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.: gamesradar all-platforms
gamesradar all-platforms.
.: Xbox players react to their 2017 Year in Review stats: "I should probably go outside more"
The end of the year is a time for celebration, reflection, and wondering how on Earth you put that many hours into Cuphead.
.: The Witcher 3's Geralt is one of the best RPG heroes (because he's really no great hero at all)
Weary, morally grey, and oh so tired of it all. How a believable man in a fantasy world made for one of the most relatable player-characters around. .
.: How to get the Double-Action Revolver in GTA Online (and Red Dead Redemption 2)
First we got GTA Online: Doomsday Heist and now Rockstar is giving us another special treat in the form of a gold Double-Action Revolver.
.: Unlock a shiny Red Dead Redemption 2 gun right now by playing GTA Online
Red Dead Redemption 2 is still several months away from its spring 2018 arrival, but you can start filling out your Old West arsenal right now by playing GTA Online.
.: It's just too easy to be a dick in GTA Online, so why bother being anything else?
GTA Online’s Smuggler’s Run expansion brought a host of new air-themed missions to Rockstar’s seemingly everlasting open-world smash.
.: The best upcoming Xbox One games for 2017, 2018 and beyond
PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds has finally arrived on Xbox One, rounding off this year's releases.
.: Delving into the design decisions behind Dungeon Runs and Devourers in Hearthstone's Kobolds & Catacombs
It's only been a week since the debut of Hearthstone's newest set, Kobolds & Catacombs - but, as with any great expansion, it already feels like so much has changed.
.: The 25 best Xbox One games
What are the best Xbox One games to buy? Take a look at this list and all will become clear.
.: Sex bulls, party pigs and testicle festivals - Far Cry 5’s gone kind of mad and it’s brilliant
The latest Far Cry is shaping up to be the most fun yet .
.: Hulk Hogan, Ronda Rousey, Lionel Messi (!): the 15 WWE 2K18 creations you have to download right now
WWE 2K18 is among this year’s most divisive sports games, but one area where it pips all rivals is Community Creations.
.: Get an Xbox One X with PUBG, Call of Duty: WW2, Wolfenstein 2, AND The Evil Within 2 for under £500 with this steal of a Christmas deal
Black Friday may be over, ladies and gentlemen, but the deals never really ever stop.
.: Did you know that games like Assassin’s Creed, Doom, and Bloodborne have hidden mechanics to make you feel like a badass?
Developers have hidden sly tricks in games to make you feel like a hero in the making....
.: Horizon Zero Dawn’s Aloy encouraged me to go looking for my birth parents
Video games can be an incredible catalyst for change as Aloy herself finally gave our Associate Editor the shove to discover her own origins story..
.: Destiny 2 holiday event The Dawning starts December 19, bringing snowball fights and more
Destiny 2's first seasonal event is almost here.
.: The Last of Us 2: Location confirmed, how far along it really is, and everything you need to know
Fast facts The Last of Us Part 2 release date: TBCFormats: PS4, PS4 ProDeveloper: Naughty Dog The new information for The Last of Us Part 2 (including a release date) isn't arriving as fast as we'd like, but we'll take what we can get.
.: These Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild bike mods might be better than the real thing
In the Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild Champions' Ballad DLC, Link can ride a dirtbike.
.: The upcoming Nintendo Switch games for 2017 (and beyond)
The fabulous first year of Nintendo Switch is almost at a close, but that doesn't mean there are still plenty of Switch games on the horizon..
.: PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Xbox One review in progress: “Despite the problems, a taste of what makes it special breaks through”
PUBG on Xbox is fun, but marred by frame rate and technical issues.
.: The best Xbox One bundle deals for December 2017
Get the best deals and bundles for Xbox One X and Xbox One S.
.: This Wolfenstein 2: The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe DLC trailer shows how to blitz the Nazis
Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is ready to tell you about The Adventures of Gunslinger Joe.
.: N4G: news feed
N4G: news feed.
.: The Exorcist: Legion VR - Chapter 2: Idle hands Review (PC): Elementary Exorcism | Hey Poor Player
It's hard to recommend The Exorcist: Legion VR  - Chapter 2: Idle Hands to all but the most horror-starved players out there..
.: Gang Beasts Review (PS4): Still As Compelling As It Was 3 Years Ago | Hey Poor Player
HPP's Aimee Hart writes: "Here we review Gang Beasts, developed by Boneloaf. Gang Beasts is very rewarding. The reward is simple: the absolute feeling of delight you get as you play.".
.: Spellforce 3 Review (PC): May The Spellforce Be With You | Hey Poor Player
HPP's Bethany Meadows writes: The world of Spellforce returns in Spellforce 3. Fight to save the world from a plague that threatens to end existence as we know it!.
.: Planet Of The Apes: The Last Frontier Review - Punk and Lizard
Punk from P&L writes: "Throw in the fact that its only £15.99, has a very doable Platinum and is also one of the first PS4 games to incorporate Playlink and you have an absolute must buy on your hands.".
.: Most Anticipated Games of 2018
2017 is old news, all the new and great games are coming in 2018. This includes new releases from acclaimed developers to sequels from some of the most popular franchises. Here are our most anticipated games of 2018..
.: Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron Review - A Lesson in "Less is More" | COGconnected
COGconnected - Aces of the Luftwaffe - Squadron has a great game buried beneath the clutter. For some, that extra fluff might be too much to enjoy the kernel underneath..
.: PlayStation VR Bundle, Top PS4 Game Titles Are Stupid Cheap This Weekend
Sony's offering the PlayStation VR bundle for $100 off right now, along with lots of top PS4 game titles, so get 'em while you can..
.: SOMA | ThisGenGaming Review
ThisGenGaming says: "SOMA is above anything else, an experience. The games story is bound to stick with you for months after playing it, just like a great movie. Its pacing is damn near perfect and any fan of the genre should hit themselves over the head of they continue to ignore this one. Story-wise its one of the best games Ive ever played and one that I found myself discussing even with friends who dont care much about videogames. Its newly added SAFE MODE is something that any game in the genre should consider as I found it a breath of fresh air as it prevented any form of frustration. Dont miss out on this game! If anything, it should be getting MORE praise than it has already received." .
.: PLAYERUNKNOWN: PUBG on Xbox One Is A Little Rough, But We'll Polish It Off
Brendan 'PLAYERUNKNOWN' Greene appeared on the official Mixer livestream to talk about PUBG's Xbox One launch and called it "a little rough" while adding that Bluehole will work with the community and Microsoft to polish it in the coming months..
.: Chaos on Deponia Review - Juvenile Humor Through Mountains of Dialogue | COGconnected
COGconnected: Rufus and the gang return for the second adventure in Deponia, as the oddball hero attempts yet again to flee the planet in search of greener pastures..
.: GameSpot News
The latest News from GameSpot.
.: A Great Overwatch Sale Is Live Now For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

If you still haven't tried out Overwatch, now you have a chance to jump in cheaply. Right in time for the holidays, Blizzard has discounted the PC version of Overwatch by 50%--bringing the price down to $20. And if you're looking to get a bunch of cosmetic items, too, you can grab the Game of the Year Edition for $30--bringing it in line with the PS4 and Xbox One versions.

These are some of the better deals we've seen on the game since its release, especially $20 for the base game. If you're just looking to jump in and don't need a handful of skins and Loot Boxes, then this is the way to go.

However, if you do want some of the extras, the Game of the Year Edition is on sale for $30 across all platforms. Blizzard has discounted it on PC on Battle.net, while the physical console versions are available at Best Buy and Amazon. If you happen to have Gamers Club Unlocked at Best Buy, you can get an additional discount to bring the price down to $24. The digital version on PS4 is also $30 through the PlayStation Store. The Game of the Year Edition comes with the base game as well as 10 Loot Boxes, 5 Hero skins, and digital items for Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft, Diablo III, and Starcraft II.

In other Overwatch news, the game's holiday update went live recently, adding a ton of winter-themed items and a new game mode. You can see all the new Overwatch Winter Wonderland skins in our gallery.

Some links to supporting retailers are automatically made into affiliate links, and GameSpot may receive a small share of those sales.

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.: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Opens Huge, But Trails The Force Awakens

The day has finally come. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now playing in theaters, after premiering Thursday night. Naturally, the latest Star Wars film will be the top-earning movie of the weekend. With the first box office results in, though, there is a better picture of exactly how well The Last Jedi is doing.

According to Deadline, the film grossed $45 million in the United States and Canada on Thursday night, the second-biggest Thursday night gross of all time. That puts The Last Jedi on track to gross over $200 million in its opening weekend alone. That would make it the highest opening weekend of 2017--Beauty and the Beast currently holds the crown with a $174 million debut. However, it trails the opening of Star Wars: The First Awakens, which grossed $247 in its opening weekend. That number stands as the biggest opening weekend of all time.

While The Last Jedi isn't beating The Force Awakens at the box office, it is grossing much higher than 2016's Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The first standalone film in the Star Wars franchise opened to $155 million in the United States and Canada, eventually grossing $523 domestically. Meanwhile, The Force Awakens earned $936 million in its entire domestic run.

Both films crossed the $1 billion mark worldwide, which The Last Jedi should have no problem doing once its theatrical run comes to a close. Considering the movie also has a Metacritic score of 86 and audience reaction group PostTrak says theater goers are giving the film a "definite recommend" rating, The Last Jedi's going to do very well. That's good news for director Rian Johnson, who will next tackle the development of an entirely new Star Wars trilogy to come after Episode IX. Johnson's next Star Wars films will center on new characters in a different part of the galaxy.

If you've already seen The Last Jedi and have questions, GameSpot has you covered. You can check out our coverage of the identity of Rey's parents, a look at who Snoke is, and any other The Last Jedi spoilers, questions and theories you may have.

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.: First Pokemon Go Gen 3 Legendary Now Available For A Limited Time

Pokemon Go's most recent Legendary Pokemon, Ho-Oh, may no longer be available, but players didn't have to wait long for a new Legendary to replace it. Beginning today, December 15, players around the world will have a chance to encounter the Legendary Ground-type Groudon for a limited time.

Groudon marks the first Legendary Pokemon from Gen 3 to appear in Pokemon Go. Like previous Legendaries, it can be encountered as a Raid Battle at Gyms. You'll need to team up with other players in real-life to battle it; only after bringing Groudon down will you have a chance to capture it. Groudon will appear in the game until 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 9 PM GMT on January 15, 2018.

Dozens of other Pokemon from the series' Gen 3 games, Ruby and Sapphire, were introduced in Pokemon Go following last week's big update. 50 new Pokemon can now be found in the game, including Torchic, Mudkip, Swablu, Wailord, and Salamence. The remaining Gen 3 monsters will be rolled out later.

New Pokemon weren't the only additions last week's update brought to Pokemon Go. Developer Niantic also introduced a dynamic weather system. Now, the weather in the real-world will be reflected in-game, which affects how often you'll encounter certain Pokemon; Water-types, for instance, will spawn more frequently when it's raining. In addition to that, Niantic also added the ability to create Battle Parties. Players can save teams of up to six Pokemon to use in Raid and Gym battles.

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.: Fortnite's Christmas Event Adds A Snowball Launcher And New Bosses, Is Live Now

Fortnite is getting into the holiday spirit. Starting today, its holiday-themed event for the PvE Save the World mode is now live, adding a whole bunch of new activities and items to try out. It's part of a bigger update that also includes some changes and additions for the Battle Royale mode.

Survive the Holidays is highlighted by a new questline that tasks you with bringing "the holiday spirit to everyone in the husk-ridden world," according to developer Epic's patch notes. You'll get a bunch of Snowflake tickets for participating in the event, which can be used to buy special items like Holiday Survival Llamas.

In addition, the update adds several, more difficult versions of certain mini-bosses. Husk, Husky, and Smasher have all been made tougher and feature randomized gameplay variations. The update also overhauls the Survive the Storm mode, which features a winter-themed map, 3-day and 7-day versions, and new enemies.

Finally, Survive the Holidays also adds new Heroes and weapons. You can now play as Sarah Claus (an Alchemist), Blitzen BASE Kyle (a Warden), Snow Stalker Jonesy (a Demolisher), and Fragment Flurry Jess (a Reclaimer). On the weapons side, you can try out a couple of new snipers and a snowball launcher.

The Battle Royale mode also gets a few winter-themed additions. You can try out the Snowball Launcher, and there'll also be a holiday Battle Bus as well as "other gifts waiting for you around the island." Epic also implemented a bunch of tweaks and changes to gameplay, which you can read about over at its website.

All of this is available now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC. This event marks the beginning of Fortnite Season 2, which comes with a lot of other items and activities. Buying a new Battle Pass will get you access to all the cosmetics Season 2 runs from now until February 20, and you can read all of its patch notes here.

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.: Destiny 2 Masterworks Guide: How To Get Masterwork Cores And Weapons With New Perks

One of Destiny 2's major new features arrived recently as part of a post-Curse of Osiris update. Masterworks present what amounts to a new class of weapon, providing players with another thing to hunt down in their journeys. Unfortunately, the way they work can be a little confusing, and as is often the case with Destiny, it's not explained well in-game. Here's what you need to know about Masterworks and Masterwork Cores.

Masterworks are variants of Legendary weapons. They track your kills in either Crucible or PvE, provide Orbs when you secure multi-kills, and--most importantly--provide bonus stat perks. These affect a single attribute--such as reload speed, stability, impact, magazine size, or blast radius--and can be re-rolled if you would prefer a different buff.

You can obtain Masterworks like any other item; once you hit Power level 250, you'll have a chance for Legendary weapons to drop as Masterworks versions. The Raid and Trials of the Nine both offer a "very high chance" for their drops to be Masterworks, making them the most reliable way to obtain new ones. But you're also able to get them from vendors, Strikes, standard Crucible matches, and so on.

An alternative path involves forging a Masterwork yourself, although the cost for doing so is somewhat high. Any Legendary you own now has a new Masterwork Upgrade option on its Details screen. This will allow you to turn a standard Legendary into a Masterwork version; you can choose for a Vanguard or Crucible version, depending on what kills you want it to track. This process costs 25 Legendary Shards and 10 Masterworks Cores.

But how to get Masterwork Cores? That's where the drops become all-important: Unwanted Masterwork weapons can be dismantled, a process which yields Masterwork Cores. The number you'll obtain varies; in our experience, it tends to be 1-3 Cores per dismantle, meaning you may need to acquire quite a few weapons to complete this process.

Masterwork Cores also serve another purpose. As noted above, you can re-roll the stat bonus on your Masterwork weapon. This is called reworking a weapon, and it costs 25 Legendary Shards and three Masterworks Cores. There's no telling what bonus you'll get from reworking, so be sure that you're okay with ditching your current bonus before going through with the process.

Masterworks are expected to expand in the future in a number of ways. Bungie has already said it plans to introduce Masterwork versions for other types of gear in the game. It also plans to highlight the weapons' kill tracking in more ways, such as displaying the number on the Crucible kill screen. In the meantime, you can check out all of the Masterworks weapons we've found so far.

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.: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review - Is The New Movie Any Good?

In a pivotal Star Wars: The Last Jedi scene, one character urges another to "let it all die." The character is talking about relics of past generations: Jedi, Sith, rebels, empires. At times, this movie feels determined to do just that. If 2015's The Force Awakens bent over backward to be like the original movies, The Last Jedi does the same to buck your expectations. It doesn't "let it all die," but it does clear away enough of the old to set the newest Star Wars trilogy on a surprising path toward its conclusion.

The Last Jedi's determination to move forward comes with good and bad consequences. On one hand, there are genuinely shocking moments in this movie. Characters you thought were good have a dark side. Those who should be wise act foolishly, and a single decent act doesn't suddenly make a bad guy good. If you think you know which way this thing will go purely on a narrative level, you're probably wrong. For a Star Wars movie, that unpredictability is refreshing.

But The Last Jedi treats many of the series' vestiges with equal contempt, no matter how distant or relatively near in the past they are. More than one character or plot established in The Force Awakens gets unceremoniously blown up here. After Episode VII, this trilogy's path felt too familiar; now, it might go anywhere, but that's also made the whole endeavor feel shakier, like the plan might change again before it's all over. The plot being unpredictable is refreshing; axing entire storylines from The Force Awakens before they ever had a chance to pay off seems sloppy.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi picks up more or less right where The Force Awakens left off. Rey has traveled to a distant corner of the galaxy to get Luke Skywalker back in the fight, and General Leia's Resistance alternately flees and fights the much more powerful First Order. Without the need to introduce so many new characters, The Last Jedi does what middle trilogy movies do: It lets us spend more time with those already established.

Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) is still a hot-headed but skilled Resistance pilot. Finn (John Boyega) is struggling to find his place in the Resistance as a First Order deserter. Rey (Daisy Ridley) has quite a job convincing Luke (Mark Hamill) to come out of exile, while Kylo Ren (Adam Driver)--a.k.a. Ben Solo--battles his inner conflict, not to mention Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) and General Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). Leia (Carrie Fisher) leads the Resistance against overwhelming odds. Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) is still pointless. Chewbacca chewbaccas. BB-8 is still great.

Add to this already unwieldy cast: Kelly Marie Tran's Rose Tico, an intensely likable Resistance maintenance worker who gets in above her head; Benicio del Toro's DJ, a thief who toes the line between good and bad; and Laura Dern's Vice Admiral Holdo, an utterly unnecessary addition who takes screen time away from better characters.

What really doesn't help The Last Jedi is how grossly bloated it is with circuitous subplots, narrative cul-de-sacs, and detours that amount to little more than distractions. The movie's main event is actually a drawn out stalemate between Snoke's armada and Leia's pathetic forces, which probably wasn't a smart structural choice for a middle movie that would have threatened to drag even without a lengthy standoff in the middle.

Various characters on both sides give regular reports on the Resistance ships' dwindling fuel supply, which graciously serves to signal to audiences approximately how much more foot-tapping non-action remains before the movie gets good again. There are entire schemes, mutinies, and double-crosses that serve only to tread water while The Last Jedi's many moving pieces all get into place for a finale that is, admittedly, awfully grand.

That sounds grim, but The Last Jedi gets many important things right too. Like The Force Awakens, it's beautiful to behold. It's also just the right amount of funny. Even the Porgs, which drew such a following before the movie had even released, provide the right amount of cute without feeling overused.

Luke Skywalker's decades-long arc pays off in a way that Han Solo's, sadly, did not in The Force Awakens. Yet Luke's scenes never dissolve into pandering or fan service; in fact, his journey provides more surprises than any other plot in the movie. Carrie Fisher's performance comes with surprises too, although the exact details of her plot will surely cause some to wonder how much of the film was changed after the actress's death in late 2016. Regardless of whether we ever find out, The Last Jedi is a beautiful send-off for the iconic character and the actress who played her.

Most importantly, The Last Jedi provides real momentum and growth for its core characters. Poe, Rey, Finn, and Kylo were all right where we left them when the movie started, which made it easy to jump straight into the conflict. By the end, they're in very different places.

Episode VII and, now, Episode VIII have accomplished something as difficult as it is crucial: They've made us care about a new generation of Star Wars heroes. Looking toward the past in these movies has been fun and emotional, but the new trilogy was always going to live or die by what it added to the series, not what it rehashed. And the journeys of characters like Rey and Ben Solo are starting to feel as nuanced and essential as those of Han, Luke, and Leia in the original trilogy. Regardless of where it ends, that's something to admire, and despite its issues, The Last Jedi overall is as enjoyable a Star Wars film as The Force Awakens was before it.

The GoodThe Bad
Characters introduced in Force Awakens continue to evolveBloated with unnecessary subplots and distractions
Luke and Leia's journeys and payoffSome new characters add little
Stylistically beautiful and funnyTreads water for much of the middle
Subverts the series' established tropes and provides genuine surprises
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.: Next Free Amazon/Twitch Prime Game Now Available

Amazon and Twitch Prime subscribers can now pick up another free game. For a limited time, the clever and stylish first-person shooter Superhot can be yours for PC if you have an Amazon Prime membership.

Beginning today, December 15, Prime subscribers will be able to download the full game--which normally retails for $25--at no cost. The free period runs until just before Christmas, on December 24. To claim your copy, click on your Prime Loot tab or visit Superhot's Twitch page. You'll be able to download and play the full game through the Twitch desktop app.

Superhot originally released in February 2016. The game's defining feature is its unique time-stopping gameplay mechanic. Time only elapses while you're moving; stop, and everything will freeze in place until you begin to move again. GameSpot awarded the title an 8/10 in our Superhot review and called it "a clever game with deep, hidden elements that require committed and thorough examination."

Twitch Prime is included in Amazon Prime, so if you're already a member of the premium service, you'll be able to take advantage of this free offer. Superhot isn't the only freebie available right now; subscribers can also get a Bomb Voyage Weapon Camo & Winter Siege Supply Drop Pack in Call of Duty: WWII, a Golden Classic Card Pack for Hearthstone, and other rewards. You can learn more about Twitch Prime and begin a free trial on Twitch's website.

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.: The Biggest Star Wars: The Last Jedi Spoilers

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out in theaters now, and if you want some impressions, you can read our Star Wars: The Last Jedi review or dig into a roundup of the biggest Last Jedi reviews from around the web right here. But if you're looking for spoilers, from the Easter eggs and little details you might have missed to full-on plot discussion, we've got a rundown of all our spoiler-filled features here.

This goes without saying, but everything below this story is a potential spoiler. If you haven't seen the movie yet, and you don't want to know what happens, then you should head back to the GameSpot homepage.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi spoiler discussion. In this video we discuss all the things that we felt went right and wrong with the new Star Wars. The new characters, the old characters and Porgs. This is also the video you'll find embedded up above.

Who is Snoke? We'll start light because, frankly, we don't have a lot of answers ourselves. But here's what little we've learned about the enigmatic Supreme Leader from the events in The Last Jedi. Essentially, Snoke is still an enigma, and now that he's dead, it's more likely that the only way we'll learn more is through expanded universe media.

What's the deal with those dice? Luke pulled a pair of golden dice from the dashboard of the Millenium Falcon, but you'd be forgiven if you didn't know the trinket's origin; we haven't seen them since the original Star Wars trilogy. The dice's significance is a mystery, though it's rumored that their the dice Han used when gambling to win the Millennium Falcon. But it's likely we'll get a more concrete answer in the upcoming standalone Solo film.

Who are Rey's parents? This question is, at least partially, still up for conjecture. But if Kylo is to be believed, Rey's parents are inconsequential characters we won't hear anything else about. While that seems like it could be a narrative letdown after Kylo Ren's reveal to be a Solo/Skywalker, Rey's lineage does fit into the broader Star Wars universe. After all, Anakin came from otherwise unremarkable beginnings. And then the orphaned stable boy at the end of the film seemed to show latent force abilities as well. So, we don't really know who Rey's parents are, but The Last Jedi seems to indicate that it doesn't really matter anyway.

Why did Luke die? Following his battle with Kylo, we learn that Luke was projecting a non-corporeal version of himself across the cosmos. But the strain of such a strong illusion took its toll on the aging Jedi. But it's likely this isn't the last we've seen of Skywalker. Much like the passing of Ben Kenobi and Yoda, Luke became "one with the Force," his body disappearing into nothing. So it's likely he'll be a guiding presence for Finn, and possibly Kylo, in the trilogy's finale.

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.: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Spoilers: Who Are Rey's Parents?

SPOILER WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Star Wars: The Last Jedi has finally arrived in theaters, letting fans experience the next chapter in the Skywalker saga. As classic characters like Luke and Leia work with the next generation of the resistance--Rey, Finn, Poe, and series newcomer Rose--to rise up against the First Order, The Last Jedi answers many questions posed by both Star Wars: The Force Awakens and the film franchise as a whole. One of those questions happens to be something fans have been debating since The Force Awakens first hit theaters: Who are Rey's parents?

Rey has shown through both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi that she is very powerful with the Force, which led to a number of fan theories over the past couple of years. Some thought she was somehow the child of Obi-Wan Kenobi, while others thought Luke Skywalker himself was her father. In that particular theory, her mother is Mara Jade--Luke's wife in the expanded universe. Yet another theory posited that Rey could be Kylo Ren's sister, another child of Leia and Han Solo.

As it turns out, none of those are the reality--or, at least, that's what viewers are led to believe. During their confrontation on Snoke's ship in The Last Jedi, Kylo tells Rey she already knows who her parents were. "They're nobody," he says to her. Kylo adds that they probably sold her off for drinking money and are now buried in a pauper's grave.

While this might be disappointing for some fans, it makes Rey a more mysterious and interesting character. It also gives her a connection to Darth Vader that Kylo will never have. Anakin Skywalker, like Rey, came from nothing. He was a "nobody" who was strong with the Force and ended up changing the galaxy. Of course, it was for the worse. Rey, on the other hand, can save it.

However, that's all dependent on whether Kylo is being honest. While viewers are led to believe Rey knew the truth about her parents, Kylo is also extremely powerful with the Force and could have been manipulating her. It's entirely possible that Episode IX will reveal that Kylo was lying about her lineage.

That said, having Rey come from nothing to lead a new generation of Force-sensitive warriors is a very interesting turn of events for this new Star Wars trilogy to take. Do you enjoy this revelation about Rey's parentage? Tell us in the comments below. After that, take a look at our extensive Star Wars: The Last Jedi feature for more theories and answers to all of your questions.

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.: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Funko Pop Giveaway

In honor of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, we're giving away a Chewbacca with Porg Funko Pop! One (1) winner will be chosen after the giveaway closes on Friday, December 22 at 11:59PM PT.

Open to US residents only, void where prohibited.

Enter below (the additional entries are optional to increase your chances of winning):

GameSpot Universe is our official entertainment channel focused on comics, movies, TV, anime, giveaways, and more! We find you movie easter eggs, recap shows like Game Of Thrones and Rick And Morty, and tell you who the hell are certain comic book characters like Cable from Deadpool.

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.: GameSpot's Best Games Of 2017 #6: Horizon: Zero Dawn

GameSpot's Best Games of 2017 has finally kicked off, so join us as we unveil what we thought were the 10 best games released this year. At the #6 spot is Horizon: Zero Dawn, which is available on PlayStation 4. Read on to see why we chose it as one of the best for 2017.

GameSpot's Best Games of 2017

It's a commonly held fantasy that our race to master technology will one day cripple humanity as we know it, be it the result of unchecked hubris or an egomaniacal ruler. Horizon Zero Dawn flirts with the possibility of a fractured society clawing its way back to enlightenment after just such a collapse. But unlike our own stone-age ancestors, Horizon's primitive people must shepherd the burden of a previous era's mistakes while battling mother nature and trudging through their own rocky development.

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For them, it means a life of many hardships. For us, it results in an exciting open-world game with ferocious robotic monsters patrolling breathtaking landscapes. Guerrilla Games wields the sci-fi-tinted man-against-nature conflict with apparent ease, and its first post-Killzone work is an artistic and technical marvel that's also highly enjoyable to play. Rumbling with Horizon's fiercest enemies requires confidence and deft timing. In the span of a couple seconds, you can sprint, dodge, craft ammo, and reload your bow or slingshot, and maybe leap off of a boulder for a slow-motion killing blow between a pair of incandescent eyes. Impressively, Horizon does all of this without breaking a sweat.

Our capable character is a young warrior named Aloy, whose connection to the world runs deeper than most, and sure enough, her journey of discovery is punctuated with frequent surprise. Faced with a turning point, she's forced to reflect on former truths and accept a new reality that propels her headlong into a battle larger than any tribal conflict or wild robotic encounter, with a touching payoff as her ultimate purpose comes into view.

At a time when nobody would blame you for feeling burned out on open-world games, Horizon came along and re-lit the smoldering flame.

The steps Horizon takes to put us at destination's door are consistently well designed and action packed, but it can be just as fulfilling to blindly wander off and soak in your surroundings. Enjoy a nice day of hunting boar in sunny woods, and stay up late to stalk mechanical deer under chilling moonlight. Aloy is also a capable climber, granting you access to mountain tops and the roofs of ruined skyscrapers. The sprawling painterly views tempt you with promises of beauty and danger alike, all thanks to Guerrilla's creative prowess.

At a time when nobody would blame you for feeling burned out on open-world games, Horizon came along and re-lit the smoldering flame. It fell back on a few common practices seen in other games, sure, but it's predominantly defined by unique traits and accomplishments. You look back on it once the credits roll in awe of where you've been and what Aloy has become. And once you're done processing the impact of the ending, you'll wonder: where will this possibly go next? It's not immediately clear, but we can't wait to find out.


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.: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Spoilers: Who Is Snoke?

SPOILER WARNING: PROCEED WITH CAUTION

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is finally out in theatres, with critics and fans generally lauding the latest adventures of the Skywalker clan (not to mention series newcomers such as Rey, Finn, and Poe). And while this new film does answer some of the burning questions set up in The Force Awakens, there are still more mysteries to be sifted through. And one of the biggest questions we still have is: Who exactly is Snoke?

Snoke, the puppet master behind both the First Order and Kylo Ren, was first introduced in The Force Awakens, but little was actually disclosed about his origins. We had hoped more would be revealed about the enigmatic baddie in The Last Jedi, but sadly, Kylo Ren's treachery means Snoke is no more, with the film divulging no further details about his former master.

So what do we know about Snoke? Very little, it seems, with the films themselves simply presenting Snoke as the leader of the First Order who also was extremely strong in the dark side of the Force (witness the lightning power he uses to dispel Rey in The Last Jedi). Snoke is similarly a mysterious figure in other non-film Star Wars media, so all fans are left with is speculation. By far the most popular prevailing theory is that Snoke is actually the mysterious Darth Plagueis, the never-seen Sith master of Emperor Palpatine himself.

What are your theories about Snoke? Tell us in the comments below. And for more The Last Jedi questions and theories, check out our extensive feature. And don't forget to read our Star Wars: The Last Jedi review.

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.: Free PUBG Included With Xbox One X For A Limited Time

The phenomenally popular battle royale game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds made its console debut earlier this week when it released on Xbox One, and it's already proven to be very popular on the system. Those who may be looking to jump in to PUBG but don't own an Xbox One yet will soon have a chance to pick up both at once, as Microsoft is bundling the game with its new Xbox One X for a limited-time.

Beginning December 17, those who purchase an Xbox One X in participating regions will get a copy of PUBG (which contains a download code for the game) right out of the box at no additional cost. The promotion only runs through December 31, however, so you'll have until the end of the month to score a free copy of the popular survival game with your new Xbox One X.

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PUBG is available in early access on Xbox One via the Xbox Game Preview program. It costs $30 to purchase the game--the same price as the early access version on PC. However, the game doesn't perform quite as well on Xbox as it does on PC. Despite its early rough patches, PUBG already drew more than 1 million players on Xbox One in its first 48 hours.

Xbox One X launched around the world back in November. It's the most powerful console to date and costs $500. A growing number of games have been updated with 4K support and other enhancements when played on Xbox One X. Xbox One players can also purchase exclusive cosmetic item packs for PUBG, the second of which is only available from December 14-17. A new desert map called Miramar will also be added to the game in the near future.

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.: Top PC Accessories - GameSpot Holiday Gift Guide 2017

Finding gifts for the PC gamer can be tough considering there are just so many dang peripherals out there. That's why we've done the dirty work for you and have outlined the best bang-for-the-buck keyboard, mouse, monitor and more that will serve as excellent gifts this holiday season.

Keyboard: Corsair K68 Mechanical Keyboard

A mechanical keyboard is a valuable asset to PC gamers, but they tend to come at a hefty price. Corsair offers some of the better options out on the market and for $100, the K68features everything you'd need out of a keyboard. It's water and dust resistant, so you don't need to worry about accidentally spilling drinks at your desk and destroying an expensive piece of equipment. Dedicated media keys come in clutch and the Cherry MX Red switches give you smooth, linear, and precise keystrokes.

Street price: $100

Mouse: Logitech G403 (Wired) / G703 (Wireless)

Logitech has a great reputation when it comes to gaming mice and the G403/G703 shows why. It's a simple mouse that fits into your hand whether you use a claw grip or palm grip. Those who prefer a heavier mouse can insert the included 10 gram weight. Two side buttons are easy to hit with your thumb and the distinct tactility of the mouse buttons help with rapid clicking. The G403 uses a Pixart PWM3366 optical sensor, which is extremely precise. The wired version (G403) goes for $70, but can be found for cheaper while the wireless one (G703) will run you $100 unless it's found on sale.

Street price: $70 (G403), $100 (G703)

PC Controller: Xbox One Controller

For a long time, the Xbox 360 controller was the de facto controller of choice for PC gamers due to its XInput support. The Xbox One controller is even better, however, with improved joysticks. The newer variants also support Bluetooth, so you can go wireless without a dongle.

Street price: $47

Gaming Headset: HyperX Cloud Alpha

Kingston's HyperX brand found its way into PC gaming peripherals not long ago and its headsets have been highly regarded. The Cloud Alpha released this year and provides exceptional sound quality. Just as important is comfort; this headset has dense velvet-like ear pads that form nicely around your ears. The microphone is detachable so you can get it out of the way if you don't need it. HyperX's Cloud Alpha connects through a 3.5mm connection and can be used on any device that supports the audio jack. Overall, PC gamers will appreciate its sound and build quality.

Street price: $100

Gaming Monitor: LG UltraWide UM57 25UM57

There are a lot of gaming monitors on the market, but LG makes a really good one with a 21:9 aspect ratio, which will be able to give you a viewing advantage in games that support ultra wide resolutions. It also helps that it's under $200. LG's UM57 25UM57 uses a 25-inch 1080p panel that offers just five millisecond of delay. This is good enough for most gamers. It also uses an IPS display, which means it offers vibrant, realistic colors and wide viewing angles.

Street price: $180

VR Headset: Oculus Rift

With the recent price drop of the Oculus Rift to $400, now is arguably the best time to get a VR headset, especially since the Rift has a more mature library that includes great games like Superhot VR, Robo Recall, Echo Arena, and more. This price also includes the Oculus Touchcontrollers, which retailed for $200 alone earlier this year. It helps that the Rift is also much easier to set up than the competing HTC Vive.

Street price: $400

GPU: GeForce GTX 1060

The current cryptocurrency craze has dramatically increased the prices of modern GPUs, but you can still get a good graphics card for under $200. For instance, you can find Asus' 3GB Phoenix Fan Edition GeForce GTX 1060 for $193, and it happens to be a great GPU for maxing out most games at 1080p.

Street price: $193

Webcam: Logitech C922

Logitech's C922 webcam is great for both streaming and video calls. It has two different modes that allow you to shoot at either 1080p with 30FPS or 720p with 60FPS. The C922 also offers low-light correction, so you can use it in dim environments.

Street price: $100

Mic: Blue Yeti USB Microphone

Whether you want to stream or simply want a high-quality microphone, Blue Yeti's USB microphone has you covered. It has three condenser capsules, which allow you to switch among multiple recording patterns that include cardioid, bidirectional, and omnidirectional.

Street Price: $125

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.: Destiny 2 Xur Location Guide: Where Is Xur And What Is He Selling? (December 15-18)

Another week has passed, and in Destiny 2, that means Xur has arrived once again to hock his Exotic wares. Unlike his first post-Curse of Osiris appearance, however, this one is more meaningful, thanks to the release of the game's latest patch. Here's a walkthrough on how to find Xur this week and a look at what he's selling.

Xur has taken up residence in a new location for him, on the Tower. That means you'll first need to gain access to that social space in order to check out what he has for sale. In order to reach him, spawn into the Tower and head toward the northeastern part of the map, where Dead Orbit is stationed. Behind their area is a set of stairwells; start to head up those, and you'll encounter him toward one of the lower levels.

Unlike last week, none of the gear Xur is selling is exclusive to Curse of Osiris. He's got the usual selection of one Exotic weapon and one piece of Exotic armor for each class. More notably, he also has some new item types. This marks Xur's first weekend since the release of Destiny 2's 1.1.1.1 update. As a result, he now sells Three of Coins and Fated Engrams. These Three of Coins work a bit differently than those in Destiny 1, as they simply increase Exotic drop chances for four hours. Fated Engrams provide you with an Exotic item you don't already own, but you're limited to purchasing one per account each week. Here's the full Xur lineup this week:

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This has been a big week for Destiny 2, as the 1.1.1.1 update introduced Masterworks weapons and some other notable changes. However, the planned Faction Rally event was canceled as Bungie, in response to player outrage, makes changes to what content non-DLC owners have access to. Additionally, Bungie announced the details of Destiny 2's The Dawning event, which launches soon to celebrate the holidays.

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.: Far Cry 5 Gameplay Showcases The Series' Familiar Insanity

Far Cry 5 looks to strike a balance between the familiar and the foreign. After the mountain ranges of Kyrat and the tropical charm of the Rook Islands, you could not have picked a more divergent locale than the state of Montana. Yet if you've never driven by a farm or don't know zen-like serenity of fly fishing, it takes little to no time for any Far Cry fan to get acquainted with Hope County.

If you've retained some muscle memory from forays in Far Cry 4 or even Far Cry Primal, you should be able to make small work of many of the initial missions in Far Cry 5. As before, it's largely about studying enemy patrol patterns, knowing how to read alert meters, and mastering stealth takedowns. But unless you're a Far Cry stealth savant, being able to switch gears and go in guns blazing is an equally useful skill.

Your adversaries--the followers and leaders of the Eden's Gate cult--will make sure that the further you go to retake the land from them, the stronger their fanatical pushback. Every bit of territorial takeover gets you closer to the showdown against Joseph Seed, "The Father", and leader, of Eden's Gate. But first, you have to take out his three siblings who control various regions of Hope County. This pathway to the final boss feels like a less ambitious version of the route to El Sueno in Ghost Recon: Wildlands. That doesn't imply Far Cry 5 will be a lesser experience, though between the abundance of helicopters and means to infiltrate bases from the skies, it's hard to avoid comparisons to Ubisoft's early 2017 hit. Both games even have a helicopter shooting puzzle.

Incidentally, our most recent hands-on session shed little new light on Eden's Gate, aside from the affirmation that their followers are some of the most rage-filled enemies in series history. Their idea of cleansing the land means poisoning the water system, even if it results in drugged out animals. It also means getting rid of Hope County's history, right down to its gravesites. It makes for a suitable introductory bonding session between you and optional Gun-For-Hire Grace Armstrong. You can win her over by helping fend off cultists attempting to destroy graves around her church. Whether you follow Grace's lead and snipe followers from the church tower or take the fight to ground level, there are a lot of weapon options in Far Cry 5, provided you can find or afford them.

So far, the most engrossing aspect of Ubisoft's vision of a cult-occupied county in Montana is the illusion that its creatures and citizens live and exist independent of your involvement, for better or worse. You can emerge from a forest to find a bear and a bull in a life-and-death struggle on a farm or you can drive by a couple of cultists on the road ready to execute a pair of non-believers. Obviously, and with a quick enough draw, you can affect the outcome of these conflicts--just be aware that cultists, bears, and bulls will reciprocate your hostility. If the heart of Far Cry is the cycle of recognizing, acting upon, and creating opportunities, what we've played of Far Cry 5 is a promising sample of this continuing trend of rich emergent gameplay.

It remains to be seen whether there'll be a meaningful take-away from Far Cry 5's provoking premise of religious fanaticism. This interpretation of rural America could be inviting enough to make up for the lack of a meaningful message. Even with all the cultists roaming Hope Valley, this could be the first Far Cry worth spending time in "just to hang," whether that means going fishing or taking a tractor for a spin. It's even gratifying to take a plane up and discover landmarks that are impossible to see at ground level. We didn't exactly spot Nazca Lines, but there were landmarks that could be interpreted as extra-terrestrial in nature. We're curious to see what those mean.

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.: Two Games Are Free Right Now On Steam

We're in mid-December now, and new game releases have finally slowed down a bit. If you're looking for something to occupy your weekend, though, Steam is holding a free weekend for two games. For a limited time, you can try out Homefront: The Revolution and H1Z1.

Homefront: The Revolution is a first-person shooter that centers on a story in which North Korea has conquered the United States. You have to join up with other guerrilla fighters to attempt to break the North Korean hold on the country. You can read more about it in our review here. In short: it's not an amazing game, but still has some interesting ideas and is worth trying out for free.

H1Z1, meanwhile, has morphed several times over the years. It was announced as a DayZ-like survival game, but has since been split into two titles. H1Z1 is now a Battle Royale-style game in the vein of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, and in fact PlayerUnknown helped create the original version of H1Z1 before he started work on PUBG. Although H1Z1 has some notable differences from PUBG--most significantly, a much greater focus on crafting--it's nonetheless one of the better Battle Royale games out there.

Homefront will be free to play until Sunday at 1 PM PT / 4 PM ET / 10 PM BST, while H1Z1 will be playable through December 21. If you like either title, you can buy a copy for 75% off right now. Homefront is $7.50 (originally $30) and H1Z1 is $5 (originally $20).

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.: Second Monster Hunter: World Beta Releases Soon On PS4, PS Plus Not Required

Following a beta earlier this month, Capcom will soon allow PlayStation 4 owners to sample the upcoming Monster Hunter: World once again. This time around, it's dumping the PlayStation Plus requirement of the first beta test, allowing everyone on PS4 to give the game a try.

World's second beta kicks off on December 22 at 9 AM PT / 12 PM ET / 5 PM GMT (4 AM AET on December 23). It will run for a total of four days, ending at the same times on December 26 (or December 27, for those in some time zones). Although PS Plus is not required to download it, you'll presumably still need a subscription if you hope to try out the game's online multiplayer mode, although that is unconfirmed.

Capcom did not say if there would be any new content available in this second beta. Those who participated in the first test will be able to use the same client they already downloaded, so hopefully you haven't deleted it yet. Pre-loading for newcomers will begin on December 18, giving you a few days to get it downloaded before the beta begins.

Unfortunately, there's still been no word about a beta for Xbox One players. The same is also true for PC, although that comes as less of a surprise given that version doesn't have a release date and won't launch at the same time as the console versions.

World launches for PS4 and Xbox One on January 26. The PS4 version will boast some exclusive freebies in the form of crossover content themed around Horizon Zero Dawn. All versions of the game will also get free Mega Man-themed content and new monsters as free post-launch DLC.

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.: Adventure Time Is Getting An Open-World Game On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC Next Year

A new game based on Cartoon Network's popular animated series Adventure Time is coming to home consoles and PC next year. Titled Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, the game is an open-world pirate adventure published by Bandai Namco.

In Pirates of the Enchiridion, players can take control of many fan-favorite Adventure Time characters, such as Finn, Jake, Marceline, and BMO and explore the various kingdoms of the Land of Ooo, which have been "cut off from each other" by a flood. Finn and Jake can navigate the world in their own boat and recruit other characters to be a part of their crew. You can see a gallery of some nice-looking screenshots from the game below.

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Bandai Namco hasn't shared any details about Pirates of the Enchiridion's plot, but the game will feature an "original" story, and Finn and Jake will have to interrogate other characters for clues during the course of the game. Bandai Namco says the game will also boast "tactical combat" and a progression system for your heroes.

Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion releases on PS4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PC in Spring 2018. Beginning today, December 15, developer Outright Games is holding a competition to name Finn and Jake's ship in the game. You can find more details about the competition on Outright's Facebook page.

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.: The 5 Best PC Games Of 2017

First-person shooters, survival-horror games, RPGs, adventure games, and real-time tactical strategy games; these are all genres that PC has used throughout its existence to solidify itself as one of gaming's most popular platforms. If you love to play on PC, this was a good year, as 2017 offered mastercraft executions of every genre mentioned above. Each yielded an ambitious spirit, pushing forward its respective genre with fresh ideas and mechanics, while also expanding upon what has come before. In no particular order, here are our picks for the best PC games of 2017.

Total War: Warhammer II

[Read the Review]

Total War: Warhammer II is one of the most well-crafted strategy games in PC gaming history. With the second installment, developer The Creative Assembly has expanded the mechanics of the first, while still retaining its sandbox structure. At the same time, the game better utilizes its narrative, tapping into the decades of lore that the Warhammer franchise now consists of.

This sequel adds a sense of dynamism and urgency to a series where many players feel safe slowly creeping across the campaign map, knowing that even if their front line falls, their home cities are stoic and safe. In addition, the scale and enormity of its combat is unparalleled, especially in the Mortal Empires campaign, which combines everything from the first game with everything you see in Total War: Warhammer II. Battles are not long, arduous, drawn-out affairs, nor do they end too quickly for you to appreciate the size and force of what you're seeing.

The addition of the Vortex campaign and a wider variety of quests far exceed the experience of the original. The game also expands the formula with numerous spells and new marching monsters and units, and the resulting concoction is a strategy game that both Warhammer and Total War fans are guaranteed to love.

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice

[Read the Review]

Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice leverages the strengths of video games as a medium and delivers an experience that is unlike anything else released this year. It's a bold game that explores mental health--specifically psychosis--through the lens of a character-action game wrapped in Norse mythology. The game tackles an important and often misunderstood illness, and allows you to better understand it through visual and aural presentation.

Developer Ninja Theory has a long history of developing action games that are fast and fluid in movement while also being mechanically deep and complex, but for Hellblade, the developer scaled this back somewhat. Playing Hellblade can feel rough and sluggish, but this feeds into the mind-state of its main character, Senua. Returning from self-imposed exile, the young Pict warrior grapples with her inner-demons as she attempts to save the soul of her lover, Dillon.

The act of fighting against demonic apparitions feels like a struggle, as Senua summons every ounce of energy in her body just to keep moving forward, one step at a time. And all the while voices in her head pull her in different directions, some guiding her, while others undermine and belittle her. The result is an experience that feels raw, unsettling, as well as frustrating and disempowering. It can be difficult to play but, ultimately, it's also a unique and enlightening experience.

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

[Read The Full Review]

Resident Evil 7: Biohazard marks a return to form for Capcom, which reconnected with its survival-horror roots to deliver a Resident Evil that is both modern and faithful to the series' legacy.

The game casts aside the third-person perspective for first-person, and in doing so, ratchets up the nerve-wracking tension throughout the campaign. Crucially, however, it leans on the genre pillars that it both established and popularised; bullets and healing items are in short supply, and enemies require strategy and a steady hand to take down.

From the early moments of breathlessly running around the Baker home, hoping and praying not to cross paths with Jack, the psychotic patriarch of the family, to the nail-biting cat-and-mouse game in Marguerite's bug-infested cabin, and the intense fight for survival at the end, Resident Evil 7 is edge-of-your-seat gaming at its finest.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

[Read The Full Review]

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus never lets you forget who you're fighting, and why. Nazi brutality is on full display, from the blown-out, irradiated remains of Manhattan to each of the characters, who all carry mental scars if not physical ones. The far-future technology of the Nazi regime is exhilarating to partake in--high-powered laser weapons are exciting to use, after all--but it's also a grotesque display of their ruthless subjugation of all corners of the world.

That said, a tongue-in-cheek tone reminiscent of Inglourious Basterds strikes the right balance with the game's incredibly heavy subject matter. The New Colossus has a completely bonkers storyline, and it's elevated by satisfying Nazi-killing action and a self-awareness of its own dark humor. It also manages to make combat exciting without becoming a power fantasy--it's straight-up difficult, and its mechanical, heavily armored enemies can seem impossible to take down at times. But regardless of whether you take a stealthy or guns-blazing approach, you'll be rewarded with a thrilling fight once you do emerge victorious.

The most memorable thing about The New Colossus, though, is its direction. Carefully choreographed cutscenes give more gravity to an already great cast of characters, and the timing of specific moments (all spoilers) makes them all the more impactful. Wolfenstein's tense gameplay elevates this further by giving you the power to truly resist--and come out of each battle ready for another fight.

Divinity: Original Sin II

[Read The Full Review]

Divinity: Original Sin II snuck up on a lot of people, with buzz before it's release just simmering under the surface of the gaming community. It wasn't long after the game released that this wonderful RPG was on everyone's lips. Fascinating stories of how parties and individuals alike were solving problems and conquering dungeons, secrets and tidbits and little "did you knows" were passed between wannabe adventurers like excited children in class.

The game's story is compelling and involved, but it always encourages you to make it your own with a multitude of opportunities to experiment and choose your own path. Quests can be completed without blindly following objectives, murders can be solved by eating flesh, traps can be thwarted by talking with dogs, and quest givers can be spoken to by communicating with their ghosts. It's the stuff CRPG lovers adore, dialed up to 11.

By far the biggest attraction of Divinity: Original Sin II is the incredible amount of freedom you get, but it helps that the game is built upon a foundation of expertly designed mechanics. Being able to build up your character's abilities and equip them with numerous weapons continually fuels the desire to experiment and customize your party.

Divinity: Original Sin II is a massive accomplishment. It embodies everything that fans have come to adore about CRPGs, accommodating any and all inclinations you have to craft your own adventure. If there's any game you should play on PC this year (or in the years to come) it's Divinity: Original Sin II.

GameSpot will be unveiling its picks for the best games of the year throughout all of December. Check out our Best of 2017 hub for even more.

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.: Last Chance For These Free Xbox One And Xbox 360 Games With Gold Titles

It's the middle of the month, and that means now is your last chance to grab some of December's free Games With Gold titles before they return to their normal prices. You have through the end of today, December 15, to pick up episodic adventure game Tales From The Borderlands on Xbox One and the backwards-compatible rhythm game Child of Eden for Xbox 360.

On Xbox One, co-op action game Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide will continue to be free through the end of the month. On December 16, more freebies will become available, including Back to the Future: The Game on Xbox One and Marlow Briggs and the Mask of Death for Xbox 360. That game also plays on Xbox One through backwards compatibility.

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You can see December's full Games With Gold lineup below. January's freebies have not been announced yet but that should happen relatively soon, given the upcoming holiday. We know there won't be any more games added to the backwards compatibility catalog for the remainder of the year, as Microsoft's team is taking some time off.

In other Xbox news, the NPD Group has announced that the Xbox One drove more revenue in November than any other console. However, the PlayStation 4 was the best-seller when it came to units sold.

December 2017 Free Xbox Games With Gold

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.: Sony's Big PS4 Holiday Sale Offers Lots Of PSN Game Deals

Following not long after the limited-time Game Awards Flash Sale from last weekend, a new set of discounts have arrived on the PlayStation Store. With the holidays drawing near, Sony has kicked off Week 1 of its 2017 Holiday Sale, which offers a ton of discounts on PS4, PS3, and Vita titles.

As per usual, the biggest selection of deals are reserved for PS4, with PS Plus subscribers taking an additional percentage off nearly all of the eligible titles. This week's lineup features a handful of great titles, such as Overwatch: Game of the Year Edition ($30 with a PS Plus subscription, $36 without), Hitman: Game of the Year Edition ($36/$42), Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition ($10/$12), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ($13.39/$16), Batman: Arkham Knight ($9), and Wipeout: Omega Collection ($16/$20). Some other notable discounts include:

PS3 owners, meanwhile, can find discounts on BioShock and BioShock 2 ($4/$5 each), as well as BioShock Infinite ($7.39/$10), Grand Theft Auto IV ($8), Grand Theft Auto V ($20), Borderlands 2 ($4/$5), and an assortment of PSOne and PS2 classics, including Suikoden II ($5/$6), Castlevania: Symphony of the Night ($5/$6), and Silent Hill ($3/$3.59). On Vita, you can find discounts on Zero Escape: Zero Time Dilemma ($20/$28), Axiom Verge ($12), XCOM: Enemy Unknown Plus ($5/$7), God Wars: Future Past ($20/$24), and other titles.

Many of these deals will be available until December 19, while some will be around until just after Christmas, on December 26. As this is only the first week of the PSN Holiday Sale, Sony will presumably add another selection of discounts next week. Until then, you can see all the deals available right now on the PlayStation Store.

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.: This Week's Xbox One Deals With Gold Game Sales Announced

The latest selection of Deals with Gold are now available on Xbox One and Xbox 360. This week's lineup is fairly slim compared to what was available last week, but Xbox Live Gold members can still find a few noteworthy games on sale for both of Microsoft's consoles.

Following last week's surprise announcement of Mega Man 11, Xbox One owners can pick up all of the Blue Bomber's classic adventures at a discount, as both Mega Man Legacy Collection 1 and Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 are on sale for Gold members. The former is available for $6/£4.80, while the latter costs $13.39/£8.03. Gold members can also find discounts on Poi ($13.39/£10.71), Caveman Warriors ($10.04/£8.03), Bridge Constructor ($3.30/£2.64), Dex ($10/£8), The Surge ($20/£16), and Styx: Shards of Darkness ($12.50/£10). Non-Gold members, meanwhile, can find discounts on Iron Wings ($14.39/£11.51) and Maria the Witch ($2.50).

A pair of Mega Man games are also on sale this week on Xbox 360. Both the series' 2008 revival, Mega Man 9, and its follow-up Mega Man 10 are available for $6/£4.05 each. Other discounted games include Divinity II: The Dragon Knight Saga ($7.49), The Escapists ($5/£3.74), Remember Me ($5/£3.74), and Contrast ($2/£1.59).

This week's Deals with Gold will only be available through 3 AM PT/6 AM ET on December 19, after which they'll be replaced by a new batch of discounts. You can see all the Xbox One and Xbox 360 games on sale this week on Major Nelson's blog.

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.: GTA 5 Doomsday Heist Event Now Out For PS4, Xbox One, And PC

The latest free update for Grand Theft Auto V's GTA Online mode is now available. With this installed, PC, PS4, and Xbox One players can all take on The Doomsday Heist, a brand-new online heist for GTA Online and the biggest piece of content Rockstar has rolled out for the mode to date. [Update: It turns out the update holds more than we thought, as it also includes a new Red Dead Redemption 2 tie-in mission of sorts, seen in the video above.]

Rockstar describes The Doomsday Heist as a "massive new adventure" in which players will team up to thwart "a plan so diabolical it could end life as we know it." The heist spans three acts, each of which "involves negotiating multiple ruthless Freemode prep missions, tactical setup operations, and experimental weapons and vehicles." Rockstar says that all three acts of The Doomsday Heist end in an "over-the-top finale" that will net you a hefty payoff.

In order to participate in the new heist, one of your crew members will need to own "one of the previously undisclosed IAA facilities hidden under Southern San Andreas." That will give you access to the advanced planning room that maps out how to complete each new mission. Players who own the facility also get the option to have either their own Strike Team or Orbital Cannon, a devastating weapon "capable of immolating any patch of ground that incurs your wrath."

In addition to the new heist, today's update introduces "dozens" of new weapons, vehicles, clothing options, and other content to GTA Online, such as your own Mammoth Thruster jetpack and The Avenger, a turreted aircraft capable of vertical take-off. Other new vehicles available in GTA Online now include:

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Finally, Rockstar has added eight new Achievements and Trophies to earn. The developer has brought back Criminal Mastermind challenges for all three acts of The Doomsday Heist, as well. Each finale mission also has Elite Challenge objectives for an even steeper challenge and additional rewards.

The Doomsday Heist is the first new online heist Rockstar has introduced since the missions were first introduced in 2015. It's available to play for free for all Grand Theft Auto V players and is one of the many new content updates Rockstar has rolled out this year, including the aircraft-centric Smuggler's Run expansion.

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.: Metal Gear Survive Beta Dates Confirmed For PS4 And Xbox One

Given the game's different take on the series and the lack of Hideo Kojima's involvement, many Metal Gear fans have been skeptical of the upcoming "spin-off episode" of Metal Gear Solid V, Metal Gear Survive. Fortunately, players will have an opportunity to try the game for themselves in advance of its release, as Konami has announced a beta for the game launches next month.

Survive's beta will run from January 18-21 on both PS4 and Xbox One; there's no mention of a PC beta test, although the game is also coming to that platform. According to Konami, it will provide an opportunity "to jump into co-op mode to build, defend, and fight alongside friends online." No further specifics on what's included were shared.

Those who participate in the beta will receive bonus items in the full game. These include a FOXHOUND name plate, a Metal Gear REX head accessory, and a bandana. It's unclear if there will be a way to unlock these without having played the beta, or if they'll be available at all in the PC version.

Coinciding with this news, Konami shared the video above. It opens with producer Yuji Korekado providing an overview of the game before diving into a look at the single-player and the function that the Base Camp serves in single-player and co-op. We get a look at hunting animals, crafting, and combat, as well as how your Base Camp will periodically come under attack, forcing you to plan ahead and then defend it when necessary.

Metal Gear Survive releases for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on February 20. It was originally due out this year, but it was delayed back at E3. It marks the first Metal Gear game to be released by Konami since Kojima, the series' creator, parted ways with the studio.

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.: GTA 5's Red Dead Redemption 2 Mission Confirmed; Here's How To Get The New Gun

With Red Dead Redemption 2 slated for release next spring, Rockstar is ready to begin drumming up interest in the game among Grand Theft Auto V players. Following the discovery of some kind of RDR2-related content in GTA Online files, Rockstar has officially announced the details of a new crossover mission and weapon that launches today.

GTA Online players should receive an email in-game that provides a clue to help them pursue "rumors of a lost relic from the frontier." According to the dataminers' discovery, this will entail a scavenger hunt of sorts that takes players all across San Andreas to take pictures of various landmarks. Doing so will unlock a free new gun for use in GTA Online, which Rockstar has revealed is the Double-Action Revolver.

Once you get your hands on that, you'll be eligible to participate in a Headshot Challenge during Freemode. If you're able to complete that successfully, you'll get $250,000 in GTA Online and unlock the Double-Action Revolver for use in Red Dead Redemption 2. It's unclear at this point if it will be usable in RDR2's single-player, multiplayer, or both.

No Caption Provided

This scavenger hunt comes not long after the launch of the Doomsday Heist update, GTA Online's biggest update so far. In addition to the titular heist, it introduces a variety of new vehicles, cosmetics, and other new elements to GTA V's multiplayer mode. All of that is available now.

As for Red Dead Redemption 2, we know it's due out during Spring 2018, no sooner than April 1, 2018. Rockstar hasn't gotten any more specific than that, nor has it shared much about the game itself. We've gotten some trailers and screenshots, but beyond that, we're still waiting to learn more about its single-player--and any details at all about multiplayer.

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.: Final Fantasy 14 Christmas Update Out Today, Lets You Get A Flying Santa Bear

Final Fantasy XIV's annual Christmas-themed event is here. The Starlight Celebration kicked off this morning, and Square Enix has detailed some of the holiday-themed items and rewards you can get during the limited-time event--including an adorable new mount.

The Starlight Celebration event began on Friday, December 15, at 12 AM PT / 3 AM ET and runs through the rest of the month. You'll need to be at least level 15 to participate in the event, and completing quests will get some new Christmas-themed decorations for your home. But the best reward is the Starlight Bear, a cuddly new mount dressed like Santa. Just look at him.

No Caption Provided
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Players will get the Starlight Bear mount as a reward for completing the Starlight Celebration's quest series. In addition to being adorable, the Starlight Bear knows a few unique tricks. Like your typical bear, it can fly through the air. It can also, fittingly enough, throw presents, which explode into a cloud of stars and snowflakes. You can get a look at those abilities in the screenshots above.

Other items you can get during the Starlight Celebration including four new furnishings: the Starlight Stew Set, Starlight Log Set, Starlight Sapling, and Starlight Celebration Advertisement. You can also get a Starlight Gateway music roll for your Orchestrion. The Starlight Celebration event ends at 6:59 AM PT on December 31. You can read more about it on the Final Fantasy XIV website.

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.: A Lot Of Great Nintendo Switch Games Are On Sale Now On The Eshop

Outside of a few individual game discounts, sales in the Nintendo Switch Eshop have been rare up to this point in the console's life. Now, Nintendo of America has kicked off the digital store's first big sale ahead of the holidays, and it includes discounts on a bunch of great Switch games.

Among the discounted titles Switch owners can find are Overcooked: Special Edition ($16), Shantae: Half-Genie Hero ($13.39), SteamWorld Dig 2 ($15), Yono and the Celestial Elephants ($12.49), The Mummy Demastered ($14), and Party Golf ($10). Other discounted games include The Jackbox Party Pack 3 ($18.74), Slime-san ($10.19), Tallowmere ($6.29), Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas ($10), Tumblestone ($9), and Unbox: Newbie's Adventure ($15).

Nintendo UK has also begun its own holiday sale in the Switch Eshop, with an even bigger selection of deals to choose from. It features many of the same titles that are currently on sale, along with a handful of other notable Switch games. Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle is £33.32, Rocket League is £11.28, Puyo Puyo Tetris is £24.49, Shovel Knight: Treasure Trove is £18, Azure Striker Gunvolt: Striker Pack is £25.19, and Just Dance 2018 is £33.32.

The UK holiday Eshop sale ends on December 28. Nintendo hasn't specified when the North American sale ends, though it will presumably be around the same time. Both regions also have a number of Wii U and 3DS Eshop games on sale right now. You can see the full list of games that are on sale in North America here, while the UK list can be found here.

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.: Nintendo Switch Adds Another Ton Of New Eshop Games This Week

More games are out now for Nintendo Switch. It's another busy week for the hybrid console; a total of 20 titles arrive on the Eshop, the bulk of which released for the system on December 14.

Among the games available this week is Yooka-Laylee, the Banjo-Kazooie-style 3D platformer by Playtonic Games. The game makes its Switch debut several months after it released for other platforms, and it comes with all of the updates and improvements Playtonic rolled out recently, such as a new camera system and improved controls. The Switch version also boasts custom achievements, and up to four players can play Yooka-Laylee's mini-games using a single Joy-Con each. You can read more about the title in our Yooka-Laylee review.

Likewise making its Switch debut this week is Enter the Gungeon, the 2016 dungeon-crawler/bullet hell game from Devolver Digital. The game features four protagonists, each of whom has their own unique abilities. Up to two players can team up to shoot their way through procedurally generated dungeons in an effort to find the Gungeon's ultimate treasure: a gun that can kill the past.

A number of other noteworthy titles are out now, as well, such as Gorogoa, a beautiful and inventive picture puzzle game which we thought was one of the coolest games you might've missed at E3 2017. There's also Mutant Mudds Collection, a compilation of the fun platformer Mutant Mudds and its sequel, Super Challenge, as well as the Mudd Blocks puzzle game. Other releases include the latest ACA Neo Geo game, The Last Blade; the retro-style style dungeon-crawler Hammerwatch; and the clever bridge-building game Poly Bridge.

Out earlier this week was The End Is Nigh, the harrowing new platformer from the creator of Super Meat Boy. Meanwhile, the remastered classic SNES RPG Romancing SaGa 2 arrives on December 15. You can see the full list of this week's Switch releases below.

This Week's Nintendo Switch New Releases

December 12

December 14

December 15

December 16

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.: www.GameInformer.com
The award-winning website of Game Informer, The World's #1 Video Game Magazine featuring news, preview, and review coverage of Microsoft Xbox One, Xbox 360, Sony PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Switch, Wii U, 3DS, DS, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, PSVR, virtual reality, iOS, Android, Flash, and Next Generation console games both online and in print.
.: See The Secrets Final Fantasy VII's Models Hide Beyond The Camera

As one of the landmark titles of gaming's first 3D console generation, Final Fantasy VII had to use all sorts of new techniques to render its models that were eventually refined in the years since. As such, diving into the game's world to move the camera around reveals several fun secrets.

Youtuber Shesez is back with a video to once again us his camera magic on the RPG. Fun secrets include the several renditions of Cloud, how battles look in a 3D space, and what's happening behind the scenes during the summon animations.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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.: Enemy From Breath Of The Wild's Latest DLC Has An Interesting Weakness

Spoilers for The Legends of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Champions' Ballad DLC follow.

I generally enjoyed Breath of the Wild's Champions' Ballad DLC. One of the fun things about the DLC is that we get a see a new boss (after re-fighting four from the base game), Monk Maz Koshia, who's got a few tricks of their sleeve. However, Link can employ at least one trick of his own during the fight: distracting Maz Koshia with bananas.

As shown in the clip below, if Link drops several bananas on the floor during the initial phase of the fight, Maz Koshia will be temporarily forced to run over to them, leaving them open to attack.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

This trick also works a bit of worldbuilding. Maz Koshia is a member of the Sheikah tribe, part of which spun off to form the Yiga after Calamity Ganon appeared. In the base game, members of the Yiga Clan tend of have bananas on their person when killed, so seeing a member of Sheikah tribe have a similar obsession with the fruit means the banana craze wasn't something the Yiga picked up after their split, but rather an inherited quirk.

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.: These Were The Most-Downloaded Games On iOS This Year

Apple has released a list of the most-downloaded games on its iOS platform, which includes several games you've heard of, some you probably haven't, and a couple of surprises.

The list is once again split between paid and free (to download, anyway) apps. Super Mario Run tops the free games list, which includes heavy-hitters like Clash Royale and Candy Crush Saga (which only barely made the list this year). Meanwhile, Heads Up! (A party game featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show where players must guess the word on their phone as it's placed on their forehead) tops the paid list, with Minecraft following it in second place. Other games you may have heard of include Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' mobile port, Terraria, and Monument Valley 2. You can find the full list below.

Top Free Games

  1. Super Mario Run
  2. 8 Ball Pool
  3. Snake VS Block
  4. Ballz
  5. Word Cookies!
  6. Subway Surfers
  7. Episode - Choose Your Story
  8. Rolling Sky
  9. Block! Hexa Puzzle
  10. Paper.io
  11. Solitaire-
  12. Bowmasters - Multiplayer Game
  13. Color Switch
  14. Piano Tiles 2
  15. Choices: Stories You Play
  16. Roll the Ball - slide puzzle
  17. Clash Royale
  18. Roblox
  19. Word Connect 
  20. Candy Crush Saga

Top Paid Games

  1. Heads Up!
  2. Minecraft
  3. Bloons TD 5
  4. Plague Inc.
  5. Geometry Dash
  6. Monument Valley 2
  7. The Game of Life
  8. The Escapists
  9. Assassin's Creed Identity
  10. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
  11. True Skate
  12. RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic
  13. Five Nights At Freddy's: Sister Location
  14. Papa's Freezeria To Go!
  15. Five Night's At Freddy's
  16. Hitman Sniper
  17. Terraria
  18. Reigns
  19. Tiny Wings

[Source: Official Apple iTunes website]

 

Our Take
Showing how culturally aware I am outside of games, I've never heard of Heads Up! besides the fact that it sounds exactly like a party game that people play all the time but I'd never really attached a name to until now.

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.: New Gameplay Shows My Hero Academia: One's Justice In Action

The recently-revealed My Hero Academia: One's Justice looks to be a 3D, arena-based fighter similar to the recent Naruto fighting games, as we now have some gameplay footage of the game in action.

At the 27:44 mark in the video below, we can see the game in action, featuring protagonist Ikuzu and the newly-announced Bakugo facing off. The game will hit in 2018 in Japan for Switch and PS4, though no US release date has been announced.

(Please visit the site to view this media)

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.: Obsidian Says There Will Be No Microtransactions 'Of Any Kind' In Their Next RPG

Following the reveal of the Obsidian as a partner in Take-Two's new publishing label Private Division, Obsidian has announced its next project will not include any microtransactions whatsoever.

The company made the announcement on their official forums. The company mentioned several fans had been asking the company of the inclusion of microtransactions in their first project with Private Division, and wanted to clear the air about the topic. "No microtransactions, of any kind, in our game," the post said. The statement comes after several notable big-budget releases included loot crates and other microtransactions, including Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and more.

The statement doesn't offer any other details about the project itself, other than it will be an RPG. Speaking to Game Informer, Obsidian's Tim Cain said “If people have liked our previous RPGs they're going to like this one in terms of how we make reactive worlds and especially our style of humor.”

[Source: Obsidian Official Forums]

 

Our Take
While everyone can rejoice in knowing a game won't have microtransactions, it's important to note that Private Division is a bastion for projects with smaller-scale scopes, budgets, and risks. It's good that Private Division isn't pushing microtransactions on their partners, but doesn't cause me to rejoice the way finding out, say, Red Dead Redemption II won't have them would.

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.: What To Watch This Weekend: Tekken 7, Dota 2, And Gwent

As most of us look forward to the holidays, esports tournaments refuse to go quietly into the night. We have events coming up right up until it's time to spend several hours with your family or not, so if you need something to distract before (or during) that time, look no further.

This week's Counter-Strike: Global Offensive major is the ECS' fourth season, in which teams from across the world battle it out in Cancun for their share of hte $750,000 prize pool. (Stream and Schedule)

For your fighting game fix, check out the Northeast Championships, which will feature big tournaments for Street Fighter V, Tekken 7, Marvel Vs. Capcom: Infinite, Injustice 2, Guilty Gear Xrd Rev 2, and more. (Streams and Schedule)

The Dota 2 scene is back at The Summit again, bringing a number of top teams into a single house and having them play out the entire tournament there. (Stream / Schedule)

The Gwent Master series' second Challenger event is here, so you can watch top players fight for $100,000 and a spot in the World Masters tournament. (Stream / Schedule)

Vainglory continues to be one of the most popular MOBAs around, and you're interested in seeing what all the fuss is about this mobile game, you can watch the world finals this weekend to see what high-level play looks like. (Stream / Schedule)

The Super Smash. Bros. Melee community is having a holiday-themed invitational tournament, in which top players will show off their long-standing skills in the game. (Stream and Schedule)

Call of Duty: WWII is back this week with The Northern Arena tournament, so if your pre-holidays warmup routine involves the European theater of the largest conflict in the 20th century, look no further! (Stream)

Hearthstone's Seatstory Cup is a regular holiday tradition for the community, so you can bet the event is back this year. (Stream / Schedule)

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

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.: Groudon Now Appearing In Pokemon Go Raids

The legendary Ground-type Pokemon Groudon is now appearing in Pokemon Go Raids around the world.

Groudon was the legendary of Pokemon Ruby, the Hoenn region, and was part of Team Magma's plan to destroy the ocean and make the planet entirely land. It wasn't a super well thought out plan.

Like most Raid Legendaries, Groudon is only available for a limited time. You can start catching him now, but he's only available until 1:00 PM PST/3:00 PM EST on January 15, 2018.

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.: Weekend Warrior – The Christmas Countdown

It's almost Christmas, guess we better get those presents wra – who are we kidding, we'll be repeatedly watching Star Wars all weekend!! Let us know what you're up to in the comments below.

Javy Gwaltney (@Hurdyiv) – I'm going to see some stars duke it out on the big screen and then spend a good chunk of my weekend trying to get that chicken dinner.

Kyle Hilliard (@KyleMHilliard) – I’m hoping to finish Hollow Knight this weekend. It’s a big, challenging game, but the end appears to be in sight. I’ll also see Star Wars, but I bet I’ll be seeing Fernidand first. Hopefully the two are equally entertaining. Otherwise, it’s house-cleaning time to make way for the parents-in-law!

Brian Shea (@BrianPShea) – I’m traveling beginning on Tuesday, so this is my last weekend with my stationary consoles for nearly two weeks. As such, I’ll be playing Overwatch, Cuphead, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and whatever else I can fire up on my PS4 and Xbox One. It’s all Switch, 3DS, Vita, and SNES Classic once I head home to my parents’ place for the holidays.

Suriel Vazquez (@SurielVazquez) – I’m going to have to settle down and pick something to play to see if it can crack a spot on my personal top 10 list. The bottom spot is shakey. I’m eyeing Pyre and Nex Machina as front-runners, but I might dive into more PUBG and maybe check out Doki Doki Literature Club and Echo. There’s no way I’m getting to all of this on top of my weekly allotment of Destiny 2, so we’ll see what I end up choosing.

Leo Vader (@leovader) – To my great surprise, I got super into the Division last weekend, and I hope to play more! My friend and I have a great dynamic where he pulls extra aggro down on the ground and I snipe silently from the distance. It’s simple but extremely effective and satisfying, and feels more tactical than a lot of co-op shooters out right now named Destiny 2. Love you!

Ben Hanson (@yozetty) – Oh man, I don’t know what to play this weekend. I basically locked down my top 10 list of games for the year so now I’m wandering the abyss and considering jumping back into the pile of games on my backlog. I’m leaning towards Mega Man Legends 2 … what are you hoping to knock out over the holiday break? Have a good weekend!

Jeff Marchiafava (@GIJeffM) – We’re in crunch mode for our personal Top 10 lists of the year, so I’ve been sampling as many overlooked titles as I possibly can. I hope to get in some cooperative PUBG this weekend, continue plugging away at Wolfenstein II, and maybe return to Assassin’s Creed Origins or Shadow of War. Or maybe I’ll just keep playing Mario Odyssey forever.

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.: Shovel Knight Is Apparently A Weird Frog Man (Update: Just A NPC, Also Maybe A Catfish?)

UPDATE: Yacht Club Games clarified in a video that this is a head of a NPC, which was also helpfully pointed out in the comments below. It was also said this looked more like a Catfish, which we'll agree with.

The original story is as follows:

We finally get a look at Shovel Knight's face and, surprise, he's an amphibian of some sort.

While some files within the game hinted at this, developer Yacht Club games' tweet today showing off the First4Figure of helmetless Shovel Knight has confirmed that the shovel-wielding hero is a strange frog person. Considering the world has goat people, magicians, and flying rats, a frog knight is not hard to imagine.

Shovel Knight originally released on PC, 3DS, and Wii U, then expanded to pretty much every other system under the sun. The upcoming and final DLC, King of Cards, is scheduled for 2018.

[Source: Yacht Club Games Twitter]

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.: Eidos-Montréal, Developers Of Deus Ex, Switching Focus To Online Titles

Eidos-Montréal, the studio behind the Tomb Raider reboot and the modern Deus Ex franchise, released a statement on their website announcing a change in focus to online play.

Announced today, studio head David Anfossi released a new vision statement for the Canadian studio. Anfossi wrote "At Eidos-Montréal, we’re constantly working towards creating innovative and exciting experiences for gamers everywhere. In turn, we are placing an added emphasis on the online experiences in our games, striving to continually provide players with content that is memorable and impactful. Through the inherent interactivity of online play, our universes will have the chance to thrive both now and into the future. To achieve this, we are building the teams and tools capable of supporting our ambitions."

This change comes as a shock from the Square-Enix studio who had only recently released Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Shortly after that game's release, Square-Enix and Eidos-Montréal announced that the studio was partnering with Marvel to create multiple video games based on the Avengers. 

It was assumed that the Marvel deal was going to occupy the studio's resources for most of the future.

Square-Enix's CEO as recently as a few weeks ago mentioned that Deus Ex was not dead, though it is unclear if the studio's new focus is connected to that statement.

 

Our Take
Square-Enix split with IO Interactive earlier this year, so it was only a matter of time that they looked to restructure other studios. I wonder if the Marvel deal is part of this online focus, but if it is, it is a strange thing to announce unless they are pursuing a purely online Marvel game.

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.: Xbox Year In Review Available For Your Personal Xbox Stats

Microsoft has released the Xbox Year In Review, a stat tracking sheet for how you spent your time interacting with the Xbox One this year.

If you have an Xbox Live account, you can go to the Year In Review page right here and log in. The system will tell you the month you played the Xbox One the most, the game you played, your genre breakdown, and more. 

Unsurprisingly, my most played game this year was Cuphead. What about you? Let us know in the comments.

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.: E3 2018 Registration Page Indicates Event Is Open To The Public Again

Over on the message board ResetEra, poster Rösti engaged in some site crawling to find the Electronic Entertainment Expo's registration page for 2018, which reveals that public passes are once again returning to the show.

E3 opened up to the public in 2017, allowing thousands of non-industry fans and gamers to attend the show for the first time with tickets sold in early bird and regular varieties. They are repeating the same idea this year, with public passes being available in tweaked ours than before.

The registration page FAQ reads "E3 is now open to consumers and game enthusiasts, on a limited pass basis."

It isn't known when registration for E3 2018 will begin, but it typically goes up in either late December or early January, so the page being on the server already indicates it should be soon.

[Source: ResetEra]

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.: Microsoft Is Bundling PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds With Xbox One X

Microsoft have announced that they will be bundling the mega-popular PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds with every Xbox One X sold through the end of the year.

Starting December 17, every purchase of an Xbox One X, Microsoft's console refresh with a 4K focus, entitles the owner to a copy of Battlegrounds. It launched a few days ago in Microsoft's Game Preview program, but has garnered over a million players in the 48 hours it has been available.

The bundle effectively acts as a price cut for players looking to buy an Xbox One and Battlegrounds, which will help the system's momentum going into Christmas and the new year. You can check out footage of us playing the Xbox One version of the game right here.

 

Our Take
It does kind of suck that early adopters get nothing, especially since the system only launched a month ago. Still, it puts Battlegrounds into more owners' hands and ties Microsoft's name to the game in the console space, so Microsoft likely sees more benefit than loss to the bundle.

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.: Monster Hunter World Beta Returns December 22 Without PlayStation Plus Requirement

Following the successful Monster Hunter World beta earlier this month, Capcom is bringing the beta back for another go-round, this time without a PlayStation Plus subscription acting as a gatekeeper.

The new beta runs from December 22 through December 26. The previous beta required PlayStation Plus to access the game at all, single player or multiplayer, but the upcoming one lets players without a subscription access the single player missions. Multiplayer, like all PlayStation 4 games, still requires PS+.

If you downloaded the original beta, you don't even need to download a new client, as the old one works. The content is identical from last weekend, so don't expect new monsters to hunt or new missions. 

The beta is once again exclusive to PlayStation 4, despite there being Xbox One and PC versions announced for the game. Both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 editions of the game launch on January 26, while the PC version has an indefinite date sometime in 2018.

 

Our Take
The previous beta was fun, even in single player, so it's good that more people have access to it. Capcom still not giving a date to the PC version seems really odd, however.

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.: Payday 2 Adds Reservoir Dogs Heist

Payday 2 loves to pay homage to famous action flicks. Over the years, it's tipped its mask to favorites like John Wick, Point Break, and Scarface. Now it's time to celebrate Quentin Tarantino's 1992 critical darling Reservoir Dogs

The new diamond heist set in California comes along with some other additions like the Union 5.56 Rifle, plus a straight razor and sunglasses so you can do your best Mr. Blonde impersonation. The heist also launches alongside a new patch that addresses issues like stability and weapon tweaks. Watch the hype trailer here:

(Please visit the site to view this media)

The Reservoir Dogs heist is available now. 

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.: GTA Online Players Can Track Down A Piece Of Red Dead Redemption 2

GTA Online players can go on a treasure hunt starting today, which will earn them a new weapon and a chance to get more lucrative in-game bonuses. Even better, those who track down the double-action revolver can unlock it for use in the upcoming Red Dead Redemption 2.

To find the revolver, check your iFruit's email for the first clue. You're on your own from there. Rockstar says that players who manage to successfully follow the trail and find the revolver can then participate in a headshot challenge in Freemode. Complete that, and you'll earn a bounty of $250,000 in GTA bucks. If you like the weapon, you'll be able to unlock it in Red Dead Redemption 2 this spring.

It's not the first time that the worlds of Red Dead and GTA Online have crossed paths. Members of Rockstar's Social Club can choose John Marston as a parent when generating their GTA Online characters.

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.: Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion, An Open World Pirate Game, Announced For Spring

Outright Games, a developer known for licensed games, has announced an open world Adventure Time game for all the major consoles next spring.

The game starts of in the Land of Ooo, where rising tides are risking every kingdom with flooding. Player characters Finn, Jake, Marceline, and BMO decide to go check out the problem in the various kingdoms by crossing the newly created sea. Finn captains the ship and recruits various other characters to join.

You can see a few shots of the game here. Pirates of Enchiridion will release on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch in Spring 2018.

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.: November U.S. Sales Show Call Of Duty Rocketing Past All Competition

November is generally the biggest month of the year for the gaming industry and this year's sales grew over last, with Call of Duty: WWII leading the charge in a commanding way.

The PlayStation 4 sold the most units last month, likely due to the $199 Black Friday pricing. Microsoft took the lead in terms of revenue of consoles sold due to the more expensive Xbox One selling quite well on its own. Nintendo's Switch sold somewhere around a million units, but had no bundles or sale prices of any kind.

In terms of software, Call of Duty: WWII is far and away the best selling game of November. It reverses a downward trend that Activision's major series has been seeing over the last few releases. It so strongly reverses the trend that Call of Duty: WWII is the best selling game of the entire year from this single month of sales so far.

Call of Duty: WWII is also the best selling game of the 12-month time span that includes the previous November.

“According to NPD, based on revenues Call of Duty: WWII is the #1 top selling console video game in North America this year, making Call of Duty the #1 top selling console video game franchise in North America for the 9th year in a row,” says Activision CEO Eric Hirshberg. “As proud as we are of Call of Duty: WWII, we’re equally proud that our talented teams have found ways to keep Call of Duty fresh, relevant and on top of the charts for nearly a decade—an amazing feat. Thanks to the greatest fans in the world for their passion and engagement with this awesome franchise.”

 

Star Wars: Battlefront II also did well despite the controversies surrounding the game, but analysts believe it did quite a bit worse than the first month debut of the last Star Wars: Battlefront game.

Here is the top twenty of all platforms combined.

Call of Duty: WWII 1 Activision Blizzard 
Star Wars: Battlefront II 2017 2 Electronic Arts
Assassin's Creed: Origins 3 Ubisoft
NBA 2K18 4 Take 2 Interactive 
Madden NFL 18 5 Electronic Arts
Super Mario Odyssey** 6 Nintendo
FIFA 18 7 Electronic Arts
Need for Speed: Payback 8 Electronic Arts
Destiny 2 9 Activision Blizzard 
Pokemon: Ultra Sun** 10 Nintendo
Pokemon: Ultra Moon** 11 Nintendo
Middle Earth: Shadow of War 12 Warner Bros. Interactive
Grand Theft Auto V 13 Take 2 Interactive (Corp)
The Sims 4 14 Electronic Arts
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild** 15 Nintendo
Mario Kart 8** 16 Nintendo
Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus** 17 Bethesda Softworks
South Park: The Fractured But Whole 18 Ubisoft
WWE 2K18 19 Take 2 Interactive 
Just Dance 2018 20 Ubisoft

 

Items denoted with a ** do not have digital sales counted by the NPD.

Sonic Forces, Sega's first multiplatform 3D Sonic since Sonic Generations in 2011, only charted on the Nintendo Switch top ten, just ahead of Bethesda's port of Doom. 

 

Our Take
The sales of Call of Duty are actually really crazy. These numbers represent Call of Duty as Activision's biggest title and show the power of the brand. It also seems like Nintendo would have benefited from having a $300 bundle with a game, though the numbers are not anything to sneeze at.

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.: IO Interactive Giving Away Paris Hitman Level In Holiday Pack

It's been a year of ups and downs for Hitman developer IO Interactive, having split from owner Square-Enix but retaining the rights to the Hitman license. The developer is ending the year by giving away arguably the game's best level, Paris, for free alongside a holiday pack.

The timed pack is only available from December 15 through January 9 as the Hitman Holiday Pack on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. It includes the first post-tutorial story mission, the Paris runway mission "Showstopper," all of the levels escalation missions, challenge packs, and any Paris-related Elusive Targets when they get re-activated in 2018.

Downloading the pack makes it permanent and the remaining episodes can be purchased separately if you want. Whether you do that or get the Game of the Year edition, your progress and unlocks will carry over.

Additionally, last year's Holiday Hoarders mission, which involves a teleporting Santa and the plot of Home Alone, is coming back. If you have the mission from last year, you also get the ability to wear the Santa outfit in all the levels in the game.

Hitman originally released its first episode in March 2016 and the full season one in January of this year. A Game of the Year edition released recently with the first new content since wrapping up season one. You can watch us play the Game of the Year edition right here.

 

Our Take
Paris was a fantastic level and trying to do the story mission in different ways cemented it as one of my favorite games of 2016. I am glad everyone gets the chance to play it now.

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.: Bungie Update Announces Free Destiny Comic And The Dawning Event Timing

This Week At Bungie, Bungie's blog post that announces and reviews news for Destiny 2, showed off a new comic and detailed The Dawning festivities.

The comic, called Fall of Osiris, tells the story of how the vanguard hero went from lauded commander to traitor. It is written by Ryan North, the writer behind Dinosaur Comics and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl, in concert with Bungie's narrative team. The comic is coming soon and will be available for free on Bungie's website.

The Dawning decorates the Farm and the Tower with a winter wonderland feel. The festive atmosphere gives the opportunity for snowball fights, either with playful pelts on the farm or in strikes where snowballs deal extra damage. In addition, Mayhem is back in Crucible, reducing cooldown times for abilities. You can check out the full details of The Dawning here.

The Dawning will start on December 19 and continue to January 9, giving you plenty of time to take part.

[Source: This Week At Bungie]

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.: Injustice 2 Free Trial Now Available On PlayStation 4 And Xbox One

Injustice 2 has a free weekend going on from December 14 to December 18 on both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The free trial lets you play through the first three chapters of game's much-lauded story mode, as well as using the game's main roster in all of the multiplayer modes. Multiplayer, as does the free trial as a whole, does require players have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, however.

All the progress made, including unlocks, story mode progression, and crates received, will carry over to the full game as long as it's played on the same account as the free trial. If you already own the game, you can log in during the free weekend period and gain 2000 source crystals. 

The game recently launched on PC just recently, so it is not included in this free trial.

Injustice 2 recently added Hellboy to its DLC roster and has announced the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as upcoming DLC, as well. You can read our review of Injustice 2 right here.

 

Our Take
As someone who wants to experience the story mode of Injustice 2, I think this free trial will be a good way to see if the game as a whole is up my alley.

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.: The FCC Votes To Repeal Net Neutrality

The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 in favor of repealing net neutrality rules put in place two years ago. The rules in question prevent internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or prioritizing certain content, or requiring consumers or companies to pay a premium to have access to a "fast lane." The vote also removes Title II designation from the internet, which removes its classification as a "public utility."

The next step in the FCC's battle to repeal the net neutrality rules is likely to happen in court. If ultimately adopted, the changes won't take place overnight, but once the rules are removed, internet service providers will be free to experiment with new fees and new ways to bundle content on the internet. The changes could have sweeping implications for gamers, who have become substantially more reliant on the internet with the explosion of online gaming over the past 15 years, as well as ever-increasing download sizes. These changes could also drastically affect streaming services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Instant Video, among many other services.

Within minutes of the decision, numerous individuals and organizations expressed dismay, with some promising counter action. Netflix released a statement on Twitter, expressing disappointment. Attorney Generals from multiple states have announced plans to sue the FCC over the decision, while California Senator Scott Wiener has announced plans to introduce a bill in January that would make FCC rules a requirement in the state. "If FCC won’t protect free/open internet, we will," Wiener said in a tweet.

 

Our Take
With fewer restrictions on how companies can charge websites and consumers, these changes certainly prioritize the desires of internet service providers over consumers and websites. The vote today also occurred amid withering criticism from numerous corners who found fault with the FCC's period of public comment on the topic, widely believed to have been polluted by outside forces. With these new rules, internet service providers would be able to block its consumers from accessing competitors' apps, or throttle a streaming service if the service doesn't want to pay additional fees to the ISP. While the FCC will likely have to defend its decision in court, which could prove to be its biggest fight, today's vote as it stands has profound and potentially devastating implications for the future of the internet.

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.: Oxenfree Dev Announces Afterparty, A Game Where You Have To Outdrink Satan To Escape Hell

Developer Night School Studio has announced Afterparty, a point-and-click adventure game that sees two best friends trying to escape Hell by besting the devil in a drinking contest.

The story follows Lola and Milo, two best friends who unexpectedly find themselves in Hell. They soon learn that drinking is the only way out, and thus begins their rowdy evening. IGN has more details in its exclusive IGN First story, including how different drinks can affect your characters, how dialogue can play out, and other things that can happen during the two friends' debaucherous night in Hell.

Afterparty is set to launch in 2019.

[Source: IGN, Night School Studio]

 

Our Take
Night School Studio demonstrated it knows how to craft a unique and interesting adventure game with Oxenfree, and Afterparty only looks to up the ante. I'm looking forward to trying this out (though I wish it wasn't so far away).

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.: Pokémon Crystal Coming To 3DS Next Month

Nintendo has announced it is bringing Pokémon Crystal to the Nintendo 3DS' eShop next month. The game is launching near the end of January, and it will feature full Pokémon Bank support. It will be available on January 26 for $9.99.

If you're not entirely familiar with Pokémon Gold and Silver – the games that Pokémon Crystal expanded upon – or you could use a refresher, check out our feature on the game's development, based on our conversations with its developers at Game Freak.

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.: Disney Acquiring Large Parts Of 21st Century Fox

Disney announced that it is acquiring large portions of 21st Century Fox in a $52.4 billion stock deal. This grants Disney 21st Century Fox's film and television studios, as well as cable and international TV businesses.

Disney now owns X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, opening the door for them to be included in the Marvel cinematic universe. The deal also increases the company's stake in Hulu to 60 percent.

According to Ars Technica, 21st Century Fox retains some of its news and sports-broadcasting businesses.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval.

[Source: Disney, Ars Technica

 

Our Take 
The MCU ramifications are certainly exciting, but the media aggregation in the big picture is scary.

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