Generation Zero is the latest surprise arrival on Xbox Game Pass

Generation Zero – Avalanche Studios’ four-player co-op open-world shooter set in 1980’s Sweden – has just arrived on Xbox Game Pass. Spotted by our own Tom Orry on the Xbox app ahead of an offical email landing in our inbox to announce it, the game appears to be downloadable from today (November 30) on the subscription service.

A dedicated Xbox Game Pass trailer has been posted to Systemic Reaction’s YouTube page, too (see below), that shows off the distinct environment and vibe this atmospheric shooter has.

Set in the Swedish countryside, the game has a very different tone from Avalanche’s mayhem-filled Just Cause series. Generation Zero is playable in solo or in co-op with up to four players, and requires you to use guerrilla tactics to really get one over on the various enemies you’ll encounter in the wintery world.

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Six strategy games like Civilization

Six strategy games like Civilization

So you want more games like Civilization? As the undisputed king of 4X games (for now), there are many who’ve tried to copy what Sid Meier created, and plenty who want to play a Civ-like experience that wasn’t created by Firaxis.

Civilization games offer a unique vision of turn-based strategy where you start from humble origins, and lead a people through the ages, founding more cities, enriching your empire with cultural or technological advancements, and quite often, fighting other civilisations. It’s not a strict historical strategy game, more of an historically-inspired sandbox, and few other games have attempted to offer the breadth that Civilization has.

While we have a dedicated list of great 4X games in general (which Civilization is on), some of you may be interested in looking for something that more closely resembles Firaxis’ popular series. We decided to spin-off a separate list of games like Civilization, but we’ve dug up some very specific examples for this one, so don’t worry about there being too much overlap. Enjoy!

RELATED LINKS: The best Civ 6 mods, The best Civ 6 civs, Play Civilization VI

Halo Infinite devs are increasing XP gains to ease battle pass frustrations

Halo Infinite devs are increasing XP gains to ease battle pass frustrations

343 Industries has outlined more changes for Halo Infinite’s progression system in multiplayer following feedback from fans. Community manager John Junyszek explains on Twitter that your initial six matches each day will now offer more experience points to ease the battle pass grind.

You’ll now get 300XP for your first match, 200XP for your second and third, 100XP for your fourth, fifth, and sixth, and 50XP for seven and beyond. “We believe this increase will help address those slower initial payouts while also benefiting those of you jumping on each and every day,” Junyszek says.

343 Industries’ initial changes to progression included daily ‘play one game’ challenges, updated weekly challenges, and doubled duration for some experience boosts. While this helped, Junyszek notes that the team felt that players weren’t getting enough experience points at the start of their play sessions. “After seeing how XP was earned with those changes, we noticed that players were starting their sessions with slower payouts than we’d like,” he says. “To address this, we will be increasing the XP payout for the first six matches of each day.”

RELATED LINKS: Halo Infinite release date, Halo Infinite system requirements, Halo Infinite ranks

League of Legends’ Chemtech and Hextech dragons get buffed next patch

League of Legends’ Chemtech and Hextech dragons get buffed next patch

If you’ve caught our League of Legends patch 11.24 notes, you’ll know that Riot Games has now given us an early idea of what’s coming in the way of balance changes for the first big rebalancing patch of 2022’s Preseason. While there are no specifics on exact tweaks just yet, we know there’s a smattering of balance changes coming – and League of Legends’ new Chemtech and Hextech dragons are in the studio’s sights for some buffs.

Developer Riot Phlox has posted the early 11.24 patch preview on Twitter (below), revealing that the two dragons – which came to League of Legends as part of its big new batch of Preseason 2022 changes and content – are getting some TLC. It’s not clear exactly how much Riot will be dialling up their prowess on the Rift, but it looks like the changes won’t be major, with the early preview noting the changes as a “Chemtech mini dragon buff” and “Hextech mini dragon buff”, respectively.

It looks like the changes coming up will be balanced out to an extent by a nerf coming to the Chemtech dragon’s soul, though. This soul gives your champion a buff in the form of a brief second life if they die, being able to revive where they’re stood and make use of their auto-attack and abilities before dropping.

RELATED LINKS: Best LoL Champions , League of Legends patch 11.24, LoL tier list

The best Warzone Bizon loadout

The best Warzone Bizon loadout

Our Warzone Bizon loadout aims to make one of the most off-meta weapons in the game feel competitive. Most close range weapons thrive on Rebirth Island, and the PP19 Bizon is no exception to this. While the Bizon is rarely seen in custom loadouts in Warzone, it has appeared as floor loot, unfortunately never in good forms. However, with the right attachments and the best Warzone loadout backing it up, the PP19 Bizon can perform really well in the right hands.

The PP19 Bizon boasts plenty of unique benefits you can’t match with the more popular Warzone MP5 loadout. For example, its maximum damage range with the right spec is almost 50% better than that of the MP5, its magazine capacity can be upped to a ridiculous 84, and its headshot damage is higher to boot. To cap it all off, the iron sights offer great vision and the recoil is very easy to manage.

You’ll need to treat it very differently to the MP5 to really get the best out of this Warzone Bizon loadout, but if you’ve been looking for a different SMG in Warzone then this is a lot of fun and surprisingly effective.

When is the Warzone End of Verdansk event going live?

Verdansk! That lushious treeline! Astounding architecture style, great airport connections… You just don’t know what you’re missing until it’s gone! Some of you out there may have booted up Warzone expecting the map’s final event, the Last Hours of Verdansk, as its final send off. Weird thing is, the event isn’t live today.

That’s right, it was delayed. Don’t worry, we’ve got all the latest information on when Verdansk’s latest event will be dropping in hot, alongside why it got pushed back in the first place.

The new release date for the Last Hours of Verdansk event is December 6, as revealed publicly on Raven Software’s public trello board. This new date comes following the announcement of Warzone’s new map – Caldera – getting pushed back to December 9.

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You can play the Company of Heroes 3 multiplayer pre-alpha for free from today

Relic Entertainment and Sega have announced a Company of Heroes 3 multiplayer pre-alpha, available to anyone who signs up, will be playable later today. Given that the game isn’t due to launch until late 2022, it’s a pretty far-in-advance to get a taste for the game’s specific brand of RTS action.

The amount of content you’ll get to try out this far ahead of the game’s proper launch is pretty impressive, too: the multiplayer pre-alpha suite will include four Italian maps that you can use to test out multiple game modes (including co-op vs AI, competitive PvP, and Skirmish vs AI). Playable factions include botht the US or the Wehrmacht.

Though the alpha isn’t set to go live until 9am PT / 12pm ET / 5pm GMT today (November 30), you can pre-load the game right now to maximise the amount of time you’ll actually get to play the game once it’s installed on your machine. All you need to do is sign-up for free and link your Steam account to Relic.

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Halo Infinite: it will soon take you six games to earn a battle pass level, instead of 20

When Halo Infinite first addressed players’ concerns that battle pass progression was too slow, it added per match challenges that would reward you with 50XP per match completed. This meant you’d get 500XP in six matches. It was a start, but players still felt progression moved too slowly.

Now, after noting that progression issues were at ‘the top of the list’ for the development team just yesterday, we’ve already heard how the studio is going to make your time feel better rewarded.

Community manager John Junyszek has explained on Twitter that the game is going to introduce bigger, more reasonable rewards for players in order to pay out better at the start of your gaming sessions.

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This Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop with an RTX 3070 GPU is $718 off for Cyber Monday

There are a lot of Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals out there, from the inexpensive to the extremely expensive. If you're in the market for real power without going overboard on price (which is probably a sweet spot that appeals to most of us), you may find the magic in the fading hours of Cyber Monday. This RTX 3070-equipped Alienware x15 gaming laptop is on for just $1,861.00 at Dell right now, a savings of $718.

This sweet little unit is packing an Intel Core i7 11800H CPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and for your storage needs, a 512GB NVMe SSD. On the visual side of things, you've got an 8GB Nvidia RTX 3070 GPU driving a 15.6-inch display with a 360Hz refresh rate and 1ms response time.

It's also got a built-in 720p camera, sports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 connectivity, and DisplayPort and HDMI ports enabling 4K output to external devices—that big honkin' television you picked up on Black Friday, maybe. Alienware's exclusive “encapsulated gallium-silicone thermal interface material” and quad fan technology promises top-flight cooling in a very thin, compact design.

Alienware x15 Gaming Laptop | 15.6-inch | Intel Core i7 11800H | Nvidia RTX 3070 | 1080p | 360Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $2,579.99 $1,861.99 at Dell (save $718)
This Alienware right will give you very capable gaming on the go and options to connect to larger displays via DisplayPort and HDMI 2.1 outputs. The 512GB NVMe SSD isn’t the biggest you’ll ever see, but will give you adequate high-speed storage space for whatever you need to bring with you. 

It's a compact, relatively lightweight unit, clocking in at just five pounds, but it's undeniably powerful—not quite up to the level of this beastly MSI, perhaps, but it's also more than $1,100 cheaper. If you're after some real power but money is something of an object, this x15 is definitely a laptop to keep in mind.

These 10 gaming laptop deals are the best of the best this Cyber Monday

If you held out past Black Friday to try to find the best gaming laptop deal you can, we have you covered for Cyber Monday. There are a lot of discounts on gaming laptops, but not all of them come recommended. There are some specific things you want in a good gaming laptop, and we sifted through all the Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals we could find to select the ones we think are worth the money.

The best laptops combine powerful graphics cards with a good CPU, a high resolution and fast refresh rate screen, 16GB to 32GB of RAM, and at least 512GB of SSD storage. Secondarily, battery life, weight, and size determine whether this is a slab that'll mostly sit on your desk or something you can slip into a backpack that wasn't designed specifically to hold it.

The biggest standouts are lead by the Razer Blade 15 Advanced with its RTX 3070 and Intel Core i7 10875H. It's a whopping $800 off its original price and it's the easiest gaming laptop recommendation because of it. The total price is still expensive, but it's the top pick in our best gaming laptop guide. In terms of pure, gaming performance and the amount of customization options available, it's the best option out there. Other laptops, like the RTX 3070 Omen, come close, especially if you don't need as good of a processor and as much SSD space.

Here are the best deals out of all the discounts we've seen this year for gaming laptops that come equipped with hardware capable of running modern games, including high-end and mid-range options.

The best Cyber Monday gaming laptop deals

Razer Blade 15 Advanced | Nvidia RTX 3070 | Intel Core i7 10875H | 360Hz 1080p | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,599.99 $1,799.99 at Microsoft (save $800)
That’s a colossal saving on a prime slice of gaming real estate, packing quality hardware from Intel and Nvidia to make sure it demolishes your games. The RTX 3070 is a great option for this thin and light chassis, as it’ll knock out killer frame rates and make the most of the 360Hz display for a buttery-smooth experience too. A great saving on a great laptop.

MSI GP66 Leopard | Nvidia RTX 3080 | Intel Core i7 11800H | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,299 $1,799 after rebate at Newegg (save $500)
For a laptop with an RTX 3080 and 11th Gen Intel CPU, this is a pretty good get. Not only do you get a smashing 240Hz screen to cater for the sky-high framerates it’ll be pumping out, you also get a good amount of storage, too.

Gigabyte G5 KC | 15.6-inch | Intel Core i5 10500H| Nvidia RTX 3060 | 1080p | 144Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,199 $999 after rebate at Newegg (save $200)
We love an RTX 3060 gaming laptop with a discount, and for under $1,000, this is about as good as it gets. That GPU and CPU combo will make for great 1080p, high-refresh gaming, and while there’s not a huge amount of storage, those can be easily upgraded.

Dell G15 | 15.6-inch | Intel Core i5 10500H | Nvidia RTX 3050 Ti | 1080p | 120Hz | 8GB RAM | 512GB NVMe SSD | $1218.99 $749.99 at Dell (save $496)
This gaming laptop gets you good mid-tier specs at a fair discount. The 8GB of RAM may not be quite as much as we usually recommend, but getting an RTX 3050 Ti and half a gig of NVMe storage space isn’t a bad get. This build should keep you gaming on the go for several years.

GIGABYTE Aero 15 | Intel Core i7 11800H | RTX 3060 | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM| $1499.99 $1249.99 at Best Buy
The Aero 15 is a well-specced gaming laptop with a 4K OLED screen, RTX 3060, i7 11800H, and 16GB of RAM. The price falls a little under similar laptops in this category, which makes this a pretty good deal while it lasts.

Gigabyte A5 X1 | 15.6-inch | Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3070 | 1080p | 240Hz | 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD | $1,799 $1,599 at Newegg (save $200)
This is another one of the cheapest RTX 3070-based machines we’ve found so far, and the rest of the package makes it one of the finest, too. The AMD CPU is an eight-core stunner and the 240Hz screen is a pro-move as well. Our only issue is the slightly miserly 512GB SSD.

Gigabyte Aero 17 HDR YD | Nvidia RTX 3080 | Intel Core i9 11980HK | 32GB RAM | 1TB + 512GB SSD | 4K IPS | $3,649.99 $2,749.99 at Newegg after rebate (save $900)
This is worth making the most of considering it’s a machine with an RTX 3080 and 11th Gen Core i9 chip. That’s topped with a gorgeous 4K IPS screen and boatloads of RAM—so great for multitasking any high-res antics. Plus lots of space to store all your games, and their high fidelity textures. This really is a steal for under $3,000.

MSI GP66 Leopard | Nvidia RTX 3080 | Intel Core i7 11800H | 16GB RAM | 1TB SSD | $2,299 $1,799 after rebate at Newegg (save $500)
For a laptop with an RTX 3080 and 11th Gen Intel CPU, this is a pretty good get. Not only do you get a smashing 240Hz screen to cater for the sky-high framerates it’ll be pumping out, you also get a good amount of storage, too.

Razer Blade 14 | RTX 3070 | Ryzen 9 5900HX | 1440p | 1TB SSD | 16GB RAM | $2,199.99 $2,000.99 at Microsoft (save $199)
Listed as the ‘most desirable compact gaming laptop‘ in our guide, the Razer Blade 14 is a juicy gaming companion in any configuration. This one combines an AMD CPU and Nvidia GPU to take on todays top games even at 1440p, that’s with a tasty 165Hz refresh rate, too.

HP Omen 17t-ck000 | 17.3-inch | 1080p | 144Hz | RTX 3070 | 16GB RAM | | Intel Core i7 11800H | 512GB SSD| $1699.99 $1499.99 at HP
This 17.3-inch Omen laptop is a great way to get an RTX 3070 and an 144Hz panel all in one unit. Its price competes with similar laptops on sale right now, making it one of the better options that also includes a bit of customization if you’re so inclined.