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Updated: 11 min 39 sec ago

Burnout Paradise Remaster Confirmed For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:40

Burnout Paradise is getting a current-gen remaster, publisher EA has confirmed. The racing game has been given a PS4 and Xbox One release date of March 16, while the PC version is coming "later this year."

Burnout Paradise Remastered will include the base game and eight add-on packs--including the open-world expansion Big Surf Island--as well as the Legendary Cars pack, which brought vehicles based on those from movies such as Back to the Future and Ghostbusters. EA says this new edition includes technical enhancements that include "high resolution textures" and 4K / 60 FPS support for PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. It will cost $40 in the US, with international pricing yet to be revealed.

We enjoyed Paradise upon its release in 2008, with critic Alex Navarro saying it's a "superbly fun racer" in our Burnout Paradise review and awarding it a 9/10. It's still the most recent game in the mainline series of Burnout games. Since then, developer Criterion has made one spin-off--Burnout Crash--and Need For Speed: Most Wanted, as well as helping out with other games such as Need For Speed: Rivals and Star Wars Battlefront II. It was also working on an extreme sports game, though that was later canceled, with EA saying the developer was experimenting with new IP.

Xbox One Game Sale: Xbox Deals With Gold From Now Until Feb. 27

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:21

Microsoft has rolled out a new batch of game discounts in the Xbox Store. In addition to the usual weekly selection of Deals with Gold, Gold and non-Gold members alike will be able to save on a number of EA titles thanks to this week's publisher sale, which offers discounts on a big range of games for both Xbox One and Xbox 360.

On the current-gen console, Xbox Live Gold members can save on various editions of Fortnite, which come with both the Battle Royale and Save the World modes--the latter is currently only available in paid early access, but will be offered for free at a later point. The Standard Founder's Pack is $20 / £17.50, the Deluxe Founder's Pack is $30 / £25, the Super Deluxe Founder's Pack is $45 / £37.50, and the Limited Edition Founder's Pack is $75 / £60. Additionally, Gold members can pick up Halo Wars 2: Complete Edition for $30 / £24.87, Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition for $30 / £25, Final Fantasy XV for $20 / £16, Agents of Mayhem for $10 / £8.75, Shadow Warrior 2 for $20 / £17.50, Human Fall Flat for $7.50 / £6, and Farming Simulator 17 is $13.20 / £10.56.

On top of the above Deals with Gold, all Xbox One owners can pick up many of EA's big 2017 releases at a discount. Madden NFL 18 is $19.80 / £19.80, NBA Live 18: The One Edition is $4.50 / £5.25, Star Wars Battlefront II is $24 / £24, Titanfall 2: Ultimate Edition is $10 / £8.75, Need for Speed Payback is $24 / £24, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is $5 / £5, Mass Effect: Andromeda is $9.90 / £8.25, Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare 2 is $8 / £14, The Sims 4 is $25 / £22.50, and Unravel is $5 / £3.75. Additionally, Xbox One owners can pick up Rainbow Six Siege for $41.49 / £24.89, Middle-earth: Shadow of War for $40 / £44, and Tales from the Borderlands: Complete Season for $6 / £4.80.

This week's Xbox 360 Deals with Gold include Batman: The Telltale Series ($2 / £2.07), Devil May Cry HD Collection ($5 / £3.74), Devil May Cry 4 ($6.59 / £4.94), Samurai Warriors 2 ($10 / £7.49), Warriors Orochi ($7.49 / £5), and Warriors Orochi 2 ($7.49 / £5). Beyond those, all Xbox 360 owners can download Battlefield 3 for $5 / £3.74, Mass Effect 2 and Mass Effect 3 for $7 / £7 each, Dragon Age: Origins for $3.74 / £3.74, FIFA 18 for $19.79 / £18.14, Dead Space for $3.74 / £3.74, and Dead Space 2 and 3 for $5 / £3.74 each.

The above discounts will be available in the Xbox Store until 3 AM PT / 6 AM ET on February 27. You can find the full list of Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on sale this week on Major Nelson's blog.

Free Xbox One Games With Gold For March 2018 Announced

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:13

With March drawing near, Microsoft has announced the lineup of games that Xbox Live Gold members will be able to download for free next month. There's the usual total of four new games being introduced across Xbox One and Xbox 360, with an especially good one up for grabs on the newer console.

On Xbox One, the month starts out with Trials of the Blood Dragon, a more action-oriented take on the Trials series that's somewhat in the vein of Far Cry 3's Blood Dragon spin-off. It will be available for free for the entire month. From March 16 through April 15, Superhot will be free. The excellent shooter sports a distinct visual style and an even more novel concept, as time (mostly) freezes when you stop moving, allowing you to set up some Matrix-style bullet-dodging sequences.

Xbox 360 owners also get two games to download in March. During the first half of the month, it's Brave: The Video Game, which is based on Disney's film of the same name and was just added to the Xbox One's backwards compatibility list. It's then followed in the second half by Quantum Conundrum, the puzzle-based first-person game from Airtight Games and Kim Swift, one of the key developers behind Portal and Left 4 Dead. As always, both Xbox 360 games are playable on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.

In the meantime, it's not too late to grab some of February's free Games With Gold titles. One of the Xbox One games, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India, will also remain free for the first half of March. Claiming any of these games allows you to continue playing them for as long as you're an Xbox Live Gold subscriber.

March 2018 Games With GoldXbox One
  • Trials of the Blood Dragon (March 1-31)
  • Superhot (March 16 - April 15)
Xbox 360 (playable on Xbox One)
  • Brave: The Video Game (March 1-15)
  • Quantum Conundrum (March 16-31)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Home Entertainment Release Details Revealed

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 03:52

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is coming to home entertainment formats next month. Disney has confirmed that the latest Star Wars movie will be available to buy on digital platforms from March 13, with a physical release and on-demand following on March 27.

The studio has also revealed details of the bonus features that fans can enjoy. They are led by 14 deleted scenes and a two-hour behind-the-scenes documentary titled The Director and the Jedi, which is described as "an intimate journey into the creation of Star Wars: The Last Jedi with writer-director Rian Johnson." There's also a new trailer for the home entertainment release--check it out above.

The movie will be available in both 4K and HD, and there will different retailer exclusive versions. While we don't know what the deleted scenes will be, last week star Mark Hamill suggested that there one cut scene featured Luke Skywalker and Laura Dern's character of Admiral Holdo.

The list of bonus content is as follows (descriptions via Disney):

  • The Director and the Jedi--Go deep behind the scenes with writer-director Rian Johnson on an intimate and personal journey through the production of the movie--and experience what it's like to helm a global franchise and cultural phenomenon.
  • Balance of the Force--Explore the mythology of the Force and why Rian Johnson chose to interpret its role in such a unique way.
  • Scene Breakdowns
    - Lighting the Spark: Creating the Space Battle--Get a close-up look at the epic space battle, from the sounds that help propel the action, through the practical and visual effects, to the characters who bring it all to life.
    - Snoke and Mirrors--Motion capture and Star Wars collide as the filmmakers take us through the detailed process of creating the movie's malevolent master villain.
    - Showdown on Crait--Break down everything that went into creating the stunning world seen in the movie's final confrontation, including the interplay between real-word locations and visual effects, reimagining the walkers, designing the crystal foxes, and much more.
  • Andy Serkis Live! (One Night Only)--Writer-director Rian Johnson presents two exclusive sequences from the movie featuring Andy Serkis' riveting, raw on-set performance before his digital makeover into Snoke.
  • Deleted Scenes--With an introduction and optional commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.
  • Audio Commentary--View the movie with in-depth feature audio commentary by writer-director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the most successful movie of 2017, with a worldwide box office gross of $1.32 billion. The three month turnaround between the theatrical and home entertainment release is even faster than the four month window that 2015's The Force Awakens enjoyed, possibly because the next movie in the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story, hits theaters in May.

In related news, it was announced earlier this month that Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will write and produce a new series of Star Wars movies. Disney confirmed that these films will be separate from the current Skywalker saga and the trilogy of movies that Star Wars: The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson is working on.

New Battlefield 1 Update Out Now As Apocalypse DLC Launches For Some

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 03:29

Battlefield 1 has received another new update, with some players also receiving access to Apocalypse, the game's fourth DLC expansion, on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. The latter introduces a variety of new content, including new maps, weapons, and gadgets.

Early access to Apocalypse is available to everyone who owns the game's Premium Pass, as well as those who have bought Battlefield 1 Revolution (which consists of the base game and access to all of the DLC expansions). The DLC will be available for purchase individually after two weeks, beginning on March 6. Even if you only own the base game, you'll still need to download the new update in order to play online. Patch notes for the update have not yet been released, but we'll report back once we have them.

As for Apocalypse itself, it introduces five new maps. Three of these (River Somme, Caporetto, and Passchendaele) are standard multiplayer maps, whereas the other two (London Calling and Razor's Edge) are designed specifically for Air Assault, a new aircraft-only game mode. This centers around dogfights but can culminate in a battle between giant Airships.

There are also a variety of new tools as your disposal: six weapons, including the RSC SMG; melee weapons, such as the meat cleaver; gadgets, like the AA Rocket Gun for the Assault class; two bombers, the Hansa Brandenburg GI and the Airco DH10; and a stationary weapon that fires poison gas. Additionally, Apocalypse adds new assignments and cosmetics to unlock, including dog tags, codex entries, ribbons, medals, and so on.

The trailer above briefly showcases much of what's new in Battlefield 1. This is the last confirmed expansion for the game, though developer DICE has shown no signs of stopping its support for it altogether. Meanwhile, a new Battlefield game has been confirmed for release before the end of 2018, though EA has yet to officially announce any details about it.

New Rampage Movie Trailer Delivers Maximum Monster Mayhem

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 03:25

The hugely successful reboot of Jumanji is still doing impressive business in theaters, but the ever-busy Dwayne Johnson will soon return to the screen in another spectacular action comedy. Rampage is the big-screen adaptation of the classic video game--it arrives on April 20, and a new international trailer has been released.

This Japanese promo puts the emphasis on the movie's ridiculous-looking monster action. It also features an introduction from Johnson himself, who makes reference to Japan's long history of monster movies and has a go at speaking Japanese. Check it out above.

This latest promo follows one released last week, and an earlier trailer that arrived in January. Rampage also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Malin Åkerman, and Joe Manganiello. It's directed by Brad Peyton, who also worked with Johnson on the 2015 disaster smash San Andreas.

Rampage was originally released in arcades back in 1986 before being ported to more than a dozen other platforms--it's appeared on everything from the Commodore 64 to the PS2. It's also seen a number of sequels produced, though by the time the movie comes out, it will have been more than a decade since the last of these, Total Destruction, was released.

This is one of three movies Johnson has heading to the big screen this year, along with Skyscraper and the wrestling biopic Fighting with My Family--in which he plays himself and serves as executive producer. Rampage smashes into theaters on April 20.

First Onrush PS4 And Xbox One Trailer Will Make Motorstorm Fans Very Happy

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 02:06

The first trailer for Onrush, a new racing game from Codemasters, has been released. The title is being developed by the company's new Cheshire, UK studio, formerly the team behind PlayStation-exclusive racing series' Motorstorm, and the similarities between the two games are immediately apparent.

The gameplay trailer shows a variety of vehicles including buggies and dirt bikes tearing through snowy alps and picturesque caverns at high-speed. They're weaving in and out of naturally formed obstacles in the environment, launching themselves off ramps and, of course, slamming into each other.

"Onrush is a celebration of sensational speed, outright fun and over the top spectacle," Codemasters explains in a press release. "Players battle it out on track to power up their Rush meter which enables them to unleash the ultimate manifestation of boost and power as they wreak havoc on their opponents by performing death defying takedowns and stunts."

There will be eight vehicle classes in Onrush and each one will have its own "unique style, feel, and advantages." Each class of vehicle will also have different effects and abilities when they activate their Rush state.

"Onrush is not about racing to the finish line," Codemasters continues. "Racing with style and flair is what counts as you perform incredible takedowns and put everything on the line in order to power up your all important Rush bar."

Onrush's release date has been confirmed as June 5 on PS4 and Xbox One. The game is available to pre-order now, and anyone who puts their money down early will get access to the beta before it opens up to everyone else in May.

Sony announced plans to close Motorstorm and Driveclub developer Evolution in March, 2016. However, a month later Codemasters established a new team with some of the talent from Evolution. The success of F1 2015 and Dirt Rally "re-positioned [Codemasters] for growth," it said, and this growth started with the acquisition.

Rainbow Six Siege's Operation Chimera And Outbreak Are Live Now On Test Server

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 22:06

Rainbow Six Siege's latest DLC, Operation Chimera, is available now on the PC version's Technical Test Server. Chimera includes two new Operators, Finka and Lion, as well as a new co-op mode called Outbreak.

The TTS allows PC players to try out the new content ahead of its full release. Ubisoft does warn, however, that "a consistent gameplay experience is not guaranteed on the test server." Operation Chimera will be available to test here until March 2, with the DLC season's full release coming to PC as well as PS4 and Xbox One on March 6.

Finka and Lion were revealed in full just a few days ago. The former comes equipped with a stim pen that applies a 20 HP boost to both herself and every teammate for 20 seconds, even reviving any downed allies, wherever they are on the map. In addition, each of the three adrenal surges grants the team a movement and reload speed buff for the same period, as well as a reduction in recoil and resistance to stun effects.

Lion, meanwhile, carries a drone that reveals moving enemies' identities and locations around the map for four seconds, including their exact outlines. The counter is that both teams receive a three second countdown after the drone is triggered but before its x-ray vision comes into effect, allowing enemies to lie still and avoid detection. For more on the new characters, check out our analysis of how Operation Chimera's Lion and Finka will change the Rainbow Six Siege meta.

Outbreak, meanwhile, is the new alien zombie-based co-op mode. It's only a limited-time event, lasting four weeks from March 6, but it includes plenty of new maps and missions, as well as loot boxes. You can read our preview on how Outbreak is completely different to traditional Siege here.

Also starting March 6, Ubisoft will now give Rainbow Six Siege's 20 base Operators away for free, along with all past and future weapon attachments. Looking further ahead, the company has revealed a new Siege game mode called Pick & Ban that's coming later this year, reaffirmed its aim to eventually reach 100 Rainbow Six Siege Operators, and stated it does not currently plan on making a sequel.

Xbox Put Dogs In PUBG, Halo, And Gears Of War Cosplay

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:33

In Celebration of Chinese New Year--this year it's the Year of the Dog--Microsoft dressed up a bunch of dogs in video game-inspired outfits. Microsoft worked with dog fashion designer Roberto Negrini from the TV show Furry, Fierce, And Fabulous on these outfits, which are based on franchises like Sea of Thieves, Forza, Gears of War, Halo, and PUBG.

The dogs, or "CosPups" as Microsoft calls them, are pretty adorable, and they have cute names, too. These include "Master Chihuahua," "Sea of Fleas," "Mutt-cus Fenix," "Fur-za," and "PUG-G." Microsoft says "each dog's character outfit was created with craft, care, and a passion for the games they represent." You can see images of these lovely dogs in the gallery below; be sure to click each image to see it in full size.

Well, here you go.

Have a nice day.

Rainbow Six Siege: No Sequel Is Planned

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 15:28

Rainbow Six Siege might not have gotten off to the best start, but it's doing much better now in terms of player figures and general sentiment--and it's not going anywhere soon. Brand director Alexandre Remy said in an interview that no sequel is planned, at least not yet. Instead, you can expect Ubisoft to continue to support Siege through the games-as-a-service model.

"We are saying extremely loudly here: there is no sequel planned," Remy told Eurogamer. "We will be here for the next 10 years. So expect more Rainbow 6 in your life for quite some time."

Ubisoft is planning to release 100 Operators for the game over the course of its lifetime; there are currently 36 in the game, and eight more are coming during the upcoming Year 3 schedule. "That 100 is a symbol of the longevity we want to have for the game," Remy explained.

Siege was originally released in December 2015 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC to little fanfare and issues that included things like server problems. It has gone on to become one of modern AAA gaming's biggest comeback stories, reaching 27 million players by Ubisoft's latest count. This number may include people who played on free weekends, but whatever the case, it is a huge figure and the game is no doubt doing much better now.

Ubisoft's ongoing commitment to Siege has been enduring and impressive. The next big update, Operation Chimera, adds the Outbreak co-op event, which is completely different than the base game as you fight against aliens. You can check out some gameplay footage from the Outbreak mode in the video embedded above.

Outbreak will also add loot boxes that you can pay real money for. Some people have voiced concerns about this, and Ubisoft was quick to respond to say they will be for cosmetic items only.

PUBG Vs. Fortnite? Here Are The Results Of NFL Star's Twitter Poll

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:08

[UPDATE] JJ Watt's Twitter poll has now ended. Fortnite crushed PUBG, with 76 percent of respondents voting for Epic's game over PUBG. What Watt will do with this information remains to be seen.

This will be easier to see...

— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 18, 2018

The original story is below.

JJ Watt, one of the biggest names in the NFL, wants to know: PUBG or Fortnite? Posting on Twitter today, the Houston Texans DE asked his 5 million followers to weigh in on which Battle Royale game they prefer. He initially simply tweeted the question, "Fortnite or PubG?" before following up with a Twitter poll with the same question.

Right now, Fortnite is dominating PUBG in Watt's poll. At press time, 78 percent of respondents said they prefer Fortnite, compared to 22 percent for PUBG. Almost 20,000 people have voted so far, and the poll is open for another 22 hours.

This will be easier to see...

— JJ Watt (@JJWatt) February 18, 2018

It's not immediately clear why Watt posed the question today. It could be that he's looking for something new to play (it is the offseason, after all). And, as with many other people right now, the NFL star might be considering which of the popular Battle Royale games he wants to check out.

For a deeper dive on the subject, you can check out GameSpot's in-depth breakdown--"Fortnite Vs. PUBG: Which Battle Royale Game Is Right For You?" Additionally, you can see both games compared in the video embedded at the top of this post.

Watt suffered a season-ending injury in October, fracturing the tibial plateau in his left leg. He is expected to return for the 2018-2019 season. After going down with the injury, Watt kept busy, raising an incredible $37 million for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

What do you think, PUBG or Fortnite? Let us know in the comments below!

Fortnite's New Battle Pass Detailed, Here's What It Includes

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 10:00

The next Fortnite in-game season is starting soon, and that means a new Battle Pass will soon become available to buy in the popular Battle Royale game. For starters, the Battle Bass is something you can buy in Fortnite that comes with various items such as special gliders, outfits, emotes, and more.

In a forum post this week, developer Epic Games laid out what's new for the Season 3 Battle Pass. It will include 76 items in all, including outfits, pickaxes, emotes, gliders, banners, and more. You can see a breakdown of how Season 3's Battle Pass compares to Season 2's in the image below.

As announced previously, the Season 3 Battle Pass is priced at 950 V-Bucks, which comes out to around $10 (the same price as the previous Battle Passes). Additionally, you can purchase what's called a Battle Bundle--which includes the Battle Pass and the first 25 tiers for 2,800 V-Bucks. That comes out to around $25 USD. Note that V-Bucks can also be acquired through normal gameplay progression.

As you progress during the new season, you unlock reward tiers that come with even more items. There are 30 tiers in all, which sounds like a lot, but Epic says you'll still be able to get through them all in the same amount of time as Season 2's Battle Pass, which the studio estimates to be around 75-150 hours.

Fortnite's Season 2 started on December 14 and runs through February 20, with Season 3 kicking off right after. Also new for Season 3 will be Weekly Challenges. There will be seven challenges to unlock throughout the season, and completing four out of the seven will earn you rewards. One thing to note is that even if you purchase the Battle Pass in the middle of the season, you will still get to have a go at the previous challenges.

In other Fortnite news, a new patch is out now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC that adds a new item, the Impulse Grenade, and temporarily removes the SMG. Check out GameSpot's full breakdown here to see what's new in the patch.

if you're new to Fortnite: Battle Royale or are just looking for some tips, have a look at our Fortnite building guide or our discussion about what makes the mode so popular.

Everything We Saw At Toy Fair 2018

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:00

Marvel, DC, Lego, and tons of video game properties were on display at Toy Fair 2018. With that much out there, it's hard to see all the coolest collectibles. That's why we've compiled everything we saw into galleries right here.

Below you'll find each gallery organized by category. Feel free to click through the links to see even more sweet stuff. Otherwise, you can check out the best of Toy Fair overall right here.

Best Marvel Collectibles Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Best DC Collectibles Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Best Star Wars Collectibles Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Zelda, Street Fighter, And All The Best Video Games Collectibles Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Kingdom Hearts, Cuphead, And All The New Funko Pops Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Star Wars, Jurassic World, And More: The Lego Sets Of Toy Fair 2018

For the rest, check out the full gallery right here.

Black Panther Succeeds By Overcoming Marvel's Iron Man Problem

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 05:30

If you've spent any time on the internet over the last week you'll know that Marvel's Black Panther has had what can only be described as a sensational reception. Reviews for the superhero flick have been overwhelmingly positive and, based on early figures, it's on track to be one of Marvel and Disney's most successful movies yet.

In our Black Panther review Michael Rougeau said it is "a top tier Marvel movie with all the humor, style, action, passion, and fun that the MCU has come to embody." Not to mention "a cultural event that's going to be hard for Marvel to top."

We've been thinking about where the Marvel Cinematic Universe goes from here, and while we can only take guesses at how the story plays out, we're confident that Marvel is going to change the way they make films. The success of Black Panther, which feels different to previous entries in the MCU, could serve as a new template for Marvel's movies, much like 2008's Iron Man established the framework for most of the films up until now.

That's the argument that Tamoor makes in the video above, where he talks through how he feels main character T'Challa is different from other heroes like Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, and Stephen Strange, and what makes his first standalone film unique from a characterization perspective. On top of that, he discusses why, alongside Thor: Ragnarok, Marvel is starting to lean towards creating films with a unique identity, instead of a bunch of flicks that feel uniform.

In related news, Chris Evans, who plays Captain America in the MCU, has indicated that a standalone Black Widow film starring Scarlett Johansson is in the works. Prior to this, it was reported that writer Jac Schaeffer had been hired to pen the script. However, as of yet, there has not been official confirmation from Disney or Marvel.

WWE Superstar Elias's Slow Build Toward Main Event Status Is Brilliant

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 05:17

Success in NXT does not guarantee success on WWE's main roster.

The bottom halves of Raw and SmackDown's rosters are a testament to an unfortunate truth: just because a gimmick worked in a small venue at Full Sail University, does not mean it will translate to a massive arena with less intimacy and higher stakes.

The Ascension held the NXT Tag Titles for 344 days--longer than any other tag team in NXT history. Today, Viktor and Konnor are perennial enhancement talents; the last time they won a 2-on-2 tag team match was on February 8, 2016, over two years ago. Or take Bo Dallas, for instance. The third-generation Superstar held the NXT Championship for 261 days. Now, he's a whipping boy and lackey for The Miz; he's the ringside replacement for Maryse ever since she went on maternity leave.

If a former NXT champion has that much difficulty? Imagine how difficult it is for the average NXT midcarder--a guy who never even held an NXT title--to get over on Raw or SmackDown. Such is the struggle of Elias Samson, who got his name shortened to Elias after debuting on Raw.

WWE has never treated Elias like a main event player. In fact, he tried out for the company four times before they offered him a contract. Once he got to NXT, he served as enhancement talent for Baron Corbin. And even when he started his unique "drifter" gimmick, Elias lost the majority of his feuds--most notably to Kassius Ohno, who defeated him in a "Loser Leaves NXT" match. It would have been reasonable to assume that Elias would fight on Raw for a month or two before being released. If he couldn't even get a title shot on NXT (let alone win an actual title), what chance did he have of succeeding on the main show?

WWE did something smart: They didn't make a big deal over him. For the first couple of weeks he was on Raw, Elias didn't even have any matches. The backstage camera would occasionally catch him in the background, strumming his guitar and humming to himself, but that was it. It was a master stroke of understatement; the NXT fans who knew him would cheer, and the casual WWE fans were left wondering, "Why is everyone else cheering? Who is that dude?" It created a sense of mystery and suspense for when the man would actually fight, without shoving him down people's throats as "the next big thing."

When he finally debuted, he lost more than he won. He put over Finn Balor. He put over Jason Jordan. He even put over Kalisto. But more importantly than winning (at least in this early stage of his Raw career), he got the fans to know who he was.

Every week, the WWE writers sat him in the center of the ring with a guitar, and they gave him approximately three minutes to do whatever he wanted. He made jokes. He played songs. He insulted the home crowd. These pre-match segments had a loose, improvised feel to them, especially compared to the rest of the tightly scripted show.

Wrestlers with guitars are either heels (like Honky Tonky Man or Jeff Jarrett) or comic relief (like Kurt Angle or The Rock). Elias manages the unenviable task of being both.

The comedy derives from Elias being the straight foil rather than from Elias being the clown. He has great reaction expressions and great timing, and that gives him narrative flexibility. If WWE ever decides to turn him face, he won't have to change much about himself. All he has to do is sing songs insulting his opponents, or sing songs insulting Boston in front of a New York crowd, and he'll be good to go.

Elias racked up two notable wins in recent weeks. The first came against Matt Hardy, who he defeated on January 29 to qualify for Elimination Chamber. The second came against John Cena and Braun Strowman, who he defeated in a Triple Threat match on February 5. He toppled both the top guy in the company and the future monster in a single night--no small matter, even if he had to play them against each other to secure the win. And since he will now be the last man to enter the Chamber, he will likely play a pivotal role in the match's finish.

Elias's slow narrative burn has finally paid dividends. Against all odds, the NXT midcarder, who never had a title shot, is fighting in Elimination Chamber's main event to determine who faces Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. He won't win, of course. But considering how far he's come in the past year, his involvement is an implicit statement from management to the fans. This guy is going places. And sooner than later (if they don't already), millions of fans will want to walk with Elias.

Transformers Movie Series To Be Completely Rebooted--Report

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 04:24

Although the Transformers franchise has proven to be a hugely poplar one, 2017's The Last Knight was the least successful film by some distance, suggesting that audience interest in the series might be fading. The spin-off Bumblebee is due out later this year, but a new report states that beyond that, Paramount is planning to reboot the whole series.

As reported by Transformer World, toy manufacturers Hasbro confirmed at the company's Toy Fair 2018 Investor Preview that the series will be entirely reset. In addition, a new agreement with Paramount means that Hasbro will have greater control over the property, including greenlighting movie projects. The site also reports that no Transformers movies beyond Bumblebee remain on Paramount's release schedule.

This is something of a change in fortune for the series. In October 2015, Hasbro announced that there would be at last four more movies, and that a "writers room" had been established to map out the next decade of Transformers across movies, TV, and digital. Following this, Paramount confirmed that Transformers 6 would arrive in 2019, which seems to be no longer the case.

The Last Knight made $605 million worldwide. This was well below the $1.104 billion haul for its predecessor, 2014's The Age of Extinction, and less than the first movie made back in 2007.

Bumblebee hits theaters on December 21, 2018, and stars Hailee Steinfeld and John Cena. It will be directed by Kubo And The Two Strings director Travis Knight, who is making his live-action debut. No footage from the movie has been revealed yet, but a first official image was released in December.

New Scribblenauts Switch Gameplay Shows The Power Of Words

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 03:10

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. revealed a brand-new entry in the Scribblenauts series. Titled Scribblenauts Showdown, the new game is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch on March 6.

Scribblenauts Showdown is designed primarily to be played with friends: up to four players can partake in "more than" 25 mini-games, which are served up in different forms depending on which mode you select. Showdown is a competitive mode in which finding the best word the quickest is the key, while Versus supplies various mini-games for you and one other friend to battle in, one-vs-one--check it out in the video above.

Sandbox is a more traditional Scribblenauts mode that will be familiar to fans of the series. Here you can summon a variety of objects--publisher Warner Bros. says over 35,000 items are available in-game--to achieve objectives either by yourself or with a friend. Eight new levels are included, as are hidden collectibles and achievements. Take a look at some Sandbox gameplay below.

The Scribblenauts series made its debut in 2009 on the DS, becoming popular for its creativity in letting you conjure a number of items by simply writing down your desired object. It has since spawned four sequels on various platforms, though none of those successors ever came to PlayStation or Xbox. The most recent in the series was Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure, which came to 3DS, Wii U, and PC in 2013. A sixth game in the franchise was planned, but it was canceled after developer 5th Cell ran into financial trouble and was forced to lay off a number of employees. Showdown is being made by a Miami, USA-based developer called Shiver.

Top New Game Releases This Week On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC -- February 18-24

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 03:05

This week's batch of new games have plenty to take on, whether it's the undead in Metal Gear Survive, rival kingdoms in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, or a bunch of ghosts in Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus. You can also explore a mysterious space facility in The Station, or throw down with some four-legged animals in Them's Fightin' Herds.

Metal Gear Survive -- February 20

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The first Metal Gear game since Hideo Kojima left Konami is very different from Snake's sneaking missions. This open-world survival game is all about scavenging for resources to build weapons and defenses. You can take the challenge solo or with friends in co-op.

Further Reading:

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition -- February 20

Available on: PC

After a delay, the best way to play this classic strategy game is launching this week. It's souped-up for the modern era with 4K support, brand-new narration, and rebuilt sound effects--but you can always turn all that off and play in Classic Mode too. Definitive Edition includes the base game and the Rise of Rome expansion.

Further Reading:

The Station -- February 20

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This first-person game has you exploring the titular station as it orbits above an alien planet in the midst of a civil war. For you, that means finding out what happened and deciding the fate of the alien race below. There's a lot to discover as you learn the truth and solve puzzles around the station.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus -- February 22

Available on: Switch

Championship Edition 2 is coming to Switch with new features. First and foremost, you can hand your friend a Joy-Con and play co-op. And of course there are plenty of boards and bosses to complete in both Time Attack and Adventure modes. Watch out for ghost trains!

Further Reading:

Them's Fightin' Herds -- February 22

Available on: PC

If this cartoon-looking fighter seems familiar, that's because it comes from the same mind behind My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. But don't let the cutesy look fool you: this fighter takes cues from series like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, so don't expect an easy battle.

Star Wars Battlefront 2's Update 1.2 Is Out Now On PS4, Xbox One, And PC--Here's What It Adds

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 02:57

Star Wars Battlefront II continues to evolve, and it's now done so again with the much-anticipated 1.2 update. The patch is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, and it adds lots of new content including a new mode, additional skins, and more.

The new game mode is called Jetpack Cargo. It's only available for a limited time, and it grants every player a jetpack and a rocket launcher for the entire round.

Additionally, new skins have been added to the shooter. Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Luke Skywalker can each now equip their Hoth appearances, which EA says are earned "through a series of in-game Challenges that will be available over time." All players will also receive two emotes for their Troopers, so while you can still unlock more, you will now at least be able to taunt your nemeses from the get-go.

Elsewhere, the new update tweaks a bunch of characters. Boba Fett's jetpack now has greater maneuverability, says EA, while his EE-3 weapon has received a damage and recoil buff. Rey, meanwhile, has seen her Insight ability nerfed, reducing its radius by nearly half. Luke's speed has been increased, as has Yoda's lightsaber damage, while Emperor Palpatine now needs line of sight to trigger his Lightning ability. Read more in the update's full patch notes, via EA, at the bottom of this article.

Beyond the new patch, developer DICE has said it is preparing "significant" progression changes for the game; more details on those will be shared in March. EA has also reconfirmed that microtransactions are coming back to Star Wars Battlefront II.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 Update 1.2 Patch NotesHero And Villain BalancingBoba Fett

We've made a substantial change to the way Boba Fett’s jet pack feels when flying. We think you're going to love the increased maneuverability! Furthermore, we improved his efficiency at distance with the EE-3. Previously, it could be frustrating to try to shoot with the EE-3's high dispersion, especially while flying. As a result, we improved the EE-3 in a few areas and we hope this will combine with the jetpack changes to make Boba Fett even more fun to use on the battlefront.

  • Jet Pack - Jet Pack controllability improved
  • EE-3 - Reduced the minimum dispersion angle from 0.6 to 0.4
  • EE-3 - Reduced the maximum dispersion angle from 1.2 to 0.8
  • EE-3 - Increased End Damage from 20 to 25
  • Increased damage drop-off start distance from 15 to 20 meters
Iden Versio

We've heard your feedback that Iden's Droid Stun was very difficult to predict. We've made it much snappier and feel this should be a significant improvement to Iden, even though the droid's damage has been slightly reduced.

  • Fixed an issue where Iden's Droid Stun didn't give damage on the first attack
  • Droid Stun - Reduced the time between the ability activation and shock
  • Reduced the damage from 40 to 50
Bossk

Bossk's Relby V-10 had a somewhat awkwardly high recoil. We reduced it a bit while adjusting the animation to make it feel more responsive. We also reduced the damage output of the Explosive Traps as we felt it was a bit too high. The Multi-Trap Star Card values were incorrect and the Epic Star Card could increase the radius of the damage past what was listed on the card. This unintentionally lead to Bossk having very high AoE damage.

  • Relby V-10 - Reduced recoil from 5 to 2.2
  • Explosive Traps - Reduced damage from 80 to 76 per trap
  • Multi-Trap - Fixed the Blast Damage Radius to fit the star cards numbers
Rey

Rey's signature Ability Insight had an incredible range and could go as far as 75 meters when paired with certain Star Cards. This was a bit too much and we've decided to reduce it drastically. We'll monitor how this change affects Rey's performance.

  • Mind Control - Reduced Mind Control radius from 20 to 18 meters
  • Insight - Reduced Insight radius from 50 to 30
  • Far Sight - Reduced bonus by 10% (now 10, 20, 30, 40%)
Kylo Ren

Kylo Ren had two of his Abilities on a 25 second timer, effectively making him less efficient and fun to play than other characters. As such, we reduced the cooldown for Pull and Freeze. We also felt he needed some damage absorption while being close to his targets, so we gave him some while Frenzy is active.

  • Pull - Reducing Pull recharge time from 25 to 20 seconds
  • Freeze - Reducing Freeze recharge time from 25 to 24 seconds
  • Frenzy - Kylo Ren now has 40% damage absorption while Frenzy is active
Luke Skywalker

We heard your wishes to have Luke traverse faster so we increased his sprint speed as much as possible without breaking the animation. Related to that update, we decided to push Luke more towards a "Hit & Run" game style. He'll quickly jump into a skirmish and then bounce out to regain health before heading off for the next battle.

  • Increased Luke's sprint speed by .6 meters/second
  • Increased Luke Health from 700 to 750
  • Increased Health Regeneration rate from 50 to 110
  • Decreased Regeneration delay from 5 to 2.7
  • Decreased Max Regeneration amount from 250 to 200
Emperor Palpatine

Emperor Palpatine now requires line of sight on his target to trigger damage with his Dark Aura and default Lightning ability. Both abilities will no longer go through obstacles and walls. While we loved the fantasy fulfillment there, the frustration of not knowing what was damaging you was too high for us not to act on.

  • Lightning - Increased reach of the ability from 12 to 14 meters to compensate for the tighter collision check
Chewbacca

Chewbacca had one of the longest stun duration abilities in the game and it made him quite powerful. However, we wanted the stun to be a bit more tactical, so we reduced the duration.

  • Stun Grenade - Reduced the shock time from 1.6 to 1 second
  • Reduced Bowcaster side projectiles explosive damage from 25 to 21
  • Reduced furious Bowcaster side projectiles explosive damage from 12 to 10
Yoda

Yoda's lightsaber attacks were very weak compared to all other lightsaber wielders, so we have increased his attack damage significantly to bring him on par with the others. Additionally, in an effort to make Yoda feel more true to character, we've made a change to his Barrier ability. It now will break immobilizing effects upon activation.

  • Lightsaber - Increased damage from 80 to 115
  • Barrier - Added the functionality to break out of immobilizing effects on activation
  • Unleash - Increased energy holding time from 0.7 to 0.9 seconds
  • Unleash - Increased angle from 40 to 45 degrees.
  • Unleash - Increased first tier damage from 100 to 110, second tier damage from 125 to 130, third tier damage from 150 to 160, and fourth tier damage from 175 to 190
Lando Calrissian

We felt that Lando needed a boost to increase his effectiveness against lightsaber users. The best tool he had against them had a 25-second cooldown. To combat this, we significantly reduced the cooldown of Disruptor and of Smoke Grenade.

  • Disruptor - Reduced recharge time of disruptor from 25 to 19 seconds
  • Smoke Grenade - Reduced recharge time from 15 to 14 seconds
Darth Vader

We changed how Choke works in order to simplify comprehension for the player that is Darth Vader and for their target. In an effort to also make Darth Vader more "tanky" we granted him a health bonus when activating Focused Rage.

  • Focused Rage - Vader now receives 200 temporary bonus health when activating the Focused Rage ability
  • Reduced max health from 900 to 800
Captain Phasma

We took notice of your feedback regarding the utility of Captain Phasma's staff. We are improving it so that it feels faster and more fluid when used.

  • Staff Strikes - Increased the animation speed of the ability
  • Staff Strikes - Increased the transition speed between each strike
  • Increased how quickly Captain Phasma can use her blaster after performing a Staff Strike
Hero And Villain Bug Fixes
  • Lightsaber closers are deactivated while blinded
  • Fixed an issue where you would be in a "stun" state forever.
  • The maximum stun duration is now 5 seconds
  • Boba Fett - Fixed an issue that prevented Boba Fett from using his Jetpack ability when "For the Hunt" was activated while his Jetpack fuel was depleted
  • Luke Skywalker - Epicenter - The ability will now deal the proper amount of damaged when used
  • Yoda - Feel the Force - Edited the description of this ability to make it clear that all friendlies will receive a health bonus when used
  • Yoda - Enduring the Force - This ability will now apply the proper amount of bonus time
  • Yoda - Master of the Force - This ability will no longer damage players inconsistently and only when released at maximum power
  • Finn - Deadeye - The targeting crosshair should be properly removed after the ability has been used
Classes, Special Units, And Infantry Combat

The Dodge ability has been proven to be too powerful, which was not our initial intent. Dodging granted far too many benefits like damage reduction, the inability to transition into a hit animation, ignoring lightsaber damage, and the inability to be targeted by lightsaber closers.

In order to handle this, we added an "unstaggerable" window during a set period of time when you dodge. You will still receive the same benefits during that window, but now you have a narrow time in which to gain those benefits. Now you'll need to time your rolls better and predict attacks. While testing these changes, we feel good with the results so far and we really hope that you do too. This is a change that we will monitor closely.

  • All Classes - Fixed an issue on Blaster Rifles and the S-5, weapons that can be toggled with a high zoom level through Dual Zoom, where the scope glint would always appear when zooming. It now only appears when the dual zoom scope is equipped and toggled to its highest magnification level.
  • All Troopers have now received two default emotes.
  • Reduced the time it takes until you can shoot after executing a melee attack
  • Assault - Vanguard Shotgun - Lowered start damage per bullet from 14 to 12
  • Assault - CR2 - Fixed an issue with inconsistent Super Success triggers compared to other blasters
  • Heavy - Supercharged Sentry - Reverted the heat per bullet tweak made for 1.1 patch, from 0.17 to 0.15
  • Officer - Blurrg-1120 - Lowered start damage from 37 to 35 and end damage from 20 to 16
Milestones

Milestones are now claimed automatically upon completion! Furthermore, we changed how Milestones and Challenges are sorted. Now, all completed items are on the bottom of the Career tab and we sort the active items by the amount left until completion.

  • "Making an Impression" - Changed criteria from 25 to 10 kills
  • "Starting Heavy Training" - Changed criteria from 10,000 to 2,500 score
  • "Stay True" - Changed criteria from 40 to 20 kills
  • "Starting Assault Training" - Criteria changed from "Get 5000 Assist Score with Scan Dart" to "50 Targets Scanned"
Location Design Balance Changes
  • Kamino - Phase 1 and 3 in Galactic Assault has been made easier for attackers
  • Tatooine – In Phase 1 of Galactic Assault we adjusted spawn points, added cover, and tweaked the out of bounds area to make this phase easier for attackers
  • Hoth – In Phase 2 of Galactic Assault we adjusted spawn points to prevent players from being targeted by the AT-AT
  • Naboo - Phase 2 of Galactic Assault has had balance tweaks
  • Endor – Galactic Assault has extended the fallback timer from 30 to 45 seconds before the attackers' spawn points are moved forward
Location Design Bug Fixes
  • Jakku - Fixed an issue in Galactic Assault where the out of bounds warning message would not trigger correctly under certain conditions
  • Jakku - Tweaked the combat area on Jakku in Galactic Assault in order to prevent an exploit where players could circle around the map with the AT-ST
  • Jakku - Fixed several collision issues
  • Endor - Fixed a bug in Galactic Assault that caused the Endor AT-AT Orbital Strike to break
  • Endor - Fixed a bug in Strike where players could spawn outside the combat area
  • Crait - Added delay before attacker spawns are moved forward in Galactic Assault
  • Crait - Fixed several collision issues
  • Takodana - Fixed a bug in Galactic Assault that prevented the First Order AT-ST from being available in Phase 1
  • Hoth - Fixed a bug in Galactic Assault that prevented players from passing through doors when retreating during the last Phase
  • Kashyyyk - Fixed an issue where players could get stuck between containers
  • Kamino - Mobility improvements on platform ledges
  • Yavin 4 - Fixed an issue where Boba Fett could reach restricted areas
  • Fixed an issue where grenades could fall through the floor on Naboo and Kashyyyk
  • Fixed various collision issues across all locations
  • Fixed issues where players could get outside the intended play areas of various locations
  • Fixed an issue where AI units would move through objects in Arcade
  • Fixed an issue where environmental fire damage would not cause high enough damage to players standing in it
General Improvements And Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where players would not receive credits for duplicate star cards - Players who encountered this issue previously will retroactively be awarded with the proper amounts of credits over time.
  • Increased Credit payout for duplicate items
    - Common – From 200 to 300
    - Uncommon – From 400 to 600
    - Rare – From 800 to 900
    - Epic – From 1200 to 3600
  • Increased the glow of blaster bolts to make them look more vibrant
  • Increased the dismemberment probability of the B1 Battle Droids from 20% to 40%
  • Reduced the stretched bloom effect for a clearer image
  • Improved the glow, thickness, and lighting of lightsabers
  • U-Wing - when firing from the gunner position, the gun, muzzle flash, and blaster bolt are now shown properly
  • Fixed an issue where the camera would enter a bad state when being the target of Darth Vader's Choke
  • End of Round - Fixed an issue where the map would sometimes overlap with the intro video in Starfighter Assault
  • Fixed an issue where the wrong loading screen would be seen when loading a level
  • Fixed an issue where some menu options would disappear under certain conditions
  • Fixed an issue where the camera would stutter when spawning in with a Hero in Custom Arcade
  • Fixed an issue where the AT-RT Repair ability did not work correctly
  • Fixed an issue where players would not get the "Heroic Sacrifice" scoring event when defeated by a Hero
  • Fixed an issue where Darth Vader would not take any damage from Luke Skywalker's Push ability if standing near a wall
  • Fixed an issue where the AAT would take too much damage when colliding with surrounding objects
  • Fixed an issue where Turrets and Grenades could inflict damage after the round ended
  • Fixed an issue where players would not receive Score for grenade kills made after their character had died
  • Fixed an issue where a friendly First Order AT-ST showed up as an enemy on radar
  • Fixed an issue where players could survive when knocked down from a platform in Heroes vs Villains
  • Fixed an issue where players could equip class specific Star Cards to other classes
  • Tweaked the color-blind settings to make Squad members easier to distinguish on the minimap
  • Fixed an issue where Brawler boost card didn’t refresh some ability cards.
  • Fixed an issue where players could force respawn during the Heroes vs Villains intro sequence and respawn in a new location
  • Reduced the amount of Battle Points you received when attacking the objective on Crait with a Ski Speeder
  • Fixed an issue where the character would disappear on the client after combat rolls
  • Fixed an issue in the Campaign where the weapon HUD wouldn’t indicate when aiming at an enemy
  • Fixed an issue where AI troopers in Arcade would constantly melee attack each other
  • Fixed an issue where Assault troopers in Arcade would attempt to use the Scan Dart ability as a regular weapon
  • Various bug fixes in Arcade
  • Several performance and stability improvements
  • Fixed several localization issues
  • Various UI improvements and bug fixes
Known Issues
  • Yoda does not break out of several immobilizing abilities when using Presence
  • Darth Vader's Punishing Grip Star Card effect is not applied when Choke is used
  • Finn's targeting marker from Dead Eye will sometimes persist after the ability effect has ended
  • Emperor Palpatine's first basic and secondary attack deal no damage
  • Yoda's Feel the Force Star Card description is incorrect
  • Yoda's Master of the Force Star Card does not work as intended
  • Rey's Mind Trick ability can affect players further than intended
  • Rey's Far Sight Star Card is increasing Insight ability range more than specified in the Star Card
  • EL-16HFE scope glint does not appear with dual zoom equipped and is toggled to the highest magnification
  • If you open a crate that grants a duplicate item and it shows the old value for credits rewarded, you need to restart your game client. You did in fact get the new reward amount, but the client will show the old values in the UI until you restart the game.

Captain America Star Teases Black Widow Movie

Mon, 02/19/2018 - 23:39

Last month it was reported that Marvel is developing a standalone movie focusing on Black Widow, the Avenger played by Scarlett Johansson, and that writer Jac Schaeffer had been hired to pen the script. Now Captain America star Chris Evans has seemingly confirmed that the film is in the works.

In an interview with ET Canada, Evans was asked about the huge success of Marvel's latest movie, Black Panther. "There's nothing they can't do, man," he said. "I'm sure it's going to have the exact same effect when Captain Marvel comes out, and then the Black Widow movie comes out. Marvel just has the winning recipe."

To date, Johansson has appeared in five movies in the MCU--Iron Man 2, The Avengers, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Captain America: Civil War. She will reprise her role in this summer's Avengers: Infinity War and next year's currently untitled Avengers 4.

There has been much discussion about a standalone Black Widow movie for some time. In October 2016, Johansson said time might not be on her side. "If I did it, I'd have to do it while I still actually wanted to wear a skin-tight catsuit," she explained. "I don't know how much longer that's going to be."

In 2017, Johansson said she had already spoken to Marvel boss Kevin Feige about the movie and that the initial discussions were positive. What's been keeping the movie from happening is the timing and schedules for Marvel and Johansson's other projects. For more Black Widow coverage, check out GameSpot's list of her 10 most badass moments.

In related news, Captain Marvel is now in production. The movie stars Brie Larson and will be released in March 2019. Last month, an on-set image and video were leaked. They showed Larson wearing a green costume, rather than the character's distinctive traditional red, blue, and gold ensemble.

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