The Roundup: The Circle & Beyond

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Hello, Circle members! Jon here speaking to you from the spooky, ethereal glow of my desktop monitoooooor! This week’s Roundup is brought to you by Halloween! I hope you guys have been celebrating by playing scary games. I’ve been streaming my Twitch playthrough of Alien: Isolation on Hard for the past week! It’s a game which has rendered my first-person shooter skills thoroughly useless in the best way imaginable. Games like F.E.A.R and Dead Space are cool but ultimately not that frightening since I knew I could just blast any threat I see.

You can’t do that with the Xenomorph. You can’t even run. I’ve never felt so terrified and insignificant in a game.

And with that, the Roundup!

Chelsea Stark is now Polygon’s News Editor! Congrats, Chelsea! We know how you feel about salsa in New York City, but what about the age old debate between Texas and the other 49 states: do you put beans in your chili? Read Chelsea’s debut post on Polygon here. Chelsea’s move from Mashable means that we now have four Polygon members at the Circle. According to founder Harold Goldberg, we’ll only have two or possibly three Polygon writers vote for the NY Game Awards – just so no site has any advantage. 

Eb Samuel went into the trenches of Battlefield 1, the first big budget first-person shooter set during the Great War. He was especially impressed with the campaign which is referred to in-game as War Stories, vignettes where players are put into the shoes of various protagonists with unique motivations and special abilities. The multiplayer also shines because of great gun mechanics and the Operations gameplay mode. Read Eb’s full review here.

Jorge Jimenez reports that some Grand Theft Auto Online players logged onto a well-deserved comeuppance. Any ill-gotten money they’ve gained have been purged, with an additional warning that repeated offenders are subject to total account resets. But if you’re not a filthy cheating rat, you can log on right now to get free stuff in celebration of Grand Theft Auto Online’s three year anniversary! Read Jorge’s full report here.

Jordan Minor declared Battle Chef Brigade as his Game of the Year, which is some serious praise considering the game isn’t even out yet! Seriously though, we all know what the most popular candidates of the year are gonna be, so why not throw your hat in for an indie studio making a crazy hybrid cooking/RPG/puzzle/platformer game inspired by over-the-top food anime? The trailer is equal parts Food Wars!: Shokugeki no Soma, Yakitate!! Japan, Toriko, and Fairy Tail! Yeah, that’s right: Your boy Jon watches anime. Read Jordan’s full preview here.

Anthony Agnello continues his review series on Batman: The Telltale Series, this time tackling Episode 3 which was, well, kinda crappy. If you’re a big Batman fan, the story is somewhat predictable since it borrows heavily from the Court of Owls storyline introduced by Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo back in 2011. Even if you’re a casual fan, it’ll still feel like familiar territory because it also takes liberally from the Nolanverse films. Though there are a few memorable moments, notably between Catwoman and the Caped Crusader, they’re not enough to make up for an underwhelming third episode. Read Anthony full review here, but beware! There are spoilers!

Mike Andronico wrote about Bethesda Software’s new reviews policy. Critics, beginning with Dishonored 2, won’t get Bethesda games more than a day before release. Andronico interviewed Samit Sarkar and Harold Goldberg for his story. Does it all set a bad precedent?

And now for news outside of the Circle. . .

Pugilist filmmaker Uwe Boll is finally calling it quits, and he cites the flagging DVD and Bluray industry for his departure. The enthusiastic but struggling filmmaker (none of his movies broke the double digits on Rotten Tomatoes) is notorious in the gaming world for his very public feuds with Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins of Penny Arcade and the game critic known as Seanbaby. Boll challenged both Krahulik and Holkins to a professional boxing match, then rescinded his challenge to Seanbaby once he learned that Seanbaby had martial arts training. Read more here.

Destiny has been celebrating Halloween with a special game event called Festival of the Lost, which offers seasonal quests and items. A machinima group called Husky Raid decided to kick it up a notch by choreographing a medley of Michael Jackson songs in the game, including the oh so appropriate Halloween hit, “Thriller”. Pay your respects to the King of Pop and watch it all here.

Since Bethesda announced that it will be sending review copies only one day before release, the controversy goes further with speculation that YouTube and Twitch channels, which are paid directly by game developers for content promotion, will be getting their copies as soon as the games go gold. That’s not a very far-fetched prediction considering that various Twitch channels have already been livestreaming Dishonored 2 for weeks, and another official Bethesda stream of the game ran earlier today. Read more here.

Blizzard announced that Season 3 of Overwatch competitive will launch on December 1. This is much earlier than expected, most likely to compete against Battlefield 1, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, and Titanfall 2, all major multiplayer first-person shooter titles that will be operating at full swing at the beginning of the holiday season. Season 3 aims to finetune skill ranking even further, with designer Scott Mercer stating that players will now start at a slightly lower rank than the current season. Read more here.

And that’s the Roundup, folks! See you next week!

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