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HBO's Deadwood Movie Gets First Trailer And May Release Date

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 06:06

It's taken 13 years, but the Deadwood movie, which continues the story of the HBO series that ended in 2006, is finally ready to show itself to the world. HBO has announced that the film will premiere on the network on May 31 and released the first teaser trailer, giving fans a small taste of what to expect.

The movie returns to the town of Deadwood as South Dakota celebrates its statehood in 1889. The plot synopsis from HBO reads, "Former rivalries are reignited, alliances are tested and old wounds reopened as all are left to navigate the inevitable changes that modernity and time have wrought."

Perhaps most exciting is practically the entire cast is returning for the project, including Ian McShane, Timothy Olyphant, Molly Parker, Paula Malcomson, John Hawkes, Anna Gunn, Dayton Callie, Brad Dourif, Robin Weigert, William Sanderson, Kim Dickens, Gerald McRaney, Sean Bridgers, W. Earl Brown, and Keone Young. Additionally, Jade Pettyjohn (The Last Ship) is joining the ensemble. They have joined forces once more with series creator David Milch, who wrote the film, and director Daniel Minahan, who helmed episodes of the series, as well as installments of Game of Thrones, Grey's Anatomy, and American Crime Story.

It was less than a year ago that HBO programming president Casey Bloys confirmed that the film was actually coming to the network. At the time, corporate communications chief Quentin Schaffer joking, "We've been asked the Deadwood question for 11 consecutive years." Now the answer is set in stone.

Deadwood: The Movie premieres on HBO on May 31.

Epic Games Store Won't Accept "Crappy" Games

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:39

Epic Games disrupted the industry when it unveiled the Epic Games Store, a distribution platform similar to Valve's Steam, late last year. Since then, we've seen a number of exclusive game releases on the Epic Games Store, skipping Steam at least for the time being. While Epic has a lot of catching up to do in terms of feature set, CEO Tim Sweeney has declared its stance on allowing "crappy" games onto the platform.

In an interview with PC Gamer, Sweeney said the Epic Games Store won't distribute low-qualiy games, although it's unclear how that quality will be determined. The Epic Games Store will have a vetting process to ensure only "reasonably good quality games, of any scale, whether small indie games to huge triple-A games" make the cut. "We'll have a quality standard that doesn't accept crappy games," Sweeney said. "We'll take everything up to, like, an R-rated movie or an M-rated game."

Sweeney implied that its "quality standard" won't gatekeep developers from experimenting with the Unreal Engine. "The side of Epic that makes creative tools like the Unreal Engine available to everybody says that you can use our tools for creating anything that's legal," Sweeney said. "And we have no creative say in it--we can't veto, whether we find it controversial or tasteful or not." However, Sweeney added, "We'll be aware of the quality of what's submitted prior to making a decision to list it in the store--somehow."

This is in stark contrast to Steam's policies, which allows a wider range of games on the service. The Epic Games Store, according to Sweeney, won't be a home for "porn games or bloatware or asset flips, or any sort of thing that's meant to shock players. The PC's an open platform and if we don't distribute it in our store you can still reach consumers directly." We'll have to wait and see if Sweeney and the team behind the Epic Games Store make good on those commitments.

The Epic Games Store launched in December 2018. Since then, a host of titles--from Metro Exodus to Tom Clancy's The Division 2--have released exclusively through the platform. In an effort to brand itself, the Epic Games Store has released a free game every two weeks. The latest offering, Oxenfree, is available now.

Sekiro Guide: How Death Impacts Your Journey

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:34

Death is an old friend to fans of From Software's Bloodborne and Dark Souls games, as the Soulsborne titles all implement mechanics and features that relate to dying. From Software's newest game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice, is no different. However, death works a little bit differently in Sekiro.

In the following guide, we go over all the ways that death impacts your journey in Sekiro. Whether you want to know when the best time to use the revive mechanic is or how to deal with the effects of Dragonrot, read ahead to learn more.

Sekiro is available on Xbox One, PS4, and PC. If you're still on the fence about whether you want to buy the game, read our review-in-progress. In it, Tamoor Hussain gives the game a 9/10, writing, "Sekiro marries From Software's unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying."

In Comparison To Dark Souls And Bloodborne

First and foremost, you need to treat death in Sekiro differently than what you may have experienced playing Darks Souls or Bloodborne. When it comes to death, the only similarity Sekiro shares with From Software's previous titles is that its world is filled with innumerable ways to kill your character.

Upon death, your character, Wolf, loses some of his experience and half of the in-game currency in his possession. The former is used to upgrade Wolf's abilities and unlock new moves, while the latter allows you to purchase items. You cannot recover what you've lost upon death, so it's in your best interest to flee from fights you think you can't win. To counter this, Wolf has the ability to receive Unseen Aid--providing a chance to keep your experience and coin upon death. You can see your probability of receiving Unseen Aid--which will decrease if Dragonrot has begun to spread--by either pausing the game or resting at an idol.

Dragonrot -- What It Does And How To Cure It

Speaking of Dragonrot, this deadly disease is also closely tied to death in Sekiro. Pretty much anyone Wolf meets and interacts with has the potential of contracting Dragonrot, which causes them to suffer violent coughing fits. The game will inform you whenever someone contracts the disease.

The more you die in Sekiro, the more the Dragonrot disease spreads. Die only a few times in your playthrough and only a couple of individuals will catch it. However, if Wolf falls in battle many times--which is much more likely as Sekiro is a very difficult game--then eventually everyone he knows will begin coughing. As stated before, you do not want this. With every character that contracts Dragonrot, Wolf's possibility of receiving Unseen Aid diminishes. That's not all, though. You won't be able to complete questlines for characters who've caught the disease, as their coughing fits don't allow them to properly answer you when you try to talk to them. Some of these questlines unlock new skills and prosthetic upgrades that help with the minibosses and bosses in the main story, so doing them is in your best interest.

Thankfully, Dragonrot isn't fatal (or at least as far as we can tell), and there's a cure. So you shouldn't lose anyone and their respective side quests to the disease while you're busy collecting the ingredients to make medicine.

In order to first discover the cure, you'll need The Sculptor to fall ill to the Dragonrot. You'll know when it happens because you'll get a cutscene that highlights how sick he's becoming. Go outside and talk to Emma about it and she'll give you a quest for a cure. You just need to bring her the blood of someone else who has Dragonrot. When you get the notification that someone else is sick, go and talk to them. They'll cough up some blood that you can take back to Emma. She'll use the blood to synthesize a cure, called a Dragon Tear. Using the tear at an idol cures everyone plagued by the Dragonrot. However, if you die enough times, the disease will begin to spread once again. You'll need to buy more Dragon Tears from specific merchants in order to cure the rot again. As far as we can tell, there isn't an infinite amount to purchase, so save those tears for when you really need them.

In Sekiro, Shadows Can Actually Die Thrice

Despite Sekiro's title, you can actually die up to three times on one life. In the bottom left corner of the screen, you'll notice two pinkish red orbs. They represent how many times you can revive. The first orb is filled by resting at an idol, and the second is filled by executing enemies with death blows.

When you die, you'll have the choice of accepting death or reviving yourself. Choosing to revive uses your first orb and puts a black smear through the second. You'll need to land a deathblow to remove the smear. Doing so allows you to revive a second time upon dying again.

You'll need to be strategic about reviving a second time though. Remember, your second orb is filled through landing deathblows on enemies. So if you use your second orb during a boss fight and then die a third time, you'll have to go out and farm enemies to recover a second revive for fighting the boss again. If you don't think you have the necessary upgrades to beat the boss you're currently fighting, you might want to just let the Wolf die and save your second revive for another run at the boss.

Blizzard Is Making World Of Warcraft Free This Weekend For People With Inactive Accounts

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 05:10

If you've let your World of Warcraft subscription go inactive, Blizzard really wants you to come back this weekend. To encourage players with inactive accounts to return, the publisher is upgrading those accounts with all expansion packs through Legion and offering a three-hour trial of the latest expansion, Battle for Azeroth. World of Warcraft is free to play now through Sunday, March 24.

To take advantage of the limited-time offer, all you have to do is re-download the Battle.net desktop app, log into your account, click on the World of Warcraft tab, install or update the game, and hit Play.

If you haven't been keeping up with all the expansions, there's a lot of new content to check out, such as new worlds, classes, races, and mechanics, and you likely won't have time to dive into all of it this weekend. As another incentive to bring old players back, Blizzard is offering $20 off on both the Battle for Azeroth expansion and the World of Warcraft: Complete Collection through March 31. Select game services are also marked down by 30%: character transfer, faction change, and race change.

Even if you've never purchased Battle for Azeroth, you'll gain access to a free three-hour trial of the expansion this weekend. You can also repeat the trial with up to twelve different characters. Battle for Azeroth introduced two huge new features: level-scaling, which means the levels of creatures and quests are scaled to your character level, and Allied Races, design twists on the main races unlocked after meeting certain in-game requirements. Check out our World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth review for a full breakdown of what to expect from the expansion.

Battlefield 5 Firestorm Battle Royale Gameplay Detailed In New Trailer

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 04:44

Battlefield 5 is getting the long-awaited arrival of its battle royale mode Firestorm next week, and DICE has released a new trailer (above) along with a ton of details on the mode. The 64-player mode has some recognizable battle royale elements, but with a distinct Battlefield flavor.

As detailed in a series of extensive blog posts from DICE, a ring of fire around the map slowly closes in and destroys all in its path. The map is called Halvoy, and DICE boasts that it's ten times bigger than Battlefield 5's largest map, Hamada. In addition to the standard battle royale scrounging for resources and survival, you'll also be aiming to secure Re-supply Points and Vehicle Lockups. Some of those lockups will contain combat vehicles like choppers and tanks, which are very powerful but can be brought down with anti-vehicle weaponry. The mode will launch with 17 vehicles, which could be a major point of differentiation between Firestorm and competing battle royale games.

You'll also be able to call in reinforcements like artillery strikes or supply drops. And as a Battlefield game, the buildings are destructible, letting you smoke out enemies hiding in houses as long as you have the weaponry to do some demolition.

Firestorm will have some pieces of gear and vehicles exclusive to it. Those include various sizes of Backpacks, healing syrettes for squadmates, armor vests, prototype helicopters, sports cars, and even a tractor.

Firestorm will launch as a free update on March 25, and is said to lay the groundwork for the next numbered story chapter, Trial By Fire.

Battlefield 5 launched last year, but DICE gave word shortly before launch that Firestorm would not be ready until March 2019. That put it behind both Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, which launched its own battle royale mode alongside the game, and the surprise contender Apex Legends.

Mortal Kombat 11 Beta Time, Characters, And Modes Detailed

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:50

NetherRealm has detailed the upcoming beta for Mortal Kombat 11, including when it's coming and how much meat will be on its proverbial bones. The beta will begin on Wednesday, March 27 at 8 AM PT, and run through Sunday, March 31 at 11:59 PM PT. It will be open to anyone who pre-ordered a copy of the game on PS4 or Xbox One.

The beta will include five playable characters: Baraka, Jade, Kabal, Scarlet, and Scorpion. That's just a taste of the much more expansive character roster, some of which has yet to be officially announced. Most recently the studio confirmed Kotal Kahn.

The beta will include online multiplayer matches and the single-player Towers of Time mode, along with an exclusive preview of the Custom Character Variation System. That system will let you choose from various cosmetic options for your character, including their skins, gear, special abilities, taunts, brutalities, and intro and victory cinematics. You'll need a Gold or PS Plus membership to play online, but you can play with the Towers of Time or Character Variation offline.

Pre-ordering not only gets you the beta access, but also Shao Kahn as a playable character. That bonus will be across all platforms, including PC and Nintendo Switch, while the beta is limited to PS4 and Xbox One. The game releases on April 23.

Xbox One's Critically Acclaimed Game Sale Includes Red Dead 2, Celeste (US, UK)

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:49

It's a great week for Xbox One deals--in addition to discounted Square Enix games and wireless controllers, Xbox Live just launched yet another sale you won't want to miss. The Critically Acclaimed Sale went live today and includes some of the best game titles released in recent years, including Red Dead Redemption 2, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Celeste, Dead Cells, and more. This batch of game deals has markdowns up to 75% off, and you can claim them for the next week.

Every one of these games is worth picking up (depending on your interests), but let's take a quick look at the most notable deals. Mountain-climbing platformer Celeste, which was one of the best games of last year, is marked down 50%; you can grab it for $10 right now. Red Dead Redemption 2 has been going on sale frequently, but if you've been waiting to get it on Xbox One, you can pick up its standard edition for only $40.19. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has been out for nearly four years but is still considered an RPG masterpiece--so if you don't own it, consider picking up the standard edition on sale for $12 (or the Complete edition for just $15). Rogue-inspired metroidvania game Dead Cells is also marked down to $17.49.

Several excellent puzzle platformers are also marked down, including a bundle for Playdead's acclaimed titles Inside and Limbo. Little Nightmares' Complete edition is only $9 and includes the DLC Secrets of the Maw. The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories is a wild, emotional adventure with a surprising ending--and it's on sale for $19.49.

Quite a few of these game deals also overlap with the indie games sale happening in the Nintendo Eshop right now--if you own a Switch, you may want to take a glance at that sale too.

Shop the Xbox One Critically Acclaimed Sale »

And see the full list of game deals below!

Dora The Explorer Live-Action Movie Now Has A Title And Poster

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 03:41

It's been many months since there was any news about the live-action movie based on the hugely popular animated Nickelodeon show Dora the Explorer--but now we have a title and first poster. The movie is titled Dora and the Lost City of Gold, and it's set to hit theaters in August.

The poster shows star Isabela Moner (Transformers: The Last Knight) as Dora, looking out at a great ancient jungle city--with her monkey pal Boots on her back. According to the poster, "Explorer is her middle name," which might come as news to those who thought it was "The." Anyway, check the poster out below:

This poster follows the first image of Moner as Dora, which was released last summer when the movie started production. Dora and the Lost City of Gold is directed by James Bobin, who is best known for movies such as The Muppets and Alice Through The Looking Glass, plus the musical TV comedy Flight of the Conchords.

The movie also stars Michael Peña (Ant-Man and the Wasp) and Eva Longoria (Desperate Housewives) as Dora's mom and dad, plus Micke Moreno (Escobar: Paradise Lost) as her cousin Diego and Benicio del Toro as the voice of the villainous fox Swiper. It releases on August 2.

Dora the Explorer ran from 2000 to 2014 for 14 seasons and 172 episodes, and spawned the spin-off shows Dora and Friends: Into the City and Go, Diego, Go And if you can't wait for the movie, you can check out this hilarious spoof trailer for a fake live-action Dora film, which was made in 2012 and starred Modern Family's Ariel Winter.

Book John Cena Vs. R-Truth At Wrestlemania 35, You Cowards

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 02:35

Whether you love him or hate him, John Cena has become a staple of Wrestlemania, since his main card debut at Wrestlemania XX. He's put on high-profile matches, year after year, and the WWE wrestler has star power. However, Cena doesn't have a match--yet--at this year's PPV, and with Undertaker seemingly not in the picture anymore, Mania needs Cena. But who will the leader of Cenation fight at the biggest show of the year? Kurt Angle's retirement match is against Baron Corbin--that's a sentence I never thought I'd write. And all of WWE's main players have been spoken for. That's why I propose John Cena faces the most obvious choice of opponent at Mania this year, R-Truth. If you're one of those wrestling fans that hates when WWE does anything remotely comedic, go watch the trailer for Avengers: Endgame again or something. This is not for you.

Wrestlemania is coming to PPV and the WWE Network on Sunday, April 7 at 4 PM PT / 7 PM ET, and it should be a pretty fantastic ending to a week of wrestling events. There, now there's a buffer between the information I dropped on you and everything that follows because you're probably in shock and yelling at your screen (shut up already), even though the headline of the piece completely lays out my agenda. There have been plenty of rumors stating the two will NOT face each other at Mania, even though it seems like the obvious conclusion. But will it be tough for Truth to pull double duty as the Host of Wrestlemania AND a competitor? Yes, I'm aware Alexa Bliss is the host. Roll with me, please.

Let's dive into a little bit of history. Whether WWE likes it or not, they've been setting up this match for months. At the end of January this year, R-Truth won the United States Championship on Smackdown, in one of the weirdest finishes I've seen in years, which was meant to look like a ref botch (Mike Chioda don't botch). I guess it was a way to transition the title without making Shinsuke Nakamura weak? It was a dumb finish, regardless, and made R-Truth start his run as a seemingly paper champion, which I hated.

R-Truth and Carmella's "7-Second Dance Break" bit had run its course, and the new US Champion needed to add some more flavor to his character. A few weeks later, R-Truth transitioned his character into a new gimmick: the young wrestler who idolizes his heroes. It's something we see time and time again. Young upstarts pay homage to the WWE superstars who got them interested in wrestling, like when Sasha Banks does the frog splash to honor Eddie Guerrero. However, as you probably figured out, R-Truth is older than John Cena, so what we're left with is comedy gold. Enjoy one of the many fantastic segments from Truth and Carmella during this time.

What's interesting about this non-feud-feud is that is goes back farther than this 2019 gimmick. Back in 2011, Truth interjected himself into the title picture when Cena was champion. This led to a solid segment of Truth destroying a merchandise booth because John Cena was everywhere. In the grand scheme of things, it was a short run but memorable nevertheless. In 2011, Truth hated Cena because he is everything he wanted to be. In 2019, Truth loves Cena because he is everything he wants to be. Personally, I think the latter makes for better storytelling, but I'm one of those annoying '80s wrestling fans who gets way too hyped over a face vs. face match because they rarely happen. I like seeing the audience split when it comes to who they are cheering for.

Anyway, back to the present.

So R-Truth decided to hold the US open challenge like his childhood hero, John Cena. The promo he cut on March 5, right before losing the title, was hilarious and brilliant, as you can see below.. And, in a sense, he's not doing anything exceptionally new. He's just borrowing something we've seen younger superstars who are new to the company do and adding the Truth-flavor to it, which works exceptionally well.

I want to make a quick note. When Lacey Evans walks out--yes, I hate whatever is happening here too and want it to stop forever--look at Truth. He's ready to fight her and does a crane kick. Bless you, Truth. Anyway, he takes the bit even further, copying Cena's moves like the Five-Knuckle-Shuffle. R-Truth has always been a fun character when he's working as a face. He makes really stupid ideas work exceptionally well, and it's obvious he has fun doing it.

So let's push it to the limit.

Why not have R-Truth face John Cena at Wrestlemania? What's Cena doing that weekend that he can't be in this match? What, is he filming a movie I'll probably enjoy, and after I see it, I'll tell all my friends, "Cena was a lot of fun in that one?" And yes, Cena vs. Truth may sound like a Kickoff Show match to you, and yes, the match card already has a lot of bouts booked, but why can't we have something fun? Look at the match card. Every storyline building up to each of these matches is super-serious, and this new match could interject a lot of fun into the show.

Better yet, have R-Truth do a build towards Mania where he's calling out John Cena, who never shows up to Smackdown--do you know where I am going with this yet? So R-Truth buys a ticket to attend the PPV as a fan. Then, Cena shows up, and R-Truth runs from the crowd to face him in the ring. "Mat, that's what Cena did last year with Undertaker!" Yeah, I know, but this is perfect for R-Truth. It could also help me create more fire content like last year's "Every Time WWE's Cameras Cut To John Cena In The Crowd." Click that. It's the best.

Look, I'm already pretty excited for Wrestlemania, as this has been one of the best builds toward the event in years. But if you want to put this show really over the top and deliver a solid comedic spot that has been building up for months, book John Cena vs. R-Truth (you cowards). It's the natural conclusion. And frankly, it's a lot better than what R-Truth and Carmella seem to be doing which is "fake hosting Wrestlemania" and getting confused randomly throughout the evening. Who am I kidding? I'll still enjoy that too.

Oh yeah, come to GameSpot on Sunday, April 7 for live coverage of Wrestlemania and a review of the show.

Fortnite Week 4 Challenge List: Use Baller, Search Buried Treasure, And More (Season 8)

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 02:05

We're now in Fortnite Season 8, Week 4, which means there are new challenges to complete. By now, you should know how it goes: knock out these challenges and you'll unlock Battle Stars, which will level up your Battle Pass and grant you access to all manner of cosmetics that you can use to customise your character.

This week's Free challenges, which are available to everyone playing Fortnite, task players with using the Baller vehicle in five different matches, getting an elimination with a scoped weapon and a suppressed weapon, and then doing a five-part challenge that begins with landing at Tilted Towers.

If you've spent V-Bucks on a Battle Pass, you have an extra set of challenges waiting for you. These involve launching yourself through structures using the pirate cannon, searching for buried treasure, eliminating enemies at Happy Hamlet or Pleasant Park, and then doing another three-parter that begins by outlasting 60 other players in a match.

Free

  • Stage 1 of 5: Land at Tilted Towers (1) -- 1 Battle Stars
  • Use The Baller in different matches (5) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Get an elimination with a Scoped weapon and a Suppressed weapon (2) -- 10 Battle Stars
Battle Pass
  • Launch yourself through structures with a Pirate Cannon (25) -- 5 Battle Stars
  • Search Buried Treasure (2) -- 5 Battle Star
  • Eliminate opponents at Happy Hamlet or Pleasant Park (3) -- 10 Battle Stars
  • Stage 1 of 3: Outlast 60 opponents in a single match -- 3 Battle Stars

This week's challenges arrive hot on the heels of Fortnite's 8.11 update, which introduced yet another new weapon to the battle royale game: the Flint-Knock Pistol. The gun deals heavy damage at close range, but it has "significant damage falloff" at longer distances, and you need to go through a three-second reloading animation after every shot.

Along with the Flint-Knock Pistol, this week's Fortnite update reintroduced the Impulse Grenade to the game after it had previously been vaulted. It also marked the start of a new limited-time mode called One Shot, which features low gravity and restricts player health to just 50. You can read the full patch notes for update 8.11 here. For tips on all of this season's trickier challenges, be sure to check out our full Season 8 challenges guide.

First Battlefield 5: Firestorm Battle Royale Gameplay Revealed

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 01:54

Battle royale games are all the rage right now, with stalwarts like PUBG and Fortnite being joined by up-and-coming whipper-snappers like Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's Blackout and Respawn's free-to-play Apex Legends. Now, DICE is getting involved with Battlefield V: Firestorm, and the first gameplay has finally been revealed.

In the video above you can see an entire match in Squads mode, culminating in a win for team GameSpot. Matches begin much like other games in the genre, with each player dropping from the sky. They then progress like you'd expect, with squads scavenging for weapons and supplies while battling to be the last team standing.

DICE have certainly put their stamp on the genre, with vehicular combat a much bigger part of Firestorm than similar games' versions of battle royale. Watch the video above to see how matches develop, or watch the one below for the thoughts of our battle royale experts, Dave Jewitt and Will Potter. You can play the mode for yourself when it launches for free on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on March 25.

We enjoyed Battlefield V at launch; critic Michael Higham awarded the game an 8/10 in our Battlefield V review. "The Battlefield series has a winning formula that Battlefield V doesn't deviate far from, at least for now," he wrote. "Conquest and the map roster don't mesh well together, however, Grand Operations--and the other modes within it--steal the show and foster some of the greatest moments the franchise has offered. You might be surprised by the impact of the slight changes made for this entry, especially when you're deep into pushing or defending objectives in Frontlines alongside teammates fulfilling their roles. That's when Battlefield V is at its best."

Mortal Kombat 11 Confirms Kotal Kahn Is Playable

Fri, 03/22/2019 - 00:09

Mortal Kombat 11's roster continues to grow. This week, NetherRealm confirmed that Kotal Kahn, the Emperor of Outworld, is a playable character. Unfortunately for Kotal fans, though, his reveal trailer inflicts some serious pain on the character.

The trailer focuses on a fight between Kotal and Jacqui Briggs, another returning character from MKX. And while we get to see some brutal Kotal transformations, it's Jacqui's moves that are really given the spotlight. We see her fatal blow and Fatality, leaving poor Kotal a bit beside himself. This is not how the reveal trailers usually go, so we expect to see Kotal's own moves detailed sometime later.

Mortal Kombat 11 just ran a very limited online stress test, in preparation for its open beta later this month. That one will run from March 28 through 31, and feature Scorpion, Skarlet, Jade, Kabal, and Baraka. It's open to anyone who pre-ordered on Xbox One or PS4. Putting your money down early on any platform will net you Shao Kahn as a playable character.

The game will release three editions: the standard game, a Premium Edition that comes with the Kombat Pack for extra characters and skins as they're released, and the Kollector's Edition that comes with all sorts of extra goodies. That one is exclusive to GameStop. For more detaills, check out our pre-order guide.

John Wick: Chapter 3's New Trailer Is Here, And It Looks Incredible

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 23:48

The new trailer for the upcoming John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum is here. The third movie in the hit action series opens in May and stars Keanu Reeves as the reluctant hitman Wick, with Ian McShane and Lawrence Fishburne also returning from the previous movies.

In the new movie, John Wick is on the run after killing a fellow hitman on the neutral ground of the Continental hotel. Seemingly every assassin in the world is after him and the movie looks set to deliver a series of insane action sequences as they try to kill him. We see several new characters, including Halle Berry's uneasy ally Sofia, who appears to have a past history with Wick, and Anjelica Huston's sinister Director. Check it out above.

This trailer follows the series of characters posters that were also released this week. The cast also includes Lance Reddick, Jason Mantzoukas, and Mark Dacascos, and is directed by by Chad Stahelski, who helmed 2017's John Wick: Chapter 2 and co-directed the first movie. It releases on May 17.

In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Stahelski revealed that he and Reeves already have plans for a fourth movie if this new one is a success. "If people go see the movie, and it makes money, and they came back to us, Keanu and I have ideas for days. I could live here for the rest of my career. If people like it and want to watch more, I could think of way worse ways to spend your career. But, you know, we're in the entertainment business. We'll let the audience figure that out."

A John Wick TV spin-off named The Continental was also announced by Starz last year, but there has been no further news about the status of this project.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Review Roundup

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 22:53

From Software's latest game, Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice is nearly here. Its March 22 release date is just around the corner, and reviews are starting to go live across the web. So what do the critics think of the highly anticipated follow-up to Bloodborne and the Souls series?

GameSpot's Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice review-in-progress awarded the game a 9/10, with critic Tamoor Hussain calling the stealth-action title "an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying"--it is a From Software game, after all.

For more on the critical consensus of Sekiro, check out the selection of reviews below. Alternatively, take a look at GameSpot sister site Metacritic.

  • Game: Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice
  • Developer / Publisher: From Software / Activision
  • Release date: March 22
  • Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • Price: US $60 / £60 / AU $100
GameSpot -- 9/10 (Review-In-Progress)

"Sekiro marries From Software's unique brand of gameplay with stealth action to deliver an experience that is as challenging as it is gratifying. At the time of publish I haven't completed Sekiro. While I have invested upwards of 30 hours into it, there are still a few more locations I need to explore and bosses I need to beat before the credits roll, and I'm excited to do it." -- Tamoor Hussain [Full review-in-progress]

IGN -- 9.5/10

"Sekiro evolves From Software's formula into a stylish stealth-action adventure that, naturally, emphasizes precision and skill in its combat. It walks the line between deliberate and patient stealth and breakneck melee combat against threats both earthly and otherworldly. Its imaginative and flexible tools support a more focused experience that shaves down some of From Software's overly cryptic sensibilities without losing its air of mystery. Sekiro is an amazing new twist on a familiar set of ideas that can stand on its own alongside its predecessors." -- Brandin Tyrrel [Full review]

Polygon -- Recommended

"I have to put in a lot of work and effort to meet Sekiro on its own terms, but what might feel ponderous in a lesser game becomes rewarding in one created with this much care. Sekiro meets me with just as much effort and enthusiasm as I've put into it. It lets me know I'm capable and skilled, and that I can figure it out. And then it hands me my ass again." -- Dave Tach and Jeffrey Parkin [Full review]

Game Informer -- 9.0/10

"Sekiro's story moves in strange and compelling ways that defy the initial adherence to the trappings of feudal Japan, and allows the player to discover multiple endings and confrontations depending on choices and secrets. It's a challenging journey through a weird and wondrous world that forces you to learn and master its punishing combat to succeed. However, the sweet thrill of victory keeps you pushing forward despite myriad disheartening deaths. Sekiro is one of the most difficult games I have ever played, but for those seeking adventure, exploration, and a truly realized ninja fantasy, the trek is worth the high demands." -- Daniel Tack [Full review]

God Of War Wins Game Of The Year At GDC Awards

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 15:42

Sony's PS4 exclusive action game God of War has won yet another Game of the Year award. Tonight at the Game Developers Choice Awards, Sony's PS4 game went home with the top prize. This is just the latest win for God of War, as it also won Game of the Year at December's The Game Awards and in February at the DICE Awards.

Other winners tonight included Celeste for Best Audio, Into the Breach for Best Design, and Red Dead Redemption 2 for Best Technology. Australian developer Mountains won Best Debut for Florence; that game also Best Mobile Game. Amy Hennig, an industry veteran who directed Uncharted, took home the Lifetime Achievement Award.

You can see a full rundown of the categories and winners at the bottom of this post.

"The Game Developers Choice Awards represent the most refined games of the year, and the sheer variety of games honored tonight showed that games can still represent wholly new and unique creative visions," GDC general manager Katie Stern said in a statement.

"A number of independently developed titles like Celeste, Gris, and Florence helped prove how internal or deeply personal turmoil can make for massively appealing games for millions of fans. While games like God of War and Red Dead Redemption 2 capture our imagination with poignant moments juxtaposed against epic tales of staggering scale and technical prowess. We embrace and accept all these amazingly creative works, and we're proud to recognize these nominees and winners alike for the imagination and hard work that brought them here."

Also at GDC this week, Google announced its new game-streaming technology, Stadia, which is set to launch later this year. Former Microsoft and Sony executive Phil Harrison is heading up the Stadia team, and he believes latency won't be an issue.

GDC 2019 continues all week, leading directly into PAX East in Boston at the weekend, so keep checking back with GameSpot for lots more.

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2018 Game Developers Choice Awards Winners

Best Audio

Celeste (Matt Makes Games)

Best Debut

Mountains (Florence)

Best Design

Into the Breach (Subset Games)

Best Mobile Game

Florence (Mountains)

Innovation Award

Nintendo Labo (Nintendo EPD / Nintendo)

Best Narrative

Return of the Obra Dinn (Lucas Pope / 3909)

Best Technology

Red Dead Redemption 2 (Rockstar Games)

Best Visual Art

Gris (Nomada Studio / Devolver Digital)

Best VR/AR Game

Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Audience Award

Beat Saber (Beat Games)

Game of the Year

God of War (Sony Santa Monica / Sony Interactive Entertainment)

Pioneer Award

Rieko Kodama

Lifetime Achievement Award

Amy Hennig

Avengers: Endgame Synopsis Points To An Epic Conclusion 22 Films In The Making

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 13:07

Marvel Studios has released what looks like the official plot synopsis for Avengers: Endgame. It doesn't contain any spoilers or surprises if you've seen Infinity War. Instead, it focuses on hyping up a dramatic conclusion to a story that's been 22 films in the making.

The synopsis comes from Marvel's official website, which people recently discovered was updated to include the following description for Endgame:

"The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios' grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.

The 22 films reference to the all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe films released since 2008, beginning with Iron Man. Endgame is the 22nd film in the series.

Avengers: Infinity War ended in dramatic fashion, with the evil Thanos snapping away half of the galaxy's population. Lots of people died, including superheroes that fans have come to know and love. In Endgame, the remaining members of the Avengers have apparently devised a plan to make things right--though it remains to be seen if the beloved fallen heroes will be resurrected by some means.

Many fans believe "the snap" may be undone in Endgame, given that many of the characters who perished have future movies in the pipeline. According to writer Christopher Markus, the deaths from Infinity War are "real," at least in some fashion.

"It is a different movie than you think it is," Markus said about Endgame. "We broke your heart. Now we're going to blow your mind."

Endgame hits theatres on April 26. It'll be the second Marvel movie in as many months, following the box office smash Captain Marvel in March. Captain Marvel actress Brie Larson returns to play the character again in Endgame, and she can be seen in the newest Endgame trailer that's embedded above.

More Xbox Game Pass Titles Announced, See All Six Here

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 12:10

The Xbox Game Pass catalog continues to grow in March and April. Microsoft today announced six more games headed to the library today, including some very big names.

Arriving on March 21 are the action role-playing game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and the adventure game What Remains of Edith Finch, while Telltale's The Walking Dead: Michonne hits Xbox Game Pass on March 28. Also out that day is the action RPG Vampyr, while dungeon-crawler Operencia: The Stolen Sun lands on March 29.

On April 1, the fighting game Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite hits Xbox Game Pass. After that, Microsoft's sandbox game Minecraft comes to the platform on April 4.

If you're not among the millions of Xbox Game Pass subscribers already, you can sign up and get the first month for only $1. After that, it's $10 USD/month.

Xbox Game Pass Upcoming Titles:

  • March 21 - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, What Remains of Edith Finch
  • March 28 -- The Walking Dead: Michonne, Vampyr
  • March 29 - Operencia: The Stolen Sun
  • April 1 - Marvel vs. Capcom Infinite
  • April 4 - Minecraft

Disney Expected To Lay Off Thousands Of People After Fox Buyout

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 11:37

Disney has finally, officially closed its $71 billion deal to buy the majority of Fox's entertainment assets. As part of the acquisition, Disney is expected to cut "thousands" of jobs as it eliminates duplicate jobs as part of the massive the restructuring, according to multiple reports.

Disney CEO Robert Iger sent a memo to staff regarding the Fox deal, and in it he acknowledged that tough times lie ahead. CNBC obtained the memo.

"I wish I could tell you that the hardest part is behind us; that closing the deal was the finish line, rather than just the next milestone," he said. "What lies ahead is the challenging work of uniting our businesses to create a dynamic, global entertainment company with the content, the platforms, and the reach to deliver industry-defining experiences that will engage consumers around the world for generations to come."

Iger went on to say that the "integration process" will affect some business units more than others. "We've made many critical decisions already, but some areas still require further evaluation. We may not have answers to all of your questions at this moment, but we understand how vital information is, and we're committed to moving as quickly as possible to provide clarity regarding how your role may be impacted," Iger said his note to employees.

Iger said he has a "deep appreciation" for how an acquisition like Disney's impacts people involved both personally and professionally. "I ask for your continued patience in the days to come as we combine this collection of great assets to create the world's premier entertainment company," he said.

As part of Disney's acquisition of Fox, the House of Mouse gets franchises like Deadpool, X-Men, The Simpsons, Family Guy, and numerous others, as well as a series of TV networks and film studios. Indeed, it is one of the biggest mergers in the history of the entertainment business.

As of September 30, The Walt Disney Company reportedly had more than 201,000 employees, and this was before the Fox deal closed.

Fox will live on in a limited capacity, with a new company--Fox Corporation--operating units such as the Fox News Channel, Fox Sports, and other TV networks.

Fortnite Reaches Huge New Player Milestones

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 10:59

The massively popular battle royale game Fortnite continues to grow. Epic Games announced at GDC 2019 this week that the title has now reached 250 million registered players, which is up from 200 million in December.

In terms of people actually playing the game, Epic also revealed that Fortnite reached a new concurrent player record of 10.8 million. That's up slightly from February when 10.7 million people logged on at the same time during the Marshmello in-game concert.

While Fortnite is one of the most popular games in recent history, it may still be behind Minecraft on one metric. Microsoft's sandbox game reportedly has 91 million monthly players, which is ahead of Fortnite's 78.3 million. However, these figures haven't been updated in some time, so it remains to seen if anything has changed.

Remarking on Fortnite's massive success, Epic boss Tim Sweeney told Engadget, "It's a real game. It's a shooter. It's worldwide. It's the first shooter with a huge female population. Somebody estimated it at roughly 35 percent, which is unprecedented--why isn't it 50?--but it's unprecedented for anything like this. It's because it brings together players in a social experience."

In other Fortnite-related news, Epic announced at GDC that it's created a $100 million fund for developers that was made possible thanks to the success of Fortnite. What's more, Epic announced that Quantic Dream's PlayStation-exclusive titles including Heavy Rain, Beyond: Two Souls, and Detroit: Become Human are coming to the Epic Games Store this year.

Google Reveals Stance On Exclusive Games For Stadia

Thu, 03/21/2019 - 10:58

Google's Stadia is a service that allows players to stream video games via the cloud across a variety of different devices. With most of the finer details about Stadia still under wraps, we sat down with Google VP Phil Harrison at GDC 2019 to further dive into the service.

During the interview, we asked about game exclusives on Stadia. "It was a conversation that I had with Google leadership before I joined the company." Harrison said. "[My] point of view was in order to really deliver on the promise of this platform, we had to build our own games. We had to build our own experiences, and that was a very fundamental, strategic direction that we needed to move in."

He continued, "I understand that [for a gamer] the word 'exclusive' can sometimes be a challenging terminology. [I would] rather we moved the narrative towards [games] that are built specifically for a data center. And if those games also show up on other streaming platforms, that's okay, because what that means is that the developers are starting to innovate and think about the future and [build] a 21st century game, rather than a 20th century game."

Harrison further clarified that any game that Google makes will "obviously only" be on Stadia. At GDC 2019, Google revealed it has a new first-party studio that's being led by Jade Raymond, a former head at both Ubisoft and EA. The new studio hasn't announced any specific games or projects it's working on yet.

We also asked Harrison about Sadia's pricing model. Apparently, one already exists, but Harrison said Google just isn't ready to talk about it yet. Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot predicts Stadia will launch with a "multitude" of pricing models. "Either you buy full price and you play; or you will be able to also register, possibly, to play either one hour or two hours a day. There will be plenty of ways," he said.

Harrison did confirm that Stadia will never support offline downloads. It's just "not technically possible," he told GameSpot. "It would be a compromise of our vision if we were to do that."

During its GDC 2019 keynote presentation, Google announced Stadia will release within 2019, and come to the US, Canada, UK, and "most of" Europe. The only games confirmed for the service as of this time are Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Doom Eternal.

We have more information on how cloud gaming works, and have outlined the top companies investing in gaming's possible cloud-based future.

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