Happy Friday and welcome to Replay, WIRED’s collection of all the week’s big videogame news. What’s happening this week? The biggest deal, most likely, is that a California congressman pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds for, amongst many other things, videogames. Destiny 2 and Snoop Dogg are also making the gaming news rounds this week. Here’s what you need to know.
US Representative Duncan Hunter Pleads Guilty to Using Campaign Funds for Videogames
If you’ve been paying attention to the news this week, you may have heard the tale of US representative Duncan Hunter, the California Republican who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds. What you may not have heard was what he used those funds for. According to the indictment, Duncan and his wife took thousands of dollars in campaign funds for everything from sneakers and movie tickets to videogames, Lego sets, and plane tickets for their pet rabbits, named Eggburt and Cadbury. Yes, really.
In federal court on Wednesday, Hunter admitted to taking more than $150,000 in campaign funds for personal use from 2010 to 2016. My favorite thing about this case? The fact that, in the Department of Justice press release about the plea, the US government makes a point of calling videogames a “trivial” purchase. Ouch. It’s not, like, wrong, but ouch.
Snoop Dogg Is a Digital Sports Commentator Now
Rapper, entrepreneur, friend of Martha Stewart—Snoop Dogg is a lot of things. Everything he does, it fits his brand because he’s built for himself such a profound and valuable eccentricity that, y’know, whatever, sure, that sounds like Snoop Dogg. Now he’s adding a new entry to his resume: official commentator for EA Sports’ NHL 20, the latest entry in its long-running hockey game series.
This is kind of great. Canned voiceover commentary is one of the most reliable tropes in EA’s style of sports games, and if the company is going to keep doing that, recruiting more entertaining names is a wonderful idea. Let’s get elaborate with this. Have John Oliver and Oscar Isaac do a podcast to go along with the career mode of Madden 22. Get Tony Danza to commentate NBA Live in-character as Tony Micelli from Who’s the Boss? Whatever. Let’s do this.
Destiny 2‘s New Season Starts Next Week, Brings More Time Travel Shenanigans
Destiny 2‘s seasonal model continues next week with the Season of Dawn, which will see players fix a time paradox they are currently in the midst of creating in the current season. Breaking time? No biggie, because it’s a perfect opportunity to introduce a new repeatable activity. This one, called the Sundial, will also serve as a means to bring back Saint-14, a fan-favorite character who died in the game’s deep lore.
This will be the second season in the new season-pass-style model for Destiny 2, so a lot relies upon its success. Will this model interest players going forward? Does the miniature treadmill of the seasonal pass reward system work for this game? We’ll see.
Recommendation of the Week: Doom II by id Software, on Basically Any Platform
Did you ever play Doom II? The sequel to the legendary original first-person shooter is a messy, odd thing. Bigger, more complex maps, more monsters, more challenges. It’s a classic sequel, larger and more bloated, less tidy, but possibly more interesting. If you’re a fan of that mold of game, and you never checked this one out, it’s been ported to pretty much everything, and it’s a fascinating experience. Though you might not be as pressed to beat it as you were the original.
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