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E3 2018: All Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Character Changes Coming We Know Of (So Far)

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:03

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was announced for Nintendo Switch, on the Nintendo Direct presentation during E3 2018, and the biggest thing to know is that everyone is here. Every single character that has ever been in a Smash Bros. is back again, along with at least two new additions in Ridley and Splatoon's Inkling. For those who are coming back from a previous game, there will be some changes.

Some are mechanical, some are cosmetic, some are minor, and some are major. Here are all the ones we know so far, based on information given to us during the Nintendo Direct and based on our own hands-on experience.

  • General: Final Smash moves will be more immediate. Those who previously had long-lasting transformations like Bowser and Little Mac will have harder hitting versions, but they won’t last as long.
  • Mario: Mario outfit now features Cappy from Super Mario Odyssey, as well as his wedding outfit from the same game and his builder outfit from Super Mario Maker
  • Link: Link’s default outfit is the Champion’s Tunic from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, but he has a green Tunic of the Wild, too. His bombs are now remotely detonated, though they can't be detonated if someone picks them up. His Final Smash is an Ancient Arrow attack.
  • Ice Climbers: They're back!
  • Ike: Both his costumes from Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn will be available, and his voice will change depending on which one you use.
  • Pikachu: You'll be able to choose a female variant of Pikachu, complete with a heart-shaped tail. There's also a Luche Libre outfit for both male and female Pikachu.
  • Fox: This version of Fox will be based on his appearance in Star Fox Zero. His Final Smash has been overhauled is an instant-hit attack.
  • Falco: His Landmaster Final Smash attack has been replaced by an instant-hit attack similar to Fox's.
  • Ryu: He'll now always face his opponents during 1-on-1 matches, similar to how he operates in regular Street Fighter games, which will make using his command inputs a little easier.
  • Samus: Her charge moves can now be charged in mid-air. You can cancel them by jumping or dodging, but you'll be vulnerable afterward.
  • Marth: Dancing Blade is now faster, and the same goes for Roy and Lucina. He's also got his English voiceover this time around
  • Snake: He's back! He's based on his Metal Gear Solid 2 appearance again.
  • King Dedede: His Final Smash is now a cage match where he beats the crap out of opponents with missles and a hammer.
  • Pichu: Pichu's electric attacks will continue to cause damage to itself, is still the worst character.
  • Zelda: Her appearance is now based on The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, since she's more of a researcher in Breath of the Wild, and her Final Smash is the Triforce of Wisdom.
  • Sonic: His Final Smash, Supersonic is faster, because "he's lightning fast". Obviously.
  • Pac-Man: Namco's yellow gobbler is now a bit faster, at least in his Final Smash.
  • Pokemon Trainer: You'll continue to choose between commanding Squirtle, Ivysaur, and Charizard, and there's no penalty for sticking with one. There is now also a female Pokemon trainer costume that you can use.
  • Captain Falcon: Captain Falcon's appearance was used to show off a new, general change: a slowdown when certain moves successfully connect during a 1-on-1 match, like Falcon Punch
  • Cloud: Cloud's two costumes from Final Fantasy VII and Advent Children remain, but his limit gauge will be visible near his damage counter at all times.
  • Robin: Similarly, Robin's sword and tome meters will also be visible by the damage counter at all times.
  • Villager: The Animal Crossing villager will have a little icon next to their damage meter to show what item they've stored in their pocket.
  • Bowser: His Gigabowser Final Smash has changed--he'll now grow incredibly large and exist in the background of the stage, and you'll aim his punches.
  • Mr. Game & Watch: Mr. Game & Watch's look is now more in line with his LCD model in the original Game & Watch electronic games.
  • Young Link: He's back! Smash Bros. now has three different versions of Link.
  • Wolf: Wolf, like Fox, is also modeled around his Star Fox Zero appearance, and each of his moves has received a "significant upgrade".
  • Kirby: Kirby's infamous stone ability can now also appear as a chest from The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  • Shulk: Shulk's Monado Arts can now be directly selected from a radial menu, and Fiora from Xenoblade Chronicles now appears in his Final Smash.
  • Ganondorf: Ganon maintains his look from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, and his Final Smash is still Demon Ganon. He now wields a sword.
  • Mii Fighters: The Mii Fighters have had their proportions adjusted to be taller and leaner. Their move sets have been enhanced, they have 12 different voice options, and they're hoping to make them available to play online.
  • Pit: Pit's Final Smash is now the Lightning Chariot, and is an instant hit.
  • Zero Suit Samus: Final Smash now lets her call in her gunship, put her power armor back on, and fire a laser that can be aimed.
  • Olimar: Olimar's helmet now has visible cracks when he gets hit and knocked back.
  • Bayonetta: Both costumes for Bayonetta will still be available, and the gunshots in each will sound a little different from each other. Rodin from Bayonetta also appears an assist trophy.
  • Wario: Wario's Final Smash is still Warioman, but it no longer lets you use regular moves, it's an instant hit combo.
  • Donkey Kong: Donkey Kong's Final Smash is no longer the Donkey Konga bongos, instead it's an instant hit series of rapid punches. His Spinning Kong special attack now gains faster momentum as it continues, and his special punch can be charged in mid-air.
  • Little Mac: Again, Little Mac's Final Smash is no longer a transform, but rather an instant hit rush of blows.
  • Ness: Ness' Final Smash is still a PK Starstorm, but it's not as easily aimed, and includes cameos from his Earthbound comrades Paula and Poo. Jeff is an assist trophy.
  • Lucas: Similarly, Lucas's Mother 3 friends Kumatora and Boney show up to support him in his Final Smash.
  • Wii Fit Trainer: For whatever reason, the developer behind Wii Fit requested that Wii Fit Trainer's face be altered for this new game. You can still play as both male and female trainers.
  • Mega Man: Mega Man's robo-friends Protoman and Bass show up in Mega Man's Final Smash, which is still the multi-beam attack, Mega Legends.
  • Palutena: Her special attacks have been streamlined, and her down special acts as both a counter and a deflector.
  • R.O.B.: You can now see the fuel gauge for R.O.B.'s Robo Burner jetpack appear on his torso.
  • Lucina, Dark Pit, and Daisy: Yes, Daisy is now available in Smash Bros, but she's not a new character. All of these characters now act as "Echo Fighters", used to define characters who more or less the same characters as the ones they echo, but with only a few behavioral differences.

Series director Masahiro Sakurai has said that there are literally "tens of thousands of changes", so you can expect your favorite character to behave a little differently.

There are also a number of general technical changes including:

  • You can now press and hold the "A" button to attack with characters who have rapid attacks, like Kirby.
  • Directional air dodges are back from Melee
  • Dodging now has limits: Rapidly dodging about five to six times will see your character's dodge movement slow dramatically and have a smaller window of invulnerability.
  • Hitting the A and jump buttons at the same time will let you do a short hop attack, a technique that was previously much more demanding to perform
  • You can hold A+B to perform a quick Smash attack
  • Perfect Shield is back: By blocking, and then releasing your block the moment an enemy attack connects, you are free to move and attack while your enemy is still in cooldown.
  • One-on-one battles now feature greater damage modifiers in an effort to increase the pace and dynamism of these kinds of fights.
  • In a Time battle, the leading player will flash with light
  • There is now a mini-map that appears when a character gets knocked past the boundaries of the screen. This makes it easier to tell how far away you are.
  • Stages are now selected before characters.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be available on Nintendo Switch on December 7, 2018.

E3 2018: Resident Evil 2 Remake Takes Gore To New Levels Of Gross

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 13:00

Resident Evil has been known as a horror mainstay, even given its campy dialogue. Resident Evil 2 borrows liberally from later entries to make it more modernized horror, and given our look at E3 2018, a big part of that feeling is the visual style. There's no way to sugar-coat this: Resident Evil 2 is gross.

You can see for yourself in the video above. The famous doomed officer spills his guts like never before, leaving a mottled trail of viscera in his wake. But startling as that moment was and still is, it's nothing compared to later in the gameplay demo, when Leon comes face-to-face with a zombie whose mouth has been cut into a Glasgow smile. The musculature of his face stretches and contorts as he opens his mouth. It looks meaty and believable in a way that the series never has.

Capcom knows this, and has made it a selling point for its upcoming survival horror. A press release boasts that the proprietary RE Engine provides a photorealistic style, and "grotesque hordes of zombies are brought to life with a horrifyingly realistic wet gore effect." It's all enough to make the spine crawl, and it's likely only a taste (gross) of the final product.

For more on Resident Evil 2 Remake, check out our extended gameplay above, or take a look at the latest trailer. RE2 will come back from the dead on January 25, 2019 for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.

E3 2018: 19 Amazing New FIFA 19 Features You May Have Missed

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:44

FIFA 19 has finally been revealed. We know its release date, we know it's poached the Champions League license from rival football game PES, and we know it will feature the third and final chapter of Alex Hunter's story in The Journey. However, very little has been shared about how the game plays and feels.

Luckily, we got hands on with the new soccer game at EA Play. As you might expect, it feels very similar to FIFA 18, but it builds on its predecessor in a number of tiny ways. These are details that took us a while to notice, but they will end up making a huge difference over the course of the next dozens of hours that we all spend playing FIFA 19.

For more on FIFA 19, check out our other coverage below. Alternatively, read on for 19 amazing new details you might have missed in FIFA 19.

Shot In The Dark

You can now attempt to hit a shot even sweeter than before by tapping Circle / B a second time, just as your foot hits the ball. Get the timing right, and there's a decent chance the ball will be flying into the top corner. Get it wrong, and it'll probably end up in row Z.

Secretive Goal Kicks

If you're the sort of FIFA player who likes to play out from the back, this one's for you. You know when you're playing next to a friend and you want to play it to your center-back or right-back from a goal kick, but if you move the stick, your mate will see the camera swing round and know where you're going to pass to? Now, moving the stick from a goal kick doesn't move the camera, so you can emulate Barcelona and Manchester City to your heart's content.

Second Player Markers

One of PES 2018's best small improvements was a grey marker above the currently selected second player when defending. This allows you to know which second man will press and which player you'll switch to should you press L1 / LB. EA has, smartly, taken the idea and put it into FIFA 19.

Running Patterns

You can now tell your full-backs what kind of runs to make when on the attack. Go into the player instructions tab of team management and you'll see a new option to tell full-backs to overlap the winger or underlap into the center of the pitch.

Defensive Positioning

Another new player instruction option is the ability to tell a central midfielder to cover the wing or the center of the park.

Mini-Map Magic

One team's players will now have triangular icons--as opposed to the standard circular ones--on the mini-map for quicker and easier identification between your teammates and opponents.

Plan Ahead

Game plans are a new feature in FIFA 19 that allow you to configure alternate tactical options before the match. This means you can now have separate game plans for when you're 1-0 down and need to go on the offensive--pushing full-backs up and having more players flood the box, for example--and for when you're 2-0 up and want to protect your lead. Once you've made your plans, you simply use the d-pad in-game to change to your other pre-meditated systems. Unfortunately, this means all-out attack and park the bus no longer exist as in-game options.

Commentators' League

EA hasn't just got the Champions League logo; it's also got a new commentary team just for European nights under the lights. Derek Rae and Lee Dixon offer their expert commentary for the Champions League, so you'll have more than just the usual pair of Martin Tyler and Alan Smith for company.

Europa League

This got a little lost in the excitement of getting the Champions League license, but the Europa League will also be in FIFA 19. Great news for all the Arsenal fans out there.

Customizers' League

The Champions League will of course be seen in The Journey, Ultimate Team, and Career Mode, but it will also get its own standalone mode. Within that, you can set up a custom Champions League, and have it include any team you like. Great news for all the Arsenal fans out there.

Defensive Styles

You now have greater control over your team's defensive style. That means you can change the way your team attempt to reclaim the ball via the following settings: "pressure after possession loss," "constant pressure," "drop back," "balanced," and "pressure on heavy touch."

Cornerstone

Scoring headers from corner kicks now feels far more satisfying, as your players appear to hang in the air a little longer when jumping. They also make more dynamic runs into the box.

Tactical Depth

As has become a common feature in football games, you can adjust your team's width and depth in FIFA 19. However, you can also adjust the number of players you send forward for corner kicks and tweak how many players will make forward runs in play.

Through On Goal

Passing in general feels a little better this year, but the biggest step forward has been seen in through passes, which feel much more natural. They feel way more powerful; too powerful, in fact, and we wouldn't be surprised to see them nerfed before launch.

A Touch Of Class

A new active touch system will allow better first touches with many different parts of the body, which both looks great and gives you greater control over the ball.

Feint Attack

As part of active touch, you can now feint to go in one direction before receiving the ball while actually touching the ball in the opposite direction. Sucks to be a defender.

A Touch Of Class Part 2

This may seem minute, but stepovers appeared to be a little easier to trigger and a little more powerful. Also, a right-weighted stepover will now bring a slight touch to the left (and vice versa), which has the dual effect of looking more dynamic and of fooling your opponent.

50/50

EA says 50/50 battles over a loose ball will now take into account many more variables than they did last year, including player attributes and user reaction times.

Tactics Confirmed

One of the most annoying things about previous FIFA games is that it was never totally clear whether in-game tactical options--such as having your wingers swap sides or forcing your defense to play an offside trap--were activated. Once you clicked the button, you never knew whether it would be active permanently or if it was temporary and whether or not it was currently active. This year, there's a clear toggle, so you know when you're telling a center-back to join the attack. I mean, you should probably be able to tell from the 6ft 6in lump that's standing on the goal line, so you may want to get your eyes checked.

E3 2018: Microsoft Wants Xbox's Adaptive Controller On PS4 And Switch

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:39

Microsoft's new Xbox Adaptive Controller aims to make playing video games on Xbox One and PC more accessible for anyone, including those with disabilities. However, the company has now said it wants to go a step further and make it available on PlayStation and Nintendo Switch.

"We'll work with other providers to figure out how we can make this work on other platforms," the project's program manager, Evelyn Thomas, told GameSpot at E3 2018. "It's really about the democratization of accessibility. I want this to work on Sony, I want this to work on Nintendo. I want it to work everywhere, because the gamer wins when that happens."

Right now, the device works on all editions of the Xbox One and on Windows 10 PCs, with some limited capabilities on Windows 7 and 8. However, Thomas also said the controller will be "forward compatible with all future Xboxes."

In addition to its own in-built buttons, the Xbox Adaptive Controller also acts as an interface between Xbox and third-party devices that can be better tailored to individual users' needs, whether that's a chewing device, a joystick, or a movement-activated sensor. A standard USB port and multiple 3.5mm jacks mean it can work with any number of bespoke devices. The controller is coming this September for $100 in the US. International pricing has not been shared.

E3 2018: Cyberpunk 2077 Dev Says Witcher 3 Helped With Combat

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:38

CD Projekt Red shared some more details about its highly anticipated RPG, Cyberpunk 2077. During GameSpot's E3 2018 Stage Show, associate design director Kyle Rowley sat down with us and discussed how the developer is using the lessons it learned from The Witcher 3 on its new sci-fi RPG, particularly with regard to its combat system.

Cyberpunk 2077 features both ranged and melee combat, and the latter in particular benefited from the developer's work on Witcher. "We learned quite a lot from the combat in Witcher 3, and we're translating that to the lessons we learned in the gameplay about how to do melee and try to transfer that to Cyberpunk," Rowley said. "Obviously it's very different in the fact that we're now doing it from a first-person perspective rather than from a third-person, but the lessons that we learned in Witcher, we can definitely translate."

Rowley also revealed that weapons in Cyberpunk 2077 fall into three general categories: power, tech, and smart. Power weapons were described as more "traditional weapons that you would have nowadays," such as high-impact guns. "When you fire them, we may have, for example, exaggerated hit reactions and staggers to kind of emphasize the hit impacts," Rowley said.

Tech weapons, on the other hand, focus primarily on penetrating through walls, NPCs, and other objects. The final category, smart weapons, can track and follow targets around the games. As Rowley explained, these types of weapons were designed to be accessible to players, regardless of how good they are at shooters:

"Again, because we're a role-playing game and we understand some people aren't necessarily averse to twitch-based combat who like playing role-playing games, we tried to design the smart weapons around being something that people can pick up and play casually without necessarily having to be super-efficient with shooting people in the head or more twitch-based, reaction-based combat, so we're trying to cater to both audiences there with that."

Despite the prevalence of guns and the game's first-person perspective, Rowley asserted that Cyberpunk 2077 is not a shooter, but still very much an RPG. "It's a role-playing game with some shooter elements, rather than a shooter with role-playing laid on top of it. There's very deep progression systems, so all the things you'd expect from a CD Projekt game," he said.

Cyberpunk 2077 still doesn't have a release date, but we got our first real look at the highly anticipated title during Microsoft's E3 press conference. For more on the game, be sure to check out GameSpot's full E3 2018 coverage of Cyberpunk 2077.

E3 2018: Life Is Strange's New Free Game Impressions - The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:38

In a surprising announcement, Dontnod and Square Enix revealed a new addition to the Life Is Strange universe at E3 2018: A free, standalone game called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit. While not officially a part of the upcoming Life Is Strange 2--more news will be shared on that in the coming months--Captain Spirit remains in the same timeline and universe as the one inhabited by Life Is Strange protagonists Max and Chloe, and some story elements and player choices will carry over in Life Is Strange 2.

Life Is Strange’s co-directors Raoul Barbet and Michel Koch walked us through a short demo of The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit at E3. They started off by explaining that Life Is Strange does not encompass a single set of characters like Max and Chloe. Captain Spirit follows a new character, a 10-year-old child named Chris, and this shift certainly changes our expectations for Life Is Strange 2. And although the game is only a couple of hours long, Dontnod is hoping that players will feel encouraged to replay Captain Spirit multiple times to find out more about Chris, his situation, and what that might mean for Life Is Strange 2.

The game begins in the same way as the trailer: A Sufjan Stevens song (Death With Dignity) plays over scenes of a snow-covered house beside a forest, and we're introduced to Chris. He’s playing with his toys, and it’s apparent that he has a very vivid imagination, creating and narrating a fabricated scenario. At one point we're led to believe that he's about to move his toy spaceship with some kind of psychic force, but a quick cutaway shows that this, too, is part of his imagination.

Chris has an alter ego for himself--a superhero with a variety of powers called Captain Spirit--and the game revolves around Chris’ Saturday morning as he spends time role-playing and completing superhero quests. A handy objective menu keeps track of these tasks, which includes things like constructing a costume (which can change depending on choices you make), vanquishing a water beast (a broken water heater), and exploring new planets in his spaceship (treehouse). Interacting with the world as Chris is very similar to Life Is Strange--there are numerous objects you can interact with as you move around the home. Some interactions depict Chris having fun, some interactions have references to Life Is Strange, and the majority of them reveal something more about Chris’ personality, his imagination, and his life situation.

But you can also interact with specific objects as Captain Spirit, using your imaginative superpowers to overcome fear, defeat monsters, and perform heroic deeds. Chris might be afraid of the dark, but Captain Spirit isn’t scared of it at all. It’s a charming idea, and the hand-drawn UI aesthetic layered over the more muted 3D world makes the experience kind of adorable, though a little bittersweet, too. There were a few occasions where Chris’ imagination got wild and the entire 3D world shifted to represent the intensity of his imagination, only to suddenly snap back to reality at the end.

But, you don’t have to do any of this, and the game will wrap itself up at a certain point. Chris’ father (who is definitely not the world's greatest dad) has promised to take him out after he finishes watching a basketball game, and you can spend the interim however you wish: completing superhero objectives, exploring the house normally, or waste it away by playing with toys. A conclusion will eventually happen no matter what you do, but there are more things to interact with than there is time to interact with it, let alone the multiple branching choices that occur.

In a conversation with the co-directors, it came to light that the decision to pivot studio efforts to develop The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit came very shortly after writing for Life Is Strange 2 had begun. This game is very much linked to Life Is Strange 2, and they decided that they wanted to spend more time exploring the character of Chris and his relationship with his father. The decision to make it free also gave them the opportunity to try different design ideas and writing styles in preparation for Life is Strange 2, while being able to create a free, standalone, and accessible entry point to the series for newcomers. “It’s a real gift to the players”, they said.

The Awesome of Adventures of Captain Spirit will be available on June 26, 2018, for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Elijah Wood Has Something Important To Say About Video Game Sequels

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:32

Actor Elijah Wood is at E3 2018 this week in Los Angeles to talk about the psychological thriller Transference that he and his film company SpectreVision are working on with Ubisoft. The game is immensely creepy, featuring some of the most unsettling and haunting scenes you will see all year in games. The structure is also very unique. A game meant to be played in VR but also coming to traditional systems, Transference puts you into an experiment gone wrong from a troubled scientist. In short, he tries to upload his consciousness and that of his wife and son to the cloud. But it all goes wrong, and the data gets corrupted. You play as each of the three family members, experiencing the horror of the experiment from the different perspectives. You might think you understand the motivation of one of the family members, but when you switch to another, everything changes and you see the world through a new light.

Needless to say, Transference is unique. In a video game industry so focused on sequels and extensions of existing ideas as highlighted at E3 2018 this week, its novelty is refreshing. We caught up with Wood at E3 and asked him about a number of things, one of which was the importance in gaming--and film--of taking risks. Wood, a veteran in Hollywood, is well aware of the business reasons that explain why sequels are so ubiquitous. But he's still wary of sequel-itis because "expectations ultimately breed safety," and that kind of thinking won't push the industry forward.

For Transference, Wood said he and his team were intentionally looking at other games in an attempt to avoid repeating common tropes. Transference is the first game that SpectreVision has worked on, with its output instead taking the form of film and TV projects, mostly in the horror space. Wood said he doesn't blame studio executives or AAA gaming bosses for releasing sequel after sequel after sequel, but noted that it's more exciting to work on new things.

"Part of the problem with [movie studios] and games too is not that the people who create them are not interested in innovation, it's that they have to feed an audience that has expectations," Wood said. "Expectations ultimately breed safety and playing it safe, so as not to disappoint. Which one can totally understand in a business. But there is a lot of innovation happening now in games."

There is a good amount of innovation happening in the VR space, in part by necessity. It is so new compared to traditional platforms, so developers are trying new things to see what works best. It is this environment that yields exciting results, Wood said.

"VR is a really exciting place for that," Wood said, referring to innovation in games. "The rules really don't feel like they're written. It feels a little bit like the Wild West. Especially because it's not ubiquitous. Not everyone has a VR headset."

Generally speaking, Wood said he is more drawn to the indie space in games today because their creators are often not beholden to publishers who finance them and thus expect a return on investment. Indie creators are generally free of those considerations. While there are a lot of rubbish indie games out there, these developers are oftentimes trying to break established rules and try something new. Do you think a big publisher would have ever funded Goat Simulator? Probably not, but the developers believed in the project and it became a bonafide hit. Wood said he is energised by the indie space, and his new game is certainly shaping up to be something new and interesting.

"This is true of film, too, on a big studio level there aren't making risks being taken. Plenty of great films and a lot of great entertainment, and they tend to be giant franchises," Wood said. "And that's very true of the AAA game industry as well. And I think that's also why the indie world is really emerging is really exciting. You're getting games being made by single individuals who have worked for five years to create something and they're making it all on their own and doing something really different."

Transference launches this fall for PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, and HTC Vive, while non-VR versions will be available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

E3 2018: Fallout 76 Details New Monsters And Nuking Your Friends

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:23

Fallout 76 received the most stage time at Bethesda's E3 2018 showcase, but even after the deep dive it left some questions unanswered. More details have emerged that shed light on the types of monsters we can expect from this version of the wasteland, as well as how your player character will level up and interact with other humans.

In NoClip's Making of Fallout 76, Bethesda developers talked about how the new time period is opening up new monster design opportunities. Since it's closer to when the bombs fell, they reason, their mutations can be bigger and stranger.

At the same time, some classic Fallout enemies are off-limits for narrative reasons. Raiders don't make sense within the context of the story, and besides that, Bethesda didn't want to force players to second-guess whether the human character they were meeting was a human or AI. Its solution is the Scorched, a new race of Ghouls that are almost feral, but retained enough intelligence to wield a gun.

Enemies aren't the only ones being mutated, though. Mutations can be used to tweak your character, usually with a paired positive and negative effect. You can cure them if you want, or in the late-game, you can seal them to your character permanently. You can also customize your character with perk cards, which provide both loot and trading opportunities.

Finally, the studio addressed just how launching nukes will work. This will be a somewhat rare occurrence since it's late-game content, and it relies on working together to secure launch codes and solve puzzles. Nuking an area also makes it home to more high-level enemies, so producer Todd Howard suggested that players will still be incentivized to have the fun of launching a nuke even if they don't want to harm other players. They can create their own high-level area by targeting somewhere that other players aren't occupying.

For more on Fallout 76, including how to secure your very own Power Armor helmet with the collector's edition, check out our release date and pre-order guide.

E3 2018: The Last Of Us 2 Adds A New Dimension To Combat And To Ellie

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:16

Sony debuted gameplay for The Last of Us Part II during its E3 2018 press conference. What Sony and developer Naughty Dog showed is just as gruesome as the previous trailer for the sequel; on top of a man getting eviscerated, we see Ellie perform a number of brutal takedowns and kills. It's definitely a lot to take in all at once, and it's also somewhat cinematic--it can be hard to tell what's pure combat and what's a cutscene-like transition.

While at E3 2018, we had a chance to speak to co-directors Anthony Newman and Kurt Margenau about the game. They gave us insight into what exactly we're seeing in the trailer in terms of combat, and as it turns out, much of what looks cinematic--Ellie's perfectly timed dodges and pulling an arrow out of her shoulder--is actually within your control. That's looking to be a key component in framing and shaping the intense violence in The Last of Us Part II, as well as something that can add greatly to Ellie as a character.

"In classic Naughty Dog style, we always try to contextualize animations, so the dodge and shoot play away from the arrow is a different animation from when the blade is about to hit her," Newman said when asked about the variety of movements seen in the new gameplay. "So there's an extremely complicated system that goes into making each of her dodges."

"Every strike has its own dodge based on the angle, how high it is, different things [like that]," Margenau added. These dodges in particular make certain combat sequences in the trailer look scripted, but the co-directors say that this movement is mapped to a specific button.

We also asked about what looks like a healing mechanic, when Ellie vaults over a store counter and then pulls an arrow out of her shoulder before continuing. But Newman and Margenau said that this is an entirely new mechanic separate from healing. A lot of it has to do with the new bow-and-arrow enemies, which didn't appear in the original Last of Us, and what happens when one of their arrows becomes lodged somewhere on Ellie's body.

"It's not distinctly a healing animation [in the trailer], it's a particular status effect," Newman said. "You'll notice in the lower right, there's a little arrow icon, and it's like you're afflicted with 'arrow-ness.' It disables your listen mode and it totally screws up your aim, so you have to try and find a safe spot to take the arrow out."

This status is specific to arrows. The co-directors did not give other examples of similar mechanics, but they did talk a bit more about the returning listen mode, which the arrow status impacts.

"We're looking at ways to refine it... we're always trying to balance against how much information we give the player in a stealth scenario," Margenau said. "We've got some cool ideas for it to make it more grounded, more realistic."

All of this points to an involved style of combat with more factors to consider than in the original game, and that in turn says a lot about Ellie. Ellie in The Last of Us is young, naive, and learning how to survive from Joel; Ellie in Part II is an experienced killer with a lot of apparent anger behind her strikes. Learning about who she's become is one of the most enticing things about The Last of Us Part II, and combat seems to be a huge part of that.

The Last of Us Part II does not currently have a release date. During our interview, we also learned that Part II will have multiplayer like the original. For more on Sony's press conference, see our roundup of all the biggest news.

E3 2018: Anthem Frame Rate On PS4/Xbox One Discussed By BioWare

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 12:15

Anthem producer Mark Darrah has commented on the action game's frame rate on console. At one point, Darrah said he thought the game would be locked at 30 FPS on console, but that estimate may no longer be accurate. The frame rate could be higher.

In a newer tweet, Darrah said Anthem might perform better, especially on "newer revisions." Presumably that is a reference to Xbox One X and PS4 Pro. "While I previously said consoles would be locked at 30, I may actually prove wrong. ESPECIALLY on the newer revisions," Darrah said.

The theatre demo that BioWare presented at EA Play yesterday looked quite slick, and that's in part because it was running at 60 FPS, Darrah said in a follow-up tweet. Presumably that footage was captured on a high-end PC to show the game in all of its glory. The PC specs for Anthem have yet to be released, but it's expected that those with a capable rig will have the best experience around.

Anthem is BioWare's first new IP in 10 years. Unlike the studio's previous titles, it is an always-online, co-op, multiplayer-focused shooter that has no romance options and limited branching dialogue choices. That is a big departure for the studio, but it's one that appears to be shaping up well.

For more on Anthem, you can check out GameSpot's hands-on preview of the game in which we called the title an exciting new direction for BioWare. Anthem launches on February 22 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

You can read more about Anthem and other news from EA's E3 briefing in our recap of all the announcements from EA Play. For our full coverage of the big event, be sure to visit GameSpot's E3 2018 hub to follow along with all of the biggest news from the show.

E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Switch's New GameCube Controller Adapter Will Cost $20

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:39

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is coming to Switch this December, and it will support a variety of controller options, including the GameCube controller--the preferred gamepad of many Smash Bros. players. Nintendo confirmed during E3 2018 that Wii U's GameCube Controller Adapter will be compatible with Ultimate, but if you don't have one of those laying around, you'll be able to pick up a new one at launch.

During a hands-on session with Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, a Nintendo representative said that a new GameCube controller adapter will be released alongside the game, and it'll retail for $20. Nintendo also confirmed it will release a new line of Smash-branded GameCube controllers later this year, although pricing details for those have yet to be confirmed.

In addition to GameCube controllers, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be playable with either a Switch Pro Controller or a single Joy-Con. Nintendo also confirmed the game will be compatible with all existing Super Smash Bros. Amiibo figures.

E3 2018: Elder Scrolls 6 Boss Todd Howard Apparently Knows The Release Date But He Won't Tell You

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:33

Todd Howard, who is known to wear very nice leather jackets, has given an update on the state of development on The Elder Scrolls VI and the studio's new Starfield. Speaking to GameSpot at E3 2018, Howard said The Elder Scrolls VI is only in the "very early" stages of development, while Starfield is further along and will likely launch before the new Elder Scrolls game.

"It's in the concept and design [phase]," Howard said. Perhaps more intriguingly, Howard said he knows the release date of The Elder Scrolls VI--but he's not going to tell you. "I do. I would be foolish to say it," he said.

For The Elder Scrolls VI, Bethesda is taking its time to make it the game that fans want and expect from the studio. After all, Skyrim was a monumentally successful game from a critical and commercial perspective, so it has very big shoes to fill. And Bethesda is known for outdoing itself.

"We've obviously taken our time with [The Elder Scrolls 6], as opposed to jumping right into it," he said. "We know what we want it to be, and that's gonna take time, technology, other things that we need to build to to really pull it off. And that's what that franchise deserves."

Howard suggested that the ideas and ambition Bethesda has for The Elder Scrolls 6 might not be possible on current-generation hardware. He said in a Gameslice interview that Bethesda is "getting closer" to the technology needed to run the game, which suggests that the PS4 and Xbox One are not capable enough to run the game as Bethesda wants.

As for Starfield, this game--which is Bethesda's first new IP In a very long time--is already playable and is in full production. As such, the game is expected to launch before The Elder Scrolls 6. Indeed, Howard told GameSpot that the current release plan for Bethesda Game Studios' next big games will be Fallout 76, then Starfield, then Elder Scrolls VI. However, Howard also said Starfield might not launch on current-generation hardware, so it could be a long time before we get to play either title.

No new Xbox or PlayStation consoles have been announced, but just this week Microsoft announced it's working on new consoles, while Sony is rumoured to be working on a PlayStation 4.

Bethesda announcing Starfield and Elder Scrolls VI so long before launch is a notable change for the company, as it's become known for announcing and releasing games in short order.

Bethesda's next big game is Fallout 76, which launches in November for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Unlike the previous games, it is an online-only, multiplayer-focused game.

E3 2018: Super Smash Ultimate On Switch Is An Entirely New Game

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:15

Is Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on Nintendo Switch a new game or just an upgrade of the most recent Wii U/3DS version? While it wasn't explicitly stated during the E3 2018 Nintendo Direct Presentation, during a Q&A session following the reveal, Nintendo's Nate Bihldorff, a senior localization director, confirmed that this next Smash will be a "new game built specifically for Nintendo Switch."

It's not a port or an update, but an original title built from the ground-up for Switch. However, as to whether the game will include a single-player component remains to be seen. However, given the cinematic reveal trailer for Ridley, and the fact that there are a significant number of characters to unlock, it's likely that there'll be some kind of solo campaign.

Other details of note include the fact that you pick a stage before selecting characters, allowing you to cater your choice to the level you'll be playing on. The game will also feature support for GameCube controllers through an adapter, which should further please those who are extremely competitive about their Smash.

In the coming days, we'll learn more about the game along with the mountain of other games revealed during Nintendo's E3 presentation. But check back soon for our hands-on impressions and more gameplay clips from Smash Ultimate.

E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Has Every Character From Previous Games

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 10:01

The next Super Smash Bros. game, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch, was finally revealed on the Nintendo Direct presentation during E3 2018, and as they began to reveal the roster of playable characters, there was one thing that slowly became increasingly clear: Everyone is here.

Every single character that has ever appeared in a Super Smash Bros. game—from the original 12 characters featured in the Nintendo 64 games, all the way up to the latest DLC characters made released for Super Smash Bros. on Wii U—will be included as a playable character in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.

This, of course, includes characters who originate from non-Nintendo series, like Snake from the Metal Gear Solid series and Cloud from Final Fantasy VII, as well as characters that have only appeared once before, like Young Link and Star Wolf.

All characters will undergo some mechanical changes and balances, some significant, some minor. For example, Link’s bombs will now be remotely detonated. Generally speaking, all Final Smash moves will have more immediate effects--those who previously had long-lasting transformations like Bowser and Little Mac will have harder hitting versions, but they won’t last as long. Some characters will have cosmetic adjustments—the Wii Sports Trainer will have a new face, for whatever reason.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will also feature two new characters: Inking Girl (or Boy) from the Splatoon series and Ridley, the archenemy of Samus Aran from the Metroid series. While the new game’s roster will originally be limited to the original N64 roster, Nintendo is hoping to reward character unlocks will frequently, giving players a feeling of constant progression.

Here’s a list of all the confirmed characters, in alphabetical order:

  1. Bayonetta
  2. Bowser
  3. Bowser Jr.
  4. Captain Falcon
  5. Charizard
  6. Cloud
  7. Corrin
  8. Dark Pit
  9. Diddy Kong
  10. Donkey Kong
  11. Dr. Mario
  12. Duck Hunt
  13. Falco
  14. Fox
  15. Ganondorf
  16. Greninja
  17. Ice Climbers
  18. Ike
  19. Inkling
  20. Ivysaur
  21. Jigglypuff
  22. King Dedede
  23. Kirby
  24. Link
  25. Little Mac
  26. Lucario
  27. Lucas
  28. Lucina
  29. Luigi
  30. Mario
  31. Marth
  32. Mega Man
  33. Meta Knight
  34. Mewtwo
  35. Mii Brawler
  36. Mii Gunner
  37. Mii Swordfighter
  38. Mr. Game & Watch
  39. Ness
  40. Olimar
  41. Pac-Man
  42. Palutena
  43. Peach
  44. Pichu
  45. Pikachu
  46. Pit
  47. Pokemon Trailer
  48. Ridley
  49. R.O.B.
  50. Robin
  51. Rosalina & Luma
  52. Roy
  53. Ryu
  54. Samus
  55. Sheik
  56. Shulk
  57. Snake
  58. Sonic
  59. Squirrel
  60. Toon Link
  61. Villager
  62. Wario
  63. Wii Fit Trainer
  64. Wolf
  65. Yoshi
  66. Young Link

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate will be released on December 7, 2018.

E3 2018: Cyberpunk 2077's Setting And Tone Discussed By CD Projekt Red

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:31

As part of E3 2018 this week, we're getting a lot of new information about CD Projekt Red's new and ambitious RPG Cyberpunk 2077. Associate design director Kyle Rowley stopped by GameSpot's E3 2018 stage and shared more details about the tone and setting of the upcoming game.

The trailer for Cyberpunk 2077 was set during the day because CD Projekt Red knew it could nail a nighttime, Blade Runner-style vibe. Some criticised the trailer for being oddly colorful, but that was the entire idea, Rowley said.

"We tried to build the cyberpunk atmosphere in daytime, because we know for a fact that we can create the moody atmospheric noir feeling that you get from Blade Runner," he said. "So for the trailer we really wanted to show how you could take the cyberpunk elements of this dystopian world and show it when the sun's out. It's not something you necessarily experience in traditional cyberpunk media, but that’s not to say we don't have those Blade Runner noir elements."

Rowley went on to say that Cyberpunk 2077 isn't set completely during the day; the game has a full day/night cycle.

"The story is very noir in how it works, the feeling, the missions and the different characters you interact with," he said. "It definitely has that noir vibe, so if anybody's worried that we're not going to have that Blade Runner noir feeling, it's definitely going to be there. The game has a full day-night cycle with weather systems so you'll definitely experience both daytime and nighttime. And, for sure, it's going to have that neon cityscape that people are really craving for."

In other news about Cyberpunk 2077, it was confirmed today that you play as a male or female character named V, who is a hired gun in Night City. The location is the "most violent and dangerous metropolis of the corporate-ruled future." There will be a "robust" character creator tool that lets you select's your gender and character class, as well as "historical background." Everything you create and customise can "influence the shape of the game," for whatever that means.

Cyberpunk 2077 is in the works for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. For more, check out this story: Cyberpunk 2077's Character Customization And Class Progression Detailed.

Kingdom Hearts 3 Will Have An Awesome Special Edition

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:28

After a long wait, Kingdom Hearts fans are finally getting Kingdom Hearts III. During its E3 2018 showcase, Square Enix officially announced the game for Nintendo Switch and Xbox One. You'll be able to buy the game starting January 29, 2019. There will be Standard and Deluxe Editions, but Square Enix will also release a special edition that includes the Deluxe Edition plus extra goodies.

The Kingdom Hearts III Deluxe Edition + Bring Arts Figures includes the base game, a steelbook case, an artbook, and a collectible pin featuring Sora with the Kingdom Hearts 3 logo. It will also come with three Bring Arts figures of Sora, Donald, and Goofy in their Toy Story world garb. The Deluxe Edition + Bring Arts Figures will cost $230 and will be available exclusively from the Square Enix store. Check out all the offerings below.

There are tons of other ways to buy Kingdom Hearts III, including an all-in-one PS4 Pro bundle, so check out our full buying guide for all your options.

Kingdom Hearts III will be the last chapter of the overarching Kingdom Hearts story. It will take players to Toy Story, Hercules, and Monsters Inc. worlds, among others. We've got a look at a few of the worlds already; check out these trailers of Frozen, Ratatouille, Wreck-It Ralph, and watch the Pirates of the Caribbean video above to get a glimpse of Captain Jack Sparrow.

E3 2018: Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Makes You Pick Stages Before Characters, It Seems

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 09:03

Nintendo revealed a ton of details about Switch's upcoming Super Smash Bros. game--now known as Super Smash Bros. Ultimate--during its E3 2018 Direct presentation. The game makes a huge assortment of tweaks to the series, but one of the more notable is when you'll be choosing stages, or so it appears.

As shown during Nintendo's Treehouse livestream, it seems that players will now choose a stage before picking a character to use. This could be a particularly big change, as before, players could select a level that their opponent's fighter didn't fare well on. This approach helps put everyone on even footing before the match begins. However, it's not clear if this system will be in place in the final version of the game.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is by far the biggest Smash Bros. game to date. It features every character who has ever been in the series, whether they were a DLC addition or only appeared in a single entry. It also introduces a number of new characters, such as Daisy, the Inklings, and Ridley from Metroid.

Additionally, Nintendo confirmed that Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a new installment of the series, not a port of the Wii U game. The company also revealed that GameCube controllers will be compatible with Smash Bros. Ultimate, and those who have the Wii U GameCube Controller Adapter will be able to use it for Switch.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launches for Switch later this year, on December 7. In the meantime, you can read about every character we know so far.

E3 2018: How To Get Todd Howard's Snazzy Leather Jacket

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:47

Todd Howard, the iconic game developer known for Fallout and Elder Scrolls, wore a very nice leather jacket on stage at Bethesda's E3 2018 press conference this week. He is something of a rockstar in the gaming space, and he definitely looked the part on Sunday evening when he told the world about Fallout 76 and made dad jokes.

You will never be Todd Howard. But you can dress like him. Howard told us in an interview that he was not supplied the jacket by Bethesda's wardrobe company (if the company even has one). Instead, he bought it himself from the website with a good name: Soul Revolver. We are not completely sure which one is his, but it looks like the classic Cafe Racer jacket. It's available in Italian, Cowhide, and Synthetic leather options, ranging in price from around $130-$380.

Todd Howard is a boss at Bethesda and a boss in real life

Todd Howard has won a Lifetime Achievement award and he was inducted into DICE's video game Hall of Fame last year.

As a college student in the early '90s, Howard literally knocked on Bethesda's door to ask for a job. He officially started with the company in 1994, and The Terminator: Future Shock was his first credit at Bethesda. He went on to direct some of Bethesda's biggest and best-known games, including Fallout 4 and Skyrim.

Currently, Howard is contributing to or at least overseeing the development of Fallout 76, The Elder Scrolls VI, and Bethesda's new sci-fi game Starfield. In our conversation with Howard, he told us a lot, including that Starfield might be a game for the next wave of consoles. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more on our talk with the legendary game developer.

WWE Money In The Bank 2018: Betting Odds For Every Match And PPV Start Time

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:22

If you're the type of person who enjoys gambling, there is a good chance you're looking forward to WWE's Money in the Bank PPV to place a bet or two. Sure, it's a predetermined event, but that's not going to stop people making a wager. Luckily, odds for every Money in the Bank match are out, so you can figure out which bets are the safest and the riskiest.

Money in the Bank is coming to the WWE Network on Sunday, June 17 from the Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL. MITB will have an earlier start time than most of the other WWE events. The main card starts at 7 PM ET / 4 PM PT with the Kickoff Show starting one hour prior.

Before we get to the actual betting odds, here's a little explanation of how money lines work. In the case of Big Cass vs. Daniel Bryan, Cass's line is +110 and Bryan's is -150--he's favored to win. These money lines are from 5 Dimes, if you bet $100 on Cass, you'll win $110 for his money line and your $100 back for a total of $210. For Bryan, you need to bet $150 in order to win $100, for a total of $250 if Bryan wins his match.

The bets with the biggest returns come from the MITB matches. On the women's side, both Lana and Ember Moon's money line is at +1100, and Naomi's is at +3000. Natalya is favored to win the match at +150, with Alexa Bliss close behind at +210. On the men's side, the biggest payout comes from Bobby Roode, whose line is +2500. Surprisingly, The Miz is favored at -135, with Braun Strowman falling behind at +350.

Additionally, there are a couple other lopsided matches during the event, most notably Roman Reigns (-1350) vs. Jinder Mahal (+650). Did anyone really think Jinder was going to win this? Wait, I predicted Jinder to win? It's only because I felt sorry for him. Reigns is the lock of the evening, according to 5 Dimes. The closest bout of the night is AJ Styles (+105) vs. Shinsuke Nakamura (-145), and it should be the match of the night. For full odds, check out the list below.

Money in the Bank Odds:Women's MITB Match
  • Natalya wins Ladder Match +150
  • Alexa Bliss wins Ladder Match +210
  • Charlotte Flair wins Ladder Match +405
  • Sasha Banks wins Ladder Match +500
  • Becky Lynch wins Ladder Match +900
  • Lana wins Ladder Match +1100
  • Ember Moon wins Ladder Match +1100
  • Naomi wins Ladder Match +3000
Men's MITB Match
  • The Miz wins Ladder Match -135
  • Braun Strowman wins Ladder Match +350
  • Samoa Joe wins Ladder Match +470
  • Kevin Owens wins Ladder Match +725
  • Finn Balor wins Ladder Match +725
  • Rusev wins Ladder Match +725
  • Bobby Roode wins Ladder Match +2500
AJ Styles vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Last Man Standing Match for the WWE Championship)
  • AJ Styles +105
  • Shinsuke Nakamura -145
Nia Jax vs Ronda Rousey (WWE Raw Women's Championship)
  • Nia Jax +400
  • Ronda Rousey -600
Carmella vs Asuka (WWE SmackDown Women's Championship)
  • Carmella +160
  • Asuka -210
Roman Reigns vs Jinder Mahal
  • Roman Reigns -1350
  • Jinder Mahal +650
The Bludgeon Brothers vs The Good Brothers (Smackdown Tag Team Championship)
  • The Bludgeon Brothers -750
  • L.Gallows & K.Anderson +450
Bobby Lashley vs Sami Zayn
  • Bobby Lashley -590
  • Sami Zayn +390
Seth Rollins vs Elias (WWE Intercontinental Championship)
  • Seth Rollins -675
  • Elias +425
Daniel Bryan vs Big Cass
  • Daniel Bryan -150
  • Big Cass +110

If you're interested in more MITB, check out the full match card, our predictions, rumors, and a video on the history of Shinsuke Nakamua vs. AJ Styles. Make sure to come back to GameSpot on Sunday, June 17 for live coverage of the event.

The Final Netflix Trailer For Luke Cage Season 2 Isn't About Luke Cage

Wed, 06/13/2018 - 08:17

Netflix has released the final trailer for Luke Cage before the new season premieres on June 22. The trailer gives a pretty good look into what the new season will entail, but what is particularly interesting is that the trailer seems to barely focus on Cage at all but instead places heavy focus on the villains of the season, Mariah Dillard and Bushmaster.

Dillard appeared consistently in Season 1, and while she wasn't necessarily considered the big bad at that point, she was one of the central crime bosses around which the story revolved. In this season, on the other hand, Dillard is taking center stage. She clearly has some sympathetic intentions toward the Harlem neighborhood, but this isn't particularly redeeming considering her actions in Season 1 as well as what appears to be some pretty shady behavior involving black market gun sales in the upcoming season which you can see in the video below.

Bushmaster, on the other hand is an entirely unsympathetic character, coming after Dillard in a war for control over Harlem. The trailer makes it seem like destroying Dillard is equally--or perhaps even more important to him--than gaining control of Harlem considering that the two are engaged in a conflict that could tear the neighborhood apart.

Naturally, this season looks like it's going to be very action heavy. The trailer showed off some pretty cool action sequences including a shot of Cage and Bushmaster engaged in an epic battle; both characters appear to have bulletproof skin. Looks like this season is going to be just as exciting as the first one. Luke Cage Season 2 premieres June 22.

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