Pokemon Go players have a new item to add to their wardrobes. Today, developer Niantic rolled out a new t-shirt for the popular AR game, which all players can get their hands on for free.
In honor of the Global Goals for Sustainable Development, an initiative to end extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change around the world, Pokemon Go players can now get a free Global Goals t-shirt for their avatars. Niantic announced it was partnering with Global Goals earlier this year and added 17 PokeStops that represent each of the individual goals in an effort to spread awareness of the initiative.
"This free shirt gives you and the millions of Trainers around the world the opportunity to stand with us as we look to show our support for initiatives that make the world a better place like the Global Goals," the developer wrote in a post on its website.
Coinciding with the release of the Global Goals t-shirt is Pokemon Go's latest update, which is now live for both iOS and Android devices. This patch is a fairly minor one that primarily fixes bugs, such as one that would cause Pikachu hats to disappear. You can find the full patch notes at the bottom of this story.
Pokemon Go players still have a chance to capture the game's latest Legendary Pokemon, Entei, Raikou, and Suicune. The three Legendary beasts will be available in a different region of the world until September 30, after which they will move on to a different part of the globe. Pokemon Go players in Europe can also participate in the game's Safari Zone live events, which take place in different cities around the continent. You can find the full schedule of Pokemon Go Safari Zone events here.Pokemon Go Update 1.45.0 (iOS) / 0.75.0 (Android)
- Items received from spinning Gym PokeStops and completing Raid Battles are now displayed in the Journal.
- Improved Pokemon Collection screen search functionality enables Trainers to search using "Defender" and "Legendary."
- Resolved a bug that caused Pikachu hats to disappear from the in-game model and icon.
- Resolved a bug that caused some icons to disappear when scrolling through the Pokedex.
- Various bug fixes and performance updates.
Divinity: Original Sin II came out just a few days ago, but it's been in Steam Early Access for almost a year. Now, publisher and developer Larian Studios is sharing some sales data, telling Eurogamer the game has sold nearly 500,000 copies in total. 180,000 of those sales have come since its 1.0 release on September 14.
"We're close to hitting 500K units sold, which is a number I believe took us two or three months with Divinity: Original Sin 1," said Swen Vincke, owner of Larian Studios. The game has also hit a milestone in terms of concurrent players on Steam, reaching nearly 86,000 players at one time. At the time of this writing, it's the fourth most-played game on Steam. The response has been unexpected, Vincke told Eurogamer. Servers have struggled to handle the large number of players, but "we should have them up and running again soon," he said.
Vincke also commented on possible console releases in the future. The company had indicated it was waiting to see how the game sold on PC before deciding to release on other systems and, right now, that PC version still remains the focus, he said.
"As for the console versions, we're now focused on delivering our first patch for the PC version, something that is scheduled for this week. Lots of players means lots of support issues coming in and we're trying to service them as fast as we can. After that, it'll be a long well deserved break for the team and then we'll boot up our machines again to work on the next things."
This week marks the release of Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, the latest installment in the crossover fighting game series. Like previous Marvel Vs. Capcom games, Infinite pits some of the biggest characters from the two companies' histories against each other in tag battles. This time, however, Capcom has made some notable changes to the gameplay, streamlining Infinite's tagging system and introducing Infinity Stones to put a unique twist on the long-running series.
Reviews for Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite have begun appearing online, and the general consensus among critics has been positive thus far. In GameSpot's Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite review in progress, critic Tamoor Hussain says the game "represents the most significant change to the Marvel Vs. Capcom formula since its creation." We've rounded up a sample of other reviews below; for a broader look at what critics are saying about Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, visit GameSpot sister site Metacritic.
- Game: Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite
- Developer: Capcom
- Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release date: September 19
- Price: $60/£50
"The mechanics underlying Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite make it an outstanding fighting game. Capcom has understood what caused the stagnation of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3's competitive scene and, to some extent, the issues Street Fighter V currently faces. In response it has created a fighting game focused on individuality and expression, with deep systems that reward studious players but also accommodate casuals. As someone who both plays and watches fighting games, I am excited to see what the future holds for Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite." -- Tamoor Hussain [Full review]IGN -- 7.7/10
"While Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite's tag-team fights are like a bolt of lightning from Mjolnir, its story is dreadful and its characters look like they were deliberately designed to spawn a million derpy memes. It manages to be easily one of the worst and also one of the best fighting games in recent memory all at once. Like its heroes and villains, it's stuck between two worlds." -- Darry Huskey [Full review]Polygon -- 7.5/10
"It's hard to deny how much of a blemish Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite's visuals are, but it would still be a mistake to skip this entry for that reason alone. The fast tagging system and the Infinity Stones change up the series' standard mechanics and open up so many options for creative play, no matter your skill level. Infinite is expressive, exciting and fun to play, but the visuals inspire more eyerolls than the hype this series deserves." -- Chelsea Stark and Jeff Ramos [Full review]US Gamer -- 3.5/5
"I came away from Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite generally enjoying the game. I think most of the players that liked Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 will be right at home here. I just feel more needed to be done to differentiate the game from its predecessor, especially in the roster department, which is a fighter's bread-and-butter. In many ways, this is a sequel, but when it comes to the roster overall, MvC Infinite feels like disappointing retread of what came before. So it's recommended for fighting fans, but temper your expectations accordingly." -- Mike Williams [Full review]Game Informer -- 8.25/10
"Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite is a fighting game that tries to appeal to everyone, and it largely succeeds (unless you're a die-hard Wolverine fan). I occasionally cringed at the bad one-liners, but I also giggled with absurd joy every time photojournalist Frank West tossed a demigod like Thanos across a dilapidated space station. Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite isn't trying to be taken seriously; it's a series of geeky what-if scenarios that play out in spectacular aerial battles. After I embraced that, I had a lot of fun." -- Ben Reeves [Full review]GamesRadar+ -- 3/5
"Infinite is a well-constructed, mechanically-responsive game. It doesn't feel sloppy or inaccurate, it's just... not very exciting. There's a lack of finesse to the presentation that makes everything feel Good Enough, but not more than that. Contrasted against the flashy cel-shaded art direction and over-the-top tone of Marvel Vs. Capcom 3, or the silky smooth sprites and technical precision of Marvel Vs. Capcom 2, Infinite feels like it's just content to exist." -- Sam Prell [Full review]
While Marvel's upcoming Netflix show The Punisher is expected this year, it still does not have a confirmed release date and very few details are known about the story. Netflix has released a series of cryptic tweets and teasers, the latest of which is a found-footage style video of star Jon Bernthal delivering some brutal justice. Check it out below:September 18, 2017
This promo follows a motion poster that was released last week. We've also seen a first teaser and a list of potential episode titles, plus a synopsis for the show, which reads, "After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York's criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone."
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Bernthal explained that The Punisher would be the darkest, most violent Marvel show so far. "This season is much darker as it goes, it gets darker and darker and more visceral," he said. "The show takes you on this journey of Frank becoming more and more human again and then shutting off and shutting off and going back to what works for him, and the place where he kind of belongs, and I think that's a place of solitude and of darkness and destruction. It's going to get into as dark and as brutal a place as you've ever seen in the Marvel world, I can promise you that."
Bernthal also spoke about playing a character that is both a ruthless killer and a hero that the audience is supposed to side with. "I think there's a bit of Frank in all of us," he revealed. "We all go through bouts of darkness and regret and shame, and we mess up and we make mistakes, so I think to really zero in on that and to dig into that wound is what makes him interesting.
"But if there's one thing I want to get right for this show, it's that I want to be completely respectful of the military community and the people that this character means so much to. I just really want to get that right. More than anything, Frank is a soldier."
The first poster for the upcoming reboot of Tomb Raider has been released, alongside a short teaser. The poster shows star Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft, looking very intense and holding a dangerous bladed weapon, while the teaser reveals that the full trailer arrives tomorrow, September 19. Check the teaser out below, and the poster at the end of this story:September 18, 2017
The film also stars Dominic West (The Wire) as Lara's father, Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy) as the villain, and Daniel Wu (Warcraft) as a ship captain who works with Lara on her adventure. Tomb Raider is directed by Roar Uthaug (The Wave) and hits theaters on March 16, 2018.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Vikander spoke about taking on the role of Lara Croft and what would set her apart from both the Lara of the games, as well as Angelina Jolie's previous movie portrayal. "She has all the fierce, tough, curious, intelligent traits," she said. "But we've stripped away all of her experience. She hasn't gone on an adventure just yet. She thought she was a stuck up businessperson living in the modern youth culture of suburban London, but then this whole box of information. This is the beginning."
This movie is not tied directly to the games, of which no new ones have been announced. A sequel to Rise of the Tomb Raider is likely, however, as the 2013 reboot has been described as part of a trilogy. A leak last year suggested the name of the third game is Shadow of the Tomb Raider.
Update: Destiny 2's servers are back online earlier than expected. Patch 184.108.40.206 is now available for download on both PS4 and Xbox One, fixing some nagging issues with the game. These include the bug with the Prism modifier, which did not properly display the current elemental effect during Nightfall Strikes these past two weeks. The original story follows.
Those looking to play Destiny 2 (or the original Destiny) will be unable to do so for a period of time today, September 18. Bungie has taken servers offline for maintenance, which will be punctuated with the release of a new update.
Maintenance began at 7 AM PT / 10 AM ET / 3 PM BST today, though online players weren't booted offline until an hour after that. Servers are slated to come back online at 11 AM PT / 2 PM ET / 7 PM BST, although it's always possible that could be extended. A maintenance period last week ended up lasting several hours longer than originally announced.
Once maintenance is complete, update 220.127.116.11 will be released. Full patch notes have not yet been shared, but Bungie said last week that it fixes some known issues in Destiny 2. More notably, it also completely removes the imagery that references a hate group, which was only partially taken out as part of the maintenance last week. Bungie subsequently explained how the reference made it into the game in the first place.
The Dragon Ball FighterZ roster continues to expand. Three more characters have been announced for the upcoming fighting game, including an entirely original one who will play a prominent role in the game's story mode.
In the most recent issue of Japanese magazine V-Jump (as translated by Gematsu), Bandai Namco revealed that longtime Dragon Ball heroes Yamcha and Tien Shinhan will both be playable characters in Dragon Ball FighterZ. Yamcha is described as a close-range fighter who uses "surprise attacks," including his signature Wolf Fang Fist. Tien, meanwhile, is a versatile character who can unleash a variety of techniques in battle, such as the Tri-Beam and Dodon Ray. He can also call on his companion Chiaotzu, who can "seal the opponent's movement" using his telekinetic abilities.
In addition to the classic fighters, V-Jump revealed that a brand-new character named Android 21 will also appear in Dragon Ball FighterZ and is a "central figure" in the game's what-if story mode. She is described as a scientist whose intelligence is on par with the villainous Dr. Gero, and it appears she has some connection to Android 16's revival; in the magazine, each screenshot depicts her standing next to the resurrected fighter.
Dragon Ball FighterZ releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in early 2018. Those who pre-order a boxed version of the title will unlock Super Saiyan Blue versions of Goku and Vegeta early as a bonus.
Warner Bros. has released a new trailer for Injustice 2, this one showing off the DLC fighter Raiden, who comes to the game in October. The action-packed trailer shows Raiden kicking ass with his numerous moves. It culminates with his finishing move, which is brutal and epic. Take a look at the trailer for yourself in the embed below.
The video also shows that a Black Lightning premiere skin is coming to the game through the Ultimate Edition (more on that below).
Raiden comes to Injustice 2 through the Fighter Pack 2, which launches on September 2. There. There are three characters in all in the Fighter Pack 2; the other two are Black Manta and the cigar-loving action hero Hellboy.
Fighter Pack 2 is included with Injustice 2's Ultimate Edition or can be purchased separately. Fighter Pack 1 was priced at $20, with its individual characters--Sub-Zero, Red Hood, and Starfire--costing $6 each. So you can expect a similar format for Fighter Pack 2.
It was a big night in the world of TV, as the Emmys took place tonight. If you missed the broadcast or want to catch up with all the winners in one place, you can now see a roundup of all the nominees and winners for every category.
Stranger Things and Westworld picked up multiple nominations but won nothing. A big winner was Hulu's The Handmaid's Tale, which took home the award for Outstanding Drama Series, with star Elisabeth Moss winning for Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series. The show also won awards for Outstanding Directing, Outstanding Supporting Actress, and Outstanding Writing.September 18, 2017
HBO's Big Little Lies also had a great night, taking home five awards, including Outstanding Limited Series and Best Actress In A Limited Series (Nicole Kidman).
Additionally, the excellent and haunting drama Black Mirror won its first Emmys this year, starting with Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie, or a Dramatic Special for the episode "San Junipero." It also won the Emmy for Outstanding TV Movie for the same episode.
You can see a roundup of all the categories, nominees, and winners (in bold) below, as compiled by The Verge. The awards show aired on CBS, which is the parent company of GameSpot.OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES
- Better Call Saul
- The Crown
- The Handmaid’s Tale
- House of Cards
- Stranger Things
- This Is Us
- Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
- Claire Foy, The Crown
- Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid’s Tale
- Keri Russell, The Americans
- Evan Rachel Wood, Westworld
- Robin Wright, House of Cards
- Sterling K. Brown, This Is Us
- Anthony Hopkins, Westworld
- Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul
- Matthew Rhys, The Americans
- Liev Scheiber, Ray Donovan
- Kevin Spacey, House of Cards
- Milo Ventimiglia, This Is Us
- Big Little Lies
- Feud: Bette and Joan
- The Night Of
- Black Mirror: San Junipero
- Dolly Parton's Christmas Of Many Colors: Circle Of Love
- The Immortal Life Of Henrietta Lacks
- Sherlock: The Lying Detective
- The Wizard Of Lies
- Felicity Huffman, American Crime
- Nicole Kidman, Big Little Lies
- Reese Witherspoon, Big Little Lies
- Carrie Coon, Fargo
- Jessica Lange, Feud: Bette and Joan
- Susan Sarandon, Feud: Bette and Joan
- Ewan McGregor, Fargo
- Geoffrey Rush, Genius
- Riz Ahmed, The Night Of
- John Turturro, The Night Of
- Benedict Cumberbatch, Sherlock: The Lying Detective
- Robert De Niro, The Wizard Of Lies
- Master of None
- Modern Family
- Silicon Valley
- Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Pamela Adlon, Better Things
- Jane Fonda, Grace and Frankie
- Allison Janney, Mom
- Ellie Kemper, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
- Tracee Ellis Ross, Black-ish
- Lily Tomlin, Grace and Frankie
- Anthony Anderson, Black-ish
- Aziz Ansari, Master of None
- Zach Galifianakis, Baskets
- Donald Glover, Atlanta
- William H. Macy, Shameless
- Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- Jimmy Kimmel Live!
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- The Late Late Show with James Corden
- Real Time with Bill Maher
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- Derek Waters and Jeremy Konner, Drunk History - “Hamilton”
- Andy Fisher, Jimmy Kimmel Live - “The (RED) Show”
- Paul Pennolino, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver - “Multi-Level Marketing”
- Jim Hoskinson, The Last Show with Stephen Colbert - “Episode 0179”
- Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live - “Host: Jimmy Fallon”
- David E. Kelley, Big Little Lies
- Charlie Brooker, Black Mirror: San Junipero
- Noah Hawley, Fargo - “The Law of Vacant Places”
- Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan - “And the Winner Is…”
- Jaffe Cohen, Michael Zam, and Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan - “Pilot”
- Richard Price and Steven Zaillian, The Night Of - “The Call of the Wild”
- Vince Gilligan, Better Call Saul - “Witness”
- Stephen Daldry, The Crown - “Hyde Park Corner”
- Reed Morano, The Handmaid’s Tale - “Offred”
- Kate Dennis, The Handmaid’s Tale - “The Bridge”
- Lesli Linka Glatter, Homeland - “America First”
- The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things - “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
- Jonathan Nolan, Westworld - “The Bicameral Mind”
- The Amazing Race
- American Ninja Warrior
- Project Runway
- RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Top Chef
- The Voice
- Donald Glover, Atlanta - “B.A.N.”
- Stephen Glover, Atlanta - “Streets on Lock”
- Aziz Ansari and Lena Waithe, Master of None - “Thanksgiving”
- Alec Berg, Silicon Valley - “Success Failure”
- Billy Kimball, Veep - “Georgia”
- David Mandel, Veep - “Groundbreaking”
- Uzo Aduba, Orange Is the New Black
- Millie Bobby Brown, Stranger Things
- Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale
- Chrissy Metz, This Is Us
- Thandie Newton, Westworld
- Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale
- Full Frontal with Samantha Bee
- Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
- Late Night with Seth Meyers
- The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
- Saturday Night Live
- Bill Camp, The Night Of
- Alfred Molina, Feud: Bette and Joan
- Alexander Skarsgard, Big Little Lies
- David Thewlis, Fargo
- Stanley Tucci, Feud: Bette and Joan
- Michael Kenneth Williams, The Night Of
- Jean-Marc Vallée, Big Little Lies
- Noah Hawley, Fargo - “The Law of Vacant Places”
- Ryan Murphy, Feud: Bette and Joan - “And the Winner Is…”
- Ron Howard, Genius - “Einstein: Chapter One”
- James Marsh, The Night Of - “The Art of War”
- Steven Zaillian, The Night Of - “The Beach”
- Louie Anderson, Baskets
- Ty Burrell, Modern Family
- Alec Baldwin, Saturday Night Live
- Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
- Tony Hale, Veep
- Matt Walsh, Veep
- Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg, The Americans - “The Soviet Division”
- Gordon Smith, Better Call Saul - “Chicanery”
- Peter Morgan, The Crown - “Assassins”
- Bruce Miller, The Handmaid’s Tale - “Offred”
- The Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things - “Chapter One: The Vanishing of Will Byers”
- Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan, Westworld - The Bicameral Mind”
- Billy on the Street
- Documentary Now!
- Drunk History
- Saturday Night Live
- Tracey Ullman’s Show
- Donald Glover, Atlanta - “B.A.N.”
- Jamie Babbit, Silicon Valley - “Intellectual Property”
- Morgan Sackett, Veep - “Blurb”
- David Mandel, Veep - “Groundbreaking”
- Dale Stern, Veep - “Justice”
- Judy Davis, Feud
- Laura Dern, Big Little Lies
- Jackie Hoffman, Feud
- Regina King, American Crime
- Michelle Pfeiffer, The Wizard of Lies
- Shailene Woodley, Big Little Lies
- Vanessa Bayer, Saturday Night Live
- Leslie Jones, Saturday Night Live
- Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live
- Kathryn Hahn, Transparent
- Judith Light, Transparent
- Anna Chlumsky, Veep
- Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul
- Ron Cephas Jones, This Is Us
- David Harbour, Stranger Things
- Michael Kelly, House of Cards
- John Lithgow, The Crown
- Mandy Patinkin, Homeland
- Jeffrey Wright, Westworld
YouTube channel ZaziNombies is back with its latest impossibly cool Lego creation. This newest video shows Destiny 2's Exotic Sunshot handcannon created with Lego bricks.
The creation uses around 550 bricks, including the special "light bricks" for the core. The weapon uses gold and chrome bricks to match the game weapon's design, while cut-up black sticker sheets were used to get the accents right on the handle and barrel. It's 40 centimetres long and is described as being top-heavy, according to the video (via Game Informer).
You may not be able to get or make this Destiny 2 Lego weapon in real life. But in game, you can acquire it by completing the "Sacrilege" campaign mission and then speaking to Asher Mir on Io.
Looking further ahead, Bungie will also support Destiny 2 will paid expansion content, the first of which, Curse of Osiris, is reportedly coming out in December. Alongside Xur, the first Trials of the Nine event is also now live.
A veteran location scout was killed in Mexico recently, his car found riddled with bullets in what is believed to be one of the deadliest places in the country. According to Variety, location scot Carlos Munoz Portal, 37, was shot to death in a remote area near San Bartolo Actopan. The area reportedly has one of the highest murder rates in all of Mexico.
Munoz was there scouting locations for the fourth season of Netflix's crime data Narcos. He worked for production company Redrum, which is based on Mexico City. Munoz also scouted locations for movies like Spectre, Sicario, Man on Fire, and Apocalypto.
In a statement, Netflix said: "We are aware of the passing of Carlos Munoz Portal, a well-respected location scout, and send our condolences to his family. The facts surrounding his death are still unknown as authorities continue to investigate."
The fourth season of Narcos is rumoured to focus on Mexico's deadly Juarez cartel, following Season 3's shift from Colombia. It remains to be seen if production of Narcos Season 4 will stay in Mexico following Munoz's murder.
According to The Guardian, a spokesperson for Mexico's attorney general suggested the investigation into Munoz's death may be difficult because "we have no witnesses."
Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on this story as it comes to light. Narcos Season 3 premiered in September.
The new Stephen King movie It continues to stand tall at the box office. The horror film made $60 million at the US box office this weekend, holding its place as the No. 1 film, according to box office estimates posted by Entertainment Weekly. While It had another strong show, the same cannot be said for Requiem for a Dream and Black Swan director Darren Aronofsky's new movie, mother!, which flopped with just $7.5 million over the three-day period.
It's box office haul dropped only 51 percent compared to its debut last week. Its total US haul now stands at $218.7 million after only 10 days. With that much money, the film is the biggest-ever September release domestically, easily surpassing the $174.8 million that Crocodile Dundee made in 1984. With a further $60.3 million from international markets, It has now made around $371.3 million. So yeah, the planned sequel seems like it will surely happen.
As for mother!, projections had it making a modest $11 million, but it couldn't reach that figure, landing at the previously mentioned $7.5 million to land in third place. The film has a big-name director (Aronofsky) and a star-studded cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, and Michelle Pfeiffer. For Lawrence, mother! is the worst opening-weekend for a nationwide release ever in her career. Her previous worst was The House at the End of the Street, which made $12.3 million during its opening weekend in 2012.
The No. 2 movie this weekend was the action flick American Assassin, which pulled in $14.8 million. As EW explains, that's in the area of what the first John Wick movie made when it was released. That film got a sequel and a third entry is on the way, so American Assassin could be another franchise. Notable about the film is that it's star Dylan O'Brien's first movie appearance following the serious injury he sustained while shooting the newest Maze Runner movie.
You can see the full Top 10 list below, as rounded up and compiled by EW.
- It — $60 million
- American Assassin — $14.8 million
- mother! — $7.5 million
- Home Again — $5.3 million
- The Hitman’s Bodyguard — $3.6 million
- Annabelle: Creation — $2.6 million
- Wind River — $2.5 million
- Leap! — $2.1 million
- Spider-Man: Homecoming — $1.9 million
- Logan Lucky — $1.3 million
GameSpot has been reviewing video games since 1996. Back then, dinosaurs hadn't been extinct for as long as they have today, computers were only just figuring out how to beat Garry Kasparov at chess, and Tamagotchi digital pets had millions of people the world over cleaning up after them. The Nintendo 64 was released in Japan and later in North America, Crash Bandicoot became the PlayStation's mascot, and notable game releases that would spawn sequels for years to come included Diablo, Quake, Resident Evil, and Tomb Raider. The world was very different back then, and so were video game reviews.
Our approach to reviewing video games at GameSpot has evolved over the years, and with the 2013 rebuilding of the site, we took the opportunity to revisit the process again. There were a couple of key issues that we wanted to address, namely that it's near impossible to write a single review that caters to everyone and that it's absolutely impossible to write a review that remains accurate when the game in question evolves over time. Our solution? Two words: multiple reviews.
Not convinced? OK, here's the 336-word version:
With the exception of review emblems, which are no more, the significant changes that we've made to GameSpot's reviews are all additive to what we were already doing. We're still committed to delivering reviews in a timely fashion, and the first review that we post for any game will still be written by a reviewer who has extensive experience with the series or genre in question. For all intents and purposes, these "featured" reviews are the same reviews that GameSpot has been producing for years, and therefore, they'll almost certainly be rendered inaccurate over time as the games reviewed are updated.
Historically, the only way for us to address this issue was to add brief "After the Fact" updates to reviews, and while we still update reviews in a similar fashion, we're well aware that we need something more. That's one of the reasons the new GameSpot site has been built to accommodate multiple reviews of the same game; when enough time has passed and a game has changed so dramatically that we no longer feel our review is helpful--and assuming there's still enough interest to warrant it--we post a new one. Our original review still lives on GameSpot, but isn't featured as prominently as the updated one.
Multiple reviews also afford us a way to present you with opinions from differing perspectives. If you're looking to get into a series that's already several games in, you might be interested to read a review that's written by someone who also missed out on earlier games to figure out if it's a good entry point, for example. Or perhaps you're looking to play a game with a child and would love to get a parent's perspective. We don't offer multiple perspectives on every game that we review, but we're an opinionated bunch, and it's rare that we can all agree on anything, so don't be surprised if additional reviews for games show up on the site as and when editors get around to playing them.What's a "review in progress?"
On occasion, games are released before we've had ample time (or opportunities) to test every aspect. This typically occurs when a game releases with online multiplayer support, with servers activated on launch day. In cases such as this, when we can't pass judgement on a key component of a game, we will sometimes publish a "review in progress," which will be denoted by the headline and by a blue score (rather than the usual orange.) Once we're ready to evaluate a game in full, we will add the relevant critique to the existing text, and turn the article into a standard review. Given the fact that additional testing is required, the score seen on the review in progress is subject to change as necessary.What do those numbers mean?
We rate games on a scale of 1 to 10 in order to give you an at-a-glance sense of the overall quality of a game. Please note that as the quality of gaming experiences naturally improves over time, we don't simply rate new games higher, even if they're technically better. Instead, as games come out that raise the bar, we adjust our expectations accordingly. A game that earns a high score today is probably better than a game that earned the same score on our scale several years ago.
Our scores are defined as follows:This is NOT how we assign review scores to games. Honest.
10 - Essential
9 - Superb
8 - Great
7 - Good
6 - Fair
5 - Mediocre
4 - Poor
3 - Bad
2 - Terrible
1 - Abysmal
Battleborn, the hero shooter from Borderlands studio Gearbox, is getting one more big update and then that's it. Creative director Randy Varnell made the announcement in a forum post, stating, "As of this week, there will be no more Battleplans and there is currently no planned content after the Fall Update."
Though updates are ending, Battleborn is "here to stay," Varnell said. The game's servers are staying online "for the foreseeable future." As for the Fall update, this was announced at PAX West. It'll include new, Borderlands-themed skins, updated title art, and new Finisher boosts and taunts. Some "minor" balance changes are also included.
Varnell added that he will be transitioning to a role on the team that is currently development Gearbox's unannounced game, which could be Borderlands 3.
"I've been working on Battleborn nearly exclusively since 2012, and in some ways, that work stretches back to 2009 for me," Varnell said. "It's been a long labor of love with many of my good friends at Gearbox, and I'm proud to have shared that journey with you, our community. Your spirit and loyalty have been a constant inspiration to the team at Gearbox."
Varnell went on to say he thanks fans for "giving Battleborn a chance." The game underperformed for publisher 2K Games, and its multiplayer element was made free.
The game launched in May 2016 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC behind pretty solid review scores. Before launch, Gearbox president Randy Pitchford said he wasn't sure if the game would find an audience. "We don't even know if people will be interested or not," he said at the time.
Battleborn was Gearbox's biggest investment in its history in terms of production, though it's certainly possible that the studio's new, unannounced game could eclipse that if it is indeed Borderlands 3.
Battlegrounds continues to set records. The uber-popular Hunger Games-like PC shooter recently reached more concurrent users than another other game in Steam history. The title reached 1,348,374 users on September 16, pushing past the 1,291,328 record that Valve's DOTA 2 reached back in March 2016.
All of these figures come from Steam Charts (via Polygon), so they may not be entirely accurate. Whatever the case, it is clear that Battlegrounds is a smash hit. It passed 1 million peak concurrent users last week, and the game just continues to grow.
Battlegrounds, which is still in development and is sold through Steam Early Access, is priced at $30. DOTA 2, meanwhile, is a free-to-play game that Valve heavily promotes, making Battlegrounds' success all the more notable.
PUBG has sold more than 10 million copies by the latest count. Developer Bluehole intends to release an Xbox One version in "late 2017," with Microsoft as its publisher. Despite the Microsoft announcement, developer Bluehole has suggested it may come to other consoles too (although it's not talking specifics at this time).
In other news about Battlegrounds, creator Brendan Greene recently spoke about how he envisions the game potentially reaching 100 million players someday. He also said he does not plan to raise the price of the game when it exits Early Access, as some games have done.
Over the last year, Final Fantasy XV has evolved from a rather ambitious entry in the JRPG franchise that may have bitten off more than it could chew, into a expansive game that will soon add a new online game mode, DLC Episodes featuring lengthy adventures with its supporting cast of characters, and general quality-of-life updates to smooth many of the rough edges from the initial launch. With the Windows Edition coming early 2018, the developers at Square Enix are looking to wind things down with FFXV, but are ready to offer PC players the complete experience.
During PAX West 2017, we had the chance to talk with the game's director, Hajime Tabata, about what's coming up for Final Fantasy XV, the focus on creating value for the game post-launch, and what could be next for the development team after work on the PC release is complete.
GameSpot: This particular game had the longest development period of any entry in the Final Fantasy series. It initially started as a spin-off, but it eventually became a core entry in the series. What are your reactions to seeing how it's evolved into what it is now?
Hajime Tabata: From a business standpoint, we've achieved over 6.5 million units, and the fact that we're still going to be putting out content till the launch of the Windows Edition--and then we have the Pocket Edition--this project has been very successful for us. But from a personal level, and from a dev team standpoint, what really resonates with us is the fan feedback we got from the day one release. A lot of the major criticisms was that they felt the story was lacking in certain aspects. So for us, we did our best to give back and supplement those areas where people felt it was lacking.
When those fans who were complaining about the story from the early days are now completely satisfied with the overall experience, that's the moment when we can say as a team that we're pleased with what we did for Final Fantasy XV. And obviously, we don't plan to draw this out forever. At some point we're going to have to mark the end of the journey for Final Fantasy XV. With that said, we're still listening to what the fans want and expect for this game.
It's unusual to see so much post-launch support for a Final Fantasy game that's not an MMO. What was the mindset the development team had when creating these new updates?
Hajime Tabata: We always had the plan of showing what happened with them in the DLC. Our goal is to give back to the players and give them content that they're gonna love. When you're playing as Noctis, your three allies are going through this journey with you, and their experiences throughout that adventure aren't shown. We tried a lot of new things for this, and it has allowed the dev team to really grow, develop, get stronger, and become more experienced. So in the long run, it all panned out for us. We're so happy with how it all worked out.
Was the desire to create more content in such a large space what led to the online mode? There are a lot of new features and support happening in FFXV, and an online component is a bit of an ambitious addition.
Hajime Tabata: We always had a plan for the multiplayer expansion. When we announced the DLC lineup, we started really thinking about how do we take on that project, and we needed a mission to have the players really feel like they're part of the overall story. It takes place during the 10 years that wasn't told in the main story. So we wanted people to really feel like they had a part in the story. Once we started thinking about the actual multiplayer, it became bigger than what we had initially anticipated.
Even before launch, we worked closely with the community and were open about our plans, addressing fan feedback. That's sort of what led up to the online service, where XV is a living, breathing world. Our approach was that we wanted to give back to our fan base, and we're seeing that support pay off. A month after the game had launched, about 30% of the people had beaten the game. Now, after several months, that's been continuously improving. We saw that rise to 60%. We're making the game more accessible to people and we're probably bringing in more fans. So as an overall kind of experience, we like this is a lot, but we still have a lot we learn from doing it this way.
Not including the MMO titles, this is easily one of the larger single-player oriented entries in the series. What would you say was the largest lesson you learned from making a game of this scale?
Hajime Tabata: The biggest takeaway we got from creating an open-world Final Fantasy game is that we understand why the big western developers that make these massive open world games require that much manpower. For FFXV, we made a lot of progress from a technological standpoint. We were able to push the boundaries, but we also streamlined our internal process to keep up with that pace. Looking back, there's still a lot to look back on, what we were lacking experience in, and what we didn't have the knowledge for. But there was still a lot that we were able to see and were aware of to make good progress on. When it comes time to work on our next project--taking everything we did--we're gonna do it even bigger and better, when that time comes.
So are you and the development team on XV planning on pursuing this style of open-world game for your next project?
Hajime Tabata: It's hard to say at this point if the entire game is gonna be based on an open world. But I would say that the overall experience that users get from playing in a massive area, that overall game experience is something that we're gonna make sure is in the next project as well.
Well, another Japanese developer came out with a rather notable open-world game this year with Breath of the Wild, which many fans have enjoyed. Have you all gotten the chance to play it, and if so, did anything stick out for you?
Hajime Tabata: So I personally haven't been able to get my hands on a Switch yet because they're really hard to find in Japan right now. [Laughs] It's embarrassing to say. I do have the game; I bought the game already so that I could just pop it in when I do get a Switch. But I've heard a lot from the dev team and their reactions to having played it. But just from hearing the stories and the feedback, you know, we can tell that it's a really complete game. It's very polished, almost a perfect game in that regard. And our goals are probably to take that experience that players felt with Breath of the Wild, but with our own technology and our own knowhow. We have in our disposal to create a very, very high-quality game with a strong visual element to it, while creating a world that's really immersive and really beautiful. That's probably our goals in terms of what we want to be with our next project.
We actually got the chance to check out the PC version of XV, and it's quite an improvement over the original in terms of visuals. We're actually seeing more developers in Japan take on PC releases for their games to solid success. What's impressed you with working on the PC release, and is this something you hope more developers in Japan will dive into?
Hajime Tabata: With the Windows Edition, the platform is already beyond what we did for the console version. Even our in-house engineering with the Luminous Engine has moved up a step in development. So we're at the next level in terms of our environmental creations. That's a little bit of a showcase of what we're capable of, but it's still something that we're still continuously working on. We've incorporated a lot of improved technologies for physics simulations and made it more natural and realistic. So we've tried to kind of elevate our game in a sense.
Obviously, we couldn't do a simultaneous release for console and PC for FFXV, as we were focused on getting the console version right first. So it's hard to say if that's gonna be a trend for more Japanese games in the future.
We saw with Nier: Automata, they released the Steam version pretty much alongside the console version. We saw that they had a massive reaction from their Steam user fanbase. So as a trend, moving forward, we think that means publishers and developers are gonna put focus on the PC and make sure that that's part of their overall strategy. We've made some great strides with the PC release of FFXV. From technical standpoint, to run the Windows Edition at a native 4K and 60 frames per second requires a beefy system. We understand that, there's certain things that PC gamers hold a lot of value for, like turning up all the graphics options to run the game how you want. But being able to experience this in 60 frames per second, it is really a genuinely rich experience.
One thing that PC gamers are really into is on the modification side of things. Many developers release tool-sets and design kits for their games on PC. While many people are anticipating mods to make the characters nude, there's likely going to much more than that with actual gameplay creations. What's your stance on PC mods, and are you OK with fans going at it with the game?
Hajime Tabata: Well, we'll definitely be allowing user-generated content for players. We know that that's a common thing. We'll provide a level editor so that players can create their own quests and their own mini missions. So that's at least one type of thing that we want to contribute and give to the players. But as far as the other stuff, we'll look at how the PC audience reacts to the Windows Edition with these and how many of them actually engaging with it. And depending on that, we might start thinking about what to contribute or what other tool sets to provide. We have plans for months, but we we want to see how this takes off first. Before we start thinking about okay, maybe if people seem to like this, so let's give them this tool set.
So you're pretty open to what fans plan to make?
Hajime Tabata: We want players to enjoy the experience, and that's part of the PC gaming world. So we understand that that's something that people are looking forward to. We definitely have concerns at how extreme people might take the mods, however. But we hope that people take advantage of it in good taste. Depending on how that turns out, is actually going to determine what kind of tool sets we end up providing. We'll be hands-off and just see what happens. What content that comes from PC mods, it's there for the players to use. But we'll be keeping an eye on the Steam workshop page.
Again, work on Final Fantasy XV has been going on for a long time. Looking back on the time you've spent with the game, what stick out most to you as something that you feel most proud of accomplishing?
Hajime Tabata: Well, it might not be one particular thing, but the fact that throughout the course of the development for Final Fantasy XV, we constantly made an effort to try new things and try new challenges, and also challenge ourselves to do something at a higher level than what we'd previously done. So being able to do that, you know, through all this time is the one thing that I'm really proud of.
Get your DVRs ready for the fall TV season, when networks release every new show and season they have at the exact same time. Obviously, that can be a lot to go through, making it difficult to figure out what's worth your time. Don't worry: we've got you covered.
Over the course of the next couple of months, we'll be looking at a selection of new and returning shows and giving you a quick breakdown of what is worth watching and what you should pass on. This week, we're talking about The Orville, The Deuce, The Mindy Project, and South Park.The Orville
400 years in the future, Seth MacFarlane plays Ed Mercer, who has been given command of a spaceship named The Orville. His second in command is his ex-wife, Kelly Grayson (Adrianne Palicki), and the two bicker with each other while running the ship. Their first mission goes awry, and the crew find themselves face-to-face with an evil alien race known as the Krill.
Regardless of what you've seen from the teasers and promos for this show, The Orville is not a true comedy. It's more a drama with a couple of jokes sprinkled in. In fact, every joke from the series premiere is contained within the trailer for the show. So what is The Orville actually like? Well, it's Star Trek: The Next Generation with a better computer-effects budget and some knee-slappers tossed in. While the show seems like it is supposed to be a parody, it never hits that same level that one would, like Galaxy Quest. The Orville tiptoes around parody and can't decide if it's going to be a serious show or a mildly amusing comedy. Luckily, the supporting cast is dynamic, fun, and adds some life to the show. If you're really looking for a space adventure with some comedy tossed in, Firefly exists, and it has its own voice.
Is It Worth Watching?: It's a pass. This is a really middle-of-the-road pilot. It doesn't feel like anything new, with only its supporting cast managing to stand out. Ultimately, it's Star Trek fanfiction.
The Orville airs on Sundays at 8 PM ET on Fox. You can watch the first episode on Hulu.The Deuce
HBO's newest series takes place during the '70s in New York City; more specifically, Manhattan. It was a time when drugs, porn, and prostitution ruled Times Square, not Broadway shows and people dressed as Elmo. James Franco stars as twin brothers Frankie and Vincent Martino: one is a degenerate gambler, and the other is a bar manager trying to make a living to help his family, whom he never sees. In addition, the show follows numerous other characters including prostitutes working the area, their pimps, and an NYU student.
The pilot episode comes in at almost an hour and a half, and it is a giant information dump onto the audience; however, this show is brilliant. There is not a single moment when we're being introduced to the world that the show feels like it drags at all. The Deuce does a spectacular job jumping between characters and introducing their story arcs, which tend to weave into other character's stories as well. Maggie Gyllenhaal does a spectacular job as a prostitute who doesn't have a pimp, something almost unheard of in this world. Somehow, a fully fleshed-out story arc for her is present in the pilot, without feeling rushed or overshadowing the rest of the episode. The pacing and balance for these arcs is expertly crafted. Also of note is the set design and overall look of the show, which are perfect. It's hard to wrap your head around the fact that Times Square used to be a completely different place than it is now.
Is It Worth Watching?: Stop reading this and sign into HBO or video on demand and watch this episode. The Deuce is one of the best pilots for a series I have ever seen.
The Deuce airs on Sundays at 9 PM ET on HBO. The first episode is available on HBO Go/HBO Now.The Mindy Project
Mindy Kaling is back as Mindy Lahiri, the young doctor trying to balance her work life and her personal life. The premiere for the final season has a recently wed Mindy learning about what it takes to be in a marriage. Obviously, she has a lot to learn as she's not very good at it.
This was a rough episode. The Mindy Project was a show I casually enjoyed a few seasons back, but this episode really didn't do anything for me. The show looks as if it was shot in 2017, but the writing and characters feel like something from a decade prior. It's clinging to a grounder, but overly wacky writing style that just doesn't work anymore. The episode straddles the line between being a compelling comedic drama and an over-the-top, silly show. The Mindy Project could be a whole lot more successful if it focused on one direction or the other.
Is It Worth Watching?: No.
New episodes of The Mindy Project are released on Tuesdays on Hulu.South Park
The 21st season of South Park opened with Alexas and Google Homes taking over homes across the town. However, this has angered unemployed citizens who feel Google and Amazon are taking their jobs (dey derp r derps). The unemployed stage a protest in town, complete with Confederate flags and tiki torches. Meanwhile, Cartman deals with his girlfriend. What is Randy Marsh up to? He's hosting a new show with his wife called "White People Renovating Houses."
The episode is weirdly disjointed and the sound mixing was way off, leaving the score a whole lot louder than the dialogue; however, I've come to expect pure insanity when it comes to South Park, especially after last year's season, which was the only episodic season to date. Everything during the episode was a home run, especially a local waving a Confederate flag over an Alexa.
Is Is Worth Watching?: Even if you were put off by last season, you should check this episode out, but please make sure your Alexa, Google Home, and/or Siri are turned off before starting it. You'll thank me later.
South Park airs on Comedy Central on Wednesdays at 10 PM ET. New episode appear the day after they air on Hulu.
Come back next week when we're talking about Vice Principals, Channel Zero, Gotham, and Fuller House.
As we make our way into the second half of September, the Games With Gold lineup has changed. Microsoft today rotated in two more games that Xbox Live Gold subscribers can now download free for a limited time.
Replacing Trials Fusion and Hydro Thunder Hurricane, which have now returned to their regular price, are two games: one each for Xbox One and Xbox 360. On Xbox One, the new addition is Oxenfree, the excellent dialogue-driven adventure game, while Xbox 360 owners get Battlefield 3. The latter is also playable on the newer console through Xbox One backwards compatibility.
You can grab both of these games (as well as Forza 5) right now for free. Adding them to your library will allow you to continue playing them even after they return to their regular price. You have until September 30 to grab Forza and Battlefield, while Oxenfree will stick around until October 15. October's lineup of free Games With Gold titles has not yet been announced, but we'll be hearing about that later this month.September 2017 Games With GoldXbox One
- Forza Motorsport 5: Game of the Year Edition (September 1-30)
- Oxenfree (September 16-October 15)
- Trials Fusion (expired)
We teamed up with Hi-Rez Studios to give away 10,000 codes for SMITE: Hand of the Gods Egyptian Starter Pack. This is an instant win and entry is open Worldwide.
Each code will unlock 3 cards. Here's what you get:
- Cataclysm x1
- Geb x1
- Magma Slam x1
Hand of the Gods: SMITE Tactics is a turn-based, one-vs-one strategy game set in the same mythological universe as the hit MOBA, SMITE. Players build decks of cards that spawn units onto a fully rendered battlefield using Unreal Engine 4. Each pantheon has its own unique leader ability and pantheon specific cards that can be combined with neutral cards to support a variety of playstyles. Hand of the Gods is currently in open beta on PC. Download and play for free at www.handofthegods.com
Some lucky Dragon Ball fans now have a chance to go hands-on with Dragon Ball FighterZ. The closed beta for the upcoming fighting game kicks off today, September 16, and will only be available for a limited time.
PS4 players who were selected to participate in the beta following the registration period last month will receive a download code via email, while those on Xbox One will see a notification of their selection in the Xbox Insider Hub's Announcement feed. Unlike a typical beta, however, this test will only run during specific, three-hour blocks of time. You can see the full list of sessions below.
Saturday, September 16
- 2 AM PT - 5 AM PT
- 10 AM PT - 1 PM PT
- 6 PM PT - 9 PM PT
Sunday, September 17
- 1 PM PT - 4 PM PT
Bandai Namco hasn't revealed which fighters will be available in the beta, but the publisher has announced 13 characters for the game thus far: Goku, Vegeta, Gohan, Frieza, Cell, Majin Buu, Future Trunks, Krillin, Piccolo, Android 16, Android 18, and Super Saiyan Blue Goku and Vegeta. Those who pre-order the title will unlock the latter two early as a bonus.
Dragon Ball FighterZ launches for PS4, Xbox One, and PC via Steam in early 2018. While the game still doesn't have a concrete release date in the US, it will arrive in Europe sometime in February. Bandai Namco released a trailer for the game at Gamescom that provided a look at some of its recently announced characters and its original story mode, which imagines Android 16 being revived to battle Goku and friends.