Entertainment

Play Salt and Sacrifice, catch up on 'Barry' and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

What to watch and play.

Our weekend recommendations are here.

Illustration: Protocol

Trying to sink into something new this weekend? Try the 2D action RPG Salt and Sacrifice, or watch the excellent "Drive My Car" from Japanese director Ryusuke Hamaguchi. Or, if you haven't heard, HBO's "Barry" is back for Season Three — and it's somehow, inexplicably, even darker than before. Here are Protocol Entertainment's weekend recommendations.

Reflecting on Call of Duty

Journalist Patrick Gill does the seemingly impossible in a new video on the outlet’s YouTube channel: contextualizes Call of Duty within the U.S. military industrial complex. Over 27 minutes, Gill manages to flawlessly articulate what countless members of gaming media have tried to explain time and again over the years: How did Call of Duty become the shooter series, and what does it say about games as a business and a culture? It's a really fine achievement in explanatory journalism rich in media history, and I suggest anyone who’s ever struggled with the nature of the shooter genre give it a watch.

'Barry' is back

The dark comedy from actor and writer Bill Hader entered its third season last month, and it’s starting to get very dark. “Barry” is at its best when it’s juggling the serious depravity and depressive depths of its main character, a disgraced military vet and assassin-turned-aspiring actor, with the borderline surreal subplots and larger-than-life criminal associates acting as comic relief. And in Season Three, Hader is taking Barry into new territory as he starts to evolve from a likable but compromised underdog into a truly irredeemable antihero in a delightfully horrific twist on the now-classic “Breaking Bad” narrative arc.

The introspective 'Drive My Car'

This Japanese drama from director Ryusuke Hamaguchi, based on a Haruki Murakami short story of the same name, is an epic, three-hour-long exploration of grief that manages, remarkably, to be one of the most life-affirming films I’ve watched in a long time. Though actor and theater director Yūsuke Kafuku (Hidetoshi Nishijima) is still mourning the death of his wife, the film centers on a unique relationship between him and his personal driver (Tôko Miura), and how they process complex feelings of loss in different ways.

Sink into Salt and Sacrifice

If you’re fresh off Elden Ring and looking for another punishing RPG, the sequel to Ska Studios’ Salt and Sanctuary released on PlayStation and PC last week. It still features many of the Soulslike and Metroidvania influences of the most popular action indie games of the last few years wrapped up in a 2D side scroller. But this time, there’s a Monster Hunter-esque hunt system that introduces a fair amount of replayability, alongside a co-op system for playing with friends that helps make the repetition feel more manageable.

A version of this story also appeared in today’s Entertainment newsletter; subscribe here.

Entertainment

Niantic is building an AR map of the world

The company’s Visual Positioning System will help developers build location-based AR games and experiences; a new social app aims to help with AR content discovery.

VPS will allow developers to build location-based AR experiences for tens of thousands of public spaces.

Image: Niantic

Pokémon Go maker Niantic has quietly been building a 3D AR map of the world. Now, the company is getting ready to share the fruits of its labor with third-party developers: Niantic announced the launch of its Lightship Visual Positioning System at its developer summit in San Francisco on Tuesday. VPS will allow developers to build location-based AR experiences for tens of thousands of public spaces, Niantic said.

Niantic also announced a new service called Campfire that adds a social discovery layer to AR, starting with Niantic’s own games. Both announcements show that Niantic wants to be much more than a game developer with just one or two hit apps (and a couple of flops). Instead, it aims to play a key role in the future of AR — and it’s relying on millions of Ingress and Pokémon Go players to help build that future.

Keep Reading Show less
Janko Roettgers

Janko Roettgers (@jank0) is a senior reporter at Protocol, reporting on the shifting power dynamics between tech, media, and entertainment, including the impact of new technologies. Previously, Janko was Variety's first-ever technology writer in San Francisco, where he covered big tech and emerging technologies. He has reported for Gigaom, Frankfurter Rundschau, Berliner Zeitung, and ORF, among others. He has written three books on consumer cord-cutting and online music and co-edited an anthology on internet subcultures. He lives with his family in Oakland.

Sponsored Content

Why the digital transformation of industries is creating a more sustainable future

Qualcomm’s chief sustainability officer Angela Baker on how companies can view going “digital” as a way not only toward growth, as laid out in a recent report, but also toward establishing and meeting environmental, social and governance goals.

Three letters dominate business practice at present: ESG, or environmental, social and governance goals. The number of mentions of the environment in financial earnings has doubled in the last five years, according to GlobalData: 600,000 companies mentioned the term in their annual or quarterly results last year.

But meeting those ESG goals can be a challenge — one that businesses can’t and shouldn’t take lightly. Ahead of an exclusive fireside chat at Davos, Angela Baker, chief sustainability officer at Qualcomm, sat down with Protocol to speak about how best to achieve those targets and how Qualcomm thinks about its own sustainability strategy, net zero commitment, other ESG targets and more.

Keep Reading Show less
Chris Stokel-Walker

Chris Stokel-Walker is a freelance technology and culture journalist and author of "YouTubers: How YouTube Shook Up TV and Created a New Generation of Stars." His work has been published in The New York Times, The Guardian and Wired.

Workplace

Why it's time to give all your employees executive coaching

In an effort to boost retention and engagement, companies are rolling out access to executive coaching to all of their employees.

Coaching is among personalized and exclusive benefits employers chose to offer their workforce during the pandemic.

Image: Christopher T. Fong/Protocol

Executive coaching has long been a quiet force behind leaders in the tech industry, but that premium benefit, often only offered to the top executives, is changing. A new wave of executive coaching services are hitting the market aimed at workers who would have traditionally been excluded from access.

Tech companies know that in order to stay competitive in today’s still-hot job market, it pays to offer more personalized and exclusive benefits. Chief People Officer Annette Reavis says Envoy, a workplace tech company, offers all employees access to a broad range of opportunities. “We offer everyone an L&D credit that they can spend on outside learning, whether it's executive coaching or learning a new coding language. We do this so that people can have access to and learn skills specific to their job.”

Keep Reading Show less
Amber Burton

Amber Burton (@amberbburton) is a reporter at Protocol. Previously, she covered personal finance and diversity in business at The Wall Street Journal. She earned an M.S. in Strategic Communications from Columbia University and B.A. in English and Journalism from Wake Forest University. She lives in North Carolina.

Enterprise

Microsoft thinks Windows developers are ready for virtual workstations

The new Microsoft Dev Box service, coupled with Azure Deployment Environments, lets developers go from code to the cloud faster than ever.

Microsoft hopes a new cloud service will address one of developers' biggest challenges.

Photo: Grant Hindsley/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft hopes a new cloud service will address one of the biggest challenges that developers have raised with the technology giant over the last several years: managing developer workstations.

Microsoft Dev Box, now in private preview, creates virtual developer workstations running its Windows operating system in the cloud, allowing development teams to standardize how those fundamental tools are initialized, set up and managed.

Keep Reading Show less
Donna Goodison

Donna Goodison (@dgoodison) is Protocol's senior reporter focusing on enterprise infrastructure technology, from the 'Big 3' cloud computing providers to data centers. She previously covered the public cloud at CRN after 15 years as a business reporter for the Boston Herald. Based in Massachusetts, she also has worked as a Boston Globe freelancer, business reporter at the Boston Business Journal and real estate reporter at Banker & Tradesman after toiling at weekly newspapers.

Enterprise

Okta CEO: 'We should have done a better job' with the Lapsus$ breach

In an interview with Protocol, Okta CEO Todd McKinnon said the cybersecurity firm could’ve done a lot of things better after the Lapsus$ breach of a third-party support provider earlier this year.

From talking to hundreds of customers, “I've had a good sense of the sentiment and the frustrations,” McKinnon said.

Photo: David Paul Morris via Getty Images

Okta co-founder and CEO Todd McKinnon agrees with you: Disclosing a breach that impacts customer data should not take months.

“If that happens in January, customers can't be finding out about it in March,” McKinnon said in an interview with Protocol.

Keep Reading Show less
Kyle Alspach

Kyle Alspach ( @KyleAlspach) is a senior reporter at Protocol, focused on cybersecurity. He has covered the tech industry since 2010 for outlets including VentureBeat, CRN and the Boston Globe. He lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be reached at kalspach@procotol.com.

Latest Stories
Bulletins