Saturday, July 24, 2021

IN THE EVENT YOU Play ” NEW WORLD “? Beta Impressions From The Frontier

Amazon Games’ upcoming MMORPG New World is in the spotlight as a lengthy closed beta session shows off the action ahead of an August 31st release. New World has changed its vision multiple times over the course of development, and now the question on everyone’s mind is – where is this going to land on release? What kind of player is it for? What kind of MMORPG is it? And perhaps the most important question, is it worth your time at all? Over the course of the beta (and a demo session that took me into an endgame slice with a fully-geared character), I’ve seen some areas with huge potential that are currently underserved in the MMORPG space – and some others that could be intense detriments for the title. Let’s talk about New World!It successfully lands a powerful frontier survival vibe If you’re familiar with survival games that have you punching wood to get a house going, New World delivers on this front initially by giving the player myriad survival pursuits. Hunting turkey on the borders of your established safe zones to raise your cooking skill and create rations is far more engaging than it has any right to be. Hunting down elusive saltpeter deposits in mines and crafting your own shells for your old-timey rifles feels fun. Being able to skill up in everything to your liking is a classic system à la Runescape, and its nice to know you can work up every single crafting and gathering skill if you wish, right down to doing some fishing. Banging together your first batch of gathering tools is actually freaking awesome. Digging up carrots and potatoes feels meaningful. Coming back to your town in the middle of the wilderness to trade feed and talk with your fellow explorers has all the allure of bustling about Disney’s Frontiertown, and I’ve rarely had so much investment into crafting and trading systems in MMOs. I can see potential problems with these aspects later down the line, i.e. do I really want to spend my time in the endgame gathering resources just so I can play the game, but for now, there’s plenty of magic in creating my own food, ammunition, and supplies before I trek out into the wild. It feels gritty, it feels raw, and it feels fresh. Faction PVP can be a lot of fun Territory control and faction-based opt-in PVP not only bring back a bit of realm-vs-realm feel from the glory days of Dark Age of Camelot, but they inject something that many online experiences have moved away from in the last decade – social interaction. That means yes, you are going to see a player named PoopyPants (Yes, this was a real player I saw) cutting down trees and screaming outside of town about the price of silver ore, and your chat feed is going to be inundated with comments that make the infamous Barrens chat look downright erudite. However, it also successfully adds shared social stakes to the experience, even if you choose not to interact at the verbal level with any other players. By funneling players into three different factions, you have an investment in your tribe regardless of how deep you want to take it. If you still just want to solo and bring back a load of furs to trade in town, you can – but the real fun is to be had by grouping up, interacting with others, and eventually taking over some territory as your chosen faction. At the solo, guild, and greater level, having game flow dictated by players instead of the “theme park” experience is a bold choice and more than a bit refreshing. The issue here is how interesting and meaningful are these faction wars going to be in the endgame? While I don’t have the answer to that yet, the prospect of really engaging with other players in a meaningful way in a MMORPG gives me a powerful nostalgia bump and some serious differentiation from many other genre offerings today. On the flip side, if you’re not really interested in territory wars or PvP, other existing MMORPGs might be a better choice. The combat is New World’s biggest weakness In almost every MMORPG, you’re going to be doing a ton of combat. It’s probably the biggest portion of the entire gameplay experience. With limited skill options, awkward animations, and very little excitement, New World’s combat is decidedly dull. Now, there’s something to be said about popping an opposing faction member from a great distance before you engage in a 3v3 skirmish that gets real greasy, but that’s more about the player-to-player interaction than the combat, which can often feel wooden and wonky. While I enjoy systems that attempt to break the genre out of the tab-targeting standard that’s been grandfathered into MMOs for ages, it misses the mark here.  I found it hard to determine if the other aspects of the game that seem enjoyable can carry this particular aspect either, as combat is the core of almost every other pursuit. Even if you’re just spelunking for saltpeter, you’re going to have to fight a ton of various zombie-like creatures, wolves, or bears, and it simply does not feel good. This problem is exacerbated in group experiences, both PvP and PvE, but more pronounced in the latter. Chewing into spongey opponents as a pack with the glaring lack of feedback from weaponry is almost comical, and your options in combat feel extremely limited and lacking. Everything can feel the same Enemies, locations, and activities can become a big bowl of mush without breaking it up with some PvP pursuits. You’ll see many of the same rickety little fishing villages, decrepit farms, and crumbling ruins as you traverse the giant world. Killing some undead buccaneers at level 5 feels the same as it does at level 15, and you’re going to be doing a ton of daily-quest/fetch style activities in order to grind out your faction reputation, like wandering around the aforementioned locations for boxes and killing X undead baddies. It feels intensely repetitive even after only twenty hours of gameplay, so I’m concerned about how that will translate to the endgame – will I still, as an elite member of the Syndicate, still be wandering farms killing undead and picking taters? I mean, I do like picking taters... Travel is rough When you’re just starting, it’s fine that you’re walking everywhere because you don’t have far to go. However, this takes a turn at around level 12, where you’ll find the autorun button and some movies on your favorite streaming platform to be your best friends. The world is large, and traveling it all on foot is a huge pain. Without mounts, and the fact that fast travel is limited by resources, moving around the map is an absolute bore and a chore. I realize there are other meaningful concerns that probably flow into this decision, like the implications of having everyone zoom around in a game that’s attempting to create stakes with territory control and PvP, but this becomes harder and harder to ignore the more you play and get quests on opposite ends of your map. Forging ahead Based on the beta, New World is going to be an interesting but potentially niche addition to the current crop of MMORPGs. However, it seems to really serve players that want to play with small groups of friends for faction skirmishes and that are interested in greater territory control wars with big guild politics and all that. If you’re not interested in that kind of greater pursuit with plenty of social interaction and PvP, the PvE elements by themselves do not seem compelling enough to keep things rolling.  While I love the feeling of crafting my own stuff, slowly increasing the areas that I’m strong enough to explore, and fastidiously upping all my gathering and crafting skills, I can see those charms fading rapidly as the activities become somewhat rote. The dynamics involved in faction wars and territory control seem to be the peppy antidote for the never-ending rock farm in various undead shacks and homesteads. As with other games that lean into this kind of emergent gameplay (RIP Shadowbane), some of New World will be what players shape it into.
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    Adventures Await the Zoo Crew Pals in Madagascar: JUST A LITTLE Wild Season 4 Trailer

    DreamWorks Animation has released the Madagascar: A Little Wild Season 4 trailer, teasing six all-new episodes coming to Hulu and Peacock on August 6.RELATED: Peacock Inks Multi-Year, Accelerated Pay-One Deal with Universal Filmed Entertainment GroupIn Madagascar: A Little Wild Season 4, fearless pals Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria are back with even bigger adventures in their concrete jungle of New York City. This season features special guest star Grammy Award Winner Alanis Morissette as “Starlene” a talented hermit crab with stage fright.Check out the Season 4 trailer below:[embedded content]Loveable foursome Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, and Gloria the Hippo steal the show in Madagascar: A Little Wild, executive produced by Johanna Stein (Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny). Capturing the iconic personalities of each of the four dynamos, Madagascar: A Little Wild showcases the team as kids residing in their rescue habitat at the Central Park Zoo. They might be small, but like everybody who lands in New York City, these little guys have big dreams, and Madagascar: A Little Wild will follow all of their adventures.RELATED: Hulu August 2021 Schedule: New TV & Movie AdditionsVoice actors include Tucker Chandler as Alex, Amir O’Neil as Marty, Shaylin Becton as Gloria, Luke Lowe as Melman, Jasmine Gatewood as Kate, and Eric Peterson as Ant’Ney.The animated series is co-executive produced by Dana Starfield (Monster High: Welcome to Monster High).

    The first teaser trailer for Peacock’s upcoming original drama series One of Us Is Lying has officially been released, giving fans a look at what the novel adaptation will be like.RELATED: SNL’s Punkie Johnson and Ego Nwodim Join Anthology Series Love LifeOne of Us Is Lying is based on Karen M. McManus’s New York Times best-selling book of the same name, and is the story of what happens when five high schoolers walk into detention and only four make it out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide. The series will be coming to Peacock soon, but no precise date was given.You can check out the teaser trailer for the series below:[embedded content]One of Us Is Lying will star Marianly Tejada (Bronwyn), Cooper van Grootel (Nate), Annalisa Cochrane (Addy), Chibuikem Uche (Cooper), Jessica McLeod (Janae), Barrett Carnahan (Jake), Melissa Collazo (Maeve), and Mark McKenna (Simon), and is produced by UCP, a division of Universal Studio Group. Darío Madrona (co-creator of Elite) will serve as showrunner and executive producer. Erica Saleh (Evil) wrote the pilot and will executive produce.RELATED: Netflix’s Fate: The Winx Saga Season 2 Begins ProductionThe series is also executive produced by John Sacchi and Matt Groesch of 5 More Minutes Productions who developed the pilot. Filmmaker and actress Jennifer Morrison directed and produced the pilot.

    John Cena Makes WWE Return at Profit the lender, Challenges Roman Reigns

    UPDATE: Cena’s next appearance will be on WWE [email protected] is BACK… and he's set to kick off #WWERaw in Dallas! 👉 https://t.co/9ksF0oln07 pic.twitter.com/cofKXms0Gn— WWE (@WWE) July 19, 2021John Cena has finally made his much-anticipated WWE return at tonight’s WWE Money in the Bank event, which aired exclusively on Peacock in the United States.The F9 and The Suicide Squad actor finally made his first appearance since his extended absence to prioritize his acting career. The former WWE Champion hasn’t wrestled since WrestleMania 36 last year as he faced Bray Wyatt in a cinematic Firefly Fun House match. Prior to that, his last match was in January 2019. With fans now back in attendance, it’s great to see Cena back in the sports entertainment promotion and Cena recently shot the HBO Max series Peacemaker.RELATED: WWE Money in the Bank Results (7/18/21)Cena’s WWE Money in the Bank return appearance can be seen below:What a reaction from the crowd pic.twitter.com/AEwPN4vfRT— WrestleZone (@WRESTLEZONEcom) July 19, 2021Cena looks to face Roman Reigns next, who he has feuded with before. The two had a memorable feud that blended reality with kayfabe that culminated in a match at WWE No Mercy 2017. However, the dynamic is much different now as Reigns turned heel and is on the best run of his career. With Reigns on SmackDown, it’s likely that Cena appears on WWE SmackDown this Friday on Fox.Reigns is fresh off a title defense over Edge for the WWE Universal Championship, which served as the main event of tonight’s show.

    Out in June trollstopia Season 3, HAVE A LOOK AT New Trailer

    A brand new season of TrollsTopia is coming, as the third season of the series based on the extremely popular film franchise is set to launch on June 10 on Peacock and Hulu. MORE: Exclusive Whitstable Pearl Clip From Acorn TV’s Seaside Mystery SeriesThe Trolls are back and ready for even more nonstop fun and new friends joining in on some hair-raising adventures in the newest season. As the Trolls strengthen their friendships through games like wormhole scavenger hunts and massive piñata battles, they also learn about each others’ culinary traditions in an epic Trolls-style potluck. You can check out a brand new trailer for the third season of TrollsTopia below: [embedded content]Executive produced by Emmy-nominated Matthew Beans (Trolls: The Beat Goes On!) and inspired by the beloved DreamWorks Animation films, TrollsTopia is the next chapter in the hair-raising adventures of the trolls. Now that Poppy knows there are other musical trolls scattered throughout the forest, she bottles up her endless positivity and invites delegates from every troll tribe in the forest to live together in harmony in a grand experiment she calls TrollsTopia. MORE: Kemono Jihen English Dub Cast and Crew RevealedTrollsTopia‘s third season will begin streaming on June 10, 2021, on both Peacock and Hulu.

    Tina Meredith and Fey Scardino’s Girls5eva Trailer & Premiere Date

    Tina Fey and Meredith Scardino’s Girls5eva trailer & premiere dateThe Peacock Comedy Girls5eva created and written by Meredith Scardino and executive produced by Tina Fey will drop on the NBC streaming platform on Thursday, May 6. The show follows a one-hit-wonder group from the 90’s who find a second life when a young rapper samples their music. Girls5eva reunite to give pop star stardom another shot while being grown women. The show follows their attempt at a comeback while balancing spouses, kids, jobs, debt, aging parents and shoulder pain. Check out the trailer in the player below!RELATED: Poker Face: Natasha Lyonne to star in Rian Johnson’s first TV series at PeacockSara Bareilles (Waitress the Musical), Renée Elise Goldsberry (Hamilton), Paula Pell (Bless the Harts) and Busy Philipps (Vice Principals) star as the remaining members of the group who try to bring back Girls5eva. With Bareilles and Goldsberry on deck we are high key anticipating fantastic and fun songs with killer vocals from the stars!Watch Girl5eva’s rise to fame and reunite for some less-than-pretty attempts to return to their glory days. Together they find inspiration and confidence in each other to make a new stand and knock audiences off their feet. And likely quite literally.Related: Rutherford Falls trailer: Ed Helms stars in Peacock’s new sitcomThe series stars Grammy Award-winner and Tony and Emmy Award-nominated singer Sara Bareilles, Grammy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Renée Elise Goldsberry, Emmy winning Saturday Night Live mainstay and comedy icon Paula Pell, and New York Times Best-Selling author, actor, activist, writer and host Busy Philipps. Meredith Scardino serves as creator and executive producer for the series. Jeff Richmond, Tina Fey (Little Stranger, Inc.), Robert Carlock (Bevel Gears), David Miner (3 Arts Entertainment), Eric Gurian (Little Stranger) also serve as executive producers.[embedded content]

    Da Vinci Code Prequel Series Langdon Shifts From NBC To Peacock

    Da Vinci Code prequel series Langdon shifts from NBC to Peacock After shifting from being a film adaptation to a series at NBC, the Da Vinci Code prequel drama Dan Brown’s Langdon centered on the iconic Art History and Symbology Professor is shifting gears to fresh streaming service Peacock as it has been picked up to series. RELATED: Craig Robinson-Led Untitled Comedy Gets Series Order at Peacock “The team was blown away by this pilot and its enormous potential to become a big, binge-worthy hit, and our new structure enables us to move it to Peacock and give it every opportunity to make that happen,” Susan Rovner, Chairman, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, said in a statement. “Our ability to pick up a great show is no longer limited by the confines of a network schedule, giving us the freedom to say ‘yes’ to shows we love and then find them the perfect home across our portfolio.” The series, written and executive produced by Scream: The TV Series duo Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie, will be an adaptation of the third novel in Brown’s series The Lost Symbol and act as a prequel to the events of the film franchise starring Tom Hanks in the central role and helmed by Ron Howard. The story will follow the early adventures of Harvard symbologist Langdon as he must solve a series of deadly puzzles to save his kidnapped mentor and thwart a chilling global conspiracy. Click here to purchase the complete Robert Langdon novel series and Tom Hanks-starring Langdon film trilogy! “I’m absolutely thrilled to be working with Ron and Brian again on another Langdon project,” Brown said in a statement. “We’ve all wanted to make The Lost Symbol for some time now, and I’m grateful to CBS Studios, Imagine Television Studios, Universal Television and Peacock for joining forces to make this project a reality. Dan Dworkin and Jay Beattie have written a phenomenally captivating script, and the casting and performances are pitch perfect.” RELATED: Girls5eva Teaser Previews Peacock’s New Tina Fey-Produced Comedy Dan Brown’s Langdon will star Ashley Zukerman (Succession) in the titular role alongside Valorie Curry (Blair Witch), Sumalee Montano (10 Cloverfield Lane), Rick Gonzalez (Arrow), Eddie Izzard (Get Duked!) and Beau Knapp (The Nice Guys). Alongside Dworkin and Beattie, the series is executive produced by Brown, Brian Grazer, Howard, Samie Kim Falvey and Anna Culp and produced by CBS Studios, Imagine Television Studios and Universal Television.

    Stephen King Takes You Behind-the-Scenes of Mr. Mercedes in New Featurette

    Stephen King Takes You Behind-the-Scenes of Mr. Mercedes in New Featurette Peacock has shared a new Mr. Mercedes video with author Stephen King taking viewers behind-the-scenes of the crime-thriller drama series based on his bestselling Bill Hodges novel trilogy. Seasons 1 and 2 of the series are available to stream now on Peacock. You can check out the featurette now in the player below! RELATED: Joshua Jackson to Replace Jamie Dornan in Peacock’s Dr. Death Series Mr. Mercedes follows a retired detective who is tormented by a serial killer (Brady Hartsfield, aka Mr. Mercedes) through a series of letters and e-mails, causing him to set out on a dangerous and potentially felonious crusade to protect his loved ones and himself. Purchase the Bill Hodges trilogy from Stephen King here! The series stars Brendan Gleeson, Harry Treadaway, Kelly Lynch, Jharrel Jerome, Mary-Louise Parker, Holland Taylor, Justine Lupe, Breeda Wool, Scott Lawrence, Ann Cusack, Jack Huston, Tessa Ferrer, Maximiliano Hernández, and Nancy Travis. Mr. Mercedes is written by King, David E. Kelley, and Dennis Lehane and directed by Jack Bender. The Temple Hill Entertainment and Sonar Entertainment production is executive produced by King, Kelley, Bender, and Lehane. RELATED: Saved by the Bell Premiering on Peacock This November Mr. Mercedes originally aired on AT&T’s Audience Network and was then acquired by Peacock. Despite the show moving to a new home, details about its future or potential renewal have not been announced. The crime-thriller series’ latest and third season concluded its 10-episode run last November 2019.

    Saved by the Bell Premiering on Peacock This November

    Saved by the Bell Premiering on Peacock This November Peacock’s reimagining of the Saved by the Bell series is set to premiere on the streamer on Wednesday, November 25, with all episodes of the first season dropping at once, according to Variety. RELATED: Saved by the Bell Is Back to the Max in the New Official Teaser When California governor Zack Morris gets into hot water for closing too many low-income high schools, he proposes they send the affected students to the highest performing schools in the state – including Bayside High. The influx of new students gives the over-privileged Bayside kids a much needed and hilarious dose of reality in this comedy inspired by the classic late ’80s/early ’90s sitcom of the same name. The revival will feature the return of original cast members Elizabeth Berkley (Showgirls), Mario Lopez (The X Factor), Mark-Paul Gosselaar (Mixed-ish) and Tiffani Thiessen reprising their iconic roles as Jessie, Slater, Zack and Kelly, respectively with Gosselaar and Thiessen only appearing in a few episodes. Joining them are the new young cast Dexter Darden, Josie Totah, Haskiri Velazquez, Mitchell Hoog, Alycia Pascual-Pena and Belmont Cameli. RELATED: Mr. Mercedes: Peacock Picks Up Audience Network’s Stephen King Series The new Saved by the Bell will be executive produced and written by Emmy-winning 30 Rock writer-producer Tracey Wigfield. Peter Engel and Franco Bario also executive produce. The series is produced by Universal Television for Peacock.

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