It’s going to be a big week for Epic’s battle royale game Fortnite. In addition to the launch of Season 7, Epic has an announcement teed up for The Game Awards.
Show organiser Geoff Keighley said there will be some kind of Fortnite announcement and a “world premiere” at The Game Awards on Thursday night. Epic’s own Donald Mustard will be on hand at the event to drop the news, apparently.
I can’t stress enough how much we have going on this week. Geoff isn’t talking about Season 7 launch here. Tune in! https://t.co/K2gwZoizqa
— Nick “Unusual Spending” Chester (@nickchester) December 3, 2018
Epic PR lead Nick Chester confirmed in his own tweet that the announcement lined up for The Game Awards is not related to Season 7. “I can’t stress enough how much we have going on this week,” Chester said.
Keighley’s cryptic teaser mentioned that Fortnite fans will want to “keep your game close,” which sounds like a suggestion that something will happen in the game.
Avengers directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who are big fans of Fortnite, will be presenting an award at The Game Awards this week. However, it remains to be seen if the directors will have any news to share during the show.
The pair played Fortnite during downtime during of the editing process of Infinity War, they told EW this year. Joe Russo personally called Mustard to get a conversation going about about the Thanos limited-time mode that eventually came to Fortnite. More recently, Anthony Russo wore a Fortnite t-shirt during an Infinity War Q&A just last week, so their appreciation for Fortnite seemingly continues.
As for Fortnite Season 7, Epic recently released a new teaser that teases, “A bitter ice spreads,” which follows previous rumours and reports about the seventh season having a wintry, cold theme. Season 7 begins on December 6, which is the same day as The Game Awards.
A bitter ice spreads… 3 days to Season 7. pic.twitter.com/yj70svBXti
— Fortnite (@FortniteGame) December 3, 2018
The Game Awards 2018 take place on December 6, starting at 8:30 PM ET / 5:30 PM PT. That works out to 1:30 AM GMT and 12:30 PM AET on December 7. There are more than 10 new game announcements on tap, one of which is the next RPG from the makers of Fallout: New Vegas. You’ll be able to watch the show on GameSpot, while we’ll have a rundown of all the big news as well.
Despite the lack of exclusives, 2018 has been a year of quiet successes for Microsoft and the Xbox One. We weigh in on everything from backwards compatibility, to studio acquisitions, to the Adaptive Controller.
The second season of Netflix’s witch show Chilling Adventures of Sabrina will premiere on April 5, 2019, the network has announced. Not only that, but Netflix revealed a teaser trailer for the second season, while it also posted a brief synopsis of what to expect in the sophomore season.
“Get ready, mortals. Our girl’s gone full witch,” reads a line from the description. “Join Sabrina as she navigates the Path of Night while holding on tight to her friends who walk the Path of Light. Chilling Adventures of Sabrina continue on April 5.” You can watch the reveal trailer above.
Kiernan Shipka plays Sabrina in the show, which is far darker and edgier than the more family friendly version of the show starring Melissa Joan Hart in the late ’90s show.
In addition to Shipka, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina stars Lord of the Rings’ Mirando Otto as her aunt Zelda and Wonder Woman’s Lucy Davis as her other aunt Helga. The cat Salem is also in the show, but he doesn’t talk like he did on the ’90s show.
The 10 episodes of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina premiered on Netflix at the end of October. While you have to wait until 2019 for Season 2, a Christmas special premieres on December 14.
Chilling Adventures of Sabrina generated some amount of controversy after the Satanic Temple sued Netflix and production company Warner Bros. for $50 million over the show’s use of the Temple’s goat-headed Baphomet creature. The companies eventually settled amicably.
A new trailer for Marvel’s next big movie, Captain Marvel, is coming very soon. Marvel has announced that the premiere trailer will debut during Monday Night Football on ESPN tomorrow, December 3. The game starts at 8:15 PM ET / 5:15 PM PT, but there is no word as of yet as to when the trailer will drop during the matchup between the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles. Whatever the case, we’ll post it here on GameSpot as soon as we can.
To help ease the wait for the trailer, Marvel released a brand-new poster for Captain Marvel, showcasing Brie Larson as the star. Check it out below.
Check out the new poster for Marvel Studios’ #CaptainMarvel, and tune in to @ESPN’s Monday Night Football to see the brand new trailer! pic.twitter.com/8yNrk8d7AA
— Captain Marvel (@captainmarvel) December 3, 2018
Monday Night Football airs on ESPN, whose parent company is Disney (which owns Marvel), so the Captain Marvel trailer premiering on the sports network makes a lot of sense.
Captain Marvel is set to premiere in March 2019. The first Captain Marvel trailer came online in September–you can check out GameSpot’s in-depth breakdown in the video above.
In addition to Larson in the title role, Captain Marvel–which is set in the 1990s–stars a two-eyed, digitally de-aged Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, Jude Law as a Kree commander, Ben Mendelsohn as Talos, Lee Pace as Ronan the Accuser, and Gemma Chan as Minn-Rrva. You can see a full breakdown of who’s in the movie here.
Larson, who won the Best Actress Oscar for his role in Room, will play Captain Marvel again in 2019’s untitled Avengers 4.
A month after Red Dead Redemption 2 first released, its online multiplayer portion is now in beta. Red Dead Online borrows from both GTA Online as well as the multiplayer portions of the original Red Dead Redemption and incorporates RDR 2’s massive open world, with all its fine details and mechanics. But Red Dead Online lacks what made that vast, slow, meticulous world work, and as a result it leaves the weakest parts of it painfully exposed.
Red Dead Redemption 2–the single-player experience–is not concerned with your priorities. There are plenty of side distractions, and a few details will change here and there depending on your honor, but there are some missions you just can’t roleplay–you’re locked into one playstyle or one outcome. That can be frustrating in the moment, but it’s also a brilliant narrative device, one that gives you deeper insight into Arthur and his own struggle between what he wants to be and what he is. The fight against the game’s guiding hand is what gives the story its impact; you have to be a little tired of Red Dead Redemption 2 to fully appreciate what it’s trying to do narratively.
All that is to say Red Dead Redemption 2 is not what I’d call “fun.” In single-player, that’s a good thing. But in Red Dead Online, the things that don’t always feel good to play–the need to eat and sleep, the limited fast travel options, the often clumsy gunplay–have nothing to anchor them. There’s a small amount of story content at the moment, but nothing so engaging and personal as to give you a purpose in this world. The purpose, it seems, is either to kill or be killed, and frequently, though there doesn’t seem to be much of a reason to kill another player except to create chaos.
Currently, it’s difficult to achieve anything or get anywhere without being killed, disconnected from the server, or both. But even when you do get to play the game, it feels dated. Your character is understandably silent, and NPCs even acknowledge it, commenting often on your reticence. But the disconnect between your character and the rest of the world is pronounced. A solo mission given by Red Dead Redemption’s Bonnie MacFarlane, for example, involves a brief cutscene to give context, and then you’re tasked with the chore of locating and returning a cart of hers. When you return with the cart, there’s nothing–no cutscene, no acknowledgment from Bonnie at all. Just a pop-up with your slim reward.
Competitive multiplayer fares a little better. The snappy auto-aim is useful and gives some modes a looser, more fun feel, despite the clumsy gunplay, and getting headshots still takes skill. But movement is also clumsy, and it drags down the head-to-head modes. Accidentally ambling over rocks or struggling to mantle over a wall during a gunfight grinds everything to a halt, and the frustration is hard to shake.
Red Dead Redemption 2 as a whole is a lonely game filled with things to do. In single-player, riding alone through the plains and looking up at an enormous, open sky is powerful. In Red Dead Online, your emotional connection to the world and its inhabitants is missing entirely. There’s also a lack of content in general–you can wrap up the story missions in a number of hours, and after that, you’re left mainly to scrounge for money and wander aimlessly. In its current form, there’s nothing about Red Dead Online that makes me want to keep playing. It just makes me want to go back to Arthur’s story.
As much as I like Red Dead Redemption 2, I would be more compelled to play Red Dead Online if it shedded the single-player’s more belabored mechanics and opted for a faster, looser approach to the Wild West. The multiplayer experience would be better as a Western playground in earnest, rather than the blend of slow, solitary activities with potentially fun multiplayer chaos that it currently is. If GTA Online is any indication, there’s a lot of potential for Rockstar to iterate upon and expand Red Dead Online, both in the amount of content available and the nature of that content. But for now, I’ll stick with Arthur and the gang.
A new seasonal event has begun in Monster Hunter World. The Winter Star Fest is now underway on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, bringing an assortment of new and returning Event Quests, as well as new winter-themed armor and other content, to the game for a limited time.
During the event, the Gathering Hub is decorated with ornaments, tinsel, and other wintry decorations. You’ll receive two Lucky Vouchers as part of your daily login bonus rather than the usual one. Capcom is also giving players one free Winter Star Ticket.
Winter Star Tickets can also be earned by completing daily limited bounties; if you collect enough of them, you’ll be able to forge the new Santa-themed Orion α and Orion armor, pictured below. You’ll also be able to exchange the Winter Star Tickets for a snowman armor set for your Palico, and a new Event Quest–Timberland Troublemakers–will reward you with Bristly Crake Tickets which can be used to make the ridiculous-looking Bristly Pincushion hammer.
On top of that, Capcom says “almost all” previous Event Quests, including those that were exclusive to the Summer Twilight Fest event, will return, giving you another chance to craft the Wiggler helm and other items. You can find the full event schedule on the official Monster Hunter World website.
Finally, all facilities will hold sales on in-game items throughout the Winter Star Fest, and a new seasonal platter is available in the Gathering Hub. Capcom has also added new winter coats for both the Handler and your Poogie. The Winter Star Fest is scheduled to run through December 17.
After many rumors and teases, Niantic finally announced that PvP Trainer Battles are on the way to Pokemon Go. The developer hasn’t confirmed when the highly requested feature will go live, but it did share some more details about how it’ll work via Twitter.
While it’s still unclear how Trainer Battles are initiated, Niantic revealed that there will be three separate Trainer Battle Leagues: Great, Ultra, and Master. Each League features a different Combat Power limit for your Pokemon: in the Great League, each monster can have a maximum of 1,500 CP; Ultra League’s limited is 2,500 CP per Pokemon; and Master League features no CP restriction.
“When designing Trainer Battles, we wanted to create an experience that everyone can enjoy and ensure that different kinds of Pokémon can show their strengths,” Niantic wrote. “With Leagues in Trainer Battles, we hope to create a system that’s accessible to many Trainers.”
Beyond that, there is still much we don’t know about how PvP matches will operate. While the first teaser screenshot that Niantic shared looks similar to Trainer Battles from the core Pokemon games, it’s still unclear whether Go’s Trainer Battles will use the same combat system as Gym and Raid Battles–which ultimately boil down to tapping the screen quickly–or something closer to the main series.
We won’t have to wait much longer to learn more. Niantic says Trainer Battles will roll out for Pokemon Go “soon” and that additional details are on the way. In the meantime, Pokemon Go’s latest Community Day is underway. This one runs through the entire weekend and brings back all of the featured Pokemon and special moves from previous Community Days. Niantic is also bringing back six Legendaries for December’s Field Research tasks.
There’s a particular milestone of growing up that goes relatively unexamined as far as shared experiences go, and that is the moment you realize your parents had deep inner lives of their own before you were born. That’s true for Cosmic Top Secret’s writer/director/protagonist Trine Laier, whose parents are hiding one of the coolest secrets imaginable, and yet that palpable sense of a once-impenetrable boundary having been crossed between them is still huge. Cosmic Top Secret trying to translate those feelings into a video game makes it remarkable. Ironically, what stops it from being brilliant is that it’s not very good at being an engaging video game.
The game’s title refers to an actual security designation within the Danish equivalent of the Department of Defense, which, unbeknownst to Trine until her late 30s, was the security level both her parents held while working there on a classified spy project during the most tense years of the Cold War. Determined to get the full details, Trine ropes both her parents into doing interviews for a documentary on their lives. The project runs into major snags since neither of her parents know if their work is declassified, even after Trine actually gives the Department of Defense a call and has a high-ranking official essentially debrief them on what’s safe.
Cosmic Top Secret is a series of five relatively self-contained open worlds, all relating to a specific point in Trine’s time trying to squeeze what she can from her parents. It all takes place in a papercraft, pop-up-book representation of her journey; imagine the living papier-mache world of Media Molecule’s Tearaway, except crafted by 50 years of shredded classified documents, and you have an idea of what Cosmic Top Secret feels like.
From marching alongside her mother at a military base to going orienteering–a sort of free-form competitive hike–with her father in a local forest, everything takes on a sort of twisted, mesmerizing magic. That abstract interpretation includes the paper doll avatars of Trine, her parents, and all their former colleagues, rendered as googly-eyed exaggerations that shift, change, break, and rip along with whatever their current mental and physical status is. While in real life Trine’s father injured his shoulder while orienteering, his paper doll self in-game gets its arm torn off, and you have to find it. Trine being reminded of a specific family tragedy might cause her doll version to fall apart entirely, meaning you have to put her back together again to finish the conversation. It’s a sort of emotional sleight-of-hand that could only have been executed in games, trying to inhabit a documentarian’s feelings and internal dialogue. It’s a magic trick not every game–even the ones specifically aiming to evoke emotions from the player–pull off as successfully as Cosmic Top Secret does.
All the while, Trine herself must explore each environment, sifting through the chaos of years of espionage history for the clues to lead her closer to the truth. The process had to take months of looking through filing cabinets in real life, but the game portrays it as a huge collect-a-thon of Trine running around the open world. Everything is clearly marked on the map, which is conveniently laid out like an alphanumeric grid, and there’s no puzzle so difficult that it’d require consulting a wiki. There’s just so much of it, and it’s not until you pick something up that you know whether the item will actually unlock the next snippet of story or not. Thankfully, every single item in the game unlocks a piece of obscure history (like the secret operation to steal a sample of former Russian president Nikita Khrushchev’s feces), a fascinating anecdote (a man imprisoned for years for taking the wrong pictures in Poland), or a video clip of the real-life interviews Trine conducted with her parents.
Had Cosmic Top Secret been a documentary, this is the kind of meticulous detail she’d have to leave on the cutting room floor. As sheer experience in the realm of gaming, it’s all contextual gold, giving you an extensive picture of not just Trine’s parents as people but the world they operated in–even as they try to keep Trine at arm’s length from it.
The caginess has a universal feel to it. Many parents talk to their kids as kids for so long, transitioning to talking to them like adults can be difficult. Trine’s parents are so used to talking around their work in the name of national security, they actually don’t even remember how to talk about it. Much of the actual story structure of the game is about Trine finding her parents at just the right moment or coming at a question at just the right angle to get them to open up. What they reveal isn’t necessarily the stuff they make award-winning cable shows about–no, they didn’t assassinate anybody or anything like that–but it does tell quite a bit about the kinds of people her parents were, how that knowledge relates to her and how that changes how she sees her parents.
In trying to relate to her parents lives as agents of the state, Trine has to come to grips with the fact that her parents were not just her parents and not just spies, but grown adults with their own regrets and secrets and feelings. Many of them come from when they were younger than Trine was when she made the game. She speaks to former colleagues who had never met her but knew her parents as friends or by reputation, maybe the first times Trine hears her parents spoken of in such a way.
One of the big revelations that stops the investigation in its tracks a moment is Trine’s mother remembers her first husband, who died young, and whose best friend became her second husband and, eventually, Trine’s father. By her admission, Trine doesn’t think about it much because it breaks her heart, but her mother tosses the matter out as mere trivia, a fact of life she’s long come to terms with. The game is full of these tiny moments of reckoning for Trine, and these are the times when the game transcends being a simple mystery into a story of poignance. In a documentary, those thoughts and feelings would be essentially carried by narration, dialogue and candid moments surreptitiously caught by an intrepid cameraperson. Cosmic Top Secret, however, is less about saying how Trine feels–or even about showing it–and more about thoroughly immersing the player in a vast, interpretive world of her feelings about it.
Cosmic Top Secret’s very existence and ethos makes it special in the realm of gaming.
The trouble comes while navigating through Trine’s feelings on everything, and unfortunately, that’s not a metaphor. You move in Cosmic Top Secret by moving your mouse over Trine, which crumples her up into a tiny ball of trash you can roll around a stage. It’s extremely easy to lose control and send the ball flying off into corners, and you’re unable to reel the ball back and stop, turn on a dime, or even just roll straight–which you need to do far too often and far too precisely to be enjoyable. Later, one of the middle stages has Trine turning into a paper airplane that has the reverse problem, where the controls barely respond to the degree you need to land on the very small platforms you’re guided to. Combine those problems with a finicky camera that actively limits your rotation until Trine turns around, and for large chunks of the game, you’re stalled not because you’re reading about fascinating history but because you’re trying to wrestle the game’s controls into submission. There’s this concept that a game that’s primarily about exploration needs some sort of challenging gameplay element to be considered a “real game,” and seeing Cosmic Top Secret trip over its own feet for the sake of adding that extra challenge should put that argument to bed once and for all.
Cosmic Top Secret’s very existence and ethos makes it special in the realm of gaming. It’s conceptually brilliant and heartwarming. Arguably, it’s still worth fighting the game’s mechanics just because Trine–and you, by proxy–deserves to know the truth and hear every angle of these peoples’ captivating story firsthand. Trine started her journey with curiosity and finds herself closer to the people who raised her than ever, while also giving them the ultimate familial gift: a literal living history of their youth, and their work for the greater good, through the fantastical, imaginative eye of their clearly talented, inquisitive daughter. But there’s a barrier to entry here, and it has nothing to do with the embarrassment of asking a parent what they were like when they were younger or their hesitation with the truth, and everything to do with the aggravation of even exploring the world in which their story is told.
343 Industries has shared a new piece of concept art for the upcoming Halo game Halo Infinite. Revealed in a new Community Update, 343 says the art comes from a Halo Infinite reveal trailer that originally aired during E3 back in June.
What secrets does the image contain? Have a look for yourself–be sure to zoom in and enhance–and let us know in the comments below what you might have found.
The Halo Infinite reveal trailer from E3 was actually for the game’s new engine, Slipspace, and not the game itself. The company has yet to show off the game itself yet, however, but we do know it is coming to both Xbox One and PC.
There is an intriguing rumour that claims Microsoft is planning to launch the game in two parts–first the single-player in 2019, with multiplayer coming in 2020. Microsoft hasn’t made any official announcements regarding release plans, however.
Halo Infinite places more of an emphasis on Master Chief, which is good to hear after Halo 5 controversially strayed away from him. It’s also apparently a very big game, as Halo franchise manager Frank O’Connor said the game will have “capacious” missions/levels.
No release date has been announced for Halo Infinite, but it’s one of our most anticipated upcoming Xbox One games for sure.