Video Game Deep Cuts: Florence & The Orange Monster Box

This week’s Video Game Deep Cuts highlights include a look at evocative smartphone title Florence, the anniversary of Valve’s Orange Box, and a Monster Hunter buddy team-up service. …

from Gamasutra News


A Tomb Raider Barbie Doll Arrives Next March With The New Movie

Toy giant Mattel has announced its next Barbie doll, and it’s none other than iconic video game hero Lara Croft. Based on Alicia Vikander’s version of the character from the upcoming movie, the collectible launches in March just ahead of the new movie, according to IGN.

The doll is priced at $30, and pre-orders open on February 19 through the Barbie website. There are a few accessories included with the Barbie, including her pick axe, journal, map, and more, as well as a certificate of authenticity. You can see an unboxing video below, courtesy of the Panic Pixie YouTube channel.

This is not the first video game Barbie. In 2016, Mattel launched a video game developer Barbie for its Career of the Year line. It does, however, appear to be Mattel’s first Barbie based on a specific video game character.

The new Tomb Raider movie comes to theatres on March 16. Vikander, who won an Oscar for her role in The Danish Girl opposite Eddie Redmayne. Dominic West (The Wire), Walton Goggins (Sons of Anarchy, The Hateful Eight), and Daniel Wu (Warcraft) also star. The director is Roar Uthaug, who previously helmed the acclaimed disaster movie The Wave.

Like the 2013 video game reboot, the movie sounds like it will tell an origin story. “She has all the fierce, tough, curious, intelligent traits,” Vikander said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “But we’ve stripped away all of her experience. She hasn’t gone on an adventure just yet. She thought she was a stuck up businessperson living in the modern youth culture of suburban London, but then this whole box of information. This is the beginning.”

A new Tomb Raider game is on the way. Official details remain a mystery, but last year, the title “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” was potentially leaked, though it’s unclear if that was real.

from GameSpot

Microsoft Talks Xbox One Keyboard And Mouse Support, Addresses Concerns

While the Xbox One does not have an official, Microsoft-approved plan for support keyboard and mouse controls (at least not yet), there are ways to do it. One way is through the use of adapters. Microsoft is apparently aware of this, but the company is not taking action in the case of multiplayer shooters–where keyboard and mouse players would theoretically have an advantage.

The reason? According to Xbox engineering lead Mike Ybarra, Microsoft could block keyboard and mouse setups on console, but won’t do it because the company wants to give developers the freedom to operate their games as they see fit. Not only that, but a keyboard and mouse setup can be a helpful solution for players with accessibility considerations.

For a long time now, Microsoft has said it is considering bringing an official keyboard and mouse solution to the Xbox One. In September last year, Ybarra said keyboard and mouse support is “definitely coming” to Xbox One, but he didn’t say when or in what form.

Crucially, Ybarra said Microsoft understands the concerns people have about keyboard and mouse users having the upper hand against people using a controller.

“We have to be very smart in how we do that. We’ll leave it a lot up to developer choice,” Ybarra said at the time. “A lot of people tweet me and say, ‘You can’t do this because of fairness,’ and we understand that. We run two platforms; the Windows platform and the Xbox platform.”

Ybarra said one solution is that developers can create systems in their games that allow players to decide if they want to play against people using controllers or a keyboard and mouse setup. In fact, Microsoft’s Gears of War 4 supports cross-play between Xbox One and PC, and the company already tested the waters with controller versus keyboard and mouse setup. Xbox One players can choose whether or not they want to play with PC users.

Would you like to see official keyboard and mouse support on Xbox One? Let us know in the comments below!

from GameSpot

400-Player Battle Royale Game Gets A Teaser Trailer

A new trailer for an upcoming Battle Royale game that promises to support 400 players in a multiplayer environment has been released, but unfortunately it doesn’t deliver what we want to see. The trailer for Mavericks: Proving Grounds shows off some nice-looking visuals and environments, but, critically, it does not show any gameplay. 

Mavericks is in development at the new UK studio Automaton Games. The game was formerly known as Project X before getting its new name over the weekend during a PC Gamer event. Mavericks will have a 12km squared “living and breathing” world, the developer says. It also promises dynamic elements such as wildfire that spreads and more. 

“This year, we’re coming out with our competitive, Battle Royale-style mode, which we hope will show that there is so much more for that genre than what people have seen today,” Automaton’s James Thompson told PC Gamer. “How much more we can do with the game world and the [Battle Royale] game mode as a whole.”

Mavericks’ Battle Royale mode is scheduled to launch in 2018, presumably for PC, but it is just one part of the game. The full game, described as an MMO that supports 1000 concurrent players in an “ultra-high fidelity world instance, is coming in 2019. 

“It is set in a huge, photoreal, and highly dynamic environment, with strong character progression, social hubs, intelligent mission systems and global-scale player-driven narrative,” reads a line from the game’s description.

Some kind of announcement about Mavericks is coming at the Game Developers Conference in March, and we will be sure to report back with more details then. A closed beta for Mavericks is coming, but there is no word yet about when it will start.

PUBG, which supports 100 players, popularised the Battle Royale movement and made it one of the most talked-about genres in gaming. It’s no surprise to see other, similar games pop up with their own unique spin on the formula. Epic’s Fortnite: Battle Royale has seen a lot of success, as the game recently surpassed 3.4 million concurrent players

from GameSpot

New Xbox One Deal Drops The Price Of The System Nicely

Are you in the market for a new Xbox One S? If so, there are a few deals available now in the US and around the world and some coming up soon that you may want to consider.

Right now in the US, Microsoft is cutting $50 off the price of all Xbox One S bundles. This wicked-sweet deals drops the price of the console to $230, and this covers bundles that come with games such as Forza Horizon 3, Madden 18, and Minecraft, among others. This offer is available at a number of retailers, including big ones like Amazon and GameStop. You have to act relatively quickly, however, as the offer expires on March 3.

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Additionally, Microsoft is launching the Xbox One S PUBG bundle, which includes a 500 GB system and a copy of the Battle Royale game for $300. This system goes on sale in the US and Canada on February 20, so there is not much longer to wait.

In other news, gamers in Canada can now save $60 CAD on 1 TB Xbox One S bundles

And in terms of Xbox One X deals, Microsoft has brought back to the deal where you get a free copy of PUBG when you buy an Xbox One X. This promotion runs through February 24 in the US, though it ends in other parts of the world on March 4. You will want to check with your local retailer for specifics around availability and timing.

from GameSpot

Top New Games Out This Week On Switch, PS4, Xbox One, And PC — February 18-24

This week’s batch of new games have plenty to take on, whether it’s the undead in Metal Gear Survive, rival kingdoms in Age of Empires: Definitive Edition, or a bunch of ghosts in Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus. You can also explore a mysterious space facility in The Station, or throw down with some four-legged animals in Them’s Fightin’ Herds.

Metal Gear Survive — February 20

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

The first Metal Gear game since Hideo Kojima left Konami is very different from Snake’s sneaking missions. This open-world survival game is all about scavenging for resources to build weapons and defenses. You can take the challenge solo or with friends in co-op.

Further Reading:

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition — February 20

Available on: PC

After a delay, the best way to play this classic strategy game is launching this week. It’s souped-up for the modern era with 4K support, brand-new narration, and rebuilt sound effects–but you can always turn all that off and play in Classic Mode too. Definitive Edition includes the base game and the Rise of Rome expansion.

Further Reading:

The Station — February 20

Available on: PS4, Xbox One, PC

This first-person game has you exploring the titular station as it orbits above an alien planet in the midst of a civil war. For you, that means finding out what happened and deciding the fate of the alien race below. There’s a lot to discover as you learn the truth and solve puzzles around the station.

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 Plus — February 22

Available on: Switch

Championship Edition 2 is coming to Switch with new features. First and foremost, you can hand your friend a Joy-Con and play co-op. And of course there are plenty of boards and bosses to complete in both Time Attack and Adventure modes. Watch out for ghost trains!

Further Reading:

Them’s Fightin’ Herds — February 22

Available on: PC

If this cartoon-looking fighter seems familiar, that’s because it comes from the same mind behind My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. But don’t let the cutesy look fool you: this fighter takes cues from series like BlazBlue and Guilty Gear, so don’t expect an easy battle.

from GameSpot

Black Panther Sets New Box Office Record

Black Panther opened this past weekend, and it was a huge hit. The 18th Marvel Cinematic Universe film is expected to make around $218 million in the US and Canada for the four-day Presidents Day weekend, which is ahead of what analysts were expecting.

Black Panther‘s three-day US/Canadian haul of $192 million sets a new record for a film released in February. It surpasses Deadpool, the R-rated superhero movie that made $132.4 million in February 2016.

The film was directed by Ryan Coogler (Creed), and its opening-weekend box office haul represents a new record by a black director. Black Panther boasts a pretty-much-perfect A-plus CinemaScore rating (the first A-plus rating for a MCU film since Avengers 1 in 2012).

This CinemaScore rating, which is derived from movie-goer opinions, suggests the second-weekend box office performance will be strong as well on the back of positive word-of-mouth.

Black Panther, which stars Chadwick Boseman in the lead role, pulled in a further $169 million from international markets through Sunday, so it’s a global success. The film reportedly cost $200 million to make. For more, check out GameSpot’s review of Black Panther.

Below you can find a breakdown of the February 16-18 US/Canadian box office performance, with the four-day totals posted in parenthesis. Go to Entertainment Weekly to see a full and detailed breakdown of this weekend’s domestic box office results.

  1. Black Panther — $192 million ($218 million through Monday)
  2. Peter Rabbit — $17.3 million ($22.1 through Monday)
  3. Fifty Shades Freed — $16.9 million ($18.9 through Monday)
  4. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle — $7.9 million ($10 million through Monday)
  5. The 15:17 to Paris — $7.7 million ($9 million through Monday)
  6. The Greatest Showman — $5.1 million ($6.3 million through Monday)
  7. Early Man — $3.2 million ($4.2 million through Monday)
  8. Maze Runner: The Death Cure — $2.5 million ($3 million through Monday)
  9. Winchester — $2.2 million ($2.7 million through Monday)
  10. Samson — $2 million ($2.3 million through Monday)

from GameSpot