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…
Lots of people liked Remedy Entertainment’s Control, especially Josh. The game takes place in the mysterious The Oldest House, tucked away in an invisible and unknowable nook of New York City. ‘The building is a brutal block of looming grey; its insides are cavernous and shifting, and strange geometries of black rock brood above its vast halls,’ Josh wrote, on a postcard from the strange locale. Inside the building, strange happenstances are stirring that are triggered by the Hiss invasion. It was down to heroine Jesse to control and banish the vengeful being from another dimension, and you’ll have to read Josh’s review to see if she was successful.
The architecture of The Oldest House stunned and entranced those who played Control. I saw a photo of the Old Hill Street Police Station in Singapore and I got to thinking. What sort of extra-dimensional force would be attracted to such a beautiful and ornate, understated and kaleidoscopic public building? Completed in 1934, the police station had balconies, courtyards, and corbelled loggias. I don’t know what that is either, but I do know it’s fancy and is a feature of the neoclassical movement, because Wikipedia told me. The building stretches six stories into the sky but its scale isn’t what draws the eye. Its 927 windows are painted in the colours of the rainbow and graduate in hue and intensity on each storey. Expectedly, it’s no longer a police station and became a national monument of Singapore in 1998.
I would imagine that the unidentified being making itself at home in this building wouldn’t be malevolent. Perhaps the colours of the windows are totally alien to it, as, in its own realm, everything is dark and quiet. This force would curl up like a cat and fall asleep to the hum of car engines, chattering visitors, and the occasional aeroplane, ensconced in the warm haze of Singapore’s climate conditions.
Diablo 4 and a Diablo 2 remaster may be announced at BlizzCon
There are six slots on the Blizzcon schedule that are marked with ‘coming soon’. On its own, this doesn’t seem so suspicious because the Mythic Stage is used for cosplay competitions, announcements for World of Warcraft and Overwatch, and panels with developers and pro players. However, rumours are swirling that Blizzard has several spicy announcements scheduled soon. The latest copy of German magazine GameStar showed an advertisement for an upcoming Diablo art book which includes Diablo, Diablo II, Diablo III and Diablo IV. It’s the latter that’s got fans in a state, because this could hint that another Diablo game is in development, and it’s quite far along. Overwatch streamer Metro claimed that a Diablo 2 remaster will be revealed as well as Diablo 4 at next week’s event. They’ve also said that Overwatch 2 is coming, though I’m unconvinced. Anyway, if these rumours are true, they may be overshadowed by the pro-Hong Kong protests planned for Blizzcon.
Magic: The Gathering pro expresses support for Hong Kong protesters in his hometown
At last weekend’s Mythic Championship, Lee Shi Tian appeared on stage with his face covered with a red scarf and held his hand over his eye. Hong Kong protestors have been wearing masks to protect themselves from tear gas thrown by authorities and to disguise themselves. The covering of one eye references a journalist who was hit in the eye with a rubber bullet, and Tian expressed his support for those engaged in pro-democracy protests. ‘Life has been very tough in my hometown in Hong Kong. It feels so good to play as a free man!’ he said during a post-match interview. The Magic: The Gathering community have lauded Tian’s use of his platform to draw attention to the situation in Hong Kong, and Wizards of the Coast has not penalised Tian for his political speech.
The PlayStation 5 dev kit leaked and it looks like a very vexing video (game) vessel
It’s my news post and I get to pick the headline, even if it’s silly. An image of the PlayStation 5 has swirled about the internet and the rumours of a ‘V’ shaped slice cut out of the console seem to have been verified. There are two ‘System’ and ‘Network’ INIT ports shown on the supposed next-generation console, which adds even more veracity to these images. These ports are used by developers and media to access the retail or internal software in the hardware, and the little circle looks a bit like a camera. A camera for live streaming was tipped to be a feature from a leak reported a few weeks ago. Well, all this considered, this image has not been confirmed by Sony, and it likely won’t be, seeing as the new console is set to launch in late 2020.
Fortnite’s Mythic Goldfish is real and awards an achievement if you’re eliminated by it
Fortnite Chapter 2’s new Battle Pass has achievements derived from activities in the brand new map, and one of these is fishing. By fishing at the designated fishing spots, players will haul out a variety of items that fulfil challenges. Catching a Flopper fish will replenish 50 health points, hauling out a Rusty Can will deal 20 damage points, and a Slurpfish lets the player regain 50 health points or 50 shield points. The Mythic Goldfish is a Mythical item that will deal out 200 damage points, enough to obliterate the poor player to be knocked by it. Dataminers had assumed the Mythic Goldfish was an item to be added to the game, because no one had found and used it. Tell that to Reddit user BlakeBenbow, who was celebrating eliminating another player with a chirpy dance emote but then was wiped out by someone wielding the incredibly rare, incredibly powerful throwable.
Loot boxes without limits constitute ‘financial harm’, states Children’s Commissioner
The ‘Gaming the system’ report interviewed children and young people who play games like Minecraft, Roblox, Fortnite, and FIFA on how they engage with the online features to these popular games. Although online gaming creates friendships and inspires children’s imaginations, instances of bullying and mockery were described. ‘If you’re a default skin, people think you’re trash,’ one 10-year-old Fortnite player said, and children said they didn’t feel in control of their spending for in-game items. ‘It’s like gambling – you could lose your money and not get anyone good, or get someone really good,’ a FIFA player explained. As such, the report concluded that loot boxes should be included under existing gambling regulations and that they constitute ‘financial harm’ if there are no preventative measures in place for young gamers.
Naughty Dog says it’s saddened by The Last of Us Part II delay
Only one month ago, we received a new cinematic story trailer for The Last of Us Part II that confirmed its release date: February 21, 2020. Then, reports began to pop up that there would be ‘unexpected news about a Sony first party title’ this week. Two individuals close to the project told Kotaku that this referred to The Last of Us Part II and that it would be delayed until spring 2020. Sony had not commented before Kotaku was set to publish the rumoured delay, but then the news was corroborated by Naughty Dog director Neil Druckmann. Writing on the official PlayStation Blog, he said that the developer was delighted by the ‘overwhelming’ response to the trailer. However, in order to deliver a game that exceeds expectations, Naughty Dog and Sony have chosen to delay The Last of Us Part II. ‘While we’re relieved that we won’t have to compromise our vision, we’re disappointed that we weren’t able to avoid this exact situation. We wish we could’ve foreseen the amount of polish we needed, but the size and scope of this game got the better of us,’ he explained. ‘We hope you understand that this additional time ensures that The Last of Us Part II lives up to our collective ambition as well as our commitment to the highest level of quality.’
Pokémon director says it takes ‘at least three months’ to put one Pokémon in the game
The National Dex has been a point of contention for Pokémon fans who are looking forward to the new Sword and Shield game. Now, producer Junichi Masuda and director Shigeru Ohmori have discussed what it has been like to develop a mainline Pokémon game on the Switch, and how this affected its shape and form. Pokémon Sword and Shield is one and a half times the size of previous Pokémon projects, and grappled with new challenges using the Switch’s hardware. ‘We need to be able to prioritize new gameplay ideas. We need to be able to find a way to balance the right number of Pokémon and also still introduce new ways for players to enjoy the game, new gameplay ideas to keep the series fresh and enjoyable far into the future,’ Masuda explained. As a result, not all of the Pokémon were added to the game, due to the time required for each one. ‘I’d say the fastest for coming up with an idea and actually implementing it completely in the game would be at least three months per character,’ Ohmori said.
Fallout 76’s new premium membership scheme is pricier than Amazon Prime
Bethesda’s having a bit of a time of it. It unveiled Fallout 1st on Wednesday, and it’s a new premium monthly or yearly membership for Fallout 76. It offers private worlds, in-game currency, exclusive gear and emotes, and more for those who subscribe. But, players who have jumped in feet first have found that the service is malfunctioning and lacking those features that were advertised. The private world is reported to be an old instance of the Appalachia region, with no loot and no live NPCs. Moreover, players are able to add themselves to their friend’s server without an invite from the host, and the Scrapbox is permanently deleting the crafting materials players drop into it. Fallout 1st is priced at $12.99 per month or $99.99 per year, so understandably, people are a little miffed. Bethesda has addressed the issues that players are reporting, and has said that fixes are on their way.
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