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FIFA 18 Review Roundup

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 04:34

EA's FIFA 18 is still a week away from release, but critics have already begun offering their thoughts on the new soccer game. FIFA 18 doesn't differ radically from last year's installment, but EA has made some notable tweaks to the gameplay that make the game an improvement over its predecessor. In GameSpot's FIFA 18 review, critic Oscar Dayus said the game's "on-pitch improvements represent the beginnings of a recovery for the series," though it is "still lagging far behind PES 2018's more fluid, satisfying football."

Other reviews and impressions have begun appearing online as well, and most seem to agree that FIFA 18 is yet another worthwhile entry in the long-running sports franchise. You can find a sample of reviews and reviews-in-progress below; for a wider look at what critics think of the game, be sure to check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

In addition to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, a custom version of FIFA 18 is also launching next week for Nintendo Switch. Our review covers the PS4/Xbox One/PC release, but you can read our impressions of the Switch version here.

  • Game: FIFA 18
  • Developer: EA Canada
  • Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC, Nintendo Switch
  • Release: September 29
  • Price: $60/£60
GameSpot -- 7/10

"It's off the pitch that EA excels. From the variety of game modes on offer and how everything's presented, to the constant updates in FUT's Team of the Week, Daily Objectives, and discussion of real-world happenings in commentary, FIFA 18 captures the world of football and confidently translates it into a video game. On the pitch, however, EA's soccer series is still lagging far behind PES 2018's more fluid, satisfying football. This year's improvements are welcome, but more needs to be done in the coming years if FIFA is to be a world-beater once again." -- Oscar Dayus [Full review]

IGN -- Review-in-Progress

"Ultimately, FIFA 18 introduces enough new ideas to suggest it's not sitting on the laurels of its success. However, it's a simplified experience, one that fails to embrace the complexity of football at the highest level. Its focus on attack makes for spectacular matches, but they often feel like extravagant offensive training sessions than a proper match with depth and strategy." -- John Robertson [Full review-in-progress]

US Gamer -- 4/5

"This series hasn't changed much over the years, and it's certainly not as dynamic and ambitious as it was back in the days of the Xbox 360. But the foundation EA built back in 2010 has held up remarkably well over the years. And with FIFA 18, it goes back to its strengths a little bit after a year that frankly wasn't that much fun to play." -- Kat Bailey [Full review]

GamesRadar+ -- Review-in-Progress

"There's more punch to shooting from distance, more intent on crosses (with genuine whip added to the ball--my favourite of all the new changes), and players are sharper when it comes to breaking onto loose balls or throwing themselves at shots." -- Ben Wilson [Full review-in-progress]

The Telegraph -- Review-in-Progress

"FIFA 18 is a significantly better football game than its predecessor. I was rather fond of FIFA 17, but despite the engine overhaul it was still beholden to some of FIFA’s more long-standing issues. Animations taking too long to unfold and delaying your move; wrestling to control unresponsive players; a lack of individuality from player to player. FIFA 18 has addressed these issues quietly but confidently, like a successful team signing a full-back under the radar because the previous one kept picking up daft bookings." -- [Full review-in-progress]

Digital Trends -- 4/5

"FIFA 18 relies a little too much on back-patting and the illusion of choice during its story mode, but it's still remarkable how well Electronic Arts managed to tell the tale of Alex Hunter and his family. The soccer on the field more than backs up the writing, with rewarding gameplay that can entertain even those who normally hate the sport. Just make sure that you carve out plenty of time and say farewell to your family members for the foreseeable future, because you're going to need all the extra time you can get." -- Gabe Gurwin [Full review]

Four Halo Xbox One Backwards Compatible Games Out Now With Free DLC

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 03:24

Picking up a copy of Halo: The Master Chief Collection is no longer the only way to a handful of Halo games on Xbox One. Microsoft has added four more games to the backwards compatibility library, all of them Xbox 360 entries in the Halo series.

As promised, Microsoft has made four games--Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary, Halo 3, Halo 3: ODST, and Halo 4--playable on Xbox One. The full campaigns and multiplayer modes are included, and these are accompanied by all of their DLC packs, which are accessible for free. If you own any of these games, you can simply pop the disc in (or install it from the Ready to Download list, in the case of digital copies) and start playing.

These games are curious--but welcome--additions to the backwards compatibility list, given that Microsoft stands to make money from sales of The Master Chief Collection. That compilation includes improved versions of all of these games (Halo 3: ODST was offered as free DLC post-release), as well as a fully remastered version of Halo 2. MCC remains an attractive option for those looking to play the best-looking versions of these games (or to play Halo 2 on Xbox One), but being able to play the original versions for free is a nice gesture.

Last week saw six more Xbox 360 games made playable on the newer console, including Saints Row: The Third. For a full roundup, check out our full list of Xbox One backwards compatible games.

Trailer For Wes Anderson's Isle Of Dogs Is A Love Letter To Classic Japanese Cinema

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 03:03

Director Wes Anderson is known for his quirky style of filmmaking, but the trailer for his upcoming film, Isle of Dogs, looks like the filmmaker's most peculiar movie to date.

The film, which comes to theaters on March 23, 2018, takes place in Japan in the near future, where an overpopulation of canines--along with an outbreak of canine flu--forces the mayor of Megasaki to sign a decree, sending all infected pups to a island made of trash. A 12-year-old boy goes on an adventure to the garbage isle to find his dog Spots and is accompanied by five hounds.

Anderson said (via Collider) that Isle of Dogs is influenced by the work of iconic Japanese director Akira Kurosawa (Rashomon, Seven Samurai). Considering Kurosawa's work, which are not films you'd take the whole family to see, don't expect Isle of Dogs to get a PG rating, like Fantastic Mr. Fox. The trailer takes viewers on an epic, uphill journey where strangers form unique bonds, which is reminiscent of Kurosawa's work.

In addition to the typical actors we see in Anderson's films--like Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, and Jeff Goldblum--Scarlett Johansson and Bryan Cranston will provide their voices to the film, along with a slew of other familiar names, which can be seen at the end of the trailer above.

The film has a unique animation style that Anderson used in his 2009 film Fantastic Mr. Fox: stop-motion animation, which isn't used as prevalently as it was in the past. "I really liked these TV Christmas specials in America," Anderson explained. "I always liked the creatures in the Harryhausen-type films, but really these American Christmas specials were probably the thing that really made me first want to do it."

Star Trek: Discovery Release Date, How And Where To Watch Online With CBS All Access

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 02:46

The next installment in the Star Trek franchise is coming to a television near you on Sunday, September 24. However, watching the entire first season won't be as simple as flipping on your television to CBS, as the new series will be part of its new streaming service, CBS All Access. Here is everything you need to know in order to watch the new show.

The First Episode Will Air On CBS

Everyone with a television--as long as you have a service to get channels, like cable or an antenna--will be able to watch the first episode of Star Trek: Discovery. The first episode of the series will air on CBS on Sunday, September 24 at 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT. However, it could be delayed as it's following 60 Minutes as well as an NFL game. In addition, you will be able to stream the show live and on-demand through CBS All Access.

The Rest Will Air On CBS All Access

However, if you enjoy the first episode, you will not be able to watch the rest of the series on network television. You'll need to subscribe to its streaming service, CBS All Access, which will provide access to all of Star Trek: Discovery. Luckily, the second episode of Discovery will be available on the service after the broadcast premiere. And every following Sunday, new episodes will premiere on-demand after 8:30 PM ET/5:30 PM PT for All Access subscribers in the United States.

According to IMDb, Season 1 of Discovery will consist of 15 episodes. It will run from September 24 until February 18, 2018. There will be a mid-season break from November 7 until January 7, 2018.

How To Watch CBS All Access

Because CBS All Access is not available through cable or satellite packages, like how Comcast incorporates Netflix, you will need to take extra steps in order to watch the series, but it's nothing out of the ordinary. Aside from being able to watch it on your PC, CBS All Access is available for the Roku Player, Apple TV, Chromecast, Android TV, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Fire TV.

The Price Of CBS All Access

The price point for the service is $6 a month, which includes a one week free trial. Like Hulu, limited commercials will run while you watch the content. However, you can upgrade to a package that has no commercials for $10 a month, which has a free two day trial. All Access also offers a discount of 15% off of an annual plan. This comes out to $60 a year or $100 a year for the commercial-free option.

Your Total Cost To Watch

What it comes down to is the total cost to watch Discovery. If that's your only reason for getting All Access, which also gives subscribers access to previous Star Trek television series, then you're paying for six months of service (counting September as a full month). That's going to run you $36 to watch, unless you get the one week free deal, which should be $30, total. If you choose to watch without commercials, you'll be paying $60 in total.

It's a bit of a double-edged sword for those on the fence with Star Trek: Discovery. Considering All Access doesn't have a ton of original streaming content, this may not be a great deal for someone who already has a cable or satellite service. All Access seems like a better option for cord cutters more than anything else.

Disclosure: GameSpot's parent company is CBS Interactive.

New Dragon Ball FighterZ Screenshots Show Off Tien, Yamcha, And Original Character Android 21

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 02:40

Bandai Namco has released a new trailer and screenshots for the highly anticipated Dragon Ball FighterZ. Both the video and images showcase the game's three recently announced characters: Yamcha, Tien Shinhan, and the original character Android 21.

The trailer, which you can watch above, offers another brief glimpse at the game's "what if" campaign, which follows a "forbidden" story arc in which Android 16 is revived to hunt Goku and the other Z Fighters. It also features the all-new Android 21, who was "supervised" by Dragon Ball creator Akira Toriyama. Android 21 appears to play a very prominent role in the story mode; she's described as having intelligence on par with Dr. Gero and is implied to be behind Android 16's resurrection. You can see screenshots of Android 21 below.

Bandai Namco also released a handful of screenshots for Yamcha and Tien, who were revealed alongside Android 21 in the most recent issue of V-Jump magazine. Yamcha is described as a close-range fighter; in the screenshots, you can see him using his signature Wolf Fang Fist attack, as well as the Kamehameha. Tien sports his outfit from Dragon Ball Super and can use a variety of techniques in battle, including the Tri-Beam and Dodon Ray. Like Android 18, he can also call in another character for assistance--in this case his buddy Chiaotzu, who can use his telekinetic powers to temporarily "seal" an opponent.

More Dragon Ball FighterZ news may be on the way this week. During Tokyo Game Show, developer Arc System Works will host a live FighterZ panel that will feature a guest appearance by Hikaru Midorikawa, the Japanese voice actor for Android 16. The panel takes place on Saturday, September 23, at 4:00 PM JST/12:00 AM PT/3 AM ET; you can stream it on Bandai Namco's Japanese YouTube channel.

Dragon Ball FighterZ is releasing for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2018. PS4 and Xbox One players who reserve a physical version will unlock Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Super Saiyan Blue Vegeta early as a pre-order bonus.

DC's Watchmen TV Show Given Pilot Order By HBO

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 01:59

The TV adaptation of the classic DC graphic novel Watchmen has been given an official pilot order by HBO. Earlier the week, writer and producer Damon Lindelof teased the project on Instagram, but now Deadline has confirmed that the network has greenlit a pilot.

The site also clarified that the image posted by Lindelof was of the writer's room for the show, which officially opened on Tuesday. It wasn't initially clear how far along the project was, but we now know that it is at the very start of the writing process. Although it is currently unknown who will be collaborating with Lindelof, Deadline states that HBO has also ordered scripts for additional episodes.

Lindelof's acclaimed drama The Leftovers was also screened on HBO, and it concluded its third and final season this past summer. His other writing credits include Prometheus and Star Trek Into Darkness, and he was the co-creator and joint-showrunner of Lost.

Watchmen was first published by DC in 1986 as a 12-part limited series. It was written by Alan Moore and illustrated by Dave Gibbons and is widely considered to be one of the greatest comic books ever released. It helped usher in a new, more mature approach to mainstream superhero comics, and in 2005, it was featured on Time's list of 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.

A film version was in the works for many years, and 12 Monkeys director Terry Gilliam was attached at one stage. In 2009, Zack Snyder directed a Watchmen movie, which was a modest success, making $185 million at the worldwide box office.

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds Graphics Settings Guide and PC Performance Tips

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 01:00

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds--or PUBG--has taken PC gaming by storm; it’s even pushed some to upgrade or build their own PC strong enough to run the game competently. But what specs should you have and what kind of graphics settings and framerates should you expect to get? Here’s a quick graphics settings guide with some performance tips.

Talking Specs

While it uses Unreal Engine 4, the game sets a pretty low bar to clear by today’s standards in terms of minimum specs. The following list is PUBG's system requirements:

  • CPU: Intel Core i3-4340 or AMD FX-6300
  • GPU: Nvidia GTX 660 (2GB) or AMD Radeon HD 7850 (2GB)
  • Memory: 6GB RAM
  • Disk Space: 30GB

Of course, you would more power than that to get an ideal experience with this game. So, as we did with our feature and video on the Destiny 2 PC beta’s graphics and performance, we tested out what we could get out of a modest mid-range system. This is what we used:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-3570K
  • GPU: MSI GTX 970 (4GB)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM

You should keep in mind that PUBG is still an early access title. Future updates, patches, and drivers will continually change performance across different systems, and even add new graphical effects.

What About Graphics Settings

We’re given some straight-forward options, but the game doesn't explain what they do outright. PUBG has garnered plenty of PC newcomers and some may be new to these terms as well. And there are some important distinctions to be made as of these settings can significantly affect how the game is played. We'll walk you through some of the things we noticed with each graphics settings.

First off, we're using 1920x1080 (1080p) for our resolution. PUBG does offer native 4K (3840x2160) support, but it's very demanding for our machine, and even some higher-end systems can have trouble with this game.

Anti-aliasing smooths out jagged edges around objects. Turning this up will clean up the overall image, but you will take a sizable hit in framerate. We recommend having some form of anti-aliasing, and we afforded to use the "High" setting. There isn’t much of a difference between “High” and “Ultra” visually.

Anti-aliasing smooths out edges, but it'll cost a few frames per second.

Shadows determines the fidelity of shadows, of course. But it is important that you use the "Medium" at least. "Low" and "Very Low" will not render a player model’s shadow. Being able to see a player’s shadow is key to tracking opponents indoors and anticipating enemy movement. It can make the difference between death and survival, especially if you see their shadow move before the actual player model. You should note that “High” and “Very High” will tax your system heavily, however.

Player shadows will not render at "Very Low" and "Low" settings.

Foliage changes the detail of brush and grass, but it does not affect the amount that shows up in game. It also doesn’t affect the distance at which grass pops up. You won’t gain an advantage by turning it down.

View Distance should be maxed out to help make sure you can see as many objects as possible off in the distance. It’s key if you’re using high-powered scopes or trying to watch activity from a high vantage point. It does not affect the distance at which player models appear.

Post-processing encompasses effects like ambient occlusion and dynamic lighting. “Low” will give you ambient occlusion, which is a notable visual improvement. “High” will add a sort of depth of field, and Very High will add dynamic lighting effects like bloom and god rays.

Effects determines the number of particles used to render visual effects like gunfire or explosions. The more, the better, but your system will take a performance hit when fire and explosions fill up the screen.

Texture improves the detail of surfaces. It's simple enough, but we’d suggest at least "Medium" since "Low" is a very noticeable downgrade.

Screen scale is supersampling. If it’s set above 100, the game will render a higher resolution image and downscale it to fit your display. While it makes the game look better, I’d avoid it in this case since we prefer to keep our framerates higher.

Motion Blur creates a blur effect when moving the camera which adds a sense of speed, but this is mostly up to your preference. And you’ll want to keep V-Sync off, unless you're getting unbearable screen tearing.

If you want a closer look at what all these graphics settings do and how they affect games, check out our comprehensive explainer and our featured video series.

How The Game Performs

After some careful thought and experimentation, these were our preferred graphics settings:

  • Anti-aliasing: High
  • Post-processing: Low
  • Shadows: Medium
  • Texture: High
  • Effects: Medium
  • Foliage: High
  • View Distance: Ultra

With these settings, you're probably wondering what kind of framerates our modest system was able to produce. Through an entire solo match during normal in-game weather conditions, the framerate stayed between a high 50 FPS and a high 70 FPS. It seems that with our system and settings, we hit a sweet spot between graphics quality and performance.

The 60-second warm up phase before the match starts is a good indication of a worse-case scenario when it comes to performance. So, if your system can handle that sequence with a playable framerate (around 40 FPS), you should be able to enjoy this game smoothly.

If you watched our video on the cheap gaming PC we built, you'd recall that we tested it in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds. With a quad core AMD Ryzen 3 CPU and a GTX 1050 at 1080p and medium settings, we roughly got high 30 FPS to low 50 FPS. Higher-end systems, equipped with either AMD's RX Vega cards or Nvidia's GTX 1070 and up, you’d still want to take into consideration how shadows and anti-aliasing impact your framerate, especially if you have a high-refresh rate monitor or want to do 4K.

Again, PUBG is still in early access and will go through changes and optimizations. There’s still occasional random hitches and stutters, and quirks to how textures load and how effects are rendered. PUBG isn’t the best looking game, but it's still a bit graphically demanding; the game will have some hiccups with optimization.

Hopefully you found this helpful and learned something about the graphics quality settings in Playerunknown's Battleground, or at least got some context as to how the game runs. If you want more in-depth explanations, check out our series on PC graphics settings. Newcomers to PUBG might also want to read through our beginner's guide on how to survive and get that coveted chicken dinner.

Nintendo Switch Eshop Adds Seven New Games This Week

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:57

It's a packed week of releases for Nintendo Switch. Seven new games arrive for the console this week, and there are some very notable titles among the bunch.

Headlining this week's releases is Pokken Tournament DX, an updated port of the Pokemon fighting game. This version includes a handful of new features that weren't available in the Wii U title, such as new Pokemon like Empoleon and Decidueye, a Team Battle mode, and online group matches. Pokken Tournament DX releases on Friday, September 22, but those planning to purchase it digitally will be able to download it tonight from the Eshop beginning at 9 PM PT/12 AM ET.

Also arriving on September 22 is Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, the well-received Dragon Ball RPG/fighting game. New to the Switch version are some console-exclusive features, such as ad-hoc multiplayer, optional motion controls to perform signature Dragon Ball attacks like the Kamehameha, and two-player multiplayer using a single Joy-Con each. Critic Heidi Kemps called the original release "among the best games to emerge from this beloved franchise" in our Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 review.

This week's other notable titles are SteamWorld Dig 2 and Thimbleweed Park, both of which are available now in the Switch Eshop. SteamWorld Dig 2 is a Metroidvania-style side-scrolling adventure. Players take on the role of a steambot named Dorothy and must use their pickaxe to navigate the game's labyrinthine world and reunite her with a lost companion. Thimbleweed Park, meanwhile, is a point-and-click adventure game from the co-creator of Maniac Mansion. The game features five characters that players can freely switch between and was inspired by television series like The X-Files and Twin Peaks.

Rounding out this week's releases is the latest ACA Neo Geo game, Art of Fighting; the matching puzzle game Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase; and the Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game. You can see the full list of this week's new Switch titles below.

This Week's Nintendo Switch New Releases

September 20

  • Soldam: Drop, Connect, Erase

September 21

  • ACA Neo Geo Art of Fighting
  • SteamWorld Dig 2
  • Thimbleweed Park

September 22

  • Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2
  • Lego Ninjago Movie Video Game
  • Pokken Tournament DX

DC's Joker Origin Movie Might Have A Finshed Script Soon

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:19

Last month it was revealed that there were two separate movies focusing on the Joker in development at DC--a Joker/Harley Quinn film that would reunite Suicide Squad's Jared Leto and Margot Robbie, and a standalone origin movie. It has now been reported that the latter project is moving forward quickly and that the script is nearly finished.

The news comes via Variety reporter Justin Kroll, who suggested that the film could shoot as soon as next year. He tweeted:

Hear THE JOKER script will be turned in by next week, super fast considering when announcement went out bodes well for 2018 shoot

— Justin Kroll (@krolljvar) September 20, 2017

Although the film has not been officially announced by DC, it already has some big names attached to it. It has been reported that legendary filmmaker Martin Scorsese will produce, with The Hangover's Todd Phillips lined up as a potential director. In addition, Leonardo DiCaprio--who has worked with Scorsese many times over the years--is being considered for the lead role.

The fact that there are two Joker movies in the works has caused some confusion, not least to Leto. Earlier this month, the actor was asked about the situation. "I'm a little confused, too," he admitted. "There are a couple of things happening. I love the Joker. He's a great character and really fun character to play. But it's a big universe and when you play the Joker, there's no ownership there. You have the honor of holding the baton for a little while and then passing it off. There are other films that are in development and I’m excited to see what comes from them."

However, according to a recent story in The Hollywood Reporter, Leto was "was caught off guard by the plans." The site states that he subsequently informed his agents that he wasn't happy about DC planning to have "multiple Jokers."

In related news, it has been reported that Suicide Squad 2 now has a director. Gavin O'Connor will helm the supervillain team-up sequel, which is expected to start shooting next year.

Watch 40 Minutes Of The Evil Within 2

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:00

We recently played a new chapter of The Evil Within 2, a rather harrowing section of the game framed by two boss fights. These scenes recall the more action-driven side of survival horror and slightly less on the psychological aspects of the genre. These sections recall the earlier works of producer Shinji Mikami like Resident Evil and Dino Crisis, where facing bosses head on is seldom the sensible thing to do. Instead, survival means running to maintain some distance between you and a boss, while scavenging for whatever items and ammo you can find. And if this meaty slice is any indication of the full game, expect The Evil Within 2 to have its share of mild brain-teasers when it drops on October 13, 2017.

Watch 8 Minutes Of Doom On Switch

Fri, 09/22/2017 - 00:00

Doom appearing on the Nintendo Switch was one of the highlights of the most recent Nintendo Direct. We managed to get some quality time with this acclaimed shooter using Switch's portable screen setup. Note that we played this non-final build on a Switch debug unit, so the frame rate and performance is subject to change. We also encountered some sound glitches during our direct-line audio recording due to the nature of the debug.

Doom looks to be one of the bloodier games for the Switch as we were assured the gore will not be toned down for the Nintendo console. It's also supported by all the original version's post-release content. That includes the suite of multiplayer maps and modes, which will be offered as an optional free download at launch. Doom on Switch is scheduled for release Holiday 2017.

Thor: Ragnarok Director Is Latest Name Attached To Live-Action Akira Movie

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 22:51

Akira is one of the best known anime and manga properties, and it is little wonder that Hollywood has been looking to make a live-action movie version for some time. Numerous directors have been considered for the project over the years, and the latest is Taika Waititi, whose next film is the upcoming Thor: Ragnarok.

As reported by Deadline, Waititi is in "negotiations" with Warner to helm a new movie adaptation of Akira. While this is far from a done deal, the fact that Waititi is having active talks with the studio means that the project is moving forward.

In March, it was reported that the latest directors under consideration were David Sandberg (Light's Out) and Daniel Espinosa (Life). Prior to that, Star Trek Beyond's Justin Lin was in talks, while Mad Mad director George Miller previously revealed that he was also approached by the studio.

In 2015, it was rumored that a trilogy was being planned, with Christopher Nolan involved at some level. Before that, The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra was attached--click here to see some concept art of this version. Deadline notes that a trilogy is still part of Warner's plan for Akira.

In 2012, the film actually reached the pre-production stage before the Vancouver productions offices were shut down by the studio.

The manga of Akira ran between 1982 and 1990, and is widely credited for popularising Japanese comic books internationally. Equally, the success of the 1989 movie version did much to introduce Western viewers to anime, and is now considered one of the finest sci-fi films ever made.

New Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite Video Shows DLC Fighter Monster Hunter

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 21:25

Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite only launched this week, but already developer Capcom is gearing up to release new playable characters. Monster Hunter is the latest to be revealed, and you can check out some gameplay with the new fighter above.

Monster Hunter is one of four new playable characters coming as DLC this year. Capcom confirmed the others (Winter Soldier, Black Widow, and Venom) to GameSpot earlier this week, though no release date has yet been set for any of them.

They'll join an existing cast of 32 fighters--check out all the Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite characters here. Alternatively, take a look our guide on how to beat Ultron Omega or our glossary of terms for Marvel vs. Capcom newbies.

In our Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite review-in-progress, critic Tamoor Hussain said the game's underlying mechanics make it an "outstanding fighting game."

He wrote: "Capcom has understood what caused the stagnation of Marvel vs. Capcom 3's competitive scene and, to some extent, the issues Street Fighter V currently faces. In response it has created a fighting game focused on individuality and expression, with deep systems that reward studious players but also accommodate casuals. As someone who both plays and watches fighting games, I am excited to see what the future holds for Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite." Read more in our full Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite review-in-progress, and keep an eye out for our final review soon.

New Resident Evil 7 DLC Gameplay Video Shows Fan-Favorite Character In Action

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 20:12

Resident Evil 7's upcoming Not A Hero expansion is coming in December, and now fans can see it in action for the first time. The DLC stars series stalwart Chris Redfield and is set after the events of Resident Evil 7's base game. Take a look at the gameplay video below.

Not A Hero was originally slated to launch this past spring, but it was pushed back in order to improve the DLC so that it could "match the high quality of the main game," according to game director Koshi Nakanishi. It's now launching for free on December 12 alongside the recently announced Gold Edition and another expansion, called End of Zoe. While Not A Hero will see players explore the "horrors that lurk underneath the Baker's mansion," developer Capcom says End of Zoe is a "shocking installment" in which players will learn the fate of Jack and Marguerite's daughter following the events of the main game.

Not A Hero and End of Zoe aren't the only pieces of Resident Evil 7 DLC: two add-on packs, called Banned Footage Volumes 1 and 2, were released earlier this year, and they're both included in the upcoming Gold Edition.

The base game launched in January to critical acclaim. In our Resident Evil 7: Biohazard review, critic Scott Butterworth called the horror title "a remarkable success."

"By the end of the campaign, I was ready for the game to be over," he wrote, "but that's okay. RE7 ends just as it starts to outstay its welcome, and after the fact, I felt like I'd survived a truly harrowing journey. The boss fights may be slightly inconsistent and certain sections might drag after a while, but RE7 is still a remarkable success. It has a clear vision and executes it with impressive patience and precision. By returning to horror, Resident Evil has once again become something special."

For more, fans of the Resident Evil franchise should definitely check out our two-part Resident Evil documentary series.

Full Trailer For Square Enix's New Game Left Alive Arrives

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 16:04

Following the announcement of Square Enix's intriguing-looking new game Left Alive at Sony's Tokyo Game Show briefing this week, the company has now released a full-length trailer for it.

In addition to the trailer, we learned more about the game itself. It's a "survival action shooter" for PlayStation 4 and PC, due out in 2018. You can check out the trailer below.

One really interesting part of the announcement is that Metal Gear veteran Yoji Shinkawa is working on the project. His artwork can be seen in the trailer above and is also featured below.

Shinji Hashimoto, who has worked on the Final Fantasy and Kingdom Hearts franchises, is producing Left Alive, while Toshifumi Nabeshima, director of the Armored Core series, and Takayuki Yanase, mech designer on Ghost in the Shell: Arise, Mobile Suit Gundam 00, and Xenoblade Chronicles X are also involved.

Sony's TGS briefing brought a lot of new trailers, including new videos for games like Detroit: Become Human, Zone of the Enders VR, and the new Shadow of the Colossus. You can catch up with all the big news and trailers in GameSpot's roundup here.

Destiny 2's Competitive Crucible Playlist Adds A New Trials Of The Nine Map

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 15:52

Destiny 2's Crucible PvP mode has a new map available for the Competitive playlist. Bungie has announced that the map Eternity is now available in the Competitive mode. The map, which you can see a teaser image for below, debuted with the Trials of the Nine event.

It's a pretty strange- and cool-looking map, and it'll be fun to see how it plays in the Competitive Crucible playlist.

The new map Eternity, which premiered with Trials of the Nine, is now available in the Competitive playlist.

— Bungie (@Bungie) September 20, 2017

Competitive is Crucible's more intense PvP mode. Recently, Bungie rolled out some changes so that matches would be more even--you can read more about those changes here.

For more on Destiny 2, be sure to check out our Destiny 2 guides and walkthroughs roundup. You can also read our full review.

Call Of Duty: WW2 Features These Two NFL Players

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:29

As in past years, November's Call of Duty: WWII will feature some familiar faces. NFL players Le'Veon Bell and Alejandro Villanueva of the Pittsburgh Steelers will appear in Activision's shooter as soldiers, the athletes revealed on social media recently.

Bell tweeted a picture of his character model and Villanueva's. He said, "It's truly a blessing and an honor to be a part of my favorite game."

me & big Al are in @CallofDuty: WWII! its truly a blessing and an honor to be apart of my favorite game. #CallOfDutyPartner

— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) September 19, 2017

As ESPN reminds us, Villanueva played his college ball at West Point. He served as an Army Ranger across three tours of duty in Afghanistan before he signed with the Steelers in 2014. Villanueva pushed forward under enemy fire and saved his wounded soldiers on the battleground, earning a Bronze Star Medal for Valor.

As mentioned, Bell and Villanueva are not the first NFL players or celebrities in a Call of Duty game. Call of Duty: Black Ops III featured NFL standout Marshawn Lynch. That game also featured Law & Order star Christopher Meloni as the bad guy. Before that, Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey was the main villain in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

Call of Duty: WWII launches on November 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. A multiplayer beta for the PC edition kicks off on September 29--you can see the PC specs here.

Kingsman Director Calls Out Marketing Team For Revealing Plot Twists

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 11:04

The director of Kingsman: The Golden Circle has called out his film's marketing team for giving away too many plot twists in trailers and other promotional materials. If you've seen a trailer for the film or some of its posters, you probably know what he's talking about. Speaking to Deadline, Matthew Vaughn said revealing these secrets "isn't great for the viewing experience," especially in the film's first act.

"I think the marketing department's done a bloody good job of giving away a lot of the twists and turns. That's been a private bugbear of mine, and I guess now a public one," the director said. "They insist it is the right thing to do. I think it isn't great for the viewing experience and the way I structured the first act. It definitely has left me feeling a bit hamstrung; the narrative thrust has been a little bit weakened."

That being said, there are still more plot twists and reveals that were not in trailers or posters, so viewers may still be surprised by what's there. Vaughn said he hopes these reveals help generate word-of-mouth interest in The Golden Circle.

"There are a few little twists and turns left that I'm definitely fighting like a crazy person right now to make sure those don't get given away," he explained. "I think that will hopefully help the word of the mouth, where people go, 'You aren’t going to be believe X, Y and Z just happened.'"

Vaughn, who also directed the 2014 original Kingsman movie, said he is hopeful that he gets to make a third Kingsman film. He said he's hidden Easter eggs in The Golden Circle that could reference what's coming next.

"I pray to god, I have fingers crossed right now, I am clutching onto a piece of wood that the film is a hit," Vaughn said about The Golden Circle. "Because there are a lot of Easter eggs and ideas that we've already put into this. If you look at the ending of this movie, all the main characters, they're on the cusp of a new and very different adventure.

"It's what I loved about the ending of Empire Strikes Back. I remember sitting in the cinema and going, what do you mean it's over? Whoa, I need some answers," he said. "I was looking at the calendar going, when is Return of the Jedi coming out? I don't think our cliffhangers are as good as Empire Strikes Back, but that really stayed with me, the serialization, always leaving a little bit of wanting more with some resolution needed."

You can read the full interview here at Deadline.

GameSpot's Michael Rougeau said in his Golden Circle review that the movie "cranks up the knobs on everything the first movie did." Rougeau added: "Unfortunately, that means more of the bad along with more of the good. Whether that makes this mission a failure or a success is open to interpretation."

Details On The Fifth Game Of Thrones Spinoff Revealed

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:23

Fresh details have come to light about the fifth Game of Thrones spinoff, which was previously discussed, but not in any length. According to Entertainment Weekly, Game of Thrones co-executive producer Bryan Cogman is writing the fifth project alongside George R.R. Martin.

Writing on his Tumblr, Martin said that, like the other four spinoffs, Cogman's is going to be a prequel as opposed to a sequel. Cogman's show will adapt some part of the Game of Thrones universe, Martin said, though he offered no further details.

"I can say that, like the other pilots, it will be a prequel rather than sequel, a successor rather than a spinoff," Martin said. "Bryan's series will be an adaptation, and one that will thrill most fans of the books, I think, set during a very exciting period of Westerosi history. And I'll be working with him every step of the way; we're going to be co-creating the show."

Martin also clarified in his Tumblr post that, as has been said before, there is a very small chance that all five shows get made. It's more likely that two or three advance to the pilot stage, with maybe one getting the green light. "Much as I might love the idea, HBO is not about to become the GAME OF THRONES network... but we could possibly see two or even three make it to the pilot stage, with one series emerging on air in 2019 or 2020," he said. "And the others maybe later, if they come out as well as we all hope. Then again, maybe... but I should not speculate, you folks get WAY too excited. Truth is, no one knows. Least of all me."

The seventh season of Game of Thrones wrapped up recently, and the season finale had some epic moments. The eighth and final season is reportedly due to begin production in October ahead of its release in 2018 or 2019.

Explaining why HBO is working on so many Game of Thrones prequels, programming president Casey Bloys said it would be "insane" to not at least think about successor shows.

"It would be insane--with a universe like [author Georg R.R. Martin] has created that is so vast and has so many characters and so many timelines--to not, at least, entertain the idea, which is what we're doing," he said.

"So the idea was, if we're going to try it, let's take a couple of shots and see," he said. "My hope is at least one lives up to the level of quality [showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] have set," Bloys explained.

Are you looking forward to the Game of Thrones spinoffs? Let us know in the comments below!

What Does Xbox One X "Enhanced" Really Mean?

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 09:30

Microsoft's Xbox One X represents something somewhat new for the company as it relates to hardware. The console is not a replacement for the current Xbox One. It's not a generational change in the way that Xbox One was to Xbox 360. The Xbox One X will play all of the games available on Xbox One and it works with the controllers you may already have. Microsoft is aware that messaging is important, and now the company has released a video in which Xbox's Albert Penello and Major Nelson explain some of the big points.

Starting off, Penello stressed that every game on Xbox One will work on Xbox One X. This includes titles bought at a physical retailer and digitally. The Xbox One X also features backwards compatibility support for Xbox 360 titles, and Original Xbox games at some point further down the line. Also, your Xbox One controllers work on Xbox One X.

Penello also said all Xbox One games coming in the future will work on the entire Xbox "family of devices."

Also in the video, Penello addressed the "Xbox One-enhanced" wording that Microsoft has been using to describe titles that may look and/or play better on Xbox One X. This is "really a way to inform customers that a developer has done work that allows them to take advantage of all of the performance and all of the horsepower of the Xbox One X," Penello said.

"It's just a simple way for customers to understand, 'This game is doing something special on the Xbox One X."

Penello said developers will decide how to leverage the power of the Xbox One X as they see fit. Different games will do this in different ways. For example, Rise of the Tomb Raider will have an "enriched" mode, along with more advanced textures and "lush environments." Gears of War 4 will run at native 4K, using PC assets. And Forza Motorsport 7 will also run at a native 4K resolution, at 60 FPS, and with high-resolution textures.

Finally, Penello pointed out that Microsoft will update the box art for some games to include "Xbox One X enhanced," while the Xbox digital store will display this information, too.

The Xbox One X launches on November 7, priced at $500 in the United States. Pre-orders opened again today, and you can read GameSpot's in-depth guide here to find out how and where you can pre-order one.