Technological World for September 8: Alan Wake remaster, Marvel Future Revolution on your smartphone, Madden NFL 22 free trial, what3words for navigation

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Categories Consumer technology | Video games

This week, the emergent technology that is what3words. But first, news about the Alan Wake remaster, a review of Marvel Future Revolution, and details on the free play weekend for Madden NFL 22.

Alan Wake latest game to get a remaster

One of my favourite games of the past couple of years is Control, a game set in the Oldest House that people don’t really noitce when they’re walking down the street. This house is also bigger – way bigger – on the inside than it appears on the outside. The action adventure has a definite Twin Peaks: The Return vibe to it.

Control was developed by Finnish studio, Remedy Games, and this week we learned that Remedy is remastering one of its earlier games, Alan Wake.

Alan Wake was released as an Xbox 360 exclusive in 2010 and its Twin Peaks influence is equally noticeable. The game is set in the Pacific Northwest in the vicinity of a small forestry town and the game’s writer and creative director Sam Lake peppered the experience with some overt references to the David Lynch/Mark Frost universe.

Lake announced the remastered version of the game in a letter published to a fan website dedicated to Alan Wake.

A release date was not revealed but the game will come out this fall, and it will be available on PS4, PS5, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

Marvel Future Revolution brings action role-playing excitement to your smartphone

In Marvel Future Revolution, an action role-playing game, you take on the role of a multitude of superheroes from the various Marvel comics universes, including the likes of Black Widow and Storm, Captain America and Captain Marvel, Spider-Man and Star-Lord.

The original story takes place on “Primary Earth”, which is the result of multiple Earth dimensions converging into one. And your superheroes – you get to pick who you want on your squad – will be creating a new team called Omega Flight.

It’s a free-to-play game available on Android and iOS devices and the graphics on the iPhone 12 I played on were quite stunning.

The world is expansive, open, and shared, so when you’re in the game’s hub checking your gear and updating your team, you’ll see other players from around the world there, too.

The actual gameplay was a bit of a miss for me, though. It ended up being more of a linear button masher. The truth is that it’s difficult to create an action game like this using touch controls. If you need to touch the screen to do things, you’re always getting your fingers in the way of the things you need to see on the screen.

But for a free-to-play smartphone game, Marvel Future Revolution has a lot of style and smash to it.

Play Madden NFL 22 for free this weekend

The NFL season opens on Thursday and EA Sports is celebrating by launching a free trial of Madden NFL 22, which was released on August 20.

From Thursday, September 9 through Sunday, September 12, you can play the football sim on PS4, PS5, Stadia, Windows, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

If you play on PS5 or Xbox Series X/S, you can experience the new feature, Dynamic Gameday, which purports to deliver near realtime data updates based on the performances of real players. It also includes advantages that are granted to teams playing at home, and disadvantages to away teams. For example, opposing teams playing in New York, either the Giants or the Jets, will fatigue faster.

what3words makes every location on Earth findable

I spent the Labour Day weekend at Whistler. And one place in particular, the Whistler Disc Golf course, I was able to find using three words:

  • regionally
  • horn
  • pointer

When those three words are combined in that order, they identify a specific three-metre square on the planet.

It’s possible thanks to the work of the team at what3words. This organization took the surface of the Earth, overlaid it with a three-metre grid, and assigned each three-metre square a combination of three words.

Using these three-word combinations to navigate is better than street addresses and it’s more convenient than coordinates.

A street address is often completely removed from the actual place you want to be. Think of a stadium, for example, where there may be multiple entrances, or Stanley Park, where there’s a big space that has no street address.

Coordinates are fine and accurate, but to use them you need to have an understanding of coordinate systems, you need to have the app or tech that can show them, and you need to remember a bunch of numbers. Remembering three words is pretty simple.

What3words is already being used around the world by businesses, by tourists, and by emergency services, which can use what3words designations to find people in trouble.

And because the what3words grid is consistent and defined, you don’t need to have connectivity to navigate with it; you just use the compass function on your smartphone.

It’s being used in Canada by communication centres that answer 911 calls. Ontario Parks and Manitoba Forestry are using it.

And now, car manufacturers are including the what3words database in navigation systems. The 2022 Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross is the first, with a staggering 17 languages supported (the three-word codes for each three-square-metre are unique to the language).

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