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Epic will donate two weeks of 'Fortnite' proceeds to humanitarian efforts in Ukraine – Yahoo Movies Canada

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Starting today through to April 3rd, Epic Games will donate all of its Fortnite proceeds to humanitarian organizations providing on-the-ground relief to Ukrainians affected by the invasion of their country. Players can support the action by making in-game purchases involving real-world money.

That means should you buy V-Bucks, select cosmetic packs and other items, whatever money Epic would usually get will instead go to organizations like Direct Relief and UNICEF that are providing emergency aid, shelter and other forms of support to Ukrainians right now. Epic will also donate proceeds from gift card purchases, provided they’re redeemed during the two-week period.

At the moment, four relief organizations are taking part in the effort. Outside of the two mentioned above, the UN’s Refugee Agency and Food Programme are also involved. Epic said more organizations would join in “the coming weeks.”

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What’s more, Microsoft is taking part in the initiative. The company has agreed to contribute net proceeds from sales of all Fortnite content made through the Microsoft Store until April 3rd. Epic notes it will attempt to send any relief funds it generates over the next two weeks as quickly as it can. To that end, the company won’t wait to get the money from its platform and payment partners. Instead, it will send the funds as it logs transactions.

Epic is the latest video game company to offer its support to the people of Ukraine in this way. Riot Games recently ran a player fundraiser where it said it would donate proceeds from the sale of in-game passes and its latest League of Legends skins. As of March 9th, the studio said players had raised more than $2 million. Gaming marketplaces like Itch.io and Humble Bundle have also tried to help, offering bundles with all the proceeds going to relief organizations supporting those affected by the conflict.

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PROLINE+ AND MLSE TEAM UP TO BRING NEW EXPERIENCES TO ONTARIO SPORTS FANS STARTING THIS SUNDAY – Yahoo Finance

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TORONTO, Jan. 26, 2023 /CNW/ – Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) and PROLINE+ have launched a multi-year extension to their partnership with Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment (MLSE) that sees PROLINE+ become the official Sports Betting partner of Real Sports (RS) to help get fans closer to the sports they love through unique experiences.

PROLINE+’s partnership with Real Sports kicks off with an exclusive fan experience at the venue, home of Toronto’s largest screen and 100-foot bar, during the NFL Conference Championships.

Date:

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Sunday, January 29, 2023

Times:

3:00 p.m. – NFC Championship 

6:30 p.m. – AFC Championship

Location:

Real Sports

15 York Street, Unit A

Toronto, Ontario

M5J 2Z2 

Seating is first come, first served.  Reservations are recommended.

Fans attending the event will have a chance to win NFL swag and other PROLINE+ prizes, meet NFL Alumni players, and get up close and personal with the real Vince Lombardi Trophy.

“PROLINE+’s partnership with MLSE will create memorable moments and interactive experiences for sports fans,” says Dave Pridmore, OLG’s Chief Gaming Officer. “The combination of these two trusted brands will allow fans to get ‘closer to the action’ and interact with their favourite teams in new, exciting ways.”

“As an organization that takes pride in delivering best-in-class fan experiences, we value the power of collaboration with partners that share this passion,” says Jordan Vader, Senior Vice President, Global Partnerships, MLSE. “Whether it be in the home of their favourite Toronto sports team or at their go-to restaurant for the game, we look forward to working with PROLINE+ to creating unique and unforgettable moments for our fans.”

OLG promotes responsible gambling across all its gaming products and features online player tools and educational materials from OLG’s globally recognized PlaySmart program, which have received the highest level of certification from the World Lottery Association.

One hundred per cent of the profits generated through OLG products are reinvested in the province to improve the quality of life for all Ontarians. When you play with PROLINE+, you play for Ontario.

OLG is a crown agency that develops world-class gaming entertainment for the Province of Ontario. Acting in a socially responsible way, OLG conducts and manages land-based gaming facilities; the sale of province-wide lottery games; Internet gaming; and the delivery of bingo and other electronic gaming products at Charitable Gaming Centres. OLG is also helping to build a more sustainable horse racing industry in Ontario. Since 1975, OLG has provided nearly $57 billion to the people and Province of Ontario to support key government priorities like health care; the treatment and prevention of problem gambling; and support for amateur athletes. Each year profits from OLG’s operations also support host communities, Ontario First Nations, lottery retailers and local charities across the province.

Play for Ontario – 100 per cent of OLG’s profits are invested in Ontario
OLG.ca 
Follow on Twitter @OLG_ca
Find us on Facebook/Instagram @OLG.ca

PlaySmart.ca
Knowledge you can bet on.
ConnexOntario – Problem Gambling Support: 1-866-531-2600
Disponible en français

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SOURCE OLG Winners

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View original content: http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/January2023/26/c6263.html

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OnePlus Teases Its First Tablet Ahead of Launch Event – CNET

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OnePlus has been rumored to have a tablet in the works, and now we’re getting an official peek at the device ahead of a launch event next month. A teaser image posted to OnePlus’ Indian website and shared with TechRadar on Thursday shows a prominent camera bump central along the tablet’s edge. The tablet will be called the OnePlus Pad.

While it’s hard to distinguish in the official photo, unofficial renders from OnLeaks and MySmartPrice suggest the camera will be on the longer edge of the tablet, keeping it centered when the tablet is used in a landscape position. 

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OnePlus’ Indian website says the tablet will be announced at its Feb. 7 Cloud 11 launch event where the company will also debut the OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 11R smartphones, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 and a new OnePlus TV. Mention of the new devices is absent from its US website, sparking speculation that the tablet won’t be widely available outside of India at launch.

OnePlus didn’t immediately return request for comment.

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The Dead Space remake is a grisly cut of classic horror

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a:hover]:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-e9 [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-13 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray-63″>Isaac Clarke goes back to the USG Ishimura.

a:hover]:text-gray-63 text-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-bd dark:text-gray-bd dark:[&>a]:text-gray-bd [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray”>Image: EA

In October 2017, publisher Electronic Arts unceremoniously shut down its studio Visceral Games, best known for shooter series Dead Space. Visceral was part of a dwindling breed at EA, devoted to linear high-budget games instead of a profitable “live service” model. One former employee noted that even the popular Dead Space 2 had been considered a financial failure, and the odds of a new one appearing in the near future seemed small. Yet tomorrow, EA will do just that, releasing a remake of the original 2008 Dead Space developed by its Canadian team Motive Studio. The Dead Space remake isn’t the path I’d have chosen for a resurrection of one of my favorite series. It also happens to be great.

Dead Space (2023) is most obviously a better-looking version of Dead Space (2008). Debuting on next-generation consoles and PC, it’s the kind of game where everything glistens, from the slimy explosive tentacles wreathing its futuristic spaceship to the ornate brassy ridges on protagonist Isaac Clarke’s suit. But beneath that surface, Motive has polished the foundations of Dead Space with changes drawn from its 2011 sequel as well as some simple yet effective new ideas. Rather than an elaborate reimagining in the vein of the Resident Evil 2 remake, a metanarrative experiment like the Final Fantasy VII Remake, or a user-friendly transformation of a tough-to-play classic like the yet-unreleased System Shock remake, it’s just an immensely solid update to an already excellent game — and one that couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Dead Space franchise is a third-person shooter series defined by a clever twist: you’re in a disaster zone overrun by grotesque zombie-like monstrosities dubbed “necromorphs,” but instead of a bullet to the head, the creatures go down when you sever their blade- or bomb-like limbs. While horror games have explored just about every permutation of the hideously twisted human form, Dead Space forces you to confront it with combat that feels like gruesome surgery — aided by weapons based on power tools like plasma cutters and radial arm saws as well as telekinetic powers and a time-slowing ability called stasis.

The Dead Space remake — like the original — sets this action on a mining spaceship called the USG Ishimura, which has gone unexpectedly silent after cracking open a planet in the depths of space. Engineer Isaac Clarke boards the Ishimura hoping to repair it and track down his girlfriend, a doctor named Nicole Brennan. Instead, he and his team find themselves thwarted at every turn, not only by the necromorph outbreak but also by a mysterious sabotage operation and their own increasingly unstable mental states. Isaac learns the outbreak stems from an apparently madness-inducing alien artifact brought on board the Ishimura. And a powerful religious cult called the Church of Unitology, which is, of course, absolutely nothing like the Church of Scientology, may be helping it spread.

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Dead Space was initially conceived as a sequel to the exploration-heavy immersive sim System Shock 2, and although that plan was abandoned early in development, the influence feels evident in the original and carries over to the remake. The Ishimura is a fairly small and self-contained location, full of looping shortcuts and a tram backbone that lets you move easily between levels. (It’s unsurprisingly reminiscent of Arkane’s 2017 Prey, another indirect System Shock successor.) Both iterations of the game involve fixing problems by backtracking through flickering corridors and cavernous common areas, blasting the monsters that burst out of vents or play dead in plain sight. It’s a structure that Dead Space’s two direct sequels would downplay, moving toward comparatively linear level design.

A spaceship trench with asteroids.

A spaceship trench with asteroids.

 

a:hover]:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-e9 [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-13 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray-63″>Frustrating sections like an asteroid-shooting run have been heavily overhauled.

But while the original Dead Space established the basic combat system, some of the series’ best elements came later. Dead Space 2 turned telekinesis into a full-fledged secondary combat option — letting you do things like freeze an enemy with stasis, chop its arm off with a plasma cutter, and pin it to a wall with its own severed limb. It’s so intuitive that the original game feels incomplete without it, and the same goes for some other features, like free-floating zero-gravity sections that let you jet through the vacuum of space rather than just hopping between walls with magnetic boots.

The Dead Space remake is the best that playing a Dead Space game has ever felt. (I ran through it on a PC with a controller and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, the game’s recommended spec.) On top of combining the first and second game’s best elements, Motive has overhauled a few undeniably bad encounters, particularly a couple of interminable cannon-blasting set pieces that now feel far snappier and less repetitive. It maintains the methodical but not artificially slow pace of the original, creating suspense with shameless sudden blackouts and enemy jump scares but mostly avoiding the heavily scripted sensory assaults and quicktime sequences that Dead Space 2 became known for. Isaac will certainly take his share of physical and mental punishment, but Dead Space is emphatically a horror game — something to play with and master, not simply be subjected to.

And the remake introduces a few welcome tweaks of its own. The game largely keeps Dead Space’s original array of weapons, but it buffs some of the less popular ones with fresh alternate fire modes — the flamethrower, for instance, can now produce a protective wall of fire. As you attack enemies, you’ll see chunks of their flesh visibly erode, letting you know how close you are to severing a limb. One weapon takes things further with a fire mode that strips off entire layers of skin and muscle, leaving brittle animate skeletons that you can knock out with another weapon. It’s gory and over the top, and I can’t get enough of it.

Dead Space still happily embraces the shooter genre’s artificial yet satisfying shorthands. Enemies have familiar glowing weak spots to aim for, and you’ll stomp gigantic supply crates to release the futuristic equivalent of a single $100 bill, carefully collecting money for supplemental ammo and dopamine-drip upgrades like new suits. On top of being glossy and dramatically lit compared to their 2008 counterparts, the levels are now full of clearly marked stuff to smash and throw at enemies; I have never been so aware of furniture’s potential impalement value. Some doors and lockers are gated behind a new “clearance” system that lets you open them later, when you’ve collected credentials off the bodies of dead crew officers, giving you an organic way to learn about the people on the Ishimura.

The upgrades encourage exploration, too. Like before, you collect power nodes that you can weld to your weapons and suit at benches scattered through the levels. But this time, some of those welding points are unlocked by items that enable specific special functions, like setting enemies on fire with plasma shots. While the powers aren’t necessarily new, the items add an extra incentive to poke around the ship. And they’re far simpler than the confusing modular weapons in Dead Space 3, an okay-at-best game whose influence is nearly undetectable in the remake.

The riskiest moves Motive makes aren’t mechanical but narrative. Dead Space began as a relatively simple space-horror story that evoked Event Horizon, but its plot became more lore heavy and tortured with each game and supplemental tie-in bookDead Space 3’s climax is as baroquely incoherent as a fever dream, culminating in the decision to (spoilers) make players physically fight a moon. And between the first two games, Isaac underwent a dramatic shift from a silent masked protagonist to a character voiced by actor Gunner Wright, who plays the man as a combination of weary, snarky, and horrifically traumatized.

Wright came on board for the Dead Space remake, giving Isaac a voice in conversations that have been extended, centering characters’ motivations and backstories more clearly. You’re no longer playing a silent figure constantly ordered around by snippy superiors doing the bare minimum to convey where you’re supposed to go but, instead, a competent technician who has a tense but collegial relationship with his team. A series of side missions, which are basically just encouragements to explore specific optional rooms, also give a little extra background on his relationship with Nicole and what she’s been doing on the ship.

Games writer Tom Bissell once laid out a passionate argument against Dead Space 2’s expanded plot and Wright’s voice acting, arguing that a horror game protagonist’s vulnerability “annuls any need for ‘character’ or ‘personality’” to make players care. “Isaac is not relaying an experience. He is, rather, the relay we carry and protect during our experience,” Bissell declared. “The Isaac of the first Dead Space was so moving precisely because you had no idea what was inside his head.”

But I always found Isaac’s inexpressiveness in Dead Space distracting because it was so ostentatiously stiff in a story about ordinary people having a brush with madness and tragedy. A first-person control system lets the protagonist simply disappear, but a third-person avatar makes it impossible to ignore all of the moments that someone would normally react and doesn’t. (A lot of these reactions were buried in the original game’s menu text, which is written from Isaac’s perspective.) Wright imbues the character with an endearing charm that makes him fun not only to protect but also to be around for 15 or 16 hours. It’s enough to make me forget that Motive has made Isaac a generic brunet in his rare unmasked scenes, rather than keeping his distinctive salt-and-pepper hair.

Isaac Clarke and Zach Hammond staring at a screen in Dead Space

Isaac Clarke and Zach Hammond staring at a screen in Dead Space

 

a:hover]:text-black text-gray-13 dark:text-gray-e9 dark:[&>a:hover]:text-gray-e9 [&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-13 [&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-black dark:[&>a]:shadow-underline-gray-63 dark:[&>a:hover]:shadow-underline-gray-63″>We no longer stan a gray king.

Isaac’s companions, including Nicole, have been rewritten to feel more engaging and human. We’re thankfully past the period where blockbuster shooters have to pretend to be nuanced high art, but the remake is simply better at pragmatic genre storytelling: the underappreciated craft of giving characters enough personality and relatable motivation that I want to listen to them talk. The remake is weakest toward the end, where it feels either rushed or hemmed in by the original script. But it still pulls a little twist that’s compellingly creepy, even if it doesn’t change the story’s ultimate trajectory.

The Dead Space remake feels clean and good in a way that few big-budget Western titles do right now. In 2008, Dead Space seemed like a variation on any number of story-based horror shooters. It was directly inspired by Resident Evil 4 (which itself is getting a remake this year) but also shared DNA with first-person games like BioShock and Half-Life 2, which beat it by a few years to telekinesis and weaponized industrial tools. But in 2023’s world of modest indie narrative games and sprawling open-world AAA slogs, it stands nearly alone. The closest equivalent, Dead Space creator Glen Schofield’s The Callisto Protocol, seemed almost embarrassed to be a game instead of an unforgiving interactive movie.

Sadly, I’m not sure what Motive’s success here means. I’ve seen the game compared to a director’s cut, but none of Dead Space’s original primary creators are involved, and the term suggests a level of deference toward designers that EA simply hasn’t shown. Dead Space remains a relic from an age of self-contained prestige shooters that almost certainly isn’t coming back; I’m not even sure Motive’s approach would work for remaking the series’ other games. But none of that diminishes the sheer ridiculous pleasure of ripping up a zombie with a sawblade and stomping it for loot.

Dead Space will release on January 27th for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and S, and PC.

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