Fortnite Season 5 is officially underway, and there's plenty of new content for players to sink their teeth into. We've already extensively covered the changes and additions, but we also wanted to collect all the new tips and tricks you'll have at your disposal. Unless you've dug into the patch notes, there are some notable changes across all platforms that you might not realize; here are some of the biggest.
First and foremost, you'll want to know about the changes made to shotguns--especially considering how significant they've been to player strategy in the battle royale. Shotguns will now indicate how many pellets actually hit, with visible markers appearing within the reticle. You won't be able to cycle between two shotguns like you could before though, as there is now a short period of time after firing a shotgun where another shotgun can't be fired. Measure your shots carefully, or just find another way to kill someone.
For anyone who's struggled to get a revive in a past 50v50 or Teams of 20 game, worry no longer. Fortnite is implementing XP bonuses for reviving teammates in both limited-time modes. You'll only get three bonuses a match though, with an extra 30XP the first time and 10XP for the follow-up second and third time. Hopefully, this influences more players to offer a helping hand instead of leaving their teammates to die.
The Storm is also getting an update. Circles seven, eight, and nine will still shrink but they'll also be able to shift in random directions. You'll need to be ready to hoof it at a moments notice.
Between matches, hitting the "Play Again" button now allows players to preview pickaxe visual and sound effects in the Item Shop, Battle Pass, and Locker.
You'll also have access to the same sound visualizer that were created for mobile on all platforms. Flipping it on puts a small visual indicator on your screen that alerts you to nearby gunfire, footsteps, or chests. However, audible sound effects are muted while the visualizer is on. The new option can be found in the Accessibility tab. Don't worry about it if you play on a mobile platform, you'll be unaffected by this change.
While in the new vehicle, the All-Terrain Kart, players will:
On mobile, there's a new option that lets your gun fire automatically.
Click on the links below to view the rest of our Fortnite Season 5 coverage.
Season 5 of Fortnite: Battle Royale has kicked off on PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch, and iOS. As before, the new season brings with it an assortment of new challenges to complete, as well as a variety of Battle Pass rewards to unlock. This time, however, Epic has made a few notable changes to the way certain Battle Pass challenges operate. Here's everything you need to know about the new Season 5 challenges and details on all of the ones available so far.
Once again, players who purchase the Season 5 Battle Pass will get a set of objectives to complete every week, which in turn will go toward leveling the Battle Pass up and unlocking new rewards. Unlike past seasons, however, weekly challenges are now divided into two categories, Free (which are available to all Fortnite players) and Battle Pass (which are reserved for those who've purchased the Pass). That means that even if you haven't bought the Battle Pass, you'll still be able to complete certain objectives and earn rewards.
If you do decide to pick up the Battle Pass partway through the season, you'll be also able to retroactively unlock any premium rewards you've earned based on the tier that you've already reached. However, one of the advantages of purchasing the Battle Pass early is bonus XP, which is awarded for playing in general and for playing in a party with friends. Since leveling up with XP translates into Battle Stars, you'll want to grab the Battle Pass as soon as you can and take advantage of these bonuses.
Drift challenges, on the other hand, task you with gaining a certain amount of XP. There are five Drift challenges to complete in total in Season 5, each of which reward you with a new style option for the Drift skin. If you manage to complete four out of the five Drift challenges, you'll also unlock the Rift Edge, an alternative for the pickaxe.
You'll find a complete list of all Season 5 challenges available so far below, along with links to our maps and guides that will help you complete them all. You can see all of the new skins, cosmetics, emotes, sprays, and other items to unlock this season in our gallery of Fortnite Season 5 Battle Pass rewards.
Reward: Mystery Legendary item (likely a skin)
Reward: Rift Edge (Epic harvesting tool)
Reward: 5K XP (after completing four challenges, only for Battle Pass owners)
Fortnite Season 5 has kicked off with a distinctly historical theme. As we may have guessed from the Scandinavian axe teaser, Viking paraphernalia plays a big part in this season, including its biggest XP chase. The Legendary "Ragnarok" skin is the level 100 Battle Pass reward, but it also lets you customize your look as you upgrade it--provided you can unlock it in the first place.
Reaching level 100 is no easy feat in and of itself; Epic estimates it takes 75-150 hours to unlock everything the Battle Pass has to offer. Once you're there, you can accumulate XP to unlock six different styles, each adding another few pieces of armor or kit or facial hair as you progress. You begin as a tough-looking but otherwise standard warrior, and by the end you can dress up as a pretty terrifying specter.
You can check out the full range of looks above and let your envy at those final skins act as your encouragement to grind out the proper amount of XP. This season also introduces a host of other changes, including an All-Terrain Kart for transporting your crew, a bunch of new changes and additions to the map, motion controls on Switch, autofire on mobile, and more. A separate Drift skin also is also available through the Battle Pass with its own variety of looks from XP milestones. Be sure to check out our full roundup of the changes along with our challenge guide to grind out that Ragnarok XP.
Epic Games has kicked off Season 5 of Fortnite, coinciding with the release of the big 5.0 update. This doesn't include a new map--we still have just the one--but the island has changed pretty significantly across PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and iOS. Here's what to look forward to next time you boot up the game.
A number of the map tweaks are significant enough that they warrant prominent mentions in the 5.0 patch notes. Having diversified the map previously with new biomes, another of these--desert--has been introduced for Season 5. And it's done so in a big way, as the southeastern corner of the map has been replaced. Moisty Mire, which was never a terribly interesting region to begin with, is gone.
In its place, we have a large desert, the centerpiece of which is a new named location, Paradise Palms. This looks like a fairly unnatural town in the middle of a desert, like a neighborhood on the outskirts of Las Vegas. Just to the north, the race track remains in place, though it's now been paved. The desert makes for a much different-looking map as you make your way across in the Battle Bus, and it also dramatically changes the skyline for a good portion of the island.
Epic's patch notes make note of a "few unnamed POIs [that] have also appeared across the island," referring to points of interest. That may not sound like much, but some of these are quite exciting. There are simple moai statues to be found, for instance, but to the west, between Snobby Shores and Greasy Grove, a hilltop is now home to what looks like a viking village, complete with a docked ship that's close to plunging off the side.
Dusty Divot, the most significant map tweak from Season 4, has also been changed up. Although its name remains the same, it's no longer the same crater it once was, as trees and wildlife have overtaken the area. You'll even find some pools of water.
Another Season 4 addition was Hop Rocks, consumable items you could find scattered around the map (particularly near Dusty Divot, where the comet landed) that allow you to temporarily jump much higher than usual. Season 5's take on this seems to be Rifts. Tying in with the tears we saw toward the end of last season, you can now move into one of these to be instantly teleported high up in the air. It's amusing, but it also offers a potential tactical use as it lets you quickly reposition.
Knowing how Fortnite has operated in the past, there are sure to be secrets that players will uncover in the days and weeks ahead. It's possible that even more areas could be brought into the map--the cracks in the sky seen at the end of last season are still there. For now, players can look forward to a fresh zone to battle to the death on--and if Epic is short on ideas for what it could do next, we have some ideas for new maps.
Fortnite's Season 5 officially launched today, bringing with it new challenges (and rewards), a whole new area of the map with the World Collide event, Rifts to send players skywards, and Karts to transport your whole team. Along with all the new additions are a few tweaks and changes on the game's mobile version, including the addition of autofire.
Autofire, which enables the player's weapon to automatically fire when the aim is over an enemy in range, can now be enabled. This new option should make the touchscreen controls easier to manage, as you previously had to swipe to aim and tap to fire with the same thumb. Players can activate autofire after launching by going to Options, then Custom HUD Layout, then Select Fire Mode. There are now three options: Tap-to-Fire, Dedicated Fire Button, and Autofire.
There are also a few bug fixes for those playing on iPhone and iPad. The Thermal Scoped AR will now have proper visual effects on all devices, vehicle passengers can now detonate Remore Explosives, and Health and Shield numbers will no longer be displayed as your own while speculating. Epic Games also says entering Build Mode while holding the fire button on mobile will no longer affect your ability to build in the future.
There are many other tweaks to the overall game, many of which affect the mobile version, and to see full details you can read Epic Games' Fortnite patch notes. Of course, a new season means a new Battle Pass with tons of cosmetics, ranging from Outfits and Back Bling to Gliders and Contrails. To see what's new, check out GameSpot's gallery of Season 5 rewards, and read our full Fortnite coverage in the stories below.
Fortnite Season 5 has begun, introducing a ton of new map changes as well as outfits and other doodads to collect. If you're playing on the Nintendo Switch, though, you have one more surprise waiting for you. That version added gyroscopic motion controls, according to today's patch notes.
That should make aiming easier for those who swear by gyro controls, as popularized by games like Splatoon. You can adjust this option in the settings menu. This is one of many changes introduced in the Season 5 rollover. Others include an All-Terrain Kart that can carry an entire squad, new locations like Lazy Links and Paradise Palms, and a desert biome. You'll also find Viking ships, desert outposts, and ancient statues littered around the island.
All that makes sense, as the game has been heavily hinting at a time travel theme for weeks. Epic encouraged users to hop in their Karts and go exploring, and we'd bet that some secrets lurk around the map already that will lay the groundwork for the next season.
Before you jump into Fortnite Season 5, check out all the skins, back bling, and other new cosmetics you can earn this time around. And if you need some help earning your way toward those goals, take a gander at our Season 5 Week 1 Challenges guide.
Season 5 of Fortnite: Battle Royale is officially underway, which means players now have a new set of challenges to complete and Battle Pass rewards to unlock. Epic has kicked off the first week of Season 5 with seven new tasks of varying difficulty. We've already detailed where to find the Risky Reels treasure map, and now we've put together a guide to help you complete the other challenge that might give you some trouble this week: searching seven floating Lightning Bolts.
Like other challenges that task you with tracking down certain items, the Lightning Bolts can be found in various parts of the island. They are easy to spot once you're in their general area, and you collect them simply by holding the use button, as you would to open a chest. The difference, however, is that the Lightning Bolts are hovering in the air, and you can't pick up them while skydiving or jumping; instead, you need to build a structure and climb up it in order to reach them, so it is imperative that you have enough materials to get them.
The Lightning Bolts are always located in the same areas, and there are more than seven scattered around the island, so it should be easy enough to complete the challenge once you know where to find them. You can also collect the seven you need across several matches, although any Lightning Bolts that you've picked up will no be available on the map. Here are seven areas where we've found Lightning Bolts:
Once you've collected all seven and completed the challenge, you will earn five Battle Stars, which will go toward ranking up your Season 5 Battle Pass. Unlike previous seasons, all of the weekly challenges this time are divided up into two different categories: Free (available to all players) and Battle Pass (available only to those who have purchased the pass). You can find the full list of Week 1 challenges below.
Along with the new challenges, Battle Pass owners have a ton of new rewards to unlock in Fortnite, including new skins, cosmetics, emotes, contrails, harvesting tools, and more. You can see everything in our gallery of all the new Fortnite Season 5 Battle Pass rewards.
With a new season in Fortnite: Battle Royale comes a new Battle Pass. Season 5 is officially live, and with it, we have the Season 5 Battle Pass. For those already familiar with past versions, the basics of how it works have not changed dramatically--you'll play, complete challenges, rank up, and earn rewards--hopefully including the sought-after level 100 skin, Ragnarok. There are a variety of new skins available along with other cosmetic rewards, and we've also gotten a new category of item called "toys" that you can obtain and then play with during a match.
There are, however, some key differences with the Battle Pass to be aware of. One of changes is great news for those who don't want to pay for any V-Bucks to spend on the Battle Pass but still want new things to do each week. Here's everything you need to know about the Season 5 Battle Pass, including its price, changes to challenges, and the skins you can unlock.
The Season 5 Battle Pass operates much as it did in the past. As you play, you level up your profile, which rewards you with Battle Stars. These Battle Stars in turn rank up your Battle Pass, thus unlocking a variety of rewards. These rewards are divided into two tiers: A small number obtainable by all players, and those that are reserved for Battle Pass owners. You don't have to purchase the Battle Pass right away in order to avoid missing out; you can buy it mid-season and retroactively earn the premium rewards based on the tier that you've already reached.
However, there is is a benefit to grabbing the Battle Pass sooner rather than later. Among the premium rewards you'll receive are XP bonuses, both for playing in general and those for playing in a party with friends. Because leveling up with XP translates into Battle Stars (thus ranking up your Battle Pass), it's in your interest to grab the Battle Pass early and benefit from those bonuses. Purchasing the Battle Pass also gets you access to all challenges throughout the season (more on those in a moment), which are an easy way to earn Battle Stars and rank up further.
As in the past, the Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, a premium currency obtained with real-world money. Buying the smallest available bundle (1,000 V-Bucks) costs $10, leaving you with 50 V-Bucks to begin saving toward purchasing a skin, cosmetic, or a future Battle Pass. There is no option to buy the Battle Pass directly with real-world money, as had been the plan at one point. That said, it is arguably an excellent value due to the way the Battle Pass rewards you with further V-Bucks (something we dive into further below).
Weekly challenges have been a big highlight of past Battle Passes. By purchasing one, you'd receive a set of seven new objectives to complete each week, which in turn allowed you to rank up your Battle Pass more quickly and earn rewards. Those without the Battle Pass could still earn a very select number of rewards, but they only had access to a single set of seven Starter challenges for the duration of the season.
For Season 5, there are no Starter challenges. Instead, each set of weekly challenges has been broken up into free and premium sections. These objectives offer up either five or 10 Battle Stars, with the latter being reserved for Hard-difficulty ones. Each week will have one Hard challenge for free players, while the other two are reserved for Battle Pass owners. Notably, the 5k XP bonus available each week is reserved for Battle Pass owners; you have to complete four challenges in a given week to unlock this, meaning it's only possible with access to the week's full suite of challenges.
As noted above, the Battle Pass costs 950 V-Bucks, but that arguably pays for itself if you play routinely. Among the premium rewards available in the Battle Pass are V-Bucks--every six to 10 tiers, you'll earn 100 free V-Bucks. (There are also two 100 V-Buck rewards in the free reward tier, at ranks 18 and 34.) By reaching rank 58, you'll have earned 1,000 V-Bucks, which is more than you'll have spent on the Battle Pass in the first place.
There's an additional 500 V-Bucks still to be earned after that, though doing so will require a fair amount of playtime. Epic estimates earning every reward in the Battle Pass takes from 75-150 hours, but if you play regularly and complete a lot of challenges, it shouldn't be hard to earn back most or all of what you invest in the Battle Pass.
One of Season 4's wrinkles to the Battle Pass was the introduction of Blockbuster and Carbide challenges. These are back for Season 5, but with new names: Road Trip and Drift, respectively. Both of these require you to purchase the Season 5 Battle Pass to complete.
Road Trip challenges task you with completing all seven challenges from any single week. The reward is a loading screen which--if Season 4 is any indication--will lead you to a secret Battle Star that ranks up your Battle Pass by one tier. There are seven Road Trip challenges in total, and by completing all of these (meaning you fully complete seven weeks of challenges), you'll earn a bonus reward that looks to be a Legendary skin. We won't be sure of what it is until at least the seventh week of challenges are live.
Drift challenges are similar to Carbide, in that you're basically just asked to play a lot. This time around, however, rather than being asked to reach a certain level, you're tasked with gaining a certain amount of XP--from 10,000 up to 200,000. Each of the five challenges offers a new style option for the Drift skin, an outfit which you'll receive for free as soon as you buy the Battle Pass. If you complete four of the five Drift challenges (meaning you've earned 100,000 XP total), you'll also receive the Rift Edge harvesting tool, an alternative for the pickaxe.
You'll immediately get a handful of rewards for purchasing the Battle Pass, including the aforementioned Legendary Drift skin, as well as as the Epic Huntress skin. You also get access to all challenges and an immediate XP bonus, as well as five free Battle Pass tiers for Season 6's Battle Pass.
By ranking up the Battle Pass, you'll earn a variety of skins, V-Bucks, sprays, emoticons, gliders, harvesting tools, back blings, loading screens, emotes, contrails, and XP bonuses. There's also a new type of item, toys, that allow you to play around with others during a match. These include a golf ball and a basketball. You can see every single reward available in our rundown, or check out all of the skins and cosmetics here.
A major Fortnite update--v5.0--has been released, which means players that jump into game now will find a fresh crop of content to enjoy. This is all part of Fortnite Season 5, which introduces the All Terrain Kart, the Lazy Links and Paradise Palms locations, a new desert biome, skins, a Battle Pass, and more. It also adds in Rifts, which provide new adventures for players to take on.
Fortnite's servers went down on July 12 at 4 AM ET / 1 AM PT / 8 AM GMT so that Epic Games could conduct the necessary maintenance to roll out the update. The downtime lasted around an hour and 30 minutes, but the update is now playable, and there's plenty to check out. You can see the full Fortnite Season 5 patch notes here to read about what's different in the Battle Royale and Save The World modes.
In the lead-up to this launch, Epic dropped hints at one of the update's biggest features. Rifts that appeared after a missile launch were transporting objects in and out of the game world, which meant objects from our world popped up out of thin air inside Fortnite, and some Fortnite objects showed up in the real world. The update now gives players the opportunity to interact with Rifts, which is completely new to Season 5.
Of course, with the arrival of a new season, there's also going to be more challenges, skins, and a Battle Pass. GameSpot will be bringing you updates on all this as we're able to get our hands on them, so keep an eye out for that information.
Season 5 of Fortnite has finally arrived, with developer Epic Games updating the game to introduce new content and tweaks. The patch is currently being pushed out on all platforms across the world, and Epic has released the full Fortnite Season 5 patch notes for what's included. For the battle royale mode, the highlights include the All Terrain Kart, a new vehicle that can carry an entire squad.
In addition to that, the map has also been updated with new locations such as Lazy Links and Paradise Palms, and a new desert biome. There's also been some adjustments to the way the Storm circles work, as well as how the game performs as a whole.
"Viking ships, desert outposts, and ancient statues have appeared across the island," reads the official description. "Hop in an All Terrain Kart (ATK) with your squad and uncover all-new mysteries and locations that await."
In the Battle Royale mode, rifts have also appeared. "Test your courage and step through a Rift," reads the description. "You're in for a wild ride." Take a look at the full Fortnite: Battle Royale Season 5 patch notes below, along with our full coverage of the new season.
For those interested in seeing what's changed in Save The World, here's the patch notes for that mode:
The Battle Pass for Season 5 of Fortnite is now available and it's got a whole load of new rewareds for players to work towards unlocking. For those unfamiliar with it, the Battle Pass is available to purchase in-game for 950 V-Bucks and can be leveled up by playing the game. As you level up the pass, new items are unlocked, and there are around 100 rewards which, according to developer Epic Games, "typically takes between 75 to 150 hours of play" to unlock. We've got a complete rundown on how the Battle Pass works.
When you purchase a Battle Pass, you'll immediately get access to the Drift and Huntress skins, as well as some XP bonuses. Beyond that there are emotes, gliders, loading screens, sprays, skins, back bling, contrails, and more to unlock. There are also weekly challenges, which you can learn more about in our Fortnite Season 5, Week 1 Challenges guide. A new feature included in the Battle Pass is Toys, which are described as "new ways for you and your squad to have fun on the island. Try out your jumpshot on the court, see if you can make a hole in one, or just enjoy some beach ball bouncing in the sand before the storm arrives." You'll earn these Toys by reaching certain Battle Pass tiers.
If you're looking for a complete breakdown of everything that the update adds and changes, check out the Fortnite Season 5 patch notes. Highlights include a brand-new vehicle called the All-Terrain Kart, a couple of new map areas, as well as the desert biome. There's also a new feature called Rifts; by walking into one, you'll be teleported high up into the air.
Take a look at everything in the new Fortnite Season 5 Battle Pass below. You'll have until Season 5 ends in September to unlock everything; certain rewards are obtainable for all players for free, but the majority of it--including the most desirable things, such as free V-Bucks and the Ragnarok skin--will require you to purchase the Battle Pass. Fortunately, if you play enough, you'll more than make back the V-Bucks you spend on it.
Fortnite Season 5 has begun and with it comes the first batch of challenges for players to undertake. This time around however, things are going to work a little differently. Challenges are split into two sections for Season 5: Free and Battle Pass. The former is made up of three challenges, while those who purchase the Battle Pass will have access to seven in total--including one that asks you to follow the treasure map found in Risky Reels. Here's where to find that, and complete everything else.
The treasure map hunt is easily the trickiest of the bunch. Luckily for you, we've done it and can help guide you through it. As with last season's instances of this challenge, you can explore Risky Reels to locate the treasure map, or you can simply head to where the treasure is--if you know where to go. In order to find the treasure, head to the tunnel south of Tomato Town, then climb on top of the northern entrance to find the Battle Pass icon. Take a look at the images below to see how it's done.
For the most part, Week 1 of challenges for the new season shouldn't be too tricky. In the free section it's all about dealing damage and taking out opponents using weapons including the SMG, the Stink Bomb, and grenade. On top of that, you'll have to search a Supply Llama--all fairly straightforward stuff, provided you've got the skills to pay the bills.
Outside of the treasure map, the Battle Pass section gets a little trickier, as you'll have to do some exploration. In order to complete those challenges you'll need to head to Snobby Shores and seek out seven chests, which you should be able to spot pretty easily provided you spend enough time there. On top of that you're going to have to search seven floating Lightning Bolts and take down three opponents in Retail Row. The Lightning Bolts can be collected like a Battle Star, but you'll need to build your way up to them to get your hands on them.
Fortnite's Season 5 update is packed with new content and changes to the game. To get a good grasp of everything that's going on with it, take a look at the full Fortnite Season 5 patch notes.
Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy manages to hold off competition from three new releases to retain the No. 1 spot on the UK chart for the week ending July 14. The three new titles making their debut in the week at Lego The Incredibles, which arrives at No. 2, followed by Nintendo Switch RPG Octopath Traveler at No. 3 and Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker, another Switch title, at No. 4.
In its 13th week on the chart, Sony's God of War moves up one spot to No. 5, ahead of FIFA 18 at No. 6 and Jurassic World: Evolution, which moves down from last week's No. 2 to this week's No. 7. Mario Tennis Aces is at No. 8, followed by Ubisoft's Far Cry 5 at No. 9.
Rounding off the top 10 is Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. You can read the full top 10 sales chart below, courtesy of UKIE and Chart-Track. Note this table does not include digital sales data, and so should not be considered representative of all UK game sales.
France dismantled Croatia today to win the World Cup in Russia. French striker Antoine Griezmann put his side ahead 2-1 after knocking in a penalty kick. He celebrated the big goal by performing the brutal and humiliating Fortnite "Take the L" dance.
This is where the player makes an "L" shape with their hand on their face and then kicks their feet to each side in a brutal dance of humiliation and rudeness. You can see Griezmann perform the dance in the video below from FOX Soccer. He has it down pretty well, which is no surprise when you recall that he also did the dance after scoring a goal against Argentina earlier in the tournament.
This is not the first time we've seen professional athletes do Fortnite celebrations, but this is different. In all of sport, there is no bigger stage than the World Cup Final, so what a strange timeline we are in that a free-to-play battle royale game is showing up there.
Calm, cool and collected from Griezmann! 😎— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) July 15, 2018
The Frenchman slots home the penalty to put France back up 2-1. pic.twitter.com/13AAg5GI34
France ended up winning 4-2, and you can see more coverage of the event at GameSpot sister site CBS Sports. With the NFL season kicking off next month, we can only imagine there will be Fortnite touchdown celebrations all the time, so look out for that.
Fortnite's Season 5 began last week--and it's a big deal. The update changed the map significantly--among other things, it added a new area--while the storm circle now operates differently. There is also a new Battle Pass you can buy with cosmetic items and other nice benefits. Check out GameSpot's Season 5 coverage here to learn more about what's new.
Rainbow Six Siege is making some changes to help weed out hate speech in the popular multiplayer shooter. A new banning system implemented recently in the game will instantly ban players who spout hate speech, according to PC Gamer.
Players who use hate speech will be banned from all components of Siege for a period of around 30 minutes on their first offence; the second and third instance will carry two-hour bans. According to Siege's official Code of Conduct, players who have three strikes against them could be banned permanently, pending the result of an investigation by Ubisoft.
"Fighting against toxicity and cleaning up the Siege environment is a very real and important issue," Ubisoft said in a post on Twitter.
Any ban system will have its issues and imperfections, and Ubisoft said it plans to continue to make changes to its policy over time.
"No system is perfect, but it is working as intended in a majority of the cases we've been seeing," the studio wrote on Twitter. "This is not our final update for dealing with toxicity--we will continue to observe and make changes and expansions as needed."
In April, the Rainbow Six Siege development team outlined its stance on toxicity, saying that its overall goal is three-pronged: "to track negative player behavior, manage those that behave poorly, and eventually implement features that will encourage players to improve their behavior."
The auto-ban system now in the game appears to be the automated system that replaces words that Ubisoft has identified as offensive. You can read more about this policy and Ubisoft's other anti-toxicity efforts in the full blog post.
Rainbow Six Siege is not the only high-profile game taking steps to make its in-game community more wholesome. Blizzard's Overwatch is also determined to create systems that automatically detect bad behaviour.
Following its debut at Sundance, Bo Burnham's movie, Eighth Grade, opened this past weekend in the United States--and it was a huge hit. According to Variety, the movie made $255,000 over the three-day period. That doesn't sound like a lot, but it only played in four theatres.
That works out to a per-theatre average of $63,071, which is the highest theatre average since Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs ($58,148). Eighth Grade played this weekend in New York City and Los Angeles; it's coming to other parts of the country in the upcoming weeks.
The coming-of-age movie stars Elsie Fisher as a young woman who is going through her last week of eighth grade. The story explores what it's like to be a kid today in school when social media is as ubiqutious as it is. It was written and directed by Burnham, who is perhaps best known for his comedy specials.
"Eighth Grade is an absolute delight that stings with truth. It's heartbreaking, heartwarming, and a total charmer," Entertainment Weekly writer Chris Nashawaty said in his review.
Although Extreme Rules isn't a PPV that people get very hyped about, as it's not on par with WWE's bigger events like Wrestlemania or Summerslam, something huge happened during the show. Hulk Hogan returned to a WWE ring for the first time in over three years, since his last appearance at Wrestlemania 31; however, he was never on camera.
Earlier on Sunday, Hogan was spotted in Cleveland, which is about a two hour drive away from Pittsburgh, where Extreme Rules was taking place. This got a lot of people talking about whether or not Hogan would appear on the show. Later in the day, WWE stated that the superstar has been reinstated into the Hall of Fame. Knowing all this, it was a surprise to many fans when Hogan didn't have a moment on the July PPV.
On the Kickoff Show, it was mentioned that Hogan was backstage during the event. That, along with a tweet from Hogan--seen below--gave fans a lot of hope that the Hall of Famer would show up. But when would he come in? Would it be during the early moments of the show, during Reigns vs. Lashley, or maybe even during AJ Styles vs. Rusev? Regardless, fans got excited over nothing, as Hogan never came out, which is a bit problematic since WWE's coverage of its relationship with Hogan prior to the PPV overshadowed Extreme Rules as an event. I guess we'll all just wait until Summerslam to play the "will he, won't he" game one more time.
Just met with the @WWE Superstars and on all levels the volume of love and support was overwhelming. I’ve been praying for this day and I finally feel like I made it back home. Only Love 4 the #WWEUNIVERSE brother HH— Hulk Hogan (@HulkHogan) July 15, 2018
Hogan was shunned from WWE back in 2015, when a sex tape of the wrestler was released, and in it, he went on a racist tirade. WWE terminated its contract with Hogan, and he was removed for the company's website and the Hall of Fame. Over the past year, the two have been repairing their relationship, and back in March, rumors circulated that Hogan would appear on the 25th anniversary of Raw. When he didn't, more rumors began that Hogan would be coming back after he appeared in HBO's Andre The Giant documentary. Many speculated he would return at Wrestlemania 34. Again, Hogan wasn't there.
He began working for WWE--then WWF--in late 1979 after Vincent J. McMahon picked him up from Georgia Championship Wrestling. When McMahon's son, Vince bought WWF in 1982, he decided to make Hogan the centerpiece of the show because of his look and charisma. Hogan is the main reason WWF blew up during the '80s and early-'90s. He wasn't just the most famous wrestler in the world, he was one of the most famous people in pop culture. Hogan left WWF for WCW in 1994 and formed the NWO with Scott Hall and Kevin Nash, which fueled what would eventually be known as the Monday Night Wars between WCW and WWF. While Hogan hasn't wrestled with WWE since Summerslam in 2006, he's appeared numerous times to host events and give a leg drop here and there to other wrestlers.
For more Extreme Rules, check out our live coverage of the event.
One of the Nintendo Switch's most popular games, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, will continue to get more updates, Nintendo has announced. Shinya Takahashi, Nintendo's head of software development, confirmed this in a Twitter video. Unfortunately, he didn't have much to say about specifics.
"There will be further updates for Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, so please look forward to it," he said.
Fans would surely love to see more characters and courses, but it remains to be seen what the new updates will include. We'll report back with more details when they're announced.
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe has sold 9.22 million copies as of March 31, which makes it the second-most commercially successful game for the console, only behind Super Mario Odyssey (10.41 million copies sold).
Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is a new version of the Wii U game Mario Kart 8. Released in April 2017, the Deluxe edition features all the previously released DLC, along with better graphics and performance, and also other various tweaks and improvements. Just recently, Nintendo announced how you can use Nintendo Labo to play Mario Kart 8 Deluxe.
The next Mario Kart game is Mario Kart: Tour for mobile devices. It will mark the franchise's debut on mobile platforms, and given the size and appeal of the franchise, it could be Nintendo's next big success story. The game is due to launch by March 2019.
WWE's PPV, Extreme Rules, aired on the WWE Network today. It was be an evening featuring a few non-traditional wrestling bouts. This included Iron Man, Steel Cage, Tables, and Extreme Rules matches sprinkled throughout the evening. Full results for the Kickoff Show and the Main Card are below.
This year's show will take place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. The main card starts at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT with a Kickoff Show starting one hour prior. There will be one match on the Kickoff this go around, and it's The New Day vs. Sanity in a Tables Match, which should be a ton of fun. You can get a one-month trial subscription of the WWE Network for free. If you don't like the service, you can cancel after watching Extreme Rules.
Surprisingly, there is only one Extreme Rules match during the evening, and that bout will be for the Raw Women's Championship between Nia Jax and Alexa Bliss. However, one of the most entertaining matches of the evening should be Braun Strowman vs. Kevin Owens in a steel cage. Strowman has made Owens' life rough the past month, and recently, Owens got trapped in a porta potty, which Strowman flipped over. Will Owens try to get revenge or try to escape the cage as quickly as possible? If you're interested in more thoughts on Extreme Rules, check out predictions for the event and find out just how wrong we were.
In case you're not caught up, don't worry; we put the final results in spoiler blocks.
Almas wins by pin at 7:00.
Young puts Kingston through a table at 7:34.
Dallas pins Hardy at 7:57.
Balor gets the rollup pin at 8:18.
Carmella pins Asuka at 5:23.
Nakamura pins Hardy in 4 seconds. Four seconds.
Owens get chokeslammed off the cage and wins at 8:10.
Harper pins Bryan at 8:14.
Lashley pins Reigns at 14:54.
Bliss wins by pin at 7:20.
Styles pins Rusev at 15:32.
Ziggler retains his title after a 4-4 draw at the end of the time limit.
Kurt Angle comes out. He says the fans don't want to see a tie, so he announces sudden death. Next fall wins.
McIntyre distracts Rollins, and Ziggler gets the pin.
The Metal Gear movie has passed a significant milestone. Director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kong: Skull Island) said in a recent interview that the script for the film has now been sent in, which is a major development, though the film is still a long time away from happening.
Vogt-Roberts told IGN that the Metal Gear movie's script is going to blow your mind in a way that many things associated with Hideo Kojima do. "We just turned in the script, and I think it's one of the best scripts I've ever read," he said. "It's one of the coolest, weirdest, most Kojima things. If I wasn't involved in it, I would still look at that script and [say], 'Holy shit.'"
Jurassic World and Star Wars: Episode IX writer Derek Connolly was announced (via Variety) as the writer for the Metal Gear movie in November 2017. He and Vogt-Roberts have a history together, as Connolly co-wrote Kong: Skull Island, which Vogt-Roberts directed.
In August last year, Vogt-Roberts told GameSpot that the writing team behind the Metal Gear movie were re-working the script to make it more in line with what fans might expect.
"I was able to say [to producers at Sony], 'Let's really think about whether we're making the truest, most balls-to-the-wall Metal Gear version of this--the most Kojima version of this," he said. "And even if that means we make it for a little bit less money, let's make the version of this that's true to what it is, fully committed to what Kojima's voice is.'"
While the script for the film has now been turned it, that doesn't mean the movie will happen soon, if it is made at all. In the IGN interview, Vogt-Roberts said whether or not the movie ever gets made is still not a sure thing.
Video game movies have a history of being mediocre or worse. Vogt-Roberts is saying all the right things and is a big fan of the Metal Gear franchise, and he's working with Kojima. So all the pieces appear to be in place, but the movie still has a long road ahead.
The Metal Gear video game franchise celebrates its 31st anniversary this year. To celebrate, Vogt-Roberts is releasing concept art for the film on Twitter--see some of it here. You can also watch Vogt-Roberts talk to God of War director Cory Barlog in the video above.
A closed alpha for Battlefield V was held last month, giving a small group of people an opportunity to try an "early" version of the map Arctic Fjord. Developer DICE has now published an in-depth blog post in which it discussed the data and feedback it gathered from the alpha.
One of the main purposes of the alpha was to test Battlefield V's technical components, including its "many backend systems, player scoring rate, and many other things." Another area of focus was on the gameplay, and specifically, getting into matches. During the alpha, DICE ran into issues related to "matchmaking configuration" that resulted in error messages or players getting put into "less suitable server locations" that led to higher latency.
During the alpha, joining matches via the server browser was easier for some, DICE reported. And while the server browser is a perfectly fine way to find a match, the developer said it's also important that regular matchmaking work reliably as well. Effective matchmaking is a multi-step, layered process that involves things like server location, skill, and more.
"There are many factors to juggle when it comes to matchmaking: finding players with equal latency and skill level, and more--and these factors all need to co-exist," DICE said. "Getting the best possible matchmaking is a challenge of balance; we want to match you into the best possible server and experience, which may take a few moments of waiting, but at the same time not have you waiting too long to deploy."
DICE also reported that there were problems related to keeping Squads together during matches. You can be sure that these issues will be fixed by launch, as DICE said "keeping you and your squad buddies together is a big priority for us."
On top of working on improvements to stability and matchmaking, DICE is putting time into things like "improving the queue system, minimizing toxicity with a potential non-cross-faction chat room, and squashing strange bugs."
Here are some gameplay issues being addressed after the closed alpha:
Looking ahead, DICE said it will have a new preview of Battlefield V to show at Gamescom in August, while everyone will get a chance to try Battlefield V during the open beta in September. You should really read the full blog post--it's stacked with lots of interesting insights.
Battlefield V launches on October 19, but EA/Origin Access subscribers can start playing on October 11 (which is one day before Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 launches). Deluxe Edition owners can start playing on October 16, before the Standard Edition unlocks on October 19.
You can earn Battlefield V items by playing Battlefield 1 as part of DICE's "Road to Battlefield V" campaign. Here's everything you need to know about that.
The first teaser for the upcoming return of Doctor Who has arrived. The long-running British sci-fi show is back in the Fall, and the new teaser gives us another look at the brand new Doctor, played by Jodie Whittaker.
The teaser doesn't actually reveal any footage from the upcoming season, but instead introduces some of the new characters. All are featured in everyday situations--there's Ryan (Tosin Cole) eating in a café, Yasmin (Mandip Gill) enjoying pizza at home, and Graham (Bradley Walsh) waiting in a chip shop. One by one they are visited by some some strange glowing light which immediately makes their situation more interesting, before Whittaker makes her appearance. Check it out below:
Doctor Who Season 11 doesn't yet have a confirmed premiere date, but it's very likely we'll find out this weekend at San Diego Comic-Con, where the show is set to feature. The show started way back in 1963 and Whittaker is playing the 13th incarnation of the Doctor. She is the first woman to take on the role of the Time Lord. She was seen briefly at the end of the Christmas special last year, when the previous Doctor, Peter Capaldi, regenerated as her.
The show also has a new showrunner, with Broadchurch's Chris Chibnall taking over from Steven Moffat. In an interview last year with the Radio Times, Chibnall suggested the show might take a different approach from previous seasons.
"What the BBC was after was risk and boldness," he said: "I had ideas about what I wanted to do with it. When I went to them and said, 'This is what I would do,' I actually expected them to say, 'Ooh, let's talk about that.' But they said: 'Great!' I finally said yes because I love the show to my bones. I resisted it for a very long time, and [the BBC] really had to woo me."
Warcraft and Moon director Duncan Jones spent much of last week teasing Twitter followers about his next film project, which he stated would be "a comic book movie." Naturally there was much speculation from fans about what this might be, and now we have the answer. It seems that Jones's next film won't be a superhero movie, but will instead be an adaptation of the classic 2000 AD character Rogue Trooper.
Jones tweeted a short video of himself sitting at a laptop, filmed from behind. As the camera moves in, we hear his voiceover. First of all he weighs up the choice between making a big studio movie and a smaller independent flick, before speculating that he might like to tackle a comic book adaptation. He mentions Marvel, DC, and Image, and then suggests might he go "back to my homeland" for 2000 AD, the long-running British sci-fi comic. Jones mentions a few classic 2000 AD characters, such as Judge Dredd and Strontium Dog, before taking off his hat to reveal Rogue Trooper's distinctive blue mohawk. Check it out below:
No further details about the Rogue Trooper movie have been revealed as yet, but the final line on the Twitter teaser suggests that more information will follow very soon--possibly at San Diego Comic-Con, which takes place next weekend. If the movie happens it will be Jones's fifth film; most recently he directed the sci-fi thriller Mute for Netflix.
Rogue Trooper was created by writer Gerry Finley-Day and artist Dave Gibbons, and he first appeared issue 228 of 2000 AD, in 1981. The character is a genetically created super-soldier, who carries the downloaded personalities of his three dead comrades with him in the form of talking biochips. The comic book storyline followed their quest to find the evil Traitor General, who killed his comrades. Rogue Trooper has been one of 2000 AD's most popular characters, and he still appears in the comic today.
Last year it was announced that a new TV show based on the Judge Dredd stories was in development. The show has a working title of Judge Dredd: Mega City One, and Karl Urban, who played Dredd in the 2012 movie, has expressed an interest in reprising the role. However, there has been no further news since last year.
If you're a wrestling/sports entertainment fan--specifically WWE--then you're ready to go for tonight's PPV Extreme Rules, which will air on the WWE Network. This show tends to have some over-the-top stipulations to each bout, which can drastically change the odds of each match. Some of these include extreme rules, table, and steel cages matches--all of which are included on the match card tonight.
Extreme Rules is coming to the WWE Network today at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT with a Kickoff Show starting one hour prior. The PPV will take place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA. There are eleven matches in total on the card, with one taking place on the Kickoff. If you want to know the betting odds for the evening, you're in the right place.
Before we get to the actual betting odds, here's a little explanation of how money lines work. In the case of Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax, Jax's line is +220 and Bliss' is -300--she's favored to win. These money lines are from 5 Dimes, if you bet $100 on Jax, you'll win $220 for her money line and your $100 back for a total of $320. For Bliss, you need to bet $300 in order to win $100, for a total of $400 if Bliss wins her match. If a person has a positive money line, you have the chance to win a lot more money; however, that's because they are not favored to win.
The lock of the evening, according to 5 Dimes, is AJ Styles for the WWE Championship. His money line is -460. And on the flip side, the bet that has the chance to make the most money is Styles' opponent, Rusev, whose money line is +320. The closest match of the evening is the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match. Team Hell No's money line is -105, and their opponent, The Bludgeon Brothers, is slightly favored at -135. Basically, that match could go either way according to the experts. Check out the full odds for the evening below.
If you're interested in more Extreme Rules, check out the full match card, our predictions, and rumors for the upcoming event. Make sure to come back to GameSpot on Sunday, July 15 for live coverage of the event and a few surprises after the event as well.
Whether you've been part of the festivities in Chicago or celebrating in your own hometown, today is the last day you'll be able to capture Lugia in raid battles during Pokemon Go Fest. But the fun will continue on July 21, which is Zapdos day.
Lugia made an exclusive return for this weekend's festivities, and each region of the world will have to complete Professor Willow's challenges for special rewards rolling out tomorrow, starting with candy bonuses for catching Pokemon and participating in raid battles. There might also be a reward that will make the walking distance for eggs shorter.
If every challenge is completed, Zapdos day will be even brighter. On July 21, every player that spins a photo disc at a gym will get five free raid passes to participate in the three-hour long raid battle window for Zapdos. There will be chances to catch a shiny Zapdos and all of them will know the fast attack thundershock.
In other Pokemon Go news, Pikachu's got a special summer style and August's community day has been detailed. Target also has an adorable (or creepy) line of Pokemon Funko Pop figures that are super effective at taking your money.
Get ready to break out your Steve Blackman signed escrima sticks, your used kendo sticks, and unbreakable tables, as WWE's most insane PPV of the year, Extreme Rules, comes to the WWE Network today. During this event, many matches have rules that are... well... extreme. From table matches to steal cages to matches with weapons are allowed to be used, Extreme Rules tends to be one brutal event, but not like ECW in its heyday extreme. That's a bit too much. However, if the rumors around the main event are true, this PPV will be ending with a regular one-on-one match, with Bobby Lashley fighting Roman Reigns.
Extreme Rules will take place at the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and those going to the event or watching from the comfort of their homes will be in store for a night of hard hits and unconventional items being used as weapons. For those not attending the live event, Extreme Rules begins at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT with a Kickoff Show starting one hour prior. Normally, one match takes place during the Kickoff, but as of this writing, there are actually two.
For the first time in a while, there's actually a few fun tag team matches happening at a major WWE event. Daniel Bryan and Kane reunited recently on Smackdown, and now, they have a chance to win the Smackdown Tag Championships from The Bludgeon Brothers. Additionally, it's brother (Bray Wyatt) against brother (Bo Dallas) as the champions The Deleters of Worlds take on The B Team (The "B" stands for "Best") for the Raw Tag Championships. There are seven championships on the line that evening, and the only major title that won't be defended is the Universal Championship--because Brock Lesnar never defends it. At the time of this writing, there are twelve matches on the card. More than likely, this is in the finalized card.
Strangely enough, as of this writing, there is only one Extreme Rules match for the PPV, and that's for the Raw Women's Championship. As of this writing, a Tables Match has been added, but there are no more Extreme Rules matches.
Make sure to come back to GameSpot later today for live coverage of WWE's Extreme Rules. For now, check out our predictions for the event.
If you're looking for rumors which may actually end up spoiling Extreme Rules, then you've come to the right place. Wrestling fans love to talk and speculate about what's coming up for the next big event, since WWE loves to throw in some surprises here and there. WWE's Extreme Rules PPV is right around the corner, coming to the WWE Network on Sunday, July 15. The over-the-top event will consist of 12 matches all under the roof of the PPG Paints Arena in Pittsburgh, PA.
All but one of the main WWE championships will be on the line, as Brock Lesnar and the Universal Championship will not be in attendance. However, there are plenty of matches to get excited about at Extreme Rules, when it kicks off at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT. And between now and the actual event, we'll keep you up-to-date on all the latest rumors surrounding the stars of WWE and what insiders are saying about the PPV.
It should be noted that everything below are simply rumors. There is no confirmation that these moments will happen; however, they are taken from credible insiders with a pretty good track record. If you don't want Extreme Rules potentially spoiled for you, stop reading. It's all fun and games until someone pokes an eye out… with a steel chair.
Extreme Rules has a plethora of great matches, but none of them really have that "main event" status. At best, Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler could fit that spot. However, according to wrestling insider and journalist Dave Meltzer (via Bleacher Report), the main event will probably be Roman Reigns vs. Bobby Lashley, a match I assumed was going to be smackdab in the middle of the card.
At UFC 226 on Saturday, July 7, Brock Lesnar stepped into the octagon amidst a challenge from newly crowned heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier in what can only be described as the most WWE segment ever in UFC. According to Cageside Seats, there's talk the two will fight this November at Madison Square Garden. However, UFC chief Dana White revealed that Lesnar cannot fight for the promotion until January 2019, as he is still suspended (via Bleacher Report). Don't expect Lesnar to show up at Extreme Rules though. He'll most likely be saved for Summerslam.
There are plenty of rumors that The Miz will not be in attendance--because he'll be filming a MLB Celebrity All Star Softball Game. However, according to Cageside Seats, Miz will be involved with the Smackdown Tag Team Championship match, to start a feud with Daniel Bryan. Because it's unknown whether or not Bryan will resign his contract after Summerslam, WWE wants to have the two's rivalry come to a head at the end of the August PPV. If Bryan resigns, the rivalry will go longer.
Some people are saying Hulk Hogan will be appearing at Extreme Rules in Pittsburgh. What's the basis for this? Someone saw him on a flight... to Cleveland? Reported on by StillRealToUs, it may seem crazy, but the distance between the two cities is a little more than two hours. There have been talks between Hogan and the WWE in the past year, and there was another rumor Hogan was going to be at Greatest Royal Rumble. He wasn't, but many are speculating Hulkamania will return to WWE in the near future. Could it be at Extreme Rules?
There will be a quick match during the Kickoff Show. It will most likely be No Way Jose vs. Mojo Rawley, which is one of the newer midcard feuds on Raw. There are already 10 matches on the card, and the IC Championship will last no fewer than 30 minutes. It's a stacked card, so the Kickoff Show needs something short and sweet.
UPDATE: Sanity vs. New Day in a Tables Match was added to the Kickoff, which is a whole lot better than Mojo vs. Jose.
How will Ronda Rousey be utilized during Extreme Rules? If you're caught up with Raw, then you know Rousey is "suspended" from working for WWE by General Manager Kurt Angle. However, she will be at Extreme Rules, as an audience member. Obviously, she has a vested interest in Nia Jax taking on Alexa Bliss for the Raw Women's Championship. While she wants the title, chances are she'll take both women out and take on both of them at Summerslam in a triple threat match.
Make sure to head back to GameSpot on Sunday, July 15 for live coverage of the event, as well as a few other surprises. Additionally, if you want to learn more about Extreme Rules, check out the match card and our full predictions for every match.
It may not have been known at the time, but in July 2008, Japan received what would be remembered as one of the greatest role-playing games of all time. Over the course of a decade, Persona 4 has become more than just an incredibly fun RPG with a refined battle system and quirky characters, though. A story about Japanese high school students confronting their worst fears, fighting for what's right, and becoming the best of friends spawned a lasting legacy that has empowered the people who played it and continually inspired new games. Our love for Persona 4 has kept it alive for so long with several fighting games, two anime adaptations, an adorable (and difficult) spin-off RPG, and even a rhythm game. And after 10 years, we're still seeing our good friends from Inaba in a new light.
For the uninitiated, Persona 4's foundation closely resembles that of its predecessor, Persona 3. You're a transfer student new to a school surrounded by unusual circumstances; supernatural phenomena that endanger your new hometown is the crux to the overarching mystery. On a typical day, you go to class, do extracurricular activities, and try to grow closer to those around town and at school. Better yourself through hobbies or take on a part-time job, it's up to you how to pass the time. In particular, Persona 4 takes you to a fictional rural town of Inaba where the biggest thing to happen before your arrival was the opening of a Junes department store (think Super Walmart, but with an infectious jingle). Even your little cousin Nanako is utterly convinced that every day's great at your Junes, and begs you and her dad to take her there like it's the greatest place on earth.
Sure sounds like all fun and games until you and your new friends become the centerpiece for a dark murder mystery and an absolutely perplexing world that lives behind TV screens. At first, it's not quite clear why outlandish versions of certain townsfolk inexplicably pop up on TV sets and go missing on rainy midnights. The one way to get to the bottom of this, to actually jump into a TV screen to enter the shadow world where the other half of Persona 4 comes into play.
While dungeon crawling and sneaking up on shadows through randomly generated floors make up the exploration, an intricate turn-based combat system is where you'll find excellence in gameplay. Most enemies have elemental weaknesses which factor into how you construct your party and devise a tactical approach. Sounds par for the course in an RPG, but the unique press-turn system that Shin Megami Tensei is known for shines brighter than it had previously by giving you full control to pull off flashy, effective attacks. Receiving a bonus attack after targeting a weakness before enemies get a turn is endlessly satisfying, especially as dungeons become inhabited by trickier, stronger shadows.
A story about Japanese high school students confronting their worst fears, fighting for what's right, and becoming the best of friends spawned a lasting legacy that has empowered the people who played it and continually inspired new games.
However, nothing in battle matches the joy of seeing your crew team up for the most adorable, yet devastating All-Out Attacks, a franchise staple. Everyone in the party piles on heavy damage that usually puts an end to the fight, and you sense their ferocity in character portraits that pop up just before everyone jumps in. A cloud of dust erupts as they whale on enemies, sometimes popping out of the chaos only to jump back in for another hit, and all you need to do is watch as they take care of business. If you're lucky, someone will offer a follow-up attack turn-free; and it should be taken as fact that nothing is as absurdly cute as Chie's galactic punt where she literally kicks an enemy into outer space (her kung fu DVDs really paid off). Even in battle, everyone's distinct personality isn't lost or put off to the side, which highlights Persona 4’s greatest accomplishment: its commitment to a relentless charm embodied by this cast of misfits.
So effortlessly does Persona 4 merge the two pillars of a social simulation and traditional RPG; nothing feels disconnected, how days are spent matters. These two realities feed into each other, and Igor--the series-long, omniscient owner of the ethereal Velvet Room--alludes to this up front: true strength is born from the bonds you form. The power of friendship is a prevalent trope in similar stories, but to have that power manifest as a tangible benefit in combat gives us further reason to invest in relationships. I call back to how Rise came in clutch to buff the party or cast healing during tough boss fights, or when Yukiko dealt the final blow casting Agidyne using her final-form persona with the last bit of SP: moments like these solidify the feeling that my companions really do have my back in times of need.
From the mother who wishes for acceptance from her stepson to your basketball teammate who finds it impossible to live up to his adopted family's legacy, these vignettes serve to tell very human stories. We help Nanako open up to her dad about his lack of presence and break through Uncle Dojima's hard-boiled temperament to reveal an empathetic father who constantly struggles with his wife's death and his job as a detective. In the end, a heartwarming father-daughter scene results in a newfound commitment to family. Other social links struck a more personal nerve.
This cast harbors the painful secrets that so many teenagers and young adults repress, and it carries the perceptions and labels society puts upon them. These are the burdens everyone bears throughout Persona 4, but burdens that no one has to bear alone.
When Yosuke overlooks Inaba, the town he once hated, and realizes that what makes him happy is the people he's surrounded by rather than big city glamour, I felt that. Even though Kanji maintains the tough guy attitude, he eventually embraces his sewing skills and love for cute plushies--as he began to handcraft toys for kids around town, I sensed a big, cathartic middle finger to societal expectations for masculinity. Naoto's strive for justice, as the genius detective, makes a firm statement against workplace gender discrimination. Life as an idol sure sounds great, until Rise decides she needs to walk away from stardom for her own sanity. As endearing as Chie's and Yukiko's friendship, their dynamic evolved and reached new heights after confronting their shadow-selves, leading to more open and honest relationship.
This cast harbors the painful secrets that so many teenagers and young adults repress, and it carries the perceptions and labels society puts upon them. These are the burdens everyone bears throughout Persona 4, but burdens that no one has to bear alone. The TV world and Midnight Channel work not just as metaphors for the fear of what you think everyone sees in you, but to illustrate the sense of imprisonment and helplessness that's born from it. And by navigating the maze-like dungeons and crushing enemies, the crew breaks through obstacles to finally support each other in overcoming their monumental insecurities. Many of the game's pieces sound silly on paper, but they all come together to inspire you before you know it.
When spread across 100+ hours of play-time, spanning an in-game calendar year, you're given room to breathe and let events, big and small, sink in. Moments of levity work alongside the more heartfelt revelations, which creates an ingenious balancing act. To its benefit, the game never takes itself too serious. Persona 4's greatness lies in its execution and presentation; story, gameplay, visual style, and its soundtrack all complement each other to elevate beyond the sum of its parts.
Persona 4 wouldn't be the same game without the masterful composition of series composer Shoji Meguro. A collection of J-pop, J-rock, and catchy instrumentals make for incredible tracks on their own, but the right song at the right time elevates the emotional impact. As soon as I hear the brass horns start up for the track that plays during social links, I can't help but smile and sense the fun being had between characters. The boss battle theme of "I'll Face Myself" instills a feeling of danger, but also the determination to defeat your worst enemies. And the emblematic battle theme "Reach Out To The Truth" is such an uplifting song that brings back all my memories of this game. Sometimes I look outside my own house and "Heartbeat, Heartbreak" pops into my head on cloudy days and "Your Affection" when the sun shines. Music isn't relegated to just the background, and it cannot be overstated how evocative its soundtrack has been throughout the years.
For all Persona 4's inspirational moments and pushes for social progressivism, we can't turn a blind eye to where it gets things wrong; to truly love something is to also recognize its flaws. By no means is it perfect when it comes to the portrayal of certain social groups and character conduct. Teddie himself exhibits unscrupulous behavior that can easily be interpreted as harassment, and it's never really confronted. Despite the personally uplifting story of Kanji, his sexual ambiguity is occasionally used as a punchline, and his shadow self can be seen as too over-the-top. Certain insensitive decisions can be made in relation to Naoto's struggle with gender identity; the interpretation of her character continues to be a point of contention to this day. And as time has gone on, the less amusing the cross-dressing pageant scene has become. To its credit, a Japanese game from 2008 was willing to explore subjects often seen as taboo; it misses the mark in critical moments, but there's value in its earnest effort. Regardless, some jokes weren't necessary to be humorous and it would've been much better without them.
Despite all its absurdity, Persona 4 is grounded with thoughts and feelings that so accurately resemble our own; it's a human experience, one that many games aim for, but rarely come close to capturing.
The sheer number of games that spawned afterward speaks to the love we've shared for this game. A PS Vita exclusive remaster, Persona 4 Golden, launched in 2012 as the definitive version; it refines core mechanics and includes a slew of meaningful additions. Along with new songs that perfectly fit the original soundtrack, Chie's new voice actress (Erin Fitzgerald) brought a whole new life into an already-beloved character and truly captured the spirit of Persona 4's best girl. A whole extra dungeon, an important new character, additional social link events, and new tag-team attacks round out Golden as the definitive version.
An anime adaptation premiered in 2011, and another based on the remastered game released in 2014. Although it's difficult to capture an RPG in a condensed format, the anime offered a new way to experience the journey. Persona Q: Shadow of the Labyrinth brought along our buddies from Persona 3 into the mix in a wonderfully executed dungeon crawler RPG on 3DS--it bursts with charm as chibi versions of these two beloved casts band together to fight evil and have a good time. I'd also say Q features the best introductory theme and video in all the franchise. If the fan service wasn't already good enough, Persona 4: Dancing All Night leveraged the beautiful soundtrack for a delightful (and admittedly ridiculous) rhythm game--hearing my favorite songs remastered and remixed is a real treat.
Persona lends itself so well to fighting games that Arc System Works took up creating a 2D fighter in Persona 4 Arena, which remained true to both the developer's fighting game philosophy and the spirit of the source material. Persona 4 Arena Ultimax built on that foundation even further. And just this year, ArcSys circled back on Persona 4 by crossing worlds with BlazBlue, Under Night In-Birth, and RWBY in BlazBlue Cross Tag Battle. Each of these fighters introduced new characters and storylines, and were included in the fighting game community's biggest stages. Rarely, if ever, does a single entry in a larger franchise spin off in so many different directions, but thankfully, it's helped keep our Persona 4 love alive all these years later.
After becoming personally invested in their journey that started it all and pouring all that time into seeing them grow, it was genuinely hard to say goodbye as the credits rolled and the ending theme "Never More" began to play. In the decade since the original game, we were fortunate to see the charming group of knuckleheads time and time again in so many different games. It's almost silly to think that a group of fictional Japanese high school students could empower us to be better, but Persona 4 has given me, and countless others, boundless joy and also an opportunity for self-reflection. Yes, I played an incredible RPG, but what I saw was a group of best friends pulling for each other to become stronger people and make the world a better place. Despite all its absurdity, Persona 4 is grounded with thoughts and feelings that so accurately resemble our own; it's a human experience, one that many games aim for, but rarely come close to capturing.
If you've been looking to get your hands on Square Enix's biggest titles of 2018 and 2019, San Diego Comic-Con might be your chance. Square's full lineup of demos and panels has been announced, and there's plenty of Tomb Raider, Kingdom Hearts, and Dragon Quest to go around.
This year's show will feature five different demos of your favorite Square Enix titles. The only one with a time constraint is Shadow of the Tomb Raider. To play that one, you'll need to stop by The Deck at Moonshine Flats from 1 to 10 pm PST on any of the show days.
In addition to an exclusive demo, the creative team behind Shadow of the Tomb Raider will host a panel on Saturday, July 21 from 12:30 pm to1:30 pm PST in room 5AB. The title's lead writer Jill Murray, lead game designer Heath Smith, and performance artists Camilla Luddington and Earl Baylon will be in attendance, and Andrea Rene will moderate.
Be sure to swing by Square Enix's booth for some Bring Arts, Trading Arts and Play Arts merch, as well as some free goodies for your favorite games. Daily giveaways will include Dragon Quest XI posters and temporary tattoos, Mobius Final Fantasy hand fans, and Star Ocean Anamnesis buttons.
We're living in a battle royale world, and this week's Xbox One news is absolutely no exception. Fortnite Season 5 is upon us, and there's yet another battle royale title that's joined the fray this week.
To kick off the next season of Fortnite, we're giving away 7,500 V-Bucks. We've also got all the details you need for map changes, battle passes, challenges, and more to make sure you're getting the most out of this season. And if you're feeling really competitive, be sure to check out Fortnite's esports announcement.
Outside of the craze that is Epic Games, one more battle royale title has come to Xbox One: The Culling 2. In the realm of non-battle royale titles, Code Vein has been delayed to 2019, Darksiders 3 has a confirmed release date, and Dead Cells is coming to PC and console. No Man's Sky's multiplayer update is coming soon, and we've got all the changes since its launch.