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E3 2018: There's A Lot Of Assassin's Creed Odyssey Editions

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:36

Assassin's Creed Odyssey is coming this year, and like Assassin's Creed Origins, you won't be starving for choice. Ubisoft has announced six different special editions, in addition to the standard version, for a total of seven different ways to buy the game.

Those versions ascend progressively in terms of both price and extra goodies. The $80 Deluxe Edition includes digital content like currency boosts and gear packs. For $110 you can get the Gold Edition, which gives you a season pass and early access. But for another ten, at $120, you can get all the content from both the Deluxe and Gold versions in the "Ultimate Edition."

With a name like "Ultimate" you might think that's the top-tier, but there are still three more. A GameStop-exclusive Kassandra Edition includes all of that plus a statue of Kassandra for $150. And finally, the Collector's Edition comes in two flavors: Spartan and Pantheon. Both include all of the prior content, a 64-page artbook, a lithograph by Hugo Puzzuoli, a map, and a select soundtrack. But the Spartan version includes a Spartan statue, while the Pantheon version includes both Spartan and Athenian statues to create a diorama. Those are available exclusively through Ubisoft for $160 and $220, respectively.

On top of that, each of the statues is for sale individually, and you can get other bonuses for pre-ordering through various retailers. Check out our pre-order guide to help you sort through all the details.

It's all enough to make your head spin, but apparently it worked out well enough for Origins to repeat the pricing plan. Like Origins too, there's one super-expensive bit of collector's merch: a massive limited edition statue of Alexios standing on the head of Medusa, for the low low price of $750.

E3 2018: Gears Tactics Is Another New Gears Of War Game

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:32

During Microsoft's E3 2018 briefing, dedicated Gears of War studio The Coalition showed up to debut a trio of new games in the series. Among those was a brief teaser for Gears Tactics, a PC turn-based strategy game.

Tactics takes place 12 years before the first Gears of War. You can customize your own squad to take on threats in what was described as a more aggressive version of the classical tactics formula. And of course, as a Gears game, it will feature larger-than-life boss battles.

On Twitter, the Gears of War account described it as a "true PC strategy game where brutal action meets turn-based tactics." You can get a glimpse of what it meant in the video above.

Beyond that, little was shared; the announcement was fairly brief, as was one for an unexpected Funko-themed game. We also got word of Gears 5, the next core entry in the series. Unlike previous entries, you'll assume the role of returning character Kait Diaz. The game also looks to boast some other new additions like a giant melee weapon. For more from the Xbox-focused conference, check out our roundup.

E3 2018: Why It's Called Gears 5 And Not Gears Of War 5

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 09:18

Microsoft announced a fifth Gears of War game on its E3 2018 stage, but it's not called Gears of War 5. Microsoft announced the title as Gears 5, and that was no mistake. Speaking to GameSpot, Xbox marketing boss Aaron Greenberg said the Gears 5 title is "cleaner," not to mention that people were already cutting out the "of War" part of the title for years already, so it was a natural change.

"People shorthanded it Gears anyway," Greenberg said. "It's a cleaner look for the brand and the line. Of course, the franchise is still Gears of War."

Greenberg also joked that Microsoft dropped "of War" from the title of the game to help save people time when posting about the game on social media. "To save you room on Twitter; that was the whole idea," Greenberg said with a laugh.

Gears 5 is the first entry in the series with a female playable lead. The game tells the story of Kait Diaz, who was first introduced in Gears of War 4 and whose character arc culminated with a dramatic conclusion in that left many wondering what would happen next.

GameSpot's full interview with Greenberg covers a number of other Xbox topics such as the Halo Infinite reveal, what's next for PUBG on Xbox, and a lot more. You can watch the full interview in the video embed above.

It's not just Gears 5 that dropped "Of War" from its title. The other two Gears of War games announced at E3, Gears Tactics and Gears Pop, also don't have "Of War" in their titles. Gears 5 launches in 2019 on Xbox One and PC; keep checking back with GameSpot for m ore.

E3 2018 News: Everything From The Press Conferences

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:42

After a hectic week of reveals and announcements, E3 2018 is finally drawing to a close. But while we may be coming up on the end of this year's expo, the past week has been filled with exciting news. We got to see seven major press conferences in the days leading up to E3, which brought us a ton of reveals, from a new Cyberpunk 2077 trailer to the unveiling of Resident Evil 2 and an extended gameplay sequence from The Last of Us: Part II.

In all, E3 2018 was packed with news, gameplay demos, and trailers, giving us a much clearer look at what lies ahead for PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC in the near future. To make it easier to catch up on the announcements from this year's expo, we've put together a roundup of all of the biggest news from each press conference, which you can find below.

E3 2018 Press Conference News And TrailersSaturday, June 9

Electronic Arts

Sunday, June 10



Monday, June 11

Square Enix



Tuesday, June 12


E3 2019 Dates Announced, And It's The Final Show Confirmed For Current Venue

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:14

E3 2019 will be held June 11-13 in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Convention Center, event organiser the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) announced today.

It is the final show confirmed for the LACC. Last year, ESA CEO Michael Gallagher said the organisation may pursue other options if the LACC does not modernise and upgrade the facility. Gallagher said he would like to see the LACC increase the show floor space and make the halls overall connect better. The two main halls, West and South, are separated by a lengthy hallway.

Reached for comment today, a representative for the ESA said, "Right now, we're just promoting the 2019 event. We aren't announcing dates beyond that."

E3 has been held every year since 1995, though it hasn't always been in Los Angeles. The 1997 show was held in Atlanta while the 2007 show took place in Santa Monica. There is no word on where E3 might go in 2020 if it leaves Los Angeles. The city is desirable for American developers, as there is a high concentration of studios located in California and other parts of the west coast.

The city of Los Angeles would also be sad to see E3 leave, as the show brings in thousands of thousands of developers, media, and now public attendees, all of whom spend money on accomodation, food, and ground travel.

E3 2017 attendance was 68,400, a figure that includes the 15,000 public tickets that were sold this for the first time in the event's history that year. This was up from 50,300 at E3 2016. No attendance figures for 2018's event have been announced yet.

E3 2018 brought a ton of big news from all of the biggest companies in games. For more on all the announcements, check out GameSpot's press conference news roundups below.

E3 2018: Here's Why Cyberpunk 2077 Had To Be A First-Person Game

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:02

Cyberpunk 2077 has been one of the more talked about games of E3 2018. With the reveal of a brand new trailer at the Microsoft Press Conference, showcasing many of the vibrant and equally grim locales in the game, the developers at CD Projekt Red have gradually shown off a clearer picture of the distant future action-RPG. We had the chance to check out a behind closed doors demo, and saw just how ambitious and impressive the world of Cyberpunk 2077 is.

Based on the original Cyberpunk 2020 pen and paper RPG, its creator Mike Pondsmith has been a regular collaborator with CD Projekt Red on the new game, which he states has been an amazing experience. During E3 2018, we were able to talk with the creator about the development of the game, working with the Witcher devs, and just how much work went into bringing Cyberpunk 2077 to life.

For more info on CD Projekt Red's Cyberpunk 2077, and all other games we saw during E3 2018, be sure to visit GameSpot's E3 Hub page.

Can you talk about the collaborative process of working with CD Projekt Red on fleshing out the fiction of Cyberpunk for 2077?

Mike Pondsmith: Well, to be honest, it was actually pretty simple because of part of my job. I'm there to tell people what makes the world in the books work. What makes the original pen and paper work. Things we learned about it, styles, to reinforce the ideas that are really valuable about it, for example, people commented in the various reaction videos, people have seen beyond the trailer, but they've actually seen the play.

How dense things are, and that's because Night City is basically a major character in the world and they nailed it. They nailed that whole sense that the city itself, it doesn't just sleep, it comes, it beats you up, it robs you, it takes your money. So, part of my job is to make sure people are able to see that, I'm there on call, kind of like a walking encyclopedia, when people not only need to know the facts that would be in any of the dozens and dozens of cyberpunk wikis out there, but they need to know what the 'feel' is. They need to know what was important. So, that's part of my job.

I love it because I get involved with the art teams, I get involved with the animation teams, I get involved with the vehicle teams, the weapons teams, everybody in the group, and it's a huge group now, is there to talk to and exchange ideas and it's more than just you approve it. It becomes, "Okay, so how does this work, what do you think about it." It's been very inclusive, which I really have enjoyed.

From the trailer, you can tell that the game has a very colorful and vibrant look. This feels a bit unusual for something of the Cyberpunk genre, which tends to have a similar look and aesthetic.

And that was actually intentional from the beginning of the original cyberpunk. Don't get me wrong. My favorite movie is Blade Runner. I have five different versions of Blade Runner, and more Blade Runner stuff than I could shake a stick at, but sometimes you need to have it not just be wet, rainy, cold and totally oppressive, because there isn't new ground for your characters to go to. There's not new ground for people to explore.

Cyberpunk 2020 creator Mike Pondsmith.

It's funny, people occasionally realize that I set Night City in what was effectively Bay Area California years ago. That was deliberate. I wanted a place where sometimes you have oppressive fog and half light. Sometimes it was bright and sunny, sometimes it was rainy and miserable. I wanted that variability because a real world has variability. If somebody were to ask me what my favorite time in Night City is, it's basically around six or seven o'clock when the sun is almost down, the lights are coming out and you see all the neon and I'm looking at my 234 floor apartment and going, "Okay, get my stuff, let's go out."

You need to have a lot of variation to make a real world. You don't necessarily have to have that in a Blade Runner, because you're only taking basically a small slice of what's happened day to day in that world. I also think that you need to vary it and change it up a bit because otherwise, people get what they expect and when people get what they expect, they tune it out. They go, "Oh yeah, another cyberpunk thing."

From the beginning, the RPG has been designed as part cyberpunk classic, part rock and roll fable, part hell raising, ass kicking crazy. It's a lot of things. All of them are valid. It's not one thing, one genre, otherwise we could do one book and we could all go home. When I wrote the original books, that was the idea, was I wanted to show a lot of different facets. I had to. I had to, because I was saying in another interview, when I look at Blade Runner, but I look at it and go--the hero of Blade Runner is Roy Batty.

Weirdly enough, Deckert is, he's a protag, but you don't want to be Deckert, because Deckert gets kicked around and he does not ever win against the system, but at the end of it, Batty--even though he dies--he wins on his own terms. He isn't gunned down like a dog. He wins his humanity. He is basically, what I believe, an archetypical cyberpunk character, you pick what you believe and you stand for it.

Do you feel like CD Projekt Red brought a lot to the table in helping you flesh out the fiction of Cyberpunk 2020?

Oh yeah. CD's incredibly collaborative and I love it because they come and go, "Hey, we want to do this," and I'll go, "Hey, that's insane, I never thought of that before, yeah, what the heck." There are so many I can't even count, but it's really great when I go over to Warsaw and we're walking around the studio and somebody say, "We're going to be doing this," and I'm going, "Hmm. Okay, that's really pretty slick. How about if we also did that?" "Yeah, that's pretty good." We throw stuff back and forth.

I love the fact that they do dense stuff. When we first were checking them out to see whether we wanted to go with them as a licensee, we got a copy of Witcher. This is Witcher 2 and I went, "Damn, this is really good." One of my jobs at Microsoft was basically dealing with external studios, so I was pretty aware of what to look for and I went, "These guys really have their stuff together." Then, we saw Witcher 3 and it was like, "Oh my God. This is really on that master class level." It impacted us so much that my son and other members of the company came to me when CD PR was looking for somebody to do a Witcher table top, they said, "You know anybody?" I said, "We don't do fantasy," and they said, "No, we're doing this." They put together a pitch.

My son went, put together a pitch, went to CD PR during one of our meetings over cyberpunk and said, "I want to do Witcher, and this is how we'll do it." That speaks of a lot of exciting world and character that people want to interact with.

One thing that was surprising to see was that the game is a first-person experience, which is a big change from CD Projekt Red's last games. Do you feel the change to first-person was a necessary thing for Cyberpunk?

This is where I put my designer hat on, and I get to put on both my table and my video game designer hat, both. This is why it's important. The one thing is the state of the character, the interfaces they use, the drugs they take, the way they deal with their implants--it's all very, very internal to the head of the character, and if you step out of that out [into a third-person view] it becomes a busy hub that you're tracking. On another technical level, the world is massively immersive and if you're stepped back from that into a third person avatar dummy, you are not really part a part of it.

I'll give you an example. I went and walked over at one point to another character's car and as I was walking, somebody that I never actually saw in the crowd, makes a comment and they're talking about some problem they're having with their girlfriend, and it was peripheral, it was in my hearing. I didn't see the person and I really was interested in this story that was going on. I wanted to know more about this. My belief is that third person, has a lot of good places. In this particular case, I think first-person was best because it could provide more than just the immersion, it could provide the tools for you to perceive the world and make decisions that were proper within that world. If I have 360 view, I see everything and I know where the bad guys are coming from all the time, it is kind of a shooter where we're setting up the targets.

If I am immersed in it, then I'm having to take split second decisions that feel real because in real life, you don't know what those guys, 300 feet away are doing. If one pulls out a gun, you have to make a decision. You. That's important if you're going to be immersed in a world and particularly when you're dealing with a game that is so heavily role playing driven as this game is.

It's been so long since the last trailer was released. What's it like seeing the game, which is based on your original material, come to life in such a big way?

Probably seeing the actual play session that you guys have seen now in the internal sessions. Seeing that and going, "Damn, yeah, okay," and mainly because what I saw in there was all the potential. It wasn't just, "Wow that's a really cool gun, wow, that's a really good army jacket, yeah I really like V and it's a great character. It was also seeing all the potential ways you could go with that story and with those characters. That was amazing. It was sort of like saying, "Okay, they got it," I'm watching somebody else's cyberpunk game right now and they're running a pretty damn good game that I want to be playing in.

E3 2018: Dying Light 2 Focuses On A More Varied And Dynamic Open-World

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 08:01

Dying Light 2 really ups the stakes when it comes to traversing a lawless open-world where danger lurk around every corner. With the original Dying Light offering a clever blend of parkour exploration and brutal combat of a zombie-survival game, the follow up to Techland's stellar open-world game plans to focus more on offering its players more freedom in movement, while letting them decide the fate of one of humanity's last stable cities. Revealed at the Microsoft Press Conference, the sequel plans to maintain the momentum that the developers have had with the original's post-launch success, while offering a more reactive and living world to explore.

During E3 2018, we had the chance to see an extended demo presentation of the game in action, showcasing its broader scope and focus on a more ambitious, adaptive narrative. Stick with many of the core features of the original game, such as freeform parkour traversal, melee combat, and other gradual characters growth--the sequel goes a bit further by making some tough choices in a far more dire and bleak circumstance.

Taking place 15 years after the events of the original game, the viral outbreak has spread across the world, causing mass societal collapse. Set in one of Europe's last remaining cities, you'll take on the role of an urban explorer who will traverse the expansive city while butting heads with the many factions vying for control. While the main character can go it alone and play each side against one another, there will come a time where you'll have to choose a side to better your situation. But as one faction gains control of areas of the city, you'll gradually see the impact of your previous decision, for better or worse.

Referred to as a "modern dark age" by the developers, the last vestiges of humanity stay within the walls of the city with sparse resources and poor infrastructure. To make matters worse, several dens of infected remain, and zombies walk the streets in long abandoned districts of town. With electrical technology being a luxury, and firearms being few and far between, you'll have to rely on jerry-rigged close-range weapons and quick feet to stay on top of things. While the original game featured a largely standard storyline, the sequel offers a more interactive approach to storytelling. With Chris Avellone serving as narrative director, who's past works including CRPG classics like Baldur's Gate and the Fallout series, the player has a say regarding the direction of the story, and the impact it has on the world.

During the demo, we saw the player come into conflict with a group of bandits who have managed to take control of one of the town's few water towers. Tasked by the neutral good faction known as the Peacekeepers, the main character had to make their way to deal with the situation. In this section, which was a pivotal moment for this particular district in town, we got to see more of the expanded melee and parkour gameplay. The new setting of the European metropolis is much larger than than the original game's multiple areas, which required the devs to come up with a more expanded traversal system. In Dying Light 2, you'll be able to slide under fences, use ropes swings, and round corners much easier while jumping over the rooftops of the city. There looks to be a far more freeform style of locomotion and platforming, which is impressive as the original game had some solid traversal mechanics. There are also a set of new platforming puzzle sequences that put you in more precarious situations.

Eventually, the player confronts the gang leader who controls the water tower. During important character interactions, you'll be presented with several dialog options that can decide where you want things to go. In this case, the developers chose the more noble option and fought the gang leader and his henchmen. Melee combat has also seen an overhaul, with enemy AI and their tactics proving to be more cunning and resilient--using several parries and dodges to gang up on the protagonist. Action looks just as brutal as the original game, and there's a focus on mixing up your parkour and combat skills to chain together attacks--such as using a hanging pipe to swing off and land a kick on an enemy.

After this sequence, the Peacekeepers gain control of the district and its water tower, turning the district into a safer place for citizens. While this seems like the "good" choice for a better community--and in some ways it is as there's running water for all citizens--the Peacekeepers also keep their territories under an iron fist. Any form of dissent or pushback from the populace will result in public punishment, or even execution. The developers also took the time show a different path for players in this situation. Choosing to side with the gang leader instead, the player becomes to the silent partner for the gang, collecting tribute as the bandits charge money for clean water from the depressed citizens.

Dying Light 2 looks to advance upon many of the core pillars of the original, while also adding in a surprisingly dense, and varied approach to its core story. While you can expect to find many of the pulse-pounding action sequences, and fast-paced traversal mechanics, there's definitely a more thoughtful approach to how it asks players to tackle the story. With the game being four-times larger than the original, Dying Light 2 could be a major upgrade from the original, and that in itself is a major accomplishment.

For more info on Dying Light 2, and all other games we had the chance to see during E3 2018, be sure to visit GameSpot's E3 Hub page.

E3 2018: First Gears 5 Gameplay Trailer Shows Kait Go On A Journey

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:50

At long last, players have their first look at the gameplay for Gears of War 5. The new trailer debuted during Xbox's E3 press conference, and you can watch it in its entirety above. It's one of three new Gears games announced during the briefing.

The Gears 5 trailer begins with Kait Diaz crying over the death of an unseen character. Though she's pretty shaken up, she's ordered to move on with the rest of the group. She refuses, and reveals she's been having strange visions, most likely on account of the Locust necklace she inherited from her grandmother.

Marcus Fenix lets Kait know where she might find some answers and she chooses to leave the group in order to go figure out what her visions might mean. The trailer than flashes forward to different moments in Kait's journey, as she takes on enemies of all shapes and sizes and disposes of them with the same bloody combat that Gears of War is known for. Several new melee weapons offer even more visceral ways to dispose of the threats in her path.

As she ventures further and further, she begins to grow more distrustful and elusive, even pulling a firearm on a comrade. The trailer also showcases that Kait will do more than just walk throughout her journey. She'll utilize a parasail to cross an icy lake and use rappel gear to climb down cliff edges.

The trailer ends with the promise of Gears of War 5 releasing in 2019. A mobile Gears game was also announced during the Xbox show, as well as a tactical strategy game. To stay updated on further Xbox announcements, or any other trailers debuting during E3, be sure to stay tuned to our E3 2018 hub.

The Best Trailers From E3 2018

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:43

E3 2018 was jam packed with dozens of exciting trailers for the newest games. Some were announcements for games we'd never even heard of before, while others gave us our first glance at gameplay for a title we've been waiting on for a while.

With all the incredible trailers, it seems impossible to choose the best of the best. But we did it. Here are our 15 favorite trailers of the entire show.

What was your favorite trailer from this year's E3? Let us know in the comments below. For more E3 2018 trailers, as well as E3 announcements, news, and impressions, check our our E3 hub.

The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

We're excited to play this Life is Strange spin-off. The announcement trailer for The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit perfectly captures what it's like to be a kid with a powerful imagination, as Captain Spirit's ordinary real world seamlessly transforms into a fantastical reality of magic and monsters. The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit will launch on June 26.

Beyond Good and Evil 2

Beyond Good and Evil 2 amazed us with an impressive looking cinematic trailer during the Sony press conference. Even though we knew that Beyond Good and Evil 2 would be a prequel to the original game, we were surprised to see a young Jade appear in the final moments of this new trailer. It was quite the twist, and we can't wait to find out what Jade's role is going to be in this new story.

Crackdown 3 (Xbox One, PC)

Terry Crews is the perfect hype man for Crackdown 3. His explosive personality brought an additional level of excited hype to the title's newest trailer. Watching his in-game avatar show off all Crackdown 3's new weapons, abilities, and vehicles was one of the highlights of Xbox's press conference.

Cyberpunk 2077 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

There's been a lot of secrecy behind CD Projeck Red's Cyberpunk 2077. We finally got a new trailer for the dystopian action adventure RPG, and it detailed a harsh world that's been both defined and defiled by technology. Hopefully we don't have to wait for next year's E3 to see more.

Devil May Cry 5 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

It's been 10 years since Devil May Cry 4, but it's clear, from Devil May Cry 5's announcement trailer, that Capcom still has plenty of story to tell. The company hasn't lost their touch when it comes to giving us ridiculous demon killing action, and we loved watching Dante pull off a startling array of creative attacks and take downs with his new robotic arm.

Fallout 76 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

We knew we'd see Fallout 76 at E3 but we weren't exactly sure what type of game it would be. We got our first answers at Xbox's press conference. The new trailer set Fallout 76 in West Virginia prior to the events of the other titles in the franchise. Though the trailer still leaves us with some unanswered questions, it promises us an open world to explore that hasn't decayed to the extent of what we saw in Fallout 4.

Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One, PC)

Forza Horizon 4 returned in a new trailer that shows off the title's crisp visuals, variety of vehicles, and new seasonal effects that completely transform each of the tracks. Forza Horizon 4 will launch on October 2, continuing one of the prettiest racing franchises.

Gears 5 (Xbox One, PC)

We were hoping for another awesome looking installment in the Gears of War franchise, and the announcement trailer of Gears 5 did not disappoint. Kait is taking the reins in this newest game, and watching her explore frozen tundras, battle horrific robots, and swing powerful new melee weapons is an absolute treat.

Kingdom Hearts 3 - Pirates of the Caribbean (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Kingdom Hearts III got a few trailers throughout E3. The Pirates of the Caribbean trailer that debuted during Sony's press conference was the absolute best though. Who doesn't love Captain Jack Sparrow? That naval combat looks pretty cool too.

Knights and Bikes (PS4, PC)

Knights and Bikes is a co-op indie RPG that's gameplay puts it in the same vein as Earthbound or Secret of Mana. Knights and Bikes new E3 trailer promotes the title's ridiculously cute yet humorous tone, while also offering a look at the areas that players will get to explore and the two adorable girls they'll play as.

Ori and the Will of the Wisps (Xbox One, PC)

Ori and the Wills of the Wisps got a brand new trailer during Xbox's press conference that showed off new gameplay mechanics and introduced some of the threats that players will have to face. Will of the Wisps looks like it will incorporate challenging platforming sections, scary boss battles and chases, and a story that juxtaposes light and darkness.

Resident Evil 2 (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Talk about a surprise! Not many of us expected Capcom to drop an announcement trailer for the company's remake of Resident Evil 2. Even those of us who did weren't prepared to see something that looked so good. Though Resident Evil 2 has received a substantial graphical upgrade, this remake still maintains the same uncanny horror of the original.

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice (Xbox One, PS4, PC)

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice takes Bloodborne's gameplay and transforms it into something even more acrobatic. The E3 trailer of From Software's new title includes transforming weapons, larger-than-life bosses, and a silent protagonist with the ability to cheat death. The grappling hook looks like it adds a fascinating verticality to combat.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate - Ridley Reveal (Nintendo Switch)

Ridley's reveal trailer for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate plays out like a terrifying horror movie. Samus' archenemy disposes of his prey with ease before holding up Mario's cap as a makeshift trophy and smirking in victory. Adding a remix of Ridley's theme from the games is a nice touch, but it's a shame the trailer couldn't also include Ridley's trademark scream.

Tetris Effect (PS4)

Tetris is one of the most well known video games on the planet. Tetris Effect transforms the cult-classic into a VR experience. The E3 trailer for Tetris Effect is a mind trip, but it also honors the cultural impact of the original Tetris with a calming narration of the game's history.

E3 2018: Cyberpunk 2077's Night City Has Six Districts; Here's What We Know About Each Of Them

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:36

Cyberpunk 2077's demo at E3 2018 generated tons of buzz for the game, and a pamphlet handed out to everyone who came to see gameplay revealed some new details about the game's setting and how you'll interact with it. We learned that Night City, which your character V lives in, is divided into six districts, with each of them representing a different aspect of the game's cyberpunk aesthetic. Here's what we learned about each:

  • City Center: Night City's biggest pride, this is the heart of corporations, the cluster of neon, and the quintessence of luxury.
  • Watson: A unique mix of Asian cultures, it is a fallen corporate giant now populated by immigrants, hiding various bazaars and markets in a tangle of narrow alleyways.
  • Westbrook: Featuring tourist-oriented Japantown, it is a place for the wealthy who like to work hard and play hard.
  • Heywood: Living in one of the neighborhoods of the predominantly Latino area means you successfully managed to climb the social ladder -- it's a massive suburban housing district, with an underlying gang problem.
  • Pacifica: On the other end of the spectrum, this is the most dangerous part of town, abandoned and overrun by gang activity. Separated from the rest of the city, it's a place of immense poverty.
  • Santo Domingo: All of Night City is powered from here, with its countless power plants and industrial factories, stuck in an endless cycle of modernization.

Another reveal from the demo's pamphlet is that Cyberpunk 2077 will have vertical exploration, and that it will play a major role in gameplay. "For example, V's apartment from the demo is located in a megabuilding with multiple floors," it reads. "Each floor is home to many NPCs, secrets and potential quests." We also learned that players will be able to explore the city by car and motorcycle, and vehicle combat (with destructible cars) will be possible in the game.

Cyberpunk 2077 takes place in a massive urban environment encompassing different warring factions. There are apparently no load times, meaning you'll be able to freely explore the city both on foot and in your vehicle, even engaging in high-speed shootouts on freeways, tightly packed streets, and alleys--leading to some of the more unsavory parts of town. For more on the game, check out our full impressions of Cyberpunk 2077 so far.

E3 2018: How GameStop Benefits From Fortnite, A Game It Doesn't Really Sell

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 07:18

Fortnite is one of the most popular games on the planet right now, and its success is helping improve retailer GameStop's business. GameStop merchandising VP Eric Bright told GameSpot at E3 2018 that Fortnite and other games in the battle royale genre have led to increased headset and controller sales for the retailer.

Battle royale games are all about surviving as long as possible, and one element that can give you an edge is hearing where foes are coming from. The thinking, then, is that as more people play these games, they're going out to buy headsets. GameStop remains one of the biggest gaming retailers in America, so it makes sense that the retailer would see see an uptick in sales.

"I have to mention the entire battle royale phenomenon that's going on right now," Bright said. "Headset sales have doubled from where they were a year ago." That is attributable heavily to the "battle royale phenomenon," Bright said.

"You're getting a wider demographic of consumers who are looking for a great audio response," he added. "As you're playing these games, you have to be able to tell where bullets are coming from, are people sneaking up on you, what's going on in the environment. So they are looking for that headset. And then controllers as well. We're seeing our controller sales up way over where they were a year ago, and I think that's also an impact of the battle royale phenomenon."

People are also presumably looking to pick up headsets with mics to be able to communicate with teammates. Fortnite, PUBG, and other battle royale games offer duo and squads play where communication is critical, in addition to solo mode.

Fortnite launched in July 2017, with the free-to-play Battle Royale offering releasing in September of that year. The game is indeed a bonafide phenomenon; it reached an astonishing 125 million players in under a year.

Many industry-watchers have commented on how Fortnite is good for gaming overall because it has brought in so many new players. Bright said he agrees. "I do believe Fortnite and other games--and PUBG as well--are bringing a wider group of people into the gaming industry. They're picking up consoles to play these games."

Bright went on to say that Fortnite and other battle royale games help GameStop's digital business as well, as GameStop lets people trade physical goods for digital currency. That's a big deal for Fortnite, as the game offers lots of cosmetics to buy in addition to the Battle Pass. Bright said GameStop has seen a "huge uptick" in digital currency sales since Fortnite's release.

Fortnite: Battle Royale is a free-to-play game, but the Save the World mode is paid (for now). Borderlands studio Gearbox publishes the physical version of Save the World, and GameStop is among the many retailers that sell the game. So GameStop does also benefit directly from those sales, too.

Also in our interview with Bright, he told us that GameStop expects a "feeding frenzy" for the PlayStation 5 and next Xbox consoles when they are finally announced. Keep checking back for more with GameSpot from our conversation with Bright.

The Shining Sequel Casts Ewan McGregor As Grown-Up Danny

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 05:06

Warner Brothers is making a film adaptation of Stephen King's sequel to The Shining entitled Doctor Sleep which will star Ewan McGregor. The groundbreaking horror classic from 1980 remains one of the most revered horror films of all time, directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Jack Nicholson as the axe murderer who attempts to kill his family, including his young son Danny.

Variety reports that the film focuses on Danny all grown-up as he deals with the reappearance of his psychic powers and some understandable emotional issues which have lead him to turn to alcohol. Danny now works in a hospice care facility, where he uses his abilities to help take care of patients on their way to the grave, which prompts the nickname "Doctor Sleep."

McGregor has had a pretty distinguished acting career, appearing in over 50 titles including films like Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge, and Star Wars Episodes I through III; now he'll reportedly be adding The Shining sequel to that list. While McGregor has certainly played some gritty, dark roles in the past, we haven't really seen him in a straight up horror movie, so it will be interesting to see how he does in the role.

With films like Get Out and A Quiet Place taking the genre to new places and new levels of popularity, it will be exciting to see what director Mike Flanagan will do with the film. Flanagan previously directed an adaptation of another of Stephen King's novels for Netflix, so clearly someone thought he did a good job. Doctor Sleep will be hitting theaters in 2020.

Aquaman Cast Revealed In Set Photos: Black Manta, Orm, Atlanna, And Vulko

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 04:08

The very first look at Aquaman's arch enemy Black Manta has finally been revealed! DC is coming out with a stand alone Aquaman movie in December, and the team has been very secretive about details involving the film, which makes this first look at the new character even more enticing.

All we really know about Black Manta at this point are the very basics about his character. Entertainment Weekly reports that he is a mercenary and a pirate by the name of David Kane, and he will be played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II who you may recognize from The Greatest Showman. Director James Wan has only described him as, "part mercenary but full-time pirate who, in his suit, will look like some crazy alien from outer space." Check out the image below.

Despite being Aquaman's nemesis, Black Manta will not be the central villain in the film, perhaps suggesting plans for more Aquaman's standalone films. Instead, the big bad in this movie will be Orm played by Patrick Wilson (The Conjuring), who in the comics is Aquaman's half-brother. Clearly Black Manta will feature in the movie in some way, but all the director has said is that he is, "somehow factored into the story."

In the photo, Black Manta is working on his suit which allows him to shoot red plasma rays out of his eyes. It may be that the unfinished nature of the suit is part of the reason why he won't be the main antagonist, he hasn't reached the height of his villainous journey isn't quite ready to face Aquaman yet. Theorizing aside though, the long-awaited first image of the famous Black Manta looks pretty cool.

Additionally, EW revealed more images from the set, and above are just a few of them. For the first time, Aquafans catch a first glimpse of Vulko (from the back), Queen Atlanna, and Orm. Additionally, there are some more shots of Mera and Aquaman in costume as well. Vulko is played by Willem Dafoe and Atlanna by Nicole Kidman. In the comics, Vulko is the royal advisor to Aquaman and a leader in Atlantis' scientific community, and Atlanna is the birth mother of Arthur Curry AKA Aquaman.

Aquaman will be released in theaters December 21.

E3 2018: Death Note Characters Aren't Playable In Jump Force, But Involved For Story

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 03:22

Jump Force was revealed during Microsoft's E3 press conference and got many fans of the respective manga/anime hyped up for this arena brawler. Naruto, Dragon Ball, One Piece, and Death Note somehow come together in a three-on-three tag action fighting game, but it was confirmed during an interview with game producer Koji Nakajima that Death Note characters are there to setup the story, but not fight.

Nakajima said (through translation) stated, "This game is going to feature a story around this unique situation, and that's where Death Note comes into play. To kind of weave the story together. So, Death Note is not [going to have] a fighting game character." Unfortunately, Nakajima wasn't able to talk more about the story during the interview.

In addition, Bandai Namco PR manager Nick O'Leary confirmed it with, and added that Light Yagami isn't really an action-oriented character and there would be certain limitations with Ryuk.

Jump Force is being made in celebration of 50 years of Shonen Jump manga/anime, and Nakajima said there will be more details to reveal in the near future. Bandai Namco is making the game to be more accessible so players can enjoy their anime dream team, and you can watch some early Jump Force gameplay here.

E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate's Box Art Is Epic

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 03:10

Nintendo's official reveal of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was one of the biggest moments at E3 2018, and with the announcement that it will feature every character to ever be in Smash game, it looks pretty epic. It's no surprise then that the box art is also pretty impressive, with some classic Nintendo characters taking centerstage. Check it out below.

While not every one of the 66 confirmed characters is present, Nintendo has still done a pretty job of getting Mario, Link, Kirby, and some of our other favorites in there, all looking suitably ready for battle (especially Mario, who definitely came to fight with that facial expression). Nintendo has said that not all of the characters will be available at launch and hinted that the beginning line up may be a small as the original N64 game.

While most of the characters have been seen before in Smash, there will be mechanical changes and balances to them. Link's bombs can now be remotely detonated (a nod to Breath of the Wild), for example. All Final Smash moves will have more immediate effects; characters with long-lasting transformations like Bowser and Little Mac will have harder hitting versions that won't last as long. Some characters will also get cosmetic changes, like the Wii U Trainer, who will now have a new face.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also feature two new characters, not seen in a Smash game before. Inking Girl (or Boy) from the Splatoon series will show up and so will Ridley, the archenemy of Samus Aran from the Metroid series. The game will be released on December 7, 2018, and will also support GameCube controllers and every previous Super Smash Bros. Amiibo.

E3 2018: Dying Light 2 Has Multiplayer "Surprises," But No Battle Royale

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 03:10

Multiplayer is a priority in Dying Light 2, but the game will not have a battle royale mode when it releases next year. At E3 2018, Techland lead designer Tymon Smektala told GameSpot the studio is watching what is happening in the battle royale-hungry marketplace, but that Dying Light 2 will focus on multiplayer in its own way and players should expect some "surprises" in the future.

"Dying Light 2 doesn’t have a battle royale mode...that's not the thing we are focusing on. But of course we are looking at what is happening on the market, and I think we will have some surprises for people that like to play multiplayer," he said.

While Dying Light 2 won't have battle royale, the Dying Light universe is already in the process of adding it via the upcoming DLC Bad Blood, which pits several players in a race against time and the zombies to acquire enough resources and make it out of Harran alive. Smektala said his team is working closely with the Bad Blood devs, and the game is shaping up nicely.

"It is a very promising game, so I am keeping my fingers crossed for them because they are really doing a great thing in the Dying Light universe. Of course, since we are working almost door-to-door, in the same building, we share our experiences and ideas," he added. The DLC is due out later this year, with a free global playtest on PC coming in the near future. You can sign up here to take part.

While multiplayer remains more of a mystery, we've gotten a better look at the game's single-player mode. Techland says the game will improve on almost every aspect of the first game, and will be a "narrative sandbox," where the decisions you make permanently shape the world around you. Smektala said choices and consequences will be a major focus of the game, shaping a unique path through the plot that will be different for all players. The game is taking Dying Light's parkour game mechanics up a notch; players will use their skills to navigate "parkour puzzles" that have you flying across rooftops and reaching new areas.

Dying Light 2 is set 15 years after Dying Light, during a "modern dark age" following humanity's war against the Infected. Surviving factions of human beings are vying for control of what may be the last city on earth (which will be four times larger than all the levels in Dying Light). How you interact with those factions will have considerable long-term impacts on the physical world around you, and of course you'll contend with hordes of zombies, too. The game doesn't have a release date at the moment, but it is due out in 2019.

E3 2018: Sony Responds To Anger Over Fortnite Cross-Play Block

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 02:49

Epic's massively popular battle royale game Fortnite launched for Nintendo Switch during E3 earlier this week, and like most other versions, it supports cross-play and cross-progression with PC, Xbox One, and iOS--but not PS4. As with Rocket League, Sony has faced criticism for blocking cross-play between the PS4 and other versions of Fortnite, and now the company has addressed the topic--although its response likely won't satisfy players.

"We're always open to hearing what the PlayStation community is interested in to enhance their gaming experience," a Sony representative said to the BBC. "Fortnite is already a huge hit with PS4 fans, offering a true free-to-play experience so gamers can jump in and play online.

"With 79 million PS4s sold around the world and more than 80 million monthly active users on PlayStation Network, we've built a huge community of gamers who can play together on Fortnite and all online titles. We also offer Fortnite cross-play support with PC, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, expanding the opportunity for Fortnite fans on PS4 to play with even more gamers on other platforms."

Sony's PS4 has been the best-selling platform of its generation, but the company's response to the cross-play controversy completely skirts the issue and doesn't provide much hope that the company will reverse course. This is especially problematic for players who started playing Fortnite on PS4 and were hoping to continue on a different platform, as they can't carry any of their progress over.

Both Microsoft and Nintendo have been much more open to cross-play. A handful of titles, including Minecraft and the aforementioned Rocket League, allow players to carry their progress or compete against players on other platforms, leaving Sony as the sole major holdout.

Despite being available on Switch for only a couple of days, Fortnite has already surpassed 2 million downloads on the console and reached a staggering 125 million players between all platforms. We tried out the new Switch version of Fortnite and found it has all of the features you would expect of the game, although its framerate has taken a hit.

E3 2018: New Fortnite Patch Brings Back Shopping Carts, As Dev Explains How To Fix Switch Issue

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 02:43

A new patch is out now for Epic's popular battle royale game Fortnite. Version 4.4.1 rolled out June 14 on all platforms, and what appears to be the most notable thing is that Shopping Carts are back.

Epic removed Shopping Carts earlier this week after the studio discovered an unspecified issue with them. Epic took a few days to investigate the issue and now it found a fix. There is still no word on what the issue was, however. Shopping Carts represent the first rideable vehicle (of sorts) in Fortnite.

The patch notes also confirm that matches from the recent E3 2018 Pro-Am event are now available to watch in Battle Royale. And new for Save the World is a player-reporting feature.

Posting on Reddit, Epic said the new 4.4.1 patch was not automatically downloaded by everyone on Nintendo Switch, and that caused some problems. People who don't grab the update automatically run the risk of experiencing matchmaking issues. If you don't have the update, you can trigger the download manually by pressing + with Fortnite selected and then choosing "Software Update."

Fortnite: Battle Royale launched for free on Switch this week immediately after Nintendo's E3 briefing. The game ran into some issues right away, but those seems to be largely sorted out. For more on Fortnite's Switch edition, check out GameSpot's hands-on preview here.

The game has been a huge hit already, passing 2 million downloads right out of the gate. The Switch edition supports cross-play with the Xbox One, PC, and mobile versions, but Sony won't allow it.

E3 2018: Phil Spencer Talks New Xbox, Cross-Play, Halo Infinite, Crackdown 3 Delay, And Much More

Fri, 06/15/2018 - 02:10

Xbox boss Phil Spencer stopped by the Giant Bomb at Nite livestream at E3 2018 this week and he spoke openly and frankly about so many Xbox topics. In the lengthy chat, Spencer discussed pretty much everything you would want to know about Xbox, including why Microsoft announced plans for a new Xbox at the show, how much of a bummer it is that Sony won't allow cross-play with Xbox, the Halo Infinite reveal, the sales lead that PS4 has over Xbox One, the decision to delay Crackdown 3 again, and a lot more. It is really, really good, deep dive chat that goes on for about an hour.

Grab a coffee, get comfortable, and enjoy:

Xbox had a strong E3 showing this year. The company highlighted dozens of games on its stage, while it also announced the formation of a new studio and the acquisition of four others. It went a long way towards showing Microsoft is committed to making exclusives games.

The reveal of Halo Infinite was a big deal, but it is important to note that the trailer shown during the briefing was for the new Slipspace game engine, not the actual game itself. Still, it was impressive to see and it leaves us excited to learn more about the next instalment in the mega-franchise.

For lots more on the Xbox E3 briefing, check out GameSpot's roundup of all the big news.

Giant Bomb is GameSpot's sister site.

E3 2018: Phil Spencer On Why Microsoft Announced A New Xbox And What The System Might Do

Thu, 06/14/2018 - 13:22

Xbox boss Phil Spencer announced plans for a new Xbox console on the Xbox E3 2018 stage. He didn't share any specifics, so some wondered why he made the announcement at all. Speaking to GameSpot sister site Giant Bomb, Spencer said he did so to assure people that consoles remain important to Microsoft as a company.

"Anybody who might worry about our console future, I just wanted to put that at ease," Spencer said. "I wanted people to know that I love the track record of our hardware team ... we have some ideas in the future [about streaming] but it's not tomorrow. I didn't want people to think we were going to walk away from that part of the brand in the business because it's really important to us."

Also in the interview, Spencer talked about what new features he would like to see in the next Xbox. Among other things, he said he hopes the next Xbox can offer higher frame rates, while he also hopes the team can deliver a box that launches games faster. Additionally, Spencer noted that the balance between CPU and GPU on console currently is "out of whack" compared to PC, so that's something he would also like to address with the next console.

A few years ago, there were rumours and reports about Microsoft apparently wanting to sell off the Xbox brand, with the thinking that the Xbox team's ambitions did not closely enough line up with that of Microsoft overall. And when new CEO Satya Nadella came in, Spencer said there were questions along the lines of "Why is Microsoft in the video game space?" These questions did not come up as a means of condemning Microsoft's efforts in gaming, but rather as an "honest" discussion about Microsoft's direction going forward and whether or not Xbox would be a part of it.

Xbox is indeed very important to Microsoft, and Microsoft's decision to give the Xbox team the time and resources to make a new console and invest in so many new studios speaks to that.

There are rumours circulating online at E3 this week that Microsoft's new console is codenamed Scarlet and may launch in 2020, though Microsoft has not commented. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.