Hello, Circle readers!
This week, we have our intern Kimari Rennis leading the pack in her very first Roundup appearance! We also have opinions on What Remains of Edith Finch, Call of Duty: WWII, Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, and a stream of PlayersUnknown’s Battlegrounds.
I’ve still been grinding away at Overwatch to get my elusive Blackwatch Genji skin. Here’s a Genji tip from your resident esports washout: play like a ninja! If you’re always the first to die in a teamfight as Genji, it’s most likely because you’re initiating the fight. Initiating a fight as Genji is a death wish. Soften up targets from a distance with your shuriken and wait for your team to engage first.
And with that, the Roundup!
Kimari Rennis reviewed Yooka-Laylee, the long-awaited spiritual successor of the Banjo Kazooie series. In keeping with tradition, the game is named after its two lead characters, Yooka the chameleon and Laylee the bat. Though Yooka-Laylee is beautiful and its characters are wonderfully realized, the clumsy controls and lack of basic features made it clear that the game could have benefited from some modern game design. Kimari still found it to be an enjoyable title, but one that felt dated rather than invoking warm feelings of nostalgia. Read Kimari’s full review here.
Christopher Byrd reviewed What Remains of Edith Finch, a culmination of all the great strides that narrative-driven gaming has made so far. Players explore the world through the perspective of Edith, a seventeen-year-old who returns to the ancestral Finch home on an island off the coast of Washington state. What Remains of Edith Finch deftly wields environment, lighting, and set pieces to tell a compelling story about the fall of a family. And it all started as a scuba diving game. Read Chris’ full review here.
Samit Sarkar wonders if Call of Duty: WWII could be Band of Brothers for Generation Z. World War II is the least controversial war in American history. After all, what moral conundrum is there in fighting Nazis? For Millennials, our education of World War II was largely formed by the Spielberg epics (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List) and Band of Brothers. The gaming market in the early 2000s was inundated with World War II games, but the three biggest stand-outs were Medal of Honor, Call of Duty (of course), and Battlefield 1942 (LOOPZOKA!). With a series as enormous as Call of Duty, the upcoming Call of Duty: WWII could very well be the next generation’s first cultural touchpoint for understanding World War II. Read Samit’s full piece here.
Jorge Jimenez reviewed Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition, the remastered release of 2011’s ball-busting style shooter. Literally. You got extra points for shooting off the enemy’s nads. The game follows the adventures of Grayson Hunt, a foul-mouthed mercenary who excels at kicking mobs in the face and skillfully dispatching them with stylish gunslinging. If you liked the crass dialogue and bro humor of the original, you may enjoy the new Duke Nukem mode. Read Jorge’d full review here.
Heather Alexander and Chris Persons took on PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, the latest MMO survival game sweeping the streaming community. And she won! On her very first stream of the game! No small feat, considering that PUS Battlegrounds is a free-for-all between 100 players. Watch Heather crush it here.
And now for news outside of the Circle. . .
Brendan Greene, the man behind PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, sat down with Gamasutra to talk map design. Survival is a new genre that’s still constantly being refined, but by far the most important consideration is map design. Part of the thrill of survival games is the unpredictability. At any given moment, you could be ambushed, locked in a car chase, or scrambling for cover from an unseen sniper. But on a huge map with no triggers, there’s no sense of urgency. Greene sought to amend that in his game by turning the traditionally slow pace of survival games into something hectic and fast-paced. Read more here.
Street Fighter 5 pulled out its Thailand stage over “unintentional religious references”. By “unintentional religious references”, they put a musical track of Muslim chants as the backdrop for a Thai Buddhist temple. Two completely different languages and two completely different religions. Oops. The stage will be reuploaded after a music replacement. Read more about it here.
A script kiddie who is responsible for creating a program that has slammed Minecraft and Runescape servers with DDOS attacks has been sentenced to two years in prison. Adam Mudd was 16 years old when he wrote the Titanium Stresser program which carried out 1.7 million attacks against various platforms. Now at 20, he entered prison as an adult. The case has been controversial since Mudd has been diagnosed with autism. Read more here.
And that’s it for this week’s Roundup! See ya next week!