Arts & CultureVideo Games

Gaming Week In Review: Battle.net returns, Skaven confirmed for “TW:WH II,” “XCOM 2” expansion demo



Blizzard ditches the Blizzard App name and returns to its classic Battle.net.

Battle.net is a household name among modern gamers. The online gaming service hosted many popular multiplayer games over the years including “Diablo II,” “Starcraft” and “Warcraft 3.” The name stuck when Blizzard created its own digital client to host more recent games like “Starcraft 2,” Heroes of the Storm” and “World of Warcraft.”

When Blizzard announced it would be rebranding Battle.net to the Blizzard App earlier this year, it received a less than amicable response from the community. Even the company itself was confused by the change, accidentally referring to the service as Battle.net when it announced that it would be hosting developer Bungie’s first-person-shooter “Destiny 2” on PC.

The new logo for Blizzard Battle.net.

In light of all this, Blizzard has taken a few steps back and decided to try to get the best of both worlds. Battle.net is back, although there’s a little extra baggage.

The client will now be referred to as “Blizzard Battle.net”, seemingly combining brand recognition with the nostalgic name that everyone recognizes.

In the blog post making the announcement Blizzard said the following:

“Battle.net is the central nervous system for Blizzard games and the connective tissue that has brought Blizzard players together since 1996. The technology was never going away, but after giving the branding change further consideration and also hearing your feedback, we’re in agreement that the name should stay as well. Take it from the developer formerly known as Silicon & Synapse, and Chaos Studios, names are important too.”

You can read the full blog post here.

The Skaven are officially confirmed as the final launch race for “Total War: Warhammer II.”

One of game developer Creative Assembly’s worst kept secrets is finally out in the open: the Skaven are officially the fourth starting faction in the second installment of the “Total War: Warhammer” series. It’s not much of a surprise, considering fans have noticed the rat-like warriors skulking behind the scenes in many of the game’s previous trailers and in-game events

The Skaven will debut alongside the Lizardmen, High Elves and Dark Elves in the upcoming grand strategy “Total War: Warhammer II.” These ratmen will join the four-way war for the legendary Eye of the Vortex, the gigantic magical maelstrom that controls the Warhammer Fantasy universe’s magic and helps keep the dark forces of Chaos at bay throughout the world.

Creative Assembly released the full roster for the faction, though it kept the specific stats and unit cards secret for now. Based on the brief descriptions provided, the Skaven army seems to focus on poison units and flanking tactics, while also packing dangerous experimental weapons and mutated abominations. Skaven casters will also have their own magic type: the Lore of Plague.

“Total War: Warhammer” releases next month, with the Grand Campaign that allows players to link both games and play on one massive map releasing several weeksafterwards.

You can watch the latest trailer for “Total War: Warhammer II” below:

A demo for “XCOM 2: War of the Chosen’s” features the new Propaganda Center weeks before full release.

Developer Firaxis’s upcoming expansion for “XCOM 2” is allegedly one of its most ambitious projects yet. Taking many of the ideas that didn’t make it into the first game, “War of the Chosen” will add both tactical and cosmetic features to make the game a true guerilla war experience.

One of the most prominent features is the new Propaganda Center that expands on the wanted posters easter egg in the base game. While on missions, soldiers appear in digital news feeds and TV screens start displaying their faces when enemies are alerted to their presence. Now, players can take their ragtag band of freedom fighters and fight the Advent propaganda machine with images of their own.

“XCOM” fans can now dress up and pose all their favorite soldiers to inspire earth’s people to rebel against their alien overlords. They can also see said posters during missions and share them online with friends. There’s no reason people can’t fight aliens and be stylish at the same time.

Anyone can experiment with the new feature before the expansion’s full release later this month by downloading the app on Steam. You can check it out here.

The new “XCOM” Propoganda Center.

You can check out the Emerald’s review of the “XCOM 2” base game here or watch the latest trailer below:

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

You can follow Mathew on Twitter: @MathewQBrock.


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Mathew Brock

Mathew Brock