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Apex Legends Battle Pass Has Free Rewards For Everyone

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 07:55

Apex Legends' Wild Frontier Battle Pass arrives on March 19, marking the start of the game's first season. Just as in Fortnite, the Battle Pass costs 950 Apex Coins--roughly $10--and allows you to unlock a wide range of skins, cosmetics, and other rewards as you level it up throughout the season. Even if you don't want to shell out money for it, however, you'll be able to unlock some items for free.

As EA confirmed on the Apex Legends website, all players will be able to earn a handful of free rewards during Season 1. These include one Wild Frontier Legend skin, five Apex Packs, and 18 Wild Frontier stat trackers. If you do decide to spring for a Battle Pass partway through the season, you'll also retroactively unlock any items you would have earned, so you won't need to worry about missing out on the rewards.

Of course, those who do purchase the Battle Pass will have access to even more goodies. Respawn is offering 100 tiers of rewards to unlock throughout the season, ranging from character and weapon skins to XP boosts, banner frames, and other cosmetic items. You'll also earn up to 1,000 Apex Coins through the Battle Pass, which would allow you to get Season 2's pass for free.

If you want to get a head start on the rewards, EA is also selling a Battle Pass bundle for 2,800 Apex Coins, which will automatically unlock the first 25 tiers. You can also get some free Apex Coins by signing up for EA/Origin Access, effectively giving you a discount on the Battle Pass. You can read more about how the Apex Legends Battle Pass works here.

Alongside the Season 1 Battle Pass, Respawn is releasing Apex Legends' newest playable character, Octane, on March 19. However, he's not included as part of the Battle Pass, but rather needs to be purchased separately from Legends' in-game store. Like Mirage and Caustic, he can be unlocked for 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins.

Halo TV Show Adds Second Showrunner In Quest To Finally Get Made

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 07:49

The mission to get Showtime's Halo TV show made is as epic a quest as anything seen in the Halo video games. After Showtime formally announced it was ordering the project to series in the summer of 2018, the series is slowly inching closer and closer to becoming a reality.

First, it was announced that Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt would helm multiple episodes, while Kyle Killen (Awake) served as showrunner. Then Wyatt dropped out before production got underway, citing scheduling issues. In his place, Showtime announced in February that Black Mirror alum Otto Bathurst would step in as director and executive producer of the series.

Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the project has added a co-showrunner. Steve Kane (The Last Ship) will reportedly work with Killen to bring the show to life. While Killen is believed to be spearheading writing and producing the series in the United States, it's believed Kane will spend a fair amount of the production on-set in Budapest, where Halo will film.

At this point, casting and a start date for production have not been announced. However, we do know some things about the Halo series. Most importantly--for fans of the video game franchise, anyway--Master Chief will be a key figure in the series. However, it's yet to be revealed if viewers will ever see his face.

In the games, Chief is never seen without his helmet, leaving his true identity a mystery. When asked last August, Showtime's president of programming Gary Levine told GameSpot, "It is a key question and an important part of our series is all I'll say."

There is no premiere date set for Showtime's Halo series.

The Grudge Remake Will Take Place In America

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 07:16

Remember the J-horror craze of the early 2000s? When American remakes of The Grudge and The Ring terrorized the world? Well, one of those franchises is coming back--but not in the way you might think.

The Grudge, or Ju-On as it is known in Japan, is a franchise that started in 2000 and spawned eight Japanese sequels, an American remake series, short films, a video game, and more.

Hollywood’s relationship with the franchise started in 2004's The Grudge, starring Sarah Michelle Gellar. The film was a remake of the Japanese supernatural horror film Ju-On: The Grudge, the third installment in the franchise. Gellar plays an exchange student in Japan who finds herself the victim of a curse. The Japanese films deal with a curse created in a house in Tokyo, where a woman who was murdered by a jealous husband is turned into a ghost because she died with a deep rage, so she haunts the location, killing anyone who encounters the curse.

A new English-language movie was announced with writer Jeff Buhler penning the script around 2014. During an interview at SXSW promoting his newest film, Pet Sematary, GameSpot spoke with Buhler on his approach to the famous Japanese ghost story.

"My original pitch to Sam Raimi was to forget about the original story and not revisit the same old ghosts," Buhler said. "We have seen the story of Kayako and Toshio being told so many times over [in] so many films both in Japan and the US, as well as the short films."

He went on to explain exactly what he would change from the mythology, and GameSpot can exclusively reveal that Buhler's script moved the story away from Japan into more familiar territory.

"The phenomenon of a grudge, which happens when someone dies in a violent rage, could happen anywhere," Buhler told GameSpot. "It could happen again, and it's probably happening somewhere right now. So the idea was to take what we've seen happening in Japan, and ask what would happen if that cycle were to happen in our own backyard? We wanted to start a new cycle of ghosts in a completely new setting."

This certainly makes sense considering the largely non-Asian cast, which includes star Lin Shaye, as well as Andrea Riseborough, Demian Bichir, Betty Gilpin, William Sadler, Jacki Weaver, Frankie Faison, and John Cho. The only issue is that we don't exactly know how much of that script is in the movie, as Buhler told us that the film's director, Nicolas Pesce (The Eyes of My Mother), did some writing of his own.

"I pitched my idea to Sam Raimi, and then Nicolas Pesce came in and did a huge amount of work on his own script and directed the movie," Buhler said. While Buhler wouldn't say whether Pesce completely discarded his script or just added to it, he said he's seen the film. And we sure are excited for the possibility of a new mythology in the franchise.

The Grudge is slated to hit theaters January 3, 2020.

Bumblebee Producer Says Next Transformers Movie Will Be A Reboot

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:50

The Transformers film franchise is in a bit of a predicament now. In the five straight movies about the giant robots that transform into various things led by Michael Bay and his eye for explosions, the movies have grossed millions upon millions of dollars, but critical and audience opinions have gotten worse with nearly every installment. However, Travis Knight's Bumblebee blew expectations away and gave the franchise its first certified fresh rating. The problem? While Bumblebee was well-liked, the film failed to impress at the box office, ending up as the least grossing film in the series.

Yet Paramount still wants to move forward with more Autobots and Decepticons, and it was reported earlier this week that the studio is moving ahead with sequels to both Bumblebee and the main Transformers series. We spoke with producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura about the new Stephen King adaptation Pet Sematary at SXSW, and he revealed that the new film in the main Transformers series will be a little different than expected.

"The main Transformers movie we are working on is a reboot, and I will say that the Bumblebee sequel will be more directly linked to the timeline that we set up," Di Bonaventura told GameSpot.

While it may come as a surprise to most fans, the timeline for the Transformers franchise has been all over the place, especially after Transformers: The Last Knight, which introduced an order of humans protecting the secret of Transformers who've lived among us for centuries, as well as a Transformer the size of the Earth.

While Bumblebee didn't really connect to the other Transformers movies, it basically served as a prequel to the franchise. Thus, it complicated things further when Optimus Prime appears on Earth decades before his supposed first trip here in the very first Transformers movie.

So what is the release plan? Di Bonaventura doesn't seem to know, and he prefers it that way. "I think Paramount should just pick the best script and release that first," the producer said. "I don't think there is a plan in terms of what movie comes out first, and I always think you should just go with the best script first instead of planning a franchise based on release dates."

He went on to say that the Bumblebee sequel will be bigger than the previous one, despite the spin-off having had the smallest budget in the franchise. "It is going to bring Bumblebee into a bigger adventure," Di Bonaventura said. "What was fun about the first one was that we didn’t have to be beholden to the other Transformers movies."

Check out GameSpot's full Bumblebee review here.

Apex Legends' Octane Launches Tomorrow, But He's Not Part Of The Battle Pass

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:40

Respawn is kicking off the first season of Apex Legends tomorrow, March 19, with the release of the Season 1 Battle Pass. That date also marks when the game's newest playable Legend, Octane, will arrive, but you'll need to purchase him separately if you're hoping to try him out.

Despite being promoted heavily alongside Apex Legends' Season 1 Battle Pass, Respawn has confirmed that Octane will not be included as part of it. Rather, like Mirage and Caustic, he'll be sold through the in-game store for 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins. The former currency can be earned through gameplay, while the latter is purchased using real-world money. However, you can get some free Apex Coins by signing up for EA/Origin Access.

Ahead of Octane's release, Respawn has shared some more details about the new Legend on the PlayStation Blog. Outfitted with metal legs after blowing his off during a "record-breaking gauntlet speed-run," Octane is a thrill-seeker who uses "death-defying moves." With his Adrenaline Junkie ability, Octane is able to exchange health for speed, and his Ultimate--Launch Pad--can send the squad flying through the air.

While this marks the first time Octane has officially been confirmed, players have known about him for several weeks now. The character's existence had been previously been leaked, most credibly when an image of him appeared on the Origin website. Respawn also teased his impending arrival by placing his jump pads in the game near Market.

Like Fortnite's Battle Pass, the Apex Legends Season 1 Pass costs 950 Apex Coins (roughly $10). Through it, players will be able to unlock 100 tiers of cosmetic rewards, including character and weapon skins, banner frames, and more. You'll also be able to earn enough Apex Coins to pay for Season 2's Battle Pass. You can read more about how the Apex Legends Battle Pass works here.

Watch Google's GDC Livestream Here; Cloud Gaming Service News Expected

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:39

Google is preparing to make its way into the world of video games with a special presentation at the Game Developers Conference. The presentation will take place on March 19 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 5 PM GMT, and Google promises it will reveal its "vision for the future of gaming."

Google will be streaming the entire presentation through its own YouTube video platform, so you can come right back here at showtime to see it all firsthand.

The company released a teaser video that showed vignettes of different common game genres, suggesting big plans for its own platform.

The announcement may be related to Project Stream, a cloud gaming platform from Google. It partnered with Ubisoft last year to offer Assassin's Creed Odyssey to play through Chrome browsers for free to testers. Google has been rumored to be working on a "Project Yeti," which is thought to be its equivalent of a console. The company also recently hired former Ubisoft and EA studio head Jade Raymond, suggesting she could be playing a role in the company's gaming plans.

To learn more about cloud gaming ahead of Google's announcement, check out GameSpot's primer on how cloud gaming works and what it could mean for the future and some of the companies investing most heavily in the tech.

The Cheapest Way To Get Apex Legends' Battle Pass

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:11

Since its release in early February, Apex Legends has already exploded in popularity with player counts in the millions, and the free-to-play battle royale game from Respawn is about to hit its next milestone: the release of its first season and optional battle pass. Season 1: Wild Frontier will release March 19 at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, and you'll be able to pick up its battle pass immediately. Everyone who plays during the first season will also be able to unlock the Wild Frontier skin, five Apex packs, and 18 Wild Frontier stat trackers for free.

The standard battle pass will cost you 950 Apex Coins. There's also a battle pass bundle available for 2,800 Apex coins, which instantly unlocks your next 25 levels of rewards. However, if the regular battle pass is enough for you, there's a way to get it for way cheaper: by signing up for one month of EA Access (Xbox One) or Origin Basic Access (PC), which each cost only $5 per month. There's currently no equivalent option for PS4.

These gaming subscription services give you unlimited access to growing collections of games, discounts on purchases, and early trial access to upcoming games. And if you're a member who plays Apex Legends between now and June 30, you'll also receive a few extra perks: an exclusive Flatline Epic weapon skin, a special Banner Badge, and 1,000 Apex coins (roughly $10). You can probably see where we're going with this: A one-month membership to either service essentially gets you 1,000 Apex Coins for the price of $5, which is a 50% discount. Once you sign up for the one-month membership (which normally costs around $10), you'll automatically have enough Apex Coins to purchase the standard battle pass (with 50 coins to spare).

At that point, you can decide whether or not you want to continue with the service, but you'll be able to dive into Apex Legends' new season and start earning rewards with your battle pass immediately.

Respawn's year 1 roadmap revealed Apex Legends will have four seasons this year, and in addition to a few free rewards, each season's battle pass includes new weapons, exclusive loot (like weapon skins), and at least one new playable character. The battle passes work the same way as Fortnite's: Every time you level up, you'll unlock more rewards, which you'll permanently keep even after the season is over. Each battle pass has roughly 100 rewards as well as 1,000 Apex Coins you can earn in total. And yes, that in-game currency can be used to buy Season 2's battle pass when it releases this summer.

Kid Goku Joining Dragon Ball FighterZ Roster

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 06:10

The latest confirmed DLC characters for Arc System Works' Dragon Ball FighterZ were Jiren and Videl, both of which launched at the end of January 2019. The trailer for the game's FighterZ Pass 2, which both Jiren and Videl are part of, revealed an additional four slots for unannounced characters. We've now learned that Kid Goku, from the non-canon Dragon Ball GT series, is the game's next fighter.

According to a post by Gematsu, Kid Goku will be playable via paid DLC. Of course, as with other post-launch characters, Kid Goku can be purchased via in-game currency, though the amount's currently unknown. Similarly, the price for Kid Goku has yet to be revealed, but it's safe to assume he'll cost $4.99 USD, the same price as every other DLC character available.

The post outlines some of Kid Goku's moves. His special, Super Kamehameha, transforms him into Super Saiyan 3 when "there are two or fewer overall team members remaining." It's unclear if this transformation is permanent or temporary though. He also comes equipped with a couple of Meteor specials like Super Spirit Bomb and a second hidden attack, as well as Power Pole and Reverse Kamehameha. Unfortunately, there isn't a confirmed release date for Kid Goku yet.

In our Dragon Ball FighterZ review, we said the game's "complex and distinct enough to be enjoyed by fighting game competitors, but there's no question that it's been designed to tap into the hearts of Dragon Ball's most dedicated fans," saying it has "bottled the essence of what makes the series' characters, animation, and sense of humor so beloved and reconfigured it into something new."

Dragon Ball FighterZ is available now for Nintendo Switch, PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

Apex Legends' First Battle Pass Lets You Unlock Enough Coins To Buy Season 2

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 05:59

EA has announced Apex Legends Season 1, titled Wild Frontier, will launch tomorrow alongside the battle royale game's first battle pass and new playable character, Octane. And, much like Fortnite, you can earn enough in-game currency by completing the battle pass to buy the next one for Season 2.

The Season 1 battle pass costs 950 Apex Coins. You can also buy a bundle for 2,800 Apex Coins that includes the battle pass and gives you 25 free levels. The pass itself includes a variety of rewards--such as weapon skins, stat trackers, Legend voice lines, and Apex Coin and XP drops--with rewards unlocked by earning XP. You can actually earn 1,000 Apex Coins in total through the battle pass, which, EA notes in a blog post, can be "put towards unlocking the next Battle Pass."

EA hasn't announced just how long that will take, though. The battle pass FAQ states the Apex Coin rewards are unlocked at levels 7, 11, 17, 21, 31, 37, 41, 47, 57, 63, 67, 87, and 97. The FAQ doesn't list how large the reward is at each level, but considering the battle pass contains 100 levels, you probably need to complete most of it--reaching level 87 or 97--to earn the necessary Apex Coins to buy the pass for Season 2.

Octane, the ninth and newest Legend to join Respawn's battle royale game, also releases tomorrow. Octane is not a part of the battle pass though, and you'll need to buy him with additional Legend Tokens or Apex Coins. Much like Mirage and Caustic, Octane will cost 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins. Whether or not you buy Octane and Apex Legends' new battle pass, Season 1 lets you unlock some rewards for free: 18 new stat trackers, five Apex Packs, and a new skin for Octane.

Apex Legends is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In our Apex Legends review, Phil Hornshaw gave the game a 9/10, writing, "Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn's intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it's an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future."

How The Curse Of La Llorona Fits Into The Conjuring’s Connected Horror Universe

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 05:56

The Curse of La Llorona, the latest film by horror super-producer James Wan, just made its world premiere at SXSW. It centers on the Latin American folktale of The Weeping Woman, the ghost of a woman who drowned her own kids before killing herself, doomed to roam the Earth looking for more children to bring to the afterlife. It’s an entertaining horror film with some good scares that unfortunately doesn’t live up to its potential. The biggest surprise of the film, however, is that it finally confirms what fans have speculated for a year--that The Curse of La Llorona is actually connected to the larger universe of the Conjuring franchise.

At first glance this movie didn't seem like it fit with the Conjuring universe, which started in 2013 with the horror film The Conjuring. That film introduced us to Ed and Lorraine Warren, two paranormal investigators based on real people, who take on all sorts of scary threats. The first Conjuring also introduced a doll named Annabelle, who terrorized three young women, as well as the Warrens' daughter. Annabelle went on to star in her own spin-off Annabelle, before having her origin story told in Annabelle: Creation. The Conjuring 2 also introduced new threats like Valak, the demon nun, and The Crooked Man. Valak then got its own spin-off in The Nun, while another movie called The Crooked Man is still in development.

In The Curse of La Llorona, a social worker named Anna (Linda Cardellini) in Los Angeles in the 1970s accidentally looses an evil entity known as La Llorona, who then goes after Anna’s children, forcing the family to confront an evil beyond their wildest imagination.

The '70s setting is enough to tease fans of the franchise, as the events of the main Conjuring movies take place in 1971 and 1977, respectively. While the producers mentioned during a Q&A following the film’s premiere that they were inspired by police procedurals from the time, it's not far-fetched to believe that making this movie fit within the Conjuring timeline was another factor in the setting.

While Warner Brothers and New Line Cinema never officially announced The Curse of La Llorona to be part of the Conjuring universe, another piece of information that was released officially a year ago had fans wildly speculating. The cast listing on IMDb included a little actor named Tony Amendola. His role? Father Perez.

Those familiar with the Conjuring movies may remember Father Perez as the priest living in Pasadena in the '60s, who helps Mia and John Form battle with the possessed Annabelle doll in the first Annabelle spin-off. Last we saw Father Perez, his physical form was being taken over by the demon to trick Mia and take her baby’s soul, but by the end he was Perez alive and well, christening the Form’s child.

When we meet Father Perez in The Curse of La Llorona, he’s working as a priest in Los Angeles. Anna contacts him to learn more about La Llorona herself, and he serves as the audience's introduction to the folktale and points Anna in the direction of Raymond Cruz’s curandero character.

Director Michael Chaves says the movie was always meant to be a part of the Conjuring universe. "James [was] brought in as a producer very early on," the director told GameSpot. "The first script that I saw had Father Perez in it, and there was some debate on where to take that connection, but James was really excited about including this movie in the bigger Conjuring universe."

When it comes to the lack of marketing for the film’s connection to the rest of the franchise, Chaves is glad they kept things a secret. "I wanted it to be a surprise," he said. "Secrets and surprises are so rare that it’s almost more infectious to try and keep a secret." Chaves also told GameSpot that other cameos and connections were discussed, and there is another scene that unfortunately got deleted, but may show up in the Blu-Ray.

When it came to working alongside James Wan, Chaves was excited about the possibilities. "I am a crazy James Wan fan," Chaves said. "The craziest thing is being able to pitch scares to him, and having him say 'yeah'--it feels so satisfying."

Linda Cardellini agrees and added that Wan is as big a fan of the genre as the audience. "He is a great collaborator," the actress told GameSpot. "He was around a lot and he loves and cares about these [horror] movies."

The Curse of La Llorona hits theaters April 19.

Wrestlemania Weekend: Where To Stream Every Wrestling Show, From WWE To ROH

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 05:18

The biggest weekend of the year for professional wrestling is nearly upon us all. WWE's Wrestlemania 35 takes place on Sunday, April 7 and caps off a week of the highest-profile wrestling you'll find anywhere. From WWE's own shows--which include Wrestlemania, the annual Hall of Fame ceremony, and NXT TakeOver--to the likes of Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and Impact running major shows, there's simply too much wrestling for you to keep track of alone--and most of it is streaming online for those that can't travel to Wrestlemania.

Luckily, you don't have to search high and low to figure out where to watch the most anticipated wrestling shows of Wrestlmania weekend, because GameSpot has that covered. After looking through the entire schedule of events, including dozens of non-WWE shows, we have tracked down all you need to know about how to watch them all from the comfort of your own home.

So while you may not be able to travel to the New York area to partake in the Super Bowl of professional wrestling, there's no reason to miss out on events presented by Evolve, Shimmer, WrestleCon, and WWN. There's even some wackier options like Kaiju Big Battel, which is essentially Godzilla meets pro wrestling. And if you're excited for NXT and Wrestlemania, you are certainly going to want to stream the Ring of Honor/New Japan Pro Wrestling combined show streaming live from a sold out Madison Square Garden.

Follow along as we dive deep into a week of wrestling insanity and find out where you can stream practically every show happening over Wrestlemania weekend.

Thursday, April 4Independent Wrestling.TV's Family Reunion
When: 12 PM ET
Where to stream:

When: 12 PM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live

Destiny World Wrestling's Fight For Destiny
When: 3 PM ET
Where to stream:

WXW's America Is Wunderbar
When: 4 PM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

GCW: Josh Barnett's Bloodsport
When: 4 PM ET
Where to stream:

WrestleCon SuperShow
When: 7 PM ET
Where to stream:

ISW Boner Jam IV: Balls Out
When: 7:30 PM ET
Where to stream:

DDT Pro Is Coming To America
When: 8 PM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

Impact Wrestling's United We Stand
When: 11 PM ET
Where to stream:

AIW's The Slumber Party Massacre
When: 11 PM ET
Where to stream:

Kaiju Big Battel's The 25th Silver Jubilee
When: 12 AM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

Friday, April 5Shimmer
When: 11 AM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

WrestleCon's US vs. The World
When: 11 AM ET
Where to stream:

Chikara: Once Upon A Beginning
When: 12 PM ET
Where to stream:

WWN Super Show: Mercury Rising
When: 3 PM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

Rev Pro Wrestling's Live In NY
When: 3 PM ET
Where to stream:

Black Label Pro's' Adventures in Wrestling
When: 3 PM ET
Where to stream:

Stardom Japanese Women's Wrestling's American Dream 2019 In The Big Apple
When: 4 PM ET
Where to stream:

WWE NXT TakeOver: New York
When: 6:15 PM ET
Where to stream: WWE Network

Joey Ryan's Penis Party
When: 8 PM ET
Where to stream:

Joey Janela's Spring Break 3: Part 1
When: 8 PM ET
Where to stream:

Blackcraft Wrestling's No Apologies
When: 12 AM ET
Where to stream:

Saturday, April 6

Wrestling Revolver's Pancakes & Piledrivers 3
When: 11 AM ET
Where to stream:

Nova Pro's Born to Run
When: 12 PM ET
Where to stream: 2019 Wrap Up Party
When: 2 PM ET
Where to stream: WWN Live,

HOG's Culture Clash 19
When: 2 PM ET
Where to stream:

IWS: Unstoppable
When: 4 PM ET
Where to stream:

WWE Hall of Fame 2019 Induction Ceremony
When: 7 PM ET
Where to stream: WWE Network

Drags And Dropkicks
When: 7:30 PM ET
Where to stream:

ROH-NJPW G1 Supercard: New York City
When: 7:30 PM ET
Where to stream: Honor Club,

WrestlePro vs. CZW
When: 7:30 PM ET
Where to stream:

Joey Janela's Spring Break 3: Part 2
When: 12 AM ET
Where to stream:

Sunday, April 7WWE WrestleMania 35
When: 5:30 PM ET
Where to stream: WWE Network

Apex Legends' Season 1 Battle Pass Costs The Same As Fortnite's

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 05:05

Much like Epic's hit battle royale game, Fortnite, Respawn's Apex Legends will offer a paid Battle Pass every season, through which players will be able to unlock new cosmetic items and other rewards. The first Battle Pass is set to go live across PS4, Xbox One, and PC tomorrow, March 19, and ahead of its release, publisher EA has shared a load of new details about it, including how much it'll cost.

The Season 1 Battle Pass can be purchased through Apex Legends' in-game store for 950 Apex Coins (roughly $10)--the same price as Fortnite's Battle Pass. Similarly, EA is also offering a Battle Pass bundle that will instantly unlock the first 25 tiers, giving you immediate access to those rewards. That option will cost 2,800 Apex Coins.

If you do spring for a Battle Pass, you'll automatically unlock three special skins as an added bonus: Lifeline Revolutionary, Wraith Survivor, and Mirage Outlaw. Even if you don't purchase the pass, however, you'll be able to unlock a handful of rewards for free, including one Wild Frontier Legends skin and five Apex Packs.

The Season 1 Battle Pass features 100 tiers of rewards to unlock, including weapon skins, banner frames, XP boosts. You'll also earn up to 1,000 Apex Coins as you level your Battle Pass up throughout the season, which will potentially allow you to pick up next season's Battle Pass without spending any real-world money. You can read more about how the Apex Legends Battle Pass works here.

Launching alongside the Battle Pass tomorrow is Apex Legends' newest playable character: the previously leaked Octane. However, Octane won't be included as part of the Battle Pass; rather, he'll be available to purchase separately for either 12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Coins, much like Mirage and Caustic were.

Apex Legends Battle Pass Outlined; Here's How Season 1 Works

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 05:03

EA has announced that the Season 1 battle pass, titled Wild Frontier, for Apex Legends is launching tomorrow, March 19. The battle pass releases alongside Octane, the ninth and newest Legend to join the battle royale game. Octane is not a part of the battle pass and will release separately, allowing you to buy him with Legend Tokens or Apex Coins. He'll be the same cost as Mirage and Caustic--12,000 Legend Tokens or 750 Apex Coins.

Apex Legends' Season 1 battle pass can only be purchased with Apex Coins, one of the three in-game currencies. Buying into the battle pass will cost you 950 Apex Coins. However, you don't have to buy the battle pass right away to avoid missing out on rewards. "You'll receive all the rewards up to your Battle Pass level (which is your current level for the season) retroactively!" EA wrote in the battle pass FAQ. "For example, if you're on level 20 for the season when you buy the Battle Pass, you'll unlock all rewards for every level up to 20, plus three special Battle Pass skins."

The Season 1 battle pass has 100 levels in total, and contains an assortment of weapon skins, stat trackers, Legend voice lines, and Apex Coin and XP drops as rewards. Leveling up is entirely XP based, as there are no challenges--at least for this season. Respawn has suggested that the exact structure of the battle pass could change for future seasons.

Like other games that feature seasonal battle passes, all rewards unlocked with Apex Legend's Season 1 battle pass remain during follow-up seasons. However, once Season 1 ends, you can no longer unlock the items included in this specific pass. Regardless, whether you buy the pass or not, you'll be able to unlock free rewards during Season 1. You can get 18 new stat trackers, five Apex Packs, and a new skin for Octane. Most rewards are only available for those who buy the battle pass; that includes free Apex Coins--up to 1,000 are available if you level up enough, effectively letting you earn back the cost of the pass and giving you enough to buy next season's.

Another reward of note is the game's "first-ever three-stage evolving Legendary weapon skin." This is for Havoc and, as you earn kills during a match, Respawn says the gun's "eyes glow and its nostrils emit smoke," among other things.

If you want to buy yourself a little help in unlocking the Season 1 battle pass rewards, there's also a bundle--which you can purchase for 2,800 Apex Coins--that unlocks the next 25 levels for you. Like many other aspects of Apex's battle pass, this essentially mirrors the way the wildly successful Fortnite has operated.

Apex Legends is available for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. In our Apex Legends review, Phil Hornshaw gave the game a 9/10, writing, "Apex Legends is a mix of smart shooter ideas that makes for a competitive, team-based game that gets at all the best parts of battle royale while addressing a lot of the weaknesses. Respawn's intense focus on team play makes Apex more than just a worthy addition to the genre; it's an indicator of where battle royale should go in the future."

WWE Wrestlemania 35: Match Card, Date, Time, Location, And How To Watch The 2019 PPV

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 04:17

WWE's biggest event of the year, Wrestlemania, is right around the corner, coming to PPV and the WWE Network on Sunday, April 7. The night will have some of the biggest matches of the year, including multiple championship bouts, wrapping up story lines that WWE has been building for months.

This year's event is coming to Metlife Stadium in East Ruthersford, New Jersey, on Sunday, April 7. You can watch the event for yourself on the WWE Network or on PPV through your cable or satellite provider. While the official schedule on the Network isn't out for April 7, Wrestlemania 35 is listed as starting at 7 PM ET. Like all other larger WWE events, there will more than likely be a kick off show starting two hours prior to the event.

Check out the start times for multiple time zones below.

Wrestlemania Start Time:
  • 4 PM PT
  • 6 PM CT
  • 7 PM ET
  • 12 AM BST (April 8)

The biggest match on the Wrestlemania card is none other than Ronda Rousey vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch for the Raw Women's Championship. Originally, Lynch was going to be suspended until after Mania, after her numerous attacks on Rousey forced the McMahons to punish Lynch for her actions. However, she's now been added to the match, after Rousey attacked her at Fastlane.

Additionally, Batista returned, beat up Ric Flair on his birthday, and demanded a match against Triple H. Although Batista had made a few appearances on WWE programming, he has not competed in the ring since 2014. This will be an interesting match to see these former stablemates fight each other in a No Holds Barred match.

Below, you'll find the match card for this year's Wrestlemania. We'll keep updating it as more matches are announced in the upcoming week's to the WWE PPV.

Wrestlemania Match Card:
  • AJ Styles vs. Randy Orton
  • Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
  • Triple H vs. Batista (No Holds Barred Match)
  • Ronda Rousey (c) vs. Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair (Raw Women's Championship)
  • Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Seth Rollins (Universal Championship)

Make sure to come back to GameSpot on April 7 for live coverage and a review of the event.

Bethesda Confirms E3 2019 Showcase, Jokes About Walmart Canada Leaks

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:54

Bethesda has announced it will once again host an E3 presentation , eschewing the recent trend from publishers like Sony and Electronic Arts to step back from the industry event. It will take place Sunday, June 9 at 5:30 PM PT, and will be livestreamed for viewers at home.

The company teased the announcement with the #BE3 hashtag on Twitter. The theme for this year's presentation is "Be Together," and Bethesda says it will be inviting more fans to join in the live audience. The only game formally announced to make an appearance is Doom Eternal, though the teaser image shows silhouettes of lots of characters from across Bethesda's franchises. Last year the studio mentioned both Starfield and The Elder Scrolls 6, so we may hear more about those.

The teaser even includes a cheeky reference to Walmart Canada, which exposed several games planned for last year's E3--including Rage 2 from Bethesda. The company riffed on the leak, and then marketing director Pete Hines cracked a joke at the store's expense during the E3 2018 presentation.

This is par for the course for Bethesda, which began having large-scale E3 presentations five years ago. It is swimming against the tide of the industry as a whole, however. Nintendo stopped giving press conferences in favor of pre-recorded Nintendo Direct presentations and week-long Treehouse streams. Sony announced this year it wouldn't be presenting at E3 at all. EA recently followed suit, still planning its E3-adjacent EA Play event, but declining to do a press conference.

That leaves Microsoft, Ubisoft, and now Bethesda as the last remaining publishers planning old-fashioned E3 stage shows. Microsoft, for its part, appears to be capitalizing on the opportunity and claims it will be "going big" this year.

Nintendo Really Wants You To Try Switch's Splatoon 2 This Week

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:40

Nintendo is giving Switch owners a chance to try out one of the console's best games free for a limited time. In an uncharacteristic move, the company is offering a special week-long demo of Splatoon 2, which lets prospective players dive into the colorful shooter and its suite of online modes at no charge.

The Splatoon 2 Special Demo will be available on the Switch Eshop later today, March 18. Much like the full game, you'll need an internet connection and a Nintendo Switch Online subscription to play the demo. If you don't already have the latter, you'll receive a code for a free seven-day trial for the service via email after downloading the demo, even if you've already tried the previous free NSO trial.

The Special Demo will run from March 19-25. During that time, players will be able to try out Splatoon 2's signature Turf War mode, which pits two teams of four against each other in a contest to cover the most terrain with your color ink, as well as the game's various Ranked Battles and the cooperative Salmon Run mode.

If you're interested in purchasing Splatoon 2 after your time with it, Nintendo of America is offering 20% off of the game in the Eshop until March 28, bringing its price down to $48. Players in Europe will get an even bigger savings; the base game will be 33% off, while the Splatoon 2 and Octo Expansion DLC bundle will be discounted by 25%. You'll also be able to carry any progress you've made during the free trial period over to the full version.

Nintendo Switch Online subscriptions run for US $4 / £3.49 / AU $6 for one month, US $8 / £7 / AU $12 for three months, and US $20 / £18 / AU $30 for one year. Along with online play, the subscription offers a handful of other benefits, including cloud saves for most games and access to a catalog of classic NES titles, including Kid Icarus and StarTropics, which were added to the library earlier this month.

Some Of EA's Best PS4 Games Are On Sale This Week

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:10

It's a busy month for deals in the PlayStation Store: The Great Indoors Sale recently launched, offering major discounts on hundreds of games and a huge price cut for PS Plus subscriptions. But there's another PSN sale that might just have flown under your radar: an EA sale on over 60 PS4 and PS3 games, add-ons, and bundles from some of the publisher's best series. The sale ends Tuesday, March 26 at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET, the same time the PS Plus subscription sale ends.

All three games in EA's epic RPG series Dragon Age are on sale for the next week, including the Game of the Year edition for Dragon Age: Inquisition, which is just $10. Dragon Age: Origins and Dragon Age II are each $4 to download and play on PS3. With the fourth Dragon Age game in development, there's no better time to get acquainted with this excellent series.

Another notable deal is Titanfall 2's Ultimate edition, which is selling for only $7.49 and includes a huge amount of bonus content. First-person shooter Battlefield V, which released late last year, is marked down to just $30 and features not only several new multiplayer modes but also an episodic single-player campaign. Speaking of multiplayer: break out of prison and journey with your fellow escaped convict in A Way Out, which is discounted at $18. Unravel 2, another local or online co-op experience where you play as adorable yarn creatures, is only $5.

Many of EA's sports titles are marked down well over 50% this week, including Madden NFL 19, which is only $15; EA Sports UFC 3, which is just over $13; and FIFA 19, which is just under $20. The ultimate editions of Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3 are also on sale for just $6 each on PS3.

Shop EA's publisher sale in the PlayStation Store »

Plus, see some of our picks from the sale below!



How Detective Pikachu Movie Makes Pokemon Work In The Real World

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 03:00

In Lovecraftian lore, horrors exist that the mind simply cannot comprehend. While the facade of our world usually keeps us safe from it all, on occasion, supernatural beings pierce through the veil. These Old Gods are creatures humankind was never meant to bear witness to; a reminder of our insignificance in a universe we don't have the capacity to fully understand.

Those who gaze upon the Old Gods are left broken. They are driven insane as they struggle to reconcile their understanding of how the world should be with the eldritch truths suddenly thrust upon them. In 2018, at a secluded location in England, I felt this same madness creeping into my own mind. I stood before otherworldly creatures that were deeply familiar to me, and yet also entirely alien. I locked eyes with them and my psyche began to fracture; my reality began to distort.

Just then a nice Japanese man handed me a Pokemon goodie bag and thanked me for coming to the set of the Detective Pikachu movie. I politely smiled and nodded while still transfixed on a small furry Pikachu standing a few feet away. I wasn't ready to see that. As I wrestled with the ramifications of it, a guy with his arm up a Charizard's neck appeared and began aggressively waving its head around while making faint roaring sounds. Behind him was a shirtless dude jumping up and down shouting "attack."

I don't think I've been the same since.

For as long as I remember, Pokemon has been a part of my life. I've captured hundreds of them, battled dozens of Gym Leaders, and been crowned a Champion numerous times. But my immersion into the Pokemon universe has always been abstracted through the screens of video game handhelds and TVs. On that day, however, I stood at the center of it. More specifically, I was standing in an underground battle arena where some sort of Pokemon fight club was being held. Large WWE-esque displays teased the match-up, while teenagers dressed like trainers from the games--vibrant-colored shorts, baseball caps, backpacks and all--ambled around. Real-word representations of in-game monsters were also scattered around the location. It was weird, but once I managed to reclaim some sense of my grip on reality, it was also exciting.

Detective Pikachu is The Pokemon Company and Legendary Pictures’ first stab at a live-action movie based on the incredibly popular Nintendo franchise. Although much of what audiences will see on screen will be CGI, those involved in its production have leaned heavily on the real world to both inspire the movie and execute on the vision for it, which is why there are so many Pokemon model stand-ins hanging around.

Over the course of the day, I got to immerse myself in a small slice of Detective Pikachu's world and speak with people key to bringing it to life. Whether the movie lives up to the high bar fans expect it to reach remains to be seen, but I can at the very least say that there was an overwhelming excitement about the whole thing--an enthusiasm for the production and an awareness of how much Pokemon means to millions around the world.

To Be A Master

"We're all very passionate about Pokemon at Legendary, and I think we've been talking about it for five years now, so it's been in our minds for a long time," said Ali Mendes, co-producer on the flick. "Detective Pikachu was this new idea from The Pokemon Company, and we were really excited about it because we felt this was a way to celebrate everything inside of Pokemon's legacy: 20 years of battling and these characters that people have fallen in love with, to sort of celebrate that but also do something a little unexpected, a little bit new, and kind of add a genre twist to it.

"The biggest thing was of course seeing Pikachu in live action, figuring out how these characters are going to come into our world--'What does a live Pokemon, a realistic, 3D Pokemon look like?' That was a really exciting challenge for us."

CGI versions of originally 2D animated characters in live-action movies have become prevalent with films like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Smurfs, and Garfield. And while these films were certainly considerations when Legendary began making Detective Pikachu, Mendes said its goal was to deliver something closer to Fantastic Beasts, a spin-off from the Harry Potter universe. In many ways, the Pokemon and Harry Potter universes are quite similar, both having massive worlds rich with history and character, but also driven by memorable stories. Successfully representing both of these aspects, according to Mendes, is the key to doing justice to Pokemon in the movie.

"These creatures are as photo-real as they can possibly be. We're working with the best visual effects team in the world. We thought about Fantastic Beasts a lot just in terms of the quality of that animation and how life-like [the creatures] were. But it was interesting; we worked very closely with The Pokemon Company. They've been wonderful collaborators through this, and we've really let them guide us, because they know their brand better than we ever will, and we want to make sure that we're giving fans exactly what they want, and they know that better than anyone.

"But when it comes to making a feature film, you really want to be led by story; you need to care about your characters, and you need to care about your story, and Detective Pikachu at its heart had this great story that we felt like, 'OK, this is a way to connect beyond just what the brand is.' This is a father-son story. There's something inside of these characters that we feel is really going to resonate and connect with a large audience, so it was actually the creativity of it that really drove us and made us feel like this could be something really special."

Following the release of the first two trailers for Detective Pikachu, the internet has buzzed with discussion about how the Pokemon are depicted. Twitter has exploded with GIFs of Mr. Mime getting involved in an imaginary traffic collision, clips of a bartending Ludicolo screaming abruptly, and pictures of Lickitung's unfurled tongue that are, quite frankly, unnerving. While Legendary has stuck close to the source material when it comes to the design of Pokemon--guided by the The Pokemon Company to ensure they remain faithful--it has had more freedom in depicting the world the movie is set within.

Like the video game it's loosely based on, Detective Pikachu takes place in Ryme City, where protagonist Tim Goodman (Justice Smith), a former Pokemon trainer and son of detective Harry Goodman, investigates the disappearance of his father. Joining him is an amnesiac Pikachu voiced by Ryan Reynolds. Tim happens to be the only human who can speak to the Pikachu, who is also caught up in the mystery of Harry Goodman's disappearance, as well as strange goings-on with other Pokemon in the metropolis.

It's in Ryme City that the meeting of the real and surreal is at its most striking. Nigel Phelps, production designer on Detective Pikachu, also called Fantastic Beasts to mind when discussing taking the familiar and giving it a strange, otherworldly twist.

"It’s all very focused on being believable, that's a very important characteristic to the film," he explained. “So for the most part, we’ll be shooting in and around London … the streets and the exterior stuff is in and around the city of London and Shoreditch. It has to be familiar to everybody. So some amalgam of Vancouver, in terms of the landscape, Manhattan, in terms of the scale of the architecture. So really, if you mash Manhattan with London and Tokyo, that’s kind of the world that we are setting this in.

"We've kind of shied away from [using landmarks and architecture from the games]. There are little clues with the street names, and stuff like that, there’s references to the Pokemon universe, without being specific to it. So we’ve shied away from the animation [because] the cartoons and stuff felt much too cartoon-y and unreal, and it was important to everyone making the film that this was a realistic universe."

Naturally, taking strange creatures and attempting to put them in realistic environments throws up numerous challenges, and this is something that has shaped the construction of sets that Pokemon appear in. Take the aforementioned screaming Ludicolo, for example, who is four feet wide, but still needs to fit behind a bar.

"Everything has to get moved down," Phelps said. "You know, you have to be familiar with, obviously, with the creatures in the scene, because they’re not all six foot tall, eighteen inches wide, they’re all sorts of shapes and sizes.

"We stopped including Pokemon into the [set production visuals] very early on because [they] became distracting. [We were] drawing this great-looking sets, and everyone’s like, 'Oh, yeah, but, no, this Pokemon’s ears are too big,' and no one’s looking at the environments. It became all about what the Pokemon are doing ... That became what the illustrations were all about, and not the scenery. We’d still be doing [sets] now otherwise. So that’s gonna be a post-production layer."

I Choose You

The responsibility of bringing Pokemon to life in a realistic way and integrating them into Ryme City fell upon VFX producer Greg Baxter and his team. And the challenges in doing so were apparent from the very outset, as Baxter found that, although there was an abundance of Pokemon material to look to for inspiration, the stylistic difference of Detective Pikachu meant they couldn't entirely rely on other Pokemon projects..

"The Pokemon world that has existed before, whether it's in the games or the traditional anime, has been a very different style of performance," Baxter said. "And so, even just getting a first image of what it might be has been a long process. To get so many cooks, if you will, to try to weigh in on what it would look like and then performing as a three-dimensional character, walking and flying, and there's so many of them so the movements are just vast.

"And then, coming out here onto a film set or out into the city and trying to figure out how to film all of that movement when it doesn't actually exist in front of a camera and when it's so different--I mean, you've got, one-foot- to 20-foot-tall Pokemon and some fly and some slither, some are fast, some are slow, and shot to shot, you may have 12 of those. And you have to accommodate for all of them.

"We've done movies before where you have one or two ways to film that, ways to get space for the Pokemon or light for the Pokemon or for the character. [But] in this one, when you have so many in one shot, you have to make sure that the camera is not just capturing the faces in front of them, but also all of the creatures that will be added after the fact. It's been a circus, but it's a lot of fun."

According to Baxter, the decision to render Pokemon as realistically as possible suited the vision director Rob Letterman had for the movie, which, like every other aspect of production, reinforced the theme of having the fantastical amidst the familiar.

"Rob Letterman's vision for the movie is to ground it in reality, even though Ryme City is kind of a made-up city. It's supposed to feel present-day and feel like all these creatures that you've seen mostly in very bright colors and anime style are sitting in the room with you. And so Pokemon to Pokemon, they have different textures--some are furry, some are kind of leathery or snakey or whatever. But for every creature, we took real-world animals and drew from that. You take the skin of a snake, the eyes of a different kind of character, we put all these pieces together to form what that Pokemon would look like.

"We would send that back and forth to The Pokemon Company, so that they would understand where we're going with it and it wouldn't be a big shock when it landed. But really, that's how all of them have come together. Each one, even though they're a creature that doesn't exist in our world, all of the elements of what makes them up in this movie are drawn from animals that do exist in our world."

My first exposure to Detective Pikachu's vision of Pokemon in the real word wasn't being eased into it through brief glimpses of concept art, or even the short trailers that first debuted long after my visit to set. Instead I was thrown into the midst of it all, shown pieces of a bigger picture, and left to let my imagination try and figure out how it all fits together. Having watched the trailers, the sight of realistic Pokemon is no less strange today. However, being able to take a step back and get a wider view of the world in which they exist certainly makes it less jarring. Like many other fans, I have been charmed by the Pokemon featured in the trailer and warmed to the idea of a live-action movie. If the rest of the film is able to sustain the sense of wonder those trailers inspire, this could be an entirely new Pokemon universe to get obsessed with.

Licktung is still too weird for me, though.

Apex Legends' Season 1 Battle Pass Releases Tomorrow

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 02:42

Apex Legends developer Respawn promised that the game's first battle pass would launch in March, and now we know exactly when. The game has announced that its Season 1 Battle Pass will hit on Tuesday, March 19 at 10 AM PT, offering a new character and loads of new loot to collect. It will cost you 950 Apex Coins (roughly $10). A Battle Pass Bundle is also available for 2800 Apex Coins, which also instantly unlocks the next 25 levels for the season.

As suspected, the new character is Octane. The PlayStation Blog outlined his powers, including an Adrenaline Junkie ability to trade health for speed, and a limitless supply of Stim health. He also has his Launch Pads as an Ultimate Ability, giving himself and teammates a serious vertical boost. It's unclear at this point how Octane will be unlocked.

Octane appeared in an accidental update on the Origin storefront, which Respawn later acknowledged was an "unintentional update about Season 1." Later jump pads began appearing in the game, all but confirming the rumors about the new character's power set.

Purchasing the battle pass will also unlock other rewards, including the Lifeline Revolutionary skin, Wraith Survivor skin, and Mirage Outlaw skin. Plus, everyone who plays during Season 1 can earn a Wild Frontier skin, five Apex Packs, and 18 Wild Frontier stat trackers, regardless of whether they bought into the battle pass.

Each battle pass will include about 100 rewards, including seasonal items for all players and some exclusive kit for battle pass owners. Rewards will apply retroactively if you decide to buy your battle pass later. Purchasing the battle pass will also net you extra Apex Packs as part of your rewards, giving you more chances for random skins and other cosmetics.

Season 1 is slated to last through June, when it will be replaced by the next seasonal battle pass. Two more are planned for 2019, in September and December.

Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Gets Retro First Poster

Tue, 03/19/2019 - 02:33

The first poster for Quentin Tarantino's Once Upon a Time in Hollywood has been released. The latest movie from the revered director of Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained arrives in July, and as the title suggests, is a sprawling LA-set drama that stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt.

The poster itself isn't exactly the most striking one released for a Tarantino movie, but it does have a suitably retro look. It shows DiCaprio as fading Western star Rick Dalton and Pitt as his stunt-double and pal Cliff Booth. They are shown posing in front of a car and the Hollywood Hills... and that's basically it. The good news is that the first trailer is set to arrive very soon, but in the meantime here's the poster:

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood hits theaters on July 26 and features probably the most ridiculously star-studded cast of the year (outside of Avengers Endgame of course). As well as DiCaprio and Pitt, it stars Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate, the actress who was murdered by the Manson family in 1969 and in Tarantino's movie lives next door to Dalton and Booth. There's also roles for Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, James Marsden, Scoot McNairy, Damian Lewis, Emile Hirsch, Tim Roth, Michael Madsen, and Lena Dunham, plus Luke Perry, who shot a role before his death earlier this month.

In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Tarantino explained the origins of the movie. "I've been working on this script for five years, as well as living in Los Angeles County most of my life, including in 1969, when I was seven years old," he said. "I'm very excited to tell this story of an LA and a Hollywood that don't exist anymore. And I couldn't be happier about the dynamic teaming of DiCaprio and Pitt as Rick and Cliff."

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is Tarantino's ninth movie as director. In 2016 he said that he would quit directing after his tenth movie, but it remains to be the seen if this is still the case. There were also rumors last year that he was working a new Star Trek movie, but with the future that entire franchise on the big screen uncertain, there has been no further news about this.