Company of Heroes 2 dev diary talks awkwardly about Britain

It’s always a bit weird hearing people from other nations trying to define the WARTIME SPIRIT of Britain, because national characters are, by their all-encompassing nature, pretty reductive and sweeping.

Relic’s Quinn Duffy mostly plays it pretty safe in this Company of Heroes 2 dev diary for the British Forces, sticking to Winston Churchill (a politician so beloved that we kicked him out almost immediately after WWII ended,) D-Day landings, Battle of Britain, all that stuff. But he also makes some incredibly baffling comments, like opting for a Northern Irish commando character because they have a “blood-thirsty twang” to their accent. Err … okay then?

He also seems to lump Northern Ireland in with ‘Britain’ which … I guess is semantically correct if you’re meaning Britain as a shorthand for ‘United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,’ but the term for that is usually just United Kingdom.

But look, I get that when you’re designing national characters for an RTS expansion there’s going to be a tendency to tack towards broad archetypes. So the Welsh guy is an engineer and coal miner, the Scottish chap honed his sniping skills hunting Highland game, and the English … actually they don’t mention a specific English character.

I’m going to assume he’ll have a cut-glass Queen’s English accent, a stiff upper lip and say “By jove!” a lot. Unless he’s working class in which case they’ll probably go for Cockney. Surprise me, Relic. Go for a West Country accent or East Anglia or something.

Company of Heroes 2: The British Forces is due in September. It’s a stand-alone multiplayer expansion (meaning you can buy it and just play as the British in multiplayer,) which will add 15 units and six commanders, plus eight new multiplayer maps.


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Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 jumps out early, available now

In what may be some kind of in-joke about the surprising nature of the game, Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 has unexpectedly popped out of development a bit early.

Originally scheduled for August, you can instead pick up the fourth installment in Scott Cawthon’s lore-heavy horror series about Freddy Fazbear’s pizza joint and the animatronic nightmares contained therein right now. Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 switches the main location to an unspecified (but probably important, knowing these games) child’s home, where Freddy Fazbear, Chica, Bonnie, Foxy and “even worse things” now lurk.

As usual, you need to keep yourself safe until 6am by watching the doors. Your method of defense this time around is a flashlight, which can scare things away if they’re distant enough, but will be “your end” if they’re too close. Devious creatures will be trying to make their way into your closet or (oh god) onto the bed behind you.

In his release announcement, Scott mentions that full-screen options may not be working correctly for everybody at the moment. He promises to have this fixed before the end of the day.

Here’s a trailer of Five Nights at Freddy’s 4 in motion. With all the alarming animatronic jump-scares that implies.



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PLAY SWTOR FOR FREEThere are always a lot of things you could potentially ride in video games. Star Wars: The Old Republic is no exception. There are lots of different speeder styles. There are tauntauns. There are various animals on specific planets. There are really big player characters if you’re a smaller sort. So the developers have turned to the forums with a simple question: what do you want to ride around on?

The point of the thread is not to serve as a preview of what mounts will be added to the game, but to offer suggestions about what players would like to see. Obviously, the suggestions should be limited to the creatures and vehicles actually present in the game. So jump on into the thread if you have something new and exciting that you just can’t wait to ride around the game.


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PLAY STAR TREK ONLINE FOR FREEIf you’ve spent any time with Star Trek Online fans, then you’ll know that there’s a widespread appreciation for the game’s deep and consistent storytelling. This is almost single-handedly thanks to Christine “Kestrel” Thompson, who has been the head writer for the title for seven years.

Sadly, Thompson announced last Friday that she was leaving her position and Cryptic Studios: “After eight years at Cryptic and almost seven years as the writer of Star Trek Online, it’s time to turn over my tricorder and move on to other worlds and new stories. It has been an honor and a privilege to write for a universe this deep and amazing and to be a part of the STO community. Thank you so much for the chance to be a part of your universe.”

Thompson did not say where she’s headed but did promise that she’d continue to play the game.


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You Tell Me: Is Elder Scrolls Online Must-Play, Should-Play, or Pass?

Simply put, I disliked the UI, I didn’t like the feel of the combat, and the experience seemed disconnected from other players. It was the worst first impression of an MMORPG that I had since Age of Wushu, and that’s really saying something. It turns out that a lot of others players had the same initial reaction to ESO.

For context, I didn’t play Skyrim or any of the Elder Scrolls games, so I have neither an attachment nor an opinion on the IP.

Over the past 2 years I have been extremely selective about which games I play, because:

I’ve been disappointed with a lot of the games in MMORPG space since 2008
My free time is limited – my job as a digital product manager has kept me busy in RL
I tend to stick with games I enjoy and find challenging. Over the past year the game that has kept me most entertained has been World of Tanks (WoT), because it is a high skill-cap PVP game, and Guild Wars 2 (GW2)
I don’t want to waste my time on games that I don’t think are going to stick, for me or the community. I’ve found that it’s useless to be the last person on the island (e.g. with WAR), when most of your guildees and friends have moved on. Therefore, I have passed on a lot of recent games, e.g. PlanetSide 2, Defiance, Neverwinter, Final Fantasy XIV, etc.

I played WildStar Beta a bit, leveling a Medic, Warrior, and Stalker to about level 6-7, to get a feel for the basic game and combat mechanics, and I had a solid impression of that game. So based on my (limited) Beta experiences, my plan has been to pass on ESO and play WildStar.

There was a recent post on Massively that made me wonder whether that plan makes sense:

As I have found playing both ESO and Wildstar up to level 12 now:

Wildstar is animation-savvy and artistically appealing, so the game makes a strong first impression… then, for people like me, the shine wears off within hours and the actual gameplay becomes a chore. With ESO, its struggle to both maintain and diverge from an Elder Scrolls formula, along with its animations (and the awful tutorial zone) makes a very weak impression out of the gate, but once you get to the main game world, you discover 50 new interesting things every hour and they never stop coming, and the world starts to feel alive and even bountiful

Wildstar delivers a great first impression but falters. ESO stumbles first and excels second.

I keep hearing on social media that Cyrodil RVR/PVP is fantastic, and the build customization for characters is really high. So you tell me, is ESO a must-play game, should-play, or a game I should pass on, given what you know about my preferences: love PVP, PVE is fun only if it’s meaningfully challenging.

P.S. When I took a break from WoT in November, my WN8 rating for my last 1000 battles was at 2349 – literally 1 point under the “Unicum” threshold, which represents the cream of the crop statistically.

Over the past 2 months I’ve been averaging a WN8 rating of 2600+, and my account WN8 rating is closing in on 2000. It’s satisfying to know I can play at a Unicum level without ever having used premium ammo (aka gold ammo).

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