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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Dune: Awakening Will Let You Zonk People With "The Voice" In Combat

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 04:30

Keeping yourself alive is a major part of Dune: Awakening, Funcom's upcoming survival MMO, but once you've got your water discipline under control and you're walking without rhythm to avoid sandworms, there's a mess of other sandbox elements to think about. One of those is combat, because while Arrakis is a harsh world, it's the warring factions--and other players--that may well pose the biggest threats.

In Funcom's first Dune: Awakening Direct video about the game, creative director Joel Bylos gives a sense of how the game's third-person combat system actually works. The system looks to incorporate all the fighting elements that appear in the Denis Villeneuve movies, from hand-to-hand battles to vehicle engagements.

"We do this thing we call 'combined arms,' which is like, we have melee, we have ranged, and we have abilities. We also have vehicles, so players can use any combination of these in combat." Bylos explains in the video. "So it kind of creates this interesting dynamic, so you can learn abilities from the Great Schools in the universe, and learn how to be a Bene Gesserit and compelling your enemies to come close to you so that you can stab them with a knife. You're combining melee with abilities there, or you can be a swordmaster and leap in with a knee charge, knocking people to the ground and then stabbing them. Or you can choose to be a trooper, and you use your shigawire reel to pull you up like a grappling hook to pull you to high places, where you can shoot down on your enemies with sniper rifles and shotguns.

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In Dune: Awakening, You'll Fight To Survive Sandworms, Political Machinations, And Other Players

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 04:30

In the story Dune, Arrakis is the most dangerous planet in the universe. It’s a vast desert world where the scorching sun’s intense heat is a major hazard. Water is nearly impossible to find, and dehydration will claim an unprotected person in a matter of hours. More frightening, though, are the sandworms--enormous, carnivorous creatures that move beneath the ground and hunt by detecting vibrations. The sandworms hear you when you walk in the open deserts of Arrakis, and they always come.

To capture the danger of Arrakis in Dune: Awakening, Funcom riffed on its earlier success with survival title Conan Exiles. Awakening is also a survival game, but the story of Dune is as much about the deadliness of Arrakis as it is about the potentially lethal scheming of the political powers who wish to control it.

During a recent hands-off preview event for Dune: Awakening, creative director Joel Bylos explained how Funcom is merging survival game elements, which will make staying alive on Arrakis your top priority, with more traditional MMO elements like social interactions with other players on big servers, as well as placing a big emphasis on player-vs.-player gameplay. However, making the disparate elements of survival games and MMO games work together hasn't been easy, he said.

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Here's Why Dune: Awakening Won't Constantly Kill You With Nuclear Explosions

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 04:30

Survival MMO Dune: Awakening means to put you on the sands of Arrakis, fighting to keep your water in your body--fending off both the harsh arid climate and the weapons of other players in some of its PvP gameplay. Developer Funcom is including a whole bunch of different weapons and technologies for you to use in combat, including shields and the knives and swords that can penetrate them, vehicles like ornithopters, and projectile weapons.

Dune: Awakening will also include "lasguns," powerful laser-like weapons that are depicted in the recent Dune movies to be devastatingly powerful. Good news, though: As creative director Joel Bylos confirmed at a Dune: Awakening hands-off preview event last week, using lasguns in the game won't get you annihilated by a nuclear blast.

If you're not familiar with Dune lore, that might sound like a weird thing to be worried about. It's something the characters of Frank Herbert's novels are very worried about, however. In the story, the interaction between the laser-like rays and forcefield-like defensive shields--which are used on everything from ships and buildings to individual people--creates a massive nuclear explosion. Use a lasgun to shoot somebody wearing a shield and you'll take out yourself and everyone in the vicinity.

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Baldur's Gate 3's Physical Release Is Four Discs On Xbox Series X, Could Be Slightly Delayed

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 04:06

The physical edition of Baldur's Gate 3 is headed to Xbox Series X soon, but it's going to be an adventure spread out over four discs. Larian's director of publishing Michael Douse confirmed online that the studio almost managed to squeeze the adventure into three discs, but at the end of the day, it was 500MB over the three-disc limit. Larian could have cut some content from this physical release but decided to instead place it on a fourth disc.

The Xbox retail version of Baldur’s Gate 3 will indeed have 4 discs, since we’re 500mb over the limit for 3. Only option would have been to cut some content out but that didn’t make sense, so confirming 4. Updating here: https://t.co/xUoKLALyqr https://t.co/A2QQ3lI7y9

— Very AFK (@Cromwelp) March 4, 2024

In current and last-gen console cycles, multiple-disc releases have been almost unheard of thanks to the vastly superior storage capacity of Blu-ray discs and improved compression technologies, with Final Fantasy VII Rebirth's physical release being an exception to the physical media norm. Four discs is a lot, and it echoes the release of the first Baldur's Gate game, which launched on five CD-ROM discs back in 1998. As for the PC physical edition, there's no exact ETA yet for this version, but Douse did add that the console release of the deluxe version will come "slightly after" the PC launch and will likely be delayed to April.

It’s probable the wave 1 March 25 date will slip to first week of April because of this, but we’ll start shipping each SKU in order of readiness. PC first. No discs makes life easy. 4 discs, hard!

— Very AFK (@Cromwelp) March 4, 2024

Baldur's Gate 3 recently passed an impressive milestone of 10 million players, although the developer also spoke out against toxic feedback being thrown at the studio because of recent updates disrupting unofficial mods for the game. Larian Studios founder and CEO Swen Vincke had some strong words about gaming subscription services recently, emphasizing why Baldur's Gate 3 hasn't appeared yet on PlayStation Plus or Xbox Game Pass.

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It's Avengers Vs. X-Men In Marvel Snap's March Update

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 03:13

A new season of Marvel Snap kicks off this week, and after February's focus on the Thanos support squad, March is all about the Avengers and the X-Men. Specifically, Avengers vs. X-Men, as Earth's mightiest mortals will be squaring off against Marvel's mutants this month. Inspired by the 2012 crossover event, Marvel Snap players can look forward to five new cards, more variant designs, and two new locations to strategically take advantage of in matches.

This month's new cards offer some variety and chaos, cunning counters, and strategic resource management if used correctly. Meanwhile, the new zones will help you bust out some powerful mid-level cards sooner and power up your other characters in battle. For anyone who has been on the receiving end of a Professor X shutdown, War Machine is going to come in very handy. This card's On Reveal effect activates the next turn it plays and allows you to play your cards anywhere, making it invaluable for games where zones like Crimson Cosmos are active or Goose is in play.

On the X-Men side, Cannonball looks like he could work very nicely with a Wong and Odin combo. His On Reveal ability allows him to move the highest-power enemy card away from a zone, and if there's no space available, he destroys it and replaces it with a Rock in that spot.

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Apex Legends' Inner Beast Event Features New Octane Heirloom, Prey-Tracking LTM

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 03:08

Apex Legends Season 20: Breakout is in full swing, and developer Respawn Entertainment has just announced the battle royale's next in-game event: the Inner Beast Collection Event, which features both a new Heirloom Weapon and a new limited-time mode.

Like all Collection Events, the Inner Beast Collection Event will include 24 new premium cosmetics sporting a red and purple color palette, with characters like Bloodhound and Octane receiving Legendary cosmetics. But players who unlock all 24 premium cosmetics will also earn Octane's new Heirloom Weapon, a red-tinted butterfly knife called Octane's Prototype.

A new LTM called The Hunt will replace the game's standard Battle Royale mode for the duration of the event. The new mode allows squads to locate their enemies via a new item called a Hunt Tracker, and enemies who are tracked down will spawn a Loot Tick when eliminated, giving their killers high-tier loot to help keep them in the fight. But the Prey Squad can also earn rewards by defeating their hunters--or simply outlasting them.

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Sydney Sweeney Jokes That No One Saw Madame Web

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 03:03

You probably know Sydney Sweeney from an assortment of different TV and film projects: Euphoria, White Lotus, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, and Anyone But You. You may also be aware of her cult following on social media sites. But her connection to Madame Web probably doesn't spring to mind, and the actress apparently understands that.

Spotted by DiscussingFilm on X (formerly known as Twitter), Sweeney joked during her Saturday Night Live monologue about how nobody has seen her portray Julia Cornwall, also known as Spider-Woman, in the Sony and Marvel movie Madame Web. "You might have seen me in Anyone But You or Euphoria, you definitely did not see me in Madame Web," she said.

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Xbox Partner Preview Showcase Announced For Wednesday With Games From EA, Nexon, And Capcom

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 03:00

Microsoft has announced the next Xbox Partner Preview showcase, and it's coming up soon. The video broadcast is coming Wednesday, March 6, and it will feature more than 12 new game trailers over 30 minutes. Games from Capcom, Nexon, and EA are confirmed to be featured in the video broadcast.

Specifically, the games Tales of Kenzera: Zau from EA, Kunitsu-Gami: Path of the Goddess from Capcom, and The First Berserker: Khazan from Nexon are confirmed to be included in the broadcast. Other games remain a mystery, but all should become clear soon.

Recently, it was reported that EA's Dragon Age: Dreadwolf will be released in 2024 with more information set to be revealed this summer. As of yet, there is nothing suggesting the game will be part of the Xbox Partner Preview showcase.

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Chris Evans Says Comic Book Movies Deserve More Credit, Reveals Favorite Of His

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 02:46

Actor Chris Evans is very familiar with superhero and comic book movies, as he played Steve Rogers/Captain America in numerous Marvel movies over the years. At Emerald City Con 2024, Evans said comic book movies deserve more credit, and he also revealed his own personal favorite Marvel movie that he got to make in his career.

As reported by Variety, Evans said that "for whatever reason," comic book films "don't always get the credit I think they deserve."

"They are these big, giant movies. There's a lot of cooks in the kitchen. But the empirical evidence is in: They are not easy to make. If it was easier, there would be a lot more good ones," he said. "I'm not throwing shade! I've been a part of a few that missed. It happens. Making a movie is tough. More cooks in the kitchen doesn't make it easier. I don't want to highlight specific films in the Marvel catalogue but some of them are phenomenal. Like independently, objectively great movies and I think they deserve a little more credit."

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Former Bungie Composer Marty O'Donnell Announces Nevada Congressional Run

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 02:39

Former Bungie composer Marty O'Donnell has announced that he's running for Congress. He intends to run in Nevada's third congressional district as the Republican candidate against Democratic incumbent Susie Lee.

"I never wanted to be a politician and I still don’t. I’ve had two successful careers and have started a few small businesses. I’ve also worked for some big corporations," he said on social media. "I was ready to retire and spend more time with my family--which I’ve done for the past three years. I think they’re ready for me to find something else to do."

O'Donnell is also a Trump supporter, according to an interview with GamesBeat. He voted for Trump twice and intends to vote for Trump a third time if he ends up being the Republican nominee for President.

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Horror Movie Box Sets Are Steeply Discounted At Amazon

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 02:37

Amazon is offering steep discounts on a variety of horror movie bundles right now, making this a great time to cross off items on your wishlist. Some of the deals bring collections down to their lowest-ever prices--with certain sets seeing up to $140 price cuts.

One of the most exciting deals is for Paramount Scares: Volume 1 (4K), which is just $75 (down from $112). That's the best price we've seen for the bundle, which includes Rosemary's Baby, Pet Sematary, Smile, Crawl, and Sweeny Todd. All movies are offered in 4K UHD and the collection comes with a bunch of physical goodies such as collectible slipcovers, an enamel pin, a sticker sheet, and more.

Other notable price cuts include The Evil Dead: Groovy Collection (4K) for $57 (down from $80), Paranormal Activity: The Ultimate Chills Collection (Blu-ray) for $40 (down from $68), and Resident Evil 6-Movie Collection (4K) for $60 (down from $96). And if you're looking for something a bit less spooky, you'll find the Ghostbusters + Ghostbusters 2 Steelbook (4K) for just $35 (down from $66). Consider giving it a look if you're interested in the upcoming Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire.

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Watch Dune Star Austin Butler Kick Ass In Gun Range Training Video

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 02:01

Oscar-nominated actor Austin Butler could be gearing up for a new action-heavy role, as video has emerged of the Dune star's impressive gun skills.

A video uploaded by Taran Tactical, an outfit that previously helped Keanu Reeves get ready for John Wick, shows Butler's impressive skills at the range. In one sequence, he's reloading a pistol next to expert Tetiana Gaidar and she looks very impressed with Butler's abilities. Gaidar is the model for Call of Duty's Mila and brought the character to life in the game.

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A post shared by Taran Tactical Innovations (@tarantactical)

Some believe Butler might be preparing for a role in Michael Mann's Heat 2, as the actor has been rumored to appear in the film since 2023. Mann confirmed to Deadline in 2023 that he plans to film Heat 2 as his next project.

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The Outlast Trials Launch Trailer Is Full Of Blood, Guts, And Gore

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 02:00

The survival-horror game The Outlast Trials from developer Red Barrels is releasing on March 5 across console and PC, and the launch trailer has now arrived.

The Outlast Trials has been available on Steam Early Access since 2023, but the 1.0 release is coming up this week on PC and the game is also launching on PS5 and Xbox Series X|S that day. The 5-minute launch trailer offers a tantalizing tease at what to expect, summarizing the setting, story, and gameplay elements, and also providing an extended look at the eerie vibe. Be warned that this trailer is full of blood and gore, and also contains imagery of someone hanging from a rope, among other startling and upsetting scenes. Here's the trailer:

The Outlast Trials is now available on Steam Early Access for $30, but that price will go up to an unspecified price when the game's 1.0 edition launches on March 5. Everyone who buys before then gets the lower price point, the Grizzly Hazmat outfit, and 50% off Reagent Starter Pack.

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Nintendo Switch Batman: Arkham Trilogy Receives First Major Discount

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 01:55

There's no superhero video game trilogy better than Rocksteady's trio of Batman games, and for Nintendo Switch owners, taking the Arkham series on the go is now a reality. All three of those games were recently collected into one convenient package and released as Batman: Arkham Trilogy, and if you missed out on it in December or simply didn't want to spend full price for three old games, you can now score these games for a discount. Over at Best Buy, you can get Batman: Arkham Trilogy for $40, down from its usual price of $60.

See at Best Buy

Batman: Arkham Trilogy

This is as complete a collection as you could ask for, as each of the three games--Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, and Arkham Knight--come with all of their respective DLC and expansions. That includes extra costumes for the Caped Crusader, more challenge levels, meaty DLC episodes, and much more. Each game still holds up pretty well, with Arkham Knight being the best of the bunch, and the rhythm-based gameplay from this series went on to redefine action games for more than a decade.

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This Official SpongeBob Xbox Series X Is $700, May Give You Nightmares

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 01:38

Microsoft has announced the latest custom Xbox Series X design, but it's probably not what you expect and it no doubt costs much more than you might be willing to pay. Microsoft has partnered with Best Buy to offer the console through the Best Buy mobile app for the price of $700 (yes, that is correct).

The system, which features SpongeBob's smiling face, also comes with a controller featuring a collage of images of SpongeBob, Patrick, Squidward, Gary, Mr. Krabs, and Plankton. Microsoft is releasing the custom Xbox as a promotion for Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2, which launched in November 2023. Microsoft also offered a SpongeBob Xbox in 2021 for the launch of the first game, but that was only for a giveaway--this one you can actually buy (maybe).

Behold

A "limited supply" of the SpongeBob Xbox consoles will be available to buy starting at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET on Thursday, March 7 through the Best Buy mobile app for shoppers in the US. The bundle comes with the console, the controller, and a digital copy of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl 2.

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Mass Effect The Boardgame - Priority: Hagalaz Brings The Space Opera To Tabletop Later This Year

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 01:00

The gaming world has seen multiple video games make the jump from TV screen to tabletop, with Dark Souls, Assassin's Creed, and Kingdom Hearts all featured in board game form. Mass Effect is no stranger either--a special Mass Effect version of Risk launched back in 2013, for example--but Asmodee is taking Commander Shepard and his crew on a whole new adventure in Mass Effect the Board Game - Priority: Hagalaz later this year.

Priority: Hagalaz is a co-op game for up to four players that features a branching campaign set during the events of Mass Effect 3, and it adapts to player choice on the fly. Shepard and the team are sent to Hagalaz, where they must investigate a crashed research ship formerly owned by Cerberus before it's destroyed by a massive storm--and while avoiding the horrors within.

Cover art for Mass Effect: The Board Game

Players will choose from six different characters--Garrus, Liara, Tali, Wrex, and both male and female Shepard--with each represented by a 32mm-tall plastic miniature figurine. Each character can have their abilities, special attack powers, and gear customized throughout the mission, with optional loyalty missions buffing characters even further if completed.

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Dune 2 Actor Stellan Skarsgaard Refused CG For Pirates Films, Preferred Practical Effects Instead

Tue, 03/05/2024 - 00:49

Dune: Part Two is now out in cinemas--and scoring big at the box office--thanks in part to actor Stellan Skarsgaard putting in a scene-stealing performance as the villainous Vladimir Harkonnen. Skarsgaard is almost unrecognizable beneath the mountain of prosthetics used to give him an intimidating presence in the film, and it's not the first time the actor has sat for hours in a make-up chair as special effects artists work their craft on him, as back in the late 2000s, he portrayed the barnacle-infested Bootstrap Bill Turner in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and At World's End.

In an interview for the Dune sequel, Skarsgaard explained how even then, he preferred wearing prosthetics to help him with his performance as opposed to other actors who wore motion-capture suits and had tracking dots on their faces for post-production special effects work.

"I was the only one on set with real prosthetics on," Skarsgaard said to Business Insider. "Everyone else on that ship showed up five minutes before we started shooting and had dots put on their face, and away they went. I had been there for six hours. But the thing is, I like it. I like to see the artists paint, if that makes sense."

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