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.: gamesradar all-platforms
gamesradar all-platforms.
.: Here's what Zelda: Breath of the Wild's developers want you to notice as you play
Even if you've been playing The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild since it came out, you probably still have more to discover; it's a big game with a lot to take in.
.: Five little things we love about Nintendo Switch (and five things that still annoy us)
The Nintendo Switch has only been around for a month and we've already fallen in love with the little, idiosyncratic console/handheld hybrid.
.: Rumors of a super slim PS4 make us wonder: would you even buy one?
A super slim PS4 model could be on store shelves before year's end, according to a new rumor from DigiTimes.
.: Destiny 2: Release date confirmed, new story info, Guardian update... and everything you need to know
Fast facts Destiny 2 release date: Fall / Q3 2017Formats: TBA, likely PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PCDeveloper: BungiePrice: TBA, likely $59.
.: South Park: The Fractured But Whole - release date, gameplay, trailer, and everything we know
Fast facts South Park: The Fractured But Whole release date: TBC 2017Formats: PS4, Xbox One, PCDeveloper: UbisoftPrice: $59.
.: The next game from GTA's ex-producer is the mysterious Everywhere, here's what we know so far
If I told you that one of the people most responsible for the success of Grand Theft Auto was making a new game that was like that but way bigger, would you want to know more? Well, he is, and here you go.
.: Destiny 2 officially announced, teasing the fall of The Last City
Bungie has officially announced Destiny 2 via a tweet that might confirm the fall of The Last City and a possible direction for the sequel.
.: An intro to the flora and fauna of PS4's survival platformer Rain World - or, how to not get eaten by lizards
When you're a lone slugcat fighting for survival in the harsh environments of Rain World, the PS4 survival platformer where you play as predator and prey, it helps to know your way around.
.: Have a cuppa with your kooky strategy game: You should be playing Loot Rascals
What is it? A charming rogue-like with streamlined combat and serious strategy Play it if you like… Hohokum; bright colors; Britishness.
.: With Call of Duty WWII rumoured, COD 2 proves World War 2 shooters are due a comeback
Rumours, and a few teasing clues, are pointing to a new WWII Call of Duty.
.: The 25 best PS4 games
You'll probably notice an obvious omission from the best PS4 games list: Mass Effect: Andromeda.
.: This Halo 5 Rubik's Cube lets you blow it up when you get frustrated
I've already wasted too many hours of my life trying to solve Rubik's Cube puzzles, but the maker of this Halo 5 Forge creation has a better solution.
.: Call of Duty WWII will be this year's COD - extreme rumour steelbook edition
Call of Duty will return to WWII this year if a new leak is anything to go by.
.: Visceral's Star Wars game: Portal designer signs up, timeframe, and everything you need to know
Fast Facts Untitled Visceral Star Wars Game: 2018Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PCPrice: $59.
.: Xbox One plays these Xbox 360 games with backwards compatibility (updated)
Updated 25 March 2017Microsoft's move to make Xbox One backwards compatible last year was a masterstroke.
.: Read our Splatoon 2 tips and clean up in the Global Testfire
The Splatoon 2 Global Testfire is live! If you played in the first session and were thrown for a loop by its idiosyncratic approach to shooting action, don't get discouraged.
.: This Mass Effect: Andromeda trick is an easy way to get some of the best guns early on
Don't head out into the wide world of Mass Effect: Andromeda with that paltry starting equipment.
.: Zelda: Breath of the Wild’s climbing is the secret ingredient that finally adds real adventure to open-world gaming
“Oh, climbing, cool”, I thought, when I first found out about the new vertical versatility of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild.
.: Destiny: Age of Triumph's launch trailer teases raid loot, playlists, and the biggest record book
The Destiny 2 rumors are coming hot and heavy now, including an allegedly leaked poster showing a September 2017 release date, but the original Destiny isn't done quite yet.
.: Discussing the future of space travel and Elite’s long-awaited PlayStation debut with David Braben
This interview was conducted by Official PlayStation MagazineElite Dangerous: Horizons changed forever on 5 January.
.: N4G: news feed
N4G: news feed.
.: Valkyria Revolution Getting Physical Vanargand Edition on Xbox One as Well;More Screenshots Released
Valkyria Revolution will get a physical release on Xbox One as well, including the Vanguard Edition. .
.: Big discounts for Resident Evil 7 and other PSVR compatible games
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard has been discounted to $39.99 while Loading Human Chapter 1, Moto Racer 4 and Werewolves Within are also on sale. .
.: Old Time Hockey Review | Hey Poor Player
Mike from Hey Poor Player writes: 'Beer, brawls and blood on the ice are fun, but getting Old Time Hockey to its full potential takes a whole lot of time, effort, and broken controllers..
.: Troll And I Review | Hey Poor Player
I. Coleman from Hey Poor Player writes: "Troll and I is ugly, boring, and has so many bugs that it's borderline unplayable. Under no circumstances should you waste 50 bucks on this.".
.: Details revealed for the Mondo Castlevania 2: Simon's Quest vinyl original soundtrack
Amazon has put up a listing for the Castlevania 2: Simons Quest vinyl original soundtrack, revealing some details. .
.: The Gamesmen, Episode 160 Youre all Flownakes
Join Hardlydan and Amras89 for game talk and fun! This time, The Gamesmen talk about a Nintendo cow-milking contest, Nintendo Switch helping Wii U sales, a World War II Call of Duty, the closing of GameStop stores, the branding of Battle.net, flight banning of Nintendo Switch, The Witcher books, and Super Mario Run sales. Games discussed are Mass Effect: Andromeda, Super Mario Run, Bravely Default, and The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild..
.: 5 Perfect Games For Couples
Double XP highlight a few great games to play as a couple. .
.: Pre-Orders Open For Could-Be Streets of Rage Killer 'PAPRIUM'
After over four years of development, pre-orders have finally opened for PAPRIUM, the upcoming Streets of Rage-inspired beat 'em up for the Sega Genesis. .
.: 'Horizon: Zero Dawn' Review (2017) ScreenCritics
"A brave new offering from a studio known for their quality work" - Find out what ScreenCritics Dan thinks of Horizon : Zero Dawn. .
.: Wild Terra Update 8.25 Brings "Great" Changes
A new Corrupted Lands zone and several combat refinements arrive in Wild Terra update 8.25, the game's largest content patch to date..
.: GameSpot News
The latest News from GameSpot.
.: "Totally Unacceptable" -- Rocket League Dev Responds To Server Issues

Rocket League is immensely popular, but it is not without its problems. The game has faced server issues recently, resulting in long matchmaking times. Now, developer the CEO of developer Psyonix has pledged to improve the online component of the game.

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"In regards to both backend (PsyNet) issues, and game server performance, we agree that the server outages and recent lengthy matchmaking times are totally unacceptable," Dave Hagewood said in a blog post today. "We sincerely apologize to all of our players for the quality of online play, and we are focusing all of our available resources on addressing PsyNet's capabilities and performance, and the quality of our game servers."

Hagewood said part of the issue is due to Rocket League's continued popularity. The number of monthly "active" players has risen by 40 percent compared to 2016 for the first few months of 2017, he said. "We need to do a better job at scaling up our systems and internal processes to handle this kind of growth," Hagewood explained.

Hagewood went on to say that Psyonix is "racing" to fill jobs on the developer's Online Services team, which handles the developer's backend systems.

"We are effectively becoming an Online Service company, as Rocket League is primarily an online game, and we continue to grow in size and scope," Hagewood said. "Growing this team is one of our top priorities as we approach Rocket League's two-year anniversary in July."

Hagewood added that the problems with Rocket League's online elements rose to the surface about the same time of the free weekend on Xbox One in February. "We have seen more and more of you playing Rocket League online, and this has led to new issues that hadn't appeared as we scaled our capacity up to this point," he said.

There have also been performance problems inside of the Google Cloud network, which is used to power PsyNet. Here is a breakdown of what Psyonix is doing right now to address the issues, as written by Psyonix:

As for Rocket League's matchmaking delays, these have "become apparent" in the days after the Dropshot mode's release last week. One of the problems here is that there are empty servers but PsyNet, the backend infrastructure, is not getting players into servers as fast as it should.

"This causes the extreme search times being reported on social media," Hagewood said. "As this is a new problem, we are still investigating the root cause. We have made changes in the interim to reduce the likelihood of it recurring, but more substantial improvements will be made throughout 2017."

Finally, Hagewood said Rocket League is suffering through problems related to dedicated servers, which appear to the player as "lag spikes" or other "hiccups" that don't have anything to do with a player's ping.

"This problem is particularly difficult to identify because so many issues factor into a user's experience with a dedicated server," Hagewood said. "Local connection problems can cause packet loss or an unstable connection despite a steady ping sample. Individual ISPs can have routing issues to one of our server hosts that causes unusually high ping that we have no control over."

You can read the full blog post here for a very deep dive into the specifics.

"Growing pains are just that--painful--and we cannot thank our players enough for sticking with us as we continue to grow," Hagewood said.

According to the latest available data from Psyonix, Rocket League had reached 29 million registered players and passed 10.5 million copies sold. You shouldn't expect Rocket League 2 anytime soon, as Psyonix is instead going to focus on growing and evolving the current game with new updates.

.: This Is What Star Wars: Rogue One's Princess Leia Looked Like Before CGI

Princess Leia shows up at the end of Star Wars: Rogue One, but, given the timeline, it had to be a younger version of actress Carrie Fisher. This was made possible through movie magic.

Norwegian actress Ingvild Deila played Leia in Rogue One, and some new images show what she looked like on the movie's set with motion-capture dots sprinkled on her face. The team at acclaimed effects studio Industrial Light & Magic took it from there, creating a young Leia face on Deila's body.

There are also some images of actor Guy Henry, who played Grand Moff Tarkin in Rogue One. The part was originally played by Peter Cushing, and was digitally recreated for Rogue One.

These images, found by GamesRadar, likely come from the bonus features on Rogue One's home video release. The movie debuted on digital storefronts on March 24, and comes to Blu-ray/DVD in April.

The next Star Wars movie is The Last Jedi, which comes to theaters in December. No trailers have been shown to the public yet, but one possible venue for the first one could be Star Wars Celebration next month.

.: Outlast 2 Will Be Released In Australia [UPDATE]

[UPDATE] A press release sent today by Outlast 2's Australian publisher, 18point2, has now shed some light on the reasoning behind the game's eventual R18+ rating following a resubmission to the Classification Board. The provided statement reads as follows:

The original submission of Outlast 2 sent to the Australian Classification Branch contained the final game code and a video file for reference taken from an Alpha version of the game. This video file should not have been sent along with the game code, as its content was not representative of the final game.

In the second submission, the same game code was submitted, with a video file reflecting the final game content. The game was then approved for release with an R18+ rating. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide. These will be the final comments made on this release.


After being refused classification earlier this month, horror game Outlast 2 has been successfully re-classified and given the adult rating of R18+ in Australia.

An entry for Outlast 2 listed on the Australian Government’s Classification Board website has confirmed that on March 21st 2017, Outlast was given the R18+ rating, with warnings of “high impact horror themes, violence, blood, gore, and sex.”

The ruling comes roughly a week after the game’s initial classification refusal, which stated that Outlast 2 was found to: “depict, express or otherwise deal with matters of sex, drug misuse or addiction, crime, cruelty, violence or revolting or abhorrent phenomena in such a way that they offend against the standards of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults to the extent that they should not be classified."

In a report obtained by Kotaku, it appeared as if scenes of “implied sexual violence” were a significant factor in the board’s original decision to refuse classification.

It's unclear what caused the Classification Board to alter their original decision, but what we do know is that the contents of Outlast 2 were not altered in any way during resubmission, and that Australia will receive the same game as everyone else.

In a statement provided to Press-Start, developer Red Barrels confirmed: “Outlast 2 has been rated R18+ by the Classification Branch in Australia and will be released 26th April 2017. There will be only one version of Outlast 2 available worldwide.”

For a closer look at Outlast 2, check out Let's Play of the demo.

.: Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Developers Reveal Their Favorite Characters And More

Nintendo's behind-the-scenes video series for The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild continues today with a "bonus" video in which developers who worked on the game talk about their favorite parts of the game, including characters, locations, food, shrines, and more.

Not only that, but the video also sees the developers delivering their own messages to fans about what they hope players will notice and take away from Breath of the Wild. Here's the video.

If you missed the original Breath of the Wild three-part documentary series, you can watch all the episodes here.

Breath of the Wild was released on March 3 as a launch title for the Nintendo Switch and is also available for Wii U. GameSpot's Breath of the Wild review scored it an 10/10, while other outlets praised it as well. It is the best-selling non-bundled launch title for any Nintendo system ever.

For more, check out GameSpot's guides and tips roundup at this story, "Zelda: Breath Of The Wild Guides And Tips."

.: Johnny Depp To Play Antivirus Icon John McAfee In New Film - Report

Big-name actor Johnny Depp will play antivirus software pioneer John McAfee in an upcoming movie about his life, according to a new report.

Deadline (via IGN) reports that Depp will play the part in the movie King of the Jungle, which will focus on his time at his compound in Belize. The movie will chronicle his time with Wired magazine writer on a journey involving "paranoia, machine guns, sex, and murder."

King of the Jungle will be directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa (Crazy, Stupid, Love, Focus), with a script written by The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story's Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. The film does not yet have a release date, nor do we know who will star as the Wired writer.

McAfee, in real life, was wanted for questioning in connection with a murder in Belize. In 2015, he announced that he was considering running for President of the United States of America.

As for Depp, he plays Captain Jack Sparrow again in this May's Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. You can watch the latest trailer for that movie here.

.: Fargo Season 3 Trailer And Plot Synopsis Shed New Light On The Story

An extended version of the new Fargo Season 3 trailer has arrived. Titled "Trapped," the video dives deeper into the story that focuses on the two characters that actor Ewan McGregor plays.

These characters include Ray and Emmit Stussy. Emmit is the "Parking Lot King of Minnesota," while Ray is a balding, struggling parole officer. He lives with a "huge chip on his shoulder about the hand he's been dealt--and he blames his brother," according to the official synopsis from Collider.

"Their sibling rivalry follows a twisted path that begins with petty theft but soon leads to murder, mobsters, and cut-throat competitive bridge," the description goes on.

Other Season 3 newcomers include Gone Girl's Carrie Coon in the role of police department chief Gloria Burgle. Scott Pilgrim vs. The World actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead plays Ray's girlfriend, Nikki Swango, while Harry Potter actor David Thewlis plays V.M. Vargas, who is described as a "mysterious loner and true capitalist whose bosses plan to partner with Emmit, whether 'The Parking Lot King' likes it or not."

Production on Fargo Season 3 took place in Calgary. The show was created by Noah Hawley (Bones, Legion); Joel and Ethan Coen, the directors of Fargo the movie, are executive producers.

Season 3 premieres on April 19.

.: Xbox One S Bundles Discounted By $50 Or More On Amazon Right Now

Looking for a new Xbox One S? Amazon has a number of systems discounted nicely right now.

The 1 TB Forza Horizon 3 bundle is currently marked down to $300, falling from its normal $350 price point. The 1 TB bundles for Halo Wars 2 and Gears of War 4 are discounted to $297 and $285 respectively, though there are fewer than 5 systems still available at this price at press time.

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Go to Amazon's Xbox One landing page here to learn more about all the available systems.

In other news, Microsoft announced that the Xbox One S Minecraft: Favorites bundle is on sale for $250 while supplies last. This price is good at a number of US retailers, including the Microsoft Store, Walmart, Best Buy, GameStop, Target, and Amazon.

Looking ahead, Microsoft will release new Xbox hardware this year in the form of Project Scorpio. The console is due out this holiday, and Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently talked about why it is "critical" for Microsoft's own first-party games to be ready to support the console at launch.

.: The Simpsons: Next Celebrity Cameo Revealed

Fox's long-running animated show The Simpsons is known for its celebrity cameos, and now the next one has been revealed. According to Entertainment Weekly, TV veteran Norman Lear will have a "brief cameo" in an upcoming episode.

Lear, 94, created and produced a number of famous TV shows, including The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, Maude, and All in the Family. According to the report, Lear will play himself in a Season 29 episode this fall, appearing in a scene involving a theme song from one of his shows.

Lear is still working, as he's an executive producer for the One Day at a Time reboot that premiered on Netflix earlier this year.

Last year, Fox renewed The Simpsons for Seasons 29 and 30. After Season 30, there will be 669 episodes in all, surpassing Gunsmoke (635 episodes) to become the most for any scripted TV show in history.

Some of the guest stars for Season 28 included Sarah Silverman and Snoop Dogg.

.: World Of Warcraft 7.2 Patch Notes Reveal Major Additions

World of Warcraft's huge 7.2 update launches tomorrow, March 28, and we now have the full patch notes for it.

The update, known as The Tomb of Sargeras, features some major additions, including a new dungeon, PvP Brawls, the pet battle dungeon, and class-specific campaigns, which lead to quests that unlock new epic class mounts.

Those mounts will be all the more useful thanks to 7.2 adding the ability to fly in the Broken Isles. This won't immediately be available to everyone, as you'll first need to earn the Broken Isle Pathfinder, Part 2 Achievement to earn the right to take to the skies.

7.2 introduces new ways to enhance your Artifact with new empowered traits, higher ranks for existing traits, and a new final trait that is unlocked through a questline.

There are also a huge number of changes to classes, items, professions, and so on. There are also quality-of-life changes (like a new screen to track item sets and transmogrification options), improvements to targeting with the Tab key (no more targeting an enemy you can't see!), and more.

The video above provides a rundown of the major points, while the full patch notes can be seen here. Blizzard has also published more in-depth previews of the various components of the update, which you can see here.

.: Just Cause Dev's Open-World Hunting Game Headed To PS4 And Xbox One

Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios is bringing the PC hunting game that it publishes, The Hunter: Call of the Wild, to Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

The open-world game was originally released last year for PC as a one-time purchase ($30), supported by microtransactions. Presumably, the console edition will follow the same setup. It launches later this year, though a specific date was not mentioned.

Call of the Wild, which is developed by Expansive Worlds and published by Avalanche, features what Avalanche says is the "most immersive hunting experience ever created." Players can hunt all manner of animals, including deer, bears, bison, and birds with a variety of customizable weaponry. The game features weather events, a day/night cycle, and a wind system that carries your scent.

On top of a single-player mode, Call of the Wild includes co-op and competitive modes for up to eight players.

Call of the Wild is a follow-up to The Hunter, which was released in 2009. The Hunter: Primal, an expansion featuring dinosaurs, came out in 2015 on PC.

.: Watch Ghost In The Shell's Final, Action-Packed Trailer

Ahead of its release later this week, big-screen anime adaptation Ghost in the Shell has received its final trailer.

It's an action-packed 90 seconds, showing The Major--a cyborg cop played by Scarlett Johansson--taking on some criminals. We also get a good look at the villain, Kuze (Michael Pitt). Check it out:

This is the latest promotional video to be released by Paramount. In addition to trailers and clips, the company has even released the first five minutes of the film, which you can watch here.

Ghost In The Shell also stars Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, and Michael Pitt. It arrives in theaters this Thursday, March 30.

.: New Shin Megami Tensei Game Revealed For 3DS

With the Shin Megami Tensei series celebrating its 25th anniversary, Atlus announced in January that it would be bringing new games to both Switch and 3DS. It's now revealed the latter project, which is called Shin Megami Tensei: Deep Strange Journey.

This is an updated version of Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, which was an RPG released for DS in 2009. Deep Strange Journey was announced with a Japanese-language teaser trailer, which you can watch below:

Deep Strange Journey will feature the introduction of a mysterious new character named Alex, a new ending path, new artwork, and more, according to a translation by Gematsu. More details will be shared in this week's issue of Japanese publication Famitsu.

According to its official website, Deep Strange Journey is due out this fall in Japan. There's not yet any word regarding a release internationally, which is also true of the "new HD title" coming to Switch.

In January, Atlus said of the Switch game, "Atlus USA currently has no information about a localization for this title but wanted to present the details from the Japanese reveal of this title to the western market. A formal announcement will be made later for this title if a localization gets confirmed."

.: Valkyria Chronicles Sequel Valkyria Revolution Gets Price, Release Date

Sega has provided new details regarding the North America and European releases of Valkyria Revolution, the upcoming continuation of the Valkyria series.

Previously slated for a release sometime between April and June, Revolution is now due out at the tail end of that window: It launches on June 27 in North America and June 30 in Europe. PS4 and Xbox One versions will be available both digitally and physically, while the Vita version will only be available as a download. It's priced at $40 (about £32/€37) on all platforms.

Sega also announced a day-one edition for North America called the Vanargand Edition, which will be available in a limited supply at launch (or to anyone who preorders). This PS4/Xbox One version (pictured below) comes in a special box and features both a 12-song soundtrack CD and a metal pin featuring the Vanargand coat of arms. If you're in Europe, preorders and a limited supply of launch copies will simply come with the soundtrack.

Alongside all of this, a new trailer has been released. You can check it out at the top of this post.

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Revolution is a part of the Valkyria series, but it differs from the Valkyria Chronicles games in some meaningful ways. It's set in a different universe and no longer features turn-based combat. It's also undergone some significant changes since the release of an early demo in Japan.

.: This Is What Pokemon Yellow Looks Like On An Apple Watch

It might be slow and buggy, but it is Pokemon, and it's playable on an Apple Watch. iOS developer Gabriel O'Flaherty-Chan has created a working Game Boy and Game Boy Color emulator on Apple Watch Series 2.

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O'Flaherty-Chan calls the emulator, named Giovanni after his favorite villain in Pokemon Yellow, a prototype. He says it is "surprisingly usable."

"One of the big challenges was to find the right balance between frame rate and performance. As you can see, it’s a bit sluggish and unresponsive, but as a prototype, I think it answers the question of is this possible?" he said in a blog post detailing Giovanni's development.

O'Flaherty-Chan used the existing Game Boy Color emulator Gambatte to build the Apple Watch version. For controls, he makes full use of the Watch's touchscreen: you swipe on the screen to move in that direction and tap in different places to hit the A, B, Start, and Select buttons. The digital crown helps you navigate menus and choose commands.

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"Ironically, I’ve only ever played the game on an emulator, as growing up I didn’t have access to the real deal. In a way, I feel this is my way of giving back to the community," said O'Flaherty-Chan.

O'Flaherty-Chan said creating the emulator came with substantial challenges due to WatchOS' lack of support for certain development tools. Of course, Apple has never allowed emulators on its products and would likely never put an app like this on the App Store.

O'Flaherty-Chan has made the source code available for free online. There's been no response from Nintendo at this point, although last year the company's legal team shut down two fan-made Pokemon games for PC.

If you're looking for a simpler way to get your Pokemon fix on your wrist, Pokemon Go is now available on Apple Watch.

.: Destiny 2 Officially Announced With First Teaser Image

Without any additional details or real specifics, Destiny 2 has been officially announced.

The name was confirmed with a tweet shared today by the series' official Twitter account, as pictured below. It depicts Earth's Last City, which apparently has been attacked.

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Publisher Activision had previously confirmed a sequel to Destiny was in the works and would be released sometime this fall. A recent poster leak suggested it will launch in September and be preceded by a beta, which might be available first on PS4.

Previous rumors have suggested Destiny 2 will arrive for PC alongside consoles and offer denser planets to explore.

In terms of official information, Activision said last year that the game aims to broaden the appeal of the franchise. Beyond that, we only know it will not allow you to transfer items or experience from the first Destiny, with only your appearance making the transition.

Today's reveal comes just a day before the launch of Destiny's final live event, Age of Triumph.

.: New Tomb Raider Movie's Lara Croft Shown Off In First Official Images

Following the release of some on-set images in February, we've now gotten our first official look at Lara Croft in the upcoming Tomb Raider reboot film.

Vanity Fair has published a pair of images of Lara, who is played by Alicia Vikander (of The Danish Girl and Ex Machina fame). One shows her in a jungle area with a knife in her hand, while another sees her near the shore while carrying a stick.

Image credit: Graham Bortholomew/Vanity Fair
Image credit: Graham Bortholomew/Vanity Fair
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Expanding on the plot details we've heard before, Vanity Fair also shared a bit more about the movie's premise. After the disappearance of her father (played by The Wire's Dominic West) seven years earlier, a 21-year-old Lara attempts to find him by seeking out a tomb on an island near Japan where he was last seen.

"Suddenly, the stakes couldn't be higher for Lara, who--against the odds and armed with only her sharp mind, blind faith, and inherently stubborn spirit--must learn to push herself beyond her limits as she journeys into the unknown," the official description reads. "If she survives this perilous adventure, it could be the making of her, earning her the name tomb raider.”

Tomb Raider is being directed by Roar Uthaug and also stars Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy) as the villain and Daniel Wu (Warcraft) as a ship captain who serves as an ally. It's due out on March 16, 2018.

This movie is not tied directly to the games, of which no new ones have been announced. A sequel to Rise of the Tomb Raider is likely, however, as the 2013 reboot has been described as part of a trilogy. A leak last year suggested the name of the third game is Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

.: StarCraft Goes Free With New Update In Addition To Remastered Version

Having just revealed its plans to remaster StarCraft, Blizzard has announced it will also be updating the existing version of the game and making it a free download.

Later this week, StarCraft: Brood War will be updated to version 1.18. The patch introduces bug fixes and improvements that have yet to be detailed, as well as some modern features. Those include:

The update will have more to it that has yet to be announced. We should hear about the specifics very soon, as it launches sometime in the next few days.

Alongside the various improvements and features, this update will make StarCraft Anthology (consisting of the base StarCraft game and the Brood War expansion) a free download. You'll be able to pick it up for free through Blizzard's website, mirroring a move the company made with some of its oldest games previously.

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As for StarCraft Remastered, the game is being updated to offer 4K support, improved audio, matchmaking, and more. It's due out this summer, with a precise release date and price still to be announced. You can read more about the game here.

.: Intel's New Caching Optane Memory Can Dramatically Accelerate Standard Hard Drives

Hot off the heels of announcing its crazy fast $1,520 enterprise Optane SSD, Intel is releasing its more affordable Optane Memory solution geared towards the mainstream market. According to the company, this can boost hard drive performance to traditional SATA-based SSD-like speeds with your most-used games and applications.

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Using Intel's Rapid Storage Technology Driver, the company says Optane Memory automatically caches your most common computing tasks to accelerate them. The company claims it also improves system boot times. The drive is designed for users who want the capacious storage of a hard drive coupled with the speed of an SSD. The M.2 caching drive is based on the same 3D Xpoint architecture as the DC P4800X and comes in two sizes: 16 GB and 32 GB.

One caveat is that users will need a 7th generation Kaby Lake CPU coupled with a 200-series motherboard that has a 22x80 M.2 slot.

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The 16 GB variant will retail for $44 and Intel suggest that it offers enough cache for most mainstream users. Power users, who use more applications, should look to the $77 32 GB drive.

Expect non-caching SSDs built entirely on Intel's super fast Optane technology to release at a later date.

.: PS4 Pro Update Brings 4K Support To Its Media Player

While the PS4 Pro you have at home will never be able to play 4K Blu-rays, its 4K media playback capabilities are expanding with the release of a new update.

The Media Player app will be updated later today to enable 4K video playback, Sony has announced on the PlayStation Blog. With the update installed, you'll be able to watch 4K videos in mp4 format using the app by either plugging in a USB storage device or connecting to a home server with the video on it.

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Additionally, if you own both a Pro and a PlayStation VR headset, the Media Player will support 4K VR videos with this update. Although the headset itself doesn't feature a 4K display (its resolution is 1920x1080), videos should still look nicer than they otherwise would.

If you choose to play videos off a USB drive or stick, Sony pointed out that you can't use the same drive as the one you might have formatted to serve as additional PS4 storage space (a featured added in the 4.50 system update).

As noted above, today's update won't do anything to address the inability to play 4K Blu-ray discs on a PS4 Pro, which is a hardware limitation, rather than a software one. Given the system's positioning as a 4K device, the omission was a curious one when it was announced last year, with Sony attributing the decision to a trend toward streaming media. Microsoft, as you'd expect, quickly jumped at the opportunity to herald the cheaper Xbox One S' support for 4K Blu-rays.

.: Free Minecraft Minigame DLC Lets You Fly This Week

If you're eager for more to do in Minecraft, then March 28 will be your lucky day: the creation game is getting a new flying minigame called Glide.

Releasing on consoles, the free minigame utilizes the Elytra wings introduced in Minecraft's Christmas update. Equipping the wings lets you take part in the against-the-clock Time Attack or in Score Attack, which rewards you for racing through as many of the point hoops as possible.

Boosters and thermal drafts will help speed up your journey, and you'll have the chance to refine your runs over time as you discover more and more shortcuts. Only one track is available at launch: a race course inspired by the Battle map Cavern. "We put Battle's Cavern map into the track as a test … [and] it took less than three seconds to fly through! We quickly realised that Glide's maps would have to be huge," said David Keningale, art director at co-developer 4J.

As noted on the Minecraft blog, up to 16 players will be able to race together on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, though it's unclear if the update will also come to other platforms. More tracks will arrive as DLC, meanwhile, with the first to be "themed around beasts." Some new tracks will be free however, including an upcoming Temple-themed one.

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In other Minecraft news, it was recently revealed that the indie hit has sold over 120 million copies, with over 55 million people playing every month. The game will come to Nintendo Switch, meanwhile, though a release date has not been announced.

.: Spidey Prepares For Action In Spider-Man: Homecoming Trailer Tease

A new trailer for Marvel's upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released tomorrow. In advance of that we have this short teaser--check it out below:

This follows two new posters for the movie that were released over the weekend. Check them out here.

Spider-Man: Homecoming stars Tom Holland as Peter Parker, with Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, Bokeem Woodbine as Shocker, and Michael Chernus as the Tinkerer. Robert Downey Jr will appear as Tony Stark, and there are also roles for Donald Glover and Zendaya.

In a new interview wth USA Today, Keaton spoke about playing the movie's main villain. “Some people see themselves as victims--[the Vulture] sees himself a little bit like that," he said. "He probably would have a strong argument that he never got a fair shot--a lot of 'Why not me? Where’s mine?'"

In the same interview, director Jon Watts explains that the Vulture would use "all this neat junk from all the other [Marvel] movies. It's a really great starting point for the villains to have the Vulture picking over the stuff, finding the valuable exotic elements, and having the Tinkerer assemble into something that could be used."

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7.

.: Akira Remake: Two New Directors Reportedly On Shortlist

The live-action remake of the classic anime movie Akira has been in development for a long time, with a variety of directors attached over the years. It has now been reported that Warner is considering two new filmmakers for the project.

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According to a recent episode of Meet the Movie Press, Warner has shortlisted David Sandberg and Daniel Espinosa to potentially direct. Both are responsible for well-received recent genre movies--Sandberg helmed last year's horror hit Light's Out, while Espinosa's sci-fi thriller Life is currently in theaters.

Espinosa and Sandberg join a long line of directors who have been in consideration for Akira. Last year, it was reported that Star Trek Beyond's Justin Lin was in talks to direct, while Mad Mad director George Miller previously revealed that he was also approached by the studio.

In 2015, it was rumored that a trilogy was being planned, with Christopher Nolan involved at some level. Before that The Shallows director Jaume Collet-Serra was attached--click here to see some concept art of this version.

In 2012, the film actually reached the pre-production stage before the Vancouver productions offices were shut down by Warner.

The manga of Akira ran between 1982 and 1990, and is widely credited for popularising Japanese comic books internationally. Equally, the success of the 1989 movie version did much to introduce Western viewers to anime, and is now considered one of the finest sci-fi films ever made.

.: Spider-Man's Venom Spinoff To Shoot This Fall, Might Be "Horror Sci-Fi"

Earlier this month it was revealed that Sony was moving ahead with a film focusing on Venom, the alien parasite who first appeared Spider-Man comic books. It has now been reported that the movie will start shooting this year.

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According to a posting on the industry casting site MyEntertainmentWorld, the Venom movie will enter production in the fall. This is a year ahead of its October 2018 release date. Intriguingly, the site has the movie listed as "action/horror/sci-fi", implying it might have a slightly different tone to other superhero movies.

It is currently unknown if there will be any connection between the Venom film and this year's Spider-Man: Homecoming. Sony holds the movie rights to Spider-Man and associated characters, and Marvel had to strike a deal with them to allow Spidey to become part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Homecoming and last year's Captain America: Civil War.

Plans for a Venom movie actually predate the Marvel deal, and the film was originally intended to be part of the ongoing Spider-Man franchise that starred Andrew Garfield. This series ended after just two movies.

The Venom film is set to be directed by Alex Kurtzman, who is helming this summer's reboot of The Mummy. He is also the co-writer of the first two Star Trek reboot movies, and is producing the upcoming show Star Trek: Discovery.

In related news, two new posters for Spider-Man: Homecoming were revealed at the weekend. Check them out here.

.: Top 10 UK Sales Chart - Mass Effect: Andromeda Ends Ghost Recon's Reign, Debuts At No.1

Mass Effect: Andromeda has shot to No.1 in the UK physical games chart in its debut week, bringing Ghost Recon: Wildlands' reign at the top to an end. Ubisoft's open-world title drops to No.2 as a result, forcing Lego Worlds down to No.3.

The chain reaction continues below that, as Horizon Zero Dawn dips to No.4 and the evergreen Grand Theft Auto V returns to No.5 (down from No.3 and No.4, respectively).

The remainder of the chart sees little change, week-on-week: The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild holds on to its No.6 spot, while FIFA 17 (No.7), Rocket League (No.8), Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare (No.9), and Forza Horizon 3 (No.10) make up the rest of the top 10.

Finishing at the top in its first week will be some welcome good news for Mass Effect: Andromeda developer BioWare, which has been faced with much fan criticism following some widespread animation issues. Despite these problems, Andromeda was relatively well received by critics.

In our review, critic Scott Butterworth said Andromeda "feels like a vision half-fulfilled."

"It contains a dizzying amount of content," he explained, "but the quality fluctuates wildly." Read more in our full Mass Effect: Andromeda review.

For more on the huge space adventure, check out our two-part documentary series, The Story of Mass Effect: Andromeda, or this week's episode of Reboot, which looks at the history of science-fiction storytelling, and highlights how the new Mass Effect squanders its potential.

You can read the full top 10 sales chart below, courtesy of sales monitor Chart-Track. Note this table does not include digital sales data, and so should not be considered representative of all UK game sales.

  1. Mass Effect: Andromeda
  2. Ghost Recon: Wildlands
  3. Lego Worlds
  4. Horizon Zero Dawn
  5. Grand Theft Auto V
  6. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
  7. FIFA 17
  8. Rocket League
  9. Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare
  10. Forza Horizon 3
.: Westworld Season 2 Will "F**k With The Metaphysical," Producer Says

Westworld was one of the most intriguing new shows of 2016. Based on the Michael Crichton movie, the HBO series blends sci-fi and Western elements in a very intriguing way. Little is known about the much-anticipated Season 2, but now some high-level details about what to expect have come to light.

Some spoilers for Westworld follow below.

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Executive producer Roberto Patino said at the PaleyFest event this weekend that the story will mess with your mind, involving the metaphysical.

"There will be a story, and it will f**k with the metaphysical at some point," he said, as reported by IGN.

Season 1 contained a lot of memorable mindbending scenes and sequences, so it's no big surprise that this will continue in Season 2.

At the end of Season 1, it was suggested that Westworld was just one of the places that guests could visit, with another being Samurai World. Asked if there are indeed other worlds in the show's universe, showrunner Jonathan Nolan said with a chuckle, "That would be cool, wouldn't it?"

Also during the PaleyFest panel, Nolan confirmed that the character Maeve (Thandie Newton) was acting on her own free will when she decided to abandon her escape plans to instead stay in Westworld to find her daughter. Some believed that this was all part of her programming, but apparently it's not.

"If you look at her performance in that moment, that is really the first decision she's ever made. For me, it's a very emotional moment in the episode because you see her freewill," Nolan said.

Finally, during the panel Nolan said filming on Season 2 will not begin until the scripts for all the episodes are done. For Season 1, this was not the case, which could be the reason why the show was delayed.

"It was a real lesson for us in the first season," Nolan said about writing scripts before shooting. "When they say it's not TV, it's HBO, they're not kidding. It's a 10-hour movie we're making here. We're writing right now. We're terribly excited about what we're writing."

Westworld was HBO's most-watched series ever for its first season, surpassing Game of Thrones. Season 2 is scheduled to premiere this year or next.

This story has been updated and corrected.

.: Project Scorpio: "Critical" For Microsoft's Games To Be Ready For Launch, Spencer Says

It's a big year for Xbox, as the company's new console, Project Scorpio, is slated to arrive this holiday season. All Xbox One games will play on the console, and now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has stressed that it's critical that Microsoft's first-party games be "ready" for the system, presumably for launch.

"Having our [first-party] games ready for Scorpio is critical," Spencer said on Twitter in response to someone who asked if Scorpio would have any launch games.

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It's not exactly clear what Spencer means by "ready," though he may be referring to games being updated to support the new power of Project Scorpio. It makes sense that Microsoft would want to have its first-party games updated for the console, given it is the platform-holder.

The Project Scorpio announcement trailer that aired at E3 2016 last summer showed developers from big-name studios like Bethesda and Electronic Arts, so it might be that games from those teams would be updated for Project Scorpio as well.

Also on Twitter, Spencer talked about how he is "very focused" on first-party games. "I'll be careful about when we announce things but I know strong 1P is critical," he explained.

In addition to all Xbox One games, Project Scorpio supports all of your existing controllers and accessories. One major question about the console is its price. Microsoft has repeatedly referred to it as a "premium" device that will be more expensive than the Xbox One S, which starts at $300 in the US. Spencer has said that he is sure that Project Scorpio won't sell as well as Xbox One S.

In other Scorpio news, Microsoft has suggested that it might hold an event before E3 to discuss the console. A product page for the console is up on the Microsoft Store, but you can't preorder yet.

.: Final Fantasy 15 Update Covers Chapter 13 Changes, Bug Fixes, And More

A bit ahead of time, a major new update for Final Fantasy XV has arrived. As spotted by people on Reddit and NeoGAF, update 1.06 (and the minor 1.07) are out now, weighing in at around 5.6 GB.

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According to patch notes posted by Gematsu, the big addition in the new update are changes to the much-discussed Chapter 13. As announced previously by game director Hajime Tabata, this mission is changing to address the overall gameplay experience contained within the chapter.

"The direction of chapter 13's content was a deliberate decision made by the development team," Tabata said back in February. "That said, the amount of stress inflicted on the player while running through this chapter was greater than we had anticipated. We believe resolving this issue will naturally lead to a better gameplay experience."

The updates also include fixes for a number of bugs, while the 1.06 update specifically lays the groundwork for the Episode Gladiolus expansion that arrives on March 28. You can read more about this story expansion here.

Final Fantasy XV launched in November 2016 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in November, going on to ship more than 6 million copies. At the Game Developers Conference, Square Enix showed a Final Fantasy XV tech demo running on PC, but this doesn't mean the game is confirmed for the new platform.

Final Fantasy 1.06 and 1.07 Updates:

Version 1.07

Version 1.06

.: Game Of Thrones Creators Thought S7 Date Reveal Was "Embarrassing," Star Says

HBO announced the Game of Thrones Season 7 date in kind of a weird way. Hundreds of thousands of people watched a block of ice melt to reveal the date--July 16. The event was broadcast live on Facebook, and the stream suffered through some issues before the date was ultimately revealed.

Now, Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau has spoken out to say that Game of Thrones showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff thought the reveal was "embarrassing." He added that he thought there could be some fan backlash as a result of the format of this reveal.

"I spoke to Dan [Weiss] and David [Benioff] about that and they were like, 'Oh god… That's embarrassing,'" Coster-Waldau told The Daily Beast. "Everyone was like, 'What's going to happen?' 'What's going to happen?!' 'It's melting!' 'It crashed!' 'Oh my god!' It's like, just walk away… just walk away. It's just a date!

"You know, I was actually thinking, 'Is there going to be a backlash and people will think, 'F**k you guys for that!'" but that's really happened with every time the show kills off a major character: 'Never again! F**k you! I'm never going to watch this show!' and, you know, they keep coming back."

Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on July 16. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

.: How The Xbox One's Troubled Launch Helped Create A "Fan-Centric" Culture At Microsoft

It's no secret that the Xbox One had a problematic launch. The tough time wasn't all bad news for Microsoft, however, it seems. Microsoft corporate vice president Yusuf Mehdi wrote a new piece on LinkedIn in which he talks about "How Xbox fans inspired a fan-centric culture at Microsoft."

"It was really the Xbox One launch that reinforced for me the power of fans," Mehdi said (via NeoGAF).

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He added that, after attending the Xbox One launch event in New York in 2013, he was personally inspired by the fans' passion and commitment to the Xbox brand.

It wasn't an easy road to launch, however. As you may remember, Microsoft had a number of messaging issues and plans for a 24-hour check-in--not everyone was thrilled. Microsoft later rolled back some of these policies.

"Balancing your business objectives with the needs of your customers is one of the biggest challenges you'll face, but if you really focus on doing the right thing for your customers, you're on the path," he said. "Doing the right thing is not always the easiest thing and that will be the truest test of your values as a company and your commitment to real customer-centricity.

"We've experienced these challenges ourselves with Xbox. With our initial announcement of Xbox One and our desire to deliver breakthroughs in gaming and entertainment, the team made a few key decisions regarding connectivity requirements and how games would be purchased that didn't land well with fans."

Mehdi added: "This experience was such a powerful reminder that we must always do the right thing for our customers, and since we've made that commitment to our Xbox fans, we've never looked back."

You can read Mehdi's full blog post here.

Microsoft's next major console release is coming up soon. Project Scorpio, or whatever Microsoft decides to call the system, is slated to arrive this holiday. Microsoft recently teased that it may hold a pre-E3 event for Scorpio, presumably in part to give games more room to breathe at E3 itself.

.: 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.
.: Reader Discussion – Are You Enjoying Mass Effect Andromeda?

Mass Effect Andromeda is here and is easily one of the biggest games of the year. We’ve played it, we all have opinions about it, which you can hear on our upcoming Game Club or read about in Joe Juba’s review.

But let’s not talk about us. Let’s talk about you, reader. How are you enjoying the game? Does it meet your expectations? Are you making memories flying through the galaxy in The Tempest? Or has this sci-fi sequel left you feeling cold?

Let us know in the comments below!

.: The Zelda Team’s Favorite Things In Breath Of The Wild

Earlier this month, we got a significant behind-the-scenes look at The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Today Nintendo released a new making-of bonus session, but you may learn more about the people making the game than the game itself.

The core of the video below involves the developers talking about their favorite elements of the game, like characters, foods, shrines, and more. They also deliver individual messages about what they hope players will notice and appreciate in Breath of the Wild.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

For more on Breath of the Wild, find out four reasons you shouldn't miss the game, and listen to us talk about its place in the larger Zelda timeline.

.: Metal Gear Solid's Shadow Moses Recreated In Lego Worlds

YouTube channel Bearly Regal tapped into its inner La-Li-Lu-Lego in a recent video showing off Metal Gear Solid's classic Shadow Moses Base built entirely in Lego Worlds. It's an admirably detailed recreation of one of the most recognizable locations from the PS1 era, complete with the iconic helicopter and a facsimile of Solid Snake in Lego form wielding a tranquilizer gun. You can check it out down below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Lego Worlds may have just released, but if passion projects like this are any indication of the possibilities for the game, it should have a long creative future ahead of it. You can check out more Bearly Regal recreations here, which include Star Wars in Halo 5, and The Simpsons in Minecraft. 

[Source: Bearly Regal via Gamerant]

.: Chivalry: Medieval Warfare Is Free On Steam Today

If you've been enjoying For Honor, you may want to check out this melee-focused combat title from 2012. If you act now, you can do so at no cost.

Until 10:00 AM Pacific Time on March 28, you can add Chivalry to your Steam library for free, and then it's yours even once the deadline passes. Chivalry is a standalone title, though it started as a Half-Life 2 mod called Age of Chivalry. It has a community of dedicated fans, and focuses on online melee battles with a variety of medieval weapons.

If you want to wade into this particular war, you won't find a better (or more economical) time.

[Source: Valve]

.: VR Horror Title Wilson's Heart Coming To Oculus Rift Next Month

When he wakes up in a 1940s hospital to find that his heart has been removed from his body, Robert Wilson knows something has gone horribly wrong.

Coming to the Oculus Rift on April 25, Wilson's Heart draws on monster movies and horror elements for its psychological story. As shown in the teaser trailer below, players use the Oculus Touch controllers to explore the black-and-white hospital by solving puzzles, fighting through enemies, or interacting with the world around them.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Check out our review of the Oculus Rift and Touch controllers. Oculus also recently lowered the price of its Rift/Touch bundle, which you can read about here.

[Source: Oculus Blog]

.: Final Fantasy XV's Chapter 13 Update Is Out Today

Not long after the release of Final Fantasy XV, director Hajime Tabata responded to fan feedback by announcing plans to revamp some story content – specifically chapter 13. Now that update is live, and players can experience the story changes and pacing tweaks for themselves.

The alterations (dubbed Chapter 13, Verse 2) include the ability to take Gladio and Ignis through Zegnautus Keep, modifications to Noctis' ring magic, and some story scenes that apparently provide more details on the fate of Ravus and Iedolas.

Changes beyond chapter 13, like the ability to tread previously inaccessible ground on chocobos, are also part of this update. See the full trailer here:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

This is just the first update this week; tomorrow marks the release of Episode Gladiolus, the first story-based DLC pack for the game. 


Our Take
While I definitely appreciate the team's willingness to listen to players and make changes, I'm not sure I'll go back to see the new content. Final Fantasy XV was my personal game of the year in 2016 (I even got the platinum trophy), but I feel like my time with it might be done. Are you going to load up the game to check out the changes? 

.: Here's What Alicia Vikander Looks Like As Lara Croft In The Upcoming Tomb Raider Movie

Lara Croft underwent the reboot treatment for the Tomb Raider video game series back in 2013, and now it's time for the iconic heroine to make her way back to the big screen as well.

The last Tomb Raider film, released in 2003, starred Angelina Jolie as the globe-trotting treasure hunter. Alicia Vikander, an Oscar-winning actress known for her roles as Gerda Wegener in The Danish Girl and Ava in Ex Machina, steps into the adventurer's shoes in these new photos from the movie reboot that Vanity Fair managed to snag. You can check out the rest of the photos in Vanity Fair's piece here.

The upcoming Tomb Raider takes its cues from the video game reboot of the same title, following the first adventures of a younger, more vulnerable Lara Croft who hasn't yet earned the title of tomb raider. 

This Lara Croft may be new to the treasure-hunting scene, but as the photo above shows, she is still as tenacious as ever. Bearing a bow, bandages, and the signature tank top, Vikander told Vanity Fair that Croft "has a fantastic mix of traits – tough, smart, vulnerable, plus she’s kick ass!"

Tomb Raider is set to release on March 16, 2018. Check out more movie news with the latest Justice League trailer, Alien: Covenant poster, and Star Wars Episode VIII updates.

[Source: Vanity Fair]

.: Bungie Officially Unveils Destiny 2 Logo

We know that Destiny 2 is coming this year, and last week we what appeared to be a promo poster for the game. Today, Bungie and Activision gave fans a look at the official logo.

The image was tweeted out by the official Destiny account:


— Destiny The Game (@DestinyTheGame) March 27, 2017

There are certainly things in that image for Destiny fans to dissect and speculate about. Is that the Traveler? Is the Last City burning? Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to learn where Bungie is taking the story in Destiny 2.

Our Take
Though Destiny 2's existence hasn't been a secret, it's nice to get something official that makes the project feel real – not just an upcoming item in a financial report.

.: Alamo Drafthouse Hosting 'Inspirations Of Prey' Film Series

Arkane Studios' upcoming sci-fi game Prey is weird in all the right ways, with bizarre aliens, manipulated reality, and the oft-publicized ability to transform into a coffee cup (or teapot, or toilet paper). It wasn't developed in a vacuum, of course, and publisher Bethesda is working with Alamo Drafthouse Cinemas to set up a mini sci-fi film festival to screen some of the films that inspired the game's creation.

Starting April 4 through April 27, the theater chain will be screening four movies: MOON, Starship Troopers, Total Recall, and The Matrix at theaters nationwide. You can watch them a la carte, or buy tickets for four screenings and get an exclusive Prey poster. Take a look at the official site for locations and more information on the screenings.

Bethesda is bringing the game along to special events at its Austin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York screenings, where players can check out the game and enter to win a special Prey-themed PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. You can RSVP to those free events here.

For more info on the game, including video features with its creators, take a look at our hub page below.


Our Take
Even if you're not interested in the game, being able to check out some of those movies on the big screen might be worth a trip.  

.: Splatoon 2 Has A Neat Musical Easter Egg During Matchmaking

This weekend, Nintendo Switch owners eager to try Splatoon 2 ahead of launch have been given the chance to take part in a series of hour-long multiplayer demos called the global testfire. During this time, some participants discovered a cool musical easter egg in the game's lobby while waiting to enter new matches. 

As participants pile in to the match, you can use both joy-con controllers to warp and change the background music. You add in your own sound effects by moving around the analog sticks and pressing buttons. It's a small but fun way to pass the time as you wait for the session to begin.

Check out Polygon's video below to get a better glimpse of this easter egg:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The final global testfire demo is today at 4 p.m. PT. You can read some of our early hands-on impressions of the game hereSplatoon 2 launches on the Nintendo Switch this summer.

[Source: Polygon]

.: Understand The Premise And Lore Of Mass Effect: Andromeda In A Minute

The Mass Effect series has long been rich with lore, and while this short video from YouTube's Lore in a Minute! (unsurprisingly) doesn't touch upon all of it, you can better understand who the Ryder twins are, what led the Andromeda Initiative to colonize in the Helius cluster, and so on.

It's a concise and informative look at where Andromeda takes us and how it's a fresh start in comparison to the trilogy. Check out the video below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Mass Effect: Andromeda launched last week to mixed reception and BioWare also faced criticism and harassment for the game's animations. You can read our review here.

[Source: Lore in a Minute!]

.: Report: Nintendo Of America President Says Company Will Have A "Big E3 This Year"

In a recent interview with Fox News, Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime stated that Nintendo has big plans for this year's E3 convention. While slim on details about exactly what Nintendo's presence will be like at E3, Reggie did mention that Nintendo will be showcasing more titles for both Nintendo Switch and 3DS.

You can read Reggie's full quote below:

E3 is always a big time for Nintendo. We look at each E3 as a unique opportunity to tell our story. And we’re gonna have a big E3 this year. We’re going to be showcasing a variety of games. We will have experiences for… consumers will be able to attend the show for the very first time. So I’m not gonna tell you all of the various games and all of our little secrets for E3, but I can tell you that E3 is going to be a major opportunity for us to showcase not only Nintendo Switch, but also content coming to Nintendo 3DS.

For the first time this year, E3 will be open to the public. As for the Nintendo Switch, read our review of the recently launched console here.

[Source: Fox News]


Our Take
It's been years since Nintendo held a conventional press conference live at E3. I think it's likely we'll be treated with Nintendo Direct and Nintendo Treehouse livestreams instead, but we won't know for sure until Nintendo formally announces their plans. I'm excited to see what Nintendo has in store in terms of more Switch games on the horizon, and equally pleased to see continued support for more 3DS titles (Nintendo, after all, promised that the Switch would not immediately replace the 3DS).

.: Blizzard Announces StarCraft Remastered, Coming This Summer

Blizzard has announced that it is remastering StarCraft, the popular sci-fi real-time strategy game. The remaster will feature a graphical overhaul with 4K ultra HD, along with updated audio and matchmaking support.

Aside from the touch ups, StarCraft Remastered will include all the same content as what's found in both the 1998 original and its expansion, Brood War. You can check out the announcement trailer below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

Blizzard says that the updated graphics will also see new illustrations to "enhance storytelling" during campaign missions, and that cloud saves will be introduced for campaign progress, custom-made maps, keybinds, and replays. StarCraft Remastered will feature full connectivity to Blizzard's online network, and can be played in thirteen languages.

Blizzard also revealed that later this week, Update 1.18 for StarCraft: Brood War will release, which includes bug fixes and improvements such as adding an observer mode and being able to rebind keys. Once the update is live, StarCraft Anthology, which includes the original and Brood War, will be free to download.

StarCraft Remastered is expected to release this summer for PC and Mac.

.: Reader Discussion – Who Is Your Favorite Mass Effect Character?

Mass Effect Andromeda is finally upon us, and while it has its own issues, it's still looks to be a good game, according to our own Joe Juba. I haven't played it, but I'm hoping that, if nothing else, it can offer me some great character moments, the kind that made me like the series so much. 

In case that doesn't happen, let's reminisce: Who's your favorite Mass Effect character? Mine is easily Tali'Zorah nar Rayya, who meets Shepard while on her pilgrimage to prove herself to the Migrant fleet. Always calm, tactical, but never uncaring, she's the one character I always brought with me on missions. Her arc is probably my favorite in the series, and I found we usually matched up when it came to our views on some of the more tense situations throughout the original trilogy.

So who's your favorite Mass Effect character? Wrex? Miranda? Please don't tell me it's Garrus. I overhear enough adoration for him at the office.

.: Lego Rendition Of Tracer's Pistols Offer That Feeling Of Déjà Vu

Lego versions of Overwatch weapons have been popular for a while now, with versions of Symmetra's Photon Projector, Lúcio's Sonic Amplifier, and Reaper's Hellfire Shotguns making their way online. Now Youtuber Nick Brick has crafted a Lego version of Tracer's signature Pulse Pistols

Constructed from 2,126 Lego bits (for both guns), the pistols feature a working reload mechanism that expands the sides of the gun when reloading (though, as in Overwatch, actual bullets don't enter the gun at any point). You can read a bit of commentary about how the guns were made here, view more photos here, and watch a video of the pistols in action below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: Tencent, Sony Lead Global Game Revenues In 2016

Market research firm Newzoo has compiled a list of the 25 companies who make the most money from games, and the results both what you expected and a bit surprising.

Newzoo's ranking takes into account only game revenue, which removes hardware such as consoles and PC parts from the equation, but does include subscription fees, such as those from PlayStation Network or Xbox Live. The ranking is based companies' financial earnings reports from throughout 2016, though it uses the calendar year instead of the fiscal year (which ends next week as opposed to the actual end of the year). Additonally, as Newzoo states, "For companies that do not split out their game revenues, the analysis includes estimates, which may or may not be indicated explicitly." The top-earning companies under these stipulations are as follows:

1. Tencent
2. Sony
3. Activision Blizzard
4. Microsoft
5. Apple
6. Electronic Arts
7. NetEase
8. Google
9. Bandai Namco
10. Nintendo
11. Square Enix
12. Warner Bros.
13. Ubisoft
14. Take-Two Interactive
15. Nexon
16. Mixi
17. Konami
18. GungHo Entertainment
19. Disney
20. DeNA
21. Sega
22. NCSoft
23. Facebook
24. Zynga
25. Colopl

It should be no surprise that Tencent leads the pack, since they own League of Legends developer Riot, as well as a number of other popular online games, including Crossfire and Clash Royale. Second and third place belong to Sony and Activision Blizzard, which makes sense, considering Sony's more global presence in games over Microsoft (especially in Japan) and Activision's conquering of several fronts with popular shooters and sports games.

Nintendo doesn't fair as well, though 2016 admittedly was not a banner year for them, with the decline of the Wii U and the limited number of high-selling games on the 3DS. Some of the most surprising points are Take-Two's lower-than-expected ranking, considering the high popularity of Grand Theft Auto V and other games in its catalog. And while we may like to think of them as being removed from the game scene at this point, Konami is still making quite of a bit of revenue from its game division.

[Source: Newzoo]


Our Take
This is yet another reminder that games are a global phenomenon, because I haven't heard of a couple of names on this list, like Mixi, Colopl, or NetEase. Although I'm guessing that at some point, I've encountered or played something they're a part of. Let's see... nope, haven't played anything by NetEase. But they licence Blizzard games for use in China. That counts, right?

.: What Potential Changes To Internet Privacy Laws Could Mean For You

Amidst news of online multiplayer games getting overhauls, new maps, and retail posters, something happened that could end up affecting anyone who regularly browses the web between Overwatch or Destiny matches. The United States Senate voted in favor of a resolution that, if the House of Representatives also votes in favor of it, could change how accessible your browsing data is to Internet Service Providers (ISPs), and whether those companies would need your permission to sell sensitive information to advertisers.

What happened?

On March 23, 2017, the Senate voted 50-48 in favor of a resolution that would repeal a set of internet privacy rules that would have required ISPs like Comcast, Cox Communications, or CenturyLink to ask for users' consent before selling those users' browsing data to advertisers. The rules in question are not yet in place (they're scheduled to take effect on December 4, 2017), but the resolution would effectively kill internet privacy regulations before they've had a chance to take effect.

The vote has to do with some recent changes to what the internet is in the eyes of the American government. In Februrary of 2015, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reclassified ISPs as "common carriers," which means they traffic in utilities. This effectively put the internet in the same category as telephones, water, gas, and other necessary components for living in terms of how it's regulated. This allowed the FCC to enforce net neutrality laws, which force all ISPs to provide access to all kinds of content on the internet equally. (In the past, ISPs would slow down users' traffic when visiting certain websites or sharing files to discourage them from engaging in these acts.)

Classifying the internet as a utility also meant ISPs had to follow the privacy guidelines previously written for telephones (and which the FCC updated with language specific to the internet in October of last year). The resolution the Senate voted in favor of on Thursday would effectively roll back many of these changes, allowing ISPs to do whatever they want with their users' browsing data. The resolution is not yet in place, however; the House of Representatives should vote on the resolution next week. If they vote in favor of it, it will be sent to president Trump for approval.

How likely is it that this resolution becomes law?

The 50-48 vote in the Senate was mostly along party lines, with Republicans voting in favor and Democrats against. Republicans currently have a majority of the seats in the House of Representatives, making it likely the House will vote in favor of it. Trump appointed Ajit Pai, who has since come down hard against net neutrality laws, to lead the FCC, making it likely he will approve the bill should it reach his desk.

What does this mean for me?

Currently, ISPs can see what kinds of websites you visit (and, depending on the level of encryption of the website you visit, which pages you view on those websites). If you, say, like to browse Destiny fansites and subforums, they can use that to assume you're into Destiny. If they see you shopping for Xbox accessories, they can use that to assume you have (or will be getting) an Xbox. They can then use those two bits of info to surmise you play Destiny on the Xbox, or plan to soon.

ISPs can then sell that information to advertisers the same way Google and Facebook do. Those advertisers can then serve up targeted ads, which you may be more likely to click on if they're based on something you're interested in. Right now, they can sell that information without you having a say, but the privacy rules which go into place later this year and which the resolution plans to repeal would force those ISPs to explicitly ask your permission for the right to sell that data. If the resolution passes, ISPs will be able to sell that information without your knowledge for the foreseeable future.

What can I do about it?

If you disagree with the resolution, you can contact your local representatives to inform them you don't want them to vote for the resolution.

If the resolution does pass, there are ways you can browse the web more privately, but none of them are perfect. Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) can hide your information from your ISPs, but the VPN companies will see that information instead, and most require fees. Using proxy browsers like Tor obscures your browsing data to ISPs, but require more know-how than most users may be comfortable with.

Most people browsing the internet, however, may end up not knowing anything happened in the first place, and will continue browsing the internet as they have before. However, for anyone who regularly uses the internet (as most people who play video games do), it will be important to know just how much of your browsing data and habits companies will have access to in the coming months and, possibly, years.

.: Justice League Film Trailer Reveals Heroes, Covers Faces

DC and Warner Bros.' attempts to create their own cinematic universe similar to Marvel's haven't quite landed as well as they would have liked, but you can't deny they make great trailers. The Batman vs. Superman trailer was pretty good. The Suicide Squad trailer was maybe the best part of the movie. The first official trailer for Justice League doesn't quite reach that high bar, but it does have some decent moments.

For one, we get to see Ben Affleck's Batman play a little more coy this time, dropping two (two!) jokes in the trailer below. We also get to see The Flash, Aquaman, and Cyborg, the latter of which has some retractable helmet action similar to a certain other machine-oriented hero from another cinematic universe.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: Multiplayer Brawler Lethal League Coming To Xbox One, PS4

Lethal League is a fun, four-person brawler that's sort of like a hyper-stylized version of air hockey, except the target is your opponent instead of a goal (and let's face it, your opponent is the target when you're playing air hockey, too). It's gotten a lot of positive buzz on PC through Steam (where it released back in 2014), but later this year, console players will be able to see what that buzz is all about.

Lethal League will launch on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on May 10, featuring several stages, characters, and online multiplayer. You have really have to play Lethal League to understand why it's so fun, but if you want to do the next best thing, you can watch the latest trailer for the game below.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

.: What to Watch This Weekend: The Halo World Championships, Hearthstone, And Street Fighter V

It's going to be a big weekend for Halo, but that doesn't mean people are getting out of the way. Several major events are going on this weekend, and as we venture further into the competitive season, splits and seasonal tournaments continue to give way to invitationals and major tournaments.

After a few tournaments to determine who would make it there, the Halo 5: Guardians World Championships are finally upon us. Watch as twelve teams compete for the game's biggest prize pool of the year: $1 Million. (Stream 1 / Stream 2 / Schedule)

The 2GGC tournament hosts a number of events centering around Super Smash Bros. For Wii U, including a team battle, round robin, and more. (Stream 1 / Stream 2Schedule)

If you're looking for a more classic Nintendo fighter, Full Bloom 3 will host a major Super Smash Bros. Melee (and For Wii U) tournament, featuring some of the game's most notable players. (Stream 1 / Stream 2 / Schedule)

The Eleauge Street Fighter V invitational pits 32 world-class Street Fighter players against each other for one of the biggest prize pools the game has ever seen: $250,000. The action begins Monday and will continue into late May. (Stream / Schedule)

There have been several ongoing Overwatch leagues in the past few weeks, and over the next few weeks, we'll see their finals come to bear. First up is the Carbon Entertainment Overwatch Series, the finals of which will pit the four remaining teams in a short single-elimination tournament. Will we see Orisa in action? We'll found out! (Stream / Schedule)

Rocket League's RLCS continues this week, so if you were looking for the return of high-level play for the car-soccer title, here's your chance. (Stream / Schedule)

The Hearthstone HCT Winter Championship pits 16 of the game's best players for one of the game's biggest prize pools of the year. The week-long tournament will conclude tomorrow. (Stream / Schedule)

Of course, the League of Legends Spring Splits are still going on for the next couple of weeks, so if you haven't been following, now's a good time to catch up! (Europe Stream / Europe Schedule / North America Stream / North America Schedule)

In other Split news, this is the final week of the Smite Spring Splits in a couple of regions, so make sure to catch the last weekend of action before the real fun starts at the Spring Masters tournament next month. (Stream / Schedule)

That's it for this weekend! Let us know if we missed any events you're interested in, or if there's a scene you'd like us to cover, in the comments below!

.: Weekend Warrior – Pointless Reboot #32832: Go Go Power Rangers!

First, it was Transformers and GI Joe, then they massacred the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and now Hollywood has set their sights on the next kids' show in line, Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers. Like all the rest of Tinseltown's big-budget reboots of dated-yet-beloved franchises, Power Rangers is sure to be little more than a cynical cash grab. Still, maybe there's a chance that the film might actually be Morphenomenal.

The GI crew will be busy doing their own things this weekend, mostly trying to wean off of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild in an effort to give a chance to Mass Effect: Andromeda. What are you up to this weekend? Let us know in the comments below!

Manon Hume (@ManonHume) – I started rereading the Death Note manga the day before the Netflix trailer came out, so I’m excited to finish that this weekend. I also got sucked back into Sunless Sea by the iPad announcement this week, so between the two of those, I’m ready for a dark, chill weekend – just how I like it.

Dan Tack (@dantack) – Playerunknown's Battlegrounds - Jumping out of planes, picking that perfect sniper position in the pouring rain, dodging the red zones, and trying to be the last one standing.

Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) – This weekend, I’m playing Mass Effect: Andromeda, Overwatch, and enjoying the Water Festival event in Pokémon Go.

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – This weekend I’m going to be playing a lot of Mass Effect: Andromeda for our new Game Club! Lord knows, I’d give an arm and a leg to be spending more time with Zelda instead, but you know… what are you going to do?

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – I think I might, possibly, maybe, be almost ready to put down Zelda. I’ve put in about 125 hours and have about seven shrines to go before I have completed them all. I don’t have to do all the Koroks, I don’t need to photograph everything, but I do want to see every Shrine. After that, maybe Mass Effect? I’m leaning toward Nier: Automata. It’s going to be tough to move on from Zelda. I don’t know if you know this, but it is a very, very good game.

Zak Wojnar (@ZakWojnar) – Unfortunately, I probably won't be able to play much this weekend, but if I can, I will continue my Yakuza 0 journey. I have about 25 hours logged over the course of the past month-and-a-half, which is simply not enough, especially considering how much I am enjoying the adventures of Kiryu and Goro. But hey, these Game Informer and ScreenRant articles don't write themselves, know what I mean? It's not so bad, though; I've listened to London Calling and Music from Big Pink literally every day this week, and I don't see why that shouldn't continue through the weekend.

Jordan Leendertsen (@Bad_Durandal) – This weekend I’ll begrudgingly finish off Netflix’s Iron Fist. I’ll then probably top off that incredible experience by downing an Old Fashioned while screaming the lyrics to Skid Row’s “18 and Life”, as is tradition in my native land. I’m a few missions away from the end of GTA V, so I might top that off. I’m mostly afraid of what might happen to Michael, he and his wife are such a great couple. There’s also Horizon, which has giant robot dinosaurs. So I guess that’s cool. Even with all of these slick games to play, I know I’m just gonna end up playing more Overwatch, because Overwatch is an eternal pit from which there is no escape. Watch your back Orisa players; Pharah is comin’ for you.

.: Rare’s Former All-Star Composers Talk About Reuniting For Yooka-Laylee

Nearly two years after it brought in over $2.6 million on Kickstarter, Yooka-Laylee is almost here. The project has been a labor of love for the folks at Playtonic, a team comprised of ex-Rare developers who worked on a number of N64 classics like Banjo-Kazooie and Donkey Kong 64.

One of the key ingredients of the mascot platformer genre is a charming soundtrack, and Yooka-Laylee has an all-star team of ex-Rare composers, including Grant Kirkhope (Banjo-Kazooie, Viva Piñata) David Wise (Donkey Kong Country, Battletoads), and Steve Burke (Kameo: Elements of Power, Jetpac Refueled). Laced Records is pulling out all the stops for Yooka-Laylee’s soundtrack, opting to release the score on digital, CD, and even 180g vinyl for hardcore audiophiles.

We spoke to this trio of video game music veterans and asked them about the new game, what it was like to reunite for a brand-new, old-school adventure, how composing for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One compares to the old NES and Game Boy days, and how Chris Sutherland’s cake shop helped them found a game company.

(Left to right: Grant Kirkhope, Steve Burke, David Wise)

How did Playtonic come about?

Kirkhope: Gavin Price is the head of the studio, and he was the guy who put it all together. It’s a bizarre story. Back when they worked at Rare, he and his wife had a cake shop. They made cakes. He was used to doing the business thing, getting business loans and all that. Without Gavin, it would never have happened, because he was like, “I’ll put it together, I’ll form the company, I’ll settle the business loans; I’ve done it all before with the cake shop.” And that’s what kicked it off. He said, “I can pay wages for a little while, but let’s try Kickstarter to see how it goes.” If he hadn’t done his cake shop, this probably never would have happened. And the cakes were great.

The three of you, Grant, David, and Steve, are the Playtonic music team. For Yooka-Laylee, are any one of you taking the lead?

Kirkhope: Yooka-Laylee is a Banjo-Kazooie-type game; it was natural that I did more on this one because it’s right up my alley.

Wise: This was definitely Grant's domain – continuing on from the Banjo Kazooie days – but executed with so much more finesse. Also, I believe our main sound designer Dan Murdoch added a few mini tunes and stingers in places.

Back in the day, how did you each get your first gig at Rare?

Burke: I picked up a copy of Edge magazine, somewhere towards the end of 2000. At the time I was working as an assistant to a film composer in London, and thought it would be interesting to try and work in the video game industry. Rare was advertising for an in-house composer and sound designer role, and after a visit to the studio and writing some audition music, I got the job in early 2001. I was hired to work as the composer and sound designer on Kameo. At the time it was going to be a Nintendo GameCube game, but eventually came out as a launch title for the Xbox 360.

Wise: I was working in a Music Shop in Leicester – decades ago – when two people came in (Tim and Chris Stamper) and asked me to demo a very early music computer, the Yamaha CX5. They didn't recognize the music I was using to demonstrate the gear, so they asked who the artist was. When I explained that they were my compositions, they offered me a job at Rare.

Kirkhope: I left university (The Royal Northern College of Music) at 22, and I played in lots of bands for 11 years, with on-and-off unemployment benefits. One of my best friends was Robin Beanland, and he was the keyboard player in a local band. One day, he announced that he’d gotten a job. He went to work at Rare. He said to me, “Grant, you’ve been on unemployment for, like, 11 years. Don’t you think you should get a job? Why don’t you try doing what I’m doing? I’m working on video games and writing music.” I had never once dreamed about being a composer. I wanted to be in Judas Priest! But I spent about a year writing music that I thought was video game-centric, and I sent Rare five cassette tapes, but never got a reply. Then, out of the blue, they said, “Please come in, you’ve got the job.”

Fast forward to just a couple of years ago: what was it like when you got the call to do Yooka-Laylee? What was it like getting the band back together?

Wise: Very much like getting the band back together. We worked together for so many years, so it was very reassuring to be able to pool our creative talent together once again. Also, when we were no longer at Rare, it gave me time to reflect on exactly how much I had enjoyed working there – especially the people I was working with – and had just taken that experience for granted at the time.

Kirkhope: A lot of people said I was crazy, it was never gonna happen, people don’t want that game anymore, and I’d gone on about it for quite a lot of years. And, to get to the point where we’re all actually doing it again was just unbelievable. It was a set of fortunate disasters that got us to this point. Some guys got laid off from Rare, some guys quit… People were available for the first time in 15 years to do this.

Burke: One of the most fun games I’d worked on at Rare was the music to Jetpac Refueled, and it felt like I could go down that retro route again with Yooka-Laylee.

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You've all worked with each other on Rare games, but this is the first time all three of you are together for one game. How does that collaboration work?

Kirkhope: When we first got the gig, it was obvious the bits I should do, obvious the bits that Dave should do, and obvious the bits that Steve should do. So it was really easy. That was as far as the collaboration went.

Burke: We worked independently. Each composer had a particular part of the game to work on, and we brought along our own styles to fit in with that. My boss tune was a little closer in style to what Grant was doing, as this needed to sit alongside his level music. I asked Gavin and Chris at Playtonic what sort of music they’d like for each of Rextro’s Arcade games (I called them “Yook-arcade-lee” while we were working on them) and then I’d keep them updated with each version of the track until everybody was happy with the final version. This way of working was exactly how we did it at Rare when we had a few composers sharing a project.

David's first game was Slalom for NES, Grant’s first gig was on Game Boy, and Steve goes back to Star Fox Adventures on GameCube. Do you miss the days of retro consoles? Or is it liberating to work on more modern tools?

Burke: I miss the retro consoles and the sounds they produced. On Yooka-Laylee I had the chance to write in the style of music that I grew up with on the Commodore 64 and Amiga games. The first drafts of all the Rextro Arcades are entirely synths, no orchestral sounds. Pretty much 4 note polyphony. Once I was happy that they reminded me of old game console music, I started adding more orchestral and modern sounding synths to mix in the old and new.

Kirkhope: We have more memory space now. You can use bigger samples, and you can get close to CD quality, 44.1 kilohertz. Nothing in those old Rare games is anywhere near that. It’s 16 kilohertz if you’re lucky. Probably 11 or 8. That’s why it sounds like crap! During Viva Piñata, I got to use a proper live orchestra. It’s spectacular to get to that level of quality. To go from working on 3 note channels and a noise channel on the game boy in 1995, to using a full live orchestra in 2005.

Is a ukulele incorporated into every tune in the game?

Burke: Not so much in the Rextro tracks, but a little bit finds its way in to one.

Kirkhope: I’ve been doing a little bit, of course. Not much, but the main tune is me playing ukulele.

Wise: I used Ukulele in every track I composed for Yooka-Laylee. I went and purchased a LAG Tenor Uke, along with a few very good Ukulele VBST sample instruments. I may however have used the instrument in creative ways. For one tune I recorded the ukulele chords, drowned them in reverb, edited out the initial attack and used the frozen reverb tails as a pad sound, which then got enhanced more by using a rhythmic filter to create movement.

One of the highly-publicized stretch goals was the GK Rap, kind of a modern take on the sensibilities of Grant’s DK Rap.

Kirkhope: Nobody even asked me about that, they just put it on the page, and I was like, “What?” I didn’t even know it was there. The plan is to make it as cheesy as the DK Rap. It’s not going to be a credible rap song. I hope people take it in the spirit it’s intended.

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Yooka-Laylee comes out on April 11 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and for Nintendo Switch later in 2017. For more on the game, check out our hands-on preview.

.: The Witcher Author Made A Huge Miscalculation With The CD Projekt Red Licensing Deal

The person responsible for creating the wonderful characters and universe of The Witcher has never been a fan of video games. When CD Projekt Red approached him about creating an interactive take on his fiction, the writer had one thought. "What I expect from an adaptation: a big bag of money. That is all," Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski told Eurogamer.

"I was stupid enough to sell them rights to the whole bunch," he continued. "They offered me a percentage of their profits. I said, 'No, there will be no profit at all – give me all my money right now! The whole amount.' It was stupid. I was stupid enough to leave everything in their hands because I didn't believe in their success. But who could foresee their success? I couldn't."

Talk about an extreme miscalculation. CD Projekt Red's successful Witcher trilogy has catapulted the studio's worth, which was recently valued at $1.6 billion. Missing out on that much profit for a game set in the universe you created could turn you bitter, but Sapkowski doesn't have any hard feelings. "The game is made very well," he says, "and they merit all of the beneficiaries they get from it. They merit it. The game is very good, well done, well done."

To learn more about the enigmatic writer and the creation of The Witcher novels, we highly recommend you read the rest of the Eurogamer interview.


Our Take
Sometimes taking the money upfront instead of getting points on the back-end is a terrible idea, as Sapkowski demonstrates. But it's not all bad. The game franchise's success has resonated around the world, which has in turn driven book sales for Sapkowski. We also have a feeling that if a major motion picture or television studio offers him a deal, he will insist upon receiving royalties.

.: Nioh Update Adds New Sub-Missions

Today Team Ninja released a new patch for Nioh, the surprise PS4 exclusive hit that has captured the imaginations of gamers who enjoy difficult action games like Dark Souls. 

The 1.06 patch includes a number of minor tweaks and stability changes, but the most notable alteration is the addition of new submissions that open up after you reach the final part of the game. The update didn't say how many of these submissions are being added, but the ones included in the game were basically full-length missions full of stuff to do.

Dan Tack gave Nioh a 9.0, saying, "Nioh will break you down before it lifts you up, but you soon crave the thrill of mastering a new weapon or toppling a titanic boss." You can read the full review here.

.: Haunting New Alien: Covenant Poster Taps Into Art History

As any fan of the Alien franchise is aware, xenomorphs are bad news. Death follows wherever they go, and the devastation they bring is reflected in the latest poster for Alien: Covenant, the upcoming entry in the series of films. 

This gruesome scene of humans and aliens tangled together made a powerful impact on eager fans. Art history buffs noticed the poster's resemblance to classic pieces such as Auguste Rodin's The Gates of Hell (La porte de l'Enfer).

The sculpture, which stands just under 20 feet tall, depicts a scene from the Inferno chapter of Dante Aligheri's Divine Comedy. Users posting on this Alien Covenant fan site noticed that the poster shares a similar approach to The Gates of Hell, with the Xenomorph standing above the fallen and twisted bodies below.

Other fans noted the same thematic presentation in Jan van Eyck's The Last Judgment (pictured right), a Biblically-inspired work on display in The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alien: Covenant comes to theaters on May 19. Check out the latest trailer for the movie here.