Hey there, gaming fans. Things have been a bit somber around here given the events of last week, but we’re still here to bring you the latest gaming news. Don’t be afraid to take time to recharge with a favorite title—personally, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Overwatch and Jackbox 3, both of which are infinitely better with a friend or two. Need a buddy? Reach out anytime—you’ll find me on Twitter @melissabrinks, and I’m always here with a patient ear or, at the very least, those good, good Zarya bubbles.
In case you missed it, here’s this week’s gaming news:
Overwatch Dominates the News, Again
If you haven’t yet caught Overwatch fever and you’re sick to death of hearing about it, I have good and bad news for you. Good news: you can check the game out for free this upcoming weekend. All maps and characters will be free, and any progress you make from November 18 through the 21st will be retained if you purchase the game. Bad news: I have more Overwatch updates, so you might as well plan to spend your weekend playing it to stay up to date.
After a months-long ARG, endless speculation, and a truly incredible introductory cinematic, Sombra is finally here! While I haven’t had a chance to play, myself—I’m busy writing this news wrap-up, after all—I am stoked. The update also introduces a new map and an arcade mode, letting players who enjoy weekly brawls and the dreaded all-Mei/all-Junkrat/all-Ana runs to keep strutting their bizarro stuff against others. Quickplay now serves as a sort of training ground for competitive matches, as you’re no longer able to have multiples of each hero. The Quickplay announcement received mixed reviews from fans, but I, for one, am happy I’ll never again be pressured into playing Mei because it’s just plain embarrassing to watch me try.
Last bit of Overwatch stuff—check out this dude playing the game on his microwave. Incredible.
SAG-AFTRA Strike Targets Insomniac Games
The strike against unfair wages and unhealthy working conditions in video game voice acting continues. SAG-AFTRA, the organization leading the movement toward better wages for voice actors, has called for protests against 11 companies, including Insomniac Games. The strike at Insomniac is scheduled for tomorrow, Thursday the 17th.
The strikes will likely continue until a deal can be struck between the games industry and voice actors, which, so far, has not gone well. Stay up-to-date by following #PerformanceMatters on Twitter, which, between the inspirational fitness posts, is full of people sharing their favorite game performances and standing in solidarity with voice actors.
Celebrating the Fantastic Fantasy World of Tabletop
When I’m not video gaming, I’m tabletop gaming. If you’re a fantasy fan, Humble Bundle has you covered—tons of fantasy RPG books based on properties like Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn, Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files, and George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire are available for just $15. Act quick—the bundle ends at 4 PM PST today.
Good news for the preservation of Dungeons & Dragons: the game has been inducted into the National Museum of Play in New York. With over 20 million players and a 40-year history, D&D remains one of the most popular tabletop RPGs. The latest edition is a great introduction for new players, so if you’re interested but haven’t given it a shot yet, check it out!
Titillating Tidbits and Explicit Extras
Screenshotting genitalia in Watch Dogs 2 could get you banned. Why there are realistically modeled genitalia, however, is anybody’s guess. Ubisoft says they’ll be patching out this particular vagina, but not the others, nor the penises. What a world. The WWAC games section has a few words for this debacle:
“Which artist was responsible for fanny duty & how do they feel about it” – Claire Napier
“somebody really sat there and lovingly rendered a woman’s v town” – Clara Mae
“But penises are just fiiiine. Even though they stick out more, and flop around…” – Cathryn Sinjin-Starr
“lol” – Yours Truly
The Fullbright Company, developers of Gone Home, responded to last week’s election by putting their game up for free or donation. While the game has some surface-level creepiness, it’s a story of hope that we could all use these days. The free deal is over, but Fullbright raised almost $15 thousand for Lambda Legal, a civil rights organization for LGBTQ+ and HIV-positive people.
Mysterious symbols have appeared in 24 different games. We might be one step closer to knowing why—and it all may tie back into viral hit Frog Fractions.
Pokemon GO isn’t going anywhere. New rumors suggest 100 generation two pokemon are on the way. Give me a reason and I’ll come running back, Niantic!
We all know video game movies have a tendency to be bad. But how about video game TV shows? Ubisoft is reportedly in talks with Netflix to create a franchise based off of one of their hit games, such as Assassin’s Creed or Watch Dogs. Side quests will hopefully be optional.
And hey, video game movies might generally be bad, but how could an adaptation of Neko Atsume, everyone’s favorite kitty collector, be anything but a blessing? Personally, I’m rooting for a Mad Max Fury Road adaptation inspired by this iconic tweet:
The Imperator in her war machine pic.twitter.com/F4dEkFgddz
— dire runaan (@awyeahrunaan) May 25, 2015
See you in a couple weeks, folks. In the meantime, hack some health packs on my account, would you?
Melissa Brinks is Sidequest’s editor in chief, co-creator of the Fake Geek Girls podcast, author of The Compendium of Magical Beasts, and an aspiring beekeeper. She once won an argument on the internet, and tweets at @MelissaBrinks.