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E3 2021: Schedule, Participants, And What To Expect

Game News - Sun, 04/18/2021 - 02:07

E3 2021 is going to look a lot different than the E3 events of years past. Rather than host a large, in-person event like we've seen every other year except 2020, the ESA has chosen to host a digital show featuring a number of development and publishing partners. This will give everyone the chance to see trailers and announcements online while also giving companies the freedom to run events their own way. GameSpot is also participating in the gaming frenzy this June with the return of Play For All, which includes support for important charities.

It can be a lot to keep track of, particularly if you're used to the more rigid schedule of traditional E3 events. However, game companies have started to announce when they'll be hosting their own events, and we've organized them to make it as easy as possible to plan your personalized E3 viewing party.

When Is E3 2021?

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Path Of Exile Studio Let Paid Streamers Skip Server Queue, Apologizes

Game News - Sun, 04/18/2021 - 00:47

Path of Exile 2 is on the way, but the first game's latest expansion, Ultimatum, launched this week. It was a bit of a mess, to put it mildly, with players stuck waiting in server queues and unable to play. However, the problems were amplified because of Grinding Gear Games' decision to let paid streamers skip the lines and start playing right away.

As spotted by Eurogamer, Path of Exile producer Chris Wilson explained on a Reddit thread that the Ultimatum Challenge League, which is a risk/reward trial players are essentially competing against each other in, was letting players in far too slowly. "Human error" resulted in the normal trickle migration process not being run, and players continued being dumped out of the realm until an eventual fix was made several hours later.

But why was this Path of Exile situation different than the server issues that plagued a game like Outriders, for instance? Well, because not everyone was affected. Paid streamers who Grinding Gear Games has brought on board for the launch were allowed in immediately, as they were supposed to stream for two hours. Not being allowed to play was, the team thought at the time, out of the question.

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Here's How Sony Made The PS5's Packaging Fully Recyclable

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 23:59

When you get your PS5--if you're lucky enough to find one--you'll notice right away that its packaging is different from other consoles. This was a conscious decision by Sony to make the entire box recyclable, and it managed to do so without sacrificing protection.

In a post on the Sony Interactive Entertainment website, director of environment and technical compliance Kieren Mayers said that Sony has committed to eliminating plastic use in small product packaging by 2025 in an effort to cut down on ocean pollution. In the case of the PS5, Sony was able to do this by making fairly minor adjustments to the box design. In place of plastic trays are card inserts and "paper pulp cushion trays," and the plastic cable ties we've seen for so long have been replaced by paper ones. If you opened up any PS5 accessories' boxes, that change was made for those, too.

Instead of gluing hanger tabs for the outer portion of the packaging, folding techniques were used, and unnecessary plastic bags holding things like cables and manuals were removed. One feature of smaller boxes--plastic display windows--had to be eliminated outright, but we all know what a PS5 controller looks like.

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PS5 Is Best-Selling Game Console Ever Through Five Months

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 23:14

The PS5 has often been almost impossible to find, but that hasn't stopped Sony's new system from selling a whole bunch of units--even if some were going to bots. Through five months, the PS5 is the best-selling game console in US history, both in terms of units sold as well as dollar sales.

The numbers come from the latest NPD report, which showed that compared to last year at the same point, hardware sales are up by nearly 50%. This isn't a huge surprise, given that multiple game consoles launched and this almost always brings a big surge in sales, but it's impressive that Sony has been able to accomplish this feat during a pandemic. Last year, several retailers weren't even offering the PS5 in stores--aside from online order pickup--to prevent the spread of COVID-19, but this didn't seem to be a deterrent for those who wanted the system.

Despite continuing its record-setting pace, the PS5 actually got outsold by the Nintendo Switch in March, both in units and dollars. If you look at the best-selling game for Switch in March, that makes sense. Monster Hunter Rise shot to the top of the Switch sales chart, and it's the only non-Nintendo game on there. Given the massive popularity of Capcom's series, it wouldn't be surprising to see the Switch take the top spot in April, too.

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Crazy Gravity

New Releases - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 17:00

Alfred Molina Talks Returning To Doc Ock For Spider-Man: No Way Home

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 10:29

Rumors have been swirling for months that Alfred Molina would reprise his role as Doctor Octopus for Spider-Man: No Way Home, and treated as all but confirmed. Now, though, we have word straight from Doc Ock himself thanks to a new interview with Variety about his role in the recent thriller Promising Young Woman.

"When we were shooting [Spider-Man: No Way Home], we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret," Molina told Variety. "But, you know, it's all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst-kept secret in Hollywood!"

Going back to the role of Otto Octavius, Molina said, "was wonderful."

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Assassin's Creed Should Go Smaller With Its Setting, Not Bigger

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 09:15

Since the start, each mainline Assassin's Creed game has typically grown in size and superseded that of the previous title, with the three games in the prequel trilogy--Origins, Odyssey, and Valhalla--dwarfing all the others (with the exception of Black Flag, which continues to have one of the largest maps in the franchise to date). And though I've enjoyed my long journeys across the deserts of Ptolemaic Egypt, war-torn island communities of ancient Greece, and fields of Anglo-Saxon England, I think it's time that Ubisoft created a smaller setting for Assassin's Creed. A smaller setting could condense the overall experience of Assassin's Creed, which would ensure certain storylines can be better realized and that players can more easily experience the best that the game has to offer.

To Better Serve The Story

Now it's worth pointing out that I don't think a big map is inherently a bad thing. Though I still have my qualms with the pacing of Odyssey's story (especially Chapter 5, which can seriously drag), there's such a sense of joy in riding your horse to the top of a hill, looking out at the glistening ocean, noticing a tiny speck of another island in the far distance, and knowing that you can set sail for it and reach it without encountering a single loading screen. Odyssey wants you to explore because your character, Kassandra, wants to explore after being cooped up on the same island for most of her life.

Of the three games in the prequel trilogy, Odyssey has managed to take advantage of its staggeringly large map size the best, utilizing a fully realized Greece to deliver on the promise of sending the player on an odyssey to reunite their biological family, only to discover that family is what you make of it--blood does not have to define it.

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F9: The Next Fast And Furious Film Will Premiere First Overseas

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 09:13

Movies are coming back. Nature is healing. Distributors are still looking at their films on a case-by-case basis, and that means each movie has a separate distribution plan. Similarly, Universal is staggering the worldwide release of the upcoming F9: The Fast Saga, Deadline reports.

According to the report, Fast & Furious 9 will release in China on May 21, five weeks before its North American release date of June 25. South Korea will apparently be able to see the film even earlier, on May 19. Deadline notes that one element that may be driving the early release date is the upcoming 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party, which occurs on July 1.

The Fast & Furious films have become a huge attraction for movie-hungry Chinese audiences, with the last few films grossing three to five times in international markets what they have domestically.

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Black Panther 2 Will Film In Georgia Despite Voting Law Outcry

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 08:25

If you watch any amount of television and film, you've seen the "Made in Georgia" emblem in the credits to something. Following the passing of a restrictive voting law, though, there's been some question about whether various productions will pull out of the state and find a new place to film. Marvel Studios' Black Panther 2 will stay in Georgia, though, director Ryan Coogler said in a new op-ed published in Shadow and Act.

"When I was informed of the passage of SB202 in the state, and its ramifications for the state's voters, I was profoundly disappointed," Coogler writes. "While I wished to turn my concern into action, I could not do so without first being educated on the specifics of Georgia. Having now spoken with voting rights activists in the state, I have come to understand that many of the people employed by my film, including all the local vendors and businesses we engage, are the very same people who will bear the brunt of SB202. For those reasons, I will not be engaging in a boycott of Georgia."

Instead, Coogler writes, he intends to continually speak out about SB202 and its effects and ways to overturn it, as well as donating to appropriate organizations. In the piece, Coogler also asks the United States Senate to further consider passing the recently-introduced voting rights legislation, the For the People Act. While Coogler intends to stay in Georgia, at least one production, Will Smith's Emancipation, has announced the intention to film elsewhere. James Mangold, director of Logan and the upcoming Indiana Jones 5, also said that he plans to boycott. Major League Baseball also pulled its July All-Star Game from the state. Atlanta-headquartered companies like Coca-Cola and Delta Air Lines have spoken out against the law as well.

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Destiny 2 Trials Of Osiris Map And Rewards This Week (April 16-20)

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 08:03

If you missed your earlier chances at the PvP favorite hand cannon Igneous Hammer in Destiny 2, good news--it's back in this weekend's Trials of Osiris. You'll absolutely want to play some this weekend to earn one (or several), along with the other new Trials gear this season. Here's the map you're facing this week and a full rundown of the rewards you can earn.

As always, this weekend's Trials event continues to the Tuesday weekly reset, so you've got until April 20 to earn rewards and spend tokens with Saint-14.

Trials of Osiris Map And Rewards (April 16-20)
  • Map: Cauldron
  • 3 wins -- Igneous Hammer, Solar hand cannon
  • 5 wins -- Hunter, Warlock, or Titan Class Item: Pyrrhic Ascent Cloak, Bond, or Mark
  • 7 wins -- Exile's Curse, Arc fusion rifle
  • Flawless run -- Igneous Hammer (Adept)
The Trials of Osiris has gotten new armor for the Season of the Chosen, along with other new cosmetic items you can earn.

The Trials of Osiris is Destiny 2's toughest challenge, but even if you're not a Crucible champion, you shouldn't hesitate to participate. You can still earn Trials rewards--some of the best gear in the game, like Igneous Hammer--just by playing matches. The End Game bounty from Saint-14 awards each week's three-win reward even if you rack up a bunch of losses. There's also a Seasonal Challenge that awards another weapon drop if you can win a total of seven rounds (as opposed to complete matches).

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Falcon And The Winter Soldier Episode 5 Recap: What We Learned From "Truth" And What's Coming Next

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 07:47

We've reached the penultimate episode of Falcon and The Winter Soldier, which means the series finale is just one week away. Still, despite the clock rapidly ticking down, we've got plenty of mysteries and unanswered questions left swirling around the show to dig into--so many, in fact, that there's a real chance we may not get resolutions for all of them in only one episode. But the potential for a second season or any number of spin-off shows or movie cameos for the cast remains on the table, of course. This is the MCU, after all.

This week picked up in the aftermath of John Walker's homicidal meltdown. After a knock-down-drag-out fight, Sam and Bucky were able to wrangle the shield from him leaving him to return to the US for court martial. Walker is given an "other than honorable" discharge and basically left to slink off with his tail between his legs--that is until a mysterious newcomer, Contessa Valentina Allegra de Fontaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfus), arrives to make Walker a strange and inscrutable offer of support along with an apparently blank business card.

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Not Every Sequel Needs A "Grand New Idea," And That Includes F-Zero

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 07:00

Recently retired designer Takaya Imamura had a hand in many of Nintendo's most beloved games and franchises during his 30-plus year career at the company, including the now-dormant sci-fi racing series F-Zero. It's been more than 16 years since the last F-Zero game--2004's F-Zero Climax--released on the Game Boy Advance, with little indication that Nintendo has any interest in dusting the series off. And if Imamura's recent comments are anything to go by, the company seems to have a disappointingly rigid mentality when it comes to the prospect of a sequel.

Despite F-Zero's long absence, Imamura recently told IGN that he believes the series "isn't dead," although it would be difficult to revive without some kind of "grand idea" to set it apart from previous installments. This view in itself is not surprising; this has long been Nintendo's prevailing philosophy when designing a new entry in one of its series, and it's a view that designer and producer Shigeru Miyamoto has similarly expressed in the past.

However, a sequel doesn't always need a "grand idea" to justify its existence. Given how long it's been dormant at this point, a straightforward follow-up to F-Zero GX--the series' last console installment--or even a remaster of that game would be enough of a novelty to generate interest. It would be one matter if Nintendo had been regularly pumping out F-Zero games over the past 16 years, and franchise fatigue was beginning to set in, but the series hasn't seen a new entry in almost two decades now. After such a long absence, any new F-Zero game will feel fresh, even if it doesn't introduce new gameplay elements or mechanics. Simply seeing the series with modern HD visuals or being able to race online against other players would be exciting enough draws in their own right to justify a new release.

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9 Things We Learned At Universal Studios Hollywood's Reopening

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 06:49

After being closed for over a year, California's Universal Studios Hollywood has reopened and while some things remain the same, there are also a number of differences. From new safety protocols to additions to the park, there's plenty to talk about when plotting a visit. What's more, with Disneyland's grand reopening coming on April 30, Universal should be a pretty good indicator of what to expect should you be planning to visit there.

To see for ourselves what the new Universal Studios is like, GameSpot visited the park during its annual pass holder preview event. While there, it was easy to see not only what has changed in terms of the experience, but what has been added to the park over the last year.

Take a look below at the eight biggest things we learned from our time at Universal Studios Hollywood so you'll be able to plan your first visit to the park.

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Fortnite Crew Subscribers Can Get 3 Months Of Spotify Premium For Free Soon

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 06:34

Fortnite Crew subscribers can now get three months of Spotify Premium for free. Any Fortnite Crew subscriptions made between March 22 and June 30 can qualify you for a redeemable code.

Players can start redeeming their codes starting on April 22 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. All codes expire on August 1. The offer can only activate on accounts that have never purchased Premium.

The Spotify Premium deal is only available in select countries, including the United States and UK.

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Opinion: Falcon And The Winter Soldier Has A Villain Problem

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 06:27

Throughout WandaVision's early episodes, viewers complained that the show needed a villain. The next MCU show, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, has the opposite problem: The show has two villains, but neither really works. Karli Morgenthau and John Walker each fit the definition of an antagonist for Sam and Bucky, but neither is a good villain--albeit for very different reasons.

Let's talk about John Walker first. The new Captain America, borrowing from the stories of "US Agent" in the comics, is a decorated soldier who took up the iconic shield at the behest of the US government. After injecting himself with the supersoldier serum and losing his best friend Lemar during battle in Episode 4, the unsavory elements of John's character won out, and he's been on an overtly villainous path ever since.

The problem with John is he was never likeable to begin with. On Falcon and Winter Soldier, we haven't witnessed the tragic corruption of a previously sympathetic character, like Aaron Eckhart's Harvey Dent in The Dark Knight; John seemed like a pretty big jerk from the first moment we met him. From his pompous introduction in Episode 2, John Walker has been egotistical, petulant, and naive--which is ironic considering the one thing about his past that has been established is his highly decorated military history. He's made bad call after bad call, refused to listen to other, more knowledgeable characters, and screwed up over and over. Even the casting plays a part here--Wyatt Russell just has a certain kind of face, like Walton Goggins, that makes you want to punch him in it. This character never had any chance of being a "good guy."

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LCD vs. LED Monitors For Gaming: Differences And Technology Explained

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 06:13

From panel technology to refresh rates, there are a lot of things to consider when looking for a new gaming monitor. To aid you on your journey for the perfect setup, we're breaking down two of the most common display technology terms: LED and LCD. Here's what you need to know about LED and LCD screens, what the terms stand for, and how they factor into modern gaming monitors.

What is LCD and how does it work?

LCD stands for liquid-crystal display, which refers to how the monitor works. Behind the screen, liquid crystals are sandwiched between two layers of glass and used to change the colors of pixels to create the images that you see. The whole process is a lot more complicated, but that's the gist of how LCDs function.

In the past, some LCDs were backlit by CCFLs (cold-cathode fluorescent lamps). LCDs with fluorescent backlighting have been around longer, so if you can find one, they will be cheaper than LED monitors. However, if you're a gamer looking for decent refresh rates and response times, it's going to be hard to find a monitor with fluorescent backlighting. They've almost completely been replaced by LCD monitors with LED backlights.

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Brie Larson Shows Tessa Thompson How To Play Fortnite

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 05:12

In a YouTube video sponsored by Epic, Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) shows Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie) how to play Fortnite. The 10-minute video follows Larson demonstrating how to pick up weapons, tame a wolf, and eventually, achieve a Victory Royale.

Larson says that she's clocked in a lot of hours in the game, mentioning that, "I stopped checking how many hours I've played. But a couple months into the pandemic, I was at about 300 hours." (She does indeed own Fortnite's Captain Marvel skin.)

Thompson, on the other hand, hasn't played Fortnite at all before. But in her research of what Fortnite is about, Thompson states, "The taming wolf part is the thing that I remembered... I would love to tame a wolf."

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Cinderella's Evil Stepsisters Movie In The Works From Bridesmaids Duo Kristen Wiig & Annie Mumolo

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 05:03

On the heels of the recently released Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar, writer-actor team Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo are currently writing an untitled, live-action musical comedy about Cinderella's evil stepsisters. News of the project and the pair's involvement was first reported by Deadline, who is also indicating that due to the movie's early stage, it's not yet known whether Wiig and Mumolo will also be starring in the film.

Together, Wiig and Mumolo made a huge impact in writing the 2011 comedy Bridesmaids. While Wiig is likely best known for her time as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, since leaving the sketch and variety show in 2012, she has gone on to prove herself as a multifaceted performer--ranging from Barbara Minerva/Cheetah in Wonder Woman 1984 and the moody 2014 drama The Skeleton Twins to the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters.

Mumolo has appeared in Judd Apatow's This Is Forty, Bad Moms, The Boss, and also had a recurring role on Amazon's Transparent. She and Wiig have been friends for decades, dating back to their meeting at the Los Angeles improv group The Groundlings in the early 2000s.

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How To Watch Overwatch League Week 1: Start Times, Platform, And More

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 04:35

The Overwatch League kicks off its 2021 season today, April 16, and you can watch the entirety of the action right from your living room. A whole bunch of teams are competing in successive matches, and the official website makes it easy for you to keep track of your favorites and stay up to date on their matches.

Here's how to watch The Overwatch League's 2021 season.

Overwatch League Start Time And Schedule

The Overwatch League kicks off on April 16 at noon PT / 3 PM ET with a match between the Houston Outlaws and the Dallas Fuel. One subsequent match will take place later that day between the Los Angeles Gladiators and the San Francisco Shock before resuming on Saturday morning. The initial schedule is below, with times in PT.

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Oculus Quest Adds Subscription Options For Fitness, Meditation, And Music Apps

Game News - Sat, 04/17/2021 - 04:29

Oculus Quest is getting subscription options in several of its popular apps, giving active users more content across fitness, workplace, music, and meditation programs. The system is not one-size-fits-all, offering additional content in certain apps while being required to use others. However, anything you already purchased from an existing app will still be available, no matter what.

"With app subscriptions, some of your favorite developers will be able to seamlessly deliver new, exciting content, tools, and features to subscribers," Facebook said in a blog post. "App subscriptions will give you access to exclusive content from some of your favorite titles."

FitXR, previously known as BoxVR

Thus far, the following apps are supported:

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