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.: gamesradar all-platforms
gamesradar all-platforms.
.: Come see Blizzard, a showcase of indies, and get a free game at the PC Gamer Weekender
The PC Gamer Weekender is just around the corner, and if you're thinking to yourself, "Cool! .
.: New PC Gamer Weekender exhibitors let you try rig upgrades before you buy
Gear envy is a very real concern for attendees of the PC Gamer Weekender, but this year you'll have even more ways to swiftly address it: Lime Distribution has confirmed that it will be in attendance at the show with a selection of peripherals, accessories, and other gear to upgrade your setup.
.: Switch won't have Netflix at launch and this is why that's actually a good sign
Nintendo Switch won't launch with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, or any of that stuff.
.: 20 minutes of Ghost Recon: Wildlands takes you through a single-player mission start to finish
Ghost Recon: Wildlands takes the strategic, squad-based shooter out of the futuristic setting as seen in recent entries and into the open world of cartel-infested Bolivia.
.: No-commentary playthroughs are the Netflix of videogames
Ever binge-watched a series on Netflix? If you have, then you’ll already have something in common with YouTube’s playthrough community.
.: Destiny 2: Release window, character transfers, and everything you need to know
Fast facts Destiny 2 release date: TBA, likely September 2017Formats: TBA, likely PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCDeveloper: BungiePrice: TBA, likely $59.
.: Quick! Get the Xbox One Elite Bundle for an incredible £199.99 while stocks last
Update: The Elite bundle has now sold out. There is still stock of the Halo bundle  and the ....
.: The studio behind Limbo and Inside is teasing its next game
Playdead, the studio behind Limbo and Inside, is already hard at work on its next game.
.: Spider-Man PS4: Potential plot and villain leak, the release date, and everything you need to know
Fast facts Spider-Man PS4 release date: TBCDeveloper: InsomniacPublisher: SonyFormat: PS4 From Ratchet & Clank to the web-slinger.
.: The Big Question: What games are you most looking forward to in 2017?
Will VR fulfil its potential in 2017? What's this year's Firewatch, Overcooked… or Titanfall 2? What are the chances of Red Dead Redemption 2 sneaking out in the next 12 months? After a quiet few weeks, the big console releases are cranking up, with Resident Evil 7 due on 24th Jan and For Honor, Horizon: Zero Dawn and Mass Effect Andromeda launching in the next few months.
.: This is what it's like to play Halo Wars 2 'for real'
Microsoft can't blow up half your living room if you get walloped in Halo Wars 2, legally speaking, which is why it invited some guests to "play" the game in a specially designed command chamber.
.: Here's what the Nintendo Switch menus look like in light and dark mode
Nintendo Switch has a more minimalist user interface than either Wii U or 3DS, and it looks like it has some slick customizable themes as well.
.: Travel the globe with the best locations in the Resident Evil series
Resident Evil 7 is heading to Louisiana in the Deep South of America, however previous games have taken in a globetrotting tour from the US Midwest to China via Europe.
.: Destiny: Xur weapons, gear, and location, January 20 - 22. MIDA Multi-Tool!
Xur, Destiny’s travelling weekend trader, surrealist sculptor, and seven-time Screwball Scramble grand champion, is back.
.: Get £10 off your Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild pre-order on Amazon for today only
So Amazon UK is running an excellent deal today that gives your £10 off orders over £50 with the code 'BIGTHANKS.
.: Here's what modes are in the For Honor closed beta
So just what will the Knights, Samurai, and Vikings of Ubisoft's For Honor be doing when the closed beta begins later this month? Quite a bit of fighting, to no one's surprise.
.: Lovecraft fans rejoice, a new trailer for Call of Cthulhu: The Official Game is here
Later this year, Cyanide Studios' Call of Cthulhu: The Official Video Game comes to PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
.: The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)
***UPDATE: We've added a bunch more games to the list, so be sure to check out what's coming to Switch oh-so soon!***Nintendo Switch is nearly here, and after the recent, hugely informative Switch livestream, we now know more about Nintendo's impending console than ever before.
.: Pokemon Go update hides code for new moves, evolution items, and brings us closer to shinies
While Pokemon Go developer Niantic has gotten better at communicating its future plans for the popular app, some plans remain shrouded in mystery.
.: Yakuza 0 review: "The best and most accessible story in the series yet"
The Yakuza games are simultaneously a celebration and condemnation of excess; like a video game version of Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas set in Japan, but with way more song and dance numbers.
.: N4G: news feed
N4G: news feed.
.: Gravity Rush 2 Review: A Strong Attraction - Shack News
Gravity Queen Kat returns, but does she ascend to the sky or come crashing to earth? .
.: Gravity Rush 2 review: Fanciful, high-flying but ultimately flawed - Wired UK
Vitas gravity manipulation simulation finally gets a proper sequel, but is it worth the induced vertigo?.
.: Uncharted 4 Awards Increased in Number This Weekend
Uncharted 4 awards increased in number over the weekend as the game was crowned GOTY by New York Critics Circle as well as thousands of users online..
.: People are hacking their Animal Crossing: New Leaf towns, and it's beautiful
A Save Editor allows New Leaf players to customize their towns in ways the game won't normally allow. Learn how to do it yourself!.
.: One Nut's 7 Most Anticipated January-April Games
Bond from thesenutsgaming talks about his 7 most anticipated games coming out within the next few months. .
.: Up to 67% off PS4 and Xbox One survival horror games
Several survival horror games on PS4 and Xbox One have been discounted with Dead Rising 4 dropping to $41.20, Dying Light: The Following - Enhanced Edition to $29.90, Until Dawn: Rush of Blood to $9.99 and more. .
.: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe art points to five different Battle Mode types
New Mario Kart 8 Deluxe art reveals new Battle Mode types for the game. .
.: The Division 1.6 Patch Notes Released Ahead of New Expansion
The streets of the desolated New York City in Tom Clancys The Division seemed barren for months until the latest patches have seen thousands of agents descend into the chaos filled streets once..
.: The Scientifically Proven Best Video Games of All Time #34: Super Mario Bros. 3
Warp Zoned writes: "Mario and his Mushroom Kingdom cohorts have held a surprising number of occupations over the years. In addition to his plumbing business and the hero-for-hire game, Mario has been employed as a multi-sport athlete, a race car driver, a referee, a dancer, an artist, a virologist, and a typing tutor. Hes practically done it all, and I think only political office has eluded him. I guess thats the trouble with monarchies. Bouncing from genre to genre like that is usually considered a liability for other game characters. As sublimely silly as the idea seems, no one wants to see Kratos squeezed into a go-kart. And yet, fans readily accept Marios multitasking, and many of his spinoff adventures are now more popular than some of the franchises traditional platformers. Theres a strong possibility this all stems from the fact that Marios creator, Shigeru Miyamoto, designed the character this way from the beginning.".
.: Retro Gaming Sales Going Right Now (Multiplatform)
Carl Williams writes, "Retro gaming fans are often left out in the cold when it comes to sales. Not many companies are willing to lower the price of their digital re-releases lower than what is often an already low price. Sometimes though, we see a few hit the market for a short period of time with a much lower price tag. We have cobbled together this list of retro gaming sales for our readers that want to play retro on modern hardware. If you know of any we missed, just let us know and we will add them.".
.: GameSpot News
The latest News from GameSpot.
.: Double Dragon 4 Website Reveals New Details

Japanese developer Arc System Works has been hard at work on a direct sequel to Double Dragon series in Double Dragon IV, set to release toward the end of this month in time to celebrate the 30th anniversary.

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Arc System Works worked on the Sega Master system version of the original side-scrolling retro beat-em-up Double Dragon back in 1988, and since has worked on Final Lap, Battletoads, and the Guilty Gear series to name but a few.

Double Dragon IV looks like it's staying faithful to the original series, with a visual presentation straight out of the 80s. The newly launched website also includes some fresh details on the story mode, challenge tower mode, and the two-player duel mode.

The new Story Mode is a continuation of the story from Double Dragon 2: The Revenge, featuring some new enemies, and a new co-op mode. Initially players will be able to choose from Billy and Jimmy as playable characters, but progress through the new tower mode will unlock enemies for use in story mode.

The two-player Duel Mode is an adversarial mode that turns the beat-em-up into a beat-each-other-up, to find out who's best at beating-up.

Tower Mode is a wave-based challenge mode with no continues. Players will fight their way up the tower, unlocking new characters as they go.

Double Dragon IV will also make use of the PS4 Share Play feature, allowing two PlayStation Plus subscribers to play together for up to one hour, even though only one has purchased the game.

Learn more about Share Play in our feature, or click through to the Double Dragon IV website for more info.

.: Top 10 Movies at the US Box Office This Weekend Revealed, Rogue One Crosses $1 Billion

M. Night Shyamalan's newest movie, Split, had a big opening weekend. As reported by EW, it made $40.2 million at the US box office this weekend, making it the No. 1 movie by far.

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Rounding out the top five movies at the US box office this weekend were xXx: Return of Xander Cage ($20 million), Hidden Figures ($16.3 million), Sing ($9 million), and La La Land ($8.4 million).

The big opening weekend for the James McAvoy-starring Split continues Shyamalan's win streak, as 2015's The Visit also did well, after earlier movies like After Earth and The Happening disappointed. $40.2 million is far bigger than the opening weekends for Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense ($26.7 million) and Unbreakable ($30.3 million).

In other news, Star Wars: Rogue One pushed past $1 billion at the global box office this weekend. The next Star Wars film, Episode VIII, comes out this December.

US Box Office January 20-22 Estimates:

  1. Split – $40.2 million
  2. xXx: Return of Xander Cage – $20 million
  3. Hidden Figures – $16.3 million
  4. Sing – $9 million
  5. La La Land – $8.4 million
  6. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $7 million
  7. Monster Trucks – $7 million
  8. Patriots Day – $6 million
  9. The Founder – $3.8 million
  10. Sleepless – $3.7 million

Go to EW to see a full breakdown of this weekend's US box office performance.

.: Capcom Not Bringing Resident Evil To Nintendo Switch

Capcom has said it is potentially interested in making games for the Nintendo Switch, but it doesn't look like the Resident Evil series is among them, at least not yet.

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Producer Masachika Kawata told Express Online about the Switch, "I think it's a very unique piece of hardware." However, Capcom isn't bringing Resident Evil to Switch now or anytime soon.

"I'm looking forward to the possibilities of the system itself, but we have no plans at the moment regarding Resident Evil on Switch," Kawata said (via NeoGAF).

Capcom is among the dozens of development partners for the Switch, so it's possible some Capcom games will come to the console.

Resident Evil 7 launches on January 24 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It was recently confirmed that it's an Xbox Play Anywhere game for Xbox One and PC.

The next Resident Evil movie, The Final Chapter, meanwhile, comes out on January 27--watch the newest video for it here.

As for the Switch, it comes out on March 3 for $300.

.: PC Gaming Hardware Revenue Hits $30 Billion In 2016, A New Record - Report

Research firm Jon Peddie Research has announced some new data regarding the PC gaming market. According to JPR (via Game Informer), PC gaming hardware alone drove $30 billion in revenue worldwide in 2016, setting a new record. It wasn't mentioned in the report what the previous record was.

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The $30 billion figure includes things like pre-built and custom-made gaming rigs, as well as upgrades like new cards. Accessories and audio systems are also factored into the number.

According to JPR, the PC gaming market for hardware is going to grow by 6 percent (compound annual growth rate) through 2019.

The research firm added that the Asia Pacific market is the global leader in terms of market size and growth for PC gaming hardware, accounting for $11.3 billion in 2016. JPR said this is due to "an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and a lack of significant console traction."

"Global consumers continue to embrace the PC platform for video games due to multiple factors," JPR analyst Ted Pollak said. "The desktop ergonomic is popular because the display distance offers increased detail when using HD and UHD monitors. Additionally there is superior control with mouse and keyboard control interfaces. This has been validated with esports overwhelmingly being played on PCs.

"Additionally, product designers have given PC gamers thousands of options for complete customization from a functionally and aesthetic perspective," he added. "Examples of this include dedicated driving and flight systems, multi-display setups, super-powerful graphics boards, and a wide selection of gaming notebooks ranging from desktop substitutes to innovative 'thin and light' offerings. Liquid cooling, lighting, solid state drives, genre specific gaming mice, mechanical keyboards, notebook graphics amplifiers, and Xbox accessory compatibility offer gamers more choices than they have ever had."

You can read more from JPR's PC gaming hardware report here.

.: Logan Is In A "Different Universe" Than Other X-Men Movies, Jackman Says

Here's something interesting. Logan star Hugh Jackman, who plays Wolverine in the upcoming X-Men movie, has revealed that Logan exists in a "slightly different universe" than the main series.

It's not exactly clear how this is all going to shake out, but Jackman says all will be revealed soon enough. "When you see the full movie you'll understand," he told DigitalSpy (via Colldier). "Not only is it different in terms of timeline and tone, it's a slightly different universe. It's actually a different paradigm and that will become clear."

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He added that keeping track of all the different X-Men timelines became "a chess game" that "actually doesn't help to tell a story."

Also in the interview, Jackman talked about how he and director James Mangold had a "blank canvas" for Logan, in part because it's the last time Jackman will play Wolverine.

"I said this was my last one and they said make the movie you want to make," he said. "And so Jim [Mangold] and I had this blank canvas and we wanted to make something really different. Definitely tonally different, I kept thinking The Wrestler, Unforgiven."

Jackman added that Logan is something of a standalone X-Men movie. "It's not really beholden to timelines and storylines in the other movies," he said. "Obviously Patrick Stewart was in there so we have some crossover but it feels very different and very fresh."

In other Logan news, it was confirmed recently that Mr. Sinister won't be in the movie.

For more Logan coverage on GameSpot, check out our breakdown of the new trailer, and read our impressions of the movie's first 40 minutes.

Logan also stars Elizabeth Rodriguez, Boyd Holbrook, and Richard E. Grant. It hits theaters on March 3, 2017.

.: Free Madden 17 When You Buy An Xbox One At Target This Week

It's a big day for football, with the AFC and NFC Championship games taking place later today. The winners go on to compete in Super Bowl LI, two weeks from today. Presumably to jump in on the increased interest in the game, Target has rolled out a new weekly deal on Madden NFL 17.

When you buy any new Xbox One S at the store this week, you'll get a free copy of Madden NFL 17. What happens if you buy the Xbox One S bundle that comes with the game already? It's not exactly clear, as that bundle does not appear to be available at Target right now.

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Whatever the case, you're likely getting Madden NFL 17 as an extra bonus game, as some Xbox One S bundles already come with a free game. There are bundles for Battlefield 1, Gears of War 4, FIFA 17, Minecraft, and others. You can see all the Xbox One S bundles here on Microsoft's website.

If you're only looking for Madden NFL 17, Target is offering it for $35 this week. Alternatively, the Xbox Store is selling the digital version of the game for $30.

Check out Target's latest weekly ad here to learn more about these offers.

The New England Patriots face the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC matchup, with the Green Bay Packers taking on the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC game.

If you want to wait, EA has historically offered a "Super Bowl Edition" of the newest Madden game for a nice discount during the week of the big game. Additionally, the developer usually simulates the matchup and predicts a winner, sometimes with eerily accurate results.

.: Revelation Online Closed Beta Key Giveaway

We are giving away 5,000 closed beta keys for Revelation Online on PC. This is an instant win and you will receive an email with the code. Closed beta ends on February 2nd, 2017.

If you're not familiar with Revelation Online, it is a breathtaking Massively Online Multiplayer experience in which players will discover the lands of Nuanor. Explore a vibrant world of ancient mystery, and use the power of flight to experience absolute freedom. Spread your wings or master one of the many aerial mounts to soar through the sky. Dive into the waters or climb to the top of the world – in Revelation Online, you can freely reach any place.

Enter below:

.: Nioh Is A Brutal Return To Form For Ninja Gaiden Developer

Upcoming samurai action dungeon-crawler Nioh seems like a proper callback to the work of its developer Team Ninja. The calculated, brutal action and heavy emphasis on Japanese mythology and imagery stand proudly in ways the studio hasn't embraced since its work on the first two Ninja Gaiden games. But at the same time, it leans heavily on contemporary sensibilities, possessing a structure not unlike From Software's incredibly popular Dark Souls games. But Nioh is more than just a Souls-like game set in Sengoku-era Japan. It's the work of a studio overcoming a struggle to rediscover its identity. And most of all, it's a return to form.

In the years before Team Ninja developed Nioh, the studio once stood at the forefront of the character-driven action-game genre with its trademark style and merciless philosophy on difficulty. However, the shifting demand for easier, more approachable action-adventure games in the early 2010s impacted Team Ninja. Suddenly, the team had to make games that didn't fit their style.

"It was a tough time for us; we don't come from that school of design," said Nioh creative director Tom Lee. "We felt lost because that's not who we are. The majority of our team are fine-tuned craftsman, and our directors have a very specific vision about gaming, so it was difficult to adjust to in those years."

The struggle to adapt was reflected in the quality of the studio's action games during that time: 2012's Ninja Gaiden 3 and 2014's Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z were unrefined, superficially difficult, and shamelessly catered to trends. Team Ninja's work on the Dead or Alive series remained a consistent staple for the studio, but in its attempts to follow its action game lineage, it lost track of its ability to harness what made its early work so great.

"During that time, we made some bad choices by trying to do certain things, thinking we could accommodate a particular playstyle," said Lee. "We lost ourselves."

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But as Team Ninja faced a changing climate in games, From Software's Souls series began to rise in popularity. Its punishing, yet satisfying dungeon crawling proved that an audience still existed for action games that challenged players through unforgiving mechanics and constant failure. The success of the Souls games afforded Team Ninja an opportunity to reclaim itself, but where could it start? Enter Nioh.

First announced in 2005, Nioh was the pet project of Koei co-founder Kou Shibusawa. The company developed it internally as an RPG based on an unfinished script by acclaimed filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, which told the tale of the first blonde-haired samurai in 1600s Japan. However, the initial version of the game failed to meet Shibusawa's vision, resulting in the project being transferred to other studios. Nioh took on various forms in the subsequent years, going as far as becoming a Dynasty Warriors-styled action game. But all of these versions fell through. At least, none worked until Team Ninja entered the picture in 2010 to develop the game's combat system.

"We didn't really know anything about Nioh until the head of Koei presented it to us," commented Lee. "At first, I had reservations about the project: why is this western protagonist in this Japanese setting? Are we making a historic period Samurai simulator? Is this another [Dynasty] Warriors-like game?"

Despite these reservations, Team Ninja eventually took on full development of Nioh in 2012. "The more we thought about it as a team, we began to see the potential of what [Nioh] could be. And coming from that confusing place we were at before, we knew a project like this was a perfect opportunity for us to re-present ourselves and put out a project akin to our earlier work."

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And it shows. Nioh, even in its similarities to the Souls series, manages to channel the distinct style, feeling, and design of the studio's most iconic offerings. The impact of your character's weapon upon a yokai's flesh reignites memories of Ryu Hayabusa's Dragon Blade slicing rogue Ninja; a cave that summons a swarm of bats to knock you off a ledge upon passing it calls to mind the myriad brutal traps from the first Ninja Gaiden. These familiar sensations could only come from Team Ninja, but none of this would've been possible if it weren't for the circumstances that paved the way for Nioh to become what it is today.

It was a perfect storm: a studio struggling to reclaim its identity and a project deeply rooted in Japanese history and mythology struggling to take shape for nearly a decade. When these two forces fully met five years ago, everything fell into place, and it was an opportunity for Team Ninja to go back to its roots.

We had to remind ourselves that at the end of the day we're Japanese, and that we need to create a game that pays respect to our tradition and our roots.

It was under these circumstances that Team Ninja learned an important lesson: "We had to remind ourselves that at the end of the day we're Japanese, and that we need to create a game that pays respect to our tradition and our roots. There's no reason for us to hide that. In fact, let's celebrate it and pay respect to that," Lee said.

To many of us, From Software's reintroduction of difficulty to the triple-A sphere was refreshing and unexpected--but it was precisely what Team Ninja had been doing all along in its early games. Nioh resembles the Souls formula, but the pride and confidence that it exudes in its interpretation of that game type goes beyond rudimentary comparisons. It's unashamed to immerse itself in Japanese culture, pulling from its deep well of history and mythology; and it has no qualms in picking you up and smashing you into the ground, only to do so a second time while you're trying to catch your breath.

"It took us so long to feel a sense of pride in our games," Lee concluded. "But we're back in the sense that we know who we are. These are our strengths and this is a universe that we understand. That's why we're doing everything we can to present it in its best light."

Expect to see exactly what Team Ninja learned when Nioh launches on February 9, exclusively for PS4.

.: The Rise, Fall, and Future of Resident Evil: A 2-Part Video Series

On January 24 Capcom will launch Resident Evil 7. The newest entry in the long-running survival horror series looks to be a dramatic reinvention and, in the lead up to its release, GameSpot took an in-depth look at the circumstances that led to the franchise being reworked.

In episode one of a two-part video series called "Reviving Resident Evil," Tamoor Hussain delved into the past, talking to Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs creative director Dan Pinchbeck, Alien: Isolation director Alistair Hope, and Dead Space 2 level designer Matthias Worch about the impact Resident Evil had on the video game industry. From there he charted the series' decline and the rise of indie and western developers, many of which were inspired by Resident Evil or carried on its legacy in some way.

The second episode in the series looked to the future, and featured interviews with the developers behind Resident Evil 7. It focused on the lessons Capcom has learned from the recent titles, the decision to reimagine Resident Evil, and the influences of modern indie horror titles.

In the creation of these videos we conducted a number of lengthy interviews. While parts of these are featured in the series, there was a great deal of unused material which will no doubt be of interest to fans of the series, so we've made them available below. Along with these, we've also collected a supplemental Resident Evil video on the history of Resident Evil. Check it all out:

Table of Contents [hide]


Reviving Resident Evil

Part 1: RE-volution - We look at how Resident Evil changed video games, speak to developers it influenced, and chart its decline.

Part 2: RE-invention - We talk to the developers behind Resident Evil 7 about reimagining the series, learning from indies, and building a new future.

The History of Resident Evil

Joey Yee looks back on the long history of the franchise, and attempts to figure out what it really means to be a Resident Evil game.

.: Reviving Resident Evil: The Complete Capcom Japan Interview

GameSpot recently published a two-part video series dedicated to rise, fall, and future of Resident Evil. As part of its creation we interviewed a number of Capcom developers involved in the development of Resident Evil 7.

The interview features Resident Evil 7 director Koshi Nakanishi, as well as producers Masachika Kawata and Jun Takeuchi, who discuss why they decided to reinvent Resident Evil for its latest entry, whether it looked at indie games for inspiration, and the future of the franchise.

While the most pertinent quotes were featured in the videos, there was a considerable amount of unused material that we felt fans of the series would appreciate reading. With that in mind we've collated these interviews into one, larger piece which you can read below.

GameSpot: What was it that made you realize that Resident Evil needed to be reworked for the seventh entry?

Takeuchi: After our sixth [Resident Evil] we got a lot of feedback from fans. I think a lot of fans loved that game. It's a dream team collaboration of all their favorite heroes working together. At the same time, we know there's feedback that people thought we're going too far down the road of action horror rather than survival horror. That was great timing because internally we also felt this is the time for us to just take a step back and re-evaluate what survival horror and Resident Evil means to us. It was really just the fact that the timing of what the fans wanted and we wanted to do next matched up. It gave me the confidence to do something radical and reinvent the series.

Kawata: In the beginning, when we were just going for the conceptual stage, a lot of ideas came about. At the end of the day we settled on the fact that Resident Evil really is a franchise based around horror. We figured, "This time around, let's just double down on horror."

After we made that decision, it was, "What do we need to do in order to make sure that we're able to offer the player the ultimate horror experience?" That was what led to the decision of going from third-person perspective to first-person perspective. We figured this would be the best way of allowing player immersion. In terms of characters, we figured, "Let's not have previous characters make an appearance." Lead characters really blend in better with the survival horror aspects when we're able to allow the player to empathize with this really average character.

Nakanishi: In terms of the change of direction, Takeuchi-san decided it's going to go more in line with [acclaimed 1981 horror film] The Evil Dead where it's more in this compact space. My first reaction to this was actually, "Whoa, are you serious? We're going to change it that drastically?" I was definitely surprised, but at the same time I love challenges. I'm not going to [shy] away from them. Instead, those are the things that excite me personally. Obviously, there was a little bit of insecurity in terms of like, "Where are we going to take this?" We did get a lot of positive feedback internally as well in terms of like, "Yeah, this direction is going to work. Let's roll with it." I was able to take that positive feedback and move forward as well.

It's interesting that you decided to take a new perspective instead of refocusing on the fixed camera style of the original Resident Evils or another over-the-shoulder game. Why did you decide to move to the new perspective?

Takeuchi: For us, the idea of going back to our roots wasn't synonymous with just turning back the clock on gameplay systems or choices of camera systems. It was more about looking towards the future by saying, "We're going to go back to our roots and we want to give players in 2017 a chance to experience the same kind of fear that players of 1996 felt with Resident Evil." But that doesn't mean that players in 2017 will feel the same about the gameplay choices we made in 1996. The most natural evolution in my mind was, "How do I get them to feel this direct sense of fear and atmosphere, [and the] fact that this character is very much in danger?" For me, first-person perspective was a very natural fit for that [and] for the future of survival horror while remaining true to the series' roots.

Did it give you confidence to see indie horror games taking a similar approach and becoming very, very popular because of it?

Nakanishi: In terms of the general scene and the popularity of the horror genre, it definitely did give me some confidence. In terms of the market being populated by a lot of horror games, we also wanted to make sure we stay true to ourselves in making sure we are able to give the core Resident Evil experience, which is not only offering a heightened level of fear but also giving the player the opportunity to combat it and overcome [it to] feel that level of triumph. That's not something that you always see in other horror games. Yes, we moved over to [first-person perspective] and that kind of visual representation might be similar to other games, [but] I'm very confident that we're still able to differentiate ourselves and offer something that only Resident Evil can offer.

Takeuchi: It's been a positive experience for us to see that the rise of that kind of genre, but I do think that there's not many games like Resident Evil even within that sub-genre because they are horror games and Resident Evil is a survival horror game.

To my mind, the difference between the two is that, in a horror game, your main objective is, "How do I scare the player?" I can make them as scared as I want all the time and they have to just escape and stay alive. [But in survival horror] we have a cycle of tension and release where you are scared, but you are given the means to fight back. Even with limited sources, you're going to be able to face your fears and overcome them at some point. That's the kind of gameplay cycle and feeling that we want to give people with survival horror. Even though there's things to learn from the existing indie horror genre, I think it's still not like we're quite the same as them. I think we still have a unique take on what we can give people with the horror experience.

It's been a positive experience for us to see that the rise of [the indie horror] genre, but I do think that there's not many games like Resident Evil

Jun Takeuchi, Resident Evil 7 producer

Was it difficult to balancing that empowerment but also scare people? Did you look back at all the games, like the Resident Evil remake came out recently, to figure that out?

Takeuchi: Fortunately, I worked on the first Resident Evil so I don't even need to go back and play it. I can just visit my memories and they're buried into my brain because it was such a tough project actually, but it was a really creative team--especially the director, Shinji Mikami. There are other Resident Evil 2 staff members still around at Capcom like a guy called [Yasuhiro Ampo]. Of course, Mr. Kamiya [too], who is no longer at Capcom. I was able to have a chat with him to just kick start my own memories and remember what we did back then.

The other side of that is it's been quite a while since those games came out so there's quite a few younger staff members at Capcom who have never played the original games or are not familiar with them. We had to kind of teach those guys or get them to play, be it the Resident Evil Remake or whatever, just to make sure that they had the mindset of what it was to play Resident Evil back then. I didn't want them to just copy it, but take what they learned from that, then rearrange it and remix it and mash it up as it makes sense to them in the context of a survival horror game in 2017.

Nakanishi: In terms of the visual representation, yes, it's going in a very different direction. At the same time, we always make sure that even if we go in various different directions that the core fun factor is still intact. For me, a lot of the fun comes from the old game systems where you have to slowly open the door not knowing what's ahead of you. On the flip side [is] knowing what's ahead of you. Predicting, "Oh, there's definitely a jump scare in front of me, but there's no other direction for me to take. I have to go forward." Having to deal with a combat situation where you're low on ammo and so you have to strategize, "Am I going to fight here? Am I going to run away? Do I take the long route?" Just all those decision-making aspects or things that I think really make Resident Evil shine. Those are things that I wanted to take into more modernized approach and really make sure that the player is able to immerse themselves with these game mechanics in this new environment.

Was there ever a worry that, currently, the larger group of fans may be the people that know Resident Evil 4, 5, and 6 and like the quicker pace of gameplay. And perhaps that the audience that you once had that likes that slower pace you're returning to may not be there anymore?

Nakanishi: Of course, there's definitely that worry, but Resident Evil has survived for over 20 years now. It's just done so many things along the years. You're obviously going to have fans who prefer co-op, [or] who prefer single player. You're going to have the new fans, the old fans.

The fanbase is so large and there's just so many different opinions that honestly making a product that's going to satisfy every single one of them is just incredibly difficult. Instead of taking that approach, we figure, "Let's focus down and make sure that we're really refining and sharpening one aspect of Resident Evil ... let's focus on fear." As a result, obviously, we might have fans that are like, "Okay, I like the online action-packed multiplayer." We do realize that that's a reality.

Takeuchi: Some of the teams certainly felt that way. Someone that has been raised on the diet of more modern games might find it difficult to step back and play a more patient experience, but myself and the director, we felt differently. I think there are a lot of fast-paced games out there including the more recent Resident Evil games, but we've seen that there is a market out there that is willing to understand the need for a slow-paced game, particularly in the horror genre. If anything, I think people who are used to the faster pace of game might find it a new fresh experience to go slower.

Maybe there's a lack recently of that kind of Metroidvania backtracking within a single location gaming style that it'll seem all the more fresh to someone who has been playing other games. I think no matter what the generation you're talking about or what time in the games industry you're talking about, I believe there's always a place for this kind of game.

The changes you've made for Resident Evil 7 feel like they were necessary to ensure Resident Evil continues to exist as a franchise, even if that does mean cutting loose a bunch of fans who may be more used to action.

Kawata: [With] Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6, especially Resident Evil 4, that was definitely something new at the time. As the games kept coming out, the world definitely expanded out--it became more large scale. We felt that this would be a really good time to take a step back and be like, "Okay, let's not keep expanding the scale, let's actually scale it back down and make it more of a confined space." Taking that confined space and adding further depth to it. That was the general direction we took.

Nakanishi: First off, we definitely don't want to just abandon one subset of fans. That just wouldn't be fair. We're not thinking of like, "Alright, we're never going to do online multiplayer ever again." It's more of just finding the right opportunities and figuring out like, "Okay, this is the best time to release this kind of Resident Evil.

[In] Resident Evil, it's always about trying to surprise our fans. Going up and offering something new. Tackling new challenges. That's our mantra as developers. I wasn't directly involved, but even during Resident Evil 3 to Resident Evil 4, that was almost like a civil war amongst Capcom, so it's not always without conflicts when we try something new.

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The transition from 3 to 4 was a controversial time within Capcom, then?

Nakanishi: I can't really say much about it because I wasn't involved, but that's what I hear. If you look at the results of this conflict, it ultimately resulted in something good. Even within Capcom, we've definitely adopted that approach like, "Maybe there's going to be a lot of conflict. Maybe there's going to be a lot of arguments." At the same time, going up against new challenges is definitely a very healthy developmental approach.

Was the move from Resident Evil 6 to 7 equally as controversial?

Nakanishi: On the contrary, it was actually quite the opposite. Once Takeuchi-san gave that directive, things actually went pretty smoothly. We made a prototype early on and that prototype was received very positively within Capcom. Yeah, we actually were able to move forward without too many obstacles.

It sounds almost as if everyone knew that the franchise needed to change and that it couldn't carry on going as it was, so there was less conflict.

Nakanishi: Yeah, you're right. There was definitely this conversation and this atmosphere of like, "Alright, this is really the right time to look inward and try to figure out what's the root of the franchise and what really makes Resident Evil."

How does it feel for you as a developer, and other members of the team who have worked on the series, to be back in familiar territory again working with designs and frameworks that you know so well? Do you feel like you know what Resident Evil is again?

Takeuchi: Most of the team is actually from the 4, 5, 6 era. There's not too many of us who have been around since the Resident Evil 1, 2, 3 times. Rather than mostly being able to relax and get back into the old style it is actually very stimulating and new for them to work on this kind of game. It's a fresh experience for them. I've heard from a lot of team members that working on an old style of Resident Evil game ... Not old style, but one that harks back to the old games has actually helped them better understand the origins of Resident Evil on what makes it what it is. That gave them motivation even though it's very hard work to develop a game like this. It helped them push through to the end of the project. I think it's been an interesting experience for the team for sure.

We're not Call of Duty. We're not Dead Space. We're not Outlast. We're Resident Evil.

Koshi Nakanishi, Resident Evil 7 director

Are you more optimistic about the future of Resident Evil? Do you feel like it can be the king of the survival horror genre again, and where do you envision the series going?

Tekeuchi: In the next four or five years, I hope that we will have been able to build on the success of Resident Evil 7. We're bringing the series back to its roots. Even the title of the game is trying to show you that by combining the original Japanese and English titles we're saying, "It's like the ultimate revival and it's a sort of new masterpiece for a new generation to build the future of Resident Evil." I'm very hopeful for the future of the series. I hope I can be talking to you again in a few years time about the next step in the series which is going to bring you another entire new level of scares and great experiences. Please look forward to our next conversation about that.

Kawata: Ultimately, it's going to be [dependent on] the results of Resident Evil 7. How people are going to receive it? What user feedback is going to be. It's all going to be based on that. Obviously, if reception turns out to be incredibly good, then that's going to obviously entice us to keep going forward [in] this direction. At the same time, Resident Evil is a franchise. It's very flexible. There's obviously going to be feedback coming from fans where it's like, "Okay. We still want to be able to see our characters." Maybe we want to definitely cater to that and be flexible and offering different gameplay styles to cater to specific user needs.

Nakanishi: For me, personally, it's not about overcoming the competition, [and] being [at] the top. For me, I think what would make me happy is hearing feedback from fans to know that they would be like, "This is Resident Evil." I think that's the kind of feedback that I definitely want to hear. To know that, we don't need to be compared to the competition. We're not Call of Duty. We're not Dead Space. We're not Outlast. We're Resident Evil. Being able to make our own space within the game industry and say, "Okay. If you are able to see these specific things, you're able to very easily identify [that] this is a Resident Evil game." That's what I'm personally striving for.

.: Nintendo Switch Predicted To Sell 40 Million Systems By End Of 2020

Research firm DFC Intelligence released a report this week in which it predicts that the Nintendo Switch will sell 40 million units by the end of 2020. As reported by GI.biz, that's almost three times as many consoles as the Wii U sold over its first four years. By Nintendo's latest count, the Wii U had sold 13.36 million units, compared to 100 million for the original Wii over the course of its lifetime.

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Nintendo has said it will have 2 million Nintendo Switch units available worldwide for its launch month. However, Nintendo has not offered any kind of long-term sales prediction for the console.

According to DFC, 2 million units for March and a launch lineup of fewer than 10 titles might impact the console's ability to have a very strong start. "Demand is expected to be strong and the major issue will be whether the system can attract a broad audience starting in the holiday sales season of 2017," the DFC report said.

"The Switch is a compelling piece of hardware that could potentially reach a much larger addressable market," DFC boss David Cole said. "However given the limited software and Nintendo's poor recent track record of introducing new products we have tempered our forecasts to be conservative."

Get the full story on DFC's Nintendo Switch report here at GI.biz.

Not everyone believes the Nintendo Switch will be a big hit; some analysts have questioned whether it is innovative and can appeal to a wide audience.

"Sorry, but is a portable/home console approach really that innovative...? I am most concerned about the target group of the device: who else but die-hard Nintendo fans will buy the Switch?" analyst Dr. Serkan Toto said in 2016.

The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, priced at $300. In other news, Nintendo has confirmed that there will be no video-streaming services available at launch; so no Netflix.

.: Halo 5's Mythic Warzone Firefight Is Back, Alongside New Req Pack

Welcome to the weekend. If you're looking to play Halo 5 this weekend, you can play Mythic Warzone Firefight on the winter-themed map, March on Stormbreak.

Halo developer 343 Industries announced this and more across a couple tweets this week. Here is a peek at what the March on Stormbreak map looks like:

Additionally, 343 has launched a new Req pack. The Team Allegiance Req pack comes with black, white, and orange weapons skins themed around the competitive gaming squad Team Allegiance. It's being released presumably to celebrate the ongoing Halo Championship Series.

The Team Allegiance Req pack costs $10 and can be purchased here.

In other Halo news, an open beta for Halo Wars 2 is going on right now on Xbox One and PC. Check out this post to find out more about the beta and how to get in.

.: Xbox Boss "Really Happy" With How Project Scorpio Is Coming Together

2017 is poised to be a big year for Microsoft and the Xbox brand. This holiday, the company will launch the mega-powerful Xbox console, Project Scorpio. Now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has provided something of an update about how development is coming along for the system.

Responding to someone on Twitter who asked if Microsoft could show a sneak peek at the system, Spencer said, "Really wish I could, design team is doing their 'thing' again." Though he can't show anything or talk more specifically about it, Spencer said he is "really happy with what they've been able to do."

Spencer's comments this week follow what he said earlier this month, when he spoke out to say he is "absolutely" happy with what he's seeing so far. He added, "great that our first-party teams are getting engines up and tuned, great progress across studios, platform, and [hardware]."

At the time, Spencer also said he is unsure if Microsoft will show off Project Scorpio before E3 in June.

Microsoft has time and again referred to Project Scorpio as the "most powerful console ever made," so a premium price point is expected. Officially, pricing has not been announced. The console goes on sale in holiday 2017, though a specific release date has not been announced.

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In other Scorpio news, Halo boss Frank O'Connor recently said that, while he's unsure of Project Scorpio's specifics specs, they are "beefier" than what he expected.

Are you interested in Project Scorpio? Let us know in the comments below!

.: Weekly Recap: Top 10 Games Of 2016, More Nintendo Switch Info, Xbox One Sales Hit 26 Million?
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Another week in the books. Here is a roundup of the week's big stories and some you might have missed.


The NPD Group this week announced the Top 10 best-selling games of 2016 for the United States. Leading the way, of course, was Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. Battlefield 1 finished in the No. 1 spot, followed by The Division at No. 3 Yep. Shooters are popular. Check out the full Top 10 chart.

Another big story this week was the suggestion that the Xbox One has now sold 26 million units. This information came from a third-party report from SuperData and not Microsoft, so keep that in mind. But whatever the case, the PS4 is the current-generation sales leader, with Sony last disclosing sales of 53.4 million systems worldwide. [Full Story]

We learned even more about the Nintendo Switch this week--but it wasn't exactly good news. Nintendo confirmed this week that there won't be any video-streaming services for the console at launch. That means no Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube. The better news is that Microsoft said it could bring video-streaming apps to the Switch sometime after launch. [Full story]


EA's Patrick Soderlund has spoken to IGN about why his company is backing Nintendo and the Switch and why he believes the system could be a game-changer. Read the interview here.

Gabe Newell, who is reportedly worth $4 billion, did an AMA on Reddit this week. Of course people asked about Half-Life 3, but read the whole thing to see what he actually responded to.

Mass Effect: Andromeda lets you craft weapons and name them. Pretty cool! Get all the details here at Eurogamer.

Waypoint has an awesome interview with Zelda series producer Eiji Aonuma in which he talks about the new game, Breath of the Wild, and a lot more. Read it here.

More details about the new Star Trek show, discovery, have been announced, including its release date and more. Get all the info here at EW.

Here is a cool new clip from the action movie sequel John Wick: Chapter 2. It involves a stare down with a dog, so you know it's good.

Actor Jared Leto has posted some images of himself as The Joker--is this a tease for something? Maybe! Go to ComicBook to see all the new images.

EA's beleaguered NBA Live series is coming back...maybe. This is according to a rating for new game that popped up in...South Korea. Pasta Padre has the scoop.

Crytek's Warface, which has a wonderful name, is changing hands somewhat. Crytek announced this week that the game will be published by My.com going forward. Get all the details here.

.: New Terminator Movie Could Happen With Deadpool Director - Report

Big movie news tonight, as Deadline is reporting that a new Terminator movie is being produced, with Deadpool director Tim Miller being tapped to direct the reboot.

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According to the report, James Cameron, who directed the 1984 original The Terminator, will regain the rights to the series in 2019. He is said to be "godfathering" the movie.

"Much the way that Sony used to rush Spider-Man movies to stay ahead of a rights-reversion ticking clock, it was always known that Cameron would regain clout eventually," Deadline reported.

The latest reboot of the sci-fi action series was summer 2015's Terminator Genisys, but this proved a critical and commercial disappointment. The movie finished its theatrical run with a worldwide gross of $440 million, with only $90 million of this made in US cinemas.

Despite early claims that the franchise was on hold, in October last year producer Dana Goldberg stated that it was still an "active property". She told The Wrap at the time: "[We will use] data and research to do a worldwide study and really talk to audiences about what they loved, and what maybe didn't work for them, so that the next step we take with the franchise is the right one."

There is no word yet on who might star in the new Terminator movie, but series star Arnold Schwarzenegger, at least as of last year, sounds like he's interested in coming back.

What are you hoping to see from the next Terminator film? Let us know in the comments below!

.: Uncharted Movie Director On What Makes The Game Great For A Film

The Uncharted movie is finally being made. Maybe. It has a script and a new director in Shawn Levy, who directed Night at the Museum, Real Steel, and episodes of Stranger Things.

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In an interview with Collider, Levy shared some more details about how he became attached to the long-in-development project and why he thinks the movie is going to be a hit.

"I've been interested in this project for years. It's as cinematic a game as we've had maybe ever, certainly of late," he said. "And it's cinematic because it's not only kind of wildly visual but it's really rooted in character and a very specific tone and a sense of fun. Like, when is the last great, fun, f**king action, dynamic, treasure-hunting movie?

"So I've been interested in it and I've been quietly letting people know I'm interested in it. But other people have been involved; I've been busy. A moment finally appeared quite recently where I was like [raises hand], 'Me. Okay? Me.' And Sony and producers were like, 'Yeah, that makes perfect sense.'"

The movie was previously going to be directed by The Fighter's David O. Russell, before he dropped out. Seth Gordon (Horrible Bosses, Identity Thief) and Neil Burger (Limitless) were also attached to direct at different periods of time. Superbad writers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg were reportedly courted to write a script years ago.

According to the latest report, Sony wants to "fast-track" the Uncharted movie, though a release date has not been announced.

The movie was first announced way back in 2009, only for it to repeatedly fall apart. Actors mentioned as possibilities for leading roles included Mark Wahlberg, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Amy Adams, and Scarlett Johansson. Chris Pratt is among those to pass on the role of Nathan Drake. We're still waiting for official casting announcements.

.: Street Fighter "Surprises" Teased For Comic-Con Or E3

Street Fighter series producer Yoshinori Ono has teased some "surprises" for the series coming up this year. Speaking to IGN, Ono said Capcom will celebrate the franchise's 30th anniversary this year at Comic-Con or E3 with some kind of announcement or reveal.

Asked about how Capcom plans to celebrate the anniversary, Ono said, "Around E3 timing, maybe even San Diego Comic-Con, we have one or two surprises we hope our fans will look forward to."

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The Street Fighter 30th anniversary celebration kicked off with the announcement of Ultra Street Fighter 2 for the Nintendo Switch. Ono didn't give much away about what the rest of the surprises will be, but teased that, "I'll let you know that the surprises this year are not going to be Rival Schools."

Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest on Street Fighter.

What are you hoping the Street Fighter surprises turn out to be? Let us know in the comments below!

.: What To Expect From Halo Wars 2

At 343 Industries’ final hands-on event with Halo Wars 2 before the game's launch on February 21, we had our last opportunity to play both the campaign and new multiplayer modes, Strongholds and Blitz. In addition, we had the chance to sit down with Creative Assembly’s Executive Producer, David Nicholson, to discuss player expectations and highlights from its development.

GameSpot: As Halo Wars 2 is quickly approaching its February 21 release date, we’d love to chat about what players can expect from the game. To begin, what separates Halo Wars 2 from other popular RTS games?

David Nicholson: Several things separate it. One of the things that we want to focus on is this is an RTS for everyone, so it needs to appeal to people who've not played RTS in the past. Halo brings a bucket load, fantastic story, fantastic environments, really vivid characters, great units to play with, but it also brings people who are Halo fans who have not played an RTS before. What we've had to focus on is providing the depth for people who love RTS. There's still people playing the original Halo Wars. There are, I can't share any numbers, but there are large, significant hours still played every week, every month on Halo Wars.

There are a bunch of RTS fans who want to play a really cool, solid RTS, but there are also people who played Halo and said, “Hey, I've not played an RTS. They're a bit difficult, aren't they? I've bounced off a couple in the past.” What we wanted to do is say, “No, RTS are actually really good fun. Let's just take you by the hand and guide you through it.”

Deathmatch is for those hardcore RTS fans, “Right. This is what I want to do. I know exactly what I want to do with this game.” Deathmatch is spinning lots and lots of different plates. What happens if we take a couple of those plates away from you, for example you don't need to worry about resources? Don't worry, we've got that covered for you. You'll have enough resources to do what you want to do. Then it becomes about, “Okay, what units am I going to deploy and when am I going to deploy them?” Then take that to its extreme in Blitz, where you're not worrying about base, you're not really worried about resources. You're just worrying about energy. All of the strategic choice of what units and what combinations you can create, we take out of the combative arena. Then you say, “Okay, I'm building this deck, I'm putting my strategy together on my time, and then I'm deploying the tactics in real time.”

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I think that's what people can kind of expect. They can expect a variety of different modes. If you're new to RTS, it's going to be really exciting and engaging with you, but if you've been playing RTS for years and years, then you're going to be satisfied with the depth that we've got.

Going off that answer, for new players to the series who will not have access to a PC and only a console, what makes this the standout RTS for console?

I think controls. What we've tried to do, and what we feel Creative Assembly is exceptionally good at and proud of, is understanding what makes an RTS fun. We've tried to boil that down to its core elements and make sure all of that is accessible on a console controller. Ensemble did a fantastic job with the original, arguably the best RTS on a console, and I think a lot of that came from their understanding of RTS and how they implemented the controls. We've maintained and reinforced a lot of those core controls but added things like control groups on the D-pad. The original controls allowed you to do what you wanted to do, but we saw a lot of people selecting “all units”, thus creating a long pinball of death going around the map. Which is good, but more advanced players with maybe slightly higher dexterity could micromanage the units around.

What we wanted to do was make that easily accessible to everybody. It's now fairly intuitive to be able to assign the groups, add units to them, but also say, “Right, okay. I want all my air units going over here,” or, “I want to combine forces here,” or, “Actually, I don't want my, Scorpions and my Hornets in the same group because then the Hornets are slowed down by the Scorpions. I want them in two different groups so the Hornets go out there quickly, and then the Scorpions will come over at their own pace and just devastate when they arrive."

As the developer, what are you most excited for players to experience? Is it a specific feature or specific mode? What is something that you're really excited for the public to get their hands on?

We're really excited about the game as a whole, but also really excited about how it moves the Halo story forward. We're really excited about getting RTS back out there with such a strong franchise. There are loads of parts to the game that we're really pleased with, but I think all of us are really excited about Blitz Mode and its innovation. It's not been done before and it's introducing a way to combine the immediate accessibility and intuition available with RTS. Players can say, “Okay, I've got this unit card, I can save it, or I can deploy it there.” It's fantastic. At events like today’s, you watch people play and you go, “Oh my god, that was fantastic. I've never pictured RTS like that before.” The ability to, as I said, take that strategic element to your own time and then have a tactical element out there on the battlefield is fantastic.

How would you respond to players who fear that the purchasable cards and decks create a pay-to-play environment in Blitz Mode?

We're really excited about the game as a whole, but also really excited about how it moves the Halo story forward.

I don't think it does. We've got the ability for players to earn cards throughout the game. Play through the campaign and we'll reward your progress with card packs. You can complete the daily challenges, we'll give you cards packs. You can complete weekly challenges and we'll give you card packs. By playing the game, you can earn a whole chunk of card packs and you can really satisfy your desires to build compelling decks from that. But some people don't have the time to continue playing that many matches, but they really want to stay competitive, so there is that opportunity to pop over to the store where you can buy some more card packs. We've worked very, very hard on the leveling and the balancing to make sure that you can earn the cards in the game and you'll still remain very competitive in the matches.

As a player yourself, and your team as a whole, what is everybody most excited to play themselves?

We've built a team, quite intentionally, consisting of mixed gamers. I have a bunch of guys on the team who play nothing but Deathmatch. That's proper RTS, “I'm only really good at an RTS if I can beat you at Deathmatch.” And then we've got other people, for instance some of our animators, who make some fantastic animations, but haven’t really played a whole bunch of RTS in the past. They're getting absolutely addicted to Blitz Mode because it's, “Okay, I can understand this and I can get my seven to eight minute fix and then I can come back after thinking about it more.” I think as a team we're just excited about getting a game out, getting Halo onto PC and getting Halo fans into RTS.

What was the most rewarding part of the whole development process for Halo Wars 2?

I think one of the most rewarding, sort of fist pump moments, was when we developed the paper ideas for Blitz. We had played very rapid prototypes by throwing stuff together in our existing code and existing tools to create, what do they call it? “Pre-selected deployment groups”. We would do that, then we'd try a game, and then we'd say, “Okay. The developers have to go here and edit the XML and change this until I can have a deck.” The minute the deck management became reality, so I could play a match and then immediately go back and say, “Right, okay. Drop that, swap that out. Get rid of that Wolverine and bring in some Hellbringers or a Flame Warthog. I can edit that and play again.” That moment was, “Do you know what? Those original paper ideas, we thought it was going to work, but now actually wow, yeah. It really does!” That was a bit of a risk but it was also quite innovative. The beta and the game will tell us whether or not it resonates with players, but we think we're doing it right. And that is how our ideas evolved into what you see now as Blitz.

.: Wonder Woman Goes Insane In New Arc

Comic book characters often have convoluted origins. When the character has been around for over 75 years, the history of a character gets adjusted or rewritten. In the case of Wonder Woman, there have been some different takes to her creation and connection to the gods.

With DC Comics' recent Rebirth initiative, the creative focus has shifted to exploring what makes the characters popular and what is the essence of who they are. As the Amazon has sought out the truth of who she is, the revelation was too much to bear.

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Wonder Woman #15 marks the beginning of a new story arc, "The Truth." When Wonder Woman first left her home island of Themyscira, the condition was she would not be able to return. Despite this, she did promise her mother she would. It had seemed as if she did find a way.

Wonder Woman has discovered all the times she's been home over the years, she's never actually been there. It's all been a lie. This knowledge and the possible implications over what her recent visits to the island mean and where she actually might have been has shattered her mind. As seen in the preview above, she's been taken to a hospital to be cared for her while she remains in this state.

Wonder Woman #15 is written by Greg Rucka with art by Liam Sharp and color by Laura Martin. The issue is on sale Wednesday, January 25 in stores and online.

.: For Honor PC Specs Announced

Ahead of the upcoming multiplayer beta, Ubisoft has announced the minimum and recommended specs for the PC version of For Honor.

On the minimum side, the requirements aren't especially high. They call only for a Core i3-550 or Phenom II X4 955, 4 GB of RAM, and a GTX 660 or HD 6970. However, the target resolution and frame rate for all of this--30 FPS and 720p with Low settings--isn't how many PC gamers will be hoping to play it.

For a 1080p and "about" 60 FPS experience with High settings, Ubisoft recommends an i5-2500K or FX-6350 to go along with 8 GB of RAM and at least a GTX 680 or R9 280X. It also notes this is with v-sync disabled, so expect to need higher-end hardware to leverage advanced visual settings. Full spec lists follow below.

Ubisoft also provided a list of video cards that are supported at launch, which you can find at the bottom of this post. There's also a list of fully and partially supported controllers. The latter includes options that are less commonplace, to say the least, such as the Logitech Chillstream and the Ouya controller.

For Honor's multiplayer beta runs for four days on PC, Xbox One, and PS4 beginning on January 26. Check out our previous coverage for an overview of what the beta consists of. The full game launches soon after the beta concludes, on February 14.

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For Honor PC Specs/Supported GPUs and Controllers

Minimum Specs

Recommended Specs

Supported NVIDIA cards at time of release:

Supported AMD cards at time of release

Gamepad Support

Partially Supported Gamepads (May Require Third-Party Drivers)

.: Steam Update Makes It Easy To Move Game Installs, Use Any Controller

Valve has released a new update for Steam that introduces some new functionality and reworks other aspects of the client.

The biggest addition, as reported when a beta version of the update was first released, is configurator support for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and generic X-input controllers. This should make it easier to use a wide variety of controllers with Steam games that otherwise don't include native controller support without resorting to third-party apps.

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Also new is the ability to easily move Steam games from right inside the program. As pictured above, the Local Files tab of a game's Properties menu now contains an option to move the installation from one Steam folder (or drive) to another. It was possible to do this previously without re-downloading a game, but the process involved manually moving the folder yourself and then relocating it inside Steam. It wasn't especially intuitive.

Other small adjustments include the "Delete local content" option being renamed "Uninstall," which almost makes me sad after that being the name for so many years. Steam also now has "improved" error messages when there are issues downloading a game or updating files. When in Big Picture mode, there's now support for using the overlay keyboard with games that first open a launcher.

You can check out the full update notes below.

Steam Client Update Patch Notes (January 19)


Big Picture

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.: These Six Actors Are On The Wishlist To Star In New Green Lantern Movie - Report

A new Green Lantern movie is on the way and now it's been reported that four actors are currently being considered for the lead role of Hal Jordan/Green Lantern.

According to TheWrap's sources, the shortlist of actors includes Ryan Reynolds, Armie Hammer, Jake Gyllenhaal, Bradley Cooper, Joel McHale, and Tom Cruise.

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The new Green Lantern movie, Green Lantern Corps, is not coming out for a long time, as it's penciled in for 2020. TheWrap said casting for the film is only "in the very early stages," adding that there have been no discussions between production company Warner Bros. and any of the actors yet.

Reynolds played Jordan/Green Lantern in the 2011 movie. More recently, he portrayed Wade Wilson/Deadpool in Fox's huge hit, Deadpool, which is getting a sequel. At the end of 2016, Reynolds said he was "pretty much unhirable" after Green Lantern, which was a critical and commercial disappointment.

As TheWrap notes, Cooper and Jared Leto tried out for the lead role in Green Lantern.

Last week, it was reported that David Goyer and Justin Rhodes will collaborate on the screenplay for Corps. Goyer is a comic book movie veteran, having previously worked on Christopher Nolan's Batman movies, Man of Steel, and the Blade films. The new Green Lantern film is said to be an origin story and is described as "Lethal Weapon in space."

Corps will reportedly focus on Hal Jordan, the classic Green Lantern, and John Stewart, an ex-marine who joins the intergalatic police force of the title. The film was first announced at the San Diego Comic Con in 2015, where it was given a June 2020 release date, but there has been little official news since.

What actor would you like to see play Green Lantern in the new movie? Let us know in the comments below!

.: XXX: Return Of Xander Cage Review

XXX: Return of Xander Cage brings the titular character, played by Vin Diesel, back from the dead. Diesel is joined by a robust cast, and this latest film strays from the previous XXX formula of using a single unorthodox but skilled civilian to save the day, becoming more of a heist film as opposed to a generic action vehicle. The diverse cast with disparate fighting styles and backgrounds allows the movie to mix up the extreme and over-the-top action sequences. This movie delivers dumb, fun action with plenty of awe-inspiring stunts and laughs that make this a good evolution for the XXX franchise.

The XXX series never really took off as a franchise. Diesel did not return for the second installment, 2005’s XXX: State of the Union, which underperformed at the box office. Within the series' continuity, Diesel's character was already dead--but, surprise, he's apparently still alive and well enough to reappear in the third chapter. What could possibly pull him out of hiding and retirement? Someone has stolen a device that allows the user to send a satellite crashing down on a target of their choice. The death of one of Xander's friends by a satellite, along with his innate desire to do the right thing, are enough to convince him to return. Luckily for the world, Xander is ready to immediately step back into action, as he’s seemingly remained in tip-top shape all these years by skiing through jungle slopes and skateboarding down steep hills at incredible speeds.

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The first XXX movie focused mainly on Diesel's character infiltrating enemy territory and defeating the bad guys pretty much on his own, but this time he calls in backup. There's no way he'd work with government-trained soldiers, so Xander brings in several acquaintances, including a sharpshooter sniper (Ruby Rose); a fearless, maniacal getaway driver (Rory McCann); and a young DJ equally skilled with dropping beats and shooting guns (Kris Wu). Xander also accepts some assistance from a young, eager CIA tech specialist (Nina Dobrev) who’s in awe of the legendary Xander Cage's presence.

Despite their seeming lack of a trained background, Xander’s crew proves themselves more than capable of handling anything thrown at them. This ragtag team continually show its skills under pressure, with their witty dialogue during tense moments and easy camaraderie all making them extremely likable. Overseeing the entire operation is Toni Collette, who gives an icy performance as Xander's CIA handler, taking the place of Samuel L. Jackson, who has a smaller role in this film. For fans of Diesel’s Fast & Furious movies, there are some similarities here including ridiculous set pieces and locations, along with a diverse array of characters. It’s clear Diesel has gotten a taste for working in ensemble flicks, and the influence can be felt here.

The first movie mainly focused on typical extreme-sports stunt sequences, but in this latest addition, martial arts fighting is added as Xander now finds himself going up against a ruthless and deadly group responsible for stealing the CIA device. Donnie Yen and Tony Jaa's fighting expertise amps up the action and gives it a different feel from Diesel's previous XXX jaunt. Yen fights soldiers in a plane simulating zero gravity and also fights against Diesel in the middle of traffic. We see Yen easily knock out two foes with one kick as well as deliver a series of blows while running after Diesel.

The movie includes some eye-rolling moments, but Diesel and the rest of the cast have enough charm to keep you invested in the story. The filmmakers and stunt coordinators give us action we haven’t seen time and time again in other blockbuster movies, such as a high-speed chase on motorcycles equipped with skis to allow the pursuit to venture onto the roaring waves of the ocean.

The movie offers some twists and betrayals, and there's a thin plot that barely manages to keep all the action sequences tied together. You have to accept that Pandora's Box can be easily stolen from the CIA. Diesel takes his time gathering intel and his associates, but then he’s able to quickly find Yen and the others. These things can be overlooked for the sake of moving the story along to get to more action scenes and to reach the conclusion. For a former skateboarder, he has no fears or qualms strolling into another country and being a smartass when several guns are pointed at him. His knack for survival and luck in having everything work out perfectly is almost like a superpower. At the beginning of the film, when he jumps off a radio tower on skis, I was surprised he didn't break both legs when he landed. You'll start to wonder if there is anything Xander Cage can't do. Accepting the characters can keep pushing the limits with minimal bodily harm is what makes this movie work.

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XXX: Return of Xander Cage is an action film with the ability to successfully tie together crazy stunts, cheesy dialogue, high-speed chases, and plenty of gunfire and explosions. The movie includes some expected clichés, but the fighting styles and performances of the actors are enough to give action junkies what they paid to see. The movie is fully aware of what it's meant to be. It doesn’t attempt to redefine the action genre, but it does push the envelope by delivering a succession of well-crafted stunts.

The GoodThe Bad
A lot of intense action scenes.Cheesy dialogue and eye-rolling scenes.
An ensemble cast to add levity to the story.Some predictable moments.
Donnie Yen.A lot of suspension of disbelief needed.
Motorcycles with skis.

.: The Division's Huge 1.6 Update Detailed, Here's What It Adds And Changes

After announcing the first details on The Division's upcoming Last Stand expansion yesterday, Ubisoft today talked about the game's next update, 1.6.

Whereas Last Stand is a paid add-on, 1.6 is free for all players and launches on the same day for every platform, as Last Stand does. The first two expansions, Underground and Survival, launched first on Xbox One and PC as part of a timed-exclusivity deal between Microsoft and Ubisoft.

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As explained in a blog post today, update 1.6 adds a lot of new content and makes some big changes. First, it introduces Dark Zone North, which comprises Dark Zone 7, 8, and 9. "While the Dark Zone has never been the most welcoming place in New York, the situation up in Dark Zone 7-9 is especially dire," Ubisoft said. "Conditions in these parts of the Dark Zone are especially bleak and will be filled rwith some of the most eerie environments and challenging NPCs in the game."

The new areas increase the total Dark Zone size substantially, as the Dark Zone will "nearly double" in total playable size when the three new locations are released.

Dark Zones 7-9 are populated by NPCs and "Landmarks," which trigger enemy encounters after you take down the NPC foes you first come across. There are loot rewards available for successfully clearing the Landmarks.

The Division's 1.6 update also adds a new Dark Zone event called "Contamination." On an hourly schedule, Cleaner NPCs will show up in underground zones to burn contaminated body bags--your job is to stop them. This will be extra-challenging in part because the contamination has reached "unprecedented lethal levels."

Additionally, the update adds Dark Zone leaderboards and a new, Legendary difficulty option, but only for three missions--Times Square, WarrenGate Power Planet, and Napalm Production Site.

"All the previous content has been taken out and replaced with new, powerful and much smarter LMB enemies that use more advanced tactics against you and your team," Ubisoft explained. "They'll react to your skills and status effects, will be hard to hit since they keep a low profile, will constantly try to flank you, and you really don't want to get into melee range of them."

Completing these missions will yield "exclusive" gear, as well as loot. Ubisoft said it plans to add Legendary difficulty to more missions at a later date.

The Division's 1.6 update also makes a change to named weapons. With the update applied, they will be called Exotics. The weapons will be color-coded and also have "flavor and lore text" on their item descriptions. A change for the Alphabridge Gear Set is also included with 1.6.

"We're changing aspects of it since it's currently mathematically superior to other Gear Sets," Ubisoft said. "Instead of the four-piece bonus sharing all talents when you use two weapons of the same category, it will now share the free talents from both weapons (except from Exotic weapon talents)."

The Frontline and Reclaimer sets are also changing, while Ubisoft is adding a brand-new one, called SEEKR. Body shots are this set's specialty--it has a four-piece bonus that guarantees a critical hit after you land two consecutive body shots.

Ubisoft is also making tweaks to The Division's PvP through the 1.6 update. The overall goal of the changes is to make it "more rewarding and fun to play." Hip-firing will be less effective, as stability is being decreased while you're on the move. Additionally, a new camera system for hip-firing is being added "so that it will take more skill to use."

What's more, the difference in damage between body and headshots is being lowered, while there will now be a one-second delay before you can perform a second combat roll. Ubisoft said it is currently "too easy to just spam rolls." Another change for PvP is that you can no longer reload while sprinting.

Ubisoft is also adding more items to The Division's in-game store, including more emotes, weapon skins, and vanity items. Update 1.6 will be made available first on PC on The Division's public test server, though a date for this, or the full release, was not made available.

Be sure to read Ubisoft's full blog post on 1.6, as it dives much deeper into the patch and offers detailed insight into why the developer is making the changes that it is.

We'll report back with the full patch notes when they are released.

Finally, Ubisoft said Last Stand and 1.6 are "not the end of The Division." No further expansions or patches have been announced, but Ubisoft said it will have more news to share soon.

The Division was the No. 3 overall best-selling game in the United States for 2016, only behind Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare. In other news, Ubisoft announced this week that Oscar winner Stephen Gaghan will write and direct the movie based on The Division, which stars Jake Gyllenhaal and Jessica Chastain.

.: Final Fantasy 15's Limited-Time Carnival Event Shown Off In New Trailer

Final Fantasy XV's Moogle Chocobo Carnival event is days away from kicking off. We now have a better idea of what to expect, thanks to a new trailer.

The carnival launches as part of a recently unveiled update that adds the ability to take your own photographs outside of battle (something that's briefly shown in the video), a photo frame, and a costume for Noctis.

But it's the carnival itself that is the main attraction. The limited-time event kicks off in North America on January 23 at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET. It decorates Altissia and introduces new food, Noctis outfits, and side quests. There's also fishing, chocobo racing, and at least one carnival game to take part in, a sort of shooting gallery. Square Enix didn't say how long it will run for.

This will all be available on both PS4 and Xbox One. To access the carnival, you'll need the Carnival Passport item, which is included for free with the Holiday Pack DLC. You can download either the free or paid version of that DLC to receive the item.

.: Lost Producer Weighs In On Chance Of A Reboot

This post contains spoilers about Lost

Lost executive producer Damon Lindelof has weighed in on the possibility of a reboot or revival. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, Lindelof said if there is to be a revival of the much-loved sci-fi show, it would need to have new characters or be set in a different timeline.

"Those characters not only died, but we showed you their experience post-death," he said. "Any new take on Lost will probably have to feature new characters, as it should."

Lindelof went on to say that it would be "somewhat of a betrayal" to return to Lost for a new show, in part because the story was already "heavily serialized." Not only that, but Lindelof said he and his team had "ample time to end [Lost] on our own terms," so it wouldn't feel right to go back and add more.

His comments might not sound very optimistic about a new Lost show, but it could still happen with a different creative team. Just like Star Wars lived on after George Lucas sold the franchise, the Lost franchise could return with new talent behind it in the future.

"There's something really exciting about the fact that George Lucas sold the Star Wars universe and now the people who grew up watching it are making it," Lindelof said. "Maybe the same thing could be said for Lost."

Speaking of Star Wars, Lost was co-created by JJ Abrams, who directed Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Would you be interested in a Lost revival of some kind? Let us know in the comments below!

.: Battlefield 1 DLC Reveal Coming Next Week, Watch A Teaser Now

DICE will announce more information about Battlefield 1's first expansion, They Shall Not Pass, very soon. The developer said on Twitter today that new details will be revealed next week.

A new teaser was also released, showing a club-wielding solider emerging from a blaze, standing in front of a French flag.

As announced previously, They Shall Not Pass is set during the Battle of Verdun, in France. According to DICE, around 1 million shells were fired in the opening parts of the battle alone, leading to forest fires, which is why you'll see trees engulfed in flames in the DLC maps. A version of the Samogneux village, destroyed by war, will be the focus of one of the maps, while another will depict the battles that took place inside Fort Vaux.

A third map will feature a battlefield torn apart by artillery shells; according to DICE, around 40 million were fired during the entirety of the Battle of Verdun, "turning the earth into a shattered lunar landscape." At least one of the maps will feature "underground fortresses," DICE teased.

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You can click through the images in the gallery above to get a closer look at concept art for They Shall Not Pass' DLC maps.

In addition to new maps (DICE hasn't said exactly how many are in the add-on), They Shall Not Pass comes with more weapons and dog tags. No release date has been announced, but people who own the Battlefield 1 Premium Pass ($50) can play They Shall Not Pass and the other three upcoming expansions two weeks before everyone else can buy them.

.: New PSN Flash Sale Sells Games For Under $5

A new flash sale has begun on the PlayStation Store, and this one focuses exclusively on deals that cost no more than $5.

There are games for PS4, PS3, Vita, and PSP included in the sale. PS4 has the widest selection, with $5 nabbing you Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, Bastion, Journey, Nidhogg, Injustice: Gods Among Us - Ultimate Edition, Knack, or Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, among others. Drop down to $4 and you can pick up Goat Simulator, Psychonauts, or Risk of Rain.

Sleeping Dogs
Sleeping Dogs

You'll also find a few PS2-on-PS4 games on sale; if spending $10-$15 on slightly updated PS2 games feels like too much ordinarily, you can now pick up Rogue Galaxy for $5 or Star Wars: Bounty Hunter for $4.

PS3's lineup has some worthwhile games as well, with Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix ($2), Devil May Cry HD Collection ($3), Beyond Good & Evil HD ($2), Battlefield 4 ($5), Shadow of the Colossus ($4), and more discounted.

On the portable side, the choices are more limited. The aforementioned Niddhog, Risk of Rain, and Bastion all support cross-buy, as does Hitman Go ($3). Persona 3 Portable (playable on Vita or PSP) is $5, while there are a pair of PS1 Classics playable on PS3, Vita, or PSP discounted: Breath of Fire IV ($2.39) and Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($4).

This sale runs from now until Monday, January 23, at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET. PlayStation Plus subscribers don't receive any additional discounts. You can check out the full sale here.

.: The Walking Dead's Daryl Dixon Actor On His Character In S7 -- "He's Ready To Go Kill Everybody"

AMC's The Walking Dead returns next month for the second half of Season 7. Now, Daryl Dixon actor Norman Reedus has shared some insight into what viewers can expect from his character.

In short, he's mad and on a warpath. "He wants revenge," Reedus told Entertainment Weekly, referencing what happened to his character in the first half of Season 7. "He's ready to fight. When he goes back in that last episode and hands Rick back his stuff, it was like, 'Let's go! Let's go beat this guy up. Let's go take what's ours and fight this monster.' So, you know, he's in kill mode."

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Reedus added that his character took Negan's violent actions in the Season 7 premiere personally. "Now he's ready to get revenge," Reedus said about Dixon. "He's ready to go kill everybody."

Finally, Reedus teased that Negan is possibly in for some tough times ahead. "He's been walking tall long enough wielding his little toy bat around. Time to bring that guy down a notch," Reedus said, adding that viewers will start to see "a little fear" in Negan's eyes.

Entertainment Weekly also posted a series of new images from The Walking Dead's upcoming episodes--go here to see them all.

The Walking Dead returns on February 12. Earlier this month, a series of cryptic posters were released, while it's been confirmed that AMC toned down some of the violence in the upcoming episodes.

An eighth season is also on the way and is scheduled to start in late 2017 with the show's 100th episode.

.: www.GameInformer.com
The award-winning website of Game Informer, The World's #1 Video Game Magazine featuring news, preview, and review coverage of Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, Nintendo Wii, Wii U, 3DS, DS, PSP, Sony PS Vita, Xbox Kinect, Apple iOS, Flash, and Android games both online and in print.
.: HBO Documentary Beware The Slenderman Debuts Tomorrow

Beware the Slenderman is an upcoming documentary about the creepy internet sensation surrounding Slenderman, how it came to be, and the real-life violent acts that were inspired by it. The film premiers tomorrow on HBO.

Slenderman is a fictional character depicted as a tall, faceless man in a suit who traumatizes or abducts his victims, which primarily include children.

Three years ago, two 12-year-old girls stabbed another young girl deep in a forest in Waukesha, Wisconsin. The victim was stabbed 19 times, but managed to recover from her wounds. The two girls behind the violent act were arrested, and they told authorities that Slenderman had told them to commit the crime. This HBO documentary is meant to hone in on this strange and troubling event, as well as look deeper into the digital folklore of Slenderman.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Slenderman originated on an online forum in 2009 and quickly went viral. He has starred in video games as well, including Slender: The Eight Pages and Slender: The Arrival.

.: Rogue One Has Surpassed $1 Billion At Worldwide Box Office

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the 28th film and 13th Disney movie to surpass $1 billion at the worldwide box office, according to Variety.

During its weekend debut, Rogue One had already made more than $155 million in a short period of time. Since then, the film has continued to succeed with its immense popularity. Domestically, Rogue One has grossed $512.2 million, and as of today it has grossed $1.011 billion on an international scale.

It is the highest grossing film of 2016 in the U.S., beating out Finding Dory ($486 million) and Captain America: Civil War ($408 million).

[Source: Variety]

.: Reader Discussion: What Is Your Favorite Resident Evil Game?

In just two days time, Resident Evil 7: Biohazard will release. For much of its development, Capcom kept its cards close to its chest, revealing few details about the gameplay, but last month we finally got some extended hands-on time.

The Resident Evil franchise has been around since the mid '90s, making major strides in the survival horror genre by propelling it into prominence. One of the biggest debates amongst fans is which entry in the series is the best. Is it the adored Resident Evil 4? Or how about Resident Evil 2, with its refinements over the original?

Out of all the games, which one impressed you the most? In contrast, if you're not a Resident Evil fan, tell us why. 

Let us know in the comments!

.: Latest Boss Keys Video Dives Into The Intricate Simplicity Of Twilight Princess' Dungeons

After examining in depth the dungeons in the the Oracle games, The Wind Waker, and The Minish Cap, Youtuber Mark Brown examines the dungeons in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, making a case for both the series' decreasing openness, and why that's not always a bad thing.

Brown's chief discovery is that almost all of the dungeons in Twilight princess use a central T-shaped design, wherein you walk up to a central hub area, tackle one spoke to your left, find an item that lets you venture right, then finish the rest of the dungeon. Although it's a far cry from the original games' more open-ended design, it allows them, according to Mark, to introduce some more complex ideas into this simple mix later on, such as the rotating staircase in the Lakebed Temple. Each dungeon also has a distinct personality, and the aesthetics of each are colorful and unique.

You can watch Mark dissect Twilight Princess' dungeons in more depth below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: PC Gaming Market Reaches $30 Billion All-Time High

While not the towering juggernaut that the console market is, the PC gaming hardware market has been showing steady growth in recent years, and in 2016 reached an all-time highest Total Available Market (TAM, which measures the total revenue made by a kind of product across all competitors) of $30 billion.

Jon Peddie Research (JPR), a technology market research and consulting firm, announced that the PC gaming hardware market breached the new high mark. For JPR, the PC gaming hardware market is "Comprised of pre and DIY built gaming computers, upgrades, and accessories such as input devices and audio/communication systems."

The largest area of growth for the PC gaming hardware market is the Asia-Pacific region, where, according to JPR, "an entrenched PC gaming culture, large population, and a lack of significant console traction" lead to an $11.3 billion TAM last year. While the Asia-Pacific experienced the most growth, North America and Europe lead the market for high-end hardware. As of 2016, entry-level hardware makes up 22 percent of sales, mid-range hardware makes up 35 percent of sales, and high-end hardware makes up 43 percent of sales, making the high-end market (where the fewer purchases lead to more money spent) the most lucrative.

JPR cites a number of factors for the increased attention to PC gaming hardware across the globe. "The desktop ergonomic is popular because the display distance offers increased detail when using HD and UHD monitors," said Ted Pollack, Senior Game Industry Analyst for JPR. "Additionally, product designers have given PC gamers thousands of options for complete customization from a functionally and aesthetic perspective." Between all the flight peripherals, PC parts, thin and performance laptops, and other accessories, the market is flooded with thousands of choices, and PC players are buying them up. "The western appetite for PC gaming systems costing thousands of dollars is strong," said JPR. Pollak also cites "superior control with mouse and keyboard control interfaces. This has been validated with eSports overwhelmingly being played on PCs."

Following the new all-time high, JPR expects PC gaming hardware to grow "at a 6 percent CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] through 2019."

[Source: Jon Peddie Research via Tech Report]

Note: This article was updated to better reflect that the study focused on PC gaming hardware, not software.


Our Take
I don't necessarily disagree with mouse and keyboard being "superior" to controllers (Pollak's quote doesn't mention controllers or consoles by name, but I believe that's the implication), but I find it hard to imagine that them being better methods of control is a significant factor in the economical growth of the PC Gaming market. Anecdotally, most of the people I know get into PC gaming so they can run games better and then play them with controllers. But hey, I'm no expert.

.: Study Breaks Down Game Genre Playerbases By Gender

Studies on the percentage of women who play video games tend to place them between 38 and 48 percent, with the ESA's current report estimating that 41 percent of the game-playing audience are women. Unfortunately, most of these studies don't delve deeper. What kinds of games are everyone playing? How do each genre's playerbases stack up in terms of gender? A recent study explores this exact question.

Game analytics consulting firm Quantic Foundry has conducted a study surveying over 270,000 people who play games and has broken down the results. The survey asked participants that used a "Gamer Motivation Profile" to list some of their favorite games, from all-time favorites to recent titles they're enjoying, then list qualities they enjoy in a game. The study then broke down participants' titles by genre, which Quantic Foundry co-founder Nick Yee admitted is a bit difficult to do. "Game genres are incredibly messy things," said Yee. To get around that issue, Quantic Foundry used a set number of titles in a given genre, then combined their averages. "So for example, when we say High Fantasy MMOs," said Yee,"we specifically mean the group average of gamers who enjoy playing World of Warcraft, Rift, Lord of the Rings Online, EverQuest II, and The Elder Scrolls Online." The team analyzed 23 genres this way, from "Action Adventure" (which includes the Uncharted series, Metal Gear Solid V, and Infamous) to "Atmospheric Exploration" (which includes Journey, Abzu, Gone Home, and Dear Esther). 

Using this method, the study found the genres women play most and least. The two genres most populated by women are "Match 3" and "Family/Farm Sim", with playerbases that are 69 percent female. Next were "Casual Puzzle" and "Atmoshperic Exploration," whose playerbases are 42 and 41 percent female, respectively. The genres least-populated by women are Sports, "Tactical Shooter" and Racing, which only clocked in at two, four, and six percent, respectively. You can see the full breakdown of genres (and what each genre's selected games were) here.

In addition to the data, Yee points out a few interesting facts about the study. For one, while the average "High Fantasy MMO" audience is 36 percent female, only 23 percent of World of WarCraft's playerbase is female, while Star Wars: The Old Republic skews the "Sci-Fi MMO" genre's 16 percent number by having 29 percent of its audience be female. In the comments of the article, Yee notes that the fighting game genre's playerbase ended up at 13.4 percent female, with Tekken being the most popular among women (21 percent) and Street Fighter being the least popular (7 percent). With these kinds of one-off examples skewing their genres, Yee also points out that developers working in each genre have a chance to attract more women.

"Games on the bottom of the chart tend to not have female protagonists, tend to involve playing with strangers online, and tend to have a lot of rapid 3D movement which can lead to motion sickness (which women are more susceptible to)," says Yee. "Low female gamer participation in certain genres may be a historical artifact of how motivations and presentation have been bundled together and marketed."

Finally, Yee notes that people with non-binary genders made up 1.1 percent of the study's sample group, and their favorite genres were "Atmospheric Exploration," "Family/Farm Sim," "Casual Puzzle," and "Sandbox games."

[Source: Quantic Foundry via Kotaku]


Our Take
While the study points to a lot of interesting information, we should of course not attempt to pidgeonhole any one person with it. None of the genres exclude women entirely, not all women are affected by motion sickness, and people can like what they like. I also didn't expect Tekken to be the most popular fighter among women. Finally, my Gamer Motivation Profile says my gaming style is "Fast-Paced, Proficient, Relaxed, Competitive, and Practical." Apparently I'm keen on "Mastery" and "Action" in my games, but not so much "Creativity." I guess that checks out? I never bother with character creation, and I'm not a big Minecraft person. Not enough "Action," I say!

.: PlayStation 4, Xbox One Outpacing PlayStation 2, Xbox 360 Install Bases

Around the time the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 were due to make their debut, many analysts predicted the death of the console. Phones and handhelds were much more popular, and dedicated gaming devices were supposedly on their way out, these analysts said. As we know now, that's not the case. In fact, they're selling better than ever. Games and interactive media research firm SuperData has released its updated console sales figures and predictions, and the results show that the current crop of consoles is far from done.

The most notable numbers are that both the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One are outselling their predecessors. The PlayStation 4's current 55 million-strong install base ousts the PlayStation 2 as Sony's fastest-selling console. The latter reached 112 million total units sold throughout its lifetime. Similarly, the Xbox One's 26 million-person install base beats the Xbox 360's install base (22.1 million) at the four-year mark.

SuperData attributes the growth of the console market to "the bundling with big ticket titles and the growing popularity of full game downloads, which generated $7 [billion] in 2016." The firm also predicts 2017 will generate $7.8 billion in sales of console game downloads.

[Source: SuperData Research]


Our Take
It's cool that the current round of consoles is doing better than the previous generation. One would assume the growing number of people in the games market (and world) would make this a foregone conclusion, but that's not the case: if that were true, the PlayStation 3 would have beaten the PlayStation 2 in sales (and the Wii U would have beaten the Wii, but that's another story).

The PlayStation 4 is also far ahead of the Xbox One at this point (which we already knew), but seeing the difference in numbers is still a bit surprising. It'll be interesting to see how the market's affected by the launch of the Switch in March and Microsoft's Xbox refresh with Scorpio, assuming it hits this year. 

.: What To Watch This Weekend: League of Legends, Super Smash Bros., And Team Fortress 2

It seems like every big scene is fully waking up this weekend. Between the start of several major competitive seasons starting up, a week-long major, and one of the of biggest Super Smash. Bros. tournaments of the year, everyone's fighting for your precious viewing time.

League of Legends begins its Spring season with its Spring Split, pitting eight formidable teams against each other for the chance to represent their region in the Mid-Season Invitational (Europe Stream / Europe Schedule / North America StreamNorth America Schedule)

Meanwhile, Dota 2's best teams will be facing off in the Dota Pit, one of the biggest online tournaments outside Valve's own majors. The tournament features a $136,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule)

Heroes of the Storm's competitive season also goes into full swing this weekend, as both North American and European teams begin fighting for the their spots in the Mid-Season Brawl. (Stream / Europe Schedule / North America Schedule)

This Sunday also marks the return of the Counter-Strike:Global Offensive ELEAUGE, which will have a week-long major pitting the best teams in the world against each other for a $1,000,000 prize pool. (Stream / Schedule)

The Super Smash Bros. scene is hosting Genesis 4, which will have major events for Super Smash Bros. Melee, Wii U, and the Nintendo 64 version of Super Smash Bros. The event will also feature some Street Fighter V action, as well. For a list of streams, see below. (Schedule)

Finally, for those looking for some vintage gaming action, the eSports Arena is hosting the Rewind tournament, which features tournaments for Team Fortress 2, Halo: Combat Evolved, and Shadowrun. (Stream / Schedule)

That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed any tournaments, or if there's a scene you'd like us to cover in the future.

.: Weekend Warrior – A Series Of Fortunate Days

Don't bother us we're busy watching TV shows, playing video games, and trying to ignore what's happening in the outside world.

...(read more).
.: Injustice 2 Comic Launches In April

Considering that Injustice 2 is all about iconic comic-book characters fighting, it should be no surprise that it is getting an actual comic book. Especially since the same thing also happened with Injustice: Gods Among Us.

According to comicbook, the comic is coming April 11 as a digital-first series, and is considered a canonical part of the Injustice 2 story. The story will pick up where the last game ended.

Writer Tom Taylor and artist Bruno Redondo – who worked on original Gods Among Us series – are returning to work on the comics tied to Injustice 2.

[Source: comicbook]


Our Take
I like games and I like graphic novels, but I've never personally gotten into the intersection between the two. However, given the success of the comics tied to Gods Among Us, fans are clearly getting something they enjoy from this branch of the story, so I'm glad to see it continue from that perspective.   

.: Story Of Seasons: Trio Of Towns Releasing On February 28

The farming simulator formerly known as Harvest Moon in the West continues under the name Story of Seasons, and the latest installment is nearly upon us. Today, publisher Xseed Games announced that Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns for 3DS will be releasing on February 28th.

In addition, the company revealed some Super Mario-themed costumes in the game. Mario's outfit makes you move faster, Luigi's makes your luckier at fishing, Peach's helps you befriend characters, and Toad's recharges your stamina.

To learn more about Story of Seasons: Trio of Towns, read our interview with Marvelous' Interactive's Yoshifumi Hashimoto.

.: Under $5 PlayStation Flash Sale Is On Now

If you like bargains and have hardware in Sony's family of consoles, you should check out the current Flash Sale (running now through 8:00am PT, 1/23).

The titles on sale as part of the promotion are under $5, but they aren't all duds that you wouldn't want to pay for in the first place. Highlights include titles like The Order: 1886, Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition, Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition, Watch Dogs, and Knack.

Of course, there are plenty of other games up for grabs, so peruse the selection and fill any holes in your collection for cheap.

.: Developer Of Inside And Limbo Teases New Game

Playdead, the studio behind 2016's Inside and 2010's Limbo, has revealed that it is moving on to a new project in the wake of Inside's success.

The announcement came over Twitter, but beyond a screenshot, Playdead hasn't revealed any specifics. 

Thanks for your warm reception of INSIDE. Since release, Playdead founder Arnt Jensen and the team have been working on the next adventure. pic.twitter.com/RfejnH39mR

— Playdead (@Playdead) January 20, 2017

What will the game be called? What will it be about? What platforms will it appear on? What clues can we take from the image provided? We'll have to wait for answers to all of those questions.


Our Take
A new Playdead is something to be excited about, regardless of how much information we have at this point. After crafting outstanding experiences with Limbo and Inside, Playdead has a lot of good will banked.  

.: Epic Games Founder Tim Sweeney To Receive GDC Lifetime Achievement Award

Each year, the GDC Choice Awards recognizes the achievements of developers in the video game industry. This year marks the 17th Annual Game Developers Choice Awards, and the GDC advisory committee has chosen to honor the pioneering work of developer Tim Sweeney.

Not only did Tim Sweeney found Epic Games, he is also the creator of ZZT, one of the earliest games to allow for user-created worlds. After founding Epic MegaGames in 1991, Sweeney served as the company’s CEO and helped the company develop games like Unreal, Gears of War, and the Unreal Engine, which went on to power blockbuster titles like BioShock, Assassin’s Creed, and Batman: Arkham Asylum.

The Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony Wednesday, March 1 from 6:30-8:30pm PST. Stay tuned for move coverage of the show from Game Informer.


Our Take
Sweeney is in good company. Previous Lifetime Achievement Award recipients includes Todd Howard, Shigeru Miyamoto, Warren Spector, John Carmack, Hideo Kojima, and Sid Meier among others. Sweeney works has clearly effected the industry, so he deserves the recognition.

.: A Horrifyingly New Take On Resident Evil 7

Resident Evil 7 looks to bring the series back to it’s horror roots, but this alternate take on the game is equally terrifying.

What could be scarier than a monster-filled mansion? Check out this video from the guys at The Warp Zone to find out.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer Gets The 8-Bit Treatment

We’re looking forward to the modern high-tech spectacle that will be on display in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but the movie wouldn't look too bad as a old NES game either.

JoBlo Movie Trailers put together his 8-Bit Trailers for Sony and Marvel’s upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming staring Tom Holland and Michael Keaton. Which version do you like better?

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Original version (we think):

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: NPD: PS4 Leads In December, FF XV Has A Great Debut

Sony's PS4 was tabbed by the NPD industry sales trackers as the number-one selling console for the month, holding back the Xbox One. Microsoft's system sold 10 percent more as compared to the same time last year.

Regarding the overall hardware category, despite the existence of the PS4 Pro and Xbox One S, the hardware category declined in 2016 to $3.7 billion compared to 2015 – that's a 24 percent shrink. Also factoring in is that consoles sold for less on average, but this didn't make consumers any more likely to buy them. Consumers bought seven percent fewer units.

On the other hand, the Nintendo 3DS handheld grew two percent in the month as compared a year ago – the seventh straight month of year-on-year growth.

On the software side, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare slid in at number one after releasing on November 4, and Final Fantasy XV (above) – having come out later in the month on November 29 grabbed the second spot. Other debuts include Pokémon Sun & Moon and Watch Dogs 2.

Final Fantasy XV was the PS4's best selling game, and represents the best-selling launch month for the franchise since tracking began in 1995. It even grabbed the number 10 software spot for the entire year.

NPD Top 10 Games for December

NPD Top 10 Games For 2016


For the year as a whole, the NPD says that video game industry in the U.S. generate $30.4 billion. This is up from 2015's $30.2 billion. The software category grew six percent from 2015.

Note: The text originally stated that Microsoft's Xbox One led console sales last month when it didn't. We apologize for the error. It has been corrected.


Our Take
It's interesting that the PS4 Pro and Xbox One sales didn't seem to stem the revenue decline compared to 2015. Whether this signals overall consumer disinterest remains to be seen.

.: Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 Gets Xbox One/PC Release Date

Capcom has announced that the digital versions of Ultimate Marvel Vs. Capcom 3 for Xbox One and PC (currently on the PS4) are coming out on March 7th.

Along with the release on those platforms ($24.99), you can otherwise pick up a limited, physical edition of the game on PS4 or Xbox One ($29.99), which comes with updated cover art and an exclusive comic from Marvel's Sean Chen and Gerardo Sandoval.

[Source: Capcom Unity Official Blog]

.: NHL 17 Adds Competitive Seasons Mode To Hockey Ultimate Team

Ultimate team is the only destination for many sports gamers these days, and like it did for Madden Ultimate Team a few years back, EA Sports has added a new post-launch way to play the mode in NHL 17.

Hockey Ultimate Team Competitive Seasons is a new structure structured around...a season. Now, the in-game season length is set by EA itself, and the first season (called the All-Star Season) goes from today to January 31st.

Within that season are four rounds. Complete at least three games in the round and you'll earn points and be placed on a leaderboard for the round. Naturally, rewards (such as special packs and coins) will be doled out for your ranking within each round, and there are also rewards for how well you do for the entire season. Click on the first source link below for the full list of rewards for the mode's inaugural season.

HUT Competitive Seasons is part of the game's third content update, which itself also includes gameplay tuner tweaks, EASHL player class updates, new sweaters, and more. Click on the second source link below for that list.

[Source: EA Sports (1), (2)]


Our Take
I would hope that similar to Madden's Draft Champions, even if you go 0-3 you'd still get something for your troubles. It'll be interesting to see how/if developer EA Canada tweaks the various rewards as the seasons progress.

.: Killing Floor 2 Releases Free Tropical Content & Update

Tripwire Interactive has released the first free content pack for Killing Floor 2 (click for our review), dubbed Tropical Bash, and the DLC also follows an update for the title overall.

Tropical Bash features a new map with the Bone Crusher weapon and Gorefiend Zed, as well as the ability for weapons to belong to more than one perk.

Meanwhile, for more info on what's in the update (and the Tropical Bash), head here.

Tripwire signifies Tropical Bash as the first of the game's free post-release content drops, so it looks like there will be more of these in the future.

[Source: Tripwire Interactive]

.: New Might & Magic Title Brings Out The Miniatures

Painting miniatures sounds great in theory, until you realize you can't even make a paint-by-numbers look right. Have no fear, Ubisoft's new Might & Magic title – subtitled Showdown, brings the act of figure painting into the virtual world, and not only makes your creations look good, but lets you focus on brining them into battle.

The game starts out with 20 characters (seven heroes and 12 creatures), with players earning coins to unlock everything via play. You can then customize/paint them through either an auto fill-in tool or freehand.

Once you've got everything looking good, you bring your hero and up to three creatures into an arena that lets you battle against the other side in real-time, complete with the ability to program your creatures. The game features a 30-mission single-player campaign that lets you get used to combat before you take your creations online to face real opponents. Winning gets you rewards like new attacks, paint colors, and other fun stuff.

Might & Magic: Showdown is now in Steam Early Access for $20.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Ubisoft]

.: Resident Evil 7: Biohazard Is An Xbox One/Windows 10 Play Anywhere Title

Head of Xbox, Phil Spencer, has confirmed that Capcom's upcoming Resident Evil 7: Biohazard is joining the list of Xbox Play Anywhere titles, enabling users who purchase the digital version of the game on Xbox One or Windows 10 PC (through Microsoft) to also play it on the other platform.

The program also syncs saves and other progress, as well as digitally purchased content between the two versions.

RESIDENT EVIL 7 biohazard confirmed for @Xbox Play Anywhere – buy once, play on both Xbox One & @Windows 10 PC. https://t.co/yhcwjEnjla

— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) January 18, 2017

[Source: Phil Spencer]

.: Heroes Of The Storm's Lunar Festival Rides The Rooster

Blizzard has announced the dates, events, and rewards for Heroes of the Storm's Lunar Festival, which starts next week.

The Festival runs from January 24 to February 14, and contains a daily rooster race quest as well as a larger event quest, with the rewards being 200 gold (daily quest) and a lunar rooster portrait and lunar rooster mount (event quest). Furthermore, the in-game shop has a Festival bundle has heroes, skins, and mounts.

For the full rundown of the Festival and its events and rewards, head over to Blizzard's official site.

[Source: Blizzard]

.: Portal Designer Kim Swift Joins EA's Motive Studios

Portal and Left 4 Dead designer and Quantum Conundrum director Kim Swift has joined Jade Raymond's Motive Studios within EA as a design director.

The studio is working on both new IP and Star Wars projects, although it's unknown exactly what Swift will be working on.

Directly before joining EA Swift was at Amazon Game Studios as a senior designer.

[Source: EA]


Our Take
Whether it's for Star Wars or something else, this is exciting news for the studio. 

.: Tekken 6 & Two More Become Backwards Compatible On Xbox One

Microsoft has announce that three more games will be available for backwards compatible play on the Xbox One: Tekken 6, Midway Arcade Origins, and Mutant Storm Empire.

TEKKEN 6, Midway Arcade Origins and Mutant Storm Empire are coming to Xbox One Backward Compatibility today https://t.co/qPMRNrLoTQ pic.twitter.com/CmQGOS4hPY

— / Larry Hryb / (@majornelson) January 19, 2017

[Source: Larry Hryb]