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.: gamesradar all-platforms
gamesradar all-platforms.
.: Leaked art confirms Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and everybody has lasers
Congratulations: you live in the reality where Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is a real thing.
.: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is kinda like Skyrim meets Devil May Cry - and it's coming to PS4 and Xbox One
Dragon's Dogma is a Capcom RPG that, while not a runaway success, certainly has its fans.
.: The best upcoming games of 2017 (and beyond)
The games to watch on PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch – from blockbusters to potential under-the-radar gems..
.: These are the 3 coolest new things in Overwatch's Anniversary Event (No. 3 is dancing)
The Overwatch Anniversary Event is live now and there's something in it for you whether you've been playing since day one or are new to the world of payload pushing.
.: Overwatch Anniversary free weekend event: 8 top tips to start your winning streak
Overwatch is marking its first birthday this week, and as part of the Anniversary celebrations there's a free Overwatch weekend running from May 26 to 29.
.: 31 mods you should download for Skyrim Special Edition on Xbox One, PS4 and PC
*Updated 23/05/17* I've added Ordinator - Perks Of Skyrim and Immersive Patrols, because they're most definitely good enough to deserve a place in our list! I've also added brand new PC links to as many mods as possible, which now take you to NexusMods' Skyrim Special Edition section.
.: From cases to Joy-Con wheels, here are the best Nintendo Switch accessories
It's time for a case isn't it? If you've just got your new Nintendo Switchyou're probably already looking for ways to keep it safe while heading outside with Mario Kart 8.
.: Destiny 2 story: Enemies might become friends, leaders will fall, and new powers (and Darkness) may take their place
Update, May 23, 2017 - Following Destiny 2's official, full-scale reveal in LA on May 18, we now have a great deal more (probable) answers to the questions thrown up by the sequel's apocalyptic story scenario.
.: Games with bespoke soundtracks allow you to create memories to go along with the music you listen to
You wouldn’t think a five-year-old music score to a barely remembered PS3 shooter is essential listening in 2017.
.: The new Red Dead Redemption 2 screens might have a few clues - here's what people have found so far
Rockstar has announced a delay to Red Dead Redemption 2, so 'boo!' there.
.: The best cheap PS4 and PS4 Pro bundle deals in May 2017
Looking to buy a PS4? We've got you covered with this up-to-date buyer's guide that covers all versions of the hardware, including the PS4 Pro, along with the best bundle deals available in the US and the UK.
.: New Call of Duty WW2 livestreams start today - watch the first at 3pm PT/11pm BST
Call of Duty WW2 developers Sledgehammer will be hosting a series of livestreams to take "an in depth look" at the making of this year's COD.
.: This week's best Overwatch moments: How to succeed at Roadhog without really trying
Sometimes, the best Overwatch moments are the most unexpected.
.: Gears of War creator's new first-person shooter LawBreakers is coming to PS4
LawBreakers, an FPS designed by Cliffy B and set in a universe where the moon has exploded and the world is covered in gravity anomalies, is coming to PS4 this year.
.: Red Dead Redemption 2's release date is now set for spring 2018 but at least there's new screenshots
Red Dead Redemption 2 is missing its first release date.
.: PlayStation plans four days of streaming during E3 2017 with demos, reveals, and prizes
E3 2017 will be host to a plethora of game developers and publishers.
.: Far Cry 5 live-action trailers welcome you to Hope County, Montana
Welcome to Hope County, Montana. Ubisoft has released a series of short, live-action teasers for Fa ....
.: Injustice 2 review: "Written, voiced, and rendered to an exceptional level, immersing you into the DC world"
Injustice 2 is like your favorite deli sandwich: everything you know you like, with no surprises.
.: The best cheap Wii U bundle deals in May 2017
The Wii U is still one of the most innovative games consoles around today, and it's chock full of classic Nintendo charm.
.: Days Gone is going to be at E3 in "a big way", PS4 Pro zombie adventure has "a longer term plan", and everything you need to know
Fast facts Days Gone PS4 release date: TBCDeveloper: SIE Bend StudioPublisher: SonyFormat: PS4 Update: May 22, 2017 - Days Gone is going to be at E3 in a "big way" Some information is falling through the post-apocalyptic cracks of Days Gone with the reveal that the game will be appearing at E3 in 'a big way'.
.: N4G: news feed
N4G: news feed.
.: The Decisions: Metal Gear Solid 2's Narrative
An analysis of Metal Gear Solid 2's narrative as it relates to game design..
.: Aussie Update is Available for Day of Infamy
New World Interactive has made the Aussie Update available for Day of Infamy..
.: Decoding the truth of Prey's story and ending
What's real and what isn't in Prey? The clues are spread far and wide throughout the expansive game, but it's possible to determine some truths and some of the most-likely theories. .
.: Serious Sam Fusion 2017 Review | GameGrin
Simon Brown from GameGrin writes "Serious Sam Fusion 2017 successfully brings the series up to date and in a unified interface. A great way to revisit Sams adventures and experience them in the best possible light.".
.: Dead Cells Preview: The Best Roguelite of 2017 | The Koalition
Max Moeller at The Koalition writes: Dead Cells is a wonderful blend of Hyper Light Drifter, Dark Souls, and Metroidvania that I didnt know I wanted. No, the blend I didnt know I needed..
.: The Sexy Brutale Review | GameGrin
Mark "Mr Black" Brearley from GameGrin writes "The Sexy Brutale is a delectable slice of murder and mystery. The exquisite art design, twisted puzzles, and excellent audio design combines to create a truly memorable experience. The unique setting and thoughtful tale will remain in the memory long after the case has been closed.".
.: Amazing game character artist shows the magic behind video games design
Video games programming world be nothing without great animators or artists and today's viral news is about the amazing works of Russian game artist Artem Artificial gamers!.
.: Will Crackdown 3 Be The Rabbit In Xbox Scorpio's Hat For Launch?
"Surprise, surprise, Ive stumbled into another fanboy war with a recent post detailing about why Im choosing to make the leap from Xbox One to PS4 to play Destiny 2 this fall, even with Xbox Scorpio on the horizon. Among the other arguments being made, theres a general sense from Microsoft fans that Scorpio is poised to rule this fall when it arrives with its super-specs, and one game in particular keeps being brought up a lot as a reason to buy, Crackdown 3." By Paul Tassi .
.: Clementine Won't Remember That: The False Promises of Telltale's The Walking Dead
One of gaming's most influential titles never lived up to its most iconic promise..
.: The Best Gaming Street Art to Ever Grace the Side of a Building
From Banksy to humble art students..
.: GameSpot News
The latest News from GameSpot.
.: Rainbow Six Siege Maintenance Coming Up, As "Operation Health" Update Detailed

Ubisoft is conducting a round of maintenance on the Rainbow Six Siege servers this week. Posting on its website, the company confirmed the maintenance period will follow this schedule:

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During the maintenance period, Ubisoft will perform some kind of a "rank reset," while the background art will change to reflect the start of the game's Operation Health initiative.

The other big piece of news about Siege today that Ubisoft has provided a rundown of the items it hopes to address in the game's next patch, 2.2.1 or if necessary, the one after that, 2.2.2. You can see a quick breakdown of each below, while Ubisoft will share further specifics about the changes and answer fan questions about them in the coming weeks.

There is no word yet on when 2.2.1 will launch on PC or Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Operation Health is the name for Ubisoft's effort to improve the "overall Rainbow Six Siege experience." Over the next few months, Ubisoft will roll out changes to this end, while some DLC has been canceled as a result of the new plan.

More than a year after launch, Siege reportedly still has a "thriving" playerbase.

Rainbow Six Siege 2.2.1 Priority List

Descriptions written by Ubisoft

One Step Matchmaking

Map Fixes

Game Crashes

Hit Boxes

Spawn Killing

Join in Progress

Defuser issues (audio, planting, destroying)

Glaz

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.: Justice League Dark Movie Reportedly Loses Another Director

Doug Liman will no longer direct DC's upcoming Justice League Dark film, according to a report.

Hollywood news site Variety says it has heard from sources that Liman, who directed The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow, exited the project due to scheduling conflicts. Liman is also directing the new movie Chaos Walking.

Insiders told Variety that Justice League Dark studio Warner Bros. is now holding meetings with directors to find someone to replace Liman. A new director could be signed "shortly."

Speaking about his plans for Justice League Dark earlier this year, Liman said, "I have a really amazing take on it...," going on to say his version of the movie would be anything but straightforward.

"I'm not going to do something campy either. I have a take on it that isn't like anything else out there. At the end of the day, I make character-driven movies," he said.

Justice League Dark comprises more supernatural members of the DC Universe, such as John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, Swamp Thing, and Deadman.

According to Variety's report, Pan's Labyrinth and Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro was at one time attached to direct the Justice League Dark movie before dropping out.

In other Justice League news, director Zack Snyder has left the Justice League film following the death of his daughter. Avengers director Joss Whedon is stepping in to finish the film.

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.: Free Xbox One/360 Games With Gold For June 2017 (And A Bonus) Revealed

With a week left in May, Microsoft today announced the Games With Gold lineup for June 2017.

Xbox One owners with a Gold subscription get Speedrunners, a racing game that makes its debut on June 1 as a freebie, as well as Ubisoft's open-world action game Watch Dogs. The free titles on Xbox 360 for June (which also play on Xbox One through backwards compatibility), including Assassin's Creed III and Dragon Age: Origins.

A bonus offer is available in June on Xbox One for Gold members in the form of multiplayer DLC for the recently released Phantom Dust re-release. The video above shows that this DLC is normally priced at $15, though its Xbox Store page lists is as being free, so we're not sure what's going on there.

Another thing to note is that one of May 2017's free Games With Gold titles, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, will continue to be free on Xbox One until June 15.

While you wait for June's Games With Gold titles to arrive, be sure to grab the remaining freebies from May before they return to their normal prices.

In other Xbox Live news, this week's lineup of Xbox One and Xbox 360 weekly deals have been announced--and there are some good offers available.

June 2017 Games With Gold Lineup

Via IGN

Xbox One:

Xbox 360:

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.: Red Dead Redemption 2's Release Window Doesn't Matter, Take-Two Says

The holiday season is usually a popular time for new game releases, but history has shown that games, or consoles for that matter, don't need to launch then to enjoy success. In an earnings call today, Take-Two president Strauss Zelnick said this is also true for Red Dead Redemption 2.

"For a title like this, I don't think the launch window really matters," he said when asked about a potential summer 2018 release for the highly anticipated action game.

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Zelnick pointed out that 2010's Red Dead Redemption was released in May, and it went on to become an "extraordinarily successful" game for Take-Two.

"Red Dead Redemption went out in May and was an extraordinarily successful title," he said. "Consumers are consuming entertainment year-round now; they don't stop in the summer months. We believe that if you give people an extraordinary experience, they will show up for it."

Red Dead Redemption 2 was announced with a Fall 2017 release window, but yesterday, Rockstar announced a delay to Spring 2018. Delays are nothing new for Rockstar-developed titles, as the original Red Dead Redemption was also delayed, while GTA V was pushed back as well.

For more on Red Dead Redemption 2, here's the reason why Rockstar delayed it.

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.: Top Gun 2 Is "Definitely Happening," Tom Cruise Says

The rumors about a Top Gun sequel are true.

Star Tom Cruise said today in an appearance on Australian morning show Sunrise that the sequel is "definitely happening." He added that he will "probably" start filming in the next year.

Directed by the late Tony Scott, Top Gun was released 31 years ago, in 1986. Cruise played Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, while the film also starred Val Kilmer, Kelly McGillis, and Tom Skerritt. The movie was nominated for multiple Oscars, winning Best Music, Original Song for "Take My Breath Away."

The movie was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. In January last year, Bruckheimer tweeted a picture of himself and Cruise, saying the pair talked about "a little Top Gun 2."

There is no word yet on the story for Top Gun 2, which actors may return (besides Cruise), or who would direct. We'll report back with more information as it's made available.

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.: Red Dead Redemption 2's Delay, Explained

Earlier this week, Rockstar Games announced that it had delayed the highly anticipated Red Dead Redemption 2 from Fall 2017 to Spring 2018. Now, the executive of Rockstar's parent company has shed new light on the delay and why in the end it's in the best interest of the game.

"The purpose of the delay for Red Dead Redemption 2 is to make sure we deliver the most extraordinary we're capable of providing," Strauss Zelnick said during an earnings call today.

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An analyst asked Zelnick if there was a specific category that the delay would fall under. Was it the result of a specific issue with the game? That's not the case. Instead, Rockstar is pushing the game out further so it can give the team more time to realize its vision for the title, which is the first that Rockstar has made for the ground up for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

"We have not run into particular issues," Zelnick said. "We are building a new game from the ground up for the first time for new-generation consoles. And the pressure that we put on ourselves to deliver excellence and to delight consumers is extraordinary.

"We want to make sure that the appropriate time is taken to do the very best job we can and I that's what consumers expect of Rockstar games and that's what Rockstar games typically delivers. So we support emphatically the label's decision and we are utterly confident that it will prove in time to be wise first and foremost creatively and artistically, economically as well."

Also during the call, Zelnick said it's an "extraordinary understatement" to say that Take-Two is highly confident in Red Dead Redemption 2's ability to appeal to a wide audience. But at the same time, he acknowledged that it's not in his nature to claim victory before it occurs.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will launch during Take-Two's fiscal year 2019, which means it will arrive sometime between April 2018 and March 2019.

The news of Red Dead Redemption 2's delay yesterday caused the company's share price to plunge in after-hours trading. However, it's performed strongly today, briefly reaching a new all-time high of $76.70. It stands at $73.18 as of this writing in after-hours trading.

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.: This Week's Xbox Deals With Gold And More Revealed

It's a good week to be an Xbox gamer, on both Xbox One and 360. This week's Deals with Gold includes some top Xbox One titles, like Overwatch's Game of the Year Edition for US $39, Mafia III for $20, Battlefield 1 for $30, and Titanfall 2 for $20. At the same time, Microsoft Studios is having its own sale where you can get big deals on its games.

In the Microsoft sale, you can get 50% off Gears of War 4 on Xbox One for $30, while Gears of War 4's Ultimate Edition is 40% off at $60. If you love Halo, many games from the series are on sale too. Halo Wars 2 is 35% off at $39 and Halo Wars 2: Ultimate Edition is also 35% off at $52, with deals on Blitz Packs. Halo 5: Guardians' Digital Deluxe Version is 60% off and costs $20.

If you play Xbox 360, many games are 80-85% off including Alien Rage for $15, Dogfight 1942 for $10, and Sniper: Ghost Warrior for $15 too. In the Microsoft sale, Crackdown is just $5, Crackdown 2 is $8, and Fable Anniversary is $16 after a 60% or more discount.

To take advantage of many of the Deals with Gold you need to be a Xbox Live Gold member, while the Microsoft publisher's sale is open to all players. Both sales are on until May 29, and you can get a look at the full list of games below.

Deals with Gold - Xbox One:

Deals with Gold - Xbox 360:

Microsoft Studios Sale - Xbox One

Microsoft Studios Sale - Xbox 360

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.: Xbox Scorpio Will Deliver "Very Best Console Version Of Games," Exec Says

If you're picking up a Project Scorpio console, you can expect to play the "very best console version" of games this year, according to Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Asked on Twitter if games like Destiny 2 and Call of Duty: WWII (presumably) will look better on Scorpio, Spencer said, "I'm very confident, from what we are seeing and hearing, Scorpio will be the very best console version of games this year."

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According to Microsoft, Scorpio--or whatever name Microsoft ends up giving it--is the "most powerful console ever made." It boasts 6 teraflops of performance, including 326 GB/s of memory bandwidth. Additionally, Microsoft says the console's engine is the "most powerful console gaming processor ever created." The console has a vapor chamber that uses "advanced liquid-cooling," while it also uses the Hovis Method to maximize performance and minimize power consumption.

All Xbox One games work on Scorpio, though the Scorpio editions can look and perform better, in some cases, if developers want to do that. It is a similar situation with PS4 and PS4 Pro.

Microsoft is expected to share more details on Scorpio at E3 or sooner. Presumably we will learn the console's official name and price, among other things, in the weeks and months to come before the system's launch this holiday.

In other Xbox news, Microsoft's E3 2017 planning is taking shape. Microsoft conducted an end-to-end runthrough of its briefing today, which apparently took all day.

Additionally, Microsoft Studios boss Shannon Loftis said the company may soon announce at least a partial list of the games it's bringing to and showing off at E3.

The Xbox E3 briefing this year takes place on a new day, Sunday, starting at 2 PM PT on June 11. GameSpot will bring you all the news from the event as it's announced.

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.: GTA 5 Ships 80 Million Units

Grand Theft Auto V continues to be a massive success. More than three years after the game's release in 2013, the open-world action game has now passed 80 million units shipped worldwide. This is up from 75 million units back in February. Continued strong sales is no surprise, given GTA V continues to make it onto the top-selling charts in the US, UK, Australia, and New Zealand.

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During an conference call after Take-Two's latest earnings report today, CEO Strauss Zelnick said GTA V and GTA Online "outperformed [Take-Two's] expectations during the fourth quarter as they have in every period since they released." GTA Online has been a big winner as well, with the game continuing to see year-over-year growth in recurrent spending. Zelnick said Rockstar is planning "much more" in terms of future updates.

Also during the call, Zelnick praised GTA V for being the "standard bearer for creative excellence" in the video game industry.

For lots more on Take-Two's earnings report, check out GameSpot's full breakdown here.

Rockstar's next game, Red Dead Redemption 2, has been delayed and is now coming to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in Spring 2018. You can read more about the delay and why it happened here.

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.: This Week's PS4, PS3, And Vita Deals Revealed

Sony's latest batch of deals on the PlayStation Store are now live. The featured promotion this week is the Extended Play sale, which discounts things like special editions and bundles of various games on PS4 and PS3.

The Extended Play sale is available to all PSN members, but PlayStation Plus subscribers receive larger discounts. One major game is Overwatch's newly announced Game of the Year Edition, which can be had for $39 with Plus (or $42 without it). Another notable game is The Walking Dead: A New Frontier, which will wrap up soon with its fifth and final episode; it can be had for $15 ($17.49 without Plus). Some other highlights include:

PS3 also has a number of discounted games, including:

The Extended Play sale also consists of various video deals, allowing you to buy select movies and shows at a discount. Vita is not specifically featured in the sale, although Guacamelee's Cross-Buy support does give it some representation. Separately, a small handful of Vita games are on sale, including Retro City Rampage DX for $5 ($6 without Plus) and AeternoBlade for $7.49.

You can see the full list of deals here. These sales are available until Tuesday, May 30, at 8 AM PT / 11 AM ET.

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.: Check Out This Beautiful Art From Destiny 2's Cinematic Trailers

Bungie has released two cinematic trailers for Destiny 2 so far, and although they don't show any gameplay, they reveal some of the themes that will be important for the game's story. They are also gorgeous, and recently two of the artists who contributed to the trailers have posted some of the high-resolution images that they worked on.

Nick Hiatt and Darek Zabrocki, concept artists who have worked on games in the past, published pieces of art that they made for the cinematic trailers. Zabrocki's piece is from the first video, and it shows the Last City under attack while the Traveler hangs over it:

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Hiatt's image, on the other hand, is from the trailer released last week. It shows a picturesque scene of the Last City and the Traveler before it is attacked.

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If you want these for your desktop background, you can check out the full-resolution images here for Hiatt's and here for Zabrocki's. You can also see some of their other work at their respective Artstation profiles, here and here, respectively.

Destiny 2 launches on September 8 for Xbox One and PS4, and on an unannounced date for PC. We learned a lot about the game last week during its reveal, and we got our first glimpse of gameplay. You can catch up on all of the news here.

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.: Origin PC Evo15-S Gaming Laptop Review

A few years ago, if you wanted to get respectable power from a gaming laptop, it needed to be big and bulky. And even the largest gaming notebooks couldn’t come close to their desktop equivalents. However, the performance gap is beginning to narrow, and Origin PC’s EVO15-S represents a powerful package in a thin and light form factor. It does make some sacrifices in the name of portability, but still has a lot going for it.

Related: 10 Things To Look For In A Gaming Laptop

Design

For a gaming laptop, the Evo15-S is very thin at .7 inches and measures 15x0.7x9.8 inches overall. It’s also relatively light, weighing four pounds. For reference, Apple’s much smaller 13-inch MacBook Pro weighs a little over three pounds. It fit into our Everki Beacon backpack with relative ease and never felt like a back-breaker.

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The laptop uses a 15.6-inch IPS display, which offers vivid, accurate colors and wide viewing angles. The native 1080p resolution is great for a gaming laptop this size. Overall, this is a nice panel.

The laptop features a mostly gloss finish, which looks nice, but can attract fingerprints. There are a wide variety of color options to choose from, but Origin sent us a black unit with the GameSpot logo painted on the back.

The keyboard uses run-of-the-mill chiclet-style keys, which feel competent to type and game on. It also offers RGB backlighting across three color zones, which help you see the keys a bit better at night while looking a little stylish. The trackpad responds pretty well, though we would have preferred dedicated left and right click buttons to prevent accidental clicks. In terms of audio, the speakers are powerful for the laptop’s size, but lack a bit of bass.

The chassis is mostly made of plastic, which results in some minor, undesirable flexing. When we gamed on the notebook, the keyboard surface never got hot and the laptop did a good job exhausting hot air through the back, but it did get moderately loud. This is most likely a thermal trade-off the notebook has to make for being so thin.

Speaking of thin, portable gaming notebooks usually don’t offer a lot of ports, but the EVO15-S delightfully surprises here. The laptop offers a plethora of connections that include three USB 3.0 ports, a Mini DisplayPort, HDMI port, and more. It has enough ports for either the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, which makes it a great portable VR system on the go.

Perhaps our biggest gripe with the design is the placement of the power button, which is situated to the front right of the chassis. You may inadvertently turn off the computer, if you’re not being careful. We also didn’t like how the power port is located on the right, which can slightly obstruct right-handed mouse users.

Specs

CPU

Intel Core i7-7700HQ

GPU

Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 (6GB)

RAM

16GB 2400MHz Dual Channel DDR4 Memory

Display

15.6-inch 1920x1080 IPS

Storage

512GB NVME M.2 and 2TB 5400RPM HDD

Ports

1xUSB 3.1 (Type-C), 3xUSB 3.0, 1xUSB 2.0, 1x Mini DisplayPort 1.2, 1xHDMI 2.0, 1x headphone out, 1x microphone in, 1x RJ-45, 1xSD card reader

The brains behind the laptop is Intel’s 2.8GHz quad-core i7-7700HQ Kaby Lake CPU, which can turbo up to 3.8GHz. The mobile processor is paired with 16GB of DDR4 RAM clocked at 2400MHz in a dual-channel configuration. Nvidia’s GeForce GTX 1060 drives the graphics here, and it’s a great GPU that pairs well with the panel’s 1080p resolution.

For storage, the EVO15-S uses Samsung’s high-end SM961 NVMe solid-state drive. You can get it in either 256GB or 512GB variants; our unit featured the latter. It’s also supplemented by a hefty 2TB 5,400RPM hard drive. Overall, the system’s specs are well balanced and represent a moderately high-end rig.

Benchmarks

We’re going to benchmark the EVO15-S alongside HP’s 17-inch Omen gaming laptop, which is equipped with a GTX 1070, i7-6700HQ, and 16GB of RAM. While the Omen uses a slightly older Skylake CPU, because it is significantly bigger and equipped with a higher tier GPU, you shouldn’t expect the same level of performance. It’s mostly here to give you a point of comparison.

For our game benchmarks, we ran all titles at their respective max settings at 1080p to really stress test the GPUs.

Game Benchmarks

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As you can see from our performance data, while the EVO15S lags behind the Omen in our gaming benchmarks, it should be able to max out most games at 1080p with playable frame rates. Running the Rise of the Tomb Raider benchmark with graphics settings maxed out, Origin PC’s laptop was able to run above 60 average FPS with either the DX11 or DX12 API. The EVO15-S came within spitting distance of averaging 60FPS in the Unigine Valley benchmark with its 59.3 average frame rate. In more graphically demanding games like The Division and Metro: Last Light, however, it did dip into the low 50s and 40s, but it was still highly playable. The laptop did struggle to max out Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, however, which is one of the most graphically demanding games on the market. When we tried to max out Eidos Montreal’s stealth action game, the EVO15-S barely made it over 10FPS in DX11 or DX12. The laptop was able to run the benchmark at 57 average FPS when we disabled anti-aliasing and lowered the game to its high preset, however.

Synthetic Benchmarks

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Moving over to our synthetic graphics benchmarks, in 3DMark Time Spy, a DirectX 12 benchmark, EVO15-S achieved a 3663 score, which is 28 percent lower than the HP Omen.

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When we ran Valve’s Steam VR benchmark, the Origin PC laptop produced 9487 frames, which not only makes it VR ready, but puts it in the “high” tier.

Storage, CPU, and Battery Benchmarks

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While the Omen’s faster GPU allowed it to pull ahead in games, the EVO15’s speedier NVMe SSD allows it to beat HP’s notebook in sequential read and write tests by 115 and 442 percent, respectively. This means Origin’s laptop really kills it whenever you need to transfer large files or are downloading a bunch of games.

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According to our Cinebench CPU test, the EVO15-S is 16 percent faster in single-threaded applications and 10 percent faster in multi-core workloads. These tests indicate that Origin PC’s laptop make it a stronger productivity workhorse than the HP Omen.

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For a battery test, we looped the Unigine Valley benchmark until the laptop keeled over. While you can undoubtedly get better battery performance if you’re just browsing the web or watching a movie, this represents a worst-case gaming scenario. Here, Origin’s laptop lasted roughly an hour, which isn’t great and is 26 percent worse than the bigger Omen notebook. You’ll most likely want to bring the charger with you if you intend to game on the go.

Conclusion

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While you can find gaming laptops that are more powerful, there’s a lot to like about the EVO15-S. For a gaming notebook, it's thin, light, and offers a surprising amount of ports. In terms of specs, it offers a ton of bells and whistles and should be able to max out most games at 1080p. Its biggest hurdle is the $2,317 price tag. You’re really paying for the portable form factor here. If size and weight aren’t big priorities for you, and you’re just looking for something to occasionally lug around to LAN parties, something like the Omen might be more up your alley. HP’s gaming laptop might weigh considerably more at 7.3 pounds, but you can get it with a more powerful GTX 1070 GPU for around $1,800. If you have the money and want good specs in a sleek form factor, however, Origin PC’s EVO15-S should be on your radar.

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.: Titanfall 2's Next Titan Revealed Alongside Free DLC Details

Titanfall 2's post-launch support continues with another big update this month. This one includes not just a map, but also a new Titan.

Developer Respawn describes this Titan, Monarch, as a "mid-range Vanguard-class" mech. It features a unique design; its Upgrade Core allows players to choose from various upgrades over the course of its life. By sticking around for long enough, it can assume its "final form."

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The nature of these upgrades wasn't explained, but Respawn did note that it features the "ability to draw power from enemy Titans to recharge her own shields, or the shields of her friendly Titans." More details and a video of the Monarch in action will be shared "soon."

Also on the way in the next update is a new map, Relic (pictured in the gallery above alongside Monarch). It's a worksite built around the crashed Odyssey, the IMC carrier from Titanfall 2's campaign. "Created with frontlines in mind, the gameplay is all about assaulting and controlling the center and engaging in firefights from the great viewpoints of the ship against the varied defensible positions in the town," Respawn explained.

An existing map, Crashsite, receives an update to address various collision issues. Besides those fixes, it will gain new ziplines and wallrunning locations to further facilitate on-foot mobility for Pilots.

The final big free addition in this patch is an execution, Now You See Me. It's somehow related to the Cloak tactical ability, but beyond that, you'll simply have to imagine what it looks like for now.

On the paid content side, Titanfall 2 gets a pair of new Prime Titan designs for Ronin and Tone; you can see those in the gallery above. New nose art, camos, and callsigns will also be added to the in-game store for purchase.

All of this arrives later this month, on May 30. On that same day, the featured mode will be Titan Brawl, and all modes will offer double XP for a limited time. A "major" balance update is planned for release at some point after this content update. We'll report back as more details are announced.

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.: More WWE Funko Pop Figures Revealed

A new series of Funko Pop figures based on WWE superstars is coming to stores this summer. Series six of the WWE line contains six different figures with variants for two of them.

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As seen above, the tag team of Enzo Amore & Big Cass will be sold as a two-pack, which will be available exclusively at Walgreens. The rest of the line, which will be available everywhere, consists of Chris Jericho, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase, Sasha Banks, and the Iron Sheik.

Both Iron Sheik and Ted DiBiase will have variants. DiBiase's variant has a white suit, and Sheik's variant has a red keffiyeh. These figures will be have a 1-in-6 rarity. There is no confirmation on pricing, but they will more than likely fall into the normal $10-15 price range.

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.: All The Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Games

[Updated May 23 with five more games]

The Xbox One's backwards compatibility feature, introduced in November 2015, lets you play Xbox 360 games on the new console. But what games are available? We've now rounded them all up--and we'll continue to update this post as new games are made available.

Microsoft has promised that "hundreds" are still on the way.

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Xbox One Backwards Compatibility Lineup (As of May 22, 2017):

New titles are bolded

Don't see your favorite game here? Back in November, Microsoft said it is holding discussions with all major publishers and developers to possibly bring their games to the program. However, the decision about whether or not a game is added to the lineup ultimately comes down to individual publishers.

What do you make of the lineup so far? And what games would you like to see added in the future? Let us know in the comments below!

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.: Five More Xbox One Backwards Compatible Games Arrive

It's been something of a quiet period for Xbox One backwards compatibility, but today sees the list of supported Xbox 360 games grow by five.

The biggest name of the bunch is Assassin's Creed III, which released for Xbox 360 in 2012. Joining it on the backwards compatibility train are Shinobi, Shadow Assault/Tenchu, Ilomilo, and Matt Hazard: Blood, Bath, and Beyond, all of which can now be played on Xbox One..

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If you own any of these games already, you can simply pop in the disc or check your Ready To Download list to get it installed on your Xbox One. Alternatively, you can grab them through the Xbox Store.

For a look at what other Xbox 360 games are supported, check out the full list of Xbox One backwards compatible games.

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.: Deadpool 2 Star Josh Brolin Gets Ripped To Play Cable In New Video

After the months of speculation, it was announced last month that Josh Brolin will play Cable in the upcoming Deadpool 2. The actor has now posted a video on Instagram of a punishing-looking workout routine to get him into shape for the role. Check it out below:

Sit inside the muscle, grow it, Imagine it germinating into its conclusive state. Then turn around and kick the fucker who keeps trying to hold your shoulders down. 😜 @justindlovato @stephjlovato #GROW #thanos #thehulkaintshit @iambuilt @xptlife #deadpool#aintnobird #keepthemguessing 🔪Video by @kathrynbrolin

A post shared by Josh Brolin (@joshbrolin) on


Cable was created by Rob Liefeld and Louise Simonson, who previously described him as "the opposite of Deadpool: a man who is a leader and used to being obeyed, who is very controlled but with an aura of simmering violence."

Deadpool 2 is set for release on June 1, 2018, with Ryan Reynolds returning in the title role. The movie will also star Zazie Beetz as Domino. An early teaser was released with the Wolverine smash Logan in March--you can watch that here.

In related news, it was announced this month that an adult animated Deadpool show is on the way. The currently untitled series will be overseen by Atlanta star and creator Donald Glover with his brother Stephen, who will both act as showrunners, producers, and writers. It is being developed for FXX, the sister channel to FX, and the 10-part first season will premiere next year.

In addition, a new Deadpool graphic novel was released last week. Deadpool: Bad Blood sees the Merc with a Mouth face off against a new villain called Thumper--read GameSpot's interview with Liefeld about it here.

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.: Here's When Elder Scrolls Online's Morrowind Expansion Goes Live

The Elder Scrolls Online's Morrowind expansion launches in a few short weeks, but now Bethesda has revealed exactly what time players will be able to catch a boat back to Vvardenfell.

Servers for the Morrowind expansion are scheduled to go live globally at 5 AM ET/2 AM PT on June 6. Prior to the expansion's launch, Bethesda says the servers will be down for maintenance "while they are updated to support new adventures in Vvardenfell."

Certain players don't have to wait until June 6 to explore Vvardenfell; PC and Mac users who purchase the digital upgrade of Morrowind or the collector's edition can access the expansion now, two full weeks ahead of its global launch. Players who do jump into Morrowind early will keep the progress they've made when the expansion rolls out.

The Elder Scrolls Online is also available for PS4 and Xbox One. PC and Mac players, meanwhile, will need to meet the system requirements Bethesda outlined in order to play the Morrowind expansion. In addition to the island of Vvardenfell, Morrowind introduces a new storyline, a PvP mode, and the Warden class to Elder Scrolls Online. To prepare fans for Morrowind's launch, Bethesda recently released a new trailer that gives players a taste of the political intrigue they'll encounter in the expansion.

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.: New Game Of Thrones Teaser Video Hits; Actors Say Season 7 Is "Much Quicker"

As Game of Thrones Season 7's debut approaches, HBO is ramping up its promotional efforts for the show. Today, a brief new teaser video was released, and some of the show's actors are speaking out about the pace of the upcoming season.

It stands to reason that the Night King will play a more prominent role on Game of Thrones with such a limited number of episodes remaining. Today's teaser video only further suggests that, as it consists of a close up of his right eye. The camera slowly pans out to reveal his face--or at least a portion of it, as much of it is masked in shadow.

Meanwhile, Season 7 apparently stands to speed things up. "I feel like I'd been lulled into a different pace," Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) told EW. "Everything happened quicker than I'm used to … a lot of things that normally take a season now take one episode."

Kit Harington (Jon Snow) noticed something similar, saying, "This season is really different than any other season because it's accelerating toward the end, a lot of stuff collides and happens much much quicker than you're used to seeing on Thrones … it's so different than what everybody is used to. It's quite exciting."

Showrunner David Benioff explained that this isn't due to the shortened length of this season and the final one, but simply the state of the show's world.

"For a long time we've been talking about 'the wars to come,'" he said. "Well, that war is pretty much here. So it's really about trying to find a way to make the storytelling work without feeling like we're rushing it--you still want to give characters their due, and pretty much all the characters that are now left are all important characters. Even the ones who might have started out as relatively minor characters have become significant in their own right."

The new trailer comes just a day after the release of new photos from Season 7. There was unfortunately (or maybe fortunately, if you're spoiler-averse) little to glean from these, as they showed either behind-the-scenes shots or characters standing around, doing very little. We did, however, get a look at what appears to be Daenerys in a fiery field atop Drogon, who's looking bigger than ever.

Season 7 of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16 on HBO.

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.: First Artwork For Nintendo Switch's Rumored Mario/Rabbids Crossover Leaked

The first piece of artwork from Ubisoft's rumored Mario/Rabbids crossover for Nintendo Switch has been leaked (via ComicBook.com).

The image first appeared earlier today on Twitter, after allegedly being discovered on Discord. User FatalFlowey managed to save the image and tweeted it, which showed a Rabbid dressed as Princess Peach. Following that leak, ComicBook.com reported that it verified the image with anonymous sources and shared the full piece of art, which you can see below.

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Ubisoft still hasn't officially announced Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, but all signs point to this being the publisher's unannounced Switch project.

Rumors of a Mario/Rabbids collaboration for Switch have been circulating since before the console's launch; journalist Laura Kate Dale reported on the crossover back in January. The game is described as a turn-based "strategy RPG" with local co-op support and reportedly features eight playable characters: Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Princess Peach, and four Rabbids dressed like the Nintendo mascots. The game is also said to run on Ubisoft's Snowdrop engine, the same engine that powers The Division and South Park: The Fractured But Whole.

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.: Watch All Of Overwatch's New Dance Emotes From The Anniversary Event

Blizzard recently teased new dance emotes for Overwatch. With the Anniversary event underway, these are now live in the game.

We've rounded up all of these for you to watch in the video above. You'll recognize some as real-world dances--Winston does The Twist, which will make Chubby Checker smile somewhere--while others are references you might recognize. Mei, for instance, does the Hare Hare Yukai dance from anime series The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya.

Indisputably the best of the bunch belongs to Zarya (at the 1:45 mark), who mimics a portion of the routine featured in this delightful aerobics video, which also inspired a similarly great Key & Peele sketch.

Dance emotes are just one of the many new cosmetics available in the Anniversary event update. You can see all of the new Legendary skins in our gallery.

Coinciding with the launch of the Anniversary event, Blizzard announced a Game of the Year Edition of Overwatch. It's currently discounted to $40, while the standard version of the game is on sale for $30 for a limited time.

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.: All The PS2-On-PS4 Games (So Far)

Updated May 23 with Star Ocean: Till The End of Time

The PlayStation 2 had loads of great games, some of which are now playable on PlayStation 4 through the PS2-on-PS4 catalog. With a pair of games being added to the group this week, we're rounding up all the games to help you see all the games in the program in one place.

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Sony started bringing PS2 games to PS4 in December 2015, and right now, there are more than 40 games in the catalog. The PS2 games have been updated with Trophy support and are upscaled to 1080p. Games in the program also support PS4 features such as Remote Play, Share Play, Activity Feeds, and Live Broadcast, giving them something of a modern spin.

This is not exactly backwards compatibility. Even if you still own the PS2 discs, you'll have to buy them again to play on PS4. They typically cost between $10 and $20.

As with our list of Xbox One backwards compatibility games, we will continue to update this post in the days, months, and years ahead with games as they're added.

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.: Nintendo Switch Now Compatible With These Third-Party Classic Controllers

If you've been hoping for a classic controller to play Nintendo Switch games with, now you can. Third-party peripheral manufacturer 8bitdo announced today that its line of controllers received a firmware update that now allows them to work on Switch.

The company makes several retro-style controllers evocative of NES, SNES, Famicom, and Super Famicom controllers, and all of these now can be paired via Bluetooth with Switch. Not all controllers work with every Switch game, as some of 8Bitdo's products have fewer buttons than the Joy-Cons. However, the NES30 Pro and the FC30 Pro have enough buttons to fully support Switch button configurations.

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We've tested them out and they work great for classic games like the Neo Geo ports available on the eShop. They'll likely also be good for the upcoming Switch port of Street Fighter 2. Not surprisingly, these controllers don't support Switch-specific features like HD Rumble or Amiibo support, but they're still cool. You can find the instructions for how to pair the controllers with your Switch here.

8Bitdo's controllers also work with PC and Android devices. They range in price from $35 for the standard NES and SNES controllers to $43 for the Pro versions.

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.: PlayStation 4 Pro Review

Update: This is our PS4 Pro review. For more information on the PS4 Slim, check out our coverage here. Related: Console Specs Compared.

The PlayStation 4 Pro represents a new move for Sony. While the company has refreshed many of its consoles before, the PS4 Pro marks the first time a mid-generational design has received a significant boost in processing power. Sony says that the Pro was primarily designed to take advantage of burgeoning 4K TVs, but is it powerful enough? More importantly, is it worth it? Let’s find out.

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What’s in the Box?

Before I dive into the PS4 Pro’s tech specs, let’s take a look at what comes inside the box. Aside from the console, the package includes a mono headset, HDMI cable, DualShock 4 controller, USB charging cable, and an AC power cord. The PS4 Pro uses a thicker, two-pronged power cable this time around and measures about 60 inches in length. This is roughly 20 inches shorter than the PS4 Slim’s equivalent.

Design

One of the first things you’ll notice about the PS4 Pro is that its 11.6x2.1x12-inches chassis is big. At 7.2 pounds, it’s also quite heavy. In terms of aesthetics, it maintains the PlayStation 4’s slanted design but opts to use the PS4 Slim's more rounded corners as opposed to the original model’s sharper edges. It also uses the Slim’s matte black finish. The console has a new power LED light bar on the front, which starts on the left and trails off to the right. Coupled with the light bar are physical power and eject buttons.

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The Pro sort of looks like a PS4 Slim stacked on top of the original PS4, and it has two slits that go around the chassis. The optical drive is located on the top slit, and speaking of it, despite being a 4K-capable system, the Pro doesn’t support 4K Blu-ray discs. This is an odd, unfortunate omission, which slightly detracts from the package. Luckily, the PS4 Pro will be able to stream 4K HDR video from apps like Netflix and YouTube.

One of the first things you’ll notice about the PS4 Pro is that its 11.6x2.1x12-inches chassis is big.

In terms of ports, the Pro brings back the optical S/PDIF, which was removed from the PS4 Slim. In addition to the two USB 3.1 ports on the front, the Pro offers a third USB 3.1 port on the back, which pairs well with PlayStation VR, since the separately available headset takes up a port. Other inputs on the back include HDMI, AUX, and Ethernet. The Pro also exhausts heat through vents on the back.

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Like the original PS4 and PS4 Slim before it, the Pro model has an integrated power supply, which saves you the trouble of figuring out where to position a bulky external power brick. On top of the unit is a reflective silver PlayStation logo, and tucked underneath the console are little rubber feet modeled after the PlayStation button logos.

The Pro doesn’t support 4K Blu-ray discs. This is an odd, unfortunate omission.

Specs

Underneath the hood, the PlayStation 4 Pro features the following tech specs:

The faster graphics processing unit is arguably the most significant boost the PS4 Pro offers. The GPU is based on AMD’s new Polaris microarchitecture, which the graphics-card manufacturer debuted with its Radeon RX 480 GPU. Its 911MHz frequency is 14 percent higher than the original model's equivalent. It also offers twice the number of compute units with 36 CUs and features 4.2 teraflops of performance, which is 2.28 times as much as the original PS4.

The console itself still offers 8GB of GDDR5 memory, which it shares with the CPU, but Sony has also added 1GB of DRAM for the CPU. This allows the x86-based processor to run the operating system and streaming video applications at 4K. This extra DRAM also frees up some of the faster GDDR5 memory for the GPU.

The CPU is still an eight-core Jaguar AMD processor, but its frequency has been raised from 1.6GHz to 2.1GHz, which amounts to a 31 percent boost.

The PS4 Pro also comes with a larger 1TB hard drive--though it’s unfortunately still the slower 5,400rpm variety as opposed to the slightly faster 7,200rpm equivalent. Luckily, you can still swap out the HDD for a solid-state drive, and because the Pro supports the SATA III interface, SSDs installed in the console can now reach up to 6Gbps speeds. This is double the frequency of the original PS4’s SATA II interface.

Graphical Enhancements

The main reason to get excited about the PS4 Pro is the prospect of better graphics. The new console is completely backward-compatible with the existing library of PS4 games, and some titles will receive graphical enhancements on the Pro. Some games may use the extra processing power to bolster frame rates, while others may render at a higher resolution. Some games may run natively at 4K, but Sony says the majority of games will use a 4K upscaling technique the company calls checkerboard rendering, essentially a 4K rendering shortcut that isn’t as taxing on hardware. It’s not quite as sharp as native 4K, but it does look surprisingly close.

Checkerboard rendering is not quite as sharp as native 4K, but it does look surprisingly close.

PS4 games will not receive Pro enhancements out of the box, however. Developers will have to patch their games to take advantage of the Pro’s extra processing power. Sony asserts that patching a title to implement checkerboard rendering isn’t too time-intensive, but it’s unclear how many titles will support the upscaling technique moving forward, since Sony doesn’t require developers to implement the feature. Developers can actually use the extra power as they see fit. Instead of cranking up the resolution, developers may choose to increase graphical fidelity, offer improved frame rates, or use better anti-aliasing techniques. This means the Pro could bolster visuals at 1080p. Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, for instance, uses super-sampling anti-aliasing to mitigate jaggy edges on regular HD displays.

Visual Analysis

To analyze the visual enhancements that the PS4 Pro offers, I compared it against a PS4 Slim. The Slim replaces the original PS4, and while it might look a little different from the 2013 model, it carries the same GPU and CPU horsepower.

I hooked up both PlayStations to different HDMI inputs on the same TV: a 55-inch 4K high-dynamic range (HDR) display. I gathered two copies of every PS4 Pro-enhanced game that I could get copies of and quickly switched between the two inputs to conduct visual A/B tests. Both HDMI inputs were calibrated to look exactly the same. Because the PS4 Pro can also bolster 1080p graphics, I also connected both systems to a 55-inch 1080p TV and similarly analyzed the visual differences there.

While the PS4 Pro will support 4K HDR video streaming via apps like Netflix and Youtube, 4K HDR versions of these PlayStation apps won’t release until the console launches on November 10. At the time of this writing, only a handful of games support PS4 Pro enhancements. The games I tested included Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered, Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, The Last of Us, Call of Duty: Black Ops III, and Infamous: Second Son.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered

You sometimes have to stand still and look for these visual differences, since they aren't huge graphical improvements, but the main takeaway here is that the PS4 Pro offers a clearer image overall.

With both PlayStations hooked up to the 4K TV, I noticed that the Pro offered slightly better textures in the remastered version of Modern Warfare. The Pro made it a bit easier to make out the individual hair follicles on an NPC’s beard, for instance. The Pro also allows the game to support a dynamic resolution that scales up to 4K, which helps mitigate some aliasing issues. Flickering fences on the Slim looked clean and stable on the Pro, for instance. Text on distant posters strewn about the game’s opening training area were also unreadable on the Slim, but were legible on the Pro. You sometimes have to stand still and look for these visual differences, since they aren't huge graphical improvements, but the main takeaway here is that the PS4 Pro offers a clearer image overall.

When I hooked up both consoles to our 1080p TV, I couldn’t tell much of a difference, unfortunately. Since the PS4 Slim already runs the game at 60 frames per second, it’s already hitting the TV’s 60Hz refresh rate limit, so I wasn’t able to gauge any frame-rate improvements.

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare

With both systems hooked up to the 4K TV, I noticed slightly richer textures on the Pro. For instance, I could more easily see fibrous textures on clothing. The game also has better anti-aliasing with edges that look less pixelated. They’re not huge improvements, but the Pro once again offers more clarity and less noise than the Slim on the 4K TV.

When I hooked up both systems to our 1080p TV, I was able to see better AA and slightly sharper textures from the Pro, but they weren’t as noticeable at this resolution.

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor offers different graphical enhancement options with the Pro. One option allows you to favor resolution. This dynamically scales the game’s resolution up to 4K and smooths out unwanted jaggies. Once again, the Pro’s video quality looked clearer at 4K as a result.

When the Pro runs Shadow of Mordor on a 1080p TV with resolution favored, it switches to a super-sampling anti-aliasing mode to render the game at a higher-than-1080p resolution and then shrinks the image down to 1080p. This does a decent job of making a regular HD display appear sharper than it actually is.

Alternatively, Shadow of Mordor also has a setting that allows you to favor quality. This forces the game to run at 1080p, regardless of the display, but it increases graphical fidelity. Unfortunately, outside of extra wrinkles on faces, I couldn’t notice any other visual enhancements.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us has been updated to support HDR, and while the original PS4 and PS4 Slim models now support HDR via a recent firmware update, the PS4 Pro still made the game’s colors look much richer and lusher.

As the game opens, it takes place in a dimly lit bedroom at night. Playing the game on the PS4 Pro, you can clearly see a green poster on one of the walls with legible words written on it. On the Slim, it’s hard to even see the green poster, let alone the words--it's completely blanketed in darkness.

The Pro made the game’s colors look much richer and lusher.

Textures also look much sharper with the Pro. For instance, the small text on book spines is easily readable, whereas it looks like illegible smudge stains on the Slim. The Pro also offers slightly better anti-aliasing; characters’ hair look slightly less jagged here.

The Pro also mitigates some aliasing issues at 1080p as well, though it isn’t as prominent on the HD display.

Call of Duty: Black Ops III

Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 offers the most disappointing visual enhancements out of my A/B tests. It offers marginally better AA at 4K, and even then, you have you really get up right in front of the TV to notice. The effects were even less impressive at 1080p.

Infamous: Second Son

Infamous Second Son is the last title that I analyzed. The game supports HDR, and color is the most notable difference here. Hues on the PS4 Pro version looked much more realistic and lifelike. Colors on the Slim, in comparison, looked a little too exaggerated and cartoony. It appears that the Pro’s ability to produce a wider color gamut allows the game to offer more subtle, granular tones. Looking up at the sky in the Pro version of the game, I noticed pink streaks of light fill out the clouds. This beautiful effect wasn’t as prominent on the Slim.

Hues on the PS4 Pro version looked much more realistic and lifelike.

Second Son’s black levels also look much darker on the Pro--almost too dark. For instance, protagonist Delsin Rowe often fades into blackness in dimly lit walkways. In general, playing through Second Son on the Pro makes it seem like you’re playing the game at a slightly later time of day.

This color difference surprisingly crossed over to our non-HDR 1080p TV as well. The Pro again made colors look much more lifelike and warm here, but details and textures once again were lost in ultra-dark shadows.

Noise, Heat, Power Consumption, and Boot Times

The original PS4 featured a very loud optical disc drive. While the PS4 Pro’s ODD is certainly audible, it’s not obnoxiously loud. The system, in general, is pretty quiet.

The heat signature was captured with a Flir One thermal imaging camera.
The heat signature was captured with a Flir One thermal imaging camera.

It can get warm, however. Firing up the Last of Us, the Pro’s temperature rose to 46.1 degrees Celsius (114.9 degrees Fahrenheit), which puts it in line with the original PS4 model’s temperatures. Interestingly, judging from our thermal imaging scan below, most of the heat is segmented to the back half of the console. It gets particularly warm right above the PlayStation logo.

In terms of power draw, the console draws around 75 watts sitting in the operating system. When I booted up The Last of Us, it went up to the mid 140s. This again puts it inline with the original PS4 and is pretty impressive, considering the Pro is more powerful and has a PSU that’s rated up to 310 watts.

The PS4 booted up in roughly 24 seconds, which is on par with the original model. Interestingly enough, waking up from sleep took only five seconds--14 seconds faster than the original design.

Conclusion

The PlayStation 4 Pro can indeed make games look better--that is, if they’re patched to take advantage of the extra processing power. From what I’ve seen thus far, it seems to offer better anti-aliasing, which makes the overall image look cleaner, and depending on the game, you occasionally get more vibrant, realistic colors.

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Should you buy a PlayStation 4 Pro? If you have a 4K HDR TV and are looking to buy a console, I’d definitely recommend the PS4 Pro. Even if you have a 1080p TV and are looking to buy a PlayStation, I’d still lean more toward the Pro. Yes, it does cost $100 more than the Slim model, but you get more ports, twice the storage space, more future-proof hardware in the event that you ever decide to get a 4K TV, and some games can look slightly better at 1080p.

If you already have a PS4, however, I wouldn’t make the upgrade unless you have a 4K HDR TV and the extra cash lying around. Graphics enthusiasts may appreciate the improved anti-aliasing and more vibrant colors, but the differences likely won’t blow most people away.

Regardless, the PS4 Pro is priced fairly, offers a plethora of features, and is the most powerful console you can buy today.

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.: Red Dead Redemption 2 Delay Prompts Huge Dropoff In Share Value [UPDATE]

Update: In the wake of its new earnings report, the company's stock price is now way up today, even reaching a new all-time high.

The original story follows.

Rockstar Games today announced that its highly anticipated action game Red Dead Redemption 2 is now coming in Spring 2018 instead of the previously announced Fall 2017 window.

Unsurprisingly, the delay prompted parent publisher Take-Two Interactive's stock price to take a big hit. After closing today, May 22, at nearly an all-time high of $69.04, the company's stock price took a big hit in after-hours trading, falling to $62.90 at press time. That's a dropoff of almost 9 percent.

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The delay was announced right around when the market closed at 4 PM ET. The dramatic-looking chart above shows that the stock price dropped basically right after the announcement.

Rockstar apologized for the delay, saying "some extra time is necessary to ensure that we can deliver the best experience possible for our fans." The developer also released new screenshots, which you can see in the image gallery below.

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Take-Two will report earnings for the latest period, tomorrow, May 23, so we'll report back then with more details on Red Dead Redemption 2 and other Take-Two titles as they're announced.

Red Dead Redemption 2 is in development for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

This story has been updated and corrected.

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.: One Of Wii U's Last Big Games Arrives Today

Wii U releases may have all but dried up following the launch of Nintendo's record-breaking new system Switch, but the aging console still has at least one notable release for it in Darksiders Warmastered Edition, which is out now.

Warmastered Edition is a remastered version of the first Darksiders title, which originally appeared on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC back in 2010. While Warmastered Edition launched for PS4, Xbox One, and PC last November, the Wii U version was pushed back, prompting rumors that the title may have been cancelled.

Warmastered Edition makes a number of visual refinements to the original Darksiders. In addition to HD resolution and improved shadow rendering quality, the game runs at 60 FPS, though the Wii U version only runs at 30. The series' second installment, Darksiders II, received a similar "Deathinitive" Edition in 2015 that touched up the original's visuals and made other improvements, though that version skipped Wii U entirely and only appeared on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Darksiders Warmastered Edition retails on Wii U for $20. We reviewed the original Darksiders when it first released and awarded it 8/10, calling the game "a fun and entertaining adventure with a host of fair but challenging puzzles." Darksiders fans also have the recently announced Darksiders III to look forward to, which is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC next year.

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.: Red Dead Redemption 2's New Release Window Narrowed Further

Following the announcement of a delay to Red Dead Redemption 2, publisher Take-Two has reported its earnings for the most recent fiscal quarter and its full fiscal year, both of which ended on March 31, 2017.

The most significant revelation concerned Red Dead Redemption 2's release date. Yesterday's delay announcement said only that the game would now arrive during Spring 2018, which is a somewhat vague window. We can now narrow that down slightly further, as Take-Two confirmed it will not be out until fiscal year 2019. That means it will launch no sooner than April 1, 2018. Regarding the delay, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick said, "Such decisions are not made lightly and are driven by our team's unwavering commitment to unparalleled quality." He added that it will have "no impact on Rockstar's other activities."

Asked about the level of anticipation for the game, Zelnick responded, "It's not really my nature or our nature to claim victory before it occurs; it's more our nature to do the very best we can to delight consumers and then report the results. To say that we're highly confident about Red Dead Redemption 2 is an extraordinary understatement. But I'm not sure that really matter ... it'll be released, and consumers get to vote."

Additionally, Zelnick noted that fiscal year 2019--which runs from April 2018 through March 2019--will also see the release of "a highly anticipated new title from one of 2K's biggest franchises." He didn't offer any further specifics regarding what the game might be. Borderlands 3 has long been rumored--and a new Borderlands is definitely in development--but there's no official indication that it's the franchise Zelnick was referencing.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 pushed back, Zelnick described Take-Two's release slate as "unusually light" during the current fiscal year, which runs through March 2018. New NBA 2K and WWE 2K games are on the way, and the company will continue to lean on Grand Theft Auto V and Grand Theft Auto Online.

During a post-earnings conference call with investors, Zelnick stated that GTA V and GTA Online "outperformed [Take-Two's] expectations during the fourth quarter quarter as they have in every period since they released." GTA V has now shipped 80 million units worldwide since release, and with the game continuing to do well--it continues to see year-over-year growth in recurrent spending--"much more" is still planned in terms of future updates.

NBA 2K17 is on track to become Take-Two's best-selling sports game ever, Zelnick noted during the call. To date, it has shipped 8 million units. Other sell-in figures the company shared included Civilization VI ("nearly" 2 million, making it the fastest-selling game in series history), WWE 2K17 (3 million), and Mafia III (5 million).

Net revenue for the most recent fiscal year was $1.78 billion, up from $1.414 billion in the prior year. Digitally delivered net revenue was up to a record $921.7 million, half of which came from recurrent consumer spending (which includes things like DLC, microtransactions, and virtual currency purchases). That means 26% of the company's total net revenue stemmed from those sources.

In the wake of today's earnings news, Take-Two's stock has rebounded. The news of Red Dead Redemption 2's delay yesterday caused the company's share price to plunge in after-hours trading. However, it's performed strongly today, briefly reaching a new all-time high of $76.70. It stands at $72.04 as of this writing, which is also higher than the company had ever reached before today.

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.: Valve Hired A Bunch Of Former Kerbal Space Program Devs

Update: Squad has released a statement clarifying the news, reiterating that these are former members of the studio who have joined Valve and reassuring fans that Kerbal Space Program remains in development.

"There was news today that former KSP developers have joined Valve," Squad wrote on its forums. "We want to clarify that Squad is not joining Valve, and we continue to be an independent studio with the core KSP team remaining at Squad, hard at work on the improved KSP for consoles port, Update 1.3 and the Making History Expansion. The KSP community shouldn't be concerned about this news having any impact on the game.

"Regarding the developers joining Valve, it is important to note that we have had several people working on our team over the years, and it is common among development studios for team members to come and go. If some of them joined Valve, it is on their own behalf and we wish them good luck and success in their current and future endeavors.

"So do not worry, everything continues normally with KSP"

Original Story: Valve has hired a number of developers from Squad, the team behind acclaimed PC sim Kerbal Space Program.

Although the developers were hired around six months ago, the news only surfaced recently. Speaking on the Game Dev Unchained podcast, Roger Lundeen, who worked as an environmental designer at Valve between 2010 and 2013, indicated that Valve is paying close attention to smaller devs and modders.

"[Valve] is still buying up mod teams," he said. "There's the group that made Kerbal Space [Program]--I think that happened four or five, [maybe] six months ago. They just gave that entire team jobs."

During the podcast Lundeed referred to ex-Squad members as "modders," which briefly led to some confusion as to whether Valve had hired people from the main Kerbal Space Program development team or modders that had created content based on the game.

PCGamesN received clarification that Lundeed did indeed mean former Squad developers, not modders. While it's unclear what they're working on, a representative for Valve also told the site that "they joined a little while ago" and there will be "more news about what they are doing soon."

In late 2016, a number of key developers from Squad left the team. The timing seems to match up with the timeframe mentioned by Lundeed regarding when the ex-Kerbal developers joined Valve. These developers were "Mike (Mu), Bill (Taniwha), Nathanael (NathanKell), Sébastien (Sarbian), Jim (Romfarer), Brian (Arsonide), Chris (Porkjet), and Nathan (Claw)."

In GameSpot's Kerbal Space Program review, Justin Clark awarded it a 9/10, saying "you will fail at this game. It will demoralize you and it will stress you out, but, more often than not, it will soothe, quiet, and inspire you."

He continued: "Innovative muscles will be stretched here that aren't stretched very often by games, and more complex moments require a sort of zen beyond being simply twitch-ready for a surprise attack. Even failure imparts a lesson. No matter how big or small the achievement, anything else that can be done is limited only by your imagination.

"Even with its cartoonish humor and quirks, Kerbal Space Program has an almost sacred respect for the tiny miracles involved in space travel, and even at its most difficult, it deserves that respect in return."

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.: PS4/Xbox One/PC Shooter Get Even Delayed In Wake Of Terrorist Attack

Get Even, the first-person shooter coming from The Farm 51, has been delayed until June 23, the developer announced today.

The game was originally scheduled to launch on Thursday, May 25. In a statement, the studio confirmed the delay, saying that the attack at a concert in Manchester yesterday was the motive for the decision.

"Given recent events and out of respect we have decided to postpone the commercial release of Get Even," the developer stated. "We would like to express our deepest condolences to everyone concerned."

Get Even is a narrative-focused thriller with a heavy emphasis on plot twists and psychological horror. It's coming for PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Yesterday, a bomb exploded at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, resulting in 22 deaths and dozens wounded. The attack has been classified as an act of terrorism by authorities, and the Islamic State has claimed responsibility.

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.: 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.
.: Firewatch Co-directors Announce Work On Rick And Morty Comic Book

Sean Vanaman announced today that he and collaborator Olly Moss worked on the issue 29 of the Rick and Morty comic book which releases in August. Vanaman shared the issue's cover on twitter, which you can see below.

my boy @ollymoss and I worked on a comic that you can read in august! pic.twitter.com/VUiMGwRab1

— Sean Vanaman (@vanaman) May 23, 2017

Vanaman and Moss are known predominantly for co-directing Firewatch. For our review of Firewatch, head here. For our review of the recent Rick and Morty VR game, Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality, head here.

[Source: @vanaman, via IGN]

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.: Animator Perfectly Encapsulates Everyone's First Trip To Goron City In Breath Of The Wild

There are a few ways to get into Goron City safely, but I am guessing this is pretty much how all of our first tries went.

My first attempt involved clothes earned in the Gerudo section of the world and a number of heat reducing fruits. It did not go well.

The animation comes from YouTube channel TerminalMontage [Jeremey] and quickly demonstrates something I am sure many, of not all, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's players experienced.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For our review of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, head here.

[Source: TerminalMontage [Jeremey] on YouTube]

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.: Assassin's Creed III And Four Other Games Come To Xbox One Backwards Compatibility

The list of backwards compatible games on Xbox One continues to grow. The newest batch includes Assassin's Creed III, Shinobi, Shadow Assault/Tenchu, Ilomilo, and Matt Hazard: Blood, Bath, and Beyond. All of these are now playable on Xbox One.

For those than own these games already, all you have to do is insert the disc or download it from your Ready to Download list on Xbox One. These titles can also be purchased through the Xbox Store.

Assassin's Creed III is one of June's free games for those with a Gold subscription. It will be available for free from June 1 to 15. Check out the rest of next month's freebies by heading here.

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.: Artwork For Rumored Mario And Rabbids Crossover RPG Leaks Online

Earlier this month, news surfaced that a rumored Mario and Rabbids crossover RPG was in the works. While the game has yet to be confirmed by Ubisoft or Nintendo, an image has leaked online, giving a first look at the game's artwork.

In the image, which you can view at the top of this article, features Mario front and center, with a rabbid dressed as Princess Peach on his right, and another wearing Luigi's hat on his left. The artwork features the game's logo as well as its title, which is apparently Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle. 

According to an undisclosed source, Kotaku reports that this Mario and Rabbids mashup is coming to the Nintendo Switch.

 

Our Take
It's a weird mix for Mario and Rabbids to be put in the same universe, but it could end up being interesting if done right. While this artwork along with Kotaku's reporting seem promising that this is in fact in the works, we won't know for sure until Ubisoft or Nintendo make the announcement official.

[Source: ComicBook.com]

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.: Participants Of Gwent Closed Beta Receive The Witcher 2 For Free

If you took part in the Gwent closed beta, then you're also getting a free copy of The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings as a thank you from GOG.com.

Simply log into the GOG account you used for the beta and follow the instructions to claim your copy before 8 a.m. EST on May 29.

CD Projekt Red has announced a public beta for Gwent launching tomorrow, on May 24. Those who participated in the closed beta will also have a head start in the upcoming open beta. They will receive a number of Card Kegs equal to the amount they purchased with real money during the closed beta, plus bonus Kegs based on the level and rank they achieved. 

GOG is also having a "Role-Playing Week Sale" to celebrate the upcoming open beta, which will include games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, System Shock, and Deux Ex 2, at up to 85 percent off.

For more on Gwent, watch our Test Chamber for gameplay here.

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.: June's Games With Gold Includes Watch Dogs, Assassin's Creed III And Dragon Age: Origins

Today, Microsoft revealed next month's lineup of free games available to Xbox Live Gold members.

On Xbox One, the side-scrolling multiplayer racing game SpeedRunners is free from June 1-30. Starting June 16, Ubisoft's open-world action game Watch Dogs will be free until July 15. On Xbox 360, Assassin's Creed III is free from June 1 to 15, as is Dragon Age: Origins from June 16 to 30. Both titles will be playable on Xbox One via backward compatibility.

Additionally, a multiplayer add-on for the Xbox One re-release of Phantom Dust will be free for Gold members.

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.: Shooter Get Even Postpones Release Date Following Manchester Attack

The Farm 51's Get Even, an upcoming shooter that was planned to come out on May 26, has postponed its release following the Manchester terrorist attack yesterday evening. Get Even is now planning to release a month later, on June 23.

Get Even is narrative-focused with an emphasis on psychological horror. In the game, which has photorealistic visuals, the protagonist makes his way through derelict environments with only a phone and gun on hand. You can view the trailer, which features an abandoned warehouse and a young woman tied up and strapped to a bomb, by heading here. Because of the game's themes, Farm 51 felt it was ill-suited to release so quickly following the Manchester attack.

"Given recent events and out of respect we have decided to postpone the commercial release of Get Even," writes developer Farm 51 in a statement. "We would like to express our deepest condolences to everyone concerned."

Last night, a bomb exploded during an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England. 22 were killed, along with more than 50 injured. The attack has since been classified as an act of terrorism with the Islamic State claiming responsibility.

 

Our Take
Game Informer extends its condolences to the families and friends of victims from last night's deadly attack. Get Even features photorealistic visuals, with one scene from the trailer showing a woman tied to a chair with a bomb strapped around her. Because of the game's themes, it seems like a thoughtful and respectful gesture to delay the game slightly, even though this makes for a longer wait for fans.

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.: Hitman Developer IO Interactive Announces Layoffs

IO Interactive, the Square Enix owned studio behind both Hitman and Kane & Lynch, announced today that it is cutting down on its staff. These layoffs come after the news of publisher/owner Square Enix's plans to sell IO Interactive.

"We're sad that great talent and good friends will be leaving the studio," reads a statement from IO Interactive that was posted on Twitter today. "We are doing everything possible to look after everyone affected." You can read the full statement below.

An update from the studio: pic.twitter.com/k0aoms5cOQ

— Io-Interactive (@IOInteractive) May 23, 2017

Two weeks ago, Square Enix announced that it planned to part ways with IO Interactive, to instead focus on "key franchises and studios." The future of IO Interactive remains unclear, but in its statement on Twitter, it clearly mentions "future endeavors" which points to plans for upcoming projects despite significant changes.

Last year, IO Interactive announced that the studio was aiming to release more Hitman content, to have a total of three seasons for the episodic game. It's uncertain whether these plans are still concrete.

 

Our Take
Layoffs are always unfortunate to hear about, and I hope those affected can find employment elsewhere swiftly enough. IO's move towards an episodic structure for Hitman seemed to have hurt the series more than helped it. The game received mixed reception, even once the full season was out. It's likely that these layoffs are a result of Square Enix's decision to part ways with IO Interactive. Perhaps a leaner, smaller team will make the studio appear more lucrative for potential investors. IO Interactive's future is unclear, but hopefully they can regain footing once under new ownership. 

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.: Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Coming To PS4, Xbox One

Capcom has announced that Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One later this year. 

Dark Arisen was an expanded version of the original Dragon's Dogma, which was released five years ago on PlayStation 3, Xbox One, and PC. News of the Dark Arisen re-release came via a tweet from the game's official Twitter account.

Reclaim your heart in the epic Action RPG “Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen”. Coming to PS4 and XB1 this fall!

— Dragon's Dogma (@DragonsDogma) May 23, 2017


Our Take
Despite (or possibly because of) its terrible name, Dragon's Dogma was a hidden gem that didn't seem to get enough attention. Hopefully a new release will help it get a larger audience – especially since its connected features are such a fundamental part of the overall experience.

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.: Save On Overwatch For Anniversary Event

Blizzard has announced some Overwatch savings for the game's anniversary event, including a deal on the Game of the Year edition if you already own the game.

The Game of the Year Edition is going for $39.99 (PC, PS4, and Xbox One) as a digital bundle, with the regular title priced at $29.99 and the chance for those who already own the title to upgrade to the Game of the Year Edition for $9.99. These savings end on June 5, 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.

The Anniversary event itself, which features 100 commemorative loot box items, three new Arena maps (see the trailer below for more), and more, runs now through June 12.

Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition's contents include (text from Blizzard):

(Please visit the site to view this media)

[Source: Blizzard]

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.: Bethesda Announces Global Launch Time For Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind

The Elder Scrolls Online is getting its first major expansion in a few weeks – June 6, to be exact. If that's not exact enough for you, Bethesda has revealed precisely when they'll be flipping the switch that pushes the update live.

If you're in North America, you may need to set your alarm. The Morrowind expansion goes live at 5 a.m. Eastern, just after a maintenance update that pushes the new content to the live servers.

To get a glimpse of the expansion – as well as a refresher on why people are so excited to be heading back to Vvardenfell – take a look at our most recent preview.

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.: Zack Snyder Steps Down From Justice League Film After Tragedy; Joss Whedon To Helm Project

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Watchmen director Zack Snyder has given the reins of the upcoming Justice League movie over to Joss Whedon. Snyder has quit the project to be with his family after the tragic death of his daughter Autumn, The Hollywood Reporter reports.

"We decided to take a step back from the movie to be with my family," Snyder said in a statement  to The Hollywood Reporter, "be with my kids, who really need me."

Batman V Superman, the film that served as the set up for Justice League, grossed over 878 million dollars. Justice League was set to be the director's eighth feature film.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

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.: Torment: Tides Of Numenera Trailer Showcases Major Update

If you’ve been waiting for the right time to dive in and explore Torment: Tides of Numenera, it seems like now you have even more reason to check out the acclaimed role-playing game. A new free update adds a host of new features, all built around offering a more robust play experience for new or returning players. 

A new party member can now join the crew; Oom is a shapeshifting living artifact that looks very much like a sentient slime – a weird twist that is entirely in keeping with Torment’s odd worldbuilding. The update also includes the addition of the Voluminous Codex, an in-game encyclopedia that helps to flesh out the characters and locations you encounter during the journey. 

We’re also promised a new questline, revised encounters (called crisis) throughout the game, and an improved experience on console, where the game had previously suffered from some technical problems.

Torment: Tides of Numenera is available now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. 

(Please visit the site to view this media)

 

Our Take
Torment: Tides of Numenera is one of my favorite games of 2017 so far. Unfortunately, it released near several other big-name games, and I suspect many players may have missed the game at launch. If you’re excited about complex narratives, unusual fantasy worlds, and more complex themes in your RPGs, I highly recommend checking it out, especially now that the game features these new improvements. 

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.: Report: Writer Confirms More Dragon Age On The Way

Dragon Age has been a successful franchise for BioWare, so it's not surprising that there's more in store for it. In a recent interview with Eurogamer, writer Alexis Kennedy, who created Sunless Sea and worked on the text-based browser game Dragon Age: The Last Court, confirmed he's working on something related to the franchise. If you've been following the creators on Twitter, this isn't a best-kept secret as many key team members have been teasing something is in the works.  

Kennedy is working on a project with Dragon Age creative director Mike Laidlaw and writer Patrick Weekes, but nothing has been revealed about what it is. In the interview, Kennedy confirmed he's indeed working on the franchise, telling Eurogamer, "What I can say is I have been given considerable autonomy to work on a storyline bit of lore which is well-segregated from other parts of the game. And yes, if you've seen a lot of my work before you will probably not be surprised by the choice of subject matter. It's familiar stuff." Kennedy also teased, "It's a bit of lore which has not been addressed much to date in Dragon Age."

This information led to speculation that this might be the next Dragon Age game, but Kennedy took to Twitter to say don't assume anything, which Laidlaw also supported.

ware EA ninjas! all I've said is that it's something in the DA franchise. It could be a spinoff or late DLC or a dragon breeding program... https://t.co/rxukec9xmP

— Alexis Kennedy 🕯️ (@alexiskennedy) May 22, 2017

Lot of assumptions being made, but Alexis makes a very important clarification! https://t.co/CeuFgT6iMH

— Mike Laidlaw (@Mike_Laidlaw) May 22, 2017

We reached out to EA for comment, and were told the following: "It's a pleasure having Alexis involved with BioWare; we have no new information to share regarding Dragon Age at this time."

For more info, you can check out the full interview at Eurogamer, where he shares some of the challenges and his excitement for the project.

[Source: Eurogamer]

 

Our Take
It's important to keep expectations in check. Kennedy made clear himself that this could be any number of things, from DLC to a spinoff. Though, we wouldn't be surprised if work is already well underway on the next game. After all, Dragon Age: Inquisition was extremely successful for BioWare, earning a slew of awards, including Game Informer's Game of the Year in 2014. I'm excited for when we can hear more about what is in the works. The Dragon Age universe is rich, and it's cool that Kennedy is working on something that expands the lore of something that hasn't been addressed much yet. 

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.: No Grimoire Website For Destiny 2

Committed lore enthusiasts know that the first Destiny had plenty of deep and complex science-fiction storytelling to uncover, but much of it was hidden away in Grimoire cards that could only be read in a separate online website. Bungie hopes to translate more of that narrative experience into the game proper with Destiny 2, and so there are no current plans for an expansion of the current site, or a new Grimoire website for this fall’s release. 

“There is no grimoire on the website in Destiny 2,” says project lead Mark Noseworthy in an interview with Game Informer. “But in no way is it our intent to get rid of deep lore in the game. We just want to put it in the game. We want to tell the story of the places. We really want to flesh out the story of the world. A lot of the stuff that was in the Grimoire before, we want just regular people to just play and encounter in the game. For instance, after playing for hours in the European Dead Zone, they can clearly tell you what happened there.” 

One of the big ways that Bungie is aiming to communicate that kind of storytelling is through Adventures, a new system of location-specific missions that help to tell the story of new locales like Nessus, Io, and Titan. By playing adventures, in-game narrative and other storytelling devices help to communicate information about the areas through which you're exploring. 

You can read more about Destiny 2's reveal event right now. Keep an eye out for our next of Game Informer launching in June, in which we have an extensive feature that offers additional detail and new screenshots for Destiny 2. 

Destiny 2 is currently scheduled for launch on September 8 for PS4 and Xbox One, with a PC release date to be announced. 

 

Our Take
The Grimoire was a rich treasure trove of fiction for those willing to explore it, but only a very small minority of Destiny players ever encountered it. As a Destiny story enthusiast myself, I really hope that Bungie finds ways to maintain a more involved fiction – if they can do that through the natural flow of in-game storytelling, that’s all the better. 

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.: Red Dead Redemption 2 Delayed To Spring 2018

Many gamers (and competing game companies) have been planning their fall schedules around the release of Rockstar’s Red Dead Redemption 2. The follow-up to the wildly successful game was originally planned for a fall 2017 release, but Rockstar Games has just posted an article declaring that the game is coming in the spring of 2018. 

“We are very sorry for any disappointment this delay causes, but we are firm believers in delivering a game only when it is ready,” reads a statement from the developer. 

The announcement came along with several new screenshots that show off the game, which you can check out in the gallery below.  

[Source: Rockstar]

 

Our Take
A game as big as Red Dead Redemption 2 tends to have a crater effect, blowing other games out of nearby release windows for fear of losing sales. With Rockstar’s next game moving into early 2018, it won’t surprise me if we see other games that had been holding off on their release dates begin to feel more comfortable claiming a spot in the release calendar.  

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.: Angry Birds Movie Sequel To Launch In 2019

Last year, we were treated to an Angry Birds movie based off the popular video game franchise, with characters voiced by Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Maya Rudolph, and Sean Penn, to name a few. The film was a huge success, scoring $350 million worldwide at the box office. Today, Rovio announced a sequel is on the way, as it once again joins forces with Columbia Pictures. 

Right now, Rovio is calling it Angry Birds Movie 2, and it's set to premiere on September 20, 2019 to coincide with the series' 10th anniversary. The film is being directed by Thurop Van Orman (The Marvelous Misadventures of FlapjackAdventure Time) and is being co-directed by John Rice (King of the Hill, Rick and Morty), who also worked as a lead storyboard artist on the first movie and directed the Angry Birds Hatchlings shorts. The screenplay is being written by Peter Ackerman, best known for his work on The Americans and Ice Age. Sony Pictures Imageworks will once again handle the animation. 

More details should surface in time. The first movie, a prequel to the video game series, had a lot of comedic talent, so it will be interesting to see who comes back and what new talent signs on for the sequel. 

We felt the first film was worth your time, as Kyle Hilliard says, "Red’s growth and his interactions with his new friends Chuck and Bomb is an arc worth watching, and the film's destructive climax is fun to watch."

For more, you can read his full impressions here.

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.: Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 Hits Switch This Fall

Dragon Ball fans, rejoice! Bandai Namco announced on its official Twitter plans to bring Xenoverse 2 to Switch this fall. The fighting role-playing game previously launched on PS4, Xbox One, and PC this past October. The Switch version features ad-hoc play, motion controls, and two-player battles on one system with each using a Joy-Con to duel it out.

Xenoverse 2 hosted a number of small improvements, but its biggest and best addition was a hub city called Conton City, which let you find unlockables and hang out with other players. As Kyle Hilliard wrote in his review, "The addition of Conton City alone makes Xenoverse 2 an improved sequel. Running (and later flying) around its large space with other Dragon Ball Z fans is fun, and walking up to familiar characters to learn their iconic super moves makes seeking out everyone worthwhile."

Bandai Namco didn't reveal any details beyond those brief ones, such as if the Switch version would include the DLC add-on packs that added new characters, quests, and moves. 

For more on Xenoverse 2, you can read our review here.

Bandai Namco has not specified an exact release date for the Switch version, only noting it will launch sometime this fall. 

[Source: Bandai Namco Twitter]

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.: Welcome The Summer 2017 Game Informer Interns

We know that it's not technically summer, even though things are starting to warm up again outside. That isn't stopping us from calling our next crew of interns the Summer 2017 group – so back off. You'll be seeing their bylines a lot on the site over the coming months, so we want to introduce you to our three latest interns. They'll be covering news, gamer culture, and more as they built up their portfolios.

These three young writers come from a variety of places across the country, but they all have one thing in common: Surprisingly enough, it's video games. Fortunately for everyone involved, we're kind of into those things, too. We're still getting them acquainted with our site and how we do what we do at Game Informer, but we wanted to give you all a quick introduction before they begin in earnest.

Without further ado, meet Douglas DeLong, Jared Koncsol, and Craig Taylor. In addition to writing news, features, and previews for us, they'll be popping up in comments and across the site. Be sure and give them a warm welcome! 

If you're interested in a job in video games writing and would like to learn more about our internship program, go here. We're currently accepting applications for our winter term. If you're looking to get more practical writing experience or would like to further your journalism education, we'd love to hear from you.

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.: Report: Spider-Man Homecoming's Tom Holland To Star In Uncharted Prequel Movie

The Uncharted movie has been in development for years now, with information trickling out here and there. Last we heard, Neil Druckmann confirmed that Naughty Dog hadn't seen the script and didn't know anything about the film, so he couldn't speak to its tone or anything. News today suggests that the movie is one step closer to becoming a reality with the announcement of its leading man. Deadline reports that Tom Holland, who's starring as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Homecoming out this July, will play the iconic role of Nathan Drake. 

Deadline reveals that the movie has been "redrafted as a prequel" to the video game series, so a younger actor like Holland makes sense for the role. The film is said to take inspiration from a sequence in Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, where young Drake meets mentor Sully for the first time. The story centers on Drake in his early days as he grows into a treasure hunter. Shawn Levy, who was behind the camera for the Night at the Museum movies and for a few episodes of Stranger Things, is directing the film. 

With this news, it looks like the film has once again been reenvisioned, so here's hoping it's on the right track this time.

What do you think of the new direction and casting? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: Deadline]

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.: Far Cry 5 Teaser Reveals Montana Setting

Ubisoft dropped a brief trailer today for Far Cry 5 that shows off where the series is heading next. The answer? America.

The teaser is about 30 seconds long and showcases a beautiful view of a river in Hope County, Montana. The majestic view is quickly marred by the sight of a corpse making its way downriver. Shortly after, Ubisoft released a fuller trailer featuring more varied terrain and a prairie church. You can watch here:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on Far Cry, be sure to check out our review of Far Cry 4.

 

Our Take
While I love the globe-trotting nature of the series, taking place in Montana seems like a bold move. Curious to see how it plays out. 

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.: The Resident Evil Movie Series Is Getting A Reboot

Although the latest Resident Evil live-action film was titled The Final Chapter, it won't be the end of the series' time in theaters.

Variety reports that Constantin Film (the company behind the current series) will reboot the franchise with another film, though the company hasn't shared details regarding the film's director, stars, or whether it would fit in with the rest of the series. Previous films were directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starred Mila Jovovich, both of who were hyping up The Final Chapter as just that before its release.

This should not be confused with Resident Evil: Vendetta, which is part of the CG film series and more closely ties into timeline of the video games.

 

Our Take
I think few would argue the live-action films needed a break (to say the least) after one decent movie and a slew of okay-to-terrible ones. Considering the games are moving in a new direction, it makes sense for the films to follow suit.

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.: Niantic Exec Teases Pokémon Go Legendaries For Summer

Although developer Niantic isn't doing as well by Pokémon Go as we'd like them to, they have been maintaining a steady drip of events going. Recently, we've had Water, Egg, and Adventure-themed events for the game. And it looks like this Summer is shaping up to host an even bigger event.

At this year's Webby Awards (where Pokémon Go won "Best Mobile Game" and four other awards), Niantic global product marketing lead Archit Bhargava chose his five-word acceptance speech (a custom for the Webbys) carefully: "This summer will be legendary."

Considering legendaries like Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres are still missing in action, the wording is likely not coincidental. Pokémon Go players may finally have something to look forward to in the coming months.

[Source: The 21st Annual Webby Awards via NintendoEverything]

 

Our Take
I still keep up with 
Pokémon Go, but more out of a sense of obligation than anything else (I bought a Plus, after all). Who knows what methods players will have to employ to catch legendaries, but hopefully, the update that arrives with them makes playing Pokémon Go worthwhile again.

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.: Did You Know Gaming Tells The Origin Of Tingle

Tingle is one of the The Legend's of Zelda's most divisive characters. Some fans think he's a silly character created only to annoy players with his overpriced maps and grating personality, while others love his oafish and greedy nature.

Whether you love Tingle or hate him, Did You Know Gaming's dive into the character's origin, history, and various appearances is an interesting watch for Zelda fans. The video covers Tingle's origins as a mapmaker in Majora's mask, his extended presence in The Wind Waker, and even catalogs his history of non-canon spinoff games.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

You can check out other videos from the Did You Know Gaming channel covering Super Smash Bros.Deus ExShadow of the ColossusElder Scrolls IV: OblivionSuper Mario GalaxyDark SoulsMetal Gear Solid 3Super Mario RPGMetal Gear Solid 2Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom PainWarioConker's Bad Fur DayBatman: Arkham Asylum, the history of the Wii UNESPlayStation 2Nintendo 64, the 3DSDS, and two covering the Game Boy by hitting the links.

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.: Luxury Pokémon Watch Will Set You Back $258,000

Last year, Swiss Watch maker Romain Jerome released a very expensive Pokémon watch. Featuring Pikachu on its face, made of high-quality parts, and limited to 20 sold, the watch retailed for $20,000. This year, RJ has decided to one-up itself.

Their new Pokémon-related tourbillon watch features several popular Pokémon (mostly from the first generation, but featuring a few from later ones), encased in a new shell. This one retails for $258,000. What makes the watch so valuable? According to RJ, "The dial, made entirely by hand, required hundreds of hours to create due to the numerous colours present which needed to be created and then hand-filled one by one." The oscillating weight on the back also has a little Pikachu on it, so that's at least another $5,000 (I assume).

That's a lot of cash, so I have to ask what the market is like for these kinds of high-end items. I'm sure someone is going to pick these up, but these high-value collectibles always make me think of what else one could buy for this much money.

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