At any given time, there might be some sort of free game or free-play promotion going on, but right now it feels like there's an inordinate number of these happening at the same time. Specifics vary by platform and what memberships you have, but if you've got some time this weekend, there's likely something you can check out (or acquire permanently) for free.
Those with a PS4 can play the full versions of Rainbow Six Siege and Overwatch (with some restrictions, like no access to Competitive Play) if they have a PS Plus subscription. Siege's free-play event runs until February 18, while Overwatch's continues through February 19 (and provides access to the ongoing Year of the Dog event). The Metal Gear Survive beta is also now underway just before the game's launch and ends on February 18. PS Plus members also received some free bonuses this week, including a Fortnite item pack, a Gems of War booster pack, and the newly released Mercenary Kings: Reloaded Edition (as long as you claimed the original version of the game when it was previously offered through Plus).
Over on Xbox One, many of those same events are happening. Both Rainbow Six Siege and NBA 2K18 are playable for free through February 18--and, unusually, doing so doesn't require an Xbox Live Gold membership. You will, however, need to be a Gold member to try out Overwatch. The Metal Gear Survive beta is also now active. Meanwhile, the latest batch of free Games With Gold titles are now available to Xbox Live Gold subscribers for a limited time.
PC has maybe the best lineup of the three platforms. Siege and Overwatch are playable for everyone without any memberships, and the Metal Gear Survive beta is live on Steam, unlike the previous, console-only test. GOG is giving away a free game (Dungeons 2) right now, and if you're an Amazon Prime member, the newest Twitch Prime game is now available (Civilization IV: Complete Edition); both of these are yours to keep as long as you claim them in time.
If you're looking to actually spend some money, the weekly PS4 sale and Xbox One sale are ongoing, and all of Sony's recent platforms are in the midst of a just-launched PSN flash sale. On PC, Valve has kicked off Steam's Lunar New Year sale, while GOG's Chinese New Year sale is still happening.
When you're not bogged down in college basketball during March Madness, you're going to need something to binge. Luckily, Hulu is heading into the new month stocked with new shows, movies, and specials for you to watch.
In addition to the Power Rangers movie reboot and the first two XXX movies, March will see the streaming service add films like Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Dirty Dancing, Jennifer 8, and several James Bond films. The Hulu original documentary March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step will premiere, as well. Perhaps most importantly, the cult hit Hackers will also get added on March 1, in case you're wondering what Hollywood thought computer hacking looked like in 1995.
On the TV front, new seasons of KC Undercover, The Real Housewives of New York City, Angie Tribeca, The Son, and more will arrive in March. Hulu will also have the 90th Academy Awards posted after they air on live TV.
You can take a look at everything arriving on Hulu in March below. In case you're not caught up, you can also check out what was added in February.Arriving on Hulu in March
- Ask This Old House: Complete Seasons 11-12 (PBS)
- This Old House: Complete Seasons 30 & 38 (PBS)
- Veni Vidi Vici: Complete Season 1 (Viaplay)
- 1984 (1985)
- A Feast at Midnight (1997)
- A Guy Thing (2003)
- A Mermaid's Tale (2016)
- A Stork's Journey (2017)
- A View to Kill (1985)
- All the Wild Horses (2017)
- Antitrust (2001)
- Bad Influence (1990)
- Bad News Bears (2005)
- Billy the Kid (2013)
- Body of Evidence (1993)
- Boots on the Ground (2017)
- Boulevard (2014)
- Branded (2010)
- Breakdown (1997)
- Captivity (2007)
- Carriers (2009)
- Chaplin (1992)
- Chicago (2002)
- Criminal Law (1989)
- Die Another Day (2002)
- Dirty Dancing (1987)
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
- Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
- Dream House Nightmare (2017)
- Earth Girls are Easy (1988)
- F/X (1986)
- F/X 2 (1991)
- Fatal Instinct (1993)
- Finder's Fee (2003)
- Fire with Fire (2012)
- Fluke (1995)
- For Your Eyes Only (1981)
- Forces of Nature (1999)
- Goldeneye (1995)
- Gordy (1995)
- Hackers (1995)
- Hanoi Hilton (1987)
- Happythankyoumoreplease (2010)
- Hart's War (2002)
- Hesher (2010)
- High School (2010)
- Home of the Brave (2006)
- I'm Gonna Git You Sucka (1988)
- I'm So Excited! (2013)
- Ill Manors (2012)
- Imagine That (2009)
- Jack Goes Boating (2010)
- Jeff Who Lives at Home (2012)
- Jennifer 8 (1992)
- Kingpin (1996)
- Leonard Cohen: I'm Your Man (2005)
- License to Kill (1989)
- Love Crimes (1992)
- Moonraker (1979)
- Mr. Majesty (1974)
- National Lampoon's Dirty Movie (2011)
- National Lampoon's Dorm Daze 2: College @ Sea (2006)
- On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)
- Pudsey the Dog: The Movie (2014)
- Regarding Henry (1991)
- Southie (1998)
- Sprung (1997)
- Stuart Little (1999)
- Stuart Little 2 (2002)
- Tales of the Grim Sleeper (2014)
- The Accused (1988)
- The Devil Inside (2012)
- The Doors (1991)
- The Glass Shield (1994)
- The Living Daylights (1987)
- The Million Dollar Hotel (2001)
- The Music Never Stopped (2011)
- The Secret of N.I.M.H. (1982)
- The Square (2017)
- The World is Not Enough (1999)
- Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)
- Twenty Twenty Four (2017)
- We Blew It (2017)
- Where the Skin Lies (2017)
- Who Killed Nancy? (2008)
- XXX (2002)
- XXX: State of the Union (2005)
- Young Adult (2011)
- K.C. Undercover: Complete Season 3 (Disney XD)
- Traitor (2008) March 5
- Amazing World of Gumball: Complete Season 5 (Cartoon Network)
- The 90th Oscars: Special (ABC)
- The 90th Oscars: Live From the Red Carpet: Special (ABC)
- The Real Housewives of New York City: Complete Season 9 (Bravo)
- Everything Beautiful is Far Away (2017)
- The New Radical (2017)
- Crash (2005)
- Fantasia 2000 (2000)
- Hard Sun: Complete Season 1 Premiere (Hulu Original)
- Living Soul (2016)
- Aftermath (2017)
- Knock Knock (2015)
- Power Rangers (2017)
- Angie Tribeca: Complete Season 3 (TBS)
- Force Majeure (2014)
- Wolf Warrior 2 (2017)
- Food Wars!: Complete Season 2 Dubs (Sentai Filmworks)
- Bitter Harvest (2017)
- Tommy's Honour (2017)
- The Bridge: Complete Season 4 (ZDF Enterprises)
- The Son: Complete Season 1 (AMC)
- 4 Lovers (2012)
- Blade of the Immortal (2017)
- Four Rooms (1995)
- Hello I Must Be Going (2012)
- LOL (2012)
- October Country (2009)
- River of Grass (1994)
- The Englishman Who Went Up A Hill But Came Down A Mountain (1995)
- The Fog (2005)
- The Forgotten (2004)
- The Kill Team (2013)
- John Q (2002)
- Almost Friends (2017)
- Life Itself (2014)
- Love and Saucers (2017)
- March of the Penguins 2: The Next Step (2017) (Hulu Original)
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
- The Little Hours (2017)
- Closing Gambit (2018)
- EuroTrump (2017)
- The Ghoul (2016)
- Habit (2017)
- Project Eden (2017)
- A Fish Called Wanda (1988)
- Blazing Saddles (1974)
- Dirty Dancing (1987)
- Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights (2004)
- Gang Related (1997)
- Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds (2008)
- Michael (1996)
- Nine Queens (2000)
- Swimming with Sharks (1995)
- The Conspirator (2010)
- The Hurt Locker (2008)
- The Spirit (2008)
If you missed out on the previous Metal Gear Survive beta, you have one more chance to try the Metal Gear spin-off out ahead of its release next week. Konami has kicked off a second Metal Gear Survive beta, which is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and--for the first time--PC via Steam.
The beta features three missions set across two maps, which can be played cooperatively with up to four players. In addition to that, Konami is offering special daily missions for the duration of the beta. Everyone who participates in the trial will also receive three bonus cosmetic items in the full game: a FOXHOUND name plate, Metal Gear Rex Head accessory, and a bandana.
The beta runs on all platforms until February 18. It uses the same client as the previous beta, so players who already have that installed on their consoles won't need to download it again, although you'll need to download a patch for the client before you're able to participate.
Metal Gear Survive releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in the Americas on February 20, with a worldwide launch following on February 22. The game is notable for being the first Metal Gear title released since series creator Hideo Kojima parted ways with the company back in 2015. Konami also recently confirmed that Metal Gear Survive will require a constant internet connection and contains microtransactions.
If this is your first time trying the stealth-survival game, we've put together a guide on making it through the Metal Gear Survive beta. We also explain how Metal Gear Survive's class system works and shared our hands-on impressions of Metal Gear Survive's story mode.
Capcom has launched the latest slate of weekly content in Monster Hunter World. PS4 and Xbox One players both have a new set of limited bounties and event quests to complete, although some of those on PS4 have gotten a head-start on a particularly notable quest.
In addition to the actual playable content, Capcom has released a new Monster Hunter World update. The patch notes are fairly simple, dealing primarily with multiplayer problems on both platforms and an issue involving Slashberries that emerged following another recent patch.
As announced previously, PS4 players with a Street Fighter V save on their system get early access to the quest Down the Dark, Muddy Path. It's a simple Arena quest in which you simply hunt a Barroth, but the rewards are what make it notable--completing it enough times provides you with the necessary materials to craft the armor based on the look of Street Fighter character Ryu. This quest--and the Ryu gear, as well as armor based on Sakura--will be available to all PS4 and Xbox One players in the future. For more details, check out our guide on how to unlock Monster Hunter World's Ryu armor.
There's still plenty else to do, whether you're on Xbox One or simply don't have a Street Fighter V save. A new slate of Limited Bounties are now available, tasking you with hunting three Kulu-Ya-Kus, four Diablos, and five Tempered monsters, as well as the usual one for completing the other three. These are available from now until February 22 or 23, depending on your platform. Here are the rewards for each of those:
Ecology Survey: Hunt Kulu-Ya-Ku
- Hunt three monsters
- 300 Research Points
- 3x Armor Sphere
Ecology Survey: Hunt Diablos
- Hunt four monsters
- 450 Research Points
- 4x Armor Sphere+
- 1x Steel Wyverian Print
Ecology Survey: Tempered Monster Hunt
- Slay 5 Tempered monsters
- 700 Research Points
- 5x Hard Armor Sphere
- 1x Silver Wyverian Print
General: Limited Bounty
- Complete all Limited Bounties
- 500 Research Points
- 1x Gold Wyverian Print
- 1x Golden Egg
There are also new event quests to complete from now through February 22. One of these, Chew the Fat, is fairly basic and tasks you with hunting two Great Jagras. Gaze Upon the Dawn is more notable, both because it has a fairly substantial reward (15,120 Zenny) and because it involves the quest where you guide Zorah Magdaros, which is something you can't otherwise have access to at all times. Finally, Deep Green Blues gives you 50 minutes to kill a whopping five monsters, although given the specific lineup, this actually proves to be fairly easy for high-end players. Here are the particulars:
Chew the Fat
- Hunt two Great Jagras
- Two stars
- Time Limit: 50 minutes
- Faint Limit: 3
- HR Requirement: none
- Reward: 3240z
Gaze Upon the Dawn
- Guide Zorah Magdaros
- Six stars
- Time Limit: 50 minutes
- Faint Limit: 3
- HR Requirement: 11
- Reward: 15120z
Deep Green Blues
- Hunt all targets monsters
- Great Jagras, Pukei-Pukei, Tobi-Kadachi, Anjanath, Rathalos
- Seven stars
- Time Limit: 50 minutes
- Faint Limit: 3
- HR Requirement: 13
- Reward: 28800z
Finally, the next Arena Challenge is available through March 1. This time around it's Challenge Quest 1: Intermediate. The reward isn't much better than the previous one at 2160 Zenny, but you'll have two weeks to try to hunt a Rathalos and Tzitzi-Ya-Ku as quickly as possible. Only select weapon categories are available--you'll have to choose from the Sword & Shield, Hunting Horn, Charge Blade, Insect Glaive, or Light Bowgun.
Challenge Quest 1: Intermediate
- Slay all target monsters
- Rathalos, Tzitzi-Ya-Ku
- Timit Limit: 50 minutes
- Faint Limit: 9
- HR Requirement: 13
- Rank Times:
- Rank A: 4 minutes, 30 seconds
- Rank B: 9 minutes, 30 seconds
- Rank C: 50 minutes
- Available Weapons
- Sword and shield, Hunting Horn, Charge Blade, Insect Glaive, Light Bowgun
- Reward: 2160z
The first details about Santa Clarita Diet Season 2 have arrived and they point to a much more populated world in Season 2. The Drew Barrymore-starring zombie horror-comedy first premiered in February 2017 and will return in the spring with some new faces.
Netflix has announced that Joel McHale, Maggie Lawson, Gerald McRaney, and Zachary Knighton will all guest star in the new season. McHale and Lawson play married realtors that happen to be more successful than Sheila (Barrymore) and Joel (Timothy Olyphant). Meanwhile, McRaney will play a retired army colonel named Ed Thune, who intimidates Joel. Knighton will appear as Paul, who has been tasked with finding out the truth about the undead.
Naturally, that could cause some serious problems for neighborhood zombie Sheila. Then again, all of these new additions could also be tasty treats for the flesh-eating realtor.
A synopsis for the show's return reads, "Picking up right where we left off, Season 2 of Santa Clarita Diet finds the Hammonds trying to adapt to Sheila's now-advanced undead state--even though she's desperately working to hold on to her suburban lifestyle and not be defined as just another monster. Unfortunately--while the family has become markedly better at murder--the number of missing people in Santa Clarita is starting to pile up and it's no longer going unnoticed. Meanwhile, the Hammonds are chasing the source of the virus so they can stop it from spreading and save humanity--which seems important. Through it all, Sheila and Joel are grounded by their unconditional love for one another. Sure, being undead--or loving someone who is--isn't always easy, but don't all relationships have their challenges?"
Returning alongside Barrymore and Olyphant will be Liv Hewson, who plays the couple's daughter Abby, and Skyler Gisondo in the role of Eric--the boy next door that also happens to have a crush on Abby. Santa Clarita Diet's Season 2 premiere date has yet to be announced by Netflix, but you can check out the first photos from the new episodes above.
The quirky crossover costumes continue in Monster Hunter: World, but unlike the previous Horizon Zero Dawn armor--which was an understandable fit for Monster Hunter--this new Street Fighter V set is a bit of a surprise. Have you always wanted to hunt monsters as Ryu? Your wish has been granted. The quest to unlock the Ryu gear is relatively simple, but if you're curious about how the process works, we've outlined the timing and quests below to access the extras. It's worth noting that the Street Fighter V gear is only available on PS4 currently for people with a Street Fighter V save on their system, and will be available on for others on PS4 and Xbox One later.
Ryu is the first of two Street Fighter V armor skins available now for the game; Sakura is the second and will be available at a later date. Like the Aloy gear, you'll have to wear the entire Ryu set together--you can't just wear the pants or chest alone. And the set will also alter your appearance so that your character looks like the legendary wandering shotokan fighter.
To unlock the Ryu armor, you must complete a quest called "Down the Dark, Muddy Path," which you can find at the Arena Quest Board in the Gathering Hub. The quest is a three-star mission that requires a Hunter Rank of 3 or higher. You only have access to the following loadouts: Greatsword, Dual Blades, Hammer, Gunlance, and Heavy Bowgun. It's also important to note that the quest is only available for a limited time, until March 1.
The quest objective is to slay a Barroth. When you complete the quest, you earn a Street Fighter V Ticket, a special currency used to unlock the Street Fighter costumes. However, you need to defeat Barroth seven separate times in order to earn enough Street Fighter V Tickets to unlock the Ryu gear.
Since the quest battle is in an arena, slaying Barroth has been scaled up to fit the space. As a result, its hit boxes are much larger, so make sure to dodge accordingly. In addition, avoid hitting its head, as that's where its armor is the thickest. Once you've defeated Barroth seven times, simply take all the Street Fighter V tickets you've earned to the Smithy to craft the Ryu gear. Check out the screens above for a more visual break-down of where to find everything.
Monster Hunter World's second Horizon event begins on February 28. Like the previous quest, it will be exclusive to PS4 players. The mission this time around will be to hunt a giant Anjanath, and the reward will be materials to craft Aloy's bow and armor. Equipping the armor will change your appearance to look like Aloy, regardless of your hunter's gender.
Spoilers for Black Panther below!
The countdown to Thanos's arrival in the MCU with Avengers: Infinity War has officially started thanks to today's release of Black Panther, the final solo lead-up film before Infinity War. The landscape of the shared cinematic universe now includes the astronomically cool and hyper advanced Wakanda, and not a moment too soon, with the armies of Thanos's Black Order quite literally knocking at Earth's gates.
There's just one problem: we're still, officially, down one Infinity Stone. For all Black Panther gave us, the location of the Soul Stone wasn't a box that got checked off--unless, of course, it was. There's a chance that the Soul Stone was actually hiding in plain sight for the duration of Black Panther--did you catch it?
If not, don't worry. The MCU has been playing fast and loose with not only the colors of the Gems, but the forms they take onscreen too, for the six years they've been in play. After all, the Space Stone isn't a stone at all, but a glowing blue box called the Tesseract. The Reality Stone is glittering red dust called the Aether. The Mind Stone was blue for the better part of two movies before it was cracked open, turned yellow, and put in Vision's forehead. You get the idea--these things are tricky, and Marvel hasn't been making it easy to pin them down.
Bearing that in mind, there's a decent chance that the Soul Stone is actually somehow connected back to Wakanda's mysterious and powerful "heart-shaped herb."
The herb, if you remember, is the source of the Black Panther's power both in the film and in the comics, but its movie incarnation had the distinction of being neon purple and glowing on top of being mystically and spiritually empowering. Of course, the purple color might have been more of a distraction than a flag. Currently, the MCU's Power Stone is sitting pretty in purple on the color spectrum. However, like the Mind Stone, the actual color of the herb itself may have nothing to do with the Soul Stone's ultimate orange destiny.
Simply being neon and glowing does not an Infinity Stone make, but the rules established in the MCU over the last six years certainly throw a flag on that play. Wakanda has some strange properties, just inherently, thanks to its abundance of vibranium and its technological advancement, so there's always the chance that the heart-shaped herd really is just a naturally occuring phenomena born of any combination of those two things.
It does have some strange characteristics, though. For example: Vibranium is a powerful metal, yes, but since when does it have anything resembling the mystical properties exhibited by the heart-shaped herb? And if the heart-shaped herb really is just the product of vibranium in the soil and the right atmospheric conditions, why would it only grow in one tiny cave? We know that the heart-shaped herb is a limited commodity--and one that's presumably now extinct, thanks to events in Black Panther--but what about that specific plot of land made it so special and so powerful?
One possible explanation is that the heart-shape herb garden is, in fact, centered around or constructed on top of whatever vessel is containing the Soul Stone. That would explain the power-imbuing properties of the herb, as well as its ability to send those that consume it on rather on-the-nose soul-searching journeys that may or may not involve actually, genuinely contacting the dead.
That last part is important. In the comics canon, the Soul Stone's (rather esoteric) powers include being able to send people's souls into an idyllic alternate dimension, an offshoot of its endless desire to collect and consume souls. It really didn't get its name for nothing. Another of its abilities is the "cold light of truth," which enables it to reveal the deepest, most hidden parts of a person--another very pointed part of the transformative Black Panther dream state.
Obviously, for a human to be consuming parts of, or organisms created by, an Infinity Stone, it had to be diluted down in some way--we've seen what the Stones can do when they come into contact with people. It's generally pretty gruesome. But another one of the Soul Stone's properties is the fact that it's actually sentient, and has a conscious will to collect souls. So really, it's far from a stretch to believe that, if the Soul Stone really did wind up on Earth, it could have (consciously or otherwise) begun crafting ways for human beings to interact with it safely as part of its ultimate soul harvesting goal.
After all, the Black Panther transformation does seem to involve coming precariously close to death--so maybe the properties of the herb have been diluted enough over the generations to allow the Panthers to gain the net positive effects without experiencing the negatives. It's also worth noting that the Wakandans have devised a way to reverse the heart-shaped herb's effects which, if the herb's power is really cosmic in origin, might be something important for the coming battles in Infinity War.
The Soul Stone being in Wakanda would also explain why we're seeing Thanos's invasion force on the ground, storming the city in the Infinity War trailer. It seems like overkill, even for the Black Order, to send a full on invasion force to an an otherwise isolated nation if they weren't also on an extremely important, and specific, mission. Maybe that mission is to attack the Avengers currently calling Wakanda home, or maybe it's something else entirely.
There's always the chance that we just haven't seen the Soul Stone at all yet. In the comics, it has some lengthy and deep ties to Adam Warlock, who very recently received an MCU wink, care of the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 post-credits stinger. So in the interest of not putting every egg in one hypothetical basket, it's worthwhile to note that the Soul Stone might honestly just be light years away from Earth, joining its siblings Reality (currently with the Nova Corps), Space (with Loki on the Asgardian refugee ship), and Power (with the Collector) out there in the cosmos.
No matter where the Soul Stone is, we'll find out May 4 when Avengers: Infinity War hits theaters.
As it so often does, Sony has kicked off another impromptu flash sale on the PlayStation Store. In addition to this week's regular selection of PSN deals, players can now find a big assortment of new discounts on PS4, PS3, and Vita games for the next couple of days.
As usual, the biggest selection of deals is for PS4, and it includes some steep discounts on a number of deluxe and complete editions. Players can get Final Fantasy XV Digital Premium Edition for $30, Overwatch Game of the Year Edition for $30, Dragon Age: Inquisition Game of the Year Edition for $10, Titanfall 2 Ultimate Edition for $10, Battlefield 4 Premium Edition for $15, Injustice 2 Ultimate Edition for $32, and Minecraft: Story Mode Bundle for $14.
In addition to that, the standard version of Final Fantasy XV is $20, Uncharted 4 is $20, Rocket League is $12, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is $9.89, Mirror's Edge Catalyst is $5, Amnesia Collection is $12, Infamous: Second Son is $8, Darksiders: Fury's Collection - War and Death is $16, Tearaway Unfolded is $8, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty is $5, The Witch and the Hundred Knight: Revival Edition is $12, Matterfall is $8, The Technomancer is $10, Never Alone is $3, and Unravel is $5.
On PS3, Red Dead Redemption is $9.89, Battlefield 4 Premium Edition is $15, Dragon Age: Origins is $5, Dragon Age II is $5, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is $6.59, Grand Theft Auto IV is $7, Mass Effect Trilogy is $9.89, Mirror's Edge is $3.74, Watch Dogs is $8, Dead Space 3 Ultimate Edition is $7.49, R-Type Dimensions is $4, Alice: Madness Returns is $5, and Resident Evil Chronicles HD Collection is $5.39. Vita owners, meanwhile, can pick up Tearaway for $5, Oddworld: New 'n' Tasty for $5, and Skullgirls: 2nd Encore for $10.
The flash sale ends at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET on February 19, giving you only a couple of days to take advantage of these discounts. You can find the full list of deals available right now on the PlayStation Store. In addition to the flash sale, publisher 2K Games is also holding a sale on some of its own titles, which runs until February 20. That encompasses discounts on XCOM 2, NBA 2K18, BioShock: The Collection, Mafia III, and more titles.
Bungie is preparing to launch the next Season 2 instance of Faction Rally in Destiny 2, and it's right around the corner. Along with an opportunity to earn the armor and other items offered during previous Faction Rallies, this one will also introduce a number of new weapons to obtain.
In its latest blog post, Bungie showcased the weapons coming soon. Some of these are brand-new additions to the pool of possible rewards for taking part in the event. Others you may recognize from January's Faction Rally--the exclusive auto rifles that would only be available if their corresponding Faction won the event will now be obtainable as standard Faction Rally rewards. This will mark the first time that two of these (those belonging to Future War Cult and Dead Orbit) will be available to players; New Monarchy won last month's event, so only its Winner's Offering weapon went up for sale.
This Faction Rally will operate similarly: members of the three Factions will all compete to acquire the most rewards packages during the week-long event. A new weapon belonging to that faction will then be sold to all players for 50,000 Glimmer, though members of the faction will get it for just 1,000. Both Dead Orbit and New Monarchy will offer a pulse rifle, while Future War Cult will have a scout rifle. You can see all of these, along with the other new reward weapons and the returning armor, in the gallery below.
Destiny 2's next Faction Rally begins with the weekly reset on February 20. It will run for one week, as always, and be followed by Victory Week, during which time you can cash in any remaining Faction Tokens and buy the Winner's Offering. You may want to save your Tokens, however, as not all of the new Season 2 Faction Rally items will have been introduced--more are still to come in the subsequent event. Following some confusion about how new items would be rolled out, Bungie clarified last month that not all Faction Rally weapons would be available right away.
This will be the first Faction Rally to take place since the most recent update, which made tweaks to how Lost Sectors work. You can now rapidly farm them, letting you open a new chest each time you kill a boss without the throttling that was previously happening. This update launched as part of the ongoing Crimson Days event, which itself offers exclusive new Crimson Days rewards. Alongside all of this, Bungie has also previewed some of the changes coming to Destiny 2's Exotic weapons and armor.
Black Panther, the latest film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, has officially been released and already it's making a massive impact. The first box office numbers for the movie are starting to roll in and it seems like they might be higher than originally expected.
According to Variety, the film earned $25.2 million from Thursday night screenings, just edging out the $25 million Captain America: Civil War took in during its opening night in 2016. It's the second-highest opening for a movie in the MCU, only falling short of the $27.6 million haul that 2015's Avengers: Age of Ultron wound up with.
All told, Variety reports that Black Panther could end up making $170 million in its opening weekend alone, which would put it in the top five films of the franchise, just behind Iron Man 3's $174 million. It's worth noting that it would also be the highest opening for a Marvel superhero's first standalone movie.
While the Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman) was part of Captain America: Civil War, this is his first solo film. The other recent first-time standalone movie in the MCU is Spider-Man: Homecoming, which earned $117 million in its first weekend.
Looking outside of the MCU, Black Panther nearly doubled Deadpool's opening night ($12.7 million) and slightly trails the $27.7 million bow for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice--the highest opening for a film in the DC Extended Universe. No matter how you look at it, Black Panther is going to reign supreme at the box office this weekend--and likely for the next couple of weeks.
After that, fans luckily won't have to wait long before the next MCU adventure. Avengers: Infinity War arrives in theaters on May 4.
As it does occasionally, Rockstar is providing a welcome freebie to players of Grand Theft Auto V. Players will be able to get some free money in GTA Online for a limited time, and in a roundabout way, everything available for sale will be discounted.
Attributing this to a move by the fictional San Andreas Treasury Department, Rockstar has announced a stimulus package for all players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. By logging into GTA Online between now and February 26, you'll qualify for $250,000 of in-game cash. This won't be handed over immediately--you can expect it to reach your Maze Bank account sometime between February 27 and March 6.
In addition to that, Rockstar has kicked off a promotion that requires you to have GTA money now but will save you some in the long haul. Any in-game cash you spend from now until February 26 will get you a 10% refund (for example, spend $500,000, and you'll get $50,000 back in the bank.) The most you can earn back through this promotion is $1 million, though that'd require you to spend a whopping $10 million. The refund will be delivered on February 27.
You can stack this offer with this week's new sales, which include 25% off Executive Offices, all 10-car properties, and the Nagasaki Buzzard attack helicopter, among other vehicles. It's also not too late to take advantage of some of the other bonuses going on in GTA 5 this week, which coincided with the release of a new vehicle, the Vapid Hustler.
If you only watched the first few minutes of Netflix's newest original show, Everything Sucks, you'd be forgiven for thinking it's a Freaks and Geeks rip-off that exists to pander and peddle nostalgia to millennials. But you'd be wrong.
The '90s references in the first few episodes verge on excruciating. Everyone drinks Surge, obsesses over Tori Amos and Oasis, and enthusiastically impersonates Ace Ventura. The nerdy kids argue over whether the still forthcoming Star Wars remasters will be a ruin of messy CG or a revelation.
We get it. This show is set in the '90s. Its target demographic of navel-gazing millennials suffer pangs of nostalgia whenever we see a snap bracelet or a Jonathan Taylor Thomas poster. But you can't hang an entire 10-episode series on that alone, which is exactly what it seems like Everything Sucks is trying to do--at first.
The show follows a handful of high schoolers, including the geeks Luke (Jahi Di'Allo Winston), McQuaid (Rio Mangini), and Tyler (Quinn Liebling), as well as the the freaks/theater kids, primarily Emaline (Sydney Sweeney) and Oliver (Elijah Stevenson), on their various quests to fit in, find love, get high, and stand out. In the opening episode, the freshman year nerds join A.V. club in the hopes of meeting girls, and Luke quickly falls for sophomore Kate Messner (Peyton Kennedy), the principal's daughter.
That's boilerplate, Degrassi-level high school schlock. And despite some likable actors and the charming locale in '90s small town Oregon (the town is literally named Boring; their morning announcements close with the sign-off "Have a Boring day"), it's hard to get into Everything Sucks' first episode. But there's a hint of something more interesting at the end of that premiere, when Kate--Luke's crush in the A.V. club--gingerly turns the pages of a cheesy porno rag, her breath quickening, apparently experiencing a sexual awakening right before our eyes.
That's not exactly the turning point--more a hint of where the show ultimately heads. Unfortunately, the next few episodes are almost unbearably uncomfortable as we cringe through Luke's long, doomed courtship. He uses his A.V. skills to lip sync Oasis's "Wonderwall" and recreate music videos by artists like Nirvana and Alanis Morissette (again, we get it), asking Kate out in front of the entire school. He gets her tickets to a Tori Amos concert (oh my god, please stop). All the while, she wrestles with the cruel, casual homophobia of Emeline's little high school gang, who suspect (but don't yet know) that Kate is gay. It's hard to watch.
But then, things slowly start to turn around. Kate witnesses two women kissing at the Tori Amos concert and realizes for the first time that there might be a place in the world where she can be herself. Suddenly the '90s setting is actually relevant as more than cheap set dressing, as a time when youth culture hadn't yet fully shifted into the mainstream acceptance widely seen today. Kate rejects Luke once and for all, tears down her JTT poster, and pierces her nose (in her room, with a safety pin).
As Luke and the other characters who were initially presented as the protagonists fade further into the background, the real story emerges. And before you know it, Kate is the main character.
Everything Sucks is actually less a Freaks and Geeks rip-off, and more an adorable gay high school romance. It's not really about the nerds finding love, or the theater kids and the geeks coming together to make an awesomely hacky homemade sci-fi movie, or the cliques and social castes of high school at all. It's about Kate Messner, a gay teenager in 1996 small town Oregon, learning how to be herself and find acceptance among her friends and family.
Throughout the season, a B-plot brews involving sparks between Luke's mom, a flight attendant estranged from her deadbeat husband, and Kate's dad, the corny, kindhearted school principal. Their romance is sweet and mostly simple, a stark contrast with the high schoolers' emotional complexities. As the season goes on, the adults' lack of malice begins to trickle down into the rest of the show, until it all builds to a cathartic, sweet, hopeful, satisfying conclusion.
Everything Sucks won't be for everyone, and it's far from perfect. But for those who can get past the cringey assault of forced '90s references and discover what the show is actually about, the prospect of a second season--which the final scene sets up in the most obvious way possible--won't seem so bad.
Offering something a bit more recent than last time around, Dungeons 2 is currently free on GOG. You can claim it from either its game page or GOG's homepage; either way, you'll have a DRM-free copy of the game to play permanently--it doesn't require the use of Steam or GOG's (optional) Galaxy client. It's only available for a total of 48 hours, expiring on February 18. GOG's sale runs until February 20 and includes Dungeons 2's DLC, among many other things.
The 2015 strategy game is in the mold of the classic Dungeon Keeper, putting you in the role of an evil Dungeon Lord who has to establish a complex dungeon that keeps out any heroes and protects his precious gold. Where the game attempts to distinguish itself from other Dungeon Keeper-esque games is in its overworld portion, which plays out like a real-time strategy game as you go on the offensive. You can read more about the game in our Dungeons 2 review. A sequel, Dungeons 3, was released last year.
Dungeons 2 isn't the only game you can get for free on PC right now. Through its On the House promotion, EA is giving away Dead Space for free, and if you're an Amazon Prime member, Twitch Prime is giving away Civilization IV. In the short term, you can also play Overwatch and Rainbow Six Siege for free on PC.
Two of this month's free Games with Gold have now returned to their regular price, but a couple of new titles are available in their place. Xbox Live Gold members can now grab two more free games on Xbox One and Xbox 360 for the remainder of the month.
On the current-gen console, Gold members can now download the Assassin's Creed spin-off, Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India. Xbox 360 owners, meanwhile, can nab the classic Dreamcast arcade racer, Crazy Taxi. Like all other free Games with Gold, the latter is also playable on Xbox One via backwards compatibility.
Crazy Taxi will be available to download until February 28, while Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India will remain free through the first half of March. Xbox One owners can also still download the first-person shooter Shadow Warrior, which is free for the entirety of February. You can see the full list of this month's free Games with Gold below.
On top of this month's new free titles, Xbox Live Gold members can still take advantage of the latest selection of Deals with Gold. This week's discounted titles include Destiny 2, Rocket League, Call of Duty: WWII, Injustice 2, Hitman: Game of the Year Edition, and more. Additionally, publisher 2K is holding a sale on many of its titles, including BioShock: The Collection, Borderlands: The Handsome Collection, NBA 2K18, and more.February 2018 Games With Gold
- Shadow Warrior (February 1-28)
- Assassin's Creed Chronicles: India (February 16-March 15)
- Split/Second (February 1-15)
- Crazy Taxi (February 16-28)
Bayonetta 2 arrives on Nintendo Switch very soon, and alongside it, Nintendo and Platinum Games are bringing the original Bayonetta to the console as well. Those who pick up a physical copy of Bayonetta 2 will receive a download code for the first title, but the two games will only be sold individually on the Switch Eshop. While it appears it would cost more to buy the games digitally than at retail, getting both together will still work out to the same price, thanks to an offer from Nintendo.
On the Eshop, each game is available for a different price: Bayonetta 2 costs $50, while the original Bayonetta runs for $30. However, purchasing either one of them will entitle you to an automatic discount on the other, bringing the total cost for both games to $59.98 (before tax)--about the same price as the physical release. If you buy Bayonetta 2 first, you can nab the original for about $10; conversely, buying the first Bayonetta will drop the price of Bayonetta 2 to about $30. You also don't need to purchase both games immediately in order to receive the discount.
Nintendo held a similar promotion when Bayonetta 2 first released for Wii U back in 2014. The initial physical run of the game was likewise bundled with the original Bayonetta, but the two titles were only available separately on the Wii U Eshop, and purchasing one from the digital store would give you an automatic discount on the other. Nintendo later released Bayonetta 2 as a standalone physical release, though the company hasn't announced if it will do the same for the new Switch version somewhere down the line.
Bayonetta and Bayonetta 2 launch for Switch on February 16, headlining a packed week of new releases for the console. The latter in particular was very well received by critics when it first released, earning a rare 10 out of 10 from GameSpot. Critic Mark Walton called it "a masterclass in pure, unadulterated action-game design" in our Bayonetta 2 review. You can see what other critics are saying about the Switch port in our Bayonetta 2 review roundup.
The two Bayonetta games arrive on Switch ahead of Bayonetta 3, which was one of the many surprises revealed during The Game Awards back in December. Nintendo didn't share any concrete details about the game, except that it will be released exclusively for Switch. You can watch the first Bayonetta 3 trailer here.
The release of the major new Rainbow Six Siege update, Chimera, is drawing near. While we're still waiting for a full reveal of everything it will include, we have now gotten details on what to expect from its two new Operators, Finka and Lion.
Ubisoft's website has released bios on both characters, including fairly extensive (and personal) back stories. More importantly, it also shares their weapon loadouts and what their gadgets do. Finka is an Attacker-class character who "delivers a nanobot shot to each Operator before an operation." During the course of the round, she's then able to activate the nanobots to assist her teammates. Specifically, Operators get "a short boost of health to get them back on their feet, to give them an extra push, and to steady their aim." Finka is rated at two speed and two armor, and her primary weapon choices are the Spear .308, SASG-12, and 6P41.
Chimera's other new Operator is Lion, also an Attacker. His unique gadget is EE-One-D, which "allows Lion to survey hot zones and maintain quarantine protocols on missions." More specifically, it provides him with some kind of notification when movement is detected in an area. He also has two speed and two armor, and his primary weapon options are the V308, 417 Marksman Rifle, and SG-CQB.
With the Rainbow Six Siege Invitational now underway, we should be receiving more details on these two characters and everything else coming in Chimera. The update also includes a new map for PvP and a big, limited-time co-op event mode called Outbreak. That will be playable with only select characters, including both Finka and Lion. This all launches on March 6 to kick off Siege's Year 3, although PC players will get to try much of it out on the Technical Test Server next week.
Pokemon Go's Valentine's Day event may soon be coming to an end, but a new one has now begun in the popular mobile game. Niantic has kicked off a Lunar New Year event in Pokemon Go, which will fittingly reward players with bonuses when they catch certain dog-like Pokemon.
To celebrate the start of the Year of the Dog, Pokemon Go players will earn triple the normal amount of Stardust when they capture Poochyena, Growlithe, Snubble, Eevee, or Electrike. All of the aforementioned Pokemon will also spawn more frequently for the duration of the event. However, like the Valentine's Day celebration, the Lunar New Year event will only be around for a very brief period of time, running from February 15-17.
Pokemon Go players in Taiwan can participate in a separate Lunar New Year event. From February 26 to March 3, Niantic is hosting a Safari Zone event at the Chiayi Lantern Festival. Players will have a chance to encounter Dratini, Mr. Mime, Growlithe, and other Pokemon during the day, while Chinchou and Lanturn will spawn at night when the lanterns begin to glow. You can read more about the Safari Zone even on the Pokemon Go website.
Pokemon Go's Valentine's Day event was scheduled to conclude on February 15; however, due to server issues that prevented many players from logging in to the game, Niantic has extended the event by an additional 24 hours. That gives players another chance to encounter increased spawns of Luvdisc and Chansey and earn triple Stardust for each one they catch.
Niantic recently introduced another batch of Gen 3 Pokemon to Pokemon Go, which consisted primarily of Dragon- and Flying-types like Salamence and Altaria. A new Gen 3 Legendary, Rayquaza, is also now available in the game. The Sky High Pokemon will appear in Raid Battles at Gyms until March 16.
The second Pokemon Go Community Day is still slated to take place later this month, on February 24. Like January's Community Day, which featured a Pikachu that could use Surf, players will have a chance to encounter a Pokemon that knows a special move during the event. Niantic hasn't revealed what that move will be, but the Pokemon this time is the rare Dragon-type Dratini.
Bungie has explained its approach to changing Destiny 2's Exotics, offering insight into its goals and what it hopes to achieve in a game update planned for March. In the latest Bungie Weekly Update senior designer Jon Weisnewski said the gameplay tuning pass on Exotic gear is focused on "adding and/or increasing player Power spikes," and although all items are being considered, special attention is being paid to low-usage items. The goal, he says, is to "lean into an item's established gameplay and push it harder" while avoiding "catch-all improvements that dilute item identity."
To show what this means Weisnewski used the Graviton Lance as an example, explaining that the feedback has been that it looks cool, but isn't viable for getting kills in player-versus-player scenarios. Bungie is remedying this by reducing the recoil of the first of the weapon's burst shots. On top of that, it's introducing some aim assist to control recoil and changing it from three shot burst to two shot.
"This still plays into the fantasy of a low-damage gravity-neutralizing round forming a projectile tunnel for the last bullet," he said. "It also allows us to ensure the damage per burst is at a competitive level for PVP engagements. In fact, it gives Graviton a slight mathematical edge against other pulse rifles."
Weisnewski also said that, as a result of feedback, the way an enemy's body now behaves after being hit with a Graviton Lance has changed. "We made it so that rather than violently flying backwards and likely out of range of a potential splash damage opportunity, the defeated opponent floats back and up," he explained. "Then we made the explosion bigger, increased the damage, and added some void field projectiles that seek out any remaining targets."
According to Weisnewski, "this is one of the more exaggerated examples to help describe how we’re looking at our goals and applying them to the gear." He went on to name weapons that aren't getting an update: Merciless, Telesto, Wardcliff Coil, MIDA Multi Tool, Colony, Legend of Acrius, and Vigilance Wing. The team decided not to change these as some don't require it, while the others will benefit from other tuning changes included in update 1.1.4.
"We'll be touching a lot of powerful gear with this update and to truly understand the impact for players requires a lot of design iteration and test time," Weisnewski said. "It isn't enough to crank up the damage and run one strike or Crucible match with a gun and helmet and move on. Dialing in the right amount of power, testing in all activities with all types of load outs, finding the bugs, fixing the bugs, updating the perk description text to reflect new behaviour, and then handing that off to localization for translation--it’s a ton of work, but we're up to it. We sincerely appreciate your patience. I believe it will be worth the wait."
As previously detailed in the Destiny 2 roadmap, the changes are expected to go into effect on March 27 when the Sandbox & Crucible update will be launched as part of patch 1.1.4.
Destiny 2's Crimson Days event is now live, introducing a special 2v2 Crucible playlist. By taking part in the event you'll be working toward unlocking the real highlight of the new content: new gear. There's lots of new goodies for Destiny 2 players on PC, PS4, and Xbox One to acquire, but only for a limited time. You can take a look at the new items, rewards, and gear in Destiny 2 Crimson Days update here.
Crimson Days is now live on all platforms, and it runs until the weekly reset on February 20. Even if you don't plan on playing much, you can get a free Crimson Engram just by logging in and speaking with Tess at The Tower.
Capcom has released a new update for Monster Hunter: World, making a few small tweaks to the Slashberry management and the way squads join multiplayer sessions. Patch 1.06 and 126.96.36.199 are available for PS4 and Xbox One respectively now, and you can see what they do below courtesy of Capcom.PlayStation 4 and Xbox One
- Fixed an issue that occurred when hunters had 31 or more Slashberries in their item pouch at the time of the last update (PS4 v1.05 / Xbox One v188.8.131.52) where the maximum number of Slashberries a hunter can hold in their item pouch was reduced from 60 to 30. This update will move any Slashberries exceeding 30 in your item pouch to your item box.
- Made additional fixes to an issue fixed in the last update (PS4 v1.05 / Xbox One v184.108.40.206) where, rarely, uninvited non-squad members could join a Squad Online Session, or Squad members could not join one of their own.
- Readjusted the search algorithm when searching for another player's session to join.
PS4 players who have save data for Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition on their consoles can now accept the first Street Fighter V Event Quest, which is called "Down the Dark, Muddy Path." It's a three-star mission that requires a Hunter Rank of 3 or higher, and all it requires you to do is slay a Barroth. Once the mission is complete you'll be rewarded with items to craft the Ryu armor set, which will turn your hunter into the iconic Street Fighter character when equipped. You can take a look at the Ryu armor here.
Monster Hunter World's second Horizon: Zero Dawn event begins on February 28. Like the previous quest, it will be exclusive to PS4 players. The mission this time around will be to hunt a giant Anjanath, and the reward will be materials to craft Aloy's bow and armor. Equipping the armor will change your appearance to look like Aloy, regardless of your hunter's gender.
In GameSpot's Monster Hunter: World review, Ginny Woo said the game is "the biggest and best that the franchise has ever been" and awarded it an 8/10.
"It's not just the comparative depth of the narrative," she continued, "It also boasts almost seamless integration between combat systems that were previously incomprehensible for amateurs. The Monster Hunter formula has definitely honed its claws, and all the above factors play their part in making Monster Hunter World a meaningful evolution for the series at large."
If you don't already have enough to play or are simply looking to mix things up, you've got some options right now on Xbox One. Three different games are hosting free-play weekends, two of which don't require Xbox Live Gold.
The first two are NBA 2K18 and Rainbow Six Siege. 2K18 is the latest game in the basketball sim series, and while its Virtual Currency microtransactions are objectionable to some, the on-court action is quite good. Siege, meanwhile, is the continually evolving competitive shooter from Ubisoft. It's undergone a remarkable transformation since its launch in 2015, and it continues to go strong, with a big update coming up soon.
Both of those games are playable even if you don't have an Xbox Live Gold membership, which is often a requirement to take part in these free-play events. You will, however, need an active Gold subscription to check out the third game, Blizzard's hero shooter, Overwatch. As with previous free trials, you'll be able to play the majority of the game, including all heroes and maps in Quick Play, Custom Games, and Arcade. As it happens, the game's Lunar New Year event is ongoing, giving you a chance to unlock some cool new Year of the Dog skins.
Progress made during any of these trial periods will carry over to the full versions if you ever decide to purchase them. NBA 2K18 and Siege's free events run from now through February 18, and both games are on sale on the Xbox Store this week; the Overwatch free event runs through February 19.