Checkpoint #14: World-First Ragnaros Race Rebooted
Let's not pretend otherwise: this is all World of Warcraft Classic's week.
Welcome back to Checkpoint!
Little-known fact: a major MMORPG launched a faithful recreation of its classic experience this week. We also look at the Control launch, signs of an Overwatch port for the Switch, and brace for HD remasters of the classic Aladdin and Lion King games.
Let's get into it.
World-First Ragnaros Race Rebooted
You probably don’t need a subheading to tell you what this is about
From a numerical point of view, this has been a successful product launch. Activision Blizzard stock has surged upwards of 6% following the game’s reception. 1.1 million people were watching World of Warcraft streams on Twitch around launch time.
Queues have been so intense that Blizzard has already spun up multiple new servers for each region, and players have been spotted forming orderly queues for quest objectives (if there’s one link you should click in today’s edition, this is it). I’ve moved less than 50 queue places for the Arugal server in the time it took me to write this Checkpoint edition.
It’ll be interesting to see a World of Warcraft where your achievements mean something again, and interesting to see how long it can sustain a playerbase.
For those looking for Classic leveling tips? Polygon suggests keeping your TV set handy.
It’s Under Control
PC gaming and cross-platform titles
The other big launch of the week? Control is World of Warcraft Classic’s polar opposite, in the sense that one of its selling points is its use of cutting edge ray-tracing technology. This paranormal shooter takes place in an old office building that’s under siege by interdimensional parasites, and the reviews are very positive (Kotaku, Eurogamer, Ars Technica).
If you own Destiny 2, you probably know that Bungie is in the process of removing the game from Battle.net and moving it over to Steam. The migration process has begun and you can use a tool to ensure that you’re sorted for the Shadowkeep launch on October 1.
Fortnite’s latest patch has added a Borderlands-themed area to the map, and a Shield Bubble item. The unpopular B.R.U.T.E. mech has finally been nerfed, though not removed as players had campaigned for.
Ashen, which you may remember as the Dark Souls-inspired RPG that did the rounds in December, is finally moving beyond the Xbox and Epic Games Store. It’s coming to Steam and GoG on PC, and the PS4 and Nintendo Switch.
Other points of interest:
The Spyro Reignited Trilogy is coming out on PC and Nintendo Switch on September 3.
Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch news
An official, licensed Overwatch case for the Nintendo Switch briefly appeared on Amazon this week, which is a pretty strong indication that Overwatch could be the next high-profile Switch port to be announced.
Do you remember the Lion King and Aladdin games from the early 90s? They were great, and we’re getting HD remasters for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch this October.
Out of the Loop
Mobile gaming news
Racing games have always done well on mobile, and that doesn’t look set to change any time soon. Fulfil some childhood fantasies with Hot Wheels Infinite Loop, which was released for Android and iOS this week, and get prepped for Mario Kart Tour, which is coming to Android and iOS on September 25.
Loot on a Leash
Gaming culture, industry, and miscellanea
Over in the tech news world, there’s been a controversy raging for a few weeks around contractors reviewing voice recordings from smart assistants for accuracy. It’s spilling over this week, with a report suggesting Microsoft does have human contractors listening to Xbox voice command recordings.
A Bungie executive has cleared the air over the end of the company’s partnership with Activision: “I think we need to dispel the notion Activision was some prohibitive overlord that wasn’t letting us do awesome things.”
When Australia winds up in this newsletter, it never seems to be a good sign. Victorian police have arrested a number of CS:GO pros after being caught out in a match-fixing scheme.
That’s it for this edition.
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