Play As Thor And Fight Demons In This New Game From Viking Metal Band

Amon Amarth, a Swedish viking metal band that gets its name from the Lord of the Rings, has launched a video game. Titled “Amon Amarth,” the game has four worlds, 12 levels, and “four epic battles” where you–as Thor–face off against legendary Norse creatures and beings. The game features 13 of the band’s songs, but presented in chip-tune form.

The announcement trailer uses the band’s ripping cut “Raise Your Horns,” but with its chip-tune presentation, it has a very different sound and feel to it.

You fight against enemies you might have seen in Thor: Ragnarok, including Surtur, Fenris, and Hel. The serpent Nidhogg is also an enemy you’ll face with your hammer, Mjolnir. You can also of course wield the power of thunder and lightning. Take a look at the announcement/launch trailer above to get a closer look.

A press release (via MetalSucks) from Amon Amarth’s label, Metal Blade/Sony Music reveals that the game was developed by Swedish studio Ride & Crash Games. You can pick up the game right now for iOS and Android for $9.

The press release explains that Ride & Crash Games producer Robert Chirico Willstedt came up with the idea for an Amon Amarth video game in Fall 2015 after meeting with the band. Realising they had similar interests, including drinking “epic amounts of beer” and enjoying video games, they started to talk about making an Amon Amarth video game.

“The band met the development team continuously during the development process to ensure the end product would stay true to the initial vision of the game. This is an authentic Amon Amarth product,” reads a line from the press release.

The name Amon Amarth is the Sindarin name of Mt. Doom from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series. The band has been together for more than 20 years, releasing 10 albums and an EP over that time.

Amon Amarth is not the first heavy-sounding band to launch its own video game. Avenged Sevenfold released a Diablo-like mobile game, while Iron Maiden made a game called Legacy of the Beast. Recently, Dave Mustaine revealed that a Megadeth video game is in the works.

Now, if someone could please get the Finnish folk metal band Ensiferum to do the music for a Lord of the Rings game

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Star Wars Battlefront 2: French Senator Writes Letter To Gambling Authority Over Potential Concerns

A French Senator has penned a letter to the online gambling authority in France regarding his thoughts on loot boxes and microtransactions in the wake of the controversy surrounding Star Wars: Battlefront II. Jerome Durain‘s letter to the independent agency, ARJEL, opens by praising video games and esports in particular for helping contribute to the cultural and economic growth of entertainment in France.

Despite all of the positives, Durain pointed out in his letter posted on Twitter that the video game world is constantly evolving, with one potential area of concern being the growing trend of loot boxes and microtransactions, as most recently brought to the forefront by Star Wars: Battlefront II. He mentioned that there is some amount of worry among the gaming crowd that microtransactions could have a “deleterious” effect on the industry.

Durain went on to say that he is not recommending any specific legislation regarding microtransactions and loot boxes, adding that when loot boxes contain cosmetic items only (as they do in Overwatch), these are generally well-accepted. But Durain took issue with games that can offer loot boxes as part of a “pay-to-win” scheme, mentioning Star Wars: Battlefront II by name in making his point.

He said Battlefront II’s loot boxes could be seen as a form of gambling, with the suggestion being that if they are, some amount of consumer protection may be advisable. Durain pointed out that China has already taken steps in this area, as the country mandates that developers disclose loot box odds for some games, including Overwatch, while Belgium has launched its own investigation as well. Durain is now wondering if ARJEL has the capacity to take on such an initiative, which is why he wrote the letter.

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Finally, Durain said he also spoke with other key parties in France about this, including the country’s Secretary of State for Digital Affairs, video game consumer and developer bodies, and ESports organizations. With all of their input considered, Durain said he’s confident France can make progress towards action.

Notably, Durain’s message to ARJEL is dated November 16. That’s the same day that EA removed microtransactions from Battlefront II. That announcement was made late in the day on November 16, so it seems likely, given that France is nine hours ahead of California time, that Durain’s letter went out before the news broke.

Durain’s letter was translated into English by Reddit user Artfunkel (via GameRant) and confirmed by multiple people on staff at GameSpot.

Battlefront II is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Much of the news cycle around the game has been focused on its microtransaction system, which, though removed for now, is coming back at a later date. Management at Disney was reportedly unpleased with the negative response around the game, which comes just a few weeks before the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

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Every Justice League Member Ever

The Justice League isn’t the first team of superheroes to emerge in the DC Comics Universe, but it’s undoubtedly the most famous.

Read on for our brief history of the team, or watch the video above for the full rundown of ever character who has ever joined the Justice League!

The original Justice League of America was conceived and written by Gardner Fox and debuted in 1960’s “The Brave and the Bold – NUMBER 28”.

That comic united seven pre-existing heroes – Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter – as they joined forces to battle the enormous alien villain known as Starro.

That original team lineup has become affectionately referred to by fans as “The Big Seven.” The exact origin story of the Justice League has changed quite a bit over the years, but for the most part, that founding lineup has remained the same.

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Big Madden 18 Update Out Now, Here’s What It Does

A new update is out now for Madden NFL 18, and it includes some pretty big gameplay changes. Starting off, in all game modes, kicks will no longer get blocked if you pull off a “Perfect Kick.” If you pull off a perfect kick, you should probably make it.

Another big change is that the pump fake is now controlled with a click of the left stick instead of pushing the right stick up. That might take some getting used to for players who use pump fakes often. Additionally, this patch makes it so pass-blockers do not get hurdled as often by defenders.

The new Madden 18 patch also contains stability improvements for Franchise mode, while the white Color Rush pants for the New England Patriots have been added. EA Sports also said it is aware of an issue with Franchise mode on PS4 where the game lags during play calls. That’s pretty annoying, but thankfully EA apologized and reported that fixing this issue is a “top priority” for the developer.

You can see the full patch notes below, as posted on the Madden website. In other news, Madden 18 is among the games getting marked down for Black Friday; you can see all the major deals here.

Full Change List:

Gameplay

  • Added logic on all game styles so kick blocks no longer occur on “Perfect Kicks” – to get a perfect kick, Kick Power must be at 100% and the Accuracy Meter must be stopped within the kicker’s accuracy window, and perfect text appears on screen when you get 100% Kick Power and there will be a blue flicker that will trigger on the kicker’s player icon after the kick that indicates you met the “Perfect” criteria
  • Removed Pump Fake functionality from Right Stick so users don’t accidently execute a Pump Fake when trying to throw the ball away – users can still Pump Fake while in the pocket by clicking Left Stick
  • Adjusted some logic around the QB Contain assignment:
    • Tuning to QB Contain so that wider slot corners will not become Contain players when rushing
    • Added functionality to pass blocking to better handle target switching for QB Contain defenders
  • Cut block fixes that reduce both cut block attempts and defensive hurdles over blockers in Competitive Game Style
  • Addressed an animation issue that was resulting in pass blockers being hurdled too frequently by defenders
  • Addressed an issue where defenders didn’t react to scramblers on fake kick plays when in a non-kick block type defense
  • Addressed some instances where TE’s would sometimes freeze at the snap in the Singleback Deuce Close formation
  • Addressed clock issues with Overtime periods
  • Addressed an issue where the QB would turn around backwardsto throw when using the Target Passing mechanic
  • Addressed issues around defensive users intentionally tripping receivers in Competitive Game Style
  • Addressed issue where offensive linemen would occasionally drop back deeper than the QB on play-action passing plays
  • Addressed an issue with the Toss animation on the Weak I Flex HB Toss Wk play in the Run ‘n Gun playbook
  • Addressed a rare issue where possession would be given to the incorrect team when kicking an onside kick out of bounds
  • Addressed a ball spotting issue around blocked punts going out of the back of the end zone
  • Addressed ball-spotting issues around turnovers that have been challenged or booth-reviewed
  • Added additional thresholds for QB Accuracy on Competitive Game style so that short, medium, and deep passes each have separate thresholds, with short pass having the lowest threshold to achieve accurate passes
  • Tuned to improve the play of AI-controlled QB’s, specifically around scrambling and recognizing pressure
  • Tuned to improve tackling ball-carriers during broken tackle animations
  • Tuned to decrease defensive coverage ‘break-on-ball’ reactions in All-Madden Simulation Game style
  • Tuned to decrease block shedding in run blocking in All-Madden Simulation Game Style
  • Tuned to decrease” nearby player penalty” for defensive players attempting to catch interceptions

Franchise

  • Made stability fixes
  • Fixed an issue that removed the VICIS helmets from offline CFM
  • Fixed multiple issues with depth chart logic with injured players
  • Improved stability in the Weekly Training drills in Franchise mode

MUT

  • Set Repeatable Limits – We can now set the amount of times you can complete a set
  • Set Timers – Timer displays on the Set that will tell you how much longer it will be available
  • Improved the look and feel of chemistry in the lineup screen and back of items

Misc:

The team is aware of an issue in Franchise mode where users may experience lag during play call on PS4. We want our PS4 franchise players to know this issue is a top priority for our team, and we will do our best to get the issue resolved as soon as possible. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience. Plus:

  • General Stability Fixes
  • Added Patriots white color rush pants

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Supergirl: “Wake Up” Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

This year’s Arrowverse crossover is fast approaching. It seems as though this week is ushering in a wave of plot-driven episodes designed to prep these shows both for “Crisis on Earth-X” and the midseason finales that will follow. Given how Legends of Tomorrow is the only one of the four that really seems to have found its groove so far, that’s definitely a good thing. And “Wake Up” certainly helps kick Supergirl’s third season into gear, even if it makes a few questionable choices along the way.

Obviously, the big news this week involved the return of Chris Wood’s Mon-El, a character who’s been keeping pretty darned busy since his disappearance at the end of Season 2. Before I get into my problems with how Mon-El’s return was handled, I do want to focus on how well the reunion between he and Kara was handled. This episode included two very emotionally charged scenes, first with Kara coming face-to-face with her long-lost boyfriend in the spaceship and then when she began to realize the depth of his deception. That latter scene in particular was extremely well-acted. As much as I’m still ambivalent about the darker tone of Season 3, there’s no denying that Melissa Benoist has really made the most of this bleak phase in Kara’s life. You can really feel that combination of hurt, confusion and rage rolling off of her. And while Wood’s performance was comparatively more subdued, there was a nice, quiet agony to his performance as well.

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Justice League Easter Eggs and References

The Justice League movie is packed with tons of Easter eggs and references, so click through the slideshow gallery below to see everything you might have missed.

Warning: beware of spoilers for Justice League!

Let us know your favorite in the comments.

Be sure to check out our review of Justice League.

And here’s our reaction and analysis of that awesome Green Lantern cameo:

Joshua is IGN’s Comics Editor. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

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