12 Awesome Games You Missed This Month

Tons of awesome games come out every month, but in the shadow of high-profile AAA titles, even the best ones can slip under our radars. Whether you’re a fan of cyberpunk adventures, silly paint tools, deep sea survival sims, or eerie 3D platformers, there’s plenty to love in this month’s roundup.

For more, check out our list on the most-anticipated 2018 indie games, a love letter to the glory of weird, free web games, or dive into last month’s roundup of 2017’s best overlooked games.

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Black Panther Is Fastest Pre-Selling Superhero Movie

Black Panther has continued to break pre-sale ticket records, becoming both Fandango and Alamo Drafthouse’s fastest pre-selling superhero movie.

Black Panther now outpaces all superhero movies in presales, surpassing 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Black Panther set a Fandango record earlier this month for also being the top pre-selling MCU film in the first 24 hours.

According to a Fandango survey of over 1,000 fans intending to see Black Panther, 97% want to see a different kind of superhero film, 95% are excited about the movie’s positive messages, and 93% can’t wait to see Chadwick Boseman in action as the titular superhero after his performance in Captain America: Civil War.

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GOP Rep. Invited A Far-Right Troll To Trump’s State Of The Union

A Republican lawmaker invited a notorious far-right troll who peddles absurd conspiracy theories to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida gave a ticket to the speech to Chuck Johnson, a blogger who was permanently banned from Twitter after asking for help “taking out” a civil rights activist. A Gaetz spokeswoman on Wednesday confirmed the invite to HuffPost. 

Gaetz told The Daily Beast Johnson showed up at his office the day of the speech asking for a ticket. Johnson said several members of Congress invited him, but he took Gaetz’s ticket.

Johnson said he had a “wild time” at the speech.

“I certainly did a bunch of jumping out of my chair,” Johnson told The Daily Beast. “Trump was straight-up gangster.”

Johnson’s website, GotNews, is known for a wide range of false and dangerous writing, and promotes itself with the tagline: “President Trump reads us. You should too.”

In 2014, he falsely accused a New York Times reporter of posing for Playgirl. That same year, he published the name and photo of a person he claimed had falsely reported a rape (The photo, taken off Pinterest, showed the wrong person). He maintains that former President Barack Obama is “clearly gay,” and described Eric Garner, the unarmed black man who died in a New York police chokehold, as a “street thug.” Johnson said he identifies with the “alt-right.

Gaetz also has shown a fondness for conspiracy theories. On Monday, he went on Alex Jones’ InfoWars broadcast to claim Special Counsel Robert Muller’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties with Russia “is built on a rotten foundation,” and will soon turn to Hillary Clinton.

Which Wasp Is Which in the Ant-Man Movies?

Marvel Comics fans may already be familiar with the Wasp, but this heroine is finally headlining her own MCU movie thanks to Ant-Man and the Wasp. No longer will Hope Van Dyne play second fiddle to a goofball like Scott Lang!

To help prepare you for this new Marvel movie, we’re breaking down everything you need to know about The Wasp’s comic book background and the difference between original Wasp Janet Van Dyne and her successor Hope Van Dyne.

Avengers don’t come with stronger bona fides than the Wasp. She was one of the five original founding members of the team, and she’s been a fairly consistent presence in Earth’s Mightiest Heroes ever since. Janet Van Dyne’s powers not only make her an asset in the field, but her years of experience also make her a role model to younger generations of heroes. And despite some fairly dark periods in her personal life and even a spell where the world believed her to be dead, Janet has never lost that heroic spark.

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Battlefield 1 Turning Tides North Sea Update Now Available On PC, PS4, And Xbox One

EA is continuing to roll out new content for Battlefield 1. The second part of the game’s Turning Tides DLC is now available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One, and it introduces new maps, uniforms, an additional vehicle, and more to the WWI shooter.

This portion of the expansion is called North Sea, and like previous DLC packs, its biggest addition comes in the form of new maps. North Sea introduces two, the first of which is Heligoland Bight. EA describes it as “Battlefield 1’s quintessential naval map,” and it features the “first ever Battlefield 1 Dreadnought vs. Dreadnought battle.” The second map, Zeebrugge, takes place on the Belgian port of Bruges-Zeebrugge, and it has players fight alongside the British Royal Marines as they “wrestle to possess the German controlled, concrete mole.”

In addition to the new maps, North Sea adds the heavily-armed C-Class airship, which is capable of delivering “an immense payload of artillery and bombs” and can be self-repaired by pilots. Players can also now wear Royal Marines uniforms, and developer DICE has made an assortment of balancing adjustments to the gameplay. You can read the full patch notes for the North Sea update on Battlefield 1’s official website.

Turning Tides is the third DLC released for Battlefield 1 thus far. The first “wave” of the expansion rolled out back in December and introduced two maps–Cape Helles and Achi Baba–as well as the Infiltrator Elite Class. Players who have purchased either the game’s Premium Pass or Battlefield 1 Revolution will gain access to all of this content at no additional cost.

The next Battlefield 1 expansion is called Apocalypse and is slated to release in February. It adds a total of five new maps to the game, including “two of the most infamous battles of World War I,” Passchendaele and Caporetto. The DLC also introduces a new game mode called Air Assault, as well as new vehicles, weapons, and other content.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

What Makes Shadow Of The Colossus A Masterpiece?

Almost 13 years ago, Team Ico released its second title, Shadow of the Colossus. It would go on to win Game of the Year accolades, top “Best of PS2” lists, and cement itself as a masterpiece in the gaming landscape.

Next week, Team Ico’s classic will re-release from Bluepoint Games on PlayStation 4. Reviews have already published, praising the game’s updated textures, frame rate, and visual fidelity. It’s also said to maintain the spirit of the original PS2 release – the masterpiece that has remained relevant for almost 13 years.

In the video above, Mike Mahardy takes a deep dive into Shadow of the Colossus, discussing why it’s a masterpiece that has overshadowed numerous other modern releases, and continues to be an example of stellar game design, affecting artistry, and lasting influence.

Mike Mahardy on Google+

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

9 Things We Want From Spider-Man PS4

The PlayStation 4-exclusive Spider-Man game by Insomniac is due out sometime this year. In the last two decades, Marvel’s web slinger has seen more good game adaptations than bad ones. When memorable high points like Spider-Man 2: The Game and Web of Shadows come to mind, it’s clear Insomniac has high standards to live up to. And with so many console releases–mostly thanks to Activision–what does a new Spider-Man have to do in 2018 to stand out? We have a few ideas, seen in this gallery of nine things we want from Insomniac’s Spider-Man.

Currently, Spider-Man on PS4 has no release date. However, it has been been confirmed to release sometime later this year. For a look at how Spider-Man is shaping up, watch the game’s latest story trailer. And if you’d like more insight on how Marvel Games is overseeing development of Spider-Man and its licensed games as a whole, read our interview with Marvel Games vice president and executive producer Mike Jones.

If you’re eager to see what the other exclusives on PS4 are, then check out our in-depth gallery covering all the biggest PS4 exclusives coming in 2018. You can also look at our galleries detailing all the Xbox One exclusives, PC exclusives, and Switch exclusives.

Kevin Feige Addresses When X-Men Could Join the MCU

Despite Disney’s recent acquisition of 21st Century Fox, Fantastic Four and X-Men won’t be joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon, according to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige.

In an interview with Vulture, Feige explained the deal between Disney and Fox still has to be figured out before any X-Men, Fantastic Four or other Marvel characters from Fox can be added to the MCU.

“There’s been no communication,” Feige said. “We’re not thinking about it. We’re focusing on everything we’ve already announced. If and when the deal actually happens, we’ll start to think more about it. Until then, we have a lot to do.”

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Democratic Party Think Tank Quietly Fighting Push To Restore Net Neutrality Rules

WASHINGTON ― A Democratic Party think tank is behind a shadowy social media campaign pressuring Democratic lawmakers to oppose congressional resolutions to bring back net neutrality rules.

In the past two weeks, individual Democratic Party lawmakers have received Twitter messages from hundreds of different users urging them to oppose two resolutions that would nullify the Federal Communications Commission’s December vote to end net neutrality rules for internet service providers. Democrats, digital companies and open internet advocates have harshly criticized the FCC decision.

Both resolutions received wide support from Democrats. The one offered by Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) in the House has 110 co-sponsors, all Democrats. A bill in the Senate from Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) is endorsed by all 49 members of the Democratic caucus, as well as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine).

The Twitter messages encouraged lawmakers to drop their support of the resolutions, which were offered under the Congressional Review Act (CRA), and to pass a bipartisan net neutrality bill instead; something that does not exist at this moment.

But rather than an organic expression of policy preferences by disparate Twitter users, the wave of messages started as an online advertising campaign by the Progressive Policy Institute, a centrist think tank affiliated with the Democratic Party that has consistently opposed net neutrality regulations imposed by the FCC.

Lindsay Mark Lewis, executive director of the Progressive Policy Institute, told HuffPost that the advocacy campaign is meant to target “pragmatic Members of Congress” in pursuit of a “real legislative solution” to net neutrality. Lewis called the Doyle and Markey bills “nothing but a gesture without a solution.” He added that the think tank has long supported a legislative solution to the net neutrality issue, something that Democrats and Republicans in Congress have never agreed on.

It is not easy for a casual Twitter user to determine that they might be taking part in the Progressive Policy Institute’s political advertising campaign. The message commonly shared by Twitter users does not note any connection to the think tank. Also, none of the original advertisements appear in the think tank’s official Twitter feed, since Twitter allows advertisers to hide their purchased posts from the general public so that only users targeted by the ads will see them.

Supporters of the Doyle and Markey bills, however, believe the Progressive Policy Institute is operating on behalf of internet service providers like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. (Verizon is the parent company of the corporation that owns HuffPost.) These companies have funded the opposition to net neutrality rules for years and backed the FCC’s recent decision to repeal them.

The Progressive Policy Institute “has a history of bending over backwards to do whatever large phone and cable companies ask it to do,” Tim Karr, a senior director at Free Press, a pro-net neutrality nonprofit group, told HuffPost.

Free Press and other net neutrality advocates point to the Progressive Policy Institute’s longtime opposition to FCC net neutrality rules and its publication of dubious reports on the cost of net neutrality that internet service providers have used to defend their lobbying against net neutrality.

Net neutrality advocates also find the Progressive Policy Institute’s Twitter campaign suspect because it came just as the internet service providers launched a lobbying campaign for what the advocates deem a “fake” net neutrality bill.

AT&T ran full-page ads in The New York Times and The Washington Post on Jan. 24, calling for Congress to pass bipartisan net neutrality legislation. That version of net neutrality, however, would be riddled with loopholes that allow practices like paid prioritization, in which websites can pay service providers to move their content faster than the content of their competition. Legislation introduced by Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) is very similar to what AT&T wants. Lewis told HuffPost that the Progressive Policy Institute does not support Blackburn’s bill.

“These types of astroturf campaigns are extremely dangerous because they hide the fact that they are corporate lobbying and mislead lawmakers into thinking that there is real constituent support for terrible and unpopular policies pushed by big businesses,” Evan Greer, campaign director at the pro-net neutrality Fight for the Future, told HuffPost in an email.

Karr says that the only thing you need to look at is the think tank’s donors, which, he says, “includes extensive support from the broadband lobby.” 

The Progressive Policy Institute, through its parent nonprofit the Third Way Foundation, has received five- and six-figure contributions from the major trade associations affiliated with AT&T, Comcast and Verizon, including U.S. Telecom, National Cable & Telecommunications Association and CTIA – The Wireless Association. Each of these trade groups vigorously opposed the Obama-era FCC’s net neutrality rules.

Lewis said the Progressive Policy Institute supports net neutrality legislation “that confirms the open internet and aggressively deals with paid prioritization, beyond what any ISP likely would want.” He added, “We would like to see a real bipartisan effort to affirm the rules for the internet that can be defined for a generation.”

The Progressive Policy Institute spent “very little” on the initial advertisements to oppose the bills, Lewis said, and that the campaign was funded out the organization’s general support fund, which the industry trade groups have contributed to in the past. He did not respond to questions about whether the group received donations from telecommunications companies or their trade groups this or last year.

Dark Nights: Metal #5 Review

Dark Nights: Metal has generally been one of those comics that bites off more than it can chew, which is hardly the worst quality to have. But even with the Dark Days preludes and the various tie-ins, the main series cries out for another couple issues in which to really breathe and savor all its big developments. The good news is that the story has reached the point where the setup phase is done and the ball can start rolling downhill. Metal #5 offers a thrilling ride that really makes the most of this crossover’s heavy metal trappings.

This issue sees the Justice League scattered across the multiverse as each faction plays its part in halting Earth’s descent into the Dark Multiverse and the rise of Barbatos’ armies. The opening page does a terrific job of setting the tone, striving to be equal parts over-the-top and foreboding. And fro there, Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo spin a nonstop tale of heroes fighting against impossible odds and keeping the fire of hope burning.

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