On November 20th, developer Epic announced its “Winter Royale” competition, an open tournament with a $1 million prize pool that will start later this month. It’s an expansion of the tournament feature that Epic launched in October, but it has the important addition of winning actual money. Previous cash tournaments were restricted to pros or other invited players, like popular streamers.
Epic says that the competition will be divided into two phases: qualifiers and finals. “The top performers in each region for NA and EU will be verified, and those players found eligible will be invited to participate in the Winter Royale Finals for their region,” the developer explains. “While this tournament will be restricted to NA and EU, we’re planning on holding other region-specific tournaments in additional regions in the near future.”
In February 2019, Season 2 of the Overwatch League will be broadcast on ESPN and Disney, making the popular esport accessible to a wider audience. The Overwatch viewer, debut at BlizzCon 2018, enables fans to have the same controls over what they see as commentators. Fans can control which players they watch at any given time. The degree of control should make it easier for people who aren’t familiar with the game to become interested as they can learn at their own pace.
Battlefield V is complicated, sweeping, and enjoyable to play. Its narrative highlights World War II’s lesser known fronts, and its competitive multiplayer is fast-paced and action-focused.
Each War Story is meant to educate players on one of the war’s fronts, focusing not on familiar battles like Normandy, Stalingrad, or Iwo Jima, but on lesser-known aspects of the great global conflict. There’s a stealth-heavy mission as a Norwegian sniper, a cautionary tale starring Senegalese soldiers fighting in France, and a rough and tumble special ops campaign about British commandos. Developer DICE says it plans to add a final post-release mission focusing on a German panzer unit. Combined, the War Stories provide a fresh perspective on a war that video games have milked and enthusiastically recreated for years, and DICE’s narrative team clearly cared about treating each story with respect.
Although there are glimmers of the old Fallout twinkle, like tongue-in-cheek quests about the old-world bureaucracy and genuinely moving backstories about the impact of automation on the working class, Fallout 76 lacks the heart and dynamism of previous installations in Bethesda’s series. Sure, there are robots, but unlike Curie from Fallout 4 or even Victor from way back in Fallout: New Vegas, these robots lack emotional depth.