New Walking Dead AR Game Uses Google Maps On Your Phone

AMC’s next Walking Dead game will use location-based data and Google Maps to infest your real neighborhood with zombies. The Walking Dead: Our World is coming this spring/summer from Finnish developer Next Games.

The AR-based gameplay has you battling walkers wherever you happen to be, alongside characters from the AMC series like Rick, Daryl, and Michonne. The trailer shows off the first-person gameplay, like firing or swinging your weapon at approaching hordes. It will be playable at GDC next week, so we can expect more details soon.

“With Google Maps, we can count on providing the most up-to-date location data, meaning that when new buildings or roads are built, we’ll have them in our game,” said Next Games CEO Teemu Huuhtanen in the announcement. “This enables us to create an immersive experience, tied to the players’ location. Google Maps’ unrivaled amount of location data, covering world-famous landmarks, businesses and buildings, such as the Statue of Liberty, the Eiffel Tower, the London Eye, Burj Khalifa and India Gate, makes exploring your surroundings a breathtaking experience.”

Pokemon Go demonstrated the potential for AR-based games, and some of the maps in Walking Dead: Our World certainly bear a resemblance. Harry Potter: Wizards Unite looks to be similarly riffing on Pokemon’s success, and will be coming later this year.

Pit People Review

Pit People is the fourth title developed by The Behemoth, and also the fourth genre the developer has tried its hand at, after some side-scrolling blasting (Alien Hominid), an old-school beat-em-up (Castle Crashers) and devious puzzle platforming (BattleBlock Theatre). Pit People is a turn-based strategy game in the vein of Fire Emblem or XCOM, and it’s got the same art style and irreverent sense of humor as the developer’s previous games–and even some direct world-building carryover, if you pay close attention.

At a glance, Pit People looks like a simplified tactical game, and in many ways that’s true. But what sets it apart from the norm is the relationship between your position on a battlefield and the automatic action you’ll take once you move to a new location. Land on a tile touching an enemy, and you’ll attack them as expected. But land on a tile touching two enemies and your character will pick and choose which to attack on their own. Likewise, you need to be extra careful when lining up a ranged attack lest you automatically attack an inadvertent target nearby.

At first, this makes the game feel too limited for real strategic planning. Over time, though, these restrictions come to inspire foresight and creativity. The moment one of your characters splits from the pack, they’re likely to be ganged up on, and premeditated blocking and baiting become important. Most characters (including your own fighters) have a lot of health and take many hits to down, so figuring out how to do the most damage while preserving yourself can be tricky. Some characters perform area-of-effect attacks that can also damage allies, so if you put a teammate between an archer and their target they might accidentally hit them with an arrow. Pit People may have distilled the logistics of the turn-based strategy purely to placement, but there’s still plenty of thought required. It’s not up there with the heavyweights of the genre–this simplified system makes the game easier to get into, but there are never really instances where you need to craft a grand, clever strategy that requires thinking ahead more than a couple of moves.

The way you build your team is the game’s smartest hook. If a character can be armed with specific gear (which applies to most human classes), you can have them forego any sort of shield and instead give them a net. During combat, the net can be thrown from two spaces away to bind an enemy to their space for the next turn, but when there’s only one enemy left on the field, you can hurl your net to recruit them, adding them to the list of characters you can control. It’s the same hook that made Pokémon so big (it’s surely no mistake that your team has six slots), and trying to keep the most enticing member of the enemy party alive so you can capture them at the end of the fight adds an interesting wrinkle to the campaign.

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There are several different kinds of units, and while their attacks and abilities can be modified with a variety of equipment, they all serve specific functions–archers attack from long range, cupcakes can heal but can’t attack, mushrooms can spray poisonous clouds, and so on. But capturing isn’t just restricted to standard enemies, either–if you can defeat all a boss character’s underlings, you can recruit characters who play a part in the game’s story. The character designs are as cartoonish and fun as The Behemoth’s characters have always been, with lots of gross-looking monsters and weird takes on standard RPG classes, which makes recruiting as many of them as you can more compelling–even if, at a certain point, it sinks in that you’ll probably never use most of your under-levelled recruits.

According to one of the game’s loading screen tips, you can recruit over 500 units. At its core, Pit People is a collect-a-thon–the campaign is brief, and the moment you finish it, the missions start cycling again from the beginning (there are a heap of optional side-missions too, which are mostly good fun). The true goal of the game is to build up your army, level up your best units, collect the best loot from battles, and then take it all into the titular Pit, a combat arena where you can either face waves of AI or fight opponents online. A lot of the loot is purely cosmetic, which makes the grind a bit less interesting than it could be, but putting together a team and taking them online to see how they fare is an interesting experience.

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Unfortunately, the lobbies have been quiet since the game’s 1.0 launch, and finding people to play against has been difficult. This is a shame–the competitive multiplayer is a fun addition. The whole game can be played cooperatively too, online or off, which means fighting with two teams against double the enemy count in each mission. Because characters tend to lack passive support roles, it’s not a game where playing with a friend will necessarily enhance your experience, but it’s a nice option to have and doesn’t detract from the game in any significant way either.

Pit People is a fun take on the turn-based strategy genre, even if it’s not the deepest out there. Building an army with the recruitment mechanics is great fun, and pulling off a difficult victory is always rewarding, especially when you manage to scrape through with only a single, battered unit left. On that note, a quick word of warning–do not start the game with permadeath enabled, no matter what your usual predilection in this genre is. If you lose certain characters that you need to take on story missions, you simply won’t be able to finish the game, and while you can restart a battle (most of the time–one mission ended with my entire team spontaneously exploding, the game autosaving before I properly realised what had happened), getting through a match with no losses is difficult.

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This would be acceptable–you’re signing up for a more difficult experience, after all–but it also renders the Pit all but unusable. Getting through a match against the AI or an online opponent unscathed is essentially impossible, making this an even more hardcore option than it usually would be within this genre. It’s not just that the permadeath mode is unbalanced–it essentially locks you out of certain modes, which is not clear from the beginning, and because of existing genre conventions it’s fair to assume that some players will go in expecting permadeath to be the ‘right’ way to play. Follow this advice: let your characters come back when they die, and you’ll be okay.

Pit People’s irreverent appeal isn’t enough to make it stand alongside the greats, but it’s entertaining and mildly engrossing. It maintains the cartoonish charm that The Behemoth always imbues their games with, and the gameplay cycle does a solid job of getting you invested in your scrappy team of fighters. Hopefully, over time, Pit People will build more of an audience and the online modes will improve, but even if you prefer to just stick to the single-player campaign, it’s a fun time.

Fallout 4 Modders Cancel Fallout 3 Recreation

The Capital Wasteland Project, a fan project that was attempting to recreate Fallout 3 inside the framework of Fallout 4, has been canceled. The creator says that discussions with Bethesda made them realize that their plan was treading on treacherous legal ground, forcing them to call it off.

The project leader “NafNaf 95” shared a statement on Twitter (via Eurogamer) explaining the decision. “Recently we communicated with Bethesda regarding our planned method to implement the voice acting and other audio from Fallout 3 into the Capital Wasteland. During this conversation it became clear our planned approach would raise serious red flags that we had unfortunately not foreseen.”

The letter goes on to state that the team attempted shifting its methods in various ways, including re-recording dialogue, or requiring Fallout 3 to be owned in conjunction with an audio extractor. Ultimately, though, the team came to the conclusion that there was no legal way they could continue the project as envisioned. The dialogue that was performed by the likes of Liam Neeson and Ron Perlman was seen as too crucial to the experience, so re-recording it with fan-actors was dubbed a non-starter.

In a more personal matter, the project head says that if the team were to continue the project, he would personally be held liable for any copyright infringement or piracy claims.

“Projects like this have always existed in a grey area of the law…” the letter read. “If at any point in the future it becomes fully legal for us to continue working with the blessing of Bethesda and Zenimax, we will.”

New Fortnite Update Coming Tomorrow, Adds Supply Llamas To Battle Royale [UPDATE: DELAYED]

[UPDATE] The 3.3 update has been delayed due to an issue. No new release date has been announced.

The original story is below.

A new update is on the way very soon for Fortnite. On the game’s official Twitter account, developer Epic announced it will deploy patch 3.3 tomorrow, March 14, which will introduce new content for both the free-to-play Battle Royale and the paid early access Save the World modes.

Epic hasn’t detailed exactly what will be available in the new update, but the developer did tease that players will be able to come across a Supply Llama in Battle Royale, which will aid them by dropping helpful items when found. The update may also include remote explosives, a newly revealed item that players will be able to detonate from a distance.

One thing we likely won’t see in update 3.3, however, are jetpacks. The items were originally slated to arrive in Battle Royale last month; however, Epic ultimately delayed them due to a “last minute design issue” that the developer discovered when playtesting the jetpacks internally. There is still no word as of yet about when the jetpack will be added to Battle Royale, but Epic has introduced other items in the meantime, such as the hunting rifle.

Epic says it will reveal exact timing details for the new Fortnite patch “soon.” Until then, players still have a little more time to take part in Battle Royale’s latest limited-time mode, Teams of 20. Like a typical match, the mode features 100 players, except this time they’re divided up into five teams of 20.

Epic recently announced it is bringing Fortnite: Battle Royale to mobile. Those with iOS devices can now sign up for a chance to take part in an exclusive invite event. If you’re curious to see how the game runs on mobile, you can check out the first gameplay footage of Fortnite on iOS here.

Hearthstone’s New Witchwood Cards: A Closer Look

Today Blizzard announced its next Hearthstone expansion, the spooky haunted forest theme titled The Witchwood. And though the company has only revealed six cards so far, those six pack a lot of flavor and implications for this expansion’s direction–especially thanks to the introduction of two new keywords. Let’s take a closer look.

Pumpkin Peasant – This card is actually represented as a pair, because as it sits in your hand it will shift from a 2/4 minion to a 4/2 and back again. Hearthstone has certainly toyed with similar effects before, with cards like Molten Blade or Shifting Scroll changing to randomized cards from a pool of weapons or Mage spells, respectively. This represents a different type of shifting, though, because it occurs in a predictable pattern. That means you can plan several turns ahead, knowing exactly what it will be when you need to drop it. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Blizzard continuing this idea with more cards that shift in your hand in a clockwork pattern.

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Phantom Militia – This is the first of two new keywords introduced in this expansion. The Echo keyword allows you to play a card multiple times in a single turn. While Blizzard has executed a similar idea in the Shaman’s Unstable Evolution card, giving it a keyword suggests the developer has much bigger plans for this mechanic, in this expansion and beyond. Keywords can also signal interactions with other cards that may let you perform tricks like reducing costs or increasing effects.

The card itself is a fine utility staple, giving you a decent Taunt minion that can be doubled or tripled up as necessary. It’s not the most exciting inclusion, so the introduction of a keyword is really the more interesting element here.

Milita Commander – The only class card introduced so far in this set is a Warrior card that debuts the other new keyword, Rush. Rush is essentially Charge, which allows a minion to attack on the turn it is played, but it’s limited only to other minions. We can already see how this new keyword is opening up additional design space for Blizzard. This minion would be way too powerful if it could attack the enemy Hero, but as limited to other minions it seems pretty fair.

The studio has tried to implement a similar limitation before with Charged Devilsaur, which inserted the minions-only limitation as a Battlecry. It was possible to cheat around the Battlecry though, so devoting a new keyword should avoid that problem altogether.

Azalina Soulthief – One of the neutral Legendary cards already revealed, Azalina Soulthief could allow for some huge gameplay moments. If you’re running out of cards against an opponent with a full hand, it’s an easy way to swing the game back in your favor. Alternatively, if you suspect your opponent is putting together a wicked combo, you can take their pieces and try to pull it off yourself. It’s easy to see how this could become a tech card against powerful decks, since it has such an immediate effect to answer whatever your opponent has coming.

Genn Greymane – This is one of a pair of cards with similar effects that are vitally incompatible. In the past, Hearthstone has printed cards that upgrade your Hero Power, and cards that reduce the cost of your Hero Power. With the ability to use both together, players have put together combo decks like Shadowreaper Priest that were too powerful and subsequently needed to be nerfed. Greymane gives the power-reduction effect, but only if you construct your deck with even-costed cards. That could be a serious disruption to your play tempo and limit your options, but as a trade-off, the impact is available right from the start of the game.

Baku the Mooneater – The mirror image of Greymane is Baku, which upgrades your Hero Power from the very start by building a deck of only odd-cost cards. These upgraded powers will presumably be similar to the ones introduced by Justicar Truehart, which rotated out of Standard a long time ago. Greymane’s cost-reduction will likely make its limitations easier to deal with, but having an upgraded Hero Power from the very start of the game could see you through.

Most importantly, since it’s impossible to build a deck out of only even and only odd cards, you can’t use Greymane and Baku together. Forcing players to choose a lane should make for more diverse strategies.

The Witchwood will launch in mid-April with 135 new cards. Blizzard has opened pre-purchases of a bundle that includes 70 packs, with a few packs and a free Class Legendary available as a login bonus near launch. It will kick off the Year of the Raven, which will also mean older sets will be cycled out at the same time.

Nintendo Switch 5.0 Update Released, See The Patch Notes Here

Nintendo has pushed out the newest Nintendo Switch firmware update. Version 5.0.0 was released today, and it includes some welcome changes and more.

In terms of new stuff, the update adds a whopping 24 new Arms and Kirby player icons (you can see some in the embedded tweet below). As for new or improved features, with the update applied, the digital games you buy from Nintendo’s website or on your smartphone should begin downloading faster on your console, even if your Switch is in Sleep mode. Additionally, you can now filter news from the feed to only show unread messages or content from a specific channel of your choosing.

Also new in the update is that Captured videos in your Album are now subject to parental controls if you have those set up. Additionally, the Pro Controller grip colours will now show up in the Controllers menu, which is pretty cool. You can see the full patch notes below, as posted on Nintendo’s website.

In other news, the latest Nintendo Direct broadcast was held last week. There was a lot of big news, but nothing bigger than the confirmation that Super Smash Bros. is coming to Switch later this year.

System functionality

  • Facebook and Twitter friends that also use Nintendo Switch can now be added through Friend Suggestions
    • Friend suggestions are based on the Facebook and Twitter accounts you have linked to your Nintendo Account
    • To view your friend suggestions, from the top left of the HOME Menu head to your User Page > Friend Suggestions
    • You must be 13 or older to use this feature
  • Select from 24 new ARMS and the Kirby series icons for your user
    • To edit your user icon, head to your My Page on the top left of the Home Menu > Profile
  • Digital software purchases made from a PC or smart device will start downloading sooner than previously, even if the Nintendo Switch console is in Sleep Mode
  • Filter News to view only unread news or news from specific channels
  • To keep the Parental Controls PIN private, the default method for PIN entry has been changed to entering using the Control Stick and buttons instead of the on-screen number pad
    • When prompted to enter you Parental Controls PIN, press and hold the + Button to change between input methods
  • Captured videos in the Album will be restricted by Parental Controls depending on the Restricted Software setting and Software Rating Organization
  • Using the Nintendo Switch Parental Controls app, add specific software titles to your whitelist to exclude them from the console’s Parental Controls Restricted Software setting
    • Play-Time Limit restrictions will still apply even when the software title has been whitelisted.
  • Receive notification when pre-purchased software is ready to play
  • Nintendo Switch Pro Controller grip colors will now display in the Controllers menu

System Stability

  • Resolved an issue that caused Play Activity to display incorrectly in the Profile section of your User Page

New Fantastic Beasts 2 Trailer Coming Soon

The first full trailer for the second Fantastic Beasts movie, The Crimes of Grindelwald, is coming on March 13. Ahead of that, Warner Bros. has released a tiny teaser trailer that shows a shot of the first page of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. The letters fall apart and lift off the page, creating a cloud. It’s pretty neat; take a look:

Warner Bros. has also launched a social media campaign that encourages people to post a photo of themselves with a wand, using the hashtag #WandsReady. You can also use a specially created app on the Fantastic Beasts website to create a photo.

The Crimes of Grindelwald is the second of five planned Fantastic Beasts films, following the first in 2016. The second movie features the evil wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who is played by Johnny Depp. Main character Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) helped capture him for the Magical Congress of the United States of America. However, Grindelwald escapes and recruits followers to help him on his mission to have pure-blood wizards rule the world.

Jude Law plays a young Albus Dumbledore in The Crimes of Grindelwald. Dumbledore enlists Newt to help capture thwart Grindelwald’s plans, but he doesn’t know the full extent of the danger he faces. The Crimes of Grindelwald is directed by David Yates. J.K. Rowling wrote the script.

There has been some controversy about the casting of Depp, following allegations of domestic abuse made against the actor by his now-ex-wife Amber Heard. In response to this, J.K. Rowling defended Depp, though she also admitted they considered re-casting the role.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald releases on November 16, 2018.

WWE Fastlane 2018: Final Results

We are a month away from the biggest show of the year, Wrestlemania. After what turned out to be quite a fantastic PPV with Elimination Chamber a few weeks back, WWE is delivering Fastlane, the Smackdown brand-exclusive event, before Wrestlemania.

The main event for the next PPV features Baron Corbin, Kevin Owens, John Cena, Sami Zayn, Dolph Ziggler, and champion AJ Styles all battling for the WWE Championship in a six-pack challenge. In total, there are six matches on the card, and every Smackdown title is on the line. Fastlane is coming to the WWE Network on Sunday, March 11. The event takes place at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, and you can check out an in-depth look at the match card and our predictions here.

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Here’s the card lineup for the event:

  • Tye Dillinger and Breezango vs. Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin, and Mojo Rawley (KICKOFF SHOW)
  • Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Carmella
  • Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev
  • Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton (For the United States Championship)
  • The Usos (c) vs. The New Day (For the Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
  • Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler (For the WWE Championship)

The Kickoff Show starts on the WWE Network at 7PM ET/4PM PT. The actual Fastlane event begins at 8PM ET/5PM PT on the WWE Network and on PPV. Below, you’ll find the winners of each match as it happens.

In case you’re not caught up, don’t worry; we put the final results in spoiler blocks.

Kickoff Show

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Tye Dillinger and Breezango vs. Chad Gable, Shelton Benjamin, and Mojo Rawley

Dillinger pins Rawley at 7:24.

Main Card

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Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Rusev

Shinsuke pins Rusev ar 14:28.

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Bobby Roode (c) vs. Randy Orton (For the United States Championship)

Orton pins Roode at 19:27.

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Becky Lynch & Naomi vs. Natalya & Carmella

Carmella pins Lynch at 8:51.

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The Usos (c) vs. The New Day (For the Smackdown Tag Team Championship)

Bludgeon Brothers interfere at 9:00, beating everyone up.

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Charlotte Flair (c) vs. Ruby Riott (For the Smackdown Women’s Championship)

Charlotte wins by submission at 13:44.

Asuka comes out and challenges Charlotte for the title at Wrestlemania.

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Baron Corbin vs. Kevin Owens vs. AJ Styles (c) vs. John Cena vs. Sami Zayn vs. Dolph Ziggler (For the WWE Championship)

Styles pins Owens at 21:50.

Xbox Boss Wants Fortnite PS4 And Xbox One Cross-Play, Developer Agrees

In the past few days, we’ve learned a lot about Fortnite: Battle Royale’s upcoming cross-play support. The PS4 edition will support cross-play with PC and the newly announced mobile edition, while the Xbox One version will also let you play with people on PC and mobile. However, there is no cross-play support between PS4 and Xbox One. There never has been for any game, but all the same, people really want to see it happen. In a somewhat encouraging development, Xbox boss Phil Spencer and developer Epic Games have said they would like to see cross-play added between the two competing home consoles.

This played out over Twitter this weekend. Someone asked Spencer if there would be cross-play, saying they would really like to see the feature added. “Me 2,” Spencer said. Later in the thread, Epic jumped in to voice its own support, exclaiming “We 3!”

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From a technical standpoint, the ability for PS4 and Xbox One owners to play online together in games like Rocket League is more than possible, but to date, Sony has not given its consent to allow it to happen. Back in September 2017, Epic enabled cross-platform play between the two consoles for Fortnite: Save the World, although that was quickly turned off and chalked up to an error.

Microsoft has famously been open to cross-play support in recent years. Rocket League is set to work across Xbox One, Switch, and PC, while the developer of Minecraft (which Microsoft owns) is also open to cross-play between Xbox One and PS4. For its part, Sony has not seemed eager to allow cross-play.

Would you like to see cross-play support added for Xbox One and PS4? Let us know in the comments below!

The Simpsons: Who Shot Mr. Burns? Episode Could Have Been WAY Different

The two-part “Who Shot Mr. Burns?” episode of The Simpsons is one of the long-running show’s best-known and most-talked about. Part 1, the final episode of Season 6, ended on an epic cliffhanger where Mr. Burns lay shot on a sun-dial. The audience had to wait four months for the Season 7 premiere to find out who indeed shot Mr. Burns. Many Springfield characters had their own motivations for shooting Mr. Burns, but few could have guessed that it would be baby Maggie who was revealed to have shot the wealthy, curmudgeonly nuclear powerplant owner.

Now, Who Shot Mr. Burns? co-writer Josh Weinstein has shared the summary of the team’s pitch notes for the episode that he wrote alongside Bill Oakley. The document dates back to June 1994, which is 11 months before the episode aired in May 1995.

In the notes, you can see a “very rough” general outline of the episode–and it offers some really interesting insight into what the writers were thinking about. First, one of early ideas was for Mr. Burns to buy a huge plot of land in Springfield for one of his new business endeavours, destroying places like Moe’s Tavern in the process. Ultimately, they went a different way, with Burns creating a dome that blocks out the sun so Springfield residents are forced to buy power from his energy plant.

The writers wanted to be ensure they did not “cheat” the audience with a reveal of the shooter that didn’t live up to the hype. They considered a reveal where it was all a dream or something bizarre like out of Twin Peaks, or someone who stumbled into Springfield by chance and commits the act. They also considered making Barney the shooter and sending him to jail for a period of time for attempted murder.

“We could have it be somebody else but it would really be satisfying it were not some cheap-out guy like Burns’ brother who suddenly appeared at the last minute,” the notes says. The writers also apparently considered having Selma or Patty be the shooters.

In the end, viewers learned that it was Maggie who shot Mr. Burns, by accident, after Mr. Burns was trying to take candy from her. The writers peppered in clues to this, which was precisely the plan. “If I was a kid, I’d really like it if there were actual clues,” reads a line from the notes. To hype up the mystery, Fox produced commercials that ran over the summer between Parts 1 and 2 (see above).

This is a good deal of information about a previously mysterious subject, but it would be cool to learn more about how the episode was conceived and written. Thankfully, Weinstein said he’ll post more “snippets” of behind-the-scenes goodness in time, though he may save the bulk of it for a book.

The 29th season of The Simpsons is running now. You can watch new episodes on Sunday nights on Fox. A second Simpsons movie is being considered but no official announcements have been made. In other news, a fake word that The Simpsons made up is now in the dictionary.