A lot’s been happening in the world of gaming after the large fighting game tournament EVO finished last weekend. Mechs, Nazis, and zombies are all in the headlines, and we’re here to explain it all.
First up, Blizzard’s addicting online card game Hearthstone released its ninth expansion set, which focuses on returning the tribe of “Mech” to the forefront of the meta. It introduces the keyword “Magnetic,” which allows some of the new 135 cards stack in power and ability, while a new single-player component called The Puzzle Lab is on its way to The Boomsday Project in the coming weeks. Finally, a new hero card of Dr. Boom himself allows the Warrior class to augment its abilities.
Next up is a topic with a bit more seriousness to it than a bunch of exploding trading cards. According to Variety, notoriously strict Germany is lightening its crackdown on Nazi imagery in video games — which follows from the country’s laws against symbols of “unconstitutional organizations.” However, a new ruling moves the stance to one that addresses games case-by-case.
That means games like Bethesda’s 2017 first-person shooter Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, for example, may no longer have their swastikas edited or their Hitlers de-Hitlered — as long as their inclusion shows artistic merit that doesn’t purport to represent modern politics. Like other media that's able to depict Nazi imagery in a critical fashion, games are now on equal footing.
“We have long campaigned for games to finally be permitted to play an equal role in social discourse, without exception,” said Felix Falk, managing director of German games industry association Game, according to Variety, adding: “We in the games industry are concerned about the tendencies we see towards racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination. We are strongly committed to an open, inclusive society, to the values laid out in the German constitution, and to Germany’s historical responsibility. Many games produced by creative, dedicated developers address sensitive topics such as the Nazi era in Germany, and they do so in a responsible way that encourages reflection and critical thinking."
Finally, in one of the more bizarre twist in video game news, Bandai Namco fighting game Tekken 7 is adding a new character to its roster in the game’s second season DLC: The Walking Dead’s Negan.
Check it out:
Yeah, a regular dude with a bat is going to be in a brawler featuring a character that’s just a big bear. A big ol’ regular bear is gonna fight Negan. It’s just as ridiculous as it sounds. But hey, at least TWD is expanding its brand.