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2019-01-18
NetherRealm gave fans a much closer look at its upcoming fighting game, Mortal Kombat 11, during its big livestream event. The developer showed off a load of brutal gameplay footage and revealed a handful of familiar characters who'll be returning in the game, as well as one entirely new one: Geras.Described as the "powerful and loyal servant" of Kronika, the Keeper of Time and the first female boss in the Mortal Kombat series, Geras looks like a powerhouse of a character. As you can see in his character trailer above, Geras is able to conjure up objects made of sand, such as a bed of spikes that he can slam his foes onto. He also has the ability to manipulate time, which he can use to freeze foes in place.Geras is one of eight fighters who have been confirmed for Mortal Kombat 11 thus far. In addition to Scorpion and Raiden, who were both revealed during The Game Awards this past December, we got our first look at Baraka, Sub-Zero, and Sonya Blade, who this time is being voiced by Ronda Rousey. NetherRealm also confirmed that Skarlet, the DLC character from Mortal Kombat 9, is set to return.In addition to the characters, NetherRealm shared some details about Mortal Kombat 11's story, which takes place after the events of 2015's Mortal Kombat X. The developer also demonstrated some of the gruesome new fatalities in the game.Mortal Kombat 11 is in development for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. The game is slated to launch on April 23, and those who pre-order it will get a bonus character: Shao Kahn. Reserving the game for either PS4 and Xbox One will also get you access to an upcoming beta, which is scheduled to take place on March 28.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
The expanded universe of Blizzard's classic sci-fi strategy franchise StarCraft is about to get a bit bigger next week with the release of StarCraft: Soldiers #1, the latest comic to enter the alien-fighting canon by writers Jody Houser (Stranger Things, Star Wars) and Andrew R. Robinson (Blizzard Entertainment, Overwatch) with artist Miguel Sepulveda. GameSpot has an exclusive preview of the first six pages for you, right here, right now.Soldiers will follow the newly graduated Lieutenant Shivani Singh as she early fights to prove herself on the Dominion's front lines--all while learning some hard (and potentially fatal) lessons about the realities of zerg space that her time at the academy didn't quite prepare her for.This will be Dark Horse Comics' second entry into the StarCraft pantheon following the StarCraft: Scavengers, a four-issue series released last year following a group of terrans attempting to--surprise!--scavenge supplies out of a derelict Protoss starship. Soldiers will be independent from Scavengers' in terms of plot, so no need to worry about prerequisite reading before you pick up issue #1 next week. If, however, you're a StarCraft fan looking for even more expanded universe lore, working your way back through Scavengers certainly wouldn't hurt.StarCraft: Soldiers #1 hits shelves on January 23rd everywhere comics are sold. Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Typically, Netflix doesn't release viewership figures, but as part of the company's earnings report today, the streamer revealed key datapoints for some of its biggest TV shows and movies. The network announced that the drama You, starring Penn Badgley and Elizabeth Lail, is tracking to be watched in 40 million households over its first four weeks.Meanwhile, the British comedy/drama Sex Education, starring Gillian Anderson and released on January 11, is expected to reach the same viewership figure within its first month. Netflix also announced that the Spanish show Elite was seen in more than 20 million homes globally after its first four weeks.Joe isn't the only one watching: @YouNetflix is on track to be viewed by more than 40 million members in its first four weeks on Netflix! pic.twitter.com/W4jZ3nYTdQ — See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) January 17, 2019One of Netflix's biggest hits recently, meanwhile, was the Sandra Bullock horror film Bird Box. It was astonishingly popular, tracking to be watched by 80 million users over time, according to Deadline. All of these figures are likely well below the number of people who end up watching the programs, as people often watch movies and TV shows on Netflix together.Anyone who watches at least 70 percent of a single episode of a series or a movie is counted as a "viewer" according to Netflix, which is surely inflating these figures.#SexEducation has come out with a bang — the smart and emotional series is on pace to be watched by over 40 million accounts over its first month pic.twitter.com/TAsklhTSQH — See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) January 17, 2019Netflix had another strong quarter for the three final months of 2018, as the network announced revenue of $4.19 billion for the period; that's up 27 percent year-over-year. Additionally, Netflix added 8.84 million subscribers during the period, increasing the total number of paying members to 139 million globally.In recent news, Netflix announced yet another subscription fee price hike for all tiers. For more on Netflix, here's everything coming to and leaving the service in January (US only).#Elite is a true global phenomenon. The Spanish language original attracted more than 20 million households during its first four weeks on service! pic.twitter.com/FwrRT6gqyh — See What's Next (@seewhatsnext) January 17, 2019 Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Yet another classic board game is being turned into a movie, as Hunger Games studio Lionsgate is making a Monopoly film, and now we've learned who will star in it.Actor and comedian Kevin Hart, who has made headlines recently for his past tweets that got him fired as the newest Oscars host, will star in a live-action version of the board game that destroys relationships and family bonds.According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film has been in the works for more than a decade already, and it's been through what's described as a "hellish development process." The latest script is said to involve a woman and her young son who go back in time to thwart a corrupt businessman. Whether or not that's still the story for this newest version with Hart is unclear.When the movie was officially announced in 2015, Lionsgate released a synopsis that is either the best or the worst depending on your attitude. Here it is:"The story centers on a boy from Baltic Avenue who uses both Chance and Community in a quest to make his fortune, taking him on a fun, adventure-filled journey. It's about making your own luck, what makes you truly rich and, of course, avoiding Jail time!"It was previously announced that Andrew Niccol, who picked up an Academy Award nomination for The Truman Show, would write the screenplay for the Monopoly movie, but it's not clear if he remains attached. According to a press release, the movie will be a "big, crowd-pleasing event film."Lionsgate goes on to say that the Monopoly movie will be "a film for all ages, visually sumptuous, heartwarming, and full of action and adventure."Monopoly is just the latest board game to be spun into a movie. The Peter Berg-directed Battleship movie starring Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, Liam Neeson, and Taylor Kitsch, was released in 2012. Before that, there were films based on Dungeons & Dragons, Ouija, and Clue. Looking ahead, movies based on Tetris and Catan are in the works.As for Hart, one of his next big movies is the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, which is also based on a board game. Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
The J.R.R. Tolkien biopic finally has a release date. Fox Searchlight has announced that the movie about the Lord of the Rings author will arrive in theatres on May 10, 2019. The movie stars Nicholas Hoult as a young Tolkien, with the story following the man long before he came to write his epic fantasy tome.According to Entertainment Weekly, the film will track Tolkien as a young man who came into his own at school before serving in World War I. In the trenches of France, with death and despair surrounding him, Tolkien was said to have come up with the ideas that would become The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. A number of Tolkien's longtime friends died in World War I; Tolkien survived, came home, and wrote his defining work.The movie will also focus on Tolkien's wife, Edith Bratt, who is played by Lily Collins, the actress daughter of singer Phil Collins. The relationship between Tolkien and Bratt was supposedly the inspiration for Tolkien's Beren and Luthien story, which itself inspired the Aragorn-Arwen relationship in Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings series. Tolkien and Bratt share a gravestone, and on it they're referred to as Beren and Luthien.The new movie, which is simply titled Tolkien, is directed by Dome Karukoski (Heart of Finland), based on script from David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford.In addition to this film, another one is in the works that focuses on the relationship between Tolkien and Narnia writer C.S. Lewis, and how Tolkien helped convert Lewis to Christianity.Outside of these, Amazon is producing a Lord of the Rings prequel TV show, while a massive Lord of the Rings art exhibit is opening in New York City. A new Lord of the Rings video game is also in the work, and it's said to have an online focus. Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Halo boss Bonnie Ross, who heads up developer 343 Industries, has spoken candidly about the transition from Bungie to Microsoft and some of the stumbles along the way. Speaking to VentureBeat in an interview from December that we were recently made aware of, Ross said 343 "made some mistakes along the way," and that overall, taking over the development reigns from Bungie has been a "very humbling experience."She didn't mention any specific struggles by name, but no doubt the launch challenges for Halo: The Master Chief Collection, which 343 previously referred to as a "black eye" for the franchise, are among the "mistakes" that Ross is talking about.Ross went on to say that 343 not only considers what's best for the Halo franchise as a universe, but also how the studio interacts with and responds to fans. Halo as a universe belongs to the fans as much as it does to 343 itself, Ross said."The whole team looks at this as not just our universe. It's the fans' universe," she said. "How are we doing right by the fans? How are we doing right by the franchise? It is a part of our culture, this precious, precious world, and we're responsible for taking care of it. And we want to do it right."Indeed, 343 has demonstrated a willingness to do right by Halo's fans, one example being the team's ongoing commitment to expanding and improving upon Halo: The Master Chief Collection.Also in the interview, Ross talked about how there are countless more storytelling opportunities within the Halo universe. As fans may know, Halo 1, 2, and 3 take place over a period of time of only three months. As such, Ross said she's excited about how many more stories there are to tell in the Halo universe."The fictional universe is huge. I looked at Halo as a universe, which is the most important character," she said. "We spent a ton of time in the early days of 343 just expanding the canvas, or framing the world in which we could tell stories and making it larger, adding more characters such that we could tell stories over the next two decades.""I feel like it's such a large world and universe and there's so much stuff we can we can do so I kind of I have my dream job," she added. "I feel like there's so much more work to do and super excited about all the things we’re doing going forward."Some of Halo's upcoming projects include the new Xbox One and PC game, Halo Infinite, as well as the TV show. "There's a lot more Halo stories to tell. It's such an amazing universe," Ross said.Ross will be honoured as the latest inductee to the AIAS Hall of Fame at the D.I.C.E. Awards next month in Las Vegas.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Players who have yet to pick up a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 can now try its Blackout mode for free. Treyarch's limited-time Blackout trial has begun on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, allowing you jump into the hectic battle royale mode at no charge.The free trial runs until 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 6 PM GMT on January 24. To participate, you'll need to download the Blackout trial client from either Battle.net on PC or your console's respective digital store. PS4 players aren't required to have a PlayStation Plus subscription, but Xbox One owners will need an Xbox Live Gold membership, while those playing on PC will need a free Battle.net account.The trial gives you full access to all the content in Blackout mode. You'll also earn Echelon progression while playing and unlock Black Market Tiers and loot. If you decide to purchase the title after the trial ends, any progress you've made during the free period will carry over to the full game. You can read more details about the free trial on Reddit.If you're interested in Blackout but don't particularly care for Black Ops 4's other modes, Activision is selling a $40 version of the game on PC that strips out Zombies and only includes Blackout and multiplayer. Like the trial client, this is only available through Battle.net.Coinciding with the free trial, Treyarch has kicked off a new limited-time mode in Blackout, dubbed Down But Not Out. In this quad mode, any downed players will be able to rejoin the battle with each Collapse as long as at least one member of the team remains in the game. The mode is live now on PS4 and will come to Xbox One and PC at a later date.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Having increased its number of subscribers and overall revenue for the latest quarter, Netflix is doing quite well as of late. But now the company says it could have done even better if it weren't for a little game called Fortnite.In the "Competition" section of a letter to investors today, Netflix succinctly said, "We compete with (and lose to) Fortnite more than HBO" as it relates to screen time.Analyst Michael Pachter of Wedbush Securities thinks Netflix's popularity measurement against Netflix was "downright idiotic." Time is a finite commodity, and Pachter points out that Netflix also competes against school, work, and defecating.Not everyone agrees with Pachter's point, however, as Amazon Studios' former head of strategy Matthew Ball argues that Fortnite's huge popularity is impacting Netflix. He shared how he probably would have finished the new season of Narcos were it not for all the time he spent playing Fortnite. Looking at your own life, you can probably remember a time when your latest obsession--be it a video game or anything else--impacted how much time you spent with another activity. It's impossible to confirm specifically how Fortnite is impacting Netflix viewing, but few games have ever been as popular as Fortnite, so there has surely been some effect.The point made is that they compete based on providing engaging content and value for subscriber fees spent. The comment about losing to @FortniteGame is downright idiotic. If they're measuring things like that, they lose to sleep, sex, pooping, eating, school, work, etc. https://t.co/9vuRHVfCtb — Michael Pachter (@michaelpachter) January 17, 2019Which they say, including "having a glass of wine with your partner".I don't think the Fortnite comparison is idiotic at all. Were Fortnite not around, I almost assure you I'd have finished Narcos S4 — Matthew Ball (@ballmatthew) January 17, 2019For its part, Netflix acknowledged that there are "thousands of competitors" in the marketplace trying to entertain consumers, and Fortnite is just one of them. The company said it is not focused on responding to competitors but rather on improving the experience and value of the offering, which would theoretically get more people to sign up.Netflix has 139 million subscribers by the network's latest count. The company continues to pour money into new, original shows to help separate itself from the onslaught of new competitors in the streaming space. One of Netflix's newest shows is Space Force from Steve Carell and other key minds behind The Office.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
BioWare released a new trailer for Anthem, its upcoming third-person shooter/action RPG. The video is the first part of a series devoted to explaining the gameplay mechanics and features of Anthem.In this first part, BioWare discusses the upcoming game's story, progression, and customization. The bulk of the video is devoted to the latter two topics, and discusses the different playstyles, loadouts, and abilities of Anthem's four Javelins: Ranger, Interceptor, Colossus, and Storm.You'll start with the Ranger in Anthem, but you'll have the chance to build all four Javelins--and multiple versions of them too--by the time you're done with the game's story. Ranger is built for precision play, relying on a variety of abilities and weapons to target specific enemies. Interceptor is fast and has the strongest melee attacks, allowing it to launch into battle and deal massive damage before ducking out of harm's way. Colossus is best suited for the front lines, and can withstand devastating attacks with its heavy armor and massive shield. Finally, Storm's elemental attacks makes it one of the most powerful Javelins, but it's lack of armor ensures it remains a glass cannon.Each Javelin can be customized to fulfill multiple roles. Ranger, for example, can be outfitted to survive on its own with a balanced assortment of weapons for solo play. However, if playing with a team, you could either customize the suit with tech that makes it your squad's damage dealer or pick support abilities that ensures everyone remains alive.BioWare ended the trailer promising that the next part in the series would offer details on "the expanding shared world of Anthem and its massive end game, including a look at [the game's] strongholds."Anthem is scheduled to release on February 22 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC. If you pre-order the game, you can play an exclusive VIP demo on January 25.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
Sam Elliot's new movie The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then Bigfoot is coming out soon, and now it's received its first official trailer. As the title suggests, the movie stars Elliot as the man who killed Hitler during World War II but couldn't tell anyone about it. Decades later, the governments of the United States and Canada call on him to take down another foe: bigfoot.In this timeline, Bigfoot carries a disease capable of wiping out humanity. Elliot's character, Calvin Barr, is finally coming to terms with his life when he's called back to fight the beast."Bigfoot has been living deep in the Canadian wilderness and carrying a deadly plague that is now threatening to spread to the general population. Relying on the same skills that he honed during the war, Calvin must set out to save the free world yet again," reads a line from the movie's official description.The Man Who Killed Hitler And Then Bigfoot also stars Aiden Turner (The Hobbit trilogy), Caitlin FitzGerald (Masters of Sex), Larry Miller (10 Things I Hate About You), and Ron Livingston (Office Space). The film was written and directed by Robert Krzykowski; this is his feature debut. Douglas Trumbull, a multi-Oscar winning effects legend who worked on Blade Runner, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind, worked on the film's visual effects. The film originally premiered at the Fantasia film festival in 2018. It comes to theatres and digital stores on February 8.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
It's been a very big day for Mortal Kombat 11, and things aren't slowing down yet. Embedded in this post (above and below) are some new gameplay videos for the much-anticipated fighting game showing off Sub-Zero, Raiden, Sonya, and more. The Sonya vs. Raiden match below is particularly impressive to watch, as it's a fight between the professional players SonicFox and Rewind. Check it out below.In addition to the characters, NetherRealm shared some details about Mortal Kombat 11's story, which takes place after the events of 2015's Mortal Kombat X. The developer also demonstrated some of the gruesome new fatalities in the game.Mortal Kombat 11 is on the way for PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch. The game is slated to launch on April 23, and those who pre-order it will get a bonus character: Shao Kahn. Reserving the game for either PS4 and Xbox One will also get you access to an upcoming beta, which is scheduled to take place on March 28.For lots more on Mortal Kombat 11, check out the stories linked below.Mortal Kombat 11's First Bloody Gameplay Trailer RevealedMortal Kombat 11 Beta Dates Confirmed, But You'll Need To Pre-OrderNew Mortal Kombat 11 Trailer Reveals First Details About The Game's StoryWatch Mortal Kombat 11's New FatalitiesNew Mortal Kombat 11 Character, Geras, RevealedMortal Kombat 11 Gameplay Shows Off Character CustomizationRonda Rousey Is Voicing A Mortal Kombat 11 CharacterInfo from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
It is said that the last entry in a film trilogy is usually the worst. For every The Dark Knight or Spider-Man 2, there's a Spider-Man 3 or a The Godfather Part III. Once in a while, though, we get a War for the Planet of the Apes or a Toy Story 3, which encapsulate everything that audiences loved about the first two movies in a satisfying conclusion. Now, DreamWorks has a new winner on their hands with How To Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World, a film that is not only as good as its predecessors but even surpasses them at certain points. It's an action-packed film of epic proportions that will also bring a tear or two to your eyes.While the story of the trilogy takes place in the span of six years, for audiences it's been nine years since the first How To Train Your Dragon came out. Like with Harry Potter or Toy Story, audiences have grown up watching Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and Toothless for almost a decade, and the characters have come of age with us. Just as the wizarding world and the talking-toy world, The Hidden World teaches us that all things must come to a bittersweet end.We are first reunited with Hiccup and his gang of Scottish-accented Vikings Astrid (America Ferrera), Snotlout (Jonah Hill), Ruffnut (Kristen Wiig), and Tuffnut (Justin Rupple, replacing T.J. Miller) as they raid a hunting ship in an attempt to rescue trapped dragons. It's an action-packed scene that sets the stage for some epic set-pieces, but also the social commentary at the core of The Hidden World.You see, Hiccup has now taken over the title of chieftain from his late father, Stoick (luckily, we still get to hear Gerard Butler's performance via flashback) in the year since the previous installment. He also achieved his dream of a having humans and dragon living together in a harmonious utopia. The problem? There are too many dragons on the island of Berk, which is disrupting the peace and quiet Vikings are notoriously known for. Their exploits have also attracted too much attention to the village, and heavily increased the number of threats that may end their peaceful existence. This includes Grimmel the Grisly (F. Murray Abraham), a ruthless dragon hunter that wants to see the entire species dead and has a particular interest in Nightfuries like Toothless. While it's understandable for the film to save time and focus on our heroes, one can't help but wish they had spent a little more time developing Grimmel beyond being evil, even if F. Murray Abraham excels as it.What does Hiccup do? Well, he decides Berk is not a place, but a people--maybe not those exact words, but the Thor: Ragnarok comparisons are too clear to ignore--and thinks they all should leave their home of seven generations in search of a mythical dragon paradise that may or may not exist. Before he gets there, he will have to face his biggest challenge yet: raging dragon hormones. As it turns out, the gang discovers a female Nightfury who is more than a mere distraction for Hiccup's best friend, Toothless.Toothless' comedic attempts at wooing his newfound love interest is the highlight of the film. The Hidden World, once again written and directed by Dean DeBlois, finally realized that Toothless is due his time in the spotlight, so a good part of the film is devoted to the sweet yet humorous dragon courtship. There is no dialogue, only the dance of dragon hormones and all the ridiculous things Toothless thinks are part of their mating ritual. This is well contrasted with Hiccup's disastrous obliviousness to everyone's advice to finally settle down and make his relationship with Astrid (America Ferrera) into something permanent, despite her being as equally suited to rule Berk, as well as tactical planning and fighting, as he is. Unfortunately, the focus on the duo's storylines means the rest of the ensemble gets somewhat pushed to the side, even if DeBlois tries to give each character a moment to shine -- one particular highlight is Kristen Wiig's performance as Ruffnut, who gets a rousing monologue about how annoying she is that will have entire theaters in stitches.The Hidden World shows not only the changing physique of its characters and the maturity that comes with it (Hiccup grows a spectacular beard that will become the topic of many hot takes), but also how much its computer-generated visuals have evolved throughout the years. From the impressively detailed destruction by dragon fire, to the softness of the characters' hair to the fluidity of the dragon dances, and especially the photo-realism of the action choreography, it is all quite exquisite.Given that each installment in the trilogy has introduced us to a new and better-looking dragon world, it isn't surprising that the titular hidden world is the most magnificent locale in the film. In an awe-inspiring scene that you'll want to see multiple times to fully appreciate, the film showcases a Pandora-esque world filled with stunning landscapes with photorealistic waterfalls, caves, and forest that would make James Cameron jealous. It is no surprise to know that Oscar-winning cinematographer Roger Deakins (Blade Runner 2049) serves as the franchise's visual consultant when the movie looks this good.When it comes to the action, The Hidden World sits up there with Lord of the Rings and the third Pirates of the Caribbean (really) as being able to do epic-scale battles just as well as intimate, one-on-one fights. There is no giant dragon boss battle this time, and the film is all the better for it. The battle scenes are as thrilling as they look stunning, thanks to the film's brilliant use of light and shadow, and John Powell's powerful and spirited score.The How to Train Your Dragon franchise has always found the right balance between action and emotion. The Hidden World strikes a bittersweet chord in exploring how adulthood inevitably leads to an exciting and uncertain future, but also how it means that some things, even dragons, must come to an end. Just as Hiccup, audiences will find it hard to say goodbye to one of the best and most consistent franchises in the last decade.How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World is in theaters on February 22.The GoodThe BadBreathtaking visualsThe villain doesn't get much depthLord of the Rings-level actionSome characters get pushed to the sidelineGood balance between humor and emotion Hiccup's beard Kristen Wiig's hilarious monologue Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-18
The irony of a game about the zombie apocalypse dying an unnatural death only to be resurrected later shouldn't be lost on anybody, nor should the fact that The Walking Dead returns with a story that is very much about the latent humanity present in even the shambling corpses roaming the Earth. It is, for certain, a game worse for wear, limping on to a long-overdue finish, but it's a game full of purpose.Broken Toys picks things up in the direct aftermath of Episode 2's climactic battle. Lilly and her underlings have taken a few of the Ericson Boarding School kids hostage to be traded and trained as child soldiers. Clementine has Abel--the grungy drifter who's been tormenting her and A.J. since Episode 1--hostage, the only lead as to how to get her new friends back. The interrogation of Abel is the closest Broken Toys gets to well-trod, familiar territory. Clementine has to walk a careful line between presenting a serious threat to a man who's clearly ridden this bloody merry-go-round a few times before and setting the best possible example for A.J.By way of Abel's distinct character traits, this episode is more introspective and pensive than the series has been for some time. Abel's not afraid of dying; he's afraid of turning for a reason that eventually comes to define Broken Toys as a penultimate turning point and the likely set up for the finale: the idea that there is still something human in the Walkers.Abel simply doesn't want to become trapped in a zombie body. But to James, the Walker Whisperer introduced in Episode 2, it's also a reason to show mercy and pity towards the Walkers. Naturally, the game gives you plenty of leeway to consider or discard this possibility out of hand. James' proof, after all, is tenuous, presented in a strangely poignant moment where Clementine must walk amongst the Walkers. And yet, the episode's script, credited to Lauren Mee and Mark Darin, does powerful work bringing the idea home to Clementine in other ways.This is the episode where the theme of the whole series starts to take shape. An older generation full of perpetual fear and greed is making way for one where each others' humanity and ability to adapt and compromise is recognized, acknowledged, and nurtured without the need for bloodshed. The grudges and enmity of the world before Walkers don't seem to apply to these children, or, really, any of the children growing up knowing little to nothing else. We've seen this stretching all the way back to Gabe and Mariana in New Frontier, and, conversely, in Season 2's Sarah, a girl sheltered from the way the world is and mentally shattering when exposed to it. The standout moment of this episode is right in the middle: an impromptu party for the Ericson kids to remember what they're fighting for before wandering into the lion's den. The kids who were actually students at Ericson before the Walkers all still have delinquency files stored that they start reading off, but after it becomes clear just how many children in the file are dead and how little the people they used to be even matter anymore, the box is put away. They sing. They hold each other. They move on. Together. It's a powerful thing, and presented in stark contrast to what Lilly's people are going through just down the river, rehashing the same old petty fights Clementine's seen her whole life. Clementine's found home and peace with her own generation, one that has known nothing else but death, and the greatness of the episode lies in watching her choose to nest in it, for her and A.J. to feel like there is a future.This is the episode where the theme of the whole series starts to take shape.However, that still means one hell of a fight to protect it, and the latter half of the episode is a descent right back into darkness. All the skills acquired from the previous episodes come to bear in the assault on Lilly's boat. The lack of impact from Clementine's bow is still a factor, but it's also much less of a linchpin on the one major Walker battle in the episode. Instead, the action side of things is hampered by some painful dips and judders in frame rate, the likes of which we haven't seen since Telltale's early days. Considering the fraught development history of this episode, it's understandable, but it's nonetheless a hindrance from time to time.As far as the final stretch of the episode goes, it wouldn't be The Walking Dead without things falling apart for the survivors in horrible ways, and Broken Toys saves the worst for last. The last 20 to 30 minutes are full of double-crosses, horrifying mutilations, a breathless Mexican standoff, and a moment where Clementine must decide the fate of A.J.'s soul faster and with more urgency than anything presented in the series prior--and with devastating emotional fallout.It's all set up for a finale that, if all goes to plan, hits two months after this one, and finally brings The Walking Dead in for the landing it deserves. But despite the blood and bombast that ends the episode, there's another moment in Broken Toys that does more to show you the light at the end of this bleak tunnel: a dream sequence, flashing Clementine back to the little girl who sat with Lee on a hijacked train in Season 1. She just got her hair cut and learned to shoot because she was worried about the future. In Broken Toys, the voice may be that little girl's, but the words are a woman's. A reluctant leader's lament for all that's been done, the emptiness that could be, and the weariness of what must be done to get there.And yet, smartly, this ghost of Lee isn't crafted as some all-knowing magical father who tells Clementine exactly what she wants to hear. We're forced to remember Lee was making it up as he went along, that his road to being the person Clementine needs was paved by his--and by proxy, your own--mistakes. But there was love, and there was hope, and for the first time in this series, Clementine being ready to face the uncertain future has nothing to do with being able to shoot or how short her hair is but the fact that she is surrounded by people, a place, and a purpose like never before. Whatever awaits Clementine at the end of this road, she goes there with a full heart. If the finale lives up to the future set up in Broken Toys, so will we.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-17
A major new exhibit about The Lord of the Rings and its author J.R.R. Tolkien is opening at a New York City museum this month--and it sounds like a can't-miss event for fans.The exhibit, Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth, celebrates Tolkien and his work. Said to be the largest collection of Tolkien material assembled for several generations, the exhibit includes drawings, manuscripts, and maps that Tolkien himself put together for The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.The exhibit will also contain illustrations that Tolkien etched for places like the gates of Moria, Sauron's fortress at Barad-dur, and Lothlorien.The exhibit was organised in collaboration with The Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust, and members of the Tolkien family. The works on display come from the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford, Marquette University's collection of original materials, and also from private lenders. You can see a teaser for the exhibit in the video embedded above.In addition to the main exhibit, the Morgan Library and Museum will have lectures, discussions, workshops, and symposiums related to Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. You can visit the Morgan website to see a full rundown of events.The exhibit will be on display at the Morgan Library and Museum from January 25 through May 12, 2019. It's located at 225 Madison Avenge in New York City.In other news about The Lord of the Rings, Amazon is producing a Lord of the Rings prequel TV show, while a movie about Tolkien starring Nicholas Hoult as the author is in the works.Info from Gamespot.com
2019-01-17
Hitman creator IO Interactive has opened a new studio in Malmo, Sweden, the company has announced. The developer says the new site will "strengthen IO Interactive's commitment to deliver exceptional content to the Hitman franchise," though it also hints at other projects in the works.“Furthermore, this will expand our muscles for creating brand-new and exciting endeavours, new universes, new franchises," said IOI CEO Hakan Abrak. "In other words, IOI Malmo and [existing studio] Copenhagen are one family."As yet there's no clue what IOI is working on beyond additional Hitman 2 levels and missions, though it has previously stated it wanted Hitman (2016) to consist of three seasons of content. The studio is primarily known for creating and developing the Hitman franchise, but it has also worked on the Kane & Lynch series and the 2003 shooter Freedom Fighters--though it should be noted the studio does not own the latter two brands.Hitman 2 received a positive critical reception, including an 8/10 from GameSpot. "The addition of other minor mechanical changes--like concussive weapons, a picture-in-picture enemy activity alert, and visible security camera sightlines--help to improve Hitman 2 overall as a dense and accessible stealth assassination game," wrote critic Edmond Tran in our Hitman 2 review."But the new locations are the real stars, impressive and inventive sandboxes ripe for picking apart with exciting experiments. Hitman is about experiencing the anticipation of seeing whether a plan will work when you try it for the first time. It's about feeling the tension of briskly walking away from a bad situation, hoping you can lose the suspicious guards. It's the satisfaction of knowing the machinations of a level so well that when a target moves into a particular place at a particular time, you have the perfect way to intervene. Hitman 2 is a familiar experience, but in the Hitman world, familiarity is an incredible strength."Info from Gamespot.com
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