Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Check Out Exclusive New Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Screens

A few days ago we announced that TT Games' return to Star Wars was our next cover-story game. Today, we're showing off some new and exclusive screens from the game, highlighting new and familiar faces (and places).

Take a look at the gallery for some shots from the upcoming game. You'll recognize locations including Jakku and Starkiller Base, along with heroes Rey, Finn, Han Solo, BB-8 and Chewbacca. You might notice a few moments from The Return of the Jedi in there, too. While the game features levels based on The Force Awakens and also some extra missions that canonically expand on the new movie's fiction, TT Fusion is also going back to Jedi in a special mission that features some of that film's biggest sequences.

As I wrote in the 12-page cover story, one of the most striking things about revisiting events from Return of the Jedi is seeing just how far TT Games' has come over the years. The battle against Emperor Palpatine was fairly boring in the original game, but it definitely gets its due in the new one.

Look for Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens on June 28 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, 3DS, Vita, and PC.

Be sure to come back to the site throughout the month for more exclusive features, interviews, and video content.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider, and the dubious benefit of a console exclusive

“Anything under $ 100 million for console exclusivity of Rise of the Tomb Raider is probably a bad deal for Square-Enix, and I doubt Microsoft paid anywhere near that amount.” …


Gamasutra News

Exclusive New Look At The Canceled Darth Maul Game

After suffering a fatal lightsaber wound against Obi-Wan Kenobi, Darth Maul plummeted to his death. No sane-minded theatergoer thought for a second that he may still be alive. With Maul's torso separated from his legs, George Lucas made it abundantly clear that Obi-Wan exacted revenge on this Sith Lord.

Seeing the coolest character in The Phantom Menace die angered fans. Their roar of disapproval was apparently heard loud and clear by Lucasfilm. Darth Maul didn't return in any of the sequel films, but he was resurrected in The Clone Wars cartoon. Much like Boba Fett surviving the Sarlaac Pit in Return of the Jedi, Darth Maul's return was clearly driven more by fan-demand than fiction that makes any lick of sense.

Nothing Darth Maul touches apparently stays dead. Years after LucasArts pulled the plug on a video game that would have placed the darkly tattooed Sith Lord in the spotlight (you can read about it here), game creator Red Fly Studio is still working on the project in secret, which was recently outed in a Reddit AMA by the studio's founder, Dan Borth. Much of Red Fly's continued work ties in with other projects that cannibalize gameplay mechanics and systems from Darth Maul, but from time to time, people on staff add a little something to the Sith Lord's adventure. The team even ported the project to Unreal 4 to see what the game would look like on modern consoles. The pictures in this article are all taken from the new-gen port.

In October, I talked to Borth about the studio's continued work on Maul, but ended up sitting on the interview when I learned that he would soon be talking to Lucasfilm. Rather than scrapping the interview, which illuminates the team's passion for a project they can't let go of, I've included it here. Following this chat, I caught up with Borth again in December, where he spoke about his conversation with Lucasfilm and the fate of the project.

September 2015 Interview:

The Darth Maul project was canceled years ago by LucasArts, yet here you are working on it again. Why go back to a project that likely won’t get green lit again by Lucasfilm or EA?
When we were working on the project, we developed a number of systems – a combat system that was very robust, A.I. systems, and a variety of other systems. When our game got canceled, we didn’t want all that work to go to waste, so we just kept developing those systems. It wasn't specifically for Darth Maul, but it grew into other stuff like Dawn of Fire, a game we are working on now. Whenever we bring the system forward, Maul just comes along whether he likes it or not.
 
In the back of our minds, we always had a little candle on for Maul. Who knows what's going to happen with it? We knew we probably would never get to make the game again, but this little candle always was back there, and every once in a while, in our off, off, off time, we would go back to [the game] because it's fun and we have a passion for it. We continue the project for that little, small ray of hope. We didn't have anything planned really, we just thought maybe, just maybe, it could live again and we picked at it here and there.
 
But we knew it was dead. For some reason, everyone at the studio just kind of operated that way. And every time I'd say “Hey, maybe I'll take this to EA, or maybe we'll talk to Disney, if the opportunity presents itself." We mentioned it to a few people over at [EA], but it never went anywhere, so it wasn't like we were trying to do anything specific. It’s just the way we work; whenever we bring new systems in, we always update as much as we can with the old stuff because we never know when we're going to reuse it.
 
You are making this on the side of your core business of making games for other publishers. How much time are you devoting to it?
Yes, but we make lots of stuff that never goes anywhere while working on production for games. It’s a necessity for a small studio,or you get caught with nothing at the end of production – which of course has happened to us. I have Wii demos of Batman: Arkham Asylum and Devil May Cry that people said couldn’t be done on that console. They would blow people away. They just sat there on the shelf for years, even when the Wii was popular. So it’s not uncommon for us to do at all – the short answer is we pick at it here and there as a passion project, but we don’t let it get in the way either.
 
How much of the Darth Maul project was completed when you were working on it with LucasArts?
Well, that's a loaded question. It's hard to say. We did so much work, but not all of it was used, and it was spun around in so many circles. We also went down rabbit holes we shouldn’t have which was our fault as well. We had developed systems that eventually didn’t make it into the game because they didn’t fit, not necessarily because those said systems were bad. We had a combat system that had the player hitting back laser bolts and controlling them like you would a tennis ball. We literally were creating all sorts of stuff because we didn't know what it would be. And some of this stuff was our idea, but most of it was just LucasArts telling us "You need to prove this to us,” and we would go through the process of doing that. It was fun and frustrating at the same time.


(click to enlarge)

The internet has taken to you guys as the, "little studio that could." Star Wars fans want to see this game get made. Has that tidal wave of support changed your efforts at this point? Are you considering doing more?
I think we'd be stupid not to give it a shot, but in the real world, that doesn't really work out often. I think it would be great. The social media groundswell was completely unintended. We didn't expect any of it. Now people are obviously interested in this game, and we'd like to show them what we have been picking at since it was canceled – moving things into Unreal 4, experimenting, stuff like that. When you're building stuff, and when you're building prototypes, the easiest thing to do is to use what you have on the shelf. We've already got Darth Maul skins and things like that, so sometimes we use that for prototypes, instead of building a character from scratch. What ends up happening, unintentionally, is that all the Maul stuff just gets sharper, and sharper, and sharper because you're building all these prototypes, and you're forced to clean up your crap from last time. We've come quite a long way, but we really don't know what to do at this point. It's clear people are interested, which we love, and we want to keep that going, but I don't know what we should be doing, what the next steps are since this is a unique situation.
 
There were roughly 85 people working on this game, millions of dollars funneled into it. You clearly didn't want to lose that. How much of that those past efforts of your staffers are factoring into what you're doing now? Is that work something you're trying to bring forward?
From our perspective, we have so much on the shelf, and it makes business sense to at least link up at some point and show people what we can do and what we have. Although it's not a completed game by any stretch of the imagination, millions of dollars have gone into it. How we assemble those things, how do we polish those things, those are all conversations to have, hopefully. That’s if it ever goes anywhere. Let's just say we never banked on this happening. Otherwise, we could have been much smarter about it. I mean, oh my god, who holds a Reddit on a Saturday night? Only an idiot like me holds a Reddit AMA on Saturday night.
 
Why did you do the Reddit AMA?
I'm sitting there on Friday watching Rick & Morty, and my friend texts me, and says, “Hey, man, are you seeing what I'm seeing on Reddit?” I'm like “Dude, I'm 43 years old, what's Reddit?” And he goes, “Get on there! They're talking about your Darth Maul game.”
 
I jump on there, and apparently some people got together and just started talking about the game. It built up momentum, and I think it made it on Reddit’s front page. It was pretty big. I started reading it, and people had all these assumptions and questions. I thought I would just hop on and clear some things up, and then most  of them responded with: “Who the hell are you?” They then asked for me to do an AMA. I went through the arduous task of understanding Reddit in an hour while I took my kids to a bouncy house, and decided “Okay, I guess I'll launch this thing around four or five on Saturday.” A lot of people wanted to know stuff, so I answered them.
 
How many of you are working on the project right now?
Nobody really. I have guys polishing some stuff whenever we have some down time. These are some of the things that no one has seen that we've been working on for the past year and a half or maybe even longer. The only time we ever really talked to anyone at EA was back before the next-gen consoles were going to hit and their concern was, “Oh, this looks cool, but it's not next-gen." We, since that point, have been polishing things up to be next gen, and really haven't talked to anyone about it since.
 
Did EA reach out to you after the AMA went viral?
No.
 
How far do you go with the game if you don’t hear from EA, Disney, or Lucasfilm?
I don't know. Should we keep going? I mean, wouldn't that be dumb if we did that?
 
You keep going back to it. Maybe the better question is: Can you stop making it?
The best analogy I can make is that we dated this girl, we really loved her, we broke up, we're heartbroken, and we have this little candle on for her forever, and we know it's probably not going to work out, but we'd like to ask her out one last time. And we'd like her to say, “No. Dan, stop. This is never going to happen.” At least for our sanity's sake, we can move on. What happened with the whole [cancellation], nobody told us anything. They didn't tell us anything. So if you are like me and I hope you aren’t – that would drive you nuts.
 
To use your analogy, the girl – who is LucasArts – sent you a termination letter. They broke up with you.
True, but no one told us what was going and why. We were in the dark, and then it happened. Then people involved left Lucas Arts and then Lucas sold his company. Only years afterwards did we hear that that was the reason. I guess we wanted to know what we did wrong, and if we could fix it. The lack of information just made it worse.
 
It sounds like the termination happened right when George Lucas sold his company to Disney. Basically two big tidal waves crashing on top of you. Had you guys been making this game three years earlier, it sounds like it would have seen the light of day. Now that Disney has control over it, and George Lucas no longer has his hand in the Star Wars pot, what vision would you go for with this Darth Maul game? George spun your vision to oddly include Darth Talon, right?
Look at what Disney is doing with Marvel, and look at what they're doing with the [Star Wars] stories in the comics. They would know what the best story is for Darth Maul. Whether they agree with me or not, I don't know, but in my opinion the most powerful story is his origin story. I really like the stuff they did in Clone Wars. You have these characters in the films who really aren’t explained or written too well, and then the Clone Wars writers made them interesting. Even Count Dooku. I mean, good god. This guy is the worst, and then you start watching Clone Wars and you go, "Okay. There's a lot going on with him. That's cool.” Obviously it's not up to me or Red Fly, but if this project ever gets turned on again, I think their instincts for story and character would make the best product.
 
As far as Talon goes, yeah, she was added at the end which made things difficult. She’s a popular character and she exudes sex appeal. For a more mature title I can see why she would be considered. Her timeline and Maul’s didn’t line up at all, but that was one of the issues we were working out and we were very encouraged when there was talk about getting the story from some of the Clone Wars writers. But that didn’t really materialize.
 
Are you going to release assets to the public? Perhaps get Star Wars fans involved?
No one's told me not to. I don't see the harm in it, but at the same time, we're not out to cause any problems. The reality is we were making this game before EA owned the rights, and before Disney owned the IP. It's not like we just decided,  "Oh, we're going to make a Star Wars game. Let's pressure people."


 
You guys already have one Star Wars game under your belt.
Yes, we made Force Unleashed II for the Wii. We did that game in nine months –- from contract to gold master. We murdered it. Nobody really knows how that production went. Only LucasArts knew, and we ended up outperforming the 360 and PS3 versions Metacritic-wise. Of course, the Wii started its decline right about that time – so more bad timing. After proving what we could do, there was talk about a Force Unleashed III but it never came around. Apparently it was very expensive to make the console versions so they opted not to. When the Maul idea started, they pinged us for it since we had proven what we could do with a tight schedule. 
 
In this day and age, fan-created content is everywhere. You see fan-made Star Wars movies popping up all the time for free. They're not making money off of these things. Is that something you are thinking about?

You could do that and you could say, “Well, this is what we're doing. We're going to make a vertical slice, and hopefully the powers that be will like it, and it will get done.” And you can do that without asking for their opinion or permission. I'm sure that would really piss everyone off, and I completely get that, but this is a business. I’ve seen it work that way before. We could wrap up a small version of the game, and put it out as a fan game but that would be pretty tough. 
 
Why not repurpose what you've made into something similar to Darth Maul, but set in a new universe?
Yeah, you can go to Marth Daul. It could be the adventures of Marth Daul. [laughs] We've repurposed this over and over again. The combat mechanic is our main mechanic here. We've done RPGs, we've done fighting. There's just a limit to what you can repurpose and people say, “This is clearly Star Wars. This is clearly Darth Maul.” From a tech perspective, one of the reasons it is so far along is because we have been repurposing it, and it just gets sharper and sharper. We have shipped games with this combat system, so we know it works. We know we can punch it through.
 
But those games are nothing like Star Wars. I’m talking more along the lines of Inafune moving from Mega Man to Mighty No. 9. People don't know you're repurposing this stuff for other games.
I'm not that guy. Nobody knows Red Fly. They'd know Inafune without Mega Man. He could jump on Kickstarter and just say, "Hey, I've got this idea." And it could be the dumbest idea ever, and he’d get money. I don’t see us being able to do that.
 
They know why you are now. They're paying attention.
Yeah, but I couldn't go to Kickstarter and say, “Hey, let's all raise money for Marth Daul.” The interest is in Darth Maul and Star Wars. That's where the interest is. I'm with you. I think we could do something like that. I'm not very interested in that.
 
You just want to do Darth Maul.
Yeah. Otherwise I'll go do another game. I don't want to fake it. I don't want to make a fake Darth Maul game. That is completely not interesting to anyone or me on the team. If I went back and said, “Hey, we've got a million dollars to make this Darth Maul game, but it's not Darth Maul,” they'd be like, "Ahhhh, oh my god. What?" We wouldn't be doing this on our own time if we weren't passionate about it.
 
I think I speak for everyone when I say best of luck to you guys. Everybody wants more Star Wars experiences, especially one like this. A game centered on a villain like Darth Maul is intriguing. You guys had a vision for it, and bringing a new Star Wars experience to gamers is never a bad thing. I hope you get to make it or get the closure you need.
We hope so too. People just need to understand that this whole thing happened organically. Yes, we're picking at it. I think everybody would really get a kick out of seeing where we're at. Some of the stuff looks amazing. Of course, we'd love to do it. But you know, EA has their plan for moving forward. Does it include Darth Maul or not? I don't know. Does it include use or not? I have no idea. From a business perspective, thinking, "Well, this is a high-quality digital title that is not going to cost that much money. It's kind of a wildcard. Can you fit it in? Anywhere in your slate?" I would think that that's a pretty flexible thing to do. Things are going to slip. Why not use something like that? Why wouldn't they do the something with Maul? I don't know. It's difficult to actually have these things work out. We're willing to show people where we're at. Hopefully, we get into a conversation with the people who can make decisions and see what they think. At the very least.


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Kojima Productions is reborn as an indie studio working on a new PS4 exclusive

Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima has confirmed that PlayStation is collaborating with Kojima’s newly-formed indie studio, Kojima Productions, on the development of a new PS4-exclusive game. …


Gamasutra News

Get Ready For Just Cause 3 With All Of Our Exclusive Coverage

Just Cause 3 appeared on our December 2015 cover and it releases on Tuesday. Now's the perfect time to catch up on all of the features that resulted from our coverage.

You can click here, or on the banner below, to read features, watch videos, and listen to podcasts all about the next entry in Rico's explosive life. We have interviews with the developers, details on how Rico has changd for the sequel, discussions about multiplayer's place in the series, as well as a list of Avalanche's favorite Just Cause 2 mods.

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Just Cause 3 releases Tuesday, December 1 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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Exclusive Eyes-On Impressions Of Quantum Break’s Live-Action TV Show

Quantum Break is doing something different than any modern narrative-focused game. The idea of segmenting gameplay with cutscenes between chapters is not new, but Quantum Break is opting for a live-action television show broken into a series of full-length episodes. Quantum Break is being built in Finland, but its television show is being created by Lifeboat Productions under the supervision of Remedy in the United States. During our visit to Remedy’s studio, we had a chance to see some extended clips of the show to get a better sense of how it will look and its role in the game.

For exclusive hands-on impressions of Quantum Break's gameplay, head here.

Kyle: We got to see a number of clips from the show in its current state, which is to say somewhat incomplete. The game is still months away, so the studio developing the show, Lifeboat, is still in production working on completing it in tandem with the work being done on the game. We saw an extended version of a scene shown briefly in a few trailers with Shawn Ashmore and Aiden Gillen talking to each other across a table in what appears to be some kind of prison cell, as well as a clip early in the game that overlaps with Ashmore’s character, Jack Joyce, getting a grasp on his powers.

Ben: That’s right Kyle, we saw those things with our eyes, and our eyes didn’t start bleeding. Honestly, I went into that portion of the demo expecting the worst. Video games don’t have a phenomenal track record incorporating live-action footage with gameplay, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. When the game was announced, I had flashbacks of old Sega CD games like Sewer Shark and Night Trap. Obviously, those games were super cheesy – and that’s part of their charm – but that definitely wouldn't fit with Quantum Break’s tone. Thankfully, after seeing a bit of the show, I can honestly say that it seems like they’re really going for it.

Kyle: Yeah, the actor performances are good. The scenes we saw were a bit overwrought, but there was definitely a level of intensity there proving the actors are taking this seriously. I get the impression they are approaching this as they would any film or television project. They’re not treating it as some weird video game thing. You can see and hear genuine respect for the material from their performances – even if it seems like it may be capable of going over the top at times.

Ben: I know what you mean. It seems like they have a pretty solid cast. I think Aidan Gillen is a good actor and I like Lance Reddick, who played Phillip Broyles on Fringe and Commander Zavala in Destiny. They even got Dominic Monaghan (Lost, Lord of the Rings) for the game, but it seems he’s not actually in the show, just in the game. It makes me wonder if they spent their entire budget on the cast, because most of the sets we saw were pretty barebones.

Kyle: Yeah, some of the sets we saw looked like exactly that – a set or a soundstage, but I wouldn’t say it was to a distracting degree. I know something that is important to them is making sure the show and the game overlap smoothly. It’s probably hard to scout for a location that has already been created in a video game, so they had to build everything rather than find it. They told us a funny story about sending off an incomplete build of an environment for the show makers to recreate. However, Remedy had not finished creating this one lamp in the environment, so it appeared as a white box. When the show makers created the environment they were so thorough that they even built the white box to make sure the game and the show looked as close as possible.

Ben: Exactly Kyle! I also liked how the show ties back into the game. During one scene we saw two of Monarch's agents face off against each other. The action was getting heated, and they both pulled guns on each other then suddenly their guns disappeared. I know you were like, “What! that’s not normal.” But I was like, “Don’t worry, Kyle, I think they’ll explain this.” Then later on, when we were playing the game, we saw this same scene from Jack’s perspective. In the game, you witness a stutter and see how Jack uses it to break out of the back of a van they had him locked in. He discovered the two agents facing off against each other, paused because of the stutter, and he steals their guns. I really wanted him to tie their shoelaces together, but that wasn’t an option.

Kyle: Yeah, it was weird how I insisted on shouting out what I perceived as inaccuracies before they were resolved, but that's just sort of my thing. I should really just wait to see what is going to happen. One thing that irked me a bit, is how much profanity there was. It’s not that I dislike profanity, or find it inappropriate, it just felt like they were really trying to earn that mature tone by dropping as many f-bombs as possible – like a child trying to appear older than they are by using newly discovered bad language. To be fair, the scenes we saw were particularly intense, so I doubt the whole show so freely throws around bad language all the time, but in the isolated scenes we saw, I couldn’t help but notice.

Ben: One thing that surprised me the most about the show was the fact that there are only four episodes. They filmed several alternate versions of different scenes to account for the changes that will happen based on player choice, so even though we as the player only see those four episodes, Lifeboat probably did enough work to account for much more than that. Episode four has over forty variants, which sounds crazy, and I hope those changes actually make a big difference and it’s not just that one character has a black eye or not. I want these to be real important changes, which could be the case. In one of the scenes we saw a character die based on our choice, but in the alternate version of that scene she lives.

Kyle: Overall, I walked away impressed with the show. There is a very apparent level of excitement and respect for the show from both sides – the show creators and game creators. Those initial fears of a modern FMV game definitely fell to the wayside quickly, and I like seeing the overlap, like the one in the scene you referenced where the guns disappear, and we later find out why during gameplay. I'm still unsure of how well the game and show will transition into one another, as we only saw one example, but I am optimistic.

Ben: Agreed, which is why it seems all the more interesting that players will be able to skip past the show if they don’t want to watch it. I’d be interested to see how well Quantum Break’s story plays out if you skip the show entirely.

Kyle: It’s a Remedy game, a studio that has always valued story as much as every other aspect of its games, so you would certainly miss out on a huge element of the experience. I appreciate, however, that the option to focus purely on the gameplay, at the expense of playing through a strange disjointed story with huge gaps, does exist. I know I won’t be playing the game that way, personally, especially after getting a chance to see some of the show.

To learn more about Quantum Break, see new gameplay, and for features such as this 100 question interview with creative director Sam Lake, click on the
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Exclusive Hands-On Impressions Of Quantum Break’s Time-Warping Gunplay

During our trip to Finland to see Quantum Break, Remedy handed us the controller for a play session – the first for anyone outside of Remedy Games. Ben Reeves and I each played through the same sequence, which gave us a chance to solve a simple puzzle and get into some gunplay. The puzzle involved rewinding time in order to walk across a platform that had fallen, and the shooting involved taking on a handful of soldiers in a warehouse. Following our demo, we discussed our experience with the time powers and how they can be used to take on the villainous Monarch Solutions corporation.

Kyle: While we were in Finland covering Quantum Break, we both had a chance to play the game. It was actually the first time anyone outside of Remedy had gotten their hands on a controller to play. It was brief, but we played through an early combat scenario in a warehouse that offered different opportunities on how to approach the fight. 

Ben: Yeah. I think right off the bat we can say that you can’t do the Max Payne slow-mo dive and shoot, which is a little strange, because it would have been so easy to include. That said, I think they make good use of time and allowing players to do some interesting things with time manipulation. Did you have a favorite time power?

Kyle: My favorite was the one where you could create a bubble around an enemy that would pause time inside of it, and then you could load it with bullets, and then when the bubble popped (for lack of a better term) all the bullets would fly at the enemy all at once. Hitting an enemy with a whole bunch of bullets simultaneously is supremely satisfying.

Ben: Yeah, that’s a cool power. I also liked the power called Time Rush, which basically slows down time, letting you run like the Flash towards your enemies and then knock them out like Ali, before they even see you. In fact, most of the shootouts have this cat-and-mouse element to them. Every time you use your powers you disappear from the enemy’s view, so they’ll keep shooting at where you were while you’re lining up a headshot from behind them.

Kyle: One of the new powers we saw was the Time Vision, which isn’t necessarily combat focused, but has its uses in those situations.

Ben: I thought that was okay. It’s kind of like Batman’s detective vision. It highlights interesting objects and enemies within the environment. During one of the shootouts, I turned it on and it highlighted a bunch crates suspended over some enemies' heads. Guess what I did next?

Kyle: Pretended to be the pizza delivery guy and then kicked them in the junk?

Ben: No, you’re such an idiot, Kyle. I shot the cable holding up the crates and watched it drop on their dumb heads. Time Vision certainly isn’t a total game changer, but if it keeps highlighting cool opportunities like that I’ll probably use it to scout each environment before the action gets hot.

Kyle: There were two others, Time Dodge and Time Shield, which were fun to use, too. Dodge lets you zip around to avoid fire, and shield was the same concept as the bubble shield, but it created a shield for you. Those last two were particularly helpful in terms of keeping you from sticking behind cover. You can take cover, which happens automatically when you sidle up to a wall. Normally I like attaching to cover to be connected to a button, but it was clear quickly that with all those time powers at your disposal, you won’t be waiting behind a waist-high wall for the enemies to reload. I won’t, at least. I liked being able to blink in and out of the battlefield.

I will say that I didn’t feel like we got enough time to fully grasp the combat, which is not a knock against the game. In both Max Payne and Alan Wake, it took me a while to acclimate to the gunplay, and I feel that will be the case here. I got shot a lot during our playtime, but I could already tell that with a bit of practice and with a better understanding of the powers, it seems like you will be able to do a lot of cool stuff. Could you feel the Max Payne or Alan Wake influences creeping in at all?

To continue the conversation, head to page two


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Get Ready For Rise Of The Tomb Raider With All Of Our Exclusive Coverage

Rise of the Tomb Raider appeared on our March cover earlier this year and it releases on Tuesday. Now's the perfect time to catch up on all of the features that resulted from our coverage.

You can click here, or on the banner below, to read features, watch videos, and listen to podcasts all about Lara's continuing journey. We have interviews with the developers, details on Lara's evolution, inspirations for the sequel, as well as an interview with Camilla Luddington, who played Lara in 2013's Tomb Raider and is reprising her role for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

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Rise of the Tomb Raider releases November, 10 on Xbox One and Xbox 360.

 

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[Update] Limited Edition Fallout 4 Art Book Comes With Exclusive Concept Art Print

Bethesda is wrapping up its week of new Fallout merchandise with a limited edition art book. This upgraded version ships in a slipcase featuring an image of the game’s power armor.

It also comes with a 9”x12” concept art lithograph digitally signed by concept artist Ray Lederer. This version is limited to 5,000 pieces and will ship on December 22. 

You’ll also get a code for a digital version of the art book with your order. You can secure yours on the Bethesda Store website for $ 85 until supplies are depleted. 

It's always important to know what time it is in the wasteland. How else will you know if the mirelurks are biting? Oh. Because they are probably biting you. Our mistake.

The Vault-Tec watch shown above is limited to 1,500 pieces. The watch is made of stainless steel with a leather band. It’s water resistant to 300 feet, and the crystal is scratch resistant. Each is etched with an individual number on the back.

Unlike traditional watches, this one features a single hand. Each segment represents 15 minutes. You can purchase it here for $ 150, with shipping scheduled for November 9.

Today’s new piece of Fallout 4 merchandise is a messenger bag designed in the style of a Pip-Boy. As you can see above, the bag is printed on the interior as well.

The bag includes a padded laptop compartment that can support up to a 17-inch notebook. You can purchase it here for $ 68, with shipment estimated for November 9.

Update: This week is a challenging one for Fallout fans, as Bethesda is revealing a number of new items for sale. In addition to the controller that was made available this morning (below), you can consider dropping $ 130 on a big bundle with the strategy guide at its heart.

In addition to the hard-cover guide with an exclusive “soft touch” dust jacket, the Ultimate Vault Dweller’s Survival Guide bundle comes with:

  • A Nuka Cola bottle opener
  • Five magnetic bottle caps
  • A Nuka Cola embroidered patch
  • Seven lithographs
  • A poster-sized map of the Fallout 4 world
  • The Art of Fallout 4 2015-2016 calendar

You can order the bundle from the Bethesda Store. As a bonus, your wallet will become lighter and easier to sit on (metaphorically, of course, as the Bethesda Store takes credit card and not cash). 

Update (October 20, 2015, at 11:51 a.m. Central): The Bethesda Store (and other retailers) are listing today’s Fallout item. As we reported yesterday, you can purchase a wired Xbox One controller decorated in Fallout colors with the visage of Vault Boy.

It’s designed by PDP, comes with a 10-foot cord, and it’s priced at $ 59.99. It’s compatible with PC and features a 3.5mm headphone jack with volume controls on the surface. Apparently, that’s what the mystery button by the right thumbstick is (working in tandem with the D-pad, which bears volume and balance symbols).

The Fallout 4 controller will be out on November 10. You can check out at Bethesda's store.

 

Fallout fans have less than one month before returning to the wasteland. While you likely don’t need any reminder, Bethesda’s merch machine is spinning up to get you hyped nonetheless.

This week, you’ll be able to grab extremely limited numbers of some very specialized swag. The week kicks off with a t-shirt commemorating the Great War (pictured above). It’s available to order now through October 26.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, October 20, you’ll have a shot at one of 5,000 wired Vault Boy-themed Xbox One controllers. These feature a powder blue and yellow design scheme, as well as the visage of Fallout’s famous mascot.

You’ll also be able to get a messenger bag printed to look like a Pip-Boy, a Vault-Tec watch (limited to 1,500 pieces), and then a limited version of the art book (limited to 5,000 pieces). Check back each day on Bethesda’s storefront for the new items.

We'll update throughout the week as more items become available.

[Source: Bethesda Store via GameSpot]

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Rock Band 4 Gives Xbox One A Dozen Exclusive Pre-Order Songs

 

Pre-order Harmonix's Rock Band 4 on Xbox One through the console's online store and you'll get a dozen exclusive launch songs on the system.

The PlayStation 4 has its own exclusive pre-order songs as do retailers such as GameStop [Full Disclosure: Game Informer is owned by GameStop].

Rock Band 4 comes out for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on October 6. For a list of the game's tracklist so far, head here.

  • All That Remains – "What If I Was Nothing"
  • Babymetal – "Gimme Chocolate!!"
  • Earth, Wind & Fire – "September"
  • Interpol – "All The Rage Back Home"
  • Jefferson Starship – "Jane"
  • Linkin Park ft. Daron Malakian – "Rebellion"
  • Marilyn Manson – "The Mephistopheles Of Los Angeles"
  • Mastodon – "High Road"
  • My Morning Jacket – "One Big Holiday"
  • Pierce The Veil ft. Kellin Quinn – "King For A Day"
  • Weird Al Yankovic – "My Own Eyes"
  • The Wild Feathers – "Backwoods Company"

[Source: Harmonix]

 

Our Take
The wording that these songs are "available for free at launch" makes me think that they will be offered as paid DLC after launch.

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