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Updated: 23 min 39 sec ago

Destiny 2's Version Of Mercury Is Underwhelming So Far

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:00

The first expansion for Destiny 2, Curse of Osiris, was revealed during Paris Games Week this year and is set to launch on PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 5. We recently got a chance to play several hours of the game, including just over an hour of exploration in the new destination, Mercury, the new Public Event, and two new Strikes. While we didn't see everything Curse of Osiris has to offer, we left Mercury feeling skeptical about what's to come.

Mercury as a destination is actually a rather small, circular area on the planet called the Fields of Glass, which is connected to the Lighthouse that Bungie showed off last week. The most notable thing about the new map is the assortment of powerful, "high-value target" enemies you can fight--there seems to be more of them in the Fields of Glass than at other locations in Destiny 2. Other than that, it's an unremarkable donut map, and we couldn't even summon Sparrows there--seemingly to mask how small the area is.

While we were at Bungie's headquarters, the team behind Curse of Osiris stated that the theme of the expansion was "mystery." We spent an hour and a half roaming the Fields of Glass and the Lighthouse, and it's clear there are secrets we couldn't find. We looked for a good 15 minutes but didn't see any Lost Sectors, the hidden dungeon-like areas you can find everywhere else in Destiny 2, though we were explicitly told there was one and that would be marked on the map in a later build. We figured there's some sort of trick to all the powerful enemies, too, but we didn't have time to experiment properly.

Outside of the exploration on Mercury, the new Strikes added in Curse of Osiris are essentially retreads of two of the expansion's story missions. Repetition is to be expected in Destiny, and the Strikes themselves have interesting bosses, but there isn't much variety in the level design between their story and Strike versions.

The coolest aspect of the expansion that we saw was the Infinite Forest, a Vex creation designed to simulate an infinite number of realities. The concept is promising--it seems procedurally generated, at least in part, and you can encounter all sorts of enemies inside--but the connection to exploration on Mercury isn't clear, since our access to it was limited to the story.

In addition to the Infinite Forest (or what we hope it will be), the new Public Event, Vex Crossroads, is one thing we're still curious about and excited to explore further. It involves killing a series of Vex in stages and alternating between two towers that are only accessible during the event. We weren't able to trigger the Heroic version, but we did identify some potential leads, so we're eager to try it again and see what secrets it holds.

While we haven't seen everything from Curse of Osiris yet--Bungie has more reveals planned for November 29--what we have played doesn't feel substantial enough to bring any lapsed Destiny players back. The main Mercury map is just a circle that's not terribly interesting to explore, and the new Strikes are uninspired. The mysterious Infinite Forest could hold the key to making Mercury and Curse of Osiris in general a good addition to what's already in Destiny 2, but we'll have to wait to find out.

Check Out Destiny 2: Curse Of Osiris DLC's New Mercury Area

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:00

Bungie has revealed more details about the first expansion for Destiny 2, called Curse of Osiris, in a livestream today. Recently, GameSpot got a chance to check out the expansion at Bungie's headquarters. In the video above, you can watch us explore the new destination on Mercury: the Fields of Glass and the Lighthouse.

While this new area is small and looks kind of barren at first, its seems there might be secrets lurking under the surface--be sure to read our full impressions of exploration on Mercury for the specifics, and watch our playthrough of the new Public Event to see parts of the map you can't normally access.

The Curse of Osiris expansion takes you to Mercury for the first time (in Destiny 2, anyway) and prominently features Ikora and, as you might expect, Osiris. The Lighthouse, which returns with some changes from Destiny 1, serves as a safe area like the church in the EDZ, and Brother Vance, a follower of Osiris, is the NPC vendor here. The DLC will also introduce the first Raid Lair, which looks to be a major part of Destiny 2 moving forward.

We'll be able to talk more about the DLC following Bungie's next livestream on November 29. The first Curse of Osiris stream, which took place on November 15, showed off the Lighthouse space on Mercury and first story details. Curse of Osiris releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 5. That will coincide with the launch of an update that changes Destiny 2's weekly reset and the Guided Games feature.

See Destiny 2: Curse Of Osiris DLC's New Public Event

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 07:00

Bungie has revealed more details about the first expansion for Destiny 2, called Curse of Osiris, in a livestream today. Recently, GameSpot got a chance to check out the expansion at Bungie's headquarters. In the video above, you can watch us run through the new Public Event, Vex Crossroads.

The event involves killing a series of Vex in stages, alternating between two tower platforms that are only available while the event is active. We ran through the event twice but were unable to trigger the Heroic version, though we did identify a few points of interest, which you might notice in the video.

The Curse of Osiris expansion takes you to Mercury for the first time (in Destiny 2, anyway) and prominently features Ikora and, as you might expect, Osiris. The DLC will also introduce the first Raid Lair, which looks to be a major part of Destiny 2 moving forward.

We'll be able to talk more about the DLC following Bungie's next livestream on November 29. The first Curse of Osiris stream, which took place on November 15, showed off the Lighthouse space on Mercury and first story details. Curse of Osiris releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 5. That will coincide with the launch of an update that changes Destiny 2's weekly reset and the Guided Games feature. Additionally, Bungie will release an update that provides PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements for Destiny 2.

New Battlefield 1 Turning Tides DLC Dated For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 06:57

Battlefield 1's next expansion Turning Tides starts soon on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, giving players new maps and a new Operation, along with new weapons and a new Elite Class. The third DLC will be released in two waves, with the first one being set during the 1915 British amphibious invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula.

The "first wave" releases December 11. The first maps are Cape Helles and Achi Baba, which are featured during the new Operation. Turning Tides introduces introduces the new Infiltrator Elite Class. There are also six new weapons and melee weapons that will be added to your arsenal, and you'll also get the chance to rule the waves with an L-Class Destroyer.

The "second wave" in Turning Tides is due out in January, and takes players to the North Sea in two more unique maps: Zeebrugge and Heligoland. You'll get the chance to battle with the new Royal Marines and "spawn on the C-Class Airship."

There's a host of other Battlefield 1 news coming along with the third expansion's release date. From November 22-December 4 and December 8-10, free trials of previous expansions They Shall Not Pass and Name of the Tsar will be available in the game, allowing players to fight with or against the French and Russian armies and sample new maps, weapons, and vehicles.

On November 27, Frontlines Mode is being added to the Suez map, giving players a chance to battle it out in a mix of Conquest and Rush modes where you fight for chained control points across the map.

The Fall of Empires Operation Campaign is also available for all Battlefield 1 owners between November 22 to December 6. Fall of Empires combines two Operations: Conquer Hell and Iron Walls, which are inspired by two 1918 events: the battle of Vittorio Veneto and the Meuse-Argonne offensive on the Western Front. For Battlefield 1 Black Friday deals, check out our story.

PS4's Early PSN Black Friday 2017 Deals Now Available For Everyone

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 06:53

Ahead of Black Friday 2017, Sony has kicked off a big sale on PS4 games in the PlayStation Store. The initial batch of discounts went live last Friday and were only available to PS Plus subscribers, but now everyone can take advantage of the deals starting today.

Some of the year's biggest PS4 releases are available at a discount now as part of the PSN Black Friday sale. The newest installment in the Assassin's Creed series, Assassin's Creed Origins, is available for $42, while Horizon Zero Dawn drops down to $20. In addition to those, both FIFA 18 and Need for Speed Payback are available for $36 each, while Destiny 2 and South Park: The Fractured But Whole are $42 apiece.

On top of the discounts that were already on offer in the PSN Black Friday sale, Sony has added a wealth of new deals on some of this year's most notable titles. Battlefield 1 Revolution is $30, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy and Injustice 2 are $20 each, Life Is Strange: Before the Storm Deluxe Edition is $17.49, Nier Automata is $36, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana is $32 (or $28 with a PS Plus membership), Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony is $51 ($45 with PS Plus), and Persona 5 is $25, among many other games.

We've put together a list of the PSN Black Friday deals that you can get right now, many of which will be available until November 28. You can find all of the titles that are currently discounted in the PlayStation Store here. You can also see our full coverage of all the other Black Friday 2017 deals going on now via the links below.

The Punisher Really Botched One Thing

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 05:58

Spoilers for The Punisher below

The Punisher is easily one of the best shows Marvel and Netflix have produced together. It has thematic depth that rivals Luke Cage or Jessica Jones, using Frank Castle's unstoppable hunger for violence to examine PTSD and the plight of veterans in this country. In that light, there's only one thing The Punisher really botched: Lewis Wilson.

Lewis was a vet and an attendee of Curtis's PTSD support group. Like many returning soldiers, he found it difficult to reintegrate into civilian life. Forces pulled him in multiple directions--Curtis was a positive influence, his father just wanted his son back, and O'Connor, another support group member, sought to radicalize him as a right wing protester.

As a civilian, that seems to me like a pretty realistic portrayal of what it must be like for veterans these days. The US is divided across political lines, and vets often go without the support they need to lead normal lives again.

Lewis's story started out as a nuanced portrayal of this struggle. He could have been a great foil for Frank, who returns to violence again and again, even when he has other options. Instead, The Punisher turned Lewis into a caricature of a violent right wing extremist. In other words, they made him a villain--and then they dropped his thread entirely.

By the end, Lewis was murdering innocent people, attempting to assassinate a politician over gun rights, and condemning a journalist for the crime of disagreeing with him--a far leap from the sympathetic, struggling character he began as.

How he got from A to B isn't exactly clear. In conversations with Curtis, Lewis made it clear he didn't know what to do with himself without a war--an internal fight Frank himself knows well, as he described in The Punisher's final scene. But when did Lewis become obsessed with extreme conservative ideals? When did gun laws become his motivating factor, to the point that he bombed New York City and targeted a liberal politician?

Was it when O'Connor attempted to radicalize him? That doesn't exactly track, considering Lewis became so disillusioned with O'Connor that he wound up murdering him. Why would he keep chasing O'Connor's ideals after that? Even killing himself--sad as this is--would have been more realistic than what occurred.

What purpose did Lewis's tragic story arc even serve? The Punisher had enough villains, and Lewis's ultimate unimportance to the story is evident in the fact he was barely mentioned again after blowing himself up. In the aftermath, Lewis's subplot seems more like a ham-fisted condemnation of the extreme right wing ideals that became his sole focus--the same ones dividing us today in real life.

If so, it all just serves to divide us further. Maybe it simply feels too soon in the wake of events like the recent Texas shooting--by a former member of the Air Force--that left 26 people dead. But showing a military vet suffering from PTSD get so easily radicalized that he goes from support group member to domestic terrorist in a few episodes of otherwise great TV is neither realistic nor helpful in the grand scheme of things.

Lewis's real problem was PTSD--and a system that he felt left him behind. It's The Punisher's one major failing that the show couldn't follow that thread to the end.

Jason Momoa Defends Justice League Cutting Aquaman Scenes

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 05:55

While many Justice League reviews agree that Aquaman (Jason Momoa) was one of the bright spots of the superhero movie, there was something missing. There wasn't much insight into the character's background. While both The Flash (Ezra Miller) and Cyborg (Ray Fisher) had scenes in the movie giving insight into their characters, Aquaman didn't get the same treatment.

Originally, though, he did. As Momoa previously told GameSpot, there is a cut sequence that follows Aquaman to Atlantis, where the character of Vulko (Willem Dafoe) was introduced. "Vulko's his connection to Atlantis," Momoa says. Instead, the character is nowhere to be seen in film and will instead make his first appearance in the Aquaman standalone film.

As for why the scene was cut, there's really only so much time to tell the story of the movie. With heavy reshoots, a director change, and a studio-mandated runtime of two hours, some scenes just didn't make it into the movie. As Momoa explains to Entertainment Weekly, though, it might have been for the best.

"The challenging part is [the Justice League story] is only about a weekend in Arthur Curry's life. [Fans] might be like, 'Why is he that grumpy? Why's he hiding up there?' We had it all planned out," he says. "A lot of things got cut. But it's not my movie. It's a huge movie introducing three new characters, and for myself and The Flash and Cyborg, there was a lot that was there we just couldn’t get in. It could have been two movies."

In the end, the actor is right when he says, "It's not an Aquaman movie, it's a Justice League movie." However, it puts the timing of Justice League into question. With a villain to defeat, a character to resurrect, and three more to introduce, there was simply a lot of get through in this movie. It should come as no surprise that such major pieces would be left on the cutting room floor. Perhaps the superhero origin stories should have come first, given that Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg are characters that haven't made it to the big screen before.

Luckily, fans will only have to wait around a year before getting more of the character. The Aquaman standalone movie swims into theaters on December 21, 2018. At the very least, you won't have to wait that long to figure out whether Aquaman can talk to fish.

GOG's Black Friday 2017 Early Deals: Hundreds Of PC Games On Sale Right Now

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 05:45

Black Friday 2017 is quickly approaching, but many retailers and digital stores are already offering Black Friday prices ahead of the big shopping day. That now goes the same for GOG, which kicked off its own sale today, November 21.

Hundreds of PC games are discounted for a limited time on the digital store, and there are some bonus items you can get for shopping during the Black Friday sale. Everyone who visits GOG within the first 48 hours of the sale can download the classic MDK for free; you can claim it here. You'll also get a free digital copy of StarCrawlers when you spend $15.

Among the many great games on sale are The Witcher III: Wild Hunt - Game of the Year Edition ($20), Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice ($22.49), Elex ($45), Owlboy ($18.69), Gonner ($3), Wonder Boy: The Dragon's Trap ($14), Kerbal Space Program ($24), and Oxenfree ($4). You'll also find discounts on some classic titles, including Jade Empire: Special Edition ($3), Dead Space ($5), Dungeon Keeper 2 ($1.49), Dragon Age: Origins Ultimate Edition ($5), and SimCity 2000: Special Edition ($1.49).

There are many other titles on sale as well; you can find the full list on GOG. You can find our complete coverage of other Black Friday 2017 deals through the links at the bottom of this roundup.

This Week's Xbox One And 360 Deals With Gold Join Expanded Black Friday Sale

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 03:54

The Xbox Store Black Friday sale opens up to everyone today, but those aren't the only discounts you can find this week. On top of the Black Friday sale, the latest weekly Deals with Gold are also now available for Xbox One and Xbox 360.

As usual, most of the game discounts available this week are for Microsoft's newer console, with many of them exclusive to Xbox Live Gold members. The standard edition of Middle-earth: Shadow of War is available for $36/£33, while the game's Silver and Gold editions are on sale in the US for $48 and $70, respectively. Also on sale is NetherRealm's superhero fighting game Injustice 2; the base game costs $20/£22, while the Deluxe and Ultimate editions each run for $35/£35 and $45/£45.

Other Xbox One games on sale for Gold members include DreamBreak ($5/£4), NBA Playgrounds ($10/£8), Ruiner ($13.39/£11.21), Beyond Eyes ($3.75/£2.50), and Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden ($7/£5.59). Even if you don't have an Xbox Live Gold subscription, you can get discounts on Dex ($6.60/£5.28), Ark: Survival Evolved Explorer's Edition ($70/£59.49), and an assortment of DLC for Rocket League.

Xbox 360's list of deals is much slimmer this week. Gold members can find discounts on Rock of Ages ($2/£1.35), Red Faction Armageddon ($4.49/£3.74), The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 ($2/£2.49), Painkiller: Hell & Damnation ($3/£2.49), God Mode ($2/£1.35), and Blood Knights ($2.49/£2).

Most of these deals will be available until November 28. You'll also have a limited time to take advantage of the Xbox Store Black Friday sale, which offers discounts on a ton of recently released titles, including Assassin's Creed Origins ($42), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus ($30), South Park: The Fractured But Whole ($40), and a lot more. You can find our complete Black Friday coverage through the links below.

Assassin's Creed Origins, South Park, More Black Friday Deals In Ubisoft PC Game Sale

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 03:35

Not content to just let retailers provide discounts on its own products, Ubisoft has launched its own Black Friday sale ahead of the big shopping day. In addition to dropping the price of many of the publisher's newest PC games, you'll also find deals on its older games and a variety of merchandise themed around those games, ranging from South Park figurines to Assassin's Creed clothing.

On the game side, even Ubisoft's most recent releases are on sale for PC. South Park: The Fractured But Whole and Assassin's Creed Origins are $40 each, both of which launched just last month. A variety of versions of Rainbow Six Siege are discounted, the cheapest of which gets you the base game for $20. For Honor drops to $24, while Ghost Recon: Wildlands drops to $30. Other deals of note include Star Trek: Bridge Crew for $30 and Watch Dogs 2 for $16.

As for merchandise, you can pick up a South Park: Fractured But Whole figurine of Mysterion for $40 (down from $50) or a Coon tricycle for $60 (from $80). A Wildlands backpack can be had for $30 (from $60), Rainbow Six Siege figurines are $15 each (from $20), and an Assassin's Creed canvas backpack is $48 (from $60).

These prices are available from now until November 26; you can see everything on sale here. At least in the case of the games, you may want to do some comparison shopping--there haven't been a ton of deals on PC games announced so far, although GOG and the Humble Store have both launched their respective Black Friday sales. Steam is expected to do the same on November 22. You can check out all of our Black Friday coverage through the links below.

Street Fighter 5 Adds Christmas And Nostalgia DLC Costumes Next Week

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 03:32

Capcom has unveiled another batch of DLC costumes for Street Fighter V. A set of Christmas-themed outfits will be added to the game next week, just in time for the holiday season, and they'll be accompanied by a set of retro costumes that same day.

A total of 10 DLC costumes will be released next week, four of which are holiday-themed outfits for Kolin, Alex, Cammy, and Menat. Alex's new outfit has him don a Santa hat and coat, while both Cammy and Menat's costumes feature cat ears. You can check them out in the gallery below.

Alongside the holiday costumes, Capcom is also releasing a set nostalgia costumes for Karin, Birdie, Balrog, and Chun-Li. Karin sports the outfit she wore in Street Fighter Alpha 3; Balrog dons the attire he wore as a boss in Street Fighter II; and Birdie and Chun-Li's new outfits are inspired by the ones each character wore in Street Fighter Alpha. Chun-Li also gets an additional pair of combat costumes. You can see all of them below.

All 10 of the new DLC costumes will be available on PS4 and PC via Steam on November 29. You can purchase each of the outfits individually for $4.

Watch Destiny 2: Curse Of Osiris DLC Livestream Here Today

Wed, 11/22/2017 - 03:02

Today, Bungie is set to host the second of three livestreams dedicated to Destiny 2's upcoming Curse of Osiris DLC expansion pack. Whereas the first focused on the new location, story, and characters, this second stream will deal with new activities that you'll be able to take part in on Mercury. The stream is scheduled to take place at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET / 7 PM GMT (6 AM AET on Wednesday, November 22), and you can watch it through the stream below.

As with the first one, we don't know many specifics about what will be shown. Bungie says it'll offer a look at activities on Mercury, including those in the Infinite Forest, which is a key area we got a look at during the initial reveal and the first livestream. The key tease involves the reveal of a new Public Event, which is the "biggest [Bungie has] ever delivered in Destiny." While we'd assume it involves the Vex, given that they are central to Curse of Osiris's story, we do know that the Cabal are also present on Mercury. We'll report back with all the details once they're announced.

Assuming this follows the schedule from last week, you can expect today's stream to last about an hour. The first one showed off the revamped Lighthouse and other areas on Mercury, new gear for each class, the return of the Heroic Strikes playlist, and a post-campaign system through which you can acquire new weapons. Most notably, though, we learned about Raid Lairs, which are smaller but completely redesigned versions of the Leviathan Raid, complete with new encounters and a different final boss.

The final Curse of Osiris stream is scheduled for November 29 and will further showcase the expansion's new gear. It then launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC a week later, on December 5. It will be sold on its own and as part of the $35 Expansion Pass. Its release will coincide with that of an update adding PS4 Pro and Xbox One X enhancements to Destiny 2.

Nintendo Switch No Longer Getting Resident Evil Revelations' Physical Release In Europe

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:57

Resident Evil Revelations and Resident Evil Revelations 2 are coming to Nintendo Switch on November 28, but it's only now we're learning the games will not be appearing on store shelves in Europe. Instead, the region will only receive the titles via the Eshop, with their physical versions remaining exclusive to North America.

Publisher Capcom indicated to GameSpot that releasing a boxed version of the games in Europe would not be viable. "Capcom has to take various factors into account when deciding what format to deliver our titles to our fans," reads a statement from the publisher. "These can include but are not limited to overall production costs, manufacturing times, distribution, and first party regulations. In the case of Resident Evil Revelations, we've found that unfortunately it's not viable for Capcom Europe to create a physical version of the title on Nintendo Switch for our territories, however we will be making this available as a digital release."

Even in North America, the games' boxed edition isn't quite complete. The cartridge contains Resident Evil Revelations, but you'll have to download Revelations 2 separately. That physical release costs $40 in the US. In the UK, you can grab the double pack from the Eshop for £40 or each game for £20 individually.

Resident Evil: Revelations originally debuted on 3DS back in 2012 and was subsequently ported to PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC the following year, before coming to PS4 and Xbox One earlier in 2017. The game stars popular Resident Evil protagonists Jill Valentine and Chris Redfield, who are trapped aboard a derelict cruise ship infested with the zombie-like Ooze monsters. Its sequel was released as an episodic title for last gen, current gen, PS Vita, and PC in 2015 and takes place between the events of Resident Evil 5 and 6.

In other Resident Evil news, Capcom recently announced a definitive Gold Edition of the series' latest installment, Resident Evil 7. That package releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on December 12 and includes the base game along with its three DLC expansions: Banned Footage Vol. 1, Banned Footage Vol. 2, and the new End of Zoe. That day also marks the release of the delayed Not a Hero DLC, a free chapter that pits Chris Redfield against the "horrors that lurk underneath the Baker's mansion."

The New Animal Crossing Game Is Out Now, Earlier Than Expected

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:26

Nintendo's latest mobile game, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, is available now worldwide on both iOS and Android. That's a day ahead of its intended release date, November 22.

Be warned: although the game is live on the App Store and Google Play, some players are reporting its servers as being unstable right now, with with occasional connection errors. (Pocket Camp requires an internet connection to work.) Things seem to have improved in the past few hours, however.

The game's design, sound, and overall gameplay will be familiar to anyone's who's played the full-fledged entires in the series, and there'll be an assortment of returning activities and mechanics. In addition to customizing your character and your living area (in this case, an RV camper), you'll also lay out furniture and themed items across the game's campground setting. There'll be a real-time day/night cycle, and you'll have the ability to visit shops run by the regular game cast to purchase new clothing and furniture to customize your personal space. And it wouldn't be an Animal Crossing game without the ability to go into deep debt. Instead of Tom Nook, however, Pocket Camp has OK Motors, where you can purchase major upgrades that expand your RV's interior and allow you to trick out your in-game camper.

Pocket Camp is free on iOS and Android, though it does contain microtransactions; you can spend real money to purchase "Leaf Tickets" to speed up your progress. These can also be acquired through gameplay.

Pocket Camp was initially due out sooner, but Nintendo delayed it to make room for Fire Emblem Heroes and Super Mario Run. Now it's out however, Pocket Camp will receive regular content updates, including "seasonal events" along with furniture and outfit items that you can get for a limited time.

Pokemon Go Launches New Event To Catch Previously Region-Exclusive Pokemon

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 23:00

Pokemon Go's latest event, titled the Global Catch Challenge, is now live worldwide. It tasks players with catching huge numbers of Pokemon to earn rewards for everyone. The top level prize will see Farfetch'd being made available to catch around the world after previously being exclusive to Japan. Japanese players, meanwhile, will receive the previously Australia-exclusive Kangaskhan.

Those rewards will unlock at Gold level--after 3 billion Pokemon are caught around the world. Bronze level (500 million monsters caught) has already been reached, unlocking double XP and 6-hour lures. If you want to join and help the community get to 3 billion catches, you'd better be swift: the event ends on Sunday, November 26.

Developer Niantic continues to support Pokemon Go, though it does have at least one more project in the pipeline. The company confirmed last week that it's making a new title called Harry Potter: Wizards Unite. The developer did say, however, that making that game would not mean it would stop supporting Pokemon Go.

In addition to the new event, Pokemon Go also has new Pokemon Ultra Sun / Ultra Moon cosmetic items available now. Those 3DS games launched last Friday, and we awarded them a 8/10 in our Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon review. For lots more on the new games, check out this breakdown of the key differences between Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon.

Play As Thor And Fight Demons In This New Game From Viking Metal Band

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 17:20

Amon Amarth, a Swedish viking metal band that gets its name from the Lord of the Rings, has launched a video game. Titled "Amon Amarth," the game has four worlds, 12 levels, and "four epic battles" where you--as Thor--face off against legendary Norse creatures and beings. The game features 13 of the band's songs, but presented in chip-tune form.

The announcement trailer uses the band's ripping cut "Raise Your Horns," but with its chip-tune presentation, it has a very different sound and feel to it.

You fight against enemies you might have seen in Thor: Ragnarok, including Surtur, Fenris, and Hel. The serpent Nidhogg is also an enemy you'll face with your hammer, Mjolnir. You can also of course wield the power of thunder and lightning. Take a look at the announcement/launch trailer above to get a closer look.

A press release (via MetalSucks) from Amon Amarth's label, Metal Blade/Sony Music reveals that the game was developed by Swedish studio Ride & Crash Games. You can pick up the game right now for iOS and Android for $9.

The press release explains that Ride & Crash Games producer Robert Chirico Willstedt came up with the idea for an Amon Amarth video game in Fall 2015 after meeting with the band. Realising they had similar interests, including drinking "epic amounts of beer" and enjoying video games, they started to talk about making an Amon Amarth video game.

"The band met the development team continuously during the development process to ensure the end product would stay true to the initial vision of the game. This is an authentic Amon Amarth product," reads a line from the press release.

The name Amon Amarth is the Sindarin name of Mt. Doom from J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. The band has been together for more than 20 years, releasing 10 albums and an EP over that time.

Amon Amarth is not the first heavy-sounding band to launch its own video game. Avenged Sevenfold released a Diablo-like mobile game, while Iron Maiden made a game called Legacy of the Beast. Recently, Dave Mustaine revealed that a Megadeth video game is in the works.

Now, if someone could please get the Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum to do the music for a Lord of the Rings game...

Black Friday Sale For EA PC Games On Origin Goes Live

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:39

Origin, the PC storefront operated by Electronic Arts, has launched a Black Friday sale. Quite a few games are on sale, including titles published by EA and other companies. EA-published games on sale include Battlefield 1, FIFA 18, Need for Speed: Payback, Mass Effect: Andromeda, Titanfall 2, Mirror's Edge Catalyst, and Dragon Age: Inquisition.

A range of games from other publishers are on sale, too, including The Lego Movie Video Game, Watch Dogs 2, This War of Mine, Far Cry 4, The Division, Farming Simulator 17, Inside, and The Witcher: Wild Hunt. Go to Origin's website here to see all of the deals and find out what they cost in your local currency. The sale ends at 10 AM PT on November 28.

The American metal band Origin, which was formed in the late '90s--many, many years before EA launched its Origin platform in 2011--has also kicked off a Black Friday sale. You can see a full rundown of the band's discounted items here on their label's website. To date, EA has not partnered with the band Origin, which seems like a missed opportunity.

Black Friday itself is right around the corner; you can check out GameSpot's in-depth coverage of all the notable deals through the links below.

Black Friday 2017 Video Game Deals

Big Madden 18 Update Out Now, Here's What It Does

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 15:31

A new update is out now for Madden NFL 18, and it includes some pretty big gameplay changes. Starting off, in all game modes, kicks will no longer get blocked if you pull off a "Perfect Kick." If you pull off a perfect kick, you should probably make it.

Another big change is that the pump fake is now controlled with a click of the left stick instead of pushing the right stick up. That might take some getting used to for players who use pump fakes often. Additionally, this patch makes it so pass-blockers do not get hurdled as often by defenders.

The new Madden 18 patch also contains stability improvements for Franchise mode, while the white Color Rush pants for the New England Patriots have been added. EA Sports also said it is aware of an issue with Franchise mode on PS4 where the game lags during play calls. That's pretty annoying, but thankfully EA apologized and reported that fixing this issue is a "top priority" for the developer.

You can see the full patch notes below, as posted on the Madden website. In other news, Madden 18 is among the games getting marked down for Black Friday; you can see all the major deals here.

Full Change List:

Gameplay

  • Added logic on all game styles so kick blocks no longer occur on “Perfect Kicks” – to get a perfect kick, Kick Power must be at 100% and the Accuracy Meter must be stopped within the kicker's accuracy window, and perfect text appears on screen when you get 100% Kick Power and there will be a blue flicker that will trigger on the kicker's player icon after the kick that indicates you met the “Perfect” criteria
  • Removed Pump Fake functionality from Right Stick so users don’t accidently execute a Pump Fake when trying to throw the ball away – users can still Pump Fake while in the pocket by clicking Left Stick
  • Adjusted some logic around the QB Contain assignment:
    • Tuning to QB Contain so that wider slot corners will not become Contain players when rushing
    • Added functionality to pass blocking to better handle target switching for QB Contain defenders
  • Cut block fixes that reduce both cut block attempts and defensive hurdles over blockers in Competitive Game Style
  • Addressed an animation issue that was resulting in pass blockers being hurdled too frequently by defenders
  • Addressed an issue where defenders didn’t react to scramblers on fake kick plays when in a non-kick block type defense
  • Addressed some instances where TE’s would sometimes freeze at the snap in the Singleback Deuce Close formation
  • Addressed clock issues with Overtime periods
  • Addressed an issue where the QB would turn around backwardsto throw when using the Target Passing mechanic
  • Addressed issues around defensive users intentionally tripping receivers in Competitive Game Style
  • Addressed issue where offensive linemen would occasionally drop back deeper than the QB on play-action passing plays
  • Addressed an issue with the Toss animation on the Weak I Flex HB Toss Wk play in the Run ‘n Gun playbook
  • Addressed a rare issue where possession would be given to the incorrect team when kicking an onside kick out of bounds
  • Addressed a ball spotting issue around blocked punts going out of the back of the end zone
  • Addressed ball-spotting issues around turnovers that have been challenged or booth-reviewed
  • Added additional thresholds for QB Accuracy on Competitive Game style so that short, medium, and deep passes each have separate thresholds, with short pass having the lowest threshold to achieve accurate passes
  • Tuned to improve the play of AI-controlled QB’s, specifically around scrambling and recognizing pressure
  • Tuned to improve tackling ball-carriers during broken tackle animations
  • Tuned to decrease defensive coverage ‘break-on-ball’ reactions in All-Madden Simulation Game style
  • Tuned to decrease block shedding in run blocking in All-Madden Simulation Game Style
  • Tuned to decrease” nearby player penalty” for defensive players attempting to catch interceptions

Franchise

  • Made stability fixes
  • Fixed an issue that removed the VICIS helmets from offline CFM
  • Fixed multiple issues with depth chart logic with injured players
  • Improved stability in the Weekly Training drills in Franchise mode

MUT

  • Set Repeatable Limits – We can now set the amount of times you can complete a set
  • Set Timers – Timer displays on the Set that will tell you how much longer it will be available
  • Improved the look and feel of chemistry in the lineup screen and back of items

Misc:

The team is aware of an issue in Franchise mode where users may experience lag during play call on PS4. We want our PS4 franchise players to know this issue is a top priority for our team, and we will do our best to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience. Plus:

  • General Stability Fixes
  • Added Patriots white color rush pants

Overwatch Patch For PTR Adds New Map And More

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:46

The new Overwatch map announced at BlizzCon, Blizzard World, is now available in the game for some. Blizzard today launched a new patch for the game's PC-only Public Test Realm that adds the new map along with other bug fixes and changes.

Blizzard World is a map that takes the form of an amusement park for Blizzard games such as Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. It's a new, hybrid-type map that blends the Escort and Assault game types. "Charge the gates of Stormwind, sneak through the Nexus Experience, and guide the payload through areas filled with high ground, flanking routes, and environmental hazards," reads a line from the patch notes. "Grab some Blizzard-inspired snacks at the concession stand along the way!"

You can check out the overview video above to get a closer, more in-depth look at the new Blizzard World map.

In addition to the new map, this new Overwatch PTR update makes a change to A.I. so that you can remove all bots at once from the Custom Game lobby. In terms of bug fixes, this patch fixes a problem where some sound effects would not play when looking through the options menu with a controller. It also fixes a problem with the new character Moira (who is now available for everyone) that caused her knees to come through knee guards while crouching with the Oasis skin. Additionally, no longer should Doomfist's Seismic Slam leads to a performance drop when used repeatedly.

You can see the full PTR patch notes below, as posted by Blizzard. Remember that because the PTR is only available on PC, not all of these changes may also come to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One when the patch is eventually released on consoles. The PTR is free and open to everyone; you can find out how to sign up for it here.

Overwatch November 20 PTR Patch Notes

New Hybrid Map: Blizzard World

  • An amusement park celebrating the universes of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo, Blizzard World is a brand-new hybrid Assault/Escort map. Charge the gates of Stormwind, sneak through the Nexus Experience, and guide the payload through areas filled with high ground, flanking routes, and environmental hazards. Grab some Blizzard-inspired snacks at the concession stand along the way

GENERAL

A.I.

  • An option to “Remove All A.I.” in the custom game lobby can be accessed by Right Click > Remove All Bots

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed an issue that caused the arcade card for Limited Duel and Mystery Duel to not list all currently disabled characters
  • Fixed an issue that prevented certain sound effects from playing when navigating the Options menu with a controller

Heroes

  • Fixed a visual bug that caused Ana’s Biotic Rifle ammo clip to detach when her Captain Amari skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Seismic Slam to create performance drops when repeatedly used with no cooldown
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Mei’s Cryo-freeze from clearing the healing debuff caused by Ana’s Biotic Grenade
  • Fixed a visual bug with Moira’s Biotic Orb that sometimes caused Biotic Grasp’s healing spray effects to display instead
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Moira from being able to pass through enemies when using Fade
  • Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s eyelashes to detach from her face during her Heroic highlight intro
  • Fixed a visual issue with Moira’s Oasis skin that caused her knees to clip through her knee guards while crouched
  • Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s shotguns to animate incorrectly when discarded on the ground
  • Fixed an issue that prevented highlights captured by Zenyatta players from recording correctly when the Cultist skin was equipped

Maps

  • Fixed a bug that caused a performance drop when players shot at the gold coin piles in the last Defender spawn of Junkertown

Witcher 3 Devs Say Cyberpunk Will Be "No Bulls**t," And EA's Stock Drop - GS News Roundup

Tue, 11/21/2017 - 13:58

Today we wrapped up our 72-hour Extra-Life charity marathon so just for today regular hosts Jess and Dan have been replaced by Kallie and Justin. But you can still catch up on all the biggest news from Monday through the video roundup above! Today we focused on the continuing drama around Star Wars Battlefront II's loot crate system and the impending storm of Black Friday.

Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Responds To Games-As-A-Service Speculation With An Amazing Tweet

Asked about whether the "games as service" model would effect the upcoming release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red had a very detailed response. "No hidden catch, you get what you pay for -- no bullshit, just honest gaming like with Wild Hunt. We leave greed to others."

EA Stock Price Drops After Star Wars Battlefront 2 Microtransaction Removal

While it was only a 1% drop as of this morning, the effects of removing loot boxes had an immediate effect on the price of EA's stock. However it's worth keeping in mind that while EA's stock price is down by 7 percent for the month, the stock price is up 42 percent when looking at the year as a whole.

Black Fri-Yay

And finally, in case you weren't aware, this weekend is when all of the Black Friday sales hit. We're rounding up the best deals as we find them, but why not start with the PS4 Black Friday deals, or you can check out the Xbox One Black Friday roundup. And here's the History of Black Friday feature we mention in the news roundup.

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