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Xbox One Wireless Keyboard-Mouse, Razer Turret, Is Almost There

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:31

One way Microsoft is distinguishing the Xbox One from other consoles is by embracing keyboard and mouse support. Peripheral maker Razer is trying to make a splash by offering its own set with the Turret keyboard and mouse combo built specifically for Xbox One, and we got our hands on it at CES 2019. It has plenty of ideal features we'd expect from high-end PC-gaming setups, though a few design choices may hold it back from being the best solution for the Xbox One.

To put it broadly, Razer Turret is a wireless lapboard intended to bring PC controls to the console while being comfortable to use in a couch or living room setting. Certain design decisions have made the Turret a sensible piece of hardware, like the tenkeyless layout--it seems you won't be missing much functionality on the Xbox One by omitting the number pad. At roughly four pounds (or 1,800 grams), the unit itself doesn't weigh much, helping avoid the feeling of something pressing upon your lap. To top it off, the wireless mouse that comes packaged closely resembles the Deathadder, Razer's flagship mouse, which fits like a glove for right-handed folk. Both the keyboard and mouse conveniently connect through a single 2.4Ghz dongle, only occupying one USB port.

An important feature of the Turret is the use of Razer's own green mechanical switch, which has that distinct clicky, tactile feel (similar to the Cherry MX Blue switch). For the uninitiated, mechanical switches offer a more tactile feel to keystrokes since each key operates on its own distinct switch--it makes for consistent, responsive inputs as opposed to the squishy feel of standard membrane keyboards. It also wouldn't be a Razer product if it didn't have RGB lighting; both the mouse and keyboard have full-range, 16.8 million colors for backlighting via the company's Chroma system.

The Razer Turret is a keyboard with Chroma lights and built-in mousepad, plus a wireless mouse and will cost a hefty $250. https://t.co/wKy6wcEhtb #CES2019 pic.twitter.com/k6gJXGLvUU

— CNET (@CNET) January 8, 2019

There's also a dedicated Xbox dashboard key where the right CTRL key would be for easy access. One aspect you might expect is mouse cursor navigation in the dashboard, but getting through menus is relegated to directional keys, unfortunately. This isn't any fault of Razer's, just a current limitation a limitation on the Xbox One.

Where it falls short is in the built-in mouse pad. The surface itself is slick, similar to a good hard-surface mouse pad, and easily slides in and out of the right side of the keyboard. However, the surface and mouse are magnetic, and the push and pull of the magnets makes for an unnatural feel that can compromise the precision expected from PC-based controls. The magnetism helps keep the mouse in place when you take your hands off of it, and the top right corner of the pad is magnetized so strongly that it'll hold the mouse even when the whole set is sitting vertically. But as as a result, you sacrifice the free flow of swiping and lifting the mouse (which you'll do often since the mouse pad is on the smaller side) due to the resistance. Of course, you don't have to use the built-in mouse pad, but it's your only realistic option when the Turret is used as a lapboard in a living room-type setting.

Though we can't speak to battery life ourselves, Razer states that the keyboard can last up to 43 hours without backlighting and 11 hours with the default backlight setting. The mouse is said to run for 50 hours without lighting, and 30 hours with it on, after a full charge. A USB-C port resides on the top right of the keyboard for charging.

As for parity in competitive games, the onus is on developers in how they want to implement keyboard and mouse controls. Some games could filter matchmaking based on control scheme, but can very well give players the option to match with anyone if they desire. As great as it is to have precision control and perhaps gain a slight advantage in games like Fortnite, Warframe, and would fit well for upcoming games such as Gears 5, the Turret's price of $250 may be a tough sell. Pre-orders are open on the Microsoft Store and units are expected to be available on or around March 31 this year.

For more on CES 2019, be sure to check out our stories on everything gaming related from the show like AMD's Radeon VII announcement, Nvidia's RTX 2060 reveal, or Xbox boss Phil Spencer's comments at AMD's press conference--or go to our sister site CNET for wider CES coverage.

Pokemon Go Holding New Type Of Event Next Week, And It Features A New Shiny

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 10:05

This weekend's Community Day isn't the only event Pokemon Go players have to look forward to soon. Niantic has announced it is also hosting a new type of Limited Research event next weekend, and it'll give users a chance to encounter a new Shiny Pokemon.

The Limited Research event is scheduled to take place on Saturday, January 19. Much like a Community Day, it will only run for three hours, during which time you'll be able to receive special Limited Research tasks by spinning the Photo Disc at PokeStops. You can find the event hours for each region below.

Each Limited Research task you complete will reward you with an encounter with a Feebas, the base form of the majestic Water-type Pokemon Milotic. Moreover, Niantic says players will have their first chance to encounter a Shiny Feebas as part of the event. The Limited Research tasks will only be available during the three-hour window, but players will be able to complete them at any time once they've been received.

In the meantime, players still have a few more days to take advantage of the ongoing Adventure Sync Hatchathon. The event is scheduled to end on January 15--the same day that Heatran leaves Raid Battles--and offers double the usual amount of Stardust and Candy for hatching Pokemon Eggs.

This month's Community Day, meanwhile, takes place on January 12. The featured Pokemon this time is the Gen 2 starter Totodile; if you evolve it into its final form, Feraligatr, up to an hour after the event ends, it'll also learn the powerful Water attack Hydro Cannon.

Pokemon Go Limited Research Event Schedule

The Americas and Greenland

  • 11 AM - 2 PM PT
  • 2 PM - 5 PM ET

Europe, Middle East, and Africa

  • 10 AM - 1 PM UTC

Asia-Pacific

  • 12 PM - 3 PM JST (January 20)

Bungie's Destiny 2 Plans "Unchanged," New Update Details Coming Friday

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:49

While there's a certain amount of unavoidable uncertainty when something atypical like the Bungie-Activision split happens, Destiny 2 fans needn't worry, at least about the immediate future of the game. The company insists it isn't abandoning the plans it's already outlined for Destiny 2, which will see new content continue to be released in the months ahead.

"Today is a big news day for Bungie. Change is afoot for us," wrote Bungie's David Dague on Twitter. "Our plans for Destiny are unchanged. All of these game updates are still on the calendar." The tweet included the image below that outlines Destiny 2's roadmap new content between now and the end of August. That includes both free and paid additions, the latter of which will be available to those who have purchased Destiny 2's Annual Pass. Among other things, the game will add another new Raid, Exotics, seasonal events, a "Gambit experience," and much more.

Bungie's weekly blog post, This Week at Bungie, has been on hiatus recently due to the holidays. It was scheduled to resume today, but likely due to the big news, it's been pushed until Friday, January 11, Dague confirmed on Twitter. It will feature "the latest details on the Destiny player experience," he said, but don't expect it to offer up any further specifics regarding the split from Activision. "We don't have more news to report on the business of the franchise," he said.

Despite Bungie taking control of Destiny, Destiny 2 will remain on Blizzard Battle.net, the Activision Blizzard-owned gaming platform.

The announcement of the split comes amid apparent tension between the two companies. Last year, following Forsaken's release, Activision said it had been a commercial disappointment. This prompted Destiny 2 game director Luke Smith to respond, saying, "We are not disappointed with Forsaken."

We are not disappointed with Forsaken. We set out to build a game that Destiny players would love, and at Bungie, we love it too.
Building Destiny for players who love it is and will remain our focus going forward.

— Luke Smith (@thislukesmith) November 10, 2018

Regarding Bungie assuming control of the Destiny series, the studio said, "The planned transition process is already underway in its early stages, with Bungie and Activision both committed to making sure the handoff is as seamless as possible.

With Forsaken, we've learned, and listened, and leaned in to what we believe our players want from a great Destiny experience. Rest assured there is more of that on the way. We'll continue to deliver on the existing Destiny roadmap, and we're looking forward to releasing more seasonal experiences in the coming months, as well as surprising our community with some exciting announcements about what lies beyond.

"Thank you so much for your continued support. Our success is owed in no small part to the incredible community of players who have graced our worlds with light and life. We know self-publishing won't be easy; there's still much for us to learn as we grow as an independent, global studio, but we see unbounded opportunities and potential in Destiny. We know that new adventures await us all on new worlds filled with mystery, adventure, and hope. We hope you'll join us there."

This week was a big one for Destiny, as the last piece of big content from the Black Armory expansion was released. This was marked by the start of a complex new puzzle for players--specifically, the most hardcore fans and streamers--to crack. Their success would open the fourth and final Black Armory forge activity. However, after more than a day only resulted in a partial completion, Bungie decided to go ahead and unlock the Bergusia Forge for all players.

Activision Blizzard Stock Nosedives Following Bungie/Destiny Split

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 09:47

Activision and Bungie made a big announcement on Thursday when the companies confirmed they were splitting up, with Bungie getting the Destiny franchise going forward. While Destiny 2: Forsaken might have failed to reach Activision's commercial sales expectations, it still means that the publisher is losing a revenue stream.

So it's no surprise, then, that Activision Blizzard's stock price dropped dramatically after the news was made public. Investors were seemingly spooked at the idea of Activision Blizzard losing a revenue-contributor.

The company's share price fell by almost 7 percent in after-hours trading today on the New York Stock Exchange. The news was released after the stock market closed, so it'll be intriguing to watch the share price tomorrow when the market opens. [Update: With markets now open, the drop has only continued; after closing Thursday at $51.35, it's gone as low as $44.67 so far this morning. Since that point, it's recovered slightly, although as of this writing it stands at $45.92, a 10.56% drop. Expect this to continue fluctuating throughout the day.]

In 2015, Activision Blizzard's stock price reached a new all-time high, and it grew higher still, before dropping in the past year. In March 2018, one analyst firm downgraded Activision Blizzard's stock rating, saying the company was facing a "combination of worries" that could affect its stock price.

In a Securities & Exchange Commission filing, Activision Blizzard said it doesn't expect losing Destiny to have a significant impact on revenue or operating income in 2019. However, losing a franchise as big as Destiny will surely have an impact on Activision Blizzard's bottom line in some capacity. Activision Blizzard next reports earnings on February 12, and it's likely we'll learn more at that time.

It's been a time of change for Activision Blizzard lately. In addition to losing Destiny, Activision Blizzard CFO Spencer Neumann recently left to join Netflix, while Blizzard CFO Amrita Ahuja left the company to take a new job at Square (the mobile payment company, not Square Enix).

For more on the big Destiny news, check out the stories linked below.

The Weirdest Products From CES 2019

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:40

CES is the annual showcase of the latest high-tech wizardry and consumer products that are coming to revolutionize your life. But it's also a showcase of some truly bizarre gadgets ranging from the hyper-specific to the just plain strange.

GameSpot sister site CNET has rounded up these oddities with some truly remarkable finds. Maybe you could use the Orii, a bone conduction ring that broadcasts sounds through your finger and into your ear. Or you could get some exercise with a Verde treadmill, which generates power for your home to trim down your energy bills. Or you can heat your food with the GoSun solar cooker, a sunlight-powered oven.

Some seem a bit impractical or unnecessary. The Monit smart diaper sensor can tell you if your baby's diaper is dirty, which isn't that handy considering if it is, you'd have to take it off and change it anyway. And it's difficult to envision a proper use for the Hyundai Elevate, a concept car with legs that can climb over barriers up to five feet, outside of an Inspector Gadget cartoon. You can see those strange ideas, along with several more, at the CNET gallery, or check out the full scope of CNET CES coverage for much more tech news.

CES also has a lot to do with video games, of course, from new processors and TVs to VR headsets and more. Check out our full GameSpot coverage of CES 2019.

New Dragon Age Game Might Have Multiplayer, Job Listing Suggests

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:40

BioWare Edmonton has announced new job postings for an upcoming Dragon Age game, and one of the roles hints the game will include multiplayer. The job is for a franchise technical director, and it's possibly to work on the Dragon Age title first teased during 2018's The Game Awards.

According to the job posting, first noticed and reported on by Gear Nuke, BioWare is looking for someone to be "the most senior engineering lead on the game team and a key member of the Dragon Age franchise leadership." The franchise technical director will "build and mentor the engineering team, build and execute the game technology plan, and define and direct the development process." They also need to have "experience developing multiplayer games."

Dragon Age Inquisition, the third and most recent game in the fantasy role-playing game franchise, is the only title in the series to have multiplayer. In Inquisition, the multiplayer mode has you and up to three others making your way through one of three dungeons that are each filled with increasingly difficult computer-controlled enemies. As you and your team progress, you unlock more powerful weapons and abilities. This progress does not tie back to the main campaign though. Perhaps BioWare is planning to further develop this mode for the next Dragon Age game. However, the developer could just as easily be creating a brand-new mode as well.

BioWare hasn't released much information on the new Dragon Age, but the studio has been teasing another entry to the beloved franchise in the past few months. Executive producer Mark Darrah has confirmed the new game has been in the works for "quite a while" and that it is being made by "core" Dragon Age veterans who also worked on Jade Empire and Baldur's Gate. BioWare boss Casey Hudson has also teased more Mass Effect is on the way too.

Get A Free PC Game On Steam--But Hurry

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:19

The online arena combat PC game Blast Zone Tournament normally sells for $20 on Steam. It has just dropped to free, where it will stay between now and January 16. This free period, which gets you the full game to keep and play forever, comes alongside the announcement that Blast Zone Tournament will come out of Early Access--and also land on Xbox One and PS4--on February 28. Anyone who plays games on a Windows PC would do well to grab it now while it's free.

Blast Zone Tournament bears more than a little resemblance to the Bomberman franchise. You play as a bomb-throwing character who runs around single-screen arenas trying to explode your opponents. Victory Lap Games has packed in a lot of features, including a single-player campaign, cross-platform multiplayer, 10 multiplayer modes, 283 multiplayer levels, and character customization.

The campaign is comprised of 240 challenges that can earn you costumes to dress up your character. The multiplayer modes support up to 32 players simultaneously for battle-royale matches. Once the game launches on consoles, you'll be able to play cross-platform between PS4 and PC and between Xbox One and PC.

It's a good time to be a frugal PC gamer. You can also head over to the Epic Games Store to grab What Remains of Edith Finch for free between now and January 24. You can also hit the Humble Store to get A Story About My Uncle for free between now and January 12. And if you have an Amazon Prime membership, you can snag 11 free games from Twitch all month long.

Xbox One Adds Three Backwards Compatible Games

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:15

It's been a few weeks since Microsoft last rolled out a new batch of backwards compatible games for Xbox One, but that dry spell has finally been broken. The first set of BC games of 2019 has been revealed, and it consists of three Xbox 360 titles spanning various genres.

This week's additions are Battlestations Pacific, Fuel, and Rayman Raving Rabbids. Battlestations Pacific is a 2009 military action game that mixes aerial dogfights, naval combat, and real-time strategy. Fuel--also originally released in 2009--is an arcadey open-world racer, while Rayman Raving Rabbids is a silly minigame compilation starring the titular characters.

If you still have a physical copy of these titles, you can now simply pop their disc in and play them on your Xbox One. If you've previously purchased them digitally, you'll find them automatically waiting in the Ready to Download section of the console's My Games and Apps tab.

More than 400 Xbox 360 games are now backwards compatible with Xbox One. In 2017, Microsoft rolled out the first batch of original Xbox games to the BC library as well--although these have been added much more sparingly. You can see the full list of Xbox One BC games here. We also have recommendations on the best Xbox One BC games to play.

Along with the new BC games, a new set of Xbox One game deals is now available in the Microsoft Store. From now until January 14, you can find discounts on Battlefield V, Darksiders III, For Honor, and a number of other titles. You can see the full list of game deals here.

Check Out Resident Evil 2 Demo's Ending Trailer Here

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 06:14

A time-limited demo is now available for the Resident Evil 2 remake, letting you survive against hordes of zombies for a solid half-hour. Your reward for successfully completing the demo is an exclusive new cinematic trailer, but in case you just can't wait or weren't up to the challenge, you can view it above--just beware, it has some possible spoilers if you want to go into the full game fresh.

The trailer is the completion reward for the "1-Shot" demo, which is now available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It gives you a smattering of gameplay with Leon S. Kennedy, but only a limited time to complete it. You have 30 minutes to try as many times as you'd like, but after that the demo is off-limits. If you managed to unlock the trailer by successfully completing the demo, it's viewable as much as you'd like.

While the demo focuses strictly on Leon, the full game will also feature Claire Redfield, just like the original Resident Evil 2. Capcom has promised that it's reimagined some portions of the experience to surprise players. It's also been updated with a modernized control scheme and a new camera perspective to match.

Resident Evil 2 is coming on January 25. It's one of our most anticipated games of 2019, thanks in part to its faithful recreation of the classic survival-horror game. Capcom is even paying respects to your nostalgia with classic costumes. For more details on how to get those and other special goodies, check out our pre-order guide.

Resident Evil 2 1-Shot Demo Out Now For Some

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 04:55

Capcom teased a rather unique demo for the remake of Resident Evil 2 recently, and now it's available for you to try for yourself. You'll have to be careful not to burn too much time taking in the utterly gross sights and sounds, though, because it only lasts 30 minutes and then you can't play anymore. For the time being the demo is only available in Australia, at least on Xbox One, but if you just can't wait to play you can change your territory.

The "1-Shot" demo will be available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. It has a hard time limit of just 30 minutes, and once that time expires, you can't play anymore. The demo takes you through a snippet of gameplay as Leon S. Kennedy, and if you finish quickly enough you can go through it again. If you fail, you can keep trying until your half-hour is up.

Finishing the demo will give you an exclusive new cinematic trailer. You can then watch the trailer as much as you'd like even if time has expired, but the demo will be off-limits. The demo will be available through January 31.

The full game will star both Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield, just like the original. The main story remains the same, but Capcom is reimagining some parts of the experience to surprise players with new scares. It also sports a different camera perspective and a more modernized control scheme to go along with it.

Resident Evil 2 is set to come out on January 25, which means the demo will be available shortly after release for those who may be on the fence. It has already earned a mention among our most anticipated games of 2019. It looks faithful but not overly beholden to the original, though Capcom is paying homage to the old game with classic costumes. For more details, check out our pre-order guide.

Get A New Free PC Game From Epic Games Store

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 04:31

Publisher Epic has pledged that, every two weeks throughout 2019, it will give away a new PC game to anyone with an Epic Games Store account. All you have to do is visit the store to collect it. The latest freebie is now available: What Remains of Edith Finch, an adventure game that has you play through a series of connected short stories about the doomed Finch family. You can download it for free between now and January 24--a good deal, considering it currently sells for $20 on Steam.

Named one of GameSpot's best games of 2017, What Remains of Edith Finch puts you in the shoes of the title character, the last living member of her family, as she explores the old Finch mansion and estate. Several generations have lived and died here, and as you explore, you play through the events that led to their untimely demises.

While that may sound bleak, the stories vary quite a bit in tone. In GameSpot's 9/10 What Remains of Edith Finch review, Justin Clark wrote, "It's not often that a game's plot slips past the bitterness of grief to finally get to the acceptance, but that's the triumph in What Remains of Edith Finch. Ultimately, if the game has any resemblance of a moral, it's that the bravest, most beautiful thing every one of us does is choose to keep going, despite knowing what's coming."

The previous free titles from the Epic Games Store were Subnautica and Super Meat Boy. Once Edith Finch goes back to regular price, the online store will give away The Jackbox Party Pack between January 25 and February 7.

In related news, Ubisoft has decided to abandon Steam in favor of the Epic Games Store to sell the upcoming shared-world shooter Tom Clancy's The Division 2. This is part of an ongoing battle between game distribution platforms that kicked off when Epic announced its game store would offer publishers more appealing financial terms than Steam. Other Epic Games Store exclusives include Hades and the remaining episodes of The Walking Dead: The Final Season. Discord has also announced a digital game store that will offer better terms than both Steam and the Epic Games Store.

Final Fantasy X And XII Release Date Announced For Switch And Xbox One

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 04:20

Square Enix is bringing a host of classic Final Fantasy games to new consoles this year, including Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age and Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster. The publisher has now announced when the two titles will hit Nintendo Switch and Xbox One, and they're both set to arrive in April.

First, Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster will release on April 16. This set contains remastered versions of both Final Fantasy X and its sequel, Final Fantasy X-2, which have been touched up with high definition visuals, some additional content, and other improvements. In our original Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD review, we called the collection "a meticulous refurbishment" and awarded it an 8/10.

Shortly after the X / X-2 HD Remaster arrives, Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age will come to both Switch and Xbox One on April 30. This version of the classic PS2 RPG was first released on PS4 in 2017, with a Steam port following in 2018. It likewise features HD visuals and a host of gameplay improvements, including a revamped job system and the ability to increase the game's speed.

Beyond that, a number of other Final Fantasy games are in the pipeline for Switch and Xbox One, including Final Fantasy VII and IX. The GameCube spin-off Final Fantasy: The Crystal Chronicles is also being released this year for Switch and PS4, although a release date has not yet been announced.

In other Final Fantasy news, Square Enix recently released the first part of Final Fantasy XIV Stormblood's big 4.5 patch, which added a new dungeon, story quests, and other content that sets the stage for the upcoming Shadowbringers expansion. The publisher also shared a new trailer for Final Fantasy XV's next DLC, Episode Ardyn, which is slated to launch this March.

Full Punisher Season 2 Trailer Is Seriously Intense And Violent

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 03:54

The second season of the Marvel show The Punisher hits Netflix on January 18, and we can finally see some footage from the show. A full trailer for Season 2 has been released, and it looks every bit as dark, action-packed, and violent as Season 1.

The trailer reveals that the new season will focus on a teenage girl named Amy (Giorgia Whigham), who is in serious trouble with some very bad people. Inevitably Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) deals with the situation in the only way he knows how--killing people in a variety of gruesome ways--and the trailer also features the return of villainous Billy Russo (aka Jigsaw, played by Ben Barnes). Check it out above.

While there is much anticipation for The Punisher Season 2, the future of the show is unclear. In recent months, three of Netflix's roster of Marvel shows have been cancelled. While the axing of Iron Fist and Luke Cage weren't necessarily surprising, the cancelation of Daredevil within a few weeks of the acclaimed Season 3 hitting the service suggested that Netflix is looking to drop all of its Marvel shows.

Disney is launching its own streaming platform, named Disney+, later this year and is developing several Marvel series for it. Netflix still officially has The Punisher and Jessica Jones as active shows, and Season 3 of the latter is expected later this year. However, it remains possible that both will be cancelled once these latest seasons have been released.

In terms of new Marvel shows, in November Disney confirmed that Tom Hiddleston will star in a Loki show for Disney+. In addition, it has been reported that a Falcon and Winter Soldier team-up series is in development, as well as a Scarlet Witch show.

Red Dead Redemption 2's PS4 Exclusives Now Available On Xbox One

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 03:05

A set of PS4-exclusive items for the Red Dead Online beta in Red Dead Redemption 2 are no longer exclusive. As part of a larger update, Rockstar unlocked the items for Xbox One players to enjoy.

In a note tucked away at the end of an update about larger changes, Rockstar mentioned that Xbox One players now have access to the Red Chestnut Arabian Horse, Alligator Skin Ranch Cutter Saddle, and the High Roller Double-Action Revolver. Those were announced with a 30 day exclusivity window on PS4, which has now expired. This is regular content available to everyone, rather than special edition content.

This came alongside an update that added the new battle royale mode Gun Rush. In it, you'll have to grab weapons and ammo fast while the play area shrinks, until there's only one player remaining. It's available for up to 32 players, and can be played as free-for-all or in a team.

Rockstar also announced that RDO will remain in beta for a few more months, as the developer adds more features and makes changes to "stabilize and refine" the experience. Some of those include daily missions and new story challenges, but most of the quality-of-life changes are coming to help police player interactions. The Law and Bounty system will be changed to "reduce the enticements for griefing" and the map will show players at shorter distances so you can't be tracked from afar. Plus it will somehow mark more aggressive players so you know who not to mess with.

Our initial impressions of Red Dead Online were less than glowing, ultimately concluding that it just didn't have enough to do. Rockstar did signal that this beta would be similar to Grand Theft Auto Online, though, and has continued iterating on that game for years. The roadmap ahead shows a lot on the horizon, so we can probably expect similar continued development.

This Year's Oscars Hoping To Assemble Marvel Stars For Show--Report

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 03:04

Earlier this week, it was reported that this year's 91st Academy Awards will not have a host, following the exit of Kevin Hart in December. Producers will reportedly enlist the help of various A-list stars to introduce the segments across the night, and a new report states that these might include big-name stars of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy are looking to use as many MCU actors as possible for an Avengers reunion on the night. At the 2013 awards, the likes of Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, and Samuel L Jackson appeared on stage together. THR states that Academy wants to include even more Marvel stars this time, which will tie in with the upcoming release of Avengers: Endgame.

In addition, the Oscars is broadcast by ABC, which, like Marvel Studios, is owned by Disney. The Academy has not commented on this story, but THR sources states that "specific details are still being hammered out about how the actors who play the popular characters will be incorporated." The ceremony takes place on February 24.

Having no single host is not totally uncharted territory for the Academy Awards. 30 years ago in 1989, the show had no host, instead opting to open with an 11-minute monologue in which actor Rob Lowe sings "Proud Mary" with Snow White. The last time the Oscars featured multiple hosts was in 2011, when James Franco and Anne Hathaway shared hosting duties.

Hart backed out of the hosting gig after people discovered years-old tweets where the comedian and actor made homophobic comments. According to Hart, the Academy gave him an ultimatum: apologize or step down as host. Hart initially said he wouldn't apologize, but he later did, saying he was sorry to the LGBTQ community for "my insensitive words from my past."

The most recent Academy Awards ceremony was watched by the lowest viewership in history, with only 26.5 million people tuning in. In an effort to get more people to watch, the Academy announced a "Popular Film" category, but it was scrapped in the wake of a backlash from critics and audiences.

Red Dead Redemption 2 Online Update Adds Battle Royale Mode

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:47

Rockstar Games has detailed a new update for Red Dead Online, the multiplayer component of Red Dead Redemption 2, and it includes what is, for all intents and purposes, a battle royale mode. As detailed on Rockstar's website, Gun Rush is described as a gameplay mode that will "put your survival instincts to the test." Players are tasked with gathering weapons and ammunition while the play area shrinks.

Obviously, as the play area shrinks, participants will be pushed closer together and forced to take each other out, with one player ultimately emerging as the victorious sole survivor. Gun Rush is available for up to 32 players, and can be played in free-for-all and team variations.

The Rockstar website goes on to reveal that Red Dead Online will stay in beta form "for a few more months" as its developer has "many more new gameplay features to add across the board as well as further changes to improve, stabilize and refine the overall experience." You can read about some of the new additions on their way to Red Dead Online here.

Red Dead Redemption 2 was awarded GameSpot's Game of the Year for 2018. Writing about the game, senior reviews editor Kallie Plagge said, "It's hard to shake the kind of connection you develop with Red Dead Redemption 2's world and characters. It's a game that can try your patience, for sure, but it simply wouldn't be the same if it didn't. It's an unforgettable experience that challenges your expectations as often as it meets or exceeds them, and there's no question that it's our Game of the Year."

Rockstar Games, meanwhile, seems to already be looking to the future. New job listings for unannounced titles, which the company has described as "next-generation" projects, have appeared.

Red Dead 2 Online Updates Previewed, Will Remain In Beta For Now

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:41

Red Dead Redemption 2 was released in October to much acclaim, with its multiplayer component, Red Dead Online, launching in late November. The online mode hasn't been received quite as warmly, though Rockstar did distinguish in advance that it was only a beta. That will remain the case for the foreseeable future, although the company has outlined some of the updates and new content that are on the way.

In a blog post announcing the launch of a new battle royale-style mode called Gun Rush, Rockstar stated, "Red Dead Online will stay in beta for a few more months yet as we have many more new gameplay features to add across the board as well as further changes to improve, stabilize and refine the overall experience."

You can read our impressions of Red Dead Online from just after its launch, but a common source of complaints is that there just isn't enough to do. Aside from Gun Rush, more content is on the way, including new races, Showdown modes, clothing, and emotes.

Rockstar has previously urged fans to share their feedback on the beta, and its roadmap includes changes that it says are being made in response to what fans have been saying. Daily challenges are being introduced "covering every aspect of the game, from sharpshooting to evading the law." But most of these adjustments are coming to mitigate unpleasant interactions with other players.

Law and Bounty systems are being altered to "reduce the enticements for griefing." If you commit a crime, you'll get a bounty; take too long to pay it off and bounty hunters from each state "will track the player forcing them to either pay up or escape." Additionally, the Parley system can be activated more quickly, and feuds can be triggered more easily so that you can have a proper framework for fighting other players, rather than the random chaos that can ensue. And finally, the map will show players only at shorter distances, so people can't track you down from afar. Rockstar also plans to have the map more clearly identify aggressive players.

Beyond all this, new A Land of Opportunities story missions are coming featuring both existing characters (Horley and Jessica LeClerk are mentioned by name) and new ones. Dynamic events will also be added to the world, though no specifics were shared.

It's clear Rockstar's plans for Red Dead Online are extensive. That should come as no surprise, given the sustained success of Grand Theft Auto V's GTA Online, which has been a tremendously consistent moneymaker for Rockstar and parent company Take Two since its launch in 2013.

Sega Teases Finally Lead To Catherine Launching On Steam

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:08

Following a week of hints, Sega has released the puzzle game Catherine on PC. It's now available on Steam as "Catherine Classic" for $20 / £15 / 20. The PC release boasts some tweaks to take advantage of the hardware, and purchasing early nets you some extra goodies.

Those enhancements include 4K support, an unlocked framerate, customizable keyboard and mouse controls, and the option of using Japanese voiceover. If you purchase within the first two weeks of release, you'll also get desktop and mobile wallpapers, avatars, and soundtrack samples.

Catherine tells the story of a young man facing the choice of settling down with his longtime girlfriend, Katherine, when he's tempted by another woman named Catherine. It centers on adult themes like sexuality, commitment, and betrayal, and features several branching story paths. The puzzle gameplay takes place in the man's nightmares, where he has to climb his way to goals while avoiding obstacles.

A PC port seemed like only a matter of time, after Sega began updating its various pages with images of sheep--a reference to Catherine. Then the ESRB rated the game for PC, which made it a near-certainty.

This version is listed as the "Classic" version because an updated one is planned for release. Catherine Full Body is coming to PlayStation 4 and Vita in Japan on February 14, and a western release is said to be coming shortly afterward. Sega did not give any indication whether the new features and story content being added to Full Body will be available for PC.

Fortnite Chilly Gnomes Location: Where To Go For Week 6 Challenge (Season 7)

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 02:08

As part of Fortnite Season 7, Week 6's challenges, you're going to have to go on a bit of a hunt. While not exactly a treasure hunt, completing the challenge will earn you some Battle Stars, which level up your Battle Pass and unlock cosmetics, and those are technically treasures. The specific thing you'll be hunting for are Chilly Gnomes. Here's where to find them.

You may remember a previous challenge where players were asked to seek out hungry gnomes, and this challenge plays out very similarly. The gnomes are pretty much what you imagine, little garden gnomes. To help you hone in on their locations, listen for the sound of shivering, which serves as an audio tell to let you know you're getting close.

Of course, if you want to speed the whole process up and get it done lickity-split, you can follow our guide below. We've scoured the island and put together a map and list that'll direct you to the exact locations of the Chilly Gnomes. You can also watch the video above to see us complete the challenge, and follow our lead.

Fornite Chilly Gnome Locations
  • Southwest of Tilted Towers: Around grid reference C6 in the top left of the quadrant
  • West of Lucky Landing: Around grid reference E10, above the cliff
  • Lucky Landing: Around grid reference E10, above the "U" in "Lucky Landing"
  • Snobby Shores: Next to the Viking Ship amongst the icy rocks around grid reference B6
  • Polar Peak: Next to the campfire facing the tower around grid reference C8
  • Tilted Towers: In front of the RV just to the south of the area around grid reference D6
  • Shifty Shafts: Locate the giant tree nestled in the rocky outcropping and you'll find the gnome nearby too
  • Frosty Flights: To the south around grid reference B9. Find the crashed plane and drop through the hole nearby.

The rest of Week 6's challenges are fairly simple and generally focused on doing damage to enemies, visiting specific locations, or searching ammo boxes. Read our full Fortnite Season 7, Week 6 challenge list for more on those.

Still need more Battle Stars? If you have challenges from previous weeks left to do, we've got a comprehensive Fortnite Season 7 challenge guide that'll help you make light work of the hardest, most time consuming challenges of the season so far. That'll net you a few extra Battle Stars.

Fallout Classic Collection Is Free For Anyone Who Played Fallout 76 In 2018

Fri, 01/11/2019 - 01:13

It's no secret that the latest Fallout game got off to a rocky start when it launched in November--just read our Fallout 76 review for an overview of its issues. But developer Bethesda has promised to make it up to players. One way the company is doing that is by giving a copy of the Fallout Classic Collection on PC to anyone who played the full version of Fallout 76 on any platform in 2018.

So whether you dropped into the apocalyptic wasteland on PS4, Xbox One, or PC, you're now eligible for free copies of Fallout, Fallout 2, and Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel on PC. The collection is currently selling for $20 on Steam, so that's not a bad freebie (provided you have a Windows PC capable of running the games).

To access the collection, you'll first have to download the Bethesda Launcher for PC. Then open it and sign into your Bethesda.net account. Head to the Games menu, and you'll find your freebies in your account, ready to be installed.

The first Fallout is a turn-based RPG developed by Interplay that launched in 1997. The sequel, made by Black Isle Studios, landed the following year. The franchise didn't see another release until 2001's Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel, which was developed by Micro Forté. All three games were well received at the time of release; you can read GameSpot's reviews below.

Fallout 76 is in the process of getting its first patch of the new year. Rolling out on PC on January 10 at 9 AM ET (6 AM PT, 2 PM GMT) and next week on PS4 and Xbox One, the patch contains over "150 fixes." Bethesda said the update will "address many issues raised by the community as well as continue focus on improving performance and stability."

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