In this week’s bulletin, we discuss Defunctland VR, Red Dead Online Role Playing, A Ghost of Tsushima Crowdfunding, An Essay on Hades, Call of Duty Warzone, the Jane Austen MMO, an Indiana Jones game, an overview of Old World, the Isu Language in Valhalla, our new intern and our own Twine Game!

Defunctland VR

We probably don’t have to convice you how cool VR is. I mean, we use it during the RoMeincraft events. But there’s many other uses. You can use VR to revisit rides in theme parks long after they have been closed, for example the 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride in Disney World. The YouTube Channel Defunctland is working on such a project, recreating a theme park with closed down theme park rides. And its free alpha is now downloadable. And for those without VR, don’t worry, you can also play it ‘normally’ or watch a 360° video on YouTube! Read more on Kotaku or just check out the Defunctland video below!

Red Dead Online fans’ attempt of Role Playing alomost went wrong

Red Dead Online is the multiplayer experience for Red Dead Redemption 2. It features many things, but some players are more dedicated to it’s narrative than others. The people of the private Wild West RP server have one rule: stay in character. This means that all players are meant to behave like they should according to the timeframe. The server also boasts some real trading and bartering, as opposed to the ‘base’ online experience (where this is run by NPC’s). As part of the first cow-trade in the servers history, some players were tasked to play a cow. Yes, you read that right. And they stayed in character so well, that the cowboys protecting the cows had some troubles protecting the wares (and one cow/player played it so well it yeeted itself of a cliff twice). It was a troubled road, but it’s also just really funny and awesome. Read more on Polygon.

Ghost of Tsushima players help crowdfunding for damaged island

Ghost of Tsushima, last years PS4 bow-out, is set on a real island. Tsushima, between Korea and Japan, was ravaged by a typhoon in September 2020. Almost immediately, a project was set up to fund the restoration of a Torii gate on the island, which was basically completely destroyed. Players of the game quickly noticed the crowdfunding, and with help of the players (and others of course) the crowdfunding raised over $260k, which is more than 500% of the initial goal. The money will go into restoring the shrine, and a plaque will be added nearby bearing the names of all players who donated more than $71. Read more on Eurogamer or Siliconera.

Image: the gate on the right was almost completely destroyed.

Hades: Acquiring a Void

For the ‘Pandemics and Games Essay Jam’ organised by Critical Distance of the Arizona State University, the very talented Florence Smith Nicholls (presentor at TIPCO2) wrote a wonderful essay on their relation with Hades. Plenty has been written about Hades, and how it is a pretty good allegory for the current pandemic. Florence describes how Hades is a way out of the pandemic: ‘For a few days during betwixtmas I was caught in a seemingly endless, blissful feedback loop of death, enhanced damage resistance, more death. Hades handed me a flask of digital annihilation, I chugged it down then screamed: ANOTHER!’ Florence’s essay is a beautiful reflection on games and how they can help us through difficult times. Read the entire essay here.

Video: VALUE Plays Hades

The grim history of Warzone’s Rebirth Island

We often bash games from the Call of Duty series for their ‘historical’ content, but sometimes, it’s kinda right. But that doesn’t mean it’s a pretty history (logically, because war). However, one of the places in Call of Duty: Warzone (and also Black Ops) is Rebirth Island, or Vozrozhdeniya in Russian, and it’s history is really pretty grim. REbirth was an island in the Aral Sea (which is so dried up the island is no longer an island), and was created by the same drop of water levels which also ended it’s island state. Rebirth Island was the place of a Soviet-Union biological weapons test site, called Aralsk-7. Here, the Soviets tested multiple biological and chemical weapons, including the use of diseases such as smallpox, anthrax and the bubonic plague. It’s pretty gruesome, also considering that many of the stores where just left on the island (improperly sealed) when the Soviet Union collased in the 90’s. Several leaks have been cleaned up, but the (no longer) island has been swallowed by the desert taking the history with it. Pretty grim for a map to shoot at digital characters if you ask me. Read more on PC Gamer.

Video: VALUE Plays Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Jane Austen MMO shuts down

The High Society MMO Ever, Jane has shut down. The MMO, based upon the works of Jane Austen was crowdfunded back in 2013, and has since been through closed and open beta phases. However, 2020 proved to be pretty rough, and unfortunately the devs couldn’t amass the $500 fee for the server (which they asked players to sign up for with a subscription service). Even though the game wasn’t an AAA-title, the idea was promising, and it is always sad to see the development of a game (especially when it’s funded by the crowd) grind to a halt. Read more on Rock Paper Shotgun.

Image: Ever, Jane

Bethesda’s Machine Games is making an Indiana Jones Game

Machine Games, the studio behind the latest Wolfenstein trilogy, is now making another game where you get to kill Nazis. With a single tweet (see below) the studio’s announced the return of Doctor Jones! Let’s just hope it will be better than the last Indiana Jones movie, because that was shit. Read more on Kotaku and Rock Paper Shotgun.

Old World update overview

The people over at eXplorminate have created an awesome overview video on Mohawk Games’ Old World, the Early Access 4X title we love so much. Since its launch in EA last year, a lot has changed for the game, most notably the models and animations used in the game. Check out the video below!

Video: eXplorminate

Access the Animus Deciphered the Isu language

Finally, players of the Assassin’s Creed series have their own language to communicate with! The people of Access the Animus on YouTube have succeeded into deciphering the language used by those who came before. Since Valhalla, Ubisoft have reall stepped up with creating more lore, and more background for the secondary storyline about the Isu people, and the language they spoke. With the use of in-game information on the language, the people of Access were able to decipher more messages. Check the video out below!

A new VALUE Intern!

From January 1st, VALUE has a new intern! Jochem ‘Guthixian’ Scheelings introduces himself in this introductionary post! Jochem will be working on a mod for Hearts of Iron IV, and will be writing regular In Depth posts on gaming (alternate) history!

VALUE made a Twine!

You might have caught it on stream yesterday, but we made a Twine game! In a game challenge, Dr. Random and Dr. Ymir made an amazing game about a girl in the small town of Bezvěrov during the Late Middle Ages. You can play it here, and definitely check out the stream. We will be doing this once a month, so tune in for more! Eventually, there will be more games to play under the ‘Our Games’ menu at the top!