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    Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will introduce a whole new Zombies mode with new characters, storyline, and tons of customization options.

    News John Saavedra
    May 17, 2018

    Activision and Treyarch have unveiled the new Zombies mode for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Featuring a whole new cast of characters -- Charlotte, Bruno, Diego, and Shaw -- and storyline, the mode will launch with three different Zombies scenarios.

    The first scenario is called "IX" and will follow a gladiator theme. While Treyarch didn't show any actual gameplay from the mode, the cinematic trailer seems to indicate that this scenario will be based around melee weapons.

    Check out the trailer below:

    Treyarch also showed off a scenario called "Voyage of the Damned," which pays tribute to pulp adventure stories such as the Indiana Jones series. The story revolves around what looks like a heist on the Titanic. It's insane. Here's the trailer:

    The third scenario is "Blood of the Dead," a remaster of "Mob of the Dead" from Black Ops 2. Treyarch dropped a short teaser for this, as well:

    Treyarch plans to make Zombies an "evergreen" mode that it hopes will have "daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly engagement." One way the developer is through timed and seasonal events, which indicates that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be taking a note from the live services approach that has become a mainstay of the AAA gaming industry. These events will come in the form of special challenges called Callings, which will “regularly introduce new ways to play the game and set the stage for ongoing seasonal content and a few themed experience surprises along the way," according to co-studio head Jason Blundell. 

    The studio is also adding variety to the mode through a plethora of customization options called Mutations that allow players to adjust several aspects of the mode, such as zombie speed, health, type, player damage, magic box functionality, and more. Treyarch promised over 100 different customization options. 

    Finally, Treyarch also announced that the new Zombies will feature bot support, tutorials for beginners, and a new mode called Zombie Rush, which will “simplify the experience to create a whole new tempo of gameplay.” The latter sounds like a more direct horde mode than the more objective-based design of recent Zombies offerings. 

    We'll keep you updated as we learn more about Call of Duty: Black Ops 4!

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    They were often a pale imitation of the original, yet home conversions of hit arcade games were a big deal in the 80s...

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    May 18, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    Even if you weren’t around in the 80s and 90s to enjoy them first-hand, games of that era are so commonly evoked in the 21st century that you’re probably aware of what they looked and sounded like. Hit indie games like Shovel Knight and Fez reference back to the lo-res graphics and two-button gameplay of the NES and SNES era. Movies like Wreck-It Ralph and Pixels channel the spirit of such arcade classics as Pac-Man and Galaga.

    There’s one aspect of 80s and 90s videogame culture, meanwhile, that is in danger of being forgotten: the strange phenomenon of the coin-op conversion.

    It’s hard to imagine now, but there was a time when the technological prowess of arcade games frequently outstripped what was available in the home. The competitive, fast-paced world of the amusement arcade meant that developers like Atari, Namco, and Sega were regularly updating the hardware that underpinned their games - all the better to give potential customers bigger, more eye-catching arcade machines designed to relieve them of their spare change.

    Arcade developers were also racing against the increased competition from computer and console manufacturers - to lure gamers away from their Atari 2600s and back into arcades, designers had to come up with flashy games that couldn’t be experienced anywhere else. One version of Atari’s Star Wars, for example, came housed in a sit-down cabinet with booming stereo sound; Sega’s AfterBurner had a pneumatic seat that through the player around in synch with the on-screen action.

    All the same, there was a hunger among some gamers to the best of these arcade hits home with them - which is where the coin-op conversion comes in. 

    Even in the early days of home computers and consoles, there were adaptations of popular arcade games. The Atari 2600, despite its meagre hardware, played host to ports of Space Invaders and Asteroids, Centipede, and Defender. In many instances, the original game had to be compromised in several ways to fit the system’s limited capabilities, with redrawn characters or simplified level designs. In some instances, the results were pretty terrible - the 2600 port of Pac-Man barely resembled Namco’s arcade game at all.

    Ports of arcade games were fairly hit and miss, but the demand for them remained high. This may have been partly because of convenience: there was a certain thrill at having a version of Pac-Man you could play in your own home. Besides, not all of us lived near a decent amusement arcade, so simply having a home computer version of Operation Wolf or Space Harrier that looked and sounded passably like the real thing was an exciting prospect. 

    In some cases, these ports required a fair bit of imagination on the player's part. The ZX Spectrum version of Sega's racing classic, OutRun, for example, couldn't hope to recreate the coin-op's spectacular music, so the home version came with a separate audio cassette that you could put on while you played the game. Enjoying OutRun on the Spectrum was the 8-bit equivalent of play-acting: it took a bit of effort from the end user to really work.

    Other coin-op conversions were downright ingenious. In the late 80s, programmer Bob Pape famously took Irem's spaceship shooter R-Type and somehow crammed it onto the ZX Spectrum's meagre hardware; what's more, the game was colourful, fast-moving, and actually looked recognisably like the arcade version. Critics in magazines of the era - Your Sinclair, Crash and so forth - were stunned at just how good Pape's R-Type was. In fact, the port's quality was so legendary among ZX Spectrum owners that, some 25 years later, Pape wrote a novella-length book about how he programmed it.

    That book, It's Behind You: The Making Of A Computer Game, also provides an insight into how difficult it was to actually port an arcade game in the 8-bit era. In most instances, programmers weren't provided with source code or assets from the games they were asked to convert; instead, they'd have to do lo-fi things like record videos of an arcade machine running the game and figure out how the thing was programmed by simply watching it. 

    Some arcade conversions were also made cheaply and in a considerable hurry; before he programmed R-Type, Pape recalls pulling a three-day coding marathon to get a port of Atari's coin-op, Rampage, ready in time for its Christmas release. "And if you're wondering where the game testing, quality control, bug reports were during all this," Pape wrote, "then there's a simple answer: there weren't any."

    All of this helps to explain why, for every hardware-straining work of genius like R-Type, there were several sore disappointments like Nemesis - the ZX Spectrum port of Konami's genre-defining shooter, Gradius. What was particularly strange about Nemesis was that, ahead of its release in 1987, Sinclair Usermagazine gave the game a glowing five-star review, its write-up accompanied by some screenshots that looked remarkably close to the original arcade. Not only was the finished game a jerky, borderline unplayable mess, but its graphics looked nothing like the ones published in Sinclair User. (This led to a minor 8-bit conspiracy theory: that there were two versions of Nemesis, and that Konami mysteriously published the terrible one. To this day, that mystery remains unsolved, though veteran games journalist Stuart Campbell dissected the available evidence a few years ago.)

    Iffy arcade ports may have been all over the place, but on the flipside, a truly faithful conversion could rapidly acquire legendary status. The PC Engine, a hit console in Japan that emerged in America as the TurboGrafx-16, was barely released in the UK; all the same, the system garnered a certain cache among some British gamers thanks to its port of R-Type (yes, that game again). In those pre-internet days, the word was that the PC Engine port of R-Type was, miraculously, arcade perfect; unlike the ZX Spectrum or Sega Master System, the console was powerful enough to run an identical facsimile of Irem's shooter.  

    In reality, the claims were a little wide of the mark; the original release of PC Engine R-Type was sold on two separate cartridges because of its size, and unlike the arcade version, the screen had to scroll up and down a little to squeeze in all the graphics. Nevertheless, the aura surrounding R-Type is a sign of just how much interest there was in "perfect" home ports of popular arcade machines. Indeed, it was this kind of fascination that led some, more affluent gamers to drop huge sums of money on SNK's hugely expensive (but admittedly brilliant) Neo Geo AES. With its then-extraordinary 16-bit graphics and arcade-style controller, it really was a coin-op for the home - assuming you could stomach spending £200 per game.

    In the late 80s, the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis) was a more affordable option. Before Sonic The Hedgehog came along and became the console's mascot, Sega used one of its hit arcade games, Altered Beast, as a showcase for the 16-bit machine's processing power. Because the original Altered Beast arcade game used similar hardware, the console version looked fairly close - to a casual eye, even identical - to the coin-op. That the graphics were so big, bold and colourful did much to disguise the lumpen, repetitive combat of the game itself, at least at the time.

    Over on Sega's rival, the Super Nintendo, it was the mighty Street Fighter II that, along with things like Super Mario World, helped make the console such a success. The arcade version ofStreet Fighter II was such a phenomenon, in fact, that it wasn't uncommon for British gamers to spend eye-watering sums on importing a Japanese SNES and a copy of the conversion just so they could be the first to get their hands on it. (The Sega Mega Drive later got a port of Street Fighter II of its own, which, while not quite as good as the SNES version, was still pretty close to the arcade.) 

    Ultimately, Street Fighter II - and its bloodier rival, Mortal Kombat - would mark the beginning of the end of what we can only describe as the Much Anticipated Arcade Conversion. While ports of great arcade games would continue in the PlayStation and Xbox era and beyond, the process of conversion no longer sparked the same fascination that it did a decade or so earlier. Gaming as a whole began to move away from the design principles of the arcade - limited lives, quick-fix action - even as the popularity of arcade games themselves began to dwindle.

    To modern eyes, the whole era of coin-op conversions might seem rather strange. Why would anybody drop their precious pocket money on a game that bore only a scant resemblance to an arcade machine they might have played once or twice on a seaside holiday? If anything those conversions were a testament to how much of an impact the original arcade games had on impressionable young minds.

    The ZX Spectrum conversion of OutRun was, even back then, objectively terrible. But if you put on the soundtrack, half-closed your eyes and really, really used your imagination, then you were transported. You were no longer hunched over a keyboard in front of a portable television - you were in an arcade, driving a Ferrari Testerossa in one of the coolest driving games of all time.

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    The unexpected new installment in the Halo series is actually an enormous arcade cabinet called Fireteam Raven!

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 18, 2018

    Brace yourselves for this one. The next Halo game on the horizon is a lightgun arcade shooter that will be available exclusively at Dave & Buster's locations. 

    Halo: Fireteam Raven is the result of a collaboration between arcade producer Raw Thrills (makers of such arcade adaptations as Jurassic Park Arcade, Aliens Armageddon, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles), arcade developer Play Mechanix, and 343 Industries.

    The game looks like a familiar entry in the lightgun genre that allows up to four players to pick up their peripheral weapons and do battle against a variety of foes from the Halo universe. The story runs parallel to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved and follows the adventures of Fireteam Raven, which fought alongside Master Chief.

    The real story here, though, is the cabinet itself. It's an absolute monster of a rig that boasts a 130", ultra-wide, 4K-resolution monitor and four seated controllers that allow players to utilize turreted controls. You can even scan an available QR code to keep track of certain worldwide records in the game and create a kind of competitive atmosphere. It's a daunting arcade cabinet that has reportedly taken quite some time to develop. 

    "Halo: Fireteam Raven is without a doubt, the most spectacular arcade experience we've ever made," said Raw Thrills CEO Eugene Jarvis. "After years of development, it is now ready."

    “Arcade games are a wholly different challenge compared to console and PC gaming, and we’ve learned a tremendous amount as we worked with Raw Thrills to make this happen,” said 343 Industries' head of transmedia Kiki Wolfkill of the collaboration.

    This project is entirely unexpected, but it is undoubtedly impressive. We're not sure exactly how this mad scientist experiment came about, but we do know that we are going to make every effort to locate one of these beasts when Halo: Fireteam Raven is released in the United States and Canada sometime this summer. 

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    The former director of Saints Row reveals how it almost became the Dave Chappelle game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 18, 2018

    Christopher Stockman, design director of the original Saints Row, recently revealed that there were plans in place to hire Dave Chappelle to write the game. 

    In an interview with Game Brain, Stockman said that Saints Row was originally being written by an unidentified individual whom the studio had worked with in the past. However, after reading some of that writer's sample dialog, Stockman realized that their style wasn't what he was looking for. He specifically recalls the line "tighter than a frog's ass" as the piece of dialog that made him realize the original writer wasn't the person for the job. 

    From there, he considered an interesting alternative.

    "We went on in search of a new writer and there was initial talk about partnering up with a Dave Chappelle-type or a celebrity type to lend their creative weight and writing style." said Stockman. At this point, interviewer Donal Shiel asked if the team was specifically in talks with Dave Chappelle to write the original Saints Row. Stockman confirmed that was the case.

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    "Initially, yeah, it was going to be like a Dave Chappelle game," said Stockman. "It got to like...any sort of discussions was like 'It has to be my game, it has to be Dave Chappelle's game.' We were like 'No, that's not going to work.'"

    It's not entirely clear from the interview how personally involved Chappelle was in the communications and the negotiations of the offer, but the gist of the message is that the communications broke down when the Saints Row team realized how much creative control Chappelle required. Upon realizing that was the case, they looked for an internal writer and ended up giving the job to Steve Jaros (who left the series to work for Valve in 2014).

    Based on the timeline of Saints Row's release, it's very likely that these talks occurred around the time that Chappelle's Show was at its creative and ratings peak. Had Chappelle and the team at Volition agreed to give him creative control, they would have been acquiring the services of arguably the hottest comedian on the planet at that time. As fascinating as that would have been, the Saints Row series has certainly done pretty well for itself since then. 

    The entire interview with Stockman is fascinating, and we highly recommend giving it a listen if you have the time to do so. 

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  • 05/18/18--11:52: State of Decay 2 Review
  • State of Decay 2 brings more of the action, strategy, and zombies you know and love. Our review...

    Release Date: May 22, 2018
    Platform: XBO (reviewed), PC
    Developer: Undead Labs
    Publisher: Microsoft Studios
    Genre: Open-world Survival RPG

    Just as my outpost is struggling to survive against the undead hordes, I remember a police chief who used to live nearby. As night falls, I decide to head to his abandoned home on foot. I see a horde of a half-dozen zombies in the distance but stay on the main road to avoid them. My first stop on the chief’s property is a tool shed that I search for supplies. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts, my actions alerted the horde I was trying to avoid. The shambling corpses shuffle into the confined space to feast on me. All seems lost until I remember the uzi I picked up earlier. I quickly dispatch the rotters, head to the main house to take what I can carry from the chief’s belongings, and head home before morning.

    State of Decay 2 is full of organic moments like this. The game might give you goals to complete, but everything from that point on, from how you get there to the enemies you’ll face, is up to you.

    The game doesn’t begin like this, however. You initially choose from four very different couples. After a brief tutorial featuring your couple of choice, you pick one of three maps to begin the campaign. From there, the survivors you meet are random. Don’t get too attached to your starting characters either, because one bad decision can mean their permanent deaths, with no opportunity to reload a previous save.

    Anyone who played the first State of Decay will be familiar with the basic gameplay here. Combat, driving, and looting haven't changed dramatically. Of note is how rare it is to encounter more than 3-4 zombies at once compared to the larger crowds of the first game. This is more like a (good) episode of The Walking Dead in terms of tone than a zombie slaughter-fest like Dead Rising 4.

    There’s not much to complain about graphics-wise on the Xbox One X, but State of Decay 2isn’t going to wow gamers quite like Gears of War 4, and it doesn’t really have any especially impressive effects like the waves of Sea of Thieves. Character models, in particular, are much improved from the first game’s Xbox One port, but aside from better lighting, environments aren’t exactly a giant leap forward.

    Compared to the first game, there are many more opportunities for upgrading your outposts and characters. New facilities, mods, and storage have to be carefully monitored to ensure the right mix of food, medicine, and ammo to survive. Keeping your survivors happy with the right supplies is key to preventing them from fighting with each other and losing even more supplies, but I never really noticed huge differences when upgrading individual character stats.

    Eventually, you’ll want to promote one of your citizens to either a warlord, builder, sheriff, or trader, and complete their associated missions to eliminate all of your territory’s plague hearts. That should take most gamers around 20 hours, and once they’ve mostly cleared out one area, it’s time to move on to a new settlement with some especially powerful survivors from your previous campaign.

    One of the big selling points of State of Decay 2is four player co-op. I didn’t have three other friends with a copy of the game to try it out with, though. You can send out a flare in tough situations with the hope that a random player will join your game, but just like in real life, sometimes you’ll get an answer and sometimes you won’t. No one ever came to my aid the few times that I fired one off.

    As we’ve all come to expect with an open-world game this size, there are a few bugs. While I’ve seen some early impressions that mention game-breaking bugs, I didn’t personally run into any of them during my playthrough. I did, however, encounter many little annoyances. Vehicles get stuck on rocks sometimes and it's impossible to free them. There were a few instances when I couldn’t position my character correctly to talk to other survivors, and zombies just pop into the screen out of nowhere sometimes. At one point, I entered an empty garage only to be ambushed by four zombies that seemed to come out of the walls every time I turned around.

    But despite these flaws, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with State of Decay 2. I want to keep playing, collecting more supplies, and building my base. This might not be the killer app exclusive that the Xbox One so desperately needs right now, but it’s still a rock solid survival RPG that most gamers will enjoy.

    ReviewChris Freiberg
    May 18, 2018

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    What we know about E3 2018, including dates, times, confirmed games, and how to watch!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    E3 2018 is almost here. The Electronic Entertainment Expo may have started as an industry trade show, but it is has ballooned into a full-on spectacle. Gaming companies from across the world converge on Los Angeles in June for a week full of exclusive announcements, incredible updates, and celebrations regarding the gaming industry in general. There's nothing else like it in the video game world, and this year's event figures to be one of the best yet. 

    This year's conferences will begin on Sunday, June 10 and run through Tuesday, June 12. The expo floor will be open from Tuesday, June 12, and will run until Thursday, June 14. As always, the event will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and the immediate surrounding area. Some studios, like Sony, have also elected to hold their conferences away from the show's main stage.

    Between Microsoft making aggressive moves to get back into the console race, Sony loading up on exclusive titles, and Nintendo continuing to shock the world with its success and innovations, this year's major game studios will likely roll into E3 - or, in the case of Nintendo, an E3-themed Direct video - looking to steal the show. Competing with them are a host of major publishers - Bethesda, Ubisoft, and Electronics - that have recently been stealing the show from E3's biggest presenters. 

    You can expect more and more information about E3 2018 to be leaked out in the days and weeks to come, but for now, here's everything we know about the biggest gaming show of the year:

    E3 2018 Conference Dates and Times

    *All times listed are ET

    EA: Saturday, June 9 - 2:00 p.m 

    Microsoft: Sunday, June 10 - 4:00 p.m (moved to the Microsoft Theater)

    Bethesda: Sunday, June 10 - 9:30 p.m

    Devolver Digital: Sunday, June 10 - 11:00 p.m.

    Square Enix: Monday, June 11 - 1:00 p.m

    Ubisoft: Monday, June 11 - 4:00 p.m. 

    PC Gaming Show: Monday, June 11 - 6:00 p.m

    Sony: Monday, June 11 - 9:00 p.m

    Nintendo: Tuesday, June 12 - 12:00 p.m 

    More dates and times as they are confirmed...

    E3 2018 Floor Map

    A Reset Era user has obtained the official show floor map for E3 2018. 

    The official map shows that Bethesda, Square Enix, Capcom, Activision, Sony, Nintendo, and Ubisoft all have very large booths on the show floor. Most of those aren't that surprising, but the size of Capcom and Square Enix's booths lead some to believe they might have some surprise announcements in store for the show. There's also some speculation that Bethesda's booth size may indicate that they'll have quite a few games available for attendees to play. 

    You can also expect Epic's booth to mostly be devoted to Fortnite while Microsoft's presence will likely be across the street at the theater they are holding their press conference at. 

    E3 2018 Games

    These are the games that have been confirmed for the convention. Click on the titles to read more about them:

    The Last of Us Part II


    Battlefield 2018

    The Division 2


    Super Smash Bros.

    Beyond Good and Evil 2

    Serious Sam 4: Planet Badass

    RollerCoaster Tycoon Switch

    Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion

    E3 2018: How to Watch

    While E3 2018 will be open to the public, it appears that tickets to the show have once again sold out rather quickly. Unless you qualify for a media pass - which you can double check here - you'll have to settle for watching the show from home. 

    So far as that goes, you can expect that there will be plenty of ways to keep up with all the action. Every major conference from E3 should be streamed via Twitch and other popular streaming platforms. As for Nintendo, they will be publishing a special E3 Nintendo Direct video as they have done in recent years. 

    We'll be sure to provide you with all the links you need to watch E3 2018's biggest conferences as more information about them becomes available.

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    Treyarch's believes that the next Call of Duty has more to gain from their decision to focus on multiplayer.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 18, 2018

    In an interview with Eurogamer, Treyarch co-studio head, Dan Bunting, addressed concerns regarding Call of Duty: Black Ops 4's lack of a traditional single-player campaign. 

    "Going back to the very beginning of Black Ops 4 development, we never had set out to make a traditional campaign," said Bunting. "We see more and more players spending more time with multiplayer and zombies, not just in the game, but out of the game, streaming and talking about it in forums. It's generated a really huge crowd response. The decision was, we wanted to make a different style of game this time."

    Bunting says that the team never really worked on a traditional campaign for the sequel as their goal was to tell stories in a different way. As for those fans who say they won't buy the game because it doesn't contain a traditional story mode, Bunting wants them to know that the team's attempts to do something new can be a good thing.

    "I think change is always going to be hard for people," says Bunting. "I would say to our fans, Treyarch has never let you down over the years. This is a studio you know is always going to deliver the best of the experiences you know and love, especially with the Black Ops series. We are delivering so much more of what players spend most of their time doing in our games in the series."

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    That last comment is particularly interesting when you consider the recently released reports that suggest that the majority of Call of Duty players don't finish the game's campaigns. It seems that the Black Ops team might have been studying similar statistics. Despite the game's lack of a traditional campaign, Bunting says that Black Ops 4 will offer content for solo players that include solo zombies mode options and operative trials. 

    As for those who are looking forward to Black Ops 4's multiplayer modes, Bunting offered additional information regarding the wide variety of multiplayer and zombie options that Black Ops 4 will feature. It seems that the team is really taking quite a bit of influence from Overwatch and Siege in terms of the game's multiplayer modes, but they're still aiming to retain certain Call of Duty gameplay trademarks. 

    Unfortunately, Bunting stopped short of sharing many new details regarding the game's Blackout Battle Royale mode. Of special note is his unwillingness to commit to the mode's final player count. 

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    Gather 'round scalawags and hear some tales of Sea of Thieves monstrous new expansion.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    Rare has released the first trailer for Sea of Thieves' first full expansion, The Hungering Deep

    At present, Rare is refraining from revealing too many details about the expansion's content. However, the trailer's patch-eyed pirate telling campfire stories of the sea's greatest monsters seems to hint that the first Seas of Thieves expansion will focus on sea monsters and the hunt for them. There are even hints that players might be able to obtain a degree of control over these creatures by offering them sacrifices.

    Based on someof the information sorrounding the promotion of this expansion, it seems likely that some kind of monstrous shark-like creature will play a major role in the next expansion. Our guess would be that this creature will serve as a Kraken-like raid boss that players will need to defeat. Of course, it's highly likely that the encounter itself will be more invovled than the surprisingly simple Kraken battle. 

    We'd be surprised if a lone boss encounter was all that this expansion added to the game given that it's being billed as a full expansion rather than a simple piece of additional downloadable content, but at this time, we can only guess as to what else The Hungering Deep may feature. Of course, we'll know much more about the expansion as we near its release on May 29. 

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    Sea of Thieves fans will be happy to know that this expansion isn't the only piece of Sea of Thieves content on the horizon. The release of The Hungering Deep will also kick-off the start of a continuing series of weekly in-game events that will reward players with stash rewards upon completion. Theexact nature of these challenges and the rewards hasn't been disclosed. 

    On top of that, Rare has already promised to provide a series of downloadable content updates for the game throughout the summer. Those updates begin with Cursed Sails, which adds a new ship type to the game. Following that will be the release of Forsaken Shores, which will seemingly expand the size of the game's current map by adding a new region. 

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    The next major No Man's Sky update includes exciting ways for players to actually interact with each other.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 18, 2018

    No Man's Sky is finally getting a proper multiplayer mode. 

    Director Sean Murray recently appeared on the Inside Xbox YouTube show and said that the latest No Man's Sky update will release alongside the game's Xbox One debut on July 24. This update will focus on new multiplayer options that allow players to finally truly work together in the game's galaxy. That's in stark contrast to a previous multiplayer update for the game that essentially allowed players to barely interact with ghostly orbs meant to represent other explorers.

    This new update will let you actually interact with friends or even encounter other players at random while exploring on your own. These friends will be able to help keep you alive and even assist you in building elaborate bases on planets that other players will be able to encounter during their travels. On top of all that is the ability to participate in space battles with other players as well as join races across custom tracks that can be shared online. 

    That's quite a lot of content. Speaking on the update, Sean Murray stated that he's glad that the content in this update can finally become a reality. He credits the No Man's Sky team for their hard work as well as the community members that have stuck with the game and its development team.

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    Some of you may recall that Murray and the No Man's Sky team once famously declared that players would be able to encounter each other in the game, but the odds of that happening were quite slim considering the size of the available area. That was disproven rather quickly when two streamers verified that they were standing next to each other in the game, but neither was able to see or interact with the other in any way. 

    Since then, multiplayer has become one of those No Man's Sky features that fans have asked for when suggesting ways to improve the title's initial meager offerings. While it's unlikely that even this update will be enough to reverse the public perception of No Man's Sky, it's one of the many ways that Hello Games have built upon the incomplete experience they initially shipped. 

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    Everything we know about Strange Brigade, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    Sniper Elite development team Rebellion has revealed the latest supernatural addition to the series. Strange Brigade will take players to the "remote corners of the British Empire" where they will the need to combat various supernatural forces with the help of firearms, explosives, and good ole' melee attacks. 

    Much like the Nazi Zombie Army series, Strange Brigade is a 1-4 player shooter experience that emphasizes co-op gameplay. Basically, you should be thinking of Left 4 Deadwhen imagining the kind of chaotic gameplay this title will surely offer. 

    Strange Brigade distinguishes itself from the co-op shooter pack with its serial adventure inspired universe that seems to take more cues from the Universal monster movies than George Romero. The brief reveal trailer for the game reveals what appears to be ancient Egyptian mythological monsters, cave-dwelling creatures, and other guardians of legend who look a tad bit more formidable than the average member of the walking dead.

    Here's everything else you need to know:

    Strange Brigade Release Date

    Strange Brigade will launch on August 28, 2018. The game is coming to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. 

    Strange Brigade Trailer

    Check out the new story trailer below:

    Here is the first trailer for Strange Brigade:

    And here are 14 minutes of gameplay:

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    Sales of Overwatch's most popular character skin are going towards a great cause.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 18, 2018

    Recently, Blizzard started selling a special pink Mercy skin in Overwatch designed to raise money for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Initial reports indicate that the program has been a tremendous success. 

    The Overwatch Twitter account recently sent out a message that thanks fans for purchasing the Mercy skin and reveals that sales of the skin are nearing the $10 million mark. Considering that the skin costs $15, that likely means that over 650,000 people have purchased the skin thus far. Blizzard is also selling a special pink Mercy shirt in their stores, but sales of that product have not been disclosed at this time. 100% of those proceeds from both of these items are going directly to the BCRF, despite some initial claims that Sony was taking a percentage of sales made via PlayStation consoles. 

    It's hard not be impressed with the results that Blizzard has announced thus far. We know that Overwatch players love in-game skins, but the response surrounding the sale of this charity skin is nothing short of astonishing. It's a testament to the Overwatch community's desire to contribute to this cause as well as Blizzard's ability to recognize an incredible opportunity to do some good. 

    The other thing that these figures reveal is just how much Overwatch players love in-game skins. We have no doubt that the desire to contribute to this cause was the reason that the majority of those who purchased this skin decided to do so, but figures like these do shed a little light on the "value" of digital Overwatch skins in the minds of the game's biggest fans. 

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    Of course, Blizzard isn't just contributing to this cause by selling skins and t-shirts. They've also been using this promotion as a chance to highlight many of the female streamers in Overwatch's community. Indeed, the Overwatch community has seemingly attracted a much larger number of female fans, players, and streamers than some other competitive games. The Overwatch League even recently welcomed its first female player.

    Blizzard has stated that they intend to reveal the full amount of money earned from this promotion after sales of the skin end on May 21, and we fully expect that the $10 million figure will only have grown at that time. 

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    Join us in the Den of Geek as we fight for survival in Conan Exiles! Check out the live stream here...

    The RestDen of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    As you know, Den of Geek plays all the latest and greatest games, bringing you reviews, previews, and tons of in-depth features on your favorite franchises, both new and old. There's our review of the excellent God of War and our early impressions on the promising Dragon Quest XI. If you dig through our lengthy archive of Games coverage, you're bound to find lots nostalgia-laden lists, too. Take this look back at the Underrated Games of the SNES, for example. We've got you covered!

    That said, despite all the work we do to bring you the best Games articles possible, there has always been something missing: Den of Geek's very own live stream! Twice a month, we're bringing you playthroughs of the newest games as well as the classics we all know and love.

    This week, Den of Geek Plays Conan Exiles, the open-world survival game from Funcom! The live stream is happening on Friday, May 18 at 3:30 pm ET.

    Watch the live stream here:

    Make sure to follow our channel, as we bring you early access streams of the most anticipated games, let's plays, and, of course, a few blasts from the pasts (as is the Den of Geek way)! If you like what you see, feel free to comment below. Or if there's anything specific you want us to play or stream in the future, let us know your thoughts.

    As always, Den of Geek is happy to serve you!

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    What you need to know about Final Fantasy 7 Remake, including latest news, release date, trailer, and more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    One of the most beloved entries in the Final Fantasy series is being remade from the ground up for a new generation of consoles and fans. Final Fantasy VII boasts all new visuals while delivering the same memorable story. 

    Here's everything we know about this highly anticipated remake:

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Release Date

    Final Fantasy VII Remake doesn't have a release date as of yet. It is coming to the PlayStation 4.

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Trailer

    Final Fantasy VII Remake is perhaps the most highly-anticipated video game remake of all-time, built from the ground up for the PlayStation 4. This JRPG classic gets new life with all-new graphics. Basically, it's the same game you love, but it looks better than it ever has before. 

    Here's a new trailer:

    We'd even stopped begging at this point. The fact that we even had to keep asking Square Enix to release an HD remake in this day and age is pretty ridiculous. But all our prayers were answered at E3 2015 when Final Fantasy VII Remake was officially confirmed.

    Here's the announcement trailer:

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Screenshots

    Final Fantasy VII Remake's director, Tetsuya Nomura, revealed two new screenshots from the long-gestating project at Magic Monaco 2017. The screenshots are from an early boss fight and show the game's hud. It's also a new glimpse at Cloud and Barret in the remake. Check the pictures out below:

    Final Fantasy 7 Remake Details

    Square Enix has decided to transfer development of the Final Fantasy VII remake from developer CyberConnect2 to an in-house development team. 

    This report comes from a Square Enix livestream (translated here by Kotaku) during which Square Enix project leader Naoki Hamaguchi referred to the decision as a "sensitive subject."

    However, Hamaguchi did confirm that he has taken over development of the Final Fantasy VII remake in order to keep "production and quality in mind."

    "This company decision was made wanting to control quality as well as keeping the schedule stable," said Hamaguchi.

    At this time, it's not clear if this decision represents some kind of falling out with developer CyberConnect2 or if Square Enix simply decided to take the reigns on this major project in order to ensure it meets all production expectations. 

    An issue Famitsu Weekly (as reported here by Gematsu) featured some quotes from Tetsuya Nomura who elaborated on how Final Fantasy VII Remake's combat system will work.

    “Battles are not command-based, they’re action-based," said Nomura. "Regarding cover actions, there are places where they can be done on the map, but they are not required. Because it’s seamless, I showed that there can be actions in response to various scenes."

    Nomura goes on to specifically cite the Guard Scorpion battle as a boss encounter that has been noticeably altered from its original version. He says that particular fight will have "map destruction and a great number of attacks that weren’t in the original" which will result in a "significantly flashy battle."

    While it will be nice to see the combat system in action, this latest update does seem to place the remake's battle system closer to Final Fantasy XV's than Final Fantasy VII's.

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    What you need to know about Pikmin 4, including latest news, release date, and much more!

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 18, 2018

    Nintendo's legendary game developer Shigeru Miyamoto confirmed that Pikmin 4 was in development back in 2015, but we've not yet seen much of the game or know when it's coming out.

    "I've been told not to share anything about this from PR," Miyamoto told Eurogamer at E3 2017 regarding the status of Pikmin 4, "but I can tell you it is progressing."

    Miyamoto appeased the PR gods by limiting the specifics of the game's development to his assurance that the game is "actually very close to completion" and that "Pikmin teams are always working on the next one." 

    Nintendo confirmed Miyamoto's assertions in a separate statement by claiming that "Pikmin 4 is in development but that is all we can confirm at present." 

    It's been a few years since Pikmin 3 released for Wii U in 2013. The game received overwhelmingly positive reviews for its innovative use of the Wii U tablet and general advancement of the Pikmin mechanics. By all accounts, Pikmin 3 also sold extremely well with some reports suggesting that it sold over 200,000 units before the end of 2013. 

    The lack of a Pikmin sequel in all that time seems to speak more to Nintendo's unique release strategy than it does their faith in the franchise as a whole. Now that the Nintendo Switch is selling extremely well, it seems that Nintendo is a touch more eager to bring back some of their most popular series as well as re-introduce some of the Wii U's best games to the switch audience.  

    Here's everything else we know:

    Pikmin 4 Release Date

    Pikmin 4 doesn't have a release date as of yet. The game is coming to the Nintendo Switch.

    Pikmin 4 Details

    Some suspected that Shigeru Miyamoto had finally lost his mind when he announced that he was working on a strategy game based on his gardening experiences, but it wasn't long before the quirky little title known as Pikmin became a beloved Nintendo franchise. As popular as the franchise is, though, it has remained suspiciously off the radar since Pikmin 3 released to wide acclaim in 2013. Aside from Miyamoto mentioning that Pikmin 4was nearing completion in 2015, fans have been left to speculate when, exactly, they will be able to get their hands on this anticipated sequel. 

    Sadly, Miyamoto's latest update doesn't offer much hope that they can expect that day to come anytime soon. In an interview with Game Rant, Miyamoto had this to say on the subject of Pikmin 4:

    "We're working on (Pikmin 4). So, you know, when we’re in development we have to create a list of priorities and it has been hard to kind of fit that into that list, but we’re hopefully starting to see that on the list now.”

    While Miyamoto does not explicitly say so during the course of the interview, given that he had previously suggested that the game was nearing completion around this time last year, it certainly does sound like Pikmin 4 has been delayed. Though this may be due to the usual complications that can arise during the development process, the popular theory at the moment is that Pikmin 4 has been shuffled to the side while Nintendo focuses on the release of the Switch as well as their ever-expanding list of new ventures. 

    Given that Breath of the Wild is shaping up to be the last major Wii U release, it certainly does appear that Pikmin 4 may end up becoming a Switch title. It would be a bit of a shame if that came to pass considering how well the Pikmin games translate to the Wii U controller, but it's looking like Pikmin fans may be waiting until 2017 to experience more of this franchise's bizarre adventures.

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

    News Den of Geek Staff
    May 21, 2018

    Konami has announced it 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

    Zone of the Enders: Anubis Marsarrives on Sept. 6, 2018. The game is coming to PS4 and PC.

    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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    The long-awaited Android version of Fortnite is almost here.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 21, 2018

    Epic has finally announced when Fortnite will come to Android devices

    In a new blog post titled "State of Mobile," the Fortnite team revealed that they intend to bring their game to Android sometime this summer. As they did not provide a release date - and mentioned that they are currently "targeting" a summer release - there's still a possibility that the Android version of the Battle Royale title won't arrive in the currently projected time frame. However, we'd be quite surprised if the Android build of Fortnite doesn't launch in the summer given how eager Epic has been to bring the game to multiple platforms and how many Android users there are in the world. 

    The State of Mobile post also touched upon the Fortnite team's recent decision to add a customizable HUD to the mobile version of the game. They suggested that this is one of the most requested features for the mobile version of Fortniteand stated that they are excited for players to finally be able to utilize the new HUD options. 

    Epic also announced that they are working to bring voice chat to the mobile versions of Fortnite. While they don't reveal when the new voice chat options will be added to the mobile build, it seems that the current plan is for mobile players to be able to chat with any teammates regardless of what platform they are on. Furthermore, Epic is working on ways to make sure that voice chat options are easily accessible to mobile players via the touch of a button. 

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    The rest of the blog's announcements focused on the Fortnite team's desire to improve the general stability of the mobile version of Fortnite as well as the game's touchscreen controls. They intend to accomplish those performance improvements through features like a battery saving mode along with smaller patches/updates and a suite of optimizations. 

    It's always nice to hear that a developer is working to improve a build of their game, but it's not like the mobile version of Fortnite needs a complete overhaul. The game is surprisingly playable on mobile devices and has proven to be much more than a novelty. We look forward to seeing how these upcoming improvements - as well as the Android version of the game - will advance the already impressive mobile version of the world's most popular multiplayer game. 

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    Is the upcoming Switch version of Resident Evil 7 the future of video game purchases?

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 21, 2018

    Resident Evil 7 is coming to Nintendo Switch in a rather odd way. 

    On May 24, Capcom will release what is currently being referred to as Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Cloud Version in Japan. The "Cloud Version" part of the title refers to the game's status as a streaming title. Details are vague - and downright bizarre - at this time, but it seems that Japanese gamers will be able to play Resident Evil 7 on Switch for 15 free minutes before being asked to pay a subscription fee for the rest of the game. Currently, Capcom is selling 180 days of play for 2000 Yen (about $18). 

    This is one of the strangest pricing models we've ever seen for a game, which is quite something when you consider that we're living in an era of complex video game pricing models. There's no word on why Capcom is using this pricing model for the Switch version of Resident Evil 7, if they intend to bring the Switch version of the game to the West, or if the eventual Western versions of the game will retain this same fee structure. 

    While this idea isn't unprecedented, you don't typically see it applied to single games. It essentially allows players to rent Resident Evil 7 playtime from a cloud server for around six months for about $20. That's not an awful deal considering that most gamers will likely be able to beat Resident Evil 7 in under 10 hours and will likely not return to the game time and time again for months and years to come.

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    However, this is another instance of a video game pricing plan that seemingly removes a gamer's ability to actually own a game. That's sure to raise some concern amongst consumers who feel that the digital age has compromised true game ownership. While you might not play Resident Evil 7 much beyond the 180 day period, that doesn't mean that the ability to do so won't be worth a few extra dollars to certain gamers. 

    It's going to be interesting to see whether Capcom - and other developers - continue to use this fee structure for future games and what they feel the long-term advantages of this idea is. 

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    The Overwatch team wants everyone to be able to play together, but there are a few problems with the idea.

    News Matthew Byrd
    May 21, 2018

    In a recent interview with games™ magazine, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan spoke about his desire to add cross-play to the game. 

    "Fortniteand PUBG recently made a huge impact on gaming by having cross-platform experiences that spanned the PC, consoles and mobile," said Kaplan. "Cross-platform experiences, especially in social games or games with persistent progression, are very exciting. I hope to see platforms open up and embrace the way players want to play more. The technology and the desire exist. I believe it would be beneficial to everyone to open platforms up more to bring players together. So I’m definitely hoping for more cross-platform opportunities."

    The quote is perhaps best taken as a vocalization of Kaplan's best wishes rather than a confirmation of any immediate plans. After all, Blizzard has previously stated that cross-platform play in Overwatch presents several challenges that go beyond technological and policy issues. Instead, it's the presumptive difference between the possible skill level of a player using a mouse and keyboard and the skill level of a player using a controller (or even a mobile device) that makes it difficult to just allow players from all sides to participate in the same matches. 

    If Blizzard is ever going to utilize cross-play for Overwatch, they're going to have to solve the game's balance issues before anything else. 

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    In other Overwatch news, the team has announced that they are adding a new map to the game. Titled Petra, this new map will exclusively be available in the game's Deathmatch mode and allows players to do battle in an excavation site that even comes equipped with a collapsible pit. There's no word on when the map will be added to the game, but it will likely be included as part of the game's upcoming anniversary celebration. 

    Now would also be a good time to remind you that tickets are on sale for the upcoming Overwatch League Championship in Brooklyn, NY. We only mention it because tickets are selling incredibly fast and likely won't be available for long. 

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    Can The Last of Us 2 live up to the hype? Here's what we know:

    News Adam McDonnell
    May 21, 2018

    Yes, one of the greatest games of the previous console generation is getting a sequel. Fans hoped that Naughty Dog might find a way to return to the world of The Last of Us, but the nature of the original game's ending left some to speculate that the developers had said all there was to say about the adventure of Ellie and Joel. 

    It's not entirely clear exactly what the story will be this time around, but the ominous and fearful tone of Ellie's looming threats suggest that this will be a story of revenge. The recipient of said revenge seems to be fairly obvious based on context clues in the trailer, but in the interest of not completely outlining the ending of the original game, we will not speculate on their identity here.

    Speculation is all we have as it concerns the release date for The Last of Us Part II, however. It appears that the game is still very much in development, which means you shouldn't hope to see it before late next year at the earliest. Neil Druckman, the title's creative director, took to the PlayStation Blog to clarify that the eventual release of the game could be "a ways off," and to assure fans that Naughty Dog is only making a sequel to this game because they feel they have a new story that is worth telling. 

    Well, we're sold. Here's everything we know about The Last of Us Part II:

    The Last of Us Part 2 News

    At DICE Summit 2018, Naughty Dog creative director Neil Druckmann revealed one of The Last of Us Part II's stranger inspirations.

    "There's a show on Netflix called The End of the F***ing World, which is so well written and acted and quirky, and has been totally inspiring for some of the stuff we're doing in [The Last of Us 2]—more on the dialog stuff," said Druckmann. Given that the Netflix show is about a pair of runaway teenagers who embark upon a dark quest, we're guessing that it might have somehow influenced the equally dark journey of the main characters. However, Druckmann didn't clarify the point.

    Druckmann also recalled that The Last of Us was born from a failed pitch he once submitted to George Romero. He wanted to make a game that combined elements of ICO and Sin City while telling a story about a cop with a heart problem protecting a little girl. When the cop's heart condition kicks in, the girl would need to take care of the cop and protect him from enemies. Of course, Romero passed on that pitch. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Release Date

    The Last of Us 2 doesn't have a release date as of yet. We suspect the game won't arrive for at least another year, as Naughty Dog only announced it at PSX 2016. It will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

    The Last of Us Part 2 Trailer

    A brand new trailer has arrived! Check it out below:

    Next, feast your eyes on the reveal trailer for The Last of Us Part II:

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    The Last of Us Part 2 Story

    At PSX 2016, Naughty Dog director and writer Neil Druckmann shared the first bits of Last of Us Part 2 story details, including what the focus will be in the sequel. Druckmann revealed that Ellie is the star of this installment and that the game takes place several years after the original. Ellie is 19-years-old in The Last of Us Part 2

    Druckmann talked a bit about the tone and direction of the sequel's story, saying that while the original was a story about love, "[Part 2] is about hate." He also confirmed that this game will exclusively continue the story of Ellie and Joel instead of jumping to other characters.

    It looks like The Last of Us Part 2 will have a couple of connections with Westworld. It's been revealed that Halley Gross, a writer on the show, will be co-writing the game's story with Neil Druckmann, who wrote the first game. 

    Additionally, Westword actress Shannon Woodward will have a role in the game. No details on her character were revealed. Her casting was revealed in a tweet:

    It's also been revealed that Bruce Straley, who directed the first game, will not return for the sequel. Instead, Druckmann will be directing the game. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Music

    Writer/director Neil Druckmann confirmed that Gustavo Santaolalla, the composer of The Last of Us' wonderful score, will also create the music for the sequel. 

    The Last of Us Part 2 Poster

    In celebration of Outbreak Day - the day in The Last of Us when the world fell apart - Naughty Dog has released some promotional materials and free items related to the game. You can read a full breakdown of the announcement (which includes information regarding a new The Last of Us t-shirt and PS4 theme) via this PlayStation blog post

    However, there is one Outbreak Day release we do have to highlight. The fine folks at Mondo have teamed up with Naughty Dog and artist Kevin Tong to release a new poster that seems to be related to The Last of Us Part 2. It's a fairly stunning design that serves as a callback to the previous Mondo The Last of Us poster and an effective teaser. 

    You can buy the poster from Mondo's website starting today. 

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    The mysterious Days Gone has been delayed until 2019, but it remains one of the PS4's biggest exclusives.

    News Adam McDonnell
    May 21, 2018

    It's always great to see new franchises debut on the big stage of E3, and that's especially true when the game looks as good as Days Gone. The game comes from Syphon Filter developer Sony Bend.

    The action-adventure game takes place in the Pacific Northwest and tells the story of a bounty hunter named Deacon St. John, who must survive on a planet that's been wiped of humanity after a global disaster brings about the end of the world as we know it. Now millions have been transformed into "Freakers," zombie-like creatures that would like nothing more than to feed on Deacon's corpse. As the bounty hunter, you'll have to fight massive hordes of Freakers in order to survive.

    Here's everything else we know:

    Days Gone Release Date

    Days Gone has been delayed to 2019. The game was originally set to launch in 2018. It will arrive exclusively on the PlayStation 4.

    Days Gone Trailers

    The latest trailer for Days Gone expands upon our first look at the game by diving a bit deeper into the narrative that at the heart of this particular apocalypse. While Days Gone was initially compared to The Last of Us, this latest trailer actually suggests the game is spiritually closer to the Uncharted franchise. In any case, we're incredibly excited to see more of its blend of action, horror, survival, and story. 

    Check out the reveal trailer below:

    This game definitely seems to have a The Last of Us post-apocalyptic vibe to it. The world showcased in the demo appears to be as beautiful as it is chaotic, while the main character's narration suggests that there will be a strong emphasis on the story of why it is that people choose to keep surviving in this cruel land. 

    You can watch the E3 2016 gameplay demo here:

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