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Pokemon Dev's PC Game Officially Announced For PS4, Switch, And Xbox One

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 04:20

Giga Wrecker, a 2017 Steam platformer by Pokemon developer Game Freak, is officially coming to consoles. Publisher Rising Star Games has confirmed it is bringing the title to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch later this year under the moniker Giga Wrecker Alt, and it'll include additional content and other console-exclusive features.

Among other things, Game Freak has added 20 new puzzle stages to Alt. Rising Star says the game will also introduce a new companion character "to assist players with the game’s increasingly challenging puzzles," as well as a much more formidable Iron Man mode, in which players take five times as much damage as normal. You can take a look at the announcement trailer below.

Giga Wrecker is set in a post-apocalyptic world that has been ravaged by an army of invading robots. Players take on the role of Reika, a young girl who is given a power known as ARCHE, which allows her to control debris. Players will need to use this ability in order to navigate the world and solve environmental puzzles, manipulating rubble into different shapes to create makeshift platforms, weapons, and other objects.

We first heard that Giga Wrecker could be coming to consoles last week, when a rating for the game appeared on the Taiwan Digital Game Rating Committee. Rising Star hasn't announced a release date yet, but the title is slated to launch digitally for all three consoles later in 2019. Limited Run Games will also distribute physical copies of Giga Wrecker Alt for PS4 and Switch.

Giga Wrecker isn't the only title coming from Game Freak. The studio is also developing a "core" Pokemon RPG for Switch, which is slated to release sometime this year. On top of that, the developer is working on a non-Pokemon RPG for the hybrid console tentatively known as Town.

The Division 2's Dark Zones Are More Welcoming, But Will Make You More Devious

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 04:00

One of The Division's most notable achievements in 2016 was its rather unorthodox approach to PvP gameplay. Within the center of post-outbreak Manhattan was the Dark Zone, an isolated, untamed space where you could engage in timed events, small skirmishes, and even backstabbing temporary allies. With The Division 2, Ubisoft has some interesting plans for expanding the Dark Zone concept, most of which will have you rethinking how you'll tackle the infamous no man's land.

We recently played several hours of the upgraded multiplayer mode, designed by original Rainbow Six developer Red Storm Entertainment. In the first game, the Dark Zone incorporated competitive multiplayer gameplay into the core systems and mechanics of the online world, allowing the agents to seamlessly transition between engagements against AI and other players in the volatile region. The developers refer to this gameplay loop as PvPvE: player-versus-player-versus-environment. While inside the zone, there are many opportunities to acquire powerful loot, but with significantly greater risk tied to it, thanks to tougher enemies and the threat of shady players looking for a chance to steal your loot.

Though clever in its design, and offering some fun encounters, the Dark Zone in the original game--even after several updates--was largely dominated by the hardcore playerbase. This gave the setting a reputation for being uninviting for those that weren't used to the steep learning curve and sink-or-swim setup. With this in mind, The Division 2 places a larger emphasis on making the Dark Zones more worthwhile for all players, offering more reasons to stay and explore the new systems at work. Furthermore, the sequel will feature not one, but three separate zones across Washington D.C.--DZ East surrounding Capitol Station, DZ South encompassing the waterfront, and DZ West within Georgetown.

Over the course of the campaign, your agent will be tasked to investigate the Dark Zones, allowing you to get your feet wet before things kick off. During our session, we opened the massive door leading into Dark Zone East and established various safe houses throughout the region. The on-boarding process for each Dark Zone also offers up some interesting narrative details, revealing what went wrong in the area and which faction of enemies has taken over. After completing the zone's introductory missions, the core content in the region will unlock, letting you enter skirmishes against AI and other players, or team up with others to secure loot.

In another promising change, Dark Zone loot has been significantly overhauled. In the first Division, anything you found in the Dark Zone had to be "extracted" before it could be used. Extractions required you to make a last stand in a certain area to get gear airlifted out while enemies and other players swarmed in to stop you and steal the loot. For the most part, loot found in the zones in The Division 2 won't require extraction and will be free to use upon pickup. However, you'll still find contaminated weapons that will require extraction, but they're now for rarer types of gear. This is big improvement because it not only rewards those who can only invest so much time in the zones, but it also lessens the frustrations found from getting easily sniped by opportunistic players upon extraction.

The sequel also does more to balance the initial power dynamics within the zones, normalizing all players' stats to ensure they're on an even playing field. The developers described this change as "fair, but intense," with the expressed purpose of allowing players of varying skill levels to see what they can find in the untamed areas. While this may bother some of the hardcore players, this change makes exploration of the Dark Zones more viable during the initial grind. However, you'll still come across players possessing unique loadouts and skill levels, ensuring most encounters will be unpredictable.

One of the more devious aspects of the original Dark Zone was its Rogue gameplay system. At any point, players could choose to turn on one another and steal their loot before it reached extraction. While this was intended to be a strategic choice within the first game, it more often than not resulted in severe griefing from high-level players. In The Division 2, the Rogue system has gone through an overhaul, redesigning the general loop to offer more options outside of the strictly PvP design from the last game.

To put it simply, Rogue status activates when you decide to get greedy. Throughout the zones are loot caches and special events that tie into the Rogue loop. If you decide to break into a locked loot chest, as opposed to using a Dark Zone key, then you'll immediately become Rogue for a limited time, momentarily placing you on the map for others to see. Even looting dead players will briefly turn you Rogue. While you may want to keep a low profile and wait for things to die down, special events will open up for Rogue players, allowing you rack up credits and resources, which can be turned in to unique vendors hiding out in the Dark Zone.

Potentially, you could reach the upper Rogue tiers without engaging in combat. The more Rogue actions and events you take on, the better the rewards and the higher your status will become. If enough time passes, you'll eventually become a main target for others, opening up a manhunt within the zone. In our session, some of the most intense moments came from when we were Rogue, which meant we were constantly looking over our shoulders to make sure we weren't being followed by other players looking to take us down. With more incentive to enter Rogue status outside of general PvP hijinks, there could be some potentially challenging scenarios for players to tackle--especially for those who aim to stealth through the Dark Zone.

With that said, getting a handle on the new Rogue mechanics sometimes resulted in cumbersome and awkward moments. While it's easy to go Rogue, simply by engaging in nefarious actions or simply activating it with the press of a button, the system itself can feel a bit too nebulous. A big issue we came across was that it was difficult, trying to get a sense of when you could actually target other players, or if they could target you. Likely intended as a safe-guard against griefing, you can only fire upon other players if they share Rogue status. So if you see another Rogue player in the wild, and you're not of similar status, you'll need to enable it to engage.

As it stands, this approach can create a minor disconnect from the overall pacing and dynamic systems in the Dark Zone. In one case during a Rogue mission, we found ourselves trading bullets with another group, only for the fight to abruptly come to an end once we found out another player turned in a quest--which immediately disabled the Rogue status for all of us in mid-fight. Having said that, the developers are still tweaking aspects of the design, so the final game may see a change.

At first glance, many of these changes seem to lessen the risk and ensuing dread that was synonymous with the Dark Zone. While that's certainly true to an extent, it also serves as a sampling for what's to come during the end-game. After the campaign's completion, one zone will become a contested area, and this will switch to a different location each week. Essentially a hardcore version of the Dark Zone, level and gear balancing will be disabled, player status is neutral by default, and friendly fire will be active at all times. With these changes, the contested Dark Zones could become some of the most chaotic and unpredictable areas the series has seen yet.

While the Dark Zone is still the main attraction for The Division 2's competitive gameplay, the developers have also added in an additional layer that exists outside of the PvPvE loop. Picking up from the previous game's 1.8 update that brought in 4v4 PvP, The Division 2 will also have traditional competitive multiplayer modes. Known as Conflict, this organized form of PvP will allow players to take part in standard team deathmatch and domination game types against others--with all their levels normalized. Conflict will also feature unique stat-tracking and rewards exclusive to the mode, including new cosmetics. However, at launch there will only be three maps and two game types, which quickly became repetitive during our hands-on. The developers were clear in stating that more competitive offerings will come during post-launch, which they aim to keep supporting for the long term.

The Division 2 felt very familiar to the original game, and that's OK. As it stands, the original game had a pretty spectacular post-launch period, and seeing that the sequel aims to keep that second wind going is reassuring. While some of the new innovations and changes in the sequel still need some work, it is interesting to see that its developers are trying to rethink the various elements of the competitive multiplayer, and how it can all coalesce within the online world. If you want to get some hands-on time with The Division 2 yourself, Ubisoft recently revealed plans for the upcoming private beta, which you can register for now on their site.

Destiny 2's Ascendant Challenge Guide (Jan. 15-22) Week 2: Where To Go And What To Do

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 03:50

Now that all the Forges are unlocked in the latest expansion for Destiny 2, The Black Armory, players are busy grinding for new Exotic weapons and completing all the expansion's secrets. But for those who still working on grinding up to the new Power level cap of 650 and completing all the things the last expansion, Forsaken, had to offer, there's the Dreaming City's Ascendant Challenge.

This week, the curse has been reset in the Dreaming City, which means the Shattered Throne dungeon is no longer available--a bummer for anybody who needs to finish it to unlock Izanagi's Burden from The Black Armory. It also brings us back to Week 2's challenge. Below, you'll find a complete guide on where you need to go and what to do to complete this week's bounty to earn Powerful gear.

The Ascendant Challenge always involves you heading through a portal to the Ascendant Plane, but the particulars of what you're doing are entirely different from week to week. To start out, you'll need a consumable item called the Tincture of Queensfoil. With a Tincture in hand, make your way to the Garden of Esila area near the southernmost point of the map, as seen in the image below. Consuming the Tincture will provide you with the Ascendance buff that allows to see a Taken portal that's somewhat hidden on a cliffside. Jump in, and you'll be teleported to the Ascendant Plane's Forfeit Shrine.

Once you're there, you'll have to fend off Taken--or just avoid them--while trying to secure three Arc Charges around the area. Once you pick one up, head toward the center starting area, near the giant Blight ball. Walk into the bright point at the bottom to dunk the charge you're holding. Repeat the process two more times and you'll receive an endless supply of Super energy that will help you to kill all of the remaining Taken in the area. Once they're dealt with, you can complete the bounty (netting you Dark Fragments and Powerful gear) and open a chest.

Given that the bounty (not the chest) offers Powerful gear--a reliable way of increasing your Power level--this is an activity you'll definitely want to take part in once you're able. But bear in mind it is a challenge, so be sure to come prepared. It can be done solo, but having multiple teammates to grab charges and draw the enemies' attention can help immensely.

Fortnite V-Bucks Being Used For Money Laundering, Claims Security Firm

Fri, 01/18/2019 - 01:32

Some criminal enterprises may be using Fortnite's virtual currency to launder money. The Independent reports that security firm Sixgill found evidence of criminals purchasing V-bucks in bulk using stolen credit cards, then selling the V-Bucks to players at a discounted rate to turn it into "clean" money.

Most of these V-Bucks transactions reportedly occur on the dark web, which is Sixgill's specialization. Smaller quantities have been found being sold on the open web. The agency says it has seen operations being run in English, Chinese, Russian, Spanish, Arabic. The launderers are said to use cryptocurrency to further obscure the source of their money.

The agency has not found exactly how much profit this has made for the criminals engaging in it. It notes that the pool of money flowing through and around Fortnite has increased with the game's popularity, alongside mentions of the game on the dark web. Fortnite items grossed more than $250,000 on Ebay over a 60 day period last year.

This has raised criticisms that Epic is not taking a proactive enough role in rooting out misuse of its platform. Industry watchers have previously raised concerns of security on Android, where Epic circumvented the Google Play store, leaving them open to phishing schemes. More recently, security experts raised alarm at a potential hack.

"Epic Games doesn't seem to clamp down in any serious way on criminal activity surrounding Fortnite, money laundering or otherwise,” Sixgill senior intel analyst Benjamin Preminger said. "While completely stopping such criminal activity is extremely difficult, several steps could be taken to mitigate the phenomenon, including monitoring the transfer of high-value goods in the game, identifying players with large stockpiles of V-Bucks, and sharing data with relevant law enforcement agencies."

GameSpot contacted Epic Games for comment, and received the following statement from a spokesperson:

"Epic Games takes these issues seriously, as chargebacks and fraud put our players and our business at risk. As always, we encourage players to protect their accounts by turning on two-factor authentication, not re-using passwords and using strong passwords, and not sharing account information with others."

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice's Protagonist Will Actually Speak

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:40

From Software has revealed that its changing how it tells stories when it comes to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. The contrast of beauty against death will still be present in its narrative, but Sekiro will be about a specific character with his own backstory as opposed to a nameless, blank slate protagonist like in previous Soulsborne games.

"We're trying to tell more of a drama, if you will, of these characters," From Software marketing and communications manager Yasuhiro Kitao said to Game Informer in an interview. Sekiro follows the changing relationship between Young Lord and his guardian The Wolf, the latter of which you play as. In the beginning of the game's story, the two are attacked and Young Lord is kidnapped while The Wolf is left defeated with his arm cut off. Upon awakening, The Wolf receives his prosthetic arm and then sets out on a quest to find Young Lord and defeat those responsible for the assault.

On his journey, The Wolf will meet other characters, but unlike previous From Software games where the protagonist wordlessly responds to others, The Wolf will actually speak to people. He is his own person, with his own thoughts, feelings, and sense of morality. In turn, having a character with an established backstory has allowed From Software to implement storytelling techniques that are absent from past Soulsborne titles, such as flashback sequences.

All that said, From Software doesn't want to take away from players who love theorizing about the lore of Soulsborne games. Even though The Wolf has an established past, the history of the world he lives in--as well as the enemies, bosses, and some of the characters he meets--are fragmented. It'll be up to you to piece together exactly what happened prior to the game's events.

In Sekiro, From Software is breaking plenty of other conventions it's established with its past Soulsborne games. One of the most notable changes is in how boss battles play out, as Sekiro's expanded traversal mechanics--such as stealth, parkour, and a grappling hook--allow for more unique encounters. Sekiro also won't have an online multiplayer, so From Software has designed the game to allow players to actually pause the action wherever they are. Unlike Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, Sekiro will have a hub area that's connected to its world, allowing for more opportunities to freely explore.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice releases for Xbox One, PS4, and PC on March 22.

Yet Another Classic Disney Movie Is Getting A Live-Action Remake

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:33

Disney is pushing ahead with yet another live-action version of one of its classic films. The movie giant's latest live-action remake will be for The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

The movie is said to be based on the 1831 Victor Hugo book and Disney's 1996 animated film, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The new movie is being written by playwright David Henry Hwang, while the music is coming from Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz. They picked up Oscar nominations for the music they wrote for the 1996 film.

Actor Josh Gad is producing the new Hunchback movie. According to THR, the Hunchback film is "not currently a priority" for Disney, but it's unclear why that is. It might be that Disney's live-action slate is already quite stuffed. In 2019, Disney will release live-action versions of Aladdin, The Lion King, and Dumbo. After that, the company will put out live-action takes on Mulan and Lady and the Tramp.

In other Disney live-action movie news, the Pinocchio movie recently suffered a setback with director Paul King dropping out.

God Of War Director Talks About Cutting "A Lot" Of Boss Fights

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 11:04

The developers of the PlayStation 4 exclusive God of War originally had many more boss fights planned. Game director Cory Barlog told Noclip that "a lot" of boss fights ended up on the cutting room floor, in part because it was too much work.

"We cut a lot of bosses. A lot. We had so many more," he said. "It was a much more ambitious, crazier game. And as you go through development, you start realising, 'No, it's too big, we can't do this.'"

Barlog said a single boss battle took 18 months of work from a team of 30 developers, so as such, the number of boss fights had to be scaled back to make sure the game actually came out this decade. "One boss takes like 30 developers a year and a half. It's an absolutely massive scale when you really consider it, and you measure it against other games in which we finished the game in a year and a half," he said.

The developer also pointed out that the "boss team" had other tasks as well, which took up even more of their time. At the end of the day, Barlog said, "It became a reality that some of these things will have to be cut."

Also in the interview, Barlog talked about how the troll fights were never intended to be boss battles. He shares many more interesting anecdotes from his time working on one of 2018's most celebrated games; check out the full video below.

In other news, Barlog said he had an idea for a "really fun" expansion for God of War. However, it was "too ambitious," and Sony eventually decided to scrap it.

Ubisoft Apologizes For Forcing Your Assassin's Creed Odyssey Character Into A Straight Relationship

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:22
THIS POST CONTAINS SPOILERS ABOUT ASSASSIN'S CREED ODYSSEY DLC

Ubisoft recently generated controversy when it was revealed that the newest Assassin's Creed: Odyssey expansion, Shadow Heritage, would force players into a straight relationship for a period of time. Now, creative director Jonathan Dumont has apologised, and he also explained why it happened.

At the end of the content, Kassandra or Alexios, depending on who you're playing as, has a child in a heterosexual relationship. Dumont said in a forum post that it was important for the game to establish how "your character's bloodline has a lasting impact on the Assassins." However, Dumont acknowledged that Ubisoft "missed the mark."

"We want to extend an apology to players disappointed by a relationship your character partakes in," he explained. "Alexios/Kassandra realizing their own mortality and the sacrifice Leonidas and Myrrine made before them to keep their legacy alive, felt the desire and duty to preserve their important lineage. Our goal was to let players choose between a utilitarian view of ensuring your bloodline lived on or forming a romantic relationship. We attempted to distinguish between the two but could have done this more carefully as we were walking a narrow line between role-play choices and story, and the clarity and motivation for this decision was poorly executed."

Players do not to need to continue this relationship in the next chapter of the DLC, Dumont added. He also said that this has been "a learning experience" for Ubisoft; he promised that Ubisoft will "do better" to make sure that player choice--which Ubisoft had hyped as one of the core tenets of the game--stays intact going forward.

The move to force players into a heterosexual relationship was especially grating for some because, as mentioned, it ran counter to what Ubisoft had promised up until this point: that you could make your own choices in regards to romantic partners.

At E3 2018, Odyssey's narrative director Melissa McCoubrey stressed how the game would allow players to choose their romantic partners. "If you want to be a woman and romance a woman, you can do that. If you want to be a man and romance a woman, you can do that. If you want to be a man and romance a man and a woman, you can do that," she told Stevivor at the time.

The title of the achievement/trophy for Shadow Heritage that unlocks after the childbirth is "Growing Up," and that name is stirring controversy as well.

Shadow Heritage is part of the Legacy of the First Blade paid DLC for Odyssey. In addition to new story content, it added a new Hunter ability, Rapid Fire, which allows players to fire arrows rapidly without reloading. You can watch the opening minutes of Shadow Heritage in the video embedded above.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Changes How From Software Does Bosses

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 10:06

From Software has revealed that boss battles will play out slightly differently in Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice in comparison to both the Dark Souls series and Bloodborne. Although Sekiro will contain encounters just as challenging as its Soulsborne predecessors, its new mechanics offer different ways for From Software to create unique fights.

In an interview with Game Informer, From Software director Hidetaka Miyazaki said that the new traversal mechanics--with the exception of swimming--have been used to create boss battles that have never been seen in a Soulsborne game before. "The traversal options allow much more dynamic movement within the boss arena, both for yourself and the boss character themselves," Miyazaki said. "Previously, you would have just had to run around a huge boss' feet and hack away at his ankles, but now you have all these movement options; you can both fully use the extent of that arena."

Not every traversal mechanic will be available to you during bosses though. Some bosses will be huge, hulking monsters that are reminiscent of what's seen in Dark Souls and Bloodborne, and you'll defeat them similarly to how you would in From Software's older games. There are also bosses who simply won't give you the room to zip about the arena with your grappling hook, allow you to stealth behind them for an instant kill, or rely on any of Sekiro's other traversal mechanics. But each boss does have a weakness you can exploit to make the fight easier.

You won't be alone when it comes to figuring out how to defeat a boss. In place of messages from other players, you can find clues in the world that hint at certain bosses' weaknesses. Whether you search out these hints is entirely up to you, but Miyazaki said that they do help, especially for enemy bosses that "use really dirty tricks" and "underhanded techniques."

New types of boss battles aren't the only change From Software is putting into Sekiro. The game won't have multiplayer of any kind, and as a result, you'll be able to actually pause whenever you want. Unlike Dark Souls III and Bloodborne, Sekiro will also have an interconnected world that directly links back to its hub area

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice launches on March 22 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. The standard version of the game releases alongside a Collector's Edition, both of which are available for pre-order.

After Lawsuit From Bethesda, The Westworld Mobile Game Is Shutting Down

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 09:55

The WestWorld mobile game that Bethesda claimed was a "blatant ripoff" of Fallout Shelter is shutting down following the lawsuit that Bethesda brought against its developer. A statement posted on the game's Twitter page confirms the game has been removed from App Store and Google Play, with a final closure taking place on April 16, 2019. Additionally, all in-app purchases have been switched off, and you're recommended to spend any remaining currency before the final shutdown.

It's not immediately clear if refunds will be available, but it doesn't sound like it. "We are sorry to see the Westworld mobile game go, and had an incredible time creating new content and events for players to enjoy. We deeply appreciate our community's enthusiasm and participation in the game," developer Behaviour Interactive said.

pic.twitter.com/y7NS7QeSlX

— Westworld Mobile (@WestworldMobile) January 15, 2019

Nowhere in the statement is the lawsuit from Bethesda mentioned. Bethesda reached what was described by the company as an amicable settlement with Behaviour and Westworld studio Warner Bros. earlier this month. Terms of the settlement deal between Bethesda and Behaviour were never made public, so it's impossible to know if shutting down the Westworld game was part of the deal, but that could be the case.

Behaviour worked on Fallout Shelter, and Bethesda alleged that Behaviour "illegally" used the same copyrighted source code from Fallout Shelter to developer the Westworld game. Not only that, but Bethesda claimed Behaviour "copied Fallout Shelter's game design, art, animations, gameplay features, and other elements.

Bethesda was suing Behaviour and Warner Bros. for "copyright infringement, breach of contract, and misappropriation of [Bethesda's] intellectual property."

Nintendo Switch Online's Free NES Games For January Now Available

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 09:45

January's free NES games for Nintendo Switch Online subscribes are now available. This month sees Zelda II: The Adventure of Link and Blaster Master join the service, while Japan receives one additional title: Joy Mech Fight, which was never released outside of the country.

As in previous months, Nintendo has also added special save states of a couple of previously available NES games, namely the notoriously difficult Ninja Gaiden and Ghosts 'n Goblins. The former starts you off in stage 6-4, while the latter drops you in stage 6 with the dagger equipped.

Nintendo Switch Online's NES library launched alongside the service this past September and initially featured 20 games, with additional ones arriving each month. The most recent batch included the aforementioned Ninja Gaiden as well as Wario's Woods and Adventures of Lolo. More NES games are planned to be released in 2019, although Nintendo hasn't announced what those will be yet.

Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions run for US $4 / £3.49 / AU $6 for one month, US $8 / £7 / AU $12 for three months, and US $20 / £18 / AU $30 for one year. In addition to gaining access to the NES library, subscribers are able to play Switch games online with others as well as back up their save data to the cloud.

Nintendo also has a couple of special offers for Nintendo Switch Online subscribers. The most notable of these is a set of NES controllers for Switch, which are only available for purchase if you have a subscription. The controllers come in sets of two and cost $60.

A remake of Blaster Master, dubbed Blaster Master Zero, launched for Switch in 2017. It was developed by Inti Creates, the studio behind the retro-style Bloodstained spin-off, Curse of the Moon, and features the same basic story and gameplay as the original but with redone visuals and other improvements.

Ronda Rousey Teases Mortal Kombat 11 Appearance

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 09:08

Athlete and actress Ronda Rousey has teased something related to Mortal Kombat 11, and we might not have to wait long to find out what it is. Posting on Instagram, Rousey shared a picture of herself with an invitation to the Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event this week. She captioned the image, "The invitation I've been waiting to accept my whole life. Don't worry, Earthrealm is safe with me ;). Can't wait for Thursday!"

Rousey's post fuels the ongoing rumours that she will voice the character Sonya in the fighting game. As of now, this is all speculation, but we should know more very soon.

View this post on Instagram

The invitation I’ve been waiting to accept my whole life. Don’t worry, Earthrealm is safe with me ;) Can’t wait for Thursday! I’ll be there #MK11 @mortalkombat

A post shared by rondarousey (@rondarousey) on Jan 15, 2019 at 5:32pm PST

The Mortal Kombat 11 reveal event is slated to begin at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET on Thursday, January 17, and you'll be able to watch it here on GameSpot. In addition to premiering the first gameplay from Mortal Kombat 11, a description of the reveal event promises "exclusive reveals." It'll also contain details on the game's story and characters, as well as some of its "new features."

Mortal Kombat 11 launches on April 23 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch, and those who pre-order a copy will receive Shao Kahn as a playable character.

Pre-orders on PS4 and Xbox One also come with access to the fighting game's pre-launch beta. The test will be held for those two platforms sometime in March, although further details have yet to be announced. In other news, Mortal Kombat 11's cover art has been revealed--check it out here.

In other news, Rousey has a match set for the upcoming Royal Rumble event. You can learn more in GameSpot's Royal Rumble coverage.

The Division 2 Story Trailer Shows A Post-Apocalyptic DC And A Frog With Unique Hopping Properties

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:45

The latest story trailer for Ubisoft's The Division 2 has arrived, and it provides one of the best looks so far at the narrative for the upcoming open-world shooter and its setting in Washington D.C. It also provides a first look a post-apocalyptic frog with unique hopping properties.

You play as an agent of The Division, and after surviving the events of the first game in New York, you're headed to the nation's capital to do it all again, it seems. The nation is divided, with the narrator saying America is "slipping into civil war." The country is on the verge of "total collapse," and you're tasked with taking down various enemy groups to restore democracy to the country.

In addition to providing a better look at The Division 2's story and setting, the video also shows some of the new weapons and gear such as drones and the crossbow. Also, at around 47 seconds, you can see a frog whose jump appears to have no effect on the water below. This frog also does not appear to move very smoothly. Must be the virus.

Given the current political tensions happening in real-world America today, it will be interesting to see how The Division 2's story unfolds and how close to home it might strike.

The Division 2 launches on March 15 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The PC edition will launch through Fortnite developer Epic's new store and Ubisoft's own store, but not Steam. A "private beta" for people who pre-order begins on February 7.

Smash Bros. Ultimate's Next Spirit Event Begins Tomorrow

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 08:15

A new Spirit Board event is set to begin soon in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. This week, Nintendo is holding the second part of the Fire Emblem Fest, which will feature a variety of Spirits taken from the long-running strategy RPG series.

The event kicks off at 10 PM PT on January 17 (1 AM ET / 6 AM GMT on January 18) and runs through the weekend, ending at the same time on January 20-21. During the Fire Emblem Fest, Fire Emblem characters will appear much more frequently on the Spirit Board. You'll also take home extra Gold for defeating them.

The first part of the Fire Emblem Fest occurred back in December and featured the Legend-class Spirits Caeda and Azura, as well Eliwood, Eirika, and others. Both Azura and Caeda will return for Part 2, but this time they'll be joined by a number of characters who didn't appear the first time around, such as the Ace-class Spirits Leo and Takumi.

Nintendo is holding a different Spirit Board event each week in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate. While most are themed around certain types of characters, last week's event rewarded players with twice the normal amount of Spirit experience and Spirit Points. The Mario Time event from December also introduced a handful of exclusive Spirits.

The next game in the Fire Emblem series, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, is slated to launch for Switch this year. Nintendo hasn't revealed many details about the game yet, but we got our first look at it during the company's E3 2018 presentation. Nintendo has a number of other titles lined up for this year; be sure to check them out in our gallery of Nintendo-exclusive games coming in 2019.

New Sea Of Thieves Update Has You Reinstall The Entire Game

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 07:32

Rare has announce a new update for Sea of Thieves, which is designed to both reduce the overall install size of the game and make it easier for the developer to implement further patches in the future. However, to download the update, you'll have to reinstall the entire game.

The new install sizes for each version of the game has been outlined in a blog post on Sea of Thieves' main website. The PC version of the game will shrink from 47 GB to 27 GB. For Xbox One, the version on the original console will go from 35 GB to 10, and the One X install size will shrink from 47 GB to 25.

As a result of this update, Rare executive producer Joe Neate writes that future patch sizes might "increase slightly in the future." However, the overall install size will no longer grow significantly--like it has in the past--so it should be faster to reinstall the game going forward. The update goes live on February 6.

In our Sea of Thieves review, Peter Brown gave the game 6/10, writing, "For now, [Sea of Thieves is] a somewhat hollow game that can be fun for a handful of hours when played with friends, and something worth trying out if you happen to be an Xbox Game Pass subscriber. Even though it's hard to wholeheartedly recommend, I like enough of what I see to hold out hope that things will eventually improve as the game continues to be patched and updated with new content."

Since then, Rare has implemented several updates into the game, including a competitive PvP arena mode, a new type of quest, and more enemy types. Rare design director Mike Chapman has announced that the developer has more content planned for the future, including a possible battle royale mode.

Sea of Thieves is available for Xbox One and PC.

WWE Has A Cookbook, And "Nacho Man" Is Now Something You Can Eat

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 07:29

The only cookbook that should matter to wrestling fans is hitting stores this March. Insight Editions is publishing The Official WWE Cookbook featuring recipes inspired by WWE Superstars. Finally, The Rock's Jabroni Macaroni Salad has come back to your dinner table.

Available on March 19 and priced at $30, the cookbook will contain more than 75 recipes, including appetizers, main courses, deserts, and drinks, all modeled after a WWE Superstar, and yes, Jabroni Macaroni is in there.

Finally, you can have your friends over for Wrestlemania and serve them up a very hot plate of Nacho Man Randy Savage, or maybe some D-Generation Eggs--which contains chicken livers. Some of the other Big Boss Ham Steak Doughnuts and Big Show's World's Largest Pancake.

The items in the cookbook were put together by Allison Robicelli, a James Beard-nominated best-selling author, and she's appeared on the Food Network, Cooking Channel, and VH1. If this book doesn't fix your appetite for more wrestling-related madness, check out the match card for Royal Rumble, every confirmed wrestler in AEW, and wrestlers AEW should sign.

$25 Assassin's Creed Odyssey And Other PS4, Xbox One, And Switch Game Deals At GameStop

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:50

A new sale is now underway at GameStop. The video game retailer has unveiled its latest weekly ad, which features deals on a handful of 2018's biggest releases, including a particularly good one on the latest installment in the Assassin's Creed series, Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

If you've yet to pick up Ubisoft's newest stealth-action game, the title is on sale on both PS4 and Xbox One for $25. Its various special editions are likewise discounted this week; the Deluxe edition is available for $45, while the Steelbook Gold edition is down to $75.

If shooters are more your speed, the latest Call of Duty game, Black Ops 4, is available for $40. Both Far Cry 5 and the ever-evolving tactical shooter Rainbow Six Siege are also on sale this week for $15 each. Other notable deals include the Spyro Reignited Trilogy for $30 and For Honor: Marching Fire Edition for $25.

On top of those deals, GameStop is running a promotion that offers $20 off of any new game or pre-order when you trade in select titles. You can see the full list of eligible games here. Additionally, you can grab any two pre-owned games regularly valued at $15 or under for $20.

This week's sale is scheduled to end on January 22, so you have until then to take advantage of the discounts. We've rounded up some of the most noteworthy game deals below; you can find all of this week's offers in GameStop's full weekly ad.

Xbox One Game Pass Keeps Rolling Out Even More Titles This Month

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:47

Microsoft has announced more games coming to Xbox Games Pass in January. One of which, Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, is already available on the subscription service.

Two more games, We Happy Few and The Lego Movie Videogame, go live on Xbox Game Pass on January 17. We Happy Few is a first-person action game where you play as three different people trying to survive in a police-state society that forces everyone to remain happy all the time by taking a mandatory drug called Joy. The Lego Movie Videogame is based on the characters and storylines of the titular movie.

On January 24, two more titles, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor and Saints Row: The Third, join Xbox Game Pass. The former acts as a loose prequel to the events told in The Lord of the Rings, and delivers a memorable action-packed gaming experience with a system that causes enemy orcs to evolve based on their combat encounters with protagonist Talion. The latter marks the moment in the Saints Row franchise where the games veered off from being a GTA-look-alike and, for the better, transformed into something ridiculously wacky.

Microsoft added several titles to Game Pass earlier in January as well. On January 3, Life is Strange 2: Part 1, Ark: Survival Evolved, and Farming Simulator 17 were added to the service. Absolver was added on January 7, and both Just Cause 3 and Aftercharge were put on the service on the 10th.

Game Pass has proven popular with players, with Xbox boss Phil Spencer claiming that "millions of subscribers" are using the service. The service offers dozens of games to subscribers for $10 USD a month, which is a pretty good deal when compared against the combined library's full retail price. Microsoft took great strides to improve the appeal of Game Pass in 2018, such as an announcement that all first-party titles would launch on the service the day they released. This includes games like Crackdown 3, Gears 5, and Halo Infinite.

In 2018, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella teased that Game Pass will launch on PC in the future, but there hasn't been an official announcement as to when. For now, the service is exclusive to Microsoft's family of Xbox One consoles.

EA Addresses Star Wars Game Cancelation Report, Doesn't Deny It

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:31

Following a report that Electronic Arts had canceled the open-world Star Wars game in development at EA Vancouver, the publisher has finally responded with a statement. Unfortunately, it doesn't offer any real insight, though tellingly it does nothing to dispel what Kotaku's story laid out.

"There's been speculation overnight about one of our Star Wars projects. As a natural part of the creative process, the great work by our team in Vancouver continues and will evolve into future Star Wars content and games," the company said in a statement shared with GameSpot. "We're fully committed to making more Star Wars games, we're very excited about Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order from Respawn, and we'll share more about our new projects when the time is right."

That is far from a denial that it's canceled the project, which was said to be an open-world game "reboot" of what had previously been in development at the now-defunct Visceral Games. When the former Dead Space developer was shuttered, Vancouver assumed control of the project, which morphed into something quite different but would use assets from Visceral. Kotaku's report states Vancouver is now at work on a smaller-scale Star Wars game that can be released sooner than would have been possible with the open-world game.

It's been rough going for Star Wars games at EA, both in terms of this specific project and more broadly. Battlefront II had an extremely rough launch after players objected to the use of what was perceived as pay-to-win mechanics, which were ultimately pulled at the 11th hour, just before release.

As noted in EA's statement, the company does have Jedi Fallen Order in development at Respawn, the studio known for the Titanfall series. Little is known about the game, which stars a young Jedi Padawan after Order 66 is carried out in Revenge of the Sith. Respawn has multiple games set for release before the end of 2019, which could include both Jedi Fallen Order and Titanfall 3. It's also working on an unannounced VR game.

What the future holds for EA's Star Wars games is unclear, but the company does have a licensing agreement that gives it the exclusive rights to make Star Wars games on consoles. That deal runs until 2023.

Steve Carell And The Office Boss Team For Netflix Show About Trump's Space Force

Thu, 01/17/2019 - 06:22

Steve Carell is returning to TV for his first starring role since leaving The Office in 2011. What's more, he's doing it through a new collaboration with The Office executive producer Greg Daniels. The two have created a new Netflix series called Space Force, which Carell will star in. The idea of a space force was first proposed by President Trump in 2018.

Details on the new series are scarce, but a teaser released by the streaming service hints at this definitely being a comedy. "On June 18, 2018 the federal government announced the creation of a 6th major division of the United States armed forces," the video proclaims. "The goal of the new branch is 'to defend satellites from attack' and 'perform other space-related tasks' or something."

The series will follow the men and women tasked with creating the space force and figuring out what exactly it does. Outside of Carell, no other casting has been announced. It will be interesting to see if any of his former The Office comrades appear alongside him in the series.

At this point, there is no official release date for the project. However, chances are it'll debut on Netflix long before the actual real-life space force is established, which is expected to be sometime in 2020. Meanwhile, there's still no new word on whether or not that potential revival of The Office is going to happen.

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