Sonic Movie Produced By Deadpool Director Gets A New Release Date

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.

Sonic Forces
Sonic Forces

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.

2016 marked the 25th anniversary of the Sonic franchise. The latest instalments in the series were Sonic Mania and Sonic Forces, both of which were released in 2017.

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.

GTA 5: Here’s What’s New In GTA Online For PS4, Xbox One, And PC This Week

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.

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

HIGH-END VEHICLES

  • 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 Online Servers Going Down For Maintenance This Week

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

Minecraft

  • From 9 PM – 10:30 PM Pacific Time
  • All network services will be unavailable

Wednesday, February 21

Nintendo Switch

  • 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

Fortnite Vs. PUBG: How Are These Battle Royal Games Different?

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.

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There are a number of things that make each game unique, but the ultimate goal is to be the last one standing.

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.

Players can build structures and change a game of Fortnite: Battle Royale.
Players can build structures and change a game of Fortnite: Battle Royale.

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.

It’s Time: Cast Your Votes for the SXSW 2018 Gaming Awards

Partner Content by SXSW

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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.

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Call Of Duty: WW2 Studio Founders Leave

The founders of Call of Duty: WWII studio Sledghammer Games have left the company to take new, executive-level positions at Activision HQ. Sledgehammer Games confirmed in a statement to GameSpot that Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield are moving on, with Sledgehammer veteran Aaron Halon named as the new studio lead. A founding member of Sledgehammer, he most recently served as Director of Product Development.

In a statement, Activision thanked Condrey and Schofield for their contributions to the Call of Duty franchise over the years. Sledgehammer, an Activision subsidiary, was founded in 2009. The studio had an idea for a third-person Call of Duty game set in the Vietnam War, but instead were brought on to co-develop Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 with Infinity Ward after a major shakeup at that studio resulted in numerous developers walking out.

Sledgehammer released Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare in 2014, before going on to enjoy its biggest success to date with the massively popular Call of Duty: WWII in 2017.

Condrey and Schofield are industry veterans. Before setting up Sledgehammer, they were part of the team at the now-shuttered Visceral Games that created Dead Space. It is not immediately clear what spurred the decision to leave Sledgehammer, but moving up the ranks to an executive-level position at Activision sounds like a nice move.

In a statement, Schofield said the new opportunity, which will involve “exploring new game ideas” for Activision, was something that he “couldn’t pass up.” In addition to working on video games, Schofield is an artist whose paintings have included portraits of people like Barack Obama, Lady Gaga, and Gandalf.

As for Condrey, he said in his own statement that working at Sledgehammer was the “greatest experience of [his] professional life.” He added that he’s excited about the “new chapter” of his career at Activision, but he did not provide any specifics or even teases for what he’ll be doing in his new position.

Kotaku first reported the news.

Condrey and Schofield are leaving Sledgehammer as Call of Duty: WWII’s DLC season is still going on. The first expansion, Resistance, came out at the end of January for PS4, while the three upcoming packs will be released later this year. The next Call of Duty game, meanwhile, is rumored to be Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. Just recently, Activision confirmed that Treyarch will be developing Call of Duty 2018, which lends credence to the rumour.

Big Switch Update For Doom Adds New Motion Controls And More

Bethesda has rolled out a new update for the Nintendo Switch version of Doom. Along with a few bug fixes and performance improvements, patch 1.1.1 introduces a couple of new features to the acclaimed first-person shooter, including a “much-requested” option for motion controls.

Following the update, players now have the ability to play Doom with gyroscope aiming. As you can see in the short clip below, courtesy of Bethesda’s official website, the new control method lets players tilt the console around to aim, allowing for more precision than with the control stick alone. Sensitivity can be further adjusted from the in-game menu.

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In addition to motion controls, the new update adds a party system to Doom’s multiplayer mode, making it easier for players to form groups and play with those on their friends list. Bethesda has also updated Doom’s Switch icon, bringing it in line with the game’s box art. Finally, the update increases the average resolution “in lower-res areas of the game” and addresses a handful of bugs, including one that could cause the game to crash when using the BFG.

You can read the full patch notes for the new Doom update below or on Bethesda’s website. Doom originally released for PS4, Xbox One, and PC in 2016, with the Nintendo Switch version arriving last November. GameSpot’s Peter Brown called the Switch release “an impressive port that begs you to consider gameplay over graphics,” in our Doom Switch review.

Doom Nintendo Switch Version 1.1.1 Patch Notes

New Features

  • Motion Aiming — New control scheme option allows you to tilt the Nintendo Switch for more precise aiming
  • Multiplayer Parties — Added new party system, making it easier to group up and play with your friends in multiplayer
  • Updated Game Icon — Game icon now matches the Doom for Nintendo Switch boxart

Improvements

  • Increased the average resolution in lower-res areas of the game
  • Implemented CPU optimizations
  • Added Traditional Chinese language support

Fixes

  • Fixed an issue that resulted in a possible crash when using the BFG
  • Fixed an issue that caused audio issues while playing
  • Fixed an issue that caused stretched textures to appear in multiplayer
  • Fixed an issue where controls became unresponsive on the game menu
  • Fixed an issue where players may have incorrectly received a ban notice in multiplayer