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SYFY WIRE Call of Duty: Black Ops 4

Gaming: Black Ops 4 pulls a Grand Heist; Jade shines in MK11 gameplay; more

By Benjamin Bullard
COD Black Ops 4 Operation Grand Heist via YouTube 2019

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 just got its biggest update since its release late last year, courtesy of the new Operation Grand Heist add-on that expands on the base game, either a little or a lot, on just about every front. 

Treyarch debuted Grand Heist for PlayStation 4 this week, with plans for the update to hit Xbox One and PC in the coming weeks. The expansion brings new maps, a new character type, new weapons, a new multiplayer mode, and a small handful of upgrades to the Black Ops series’ venerable Zombies mode. 

It’s a lot to take in, but you can start to digest it all thanks to Treyarch’s chicken-fried, wild west launch trailer set in the new Ghost Town. The clip also introduces the coveted Cosmic Silverback gorilla skin as an automatic perk you get right from the start. Check it out:

While we’re at it, here’s a bonus Sony clip featuring Peter Stormare as the Replacer, whose job it is to free up your time so you can play more Operation Grand Heist. Plus, well, it’s Peter Stormare:

About those Zombies add-ons: probably the most obvious early standout is the Warden, a playable zombie character you can nab once you’ve slipped past black market pass tier 45. There’s also a melee upgrade called Ethereal Razor, which brings area-of-effect damage as well as health bonuses with each successive zombie hit you land.

Ghost Town is available for the Blackout battle royale mode, but it’s not the only new map Grand Heist brings to the table. Underground, you’ll find a maze of caverns based on the “Buried” map from Zombies. And for multiplayer mode, the new Outrider Specialist brings a new drone that’ll scout enemies and tag them for you to pick off after laying out a strategy, as well as another new map called “Casino,” which offers up an expansive private estate-turned gambling hall where battles can play out on the gaming floor — while spilling out onto the manor grounds.

Did we say it was a lot to take in? Treyarch appears to be leaving no play style out with Operation Grand Heist, so chances are there’s something for everyone. The update’s available now for PlayStation 4, and arrives for Xbox One and PC soon — though there’s been no official announcement exactly when.

With the April release of Mortal Kombat 11 creeping closer, NetherRealm is showing off more and more of how the game will make use of all the new gameplay features added in since 2015’s Mortal Kombat X, and the newest clip reintroduces an old-school character who’s ready to lay down some brand-new smack.

The Jade reveal trailer serves up nearly two minutes’ worth of devastation from Jade and her Bo staff, including some new finishing animations that prove the series’ edge is only getting sharper. Jade is looking especially dark and revenant-y in this outing, too, but her goodbye sendoff to adversary Baraka shows she’s still got a sense of humor that’s plenty grim.

Keep watching for NetherRealm to keep unveiling more characters as release day approaches (but don’t hold your breath for Shaggy.) Mortal Kombat 11 slices onto PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC starting April 23.

Dialing back the fright factor in a survival horror game may sound counter-intuitive, but not if that game is Amnesia: The Dark Descent, already loved by fans for its density and almost suffocating atmosphere.

That’s why The Shadow of the Ramlord, a new mod from Dark Craft Studios, sounds like a pretty cool idea: taking away the sense of urgency that comes with all the survival scares, so players can relax a little and slow their pace to notice the Lovecraftian environment.

Shadow is “very much directed towards the player who enjoys a deliberate pace, absorbing the narrative and level design clues, and feeling immersed in a story-first experience,” Dark Craft explained in a blog post. “…Those looking for chases, scares, complex mathematical puzzles or mind-bending monster encounters will not find that here.”

A leisurely stroll through the halls of terror? Sounds like a date. The Shadow of the Ramlord download is available now via Dark Craft at Mod DB.