Overwatch has been getting a bunch of sudden attention over the past month. Just last week Blizzard showed off the game’s gunslinger, Jesse, and the week before that we got to see Zenyatta, the robotic monk. Now we’re getting a taste of the resident bowman, Hanzo, compliments of brand new gameplay footage.
When it comes to game streaming, I’d be willing to bet several of my kidneys (all two of them) that most of you head straight to Twitch to find exactly what you are looking for. And why wouldn’t you? Twitch has everything you’d ever need. They also happen to have a monopoly over the market, or at least they used to, before several others (including YouTube) realised they wanted a piece of the streaming pie. DingIt is one such organisation.
The International 5 is gearing up to be the best one yet. The prize pool continues to grow (close on $9 million at time of writing) and 10 fantastic teams have secured direct invites from Valve. The stage isn’t fully set however, as there is still space for a further 6 teams. Those empty slots will get filled over the coming week, starting today, by means of regional qualifiers.
eSports as a whole has grown monumentally over the past few years. Thanks to companies like Valve for example, and their investment in large scale tournaments like The International (the implementation of the Compendium did wonders for the prize pool), interest in competitive gaming has shot through the roof. Apparently this bodes well for hardware companies as a whole, because according to research from EEDAR, those who follow eSports tend to spend more cash on their gear on average than those who don’t.
I haven’t eaten pizza all week, which I plan on overcompensating for over the next 60 hours. Mmmmm chicken and avocado… GET IN MY BELLY! Don’t expect me at work on Monday Geoff, unless you plan on sending a forklift to help me roll out of bed…
Technology of today is truly amazing. Accessible virtual reality is here, printers can spit out actual 3D models, and yes, thanks to Razer, mouse pads now light up. Check out their newest toy, the Firefly – a mouse mat that has the usual gaming grade surface, but also happens to hide a casual 16.8 million customizable colour options within its body too.
Is this really winter? The sun is shining, I’m wearing one layer of clothing, and I can still feel my hands. I think the weather is confused. Has anybody informed mother nature that we are nearing the end of May – prime cold time? I want my winter now please, not during September! Obligatory ION introduction complete… let’s talk about an old game!
Big fan I may be, even I won’t deny that MOBAs possess some of the nastiest gamers known to humankind. You know, the sort who sleep with your mum, throw our racist remarks with each breath, or purposefully ruin a game because things didn’t quite go the way they wanted. Not every developer allows such behaviour though, and go out of their way to implement systems to keep things in check. Riot for example are well known for stamping out scum (and even rewarding good behaviour) in their game, League of Legends. In attempt to further improve their community, they are now testing out a new reform system.
I can’t honestly tell you when’s the last time I played a traditional board game. I used to do it all; Monopoly, The Mad Magazine Game, and even that old school classic, Mouse Trap. The only tabletop action I get these days comes in the form of Pathfinder. I meet up with a Wookiee and several others nearly every week to go kill stuff and roll lots of dice. The problem with that is the fact that I have to leave my house and brave the cruel world beyond my front door each time. Human interaction be damned, this is the 21st century, and I want something playable over the Internet! One studio, Berzerk Games, foresaw my pleas, because there actually exists the very thing I need. It’s called Tabletop Simulator, and it’s officially releasing next month.
Like every other Battlefield in recent times, Hardline has a multitude of additional content planned to keep the game’s community hooked well after release and into the foreseeable future. Reckon you’re over EA’s cop and robbers simulator already? The release of Hardline’s first DLC may jump start your excitement once more. It’s called Criminal Activity (such title, so creativity), and it’ll be available next month.
OH YEAH HAPPY WITCHER 3 DAY EVERYBODY! Oh, that was yesterday. I don’t have my own copy of the game I’m afraid, in fact, I won’t be getting or even considering it until I’ve finished the first two instalments of that franchise. Is it any good? Did some of you take an extra day off work to carry on your pursuit of sex on a unicorn… I MEAN QUESTS, QUESTS DAMMIT!
Out of all the popular MOBAs today, SMITE is the one I’ve played least. It’s not because the game is bad, not by any means, but the truth is, playing one MOBA is already time consuming as is, and I already scatter my time between 2-4 at any given time. I do genuinely wish I had a time machine though, because SMITE just welcomed a new god to its roster, and I can’t quite justify why I’m not giving more time to beating up other people as a squirrel.
I just want to take a moment to tell Geoff how much I hate him. Ever since he discovered this MS-DOS game emulating site, my productivity levels have dipped horrendously. I’ll remember a game from my younger days, load it up with the intention of spending a couple of minutes reminiscing, only to lose an entire morning or afternoon in the blink of an eye. How is anybody meant to get any work done around here?
I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it a million times more; If you’ve even remotely considered getting into the MOBA craze, Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm is the best place to get started. It stripped away part of what makes other titles in the same genre difficult; namely items, gold management, and even skill selection to a certain extent. The open beta kicks off today, meaning that if you somehow didn’t grab a key over the past few months already, you can hop into the Nexus right this second. Alternately, if you’d rather skip the clicking, and favour drawing instead, you can enter Blizzard’s new design contest; there are $13000 worth of prizes up for grabs!
Riot have done a lot over the years to make League of Legends one of the prettiest MOBAs. Them random critters, that shiny water… it’s the sort of stuff that brings tears of joy to my eyeballs while I farm in-lane or roam around the map. Some competitive players on the other hand, find all that pleasurable viewing distracting however, prompting Riot to add an option that can remove it all.