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Another PC Game Is Free At Humble, And It's A Strange One

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 06:10

Humble Bundle has been on a roll with its free game giveaways recently, and the latest limited-time freebie is Jalopy, a simulation game about a man and his uncle on a road trip through Eastern Europe. To claim the game for free, all you have to do is sign up for Humble's newsletter, and you'll receive a DRM-free version of the game for Windows PC via email. If you'd prefer a Steam key, you'll also receive a coupon to buy it for $1 between May 25 and June 1. The offer is only available to redeem for a short time, so claim it soon if you're interested.

Get Jalopy for free at Humble »

In Jalopy, the player character and his uncle are driving to Turkey, where his uncle needs to be dropped off in Istanbul. A "jalopy" refers to a car that's old and barely functional, so it's fitting the game revolves around your car, a Laika 601 Deluxe that frequently breaks down and requires constant monitoring. From the amount of weight in your trunk to the state of the car's engine, every factor affects how well your car will fare against the difficulties of the road. You can upgrade your car's parts, but you'll have to find the money for it first.

"It's a very good sign for a game when even losing is fun. Even when you find yourself on the wrong side of a bad decision, staring at a broken bridge miles from anywhere with no fuel, in the rain while the sun is setting, you can't help but laugh," said Danny O'Dwyer in GameSpot's video review of Jalopy. "Like a banged-up car, [the game] is challenging, but Jalopy has a wonderful sense of charm."

There is a story underlining the bizarre road trip taken by your character and his uncle, but it's best to just dive in and experience what Jalopy is all about for yourself--especially since it'll cost you nothing to do so for the next couple of days.

Your Name Director's Next Anime Movie Releases In The US Early Next Year

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 05:19

GKIDS, a film distributor responsible for bringing many Japanese anime films to the West, has announced it has acquired the distribution rights to Weathering With You (known as Tenki no Ko in Japan) and will be debuting the movie in the US in 2020. Weathering With You is directed by Makoto Shinkai, best known for directing the critically acclaimed anime films 5 Centimeters Per Second and Your Name--the latter of which surpassed Spirited Away as Japan's highest-grossing animated film of all time.

"GKIDS is thrilled to be working with Makoto Shinkai and Genki Kawamura on Weathering With You, following their blockbuster hit Your Name," GKIDS founder and CEO Eric Beckman said in a press release, according to Variety. "We have been huge fans of Makoto Shinkai since his breathtaking 5 Centimeters Per Second, and he is unquestionably one of the top animation filmmakers working today. Weathering With You combines Shinkai's unparalleled visually beautiful and detailed animation with a riveting emotional story that will be sure to connect with audiences worldwide."

Weathering With You follows the exploits of Hokoda, a high school student who runs away from home to go live in Tokyo. Unfortunately for him, city life isn't as grand as he hoped, and he soon finds himself in financial trouble. For some strange reason, the weather is always gloomy as well, with non-stop rain. To make ends meet, Hokoda starts writing in a magazine that deals with the occult and supernatural phenomenon. His life takes a very real, very fantastical turn, however, when he meets Hina, a high school girl with the ability to reverse the rain and make the sky sunny again.

Weathering With You is already scheduled to premiere in Japan on July 19. No exact date has been announced for the US debut, other than early 2020. Like Your Name, the movie will be shown in US theaters in both Japanese with English subtitles and English dub.

Your Name has recently been in the news again as its popularity has inspired Hollywood to create an Americanized live-action remake. The remake is being produced by The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker director J.J. Abrams and its screenplay is being written by Arrival screenwriter Eric Heisserer. A release date has yet to be announced.

Animal Crossing Switch: What We Want At E3 2019

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 05:00

It was long expected, but Nintendo finally made it official last fall: A new Animal Crossing game is in the works for the Switch. The company announced the news during a Nintendo Direct presentation back in September, after it was revealed that Isabelle would be joining the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster as a playable fighter. And while we didn't get any more details about the game beyond a vague "2019" release window, the assurance that a new entry was indeed in development was enough to sate Animal Crossing fans, who had been starved for any kind of updates on the status of the franchise.

Animal Crossing for Switch will mark the series' first new mainline installment since New Leaf, which launched for the 3DS back in 2013, six full years ago. Given this long wait for a follow-up, anticipation for the game is understandably high, and with its release still slated for this year, many are expecting Nintendo to pull back the curtain on the title during its E3 2019 presentation next month. With that still a few weeks away, let's take this time to look back on everything we know so far about the new Animal Crossing game for Switch, and what we can expect to hear about it at E3.

What We Know So Far

Outside of confirming its existence, Nintendo has shared very few details about Animal Crossing for Switch. We know the game is launching sometime in 2019, presumably during the holiday season. The company also described the title in a press release as a "mainline" installment, not another off-shoot in the vein of Happy Home Designer or Amiibo Festival, which suggests it will feature the series' beloved mix of town management and life sim gameplay elements. It also seems safe to say that everyone's favorite capitalist, Tom Nook, will return; not only has he been a mainstay of the series since its inception, he was the sole character featured in Animal Crossing Switch's teaser trailer. In that video, Nook mentions he needs to "make sure everyone has a nice, new place to come home to," suggesting he'll once again be the one who provides you with your lodgings in the upcoming title.

What Is Confirmed For E3?

Nintendo typically doesn't divulge too many details about its E3 lineup ahead of the event, and that certainly holds true heading into this year's show. All the company has said thus far about its E3 2019 presentation is that it will take place during its traditional time slot--the Tuesday the expo begins at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET--and focus on "Nintendo Switch titles for 2019." Still, while no games have been singled out specifically, Nintendo has a number of big releases lined up for this year, including Animal Crossing for Switch. While it hasn't been outright confirmed, it seems likely that Nintendo will use its E3 presentation to officially reveal the first details and footage of the new Animal Crossing game.

What We Hope To See At E3 2019

Given that we currently know next to nothing about the new Animal Crossing game, we're hoping Nintendo devotes a portion of its E3 Direct to finally giving us a glimpse at the title. Since the game is being billed as a "mainline" installment, it's safe to say it will feature the usual assortment of activities--fishing, bug catching, fossil collecting, home decorating, et cetera--and life sim elements that have served as the foundation of the series since the beginning. Even with this knowledge, however, there are many unanswered questions about the game. Will it once again place players in the role of mayor, as in New Leaf? What new features will it introduce? And will it incorporate any elements from Happy Home Designer, or even the series' mobile game, Pocket Camp? Hopefully E3 will give us some answers.

Another big question is what "hook" Animal Crossing for Switch will boast. Each game in the series thus far has introduced some distinctive element to help set it apart from previous installments; in City Folk for Wii, for instance, players could travel to a city area where a variety of shops were located, while the aforementioned New Leaf put players behind the mayor's desk and let them build public works projects, enact ordinances, and have a greater degree of control over the experience. The upcoming Switch game will undoubtedly have some hook of its own, and Nintendo will make a big deal of it when it does finally unveil the title, be that at E3 or during a different presentation.

Beyond that, we will likely also learn some details about the game's online features. Multiplayer has been an integral component of the series from the start, and Nintendo will want to use Animal Crossing as a vehicle to further drive Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions. Being able to visit another player's town is all but guaranteed, but what other activities you'll be able to do together remains to be seen. In New Leaf, players could gather at a tropical island to take part in tours and minigames together--will something similar be featured in Animal Crossing for Switch? And will the game give you new online options, such as the ability to set up a secondary home in another player's town? One thing is for sure--with Animal Crossing coming this year, it won't be long until we get a look at the game.

PS4 And PS5 Cross-Gen Multiplayer Teased Alongside Backwards Compatibility

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 04:28

News of the next PlayStation console gets more enticing the more we hear about it. This time, in talking about backward compatibility, Sony's looking to bridge the gap between the PS4 and the PS5, possibly allowing owners of each to play PlayStation 4 titles together.

As part of a recent investors meeting (where the PS5's impressive load times were showcased), Sony discussed both backwards compatibility and the prospect of PS4 and PS5 players being able to play certain games together. "Backwards compatibility, in a networked era, becomes something that is incredibly powerful," newly appointed Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO and president Jim Ryan said (via GamesRadar). "Because the gaming community is somewhat tribal in its nature, backwards compatibility gives us the opportunity to migrate that community from PlayStation 4 to next-gen using the ability to play the PS4 games they have on their next-generation console. We think it's incredibly important."

As for cross-platform multiplayer between the two consoles, SIE deputy president John Kodera noted: "Cross-generation the community can enjoy the games together." Given the vagueness of the quote, it remains to be seen exactly how this will function.

Sony wants you to buy a PS5, sure, but the company seems to be taking steps to ensure the PS5 isn't just another PlayStation console. Instead, Sony's assuring that at least some of your PS4 games will play without a hitch and that you'll be able to play with your friends who have yet to upgrade, all while supplying faster load times.

There have been numerous rumors circulating since Sony first unveiled details about the PS5. There's no word on a release date, but if former SIE boss John Kodera's "three years away" quote from 2018 is to be believed, we may not see the next-gen PlayStation console until 2021. As of right now, though, we do know the PS5 will use solid-state drives and will support PSVR. As far as price goes, Sony's lead architect Mark Cerny told Wired writer Peter Rubin that the PS5 will have an "appealing" price point: "I believe that we will be able to release it at an SRP [suggested retail price] that will be appealing to gamers in light of its advanced feature set."

E3 2019: Cyberpunk 2077 Won't Be Playable, But New Gameplay Will Be Shown

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 04:25

CD Projekt Red has begun outlining its Cyberpunk 2077 plans for E3 2019. Unfortunately, the upcoming RPG won't be playable during the show, but it will be on display for all to see. No exclusive closed-door presentations this year; even the public will be able to see everything new CD Projekt Red is bringing to E3.

"To answer many questions about the demo and whether or not [Cyberpunk 2077] will be playable at E3--we are going to be hosting gameplay presentations (game played by us) in that cinema," CD Projekt Red global community lead Marcin Momot wrote in a tweet. In a follow-up tweet, he clarified that "these showings will be different" from what's been seen before, but that he won't "go into details now" about what fans can expect.

Hyped to share with you that we’ll be present in the public zone at E3 2019, too! #Cyberpunk2077 pic.twitter.com/bT2d7mA3QC

— Adam Badowski (@AdamBadowski) May 23, 2019

CD Projekt Red CEO Adam Kiciński seems excited to show off what the studio has planned for E3. In a blog post, Kiciński said, "We will be taking part in the upcoming edition of E3, which is shaping up to be the most important fair in CD Projekt's history. We want to be even more prominent in Los Angeles than we were last year."

Ahead of the release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red opened an online retail store. The shop sells merchandise themed after the developer's latest titles, such as The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, Gwent: The Witcher Card Game, and Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales. Cyberpunk 2077 items are live on the store as well.

Though it was initially teased back in 2013, it took years for CD Projekt Red to reveal anything concrete about Cyberpunk 2077. We finally got our first good look in 2018. The nearly hour-long demo showcased Cyberpunk 2077's interactive open world, as well as the game's mission structure, character customization, choice-driven narrative, boss battles, and high-tech weapons.

CD Projekt Red has yet to reveal what exactly it will showcase at E3 this year, but we're hoping a release date is announced. The developer might also reveal what contribution Digital Scapes--a well-known multiplayer-focused studio hired by CD Projekt Red to work on Cyberpunk 2077--has contributed to the game.

Why E3 2019 Will Be Different From Past Years, And What To Expect

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 03:56

Diminished as its role in the industry might have become, the Electronic Entertainment Expo--better known as E3--remains a major showcase for the games industry. It's undeniably in a state of upheaval, as an increasing number of companies either have distanced themselves from it (such as Electronic Arts, which opts to hold its EA Play event nearby in the days leading up to E3 proper) or removed themselves entirely (such as Sony, which will seemingly go without any kind of big event or press conference this June). Nevertheless, E3 2019 will still have a number of major press conferences from companies like Microsoft and Bethesda, and the show floor remains home to many major publishers. But how did we get to this point?

In the '90s, gaming was without a major event of its own; in place of such a thing, developers had a presence at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But May 1995 saw the debut of gaming's own industry trade show in the form of E3. It was held at the Los Angeles Convention Center, a site that has served as the home for the vast majority of the show's existence. Until recent years, E3 has been closed completely to the public, serving instead as a meeting place for members of the industry and press, along with retailers. That distinction was reflected in its attendance: Even at its peak, E3 paled in comparison to the sheer size of something like Germany's Gamescom, which is open to the public.

Press conferences held in the days prior to E3 have long served as the preeminent place for making announcements and revealing games. E3 has been home to the unveiling of major games and hardware over the past two decades. Despite the existence of other major events, like Gamescom and the Tokyo Game Show, it's traditionally been E3 that publishers save their biggest news for.

But the last decade-plus has proven to be challenging, as the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the industry's trade association that organizes E3, tries to figure out exactly what the show should be. From 2007-2008, it downsized the event significantly to what was known as the E3 Media and Business Summit. 2009 saw the event revert back to something closer to its former self, and more recent years have seen an increasing amount of access granted to members of the public, who had previously been unable to attend. To some degree, it's muddled the purpose of the show; E3 is in something of an awkward middle ground now where it's expected to simultaneously fulfill its prior role and serve as a fan event. Whereas a show like Gamescom has a day open only to industry members and the press, E3 does not. Instead, it has a few hours during the first two of its three days where the doors are not open to the public. Meanwhile, for members of the public that do attend, the reality often amounts to standing in very long lines and watching the press conferences online like those at home. It's not really ideal for anyone.

Further complicating the purpose of E3 have been various shifts in how the industry works. Free-to-play games, games as a service, and longer console generations, combined with companies' ability to showcase their wares through events like PlayStation Experience and Nintendo Direct, have called into question whether an event like E3, conceived during a much different era of video games, continues to be the best use of resources.

Case in point: Sony, which has typically had one of the largest presences at E3 and was responsible for one of its most significant press conferences, has opted out of E3 2019 entirely. This move comes after Sony's atypical 2018 showing, which was criticized by some for the fact that it focused almost exclusively on four upcoming PS4 games, rather than the much wider slate we'd usually see.

Explaining the rationale behind its decision not to attend E3 2019, Sony told GameSpot last year, "As the industry evolves, Sony Interactive Entertainment continues to look for inventive opportunities to engage the community. PlayStation fans mean the world to us and we always want to innovate, think differently and experiment with new ways to delight gamers. As a result, we have decided not to participate in E3 in 2019. We are exploring new and familiar ways to engage our community in 2019 and can't wait to share our plans with you."

Subsequently, Sony Worldwide Studios head Shawn Layden expanded even further on the diminished role E3 serves. "Now we have an event in February called Destination PlayStation, where we bring all retailers and third-party partners to come hear the story for the year," he said. "They're making purchasing discussions in February. June, now, is just too late to have a Christmas holiday discussion with retailers. So retail has really dropped off. And journalists now, with the internet and the fact that 24/7 there is game news, it's lost its impact around that."

"So the trade show became a trade show without a lot of trade activity. The world has changed, but E3 hasn't necessarily changed with it," he added.

It remains to be seen what Sony's plans for "new and familiar ways to engage" fans will look like. While it's unusual for one of the three console manufacturers to not be at E3, some of the industry's major publishers already sit it out. Rockstar doesn't attend E3 in a public capacity, only having a presence during Microsoft or Sony press conferences when it has a game to showcase. Activision has already pulled out of E3 2019, though we do know that this year's Call of Duty game will be discussed at the E3 Coliseum. This is a series of panels and discussions hosted by Geoff Keighley that anyone at E3 can attend. While it's by no means equivalent to the various publishers' press conferences, the Coliseum is home to some reveals and--as it's open to fans at the show--feels like E3 continuing to try to figure out what it is in the modern day.

It's not as if all of the major players have dropped out, however. Microsoft has pledged to "go big" at E3 2019. Nintendo will also be in there in a similar capacity to recent years, although it continues to use pre-recorded Nintendo Direct events rather than the live press conference it held in the past. Microsoft continues to go the live route, while EA has exited E3 and launched an event that takes place in the days prior. Other companies--including Bethesda and Square Enix--have stepped in to fill that gap with their own E3 briefings, alongside smaller publishers like Devolver. There's also the possibility for Google, which is entering the industry with Stadia, to have an EA Play-style showcase around the time of E3, although it doesn't appear that will come during E3 proper.

We don't yet know what the future of E3 looks like. The ESA has faced its own issues, as detailed in a recent Variety report. Since that story was published, the group has named a new CEO, Stanley Pierre-Louis, who has spoken enthusiastically about E3. But he'll be faced with addressing questions of whether the group that lobbies on behalf of the games industry in Washington should also be in charge of organizing a continually evolving trade show.

E3 could have been facing a significant change as soon as next year; E3 2019 had been the last show confirmed for the LACC, but that deal has since been extended to 2023, so we won't see it moving to a different venue or city for at least a few more years. In the meantime, more companies could decide to drop out, as they decide the cost and trouble isn't worth it--keep in mind, it's not cheap to put on an E3 show, not to mention the impact it has on development as studios are forced to divert resources toward creating demos, trailers, and so on. And there are now more options than ever for sharing news, including the annual PSX and The Game Awards; Sony and Microsoft testing the waters with their own Nintendo Direct-style broadcasts throughout the year; and a new show in August from The Game Awards organizers called Gamescom: Opening Night Live. As a result, companies have more flexibility than ever to showcase their games when they're ready to do so, rather than forcing an E3 demo or trailer out the door in June, regardless of when it would make the most sense to do so.

Only time will tell what future E3s will look like or how long it will continue to exist, but in the meantime, stick around GameSpot for in-depth coverage of whatever this year's show brings, and check out the video above for a deep dive into the history of E3.

Spawn Movie Stalls, Director Todd McFarlane Says He Might "Walk Away"

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 03:50

It's nearly a year since Jamie Foxx and Jeremy Renner were announced as the stars of the Spawn movie reboot, and there have been very few updates about the project since. Now Todd McFarlane, who created the demonic anti-hero for a series of hugely popular comic books in the 1990s and is set to write and direct the movie, has spoken about the delays to the film.

In an interview with comicbook.com, McFarlane revealed that little has happened in the past year and script agreement between the film's financiers was proving to be an issue. "[We're in] about the same spot," he said. "The money's sitting on the sidelines ready to go. I just need to get everyone that wants to put in money to shake their heads to the same script.

"As you can imagine, everyone has a slightly different version of it in their head. You just go and trying to appease a handful of people while not giving in to what it is that I'm trying to do myself. Because if I have to change it too much, I'll just walk away from it all."

McFarlane's Spawn movie has been in the works for several years. In 2017 it was reported that the film would be produced by horror specialists Blumhouse Films, and that the budget would only be around $10 million, in order for McFarlane to make the film he wants. Foxx was announced in the lead role in May last year, while Renner joined as Detective "Twitch" Williams in July.

While McFarlane has not been specific about the current script issues, it doesn't exactly sound like he wants to make a crowd-pleasing comic book adventure. In an interview earlier this year, McFarlane explained that the movie would contain "no joy." He added: "There's gonna be no fun lines in it, and it's just gonna be this dark, ugly two hours' worth of movie, which is essentially what a lot of supernatural/horror movies are anyway."

The Spawn comic book was first published in 1992 and was massively popular, with the first issue selling 1.7 million copies. However, the 1997 film adaptation received a negative critical reception and underperformed commercially.

Another PC Game Is Now Free To Claim From The Epic Store

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 02:54

The Epic Mega Sale launched last week, marking the digital store's first-ever sitewide sale, and it offers some pretty sweet game deals if you don't mind owning them through Epic. The sale includes discounts up to 75% off, an additional $10 off any game over $15, and refunds on recent purchases to adjust for the current sale price. In addition, Epic is expanding its biweekly free game giveaways through the duration of the sale so that customers will get a new free game every week instead of every other week.

The newest free game follows the adventures of a young boy who washes up on a mysterious island after a torrential storm. If this was a Switch discussion, you'd think we were talking about Link's Awakening, but the game in question is Rime, a puzzle game with a gorgeous, intriguing setting. Similar to Journey or The Witness, Rime involves environmental puzzles that require paying close attention to how the world around you shifts in response to your actions. Along the way, the boy is guided by a fox and slowly regains his memory of how he came to be on the island.

The game earned a 6/10 in GameSpot's Rime review, in which critic Oscar Dayus took issue with the game's frustrating puzzles and confusing story. However, the visuals and soundtrack come together to create a beautiful and even relaxing setting. "Rime's artistry is unquestionable. Each world is enchanting in its own way, from the naturalistic peace of the first to the abstract doom of the last. Its soundtrack is similarly beautiful, capable of evoking wonder, tension, and fear in equal measure," he wrote.

Don't forget that the free game posted last week, horror anthology Stories Untold, will also be available to claim from the Epic Store until May 30. At that time, both Stories Untold and Rime will be replaced by the next free game, City of Brass, a first-person dungeon-crawler with an Arabian Nights-themed setting created by former BioShock developers. An Epic account is required to claim any free titles from the Epic Store.

Get Rime for free »

Get Stories Untold for free »

Create a free Epic Store account »

Star Trek: Picard's New Teaser Trailer Is Full-Bodied, With Rich, Oak Flavors

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 02:47

The next CBS All Access original series will expand upon the world of Star Trek, yet again. This time around, it will leap into the future and follow the retirement of Jean-Luc Picard, in the upcoming series Star Trek: Picard. Patrick Stewart recently revealed that the show was on its way, and now, there is a teaser for the upcoming series.

What happened to Jean-Luc Picard after he left Starfleet? Well, the answer is simple: He opened up a vineyard, and now he makes wine. Visually, that's all the new teaser delivers, as it's the voice-over narration that really tells the tale.

"15 years ago, today, you led us out of the darkness," a woman says during the trailer, which you can see above. "You commanded the greatest rescue armada in history. Then, the unimaginable. What did that cost you? Your faith? Your faith in us? Your faith in yourself? Tell us. Why did you leave Starfleet, Admiral?"

Viewers then see a close-up of Jean-Luc Picard (Stewart), followed by "The end is only the beginning" appearing on the screen. Stewart defined the role of Picard on the 1987 series Star Trek: The Next Generation, which ran for seven seasons. It is widely considered to be the best series from the world of Star Trek, and it spawned four theatrical movies.

Obviously, the whole series won't be about Picard making wine. The series takes place after the end of the Romulan Empire and will be more of a psychological show, compared to CBS All Access's Discovery. "[Star Trek: Picard is] a character study about this man in his emeritus years," producer Alex Kurtzman told the LA Times. "There are so few shows that allow a significantly older protagonist to be the driver...It'll be very different than Discovery. It'll be slower, more meditative. It speaks to the rainbow of colors we're playing with in all these different shows."

At this time, there is not a release date for Picard, and the teaser simply states it is "coming soon."

Disclosure: CBS Interactive is the parent company of GameSpot.

The Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century: Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

Fri, 05/24/2019 - 01:00

Join GameSpot as we celebrate gaming history and give recognition to the most influential games of the 21st century. These aren't the best games, and they aren't necessarily games that you need to rush out and play today, but there's no question that they left an indelible impact on game developers, players, and in some cases, society at large.

In 2007, the newly annual Call of Duty series--while incredibly popular--had a lot of competition. It was a landmark year in games, particularly for shooters; BioShock, Team Fortress 2, and Halo 3 all arrived that year, as did Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, and Portal. These days, you might not expect the yearly Call of Duty entry to capture lasting attention among a sea of inventive new franchises. But in 2007, the fourth Call of Duty game, Modern Warfare, was a standout in its own right. Modern Warfare not only marked a shift for the series--it also fundamentally altered multiplayer shooters for over a decade to come.

In the 10 years or so leading up to Modern Warfare, first-person shooters had undergone rapid changes. In the mid-'90s, PC shooters were evolving thanks to technical advancements, and 1998's Half-Life helped set a new standard for storytelling in the genre and in games generally. Both local and online multiplayer improved on a technical level, especially with regard to matchmaking and console multiplayer--thanks, in large part, to Halo 2 and Xbox Live. And then there were Medal of Honor and Call of Duty, which kicked off the World War II game boom of the early 2000s.

Modern Warfare owes a lot to these foundations. Its moment-to-moment gameplay, especially in the campaign, didn't exactly reinvent the wheel. If you looked past the waves of enemies and incredible set piece moments, the campaign was still a rather linear series of checkpoints and, as then-GameSpot reviewer Jeff Gerstmann noted, it was "almost shockingly short." But shock was kind of the point. It was all too easy to get swept up in its larger-than-life action and its fictional-but-still-plausible modern-day narrative. Gerstmann summed up the now-infamous mission All Ghillied Up, in which you crawl through the grass as tanks rumble over you, as "a breathtaking moment in a campaign filled with breathtaking moments."

In many ways, Modern Warfare tread new ground. It was the first Call of Duty game not set during World War II, breaking from the series' origins as a Medal of Honor competitor. And it wasn't a total power fantasy like those WWII games, either. Gerstmann said it perfectly in 2007: "In a world filled with war games in which the good guys come out unscathed and the world is left at total peace, Call of Duty 4 will wake you up like a face full of ice water." That's illustrated best by the mission Shock and Awe, in which you have to work to evacuate your AI squadmates before a nuke detonates, all set to a countdown timer. No matter how fast you operate, you will fail, and that nuke will go off--and everyone, including you, will die.

The single-player campaign received widespread praise among critics and fans, and so too did the multiplayer. Modern Warfare introduced a number of series mainstays, including Hardcore game modes (where your health is much lower and there's no HUD, among other changes) and Killstreaks, which later branched out into different kinds of streak rewards. But it was Modern Warfare's class-based progression system that would end up having the biggest impact.

In Modern Warfare's multiplayer, you started off with a choice of three classes (five total, after you leveled up a bit and unlocked the rest) with different specializations and loadouts. What set it apart was the new perks system, in which each class had preset, distinct perks that you'd unlock as you played that class. That meant that, by playing a specific way, you'd be rewarded with further ways to improve that playstyle--and once you unlocked the ability to create a custom class, you could combine perks from each class you'd been playing and leveling up.

It was a system that gave you solid incentives to keep playing, outside the general fun of competition, and that's the kind of thing that creates dedicated players who stick with a game for months and years. Many shooters adapted this in the years following. Once a strong competitor, 2010's Medal of Honor emulated Modern Warfare's progression system and Killstreaks (and was followed up by one final entry in 2012 before the series was shuttered). Battlefield: Bad Company 2 in 2010 also had similar class-specific rewards, a shift from previous Battlefield games' broader unlock system. Even Halo: Reach, a decidedly very different kind of shooter, brought classes and customizable loadouts to the Halo series' multiplayer.

In recent years, as team-based shooters and battle royale games grow in popularity, this exact kind of progression system is becoming less and less common. Today's Call of Duty games take inspiration from these games, not the other way around; 2018's Black Ops 4 included a battle royale mode, and progression in battle royale games is by design not gameplay-related. But Modern Warfare set the stage for the modern concept of multiplayer shooters, games that players keep coming back to for tangible reasons--whether those reasons are gameplay-specific rewards or a randomized loot box full of cosmetics.

Call of Duty is among the most successful video game series of all time, all but synonymous with gaming in general. It is a powerhouse, even when a yearly installment fails to impress. There have been 11 Call of Duty games since Modern Warfare, some of them more sensational, perhaps--Modern Warfare 2 caused quite the stir--and some of them outstanding in their own right. Some things that have since become almost essential to the Call of Duty experience, like Zombies, came after Modern Warfare. It speaks volumes that, over 10 years later, Modern Warfare is not only one of the most important Call of Duty games, but also one of the most notable games to come out of one of the best years in gaming in the 21st century.

For a look at the rest of our features in this series, head over to our Most Influential Games Of The 21st Century hub.

Fortnite Week 3 Challenge List: Flying Disc Toy, Driftboard Tricks, And More (Season 9)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 23:10

Fortnite Season 9 is now in its third week and, like clockwork, a new batch of challenges is available. If you're trying get some of the cosmetic customization options included in the Battle Pass, you'll need to complete these challenges and earn the Battle Stars awarded for doing so. These will level up your Battle Pass and make those unlocks available.

As always, there are two sets of challenges, one for everyone to complete and then a second set exclusive to those that have spent V-Bucks to purchase a premium pass. Free challenges this week include pulling off tricks with the Driftboard, searching chests, and dishing out damage after hopping out of the Slipstream.

Premium Battle Pass owners will also need to visit a bunch of specific locations as part of a multi-stage challenge, play with the Flying Disc toy, take out enemies with explosive eliminations, and deal damage with numerous weapons in one match. We've put a detailed list of the Week 3 challenges below.

Free

  • Stage 1: Land a trick with a Driftboard (1) -- 2 Battle Star
  • Search chests at Lonely Lodge or Polar Peak (7) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Deal damage to an opponent within 10s after using a Slipstream (200) -- 10 Battle Stars

Premium

  • Stage 1: Visit Happy Hamlet and Shifty Shafts in a single match (2) -- 1 Battle Star
  • Throw the Flying Disc toy and catch it before it lands (1) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Explosive weapon eliminations (3) -- 10 Battle Stars
  • Deal damage with different weapons in a single match (5) -- 10 Battle Stars

Fortnite's 9.10 update was released on May 22 and developer Epic Games published the full patch notes alongside it. Among the new additions was Hot Spots, which are areas on the map that will have better loot, as well as a new limited-time mode that ties in with the Michael Jordan brand.

Terminator: Dark Fate Trailer Delivers A Relentless Cyborg Chase

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 22:16

The first trailer for Terminator: Dark Fate is here. The movie is the latest film in the long-running sci-fi action series, and its sees the return of original stars Linda Hamilton and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The trailer shows a teenage girl (Natalia Reyes) being relentlessly chased by a Terminator, played by Gabriel Luna (Agents of SHIELD). She's also got a cyborg protector in the shape of Blade Runner 2049's Mackenzie Davis, and soon they are joined by gun-toting Sarah Connor (Hamilton). The promo doesn't really give any plot details away beyond that, but Schwarzenegger appears as an aged, bearded Terminator, and the action certainly looks impressive. Check it out above.

This trailer follows the striking first poster, which was released earlier this week. The movie is directed by Deadpool's Tim Miller and produced by James Cameron, who created the franchise and helmed the first two movies. It releases on November 1.

The series kicked off in 1984 with Cameron's classic The Terminator, while the groundbreaking T2: Judgement Day followed in 1991. Dark Fate is the first movie in the series since 2015's Terminator: Genisys, which was a critical and commercial disappointment.

Jessica Jones Season 3 Will Be Released In June

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 20:55

The era of Marvel shows on Netflix is almost over--while the existing seasons of Daredevil, Luke Cage, and The Punisher will remain on the service, production on the shows has been cancelled over the past few months. But there's one new batch of episodes still to come, and that's Jessica Jones Season 3. Netflix has now revealed that the final season of Jessica Jones will arrive in June.

The one thing we don't know is when exactly we'll get the new season. While Netflix has revealed a release date for a variety of shows and movies, Jessica Jones Season 3 is included at the end of a promo for its June releases with no specific date. But at least we know it'll be here in the next few weeks.

Jessica Jones Season 3 will star Krysten Ritter as troubled private detective Jessica, plus Rachael Taylor (as Trish), Eka Darville (as Malcolm Ducasse), and Carrie-Anne Moss (as Jeri Hogarth). Few details about the story of the new season are known, but a trailer shouldn't be too far behind.

Jessica Jones was the second Marvel Netflix show, following Daredevil, and Season 1 was released in November 2015. Iron Fist, Luke Cage, The Punisher, and The Defenders followed, but ultimately all were cancelled. Disney launches its own streaming platform, Disney+, in the Fall and has a host of its own Marvel shows in development for the new service.

In February, Ritter posted on Instagram shortly after the show's cancellation. "It has been a dream to play Jessica alongside my amazing cast and the best crew in the business for these past 5 years," she wrote. "I am so grateful for every second of it. We have THE BEST fans. You guys mean the world to me and I appreciate you beyond words. The final season of #JessicaJones is coming later this year and I am proud of how we complete JJ's journey."

Aladdin Review Roundup (2019)

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 14:04

Disney's latest live-action remake of one of its classic animated movies, Aladdin, hits theatres this weekend in time for the Memorial Day long weekend in the United States.

Directed by Guy Ritchie (Sherlock Holmes, Snatch), the film features Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Will Smith as the Genie in a role that mixes CG and live-action shots.

The film follows the same basic story of the acclaimed 1992 film where the "street rat" Aladdin finds a lamp containing the Genie who grants him wishes. The new movie features a number of songs from the original, including classics like "A Whole New World" and "Prince Ali."

Ahead of Aladdin's release, reviews for the film have started to appear online. We're collecting excerpts here to help you get an idea for if the movie is worth your time and money. For more on the critical reaction to the film, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

Aladdin
  • Directed By: Guy Ritchie
  • Written By: John August, Guy Ritchie
  • Starring: Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Will Smith, Marwan Kenzari.
  • Release Date: May 24 (United States)
  • Runtime: 128 minutes
GameSpot

"Aladdin is good. It's not perfect, but it's a big, extravagant musical that's filled with fun performances, bright colors, and some exciting moments. Will Smith's turn as Genie isn't better than what Robin Williams brought to the character, but it's different enough that it stands on its own merit. And, if you're into this sort of thing--and you should be--Smith has a new rap over the end credits that is themed to the movie." -- Chris Hayner [Full review]

The Seattle Times

"It's got a flying carpet. It's got an enchanted lamp. It's got a shape-shifting genie. But alas, Aladdin lacks real magic. Instead, Disney's misconceived live-action remake of the studio's 1992 animated classic offers the audience overstuffed musical-production numbers that look like they've been edited with a meat ax. Chop, chop, choppy." -- Soren Andersen [Full review]

The Guardian

"It still holds up as a tale whose central couple's deceptions and entrapments and self-discoverings have a pleasing symmetry to them, and whose 'it's what inside that counts' morals are in the right place. That's really all anyone wanted out of a new Aladdin: not a whole new world, just a slightly updated old one." -- Steve Rose [Full review]

Slant Magazine

Certainly there was a lot of room to bring a contemporary perspective to this material—to counter the original’s problematic representation of its Middle-Eastern milieu and deepen its characters. Instead, the film settles for telling you a joke you’ve already heard and botching the delivery. -- Jake Cole [Full review]

San Francisco Chronicle

"Aladdin, the live-action remake of the 1992 Disney animation, is more than a pleasant surprise. It's a complete delight that stands on its own and is, in many ways, an improvement on the original." -- Mick LaSalle [Full review]

Screen Crush

"There's still noting that this Aladdin does better--or as well--as the original. Even the parts pulled directly from the 1992 Aladdinby Ron Clements and John Musker, like the songs, have lost something in translation. (The whole new world of 'A Whole New World' now looks like a generic CGI city.) The nicest thing I can say about 2019's Aladdin is in its best moments it reminded me of a movie I liked a lot as a kid." -- Matt Singer [Full review]

USA Today

"Ritchie's Aladdin doesn't sing or soar like the 27-year-old cartoon still does, and headier themes might bypass little moviegoers, but it's nonetheless quite a cool and nostalgic magic carpet ride." -- Brian Truitt [Full review]

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood First Reviews And Reactions Are In

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 11:24

Quentin Tarantino's ninth movie, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this week, and the first reviews are incredibly positive.

The movie stars Leonardo DiCaprio as an actor falling out of prominence and his stunt double who is played by Brad Pitt. This is all happening in Hollywood during the summer of 1969. DiCaprio's character lives next door to the actress Sharon Tate (played by Margot Robbie in the film), who would be murdered by the Charles Manson family that same year.

Reviewers are calling the movie one of Tarantino's most personal films, and a love letter to the Hollywood industry. The movie also features other huge-name actors such as Al Pacino, James Marsden, Timothy Olyphant, Dakota Fanning, and Kurt Russell, while Luke Perry appears in his final role before his death.

We're breaking out some review excerpts here, but the movie isn't coming out until July in the US, so only a small handful of press were able to see the film at the famous French movie festival. You can also check out a 30-minute Q&A with Tarantino, DiCaprio, Pitt, and Robbie in the video above.

The Guardians' Peter Bradshaw said about Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, "Quite simply, I just defy anyone with red blood in their veins not to respond to the crazy bravura of Tarantino's film-making, not to be bounced around the auditorium at the moment-by-moment enjoyment that this movie delivers--and conversely, of course, to shudder at the horror and cruelty and its hallucinatory aftermath."

Writing for Time, Stephanie Zacharek said, "This is a tender, rapturous film, both joyous and melancholy, a reverie for a lost past and a door that opens to myriad imagined possibilities."

David Rooney for The Hollywood Reporter summed up his thoughts thusly: "Once Upon a Time in Hollywoodis uneven, unwieldy in its structure and not without its flat patches. But it's also a disarming and characteristically subversive love letter to its inspiration, in which Tarantino rebuilds the Dream Factory as it existed during the time of his childhood, while rewriting the traumatic episode often identified as the end of that era."

Below are some other thoughts and opinions about the film that were posted on Twitter:

I’m a fan of watching great actors. There is no better actor than Leo. There are moments in #OnceUponaTimeinHollywood that are mind-boggling. Movie within a movie. Acting within acting. Crazy.

— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) May 21, 2019

This standing O is going to go on for awhile. Here’s a taste. #OnceUponATimeInHollywood pic.twitter.com/wSbG7KT3SJ

— Tatiana Siegel (@TatianaSiegel27) May 21, 2019

To be completely honest I'm not yet sure what to make of Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Need to let this one marinate, don't have an instant reaction. Most of the film is pretty good, I'm having fun watching them play around in late 60s Hollywood. Then the finale is HOLY FUCK.

— Alex Billington @ Cannes (@firstshowing) May 21, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME...IN HOLLYWOOD - Historically dubious, thematically brilliant, QT finds his form in film that could win Palme d'Or or be picketed by audiences, or maybe both. Thrilling, provocative, blackly comical, intensely unsettling masterwork. #cannes2019

— Jason Gorber - at #Cannes2019 (@filmfest_ca) May 21, 2019

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD: Tarantino wasn't joking when he said this was the closest to PULP FICTION that he has come. He juggles a mosaic of characters and story-lines in this one, eventually stringing them together for a relentlessly playful and touching finale. #Cannes2019

— Jordan Ruimy @ Cannes (@mrRuimy) May 21, 2019

I'm thinking #OnceUponATimeinHollywood is going to divide critics. Heck, I'm divided, and I'm just one critic. But I think the side of me that enjoyed it is going to win out. #Cannes2019

— Chris Knight (@ChrisKnightfilm) May 21, 2019

Once Upon A Time... In Hollywood is so gloriously, wickedly indulgent, compelling and hilarious. The film QT was born to make. The world is a more colourful place in Quentin Tarantino’s twilight zone. Round two, please. #Cannes2019

— Joe Utichi (@joeutichi) May 21, 2019

Go to GameSpot sister site Metacritic to see a further breakdown of the critical reaction to Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood opens July 26 in the US, August 14 in the UK, and August 15 in Australia.

Australian Game Industry Generates $4 Billion In 2018

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 10:51

A new report from Australia's Interactive Games & Entertainment Association shows that that Australian game industry is growing. The organisation announced today that consumer spending on video games reached $4.029 billion in 2018; that's up by 25 percent over 2017's spending.

By comparison, the United States video game industry generated $43.4 billion in 2018.

Digital sales stood at $2.851 billion with physical retail sales amounting to $1.179 billion. Digital sales specifically jumped by a very healthy 39 percent, which is reflective of the industry's overall trending toward digital games. Physical retail sales jumped by only 0.2 percent. This is all further evidence that digital sales are taking up more and more of the pie.

Here are some further insights from the IGEA's report:

  • In-game digital purchases jumped by 190 percent year-over-year.
  • Digital full game sales rose 71 percent year-over-year.
  • Mobile gaming remains huge, with 11 percent year-over-year growth in revenue.
  • Console accessory sales jumped 18.7 percent and helped improve overall retail sales.
  • Of the $2.851 billion in digital sales, in-game microtransactions, season passes, and expansions--this category jumped by 190 percent year-over-year.
    • Fortnite's massive success contributed to this uptick in revenue.
  • Full-game digital sales revenue rose by 71 percent year-over-year.
  • Subscription revenue rose by 31 percent compared to last year.

"The excitement for video games is continuing to grow, with phenomenal consumer sales in 2018," IGEA CEO Ron Curry said in a statement. "Australia continues to experience video games sales growth, in line with trends similarly experienced by other countries, including the USA and the UK."

Curry went on to say that he hopes the Federal Government will recognise that the Australian gaming industry is an "integral part of the overall screen industry, thereby allowing the sector to access screen support programs available such as refundable tax offsets.

Curry added: "It is imperative that these innovative and creative Australian-based tech companies can compete on a level playing field globally with many other jurisdictions offering support. Australian games developers should be able to take advantage, culturally and economically, of the global growth of this wildly popular entertainment medium."

The video game industry's next major worldwide event is E3 2019 in June. We are expecting a lot of big news from the show, so keep checking back with GameSpot soon for lots more.

This New Handheld Game System Has An Actual Hand Crank

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 09:49

A new handheld video game system has been announced, and it's anything but traditional. The system, called Playdate, features an actual hand crank that can be used to play games (or not).

The system is yellow and it is small enough to fit in your pocket. It features a black and white screen, and it plays all kinds of games. It's being made by the software developer Panic, which has been in business for more than two decades. Recently, it started a publishing business and some of its marquee titles have included Firewatch and the soon-to-release Untitled Goose Game.

Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn't power the device. It's a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK

— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019

Panic wanted to do even more, and that led to an idea to make a handheld game system. "What if we could push ourselves even further? What if we could build something? A real something that you could hold?" Panic said. "It was harder than we thought, but it's here."

Panic worked with independent game designers Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman to create the Playdate console. "We showed them Playdate and asked, "Want to make a game for it?" Then we lost our minds when they said "Yeah!" Playdate said.

In terms of game releases, the Playdate will get 12 "brand-new games," one released each week. Panic is keeping them a secret now so their release comes as a surprise. "Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun," Panic said.

As for the Playdate's most unique feature, the hand crank, the rotating analog controller flips out from the side of the system. Some titles will use the crank exclusively, but others won't use it at all. The console also has traditional A and B buttons, along with a D-Pad. The system also has Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, as well as USB-C and a headphone jack.

The Playdate console launches in 2020, priced at $150 USD. All 12 of the games in Season One are included for that cost. Presumably further seasons of games will follow if the system succeeds.

You can read this detailed FAQ to learn more about the Playdate console.

Daniel Craig Injury On Bond 25 Set Requires Surgery, But Movie Won't Be Delayed

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 09:15

James Bond actor Daniel Craig sustained an ankle injury while filming Bond 25 in Jamaica, the film's producers have confirmed. Related to the injury, Craig is undergoing "minor ankle surgery."

While Craig will be out of commission while he recovers over a period of two weeks after the surgery, Bond 25 is not going to be delayed. The film "remains on track" for its previously scheduled release date in April 2020. However, the producers did not say when the injury was sustained or when the surgery will take place. They also did not share what specific kind of injury Craig had.

BOND 25 update: Daniel Craig will be undergoing minor ankle surgery resulting from an injury sustained during filming in Jamaica. Production will continue whilst Craig is rehabilitating for two weeks post-surgery. The film remains on track for the same release date in April 2020. pic.twitter.com/qJN0Sn4gEx

— James Bond (@007) May 22, 2019

Craig is known to do his own stunts, even if he gets injured sometimes. "He gets his hands very dirty," Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace's chief stunt coordinator Gary Powell told The Guardian in 2008. "Daniel puts the work in, even if it's something he's not keen on."

Some of the other injuries Craig has sustained over the years while filming Bond movies include losing his two front teeth while filming a fight scene for Casino Royale and an injury filming Quantum of Solace where he lost the tip of one of his fingers. "I was bleeding a lot. I had to get it cauterized," Craig recalled. "Filming stopped and everybody went, 'Oh my God! He sliced the end of his finger off!' They went looking for it, but couldn't find it."

Esquire has a roundup of the injuries that Craig has sustained over the years filming Bond movies.

Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Lea Seydoux will all reprise their roles in what is still only known as Bond 25. Jeffrey Wright and Ben Whishaw also return. This is the final 007 movie featuring Craig as the super-spy.

Actors new to the series for Bond 25 include Rami Malek (Bohemian Rhapsody), Billy Magnussen (Game Night), Ana De Armas (Blade Runner 2049), David Dencik (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo; Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy), Lashana Lynch (Captain Marvel), and Dali Benssalah. Malek will seemingly play the film's villain, as he stated his excitement to be a part of the film before promising to make sure "Bond does not have an easy ride."

Bond 25's story begins with Bond no longer on active service but instead enjoying himself in Jamaica. "His peace is short-lived when his old friend Felix Leiter from the CIA turns up asking for help. The mission to rescue a kidnapped scientist turns out to be far more treacherous than expected, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology."

The movie was initially going to be directed by Danny Boyle, but he left due to "creative differences." True Detective's Cary Fukunaga replaced Boyle before the film was delayed first from October 2019 to February 2020 and then again to April 3, 2020.

AEW Double Or Nothing: Match Card And How To Watch And Stream The PPV

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 07:39

In 2018, All In was the biggest independent wrestling show of all time. Selling out a 10,000+ arena is no easy task, and the wrestlers/promoters of The Elite did it in under 30 minutes. From this success spung the new promotion All Elite Wrestling, and AEW is ready to present its first branded PPV on Saturday, May 25.

Taking place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, Nevada, AEW's first major event is Double or Nothing. The show will feature a mix of new and familiar faces to wrestling fans, featuring talent from all around the world. As of this writing, there are 10 matches on the Double or Nothing card with two taking place on the pre-show, titled The Buy-In.

How To Watch:

WarnerMedia announced that AEW will have a weekly show on TNT, once the home to WCW, but the Double or Nothing PPV will appear on multiple streaming services, depending on your location.

If you live in the United States, you'll have to watch Double or Nothing on WarnerMedia's B/R Live. The show will cost $50. If you live in the UK, Double or Nothing will air on the ITV Box Office channel at 1 AM BST on Sunday, May 26. For everyone outside of the US, you can watch the PPV on Fite.tv, which aired All In last year, and it will cost $50 as well.

There is a pre-show which starts one hour prior, which you can watch on B/R Live or on AEW's YouTube.The Casino Battle Royale and Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guervara will air for free through those services.

Main Card Time:
  • 4 PM PT
  • 7 PM ET
  • 12 AM BST (May 26)
  • 9 AM AET (May 26)

While there are reportedly some surprises still coming in the final days before the show, you'll find the match carded for Double or Nothing that has been booked thus far. All of these matches have been built up on the YouTube series Being the Elite and Road to Double or Nothing.

Sadly, Hangman Page vs. Pac will not be happening at Double or Nothing now. The two did have a match recently in England, which was featured on All Elite Wrestling's YouTube channel. However, there are still plenty of great matches on the card, including Kenny Omega vs. Jericho for the #1 Contender spot for the AEW Championship, which has not been revealed yet. The winner of Omega vs. Jericho will face the winner of the Casino (Battle) Royale at a later date.

Below, you'll find the full match card and everyone that's been revealed for the Casino Battle Royale on AEW's Double or Nothing PPV.

Match Card:
  • Casino (Battle) Royale (Buy-In Pre-Show… #! Contender Match)
  • Kip Sabian vs. Sammy Guervara (Buy-In Pre-Show)
  • Aja Kong, Yuka Sakazaki, & Emi Sakura vs. Hikaru Shida, Riho, & Ryo Mizunami
  • The Best Friends (Chuck Taylor & Trent Beretta) vs. Angelico & Jack Evans
  • SCU (Christopher Daniels, Frankie Kazarian & Scorpio Sky) vs. Strong Hearts (Cima, T-Hawk, and Lindaman from China's OWE)
  • Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho (#1 Contender Match)
  • Dr. Britt Baker vs. Nyla Rose vs. Kylie Rae
  • Cody vs. Dustin Rhodes
  • The Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) vs. The Lucha Bros (Pentagon Jr. & Fenix) For The AAA Tag Team Championships
Casino Battle Royale Competitors:
  • Shawn Spears (Formerly Tye Dillinger in WWE)
  • Sonny Kiss
  • Glacier
  • Brian Pillman Jr
  • Brandon Cutler
  • Kip Sabian
  • Ace Romero
  • MJF
  • Sunny Daze
  • Dustin Thomas
  • Marq Quen
  • Isiah Kassidy

Make sure to come back to GameSpot on Saturday, May 25 for live coverage and review of the show.

Pre-Order Guide: Fire Emblem: Three Houses Release Date, Special Edition

Thu, 05/23/2019 - 06:22

It's been a long wait for Fire Emblem fans since the newest entry in the series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, was first announced in January 2017. Since then, the release date has been pushed back several times, but the game will finally release on Nintendo Switch July 26. It'll be the first Fire Emblem main title on a home console since Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, which released on the Wii back in 2007.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses will introduce fans to the continent of Fódlan, which is comprised of three nations who are currently at peace. At Fódlan's center is the Church of Seiros and the game's main setting, the Officer's Academy. Like previous Fire Emblem games, your customizable character will act as an advisor--only this time, you're actually a professor at the Academy, and your warriors are also your students, who are divided into three houses based on their respective nation.

The game will feature the same style of turn-based combat with life-or-death stakes, only now you can create battalions of troops to support individual warriors in battle. When you're not on the battlefield, you'll be able to explore the Academy and form relationships with students, which will in turn influence how they perform in battle.

It's likely we'll get one more look at Fire Emblem: Three Houses during the Nintendo Direct scheduled to air at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM BST on June 11, the first day of E3. We'll update this story as new info about Fire Emblem is revealed; meanwhile, you can also catch up on the other Nintendo Switch games confirmed for E3 2019.

If you have a Nintendo Switch online membership and want to save yourself $20 in the long-term, you can also take advantage of Nintendo's limited-time voucher deal. The deal offers a pair of vouchers for $100 that you can then redeem for two eligible Switch titles, Fire Emblem included. You can get more info about that deal at Nintendo.

Pre-order listings for Fire Emblem: Three Houses are up on many retailer sites, and there are two editions currently available. Here's what you should know if you're planning to purchase the game.

Fire Emblem: Three Houses pre-order bonus

So far, there's only one pre-order bonus available for Fire Emblem: Three Houses, and it's limited to GameStop. The retailer just announced it's offering an exclusive pin set representing the three houses at the Officer's Academy, while supplies last.

Pre-order Fire Emblem: Three Houses standard edition

If you only care about owning the game itself, pick up the standard edition, which is selling at the usual launch price of $60. Remember that if you pre-order on Amazon and the price drops between the day you order and release day, you'll be charged the lowest price when the game ships.

Pre-order Fire Emblem: Three Houses Seasons of Warfare edition

Hardcore Fire Emblem fans may be interested in the Seasons of Warfare edition, which sells for $100. In addition to the game itself, the Seasons of Warfare edition comes with a sound selection CD, art book, steelbook case, and 2020 desk calendar.

Last time we checked, this edition was sold out at Amazon and Best Buy, but you can currently grab it at GameStop and Target. These types of special editions sell out quickly, so we suggest securing your copy now if you want it.

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