or Reflect), while also damaging the opponent.

It’s clear that Dynamaxing and Gigantamaxing will change the face of competitive battling going forward in the Pokémon series, while also giving the player some epic battles during the single-player campaign.

Next: Pokémon Sword & Shield Versions Will Have Exclusive Gym Leaders


2019-07-11 04:07:01

Scott Baird