Treyarch is planning some interesting changes to the familiar Call of Duty formula with Black Ops 4. While every game in the long-running FPS series has had their own spin on things over the years, this year’s game is looking to buck some trends that has already made the community stand up and take notice. There was a lot to take in from the May 17 reveal event, so here’s a more detailed breakdown of what’s coming up for Blacks Ops 4, and we want to see at E3 2018.
What We Know So Far
For starters, the long-rumored removal of the traditional single-player campaign turned out to be true. In its place are a series of solo missions set between Black Ops 2 and 3 centering around the game’s Specialist characters. These Specialists also make an appearance in the multiplayer mode, where they have a more tactical purpose than in Black Ops 3. While Treyarch’s previous game featured a number of acrobatic moments of finesse and speed, the next game in the sub-series is much more grounded, opting for a more tactical approach focusing more on maintaining flow of combat. Moreover, Black Ops 4 also introduces some hero-shooter elements by placing a greater emphasis on the Specialist characters and their gear sets, requiring players to be more mindful who they pick and how they can fit into the makeup of the current team.
Moving on to the Zombies mode, which is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Treyarch is expanding on the horde-based shooter with even more weirdness. Set on three distinct maps; an Ancient Roman gladiator arena of The IX, the sinking Titanic in Voyage of Despair, and a remake of past Zombies maps in Blood of the Dead–featuring the original Zombies mode cast–there are plans to offer more variety in the off-the-wall game mode. Added to this are several customizable options and gametypes which can add buffs to zombies and player-characters, timed challenges on the global leaderboards, and for the first time in series history, bot support.
However, the biggest addition to Black Ops 4 is the brand new battle royale mode known as Blackout. It’s described as something of a celebration of the Black Ops series where you can play as characters from the previous games and use any weapon throughout the Black Ops series–including the exploding RC car. In familiar battle royale style, you’ll have to fight against others online to be the last person standing. Treyarch has not revealed the number of players in each Blackout match.
What’s Confirmed For E3
Activision is confirmed to make an appearance at E3 2018, showcasing both Destiny 2 and Black Ops 4. While they’ve been tight-lipped about what exactly they’ll be showing at E3, we can expect to see more footage of the multiplayer mode based on their presence in previous years. it’s fair to say that the game’s multiplayer mode will be the focus, which should have stations set up for fans to play on the show floor.
What We Want To See At E3
While Treyarch revealed a great deal about the game during the May 17 event, we’re in the dark about certain key details about the game. One big concern is the lack of a traditional COD campaign, which has been a hallmark of the series since its debut. If Treyarch is able to showcase the best of what solo missions can offer, it would go a long way to assuage community concerns. Call of Duty by tradition has always had a solid story campaign for players to dive into, which often offers the context for the setting of the core game and its multiplayer mode. While solo missions would be different from how the previous campaigns did things, potentially they can offer fans a quick way to experience a COD-style campaign with their favorite characters.
We’ll likely see plenty of the multiplayer at E3 for Call of Duty: Black Ops 4, but one thing that would be great to see is what the game will look like in the hands of skilled players. League play will make a return in the Black Ops 4, and seeing the game in action with some of the world’s best players would be a solid way to reintroduce high-level play for the general audience. Since combat is tactical and emphasizes more teamwork this time around, having fans experience what top-tier Black Ops 4 gameplay looks like can go a long way in showcasing the new systems at work. It would also be a good opportunity to show how to utilize Specialist abilities effectively, while also being quite entertaining to watch.
During the reveal event, Treyarch also announced the upcoming beta later this year. E3 is a great place to reveal the date of the beta as well as what will be available for players to dive into. While the contents of the beta will most likely be focused on traditional multiplayer, it would be an exciting announcement at E3 to have the Blackout mode also playable in the beta. When you announce a new battle royale game, you’re already going up against some of the biggest games in the industry. So Black Ops 4 will need to showcase something very special for Blackout if it wants to stand up against the likes of Fortnite and PUBG.
Epic is going big on professional competitive Fortnite play. The developer announced today that it will provide $100 million (!!!!!) in funding for Fortnite prize pools in the 2018-2019 season. In a brief blog post, Epic said it wants Fortnite competitive play to be “more inclusive” and focused on “the joy of playing and watching the game.”
“We’re getting behind competitive play in a big way, but our approach will be different,” Epic said. “We plan to be more inclusive, and focused on the joy of playing and watching the game.”
More details on the structure of tournaments and eligible platforms will be announced “in the weeks ahead,” so keep checking back with GameSpot for more.
This is a really big deal, in part because the $100 million prize is more than double the $38 million in total prize money that Valve’s Dota 2 paid out in 2017 across all of its tournaments, according to E-Sports Earnings (via CNBC). The International, which is Valve’s massive Dota 2 event, paid out the biggest prize pool in gaming history last year with almost $25 million for the single event. For another point of comparison, the inaugural Overwatch League tournament will pay out a total of $3.5 million in prize money for its entire season.
Fortnite brings in more than $1 million every single day from its mobile version alone, according to SensorTower; Epic makes even more money from the console and PC editions. The game is free, but players can spend real money on cosmetics (which do not impact gameplay whatsoever).
At E3, Epic will host a celebrity Fortnite video game tournament where celebrities and players will play Doubles matches together.
In other Fortnite news, Epic is finally adding jetpacks to the game tomorrow as part of an update. Content update 4.2 arrives shortly after the end of Fortnite’s latest limited-time mode, Solo Showdown. Unlike other special events in the game, Solo Showdown was a competition in which players competed to earn a spot on the rankings board based on their score, with the top 100 players taking home a prize of V-Bucks. The standings can be found of Fortnite’s official blog.
Production has yet to begin on the Fast & Furious spin-off Hobbs and Shaw–starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Statham–but some very interesting details about the movie have been revealed. Though the new film will be firmly planted in the Fast & Furious world, it sounds quite a bit different from the rest of the franchise’s entries.
“We’re diving into their world. I think we want to have our own take on the Fast universe,” director David Leitch, who also helms Deadpool 2 tells Collider. “It will definitely have elements of the original DNA, but it is more drifting into Shaw’s spy word and Dwayne’s agent world and, obviously, we want to build on their relationship, their conflict, their banter. That chemistry that they have between them, that’s sort of what’s driving the movie.”
That certainly sounds like a departure from the muscle car-heavy antic of the rest of the movies. Instead, Johnson, Statham, and Leitch seem to be teeing up a spy thriller loaded with adrenaline, explosions, and the rest of the Fast & Furious hallmarks. However, it also sounds like the movie is going back to basics.
“I think it’s going to be a little bit more grounded because it’s the beginning. It’s an origin story, in a sense,” the director says. “It’s not an origin story, but we’re starting a franchise. So we want it to be a little bit more grounded, a little bit more character-centric. We’re going to set up the stakes for these guys and their relationship, but we’re also going to have some great set pieces and some action that you’d expect from that type of franchise.”
While Fate of the Furious, the eighth movie in the franchise, found Hobbs (Johnson) and Shaw (Statham) putting their troubled history behind them for the good of the team, it’s good to know this spin-off won’t simply assume they work together perfectly as a team now. Instead, it will build that sense of familiarity between them as they work together to fight… whatever it is they’re going to fight. Beyond that, it sounds like some other faces from the Fast universe could appear in the movie.
“I don’t really want to get into who would be in it and who wouldn’t be in it,” he says. “I think that’s probably a little sensitive stuff right now. I think it would be a fun nod to have a couple of the characters come by and make their appearances. But I think we have a really strong point of view that we want to create our own characters for this world.”
Fingers crossed that Vin Diesel shows up just to say the word “family,” then quickly disappears. Whatever the case, chances are Tyrese Gibson won’t be joining the cast. Hobbs and Shaw is in theaters on July 26, 2019.
While Deadpool 2 may not technically exist in the main Marvel Cinematic Universe, it still happily employs the time honored tradition of the post-credits scene–with an extremely Wade Wilson twist tossed in for good measure, of course.
Don’t pretend like you didn’t come here for spoilers–there are a lot of those ahead.
As the dust clears in the final conflict between the X-Force and “Firefist,” we see Negasonic Teenage Warhead and her girlfriend, Yukio, tinkering around with Cable’s time travel tech, which, according to him, should be all but useless now, keeping him stranded in the present day. Apparently, however, the gadgets of the not-too-distant future are no match for the engineering prowess of the X-Men, because NTW and Yukio are able to fix the device and pass it over to Wade.
That’s right: Deadpool can time travel now, and it goes pretty much exactly the way you’d expect.
The first stops in Wade’s timeline-manipulation grand tour are well within the scope of his own movie. He immediately hops back to prevent the death of his girlfriend, Vanessa, by correcting his botched cream cheese spreader throw and nailing her would-be murderer right between the eyes. Next up is the rescue of Wade’s favorite faux X-Force (fauX-Force?) member, Peter AKA Sugar Bear, the regular guy with no powers. Peter met his untimely and grisly demise the first time around after he became the unfortunate recipient of Zeitgeist’s acid vomit, so Wade steps in just moments earlier, telling him to go home before he can put himself in more danger.
It’s worth noting that he does not try and save the rest of the team. Sorry, Terry Crews fans.
After the great Peter rescue things start to take a far more meta twist as Wade begins to hopscotch through various other movies. His first stop is 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine and the infamous “first appearance” of Ryan Reynolds as Deadpool. “First appearance” gets scare quotes in this case because, as fans will quickly tell you, the Deadpool who appeared in Origins was basically anything but Deadpool–a mutilated science experiment, sure, but other than that? Not so much. Origins’ Deadpool was a mouthless, shirtless, dead eyed foot soldier who had about ten minutes of screen time total, so present day Wade is here to clean up the mess. Deadpool is dead, long live Deadpool.
The final stop on his trip is even more meta. Wade roles up to the home of Ryan Reynolds in 2010, as he first lays eyes on the script for the disastrous Green Lantern live action movie where Reynolds starred as Hal Jordan, complete with CGI costume and digitally enhanced comic book muscles. Green Lantern has become infamous as one of the pinnacles of bad superhero movies. So naturally, it’s the perfect target for Deadpool‘s self-aware gags. Wade shoots Reynolds in the head, “preventing” Green Lantern from ever existing in the first place. Case closed. No more jokes about green cartoon super suits to be found here, folks. As far as DP is concerned, it never happened. Time to move on.
Now, what does any of this mean? That’s a great question. Obviously, especially in the case of the movie-hopping, some of these gags exist just to be gags. Deadpool killing a previous, inferior version of Deadpool simply provides some laughs for fans who have been paying attention these last nine years.
Even with the in-universe stuff, it’s pretty safe to assume that the continuity of Deadpool is a “Butterfly Effect” free zone. Wade saving Vanessa probably doesn’t mean that the plot of Deadpool 2 never happened, saving Peter probably doesn’t cause some sort of temporal ripple that means Cable never stuck around at the end, and so on. That type of consequence exists in movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past, but not here.
It’s one of the benefits of being a character like Wade Wilson: You get to pick and choose what rules you want to follow and when. If anything sticks in a relevant, plot-enhancing way it’ll likely be a continued role for Morena Baccarin, should she return for any sequels. And that’s good enough for us.
The new Star Wars movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, focuses mainly on Han Solo, of course, but a lot of the discussion around the film lately has centered on Lando Calrissian. Actor Donald Glover plays Calrissian, and now he’s addressed two major topics: Lando’s sexuality in the film and whether or not he would be interested in playing the character in a standalone spinoff.
Writer Jonathan Kasdan told Huffington Post last week that he believes Calrissian is pansexual, and Glover seems to agree. “How can you not be pansexual in space?” he said in an interview on SiriusXM radio that you can see in the video embed below (via EW). “There are so many things to have sex with. I didn’t think that was that weird. Yeah, he’s coming on to everybody. I mean, yeah, whatever. It just didn’t seem that weird to me ’cause I feel like if you’re in space it’s kind of like, the door is open! It’s like, no, only guys or girls. No, it’s anything. This thing is literally a blob. Are you a man or a woman? Like, who cares? Have good time out here.”
Glover went on to say that he spoke with original Lando actor Billy Dee Williams, who helped inform the way Glover wanted to approach the character and his tendencies.
“One thing that Billy did say was, be charming,” Glover said, as reported by EW. “He’s eclectic. He likes different things. He’s somebody who goes around and tries everything …. but I was like, he’s a charming person so I feel like he doesn’t have hard and fast boundaries about everything.”
And regarding the rumors of a Lando-specific spinoff, Glover said he would definitely be up to play him again in a future film dedicated to the character. What makes characters like Lando and Han especially interesting, he said, is that less is known about them compared to the Skywalkers. And Lando is just a more fun character.
“This part of the universe without the… I feel like with the Skywalkers, it’s hard, because it’s almost like the Bible,” he said. “There’s a story that you have to tell, and the lineage of that family. I feel like out here its like, yeah, we’re just like husters and gamblers and space pirates, essentially, so you can do a lot more and have a lot more fun. And I like those movies a lot. I like the comedy of them, the silliness and also the adventure. I think it would just be fun to do.”
Shazam! star Zachary Levi has provided a sneak peek at the live-action version of the titular superhero.
Levi shared an image on Instagram of himself donning the red and gold costume. The promotional art Levi is pointing at is on display at the Licensing Show in Las Vegas. Check out the image below.
First look at Shazam, via Zachary Levi’s Instagram
Marvel fans don’t know much about next year’s sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but they do have one valuable piece of information. Mysterio will reportedly be the villain in Spidey’s sophomore solo film in the MCU, and Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to play him. At long last, the master of illusion will get his due on the big screen.
While we wait for production to begin on this hotly anticipated sequel, here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about the villains who call themselves Mysterio and why this character has remained such a constant presence in Marvel’s comics over the years.