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The Last Dead End: Azerbaijan’s first horror game

The Azeri Times

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The creators of the game are also responsible for Azerbaijan’s first shooter

Video games don’t seem to last long in Azerbaijan. The few that are released are mostly for smartphones, while the rest run up against a number of oftentimes absurd issues.

There was a first-person shooter game by the name of Operation Caucasus, but it ended up embroiled in an LGBT scandal when the Azerbaijani studio Dream Games refused to provide game access to a person who had a rainbow avatar on Facebook. The cherry on top – the company cussed him, too.

The game was deleted from Steam – the largest internet game store available online, and the studio was closed.

Azdimension came out with its Ishgal Altinda [Az. Under occupation] series about the Karabakh war. The project was sponsored by the government. Much to the credit of the developers, they wanted to be known for more than just creators of a game that manipulated feelings in regards to such an important topic. Thus, in 2018, they released the action/horror game Sonuncu Dalan – The Last Dead End.

Young archaeologist Farhad returns to Baku after a lengthy absence where he meets his childhood love Bahar. He also comes into contact with the Avesta, the holy book of the Zoroastrians. Its empty pages come to life as soon as Farhad touches it. Afterwards, gamers run through dungeons, destroy monsters, save the world and somewhere amidst it all, falls deeper and deeper in love with Bahar.

The game was also sponsored by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Sports and Youth, with the possible intent of creating a good PR opportunity for Azerbaijan. The subject is closely connected to Azerbaijan’s history and culture: the name of the protagonist is Farhad (as in Azerbaijani fairytales), while the action takes place in Baku’s historic old town, Icheri Sheher. The game’s mystical elements to the game is also patriotic – Zoroastrianism is the religion of Azerbaijan’s far-removed ancestors.

Farid Haqverdiev is the main programmer and director of the studio:

“I have long wanted to do a game involving old Baku – its narrow and entangled streets work perfectly for a fantasy storyline. And what could be more mysterious than the ancient religion of the fire-worshippers, Zoroastrianism? We found a lot of interesting ideas with our story writers in the Avesta, the holy scripture of Zoroastrianism.”

Developers tried to reproduce Icheri Sheher as accurately as possible. “Even the stars in the sky are a real map,” said Farid Haqverdiev.

I think the studio’s choice in genre was a good one.

Usually, small studios go for horror-themed games, and often the game ends up being some a sort of simulator in which the player barely has the ability to survive the onslaught of monsters.

In this way, The Last Dead End is quite different from its rivals: Farhad makes beautiful use of various weapons, destroying zombies and slashing snakes with enormous axes – and overcoming bosses.

The bosses really turned out spectacularly. An unprepared gamer is unlikely to expect such strong boss battles, and this pushes the player to completing the game.

But here’s where Azdimension failed: in the graphics. The textures are not quite at a modern level, the animations are strange, the streets of Icheri Sheher are empty (this is particularly offensive!) and the few non-player characters are ‘clones’. It is immediately apparent that the budget did not allow for much. However, the developers obviously tried: the darkness hides certain flaws, and reflections have been well-accounted for. Farhad is more or less decent as a character, and the snow levels in Icheri Sheher have been well-replicated, reminding many Azerbaijani gamers of their fond feelings for the location.

Still, we have to admit that the game does not quite reach the same levels as that of its foreign competitors.

The sound was also a bit lacking. A strange decision was made for an Azerbaijani game: it was released in English, and was recorded with poor quality and actors. There are no emotions, with the text simply being read without even a drop of enthusiasm. While fighting with werewolves, cyclopes and zombies, his reactions would lead one to believe that this is just another day for him.

But that’s not to say that the game is all bad. First off, its an original game, not comparable to much else, thanks to its national symbols and motifs, and a reasonably well thought-out story. While the game isn’t necessarily inventive in its use of certain gaming elements, the pieces fit well together and provide coherence.

Secondly, its not every day that gamers have the opportunity to walk about in Icheri Sheher. And third of all, the main thing is that the game has a volatile and exciting atmosphere which it retains until the very end. Not all western games are able to accomplish this.

Here’s what the creators did and did not like about their own game:

“We worked on the storyline the most; we changed the scenario and script a few dozen times until it became coherent, interesting and logical,” says Farid Haqverdiyev. “For that reason, players and myself like the storyline most of all – there almost hasn’t been a single negative review in that regard. I like the atmosphere of the game, the graphics in several locations and the fighting system to a certain extent. I will openly say that I don’t like the graphics in some parts of the game and the animations during the cut-scenes.”

It’s unlikely that The Last Dead End will become this year’s hit, mostly due to a lack of funding. However, it’s still good to hear that Azdimension is working with such ambitions in mind.

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X-4 Stormwing Plane to receive significant nerf in Fortnite v7.10 – FortniteINTEL

Sean Hamilton (MrPopoTFS), Community Coordinator at Epic Games, has announced that the X-4 Stormwing Plane will be receiving a significant nerf in Fortnite patch v7.10.Sean responded to a feedback Tweet on Twitter asking for more damage to be applied to the pilot upon the plane being destroyed. To the player’s relief, that’s exactly what the team…

The Azeri Times

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X-4 Stormwing Plane to receive significant nerf in Fortnite v7.10 – FortniteINTEL

Sean Hamilton (MrPopoTFS), Community Coordinator at Epic Games, has announced that the X-4 Stormwing Plane will be receiving a significant nerf in Fortnite patch v7.10.

Sean responded to a feedback Tweet on Twitter asking for more damage to be applied to the pilot upon the plane being destroyed. To the player’s relief, that’s exactly what the team at Epic Games had in mind.

While initially saying that pilot damage would be increased from 25 to 35, he then corrected himself stating that it will be raised to 50.

Update: Turns out it just got changed to 50 in v7.10. 😇

— Sean Hamilton (@MrPopoTFS) December 13, 2018

Upon the plane being destroyed, whether that is crashing or being shot down, the pilot will take 50 damage after patch v7.10. This should significantly impact a pilot’s aggressive playstyle and give those on the ground more of a chance.

Many players have given their feedback on the X-4 Stormwing’s effectiveness, it seems that the loud majority feel the plane is too powerful in its current state. It will be interesting to see if this change fixes that issue.

An official release for Fortnite patch v7.10 has yet to be announced. It is expected to drop Tuesday, December 18th, 2018 – but that is purely speculation at the time of writing.

Stay tuned to FortniteINTEL for the full v7.10 patch notes as well as any other changes that may be announced before official release. New cosmetics are also expected to be added in the v7.10 patch.

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New Street Fighter 5 Character Revealed – GameSpot

It appears one of the Street Fighter V announcements coming at the Capcom Cup event today has leaked ahead of time. An image of a brand-new character named Kage has appeared online; you can check out the image below from Twitter user @DaFeetLee.EventHubs reports that Kage started appearing in Street Fighter V’s character-select menu when…

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New Street Fighter 5 Character Revealed – GameSpot

It appears one of the Street Fighter V announcements coming at the Capcom Cup event today has leaked ahead of time. An image of a brand-new character named Kage has appeared online; you can check out the image below from Twitter user @DaFeetLee.

EventHubs reports that Kage started appearing in Street Fighter V’s character-select menu when you apply a new update that some people are getting already. An image of a darkened character appears in the character-select menu, and hovering over it reveals his name. Kage looks quite evil, with spiky black hair, red eyes, fangs, and horns.

The Capcom Cup 2018 professional gaming event is taking place right now, and you can follow along with the action here on Twitch.

It is rumoured that there may be multiple new character announcements pegged for the end of the event, so keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

In other Street Fighter V news, the game recently introduced advertisements on loading screens and other places that are toggled on by default. You can turn them off, but some people are still unhappy about it.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Apple Masses the Biggest Heart Study Ever – Motley Fool

The number of enrollees is staggering and led to much more than bragging rights. When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the Apple Watch Series 3 late last year, the company telegraphed its growing interest in health with the groundbreaking abilities of the device’s heart-rate monitor and optical sensor. The device’s ability to take heart measurements during workouts,…

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Apple Masses the Biggest Heart Study Ever – Motley Fool

The number of enrollees is staggering and led to much more than bragging rights.

Danny Vena

When Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) released the Apple Watch Series 3 late last year, the company telegraphed its growing interest in health with the groundbreaking abilities of the device’s heart-rate monitor and optical sensor. The device’s ability to take heart measurements during workouts, in recovery, and at rest was simple enough. The icing on the cake is its ability to detect a spike in heart rate that typically accompanies atrial fibrillation, also known as AFib. Many patients don’t know they have the condition, since it rarely produces symptoms.

Apple took this a step further, partnering with Stanford University to launch the Apple Heart Study, an investigation to determine how accurately the Apple Watch could detect these irregular heartbeats, which can be a warning sign of an oncoming stroke. The company sent recruitment emails to Apple Watch users and made signing up for the study easy — simply download an app and wear the Watch. No one could have foreseen the staggering response.

A man touching the crown on an Apple Watch.

Image source: Apple.

Biggest. Ever.

A recent issue of the American Heart Journal illustrates the power of Apple’s brand and the simplicity of its approach. Based on the Journal’s reporting, the Apple Heart Study enrolled a massive 419,093 participants, making it the largest investigation of its kind ever fielded. To put this into perspective, a large-scale Swedish study also investigating arrhythmia screening fielded just 25,000 participants.   

The sheer mass of the study was important to researchers, as bigger is generally better when it comes to investigations of this type — the larger the sample size, the narrower the margin of error for the study. Stanford Medicine researchers say that the study is in the final stages of data collection. Results should be available early next year.

The fruits of Apple’s labor

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration used data from the study as an important catalyst for Apple. The agency announced in September that it had cleared two mobile medical apps designed for use with the Apple Watch.

One app “analyzes pulse rate data to identify irregular heart rhythms suggestive of atrial fibrillation and notify the user,” and will be available on all versions of the Apple Watch. The second app creates an electrocardiogram (ECG) to monitor the heart “to detect the presence of atrial fibrillation and regular heart rhythm,” and will work with the Apple Watch Series 4.

It’s important to note that neither of these apps is intended to replace a visit to the doctor, but merely to provide a notification that will act as a starting point for a discussion with a physician. 

With the blessing of the FDA, the company activated the Watch’s heart monitoring and notification features through the release of WatchOS version 5.1.2. 

An Apple Watch with a notification of an irregular heart rhythm.

Image source: Apple.

A massive opportunity

Apple has made a number of moves that show its growing interest in the healthcare field. Apple was one of nine companies the FDA selected as part of a pilot program to pre-certify companies wanting to create software-based medical apps — like its heart monitoring and ECG apps — which recently led to the clearance of those apps.

Other features in the Apple Watch 4 attest to Apple’s ambitions. The addition of a gyroscope and accelerometer gives the device the ability to detect when the wearer has slipped, tripped, or fallen. Reports from earlier this year also indicate that Apple is looking to develop a custom processor to collect and analyze data from its health, wellness, and fitness sensors.

As investors focus on slowing iPhone sales and look to other products and services to generate growth, Apple’s growing interest in healthcare could provide a massive and lucrative opportunity.


Danny Vena owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool has the following options: long January 2020 $150 calls on Apple and short January 2020 $155 calls on Apple. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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