LEGO Batman director, Chris McKay, is said to be in negotiations to direct the upcoming Dungeons & Dragons movie.
The news comes courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter, which says that McKay is currently in talks with Paramount about the project.
Back in 2016, Goosebumps’ Rob Letterman was pegged to direct the film, and Ansel Elgort was in “early negotiations” with Warner Bros. to star in the movie.
The Discovery Tour mode in Assassin’s Creed Origins isn’t the only new thing available in the game today, February 20. Veteran players looking for something new can check out the New Game + mode, which was added to the game on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC today.
Once you beat the main story, you can create a NG+ save and keep all of your existing progression, including things like weapons and outfits, along with abilities, XP, inventory items such as crafting materials and tools, and of course your character level.
Of course, some things won’t carry over such as all of the maps and discovered territories, as well as quest competition status and Senu’s perception level. Activities tied to progression are reset, so things like Trials of the Gods and the Hippodrome won’t be available until you unlock them as part of normal gameplay progression.
Additionally, you’ll find the experience more difficult as the difficulty level will go up one notch compared to your previous campaign. So for example, Easy will go to Normal and Normal to Hard, etc. Enemy scaling is on by default in NG+, but you can deactivate it.
There will be a “unique reward” for when you beat the NG+ version of the game, but Ubisoft is keeping this a surprise for now. For a full, detailed breakdown of the NG+ mode, check out this FAQ on Ubisoft’s website.
The second and final expansion for Origins, The Curse of the Pharaohs, is coming in March for all platforms. However, an update on February 27 will include a new quest, “Lights Among the Dunes,” that serves as an introduction before the full expansion lands on March 6.
Rainbow Six Siege has enjoyed an incredible comeback, as Ubisoft’s strong support for the game has not only kept players coming back but actually increased the size of its player base over time in a way we rarely see. That support will continue in the upcoming Year 3 of Siege, with two new Operators set to shake up the game’s meta once again. But perhaps more exciting than the more traditional additions we’re seeing in the Operation Chimera update is Outbreak, a limited-time PvE game mode.
Ahead of its release next month, we got to go hands on with Outbreak and found it to be a great deal unlike anything else in Siege. Ubisoft has delivered an update to the PC version’s technical test servers, giving players an early look at not just the new Operators, but also Outbreak. In the video above, you can check out the opening cutscene for the mode, as well as three others where Ash talks to another of the game’s characters. Her conversation with Doc shows him wanting to find a cure, while Tachanka is looking for a Russian connection. Thermite, unsurprisingly, just wants to blow things up.
Outbreak is played out on three new maps that have been made specifically for the mode. They’re more open than the standard PvP maps and feature some degree of progression, while still seeking to provide multiple paths and ways for Operators to use their respective gadgets. Only certain Operators can be used in this mode–including Recruit, if you don’t have access to any of the supported ones. This is because Ubisoft limits players to Operators whose gadgets make sense in the context of these maps. That presumably explains why Chimera’s new Operators–both of which are usable in Outbreak–are attackers, rather than the usual arrangement of each new expansion adding one attacker and one defender.
The Chimera update–and Outbreak along with it–debuts on March 6. Outbreak is accompanied by a new set of loot boxes you can purchase to gain exclusive cosmetic gear. These will only be available for the duration of the event, which runs until April 3. After that, the mode will disappear.
MGM and Eon reportedly want Slumdog Millionaire director Danny Boyle to helm the next James Bond film.
Variety reports the filmmaker is high on MGM’s list but also claims a formal offer hasn’t been made yet. Boyle is reportedly interested in taking on the project and has always wanted to direct a Bond movie.
MGM and Eon have wanted Boyle to helm a Bond film since 2012’s Skyfall, according to Variety. Boyle ended up directing the 2012 Olympics opening instead, which featured Daniel Craig’s 007. Yann Demange (White Boy Rick, ’71) was previously tipped as a top choice for directing but with Annapurna now distributing Bond 25 in the US MGM and Eon are reportedly pushing for a bigger name.
The upcoming Sonic the Hedgehog movie now has an official release date–and it’s a bit later than originally expected. The film, which is coming from Sony’s Paramount film studio, will come to theatres on November 15, 2019, which is just before Thanksgiving.
The release date news comes by way of The Hollywood Reporter. When the film was originally announced in 2016, Sega said it was expected in 2018, so this is a delay. The last we heard, the untitled movie is expected to mix animation and live-action, though details about the plot and cast are being kept under wraps for now.
Jeff Fowler is directing the Sonic movie, making his directorial debut for a feature-length film with the project. He has experience and has captured acclaim with animated projects before, however. He directed the 2004 Oscar-nominated animated short Gopher Broke, the animation for which was done by the prolific and celebrated video game effects studio Blur.
The Fast and the Furious producer Neal H. Moritz is producing the Sonic movie. The Sonic movie’s script is being written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, the duo who created the Fox show Golan the Insatiable.
While you have to wait a bit longer for the Sonic movie, the new Tomb Raider movie starring Alicia Vikander as Lara Croft is coming out in March. You can watch the newest trailer for the movie here.
Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V continues to receive new content for its online mode. The newest weekly update for GTA Online is out now, and it adds a new vehicle and offers sales and discounts on a number of items. Starting with the new vehicle, you can now purchase the Karin 190Z from Legendary Motorsport.
As you can see in the video below, it’s a classic-looking sports car that has a classic, cheeky Rockstar description. “As elegant as the most refined Grotti and as classy as the suavest Ocelot, this Sports Classic is a cup of piping hot sake in the face of fifty years of complacency,” reads a line from the description.
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) February 20, 2018
In terms of sales, Rockstar is offering 25 percent off Biker Business upgrades and supplies, while Special Cargo create are marked down by 25 percent this week. The sales go further still, with discounts available on vehicles, clothing, tattoos, yachts, and more.
Here is a rundown of what’s on sale in GTA Online this week:
YACHTS, MOCs & MORE
- All Yachts – 30% off
- Yacht Renovations – 30% off
- Mobile Operations Center Cabs – 30% off
- Mobile Operations Center Renovations – 30% off
- Bunker Renovations – 30% off
- Aircraft Workshop – 25% off
- Ocelot Pariah (Sports) – 30% off
- Ocelot XA-21 (Super) – 30% off
- Coil Raiden (Sports) – 30% off
CLOTHING & TATTOOS
- The Doomsday Heist clothing – 25% off
- Import/Export tattoos – 25% off
GTA Online is also offering double GTA$ and RP for some Smuggler’s Run missions, while Biker Business sales will pay out 25 percent extra GTA$ this week. We have also learned this week’s Premium Race and Time Trial event; the Premium Race is “Damned,” featuring the Ruiner 2000 vehicle, while the Time Trial is “Calafia Way.” As always, the Premium Race rewards the top three finishers with GTA$, while everyone gets triple RP. For the Time Trial, you will earn double GTA$ and RP if you beat the par time.
One more thing to be aware of that is that everyone who plays GTA Online before February 26 will get GTA$ 250,000 just for logging in. Additionally, you can get up to 1 million in GTA$ through a rebate program that you can read more about here.
Nintendo Switch owners may soon find themselves unable to use some of the console’s online features for periods of time. Nintendo will once again be performing maintenance on Switch servers this week, which will take place over the next few days and affect various games and services.
The first round of server maintenance takes place tonight, February 20. It begins at 5 PM PT / 8 PM ET and is scheduled to conclude at 7:30 PM PT / 10:30 PM ET. Nintendo didn’t specify which games and services will be impacted by this bout of downtime, except that online features for some titles “may become unavailable.” While no specific games were singled out, it’s safe to assume that online titles like Splatoon 2 could be impacted.
A second round of maintenance is slated to follow that later tonight, this one specifically for Minecraft. The maintenance is scheduled to begin at 9 PM PT / 12 AM ET and runs until 10:30 PM PT / 1:30 AM ET. During this window of time, “all network services” for the game will be unavailable.
Another maintenance period is scheduled to take place tomorrow, February 21. This round will last longer than the previous two, beginning at 8:50 PM and running until midnight PT. This will likewise impact online play for some unspecified titles.
One more round of maintenance will follow that on Monday, February 26. That is scheduled to run from 5-7 PM PT and will impact the Eshop, specifically players’ ability to use credit cards to make purchases. You can read more about this week’s scheduled Switch maintenance below and on Nintendo’s support website.
Nintendo Switch Online Maintenance Schedule
Tuesday, February 20
Nintendo Switch / 3DS
- From 5 PM – 7:30 PM Pacific Time
- “Certain network services” may become unavailable
- From 9 PM – 10:30 PM Pacific Time
- All network services will be unavailable
Wednesday, February 21
- From 8:50 PM – 12 AM Pacific Time
- “Certain network services” may become unavailable
Monday, February 26
Nintendo Switch Eshop
- From 5 PM – 7 PM Pacific Time
- Using credit cards unavailable
The battle royale game mode isn’t exactly new, but its current mainstream spotlight can be attributed to the virality of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. After it sold tens of millions of copies on Steam during its early access period alone, there was bound to be a wave of games trying to capitalize on the genre’s exploding popularity. As of now, though, Fortnite: Battle Royale is the frontrunner in challenging PUBG’s dominance. And while many have dubbed Fortnite’s rendition a PUBG clone, there are just as many stark differences as there are similarities between the two.
A drastic contrast in presentation will hit you first. PUBG has a realistic, military-inspired look that’s layered on top of the already nerve-racking concept. Fortnite looks like a cartoon; it’s bright, colorful, and animated in a way that takes the edge off the imposing battle royale mode. Oddly enough, both games use Epic’s Unreal Engine 4 despite the divergent graphical styles. These games were also born out of disparate foundations.
At its core, PUBG shares much of the same DNA as its predecessors. Brendan “PlayerUnknown” Greene himself helped create the original battle royale mods for Arma, and through several iterations these mods eventually led to H1Z1: King of the Kill, which became the premiere battle royale game just before PUBG came onto the scene. However, PUBG offers a more accessible and streamlined experience than its forebears while retaining the military sim framework that taps into your tactical instincts.
This begs the question: How did Fortnite, of all games, become the one to go toe-to-toe with PUBG? Fortnite has its own tumultuous development history, but its initial vision was a mashup of Gears of War‘s Horde mode and Minecraft‘s construction mechanics, driven by a loot grind to hook players. At first, a game that controls fast and loose, almost like an arena shooter, doesn’t seem ripe for battle royale. However, Epic was able to adapt Fortnite into its own battle royal mode early on and capitalize on the trend, carving out its own piece of the pie.
Fortnite also had two key advantages over PUBG when its battle royale mode launched: it was both free to play and available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. PUBG recently hit the Xbox One in an early access phase, but it has a long way to go to match how smooth and stable Fortnite runs. Even on PC, you’re likely to run higher framerates and have a lower chance of experiencing game-breaking bugs.
When it comes to the overall concept, PUBG’s influence on Fortnite is clear. In both games, a 60-second warm-up takes place on an isolated island off the shore of the main island. 100 players are crammed into an air vessel and parachute down to the main island where a single-life deathmatch takes place. You’re continuously forced into smaller zones at random via a lethal circle as the match progresses; you’ll never know exactly where the final firefight will take place, either. Everyone scrambles for weapons, ammo, and health items across the map’s numerous towns and structures. You can either do this alone, as a duo, or with a squad of four, but it ends the same: the last person or squad standing is declared the winner. Conceptually, these games are the same, but in practice, they play very differently.
Regardless of your weapon of choice, you have to be precise. PUBG is all about precision.
Most noticeably, PUBG’s rules of engagement are in sharp contrast with Fortnite’s. When it comes to PUBG, player movement and the act of firing a gun are very deliberate and calculated. Tactical situations rely on positioning and working the given environment to your advantage; lying prone in brush to stay concealed in a open field, peeking around rocks or trees to take shots, and checking corners when entering houses are just a few of the basic (and best) practices. Guns fire with impact and have distinct recoil patterns and damage models in relation to the armor your target has equipped. Regardless of your weapon of choice, you have to be precise. PUBG is all about precision. You can’t say the same about Fortnite, at least to the same degree.
Fortnite’s building mechanics are remarkably easy to use and crucial to master.
Of course, aiming is key to winning in Fortnite, but the way assault rifles and shotguns work is closer to Unreal Tournament than it is to Arma. Rocket and grenade launchers are also part of Fortnite’s arsenal, and traps give players a chance to exercise a different type of cleverness. Because of the nature of its style, Fortnite feels much more chaotic and kinetic, and you can’t overlook the importance of building structures to stay competitive.
Fortnite retains crafting from its original Save the World mode, and getting a grasp of it is essential for victory. A pickaxe that functions as your only melee weapon is also used to destroy structures and vegetation which turn into wood, brick, or steel. With these elements, you build walls, stairs, or a roof, and can then be altered with windows and doors. It’s almost a guarantee that firing upon an enemy in an open field will lead to them throwing up a wall out of instinct to protect themselves and heighten their chance of survival. Scaling mountains and seemingly hard-to-reach places is made possible with an ad-libbed staircase. Fortnite’s building mechanics are remarkably easy to use and crucial to master.
On the other hand, part of PUBG’s appeal is that the clumsy crafting elements of its predecessors are gone, allowing players to focus on gearing up and executing tactics to survive each firefight. Ditching granular mechanics helps keep a relatively fast pace and lower barrier to entry while maintaining the realistic tactical shooter vibe. You need to strap on an armored vest and helmet to protect yourself, and weapon attachments help get the most out of the deep roster of firearms. Inventory management is relatively streamlined in PUBG, but Fortnite simplifies it to such a degree that you only have to worry about five inventory slots instead of a managing a weight limit.
Both games have large, sprawling maps, but PUBG incorporates vehicles that are of utmost importance to reach advantageous positions without getting swallowed up by the circle of death or gunned down by a preying squad. However, close-quarters encounters are a microcosm of how much PUBG and Fortnite diverge. If you fight in and around the buildings and towns of PUBG as if it were Rainbow Six–scouting enemy movement, peeking for sightlines–you’ll improve your odds of survival. In Fortnite, destruction is around every corner; if you know an enemy is on the second floor of a building, you can blow apart the floor beneath them for a surprise. You rack up kills by getting the jump on opponents in either game, but you can’t play PUBG like Fortnite, and approaching Fortnite like PUBG will only get you so far.
In Fortnite’s late-game, when it comes down to a single-digit player count, you’ll often see enemies creating their own fort-like structures in the safe zones, essentially building makeshift houses to leverage their resources and wit. It’s not much of a mystery where the last players are when you see them exercising their architectural prowess. Often times, PUBG’s final moments boil down to a waiting game, who gets spotted first, or a risky push with smoke grenades as your last bit of cover; it’s about seizing a short window of opportunity where things go from 0 to 100 real quick. It’s intense and frightening.
The more you dig into both games, the more you’ll see how their takes on battle royale offer unique experiences and tap into different skills, even though one is closely modeled after the other. The thirst can be quenched with either PUBG or Fortnite (or both), because the thrill of besting 90-plus other players is rewarding in a way unlike other multiplayer shooters. If you have to choose one over the other, keep in mind that Fortnite is best for those who want to engage in a form of base-building within a chaotic shooter that doesn’t rely so much on precision and realism, whereas PUBG has the look and feel of a tactical shooter to drive home the uneasy tension of battle royale.
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The SXSW Gaming Awards 2018 will take place on March 17 and your assistance is cordially requested. That’s because at SXSW Gaming, all award winners are determined by an elite body of, well, you. The SXSW Gaming Awards are by the gamers, for the gamers, and the time to vote is now.
Between the Nintendo Switch, the triple-A might of Sony and Microsoft, and an incredible lineup of indie darlings, 2017 was an amazing year for games. Now, it’s up to you to crown the best across 20 diverse categories.