Fortnite had to nerf its deep dab, and players are sad about it

Dabs are a powerful thing. Think about it: You dab during a celebration, or when you want to get one over on your haters. It stands to reason that a deep dab, where you lower yourself down to the floor in defiance, could turn practically dangerous. Or at least that was the case in Fortnite.

When the deep dab emote was introduced in June, players immediately noticed that you could use it in combat situations to avoid getting shot, although it required precise timing. You could also use it to sneak up on players in ways you normally never could, like so:

This was particularly funny when you consider that things like emotes aren’t supposed to give you any sort of competitive advantage, and instead are meant as purely cosmetic flourishes. The deep dab was almost a pay to win mechanic.

But the days of the overpowered deep dab are over. Today’s big Fortnite patch notes that the game now introduces a deep dab delay “before players are able to shoot after starting it.” So the exploit is dead — the deep dab is just a normal emote.

The result is that players are now upset or disappointed that they bought the deep dab precisely because it gave them an upper hand. “Sad!” one Twitter user commented on the update. “I bought the deep dab for nothing.”

“I only bought the deep dab emote for the exploit now they patched it :(,” another said.

“I want a refund for the deep dab emote,” a Twitter user lamented.

RIP deep dab. You were too much for this world.

Source: Polygon.com

New Joy-Con colors coming to Switch Oct. 4

Nintendo Switch owners will be able to brighten up their systems with two new Joy-Con colorways coming this October. Nintendo announced on Wednesday that blue/neon yellow and neon purple/neon orange Joy-Con sets will be available on Oct. 4. Each set will carry the standard Joy-Con price tag: $79.99.

Nintendo already sells a pair of neon yellow Joy-Con controllers, but the blue color scheme is new.

The neon purple/neon orange Joy-Con set appears to be aimed at GameCube nostalgics; Nintendo’s 2001 console was offered in purple and “spice” orange models. The new colorways join the seven existing Joy-Con colors, which range from plain gray to Splatoon-inspired green and purple.

Today, Nintendo also announced a new revision to the original Switch, which gives the system better battery life. The upgraded Nintendo Switch is separate from the recently announced Nintendo Switch Lite, which focuses mainly on handheld gameplay (but can still pair with Joy-Con controllers) and also offers improved battery life.

Source: Polygon.com

Breaking down Snake’s motivations in Metal Gear Solid

[Ed. note: Out today at itch.io, Okay, Hero is a book analyzing the Metal Gear Solid series. Written by Reid McCarter and Edward Smith — known for their game criticism at Bullet Points Monthly — the text breaks the franchise down in a series of essays covering six of its key games. Below, we have one of those essays in an excerpt focusing on the original Metal Gear Solid.]


The Metal Gear Solid guard exists in a state of constant perplexity. Confronted with a cardboard box, or the sound of knuckles rapping against a wall, his invariable response is an out-loud, incredulous “huh?”, the punctuation of which manifests physically above his head, comically exaggerating his bafflement in a turquoise Got Milk?-billboard-size font. The 200 square feet of warehouse that the guard endlessly, circuitously patrols represents his entire universe. The guard’s earth is chipped concrete. His suns are poorly maintained, dully luminescent strip lights. And the blinking LED on the front of the elevator on the other side of the room is but a distant star, hinting perhaps at other worlds, lived in by other guards, on floors below and above. Confused, angry, and enisled, when the Metal Gear Solid guard sleeps, as we often catch him doing, he dreams of unbendable single-ply paper, and human hands made of teddy bear stuffing. He wishes for little but the straightforward life.

The cause of all the guard’s complaint — the reason he feels perpetually and aggravatingly uncertain — is, quite appropriately, given the time in which he lives, both opaque and obvious all around, but yet still unknown to him. In Hideo Kojima’s imagined 2005 Shadow Moses Island, the White House Situation Room, America, Russia, as a matter of fact the entire world’s implied military and media systems, are not what they appear. In this world, even your own DNA can betray you, eliciting a fatal heart attack should you just so happen to possess the right (as in wrong) intangible and unknowable combination of alleles. In this world, the incomplex moral fables that once gave societies meaning — the big Enlightenment projects, Capitalism and Marxism, left and right wing, the East versus the West — are mostly dead. They remain only in spectral or zombified forms, the military industrial complex, for example, being a less tangible remnant of the unified, American, post-war future that never ended up happening — as established and then restated through Metal Gear Solid’s recurrent breaking of the fourth wall (a device/idiom to which the game, during an early sequence when players have to literally destroy a wall, makes a knowing, meta-metatextual reference), this is a postmodern world where information is subjective, facts contradict each other, ideologies are diffuse, and the plain truth is as hard to find as, say, an elite secret agent hidden inside a cardboard box; a world where above everybody’s heads there perpetually hangs a gigantic, incredulous question mark.

Modern national legends, of the type which predominated both American and Russian politics throughout the previous century, particularly in the Us Versus Them eras of the Second World and Cold Wars, are embalmed in Shadow Moses Island’s various tombal buildings. A storage facility for the US’s deteriorating, unused ‘60s nukes — here, plutonium cultivated in anticipation of a showdown between political, military systems that never occured, comes to quietly, painstakingly deplete. Otherwise, the island is populated by living, breathing oxymorons, people whose very existences undermine popular knowledge, or at least what constitutes popular knowledge in the world of Metal Gear Solid. Gray Fox, who is supposed to be dead, is actually alive, held together by a robotic metal suit. Kenneth Baker, the archetype of the aspirational, American self-made man, turns out to be a crook; conversely, the Middle Eastern terrorist Sniper Wolf, whose ethnicity and vocation, in modern America, would betray her as a hate figure, is a sympathetic and soulful warrior-poet. And then we have Hal Emmerich, the pacifistic young scientist whose research, unbeknownst to him, is being used to make WMDs; and Decoy Octopus, a former member of an American special forces unit called FOXHOUND, whose ability to mimic the appearance, voice, and even blood type of any other person belies the very concept of an authentic, consistent human being. There are plastic key cards that can change shape, guards who can turn invisible, and the very walls and floors of Shadow Moses are lined with laser traps and pitfalls. Things aren’t ever as they seem.

This is a world where reasonable assumptions about anybody or anything are eventually all rendered moot, owing to increasingly complex information and technology. It represents the end of knowledge, the type of postmodern, perpetually self-reconfiguring society described in 1979 by French historian Michel Foucault, whereby new versions of understanding — new discourses — simply transpose old, without any of them ever being proven objectively true or false. In Foucaultian postmodernity, all truth is relative; disembedded from traditional, face-to-face means of communication, individuals are free to credibly distribute their versions of knowledge to anyone and everyone, creating a world where, if enough people share and are convinced of a discourse, that discourse is assimilated into everybody’s reality. Here, the once-loyal members of FOXHOUND have gone rogue: soldiers without a war, their actions have become singular and apolitical, and they’ve turned on their countrymen. Similarly, the once-hardline communist Revolver Ocelot is now a mercenary, one who’s secretly in bed with the highest echelons of the US government, which in turn is represented by Colonel Roy Campbell (who isn’t actually a colonel) and a Secretary of Defense and a president who are in fact the masterminds behind FOXHOUND’s terrorist plot. Actuality no longer exists and “facts” consume each other. The supposedly renegade terrorists are being run by the American national interest, which is being run by the president, who is being run by Ocelot, one of the terrorists. And so on.

Enter into this opprobrium Solid Snake. Dispatched to Shadow Moses to single-handedly eliminate the FOXHOUND terrorists, Snake is subjected to several other peoples’ versions of “information,” their discourses, which are all successively exposed as false. The Colonel’s orders — to rescue Baker and Donald Anderson, the supposed chief of DARPA — are part of a cover-up, in order to have Snake infect them both with a lethal, latent virus called Foxdie; emphasising an all-round absence of reliable narrators in Metal Gear Solid, the Colonel’s misinformation is itself predicated on misinformation, since “Donald Anderson” is actually Decoy Octopus in one of his genetic disguises. The advice, medical treatment, and sexual advances delivered by Dr. Naomi Hunter hide her other, more complex agenda: to assassinate Snake on behalf of her inscrutable benefactor. Similarly, Master Miller, Snake’s mentor, is in fact the terrorist leader Liquid Snake, providing the agent with “intelligence” only so he may remain alive long enough to unwittingly activate the eponymous Metal Gear superweapon on the terrorists’ behalf; late in the game, Snake realises that rather than having defeated them squarely in battle, Liquid had ordered the other FOXHOUND commandos to effectively sacrifice themselves to Snake, so that he could assist in bringing their plot to fruition without realising.

Several minor pieces of information are also subject to doubt. Snake is told that in order to activate Metal Gear, he’ll need three card keys — in reality, he only needs one. Baker says that Meryl’s Codec frequency can be found on “the back of the CD case.” In Snake’s possession — in the player’s in-game inventory, at that time — is an item called the MO Disc which is a CD placed clearly, provocatively, inside of a case. However, what Baker is referring to is the back of the box of Metal Gear Solid itself, beneath the promotional blurb on which there is a screenshot of Snake in Codec conversation with Meryl, where you can clearly see her frequency. Another postmodern flourish, which would later come to typify Kojima’s (increasingly opaque, often blunt and frustrating) style, this puzzle also illustrates Foucault’s idea of interpretative discourse, whereby knowledge, as expressed through words, is subjective, and truth is hard to discern and to verify. What Baker tells Snake is the literal truth — Meryl’s frequency is on the back of the CD case — but our experiences, as players of videogames and users of videogame inventory systems, combined with our acquired language (because we’re probably more used to calling this “CD case” the “box” or the “game box”) leave us in a confusion, sifting through the in-game item menu, perhaps trying to find a button to flip the MO Disc item over somehow. As opposed to the idea of the unifying, instructive ideologies of the 20th century, the truth we’re provided here is incomplete and comprehensible only via the language of one individual. We do not simply receive and then act upon it. We subject it to our own considerative process, and only after that is complete are we able to verify and use the truth as actual knowledge.

The other effect of this being: like the rest of his ostensible comrades, for the brief period between checking the back of the box and dialling Meryl’s frequency in-game, we know something that Snake doesn’t. The Metal Gear Solid CD case doesn’t exist to Snake. Like Ocelot, under orders from the president, Psycho Mantis, who can read people’s minds, and Naomi, agent of an omniscient shadow government, we have access to a means of gaining information and truth that Snake does not — in this moment, because he cannot access knowledge (Snake exists only in the game world, and so cannot physically handle and read the Metal Gear Solid CD case) and therefore cannot begin to interpret it either, he is powerless, whereas we, who can do both, acquire the power to move events forward. In this world, it becomes the people with knowledge, the ones who have access to and the means to interpret it, who also have the power: emphasising his strength over his cloned brother, before their final confrontation Liquid goads Snake with “You’re the only one who doesn’t know!” And so Metal Gear Solid (both for Snake and us as an audience, because despite being privy to Meryl’s Codec frequency we spend the majority of the game trying to keep up with and untangle its ever-twisting plot) is an effort not just to stop the FOXHOUND terrorists, but to discern what’s actually happening here; to interpret and affirm out of conflicting truths some kind of genuine knowledge.

Which contextualises why Solid Snake, throughout Metal Gear Solid, asks more questions than an annoying five-year-old nephew. If I quote directly from his conversation with the DARPA chief, just for an example, our protagonist begins to sound like a West Coast surfer bro, intoning even statements of fact with an affected, interrogative upward inflection:

“Revolution?”

“Rex?”

“Baker?”

“Second-floor basement?”

“Metal Gear?”

“Psycho Mantis?”

“Card keys?”

“Black project?”

But it’s actually because Snake is Metal Gear Solid’s hero that he speaks like this. As well as defeating FOXHOUND and Metal Gear Rex, in order to become the master of his own world, he has to confront the misinformative system that allows those things to exist in the first place. A convenience of Kojima’s dialogue, used as feed lines to help introduce his game’s varying and immense quantity of exposition, Snake’s questions are also what denominate him as the progressive, evolutionary, and free-willed hero of his own time, an individual who both refutes the modern dynamic of passively receiving information and embraces the postmodern, eudaimonic goal: to forge from conflicting and parti pris truths your own unique identity. The child of two quasi-fathers — Big Boss, the legendary soldier from whom he discovers he is cloned, and Gray Fox, his friend, mentor, and idol — by the end of Metal Gear Solid, Snake has rejected both of their imposed identities. Unlike Liquid, who attempts to continue Big Boss’s legacy by establishing the mercenary nation called Outer Heaven, and Fox, who exists on reality’s periphery, declaring he “has no name” and is “neither truly alive nor truly dead,” Snake, at the game’s end, tells Meryl he is going to find “a new way to live.” In this, Naomi encourages him over the Codec: “Loving each other, teaching each other, that’s how we can change the world,” she proclaims.

And so, Snake finally embodies another, latter, and more optimistic postmodern ideal, tended by the literary theorist and philosopher Jean-Francois Lyotard, and conveniently summarised here by the University of Auckland’s Michael Peters: “Educational theory should seek to critique and dethrone existing metanarratives … at the same time it must respect the culturally specific formations of plural forms of oppression at the intersection of class, race, and gender as they make up a set of fragmented social bonds.”

Big Boss, the “greatest soldier who ever lived,” embodies the metanarratives of the 20th century. Owing to his near-mythical exploits during the Cold War, he has become a popular social hero, whose persona ideologues (like Liquid, like FOXHOUND) use to rally behind. is absence, and the death of the unifying, common morality that it represents, hangs heavy over Metal Gear Solid, reminiscent of Simon and Garfunkel’s post-nuclear-age lament: “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.” Gray Fox is Big Boss’s figurative opposite, a fugacious sort of half-person whose split loyalties (he guides Snake through an electrified booby trap, then, five minutes later, challenges him to a fight to the death) and physical translucence represent a rejection not just of traditional identities but all identities. Lyotard believed that postmodernity — as classified by a society’s access to more information; its increased ability to communicate — could empower women, the poor, and ethnic minorities, any of those peoples left disenfranchised by the 20th-century’s Enlightenment. To be subsumed by the postmodern, to allow oneself to be overwhelmed with information, to the point of conceding to the sea of discourses those high ideals of identity, knowledge, and concomitance, like Fox does, is to fail to substantiate one key element of the postmodernist vision: a world wherein the death of simple and comforting metanarratives also fertilises the growth of new ways of thinking; where, freed from old politicians’ games, society can engage with different, hitherto under-attended aspects of itself, and lend identity to peoples previously denied it. It is this fuller vision of the postmodern that Snake ultimately becomes. He doesn’t join the postmodern game, nor does he reject it outright. Armed with information, he succeeds in enfranchising a new personal modality.

A 20th-century elder statesman in the 21st century, Big Boss’s ideological dream fails. Gray Fox, whose self-selected nomme de guerre “Deepthroat” references his challenging of ruling political classes, is killed — and since he is unable to form out of his conflicting identities (is he Gray Fox? Deepthroat? Frank Yager?) a cogent, new, and communicable identity, a knowledge set, the game’s postmodern world leaves him behind. Fox does not wield contradictory information into a new form of self; rather, in his closing monologue, he resigns himself to being an “undying shadow in the world of lights,” a misfit and sectarian, who is helpless to create anything solid from the new, illuminating discourses.

Snake, however — Solid Snake — is the more hopeful combination of these two men and their respective sensibilities. In Metal Gear Solid’s closing scene, after being subjected to The Colonel, Naomi, Ocelot, and Liquid; Fox, Baker, and Anderson; the Secretary of Defense Jim Houseman and, ultimately, the very leaders of America and Russia, and all of their contradictory discourses; Snake is resolved to live a “new way of life,” in which he will “teach and love.” The restrictive and prescriptivist narratives of old, embodied not just in Big Boss and Liquid, but his own genetics, Snake transcends them all — after surviving the FOXDIE virus, and with encouragement from Naomi, he determines to ignore whatever is coded into his DNA, and whatever existence may try to force upon him, and to just live. Simultaneously, he leaves Shadow Moses equipped with an increased and richer understanding of his world. Acutely aware of the shady and divergent forces that govern his society, Snake nevertheless establishes his identity by declaring that he has his own name, which is David, and is prepared, even enthusiastic, to enter into reality. Suitably, Metal Gear Solid’s final image is one of peace. As David watches a family of caribou grazing upon a snowfield beneath the Alaskan sunrise, he appears to be, finally, at one with his world. With the knowledge of Big Boss, Gray Fox, and dozens of other contemporary influencers assimilated, he is born again and re-Christened, the citizen nonpareil of his own postmodern future.

Source: Polygon.com

New Nintendo Switch model will have much better battery life

Nintendo is updating the original version of the Switch to offer better battery life — up to nine hours on a single charge, according to the official Nintendo of Japan website.

Otherwise, the Switch appears to be unchanged in terms of system specs and features; this is the same launch version of the Nintendo Switch, just longer lasting. The system looks identical and is identically priced as the launch model (29,980 yen in Japan).

According to Nintendo’s website, the new Switch revision will last between 4.5-9 hours per charge. Nintendo estimates that players will get about 5.5 hours of playtime with The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild on the updated model. On the original Switch, Nintendo estimated 2.5-6.5 hours of playtime, depending on the game, with about 3 hours of playtime in Breath of the Wild.

Nintendo signaled a change to the original Switch model last week, when it filed a notice with the Federal Communications Commission that it was changing the system-on-a-chip processor, storage, and CPU board on the console.

Last week, Nintendo also announced the Nintendo Switch Lite, a handheld-only version of the Switch that also offers improved battery life.

Source: Polygon.com

Netflix has a new, deeply weird comedy special starring Stranger Things’ sheriff

If it weren’t clear before that Netflix is moving further and further into more experimental content — Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Anima, The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience — then Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein cements the shift. A 32-minute mockumentary starring Stranger Things David Harbour as a fictionalized version of himself (and co-produced by indie darling A24), the special is one of the stranger things to hit the streaming platform, though also perhaps a harbinger of Netflix’s “too much” ethos encroaching upon its smaller projects as well.

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein, which is streaming now, refers to the televised stage play that Harbour’s (fictional) late father, David Harbour Jr., wrote and mounted as his final work. Harbour has dug up the footage in order to learn more about his father, recreating his office as well as his chili recipe in an attempt to stir the memories of the people who knew him. The special cuts between present-day footage of Harbour, parts of the play, and old clips of Harbour Jr. and his peers, painting a picture that’s entertaining enough, if not necessarily a good justification for its own existence.

Of those three parts, it is naturally the stage play that dominates the special, as every cast member — Harbour, Alex Ozerov, Kate Berlant, Alfred Molina (!!!), among others — overacts to a comic extreme, with the overall aesthetic resembling the American Gothic soap opera Dark Shadows. It’s the loudest portion of the special — and is also the kind of bit that feels like it might have done better as an even shorter skit, relying on Harbour’s comedic talents, or a longer bit, which would have given Berlant, Ozerov, and Molina more of a chance to cultivate some depth rather than relying on hamming it up as their single character trait.

Harbour in a flashback sequence.
Harbour in a flashback sequence.
Allyson Riggs/Netflix

For better or worse, the special unquestionably belongs to Harbour. That center flourishes when he’s left to his own devices, as in the footage of Harbour Jr. in interviews and advertisements in which he comes off as a sort of parody of late-period Orson Welles, snarfing down beef Wellington or declaring, at various points, à la Jon Lovitz, “And THAT’S how I got into Juilliard!” Harbour is good at playing that kind of pomposity, which ultimately seems to be the point of the special rather than developing a coherent story.

To wit, the scenes that take place in the present have a tendency to wander (despite the presence of Mary Woronov and Michael Lerner as Harbour Jr.’s former colleagues). Harbour’s journey in discovering what a cad his father was holds little water because he doesn’t seem to have been so invested in him to begin with. That flimsiness — which isn’t always crippling for comedy specials like this, as The Lonely Island has proved — makes it difficult to invest much in the proceedings, which means viewer attention may begin to wander even before the half hour is through. It’s the same principle by which Netflix’s TV series began feeling bloated, filling out unnecessarily long series orders and padding episode lengths to a degree that ultimately dragged them down.

That said, Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is still worth recommending by virtue of its brief runtime and Harbour’s hamminess. (Berlant, as always, is great, but just not given enough to do; the same goes for Molina, whose inexplicable appearance is a joy but also a waste.) It’s also, however, the loosest and least cogent of the specials that Netflix has yet produced, suggesting that the “throw things at the wall and see what sticks” strategy that defines so much of what appears on the platform is hitting its more innovative sidebars, too.

Frankenstein’s Monster’s Monster, Frankenstein is streaming now.

Source: Polygon.com

Xbox Game Pass adds Metal Gear Solid 5, Killer Instinct in July

Xbox Game Pass subscribers will get access to six new titles by the end of the month, including Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain and Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition. The new Game Pass titles join July’s previously announced games, which include Dead Rising 4, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, and Undertale.

Open-world stealth game The Phantom Pain will come to Xbox Game Pass on Xbox One on Thursday, July 18. Fighting game Killer Instinct will arrive the following week, on July 25, alongside the Xbox One version of Resident Evil 4.

Here’s a look at the rest of July 2019’s Xbox Game Pass titles and the subscription tier that will offer them.

Week of July 16:

  • Night Call, July 17 (Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • Metal Gear Solid 5: The Phantom Pain, July 18 (Xbox Game Pass for Console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • The Banner Saga 3, July 18(Xbox Game Pass for Console, Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)

Week of July 22:

  • For the King, July 25 (Xbox Game Pass for Console, Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • Killer Instinct: Definitive Edition, July 25 (Xbox Game Pass for Console, Xbox Game Pass for PC, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)
  • Resident Evil 4, July 25 (Xbox Game Pass for Console, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate)

Microsoft offers more than 100 games as part of Xbox Game Pass, which is available starting at $9.99 a month on either Xbox One or Windows PC. Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, a subscription tier that includes access to both console and PC games, as well as Xbox Live Gold, costs $14.99 per month. The full list of Game Pass games can be found on Microsoft’s website.

Source: Polygon.com

Lil Nas X releases an ‘Old Town Road’ music video that goes to Area 51

As a flurry of Area 51 raid memes hits the mainstream, Lil Nas X has now taken his rightful place as leader of the invasion. The Atlanta-based SoundCloud rapper released an Area 51-themed music video for the latest remix of his hit “Old Town Road.” It’s a perfect synergy of two big 2019 meme staples and the timing could not be more perfect.

The particular remix — featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, Young Thug, and Mason Ramsey (better known as the Walmart Yodeling kid) — dropped on Friday. In response, many began to share jokes and memes about an infinite flurry of “Old Town Road” remixes. Lil Nas also tweeted about how he just wants to release more “Old Town Road” remixes. “Old Town Road” already had a great legacy as a meme legend, rising to popularity on video app TikTok and taking the Billboard 100 by storm.

At the same time, the shitpost Facebook event “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us” started to percolate off of Facebook, eventually making it onto Twitter, which led to online denizens riffing about breaking into the government facility. While some of the offline crowd raised concerns about the youngs threatening to break into an Air Force base, the fact remains that the Area 51 storm is just another great performance piece by the collective Gen Z and younger millennial crowd.

With these two big meme moments happening at the same time, it only made sense that they would collide in such a perfect way.

Not only do Lil Nas and his co-stars Billy Ray, Young Thug, and Mason Ramsey storm Area 51, they also encounter Keanu Reeves Naruto-running, Thanos’ head on a bird, a disembodied Infinity Gauntlet, references to Lil Nas’ other hit “Panini,” and a whole lotta aliens. Animated by SomehoodLum, it’s a perfect fusion of the country-rap song and the memes of the moment. Given that Lil Nas X loves to share memes on his social media accounts and indulges in his own meme-catapulted fame, it makes sense that his latest music video would indulge in the meme of the moment.

Source: Polygon.com

The Summer Games are back in Overwatch — with new skins

Overwatch’s annual Summer Games event has arrived, and it kicked off on Tuesday. The event will run from July 16 through Aug. 5, and offers a host of new skins, emotes, highlight intros, and other collectible cosmetics. In addition, last year’s cosmetics are all back at a discounted price. Lucioball also returns, offering Rocket League-style soccer action for players in both casual and competitive queues.

One new change is that this event has three weekly challenges. Week 1, which runs from July 16-22, asks players to win nine games. Every three wins, they will unlock a new prize: a Roadhog and Junkrat shark attack spray, a boxing-themed pachimari icon, and finally a snazzy USA-themed Reaper skin.

Week 2 (July 23-29) offers a Mei snorkeling spray, a tennis-themed pachimari icon, and finally a black, red, and gold Zhongguo Mei.

Finally, Week 3 grants a Brigitte and Wrecking Ball sand castle spray, a football pachimari icon, and a vividly-colored Reinhardt epic skin.

Here’s a gallery with all the new skins and sprays, including one fantastic Wrecking Ball skin where he is the Lucioball. Have we been kicking him around for years?!

Source: Polygon.com

No Borderlands 3 cross-play at launch

Borderlands 3 will follow in the footsteps of its predecessors with its focus on co-op gameplay. But the modern push for all platforms to play nice together won’t be reaching Gearbox’s shooter in time for launch, according to a new statement from studio president Randy Pitchford.

Back in April, Pitchford tweeted that his team has “a very keen interest in cross-platform play.” But a new tweet from Pitchford confirms that interest wasn’t quite enough to get the feature into Borderlands 3 for launch.

A representative from Borderlands publisher 2K was able to confirm this information to Polygon, putting a further nail into the coffin of cross-platform play in Borderlands 3 at launch, while reiterating the team’s commitment to support cross-play at some point afterward.

It’s a shame, given the recent push for games like Fortnite, Dragon Quest Builders 2, and Minecraft, all of which offer multiplayer across platforms. We’ll have to wait and see whether Borderlands 3 is able to follow suit after release.

Borderlands 3 is scheduled for release on Sept. 13 on PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One.

Source: Polygon.com

Here’s how the Overwatch League’s 2020 season will work

The Overwatch League is wrapping its second season, with the Shanghai Dragons claiming the stage 3 championship. As we barrel toward the eventual conclusion of the season, Blizzard has already announced changes for 2020.

This is the year that players are going to home games, which is a challenging goal. In order to make the travel required for home games less of a strain, Blizzard is splitting the Pacific and Atlantic Divisions. There are now Pacific and Atlantic conferences, which are made up of four divisions: Atlantic North, Atlantic South, Pacific East, and Pacific West.

There will be 52 homestand weekend events in 2020, with each team hosting two homestand events. There will also be a selection of regular-season events hosted by a selection of teams from each division, presumably allowing teams with more of a secured arena to host more events while their colleagues catch up in forming a home base.

In addition, there will no longer be “stages.” Instead, the season will be broken up by a midseason All-Stars event. With the exception of All-Stars, there will be games every week, with teams being granted by weeks to rest and prepare for their next matches. The season will conclude with a Grand Finals.

The Overwatch League 2020 season will run from February through August. Teams will play 28 matches over their regular season, facing everyone in their Conference twice, and other teams in the league once over the course of the season. All regular season matches will be held on weekends, and the schedule will adjust to optimize time for local markets.

We can expect a full schedule — as well as ticket sales — to be released next month.

Source: Polygon.com

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