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Updated: 29 min 33 sec ago

Imagining World of Warcraft in Jerusalem

Sun, 24/06/2018 - 09:00

At some point in 2007, I become hopelessly addicted to World of Warcraft.

I was 24 years old, finishing art school, severely depressed and dealing with the fact that my life was just not going the way I expected. Somewhere around that time, during a drunken few hours in a restaurant in downtown Jerusalem, a friend and I created JarWow - a mod of World of Warcraft that translates the mechanics, races and areas of the game to early 21st century Jerusalem. Jerusalem seemed like a perfect stage for a complex MMO, with two culturally different factions in a bitter territory dispute. Conversely, World of Warcraft, which relies on simplification and stereotypes, cannot truly represent the complexity of modern Jerusalem.

I moved to Jerusalem in 1993, when I was nine years old; I left in 2009 when I was 26. The Oslo accords, a set of agreements made by Israel and Palestine which started the peace process, had just been signed in 1993, and while Jerusalem will never be entirely calm, there was a sense of hope in the air and some optimism - even if the question of the unification of the city continued to be a contentious issue. By 2007, the situation was completely different. The second intifada - the second Palestinian uprising against Israel and a period of intense violence - had ended, but its legacy lingered in the empty streets of downtown Jerusalem and the quiet tension between the different groups that share the city. This was a tension not just between the Jewish and Arab population, but also between the more traditional and more liberal forces in the city. While this tension would escalate again in the next few years (with Operation Cast Lead and the situation in Gaza just around the corner), at this point the status quo was maintained and the city was (at least on the surface) calm.

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Categories: Video Games

Big the Cat is in Team Sonic Racing

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 17:19

On Sonic the Hedgehog's 27th birthday (that big 3-0 is fast approaching!), Sega has detailed Team Rose for Team Sonic Racing.

The announcement was made during an event to celebrate Sonic's birthday (you can watch it in the video below).

Team Rose is made up of Amy Rose, Chao and Big the Cat. Yep, Big the Cat, the large, anthropomorphic purple cat who made his name in the Sonic Adventure series, is in Team Sonic Racing. As if there was any doubt.

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Categories: Video Games

It looks like hackers are using balloons to put porn into Super Mario Odyssey

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 15:02

Hackers are reportedly inserting porn into Super Mario Odyssey via balloons.

Redditor ewasion took to r/NintendoSwitch to say they'd spotted two pornographic images while playing Super Mario Odyssey. The images were on in-game balloons, which are normally used to display player avatars.

It looks like this issue is limited to Super Mario Odyssey's Luigi's Balloon World mode, an online only mini-game that involves hunting balloons other players have hidden. The balloons display the online avatar of the player who hid them. Under normal circumstances, avatars are images of Nintendo characters and Miis.

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Categories: Video Games

The good, bad and ugly of PUBG's first Event Pass

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 13:23

This week, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds got its first ever Event Pass. The £7.49 DLC is, clearly, inspired by Fortnite's hugely-successful Battle Pass, and lets players unlock premium loot, including themed cosmetics and items. It also lets you take on exclusive challenges and gain experience points as you play.

While PUBG's Event Pass sounds like a decent addition to the game - and indeed it has freshened up the battle royale experience for many players - it has some problems, which the game's rabid fanbase has been quick to pick up on.

This has led to a raft of comments from the PUBG developer, PUBG Corp., which has clarified the Event Pass is something of an experiment, and shown to be quick to react to feedback.

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Categories: Video Games

This week's best deals: Hitman, Monkey Island, Poké Ball Plus and more

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 13:00

Well, it's the weekend, folks. You know as well as I do that a weekend means it's time for yet another roundup of the very best gaming deals this week has had to offer. It also means I'm going to spend a couple more hours trying to continue my first playthrough of Dark Souls 2, which, let me tell you - is an odd game to come to after just finishing Dark Souls Remastered. That said, GOG's recent addition of the last of the original Monkey Island games may make for an ideal distraction, given that three out of four of those games are essentially flawless.

Anyway, onto the deals! As usual, we've got deals that'll work in the UK, deals that'll work in the US and some deals that will work in both the UK and US, as well as presumably many other places. Let's get started.

Worlds Adrift is a survival-y, build-y, floaty, flying, massively multiplayer type of game that's hit some headlines relatively recently. The folks from Green Man Gaming joined forces with our sister-site Jelly Deals to offer 40 copies of the game. To be in with a chance of winning a copy, you can enter on the link below.

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Categories: Video Games

NHS to fund its first internet addiction clinic

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 11:48

The NHS is set to fund an internet addiction centre - with a focus on gaming disorders.

According to The Guardian, the Central and North West London NHS foundation trust is behind the Centre for Internet Disorders, which will initially focus on gaming addiction. The idea is it will offer treatment and advice to families as well as conduct research.

Gaming addiction was thrust into the headlines earlier in June after it emerged "gaming disorder" could become a proper medical condition - should a draft of the World Health Organisation's updated International Classification of Diseases manual be approved unamended roughly a year from now.

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Categories: Video Games

Some people are trying to refund Mario Tennis Aces because it doesn't let you play a regular game of tennis

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 11:00

Mario Tennis Aces doesn't let you play a regular game of tennis - and some people are so upset they're trying to refund the game.

The Nintendo Switch game came out yesterday, 22nd June, and while it's going down well with players (Martin called it "fun - if a little fuzzy and fiddly" in Eurogamer's Mario Tennis Aces review), it didn't take long before people noticed there's something very odd about the game settings.

It turns out, outside of the CPU tournaments, Mario Tennis Aces forces you to play a shortened version of tennis that follows the same scoring rules as tennis, but not the established game, set and match rules.

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Categories: Video Games

As EA backtracks on loot boxes and pay-to-win, I'm left wondering: what about FIFA?

Sat, 23/06/2018 - 09:00

Two moments from EA's E3 2018 media briefing stuck with me long after I left the blazing heat of Los Angeles.

The first was EA's dramatic Champions League trophy reveal, up close and personal as it was for me as I sat in the tiny chairs squeezed into the Hollywood Palladium's mosh pit. It made me gasp. I knew an announcement about FIFA finally getting the Champions League after years of exclusivity on PES was coming (thanks, old-school Dutch commentator who clearly doesn't understand what an NDA is). But as a football fan, seeing the actual Champions League trophy within touching distance had the hairs on the back of my neck doing a merry dance.

The second was EA boss Andrew Wilson's closing remarks, which I've struggled to shake because, well, I'm not going to pull any punches here - they stank of hypocrisy.

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Categories: Video Games

Paladins runs at 60fps on Switch and it's superb

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 18:09

Paladins on Switch is a current-gen port that offers a genuine surprise: it's a true 60fps rendition of a title that - perhaps unfairly - has been overshadowed by Overwatch. But with Blizzard's own shooter missing from Switch's library, Paladins has a great chance to shine here, and shine it does: developer Hi-Rez Studios squeezes almost all of the full console experience onto Nintendo's hybrid. It comes fully featured with all characters and maps and as a result, cross-play with Xbox One works brilliantly. 60fps support for a current-gen port is far from the norm on Switch, so what are the trades and do they have any impact on the quality of the gameplay?

With the docked Switch hooked up to your HDTV, gameplay is as tight and responsive as you could possibly hope for - a 60fps game with v-sync that tackles even the busiest scenes without too much trouble. Yes, there are some blips and hiccups along the way - a state of affairs that doesn't really trouble the PS4 or Xbox One versions - but in general, performance is comparable. The small stutters are curious though. They don't manifest in offline practice matches, suggesting that the Switch's background processing of network code may be the cause.

While a complete 60fps lock might be off the table, the smooth performance level delivered to Switch users for an online shooter is clearly a boon. True, it dispenses with visual quality to maintain that frame-rate, but the pay-off is clear: Switch players actually have close to level footing with Xbox One users in cross-play, who populate the same online servers. It's ideal for anyone picking Paladins up hoping for a fair chance in deathmatch or siege games. By comparison, it's the opposite situation for Fortnite, which leaves Switch users running at half the frame-rate of cross-play rivals.

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Categories: Video Games

Life is Strange 2's first episode has a release date

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 17:12

The first episode of Life is Strange 2 arrives on 27th September 2018 - that's just three months away.

It's actually titled Life is Strange 2, as well - to delineate it from Dontnod's original series and the excellent prequel spin-off Before the Storm.

Life is Strange 2 will comprise of five episodes. The teaser below shows the game's title being stitched onto a worn backpack. More details, a post on the game's Twitter says, will be revealed in August (likely Gamescom).

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Categories: Video Games

Two years on, Pokémon Go's new friend system refreshes the game

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 16:52

Alolan Meowth is brilliantly haughty - the way cats can be, when they sit in judgement awaiting food when you're still lying in bed. It's one of my favourite Alolan designs - the tropical takes on popular Pokémon which were added to Pokémon Go around midnight last night.

And so, shortly after midnight last night, I was delighted to see a friend had just gotten an Alolan Meowth of his own. But not via a Twitter post or gloating Whatsapp message - I saw this via the new friends section within Pokémon Go itself, where we'd just finished adding each other.

Pokémon Go has always been a game about collecting things and over the past six months with the introduction of weather-based gameplay, quests and yet more Pokémon it has only gotten better. But Pokémon Go previously lacked a direct way to connect with everyone else out there playing, doing the same things - leaving its dedicated community blind without the aid of external services like Discord or IM.

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Categories: Video Games

Report: Bethesda sues Warner Bros., claims Westworld game uses Fallout Shelter code

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 16:49

Bethesda is reportedly suing Warner Bros. over the Westworld mobile game, which it claims uses Fallout Shelter code.

According to TMZ, Bethesda is suing Warner Bros. and Behaviour Interactive, the developer of the game. In court documents, Bethesda reveal it contracted Behaviour in 2014 to work on Fallout Shelter before Behaviour went on to make the Westworld game for Warner.

Fallout Shelter is a building and people management sim with a cute art design where you play the vault overseer. You have to keep your vault dwellers alive, playing Cupid to get them to have babies, while all sorts of things go wrong in the vault and, when you can, send your people out into the wasteland to gather resources. It looks like this:

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Categories: Video Games

Assassin's Creed Odyssey has reversible boxart to let choose your cover star

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 16:47

We've come a long way from Assassin's Creed not letting you play as a woman - or from doing so only in short sections of its campaign.

Assassin's Creed Odyssey will let you play through the entire game as either female or male mercenaries Kassandra or Alexios - and just like the game itself, its reversible cover will let you pick your favourite.

That's according to creative director Jonathan Dumont, who revealed the detail in a reddit AMA last night.

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Categories: Video Games

Epic keeps disabling the Fortnite shopping cart because players keep using it to glitch under the map

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 16:10

Fortnite's shopping cart is a lot of fun - but it doesn't look like Epic's laughing.

Fortnite's first vehicle - if you can call it that - has been added and pulled from the battle royale game multiple times since it went live in May as Epic battled to prevent players from using it to glitch under the map.

This week, Epic added the shopping cart back into the game only to pull it again a couple of hours later.

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Categories: Video Games

Eurogamer Q&A: Your World of Warcraft bios

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 16:04

This week, our pals at Blizzard gave us a great big orc fistful of beta keys for the upcoming World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth to give to EG readers.

We didn't want to just GIVE them away though - that would be too easy. So we set a little creative writing task. We asked you guys to write up a short social media bio for either your own WoW character, or a NPC from the world.

And MAN, you guys really ran with that. We received over 6,500 entries in just a few days. Sure, some of those were just copied and pasted character bios from the WoW wiki (no keys for you guys), but a great many were actually really good! So good in fact, that I wanted to share some of our favourites with you below.

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Categories: Video Games

Amazon Prime Day 2018 date leaked

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 15:43

Cast your minds back almost a year ago and you might remember the mania that accompanied Amazon Prime Day, an event that was originally a one-day-only batch of discounts and special offers Amazon offered up in order to celebrate its anniversary. The event itself started back in 2015 and now, a few years later, here we are - Amazon Prime Day is an annual thing and a bit of a mini-Black Friday in terms of bargains and rushes on stock. This year's Prime Day is set to take place on 16th July, 2018.

While Amazon makes a habit of keeping the exact day of the event under wraps until shortly before launching, it seems as though a stray banner has given the game away for this year's event, as PC Gamer reports that the aforementioned imagery went live sometime yesterday, proudly stating: "Starts at noon, 16 July. An epic day (and a half) of our best deals."

The extra time allotted to what is still proudly called "Prime Day" is not unprecedented, as last year's Prime Day festivities took place over a 30-hour period. The extra six hours brings the total event time up to the previously mentioned "day and a half" timeframe. The 16th itself is later than Prime Day is traditionally held (usually taking place around 12th July), though with the World Cup Final taking place on 15th July, it's a safe bet Amazon has gone with a later date in order to keep the spotlight purely on Prime Day.

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Categories: Video Games

Competition: Win cool prizes with The Crew 2

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 14:36

Ubisoft's open world vroom-vroom-em-up The Crew 2 hits open beta today, and to celebrate we've teamed up with the game's publisher Ubisoft to offer some pretty rad prizes.

We want to see the coolest stunts and tricks that you guys can pull off during your time with the beta. Send clips of those to us, and you might just be in with a chance of winning big.

We've got full details of how to enter, along with a link to download the beta for your chosen platform right over here

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Categories: Video Games

PES 2018 fans take it upon themselves to add unofficial World Cup mode

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 12:49

PES 2018 doesn't have a World Cup update - EA has FIFA's signature on that official licence. But it does have a small group of dedicated fans who have put the time into creating an unofficial World Cup update for the game.

Konami's football game is famous for its option files - edits that add official player names and kits, among other things, to the game. Back in the day, I'd spend hours manually editing player and team names in PES to make them real life accurate. These days - in fact for some time now - PES players have been able to download and install community-created option files that do all the work for them.

There are a handful of pretty decent World Cup option files for PES out there. The PES World PES 2018 World Cup 2018 update is a good shout for PlayStation 4 players. For PC players, the PTE patch is a great choice. It adds a new World Cup-themed menu for the game, new logos and font design, new updated kits for national teams, correct lineups and formations and even new tattoos. Check it out in the video below. It's pretty impressive work!

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Categories: Video Games

Valve has made a new Portal demo

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 12:05

Valve has returned to the world of Portal for Moondust, a brand new virtual reality demo. Working for Aperture Science's Lunar Resources Initiative, you are sent into spaaaace to construct a modular space station, and then down onto the Moon itself for further testing.

Moondust is a sandbox experience designed to show off the Knuckles EV2, Valve's latest VR controller. Specifically, you'll be manipulating objects using the device's pinch grip technology and ability to finely detect hand poses and movement.

On board with that? Then you'll be crushing moon rocks, driving a moon buggy, building things and lobbing items onto targets in no time.

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Categories: Video Games

If Ubisoft wants to cling on to Clancy, it's time to talk politics

Fri, 22/06/2018 - 09:00

How do you duck a question about the politics of a game which pits a citizen militia against a corrupt government in modern-day Washington DC? Well, you could start by talking about the weather. "I loved the coldness of the first game, and to be able to go to DC and actually get to feel the humidity and hot summer of East Coast weather," The Division 2's creative director Terry Spiers remarked to Polygon at E3, when pressed about what it meant to stage an armed uprising in the capital of his own country. "That's what I'm most excited about."

This kind of chipper, non-committal platitude has become as natural as breathing for Ubisoft, even as its various Clancy properties bury their expensively accessorised noses in topics like the South American narcotics trade or the ethics of torture. It's all rather odd when you consider the pride, not to say enormous smugness, Tom Clancy himself took in the links between his stories and the shadow realm of superpower relations and national security. Here he is on TV in 1998, for instance, arguing for a change of law to permit the assassination of heads of state with reference to his 1996 door-stopper Executive Orders. Here he is in a memorably unsympathetic Washington Post profile, boasting of the "half-million" calls he received from admiring reporters in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm.

With their starchy casts of alpha nerds and special operators, visions of an America that is at once wargod and underdog and steamy accounts of missile launches and fleet manoeuvres, Clancy's books were warmly embraced by the military establishment. Colin Powell - former US secretary of state and one of the minds behind the bogus case for Saddam's secret WMDs - once declared that "a lot of what I know about warfare I learned from reading Tom". Ronald Reagan was also a fan: while negotiating with the USSR in Reykjavik, he recommended Red Storm Rising to Margaret Thatcher for its "excellent picture of the Soviet Union's intentions and strategy". Clancy, who never served in the armed forces thanks to acute near-sightedness, reveled in all this, name-dropping high rank contacts to reporters and railing against peaceniks and grifter politicians in speeches at academies and bases. You wonder what he'd have made of Ubisoft's determination to avoid seeing Tom Clancy games in any kind of context, to show us footage of democracies on fire while talking gaily of blue skies and "exploring a new city".

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Categories: Video Games