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Updated: 22 min 37 sec ago

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Is Now Available To Watch On Netflix UK

1 hour 3 min ago

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi now only a few weeks from release, many Star Wars fans will be looking to get up-to-date with the unfolding adventures of Rey, Finn, BB-8, and the rest of the saga's characters. UK viewers can now do that on Netflix.

JJ Abrams's 2015 blockbuster Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been added to the streaming service in the UK from today, November 23. Unfortunately for US fans, the film is not available on Netflix in the States. The deal between Disney and Netflix only covers US streaming of movies released from January 2016, and The Force Awakens hit theaters a month before that. As a result, while last year's Rogue One can be viewed by US subscribers, The Force Awakens remains unavailable.

In any case, the Star Wars movies may only be available on Netflix anywhere for a limited time. Disney is launching its own streaming platform in 2019, and it is expected that the Star Wars movies will be exclusively available there. The studio has also announced plans for a live-action Star Wars TV show.

The Last Jedi hits theaters on December 15. There has been plenty of promotional activity in the last few weeks, including new trailers, images, and posters. Unsurprisingly, the movie is expected to have a huge opening weekend at the box office. Early first-weekend projections have predicted that the film will make $215 million in the US over its first three days. While that would be below The Force Awakens' first-weekend haul of $247 million, it would still be the second-biggest of all time, ahead of Jurassic World's $208 million opening in 2015.

In addition, Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is to write and direct a new Star Wars trilogy. Work on the next set of movies will begin after the release of JJ Abrams' Episode IX in 2019.

Black Friday Deals: PS4 Pro Destiny 2 Bundle Now $350 At Amazon

2 hours 20 min ago

Black Friday 2017 has offered a number of PS4 deals and cheap Xbox consoles and games, and now there's another to add to the pile. Amazon is offering a PS4 Pro Destiny 2 bundle for $350 in the US right now.

Currently, this is your best bet for getting a PS4 Pro at a discount. Your only other options are the regular $400 retail price at other stores or $450 for the same bundle as Amazon but with Star Wars Battlefront II included. GameStop's ad did reveal the store will selling the console for $350 on Black Friday itself, but as far as we know that is without a game included. In the UK, meanwhile, Sony has officially discounted PS4 Pro consoles for Black Friday. Until the end of Monday, November 27, PS4 Pro bundles containing Call of Duty: WWII and either FIFA 18 or Gran Turismo Sport will cost £300. Check out the Amazon US deal here.

If you're not sure whether you should make the jump to the Pro, you can read our full PS4 Pro review. Author Jimmy Thang said, "If you have a 4K HDR TV and are looking to buy a console, I’d definitely recommend the PS4 Pro. Even if you have a 1080p TV and are looking to buy a PlayStation, I’d still lean more toward the Pro. Yes, it does cost $100 more than the Slim model, but you get more ports, twice the storage space, more future-proof hardware in the event that you ever decide to get a 4K TV, and some games can look slightly better at 1080p."

For a complete roundup, see our full list of PS4 Black Friday deals. There are sure to be even more deals to come, while others may be unlisted for the time being, so check back with us in the lead up to Black Friday. For more, check out retailer-specific deals breakdowns through the links below.

DC's Batgirl Movie Is Still Happening With Joss Whedon, Sources Say

2 hours 47 min ago

When Zack Snyder left the production of DC's Justice League earlier this year, he was replaced by Avengers director Joss Whedon. Soon after it was announced that Whedon would also helm a Batgirl movie for the studio. However, a new rumor emerged earlier this week that DC's parent company Warner was reconsidering the project, following the commercial disappointment of Justice League.

Now sources for Den of Geek, who are "close to both Whedon and the project", have confirmed that the movie is still moving ahead. The site states, "Whedon is currently writing the script for Batgirl and will also serve as both director and producer." The report also notes that no one has been cast in the lead role so far.

In an interview earlier this year, Whedon stated that he wasn't thinking about casting for now. "I feel like I'm creating this character, I'm going to dialogue with her, and then we'll see who joins that later on," he said. "I doubt it will be a name. This is somewhere where you go and find Batgirl and then you cast her. I'm not against movie stars, they're great, but you need somebody who's going to be just right. And a situation like this, the name carries a lot of weight so it's not as critical."

The Batgirl movie is just one of several DC movies in development at the studio. There are only two movies with set release dates--next year's Aquaman, and Wonder Woman 2 in 2019. Beyond that, Shazam and Suicide Squad 2 are expected to start shooting next year, with Matt Reeves' Batman film and two different Joker movies also in the pipeline.

However, all of these films were announced before Justice League opened with the lowest first weekend gross of any of the movies in DC's cinematic universes so far. It took $96 million in its first three days, well below Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice's $166 million opening haul last year. It has been reported that Warner could lose millions as a result, and it remains to be seen if this affects any of the DC movies in development.

Black Friday 2017 UK PSN: All The PS4, PSVR, PS3, And PS Vita Games On Sale On The PlayStation Store

3 hours 5 min ago

Thanksgiving is upon us, and no matter where you are in the world that of course means one thing: cheap video games. We've already rounded up the best Black Friday 2017 game and tech deals and lots more--including, for those in the UK, Game's Black Friday 2017 lineup and Amazon UK's cheap deals--and now Sony has set its own sale live.

On PS4, some huge games are currently on offer via the PlayStation Store. FIFA 18 is available for £36 / €42, for example, while Call of Duty: WWII is down to £46.74 / €59.50. Grand Theft Auto V is 60% off at £22 / €28, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy is 50% off, down to £15 / €20.

Driving game fans are in luck too, with Gran Turismo Sport reduced to £25 / €30 and Need for Speed Payback down to £36 / €42. Other recent games discounted include Assassin's Creed Origins for £38.50 / €49, and either Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus or The Evil Within 2 for £25 / €35. Take a look at the full sale at the bottom of this article.

Sony UK is also discounting PS4 Pro consoles for Black Friday. Until the end of Monday, November 27, PS4 Pro bundles containing Call of Duty: WWII and either FIFA 18 or Gran Turismo Sport will cost £300. The company is also running promotions on PS Plus subscriptions for £37.50 and PSVR bundles for £250. For more Black Friday deals, check out all our roundups below.

Table of Contents [hide]
  • PSN UK Black Friday 2017 DealsPSN UK Black Friday 2017 DealsPS4
    • Ark: Scorched Earth -- £8
    • Ark: Survival Evolved -- £25
    • Ark: Survival Evolved - Explorer's Edition -- £48
    • Ark: Survival Evolved Season Pass -- £27.74
    • Assassin's Creed Origins -- £38.50
    • Assassin's Creed Origins - Deluxe Edition -- £44.09
    • Assassin's Creed Origins - Gold Edition -- £60
    • Battlefield 1 Premium Pass -- £12
    • Battlefield 1 Revolution -- £27.50
    • Battlefield 1 & Titanfall 2 bundle -- £40
    • Bloodborne -- £12
    • Bloodborne: Game of the Year Edition -- £16
    • Bloodborne: The Old Hunters -- £6.39
    • Call of Duty: WWII -- £46.74
    • Call of Duty: WWII - Digital Deluxe -- £68
    • Destiny 2 -- £35.74
    • Destiny 2 - Digital Deluxe Edition -- £63
    • Destiny 2 - Game + Expansion Pass Bundle -- £60
    • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 -- £15
    • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 - Deluxe Editon -- £21
    • Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen -- £12
    • F1 2017 -- £27.49
    • FIFA 18 -- £36
    • FIFA 18 Icon Edition -- £63
    • FIFA 18 Ronaldo Edition -- £48
    • Final Fantasy XV -- £16
    • Final Fantasy XV - Digital Premium Edition --£24
    • For Honor - Deluxe Edition -- £18.89
    • For Honor - Gold Edition -- £34
    • For Honor - Season Pass -- £16.49
    • Friday the 13th: The Game -- £15.50
    • Ghost Recon Wildlands -- £22
    • Ghost Recon Wildlands - Deluxe Edition -- £25.19
    • Ghost Recon Wildlands - Gold Edition -- £42.50
    • Grand Theft Auto V -- £22
    • Gran Turismo Sport -- £25
    • Gran Turismo Sport Deluxe Edition -- £36
    • Gravity Rush Remastered -- £6.24
    • Horizon Zero Dawn -- £25
    • Horizon Zero Dawn - Digital Deluxe Edition -- £36
    • Knack 2 -- £15
    • Life is Strange: Before the Storm - Deluxe Edition -- £14
    • Middle-earth: Shadow of War -- £33
    • Middle-earth: Shadow of War - Gold Edition -- £63
    • MLB The Show 17 -- £20
    • MLB The Show 17 - Digital Deluxe Edition -- £33
    • MLB The Show 17 - MVP Edition -- £22.50
    • NBA 2K18 -- £33
    • NBA 2K18 - Legend Edition -- £51
    • NBA 2K18 - Legend Edition Gold -- £60
    • Need for Speed Payback -- £36
    • Need for Speed Payback Deluxe Edition -- £48
    • Nier: Automata -- £30
    • Nioh -- £21
    • Nioh Season Pass -- £8
    • Persona 5 -- £27.50
    • Person 5: Ultimate Edition -- £40
    • Rainbow Six Siege - Complete Edition -- £35.49
    • Rainbow Six Siege - Year 2 Gold Edition -- £27.47
    • Ratchet & Clank -- £12
    • Sniper Elite 4 -- £15
    • Sniper Elite 4 - Digital Deluxe Edition -- £22.50
    • Sniper Elite 4 Season Pass -- £8.69
    • South Park: The Fractured But Whole -- £35.74
    • Tales of Besteria -- £20
    • Tekken 7 -- £25
    • Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition -- £42
    • Tekken 7 Season Pass -- £14
    • The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind -- £25
    • The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind - Collector's Edition -- £32.50
    • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt -- £12.49
    • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Blood and Wine -- £8
    • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Expansion Pass -- £10
    • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition -- £14
    • The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Hearts of Stone -- £4
    • The Evil Within 2 -- £25
    • Uncharted 4: A Thief's End -- £17.50
    • Uncharted: The Lost Legacy -- £15
    • Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection -- £15
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus -- £25
    • Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Deluxe -- £32.50
    • WWE 2K18 -- £33
    • WWE 2K18 Digital Deluxe Edition -- £48
    PSVR
    • Batman: Arkham VR -- £9.59
    • Battlezone -- £10.50
    • Carnival Games VR -- £6.39
    • Eagle Flight -- £17.50
    • Gran Turismo Sport -- £25
    • Gran Turismo Sport - Digital Deluxe Edition -- £36
    • I Expect You to Die -- £12
    • PlayStation VR Worlds -- £12.50
    • Sports Bar VR -- £6
    • Star Trek: Bridge Crew -- £20
    • Tekken 7 -- £25
    • Tekken 7 Deluxe Edition -- £42
    • Tekken 7 Season Pass -- £14
    • Werewolves Within -- £10
    PS Vita
    • Farming Simulator 18 -- £12.50
    • God of War Collection -- £6
    • Gravity Rush -- £3
    • Hakuoki: Kyoto Winds -- £12.50
    • Hatsune Miku: Project Diva X -- £19.79
    • Killzone Mercenary -- £4.49
    • The Caligula Effect - Deluxe Digital Bundle -- £16.50
    • Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma -- £9.89
    PS3
    • Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag + Assassin's Creed Rogue -- £7.50
    • Assassin's Creed Rogue -- £6
    • Batman Arkham Collection -- £7.50
    • BioShock Trilogy Pack -- £12.50
    • FIFA 18 -- £33
    • Mafia III -- £5
    • Mass Effect Trilogy -- £7.24
    • NBA 2K18 -- £24
    • Persona 5 -- £20
    • Person 5: Ultimate Edition -- £40
    • Sleeping Dogs - Digital Edition -- £3
    • Sniper Elite V2 -- £5
    • South Park: The Stick of Truth -- £6
    • The Last of Us: Game of the Year Edition -- £6
    • Thief -- £3
    • Tomb Raider Digital Edition -- £3

Watch The First Footage From Jurassic World 2

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 23:12

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the sequel to 2015's blockbuster Jurassic World, and it is set to hit theaters in June next year. There hasn't been much news about the movie since the title was revealed, but now we have some first footage.

The clip has been tweeted by Colin Trevorrow, who directed the first movie and has produced and co-written Fallen Kingdom. It doesn't reveal much--it's basically star Chris Pratt with a baby Raptor. The creature resembles Baby Blue, the Raptor that Pratt formed a bond with in the first movie. Could this be a flashback? We'll find out next summer--in the meantime, check it out below:

From our Jurassic family to yours. @FilmBayona @PrattPrattPratt @BryceDHoward @LeDoctor #FALLENKINGDOM pic.twitter.com/KiR3et9Vx1

— Colin Trevorrow (@colintrevorrow) November 22, 2017

Bryce Dallas Howard also returns from the first movie, and she is joined by James Cromwell, Toby Jones, and Rafe Spall. Jeff Goldbum, who starred in the original Jurassic Park, will also reprise his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. Fallen Kingdom is directed by J.A. Bayona, who previously made the horror movie The Orphanage and last year's acclaimed drama A Monster Calls.

Earlier this year, Trevorrow spoke about working with Bayona. "It is by far my favorite creative collaboration that I've ever been involved in," he said. "Bayona is a completely different kind of filmmaker and thinker than I am, yet we do have a lot of things in common. I was able to craft something specifically for another filmmaker that I admire. I built a Spanish horror thriller with dinosaurs in it that I probably wouldn't have built for myself."

Jurassic World currently stands as the fourth-highest grossing movie of all time, bringing in $1.6 billion at the global box office. It was the first new entry in the series since 2001's Jurassic Park III.

Xbox One And Xbox 360's Free Games With Gold For December 2017 Revealed

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 22:28

The end of the month is in sight, so Microsoft has revealed the next batch of games that will be available for free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. As usual, December's Games With Gold lineup consists of four games spread across Xbox One and Xbox 360.

Xbox One's free games for the month will be Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide and Back to the Future: The Game - 30th Anniversary Edition. The former is a co-op first person shooter that you can download for free from December 1 to December 31. The latter, meanwhile, is an episodic adventure game from The Walking Dead developer Telltale. You can download it free of charge from December 16 until January 15.

On Xbox 360, you can grab rhythm action game Child of Eden for free for the first half of the month, while hack-and-slash title Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death is free of charge for the second half. Both of these titles are playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.

Of course, you can also grab some of November's free Xbox Games with Gold for a little while longer. Xbox One's TrackMania Turbo and Xbox 360's Deadfall Adventures are both free through November 30, while Telltale's Tales From the Borderlands is available free of charge until December 15. But if you've already grabbed those, check out December's full Xbox Games with Gold lineup at the bottom of this article or take a look at some Xbox One Black Friday game deals in the bullet points below.

December 2017 Free Xbox Games With GoldXbox One
  • Warhammer: End Times - Verminitide (December 1 - December 31)
  • Back to the Future: The Game - 30th Anniversary Edition (December 16 - January 15)
Xbox 360
  • Child of Eden (December 1 - December 15)
  • Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death (December 16 - December 31)

Oculus Rift With Touch Controllers Black Friday 2017 Deal Makes VR Even Cheaper

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 19:01

Within the sea of sales this Black Friday shopping season emerges the Oculus Rift virtual reality platform packaged with the Oculus Touch controllers and two sensors for $350 USD. This is the cheapest the bundle has ever been, slashing $50 off the standard price. You can snag the bundle on the official Oculus store now until November 27 while supplies last. Several retailers are also offering the same price for the Rift and Touch bundle, like Newegg, Amazon, the Microsoft Store, and Best Buy.

The offers from Best Buy, Amazon, and Microsoft include six free games: Lucky's Tale, Robo Recall, Quill, Toy Box, Dead and Buried, and Medium. The deals from Newegg and Oculus itself packs in the aforementioned titles and a seventh game on top called Dragon Front.

While you get two sensors with the purchase of a Rift, you'll need a third one to get a room-scale experience; an additional sensor will run you another $60. Room-scale gives users full 360-degree head tracking and motion detection for a complete VR experience.

The Oculus Rift originally launched at $600 without VR-specific controllers, but that changed when the Touch came out last year in December. Thus, a Rift and Touch package was $800, but in less than a year, the VR platform is now available for less than half its original price. Those hoping to jump into VR should be aware of the minimum and recommended PC specs to run VR games:

Minimum Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-6100 / AMD FX-4350
  • GPU (Nvidia): GTX 1050 Ti / GTX 960
  • GPU (AMD): RX 470 / R9 290
  • Memory: 8GB RAM

Recommended Specs:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-4590 / AMD Ryzen 5 1500X (or better)
  • GPU (Nvidia): GTX 1060 / GTX 970 (or better)
  • GPU (AMD): RX 480 / R9 290 (or better)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM (or more)

This is just one of the many Black Friday deals we're covering this year. For all of our extensive coverage, be sure to check out any and all of the stories here on GameSpot:

These Games Do Post-Release Content Right

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 13:00

In the wake of Star Wars Battlefront II's loot crate controversy, The Lobby crew sat down to talk about the games that do post-release content well.

These encompass everything from first-person shooters, to isometric dungeon-crawlers, to Japanese RPGs. As more games move toward the "games-as-service category," we want to point to the standout examples that prioritize player experience and value over simple money grabs.

For more discussions like the one in the video above, stay tuned to GameSpot every Wednesday at 11 a.m. PT for The Lobby, our weekly video game hangout. You can catch up on past episodes here on our site or on the show's YouTube channel.

Star Wars Battlefront Incites US Legislation, Play Wolfenstein 2 For Free - GS News Roundup

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 12:00

Welcome back to GS News Roundup, with your hosts Dan Crowd and surprise, it’s me, Edmond Tran. What are we talking about today? LET’S FIND OUT.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Hits Big Milestone

It’s been called one of the most important games of the year, so it’s nice to see that Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, a game that features strong portrayals of mental health issues, recently hit a big milestone in terms of sales. It’s even nicer to see that developer Ninja Theory are putting that money back into the game! Get the feel good story in today’s episode.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus Gets Free Demo

Want to kill some Nazis for free? You’re in luck! A free trial for Bethesda’s recently-released Wolfenstein 2 has been made available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4, with the option to continue your progress if you choose to buy the full game. What are you waiting for? Go download it, if you haven’t already, and keep watching today’s video to find out where you can buy the full game at a discount!

US State Representative Says Star Wars Battlefront 2's Loot Boxes Are "Predatory"

First it was Belgium, then France, and now it’s the US of A making a public stance against the Star Wars Battlefront 2 furore. Democratic representative Chris Lee made a public statement during a press conference denouncing the game and announcing that they would be making moves to regulate loot box mechanics and the games that contain them. He even says “It’s a trap” at one point. This great quote and many more are explored in today’s episode, so tune in and get the scoop!

What did you think about today’s news? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and we’ll see you tomorrow. For more on today’s stories, you can also visit the links below:

The Witcher 3 Black Friday 2017 Ad Early Deals: All PS4, Xbox One, PC Sales And Discounts

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 11:26

Black Friday 2017 is right around the corner, and that means tons of sale prices to be had on video game consoles, accessories, and software. Even very recent releases that just came out--things like Need for Speed Payback, Assassin's Creed Origins, and Call of Duty: WWII--will be on sale. While not a 2017 release, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt will also enjoy some substantial discounts at a number of retailers.

Next to Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher III: Wild Hunt has been one of the more enduring and critically acclaimed games this decade, where a single playthrough on the base game alone can take over 100 hours. It's never too late to start and the current sales make jumping into the lands of Skellige Islands and Novigrad all the more inviting.

Based on the ads that have been released so far, GameStop and Best Buy have the best deals, depending whether you want to start off with the base game at $20 through Best Buy or go for the full experience with the Complete Edition, featuring all the DLC and Expansion Packs at $25 at GameStop.

On the digital side, the Xbox Store's Black Friday sale has begun and you can get the base game for $24. The PlayStation Store Black Friday sale has a better deal with $20 for the Complete Edition. The PC version of the base game is also available for that price on GOG while you can get the Game of the Year Edition on Steam for $20 as well.

If you're wondering whether The Witcher III: Wild Hunt is worth picking up, you can read our full review. Kevin VanOrd awarded it a 10/10 and said, "The Witcher 3 depicts the immediate brutality of battle in great detail is not a surprise; many games fill the screen with decapitated heads and gory entrails. It's the way this incredible adventure portrays the personal tragedies and underhanded opportunities that such battles provide that makes it so extraordinary."

You can check out a complete list of The Witcher III: Wild Hunt deals for PS4, Xbox One, and PC below. We'll continue to update this as more Black Friday ads are revealed. You can also check out all of our other Black Friday coverage through the links at the bottom of this post.

The Witcher III PS4/Xbox One/PC Black Friday Deals
  • Best Buy -- $20 / $22 (PC)
  • GameStop -- $25 (Complete Edition; all DLCs and Expansion Packs)
  • GOG.com -- $20 (PC)
  • PlayStation Store -- $20 (Complete Edition; all DLCs and Expansion Packs)
  • Steam -- $20 (Game of the Year Edition; all Expansion Packs)
  • Xbox Store -- $24
Black Friday 2017 Deals

The Sims 4 Black Friday 2017 Ad Deals: All The Sales And Discounts For PC, PS4, And Xbox One

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 11:24

Black Friday 2017 is almost here, which means a lot of things--games included--are going on sale. For Sims fans, this is your chance to snag the latest installment, The Sims 4, at a discount. Following its recent release on PS4 and Xbox One, there's quite a few options to choose from, so we've rounded them up all up here.

Based on what we've seen so far, the PC version on Origin is still your best bet in terms of value for The Sims 4. The base game, all Expansion Packs aside from the recent Cats & Dogs, the smaller Game Packs, and the bundles are all discounted. You can get the base game for $10, the eligible Expansion Packs for $16 each, the Game Packs for $15 each, and the Bundles for $30 each. The Stuff Packs, which cost $10, are not discounted for Black Friday. You can see all the available Sims 4 content on the Origin store.

As for The Sims 4 on consoles, Walmart has the best deal, offering it on both PS4 and Xbox One for $29. You can also get either version at GameStop ($30), Best Buy ($35), and Target ($35).

If you're a Sims fan, we recently detailed the full history of the Sims franchise, from its origins in city-building through its full evolution. You can also watch The Sims 4: Cats & Dogs DLC trailer to see some of the cute new neighborhood pets that just arrived to the game.

The Sims 4 Black Friday 2017 Deals

PC Version (Origin)

  • Base Game--$10
  • Expansion Packs (excluding Cats & Dogs)--$16
  • Game Packs--$15
  • Bundles--$30

Console Version (PS4, Xbox One)

  • $29 (Walmart)
  • $30 (GameStop)
  • $35 (Best Buy/Target)
Black Friday 2017 Deals

PS4 Pro Will Be $350 At GameStop On Black Friday

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 10:25

Black Friday 2017 is right around the corner, and we've gotten a look at the deals many retailers will offer this year. And while it initially seemed like there wouldn't be any deals for Sony's 4K-capable PlayStation 4 Pro, GameStop's ad has revealed it will be on sale for $350.

This is your best bet for getting a PS4 Pro at a discount this year. Your only other options are the regular $400 retail price at other stores or $450 for the special-edition Destiny 2 and Star Wars Battlefront II models, barring any surprise offers we haven't seen yet.

If you're not sure whether you should make the jump to the Pro, you can read our full PS4 Pro review. Author Jimmy Thang writes, "If you have a 4K HDR TV and are looking to buy a console, I’d definitely recommend the PS4 Pro. Even if you have a 1080p TV and are looking to buy a PlayStation, I’d still lean more toward the Pro. Yes, it does cost $100 more than the Slim model, but you get more ports, twice the storage space, more future-proof hardware in the event that you ever decide to get a 4K TV, and some games can look slightly better at 1080p."

For a complete roundup, see our full list of PS4 Black Friday deals. There are sure to be even more deals to come, while others may be unlisted for the time being, so check back with us in the lead up to Black Friday. For more, check out retailer-specific deals breakdowns through the links below.

The Walking Dead Blu-ray And DVD Set Prices Drop For Black Friday

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 10:03

If you're looking to add a little zombie excitement to your Thanksgiving weekend, there's a Black Friday treat that may be right up your alley. The seventh season of The Walking Dead is seeing its price drop dramatically on DVD.

The seventh season of the AMC series, which saw Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) and his trusty baseball bat make literally everyone's lives miserable, will be available for only $10 at Best Buy, Walmart, and Target. For those looking to go the extra mile, Amazon is offering up a limited edition Blu-ray set of the season, complete with the Spike Walker that the Junkyard community uses to test Rick (Andrew Lincoln).

That strange little oddity, along with the whole of Season 7 in Blu-ray quality, can be yours for $100. If you're simply looking to go digital, though, Amazon is also discounting the price of the season through its video service.

Unfortunately, previous seasons aren't getting any sort of Black Friday discount, as far as we can tell at this point. That said, perhaps Season 7 is something fans should revisit to figure out where they truly stand on Negan and the show's direction as it continues into its eighth year. With ratings on the show lower than they once were--and some believing Negan is ruining the once-strong series--a little reflection could be a good thing.

While you're in a shopping mood, make sure to check out the rest of our Black Friday coverage below.

The Best 4K, 1440p, And 1080p Gaming Monitor Black Friday 2017 Deals

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 09:01

With 4K on the rise and high refresh rate becoming more common, now is a good to time take a look at gaming monitors. These displays packed with great specs have become more affordable, even moreso with Black Friday sales going on now. So, we took a look at several retailers to find the best deals on PC gaming monitors. Note that some of these items may run out of stock during the course of these sales.

Be sure to check which retailer is offering the specific monitor mentioned in the following sections by scrolling down to the full list. All monitors are available to ship and will either be from Newegg, Micro Center, or Best Buy.

The first set of monitors to highlight are 1080p displays. The AOC E2429SWHE is a very basic 24-inch monitor for just $100 and the Acer K272HL at $120 or Samsung S27E330H at $150 are cheap 27-inch options. High refresh rate displays with a 1080p resolution are also affordable; look to the 144Hz 27-inch Acer GN276HL for $190, 144Hz 24-inch Asus MG248QR for $200, or the curved 27-inch 144Hz MSI Optix G27C2 with FreeSync for $230. And if 144Hz still isn't a fast enough refresh rate for you, the 24.5-inch Acer Predator XB252Q runs 240Hz with G-Sync and is available for $430.

High-end PCs are powerful enough to step resolution up to 1440p, and these displays are increasingly common and affordable. On the cheaper end, we have the 27-inch 75Hz FreeSync Acer K271U for $200, the 27-inch IPS BenQ GW2765HT at $230, the 25-inch IPS Dell Ultrasharp U2518D for $250, and the 27-inch IPS Acer K272HUL at $270. There are still high refresh rate options that won't break the bank, like the 27-inch 144Hz Asus MG278Q with FreeSync for $340, 27-inch 144Hz Dell S2716DGR with G-Sync at $350, or 24-inch 165Hz Dell S2417DG with G-Sync for $360. The Samsung C32H711 with FreeSync for $400 offers much more screen space with its 32-inch panel. For no compromises in terms of specs, the AOC Agon AG271QG packs G-Sync, 144Hz, and an IPS panel into a 27-inch monitor for $550.

4K displays have been gaining ground in the PC monitor space as they've become cheaper. The three following monitors are 28-inch 4K FreeSync displays: Acer CB281HK at $250, AOC 2879VF for $270, and Samsung UE590 at $290. Both the LG 27MU58-B and LG 27UD58-B are 27-inch IPS 4K monitors with FreeSync for $300. Not many 4K monitors offer HDR, but the 32-inch Acer ET322QK with FreeSync and HDR is going for $320. The 28-inch quantum dot Samsung U28H750 with FreeSync brings high picture quality for just $330.

Ultrawide 21:9 monitors are fairly niche, but give you much more screen space for your peripheral vision. Two 75Hz FreeSync IPS monitors with a 2560x1080 resolution are on sale; the 29-inch LG 29UB55-B for $200 and the 34-inch LG 34UM69G for $280. If you're aiming for the very high-end 21:9 displays, the 34-inch Asus ROG PG348Q packs in G-Sync, 100Hz, and a high 3440x1440 resolution for $920. If that's not big enough, the 38-inch Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW is discounted at $1000.

As for the specific retailers that offer the aforementioned monitors and sale prices, look to the item list below. And be sure to check out our extensive coverage for all things Black Friday:

Newegg Black Friday 2017 Deals1080p Monitors
  • AOC E2429SWHE 23.6-inch -- $100 (Micro Center)
  • Acer K272HL 27-inch -- $120 (Micro Center)
  • Samsung S27E330H 27-inch -- $150 (Micro Center)
  • Acer GN276HL 27-inch 144Hz -- $190 (Newegg)
  • ASUS MG248QR 24-inch 144Hz -- $200 (Micro Center)
  • MSI Optix G27C2 27-inch Curved FreeSync 144Hz -- $230 (Newegg)
  • Acer Predator XB252Q 24.5-inch 240Hz G-Sync -- $430 (Micro Center)
1440p Monitors
  • Acer KG271U 27-inch 75Hz FreeSync -- $200 (Micro Center)
  • BenQ GW2765HT 27-inch IPS -- $230 (Newegg)
  • Dell Ultrasharp 25-inch IPS -- $250 (Best Buy)
  • Acer K272HUL 27-inch IPS -- $270 (Newegg)
  • Asus MG278Q 27-inch 144Hz FreeSync -- $340 (Newegg)
  • Dell S2716DGR 27-inch 144Hz G-Sync -- $350 (Best Buy)
  • Dell S2417DG 24-inch 165Hz G-Sync -- $360 (Micro Center)
  • Samsung C32H711 32-inch FreeSync Quantum Dot -- $400 (Newegg)
  • AOC Agon AG271QG 27-inch G-Sync 144Hz IPS -- $550 (Micro Center)
4K Monitors
  • Acer CB281HK 28-inch FreeSync-- $250 (Best Buy)
  • AOC 2879VF 28-inch FreeSync -- $270 (Newegg)
  • Samsung UE590 28-inch FreeSync -- $290 (Best Buy)
  • LG 27MU58-B 27-inch FreeSync IPS -- $300 (Newegg)
  • LG 27UD58-B 27-inch FreeSync IPS -- $300 (Micro Center)
  • Acer ET322QK 32-inch FreeSync HDR -- $320 (Newegg)
  • Samsung U28H750 28-inch FreeSync Quantum Dot -- $330 (Newegg)
Ultrawide (21:9) Monitors
  • LG 29UB55-B 29-inch 75Hz FreeSync IPS 2560x1080 -- $200 (Newegg)
  • LG 34UM69G 34-inch 75Hz FreeSync IPS 2560x1080 -- $280 (Micro Center)
  • Asus ROG PG348Q 34-inch G-Sync IPS 100Hz 3440x1440 -- $920 (Newegg)
  • Dell Ultrasharp U3818DW 38-inch 3840x1600 -- $1000 (Micro Center)

FIFA 18 Black Friday 2017 Ad Deals: All The Sales For PS4, Xbox One, Switch, And PC

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:56

Many of this year's biggest game releases will be on sale this Black Friday, including the latest soccer game from EA, FIFA 18. While the title launched fairly recently, you'll be able to get it for half-off (or more) at many retailers on the big shopping day.

You have a lot of options if you're looking to pick the game up for either PS4 or Xbox One. The best deal, price-wise, will be at GameStop; the game retailer will have FIFA 18 for $27. Best Buy, Target, and Toys R Us will all have great deals on the soccer game, as well; each store will sell it for $30. Toys R Us will also have the Nintendo Switch version of FIFA 18 on sale for that price, while Best Buy will sell it for $20.

If you don't want to wait until Black Friday, you can purchase FIFA 18 digitally in the PlayStation Store and Xbox Store, both of which are already offering sale prices ahead of Black Friday. You can pick up the standard edition from the former for $36, while the Ronaldo and Icon Editions cost $48 and $60, respectively. Those in the UK with a PS Plus subscription can get the standard game for £36, the Ronaldo Edition for £48, and the Icon Edition for £63.

Xbox Live Gold members will find similar prices for each edition in the Xbox Store, but those without a subscription will end up paying slightly more. Non-Gold members can buy the standard game for $42/£42, the Ronaldo Edition for $56/£56, and the Icon Edition for $70/£63.

If you're planning on picking up another EA Sports game, EA is also offering FIFA 18 bundles in the PlayStation and Xbox Stores. You can purchase the soccer game together with NBA Live 18: The One Edition for $40, while the FIFA 18 & NHL 18 bundle runs for $60. You can get it together with the recently released Need for Speed Payback for $65.

PC players can also purchase FIFA 18 at a discount from the Origin store. Like on consoles, the standard edition is available for $36. However, the Ronaldo and Icon Editions cost a bit more than in either the PlayStation or Xbox Stores; those versions run for $56 and $75, respectively. You can also pick up the FIFA 18 & Need for Speed Payback bundle for $70.

You can find the full list of FIFA 18 Black Friday deals below, which we'll continue to update as more sales are announced. For our full coverage of Black Friday 2018 deals and sales, be sure to check out the links at the bottom of this roundup.

FIFA 18 Black Friday DealsPS4/Xbox One
  • GameStop -- $27
  • Best Buy -- $30
  • Target -- $30
  • Toys R Us -- $30
  • PlayStation Store
    • Standard edition -- $36
    • Ronaldo Edition -- $48
    • Icon Edition -- $60
    • FIFA 18 & NBA Live 18: The One Edition Bundle -- $40
    • FIFA 18 & NHL 18 Bundle -- $60
    • FIFA 18 & Need for Speed Payback Bundle -- $65
  • Xbox Store
    • Standard edition -- $42 [$36 w/Gold]
    • Ronaldo Edition -- $56 [$48 w/Gold]
    • Icon Edition -- $70 [$60 w/Gold]
    • FIFA 18 & NBA Live 18: The One Edition Bundle -- $48 [$40 w/Gold]
    • FIFA 18 & NHL 18 Bundle -- $70 [$60 w/Gold]
    • FIFA 18 & Need for Speed Payback Bundle -- $75 [$65 w/Gold]
PC
  • Origin
    • Standard edition -- $36
    • Ronaldo Edition -- $56
    • Icon Edition -- $75
    • FIFA 18 & Need for Speed Payback Bundle -- $70
Switch
  • Best Buy -- $20
  • Toys R Us -- $30
Black Friday 2017 Deals

Star Wars Black Friday 2017 Ad Deals: Movies, Toys, And More

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:43

It turns out Black Friday isn't just celebrated on this planet. The deals even reach to a galaxy far, far away. With Star Wars: The Last Jedi arriving in theaters in December, it should come as no surprise that the franchise is flexing its muscle for Black Friday.

Those getting ready to celebrate Thanksgiving by spending all of their precious money will have plenty of Star Wars options to pick up. There's a number of toys and collectibles at discounted prices, include a huge markdown on a very large remote control drone shaped like the Millennium Falcon.

The only thing that seems lacking in the sales, ironically enough, is the movies themselves. Only one Star Wars film that we know of so far--Rogue One: A Star Wars Story-- is dropping its price for Black Friday. That said, chances are you already own several copies of the entire series of films. If it's a new adventure you're craving, though, keep in mind that Star Wars Battlefront II available as a free game with the purchase of selext Xbox One bundles. You can take a look at all of the Star Wars deals below.

Movies

  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story DVD - $14 (Best Buy/Amazon)
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray - $18 (Best Buy/Amazon)

Toys

  • Air Hogs Star Wars Millennium Falcon XL Flying Drone - $100 (Amazon)
  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi Porg Electronic Plush (Amazon)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Chewbacca Electronic Mask (Amazon)
  • Funko Pop Star Wars: The Last Jedi - BB-9E (Amazon)
  • Star Wars Bop It - $13.39 (Amazon)
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens Kylo Ren Deluxe Lightsaber - $15.39 (Amazon)

While you're in a shopping mood, make sure to check out the rest of our Black Friday coverage below.

How Negan Is Ruining The Walking Dead

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 08:00

After Negan’s highly anticipated introduction on The Walking Dead, it feels as if the series has screwed the pooch on presenting the biggest bad yet.

The buzz behind AMC’s decision to bring the leather jacket-wearing, Lucille-toting madman to the series was through the roof even before Negan stepped onscreen. Since then, the big villain has become more cartoonish as the seasons have progressed. Did The Walking Dead ruin Negan or is it the other way around?

When Glenn and Sgt. Abraham met their gruesome ends, audiences were faced with a threat unlike anything The Walking Dead had seen--although the eye patch-wearing Governor (David Morrissey) and his creepy aquarium full of zombie heads did prove to be quite jarring. Rick and the gang walked away from that mess. Can Season 8 handle Negan in a worthwhile manner before it’s too late?

Comic Book Expectations

Two years ago Jeffrey Dean Morgan was announced as the one to step into Negan’s shoes. His performances in genre fair like The Watchmen and Supernatural showed he has the intensity, charisma and clout to bring the villain to life. But there’s always something risky about bringing an iconic character out of its comic book element.

Since his epic introduction, it feels as if the writers have been inclined to showcase their love for the Robert Kirkman-created big bad by weighing down each and every scene he's in with his personal quirks. But The Walking Dead is often mired in brooding drama and unrelenting grit. As charismatic as Negan is, some of his over-the-top behavior just feels out of place.

From the potty mouth monologuing to his unrelenting lust for power, it sometimes feels as if Negan would fit in better as an old school James Bond villain. When the big bad comes off more cartoonish than evil, everyone else starts looking like buffoons for cowering in fear.

Ever since Negan set our heroes’ lives upside down, The Walking Dead has become an exercise in patience. This is post-apocalyptic hellscape where the zombies have become an afterthought. That’s the point, we get it. But when the show inflicted the worst possible trauma on Rick and the gang--through Negan’s murderous intro--the expectations for retaliation and justice came quickly.

A season and a half later, we’re still waiting. Since the deaths of Glenn and Abraham, the crew have undergone changes and new characters have entered the fray. And still, somehow Negan and his Saviors are still running the joint. Once justice for Glenn and Abraham is finally had, will it be too late for anyone to care?

Will There Ever Be a Bigger-er Bad Than Negan?

If looking back at The Governor’s two-season run is any indication, it’s that Negan should meet his maker sometime this season. But what happens then?

The Walking Dead has brought in massive ratings for years now and--aside from the huge draw of fan faves like Rick, Daryl, and Michonne--the big allure is always watching the gang overcome one bloody challenge after the next. As formidable opponents go, Negan is the biggest. Once he’s gone, is it all downhill from here?

The last things Walking Dead fans need is to constantly compare the seasons to come to the show’s heydey. Will the death of Negan lock in a final expiration date for AMC’s zombie juggernaut?

Sunday’s (Nov. 19) episode, The Big Scary U, picked up on Negan where the Season 8 premiere left him: in a trailer with Father Gabriel (Seth Gilliam), surrounded by ravenous walkers.

The premiere found Maggie (Lauren Cohan) and Rick leading their first real coup against The Saviors. It was a moment that felt long overdue. And while the attack didn’t end Negan’s life, it did open up the opportunity to get a better understanding of the leader. All this time, we’ve only really seen the murder-loving, bat-wielding, evil-monologuing Negan--and those traits have been shoved down the audience’s throat relentlessly.

A good way of fixing a cartoonish villain is adding a bit of humanity to the mix. Everyone was someone else before the zombie apocalypse hit. And even though an entire episode exploring Negan’s backstory doesn’t exactly sound like the right move--having too much sympathy for a big bad is never a good thing--watching Gabriel bond with him on an emotional level adds a new layer to the mix. It turns out Negan helped children before the outbreak happened. He had a wife who loved him. Then the dead started to rise--and everything changed.

It’s been over a year since Jeffrey Dean Morgan first brought his version of Negan to The Walking Dead. We’ve seen him bash heads, punish followers, and taunt Rick’s crew, all with that signature mustache-twirling bravado. All it takes is a little emotional truth to bring a big villain down to size. Once that happens, the compelling conflict can truly begin.

The Walking Dead airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The extra-long midseason finale is set to hit AMC on Sunday, December 10.

Captain Marvel Movie Casts Jude Law As Major Comic Book Character

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 07:52

Captain Marvel is getting even more marvelous. The film, which arrives just before the fourth Avengers movie, has found its male lead. Jude Law will join Brie Larson in Marvel's first female-centric superhero film.

The report comes from Variety, which says the actor is currently in negotiations to play the role of Dr. Walter Lawson, who comic book fans will recognize as Mar-Vell. In the comics, Mar-Vell was a member of the Kree alien race and a mentor of Carol Danvers (Larson), who becomes Captain Marvel in the movie. Mar-Vell also happens to be the original Captain Marvel. Given that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige has already confirmed that a war between the Kree and the Skrulls--another alien race in the Marvel universe--will serve as part of the movie's inspiration, chances are Mar-Vell's alien lineage will be included in the film.

Jude Law in The Young Pope

It's a good time to be Jude Law. Not only will Captain Marvel bring him into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it's not the only franchise he's joined in 2017. It was back in April that the actor was cast to play a young Albus Dumbledore in the Harry Potter franchise spin-off Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald.

In addition to Law and Larson, Captain Marvel will also star Ben Mendelsohn (Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) as the movie's villain. Samuel L. Jackson will return to reprise his MCU role as Nick Fury in the film, which will be set in the 1990s. Captain Marvel is in theaters on March 8, 2019.

Star Wars Battlefront 2's Loot Box Controversy Explained

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 07:37

Even before the launch of Star Wars Battlefront II, Electronic Arts found itself under scrutiny for its handling of microtransactions and the loot crate system in the game. But now that the latest Star Wars game is available in stores, it's continued to receive widespread attention and numerous reactionary updates from EA. To break down what exactly happened, from the October beta to current developments, here are the key events explaining the controversy behind Star Wars Battlefront II.

Table of Contents [hide]What's Different About Star Wars Battlefront II?

As the sequel to 2015's Battlefront--which was criticized for lacking a single-player story and repetitive multiplayer offerings--Battlefront II features new modes and revisions to gameplay, including a single-player campaign. Developer DICE stated that Battlefront II would receive free content updates instead of DLC season pass that players would have to purchase. And part of those free updates would be new story missions, maps, and hero characters, scheduled to release the same week The Last Jedi hits theaters.

Despite the newly added story mode, Battlefront II's primary focus is its online multiplayer, where players can advance in rank and acquire resources for their classes and favorite characters. Returning from the previous Battlefront is the Star Card system, which offers class-and hero-focused amplifiers that increase stats and grant new abilities for progression in online modes. Greatly expanded in Battlefront II, it's now a required part of long-term player growth. Star Cards are the most valuable tool you have to customize and augment your characters, adding increases to damage and health regeneration, along with alternate loadouts and skills.

Each Star Card comes in four tiers of quality--common, uncommon, rare, and epic--with increasing stats for higher ranks. Moreover, amassing Star Cards for a particular class will increase its level--opening up better crafting options for higher-tiered cards. While most multiplayer games feature systems that task the player with investing time in a particular class or set of equipment, Battlefront II mixes elements of steep progression with randomized rewards from dedicated crates. These randomized yielding additional Star Cards, weapons, cosmetics, and other resources.

The Star Cards in particular are vital for increasing the level of your character. With the dependence on the game's randomized yield for players to acquire the bulk of their resources, this makes both grinding and chance a necessary aspect of the Battlefront II experience.

Leading up to the Battlefront II's open beta, the increased focus on the game-changing Star Cards led to a lot of concerns from fans and scrutiny for the game--all of which were wrapped up within the increasingly common mechanic known as the "loot box."

The October Beta, The Turning Point For Battlefront II

From October 6 to 11, EA opened up the game to feedback with access to a beta version of the multiplayer. In the beta, players found that the loot boxes--which yield randomized materials and Star Cards for classes and hero characters--were one of the main pillars of player advancement. A common complaint was that the beta's progression system felt designed to encourage players to purchase crates with real money to advance more quickly. EA's beta for Battlefront II would ultimately be a turning point for the game in the public eye.

In Battlefront II, Star Cards are in larger abundance compared to the 2015 game, and some cards offer simple yet incredibly effective upgrades. For example, the Assault class' Survivalist Star Card can decrease health regeneration delays up to 40%. One of the larger criticisms from the beta was that Epic-level Star Cards (the highest grade of Star Card in the game) and weapons could be acquired from loot crates--making it possible to reach high-level status early on by buying rather than grinding to earn loot crates and, or in other words, "pay to win." After the beta, the developers took steps to alter aspects of the game based on player feedback.

EA published a blog post about the state of the game. Citing player feedback, the developers adjusted areas of the progression system. In addition to increasing the rate at which credits are earned by a small amount, the biggest change EA applied to the game was removing Epic-level rewards from crates. Stating that it was done to "help keep everyone on a level playing field," the developers transitioned Epics to the in-game crafting system, which is currently the only way--aside from pre-order and Deluxe Edition bonuses--to acquire the highest-tier Star Cards. Still, concerns about player progression being dependent on the randomized element of loot boxes remained.

Early Access And The In-Game Economy

On November 10, EA released a trial version of Star Wars Battlefront II on Xbox One and PC for members of EA/Origin Access. With a ten-hour time limit, users could experience the first three levels of the campaign and the full multiplayer experience, and all progress could carry over into the final game upon release. This was the first opportunity for many to dive into the final game, which the developers said would always evolve with player feedback. Upon further play however, some fans felt that core mechanics of the game weren't effectively explained, leading many to feel frustration with the restrictions and requirements of the game's economy.

On the Star Wars Battlefront II Reddit page, a user voiced frustration after taking advantage of one of the microtransaction options, purchasing 12000 Crystals for $80 (with 10% EA Access discount). Unbeknownst to the player, the Crystals could not be used to purchase the various hero characters, which are only available to buy in the form of Credits. This user wanted to purchase the Darth Vader hero, who at the time cost 60,000 credits.

Within this same thread, an EA spokesperson responded to the post, stating the following:

"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.

As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we’re looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we’ll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay."

The resulting comment was inundated with negative reactions from fans, soon becoming the most disliked comment in Reddit's history with over 675,000 downvotes. Following the backlash from the post, the developers reduced prices for all hero characters by 75%. However, they also lowered the completion reward for the campaign--from 20,000 credits, to just 5,000. This was done to match the altered price to unlock the campaign character Iden Versio.

Initial Critical Response

On November 13, press reviews from gaming outlets went live. While many of the initial reviews stated that the core gameplay of Battlefront II was fun and exciting, and it offered a diverse array of content to go through, the multiplayer progression system was met with widespread criticism. With the game's dependence on loot crates, numerous claimed that the gameplay loop of Battlefront II didn't value player time or investment in the game.

GameSpot -- 6/10

"While its main narrative feels unresolved, and the general loop of the multiplayer carries a number of issues, Battlefront II still manages to evoke that same sense of joy and excitement found in the core of what the series is all about. But as it stands, the biggest hurdle that Battlefront II will need to overcome--for its simultaneous attempts to balance microtransactions with genuine feeling of accomplishments--is deciding on what type of game it wants to be." -- Alessandro Fillari

Shacknews -- 6/10

"Star Wars: Battlefront II is a pretty good game, and you're going to get it if you're a fan of Star Wars, no matter what anyone says. I'm just thankful that the game is an improvement over the first attempt and is incredibly fun solo, or with friends online. The loot crates diminish its value greatly, and it's a shame EA forces them down your throat as part of the core gameplay, but the game looks gorgeous and is enjoyable to play." -- Greg Burke

IGN -- 6.5/10

"I find my opinion of Battlefront 2 shifts depending on what I choose to expect from it. If I'm looking for a rich Star Wars story alongside a deep competitive shooter, this definitely isn't it. But in terms of delivering on that Star Wars fantasy, jumping from corner to corner of the galaxy to see as much as it has to offer, Battlefront 2 succeeds in a very fun way. I'm just not sure there's enough here to keep me interested for very long." -- Tom Marks

Accusations Of Gambling

After the reviews were out and more players began to dive into the game, Battlefront II found itself under greater scrutiny from the community and press alike. Eventually, mainstream press sites such as CNN and The Huffington Post began to cover the game's focus on microtransactions and loot crates. This increased attention, along with consumer complaints, led to the Belgian Gaming Commision launching an investigation into the game (in addition to Overwatch) for possible gambling practices. EA released a statement to GameSpot strongly denying such connections to gambling:

"Creating a fair and fun game experience is of critical importance to EA. The crate mechanics of Star Wars Battlefront II are not gambling. A player’s ability to succeed in the game is not dependent on purchasing crates. Players can also earn crates through playing the game and not spending any money at all. Once obtained, players are always guaranteed to receive content that can be used in game."

The Microtransactions

Prior to the game's official launch, Crystals were exclusively used to purchase loot crates for additional rewards. While Crystals can be acquired from certain challenges and milestones, the most immediate way to attain them was from the in-game store. This also opened up possibilities for players to take advantage of the premium options to obtain amass a larger quantity of Star Cards and resources over others--which all fed back into player progression concerns.

In similar fashion to titles working with a games-as-a-service model, the microtransaction system in place prior to Star Wars Battlefront II's launch featured multiple packs of varying value to purchase. The purpose of this feature was speed up the player's progress and overcome long-term investment into the game. But in the days since the beta, and even before its launch, general perception to how the game offered these paid options were unfavorable. Despite this, DICE developers expressed that these options were not pay to win, and that player progress would come down to player skill.

"You should not ever be matchmade together with players who are much better than you are," said DICE associate design director Dennis Brännvall. "Ultimately your effectiveness is going to come down to skill, not the Star Cards that you have."

These were the purchase options during early access and prior to launch:

  • $4.99 - 500 Crystals
  • $9.99 - 1000 Crystals
  • $19.99 - 2100 Crystals
  • $39.99 - 4400 Crystals
  • $99.99 - 12000 Crystals
Developer Response To Negative Backlash

In light of accusations of gambling and overwhelming toxicity surrounding the game, EA CFO Blake Jorgensen made comments about the state of the game during a talk at the UBS Global Technology 2017 conference on November 16. In addition to commenting on the game, he stated that "people need to be patient," as they looked for alternatives to address the community's concerns.

"So things that we we heard today, we'll tune in the game, and they'll be different tomorrow. Running a live service is all about constantly watching and listening to and reacting to the community to try to develop great gameplay," Jorgensen said. "But also [players should] really understand that we listen to the community very closely and we will always be changing the games to make those games better and make the community more excited about playing those games."

During a Reddit AMA leading up to the game's launch, DICE developers Dennis Brännvall and Paul Keslin spoke about the backlash toward the game, and expressed that they were incredibly saddened by the overall response.

"We've made a really cool, fun, and beautiful game but it was overshadowed by issues with the progression system. We will fix this," Brännvall wrote.

The Temporary Removal of All Microtransactions

Hours after the Reddit AMA with DICE developers, and shortly before the game's official launch, players suddenly found that microtransactions were pulled from the game without a preceding announcement. Soon after, EA released a statement from DICE General Manager Oskar Gabrielson announcing that all microtransactions would be pulled from the game until further notice. The CEO also expressed that the game will continue to evolve, and offer a progression system that would be entirely focused on offering rewards from organically playing the game. Here is the statement in full.

"Thank you to everyone in our community for being the passionate fans that you are. Our goal has always been to create the best possible game for all of you – devoted Star Wars fans and game players alike. We’ve also had an ongoing commitment to constantly listen, tune and evolve the experience as it grows. You’ve seen this with both the major adjustments, and polish, we have made over the past several weeks.

But as we approach the worldwide launch, it's clear that many of you feel there are still challenges in the design. We’ve heard the concerns about potentially giving players unfair advantages. And we’ve heard that this is overshadowing an otherwise great game. This was never our intention. Sorry we didn’t get this right.

We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases. We will now spend more time listening, adjusting, balancing and tuning. This means that the option to purchase crystals in the game is now offline, and all progression will be earned through gameplay. The ability to purchase crystals in-game will become available at a later date, only after we’ve made changes to the game. We’ll share more details as we work through this."

When selecting the Get More Crystals option from the loot crate menu, players will come to a blank screen where the five crystal packs once were. Crystals are still obtainable in game via milestones and challenges, but they require a large time investment to acquire.

What Now?

As of the time of this post (November 22), Battlefront II is fully playable in all gameplay modes, sans microtransaction options. Developer DICE and publisher EA are currently working on a new system, and while Crystals are no longer available to buy in packs at this time, the developers have stated that the currency will return after adjustments have been made. Whether the in-game purchases will remain the same, or will be modified to offer different rewards remains to be seen. On November 22, US Senator Chris Lee representing Hawaii spoke out about the "predatory practice" from EA. "This game is a Star Wars-themed online casino designed to lure kids into spending money. It's a trap," he said.

With its next batch of content coming next month in time for The Last Jedi, and with more content in the months ahead, the developers plan to support the game for the long-term. But along with new modes and content, EA and DICE are now coming up with a new progression system for the game to replace the one presently in game.

Be sure to check back with GameSpot for all future updates coming from the developers regarding the state of Battlefront II.

Nintendo Eshop Black Friday 2017 Sale Begins: Early Switch, 3DS, And Wii U Game Deals And Discounts

Thu, 11/23/2017 - 06:52

Only a few days remain until Black Friday 2017, but many digital stores have already begun offering sale prices on a ton of games ahead of the big shopping day. Nintendo is the latest, kicking off a Black Friday sale in the Switch, 3DS, and Wii U Eshops today that offers some savings on many recent and classic titles for all three platforms.

Unsurprisingly, many of Nintendo's own major releases, such as The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Splatoon 2, or Super Mario Odyssey aren't included in the Switch Eshop sale, though there are a handful of deals to be found. As is the case with other digital sales, these aren't the best prices available this Black Friday; many of the games can be found cheaper at various retailers, but if you're planning on purchasing these titles digitally, these will likely be your best options. The Switch launch titles Super Bomberman R and 1-2-Switch are both $40 each, while Disgaea 5 Complete is $50. You can also get Puyo Puyo Tetris for $25, Lego City Undercover for $28, The Lego Ninjago Movie game for $42, and Square Enix's classic-inspired RPG I Am Setsuna for $24.

The 3DS Eshop has a bigger selection of discounts. Some of the steeper ones include Star Fox 64 3D for $20, Rhythm Heaven Megamix for $15, Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate for $12, Story of Seasons for $15, and Shin Megami Tensei IV: Apocalypse for $30. A pair of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney games are on sale as well; Spirit of Justice is $15, while Dual Destinies is $10. You can also find discounts on some Virtual Console titles, including The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages and Oracle of Seasons ($3 each), Breath of Fire ($4), Castlevania III: Dracula's Curse ($2.49), and Gargoyle's Quest ($2).

The Wii U Eshop likewise doesn't have any major first-party titles on sale, though you can pick up some great indie games for the system at reduced prices. Axiom Verge is available for $10, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is $20, Fast Racing Neo is $10, the first SteamWorld Dig is $5, Runner 2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is $3.74, Mutant Mudds: Super Challenge is $5, Guacamelee: Super Turbo Championship Edition and Runbow are $7.49 each, and Gunman Clive HD Collection is $2.

The Eshop deals are available until 8:59 AM PT / 11:59 AM ET on December 11. You can find the full list of discounted titles on Nintendo's website. For our complete coverage of Black Friday 2017 deals, be sure to check out the links below.

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