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(showing articles 1 to 40 of 40)

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    The world's richest eSports competition has begun. Here's your guide to the action.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 12, 2018

    Dota 2 has long been one of competitive gaming's most fascinating scenes. In some ways, its success in the realm of competitive gaming felt like the game's birthright. As the successor to the popular Warcraft III mod, Defense of the Ancients, Dota 2 launched with a fanbase eager to get in on the competitive action. In order to satiate their desires, Valve invited some of the best Defense of the Ancients teams in the world to compete in a 2011 Dota 2 tournament that offered a $1 million prize pool. 

    From there, the Dota 2 competitive scene has only continued to grow. What began as an invite-only tournament has blossomed into a competitive season that demands the best from some truly talented teams across the world. They're competing for glory, honor, and the right to be called the best, but they're also competing for a silly amount of money. Dota 2's 2017 International tournament boasted a prize pool of $24,687,919 - the largest of its kind in eSports history. 

    Look beyond the cash prizes and the sold-out stadiums of fans that the game's biggest matches attract and you'll find that Dota 2 is ultimately a great MOBA that demands perfect teamwork, a flawless strategy, and incredible individual play. There's a reason this game was launched with a legacy of top-tier competitive gaming to live up to. 

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    Here's what you need to know about Dota 2's 2018 competitive scene:

    Dota 2 International 8 Format

    The major change to Dota 2's 2018 competitive season is Valve's decision to abandon the single-tournament format in favor of several tournaments throughout the year that will award competitive points. Those points will then be used to determine who is invited to the championship tournament, The International 8. 

    The way this works is quite simple. Throughout the course of the 2017-2018 competitive season, there will be 16 Minors tournaments and 10 Majors tournaments. Minors will award 300 competitive points across the top four teams. Majors will reward an astounding 1,500 points across the same size of winners. First place teams get 50% of the points, second place gets 30%, and third and fourth place walk away with 10%. Tournaments that differentiate between third and fourth place will see the third-place team get 15% and the fourth place team gets 5%.

    The eight teams invited to The International 8 will be determined by which teams have the most points among their top three players. Other teams can then make it to the big tournament via regional qualifier competitions. 

    Dota 2 International 8 Prize Pool

    Considering that Dota 2's International prize pool is determined by community contributions and official donations from Valve and other organizers, we don't currently know just how rich this year's prize will be. However, The International's final prize pool has only grown since 2014. That mean's this year's total earnings could very well exceed $25 million. 

    Dota 2 International 8 Live Stream

    You can watch the most important matches of the Dota 2 competitive season by checking out our live stream post.

    Dota 2 International 8 Tournament Schedule

    Here are the remaining tournaments for the 2017-2018 competitive season:

    Minors Tournaments

    GESC E-Series - Jakarta: March 16-18

    DreamLeague Season 9: March 20-25

    StarLadder: April 11-15

    Perfect World: April 17-24

    GESC E-Series: Bangkok: May 11-13

    Majors Tournaments

    The Bucharest Major: March 8-11

    Dota 2 Asia Championships: March 30-April 7

    EPICENTER: April 27-May 7

    Mars Media; name TBD: May 14-20

    ESL; name TBD: May 25-27

    PGL; name TBD: June 4-10

    Dota 2 International 8 Standings

    1 - 7197 
    2 Team Liquid - 4635 
    3 Team Secret - 4260 
    4 Newbee - 2175 
    5 Vici Gaming - 2160 
    6 VGJ.Thunder - 1395 
    7 Natus Vincere - 1109 
    8 Mineski - 900 

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    They say CSGO is the world's most exciting eSport. Here's what you need to know about the game's growing competitive scene.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 12, 2018

    Those that love Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's competitive scene say that it might just be the perfect eSport. It's not hard to see why. 

    There are no respawns in CSGO. There are no health packs, special abilities, meta-dependent hero choices, or minions to kill. A CSGO match consists of two teams trying to use precision coordination and expert aim to either disarm/plant a bomb or simply wipe out the opposing squad. Victory in CSGO is rewarded to those teams and players who exemplify an uncommon mastery of some of the purest gaming mechanics in all of eSports. 

    It's an easy game to follow, an incredibly difficult game to master, and a hard game not to love once you begin watching it played at the highest levels. 

    Fortunately, CSGO's competitive scene is thriving. Recent tournaments have proven that the overall pool of talent who compete in the largest CSGO tournaments has never been deeper. Top teams and players from across the world are finding new ways to shock viewers with their expert play. Victory demands a level of perfection and peak performance that typically results in some of the most amazing matches you'll ever witness. 

    Here's your guide to the exciting world of competitive CSGO

    CSGO eSports Schedule

    Here's the list of the largest CSGO tournaments set for the current competitive season. In addition to these events are a host of smaller tournaments spread throughout the year. 

    March 12-18: WESG 2018 World Finals
    March 28-April 1: Copenhagen Games 2018
    May 14-20: ESL Pro League Season 7 Finals
    May 19-21: DreamHack Open Tours 2018
    June 16-18: DreamHack Open Summer 2018
    July 3-8 ESL: One Cologne 2018
    July 12-14: DreamHack Open Valencia 2018
    Aug 29-Sept: 2 DreamHack Masters Stockholm
    Sept 18-Nov 22: ESL Pro League Season 8 NA/EU
    Nov 16-18: DreamHack Open Atlanta
    Nov 30-Dec 2: DreamHack Open Winter 2018
    Dec 10-16: ESL Pro League Season 8 Finals

    CSGO eSports Results

    Here are the results from some recent major tournaments:

    ESL Pro League Season 6 - Finals

    Winner: SK Gaming

    Runner-Up: FaZe Clan

    Esports Championship Series Season 4 - Finals

    Winner: FaZe Clan

    Runner-Up: Mousesports

    ELEAGUE Major: Boston 2018

    Winner: Cloud9

    Runner-Up: FaZe Clan

    StarLadder & i-League StarSeries Season 4

    Winner: mouz

    Runner-Up: Na`Vi

    Intel Extreme Masters XII - World Championship

    Winner:  Fnatic

    Runner-Up:  FaZe

    Full results from all known global tournaments can be found here.

    CSGO eSports Format

    CSGO's competitive format has the strange distinction of being fairly simple and sometimes frustratingly complicated.

    In lieu of a formal league, many of CSGO's largest competitions are divided into individual tournaments. These tournaments are typically broken down into Majors and Minors. The big difference between the two is that Majors offer larger ($100,000 plus, typically) prize pools. However, many tournaments employ an open format that allows major and minor teams to compete on roughly the same playing field. Of course, the largest teams may receive formal invites from the tournament's organizers. 

    However, there are a few Majors throughout the year that are endorsed by Valve. These tournaments often offer $1,000,000+ prize pools and typically feature only the top teams in the world as determined by Valve and the tournament's organizers. Said teams typically consist of previous Majors and Minors competitors/winners as well as teams that qualify through online and offline play. 

    So basically, it's all about the Majors and especially the Valve-endorsed Majors tournaments. However, Minors are a great way for pros to earn extra money and for smaller teams to boost their reputation. 

    CSGO eSports Prize Pool

    Prize pools can vary pretty wildly in CSGO as there isn't much of a formal league play structure. Smaller events may offer $25,000 dan a little reputation. Majors, though, can offer anywhere between $100,000 and $1,000,000 depending on their size and affiliation. 

    CSGO eSports Top Teams

    Because CSGO works off a tournament by tournament format, there isn't really an officially recognized "ranking" of the top teams. However, some of the generally recognized best teams in the world at the moment include:

    - Cloud9

    - Astralis

    - FaZe

    - Fnatic

    - Gambit 

    - SK Gaming

    - Virtus.Pro

    Again, though, part of the fun of CSGO tournaments is the very real possibility that any team can win any event at any time. 

    StarLadder & i-League StarSeries Season 4

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    Catch up on everything that's going on with the first season of Overwatch League! Here are the results...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 12, 2018

    The Overwatch League starts on January 10, 2018. From there, matches between the league's 12 teams are expected to occur four times a week, Wednesday through Saturday. This inaugural season will divide teams into two divisions.

    Overwatch's playoff season will run from July 11 to July 28. It's not clear what the playoff structure will be, but it will likely adopt a best of five formats for the initial games before moving to a possible best of seven for the Championship.

    Overwatch League Stage One Playoff Results

    The London Spitfire won the Overwatch League stage one playoffs after defeating the Houston Outlaws 3-1 and the New York Excelsior 3-2. They took home $100,000 for their win while New York snagged $25,000 for their second-place finish. 

    Overwatch League Stage Two Schedule

    The full Overwatch League stage two schedule can be found here. Play begins on February 21st. Like stage one, it will conclude with a three-team playoff that rewards prize money, but will not affect the league standings. 

    Overwatch League Overall Standings

    1 New York Excelsior: 14-2

    2 Seoul Dynasty: 13-3

    3 London Spitfire: 11-5

    4 Los Angeles Valiant: 11-5

    5 Houston Outlaws: 10-6

    6 Philadelphia Fusion: 9-7

    7 Boston Uprising: 8-8

    8 Los Angeles Gladiators: 8-8 

    9 San Francisco Shock: 5-11

    10 Dallas Fuel: 5-11

    11 Florida Mayhem: 2-14

    12 Shanghai Dragons: 0-16

    A full breakdown of map win scores and overall map differential can be found here

    Overwatch League Stage Two Changes

    Overwatch League stage two will feature the recent changes Mercy and Junkrat. While the Junkrat nerfs should have a minimal impact, the changes to Mercy figure to completely alter the way that professional Overwatch teams approach strategy. It could drastically shake-up the standings. 

    Overwatch League Teams

    The Atlantic Division includes the Boston Uprising, Florida Mayhem, Houston Outlaws, London Spitfire, New York Excelsior, and Philadelphia Fusion.

    The Pacific Division includes the Dallas Fuel, Los Angeles Gladiators, Los Angeles Valiant, San Francisco Shock, Seoul Dynasty, and Shanghai Dragons. 

    Overwatch League Format

    The current plan is for each team to play 20 division matches per season and 20 non-division matches. The highest-ranked team in each division at the end of the season will receive an automatic playoff berth and a first-round playoff bye.

    The remaining four playoff teams will be determined by who has the best overall record. That's in contrast to leagues like the NBA and NFL that require a certain amount of representatives from each division. 

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    In order to ensure that teams remain competitive, the OverwatchLeague will also feature mini-tournaments throughout the season featuring the best performing teams from the past five weeks. This way, teams with overall bad records can still theoretically win five-week bonuses. 

    Overwatch League Prize Money

    The winners of the Overwatch League will earn a $1,000,000 team bonus and the Overwatch League championship trophy. The runner-ups will receive $400,000, third and fourth place teams will take home $100,000, and fifth and sixth place squads will walk away with $50,000. 

    There are also bonuses for regular season records which tops out with a $300,000 bonus to the team with the best overall record. All told, $3 million in bonuses will be awarded throughout the year. On top of that, players will receive a salary and benefits. 

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    Hearthstone pays homage to the world of horror in this exciting expansion.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 12, 2018

    The next Hearthstone expansion is a horror-themed add-on called The Witchwood

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    That excellent trailer certainly sets the stage, but its the other information Blizzard has revealed about the expansion which has us truly excited. First off, pre-ordering The Witchwood for $49.99 will award you with 70 packs. This is up from the usual 50 packs players previously got for that pre-order price (which was slightly below the standard rate for individual card packs). This move will no doubt please players who have stated that the typical pre-order incentive doesn't yield enough of the new card collection. Even those who don't pre-order will receive three free card packs and a random class Legendary card just by logging in. 

    Speaking of the cards, Blizzard has shared six of the cardsThe Witchwood will introduce to Hearthstone, and two of them utilize entirely new mechanics: Echo and Rush. Rush allows a card to attack the turn it is played - or summoned from hand/deck - but unlock charge, Rush cards can only attack other minions on the turn they are played. Echo cards, meanwhile, can be played multiple times in a single turn. As long as you have the mana to keep putting them on the board, you can do so to your heart's content. 

    Fans of Hearthstone's single-player modes can also look forward to a new adventure called Monster Hunt. This mode lets players choose between one of four heroes exclusively designed for this single-player adventure and embark upon a trip into the Witchwood. Along the way, they'll encounter a series of eight "ever more challenging encounters" that all lead up to a showdown with an unidentified final boss. Fortunately, every victory will award you with new gear that should make progressing deeper into the woods just a bit easier. 

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    Considering that the release of this expansion will also herald the beginning of a new set rotation - which you can read more about here - there's a very good chance that The Witchwood is going to drastically shake-up the Hearthstone meta through the introduction of many new strategies and deck types. 

    At present, there is no release date available for The Witchwood. However, additional card reveals will begin on March 26th and will likely continue until just before the expansion's release date. 

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    Shadow of the Tomb Raider will be the next Lara Croft adventure and it arrives in September!

    News Matthew ByrdJohn Saavedra
    Mar 14, 2018

    Square Enix confirmed the development the next game in the Tomb Raider franchise back in December 2017. The game is called Shadow of the Tomb Raider and will arrive on Sept. 14.

    The news was first confirmed by Kotaku, which dug through the HTML of the game's teaser site to reveal the following tagline:

    Shadow of The Tomb Raider is the climatic finale of Lara’s origin story. Available September 14th 2018

    The official announcement will be made tomorrow at 9 am ET. Expect the game's first trailer then, as well as a few details on the plot and gameplay. 

    There's also some mystery concerning who is actually working on the game. Crystal Dynamics - developer of the Tomb Raider franchise since its beginning - appears to have its hands full at the moment with a few Marvel projects. Kotaku reports that this next chapter will actually be developed by Eidos Montreal, the studio behind the last two Deus Ex games and Thief

    Whoever ends up working on the game, it probably shouldn't come as much of a surprise that there is a new Tomb Raider in the works. After all, Square Enix's reboot of the franchise has been tremendously successful in terms of critical acclaim and market success. The recent Tomb Raider games have been praised for their strong narratives and clever reimaginings of classic Tomb Raider tropes. 

    It's not going to be easy to replicate the accomplishments of those titles, but at a time when the Uncharted series is likely taking a break for the foreseeable future, Lara Croft's return will be a welcome one indeed. 

    More news as we learn it!

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    Getting ready for E3 2018? Here's a rundown of what you can expect.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

    E3 2018 Conference Dates and Times

    *All times listed are ET

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

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

    More dates and times as they are confirmed...

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    E3 2018: How to Watch

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

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

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

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    The canceled Star Wars: Battlefront 4 would have featured alternate versions of Luke, Maul, Obi-Wan, Leia, and more!

    NewsJohn Saavedra
    Mar 14, 2018

    More than five years after its death, we continue to mourn the game development branch of LucasArts, the company responsible for many of the best Star Wars games of the '90s and '00s. What's so tragic about the end of LucasArts (it still exists as a licensor) is that there were a couple of projects still in the pipeline in its twilight years, before Disney shut down operations for good in 2013.

    These projects included an action-adventure game starring a young Boba Fett called Star Wars 1313, as well as a Darth Maul game and Battlefront III - all promising, all reminders that Star Wars games weren't just about "live services" and microtransactions back in the day.

    Add to that list: Battlefront IV. According to Eurogamer, developer Free Radical was already in the process of planning the next installment in the Star Wars shooter series when LucasArts decided to cancel Battlefront III in 2006. While it's a shame that the very far along Battlefront III never saw the light of day, the fact that we never got Battlefront IV is an even bigger tragedy if a new collection of concept art for the game is any indication. 

    Based on the concept art, Battlefront IV would have featured alternate versions of many fan-favorite heroes and villains, including dark side versions of Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Leia, and even evil Chewbacca. On the other hand, Count Dooku, Maul, and Asajj Ventress would have been Jedi. There is even concept art for an Emperor Vader!

    Check out all the concept art below:

    Star Wars Battlefront IV Concept Art (FRD

    What Free Radical was planning was very different from anything we'd ever seen in the games before. The game would have remixed the storyline of the first six films, having Anakin kill both Yoda and Padme, causing Obi-Wan and Luke to fall to the dark side (for reasons). Palpatine would have never even been a senator and Chewbacca would have spent his life as a slave. The approach seems most akin to Dark Horse's Infinities series, which featured alternate takes on the film saga, such as when Leia became a Jedi after Luke was killed on Hoth.

    Alas, we'll probably never get to play a Star Wars game like this, at least not an experience that takes this many liberties with the story and characters of the film saga. And if we ever do get the chance to play as Dark Side Luke, we'll probably have to buy quite a few loot boxes first.

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    Everything we know about SoulCalibur VI, including latest news, release date, trailers, and much more!

    News Gavin JasperMatthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    Considering how the fighting game genre has been able to make a comeback these last few years, one question that’s been brought up quite a bit is, “Where’s SoulCalibur?” Bandai Namco’s second fighting game cash cow used to be a huge deal, but it’s been years since the last installment kind of crapped the bed. Luckily, The 2017 Game Awards announced the return of the franchise!

    The Soul series began back in 1995 with the exceptional Soul Edge, renamed Soul Blade on consoles. The game’s story takes place in 1584 and centers around armed warriors from around the world fighting over the rights to a cursed sword known as Soul Edge, then wielded by a possessed pirate. This would lead to the sequel SoulCalibur, which would hold onto the branding for all the later installments. The series has continued to focus on the quest for the evil sword ever since.

    The last real installment was SoulCalibur V in 2012, which didn’t exactly set the world on fire due to how little the game had to offer, especially compared to its predecessors. Hopefully, SoulCalibur VI will return to the glory days of the Dreamcast era.

    Get your blind gimp cosplay ready because SoulCalibur VI is a go. Here's everything we know about the game:

    SoulCalibur VI News

    SoulCalibur VIwill feature a guest appearance from the Witcher himself, Geralt of Rivia.

    This announcement follows a tease from CD Projekt Red which indicated that Geralt might appear in a non-Witcher game sometime this year. It's hardly a surprise to hear that game is SoulCaliburgiven the series' history of incorporating outside characters and Geralt's SoulCalibur-friendly fighting style. Indeed, this trailer seems to suggest that Bandai Namco didn't have to change Geralt's moveset too much to incorporate him into the game. 

    SoulCalibur VI Release Date

    SoulCalibur VI will arrive in 2018 for PlayStation 4, Windows PC and Xbox One. Coincidentally, the series will celebrate its 20th-anniversary next year.

    SoulCalibur VI Trailers

    Two familiar fighters have joined the SoulCalibur VI roster. 

    First up is Zasalamel; the magician who debuted in SoulCalibur 3. Fans of the fighter will be happy to know that her scythe and spells look as brutal as ever. 

    Next up is series staple combatant, Ivy. She's still wearing questionably effective armor - it's certainly distracting - but looks to remain a fan favorite 

    Here's the extended trailer that played at PSX 2017:

    We obviously can’t parse too much from a one-minute video that shows off two mainstays, an incomplete glimpse at a new character, and flashbacks to the Soul Edge doing stuff. One thing that does stick out is the continuity. SoulCalibur IV ended with Sophitia dying and SoulCalibur V jumped ahead about 15 years to focus on her children. Not only is Sophitia alive and well here, but amidst all the random visions shown, the narrator mentions how “history hides away more than one truth.” In other words, there might be an in-story retcon of SoulCalibur V in the works, setting up VI as the beginning of a new timeline.

    Hey, it worked like gangbusters for Mortal Kombat.

    The big new gameplay addition is Reversal Edge, which is a counterpart to the Combo Breaker from Killer Instinct. Though that trailer shows Sophitia and Mitsurugi doing some kind of glowing buff thing as they attack one last time, so maybe that's something too.

    Then this trailer hit on January 26, revealing even more characters.

    With this, we get more classic characters. Kilik and Xianghua are the main heroes of the original SoulCalibur, while Nightmare is the game's badass villain. Seriously, look at how badass that horse of evil energy super is. The big twist, as shown at the end of the trailer, is that pure-hearted Kilik is now being corrupted by Soul Edge's demonic influences.

    Hey, it worked like gangbusters for Street Fighter. ...Okay, I'm done with that now.

    Also interesting is our first new character, Groh, who is some kind of medieval secret agent? He definitely seems fun and kind of has a low-tech Darth Maul quality to his swordplay. Can't wait to see more from him.

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    We're getting closer to being able to just ignore reality entirely.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    A new fan project is trying to make it possible to bring a little Street Fighter action into your otherwise boring world. 

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    Abhishek Singh, the same guy responsible for that first-person VR Mario game that made waves not too long ago, is responsible for this ambitious attempt to project some Street Fighter II action from your phone onto just about any point in the world. Yes, this AR game doesn't require any additional hardware and can supposedly be played nearly anywhere. 

    We say "supposedly" because there doesn't seem to be a way to actually play this project at this time. As such, we kind of have to take the initial footage featured in this reveal trailer at its word. While it's clear that this version of Street Fighter II isn't as fluid as the more...traditional ways to play the classic game, the technology running this project appears to be solid. 

    Of course, it seems like the game works best if you're able to project it onto an ideal surface. That means a flat surface that also affords you plenty of room to stand/sit still and play some Street Fighter. It doesn't seem like the game moves with you as moving closer to the action just creates a zoom-in effect. We also see a classic Street Fighter"Bonus Stage" featuring Ken beating the crap out of a digitally projected car. 

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    As for whether or not you'll ever actually be able to play this game for yourself...well we wouldn't hold your breath. The project's creator has designed many cool projects in the past, but he doesn't necessarily seem interested in releasing all of them on a retail level. That's easy enough to understand given that mass production carries many headaches that have nothing to do with creativity. There's also the very nasty licensing issues involved

    Still, we might be lucky enough for someone to take this concept and make it an - augmented - reality. 

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    A past its prime TV show attempts to capitalize on a fading mobile app fad.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    There's a new Walking Dead mobile game in the works that sure looks a lot like a zombie apocalypse version of Pokemon GO

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    The Walking Dead: Our World is an AR mobile game that allows you to wander the streets of our world and pretend that you're in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. From what we can gather, it seems that the gameplay largely consists of locating supply drops and other such beneficial items while avoiding the zombie hordes. Should you encounter one of the hordes, you'll transition into an AR viewpoint that will allow you and your teammates - who all seem to be popular Walking Dead characters - to do battle with the undead. 

    So yes, Our World does sound a lot like Pokemon Go with zombies. There are some differences - it seems there will be some kind of loot system that allows you to locate weapons of various quality - but the concepts appear to be relatively similar. 

    The Our Worlddevelopers have stated that the game's information will be taken from Google Maps, meaning that the app should be able to keep up with changes to your location roughly as they occur. They're hoping that will help enhance the game's sense of "immersion." We'll see whether or not the team at Next Game is able to recreate the theoretical thrills of a zombie apocalypse via this design style when Our World launches for iOS and Android sometime in the second quarter of 2018. 

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    Of course, this isn't the only Pokemon GO-style mobile game in the works. There's also a Jurassic Park AR title in the works as well as a Harry Potter AR title that we still don't know that much about. 

    It's hardly surprising to see so many mobile games recreate the Pokemon GO gameplay design given that GO is one of the most successful mobile titles ever. What is surprising is how long its taken for these studios to jump on that particular bandwagon. It remains to be seen whether or not these games can inspire people to wander the streets and engage in an AR communal experience once more. 

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    This sci-fi shooter combines elements of roguelikes and base builders.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    Team17 and Radiation Blue have revealed an interesting new take on the First-Person Shooter genre called Genesis Alpha One

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    Genesis Alpha One is described as a "unique mix of roguelikes, FPS, base-building, and survival elements." That's a lot to take in, but the trailer above provides a pretty clear idea of how this will all work. Basically, Alpha One will require players to explore various planets with an army of clones that they create throughout the course of the game. Each of these planets contains a variety of resources that can be utilized to build more clones and make improvements to your base ship. 

    Your base ship certainly appears to serve as the game's hub. The extent of your ability to upgrade it isn't quite clear, but we see that you are able to not only add new structures like crew quarters and respawn chambers but can even customize the color of specific pieces of furniture. Your ship will also serve as your personal laboratory where you will create human and hybrid soldiers/crew designed to help you on missions. 

    One thing that isn't quite clear at this stage is how the game's supposed "roguelike" elements will factor in. It appears that many of the planetary locations might be randomized, but it's entirely possible that the game will utilize some kind of pseudo-permadeath system that will require players to ensure they are able to respawn or otherwise create a clone of themselves. However, the meaning of that aspect of the game isn't quite clear at this time. 

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    Part of what makes this project interesting is the way that it utilizes space exploration and resource mining - such as the kind we saw in No Man's Sky - but wraps it around a more defined and arguably substantial gameplay experience. At its core, Alpha One appears to function as a sci-fi shooter. However, the base management aspects adds a level of depth designed to give the game's action some long-term meaning. 

    Genesis Alpha One will be released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sometime in 2018. 

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    Brigitte Lindholm, the daughter of Torbjörn, comes to Overwatch in March.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    Brigitte Lindholm is the 27th playable Overwatch hero. She is coming to the game on March 20.

    The video above explains how Brigitte Lindholm fits into the mythology of Overwatch. In case you haven't heard, she is the daughter of existing Overwatch hero Torbjörn and seems determined to forge her own destiny as both an inventor and a soldier. In fact, an update from Blizzard states that Brigitte originally served as Reindhardt's squire and helped him to keep his armor together on missions. Eventually, though, she decided that she needed to learn to fight. 

    As for how Brigitte will fit into Overwatch's gameplay, it sounds like she's going to be classified as a support character. However, Overwatch's Jeff Kaplan notes that she also serves a kind of tank role. That's a hybrid we haven't really seen before outside of Zarya, but it makes a lot more sense when you take a look at Brigitte's abilities. 

    Speaking of which, Brigitte's main attack is a melee move called Rocket Flail that allows her to swing her ball and chain hammer and hit multiple targets. She can also utilize an ability called Whip Shot which allows her to cover long distances and knock away any enemies that she may hit along the way. Brigitte also comes equipped with a shield that is mainly used to protect just her, but it can supposedly cover a smaller character directly behind you. On top of that, she can use that shield to bash any enemies and temporarily stun them. That should be great for those annoying flankers. 

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    But what makes Brigitte a support character? Well, she's able to throw repair packs that not only heal an ally but can overheal them in the form of armor. In other words, if the hero you are healing is at full health, they'll receive armor instead. Brigitte's ultimate, called Rally, allows her to move much faster than normal and provides nearby teammates with a substantial armor boost that lasts until its depleted by the enemy. 

    It sounds like Brigitte will be able to take care of herself, but perhaps won't be able to pump out as much damage as fellow support characters Zenyatta and Moira. However, we'll have to play her ourselves before concluding if that is the case. 

    Below, you can find a full list of her abilities:

    Rocket Flail– Brigitte’s melee weapon has an extended range, enabling her to strike multiple enemies with a single swing.

    Repair Pack– Brigitte throws a Repair Pack that can heal an ally. Any healing over that ally’s maximum health provides them with armor instead.

    Whip Shot– Brigitte throws her flail a long distance, dealing damage and knocking an enemy away from her.

    Barrier Shield– Brigitte deploys a frontal energy barrier to absorb a limited amount of damage.

    Shield Bash– Once her Barrier Shield is deployed, Brigitte can dash forward to stun an enemy.

    Inspire– When Brigitte hits enemies with her flail, she also heals nearby allies over time.

    Rally– Brigitte moves faster and provides all nearby allies with armor that lasts until it’s removed by damage.

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    Time is a luxury in this fresh take on the exploration genre.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 15, 2018

    Annapurna Interactive, the publisher of What Remains of Edith Finch and Kentucky Route Zero, has revealed more information about a new game from LA-based Mobius Digital called Outer Wilds.

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    The Outer Wilds combines elements of games like No Man's Sky and Subnautica by allowing players to explore vast landscapes and space settings. Every area you explore has been wonderfully handcrafted - as opposed to No Man's Sky's procedurally generated worlds - and contains a variety of secrets, stories, and more. Navigating between them will require players to learn a series of space travel mechanics that take into account things like the effects of gravity. 

    Here's where things get really interesting. Due to an unexplained time paradox, all of your journeys will only last 20 minutes. After that, you'll be transferred back into the world, but some things may be drastically different from how you left them. For instance, a once proud city may have been consumed by sand over an undisclosed period of time. That might create some problems for you as Outer Wilds does contain a deeply hidden mystery that players can solve if they're able to locate the right clues across the right timeframes. 

    If you'd rather not bother with any of that, you can always just explore the game's incredibly well-designed worlds, poke around a mystery or two, or maybe even just roast some marshmallows on the campfire. Outer Wilds doesn't seem intent on forcing you to do or be any single thing within its vast series of worlds.

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    We know, we've heard games talk a big talk like this before. However, Outer Wilds actually debuted in a limited form back at the 2015 Independent Games Festival Awards and actually won the event's top prize. It was described by those who played it as an undeniably compelling combination of whimsical exploration and genuine terror. That last element was delivered via the game's surprisingly involved navigation systems which make it perfectly possible to botch your course or ship landing. 

    Outer Wilds is expected to debut in 2018 for PC and as of yet unspecified platforms. 

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    Go behind-the-scenes at Overkill's The Walking Dead, the new game from the developers of the Payday series!

    NewsJohn Saavedra
    Mar 16, 2018

    Overkill's The Walking Dead is the highly-anticipated upcoming title from the makers of the Payday series and it brings something a bit different to the table for the popular zombie series. It's all about cooperative play, as you and four friends team up to mow down the walkers standing in the way of your survival. With unique character abilities, skill trees, squad roles, and story arcs, Overkill's The Walking Dead sounds like a very different experience from past video game adaptations.

    Den of Geek has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at some of the technical wizardry that's shaping this new game, specifically when it comes to the creation of one of its main protagonists.

    This new video takes an inside look at the creation of last December’s captivating cinematic teaser, created by CG and VFX powerhouse Goodbye Kansas Studios, which revealed the game’s first playable character: Aidan. Watch as the team goes in-depth on the creative and technical process to define Aidan’s lifelike persona and establish the constant atmosphere of danger and dread that surrounds this new post-apocalyptic nightmare in which our heroes must fight to survive.

    Check out the video below:

    Developed by Overkill, a Starbreeze studio, The Walking Dead is a four-player co-op multiplayer, FPS action game set in Washington, D.C., and inspired by the rich universe of Robert Kirkman’s original graphic novels. Each playable character has their own special abilities, skill trees, squad roles, play styles, and background stories. It’s up to players to band together using stealth or brute force on a variety of raids and missions, securing supplies and survivors to strengthen their camp against the threat of both the dead and the living by any means necessary.

    Overkill's The Walking Dead is expected to launch this year on the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC. 

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    Teams of heroes do battle in this upcoming mobile strategy title.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 16, 2018

    Ubisoft is reviving the Might and Magic series in the form of a mobile title. 

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    Developed by Ubisoft Barcelona Mobile, Might & Magic Elemental Guardians is described as a mobile title that "combines fast-paced strategy battles with stunning graphics." It will allow players to collect a series of fantasy heroes and ultimately use them to build the perfect team. The gameplay itself is a bit of a mystery at this point, but it seems that it will utilize some kind of MOBA-like mechanics with perhaps a dash of Clash of Clans thrown in for good measure. However, it seems we'll have to wait a bit longer to confirm what it is you'll actually be doing in this game. 

    What we can tell you is that Elemental Guardians will feature a single-player campaign, PvP options, the ability to level up your heroes, and the ability to create your own hero. It will also feature what is described as a Western anime style. 

    Elemental Guardians is set to release for iOS and Android on May 31st. You can pre-register for the game now, though, and you'll receive a "special in-game reward" for your effort. 

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    So what does any of this have to do with Might and Magic? Well, the game will feature some heroes from that series, but the truth of the matter is that the Might and Magic name really hasn't signified any one thing for quite some time. It began as a graphic adventure series, transitioned into more of a dungeon crawler, and was spun-off into various genres. Actually, Dark Messiah of Might and Magic is credited for revolutionizing the concept of first-person sword combat. 

    As such, this is less of a revival of the series in regards to its origin and more of another spin-off that utilizes the name. 

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    Battlefront II will no longer offer pay-to-win options, but you'll once again be able to spend money in the game.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 16, 2018

    EA is putting microtransactions back into Star Wars Battlefront II

    A recent blog post on the EA website outlines how microtransactions will now work in Battlefront II. Basically, you will no longer be able to purchase anything that might give you a competitive advantage in the game. That means no more purchasable loot crates and no more purchasable Star Cards. However, those who have already purchased and unlocked those items will be able to keep them. 

    From now on, progression in Battlefront II will be "linear." Thate means that Star Cards and items that may offer some kind of competitive advantage will be earned via gameplay. Players will now earn experience points for their classes and heroes that will be used to unlock additional skills and items that are used in the game. Once you've earned enough experience points, you'll get a skill point that you can use to unlock or upgrade a Star Card. 

    Loot crates will still be in the game, but they'll be issued as a bonus for daily log-ins, milestone completions, and by beating timed challenges. These crates will contain either credits or cosmetic items, but will not reward anything that can impact gameplay. 

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    However, none of that means that microtransactions won't be in the game. Starting in April, players will be able to use real money to purchase new costumes and other items that will alter the appearance of characters. These same items are also purchasable through in-game credits and crystals which can be earned via traditional gameplay. 

    This model is infinitely better than the one the game shipped with, but it's going to be interesting to see whether or not this move will actually bring people back to Battlefront II. It's entirely possible that the Battlefront II name is just too tainted at this point to be rescued. 

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    If you're just catching wind of this controversy, then you're missing out on one of the great gaming dramas of recent memory. When Battlefront II launched to the public, it featured a loot box/microtransaction system that heavily encouraged players to spend quite a bit of money on the game in order to unlock perks and certain legendary Star Wars characters. Many considered it to be a clear example of pay-to-win. 

    Following a public outcry and what we're sure was a tense call from Disney's CEO, EA decided to remove microtransactions from the game. However, the loot boxes remained. 

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    Yaaarrr...we be running out of pirate puns for all these updates.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Mar 16, 2018

    Sea of Thieves is legendary developer Rare's first game since its ill-fated Kinect era. Surprisingly, Rare's not returning to the 3D platformer genre it helped usher in during the Nintendo 64 era. Nor is Sea of Thieves anywhere close to Rare's shooter titles. Instead, the studio's new game is a pirate adventure game where players command a ship, fight enemies, and look for treasure. 

    Here's everything we know about the game:

    Sea of Thieves News

    The final trailer for Sea of Thieves finally gives us a look at the game's Kraken.

    We knew the Kraken was coming, but this trailer makes it pretty clear that the scope of the monster will make your encounters with it absolutely daunting. You'll need to make sure the entire crew is working together to take it down. In a recent livestream, Rare also expanded on some previously announced features and revealed a few new ones. For instance, they stated that there will be gold skeletons in the game that are heavily-armored and will require players to somehow douse them in water in order to help take them down. There are also shadow skeletons that are strengthened by the dark and weakened by light. 

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    The studio also stated that Sea of Thieves will contain hidden lore books at launch and that players who achieve legendary status in the game will be able to access a secret hideout and a new guild of quest givers. While that is being referred to as the current "end game," Rare intends to expand on that section of the game sometime in the near future. They've already stated that they are planning on releasing a post-launch special campaign. 

    It also turns out that microtransactions will be added to Sea of Thieves at some point. 

    Rare executive producer Joe Neate told IGN that the company will begin rolling out microtransactions to the game about three months after its release. The first wave of microtransactions will likely come in the form of pets - parrots, monkeys, etc. - and will gradually be expanded to include other cosmetic items. Rare has stated that they intend to give players the chance to earn currency for all these items in-game. As they put it, these items will have an emotional value, but no mechanical value. 

    As for why they are doing this, the answer is quite simple. Rare simply wants to be able to keep up with the costs of keeping an ongoing online game in development. They hope these microtransactions might give them another way to do so. Already, Rare has stated that they intend to turn the current base game's endings into the start of an entirely new adventure.

    Rare has also patched an update the now-closed Sea of Thieves beta that reveals some of the content that will be added to the full game. 

    The full list of files can be found over on Reddit where dataminers have been posting their findings. Most of the updates relate to improved animations - better shopkeepers, better female characters, better animals, etc. - but there are a few files that hint at more significant additions to come.

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    For instance, it seems that Rare is going to add a Kraken to the final version of the game. While many people expected that they would - this is a game about pirates after all - it's not clear how the Kraken will work in the game. Will it be a boss battle? A random encounter? 

    Also included in this update are various types of skeletons, new clothing and accessories, new weapons, legendary hideouts, and the ability to transport livestock for extra money. 

    Sea of Thieves Release Date

    Sea of Thieves will arrive on March 20, 2018. Microsoft confirmed that it will be part of their new Play Anywhere program, which features crossplay on both Xbox One and PC.

    Sea of Thieves Trailer

    Rare continues to announce more features for the final version of Sea of Thieves as the studio has recently released a new video that breaks down how customization works. 

    Basically, Sea of Thieves will sport some fairly robust customization options. You'll be able to tweak everything from your pirate to your ship with a variety of different clothes and materials. While many of the items available can be accessed by all players - such as peg legs and hook hands - there will be some items that are tied to certain skill ranks or achievements. Rare specifically mentioned special ship sails that they hope will have a very important meaning to those players who see them on an incoming ship. 

    Sea of Thieves will feature events centered around the game's mysterious skeleton forts. 

    In a new video above, Rare breaks down the way these encounters will work. They start with the appearance of floating skull with glowing eyes in the sky that indicates the fortress is "active." Players will then be able to raid the fortress in order to do battle with a large number of skeletons. What makes this all the more interesting is that other players can raid the fortress at the same time that you and your crew are doing battle. If you both want to survive, you may have to work together. 

    These events culminate with the appearance of a skeleton captain who serves as the fortress boss. Taking him down won't be easy, but if you manage to do so, he'll drop a key that allows you to access a vault full of riches. Of course, only one crew can plunder the vault, so survivors will have to fight over it. 

    A new trailer premiered at The Game Awards 2017! Check it out below:

    Here's the E3 2017 gameplay trailer for Sea of Thieves!

    It's been all quiet on the stormy shores as it relates to Sea of Thieves updates in recent weeks, but this developer gameplay video offers us a fresh look at Rare's most exciting game in years. 

    The focus of this video is on the game's cooperative elements and the way that players will need to work together in order to effectively run their pirate ship. It's clear from the video that an incredible amount of cooperation is necessary for players to make it far in the game, especially as it relates to ship-to-ship battles which seem to demand that crew members play multiple roles at once. 

    Rare released another dev diary all about the co-op mechanics of Sea of Thieves. There's a great discussion between the two designers regarding how the players will have to work together to navigate their ship through the world map. Check it out below:

    Check out 14 minutes of gameplay footage below:

    Rare took the stage at Microsoft’s E3 2016 presentation to unveil the debut gameplay footage of their upcoming swashbuckling adventure, Sea of Thieves. The trailer is comprised of real gameplay taken from three teams of fans who were invited to Rare’s studio to play the multiplayer first-person game for the first time.

    The gameplay trailer showcases sailing pirate ships across colorful seas, jumping off the plank and exploring uncharted islands, and engaging in high-octane battles with enemy pirates on the open water.

    Check out the trailer below:

    Here is the announcement trailer:

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    As Marvel inches closer to Infinity War, here are some different takes on Thanos' epic story, from video games to alternate history.

    Feature Gavin Jasper
    Mar 16, 2018

    In just over a month, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will be hitting us with Avengers: Infinity War, where they’re going to tangle with Thanos the Mad Titan. Since showing up at the end of the first Avengersmovie, it’s been pretty apparent that Thanos would be scouring the cosmos for the Infinity Gems/Stones so as to do an adaptation of the hit early 90s miniseries Infinity Gauntlet.

    The comic has become rather iconic in Marvel history and it makes sense that they’d spend the better part of a decade building towards it. Although, don't expect it to resemble the original comic too closely. Not only are there plenty of liberties to be had, but it also seems to take a lot from the more recent comic event Infinity. Not that that's a bad thing. Infinity Gauntlet is a storyline that’s been retold, adapted, and twisted in all sorts of ways since first appearing 27 years ago.

    Here are all the different variations of Thanos and Adam's Excellent Adventure.


    Six-Issue Miniseries

    Jim Starlin, George Perez, and Ron Lim

    We’re going full spoiler on this.

    As a follow-up to the two-part story Thanos Quest, the Mad Titan Thanos has control of all six Infinity Gems and is essentially God. Mephisto hangs around to feed his ego, while naturally plotting to overthrow him. Thanos also has his granddaughter Nebula hanging around, stuck in a catatonic zombie state because Thanos is a jerk. Since Thanos wants to win the love of Death herself, he uses the Gauntlet to wipe out half of the universe. 50% of all living things simply vanish, including a big chunk of the superheroes. Adam Warlock is reborn and goes to the remaining heroes, coming up with this awesome plan of going to Thanos’ space home and punching him in his stupid scrotum face. This is really a swerve because he plans to have them all killed off as a distraction so Silver Surfer can sneak by and steal the Gauntlet off Thanos’ hand.

    Meanwhile, Thanos’ whims have caused Earth to drift away from the sun, making it colder and colder by the hour. Odin and all the other heavyweight god types on Earth are blocked off from interfering. As a way of making Death jealous, Thanos uses the Gauntlet to create a mate in Terraxia.

    Mephisto suggests that Thanos hold back against the heroes to impress Death, so he scales it back a lot, which gives the heroes a 1% chance. As hard as they try, they still lose horribly and are killed one-by-one by Thanos and Terraxia. After Captain America goes full-on badass and stares down Thanos despite everything, Silver Surfer flies in and misses his mark completely. About then, all the galactic heavy hitters – the tapestry of the universe itself – show up. Thanos goes back to full power and makes mincemeat of them all. He transforms himself into a form that’s one with the universe, which leaves his physical Gauntlet out in the open. Nebula takes it and steals the power, reverting everything to how it once was...except for the part where she still has all the power.

    Thanos teams up with Warlock and a couple of the more powerful heroes, ultimately defeating Nebula when Warlock takes control of the Soul Gem and shorts it out a bit, causing Nebula to drop the Gauntlet. A fight breaks out and Warlock comes out wielding the Infinity Gauntlet, swearing to use it wisely. Thanos fakes his own death, but is later seen living a quiet life as a farmer.

    So that’s Infinity Gauntlet Prime. Let’s see how other writers and mediums have messed around with the formula.


    What If v.2 #34

    Scott Gimple and Tom Morgan

    What If #34 was a humor-based issue of the series and while most of it is painfully unfunny, the opening seven-page short story is humorous and even a little bit uplifting in its own weird way. No joke, this is actually my all-time favorite comic book story.

    As Thanos fights the cosmic entities, he decides to get creative when dispatching Galactus. He transforms him into a human being and sends him down to Earth. Galactus awakens naked in a trailer park, forgetting who he is while being a 100% facsimile of Elvis Presley! A single mother named Gertrude takes him in and thinks he’s the real deal with amnesia. She explains everything about Elvis to him and while he still has no memory, he trusts her and decides that he is indeed the King. He swears to do good with this second chance by not getting involved with the pitfalls of fame, such as drugs.

    Also, the comic features the million dollar line, “Ma’am, the hunger gnaws.”

    Galactus gets back into music, trying to stay on the down low, but soon people take notice and we’re about to get the second coming of Elvismania. Right as he’s about to see to the public, Galactus is confronted by Adam Warlock, now in possession of the Infinity Gauntlet. He wills Galactus his memory, but the Eater of Worlds doesn’t want to return. He’s found a better identity as the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll and chooses to stay with Gertrude and her son, giving both Galactus and Elvis Presley’s legacy a second chance.

    WHAT THE--?! #24 (1992)

    Parody Comic

    Hilary Barta, Doug Rice, and Rubik Tyler

    Marvel’s lesser-known humor book from the early 90s once featured a Mad Magazine-style spoof of Infinity Gauntlet called “The Infinity Mitten.” Thermos and his advisor McFisto go on a double-date with Death and Taxes, but Thermos is disappointed that Death has no interest in him. Using the Mitten, he removes half of life in the universe...except on the first try he accidentally just removes everyone’s lower half. Earth’s heroes go after him, but brute force isn’t enough. After talking over various ideas to remove the Infinity Mitten, they go with challenging Thermos to strip poker. They all lose and die of embarrassment.

    The cosmic beings show up to throwdown, but Thermos points out that he’s an atheist and they all vanish. Silver Surfer (or whatever his parody name is) starts whining about all the death he’s seen, causing Adam Warlox to finally snap at him for being such a downer. Warlox shoots him with a revolver, which Thermos steals and uses on Warlox and McFisto.

    Thinking that killing off an entire universe of heroes and villains is enough, Thermos is shocked to see that Death is now dating Nintendo's Mario. Death explains that her new boyfriend is killing off the entire comics industry by himself!


    What If v.2 #49

    Ron Marz, Scott Clark, and Kevin West

    I absolutely love this issue and would have liked a variation of this as the actual ending of Infinity Gauntletinstead of what we got. Surfer succeeds in snatching the Gauntlet from Thanos’ hands. First thing he does is set everything back to normal. Then he sends everyone back home except Warlock and Thanos, who he keeps as advisors...but really as witnesses as he makes the universe a better place. He starts off with the well-meaning moves you’d expect. He eliminates disease, hunger, soothes hatred (a Kree and a Skrull are shown greeting each other happily), and even makes Death into a more alluring figure instead of something to be feared. Then he goes to Hell to see if Mephisto would be cool being remade into something a bit more pleasant, but Mephisto instead starts a fight. Surfer vaporizes him and goes back to his home to think about stuff.

    Warlock and Thanos go to Dr. Strange because, boy howdy, Surfer’s going nuts with all that power. Strange figures the best way about this is to summon Surfer’s old flame Shalla-Bal to talk some sense into him, especially since Surfer’s thinking of removing randomness completely and giving the universe complete order. Arguments and fighting happen, but seeing Shalla-Bal so hurt brings Surfer back to sanity. He uses the Infinity Gauntlet’s power to destroy itself – and seemingly he and Shalla-Bal with it – but we discover that the two of them are secretly alone on a paradise planet of their creation to live the rest of their lives in secret.

    As everything returns to normal, Thanos stands alone, holding up the scrapped remains of the Gauntlet. With a smirk, he says, “So close. Oh, yes... So very close.”


    Arcade Fighting Game


    In a follow-up to X-Men: Children of the Atom, Capcom released a one-on-one fighting game called Marvel Super Heroes, which is loosely based on Infinity Gauntlet. In it, you control a hero or villain as you gather the Infinity Gems from your opponents, working your way to fighting Dr. Doom and then Thanos. Upon meeting him, Thanos will steal your Gems and complete the Infinity Gauntlet before the final battle. While there isn’t much story in the game, it definitely stays loyal to the comic in ways. For instance, Thanos’ battleground is his base from Infinity Gauntlet, where you can see the likes of Thor, Nova, Drax, Scarlet Witch, and She-Hulk frozen in stone as Mephisto and Death idle in the background.

    The game is kicking rad if you haven’t played it, letting you unleash the power of the various Gems in battle, each giving you a different ability. The console version includes playable versions of the bosses, as well as Anita, the emotionless little girl from Capcom’s Darkstalkersseries.

    Here are the various endings based on the different characters defeating Thanos:

    Anita: Simply uses the Gems to free the heroes from their statue forms. Nothing else.

    Blackheart: Is asked to hand it over from his father Mephisto, but Blackheart turns on him and chooses to rule reality.

    Captain America: Reverts the heroes to normal. Then pals around with Thor and throws the Infinity Gems into a black hole so nobody can use them.

    Dr. Doom: Bitches out Thanos and rules the Earth with the Infinity Gauntlet. Yeah, they don’t get very fancy with this one.

    Hulk: Reverts the heroes to normal. Thanos wants to die, but Hulk leaves him begging. Hulk goes on a second honeymoon to Vegas with Betty, but he chooses to get there by leaping with Betty holding on for dear life.

    Iron Man: Reverts the heroes to normal. Considers using the Gauntlet, but then refuses. Later, he’s bummed to discover that his nervous system problems are gone. He selfishly used the power after all. Cap tells him not to worry about it.

    Juggernaut: Is ready to grab the Infinity Gauntlet and get his vengeance on Xavier. Suddenly, Adam Warlock pops in to take it away, thanking Juggernaut for saving reality and then sending him back to Earth. I hate Adam Warlock.

    Magneto: Creates a second moon around Earth and makes it a permanent home for mutants, finally separating himself from the humans. He is the eternal ruler of New Avalon.

    Psylocke: Reverts the heroes to normal. She returns to the mansion, thinking about how she has experienced being molded to the will of others before and would never, ever do that to another person.

    Shuma-Gorath: Absorbs the power of the Infinity Gems and grows in size, allowing it to feast upon reality itself.

    Spider-Man: Reverts the heroes to normal. Goes home to Mary Jane to find out that he’s going to be a father. This is a lot less uplifting when you remember that this game was released during Clone Saga. Ugh.

    Thanos: Has two separate endings. Either he chooses to become one with the cosmos as the true ruler of the universe, or he gives up the power and lives on as a farmer.

    Wolverine: Reverts the heroes to normal. He realizes that he could use the power to find out about his past, but refuses. Instead, he leaves the X-Men to find the answers himself.

    Thanos would return in Marvel vs. Capcom 2, still with the Infinity Gauntlet, but the game lacks anything resembling a coherent storyline. Then in Marvel vs. Capcom: Infinite, the Gauntlet is treated as a red herring as Thanos is more interested in fashioning Ryu's dark energies into a Satsui No Hado Gauntlet so he can kill (or at least hurt) Death.


    SNES Side-Scrolling Brawler


    You would think that this would just be a lesser incarnation of the one-on-one fighter I just talked about, but no. This Capcom release is more of a sequel to the side-scroller beat ‘em up X-Men: Mutant Apocalypse. In it, you play through with your choice of Hulk, Captain America, Spider-Man, Wolverine, and Iron Man. Coincidentally, Iron Man’s select portrait is just a picture of his sprite from the arcade game. Go figure.

    The game is one big mishmash of both Infinity Gauntlet and Infinity War, which makes sense, considering Infinity Gauntlet wasn’t really filled to the brim with villains to fight. Here, you get to fight evil doppelganger clones of various heroes, like Hawkeye, Vision, Sasquatch, Iron Man, etc. At first you search for the various Infinity Gems, trying to stop the likes of Magus and Dr. Doom from getting their hands on them, but Thanos gets the last one. After going through Nebula, you face Thanos and...well, it doesn’t really have the same dire sense of danger when he isn’t at full godhood. At least in the arcade game, he’s got all six Gems. Here, he has one against your five. That’s hardly impressive.

    I guess Thanos has the Reality Gem because literally all he does is cause fire to burst from the ground and summon a closing stone wall. That’s it. He’s slow as molasses and his death throes feel like they take an hour.

    Afterwards, Adam Warlock takes all the Gems for himself and sends everyone home. Feeling the need to give this epilogue some filler, they ask if Earth will ever truly be safe. When all your enemies move like snails, Earth isn't in that much danger, I suppose.


    What If v.2 #104

    Thomas Virkaitis and Gregg Schigiel

    So you know that part where Silver Surfer tries to swipe Thanos’ Gauntlet? It almost works in the sense that he removes the glove, but he fumbles and drops it. It’s then grabbed by none other than the annoying shape-shifter of the cosmos, the Impossible Man! Although Thanos is no threat to him, he does basically pee himself once all the cosmic beings show up. He escapes with Surfer and points out that he’s totally capable of handling the burden of wielding the Infinity Gauntlet. To prove his point, he brings Surfer to Zenn-La, his lost home planet. He’s reunited with Shalla-Bal and all should be good, but Surfer can’t help but feel that things aren’t quite right.

    He’s summoned by Galactus because although Impossible Man’s claimed to be about using the Gauntlet justly, he’s in the middle of exacting revenge on Galactus for eating his home world of Poppup way back when. Surfer fights him and loses, but convinces him to do the right thing by pointing out that he can just rebuild Poppup and return all its people. Galactus agrees to help, but due to plot device BS, Poppup can only be created at the expense of the fake Zenn-La. Surfer ultimately goes along with it because while he can never accept his fake world as real, Impossible Man is too oblivious and simple-minded to really question his.

    Poppup is reborn, the Poppupian race is reborn, and Impossible Man gives up his power to the Elders of the Universe. Everything seems fine, but then Surfer realizes that the Poppupians are all purple and green versions of heroes and villains, fighting it out like a bunch of goofs. He looks on in horror while a purple and green Forbush Man waves at the reader from behind his back.


    What If One-Shot

    Paul Tobin and Patrick Scherberger

    A little backstory on this one. Jeff Parker and Mike Wieringo were working on a What If issue about the New Fantastic Four (Spider-Man, Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider) remaining as a team. Unfortunately, Wieringo passed away during the making of it, so they had various artists finish the book in his place as a tribute. Even if it wasn’t such a heartwarming sentiment, What If This was the Fantastic Four? is an excellent comic to read.

    This is the sequel, which asks what would happen if Infinity Gauntlet happened in a timeline with the New Fantastic Four, except that Ghost Rider is wiped out of existence from Thanos’ power and is replaced by Iron Man. Their first meeting with Thanos doesn’t go so well, since Hulk’s attempt to intimidate him with how strong he is in relation to his anger causes Thanos to wipe out a chunk of the Milky Way and state, “And I’m not even angry.” The omnipotent Thanos also separates Hulk and Banner out of curiosity and his desire to show off. During all of this, Wolverine notices how Mephisto is able to steer Thanos around with his words.

    Like in regular continuity, Adam Warlock brings up his awesome plan of, “Do what I say and don’t ask questions so you don't know that I’m using your horrible deaths as a diversion,” but this time it doesn’t fly. As Stark puts it, “I don’t [know what I’m doing], but I don’t think he does either.” When they go at Thanos, Wolverine is the only one with a plan. He chooses not to fight Thanos and instead badmouths his partners while talking Thanos into thinking that Mephisto is trying to horn in on Death. Thanos buys this lie and vaporizes Mephisto. Wolverine worms his way into position as Thanos’ new right-hand man and explains to the other Fantastic Four members that he hopes that Thanos will reward his loyalty by forcing Jean Grey to love him.

    Thanos continues to effortlessly defeat all challengers, even when Iron Man creates a suit of armor out of a fallen Celestial. Wolverine talks up how Thanos hasn’t even physically touched Death and that love is all about contact. Thanos gets all flustered because it isn’t proper, but Wolverine eggs him on to just touch her face. As the nervous Thanos reaches out to do so, Wolverine chops his arm off with a smiling, “Sucker!” and has successfully cut off his source of power.

    Hulk punches Thanos out, Spider-Man uses the Gauntlet to put everything back the way it was, the Gauntlet is given to the Watchers to guard, and Bruce Banner becomes an honorary Watcher. Free from being one with the Hulk, he lives in the Watchers' citadel for the rest of his life, practically bathing in the vast knowledge available to him.

    Too bad they didn’t keep going with What If: New Fantastic Four stories. They were only two issues, but they were a lot of fun.


    What If One-Shot

    Karl Bollers and Jorge Molina

    This one only sort of counts. Thanos only gets one mention, but the story is more of an alternate history companion piece that makes a couple parallel references to the original story. In Secret Wars, Dr. Doom was able to siphon off the powers of Galactus and the Beyonder, making him nigh-omnipotent. In this reality, he keeps the power and fully defeats the heroes. He easily conquers Earth, all while leaving all the heroes alive and using his power to make sure Sue Storm’s pregnancy (which resulted in a miscarriage in regular continuity) is a healthy one. He leaves the world a utopia and flies into space. The thing to take away from this story is that at his heart, Dr. Doom is not a ruler, but a conqueror. That’s why he’s ruled the world no less than three times in regular continuity and always left it behind for the sake of struggle.

    His attempt to take over various alien empires is met with resistance, so he wipes out all who oppose him. Then he seeks out even more power by slaying the Elders of the Universe and stealing the Infinity Gems. With the Soul Gem, he enters Hell, frees his mother, and kills Mephisto (which he says would only be temporary, since he’s the Devil and all). Next on the agenda is taking out the only beings higher than him on the food chain: the Celestials. The fight lasts 407 years (!) and in the end, Doom is supreme, albeit with the Infinity Gems destroyed.

    During the battle, a shockwave knocked Earth out of orbit, much like in Infinity Gauntlet. Doom sees that life will eventually come to an end. Without a second thought, he uses the remainder of his cosmic power to set the Earth back in place and save the planet. The final scene shows, fittingly enough, that he’s become a farmer, freely appearing with no faceplate. He no longer feels ashamed of his scars and plans to rebuild his rule from the ground up, fully understanding the true potential of mankind.

    Personally one of my favorite Dr. Doom stories.


    Animated Series

    Film Roman, Ingenious Media, and Marvel Animation

    The wacky cartoon series based on the toys with the creepy smiles is a fun enough diversion. The second season of the show is all about the Infinity Gauntlet with the first half of it being based on Thanos’ quest to get all the Gems. Thanos is voiced by Jim Cummings, meaning he sounds like pretty much every Jim Cummings voice you’ve ever heard. Interesting thing here is that Thanos has Nebula captive and he refers to her as his sister. So if you’re keeping score, she’s his granddaughter in the comics, daughter in the movies, and sister in the cartoon.

    The whole Death concept is forgotten about here and Thanos is purely out for galactic power for the sake of being an evil overlord with galactic power. In the episode “Fate of Destiny,” he gets the full set of Gems and the Super Hero Squad goes on the attack. They are soundly defeated (mostly thanks to Thanos’ reality-warping catchphrase, “DO OVER!”), as are Dr. Doom and his underlings. Thanos is then challenged by the Silver Surfer, who is wielding the Infinity Sword, the ultimate weapon of the first season’s finale. Thanos challenges him to a winner-take-all fight, which Surfer accepts. When they shake on it, Surfer pulls off Thanos’ glove.

    Unfortunately, the Infinity Sword has been slowly corrupting Surfer over time, so having the Infinity Sword AND the Infinity Gauntlet drives him over the edge. He sends his former teammates spiraling through the multiverse, giving us children’s cartoon adaptations of 1602and Planet Hulk. Also, he knocks Earth out of orbit, making it increasingly cold. For the remainder of the series, he’s the main villain.

    In the finale, “The Final Battle! (‘Nuff Said!)” The Dark Surfer is challenged by the team of Iron Man, Scarlet Witch, Hulk, Wolverine, Falcon, and Thor. Surfer chooses to split himself into six beings for his own amusement. Each Surfer is powered by a separate Gem, but the heroes have figured that each one is capable of countering a specific Surfer based on their own abilities/personalities. For instance, the Mind Gem has little effect on Hulk and Wolverine’s surliness is able to overpower the Soul Gem. With the help of Ronan the Accuser, they defeat Silver Surfer and get all the Gems together.

    It’s not over until they find where he hid the Infinity Sword, leading to a final battle between Iron Man and Dr. Doom, where they accidentally destroy both the Sword and the Gems. The resulting explosion fixes the universe, including Earth, and all is well. Surfer’s back to his senses and willingly accepts his Kree imprisonment. No longer able to get his revenge on the Surfer, Thanos decides to go hang out at a chicken farm instead. Cute.


    Adventure Game for Nintendo DS, Wii, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo 3DS

    Griptonite Games and THQ

    Around the time of the second season’s debut, they released a video game tie-in where you go around fighting enemies with two heroes at a time. In the story, Iron Man and Hulk are picking up some new boots for Thor’s birthday. The boots get mixed up with Thanos’ Infinity Gauntlet and wackiness ensues. Eventually, Thanos gets all the Gems. The duo of Iron Man and Scarlet Witch are able to defeat him, but then Silver Surfer swoops in to steal the Infinity Gauntlet. Corrupted by its power immediately, he does away with Galactus and, like in the cartoon, splits into six versions of himself. While Spider-Man sits this one out, the other twelve heroes pair up and fight the various Surfers one-by-one.

    Once defeated, Surfer comes to his senses. He and Iron Man throw the Infinity Gems and Infinity Sword into a rift in reality, taking care of that problem. Meanwhile, all the villains are busy fighting each other. Iron Man figures to just let that sort itself out. The heroes celebrate Thor’s birthday, but it turns out his boots have been enchanted by Loki to make Thor dance for an eternity. Iron Man and Hulk search for the receipt so they can return it.


    Four-Issue Miniseries

    Brian Clevinger, Lee Black, and Brian Churilla

    This out-of-continuity story is a reimagining of Infinity Gauntlet as an all-ages comedy book. With the ultimate power of the Gauntlet, Thanos wipes out half of life in the universe for the sake of seeing chaos reign and the survivors destroy each other. The remaining heroes only know the where of the threat’s source and not the who or what. Sue Storm puts together a team of Ms. Marvel, Hulk, Wolverine, and Spider-Man. Dr. Doom bursts into the room and after a fight where he takes down everyone on his own, Doom offers to join the team. Their transport is US-Ace, the star of the forgotten 80s comic US-1.

    The real treasure of this miniseries is watching Dr. Doom interact with the uncouth US-Ace. Especially when they visit the space trucker’s parents, who run a space diner. Ace’s mother bullies Doom into making everyone sandwiches, which is amazing.

    Once they come across Thanos near the end of the third issue, they all get thrashed. He’s only stopped thanks to US-Ace driving his space truck into him thanks to his truckopathic link (Doom grumbles, “Oh Lord, he has a name for it...”). The act knocks off the Gauntlet and while Doom eventually gets his hands on it, it doesn’t work. Turns out he’s a perfect Doombot created by Doom to be released into the world if he were to ever go missing for whatever reason, such as, say, half of the universe's population magically vanishing into thin air. Spider-Man stops Thanos from getting the Gauntlet back on his hand and then uses its power to wish for a universe where Thanos never had the Gems in the first place.

    Spider-Man ends up back on Earth where he’s the only one who remembers the entire adventure. He isn’t too broken up about it, but he wishes someone else out there would remember what he did. Elsewhere, Thanos plots his eventual revenge by sketching Spider-Man’s head into the ground, then adding an X over it.

    I’m just bummed that despite having a million characters in Avengers: Infinity War, we won’t get to hear Dr. Doom sarcastically respond to US-Ace with, “What a colorful turn of phrase. Perhaps you will regale us with more of them over a ‘mess of biscuits’ later.”


    Animated Series

    Marvel Animation, Man of Action

    Ugh. So, once upon a time, there was this badass Avengers cartoon that people really liked. Then they canceled it and replaced it with Avengers Assemble, which I guess is still a thing. Anyway, much like Super Hero Squad Show, the second season is about Thanos and his quest to acquire the Infinity Gauntlet. By the halfway point, he has it and he loses in an incredibly embarrassing way.

    Iron Man has Arsenal, a robot built by his father that can absorb energies and is programmed to protect Tony at all costs. After Thanos imprisons the Avengers with magic rock hands from the ground, Arsenal just walks towards him. Thanos -- with control over time and space and so on -- shoots lasers at him. Iron Man explains that Arsenal is able to absorb such a thing. Knowing this, Thanos' strategy is to SHOOT LASERS HARDER because holy shit. Arsenal yoinks the Gauntlet off Thanos' hand, freeing up the Avengers to beat Thanos into mush.

    Then Arsenal becomes Ultron because reasons.

    Oh yeah, there was a digital pinball game based on Infinity Gauntlet too, but I have no idea how to even write that up. I watched footage of people playing it and couldn’t make heads or tails of what the hell is even going on.

    Gavin Jasper will never not love that Impossible Man/Roddy Piper panel. Follow him on Twitter!

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    Could Microsoft actually develop and produce games for "rival" devices?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 16, 2018

    New information suggests that Microsoft is preparing to invest much more money into their gaming divisions that will allow them to grow beyond the Xbox

    "We are not leaving the console business behind by any means," said Kevin Gammill, GM of gaming cloud at Microsoft. "We are continuing to invest there. The premium living room experience today is on Xbox One X, and we hope to continue that for years to come. But when you think about how we are going to broaden our business, we need to think beyond console to be successful."

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    What does that mean? Well, Microsoft used Minecraft as an example. Minecraft is owned by 144 million people. Because Minecraft is now a Microsoft property, Microsoft sees those 144 million people as a Microsoft gaming customer no matter what platform they play on. Similarly, anyone who plays Sea of Thieves on Windows 10 is still seen as an Xbox customer by the company. Basically, Microsoft is no longer limiting themselves to getting people to buy an Xbox and play games on it in order to be seen as part of their gaming user base. 

    Here is where that gets interesting. According to Gammill, Microsoft believes that if their gaming efforts are going to grow, they can no longer "play only on our devices, or our operating systems." Instead, the studio is interested in "providing them a set of services that they will benefit from, regardless of the platform or device that they are running on."

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    The gut reaction to that statement will be that Microsoft is preparing to release games and services for other platforms. While that will no doubt have people dreaming of Halo on PlayStation, that doesn't seem to be the immediate implication. Instead, it sounds like Microsoft is looking to expand their cloud-based services and perhaps their mobile gaming initiative. Furthermore, they might even look to buy more properties like Minecraft that will then be exported to other devices and consoles. 

    For the time being, though, it sounds like Microsoft will stick with the Xbox console and just expand their streaming, mobile, and cloud divisions in order to get Xbox/Microsoft games to more people. However, we imagine that their biggest properties will stay on Xbox...for now. 

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    The popular prehistoric survival titles will be faithfully ported to mobile platforms.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 16, 2018

    Studio Wildcard and War Drum Studios are working on a mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved

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    "ARK: Survival Evolved mobile is free-to-play and puts the genre-defining adventure in the palm of your hand, letting you join forces with tens of thousands of other dino-hunters," reads the official announcement. "This on-the-go version features the full online survival experience contained in the PC and console versions of ARK, including a gigantic island to explore, 80+ dinosaurs and primeval creatures to tame and train, multiplayer tribe mechanics, and of course, crafting and building!"

    Yes, ARK is the latest in a series of mobile ports that aims to faithfully recreate the experience of a console/PC game. As we've recently seen in the mobile version of Fortnite, such technical wonders are indeed now possible. 

    Still, it's particularly impressive to hear that ARK is going to make the leap to mobile with few compromises considering how deep the game is. For those unfamiliar with the title, ARK throws players into a prehistoric land filled with dinosaurs and other dangers. To live, you'll need to scrounge up supplies, build shelter and weapons, and deal with opposing tribes of other players. ARK was one of the earlier harbingers of the survival genre renaissance and captivated many early players with its fascinating world, many opportunities for conflict, and solid mechanics. 

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    While ARK has fallen on tough times in recent months - players complain about server performance and the dominant presence of veteran players - a mobile version of the game could give ARK the shot in the arm it needs. War Drum Studios are certainly no strangers to porting large titles to mobile devices - they've worked on several Grand Theft Auto mobile games - and they might just have what it takes to make this one work. 

    The mobile version of ARK: Survival Evolved has just entered a closed beta period for iOS and will be available for iOS and Android sometime in the Spring. 

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    One of the most successful Call of Duty games ever might be making a comeback.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 16, 2018

    A listing on Amazon's Italian website suggests that a remaster of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is set to release later this year. 

    The listing - which was spotted and archived by IGN - indicates that this remaster will be released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One for the retail price of €19.99 (about $25). What's really surprising about this listing, though, is that it suggests that this remaster will be released on April 30. 

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    There are many things to note about this listing. First off, even if Modern Warfare 2 is being remastered, it seems highly unlikely that it will be released on April 30. It's certainly possible, but it seems very unlikely that such a game would be released with less than a month's worth of marketing and hype. As IGN points out, the remake of Modern Warfare was announced a full six months before it was released. 

    The other thing that is so notable about this listing is that it seems to indicate that Modern Warfare 2 Remastered is going to be a standalone release. If you recall, Modern Warfare Remastered was initially bundled with Infinite Warfare. It wasn't available as a standalone title until later. If this game is indeed being developed, and if this listing is accurate, it seems that Activision might respond to the blowback regarding Modern Warfare Remastered's bundle availability and might just let people purchase this one out of the gate. 

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    We've reached out to Activision for clarification and confirmation of this information and will update this article if we receive a reply. 

    Truth be told, we'd be more surprised at this point to learn that Modern Warfare2 isn't being remastered than we would be if we learned that it is. Despite some of the controversy that surrounded the remaster of Modern Warfare, it was still seen as a great trip down memory lane by many of those who eventually played it. It's a bit tricky to say whether it was a sales success given that it launched as a bundle, but we'd be shocked if it wasn't. 

    As for Modern Warfare 2...well, it's still considered to be a fan favorite among a certain generation of Call of Duty fans. Its multiplayer was incredibly successful, its campaign drew quite a bit of controversy over the "No Russian" level, and the game ultimately earned a staggering $1 billion in sales. 

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    Netflix's Castlevania is rising from the grave once more for a second season. Here's everything you need to know about the series...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 17, 2018

    Those who have already learned to love Netflix's Castlevania will be thrilled to learn that the streaming service has greenlit the show's second season. 

    Showrunner Adi Shankar had previously hinted that the show's second season was a done deal in a now-deleted Facebook post, but Netflix officially confirmed the show's renewal in a brief statement that included the very welcome news that Castlevania's second season will be eight episodes long. While that's hardly the length of a network program - or even an HBO show - it's a nice upgrade from the first season's meager four episode offering. 

    In case you haven't yet read our review of the show, we thought quite highly of Castlevania's first season and look forward to seeing what the show's incredibly talented team can do when they have a full-length season to work with. 

    Here's everything else we know about the show:

    Castlevania Season 2 Release Date

    A Summer 2018 release date for Castlevania's second season was confirmed on Twitter by writer Warren Ellis in late 2017...

    Castlevania Season 2 Cast and Crew

    All the principle participants of the show's first season appear to be onboard for Castlevania season two, which means that showrunner Adi Shankar, writer Warren Ellis, and voice actors Graham McTavish, Richard Armitage, James Callis, and Alejandra Reynoso will all reprise their respective voice roles. 

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    Sure, Sonic doesn't need a car, but it's pretty sweet that he has one...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 19, 2018

    Sonic Racing is probably, definitely, maybe coming back. We think. 

    The "mysterious" teaser in the Tweet above has been the source of much speculation that the Sonic Racing series is set to return. It was sent by the Sonic the Hedgehogteam, features lots of engine noises and other racing paraphernalia, and includes a logo at the end that really, really looks like it says Sonic Racing. Annoyingly, though, Sega has not yet confirmed that they are developing a new Sonic Racing game. 

    Still, it's impossible to think of anything else this teaser could point to. After all, a new Sonic Racinggame has been fuelling the rumor mill for quite some time now. It's believed that it will be developed by Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing and Sonic All-Stars Racing Transformeddeveloper Sumo Digital who previously suggested they were working on an "unannounced karting game" that involved a major IP. 

    It's also been reported that toymaker Zappies has been working on a new series of figures based on an as-of-then unannounced Sonic Racing titles. Sega might be trying to cool the fires by tweeting out that another Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed game is not in the works, but unless they are stating the game won't carry that specific title, we're going to have to assign them "pants on fire" lying status. 

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    Sumo Digital's last Sonic Racing game, Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, was a generally well-received take on the Sonic Racing concept. While it's true that Sonic Racing titles have never been held in quite the same regard as the Mario Kart series, they are seen as generally entertaining and often creative kart racing titles that have won over a variety of fans with their solid mechanics and creative gameplay gimmicks. 

    We'll be sure to bring you more information on this new Sonic Racing title as soon as it is available. 

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    The best Sonic game in years is about to get even better.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 19, 2018

    Sega is working on an updated version of Sonic Mania called Sonic Mania Plus

    The new version of Sonic Mania was revealed during Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog panel at SXSW's gaming event. There, the studio revealed that this deluxe edition of the hit game will include playable appearances from two classic Sonic characters, Mighty the Armadillo and Ray the Flying Squirrel. For those who don't know, both of those characters debuted in the sometimes overlooked isometric Sonic arcade game, 1993's SegaSonic the Hedgehog

    If the ability to play as the Ray the Flying Squirrel doesn't get you running to your local game store, Sega sweetened the Mania Plus pot by noting that this version of the game will also feature a new "Encore Mode" that will enhance replay value by changing the visuals of each level while offering new ways to play them. Sonic Mania's two-player racing mode, called Competition Mode, has also been expanded to support up to four simultaneous players. 

    Sonic Mania Plus is set to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch sometime in the summer of 2018 for $29.99. Those who opt for the retail version of the game will receive a holographic slipcover, a reversible packaging option that is designed to resemble the covers of classic Sega Genesis Sonic games, and a 32-page art book that covers the life and works of the eccentric artist, Edvard Munch. Nah, we're's actually full of Sonic doodles. 

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    Meanwhile, owners of the digital version of the game will actually be automatically upgraded to the Plus version. While they won't get any of those sweet physical packaging features, that's still a pretty great deal. 

    However you play Sonic Mania, we just recommend that you do find a way to play the game at some point. Sonic fans have gone so far as to say that it's the best Sonicgame released in decades. Perhaps that shouldn't be a surprise when you consider that the retro Sonic title was developed by Christian Whitehead, a famed developer of incredible homemade Sonic games, but the extent of the game's retro greatness was indeed a bit shocking. 

    Elsewhere at their SXSW panel, Sega revealed that they are working on a new Sonic animated series, a new comic book based on the character, and have formed a partnership with Puma that will result in the production of some special Sonic the Hedgehog sneakers. 

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    What we know about God of War, including latest news, release date, trailers, and more!

    News Adam McDonnell
    Mar 19, 2018

    God of War is back! The fourth installment in the hugely popular action-adventure game was revealed at Sony's E3 2016 press conference to confirm the rumors that had been going around for at least a week. This time, the game will take its settings and monsters from Norse mythology. Kratos also has a son, which is a pretty shocking development considering his actions in the first trilogy. 

    E3 2016's God of War reveal suggested that the game was going to be a fairly radical departure from what came before. The game's revamped combat system seems to have taken some cues from Dark Souls. There's also an altered presentation style which almost feels like a mythological take on the Naughty Dog style of storytelling.

    Speaking of stories, God of War's continues to intrigue. It appears that Kratos' son is somehow cursed and it's up to dear old dad to guide him through a very beautiful and dangerous land in order to find a cure. Whatever the specifics, this latest game certainly has a much more intimate feel to it, even though the scope and brutality of the God of Warseries is clearly still intact.

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

    God of War News

    This 15-minute God of War gameplay preview gives us our best look at how the new game changes the franchise formula. 

    According to this video from PS Underground, the new God of War will be a much more deliberate title. That means that most combat in the come will see Kratos battle one enemy at a time, utilize weapons that have a lot more weight to them, and even employ defensive maneuvers to save his skin. 

    While the name of "Dark Souls" is invoked during this preview, the comparison isn't entirely accurate. God of War seems to make great use of Kratos' son as a true asset in combat. He'll be able to fire arrows from afar, join in on some combo attacks, and help Kratos take down especially large foes. 

    There's a trace of old-school God of War in this combat footage, but this new title does indeed look like a fresh start for the series. 

    God of War Release Date

    God of War is set to release on April 20, 2018. The game is coming exclusively to the PlayStation 4.

    God of War Trailers

    A new trailer has arrived for God of War! Check it out below:

    Here's the second trailer, which was released during E3 2017:

    Here's your first look at the new adventure:

    This exciting new preview showcases a world that initially seems quite far from the God of War we've known. Kratos (who is sporting an awesome beard, it must be said) is trekking through an incredible looking wooded area with a kid on a seemingly simple hunt. Things quickly revert back to the God of War we know and love, however, once Kratos is jumped by a few demons that learn that Kratos' axe is good for chopping more than firewood. 

    The entire situation really escalates once Kratos encounters a hulking beast that gives us a better look at the game's new perspective and combat style. Indeed, the game's camera perspective and speed appear to have taken a cue from titles like Dark Souls. The trailer and title suggest that this is a new beginning for Kratos and the series. 

    Regardless, this looks like an exciting entrant into the renowned franchise that we are eager to learn more about. 

    God of War Details

    In an interview with EurogamerGod of War director Corey Balrog revealed that there are no camera cuts in God of War.

    "The aspiration when I got back was to tell a much more personal story," said Balrog. "God of War is traditionally known for these cinematic, pull back cameras, which I think are fantastic. But trying to get in there and really get to know the character a little more, I realised it'd be interesting if we got closer.|

    Balrog admitted that making a "one-shot" game presented some fairly unique challenges, but he ultimately feels that the innovations of this system are worth the headaches that go along with making it happen.

    "For me it really comes down to when you experience something amazing, you go see the Grand Canyon or something like that, you don't have a crane camera behind you giving you a vista shot to make it look amazing," said Balrog. "That's a postcard. What you have is you, standing on the edge, looking around and just being in awe of what you're seeing. In games, I think we can do that."

    Balrog also noted that many of the changes seen in God of War thus far can be attributed to the fact that many of the people working on the game have grown and they simply don't want to re-explore the same concepts. That said, he claims that there are core God of War aspects in the new title, but players will simply view them "through a different lens."

    In an interview with the website LevelUp (which was translated by the GameTransfers crew), Barlog shared some of the first details of the upcoming title, including the announcement that God of War will be a single-player only game. 

    Though Barlog credits God of War: Ascension's multiplayer mode for its innovative take on the concept, he also noted that the mode lacked enough depth to become a staple piece for the franchise moving forward. 

    Speaking of the franchise moving forward, it does appear that this new God of War will, in fact, represent the start of a new series of games for Kratos. Though Barlog was short on details concerning these future titles (if there are actually any details to share at all at this point) he did note that we can expect to see more Kratos in the future. 

    On the subject of Kratos' son (which has become a big talking point ever since the game's trailer reveal), Barlog eased the concerns of some fans by insisting that the character will not have to be looked after in combat such as you may see in a traditional escort mission. While we're still unsure if the son will have a direct combat function or will instead be something of a secondary element such as the role Elizabeth played in Bioshock: Infinite, Barlog did note that the character is unaware of his father's previous exploits at the start of the game, which does help to clarify the timeline of this release in relation to the previous series. 

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    Early '90s action-adventure Flashback is making a return on the Nintendo Switch - and it's getting a special boxed release...

    News Ryan Lambie
    Mar 20, 2018

    With smooth animation and an epic-sounding score, Flashback felt about as close as you could get to starring in your own sci-fi action movie, at least in the 16-bit era.

    Designed by Paul Cuisset, Flashback was a high-concept adventure game about an amnesiac scientist who finds himself in the midst of an interplanetary conspiracy. Its action and rotoscoped animation style was like an upgrade of the original Prince of Persia, while its twist-laden plot was seemingly inspired by the 1990 hit, Total Recall.

    Thanks to the publisher Microids, Flashback's making a return, this time to the Nintendo Switch. Check out the announcement trailer:

    Oddly, it's a port of the Super Nintendo version from 1993 rather than the earlier Amiga release. What this means, though, is that Microids can bill it as a 25th anniversary edition, which will come as a regular digital release and a fancy collector's edition with added physical goodies.

    Inside you'll find an instruction booklet, a steel case modeled after a SNES cartridge, the soundtrack, and a metal card with a number on it. We're not sure what the latter actually does.

    The game itself will come in two versions: the original, untouched SNES port and a Modern Mode, which adds some 21st-century creature comforts - like a tutorial and the ability to rewind your mistakes. Flashback was one of those games where you died a lot, right from the opening screen, so these additions should help ease in newer players.

    Now, we wonder whether we'll get a remastered version of Fade to Black, Paul Cuisset's 1995 sequel? Watch this space...

    Flashbackarrives on the Switch on the 7th June.

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    The Ataribox is no more. Say hello to the Atari VCS. Here's everything we know about Atari's new console...

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Mar 20, 2018

    It's possible that younger generations of gamers have completely forgotten the name "Atari," but in the '70s and early '80s, it was the company to beat. A true pioneer of gaming, Atari was at the forefront of the arcade cabinet scene and produced some of the earliest home consoles on the market. The company is also responsible for hits such as PongCentipedeMissile CommandBreakoutAsteroids, and Gauntlet. Needless to say, Atari's output as both a hardware and software manufacturer remains very influential. 

    Well, it seems like Atari CEO Fred Chesnais wants to make the former gaming giant a big part of the conversation again. Speaking with GamesBeat, he confirmed that the company is developing a brand new console. It's called the Atari VCS (formerly called "Ataribox"), the company's first console in more than 20 years. Atari's last home console release was the 64-bit Atari Jaguar, which launched in 1993.

    According to an Atari newsletter, the VCS will be a "full PC experience for the TV, bringing you streaming, applications, social, browsing, music, and more." Atari VCS will come pre-loaded with retro titles as well as "current titles from a range of studios." Atari has not named the studios it has partnered with for this new console.

    Here's everything we know about the new console:

    Atari VCS News

    Atari has revealed a few more details about the VCS, including its controller options. Unsurprisingly, Atari fans will be able to use a joystick to play on the VCS. What is surprising is the second controller option: an ABXY gamepad similar to the Xbox One controller. Check out both designs below...

    A logo for the new console was also revealed. It is as retro-looking as you'd expect:

    Atari VCS Release Date

    Atari has not disclosed the release date for the Atari VCS at this time. A pre-order date will be announced in April 2018. 

    Atari VCS Trailer

    Atari also dropped a trailer for the new console, which teases the return of the wood paneling that was a trademark of the old machines. Check out the trailer below:

    While it's unlikely that the Atari VCS will be anywhere near as powerful as the expensive Xbox and PlayStation consoles currently on the market, it could definitely do well in the retro console sector. Last year, the NES Classic Edition set the gaming world on fire, selling out almost instantly upon release. While Atari's properties aren't as popular as, say, Super Mario Bros., the Mini NES proved that there's still a loyal fanbase of older gamers willing to shell out $60 or more for the classics.

    The possibility of an Atari console equal to at least the Nintendo Switch in terms of power is very exciting, though. A fourth console option would be a major shakeup for the industry, which has only had three consoles on the market at one time since Sega bowed out of the hardware business with the seriously underrated Dreamcast. Could the Atari VCS be a true gamechanger? 

    To reiterate, it's highly improbable that Atari, a company that's nowhere near as big as it once was, could compete with giants like Microsoft and Sony. Still, an Atari retro console is a long time coming.

    Atari VCS Details

    Atari has shared more information regarding the Atari VCS's functionality. 

    In an interview with VentureBeat, Atari VCS creator Feargal Mac stated that they intend to release the console sometime in 2018 following an Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. It's expected to retail for $250-$300 and will utilize an AMD processor and a Radeon graphics card. 

    "People are used to the flexibility of a PC, but most connected TV devices have closed systems and content stores," said Mac. "We wanted to create a killer TV product where people can game, stream and browse with as much freedom as possible, including accessing pre-owned games from other content providers."

    Based on that statement, it sounds like the Atari VCS might function similarly to some Steam Machine devices. What's up for debate is how deep the console's lineup of supported games will be. 

    Atari also showcased the Atari VCS's actual design and shared a few more details regarding what the console actually does.

    The manufacturer stated that they plan on releasing two versions of the Atari VCS, one that resembles the original console's classic wood panel design and a more modern red and black edition, but each one will function exactly the same.

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    This ambitious fighter will offer real-time global matchmaking.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Bandai Namco has announced the development of a new Dragon Ball fighting game for mobile devices. 

    Based on the information stated during the game's official reveal at Game Developers Conference, this mobile game will be titled Dragon Ball Legends and will follow roughly the same format established by Dragon Ball FighterZ. That means that it will ask players to assemble a team of three fighters from the Dragon Ball universe and prepare for battle against others. Yes, Dragon Ball Legends will allow mobile players to do battle against each other in PvP environments. If the demo that Bandai Namco displayed at GDC is to be believed, Legends will offer a relatively lag-free experience that should allow players to easily find opponents anywhere across the world. 

    Unlike some recent mobile games, though, Legends will not offer a full mobile translation of Dragon Ball FigherZ. Instead, it will be its own game that makes compromises necessary for the mobile platform. The biggest difference between the two is Legends' use of a card-based attack system. During each battle, various attack cards will occupy the bottom of the screen based on what fighter you are using. These cards will still function like basic and special attacks - you'll even be able to tap them in rapid succession in order to pull off combos - but it's understandable if this system doesn't allow players to pull off the same lightning-fast combos featured in FighterZ.

    There's no confirmed list of fighters available at the moment, but it seems like most of the major characters from the Dragon Ball universe will be featured in some fashion. The very good news is that they all look fantastic. Legendsis yet another in a long line of mobile titles that aim to truly push the limits of what modern mobile platforms are capable of. 

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    Bandai Namco hasn't offered a definitive release date for Legends, but it is expected to be released sometime in 2018 for both iOS and Android. 

    If everything that Bandai Namco is saying proves to be true, then Legends could indeed be a proper fighting title for mobile devices that doesn't exclude casual gamers. The idea of real-time global matchmaking on a mobile device is a fascinating one that might very well prove to be the hook this game needs. What remains to be seen is if the gameplay can live up to the title's potential. 

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    One of the world's largest eSports tournaments has begun. Here's what you need to know:

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    There's nothing quite like League of Legends eSports scene. The fact that League is one of the most popular games on the planet is never more evident than when you're watching the best players in the world utilize a combination of perfect teamwork and inhuman individual skills in front of a rowdy audience. This MOBA has become a bonafide phenomenon with a professional competition that attracts millions of viewers. 

    Now, League's 2018 competitive season has begun.

    What begins as a world's worth of top teams vying for the top spots of the Spring and Summer Split seasons will soon transition into the tense tournament known as the League of Legends World Championship. League's Championship finals are famous for being some of the most unpredictable and compelling series of games in the world. It's a spectacle you do not want to miss. 

    Whether you've been following LoL since the beginning or you're looking to understand why this game has captured the world's imagination, we're here to keep you updated on the comings and goings of the 2018 competitive season. 

    Here's a guide to League of LegendseSports in 2018:

    League of Legends eSports Live Stream

    You can watch every League of Legends eSports match across every region by checking out our live stream!

    League of Legends World Championship Format

    It's a long road to the League of Legends World Championship, but here's a rough breakdown of how you get there. 

    The first thing you need to know is that there are actually several competitive LoL leagues spread throughout the world. However, the biggest leagues are the NA LCS, EU LCS, League of Legends Champions Korea (LCK), League of Legends Pro League (LPL, China), and League of LegendsMaster Series (LMS, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau). These leagues are complemented by several smaller organizations in other regions. 

    Each competitive season is divided into the Spring and Summer splits. Teams from major regions are competing for championship points throughout the season in order to improve their standings and perhaps earn a playoff berth. However, the best way for teams to earn a World Championship playoff berth is to win the Summer split playoffs. Regardless of what region a team plays in, that will automatically secure its spot. Teams from larger regions can also make it to the World Championship playoffs via their play in regional qualifiers or by having the most championship points at the end of Summer playoffs. 

    The format of the World Championship and preceding playoffs may change slightly every year, but in 2017, 24 teams across all regions made it to the League of LegendsWorld Championship. They competed in a Round Robin series that eventually ended with the Main Event (Championship matches). The team that wins that final series of best of one matches is named the League of Legends World Champion.

    League of Legends World Championship Prize Pool

    The exact prize pool for the League of Legends 2018 World Championship has not yet been determined. However, the 2017 World Championship featured a prize pool of $4,946,969.00. It's believed that this year's Championship will feature a similarly high prize pool. 

    League of Legends Permanent Spring Split 2018 Format 

    The current Spring Split season will be contested under a best of one format. This is a change from recent years, which featured a best of three format. This year will also see the NA LCS abandon Friday games in favor of games that only take place on Saturday and Sunday. 

    League of Legends Spring Split 2018 Schedule

    Want to know the match schedule for a specific region of League of Legends eSports? You can find each schedule at the links below:

    NA LCS Spring Split 2018 Schedule

    EU LCS Spring Split Schedule 

    LCK Spring Split Schedule

    LPL Spring Split Schedule

    LMS Spring Split Schedule

    League of Legends Spring Split Standings

    NA LCS

    1 100 Thieves 13W-6L
    2 Echo Fox 12W-7L
    3 TSM 13W-7L
    4 Team Liquid 12W-8L
    5 Cloud9 12W-8L
    6 Clutch Gaming 11W-9L
    7 Counter Logic Gaming 7W-11L
    8 FlyQuest 6W-12L
    9 OpTic Gaming 5W-13L
    10 Golden Guardians 4W-14L

    EU LCS

    1 Fnatic 14W-4L
    2 G2 Esports 12W-7L
    3 Splyce 11W-8L
    4 Team Vitality 10W-8L
    5 H2K 8W-10L
    5 ROCCAT 8W-10L
    5 Misfits Gaming 8W-10L
    8 FC Schalke 04 7W-11L
    8 Giants 7W-11L
    10 Unicorns of Love 6W-12L


    1 KING-ZONE DragonX 14W-2L
    2 Afreeca Freecs 12W-4L
    3 kt Rolster 11W-5L
    4 KSV 9W-7L
    5 ROX Tigers 8W-8L
    6 SK telecom T1 7W-9L
    7 MVP 6W-10L
    7 Jin Air GreenWings 6W-10L
    9 bbq OLIVERS 5W-11L



    1 Edward Gaming 9W-4L
    1 Snake Esports 9W-4L
    3 Bilibili Gaming 7W-6L
    4 Team WE 7W-7L
    5 FunPlus Phoenix 6W-8L
    6 Oh My God 3W-10L
    7 Vici Gaming 1W-12L



    1 Invictus Gaming 12W-1L
    2 Rogue Warriors 11W-2L
    3 Royal Never Give Up 9W-4L
    4 Suning Gaming 8W-6L
    5 JD Gaming 6W-7L
    6 LGD Gaming 3W-10L
    7 Topsports Gaming 2W-12L


    1 G-Rex 9W-2L
    1 Flash Wolves 9W-1L
    3 J Team 6W-5L
    4 MAD Team 5W-7L
    4 Machi Esports 5W-5L
    6 ahq e-Sports Club 4W-7L
    7 Team Afro 3W-9L
    7 Hong Kong Attitude 3W-8L

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    Will this be the new king of digital card games? Here's what we know about Artifact.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Few people expected Valve's next game to be a collectible card title based on the Dota 2 universe, but that's exactly what we have in Artifact

    Before you roll your eyes, though, you might want to use them to take a closer look at this game. Artifact isn't like any other CCG out there. Actually, it's kind of like a version of Dota 2 that you play with cards instead of with heroes and teammates. Artifact's implementation of Dota 2staples like lanes of battle, heroes, and in-game markets is made all the more fascinating by the fact that the title also boasts some traditional - albeit hardcore - CCG elements. Of course, that last part shouldn't be a surprise given that the game was at least partially designed by Magic: The Gathering creator, Richard Garfield. It will be fascinating to see what that creative team comes up with. 

    Here's everything that we know about Artifact

    Artifact Release Date

    Valve plans on releasing Artifact for Steam sometime before the end of 2018. They're also planning to release a version of the game for mobile devices sometime in 2019. 

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    Artifact News

    PC Gamer has released a full breakdown of how Valve's Artifactcard game will work. It's a lot of information to take in, but here's what you need to know:

    Artifact has you build a deck of 40 cards that contains five heroes. The base game will include 280+ cards and 44 heroes. You can't have more than three of any type of non-hero card in your deck. 

    Gameplay sees you essentially play across three different boards designed to strategically resemble Dota 2's lanes. Each lane has its own mana pool, heroes, and a tower. Lose that tower, and a much stronger Ancient appears. If you manage to either kill an Ancient or if your opponent loses two towers, you win the game. 

    Complicating all of this is the presence of creeps in all lanes that heroes must battle as well as some truly in-depth mechanics that require you to manage the resources of all lanes using the same deck of cards. Fortunately, your resources are bolstered by the ability to earn gold whenever you destroy an opponent's cards and use that gold to buy items from the store that your heroes can equip. Heroes can never be permanently killed, but they can be taken out of action for a round. 

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    Valve seems to be aware that this multi-lane style of CCG play creates a lot of complications, but they are embracing those complications. It seems like Artifact is mostly going to appeal to veteran CCG players or those that are willing to learn an entirely different style of game. Hearthstone this is not. 

    Speaking of Hearthstone, Valve is already planning on separating Artifact from that game by reducing the amount of randomness in matches and by allowing players to trade cards via Steam's marketplace. That last one is a huge deal as it could drastically impact both gameplay and the costs of Artifact in the long run. Indeed, Valve has stated they do not want Artifact to be a pay-to-win experience. 

    It all sounds fascinating, and Artifact might end up being extremely appealing to those who demand more complexity from CCG titles. 

    Artifact Trailer

    In a dramatic turn of events, Valve announced at The International 2017 - a Dota 2 competition held in Seattle - that they are developing a new game. 

    The stunned awe those in attendance felt was soon replaced with a mix of emotions when it was revealed that the game in question is a collectible card game based on the Dota 2 universe called Artifact

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    The Switch's first Smash Bros. game is shaping up to be one of the biggest games of 2018.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Since its N64 debut, the Super Smash Bros. series has been one of Nintendo's most beloved properties. What began as a simple amusement that pitted some of Nintendo's best characters against each other in a brawler fighting game has become an institution. Everyone from casual Nintendo console owners to hardcore fighting fans has fond memories of waging war across Smash Bros. many levels. 

    Now, Smash Bros. is preparing to make its debut on the Nintendo Switch. Following the success of Super Smash Bros. Wii U - a game that grew to include one of the most incredible rosters in fighting game history - expectations are high for the next entry in the long-running franchise. If Nintendo's history with highly-anticipated Switch titles is any indication, though, then we fully expect this will be a special title that will boast a truly impressive collection of playable characters. 

    Here is everything we know about Super Smash Bros. for Switch:

    Super Smash Bros. Switch News

    New evidence suggests that the Smash Bros. for Switch will be an entirely new game and not a port of the Wii U version. 

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    For instance, a recent tweet from series creator Masahiro Sakurai states that he has been "working on this game in silence day after day." It's highly doubtful that Sakurai would personally be putting so much effort into a port of Smash Bros. Wii U, which has led many to believe that his work has been going towards a new title. 

    The biggest piece of evidence, though, was snuck into the reveal of Smash Bros. for Switch. The end of that footage credits Hal Laboratory as the game's developer. However, Bandai Namco created Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U. Even if Hal were responsible for just porting the previous game, Bandai Namco would have likely been credited in some way for their creation if this was indeed a port. 

    All things considered, it looks like we are getting a proper new Smash Bros. game in 2018. 

    Super Smash Bros. Switch Release Date

    Super Smash Bros. for Switch is being released in 2018. It's currently believed that the title will be released sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018. 

    Super Smash Bros. Switch Trailer

    During the latest Nintendo Direct, Nintendo seemed to tease the first Super Smash Bros. game for the Nintendo Switch. 

    What appeared to be an update for Splatoon 2 took a bit of a turn when the Super Smash Bros. logo appeared on-screen and brought the ink-based battles to a halt. In the distance, we could see the outline of what appeared to be the Smash Bros. Switch roster. However, the video only focused on Mario and a very Breath of the Wild looking Link. Add in the featured Splatoon characters, and it looks like we've got our first confirmed fighters for the game. 

    That wasn't the big news, though. No, the big news is that Super Smash Bros. is coming sometime in 2018. That seems to answer the question "What big game is Nintendo preparing to bring to Switch in late 2018?" Other popular theories included Metroid Prime 4, which is certainly still a possibility. 

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    The Battle for Azeroth will commence later this year.

    News Den of Geek Staff
    Mar 20, 2018

    The next World of Warcraft expansion, Battle for Azeroth, takes the game back to its roots a bit by focusing on the battle between the Horde and the Alliance. Each side will be able to explore three new zones. The Horde will have access to the islands of Zandalar while the Alliance will be able to traverse the island of Kul Tiras. These new areas will reportedly contain "allied races" which players will be able to recruit and eventually play as. 

    Perhaps the most exciting addition this expansion brings to the table is the inclusion of a new islands system that adds an almost rogue-like element to the game. Basically, players will be able to build parties of three and explore these island areas. The catch here is that these areas change slightly every time that you visit them. You'll also be able to access new areas called Waterfronts that support 20 player fights over locations that are reportedly of strategic importance to both the Horde and the Alliance. 

    Battle for Azeroth also includes a new legendary neck piece called the Heart of Azeroth. This neck piece will allow players to unlock new abilities that are directly tied to their armor. This system sounds very similar to the one that Blizzard implemented in Legion that allowed players to build upon existing weapons via in-game artifacts. Finally, Battle for Azeroth will raise the current level cap to 120 and will include a feature that allows players to buy a boost up to level 110 should they wish to do so. We can't wait to see who hits the new cap first. 

    Here's everything else we know about the expansion:

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    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Release Date

    Blizzard has promised that Battle for Azeroth will be released on or before September 21, 2018

    Anyone who pre-orders Battle for Azeroth will be able to access the Allied Races, a tweaked version of existing races within World of Warcraft. Following a bit of a grind with these new variants, you'll be able to properly start a new character at level 20. 

    Pre-ordering Battle for Azeroth ($50) will also allow you to access a level 110 boost so you can enjoy all of Legion's late game content. Those that opt for the Deluxe Edition ($70) of the expansion will also be able to access some free goodies in other Blizzard games like Overwatch

    The full list of pre-order incentives can be found here

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth Trailer

    Blizzard has revealed the next expansion for World of Warcraft. Here is the debut cinematic trailer for Battle for Azeroth:

    While that trailer lives up to Blizzard's legacy of creating cinematics worthy of the big screen, it, unfortunately, doesn't tell us much about the game itself. Fortunately, Blizzard has released another preview for the expansion that elaborates on its features a bit more:

    World of Warcraft: Battle for Azeroth PvP

    The World of Warcraft team hopes to emphasize the game's player vs. player elements once more by changing the way that PvP works. 

    Game director Ion Hazzikostas told Kotaku that the team plans on turning every one of the game's servers into PvP servers. However, everyone will need to opt-in to PvP combat if they wish to participate in battle. The catch is that players will only be able to turn PvP on or off inside of major cities. Out in the wild, you'll live with the decision you've made. 

    “Doing this gives us a foundation upon which to build,” said Hazzikostas. “I think in the past when we talked about ideas for PVP content in the world, we often ran into the question of ‘Well, what does this mean for people on PVE servers?’ Are there just millions of people who don’t get to experience this content at all, even if they want to?”

    Hazzikostas also admitted that the WoW team has fallen behind somewhat in terms of expanding the game's PvP battles. While he admits you can't make those battles perfectly balanced, he states that the team is hoping to implement some kind of level-scaling system that might help battles feel a little fairer. 

    Hazzikostas previously noted that Battle for Azeroth will incorporate elements of the Warcraft RTS games. Specifically, the expansion's Waterfront battles will play out like a WoW take on the classic strategy titles. 

    “In searching for inspiration for how that might unfold, classic RTS roots felt like the perfect place to turn,” said Hazzikostas. He later explained that your first job will be to get your team's base fully-functional which will require you to gather resources such as "lumber or gold" to upgrade town halls. You'll also need to clear supply lines of foes in order to allow "peons to do their thing."

    The next phase of battle requires teams of players to decide how existing resources will be spent on the battles ahead. This includes the building of certain weapons and other combat resources. Finally, you will actually do battles against other teams with the resources you have accumulated. 

    We're curious if the resource gathering elements will grow tedious over time and how deep the base building is, but this certainly sounds like a significant addition to the game that wonderfully touches upon Warcraft's oft-forgotten RTS roots. 

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    The cult classic Darksiders franchise is set to stage a major comeback.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Darksiders 3  will cast players into the role of a mage named Fury who uses a whip and magical abilities to fight various forms of evil. Fury is a member of the franchise's Four Horsemen and is described as "unpredictable and enigmatic." The first two Darksiders games featured two other members of the mythical Four Horsemen (War and Death), so this character description does seem to fit the design of the series. 

    The sequel is an "open-ended, living, free-form game" that will require players to use Fury's skills in order to defeat the seven deadly sins. The product description and various screenshots also make note of the game's retention of the franchise's signature art style. 

    The history of the Darksiders franchise has always been fascinating from a development perspective. It was originally conceived by THQ as a hack-and-slash action/adventure title with gothic horror elements. The second game expanded upon many of the elements the first title established but mostly served to give players more of the same. 

    Both Darksiders games received a good deal of acclaim from those who played them but were always seen as fundamentally flawed experiences that exhibited more potential than they realized. When THQ shut down, Darksiders was still seen as one of their most valuable former properties. That's hardly a surprise given just how much the franchise's fans love these games. 

    With the franchise now in the hands of THQ Nordic, it will be interesting to see if they are able to fully realize the potential of the game's formula. 

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Darksiders 3 Release Date

    Darksiders 3 is being developed by Gunfire Games and will be released for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox One. The game will arrive sometime in 2018.

    Darksiders 3 Trailer

    Darksiders 3 is officially coming! Here's the first trailer for the game:

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    There's more than one pirate game on the high seas.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Were you one of many gamers who played Assassin's Creed: Black Flag's ship sections and thought, "Why doesn't Ubisoft just turn this into a game?" Well, it appears that Ubisoft heard that very valid question. 

    Skull and Bones can't exactly be described as a continuation of Black Flag. While the two share many pirate aspects (we'll never tire of hearing our crew sing a shanty) Skull and Bones seems to place a far greater emphasis on multiplayer gameplay, but it's still not clear what the extent of the game's single-player offerings is. 

    The game will allow you to assemble an online crew and participate in 5 v 5 battles with rival pirates in ship-to-ship combat sections. While sinking the enemy is certainly a plus, the true goal here seems to be to collect as much sweet, sweet loot as you can while also vanquishing your foes. It's not entirely clear at this time whether or not you and other players will be able to assume multiple roles on the ship or how that system of role management will work, but it does appear that much of the action will take place on the open waters. 

    Here's everything else we know about the game:

    Skull and Bones Release Date

    Skull and Bones is expected to release sometime in the fall of 2018 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 

    Skull and Bones Trailer

    Here is the first trailer for Skull and Bones:

    And here's a gameplay trailer:

    This interview video posted by Ubisoft also hints at the game's RPG mechanics and the way that you'll be able to upgrade your ship and crew as you gain gold and infamy. 

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    The legendary designer returns to gaming with a truly strange idea...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    SimCity creator Will Wright is returning to gaming with a truly bizarre mobile title called Proxi.

    Where to start with this one? Well, Proxi is technically a city building title. The big catch is that the "city" you are building is really just a representation of abstract thoughts. Proxi requires you to manage various artificial intelligence systems modeled after themselves. In order to foster the growth of these AIs, you'll need to construct what Wright refers to as "mems." These mems are representations of various events that include everything from happy occurrences to repressed memories. 

    At this time, it's honestly not entirely clear what Proxi's gameplay will consist of. We get the basic concept of designing a landscape based on your memories, but there's still no indication of what Proxi's goal is (if there even is one). It's doesn't sound like you're just going to be selected from a menu of memories and building carefully organized urban districts across a vast dreamscape, but we are curious what the "tangible" gameplay elements that tie all these ideas together will end up being. 

    What we do know is that Will Wright has kicked off an art contest that asks people to contribute artistic representations of three personal memories via the Unity system. The winners of this contest will seemingly be asked to contribute more to the final game. The examples that Gallium Artists, Wright's studio, provided seem to showcase the kind of art style the team is looking for, but it really doesn't give us any more information about the game itself. 

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    That probably shouldn't come as too much of a surprise given that Wright has always been a bit eccentric, but it's hard to recommend buying into this admittedly fascinating idea when there is so little information about the game itself currently available. We don't want to invoke the name of No Man's Sky, but the same principle does apply. 

    If nothing else, it's great to hear that Wright is getting back into gaming. It's impossible to argue against the man's successes - even initially ill-received titles like Spore became cult classics - and this certainly doesn't look quite like anything else that is currently on the market.

    As for when Proxi will hit the market, that too is currently unknown. However, it seems that the current plan is for Proxi to only be available via mobile devices. 

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    This creative 2D platformer forces you to make your own platforms.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Light Fall, a previously announced platformer from Bishop Games, is coming to Nintendo Switch. 

    In Light Fall, you will be expected to navigate a series of minimalistic 2D levels via a platformer set-up. So far, so indie. What makes Light Fall stand out, though its the way that it utilizes the platforms themselves. 

    The game's hero has access to an item known as the Shadow Core. It's a kind of magical box that can be manipulated in several ways to allow players to traverse dangerous landscapes and forge their own path to the end of the level. That isn't to say that each level doesn't include other, more traditional platforms, but rather that the Shadow Core will allow you to divert from the previously established methods of traversal. Light Fall's Switch trailer showcases how you'll be able to perform complicated vertical and horizontal movements just by building a platform from thin air. 

    While Light Fall's platforming mechanics seem to be the star of the show, early impressions of the game have also praised its lovely art style and the way it crafts a compelling story largely though environment and the presence of a helpful sidekick/narrator named Stryx. Based on the information provided thus far, it seems like the game's narrative will utilize the concept of light and dark dueling and implement it into the game's various challenging levels. 

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    We know that there is a fair share of indie platformers on the market and that sorting through them for the gems kind of wears you out on the entire concept. Still, there's something seemingly special about this little game. Its central mechanic is much cleverer than you might initially think and reportedly leads to some incredibly smoothe platforming action. The game's world also feels like the kind that is just waiting to be explored by observant gamers.

    At present, it looks like Light Fallis set to release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC sometime in March of 2018. Given that we're currently in March of 2018, we're guessing the game is going to drop soon or will otherwise be delayed slightly. 

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    This love letter to games like Ninja Gaiden features a 16-Bit twist...

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    If you find yourself longing for the era of tough-as-nails, NES-era action titles, then The Messenger might just be the indie game you've been looking for. 

    The Messenger casts players a ninja in a mystical realm who has been tasked with delivering an important scroll to his clan in order to save his people (that really should have been the plot to The Postman). Along the way, he encounters various baddies who will surely takedown all but the most mechanically gifted of players. 

    On the surface, The Messenger basically looks like an unofficial Ninja Gaidengame. It's clear that developer Sabotage isn't shying away from that comparison. It features chiptune songs, airtight controls, and will no doubt make you want to throw your controller out of the window at some point. Much like how Shovel Knight was a love letter to the era of NES platformers, The Messenger pays home to games like Ninja Gaiden, Batman, and Contra

    However, this is much more than a case of simple digital flattery. See, The Messenger eventually allows players to utilize a time travel system. When you hop into one of those time portals, the game changes to a 16-bit graphical style and begins to incorporate Metroidvania elements. It's not entirely clear whether or not these two styles of games will be at odds with each other or if they will somehow both be organically incorporated into a cohesive experience. What we can tell you is that the developers are promising that this aspect of the game will add a great deal of replay value to the experience. 

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    Even in its 8-bit form, though, The Messenger looks like a special experience. We really haven't gotten many genuine attempts at recreating the beloved era of NES action titles. Some games have touched upon that territory, but we haven't really been treated to many significant recreations of that style. The developers behind this particular title seem to have a very clear understanding of the mechanics and level design elements that make that particular breed of game so beloved. They've even implemented a sense of humor that pokes fun at the genre while still paying respect to it. 

    The Messenger is certainly on our radar and it should be on yours too when the game releases for PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year. 

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    The horrors of the rental store come to life in this Switch exclusive.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Garage, a top-down shooter designed to resemble the VHS era of filmmaking, is coming to the Nintendo Switch. 

    "Inspired by VHS Era B-Movies, Garage is a bloody topdown shooter," reads the official release from tinyBuild. "You play as Butch, an ex-drug dealer, who single-handedly slays hordes of mutants and the undead." 

    While Garage may trigger thoughts of Hotline Miami or even the 2017 sleeper hit, Darkwood, those comparisons don't quite convey what the game seems to be going for. Instead, Garage seems to be spiritually closer to a top-down version of a game like Serious Sam. Enemies in the game are numerous and extremely dangerous. Defeating the waves of foes that descend upon you will require you to utilize a series of weapons and some lightning fast reflexes. This appears to be a pure shooter that occasionally utilizes scavenge/exploration elements largely for the purposes of gathering and storytelling. You'll also find a few secret areas spread throughout each level.

    As stated above, the game's calling card seems to be its almost grindhouse style. The game's latest trailer showcases everything from slasher-style horror movie rentals to psychedelic neon atmospheres that look like a special effects attempt gone horribly wrong. There's even a few frames of a kind of Running Man-esque arena atmosphere that players will seemingly be dropped in at some point. 

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    Perhaps its old-fashioned at this point, but we're still always a little surprised to see games this openly grotesque appear on a Nintendo system. While Nintendo isn't quite as opposed to "mature" content as they used to be, Switch owners looking for something a little more visceral will no doubt be happy to turn to this fast-paced piece of retro brutality. 

    Garage is currently listed as a Nintendo Switch exclusive title that is set to release on May 10th. Whether the game will eventually be ported to other platforms remains to be seen. 

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    The best puzzle game this side of Tetris is ready to hit the dance floor again.

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    One of the best puzzle games ever made, Lumines, is getting a long-awaited remaster. 

    While the game was revealed during the recent Nintendo Switch "Nindies" showcase about indie games, it appears that this remastered version of Lumines will be released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and the Nintendo Switch. Across all platforms, this remaster will feature HD graphics, an enhanced soundtrack, and - reportedly - every song from the original game. It is being developed by Resonair and is expected to be released sometime in May. 

    We don't currently know if this remaster will feature any significant pieces of new content. While it stands to reason that there might be a few new songs, backgrounds, modes, or even content from the Lumines sequels, this could simply be a case of a game that is so anticipated that the simple presence of a remastered version of the base title might just prove to be popular enough. 

    Not familiar with Lumines? Don't be surprised. While the game is beloved by just about everyone who played it, the problem is that relatively few people got the chance to play it in its original portable form. The original Lumines debuted on PlayStation Portable in 2004 (2005 for Western gamers). It was critically well-received and is believed to have sold reasonably well, but the questionable popularity of the PSP vs. the Nintendo DS meant that it didn't reach the number of gamers it probably should have. The game was ported to Xbox 360 and other platforms, but the PSP version was still considered to be the best. 

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    As for the game itself, Lumines is best described as a rhythm puzzle title. Mechanically, it's very similar to Tetris in that you just drop blocks on a grid map and match colors to clear spaces. There are a few twists on the formula here and there, but it's a very simple title to understand. 

    What separates Lumines, though, is its incorporation of music. Every level features a timeline that moves horizontally across the screen. When it touches completed blocks, it removes them from the board. This means that different songs can utilize different beats that change the timing of combo plays. 

    Lumines is a great title that we highly recommend to anyone who has never been able to play it. 

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    A Micorsoft published game on Nintendo Switch? Is this a sign of bigger things to come?

    News Matthew Byrd
    Mar 20, 2018

    Mark of the Ninja is being remastered for its debut on the Nintendo Switch. 

    This version of Mark of the Ninja is being billed as a remaster, but the extent of its changes isn't quite clear. It seems reasonable to expect some visual and audio enhancements, but it might be too soon to predict any substantial gameplay alternations. Of course, anything is possible. 

    That doesn't really matter, though, as the fact that Mark of the Ninja is being remastered and released on a non-Microsoft platform is big enough news on its own. The original Mark of the Ninja was released in 2012 for the Xbox 360. Alongside titles like Limbo, Braid, Geometry Wars, and Castle Crashers, it helped establish Microsoft's digital indie delivery service as a revolutionary way for smaller studios to release games that might have otherwise gone overlooked.

    Of course, its success via that format - and the fact it was published by Microsoft Studios - meant that Mark of the Ninja was never released on any other platforms besides Xbox 360 and PC. It's incredibly surprising to hear that its return will be for the Nintendo Switch. What makes that announcement all the more shocking is the recent revelation that Microsoft is beginning to look beyond the Xbox when trying to get its games to more consumers. Does this mean we can expect more Microsoft titles to come to the Nintendo Switch? We've already seen the pair team up on some Minecraftcontent, so it's certainly a possibility. We'll know more when Mark of the Ninjalaunches for Nintendo Switch sometime later this year.

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    As for Mark of the Ninja...well, it's just an incredible game. It tells the tale of a young ninja whose clan has been attacked by a high-tech group of soldiers. The game's hero - that's you - is a lone ninja who has been marked with "cursed" tattoos that offer him enhanced abilities but may just end up sealing his fate. Before that happens, though, he must embark on a mission of revenge and justice. 

    Mark of the Ninja asks players to stick to the shadows as they attempt to take out a variety of enemies across 2D landscapes. The game's sneak and assassinate system requires you to be aware of light, sound, positioning, and to try to come up with the most creative kills possible that won't end in your death. At the time of its releases, Mark of the Ninja was considered to be one of the best stealth games in years, and it retains that status to this day.