In this weeks bulletin, we discuss some more A Total War Saga: Troy, Blathers of Animal Crossing, and interview with the Humankind devs, New World, the trailer for the new Call of Duty, Hellish Quart, and interview with Sid Meier and Pharaoh: A New Era!

Behind the scenes of A Total War Saga: Troy

Total War shared a pretty cool interview with historian and archaeologist Eric Cline on their website. In the interview, Ella McConnell dives deeper into the historical research for the game, and how Cline (who teaches at George Washington Univeristy in the USA) helped the developers with their research without it even knowing it! The devs used some of Clines work for their research, but after a student told Cline about the upcoming game, he got in touch with the devs and had some chats about the history in the game. It’s an interesting interview, which you can read here!

Video: Total War

An investigation into Blathers

It has been a while since Animal Crossing has been released (and has been featured in this bulletin). However, recently Eurogamer featured an interesting article has been on Blathers, the curator of the museum in AC. Written by dr. Laura Humphreys, the article focusses on Blathers (lack of) museum ethics, and how he basically is an ‘private collector […] acting outside of the law and professional standards […]’. A very interesting take on the not so ethical Blathers. Read more on Eurogamer!

Image: Eurogamer / dr. Laura Humphreys

An interview with Humankind devs

In a new interview posted by Explorminate, we get to hear the Creative Director and Studio Head of Amplitude Romain de Waubert talk about the development of Humankind. Romain talks about the progress of the game, some of the results of the current open dev (especially the open dev not being a demo). Romain also talks about the status of Endless Space 2 and the possibility of returning to that universe! You can listen the interview here.

New World Gameplay

Amazon’s upcoming MMO New World has just entered closed beta testing. The game was supposed to launch this week, but had been postponed to the spring of next year. However, the closed beta is now running and people can stream the content as they like! Even though the postponment suggests the game is far from finished, many were pleasantly suprised by the game. Robert Purchese of Eurogamer took to playing the game, and came to the conclusion that the game was not only running well and looking pretty, it was also good fun (which is most important of course). You can read Purchese’s experiences on Eurogamer, or watch a gameplay clip below!

Video: Game Clips and Tips / Robert Purchese

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War trailer troubles

Last week, Activision dropped the trailer for the new Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Set to launch on November 13th, it will take us back to the battlegrounds of the second half of the twentieth century for some CIA backed coups. Aside from the classic Cold War narrative of capitalism vs. communism, there were some troubles with the trailers released for the game. First of all, it featured a small snippet of footage from the Tiananmen Square protests in 1989. This caused the trailer to be banned in China, only for Activision to bring out a trailer without the snippet. Secondly, the trailer also features KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov. That seems all historical and well, but there is more to that than it seems. As Emil Lundedal Hammar pointed out on Twitter, Bezmenov is often cited by right-wing extremists and conspiracy theorist for his views on American society. Using them in a trailer for such a big game is practically mainstreaming his ideas, and supporting the far-right in its ideas. Even though it is most likely not the intention of Activision, it can sure do much harm (as was also pointed out by Liam McLeod in his feature on Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla). Aside from these points, there is more stuff in the trailer which really grinds some gears (looking at you ‘those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it’), but that’s for another time and place. Kotaku dove deeper into all the problems with the trailer.

Hellish Quart: sword dueling game

How did people settle their differences back in the 17th Century? With a sword duel of course! Although it is not true (as not all differences were settled by sword), the concept of a sword duel does make for a good game. So that’s why indie studio Kubold are making a sword dueling game called Hellish Quart. The lead designer, Jakub Kisiel, worked as animator and motion capture actor for The Withcher 3, so you can expect the game being a good one! It will feature a singleplayer, as well as an arcade mode and some limited multiplayer. It will soon launch in Early Access, with the full launch being in one or two years.

Video: Kubold

Watch a Sid Meier interview

Sid Meier’s Memoir! will almost be available to read! In this book, Sid will dive deeper into his story, but also his views on the creation of Civilization and the history of the industry. But with every book launch, there will also be interviews! So take your chance to see a live interview with Sid (quite rare) on the 10th of September when he will speak at a virtual Live Talks Los Angeles Event. The interview will be livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube, so you can catch it there.

Pharaoh: A New Era remake

You might remember 1999 hit city-builder Pharaoh. Back in those days, Sierra ruled the city-building market, with other hits such as Caesar III. Pharaoh was their first trip outside of Rome. The awesome game will now be remade! Set to launch somewhere in 2021, Pharaoh: A New Era will take you back to many centuries BCE, with countless missions, free building, kinda complicated city-management and with the expansion of the game (Cleopatra: Queen of the Nile) already in the game! Can’t quite remember what the game was all about? Read this piece on PC Gamer about the 1999 hit, ot watch the trailer below.

Video: IGN