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The latest 'Valorant' agent controls space and time – Engadget

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Riot is kicking off the second act of Valorant‘s Episode 2 with another character that can bend the rules of reality. The developer has revealed Astra, a Ghanaian agent who wields the “energies of the cosmos” to control the battlefield. She can enter an astral form to place “stars” that produce gravity wells, explosive novae and smoke-like nebulae. You can also create a “cosmic divide” between two stars that blocks bullets and suppresses sounds.

Astra will be available to play on March 2nd alongside a new battlepass. Free users will get a new pistol, a new Versus card, a new buddy and a new spray. Those who pay, meanwhile, will get an axe, a Cavalier Vandal and Operator, another Versus card and their own spray.

It’s too soon to say how well Astra will work in practice. However, her addition helps outline Riot’s ongoing strategy with Valorant. Like Blizzard did with Overwatch, Riot is betting that a constantly expanding character mix will keep its game fresh after the novelty of the core game wears out.

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Minecraft's Next Big Update, The Wild, Is Coming In 2022 – TheGamer

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The next Minecraft update, The Wild, aims to expand and improve upon the game’s biomes, whilst also introducing a brand new one – the Deep and Dark biome.

The Wild was shown off as part of Minecraft Live 2021 and is the next big update for the game after Caves and Cliffs Part 2, which still doesn’t have a proper release date beyond “later this year”.

Related: You Don’t Have To Go Outside To Touch Grass With This New Minecraft Resource Pack

The main purpose of The Wild update is to expand and improve upon biomes that already exist in the game, such as making the Birch Forest biome more unique by giving it taller trees and more open spaces. Mojang seems to be trying to give each biome a lot more to make them feel distinct from one another, alongside adding new content like boats that have chests installed in them. It’s not quite as huge as the Caves and Cliffs update but looks set to help keep Minecraft fresh.

Another big addition is the mud blocks, which come from the new Mangrove Swamp area. As the name implies, this swamp area will have mangrove trees that give you mangrove wood. The area also introduces mud blocks, which you can create yourself by using water and dirt, and a frog mob. The frog mob was a particularly popular addition, with fans cheering at its inclusion. There’ll also be tiny Minecraft tadpoles, just in case you needed something else to look forward to.

That’s not all though, as a brand new biome will also be introduced through the update. The Deep Dark biome, which was originally supposed to be introduced as part of the Caves and Cliffs update, will introduce the incredibly creepy Warden mob and acts as a sort of subterranean lair underneath the bedrock layer. Mojang shared off a fair bit more of the new biome, as well as showing the Warden off properly. The Wardens are eyeless enemies that react to sound and vibrations, essentially making them the Clickers of the Minecraft world.

Next: What’s The Deal With Ash’s Dad In The New Pokemon Movie?



Koko Evolution

Oh, So People Can Just Become Pokemon Now?

Koko raises a lot of interesting questions about the nature of Pokemon in Secrets of the Jungle.


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Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League Trailer Shows Wonder Woman is Not an Enemy – GameRant

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DC FanDome was as big as many expected the event to be, revealing awesome trailers for movies like The Batman and upcoming games like Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and Gotham Knights. Some are upset that Injustice 3 wasn’t revealed at DC FanDome yesterday, but it was also somewhat clear that it was never going to be.

Still, these trailers are more than enough, and there’s a lot to unpack. Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League, for example, finally let players see what heroes they would be facing in-game aside from Superman, namely The Flash, Green Lantern, and even potential hints at Batman. One other Justice League member appeared, though not in the same capacity as her comrades: Wonder Woman.

RELATED: The Batman’s DC FanDome Trailer is Here and It’s Dark

While it’s not necessarily obvious at first, it’s clear that The Flash and Green Lantern are under the control of Brainiac. Their “corruption” of sorts isn’t to the same extent as Superman, but it’s clearly there. It stands to reason that, if Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League’s Batman is alive and, following the secret ending of Arkham Knight, he is under Brainiac’s control too. Wonder Woman, however, is not.

Throughout the trailer, her face is clear of any and all markings from Brainiac, suggesting her mind is her own. This could be so that she operates as some story device, this could be a way to encourage the Suicide Squad not to actually “kill” the Justice League, or she could be an ally at a certain point. Anything goes, but as the trailer is so action-packed, it’s easy to miss at first: Wonder Woman is not the Suicide Squad’s enemy.

Now, the reason why is up for debate and probably won’t be officially revealed until closer to launch, if not at the launch itself. Some fans speculate, however, it has something to do with her blood. Depending on which storyline Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League uses—if not its own—Wonder Woman is either a half-god or full god. It could be that Brainiac can’t influence her because of this.

Either way, it’s good for Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League to keep a little mystery as the game is still quite some time away. It’s at least one reason why 2022 is looking to be such a good year for video games, especially for DC games when paired with Gotham Knights.

Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League releases in 2022 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X.

MORE: Suicide Squad: Kill The Justice League and Gotham Knights Trailers Share a Prominent Theme



Compulsion Games

Rumor: We Happy Few Dev Could Be Working on Xbox Exclusive Dark Fantasy Game

The next project for the developers of We Happy Few, Compulsion Games, is supposedly a Dark Fantasy game exclusive to Xbox consoles.


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Apple Macbook event: New Macbook Pro laptops – CTV News

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Apple is set to kick off its second product event of the season, a month after introducing its new iPhone 13 lineup.

At a virtual event on Monday at 1 pm ET, the company is expected to unveil two high-end MacBook Pro laptops powered by its next-generation silicon chip. It may also introduce an update to its entry-level AirPods that’s more in line with the features of the AirPods Pro line.

Apple’s event kicks off what promises to be a busy week in tech product launches, with several companies pushing out new gadgets ahead of the all-important holiday season. Later this week, Google will unveil its Pixel 6 smartphone and Samsung is hosting a mysterious press event that the rumor mill didn’t even see coming.

But these products are launching amid ongoing concerns about global component shortages and logistics issues. Apple, in particular, confronted supply constraints earlier this year mainly impacting the iPad and Mac. It’s now reportedly considering cutting its iPhone production goals for the year because of the chip shortage. Apple declined to comment on the report.

There continues to be growing demand for PCs despite the shortages, however. PC shipments, including desktops and notebooks, reached 83.6 million units in the second quarter, up 13.2 per cent from the same period last year, according to market research firm IDC.

Dan Ives, an analyst with Wedbush, said Apple’s decision to push forward with new product launches speaks to “the company’s confidence” in getting its devices “into customer hands by holiday season despite the doomsday supply chain skeptics.”

M1X MacBooks

The centerpiece of Monday’s event is widely expected to be the MacBook. According to a Bloomberg report, the MacBook Pro is set to get its first major update in five years.

If the event’s “Unleashed” tagline and the invitation’s artwork — which features a hyperspace version of Apple’s logo — are any indication, Apple will spend a good bit of time touting the MacBook Pro’s speed and performance upgrades. In 2020, the company switched to a powerful in-house M1 silicon chip for its computer lineup. Now, its MacBook Pro line is expected to get the so-called M1X processor that’ll likely be even faster and more efficient than its M1 chip.

The new laptops, which are rumored to come in two sizes (14 inches and 16 inches), are said to have thinner bezels, improved displays, longer-lasting batteries and more memory options. According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, who has a strong track record for predicting Apple specs, the company is also expected to ditch one of the MacBook’s most divisive features: the touch bar. That small rectangular OLED touchscreen, which was introduced in 2016, replaced the row of function keys at the top of the keyboard with text prediction and shortcuts.

Other MacBook Pro rumors include bringing back the HDMI port, SD card slot, and a MagSafe charger, the last of which was removed when Apple introduced USB-C ports to the line.

AirPods 3

Apple may also show off its first update to AirPods in two years. Since their 2016 debut, the wireless earbuds have emerged as a surprise status symbol and a runaway hit for the company.

The third-generation AirPods will likely borrow some features from the more premium AirPods Pro line, including shorter stems and a case with longer-lasting battery life. (The entry-level version currently costs US$159 and the Pro is US$259.)

Apple has long leaned on offering multiple tiers for products like its iPhones and Apple Watches, often referred to as the good, better, best model. For that reason, it’s possible the latest AirPods will come without active noise cancellation or spatial audio support so the Pro line can still differentiate itself. (Apple’s over-the-ear headset, the AirPods Max, is its priciest option at US$550).

A few October surprises

Apple could also unveil a Mac mini Pro desktop computer with the M1X chip. But some rumors indicate a slimmer, redesigned model could be delayed until next year.

While the company teased new macOS Monterrey features for its Mac computers at its annual Worldwide Developer Conference in June, it has yet to announce a launch date. Apple will likely reveal Monday when users will be able to download the next-generation software, which includes updates to FaceTime, support for AirPlay, a low-power mode and a tab-grouping feature in Safari.

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