'Grand Theft Auto Online,' 'Overwatch' welcome new updates (VIDEO)

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 14 — Wintry looks and a yeti-hunting game mode for Overwatch and an over-the-top set of missions for Grand Theft Auto Online have arrived within hours of each other.

Two online games are releasing new updates ahead of the end-of-year holidays.

Overwatch is getting a snowy makeover with its seasonal Winter Wonderland event, a returnee from 2016 and this time with not one but two novel game modes.

Named after one of the team action game's many characters, temporary game mode Mei's Snowball Offensive modifies the Chinese researcher's energy weapon so that it fires a single devastating snowball.

So too does it require fresh snow to reload, making players scurry in search of the nearest pile of powder.

New for 2017 is the asymmetrical Yeti Hunter mode, in which a team of five Mei players — each equipped with a Yeti Trap — go up against a single player controlling Winston, Overwatch's white-haired gorilla, who becomes even more formidable once he collects four scattered pieces of meat.

In addition, a clutch of new cosmetic items have been made available for purchase: There are seven new Legendary-tier character costumes, new victory poses for six selected heroes, new emots for Zenyatta and Orisa, and a new snowball-themed introduction for Reinhardt.

Winter Wonderland 2017 runs until January 1, 2018.

The 'Grand Theft Auto Online' Doomsday Heist is presented as a challenging mission for committed players. — Picture courtesy of Rockstar Games
The 'Grand Theft Auto Online' Doomsday Heist is presented as a challenging mission for committed players. — Picture courtesy of Rockstar Games

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Grand Theft Auto Online is also ringing the changes with its own free update, The Doomsday Heist.

The three-act adventure splits player-created social clubs into smaller teams of two to four players, each squad assigned their own segments of a larger mission to complete.

Tech billionaire Avon Hertz has discovered that the world is about to end and needs help preventing an extinction-level event.

“It's going to take some luck, some firepower and some serious teamwork,” goes the Rockstar Games announcement, “assisted by Avon's access to the latest in lethal blue-sky tactical hardware.”

Jet-packs, strike teams, and even orbital cannons are in play, plus over a dozen new vehicles and extra customisation options.

Away from official announcements, players have also discovered a new in-game radio station. Its tracklist has been curated by R&B singer Frank Ocean plus his collaborators from retired Beats 1 show Blonded Radio.

In addition, data miners discovered files containing weaponry, character model textures, and descriptive text that refer to Rockstar's well anticipated wild west adventure Red Dead Redemption 2, currently announced for Q2 2018.

As such, it appears that Rockstar is preparing to guide players from “Grand Theft Auto Online” and into Red Dead Redemption 2 once it eventually releases. — AFP-Relaxnews

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