Fortnite: Battle Royale's Fourth Season Teases The Comet's Arrival

Fortnite players are obsessed with a comet that recently appeared in the game world. This somewhat ominous-looking space rock has generated theories galore. Some players believe it could be an alien mothership; others are convinced it will be a new supply drop that delivers even more powerful weapons. With new comet watching signs appearing on a rooftop in Titled Towers, it appears Fortnite’s developer Epic Games is gearing up to deliver answers to fans.

That possibility was heightened again today with the release of a teaser image for Battle Royale’s fourth season. The stylistic image may have nothing to do with the comet in the end, but it certainly delivers the impression of something crashing into the ground at great velocity. We may not have long to wait, as Battle Royale’s third season concludes in just four days.

Do you think there’s any significance to the comet? If so, what do you think it may bring to the game?

 

Our Take
I have a theory of my own: The comet won’t crash on the map we know and love, and instead will touchdown on another part of the world that, you guessed it, delivers another map for both Battle Royale and Save the World modes. I’m probably wrong, but that’s what I want the most from the game. Wishful thinking…

Beta Test Fortnite: Battle Royale’s Fourth Season Teases The Comet’s Arrival

Laser League Coming In May

Roll7 has announced that its fast-paced, action multiplayer title Laser League is hitting PS4, Xbox One, and PC on May 10.

The game features teams competing on an ever-changing pitch of deadly light patterns as they try and control various nodes. It’s simple in nature, but addictive and strategic in the way it blends its modes, player classes, power-ups, and modifiers across a variety of maps.

The Steam version is launching with extras including seven extra maps, two stadiums, six class modifiers, and two new power-ups.

The developer has also announced that the NewMotion Brand DLC (including the extra Steam content, two new player models, eight kits, exclusive laser patterns, emojis, and character portraits) is coming to consoles later in May for $1.99.

Laser League is part of the Xbox Game Pass program in May (and therefore free for its members), while PS+ members can pre-order the title and get a PS4 theme as well as 20-percent off.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Roll7] 

Beta Test Laser League Coming In May

Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima Steps Down, Shuntaro Furukawa Named Successor

Tatsumi Kimishima found himself the CEO of one of the biggest gaming companies in the world after Satoru Iwata passed away in 2015. He guided the company through the launch of its portable powerhouse, the Nintendo Switch, but today Kimishima announced he’s stepping down from the position. Nintendo has named Shuntaro Furukawa as his successor.

Currently a board member for both Nintendo and The Pokémon Company, Furukawa has been a part of Nintendo since 1994. During that span he has held several positions in the company, including managing executive officer, supervisor of corporate analysis & administration, and director. 

Kimishima isn’t retiring from Nintendo, but simply taking on a smaller role as an adviser to Furukawa. He says he’s been eying Furukawa for years as his replacement, praising the younger executive’s knack for diplomacy and financial adroitness.

Nintendo also announced the departure of Nintendo Europe’s president, Satoru Shibata, so he can take on a more international role in the company. In addition, Yoshiaki Koizumi and Takashi Tezuka have joined the board of directors. Koizumi’s appointment is notable, given that he played a key role in developing the Switch, serving as the console’s general producer.

[Source: The Wall Street Journal]

Our Take
Personnel changes at Nintendo are always an interesting event, with this year’s focus on putting those who helped plan the Switch’s marketing at the forefront of the company both sensible and a portent of things to come.

Beta Test Nintendo CEO Tatsumi Kimishima Steps Down, Shuntaro Furukawa Named Successor

Team Secret Signs 13-Year-Old To Play Fortnite Professionally

Despite there being no real structure for Fortnite as an esport, Team Secret of Dota 2 fame has announced they have put together a team for the game, including a player still in middle school.

Team Secret CEO John Yao has been looking toward a future for Fortnite esports organized by Epic and wanted to get in on the ground floor of the best players. “Our guess is that Epic Games is also going to announce something and get behind the esports scene,” Yao told ESPN. “And so, before everybody else jumps in and all the good players get signed up, we wanted to make a preemptive strike.”

Yao ended up picking players from Norway, the UK, and Latvia. The UK-based player, Kyle “Mongraal” Jackson, was discovered afterwards to be a little younger than Yao thought.

“I actually had no idea he was 13 until the team told me,” Yao said. “Because when we looked at some of the videos and we looked at their game play, it was not apparent. What immediately stood out to me was how mature he was, and he sounded just like one of the other guys.”

Mongraal started playing games with Call of Duty when he was nine years old and got into Fortnite relatively recently, but has been an ace at it, even if he needed his parents’ consent to sign on.

While Team Secret waits for an official Fortnite League to spring up, they’ll be taking on all comers and entering any informal tournaments that might pop up.

[Source: ESPN]

 

Our Take
It’s a wild world when kids get on esports teams, but if they’ve got the skills, it’s also a super cool thing to see them up there. I hope this ends up being entertaining in all the right ways.

Beta Test Team Secret Signs 13-Year-Old To Play Fortnite Professionally

Harry Potter Mobile Game Out Now On IOS And Android

Your phone is now a portal to the wizarding world of Harry Potter for a game that takes place prior to the book and movie series.

Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery comes from the creators of games like Avengers Academy and Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff. Hogwarts Mystery takes place in the 1980s, well before the titular Harry Potter first came to the school. Players create their own wizards instead to solve the mystery of what’s happening at Hogwarts.

Check out the trailer for the game below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The game is a free to play title and has a lot of voices from the movies, including Maggie Smith (Professor McGonagall), Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick), Gemma Jones (Madam Pomfrey),Sally Mortemore (Madam Irma Pince), Michael Gambon (Professor Dumbledore), and Zoe Wanamaker (Madam Hooch).

You can go ahead and download the title now for either iOS or Android. Hogwarts Mystery is one of two Harry Potter mobile games announced, the other being from Pokemon GO creators Niantic that is intended to release later this year.

Beta Test Harry Potter Mobile Game Out Now On IOS And Android

Here's What's In Splatoon 2's Big 3.0 Update

Nintendo has been quietly cranking away on Splatoon 2 content since the game’s big 2.0 update, culminating in another big update out now.

The new update includes over one hundred pieces of gear new to Splatoon 2 (either completely new or returning to the game from the first Splatoon), new music, a new rank, and more.

The new rank, called X rank, is the highest attainable goal in Splatoon 2 Ranked Battle multiplayer. Players who are currently Rank S+10 will automatically move up to Rank X, which is essentially its own league of multiplayer. Every month, players who are Rank X compete for what Nintendo calls an X Power Level. The five hundred players with the highest power levels will be honored on Nintendo’s SplatNet app every month until it resets the following month. 

If you’re X Rank but don’t hit the monthly threshold for power level, you get bumped down to S+9 during the monthly reset, so you can’t rest on your laurels.

Camp Triggerfish makes its return to the series, as well, entering as one the new ranked stages. New music will also be introduced from in-game chiptune band Chirpy Chips.

Finally, Callie returns to the game as a friend instead of an enemy, appearing at Tentakeel Outpost after players beat the single player campaign. She’s…kind of remorseful about what happened. After she takes her place next to Marie, Callie will offer you recent multiplayer stats for your character.

Nintendo has announced a major paid DLC expansion to Splatoon 2 later this year titled Octo Expansion, but has not given a date yet. Last month, we talked to Splatoon producer Hisashi Nogami about Inkopolis food, Biggie and Tupac, and more.

 

Our Take
Nintendo is really out there supporting Splatoon 2 with a lot of DLC. Considering how well it sold and is still selling, I expect the DLC tail on this game will last a lot longer than the first game’s, which was a major success in its own right.

Beta Test Here’s What’s In Splatoon 2’s Big 3.0 Update

Update: Epic Adds Test Pattern To Fortnite In More Meteor Teasing

Update: Today, Epic kicked the teasing up a notch with an emergency test pattern image – with a llama emblazoned on the front, naturally – to suggest something more might be happening soon.

 

 

The picture was posted on both the Twitter and Facebook pages for Fortnite and appeared on TVs in the game at the same time. Approaching the TV just leads to static and alarm sounds. It seems like something apocalyptic is coming to Fortnite, especially as we inch closer to the end of the season on April 30.

The original story is as follows:

Over the last few weeks, speculation has been rampant about comets in the sky in Fortnite Battle Royale. Now, it seems Epic is happy to help throw fuel on the fire.

At this point, the community is pretty sure that a meteor is going to hit Tilted Towers, a popular landing spot in the game’s Battle Royale mode. Earlier today, a Redditor on the game’s subreddit noticed four signs that indicate Epic is playing along in a decidedly non-helpful way.

The four signs indicate a building, a hardhat, a meteor, and the word “Today” scratched out and replaced with “Tomorrow.” Assuming the signs aren’t meant to be taken literally, Epic seems to be poking fun at the doomsayers who are predicting the destruction of Tilted Towers with certainty on any given day. One comment points out that it seems to be a reference to Independence Day, with a party on a roof of a skyscraper was held to welcome the aliens with less than positive results.

Either way, fans are now more motivated than ever to figure out what’s happening now that Epic has acknowledged their speculation.

 

Our Take
Alternate Reality Games can be fun as long as they don’t go on too long and only capture the attention of diehards. Epic has people hooked right now, but how long that’s true is another question.

Beta Test Update: Epic Adds Test Pattern To Fortnite In More Meteor Teasing

George R. R. Martin Confirms The Winds Of Winter Novel Won't Make 2018

Waiting is something that A Song of Ice and Fire fans are probably pretty used to by now, so hopefully people won’t be too disappointed or shocked at the news that The Winds of Winter has been confirmed to come in 2019 at the earliest.

Martin confirmed the news on his blog today, couched in an exhaustive description of his other current project, Fire & Blood. That book, which Martin insists is very much not a novel, has a publishing date of November 20. This means, as most had already assumed, the Game of Thrones TV show is very likely to finish filming before the final source material releases.

The Winds of Winter will be the first installment of the series in about eight years with the first book having been released in 1996.

[Source: George R. R. Martin Blog via The Hollywood Reporter]

Beta Test George R. R. Martin Confirms The Winds Of Winter Novel Won’t Make 2018

The Virtual Life – Can God Of War's Kratos Be Redeemed?

Warning: Spoilers ahead for God of War. Do not read until after you’ve beaten the game!

God of War feels like an impossible game. That’s adjective been used often by fans to describe the series, mostly when it comes to the massive boss fights and camera effects. Kratos often squares off against beasts several times his size, including hydras, gods, and the jaw-dropping fight against the titan Cronos, in which our buff hero is no larger than ant on Cronos’ body. These setpieces are incredible works of technical display, ones that had me wondering how the hell the developers pulled off their scope and intensity. Outside of those moments of awe, though, I never had a deep love for this action/adventure series. Mostly because, well, Kratos sucks. He’s really awful; he’s an impulsive, rage-fueled murderer incapable of seeing anyone as anything more than materials he can use or obstacles on his quest for revenge against the gods of Olympus.

Admittedly, there was something entrancing about Kratos’ repulsiveness when God of War released in 2005. There had been anti-heroes in games, of course, with the likes of Kain, Agent 47, Arthas, James Cash, and others. However, Kratos was an entirely different level of anti-hero, especially as the series went on, with his actions becoming crueler. One instance in God of War III stands out in my mind, where Kratos sacrifices an innocent woman so he can get past a locked gate, forcing her body to be chewed up by a massive wheel as she’s killed in excruciating fashion. It’s a grim death, one excessive and revolting in its utter cruelty and conducted with sociopathic indifference.

Like I said: Kratos sucks. However, there is a narrative justification there. In the end, the original God of War games are about a man who ultimately becomes the thing he hates the most: a petty and cruel god, bringing misery to everyone around him. The whole saga is a fascinating, brutally nihilistic story that requires demolishing its protagonist and challenging players’ notion of what it means to be a hero and a villain. God of War sends players on a massive power trip and then forces them to burn down the whole pantheon.

The new God of War does something very special with that charred foundation, planting seeds in ruined soil that somehow manage to sprout into a profound and beautiful story about what it means to genuinely regret the past, and the trials of seeking redemption. The new game finds Kratos and his son, Atreus, journeying to the highest peak in all of the realms to scatter the ashes of Faye, Kratos’ lover and Atreus’ mother. It’s a long journey made longer by the sort of epic battles and plot twists God of War has always been known for, but the heart in this entry is different.

Instead of embracing the raw, bleak perspective of the last series, this new God of War focuses on Kratos’ attempts escape his past and teach his son how to survive a harsh world. In this way, Atreus doesn’t just exist as someone Kratos loves but also his chance to put good into the world after a lifetime of being a violently malignant force. Let there be no mistake: The fights in God of War are still incredible sequences that you have to play to believe, but what impressed me most were the quiet, conversational sequences that manage to rewrite such an unlikeable protagonist into such a deeply sympathetic character.

Between battles and story events, Kratos and Atreus talk. Well, Atreus talks. Kratos mostly grunts and occasionally chastises his son when he screws up in combat or is impulsive. “Don’t be sorry, be better,” he growls at the boy after his son apologizes for failing to hunt a deer. This is deftly expanded on later, near the end, after Kratos reveals his history of murder and rampage in Greece before coming to Midgar, when he tells his son he must be better. It’s clear, then, that Kratos is not just talking about Atreus needing to improve himself for the sake of survival, but also to not make the same moral mistakes his father has:

Atreus: Is this how it always ends? Sons killing their mothers? Their fathers?

Kratos: No. We will be the gods we choose to be. Not those who have been. Who I was….is not who you’ll be. We must be better.

One of the recurring themes that shows up in the new God of War is the futility and dissatisfaction of vengeance. It’s clear from the get-go that the years have been unkind to the Ghost of Sparta. He carries himself almost like a monk, in solitude, straining to rein in his anger and not fall victim to the same impulses that made him the monster he was in the original trilogy. During nearly all of his interactions in the game, with friend and foe alike, Kratos is considerably more composed than his younger self, issuing threats with a low growl instead of yelling, silencing those who annoy him with a glance. Kratos emerges as a character that feels real, someone trying to make best out of the lessons they’ve learned from the traumas they’ve suffered, both those brought on by others as well as his own actions.

But does that make him redeemed? We are, after all, talking about a god who reduced not just Mount Olympus but Greece into a wasteland, probably killing countless innocent people as a byproduct of his rage. The answer here is “No, probably not,” but that actually makes this incarnation of Kratos even more compelling to me. Redemption and closure are ideas that take root mostly in fiction. Life is messy, and chances are you’ll end up being the villain in someone else’s story through your own actions, whether they’re malicious or unintentional. That unease and regret is just something you likely have to live with. In the end, there is only the way forward and presenting this mass-murdering god as a regretful man trudging forward in spite of everything he’s done and everything that’s been done to him is both uplifting and discomforting.

I was surprised by just how much I wanted Kratos to have a happy ending despite knowing he doesn’t deserve it. But then again, what does “deserve” have to do with anything? Especially in the world of mythology, where many a mortal has been flicked into the underworld for simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The new God of War doesn’t let its brutal protagonist off the hook, as there are several scenes dedicated to letting you know just how terrible Kratos’ list of sins are, but it doesn’t damn him either. The new game, in a sagely move, presents its protagonist to you free of judgment and instead opts for striking a balance between moral complexity and emotional earnestness. More than anything, I think the new God of War represents a triumph in the struggle of video game storytelling to present people as they are: often difficult, almost always sympathetic to a degree, and desperately looking for peace and hope in a frightening wilderness.


For more on the new God of War, be sure to check out our review.

Beta Test The Virtual Life – Can God Of War’s Kratos Be Redeemed?

How Insomniac Came To Work On Spider-Man

In the 24 years that Insomniac Games has been around, they’ve maintained a strong presence in the industry with original, beloved titles like Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Sunset Overdrive. In the video below, CEO Ted Price lends insight into how the studio’s past led to Spider-Man, as well as how they’re handling what he describes as the biggest game Insomniac has ever made.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

To see our entire month of Spider-Man coverage, click the banner below and bookmark our hub. New stories and features are added every couple of days, so check back to learn more about Insomniac’s Spider-Man game for PS4.

Beta Test How Insomniac Came To Work On Spider-Man