Movies based on Naughty Dog's Uncharted and The Last of Us franchises are in the works, but, as is often the case in Hollywood, they aren't progressing very quickly. Naughty Dog's creative lead Neil Druckmann sat down with 10 Cloverfield Lane director Dan Trachtenberg at the D.I.C.E. Summit today in Las Vegas for a conversation about storytelling. Naturally, the question came up about how the Uncharted and Last of Us movies are coming along.
Druckmann said Naughty Dog has had "some conversations" with director Shawn Levy (Stranger Things, Night at the Museum), a person who Druckmann says really "gets it" and "understands where we're at." Druckmann went on to say that Naughty Dog's feelings towards a film adaptation of Uncharted has "evolved" over years.
"We used to just be excited--oh my god, movies are looking at us! There could be an Uncharted movie on the screen, and then as more time passes on, we're not excited by a direct adaptation of the story we told, because we feel we've already told that story very well cinematically, so I don't know what else you could bring to it."
Spider-Man actor Tom Holland is confirmed to play a young Nathan Drake in the Uncharted movie. Levy's Uncharted movie will not be a direct adaptation of any of the four main Uncharted games, but instead it is expected to fill in the gaps with the younger Drake. Beyond that, however, we don't know any more plot details. One of the scripts was written by The Grey's Joe Carnahan--and Druckmann had some things to say about it.
Whatever the case, Druckmann said an Uncharted movie will feel strange to him and some fans because with different actors, it might not feel right. "For me--and I know for Naughty Dog and for a lot of our fans--Nolan North is Nathan Drake. Ashley Johnson is Ellie. Troy Baker is Joel. It would be very disorienting to see someone else in that role."
As an example, Druckmann said if they were to make a Breaking Bad movie and someone other than Bryan Cranston played Walter White, well, it just "doesn't make sense" and would "feel so wrong on so many levels."
Trachtenberg then mentioned the well-received TV show adaptation of the beloved movie Fargo as an example of how do it right. The two agreed that this is different because it has new characters instead of existing ones. "It captured the tone, it captured the world, it expanded up; I love that show. I think that's the way to do it."
Also during the talk, Druckmann spoke briefly of the Last of Us film. The script that he worked on at one point was a direct adaptation of the game--and it wasn't great. "Now, having some separation from it, I look back like--I don't want that movie to be made," he said.
The much-anticipated Last of Us sequel, The Last of Us: Part II, is currently in development for PlayStation 4. As for the Uncharted franchise, 2016's Uncharted 4: A Thief's End was the last mainline title in the series to be developed by Naughty Dog and the final one starring Nathan Drake. That being said, Uncharted 5 could be developed by another studio.
The next big video game movie is March's Tomb Raider, which stars Oscar winner Alicia Vikander in the role of Lara Croft. You can watch the newest trailer here.
The much-anticipated eighth and final season of HBO's Game of Thrones airs in 2019, and we're excited about it. In particular, everyone wants to know how it'll all wrap up.
Actress Maisie Williams, who plays Arya, apparently knows how it'll all go down. She appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live this week where she claimed to have read the script for the final episode. Kimmel jumped in to say that he's heard that to protect the secret, HBO is shooting multiple endings so that even the cast is unaware of how it ends. However, Williams sounded confident that she knows what will happen in the very last episode. And she added that she doesn't believe HBO has the budge to shoot so many different endings.
"I do--I know the end of Game of Thrones," Williams said, recalling that she read the script while in bed. "It's just surreal, to be honest; being with this show for so long and then also it having the following that it does. It's just--everyone is waiting for this moment, and then you read it, and it's just incredible."
Williams went on to suggest, with facial expressions, that the ending might on paper sound underwhelming, but when you see it, you'll understand why it's so moving. She added that her mom knows the ending, too, because she sent the scripts to her. She broke a rule in doing so, apparently, as she noted that she was told: "Don't give [the scripts] to anyone."
Indeed, HBO's security for Game of Thrones is reportedly substantial, making use of things like scripts written in code and even keeping watch for drones on outdoor sets. And regarding the multiple endings, HBO president Casey Bloys sounded pretty confident that multiple endings would be shot, though of course plans can change. "I know in Game of Thrones the ending, they're going to shoot multiple versions so that nobody really know what happens," Bloys said back in September.
Also in the interview, Williams said she still has a lot of shooting left to do on the final season. "A lot, endless amounts," she said about what's left of her shooting schedule. "It's a mammoth task this year. It's huge."
Kimmel smartly jumped in to ask if this means her character, Arya, will survive. Williams deftly danced around the question, saying, "No, not necessarily, because some of the episodes take a really long time to shoot."
Indeed, every episode in Season 8 is reportedly as long as a movie, so lengthy shoots are to be expected.
There will be six episodes in the final Game of Thrones season. We don't know their titles yet, but HBO has announced who will be directing them. The Game of Thrones franchise is expected to continue after the main show wraps up through a prequel spinoff.
In other news, Game of Thrones TV show creators D.B. Weiss and David Benioff are working on a new series of Star Wars movies for Disney.
Australians spent more than $3 billion on video game software and hardware in 2017, the Interactive Games & Entertainment Association (IGEA) announced today. Sales from physical retailers amounted to $1.176 billion, while digital sales hit $2.054 billion. Those are increases of 11 percent and 9 percent respectively. In all, that comes to $3.23 billion for the year, which represents an increase of nine percent.
For home consoles specifically, sales jumped by 36 percent during the year. The Nintendo Switch had a "strong debut" following its launch in March, the IGEA said, while Nintendo's SNES and NES systems also "performed well." On the games side, and in a clear sign of the times, full-game digital sales jumped 17 percent compared to 2016's figures. Additionally, "digital extras," which we imagine to be things like DLC packs and microtransactions, rose by 12 percent compared to last year.
According to research company Telsyte, subscription revenue was also a bright spot, rising 14 percent, thanks in part to growth in PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live subscriptions. For digital games specifically, mobile games dominated of course, bringing in more than $1 billion in revenue in Australia during the year.
"Despite the huge amount of entertainment options available to Australians, the appetite for games shows no signs of waning, evidenced by growth across the entire industry," IGEA CEO Ron Curry said in a statement. "In 2017, we saw gamers embrace new and updated consoles. At the same time, there was lots of love shown and nostalgia for old favourites – both hardware and games. Australians enjoy buying products in-store, where they can seek out hands-on experiences and advice from retail staff, and similarly they are very comfortable downloading full games and additional content."
By comparison, US video game industry revenue came out to $36 billion in 2017. Like Australia, the US saw year-over-year increases in revenue from game and hardware sales. Australia's population is around 24 million, as compared to more than 320 million in the US.
Fortnite's servers will be offline for period of time tomorrow across Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, as developer Epic Games launches a new patch. The v.3.0.0 patch will be deployed at 4 AM EST on February 22, though Battle Royale's matchmaking will go down at 3:35 AM.
The patch coincides with the end of Fortnite's Season 2, which started back in December. When the servers come back online, that will kick off Season 3, and with it comes the new Battle Pass containing new items like Back Bling and more.
Patch notes for v.3.0.0 will be published tomorrow when the downtime begins. Epic's post on Reddit does not say when the servers will be back online, but we'll report back with those details as they're announced.
You may notice the countdown clock in Battle Royale currently shows that Season 2 ends at 11 AM ET on February 22, but this is an error on Epic's part. As mentioned, it's actually sooner than that.
The Season 3 Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, which is about $10. It comes with 76 items in all; along with the 3 Back Blings, you'll also get a bunch of emoticons, banners, and other cosmetics. You can read more about what the Battle Pass comes with here. Season 2 wraps up soon, so the new Battle Pass should go on sale this week.
In other news, Epic will soon add a brand new gun, the Hand Cannon, to the game. In addition, a new patch for Fortnite launched recently on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that comes with the Impulse Grenade.
Epic Games has been adding a bunch of new content to Fortnite, especially as the game's popularity has continued to rise. In the Season 3 Battle Pass for the Battle Royale mode, for example, the developer is releasing some new cosmetic items, such as emotes, loading screens, outfits--and Back Blings.
You read that right: Epic is adding a new customization option for your Hero that modifies the appearance of its back. Basically, anything that a character holds on its back is now part of this option, so you'll be able to change out previously permanent characteristics like the Love Ranger's wings or the Knights' shields.
Any character can use Back Bling, and there are three new Blings being added in the Battle Pass. This new option will probably enable some pretty wild combinations with the different Heroes and their skins.
The Season 3 Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, which is about $10. It comes with 76 items in all; along with the 3 Back Blings, you'll also get a bunch of emoticons, banners, and other cosmetics. You can read more about what the Battle Pass comes with here. Season 2 wraps up soon, so the new Battle Pass should go on sale this week.
In other news, Epic will soon add a brand new gun, the Hand Cannon, to the game. In addition, a new patch for Fortnite launched recently on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that comes with the Impulse Grenade.
Since its release, Rocket League has gotten several tie-in DLC packs that add various well-known vehicles, like the DeLorean from Back to the Future. Soon, another pair of iconic cars will be usable in the game: two Batmobiles.
The vehicles headline the DC Super Heroes DLC pack, which also comes with a variety of cosmetic items. You'll be able to drive the 1989 version of the Batmobile as well as the Tumbler, the tank-like vehicle from The Dark Knight. These will be the second and third Batmobiles added to the game; back in 2016, developer Psyonix also released the Batmobile from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. You can check the new ones out in action in the video below.
Alongside the Batmobiles, you'll also get access to a bunch of DC cosmetic items themed after various heroes. There'll be decals and banners for Aquaman, Batman, Cyborg, Wonder Woman, and several other characters. You can check out the full list below.
The DLC will run you $4, and it'll launch on March 5 for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. In other news, the game is still extremely popular--back in January, it passed 40 million total players. In spite of its success, don't expect Rocket League 2 soon. Psyonix plans on continuing to support the first game with more DLC.
The NPD Group today released its report for January 2018 video game sales in the United States, covering games and hardware. In terms of game sales, Monster Hunter: World was the top-selling title of the month on the all-platforms chart. Rounding out the top five were Dragon Ball: Fighter Z, Call of Duty: WWII, PUBG, and Grand Theft Auto V.
You can see the full chart below, along with platform-specific charts for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch, along with another one for the best-selling games on a trailing 12-month period. Note that while these NPD reports now factor in some digital sales, not every publisher shares this information, as you'll see in the charts below.
Monster Hunter: World also topped the Xbox One and PS4 charts, while the game overall enjoyed the best launch month ever for the Monster Hunter series in the US. The No. 2 game, Dragon Ball: Fighter Z, had the franchise's best launch-month sales since 2002's Dragon Ball Z: Budokai.
Total video game sales in the US during January amounted to $517 million, which is up significantly (51 percent) compared to last year. In fact, January game sales were the highest since January 2011 ($549 million).
On the hardware side, spending on consoles reached $278 million for January 2018, which is an increase of an incredible 119 percent. The NPD Group said the uptick in sales was driven by the gains that Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PS4 posted during the month. The $278 million spend on hardware in the US during the month was the highest since January 2011 ($323 million).
All three systems "performed well," the NPD Group said. It was a tight race, as the gap between the top-selling platform (which was not disclosed) and third place was just 3 percent based on dollar sales.
Overall, covering games and hardware, total video game spending in the US for January 2018 came to $1.1 billion. That represents an impressive 59 percent surge compared to January 2017.
*Titles marked with an asterisk do not include digital sales*
A big Destiny 2 update is scheduled for release next week which will add several new features and change some systems in the game. However, Bungie announced today that it has had to delay a few of these features until future updates.
Specifically, Bungie has pushed back the release date for reducing duplicate Exotic drop rates, unique rewards for Nightfall Strikes, and viewing vendors in the companion app. In a blog post, Bungie specifically addressed the delay for unique Nightfall rewards, explaining that new weapons and gear will require more time for the artists to design than originally anticipated. All of these features are now scheduled for release on March 27 in the 1.1.4 patch.
Tweaks to Exotic gear were originally planned to roll out with the 1.1.4 patch. However, due to the other delays, Bungie now plans on implementing the Exotic changes in the big 1.2.0 patch coming with the launch of Season 3. This update will also bring a Prestige Mode for Eater of Worlds, an increase to Vault space, and private matches, among other new features.
Update 1.1.3, meanwhile, is slated for release on Tuesday, February 27, and it will come with a bunch of new emblem variants. It will also add Nightfall scoring, the ability to see Fireteam Members on the destination map, and public text chat on PC.
Destiny 2's latest Faction Rally is happening now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. There are a few new weapons available, one for each faction. A faction's gun will be made available if that faction emerges victorious from the event. You can see the new Faction Rally weapons here.
A new weapon is coming to Fortnite: Battle Royale soon. The "Hand Cannon," as developer Epic Games is calling it, looks like a beast. From the looks of the teaser video below, the weapon is capable of bringing down a structure with just a single shot.
Surely, it will be devastatingly powerful in other battle scenarios as well. We do not know the Hand Cannon's specific stats just yet, but if it's like other, similar weapons in other games, you can expect its powerful punch to be balanced out with heavy recoil.
This handheld heavy hitter packs a punch. pic.twitter.com/6jrXqkqBK6— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) February 21, 2018
Epic did not specify when exactly the Hand Cannon will come to Fortnite: Battle Royale, only saying its arrival will be "soon." When you boot up the game, you'll see a teaser for the gun. Epic also teased some kind of a new, action hero-looking skin that bears some resemblance to James Bond or John Wick. This skin was modeled in a teaser image that shows what appears to be the new Hand Cannon. Check it out below:
This image suggests the new skin will come to Fortnite: Battle Royale through the game's soon-to-launch Season 3 Battle Pass. This will include a total of 76 items, including skins, emotes, and a lot more--here are some of the first details. The Battle Pass is expected to launch this week, so keep checking back for more.
A new patch for Fortnite launched recently on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Among other things, it adds the Impulse Grenade, that, after a short delay, sends all nearby players flying a long distance. It also introduces "thematic shrines" across the map that appear to have a Chinese architectural look to them, which is potentially a tie-in for the Lunar New Year.
My PlayStation is now accessible on PC, phones, and tablets through a web browser, and it essentially looks like a streamlined version of your PS4 profile. From it, you can access your friends list, message your friends, and accept requests. You can also edit your profile and view the Trophies you've earned. You can also check whether or not your friends are online and what they're playing.
There've been ways to access aspects of your profile from a computer or phone before, but My PlayStation is meant to streamline and consolidate it. To get to My PlayStation, go to this website and sign in with your profile.
Sony stated in a blog post that it would also continue to add features, although it didn't give any specifics. Who knows--maybe one day you'll be able to join a PS4 party from your phone while you're away from your console, or even change your PSN ID. After all, recent reports suggest that, in the near future, Sony may allow PSN ID changes at last.
There's a wide selection of VR headsets out on the market, which can make it difficult to parse which one is right for you with varied pricing and spec information. That's why we've compiled comprehensive lists below that break down resolution, refresh rate, and other specs across all the major VR headsets. We've separated our lists by four categories: major VR headsets, Windows Mixed Reality VR headsets, mobile VR headsets, and all-in-one mobile solutions that don't require external hardware.
Major VR Headsets
|HTC Vive||HTC Vive Pro||Oculus Rift||PSVR||Pimax 8K||LG VR Headset|
|Resolution||2160x1200 (1080x1200 resolution per eye)||2880x1600 (1440x1600 resolution per eye)||2160x1200 (1080x1200 resolution per eye)||1920x1080||Two 3840x2160||2880x1280|
|Display type||PenTile OLED||AMOLED||PenTile OLED||5.7" OLED||LCD||Convex, non-Fresnel OLED|
|Field of view||About 110 degrees||About 110 degrees||About 110 degrees||About 100 degrees||About 200 degrees||About 110 degrees|
|Tracking System||Vive Base Stations||Vive Base Stations||Constellation||PlayStation Camera||Inside-out or Vive Base Stations||Vive Base Stations|
|Room scale support||Yes||Yes||Requires a third sensor||No||Yes||Yes|
|Weight||470 grams (new model), 555 grams (old model)||TBA||470 grams||610 grams||Approximately one pound||TBD|
|Integrated Headphones||Only with optional Deluxe Audio Strap attachment||Yes||Yes||No||Yes||TBD|
|External camera||Yes||Yes (two)||No||No||No||TBD|
|Official controllers||Vive controller||Vive controller||Xbox One controller, Oculus remote, and Oculus Touch controllers||DualShock 4, PlayStation Move, Aim Controller||Vive controller, Pimax controller||TBD|
|Store compatibility||SteamVR, HTC Viveport||SteamVR, HTC Viveport||SteamVR, Oculus Store||PlayStation Store||SteamVR||SteamVR|
|Release date||April 5, 2016||TBA||March 28, 2016||October 13, 2016||Q2 2018||TBA|
|Launch Price||US$799/£769.99||TBA||$599.99||$399, €399, £349, A$549||$799||TBA|
Windows Mixed Reality Headsets
Windows Mixed Reality headsets are VR headsets specced out by Microsoft and manufactured by several PC OEMs. One major feature that distinguishes them is that they all feature external cameras that enable inside-out tracking of both the headset and controllers. This means you can get six degrees of positional movement without the use of external sensors.
|Samsung Odyssey||Lenovo Explorer||Dell Visor||HP Windows Mixed Reality||Acer Windows Mixed Reality|
|Resolution||2880 x 1600||2880x1440||2880x1440||2880x1440||2880x1440|
|Display type||Dual 3.5” AMOLED||2.89” diagonal display size (x2) LCD||2.89” diagonal display size (x2)||2.89” diagonal display size (x2)||2.89” diagonal display size (x2)|
|Field of view||About 110 degrees||About 105 degrees||About 105 degrees||About 105 degrees||About 105 degrees|
|Tracking System||Inside-out tracking||Inside-out tracking||Inside-out tracking||Inside-out tracking||Inside-out tracking|
|Room scale support||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|External camera||Yes (two)||Yes (two)||Yes (two)||Yes (two)||Yes (two)|
|Official controllers||Microsoft Motion controllers||Microsoft Motion controllers||Microsoft Motion controllers||Microsoft Motion controllers||Microsoft Motion controllers|
|Store compatibility||Steam, Microsoft Store||Steam, Microsoft Store||Steam, Microsoft Store||Steam, Microsoft Store||Steam, Microsoft Store|
|Release date||November 6, 2017||October 2017||October 2017||October 2017||October 2017|
Mobile VR headsets that require a smartphone
|Samsung Gear VR||Google Daydream View||ZEISS VR One Connect|
|Field of view||About 100 degrees||About 100 degrees||About 100 degrees|
|Tracking System||Accelerometer, Gyro Sensor, Proximity Sensor||Phone dependent||Phone dependent|
|Room scale support||No||No||No|
|Compatible Devices||Galaxy S8+, Galaxy S8, Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+||Galaxy Note8, Moto Z2 Force, Pixel, Pixel 2, Axon 7, Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Mate 9 Pro, Porsche Design Mate 9||Modern Android and iPhones between 4.7 and 5.5 inches|
|Controllers||Handheld controller||Bluetooth controller||Bluetooth wireless controllers|
|Store compatibility||Oculus Store, Gear VR||Google Play Store||SteamVR, Google Play, Apple Store|
|Release date||November 27, 2015||November 10, 2016||May 2018|
|Launch Price||$99.99||$79 (first gen)/$89 (second gen)||$150 (with controllers)|
|Current Price||$99.99||$79 (first gen)/$89 (second gen)||NA|
All-in-one VR headsets
All-in-one VR headsets are mobile VR headsets that don't require a smartphone. This means they feature built-in processors, RAM, and batteries.
|Oculus Go||Oculus Santa Cruz||Pico Neo||Lenovo Mirage Solo Daydream|
|Resolution||2560x1440||TBD||2880x1600 (1440x1600 resolution per eye)||2560x1440|
|Display type||LCD, "fast switch"||TBD||TBD||5.5-inch display|
|Field of view||About 110 degrees||TBD||TBD||About 110 degrees|
|Processor||Snapdragon 821||TBA mobile processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 with 4GB of RAM||Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 835 with 4GB of RAM|
|Built-in storage||32GB||TBD||SD card support up to 128GB||64GB + MicroSD card slot|
|Battery size||TBD||TBD||TBD||4,000 mAh|
|Tracking System||Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer||Seven sensors + Constellation||6DoF tracking||WorldSense’s inside-out positional tracking|
|Room scale support||No||Yes||TBD||TBD|
|Controllers||Wireless remote||Wireless tracked controllers||6DoF wireless hand controllers||Wireless Daydream controller|
|Store compatibility||Oculus Store, Gear VR||Oculus Store||TBD||TBD|
|Release date||Early 2018||TBD||TBD||Spring 2018|
With so many VR specs to parse, we've highlighted some interesting tidbits below:
Which VR head-mounted display (HMD) has the sharpest resolution screen? Currently, the Samsung Odyssey Windows Mixed Reality headset offers the highest resolution with a 2880x1600 panel. The forthcoming HTC Vive Pro will also use the same resolution, but the Pimax 8K headset, set to release later this year, will feature two 3840x2160p panels.
Which VR headset offers the widest field-of-view? Most of the VR headsets currently out on the market feature FOVs around 100 to 110 degrees. It's difficult to pinpoint an exact degree because your FOV will vary depending how close your eyes get to the lenses. Pimax's 8K headset is advertising a 200 degree FOV when it releases.
Which headset has the highest refresh rate? PlayStation VR's panel is capable of reaching 120Hz, whereas most other VR headsets refresh at 90Hz.
Why does a high refresh rate matter for VR? While most monitors use a 60Hz refresh rate, research thus far dictates that 90Hz or higher is desired for a smooth VR experience that mitigates judder and motion sickness.
What is the difference between an OLED and LCD screen? OLED screens feature individually lit pixels, which allow them to reach deeper black levels than LCD equivalents.
Which VR headset is the lightest? If you're counting mobile VR headsets, then Google's Daydream View is currently the lightest, weighing 261 grams without a phone. On the desktop side, Acer's Windows Mixed Reality headset is the lightest at 350 grams.
Which VR headset is the heaviest? HP's Mixed Reality headset is the heaviest at 834 grams.
Which VR headset is the cheapest? The first-generation Google Daydream headset is the cheapest at $79. If you're not including mobile VR HMDs then it's Sony's PSVR at $350.
Which VR headset is the most expensive? The HTC Vive is currently the most expensive VR headset at $599.
What is room scale VR? Unlike seated or standing experiences, room scale tracking allows you to walk around your tracked physical environment, which can bolster your VR experience.
What VR headsets are capable of room scale VR? The HTC Vive was the first VR system to support room scale right out of the box right. The Oculus Rift also supports room scale, but requires the purchase of a third optional sensor. Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality headsets support room scale. Forthcoming headsets that will support room scale include the HTC Vive Pro, Pimax, LG VR headset, and Oculus Santa Cruz.
Can the Oculus Rift play SteamVR games? Yes. Not all, but the majority of SteamVR games support the Oculus Rift.
Can the HTC Vive play games on the Oculus store? Kind of. It requires a third-party mod called Revive and the quality can vary from game to game.
What are the VR system requirements for the Oculus Rift?
NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Intel i5-4590 processor equivalent or greater
Compatible HDMI 1.3 video output
2 USB 3.0 ports
Windows 7 SP1 or newer
What are the VR system requirements for the HTC Vive?
NVIDIA GTX 970 / AMD 290 equivalent or greater
Intel i5-4590 or AMD FX 8350 processor equivalent or greater
One HDMI 1.4 or one DisplayPort 1.2
One USB 2.0
Windows 7 SP1 or newer
What are the VR system requirements for Windows Mixed Reality headsets?
Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620 (GT2) equivalent or greater DX12 API Capable GPU
Intel Mobile Core i5 (e.g. 7200U) Dual-Core with Hyperthreading equivalent
8GB+ Dual Channel required for integrated Graphics
HDMI 2.0 or DisplayPort 1.2 for 90Hz head-mounted displays
USB 3.0 Type-A or USB 3.1 Type-C Port with DisplayPort Alternate Mode
Bluetooth 4.0 for accessories
What are the requirements for PlayStation VR? A PS4, PS4 Slim, or PS4 Pro.
Will PlayStation VR games look or perform better with the PlayStation 4 Pro? In games that are optimized to take advantage of the PS4 Pro's extra processing power, users can experience a crisper image via supersampling, improved graphics, or sometimes both.
There's still several months before you'll actually be able to see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom in theaters. However, it's evidently never too early to start thinking about the movie that will follow it.
Universal Pictures has announced an official release date for Jurassic World 3. The studio tweeted an image promising the movie will hit theaters on June 11, 2021--over three years from now. The film will, presumably, once again star Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard. Then again, who knows? There could be no human survivors at the end of Jurassic World 2, with part three simply being a romantic comedy starring two dinosaurs.
Jurassic World 3 will be released June 11, 2021. pic.twitter.com/9RLUWl13tZ— Jurassic World (@JurassicWorld) February 21, 2018
It also remains to be seen who will direct the film. Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first Jurassic World film, will return as an executive producer and co-screenwriter, alongside Pacific Rim: Uprising writer Emily Carmichael.
Trevorrow has said all along that he envisions the Jurassic World films as a trilogy, so there's no surprise that a third movie will happen--especially given that the first film made over $1.6 billion at the box office. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, meanwhile, will arrive in theaters on June 22. Pratt and Howard reprise their roles from the first film and are joined by Jeff Goldblum, returning to play his original Jurassic Park character, Dr. Ian Malcolm.
Is self-destruction a biological impulse, or a psychological one? Does it depend on the person or the circumstances? How far would you go to find out whether that impulse lives in you?
To Inspire questions like that is one hallmark of great science fiction, and Alex Garland's Annihilation, a loose adaptation of Jeff VanderMeer's 2014 book of the same name, definitely has that going for it. But unlike Garland's directorial debut, the celebrated Ex Machina, Annihilation is a little rough around its shimmering edges.
The movie, like the book, follows a biologist (Natalie Portman) who embarks with several other scientists on an expedition into a mysterious zone (Area X in the book, The Shimmer in the movie). The zone is surrounded by a strange barrier that lets people enter, but rarely allows them to leave. Inside, communications are blocked, and elements of the natural world--plants, animals, and beyond--take unnatural shapes. The book implies these phenomena may be alien in origin; the movie states it outright in the opening minutes, when a meteor from outer space strikes the base of a modest coastal lighthouse and The Shimmer starts to spread. It's not unlike the spaceship scene that opens The Thing, and it's equally unnecessary.
That's just one of the many, many ways that Annihilation strays from its source material, particularly if you consider the other two books in The Southern Reach Trilogy, Authority and Acceptance, both also published in 2014. Garland has admitted he wrote the movie's script before books 2 and 3 were out, and he's yet to read them. Unsurprisingly, Annihilation as an adaptation has more in common with something like Blade Runner--Ridley Scott famously never even finished the Philip K. Dick Book, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?--than one more faithful to the original.
None of that is to say it's bad, but be warned: If you read the book, watching the movie will give you whiplash. And if you didn't, it might anyway.
Annihilation's structure often seems more like a dream than like a series of realistic, logical events. In the framing device of Natalie Portman's character Lena being interrogated by Benedict Wong, she might as well be recounting a nightmare she can only recall in bits and pieces. Inside The Shimmer, the scientists (also including Jennifer Jason Leigh's Dr. Ventress, Tessa Thompson's Josie Radek, Gina Rodriguez's Anya Thorensen, and Tuva Novotny's Cass Sheppard) lose multiple days with no memories, suffer attacks by strange hybrid creatures like an alligator with the mouth of a shark, and slowly but surely become infected themselves with whatever's behind it all.
Unfortunately, that dreamlike structure is more hindered than helped by a visual aesthetic that can best be described as hokey. The Shimmer's border looks like a giant soap bubble, rainbow refractions swirling and drifting in the light. Inside, the landscape is dominated by a distracting soft focus and high color saturation that was probably meant to make The Shimmer's lush world feel alien, but instead makes it look like a made-for-TV movie. The twanging acoustic guitar soundtrack feels totally out of place, lending a folksy vibe that undermines scenes that should sound alien.
The score does occasionally shift darker to match up with the movie's actual vibe, especially during more intense scenes of revelation or dread. There's some truly startling body horror mixed in, and although what's on the screen is often more explicitly shocking than what was on the page, it all fits with the book's original themes. The scientists are faced with greater horrors the further in they get, from fungus-infected corpses that would look at home in a The Last of Us movie to unnatural changes in their own bodies, and much of the movie's thematic meat comes from how they as individuals cope with their discoveries and trauma.
At the center remains the biologist, Lena, whose husband (Oscar Isaac's Kane) resurfaces at the movie's start after going missing on an expedition into The Shimmer 12 months earlier. She signs up for the next expedition to find out what happened to him, determine why he's dying now, and maybe even find a way to save him. The adaptation suffers most from these major changes to the biologist as a character. It's understandable that, in a movie where there's not much familiar for the audience to hold onto, they'd feel the need to make the protagonist more relatable. But in simplifying the biologist's motivations, the movie loses part of what makes the book so special.
Another major element the movie suffers for excluding is a subplot involving hypnotic suggestion. Based on a couple of key scenes, it's safe to guess it was in the movie at one point and got cut, and its omission leaves at least one loose end. Finally, the biggest differences are in the ending, which takes on a decidedly 2001: A Space Odyssey vibe. As a complete, self-contained story, though, the film works well, and it's easy to understand why the climax had to change.
Most importantly, Annihilation brings up all the right questions. Its gruesome, unsettling body horror becomes all the more disquieting because it's layered on top of a core of hard science, and the discussions among the five scientists--who all come from disparate disciplines--as they try to comprehend their experiences are some of the best parts. What is instinct, and what is learned? What is built into us, and what do we choose? What causes intelligent beings to knowingly self-destruct? If there's other intelligent life in the universe, would we even comprehend it? Would its senses, thoughts, wants, or needs be recognizable to us as such? And at a significant enough scale, what is the difference between change and destruction? How do you define "annihilation"?
If you're looking for a traditional story arc or familiar sci-fi beats from Annihilation, look elsewhere. Garland's second turn in the director's chair is a weird, Lovecraftian blend of cosmic and body horror with sci-fi themes and a hokey aesthetic that doesn't always work. It's also an incredibly detailed, thoughtful film that will warrant multiple viewings--and, hopefully, an expedition into the absolutely phenomenal source material--for those who find themselves sufficiently intrigued.
|The Good||The Bad|
|Translates the spirit of the book to something that works as a film||Simplification of biologist character makes her less unique|
|Filled with dread and body horror||Out of place folksy music|
|Small clues throughout movie leave details open to interpretation||Soft focus, high saturation, lens flare softcore porno effect|
|Self-contained story with satisfying ending|
Suffers from some plots cut or changed from book
On top of the Street Fighter gear you can craft in Monster Hunter World, Capcom is offering a set of Monster Hunter-inspired costumes for Street Fighter V. Three outfits based on some of the series' most iconic monsters are coming to Capcom's fighting game soon, although getting your hands on them will require a bit of effort and a lot of Fight Money.
Unlike previous DLC outfits in Street Fighter V, players can only acquire the Monster Hunter crossover costumes by completing a specific set of challenges in Extra Battle Mode. These challenges will be held each week over the span of a month, and only by completing all four will you earn that costume. You'll also need to spend 2,500 Fight Money each time you attempt one of these challenges, so each outfit will run you at least 10,000 FM, assuming you can clear every challenge on your first try.
The first weekly challenge kicks off next week, on February 27, and will be for one piece of Ibuki's Kirin Armor. The following week, players will have a chance to earn the first part of the Zinogre Armor set for R. Mika, while Ken's Rathalos armor will be up for grabs starting March 15. Each challenge will only be available for a limited time, so you'll need to play Extra Battle Mode regularly if you hope to obtain all three costumes. You can take a look at the outfits in the gallery above.
The full schedule for each of the Monster Hunter costumes can be found below and on Capcom's official blog. Capcom says you can also earn extra rewards for taking on any challenge that you've already cleared, although the publisher didn't reveal what these rewards will entail, and you'll still need to pay 2,500 Fight Money each time you attempt to get them.
The first Street Fighter Event Quest in Monster Hunter World is available now, but only for PS4 players who have save data for Street Fighter V on their consoles. Completing the quest will reward you with materials to create a Ryu costume for your hunter. A second Street Fighter Event Quest will follow later and give players a chance to craft a set of Sakura gear. Both of the quests will eventually open to all PS4 and Xbox One players. We've put together a guide detailing how to unlock the Ryu armor set.
Ibuki's Kirin Armor
R. Mika's Zinogre Armor
Ken's Rathalos Armor
With video card prices still in a state of flux due to cryptocurrency mining, those looking for a new gaming PC may want to look into pre-built systems or beefy laptops. One option is the Dell Inspiron 15 7000 series laptop currently on sale through Costco. For $800 USD, you get a fairly compact machine that packs plenty of punch to run modern PC games smoothly.
This model of the Inspiron 15 comes equipped with the 6GB version of Nvidia's GTX 1060 graphics card. It's powerful enough to play nearly any game at the laptop's native 1080p screen resolution with high framerates, depending on the graphics settings used and how demanding the particular game is. To support the GTX 1060, the laptop sports an Intel Core i5-7300HQ, which is a quad-core CPU running a base clock speed of 2.5GHz that can boost to 3.5GHz.
Other specs include 8GB of DDR4 2400MHz RAM (which can be upgraded to 16GB on your own), a 256GB solid-state drive, and a 15.6-inch IPS display. When it comes to ports, you'll get three USB 3.0 ports, one USB-C port, a combination audio jack, an HDMI out, and a card reader. Windows 10 (64-bit) Home Edition also comes pre-loaded onto the laptop. You get a full-sized backlit keyboard, a built-in 720p webcam, and stereo speakers.
If portability is a concern, note that the laptop's dimensions are 15.32" x 10.82" x 0.93" and weighs 5.76 pounds. A 4-cell 56WHr battery powers the machine.
If you want to get an idea of how the video card performs, check out our GTX 1060 (6GB) review. For more on why video cards are so expensive right now, take a look at our breakdown of pricing in relation to cryptocurrency mining. Pre-built systems seem to be the way to go for now; be sure to read through our round up of the better options for buying a gaming PC.
Some links to supporting retailers are automatically made into affiliate links, and GameSpot may receive a small share of those sales.
January's lineup of PS Plus games may no longer be available, but Plus members now have a new batch of freebies to download. February's selection of free PS Plus games have arrived, giving subscribers a chance to snag another handful of PS4, PS3, and Vita titles at no cost.
PS4 owners have two new games to download this month: the PS4 launch title Knack and the Ico-esque adventure game Rime. Additionally, one of last month's freebies, the PSVR shooter Starblood Arena, is also still available at no cost for PS Plus subscribers until March 6.
PS3 owners likewise have two games to choose from this month: the 2D platformer Spelunker HD and the turn-based RPG Mugen Souls Z. Those with a Vita, meanwhile, will be able to download the side-scrolling adventure game Exile's End and the tactical RPG Grand Kingdom for no cost. The latter is also playable on PS4 thanks to Cross-Buy, giving PS4 owners three potential freebies to download this month.
The full lineup of February's free PS Plus games is listed below. You can claim this month's freebies from the PlayStation Store here. Other current PS Plus bonuses include one for Fortnite and another for Gems of War. Additionally, if you claimed Mercenary Kings through an older Plus promotion, you can now get the newly updated version for free. In other PlayStation news, Sony has detailed the next "major" PS4 firmware update, 5.50, which is available in beta testing now.
At over two hours, there's plenty to love about Black Panther, the latest entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Unfortunately, not everything scripted and shot wound up in the version of the movie fans are seeing in theaters. The following contains Black Panther spoilers.
While there are plenty of deleted scenes that may one day end up on the digital and Blu-ray releases of Black Panther, there's one in particular that director Ryan Coogler fought hard to keep in his final cut. During an appearance on the Empire podcast, executive producer Nate Moore opened up about the scene, which sheds some light on the relationship between Okoye (Danai Gurira) and W'Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya).
"So in the film, it is more than hinted at that they're a couple, but there is a scene directly after Killmonger takes the throne where you hear both characters articulate their point of view as to why they should or shouldn't follow this man, and it's one of the most well-acted scenes I've ever been a part of," he says. "Unfortunately, it occurred at a point in the movie where audiences just wanted to get to the resolution and so it slowed down a part of the movie, and we were afraid audiences were checking out. We were also afraid if we took it out we’re going to ruin this movie--'Guys we're going to ruin this movie; let's not take it out.' We didn’t take it out for three or four screenings, and we finally took it out and I think Ryan and I were probably the last men on that beach saying don't take it out."
While keeping the pacing of the movie even is important, the relationship between Okoye and W'Kabi was only briefly touched upon in Black Panther before their final showdown. In the end, though, it seems as though the movie played better without this scene.
Still, given how excited Moore is about the performances of Gurira and Kaluuya, this is a scene that definitely needs to see the light of day. Cross your fingers and hope that by the time Black Panther gets a home release, this moment will be included. If fans are lucky, it'll be one of many deleted scenes included, given that a four-hour cut of the movie existed at one point.
As part of an investigation into Russia's interference with the United States' 2016 election, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted a number of Russian citizens and companies. The indictment itself is an incredible read, but why do so yourself when one of Metal Gear Solid's most memorable voices can do it for you?
Voice actor Paul Eiding has provided a voice to numerous characters in games, TV shows, and movies. Among his most famous roles is that of Colonel Roy Campbell, a recurring character from throughout the Metal Gear Solid series. He's often shared much of the political intrigue in those games, which have dealt at times with information warfare. That makes it particularly surreal to hear that very same voice reciting lines from the aforementioned indictment.
As seen in the YouTube video below, which Eiding shared on Twitter, he--as Campbell--recites about a minute of the indictment. This is all addressed to Snake, and Campbell starts out his first statement by stating the character's name. Aside from that, he's reading it all verbatim, and it's striking to see just how natural this fits what you'd expect to hear from Campbell, perhaps save for the references to YouTube and Facebook.
Eiding's last Metal Gear Solid appearance came in 2008's Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots; he wasn't present in The Phantom Pain or Ground Zeroes. As far as we know, he's also not present in the newly released Metal Gear Survive, which is set in an alternate dimension just after the events of Ground Zeroes. You can get a look at that game in the video above.
Epic Games has previewed some of what to expect from Fortnite's upcoming 3.0.0 update. Specifically, it's shared the improvements to building that it's making for Battle Royale and Save the World, including some new options that should create a more pleasant experience all around.
This starts with what Epic calls Turbo Building. Rather than having to build each piece independently, you can now toggle an option that lets you hold the primary fire button or key to continuously erect the building piece you have selected. "Now you can 'paint' building pieces into the world quickly," Epic explained on its website. "This will be very useful for defensively building walls around you and sprinting up ramps while building them simultaneously."
That streamlining also extends to building materials. Currently, you have to manually switch between each of the three material types (wood, stone, and metal) to use it, even when you don't have enough of the currently selected type to build an item. The Auto Change Materials option can be enabled to, as it says, automatically move you to another material when you attempt to build but don't have the necessary materials to do so. The combination of these two options should, in theory, make the fundamentals of building much easier for newcomers.
Yet another refinement involves being unable to build through objects. Epic admits it can be frustrating currently, as certain things (like shrubs) will be destroyed, while other things prevent you from building. Update 3.0.0 lets you "place structures right through large objects, meaning you can now build pretty much anywhere at anytime." This doesn't remove the need for structures to be supported by something, and Epic notes, for instance, "A sky ramp that passes through a tree will still fall if the connection to the terrain or floor is destroyed."
The final update to building is a minor change to how the game's networking works. Put simply, Epic's servers no longer need to be consulted as you cycle through the different building pieces, which Epic says should result in a smoother, more predictable process. Update 3.0.0 will only add this to Battle Royale, but Epic says it will come to Save the World at some point in the future.
Fortnite's set for a big update soon, as Battle Royale's third season will kick off. That will bring with it the new Battle Pass, which will be sold for V-Bucks and offers more reward tiers than the previous ones. In the meantime, check out our guide to building in Fortnite: Battle Royale.
This month is looking like an ideal time for PlayStation 4 owners in the market for a PlayStation VR headset to finally pick one up. Sony is bringing back some steep discounts on the standalone headset and various bundles, bringing their respective prices as low as they've ever gone.
These new promotions began in the United States on February 18 and see the cheapest option sell for $200, rather than the usual $300. The PlayStation Blog suggests this may just be the standalone headset (which doesn't come with the required PS4 camera). However, the official PlayStation website shows that it may also include the Gran Turismo Sport bundle, which gets you the game and camera, but that will require you actually finding a store that has it in stock.
Next cheapest is Doom VFR's bundle, which will go for $300 (down from $400). This packs in a physical copy of Doom VFR in addition to the headset, camera, and the 2.0 demo disc. Alternatively, Skyrim's bundle drops to $350 (from $450) and gets you Skyrim VR, the headset, camera, 2.0 demo disc, and two PlayStation Move controllers. As with a number of other games, Skyrim VR can be played either with the Move controllers or a standard DualShock 4.
These offers will be available until March 3 at participating retailers; according to Sony, these include Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and GameStop. If you're unsure about buying one, check out our comparison of the different VR headsets. You could also wait and hope Sony does another promotion where it sends PSVR demo units to people's homes.
One thing to be aware of is that Sony introduced a small revamp of PSVR last year, allowing HDR passthrough with the breakout box and making other refinements. For more help in deciding which unit is right for you, check out our Doom VFR review and thoughts on Skyrim VR.
Dead Space, the acclaimed 2008 sci-fi horror game from the now-defunct developer Visceral Games, is now completely free on PC. It is the newest "On the House" game from publisher Electronic Arts, and you can grab it right here from Origin.
As with the previous On the House titles, once you download Dead Space it is yours to keep forever. The only catch is that EA doesn't say when On the House titles cycle out, so if you're interested, you may want to grab the game right now instead of putting it off until later.
Dead Space was already in the Origin Access free game library on PC, so if you subscribe to that service you have been able to play the game at no cost for a while now. The game was also released on Xbox 360, and it is playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility. The Xbox 360 edition is in the Xbox One EA Access library.
Dead Space was in fact the very first EA On the House freebie, kicking off the freebie campaign back in 2014. It appears to be the first title to have two runs in the On the House hopper.
In Dead Space, you play as a space engineer named Isaac Clarke who must fight all manner of ghastly creatures on a spaceship. Sequels Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 were released in 2011 and 2013, respectively. Glen Schofield and Michael Condrey, who now lead Call of Duty studio Sledgehammer Games, worked on Dead Space before starting their own studio.
Dead Space 3 failed to meet EA's sales expectations. However, despite that, the publisher said in 2013 that the brand remains one that is "close to Electronic Arts' heart." However, with creator Visceral Games now shuttered, it remains to be seen if the franchise has a future at EA.
Since the launch of Fortnite's free-to-play, PUBG-esque Battle Royale mode last year, it's become tremendously popular. If you're among the people playing the PS4 version, you can grab some free cosmetic items right now, provided you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber.
A new PS Plus bonus quietly surfaced on the PlayStation Store today. Dubbed the PlayStation Plus Celebration Pack, it consists of two exclusive items: a glider and an outfit, both of which are pictured below. These are not available for purchase and can only be claimed if you're a PS Plus member. You can grab the pack here.
The pack becomes available ahead of the next Fortnite update. It will only be available for a limited time, but you've got much more time to claim it than the typical PS Plus freebie--the offer expires on February 1, 2019. We've reached out to Epic to find out the exact details of this promotion and whether PC or Xbox One players will also have access to these items.
February's standard lineup of free PS Plus games are still available and include PS4 launch game Knack. Meanwhile, if you were subscribed in the past to PS Plus, a new freebie recently became available thanks to the launch of Mercenary Kings' new Reloaded Edition. Additionally, another smaller perk is out now for Gems of War. And finally, the ongoing PSVR game giveaway continues, with the latest being Starblood Arena.
A bunch of new titles arrived on Switch this past week, including Platinum's critically acclaimed action game Bayonetta 2. If you're still looking for something new to play on the console, however, a batch of deals are also still available on the Eshop, and they include discounts on some good games. [Update: Time is running out to take advantage of the latest Eshop deals. While some of these have already expired, there are a number of deals still remaining until February 22, giving you a few more hours to pick up some Switch games at a discount.]
Just as in the PlayStation and Xbox Stores, 2K's latest basketball game, NBA 2K18, was on sale in the Eshop, though those deals expired on February 20 and are no longer available. However, you still have a chance to get both Resident Evil Revelations titles at a discounted price. Each game can be downloaded for $14 until February 21.
In addition to those titles, Switch owners can find a number of other ongoing deals that are still available this week and beyond, although some of these have likewise already expired. Axiom Verge is $14, Battle Chef Brigade is $18, Retro City Rampage DX is $10, Robonauts is $12, Semispheres is $7, Inversus Deluxe is $12.74, The Jackbox Party Pack 4 is $20, Lichtspeer is $7, Forma.8 is $6, Superbeat: Xonic is $30, Tales of the Tiny Planet is $12, Wheels of Aurelia is $6, and Puzzle Box Maker is $12. You can find the full list of all ongoing sales in the Eshop this month and when they expire below.
Last week was an especially busy one for Switch, with 18 games arriving to the Eshop over the past several days. Along with the aforementioned Bayonetta 2, the original Bayonetta is also now available digitally for the hybrid console. A download code for the first game is included in physical copies of Bayonetta 2, but those who purchase either Bayonetta in the Eshop will get an automatic discount on the other one.
Other notable games out for Switch this week include Fe, Owlboy, and The Longest Five Minutes, as well as the second DLC pack for Fire Emblem Warriors. You can find the full list of this week's Switch releases here.
Expiring February 17
Expiring February 19
Expiring February 20
Expiring February 21
Expiring February 22
Expiring February 26
Expiring February 28
Netflix has quietly added one of its most intriguing titles in recent memory. The live-action adaptation of the Fullmetal Alchemist anime is now available to stream after premiering late last year in Japan.
The project is the first time Fullmetal Alchemist has been translated into a live-action adventure, which should be enough to pique the interest of longtime fans. The results, though, may not live up to the hype. With reviews of the film arriving thanks to its arrival on Netflix, the general consensus is that Fullmetal Alchemist is a very scattered effort.
It seems as though it's a largely confusing endeavor, with ill-fitting wigs, pieces of the original story dumped out, and a plot that isn't explained very well. It's those things that might make it hard for viewers with no Fullmetal Alchemist history to understand the story unfolding in front of them. However, as some critics point out, there are moments that will stand out for longtime fans.
Take a look at a sampling of reviews below and then decide for yourself if it's worth two-and-a-half hours of your precious Netflix time.
"The movie's issues start immediately, as it brushes over the Elrics' origin story in a weird hurry to get it over with. The scene of the ritual gone wrong cuts off halfway through, followed by a jarring jump several years into the future. Audience members unfamiliar with the source material are likely to simply scratch their heads at the ensuing action scenes, in which a young man in an ill-fitting blonde wig chases down a magic priest with the help of an empty suit of armor." -- Michael Rougeau [Full review]
Den of Geek
"While there are a lot of great moments in this movie, it's a lengthy endeavor (nearly two and a half hours) and it's easy to lose track of what's going on thanks to a complicated, confusing plot and a cast that doesn't always hit the mark." -- Daniel Kurland [Full review]
Monkeys Fighting Robots
"Without spoiling anything imagine Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone but the final battle in Deathly Hallows is at the end. It felt like Arakawa (who is also the creator of the property) wrote the script and midway through was told there is a low-percentage chance of a sequel happening." -- Nick Battaglia [Full review]
"The narrative often suffers from a lack of coherence and sequential breakdown. Perhaps in an effort to contain the sprawl, Sori chose to work with a small cast of a chosen few, but fans will be disappointed to find key characters are missing, including the brothers' nemesis Scar and their boss, King Bradley." -- Kaori Shoji [Full review]
"[The] film's greatest weakness is failing to adequately transmit the huge guilt Ed feels for having brought about his younger brother's fate. This fundamental emotional element doesn't receive proper attention until the story's in full stride and then fails to resonate under the weight of uninspired dialogue and unconvincing delivery by Yamada." -- Richard Kuipers [Full review]
Diablo creator David Brevik recently revealed his upcoming solo project, It Lurks Below, with a brief trailer. The game blends elements of Terraria and Minecraft, including an emphasis on crafting the tools you need to survive, with the randomly generated dungeons and looting of Diablo. Brevik recently stopped by the GameSpot office to show off the game and let us play the closed beta.
You start by creating a character and choosing one of several RPG classes--rogue, bard, and so on--before you're dropped in a very Terraria-esque 2D loop of a world. Right away, your main priorities are finding food, crafting a wand (which functions as a magical gun), and making some sort of shelter to protect yourself from nighttime monsters. If you're not taking damage, you might be critically tired or hungry, and dealing with all three at once is a hectic balancing act at first.
Once you've got your bearings on the crafting and basic survival front, it's time to start heading...below. We died pretty much instantly thanks to a combination of overconfidence, a lack of equipment, and a little bit of panic, so we mined some iron and crafted some armor and tried again. We successfully defeated a boss before our time was up, and it dropped an impressive area-of-effect item that would make future excursions a lot less daunting.
We've only scratched the surface (literally), so it remains to be seen what's in store on the more Diablo-like end of It Lurks Below's gameplay loop. But the tried-and-true combination of managing resources, crafting, and basic survival was engaging and relatively easy to pick up. The next step is digging deeper, and if there are some Diablo-style twists waiting below, the game could really set itself apart from the likes of Terraria and Minecraft.
It Lurks Below currently doesn't have a set release date, but it's supposed to come to Steam later this year. Brevik is developing the game solo as part of his studio Graybeard Games.
If you were watching TV in 2004, chances are you or someone else you knew was completely and utterly obsessed with Lost. ABC's drama series took the world by storm, creating a passionate fanbase that took to the internet to discuss each episode and theorize about what it all means.
In 2018 that might not sound like anything special, but it's important to note that this was the very first show to capture the hearts and minds of TV audiences living in the internet age. It wasn't easy to congregate on places like Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube because, well, they didn't exist in any meaningful way.
But part of being a Lost fan was engaging with others, and it was undoubtedly a show that gave its audience plenty of material to work with. Lost was filled with characters to love--and hate--mysteries to consider, and wild twists that shocked us. Regardless of whether you love it or hate it, the fact that it was a cultural phenomenon is undeniable.
And now, it's available to stream in its entirety on Hulu. To celebrate its arrival on the streaming service we decided to put together a video looking back at what made Lost so unique. If you'd like to read instead of watch, you can check out our gallery on the 8 Ways Lost Changed TV.
Battlefield 1 has received another new update, with some players also receiving access to Apocalypse, the game's fourth DLC expansion, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The latter introduces a variety of new content, including new maps, weapons, and gadgets.
Early access to Apocalypse is available to everyone who owns the game's Premium Pass, as well as those who have bought Battlefield 1 Revolution (which consists of the base game and access to all of the DLC expansions). The DLC will be available for purchase individually after two weeks, beginning on March 6. Even if you only own the base game, you'll still need to download the new update in order to play online. Patch notes for the update have not yet been released, but we'll report back once we have them.
As for Apocalypse itself, it introduces five new maps. Three of these (River Somme, Caporetto, and Passchendaele) are standard multiplayer maps, whereas the other two (London Calling and Razor's Edge) are designed specifically for Air Assault, a new aircraft-only game mode. This centers around dogfights but can culminate in a battle between giant Airships.
There are also a variety of new tools as your disposal: six weapons, including the RSC SMG; melee weapons, such as the meat cleaver; gadgets, like the AA Rocket Gun for the Assault class; two bombers, the Hansa Brandenburg GI and the Airco DH10; and a stationary weapon that fires poison gas. Additionally, Apocalypse adds new assignments and cosmetics to unlock, including dog tags, codex entries, ribbons, medals, and so on.
The trailer above briefly showcases much of what's new in Battlefield 1. This is the last confirmed expansion for the game, though developer DICE has shown no signs of stopping its support for it altogether. Meanwhile, a new Battlefield game has been confirmed for release before the end of 2018, though EA has yet to officially announce any details about it.
Rainbow Six Siege fans who are eager to try out the game's upcoming limited time co-op mode, Outbreak, can now do so, provided they own the game on PC. Following the launch of the new Chimera Operators on the technical test server, another update has arrived that introduces Outbreak.
Ahead of the big update's launch in early March, which kicks off Year 3 of Siege, all of its major content is now available to try out on the TTS. That includes both of the new Operators (Lion and Finka) and the Outbreak mode, which is quite unlike anything else in Siege. It's a three-player mode in which you fight off waves of zombies using select Operators. You can get a glimpse of all this in the video above.
A wave of other changes are also coming to the game, as outlined in the Chimera patch notes. Several Operators are being changed, including a nerf to Ela and some tweaks to Kapkan. Blitz has also been changed to have less armor but be quicker. However, a bug on the TTS is currently causing him to move much too quickly with his shield deployed. Ubisoft is aware of the problem and is in the process of releasing a fix.
As outlined by Ubisoft in Siege's TTS Reddit page, there are a number of known issues to be aware of if you're planning to dive in. The bomb defuser can't be disarmed if a shield falls on it, and players can fire straight immediately after canceling a gadget deploy, even before the gun is in their hands. On the Outbreak side, you might not be properly teleported on Resort after vaulting during the countdown, and you'll sometimes be mistakenly presented with the Outbreak loadout in the Operator's screen.
Although it isn't confirming specifics just yet, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds developer PUBG Corp. has talked a little about what's to come in the months ahead for the popular battle royale game. Among other things, a new map is in the works that should be out before July.
As part of its latest development updated shared on Steam, PUBG Corp. explained that it had to delay "development of some of the major features and systems" in order to deal with the game's serious cheating issue. PUBG Corp. also said that because of "other reasons," it wasn't able to share PUBG's roadmap for 2018 as specific timing was changed. It now plans to share details on what's headed to game on PC from now through June as part of an announcement in March--including specifics regarding the next map.
"We do have a lot of exciting things that we want to share with you, including new content to provide more extensive battle royale experiences as well as improvements and modifications to create a deeper and more realistic gameplay," it said. "In March, the team will reveal what you can expect from us in the first half of 2018 in terms of our development and new content plans which, by the way, include a new map. "
While not as thrilling as a new map, it also shared some details about a change coming to limit high-ping players from wrecking a session. The previously announced plans to impose a maximum ping limit were delayed by the studio's anti-cheat efforts, but now it has a new solution that it believes will provide "even better results."
"Unlike the method considered earlier, we are going to divide the matching pool depending on ping," it explained. "This means that the users with lower pings will be prioritized during matchmaking. The team is expecting to improve the overall play experience by splitting the matching pool rather than restricting connection depending on ping. Preparations are underway to test this method in some regions, with first trials planned to start this week. Specific dates will be shared when ready."
In the meantime, a new update is arriving on PC test servers ahead of a full launch. Among other things, it seeks to improve performance early in matches by not allowing players to view inside the plane. To compensate for this, a new UI element has been added while riding in the plane that lets you know how many people are still inside.
While Marvel is not in business of making movie flops, the huge commercial success of Black Panther has surpassed many expectations. The movie made $202 million in its opening weekend, setting a new record for a film released in February, and has now made more than DC's Justice League did in its entire run. Director Ryan Coogler has now released an emotional letter thanking fans of their support of the film.
Coogler explains that he never expected audiences to turn out in the volume they have, and stated that the overwhelming response "moved me and my wife to tears." Check out his tweet below:
Cooger writes: "I am struggling to find the words to express my gratitude at this moment but I will try. Filmmaking is a team sport. And our team was made up of amazing people from all over the world who believed in this story. Deep down we all hoped that people would come see a film about a fictional country on the continent of Africa, made up of people of African descent.
"Never in a million years did we imagine that you all would come out this strong. It still humbles me to think that people care enough to spend their money and time watching our film--but to see people of all backgrounds wearing clothing that celebrates their heritage, taking pictures next to our posters with their friends and family, and sometimes dancing in the lobbies of theaters--moved me and my wife to tears.
"For all the people who bought out theaters, who posted on social about how lit the film would be, bragged about our awesome cast, picked out outfits to wear, and who stood in line in theaters all over the world--all before even seeing the film. To the press who wrote about the film for the folks who hadn't seen it, and encouraged audiences to come out.
"And to the young ones who came out with their parents, with their mentors, and with their friends... thank you for giving our team of filmmakers the greatest gift: The opportunity to share this film, that we poured our hearts and souls into, with you."
In related news, Captain American star Chris Evans this week seemed to confirm that the rumored Black Widow movie is in development at Marvel. Evans was asked about the success of Black Panther, and said, "There's nothing they can't do, man," he said. "I'm sure it's going to have the exact same effect when Captain Marvel comes out, and then the Black Widow movie comes out. Marvel just has the winning recipe."
For more Black Panther coverage on GameSpot, check out why the movie succeeds by overcoming Marvel's Iron Man problem.