Len’s Island Review: Explore Paradise

A Game With Layers

On the surface, Len’s Island is peaceful. It’s a game about exploration, resource gathering, farming, and building your dream home on an island resort. It is what we have come to expect from the survival/crafting genre over the last several years. Chop trees, mine rocks, gather food, salvage wreckage, and construct a home, all while taking in the sights and unlocking new things to craft. There are even NPCs to chat with if you’re feeling too secluded. But that’s before you begin to delve deeper into what is on offer.

        What sets this island apart from the countless others is what’s beneath the surface. It’s dark, labyrinthine, and full of hideous monsters lurking in the shadows, ready to gang up on you for invading their territory. The fact that there are caves with monsters is not what stands out about this game. But rather, the dichotomy of the peaceful nature of the sunny forest that you call home, and the dark dismal destruction that awaits underneath. When I first left my shabby, yet cozy, cottage to investigate the depths of despair below–I was not ready.

Controlling the Island

          While learning to make my way around the island, I had to get used to the controls. The default control scheme is mouse-based. Right-click the move, left-click to interact with objects and enemies. For some reason, this was a lot harder for me to grasp than I would originally have thought. While movement was easy with the mouse, I found myself constantly missing trees that I was trying to chop or rocks I was trying to mine, because my instinct to click on something to walk up to it and interact took hold. In combat, I found myself at a disadvantage as I could not move in one direction while attacking in another. This complaint is easy to ignore by switching to keyboard movement using WASD. With that one option, the game opened up. Suddenly I felt in control. Without control of the character, I lose interest in a game. After switching control schemes, it felt like a brand new game to me. The mouse-only option is a great accessibility feature, but is not for me.

        What’s also not for me, is how bad I am at making my new island home look good. The home building system is very easy to dive in and use. There are enough options to make a home look as good or bad as your artistic skills allow. All of the pieces snap together fairly easily, with the exception of trying to build over existing foliage. If there is a bush that will slightly intersect with your foundation, you have to chop it down first, which can slow down the creative flow. The other thing that can slow down the process is the limited inventory space. Rather than having a set number of slots to hold resources, your backpack can hold a limited number of every resource in the game. At first, the limits seem generous, but it is easy to get lost in a minor home expansion only to realize that you’ve already spent all of your wood. While that is not any different than other games in the genre, it did seem to me that resources go faster on this island than other survival crafting titles.

        When you do run out of resources or need to free up some space, making the short trek into town is easy. Buying and selling is very fast and there is even a backpack to increase the amount of resources you can carry. That is where the main gameplay loop seems to be. Get resources, build until you run out, rinse and repeat. When that gets tiring, ready up your food and your sharpest blade and try to make it a little further in the cave. Need coal to light your refinery? The cave is always there. The cave will always be there. Calling…

I Have to Go Deeper

          Once inside the cave, my inquisitive self took over. I have to know what’s down here. I could have been content with having my own island to explore, exploit, and expand… but I have to know what’s down here. The monsters are quick, the tunnels are dark, and the riches are plentiful. It’s clear that time was taken to lovingly handcraft the caves beneath Len’s Island. These are not procedurally generated death traps but rather depths rife with plunder, platforming puzzles, and plenty of baddies that you would expect from a 3rd-person action game.

        I will say, as someone with a terrible sense of direction, it is very easy to get lost in the dark. If you are underprepared, you will probably find yourself becoming a meal for the horde of monsters. Thoughts of risk versus reward come up while exploring. If you’re like me, you will want to keep going. There are so many questions that lurk down here! Why are these monsters here? Who built the houses and mining tunnels and where did they go? What other plunder will I come across if I just go a little deeper? Death is relatively easy to avoid, but if you die, all of your progress since your last save game will be gone.

To my knowledge, there is no way of saving your progress while exploring the caves. While there are periodically warp points that take you back to the surface, I found myself getting lost too often to rely on them. That is my own fault, though. I have the same problem anytime I play a survival game and, for me, that is part of the fun. The time that it takes me to learn my way around an area is time I am also using to learn more about the game and how to play it.

Final Thoughts

          Len’s Island is gorgeous. The water running around and through the island, the trees and foliage mixed with rocks and waterfalls… it’s all very nice to look at. The caves also look very good, though dark. The streams running throughout, the occasional staircase to a long-abandoned home, the hordes of monsters, it’s all very visually stunning. The controls are simple once you get a grasp on them and the crafting and building can be very enjoyable. While I do not know how much depth there will be to the game when it’s all said-and-done, the core gameplay loop is familiar yet fresh enough for most fans of the survival/crafting genre to enjoy. Early Access is a great place for this game to be while the devs flesh out storylines and quests, and work out the bugs throughout the game that are noticeable, but not game-breaking.

        Personally, I don’t think there is enough to do in the game currently to justify spending a ton of time in it. If you want to build a home in a gorgeous game, there is a lot to like from this. If you are looking for a 3rd person action-adventure with a deep combat system, this is not for you. The combat and exploration does add a nice distraction from the core crafting/harvesting loop, but doesn’t stand on its own as of right now.

        Len’s Island is releasing on Steam in Early Access on November 26, 2021, where the devs say it will stay for around 2-3 years. The core team of two is obviously passionate about his title and it shows in how easy everything is to grasp. If you want to take part in the development of this game, buying in during Early Access is exactly the time to get it! If you’re wanting a fully fleshed-out title where you can spend dozens or hundreds of hours, maybe wait for a while.

        How well Len’s Island walks the line between peaceful nature and destructive darkness is my favorite aspect of this game and I look forward to seeing where Flow Studio takes this going forward.

Early Access First Impressions Grade: B

North Carolina Welcomes eSports

North Carlina adopted a new budget last week, with one eye-catching addition. The budget establishes the Esports Industry Grant Fund. North Carolina wants to host massive eSports events in the state, in the hope to provide more well-paying jobs and pushing technology in the state.

The Esports Industry Grant Fund will reimburse 25% of events that cost $250,000 or more to run. This program will run for the next three years and is limited to $5 million each year.

Representative Jason Saine proposed the addition and shared his optimistic thoughts on the budget’s passage. “This is not just about the esports competition and the game play, it’s really about the opportunity to get all generations and groups involved in education and technology, and really fostering that as a way that we build a world-class workforce for the future and higher paying jobs for everybody. When you think about recruitment of esports productions and events, what this program allows us to do is showcase not only our state, but also win a lot of business that we wouldn’t have secured otherwise.”

Have you attended an eSports event? Would you want your local government to host eSports events? Let us know on our social!

We will further discuss Noth Carolina’s decision on the next Geek Freaks News:

Kojima Production Launches New TV/Film Studio

Kojima Productions launches a new music, TV, and film studio. The studio will bring some of Kojima’s legendary games to other media. Some games already in the conversation are Death Stranding, Metal Gear, and Silent Hills. The new studio will be led by 28-year Sony vet, Riley Russel.

“The team has as its charter, the goal of expanding the reach and awareness of the properties now under development at Kojima Productions, and to make them even more a part of our popular culture. Although we are a global organization, the new business development team will be centred in Los Angeles, CA. We are truly excited and looking forward to working with the very best entertainment talent we can, across all of the entertainment industries.”

Riley Russel via Gameindustry.biz

We are excited for Kojima Productions to expand its brand. Join us on the next Geek Freaks Podcast as we discuss our hopes for the new studio.

Ubisoft Plans for a Theme Park

Ubisoft is one step closer to their theme park. Ubisoft is teaming up with Storyland Studios to create a Ubisoft Entertainment Center and a Ubisoft Theme Park. Both focused on their storied brands including Far Cry, Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, and more.

Ubisoft’s Entertainment Center will be located at Studios Occitanie Méditerranée. The center is currently planned for 2025 and includes shops and dining. Rides are developed with Alterface, a company focused on a combination of virtual and physical attractions. The full-scale theme park is also in the works but is planned for further in the future. No location has been selected yet.

Sources: Collider, Alterface, Midi Libre, Storyland Blog Post

WB Reveals New Brawl Game, MultiVersus

The rumored WB Brawling game is revealed! WB’s MultiVersus pits Warner Bros. IPs against each other. They are also tweaking the brawling genre to create unique gameplay. Players are encouraged to work in pairs, sharing utility abilities with their teammates. They are also removing the “pain points,” used in Smash Bros to increase the dominant player’s difficulty. In a response to Nick Toons Brawl, all characters will be voiced. Batman will be voiced by the legendary Kevin Conroy. The last thing to note in the reveal trailer is the mention of eSports. Smash Bros curtails the competitive scene, but WB wants it to thrive. 

Here is the starting lineup: 

  • Arya Stark
  • Batman
  • Bugs Bunny
  • Finn The Human
  • Garnet
  • Harley Quinn
  • Jake the Dog
  • Reindog
  • Shaggy
  • Steven Universe
  • Superman
  • Tom and Jerry
  • Wonder Woman

Be sure to check out the full announcement trailer and sign up for beta trials!

The Game Awards 2021 Nominees

Geoff Keighley took to the virtual stage today to reveal 2021 Game Awards Nominees. Some picks are obvious but we have some surprises. Here are all the nominees and our picks for winners.

Game of the Year

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Metroid Dread
  • Psychonauts 2 (Our Pick)
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village

Best Game Direction

  • Deathloop (Our Pick)
  • It Takes Two
  • Returnal
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart

Best Esports Athlete

  • Chris “Simp” Lehr (Our Pick)
  • Heo “ShowMaker” Su
  • Magomed “Collapse” Khalilov
  • Oleksandr “s1mple” Kostyliev
  • Tyson “TenZ” Ngo

Best Esports Game

  • Call of Duty
  • CS:GO
  • DOTA2
  • League of Legends (Our Pick)
  • Valorant

Most Anticipated Game

  • Elden Ring
  • God of War: Ragnarok
  • Horizon Forbidden West
  • The Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Starfield (Our Pick)

Content Creator of the Year

  • Dream (Our Pick)
  • Fuslie
  • Gaules
  • Ibai
  • Grefg

Best Mobile Game

  • Fantasian
  • Genshin Impact (Our Pick)
  • League of Legends
  • MARVEL Future Revolution
  • Pokemon Unite

Best Independent Game

  • 12 Minutes
  • Death’s Door
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Our Pick)
  • Inscription
  • Loop Hero

Best Narrative

  • Deathloop
  • It Takes Two
  • Life is Strange: True Colors
  • MARVEL Guardians of the Galaxy (Our Pick)
  • Psychonauts 2

Innovation in Accessibility

  • Far Cry 6
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Our Pick)
  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • The vale: Shadow of the Crown

Best Score/Music

  • Cyberpunk 2077
  • Deathloop
  • Nier Replicant ver.1.22474487139
  • MARVEL Guardians of the Galaxy (Our Pick)
  • The Artful Escape

Art Direction

  • Deathloop
  • Kena: Bridge of Spirits (Our Pick)
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet & Clank: Rift Apart
  • The Artful Escape

Best Ongoing Game

  • Apex Legends
  • Call of Duty: war zone
  • FINAL FANTASY XIV Online (Our Pick)
  • Fortnite
  • Genshin Impact

Best Multiplayer Game

  • Back 4 Blood
  • It Takes Two
  • Knockout City
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • New World (Our Pick)
  • Valheim

Best eSports Team

  • Team Spirit
  • Natus Vincere
  • Atlanta FaZe
  • Sentinels (Our Pick)
  • DWG KIA

Best VR/AR

  • Hitman 3 (Our Pick)
  • I Expect You to Die 2
  • Lone Echo 2
  • Resident Evil 4
  • Sniper Elite VR

Best Sports/Racing Game

  • F1 2021
  • FIFA 22
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Our Pick)
  • Hot Wheels NLeashed
  • Riders Republic

Best Sim/Strategy

  • Age of Empires 4
  • Evil Genius 2: World Domination
  • Humankind
  • Inscryption
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator (Our Pick)

Best Score and Music

  • CyberPunk 2077 (Our Pick)
  • Monster Hunter Rise
  • Scarlet Nexus
  • Shin Megami Tensei 5
  • Tales of Arise

Best Performance

  • Erika Mori as Alex Chen (Our Pick)
  • Giancarlo Esposito as Anton Castillo
  • Jason Kelley as Colt Vahn
  • Maggie Robertson as Lady Dimitrescu
  • Ozioma Akagha as Julianna Blake

Best Family

  • It Takes Two (Our Pick)
  • Mario Party Superstars
  • New Pokemon Snap
  • Super Mario 3D World + Bowser’s Fury
  • Warioware: Get It Together!

Best eSports Event

  • 2021 League of Legends World Championship
  • PGL Major Stockholm 2021
  • PUBG Mobile Global Championship 2020 (Our Pick)
  • The International 2021
  • Valorant Champions Tour: Stage 2 Masters

Best Action Game

  • Back 4 Blood
  • Chivalry 2
  • Deathloop
  • Far Cry 6
  • Returnal (Our Pick)

Best Audio Design

  • Deathloop
  • Forza Horizon 5 (Our Pick)
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Eveil Village
  • Retunal

Games for Impact

  • Before Your Eyes
  • Boyfriend Dungeon
  • Chicory: A Colorful Tale
  • Life is Strange: True Colors (Our Pick)
  • No Longer Home

Best Action/Adventure

  • Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Metroid Dread
  • Psychonauts 2
  • Ratchet and Clank: Rift Apart
  • Resident Evil Village (Our Pick)

Here is Geoff revealing all the nominees:

Join us on the next Geek Freaks News as we discuss this year’s nominees:

Xbox Has a Big Anniversary

Today is Xbox and Halo’s 20th anniversary. To celebrate, Microsoft hosted a thirty-minute event with announcements and a look back at the Xbox legacy.

Halo Infinite Multiplayer is LIVE

It was a rumor turned reality with the big reveal, Halo Infinite Multiplayer was released early. Halo Infinite is releasing December 8th, but you can download and play the multiplayer now on Steam and Xbox app. All progress made will continue when the full game is released. Get out there Spartans!

Halo TV Series

The long-awaited Halo series is finally on the horizon. Halo will release on Paramount+ in 2022. Here is the first teaser, released today.

Xbox Doc

Xbox revealed a 6-part documentary coming this December going over the history of the storied company. From a wild idea to an industry juggernaut. We will see how a group of ambitious Microsoft employees pushed until their dream became reality. Here is the trailer for Power On: The Story of Xbox.

More Backwards Compatibility

Xbox is adding over 70 additional titles to their Backwards Compatibility library. This includes such fan favorites as Skate, Time Splitters, and Max Payne.

Xbox Vault

Lastly, there is the Xbox Vault. A virtual museum showcasing memorabilia from the last 20 years of Xbox.

Check out the entire Xbox Anniversary event here:

Hextech Mayhem Launches November 16th!

Riot is killing it this week with a new series premiering and multiple game announcements, and it’s not over yet! Riot just announced a new game coming next week called Hextech Mayhem: A League of Legends Story. The game is from their Riot Forge branch; a division focused on publishing LoL games from third-party developers. Choice Provisions developed Hextech Mayhem, best known for their Runner series.

In Hextech Mayhem, you play as Ziggs, running from Heimerdinger. This is a rhythm-based running platformer. The player will need to jump, bounce, and bomb to the beat to keep ahead of Heimerdinger, who’s trying to stop the fun. Check out this trailer to see the mayhem.

You can play Hextech Mayhem on PC and Nintendo Switch on November 16th!

Big Updates Coming to ‘Back 4 Blood’

Back 4 Blood has revealed the road map for the game’s future. It includes updates, expansions, and an annual pass. 

Free Update

November

  • Quality of life improvements
  • Major bug fixes

December

  • New Features
    • New supply lines
    • Ridden practice area
    • Holiday season event
  • Solo offline progression of the campaign
  • New card type
  • All-new cards

2022

  • New difficulty
  • New Player cards
  • New corruption cards
  • New co-op mode
  • Melee upgrade
  • Quality of life changes 

Annual Pass

The first expansion is called ‘Tunnels of Terror’ with two additional expansions coming in 2022. They also plan on adding exclusive Ridden, skins, activity types, and weapons.

November’s patch is a typical post-release update addressing the problems that arise as players experience the game. Offline mode coming in December is one of the most highly demanded features from the fans. We do not have a price for the Annual Pass, but we can assume it will also be added to the Game Pass version of the game. 

Have you been playing Back 4 Blood? What changes do you want to see? Let us know on our socials!

Fortnite Shuts Down in China

Fortnite is closing up shop in China on November 15th. Fortnite (called Fortress Night in the country) was on a trial run but ends its presence this month. As of November 1st, no new accounts can be created and on the 15th, the game will fully shut down. The Chinese version of Fortnite was significantly different from the standard version. It did not have in-game purchases, skulls (banned from all games), and limited players to 90 minutes by turning off XP.

The closure of Fortnite coincides with China’s recent attack on gaming. They have been limiting gaming more and more over the past few months. Additional details are below. PUBG is also likely leaving. The country has not approved any new games after a meeting with NetEase and Tencent in September. Citizens have protested the move, but changes are unlikely for the foreseeable future.

We will further discuss this on the next Geek Freaks News:

Blizzard’s Recent Corrective Changes

Bobby Kotick

Activision Blizzard has made some corrective moves towards creating a better workplace this week. 

First CEO Bobby Kotick revealed a new pay cut that would reduce his multimillion-dollar salary to $62,500. Bobby was hesitant to take any blame for the situation early in the revaluations but this appears to be a good start. While this is mostly a PR move, it does show that Bobby knows getting paid bonuses admit employee crisis is not wise. 

Next, the company has given in on some of the employee’s demands. Bobby released a letter to shareholders explaining the new policies going forward. The main points are listed here with full detail at the bottom:

  1. We are launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide 
  2. We will increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in our workforce by 50% and will invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent
  3. Based on feedback from employees, we are waiving required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims
  4. We will continue to increase visibility on pay equity 
  5. We will provide regular progress updates

Blizzard also announced the cancelation of BlizzCon 2022. 

“We’ve decided to take a step back and pause on planning the previously announced BlizzConline event scheduled for early next year. This was a tough decision for all of us to make, but it’s the right one. Whatever the event looks like in the future, we also need to ensure that it feels as safe, welcoming, and inclusive as possible.”

Blizzard Post
Cole Cassidy – Formally McCree

The company wants to use this time to focus on games and the employees. This too is a PR move as a BlizzCon would only bring pandamonium, but the focus on internal issues is bound to help. 

Blizzard continues to remove any reference to developers from their games. Even the ‘innocent’ developer names are being removed to play it safe. One of the more prominent name changes is that of Overwatch’s gunslinger, McCree. This week they revealed his new name, Cole Cassidy. I love the new name!

Blizzard still has a way to go. As they release more positive changes, they are arguing the opposite cases in court. Until the case is settled and Blizzard fully admits to the wrongdoing, they can not truly start the healing process. 

Full Details on Blizzard Changes from Bobby Kotick: 

  1. We are launching a new zero-tolerance harassment policy company-wide – In the past, when we discovered and substantiated harassment, we terminated some employees and provided verbal or written warnings or different disciplinary actions to others. In retrospect, to achieve our goals for workplace excellence, this approach is no longer adequate. We need tougher rules and consistent monitoring across the entire company to make sure reports are being handled correctly and discipline is appropriate and swift. As a result, we are implementing a zero-tolerance policy across Activision Blizzard that will be applied consistently. Our goal is to have the strictest harassment and non-retaliation policies of any employer, and we will continue to examine and tighten our standards to achieve this goal everywhere we do business. Any Activision Blizzard employee found through our new investigative processes and resources to have retaliated against anyone for making a compliance complaint will be terminated immediately. In many other instances of workplace misconduct, we will no longer rely on written warnings: termination will be the outcome, including in most cases of harassment based on any legally protected category. Future employment contracts and equity awards will be clear: termination for these reasons will result in the immediate forfeiture of future compensation. We also want to ensure that employees who file reports are encouraged, protected, and heard. For all reports of harassment and retaliation, we will investigate the allegation and whether the Activision Blizzard personnel who received the report of such behavior took the appropriate steps to protect the integrity of our compliance processes. There may be some places around the world where local law may restrict some of these measures. In those cases, we will apply the highest permissible standards and the strongest possible discipline.
  2. We will increase the percentage of women and non-binary people in our workforce by 50% and will invest $250 million to accelerate opportunities for diverse talent –Today, approximately 23% of our global employee population identifies as women or non-binary. Building on the success that King and other business units have achieved, we will seek to increase our percentage of women and non-binary professionals by approximately 50% – to more than one-third across the entire company – within the next five years and hopefully faster. Each franchise team, business unit, and the functional area will be expected to have plans to help fulfill this ambition. Concerning diversity, while we perform better than our peers with 30% of our U.S. workforce from diverse or underrepresented communities, broadening this progress will continue to be a significant focus of mine as well as company, business unit, and franchise leadership. To further this commitment, we’ll be investing an additional $250 million over the next 10 years in initiatives that foster expanded opportunities in gaming and technology for under-represented communities. This commitment includes inspiring diverse talent to pursue career opportunities in gaming through an ABK Academy that includes partnerships with colleges and technical schools serving underrepresented communities, mentorships for participants, and a rotating apprenticeship program that leads to game development jobs, similar to the programs we began with the United Negro College Fund and Management Leadership for Tomorrow. We will also provide learning, development, and advanced degree opportunities for current employees to increase the number of women and those from under-represented communities in leadership positions across the company and in our industry. In the coming months, Brian Bulatao, Julie Hodges, and I will share details about how we are operationalizing these goals and implementing and measuring this expanded investment.
  3. Based on feedback from employees, we are waiving required arbitration of sexual harassment and discrimination claims – For any Activision Blizzard employee who chooses not to arbitrate an individual claim of sexual harassment, unlawful discrimination, or related retaliation arising in the future, the company will waive any obligation to do so.
  4. We will continue to increase visibility on pay equity – As described in the recent note from our President, Daniel Alegre, and our Chief Administrative Officer, Brian Bulatao, the company continues to focus on pay equity for employees. Our U.S. analysis showed that women at the company on average earned slightly more than men for comparable work in 2020. To ensure transparency on our continuing commitment to pay equity, we will report these results annually.
  5. We will provide regular progress updates – We will be monitoring the progress of our business units, franchise teams, and functional leaders concerning workplace initiatives and we will provide a status report quarterly. We also will be adding a dedicated focus on this vital work in our annual report to shareholders and our annual ESG report with information on gender hiring, diversity hiring, and workplace progress.

Sources: BlizzPlanet, Blizzard, Overwatch Twitter

Rumor: WB Making Their Own Smash Bros

Rumors are circulating over a new Smash Bros-like game out of WB Games. The game would unite WB’s many IPs, like Scooby-Doo and Lord of the Rings, together for a fighting tournament. The leak comes out a Reddit post, claiming the game is called ‘Multiversus’ and developed by Mortal Kombat’s Netherrealm. The post gained legitimacy and momentum after the confirmation from writer/developer Jeff Grubb. Jeff clarifies, through Twitter, the game is in the works but not being developed by Netherrealm. 

The original leaker shared a list of “confirmed” characters: 

  • Shaggy (Scooby-Doo)
  • Gandalf (Lord of the Rings)
  • Tom & Jerry
  • Batman
  • Fred Flinstone
  • Mad Max
  • Johnny Bravo
  • Harry Potter and Ron (possibly)

While this is still only a rumor, it does seem like a good idea. WB has a history in fighting games and many IPs. We will keep a close eye on these growing rumors and share updates on Geekfreakspodcast.com.

Sources: Reddit, Twitter, VGC

FIFA and EA Part Ways

The exclusive partnership between FIFA and EA comes to an end in 2022. EA does not want to pay FIFA’s new asking price of 300k a year. Meanwhile, FIFA wants to expand its gaming footprint with new studios.

“It is clear that this needs to be a space that is occupied by more than one party controlling all rights.”

FIFA Statement

The deal was first struck in 1993 at an annual licensing fee of 150k. The FIFA franchise is reportedly worth $2 billion to EA annually. The previous installment, FIFA 21, had an impressive 31 million players. The loss of exclusivity is another step in EA’s evolving company over the last few years. They also loss Star Wars and 2K is once again making an NFL game.

We will discuss what this means for both companies on our next podcast, Geek Freaks News.

Source: frontofficesports.com

DC Fandome Trailers and Reveals

DC Fandome has come to a close. We have new trailers, comics, and reveals. Here are the biggest announcements from the day:

The Batman 2nd Trailer

We all know why you’re here. The Batman’s new trailer was outstanding. The costume, city, music, Batmobile, and cast have us all VERY hyped!

Peacemaker Trailer

A once silly idea is shaping up to be an highly anticipated HBO Max original. The following interview showed they entire cast had a lot of fun making this series.

Black Adam Teaser

Black Adam is about to change the face of the DCEU. A well developed villain that can take on any hero… or all of them together.

The Flash Teaser

They had little Flash footage to reveal, but we did see the ’89 Batmobile is back!

Gotham Knights – Court of Owls Trailer

The Court of Owls are the major villain in the upcoming Gotham Knights. They are a newer villain, but already a fan favorite.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League – Story Trailer

The Justice League appear to be corrupted and on a rampage. The Suicide Squad will take them down one at a time.

The Flash series’ new costume

With a new season comes a new suit. This time, we are getting the iconic boots.

Milestone Comics Expands

Static Shock film is in the works, New seasons are on the way, and a new animated film is in development. Milestone is bring in a ton of new content. Highlights are the return of Blood Syndicate and a 1,300 page compendium of the 90s comics.

Teaser for League of SuperSets

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart team up for this animated DC film.

Superman’s New Motto

DC is updating the old “American Way” with a new motto, “Truth, Justice and a Better Tomorrow.”

Other Announcements

  • Wonder Woman 3 is coming
  • Jim Lee teased a new Crisis on Infinite Earth
  • Pennyworth is coming to HBO Max early 2022
  • Todd McFarlane revealed new statues for The Batman, Joker, and Batman by Gaslight
  • Batman: The Animated Series’ new iteration, Batman Caped Crusader, will be more noir and adult-leanings.
  • Harley Quinn Season 3 expected in 2022
  • Titans is renewed for a 4th season
  • They showed up some concept art for Batwheels
  • Catwoman Hunted, a new animated film, coming Feb 2022
  • Batwoman and Alice will be teaming up for Batwoman season 3
  • DC’s Monkey Prince returns to comics in Feb 2022
  • Smallville came out 20 years ago!
  • Teaser for Injustice film (Already released)
  • First look at Gwendoline Christie’s Lucifer
  • Doom Patrol has been renewed for a 4th season
  • New mid-season teaser for Stargirl
  • Supergirl says goodbye with cast old and new
  • Teaser for Batman: Wayne Family Adventures
  • Trailer for Aquaman animated mini-series
  • Logo reveal for Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Check out the full four hour event!

League of Legends Disables Cross-Team Chat

Riot is disabling the “/all” feature in League of Legends games. This feature allowed players to talk to the opposing team during a match. Riot claims the cross-team chat is being used for hate speech and abuse.

“While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives. We’ll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all.”

Riot’s Post

The company also shared that team speech is also more negative than intended but the chat is vital for teamwork. Teams can still chat with each other in the post-game rooms. The change is simply a test and may be reverted.

Fortnite Admits Among Us Inspiration

After a great deal of scrutiny, Epic has admitted inspirations from Fortnite’s new Imposter Mode came from Among Us. Imposter Mode is essentially the same gameplay as the indy hit Among Us but far bigger and with far more polish. The news comes from new patch notes on Epic’s site. “v18.20 brings improvements to Impostors, the game mode inspired by Among Us from Innersloth!” the notes read. 

Among Us developer Innersloth never wanted compensation, even admitting the idea is not original but did want to collaborate with Fortnite. Team members took to Twitter to discuss their feelings on the situation.

 

Well, the tides may be turning. After the patch notes were released, a Twitter conversation between the companies began. First Among Us used the eye emoji showing they noticed the shout-out in the notes. After some back and forth, Fortnite says, “Big fans! We never got to talk about how you inspired us. What do you think about working on something fun together sometime?” Among us responded with, “yesssss have ur Agents contact our Crewmates.” Fans replied to the conversation with excitement as two games’ fandoms can finally celebrate together. 

We will discuss the new crossover on the next Geek Freaks News!

Twitch’s Massive Leak

Twitch has been breached this week by a hacker seeking to “foster more disruption and competition in the online video streaming space.” The hacker also includes #DoBetterTwitch in much of their posts, showing their support for the anti-hate speech movement. The leak includes “part one” in the title suggesting more information to come. 

According to The Verge the leak included:

  • 3 years’ worth of details regarding creator payouts on Twitch.
  • The entirety of twitch.tv, “with commit history going back to its early beginnings.”
  • Source code for the mobile, desktop, and video game console Twitch clients.
  • Code related to proprietary SDKs and internal AWS services used by Twitch.
  • An unreleased Steam competitor from Amazon Game Studios.
  • Data on other Twitch properties like IGDB and CurseForge.
  • Twitch’s internal security tools.

The leak does not include user passwords, but the company suggests you change your password and include two-factor authentication to be safe. Some of the most salacious details include streamer pay. A Canadian streamer brought in $705,000 and a D&D group made $311,000 last month alone, according to The Wall Street Journal. This pay does not include third-party tips or sponsorship. 

Twitch has confirmed the hack on Twitter. 

We will follow up on any additional leaks. We will also discuss this breach on the next Geek Freaks News. 

Sources: The Verge, The Washington Journal

Sora On Smash and Kingdom Hearts on Switch

Yesterday we learned Sora is joining Smash Bros! We have learned that Sora will have a rotating magic ability and a counterattack like Marth.

The alternate colors include his different costumes from other different games. There will be little to no Disney references outside of the Mickey ears on the Keyblade.

Today we learned that three Kingdom hearts games are headed to the Nintendo Shop! Kingdom Hearts is the perfect fit for Switch and now players can play all three of the major games. The first two are remasters and the third is the recently released Kingdom Hearts 3.

We’ll discuss Sora and KH on the Switch on the next Geek Freaks News:

China Further Restricts Gaming

China’s new gaming regulations have escalated this week. They have been limiting children’s playtime over the past months. The restrictions are part of China’s stance that gaming negatively impacting the countries culture. According to South China Morning Post via Eurogamer, games are not “pure entertainment’ and the must represent ‘a correct set of values.”

Video games must get approval to release in the country. The new restrictions state that “queer romance” and “effeminate men” are unlikely to be approved. Games will also be rejected for giving players the option to be good or evil, like Fallout or Knights of the Old Republic. There will be increased scrutiny for games that evolve religion or history like Civilization 6 or Assassin’s Creed. The last restriction is a ban on streamers under the age of 16. That follows the three hours a week limits implemented weeks ago.

What do you think of China’s new regulations? We will discuss this further on the next Geek Freaks News!

Sources: Eurogamer, South China Morning Post

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