Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week in Review: two new ‘For Honor’ classes, Steam limits game gifting, ‘Stellaris’ Adam’s Update



The Gaming Week In Review is a semi-regular column by Mathew Brock devoted to recapping recent news from the video game world each week.

Ubisoft will soon release two new “For Honor” classes, the Shinobi and Centurion, next week on May 16 for Season Pass owners

The hype for Ubisoft’s medieval combat game “For Honor” may have died down in recent months, but the game’s latest DLC pack might add some life into the game. After an initial leak several weeks ago, Ubisoft has officially announced its two new playable characters, the Shinobi and the Centurion, along with a variety of new maps for players to fight for superiority. Their releases will coincide with the start of the second in-game season.

The Centurion is an iron-masked knight hybrid that wields the iconic Roman Gladius, while the Shinobi is a samurai assassin who totes a chained pair of sickles. Their respective play styles have yet to be fully revealed, but the Centurion seems to favor defense and counterattacks like his fellow hybrids; the Shinobi can be seen dodging and keeping a fair distance from his foes.

The two new maps, The Forge and The Temple Gardens, will be available for free. The Forge is a map inspired by the Knights faction and features a large blacksmithing complex that has different seasonal variations, while the Temple Gardens is inspired by the Samurai faction and features an ironically calm environment filled with cherry blossom trees.

Players who purchased the game’s season pass will have access to the new content on May 16, with everyone else being able to purchase the two new classes the following week.

You can check out the Emerald’s review of “For Honor” here.

Watch the trailers for the Shinobi and Centurion below:

Valve changes how its Steam gifting system works, such as removing the gift to email and gift to inventory options

The Steam store is known for its huge seasonal sales and discounts. There’s actually an entire sub-market devoted to trading or reselling discounted keys when the sales end through the service’s gift function. But some recent changes to how gift purchases work might throw a wrench into the works.

Valve’s latest policy change, outlined here in a recent blog post, has altered the way the digital video game distributor allows users to gift games to one another. Gifting is now a direct exchange from user to user strictly on the platform, which adds both new features and limitations to the service.

Users can now buy a game months in advance and have it be gifted to someone else at a specified time. The intention seems to promote buying games on sale to gift to friends later down the line.

There is also an option to decline a gift, which will keep it out of their library and automatically refund the price to the gift giver. This seems like a useful feature to combat the longtime prank of forcibly gifting terrible games, such as the critically panned “Bad Rats: the Rat’s Revenge,” to unsuspecting victims, cluttering up their Steam libraries or filling up their digital inventories.

The final and most impactful feature is the new cross-country gifting limitations. According to Valve, if the price of a game is dramatically different in two countries, you will not be able to purchase and gift it to your foreign friends. This seems like a way to curb region-to-region reselling, where someone could theoretically buy a game activation key for a cheaper currency and resell it in a different country.

While Valve has put an overall positive spin on this change, it will undoubtedly affect the gaming community in the near future. Both the Steam key trading community and digital resellers like G2A and GreenManGaming will likely face difficulty exchanging codes outside Valve’s field of vision from now on.

This change does not affect any previous transactions, meaning any unused keys you may currently have are safe.

Stellaris 1.6 Adam’s Update is live along with a special anniversary deal and free DLC

Paradox Interactive has just announced a new anniversary edition of their 4X space exploration game Stellaris, along with some new free alien species artwork to add a little more Sci-fi flavor to the game. This announcement coincides with the new Adam’s Update, which adds some new features that didn’t quite make it into the “Utopia” expansion.

The Adam’s Update adds derelict superstructures that can be repaired, expanded diplomacy options, the ability to terraform inhabited planets and new ways to tax sectors of your empire by spending influence points. The update also adds a “Devouring Swarm” trait for hivemind species that gives unique diplomacy options, which is exactly what it sounds like.

“Stellaris — Digital Anniversary Edition” includes the base game, the “Utopia” expansion, the “Leviathans” story pack DLC and the “Plantoids” species pack. The anniversary species pack contains the three “void creature” species that were previously only available as a preorder bonus. The “Anniversary Edition” will be on sale for the next few days for anyone who’s been looking to give the game a spin.

Watch the latest trailer for “Stellaris” below:

You can follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.


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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock