Xbox Game Pass deal: get Forza Horizon 3 and Forza Motorsport 7 for free, plus $20 off a year of Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass is arguably the closest thing we currently have to a “Netflix for video games” – a service which lets you gorge yourself on a veritable buffet of games in exchange for a monthly fee. For the remainder of September, you can get a year”s membership for nearly 20% off while also securing yourself two fantastic games which are yours to keep forever, even if you don”t renew your Game Pass subscription.

Buy Xbox Game Pass (12-month) for $99 (17.5% off) on the Microsoft Store 

While I compared the service to Netflix, there is one major difference between Xbox Game Pass and the former proliferator of mail-in DVD slips: streaming (or rather, the lack thereof). With Game Pass, you download the entire game you want to play instead of streaming it. This means even if you don”t have the fastest or most reliable internet, you can still enjoy a large selection of titles.

Though you”d typically lose access to these games once your subscription runs out, this particular deal includes Forza Motorsport 7 and Forza Horizon 3, yours to keep in perpetuity. And with Forza Horizon 4 arriving on Xbox Game Pass the same day as it launches at retail (October 2), that gives you a lot of asphalt to burn and dirt to kick up.

Just this September, Xbox Game Pass added Halo: The Master Chief Collection (complete with new updates to matchmaking and graphics), Quantum Break, and Snake Pass, among others. But if you want to peruse the selection before committing your dollars, check out our list of every Xbox Game Pass game.

If you”re going to be playing Forza Horizon 3, you”re going to want to check out our Barn Find locations guide. If you”re less concerned about racing and more interested in what else Xbox Game Pass has to offer, check out our list of the best Xbox One games and start playing! 

Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges guide: How to complete the weekly challenges

We”ve made it! Week 10 of Fortnite Season 5 has arrived, bringing a new Fortnite bonus pack for PlayStation Plus subscribers, and giving us a sneak preview of this year”s Fortnite Halloween costumes IRL. We also have our final set of Weekly Challenges for this season, including Free Challenges that all players can take on for bonus Battle Stars, plus four additional Battle Pass Challenges exclusively for Battle Pass holders to unlock even more Battle Stars and earn the weekly reward item. Challenges from previous weeks remain active, so if you”re still looking to get Trick Points using Fortnite shopping carts or Fortnite ATKs, follow the Fortnite Shifty Shafts treasure map, or visit different Fortnite Stone Heads, then our Fortnite Battle Pass Week 9 Challenges section has got you covered.

Most of the challenges are pretty straightforward, but a few require further information to figure out what you have to do. That”s where this guide comes in to play, as we”ve cracked the trickier challenges and done the leg work to solve them so you don”t have you. For Week 10 this involves searching seven jigsaw puzzle pieces in basements, consuming 20 apples or mushrooms, searching seven chests in Salty Springs, searching between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green, and eliminating an opponent in Pleasant Park (and two subsequent locations). Read on, and you”ll be racking up those extra Battle Stars in no time.

Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges – Season 5 Week 10

Free Challenges:

  • Search Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces in Basements (7)
  • Consume Apples or Mushrooms (20)
  • Eliminate Opponents (HARD) (10)

Battle Pass Challenges:

  • Search Chests in Salty Springs (7)
  • Deal damage to opponents (5,000)
  • Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green (HARD) (1)
  • Stage 1: Eliminate an opponent in Pleasant Park (HARD) (1)
       – Stage 2: Eliminate an opponent in Wailing Woods (HARD) (1)
       – Final Stage: Eliminate an opponent in Lucky Landing (HARD) (1)

  

Search Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces in Basements

The challenges for Season 5 wrap up with a collectibles search, this time involving hunting down Fortnite jigsaw puzzle pieces hidden away in basements. You need to find and interact with seven of these, though more than that exist in total across the map. We”ve searched all the basements we could find, and confirmed the following 16 all contain jigsaw puzzle pieces:

  • B2 – Church in Haunted Hills
  • C4 – House with fallen tree southwest of Pleasant Park
  • A5 – Second house in Snobby Shores moving north to south
  • A5 – Last house in Snobby Shores moving north to south
  • A6 – House south of Snobby Shores
  • C7 – Durrr Burger in Greasy Grove 
  • C7 – Shack south of Greasy Grove
  • D6 – Basement/garage in southwest Tilted Towers
  • D7 – House west of Shifty Shafts
  • E9 – Building northeast of Flush Factory
  • F7 – Blue house in Salty Springs
  • H6 – Small ruined house in Retail Row
  • J6 – Mansion near Lonely Lodge
  • G2 – House west of Risky Reels
  • G3 – House southwest of Risky Reels
  • I2 – House east of Risky Reels

  

Consume Apples or Mushrooms

If you”ve never consumed them before, apples and mushrooms can be eaten to restore 5 Health and 5 Shield respectively. You need to chomp down 20 of these items in total and although they spawn randomly, there are certain locations you can check to increase the likelihood of finding some. Apples appear under trees, so check on the ground whenever you”re passing them – the trees circling Salty Springs often bear fruit. Mushrooms are somewhat easier to locate, as they can usually be found in the shady areas around Dusty Divot and Wailing Woods. If your health or shield is full then you won”t be able to consume any more of the item that boosts it, so bear that in mind when you go foraging.

  

Search Chests in Salty Springs

This week”s chest searching challenge takes us to Salty Springs, which can sometimes be a tricky one due to its fairly central position and popularity as a landing spot. There are a maximum of 14 possible chest spawn locations in the area, with most being found in attics and basements of the buildings. For a list of all the possible spots a chest could appear in, check out our Fortnite chest locations guide.

  

Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green (HARD)

It”s time to seek out those hidden Battle Stars once again, and if you want to search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green then make your way to G2, to the east of the Lazy Links golf course before you get to the river.

Aim for the small hut amongst the trees, then look for the patch of dirt next to it. The hidden Battle Pass stars will appear here as you approach, so grab them and get out of there before any opponents who landed in Lazy Links arrive tooled up with weapons.

  

Stage 1: Eliminate an opponent in Pleasant Park (HARD)

We”ve made it! Week 10 of Fortnite Season 5 has arrived, bringing a new Fortnite bonus pack for PlayStation Plus subscribers, and giving us a sneak preview of this year”s Fortnite Halloween costumes IRL. We also have our final set of Weekly Challenges for this season, including Free Challenges that all players can take on for bonus Battle Stars, plus four additional Battle Pass Challenges exclusively for Battle Pass holders to unlock even more Battle Stars and earn the weekly reward item. Challenges from previous weeks remain active, so if you”re still looking to get Trick Points using Fortnite shopping carts or Fortnite ATKs, follow the Fortnite Shifty Shafts treasure map, or visit different Fortnite Stone Heads, then our Fortnite Battle Pass Week 9 Challenges section has got you covered.

Fortnite Tier 100 Challenges – how to complete the Ragnarok challengesFortnite Road Trip Challenges – where to find the bonus hidden starsThe best Fortnite merch to wear as you floss your way to Victory Royale

Most of the challenges are pretty straightforward, but a few require further information to figure out what you have to do. That”s where this guide comes in to play, as we”ve cracked the trickier challenges and done the leg work to solve them so you don”t have you. For Week 10 this involves searching seven jigsaw puzzle pieces in basements, consuming 20 apples or mushrooms, searching seven chests in Salty Springs, searching between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green, and eliminating an opponent in Pleasant Park (and two subsequent locations). Read on, and you”ll be racking up those extra Battle Stars in no time.

Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges – Season 5 Week 10

Free Challenges:

Search Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces in Basements (7)Consume Apples or Mushrooms (20)Eliminate Opponents (HARD) (10)

Battle Pass Challenges:

Search Chests in Salty Springs (7)Deal damage to opponents (5,000)Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green (HARD) (1)Stage 1: Eliminate an opponent in Pleasant Park (HARD) (1)
   – Stage 2: Eliminate an opponent in Wailing Woods (HARD) (1)
   – Final Stage: Eliminate an opponent in Lucky Landing (HARD) (1)

  

Search Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces in Basements

The challenges for Season 5 wrap up with a collectibles search, this time involving hunting down Fortnite jigsaw puzzle pieces hidden away in basements. You need to find and interact with seven of these, though more than that exist in total across the map. We”ve searched all the basements we could find, and confirmed the following 16 all contain jigsaw puzzle pieces:

B2 – Church in Haunted HillsC4 – House with fallen tree southwest of Pleasant ParkA5 – Second house in Snobby Shores moving north to southA5 – Last house in Snobby Shores moving north to southA6 – House south of Snobby ShoresC7 – Durrr Burger in Greasy Grove C7 – Shack south of Greasy GroveD6 – Basement/garage in southwest Tilted TowersD7 – House west of Shifty ShaftsE9 – Building northeast of Flush FactoryF7 – Blue house in Salty SpringsH6 – Small ruined house in Retail RowJ6 – Mansion near Lonely LodgeG2 – House west of Risky ReelsG3 – House southwest of Risky ReelsI2 – House east of Risky Reels

  

Consume Apples or Mushrooms

If you”ve never consumed them before, apples and mushrooms can be eaten to restore 5 Health and 5 Shield respectively. You need to chomp down 20 of these items in total and although they spawn randomly, there are certain locations you can check to increase the likelihood of finding some. Apples appear under trees, so check on the ground whenever you”re passing them – the trees circling Salty Springs often bear fruit. Mushrooms are somewhat easier to locate, as they can usually be found in the shady areas around Dusty Divot and Wailing Woods. If your health or shield is full then you won”t be able to consume any more of the item that boosts it, so bear that in mind when you go foraging.

  

Search Chests in Salty Springs

This week”s chest searching challenge takes us to Salty Springs, which can sometimes be a tricky one due to its fairly central position and popularity as a landing spot. There are a maximum of 14 possible chest spawn locations in the area, with most being found in attics and basements of the buildings. For a list of all the possible spots a chest could appear in, check out our Fortnite chest locations guide.

  

Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green (HARD)

It”s time to seek out those hidden Battle Stars once again, and if you want to search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green then make your way to G2, to the east of the Lazy Links golf course before you get to the river.

Aim for the small hut amongst the trees, then look for the patch of dirt next to it. The hidden Battle Pass stars will appear here as you approach, so grab them and get out of there before any opponents who landed in Lazy Links arrive tooled up with weapons.

  

Stage 1: Eliminate an opponent in Pleasant Park (HARD)

The final multi stage quest for this season focuses on eliminations, and as before there are three separate stages to complete. Start by finishing off an opponent in Pleasant Park, then move on to defeat another in Wailing Woods, before landing a final elimination in Lucky Landing. As with previous multi stage quests, the next challenge stage will only unlock at the end of the match you completed the previous stage in, so you can”t rush ahead by going to the next location during the same round. Get eliminations through all three areas and the full 10 Battle Stars are in the bag.

Previous Battle Pass Challenges:Fortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 9 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 8 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 7 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 6 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 5 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 4 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 3 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 2 ChallengesFortnite Battle Pass Season 5 Week 1 Challenges

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Star Wars Resistance will help fill in the gaps between Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens

The upcoming animated TV show Star Wars Resistance is yet another Star Wars project coming into a world already beset with a new trilogy of films, two Clone Wars-era serials, two “A Star Wars Story” movies, a short-lived LEGO-branded TV series, and the Galactic Civil War-era Rebels show. So how is this new spin-off going to stand apart? How about giving audiences one of the best looks at how the Star Wars universe (or is it “galaxy”?) shifted and reorganized after the events of Return of the Jedi?

In the latest issue of our sister publication SFX magazine, executive producers Justin Ridge, Brandon Auman, and Athena Portillo reveal how they plan to cover one of the freshest eras in Star Wars history. “The eras of the original trilogy, Rebels and Clone Wars, are so well thought out and there are already lots of [canonical] novels and comic books filling in the gaps,” says Auman, pointing out that other shows have even had to scrap stories because there were just too many overlapping projects being put out.

“Dave [Filoni] told me that one of the plot points he intended Rebels to touch on was stealing the Death Star plans, but obviously they couldn’t do that because Rogue One was coming up, so you’re in kind of a tighter alcove. Now we’re in this wide-open space that we can mess around in.”

And if you”re curious about how organizations like the Resistance came about, this will be a window into its beginnings and evolution. Even the nefarious First Order will get some screen time. “This is really our chance to get more insight into them,” says Ridge. “We’ll find out more about Phasma and her team, the people who operate under her, and what they’re trying to achieve.”

You can catch the first episode of Star Wars Resistance on October 7 via The Disney Channel.

Want to read more about Star Wars Resistance and all the biggest sci-fi and fantasy entertainment news? You can order SFX online and have it delivered to your door. Or, subscribe and be ahead of the game so that you never miss an issue. Take advantage of our cut-price digital and print bundles and take SFX wherever you go. 

Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green – Fortnite Season 5 Week 10 Challenge

For one of the Season 5 Week 10 Fortnite Battle Pass Challenges you need to search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green to track down the hidden Battle Stars. It doesn”t take a Fortnite expert to work out that the 9th green is going to be found at Lazy Links, so you just need to find a nearby covered bridge and waterfall then triangulate a location between the three of them to determine where to look. Helpfully, we”ve already done that and highlighted the precise location you need to head to and claim your reward.

Fortnite tipsFortnite Road Trip ChallengesFortnite Tier 100 Challenges

Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green in Fortnite

We already know where Lazy Links is, and the 9th green can be found to the northeast of the course. Head to G2 on the map, in the marked area between the golf course and the river, and look for a group of trees.

As you close in, you”ll spot a small hut amongst the trees so aim towards that. Stay on your toes, as there are plenty of chests and weapon floor spawns in the surrounding area.

Where are the best places to land on the Fortnite map?Where can you find the Fortnite ATKs?When is Fortnite Season 6 starting?

Search between a covered bridge, waterfall, and the 9th green Battle Stars location

When you land, look for a patch of dirt next to the small hut and run over to it, where the Battle Stars should pop up for you to collect. It”s probably best to head away from Lazy Links at this point, as any players coming from that direction will no doubt be stocked up with weapons already.

Need to stock up on V-Bucks? Then you should grab The Ace Pack, as that Fortnite Starter Pack is the game”s best deal, or check out the other methods of how to get free Fortnite V-Bucks.

Animal Crossing Switch release date, wishlist, trademark filings and more

It”s official: as announced in the 9/13 Nintendo Direct, Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch is happening in 2019. After we got burned at E3 and thought Isabelle in Smash was all we were going to get during this Direct, we”re elated to know that our Switch mayorship can begin next year. With the core Pokemon Switch RPG coming out in 2019 as well, it”s going to be an amazing year for Nintendo fans. We”ve waited long enough to see Isabelle, Tom Nook, and co. nestled inside our Switch; the last major title in the series, Animal Crossing New Leaf, was released in 2012 for the 3DS, so we”re more than ready for a brand new slice of Animal Crossing life.

After the fantastic Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey, Animal Crossing fans (ourselves very much included) are eager to see what Nintendo brings to the home of Isabelle, K.K. Slider, and the increasingly greedy Tom Nook. Here are a few things that we’d like to see in a new entry on Switch. 

Completely re-do furniture sets

Decorating your humble little abode has always been at the core of quiet village living, but seeing the same sets of furniture has gotten tiring. Every game has included the same lovely, modern, and exotic furniture sets without adding a whole lot of new pieces. Even finding ways to mix and match them has worn out it’s welcome. There’s so much room for new sets and individual pieces, especially with the improved graphical capabilities. Nintendo could really expand and include more types of furniture giving players more opportunity for customization.

Expand the Mayor feature

New Leaf introduced the ability to actually be mayor (so long, Tortimer), giving players the ability to place and fund public works projects that ranged from a stylish cafe – where town folks can get a brew – to a light-up replica of the Eiffel Tower. Many took advantage of the new features to plan their town down to the tile with designs and public works projects laid from coast to coast. It added a big new layer of interactivity to the series, but fell short in a few spots. Public works projects couldn’t be placed in predesignated parts of the town around the city center, retail shops, and the beach, and new towns folk often ruined town plans by moving in in the middle of a pathway. Being mayor should give you the power to choose your town’s overall layout from the beginning of the game, place public works projects almost anywhere in town including the beach, pick designated spots for new neighbors to move in, and choose from a far bigger list of public works projects to fill your town with.

A more diverse cast of animals

It’s not called Animal Crossing for nothing. A big part of the franchise is interacting with the charming characters that occupy your little virtual slice of life. We’ve seen the cast of neighbors grow entry to entry, but things took a step back in New Leaf. Villagers lost a bit of charm they had in previous games, the variety of the interactions decreased and relationships became repetitive. A lot of this has to do with localization, New Leaf had localized Japanese text instead of full English dialogue like the earlier games. A lot of the conversations that weren’t completely kid-friendly got cut, and a lot of the charm got lost in translation. Even Rossetti, the reset-without-saving mole, got toned down for the 3DS entry.

The Switch version should give the characters more lines of dialogue, including some frustration and crankiness that adds a bit of spice to town. Combine this improvement with more species and ways to interact and then watch the new relationships blossom.

Still not got a Switch? Here are the best Nintendo Switch bundle deals in 2018Here are the best deals on Nintendo Switch controllersAnd check out these cool Nintendo Switch cases…

Take the neighborhood to the globe

The city aspect of New Leaf and City Folk was always a bit counterintuitive to the small town vibe of Animal Crossing. The downtown center that included Nook’s shop, the museum, and other hot spots should become an online marketplace while all those buildings should get moved back onto your town map. That downtown space should turn into an online hub for for people to join and buy exclusive items, trade and sell designs, and play various mini-games. The Tropical Island that was introduced in New Leaf scratched the surface of how an online hub could work in Animal Crossing, but never did anything too risky. A bigger hub could be more than just a place to farm valuable beetles for hours on end.

Continue the polish

Each entry of Animal Crossing has continued to improve the series, including new features that expand on the original concept and quality of life improvements. But things can get much, much better. Features that we see in Pocket Camp and Nintendo’s other spinoff, Happy Home Designer, should get implemented into the main series.

Happy Home Designer never felt like a complete game, even though it introduced a lot of cool concepts that we hadn’t seen before. Bringing the furniture placement system and ability to place items outside the house to a main series title would make decorating each room easier and more enjoyable. Fishing, bug catching, fossil collecting, and fruit are all overdue for a makeover, and the Switch’s graphical capabilities could kick Animal Crossing’s visuals into the current generation. Adding more colorful detail to these elements would make every moment spent in game much more engaging and charming.

What would you love to see in Animal Crossing on the Switch? Let us know in the comments below.

The mysterious case of PS4 update 6.0, the major update that seems way too small

Sony just released PS4 update 6.0 to the public, and following on a grand tradition of feature-rich, whole-number updates… it “improves system performance.” That”s the extent of the patch notes. If you have automatic updates enabled, you”ll probably find your PS4 has installed the new, roughly 400MB update since you last checked in. But you probably won”t notice much difference. Thankfully, there”s good reason to believe this may just be a prelude to bigger PS4 update plans coming very soon.

Sony typically reserves its be-integer-ed PS4 updates for adding big new features: update 4.0 added HDR display support and improved sorting/folder functions back in September 2016; update 5.0 opened up the team and tournament system as well as following and custom friend lists in October 2017. Heck, even the half numbers can be pretty significant – remember when update 5.50 made it way easier to sort through your library back in March?

Improving system performance is always good, but it”s the patch notes equivalent of changing the oil. Maybe rotating the tires. It”s hardly befitting of that “nice, round numbers with cool new features” update legacy. And the beta version of update 6.0 that Sony started circulating in August didn”t have any new features either, so nothing”s hidden there. It feels more like an update 5.6 than an update 6.0, and since Sony”s in charge of the whole numbering scheme, it totally could have just called it that.

This doesn”t mean Sony”s giving up on making big improvements to PS4″s software as the console family approaches its fifth birthday. Hopefully the update sitting on your PS4 hard drive now is just preparation for bigger things to come, especially with Tokyo Game Show set to begin on September 19: for instance, Sony couldn”t announce a hotly anticipated feature then say “…and it”s available on your console right now” without laying some groundwork first.

Basically what I”m trying to say is if Sony was ever going to finally enable PSN name changes for all us poor slobs with handles that seemed way cooler ten years ago, the next week or two would be a fantastic time.

Get the most out of the features you have now with our PS4 setup tricks and tip guide. 

The best MMORPGs to play right now

The MMO boom may well and truly be behind us, but this unique game genre which inspired and is the basis for so many of the connected playspaces we still enjoy today hasn”t gone away. Indeed, now may be one of the best times to start playing an MMORPG, with a plethora of established and long-running titles, plus some plucky startups eager to try out their ideas for reinvigorating the market. And you don”t even need to be a PC gamer these days, as more and more MMOs are coming to console. So whether you”re looking to level up via mouse and keyboard or a gamepad, read on for the 25 best MMORPGs that you need to check out.

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25. Riders of Icarus

Available on: PC

In a post-Pokémon Go world, the idea of a monster collecting MMO seems like a no-brainer, and yet it’s still territory that very few online RPGs have properly broached. Riders of Icarus takes the idea of collecting pocket monsters and gives it an interesting twist, making all the creatures you hoard into mounts that are central to character progression. 

Mounted combat is understandably a central mechanic, and while it can be difficult to master, especially while flying, it also provides some very satisfying and dramatic moments. And Riders of Icarus is flush with gorgeous, rare gear, and quests that often deviate in pleasant ways from the traditional “fetch 15 rat pelts” MMO mold.  

24. Defiance / Defiance 2050

Available on: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC / PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

The fact that Defiance is any good is practically miraculous. Developing an MMO shooter based on a SyFy original television series sounds like a recipe for disaster, but somehow Trion Worlds was able to deliver an excellent game with a lot of cool hooks. It helps that the world of Defiance is an interesting one, the result of a curious set of circumstances. Earth has been rendered almost unrecognizable by the accidental deployment of alien terraforming technology, and a long war with the aliens responsible has left both sides on the brink of collapse. Factions have splintered off and in many cases aliens and humans have banded together in the desperate struggle for survival. 

While SyFy axed the television show back in 2015, the MMO lives on, continuing to succeed on the strength of its combat mechanics, satisfying character progression, and the its absolutely massive armory of weapons and gear. It’s the first MMO we”ve played that makes shooting guns in PvE feel viable and fun, and it now also includes some surprisingly effective melee weapons.

There are actually two versions of the game: one for previous-gen consoles and PC, simply called “Defiance,” and another for PS4, Xbox One, and PC called “Defiance 2050”. The newer version has new classes and power trees, but the same world and quests – not enough to be considered a wholly new game, but give it a try if you want to see the world of Defiance through fresh eyes.

23. Black Desert Online

Available on: PC, Xbox One

A Korean MMO that launched in the US behind a lot of fanfare, Black Desert Online was able to mostly deliver on the hype with its snappy action combat and interesting property management elements. Alongside the standard leveling and questing, BDO offers players and guilds the opportunity to become medieval slum lords, buying up buildings and setting their function as residences or crafting repositories, or even taking wholesale control of entire cities. 

While some of these mechanics were a bit clumsy or unavailable at launch, BDO is a game that’s taken full advantage of the long lifespan of most MMOs and has continually improved over time. And Microsoft’s reveal at E3 this year that Black Desert will be making an appearance on Xbox One as a console exclusive means more players will be able to get their hands on this sleeper gem.

22. Revelation Online

Available on: PC

Speaking of incredibly pretty looking Eastern MMOs, Revelation Online proves that beauty and substance aren’t mutually exclusive. This Chinese offering that recently made its way west has incredible depth in terms of character creation and development, and a vast, intriguing open world to plumb for loot and secrets.

Revelation Online is also one of a current bumper crop of games that provides the option to choose traditional, tab-targeting style MMO combat or more dynamic action combat. It even offers a third option that’s an intriguing (if somewhat clumsy) blend of both. And with the option to respec your character for free at any point, it’s an easy game to commit some time to without feeling shackled by your choices.

21. Secret Worlds Legends

Available on: PC

Another recent convert to the free to play model, Secret World Legends is a game defined in large part by its setting, which reads like every conspiracy theory crackpots dream come true (or their worst nightmare realized). Secret societies, mythological creatures, and evil cults define a world shrouded by mystery and bursting with supernatural horrors. Propping up the setting and story is some killer sound design, which successfully ratchets up tension and gives the game’s events a sense of sweeping drama.

In fact, one of Secret World Legend’s strongest features is its dedication to storytelling. Instead of the standard MMO trope of letting players queue up a practically unlimited number of quests–which leads to lots of mindless fetching and slaying without any sense of overarching purpose–The Secret World focuses on a tight handful of quests at a time, all with clearly defined objectives. This narrow focus helps emphasize narrative and points a spotlight at the games writing and atmosphere, which is of a fairly uniform high quality.

Click “next page” to see entries 20-11 in our countdown of the top MMORPGs.

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Castle Rock”s finale gave us more questions than answers

If you settled in for the Castle Rock finale last night hoping to have all your questions answered, you weren”t paying attention to the names in the opening credits. The series might be built around the sprawling horror universe created by Stephen King, but JJ Abrams was executive producer, the man who kept Lost”s mysteries simmering for years. 

*spoilers ahead*

Last night ended with the Kid, who we now know is an alternative universe Henry Deaver, albeit one that has somehow become twisted into something undeniably evil and destructive, back in the cage in the bowels of Shawshank. This universe”s Henry Deaver has taken on the role of captor, mirroring the beginning of the show. There were two Castle Rocks all along, alternate worlds, with the two Henry Deavers becoming trapped in the wrong ones via an invisible doorway or rift hidden in the woods. While that”s satisfying in it”s own way, we have lots of questions and one plea for the subject matter of the – now confirmed – second season. 

Let”s talk about that epilogue

At the end of the credits, Jackie Torrance, niece of infamous hotel caretaker and axe fan Jack Torrance, reveals she”s writing a book called Overlooked (a reference to the Overlook hotel of The Shining, of course) and declares “the best place to finish a book is where it started.” A bright, plucky, Torrance heading back to the Overlook to figure out what happened there? Sure, in the actual King novel the hotel exploded, but there must be ruins, perhaps a new hotel on the grounds? Taking on the ghosts and ghouls within its walls with her journalistic curiosity and millennial smarts? I would forget all about both Henry Deavers just for the chance to watch ten episodes of that. 

What is Henry Deaver 2.0?

Even before we knew he was a Henry Deaver stuck in the wrong world, we knew there was something very wrong with “The Kid”. Even if he wasn”t the one inflicting violence on those around him, just being near him was enough to inspire it, or to turn a seemingly healthy person into a walking cancerous tumor in one night. 

Now, it”s understandable that after years locked in a cage, occasionally being read Bible passages, the Kid might be mentally unsound, but his problems go way beyond PTSD and into the supernatural. In case there was any doubt, the show lets us see a withered, twisted face in the closing scenes that suggests the handsome boyish looks of Deaver 2.0 are just a mask for something darker. Has his time in the wrong world turned him into some sort of demon? Is there any of the real Henry Deaver left? Or – as the horribly familiar smile at the end suggests – does the character have more in common with Pennywise than just the casting of Bill Skarsgård?

Was Ruth”s dementia also a sign something was wrong in Castle Rock?

Ruth Deaver”s dementia gave us the most affecting episode of the whole series, and the final episode”s revelation that time between the two worlds or universes was definitely a bit wonky raises some questions. If the original Henry Deaver was missing for 11 days in his own reality, but thirty years or so in Henry Deaver 2.0s, it makes sense that Ruth”s travels through her past could be more than just faulty brain chemistry. 

In the finale it”s hinted that perhaps Ruth”s visions are more than just memories when she stands on the bridge, talking with Molly Strand. “It just zigs and zags. Forks in the river, always changing, always the same,” she says of time. “Been here before, be here again. You and me on the bridge.” When Molly begs her to come down Ruth laughs, telling Molly she always says that, but reacts with surprise when Molly tells her that in another time, the alternate Castle Rock, she left her abusive husband. “First time you”ve said that,” responds Ruth. Has Ruth been able to see both timelines? Does her mental time travel extend beyond the past? 

What is it that made Matthew Deaver, Henry, and his son Wendell able to hear the sounds?

One plot strand that has dangled over proceedings since around episode six is the weird sounds that Matthew Deaver interpreted as the voice of the lord, and that our Henry Deaver and his son Wendell can also hear. The show called it the “Nature of the Schisma,” and Deaver thought it was divine in nature, but when we hear it with Deaver and Wendell it sounds a lot like a very badly tuned radio.  Is it a version of the “the shining” from the novel of the same name, or just a sound caused by the cracks between the two Castle Rocks that the Deaver men are somehow sensitive to? 

How many different Castle Rocks are there out there? 

We know there are two Henry Deavers, two Castle Rocks, two different timelines, but are there more? Stephen King fans will know that with his Dark Tower series King has explored the idea of his own multiverse, with the characters and stories of different novels weaving together, all connected. The Dark Tower series was all about Doors, which let people travel between worlds – so is that”s what was in the woods? It makes sense that in a show that has been built on a strong foundation of King references – Cujo, The Shawshank Redemption, Needful Things, ‘Salem’s Lot – that the Doors of the Dark Tower books have a place too. 

Animal Crossing is coming to Switch in 2019, Toadette has a dark secret, and everything else from the 9/13 Nintendo Direct

Nintendo Directs are always a treat, with their rapid-fire trailers and reveals that inevitably go viral, and today”s presentation was no different. The big news is that Animal Crossing on Nintendo Switch is coming sometime in 2019, though we didn”t get much info on the game beyond that confirmation. Everyone”s favorite assistant Isabelle is joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, and Luigi”s Mansion 3 is currently in development for Switch as well. But in my mind, one little fact cast a dark, Soylent Green-esque shadow over everything else in the Direct: Toadette can become Peachette.

For some context, this is a feature of New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe, a port of the Wii U platformer coming to Switch. The original”s playable Blue Toad has been benched in favor of Toadette and Nabbit – and whenever Toadette grabs a Super Crown, she transforms into Peachette, a simulacrum of the Mushroom Kingdom”s princess who can double-jump, glide, and bounce back from pitfalls. The lore and evolutionary ramifications are staggering. Does this mean all Toads can potentially become miniature Marios? Has Peach been an ascended Toadette all this time? Twitter users immediately sprang to action with their own responses:

If you”ve successfully wrapped your head around the concept of Peachette, here”s an easy-to-peruse list of all the other announcements from the 9/13 Nintendo Direct. It”s all in chronological order, and should save you quite a bit of time if you”re unable or unwilling to watch the entire 40-minute Direct yourself. 

3DS games

Kirby”s Extra Epic Yarn is a 3DS port of the Wii platformer with additional abilities, the challenging Devilish Mode, and new minigames, coming in 2019.Mario and Luigi: Bowser”s Inside Story + Bowser Jr.”s Journey gives Bowser”s son his own adventure, letting him battle by creating formations for Koopalings and minions. It”ll debut on January 11, 2019.Luigi”s Mansion on 3DS will include two-player co-op; if both players have the cart, they can play the full game with the other player controlling a translucent green Luigi clone, but if you only have one cart, Download Play lets you co-op against boss battles in the Gallery. It also has amiibo functionality, and it”s coming October 12.Yo-Kai Watch Blasters is getting free post-launch content with the Moon Rabbit Crew update, which adds new bonuses, missions, areas, Yokai, and bosses on September 7.

Nintendo Switch games

Luigi”s Mansion 3 is currently in development for Nintendo Switch, coming sometime in 2019.Splatoon 2″s Ver. 4 update includes plenty of new gear and other content. More details are available at the Squid Research Lab.Mega Man 11 supports the two Mega Man amiibo, which unlock gifts like E-tanks and other items, and is coming October 2.Mario Tennis Aces” Ver. 2 update expands the roster with four new characters: Birdo, Shy Guy, Koopa Paratroopa, and Petey Piranha. It”ll also add limited-time co-op missions that unlock alternate colors and outfits, and will debut on September 19.Capcom Beat “Em up Bundle lets you relive those arcade glory days with Final Fight, The King of Dragons, Captain Commando, Knights of the Round, Warriors of Fate, Armored Warriors, and Battle Circuit bundled into one game, offering four-player co-op locally or online. It”ll be available on September 18.New Super Mario Bros. U Deluxe brings the four-player platformer from Wii U to Nintendo Switch, with Nabbit and Toadette joining the roster. It also includes everything from New Super Luigi U, and debuts on January 11, 2019. Katamari Damacy REROLL brings the cult-classic oddity to Nintendo Switch, with HD visuals and Joy-Con features like gyro controls and HD rumble, plus local multiplayer. It”s coming sometime this winter.Nintendo Switch Online revolves around five core features: online play, an ever-growing library of NES games, uploading save data to the cloud, a companion smartphone app for voice chat (and additional info in certain games like Splatoon 2), and special offers that haven”t yet been revealed (but will likely include eShop discounts). The pricing is as follows: $3.99 per month, $7.99 for 3 months, $19.99 for 12 months, and a Family Membership that gives 2-8 people a 12-month subscription for $34.99. The service debuts on September 18.NES Switch controllers are being introduced as “Nintendo Switch Online Exclusive” peripherals that act like wireless NES pads and can charge on the sides of your Switch just like Joy-Con. They”re perfect for enjoying the NES library in a more authentic way, and will cost you $59.99.Pokemon Let”s Go Pikachu and Eevee showed off Secret Techniques that facilitate exploration through the world, and petting your chosen Pokemon on an undocked Switch lets you give your little buddy an adorable hairstyle. Both games are available November 16, and can be purchased with a new console bundle. link to bundle storyDiablo 3 Eternal Collection offers plenty of isometric action RPG goodness, and is coming November 2.Super Mario Party showed off more of its 80 all-new minigames, including those of the four-player co-op variety, and also teased character-specific dice you can use to gain an advantage on the board. The party starts October 5.Town (working Title) is a new RPG from Game Freak Inc., with a unique graphical style that resembles an early 2000s Western take on classic anime stylings. It”s coming sometime in 2019.Cities Skylines Nintendo Switch Edition includes both DLC packs After Dark and Snowfall, and is available now on Nintendo eShop.Daemon X Machina expanded on its E3 2018 debut with more footage its mech battles, detailing how you can gather parts from defeated enemies to augment your own arsenal. It”s coming in 2019.Yoshi”s Crafted World showed off more delightful platforming gameplay, where you can manipulate the perspective to change how a level plays. It also feature local co-op, and is coming in Spring 2019.Carcassonne, The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game, and Pandemic are three popular tabletop games coming to Switch in early 2019 courtesy of Asmodee Digital, and they”re just the start more on the way. Expect to see Catan and a Munchkin-inspired dungeon crawler in the future.Sid Meier”s Civilization 6 brings the just-one-more-turn strategy to Switch, which allows for four-player local play, on November 16.Starlink: Battle for Atlas showed off more of the Star Fox crew, and teased a cutscene of Wolf chowing down on some poor alien”s limb. You can take flight in Starlink on October 16.The World Ends with You: Final Remix, which includes the fresh “A New Day” segment, is coming on October 12.Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Torna ~ The Golden Country expands on the story with a prequel narrative. It”ll launch on September 21, while Expansion Pass owners can play it early starting September 14We got the usual reminder of the many games coming to Switch, including Warframe (November 20), Just Dance 2019 (October 23), FIFA 19 (September 29), Team Sonic Racing (winter), NBA 2K19 (available now), NBA 2K Playgrounds 2 (fall), and LEGO DC Super-Villains (October 16).Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles Remastered Edition brings the 15-year-old GameCube adventure to Switch, with online multiplayer and new areas inside dungeons. It”s coming sometime in 2019.Final Fantasy 15 Pocket Edition HD is available now, World of Final Fantasy Maxima drops on November 6, and Chochoco”s Mystery Dungeon: Every Buddy! is out this winter.Final Fantasy 12: The Zodiac Age is coming to Switch in 2019, along with ports of Final Fantasy 7, Final Fantasy 9, and Final Fantasy 10/10-2 HD Remaster.Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is adding Animal Crossing”s Isabelle to the roster, who has all sorts of adorable attacks and cute expressions. The latest Smash Bros. game is out on December 7. We also got to see the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Bundle, which includes a Switch with a dock that has all the original Smash Bros. characters on it, plus a download code for Ultimate and two Joy-Con that combine to create the Smash logo. The console bundle will be available for purchase on November 2.Animal Crossing comes to Switch some time in 2019, and we demand to know more ASAP.

For more Switch games to look forward to, check out all the upcoming Switch games for 2018 (and beyond).