Age of Empires 4 will have 4 new campaigns and 8 playable civilizations at launch

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Age of Empires 4 will have 4 new campaigns and 8 playable civilizations at launch

It’s been over 15 years since the last numbered Age of Empires game, but we finally know a few more details about the series’ impending return. During a fan event livestream on Saturday, developer Relic Entertainment revealed a few new things about its upcoming sequel, Age of Empires 4, including a look at one of the game’s campaigns and its new and updated civilizations.

Campaigns that place players in the middle of historical events have always been a standout focus of the Age of Empires series, and Relic is taking that idea even further in Age of Empires 4. The game will feature four full-length campaigns, including one focused on the Norman Conquest, which Relic previewed during the stream.

Watching people sleep is all the rage on Twitch

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Watching people sleep is all the rage on Twitch

The latest big thing on Twitch is a total snooze fest, literally. According to new estimates shared with Polygon by StreamElements, a leading analytics service that partnered with a firm named Rainmaker.gg to calculate platform statistics, viewers on Twitch watched over 2 million hours of sleeping streams in March.

The streams got a giant bump in viewership in no small part thanks to the popularity of Ludwig Ahgren, who reached as many as 1.5 million hours watched on Twitch. Ahgren is currently in the midst of a “sub-athon” where, for every subscription he gets, he will extend the length of his stream for 10 seconds. He has currently been streaming nonstop for 26 days of the marathon, and streams through the night every time. Watching him sleep has been an especially popular part of the stream, where Ahgren accumulated as many as 65,400 live viewers at one point, surprising himself. “I fell asleep on stream last night and became the most watched streamer on Twitch,” he tweeted on March 15. “What the hell is even that.”

The chess grandmaster drama that led to a fistfight, explained

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The chess grandmaster drama that led to a fistfight, explained

Chess is a popular part of Twitch, with an online community that discusses strategies, tournaments, and rankings. That part of the internet is currently on fire thanks to a back-and-forth between two high-level players that includes copyright claims, accusations of harassment, and even a fistfight.

The pandemic led to a big boom in popularity for chess thanks to streamers and personalities picking up the game, as well as more online infrastructure for tournaments. Fans watch countless hours on Twitch each month, with individual streamers racking up tens of thousands of concurrent viewers. One of the most visible figures within the chess community is Hikaru Nakamura.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s new feature lets you make your own weird weapons

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Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War’s new feature lets you make your own weird weapons

Gunsmith Customs have finally arrived in Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The special customization option lets you mix and match blueprint parts to create the beautiful weapon of your dreams ... or something breathtakingly hideous, if that’s more your style.

The Gunsmith Customs mode in Black Ops Cold War allows players to create their own weapon designs by selecting pieces and parts from any of that weapon’s other blueprints. That means that if you have an AK-47, you can pull the barrel from one blueprint, the stock from another, and the magazine from a third to give the gun your own personal flair.

TimeSplitters 2’s 4K port has been locked inside the Homefront sequel for years

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TimeSplitters 2’s 4K port has been locked inside the Homefront sequel for years

Over the weekend, a former developer for Dambuster Studios (maker of Homefront: The Revolution and the descendant of the studio behind TimeSplitters 2) revealed his favorite Easter egg: A full version of TimeSplitters 2 — in native 4K, even — playable inside Homefront: The Revolution. Problem was, he forgot the cheat code to unlock it!

Well, problem solved! Modder/hacker Lance McDonald set to work reverse-engineering Homefront: The Revolution’s menus to figure out the way in, later realizing that “emulation ninja” (and Xbox principal software engineer) Spencer Perreault had already tweeted it out on Thursday. (A tipster told Polygon it comes from this Discord group.)

Yahoo Answers lives on in new Typing of the Dead mod

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Yahoo Answers lives on in new Typing of the Dead mod

Yahoo Answers, the go-to online resource for delightfully earnest and nonsensical user-submitted questions, is shutting down forever on May 4. But the bizarro questions themselves will live on in one form — arguably the best form — as phrases for Sega’s zombie type-’em-up, The Typing of the Dead: Overkill.

For those unfamiliar with The Typing of the Dead, it’s a spin-off of Sega’s zombie light gun arcade game series, The House of the Dead. Instead of guns, players and in-game agents use keyboards (Dreamcast keyboards, sometimes) to fight off zombie hordes. Players need to quickly type in increasingly complex phrases like “Rental underwear,” “Sexual Tyrannosaurus,” or “Is it too late to shake hands” under pressure from looming zombie attacks.

Diablo 2: Resurrected is the game I remember, until it isn’t

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Diablo 2: Resurrected is the game I remember, until it isn’t

Diablo 2: Resurrected shocked me in the opening minutes of play. I wasn’t surprised because it looked so good; I was surprised because it looked exactly as I remembered it.

I’ve experienced this effect before, most recently when playing Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1 and 2. I didn’t think these games looked like murky, blocky messes when I originally played them, because they looked similar to every other game on the market at the time. Diablo 2: Resurrected also looks similar to other hack n’ slash games available today, so my 2021 brain just accepted things at face value. Yep, this is the game I loved back in the day. I have no idea why they’re expecting me to pay for it again.

Report: The Last of Us remake coming for PS5, but at a cost to PlayStation morale

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Report: The Last of Us remake coming for PS5, but at a cost to PlayStation morale

Fans will be happy to hear The Last of Us is getting a remake for PlayStation 5. But some developers inside Sony aren’t happy with how that came together, or what it means for PlayStation’s vaunted first-party development going forward, according to a report Friday morning from Bloomberg.

The account, by Bloomberg’s Jason Schreier, describes how Sony’s Visual Arts Service Group — a support-oriented studio located in San Diego — took on a PS5 remake for 2014’s The Last of Us with approval, but without much support from above, then saw it handed over to original developer Naughty Dog.

Neo: The World Ends with You coming in July

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Neo: The World Ends with You coming in July

Square Enix will release the follow-up to beloved 2007 role-playing game The World Ends with You this summer. On Friday, the publisher confirmed a July 27 release date for Neo: The World Ends with You for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4 versions of the game. A Windows PC version is also coming sometime this summer to the Epic Games Store.

Neo: The World Ends with You stars Rindo and a new cast of characters exploring a stylized version of Shibuya in Tokyo. Rindo, a high school student, finds himself ensnared in the Reaper’s Game, a life-or-death battle for survival.

Intel responds to hate speech tool getting roasted by the internet

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Intel responds to hate speech tool getting roasted by the internet

Have you ever wanted to censor a little hate speech while playing a game, but not all of it? Thanks to Intel’s Bleep, a software that uses AI to censor voice chat, you can.

Bleep was developed in partnership with a company called Spirit AI, and is currently in beta following a prototype developed two years ago. It uses AI to censor hate speech in real time during gameplay. The software “bleeps” out offending language (hence the name). The most recent iteration of the tech was shown off during an event highlighting Intel’s latest developments. During this presentation, Roger Chandler, vice president and general manager of client XPU products and solutions, positioned the company as “stewards” of PC gaming who feel some responsibility in moving the platform forward and “making gaming better.”