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Test Chamber – 15 Minutes With Gravity Rush 2

I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Japan for Tokyo Game Show recently. While I was there, Sony held an event and allowed me to capture my demo of the upcoming Gravity Rush 2 for PlayStation 4. Kat is back with help from her former rival Raven to mess things up using gravity.

Gravity Rush 2 is shaping up to be everything we loved about the first game and more. In this recent Test Chamber, I sat down with fellow Gravity Rush fan Kyle Hilliard to discuss what's new in the sequel and what Iooks most promising about it. Watch the video below to see the beautiful world and learn more about the different gravity styles.

For more on Gravity Rush 2, check out my recent preview

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For more Test Chamber, click the banner below, or check out our hub.

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Take a close look at the level design of some exceptional Zelda games

The two Zelda games released on the Game Boy Color have some seminal lessons for level designers—at least, that’s what YouTube critic Mark Brown argues in his latest episode of Boss Keys. …


Gamasutra News

Philadelphia 76ers Pick Up An Esports Team

The Philadelphia 76ers have acquired an eSports team. Under the deal, Team Dignitas and Apex Gaming's League of Legends team – which will compete under the name Team Dignitas – will be merged and managed by the basketball team.

This is the first eSports acquisition from a major North American sports team. According to the Sixers, it will manage Team Dignitas' daily operations and also provide support with endorsements, branding, and more.

[Source: The Rift Herald]

 

Our Take
The Sixers can afford to expand beyond the court, since they're obviously not overspending on player salaries.

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Reminder: Star Wars Returns To Retail This Friday

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on December 16 (80 days from now), but you won't have to wait long to get to know the characters, as retailers can begin selling Rogue One toys and merchandise on September 30, a.k.a. Force Friday. Most retailers are still flush with Force Awakens collectibles, but you'll now find Rogue One toys sitting next to Rey and BB-8 on store shelves.

If you are hunting for specific toys – such as Hasbro's popular Black series – you may want to see if your retailer is opening at midnight for collectors. If history repeats itself, the Rogue One merchandise will sell out fast, but should be replenished in the months ahead. With that in mind, I would urge caution in paying extra for any figure. Holding out and waiting for them to return to retail is your best bet.

Happy hunting to all collectors! We have a feeling Jyn Erso and K-2SO are going to be the popular characters this time around.

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Artist Depicts Shovel Knight Using More Than 16,000 Dominoes

Using more than 16,000 dominoes and an immense amount of skill, YouTuber TheDominoKing has dedicated his newest project to Shovel Knight.

It took two days of hard work, which seems like a small amount of time to build something like this. In the YouTube video description, TheDominnoKing writes that he's "very proud of this setup" and that he's surprised he had enough shades of blue. You can watch the video for yourself below, which notably has an awesome rock rendition of tunes from Shovel Knight playing in the background.

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This is far from the first gaming-related domino art TheDominoKing has created. Past projects have been dedicated to Super Mario World, Fallout, and Sonic. Check out his YouTube channel for more.

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New Releases This Week: September 25 Through October 1

Forza Horizon 3 leads the charge in a fairly impressive week of new releases. In addition to the highly rated arcade racer, the latest entry in the FIFA series is coming, as well as console ports of Darkest Dungeon and XCOM 2.

Wherever you're playing, there's a good chance that there's something new for you – even on Vita.

Darkest Dungeon (PS4, Vita) – September 27
FIFA 17 (Xbox One, PS4, PS3, 360, PC) – September 27
Forza Horizon 3 (Xbox One, PC) – September 27
Shantae and The Pirate's Curse (3DS Retail) – September 27
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero (Xbox One, PS4, Wii U, Vita, PC) – September 27
Sonic Boom: Fire & Ice (3DS) – September 27
XCOM 2 (Xbox One, PS4) – September 27
Nebula Online (PC, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android) – September 29
Unloved (PC) – September 29
Yo-Kai Watch 2: Bony Spirits/Fleshy Souls (3DS) – September 30 

For a deeper look at this year's releases, take a look at our continuously updated master list.

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Ubisoft Buying More Stock To Hold Off Vivendi Takeover

Ubisoft has agreed to buy back 3.2 percent of its own stock from a French investment bank. The move comes as the publisher continues to face the threat of a possible hostile takeover from Vivendi, which at last report controlled 17.76 percent of Ubisoft's voting shares.

Under the deal with Bpifrance, Ubisoft will buy back all 3,625,178 of the bank's shares at 33.80 euro each, or about $ 38.04. The total transaction, which amounts to approximately $ 137,851,700, will be officially completed in November.

"We want to express our warm gratitude to Bpifrance for its support during all these years," said Yves Guillemot, Ubisoft co-founder and CEO.

Vivendi is in the process of trying to gain more control of Ubisoft through the acquisition of stock. Ubisoft's most recent buyback is clearly an attempt to minimize that influence. It's likely to come to a head during a meeting that's scheduled this week on September 29. There, the distribution of board seats will be in discussion.

For a deeper rundown of the history of the current conflict, as well as an explanation of what exactly is happening, take a look at our in-depth feature on the subject.

[Source: VentureBeat]

 

Our Take
Ubisoft has been vocally opposed to Vivendi's advances, and this latest maneuver reinforces the company's desire to remain independent from Vivendi. Regardless of what you think of each company's position, things are going to be getting interesting within a few days.

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An Exclusive Behind-The-Scenes Look At the Making Of The Warcraft Film

The Warcraft movie only grossed $ 47 million in the domestic box office, but was a hit overseas, pulling in a combined total of $ 433 million. If you avoided Warcraft in theaters, but still want to see it, you can pick it up on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, and DVD starting tomorrow.

Legendary Pictures has given us an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the creation of this film. In this short minute-and-a-half video, actor Daniel Wu (Gul'dan) recalls landing the role in the film. "We had a baby last year, and I was supposed to take a year off of work, and then in November I got a call to do an audition," he says. "I told my [wife] about it, and she says 'You can't do it,' and I'm like 'It's for Warcraft,' and she says 'Oh! You really have to do it!"

For more on the Warcraft film, check out our interview with Duncan Jones to learn his favorite games, and how he ended up in the director's chair.

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Welcome The Fall 2016 Game Informer Interns

Every few months, we’re fortunate to have the opportunity to share a little of the work we do at Game Informer with a new group of aspiring writers and journalists through our internship program. As we steer into the Holiday season, another team of awesome interns will be helping us cover all the important video game news and gamer culture over the next three months. Come meet the new G.I. interns.

We wanted to take a minute to introduce the Game Informer community to Kevin Slackie, Michael Leri, and Ian Boudreau. Rather than try and speak for them, I'll let them each introduce themselves in their first blog posts linked above. 

Kevin, Michael, and Ian will be helping us out this Fall, and learning
the ropes of what we do around here. Watch for them in the coming weeks;
they'll be joining your conversations in the comments,
writing articles for the site, and sharing their unique perspectives
with all of you. We're excited to have them on board. 

Are you considering a career in video games writing? If you’re
looking to further your existing writing or journalism education through
an internship at Game Informer, we’re currently accepting applications
for the upcoming Winter term, which starts next January. To learn more about the internship, click here.

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Destiny: Rise Of Iron Review – Evolution And Expansion Over Reinvention

Any new expansion to Destiny must enrich an already-complex play environment, while simultaneously introducing activities that meet the desires of longtime players and curious new Guardians. Rise of Iron confronts these goals head-on, and while a few problems crop up, it is an admirable success in its own right. More importantly, it continues to evolve Bungie’s grand epic and provides an integrated experience of competitive and cooperative shooting unmatched in the current gaming landscape.

The early days of Destiny hinted at an Arthurian order of knights that predate the player heroes, and Rise of Iron finally pulls back the curtain on that legend. Situated on a suitably lofty social space atop a wolf-inhabited mountain, the stoic Lord Saladin is a lonely survivor of those days, and he takes center stage as players confront the danger that once destroyed the mighty Iron Lords. The campaign that follows is tight and personal, focused on nostalgia and honor. The setup is solid, but the core story feels abbreviated; you’re just getting to know Saladin and picking up speed as the five-mission storyline comes to a close. 

You can find additional meat in a few excellent weapon quests, including a thrilling reforging of the epic Gjallarhorn. I’m also enthusiastic about the new artifact system, which offers new collectibles and reshapes the most boring inventory slot in the game into one of the most flexible, adding options like unlimited sprint or eliminating damage over time effects. 

The new Plaguelands zone is beautifully crafted, mixing existing Earth art with the invasion of a twisted new nanotechnology, and then overlaying everything with a blanket of snow. I enjoy zooming through the area on my Sparrow, but it lacks the secrecy and depth of last year’s Dreadnaught. Likewise, I appreciate the new challenge of the Fallen Splicers, but they don’t feel distinct enough from the normal Fallen. The new Splicer-focused strike is excellent, including its devilish final encounter. But even the refreshed dialogue and enemies for two other strikes aren’t enough to enliven the cooperative strike playlist, which really needs a more robust set of additions to be at its best.

Archon’s Forge is a new arena activity that provides frantic enemy wave fights. The conflicts are intense, but the new mode is hamstrung by some baffling structural issues and needs some changes. Archon’s Forge is too far out of the way to attract regular visitors, and doesn’t encourage easy public joining once a round begins. Players can only hold one entry key and new keys drop infrequently, so your group’s fun can come to a halt just as it begins. 

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The Wrath of the Machine raid is sophisticated and engrossing. The expedition is all about movement, collision, and communication with teammates. Filled with hidden chests, it’s a paradise for treasure hunters. From a battle against a lumbering engine of destruction to a final showdown with a machine-warped monstrosity, the encounters are action-packed. I like how much they demand of every participant, not just a select few. 

A new competitive Supremacy mode is great fun, borrowing a familiar structure from Call of Duty in which players pick up crests after a kill to score. The mode rewards close-range team clumping, but that means supers and grenades can be devastating. A single crest drop can cascade into a frantic skirmish where everyone converges on the scrum. The mode is fast and furious, and much more engaging when played with a coordinating team. It’s also well supported by the excellent new maps, with lots of verticality, pathing options, and evocative themes. 

Private-match functionality is also a major triumph. While options don’t allow for dramatic reinvention of existing PvP modes, they support any existing game style and map to be played with chosen friends or rivals. For the average player, this is a great tool for practice and casual play. It also opens the door for Destiny to enter the tournament and professional gaming scene in a real way.

Whatever the activity, Rise of Iron has gorgeous new gear on offer as rewards, including new ornaments that change the appearance of weapons and armor. I’m disappointed that some of the coolest appearance options are mostly hidden behind a paywall of blind microtransactions, but I applaud the decision to keep the rewards cosmetic. 

Rise of Iron provides a lot of choices to players. From the activity you engage in to the rewards you pursue, the expansion supports any level of engagement. While it doesn’t offer the same breadth and reimagining of core systems found in The Taken King, Bungie’s latest release has a sentimental tone that is refreshing. This adventure through forgotten legends stands strong on its own, and continues an unbroken string of content drops that have each made Destiny a richer universe. 

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