It’s Friday! Or is it? Time is a social construct, so I could tell you it’s Wednesday today, and how could you prove me wrong? It’s Friday because it’s the fifth day this week, but when did this week start? Can’t prove that either, I’m afraid. Well, the calendar in the bottom right corner of the monitor says it’s Friday. Who told the computer that it’s Friday? Anyone could change that display in the settings. What I can say, for certain, is that events occurred and news transpired in this indefinable time period, and it’s been turned into bite-size chunks, here in the round-up…
Here in the office, everyone is playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt. It’s not a time warp; it’s just that we’ve watched Netflix’s The Witcher and thought, I could do that. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a ginormous game, with determinant quests that will be closed off if you get off on the wrong foot with whichever villager or nobleman or monster. There are points of (variable) interest dotted all over the world, and the lure of a question mark proves too much for me. I have to go and find out what it is. I have to.
The thought of a treasure hunt in real life isn’t so enticing. Perhaps it’s the effort expended. Perhaps it’s the reward. I don’t think you could give people an actual sword at the end of the hunt. There are probably rules against that. But there is one real-life collectible chase that I would love to do. And it’s the Kaninchenfeld in Berlin, Germany.
The Berlin Wall split the country into East and West. People could not move from one side to the other without encountering a border control force, and that’s about as much as I know about the Berlin Wall. I only watched The Man From U.N.C.L.E. twice. However, the rules didn’t apply to everyone. Bunnies burrowed underneath the Berlin Wall and ran from East to West without a care in the world. When the wall was torn down in 1989, the bunnies lost their homes and migrated to the city’s green spaces. However, there is a tribute to the bunnies who lived under the wall, in the form of brass silhouettes. You’ll find these embedded in the pavements and road near the double line of bricks that shows where the Berlin Wall stood. There were 120 brass bunnies installed into the surroundings, and it’s a funny little reminder of the divisions that once defined the country. Here’s the news.
Bungie, Infinity Ward, and Ubisoft are fundraising for Australian wildfire crisis
Approximately 10.7 million hectares of brush have burned away in the wildfires, leading to the emission of 250 million tonnes of carbon dioxide and the deaths of one billion animals. To contribute to the international aid effort, these three developers have taken action to raise funds and awareness for the disaster. Bungie’s limited edition t-shirts that come with an exclusive code for a “Star Light, Star Bright” emblem in Destiny 2 have gone live for pre-order now. The proceeds from the t-shirt sales will go to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service and WIRES Wildlife Rescue. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Outback Pack was renamed to Outback Relief Pack, and Infinity Ward confirmed that even purchases of the DLC that were made before the announcement will go to Australian wildfire charities. And finally, Ubisoft Australia donated $30,000 to the Australian Red Cross Disaster and Recovery Relief Fund.
Xbox sticks with E3 2020 after Sony drops out once again
Sony said that it has “great respect for the ESA,” but it won’t be showing up at E3 2020. This is because the direction of E3 2020 and Sony’s intentions for this year do not align, and instead, the company will appear at “hundreds of consumer events across the globe,” to ensure players “feel part of the PlayStation family and have access to play their favorite content.” However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer confirmed that Xbox will feature at E3 2020. “Our team is hard at work on E3, we look forward to sharing with all who love to play what’s ahead for us,” said Spencer. “Our artform has consistently been propelled by the cross-section of creativity and technical progress. 2020 is a milestone year in that journey for Team Xbox.” Does this mean E3 is over? No. It says “E3 2020” right there.
Resident Evil 3 Remake gives Nemesis a new tool for terror
The remake has only one ending, unlike the original, but the splicing and dicing Capcom have done to the classic have led to new opportunities elsewhere. One of these is the fact that merc Carlos Oliveira will be playable “at various points” in the game. These shifts will build upon his character and reveal the reason why the Umbrella Biohazard Countermeasure Service was already deployed in Raccoon City before the disaster. Carlos will also come face to face with Hunters, who look appropriately scaly and scary. They’re a fierce and volatile enemy, but they’re small fry compared to the hulking Nemesis. He’s gotten a new look in the remake, and he’s also taken a change of tack with his tools for terror. Instead of a rocket launcher, he’s got a flamethrower now. Is it worse? Is it better? Will it hurt? Yes.
Banner Saga developer is “wading heavily” into an all-new game
In a post published to the studio’s official blog, the founders reflected on the triumphs and the challenges of developing The Banner Saga into an established series. “Stoic’s continuing to grow bigger than it’s ever been before, and we’re wading heavily into a new project with new ambitions and aspirations. We can’t wait to be able to talk more about it soon and we hope you’ll come along with us to a new world, with new stories to tell in a new game,” said co-founder Alex Thomas. The Banner Saga is a gorgeous series that melds hand-drawn animation with grim and realistic storylines, and so the next project is certainly something to look out for.
Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle studio has a “prestigious triple-A title” in the works
Davide Soliani, the creative director of Mario + Rabbids, revealed he “would love to” create a sequel to the seriously successful game. “It was the starting point of a strong relationship between teams in Milan and Paris, and the team in Kyoto at Nintendo. It led to the creation of a unique tactical adventure game,” said managing director of Ubisoft’s French divisions Xavier Poix. This “strong relationship” was reflected in the latest Mii Fighter additions for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, like the Altair Swordfighter costume and the new Rabbids hat. And, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot how well the two companies get along last year: “We can’t say much today, but we had a good relationship, so let’s see what will come.” Evidently, the teams behind the game are quite keen. Perhaps this “prestigious triple-A title” at Ubisoft Milan is a new Mario + Rabbids title, or it could be something completely different. It would make a lot of people jump for joy, but we’ll hold our horses for now.
Left 4 Dead 3 may be revived in virtual reality, claims new leak
Valve News Network has come out with a new report claiming that Left 4 Dead 3 and Left 4 Dead VR are happening at Valve. “I have word that there were a few major meetings that took place almost immediately after the trailer for Half-Life: Alyx dropped that essentially caused everybody internally at Valve to change everything about their future plans for virtual reality, public communication, and game development in general,” said the content creator. Apparently, the reception to Half-Life: Alyx shocked Valve, and the developer wants to boost the Valve Index’s potential library. What’s the evidence? Well, he says that internal sources supplied him leaked concept art of Left 4 Dead 3, consisting of “15 model renders of zombies heads.” Whether these would be used in this new Left 4 Dead game was left unsaid, and Valve did not comment on the new report.
Cyberpunk 2077 delay still means crunch, confirms CD Projekt Red
It’s been a week of delays, delays, delays. Final Fantasy VII Remake and Marvel’s Avengers have been pushed back by Square Enix so that the games reach their potential. Moons of Madness’s console launch has been moved to March to “give the developers more time to optimize the game for console.” Delays are intended to do exactly this—provide extra time and resources so that the developers work under less stress and the game does not suffer as a result. But, Cyberpunk 2077’s delay doesn’t circumvent crunch, as confirmed by CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kicinski. “To some degree, yes—to be honest. We try to limit crunch as much as possible, but it is the final stage. We try to be reasonable in this regard, but yes. Unfortunately,” said Kicinski in a press conference held after the announcement. This is disheartening to hear, especially as the studio previously described itself to be “in a vice” to deliver the game on time. The reaction to the admission has been largely negative, and hopefully, this is enough to discourage future practices in other studios.
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