Overwatch 2 Is Reverting Its Stance On One Of Its Big Changes

When Overwatch 2 pivoted from the series’ 6v6 format in favor of a faster, single-tank 5v5 one, it also shifted away from a popular gameplay tactic: Crowd control, or abilities that can stop or slow an opponent in their tracks with a stun or freeze effect. Now, it sounds like Blizzard is feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse regarding the hard change, and will be tweaking some old character’s kits to bring crowd control back into the fold.

Director Aaron Keller discussed the change in a blog post on the Overwatch website, where he explained Blizzard’s initial mindset in removing most crowd control abilities in Overwatch 2 to leave the control of match pacing to tank characters like Orisa and Roadhog. He says the crowd control abilities present in the original game “felt like you were in a pinball machine” if a coordinated team hit you with several of these abilities at once, and that retooling these abilities felt like a good change for Overwatch 2. However, Keller says the addition of hypermobile characters like Sojourn, Kiriko, and Lifewaver has made the team rethink the decision, and it’s looking to find a middle ground in Season 5.

Is Overwatch 2 bringing back crowd control? Kinda.

Upcoming in Overwatch 2 Season 5 are changes to Mei and Cassidy’s kits, two characters who used to be infamous for their crowd-control capabilities. In the original Overwatch, Mei’s primary fire could freeze an enemy in their tracks after sustained damage, and while it doesn’t sound like Blizzard is completely turning the dial in the other direction, Mei’s primary fire will be able to slow enemies down even further for 1.5 seconds.

Cassidy, meanwhile, will be getting an update to his Magnetic Grenade that, while lowering its damage, will slow enemies and block movement abilities. It remains to be seen if this captures the same utility and vibe of OG Overwatch, which was able to stop enemies just long enough for a Cassidy player to unload their revolver for an easy kill before it was changed to a magnetic damage dealer in the sequel, but it’s at least interesting to see Blizzard is examining the changes it’s made in the sequel and consider whether things might’ve been better at one point, or lessons can be reapplied to an ever-changing game.

On another note, Keller also mentions that Lifeweaver, the newest hero and an ongoing problem the Overwatch 2 team has been trying to solve, will be getting some further buffs in season 5 to help build up his viability. The blog post doesn’t get into specific numbers, saying those will be made clear in future patch notes, but Keller says anyone playing the pansexual support hero can expect “increases to his healing and damage output, a heal on Life Grip, a slightly reduced hitbox, and some quality-of-life changes to Petal Platform.” Anything to make his numbers go up sounds good to me, but the Life Grip heals is the part that piques my interest as someone who’s been maining Lifeweaver since he launched in April. The ability is one of Lifeweaver’s most useful, but often frustrating, as it pulls an ally to Lifeweaver without them getting any say on the matter. But giving Lifeweaver another means of healing his teammates is good, because right now his utility as a healer, even if numbers are raised, is pretty one-note until he reaches his area-of-effect ultimate.

While Lifeweaver is getting buffs, Junker Queen is getting some nerfs. Specifically, her Commanding Shout ability will now give her 150 additional health, rather than the previous 200. They’ll also be increasing the cost of her ultimate ability so she’ll take longer to charge it up. Junker Queen had gained some popularity this past season due to her survivability, so it looks like Blizzard is looking to mitigate that a bit in Season 5.

Overwatch 2 is in a weird state now after Blizzard announced significant cuts to the planned PvE modes. But despite the state of the game, the team recently rolled out a new Pride event that confirmed some long held headcanons and painted the Midtown map rainbow, which was well-received among queer fans.

Your Pathetic Diablo IV Death Could Get Eulogized By Megan Fox

Acclaimed actress Megan Fox is standing in a black corset dress in front of a bevy of burning candles.

Eulogize me, mommy.
Screenshot: Megan Fox / Kotaku

Whether you’re just jumping into Diablo IV now that it’s officially out or have been combing through Sanctuary since the loot-hunting RPG’s June 1 early access release, you’ll undoubtedly die at some point while fending off the evils of Hell. It’s inevitable; death is the great equalizer, after all. But if you record and post your demise, acclaimed actress Megan Fox might take notice of your death.

Read More: 29 Diablo IV Tips That Will Make You A Better Player

Fox has been in a number of films and games since starting her acting career in 2001. However, she’s probably best known for her roles in 2007’s explosion fest Transformers and 2009’s horror comedy Jennifer’s Body. Now, the award-winning actress has taken to Instagram to post about Diablo IV, Blizzard’s wildly successful action-RPG that’s finally out on most platforms.

Live long enough in Diablo IV to become a hero…or a chump

Fox’s latest Instagram post is pretty short, all of 20 seconds or so in length. But the premise is pretty simple: share your last in-game breath with her and she may write you a eulogy to tell the world how you lived in Sanctuary. Be warned, though, that she may drag you if you died like a pathetic little goober.

“If there’s one thing I love, it’s the sight of blood,” Fox said, standing in a black dress in front of burning candles. “And in Diablo IV, there are rivers of it. Show me your worst in-game death with #DiabloDeaths and you might get a eulogy from yours truly, telling the world that you went out like a hero. Or a chump.”

You can post your deaths on TikTok or Twitter with the corresponding hashtag and, on June 8, Fox will begin reading eulogies for a bevy of Diablo IV players.

Read More: Diablo IV’s First Patch Heavily Weakens 4 Of Its 5 Classes

I have no doubt there will be a number of hilarious Diablo IV deaths for Fox to share. Between Hardcore mode, an increased difficulty the permanently kills your character should you fall in battle, and The Butcher, the end is upon us all.

 

BioWare Offloading Star Wars MMO To Focus On Mass Effect

Electronic Arts is preparing to move Star Wars: The Old Republic, BioWare’s long-running MMORPG, to outside studio Broadsword Online Games, according to a new report by IGN. The deal would see just over half of the game’s development team move with it while the rest look for new jobs as BioWare pivots to focusing exclusively on upcoming single-player games like Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and Mass Effect 4.

Update 6/27/2023 12:41 p.m. ET: BioWare has confirmed IGN’s report, announcing on its blog that Old Republic will still be published by EA but development will move to an outside studio along with some of the existing team. Not all of them, however. BioWare also confirmed that some BioWare Austin developers will be laid off as part of the restructuring.

“No big change comes without challenges,” BioWare General Manager Gary McKay wrote. “Among them is the fact that most of the current team will be invited to accompany the game on its move to Broadsword, though unfortunately not every role will make the move. We are of course doing everything we can to support the affected team members, who have an opportunity to find new roles within EA.”

He continued:

As we look toward the future, BioWare is focused on being a leader in developing immersive, emotionally charged, single-player games, with teams primarily in Austin and Edmonton. This means a renewed focus on our two key franchises: Dragon Age™ and Mass Effect™. For Dragon Age, we continue to build, polish, and tune an exceptional experience we know our fans will love. We can’t wait to share more on this soon. For Mass Effect, we continue pre-production with a core team of veteran storytellers who are bringing the deep franchise history forward in a spectacular new way.

Original story follows.

Sources tell IGN that 70-80 people are currently part of the core development team on Old Republic, and the proposed deal would see about half of them transition to Broadsword alongside the game. The other half would reportedly have to look for other positions within EA, or potentially be laid off, leaving the future of BioWare Austin seemingly in question. The studio adopted remote work options for employees in early 2022

“Almost 12 years after launch, Star Wars: The Old Republic remains a success and continues to grow its dedicated and passionate community,” a spokesperson for EA told Kotaku in an email. “We’re so proud of the work the team has done, and the future of the game and the community continues to be very bright. We’re evaluating how we give the game and the team the best opportunity to grow and evolve, which includes conversations with Broadsword, a boutique studio that specializes in delivering online, community-driven experiences.”

Star Wars: The Old Republic launched as a competitor to Blizzard’s massively popular MMO World of WarCraft back in 2011. It was praised for its deep worldbuilding and interesting storytelling in the Star Wars universe, but struggled to keep players engaged around its end game. Old Republic eventually went free-to-play a year later, and has continued receiving additional content ever since. Its most recent expansion pack, Legacy of the Sith, arrived just last year and was celebrated as a 10-year anniversary victory lap for the aging PC game.

Broadsword, where it now appears to be headed, is currently home to the MMOs Ultima Online and Dark Age of Camelot. It was started in 2014 by Mythic Entertainment co-founder Rob Denton, previously a VP at EA overseeing the BioWare publishing label at the time of Old Republic’s original release.

In the years since, BioWare Austin had maintained the MMO while also helping BioWare Edmonton and BioWare Montreal with downloadable content for Dragon Age: Inquisition and later on co-developing Mass Effect Andromeda. It was also in a fraught relationship while working on Anthem with BioWare Edmonton, as previously reported by Kotaku. Plans for a 2.0 overhaul following the live service game’s disastrous launch were ultimately abandoned, and BioWare has appeared to be focused on Dragon Age: Dreadwolf and the next Mass Effect ever since.

“Our goal is to do what is best for [Star Wars: The Old Republic] and its players,” EA said.

              

Myst Creator’s New Game Sadly Has Loads Of AI-Generated Stuff

Cyan, the studio behind Myst and Riven, has for the last few years been funding its games via Kickstarter. That’s how 2016’s Obduction was made, and it’s also how 2023’s Firmament—with more than a little help from machines this timewas developed as well.

For a studio with such an illustrious history, the decidedly mixed reviews for Firmament should be something of a surprise. Fans are down on some of the puzzle design, but they also repeatedly mention how flat the game’s world feels, how poor the narration is and the sparsity of Firmament’s in-game lore, which really stand out when compared to Cyan’s 90s blockbusters.

This walkthrough video highlight’s the game’s monotone narration

Turns out there’s a good reason for some of that. As Gregory Avery-Weir first pointed out after sitting through the game’s credits, the longer you sit through them the more you find that some jobs—like voice acting—don’t get a mention where you’d expect them, alongside composers and artists. Indeed by the time the credits are thanking external partners like Nvidia, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’d forgotten to acknowledge their voice actors entirely.

Until you get to this, literally the last credit flashed on the screen before they start thanking streams of Kickstarter backers:

Image for article titled Myst Studio's New Game Has Loads Of 'AI-Assisted' Stuff [Update]

Image: Firmament

That sure explains why so many pieces of in-game lore—like “journals, logs, checklists, newapapers, stories, songs, poems, letters” and “loosely scattered papers”—have been described as being so underwhelming, and why so many players had complaints about the lifelessness of its narration.

I reached out to Cyan and asked them specifically about the level of human involvement in the game’s narration and lore texts (newspapers, letters, etc). Their response:

“AI Assisted Content” listed in the credits for Firmament is, well, exactly that. It is content of which its final state you see it as in the game as was assisted, not wholly created, by services built on what many refer to as “AI” that Cyan staff made use of.

For example, all voice acting content was performed by an actual human being 100% of the time (which may have been obvious already if you have listened to it, especially considering the performance cadence and content — we can’t imagine what it would be like if wholly machine generated, to your question) but the final performance timbre, pitch, and tone was modified with one of these services, with the performer’s consent. Hopefully that clarifies things more and provides a good example of what we mean by “AI Assisted Content”.

Note that doesn’t explain why those voice actors aren’t credited (when the AI is!), why they used AI (and not regular recording/mixing tools) to modify the “timbre, pitch, and tone” of a human’s voice, and doesn’t address the numerous other instances fans have complained about, like the poems and songs.

This sucks! This is the third game in a month we’ve had to highlight for either featuring or standing accused of featuring terrible, obviously machine-generated content. The feedback in each instance—even on this game’s Kickstarter page, where many backers pledged their support years ago, before AI-generated content was even a thing—has been clear: people do not want this stuff in their games!

Image for article titled Myst Studio's New Game Has Loads Of 'AI-Assisted' Stuff [Update]

Screenshot: Kickstarter

UPDATE 8pm ET, June 8 – Cyan has responded to the criticism by releasing a second, more detailed statement. Our headline has been amended to better reflect the specific nature of the content used:

Regarding “Al Assisted Content” in Firmament

As many of you have seen or noticed, our credits in Firmament mention “Al Assisted Content”. This has been present in the credits for Firmament since release day, and we have never hidden this information:

A.I. Assisted Content

Journals, logs, checklists, newspapers, stories, songs, poems, letters, loosely scattered papers; all backer portraits; all founders portraits; the “sunset” paintings; the art-nouveau wallpaper in the Swan dormitory hallways; propaganda banners; coastal spill decal kit; all voiced mentor, announcer, founder, and other speeches; backer-exclusive content

“Al Assisted” does not mean wholly Al-generated. Unfortunately, there have been articles published recently which have implied (especially in their headlines) that Cyan generated much of Firmament using Al tools. This is categorically false and misleading, and we are disappointed and frustrated to see this happening.

Some folks may be concerned about our usage of Al, so in the interest of clarification: The voice performances in Firmament were voiced 100% of the time by a talented member of our development team who elected not to be credited by name. Their voice was simply modulated for the final product with one of these tools (and with their full permission and control). This same member of the development team has elected not to be credited in prior games of ours as well, for privacy concerns, and not anything to do with tools usage in our games.

Additionally, our narrative team elected to use Al writing tools to ideate and experiment with how information they wrote themselves is presented in the game. The artists who used Al tools to assist in the creation of assets (itemized above, as well as in the credits) used them solely to ideate on texture assets for very specific scenarios. Other than the small handful of textural assets described, no Al tools were used in any aspect of Cyan’s world-building or art creation efforts.

Cyan has a talented team of individuals (all human beings) with a breadth of skills and experience who have been working on this game for over 4 years, from scratch. We are disappointed to see their contributions minimized and overshadowed by egregious speculation about our usage of Al tools. Although individuals on the team did leverage Al tools to help with the development of the contents listed above, absolutely nothing in this small fraction of content for the game was generated and used outright from these services without extensive human oversight and revision.

For those who are disappointed in our use of these tools, we hope you have a better picture now of how we used them to assist with Firmament’s development. To our disappointed Kickstarter backers, we hope you understand that none of these tools even existed when we Kickstarted the development of the project, but understand why you may be disappointed that we did not disclose our usage of them in the last year. These tools land in a gray area for many, but we hope that some accurate context (instead of a spicy headline) helps clarify this for you.

This Pokémon Game Had Been Lost For Years, Until Now

My first foray into the world of Pokémon as a kid was the Generation 3 games, Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. So it brought me great pleasure to hear of a new project led by a group of video game preservationists, working to restore a lost web-browser-based Pokémon game that was released during the transition from Gen 3 to Gen 4. This game is Pokémon Garden, a flash game with multiplayer connectivity, minigames, and a ton of behind-the-scenes tidbits like development art and interviews.

This nearly 15-year-old flash game was purportedly created as a web-based campaign to bring more attention to the Pokémon franchise, which at the time, was suffering from declining sales. (Hard to imagine, these days, when new releases are consistently some of the fastest-selling Nintendo games of all time.) Pokémon Garden even had a relatively healthy lifespan, remaining open for about two years before its permanent closure. It sounds impressive for a flash game intended for marketing, but the game actually had a decent amount of meat on its bones.

What is Pokémon Garden?

Lost Pokemon Games You Can’t Play… Yet

YouTuber DidYouKnowGaming released a pretty comprehensive video about the restoration project and the nitty gritty of Pokemon Garden, exploring most of the content found in the game. Pokémon Garden wasn’t a traditional Pokémon game by any means and didn’t feature any of the classic gameplay we’re used to. Instead, Pokémon Garden functions as more of a celebration of the franchise’s history, or at least that was the case back before Diamond and Pearl were released. The game’s main draw was a “Pokémon Special Tour,” which required you to schedule an actual tour time with waits of up to two hours. Up to eleven players would interact with each other in real-time and experience a time capsule of Pokémon’s history, with some minigames sprinkled in along the way.

After completing one tour (which you could experience as many times as you wanted), you were able to head to several different galleries themed to the different regions available at the time: Kanto, Johto, and Hoenn. You could also visit a virtual Game Freak office, which allowed you to “chat” with NPC versions of game developers and receive some insider information about Diamond and Pearl. (This then led to to some incorrect information, such as the Gen 4 starters being Fighting, Dark, and Psychic-type.)

That’s the main gist of Pokémon Garden. There were some minigame tournaments you could play to earn some in-game cash for emoticons and whatnot, and arcade cabinets filled with other minigames you could compete for high scores in. It was a chill web browser flash game released to Japan, nothing more, nothing less. But it’s notable because until now, the game had been lost to time.

Rebuilding a game from the ground-up

Image for article titled This Pokémon Game Had Been Lost For Years, Until Now

Image: DidYouKnowGaming / Game Freak

The team rebuilding Pokémon Garden has plenty of experience, recently localizing some other lost Pokémon games, a set of Pokemon Mystery Dungeon games released only on the Wii in Japan. However, rebuilding a flash game is a much different process, and something that according to the video, requires a large amount of community support.

To rebuild the game, the team needs to find players who have played Pokémon Garden before and are willing to volunteer their browser cache, stored data of websites that have previously been accessed. As eloquently stated by DYKG, the preservationists will “use [the browser caches] like puzzle pieces to put the game back together.” These players can use a program called Flashpoint which automatically checks your browser cache for Flash game data, which is used not just for the Pokémon Garden project, but other potential Flash game restorations as well (including other lost Pokémon projects, like Pokémon Dream World or Pokémon Mazeland.)

Unfortunately, I myself do not have an old computer that could run Pokémon Garden, but on the off-chance that you do, maybe you can cement yourself in an interesting part of Pokémon history. In the meantime, I’ll be clearing my calendar waiting for the day I can schedule a mystical Pokémon tour.

Diablo 4 Hardcore Level 100 Champ Perma Dies In Worst Way Ever

Former Dota 2 and StarCraft pro Souaïb ‘cArn’ Hanaf became Diablo IV’s first player to hit level 100 while playing on Hardcore mode (where death is permanent), immortalizing his name within the new hit action-RPG. But his overpowered Barbarian later died in the worst way possible, the grim fantasy world of Sanctuary’s first champion erased for good before most players had even finished the game.

“No…” Hanaf said during a recent livestream, his voice filled with dread as the game became frozen on his screen. “Hello…are you kidding me?” As previously spotted by PCGamesN, the always-online game had disconnected from Blizzard’s servers, killing the level 100 Barbarian in the process. That’s because Diablo IV’s hardcore mode treats disconnects like death in order to discourage players from trying to pull the plug in a losing battle to avoid losing a character.

It was a brutal and unworthy death for the character who Hanaf had poured 86 hours into over the course of Diablo IV’s first week. Most hardcore mode characters die eventually, but usually in boss fights, nightmare dungeons, or other challenging late-game activities. Instead of going out in a blaze of glory, Hanaf’s Barbarian essentially died by slipping on the live service multiplayer equivalent of a banana peel.

Blizzard’s hardcore mode race saw some of the biggest Diablo fans compete to grind the new game as quickly and as safely as possible. While some players did so entirely on their own, others banded together in co-op mode where XP could be farmed more efficiently thanks to things like bonuses for playing as part of a group.

Read More: 29 Diablo IV Tips That Will Make You A Better Player

Hanaf in particular leaned on a small exploit for rapidly completing dungeons. Normally, it takes a few minutes for them to “cool down” before players can reset them and begin again. During Diablo IV’s Early Access period, however, players realized the party leader could abandon the group and restart a dungeon immediately while the rest rejoined, saving precious time. It was an arguably controversial advantage in a series most fans associate with single-player dungeon crawling.

Even though the Barbarian who cemented Hanaf’s victory is now dead, his name will be immortalized along with 999 others as they’re carved into a real life statue of Diablo IV’s main antagonist, Lilith. It’s a good thing too since the statues will probably last a long time, while the always-online game itself will eventually shut down, disconnected just like the first hardcore mode character who reached level 100 in it.

                      

New Steam Game Is About Winnie The Pooh’s Hole, Literally

How far tubby honey bear Winnie-the-Pooh has fallen. Now that he’s entered the public domain, he can no longer merely stumble through the painless Hundred Acre Wood stuffing his face full of dessert with no pants on. Now, he plays the swollen and bleeding protagonist to the just-announced indie horror game Winnie’s Hole, and he still has no pants on.

The game comes from Australian-based studio Twice Different, which released its first title, the macabre roguelike card crawler Ring of Pain, in 2020. Winnie’s Hole, as an “accessible turn-based roguelite with auto battling elements,” a press release says, takes parts of Ring of Pain’s unorthodox roguelike experiments and applies them to, um, Winnie’s hole.

Despite your worst fears, the hole in question is neither a butthole nor a mouth hole, but something more unnatural—a toothed void in Pooh’s stomach that represents you, the virus contorting the bear’s once sugary body into an immovable series of tumors.

“You are that change beneath the skin,” growls the game’s haunting announcement trailer. “Spread disease, explore expanding piece-by-piece, […] adapt your host, perfect their form” with twitching eyeballs, wriggling extra fingers, and fissures pierced with pointed teeth, spewing purple slime. Cool, so just like Ozempic, then.

“You’re bodybuilding an abomination,” Twice Different’s press release decides, “and with limited energy flowing through your host’s body, you also manage this resource by activating or deactivating parts to best create synergies, or to counter certain opponents.

“As you progress and infect more animals you’ll unlock new content including mutations, upgrades and playable characters, each with a twist on the exploration mechanics for an evolving challenge in this fresh turn-based dungeon crawler format.”

I am genuinely looking forward to playing this. I believe that all that most video game formats need to feel new again is more viral illnesses, and maybe even some pus, too.

Winnie’s Hole will be out for early access later this year, and only on Steam.

 

Witcher Voice Actor Fans Rush To Support After Cancer Diagnosis

Geralt draws his sword.

Image: CD Projekt Red

Doug Cockle, the man who provides Geralt of Rivia’s distinctive voice for CD Projekt Red’s Witcher games (not to mention staunch trans ally), has recently shared that he’s been diagnosed with prostate cancer. Fans and developers of the games have since come together to show their support in the wake of this upsetting news.

Starting with CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher in 2007, the series has starred a wonderful cast of voice actors, and chief among them was the man who took on the role of Geralt himself, Doug Cockle. Cockle would go on to voice Geralt for the next two sequels, as well as in 2018’s Soulcalibur VI. In a series of role-playing games beloved for its characters and dialogue, Cockle’s signature gruff-yet-emotional performance as Geralt is instantly recognizable, and has become closely associated with the character for fans over the years. He’s also acted in a variety of other games such as Quantum Break, Horizon Zero Dawn, and Smite, among many others. In a tweet on June 6, Cockle publicly revealed that he’s recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer.

“I had no idea,” Cockle’s tweet opens. “Random check and Boom…I have full blown prostate cancer. Treatment ongoing but looking good so far.”

The official Witcher twitter account replied with a show of support.

Countless fans have poured into the tweet’s replies to show their love and support, praising him for coming forward to encourage others to get checked and sending him “positive Witcher vibes and love” and encouragement that there’s “no doubt a Witcher can beat this.”

Cockle revealed the diagnosis in response to Prostate Cancer UK’s tweet promoting awareness of the disease during Men’s Health Week and emphasizing that there are many misconceptions about it, especially that one would likely have symptoms early enough to detect the cancer before it becomes serious.

And while cis men are very much at risk for prostate cancer, it’s also important to recognize that the disease can affect many trans and non-binary people as well.

Kotaku has reached out to CD Projekt Red for comment, and we wish Cockle a speedy recovery.

WWE Hall Of Fame Wrestler Iron Sheik Has Died

Iron Sheik, an iconic WWE Hall of Fame wrestler, has passed away at the age of 81.

The news of Sheik’s passing was announced Wednesday morning on his official Twitter and Facebook pages.

“The Iron Sheik, (whose real name was Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri), transcended the realm of sports entertainment,” the statement shared on his official Twitter account said. “With his larger-than-life persona, incredible charisma, and unparalleled in-ring skills, he captivated audiences around the globe. He was a trailblazer, breaking barriers and paving the way for a diverse range of wrestlers who followed in his footsteps.”

Following the announcement of Sheik’s passing, WWE released a statement saying:

“With his imposing physique, curled boots and dreaded Camel Cutch finishing hold, The Iron Sheik’s larger-than-life personality and natural gift for inciting crowds across the globe helped him become one of the greatest villains in sports-entertainment history. Yet, over time that awe-inspiring showmanship not only earned the respect of his peers, but the WWE Universe as a whole, making him a beloved figure. The Iron Sheik first excelled in the world of Greco-Roman Wrestling, competing in the Amateur Athletic Union and becoming a gold medalist at 180.5 pounds in 1971.”

WWE

Sheik first joined the WWE (known then as WWF) back in 1979. Over the course of his 30-year career, Sheik became the WWF World Heavyweight Champion in 1983, as well as a WWF Tag Team Champion with fellow old-school heel wrestler Nikolai Volkoff. Sheik famously lost his World Heavyweight Championship to Hulk Hogan four weeks later. Iron Sheik made his first appearance in WWE video games in WWE SmackDown! Here Comes The Pain for the PlayStation 2.

Outside of wrestling, Sheik was known for making bizarre wrestling promo-esque tweets admonishing the concept of Mondays, clowning on McDonald’s as a fast food establishment, or, his favorite topic, reminding folks that fellow WWE Hall of Famer Hulk Hogan was no “brother” of his. Sheik’s Twitter account, which amassed a total of 600,000 followers, was long rumored to not actually be run by the retired wrestler but by his agents, the Magen Brothers. It’s still real to me though, dammit.

The Best TNMT Game In Years Gets Radical New DLC

A promo image shows a rabbit samurai and the TMNT crew.

Image: Dotemu / Nickelodeon

Last year’s retro-inspired arcade co-op brawler, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder’s Revenge, was unexpectedly one of 2022’s best games. It was also one of the best TMNT games in years and a genuine hit. So it makes sense that Tribute Games, the developers behind Shredder’s Revenge, are planning to add more content to the brawler in the form of a newly announced DLC pack: Dimension Shellshock.

Released last June, Shredder’s Revenge is a wonderful co-op brawler starring the famous mutant teen turtles along with April O’Neil, Master Splinter, and the vigilante Casey Jones. As with past TMNT games, this new adventure supports up to four players working together to save New York City from the evil Shredder and his roster of wacky villains. It’s a blast to play with friends, even if you just mash buttons and don’t know much about the TMNT franchise. And now, this fantastic game is getting new content.

On June 7, Dotemu announced Dimension Shellshock, the first paid DLC for TMNT: Shredder’s Revenge. The big news is that the game is getting a brand new playable character: Usagi Yojimbo, a samurai rabbit who has had his own comic book series for years, but who also often appears in TMNT animated shows and comics via crossover events. Dotemu hints at more playable characters being added besides Yojimbo, but no idea yet who they might be.

Also being added to the game in this DLC pack is a new game mode, though Dotemu doesn’t share many details about it. Based on the trailer it looks almost like a survival mode of some kind, which could be a lot of fun for button mashers.

Lastly, Shellshock will also include new music and fresh colors for all the playable characters, with some of the new skins inspired by other versions of the TMNT characters as they appeared in past games, movies, or TV shows.

As of now, Dotemu hasn’t released a specific release date for Dimension Shellshock beyond this year. It also hasn’t announced how much this new DLC will cost, though I expect those details will be revealed in the near future.