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There are two kinds of Lord of the Rings book fans. The ones who despise Tom Bombadil, hands down the weirdest character in The Lord of the Rings, and the ones who have memorized every word of his silly rhyming songs. 2021 marks The Lord of the Rings movies' 20th anniversary, and we couldn't imagine exploring the trilogy in just one story. So each Wednesday throughout the year, we'll go there and back again, examining how and why the films have endured as modern classics. This is Polygon's Year of the Ring. Then there are Lord of the Rings movie fans, who may know nothing of the character, as Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, and Fran Walsh couldn’t find room for him in their three-picture adaptation — even in the Extended Editions. Anyone who hasn’t read the books has likely encountered Bombadil Discourse, but may never fully understand how one character can inspire such strong emotions. I have an answer for movie fans. An answer that might even turn some Bombadil skeptics into Bombadil boosters. Tom Bombadil is the Stan Lee Cameo of The Lord of the Rings. Who is Tom Bombadil, really Multimedia LOTR buffs know Tom Bombadil as one of the most famous omissions that the movie trilogy makes from J.R.R. Tolkien’s books. He’s also a particular favorite of famous Tolkien nerd Stephen Colbert. But to elaborate for the viewer’s sake, Tom Bombadil marks a strange three-chapter digression early in the pages of The Fellowship of the Ring. Frodo, Sam, Merry, and Pippin take a shortcut through the Old Forest on the border of the Shire, only to be mesmerized and nearly drowned by an intelligent and malicious tree known as Old Man Willow. They are rescued by a cheerful, bearded man “too large and heavy for a hobbit, if not quite tall enough for one of the Big People,” wearing a blue coat, yellow boots, and a hat with a feather in it. He constantly spouts almost nonsensical rhyming couplets. There was a sudden deep silence, in which Frodo could hear his heart beating. After a long slow moment he heard plain, but far away, as if it was coming down through the ground or through thick walls, an answering voice singing: Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow, Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow, None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master: His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster. This is Tom Bombadil, “Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!,” who whisks them off to his wholesome home to meet his beautiful wife, Goldberry, the “River-woman’s daughter.” And in addition to not being a Man or a hobbit or a dwarf or a wizard, Tom has weird powers. A chapter later, he rescues the hobbits from a terrifying undead creature, the Barrow-wight, simply by commanding it. He can speak to plants and animals (his pony’s name is Fatty Lumpkin). Weirdest of all, he can put on the Ring of Power without turning invisible or being tempted by it. Readers have attempted for decades to puzzle out a place for Tom Bombadil in the larger Middle-earth myth, suggesting that he is secretly one of Middle-earth’s gods, or demigods. One (humorous) essay theorizes that he is the Witch-King of Angmar on vacation. Ev
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The developers of Among Us dropped a line on Tuesday to thank fans for their patience and explain why new developments in the resurgent multiplayer smash hit are coming slowly. “Among Us gained incredible traction pretty late into 2020 that we weren’t expecting, and that meant A LOT of change for us,” InnerSloth wrote on the studio’s official blog. “Not only did we need to switch back to working on Among Us after thinking it was done, but we also needed to set ourselves up more sustainably to work on the game.” Among Us launched on Windows PC in November 2018, but it became a qu
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It’s been decades since I’ve played Pokémon Snap, but I still think of it fondly. I only remember playing it in one place, at my grandmother’s house and in the living room, not the den. My memory tells me I never owned it, that I waited patiently for it, week after week, to come back into stock at Blockbuster — the one just down the street from Nana’s. I’d guess that a lot of people my age, somewhere in their mid-30s, have these sorts of memories: ones that are hazy, but mostly true, centered on playing this one game from our childhood. You can see the influence of Pokémon Sna
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poly-lt-wire-logo Image: Marvel Comics Marvel is finally having fun with its most confusing couple By Jan 20, 2021, 1:06pm EST Superheroes are built around iconography: individual heroes’ familiar silhouettes, color palettes, and oft-repeated mantras about power and responsibility are just as important as longstanding relationships and nemeses. As studios churn through superhero comics, looking for movie and TV fodder, it becomes clear what creators consider too iconic and essential to a character to change. Maybe it’s Spider-Man’s red-and-blue tights, or Batman’s wealth and gadgetry, or Wonder Woman’s lasso and tiara. Other familiar aspects of characters are more malleable: Peter Parker doesn’t have to be a Daily Bugle photographer in every story, Bruce Wayne doesn’t have to have a Batcave, Diana Prince doesn’t need an invisible jet. For Wanda Maximoff and Vision, the stars of WandaVision? The iconic thing about them seems to be their marriage, even if the show’s strange premiere is the first time non-comics fans are learning about it. If it’s possible to suffer physical pain from trying to catch up on a comic book character’s fictional history, The Vision and Scarlet Witch would absolutely cause it. Even in a world where keeping up with entertainment news increasingly demands the skills of an amateur copyright lawyer, the marriage of Wanda Maximoff and her synthetic partner is a uniquely confounding morass, a chore for even the most dedicated fan. But they’re also unique among comic book characters, because in spite of that convoluted history, their ill-fated marriage has remained such a definitive aspect of their histories that it’s the basis of WandaVision, the first Disney Plus show set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this, they’re something unusual in comics: a set of characters largely defined by their marriage. Photo: Disney Plus
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The brilliant Hitman 3 from IO Interactive is here, an ambitious cross-platform project that sees the firm's proprietary Glacier Engine deployed to more target platforms on launch day than we've seen in previous series entries. We'll be taking a closer look at this latest iteration of the engine in more depth soon, examining the enhancements made to the technology and how they play out in Hitman 3's new levels - as well as the legacy missions from the two prior titles, which are all playable within the new game. But in the here and now, it's PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Series S that are under the microscope, and it's the first title we've seen where Microsoft's additional hardware investment delivers a tangible spec increase over the competition in a cross-platform game.But really, where it truly matters, Hitman 3 delivers on all next-gen systems - principally via a commitment to 60 frames per second gaming. In previous Hitman titles on consoles, IO offered users a choice: the ability to play with a 30fps cap, or alternatively to allow frame-rate to run unlocked. On top of that, the enhanced consoles offered both quality and performance modes, with various resolutions. Hitman 3 dispenses with all of this, delivering a flat 60fps performance level on all systems and with no need to choose between quality and performance modes. This time around, last-gen systems are pegged to 30fps instead, with the curious exception of PS4 Pro, which also offers what IO describes as a 1080p60 'frame interpolated' option.We'll go into specifics on performance in due course, but suffice to say, IO's gambit pays off as all three systems barely waver from a 60fps lock from start to finish, but how they deliver this varies according to the host system. Starting at the top, Xbox Series X runs the game at native 4K resolution (incidentally doubling frame-rate and increasing pixel count over Xbox One X's 1440p). Just beneath this sits PlayStation 5, running at 1800p. Meanwhile, Xbox Series S aims for the same 60fps target, but this time the GPU is tasked with running the game at 1080p resolution. There's no dynamic resolution scaling from what we can see, but there is a smart pass of TAA anti-aliasing on all systems. The first of Digital Foundry's Hitman 3 videos - this one concentrating on the three next-gen consoles. Beyond that, the visual feature set of Hitman 3 is broadly consistent across all three next-gen machines with just some minor changes. The developers were even helpful enough to give us the complete lowdown on how every system compares with PC equivalent settings for each system, so we can confirm that in addition to resolution, there are a couple of further changes. This starts with texture quality, where Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 run with the equivalent of PC's highest settings, up against the memory-constrained Series S, which opts for high quality textures instead. Meanwhile, there are additional tweaks to shadow quality too. Series S uses the equivalent to PC's low quality shadows (in common with the last-gen base console renditions of Hitman 3), while PlayStation 5 run
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After its huge update last week, which included a whole new Agent, Valorant is already back with another patch. This time around there’s a slight nerf to Jett, but the main focus of this patch is a massive overhaul of the Split map, which has consistently been one of players’ least favorite maps. When Split was first released, it was an excellent example of some of Valorant’s biggest map design problems. It relied too heavily on artificial angles created by odd cubby areas in hallways, and it had bomb sites that were far too open. This led to transitions from one site to another being incredibly slow, and also resulted in site-takes and post-plants that felt a little too same-y. Thankfully, it seems that Riot felt this way as well. In this second round of major updates to the map, the developer has cleaned up some of Split’s odd angles and tight doorways in favor of more open spaces that feed players a little more information while they’re on the move. More importantly, Riot has also carefully increased the cover on Split’s bomb sites, which should lead to significantly more interesting fights around them. For a look at everything that changed in Valorant patch 2.01, you can check out Riot’s full patch notes. Valorant patch 2.01 notes Agent Updates Jett Smoke duration decreased 7 >>> 4.5 In a continuation of the Controller changes from Patch 2.0, we felt it was important to consider Jett’s smokes as well. In Patch 1.0, we increased Jett’s smoke duration to 7 seconds (from the then 4 seconds), and we are partially undoing that now. We’ve found that the result of that change was that Jett became a substitute for the Controller role, and reasonably aggressive teams could make use of her Cloudburst smokes to quickly take space without relying on a dedicated Controller. This is part of a pattern of Duelists superseding more utility-focused Agents that we will continue to look at in the future. It’s important that Jett can use her smokes to create temporary windows for the high action plays that define her style, but those windows need to be brief enough to ensure that Controllers are where teams look for team-focused vision blocking. Map Updates Split This Split update is focused around improving attacker options on the map, as well as reducing 50/50 checks, the depth of certain corners, and opening specific areas on the map by increasing chokepoint widths. Image: Riot Games Increased the width of the B Main doorway This should make the space easier to navigate for attackers, and make it more difficult for defenders to stall Attackers in the choke point. There is a crate for attackers to utilize on the other side of the doorways as cover, which allows for utility to be thrown into the site from a new angle. Image: Riot Games On top of the changes to B Main, there is an additional trash pile placed in the corner to prevent defenders from hiding in too deep a nook This creates a new angle into B Main when standing on
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Which developer Mediatonic has now denied. Six months ago, Fall Guys arrived on PlayStation 4 via subscription service PlayStation Plus. Since then, it has been a PlayStation console exclusive, while also being available on PC. Six months later, it now seems a matter of if not when the breakout battle royale will come to other console platforms, such as Nintendo Switch and Xbox. But when will it happen? Around a week ago, a bit of light brandter between Fall Guys' cheeky Twitter and the official Xbox UK account set tongues wagging that Fall Guys would arrive on Xbox Game Pass sooner rather t
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Takaya Imamura, an artist who worked with Shigeru Miyamoto in the creation of iconic Nintendo games Star Fox, F-Zero, and The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, is retiring today. Imamura worked 32 years for Nintendo, and is famous also for creating the Zelda franchise’s map merchant, Tingle, who has made numerous appearances in that series and other games over the past two decades. (His message, according to a Kotaku translation, says: “This is my last day going to work. I took a selfie with the empty office. I guess I won’t be coming in here anymore. As you’d expect, I’ll miss it.”) Imamura joined Nintendo in 1989 as work was already underway on F-Zero, a Super NES racing g
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"As you'd expect, I'll miss it." Veteran designer Takaya Imamura has left Nintendo after more than three decades at the company. A post on his Facebook page this afternoon (spotted by Kotaku) noted today was his last day at Nintendo. Over a career spanning six console generations, Imamura worked on some of Nintendo's biggest franchises such as Donkey Kong and Zelda. His work for the latter included designing the fan-favourite character Tingle, but it's for his creation of the core Star Fox cast of characters that Imamura is best known. In a memorable 2017 interview, Imamura re
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The Predator, the Yautja warrior who made his debut in the 1987 film Predator, is the latest addition to Fortnite. Epic Games announced Wednesday that the Predator is now available in Fortnite as part of the game’s Chapter 2 Season 5 Battle Pass. Players can unlock the Predator outfit by leveling up the current Battle Pass, and they can earn additional Predator-themed cosmetics by completing Jungle Hunter quests. Those unlockable cosmetics include the Predator outfit with a built-in Bio-helmet online emote, a unique Heat Vision Hunter spray, banner, and emoticon. The Predator joins an eclectic crew of Fortnite guest characters as part of the game’s Zero Point arc. Epic Games has adde
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It's one of the most famous board games of all time, but until recently chess wasn't getting a whole lot of attention on Twitch. That began to change last year, however, when chess streamers started to raise the profile of the game on the streaming platform - and thanks to the release of a certain Netflix series, those numbers have now reached new heights. In January last year, chess was averaging 3298 concurrent viewers over 24 channels on Twitch, peaking at 29,820 viewers. This month, that average is 24,048, with around 132 channels streaming chess at any one time - reaching a peak viewership of 161,968 on 16th January (via TwitchTracker). That was than
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You've got to really be into your Elder Scrolls lore to want to splash out $1000 on one of these: a 10K gold Ritual of Mara ring. Bethesda added the ring to its US merch store (it's not on the European store), priced $1000 as a made-to-order, limited time offer that is only available until 14th February 2021. That's Valentine's Day! Here's the official blurb: "The Elder Scrolls Ritual of Mara 10K Gold Ring is for all who believe in the Divine of Love. It carries a warm and soft yellow tone often used in historical old-world jewellery. This lighter colour most accurately matches the original Elder Scrolls Online concept art found in-game." Fo
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An astonishing demo build for The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time has turned up fresh details on early ideas for Nintendo's N64 masterpiece - such as Link being able to turn into his fairy Navi. The demo in question was found on an old N64 development cartridge used to hold Nintendo racer F-Zero X. On further inspection, files relating to a 1997 Zelda demo build were also found, partly saved-over but some very much still intact.Details have now been excitedly shared by the Forest of Illusion Twitter account, which is dedicated to preserving lost bits of Nintendo history. There's a lot to see. Here's the F-Zero X development cartridge which contains the Spaceworld 97 Zelda 64 data in the overdump. There doesn't appear to be much code or music, just graphics and maps. Zelda 64 data begins at 0x1000000 in hex.https://t.co/DsFpv5uVau pic.twitter.com/JUyOjGRP5w— Forest of Illusion (@forestillusion) January 19, 2021 First up, a series of magical spell medallions which granted eye-opening effects, such as the Soul Medallion that let Link "become Navi and fly around".Others medallions let Link fire light arrow-esque attacks or hide within a cloak of darkness to avoid enemies. Another medal let Link warp when in danger, while two more let him create and extinguish fire.Here's Link transformed into Navi via the Soul Medallion - complete with Hylian Shield and Master Sword: Soul Medallion in action pic.twitter.com/ARemtFo35B— Zeru @ home (@zeru64) January 19, 2021 There's a very different world map for Hyrule: Hyrule World Atlas from the 1997 Zelda 64 overdump! Now that is incredibly different! pic.twitter.com/EMykH1eMub— MrTalida (@MrTalida) January 19, 2021 A much more basic version of Kakariko Village: Incredible, we have our first playable map - kakariko village - from the Spaceworld 97 Zelda OoT discovery https://t.co/PHRa0LHGFC pic.twitter.com/qOcKI6VyMy— Shane Battye ? (@shanebattye) January 19, 2021 An early version of the archery test where you ride Epona: This early archery test map has been FOUND! https://t.co/urrGPtckFA pic.twitter.com/KIgzu1oOfw— MrTalida (@MrTalida) January 19, 2021 And Link's Pegasus Boots would also
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Alongside today's release of Hitman 3 is a welcome bonus - a mode that allows you to play through the entirety of IO's World of Assassination trilogy in virtual reality. That it works at all is a wonder, but there are a handful of caveats along the way, so here I'll run through what's good, what's not so good and whether it's worth investing for the VR experience alone. If you didn't already know, Hitman VR is currently an exclusive for PSVR on PS4 (a timed exclusive, it would seem, though we don't know when exactly other headsets will be supported). If you own any of the Hitman trilogy games on PS5, you will only be able to play them in VR if you download and run the PS4 version of the game. And, if you are playing on PS5, you will need the PS5 PSVR adapter in order to get your headset working on that console. It's a faff, but you can claim the adapter for free from Sony - although it typically takes a couple of weeks to arrive. So how good does Hitman look in VR, considering it's essentially a last gen build running on what amounts to be the lowest resolution VR headset on the market? Well, it's a mixed bag. Take the glittering Dubai level, which when played in VR is devoid of any reflections. This is one of many corners that have bee
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What Comes After is a game themed around death, with themes of suicide.Bertie: I never realised how wise babies can be. When the baby on the train told me it's not that babies don't understand adults, it's the other way around, I felt as though I'd been hit in the face with a profound baby toy. I'd never really thought about it like that before. I always assumed they were the ones who needed teaching - but do they? They seem pretty happy and content with their lot. It's only in the many ways adults complicate things that life becomes more, well, complicated.This is What Comes After; this is the way the game makes you think. It is a game about life, about reflecting on a life, and waving away all the complexity to enjoy simply being. It's the story of a young lady called Vivi who has lost her way a bit, and one night on the way home from work, on the train, she falls asleep. She literally drifts off, and she finds herself on a spirit version of the same train. A train taking spirits to... what comes after. What follows are many conversations with the once-living on their final journey, and the nuggets of wisdom they have to impart. As you walk Vivi through the compartments, you rebuild a kind of appreciation for life. A kind of hope that things are, and will be, okay. It's not so much that passengers are guilt-tripping you into living a life they have now lost, more that they help you appreciate the insignificance, perhaps, of the things you were worrying about. Or perhaps the things you are worrying about, because it isn't just about Vivi: it's about you. It's about you hearing what many people, many things (for it's not just people), have to say about life. And there will be a few accounts which will ring particularly true for you, based on your life and experiences, and they will reach in and twang your emotional chords.But this isn't a heavy game, it's light and uplifting. It's cute and colourful, and there's a surprising amount of comedy in the unexpected remarks people make about life's most serious occasion, death. Vivi has a plucky earnestness which is endearing. She's so sweet it feels almost embarrassing to he
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Spoilers: it's not because they're called Innersloth.  The story of Among Us really is the stuff of fairytales: originally released back in 2018 by a dev team of three, last year it suddenly became one of the most popular titles in the world after several high-profile streamers began to play it. In a year of lockdowns, Among Us appealed to many as a way to entertain themselves on video calls, and even some American politicians got in on the action. But this massive spike in players brought challenges - a wave of cheaters being one of them - and developer Innersloth had to make some serious changes to the way it worked. In a new blog post, the dev team has addressed why some features are taking longer to implement than some expected. "Among Us gained incredible traction pretty late into 2020 that we weren't expecting, and that meant a lot of change for us," Innersloth explained. "...Not only did we need to switch back to working on Among Us after thinking it was done, but we also needed to set ourselves up more sustainably to work on the game. We had to spend two months just restructuring, figuring out new processes, and getting external partners to help us manage on board." Let's Play Among Us - Costume Edition, featuring Outside Xbox and Dicebreaker Innersloth noted it had to streamline to work long-term and allow for an increase in team size, which meant a lot of behind-the-scenes work and "time away from the game". On top of that, bringing the game to new platforms like Nintendo Switch and Xbox required additional support. The work being done now, however, should ease development in future. As for those who suggested simply hiring more people to speed things up, Innersloth explained it wasn't that straightforward. Rushing to hire people could be financially damaging, Innersloth said, while onboarding newcomers is also a time-consuming process. "We never expected all of this to happen (thank you!!!), so we're taking it slow and steady to make sure we can keep sending good things your way," Innersloth added. "Thank you so much for the p
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Fortnite's Champion Series (FNCS), the game's pinnacle competitive series, will dole out a staggering $20m total prize money in 2021.Players will continue to compete in a cross-platform pool with weekly qualifiers, then semi-finals and finals played out on separate weekends to manage player fatigue. The first three weekly qualifiers will take place in the first three weeks of February, with semi-finals in the first week of March and finals the week after. Official coverage will now be broadcast in multiple languages for the first time, with French, German and Spanish speakers. Gameplay changes in the current season include the removal of some traversal items to nerf movement (Rift Fish and Shockwave Grenades) as well as the disabling of Elevators and IO Guar
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Says Valve refused to cooperate. The European Commission has fined Valve and five publishers €7.8m for geo-blocking PC games.Valve, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Focus Home, Koch Media and ZeniMax (Bethesda) were all fined for breaching EU antitrust rules.The European Commission said the companies restricted cross-border sales of certain PC games on the basis of the geographical location of users within the European Economic Area (EEA), violating EU antitrust rules.The Commission published a useful graphic, below, explaining what went on:The fines were reduced for the publishers because they cooperated with the Commission.Here's the breakdown:The Commission said Valve refused to cooperate, and so
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Fan-favourite Assassin's Creed character Shao Jun will get her own manga, to be released in stores and online on 16th February. Assassin's Creed: Blade of Shao Jun chronicles the latter adventures of the character following her visit to Ezio seen in the short film Assassin's Creed Embers. Set in 1526 against the backdrop of a great political purge by Emperor Jiajing, the manga sees Shao Jun work on her own to defeat a mysterious group after the rest of her Brotherhood has been killed. There's a modern day element to the story as well, with an ancestor of Shao Jun's reliving her memories via an Animus device. Both storylines revolve around the hunt for Shao Jun's mysterious box, which has played a part in various Assassin's Creed stories. Shao Jun previously starred in the side-scrolling spin-off game Assassin's Creed Chronicles: China and has been referenced various times in other full-fat AC adventures. Fans are keen for her to get her own proper Assassin's Creed game at some point. Until then, this may likely fill in some of the gaps of her story.
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Imagine you're walking down an English country lane one evening when you're struck by the feeling you're not alone. You turn, and a few yards away you see, in the fading light of day, the shape of what can only be described as a big black dog. It has shaggy hair and huge eyes, and it's watching you. You walk on, trying to shrug it off, but every time you look back, it's there. Fear begins to creep in and you quicken your pace. You're nearly running when you reach your destination and, in a rush of courage, spin to confront your pursuer. But it's gone, vanished. "Oh, yeah," one of the locals later tells you, completely unsurprised. "You've just seen a black dog." Black dogs have been seen all over England for hundreds of years. The earliest written account comes from 892AD, from a document called the Anglo Saxon Chronicle, which talks of "huge and hideous" huntsmen "on black horses and on black he-goats, and their hounds were jet black with eyes like saucers and horrible". They're usually described as being big, shaggy dogs the size of calves, with large, saucer-like eyes. Sometimes those eyes are red, sometimes they're flaming, and sometimes there's only one eye in the middle of the head. It all depends on the story and the storyteller, and probably how much they've had to drink. Though black dogs are by no means exclusive to our little island - there are sightings and accounts of spectral black dogs all over the world - they have found a way to inspire writers here and weave their way permanently into the fabric of the land. I had no idea this existed!Ever come across the Sherlock Holmes story the H
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Fortnite's previously-teased Predator crossover is now fully operational, with the masked hunter available to unlock for current battle pass holders via new challenges. Predator has also become a roaming boss, able to be found and battled on the battle royale map for all players. Look for him in the appropriately jungle-themed Stealthy Stronghold. Defeat Predator and it'll drop Predator's Cloaking Device, which lets you become nearly invisible for a short time. If this sounds a bit overpowered, well, this is a supposed to be a reward for killing a tough boss who everyone else is after too. The item also has some effects to balance it - equipping a weapon or entering water will cause you to decloak, and it has a 30 second cooldown between uses, so it can only be deployed sparingly. Still, it'll be interesting to see how this one is received. Here's a leaked look at the near-invisibility effect in action: Battle pass owners will be able to unlock Predator and a full set of themed gear. You'll also be able to get Predator to take off his mask whenever you want. It really is one ugly... well, you know the line.Predator in-built emote from r/FortNiteBR All of this goes live today in Fortnite's 15.21 update, which teases another crossover character arriving via a portal next week. Top fan speculation for that character is either Terminator or Lara Croft, continuing this season's hunter theme.
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Relic has released a 64-bit update for Company of Heroes 2.The update should result in greater stability and overall performance for the vast majority of players, Relic said in a blog post.It also enables crossplay between Steam and Microsoft Game Pass / Windows Store users.If your PC hardware does not let you run the new 64-bit update, there's a 32-bit legacy beta on Steam.Meanwhile, an extensive community map patch, which includes 10 new maps and five reworked maps, is also now live. A winter balance patch is due out soon. Eurogamer Next-G
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Go get 'em, vault hunter. The Borderlands Legendary Collection is going cheap on Amazon as part of a bigger deal around Take 2's games. Including Borderlands 1, 2 and the Pre-Sequel, it's a solid translation of the famous madcap shoot-and-loot sci-fi games (though doesn't include the third games of the series).Not only that, but there's a sudden glut of notable Switch deals on Amazon right now, including discounts on Mario Odyssey, Hasbro Games and more. Some of them are good, some of them are
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As attention turns to Horizon Forbidden West. Guerrilla has released a significant patch for Horizon Zero Dawn on PC that combats many of the remaining issues players had with the game.Patch 1.10 introduces crash fixes and performance improvements reported by the game's community, Guerrilla said.There are a raft of graphical improvements, too. Eurogamer Next-Gen News Cast - the Star Wars games we'd love to see next Buried within Guerrilla's blog post about the patch is
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Developer Inbetweengames' acclaimed All Walls Must Fall, an alternate-future tactics game blending Cold War espionage with the dance floor decadence of Berlin's nightclub scene, is making it way to Switch tomorrow, 20th January.Originally released back in 2018, All Walls Must Fall's rhythmic time-meddling action is gleefully high concept, unfolding in the Berlin of 2089, where the Cold War never ended.Here, agents on both sides are caught in a never-ending temporal loop, hopping around the timeline to thwart each other's next move. That translates to a supremely stylish tactical adventure that, for no obvious reason beyond the fact it looks incredibly cool, sets each mission to the pounding techno beats and pulsating lights of a labyrinthine Berlin nightclub.
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poly-lt-wire-logo Image: Disney/Pixar via Polygon To infinity ... and beyond! By Jan 19, 2021, 5:24pm EST Ever since Toy Story hit theaters in 1995, movies from Pixar Animation Studios have been radically raising the bar for American animation, from pushing the technological envelope on CG films to addressing big emotional topics that used to be taboo. Over the course of more than 25 years, Pixar
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Developer Rebellion is bringing the second season of its undead shooter Zombie Army 4: Dead War to a close today, 19th January, with the launch of Dead Zeppelin, the third and final instalment in its Death from Above story campaign.Dead Zeppelin, which follows on from Season 2's debut episode Damnation Valley in October and Alpine Blitz in December, sees players boarding an undead airship to thwart the zombie army's evil plans. You can catch a glimpse of the ensuring carnage in the launch trailer below.Season 2's concluding campaign episode is accompanied by the usual selection of cosmetic items and weapon bundles, including the Night Ops Jun Outfit, Toxic Hazard Weapon Skins, Black Ice Weapon Skins, Horror Charms Pack, Buckets Headgear Pack, 7.65mm Polizeipi
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A new record high for an unopened box of first edition Pokémon cards has been set at $408,000. The sale was handled Jan. 15 by Heritage Auctions, the same company that brokered another record-breaking Pokémon sale in November. The Pokémon Trading Card Game (Pokémon TCG) first launched in 1996, and was originally published in the United States by Wizards of the Coast — the same company behind another collectible card game, Magic: The Gathering. It pits two or more trainers against one another in traditional Pokémon battles, but with cards instead of digital pocket monsters. Cards are traditionally purchased in blind booster packs or on the secondary market. Like Magic, the original Pokémon TCG is still in print. You can find it for sale at your friendly local game store, big box
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The next book published for Dungeons & Dragons will include the work of 19 different co-authors, more than any included in the 5th edition of the original role-playing games. Titled Candlekeep Mysteries, the collection of one-shot adventures highlights the diversity of the creators working within the industry today. The book doesn’t come out until March 16, but you can experience those authors’ back catalogs today. You’ll find places like the Dungeon Master’s Guild and itch.io are full of fresh new content for your home games. Polygon reached out to the entire team for more information on their previous RPG work. Consider this your introduction to some tabletop’s best independent voices, and a guide to where to find their work online. Alison Huang is an Australian writer known
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On PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, and PC. Balan Wonderworld, the whimsical new action-platformer from Sonic the Hedgehog and NiGHTs co-creators Yuji Naka and Naoto Ohshima, is getting a sizeable demo next Thursday, 28th January, ahead its full launch in March.Balan Wonderworld - which is set to release on PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S, Switch, and PC - takes place in the mysterious Balan Theatre, where "memories and vistas from the real-world mix with the things that people hold dear". The ensuing platform action unfolds across 12 distinct worlds, each created by the worries of a different cast member, and is bolstered by over 80 wearable costumes, all imbued with their own unique abiliti
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When I was a youngin’ on Neopets, my favorite aspect of the game was collecting “secret avatars.” These avatars were how players would represent themselves on the Neopets message boards; avatars that were harder to earn came with tons of clout. You’d need specific pets in specific colors to earn some of the avatars, high scores in games for others, and just pure dumb luck for a chunk of them. As an adult, I still play Neopets sometimes, and these avatars still appeal to me. Maybe that’s why I decided to try and grind for all these pixel icons before Google Chrome stopped supporting Flash. I didn’t want to think back on my neo-life with neo-regrets. Ultimately, I just think they’re neat. Maybe it’s the 50-by-50 pixel aesthetic or maybe it’s my obsession with collecting
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Star Wars Battlefront 2: Celebration Edition is free on the Epic Games Store until Thursday, Jan. 21, and there’s never been a better time to play the game. The quality of Battlefront 2’s single-player campaign and the breadth of content in the multiplayer modes at launch in 2017 was overshadowed by EA’s controversial monetization strategy, which relied heavily on loot boxes. Players were upset, and EA ended up completely reworking the game’s economy. The drama dominated the headlines, and then it seemed like everyone just kind of moved on. There was a half-hearted apology at E3 the next year, and that was that for most folks. That original version of the game doesn’t really exist anymore, though, and it hasn’t for years. No more updates are on the way and the awful origi
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Firaxis has detailed the contents of Civilization 6's next New Frontier Pass DLC update, which arrives next Thursday, 28th January, bringing new leader Kublai Khan, new civilisation Vietnam, an economy-focussed game mode known as Monopolies and Corporations, and more.The developer says it's saving a more detailed breakdown of Vietnam, described as a "culture and terrain focussed" civilisation, for an upcoming First Look video, but teases that it'll be lead by a still-mysterious "god-like figure whose achievements have become stuff of legend" that's known for their "bravery, guerrilla tactics, and deadly temper". Also scheduled for a more thorough First Look reveal is the "jolly but ruthless conquerer" Kublai Khan, an alternative leader for the China and Mongo
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Kyogre is a popular and desired raid target in Pokémon Go. The Legendary Pokémon is the best water-type attacker in the game and is highly desired for most intense raiding teams, but luckily, it has a good handful of weaknesses. When taking on Kyogre, players should use grass- and electric-type Pokémon. Kyogre is tricky and packs a punch, so players should be prepared to use a group of seven people or more with counters to safely complete the raid. The recommended Pokémon and movesets are as follows: Raikou with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge Zekrom with Charge Beam and Wild Charge Electrivire with Thunder Shock and Wild Charge Magnezone with Spark and Wild Charge Roserade with Razor Leaf and Solar Beam Kyogre’s raids are definitely ones where you’re going to want to watch
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To celebrate the success of Pokémon Go players participating in the yearly Earth Day event, Niantic is bringing the Legendary Groudon back into the game. Groudon is the best ground attacker in the game, especially with Mud Shot and Earthquake. While a ground-type attacker doesn’t have as many uses as a dragon-type or psychic-type attacker, Groudon still comes in handy in plenty of situations. To take Groudon down, players should build up a team of Pokémon with ice-, water-, or grass-type moves. The best counters with their movesets have been listed below. Kyogre with Waterfall and Hydro Pump Galarian Darmatian with Ice Fang and Avalanche Kingler with Bubble and Crab Hammer Roserade with Razor Leaf and Grass Knot Of course, you don’t need these Pokémon to take down Groudon.
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poly-lt-wire-logo Image: Ken Lashley, Juan Fernandez/Marvel Comics It’s raining Ven(oms) By Jan 19, 2021, 1:18pm EST The Marvel Universe is in the thick of the Venom King in Black crossover, and that can mean only one thing: You get a symbiote! You get a symbiote! Everybody gets an evil-mind-controlled-by-a-space-god symbiote! But there’s one new symbiote on the block that’s
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poly-lt-wire-logo Image: IO Interactive IO Interactive delivers a terrific, thrilling finale for its trilogy By Jan 19, 2021, 8:00am EST The Hitman series has always been defined by its openness, allowing players to assume the role of the peerless assassin known as Agent 47 and take out targets however they please. But there’s something fascinating and, for this franchise, novel about Hitman 3, the final entry in IO Interactive’s World of Assassination trilogy: The story that the game’s writers have crafted matters at least as much as Hitman’s play-it-your-way spirit. IO has said that it considers certain assassinations to be the “canonical” endings for some of this trilogy’s missions. That’s never been more true than in Hitman 3, which occasionally signals that it wants you to make a particular decision, and reinforces it with a cutscene afterward that follows directly from the choice in question. Of course, the push and pull between interactivity and authored narrative plays on the essence of 47’s job itself: He is a laboratory-engineered contract killer, designed to be the perfect hired gun, always carrying out someone else’s orders rather than acting of his own volition. Indeed, IO’s entire trilogy touches on ideas of power, control, and self-determinati
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IO's final World of Assassination game is closer to a seasonal content update than a sequel, but it's a thrilling endeavour all the same. Hitman 3 is the final act in Agent 47's struggle against his nemeses at Providence, the illuminati-style collective of crooked politicians, crimelords and corpos introduced at the start of the World of Assassination trilogy back in 2016. I don't care much about that story, with its paint-by-numbers betrayals and toneless briefing sequences: its only virtue is to keep you moving around the globe, from one extravagant playground to another. But much to my surprise, I do care rather a lot about Agent 47, about the strange figure he cuts against the contents of his own world and the wider landscape of videogames.The big joke of 47, of course, is that you can't miss him. He stands out like, well, a menacing, chalk-white man with a barcode on his head. In the reboot trilogy, you can mingle with NPCs to throw off suspicious guards, and the impression is always of a fridge trying to blend into a flock of sheep - even the Terminator looks more natural in a crowd. And yet somehow, 47 is the ultimate shape-shifter, able to disguise himself as anyone from a noodle chef to a celebrity DJ. IO has wisely refrained from making this ability to fit in more plausible, even as it has pumped up the splendour of Hitman's locations, and the result is an assassination game that is secretly a comedy long before you start dressing up as a butler and whacking people with fish.The joke extends to the fact that Agent 47 is so
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THQ Nordic’s remaster of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning will launch on Nintendo Switch on March 16, the company announced on Tuesday. Kingdoms of Amalur Re-Reckoning, as the new version is called, first launched in September for PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One in September 2020. It’s a remaster of the 2012 role-playing game by 38 Studios, whose bankruptcy shortly after the game’s launch became a political scandal for the state of Rhode Island. Amalur is expanding its borders and heading into the unkown territory of... Nintendo Switch on March 16th, 2021.Return to the Faelands and forge your fate. Uncover the secrets of Amalur and rescue a world torn apart by a vicious war - finally on-the-go! #ReReckoning pic.twitter.com/xRpPZGafnY— Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning (@ReckoningGame) January 19, 2021 THQ Nordic bought the rights the Kingdoms of Amalur franchise in 2018. This remaster is developed by Kaiko, which previously delivered Darksiders 2: Deathinitive Edition and Darksiders: Warmastered Edition for THQ Nordic in 2015 and 2016. Praised as a deep, high fantasy role-playing game, Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning was a critical success for publisher Electronic Arts when it launched on PlayStation 3, Windows PC, and Xbox 360 in February 2012. But even in selling 1.2 million copies over its first 90 days, the game made nowhere near enough money to cover the loan that Rhode Island issued to 38 Studios. 38 Studios, founded by the former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, was ultimately liquidated at the end of 2013. After the sale of the company’s assets, and civil lawsuit settlements with Schilling, banks, underwriters, and other 38 Studios investors, Rhode Island taxpayers ended up paying about $28 million on the state bonds that had given the studio $75 million to relocate to Providence. The rights THQ Nordic now controls are for the Amalur franchise; the original game’s publishing rights are still retained by EA. 38 Studios had been at work on an MMO code-named Project Copernicus when it went bust. THQ Nordic picked assets for that up as well in its 2018 acquisition.
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A list of top tier football teams will soon join Fortnite - because why not, everyone else already has.Specifically, you'll be able to buy Fortnite characters who wear kits featuring 23 real-life clubs, including high profile names such as Man City, Juventus and Inter Milan.Brazilian footballing legend Pelé is also getting involved, with the "Pelé's Air Punch Emote" also soon to be available to buy. Finally, there will be a limited-time football mode in the game. I have no idea how this will work but I'm keen to find out. Each Fortnite football skin will come with the option to swap between any and all of the 23 clubs listed below, picked to represent a wide range of teams from around the world.A new in-game tournament, The Pelé Cup, will go live tomorrow and let you win some of these skins for free. They'll then go on sale in Fortnite's item shop on Saturday.Man City and Roma colours.Manchester City FCJuventusAC MilanInter MilanAS RomaSeattle Sounders FCAtlanta United FCLos Angeles FCSantos FCWolverhampton Wanderers FCWest Ham United FCSevilla FCSporting CPBorussia MönchengladbachFC Schalke 04VFL WolfsburgRangers FCCeltic FCCerezo OsakaMelbourne City FCSydney FCWestern Sydney WanderersEC Bahia
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Nowadays, if you watch a clip of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, chances are very good you’ll feel bewildered. Between the speedrunners, trick shotters, and combat aces embracing the open world adventure, we’re still routinely seeing the game pushed to new limits. Case in point, in 2020 alone, Breath of the Wild fans discovered 20 new bugs that can exploit the game in all sorts of ways. Seeing is one thing, though, and doing is another. If you’ve ever wanted to emulate the masters who do neat things in Breath of the Wild, you might find yourself overwhelmed — where would you even start? The good news is that there are resources out there for you. In mid January, known combat guru Max ‘RinHara5aki’ Blumenthal released a massive combat glossary via Google Docs that breaks down all sorts of techniques, from advanced parries to flurry rush variants. Be warned: The document is so huge, Blumenthal recommends viewing it on desktop rather than mobile. I’m on a Mac Air and the thing is so demanding it’s slowing down my computer! Part of it is because it’s so comprehensive, with Blumenthal promising to add more tricks over time. But also, the doc includes a variety of GIFs that show you exactly what you want to look out for, along with button inputs. He also tells you the difficulty you can expect from each move, and whether it’s actually useful or if it exists more for show. Some things just look cool! Here’s one quick example out of many: the Effect Persistence Spin, an easier trick that was discovered by neo_bocchi. Blumenthal writes: Image: Nintendo via Max ‘RinHara5aki’ Blumenthal The Effect Persistence Spin is an alternate version of the Bow Spin, allowing you to keep elemental effects infinitely while spinning. While it does have an upper hand over the Bow Spin by being able use the Great Flameblade’s effects and having a wider attack range, its inferior because of its horrid setup. You must waste all of your stamina and start to spin a little before your stamina recovers back to full. Approaching a fight with 0 stamina ahea
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Hold on to your level-three helmets, as in addition to upcoming sci-fi game The Callisto Protocol, it seems Krafton has a couple more PUBG-universe surprises in store for us over the next few years. The information comes from a Bloomberg interview [paywall] with Kim Chang-han, CEO of PUBG Corp's parent company Krafton, who said the company would "not stay as a one-hit wonder". According to Bloomberg, Krafton plans on releasing a new mobile title this year that will be based on PUBG, in addition to another PUBG-related PC and console title by next year, then followed by the release of The Callisto Protocol in 2022. The Callisto Protocol - Cinematic Trailer Reveal So what are these games going to be, exactly? Earlier this month we heard reports that Krafton is working on sequels to both PUBG and PUBG Mobile (as spotted by PUBG leaker Player IGN), so it's possible the games referred to in the Bloomberg article are indeed PUBG 2.0 and PUBG Mobile 2.0. Unfortunately, we won't know for sure until Krafton releases further details. #PUBG just confirmed that they're working on PUBG 2.0 and PUBG Mobile 2.0Global announcement soon?The secret #ProjectXTRM thing from last yr was a PUBGM2 all along. I knew XTRM was a mobile game.So I didn't make a update video on it. Got so tilted when I learned about it. pic.twitter.com/50hnX60epv— PlayerIGN (@PlayerIGN) January 6, 2021 The Callisto Protocol, a survival horror set in the PUBG universe in the year 2320, was unveiled in December last year at the Game Awards. It's being made by Striking Distance Studios under the watchful eye of Glen Schofield, previously the executive producer of Dead Space, so that may give you some idea of the horrors that await players when it launches next year. Elsewhere in Bloomberg's report, you can find some seriously impressive PUBG stats: the game's PC and console versions have sold over 70m copies, while the mobile version has been downloaded 600m times. In the nine months running up to September, Krafton pulled in over $1.1bn (£808m) in revenue. Krafton is now planning an initial public offering in mid to late 2021, with one report expec
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If you hadn't yet noticed, Rust is having a bit of a moment. Although it's been around since 2013, the survival multiplayer is experiencing a resurgence in popularity after a bunch of high-profile streamers set up private server together. The streamers, including Shroud, Pokimane, Myth, XQc and more, have all uploaded their own perspectives of the island (even creating their own factions), making for compelling viewing - and seriously boosting Rust's player count in the process. Prior to the recent surge in popularity, Rust's previous Steam concurrent players rec
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Blue Period, a manga by Tsubasa Yamaguchi about a high school student discovering his passion for art, will be getting an anime adaption this year. The series focuses on Yatora Yaguchi, a smart but troubled student who can’t seem to find interest in anything. He then spots a huge painting by an upperclassman in the art club and becomes obsessed with paintings, colors, and drawings. Being a naturally gifted student and a hard worker, he picks up techniques quickly and sets his eyes on the Tokyo University of the Arts for college. While the anime announcement did not give a date or a studio
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The arrival of a new gaming generation always shakes up the status quo - not just in the console space, but for PC owners too. With new Xbox and PlayStation hardware effectively resetting the baseline, how does your existing gaming rig stack up? Do you need to upgrade? What kind of PC kit is now required to match the console experience? We've already tested Assassin's Creed Valhalla, finding that relatively high-end PC kit is required to get the job done, while Watch Dogs Legion lowered expectations - provided you had an Nvidia RTX card. Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War is our next port of call.You can watch our entire process in matching PlayStation 5's visual make-up to PC in the embedded video below, but through a process of careful testing, it was possible to provide a very close match, up to and including ray tracing features, so let's get straight into the nitty-gritty. The volumetric lighting setting controls the resolution of lit volumetric fog in the game, where PS5 is closest to PC's low setting. Water tessellation controls the displacement of water, offering up more detail and this is turned off on PlayStation 5. Other features are engaged though - motion blur on PS5 is equivalent to the PC game with its 'all' setting, yet has fewer samples in motion than the closest 'high' quality level. Meanwhile, texture quality on PS5 is equivalent to PC's maxed out setting, as long as the high quality texture pack is installed.The object detail setting is interesting - it controls the draw distance of odd one-off bits of environmental detail, usually only noticeable in the far distance. Through a process of elimination, PlayStation 5 looks closest to PC at medium. Other settings reveal the developers erring more towards the high end - screen-space reflections, for example, are an important aspect of the game's visual make-up and so PS5 runs at what looks like a match with PC's high preset, while the model quality option (which is self-explanatory) is again for a match for PC at its best. Ordered independent transparencies increase sorting quality for transparent effects - with some very odd artefacing when disabled. However, I could find no difference between low and high settings, so PS5 could be equivalent to any of them. Meanwhile, sub-surface scattering more realistically renders the way that light interacts with
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Death Stranding! Deus Ex Mankind Divided! Assassin's Creed Odyssey! Although we may be struggling to find any PS5 stock that sticks around for longer than 30 seconds, there are many great game deals out there right now - whether you're lucky enough to own Sony's new console or are still on your PS4.Let's start with one of the biggest PS5 games so far. Spider-Man: Miles Morales Ultimate Edition on PS5 is now £45 at AO. That's the same price as the standard version. This Ultimate Edition includes a copy of Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered and would usually set you back around £55.Martin found Miles Morales to be blockbuster gaming at its breeziest and best, while the Digital Foundry verdict on Spider-Man Remastered suggests it offers substantial enhancements to the game versus PS4 Pro and comes fully recommended. Meanwhile, over on the PSN Store, a new Games Under £16 promotion is underway with loads of top PS4 games for some terrific prices. Many are far, far below that £16 starting point, so you can definitely find a bargain or two.At the upper end, you have the likes of dystopian delivery sim Death Stranding, Ancient Greece murder romp Assassin's Creed Odyssey and beast-slaying RPG Monster Hunter World: Iceborne all for £15.99.You could also break out the spare change to pick up spooky adventure Little Nightmares for £3.99, iconic FPS Titanfall 2 for £4.24 or functioning cyberpunk RPG Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Digital Deluxe Edition for £5.24.Here are some personal highlights I've picked out below, but do browse the full list on the PSN Store for
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Xbox Game Pass offers a wide variety for a monthly subscription, and January 2021’s selection of games added to the service includes some titles that are definitely worth your time: Control, the Yakuza Remastered Collection, The Medium, and Outer Wilds. On Jan. 21, Control will be available to play on Game Pass for PC after being available for consoles. This spooky supernatural thriller has players delve into a secretive government facility in New York, picking up an array of supernatural powers and uncovering mysteries along the way. Also on Jan. 21, players will also gain access to the tactical Wild West game Desperados 3 and the colorful hole-based puzzler Donut County on Game Pass for Android, console, and PC. The incredible time-loop space puzzler Outer Wilds will also become available on Android — it’s currently available on PC and consoles. On Jan. 26, ninja action game Cyber Shadow comes to Android, console, and PC. That lineup is followed up on Jan. 28 by next-gen horror game The Medium on both PC and Xbox Series X, which is the day of its release. Jan. 28 also brings players the Yakuza Remastered Collection to Android, console, and PC, which covers Yakuza 3, Yakuza 4, and Yakuza 5. This means that every mainline Yakuza game is on Game Pass, which is ideal for people who want to catch up on the franchise. On Jan. 29, some games will leave the service, including Final Fantasy 15, Gris, and Sea Salt.
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"Just keeps getting easier every time." An organised scalping group has claimed it scooped up more than 2000 PlayStation 5 consoles from GAME's restock today.A Twitter account belonging to the scalpers boasted it had "over 2000 checkouts successfully logged for today's GAME restock on the PS5" and that it "just keeps getting easier every time".The Twitter account is now set to private after receiving a backlash from would-be customers left unable to buy a PS5 before stock sold out."GAME Digital needs to do something about this," one reply reads. "Too many people who genuinely want one are being screwed out of it by this piece of scum.""Thanks for letting bots ruin normal people getting PS5 bundles," wrote another. And there are numerous less family-friendly responses.Posts from members of the scalping ring are still visible. Many include screenshots of email inboxes filled with purchase confirmations from GAME for multiple PS5 consoles.Some of these users have then boasted about how they will soon resell these consoles for profit, to people willing to pay far higher prices. Eurogamer Next-Gen News Cast - the Star Wars games we'd love to see next PS5 consoles regularly sell for £100s more on eBay or Facebook Marketplace. On the high street, CEX still buys PS5 consoles for £815 and continues to operate its in-person trade-in services even while the UK is in lockdown - something many of the chain's own staff have told Eurogamer they feel is unsafe.Back on Twitter, some of those who bought extra PS5 stock today attempted to explain why they had done it."I lost my full-time job due to the pandemic, I have bills to pay, to do that I am selling a PS5," one user wrote. "I have bills to pay and this is how I can currently pay them in the pandemic, if people are fortunate enough to be able to afford a PS5 they are not in the position I am."In a statement to Eurogamer, a GAME spokesperson said the chain had "strong measures" to prevent scalping, and cautioned that many of the claims and screenshots being shared online showed email confirmations where payment had not yet been taken.Here's the statement in full:"PS5 continues to be in very high demand and that demand far outweighs current supply," a GAME spokesperson told Eurogamer. "We have strong measures in place to help ensure that our '1 per customer' statement is maintained to allow for as many individual customers to successfully purchase as possible."All pre-orders are subject to automatic checks and order updates such as cancellations following these checks take place after a customer will have received a valid order confirmation email. At the present time these orders are still pre-orders and as such no payments have yet been taken from customers. Payments will commence once our order checks have been completed."While it feels like GAME faces an uphill battle, it's worth remembering that retailers have won against scalpers in the past. Back in December, Very cancelled 1000 Xbox Series X orders a scalping group had boasted about nabbing. And while these scalping groups
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From Miles Morales to The Game Awards. 2020. What a year? Nobody had 20/20 vision of our future, as reality transformed into a game and games stepped up to help us deal with that reality. That's true next-gen immersion.Let me take you on an investigative journey backwards through 2020 using my trusty game accessibility magnifier lens. 2020 was undoubtedly the greatest year for the gaming accessibility community since the release of the Xbox Adaptive Controller in 2018.The Last Of Us Part 2 was an utterly ground-breaking game on multiple levels: it solidified the foundation for accessibility whilst raising the bar for future game developers to build upon. Naughty Dog illustrated that consulting with accessibility specialists with various disabilities throughout development is indeed possible and worthwhile. It also emphatically proved that games with accessibility features can and will sell. Players without sight were able to get the Platinum trophy, which is down to revolutionary accessibility features like high contrast mode, a narrator and multiple audio cues. The button remapping was one of the best yet seen as it utilised the PS4 touchpad, which potentially removed the need for stick clicks. I found the option to activate slow-motion whilst aiming invaluable, as it meant that I had enough time to be a precise headshot machine. This feature should be available in all future shootersWe must be realistic though as we can't expect all games to have the same level of accessibility and we can't compare future games to TLOU2. Accessibility isn't a competition between developers, but a collaborative and supportive endeavour needed for the gaming industry to progress. Elsewhere! Spider-Man: Miles Morales by Insomniac games had an amazing and emotional narrative with some killer tracks. And Miles Morales was also a surprising accessibility triumph. The previous game was spectacular, however the controls were difficult to use especially during fast-paced combat. Insomniac fixed all these accessibility issues without dramatically changing the control scheme, but by offering intuitive accessibility settings. The remapping allowed you to change button layouts, but it also showed how the remapping would affect actions that require multiple presses. An example: Web Burst automatically fired 3 webs to stick enemies to the environment instead of needing you to press L1 three times. Insomniac added toggles for aiming, Venom powers and web-swinging. These options are energy-saving so gameplay isn't such a physical effort. Ubisoft released 3 games with great accessibility features in 2020: Watch Dogs Legion, Assassin's Creed Valhalla and Immortals Fenix Rising. However, I will focus here on Assassin's Creed Valhalla. This game brought me back to loving the Assassin's Creed franchise. The revolutionary accessibility feature in Valhalla was the ability to auto-ride to an objective or follow a mission character, which eliminated the need to control your horse or Viking Longship for prolonged periods with a single press of a button. This also appeared
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Thanks for your patients. Theme Hospital spiritual successor Two Point Hospital brings its remaining expansions to consoles on 5th March.Already available on PC, these are the eco-themed Off the Grid pack and the UFO-inspired Close Encounters add-on. Together they include dozens of new illnesses, locations, cure machines and other items. The game's two item packs, with retro and arty objects to add into your hospitals, also come to consoles then as well.And if you don't have the game already, a £35/$40/€40 Jumbo Edition with all of the above included arrives on the same date. All of this i
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ViacomCBS’ Paramount Plus will launch March 4, the company announced Tuesday. If you’re already a subscriber to CBS All Access, don’t worry, this is just a name change, not a new thing to buy. Plans for the rebranding/relaunching were announced in September. Paramount rejoined ViacomCBS at the end of 2019, following the re-merger of Viacom and CBS (those two companies had first split in 2006). This means, basically, that Paramount Pictures’ holdings will join a library that includes content from CBS and subsidiary networks BET, Comedy Central, MTV, and Nickelodeon. All of the networks will be developing original series for Paramount Plus, the company reported back in September. Pa
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Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning launches on Nintendo Switch on 16th March 2021.This release includes the main game plus three DLCs: The Teeth of Naros, Legend of Dead Kel, and Weapons and Armor bundles. The Nintendo Switch announcement trailer is below: Publisher THQ Nordic said it plans to release brand new Kingdoms of Amalur expansion Fatesworn later this year.Kingdoms of Amalur: Re-Reckoning is a remaster of the original action RPG developed by Big Huge Games and 38 Studios. That game launched on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2012, published by EA. 38 Studios subsequently filed for bankruptcy, and in 2018 THQ Nordic picked up the r
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The Muppet Show is finally coming to Disney Plus next month. Starting Feb. 19, the streaming service will host all five seasons of Jim Henson’s original variety show — including seasons 4 and 5, which have never been released on home entertainment before. The variety show premiered in 1976. In addition to the lovable cast of Muppets, like Kermit, Miss Piggy, and Gonzo, the show also featured some stellar celebrity guests, including Steve Martin, Elton John, Julie Andrews, Gene Kelly, and Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Said iconic Muppet leader Kermit the Frog in a news release, “It’s going to be great to welcome back longtime fans, and to give a new generation of fans a chance to
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Microsoft has announced the next wave of games coming to Xbox Game Pass.As already announced, Remedy's Control is coming to Xbox Game Pass on PC on 21st January.Also on 21st January, Desperados 3 and Donut County both hit console, PC and Android. The wonderful Outer Wilds launches on Xbox Game Pass on Android also on that date. Eurogamer Next-Gen News Cast - the Star Wars games we'd love to see next Moving on to 26th January, and Cyber Shadow launches on Xbox Game Pass on console, PC and Android.Two days later, on 28th January Bloober Team's The Medium launches onto Xbox Game Pass on Xbox Series X and S and PC.Also on the 28th, Yakuza R
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CD Projekt has vowed to defend itself against multiple Cyberpunk 2077 lawsuits.In a regulatory filing issued on 15th January, CD Projekt said a second civil class action lawsuit had been filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California by a law firm acting on behalf of a group of investors.The claim is the same in subject and scope as that disclosed by CD Projekt in December. "The complaint does not specify the quantity of damages sought," CD Projekt said. "The Company will undertake vigorous action to defend itself against any such claims." CD Projekt previously said it faced legal action from New York law
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Three new Monster Hunter Rise figures are set to become some of the world's rarest amiibo.Fancy one for yourself? Simply purchase Capcom's upcoming new Monster Hunter game for Nintendo Switch and you could be in with a chance at one of these golden figurines - but only if you buy it via a digital download code from a 7-Eleven store in Japan. Even then, you'll only be placed into a lottery for the chance at one of these figures. When Capcom ran a promotion like this once before, only 10 amiibo were made available. This time around, there are three different options. Here they are:"Monster Hunter Rise feels every bit the generational leap that World was," Martin wrote last week. "[It] takes all the lessons learned from World and then throws in so much more besides." Nearly 200 amiibo have now been released (not including amiibo cards) and among them are plenty which are now very hard to find. Monster Hunter Stories' Navirou and BoxBoy's Qbby were both Japan-exclusives, while others such as Mega Yarn Yoshi were part of retailer-exclusive deals. A similar contest to these new golden Monster Hunter amiibo was held for a golden Mega Man 11 figurine, of which just 10 were made available via a contest for fans. The rarest amiibo of them all, though, are surely the Monster Hunter Stories Riders amiibo released in both silver and gold. Just one each of these amiibo are known to exist, and they were both given away by Capcom as prizes in a 2017 tournament. Here's a look at those, which you will never own: ??4?6?(?)13:00??MH????2017 ???????????????????????amiibo???????????????????????????????????? https://t.co/xv1CVNpkWX pic.twitter.com/svOKIHNfwu— ???????????????2??????? ?? (@MH_Stories2) April 5, 2017
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Like so many things in 2020, last year the Switch version of Apex Legends had to be delayed due to the challenges of working in a pandemic, but it looks like that port could be arriving rather soon. According to a release date that accidentally slipped out during the promos for Season 8, at least. A release date of 2nd February, the same day as the launch of the new season, was spotted in the Japanese version of a Stories from the Outlands trailer for Season 8. "On February 2nd, it will be possible to play on Switch at the same time as the start of Season 8", t
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The publisher of Auto Chess has announced an Auto Chess MOBA.Auto Chess MOBA uses the heroes from Auto Chess, all of which will be free to play with.Dragonest made the announcement in a video published earlier in January (thanks, Kotaku). There's a wonderful circle of life element to this announcement: in early 2019, a group of Chinese developers collectively known as Drodo Studio released Dota Auto Chess, a custom game mode for Valve's MOBA, Dota 2.Dota Auto Chess exploded in popularity, sparking a race to release competing auto battlers at
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Sporting. For the next fourteen hours, Amazon has halved the prices for Madden NFL 21 and FIFA 21, assuming you're happy with download codes for the Xbox One, Series X and Series S.The deal is very short-term only, lasting until the end of the day, but it could very well be worth taking Amazon up on if you're an Xbox owner and sports fan. Both games emphasise building a career in the sport as well as just playing individual games, so those with spare time could certainly invest themselves in a long-term experience. Buy FIFA 21 (Xbox download code) from Amazon UK - £29.99 Buy Madden NFL 21 (Xbox download code) from Amazon UK - £29.99 There's all manner of deals and opportunities to help you save money here at Eurogamer. Check out where to pre-order Pokemon Snap here, or find out the best prices on Super Mario 3D World here! Alternatively, follow Jelly Deals on Twitter for instant info on deals across the internet, gaming and otherwise. Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. For more information, go here. About the author Joel Franey Contributor Joel is a writer and games designer who was declared dead in 1997, but refused to give in to the peer pressure. He spends most of his free time looking for food, for comics, or just for somebody new to annoy.
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