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Ubisoft will reveal updated ‘Skull and Bones’ gameplay this week

After years of delays, Ubisoft is finally ready to offer a fresh look at Skull and Bones. The publisher on Tuesday it plans to host a showcase dedicated to the open-world multiplayer pirate game on July 7th at 2PM ET. Ubisoft will livestream the event on and .

The company is widely expected to announce a new release date then. If you haven’t kept track of Skull and Bones’ troubled development, we don’t blame you. Ubisoft first announced the title at , with an original release window planned for 2018. It then pushed the game back to , , 2021 and then finally its fiscal .

In 2020, Elisabeth Pellen, the game’s creative director, the delays to a change of vision. The original premise of Skull and Bones was simple. It was supposed to adapt the sailing mechanics from 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and strip all the narrative threads and stealth mechanics that made that game unapproachable for some.

“The answer is that we simply needed more time. We dreamt something bigger for Skull and Bones, and these ambitions naturally came with bigger challenges,” Pellen said at the time. “As Skull and Bones evolved from its original idea to what it is now, it was also necessary to have some fresh eyes join the team.” Ubisoft also announced today it plans to hold a separate event on September 10th that will feature multiple games and projects from the company’s teams.

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Ford’s Mustang Mach-E is coming to ‘Rocket League’ this week

Psyonix is bringing a couple more Ford vehicles to Rocket League this week, and whether players are more interested in brand-new cars or classics, there should be something to catch their interest. On December 9th, the Ford Mustang Mach-E EV will land in the Item Shop. Perhaps to underscore that this is an electric vehicle, you’ll see a visual lightning effect when it goes supersonic.

Joining the Mach-E in the store this week is the classic 1965 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R. Each car is part of a bundle that includes themed decals, wheels, a player banner and engine audio. You can buy each bundle for 1,100 Credits or both for 2,000 Credits. The bundles will be available until December 22nd.

The addition of the Mach-E and GT350R builds on the partnership between Psyonix and Ford. The F-150 arrived in the game earlier this year. The automaker is also sponsoring the Rocket League Championship Series Fall Major, an in-person tournament that takes place in Stockholm this week.

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Computing

Nvidia Confirms RTX 2060 Super, Arriving Next Week

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Nvidia announced a 12GB variant of its RTX 2060 graphics card, and it should arrive on December 7. The announcement follows months of rumors and speculation that Nvidia could revitalize its popular last-gen card to ease the burden of the GPU shortage. It brings with it a significant memory upgrade.

The announcement didn’t come at a big tech event or closed-door press briefing. Instead, Nvidia revealed the card through the patch notes of GeForce driver 497.09. Originally, this seemed like a mistake. Nvidia didn’t acknowledge the card through a blog post about the driver, instead burying in on the fourth page of the patch notes (direct PDF link).

Dan Baker/Digital Trends

It looks like this silent announcement was Nvidia’s plan all along. You can find the 12GB RTX 2060 alongside the standard 6GB RTX 2060 on Nvidia’s product page. The updated version includes twice the amount of video memory as the base model, as well as some boosts to core count and clock speed.

The 12GB RTX 2060 matches the specs of the RTX 2060 Super, but note that Nvidia isn’t using the Super branding on the new card. The 12GB model includes 2,176 CUDA cores, a base clock speed of 1,470MHz, and a boost clock speed of 1,470MHz — the same specs as the RTX 2060 Super.

The lack of Super branding is important. Nvidia hasn’t announced the pricing of the card yet, but the company says that the price will reflect that the 12GB model is a premium version of the $349 RTX 2060. The RTX 2060 Super launched for $399, so hopefully this 12GB model will be below that mark.

Originally, we viewed a 12GB RTX 2060 as nothing but hot air. At the beginning of 2021, Nvidia introduced some additional RTX 2060 Super supply into the market. The company didn’t make a fuss about it publicly, idly letting the cards bolster supply while it focused on manufacturing additional RTX 30-series cards.

Since then, rumors of a 12GB RTX 2060 variant have run amok. There wasn’t much to lend creditability to these rumors outside of the murmurs from Twitter and YouTube leakers. That was until Gigabyte, one of Nvidia’s desktop graphics card partners, filed several listings for 12GB RTX 2060 graphics cards.

We should see various 12GB RTX 2060 models next week. It seems Nvidia is intentionally launching the card under the radar, perhaps in a bid to deter scalpers and bots from snatching up the cards when they launch.

That could be why Nvidia hasn’t revealed the pricing. Given the shortages of components, the list prices set by Nvidia and AMD are unrealistic at best and inaccurate at worst. That’s something we saw with the RX 6600 XT, where some models launched for $200 more than the price set by AMD. No official pricing from Nvidia means that board partners are free to set a reasonable price based on the cost of components.

Although these are positive efforts, we’re not sure how much they’ll help alleviate the GPU shortage. Even the base RTX 2060 has been subject to price increases, so we’ll be waiting to see if this new 12GB model changes that.

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Fortnite Season 8, Week 9 Challenge Guide: Shadow Ops

It’s time for yet another Fortnite challenge guide, this time for season 8, week 9. This week, you’ll be able to partake in the Shadow Ops quests, which are relatively straightforward if you’re a frequent Fortnite player. Still, you might need assistance with some of them, as a handful require you to visit specific locations. Thankfully, you’ll likely be able to get through the bulk of these naturally.

Nonetheless, we’ve got you covered with tips on getting through the latest challenges. These are the new Shadow Ops quests and how to complete them in Fortnite.

Recommended reading:

Shadow Ops challenge list

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To begin this questline, you need to visit Shadow Ops on the map itself. This NPC can be found on the south side of Lazy Lake, so head to their location and talk to them. Once you do, the questline will begin. Below are is the full list of quests.

Impromptu Tactical

  • Visit a Guardian Tower (1)
  • Collect light ammo, medium ammo, and shells (3)
  • Cause shotgun damage to Cube Monsters in The Sideways (150)
  • Get a headshot with a pistol (1)
  • Eliminate an opponent with an SMG (1)

Shadow Ops challenge guide

Visit a Guardian Tower (1)

Map of Guardian Towers in Fortnite.
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To complete this challenge, simply visit one of the six Guardian Towers shown on the map above. We recommend the one by Weeping Woods since there’s usually decent loot nearby.

Collect light ammo, medium ammo, and shells (3)

Ammo box in Fortnite.

This is one of the easiest challenges, as you’ll likely complete it without even trying. As long as you loot semi-regularly, you’ll find the different ammo required to complete this challenge.

Cause shotgun damage to Cube Monsters in The Sideways (150)

Cube Monsters in Fortnite.

Arguably the toughest quest of the bunch, this one requires you to grab a shotgun, enter The Sideways, and damage Cube Monsters. Finding a shotgun is the toughest part, so land nearby to The Sideways (indicated by a purple circle on the map), and loot every building you see. Once you have a shotgun, enter The Sideways and deal damage to the creatures inside.

Get a headshot with a pistol (1)

Jill using pistol in Fortnite.

This challenge isn’t too tricky, but to make it go more smoothly, we advise playing in any team-based mode so you can down an enemy player. Once they’re down, you can easily use a pistol to finish them off with a headshot.

Eliminate an opponent with an SMG (1)

Jill using SMG in Fortnite.

Again, this challenge will likely come naturally, but do your best to loot so you can find an SMG. If you’re playing in any team-based mode, you can down your opponent with any weapon, then switch to the SMG to secure the elimination. This is a handy trick if you have a common SMG that doesn’t deal much damage.

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Fortnite Season 8, Week 8 Challenge Guide: Ember

It’s season 8, week 8 of Fortnite, and as always, that comes with a new set of challenges. This time, you’ll get to meet Ember, an NPC who focuses on fire quests (go figure). The quests aren’t too difficult, but a few of them might trip you up if you’re unsure of where to go.

Here, we’ll show you all of the new Ember challenges, with guides for getting through all of them as easily as possible. These are all the new Ember quests and how to complete them in Fortnite.

Recommended reading:

Ember challenge list

Fortnite.gg

To begin the Fire Yoga Questline, you’ll need to visit Ember. This NPC is found northwest of Corny Crops, so speak with them and you’ll be able to start knocking out the challenges. Below are all the Ember quests.

Fire Yoga Questline

  • Destroy a fireplace at Lazy Lake, Craggy Cliffs, Holly Hedges, or Pleasant Park (1)
  • Set structures on fire (10)
  • Emote within 5m of a vehicle that’s smoking (1)
  • Ignite an opponent with a firefly jar (1)
  • Heal from a campfire (15)

Ember challenge guide

Destroy a fireplace at Lazy Lake, Craggy Cliffs, Holly Hedges, or Pleasant Park (1)

Map of Fortnite fireplace locations.

Of course, you can visit any of the four main locations listed above, but the best spot is Pleasant Park since it’s so close to Ember’s starting area. Head to one of the two fireplaces shown on the map above and destroy it with your pickaxe (or anything, really).

Set structures on fire (10)

Map of Fireflies in Fortnite.
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All around the map are fireflies, which can be captured and placed in jars. The map above shows their general locations, so use it to collect lots of fireflies. Once you have a handful, go around throwing them at structures. For best results, throw the fireflies at buildings, as the fire can spread and burn multiple structures inside. Once you’ve destroyed 10, you’ll earn credit.

Emote within 5m of a vehicle that’s smoking (1)

Fireflies in Fortnite.

Save some of your fireflies and then make your way to a vehicle. These are typically found in main hub areas, so visit any of them, throw the firefly at the car, and then get right next to it and emote to complete this request.

Ignite an opponent with a firefly jar (1)

A downed player in Fortnite.

From there, play normally, and the next time you down a player (it’s best to play in team-based modes), throw a firefly at them to finish this challenge. You can get away with throwing one at a player who isn’t downed, but it’s much harder to do.

Heal from a campfire (15)

Map of campfires in Fortnite.
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For the final challenge, visit one of the campfires listed on the map above and interact with them to gain health. You need to recover 15 HP, so make sure you have 85 health at most before visiting one of these campfires.

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Fortnite Season 8, Week 8 Challenge Guide: Sledgehammer

As part of Fortnite season 8, week 8, you’ll have access to another batch of quests, this time from an NPC named Sledgehammer. This NPC sends you to The Sideways to take on Cube Monsters, so you’ll want to know your way around these creatures to complete the newest questline.

Here, we’ll show you all the new Sledgehammer quests, along with guides for getting through them all. These are the new Sledgehammer quests and how to complete them in Fortnite.

Recommended reading:

Sledgehammer challenge list

fortnite.gg

As always during season 8, you’ll need to physically visit the NPC on the map to start the questline. In this case, Sledgehammer is just northeast of Holly Hedges, so pay them a visit to get started. Below are all five quests.

Battle Orders Questline

  • Open a chest in The Sideways (1)
  • Eliminate different types of Cube Monsters in The Sideways (3)
  • Damage Cube Monsters with a Sideways weapon (150)
  • Collect Cube Monster Parts (50)
  • Defeat a Boss Cube Monster in The Sideways (1)

Sledgehammer challenge guide

Open a chest in The Sideways (1)

Chest in The Sideways in Fortnite.

First up, pay a visit to The Sideways to find chests around the area. By now, you should be familiar with The Sideways, but as a reminder, these are the large areas on the map indicated by a pink and purple circle. Likewise, you can visit Anomalies that are marked by shiny spots on the map. Either way, once inside, look around for the chests and open one to complete the challenge.

Eliminate different types of Cube Monsters in The Sideways (3)

Cube Monsters in Fortnite.

Once you grab a weapon from one of the chests inside The Sideways, start working toward eliminating Cube Monsters. Once you’ve taken down three of them, you’ll earn credit. Just remember, they need to be three different types, such as the yellow ones or the larger purple versions. Just keep mowing them down and you’ll finish this one quickly.

Damage Cube Monsters with a Sideways weapon (150)

The Sideways in Fortnite.

In the process, you’ll likely earn credit for this challenge if you picked up a Sideways weapon right away. If you didn’t, make sure you search the nearby chests while in The Sideways to find one. We like the Sideways Scythe and the minigun.

Collect Cube Monster Parts (50)

Cube Monsters in Fortnite.

As you eliminate Cube Monsters, they’ll drop Monster Parts. Go ahead and pick them up as you survive inside The Sideways.

Defeat a Boss Cube Monster in The Sideways (1)

Cube Monster in Fortnite.

The final quest seems to be glitched for a lot of players because it doesn’t unlock properly. You’d think you’d need to eliminate one of the large Cube Monsters you can see moving around on the map, but this doesn’t seem to actually work. Instead, go inside The Sideways or an Anomaly and defeat enemies, and eventually, it will give you credit. For some players, the quest will finish after taking out one of the characters that spawn inside an Anomaly, though this didn’t work for us. Ultimately, keep defeating enemies in The Sideways and Anomalies and it should work.

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Fortnite Season 8, Week 6 Challenge Guide: Containment Specialist

In celebration of Halloween, Fortnite is hosting its annual Fortnitemares event, full of spooks and new quests to complete. This year, you’ll meet the Containment Specialist NPC, who comes from Ghostbusters: Afterlife. This NPC offers a questline, aptly called Ghostbusters: Afterlife, with tasks that require you to travel all over the map to bust ghosts. Some of them are a little tricky, especially if you aren’t a frequent Fortnite player.

Thankfully, we’ve got all the details on getting through these challenges with ease. Here are the Containment Specialist punchcard quests and how to complete them in Fortnite.

Recommended reading:

Containment Specialist challenge list

Fortnite.gg

Remember, you must visit the NPC on the map to begin this particular questline. The Containment Specialist is found on the south side of Camp Cod, which is the little island southeast of Misty Meadows.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife Questline 

  • Deploy seismographs in Misty Meadows or Catty Corner (3)
  • Exterminate mini-Pufts with a pickaxe in Sludgy Swamp, Lazy Lake, or Retail Row (3)
  • Retrieve mechanical parts by destroying cars (5)
  • Place Ghostbusters signs in Dirty Docks, Holly Hedges, and Pleasant Park (3)
  • Deploy a Ghost Trap (1)

Containment Specialist challenge guide

Deploy seismographs in Misty Meadows or Catty Corner (3)

Map of seismograph locations in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

The first challenge is straightforward. Simply visit any of the six locations on the map above (three at Misty Meadows and three at Catty Corner) and interact with them to deploy the seismographs. Once you’ve deployed six, you’ll complete the challenge.

Exterminate mini-Pufts with a pickaxe in Sludgy Swamp, Lazy Lake, or Retail Row (3)

Map of mini pufts in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

Across Sludgy Swamp, Lazy Lake, and Retail Row are five mini-Pufts each — 15 in total. For this challenge, you simply need to destroy three of them, so once you find them, slash them with your harvesting tool. The best spot to visit is Lazy Lake, as a large group of them are practically on top of one another on the south side.

Retrieve mechanical parts by destroying cars (5)

Truck from Fortnite.

Next up, you must destroy cars to collect mechanical parts. Each destroyed car drops one mechanical part, so you’ll need to destroy five total. For best results, visit Lazy Lake or the other main hubs to find cars all over the place. We advise using grenades to take them out easily, but your harvesting tool works too.

Place Ghostbusters signs in Dirty Docks, Holly Hedges, and Pleasant Park (3)

Map of Ghostbuster signs in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

Across Dirty Docks, Holly Hedges, and Retail Row are three spots each — nine total — that allow you to place a Ghostbuster sign. For this challenge, you need to place three across any of the nine locations. Use the map above for details on the exact spots. We advise visiting Holly Hedges since the three locations are so close to one another.

Deploy a Ghost Trap (1)

Ghost trap in Fortnite.

At nearly every main hub is a spot for you to place a Ghost Trap. The easiest one to find is at Pleasant Park to the left of the pavilion in the center. Place one Ghost Trap and this challenge will be complete.

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Fortnite Season 8, Week 6 Challenge Guide: Dark Jonesy

As part of the Fortnitemares event, which celebrates Halloween in Fortnite, you’ll have access to a new set of spooky quests. For season 8, week 6, you’ll get a new batch of quests from Dark Jonesy. This is the first time this season that a character has introduced a second set of punchcard quests, rather than being given to you by a new NPC. For this reason, there may be some confusion as to how things work. The quests themselves aren’t the most straightforward either, so you might need some assistance when tackling them.

In this guide, we’ll show you everything you’ll need to know about completing these quests. These are the Dark Jonesy challenges and how to complete them in Fortnite.

Recommended reading:

Dark Jonesy challenge list

Fortnite.gg

To start this questline, you’ll need to visit Dark Jonesy at Steamy Stacks. The map above has his exact location.

The Oracle Speaks Questline

  • Collect scrolls at different IO bases (2)
  • Use a Shadow Stone, then recover the Spirit Vessel (1)
  • Touch a cube (1)
  • Destroy the Corruption Cluster and all Corruption Fragments (2)
  • Return the Spirit Vessel to the Oracle and hear his vision (1)

Dark Jonesy challenge guide

Collect scrolls at different IO bases (2)

Map of scrolls in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

The first quest is fairly straightforward. Head to two of the spots listed on the map above to collect the scrolls at IO bases. It’s recommended to visit each location only after you’ve stocked up on gear, as you’ll probably come across enemy NPCs while there.

Use a Shadow Stone, then recover the Spirit Vessel (1)

Map of shadow stones in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

This one is tricky because you must first collect a Shadow Stone, which are found at crash sites around the map. For the purposes of this challenge, we recommend landing at the crash site by Dirty Docks since that’s where you can find a Spirit Vessel. At the crash site, you’ll find Shadow Stones, which look like small purple cubes that can be consumed. Then, travel to one of the spots on the map above to recover the Spirit Vessel.

Touch a cube (1)

Map of cube location in Fortnite.
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For this one, simply bounce off the yellow cube in the center of the map to complete the challenge.

Destroy the Corruption Cluster and all Corruption Fragments (2)

Map of Corruption Clusters in Fortnite.
Fortnite.gg

Next up, you’ll need to visit two of the three spots shown on the map above and destroy the pink crystals that protrude from the ground. Keep in mind, more fragments will pop up after you destroy one, so make sure you’re quick.

Return the Spirit Vessel to the Oracle and hear his vision (1)

Dark Jonesy in Fortnite.

Finally, head back to Dark Jonesy, interact with him, and you’ll be able to give him the Spirit Vessel from a previous challenge. Once you do, you’ll be finished with his questline.

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Another PlayStation State of Play is happening next week

It hasn’t been that long since the last PlayStation State of Play, but that isn’t stopping Sony from hosting another one. Today, Sony announced that another State of Play will be happening next week. Still, unlike the previous one that focused primarily on PlayStation 5 games, this one will focus on upcoming games for both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5.

If you thought that Sony might be out of reveals after the last State of Play, which took place in September, it appears you’d be right. Rather than showcase upcoming titles from PlayStation Studios, Sony says that this new State of Play will be “focusing on announcements and updates for upcoming third-party releases headed to PS5 and PS4.”

What those releases could be is anyone’s guess at this point. We can, as always, make a few educated guesses as to what might be on tap, as there are numerous confirmed titles in development for both consoles. Games we’d keep an eye out for in particular include Final Fantasy 16, the Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic remake from Aspyr, and titles that are probably closer to release than either of those games including Elden Ring, Ghostwire: Tokyo, and Solar Ash.

Sony, for its part, does not indicate what’s in store aside from confirming that it’ll be primarily third-party games on the docket and that the show will mainly comprise “new looks at previously announced games, plus a few reveals from our partners around the world.” Sony says that the whole show will last for around 20 minutes, so we can expect a quick and breezy event.

The next State of Play will be happening next Wednesday, October 27th at 2 PM PT/5 PM ET. You’ll be able to watch the State of Play on the PlayStation Twitch and YouTube channels. We’ll be covering the show as it happens, so check back with us next Wednesday for all you need to know.

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Game

Eidos’ Quebec game studios shift to a four-day work week

Eidos is joining the ranks of game developers pushing back against crunch time. The Square Enix-owned studio has announced that its Quebec locations (Montreal and Sherbrooke) are shifting to a four-day, Monday-to-Thursday work week sometime in the “next few weeks.” Salaries and working conditions will remain the same, the Deus Ex and Tomb Raider developer said.

The hope, as you might expect, is to improve the quality of working hours. Eidos is accordingly encouraging teams to redefine work conditions and improve efficiency, such as by cutting meeting times. The company had already implemented some quality-of-life changes during the pandemic, such as rest periods and compensation for mental and physical health costs — this is ostensibly a logical extension of that strategy.

Eidos isn’t the first studio to adopt a four-day week. Bugsnax developer Young Horses made that switch in September. It’s very rare for a large studio to make this move, though, and it might prompt similar moves by other developers if the strategy proves successful.

“If” is the operative term, however. Eidos was eager to tout past tests with shortened work weeks, like with Iceland’s civil service, but it’s not yet clear if that translates to the game industry. Developers are notorious for rushing games to make the holiday season, even if that leads to extremely buggy results. Eidos will have to make a hard choice: does it stick to the four-day schedule and risk delaying games, or demand extra hours to be sure a title is ready? This shortened week could pay off with happier developers, but it could also cause problems if teams take months more to finish projects.

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