Connect with us

Gaming

Netflix goes full spoiler with short teaser for Stranger Things S4

Published

on

It looks like David Harbour will return as Jim Hopper for the fourth season of Stranger Things.

Netflix just dropped a short teaser for the upcoming fourth season of Stranger Things, and it reveals a doozy of a spoiler. Police Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is alive and working on a Russian chain gang somewhere in the desolate frozen expanse of the Soviet Union.

(Spoilers for first three seasons below.)

When we last left our plucky teenaged sleuths and their allies, they had successfully beaten back a third attempt by the so-called Mind-Flayer to escape the Upside Down and take over the town of Hawkins, Indiana, where the series has thus far been set. But that victory did not come without a cost: Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) lost her telekinetic powers after being bitten by the Flay-Monster. And her adoptive father, Hopper, sacrificed himself to save the town in the season three finale. Eleven is taken in by Joyce Byers (Winona Ryder), and the entire Byers clan moves away from Hawkins.

Series creators Matt and Ross Duffer (collectively the Duffer Brothers) have hinted that season four will open up the storytelling to include plot lines outside of Hawkins, with the Russians and their captive Demogorgon playing a major role. A mid-credits scene following the S3 finale hinted that S4 would delve further into the Russian subplot. Two Russian guards approach a prison door. “Not the American,” one guard says. Instead, the guards drag off a Russian prisoner and lock him in a room with a captive Demogorgon, which proceeds to devour the screaming prisoner.

There was much online speculation that “The American” was a reference to Hopper, who somehow survived the explosion back in Hawkins. We never saw a corpse, after all. (Another option was Dr. Martin Brenner, played by Matthew Modine; a S2 reference hinted he might still be alive.) Clearly those suspicions were warranted with this first teaser.

It’s short and sweet. The teaser opens with a wide shot of a winter wasteland—specifically in Kamchatka, Russia—and the camera gradually zooms in on a military-style encampment, with guards in Soviet uniforms (circa mid-’80s) and dogs patrolling the grounds. Cut to a long line of chained prisoners working on railroad tracks, as the camera view moves down the track to focus on one hooded prisoner in particular. He pushes back his hood to reveal he’s Jim Hopper, with a shaven head. The camera lingers a moment and then goes dark with just slight chirring sound heard in the background, hinting at the continued influence of the Upside Down.

We still have no idea how this plot point is going to play out or how it fits within the broader narrative for the season. And will all that hard labor on a chain gang transform Hopper’s signature “dad bod”? Honestly, it’s a bit surprising that Netflix chose to drop such a major reveal this far in advance of the new season. But the Duffer brothers are clearly confident that there are still plenty of surprises in store. Here is their statement:

“We’re excited to officially confirm that production on Stranger Things 4 is now underway—and even more excited to announce the return of Hopper. Although it’s not all good news for our ‘American’; he is imprisoned far from home in the snowy wasteland of Kamchatka, where he will face dangers both human… and other. Meanwhile, back in the states, a new horror is beginning to surface, something long buried, something that connects everything… Season 4 is shaping up to be the biggest and most frightening season yet, and we cannot wait for everyone to see more. In the meantime — pray for the American.”

Listing image by YouTube/Netflix

Continue Reading

Gaming

Valve moves Dota 2 International to Romania, adds mask-and-vax rules

Published

on

Valve announced this week that its prestigious Dota 2 tournament The International will require all attendees to be fully masked and vaccinated for entry.

As noted on the Dota 2 site, anyone attending the October competition at the National Arena in Bucharest, Romania, must be at least 10 days out from their final vaccination, and attendees will need to present proof of inoculation (which must be in either English or Romanian) along with a photo ID to gain access to the event grounds and tournament arena. All attendees must also wear a mask and proof-of-vaccination wristband along with their registration badges. Additional safety protocols will be put into place throughout the tournament.

Now in its tenth year, The International gathers together the best Dota 2 teams from around the globe to compete for a multi-million dollar prize pool.  But over the past year, Valve has not had an easy time with COVID-related restrictions for its annual tournament. The company’s initial plans to hold The International 10 in Stockholm were scrapped earlier this summer after the Swedish Sports Federation decided not to include esports in its officially recognized body—a move that meant anyone traveling for the tournament would be denied an entry visa.

Valve’s subsequent requests for the Swedish government to intervene were denied, with the company announcing the move to Romania in July. (2020’s tournament, which was also planned to be held in Stockholm, was indefinitely delayed in April 2020 over safety concerns amidst the global pandemic.)

The move to make The International a fully-vaccinated, fully-masked tournament is just the latest in a growing trend of gaming events tightening up COVID restrictions. For instance, this summer’s PAX West in Seattle required attendees to present either proof-of-vaccination or a negative PCR test for entry, as well as wearing a vaccination-proof wristband along with their registration badges.

The International 10’s group stage, which doesn’t appear to be open to the public, will be held October 7-10, while the main stage tournament event (the only stage Valve is selling tickets for) will be split between two midweeks running from October 12-15. The finals are scheduled to be held on October 16 and 17. Tickets for the main stage will go on sale September 22, and those are sold in three separate two-day bundles.

Continue Reading

Gaming

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair, creator of UK’s famed ZX Spectrum gaming computer

Published

on

Enlarge / Sir Clive Sinclair holding the world’s smallest television screen when it was created by Sinclair Radionics in 1977.

Getty Images

Sir Clive Sinclair, the namesake of a British electronics manufacturer who helped pioneer Europe’s microcomputing boom, is dead at the age of 81.

His company, Sinclair Radionics, is arguably best known around the world for 1982’s ZX Spectrum, an early example of a computer capable of multi-color, real-time graphics. The device dominated the UK and other European territories in the early 1980s. This computer was a major processing step up from black-and-white Spectrum computers like ZX80 and ZX81, and it debuted in a configuration priced as low as £125. American readers probably best know this platform thanks to popular and ambitious ZX Spectrum games from the little developer Ultimate: Play The Game. That company eventually rebranded itself as Rareware and turned into a ’90s powerhouse on Nintendo consoles.

Yet before his name became interminably linked to gaming history, Sinclair’s rise to running his own electronics manufacturing company largely resembles the stories of American electronics pioneers who began as garage hobbyists. A BBC documentary, Clive Sinclair: The Pace Setters, chronicles the inventor’s rise, which began with him selling one-at-a-time radio kits via mail order in the 1960s.

As the documentary is region-locked, many readers will have to settle on this BBC text version of its highlights, which follows Sinclair’s rise as a maker of British pocket calculators and portable TVs before redirecting his efforts to personal computers. During this time, an effort to get the British government to back Sinclair as a formally supported PC maker, especially as the government began bullishly promoting computer access in homes and schools, fell apart. Instead, rival computer manufacturer Curry became a “BBC Micro” partner. Sinclair and Spectrum fired back with the more powerful ZX Spectrum, which went on to sell over 5 million units. Sadly, the rest of his career didn’t reach the same heights, and it was largely marked by botched efforts to launch electric modes of transport, including the famous failure that was the pod-like C5 “car.”

For a charming Clive-on-Clive conversation, check out this 1990 interview with longtime British TV host Clive Anderson (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), complete with the two men looking at and talking about various Spectrum inventions over the years—including, incredibly, Sinclair’s failed C5.

Sir Clive Sinclair talks about his product history in 1990.

Continue Reading

Gaming

Battlefield 2042 joins recent game-delay frenzy, moves to November

Published

on

Enlarge / This looks fun.

Battlefield 2042 has been delayed from its initial October 22 release date, though it will still launch this year, EA announced today. The multiplayer-only shooter will now hit stores on November 19, the publisher said in a statement.

Citing the complications of developing games in a work-from-home environment during a global pandemic—by now a familiar challenge for the countless game makers that have had to delay other high-profile 2021 games—DICE assured fans that the team is working on finishing touches rather than dealing with any kind of development trouble. The developer also reiterated that there would be updates later this month regarding 2042‘s open beta. In other words, this is pandemic business as usual.

After Battlefield 2042‘s reveal during EA’s June E3 news blitz, the publisher announced that the game will feature three modes, none of which are battle royale-related. “All-Out Warfare,” the traditional BF deathmatch mode, is finally upgrading to 128 players on current-gen consoles and PC. “Battlefield Portal” is a mashup game that lets players customize matches with elements of Battlefield 1942, Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and Battlefield 3 inside 2042 maps. “Hazard Zone” is an alleged squad-based mode that EA has thus far been mum on. Today’s announcement didn’t specify whether all three modes would launch with the game.

As far as the seemingly endless train of 2021 delays is concerned, DICE’s isn’t as bad as it could be. Earlier this week, Techland confirmed its long-in-production Dying Light 2 is being pushed back to February 2, while Ubisoft announced this week that its guitar-instruction game Rocksmith+ is shifting to 2022. Sony also recently announced that Horizon Forbidden West will move to February 28 from its original “late 2021” launch.

Continue Reading

Trending