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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Blackout

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’s battle royale mode is now free to download and play across all platforms. Until 24 January, the Blackout Free Trial features all the intense action from the game mode that brings together characters, locations, weapons and gear from across the series, with Black Ops signature gameplay in the biggest map in franchise history. The new game mode is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC exclusively on Blizzard Battle.net, and will end at 20:00 South African time on 24 January.

Click through to read more about the latest additions to the battle royale.

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“The community response to Blackout has been incredible, and we love watching how players have really made the mode their own, evolving gameplay to a new level,” said Dan Bunting, co-studio head at Treyarch. “We can’t wait to welcome new players to experience the unique Black Ops style of battle royale in Blackout.”

Blackout allows players to go solo, or join their friends in duos or quads, and battle across land, sea and air. Players fight as a variety of characters in locations inspired by maps including Nuketown, Firing Range, Raid, and Cargo, offering diverse gameplay action. 

“It’s amazing to see the amount of creativity and fun that our players have from the moment they start playing,” said Mark Gordon, co-studio head at Treyarch. “Particularly as game developers, we’ve always been fascinated watching clips and streams of how fans play, and we can’t wait to see even more people jump into the action.”

All progress and earned in-game items are saved and immediately accessible once a player upgrades to the full game from the Blackout Free Trial. Also, a playlist called “Down But Not Out” is live during the trial. This mode is available for quads, and allows players’ eliminated team members to wingsuit back into the game and re-join them in each new collapse, except for the final circle. “Down But Not Out” is live now on PlayStation 4, and will go live on other platforms to follow.

Stream of the Day

Remothered: Tormented Fathers to scare Switch players

The critically acclaimed psychological horror game Remothered: Tormented Fathers will launch for digital download on the Nintendo Switch on 26 July.

Click below to watch the trailer and to read more about the game.

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Prepare to get caught in a psychological nightmare. Darril Arts and Stormind Games have partnered up with Soedesco Games to publish a digital version of Remothered: Tormented Fathers for the Nintendo Switch. The survival horror game will make its way to the Nintendo eShop for digital download. Players will be able to get their hands on the physical edition on 31 October.

The Remothered: Tormented Fathers project began in 2009 as an indie game from the ideas of Chris Darril, game designer, director, and artist. At the time, Darril was the only developer working on it. In its early stages, the then 2D game gained its own global fan-base. After some years, Darril partnered with three of his friends and founded Darril Arts. A partnership with Stormind Games, a marketing-first Italian video game development studio, followed in 2016, and the development of Remothered took off. After a decade, Chris Darril’s project has grown into a highly respected survival horror game.

The game lets players take on the role of Rosemary Reed, a 35-year-old woman who reaches Richard Felton’s house in order to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a girl called Celeste. As she gets closer to the truth, she finds herself fighting for her life. Face psychopaths and fanatics, and get tangled in a web of lies where murderers and obsessions come to life.

The game is available for digital download now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and will be available for digital download on 26 July for the Nintendo Switch. Physical versions for all three consoles will be released in-store on 31 October.

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Chernobyl – Now on Showmax

Chernobyl, the acclaimed five-part miniseries about the world’s most catastrophic nuclear disaster, is now available to stream on Showmax.

Click below to watch the trailer and read about the show.

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The five-part HBO series dramatises the story of the 1986 nuclear accident, one of the worst man-made catastrophes in history, and of the brave men and women who made incredible sacrifices to save not just the Soviet Union, but the whole of Europe, from unimaginable disaster.

Directed by Johan Renck (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead), Chernobyl stars Emmy nominee Jared Harris (The Crown, Mad Men) as nuclear physicist Valery Legasov; People’s Choice nominee Stellan Skarsgård (Mamma Mia, Good Will Hunting) as deputy prime minister Boris Shcherbina; Oscar nominee Emily Watson (Hilary and Jackie, Breaking the Waves) as nuclear physicist Ulana Khomyuk, and 2019 British Actress of the Year Jessie Buckley (Taboo, The Last Post) as Lyudmilla Ignatenko, the wife of one of the first firefighters to respond.  

Rotten Tomatoes recently hailed Chernobyl as “TV’s most scary offering in years… where history and reality are more terrifying than zombies.”

The Chernobyl explosion was the result of a routine safety test gone wrong, but the series makes it clear the catastrophe was caused less by individual human error and more by the broader culture of fear within the Soviet Union at the time, where a culture of denialism and blame-shifting had become entrenched, and where, as executive producer Jane Featherstone (Broadchurch) puts it, “Everyone was afraid of the system.” 

“When you start to look at all the different causes of this accident to happen, it’s an accumulation of that kind of a mentality, which is that it’s more convenient to believe comfortable truths and comfortable facts, than it is to face difficult choices and difficult realities,” says Jared Harris. 

Or as his character Valery Legasov says in a key scene, “That is how a RBMK reactor core explodes – lies.”

But while South Africans may find some chilling parallels watching Chernobyl, they’ll also be inspired by the story of its heroic clean-up. 

“The Soviets and particularly the people of Ukraine and Russia and Belarus threw themselves at this task in a way that is shocking and beautiful and terrifying and heart-breaking,” says writer and executive producer Craig Mazin, Chernobyl’s writer/executive producer. “We’re talking about 700 000 people sent to clean up this impossibly contaminated area.”

Many of these heroes did not receive a hero’s welcome. “These were scientists trying to solve a mystery within a system that did not want them to solve the mystery,” says Mazin of his lead characters. “They were put on trial. Scientists involved in this were threatened. Their families were threatened. But yet they did it anyway, because they understood as scientists that the truth was something that could no longer be hidden away.”

As he says about some of the other heroes at Chernobyl, “There was no expectation that they would survive. But they did it nonetheless.” 

The show is now available to stream on Showmax.

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