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Toy Fair 2019: Become A Star Wars Jedi Master With Hasbro's Lightsaber Academy

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 06:58

The annual toy convention, Toy Fair, is well underway at the Javits Center in New York City. Many of the reveals from the show have been action figures, but there are other interesting products tied into your favorite franchises. Hasbro has announced Star Wars Lightsaber Academy, which allows you to train to become a master of the light sword.

Available this fall, the Lightsaber Academy toys allow the user to interact with an app to learn official Star Wars moves and train with Jedi or Sith masters. Additionally, you can battle with your friends to prove who is the real Jedi master.

Pictured above is the top tier of the Lightsaber Academy toys, priced at $50. This lightsaber interacts with the app via Bluetooth and tracks your movement--and is the only one in the line that does so. In turn, you will be evaluated and scored based on your performance. The lightsaber features lights, sounds, app connectivity, and character voices from the movies.

On the lower-pricing tier are the Level 1 assortment lightsabers--pictured above. Priced at $8 each, the toys come with a code that accesses content in the Lightsaber Academy app. However, they do not have the motion tracking the $50 set has.

Finally, there are the Level 2 Lightsabers, and you can choose between Luke Skywalker's or Darth Vader's weapon. Priced at $20, these lightsabers light up and make sounds, and there is a button you can press to hear the characters speak. Additionally, it comes with codes to unlock content in the app. While you can still learn all the moves from the movie, it does not have the same interactivity as the $50 one.

All of the Lightsaber Academy toys will be available this fall.

Check out our other Toy Fair stories so far:

Stay tuned to GameSpot over the weekend for more Toy Fair reveals.

How To Claim Anthem Pre-Order And Special Edition Bonuses

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 06:06

Anthem is live for those with early access through one of EA's paid services, which means you may have some of your pre-order or special edition loot there for the taking already. This only goes for those who have full access to the game through Origin Access Premier, though, so other services will have to wait.

An EA help page details the steps for claiming various rewards. For the time being, only Legion of Dawn rewards are available, and only to Origin Access Premier members. In a tweet, EA explained that this is because the 10-hour trial available through Origin's basic tier or EA Access on Xbox One can be played without owning the game.

The process for unlocking your Legion of Dawn loot seems simply enough. It's just a matter of gaining access to Prospero's store and then claiming your loot from the helpfully named "Rewards" tab. To reach that point you just need to complete the tutorials, followed by Prospero's mission. You'll have to go to the Forge to equip them, or to the Squad screen to equip your banner.

Pre-order bonuses won't be available until the official launch day, February 22, on all platforms. Those can be equipped in the Forge (for equipment) or the Squad menu (for banners). The digital soundtrack CD on Origin should download automatically, but if not, you can find it under Extra Content in your Game Library.

The rolling access to Anthem is a bit more complex than you might expect. Right now, Origin Access Premier members on PC can play the entire game. The basic tier of Origin Access PC and EA Access on Xbox One instead offers a ten-hour trial that can carry over progress to the main game. If you're on PS4, there is no Access program. The game will release widely for everyone on February 22.

While you're waiting for launch, check out the original Anthem short film from District 9 director Neill Blomkamp. You can also read up on BioWare's roadmap for endgame content and check out our pre-order guide.

Umbrella Academy Season 2: What Happens Next After Season 1's Cliffhanger?

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 05:33

Now that Netflix has released the first season of Umbrella Academy, adapted from comic books by My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way and artist Gabriel Bá, some things have become very clear. First and foremost, executive producer Steve Blackman has taken some very large swings away from the comic's canon to create a show that is very similar, but can also stand on its own. More importantly, though, Season 1 ends on a massive cliffhanger that practically demands Netflix renew the series immediately. If you have yet to watch all of umbrella Academy Season 1, stop reading now, because we're going to talk spoilers.

The season ends with the end of the world, in one particularly surprising twist. Though Season 1 is based largely on the Apocalypse Suite graphic novel, it ends pretty differently. They don't stop the end of the world, Vanya (Ellen Page) isn't shot in the head after going full-on White Violin, and they all jump back in time to some point that has yet to be revealed.

This all sets up some very interesting possibilities for Season 2, as the team--one can only assume--tries to stop the world from ending (again). Of course, that's all going to depend on what time period they end up in.

Why make such a drastic change to the Apocalypse Suite ending, though? As Blackman told GameSpot, it's all about setting up a story that's still to come. "From a purely TV point of view, I wanted to leave you with a cliffhanger that you would have to come back to see what happens; you have to know what happens to this family," he said. "You've seen [Episode] 10, so they zap out just before the apocalypse with no idea where they are or what's happened to them. So that was a big part of it."

Just as important as the Umbrella Academy recruits hopefully saving the world, though, is what they're going to do with their sister. Vanya is far more powerful than any of them could dream of being. And after she embraced that power and unleashed it on the world, becoming the White Violin, her journey from here becomes an interesting one because it's new territory.

In the comics, this is essentially where Vanya's story ends. She was left paralyzed after Apocalypse Suite and didn't play a major role in the stories that followed. Blackman, though, chose to keep her in play by instead having the gun simply fired next to her head, with the sound knocking her unconscious. "I wanted to see her make it to the very end and then see what happens to her after into hopefully Season 2," he explained.

As for what Page sees her character doing in potential future episodes, she's excited by both possibilities for Vanya--good and evil. "I'm really excited for whatever. I've loved both," she said of the two sides of the character's personality. "I'm not quite sure the certain ideas of what's going to happen, if there's potential for another season and whatnot. But I just really love the character. So I'm happy with whatever that turns into. But it was fun just walking around and blowing up s***."

And while the end of Season 1 may have veered far away from the comics, that doesn't mean it's going to disregard the rest of the show's canon. As Way explained of the three graphic novels thus far, "Those exist for Steve to have material to draw from and kind of do what he wants to do with them."

For Blackman, those stories that have already been told, like Apocalypse Suite in Season 1, are a good launching pad for what they want the TV show to become. "I mean, that's a lot of material around to use," he admitted. "It's great because it just adds to the color of the show. It's fun to take their stuff and springboard off of it to translate to TV."

What do you want from Umbrella Academy Season 2? Sound off in the comments!

New Detective Pikachu Trailer Reveals Another Horrifying Pokemon

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 05:29

The Internet was pleasantly surprised at the first trailer for Detective Pikachu, but at the same time the realistic take on the classic creatures was slightly unsettling. The latest spot for the upcoming film has revealed another pokemon done up in its realistic style, and it's equally odd.

The 30 second spot is mostly an abridged summary of the first trailer, filling us in on the major details: unlikely friendship, talking Pikachu, etc. It has a few new gags mixed in, but it's the new pokemon around the halfway mark that really turns heads.

Lickitung, the gen-1 pocket monster with a tongue that's way too large to fit in its weird little lizard head, can be spotted on a bus or train doing what can only be described as "unfurling" with his massive mouth muscle. It comes complete with a wet plopping sound, just to accent the grossness. Behold:

Just afterwards, we get the barest glimpse of the much cuter tiger-like pokemon Growlithe sitting in the background of a restaurant, and a closer look at a Bulbasaur. And of course, Ryan Reynolds as the title character continues to show his voice-acting chops. Check out the trailer above, just maybe not while eating.

Detective Pikachu hits theaters May 10, 2019.

Netflix's Dragon Prince Season 2 Review: The Quest For Some Momentum

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 05:20

The Dragon Prince is a show that started strong, but left a lot to be desired given the short length of its first season. It introduced an intriguing world and some fun characters, but spent so much time establishing its lore that the plot took a back seat until the last few episodes. Season 2 turns out to be much the same: Once again, after a slow, but promising start, The Dragon Prince seems like it will finally start gaining some momentum--next season, that is.

When we last saw Prince Callum, Prince Ezran, and the elven assassin Reyla, they were on the run from the kingdom of Katolis to return the magical dragon egg when it suddenly hatched. Hot on their trail were Claudia, a dark magic user, and Soren, her bone-headed brother who intended on returning the two princes back home against their will. It was an action-packed finale to what was otherwise a slow burn of a first season, and while Season 2 picks up immediately after, it feels like the show immediately hits the brakes, focusing on establishing character motivations as opposed to pushing the plot forward.

While that’s certainly a disappointment, it’s not such a bad thing this time around. With another set of nine episodes focused on more buildup, almost every character was given a chance to begin a unique arc for themselves. Callum, for example, dealing with the repercussions of breaking the Primal stone, cannot cast magic anymore and struggles with whether or not he’ll turn to the dark arts to compensate. Ezran, a child himself, must act as the main guardian of the recently hatched dragon, Zym, while he reels from the news that he is next in line to become king. They don’t make too many strides forward in their quest to bring Zym back to his mother, but they make up for it with character growth that sets up their goals and challenges for the seasons to come.

Extra attention was even given to some of the side characters as well, in particular the siblings, Claudia and Soren, who were tasked with tracking down the two princes last season. We spend a good amount of episodes with them, which is fantastic because their chemistry together rivals that of the main characters. Soren is still as burly and brash as ever, but time is taken to show us a bit more about what drives him to be the best, while Claudia begins to face the repercussions of her proclivity with dark magic. Viren, the main antagonist of the series so far, also gets mixed up in his own side story, showing us his insecurities and reasons for wanting to go to war with the elves. There’s some disturbing implications that come with it, and considering the season begins with Aunt Amaya literally smacking two elves into a pit of lava, I can’t wait to see if the show will continue to get darker.

One highly requested (and much needed) change to The Dragon Prince was adding more frames of animation to its quieter, dialogue focused scenes. While it could still use some work, I’m happy to say that there isn’t one scene this time around that reminded me of the sometimes borderline stop-motion animation that plagued the first season. Fight scenes are still as exciting and creatively choreographed as ever, and just like last season, scenes of serenity give us some beautiful vistas showcasing the lush world these characters inhabit. Just like the first season, it wasn’t uncommon for me to pause the show and just stare at some of the visuals. Its sense of humor is still very much intact as well, occasionally catching me off guard with that trademark Avatar: The Last Airbender-esque humor.

There are a couple of issues lingering on from the first season that continue to hold the show back, however. Ezran is still an extremely underdeveloped character. He’s given more to do this season, which helps, but he’s still criminally underused as one of the show’s three main characters. His contributions to conversations usually amount to no more than naivete as a form of comic relief, and don’t give any insight into his feelings until the last episode. That grievance can be amplified by some of actor Sasha Rojen’s dialogue delivery as well, which sometimes comes off as flat. On that same note, Reyla, who arguably experienced the most growth in Season 1, was given very little to do this time around. She gets into all the fights and can clash with the best of them, but we already knew that about her. While I can respect that her spotlight was taken away to give other characters a chance to shine, it’s a shame the only thing we learn about her this season is that she’s working on overcoming her aversion to boats.

While there have been missteps here and there while The Dragon Prince begins its journey, I can’t fault it too much this time around considering the amount of care the writers are putting into each character. When the first season ended, I wasn’t sure whether or not I would be excited to continue watching because it wasn’t quite enough to get me fully invested. While I’m still patiently waiting to see where the story takes the characters, I can’t wait to see where the characters will take the story. Yes, it’s disappointing that the characters have barely gotten any closer to completing their goal, but the quality time we spent with them this season was anything but filler. With battle lines being drawn and allegiances tested, everything is poised to fan the flames of the plot. It still hasn’t taken off quite yet, but when The Dragon Prince returns, I’m confident it will soar.

Netflix's Umbrella Academy Season 1 Review: Delightfully Bonkers

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 05:13

It's not hard to draw up comparisons when you're talking about Netflix's Umbrella Academy. Its ten episode season is going to call to mind all sorts of things--FX's surrealist X-Men show Legion for one, Wes Anderson films for another, some Bryan Fuller-flavored flair with just a dash of Tim Burton--and while those comparisons are all earned in their own ways, none of them do the full picture justice. The bottom line is Umbrella Academy really is just that weird--which probably isn't a huge surprise to anyone who's read the multi-part comic book source material by Gerard Way and Gabriel Ba. There was no way this show was ever going to angle for your typical superhero fair, which is really what makes it so much fun.

In lieu of villain punching or day saving, this is a superhero show with full on dance montages, hidden in-scene title card reveals, and CGI effects that are just-this-side of retro. The story hopscotches back and forth between past, present and future, sometimes by way of literal time travel, sometimes by way of flashbacks. There's a talking chimpanzee in a suit who wears a monocle and a robot nanny called "Mom" who resembles a prototypical 1950s housewife (designed by a man, naturally). It can be a lot to keep track of, but don't let that put you off--Umbrella Academy throws a lot at the wall, but most everything sticks.

It's difficult to really distill exactly what the show is about in any specific sense without giving too much away, but here's the short version. It's set in a world where several dozen children were born around the world at the same time on the same day to women who were, until that moment, not pregnant. An eccentric billionaire adventurer named Reginald Hargreeves adopted seven--they turned out to have superpowers, and he molded them into a sort of trainee superhero team called--you guessed it--the Umbrella Academy. There's Luther (Tom Hopper), a muscle bound strong man with a leadership complex; Diego (David Castaneda), a Batman-like knife thrower; Klaus (Robert Sheehan), an addict who can speak to the dead; Allison (Emmy Raver-Lampman), an actress who can warp reality; Number Five (Aidan Gallagher), a time traveling teleporter stuck in a child's body; and finally Vanya (Ellen Page) an outsider who thinks she's a normal girl; and Ben, who died as a child.

Unfortunately, Hargreeves lacked skills in the fatherhood department and only really managed to produce a group of horribly adjusted, dysfunctional adults rather than a well oiled team of heroes. That's where the show picks up: with the kids all grown up and having long since gone their separate ways only to be brought back to their childhood home after Sir Reginald's untimely and mysterious death, forced to confront their traumatic childhoods and rebuild bridges with one another.

Oh, and the world might be ending in less than a week. There's that, too. So there's a bit of a ticking clock on the whole "reconciliation" thing.

Page's Vanya and Gallagher's Five are ostensibly the "main" characters, but Umbrella Academy is at its best when it focuses equally on every Hargreeves protege, giving them a chance to stand in the spotlight--which happens in a pretty balanced way across all ten episodes. Sheehan in particular manages to steal scene after scene by pouring unexpected layers and emotion into the typically flakey, over-the-top Klaus.

And then there are the villains, a set of time traveling assassins named Hazel (Cameron Britton) and Cha-Cha (Mary J. Blige) who serve to add a whole new level of eccentricity to the mix, peppering in gleeful ultraviolence with sci-fi absurdity. They kill without remorse while wearing cartoon animal masks and are usually flanked by hordes of anonymous foot soldiers as cannon fodder. It really is just chaos whenever they're around--but Britton especially is a grounding force to prevent things from going too far off the rails. Hazel's hilarious, almost Charlie Brown-like depression is a total delight.

Umbrella Academy stumbles a few times in the pacing department, teasing reveals too long before paying them off, tipping hands a bit too soon, allowing certain story beats to occupy moments while other, more interesting beats should be given precedence. Coupled with the already experimental tone and look, that means it probably won't be a show for everyone--but for the people who are down for the ride, it's well worth the time.

The GoodThe BadA strong, unique lookPacing could be betterIncredible soundtrackSome unanswered questions are frustratingGreat charactersCGI sometimes looks cheap and datedA fresh but authentic take on the source material

PS4 Critics Choice Sale On Red Dead 2, Battlefield 5, And More (US)

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 03:49

The latest PlayStation Store sale offers discounts on games that are critically acclaimed. The Critics Choice sale gives you a chance to catch up with some highly rated triple-A PS4 games you may have missed, or smaller gems that were given accolades. As usual, PlayStation Plus members get a little extra off the discounted prices.

Some of the games listed come from just last year, like Battlefield 5, Celeste, Spyro Reignited Trilogy, and Red Dead Redemption 2. Others, like Grand Theft Auto 5, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus give you a chance to catch up on older games. Plus there are a handful of indies that like What Remains of Edith Finch and Tacoma going for cheap.

For those still using Sony's older hardware, this sale even features a handful of deals on PS3 and PlayStation Vita. This comes as Sony is offering its last PlayStation Plus freebies for those two systems, though it is giving away increased cloud save storage for Plus members on PS4 instead.

This sale will last through March 1 at 8 AM PT, so get your final purchases in by then. Check below for some of our picks for the best deals, and head to the PlayStation Store to make your purchases.

  • Abzu -- $12 / $10 with Plus
  • Banner Saga Trilogy -- $35 / $30 with Plus
  • Battlefield 1 & Titanfall 2 bundle -- $20 / $15 with Plus
  • Battlefield 5 -- $30 / $24 with Plus
  • Burnout Paradise Remastered -- $8 / $6 with Plus
  • Call of Duty WW2 Gold -- $30 / $24 with Plus
  • Celeste -- $14 / $12 with Plus
  • Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy -- $28 / $24 with Plus
  • Diablo 3 Eternal Collection -- $30 / $20 with Plus
  • Grand Theft Auto 5 -- $18 / $15 with Plus
  • Guacamelee 2 -- $14 / $12 with Plus
  • Red Dead Redemption 2 -- $44 / $40 with Plus
  • Shadow of the Tomb Raider -- $36 / $30 with Plus
  • Spyro Reignited Trilogy -- $34 / $30 with Plus
  • Tacoma -- $10 / $7 with Plus
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt -- $16 / $12 with Plus
  • Unravel 2 -- $10 / $8 with Plus
  • Valkyria Chronicles 4 -- $42 / $30 with Plus
  • Watch Dogs 2 -- $21 / $15 with Plus
  • Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus -- $30 / $20 with Plus

Where Is Xur? Destiny 2 Location And Exotic Item Guide (Feb. 15-19)

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 03:20

Friday in Destiny 2 means the arrival of Xur, Emissary of the Nine, with a slate of super-rare Exotics to sell. This week we find Xur hanging out in the solar system in the middle of the Crimson Days Valentine's Day event, and he brought a few items you might want to take with you into the Crucible for its special Doubles mode.

You can locate Xur this week on Earth in the EDZ, in the Winding Cove region. Drop at the Winding Cove spawn point and head north to the edge of the area, where you can climb up to a crashed fallen ship. Xur is standing by and waiting for you just beside it.

And as always, Xur is packing four items from the Year One collection of Exotics: a weapon and three pieces of armor, one for each character class. For weapons this week, you can nab Sunshot, a powerful Solar hand cannon whose shots explode on impact. Enemies that get damaged by Sunshot are highlighted to make them easier to take down, making it handy for blowing up multiple enemies in the Crucible--something you might want to consider if you're working on Doubles matches for Crimson Days this weekend.

For armor, Xur brought the Actium War Rig chest armor for Titans, which is another handy Crucible item. It reloads your auto rifles from your reserves as you fire, allowing you to fire away at those unlucky enemy Guardians for longer. Hunters get the Lucky Raspberry chest armor, which enhances your Arc Bolt grenades' chaining ability and comes with a chance to recharge your grenades when you use them. Finally, for Warlocks there's the Skull of Dire Ahamkara helmet, which is useful for players who like to throw Nova Bombs. It makes you more resilient while executing your Nova Bomb super, while kills with Nova Bomb recharge super energy. Check out the full slate of what Xur's offering below:

  • Sunshot (Exotic hand cannon) -- 29 Legendary Shards
  • Lucky Raspberry (Exotic Hunter chest armor) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Skull of Dire Ahamkara (Exotic Warlock helmet) -- 23 Legendary Shards
  • Actium War Rig (Exotic Titan chest armor) -- 23 Legendary Shards

Also available from Xur is the Fated engram. This costs a whopping 97 Legendary shards but will decrypt into a Year One Exotic you don't already own (assuming you haven't collected them all). While pricey, it's a reliable way to fill out your Exotic collection. Additionally, Xur has the Five of Swords challenge card that lets you add modifiers to Nightfall Strikes.

This week's Crimson Days event focuses on two-player activities in the Crucible, where you can snag a few spiffy rewards, including a new Sparrow, a new Legendary bow, and a chocolate ghost shell. The event wraps up with the next weekly reset on February 19. It gets replaced by another Iron Banner competitive mode for the Crucible, and if you're still looking to grab some of Season 5's Iron Banner armor, you'll want to get busy starting Tuesday--it's the last Iron Banner of the Season of the Forge. Destiny 2's next season, the Season of the Drifter, starts on March 5.

Anthem Early Access Release Is Live -- But Only For Some Players

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 02:36

Anthem isn't officially in wide release until next week, but members of EA's various membership programs can play it starting today, February 15. If you're a member of EA Access on Xbox One, or Origin Access on PC, you can access the game in one way or another right now--it's a bit confusing, hence the chart below outlining when and how you can play on each platform. You can check out some gameplay from us livestreaming the game in the video above.

With the game now being live, some players reported server issues earlier today, and EA Help's Twitter account has responded that it is aware of the problem and working on resolving it. Specifically, the errors include those telling players that matchmaking has failed and that no server has been found or is currently unavailable. In a further update, the EA Help account says it's "cleared up the connectivity issues," so things should now be working correctly for everyone. We'll continue to keep an eye out for any other problems that pop up.

EA has also outlined the slightly convoluted steps to finding the trial itself on the EA Access hub. You'll need to go through the hub, rather than the EA Access area of the My Games and Apps section.

  1. Open the hub and refresh it (LT, RT, and Y).
  2. Go to Anthem.
  3. View the game.
  4. Click the 3 dots and select Play Trial.

Both Access programs offer a 10% discount for purchases, but the two offer a different level of early access. The EA Access program offers only a 10-hour trial with progress that will carry over into the main game if you choose to purchase it. Origin Access also offers a 10-hour trial, but if you're a Premier member you can just begin playing the full game right now. PlayStation 4 has no Access program--at least not yet--and thus must wait until next week to start playing.

As part of the lead-up to Anthem's release, EA partnered with District 9 director Neill Blomkamp to create an original short film that takes place in the universe. If you're curious how Anthem will last you in the long-term, check out BioWare's roadmap for endgame content. And if you just need help navigating the world of pre-orders, bonuses, and special editions, read our pre-order guide. Anthem will be available for everyone on February 22.

Ben Affleck Finally Confirms He's No Longer Playing Batman

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 01:37

Last month, the upcoming standalone Batman movie was finally given a release date and official title of The Batman. The one thing that wasn't announced by Warner or director Matt Reeves was who will be playing Batman. It has long been rumored that Ben Affleck is quitting the role, and now the star has confirmed the news.

As reported by comicbook.com, Affleck appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, where he was asked if it was true he is stepping down at Batman. "Yeah, I am," he said. "I have decided... I tried to direct a version of it, worked with a really good screenwriter, but couldn't come up with a version. Couldn't crack it. So I thought it was time to let someone else take a shot at it and they got some really good people."

The Batman was first announced back in 2016, with Affleck attached to star, co-write, and direct. He initially stepped down as director when Reeves came on board, and soon after it was reported that Affleck's script had been abandoned. While Affleck never stated that he was leaving the role, last year it was reported that Reeves' movie will feature a much younger Bruce Wayne. In addition, last month Affleck retweeted Deadline's story that he would no longer play the role.

The Batman hits theaters on June 25, 2021. Last month, Reeves hinted at what fans could expect from the film. "It's very much a point of view-driven, noir Batman tale," he said. "It's told very squarely on his shoulders, and I hope it's going to be a story that will be thrilling but also emotional. It's more Batman in his detective mode than we've seen in the films. The comics have a history of that. He's supposed to be the world's greatest detective, and that's not necessarily been a part of what the movies have been."

In related news, DC also recently announced the release date of the next Suicide Squad movie. It's simply titled The Suicide Squad, and is not a sequel to the 2017 movie, but a new version written by James Gunn. Gunn was hired by DC to work on the script in October, following his departure from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Gunn is also in negotiations to direct, and that it will "take the franchise in a new direction with a mostly all-new cast of characters and actors."

Get A Free Game With Division 2 Pre-Order On PC

Sat, 02/16/2019 - 01:18

The Division 2 is just under a month away, leaving plenty of time to get in your pre-orders. If you plan on exploring the burned-out husk of Washington DC on PC, you can get a free game for putting your order in early.

Ubisoft announced that pre-orders on PC will get to choose one of three games: Ghost Recon Wildlands, Far Cry Primal, or Watch Dogs 2. All pre-orders made before March 14 will be eligible, and the offer works retroactively if you've already pre-ordered. You can head over to the offer page to redeem your code. If you're undecided, you have until March 31 to make a selection.

The games themselves will become playable on March 15, alongside The Division 2 launch date. Presumably this is so unscrupulous types can't snag a free game and then cancel their pre-order.

Ubisoft also recently announced that an open beta is coming for The Division 2, running from March 1-4 on all platforms. That would leave you plenty of time to sample and decide if you want to take part in the pre-order offer. Taking part in the beta will get you a DC Patriot weapon skin, and if you complete the Invaded mission you get a Capitol Hill arm patch.

This game takes place in the wreckage of a post-apocalyptic Washington DC, following a bio-engineered epidemic that began in New York City. For more details, check out everything we know and some of our favorite new features. Ubisoft has also detailed its plans for the endgame, and it will be releasing free DLC well after launch.

Fortnite Season 8 Draws Near, So The Island Is Cracking Apart

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 23:57

Season 7 of Fortnite is quickly approaching its conclusion and will end on February 28. As is customary for Epic's wildly popular battle royale title, the transition into Season 8 will seemingly be through some sort of calamitous event. For the last few weeks players have been reporting the occurrence of earthquakes, but now it seems things are escalating, with cracks in the landmass emerging.

Seeing these cracks in the earth form is very much a case of being in the right place at the right time, but some players have captured the phenomenon and posted videos of it online. There's also a dedicated website that features a countdown to the next appearance, so you can at least get yourself into the right spot to see one first-hand.

Footage of the crack/fissure that just formed near Tomato Temple! #Fortnite
(via @Armer10F) pic.twitter.com/eOjFudt7BY

— Fortnite News - fnbr.news (@FortniteBR) February 14, 2019

These cracks in the island will likely continue to appear with increasing frequency and severity. What that means for Season 8 remains to be seen, but it could be that Epic is looking to drastically change the island by breaking pieces of it off. Although a start date for Fortnite Season 8 hasn't officially been confirmed, a set of Overtime Challenges introduced as part of update 7.40 will expire on February 27, leading many to speculate that Season 8 could kick off on February 28.

Interestingly, the Overtime Challenges also provide players with an opportunity to get a free Fortnite Season 8 Battle Pass. All they need to do to claim a Battle Pass for free is complete 13 of the challenges included in the event between now and February 27. The first batch of Overtime Challenges are available now, and you can learn more about the event as well as see the challenges here.

If you still have outstanding challenges from this season, take a look at our complete Fortnite Season 7 challenges roundup, which compiles all the tips and guides we've written for Season 7's trickier challenges. Use that and you'll have them all done in no time.

Captain Marvel Eyeing Massive Opening That Could Be On Par With Wonder Woman

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 15:33

Marvel's next big superhero film, Captain Marvel, hits theatres in March, and it's expected to make a lot of money. Variety reports that early tracking estimates peg the movie at bringing in around $100 million for its opening in the US and Canada. If word of mouth stays strong and grows more positive still, the opening-weekend figure could balloon to $120 million or more, the report said.

If Captain Marvel makes around $100 million for its opening, that would put it in line with another major comic book movie featuring a female hero for the first time: Wonder Woman. That film made $103 million in the domestic market for its opening weekend. It went on to bank around $412 million during its domestic run and $821 million worldwide.

Captain Marvel stars Brie Larson as Carol Danvers AKA Captain Marvel. The film also stars Jude Law, Samuel L. Jakcosn, Gemma Chan, Annette Bening, and Ben Mendelsohn.

Larson will play Captain Marvel again in April's Avengers: Endgame. She could play a big role in the film, as the end-credits sequence of Avengers: Infinity War saw Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury reached out to Captain Marvel to save the world.

In other news, here's a video of Larson pushing a 5,000-pound truck to train for Captain Marvel. You can watch the latest TV trailer for Captain Marvel in the video embed above.

Apex Legends Mirage Tips & Guide: Tips On How To Be The Best Holographic Trickster

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:34

Apex Legends features a varied cast of characters that bring their own unique set of skills to the intense battle royale. Though many of these heroes fall into the same archetypes you would expect from familiar online shooters, each character's abilities have a special twist to them that can open up some interesting strategies and dynamics within the squad. With every match yielding their own situational encounters and tense gunfights, you'll need to know the ins and out of your character to survive, while also knowing what to do should you cross paths with them on the field.

In this quick guide, we're taking a look at the cunning, but somewhat insecure Mirage. His peculiar skill-set can create some bizarre encounters where you'll see double, allowing him and his squad the chance to get the upper hand. Though these skills seem basic at first glance, they can create some interesting opportunities for you and your squad, which can open the pathway to becoming a champion.

For more breakdowns of different characters, and along with our full review and other guides focusing on some of the best weapons in the game, check out our further Apex Legends coverage on GameSpot.

General Overview

Known as the Holographic Trickster, Mirage is one of the two unlockable characters in Apex Legends, the other being Caustic. He brings with him advanced holographic technology that can create false-duplicates for tactical purposes. On the surface, many of his skills appear a bit too situational and unorthodox, however, in keeping with the gameplay loop of a battle royale game, Mirage is the type of character that knows how to mess with his enemy's focus--which can mean all the difference in an intense fight.

With his slate of holographic skills, Mirage can disorient enemies and create additional pressure during fights. His primary tactical skill, known as Psyche Out, allows Mirage to create a holographic clone that runs ahead of him. At first glance, this double is indistinguishable from the real thing, which can cause other players to open fire. Mirage's decoy also display intelligence as well, and they act different depending on where they're deployed to. For instance, using one near a supply box will have the decoy perform an animation where they try to open it. Though many of these skills require certain circumstances to truly be effective, they are at their best when used in situations where you're uncertain of what lies ahead, or when you need to help your squad out by drawing fire away from enemies. However, it may take some time getting used to his abilities. With this in mind, here's a quick breakdown on how to his skills effectively.

Mirage's Abilities

Passive Skill: Encore

If all else fails and you get got, Mirage's passive skill Encore will kick in. Once you get knocked down, you'll instantly turn invisible and a decoy will drop in your place, who performs an overly dramatic death animation. This will buy you some time to crawl away to safety. However, the skill won't last long. If you're still out in the open and an enemy is nearby, then you're a prime target to get gunned down.

Tactical Skill: Psyche Out

Mirage's tactical ability Psyche Out allows you to send out a holographic decoy to confuse the enemy. It's a skill that has a surprising number of uses. In addition to drawing enemy fire in certain hot spots, allowing you to flank or get a bead on where a foe is hiding out, it's also a great skill to use for playing mind games. For instance, during the initial jump, you can send out decoys to landing spots, confusing enemy players into the thinking they're more active than they actually are.

Ultimate Skill: Vanishing Act

The Ultimate ability Vanishing Act is essentially a combination of Mirage's Passive and Tactical skills. When activated, Mirage will turn invisible and let a team of holograms distract the enemy for him. The skill is a great way to confuse enemies, who will likely lose track of which Mirage is the real one. This can be especially handy during tough fights in crowded spaces. Some of the best uses of Vanishing Act come when used to bail on fights that your squad is outmatched for or when you need to get the jump on enemies during a fight. However, there is a certain clue that can help enemy players keep track of the real Mirage. When you turn invisible, you'll leave a silhouette and can take damage. If the enemy can stay focused on any sudden movement, then they can still hit you with their shots.

Tips To Play

Mirage's greatest strength in battle is his ability to disorient enemies and shake up a fight. With his holographic skills, he can easily disrupt a fight by using his holograms, which also gives him and his squad some time to breathe. Right at the beginning of the match, once you and your squad make the jump, he can pull off some interesting tricks on other teams. While dropping from the ship, Mirage can send out up to two different holograms on the field. This can cause other teams to panic while in mid-flight, changing their course in order to avoid any possible fights when they're on the ground.

Once you make it to the ground, Mirage is best used when keeping his skills close to the vest. Unlike other support characters, his abilities aren't handy with only his squad around. However, once things start to go down, when you inevitably cross paths with an enemy team, this is where Mirage can shine. If you get the sense that an enemy team is nearby, you can send out hologram to act as a probe, provoking any gunfire from enemies. While in the moment, it's difficult to tell what's the real Mirage or a hologram, and they'll likely open fire on-sight.

Just like every other character, Mirage can carry his weight in a fight with any weapon he can get his hands on. However, given his trickster oriented skill-set, you may be better off using weapons that focus on long-range, such as the Longbow or Triple Take sniper-rifles. Once you toss out a decoy, you'll likely see enemies fire at the hologram, which will either give you a clue as to where they are--or if you're lucky--an opening if they decide to come run out to investigate.

Mirage has a pretty peculiar skill-set, but in the hands of a patient, and decisive player, he can be an effective squadmate to have. Even before touching the battlefield, he can cause panic amongst the enemy teams, which can make for an impressive start for matches.

The Dune Reboot Casts Another Big Name; Here's The Full Cast So Far

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:23

The cast for the upcoming Dune reboot just keeps getting better and better. Variety reports today that Game of Thrones and Aquaman star Jason Momoa is in negotiations to play a role in the movie, which already includes some huge names from Hollywood.

The movie's cast already includes all of these big names, including those said to be in talks:

  • Timothee Chalamet
  • Javier Bardem
  • Rebecca Ferguson
  • Stellan Skarsgard
  • Josh Brolin
  • Oscar Isaac
  • Zendaya
  • Dave Bautista

According to Variety, Momoa, should he officially sign on to the Dune reboot, will play the character Duncan Idaho. He's the second-in-command to the character played by Isaac, who is portraying Chalamet's father.

The movie is based on the Frank Herbert 1965 novel. David Lynch directed the first Dune movie in 1984; it was not a commercial success but it gained a cult reputation. A mini-series for TV was produced in the early 2000s on the Syfy channel.

Director Denis Villeneuve, who directed Blade Runner 2014, Sicario, and Arrival, co-wrote the script for the new Dune with Eric Roth (A Star Is Born, Forrest Gump) and Jon Spaihts (Prometheus).

No release date has been announced as of yet for the new Dune. Given its cast, director, and writing team, we're very excited to see how the new Dune reboot comes together. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

The Frozen 2 Trailer Was A Massive Hit, Beats Incredibles 2 To Set New Record

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 11:08

Unsurprisingly, the first trailer for Disney's much-anticipated Frozen 2 was a huge hit. The trailer picked up 116.4 million viewers over its first day, which set a new 24-hour record for an animated movie.

The previous record-holder was The Incredibles 2, also from Disney, which tallied 113.6 million views. All of the numbers come from The Hollywood Reporter.

Frozen 2 has big shoes to fill. The 2013 film made more than $1 billion worldwide and it launched a new merchandising tentpole for Disney. The movie was also a critical darling, winning Oscars for best animated movie and best original song for the inescapable "Let It Go."

The sequel arrives this November, and it brings back the main cast including Idina Menzel as Elsa and Kristen Bell as Anna. Jonathan Groff returns as Kristoff and Josh Gad comes back again to play the snowman Olaf. Westworld star Evan Rachel Wood and Black Panther's Sterling K. Brown are among the newcomers for the sequel.

The plot for Frozen 2 is under wraps for now, but there might be some clues in the first trailer, which you can re-watch in the embed above. Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, who directed the first Frozen, are coming back to direct the sequel.

Will Smith Reveals He Turned Down The Matrix, And Here's Why

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:22

Actor Will Smith was offered the role of Neo in The Matrix but he turned it down. The actor explained in a new video that the he was not sold on the Wachowskis' pitch, which supposedly involved promises of new camera technology and hard-to-grasp concepts that Smith didn't resonate with.

"There is a fine line in a pitch meeting between genius and what I experienced in the meeting," he said. Instead of doing The Matrix, Smith made Wild Wild West, and well, Smith acknowledged that he's "not proud of it." That is probably an understatement.

Smith had nothing but praise for Keanu Reeves, who played Neo, and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. They were both "perfect" in their career-defining roles, Smith said.

Smith said had he done The Matrix, the film would have featured Morpheus played by a white person. Val Kilmer was reportedly going to play Morpheus in this alternate timeline.

"I probably would have messed The Matrix up," Smith said. "I would have ruined it. So I did ya'll a favor."

This is a fascinating and frank statement from Smith, and it's nice to see him speak so openly and honestly about missing out on starring in a movie as popular as The Matrix. Of course, Smith didn't need The Matrix. He had already made Independence Day, Bad Boys, and Men In Black at that time, and he has gone on to star in many other films later in his career.

In the video, Smith also spoke briefly about how he originally did not want to be in Men In Black, because he had just come off Independence Day and didn't want to be type-casted as "the alien movie guy." Producer Steven Spielberg called him and convinced him to take the part.

It's always interesting to think about alternate casts for movies that go on to be huge hits. You may also recall that Nicolas Cage said no to playing Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings, while Al Pacino turned down the role of Han Solo for Star Wars: A New Hope.

Smith will be seen next as the Genie in Disney's new live-action take on Aladdin. He's playing both a human form of the Genie and a CG version that is very, very weird-looking.

Apex Legends Lifeline Guide: Tips On How To Be The Best Combat Medic

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 10:18

While most of the elements in Apex Legends are similar to other battle royale games, there is one big difference between Respawn's entry and others in the genre: the Legends, Apex's its unique cast of characters. Each character handles a little differently thanks to their specific abilities--some are best at offense, some specialize in defense, and some excel at supporting teammates. Deciding which character to play as and knowing how best they can aid your team is an essential part of the game.

When it comes to Lifeline, Apex Legends' combat medic, it's all about playing smart and helping your teammates. Lifeline has some of the best support abilities in the game, but lacks any offensive options. She's great to have on a team, but when playing as her, you'll need to be smart about using her abilities to the fullest.

Keep reading for all the information you need on Lifeline's abilities, including their strengths and weaknesses, as well as tips on how to use her effectively and help your team to victory. We've also got plenty more guides, including things that Apex Legends doesn't tell you`, a list of myths we've tested about how the game works, and a full rundown of the game's best guns. You might also want to check out our Apex Legends review while you're at it.

General Overview

Lifeline is the only medic of the current crop of Apex Legends characters, and as such, you'll see her on a lot of teams. Her healing abilities can be indispensable in times of crisis, making it a little easier to revive downed teammates and get them back up to fighting strength in the middle of a firefight. Her slate of support abilities mean she foregoes some offensive strengths, though--unlike other characters, she has no good means of attacking other players.

Playing Lifeline well is all about working with your team and staying together. She's best kept close to other players but away from the front lines to lessen the chances that she'll get knocked down, so that when other players need help, she can assist them. She also lacks abilities that can help her escape in emergencies--she has nothing like the grapples, smoke, and shields that other characters can use. When you're playing Lifeline, you need to be smart and protect yourself so that you can protect your teammates.

Abilities

Passive: Combat Medic

Lifeline's most useful ability is the shield she projects in front of her when reviving teammates. While other players are stuck under fire when they revive and can be easily killed, Lifeline's shield saves her from the incoming damage. It can be the difference between losing a whole team and getting everyone back in the fight. Lifeline also heals herself and can revive teammates more quickly than other characters.

Tactical: D.O.C. Heal Drone

You can save teammates and yourself from spending their health items with your healing drone. Lifeline can drop the drone anywhere, and anyone standing close to it gets health restored--although how much health the drone can dish out is limited, and gets split between all the nearby players. You should also note that anyone, including opponents, can make use of a healing done, so be sure to be careful about where you summon it.

Ultimate: Care Package

Lifeline's ultimate ability allows her to call her own supply drop anywhere she wants. It's not quite as good as the supply drops that appear automatically on the map from time to time, but it's still pretty solid--Lifeline's care packages include defensive items, so you can get some sweet armor and healing items out of them, and even high-level weapon attachments.

Tips To Play

Lifeline's healing capabilities are great for supporting your squad, but they leave her vulnerable to attack from enemies, and mean she doesn't have any handy abilities to use against opponents or get herself out of trouble. Therefore, when you're playing as Lifeline, you should try to stay back from fights and out of harm's way as much as you can so that you're ready to help out teammates when they need you.

Going after revives will put you in the thick of the action, though, so it's best to be ready to defend yourself. Pick weapons that offer a lot of range, like the Longbow DMR or the G7 Scout, as well as shotguns or submachine guns for up-close encounters. Remember that while your job is to revive and heal people, getting killed while you do it is a great way to lose matches; shoot first, revive second.

Whether you're playing as Lifeline or you have one on your team, keep an eye out for Ultimate Accelerants. Lifeline has one of the longer Ultimate cooldown timers, and the quicker you can get care packages, the quicker you can grab high-tier defensive loot. It's also worth trying to get several of Lifeline's care packages in a single match to help kit everyone else out.

If you're set on gear and you still have a care package ultimate ready, try using it to distract enemies or confuse them. You can drop a package in one direction and run in the other, for instance, or call one and use it to draw out another squad for an ambush. We've also seen care packages kill enemy players by landing on them, and you use them to crowd tight areas or for cover--so get creative.

Lifeline's quick healing means you should try to stay as healthy as possible. If you can manage to heal up without leaving your teammates hanging during a fight, do it; your chances of winning a fight are always higher if you have a higher health pool. Just remember that, in a fight, helping your team keep shooting is usually better than falling back. Gaining or losing a numerical advantage usually determines which team wins a battle.

Drop health drones in cover positions so your teammates can fall back to them. Be careful where you leave them, though, because anyone can use them, including opponents.

How To Counter Lifeline's Weaknesses

Lifeline is a great support character, but her lack of offensive abilities mean that all you've really got in a fight are your guns and your wits. You've got nothing that can help you escape bad situations or save you in a pinch. That means you want to be careful about the fights you get into and where you get into them. Lifeline is best when she has ample cover that she can use to protect herself and maybe even heal up, as well as clear escape lanes for when things get to hairy. If you're going to get into a fight with Lifeline, give yourself the best chance you can of surviving.

You'll also want to be careful about committing to reviving other players. Just because you can use your shield to block incoming fire doesn't mean that you should go for those questionable pickups under fire. It's easy for other characters to close the gap and get around or through your shield to finish you off, so try to avoid going for revives when you don't have suppressing fire from a teammate to help.

Lifeline is particularly vulnerable to things like sniping and airstrikes thanks to her lack of emergency abilities, so do your best to keep your head down--you're a high-value target for any squad trying to cripple your team in a fight. Conversely, if you're fighting another squad, their Lifeline can be an easier target than other characters for those same reasons. Taking out Lifeline early can make it tougher for a squad to recover in the midst of fighting you.

A Final Fantasy Float Is Coming To The Sydney Gay And Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 09:53

Marking a first for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade, a video game-themed float will make its way down Oxford Street as part of the annual celebration.

Square Enix announced today that it has collaborated with the Sydney Gaymers group to bring a Final Fantasy XIV Online float to the parade this year. The float is described as "unique and exciting," and it's themed around the title "Realms United."

"It means so much to receive direct support, validation, and acknowledgement from such a force in the industry," Sydney Gaymers organizer Peak Distapan said in a statement. "Not only that, to be supported by a game where so much of our community and values are represented.

"The Final Fantasy XIV Online community does not discriminate and respects everyone's freedom and their individual values equally. For many LGBTQI+ people, online communities provide a space for the journey and exploration of personal identities They allow us to connect, and celebrate, and they reinforce that we are not alone."

Final Fantasy XIV Online producer and director Naoki Yoshida said the float at the Mardi Gras parade builds on the relationship Square Enix fostered with Sydney Gaymers at PAX Australia.

"To see it makes me very happy indeed, both as the person in charge of FFXIV and also as just another player of the game," Yoshida said. "FFXIV is another world that continues to grow and expand online. In that world people become adventurers, known as the Warriors of Light, and can continue to be free."

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras parade takes place on Saturday, March 2. The parade is truly massive, taking over a significant part of the city and drawing crowds of thousands. Last year, Cher appeared in the parade and put on a show after.

No images of the Final Fantasy XIV Online float for the Mardi Gras parade have been released, but keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

In other news, the game's next big expansion, Shadowbringers, launches in July.

Get An Xbox One X With Free Fallout 76 For $400 Right Now In US

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 09:36

Microsoft is offering a nice deal on one of the Xbox One X bundles right now. The Fallout 76 Xbox One X bundle, which normally sells for $500 USD, is now going for $400 USD.

Two versions of the bundle are available, including the Robot White and standard black editions. Both come with a 1 TB Xbox One X system, as well as a copy of the game and one-month trials for Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Live Gold. Shipping is free through the Microsoft Store website.

This deal appears to only be available in the United States. Retailer Amazon is also offering the Fallout 76 Xbox One X bundle for $400 USD, so that's another option to consider.

Fallout 76 launched in October behind a lukewarm critical reception. Even if you're not interested in the game, getting the Xbox One X for $400 USD is a fantastic deal on its own.

The timing of the deal is also notable, given that the latest Microsoft first-party game, Crackdown 3, is launching this week. It's free for Xbox Game Pass subscribers, so you can use the one-month trial to play the game without spending extra. You might want to try before buying anyway, as our first reactions in our Crackdown 3 review were not all that positive.

Another deal to consider is at Newegg; the store is offering the Fallout 76 Xbox One X bundle for only $350 USD right now--but the deal is ending soon.

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