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Netflix's Cowboy Bebop Live-Action Show Casts John Cho

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:25

The live-action TV adaptation of the anime series Cowboy Bebop was first reported back in 2017, and last November it was revealed that Netflix will produce it. The first casting announcements have now been made for the show, which focuses on a gang of intergalactic bounty hunters.

Netflix confirmed that John Cho will take the main role as Spike Spiegel, the series' iconic lead bounty hunter. Cho is best known for the Harold and Kumar movies, as well as playing Sulu in the recent Star Trek films and starring in last year's acclaimed thriller Searching.

Cowboy Bebop will also star Mustafa Shakir, Daniella Pineda, and Alex Hassell. Shakir, who appeared in Season 2 of Luke Cage, will play Jet Black, a former cop and captain of the show's spaceship Bebop. Pineda (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) is set to appear as amnesiac bounty hunter Faye Valentine, while Hassell (the upcoming The Boys) is to play notorious hitman Vicious. Netflix says more casting news is still to come, including that of Radical Ed.

SPIKE...
Haunted by visions of the woman he loved and lost, Julia, Spike’s criminal past slowly catches up to him — putting him and the Bebop crew in the crosshairs of the solar system’s most lethal criminal organization, the Syndicate. pic.twitter.com/NurBCkDyPO

— NX (@NXOnNetflix) April 4, 2019

Alex Garcia Lopez (who has also worked on Netflix shows such as The Witcher and Marvel's Daredevil and The Punisher) is set to direct the first two episodes. The first of these will be written by Christopher Yost (Thor: Ragnarok). The show will consist of 10 episodes total

Netflix also confirmed a previous report that the director of the original series, Shinichiro Watanabe, is working on the new version as a consultant. Additionally, veterans of Sunrise Inc., the studio that made the anime show, are executive producing.

Cowboy Bebop was released in Japan in 1998, and ran for 26 episodes. It was followed by an animated movie in 2003, as well as a manga series and a video game. It became one of the key anime properties to break through to a western audience, and was screened on Adult Swim in the US.

Avengers: Endgame Box Office Estimates Call For Huge Opening Weekend

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 04:08

Earth's Mightiest Heroes are aiming to smash box office records later this month. Avengers: Endgame is reportedly on pace for an estimated debut of $200-250 million during its first weekend, which would make it the best debut of the year and one of only six films to top $200 million in its opening weekend.

Variety reports that the film's runtime, at just over three hours, could be one unexpected obstacle to its box office take. With such a long film, theater owners will need to squeeze fewer showtimes in per day. The current record for opening weekend in 2019 is held by fellow MCU movie Captain Marvel, at $153 million.

These estimates could be wrong. As Variety notes, initial box office estimates for Avengers: Infinity War pegged it at $180-225 million, but it blew those away by bringing in $257 million. That made it the largest opening weekend of all time, a record it still holds. Endgame is nearly matching that figure in estimates, so if it surpasses expectations it could very well become the new record holder. Infinity War also amassed a huge global box office launch, with $640 million worldwide without a launch in China. Endgame is aiming to top that partly by including China in its global launch plans.

The strong sales estimates are no surprise. Avengers: Endgame recently kicked off ticket sales, promptly leading to crashing ticketing sites, and Marvel movies as a whole are known for their financial success. The latest trailer was packed with new footage, and we broke down all the new details we spotted. For more, check out our roundup of everything we know.

Ban Fortnite, Says Prince Harry

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 03:22

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex and sixth in line for the royal British crown, has sharply criticized the popular battle royale game Fortnite and called for it to be banned. The BBC reports that Harry's comments came at a YMCA event in London, just before the gaming BAFTA awards.

"[Fortnite] shouldn't be allowed," he said. "Where is the benefit of having it in your household? It's created to addict, an addiction to keep you in front of a computer for as long as possible. It's so irresponsible. It's like waiting for the damage to be done and kids turning up on your doorsteps and families being broken down."

He also suggested that social media is "more addictive than alcohol and drugs."

Prince Harry's comments come just after the World Health Organization (WHO) identified "gaming disorder" in its latest list of classified diseases. The disorder criteria list several qualities common among addictive traits, including impaired control over gaming, increased priority of gaming over the interests of daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.

These comments don't seem to indicate what it is about Fortnite in particular that is problematic, but the game's popularity probably played a role. Epic Games recently announced Fortnite had crossed 250 million registered players, and a new concurrent player record of 10.8 million players. It's still going strong despite increased competition from the likes of Black Ops 4 and Apex Legends. It has had other recent strife with celebrities thanks to several lawsuits over its use of dances, which have been dropped for now. For more on Fortnite, check out our Season 8 challenge guide.

Vin Diesel Seems To Think He's In James Cameron's Avatar Sequels

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 03:08

James Cameron's Avatar sequels have been in the works for many years, and the first one won't arrive until December 2020. However, production continues on the films, all four are shooting back-to-back. It now seems there could be a high-profile new addition to the cast--Fast and Furious star Vin Diesel.

Diesel posted a new video on Instagram of him and Cameron in one of the studios the Avatar movies are shooting in. While neither stated out-right that Diesel would have a role in the films, it certainly sounds like this might be the case. Cameron initially jokes that he will have to perform a Men In Black-style memory wipe so Diesel forgets everything he has seen. Then Diesel says that Cameron is the one man in Hollywood he has always wanted to work with. Check it out below:

View this post on Instagram

And the journey continues... #Blessed #Grateful #Avatar

A post shared by Vin Diesel (@vindiesel) on Apr 3, 2019 at 6:45pm PDT

The second Avatar movie is set to hit theaters on December 18, 2020, with the third part arriving on December 17, 2021. Avatar 4 and 5 are currently scheduled for December 20, 2024 and December 19, 2025 respectively. We know that that the first sequel will see Sam Worthingon and Zoe Saldana reprise their roles from the 2009 original, with Cameron's Titanic star Kate Winslet also part of the cast.

In an interview last year, Cameron explained that while the next four movies are connected, they also work as standalone narratives that aren't entirely dependent on each other. "They're fully encapsulated stories in and of themselves," he explained. "It builds across the five films to a greater kind of meta narrative, but they're fully formed films in their own right, unlike, say, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, where you really just had to sort of go, 'Oh, s**t, all right, well I guess I better come back next year.' Even though that all worked and everybody did!"

In related news, Cameron has also produced the next Terminator movie, which releases in November. Terminator: Dark Fate sees Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger reprise their roles from the first two movies in the classic sci-fi series, which Cameron created. A new batch of images from the movie was recently released.

Fortnite Guide: Five Highest Elevations On The Island (Season 8, Week 6)

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 02:50

Another week, another set of Fortnite challenges. For those looking to unlock everything in the Season 8 Battle Pass, it's crucial that all the mini-quests are completed so the Battle Stars needed to level up the pass and get access to the cosmetics are earned. While the majority of Season 8, Week 6's challenges are fairly straightforward, there's one that could prove to be quite tricky: Visit the five highest elevations on the island.

The Fortnite island is full of elevated areas, so it may be quite time-consuming to run around guessing which ones are the highest of them all. To speed things up for you, we've got a quick breakdown of exactly where you should go. Thankfully, a number of them are located pretty close together, so that makes completing the task even quicker.

The first of the locations is the volcano crater, naturally. After that you'll need to book it to the west side of the Island. Head towards Snobby Shores but stop on the east side of it because, as you'll no doubt see, there are two mountains on the way there--simply make your way to the top of those and you're good to go. After that, it's time to head south into the colder part of the map. The final two elevated locations are the top of the castle at Polar Peak and then the submarine near frosty flights. Once you've been to those locations, it's done. Good job.

Below you can see a map and list of where the highest locations can be found. We've also put together a video guide (above) to show you exactly where you need to go.

Fortnite's Five Highest Elevations On The Island
  • Volcano crater at grid reference H3
  • Mountain northeast of Snobby Shores at grid reference C5
  • Second mountain northeast of Snobby Shores at grid reference B5
  • Castle at Polar Peak at grid reference C7
  • Submarine east of Frosty Flights at grid reference B8

If you've still got challenges from previous weeks left over, make sure to head over to our Season 8 challenge guide, which includes tips for all the most difficult challenges every week so far. Use that and you'll be racking up Battle Stars in no time.

Borderlands Games Getting Review-Bombed Over Borderlands 3's Epic Exclusivity

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 02:23

The Epic Games Store has been snatching up exclusivity deals as a shot against the bow of Steam, the biggest digital PC game storefront. The company's latest score is Borderlands 3, and some fans are not happy about it. So not-happy, in fact, that they've resorted to review bombing the older games that made them fans in the first place.

Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel have all suffered a spate of negative reviews on Steam. Each is rated as "Positive" or "Very Positive" for overall reviews, but "Mixed" or "Mostly Negative" in hundreds or thousands of recent reviews. Many of the negative reviews explicitly mention the Epic Store. Tales from the Borderlands, which was developed by Telltale Games instead of Gearbox, has been mostly spared.

Borderlands 3 will be exclusive to the Epic Store until April 2020, giving it a six-month window that is shorter than many of the year-long exclusivity periods. The release date of September 13 had leaked before the official announcement, and in that leak a video also showed an Epic Store logo, conspicuously without a Steam logo.

As part of the suite of announcements surrounding Borderlands 3, Gearbox also announced a remastered Game of the Year Edition for the original game, and a 4K texture pack for the other two. Borderlands 2 also had its various pieces of DLC brought into Borderlands VR.

The latest in the loot-shooter series from Gearbox appears similar to prior entries, right down to having a cast of four diverse Vault Hunters with different abilities. Whether you pick it up on PC or elsewhere, Gearbox is looking into supporting cross-play. For more details, including the loot you can gain by putting down your money early, check out our pre-order guide.

Control May Be Remedy Entertainment's Most Interesting Game Since Alan Wake

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 02:00

For many of the attendees who saw Cyberpunk 2077 at E3 2018 it was the game that stole the show, but my hype ultimately went to a different demo: Remedy Entertainment's Control. The dazzling combat I was shown, set against the juxtaposition of paranormal oddities and rigid brutalist architecture, had me hooked. And now that I've had the chance to play it and been further exposed to its strange secrets, I'm even more convinced of Control's potential.

Remedy has a way with weird and has repeatedly proven that it knows how to stage a good fight. Control looks like an effort to double-down on these strengths. It puts you in the shoes of a veritable action hero with the power of levitation and telekinetic destruction. Her name is Jesse, and Control starts on her first day on the job as director of the Federal Bureau of Control. The agency is in charge of studying and containing that which defies the laws of science, but after a mysterious force known as the Hiss floods the halls of the bureau, Jesse will have to confront and take down possessed coworkers, demonic entities, and pulsating, corrupted masses of energy.

One of the most common sights in The Old House (the given name for the building that houses the FBC) are Hiss-infected office workers and other employees floating motionless in mid-air. Red flood lights color-in otherwise sterile environments, evoking a sense of foreboding evil. Odd rituals and dream logic are noted as central themes, and when confronted by their effects on people and places in Control, you get the sense that almost anything can happen under the Hiss' influence.

Surprisingly, Jesse seems to take it all in stride, and with the power to control objects and a shape-shifting pistol in her hand, you have plenty of offensive and defensive options when the Hiss-infected entities turn on her. There's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to juggling telekinetic abilities and your weapon while steering Jesse mid-flight, but once it clicks, Control becomes a playground for destructive experimentation. This feeling was helped somewhat during my preview demo due to the fact that the basic enemy AI was a bit careless--a balance that remains in flux, according to director Mikael Kasurinen. But for the purposes of getting a feel for Control, at least, I appreciated the lenience as a chance to get my bearings.

Rather than flying freely, Jesse leaps and levitates, and then slowly drifts back down to the ground; you're also capable of directing her trajectory on the way down or stunning an enemy with a targeted ground-pound attack. Though the factors therein will change as Jesse's powers increase throughout the game. Even a moment of hovering overhead allows you to get a line of sight on objects and enemies in the distance, both of which can be remotely manipulated. You can take hold of a desk, for example, and fling it into groups of enemies or use it as a shield from incoming fire--you can also pull concrete from the floors and walls in a pinch. The most satisfying application of this move has to be snatching rockets out of mid-air and flinging them back at the shooter.

Jesse isn't the only person capable of these feats, however. Several of the enemies I fought could also hover in the air and hurl nearby objects. These opponents presented a tougher challenge than the more traditional gun-toting bad guys mentioned earlier. One move in particular, Jesse's targeted ground-pound attack, feels very intimidating when used against you.

New to the demo shown during GDC was the mind control ability, which effectively lets you turn an enemy into an AI-driven ally. There's no word yet if enemies will ever be able to overpower Jesse's mind in the same way, but I don't imagine we've come close to seeing everything they're capable of.

Jesse's suite of skills will grow as she locates objects of power, but to acquire their magic requires you to journey to the astral plane, a stark white ethereal realm with minimalist, angular structures. If you've paid attention to Control's marketing since its E3 reveal, you've probably seen imagery of Jesse floating towards converging black geometry hovering in empty space. More than just special locations designed to unlock new abilities, the astral plane can also be used to influence the state of things in the bureau, either to solve puzzles or to clear a path forward for Jesse.

Control is being designed with a Metroidvania-like structure that requires you to re-examine previously explored locations when new skills are unlocked, and the thought of incorporating an alternate dimension into this concept is very intriguing. Though I only got a small taste of what's to come, I walked out of my demo with more questions than answers, pertaining to both the truth behind the strange happenings inside The Oldest House and to Jesse's relationship to the Hiss. I honestly can't wait to experience Jesse's journey from the beginning and to see how strange and unpredictable it becomes as it unravels.

Fortnite Challenge List: Highest Elevations; Wooden Rabbit, Stone Pig, Metal Llama; And More (Season 8, Week 6)

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 01:50

Load up Fortnite because there's a new batch of challenges to do. We're now in Season 8, Week 6, which means there are new Battle Stars to be earned. As always, there's a set of challenges that is available to everyone and then another group of challenges that are exclusively for those who have spent V-Bucks on a Battle Pass.

In the free section for Week 6, players will need to find the highest elevations on the island, visit three specific landmarks, and then take out opponents in Lazy Lagoon or Frosty Flight. If you've got the Battle Pass, you'll need to search where the knife points on the treasure map loading screen, land at five different locations as part of a multi-stage challenge, use throwable items, and bring down enemies with either the Flint-Knock Pistol or Boom Bow. Take a look at the full list of challenges below.

Fortnite Season 8, Week 6 Challenges

Free

  • Visit the five highest elevations on the island (5) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Visit a Wooden Rabbit, Stone Pig, and a Metal Llama (3) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Eliminate enemies at Lazy Lagoon or Frosty Flights (3) -- 10 Battle Stars
Battle Pass
  • Search where the knife points on the Treasure Map loading screen (1) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Stage 1 of 5: Land at Fatal Fields -- 1 Battle Star
  • Use different throwable items in a match (2) -- 10 Battle Stars
  • Get an elimination with a Flint-Knock Pistol or Boom Bow (1) -- 10 Battle Stars

The final challenge in the Battle Pass section for Week 6 makes good use of one of the newer additions to Fortnite. The Boom Bow was introduced in Fortnite's 8.20 content update, and uses shotgun shells that explode on impact. Holding fire increases draw strength and will also up the arrow's speed and the damage. Save the World mode gets its own new weapon as well, the Cannonade Launcher.

Once you're done with Week 6's challenges, you may want to finish up any incomplete challenges from previous weeks. Use our Season 8 Challenge Guide for help with that and you'll be well on your way to unlocking all the cool new Fortnite skins and other Battle Pass rewards from Season 8.

New Terminator: Dark Fate Images Reveal Arnold Back As The T-800

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 01:43

Like the titular cyborg killing machine, the Terminator movies refuse to die. Despite the commercial disappointment of 2015's Terminator Genisys, the series continues this year with Terminator: Dark Fate. The movie is directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller and hits theaters in November. A new batch of images have now been released.

The pictures show the movie's main cast members. There's original stars Linda Hamilton, who reprises her role as Sarah Connor, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as the T-800. The new stars includes Mackenzie Davis (Blade Runner 2049), Gabriel Luna (Agents of SHIELD), Diego Boneta (Pretty Little Liars), and Colombian star Natalia Reyes in her first Hollywood movie. They don't exactly give anything away about the movie itself, but it's great to see Hamilton and Schwarzenegger in their iconic roles. Check them out below.

The other big name returning for Terminator: Dark Fate is series creator James Cameron, who produces this one. The movie is reportedly a direct sequel to 1991's Terminator 2 and will ignore the three movies in-between. It hits theaters on November 1, 2019.

In a recent interview with Yahoo Movies, Cameron spoke about working alongside Miller and what fans could expect from this latest Terminator movie. "Tim's a very willful and opinionated director, and he's got his own ideas for the film,” he said. “I'm kind of like the Pips--he's Gladys. I said, 'I can't be involved in this film at all if Arnold [Schwarzenegger] is not in it. Fans are going to want to see [Linda Hamilton] again, and they're going to want to see the real Sarah Connor and what time and dealing with these tragic futures has done to her."

"It's hardened her even more, but in a way that made her much stronger," Cameron explained. "Maybe less likable, but stronger. And ultimately, she becomes a really important character in passing the baton to the new characters that come in. It's a very female-centric film, which I'm glad Tim embraced those themes."

Pokemon Go Summer Tour 2019 Events Announced

Fri, 04/05/2019 - 00:00

Niantic's annual Pokemon Go Fest event is returning for another year, and this time it won't be limited to Chicago. As part of the Summer Tour 2019, Niantic has announced it is hosting several Pokemon Go Fests this summer across North America, Europe, and Asia, bringing the big event to other regions for the first time.

The first stop in Niantic's Summer Tour 2019 is Chicago's Grant Park, the site that's hosted the previous two Pokemon Go Fests. This year, the event will run for two additional days, taking place from June 13-16. As before, you'll need to purchase a ticket in order to attend the event, but this time you'll be able to do so from within Pokemon Go itself following an update slated to roll out later this month.

After that, Niantic is hosting a Pokemon Go Fest in Dortmund, Germany. That event runs from July 4-7 and takes place at Westfalenpark. Ticketing information will be available on the Pokemon Go Fest Europe website. Rounding out the Summer Tour will be a Pokemon Go Fest in Asia; Niantic says more details about that event will be shared at a later date.

Just as in previous years, even if you aren't able to attend the Pokemon Go Fests in-person, you'll have a chance to participate in global challenges during the events and potentially unlock special rewards. Niantic will also continue hosting its monthly Community Days in June, July, and August, giving players more events to look forward to this summer.

Pokemon Go's next Community Day takes place on April 13. This month, the featured Pokemon will be Bagon, the first form of the powerful Dragon Pokemon Salamence. On top of increased Bagon spawns, players will receive three times the normal amount of XP for capturing Pokemon during the event.

You could win* an exclusive, custom painted Hob-themed Nintendo Switch console!

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 18:00

We joined forces with Perfect World Entertainment so two of our readers can get a chance to take home a custom painted Hob Nintendo Switch console and the digital code to download a free copy of Hob: The Definitive Edition, a single-player adventure game that's coming to the Switch on April 4.

Here are the prizes:

For our two grand prize winners, they will take home the exclusive custom painted Hob Nintendo Switch console plus a copy of the game for Nintendo Switch.

There will also be 10 runner ups who will get a digital code to download Hob: The Definitive Edition on the Nintendo Switch.

To enter for a chance to win, you have to fill out the form below after reading the official rules and accepting the terms and conditions. You also have the option to get extra entries to increase your chances of winning by following us across social media.

If you are having trouble viewing the form please use this link. Good luck!

New Avengers: Endgame Footage Was Shown Behind Closed Doors, But Here's What Happened

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 15:39

New footage from the hugely anticipated Avengers: Endgame was shown during the CinemaCon event today in Las Vegas, and it suggests Captain Marvel may play a major role.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Disney showed "several minutes" of the movie, and one scene showed Captain Marvel (Brie Larson) telling the Avengers that they plan to kill Thanos. They might not have succeeded in Infinity War, but Captain Marvel says in the new footage, "Before you didn't have me." Captain Marvel the character is incredibly powerful, so she'll no doubt be able to help the Avengers in whatever plan they've come up with.

Never before seen footage of @Avengers #EndGame out April 26

— CinemaCon (@CinemaCon) April 3, 2019

Also in the new footage, Captain America (Chris Evans) loses his subdued attitude and bluntly states about Thanos, "Let's get that son of a bitch." ComicBook also saw the footage, and the site reports that the footage included Nebula saying she knows where Thanos is, and that Captain Marvel has a cocky attitude and believes Thanos has never faced someone as powerful as her. Captain Marvel also apparently talks about wanting to use the Stones to undo Thanos' snap.

CinemaCon is an annual tradeshow where movie theatre owners get together. The major film studios usually attend and show footage of their upcoming film slate. The event is not open to the public, and there is no filming or livestreams, so reports are text-only.

Avengers: Endgame hits theatres on April 26; tickets are on sale now, and pre-sales are setting records and crashing ticket-selling websites. You can watch the latest official trailer above.

Mortal Kombat 11 Has No Loot Boxes, Neo From The Matrix Won't Be Added

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 14:49

Mortal Kombat 11 is one of the next big games coming out, and it's due out soon, as it's set to launch on April 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. Game Informer sat down with series creator Ed Boon and asked him 166 rapid-fire questions about the game and the franchise in general, along with some other silly and unrelated topics.

It's a great interview, and you should watch it here, but here are some quick takeaways from Boon:

  • There will be 25 characters on the roster at launch.
  • There will be "30-ish" characters overall; presumably the rest are DLC.
  • There are no Quicktime events in the story.
  • No cross-play at launch; "we are definitely not against the idea."
  • Mortal Kombat X sold almost 11 million copies; it's Boon's best-selling game ever.
  • There are multiple endings to the story.
  • The best restaurant in Chicago is Pizzeria Due.
  • A script exists for the upcoming Mortal Kombat movie, and Boon said he'll veto the idea if it's not good enough.
  • The Nintendo Switch version will run at 60FPS.
  • He's had a conversation with Marvel about making a Marvel fighting game or a Marvel vs. DC fighting game.
  • Neo from The Matrix was nearly in Injustice 2; he won't be in Mortal Kombat 11.
  • The Mona Lisa is the greatest work of art.
  • He really enjoyed Dragon Ball FighterZ.
  • There will be no loot boxes in Mortal Kombat 11.
  • He wants to make a new IP; an online game that never stops. "Something where you're nervous to not play the game for too long," he says.

The newest confirmed playable character for Mortal Kombat 11 is Cetrion, who is an Elder God connected to Earth. You can find out more about her in GameSpot's coverage here.

GameSpot recent went hands-on with the Switch version at PAX East 2019, and while it was a noticeable visual downgrade, we found the game ran and played perfectly fine on Nintendo's console. You can read more about the title in our Mortal Kombat 11 pre-order guide.

The Dragon Quest Movie Based On Dragon Quest 5 Gets First Trailer

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 13:15

The first trailer for the Dragon Quest animated movie, Your Story, has come online, providing a first look at the upcoming film that's based on Dragon Quest V. Not only that, but the movie has been confirmed for an August 2 release in Japan.

There is no word as of yet about if it'll be released in other territories. Whatever the case, the visuals in the movie look great, and fans may be happy that it's based on Dragon Quest V, which critics generally agreed told a strong, compelling story.

Your Story's script was written by Takashi Yamazaki, with music from Koichi Sugiyama that was performed by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, according to Nova Crystallis. Dragon Quest video game series creative Yuji Horii is attached to the movie in a supervisor role.

Takeru Sato voices the protagonist; you can see a rundown of the other cast members here on the Dragon Quest movie website.

Battlefield 5 Microtransactions Arrive This Week, Here's How They Work And What You Can Buy

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 11:01

Battlefield V launched last year without microtransactions, but they're coming to the World War II shooter very soon. An update to the shooter set for April 4 will introduce "Battlefield Currency," which is the name for the virtual currency that is purchased with real money.

Players can spend Battlefield Currency to buy cosmetic items; they do not affect gameplay. Items that can be purchased with Battlefield Currency can also be earned through gameplay.

"The balanced rock-paper-scissors gameplay that has always been the foundation of the Battlefield series isn't going anywhere," DICE said. "Player skill will continue to be paramount with the addition of Battlefield Currency, which gives players more ways to acquire items to customize their characters and arsenal in Battlefield V."

Beginning April 4, DICE will also release new Epic-level rarity items beyond the current Common, Uncommon, and Rare items that you can buy with Battlefield V's existing Company Coin currency. The wording of the statement suggests that the new Epic items may be only available to buy with real money, at least for now. Here's how it's worded:

"Starting April 4, using Battlefield Currency, you'll get access to new Epic items. Looking ahead, we will continue to release new cosmetic items that can be obtained through direct progression, Company Coins, and/or Battlefield Currency. We want to give every player a chance to access new cosmetic items, whether they choose to spend real-world money or earn content through gameplay."

Battlefield Currency will be available to buy from within Battlefield V on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, as well as through first-party digital stores. It'll be available in various quantities, but DICE didn't share any specifics just yet about the size and cost of the Battlefield Currency bundles.

Looking further out, DICE will release "time-savers" that players can buy with real money; these come in the form of Tier Catch-Ups and XP Boosts. Tier Catch-Ups give you instant access to Chapter Reward items, which are cosmetic only. XP Boosts do just that.

In addition, DICE will release new "Elite" sets for Battlefield V that can be purchased for real money using Battlefield Currency. A first for the Battlefield series, Elites are new characters that you can use in multiplayer and the Firestorm battle royale mode.

"They consist of a themed assortment of cosmetic items, character voice overs, a Best Squad animation, and an exclusive Special Assignment that helps bring to life the story of the Elite and unlocks a signature melee weapon," DICE said.

These Elites are different in look only; they offer no gameplay advantage.

In addition to all of this, DICE will offer "value bundles" for real money. Only available for a limited time, the bundles come with a mixture of things like cosmetics, currency, time savers, and other items. The full contents of the bundles will be displayed at the buying screen so you know what you're getting. One example of the bundles are Starter Packs that DICE will begin selling on April 4. These come with allotments of Battlefield Currency, as well as customisation options like face paint and weapon skins.

For more on Battlefield V's microtransactions, check out this in-depth blog post from DICE.

The direction Battlefield V is taking as it relates to microtransactions is decidedly different from how the series handled microtransactions in the past. In previous titles, DICE offered "Shortcut" kits that allowed players to pay real money to acquire weapons and other perks that provided an instant theoretical advantage on the battlefield for those who spent money. DICE's Star Wars: Battlefront II was roundly criticised for being too close to a "pay-to-win" scenario with its own loot boxes and microtransactions, so it could be that Battlefield V's change in direction as it relates to microtransactions is a reaction to that.

Battlefield V has sold more than 7 million copies, but that's below what publisher Electronic Arts was expecting. The game is no doubt continuing to sell, and the extra revenue coming from microtransactions may improve the game's overall profitability profile further still. Not only that, but the game just added its battle royale mode, Firestorm, which may improve interest and engagement with Battlefield V overall.

Captain Marvel Crosses $1 Billion At The Box Office

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 10:28

Captain Marvel has crossed a massive box office milestone. The Brie Larson-starring superhero movie has now made more than $1 billion at the global box office since it premiered in March.

It's made $358 million in North America and $645 million from international markets for a total of around $1.03 billion worldwide. It is the first female-led superhero movie to make $1 billion. DC's Wonder Woman starring Gal Gadot made $821 million at the global box office.

It becomes the seventh MCU movie to make more than $1 billion at the global box office, and the 18th Disney movie ever to cross $1 billion, according to Variety.

The other MCU films that have made more than $1 billion include Avengers: Infinity War, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Black Panther, Iron Man 3, and Captain America: Civil War. The 21 MCU movies to date have collectively made more than $18.5 billion.

Brie Larson returns to play Captain Marvel again in this month's Avengers: Endgame. In other, sillier news, a fan trailer imagines what Avengers would look like with '90s actors.

Hideo Kojima Shows Up In Drive Director's New TV Show Trailer To Cut Off Man's Finger With Big Sword

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:34

The first trailer for Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn's new Amazon TV show Too Old To Die Young has come online, and besides looking great, it contains a surprise cameo.

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima appears in the trailer at 1:54 where he can be seen swinging a massive sword. It's not exactly clear, but it looks like Kojima is using the sword to slice off a man's finger. Whether or not he has any kind of recurring role on the show is unknown, but it seems unlikely given that he's also working on his PS4 game Death Stranding currently.

Kojima and Refn are friends, and Kojima, a noted cinephile, is a big fan of the movie Drive. He even bought a replica of the scorpion jacket that Ryan Gosling wore in the movie.

All the way back in May 2016, Kojima posted a photo of himself hanging out with Refn. In December 2017, Kojima tweeted that he visited Refn's production office for Too Old To Die Young. In February 2018, Kojima posted a picture on Instagram of himself holding what appears to the sword from the trailer, standing in a room that looks like it could be the one from the trailer.

With Nicolas Winding Refn. pic.twitter.com/WL8b1hijlv

— HIDEO_KOJIMA (@HIDEO_KOJIMA_EN) May 14, 2016

Too Old To Die Young stars Miles Teller as a police officer with a checkered past who finds himself mixed up with all manner of organised crime groups. The story was written by Refn and comic book writer Ed Brubaker (Iron Fist, Captain America, Batman, Daredevil), and it also stars John Hawkes (Winter's Bone) and Jena Malone (The Hunger Games).

The show premieres on Amazon on June 14.

Ricky Gervais Netflix Show After Life Season 2 Coming In 2020, Season 1 Blooper Reel Released

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:20

Netflix has renewed the Ricky Gervais show After Life for a second season to air in 2020. The renewal comes not long after the dark comedy's first season premiered in February.

In a statement, Gervais said After Life--which features Gervais playing a character struggling to move on after his wife passes away and is known for its gallows humour--has generated a reaction unlike anything else he's ever worked on. He said he's excited to make an "even better" Season 2 but isn't happy about having to try harder.

to celebrate the news of season 2 here's @rickygervais and the cast of After Life pissing about aka the season 1 bloopers pic.twitter.com/uTuUxPdvzX

— Netflix UK & Ireland (@NetflixUK) April 3, 2019

"I have never had a reaction like this before. It's been insane," Gervais said. "And heartwarming. But now I have to make sure the second season is even better so I'll probably have to work much harder than usual. Annoying really."

Gervais wrote and directed each of the six episodes in After Life's first season, and he created the show. Season 2 will also be six episodes; a specific premiere date in 2020 hasn't been announced.

To mark the announcement of Season 2, Netflix released the blooper reel for After Life Season 1, and it's really great. You can watch the clip in the video embedded above.

You Can Grab Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice For $5 Off On PC

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:06

Released less than two weeks ago, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is the latest game from the studio behind Dark Souls and Bloodborne, From Software. And if you're a PC gamer who's held off on buying Sekiro (maybe it's the price, maybe you just don't enjoy dying over and over), there's already a discount on the game at Amazon, where you can get the PC version for $5 off. This is a digital download that you can redeem on Steam. Amazon will mail you the PC retail box, which contains the Steam key. Considering the game is so new and still selling for $60 for all versions at other retailers, $55 is a solid price if you were planning to buy it on PC anytime soon.

Buy Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (PC) -- $55

In GameSpot's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review, critic Tamoor Hussain praised the game for its challenging, yet exhilarating combat, detailed environments, and satisfying stealth tactics. "More so than in previous games, From Software has honed in on the inherent tension found in the challenging nature of its games, and uses it to incredible effect," he wrote. "Sekiro marries the developer's unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying." The game received a 9/10.

Planning to dive into Sekiro? Check out our guides for how to survive in Sekiro and how to get all of the game's endings.

Why Shazam Is DC's Most Fun Movie Yet

Thu, 04/04/2019 - 09:03

Shazam is DC's most fun movie yet--even more than Aquaman, which featured mer-men riding dinosaurs in large-scale underwater laser battles. That's saying something.

This kind of thing doesn't happen by accident. The tone of the early "DCEU" (or whatever we're calling it nowadays) seems to have spewed forth directly from Zack Snyder's gritty, color-desaturated brain--Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman are actually cited in the dictionary under the entry for whatever the polar opposite of "fun" is. Which isn't to say that approach is ineherently bad--many fans have enjoyed the Snyder-fied versions of these characters. But following relative hits like Wonder Woman and Aquaman, Shazam is the latest DC movie to benefit from the guidance of a director who knows how to inject a little more fun into this universe: David Sandberg.

Sandberg's previous directing credits include horror movies Lights Out and Annabelle: Creation. The Swedish director told GameSpot recently that he was excited to helm a movie with a lighter tone than what we've seen in the DC cinematic universe before.

"[Shazam] is such a unique character that it becomes a very different movie by default," Sandberg said.

That has to do with Shazam's origin: "Most superheroes get their powers or they get their moment when they're older--they have this heavy responsibility suddenly," the director continued. "For Shazam, he's a kid and it's like, 'Holy s*** I have super powers!' It's such a different starting point and it's such a fun thing to explore--OK, what would a kid do with these superpowers? Because he would be probably quite irresponsible, and he'd film it, and then he'd put it on YouTube."

And that's exactly what happens. Part of the reason Shazam works so well is that foster brothers Billy Batson (Asher Angel/Zach Levi) and Freddy Freeman (Jack Dylan Grazer) do exactly what any teenage boys would do with the newfound power for one of them to transform into an adult: They buy beer, ditch school, and engage in various hijinks that have little to do with anything you'd expect from a "normal" superhero.

Another big reason is Zach Levi, who is pitch-perfect in the role of a teenage boy in an adult man's body who finds himself suddenly empowered to do incredible things (see also, Levi's role as a normal-dude-turned-super-spy on Chuck back in the 2000s).

"[Shazam] hits what I believe to be kind of the most iconic hero story of them all: It's the kid who gets the magic word to be the super-version of themselves," Levi told GameSpot. "At some point in our lives, we all have that incredibly vivid imagination and belief in that imagination. So I think we can all relate to that."

"And what comes with that is Big meets Superman--you get a grown-ass adult like me playing a 14-year-old kid," the actor continued. "And that uniquely brings a level of humor and heart that, on those levels, I don't think has necessarily been in DC movies."

Levi knows that Shazam isn't the first DC movie to exist on the lighter side of The Dark Knight, but he said they "played with the dials" and turned the "humor and heart" up to 11.

"I think what we accomplished--I hope what we accomplished--was similar to what Deadpool did in the Marvel universe, where they were kind of their own little viewpoint," Levi continued. "They were very self-aware and irreverent and commented on the whole universe, but were also in their own little pocket...There's an intelligence and an irreverence, and an awareness, about [Shazam], and about the genre itself--we're able to have fun, by commenting on the genre sometimes within the film, and give a different perspective on the DC universe. I think that's kind of ultimately what we tried to pull off."

Fans who enjoy this lighter take on the DCEU might hope that it's a sign of things to come, and Levi agrees that the future should be more fun. "I think we should all be having more fun all the time," he said. "I think that the world would be a much groovier place if people felt more joy. And I'm all about helping to do that."

Shazam hits theaters this Friday, April 5. Read our full review here.

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