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Updated: 1 hour 17 min ago

One Of The Coolest Parts Of Hellblade 2 Is The Rocks

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 18:01

It shouldn't come as a surprise to me anymore that this generation of consoles are powerful machines and studios can just more easily disguise their witchcraft to create cool visual effects, but I'm still routinely dumbfounded. The latest example is Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, in which Ninja Theory has managed this incredible visual trickery with rocks.

As you're walking through Hellblade II's Iceland, you may notice some outcroppings that suspiciously look like faces. These are examples of protagonist Senua's psychosis tricking her mind into recognizing a pattern that's not actually there. If you choose to focus on these optical illusions, they'll shift and reveal secret tunnels for Senua to maneuver through. When I played Hellblade II on Xbox Series X, the transformation was seamless, mimicking (albeit on a grander scale) what it's like for your eyes to play tricks on you in real life. It's incredible.

"A lot of it came from speaking with [Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience] Paul Fletcher and the people with lived experience [of psychosis]," Ninja Theory VFX director Mark Slater Tunstill told me. "That's kind of a privilege for us; for those people to be open enough to talk about their experiences and what they've gone through, what they are going through. And listening to that, there's a lot you can take from it, but you get some sort of key themes and then you go, 'Actually, if that was happening to Senua, how would she perceive the world?'"

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One Of The Coolest Parts Of Hellblade 2 Is The Rocks

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 18:01

It shouldn't come as a surprise to me anymore that this generation of consoles are powerful machines and studios can just more easily disguise their witchcraft to create cool visual effects, but I'm still routinely dumbfounded. The latest example is Senua's Saga: Hellblade II, in which Ninja Theory has managed this incredible visual trickery with rocks.

As you're walking through Hellblade II's Iceland, you may notice some outcroppings that suspiciously look like faces. These are examples of protagonist Senua's psychosis tricking her mind into recognizing a pattern that's not actually there. If you choose to focus on these optical illusions, they'll shift and reveal secret tunnels for Senua to maneuver through. When I played Hellblade II on Xbox Series X, the transformation was seamless, mimicking (albeit on a grander scale) what it's like for your eyes to play tricks on you in real life. It's incredible.

"A lot of it came from speaking with [Bernard Wolfe Professor of Health Neuroscience] Paul Fletcher and the people with lived experience [of psychosis]," Ninja Theory VFX director Mark Slater Tunstill told me. "That's kind of a privilege for us; for those people to be open enough to talk about their experiences and what they've gone through, what they are going through. And listening to that, there's a lot you can take from it, but you get some sort of key themes and then you go, 'Actually, if that was happening to Senua, how would she perceive the world?'"

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Godzilla x Kong 5-Film Collector's Edition Preorders Are Discounted

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 05:59

Legendary's MonsterVerse has been one of the most consistently entertaining film franchises for a decade now, and with Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire now in theaters, you can grab a preorder for the entire saga on Blu-ray. While it doesn't have a release date just yet, the Godzilla X Kong MonsterVerse 5-Film Collector's Edition is available to order at Walmart for $100 (was $135). Amazon is currently selling preorders for $110. Like other Blu-ray releases on Amazon, this price has a good chance of coming down closer to release, and you'll pay the lowest price offered from the time you order to release when your box set ships.

Preorder at Walmart

Preorder at Amazon

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Fallout 3 Might Have Caused The Dark Knight Rises To Be Delayed

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 05:54

Jonathan Nolan, the executive producer and director of Prime Video's Fallout TV series, has said he played so much Fallout 3 that it might have led to a delay in the big-budget Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises. He co-wrote the movie with his brother Christopher Nolan.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Jonathan Nolan said he was "in the mood for a distraction" and turned to Fallout 3. "I think Chris had tasked me with writing The Dark Knight Rises and so if that movie was slightly delayed, it was probably in part because of Fallout 3," he said.

For what it's worth, it's not immediately clear if The Dark Knight Rises was indeed ever delayed. Even if a delay wasn't announced publicly, the film could have been delayed internally. Given how gripping and engrossing Bethesda's Fallout games can be, it's not surprising to learn that Nolan got sucked in and spent so much time playing Fallout 3 instead of co-writing the movie.

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Life-Size M3gan Doll Just Stands There, But Won't Try To Kill You

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 05:35

The 2022 horror movie M3gan features a robotic doll who kills people, and now you can own a life-size replica. This doll just stands there and doesn't come to life and kill people (we hope).

This 1:1 replica was made using "film-used" digital files from the movie to help make it look as accurate as possible. The eyes and arms move, and she has human-like hair, too. Her clothes and shoes are also modeled after her appearance in the film.

She stands about 55 inches tall, which is roughly 4.5 feet. It's an officially licensed product made by NECA in partnership with M3gan movie studio Universal Pictures.

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Jonathan Nolan Shares The Origin Of The Dark Knight's Most Famous Line

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 05:06

Early in The Dark Knight, Harvey Dent tells Bruce Wayne the line that's become synonymous with the film: "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Director Christopher Nolan recently admitted that he didn't initially understand what the line was meant to convey. The line itself was conceived by Nolan's brother, Jonathan Nolan, who co-wrote the script. During a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Nolan shed some light on the origin of that line.

"It came later in the script," said Nolan. "We’ve done a version or two of the script where we were looking for something that would distill the tragedy of Harvey Dent but that would also apply to Batman. The richness of Batman is in the way this principled, almost Boy Scout-like figure is wrapped up in this kind of ghoulish appearance and his willingness to embrace the darkness. So I was looking at Greek tragic figures. The first part of that line is 'you either die a hero' -- and that part’s important, because not everybody wants to be a hero; it’s engaging in heroics that puts you in this space, where you have this binary outcome."

At the beginning of the movie, even Bruce thinks that Harvey is the hero that Gotham City really needs. But even before Harvey and Bruce lose Rachel Dawes because of the Joker's twisted plans, Harvey shows his dark side when he threatens one of the Joker's goons. Once Harvey is left heavily scarred and mourning for Rachel, he unleashes his Two-Face persona and fulfills the promise of the line he gave earlier in the film.

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The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road Expansion Preorders Are Discounted For PC And Mac

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 04:56

The next Elder Scrolls Online expansion, Gold Road, launches on June 3 for Windows and Mac, and on June 18 for PlayStation and Xbox. Preorders are available for all platforms, but PC and Mac players can save a few bucks by purchasing through Fanatical, which has discounts on all versions of the upcoming expansion.

See at Fanatical

The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Road is available as an upgrade for existing players or as part of a new Elder Scrolls Online collection that bundles the base game and all previous expansions along with Gold Road. Deluxe editions of the upgrade and collection include extra exclusive content. Each version is discounted at Fanatical and available as either Steam keys or The Elder Scrolls Online launcher codes.

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Jump Ship Looks Like FTL Combined With Sea Of Thieves

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 04:27

Swedish development studio Keepsake Games has revealed its new title, Jump Ship, an ambitious sci-fi co-op adventure that looks like FLT meets Sea of Thieves and Starfield. While players will be able to explore the cosmos and hunt down bounties on alien worlds, the twist in Jump Ship is that they'll also be teaming up to operate a spaceship, keep it functioning, and take part in dogfights throughout the galaxy. This co-op part forms a major part of the gameplay loop, as players will take turns engaging in various roles, while also working towards a common goal of making it out alive with as much loot as possible.

"No one adventure is the same, and things often turn into chaos out of nowhere," Filip Coulianos, game director at Keepsake Games, said in a press statement. "One moment you’re chilling and scavenging for parts, the next you're desperately trying to fix the fuel leak on the outside of your ship as projectiles from enemy ships fly around your head and your captain is shouting to get strapped in as you try to escape the sector. We've tried to build a game that brings the best of the sci-fi space fantasy together in one co-op experience, and we can't wait to see people jump in!"

Other key features in Jump Ship include "modular exploration" through multiple jumps into uncharted territory, while randomized events and modifiers like solar flares and asteroid showers will keep players on their toes. Players can exit their ship to repair the outer deck, explore the surface of an asteroid, or use their jetpack to fly into enemy vessels, and Keepsake Games says all of this can be done seamlessly and without loading screens or transitions. The studio was founded by several industry veterans and currently has 12 people working on Jump Ship.

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New Matrix Movie Announced With World War Z Writer

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 04:11

Warner Bros. has announced a new Matrix movie. Drew Goddard, the writer behind World War Z and The Martian, has been hired to direct the new Matrix film. This will be Goddard's third directorial project, following The Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times at the El Royale.

Lana Wachowski, one of the creators of the series, is involved as an executive producer, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Lilly Wachowski is not involved. Lana directed the latest movie, The Matrix: Resurrections.

Warner Bros. boss Jesse Ehrman said Goddard came to the movie studio with a "new idea" that the studio believes could be an "incredible way to continue the Matrix world." It will respect the franchise's legacy and also offer a "unique perspective" on the franchise's future, Ehrman said.

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Dune Actor Has No Regrets Being Cut For The Sequel

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 04:07

In both parts of Denis Villenueve's epic Dune films not everyone cast can still make it on screen. Actor Tim Blake Nelson openly said he's heartbroken about his scenes being cut, but has no hard feelings about it personally. Stephen McKinley Henderson played advisor Thufir Hawat in the first Dune movie and fans expected him to return, but that wasn't the case.

Cutting Henderson from the sequel was a tough call and "one of the most painful choices for me," Villeneuve told Entertainment Weekly. McKinley however isn't as disappointed in the choice and understands that sometimes it's all about the process.

"I shot stuff for them and had a great time with Denis and Austin Butler," McKinley told Entertainment Weekly. "I got to have a nice lunch with Christopher Walken. It was a great thing to be a part of, and I understand it comes with the territory. Denis had to do the film that he had to do. So I just love being a part of it. No regrets."

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Next MultiVersus Crossover Is Not One You Would Have Guessed

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 03:49

MultiVersus is prepping for its big relaunch in May, but before the game's various Warner Bros.-owned characters like Batman, Velma, and Bugs Bunny once again do platform-based battle, they'll throw down in a real-life hockey match.

On April 14, TNT Sports, the NHL, and Warner Bros. Games are partnering to transform a game between the Colorado Avalanche and the Las Vegas Golden Knights into a MultiVersus hockey match using tracking technologies to overlay characters like Superman, Shaggy, and Finn the Human on top of the actual action during the broadcast. Some NHL players, like Nathan MacKinnon of the Avalanche and Jack Eichel of the Golden Knights, will even receive special avatars in the MultiVersus style so that it appears they are playing alongside the game's various characters. The MultiVersus NHL Face-Off will air exclusively on truTV and the Max app (for those who own the B/R Sports add-on).

MultiVersus characters will play alongside NHL stars in the MultiVersus NHL Face-Off match.

All the while, the Tasmanian Devil will be providing commentary. A team selection draft of the MultiVersus characters will air during TNT's postgame coverage of the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings on April 7. The ice rink itself will transform over the course of the game, where it will shift to look like various stages in MultiVersus, including the Space Jam court, the Tree Fort from Adventure Time, and the Trophy's E.D.G.E. arena.

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One Year Later, Ubisoft Forward Is Back For Another June Showcase

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 03:42

While E3 is permanently canceled, that isn't stopping Ubisoft from hosting its own dedicated livestream event in June. The company has announced that a new Ubisoft Forward livestream will be broadcast on June 10, live from Los Angeles.

It’s back ✨
Join us live from Los Angeles for #UbiForward on June 10 for updates and upcoming releases! pic.twitter.com/PevpR3rfvH

— Ubisoft (@Ubisoft) April 3, 2024

Ubisoft joins Geoff Keighley's Summer Games Fest during this period, which will be held a few days earlier on June 7 this year. Over the last few years, June has become informally known as Not-E3 month in the industry, as the trade show and satellite events would take place that month. Ubisoft isn't revealing which games will be shown at its event, but some of the titles in development at the company include Star Wars Outlaws, a Splinter Cell remake, and Assassin's Creed Codename Red amongst others.

In February, Ubisoft said that it planned to reveal the "extent" of its lineup for the 2024-25 fiscal year in May, which could line up with the company's scheduled full-year earnings announcement that month. "We look forward to revealing the full extent of the creative capabilities of Ubisoft's teams, who are working hard to make these games a success that will live up to gamers' expectations," Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said at the time.

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Witcher Season 4 Adds Three More Cast Members

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 03:12

More cast members have joined Netflix's The Witcher for its upcoming fourth season, which will be the first featuring Liam Hemsworth as Geralt after Henry Cavill moved on.

As reported by Variety, Season 4 is adding Sharlto Copley (District 9), James Purefoy (Rome), and Danny Woodburn (Seinfeld) to its cast.

Copley is playing the bounty hunter Leo Bonhart, with Purefoy portraying the spy Skellen. Woodburn plays the dwarf Zoltan.

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Adorable Pikachu Nintendo Switch Controller Drops To Lowest Price Yet

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 03:07

Hori makes a wide variety of third-party controllers for consoles and PC, but few are as well-regarded as the Split Pad Compact (and Split Pad Pro). And if you're looking for a way to improve the ergonomics of playing Switch in handheld mode, this is a great time to finally check it out. Typically listed for $60, the Hori Split Pad Compact (Pikachu & Mimikyu) is down to just $42--which also happens to be its lowest-ever price.

Hori Nintendo Switch Split Pad Compact (Pikachu & Mimikyu) $42 (was $60)

The Split Pad Compact is designed to give you a full-size controller experience while playing in handheld mode. Along with full-size analog sticks and D-pad, it features programmable back buttons, responsive face buttons, and a slim design that's ideal for tossing in a backpack or suitcase. This particular model features Pikachu and Mimikyu artwork, which should make it especially enticing to Pokemon fans.

See at Amazon

This model is the only one seeing the full discount to $42, though you'll find the Gengar edition on sale for $53 (down from $60).

Our Split Pad Compact review found it to be an incredible alternative to the standard Joy-Con, going as far as to call it our "new favorite controller for handheld gaming on Nintendo Switch."

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60% Of All Playtime In 2023 Was Spent On Live-Service Games More Than Six Years Old

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 02:58

New market data shows that 60% of playtime across consoles and PC was spent on live-service games that are over six years old, such as Fortnite, Minecraft, Counter-Strike and others. The report, from market researcher Newzoo (via Kotaku), claims that the PC and console markets generated $93.5 billion in revenue during 2023. Most of this revenue and most of the total playtime was spent on heavyweight, established titles.

For example, Fortnite topped the charts on every platform. Call of Duty, Grand Theft Auto 5, Minecraft, Counter-Strike 2, Rocket League, and Apex Legends also take prominent spots. Each platform does have its own idiosyncrasies. Roblox and The Sims 4 both take prominent spots on the PC chart. Starfield cracked number eight on Xbox, while Tears of the Kingdom was the second most played game on Switch. However, the lists are mostly uniform across platforms. A grand total of 66 games accounted for over 80% of playtime in 2023. 60% of that was spent with games that are six years or older.

As for other games, 23% of the total playtime was spent on new releases. However, most of that time was spent on annual franchises like Madden or NBA2K. Only 8% was spent on new, non-annual games like Baldur's Gate III or Tears of the Kingdom, and even those are part of well-established franchises. Through platforms like Itch, it is easier than ever to make your own games and share them with the world. However, competing with games like Fortnite or Roblox, which lean on user-generated games, combined with the lack of funding support for marginalized developers can create a hostile environment to new ideas.

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CoD: Warzone And MW3 Season 3 Patch Notes Detail RAM-7 Nerf And QoL Updates

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 02:13

Season 3 of Modern Warfare 3 and Warzone arrives today, and Activision reveals all the big changes for this new season of Call of Duty. The Season 3 patch notes include changes to perks, major weapon balancing, and some quality-of-life changes.

The season launches with three new weapons in the battle pass, four multiplayer maps, Capture the Flag mode, new perks, and Rebirth Island's return to Warzone. Season 3 also adds the Plunder and Buy Back modes to Warzone Mobile. Several bundles arrive with Season 3, including more King Kong and Godzilla skins, a stoned sloth operator, a dinosaur soldier, and Cheech & Chong are Call of Duty operators. More details on Season 3 content can be found here.

On the Warzone side, a new quality-of-life update gives the option to "Clear All Pings," which will remove all of a player's pings, as well as any squadmate pings from their screen.

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This Lego Avatar Set Is Over 50% Off, But It Will Sell Out Soon

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 02:08

Believe it or not, but journeying to a strange new planet doesn't require being obscenely wealthy. You can journey to Pandora from the James Cameron-directed Avatar films for cheap, as this colorful and big Lego set is on sale for just $68. Normally $150, the Lego Avatar Toruk Makto and Tree of Souls set is already sold out once on Amazon, so it will almost certainly disappear again soon. Best Buy also still has some stock. You'll want to move fast, because with this Lego set having its price reduced by over 50%, it will likely sell out very fast.

See at Amazon See at Best Buy

So what's in the box? Inside you'll find over 1,200 pieces, four minifigures--Jake Sully, Neytiri, Mo'at, and Tsu'Tey--and two Avatar animal figures. These can be used to build one of the more iconic locations from the Avatar film, the Tree of Souls along with two smaller locations. The Toruk Makto on its own is an incredible piece to assemble, as Jake Sully's dragon has a 19-inch wingspan.

Lego Avatar Toruk Makto and Tree of SoulsGallery

Join them together, and you'll get one big diorama piece to display on your shelf. For an added touch of authenticity, the sets have a subtle glowing effect when placed in a dark room, while the Toruk and Direhorse creatures have connections for when your Na'vi figures mount them. Just like in the movies.

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The Boys Omnibus Edition Comics Receive Solid Discounts At Amazon

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 01:55

The Boys has been one of the best reasons to subscribe to Prime Video, especially if you're dealing with superhero fatigue. A dark, violent, and satirical look at the superhero business, comic book source material for the series is not for the faint-hearted. While the Prime Video series keeps the essentials of The Boys intact, the original comic books features some huge differences that makes it well-worth reading for fans of the show. If you've got the stomach for it, the fancy omnibus editions of The Boys are now on sale at Amazon.

The Boys Omnibus EditionsThe Boys

Illustrated by several artists and written by Garth Ennis, the comic books are set in a world where superheroes are surprisingly plentiful, active, and some of the worst people you'll ever meet. How do you keep the heroes in check? With a CIA-backed team of very dangerous people who aren't afraid to get their hands dirty or commit a few murders. These omnibus editions are big reprints of the comic books, are around 300-400 pages in size, and usually cover two volumes of the series.

The entire saga can be read throughout these six volumes, making this the definitive run of the 72-issue series. Again, this is a very brutal comic book series with extreme amounts of gore and other violent subject matter, so this is very much a comic book series that's intended for adults.

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Dragon's Dogma 2 Players Are Warning Each Other About The Plague With A Rotten Gimmick

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 01:50

Dragon's Dogma 2 players have discovered a few tricks that signal to other players a pawn is infected. Careful, spoilers for Dragon's Dogma 2 follow.

In the game, players' companions known as pawns can become inflicted with a disease known as Dragonsplague. These pawns will be especially bold in combat and speech, they may begin to discuss the plague, and their eyes may start to glow red. The Dragonsplague cannot be cured, but if a pawn dies or if you dismiss the pawn, you can avoid the plague's worst consequences. However, dismissing the pawn does not rid it of the plague. Therefore, each infected pawn still can transmit it to different players online.

An article in Eurogamer compiles some players' solutions to their problem, mostly saddling their pawns with rotten food. For example, a thread on Reddit opens with "I'm giving rotten fruit to any pawn I get that has Dragonsplague." In a discussion on the Steam forums about how to warn players, one user suggests rotten food as a sign of infection. Other players think that rotten food is too vague, offering wilted flowers as an alternative.

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Joker 2 Gets R Rating, Features Brief Full Nudity

Thu, 04/04/2024 - 01:32

Like the 2019 film, this October's Joker: Folie a Deux will be rated R. The Motion Picture Association has listed a rating for the highly anticipated sequel and also gave some clues about why it received that rating.

Joker: Folie a Deux will have "some strong violence, language throughout, some sexuality, and brief full nudity," the ratings board said, as reported by Variety.

For comparison, the earlier film was rated R for "strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language, and brief sexual images."

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