Listen guys; The Batman just hit HBO Max, and I have to go watch it a thousand more times so this post is going to be on the shorter side.
Actually, every time I say shorter, I feel like I lie…
Thank you all for reading and being a part of this journey!
Please stop adding Battle Royales
I’m going to preface this by saying this is all my opinion (surprising right?).
I opened up Twitter last Saturday, after the gym, (had to throw that in so you guys don’t think I stay at home 24/7) and Forbes Senior Contributor, Paul Tassi, published an article about the possibility that Halo Infinite might be the next title to join the battle royale craze. As I sat and scrolled through the article to see the proof, I sat there and thought to myself;
Backstory aside; I actually was kind of disappointed in this news and it got me thinking of all the titles that added a battle royale mode to save their asses (I can’t think of a cleaner way to say this).
Fortnite (link to an article describing the development of the BR portion): Launched as a survival co-op game back in 2017 with the “Save the World” portion. The Battle Royale was added later, after seeing the success PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds had garnered, as a free add-on after they charged you for “Save the World” (yes that was a petty sentence).
Call of Duty Warzone: This one’s self explanatory, but given the quality of Call of Duty titles has gone down since the beginning of the PS4/Xbox One life cycles, Activision jumped on the bandwagon to save the franchise. Seeing the success of Fortnite had to have been a huge motivating factor also since Activision is all about their money (yes this whole section comes from a severely disgruntled CoD fan).
Battlefield V Firestorm: Firestorm? More like shitstorm. While Battlefield V was good, despite the huge shitstorm of bad publicity leading up to launch, Firestorm was dead on arrival.
Now, with the rumors that Halo Infinite might be looking to be the next up, it actually just has me confused. Halo Infinite has been struggling for quite some time with the lack of content and quality of life updates driving fans and pros wild. Their solution is adding a battle royale? For a team that already seems pretty stretched thin when it comes to adding content and updates, they think adding another huge piece to the game is a good idea? I get that another studio is working on it, but Activision has like eight different studios working on CoD and Warzone, and it’s still a mess (my opinion).
This is probably a really long segment so let me wrap this up. It reminds me of the times when every single player game was trying to add multiplayer modes or when Zombies/Horde modes were the big thing and people started getting bored of them. It seems like battle royale is the new thing, but rather than being a nice feature to have at launch, they’re being added to save a game’s numbers and appeal to different player bases. It’s really lazy, and honestly, I feel like it’s going to mess with the core product.
Look at how CoD’s multiplayer has suffered since the launch of Warzone.
Also, don’t get me wrong, I will definitely try it out if it’s actually happening. I just don’t think battle royales are the solution to every problem especially in the case of Halo Infinite.
Lights, Camera, Action!
I didn’t really know what to name this section, but in case you didn’t get the hint, it’s a reference to movies and gaming coming together to make some more onscreen magic.
Here’s a quick recap of all the video game movie news that’s come out:
- Jason Mamoa is rumored to be in final negotiations to be in a Minecraft movie… Sure why the heck not?
- A Streets of Rage film is supposedly in the works. I’ve never played played the game, but given it’s a fighting game, I feel like this could be cool-ish but maybe hard to have it stand it out.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 saw the biggest opening for a video game based movie breaking the box office record. I don’t know who the previous owner was, but I’m going to assume it was the first Sonic movie.
- The Ghost of Tsushima movie has found it’s writer in Takashi Doscher (who’s done a couple of movies I’ve never heard of). His talents will be put to great use as Chad Stahelski (John Wick) is attached as director of the film. As unbiased as possible, I love the John Wick movies, and this could really kickass given they follow the same style as John Wick.
- Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is reportedly set to produce and possibly star in a movie adaptation of 2021 The Game of the Year “It Takes Two” that will launch on Amazon Prime.
Okay I thought I was going to have a lot more to cover, but I guess that’s it! Video game movies are happening; I just hope they don’t screw them up.
Release Date/News Round Up
Alright quick round up of games that finally have release dates attached!
- Digimon Survive is set to launch July 29th Bandai Namco announced in an update video. I hope this does well because I miss Digimon!
- Sonic Origins launches on June 23rd. It includes 4 remastered Sonic games and will be coming to PC and consoles. It makes me pretty nostalgic, but I guess the game is already catching heat for paid DLC being locked behind a paywall. Typical am I right?
- TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge is set to release this Summer. While this isn’t a set date, I figured I’d include it because it was confirmed that the actors from the 1987 TV show will reprise their roles. Pretty cool!
- God of War Ragnarök… doesn’t have a release date yet. In a Twitter post, Cory Balrog went to give us a quick update on the game stating that they [Santa Monica Studio] are “perfectionists” and are working to get the game to a high level. I believe I speak for everyone when I say that they should take their time.
- Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands will be getting its first DLC today. “Coiled Captors” (link to the trailer) will have players fight a giant shark and take part of other Borderlands-esque shenanigans. Pretty crazy that DLC is coming out a month after launch…..
Okay that’s all I got for now!
Sniper Elite 5 Weapons and Customization
I have no idea how they’ve managed to keep making these games (I meant that respectfully), but Sniper Elite 5 is coming. This trailer is just an overview of how the dev team has done their best to create an authentic experience when it comes to weapons, vehicles and customization. Nice little trailer, and it has me interested in this game as it sniper a May 26th release date… see what I did there?
Eternal Threads is time bending mystery game where you are tasked with saving six firefighters who are trapped in a fire. It sounds easy, as any person would just bring water and put out the flames, but you can’t do that as you are tasked with finding out the cause of the fire and editing the events that leads up to it. I probably explained that really poorly so watch the video before Eternal Threads launches on May 19th.
Unreal Engine 5 Breakdown
This isn’t a trailer, as you can imagine, but for any and all of the tech wizards or even homies who are interested, this video gives you a breakdown of the features of the Unreal Engine 5 and how they can impact the future of game development. I enjoyed this, and if you have time, give it a watch!
SAINTS ROW – Ultimate Customization Showcase
The reboot of the Saints Row series got a moderately sized livestream yesterday discussing a ton customization related content. This is set to drop August 23rd, 2022, and despite the ample amount of criticism this had been getting, I think this looks solid.
VALORANT Masters is almost done and Riot’s bizarre handling of Sinatras’s case
We’re almost at the conclusion of the first portion of VALORANT’s Champions Tour. Last week, I did my best to cover the Group Stage (which reading back I feel like my recap turned out pretty well), and this week will focus on the Playoffs. At the time of me writing this, four teams remain with only one being able to claim the crown this Sunday.
Let’s take a look at what’s happened from Thursday to Thursday.
Also, the next VALORANT agent Fade will be showed off during the Grand Final. I know I said I love the Controller role, but I initially ran Initiators so my hype is rising.
The next 4 eliminated
- Team Liquid: Last week, I mentioned how Team Liquid surprised the heck out of me. A poor Stage 1 Challengers showing was a long gone memory as they landed in Iceland hot as hell being the first team to punch their Playoff ticket. Entering Playoffs, they ran into the Brazilian super team, LOUD, and suffered a 2-1 defeat which I feel like most people expected given the hype around LOUD. Following the loss, they hoped to complete a lower bracket run against Japan’s hero, ZETA Division. I didn’t get to see the full series, but ZETA’s Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe closing out Map 3 with an ACE was the last thing I saw and made me shake my head in disbelief (more so in regards to how much better ZETA looks since Day 1). Team Liquid should hang their heads up high for the fact that they played as well as they did and made it as far as they did albeit as a sub. They will be going home to figure out what comes next for the team with heavy focus on their IGL situation. Let it be known if TL keeps their core roster and don’t have Nabil “Nivera” Benrlitom play more Chamber, they’re throwing. Nivera + Chamber = Good.
- The Guard: The Guard started Playoffs with a 2-1 loss to a hot and motivated OpTic Gaming, and in their elimination matchup against APAC’s top seeded Paper Rex, we saw young North Americans make some really uncharacteristic plays… like really uncharacteristic. Paper Rex sent them home after a shocking 2-0 defeat, and I can’t be the only one who feels for The Guard. This team suffered at the hands of jitters on the big stage, not to take away from OpTic and Paper Rex for handling business, and that’s okay. To me, given how exceptional they performed in Stage 1, anything else they accomplished would be overachieving (not sure if this is the right word) in the best way possible. What I really want to say is for some reason trolls are trolling this team, and have even sent death threats to the players’ families, which is bizarre given this team has only been together for a few months and absolutely smashed the Stage 1 and every expectation. The performance will sting, but it’ll make them stronger as they look towards the next Stage.
- DRX: After a dominant Group Stage that lead them straight to the Playoffs (without dropping a map) and defeating APAC’s first seeded Paper Rex in their Playoff debut, DRX found themselves matched up against NA’s sole hope: OpTic Gaming. In a matchup that was probably the best of the entire tournament so far, DRX and OpTic Gaming went blow for blow until the Greenwall proved to be insurmountable in an OT win on Map 3. The loss sent them to the elimination bracket where they would face a rematch with a much different looking ZETA Division: the team DRX smoked on Day 1. ZETA Division took the rematch to a score of 2-1 including a dominating 13-4 win on the final map. Although the run has ended for Korea’s representatives, I do hope they hold their heads high since their improvement has been night and day compared to the team that showed up to last year’s Champions, with each player having incredible highlights and standout performances.
- G2 Esports: Having been crowned the top seed of EMEA, G2 showed up looking to make some noise. A 2-0 victory over ZETA Division put them on the right track until they ran into LOUD who shut them out. A trip to the lower bracket matched them up with Paper Rex who also shut G2 out and sent them home packing. Now, I’m not particularly sure of G2’s performance throughout Stage 1, but I’d say this was a disappointing showing. If I’m going to be really critical, I’d say they only won against ZETA because ZETA played like 3 days in a row and had little prep time for G2. I don’t know what’s next for G2, but from what I’ve seen, they typically do a lot of roster shuffling so maybe that’s their next step (although I’d doubt it)?
The Final 4
- LOUD: The Brazilian super team is scary as heck. They opened up their Playoff run against Team Liquid which saw the series go a full three maps. They followed that up with a match up against EMEA’s top seeded G2 Esports and…. LOUD smoked them 2-0 (therefore TL > G2). I’m still learning how this team plays, but they play hard and they play fast similar to Paper Rex. Whether it be the Brazilian smurf (I call him that because his play makes him look like he’s playing above most competition) Gustavo “Sacy” Rossi or their young gunner, Erick “aspas” Santos, LOUD swarms the opposition in every way possible. LOUD’s next test comes from North America tomorrow: OpTic Gaming.
- OpTic Gaming: Speaking of OpTic… The Greenwall is standing tall. Their Group Stage run must’ve snapped something into place because it’s insane how an elimination bracket run has switched the lights on. Since Playoffs started, they sent The Guard to the lower bracket after a 2-1 win (which saw a massive Fracture comeback down 8-4) and also conquered DRX 2-1 in OT (again probably the best match of the tournament). Whatever has clicked needs to stay in place as they’ll need it when they face LOUD tomorrow for a ticket to the Grand Finals of Masters Reykjavík. I feel like I’ve said their name so much that ya’ll are probably sick of reading it. I’m sorry; they’re NA’s last hope!
- ZETA Division: I’ve said so much good stuff about these guys, and they keep going. They’re becoming the Cinderella story (or in this case the anime redemption arc) of this tournament after having sent home 2 out of the 3 EMEA representatives in Team Liquid during their lower run in Playoffs and FNATIC in Groups. Complete 360 from their opener, and their play has been damn near flawless as we’ve seen Koji “Laz” Ushida blossom in the Sentinel role, Shota “SugarZ3ro” Watanabe be renamed “SugarHero” for his clutch plays, and Tenta “TENNN” Asai killing everything. Paper Rex will be looking to send them home this Friday; is the anime redemption arc strong enough to keep going?
- Paper Rex: This team is quite interesting. Their first matchup of the Playoffs matched them up against DRX which saw DRX come out on top. The Paper Boys found themselves matched up against The Guard (whom Paper Rex beat 2-0) and G2 (whom Paper Rex dismantled) in the elimination bracket. What makes this team so interesting is their play style as they run two duelists who are seldom used in pro play: Yoru 2.0 and Reyna. Jason “f0rsakeN” Susanto runs Yoru on Bind, and it freaking works… In the close out map against G2, he dropped a meaty 29 bomb on them flashing and teleporting all over the map with this somewhat troll pick. Not to mention, when they were down 9-3 on Map 1, he yelled “9-3 curse” at G2, and they came back to win (he stated this in a post match interview). Their second duelist, Wang Jing “Jinggg” Jie, runs Reyna whom most pros don’t pick because of her relatively selfish play style. He’s proven that wrong as he showed how she can be used to a proficient extent with set flashes and, of course, his gun skill. On the back of their duelists, this team is supremely aggressive and wins off of that aggression. Let’s see if they can keep that up when they matchup against all of Japan aka ZETA on Friday.
Last piece I want to mention is Riot and their handling of Jay “Sinatraa” Won’s case. Last week, Sinatraa took to Twitter to announce he was eligible to compete again after a year out of the scene due to an accusation of sexual abuse involving his former partner. As part of his suspension, Sinatraa was supposed to take part in a mandatory behavioral training however Sinatraa shared an email between himself and Riot stating he didn’t have to.
After much questioning, on behalf of the abused and the community, Riot Games issued a statement going back and doubling down on the fact that Sinatraa was indeed supposed to take part of this training which includes “conducting oneself as a professional, complying with rules and regulations, and complying with investigations.“
Listen, this situation has gotten extensively messy, and Riot’s fumbling of this situation is making it even worse. I’m going to call it like I see it, community pressure makes this training mandatory? Not to mention, this training is probably going to be a load of bulljive.
I mentioned this before, and I’ll say it again; as much as I hope it doesn’t happen, Riot may be the very undoing of this game in the long run.
Around the Platform (that’s a play on video games…)
Another rapid fire segment because… why not! My hands would fall off if I tried covering all of this news.
- I meant to cover this last week, but in the Call of Duty League, the Minnesota Rokkr have announced that they will be conducting open tryouts throughout the month long break until Major 3 kicks off. This in response to their disappointing performance throughout the first half of the season, and following suit, the New York Subliners have also announced they will be doing the same. The trials will involve current pros and players from the Challengers scene as both teams look to solve their performance issues.
- Speaking of the CDL, I don’t know if this was a joke or not, but Paris Legion assistant coach Michael “Apox” Williams tweeted out that he is open to coaching players as a side gig. Someone replied to him saying “Paris Legion doesn’t pay enough” and Apox‘s response was that he doesn’t get paid at all… Am I missing something here?
- As we’re creeping up the start of the ALGS Split 2 Playoffs, check out this power ranking a user on Reddit put together to prep the uninformed. It’s actually really well done, and no, TSM is not at the top spot.
- FaZe Clan has entered the competitive Super Smash Bros scene with the signing of 16 year old, Edgar “Sparg0” Valdez. I guess he’s supposed to really good at this game so kudos to him for getting the recognition he deserves!
- In what feels like the first Halo Infinite event in years, OpTic Gaming took the crown in the $75K FaZe Invitational. I believe this is their first competitive outing after inserting Matt “FormaL” Piper into the starting lineup, and the scene was on fire after FormaL ended the series with a 35-14 performance on LIVE FIRE Oddball and a minute of objective time. The HCS Major Kansas City starts on the 29th; let’s see how this showing carries over to LAN.
- The world’s #3 PGA player, Jon Rahm, has become an investor in Oxygen Esports. This comes after he spoke about Call of Duty openly during a press conference and shouted out OpTic Chicago (now OpTic Gaming). So freaking cool to see!
- In VALORANT, Bleed CEO Mervyn Goh, tweeted (link to a Dexerto article) out that he offered star Acend Club player Mehmet Yağız “cNed” İpek a one year million dollar contract to play for his org. cNed clearly declined as he’s still currently with Acend so I’ll kindly take the offer in his place.
- Speaking of VALORANT, DRX’s performance has seemed to spark a ton of interest in Korean orgs to possibly look at fielding teams. Over on Reddit, “shitposter” BoDork, spoke about rumblings in the Korean scene and how a rumored 27 Overwatch pros might be interested in making the switch, although Overwatch 2 might sway their minds about switching. The more the merrier I say.
- NYXL, the brand that owns the New York Subliners and New York Excelsior, have announced their new VALORANT roster composed of Chad “Oderus” Miller, Diondre “YaBoiDre” Bond, Andrew “ShoT_UP” Orlowski, Jason “neptune” Tran, and Jason “JSUNG” Sung.
- On the flip side, 100 Thieves also announced their new roster last Thursday as last week’s post came up. Peter “Asuna” Mazuryk, Derrek “Derrek” Ha, Brenden “stellar” McGrath, William “Will” Cheng, and Sean “bang” Bezerra will be representing 100 Thieves, and as a 100T fan, I like what they’ve done.
- The Overwatch League has been ramping up communication and hype as the start of the new season rapidly approaches in two weeks. They just announced that they will allow open co-streaming of matches although it’s for YouTube creators only due to the OWL being streamed on YouTube. Regardless, open co-streaming is huge.
- SEGA is reportedly working on reboots for Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi according to Bloomberg. While that may sound cool, SEGA is looking to infuse the “live service” twist a la Fortnite with both titles possibly being free to play with in game purchases.
- Outriders is set to show off their newest update today on livestream, Outriders Worldslayer. I didn’t beat the game because I got bored, but I do hope this brings some traction back to it after what seemed to be a pretty “meh” launch.
- Interesting read; Twitch has been losing a ton of key staff members. The article goes on to talk about how Twitch has been shifting its focus from the creators to the business side of things after hiring talent from outside of the gaming industry. I’ve been critical of Twitch time and time again, and it’s sad to see how much this platform has changed during the almost 5 years I’ve been on it. The article is a bit older because I forgot to include it in previous weekly recaps (my bad).
- In an interview, Erik Wolpaw, co-writer of the Portal games, wants to do another game before he’s too old to work…. He goes on to mention that Valve probably won’t do it due to staffing and cost of production. Please for the love of everything, GET THIS DONE BEFORE I DO IT MYSELF.
- Amy Henning, former member of Naughty Dog and most known for her time on the Uncharted series, and studio Skydance New Media are set to work on a new Star Wars game. No other information was announced other than it being quoted as “richly cinematic action-adventure game featuring an original story,”.