Blizzard will show off two hours of Overwatch 2 gameplay on May 20, including a first look at changes to the game’s PvP mode. Announced by new director Aaron Keller in a short development update, the livestream will begin on May 20 at 12pm Pacific / 3pm Eastern / 8pm UK (that’s May 21 at 5am AEST). It will focus on PvP, and will include footage of changes coming to the mode – and will serve as our biggest public look at the game since it was announced. You’ll be able to watch the stream with us on IGN. The livestream will feature Keller, lead hero designer Geoff Goodman, and associate art director Dion Rogers, and will be hosted by Matt “Mr. X” Morello and Mitch “Uber” Leslie (with appearances from Overwatch influencers Stylosa and Cuppcaake). [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/overwatch-2-55-new-details”] Exactly what the livestream will introduce for PvP is unknown, but it will definitely affect both Overwatch 2 and the original Overwatch, with the two games sharing a single player-vs-player set-up. “From new maps to major gameplay updates,” reads a press release, “we’re reinvigorating the core Overwatch experience.” Those PvP changes could be fundamental, with Overwatch 2’s BlizzCon panel explaining that the team was making experimental changes to the game, including adding passive abilities across hero roles, wildly altering how tank characters work, and potentially even removing the Assault mode type altogether. Now-departed game director Jeff Kaplan previously hinted to IGN that PvP changes would be evolutionary for the game: “We’re trying to rethink maybe the way the game is played a little bit and redefine what PvP needs – go, ‘Hey, we’re not in Overwatch 1 anymore. We’re in Overwatch 2 now. It’s okay for it to be different. In fact, how many years are we going to play the same game before it’s time to move on and experience something different and allow us to evolve?’ Which I think is good.” [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/jeff-kaplan-blizzards-brilliant-innovator”] With no release date in sight, it’s not clear how far along Overwatch 2 is in development, but Blizzard is aiming to update fans more regularly than it has done, so this may well be the first in a line-up of showcases for the game. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Joe Skrebels is IGN’s Executive Editor of News. Follow him on Twitter. Have a tip for us? Want to discuss a possible story? Please send an email to [email protected].
Like most people, I go into the weekend with a hopeful mindset—particularly that no earth-shattering revelations about my PC gaming habits will come to light during the hours that I'm just trying to relax. Then, one fateful Sunday morning, a long-overdue bell tolled. I was knee-deep in a match of Apex Legends, sliding and diving across the map, while my roommate sat nearby. "Oh my god," they said, barely squeaking the words out between cackling fits. "Why are you palm-tapping the CTRL key?"
Yes, folks, I press CTRL with the palm of my hand.
Still briefly unaware that this was an unforgivable sin, I decided to let Twitter decide in a poll. I was confident that many others also use the palm-tap, despite my roommate's heckling suggesting otherwise. It couldn't just be me, right?
Oh. Well then.
If merely alluding to the palm-tap is enough to make you wince, then apologies in advance for any pain the Frankenstein-like details are sure to cause. My hand rests on the keyboard in a fairly standard WASD configuration (unlike senior editor Wes Fenlon's shameful WASD crimes): thumb on the spacebar, index finger on the D key, middle finger on the W and S keys, and ring finger on the A key.
That's normal enough, but then it all goes to hell. In most of the FPS games I play, Shift and CTRL are crucial keys used to crouch, sprint, or walk. Shift is the only key I press with my pinky, so for CTRL, my palm lunges forward to nudge it—the top-right palm meat below the fingers, specifically. Sometimes when I do this, my pinky inadvertently extends upward like ye olde aristocrats joyously sipping from a teacup.
It's ridiculous, I know. I mean, now I know. Imagine you've gone 15 years without realizing everyone else simply adjusts their pinky south to reach CTRL. I'm still reeling from the revelation. It's right up there with finding out that that little arrow on your car's gas gauge points toward which side of your car the fuel cap is on.
How did my smooth brain even come up with the palm-tap? And when? Did I even come up with it, or pick up the habit from someone? I had a sneaking suspicion answers lay hidden somewhere among the bulky CRT monitors and MacGyvered-together home networks of early 2000s LAN parties.
Tap n' slap
That circled region is the portion of my palm I've always used to press CTRL, dating all the way back to 2005 (at least).
A childhood friend I hadn't spoken to in years actually remembered my palm-tapping from our Counter-Strike 1.6 days. "You came to one of our local Counter-Strike tournaments insisting this exercise was best for sneaking around in-game," he said in a snarky tone. "Walking and crouching actions remove footstep sounds in Counter-Strike, which you mapped to Shift and CTRL, respectively. Guess the idea was always to have part of your hand on keyboard shortcuts bound to noise mitigation? Whatever the reasoning may have been, it looked stupid and uncomfortable."
Stupid? Yes. Uncomfortable? Perish the thought! Contorting my imprecise hand flesh into an awkward inverse arc to push CTRL could never lead to discomfort. It's not like I've spent years waking up wondering if someone took a fire poker to my hand while I was asleep. No way, never! I foolishly never brought this hand pain up with my doctor, assuming it was nothing more than some nasty carpal tunnel. This seemed like the perfect opportunity for a professional opinion, so we reached out to Dr. Caitlin McGee, a physical therapist with a background in neuroscience and exercise/sport science. Her advice? Things aren't looking so great for the palm-tap.
"Extending like that puts your lumbricals, or intrinsic hand muscles, in a stretched position, and they're not able to effectively perform finger flexion or stabilization as a result. If [you] weren't having pain, I'd consider the possibility that someone could become adapted to pushing the CTRL button that way. However, [you're] having pain." Maybe it's time to retire this particular habit.
Clearly I've been using the palm-tap since regularly playing Counter-Strike, but the seed was likely sown into little Kyle's subconscious long before any LAN party. That same friend reckons the Counter-Strike 1.6 IRC servers we frequented were rife with goofy "tips and tricks" (I remember one rando insisting left-handed mousing yielded more headshots), and that mock advice may have caused the Campbell palm-tap to blossom into a lifelong bad habit. It just took my roomie's belly laughs nearly two decades later to realize that uncomfortable palm gymnastics are not an ideal way to play.
After absorbing the history that likely lead to my aberrant crouching, time came to give my palm a break by pressing CTRL with my pinky like an actual human.
I pressed CTRL with my pinky. It felt deeply wrong.
It was like I'd strolled onto a beach wearing socks and sandals. My first problems came in a match of Dead By Daylight. I was running from the killer and was totally incapable of juking around them as my left hand refused to cooperate.
I took a hard turn past a dusty old cabin and into some waist-high bushes, breaking line of sight with my assailant for a brief moment. When the time came to crouch into a bush, everything slowed to a snail's pace. My body insisted my pinky stay on the safe, rectangular surface of Shift, yet there I was firing off every brain synapse like mad trying to move it half an inch down to CTRL.
It was a borderline impossible task that I could only overcome through meditative focus. My pinky quivered as I stayed lowered in the dense shrubbery, and when the killer came back into view, my fight-or-flight (or in this case, palm-or-qualm) reflexes kicked in. The Campbell palm-tap could not contain itself, thrusting forward to evict my pinky from its rightful home. Which, unfortunately, caused me to mistakenly pop out of the bushes—I was spotted. The killer was happy to reward my bumbling by stabbing me in the gut.
That cycle repeated for several matches. Sometimes I managed to push CTRL with my pinky just fine, while other attempts ended in comical failure. Friends suggest I keep using my palm as I've done for years and insist that rewiring years of muscle memory isn't worth the hassle.
But the status quo is uncomfortable. I could double down and pontificate about how the palm-tap is brilliant, actually, but that would be dishonest. The road to palm-tapping is paved in needless hand cramps. After spending some time with the pinky method, as hard as it is to adjust, my hand does feel a lot less fatigued. It turns out that little contortion of mine was putting loads of pressure on any fingers planted in the WASD position. Who woulda thought, eh? If only someone had told me that back in 2005.
That's the beauty of PC gaming, though. Weird, wonderful, and even painful control schemes thrive in an environment where we can tailor every input to our preferences. That exactitude adds a layer of self-expression you don't really get on other platforms. I might not stick with my quirk, but at least this little adventure has made the keyboard fresh and exciting again. I'm looking forward to getting reacquainted with the CTRL key, one pinky-tap at a time.
Skull and Bones has been pushed back yet again. Ubisoft confirmed the ship sim is now targeting a release date sometime between 2022 to 2023 The latest Skull and Bones delay was confirmed in Ubisoft’s full-year earnings report for 2020. Ubisoft boasted its robust product lineup for 2021 including Far Cry 6, Rainbow Six Quarantine, Rider Republic, The Division Heartland, and Roller Champions, but also snuck in the new Skull and Bones delay into its report. [ignvideo url=”https://www.ign.com/videos/2018/06/11/skull-and-bones-cinematic-trailer-e3-2018″] Skull and Bones was originally announced at E3 2017 and was set to be released in 2018. Skull and Bones was later delayed to 2019, then 2020, and again to 2021. It was announced as a standalone game and seemed to build on top of the popularity of the ship combat gameplay from the Assassin’s Creed series. The game’s creative director Elisabeth Pellen announced that the development team has expanded and there is a new vision for the game. Ubisoft Singapore is in charge of the project but is joined by Ubisoft studios in Berlin, Chengdu, Kieve, Paris, and the Phillippines to help fulfill this expanded scope. Ubisoft is currently presenting its full-year earnings so check back with IGN as we hear more details about the company’s 2021-2022 plans from CEO Yves Guillemot. [poilib element=”accentDivider”] Matt T.M. Kim is IGN’s News Editor.
EA Play Live 2021 takes place July 22, which is a month later than its usual spot. Though EA has not been part of E3 for years, the publisher always held EA Play in close proximity to E3 – including last year’s digital event.
This announcement comes on the heels of Battlefield’s official channels hinting that the game’s initial unveiling will take place in June, and not in May as everyone expected going off EA’s history. We still expect the game’s full reveal to be part of EA Play Live’s line-up in July, it just seems everything got moved back one month.
Battlefield is, of course, EA’s biggest game this year. Outside of that, you can expect the usual line-up of sports games and EA Originals titles. Though they’re still early in development, we could also get another look at Dragon Age 4, Skate 4 and perhaps something form the recently-acquired Codemasters.
HTC is upgrading its high-end PC VR headset, the Vive Pro.
HTC has today announced two new headsets, both of which are due out over the coming weeks. The first is the consumer-focused Vive Pro 2, which arrives June 4.
The Vive Pro 2 is the successor to the high-end, PC VR headset from 2018. It sports a 5K resolution display, with 2.5K per eye and a 120Hz panel. The headset’s field of view has been expanded to 120 degrees achieved through a “dual stacked-lens design”, which HTC says “virtually eliminates” the dreaded screen door effect.
The new headset supports Display Stream Compression, but is backwards compatible with DisplayPort 1.2. The Vive Pro 2 offers IPD adjustments, and an adjustable head strap. There’s also a sizing dial for owners to further customise the fit. The headset supports external headphones, and comes with its own 3D spatial sound-supporting headphones.
Like its predecessor, the new headset will also work with all Vive SteamVR accessories – including all generations of Vive Trackers, and the Vive Facial Tracker.
“Vive Pro 2 will slot into an existing SteamVR setup – whether it’s Base Station 1.0 or Base Station 2.0, older Vive controllers, or even controllers and gloves like Valve’s Index ‘knuckle’ controllers,” HTC said.
The Vive Pro will be available to pre-order today at 10am PT, 1pm ET, 6pm UK for a special pre-order price of $749 / £659 / €739. It will go on sale June 4. There’s also a full kit – available August 4 – featuring the Pro 2, Base Station 2.0, and Vive Controllers for an eye-watering $1,399 / £1,299 / €1,399.
Alongside the Vive Pro refresh, HTC also announced a new all-in-one (standalone) headset for business: the Vive Focus 3. It, too, has a 5K resolution, and a 120-degree FOV. The panel’s refresh rate is only 90Hz, however, a drop from the Pro 2.
The Vive Focus 3 arrives June 24, priced $1,300 / £1,060 / €1,180.
To understand the story of Resident Evil Village, you need to be familiar with a few key concepts. Unfortunately, if you missed out on collecting clues earlier on, some of the late-game revelations can seem a little disjointed. For example, a lot of players seem to be getting tripped up on just what the Cadou are.
Before we begin, consider this your spoiler warning for Resident Evil Village. This article is primarily focused on lore and backstory rather than the events of the game itself, but if you want to go into your playthrough completely fresh, do not read any further.
Resident Evil Village: What are the Cadou?
The Cadou get referenced a lot towards the end of the game, which can seem weird considering they only have a couple of real on-screen appearances:
It’s some biological-looking goop in a jar. So far, so Resident Evil environment dressing, am I right?
Well, as it turns out, you’ve actually been seeing the Cadou very frequently during your time in the village. You just might not have realised it.
The short answer
To put it simply: Cadou Parasites are the cause of the many mutations you might have noticed cropping up among the population of the titular village.
While officially unconnected to the t-Virus (as far as we know at the moment), the Cadou Parasites serve more or less the same basic function as the various viral agents that kicked off the plot of many a classic Resi game.
Also, “cadou” means “gift” in Romanian (by way of the French word “cadeau”). This is interesting not only from a trivia standpoint, but because it gives us a glimpse into the mindset of the characters responsible for the propagation of Cadou Parasites.
But to really get your head around that, you might need a slightly longer answer.
The slightly longer answer
Once again, just to be very clear: spoilers ahead.
As you might expect, responsibility for the creation of the Cadou Parasites lies with the game’s main villain: Mother Miranda.
Her discovery of a fungus root she dubs “Megamycete” seems to have been a stroke of good fortune (from her point of view, anyway). However, the extensive experimentation she performed — which involved extracting Mold samples from the fungus and eventually splicing them with a parasitic nematode to form a genetically-engineered organism — was obviously quite deliberate.
These genetically-engineered organisms were, as you’ve probably guessed, the Cadou Parasites. Introducing them to human subjects in this fashion seems to have had a higher survival rate, and is the reason why so many people in the village have some very unusual mutant traits above and beyond the usual zombification. Why the most outlandish and controllable of these mutations seem to favour the nobility above the village’s humbler residents is less clear.
Also — despite the fact that it was referred to as “Mutamycete” in the English-language version of Resident Evil 7 — it seems that the Mold in its unspliced form is the same stuff that caused Ethan and Mia so much grief back in Louisiana. In fact, it’s hinted that it might be the raw base form of just about every nasty bioweapon seen throughout the franchise… but that’s probably a story for Resident Evil 9.
So there you have it: a short history of the Cadou. You don’t need to know any of this to actually finish playing the game, but if you weren’t quite sure what the hell was going on, hopefully this has cleared things up for you a bit.
This year’s QuakeCon will not take place at its usual spot in Dallas.
For the second year running, Bethesda has announced that QuakeCon, its celebration of id Software and its games, will be held entirely online this year.
Though last year the company adopted the QuakeCon at Home slogan, Bethesda is dropping that this year for a more standard branding. QuakeCon 2021 takes place August 19-21.
“We can’t wait to get back to Dallas with our QuakeCon family, but for the continued safety of our staff, the volunteers, and the community, this year’s QuakeCon will once again be a digital-only event,” the official QuakeCon Twitter account said today.
Details about the line-up of games, and all of the show’s other events, will be announced at a later date.
We can’t wait to get back to Dallas with our QuakeCon family, but for the continued safety of our staff, the volunteers, and the community, this year’s QuakeCon will once again be a digital-only event. We’ll have all the Peace, Love, and Rockets – remotely – August 19-21. pic.twitter.com/8EaM7EY5Sv
QuakeCon events have in recent years evolved to include much more than id Software’s games. The show essentially became Bethesda’s second E3, and the company took advantage of that to show off Elder Scrolls Online and Fallout 76 content, and even share news about Arkane’s games.
With Bethesda now officially a Microsoft subsidiary, the fate of QuakeCon and other such internal initiatives was left unclear. How much of a role the classic show ends up playing in Bethesda’s future, however, remains a mystery.
Modders once again have access to some of the reverse-engineered GTA 3 and Vice City code thanks to a counter-DMCA.
Earlier this year, a group of creators managed to successfully reverse-engineer GTA 3 and GTA Vice City code, allowing modders to update and tweak the classic games in ways never before possible.
Code for the project, dubbed re3, was posted in its entirety on GitHub. Predictably, of course, Rockstar parent company Take-Two moved in to get re3 removed in February, and GitHub complied, taking down the main repository as well as over 200 other forks.
Because of how DMCA works, anyone could proclaim to own the copyright for any material hosted on a company’s server, and get the content removed. The project’s original creator suspected it wasn’t actually Take-Two behind this, but the risk of further inviting their ire by filing a counter-claim may have been too high.
That is until Theo, the developer behind one of the code forks, decided to do just that. Theo told Torrent Freak that he doesn’t believe Take-Two can claim ownership of the code because it has been modified, and he managed to get his fork back online.
“It would appear that the code in the re3 repo is reverse engineered, not a straight decompilation. I believe Take-Two’s claim to be wholly incorrect if this is the case, since the code may be functionally identical, but not exactly identical, they hold no claim to the code,” he said.
As Torrent Freak notes, however, this only means the fork will be available until the rightsholder takes legal action. In other words, if Take-Two decides to pursue this further, it will once again be taken offline and potentially kick off a legal battle.
The natural pairing for a photography-focused game like New Pokemon Snap is a device to let you bring your in-game photos into the real world – so I wasn’t actually enormously surprised when Nintendo announced it’d be partnering with Fujifilm to allow images taken on the Switch to be printed via their Instax Mini printers.
In fact, seeing exactly what Nintendo had gone for, I was relieved. Nintendo is the king of the one-off accessory – a brilliant add-on that’s used for a handful of games but then basically worthless. This was the case for the Game Boy Printer, which paired brilliantly with that device’s camera and a smattering of other games, but was otherwise a dust-collector. By partnering with Instax, the company has smartly tied in with an existing, multi-utility device.
If you’re unfamiliar, the Instax Mini Link is basically a little photo printer that syncs up to your smartphone. It can split out a decent-quality photo in a Polaroid-style ‘instant develop’ format in a matter of seconds. The photos are small, at 2.4 inches by 1.8 inches in size, but there’s a novelty to these instant prints that has made these devices a bit of a force in the market.
Rather than ink, these photos develop in a similar way to those older instant photos too – which means you just slot in little sealed packs that allow you to print ten images, then eject and replace once that ten is depleted. The main disadvantage is that it can get expensive, and also that the printed photo color definition isn’t always fantastic – but it’s nevertheless a neat little device.
I’ve had experience with the Instax brand before – my partner has an Instax Mini camera – the same technology, but all-in-one, no phone required. Point and shoot. The Mini Link has a slightly different tack, with editing tools built into the accompanying phone app so you can touch up and format photos, add text or other extras, and then print them.
Basically, you can Instagram-up your photos, but then print them in a cute retro format, giving physical photos you can pin up or slide into albums – if people even still have photo albums any more. It seems like the perfect sort of thing for a teenager who wants to decorate their room with photos of good times with their friends… if that’s still a thing teenagers do.
Anyway, the printer is quite simple. It has one button to turn it on and off, and some superfluous motion control features – so you can tilt it, shake it, and flip it to control various functions without picking up your phone. None of these actually factor into the Switch implementation, though.
For Switch, Nintendo and Fujifilm have put out a separate app, “Instax Mini Link for Switch”, which is available now on both iOS and Android. This has the same functionality as the existing Instax Mini App, so you won’t miss any features, but it bundles in the ability to port photos over from your Switch as well as some Nintendo-themed photo frames and the like featuring Mario, Pokemon, and Animal Crossing.
The process of transferring a photo from Switch to the printer is a little cumbersome, but it’s understandable given the nature of the printer. It’s also not just limited to Pokemon Snap – any Switch screenshot can be imported to print.
Basically, it’s a multi-step process. First, the printer has to be turned on and synced to your phone. Sync it once and it’ll automatically reconnect over bluetooth whenever the printer is turned on. Then, kick off the Instax App. Meanwhile, on your Switch open the screenshots application and bring up the share options. In here, there’s an option to “Send to Smart Device”, which is what you use on your screenshots of choice.
You can send one or multiple images over to your phone this way at once. Hitting it brings up two QR codes; one to let your device connect to your Switch temporarily for the transfer, and one to confirm the transfer. Within the Instax app you scan these QR codes… and a few moments later, you’ll have your screenshots on your phone.
From there, you can use the same framing and editing tools as with regular photos – and then send it to the Instax Mini Link to print. The app remembers past photos even after you’ve loaded new ones, so you can reprint favourites multiple times easily – though the film is expensive, so perhaps not too many times!
The whole process is fiddly the first time, but a breeze thereafter – and it is fun to see your in-game photos come out into the real world, just as it was all those years ago with pixelated, augmented Game Boy Camera snaps.
The whole thing is a bit of a gimmick, obviously. But it’s also fun, and the fact that this is a functional little instant photo printer in its own right makes it superior to Nintendo’s Game Boy attempt. That was pure gimmick – which was fine, as back then it was impressive. But photo printing is easy now – and nobody would pay significant money for a photo printer that only worked with the Switch.
This is a worthwhile little partnership with a device with proven usefulness, though – and it works great. If you’ve already got one of these printers, you should check out the Switch integration – and if the concept of this sort of mobile photo printing has you curious, you can treat the Switch integration as a handy bonus.
Last week, we looked at some of the utterly cursed mods infecting Resident Evil Village, including one that replaced Ethan's sweet baby with the grizzled, stone-cut face of Chris Redfield. It's horrific, but not as much as the question it immediately raises—what if you did it the other way around?
Sorry, everyone. Due to popular demand, Chris Redfield is now a big, big baby.
Available over on Nexus Mods, Baby Over Chris Face is exactly what it says on the title. Redfield's gruff face has been swapped out for a puckered infant who nevertheless looks just as (if not more) menacing as the Resi veteran.
Modder JTeghius Kittius, who posted the original Baby Chris mod, says that he received a "ton of requests" to flip the mod. The facial animations all work (minus the eyes), though he does note that he's only tested it on the intro sequence and not Redfield's later appearances.
Andy K reckons Village is the first game in the series to make Redfield feel human, turning him from the one-note action hero of previous entries into a more nuanced character. I wonder if that characterisation stands when our beefy lad is stomping around with rosy cheeks and frightening, giant eyes.