Listen to the Prey you’ll never play

, | News

Once upon a time, there was a Prey 2. It looked like this and it was being developed by Human Head Studios as a sequel to the original 2006 Prey. It was officially cancelled in 2014 by Bethesda Softworks, although there are numerous reports of Human Head and Bethesda parting ways as early as 2011. The franchise would eventually be rebooted with Arkane Studios’ Prey in 2017.

The new Prey is great, and the Mooncrash expansion added a terrific rogue-like experience to the game. But the ghost of Prey 2 remains. Andrew Borman of the Museum of Play has dug up some audio logs from that cancelled game. In them, the game’s protagonist, bounty hunter and displaced human Killian Samuels, muses on his encounters with Tommy Towadi, the hero of the first game. Even though Tommy was not seen in any of the released footage, it sounds like he had unfinished business with his alien kidnappers. Don’t fear the reaper, Tommy! At least you didn’t end up stuck on the Talos space station.

Qt3 Movie Podcast: interview with the creators of Wyrmwood and Nekrotronic

, | Movie podcasts

Tom Chick talks with filmmakers Kiah and Tristan Roache-Turner about their latest movie, Nekrotronic, available now wherever fine VOD is sold. They also cover important issues, such as John Carpenter’s most underappreciated movie, who should play a young Ellen Ripley, and whether Griffin Dunne’s ghost is real in American Werewolf in London.

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Destiny 2 players on PC need to get packing and prepare to move

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Bungie has released more details of Destiny 2’s planned move from Activision Blizzard’s Battle.net service to Steam. Beginning August 20th, PC players will need to go to this site and follow the instructions to migrate their accounts. That move will transfer the player’s expansions, loot, characters, and stats to the new service permanently, and allow them to continue playing the game. After October 1st, Destiny 2 not be available on Battle.net, and you’ll have to start over on Steam with a new account if you haven’t completed the move.

On August 21st, platform cross-saves come to Destiny 2. Players can designate an active account to play on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, or Google Stadia as they wish. Play for a few minutes in the morning on PC as you wait for your oatmeal to cook, hit up the break room Xbox One at work during lunch, then come home and unwind on your living room PlayStation 4. Cross-play won’t be supported, but logging in and playing from any valid platform is a convenience.

The Destiny 2: Shadowkeep expansion launches on October 1st.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare chirps at violence

, | News

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the soft reboot of the series, will feature an in-game “tamagunchi” that feeds on kills. According to Infinity Ward, the sick little digital pet started as an effort to get a working wristwatch onto player characters. Just like the tamagotchi fad you’re probably more familiar with, you feed it or it dies. In this case, it eats delicious murder.

“This little thing on your wrist, every time you get a string of kills, it goes, ‘Ya-ta!’ and it makes a little noise, then you look at it, and it evolved out of an egg.”

The tamagunchi is optional in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, so if you don’t want some digital pet chirping at you for more kills, you don’t need to use it. Despite this, I imagine tamagunchi variants will be a hot commodity in the game’s loot shop, along with the normal cosmetic gun skins and animated name tags.

This lighthearted news comes as the United States deals with the latest horror of two mass shootings within hours of each other. While there have been no credible studies linking real-world shootings to video game violence, political commentary has once again raised the debate further fueling the controversy.

The migration to Mixer faces some clothing challenges

, | News

The big industry news last week wasn’t a new game reveal or a beloved studio closing down. It was popular Fortnite streamer Tyler “Ninja” Blevins moving from Twitch to Microsoft’s competing Mixer service. Ninja made the announcement and said he was excited to get back to his “streaming roots” perhaps in a nod to his origins as a big Halo player. Whatever the deal entailed, Microsoft obviously hopes some portion of Ninja’s 14.7 million Twitch followers will do exactly that. And if enough of them come over to Mixer, perhaps other popular streamers will follow suit? It’s a gamble for both participants, since Twitch partner streamers cannot also play on competitor’s services, but some dress code rules are proving to be an hindrance in some cases.

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The next game subscription service fight will be between Google and Apple

, | News

Apple and Google are exploring subscription passes for all-you-can-play mobile game services. Both will offer rotating selections of mobile games with no time limits and all in-app rigaramole covered by the membership fee.

Apple Arcade “coming this fall” will offer over 100 games at launch. Apple announced the service in March, but has yet to divulge pricing or issue public invitations for testing. It will boast some exclusive game titles, over those just native to Apple’s regular app store, and promises to disable tracking, ads, and in-app purchases.

Google Play Pass, although not yet officially announced, was confirmed by Google to Android Police after they obtained images of the service. The $4.99 monthly subscription will give players access to curated games and some productivity apps, also with ads and in-app purchases turned off.

The challenge for both services is that mobile game players in general are notoriously cheap. Apple gamers generate more revenue than Android users, but both rely on rare whales to fund their overwhelmingly more popular free-to-play markets. A less discussed, but possibly more immediate concern, is the probability that some games will turn out to be much less addictive when you turn off their free-to-play timer business model.

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Qt3 Games Podcast: Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, Griftlands, Wolfenstein: Youngblood

, | Games podcasts

What makes an action RPG great? What’s next from the guys who just released Oxygen Not Included? Why do these girls have Southern accents? We struggle with these questions, and more!

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 at 1:00, Griftlands at 13:24, and Wolfenstein: Youngblood at 27:25.

Click here to jump into the forum discussion.

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You’ve killed The Butcher in Diablo before, but can you kill him in your browser?

, | News

Diablo, the seminal hack and slash action roleplaying game from Blizzard is now playable in a regular browser. Go here and you can check out the work of RivSoft, the makers of other open-source projects like a Diablo III character planner and a Path of Exile passive skill tree planner. If you don’t have your original Diablo files, you can play the old shareware version. If you own Diablo, let’s say through GOG, then you can drop the main DIABDAT.MPQ file into the browser and play the whole darned game in it. there’s probably no practical use for this, but it’s cool to stay awhile and see Tristram living in your Internet Explorer or Chrome window.

A majority of pen & paper nerds nerd out with Dungeons & Dragons

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The folks behind Roll20, The Orr Group, have published their annual stats for usage. Roll20 is one of the most popular ways to play pen and paper roleplaying games over the internet with over 4 million regular users, so while the report isn’t a comprehensive look at the industry, it’s an interesting snapshot of a large part of the community.

The summary is that an overwhelming majority of the Roll20 players party up in Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition games. In both campaign and account participation quantity, it’s over 50% to D&D5E, with everyone else making up the rest. Pathfinder, the system that for many years captured the hearts of older school D&D players, gets less than 10% in either category. Most surprisingly, Call of Cthulhu (any edition) tracked high on both measurements, even surpassing Pathfinder in the number of campaigns played. Iä! Iä! Cthulhu fhtagn!

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Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 isn’t as good as it should be, but it’s just what I wanted

, | Game reviews

I was crestfallen when Marvel Heroes, an online action RPG that ran for nearly five years, shut down in 2017.  Not necessarily because I played it a lot. I didn’t, really. I indulged in fits and starts. Bursts of colorful nonsense now and then, here and there.  Whenever I wanted I could drop in and make some little Wolverine or Iron Man punch things and shoot lasers. A colorful swirl of whooshing effects, leveling up, and loot scooping.  I even learned things. Did you know there’s a superhero named Squirrel Girl? She was to squirrels what Willard was to rats, except with the chipper demeanor of an Eisenhower-era sorority girl on her way to the malt shop.  Oh, Marvel.

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You cannot play Doom on the Nintendo Switch without a Bethesda account

, | News

That image is what you’ll see if you try to play the recently released Nintendo Switch port of Doom or Doom II without an internet connection. It’s also the dead end you’ll get if you don’t have a Bethesda.net account. Bethesda says it’s a mistake and the login requirement should actually be optional. They’re working on a fix.

The internet community, being what it is, has already come up with some appropriate reactions.

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