Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Dishonored 2 Taps Vocal Talent From Game Of Thrones, Daredevil, And The Wire

The original Dishonored had no shortage of voice acting talent, tapping big names like Susan Sarandon (Dead Man Walking), Lena Headey (Game of Thrones), and John Slattery (Mad Men) to bring its characters alive. The sequel is promising an equal commitment to quality with a new bevy of familiar voices from Hollywood, television, and even classic games in the stealth action lineage.

Arkane Studios shared a handful of these names with us when we journeyed to Lyon, France to see Dishonored 2 in action for the first time. Here they are:

Vincent D'Onofrio

Character: Luca Abele, Duke of Serkonos

Best Known For: Daredevil (Wilson Fisk), Law & Order: Criminal Intent (Det. Robert Goren), Full Metal Jacket (Pvt. Pyle), Men In Black (Edgar)

Rosario Dawson

Character: Meagan Foster, Dreadful Wale Captain

Best Known For: Kids (Ruby), Sin City (Gail), Daredevil (Claire Temple), Deathproof (Abernathy), Seven Pounds (Emily Posa)

Pedro Pascal

Character: Paolo, Howler Gang Leader

Best Known For: Game of Thrones (Oberyn Martell), Narcos (Javier Pena), The Good Wife (Nathan Landry), The Mentalist (Agent Marcus Pike)

Sam Rockwell

Character: Mortimer Ramsey, Dunwall City Watch

Best Known For: Moon (Sam Bell), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (Chuck Barris), Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Zaphod Beeblebrox), Galaxy Quest (Guy Fleegman), The Green Mile (Wild Bill Wharton)

Jamie Hector

Character: Liam Byrne, Vice Overseer

Best Known For: The Wire (Marlo Stanfield), Heroes (Benjamin "Knox" Washington), Max Payne (Lincoln Deneuf), Bosch (Jerry Edgar), Halo: Reach (Emile)

Robin Lord Taylor

Character: The Outsider

Best Known For: Gotham (Oswald Cobblepot), Accepted (Abernathy Darwin Dunlap), Another Earth (Robert Williams)

Stephen Russell

Character: Corvo Attano

Best Known For: Thief (Garrett), Fallout 4 (Nick Valentine/Codsworth), The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Prince Clavicus Vile/Mercer Frey)

Erica Luttrell

Character: Emily Kaldwin

Best Known For: The Magic School Bus (Keesha Franklin), Fallout 4 (Darla)

Return to our hub throughout the month for more information on Emily and Corvo's revenge quest, the new powers and weapons at their disposal, and the city of Karnaca. You can access the hub by clicking on the banner below.

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There Are Lots Of Star Wars Games On Sale This Week

Tomorrow is Star Wars Day, because May the 4th be with you. Get it? Each year, fans celebrate their love of the franchise, and retailers sell you a bunch of stuff.

If you’re in the spirit, now’s a good time to fill in your Star Wars game collection. There are a number of deals running on PC and console, and we’ve gathered up as many as we could find so you can save some space bucks.

GOG.com
GOG.com is offering two bundles to celebrate the occasion. You can pick up a Blaster Bundle or a Saber Bundle of deeply discounted games. Each of the games in the bundle is also discounted individually. Additionally, Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire is now available for sale at the low price of $ 4.79 (regularly $ 5.99).

PlayStation Store
Sony is running a May the 4th sale, discounting games across all three of its active platforms. Highlights include Star Wars Battlefront on PlayStation 4 for $ 29.99 ($ 77.99 for the ultimate version that includes all the DLC), Disney Infinity 3.0 on PS4 or PS3 for $ 9.89, and a bundle of Bounty Hunter, Racer Revenge, and Starfighter for $ 12.49.

You can also nab a free Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens theme for PlayStation 4.

Xbox Live
Microsoft has discounted a number of Xbox 360 Star Wars games. You can grab the following titles for $ 5 each:

  • The Force Unleashed
  • The Force Unleashed II
  • Lego Star Wars III
  • Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Kinect Star Wars

We'll update should any other deals emerge.

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Test Chamber – Watch A Human Centipede Play Tug-Of-War In Push Me Pull You

The PlayStation 4 has slowly been expanding its base of simple, local multiplayer games like Sportsfriends and Towerfall and today the studio House House joins the fray with Push Me Pull You.

In this episode of Test Chamber, Game Informer's Ben Hanson, Jeff Cork, Kyle Hilliard, and Brian Shea square off in a bizarre competition that has conjoined players struggling to keep a ball on their side of the arena. It's a real competition for the ages, so tune in and see how weird things can possibly get and learn about the athletic potential of human centipedes.

Push Me Pull You is out today on PlayStation 4 today with plans for release on PC and Mac in the near future.

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Watch The New Dangerous Golf Trailer Wreck The Place

Forget the country clubs (and the clubs themselves, actually), hushed announcers, and the tidy greens, because the first Dangerous Golf trailer is live, and it's here to wreak havoc.

The game isn't a golf game at all, really, but rather an excuse to destroy a number of preset environments and skillfully work out how to do so garnering the most points possible. And as the developers at Three Fields Entertainment (the minds behind the Burnout series) have told us, this video sample is just the tip of the iceberg.

For more on Dangerous Golf (coming out via download on PS4, Xbox One, and PC June 3), check out my hands-on impressions of some of the title's early boards.

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King Of Fighters 2000 Is Available As A PS2-On-PS4 Title Now

As part of today’s PlayStation Store update, Sony snuck out another PlayStation 2-on-PlayStation 4 game. Sure, we have to wait until August for King of Fighters XIV. That doesn’t mean you can’t start practicing now, though.

King of Fighters 2000, originally released on PlayStation 2 is now available on PS4. It can be yours for $ 9.99.

It also will support your PlayStation 3 fight sticks after a title update. That should be along next week.

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7 Reasons Why Now’s A Great Time To Revisit Diablo III

Diablo III has become less of a game for me and more of an ongoing obsession. Even as my backlog continues to pile up around me, I find myself returning to the demon-plagued world of Sanctuary nearly four years after the game’s release. The biggest expansion for the game, Reaper of Souls, added a new act to the game and brought it to current-gen consoles, but Blizzard hasn’t left the game alone since 2014. The game has received a steady stream of updates since then, and it’s a much different beast now than even two years ago. Last week, the 2.4.1 update arrived, bringing a host of new cosmetic items and pets. If your enthusiasm dropped off or you’ve never played, now’s a great time to get back into Diablo. Stay awhile, and listen.

Potions (Revamped in August 2014; legendary potions added in update 2.2.0, April 2015)
When vanilla Diablo III came out, players had to juggle a variety of different healing potions. It seemed every time my friends and I would play online, someone was porting back to town to resupply their inventory. The Reaper of Souls expansion did away with that aspect of the game, swapping it out for a bottomless potion that runs on a cooldown. You don’t have to worry about running out, but you can’t jam on the heal button whenever you want. Maybe those potions cause an upset stomach?

Later, legendary potions were included as drops, which added temporary buffs along with the healing properties. The bonuses aren’t game-changers, but these potions are another rare item to strive for while you continue to run along the loot treadmill.

Kanai's Cube (Added in update 2.3, August 2015)
Kanai’s Cube is arguably the biggest post-launch tweak the game has seen. This versatile object can be found in Adventure Mode, in Act 3’s The Ruins of Sescheron area. It has a host of recipes associated with it, which can be used in a variety of game-changing ways. You can transmute crafting materials from one type to another, remove minimum-level requirements for high-end gear, and make shortcuts to the game’s Vault and Cow levels. That’s great, but a trio of other powers are where it really shines.

Players can extract the special abilities associated with legendary items, and equip them as powers. Those powers are sorted into three categories – armor, jewelry, and weapons – and you can have one from each type active at any given time. The item is destroyed in the process, but it opens up much more flexibility when it comes to creating gear loadouts. For instance, you can activate the special ability from the Ring of Royal Grandeur, which reduces the number of items you need to wear to get a set bonus, while wearing two other rings. Or you can have your powerful main weapon equipped while enjoying the cow-summoning ability from the gimmick polearm Bovine Bardiche. 

Additionally, the cube makes it easier to acquire set items. One recipe upgrades rare items to legendary, with a chance of upgrading to a green. And if you have a nearly complete collection of set gear but doubles of something, you can reroll one of those duplicate items to something from the same set. Need the Jade Harvester helm, but have two pairs of the boots? Give the cube a shot.

Bounties (Added in Reaper of Souls expansion, August 2014)
Before the Reaper of Souls was released, players didn’t have a lot to do once they were done with the game’s campaign. Sure, you could walk around Sanctuary and kill stuff, but it felt pretty aimless. Fortunately, Blizzard had a solution: bounties. These simple, repeatable quests gave players goals, as well as some decent loot for helping to rid the world of monsters.

Players can look at their world maps in Adventure Mode, and they’ll notice certain zones have exclamation points on them. Those are where the bounties are. Each act has five active bounties at any given time, and players who complete them all get a special parcel of randomized loot. In addition, one world is flagged as a bonus, and completing the bounties there will score a bonus cache, too. In other words, you should beeline to the bonus stages, finish them up, and move on to the next bonus world.

Bounties can include things like defeating bosses from the campaign, killing all the enemies in a particular dungeon floor, or cleansing a cursed shrine. They add a sense of purpose to the end game, and the caches can include special crafting components that are required for Kanai’s Cube recipes. They’re well worth your time.

Rifts (Added in Reaper of Souls expansion, August 2014; updated consistently)
The Reaper of Souls expansion added Adventure Mode to the game, providing players access to randomized levels designed to be replayed. Players could also jump into rifts, which provided additional challenges. They’ve been redesigned and tweaked several times since being introduced, and it’s difficult (and ultimately pointless) to cover every change. All you need to know is they used to require keys to enter them, which were drops from completing bounties. 

Now you can simply pop open a Nephalem Rift at will by visiting an NPC in any of the towns. From there, you fill a meter up by killing enemies and collecting orbs that the elites drop. When the meter is filled, a random Rift Guardian boss comes into the game, and you have to destroy it. Play on the higher difficulty settings, and the Rift Guardian is likely to drop a Greater Rift keystone. These are used to open… Greater Rifts. These are similar to the Nephalem Rifts, with one key difference: They’re timed. You have 15 minutes to complete the rift and get the bonus. In keeping with the speed theme, enemies don’t drop any items, encouraging players to cruise through the rift as quickly as possible. Fail to do it in time, and you still get loot from the Rift Guardian. You just miss out on the legendary gem part, which is a bummer.

Legendary Gems (Added in update 2.1, August 2014)
Legendary gems are an important facet (snicker) of the endgame. These gems are awarded as a bonus for completing Greater Rifts. They have special abilities when socketed into jewelry (and in one case, weapons). For example, Enforcer adds bonus pet damage, while Bane of the Powerful adds a damage boost for a short period after defeating an elite enemy. Successful Greater Rift runs also let you upgrade these gems, with more challenging rifts giving you better odds that the upgrade attempts will succeed. Gems have a special bonus that opens up when gems are leveled to 25, too, such as Enforcer reducing the amount of damage your pets take from enemies.  

Set Dungeons (Added in update 2.4, January 2016)  
Greens are the highest tier of loot in Diablo 3, representing sets of class-specific gear. Each class has several different suits to collect, with each one highlighting the various skill archetypes the classes represent. For instance, The Shadow’s Mantle set bonus activates all of the demon hunter’s shadow-power runes, emphasizing stealth, while Natalya’s Vengeance gives a damage bonus for the AoE Rain of Vengeance arrow barrage.

Earlier this year, players who were able to collect complete sets could access hidden set dungeons. These tricky challenges have special requirements to complete and master them. For instance, to successfully master the Natalya’s Vengeance set dungeon, you need to defeat all the monsters in the dungeon while keeping Rain of Vengeance activated for 90 seconds and not running out of the hatred resource. These aren’t procedurally generated, so players can memorize layouts and come up with strategies ahead of time.

Cosmetics (Added in update 2.4.1, April 2016)
The most recent update offered many of the usual rebalancing tweaks we’ve come to expect. It also included a bunch of new cosmetic upgrades and pets for players who like to make their characters stand out. I’ve only managed to find a lumpy new pet, but he’s a welcome change of pace from the spectral dog that’s been following me around for a few years. Getting a sweet-looking pair of wings is its own reward, but pets are actually kind of useful. They’ll dart around you, picking up piles of gold on your behalf. Not too shabby!

I’ve put a dozen or so hours into the game since the update, playing bounties and rifts, and that pet is the only new cosmetic that’s dropped. I’ve seen some pretty cool stuff online, and I’m excited to see what comes my way. That’s how they get you, after all. 

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Test Chamber – See One Of Clash Royale’s Crazy New Cards In Action

Clash Royale has been out for about a couple months now, and today marks the first major update the title has seen since global launch. The new update adds a new spectator mode, bumps up the drop rates of higher level chests, introduces new cards, and balances some of the existing cards.

Watch as Dan Tack unleashes one of the new legendary cards, Sparky, on my poor, unsuspecting deck. After the first match, stick around for a second match using the new spectator mode.

For more on Clash Royale, check out Dan's review.

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Blizzard Yanks Competitive Play Ahead Of Overwatch’s Open Beta

The newly introduced mode designed for hardcore fans will be
sitting out this week's open beta.

In a post on Battle.net,
Blizzard game director Jeff Kaplan explained that Overwatch's Competitive Play
mode will not be featured in the open beta, and will not be brought back until
sometime after the game launches. Kaplan says that the studio received a lot of
feedback on the mode during the closed beta and is temporarily pulling it from
the game to, "rework the system and make it better."

Competitive
Play
is meant as a destination for Overwatch's more serious players, allowing them to rank
up through a series of tiers and divisions over month-long seasons, similar to
Heroes of the Storm or Hearthstone. In its initial state, players needed to
reach level 25 before they could even participate in Competitive Play in the first
place, so its exclusion from the weeklong open beta isn't all that significant.
However, the fact that it won't be returning until after launch suggests the
mode may be undergoing significant changes.

Overwatch launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on May
24. The open beta is currently available to those who have pre-ordered the
game; everyone else can hop in starting on May 5, and play for free until May
9.

[Source: Battle.net]

 

Our Take
Blizzard excels at creating highly
polished and highly replayable experiences, and that takes a lot of time and
effort. If Blizzard felt Competitive Play wasn't up to snuff in its current
form, I'm sure they had their reasons, and I look forward to seeing what changes
they institute after launch.

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Is The Ratchet & Clank Movie Worth Your Time?

The Ratchet & Clank franchise has always made me think of the world of CGI animated film. When the original game debuted in 2002, many related it to a Pixar movie due to its fun characters, alien worlds, and attractive, colorful visuals. After the franchise continued to find success, an animated film adaption seemed guaranteed. It took a little while, but it finally happened and it’s in theaters now. But it’s not a film I eagerly recommend.

My daughter is four and not familiar with the games, but was enamored by the initial trailers for the movie. When I brought the latest game home, she was excited to play it with me and frequently asked when we could see the film. I bring up her excitement because one of the most damning things I can say about Ratchet & Clank is how little she reacted while watching it in the theater. She laughed maybe twice, didn’t ask any questions about what was happening, and just sat there stoically, carefully munching on popcorn. She said she liked it as we were leaving, but hasn’t mentioned the film or asked any questions about it since leaving the theater.

A four-year-old’s second-hand review aside, the movie’s big problem is it feels sterile. None of the characters are particularly attached to their motivations, and all of the jokes feel forced. The most engaging characters are the titular Lombax and robot, but they don’t change at all during the film. It hints at a lesson about the danger of seeking fame for the sake of fame (a worthy course for young, modern viewers) as Ratchet’s popularity in the world skyrockets after saving the city, but it never amounts to anything. The duo are stars of the film almost exclusively by virtue of screen time. The only character who seems to have an arc is Captain Qwark, and his lesson about loyalty is severely undercut by his tired shtick. He is a one-note character – and not a particularly funny one.

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Ratchet & Clank also does nearly nothing in the way of setting up plot devices to be later explored, despite myriad opportunities to do so. A montage of Ratchet using weapons early on while training could have easily been used to set up a fight later, but during the final confrontation Ratchet pulls a collection of weapons and items from seemingly nowhere. Another squandered opportunity to set up a premise is related to the movie’s most imposing villain, the evil robot Victor Von Ion, voiced by Sylvester Stallone. His weakness is both revealed and executed in the same scene. It’s a small plot point, but one that shows each scene feels as though it was developed on its own, without any regard for the grander vision.

The film does get Ratchet & Clank and their world right, even if the versions we see here are not particularly interesting. The specific nods to the game are also done in a non-obtrusive way that won’t distract newcomers, but will give fans something to keep an eye out for. Also, a blink-and-you-miss-it reference to Jak & Daxter and Sly Cooper appears, and it was nice to see the acknowledgement of Ratchet & Clank’s peers.

Should You See Ratchet & Clank?
You’re better off playing the new game. The movie feels like an extension of the universe, but a very bland chapter that reveals nothing about the characters you don’t already know, regardless of your history of the games. The film demonstrates a clear understanding of the experiences that birthed the franchise, and from an optimistic standpoint it makes me think maybe the days of cheap Uwe Boll-style film adaptations of game franchises are behind us. Taken as a film though, and not a qualified adaptation of a video game, Ratchet & Clank does nothing to make the characters more appealing than they already are in video game form.

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See Fire Emblem Fates’ Upcoming Map Pack 2 DLC In Action

Fire Emblem Fates is getting another injection of DLC starting on Thursday, and a new trailer shows off what to expect.

You can check out the trailer below which shows off some of the new maps and story that will be part of the DLC, which will be available for either Conquest or Birthright.

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The first of a planned seven add-ons releases Thursday. You can find the schedule below.

  • May 5 – June 9 – Map Pack 2 ($ 7.99)
  • May 5 – I: In Endless Dreams (49 cents)
  • May 12 – II: Realms Collide ($ 1.99)
  • May 19 – III: The Changing Tide ($ 1.99)
  • May 26 – IV: Light's Sacrifice ($ 1.99)
  • June 2 – V: Endless Dawn ($ 1.99)
  • June 9 – End: Lost in the Waves ($ 1.99)

For more on Map Pack 2, head here. For our reviews of Birthright and Conquest, follow the links.

[Source: Nintendo on YouTube]

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