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    Everything we know about Marvel's Spider-Man, including latest news, release date, trailers, story, and much more!

    Spider Man PS4 DLC
    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Oct 17, 2018

    Insomniac's take on Spider-Man isn't just one of the PS4's biggest upcoming exclusive, it's one of the biggest titles in Marvel's new approach to game releases. Spider-Man will not be directly associated with the MCU or a particular film, but will instead tell a unique story of the studio's design. 

    Spider-Man will focus on young Peter Parker's battles against a still unconfirmed roster of classic comic book villains. As this game seems to take place relatively early into his superhero career, Parker will need to learn how to balance being the hero that NYC needs with the daily pressures of young adult life. 

    From what we've seen of Spider-Man thus far, we're expecting a high-octane superhero experience that doesn't skimp on the cinematic but also gives us the freedom we need to truly feel like we are Spider-Man. Call it a fantasy, but Insomniac looks to deliver on the seemingly impossible by gifting the world with a Spider-Man game that captures every aspect of this incredible character. 

    Here's everything we know about Spider-Man:

    Spider-Man PS4 Review

    Our Spider-Manreview is live! You can read it right here.

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Spider-Man PS4 Release Date

    Spider-Man will be out on September 7, 2018. The game is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4.

    Spider-Man DLC

    Spider-Man PS4's DLC will include three new suits that you can check out below:

    On the left, we have the suit from Scarlet Spider II. Next to that, we have a Gabriele Dell'Otto design, the Resilient Suit. Finally, there's the Spider-UK suit from Spider-Verse. It seems that these suits will be featured in the upcoming Heist DLC, so you should probably expect to see more suits in future DLC releases. 

    For more information on that DLC, be sure to check out our full breakdown of Spider-Man's post-release content

    Spider-Man PS4 Trailer

    Marvel's Spider-Man has had a great run of trailers thus far. The latest one is narrated by J. Jonah Jameson, who gets a pretty suspicious "anonymous caller" into his radio show:

    Here's another trailer narrated by Jameson:

    And here's another trailer:

    This story trailer from SDCC 2018 gives us a much better idea of what Spider-Man's arching narrative will cover. While it stops short of spoiling the adventure, it does confirm that Spider-Man is dealing with a city under siege by supervillains and citizens of the city who believe he is doing more harm than good. 

    Spider-Man's E3 2018 gameplay trailer sheds a little light on the game's full roster of villains. It ends with a tease of one Spider-Man foe that Insomniac isn't ready to show yet. 

    Here are all the other trailers released thus far:

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

    John Saavedra is Games Editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9

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    Cyberpunk 2077's rumored multiplayer mode may already be in development.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 9, 2018

    Cyberpunk 2077 developer CD Projekt Red has brought on Digital Scapes studio to assist with the development of their upcoming RPG

    According to a press release from CD Projekt Red, Digital Scapes has been brought in as part of a "long-term strategic cooperation" that will Digital Scapes assist with the technological development of Cyberpunk 2077. CD Projekt’s Senior Vice President of Business Development, Michał Nowakowski, stated in the press release that Digital Scapes was brought on for their "talent, experience, and technical knowledge.” 

    Interestingly enough, Digital Scapes'"talent, experience, and technical knowledge" is largely related to the creation of multiplayer games and modes. Digital Scapes describes itself as a studio that focuses on "specialising in AAA multiplayer console and PC game development, development tool creation, asset production, and cloud computing.” They've recently worked on the "Be the Zombie" PvP mode for Dying Light and have previously assisted in the development of titles like Company of HeroesWarhammer 40,000, and Prototype

    It should be noted that it's a little too early to jump to the conclusion that Digital Scapes has been hired to either develop or assist with the development of a multiplayer mode for Cyberpunk 2077. It could just be that CD Projekt Red decided to bring in some extra hands to assist with the general development of one of the most highly-anticipated (and ambitious) games in recent memory

    However, it is strange that CD Projekt Red would turn to Digital Scapes specifically for general help when that studio has traditionally focused on multiplayer experiences. Smart money is on the likelihood that they were brought in to assist with some kind of multiplayer aspect of Cyberpunk

    So far as that goes, CD Projekt Red hasn't ruled out the possibility that Cyberpunk 2077 will eventually feature some kind of multiplayer component. All that they've said is that the game will not ship with multiplayer enabled. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    What we know about Left Alive, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 9, 2018

    Square Enix is working on a new mech shooter called Left Alive, which shares certain elements with the Front Mission universe. In an interview with Weekly Famitsu, producer Shinji Hashimoto stated that "We wanted to make a Front Mission with a new lineup. We started this new title to see Front Mission in a slightly different perspective."

    In that same article, Square Enix members noted that Left Alive takes place in the year 2127. That means it occurs sometime between the events of Front Mission 5 and Front Mission Evolved. Additionally, the studio said that Left Alive will feature three playable characters that players will bounce between at certain points in the game's story and that the mechs from Front Mission - called Wanzers - will be featured throughout the game.

    Still, it doesn't sound like Left Alive is going to be a classic Front Mission experience. The developers noted that it's more of a third-person shooter that allows individual players to dictate a style of gameplay - as well as the direction of the story - through tactical choices. If anything, the game seems takes more gameplay cues from recent survival titles than it does from the original Front Mission games. 

    However, the biggest news regarding Left Alive is the team that Square Enix has assembled to work on the project. Metal Gear Solid series artist Yoji Shinkawa has signed on as Left Alive's character designer and has already contributed some comfortably familiar characters as part of the game's promotional materials. Meanwhile, Toshifumi Nabeshima (Armored CoreChromehounds) has been brought on to direct. It's also been noted that some members of the Front Mission development team have been brought in to work on this new project.

    For those keeping count at home, that means that Square Enix has brought in ringers from studios like Konami and From Software to work on this already compelling title.

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Left Alive Release Date

    Square Enix has confirmed that Left Alive will be released on March 5, 2019. It will be available for PlayStation 4 and Windows via Steam. 

    Left Alive Trailer

    Here's the release date trailer for Left Alive

    A new trailer has arrived for Left Alive ahead of Tokyo Game Show. Watch it below:

    This next trailer is largely a cinematic preview, but the ending shots contain just the briefest hint of what the gameplay might look like. 

    Left Aliveis billed as a survival action shooter that seems to feature some kind of mech-based combat based on a previous teaser Square released a few months back.

    Here's the debut trailer:

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014.

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    This fully functional Nintendo Wii in an Altoids tin is described as "the worst thing ever."

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 9, 2018

    Join us for a study of the wonders of too much free time and serious technical skills as we look at a man who has turned an Altoids tin into a portable Nintendo Wii

    Yes, you read that sentence correctly. A man known as Shank has turned an Altoids tin into a fully-functional Nintendo Wii. Why? Well, in a forum post, he says that the whole thing was done "for the memes." He also includes some of the items he used for the build on that post if you happen to be interested in creating your own Altoids tin Wii emulator. Just be warned that it sounds like this meme required a ton of work. 

    It also sounds like the whole thing might not be worth it in the first place. Shank warns that this contraption is not "logical, comfortable, or practical." He then took to Twitter (where he posted some shots of the device in action) to say that it only has about 10 minutes worth of battery life, runs incredibly hot (we probably could have guessed that would be a problem), and features some truly awful controls. 

    Shank also reiterates that this invention is, in fact, the "worst thing ever." He may be forgetting about the Nokia N-Gage

    Initially, some doubted that this thing actually works. To counter those arguments, Shank posted a video of the device (which he hilariously calls the KillMii) in action. he actually managed to finish a round of Super Smash Bros. before it dies.  We agree that the whole thing is wildly impractical and potentially dangerous...but we're also quite impressed with how well the KillMii works when you take into account just what it is that we're dealing with here. Granted, Shank has to pry out the start button at some point because it gets stuck in the case, but that's hardly enough to leave us anything but impressed. 

    Shank claims that it's something of a running joke in his build community regarding whether or not you can fit the Wii into an Altoids tin. He apparently spent a year working on the KillMe before he - and a friend - finally finished this glorious abomination. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    Looking for a great party game for the Nintendo Switch? Super Mario Party is the game for you! Our review...

    Release Date: October 5, 2018
    Platform: Switch
    Developer: NDcube
    Publisher: Nintendo
    Genre: Party

    After years of questionable design choices and stale mechanics, attending recent Mario Parties has felt more like an obligation than entertainment. But here’s the good news: Super Mario Party is the best the series has been in a very long time, even if there are still a few nagging legacy issues.

    Super Mario Party thankfully drops the car mechanic from the last two games that saw players travel around each board together. You’re back to flying solo collecting as many coins and stars as you can. You do pick up allies who can significantly add to your dice rolls and give you extra help in minigames, though. Allies can make a big difference now, as each character has its own dice, which adds a new layer of strategy to the gameplay.

    Buy Super Mario Party

    There are 80 minigames available this time around, and they’re all pretty good and instantly understandable for even the most inexperienced players. Despite the high number of minigames, there are only four boards (including a secret one). That’s a little disappointing, but they’re actually all quite fun. You can also go online to challenge players from around the world in minigames, though sadly, party mode remains offline only.

    At least the series looks better than ever thanks to the power of the Switch, and the music isn’t bad either. It doesn’t get in the way. You’re probably not going to pay much attention to it while playing with three other people.

    You're definitely going to want to play with other people as the AI hasn’t improved much in this entry. You can try to grind through Super Mario Party’s modes (and a solid number of unlockables) by yourself, but this remains a title that’s best enjoyed with three other friends in the same room. Those friends better have their own Joy-Cons too as that’s the only way to play most modes. This is a controversial design choice, as it means there’s no handheld or pro controller support, but it actually makes sense once you start playing.

    Related Article: 20 Super Mario Platformers Ranked

    First, it keeps things simple for everybody, as you only need to use one or two buttons for most minigames. Second, you really need the Joy-Con to play some of these games, like steak flipping or guessing how many nuts are in a box.

    Since the launch of the Switch, it seems like many developers have focused on the console's portability and forgotten how versatile the Joy-Cons and their HD rumble can be. But Super Mario Party uses these features to its advantage. It’s pretty cool to see a game take advantage of the technology and show off how far we’ve come since the days of Wii-motes and waggle controls.

    There are also a handful of games that can be played by putting two Switches (and two copies of the game) together, but given the logistics involved, this doesn’t seem like a feature many players will get to try.

    Related Article: The Terrifying Scientific Implications of the Mario Universe

    While the controls are brand new, one feature that remains the same is the randomness, though it’s toned down significantly from previous entries. Sometimes certain players seem to get on unusual hot streaks, racking up allies, coins, and stars, but victory never quite felt out of reach during the game. Two stars are still awarded randomly at the end of each game though, and it’s never quite clear what they're for. It could be for winning the most minigames, moving around the board the least, moving around the most, or something else entirely. It is frustrating to lose a game at the last minute due to one of these random awards.

    Ultimately, these are minor quibbles for a title that has turned this franchise around. It may not be perfect, but Super Mario Party is flat out multiplayer fun.

    Chris Freiberg is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.

    ReviewChris Freiberg
    Oct 9, 2018

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    Microsoft's acquisition of Obsidian would add major exclusives to Xbox and PC.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 9, 2018

    A report by Kotaku suggests that Microsoft is trying to acquire developer Obsidian. 

    Citing three sources who have been "briefed on the negotiations," the report claims that the deal is not finalized yet but is believed to be "all but done." Some of the sources close to the deal say that the announcement is just a matter of "when, not if." Microsoft would not confirm the report when they were reached out to for more information. Hilariously, Obsidian stated that "we don’t comment on rumors or speculation other than to say that the Rumors album by Fleetwood Mac still holds up."

    Continuing the no comment game is a representative from Private Division; a 2K Games label that was reportedly set to publish an upcoming Obsidian project. That representative stated that "While it is our policy not to comment on rumors or speculation, we look forward to publishing the upcoming RPG from Obsidian Entertainment, and remain confident in the team there to deliver an outstanding game."

    That statement seems to suggest this deal will not alter Obsidian's agreement with Private Label, but it may impact which systems the untitled Obsidian project is released for. 

    In case you're wondering, this would be a major acquisition by Microsoft and possibly the company's biggest acquisition since they announced they had acquired Ninja Theory. A quick look at Obsidian's resume reveals that they have made some of the greatest RPGs of all time. On that list are titles like Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords (a game that we think quite a lot of), Fallout: New Vegas, South Park: The Stick of Truth, and Pillars of Eternity. They're a tremendous RPG studio that has spent many recent years making old-school isometric RPGs. While that style affords them many creative benefits, their move away from bigger budget 3D titles is also believed to be due to the high cost of such projects. 

    Obviously, a deal with Microsoft would put such projects back into play again. Dare we dream of a big-budget RPG that features the depth, subtle storytelling and incredible character development of an Obsidian title as well as the best of modern graphics and sound? We may soon find out. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    There will soon be no escaping Stardew Valley's addictive gameplay.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 9, 2018

    Stardew Valley is finally coming to mobile devices. 

    "Today, I’ve got some exciting news to share with everyone," says Stardew Valley creator Eric Barone in a recent blog post. "Stardew Valley is coming to mobile, and it’s actually releasing on the iOS App Store in just over 2 weeks time, on October 24th!" The game will also come to Android, but it's not clear when it will make its Android debut at this time. 

    While many consoles and PC games that make the transition to mobile usually suffer from some kind of setbacks due to the downgrade in hardware power, Barone promises that the mobile version of Stardew Valley will be (mostly) the same game that we know, love, and are hopelessly addicted to

    "It’s the full game, not a cut down version, and plays almost identically to all other versions," says Barone. "The main difference is that it has been rebuilt for touch-screen gameplay on iOS (new UI, menu systems and controls)."

    It gets better. Not only will the game cost a very reasonable $7.99, but it will include all of the version 1.3 single-player content. However, it will not feature the multiplayer mode available on the PC version. Fortunately, you will be able to transfer your PC save data to the iOS version of the game via iTunes. Those save transfers will not include any mod data and Barone warns that "any save data transferred containing mods may cause compatibility issues."

    Barone also notes that the development of this mobile version of the title will in no way impact the progress of the game's development in any way because this mobile adaptation is being handled by a separate studio. That means that the previously announced multiplayer modes for the PS4, Switch, and Xbox One versions of the game will are still being worked on and will hopefully be released sometime in the near future. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    Sony has confirmed that you'll finally be able to change your PSN name.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 10, 2018

    Sony has confirmed that you will soon be able to change your PSN name

    Starting sometime in 2019 (the exact date has not been confirmed) PSN users will be able to go to the settings or profile menu of their account and alter their username. When the beta version of this program becomes available sometime in the near future as part of the PlayStation Preview Program, users will be able to change their PSN names as often as they want. However, when the feature is made available for every PSN user in 2019, only the first name change will be free. 

    After that, users will have to pay $10 for every name change (or $5 if they are PlayStation Plus members).

    Interestingly, you will have the option of displaying your old PSN name alongside your new one so that people know who you are. Unfortunately, it seems that once you've decided to utilize that feature, you may not be able to disable it. There's no word on whether or not Sony is planning on rolling out a future update that will allow you to simply revert your selection. The good news is that you'll be able to revert to your old PSN name at any time for no additional fee.

    Here's where we get to the bad (or potentially bad) news part of the program. It seems that Sony is guaranteeing that your name change will work with any PlayStation 4 game released after April 1, 2018. If you're playing a game that was released before that, it may or may not work. Sony promises that the majority of games released before that date will recognize your PSN name change - and they said that they will publish a list of compatible games - but there is a chance that a game won't recognize your new PSN name and that certain compatibility issues may arise

    The reason that this is such a big deal is that there are quite a few people out there who are stuck with the PSN usernames they chose way back in 2006 when the service first launched. Sony has hinted at implementing such a feature in the past, but many users are baffled as to why they haven't been able to perform this seemingly simple function for the last 12 years. It now sounds like the nature of the original username system may have prevented them from simply flipping a switch and allowing changes to happen. 

    For context, Microsoft has allowed Xbox Live users to change their usernames for years. The first change is free if it was a name you didn't choose for yourself, but all other changes cost $8 to perform.

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    This "souped-up" version of The Legend of Zelda gives you all the game's best equipment.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 10, 2018

    Nintendo has released a "souped-up" version of The Legend of Zelda on the Switch's Online service. 

    This new version of The Legend of Zelda (which was added to the service alongside Solomon's Key, NES Open Tournament Golf, and Super Dodge Ball) is quite unlike any version of the game we've seen before. We suppose that you could refer to it as Zelda's "easy mode" or a version of the game that has quite a few cheat codes enabled. 

    When you start this special version of The Legend of Zelda (which Nintendo has seemingly dubbed "Living the Life of Luxury") you'll immediately have access to a ton of rupees and special items. Specifically, you'll have immediate access to the White Sword, the Magical Shield, the Blue Ring, and the Power Bracelet. Anything you don't immediately have access to will be easy to buy given how many rupees you start this version of the game with. 

    Nintendo hasn't directly stated what the "point" of this version is, but it seems pretty clear that it's intended to help people who are maybe not as adept at old-school games. While we imagine that's not something that a lot of Zelda and NES fans will want to hear, Nintendo does kind of a have a point. The original Legend of Zelda isn't "hard" in the same way that titles like Mega Man and Castlevania are, but it can be a somewhat confusing and challenging game that some might easily give up on. 

    So far as that goes, this new starting loadout is actually quite helpful. It's not exactly an "instant win" button (you'll still have to navigate some of the game's puzzles), but it does make many early encounters much easier. Besides, after you beat this version of the game for the first time, you will be able to access a second quest that is much more difficult. It's not clear whether this second quest also grants you the additional starting equipment. 

    Of course, the most interesting thing about this game is the idea that Nintendo might release more altered versions of classic NES titles via the Switch Online service. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    Everything we know about The Witcher Netflix series, including latest news, release date, cast, story, and much more!

    News Matthew ByrdJoseph Baxter
    Oct 10, 2018

    Netflix has begun production of a series based on author Andrzej Sapkowski's Witcher books. The upcoming Netflix series is not directly related to the CD Projekt Red video game franchise aside from the similarities that the two will naturally share. 

    That fact adds a slightly humorous twist to this announcement when you consider that Sapkowski recently spoke out against the artistic merit of the Witcher game saga by calling into question the medium's ability to properly tell such a grand story. Before that, Sapkowski also admitted that he chose not to take a percentage for the adaptation rights, which he later came to regret when the series went on to gross over a billion dollars. 

    Apparently, the author has worked out a much better deal for the Netflix series, as he spoke quite fondly about the upcoming adaptation in the official press release

    "I'm thrilled that Netflix will be doing an adaptation of my stories," said Sapkowski. "...staying true to the source material and themes that I have spent over 30 years writing. I'm excited about our efforts together as well as the team assembled to shepherd these characters to life."

    While The Witcher games do take some liberties with the source material, this series should feature quite a few familiar faces and storylines. We should know much more once the cast is in place.

    The Witcher Cast

    The Witcher TV series has found the two female leads who will appear opposite Henry Cavill’s Geralt of Rivia, reports THR. In stark contrast to the choice of its household name headliner, the co-starring roles are filled by newcomers.

    Freya Allan will play the role Ciri. The young character, known for her grey hair and green eyes, is the prodigious descendant of royal blood from the fallen kingdom of Cintra, possessing innate powers to control time and space. Allan appeared on a recent episode of AMC’s Into the Badlands as a young version of Minerva/The Widow and will next appear in the BBC One The War of the Worlds miniseries.

    Anya Chalotra will play Yennefer. The character is a sorceress and the love interest of monster hunter Geralt (Cavill), with whom she becomes the adopted parents of Ciri. Chalotra debuted on the recent Netflix/BBC One TV series, Wanderlust, which stars Toni Collette. She’ll soon appear in the joint Amazon Prime/BBC John Malkovich-starring Agatha Christie mystery, The ABC Murders.

    Henry Cavill (Justice League) was recently tapped to star as Geralt of Rivia in Netflix's The Witcher. Read more about his casting here.

    The Witcher Release Date

    The WitcherTV series could hit the air as early as 2020, according to showrunner Lauren S. Hissrich:

    The Witcher Story

    Here's the synopsis from Netflix:

    "The witcher, Geralt, a mutated monster hunter, struggles to find his place in a world where people often prove more wicked than beasts."

    The Witcher Episodes

    Netflix's adaptation of The Witcher will reportedly start with an eight-episode first season. Lauren S. Hissrich, a writer working on the adaptation, confirmed the eight-episode first season on Twitter while addressing concerns that eight episodes aren't enough. Hissrich states that the smaller season allows the team to produce "tight, action-packed" episodes that are free of lagging story moments. She also states that the decision is not representative of any lack of faith in the series or any other financial concerns. 

    The episodes will each be about an hour long - though Hissrich claims there might be a little variation in each episode's runtime - and that the show is being filmed in Eastern Europe. However, it seems that most of the episodes haven't been formally written as of yet and exist only as ideas. 

    The Witcher Crew

    To run the series, Netflix has brought on Lauren Schmidt Hissrich, writer and executive producer for other successful Netflix properties Daredevil and The Defenders. Hissrich joins the previously announced producing team of Sean Daniel (The Mummy) and Jason Brown (The Expanse).

    Tomek Baginski, the man who directed the cinematics for the Witcher games, will also be involved with the project.

    Joseph Baxter is a contributor for Den of Geek and Syfy Wire. You can find his work here. Follow him on Twitter @josbaxter.

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    We look at 10 horror-themed videogames from the 1980s, and their varied attempts to provoke fear with low-res graphics...

    FeatureRyan Lambie
    Oct 10, 2018

    This article comes from Den of Geek UK.

    As Sheriff Leigh Brackett correctly stated in John Carpenter's slasher classic, "It's Halloween - everyone's entitled to one good scare!" And scare us Halloween did, along with any number of horror movies before and since. But, with the day of pumpkins, trick-or-treaters, and apple bobbing almost upon us, this got us wondering: at what point did video games become scary?

    These days, we fully expect modern video games to have us cowering behind our sofas, with present-day computers and consoles able to render all sorts of things you need for a properly scary story: rain, blood, that sort of thing. But way back in the mists of time, at the dawn of the video game medium, that kind of realism simply wasn't possible.

    Instead, the makers of early horror games had to come up with all kinds of creative ways to scare or unnerve players - and inevitably, some of these techniques worked better than others. So to celebrate Halloween, here's a look back at 10 games from the '80s and how they used blocky graphics and bleepy sounds to terrify the life out of us.

    Haunted House (1982)

    Memorable for its stunning box art (as were many Atari 2600 games), Haunted House was also one of the earliest - if not the earliest - attempts at interactive survival horror. Trapped in the title residence, you have to find an enchanted urn and head for the nearest exit, all the time avoiding bats, spiders, and the ghost of Mr. Graves, the mansion's owner.

    Fear factor: 5

    Although hamstrung to a certain extent by the Atari 2600's simple hardware, there's something oddly disturbing about Haunted House. Maybe it's because your on-screen character consists of nothing more than a pair of eyes, which glance anxiously about as you move from room to room. Or maybe it's the weird minimalism of the sound and the single-colored walls of the mansion itself - the act of repeatedly charging around almost identical screens being like a blocky recurring nightmare.

    The Evil Dead (1984)

    Palace Pictures distributed Sam Raimi's breakout horror classic The Evil Dead in the UK, and it was thanks to them that we ended up with Graham Humphrey's stunning poster illustration, with its appropriately lurid colors and approving quote from Stephen King. A subsidiary of Palace - Palace Software - also made this 1984 video game tie-in, which appeared on the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.

    Related Article: A Brief History of Retro Horror Gaming

    Like Haunted House, it's essentially a top-down maze game, except you control Ash, who has to keep the demons from entering the infamous cabin in the woods. Tasks include closing windows to keep the demons out and killing possessed friends with an assortment of guns and sharp implements.

    Fear factor: 3

    Little touches, like the ominously moving swing on the veranda and the flickering embers in the fireplace, add atmosphere, as does the eerie absence of sound. Unfortunately, the tension's undercut by the ease with which the possessed monsters die, and also the appearance of the demons themselves: depicted as a gas-like miasma, all semblance of fear is lost once you realize that Ash looks as though he's running away from a deadly cloud of flatulence.

    Alien (1984)

    This belated film tie-in attempted to cram all the fear and suspense of Ridley Scott's 1979 haunted house in space into an 8-bit computer, and programming duo John Heap and Paul Clansey did a remarkable job. Alien takes the form of a strategy game, with the aim being to either flush the dreaded xenomorph out of the Nostromo's airlock or get to the escape ship with Jones the cat in tow.

    Fear factor: 8

    Related Article: New Alien Video Game in Development at Fox

    It might not look like much from the video above, but Alien is a quite brilliant exercise in slowly-building tension. The characters under your control - all named after the ones in the film - will sometimes refuse to follow orders if they get too scared. One of them's an android intent on protecting the alien. Jones the cat likes some characters, but not others. And all the while, the xenomorph's somewhere on the ship, waiting to pounce...

    Go to Hell (1985)

    A year after Evil Dead came this exceedingly strange horror game, which actually captures the gleeful Grand Guignol atmosphere of Sam Raimi's movie a bit better than Palace Software managed to. Having ended up in the depths of hell, you have to navigate your way around its ghoulish network of caverns and find seven crosses in order to escape.

    Fear factor: 5

    A simple maze game though it is, Go to Hell is livened up considerably by its macabre graphics. Bodies are stretched on racks, a gigantic saw grinds through a screaming crimson skull, and bloodshot eyes glower out of the screen. The crude nature of the sprite design makes Go to Hell more comical than frightening, but then again, the gaudiness also gives the game a sort of neon-drenched, nightmarish air to it - like Hotline Miami, but with crucifixes instead of shotguns.

    Cauldron (1985)

    Games don't come much more Halloween-themed than this little '80s curio from Palace Software (the ZX Spectrum version even included a copy of Evil Dead on the B-side, fact fans). Apparently, Cauldron was originally planned as a tie-in game based on John Carpenter's Halloween movie, but designer Steve Brown, unhappy with his work in progress, went off in an entirely different direction instead. A hybrid platform-shooter, Cauldron sees the player take control of a witch, who's on the hunt for six ingredients - once chucked in her cooking pot, these will form a spell which she can use to defeat her mortal enemy, the Pumpking.

    Fear factor: 4

    Taking place beneath a full moon, and with locations later extending to gloomy, bat-filled caves and haunted dungeons, Cauldron certainly had a decent atmosphere, and for the time, the graphics are really colorful and detailed. It's more like an interactive Saturday morning cartoon than a horror game, but its approachable sprite design masked an astonishingly high difficulty level, with bouts often ending in screams and blood-curdling howls of anguish.

    The sequel, Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back, was even better, and the witch on the cover looked like Bruce Forsyth in a green wig. No, really.

    Soft & Cuddly (1987)

    Go to Hellprogrammer John George Jones returned two years later with a game even weirder and grotesque than its predecessor. A flick-screen arcade adventure, the aim is to retrieve all the parts of your dismembered android mother, all the while avoiding assorted floating monsters and admiring Jones' trademark nasty scenery, which this time includes conjoined babies, dismembered body parts, and a bouncing sheep.

    Fear factor: 5

    The "more comical than scary" comment from the Go to Hell entry also applies here, but it's worth mentioning that Soft and Cuddly was mildly controversial at a time when graphic gore in computer games was still relatively unusual. Remarkably, Jones once claimed in a Sinclair User interview that Soft & Cuddly was originally more gory and violent, but he changed the graphics before release.

    Related Article: Silent Hill, BioShock, and the Art of Scary Games

    Mind you, he did also state that "My game is the best game ever written," so maybe we should take this with a pinch of salt.

    Fun fact: Soft & Cuddly's inlay art was created by fantasy illustrator Tim White, and also appeared on the cover of a 1985 H.P. Lovecraft story collection, Dagon and Other Macabre Tales.

    Splatterhouse (1988)

    Although better known for their cheerier output in the '70s and '80s, such as Pac-Man,Galaga, and Mappy, Namco took a trip to the dark side for Splatterhouse, a beat-em-up inspired by a legion of horror movies. The protagonist, Rick, is clearly modeled on Jason Voorhees, and the other film references are easy to spot, from demonic disturbances straight out of Evil Dead to mutated monsters from The Thing.

    Fear factor: 6

    More a straight action game than an exercise in creeping terror, Splatterhouse did still manage to throw in some moments to make unwary players jump. I still vaguely remember playing Splatterhouse in a coastal arcade and letting out a little yelp of fear when the hooded boss wielding two chainsaws leaped onto the screen.

    Related Article: Revisiting Splatterhouse at 30

    It's also worth mentioning Splatterhouse Wanpaku Graffiti (1989), a cute, Nintendo Famicom-only parody starring a super-deformed version of Rick, and even more TV and film references than its arcade parent. A vampiric Michael Jackson lookalike leads a Thriller-style zombie dance at the end of the first level; a girl has dozens of Alien-like creatures spring from her chest, then shrugs and wanders off; and in one hilarious scene, the player fends off demonic roast chickens as they leap out of a haunted oven.

    Wolfman (1988)

    British developer and publisher CRL really pushed the boundaries of what was acceptable in gaming through the latter part of the '80s, with the gory imagery in the likes of Jack the Ripper, Frankenstein, Dracula, and the subject of this entry, Wolfman, rewarded 15 or 18 certificates by the BBFC. Ironically, these claret-spattered graphics were largely extraneous, since all of these games were text adventures - interactive versions of classic tales or, in Jack the Ripper's case, a fictional story based on a true murder case.

    Fear factor: 9

    Although all of CRL's games were really good at creating a creepy atmosphere, Wolfman was, in this writer's estimation, the scariest from the opening paragraph. You wake up with your clothes torn, your hands covered in blood, and angry townsfolk gathered around the corpse of a woman outside.

    Brilliantly written by Rob Pike, Wolfman casts the player as a monster who must find a way to control his killer instinct, and it's impossible to sit through the game without an occasional shudder - proof that the scariest encounters rely not on dazzling graphics, but the player's imagination.

    A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday The 13th (1989)

    In the late '80s, the US toy company LJN began firing out licensed games at a ferocious rate - if you wanted them, there were movie tie-ins as varied as Jaws, The Karate Kid, Warlock, and Back to the Future - in fact, look closely at the second-hand shop window in Back to the Future II (the movie, not the game), and you'll see a copy ofJaws for the NES prominently displayed.

    Like most tie-ins in the late '80s and '90s, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th took the form of side-scrolling platform games. In the former, you rushed around in a dream world, punching rats and snakes and collecting the bones which formed Freddy Krueger's corpse. In the latter, you ran around Camp Crystal Lake, trying to find weapons to kill Jason Voorhees.

    Fear factor: 3

    Although based on decidedly adult properties, neither game brought with it lashings of gore or terror, though Friday The 13th did feature a gigantic, floating head of Mrs. Voorhees. Truly the stuff of nightmares.

    Sweet Home (1989)

    Widely regarded as the creepy parent of the Resident Evil series, and the modern survival horror genre as we know it, Sweet Home was a pioneering adaptation of the Japanese movie of the same name, as overseen by its director, Kiyoshi Kurosawa. A top-down RPG, Sweet Home sees five characters hunting for an escape route from a mansion with a grim history - and just to add to the fun, the building's teetering on the brink of collapse.

    Fear factor: 8

    Sweet Home was one of the earliest examples of a game that uses its mechanics to unnerve the player; weapons and supplies are in short supply, and once characters die, they're gone for good. In fact, the later Resident Evil shares several elements in common with Sweet Home, aside from its mansion setting - the switching of play between characters, the use of an inventory with limited space, and the use of notes and other items to relate the building's story.

    Rather than attempting to pummel the player with jump scares, Sweet Home instead gradually builds a sense of claustrophobic unease. It may look like a basic game by current standards, but just look at how far video games traveled between 1982's Haunted House and the end of the decade: with its reliance on puzzle solving and suspense rather than combat, Sweet Home pointed the way ahead for a new generation of survival horror.

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    For some reason, Valve let this incredibly controversial game be sold on Steam.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 11, 2018

    Brazil's government is launching an investigation into Valve following the release of a new game that seemingly glorifies an extremely controversial alt-right Brazilian presidential candidate. 

    The game, Bolsomito 2k18, is inspired by the campaign of Brazil presidential candidate Jair Bolsonaro. For those unfamiliar with Jair Bolsonaro, you need to know that this man is pure evil. His actions and intentions go far beyond any traditional political divides. He once told a female member of Brazil's Congress that he wouldn't rape her because she is too ugly. He has subtly supported the eradication of homosexuals and minorities. He has suggested that the only solution to saving Brazil is to commit mass genocide. You can learn more about his policies via this excellent John Oliver report

    Just days before a presidential election that Jair Bolsonaro might actually win, Bolsomito 2k18 appeared on Steam. The game is described by one Steam user as "Postal without sarcasm." It mostly consists of the player violently murdering women, minorities, and other people that Bolsonaro has spoken out against. It is appalling in every way that you can imagine.

    Brazil's investigations into the game stem from the current administration's concerns that this game is not only incredibly controversial but that the timing of its release may have been orchestrated to somehow influence and "embarrass" the upcoming election. They're curious what role Valve played in the game's availability and why it hasn't been removed from the service as of yet. 

    So far as that goes, Valve has recently announced that they will be more lenient when it comes to curating which games are allowed on Steam. While Valve will still prevent certain games from being sold on the service, the controversy surrounding their decision to regulate the sale of sex-filled games has seemingly inspired them to back off a little bit. 

    Some are arguing that this game doesn't technically violate Valve's new rules for Steam games. The closest that this game comes to violating those rules is Valve's crackdown on "trolling" games. However, that policy seems to largely be reserved for titles that are not fully functional as games or are attempting to exploit users through things like cryptocurrency mining. Technically, Bolsomito 2k18 is a functional game. However, it's extreme content might prove to be too much for Valve to put up with. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    What we know about Star Citizen, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Oct 11, 2018

    Star Citizen could very well be the space simulator to end all space simulators - if it ever actually comes out. The game has been in development at Cloud Imperium Games, founded by Wing Commander creator Chris Roberts, since it was successfully crowdfunded in 2012. Boasting an enormous massive multiplayer universe, elements of space trading, first-person shooter combat, Star Citizen is one of the most ambitious video games ever put into development. 

    Several delays and an engine change later, the game is still in early Alpha state with no solid release date. Still, we've seen plenty of the game through trailers and gameplay videos.

    There is still hope, though. Star Citizen continues to be developed by a large staff of talented creators who seem determined to produce the game that was promised at some point in the future. When, exactly, that future may come is just a matter of debate. 

    Here's the latest from Star Citizen:

    Star Citizen News

    There's a new trailer for Star Citizen's Squadron 42 campaign that features the voice acting talents of Gary Oldman, Mark Hamill, Mark Strong, Andy Serkis, Gillian Anderson, and more. You know, we're starting to think the Star Citizencrowdfunding scam (sorry...campaign) was started so that the devs could meet some of their favorite actors. 

    Star Citizen Release Date

    While Star Citizen's roughly playable builds regularly receive some kind of update, there's no word on when the game will be released. It's quite possible that Star Citizen's development team will release an Early Access model for the game that will continuously be updated for the foreseeable future. In any case, we'll be sure to update you as information regarding the game's fully-playable builds becomes available.

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Star Citizen Trailer

    The latest trailer for Star Citizen is designed to show off the game's upcoming Alpha 3.2 release. That doesn't bring the game any closer to its full release, but it does mean you get to watch yet another trailer for the timeshare of video games. 

    Slowly but surely, Cloud Imperium is revealing more about Star Citizen's single-player campaign. This new look at Squadron 42 takes us to a dangerous gas cloud called "The Coil." Check out the video below:

    And here are two more Squadron 42 trailers. This first one features a new look at Mark Hamill in the game:

    And here's over an hour of gameplay:

    During the CitizenCon 2947 livestream broadcast, Star Citizen designer Chris Roberts took the stage to present a video that shows off the massive size of the game's worlds. 

    The footage specifically focuses on the ArcCorp planet which has been shown before, but never quite like this. Roberts described the planet's vast cityscape as "Blade Runner esque," which certainly does help capture the spirit suggested by the city's spewing flame towers and jam-packed structures. Impressively, Roberts also suggests that everything in the city can be interacted with by the player in some way. There aren't any instances of painted features designed to make the cities look larger than they are. 

    Roberts described that particular planet as being similar to Star Wars' Coruscant, but also showcased another planet that seems to have been decimated at one point or at least hasn't been fully terraformed as of yet. 

    The team certainly seems to be aiming for a shocking amount of variety in regards to the design of every major planet. That isn't to say that there won't be largely barren planets, but rather that they hope to make each new planet feel like a discovery. 

    Thanks to this gameplay video update on Star Citizen's development, we do know that the game's first-person combat is coming along nicely. 

    The purpose of this video, besides showing off the kind of stunning visuals millions and millions of crowdfunded dollars will buy you, is to showcase the progress that Star Citizen's Vision Stabilization engine has made. In short, this improved engine allows for developer Cloud Imperium Games to implement tighter and less visually jarring first-person combat. Previously, some of the game's early users had reported that the character motions dictated by these mechanics were far too loose and had a tendency to generate a floaty sensation. 

    Currently on version 3.0, the most recent build of Star Citizen arguably stole the show at Gamescom with this nearly 52-minute long gameplay video that takes on the daunting task of trying to explain the almost incomprehensible scale of the game. 

    Not to beat the No Man's Sky horse to death, but one of the most impressive things about this demo in comparison to other titles in this genre is how substantial the universe feels. While certain elements of the experience don't feel nearly as important as the presenter hopes they might come across as ("The elevators in this game really move! *clap, clap, clap*), Star Citizen's developers seems to understand that pretty environments and theoretically infinite content will not get you far if there is not a solid core of gameplay at the center of it all. Watching the demo players navigate a character to a new planet, accept a mission, and carry it out isn't mind-blowing on paper. But, in the context of the full scope of this creation, it does show that there's a promising traditional game at the heart of the title. 

    We still eagerly await the day that all questions about Star Citizen will be answered by the retail release of the game itself, but, until then, it's nice to know that it's still capable of wowing people. 

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors.

    John Saavedra is an associate editor at Den of Geek. Read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @johnsjr9

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    Our only hope for a Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic remake is no more.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 12, 2018

    Lucasfilm has effectively shut down an ambitious fan remake of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

    "It's with a great sadness that I'm posting today; I recently received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem to end production on Apeiron,"said project lead and Poem Studios member, Taylor Trotter. "I recently received a letter from Lucasfilm instructing Poem [Studios, the team behind the remake] to end production on Apeiron. After a few days, I've exhausted my options to keep it afloat; we knew this day was a possibility. I'm sorry and may the Force be with you."

    Trotter posted a copy of the letter Lucasfilm sent him. For a cease and desist letter, it was actually quite polite. The Lucasfilm representative noted "Poem Studios' affection and enthusiasm for the Star Wars franchise and the original KOTOR game" before noting that Lucasfilm "must object to any unlicensed use of Lucasfilm intellectual property." Effectively, it sounds like they are saying that they're not spiritually opposed to this project, but they do have to adhere to a legal precedent when it comes to these kinds of things.

    Let's get one thing out of the way now: this remake was shaping up to be incredible. The footage of the game we've seen thus far highlighted the project's brilliant visuals (it was being made in the Unreal 4 engine) as well as how modern technology can help smoothe some of the original game's rough edges. We would have loved to play the final version of this game. 

    From a legal standpoint, you could argue that this project's creators could have battled this notice in court. There is no shortage of Star Wars fan projects/mods out there, and many of them are allowed to be completed and eventually prosper. The Apeiron team could have argued that such precedents apply to their project, but the costs of such a legal battle were likely too great.

    So why did Lucasarts go after this particular project? We'd like to believe it's because they might be interested in producing an official KOTOR remake/remaster. It's much more likely, though, that this has something to do with preserving the possibility of such a project or simply just preventing anyone else from working on KOTOR while The Old Republic MMO is still technically active.  

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    EA may release remasters as a kind of apology for the Command & Conquer mobile game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 12, 2018

    EA is teasing the possible release of Command & Conquer remasters. 

    The noise started when EA producer Jim Vessella dropped in on the Command & Conquer subreddit to talk about the upcoming Command & Conquer mobile game. He was very...diplomatic concerning the franchise fanbase's reaction to the game and the call for a proper Command & Conquer title on PC. 

    "As most of you may know, we recently announced Command & Conquer: Rivals, a mobile game set in the Command & Conqueruniverse," said Vassella. "Following the reveal of Rivals, we heard you loud and clear: the... community also wants to see the franchise return to PC. And as a fan of C&C for over 20 years, I couldn’t agree more. With that in mind we’ve been exploring some exciting ideas regarding remastering the classic PC games, and already have the ball rolling on our first effort to celebrate the upcoming 25th Year Anniversary."

    Of course, Vessella is more than a fan of Command & Conquer. He's worked on some of the series most beloved previous entries. As such, he's kind of an authority concerning what makes the Command & Conquer series so beloved and what may be in store for the future of the franchise.

    While his comments may be taken to mean that there is a Command & Conquer remaster already in development, we wouldn't get your hopes up just yet. The 25th anniversary of the franchise is still a couple of years away, meaning that getting "the ball rolling" on that celebration might just mean that they're trying to toss around a few ideas regarding how they can properly celebrate franchise. For what it's worth, though, it's enough of a confirmation to at least keep an eye out for a remaster announcement in the coming months. 

    As for that Command & Conquer mobile game...yikes. Following its lukewarm E3 2018 reception, Command & Conquer: Rivals was thoroughly bashed by just about every fan of the series and gamers in general. It's a decent enough looking mobile game so far as that goes, but it bears no real resemblance to the Command & Conquerfranchise as it was in its prime. It's certainly not enough to compete with the best modern RTS games out there

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    West Virginia is embracing Bethesda's Fallout 76 in a big way.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 12, 2018

    West Virginia's board of tourism has decided to embrace Fallout 76

    "Governor Jim Justice and the West Virginia Tourism Office today announced a partnership with award-winning video game publisher Bethesda Softworks for promotion of its upcoming release of Fallout 76, an online open-world video game set in post-nuclear West Virginia," reads a post on the West Virginia's board of tourism website. "The video game, which was announced in June via a trailer set to a 1940s-inspired version of John Denver’s famous “Country Roads,” is the latest game in the iconic Falloutseries and will be the largest and most ambitious yet."

    Governor Jim Justice stated that he believes the "unique lens of this video game" can help to show the world "what a gem West Virginia is. We're a little surprised the governor of West Virginia is so eager to embrace Fallout 76's portrayal of West Virginia given that Fallout typically portrays an apocalyptic hellscape version of its various landscapes. However, it seems that the tourism board is actually quite impressed with the world that Bethesda has crafted.

    “I think the world was caught by surprise when Bethesda released the trailer with an eerily beautiful post-apocalyptic West Virginia set to a slightly more futuristic version of our state’s anthem,” said Tourism Commissioner Chelsea Ruby. "Bethesda has been a terrific partner since day one. They’ve really embraced West Virginia and its beauty. We believe this unique partnership has tremendous potential to bring folks to visit the Mountain State.”

    So far as that goes, it seems like there will be some kind of special promotions associated with this partnership. We imagine that will include some tours and perhaps some in-game content, but the full details of the promotions associated with this partnership will be revealed in the coming weeks. In the meantime, the West Virginia tourism board has set-up a special Fallout 76 website

    The basis of this promotion seems to be the belief that Fallout 76 will be popular enough to inspire people to visit the real West Virginia. So far as that goes, there are still some out there who have doubts concerning whether the game will be a worthy entry into the franchise. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    It turns out there's a good reason why Rockstar stopped hiring so many celebrities to voice Grand Theft Auto games.

    Rockstar Celebrity Actors
    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 15, 2018

    Have you ever wondered why modern Rockstar games feature significantly fewer big name celebrity voice actors? Well, it turns out that Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser and others within the company simply got tired of dealing with their egos.

    In an interview with Vulture, Houser recalled a time that he and Burt Reynolds argued about the direction of a Grand Theft Auto: Vice City scene. The argument apparently became quite heated and resulted in Reynolds yelling “Get the limey out of here.”

    “I don’t want to speak ill of the dead, poor bugger,” says Houser, “but we don’t bring in name actors anymore because of their egos and, most important of all, because we believe we get a better sense of immersion using talented actors whose voices you don’t recognize.”

    Houser also referenced the trouble he had working with Public Enemy’s Chuck D during the development of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Houser says that he thinks "rappers really want to do the work right" which may have resulted in he and Chuck D having some creative disputes during the voice acting sessions. In any case, Houser says that such incidents led to Rockstar moving away from focusing on casting celebrity voice actors. Of course, they'll still bring in outside talent (such as veteran actor Graham Greene who appears in RDR 2) if they think they're right for the part. 

    "He [Greene] did such a brilliant job of bringing this chief character to life," says Houser. "The government is coming down on him hard. He’s losing his rights as an independent king, and he’s a gentle soul in that violent world."

    We'd be lying if we told you that there isn't something appealing about playing a star-studded Rockstar game like GTA: Vice City (which featured performers like Ray Liotta, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, andGary Busey), but we certainly understand how that process can impact Rockstar's ability to tell the kind of stories they want to tell in an effective and timely manner. 

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

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    Sega has seemingly cancelled an ambitious remake of the Shenmue series.

    shenmue remake sega
    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 15, 2018

    Eurogamer has uncovered some footage and new details of a Shenmue remake that was never finished. 

    No, we're not talking about the recent HD remasters of Shenmue. We're talking about a fully-fledged remake of the original game in the style of the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake. That is to say that it would have completely updated the game's visuals and mechanics as opposed to simply glossing over the original titles with a thin coat of HD gloss. 

    By comparison, the footage of this remake that Eurogamer has uncovered showcases a pretty stunning overhaul of the cult classic Dreamcast title. Why it doesn't look like the team behind this remake were trying to completely reimagine the original game (many of the original areas look roughly the same) they were clearly interested in making a version of Shenmue that stands tall next to the best looking games of the modern era

    Truth be told, it appears that they were well on their way to accomplishing that goal. The environments showcased in this remake footage are stunning from a purely technical standpoint, but the games revamped visuals really do an excellent job of showing just how well the artistic design of Shenmuehas aged. We kind of got a taste of that in the HD remasters, but we saw nothing on the scale of this incredible remake. 

    So why was this project canceled? Nobody seems to know the official answer to that question. However, the smart money is on the project just costing too much money. Remakes of this scope can sometimes cost as much as making a modern game from scratch, and the fact that this footage includes what appears to be a complete visual remake of Shenmue IImeans that you can double the size of that development bill. We imagine the final cost would have been just shy of the production costs of Shenmue III

    Sega did indicate that this footage represents just a snapshot of their plans for a full remake of the original games, but it doesn't sound like they have any immediate plans to finish this project in the near future.

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    PS4 users are reporting that a malicious message is bricking their consoles.

    PS4 Message Hack
    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 15, 2018

    You might want to change your PlayStation message options to avoid a potential system breaking hack. 

    Some PlayStation 4 users are reporting that they are receiving a message from an unknown party that is essentially "bricking" their consoles. A screenshot and some additional information provided by users on the PlayStation subreddit suggests that this message contains a series of characters that the PlayStation cannot properly process. It's not clear at this time whether just receiving the message can break your console or if you need to actually open the message. 

    In any case, if you want to avoid this entirely, you can just go to Settings, Account Management,  Privacy Settings, Enter your password, Personal Info, Messaging, and set messages to either friends only or disable them entirely. If you have already been affected by this hack, you will likely have to perform a factory reset on your console to fix it. 

    We should also note at this time that Sony has not confirmed the existence of this message hack or the way it might affect your console. However, multiple users from multiple sites have reported receiving similar messages fairly recently. If this is a hoax, it's one that we'd still advise buying into for the time being given that the downside of doing so isn' nearly as great as the potential downside of taking no action whatsoever. 

    Besides, this is hardly unprecedented. There have been numerous reports in the past of phones being bricked due to messages that couldn't be properly processed by the device's software. It's not hard to imagine that something similar might happen to a console. 

    It also sounds like some people are using this exploit - or one similar to it - in order to force people to drop out of competitive games and therefore receive higher rankings in games like Rainbow Six Siege. Again, that's hardly unheard of, but keep an eye out for more official information regarding this possible exploit. 

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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    Fans are concerned over Red Dead Redemption 2's crunch time figures.

    Red Dead Redemption 2 Rockstar
    News Matthew Byrd
    Oct 15, 2018

    In an interview with New York Magazine, Rockstar's Dan Houser stated that he and some members of the team were working some very long weeks in order to finish Red Dead Redemption 2.

    “We were working 100-hour weeks," says Houser. He then elaborated on the incredible amount of work that goes into a game like this by stating that they even made "70 versions" the game's trailers and television commercials with the team's editors probably working on "several hundred" versions of those spots. 

    These comments caused some people to become quite concerned regarding what Rockstar expects of their employees. After all, we've heard quite a few stories in recent years about studios that will force their employees to endure hundreds of hours of crunch time in order to complete a project. More often than not, these hours are either mandatory or at least strongly encouraged. There are even times when this extra work is not rewarded with additional pay, time off, or any other benefits. 

    In response to those concerns, Houser issued a separate statement that clarifies that the hours of work he was talking about were limited to a small number of senior staff and were not demanded of from any other member of the team. 

    "After working on the game for seven years, the senior writing team, which consists of four people, Mike Unsworth, Rupert Humphries, Lazlow and myself, had, as we always do, three weeks of intense work when we wrapped everything up," said Houser. "More importantly, we obviously don’t expect anyone else to work this way. Across the whole company, we have some senior people who work very hard purely because they’re passionate about a project, or their particular work, and we believe that passion shows in the games we release. But that additional effort is a choice, and we don’t ask or expect anyone to work anything like this."

    However, it should be noted that this is not the first time that Rockstar has been called over how many hours they require their employees to work. In 2010, spouses of members of the Rockstar San Diego team published an open letter in which they claimed that studio employees were being overworked at the same time that the studio was removing some of their benefits. They questioned how games like Grand Theft Auto could generate a billion dollars in revenue while the people who made the game were forced to endure worse conditions.  

    Matthew Byrd is a staff writer for Den of Geek. He spends most of his days trying to pitch deep-dive analytical pieces about Killer Klowns From Outer Space to an increasingly perturbed series of editors. You can read more of his work here or find him on Twitter at @SilverTuna014

    Read and download the Den of Geek NYCC 2018 Special Edition Magazine right here!

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