Pacific Rim: Uprising trailer features GLaDOS’ voice

In the first trailer for Pacific Rim: Uprising, fans of the Portal series may have heard a familiar voice. Ellen McLain makes a return appearance in the trailer as the voice of the jaeger AI. Her role in the first movie was short but sweet: she was only in one scene at the beginning of the movie, before the Gipsy Danger is destroyed.

Ellen McLain has been featured in multiple games from Valve: from Team Fortress 2 to Half-Life 2, she makes a vocal appearance in every game on The Orange Box.

This reprise role begs the question: is Valve funnelling profits from their marketplace into funding movies? Is this why we haven’t seen a Portal 3 yet? I don’t think so, but at one point or another something has to connect, right?

via Pacific Rim: Uprising trailer (YouTube)

Pacific Rim: Uprising is slated for a summer 2018 release.

Cover and inline images via Pacific Rim: Uprising trailer on YouTube.

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Friendly Fire Prompts Developer Response From Playerunknown

PlayerUnknown, also known as Brendan Greene, and a popular Twitch streamer have been at odds over the past days due to a temporary ban from the wildly popular Battlegrounds.

The streamer, DrDisRespect, shot a squad member in order to fit the entire squad on a vehicle.

Not only was the Doc playing up his character: a smooth-talking, tough-acting synthpunk action hero, but the roleplay carried over to Twitter, as well.

Now, there’s a line when it comes to playing a character, especially when your streaming livelihood depends on mercy from your main game’s creator. The ban was entirely temporary, which makes the response from the Doc a little extreme.

Brendan Greene also elaborated on the situation further in a TwitLonger, quoted below in its entirety:

So today I created a little bit of a shitstorm on Twitter.

Before I begin, I have to say that I do enjoy the character Guy has created with DrDisrespect. Hell, I am even part of the Slick Daddy Club! I understand that he likes to talk shit, and I was right there with him until that one tweet.

I was told that I should have taken The Docs threat of violence as a joke. So now I will try explaining why I took this tweet seriously and tweeted out the response I did.

Story time!

When I was in college, many years ago, I had a disagreement with my flat mate. Instead of talking it out like men, he decided to get aggressive and while I was backing away from him, he kicked me in the chest and put my head through a plate glass door. Thankfully, I don’t suffer from any ill effects due to this experience.

The point of that story is to attempt to explain why I think even the threat of violence is not something that should be joked about. Given my experience in college, and the fact that The Doc’s threat, even as a joke, synced up closely to a bad experience I endured, it could have brought up bad memories, triggered a panic attack or had other consequences The Doc might not have intended when composing the tweet.

All I ask from anyone that reads this is to consider that your words, however flippant they may be, could have unintended effects on those reading them.

Using the controversy as a platform to advocate against solving problems with violence is something I can say I never expected from Greene, nor did I expect him to open up with a deeply personal story. It’s unfortunate that the issue intersected with that experience, though it’s an important lesson for anyone with influence. Idle threats aren’t going to solve anything, and could very well bring up traumatic memories for some.

For now, The Doc is back to Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds, and Playerunknown is back to working on the game. For the most part, nothing’s changed. Instead of lasting drama, we’ve come out the other end with a humble message from a humble dev.

 

Cover image via Humble Bundle.

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Disney Makes eSports Regular Programming with Disney D|XP

In an announcement last week, Disney stated that two new shows would be joining its lineup. The new segment, Disney D|XP, features two shows centered around eSports.

ESL and Disney made the announcement shortly before EVO 2017 kicked off. The top 8 matches of both Street Fighter V and Super Smash Bros. Wii U aired on Disney’s new block.

Aside from Evo programming, Disney and ESL announced two shows: ESL Brawlers and ESL Speedrunners.

A low-poly, purple head at the center of the Disney D|XP announcement trailer.
via Disney D|XP

The former follows a group of players through six episodes, with a seventh special episode featuring Vainglory, a mobile MOBA, versus various community influencers.

We don’t know what ESL Speedrunners entails just yet, with programming slated for an August release.

 

Cover image via D|XP on Twitter.

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Io Interactive Releases Final Hitman Elusive Target

Io Interactive has been the center of a couple of news stories lately. Last month, we saw them become independent from Square Enix. In the process, they retained control of their original IP. The Hitman series was praised as one of the best games of 2016, and was wholly deserving of the title. Before its release, the company revealed that the game would be episodic. This worried many, however over the last almost year and a half, Io has kept up with the episodes.

That being said, the game’s final Elusive Target was released today. The target is available for one week. After that, Io’s future with the game remains uncertain. Will we see a sequel to the game in the near future? Will Io use the Hitman IP to springboard into a new game?

Whatever the outcome, I doubt that Io would let the IP go to waste. Hopefully it means that we see much more from Io.

An image of Agent 47 walking through the densely populated streets of Marrakesh, Hitman's third episode.
via GameSpot

 

Cover image via Sunday Express.

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Spider-Man PS4 Plot and Gameplay Shown at D23

Details involving the plot and open-world aspect of the upcoming Spider-Man were announced at the Disney D23 Expo.

Aside from the gameplay video shown at E3 this year, we’ve only known about its 2018 release window so far. Insomniac boasts that unlike Sunset Overdrive, an earlier game from the company, the game’s open world will be larger.

via PlayStation

Not only will the world be larger, but traversal, mainly web swinging, has changed since the E3 demo. The changes make it easier for players to start swinging and keep swinging, says Insomniac. Plot-wise, they revealed that Peter Parker would be 23 years old as of this game, and that the game would draw from the plot of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics.

Hopefully as time goes on we get to know more about the web-slinging mechanics in the game. Will they be on par with how satisfying it was to fly through Spiderman 2?

 

Cover via YouTube (E3 Gameplay Trailer).

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eSports Finally Come to Disney XD

You read that correctly. For the first time this year, Disney will host Top 8s of both Street Fighter V and Super Smash Bros. for Wii U at EVO 2017 on Disney XD. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen eSports on TV. In 2015, ESPN hosted the Dota 2 International on their channel.

While it’s not the first time we’ve seen eSports on TV, it is the first time that Disney channel has put it on one of its hallmarks. Aimed at a young teenage audience, Disney XD is generally the TV channel we think of when it comes to the demographic that gravitates towards Minecraft. (More on that in another post, though.)

via My Nintendo News

After all, this demographic is already watching eSports on the Internet. There’s no shortage of teens competing in local tournaments, either. In all, this move on Disney’s part just seems to be a way to sensationalize eSports players. For the long run, it’ll expose eSports to a mainstream audience and give kids people to look up to, no matter their talents.

In my opinion, it’s good to see Disney branching out from making everything they put on their network into a forced pop singer. It’s a huge improvement, if you ask me.

 

Cover image via smash.gg.

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New 3DS Production Shuts Down Worldwide, says Nintendo

In several reports, Nintendo announced that it would be discontinuing production on its New 3DS console. Rumors first emerged from Nintendo Japan, then from Nintendo Europe. They were confirmed earlier today, as Nintendo confirmed that it would be ceasing production worldwide. To be clear: this is for the smaller New 3DS, not the New 3DS XL.

This is likely to allot resources to the production for Nintendo’s other big sellers: namely, the Switch. In addition, this cease in production could mean that Nintendo is fully ready to move forward on producing its New 2DS XL console, out July 28th in North America.

We have seen Nintendo lack in production and shipping for several of their hallmark products in the past. It started with the special edition Majora’s Mask New 3DS XL in early 2015 and continued through to the NES Mini just last year. Nintendo’s limited quantities not only made products hard to find, but made it easier for scalpers to thrive. At their peak, scalpers charging double the retail price not only disheartened fans but made limited quantities even more scarce.

This move to cut production on a product that may not be selling well should prove useful for Nintendo. This shift in production should allow them to provide more quantity to retailers.

It would be cool to see a lot more of these out and about. (via Kotaku)

 

Cover image via Play Asia.

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Overwatch’s Doomfist Promises Real Lore

The general buzz about Overwatch last week was the release of a new hero on its public test region (PTR): Doomfist. Immediately, players welcomed the new character with glee. Finally, a melee based character in a first person shooter.

via Overwatch

What intrigues the most about Doomfist is that, for the first time, the lore behind his character is solid. Reading over the story of his childhood, adult life, and involvement with Talon, it seems like Blizzard did a good job of it, for the first time since they’ve released a character.

As we’ve seen with other character releases, it seems that Blizzard did not care about how its characters worked into Overwatch’s lore. Sombra seemed to come out of nowhere, a rogue yet globally heard-of hacker (and borderline technomancer). While her character was, no doubt, incredibly cool, she was not only overshadowed by the massive ARG that hinted at her, but by the fact that in the game, she felt very out of place. In addition, many fans thought that Ana and Sombra were similar at one point. One of Ana’s alternate skins looked much like the Sombra that the ARG promised, confusing players after Ana’s launch prior to Sombra’s.

Suddenly, we had a sixth attack hero that didn’t have a set role. In all honesty, and as Blizzard devs have said in the past, she was supposed to be a support hero. Whether she would have worked out better that way is to be left a mystery.

In addition to his story being well-crafted, many have pointed out that Doomfist’s alternate skins celebrate his Nigerian heritage rather than display it as a costume. This has been a point of distress for some fans in the past: first with Symmetra’s vampire skin, and again with Sombra’s legendaries.

Only time can tell how Blizzard will handle future characters. If Doomfist is any indication, it’s realistic to think that, at least lore-wise, Blizzard is listening to what we have to say.

 

Cover Image via Overwatch.

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Absolver Promises Fluid, Respectful PvP

Working with Devolver Digital on the game, Sloclap recently revealed the fourth fighting style in Absolver. A heavy attack-based stance known as Stagger, it rounds out the available styles with something slower with a heavy hit behind it.

A screenshot from Absolver.
via Zam

Absolver promises to be a PvP experience in which there’s a certain respect between players. In an interview with Unreal Engine, developer Pierre Tarno lightly hinted at the game’s mentor relationships. He did imply that the nature of sparring was to engage in a respectful duel. This gives players the option to learn from one another and in turn, their fighting styles.

With its different styles and its promised fluidity, I feel like Absolver may pick up where another PvP combat game, For Honor, stopped. While For Honor had an in-depth fighting system, it seemed very closed off. Because of this, many new players left the PvP scene.

Absolver releases on PC and PS4 on August 29, 2017.

 

Cover Image via Tom’s Hardware

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