EP Daily Rundown for November 10, 2016

Today in the Rundown, we have the latest on the death of Nintendo’s Wii U, a look at Luc Besson’s stylish new sci-fi movie Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, new details on the monstrous Rampage movie, a follow-up on the future of the Metro game franchise, relaxing news for fans of Firewatch, and finally, some new announcements from Blizzard about Overwatch!

Yes, it looks like the Wii U really is on its death bed. An update on Nintendo’s official Japanese website reveals that “production is scheduled to end soon” within Japan. Since Nintendo is a Japanese company, this likely means that it’s ending production in other territories as well. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard this, although there has been some back and forth on the matter. Rumours that the console was ending production were first reported by Eurogamer last week, but the news was quickly denied by an unnamed source at Nintendo while speaking with the Japanese financial website IT Media. The fact that Nintendo itself has now said that the console is ending production means that we can put the matter to rest. Ending production means that no more new units will be made, so once the current stock sitting on store shelves runs out, that’s it. The Wii U is, or was, a great system with some very cool games, but it failed to catch on and has been a financial disaster for Nintendo. I’ll be having a special, post-mortem discussion about the system with Johnny Millenium, aka the Happy Console Gamer, later today, so keep your eyes peeled for that. Supplies of the Wii U probably won’t dry up for at least a few months, which happens to be right around the same time Nintendo will release their all-new console, the Nintendo Switch. Hopefully for them it will be more successful.

After almost twenty years, the maker of The Fifth Element is giving audiences another stylish and futuristic sci-fi universe. Take a look at the first trailer for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, the latest film from French director Luc Besson. It has a visual style that’s very similar to The Fifth Element, although it’s not a sequel to that film. Instead, it’s an adaptation of a French comic book called Valérian and Laureline, which tells the story of two human special operatives who embark on a dangerous mission inside a huge metropolis filled with thousands of alien species from all corners of the universe. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets has just become one of our most anticipated movies of 2017. It will hit theatres in July. Fun fact: would you be surprised to learn that the comic was first published in the 1960s? I know what a lot of people are going to be smoking before they see this.

And speaking of 420, we know when The Rock is going to start smashing cities. The upcoming Rampage movie, based on the monstrous video game series of the same name, has set a release date of April 20, 2018. The fact that the date happens to coincide with the international stoner holiday is probably a coincidence, though. The Rampage film has been in the works for several years, and like the games, it’s expected to focus on giant, mutated monsters who begin smashing cities, fighting the army, and devouring all the tiny people scurrying beneath their feet. It’s unclear if The Rock will play one of the humans trying to stop them, or one of the giant monsters. Either way, we do know that The Rock is a big fan of the Rampage video games, and he promises “not to screw it up.” He’s making the film with the same director and producing team behind his last city-smashing film, San Andreas, so expect total destruction.

It looks like we won’t be playing a new Metro game next year after all. Yesterday, the official website for the Metro novels revealed that a new game is in the works, set to arrive in 2017. Now it looks like the site was mistaken. In a statement on the official Metro Facebook page, game publisher Deep Silver says they aren’t planning to release a new game next year. This doesn’t mean they’re not working on one, though. In the same statement, Deep Silver says that they have “ambitious plans for the hugely successful Metro series,” and they will have more news to share in the future. That sounds like they’re working on a new game, but it won’t be arriving as soon as next year. We’ll let you know when more details about the future of the Metro series emerge from underground. In the meantime, Metro developer 4A Games is working on another post-apocalyptic shooter called Arktika.1, which looks very similar to the Metro games but isn’t set in the same universe. It’s being developed exclusively for the Oculus Rift VR headset, and, unlike a new Metro game, will arrive in 2017.

The first-person adventure game Firewatch is letting players get in touch with the great outdoors. Developer Campo Santo has added the new free-roam mode to the PS4 and PC versions of the game, following its release for the Xbox One version in September. The free-roam mode is exactly what it sounds like. It gives players the opportunity to freely roam the entire game world, with no objectives, so you can hike the trails, explore the caves, and discover all the little secrets at your leisure, without any pesky story objectives getting in your way. It’s available today as a free patch, but you’ll have actually finished the story mode in order to unlock it. The team at Campo Santo recently announced that they’re in the early stages of developing a big screen Firewatch movie, so watch out for that.

Blizzard Entertainment is trying to get even more people playing Overwatch. Their new multiplayer shooter already has more than 15 million players, but apparently that isn’t enough. Blizzard has announced that they’ll be holding a free weekend for the game next week, starting at 11am ET on Friday, November 18, and ending on Monday, November 21 at 4pm ET. It will be free-to-play on all platforms, giving newcomers access to all 22 characters and 13 maps, with 4 different modes. Best of all, anyone who wants to buy the full game after the free weekend will be able to carry over their progress. Overwatch is just the latest in a long line of huge hits for Blizzard, and the studio hopes to keep players interested for years to come by releasing a steady stream of new characters, maps, and modes. The latest new character, Sombra, was just announced last week, and should be hitting the game soon.

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