Far Cry New Dawn review: More of the same, only pinker
- Far Cry New Dawn looks like it should be a big shakeup to the series, but once you peel back the outer layer of neon-pink paint, it’s the same old Far Cry underneath.
- New Dawn quickly gets back to the series’ roots by having the villains, twins Mickey and Lou, make their grand entrance in hammy glory, smashing a guy’s face into jelly to prove a point.
- It’s the missions you spend with them, listening to their chatter (or not, in the Judge’s case) and buddy-copping your way through enemy outposts that make the game worth playing.
- It’s kind of telling that New Dawn is at its best when it gets away from its Far Cry 5 roots.
- Far Cry New Dawn doesn’t play around enough with the assets it’s building from.
Hasbro’s new Fortnite Nerf guns launch on March 22nd, with preorders starting today
- Hasbro, owner of the Nerf brand, today revealed its full lineup of Fortnite-themed Nerf products, including the previously announced AR-L Elite blaster modeled after the SCAR in Epic Games’ hit battle royale game.
- That price tag stays the same, but Hasbro says all of the products will now start shipping on March 22nd.
- There’s also some products that are less outright firearm-like and more in the realm of playful toys, including a small, handheld blaster that looks much more cartoonish called a MicroShots and a llama-shaped blaster, modeled after the game’s unofficial mascot animal.
- All in all, the prices seem somewhat reasonable for proper Fortnite-themed gear, although The Verge’s Sean Hollister, our resident Nerf expert, notes that pricey AR-L Elite is a semi-auto blaster, not a full-auto one.
- well, firearm-like than your standard Nerf blasters, especially considering Fortnite models its weapons after real-life guns like the FN-SCAR and IMI Desert Eagle.
Pokemon Go creator Niantic will allow 130 foot buffer zones to protect private property from trespassing players
- A proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit against "Pokémon Go" developer Niantic could remove or change a number of Poké Stops and Gyms in the popular augmented reality game.
- The proposed settlement was filed in a California court on Thursday and applies to anyone in the U.S. who owns or leases property within 100 meters of a designated Poké Stop or Gym. If it's approved, Niantic will have to take measures to prevent placing Poké Stops or virtual game items on private property in the future.
- It will have to maintain a form on its website where people can ask for the removal of Poké Stops or Gyms if they are within 40 meters of their residential properties.
- The developer must also maintain a database for these requests and keep them for a minimum of one year, and work to avoid placing new Poké Stops or Gyms on single-family residential properties going forward.
Tencent reportedly wants to release Apex Legends in China
- Apex Legends is the latest battle royale to take over gaming, and that means it is drawing the attention of Chinese megapublisher Tencent.
- That company wants to work with Apex Legends publisher Electronic Arts on bringing a version of the game to China, according to South China Morning Post report.
- So it has its hands in the two biggest battle royale shooters prior to Apex Legends.
- Bringing Apex Legends into that stable makes sense — especially because Chinese gaming fans can’t seem to get enough of the genre.
- If Tencent does end up striking a deal with Electronic Arts, that would give the Apex Legends company an easy entrance into the biggest gaming market in the world.
- As part of a publishing deal, EA and developer Respawn would have to give up a significant chunk of revenue made in China, but that is better than leaving that money on the table.
Niantic is tweaking Pokémon Go to settle a lawsuit with angry homeowners
- Pokémon Go developer Niantic has agreed to settle a lawsuit with people who had PokéStops placed near their houses, and it’s making some minor game changes as part of the deal.
- Homeowners can already have pokémon gyms or PokéStops removed from private property, but Niantic now promises to resolve complaints within 15 days, remove any stop that’s located within 40 meters of that property, and maintain a database that will prevent a new gym or PokéStop from popping up nearby.
- Court filings revealed last year that the case had been settled, but they didn’t specify what the settlement included.
- Pokémon Go’s incredible early popularity revealed many pitfalls in location-based games, including players who trespassed or took risks to find hard-to-reach pokémon, or PokéStops being placed in inappropriate locations like cemeteries and memorials.
Conversation with Stoked Skills’ Gal Shenar: How to Build Captivating Voice-First Games for Alexa
- After learning how to build Alexa skills during a workshop with veteran Alexa evangelist Rob McCauley, he became excited by the potential to create delightful voice experiences.
- This is the frame of mind that drove Gal to successfully bring to Alexa something nobody else thought feasible: a voice-driven escape game.
- Playing a good voice game “is like reading a book, but [the user plays a big part in] how the story evolves,” says Gal. He figured out that an escape-the-room voice game made sense, as a naturally communal experience on Alexa.
- When building his first Escape the Room voice game, Gal quickly realized that he needed to account for scale and reusability.
- Gal goes a step forward and thinks in term of directing his users to those parts of his skills he knows that can provide a delightful experience.
People in the video game industry are rallying around the 800 employees laid off by Activision-Blizzard
- In the days following the layoffs, people within the industry responded by building a support network filled with job listings, personal recommendations, and messages of support for former Blizzard employees in need of new opportunities.
- Activision-Blizzard made the layoffs official on Tuesday, February 12, the same day it reported record revenue and earnings per share for both the fourth quarter of 2018 and the year.
- As the news broke, many across the video game industry criticized Activision-Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick for boasting about Activision's record revenues as hundreds of people were laid off with no advanced notice.
- Blizzard CEO J Allen Brack said the company will shift its resources to increase its game development staff by about 20%, which will help produce new content faster.
- The layoffs included employees who had been with the company for more than 10 years, and community managers who helped define the culture of Blizzard's massively popular games.
Hasbro Is Launching a Lie Detector Party Game and Ghost-Busting Robot
- The company is showing off the $35 game this week at the New York Toy Fair.
- Set to hit store shelves in August, the game uses voice analysis to determine whether someone is lying.
- In the box you’ll get a lie detector device and 64 cards with questions to answer as part of the gameplay, CNET reports.
- If you tell the truth, or the device at least thinks you did, then you score a point.
- The game is expected to launch on August 1.
- The Lie Detector game isn’t the only interesting new toy the brand is showing off at this year’s Toy Fair.
- Another toy making headlines today: a Ghostbusters and Transformers mashup, i09 reports.
- Called Ecotron, the toy looks like the iconic Ecto-1 vehicle from Ghostbusters.
- It also comes with a transparent slider toy for, you know, ghostbusting.
Controlling a 2D Robotic Arm with Deep Reinforcement Learning
- In this post, we’ll take our first steps towards building our own robotic arm best friend by diving into deep reinforcement learning.
- We'll develop our example in Python – where we'd like the finger of a robot (the endpoint of the second link of our arm) to reach a certain goal.
- This simple framework has enabled researchers at Google to teach robot arms fine movements such as opening a door so let’s go over in more detail what reinforcement learning is and how it works.
- The convergence of reinforcement learning algorithms is proportional to the state space and action space and if the action space is infinitely large like in the real physical world that means we’ll be waiting a long time before our arm learns anything at all.
Razer Blade Stealth (2019) review: the cost of compromise
- Like other Razer laptops, it leads the way with specs: it has a fast processor, a new option for a discrete graphics card, and up to 16GB of RAM.
- The Stealth’s 25-watt MX150 discrete GPU is up to four times more powerful than the integrated graphics you might find in other ultrabooks, but it’s still not powerful enough for high-level gaming.
- Thankfully, Razer got the rest of the Stealth’s keyboard right by including full backlighting across every key, anti-ghosting, and switches that aren’t too loud for cafes or conference rooms, even when I’m typing at full speed.
- Despite the Stealth’s sleek new design, improved gaming performance, and better security, two features that haven’t been improved are battery life and heat management.
- Compared to prior versions, the new Razer Blade Stealth is a much more capable gaming laptop, at least for casual gaming.