Cantina Talk: The End of Rise of Skywalker Will Melt Your Mind

It came in too late to be included in the last roundup, but everyone has met the Sith Trooper that got revealed in the run-up to Comic-Con International, right? Surely you've spent as much time as we have trying to work out just what that name and color scheme means. Are these the next generation of stormtroopers, or the next generation of the Imperial Guard? Are they actually Sith? Or simply choosing the name? What are J.J. Abrams and Kylo Ren up to? So many questions. While we all collectively ponder these queries, let's catch up on all the other Star Wars news out there. The End of Rise of Skywalker Will Melt Your Mind The Source: Kevin Smith, of …

Ninja Is Leaving Twitch. What’s Next?

Happy Friday, and welcome to Replay, WIRED's videogame news roundup. Some big shakeups in the streaming world this week, and Fortnite continues to pull out all the stops to stay on top. Let's get caught up on the biggest gaming headlines, starting now. Ninja Is Leaving Twitch for Mixier Pastures Ninja is arguably the most popular streamer ever, and he's no longer on Twitch. As reported by Polygon, Ninja, aka Tyler Blevins, announced on Thursday that he's leaving Twitch.tv for Mixer, exclusively broadcasting on the comparatively smaller, more niche service. Niche is a relative term here, though; while Twitch.tv is a part of Amazon's massive internet monopoly, Mixer is owned by Microsoft, which is investing in the platform in the …

Wolfenstein: Youngblood Is a Rare Game About Sisterhood

There aren't too many games about sisterhood. Consid­ering the paucity of games about women's experi­ences in general, this is not surprising. Brothers are everywhere, and the complex interplay of traditional masculinity and tenderness in the relationship of brothers to each other is fairly well-trod territory. But games about two young women against the world? Those are all but unheard of. Julie Muncy Depression and the Solace of 'Grinding' in Online Games Julie Muncy Call of Duty Is Back—and It's Grim as Heck Julie Muncy Rage 2's Open World Is More Barren Than It Should Be Wolfenstein: Youngblood has one of those stories built into its core. That's probably why I like it so much, despite its flaws. There's a scene …

Nintendo’s Reportedly Fixing Those Broken Joy-Cons for Free

Greetings, friends. Welcome to Replay, WIRED's look at the week in gaming news. What's happened since the last time we checked in? Well, we have some new details on Google Stadia's approach to the cloud, a look at Nintendo's evolving customer service procedures, and a very good game recommendation. Let's get going. Google Isn't Worried About All Your Games Being in the Cloud, But You Probably Should Be At its core, Google Stadia solves a big problem: the total and utter lack of a solid streaming videogame service. But, as an all-cloud gaming system, using Stadia means that your games are at the mercy of the cloud itself. If the servers go offline, or get knocked out, or if Stadia …

Depression and the Solace of ‘Grinding’ in Online Games

I've been hunting for gear for hours. Scouring planet to planet, gathering resources, finishing quest steps. My goal is a gun made by a superpowerful AI on Mars, but I've got some chores to do before I can get my hands on it. I have to access 15 information nodes strewn about the ruined red planet, and to access each of those nodes I need four override keys, which I get by completing other small challenges. It's an exercise in repetition, routing, optimization—doing the fastest activities in the smartest way, to get as many keys as possible as fast as possible, to ultimately get everything I need to complete the quest and get the gun. All while not making the …

Netflix’s The Witcher Makes a Play to Be the New Game of Thrones

Parks and Recreation's Ben Wyatt once not-quite-famously said of Game of Thrones that it was "not just for fantasy enthusiasts. They're telling human stories in a fantasy world." He was right. And now that Thrones is over, every network is looking to claim the crossover fantasy hit crown. Today, Netflix threw its hat—er, sword—into the ring at Comic-Con International with The Witcher. Peter Rubin Marvel's Games Are Starting to Feel a Lot Like Its Movies Adam Rogers So Long, You Weird, Space-Time-Defying Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. WIRED Staff It, Top Gun, His Dark Materials Trailers Rock Comic-Con Based on a book series by Andrzej Sapkowski that later got turned into a videogame franchise, the story follows Geralt of Rivia (Henry Cavill, …

The Super Mario Maker 2 Community Is a Haven of Player Creativity

Day after day, I keep gearing up to dive into Super Mario Maker 2. Then something holds me back. As a game, it's a showcase of constantly impressive player creativity, an endlessly expanding compendium of fan creations. And I want to play them. But I'm uneasy. I know how this is going to go. Rhett Allain How to Calculate the Physics in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Julie Muncy Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Is a Massive Monument to Itself Jeffrey Van Camp Best Nintendo Switch Deals, Bundles, and Essentials Online See, I have a confession: I'm not very good at Mario games. I've never beaten the first Super Mario Bros. That last world always gets me. I'm frustrated at having to …

Cantina Talk: What Do The Rise of Skywalker‘s International Titles Mean?

If you're already at the stage where you can't help but wonder how you're going to spend the next few months until the release of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, here's some good news: At least you can wait impatiently on some high-end Star Wars-inspired furniture. Yes, high-end Star Wars furniture. The best item in the collection? The Chewie rocking stool, but we can't deny that the Sidious Easy Armchair looks pretty comfortable, too. What else is happening in the galaxy far, far away? Cantina Talk starts now. But What Could Dawn of Skywalker Possibly Mean? The Source: The internet, noticing international titles for Rise of Skywalker Probability of Accuracy: Well, the titles are accurate, at least. The Real …

Replay: Welp, We Might Be Getting a Final Fantasy XIV TV Show

Welcome to Replay, where you can catch up on a week's worth of videogame news in just a couple of minutes. This week, Sony is looking to make a Final Fantasy XIV show, and also, uh, there's Budweiser-related news? It's a weird one; strap in. Sony's Making Use of Their TV Division to Make a … Final Fantasy XIV Show? As we reported recently, Sony has opened up a wide-ranging TV division to develop, produce, and distribute television adaptations of their videogame properties and, presumably, the properties of their partners. Their first choice, though, is an odd one. As PC Gamer reports, Sony's working on a live-action television show about the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, Final Fantasy XIV. The …

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite Isnt the Next Pokmon Go. Good

When developer Niantic launched Pokémon Go in the summer of 2016, it did so at maximum velocity. The game’s blend of simple mechanics and next-level augmented reality sparked a months-long stretch of virality, followed by years of low-key dominance. Niantic partnered with WB Games for its followup, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite, which debuted Thursday on iOS and Android. And while it checks many of the same boxes—source material with a rabid fanbase, innovative AR—it’s decidedly its own experience. That’s no small praise. It must have been tempting to turn Wizards Unite into Pokémon 2.0. Just sub in fantastic beasts for pocket monsters, wizards for trainers, and ride the fan service all the way to Gringotts. But while there are some …

Subscriptions Are About to Swallow Gaming

By now, you’ve likely felt the subscription pinch, and readied yourself for the coming escalation. Netflix, Amazon, HBO Now, Hulu, Disney Plus—it’s a mess out there! Then again, it’s nothing compared to what’s coming for gamers. Subscriptions aren’t anything new to the world of videogames. Microsoft and Sony have both offered them for over a decade, tying online experiences to Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus, respectively. But as ownership has given way to monthly payments—not just in streaming video but music, clothes, and everything in between—the choices facing gamers have multiplied. This trend was on full display at industry conference E3 last week, where developer Ubisoft revealed its UPlay Plus subscription, Google detailed its streaming Stadia platform, and Microsoft announced …

Companies Don’t Need Big Conventions. They Should Go Anyway

Since its start in 1995, E3 has been the premiere event of the gaming industry, the place every outfit had to be to show off their wares. That's far less true now. In recent years, videogame companies announcing they're skipping the gaming confab has become commonplace. Electronic Arts pulled out a few years ago, launching their own event across town. A few years before that, Nintendo stopped doing annual press conferences, though it still has a presence on E3's show floor. This year, it was Sony's turn: The major publisher and hardware manufacturer passed on the show altogether. With all of Sony's resources presumably focused on the rumored PlayStation 5, the company avoided the event like an embittered college senior …

Here’s Everything Nintendo Didand Didn’tAnnounce at E3

Greetings, and welcome back to WIRED's ongoing E3 coverage! What have you missed since yesterday? A lot, actually. The bulk of the news came from Nintendo's presentation, so we'll start there, but there's plenty more to get through. Here are the big stories—and the big absences—from the last 24 hours at gaming's biggest confab. Nintendo's Sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Looks Spooky Easily the biggest news to come out of E3 yesterday was Nintendo's announcement that the company is already working on a sequel to The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. What's intriguing about the teaser Nintendo released at the show is the huge tonal shift from the previous game. It's Zelda and …

Google Stadia Lands This YearIf You’re Willing to Pony Up

Streaming high-quality video to your laptop or television has been a given for more than a decade now. Streaming high-quality games the same way? Not so much. Yet, after numerous stalled efforts throughout the '00s, cloud gaming is poised for its highest-profile deployment yet, with Microsoft, Tencent, Electronic Arts, and others all working on their own platforms. Out of that increasingly crowded field, it seems all but certain that Google's forthcoming Stadia service will be the first to emerge. In a digital keynote this morning, Google's Phil Harrison and John Justice announced a slew of new details, from launch titles to pricing to (not-quite-exact) timing. The short version: Stadia will officially arrive in November. The slightly longer version: … if …

Pathologic 2 and What Games Can Learn From Low-Tech Art

At the start of Pathologic 2, I wake up in an empty room. I follow a light, and end up on a stage. I'm introduced to the show, by a wicked-looking director and extras in tragedy masks and skin-tight black suits. I'm an actor, the star, one of many. Then the game begins, I walk off the stage, and people start dying. Julie Muncy Observation Is About Putting Yourself Back Together Julie Muncy Rage 2's Open World Is More Barren Than It Should Be Julie Muncy Last Day of Spring Is a Powerful Exercise in Trans Visibility Pathologic 2 is the remake/sequel to the cult classic Russian plague simulator, Pathologic. Released in 2005, the game, developed by Ice Pick Lodge, …

Call of Duty Is Here, Apple Updates Are Coming, and More News

Call of Duty is back, Apple's ready to unveil some new software, and New York is prepared to say goodbye to the MetroCard. Here's the news you need to know, in two minutes or less. Today's Headlines A new Call of Duty game is out, and it has a confusing name If you're a big fan, you remember the legendary Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. Just to make things confusing, the franchise is dropping a new installment with a funny name. It's called—wait for it—Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It's grim, morally ambiguous, and comes out on October 25. New York is ready to ditch the MetroCard Starting today, New York enters the 21st century of transportation and allows …