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Tag: Opposable Thumbs (Page 1 of 148)

Battle.net isn’t Battle.net anymore, even if Blizzard calls it Battle.net

Enlarge / Seriously, Blizzard, what are we supposed to call this thing?

It has been over eight months now since Blizzard made the low-key announcement that it would be "transitioning away" from the longstanding Battle.net branding in favor of a more generalized "Blizzard Tech" label. And it has been two months since the Battle.net Launcher was replaced with the identical "Blizzard Launcher" app (aka, the "Blizzard Desktop app") that now powers everything from World of Warcraft to Heroes of the Storm.

So it was a bit confusing last week when Activision used the Battle.net name repeatedly in announcing that Destiny 2 was coming to Blizzard's online platform on the PC. Blizzard seemed to ignore its own branding standards too: an official news post headlined "Destiny 2 Coming to Battle.net!" uses the Battle.net branding four times in the body text but doesn't mention the "Blizzard Launcher" or "Blizzard app" or anything similar even once.

Polygon noticed this discrepancy too and got a Blizzard representative to give a short, vague statement as to the confusion. "It's still Blizzard Launcher," the rep told Polygon. "We made an exception for this announcement."

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Universal’s Dark Universe risks being yet another extended universe franchise

Enlarge / Not just any universe... a DARK one. (credit: Universal Studios)

If you can't beat 'em, misunderstand 'em.

That appears to be the logic coming from the programming wizards at Universal Studios. The film production company took the (mummy) wraps off its "Dark Universe" initiative on Monday, and its intent is clear: to "reboot" the company's old monster-movie franchises over the next few years with big-name actors, interconnecting plots, and a rising tide of evil—a tide, of course, that can only be stopped by good guys who don't always follow the rules.

As if this didn't sound Marvel-y or Avengers-y enough, get a load of this official synopsis of what's to come:

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Lawbreakers dev: PC/console cross-platform play is “dumb”

Enlarge / All those Lawbreakers characters had better be playing on the same platform...

After years of online gaming being strictly segregated by platform, recent months have seen a resurgence in the idea of playing with friends and rivals on different hardware. That includes some hesitant attempts by game makers to cross the PC/console barrier with cross-play between players using a mouse/keyboard and those using handheld controllers, even in first-person shooters.

At least one major developer is not a fan of the emerging trend, though. "We made the decision not to do cross-play, and there are a lot of people with this pipe dream of PC and console cross-play," Lawbreakers lead developer Cliff Bleszinski told PCGamesN while announcing a PS4 port of what was formerly a PC exclusive. "It's like, 'No, be the best console game you can be, or be the best PC game you can be.' Because then you get PC players getting angry that there's aim assist on console, or with balance issues."

The announcement follows on a Eurogamer interview Bleszinski gave a year ago, in which he commented on a then-theoretical console version. "The thing about the controller is it's going to be tricky," he said at the time. "We've played around with the controller a little bit and, thing is, if we get around to doing console ports, I don't want to do cross-play. Some people think that's the holy grail for a lot of games, and I'm like, 'no.' If you have somebody with a keyboard and mouse versus somebody with a controller, I'm sorry, but the person with the keyboard and mouse is going to win nine times out of 10."

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Injustice 2 Review: Gods, monsters, and unholy beatings

Enlarge / Little touches like these, before and after fights, really give the game personality. (credit: NetherRealm Studios)

There’s a lot going on in Injustice 2—maybe more than the game itself can keep track of, at times. But thanks to developer NetherRealm’s ongoing commitment to making the most accessible fighting games this side of Divekick, Injustice 2 is only occasionally overwhelming.

That permissiveness begins with Injustice 2’s single-player campaign, which just might set a new gold standard for such modes in fighting games. Granted, that’s a low bar to clear, and NetherRealm is mostly competing with itself. But the cinematic unfolding of alternate-universe comic-book antics in Injustice 2 is wildly fun in its own right.

In the Injustice-verse, Superman is a villain. The first Injustice ended with the last son of Krypton locked up and awaiting trial for murdering both criminals and “potential” wrongdoers without hearings of their own. Just as Batman and his “no-kill club” allies are returning things to normal, a Superman-level threat invades Earth in the form of Brainiac. The alien machine-man wants the Kryptonian for his own personal collection, and perhaps the only one that can stop the invasion is Superman himself. Punching ensues.

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2017’s “Board Game of the Year” shortlist is out—get playing!

Enlarge

The shortlist for board game's biggest international award, the Spiel des Jahres (Game of the Year), has just been announced by the German critics' association that awards the prize. The main Spiel des Jahres award is currently reserved for lighter, family-style games, while the more complex Kennerspiel des Jahres honors deeper or more strategic games.

The final decision will be made this summer, but for now, if you're looking for something new to play with friends or family, this list provides a nice starting point.

Ars Cardboard's own recommendations from the list are, in order of complexity, Kingdomino (light), Exit—The Game (light-medium, very puzzle-y), and Terraforming Mars (medium-heavy, thinky).

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