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Titanfall 2 Coming This Year Alongside Action Figures, Toy Company Says [UPDATE]

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 21:30

[UPDATE] EA has responded to our request for confirmation and provided us with the following statement:

“MacFarlane Toys will be releasing toys inspired by Titanfall in Winter of 2016. We have yet to provide a release date for the next Titanfall experience from Respawn.”

The original story follows:

McFarlane Toys has announced that Titanfall 2 will release this year, alongside the toy company's line of action figures based on the first-person shooter.

Todd McFarlane's toy company announced in a press release that the toys and Titanfall 2 would launch "winter 2016" (via Polygon). According to a promotional image on the McFarlane site, the figures come in at seven inches tall.

McFarlane says Titanfall and his toy company are "a perfect fit."

"McFarlane [Toys] was created so I could make cool stuff just like this," said McFarlane in the press release. "Without saying too much about the new game... You're not going to believe where we can take this."

We have contacted EA about the supposed release date of "winter 2016" and will update this story as more information becomes available.

This release window lines up with a previous report that said Titanfall 2 would release sometime in EA's fiscal 2017, which lasts from April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017.

Lead writer Jesse Stern recently revealed in an interview that Titanfall 2 would include a single-player campaign. He also mentioned that a Titanfall television series is in the works at Lionsgate TV.

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Exclusive: The Solus Project - Developer Diary 3: The Story

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 20:23
Check out this new developer diary that dives into the story of The Solus Project.
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Star Wars Meets Mario Kart in This Awesome Video

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 19:31

If Mario driving an X-Wing sounds appealing, then you're going to love this new video. It features characters from Mario Kart racing against each other in various Star Wars spacecrafts.

YouTuber Dark Pixel created the crossover video that features Mario and friends racing across the galaxy in classic Star Wars locations like Hoth and the Death Star (via Kotaku). We won't tell you who wins, but it does end in a similar fashion to one of the more iconic moments in the series.

Some of the racers in flight include Bowser in a TIE Advanced Fighter, Yoshi in an A-Wing, and Shy Guy in Boba Fett's Slave I. You can check out the rest in the video above.

This isn't the first crossover we've seen involving the Mario racing series. Mario Kart collided with Mad Max last year in a parody trailer for "Mario Kart: Fury Road."

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GS News - Leading PlayStation VR Dev Quits; New Free GTA Online Update Revealed!

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 19:00
Telltale’s Walking Dead Michonne miniseries gets a release date, and find out what you’ll get in the next free GTA 5 update!
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Checking out Destiny's New Valentine's Day Event

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 19:00
Erick tells you about the new Crimson Day event that has arrived in Destiny: The Taken King offering a new PvP mode, emotes, and more.
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The Flash Earth-2 Easter Eggs You May Have Missed

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 18:13

A Portal to Another World

This past week's episode of The Flash had a ton of Easter eggs in it. Barry, Cisco, and Harrison traveled to a parallel world called "Earth-2" and there are quite a few differences. Aside from the typical "good guy becomes a bad guy" and vice versa, this episode of The Flash actually teased a lot of really cool things.

To kick things off, Barry, Cisco, and Harrison had to take the portal to Earth-2, and this is where we got to see a lot of the episode's teasers. Some of these images are glimpses into other universes in DC's cinematic multiverse and others could be glimpses into the past and future of the DC television universe.

Green Arrow?

As the group travels to the parallel Earth, the first image that pops up is Green Arrow. However, this doesn't look like Oliver Queen. This character has a metal arm and frankly, it looks more like Oliver Queen's partner, John Diggle, as the emerald archer. It could also be Connor Hawke, who is supposed to appear on Arrow as well. Could something have happened to Ollie on Arrow or is this just another universe where someone else, possibly Diggle, is Green Arrow?

90s Flash

Back in the early 90s, CBS had their own show called The Flash, which starred John Wesley Shipp as Barry Allen. Here, we see that version of the character in his puffy muscle suit, standing tall. Here's an interesting note though. John Wesley Shipp also plays Henry Allen on The CW's The Flash, who spent most of the first season in prison.


As you may have heard, CBS' Supergirl and The CW's The Flash are going to be having a crossover episode on Monday, March 28. We kind of figured that neither of these shows take place in the same universe, since Supergirl really feels separate from Arrow and Flash. Apparently, this crossover will happen because Barry Allen is jumping between worlds and this image pretty much solidifies it.

Gorilla Grodd

In an earlier episode of season two, Gorilla Grodd, a telepathic, hyper-intelligent ape, was thwarted by Barry Allen and Harrison Wells and sent to a place Earth-2 where he could live in harmony, which turned out to be Gorilla City. In the portal, we get a glimpse of Gorilla Grodd. Considering this is a recurring villain, will we see him again when everyone goes to Earth-2?

Jonah Hex

With the news that Jonah Hex will be coming to The CW's third series based around the characters in the DC Universe, Legends of Tomorrow, it was a bit of a surprise to see the Wild West bounty hunter pop into the show, but hopefully, the character will be done some justice, since the Josh Brolin film was pretty disappointing.

Legion of Super-Heroes

The last thing we see as the heroes head through the portal is a ring with an the letter "L" on it. What does that mean? Well, it's called a Legion Ring and members of the Legion of Super-Heroes wear it. They're a group from the 30th and 31st century who were inspired by the adventures of Superman (technically Superboy). Mainly, this ring allows members of the Legion to fly. Is this just an Easter egg or will we be seeing them on the show?

The Justice League Phone

At the Earth-2 home of Barry Allen and Iris Allen-West, there's a phone with only a few numbers on it. The first couple of selections are easy to understand. However, below "mom & dad" is the name "Eddie," which could be Eddie Thawne. On Earth-1, Eddie was Iris West's ex-fiance. Below that is "Bruce." Could this be Bruce Wayne? Under that is Hal, which most likely stands for "Hal Jordan," and finally, there's "Diana," who on Earth-1 is better known as Wonder Woman. It's a phone with a direct link to most of the Justice League, if they even exist.

The Rogue Mayor

The first time we see the Earth-2 version of Barry Allen it's on TV. He's being interviewed by the local news and the headline reads "Zoom Threat Remains. Mayor Snart Extends Curfew." One of The Flash's most notorious villains is Captain Cold, whose real name is Leonard Snart. In fact, the whole Snart family has been a thorn in Flash's side as Golden Glider, Lisa Snart, has come up against Barry a few times on the show as well. Let's not forget about Lewis Snart, their father, who has also battled the Flash on the series as well. Regardless of which Snart is in charge, it's crazy to see one of them running Central City.

Channel 52

Here's a deep cut. Let's take a look at that banner once again, the news network reporting is "Channel 52," which is a reference to the Channel 52 back up stories which appeared at the end of every new DC comic for a while, when the comic book company rebooted all of their series. This number also refers to the number of universes that once existed in the DCU.

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Deadpool's Best and Weirdest Team-Ups

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 18:00

Deadpool is a character that usually goes on merc missions alone. Part of the reason might be others simply don't want to put up with him for too long.

Despite this fact, Deadpool has managed to team-up with many different characters in the Marvel Universe. Here's a look at some of the most memorable and wacky team-ups he's been a part of.

With the Avengers

Deadpool is currently an active member of the Avengers. For real. How can this be?

Because of his strange popularity in the Marvel universe, he's started selling Deadpool merchandise in order to help fund the Avengers Unity Squad. Members include Steve Rogers, the Human Torch, Rogue, Quicksilver, and others. The concept of Deadpool as an Avenger didn't sit too well with everyone. Spider-Man quit in the first issue because he didn't like the idea of being on a team with an unstable killer/mercenary.

With Wolverine and Winter Soldier

In the Wolverine Origins series, Deadpool and Wolverine fiercely fought each other for several issues. Even though Deadpool was trying to kill Wolverine after a mysterious person hired him to do so, it turned out it was all a trick to lure Wolverine's son, Daken, out in the open. Wolverine and Bucky Barnes knew that if Deadpool was getting close to killing Wolverine, Daken would reveal himself, which allowed Bucky to make his move against Daken. It was all pretty brutal and messy, but that's how things usually get when Deadpool's involved.

With Hellcow

In Deadpool Team-Up #885, Wade teamed up with...Hellcow. Hellcow is a vampiric cow that was created in the 70s. Deadpool had been kidnapped by a scientist looking to cure a deadly condition he was suffering from. He had been using the captured Hellcow to extend his life by drinking its pink demon milk. Deadpool and Hellcow worked together to defeat their captor and escape.

Unfortunately, while it looked like the beginning of a beautiful relationship, Deadpool led the way outdoors where the sun was shining brightly. The sun turned Hellcow into a hamburger patty which Deadpool proceeded to eat, despite declaring how much Hellcow would be missed.

With the X-Men

Deadpool has many dreams in life. One of them is being part of the X-Men even though he's not actually a mutant. In Deadpool & Cable #9, the X-Men agreed to work with Wade to stop Cable from unleashing an attack on the world. Deadpool was overjoyed and insisted on wearing an X-Men outfit--specifically, Jean Grey's original Marvel Girl costume. He claims it was to distract Cable.

With Hercules

Deadpool found himself teaming up with Hercules in Deadpool Team-Up #899. The assassin Arcade has been losing business since Deadpool came onto the mercenary scene. Teaming up with Nightmare, lord of the dream dimension, they lure Deadpool and Hercules into a bizarre labyrinth that appears to defy normal physics.

When Deadpool had to fight a physical manifestation of his two other personalities, he figures out if he stabbs himself in the head and separated the left and right sides of his brain, Nightmare's illusions wouldn't work on him. This let Deadpool see they were really in one of Arcade's deathtrap rooms. Deadpool and Hercules later went to Tijuana to celebrate their victory.

With Hawkeye

On Halloween, Deadpool and Hawkeye ended up getting involved in an attempt to stop two assassins who killed a seemingly innocent man. It turned out the man who was killed actually stole the human resource files for every active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent. With Clint sometimes working for S.H.I.E.L.D. and the fact that Wade's daughter lives with an active S.H.I.E.L.D. agent, the two were forced to continue to work together to figure out what was going on.

With the Deadpool Corps

It's still hard to believe the Deadpool Corps was a real thing. The team consisted of Deadpools from alternate universes. Joining the 616 Universe Deadpool was Lady Deadpool, Zombie Deadpool Head (aka Headpool), Kidpool, and Dogpool.

They were brought together when the Contemplator, an Elder of the Universe, decided they were the only ones to handle a threat.

With Bob, Agent of HYDRA

Even though Deadpool doesn't like Agent X and was accidentally shrunk to a small size with Pym Particles by Weasel, he's convinced to take on HYDRA to rescue Agent X. With some assistance from Weasel, he manages to infiltrate the HYDRA base.

Deadpool takes down one agent to obtain his access card and forces another one to act as his transport, shooting other agents along the way. It turns out this agent is Bob, the blogger guy Deadpool has read about. They find Agent X who was given arthritis through a HYDRA machine. Because the arthritis hurts so much, HYDRA also gave him a different genetic template called the "American Gene" which made him severely overweight.

Bob continues to help Deadpool, stating that he'd never be allowed back into HYDRA. Deadpool said they should let him back since he was forced to help. To drive the point home, he shoots Bob in the shoulder to prove he was forced to help them at gunpoint.

Much to Bob's dismay, the two have teamed up again several times.

With Galactus

Deadpool needed money. He found an ad in the paper for a job as a Herald of Galactus. The job would require him to seek out and prepare planets to be devoured. Deadpool thought eating an entire planet was "pretty gangster" and was given a portion of the Power Cosmic.

Deadpool helped out Galactus for a bit but soon came up against a former Herald, Silver Surfer. After a long and intense fight, Deadpool was beat and decided to resign.

With the Marvel Super Heroes

In Deadpool's Secret Secret Wars, the Merc with a Mouth took a part in the 1984 crossover event, Secret Wars. A powerful being known as the Beyonder transported several heroes and villains in order to get them to fight. The winner would receive all they desired.

We don't remember Deadpool being in the original story, and things get really strange here.

With Thanos

A lot of characters can't stand Deadpool. One character that really has a beef with him is Thanos. The Mad Titan is madly in love with Death. Death and Deadpool have sort of had a thing as well. Thanos was so bothered by this, he had a hand in making it so Deadpool couldn't die and actually be with Death.

When a diabolical scheme makes it so no one in the universe can die, Thanos is forced to work with Deadpool. He finds it hard to not go against his idea of Deadpool being unable to die.

With Spider-Man

Deadpool really really likes Spider-Man. Spider-Man can't stand Deadpool, but they have teamed up a few times. The two are currently teaming up again in the Spider-Man/Deadpool series. Deadpool has been hired to kill Spider-Man's current boss, Peter Parker. He's been lead to believe that Parker is up to some really evil things at Parker Industries. He's obviously unaware that Peter Parker is Spider-Man and simply pretending to be his own bodyguard. Deadpool's trying to figure out how to get Spider-Man to help him take out Parker.

Past encounters with the two have been both wacky and disturbing.

Clearly this is not all of Deadpool's best and weirdest team-ups. What has been your favorite Deadpool team-up?

With Cable

As much as Deadpool enjoys teaming up with Spider-Man, his number one partner will always be Cable. Much to Cable's dismay, the two have been practically joined at the hips on several occasions. They even had a fantastic series that ran 50 issues.

In the current Split Second series, we discover their relationship goes back further than Deadpool realized. Time travel was involved so of course it gets a little complicated. Deadpool wouldn't have it any other way.

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GTA 5's Next Free Multiplayer Expansion Launches Today, Here's What's in It

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 10:17

As suspected, Grand Theft Auto V's multiplayer mode GTA Online is getting a Valentine's Day update. Rockstar Games today announced "Be My Valentine," a free update for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC that includes a variety of new content including a new car, mode, outfits, and more. Watch a trailer below.

Be My Valentine comes with a a pair of new cars, including the Albany Roosevelt Valor, which is available to buy from the in-game Legendary Motorsport store. This retro vehicle can be outfitted with a number of modifications from Los Santos Customs. The second car is the Albany Roosevelt, which makes its return following its first showing in 2014's Valentine's Day GTA Online event, Massacre Special.

Players can also buy a number of new clothing items for male and female characters, including new suits, vests, boxer shorts, and stockings. Additionally, all of the Valentine's Day clothes and masks from the previous event are back, while the Gusenberg Sweeper machine gun also returns and can now be purchased from Ammu-Nation.

Finally, Be My Valentine includes a new "couples-themed" adversary mode called "Till Death Do Us Part." This mode will launch this coming Friday, February 12; Rockstar will share more details on it "soon."

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Titanfall 2: Does it Need a Campaign? - The Lobby

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 10:00
The original Titanfall sold pretty well without including a single player campaign, which begs the question: Does the sequel need more than multiplayer?
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Walking Dead Minieseries "Michonne" Gets Release Date, New Screens

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Wed, 2016-02-10 10:00

While you've have to wait longer for Telltale's third season of The Walking Dead, the developer announced today that it won't be long until the new miniseries, Michonne, is released. The first of three episodes, In Too Deep, will arrive on February 23, Telltale has confirmed.


It will be available on that date for PC/Mac, PS4, Xbox One, PS3, and Xbox 360. In Too Deep will launch for iOS and Android devices a few days later, on February 25.

In Too Deep follows lead character Michonne (played by Orange is the New Black's Samira Wiley), as she joins with Pete and his squad on a ship named The Companion. They are sailing the coast looking for survivors and supplies. It probably won't go very well, if the following description is any indication.

"When a desperate signal for help draws them to a scene of horrific massacre, Michonne and the crew are lead further to the floating survivors' colony of Monroe, which may just be harboring the person responsible for the carnage," Telltale said.

The second episode, Give No Shelter, will arrive in March, with the third and final installment, the ominous-sounding What We Deserve, scheduled to arrive sometime in April.

On February 23, you can pay $15 to unlock In Too Deep and the next two installments when they are released.


Overall, Telltale's Michonne miniseries provides some backstory for her absence between issues #126 and #139 of Robert Kirkman's comic book series.

"Over the three episodes of the miniseries, players will discover what took Michonne away from Rick, Ezekiel, and the rest of her trusted group... and what brought her back," Telltale said.

You won't have to wait until February 23 to see some footage of Michonne, however, as Telltale will showcase the first five minutes on its YouTube channel this coming Sunday, February 14. The event begins at 5:30 PM PST / 8:30 PM EST

Telltale's The Walking Dead series has been a huge hit so far. By Telltale's latest count, it has sold more than 50 million episodes.

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GS Daily News - The Division Open Beta Confirmed, Fallout 4 Patch Lands, and Final Fantasy IX Hits Smartphones

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 20:22
Today's news for February 9 2016 includes The Division Open Beta Confirmed, Fallout 4 Patch Lands, and Final Fantasy IX Hits Smartphones.
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UFC Champion Wants to Stream Games Full Time

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 20:12

The UFC flyweight champion, Demetrious Johnson, recently made headlines when drug testers showed up at his house and interrupted one of his Twitch streams. Now, it's been revealed that Johnson wants to become a full-time video game streamer when his fighting career winds down.

Johnson recently made an appearance on the Three Amigos Podcast, where he talked about his history with video games and streaming them on Twitch (via Kotaku). He credits his wife with pushing him to stream, which he now spends at least 15 hours a week doing.

"I would rock [my son Tyren] to sleep at night, and he would take a while, so I downloaded the Twitch app to watch. I saw guys playing games I grew up with like Mega Man X and Zelda: Ocarina of Time," Johnson explained. "Next thing you know, my wife was like, ‘You should get into it baby, what do you want to do after you're done fighting? Why don't you try streaming?'"

Johnson goes by Mightymouseufc125 on Twitch and has nearly 20,000 followers. He's most well known for streaming Bloodborne, though he has played other games including Rainbow Six Siege against former UFC light heavyweight champion Rampage Jackson.

Some of Johnson's favourite games include Super Contra, Diablo II, and Dark Souls II. He also mentioned in the interview that he has played Starcraft: Brood War, Counter-Strike 1.3 and 1.6, and Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn.

"I would have to say fantasy RPG and MMOs are my favourite types of games," Johnson said.

You can read a transcription of the interview on Bloody Elbow.

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Fire Emblem Fates: Early Review Thoughts - The Lobby

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:57
Alexa & Peter are currently reviewing all three versions of Fire Emblem Fates - so we asked them onto the show to talk about tactical role-playing and touching people's faces.
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All The Epic Skins In Overwatch (So Far)

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:41

All The New Epic Skins

Overwatch's PC closed beta has returned with some new updates, including balance adjustments, a new progression system, and the ability to play in full A.I. matches. Alongside these updates is also an assortment of new Epic skins for the game's large roster of characters. With so many new skins to see, we've compiled them all here for your viewing pleasure. Click ahead to check out each one!

You can also check out all the new Legendary skins that have been added into the closed beta.

Bastion - Defense Matrix

Bastion - Omnic Crisis

D. Va - Carbon Fiber

D. Va - White Rabbit

Genji - Carbon Fiber

Genji - Silver

Hanzo - Cloud

Hanzo - Dragon

Junkrat - Jailbird

Jailbird - Toasted

Lucio - Auditiva

Lucio - Synaesthesia

McCree - On the Range

McCree - White Hat

Mei - Earthen

Mei - Snow Plum

Mercy - Burnished

Mercy - Cobalt

Pharah - Anubis

Pharah - Jackal

Reaper - Desert

Reaper - Wight

Reinhardt - Bundeswehr

Reinhardt - Paragon

Roadhog - Pigpen

Roadhog - Stitched

Soldier: 76 - Bone

Soldier: 76 - Golden

Symmetra - Regal

Symmetra - Utopaea

Torbjorn - Cathode

Torbjorn - Woodclad

Tracer - Posh

Tracer - Sporty

Widowmaker - Frozen

Widowmaker - Patina

Winston - Desert

Winston - Horizon

Zarya - Dawn

Zarya - Midnight

Zenyatta - Ascendant

Zenyatta - Harmonious

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All The Legendary Skins In Overwatch (So Far)

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:41

All The New Legendary Skins

Overwatch's PC closed beta is back with a handful of new updates, including a new progression system, balance adjustments, and the ability to play in full A.I. matches. But there's also a plethora of new Legendary skins that have been added into the game. With so many new skins to see, we've compiled them all here for your viewing pleasure. Click ahead to check out each one!

You can also check out all the new Epic skins that have been added into the closed beta.

Bastion - Overgrown

Hanzo - Young Hanzo

Hanzo - Young Master

Hanzo - Lone Wolf

McCree - Gambler

Mei - Firefighter

Mei - Rescue Me!

Mercy - Sigrun

Mercy - Valkyrie

Mercy - Devil

Mercy - Imp

Pharah - Security Chief

Reaper - El Blanco

Reaper - Mariachi

Reaper - Blackwatch Reyes

Reinhardt - Blackhardt

Reinhardt - Bloodhardt

Roadhog - Toa

Roadhog - Mako

Soldier: 76 - Commander Morrison

Symmetra - Vishkar

Symmetra - Devi

Torbjorn - Chopper

Torbjorn - Deadlock

Tracer - Punk

Tracer - Ultraviolet

Tracer - Mach T

Tracer - T.Racer

Tracer - Slipstream

Widowmaker - Odette

Widowmaker - Odile

Widowmaker - Noire

Winston - Marine

Winston - Undersea

Winston - Safari

Zarya - Industrial

Zenyatta - Djinnyatta

Zenyatta - Ra

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Hearthstone Hacks May Compromise Your PC, According to Report

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:40

Technology company Symantec has released new research overnight to warn Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft players against using third-party tools with the game. These tools range from outright cheating applications to bots and deck-trackers. In particular, Hearthstone Hack Tool v2.1 was named as a "total scam" in its promises to give players more gold and dust. However, Symantec warned that the program carried malware which steals users' Bitcoin.

Do not install this program.

Another named application named Hearthbuddy can compromise the user's computer. The program is a bot which can play the Arena Mode in Hearthstone, earning rewards and even respond to emotes. Upon installation, the program can compromise a user's PC.

Third-party Hearthstone tools which are not strictly built for the purposes of cheating were also named as susceptible to malware. Third-party deck-tracking programs can help users to identify which cards in their deck remain to be drawn, as well as other useful information. Their use by high-profile streamers has seen a boost in usage amongst other players. Symantec warns that some of these programs can contain malicious add-ons capable of opening a back door to a PC, logging keystrokes, and stealing passwords. Because Blizzard doesn't officially support these applications, they are vulnerable to malware.

Blizzard recently announced that Hearthstone had hit the 40 million player milestone across mobile and PC. The game will be getting some major changes this spring, which aim to keep it "fresh, exciting, and accessible." Hearthstone was well-received in GameSpot's review, earning an eight out of ten for its quick but satisfying gameplay, and its balance between accessibility and strategic depth.

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Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One Delayed, Avoids Clash With Star Wars Episode 8

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:21

Ready Player One, Steven Spielberg's upcoming film based on the Ernest Cline book about virtual reality and video games, is being delayed from its December 15, 2017 release--and it seems like Star Wars might have something to do with it. The film is now expected to open on March 30, 2018, according to Variety.

Star Wars: Episode VIII opens on December 15, 2017, a date it moved to last month when Disney announced that the film was delayed from May of that year. The delay for Ready Player One avoids a clash with Episode VIII, which, if the huge performance of The Force Awakens is any indication, is sure to be one of the year's biggest movies.

This isn't the first time a movie has moved dates to avoid opening on the same day as a Star Wars film. The Warcraft movie was previously slated to open on December 18, 2015, but was delayed to 2016 after Disney announced that The Force Awakens would come out then.

Variety reports that Ready Player One won't have much major competition in its new March 2018 release window. "The new date coincides with Easter, and there are no major movies scheduled to open in April 2018, save for an animated film from Laika, giving Ready Player One a wide berth," the site said. "It also comes between the conclusion of the Winter Olympics and the start of the World Cup, two events that can erode the movie-going audience."

The Force Awakens has been an absolute smash hit. It currently stands as the No. 3 movie of all time, having generated around $2 billion at the global box office.

As for Ready Player One, X-Men writer Zak Penn wrote the most recent script for the movie. Penn and Cline also worked together on another video game movie, 2014's Atari: Game Over. Ben Mendelsohn and Olivia Cooke star in Ready Player One.

Spielberg is also working the upcoming Halo TV series with Microsoft and 343 Industries. Though we haven't heard much about it in more than a year, Microsoft stresses that it remains in development.

The next Star Wars movie is Rogue One, which opens this December. The movie is set before the original Star Wars, and focuses on a group of mercenaries who are hired to capture the plans to the Death Star.

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Creature Design on Guild Chat: A Summary

Guild Wars 2 News - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:01

On the latest episode of the Guild Chat livestream, Game Designer Ben Phongluangtham and Animator Brian Walter sat down with host Rubi Bayer to reveal the creative process the Guild Wars 2 creature team uses to populate the jungle environment of Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns™.

Each creature model is built on a rigging that allows the animators to move it. Since building a rig takes a lot of time and resources, the team looks for opportunities to build several different creatures on the same rig. Brian showed examples of enemies that look different and behave in different ways despite using the same rig—bristlebacks were built on the same rig as quaggan, vampire beasts use the skale rig, and mushroom enemies use a skritt rig.

Once the developers decide which types of creatures they need, concept artists begin to explore what the creatures look like and provide references. During the modeling process, the animators are given a basic, untextured version of the creature to begin skill animation prototyping. Elements like timing and effects are used to give attacks a feeling of power; slower attacks that take longer to follow through provide a sense of weight. Animations are polished to a finished state in a thorough process of playtesting, feedback, and iteration, and it can take months for a creature to go from its initial design to a finished product.

Ben and Brian unleashed several monsters inside a testing lobby, a simple space that makes it easy to see attacks and animations clearly. The first monster they demonstrated was the Mordrem maggot, which splits into two separate maggots on death; the animation of the new maggots hitting the ground serves as their spawning effect. “Unlurk” animations let enemies fly down, crawl up from the ground, or otherwise make a stylish entrance that’s much cooler than simply fading into existence.

Next up were mushroom bombers. Early versions of the bombers presented little challenge to ranged players, so Ben gave them the ability to launch mushroom sporelings. Players have asked why mushroom enemies happen to have such well-defined posteriors—the anatomy makes sense for a mushroom with two legs, especially since there aren’t any two-legged mushrooms in real life to compare them to.

Enemies are divided into “families,” and each family has an affinity set that defines whether they’re neutral, allied, or hostile to other types of creatures. Some of the enemies might even ignore players for the sake of fighting each other, which adds life to the world. One type of enemy that’s unlikely to ignore players is pocket raptors; the deceptively tiny terrors have been responsible for well over one million player deaths so far!

If you missed this episode of Guild Chat, you can check out the recording below.

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PSA: Overwatch PC Closed Beta Returns With New Mode, Maps, and More

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 19:00

Right on schedule, the closed beta for Blizzard's new shooter Overwatch started back up again today. "Break's over, team--it's time to get back out on the battlefield," Blizzard wrote on its blog.

The beta started back up today, February 9, in the Americas and Europe. Provided you've been granted access (it's a closed beta), you can start playing again and check out some new maps, a new game mode, updated custom game options, and a new player progression system.

Additionally, Blizzard has made some balance changes to the game's heroes.

The new Overwatch mode is called Control. Here's how Blizzard describes it:

"On Control maps, two teams fight over a series of objective areas in a best-of-three format. When a team is in control of the round's objective area, they will make progress toward capturing it, and whichever team gets to 100 percent first wins the round. Each round (up to 3 total) will feature a new objective area located in a different part of the map."

For more on Overwatch's PC beta, be sure to read the full patch notes here to see everything that Blizzard has introduced and changed. Another blog post goes more in depth on Overwatch's progression system.

You can opt in to the Overwatch PC beta by visiting your Beta Profile Settings page and checking the "Overwatch" box. Opting in does not guarantee you access to the beta, however.

The first Overwatch closed beta opened in late October and closed down on December 10. In that time, more than 900,000 games were played, providing Blizzard with large amounts of "raw data" and feedback. The beta was supposed to return in mid-to-late January but was later pushed to February.

Overwatch is also coming to Xbox One and PS4, though a beta for consoles has not been announced.

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Darkest Dungeon Review

GameSpot's PC Reviews - Tue, 2016-02-09 14:04

A werewolf, a paladin, a bandit, and a cleric walk into the abyss. The werewolf's transformations startle and stress the psyche of the party. The paladin's heart gives out. Our thief begins behaving irrationally. He compulsively opens suspicious chests and rifles through dead bodies. He falls gravely ill. Our cleric, pushed to the brink, finds resolve in faith. She fights back wave after wave of evil abominations far longer than she should. In time, she finds herself overwhelmed. Knowing that his friends broke down and died because of his monstrosity, the werewolf heads back into town, distraught, to self-flagellate and exchange his grief for blood.

That's the kind of moribund humor Darkest Dungeon works with. Everything here is a little weird, and it'd be easy to pass it off as yet another game inspired by Lovecraftian horror, but Darkest Dungeon's gameplay makes it so much more.

Darkest Dungeon sits in the roguelike genre--a game type often associated with randomly arranged rooms, permanent death, and the fear of what mysterious challenges lie ahead. Darkest Dungeon breaks from that tradition in that it lets you stock an entire roster of heroes, only a handful of which will be at risk on any given mission. Your goal is as much about managing all the resources at your disposal as it is protecting a given warrior from death or disease.

Each week (in the game) you send your quartet of champions out to one of four main areas in order to gather coin, accouterments, and experience required to tackle the eponymous Darkest Dungeon. These areas all have different enemy types and challenges that require specific strategies. Some need big, heavy-hitting brutes, while others require poison to get the job done, and the trick is to balance your adventuring party's classes and tactics appropriately. That, however, is complicated by the fact that with each subsequent adventure, your soldiers inch closer to stress-induced heart attacks or debilitating diseases, to name a few possible downfalls.

Darkest Dungeon never looks particularly inviting.

While the death of one of your party members seems bad enough, it gets worse. Darkest Dungeon's combat revolves around careful formations. Certain character classes are only useful in one or two of the four possible positions. Heavily armed warriors sit up front to protect the assortment of healers, occultists, and archers you can employ. As battles progress, however, your teams can be shuffled, and if anyone dies--on your side or your enemies'--you'll have to form new strategies on the fly to keep up an effective force. It's an excellent system that keeps players from ever settling in or feeling completely comfortable. It's a complex system that gives you room to figure out your own ideal methods, but also forces you to manage your estate and the sanity of your band of mercenaries.

Stress too, takes its toll on everyone, and there are numerous events that can trigger it, including darkness, the untimely death of a comrade, or an unknowable eldritch horror.

After each adventure your troupe will return to your burgeoning hamlet. There, you can recruit, equip, and ease your legions of dungeon divers. Equipped with medical facilities, an abbey, a tavern, guilds, a blacksmith, and a stagecoach which constantly supplies you with new recruits, the hamlet serves as your headquarters in the war with the demons and devils found in the wilds. Here, you can upgrade your mercenaries' weapons and train them in new abilities that can dramatically affect their usefulness in future expeditions. You also need to take great care to keep their minds intact as the game wears on.

Your team's humanity becomes a persistent and pernicious obstacle of its own. Looting corpses can net an unwary adventurer a case of rabies. Stress too, takes its toll on everyone, and there are numerous events that can trigger it, including darkness, the untimely death of a comrade, or an unknowable horror. Successive expeditions are as sure to kill your favorite mercenary as anything else. So you have to commit them to a night of drinking or meditation to keep their mind and body in fighting condition. Diseases too can afflict your warriors, and you have to treat them at the sanitarium or deal with a hefty stat penalty.

Before each expedition, you'll pick out your party, supply them and prepare for a harrowingadventure.

But, these things take time. And while your cleric is relaxing in the brothel, she obviously can't journey to ancient ruins and fell skeletal armies. Keeping solid party composition by matching classes, skills, specialties, and respective levels of experience is vital, but it's complicated by the fact that everyone needs a break to heal mind and body. Brutal though that penance may seem, fool-hardy strategists quickly learn their lesson. Darkest Dungeon teaches its audience how to navigate unforgiving challenges, but the result is an immensely rewarding journey.

In building itself around the struggle of your hamlet and its people against the evil of the wilderness, Darkest Dungeon shifts its focus towards a set of tools for telling your own stories. It's about more than your favorite squad and their journey, but about the people who had their own share of successful runs before quietly falling in an abandoned tomb. There is no one hero here: instead you find a sea of stories crafted jointly by you and the game.

Every mistake, every death, is on you. You didn't prepare well enough, you pushed someone too hard, or you didn't train them. Every mercenary who dies on your watch was your responsibility.

Darkest Dungeon is held together by a brilliant web of causality. Small pieces, like whether a sword lands a critical hit, are random, but all the choices that led you to that point are not. In some ways Darkest Dungeon plays a lot like poker: countless parts are random on their own, but when guided by the skillful handle of a master, are anything but. This game is hard, but not unfairly so. Every mistake, every death, is on you. You didn't prepare well enough, you pushed someone too hard, or you didn't train them. Every mercenary who dies on your watch was your responsibility.

With all this darkness, all this death, all this despair, it might sound strange to say that Darkest Dungeon is also hopeful. Like other games in its genre, successes are hard-fought, and while they might be scarce, they assure you that while the odds against you are staggering, they aren't insurmountable. Where this game shines is in creating a world that is at once ominous and encouraging. At every step, the visual design and atmospheric soundtrack, as well as an apprehensive narrator, push you to victory against the evils that surround you.

Even when a character's HP has hit 0, you're not necessarily out of the fight.

For every party wipe you encounter a moment of wondrous luck, and this becomes part of Darkest Dungeon's cycle. As you trek you learn and grow. You adapt new tactics as you discover the faults in older ones. Comparisons to Dark Souls these days are so common that they're almost cliché, but Darkest Dungeon is one that genuinely deserves the nod. Dark Souls' brilliance comes not from its extreme difficulty nor in its obtuse and horrific enemies. Similarly, Darkest Dungeon may be hard, but its gameplay isn't really about difficulty.

The struggle serves as a test of your strategies, your team and base management. If you're not up to snuff, then your parties will die, and you'll have to rebuild. You almost never find yourself starting over truly from square one, however. The upgrades to your town are permanent, as are some of the trinkets and gold you find. So even the total loss of your roster isn't the death knell for your hamlet. And that too, sets the game apart from other roguelikes, for instance, where each new game is a new attempt at a distant goal.

Darkest Dungeon plays the long game. It builds you up for a grand bout that will test everything you've learned, as well as your ability to plan several in-game weeks out. The pay-off for this constant offensive comes in short bursts--just enough to keep you going, just enough to keep you hopeful for the next excursion. It's an extraordinary cycle that bears a special teacher--rewarding your cleverness and punishing your foolishness. It transfixes and binds you to this grand journey, dotted with failures and successes. And because you endured, because you thought your way through it, the final victory against the unimaginable evil you face at the bottom of the Darkest Dungeon is personally valuable.

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