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Gaming: Left 4 Dead makers come Back 4 Blood; Dragon Ball plays its Switch cards; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Left 4 Dead zombie hand

Years after Left 4 Dead fans had probably given up hope of seeing a new installment in the franchise that helped define co-op zombie takedowns, a spiritual successor to the Left 4 Dead games is on the way in the form of the newly announced Back 4 Blood.

The thematically suggestive title was revealed last week from Warner Bros. Interactive and Turtle Rock, the same studio behind the original Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2. The upcoming game, the studio said in a blog post, will stand on its own as a fresh, current-gen experience, while aiming to keep what was great about the series when it first debuted a decade ago.

Back 4 Blood is designed from the ground up as an original, premium title and marries the best of what made the co-op zombie shooter so successful with new features and state-of-the-art technology,” Turtle Rock said, with studio co-founder Phil Robb adding that the Back 4 Blood team plans to “take all we’ve learned and push forward … We’re growing the team considerably because we’re stepping up to the biggest challenge in this studio’s history. We know this title has to stand out and we fully intend to make that happen.”

Details on Back 4 Blood’s overall look and feel are still light-to-nonexistent, but it’s safe to say it’ll honor rather than mimic the Left 4 Dead games, since Valve, the original publisher, controls the rights to the Left 4 Dead series. In an FAQ, the Back 4 Blood team said the game will be “our own brand new, original IP. You’ll be able to shoot up a lot of zombies like in Left 4 Dead, but there’s a whole lot of new stuff in Back 4 Blood which makes it unique.”

No debut date for Back 4 Blood has been announced, but the developers said they’re currently eyeing the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC for its release — although “more possibilities aren’t out of the question.”

Bandai Namco revealed earlier this year that the Nintendo Switch would be getting its own card-based Super Dragon Ball game later this year, and now an official trailer for Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission has landed ahead of the game’s April release.

As you can guess from Heroes’ roots in the trading card world, the upcoming game will weave in more RPG elements than other recent entries like Dragon Ball FighterZ. Bandai Namco says the launch version will pack in more than 1,000 (virtual) cards, along with 350 characters from across the Dragon Ball series, and will take players through an “epic journey” across familiar franchise locations that you’ll tap into by firing up — what else? — an arcade game.

Set to release for both the Switch and PC, Super Dragon Ball Heroes World Mission arrives on April 5.

Finally, file this under good ideas we want way more of: a college scholarship for someone who’s really good at games.

Massachusetts-based Becker College has announced it’ll hand out a first-of-its-kind, “path-to-pro” eSports scholarship to one deserving applicant who excels at Apex Legends. Valued at $5,000, the scholarship is open to high school juniors and seniors who, in a nutshell, have a knack for consistently being on the last team standing in the newest game on the battle royale block.

With well over 50 million new players since Apex Legends debuted to almost overnight success back in February, there’ll likely be no shortage of applicants — and no shortage of competition. Landing the scholarship will give the winner access to Becker College’s innovative varsity eSports program, which grants a bachelor’s degree in eSports management.

For a full breakdown of how it all works, check out the college’s scholarship announcement — then get back to playing more Apex Legends (or, as we like to call it, studying).

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