Red Bull River Runes returns to India

Showcase your 1v1 Dota 2 skills as Red Bull R1v1r Runes returns to India this year after a successful debut in 2018. Prove to the Dota 2 community across India that you have what it takes to rule the R1v1r in this unique and intense take on the world’s most popular esports title. Announce yourself to the esports world. Last year, Sahil ‘MiCrO’ Viradia from Mumbai emerged as the best Dota 2 Player in the country at the National Finals of Red Bull R1v1r Runes

What is R1v1r Runes

Even to Dota 2 veterans, Red Bull R1v1r Runes is a whole new beast that will test your duelling finesse and split-second decision-making abilities. Red Bull R1v1r Runes is a 1-on-1 modification for Dota 2. This mode is played only in the middle lane of a regular Dota 2 map with several adjustments to the game mechanics that make this a far more exciting and intense experience for individual gamers. This also means matches are quicker, pushing competitors’ skills and reflexes to the limit.

Choose the hero you can dominate with to gain the upper hand and turn the tide in your favour within seconds. The win conditions are simple: the player to slay their opponent thrice or eliminate the T1 tower achieves victory in this multi-city competition that will culminate in a National Final this November.

In 2019, the Red Bull R1v1r Runes tournaments are being hosted by seven countries: India, Croatia, Germany, Philippines, Russia, Ukraine and the UK

Gamers from around the country have a chance to qualify online as well as through offline qualifier events across 20 cities in India. Starting 3rd September, players can begin their journey towards becoming India’s Red Bull R1v1r Runes champion, with qualifiers being help in Mumbai, Pune, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Dehradun, Nashik, Ahmedabad, Indore, Chennai, Indore, Goa, Pondicherry, Mangalore, Silchar, Bhubnshwar, Kolkata, Guwahati, Jalandar, Lucknow, and Delhi. 

How to play Red Bull R1v1r Runes

  • Go to Arcade in Dota 2
  • In the Search bar type “Red Bull R1v1r Runes” and you will see the game
  • Install the game and create a lobby with a password and share the password on the match chat/match page to your opponent
  • Get in touch with your opponent in the Match page or on Discord
  • Play and report the results

How to participate: Offline

How to participate: Online 

Additional information:

  • Red Bull R1v1r Runes participants must be 16 years of age or older
  • Participant must be a natural born citizen of the country in which the tournament is being held
  • Participants will be required to play through their own Steam account
  • Tournament updates, brackets and matches will be shared on the Red Bull R1v1r Runes Discord channel
  • Live support and queries will be answered on the same Discord channel – https://discord.gg/QsMcX64

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Control’s Ray Tracing May Be The Best RT Implementation Yet

Control has released to great reviews from critics and players alike and part of it is because of how visually appealing the game is from start to finish. And the fact that the game has various implementations of Ray Tracing in it just means that we can up eye candy so let’s take a look at how much Ray Tracing changes the visuals and the performance impact that comes with it.

RTX Off
RTX On

Control uses Remedy Entertainment’s own engine, Northlight which has been updated to support DXR and they’ve used it to a greatly enhance the graphical fidelity of the game. And this implementation might be the best we’ve seen yet from any Ray Tracing title after Metro Exodus, even the DLSS.

So first of all, you need an RTX card to really get the Ray tracing features to work. Whatever RTX GPU you use though, expect to see a drop of about 20fps-30fps when going from the RTX Preset set to Off to Medium. The Medium Preset only enables Ray Traced Reflections and Ray Traced Transparent Reflections.

RTX Off
RTX On

When bumping up to the High Ray Tracing Preset, Ray Traced Indirect Diffused Lighting, Contact Shadows, and Debris gets turned on. This will further reduce your fps by 10-20fps. So going from Off to High you might see a drop of 30-50fps.

However, this is where DLSS comes into play because it really helps with bringing the framerate back up when you turn on Ray Tracing. DLSS can be activated even without turning on RTX so that’s a good feature. On 1080p, DLSS will give you a Render Resolution option of 960×540 or 1280×720. On 1440p its 1706×960 and 1280×720 and on 4K it is 1920×1080 and 2560×1440.

RTX Off
RTX On

With DLSS turned on along with Ray Tracing set to Medium, your performance will be similar to when Ray Tracing is set to off. While you might see the difference in sharpness and clarity with DLSS on and off, but if it doesn’t bother you or you don’t notice it then it’s perfect.

The game with RTX On though is an absolutely gorgeous experience. It’s a visual treat with how light bounces off of surfaces, the transparency, and translucency that you observe with all the glass around you and with how much atmospheric it can make scenes look. One of Control’s biggest strengths is the vibe the environment of the game gives off. And while in some parts Ray Tracing is not obviously noticeable, there are some parts where it just shines in spades.

Is it worth the performance hit? Well, that completely depends on you. In my opinion, the game is stunning and with Ray Tracing, even more so and I would recommend playing it with Ray Tracing. Even on the lowest settings, the game looks and still manages to capture its feels so if you aren’t getting that solid 60fps experience, try turning settings down to Medium and then see if you like the visual presentation.

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Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey- What It Is and Why You Should Play It

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a game by Panache Digital Games that is the creation of Patrice Désilets who was also the creative lead behind the original Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed II. The game is all about playing as the ancestors of humankind and slowly over generations evolving them into humankind. Does this sound too far-fetched to you? Well, this will help you answer that question.

What is: Ancestors The Humankind Odyssey

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is a third-person survival game where you play as an Ape Clan and you start off over 10 million years ago from now and have to grow your clan by learning, evolving and exploring the world around you. I was skeptical about this game ever since it was first announced and even before I started the game, I did so with skepticism because of how conceptually crazy the game is.

The game starts off by telling you that it is not going to help you and well, it does just that. It plops you into this unknown world where you have no idea what’s going on and your ape doesn’t really know much about the world or things we humans take for granted like switching objects from one hand to the other.

The game is a survival game at its core where you just need to explore and learn. And this simple gameplay loop is both extremely satisfying and fun but in the long run, can get repetitive and you’ll see why as you read on ahead. The game is packed with “aha” and “eureka” moments as you slowly figure out how to do the various different mechanics in the game that your ape can learn.

And those moments are one of the best I’ve experienced in a long time because there were no guides out there, no videos and no tutorial of any sort so every time I learned something new or discovered something it felt exciting, rewarding and I was already thinking ahead as to how I could use what I had now learned.

Now as you explore and learn, you collect Neurons which can be used to unlock upgrades in the skill tree. These upgrades can then be passed onto the next generation by reinforcing them but only a selected number of skills can be reinforced. The rest is lost when you skip to the next generation which skips 15 years ahead so all the babies you had are now grown up and the grown-ups are now old apes.

You essentially keep doing this cycle of learning, mating and skipping to the next generation until you’re ready to evolve which at a minimum skips 24,00 years ahead. Having kids helps increase the number of years you skip while deaths in your clan decrease it. And when you evolve it adds up your score of everything you’ve done and tells you whether you’re ahead of science or behind it.

Where it Falls Short

That simple gameplay loop is so addictive and awe-inspiring that it drip feeds your curiosity to keep you playing. And that’s essentially what hooks you in. But there are no checkpoints. If your clan dies, you lose all the progress you’ve made. You start again from all the way at the beginning. Which is fine the first or even the second time you do inevitably end up dying but after that, it’s an absolute mind-melting experience because you have to watch the same cutscenes over and over again.

I don’t just mean the opening cutscene and credits which after the “wow” of the first or second time loses its charm but all the other cutscenes in the game. Having a baby is a super important part of the game but it turns into a grind fest as you try to pop out a bunch of babies for the experience and to progress but this turns into a tedious task because of the same cutscene that you have to watch over and over as it gets ingrained into your very soul.

I soon started losing the curiosity that was building up because I started speedrunning the game to catch up to the progress I had lost so that I could continue ahead but the general slow-paced nature of the game makes it hard. Movement and exploration is slow because of just how vast the world is and how careful you have to be. Now, this could be a good thing for some people but to me, it was an annoyance since I just wanted to get to the good part of the game which was exploring and learning new things.

The Verdict

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is supposed to be just the first volume of this series. It only goes up to 2 million years ago and at that point, we play as an ape that walks on two legs and has less hair but is not a Human. Patrice says the game is 40-50 hours long and according to him, there is no endgame and it’s up to the players to decide that narrative.  And after putting so many hours into it I don’t think I even reached close to that stage.

Hopefully, Volume Two is not too far away because this game has loads of potential that will now be tested by the online community that its bound to create. The vast exploratory nature of the game will create tons of different stories that players will experience and I’m excited to hear people’s time with the game and their reactions to the various little moments that you encounter in the first couple of playthroughs.

Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an ambitiously new gaming experience that focuses on learning, exploring and experimenting to evolve your character and clan. Although filled with moments of exhilaration and triumph, it slowly turns stale because of the slow and repetitive nature of the game, especially the cutscenes. As of now, I would only recommend this game to fans of the survival and exploration genre. With a couple of tweaks and maybe some more content, this game could be phenomenal but for now, it’s a mixed bag.

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Control: What It Is and Why You Should Play It

Control is a game developed by Remedy Entertainment in a genre that Remedy knows best, third-person shooting. A creepy old building, a mysterious story and lots of shooting with powers are what Control offers but is it good enough for you? This will help you answer that question and take control of whether or not you should get this game.

What is: Control

Control is a third-person shooter where you play as Jesse Faden who enters this ominous-looking building that is the headquarters for the Federal Bureau of Control, a fictional government organization. You’re there looking for your younger brother who was taken by them 17 years ago. But all is not as it seems inside as the building is completely empty besides for a lone janitor who thinks you’re there to be his assistant and sends you on your way for the interview.

After you make your way up the elevator, you hear a sound and upon investigating, you see that the Director of the place has shot himself in the head. And here’s when things get even weirder, you have a voice in your head that talks to you and you talk back to it. This voice tells you to pick up the gun and after a weird tutorial, you become the Director of the FBC. If only it was that easy in real life to get a job or promotion.

This gun is a living weapon that can transform into other weapons and also has self-regenerating ammo so you won’t be scurrying about to look for ammunition. About 30min later, you get your first power, Launch, which allows you to launch objects as if you were using the Force. You get a bunch of powers throughout the game which I won’t spoil and they’re pretty fun to use.

If you’re unfamiliar with Remedy Entertainment, they’re known for Quantum Break, Alan Wake but most famously for the first two Max Payne games. And if you’ve played Max Payne, certain things like the creepy walking on blood level and the static noise of the TVs that tune in and out as you walk by them to explain story beats is something you won’t forget.

And that’s something that seems to have inspired the eery tone of Control where instead of being in an outdoor location like in Alan Wake, you’re inside this huge building that seems to house so many different types of areas, each filled with more mystery that doesn’t scream at you but slowly gets under your skin to really get you on edge.

All of this possible due to the phenomenal visuals and sound design. In terms of the visuals, even without Ray Tracing, the game looks breathtaking. The reflections, the character models and animations, the texture work, the way lighting system works and the overall colours used in the game make this one of the best looking games this year. And with Ray Tracing turned on, you will get a performance hit but you will also get accurate reflections, lighting and an overall experience that is visually so appealing that you’ll be lost in the world of Control.

The sound and ambient music help with that as it amps up the mystery of the building and of all the objects and people you interact with. The sound design for the weapons, your powers and the various objects you find further make you feel their power and their otherworldy/supernatural vibe.

Along the way, you’ll have collectibles to collect, optional side-missions to complete and interact with various characters who will give you an insight into the world of Control.

Where it Loses Control

The game does have a few small caveats though. When you first start the game, Jesse’s movement feels so off and floaty that it annoyed me to an extent. However, after progressing further ahead it felt natural and in place with all the abilities that I had so maybe either it grew on me and I adjusted to it or maybe they made the movement with respect to the powers. Whatever the case may be if it feels off to you at the start just hang in there because it does get better.

Another issue is that the enemy variety isn’t the greatest. For a game where one of the key aspects is killing enemies, the lack of variety is a sad one that does make later chapters feel like a bit of a bore even though they’re stronger.

If you’re playing on console then you might sometimes face issues with the game randomly hitching or textures not loading for a few seconds. While not game-breaking it does get irritating, especially the random hitching so hopefully, that can be patched in an update.

The Verdict

Control seems like a natural progression for Remedy Entertainment. Unlike Quantum Break on PC which ran like a newborn baby in the 200m Olympics Race, Control works just fine. Its mysterious, dark and honestly, weird story meshes well with the environment and level design which makes you keep wanting to learn more about the world and the protagonist while the sound design furthers that cause. The gameplay starts off a bit slow but as you progress further into the game, it all clicks together to form this fun, cohesive system where you experiment with your weapons and powers to take out enemies while also having a blast doing it.

But is this game for you? Well if you’ve played and enjoyed any of the games made by Remedy Entertainment then yes, you will enjoy this game too. If you’re looking for a good shooter mixed in with some exploration and story-telling then this is for you. What this game does best though is mesh those elements with this heavy atmosphere and if you liked Prey 2017’s atmosphere then you’ll love Control.

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Pokemon Masters Set to Release on 29th August

Pokemon Masters, the latest mobile game by the Pokemon Company is set to release worldwide on 29th August.

Pokemon Masters puts you on an island where all the best trainers in the world have gathered to take on the Pokemon Masters League on the artificial island of Pasio. Battles take place in a 3v3 format so you’ll be able to add members to your team.

These members can be any of the main NPCs found in the game who are trainers found in past games like Gym Leaders, Rivals and Elite Four members. The game features a real-time battle system instead of a turn-based system so you’ll have to dish out moves as soon as possible.

The game had previously soft-launched in a few countries where players got to play the game. The game features microtransaction systems heavily and you will either have to grind for it or wait to gather the “gems” used to summon trainers.

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Dota 2 TI10 will take place in Stockholm

Valve has announced the location for the next Dota 2 The International 2020 which is going to be the 10th Dota International.

Valve has chosen Stockholm, Sweden as their location and their announcement video features the Mayor of Stockholm talking about how excited the city is and how they’re happy to be a part of such a historic event as The International hits 10 years.

The last time a TI was held in Europe was the first TI tournament which was held in Cologne and Navi were the winners of that tournament over 9 years ago.

Dates for The International 2020 will be revealed at a later date.

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OG Are the First Team to win Dota 2 The International Back to Back

OG are the winners of Dota 2’s The International 2019 who have won a whopping $15,611,569 along with the bragging rights of having won two TIs back to back.

OG have essentially cemented themselves as the greatest team in Dota 2 with the following accolades:

  • First time 2x TI Champions.
  • First time back to back TI Champions.
  • First time back to back Grand Finalists with an identical squad.
  • First time 2x TI Champions with an identical squad.

In the final against Team Liquid, they handily beat them with a 3-1 win to successfully defend their title.

Not only are they an absolute great unit in the game but they’ve garnered a lot of love and support from fans because of their overall positive and wholesome attitude inside and outside their game.

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Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Gunfight Alpha Available on PS4

For one weekend only, play the Call of Duty®: Modern Warfare® 2v2 Alpha beginning August 23, only on PS4. and prepare for the beta on September 12.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Gunfight mode is currently playable in the Alpha that is available to all PlayStation 4 users. Gunfight is a game mode where players take on each other in a 2v2 team deathmatch on a small map for fast-paced action.

This is a new game mode that is being introduced to the Call of Duty series and has been received favorably by whoever has played it so far.

The open beta for the game will be made available from 14th-16th September on the PS4 and 21st-23rd September for all platforms.

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Celeste and INSIDE Free next week on the Epic Games Store

Celeste and INSIDE are the next two games that will be free on the Epic Games Store next week after Fez.

Help Madeline survive her inner demons on her journey to the top of Celeste Mountain, in this super-tight platformer from the creators of TowerFall. Brave hundreds of hand-crafted challenges, uncover devious secrets, and piece together the mystery of the mountain

Hunted and alone, a boy finds himself drawn into the center of a dark project. From the creator’s of LIMBO comes another masterpiece that tells a dark tale of a dystopian world.
These games will be available from 29th August till 5th September so prepare yourselves for these fantastic titles.
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Fez is the Epic Games Store Free Game for the Week

Epic Games Store’s free game for this week is Fez and it is available now to download.

Gomez is a 2D creature living in a 2D world. Or is he? When the existence of a mysterious 3rd dimension is revealed to him, Gomez is sent out on a journey that will take him to the very end of time and space. Use your ability to navigate 3D structures from 4 distinct classic 2D perspectives.

Fez released in 2012 on the Xbox Live Arcade followed be releases on the PC, Linux, Max, all the PlayStation consoles and even iOS. The game has been critically acclaimed and is known as one of the best indie games to have released that has helped inspire more games.

The game and its designer have been through a lot of troubled times and often made the headlines but their work that was Fez still stands strong and still remains to be an absolutely fantastic title.

Link to the game

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