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Game

Return to Monkey Island’s first gameplay trailer is a swashbuckling trip of nostalgia

When Return to Monkey Island arrives later this year, players will finally discover the secret of Monkey Island. That’s the pitch series creator Ron Gilbert made in the game’s newest trailer, which premiered today during Nintendo’s latest Direct showcase. “My name is Guybrush Threepwood, and this is a story about the time I finally found the secret of Monkey Island,” voice actor Dominic Armato declares at the start of the clip.

As you might imagine, the trailer is full of allusions to past Monkey Island games, including some of the series’ best gags. At one point, Guybrush drifts to the floor of the Caribbean, a sign pointing to Monkey Island and noting it’s only a six-minute walk away. Good thing our hero can hold his breath for 10 minutes. 

Many fan-favorite characters also make an appearance in the clip. Among others, I spotted used ship salesman and garish dresser Stan S. Stanman locked in the brig of LeChuck’s ship. Coincidently, you can chat to Stan on Return to Monkey Island’s updated website where he explains he’s in jail for “marketing-related crimes” that may have involved selling non-fungible items.

If you missed the news in April, Return to Monkey Island marks the, well, return of Ron Gilbert to the series he created back in the late ‘80s. Gilbert wrote and directed The Secret of Monkey Island, and went to work on the second game before leaving LucasArts in 1992. Fellow Monkey Island veteran Dave Grossman is also working on the new game, which will take place after the first two games. On consoles, Return to Monkey Island will arrive first on Nintendo Switch.   

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Tech News

Watch Ford Testing Its New Driver-assist Tech on Road Trip

Ford took its next-generation driver-assist technology on a North American road trip that covered more than 100,000 miles.

The hands-free highway driving feature, which the U.S. auto giant is calling BlueCruise (formerly Active Drive Assist), was tested in five 2021 F-150 trucks and five all-electric 2021 Mustang Mach-E vehicles ahead of a rollout for owners of the same vehicles later this year.

The road trip, featured in the video at the top of this page, tested BlueCruise’s hands-free driving technology in real-world conditions over 62 days, through 37 states and 5 Canadian provinces.

Ford’s BlueCruise technology ensures vehicles stay centered in the lane, and can also handle stop-and-go traffic. The automaker said it tested the system on faded highway lines and during thousands of miles of severe weather.

Celebrating the test in a tweet, Ford CEO Jim Farley appeared to take a swipe at Tesla, which features similar technology in its own vehicles, saying: “BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to.” Toward the end of last year, Tesla released a beta version of its premium driver-assist system, called “Full Self-Driving,” for select Tesla drivers to try out.

BlueCruise! We tested it in the real world, so our customers don’t have to. pic.twitter.com/dgqVkWH31r

— Jim Farley (@jimfarley98) April 14, 2021

Emphasizing safety, Ford notes that its driver-assist features are “supplemental and do not replace the driver’s attention, judgment, and need to control the vehicle.” Tesla, for the record, issues a similar note of caution to its customers.

To ensure drivers stay focused on the road and don’t embark on any hazardous shenanigans such as playing with their phones while cruising along, BlueCruise issues a prompt telling the driver to retake control if it detects a lapse in attention. For this, it uses multiple interior cameras to track not only the driver’s head movements, but also their eye movements, a feat that Ford claims the technology can perform even if the driver is wearing sunglasses.

As for pricing, Ford explains: “For F-150, BlueCruise is available as a part of the Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package for a total of $1,595 — $600 for the software and $995 for the hardware. The Ford Co-Pilot 360 Active 2.0 package is standard on F-150 Limited and available as an option on Lariat, King Ranch, and Platinum models.

“For Mustang Mach-E, BlueCruise comes standard on CA Route 1, Premium, and First Edition variants. It’s an available package on the Select trim for $3,200 — $600 for the software and $2,600 for the rest of the package — as part of the larger Comfort and Technology package.”

Commenting on the latest version of its driver-assist technology, Ford safety engineer Alexandra Taylor said: “Driving can be an exhilarating and empowering experience, it can even be relaxing, but occasionally driving can be stressful … We’re confident that BlueCruise hands-free technology will make some highway driving a much less stressful driving experience.”

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