Playing We Are Chicago is Almost Like Living There

first_img Watch These Movies Before ‘Don’t Let Go’‘Cannon Busters’ Is The Black Anime We’ve Been Waiting… Stay on target While I’m now a proud resident of New York City, Chicago has played a big role in both my life in general and my career as a games journalist specifically. I lived near the Second City for four years going to journalism school at Northwestern. I frequently ventured into the city for nerdy events like C2E2 and Cards Against Humanity meet-ups. I was just familiar enough with the city to be disappointed by how badly Watch Dogs bungled it. And my feature on the robust Chicago indie game scene is still one of my prouder achievements.However, despite all that Chicago means to me, I can’t say I’m from Chicago. I’ve never really lived there. That’s a different experience, an experience a group of Chicago developers at Culture Shock Games tried to capture with the new adventure game We Are Chicago, out now for PC and Mac.We Are Chicago’s basic mission hasn’t changed that much since I first went eyes-on with it a little over a year ago. It’s a first-person adventure game with branching story and dialogue options reminiscent of a Telltale game. But instead of navigating Batman’s Gotham City or The Walking Dead’s zombie apocalypse, players spend a week in the life of a teenage Black dude in Chicago’s rough South Side.There are a few plotlines players watch unfurl over the 1-2 hour runtime. Friends get involved with gangs. Work and household chores suck. Family and financial drama distracts you from studying the tests you need to ace to get into a good school. And there’s a big poetry slam coming up. But these aren’t meant to be gripping, compelling storylines. Instead, they add texture and realism to the world. Some don’t even really pay off. Not everything in life is dramatically satisfying. You and your single mom and little sister hear a gunshot, never know what happened, and move on with your day. In a way it reminded me of Fruitvale Station, or at least the majority of the film spent living a day in the life of Oscar Grant before tragedy struck.The game also does an impressive job looking and feeling and sounding like a South Side Chicago neighborhood, and not just because basically every character is Black (although that does help). The architecture looks right. There are metal detectors in the school. Some voice actors are more naturalistic than others but none sound distractingly out of place. There’s not enough music but what is there is on point. The relaxed pacing feels right for a city that can’t help but be influenced by its Midwestern surroundings.Most importantly, the dialogue does an admirable job of conveying its intended messages while not being too didactic. This is ultimately an after school special of a game. You can donate real money to real Chicago charities within the game’s fake Chicago. But basing much of the writing off of interviews with real Chicago community members paid off big time. Even the Luke Cage-esque respectability politics of some of the older characters annoyed me in the same way it does in real life when parents complain rap music ruining the youth.All this goes a long toward making me forgive We Are Chicago’s technical shortcomings. There are some cool stylistic touches, particularly when it comes to transitions between days, but this isn’t a particularly pretty game, and not just in terms in subject matter. I get the developers were going for realism both in the writing and visual presentation, but even AAA game still can’t deliver wholly realistic characters with all the resources in the world. The characters here look like Sims you’re seeing too close up. A more stylized look may have been the better choice for these indie developers.The game also didn’t run fantastic on my pretty powerful laptop. It’s annoying but not a deal-breaker since it’s not like this low-key narrative game relies on split-second actions. Besides, Telltale’s games are also technical messes, and they have money to license Guardians of the Galaxy so what’s their excuse?If you want to play a video game that looks at a city as something other than a sandbox for Grand Theft Auto mayhem, give We Are Chicago a shot. It may be our last chance to remember the Windy City before the Feds crack down to make it “great again.”last_img read more

What Will Be the Next Big Thing for the DCEU

first_imgStay on target Batman Loses a Dad Again, Another Ben Affleck Update & More DC Movie NewsSecret Aquaman Role, Wonder Woman’s Throwback Photo, & More DC Movie News With BATMAN likely shooting in 2018, WB still would like one more DC property to shoot this year other than AQUAMAN— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) March 16, 2017Kroll says the films being considered include Gotham City Sirens, a Suicide Squad sequel, Dark Universe, Green Lantern Corps and The Flash. That last one sounds the least likely, considering the project has had trouble keeping directors on board. As much as Warner Bros. would like to shoot another superhero movie this year, Kroll says it will all depend on the script. That said if scripts aren’t ready to go, studio is content just shooting AQUAMAN this year till films are ready to go— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) March 16, 2017One of the more likely projects that the studio could start production on this year is Green Lantern Corps. According to a January report by Deadline, David Goyer will be writing the script. That’s not a bad choice at all. As a writer on Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and the Constantine TV series, Goyer definitely has strong superhero chops. The studio is also rumored to be considering having Goyer direct Green Lantern Corps., but at this point, there are no concrete details one way or the other on that.The studio is describing the movie as Lethal Weapon in space (I’m sold!) and will cover the origin of John Stewart, the best Green Lantern. (Hal’s great too, but let’s be honest. He’s no Stewart.) The good news is, being a buddy cop movie in space, you won’t have to choose your favorite Green Lantern. Hal Joran will be in it too. No one has been cast for either role yet, but plenty of names have come up including Tyrese Gibson and Lance Gross for Stewart. Tom Cruise, Joel McHale, Jake Gyllenhaal and even Ryan Reynolds (yes, really) have been rumored to be in consideration to play Jordan. The Reynolds casting is especially unlikely, though, as the actor has said he has no desire to return to the role. And honestly, given all the steps the studio is taking to distance the new movie from the awful 2011 Green Lantern, casting Reynolds is probably the last thing they want to do.Ryan Reynolds in 2011’s Green Lantern. (Photo via Warner Bros.)Whatever Warner Bros. starts filming next, we should be getting some very big DCEU news in the next couple weeks. How big? Possibly Justice League big. Warner Bros. recently announced that their upcoming WonderCon panel will feature an appearance from DC, according to ComicBook.com. They didn’t mention what DC property would be there, but these panels are usually where big trailers are shown for the first time.Given where we are in the DCEU, it would make the most sense for Justice League‘s next trailer to make its debut. Especially since Warner has been saying that Justice League footage is coming soon. The movie will feature Batman and Wonder Woman assembling a team of metahumans, including The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, to save the world from a new threat. That’s all we know right now, but we’ll all be keeping an ear out for more info as we get closer to the panel on April 1. Let’s just hope they aren’t playing some elaborate April Fools Day joke on us. The DC Extended Universe has struggled to reach the same success as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As promising as Wonder Woman looks, it will take more than one good movie to climb out of the BvS-shaped hole the franchise is currently in. Warner Bros. appears to believe the sooner that movie comes out, the better. According to a tweet by Variety writer Justin Kroll, the delay of The Batman has prompted the studio to look into shooting another movie in 2017.last_img read more

Google Chrome Extension Warns of Password Breaches

first_img Google introduced a new Chrome extension that helps protect user accounts from third-party data breaches.Dubbed Password Checkup, the feature keeps Google Accounts safe by “proactively detecting and responding to security threats,” according to a company announcement.Any time your username and password are detected among compromised credentials, Google’s extension triggers an automatic warning, and suggests a password change.“We built Password Checkup so that no one, including Google, can learn your account details,” security and anti-abuse research scientist Kurt Thomas and developer tools for identity senior product manager Adam Dawes wrote in a blog post.Learn about unsafe accounts wherever you sign in (via Google)“To do this, we developed privacy-protecting techniques with the help of cryptography researchers at both Google and Stanford University,” they added.For a more technical description, read the firm’s security blog post.“This is our first version of the Password Checkup, and we’ll be refining in the coming months,” the team said, urging users to install the extension for immediate protection.Change your unsafe passwords to prevent account takeover (via Google)The cautionary tool, however, is most useful when you heed its advice and update your credentials ASAP. Dilly dally too long, and an attacker can still weasel their way into your account.But fear not, for Google has also released Cross Account Protection for apps and sites that use Google Sign In, allowing the tech titan to share information about security events with other networks “so they can protect you, too.”“We’ve designed the security events to be extremely limited to protect your privacy,” according to Dawes and Thomas.Easily find which accounts need a new, strong password (via Google)That includes sharing only the fact that the security event happened and releasing only basic information like whether your account was hijacked, or if Google forced you to log back in because of suspicious activity.The function is included by default for app developers using Firebase or Google Cloud Identity for Customers & Partners.“With technologies like Password Checkup and Cross Account Protection, we’re continuing to improve the security of our users across the Internet, not just on Google,” the blog said. “We’ll never stop improving our defenses to keep you safe online.”More on Geek.com:Massive Data Breach Leaks 772M Emails, 21M Passwords‘Donald’ Is One of 2018’s Worst PasswordsGoogle+ Consumer Accounts to Shutter April 2 For the Love of God, Stop Using the Password ‘123456’Oops: Facebook Stored ‘Hundreds of Millions’ of Passwords in Plain Text Stay on targetlast_img read more

The Next Assassins Creed Is Probably About Vikings

first_imgStay on target ‘Assassin’s Creed III’ Is Still the ‘Hamilton…Toy Tuesday: The Deadliest Assassin’s Creed Toys It’s time to get excited for a new Assassin’s Creed game. 2017’s Assassin’s Creed Origins breathed new life into Ubisoft’s played-out stealthy murder simulator by turning it into a full-blown RPG as epic as its ancient Egyptian open-world setting. And it pulled off this radical shift by taking an extra year of development. Assassin’s Odyssey followed the next year and while it carried over these cool innovations while adding more horniness, it was more evolution than revolution.However, the next Assassin’s Creed is getting the same extra year in development Origins got, so expectations are high for this game, and that’s before taking into account it’ll probably launch on next-gen platforms. Now new rumors and suggesting what form this next leap in the series will take: Vikings.As discovered by YouTube user JorRaptor, the recent Ubisoft loot shooter Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 features a poster for a show called “Valhalla” showing a vaguely Assassin’s Creed-looking guy holding a vaguely Assassin’s Creed-looking magic apple. By referencing Norse Heaven, players connected the dots and guessed this was an Easter Egg for the next Assassin’s Creed game starring Vikings.And now insiders are saying these guesses are correct. 2020’s Assassin’s Creed game “Kingdom” will indeed center around Vikings. Presumably the naval warfare of recent games will play and even bigger role. Plus the aggro pre-firearms warrior combat of Spartans can totally working with Vikings. Just import some of those For Honor assets. Also this continues the fun trend of Assassin’s Creed staying just one step behind God of War in terms of ancient mythological locations. Can’t wait to stab Thor in the throat.This Assassin’s Creed news also reminded everyone that, yes, Watch Dogs 3 will be set in London. Maybe Ubisoft will work in a plot about Prince Harry wanting to ban Fortnite. Or perhaps this is in response to other recent games trying to capture what’s cool about pre-Brexit England like Forza Horizon 4 and Pokemon Sword and Shield.For more on Assassin’s Creed watch us play Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and try to forget the awful Assassin’s Creed movie.last_img read more