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    The No Man's Sky team returns with The Last Campfire.

    The Last Campfire Trailer
    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 7, 2018

    No Man's Sky developer Hello Games revealed their next project, The Last Campfire, during the 2018 Game Awards. 

    It seems like this game is really just a passion project for a few of the people working within Hello Games. That would seem to suggest that quite a few people are still working on updates to No Man's Sky. Regardless, the few people that are working on this game have certainly created something intriguing. 

    The Last Campfire tells the story of an ember that has found itself in a strange place full of mystery and danger.  It doesn't know how it got where it is or who it is going to get back home. That nature of the game's story means that the developers aren't exactly sharing every detail of the title's plot and premise. That makes it a little difficult to say for sure exactly what kind of game this will be.

    However, some of the devs working on this game did cite names like The Witness, Journey, and Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons when describing it. That would seem to suggest that this is going to be a very atmospheric adventure title driven by its story, characters, and style. That last part was certainly on full display in the game's debut trailer as The Last Campfire is already an undeniably beautiful title with some great music. 

    What it is beyond that remains to be seen. In any case, it's interesting to see Hello Games pursue such a smaller project after spending so much time on the infamous No Man's Sky. At the same time, this is something that a lot of studios that produced a best-selling game used to do. It takes us back to the days when Rockstar would use that Grand Theft Auto money to fund games like Table Tennis, The Warriors, and Bully. Now, it's just a question as to whether or not Hello Games can use this small title to showcase why the initial failures of No Man's Sky are long behind them. 

    There is no official release date or available platforms listed for The Last Campfire, so be sure to keep an eye on this one as more information becomes available in the coming months. 

    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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    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch! Here is the debut trailer...

    Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3
    News John Saavedra
    Dec 7, 2018

    A new Marvel Ultimate Alliance game is coming exclusively to the Nintendo Switch. Revealed during The Game Awards, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order sees Marvel's greatest heroes team up to protect the Earth from its biggest threat yet. Team Ninja, the studio behind Nioh, is working on the game, which is set for a 2019 release. 

    This the first Ultimate Alliance game since 2009. The series features an extensive roster of characters from the comics, all with their own unique abilities and powers, for cooperative missions and challenges. Ultimate Alliance 3 seems to take a bit of inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as several of the characters designs and voices resemble ones from the movies. The game will feature Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy, and more.

    This time the World's Mightiest Heroes are teaming up to fight the Black Order, a group of warmasters led by Thanos. Plot details are slim beyond that, but we wouldn't be surprised if Thanos' plan involves the Infinity Gauntlet in some way.

    Further Reading: Everything We Know About Square Enix's Avengers Game

    Here's the debut trailer:

    According to the game's official blurb:

    "The new game features the same kind of action-RPG gameplay that made the franchise such a hit over a decade ago. In Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order, up to four players can drop in for co-op battles in a variety of ways: They can play online, link up offline via local wireless or pass a Joy-Con controller to a friend to join the team. With another pair of Joy-Con (sold separately), four players can team up on one system. In addition to the series' traditional perspective, the new entry will let players select a dynamic, zoomed-in heroic view, allowing for a more immersive play style for single-player or multiplayer when using multiple systems."

    Further Reading: Avengers Endgame Trailer Breakdown and Analysis

    We'll keep you updated as we learn more about the game!

    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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    At last, there's a mobile game worthy of Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl! Check out Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War...

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War
    FeatureJohn Saavedra
    Dec 7, 2018

    This article is sponsored by Joycity.

    If you've ever dreamed of searching for treasure with Captain Jack Sparrow, going head to head against the vile Hector Barbossa, launching a brave escape out of Davy Jones' locker, or taking the fight to the East India Trading Company, Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War is the mobile game for you. Developed by Joycity, the game puts you in the boots of a treasure-loving pirate of your own creation and at the helm of your very own fleet of ships for a series of adventures inspired by the Disney movies. 

    This free-to-play title not only lets you join up with some of the most beloved pirates from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, including Captain Jack, who thrusts you into trouble almost as soon as your story begins, but also lets you take a deep dive into the intricacies of naval warfare. Tides of War features an epic story involving Jack's lost memories, which sets you on an adventure through the events of the movies, as well as an addictive strategy element that caters to both hardcore RTS fans and casual players.

    The first step to becoming a great pirate in Tides of War, besides making sure a drunken Jack doesn't blow anything up or make any deals he can't keep, is securing resources to build your fleet and feed the "noble" pirates who will join you on your voyages. At the start of the game, you're given a fortress that becomes your base of operations as well as your last line of defense against enemy pirates and the East India Company. Establishing fields, lumber mills, a weapon workshop, a tavern, mines, shipyards, docks, a library, and even a pub is key to success in your ventures. If that sounds a bit overwhelming, don't worry, Jack's first mate, Mr. Gibbs, is there to help get your fortress and fleet up to snuff. 

    Download Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War

    From there, you're free to sail the seas at will, fighting monsters such as mermaids, giant lobsters, and banshees for treasure and XP, completing story missions in sea witch Shansa's mysterious cave, and attacking other players for the ultimate glory. But beware, trying to take out other pirates before you've leveled up your character, your ships, and your fortress could prove perilous.

    We spent a bit of time with Tides of War and were really impressed with its many nods to the movies. Tides of War opens with a tutorial section to ease you into its strategy and role-playing elements (expect a few skills trees and customization options) that then opens up to a larger story mode, as you fight through many of the most famous battles from the movies in order to unlock Jack's memories, which have been stolen by Shansa. You'll play through Barbossa's initial attack on Port Royal, where the pirate kidnaps Elizabeth. A few story missions later, you'll sail to Isla de Muerta just in time to save Jack, Will Turner, and Elizabeth from Barbossa before the pirate can lift the curse of Cortes' Aztec treasure.

    Those are just the events of The Curse of the Black Pearl. Later missions will put you face to face with Davy Jones from Dead Man's Chest and thwart the East India Trading Company after the events of At World's End. With nods to the events of Dead Men Tell No Tales, the latest installment in the film series, Tides of War is a voyage through the movies like none other and it's all in the palm of your hand. Fans of the movies, mobile gaming enthusiasts, and casual players will all find something to love about Joycity's love letter to Pirates of the Caribbean.

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Tides of War is available now on both iOS and Android


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    Sonic the Hedgehog is coming to the big screen in a live-action movie set to arrive in 2019. Here's your first look...

    Sonic the Hedgehog Movie
    News John SaavedraMike Cecchini
    Dec 10, 2018

    Sonic the Hedgehog, veteran of countless video games, animated series, and a long-running comic book series from Archie Comics is coming to the big screen.

    Deadpool director Tim Miller is going to serve as executive producer on the film along with Jeff Fowler. Fowler will direct. Neal H. Moritz of the Fast & Furious movies is producing with Toby Ascher. Dmitri Johnson and Dan Jevons are co-producers.

    Here's everything we know about the movie so far:

    Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Trailer

    In lieu of a real trailer, IGN has revealed a first look at the upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie with a motion poster that teases what the beloved video game icon will look like in live-action. We can tell from the first image that live-action Sonic is going to be a bit divisive...

    Here it is:

    Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Release Date

    Sonic the Hedgehog will premiere on Nov. 8, 2019. 

    Sonic the Hedgehog Movie Cast

    Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation) will become the voice of Sonic. His past voice work includes Dewey Duck on Disney's DuckTales reboot.

    Jim Carrey (The Bad Batch) will play the villainous Dr. Robotnik, the main antagonist of the video game series. He absolutely loves to trap cute little animals inside evil robots created to destroy Sonic once and for all. In Japan, this character is actually named Eggman due to his shape. 

    James Marsden (Westworld) has also been cast in a key role as Tom Wachowski, the sheriff of Green Hills. (Green Hill Zone, of course, is the first and most famous stage of the original Sonic the Hedgehog game.) Wachowski ends up on a road trip to San Francisco with Sonic to stop the evil Dr. Robotnik.

    The cast is rounded out by Natasha Rothwell, Tika Sumpter, Neal McDonough, and Adam Pally.

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

    Mike Cecchini is the Editor in Chief of Den of GeekYou can read more of his work here. Follow him on Twitter @wayoutstuff.


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    Causing carnage as Rico Rodriguez has never felt more creative (and repetitive) than in Just Cause 4. Our review...

    Just Cause 4 Review
    ReviewAaron Potter
    Dec 10, 2018

    Release Date: December 4, 2018
    Platform: PS4 (reviewed), Xbox One
    Developer: Avalanche Studios
    Publisher: Square Enix
    Genre: Action-Adventure

    “A plan is just a list of things that go wrong,” quips Rico Rodriguez, Just Cause 4’s thrill-seeking protagonist in a cutscene that plays out mere moments before he sets off on yet another explosion spree. He’ll claim that it’s all in aid of helping the poor people of Solis fight back against a notorious dictatorship occupying their country, but really, deep down, we can’t help but feel that it’s some deeply hidden desire to fulfill a perverse appetite for destruction that sets Rico on his new mission. Those with a similar taste for explosions will find it in this fourth entry of Square Enix’s physics-defying series, even if the ensuing chaos does collapse at times.

    Just as players familiar with the franchise might expect, Just Cause 4 continues the previous game’s fetish for letting you wreak havoc within an exotic open world paradise. Your primary methods of doing so consist of the typical tools found in other games of its ilk: military vehicles, heavy artillery, gadgets… But it’s really through freedom of movement where Just Cause 4 stands apart and taking down the baddies is most found. This is all made possible by Rico’s returning grapple hook, which lets you approach hostile situations however you choose thanks to its long-range, varied function.

    Further Reading: 30 Games You Need to Play in 2019

    Let’s say you’re tasked with destroying a series of generators key to decreasing the occupying enemy force’s influence. You could set an objective marker, drive up to the facility, and go in all guns blazing sure, but only in Just Cause 4 can you dive off one of the island’s many high peaks, pop your parachute before gliding down to the compound using your wingsuit, zipping your way around the compound via grapple hook while also using it to manipulate the environment around you before turning it on bad guys. Realistic? No. Outlandish? Yes. But boy, does is allow you to realize your ‘80s action movie fantasies – all in a manner of your choosing.

    Just Cause 4has you consistently engaged in improvisational scenarios such as this, tethered together by the faintest of plots. This is to say that, in terms of narrative, the game suffers from a very distinct sense of "been there done that"– even by open world game standards. Much like how Just Cause 3 saw you liberate town after town in the effort to overthrow an evil dictator, the plot here is unnervingly similar. The only real difference is that Rico Rodriguez has slightly more personal investment in his actions this time after finding evidence that his late father was working with the Black Hand, Just Cause 4’s evil faction.

    Thankfully, there are a few new elements introduced that help shake up the Just Cause formula ever so slightly. Chief among them are the added customization options available for the grappling hook. Whereas before using it to your advantage would be a simple case of connecting objects together to create an all-to addictive chain of action and reaction, here it’s increased ten-fold by an enhanced booster rocket and what’s called an air lifter. You’re able to select which one to prioritize and how it functions from a loadout menu, rendering said loadouts interchangeable on the fly.

    Booster rockets have appeared previously in Just Cause, but now you’re able to attach as many as you’d like to any object of your choosing. Trust us, there can be something quite therapeutic about blasting a ship across the river and into an enemy radio dish. Air lifters equally let you control your environment in stylish and inventive ways, tethering balloons to anything in sight until it’s raining cars and satellite dishes. Pulling off these creative maneuvers in Just Cause 4 can initially feel cumbersome, but there's nothing more rewarding than orchestrating them in such a way that you’re able to unleash a Rube Goldberg machine of anarchy.

    Further Reading: 25 Best Japanese Games Not Available in the U.S.

    Speaking of anarchy, while the core tenets of what Just Cause 4 has you doing often suffer from a general feeling of familiarity and repetition, it is at least offset somewhat by a handful of missions centered around intense weather. At multiple times in the "story," the usual cycle of shooting, grappling, and mayhem-unleashing is broken up by missions that force you to contend with bouts of lightning, whirlwinds, and sandstorms – all of which show up to the party to help keep Rico on his toes, even if these sequences are a tad fleeting.

    With explosions, weather effects, and skydiving a common sight in Just Cause 4, perhaps it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise to learn that the game often struggles to cope. Frame rate dips, slow down, and the occasional freeze can make Rico’s adventures a technical mess at times. There are also a few character models that don’t look particularly great. It’s a shame, as these instances pull you right out of the action. Don’t get us wrong the game is ultimately playable, but it does lack the polish most players will likely expect from most AAA games released today.

    Just Cause 4 is the perfect open world adventure for those looking to cut loose and just scratch that adrenaline junkie itch. It neatly slots into a small category of games whose core objective is to offer players an unrelenting sense of fun by turning everything up to 11. Despite the slight monotony that comes from some repetitive mission design and a few slips on the technical side,Just Cause 4 delivers the same thrills found in prior entries with the odd mechanical upgrade thrown in.

    3/5


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    We've played the Red Dead Online beta and have some thoughts about Red Dead Redemption 2's online mode. Here are our hands-on impressions...

    Red Dead Online Hands-on Impressions
    ReviewJohn Saavedra
    Dec 11, 2018

    This Red Dead Online article contains spoilers.

    The fog rolls in during a night ride in the Heartlands. I've just left four men for dead on some train tracks, the memory of their final pleas for mercy still fresh in my mind, when suddenly a stranger approaches from just up the dirt path. I'm nervous. I do not know this stranger or his intentions. Is it Death come for me for my sins, for the decaying soul of a man who would steal and kill for money? My long journey from Tumbleweed to Valentine has taught me to expect the worst and so I draw my revolver (a dirty thing; I'll need to find gun oil later). 

    A few tense moments as the stranger (perhaps my killer) approaches, both our horses moving slowly toward a collision. Only a few seconds to make a decision. I can see him now, covered in shadow, a wide hat hiding his face, but I know where to aim. Then, almost face to face, he makes his move. I prepare to aim for his head and he...waves? Quietly, he rides on until he's lost again in the fog. 

    While not the explosive encounter you probably hoped for, tense moments like this one make up the best Red Dead Online's beta has to offer so far. From meeting players on the road to jumping into a random shootout, I've had the most fun with Red Dead Redemption II's online mode when organically interacting with others. These encounters feel unpredictable, especially when you run into someone in a secluded part of the mode's giant map. In fact, it's the emptiness of Rockstar's version of the Wild West, where no one can hear you scream for help, that makes every interaction feel dangerous. 

    It's not all tension, of course. During my first few days with the beta, I also participated in four-player cooperative story missions, side quests, horses races, manic team shootouts in the middle of Western towns, and a few public events that provide a variety of activities when roaming through the map. Red Dead Online is a really enjoyable experience so far, even though it definitely has an assortment of kinks it still needs to iron out. 

    Story

    Not unlike Rockstar's other big online gambit, GTA Online, Red Dead Onlineopens with quite a bit of handholding, as you meet the major players in the mode's story and get acquainted with the progression system. The first few hours of gameplay don't offer anything particularly captivating in terms of the story, which involves a prison escape courtesy of a mysterious benefactor and a plot to avenge a man's murder. Most of the story missions I played felt more like tutorial levels meant to show you how to use treasure maps or where to sell stolen horses or how to set up a camp than meaningful narrative. 

    Some of the more interesting story missions involve helping lawmen pursue criminals and bring them to justice. There's also a great assault on a fort that sees you man a cannon to shoot down a horde of enemies. While these missions involve tons of action and at least one unexpected setpiece in a canyon that doubles as a hideout for a gang of bandits, I found these sections a bit repetitive. Most of these missions can be completed by shooting your way through all the bad guys and escorting a specific NPC back to the quest giver.

    I didn't really feel that the four-player co-op was even particularly necessary for most missions, as there weren't that many enemies to shoot in the first place (except in the aforementioned canyon and fort sections). That said, perhaps these cooperative missions are more fun with your gun-toting buddies. Unless you roll up with a posse (Red Dead Online's version of a four-player squad), matchmaking will set you up with three random players. One positive thing to note about matchmaking is that the wait time to jump into a mission or match is almost non-existent. I expected long waits in lobbies since this is a beta, but so far, that hasn't been a problem. 

    Further Reading: Red Dead Redemption 2 Review

    Some story missions also offer an interesting voting system that allows your team to decide what to do with your target. For instance, one mission sees you take out a cabin full of thugs in order to find a man's wife. When you meet the woman, she tells you that she doesn't want to return to her husband and that she's fallen in love with one of the bandits. This triggers a voting sequence where your team can choose to either bring her back to the husband or let her escape. In this particular instance, the vote was a tie and one of my teammates decided to just shoot the woman's lover and escort her back for the money. While that wouldn't have been my choice (I voted to let her go), it seems that there was nothing I could do to stop my teammate since it was a tie vote. 

    On the technical side, the story missions are where I encountered the most lag, from dead enemies taking several seconds to fall over to being suddenly teleported to a different area during a shootout. The most annoying glitch I've had to deal with so far is when a quest marker won't appear on the map. Fortunately, after a restart, these quests usually do show up, but it took me at least a few tries to trigger one particular quest to appear on my map. Most of these kinks aren't game breaking though, but they do show where the mode still needs work. 

    So far, the main story is the element of Red Dead Online that leaves the most to be desired, but that feels like a small gripe since Red Dead Redemption II already features a massive story mode for players to enjoy. Even as I write this, more missions continue to pop up on my map, so there's clearly more to discover yet. 

    Free Roam

    Speaking of discovery, Red Dead Online takes place on the same exact map as the story mode, meaning that there's a lot of ground to cover once you're free to explore. Strangers sprinkled around the map offer side quests such as fetching a lost cart for Bonnie MacFarlane, a major character from the first game, or delivering mail for the post office. The latter even pits you against other players, who can rob the mailbag from you as you ride to your destination. There are plenty of Strangers to talk to from the start, which should offer up a nice chunk of stuff to do when not completing main missions or exploring the multiplayer playlists.

    Free roam events also allow you meet up with other players for special multiplayer matches, including a bow and arrow challenge where you have to hit targets around a town while also taking out other players. The more bullseyes you hit and people you kill, the more points you get. After getting a couple of kills with the bow and arrow, you'll unlock a rifle, which should make disposing of the other players a bit easier. It's a fast-paced and frantic race for points that's surprisingly fun and shows how Rockstar's thinking outside the box for its online Western world. 

    Another free roam event is more of a traditional free-for-all deathmatch where players can only use sidearms. It's a pretty fun way to practice your Dead Eye skills and shooting from the hip.

    Further Reading: Revisiting Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare

    These free roam events pop up at random and they're a nice way to break up the monotony of riding around from point A to point B. Just accept the invite that pops up on your HUD and you'll be teleported to the event area. My only complaint about these events is that, once a match is over, you're not sent back to where you were before joining the event. Instead, you're left to ride all the way back on your own, which gets a little annoying when you end up especially out of the way of where you need to be. You can find a fast travel post and pay $5 of in-game currency to head back to the proximity of where you were, but money feels a bit more scarce in Red Dead Online than in the story mode for the obvious microtransaction-related reasons I'll get to in just a minute. 

    Your camp is another minor annoyance in that you can't fast travel to it outright. There are ways to circumvent having to ride across the giant map to get to your camp, of course, such as fast traveling to a nearby town or choosing to free roam in a different region of the map in the Online start menu. You can also move your camp closer to you for $2 of in-game currency, which seems silly, especially since your follower, an old coot named Cripps, inexplicably moves your camp around the map when you're not looking. One second he might be in Rio Bravo and the next the camp will be in the Great Plains. I get what the game is going for, automatically moving your camp closer to your location, but so far, Cripps has missed the mark every single time, making me trek back or spend money to reach something as simple as my wardrobe or my lockbox.

    Microtransactions

    Here comes the kicker: Red Dead Online allows you to buy a fast travel post for your camp once you've hit Level 65 (!!) or you can unlock it early for 112 Gold Bars, the game's not-so-subtle hint that microtransactions are coming down the line. Yes, Red Dead Online does allow you to unlock a fast travel post for your camp without spending any real money, but it seems that it will take an exorbitant amount of time to do so -- not to mention that fast travel is such a basic feature that it should be free in the first place.

    While microtransactions are (mercifully) turned off at the moment, you can already see how Rockstar plans to stick its hands in your pockets. There will absolutely be players who will pull out their wallets for the convenience of a fast travel post in their camps as soon as possible. That darn camp is just annoying enough to almost convince me to buy some Gold Bars.

    Further Reading: Revisiting Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar's Western Adventure

    It's not clear how much Gold Bars will cost in real money at the moment, but early estimates suggest that it could take up to eight hours to earn ONE Gold Bar through gameplay for those who don't want to spend any of their hard-earned cash. Red Dead Online doles out gold nuggets for completing multiplayer matches at a snail's pace -- about 2 to 4 gold nuggets per match. It takes 100 gold nuggets to make a single Gold Bar. Now go calculate how long it's going to take you to earn 112 Gold Bars for that damn fast travel post I won't stop telling you about. You might as well hold off for Level 65. 

    Wisely, Rockstar has seemingly focused Red Dead Online's microtransactions on cosmetic items, such as clothing, nicer digs, designs for your weapons, and the aforementioned fast trav--okay, I'll shut up about it. There don't seem to be any pay-to-win opportunities hidden within those microtransactions just yet, but as the game's economy hasn't been turned on yet, it remains to be seen what final form it takes. 

    Progression System

    As far as character progression is concerned, it's your basic setup in terms of leveling. You earn XP by completing missions, participating in multiplayer matches, and other activities. Each level you reach unlocks more items you can buy in your catalog, which you can use to buy most of the things you might need from anywhere on the map without having to visit specific stores. Items you purchase will be delivered to the lockbox back at your camp. Items you unlock by leveling up include clothing, weapons, horse breeds, saddles, and other equipment. While it might feel a little convoluted at first, considering all items are available for purchase from the start in story mode, I found that I could always get all the basic things I needed, even at the earliest levels. 

    On top of rank unlocks, players also unlock ability cards, which contain special perks for your Dead Eye as well as passives. One Dead Eye perk, "A Moment to Recuperate," allows you to regain health while in Dead Eye, while "Slow and Steady" limits the amount of damage you take while in a gunfight. You also get three passive slots, which can be unlocked at levels 10, 20, and 40 respectively. All of these cards can be upgraded by earning more XP as well. 

    Further Reading: The Legacy of Manhunt, Rockstar's Horror Masterpiece

    The story mode's honor system also makes a return in Red Dead Online. This time around, how honorable you are directly affects the sorts of missions and tasks you can perform. Play as a good guy and you'll unlock missions that reflect that status, such as helping a marshal put a known felon behind bars. If you're of a ruthless killer, you may instead help someone break out of jail. Your actions, whether to spare or kill someone, how you treat innocents, and whether you steal from others, will directly affect your experience as you progress. I'm playing as mostly a good guy, who just so happens to enjoy throwing the corpses of those he's murdered into campfires, but may take a turn for the worse in order to try out some of the more rogue missions. 

    Multiplayer

    I've also spent a bit of time with Red Dead Online's multiplayer, which is broken up into three playlists: Showdown Series, Showdown Series Large, and Race Series. Showdown Series and Showdown Series Large offer up the PvP third-person shooter match types for 16 and 32 players, respectively.

    Match types include Shootout and Team Shootout, your typical solo and team-based deathmatches; Make It Count, Red Dead Online's bow-and-arrow version of a battle royale mode; Hostile Territory, your standard capture-and-defend-the-territory contest; Most Wanted, a take on King of the Hill where players hunt down the top scorer; and the creative Name Your Weapon, a deathmatch variant in which you're awarded points based on what weapon you use for the kill. The latter is a lot of fun, as you have to use quick thinking when deciding whether to rush into a situation with your bayonet, which will earn you more points for the kill, or get yourself out of a sticky situation with your repeater (fewer points). The Race series is a bit more straightforward but no less enjoyable, with classic races to a finish line as well as a match type where you have to hit markers sprinkled around a course as quickly as possible. 

    Overall, the multiplayer provides more of an arcade experience for those just looking to shoot things with friends or race other players on their favorite steed. The team deathmatch modes offer up a bit of a twist in terms of the number of teams competing for the win. Some matches are played between two teams, but others will see players sorted into multiple teams, creating a perfect storm of bullets in town squares, as you and your teammates are assaulted on all sides. Each team is represented by a color and a team name. I assume this is how "persistent posses,"Red Dead Online's version of a clan system, will come into play. Rolling up to a shootout with your custom-named posse will undoubtedly add some pride and ownership to the experience.

    Further Reading: What's Next for Rockstar After Red Dead Redemption II?

    I have to mention that I don't love Red Dead's shooting mechanics (or GTA V's for that matter). Pulling the trigger always feels a bit stiff and having to visit a weapon wheel to switch weapons feels very outdated in this era of fast-paced shooters. You basically have to rely completely on Dead Eye if you want to pull off a quick, clean kill. Some people are already pretty sick at Dead Eye kills in the multiplayer, but to me, it feels like I'm being forced to press two or three extra buttons just to score a headshot. My advice is that you spend a lot of time shooting NPCs in the story mode before facing off against other humans who know how to not run in a straight line. 

    The real standout for me is the horseracing, which mixes a standard race to the finish line with guns. As you race through the course, you're able to kick and punch other players off their horses and also unlock guns by riding through barrels that contain perks to help you along (think the item boxes in Mario Kart). You'll need to hit these barrels in order to keep your horse's stamina up too, as it won't last through the whole race. There's something really twisted about shooting down your fellow competitors in the final stretch of the race, their limp bodies flying off the track. I recommend the rush of adrenaline.

    I've not spent any time with Make It Count, but I suspect Red Dead Online's battle royale mode deserves its own article anyway. I'm going to give it a try this weekend and report back. 

    Work in Progress

    Red Dead Online feels like a new frontier for Rockstar's Western epic and I hope the studio continues to improve on the experience. There's no proper release date for the mode as of yet, so expect a lot of trial and error in the coming weeks.

    One thing to keep an eye out for is the game's economy, which isn't quite as balanced as I'd like it to be. Eight hours to earn a single Gold Bar feels like less of an accomplishment or well-earned reward and more of a way to make impatient players spend money to cut down on the time it'll take to earn the currency through gameplay. I'm hopeful that Rockstar will at least continue to restrict microtransactions to cosmetics where they belong. 

    The business of Red Dead Online aside, I'm having a lot of fun with the mode so far and I look forward to seeing how the experience changes as more players jump into the servers and more posses form. Rockstar will finish rolling out beta access to all players on Nov. 30. 

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


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    If it's a popular video game series, there's probably a movie in the works. Here are 41 video game movies in development...

    Video Game Movies - Resident Evil
    Feature John SaavedraMatthew ByrdRyan LambieSimon BrewJoseph BaxterDon KayeChris LongoTony SokolNick HarleyElizabeth Rayne
    Dec 11, 2018

    In the years since Den of Geek first sprung into existence, we’ve consistently kept an eye on the video games that have been touted for the big screen treatment. We’ve tried to list them all in a big article a few times before, and it feels like the time has come to pull a new version together.

    Out of the hundreds of thousands of films in the world currently in development, a large number of them serve as adaptations for (mostly) successful video games and video game franchises. Some have been seen on our screens before either via a previous adaptation or television series, while some are just getting their first shot on the big screen.

    Whichever category they fall into, they still have to navigate their way through the difficult world of filmmaking, with many of them inevitably forever damned to development hell. The following are just a few of these adaptations hoping to someday become a success.

    RELEASE DATE CONFIRMED

    Angry Birds 2 - September 20, 2019

    Despite the fact that it's an Angry Birds movie, the first movie made back its $73 million production budget and then some, with a $346.9 million take globally. Which means that Roxio Entertainment has greenlit a sequel. God help us.

    Further Reading: How the World Became Obsessed with Pokemon

    Detective Pikachu - May 10, 2019

    The Detective Pikachu movie will not only see the most famous fictional rodent since Mickey Mouse star in his own feature film (voiced by Deadpool star Ryan Reynolds), but will also serve as a live-action debut for the Pokémon franchise overall!

    Justice Smith (Get Down) co-stars as a kid who needs to find his missing father, and Kathryn Newton (Big Little Lies), who is described as a "sassy journalist" who helps Smith's character and Detective Pikachu on the case.

    Detective Pikachu is being helmed by Rob Letterman, who is best known for adapting R.L. Stine's '90s kid nostalgia pic, Goosebumps, for Sony. Turning that into an all-ages comedy did wonders for the studio, and a sequel is expected to be on the way. Alex Hirsch and Nicole Perlman penned the script for Detective Pikachu.

    Sonic the Hedgehog - Nov. 15, 2019

    What took them so long? Sonic the Hedgehog, veteran of countless video games, an animated series, and a long-running comic book series from Archie Comics is coming to the big screen.

    Tim Miller, who has a little time on his hands after leaving the director's chair on Deadpool 2, is going to serve as executive producer on the film along with Jeff Fowler, who will also direct. Neal H. Moritz of the Fast & Furious movies is producing with Takeshi Ito and Mie Onishi. Patrick Casey and Josh Miller (Golan the Insatiable) are writing the script.

    James Marsden (Westworld) is set to star. Jim Carrey will play the villainous Dr. Robotnik while Ben Schwartz (Parks & Recreation) will voice Sonic. 

    Further Reading: 50 Underrated PlayStation 2 Games

    IN DEVELOPMENT

    Altered Beast - TBA

    Back in 2016, Stories International (Sega’s production arm) and studio Circle of Confusion announced that they would collaboratively adapt the fantasy arcade action game Altered Beast.


    Borderlands - TBA

    A movie based on Gearbox and Take-Two’s immensely popular sci-fi game went into development back in 2015. Lionsgate will be the studio taking us to the abandoned-by-the-big-wigs frontier planet of Pandora.

    They’ve recruited producers Avi Arad and his son Ari Arad, both of whom were involved in initially bringing Iron Man, Spider-Man, and the X-Men to the big screen. We’ve got high hopes.

    Further Reading: 50 Underrated Multiplayer Games

    Call of Duty: Black Ops II

    Call of Duty Movie - TBA

    Yes, the Call of Duty movie is happening! Stefano Sollima, director of Sicario 2: Solado, is in talks to direct the planned film adaptation of the Call of Duty franchise. 

    Activision Blizzard Studios - the film and television division of Activision Blizzard - is currently negotiating with Sollima in the hopes that he will sign-on to the project. However, no representative from Activision Blizzard Studios will confirm that the studio is in negotiations with the director at this time. 

    Details regarding the film itself are unfortunately few and far between at the moment. Vague reports indicate that Activision Blizzard has an interest in potentially developing a film universe designed around the Call of Duty franchise. Much like how the Call of Duty franchise explores various eras of combat and occasionally uses familiar faces, it seems that some within the company hope that films based on the franchise can lead to a similar expanded universe.

    Carmen Sandiego - TBA

    Carmen Sandiego will soon become easy to find on Netflix. In addition to the forthcoming animated TV series picked up by Netflix, the streamer is doubling down by greenlighting a live-action film. Gina Rodriguez is set to star in the live-action adaptation, taking on the role of the titular ‘90s multimedia character.

    Don’t worry, gumshoes, Netflix plans to keep the Carmen continuity intact as Rodriguez will also voice the character in the animated series.

    Mark Perez has been tasked to pen an adaptation script for the circuitously mysterious franchise. Perez is a screenwriter with comedy leanings, whose work was recently seen in this past February’s Game Night, which was his first theatrical effort after a long layoff from a string of films that included 2006’s Accepted, 2005’s Herbie: Fully Loaded, and 2002’s The Country Bears. The search for a director, however, is still ongoing.

    Further Reading: Why Arcades Are Making a Comeback

    Centipede - TBA

    That’s right, Centipede and Missile Command, the Atari ‘80s arcade shooter games, are getting adapted into feature films. Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has made a deal with Atari to produce and finance the adaptations.

    In a statement about the projects, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said he was “thrilled to partner with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films to develop feature films based on two of our most beloved titles. Centipede and Missile Command are part of Atari’s unparalleled and rich library of popular games and we cannot wait to see the movies come to life.”

    The movies will be produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla (Lone Survivor). Emmett described the properties as “immensely popular titles have been enjoyed by generations of gamers worldwide. We look forward to a very successful partnership Command and to bringing Centipede and Missile Command to the big screen.”

    Atari, Stephen Belafonte, Wayne Marc Godfrey and Robert Jones will executive produce the films, but there is currently no word on directors or writers for the projects.

    Contra - TBA

    Thirty years after its initial release, Konami's classic is set to stage a comeback from an unexpected angle: a Chinese production company has announced that it's making a movie adaptation. Aside from a slight change in location, the plot sounds broadly the same as the original game's back-story. Here's the official synopsis:

    "In 1988, a huge meteorite lands on an uninhabited island in the South China Sea. Chen Qiang and Li Zhiyong investigate but come up empty handed. 29 years later, Chen sends commandos Bill and Lance into a combat mission there to neutralize the villainous Red Falcon Organization, but end up facing a different enemy altogether."

    We love that the movie retains the names of the characters from the Contra arcade machine. Like the rest of the game, Contra's steeped in 80s history and pop culture. Bill and Lance's full names are Bill Rizer and Lance Bean - a mash-up of actors' names from James Cameron's Aliens (Paul Reiser, Bill Paxton, Lance Henriksen, and Michael Biehn) - while their likenesses are evidently based on Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone.

    No release date, cast, or director announced as of yet.

    Further Reading: 25 Most Brutal Bosses in Video Games

    Dante's Inferno - TBA

    Way back in 2013, it was announced that Fede Alvarez (director of the Evil Dead remake) would be helping to bring EA's 2010 action adventure game Dante's Inferno to the big screen. Since then, news about the project has stopped almost completely leaving many to speculate that it may have been quietly canceled. 

    According to Alvarez, however, that is not the case. 

    Alvarez confirmed in 2016 that the Dante's Inferno film adaptation is still in development. He also noted that rather than having the film be based solely off of the game, he intends to draw more inspiration for the original epic poem.

    The Division - TBA

    Ubisoft Motion Pictures (a film division of the game development company) confirmed that they will be turning the controversial 2016 online shooter into a major motion picture. 

    Syriana director Stephen Gaghan has signed on to helm the high-profile movie about a post-apocalyptic New York quarantined after the spread of a deadly virus and now controlled by gangs. In the game, a small group of elite military operatives must fight back against these gangs and find a cure for the virus. We really loved the game when it first released last year.

    Gaghan will take on his first video game adaptation, although it's not his first experience with the industry. The director also wrote the script for the tepidly received first-person shooter Call of Duty: Ghosts.

    Jake Gyllenhaal has signed up to star in the adaptation and will also produce, which makes it the actor's second game-to-film project to date -- he previously starred in Disney's tepid Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time in 2010. Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) has also been cast to star alongside Gyllenhaal.  

    The game's premise is a solid basis for an action thriller: set in a wintry Manhattan beset by a deadly pandemic, it's about a small group of agents whose job is to restore order and seek out the cause of the outbreak. The dark and violent concept could be really effective in the hands of the right filmmakers.

    Duke Nukem - TBA

    It’s taken a long time, but there may be solid progress on bringing the video game character Duke Nukem to the big screen. Former wrestler John Cena - who was recently seen in Daddy's Home 2 and lent his voice to the recent animated movie Ferdinand - is in talks to take on the role. 

    It’s early stages for the project, with neither a writer nor a director in place yet. But the plan is to make this is a starring vehicle for Cena, presumably with a view toward a franchise. There’s no way that this won’t get an R rating, either.

    Further Reading: 25 Best Japanese Games Not Available in the U.S.

    Firewatch - TBA

    Firewatch, 2016's biggest entry into the "Walking Simulator" genre, is now set to be adapted into a major motion picture

    This project is part of a deal between film production company Good Universe and Firewatch's developer Campo Santo who are joining forces in order to create a subsidiary intended to connect filmmakers and game developers. The full extent of this collaboration is unknown, but Campo Santo founder Sean Vanaman did have this to say regarding the agreement. 

    The first thing the two parties plan to make is an adaptation of 2016's Firewatch which has, thus far, been one of the most surprising video game hits of 2016. Firewatch follows a man named Henry who has decided to work as a fire lookout in Wyoming. When a mysterious occurrence attracts Henry's attention and compels him to wander into the wilderness, he is soon drawn into an intriguing web of moral conflicts that must be navigated with the help of a supervisor he retains contact with through the use of a handheld radio. 

    Five Nights at Freddy's - TBA

    Five Nights at Freddy's movie plans are moving forward with revitalized momentum. The popular point-and-click horror-adventure video game series, which has become a staple on iOS and Android devices, had film adaptation plans gestating for about three years; plans that are now strapped to a proverbial rocket pack, with the selection of a proven visionary in Chris Columbus, and a genre-appropriate studio in Blumhouse.

    Chris Columbus will write and directFive Nights at Freddy’s film for Blumhouse Productions. The latest movement on the project came about after it was put into turnaround by Warner Bros./New Line back in March 2017, which landed it at Blumhouse, the upstart horror-film-friendly studio of Jason Blum, built by the likes of film franchises such as Paranormal ActivityInsidiousSinister, and The Purge.

    Five Nights at Freddy’s has yet to signal any production or release dates, but we will keep you apprised of the project’s major developments as they occur.

    Further Reading: 20 Video Games to Play in 2019

    Fruit Ninja - TBA

    Fruit Ninja is coming to the big screen. Now you can watch as someone wildly makes a fruit salad out of miles of digital celluloid. In anticipation of the all popcorn crumbs Angry Birds will be leaving in the aisles, Tripp Vinson announced it will produce a feature film treatment of the mobile app Fruit Ninja.

    The addictive game already spawned a live action version from a YouTuber named ScottDW but this one will drop from Vinson Films. The screenplay is being typed right now by JP Lavin and Chad Damiani, who adapted the book How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack.

    Fruit Ninja is the second top-selling iOS game ever. It has had over one billion downloads since it was introduced in 2010 and is now ready to be made as a live-action comedy the whole family can enjoy. Oh, they’re keeping details on the plot very secret. There are so many things you can do with apples and oranges, swords and bombs.

    The movie will be executive produced by Sam White and Tara Farney.


    Gears of War - TBA

    A feature film adaptation of the video game Gears of War, long in development but recently on the back burner, is being actively developed by producers Dylan Clark (Rise of the Planet of the Apes) and Scott Stuber (Central Intelligence), the latter of whom has been working on the project for three years.

    The news was announced by Microsoft during a live stream for the upcoming release of Gears of War 4, with the company revealing that the project has found a home at Universal Pictures (who apparently did not feel sufficiently burned by the box office flameout of its Warcraft adaptation).

    Screenwriter Shane Salerno has been hired to pen the movie. Salerno has busied himself recently by working on the four upcoming Avatar sequels with James Cameron, as well as an adaptation of Don Winslow’s book The Cartel that Ridley Scott intends to direct. And speaking of directors, Gears Of War needs one too.

    Gears of War is a third person shooter game that follows the members of Delta Squad, a team of soldiers tasked with saving the human inhabitants of a planet called Sera from an alien force known as the Locust Horde (among other creatures). 

    The idea is to not base the movie directly on any particular Gears of War game but to create a new story set in the Gears of War universe.

    Further Reading: 25 Underrated Video Game Soundtracks

    Half-Life - TBA

    While promoting, 10 Cloverfield Lane back in 2016, J.J. Abrams gave an update about Bad Robot's upcoming Half-Life movie. It's not much to go on and even Abrams says so.

    "We've got writers, and we're working on both those stories. But nothing that would be an exciting update," says Abrams, who's set to produce both films. He didn't reveal who the writers were, though.  

    Meanwhile, the Half-Life movie, which was first announced by Valve head Gabe Newell at DICE 2013, has proved to be as elusive as the games themselves. Since the film's announcement, there hadn't been any additional information until now. We assumed it was burning in development hell. Glad to see that's not the case. 

    Just Cause - TBA

    In 2017, it was reported that Jason Momoa - he of Game of Thrones and Aquaman fame - has signed on to star in the Just Cause film project. Momoa is set to play series protagonist Rico Rodriguez; a highly-skilled operative who completes various assignments for the mysterious organization known simply as the Agency. Presumably, said assignments will be completed within the confines of some exotic tropical locale, but that particular detail - along with many other aspects of the plot - is unconfirmed at this time. 

    Meanwhile, Brad Peyton (San Andreas) has been confirmed as the film's director. Interestingly, Peyton is also working on a film version of the popular arcade game Rampage which stars none other than San Andreas lead, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. We'll let you decide whether the producers that apparently looked at San Andreas and thought, "Now that's what a video game movie should look like," are in the right or not. 

    Speaking of producers, Peyton and Jeff Fierson will be handling the production of the Just Cause film via their ASAP Entertainment production company. Additional producers include Roy Lee (Vertigo Entertainment), Adrian Askarieh (Prime Universe Films), Eva Cao (Supernova Entertainment), as well as Mason Xu and Fan Dong of DNA Co. Ltd. It's worth noting that the China-based studio DNA is handling the film's financing. It seems that China's fascination with funding blockbuster action films continues to grow stronger and stronger.  

    There's no word yet on when Just Cause will start shooting or if it will include scenes featuring Rodriguez tying cows to the blades of helicopters and then tying civilians to the cows. If it's attempting to replicate the best parts of the Just Cause games, however, it most certainly should. 

    Further Reading: 25 Best Game Boy Advance Games

    The Last Of Us

    The Last of Us - TBA

    Although some would argue that the game is cinematic enough in of itself, Sony subsidiary Screen Gems (the company behind the Resident Evil film franchise) are currently working hard on bringing Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us to the big screen.

    Sam Raimi is on board as a producer, while the game’s writer, Neil Druckmann, is working on the screenplay. (Druckmann also penned the Uncharted series). Druckmann gave an update in January 2015, insisting that his screenplay would be "pretty faithful" to his original game script, despite a few "big changes."

    In March 2016, Druckmann admitted that the film is in development hell until further notice. Raimi also confirmed as much recently, citing creative differences between Druckmann and Sony in terms of the direction of the film. 

    Maisie Williams has apparently had meetings about playing the lead character, Ellie, but for now the movie doesn't seem to be moving anywhere fast. 

    Mega Man - TBA

    Mega Man is getting a live-action movie from 20th Century Fox, Capcom announced in Oct. 2018. The movie, which is tentatively titled MEGA MAN, will be written and directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, the team that previously brought you sci-fi horror film Viral and Paranormal Activity 3 and 4. They also directed the hit online dating documentary, Catfish. No release date has been set for their first foray into video game adaptations.

    Further Reading: 25 Best Mega Man Games


    Metal Gear Solid - TBA

    Jordan Vogt-Roberts is continuing to develop his planned movie take on the video game Metal Gear Solid, that Sony Pictures is backing. The film has been in gestation for some time, but it’s now getting a further helping hand from Derek Connolly.

    Connolly has been hired to work on the latest draft of the screenplay, having worked with Vogt-Roberts on the recent Kong: Skull Island. He’s also co-written Jurassic World and the upcoming Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

    There’s still no known timeframe for Metal Gear Solid on the big screen just yet, but we suspect over the next year or so, we’ll see Sony trying to push the proverbial accelerator down on the project a little. As we hear more, we’ll let you know…

    Further Reading: 25 Underrated Game Boy Games

    Minecraft - TBA

    A movie adaptation of Mojang’s massive building game Minecraft has been touted for some time. Night at the Museum director Shawn Levy was linked for a while, with unconfirmed talk suggesting that the movie might be a live-action adventure, rather than an animation.

    It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s co-creator Rob McElhenney took Levy’s place in 2015, but now he's dropped out too. McElhenney informed TheWrap that the film "is not happening" with him as director. Neither McElhenney or Warner Bros. have elaborated on the matter further, but all evidence suggests that the movie will miss its May 24, 2019 release date. At the moment, it sounds like the studio is in the midst of what some have described as a major overhaul of the planned project. 

    There's no word on who will helm the film now that McElhenney is out, but it seems that Warner Bros. has approached Aaron and Adam Nee (The Last Romantic, Band of Robbers) to pen a new script for Minecraft. The previous version of the script was written by Wonder Womanscreenwriter Jason Fuchs. 

    Missile Command - TBA

    That’s right, Centipede and Missile Command, the Atari ‘80s arcade shooter games, are getting adapted into feature films. Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films has made a deal with Atari to produce and finance the adaptations.

    In a statement about the projects, Atari CEO Fred Chesnais said he was “thrilled to partner with Emmett/Furla/Oasis Films to develop feature films based on two of our most beloved titles. Centipede and Missile Command are part of Atari’s unparalleled and rich library of popular games and we cannot wait to see the movies come to life.”

    The movies will be produced by Randall Emmett and George Furla (Lone Survivor). Emmett described the properties as “immensely popular titles have been enjoyed by generations of gamers worldwide. We look forward to a very successful partnership Command and to bringing Centipede and Missile Command to the big screen.”

    Atari, Stephen Belafonte, Wayne Marc Godfrey, and Robert Jones will executive produce the films, but there is currently no word on directors or writers for the projects.

    Further Reading: 50 Underrated Xbox Games

    Monster Hunter - TBA

    British director Paul WS Anderson turned the hit video game franchise Resident Evil into a long-running film series in the early 2000s, and he's set to do the same thing again with another property owned by Japanese publisher Capcom.

    The Monster Hunter movie "tells the story of two heroes who come from different worlds to defeat a shared danger, the powerful, deadly and magnificent monsters that inhabit the land. Along the way, viewers will make new discoveries and encounter familiar faces and beloved characters from the games like the Admiral," according to the official synopsis from the publisher.

    Diego Boneta (Before I Fall) and Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) star in the movie. No release date has been set. 

    Monument Valley - TBA

    Monument Valley, the critically acclaimed mobile puzzle game from Ustwo, is being adapted by Paramount Pictures. Patrick Osborne (Ralph Breaks the Internet) has been tapped to direct the film. No release date has been set. 

    Further Reading: 25 Best Free-to-Play Mobile Games


    Mortal Kombat - TBA

    The Mortal Kombat reboot is one step closer to reality, with Simon McQuoid signing on as director. Greg Russo recently completed a draft of the screenplay, and it's not clear if anything remains of the work done by Oren Uziel (who wrote the well-received Mortal Kombat: Legacyweb series) and Dave Callahan (The Expendables). 

    Christopher Lambert (Raiden) is set to be back for this one. He’s not giving too much away at this stage, but he revealed to Loaded that “They have a great idea for the third one,” adding that “it will be very different.”

    In fact, it looks as if the new movie will have a time travel element. “We are going to be traveling through time, but in a very special way. So imagine characters having a battle in the middle of London and then whoosh, you smash through a window and find yourself on the hood of a New York cab,” Lambert teased.

    Portal - TBA

    At the Westworld red carpet back in September 2016, director/producer J.J. Abrams gave an update on the upcoming Portal and Half-Life movies. While Abrams didn't go into too much detail, he did reveal that he had a meeting coming up the following week with Valve, the studio that created both games in question. And it seems like both Bad Robot and Valve are focusing on the Portal movie first. 

    "We have a meeting coming up next week with Valve, we’re very active, I’m hoping that there will be a Portal announcement fairly soon," said Abrams.

    The announcement could involve a reveal of who is writing the script for the film, as Abrams teased that he's had talked with writers about both games:

    "We are having some really interesting discussions with writers, many of whom...once you said you’re doing a movie or show about a specific thing that is a known quantity you start to find people who are rabid about these things. As someone who loves playing Half-Life and Portal, what’s the movie of this, it’s incredible when you talk to someone who just ‘gets’ it, it’s like, oh my god, it’s really the seed for this incredible tree you’re growing."

    Abrams was careful not to talk about Portal's story and didn't say if the film would follow the game's storyline, which involves a facility full of platforming puzzles, inter-spatial portals, and a mad AI who loves cake. Not too much to chew on exactly, but perhaps we should prepare ourselves for a Portal announcement.

    Further Reading: What Half-Life 3 Would Have Been About

    Rainbow Six - TBA

    Rainbow Six may have become a series of best-selling and popular video games, thanks to UbiSoft, but its core still lies in a novel by the late Tom Clancy. The sizeable book focuses on the character of John Clark, who was introduced in Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels (and we saw played on screen by Willem Dafoe in Clear And Present Danger and Liev Schreiber in The Sum Of All Fears).

    A movie adaptation of Rainbow Six is now in the works, and it’s being overseen by Akiva Goldsman. Josh Appelbaum and Andre Nemec have been hired to try and fit the book into a two hours-or-so movie, and Paramount – which is backing the project – would subsequently look for more John Clark movies.

    Ryan Reynolds was approached to star as Clark in Rainbow Six, although there’s nothing formal that we know of yet. Nor is there word of a director.

    We will, of course, keep you posted…


    Raving Rabbids - TBA

    Rayman spin-off Raving Rabbids has carved out quite a name for itself. So much so, in fact, that Ubisoft has teamed up with Sony to bring the troublemaking rabbits to the big screen.

    This one will be a for a live-action/stop-motion animation hybrid. Robot Chicken writers Matthew Senreich, Tom Sheppard, and Zeb Wells are working on the script as we speak.

    Further Reading: 50 Underrated DOS Games

    Rent a Hero - TBA

    Gamers and otaku rejoice: Japanese action RPG video game Rent A Hero is making a heroic leap from your computer screen to the big screen. 

    Tokyo video game powerhouse Sega has already rented the superpowers of Tomoya Suzuki, president and CEO of its production arm Stories International. Stories International’s Even J. Cholfin will be executive producing with Suzuki and Hakuhodo DY Group co-producing, and will level up with filmmakers Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time MachineHigh FidelityGrosse Pointe Blank) and Jeff Morris (The True Memoirs of an International Assassin) to upgrade the futuristic game to larger-than-life proportions.

    While cast and release details didn't arrive with the superpowered suit, we now really, really wish the hero-for-rent service was a thing. 

    Resident Evil Reboot - TBA

    If you actually thought the last Resident Evil film was going to be the last Resident Evil film, then you may want to brace yourself. Yes, the Resident Evil film franchise is going to be rebooted

    James Wan (SawThe Conjuring 2) has signed on to produce the reboot and Greg Russo (Mortal Kombat) will be handling screenplay duties. According to this same report, this reboot will feature an entirely new cast. At present, Russo and Wan are only expected to helm the first of six planned new Resident Evil films. 

    Further Reading: The George Romero Resident Evil Movie You Never Saw

    Shinobi - TBA

    Sega’s once-popular, currently dormant series Shinobi is another classic cartridge-centric video game franchise that will be getting the movie treatment. Marc Platt Productions, a company involved with hits like Wanted (and its planned sequel), Bridge of Spies, Drive, and the Legally Blonde films will reportedly develop a Shinobifilm adaptation in a co-production with Sega’s company Stories International Inc. According to Platt in a statement:

    “We love the Shinobi games and believe that the world of ninjas has never been properly explored onscreen. We now have the opportunity to do just that. With Shinobi, we hope to make a film that honors the essence of the games and brings this fascinating world to life for moviegoing audiences."

    It’s still too early know when Shinobi plans to sneak its way to theaters, but we will certainly keep you apprised of updates.

    Sleeping Dogs - TBA

    The chances of getting a sequel to the 2012 cult classic open-world crime game Sleeping Dogs just get slimmer with each passing year. While that realization is usually enough to send us running to the bottle...umm...of Yoo-hoo or something, the pain got a little more manageable today with the announcement that Donnie Yen is going to be starring in a film adaptation of Sleeping Dogs.

    Producer Neal Moritz (of the Fast and the Furious franchise and 21 Jump Street fame) is putting together a film adaptation of Square Enix's beloved game. Donnie Yen, of course, is the movie martial arts master you will most recently remember from his work in Rogue One

    Yen's cinematic martial arts skills are sure to come into play at some point in the Sleeping Dogs film. While there are no concrete details concerning the movie's plot, including whether or not it will be a strict adaptation or a spiritual follow-up, you can rest assured that the game will borrow certain elements from the games. That means plenty of Yakuza, lots of car chases, a few gunfights, and some martial arts sequences that further the - admittedly awesome - stereotype that Japan is really just a collection of martial arts fights that see lots of fruit stands get demolished. 

    Original Film will be handling the distribution of Sleeping Dogs alongside DJ2 Entertainment. Joining Moritz on the production side of things is Dmitri Johnson, and Dan Jevons, while Toby Ascher and Stephan Bugaj will be handling executive production duties.

    Unfortunately, Sleeping Dogs' developer, United Front Games, shut down in 2016, so it's not likely they'll have much creative input in the process. As to whether or not this adaptation will spur Square Enix to publish another Sleeping Dogs title, we can only hope that it will while we also hold on to some hope this movie does justice to the incredible game that inspired it.

    Further Reading: 50 Underrated Sega Genesis Games

    Splinter Cell - TBA

    Ubisoft’s film studio is working with New Regency Productions on a film version of the black ops stealth game Splinter Cell, with Tom Hardy attached to portray the games series’ protagonist Sam Fisher. For a while, Doug Liman of Edge of Tomorrow and The Bourne Identity was attached to direct.

    He departed the project in April 2015, though. Ubisoft is searching for a new director, while Frank John Hughes – of Dark Tourist and Leave – works on the script. Previous writers include X-Men: First Class’ Sheldon Turner.

    Joseph Kahn – director of countless music videos, as well as that Power/Rangers fan film – has been linked to the director’s chair.

    Further Reading: 25 Underrated NES Games

    Spy Hunter - TBA

    The classic '80s arcade game Spy Hunter has been in development as a movie since Universal bought the rights in 2003. At one stage, Dwayne Johnson was involved, but it’s unclear if he still is. Last we heard, Zombieland’s Ruben Flesicher was onboard to direct.

    In November 2015, a pair of writers were hired to resurrect the project– Nelson Greaves and Sam Chalsen, both of whom are known for their work on the Sleepy Hollow TV series. It’s unclear if Fleischer remains involved.

    Streets of Rage - TBA

    Back in 2016, Stories International (Sega’s production arm) and studio Circle of Confusion announced that they will collaboratively adapt urban-set side-scrolling beat ‘em up series Streets of Rage.

    Further Reading: 25 Underrated SNES Games

    Super Mario Bros. - TBA

    It's official! Nintendo and Universal Studios are working to create Super Mario Bros. animated movie. Illumination Entertainment - the studio behind Minions and Shrek - will handle the actual production of the Super Mario Bros. animated movie. Shigeru Miyamoto and Chris Meledandri will produce.

    We're willing to bet that this animated project will likely be much closer in spirit to the Super Mario Bros. games than the live-action movie was. Super Mario Odyssey has certainly proved that Mario can survive the transition into some pretty bizarre universes. While we can't quite fathom what the film's plot will be about, we're going to bet that this movie will at least be visually pleasing. 

    There's still no solid release date available for the Super Mario Bros. animated movie, but the plan is to have it in theaters sometime in 2022. 

    Tetris - TBA

    The long-discussed prospects of Tetris movie adaptation are close to becoming reality with a new international coalition of media moguls looking to co-produce the project. China-based producer Bruno Wu will join U.S.-based producer Lawrence Kasanoff (Mortal KombatTrue Lies), which will see Wu’s Seven Star Works and Kasanoff’s Threshold Entertainment Group operate under the joint name Threshold Global Studios. 

    Tetris will be the kickoff project for this new venture with an $80 million production budget reportedly committed to line up four proverbial rows of blocks at the box-office.

    Certainly, the idea of a U.S./China coalition throwing $80 million at a thus-far shapeless Tetris movie is something that we’ll look forward to updating in the coming months.

    Further Reading: The Incredibly Weird Story Behind Tetris

    Thief - TBA

    Unsurprisingly, there's a Thiefmovie on the way. The pacing of the Thief games lends itself perfectly to a big screen adventure, after all. The series mixes stealth, combat, and treasure hunting in a world of magic and even horror. Zombies and other monsters are part of the fun of the first game. The 2014 Thief video game reboot was poorly received, though, so it might be a good idea to focus on one of the earlier games for the movie instead.

    Adam Mason and Simon Boyes are penning a screenplay for the Thief movie that’s being put together by Straight Up Films. Roy Lee, Marisa Polvino, Kate Cohen and Adrian Askarieh, who produced the Hitman films, will produce this one. 

    It’s very early stages, of course, so we don’t know yet of a director or a release date. Our ear will be to the ground.


    Uncharted - TBA

    It's been a while since anything of substance surfaced about the Uncharted movie. All we know for sure at the moment is that Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) is set to star as Nathan Drake.

    However, prolific producer Charles Roven (Justice LeagueWonder WomanThe Dark Knight Trilogy), who is attached to the project, dropped some new details at a Producers Guild of America gathering at which he received a lifetime achievement award.

    Roven explains the film's chronologically ambiguous connection to the video game mythology, stating:

    “We’ve come up with a wonderful origin story but it’s still based on the Uncharted video game. It doesn’t take place during any of the time period of any of the Uncharted video games. It actually takes place when Nathan Drake (who’s the lead of that game) and Sully, I guess you’d call him his surrogate father, were much younger. It’s an origin story that evolves out of the game but is not from the game.”

    In a more substantive addendum, Roven also reveals that the Uncharted movie script – last drafted by Joe Carnahan after tenures by David Guggenheim and Eric Warren Singer – has passed into the hands of yet another screenwriter in Rafe Judkins, who is primarily known for television work in episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.Hemlock GroveChuck, and My Own Worst Enemy.

    Further Reading: 60 Underrated PlayStation Games

    Werewolves Within - TBA

    Ubisoft has announced a live-action adaptation of Werewolves Within, the 2016 VR game from Red Storm Entertainment. Mishna Wolff is set to pen the script. No release date has been set for the film. 

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

    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 Telltale's The Walking Dead season 4, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4
    News John SaavedraMatthew Byrd
    Dec 11, 2018

    The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has stepped forward to rescue Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season. The game's fourth season was set to bring a fitting conclusion to the company's epic tale of survival in a world ruled by the undead. But then mass layoffs at the company in September put the conclusion of Clementine's story in jeopardy. Telltale eventually had to place a hold on all ongoing projects and has formally shut down.

    Now Kirkman's Skybound Entertainment will be taking ownership of The Walking Dead: The Final Season and ensuring that the project is completed. Skybound had just commenced work on the final episodes, according to a recent statement. Skybound had some more good news, too: "We’re excited to let you know that many of the talented, passionate team members who originally worked on the game are resuming development efforts today!"

    The company also revealed that people who already purchased season 4 won't have to pay again for the new episodes now that they're coming from Skybound: "If you already purchased Season Four, you will NOT have to pay again; future episodes will be available to download as soon as they are released via your original point of purchase."

    All good news. Now we're just left to wait to reunite with Clementine. Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 Release Date

    Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Final Season will return with episode 3, which is titled "Broken Toys," on Jan. 15.

    The first two episodes are out now on XBO, PS4, and PC. The last episode is titled "Take Us Back."

    Related Article: What Telltale's Stranger Things Game Would Have Looked Like

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 Trailer

    Here's the trailer for episode 3!

    Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 4 Story

    Here's the official synopsis from Telltale:

    Clementine, now a fierce and capable survivor, has reached the final chapter in her journey. After years on the road facing threats both living and dead, a secluded school might finally be her chance for a home. But protecting it will mean sacrifice. Clem must build a life and become a leader while still watching over AJ, an orphaned boy and the closest thing to family she has left. In this gripping, emotional final season, you will define your relationships, fight the undead, and determine how Clementine's story ends.

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

    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.


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    The Duke Nukem movie is still alive and is finally moving forward, with John Cena remaining the rumored star.

    News Simon BrewJoseph Baxter
    Dec 11, 2018

    Duke Nukem is headed to the big screen. It’s taken a long time, but there seems to be solid progress on bringing the ultraviolent classic video game character to the big screen.

    WWE franchise-face wrestler John Cena – whose stock as a movie star is rising, notably with his appearance in December’s Transformers spinoff, Bumblebeewas reportedly eyed back in January 2018 to star as the lewd, crude, flattop-rocking, heavily-armed exploder of things. While, nearly a year later, that rumor remains, we’ve heard next to nothing about the project ever since. However, as 2018 rounds the finish line, there finally appears to be some movement.   

    In the latest Duke Nukem movie news, Variety is reporting that a new producer in Jean-Julien Baronnet has been tasked with adapting the video game franchise for the film. Baronnet comes into the project off his work as producer on another prominent video game movie, 2016’s Assassin’s Creed, which starred Michael Fassbender as the DNA-time-travelling acrobatic cutthroat. Barring work as exec producer on the 2012 live-action video game tie-in short, Ghost Recon: Alpha, Assassin’s Creed was Baronnet’s first feature experience, with his only other credit being an executive producing run on animated series Rabbids Invasion.

    Baronnet, representing Marla Studios, joined by (IP owning company) Gearbox Software VP of business development Sean Harran, has reportedly been meeting with writers in recent weeks, which represents a major step forward in the process of getting the Duke Nukem movie off the ground. Their approach to the adaptation appears to evoke the creative – and financial – R-rated success achieved by Fox-Marvel’s meta-minded, mirthfully violent Deadpool movies. As Harran explains:

    “He’s a parody of 1980s action heroes and he’s like Deadpool in terms of being able to break the fourth wall. We see a lot of humor in his confronting the values of today while trying to save the world.”

    Baronnet chimes in with a PC-eschewing promise, stating:

    “Duke is exactly the kind of very blunt character that we need in the world today.”

    Despite it being on the radar for years, we’re still in the early stages of the project, with neither a writer nor a director in place yet. But the plan is to make this is a starring vehicle for rumored star Cena, presumably with a view toward a franchise. Interestingly, the prospective casting of Cena – who’s generally seen as a clean-cut WWE personality and the epitome of the wrestling corporation’s current era of PG content – might make one think that an R-rated movie is off the table. However, Cena is, for all intents and purposes, retired as a full-time performer, and his young fans have mostly grown up. Plus, he’s already appeared in some R-rated efforts, notably 2018 comedy Blockers, 2017 war drama The Wall and 2015 Amy Schumer comedy vehicle Trainwreck.

    As of now, Gearbox is still working on the Duke Nukem movie project with Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes (ensuring appropriate levels of onscreen testosterone), though it appears that Paramount Studios – previously involved – is no longer onboard.

    The popular Duke Nukem video game franchise follows a titular protagonist who smokes, swears, kills, and saves the world. Duke debuted in the eponymous 1991 first game, a side-scrolling DOS offering developed by Apogee Software. Sequels would follow until the franchise added a new dimension with the multi-platform first-person shooter, Duke Nukem 3D, in 1996. The fourth game, Duke Nukem Forever, did, indeed, take pretty much forever to arrive, eventually landing in 2011. It did not land well, either.

    The last we saw of Duke was as a pre-order bonus for the remastered version of Bulletstorm. Original voice actor Jon St. John even recorded a few new lines for the game. Gearbox Software, which owns the rights to Duke Nukem these days, had a plan to reboot the franchise back in 2011. Sadly, we've not heard anything more about what the developer was dubbing "Duke Nukem Begins."

    More on the Duke Nukem movie as we learn it!

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


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    We have seen the pop culture glory that is Steven Spielberg's Ready Player One. Repeatedly. So we're ready to dissect every geeky gem in it!

    Ready Player One - Movie Easter Eggs
    News David CrowMike Cecchini
    Dec 11, 2018

    This article contains more Ready Player One spoilers than a Nintendo Player’s Guide walkthrough.

    Ready Player One is now out on Blu-ray and HBO, and fans are basking in all of its easter egg glory. While Steven Spielberg was able to infuse a creative spark into the film that allowed it to stand on more than only pure nostalgia, there is no denying that the immediate hook of Ernest Cline’s novel and the subsequent Spielberg blockbuster is its cornucopia of movie references, video game easter eggs, and pop culture homages to all things ‘80s (and in the film’s case, ‘90s too). The film might be set in 2045, but it’s good to know that the future is just as obsessed with Gen-X and Millennial culture as we are today!

    In that vein, we here at Den of Geek will attempt the fool’s errand of compiling every single nod, shoutout, and joyful wink to nerd culture that has been stuffed into the very seams of this unapologetically geeky movie (*NOTE: Movie and not the book). Granted it will be almost impossible to get them all in the first pass, so if you notice that we missed anything, let us know in the comments section below, or yell at me on Twitter, and we’ll course correct.

     Without further ado, onto the reference guide! Also, just a head’s up, given the sprawling nature of the film, we are compiling the easter eggs by mediums, characters, and other arbitrary separations that will lead to some overlap, but will hopefully make this easier for you to digest (especially if you’re looking for something in particular). Now get out your chocolate bunnies, because we’re about to have an easter egg hunt!

    Jurassic Park - Ready Player One Easter Egg

    Ready Player One Movie References

    - In the opening montage of what you can do in the OASIS, the first actual homage appears to be Batman climbing Mount Everest. But not just any Batman… it’s Michael Keaton’s Batman from the Tim Burton classic of 1989! (For more superhero movie references after this point, please scroll down to the superhero movie reference's subsection. Your eyes will thank us later.)

    - During the opening montage, among the avatars filling up the OASIS portal terminals Z traverses is the original RoboCop from 1987. You know back before the franchise's diminished returns.

    - Also during this sequence, commenter David Thiel spotted the Cyclops from Ray Harryhausen's The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958).

    - When we meet Aech on Planet Doom, he* is seen blasting Freedy Krueger into space buck coins. To be specific the Freddy Krueger first played by Robert Englund in A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984), although fans' favorite variation on the big bad came in Part III: Dream Warriors.

    *(We shall henceforth refer to Aech in the OASIS as “he,” and in the real world as “she,” as the character seems to want to be approached in both realities.)

    - Also seen getting gutted on Planet Doom is a cameoing avatar as Jason Voorhees from the Friday the 13th movies.

    - When James Halliday and Ogden Morrow are introduced via flashback in a press conference, the film’s soundtrack plays Tears for Fear’s “Everybody Wants to Rule the World,” which was memorably used in the TV movie Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), which for Apple cultists and computer lore junkies is the preferred biopic on Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Bill Gates. This is unlikely to be a coincidence as a newspaper clipping in Wade’s van asks if Halliday is “Bigger Than Jobs?”

    - More appropriately for the era this movie evokes, it was used prominently in 1985's Real Genius starring Val Kilmer.

    - Not only is Halliday’s virtual vision of his funeral in a Star Trek themed church, but his coffin is actually the exact same one (complete with torpedo markings) that Spock is jettisoned into oblivion in from Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982). Although personally, we were sad the film did not recreate the novel’s version of this scene, in which Halliday presides over his own funeral (both as corpse and parishioner) from a digital recreation of the set of Heathers (1988). A young Winona Ryder and Christian Slater were also in attendance.

    - Halliday’s OASIS alter-ego Anorak looks vaguely wizard-y, like Merlin or Gandalf. However, the way the film animates his flowing black robes in the film seems intentionally evocative of how Don Bluth drew such robes on Nicodemus in The Secret of NIMH (1982). It should be noted Bluth and Spielberg later partnered for An American Tail (1986) and The Land Before Time (1988).

    - Parzival’s vehicle of choice is obviously Marty McFly’s DeLorean from Back to the Future, albeit it has been retrofitted to include the red-light grill scanner from Knight Rider (1982). In the book, it also has the Ghostbusters (1984) symbol spray-painted on the door, but alas Sony must not have wanted to contribute. This is also the sole BTTF reference in this section (just so you know we aren't crazy!). For the rest, please scroll down to the Back to the Future subsection.

    - Also spotted during this section is a jack-knifing truck, which eagle eyed Twitter user @Azrael2073 recognized as the one Kurt Russell drove in Big Trouble in Little China (1986). 

    - As if you needed to be told, that is the queen Tyrannosaurus Rex from Spielberg’s very own Jurassic Park tearing up the track.

    - King Kong is also doing massive damage to the track, but while we appreciate this Spielbergian addition to one of his heroes, Merian C. Cooper (the half-crazed adventurer who produced the 1933 masterpiece), the Kong design walks on his knuckles and most resembles Peter Jackson’s Kong from the 2005 remake. Spielberg teamed with Jackson for 2011’s The Adventures of Tintin.

    - Also on the race track is a neon, digitized silver cup, which is a replica of the silvercup used at the end of the original Highlander film from 1986. This was brought to our attention by commenter Chris Procter. Also fun fact, in the book, Art3mis' favorite film is Highlander.

    - Also during the race, we glean that the OASIS’ New York movie theater is screening Jack Slater III, which is the action movie franchise-within-an-action-movie found inside Arnold Schwarzenegger’s The Last Action Hero (1993). Think of it like a misunderstood The Purple Rose of Cairo for teen boys and meatheads alike.

    - When we are introduced to Aech’s workshop, we are given a geeky overload of references. And the movie stuff, alone, includes the Iron Giant (obviously); the U.S.S. Sulaco drop ship from James Cameron's Aliens; the Eagle 5 space RV from Spaceballs (1987); an ED-209 from RoboCop; the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off(1986); the Extravehicular Activity Pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968); and the Valley Forge from Silent Running (1972).*

    - Thanks to @Ritaseer for spotting this one.

    - The XI suit commercials haunting Wade Watts in the Stacks feels like a subtler echo of the oppressive commercialization of Coke and Eastern marketing in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982).

    - As Twitter user @@Aaaaarrrrrgggh helpfully reminded us, Wade living in a trailer park is likely inspired by the main character of The Last Starfighter also living in a trailer park at the beginning of that 1984 classic. This is unlikely to be a coincidence considering that Ernest Cline is a huge fan of the film, which served as a more direct inspiration to the premise of his second book, Armada.

    - Not really a reference, but Ralph Ineson is his very own easter egg for anyone who saw 2016’s masterful The Witch. Seriously, Hollywood hire this man more, and if you’ve seen The Witch, see it again!

    - In Halliday’s digital recreation of a memory about himself and Og, he leaves a massive hint about going “backward as fast as you can, really put the pedal to the medal like Bill and Ted.” This is obviously a most gnarly reference to the timey-wimey Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure(1989).

    - Upon discovering the Copper Key, Anorak/Halliday refers to Z as “padawan.” This is a nod to how Jedi refer to apprentices in the Star Wars prequel trilogy. See George, at least Steven isn’t ignoring them!

    - Shoto's car, which he totals on his way to getting the Copper Key, is Burt Reynolds' sweet ride from Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Thanks again to @Number_6 for spotting this one for us!

    - The Holy Hand Grenade is first seeded for its amazing third act return when Z and Aech go shopping. This is obviously the weapon of choice for the most pious (and rabbit-infested) of knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975).

    - The first avatar to fawn over “rock star” Parzival is someone dressed as Michael Keaton’s Beetlejuice circa 1988. Check out the video game section to discover some of the others.

    - Art3mis* became the geek crush of everyone (of every gender) when she terrifies Z by having a chestburster from Alien (1979) destroy her Goro suit. She also must be a fan of that franchise, given her weapon of choice that is revealed later…

    *(From this point on we’ll mostly refer to “Art3mis” as “Artemis,” because that number is ridiculous. And to be fair, Arty agrees in the Ready Player One novel.)

    - The love of Halliday and Og’s lives, Karen Underwood, goes by Kira when she meets Halliday. This is her homage to a character in The Dark Crystal (1982).

    - Z refers to Kira as Halliday’s “rosebud.” This is a reference a little outside the wheelhouse of Ernest Cline’s bowling alley arcade novel, but right in keeping with Spielberg who is calling back to Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane (1941).

    - When Nolan Sorrento first approaches I-R0k, he steps out of a crashed martian ship from the classic War of the Worlds circa 1953. Thanks be to commenter Jon Sleeper for being eagle-eyed, there.

    - I-R0k's box in which he keeps the orb is the same box that Mogwai came to suburbia in during Gremlins (1984).

    - Aech also has a poster from the original Mel Gibson-starring Mad Max (1979) in his garage as Z gets ready for his big date.

    - Aech also has a sign that says “Cocktail & Dreams” in neon, just like the one in the horrible Tom Cruise movie, Cocktail (1988).

    - Parzival's outfit of choice is that of Peter Weller's title character from The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension, a totally bonkers 1984 film that also starred Jeff Goldblum, Ellen Barkin, John Lithgow, and Christopher Lloyd. If you haven't seen it, do so. Depending on who you ask, it's part of a shared universe with John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China.

    *Also a fun fact our contributor Delia Harrington pointed out is that Ernest Cline's first spec script (before he went on to write Fanboys) was an intended sequel to Buckaroo Banzai. It was read by Harry Knowles who helped champion Cline as a writer. (Knowles also is credited as someone who helped read early drafts of the novel Ready Player One in the book.)

    - During Z and Arty’s sweet (and visually stunning) dance, Wade goes the full movie geek and selects the song “Stayin’ Alive” from Saturday Night Fever (1977). And he completes the beautiful lameness of it with the rainbow disco dance floor that John Travolta once huffed across.

    - Once IOI crashes the party, Arty reveals her weapon of choice that she uses throughout the film, an M41A Pulse Rifle that Sigourney Weaver made so badass in James Cameron’s Aliens (1986).

    - Nolan Sorrento’s first pot-sweetener to bring Wade Watts to IOI is the promise he’d get to fly Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon.

    - Nolan next pledges to turn all the schools on Ludus (the OASIS’ educational planet that plays a major role in the book) into replicas of the high schools from John Hughes’ The Breakfast Club (1985) and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. However, Z tries to slip Nolan up by naming the high school from Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) and the college in Animal House (1978).

    - When looking at the films James Halliday might’ve put on to “seduce” Kira, wrong choices include The Fly(1986) and Say Anything (1989). So presumably these were VHS tapes in the ‘90s given the differing years?

    - The right choice is of course, amazingly, Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining (1980). See Ready Player One and The Shining subsection below for a complete deconstruction of this sequence in the film.

    - Also among the movie posters of other films Halliday watched that week is Firestarter (1984), which starred Spielberg darling Drew Barrymore. It also must've meant Halliday was on a Stephen King kick that week. Thanks to @thegeekflux for spotting this one!

    - The Overlook Theater inside the OASIS also has a Return of the Jedi (1983) poster, so it’s not all Kubrickian down there…

    - The magic spell cast on the orb controlled by Sorrento and I-R0k is actually the exact same spell Merlin used to transform Uther into the visage of his enemy in John Boorman's Excalibur (1981). It was called "Charm of Making" in that movie, and it allowed Uther to take his foe's wife and in the process father the child who would become King Arthur. Given that Z's name is a giant love letter to that film (chech out the Parzival section for more), that makes this extra cool. Also, thanks to commenters Wil Dalphin and Tom Stephens for bringing this to our attention.

    - During the final third of the film, we discover the fate of the OASIS depends on your dexterity with an Atari 2600. If you pick the wrong game, into the ice you go, which feels like it could be a nod to the “banishment” seen in The Dark Knight Rises (2012), as Spielberg is a vocal admirer of Christopher Nolan and those Batman movies. In that vein…

    - While IOI fools are taking repeated chilly splashes, Parzival and Daito hold Nolan hostage in a simulation-within-a-simulation. And Daito’s all-black suit and silencer-adorned gun seems intentionally reminiscent of the dream-within-a-dream iconography of Christopher Nolan’s Inception (2010).

    - Similarly, when Wade leaves Sorrento’s faux-office, he rips off his face to reveal he’s really Parzival in a visual intentionally evocative of Mission: Impossible (1996) and its many sequels.

    - Faux-Daito also seems to give a clue he is not really, well real, given a glowing amber sheen in his eyes, which seems like a sly nod to the telltale sign of replicants in the original Blade Runner.

    - Upon the entire OASIS turning on Sorrento, the scene-stealing I-R0k quotes It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) at the exact wrong time to someone who is clearly a Mr. Potter type: “No man is a failure who has friends.”

    - When Z leads his avatars into actual battle, he goes the full John Cusack and holds a boombox above his head, although with a much more metal song than the sweetly annoying "In Your Eyes" that Cusack plays to win his ex back at the end of Say Anything. (The movie that Halliday maybe also should have put on for Kira, instead of The Shining.)

    - During the third act uber-video game battle the entire movie is stolen by “IT’S FUCKING CHUCKY!” And if you need me to explain that evil, ginger-haired bastard doll is from Child’s Play (1988), like what are you even doing here?

    - Movie shoutouts during that battle include the return of Arty’s pulse rifle; Aech going the full Iron Giant (who has a much bigger role in the movie than the book); the Caterpillar P-5000 Work Loader from Aliens; some ED-209s; and the movie designs from the recent Michael Bay-produced Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (Alas 1990’s TMNT live-action designs would have been way cooler and more fitting). We’ve also heard Spielberg lament a Gremlin got into a frame courtesy of ILM, so we imagine they’re in here somewhere. Check out the Games and Misc. section for more cameos.

    - Someone also at the end here is rocking a Glaive from Krull (1983), a five-sided star that also acts like a boomarang upon occasion.

    - Nolan Sorrento pulls the ultimate dick move and turns into Mechagodzilla from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974). Even cooler, it features Akira Ifukube’s “Godzilla March” theme from Godzilla (1954).

    - Daito answers by going Gundam in return (see Misc. for more), but his arrival is heralded by the amazing cameo of Mal Reynolds’ Serenity, a Firefly-class vessel from Joss Whedon’s all-too brief Firefly (2002) TV series and later 2005 film, Serenity.

    - When Iron Giant goes down, he dies like a champ, a la Arnie’s T-800 in Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991).

    - Monty Python’s Holy Hand Grenade does its God-given duty!

    - Halliday’s contractual fake-out with Parzival feels, unintentionally or not, like Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Spielberg’s third Indy adventure where you had to choose wisely between real grails and fake ones.

    - The treasure and faux-egg atop its pedestal in this fakeout room is also reminiscent of the treasure trove in the Cave of Wonders in Aladdin (1992), complete with a ruby-shaped egg that beckons the monkey Abu to his almost-doom. But as Disney didn’t seem to play ball with WB on this, it is vague.

    further reading: How the Ready Player One Ending Improves on the Book

    - Among baby Halliday’s decorations are statues of Godzilla and Robby the Robot, the latter being from the influential Forbidden Planet (1956), which is a film that had a profound effect on Spielberg.

    - Speaking of Spielberg, he slyly allowed his production team to put a Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) poster on young Halliday's wall.

    - Robby the Robot shows up again as a life-sized statue in Wade and Samantha's flat at the end of the movie.

    - I believe young Halliday’s computer is an IMSAI 8080, which is the computer Matthew Broderick and Ally Sheedy use to almost start a thermonuclear war in the underrated WarGames (1983), a movie which played a much larger role in the book.

    Ready Player One and The Shining References

    Yes, this gets its own subsection. And if you want more detail about the importance of The Shining and Kubrick to Spielberg (as well as why King hates the movie), you can click over here to read it for yourself.

    -Before they even enter the Overlook Hotel, our dear High Five is made to dread the horrors to come thanks to Wendy Carlos and Rachel Elkind’s unforgettably eerie score.

    - Spielberg meticulously recreates the set of the Overlook Hotel’s grand lobby, complete with a typewriter that repeats verbatim, “All Work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” However, it takes on the shape of a key, a Jade Key to be specific, as opposed to the odd shapes in the film.

    - Aech is lured to his seeming doom by a bouncing ball, which belongs to the Grady twins, ghostly girls that beckon foolish children to come play with them.

    - This also leads Aech to almost be enveloped in the river of blood that pours from the elevator, as Shelly Duvall also discovered the hard way in The Shining’s climax.

    - The portrait that Aech tears of the Overlook Hotel with Halliday and Kira at the center is the ghostly photo that is the final shot of The Shining, which despite its inexplicable then-modern setting of 1980, it still features Jack Nicholson’s protagonist partying with the dead in 1921 (where Halliday and Kira are standing).

    - Room 237 features a ghost that attacked young Danny Torrance, and like with Aech, it also seduces his father as a comely young woman before turning into a haggard old woman (although she does not try to kill him with an axe). Also credit for the film noting that Aech likes women, as most mass-marketed blockbusters shy away from LGBTQ characters.

    - Aech is attacked by an axe to the door, but before he gets a “Here’s Johnny” (or Jack Nicholson), he is then dropped inside the snowy maze that Jack Torrance dies chasing Danny in. He escapes through the freezer that is also where Danny and Wendy tie up a deranged Jack earlier in the film.

    - When Aech comes out of the freezer, you can also see Danny’s iconic tricycle in the background.

    Ready Player One - Back to the Future References

    Ready Player One and Back to the Future References

    As previously mentioned, there is so much love for this Robert Zemeckis film, which was executive produced by Steven Spielberg, that we felt it worthy of its own subsection.

    - Again Parzival's vehicle of choice is the DeLorean from Back to the Future with a KITT upgrade. It also comes complete with a non-functioning flux capacitor.

    - As Parzival and Aech are discussing Halliday, I believe I spotted an avatar dressed as futuristic Doc Brown from the final scene of Back to the Future (1985).

    - Before Wade Watts first enters the OASIS onscreen, we witness some questionable product placement of a drone delivering Pizza Hut to a Stacks neighbor. As shameless as this is, we also suspect it could be a sly nod to similar sci-fi commercialism in Back to the Future Part II (1989), in which Marty McFly’s family in the far-flung future of 2015 dines on small packets of grow-able Pizza Hut pies.

    - Before Artemis signs out of Aech's garage during her first meeting with Z, she calls our hero “McFly” in reference to his sweet, timey-wimey ride. It's an adorable sign of affection and deserved condescension all at once.

    - In the same shopping scene, the “Zemeckis Cube” captures Parzival’s eye, which is a nod to Spielberg’s buddy, Robert Zemeckis, the director of Back to the Future (Spielberg produced it). Combined with the Rubik’s Cube this artifact has an awesome feature Doc Brown would approve of.

    - When Parzival uses the Zemeckis Cube to reverse OASIS time by 60 seconds, composer Alan Silvestri is able to break out some of his timeless Back to the Future theme.

    - When Z puts down the pen, Halliday takes him to his past in a recreation of his childhood bedroom, which is given a musical stinger by Silvestri, who uses his synthesizer echo from Back to the Future.

    - When Samantha interupts her near-kiss with Wade to shout, "Oh shit!," as well as when F-Nara punches Nolan in the face, Silvesteri uses the same musical stinger to denote a moment of shock or bewilderment that he uses in all the Back to the Future films.

    - As Parzival is getting ready for his date with Artemis, he’s chilling in Aech’s digital den, which comes with an awesome poster of “Re-elect Mayor ‘Goldie’ Wilson” from Back to the Future. Hell yeah, we smiled at this one!

    Ready Player One Easter Egg - Video Game References

    Ready Player One Video Game References

    Still with us? Good. Because we’re just getting to the meat and potatoes of a movie about a giant interactive video game world…

    - The first branded IP we see in the film, beyond Pizza Hut, we believe is an entire OASIS world dedicated to recreating Minecraft the game that has taken Generation Z by storm.

    - Among the characters on Planet Doom seen during Aech's introduction is someone in a skin of James Raynor, a character from the Starcraft games. Thank you to @JoelStrout for pointing this out to us.

    - On the racetrack for the first key, the Street Fighter character Ryu makes the first of several cameos.

    - When Artemis quizzes Z about what Halliday’s favorite shooter was, he is quick to name-check GoldenEye, the 1997 Nintendo 64 video game that is the staple of many a Millennial’s childhood. Also special points to both avatars for knowing his favorite multiplayer character was Oddjob while playing in “Slaps Only” mode (no weapons).

    - Parzival also reveals that Halliday’s favorite racing game was Turbo, a 1981 arcade entry by Sega.

    - Also in Aech's garage, via @thegeekflux, is the cocktail cabinet version of Pac-Man.

    - Rick (douchey boyfriend of the aunt played by Ralph Ineson) has modeled his avatar after Jim Raynor from StarCraft (1998), as per Twitter user @FeanorToro.

    - In the first digital flashback to Halliday and Og, Halliday is wearing his patented Space Invaders t-shirt, a nod to the legendary 1978 arcade game.

    - Halliday also tells Og in this scene that one thing that is perfect is Asteroids, a 1981 arcade game.

    - There is a poster of arcade game Galaga (1979) in Halliday and Og’s breakroom.

    - Among the “accessories” at the OASIS shop that Z and Aech peruse is a Street Fighter store where Ryu turns up again.

    - There is also a Halo add-on that lets you become Master Chief from the classic 2001 video game.

    - After the “Beetlejuice” avatar spots Parzival in his rock star moment, Jill Valentine in her ridiculous tube top outfit from 1999’s Resident Evil 3: Nemesis (perfect for fighting virus-carrying zombies) shows up to also gawk.

    - As Arty and Z are meeting at the archives, the original video game Lara Croft of Tomb Raider glory walks by, as per Paulo Bastos.

    - Luckily, Z is saved by Arty, albeit in that exact moment she appears to be Goro, the four-armed warrior from Mortal Kombat (1992). And Goro seems to be having a case of indigestion.

    - Among Z's costume changes before his big date with Artemis, there is a sbutle nod to Donkey Kong as the punk outfit he tries on has a "DK" logo on the back.

    - When Nolan is trying to seduce Wade, among other things he claims he likes to play Robotron, a multidirectional-shooter for Atari 2600 from 1982.

    - Among the Atari 2600 games name-dropped by IOI as incompatible with Halliday’s final challenge are Centipede, Pitfall, and “all three” Swordquests. Other key ones include Berzerk, notable for its innovative maze design and the home of gaming's most notorious sentient smiley face, Evil Otto, and Defender, which had one of the coolest spaceship designs in early gaming.

    - In real-life, Daito’s OASIS rig comes with a Mortal Kombat pin.

    - Among the cameoing avatars in the final battle, we also spotted iconic game characters like Big Daddy from BioShock (2007), Chun-Li from Street Fighter II(1991), characters from the new popular next-gen first-person shooter, Overwatch (2016), and a squadron of Halo ass-kickers.

    - Also commenter Niko Sama picked up Chocobo from Final Fantasy II (1991) and StarCraft marines from StarCraft (1998).

    - At one point it looks like not the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but the Battletoads are leading a charge. Battletoads sure may seem like a TMNT ripoff, but they were mainly known as the protagonists of an extraordinarily difficult 1991 NES game. We wrote more about them here.

    - Also among all this craziness, Twitter user @therealmcKay22 noticed that Artemis uses a lancer from Gears of War (2006).

    - Similarly, @HikariDesTIny spotted Battleborn from 2K games in this battle royale.

    - Similarly, @misterredpants spotted that Parzival used the rail gun from Quake (1996) in this scene. 

    - During Parzival and Nolan Sorrento’s epic throwdown, Z totally drops a “hadouken” on him. Ryu would be proud.

    - Before Sorrento blasts I-R0k’s ten years of upgrades to hell, he calls using the cataclyst “a camper move.” Which in gamer terminology is akin to saying, “bad sport,” since it refers to newbies who play online shooters and just camp out in a hard-to-reach spot near respawning ammo or weapons.

    - During the final chase, Aech jokes she is “practicing my Mario Kart” when IOI scum begin trying to run her van off the road. This is a reference, to well, the true greatest racer franchise of all-time, no?

    - As the movie highlights to a sentimental degree, the first video game easter egg was in Adventure (1979), an Atari 2600 entry designed by Warren Robinett, who included a literal egg far away from the game’s central quest. If you discovered it though, you’d be greeted by Warren Robinett’s actual name, (which the Atari publisher refused to credit in the game at the time).

    - Young James Halliday appears to be playing a Colecovision system in his room. Anyone know what game he's playing, though? Well according to commenter Paul Imboden, we now know it is a game called Gorf (1981).

    - Inside Halliday's bedroom is also an old school poster for the original Pac-Man game.

    - Halliday’s final words to Wade of “thank you for playing my game” are a valued tradition among game-makers. It was most popularized by Super Mario 64 (1996) when Mario himself says, “Thank you a-so much for playing my game” at the end of the closing credits. Too bad Halliday didn’t offer Z some cake!

    - In the final scene with a rich and happy Wade and Samantha, you can see a Revenge from Mars (1999) pinball game behind them. Why they would include Revenge from Mars and not its infinitely superior 1995 predecessor, Attack From Mars, will have to remain a mystery.

    Ready Player One Superhero and Comic Book References

    - As aforementioned the first avatar we see as a pre-existing IP is Batman… Michael Keaton’s Batman from 1989 to be specific.

    - That is also Adam West’s classic Lincoln Futura (1955) as the Batmobile convertible during the film’s opening race. He drove it in the late 1960s camp classic TV series and 1966's Batman: The Movie.

    - Twitter user @Number_6 has pointed out that Artemis' bike has the logo for The Greatest American Hero, a short-lived superhero television series, which ran on ABC from 1981 to 1983.

    - When Artemis and Parzival are testing each other on geeky Halliday trivia knowledge, Z drops that the late Halliday’s favorite quote was from Superman: The Movie (1978). And to be fair, it is an amazing nugget of comic wisdom, compliments of Gene Hackman’s Lex Luthor: “Some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it’s a simple adventure story; others can read the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper and unlock the secrets of the universe.”

    - Wade Watts reveals his father gave him an alliterative name to mimic superheroes like Peter Parker (Spider-Man) and Bruce Banner (the Hulk). Fun fact: actor Tye Sheridan also plays Scott Summers, aka the mutant superhero Cyclops, in the current X-Men movies.

    - When Arty gives Z Clark Kent glasses, they’re not just any generic Superman reference, but one specifically taken from Christopher Reeve’s frames in Superman: The Movie. As are the questionable plaid, ‘70s suit clothes options she offers for him to peruse, and that particular slicked down hairstyle.

    - At the Distracted Globe dance party, a couple’s avatars are cloyingly modeled after the Joker and Harley Quinn.

    - In the real world, 11-year-old Shoto is sporting a varsity jacket that looks a lot like the ones found in Smallville in Superman III(1983).

    - Somewhere in the Stacks, there is a tagger who is a big fan of Teen Titans since one of the urban artworks is of the DC character Raven.

    - During Parzial's call to action, we totally see the back profiles of avatars dressed as Catwoman and a capeless Batman. However, @dickson_edwards suggests the capeless Batman is in fact the Arkham Knight from the PS4/Xbox One video game, Batman: Arkham Knight. We aren't sure, but it seems very plausible.

    - During the epic final act throwdown, Spawn is definitely present for the fireworks.

    - Someone came ready for the war by dressing as Batgirl too, albeit we only see her briefly before the flash of the cataclyst incinerates everyone in sight.

    -The IOI researcher offices include back issues of DC Comics Presents.

    Ready Player One Misc. References

    - The film defiantly begins to the sounds of Van Halen's “Jump” before the cold open even fades onto an image.

    - At the beginning of the film, near the time we see RoboCop, another avatar runs by dressed as Marvin the Martian from Looney Tunes.

    - Also in this sequence is an avatar dressed as Hello Kitty! (Thanks to commenter Erin Grady Brown for pointing this one out!)

    - Aech is introduced getting points by being a badass on Planet Doom, which is a reference to a dead rock in the Drule Empire on the Voltron cartoon series (1984-1985).

    - It feels like much of James Halliday is also somewhat based on Dana Carvey's Garth from iconic early '90s SNL sketch and unlikely blockbuster, Wayne's World. You know, by way of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak (with a sprinkling of Willy Wonka).

    further reading: Ready Player One - Complete Soundtrack

    - Halliday is often seen wearing a Simon pin. Simon was a Milton Bradley electronic memory game, a multi-colored, lights-and-sounds "Simon says" that was a surprising amount of fun, and as much an icon of the 1980s as the Rubik's Cube.

    - The blue Bigfoot truck that Aech drives is the original monster truck, and one that was replicated on countless pieces of 1980s merchandise at the height of that bizarre craze.

    - Among the race cars is again the Mach Five from the Japanese anime Speed Racer (1966-1968).

    - Parzival’s DeLorean has KITT’s red-eyed grill scanner from the David Hasselhoff cheese-classic, Knight Rider(1982-1986).

    - Commenters Erin Grady Brown also caught Stephen King's Christine in this scene. Also Erin and Twitter user @Number_6 caught the van from The A-Team is also in this scene. 

    - And of course Artemis' bike is the one from Akira (1988), a reference we should have remembered but forgot about until commenter Liam Crewe helpfully reminded us.

    - In the lead-up to the race Joan Jett's “I Hate Myself for Loving You” rocks on.

    - While listing a few of James Halliday's favorite things, Z reveals his favorite snack food is Hot Pockets, and his favorite restaurant is Chuck E. Cheese. Which considering he was a grown man is... interesting.

    - Also here is a bonus about Chuck E. Cheese, compliments of @HBEaker. The restaurant franchise was founded by Nolan Bushnell in 1977 after he co-founded Atari in 1972.

    - When Z and Arty are testing each other on geeky Halliday knowledge, Parzival says Halliday's favorite song was the Buggles' “Video Killed the Radio Star” (there's no accounting for taste, eh?) and his favorite music video was aha's “Take On Me.” And in the latter's case, he has a point...

    - Aech’s garage includes laser guns and spaceships from Battlestar: Galactica (1978-1979). There is more of that in Aech’s own subsection.

    - It appears that all of the Doritos bags in the movie use the vintage 1980s logo and bag design.

    - Also a really nice touch is the casting of Hannah John-Kamen as F'Nale in the film. Introduced early as the IOI executive in charge of the "loyalty centers," F'Nale's job is to round up poor souls and welcome them into glorified slavery as corporations' new take on indentured servitude, which honestly doesn't feel that far off from our world. While that is grim, John-Kamen's casting feels like a subtle nod to Black Mirror, in which she appeared in the second episode ever in "Fifteen Million Merits." That is the episode where a future dystopia keeps people trapped as glorified slaves in little glass and plastic cubes while they watch reality television. Sound familiar?

    - I-R0k attempts to “compliment” Nolan Sorrento by saying “you never lick;” he just bites down to the center of a Tootsie Pop. Like that commercial. You know THAT commercial…

    - As Aech taunts Z for daydreaming about Arty, the Temptation's “Just My Imagination” softly plays in the background. 

    - I-R0k is introduced doing a “Poor Yorick” routine with a Steam Punk Pirate’s skull, which is a slightly more high-brow reference to Act V of William Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

    - Speaking of Hamlet, the nightclub that Arty invites Z to is called “the Distracted Globe,” a subtler nod to the first act of the Bard’s masterwork. This is the term the eponymous Danish prince uses to sneer at his court and surroundings, implying they are distracted with crass entertainment while matters of importance, like justice for his father’s murdered ghost, go ignored.

    - While getting ready to party at the Distracted Globe, Parzival tries on a series of costumes that he and Aech rightly reject, like Michael Jackson’s red “Thriller” outfit, Prince's "Purple Rain" get-up*, a generic-looking punk Mohawk, and a white Duran Duran get-up that someone else will have to precisely identify.

    * Thanks to commenter Janne Nyyssonen for pointing out this one!

    - As Z enters the Distracted Globe New Order's “Blue Monday” adds some disaffected style. Later, when we meet Arty in the real world, she's wearing a Joy Division shirt. Joy Division is the band that eventually morphed into New Order.

    - At the Distracted Globe, all the robotic bartenders are wearing the ridiculous hats from Devo's awful "Whip It" music video.

    - Nolan’s deal with the Devil offer includes the claim he enjoys drinking Tab. Just right there, Z should’ve known Nolan wasn’t on the level, because Tab is disgusting.

    - When Aech has his/her fancy tickled by a ghostly girl, she asks “am I being punked?” This reference the awful Ashton Kutcher/MTV series, Punk’d (2003-2007).

    - Among IOI’s research materials is a copy of the book Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1978).

    - Nolan Sorrento’s private rig includes the complete Nancy Drew mystery book series. Don’t judge.

    - Inside Sorrento and I-R0k's orb of power is a D-20 dice. Dungeons & Dragons fans know what's up with that, including our dear commenter Tom Stephens who brought it to our attention.

    - During Parzival's big speech across the OASIS, his drone-camera is what appears to be a literally magical Magic 8-Ball. You know those silly toys that "could tell the future" and kids used to love before smartphones?

    - Z's final call to arms is Twisted Sister's “We're Not Gonna Take It.” Hell yeah!

    - During the final battle, commenter Erin Grady Brown helpfully spotted He-Man! Now the struggle on Planet Doom can truly be legendary!

    - To battle Mechagodzilla, Daito assumes the mobile suited body of an RX-78-2 Gundam from the iconic Japanese anime Mobile Suit Gundam (1979). However, I personally would have recommended he’d selected Heero Yuy’s Wing Zero from Gundam Wing (1996) if he wanted to truly wreck Mechagodzilla.

    - When Artemis puts down Nolan Sorrento (for a minute) and Mechagodzilla (for the count), she does so with a Madball. These were briefly popular grossout toys for young boys in the mid-'80s, which like all fads of that decade spawned a video game and shortly lived Saturday morning cartoon series. I believe the Madball used was "Dust Brain," but please correct me if I'm wrong.

    - Both Aech in real-life and a poster in Halliday’s digital childhood bedroom includes Rush’s 2112 album cover. 2112 side one is a bizarre, futuristic/dystopian sci-fi rock epic. You can see why these characters are fans.

    - Clearly visible in young James' room is a vintage Dungeons & Dragons poster. That, along with the Rush 2112 poster, were standard issue for edgy '80s nerds.

    - Also visible on the back wall of Halliday's bedroom is the album cover of Devo's Freedom of Choice. Thanks be to Peter J. Daley Jr. for bringing that to our attention!

    - We hear of "the gold mines of Gygax." Gary Gygax was the inventor of Dungeons & Dragons.

    - At one point, Ghost Halliday also briefly holds a toy (don't ask us the year or model) of the Robot from Lost in Space (1965-1968). He was kind of like Robby's knockoff, but much more cuddily, cousin. (Thanks to commenter Eric Sharpe for reminding us of this!)

    - There's a killer Masters of the Universe tin lunchbox in Wade's hideout, too.

    - Also Twitter user @Yeedi_Dinsuar makes an interesting point that Halliday's egg is a nod to the golden seed (or egg) in the anime Sword Art Online. While I'm not sure myself, judge for yourself by looking at the egg here.

    - Also during the very end, commenter Erin Grady Brown spotted the Star Trek weapon Bat'leth near the aforementioned Robby the Robot in Wade and Samantha's nerd nirvana home.

    - While we're on the subject of toys, Aech keeps lots of them in his lair. There are models of the original Battlestar Galactica, the Nostromo from Alien, Cygnus (from Disney’s The Black Hole) and they mention (but we do not see) the Harkonnen Drop Ship a toy that was advertised by LJN as part of their bizarre Dune line, but which never actually came out.

    Ready Player One Easter Egg - Art3mis References

    Art3mis References

    We also thought it might be worthy deconstructing each character and what they bring to the table, in case the above references can seem dizzying or daunting.

    - Again, “Art3mis” should be called “Artemis” because, at least per the book where Samantha only conceded putting the numeral “3” in her avatar's name, because “Artemis” was already taken when she created her avatar.

    - Artemis as a name is in reference to Greek mythology where Artemis is Goddess of the Hunt. Further, fans of Wonder Woman might like to know that Artemis was conflated with “Diana” as one goddess in Roman mythology.

    - Arty’s weapon of choice throughout the film is an M41A Pulse Rifle from James Cameron’s Aliens (1986).

    - In the real world, Samantha’s visor has a Batman sticker on it.

    - There's some graffiti in Samantha's HQ that looks like a nod to seminal 1980s graffiti artist, Keith Haring.

    Ready Player One Easter Egg - Parzival References

    Parzival References

    - A perfectly good place is to start with Parzival himself. As we’ll detail more later, his name is obviously a play on Percival, the member of King Arthur’s round tabled knights who, according to some versions of the myth, is the one who found the Holy Grail. However, this version is most popularized in nerd culture by John Boorman’s 1981, heavy metal cult classic, Excalibur. Which for the record has a design for its titular sword that looks identical to the blade embroidered into the back of Z’s clothes in the OASIS.

    -His empty gun holster also looks suspiciously like what Han Solo wore in the original Star Wars trilogy.

    - Z’s entire aesthetic is typical mid-‘80s, heavy metal fan.

    - There is a Thundercats symbol on Z’s belt buckle, while his gun holster/belt combo are reminiscent of Han Solo.

    - Parzival's final visor at the end has a sticker for The Greatest American Hero TV show. But we're not sure if this is really Z's style or Aech, since it is her van... (Thanks to Twitter user @Number_6 for finding this!)

    Ready Player One Easter Egg - Aech References

    Aech References

    - In the real world, she’s Helen, but she prefers to be just a “he” and Aech while logged into the OASIS.

    - In the real-world, Aech has a lot of different vintage pins on her jacket. We could not catch them all, but among the ones we spotted were a classic Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) pin and a vintage '70s Wonder Woman badge of honor. Also thanks to commenter Peter J. Daley Jr., we also now know that one more of the pins for the band Dead Kennedys.

    - Aech totally also has a Batman poster in the back of her truck.

    - Also thanks to commenter Erin Grady Brown, we also know the graffiti on the back of Aech's truck is actually from the Dungeons & Dragons module, "Tomb of Horrors," which was a pivotal plot point in the book.

    further reading: Ready Player One - The Virtues and Flaws of What Aech Represents

    - And now, all in one place, everything we spotted in Aech’s garage and den:

    The Iron Giant; laser blaster from the original Battlestar: Galactica; the U.S.S. Sulaco drop ship from Aliens*; the Eagle 5 space RV from Spaceballs; the Colonial Viper spaceship from Battlestar: Galactica; an ED-209 from RoboCop; the 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off; the Extravehicular Activity Pod from 2001: A Space Odyssey; the Valley Forge from Silent Running; an exo-skeleton robot from the animated series Exosquad; a Thunderfighter from the TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century; and a Swordfish II spaceship from the anime Cowboy Beebop (1998-1999); the Cocktails & Dreams sign from Cocktail; a Mad Max poster; and an awesome “Re-Elect Mayor ‘Goldie’ Wilson” poster from Back to the Future.

    - Also some more we missed, but commenter Erin Grady Brown picked up: Pee-wee Herman's bike from Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985); the TARDIS from Doctor Who; a stuffed Kermit the Frog; and a political poster for Wil Wheaton.

    *Thank you to commenter Raul Martinez-Orozco for pointing this out.

    Numb from your sugar overload yet? Yeah, we didn’t think so. Let us know what we missed or chew me out on Twitter here.


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    The original Panzer Dragoon games are getting long-awaited remakes.

    Panzer Dragoon Remake
    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2018

    Panzer Dragoon 1&2 are getting some surprising - but welcome - remakes. 

    Forever Entertainment (a publisher largely known for mobile titles) has announced a partnership with Sega that will allow them to remake the first two Panzer Dragoongames. Both games (Panzer Dragoon: Remake and Panzer Dragoon II Zwei: Remake) will feature "completely new graphics compatible with today’s standards and several modifications of the game, making it more attractive to modern players, while remaining faithful to the original in terms of story."

    That statement confirms that these games will be remakes in the true sense of the modern usage of the word. That means that the original Panzer DragoonSega Saturn games will be redesigned from the ground up in an attempt to ensure that they meet the technical (and perhaps gameplay) standards of modern titles. While Forever Entertainment doesn't expand on their plans regarding modifications to the base game (beyond the brief statement mentioned above), it certainly sounds like they're interested in bringing these gems into the modern age. 

    So far as that goes, the original Panzer Dragoon games do offer some advantages. As largely on-rail shooters, the original Panzer Dragoon games were more of a technical showcase than revolutionary gameplay experiences. Ideally, that means that they should be able to largely focus on improving the visuals of the original games without having to focus too much on bringing their gameplay into the modern age. That isn't to say that the original titles aren't in need of some gameplay touch-ups, but they probably don't require a complete overhaul. 

    To be honest, that's a good thing when you consider that Forever Entertainment doesn't seem to be too experienced with projects of this (theoretical) size and hype. The fact Sega chose to partner with them over what we assume would be a large number of studios that would like to tackle these games does offer comfort, but we'll have to see whether or not these remakes recapture the magic of the originals. 

    There's no word yet on a release date for these games or which platforms they will be released on. 

    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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    Doom legend John Romero will honor the series with the release of Sigil.

    Doom Sigil
    News Matthew Byrd
    Dec 12, 2018

    John Romero, one of the original designers and creators of Doom, has revealed a new project called Sigil that he describes as a kind of spiritual successor to the revolutionary 1993 FPS title. 

    There aren't many details available regarding the specifics of this successor at this time, but we do know a few things about it that already have us intrigued. First off, it sounds like this game will serve as an unofficial follow-up to Ultimate Doom's fourth episode. As some of you may remember, Ultimate Doom is the 1995 follow-up to Doom that was created by John Carmack, John Romero, and some developers from the Doom fan community. It was intended to serve as a find of "definitive" version of the original title. 

    What's particularly interesting about Sigil's apparent status as a spiritual successor to the fourth episode of Ultimate Doom is that the fourth episode of Ultimate Doom is itself something of a prequel to Doom II. It's not clear at this time whether or not Sigil will introduce new (at least unofficial) plot points to the Doom series or whether this project will simply tread some slightly familiar ground. 

    What is clear is that Sigil will feature nine new single-player levels as well as nine deathmatch levels. While all of this content will be free when Sigil launches during February 2019, you will need a copy of the original version of Ultimate Doom in order to play it. 

    Romero himself took to Twitch recently to show-off some early Sigil gameplay. While the demo was fairly brief, it did showcase what certainly appeared to be some incredibly familiar Doom-like gameplay. It seems easy enough to say that if you've been craving some old-school Doom action, then Sigilshould be a fairly easy recommendation. 

    Of course, those of you who prefer the re-imagined gameplay of the 2016 Doom remake always have Doom Eternal to look forward to. While there is no confirmed release date for Eternal, it should also be available sometime during 2019. 

    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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