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    Dibs on Diddy Kong.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    Nintendo has announced that they are hosting a Super Smash Bros. tournament at E3 2018.

    From June 11-12, a Smash Switch tournament will be held somewhere at the convention. This tournament is invitation-only and will feature the top Smash players from across the world. There's no word on whether or not there will be any prizes included as part of the tournament, but we imagine the winner will walk away with something. Nintendo will also be hosting a Splatoon 2 World Championship at that event around the same time. That tournament is actually open to anyone, but teams and players must register for competition via this website in order to qualify for an invite. 

    At this time, it's not quite clear whether or not the Smash tournament will utilize the Switch version of Super Smash Bros. or if this contest will use an older version of the game. However, it seems that the contest will use GameCube controllers, which either suggests that it will use an older version of the game or that Nintendo is gearing up to make some kind of formal 'GameCube controllers for Switch' announcement at E3. 

    Nintendo is making a habit of using E3 as the staging ground for some gaming competitions. Before the debut of Super Smash Bros. Wii U, Nintendo held a Super Smash Bros. Melee tournament. Reggie Fils-Aime was even on-hand to award the winner with a rather nice trophy and, presumably, some of his power. It's not quite a full embrace of eSports, but it does give Nintendo an excuse to have a presence at E3 even though they no longer host their main presentation at the show. 

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    While we really doubt that the Smash Bros. tournament will feature the Switch version of the game this far ahead of its presumed release date, it's definitely possible that Nintendo will utilize some kind of simplified version of the final game for a "last match" or even to show off during their Treehouse event. However, we imagine that the full roster reveal will be held off for later dates. 

    Still, it's always nice to see competitive Smash players get a chance to shine at E3. While Smash doesn't boast the largest competitive scene, its players are among the most dedicated of all professional competitive gamers. 

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    It turns out there's a very real dark side to being too ambitious.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    It turns out that Ubisoft also thinks that Assassin's Creed Unity was a bit of a bust, but they believe they understand exactly what went wrong with the title. 

    "We fell again into this trap of working a lot on the tech, and not allowing enough [time for] the teams to create the content to create something new," said Assassin's Creed creative director Jean Guesdon at GDC 2018. "In the end, that's the way I see it. We created the perfect conditions for the perfect storm. We had a game that was wonderful in terms of art, but that was not renewing enough of the experience."

    Guesdon expanded on that sentiment by saying that the team perhaps "flew too close to the sun" when creating the graphics engine for Unity. While the team was thrilled with how the game looked - Guesdon says its still one of the better-looking games out there - the enhanced visuals led to a series of technical and design issues. While many gamers will no doubt remember some of Unity's infamous - and horrifying - visual bugs that would do things like remove character's faces, Guesdon says that the issues the visuals created went far beyond those glitches. For instance, the new scaling of the buildings in the game made it hard for the team to properly recreate the fluid navigation from previous titles. 

    "The game suffered from all this," said Guesdon of the game's various problems. "Even if you played it today with the fixes, it's still a very beautiful and very good game. But in short, we probably flew too close to the sun and we were a bit overcome."

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    It's not all bad news, though. Guesdon credits the mistakes of Unity for helping the team realize that it was time to step back and re-examine the franchise. While he was specifically referring to the improvements made by Assassin's Creed Syndicate, he also noted that the recent Assassin's Creed Origins did a great job of focusing on key gameplay aspects like open-world creation, finding a balance between story and gameplay, and contributing to the game's grander universe. 

    "It was a cultural shift for the developers as much as a technological one - we should focus on the experience and not the scripting and coding. Players don't care about the code, just their experience," said Guesdon. 

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    It looks like the PUBG team are starting to take cues from Fortnite's success.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds will soon feature an Event Mode similar to the one seen in Fortnite Battle Royale

    These events will utilize a series of custom rules that change the basic format of PUBG slightly. For instance, the first event will reduce the player count to only eight participants and increase the number of rifles spread throughout the map. If that doesn't sound like a jaw-dropping, can't miss event, there is a very good reason why that's the case. 

    "The first iteration of the Event Mode will be a very simple one, as the system was only recently put together and we need to test the basics first," said developer Bluehole via a recent post on the game's Steam blog. "We know it's not a huge change from the public matches but as mentioned above, this is just to get things rolling. The future of the Event Mode holds exciting things!"

    The PUBG team didn't elaborate on what kind of exciting things the future of Event Mode will hold. Given that PUBGis a fairly grounded game, we don't know if the developers would add anything too wacky to the experience. However, we know that the team has already talked about adding things like a smaller map to the game, so it's possible they could utilize such a location at the basis for some more creative conflicts. The developers also noted that the next iteration of PUBGwill feature a flare gun, so we imagine that will come into play at some point. 

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    The entire concept of an event mode in a Battle Royale game will no doubt sound familiar to those who have been playing more Fortnite than PUBG as of late. That game has utilized a pretty expansive event mode for quite some time now. Recent events in that game have even featured some pretty wild concepts that drastically changed the nature of the game. 

    Speaking of which, there's little doubt that this move is in response to the various updates Epic has been making to Fortnite which have seemingly helped that game surpass PUBG as the most popular Battle Royale title in the world. However, nobody is calling that particular war quite yet. 

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    What we know about Cyberpunk 2077, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Mar 22, 2018

    Cyberpunk 2077 will be CD Projekt Red's first game outside The Witcher universe, and its first foray into science fiction. Based on the Cyberpunk series of tabletop games, it is, as its name suggests, inspired by the pioneers of the cyberpunk subgenre - namely William Gibson and Bruce Sterling. We can therefore expect plenty of cyborgs, AI, benighted cities, and scary corporations.

    While Cyberpunk 2077's very different in setting from The Witcher, we'll see the same mature themes and unforgiving difficulty level in this new outing.

    "The Witcher helped Cyberpunk quite a bit, because the game got so big and so complex that it really taught us,” visual effects artist Jose Teixeira told MCV. “If anything, working on The Witcher 3 was a really good and often brutal learning experience. Cyberpunk is going to benefit greatly from it. I can almost guarantee it."

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Cyberpunk 2077 News

    Adam Kiciński, president of CD Projekt Red, recently shared a little more information about Cyberpunk 2077

    Along with the usual comments regarding how Cyberpunk 2077 is a very technologically ambitious game, Kiciński stated that the team is theoretically "ready to interface with future generations" of gaming hardware. He also noted that the game will allow players to create their own characters and choose between various character classes. Previously, it had been suggested that the game wouldn't utilize RPG character classes. 

    While Kiciński noted that the team is focused on delivering a single-player experience above all, he did note that the team is still interested in utilizing some kind of online component. Kiciński wouldn't confirm, though, whether or not the studio is considering adding some kind of competitive multiplayer mode to the game or something a little different. However, the team does not plan to add any microtransactions to the game if it does end up featuring some kind of multiplayer option. 

    Finally, it doesn't sound like there are any plans in place for a Switch version of Cyberpunk 2077. Sorry, Nintendo fans. 

    CD Projekt Red also spoke briefly about the scope of the upcoming sci-fi RPG at a seminar (via PCGamer). As the developer has said before, Cyberpunk 2077 will be much bigger than The Witcher 3, which is itself a HUGE fantasy RPG.

    "Cyberpunk is our new Witcher 3, but even more ambitious," CD Projekt CEO Adam Kicinski said. "Our goal is to establish a new blockbuster franchise from the beginning. We work [in a] new universe, futuristic universe. We believe it's very appealing to players, not only RPG players — but this is [a] true RPG, like Witcher, like Witcher 3, for mature audiences. It's handcrafted, detailed, of course, open-world, with open-ended gameplay."

    Expectations are already high for CD Projekt Red's next title, and Kicinski's latest words are only building more hype. The studio will make an appearance at E3 2018, which could mean we'll hear more about Cyberpunk 2077 then. 

    Cyberpunk 2077 Release Date

    Cyberpunk 2077 doesn't have a release date at the moment. The game is coming to XBO, PS4, PC.

    Cyberpunk 2077 Trailer

    It's been three years since developer CD Projekt Red debuted the trailer for their upcoming adaptation of Cyberpunk 2077, and you'd have a hard time using what we've learned about the game in the meantime as breadcrumbs to trace your way back to that reveal. Considering that CD Projekt Red was still hard at work putting the finishing touches on The Witcher 3 during much of that time, many gamers didn't think much of their radio silence. Now that The Witcher 3 is well and truly done, however, some are starting to worry that the game isn't as far along as they may have hoped. 

    Here's the first teaser trailer from 2013:

    Cyberpunk 2077 Details

    Rumors have emerged which suggest that Cyberpunk 2077 might take place in a "living city" that functions on its own accord regardless of whether or not the player is actively involved in a certain area or not. The actions of this city will apparently be governed by a complex series of AI rules that will allow for developer CD Projekt Red to maintain the illusion of a truly dynamic world.  

    Furthermore, Cyberpunk 2077 may very well feature a complex multiplayer mode that involves the use of several technological tools and grants the developers have apparently applied for. When PC Gamer reached out to the developers for comment, they were told that CD Projekt Red have been applying for such tools but are not able to elaborate on their functionality at this time. 

    In a post on CD Projekt Red's forums, the developers not only assured fans that the game is still being worked on, but revealed a rather shocking figure concerning the resources they are pouring into it. 

    According to the forum post made by the development team, there are "more game developers working on Cyberpunk 2077 than on The Witcher 3 in its most intensive month." While the developer didn't reveal the exact number of developers currently working on the game, previously revealed figures regarding the development of The Witcher 3 suggest that the game was worked on by over 240 staff developers and over 1,500 people in general. 

    Interestingly enough, the careers page of CD Projekt Red's website suggests that they are still looking to fill somewhere in the neighborhood of 60 positions devoted exclusively to the development of Cyberpunk 2077.

    While it's clear that the developer's work on the upcoming standalone Gwent game isn't hindering their focus as it concerns completing Cyberpunk 2077, there is a bit of bad news that accompanies this information. We still don't know exactly when Cyberpunk 2077 is going to be released, and its absence from last year's E3 suggests that it's not likely to debut until sometime after E3 2018 at the very earliest.

    Either way, it's still very likely that you've got enough uncompleted side missions in The Witcher 3 to keep you occupied until the game debuts.

    Cyberpunk is far bigger than anything else that CD Projekt Red has done before,” visual effects artist Jose Teixeira told MCV. “Far, far bigger. We're really stepping into the unknown in terms of complexity and size and problems we encounter.”

    Following a statement by developer CD Projekt Red regarding Cyberpunk's online elements and their "games as a service" approach, the studio has stepped forward to clarify that they do not currently intend to add microtransactions to the game. 

    "Worry not," reads a post on the studio's Twitter account. "When thinking CP2077, think nothing less than TW3 [The Witcher 3] — huge single player, open world, story-driven RPG. No hidden catch, you get what you pay for — no bullshit, just honest gaming like with Wild Hunt. We leave greed to others."

    It's still unclear what the games as service comment applies to, but it could just be a comment related to the possibility that Cyberpunk may feature expanded online modes. That makes sense given that the game is based on modern and futuristic technology as opposed to The Witcher 3's fantasy setting. 

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    Telltale's most ambitious episode yet will end Batman's incredible second season.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    The first season of Telltale's Batman adventure proved to be one of the studio's most exciting adaptations yet. It told an unexpected, but welcome, version of the classic Batmanmythology which saw Bruce Wayne come to terms with the fact that his father wasn't exactly the bastion of decency that he was led to believe he was. Instead, Thomas Wayne's ties to the mob and other dark doings have come back to haunt him.

    This latest season of Telltale's Batman adventure continues to warp everything we know about Batman. From the introduction of the very Joker-like John Doe to the arrival of Amanda Waller, this new season of Batman deals with what happens when Bruce Wayne is expected to determine just who he is and how Batman fits into a world that he no longer seems to understand. So far, he's not doing the greatest job of it. Of course, that might have something to do with the fact that most of his important decisions are determined by the player. 

    Here's everything we know about Telltale's Batman Season 2: The Enemy Within...

    Telltale's Batman Season 2: Episode 5 Trailer

    Telltale has released two trailers for the final episode of Batman Season 2; one for each possible version of the finale. 

    The first, titled Villain, gives us a look at what might happen if the player's actions led to The Joker becoming a villain. 

    The second, titled Vigilante, offers a glimpse at the Joker's possible life as a vigilante. 

    Telltale's Batman Season 2: Episode 5 Release Date

    The finale of Telltale's Batman Season 2 will be released on Tuesday, March 27th for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Mac, and mobile devices. 

    Telltale's Batman Season 2: Episode 5 Description

    The final episode of Batman Season 2, called Same Stitch, will actually play out completely differently based on the choices of the player. 

    "What would you choose: a friend whose unhinged approach to justice turns your allies against you, or a sworn enemy who will stop at nothing to see you suffer as your city burns?" reads the official description. "Based on the relationship you've built with John Doe, you'll see one of two very different stories play out. So what'll it be, Bruce: friend...or foe?"

    It seems that the game will register the choices that players have made thus far in order to determine which version of the finale they actually play. Telltale boasts that the finale will run over three hours and will only feature a few overlapping scenes that players of both versions will experience. They go so far as to state that it's their "branchiest" episode ever and that the script for this episode is larger than Christopher Nolan's entire Dark Knight trilogy. 

    Batman's second season has been absolutely incredible thus far, so it's great to hear that the season finale is such an ambitious attempt to provide an experience that feels unique to the choices that players have made throughout their adventures. Telltale is keeping the full details of each version of the finale close to the chest, but here are a couple of teaser shots from episode five that should give you an idea of what is coming: 

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    "It’s not the case that there’s some power-hungry monster at the top. It’s not that..."

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    Aaryn Flynn, former studio general manager and vice president of BioWare, recently spoke with Kotaku regarding what it was like to work under EA. 

    "I think the shift is in some ways empowering," said Flynn of EA's acquisition of BioWare. "Because one of the things that I always felt was tough about being at BioWare when we were independent, talking about Edmonton, is that you feel very isolated when you’re up in Edmonton, at least I did. To be part of a community of developers who can all share and relate to you…"

    Flynn went on to say that, "When you join EA, and you get to be part of that, all of a sudden you’re connected with all of these folks who have this perspective that’s similar to you, they kinda grew up doing the same things, they have their own war stories, they have their own all that. But then they can bring perspective you don’t have...So yeah, I think the best part of it is the empowering part of it. And you know, like they said in Dead Poet’s Society, I told you to drink from the marrow of life, not choke on the bone."

    Naturally, Kotaku wanted to get an inside perspective regarding some of the missteps that EA has made as a company in recent years and whether those missteps affected the design decisions and direction of BioWare on a creative level. So far as that goes, Flynn admits that he doesn't really see EA as an overwhelming overlord of creative decisions. 

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    "It’s never a case that it comes [down], and it’s like, 'thou shalt do this.' It’s quite an open company in my experience," said Flynn. "I’ve had the privilege of having conversations with folks in very senior positions about the status of things, and things like that. And again, these are conversations we have, you know, it never goes that way of 'thou shalt do this' and 'thou shalt do that.' It’s never that. It’s always, 'Look, what do we think we can do? This is what we’re trying to achieve, can we do this? Do you think we can?' It’s more that than it is anything else. It’s unfortunate [when] things don’t work out, and that’s tough, and everybody should be held accountable to that, and that’s how it works when you’re in business. But it’s not the case that there’s some power-hungry monster at the top. It’s not that."

    While there will no doubt be people who will dismiss these claims as PR rhetoric, this isn't the first time that top-level employees in EA companies have stated that EA really doesn't have as much direct influence as people tend to think. The extent of that claim is up for debate, but it feels like there is more going on here than just the presence of an "evil empire."

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    Also, why isn't Andy Serkis in more video games?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 22, 2018

    Andy Serkis and Unreal teamed up at GDC to showcase what may just be the future of video game motion capture technology. 

    It began with a video of Andy Serkis performing a monologue from Macbeth. The original performance is certainly captivating - it is Serkis, after all - but didn't seem to have anything to do with video game technology. However, Unreal then showed how a new technological concept known as "Project Spotlight" is able to project Serkis' facial expressions onto the face of a digital alien creature:

    While the visual of that technology is impressive, the truly amazing aspect of the demonstration is the implication that the rendering was done in real-time. See, you could theoretically achieve similar effects using modern technology. The problem is the number of resources that such an effect demands and how you kind of have to shape your entire game around it. That's the issue the revolutionary L.A. Noire encountered. With Spotlight, though, developers are potentially able to render such effects without having to compromise the performance of the game itself. That's a literal game changer. 

    Before you get too excited, though, this technology is still in what should probably be considered a "developmental" stage. That means that it's not quite ready for primetime and may not become commonplace for a generation or so (if it becomes commonplace at all). The same is true of some of the other technology showcased during GDC, including this amazing Star Wars demo that looks too smooth to be true (it is):

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    Of course, that's just how technology works. Nobody makes progress without stretching the current conceivable limits. As such, we do believe that this demo represents a fairly accurate representation of how video games will look sometime in the next decade or so. 

    On a related note, we'd be perfectly happy to hear that someone has cast Andy Serkis as an evil alien overlord in some kind of Mass Effect-like sci-fi epic. 

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    It's taken a while, but you can finally play as all of the heroes in Star Wars Battlefront 2.

    NewsJohn Saavedra
    Mar 22, 2018

    Star Wars Battlefront 2 might finally be worth revisiting. Maybe.

    Electronic Arts has just unlocked all of the heroes in the game, meaning you will no longer have to go through Battlefront 2's awful progression system to play as Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader -- beloved characters who were available for FREE and without all of the extra work (or cash) in the first Battlefront. This doesn't excuse Electronic Arts for its initial plan to drain players of every last penny with its predatory microtransactions, but it's something. 

    Battlefront 2 actually has a pretty extensive lineup of characters from all three trilogies: Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker, Leia Organa, Han Solo, Rey, Lando Calrissian, Yoda, Boba Fett, Bossk, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, Kylo Ren, Darth Maul, Finn, Captain Phasma, and more. You'll now be able to play as any of these heroes in the multiplayer.

    It's a real shame that it's taken EA this long to make a decision it should've made when it was clear the loot boxes weren't going to fly with players. After all, in the weeks before the game was released, Battlefront 2 looked like a return to form for Star Warsgame -- a complete experience with both single-player and multiplayer modes across all three eras of the film saga, and even a story campaign featuring all of your favorite characters. There was a glimmer of hope that Battlefront 2 could at least remind us of the golden age of Star Wars games under LucasArts. The microtransaction controversy has now all but diminished the fandom's trust in EA.

    The game's microtransactions, which are making a return this month, have received a bit of an overhaul. Players will be able to spend money in the game again, but the loot boxes will only contain cosmetic items and credits (the game's in-game currency).

    Before EA unlocked all of the heroes, it was damn near impossible to earn them through the game's original progression system, which demanded that you play countless hours of the game in order to earn enough credits to buy randomized loot boxes that didn't guarantee you access to these heroes in the first place. Or you could skip all of the grinding and simply use REAL CASH to buy the top tier loot boxes, which didn't mean you'd unlock the characters you wanted anyway. 

    That wasn't even the most offensive part of the game's microtransactions, though. Players with money to spend could also buy in-game perks that gave them an advantage in multiplayer, meaning that you could simply pay to win matches by having the best gear and abilities. It's no surprise that this caused a bit of a balancing issue for the game. Players that didn't spend any money (on top of the initial $60 for the base game) would never really have a chance in the competitive modes.

    Fans were justifiably outraged and when EA tried to do some damage control on Reddit, the company's statement became the most downvoted comment on the website's history. Pushed into a bit of a corner, EA first tried lowering the price of loot boxes from ridiculous to still sketchy before turning off paid microtransactions altogether (reportedly at Disney's behest). Things got so bad that even EA's stock took a hit at one point.  

    It's unclear what the future holds for Battlefront 2 -- whether this overhaul will be enough to bring players back to the game, which failed to meet EA's sales expectations after the loot crate fiasco -- but you'll at least have an easier time playing as Luke from now on. Hardly a consolation prize so many months later, if you ask me. 

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    What does the indie platformer video game Fez have in common with Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey? We take a closer look...

    NewsRyan Lambie
    Mar 23, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    In Stanley Kubrick’s seminal 1968 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, astronaut Dave Bowman (Kier Dulea) survives the machinations of a malfunctioning computer - the sentient HAL 9000 - and is rewarded with a brush with the uncanny. We watch as Bowman enters a stargate before experiencing what can only be described as a cosmic rebirth: he experiences old age, death, some form of contact with an alien monolith, before heading back to Earth as an unblinking Star Child.

    It’s the kind of ending that works as cinema rather than on paper, and filmmakers have drawn on its supernatural power ever since, whether it’s in the form of parodies or similar experiences where humans experience something far beyond their own limited understanding: Robert Wise's Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain, and Alex Garland’s Annihilation are just a few examples. 

    In the realm of video games, meanwhile, there’s one game that comes closest to recreating the same sense of the unknown as Kubrick’s 2001 - the indie platformer, Fez. At first glance, it looks about as un-Kubrickian as you can get: a breezy exploration game with pseudo-2D graphics and a retro theme that draws on Metroid and The Legend of Zelda. But appropriately enough, given the technical ingenuity going on under the surface, Fez is a game with hidden depths. 

    When Fezemerged in 2012, it was immediately praised for its neat central mechanic, in which an apparently flat world can be rotated in 90-degree increments. While the action still takes the form of a traditional platformer of the 8- or 16-bit era, this one innovation completely changes how the game works: walkways that are unreachably far apart when viewed from one angle will become neighbors when viewed from another perspective. Otherwise hidden doors can be uncovered by rotating the world one way or another.

    It was a clever idea that captured critics’ imaginations almost at a glance, which partly explains why an otherwise tiny game became so hugely anticipated over its five-year development span. Fez’s launch was also dominated, to a degree, by the outspoken character of its designer, Phil Fish - a French-Canadian whose controversial opinions on things like Japanese game development almost threatened to overshadow the game itself.

    What a surprise, then, that Fezshould emerge not just as a technically polished nostalgia hit, but as something even more ambitious: the gentle yet captivating story of an unassuming hero whose understanding of the universe is completely transformed. 

    That hero is Gomez - a pale, diminutive character who, like millennia of heroes before him, leaves the comfort of his little town to go on an adventure. In the game’s opening scene, an apparently alien, golden cube shatters into myriad tiny pieces, each of them scattered around a colorful world of platforms and doors. It’s Gomez’s job to find all 32 of these cubes - some of them whole, most broken down into even smaller constituent parts. To help him, Gomez acquires his titular fez, an enchanted piece of headgear that allows him (and therefore the player) to rotate the environment. Only by collecting all the cubes can Gomez prevent the fabric of his reality from tearing itself apart.

    The point of the story is that Gomez has only ever existed in a 2D world and has no conception of a universe with a Z-axis. As a result, the player can rotate the world and briefly see its effects (brilliantly, Fez’s landscape is made of thousands of tiny cubes, or voxels), but Gomez can only interact with it as a 2D character. He remains fixed in place as the perspective shifts, and can only move left and right, up or down once the world has completed its 90-degree turn.

    Through a mix of captivating pixel art and level design, Fish creates the illusion of an entire ancient civilization spread across a series of discrete stages: there are totem poles and statues and abandoned towns and wooden huts built on tree branches. There are old maps, runes, and hidden messages, all of which can actually be translated to uncover clues - figuring these out is vital to figuring out how to get hold of the 32 harder-to-find negative cubes dotted around the map. 

    Some of Fez’s incidental details hint at a greater underlying theme. Scholars have left behind notes and chalkboard scrawls. A huge telescope points up at the night sky, and you can look through and look at the stars and their constellations, shaped like the familiar pieces from Tetris. Almost wordlessly, and certainly without the clumsy sound recordings of some, much bigger video games, Fezconjures up a remarkably fully-formed and coherent world. In some instances, all the game needs is Disasterpeace’s stunning soundtrack to generate a truly eerie atmosphere.

    And all of this builds to the first of the game’s psychedelic endings. Once Gomez finds 32 cubes, the final door is unlocked, the game appears to crash, and then he’s rewarded with a Bowman-like brush with the uncanny: the normal view of the 2D world gradually dissolves to a psychedelic zoom through a landscape of polygons and tetrominoes - a nod to the Stargate sequence, undoubtedly, but also a possible descent into the game's code at its most abstract level.

    When the player chooses a New Game Plus option, the meaning of all this is made clear. Gomez’s reward for finding the 32 cubes is a new ability: he can now view the world in three dimensions. Like Bowman before him, Gomez has achieved a new level of enlightenment that was previously beyond his understanding. There's a clear parallel between the monolith in A Space Odyssey and the rotating golden cube in Fez. A translation of the alien language at the start of the game reveals that the cube is sentient and that its plan all along was to give Gomez the ability to see the 2D world in 3D. It's a clear nod to the monolith's role in A Space Odyssey, which is an alien object that subtly elevates our species along its various stages of evolution. In our prehistory, the monolith turns simple primates into weapon-wielding early humans. By the 21st century, it seems that we're due another upgrade, as our advanced technology leads us to discover two other monoliths on the Moon and in orbit around Jupiter. 

    Gomez doesn't journey through time and space in Fez, but his odyssey is hardly less mind-expanding. As other writers have noted, including this piece on Kill Screen, Fez's story appears to be at least partly inspired by the novella Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin A Abbott. Published in 1884, it imagines characters who live in a 2D world much like the one Gomez lives in. Its protagonist, simply known as A Square, is visited by a three-dimensional sphere. Because of the square's limited understanding, he sees the sphere as a flat circle. It's only when the sphere takes the square to Spaceland, the three-dimensional world, that the square's perception is finally broadened.

    Fez appears to take the basic premise behind Flatland (or the various other pieces of writing inspired by it), connect it to the cosmic wonder of A Space Odyssey, and in the process create something quite unique in gaming. For one thing, Fezcontains the same sense of mystery as Kubrick's film. The whole game is full of hidden Easter eggs, obscure puzzles, and other secrets. A black monolith even shows up under certain conditions. A quick look around the web will reveal Reddit threads and forum posts about the theories behind the game's unresolved questions. Its puzzles are so complex that the in-game references - a complex 3D map, old artifacts, and so forth - are barely adequate. As this video points out, Fez is one of those games where you'll find yourself scribbling on endless bits of paper to translate all that alien text.

    All of this merely serves to underline Fez's captivating sense of mystery - a mystery that recalls 2001: A Space Odyssey, yes, but also reaches further back to older stories of broadened horizons and mystical encounters. It's possible to see echoes of Plato's Cave - a story about a bunch of people whose only understanding of the real world is of shadows falling on the wall of a cave. It's only when they escape the cave that they realize that there's a much larger world outside, beyond their regular experience. 

    Even in the present, we're still telling one another stories about what might lurk outside our everyday understanding. Take Elon Musk, for example, the tech billionaire who made headlines when he suggested that it's overwhelmingly likely that we're all living inside a Matrix-like computer simulation. In other words, we might all be just like Gomez - confined by the rules of a video game, but growing ever more aware that something else is waiting for us if we could just break its boundaries.

    It's telling that Gomez's helper throughout Fez - a friendly little creature named Dot - is a tesseract, or a four-dimensional cube. A tesseract is, in essence, a shape used to describe the fourth dimension - a dimension that is typically as invisible to us as the third dimension is to Gomez at the start of the game.

    Collect all the hidden objects in Fez, and the player's treated to the second ending. The view of Gomez's 2D world zooms out and out until it's revealed that his planet is but one of a constellation of cubes. These, in turn, are all housed inside a tesseract, which is but one of an incalculable number of tesseracts that form the static of an old television.

    Gomez might be a little chubby character in a quaint-looking video game, but we have far more in common with him than it first appears: we're all tiny dots in an unimaginably vast universe. That Fez can communicate so many ideas, and so much wonder, within the confines of a retro platform game makes it one of the genre's true classics. In its own colorful, playful way, this is nothing less than video gaming's own Space Odyssey.

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    Capcom’s iconic fighting game franchise, Street Fighter, is getting a live-action TV series, produced by Entertainment One.

    News Joseph Baxter
    Mar 23, 2018

    Here comes a new challenger!

    Street Fighter is a name that, for over three decades, has been synonymous with the perpetually crowded genre of fighting games. Yet, Capcom’s popular, template-setting series – adapted in just about all forms of media – has, arguably, yet to be done justice in the live-action arena, where the notorious 1994 Street Fighter film remains the most prominent offering. However, the current peak television Renaissance could finally rectify that idea.

    Entertainment One, the Toronto-based media company, and its president, Mark Gordon, have reached a deal that will see the company develop, produce and finance a live-action television series adapting the mythos of the Street Fighter video game series. The company, which will also handle international sales, have appointed the trio of Joey Ansah, Jacqueline Quella and Mark Wooding as executive producers, who bring experience with the franchise from their work on the Machinima web series, Street Fighter: Assassin’s Fist. Indeed, Capcom's plans for a sequel to that series have likely shifted toward the TV series.

    As Yoshinori Ono, Street Fighter executive producer for Capcom, expresses in a statement:

    “After a long search, guided by the team behind Assassin’s Fist, we are delighted to be partnering with a company with the outstanding TV experience of Mark Gordon and eOne. They have the credentials to help us launch a faithful adaptation of Street Fighter as a major TV series.”

    Street Fighter first arrived in 1987 with Capcom’s original arcade game, an innovative tournament-style fighting game, allowing players to control young martial arts master, Ryu (and his blonde, red-gi-rocking, counterpart, Ken in the player 2 spot), jet-setting across the globe fighting a diverse, often odd, lineup of opponents. However, its 1991 sequel, Street Fighter II: The World Warrior, which showcased a significant evolution and a destined-to-be-iconic stable of new playable characters, became the catalyst for a zeitgeist-transforming phenomenon, cementing itself as the biggest quarter-eater since the bygone days of the early-1980s video game boom. After Street Fighter II was updated with numerous iterations, the series kept going with Street Fighter III in 1997, Street Fighter IV in 2008 and, most recently, Street Fighter V in 2016.

    As eOne’s Mark Gordon lauds:

    Street Fighter is a global tour de force franchise, having garnered immense worldwide commercial success and built a vast devoted fanbase that has only grown through its 30 year legacy. We are thrilled to be teaming up with Joey, Jacqueline and Mark, who are already so deeply connected to this brand, to bring this adored story to television audiences everywhere. A particular strength of Street Fighter is the wide range of ethnically diverse characters and powerful women featured in the game. It will allow us to build an inclusive and engaging TV universe.”

    While Street Fighter has, of course, earned adaptions in various forms of anime, manga and comic books, Hollywood came calling with the late-1994 arrival of the Street Fighter live-action movie, which starred Jean-Claude Van Damme as the vengeance-seeking soldier, Guile, opposite the late, great Raul Julia as big bad M. Bison. They were joined by a schlocky lineup of game-inspired characters, notably with would-be Agents of SHIELD star Ming-Na Wen as Chun-Li and Aussie pop star Kylie Minogue as Cammy. The film, excoriated by critics and fans alike, underwhelmed at the box office, leading to a nearly-14-year gap until the arrival of the next film adaptation, 2009’s Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, starring Kristin Kreuk. That film’s box office run was abysmal.

    The plans in place by eOne sound quite auspicious, seemingly showing their intent to delve deep into the (deceivingly complex) mythos of the Street Fighter series and finally do it justice. We, of course, will keep you updated on this most exciting of endeavors!

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    "Kids want to play as a fat bald guy," said someone at Sega during the '90s.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 23, 2018

    At this year's Game Developer Conference, Sega revealed that Sonic the Hedgehog almost looked very different. In fact, he was almost not a hedgehog at all. 

    Sonic designer Hirokazu Yasuhara informed the GDC crowd that the team's primary goal when designing Sonic was to have a character that you can imagine curling up. As such, they noted that considered making Sonic a hedgehog, an armadillo, a porcupine, a dog, "old guy with a mustache (Eggman)." Yes, Sonic was almost going to look like his arch-nemesis. In fact, the Sonic team got a special request from Sega management to please consider that very design. 

    "[Sega said] we definitely want to see something like an old guy with a mustache. We also want to see something like a hedgehog, or porcupine, as well as a dog-like character," said Yasuhara. 

    We personally can't imagine how anyone thought that an "old guy with a mustache" would make for a great main hero named Sonic in a game primarily aimed at a younger audience, but it was the '90s and the '90s were weird, Y'all. Nevertheless, the Sonic team took the idea under very serious consideration. In fact, Yasuhara remembers that the design team was having a hard time deciding which idea to commit to. The final decision was made in a pretty unusual way. 

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    "I planned a trip to New York while this discussion was happening internally," said Yasuhara. "We drew these on a board, and I'm in the middle of Central Park, and I'm showing people these three boards and taking a survey. The result was that the hedgehog was the most popular, second was actually Eggman, and then third was the dog. So I was like, 'Wow, this is a pleasant surprise, and so I was asking myself - I wonder why this is?'"

    From there, the team set off to submit a final design for Sonic the Hedgehog. They knew he was going to be blue (to match Sega's logo) and they knew he had to be cool, but the rest was up for debate. At one point, the team had even concocted this elaborate backstory about how Sonic used to be a pilot who married a children's literature author. The wife eventually wrote a story about her husband and used the hedgehog character on her husband's plane as the basis for his cartoon self.

    Eventually, the team settled on the Sonic that we know and love today. 

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    EA Vancouver appears to be working on an online Star Wars game, if a new job listing is accurate...

    News Ryan Lambie
    Mar 26, 2018

    It was only six months ago that EA announced the closure of Visceral Games, and along with it, a new direction for its Uncharted-like action-adventure set in the Star Wars universe.

    In the wake of the closure, development on the Star Wars game was handed over to EA Vancouver - and now, we may have an idea of the new direction the studio's taking with the troubled project.

    A listing on EA's careers page reveals that the firm's looking for an "experienced lead online engineer" to work on a "AAA Star Wars title" at EA Vancouver. The successful candidate will also need to have experience in working on such online features as "matchmaking, asynchronous interactions, [and] live services." 

    All of this suggests that EA Vancouver's retooling of Visceral's Star Wars game will turn it into an online, multiplayer experience of some sort, though we're presuming it'll offer a somewhat different pace to the Star Wars Battlefront series to avoid cannibalizing sales from that franchise (the microtransaction controversy has already done plenty of that).

    This also fits with EA boss Patrick Soderlund's statement, published as part of Visceral Games' untimely demise:

    “Importantly, we are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency,” Soderlund wrote,”leaning into the capabilities of our Frostbite engine and re-imagining central elements of the game to give players a Star Wars adventure of greater depth and breadth to explore.”

    Whether this means that EA Vancouver's now turning the remains of Visceral's Star Wars title into an open-world, online multiplayer game remains to be seen, though the clues are certainly there. 

    More on this as it comes in.

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  • 03/26/18--11:42: Far Cry 5 Review
  • Far Cry 5 trades in the jungle for the wilds of rural America. Here is our review:

    Release Date: January 24, 2017
    Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One, PC
    Developer: Ubisoft
    Publisher: Ubisoft
    Genre: Action/Adventure

    Wherever you go, there you are. That means that you can change your location, your friends, your clothes...if you’re still yourself underneath it all then that is who you are.

    I thought about that saying a lot when playing Far Cry 5. There was a part of me that hoped that the game’s much-hyped change of scenery would freshen up the Far Cry experience. Not fundamentally alter the Far Cry formula, mind you, but rather help reinvigorate the spark of the open-world Far Cry games.

    Far Cry 5’s changes manage to do that in many ways, even if I sometimes found myself wondering if the game could have been something more.

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    Unlike most of the other Far Cry titles, Far Cry 5 doesn’t take place in a jungle or some other “exotic” location. It takes place in the fictional area of Hope County, Montana. There, a radical preacher named Joseph Seed has formed the ever-growing Eden’s Gate cult. You are a sheriff’s deputy who has been tasked with helping the U.S. Marshall’s arrest Seed. As you might imagine, that doesn’t go according to plan, and you soon find yourself assisting a small rebellion who are trying to take back the area from Eden’s Gate.

    Much has been made of the game’s setting and its assumed commentary on post-Trump America (which is really just another way of saying when certain political mentalities that had previously existed in America were thrust into the national spotlight). Prior to the game’s release, Ubisoft remained somewhat non-committal on the subject of the game’s social commentary. It was clearly influenced by recent events, but the developers have stated that it has more to do with larger statements regarding the dangers of ideology and group think mentality.

    For the most part, that statement holds true. There are much more overt references to current political events scattered throughout the game - including a mission that includes a not-so-subtle reference to an alleged Donald Trump sex tape -  but such references are usually reserved for winks, nods, and a bit of subtext. Instead, the bulk of the game’s commentary focuses on larger human ideas that so happen to take this particular form in this particular time and place.

    Instead, the main issue with Far Cry 5's plot is that the game offers very few ways for the player to experience the game’s main plot as a cohesive narrative. The structure of the game’s open-world means that the main plot is largely delivered in blocks separated by gameplay diversions. Those scattered moments of plot progression really ramp up as you begin to turn the tide against Eden’s Gate via open-world events, but the quality of the initial set-up does leave you wishing there was a more direct path embedded in the game for those who want to see the end of this story.

    Even the story itself feels a bit undercooked. It feels like the writers tried to implement a degree of moral ambiguity into the proceedings - previous Far Cry villains and stories have benefited from that approach - but the close-to-home nature of this particular set-up makes it incredibly difficult to implement such arguments without a deft creative hand. Due to the seeming absence of that creative control, the game veers wildly between presenting good and evil as indisputable definitives and trying to make more complex arguments regarding the imprisonment of ideology.

    From a pure storytelling standpoint, that leads to some stop and go moments of pacing that rely on the much more compelling mini-stories spread throughout. From a moral standpoint...well, it feels like Far Cry 5 wants to be more of an examination of how such groups are formed than an outright condemnation of it, but its struggles to convey that idea will no doubt be the source of some debates regarding the story’s intent.

    However, the game’s rural America setting does deliver in terms of environment. Granted, wandering around large swaths of Hope County doesn’t feel that much different from wandering the jungle in previous Far Cry games, but the world of Far Cry 5 is populated with many more instances of environmental storytelling than we’ve seen in Far Cry games of the past. You’ll stumble upon cult victims that died trying to hold each other's hands, televisions that blare the same tired rhetoric, and citizens who don’t seem to be directly involved in either side of the conflict and just kind of exist in this world. When the game does implement pieces of twisted Americana into the wilderness, it does so in welcome ways.

    The biggest change this new setting brings, though, is an excuse for the Far Cry development team to make some much-needed - albeit not always major - changes to the Far Cry formula. On paper, the biggest of these changes is the new Gun for Hire system. This mechanic allows you to recruit various people and animals you rescue and meet along the way who have a score to settle with Eden’s Gate. While some offer little more than an extra gun, others are equipped with unique abilities that you can level up over time. For instance, you’ll eventually meet a pilot who can perform fly-bys and bombing runs.

    This system works incredibly well. While some of the guns for hire are enjoyable on a pure character level - like Cheeseburger the Bear; a show bear who has been fed cheeseburgers by Eden’s Gate captives - others are great because of the way they complement whatever particular playstyle you choose to utilize. We've seen a version of this system before in Far Cry 2, but this is a far more realized version of that concept. 

    While Guns for Hire steals the show in terms of major new features, it’s not the most welcome change. That honor belongs to Far Cry 5’s absence of “open-world Ubisoft towers.” Yes, you no longer have to find towers spread throughout the world in order to expand a region and find new objectives. There are a few radio towers here and there, but you can explore most of the game’s world from the start and most new objectives are given to you via pieces of lore you encounter along the way.

    Speaking of objectives, they’re a little more fulfilling than they have been in the past. Most are the same (raid strongholds, collect some items, skin animals, etc.), but they’re tweaked in little ways that help address some of the lingering annoyances of these tasks. For instance, perks are tied to the completion of certain in-game challenges (many of which feel like old-school achievements) rather than a few basic activities like skinning animals. Actually, even skinning animals is better than it's ever been thanks to the implementation of a new store system that allows you to sell skins and your other scrap for cash that can be used to purchase weapons and other useful items.

    This all helps Far Cry 5’s world feel much more alive and organic than it has in the past. Finding new recruits, discovering just how this region was taken over by the cult, and participating in large-scale raids on Eden’s Gate strongholds with your band of allies is what Far Cry 5 does best. This is without a doubt the richest open-world setting that the Far Cry team has crafted since Far Cry 3.

    The problem is that you will reach a point when you realize that you’re still playing what is fundamentally an open-world Far Cry game. For fans of that concept, this won’t be a problem. It also helps that the shooting mechanics, perk system, stronghold raids, and other familiar Far Cry tropes are the best that they’ve ever been. Still, if you’re someone who feels nothing but fatigue towards this basic style of open-world experience, you’ll likely reach a point when you realize that Far Cry 5 is fundamentally that kind of game despite its various changes.

    Even that crowd may be won over by Far Cry 5’s co-op and Arcade modes, though. Cooperative Far Cry play has always been a blast, but this time around, the entire campaign is available in co-op. It feels like the preferred way to experience the game - especially if you fear you’ll get burnt out on the core gameplay - but it is by no means a necessity for enjoyment.

    Arcade mode is even better. While we’ll ultimately have to wait and see what the community does with this Forge-like map maker mode before rendering a final verdict on it, this in-game creation suite feels like something that will greatly expand the game’s lifespan. Arcade’s level creation tools are already overwhelmingly rich, and Ubisoft has promised to expand on the mode’s options in the months to come. Even now, though, the pre-loaded Arcade creations offer enough value for anyone who manages to finish Far Cry 5’s sizeable campaign.

    Wherever you go, there you are is a truism. That’s a statement that is almost universally considered to be true but doesn’t necessarily add anything substantial or new to an existing conversation. By the end of my time with Far Cry 5, I feel that the complaints regarding the series’ unwillingness to fundamentally change are themselves a kind of truism. They’re hard to argue against, but at the end of the day, you know what you’re getting from a modern Far Cry game, and Far Cry 5 does enough to liven up that experience for those who are already seeking it to make it worthwhile. Even those who aren’t interested in another Far Cry game might just want to file this one under “rental” or “wait for a sale” because of the ways it manages to liven up what has always been a fundamentally solid piece of game design.

    ReviewMatthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

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    Oh boy...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    Far Cry 5 contains a side mission that makes quite a few references to a certain infamous rumored tape featuring Donald Trump and some...well, let's just start with this footage from the game. 

    Deep in Far Cry 5's fictional version of modern Montana is a special agent named Willis Huntley who assigns you a mission called "Patriot Acts." Mr. Huntley explains to you - with a degree of disturbing enthusiasm - that the "big man" himself is looking for a tape containing sensitive footage that the Eden's Gate cult has managed to secure and hide. Huntley formally requests that you recover this tape for the good of your country. 

    What's on this tape? Huntley isn't saying, but he does make contact with a Russian agent and uses the code phrase "the bed has been wet." If you're hoping that helping Huntley will offer a little more information about what is going on - or even a reward - you're out of luck. He leaves you high and dry as soon as you secure the tape for him. 

    As for what this is all about...oh geez, do we really have to be the ones to explain this?

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    See, not too long ago, Buzzfeed - yes, the "10 Things You Didn't Know You and Your Dog Have in Common" website - published a 35-page document known as the Christopher Steele dossier (Christopher Steele was a former British intelligence offer hired by a firm to investigate the relationship between Russia and Donald Trump). This dossier explored the potential relationship between Donald Trump and Russia while suggesting that the Russians might have compromising information about the current President of the United States. 

    There was one part of this document which captured the internet's attention. It seems that an unnamed source informed Steele that Russian agents might possess a tape that features Donald Trump in a hotel room with some prostitutes. It alleges that Trump requested that the prostitutes perform a "golden showers" show on the same bed that Barack and Michelle Obama slept in when they visited the country. 

    At this point, we should note that the information in that dossier hasn't been 100% confirmed and that many news outlets chose to not run the portions of the document that were unverified (including that particular piece of information). Still, it seems the Far Cry team couldn't help but reference this rumored tape when designing a game about a cult that has overtaken a large swath of modern Montana. 

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    Despite the game's considerable delays, developer Nightdive remains committed to their vision.

    News Ryan LambieMatthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    It looks like Nightdive Studios still plans on finishing their recently System Shock remake. 

    Speaking to PC Gamer, Nightdive CEO Stephen Kick and business development director Larry Kuperman stated that they intend to "ship exactly the game that was promised, with as much of the features that were promised as we can, in a timeframe that will get it out as fast as we can." As for when that might happen, the pair stated that they intend to try to ship the game out by the first quarter of 2020. 

    The Nightdive team also noted that they've had some renewed interest from publishing partners who should help offset the ever-expanding costs of the System Shockremake. As for why the System Shock remake is taking so long to finish, the team reaffirmed that their plans for the game grew a bit too ambitious and that they ultimately found themselves buried under a pile of planned features. However, they do plan on eventually releasing the game they promised to make. 

    For those who are just now catching wind of this story, the drama surrounding the heavily delayed System Shock remake began when Nightdive's CEO made the following announcement on Kickstarter.

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    "Maybe we were too successful," Kick wrote. "Maybe we lost our focus. The vision began to change. We moved from a Remaster to a completely new game. We shifted engines from Unity to Unreal, a choice that we don’t regret and one that has worked out for us. With the switch we began envisioning doing more, but straying from the core concepts of the original title."

    According to a report over on Polygon, largely backed up by Kick's own statement to his backers, Nightdive's decision to expand the scope of its game beyond that of a fairly straight System Shock remake, with modern bells and whistles, meant that the game soon needed more funding - and an attempt to gain the interest of publishers didn't pay off.

    "As the budget grew, we began a long series of conversations with potential publishing partners," Kick confirms in his Kickstarter post. "The more that we worked on the game, the more that we wanted to do, and the further we got from the original concepts that made System Shockso great."

    Kick noted at that time that the project was on-hold rather than canceled, and we now know roughly when the team plans on actually delivering this much-anticipated remake. 

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    Everything we know about Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    Konami has announced they are releasing a remake of the 2003 cult classic mech title Zone of the Enders: The 2nd Runner called Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars.

    This new version of 2nd Runner appears to be a full-fledged remake of the game and not a simple HD upgrade. In a press release, Konami noted that “All visual and aural elements have been remastered for native 4K resolution” and that “the new game retains the unique and beautiful visuals of the original title, but boasts textures in updated 4K while using surround sound techniques to offer layered and immersive audio effects."

    Konami also stated that this version of the game is based on the PS3 HD version of 2nd Runner, but we imagine that developer Cygames - who has been tasked with constructing this remake - will fix that versions' visual and audio bugs.

    The really big news is that the PS4 version of 2nd Runner will feature VR support. At this time, there’s been no word on whether or not the full game will be playable in VR, but the teaser trailer for the title does briefly show off some VR action that hints at a very playable - and quite striking - reimagining of the title. We’re interested to see more of the game’s VR mode in action.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Zone of the Enders: Anubis Mars Release Date

    Konami has confirmed that Zone of the Enders: Anubis Marswill release for PlayStation 4 and PC in September. However, they have not confirmed the exact release date for the game at this time. 

    Zone of the Enders Anubis Mars Trailer

    The latest trailer for Anubis Mars compares the various versions of 2nd Runner and includes a sneak peek at how the game will look in 4K:

    You can also find the debut trailer for the game here:

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    This small island should lead to the most action-packed PUBG matches yet.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds' next map is going to offer a different style of play.

    Speaking at the Game Developer's conference, PUBG creator Brendan Greene confirmed previous reports that the next PUBG map will measure 4x4km in size. That makes it noticeably smaller than the other two maps currently in the game. While matches on this map aren't fundamentally altered in any major ways, the smaller size of the area will no doubt lead to more conflicts throughout the average match. Players who lament the game's slow-paced encounters will no doubt welcome this occasional reprieve. Here's a look at the map's basic layout courtesy of IGN:

    While the map itself doesn't have a name yet, Greene noted that it is inspired by the southeast region of Asia. Along with an overhead shot of the map, Greene revealed a few shots of what it looks like to actually explore this area on foot. The whole area feels like it could have been lifted from a Far Cry game. There's a rather large river that runs through the center of the map that severely limits your ability to traverse from side to side (unless you use a boat). There are also small villages spread throughout, but it doesn't look like there's going to be a major metro urban area included anywhere in the region. 

    Greene emphasized that the map is incredibly early in development which was made clear enough by the state of the visuals in the preview. However, Greene didn't note any plans to deviate from the game's current development roadmap which suggests this map will be released well before the end of 2018. 

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    After showing off the new map, Greene talked about his own experience in the industry and noted that he didn't really consider himself to be a "massive gamer." In DayZ, though, Greene found the kind of gaming experience that he was always looking for. That inspired him to create a game like PUBG while his history as a photographer taught him the value of moments in people's life. That's why he believes that his games should be tools that allow for people to experience their own moments with very few creative restrictions. 

    PUBG has recently taken a hit in popularity due to the rise of Fortnite, but nobody really believes that PUBG is completely out of the fight. Updates such as this will go a long way to helping the game reclaim the Battle Royale crown.

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    Players who wish to catch the mythical Mew will have to embark on a new quest.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    Mew is finally being added to Pokemon Go, but acquiring him won't be a simple matter of spotting him as you round the corner for coffee.

    The latest update on the Pokemon Go blog reveals how all of this will work. When the next major Pokemon Go update is released - which should happen on March 30 - players will be able to start accepting daily quests related to "Field Research." Said quests will require you to complete existing in-game activities like gym battles and catching Pokemon. Every time you complete seven days worth of quests, you're rewarded with one of several in-game items.

    According to the update, it sounds like most of these items will be existing fare like TMs and Rare Candy. However, players will also have the chance to unlock Legendary Pokemon via this system. The odds of unlocking one of those Pokemon haven't been disclosed, but we're guessing they're quite low. 

    As for Mew, he seems to be tied to "Special Research" tasks that are given to you by Professor Willow. These tasks seemingly tie into a larger quest known as "A Mythical Discovery." The details of this quest aren't quite clear, but it seems like you'll be required to complete a series of specialized activities in order to have a chance to unlock Mew. It's also not clear whether you'll automatically unlock him at that time or whether or not this will all just lead to the opportunity to capture him. 

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    It doesn't sound like the Pokemon Go team intend to reveal more information about how you acquire Mew. That leads us to believe that there is something more to the process than just completing a simple quest - which makes sense considering that this is the game's first Mythical Pokemon - but there's nothing in the statement which allows us to confirm that is indeed the case. 

    Regardless, it's nice that Niantic is doing something a bit more substantial for Mew in terms of acquiring him. When Niantic released Mewtwo, they hid him behind a fairly simple EX Raid system that didn't feel like it contributed anything substantially new to the game. We look forward to seeing just what this quest system entails when the update launches a little later this week. 

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    The underrated zombie title is getting in on the Battle Royale scene.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 26, 2018

    Zombie game Dying Light will be the next title to incorporate a Battle Royale mode, and IGN has a first-look video of what the mode looks like in action.

    Next year, developer Techland will release a Dying Light expansion called Bad Blood that will add a brand-new PvP mode to the game. The studio stated that this mode was designed to address numerous requests they received from fans regarding a new way to enjoy Dying Light's PvP elements. 

    Their response will come in the form of what they describe as a nod to the "recent popularity of the Battle Royale genre among the survival horror fans." Unlike other popular PvP modes, this one will only allow six players to do battle. Actually, describing it as a "Battle Royale" mode really only tells half the story. Much like the upcoming title Hunt: Showdown, this mode will combine PvP and PvE elements. 

    In Bad Blood, you and five other players will occupy an area filled with zombies. In order to escape, you'll need to scavenge for weapons, resources, and use the blood samples of the infected in order to unlock more seats on the escape helicopter. That means that you will ideally be working with your fellow survivors in order to ensure that everyone makes it to the end. However, it is entirely possible that not everyone will find enough resources to ensure that there are enough seats for the entire party. Someone might also decide to just go into business for themselves. 

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    Regardless, it seems that everyone will need to pay for their individual seat meaning that teamwork will likely only get you so far. 

    There's no release date available for the Bad Blood expansion, but the studio has posted a sign-up page for the game's upcoming global playtest. The page states that a Techland account is required to participate, and we assume that you'll also need a copy of Dying Light in order to get in on the action. 

    This actually sounds like a pretty interesting use of the basic Battle Royale system. It fits within Dying Light's design space, but it incorporates aspects of popular games within this genre. 

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    Everything you need to know about Overkill's The Walking Dead, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Mar 26, 2018

    Overkill's The Walking Dead was first revealed in 2014. Starbreeze promised that the game would be an inventive adaptation of the original Walking Dead comics that emphasizes co-op gameplay, storytelling, and robust level design that will supposedly heighten the game's replay value. 

    Remarkably, the only real updates we've been treated to since the game was first revealed involve its many delays. The Walking Dead was originally delayed until 2016, was then delayed until 2017, and now is delayed until 2018. In that time, developer Overkill has never really revealed much about the game beyond the vague details which accompanied its release. Even the game's title still sounds like an internal reference. 

    Meanwhile, Overkill has continued to update PayDay 2 and have reportedly begun preliminary work on PayDay 3. While the release of the latter game is supposedly still some time away, it's fair to say that they are not solely devoted to completing The Walking Dead.

    Perhaps, though, Overkill can surprise us all by delivering a Walking Dead game that manages to surpass the show's declining popularity by reviving the thrill of the source material.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Overkill The Walking Dead News

    The latest update for Overkill'sThe Walking Dead comes in the form of a developer diary that breaks down the design of some of the game's levels. 

    Overkill The Walking Dead Release Date

    Starbreeze has announced that Overkill's The Walking Dead has been delayed until sometime in the second half of 2018. The publisher confirmed the 2018 delay via their Sweedish website. Oddly, the delay announcement itself is not translatable into English directly through the Starbreeze website. According to third-party translations, however, Starbreeze's decision to delay the game stems from their desire to ensure that the game reaches its full potential. 

    Overkill The Walking Dead Trailer

    Here's a new trailer introducing Aidan, one of the four playable characters in the game:

    And if you want more, here's the original announcement trailer:

    Overkill The Walking Dead Story

    We also have a synopsis of the game:

    Inspired by the rich story universe of Robert Kirkman’s original graphic novels, Overkill’s The Walking Dead is a four-player co-op multiplayer FPS action game set in Washington, D.C., as an outbreak brings the dead back to life. In this test of strategy and endurance, players will band together with up to three friends on a variety of missions and raids, securing supplies and survivors to strengthen their base camp against the threat of both the dead and the living - by any means necessary.

    Each playable character has their own special abilities, skill trees, squad roles, play styles and background stories. Now they all share a common objective where survival and teamwork is paramount. The action is close-up and intense: take out enemies carefully with silent melee attacks or go in guns blazing. You need to be able to improvise, as nothing is certain, and a horde of walkers is always around the corner.

    Overkill The Walking Dead Screenshots

    Until we learn more concrete information about the game, you'll have to judge these concept art shots that Starbreeze released during a livestream back in May 2017 in order to get an idea of how the game is shaping up:

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