Blizzard Entertainment is teaming up with the toy experts at Nerf to fulfill our dreams of being an Overwatch-style gunslinger.
Blizzard first announced the collaboration at last month’s San Diego Comic-Con, saying that Nerf would be launching a sleek and chrome-covered blaster gun modeled after the Hellfire Shotgun that Reaper, one playable character, uses in-game. Now, Blizzard has announced a second plastic blaster modeled after a weapon in Overwatch’s lore: the bubblegum-colored Light Gun used by fan favorite character D.Va.
According to Blizzard, the replica fires at speeds reaching 80 feet per second, and features a “recoil action” feature.
Both plastic blaster guns are made for Nerf’s “Rival” line, which are high performance guns targeted toward an older audience. Rather than featuring Nerf’s traditional foam bullets, these blasters will fire off soft, squishy projectiles, acting a bit like a less aggressive paintball gun.
Both Overwatch replicas are hitting store shelves in 2019, though their exact launch date is still a mystery. The price is also TBD — but if the other guns in the Rival arsenal are any clue, the final price could range anywhere from $29.99 up to $99.99.
HyperX makes some of the best gaming headsets around, and now, the accessory maker has an officially licensed Sony headset for PlayStation 4 users under its Cloud brand. The HyperX Cloud is the company’s standard headset. It costs $80 for the most recent version, and the licensed PS4 version will maintain that price. For people who play way too much Fortnite, like yours truly, owning a headset like this is pivotal for hearing footsteps and pinpointing an opponent’s location.
HyperX also makes a budget headset called the Cloud Stinger for $50, more premium PC-focused models like the Cloud Alpha and Cloud Revolver costing $100 and $120, and an all-purpose wireless version for $160 called the Cloud Flight. But nearly all of its headsets are surprisingly comfortable — I own the Cloud and Cloud Flight and have tried the Cloud Alpha and Revolver — and mostly involve compromising on sound quality or shelling out extra for more robust microphone and audio controls.
The PS4 licensed model will get you a special blue color scheme, as well as the PlayStation logo emblazoned on the side. You also get a volume control module. The headset will be available on August 13th from both Best Buy and Amazon.
Fortnite for Android is coming soon, and rumors have suggested it will be a 30-day exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9. A newly leaked version of the game appears to confirm that Fortnite for Android will be limited in some way to Samsung’s latest devices. XDA-Developers has obtained a leaked APK of Fortnite for Android, and has discovered it’s restricted to both the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Tab S4.
XDA-Developers reports that the game has a variety of checks for Samsung’s new devices, and it even looks for the existence of Samsung’s S-Pen. Epic Games is planning to launch Fortnite for Android soon, but the company has not yet revealed exactly when it will be available. This leaked copy does make it clear there’s some type of exclusivity for Samsung’s latest devices, but there are no hints on how long it will last. We’ll likely find out when Samsung launches its Galaxy Note 9 later this week.
Fortnite for Android won’t be available on the Google Play Store once it’s released, though. Epic Games will launch the game through the company’s website, and Android users will need to sideload it to install it. That’s raised some understandable concerns around security and fake APKs of Fortnite for Android. We’ve started to see a number of fake APKs circulating already, and as official copies are making their way outside of Epic Games and Samsung, the risk of downloading a fake copy full of malware increases.
It’s a weird time to be a Castlevania fan. While Netflix has reinvigorated interest in the series with a gloriously violent animated show, the games themselves have dried up since the departure of long-time director Koji Igarashi. The most recent official Castlevania title was a pachinko game released in Japan last year. But, as is so often the case, indie developers have stepped up to fill in the gaps. There’s an entire subgenre of 2D action games dubbed “Metroidvanias” that pull from the open-ended structure pioneered by Metroid and later expanded by Igarashi’s Castlevania. It’s not hard to find a game inspired by Castlevania, but it is hard to find one that evokes the same tone and feel. That’s what makes Dead Cells so interesting.
Dead Cells isn’t exactly a new game; it’s been available on PC as an “early access” title since last May, but tomorrow will be the release of the full version of the game on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and the Nintendo Switch. You play as an unnamed warrior who awakens in some kind of dingy dungeon, and, with little explanation, you’re forced to fight your way out. As you progress, you’ll come upon new locations — toxic sewers, sunlit castle rooftops, unsettling graveyards — and find new horrors to fight. Along the way, you’ll gain new abilities and weapons that make you stronger and let you venture to previously inaccessible locales.
This is all par for the course for a Metroidvania. What makes Dead Cells feel particularly Castlevania-like, though, is its style. The side-scrolling, pixel art world feels like it could be another elaborate Dracula castle. There are all kinds of weird, gothic creatures crawling about, from giant, exploding slugs and undead knights to more exotic fare like massive alien eyeballs chained to the wall. Even the people there to help you are creepy; the hooded shopkeeper has a huge glass canister chained to its back. Exploring Dead Cells’ haunting crypts reminded me a lot of playing Castlevania III as a kid. You can even wield an electric whip and eat turkey legs to regain health.
But as much as Dead Cells can feel like a long-lost Castlevania, it’s also a very different game in many ways. For one thing, there’s the structure built around permadeath, a subgenre known as a “roguelike.” Whenever you die in the game, you’re forced to start over from the beginning. Every time you start up again, your oozing green head crawls into a new body, and the crypts around you change slightly. Each playthrough teaches you new skills, and you’re also able to unlock new abilities, some of which carry over to future lifetimes. It’s an intriguing mixture. Typically, Metroidvania games are defined by a place, a location that you slowly learn about by uncovering all of its secrets. There’s some of that in Dead Cells, but because the world is constantly changing, you’re never quite sure what to expect.
It’s also much faster paced than most of its contemporaries. Combat requires you to be constantly alert and quickly dodge and defend against surprisingly clever enemies. Dead Cells is a game that forces you to experiment. You can’t just find a weapon you like and stick with it; once you die, that weapon will be gone, and you never know what items you’ll pick up on the next playthrough. At one point, I found a lot of success combining a powerful broadsword with a freezing attack, but I had to completely switch up my strategy the next time I made my way through the castle. Each weapon has its own distinct feel, as if the tiny pixelated swords and hammers each had a real weight to them, and it requires practice to get the most out of them.
Dead Cells manages to evoke the same feelings I used to get when I played Dracula’s Cure and Symphony of the Night, but it still offers its own distinct and engrossing take on the genre. I’ve been struggling through the crypts for a week now, and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon. Tomorrow’s release of Dead Cells will soon be joined by the second season of the Netflix anime, which is due in November, while Igarashi’s own promising Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is also on the way. As it turns out, it’s actually a great time to be a Castlevania fan.
A planned film adaptation of Minecraft won’t come out as planned. The film was scheduled for release next May, with director Rob McElhenney (known for playing Mac on the FXX comedy Always Sunny in Philadelphia) at the helm. But according to TheWrap (via Polygon), McElhenney has left the project.
This isn’t the first time an adaptation of Minecraft has had trouble. Word broke that Warner Bros. first began work adapting the game in 2014, with Shawn Levy (Night in the Museum, Stranger Things) in talks to direct. McElhenney later boarded the project in July 2015, with Wonder Woman screenwriter Jason Fuchs brought in to write the script, after Microsoft acquired game developer Mojang for $2.5 billion in 2016.
In light of the change, the film won’t hit its May 24th, 2019 release date, and Warner Bros. has brought on writers Aaron and Adam Nee (who wrote and directed the 2015 film Band of Robbers, and who are attached to direct the upcoming adaptation of Masters of the Universe) to re-write the script.