Master of The Free World Productions | Jumpcut Entertainment Network

Rogue One Takes On SDCC With Exclusive Jyn Erso Figure, Giant Lego Death Trooper

Rogue One is making a splash at San Diego Comic Con. Though no new merchandise is being announced on the show floor, attendants will be able to grab an exclusive Jyn Erso figure that was revealed last weekend at Star Wars Celebration.

The protagonist of Rogue One is getting The Black Series treatment, a high quality line of Star Wars figures, and the Comic-Con exclusive pack comes with extra goodies. In addition to multiple blasters and a hooded cloak, the Jyn Erso pack includes four photo cards depicting scenes from the film. Get a better look at the figure below.

This figure joins the previously announced Kylo Ren and Obi-Wan Kenobi figure packs that will be available at San Diego Comic-Con. However, fans will be able to grab a limited number of these figures online after the convention on the official Hasbro shop. Action figures aren't the only presence Star Wars has this weekend though, as a giant Lego Death Trooper is standing watch over the show floor. Our own Brian Shea is at Comic-Con snapped an image of the soldier seen here.

For more of the best Comic-Con merchandise, check out our recent feature. Rogue One hits theaters on December 16.

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13 Of The Coolest Exclusive Toys Coming To San Diego Comic-Con

A collector’s paradise, San Diego Comic-Con is the stop for exclusive pop-culture goods. With this year’s con kicks off on July 21, so we gathered up some of the coolest exclusive toys you’ll be able to pick up on the show floor. From Simpsons to Star Wars, from reality television to comic books, this year is bound to have at least one toy for everyone.

The Simpsons Mr. Sparkle 7” Medium Figure
A combination of a lightbulb and a fish, Mr. Sparkle shares a close resemblance to Springfield, USA’s most famous man, Homer Simpson. Kid Robot will be bringing this exclusive figure to San Diego this month, pre-orders are open now.

Terminator 2 T-1000 Figure
NECA Toys hasn’t released much information about this figure yet, aside from announcing its existence on Twitter. But expect to see more of him on the SDCC show floor.

Super Powers Micro Figure 3 Pack
Gentle Giant has this classic take on DC’s most popular heroes available for pre-order now, however you must be a Premium Guild member to order. These are remakes of the popular 1984 Kenner figures.

Chewbacca McQuarrie Concept 1:6 Scale Mini Bust
This bust of Ralph McQuarrie’s early designs for Chewbacca from Gentle Giant is unfortunately sold out at this time, but it’s still worth a look to see this excellent recreation of what one of Star War’s most famous characters could have looked like. 

Kidrobot Exclusive Bebop 
Kidrobot is bringing this awesome Bebop figure from the Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series to the show floor. It costs $ 40.

Kylo Ren And Obi-Wan 6-Inch Figures
Hasbro will be bringing these Kylo Ren and Obi-Wan figures to the convention, costing $ 34.99 and $ 44.99 respectively. The Obi-Wan comes with a small replica of a Princess Leia hologram definitely makes the cooler of the two. 

Check out page two for even more cool toys.


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Loot Crate Reveals Exclusive Halo Figure

Loot Crate and 343 Industries have shown off an exclusive Halo figure. It is available to order now.

The figure (shown above) will come in the upcoming Loot Crate Legendary Crate, an offering based around the Halo series every other month. Orders can be placed at the link.

Representatives from both Loot Crate and 343 will be speaking about their partnership at a panel during this week's RTX conference on Saturday at 5pm central time. The conference can be streamed at Halo's Twitch channel.

Loot Crate recently launched a service called "Loot Crate Gaming," centered around gaming collectibles.

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Hasbro Announces Two New Star Wars Figures Exclusive To Conventions

Hasbro revealed today new Kylo Ren and Obi-Wan Kenobi action figure packs. They are exclusive to Star Wars Celebration and San Diego Comic Con, respectively.

The six-inch Kylo Ren is $ 34.99 and comes with a stand, banner, and Darth Vader's mask. It can be bought at the Forbidden
Planet booth #S1003. Star Wars Celebration is in London from July 15 to July 17.

The six-inch Obi-Wan figure runs $ 44.99 and includes two lightsabers, a light-up table, and a Princess
Leia hologram. The figure is available at San Diego Comic Con (July 21 and July 24). A limited amount are available afterwards at Hasbro's Shop website. The figure is also available at the Fan
Expo Canada (September 1 and September 4). Check out the figures below.

Speaking of Star Wars and toys, make sure to read our review of the recent Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

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Nintendo And Vans Team Up For Exclusive Line Of Nintendo-Inspired Shoes

Nintendo has announced a partnership with the shoe company Vans to produce a line of footwear inspired by classic Nintendo properties. The line is set to launch on June 3.

Shoes based on the Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Duck Hunt, and The Legend of Zelda series will come in different styles, like high-top and slip-on. Co-branded apparel like t-shirts, backpacks, and socks will also be available.

More information on the collaboration will be available on Vans' website.

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Netflix Adding Disney, Pixar, Star Wars, And Marvel Movies Through Exclusive Deal This Fall

Netflix has announced that it will become the "the exclusive US pay TV home of the latest films from Disney, Marvel, Lucasfilm and Pixar" this fall. That means that fans of Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the countless classics from Disney and Pixar can look forward to getting more bang for their buck with their Netflix subscriptions this fall.

While the blog post doesn't detail exactly what titles are coming to the streaming service, the fact that Netflix is now the exclusive partner of Disney for this brand of streaming would lead you to believe that the roster of films will be robust. The only hint of what content subscribers might be able to look forward to could be the word "latest," which could mean more recent titles – or it could just be marketing lingo.

Either way, this September should see a healthy addition to its library of popular movies this fall. In addition, Netflix announced that films such as the Jurassic Park trilogy, The Big Short, Back to the Future, and The Fast & the Furious would be coming to the service throughout the summer months.

[Source: Netflix]

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Exclusive Video And Details For Halo 5’s Infection Mode

Halo’s Infection mode, the fan-created multiplayer variant that eventually became a true Halo mode, is coming to Halo 5: Guardians this month. The mode plays out as humans-versus-zombies outbreak with infected players attempting to grow their numbers by taking out the opposite team, who is simply trying to survive. For its Halo 5 iteration, 343 is going above and beyond to make the mode stand out as more than just a variant playlist, with three modified maps, a multitude of aesthetic changes, and more customization options than those available in Halo 4.

343 Industries passed along a video from community coordinator John Junyszek and multiplayer engineer Geoff Landskov detailing some of the ways this version of Infection differs from Halos past while showing off some gameplay. We also had a chance to speak with Junyszek and Landskov about how different the maps are and how much balance has been taken into account when considering Halo 5’s abilities.

You can check out the video below, and Infection will arrive alongside the free Memories of Reach update coming later this month.

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Game Informer: How have the maps been changed for Infection?
John Junyszek: For the dev maps we “infected,” it was actually my hack-a-thon project that I pretty much just did on the side, and I developed certain rooms with longer hallways, put in cover for zombies to be able rush down those longer hallways and I tried to change up the layout as much as I could and make it suited for Infection.

One of my things, back in the day before I even started working here was, playing a lot of Infection and even doing a little bit of YouTube videos for Halo Infection, so I felt like I was probably one of the more prepared people to make these kind of infected maps so I just put it upon myself to go ahead and “infect” them.

So this was your project for 343’s hack-a-thon? That’s where everyone pursues their own project for a short period of time in order to foster new ideas, correct?
Junyszek:
We had one, but it wasn’t really official. I just sort of did it while everyone was doing their own hack-a-thon. There was a 343 official one, but I just did mine to sort of go with the spirit of it.

Geoff Landskov: We basically had a full week to do whatever project we wanted, so we got a lot of really good things out that, one of them being the new Infection maps.


Plaza's Forge-infected dev map will be called Nerve Center, while Overgrowth's variant will be called Malignent.

Can you give us specific change examples? How is R.I.P. Tide different from Riptide?
Junyszek:
I put cages in certain rooms, l blocked of a couple pathways to make dead ends that players could hold out. One of the other things is bottom middle – I put up bars so that blocks off anyone traversing through bottom middle, but it is also a good holdout spot, so if a player wants to hold out down there, they are dedicating to that one spot, and the bars allow zombies to smack him if they want to wait for guys to go all the way back to the bars. Then they can hit them. And then you also have the fact that he’s holding out in a tunnel and he’s fighting off through this one area and trying to make his last stand. It’s a bunch of little spots like that scattered throughout all these maps, especially the ones I made. That’s just one example.

Have the core shapes of these maps changed?
Junyszek: It’s all Forge. It’s not actual dev work on the map. It’s placing objects to make the hallways longer or adding cover to those hallways. They all have a different aesthetic than they normally do.

Landskov: They have a green tint, and they all look kind of dreary compared to their normal counterparts. It’s mostly the fog and the screen-space coloring feels very different.

You mentioned in the video above that the HUD for the infected has changed?
Landskov:
The HUD is basically the same. It’s just a screen affect, which is the green veins coming around the sides. We wanted to make sure it was very obvious for players that were playing as infected characters. All the gameplay parts are the exact same.

What are some of the biggest surprises you came across while tweaking, adjusting, and playtesting for this version of Infection?
Landskov:
The biggest surprise for me was how opinionated everyone was about on what kind of abilities we should and shouldn’t have. We experimented a lot with abilities for infected players. The thrusters were a huge point of contention; actually, we’ve got multiple camps that like it both ways. We ended up going with it because it turns out most players aren’t at our pro team’s caliber and they feel they have a lot better chances as infected players with thrusters. We experimented with doing sprint, but it felt like the infected didn’t really have a unique movement experience. It was a much more just traditional, “You are a zombie now,” but nothing has really changed about what you do.

You changed up the starting weapons. It seems like you want to move players away from using pistols at the start.
Landskov:
That was another point of contention. Most modes that we’ve released for Infection in previous games do have pistol starts, but they also didn’t have "our" pistol. What we really noticed in playtests was as infected, you could kind of get boxed in on your spawns and this would happen almost immediately because you’ve got a bunch of players, if they decide to set up correctly, all have pistols and can headshot you before you really make it too far out there. Where, if you have limited pistols on map – first it makes people actually move on the map and kind of go for new weapons. It turns out people prefer pistol over things like sniper, more shotgun ammo, or other power weapons throughout the map, because it is so good for lining up headshots when we have no shields for infected. We really, really wanted to increase the movement around map and also decrease the frustration players were having who were getting head-shotted over and over again.

The alpha infected are invisible. Did this dramatically change the balance of the mode?
Landskov:
They’re partially invisible and play a little bit stealthier. What we’ve noticed with alphas especially, is they do a really good job sneaking up on people over-relying on their radar. The alphas can take advantage of that at certain places, but I would say we don’t notice too many changes in player behavior, except in the beginning part.

Is there a fear of them being overpowered by staying off the radar?
Landskov:
It has stayed balanced in terms of how many human surviving rounds we want, which is relatively low. We want it to be a unique experience where you did something really right to be able to survive the entire round. In terms of that it has worked pretty well. I would say we haven’t really noticed the alpha infected being the reason people die as the game goes on. They usually die just because of getting overwhelmed by too many zombies after the first few deaths, I’d say.

Junyszek: The alpha-zombie traits are just there to help them get started, get those first initial infections, and make sure the game doesn’t stagnate right at the start.

Junyszek mentioned playing Infection on YouTube prior to working at 343. What is your history with the mode, Landskov?
Landskov:
It was probably my favorite mode in previous Halos to play socially, just because I really enjoy getting a game of Infection going. It’s something I am passionate about. Probably not at the same level as John [Junyszek], but it’s something I definitely sought out and enjoy working on it.

The best part, for me especially, are the custom games you can get from having a base infection mode. All the crazy stuff people have created in previous Halos – I really wanted to enable as many of these as possible in our engine. That is kind of the big high-level approach I took, and then also adding an Infection game mode is always really fun. A Lot of people are really passionate about it, myself included.

Considering its popularity, why hasn’t Infection been there from the start?
Landskov:
We had so many game modes we wanted to get out [at launch] and we did have a lot of changes we made for this engine that stopped us from being able to directly be able to port game variants over. We also just wanted to make sure we had a fully thought-out experience instead of just enabling some kind of free-for-all mode that sort of looks like Infection, but doesn’t reach parity with previous Halos. We wanted to make sure we had a good experience for players.

Can you go through some of the planned customization options?
Landskov:
The one I am probably most excited about is the surviving points over time. That’s something we haven’t had in previous Halos and when making a few custom game modes, it ended up being really fun and changed the way you play Infection. Right now, it’s mostly about getting points from killing zombies or becoming last man standing rather than focusing entirely on the survival aspect. We wanted to make sure we had the tools to make sure we could do that in custom game modes, and of course include one of these in the future in our playlist, once we see how the community feels about them and what kind of things they produce.

We wanted to include toggle-able infected effects. We know in halo 4, people were really annoyed that they couldn’t actually disable those. If you were playing Infection, you basically had to play our fully customized version of Infection. We wanted to make absolutely sure we disabled those. We added a few extra features like enable and disable last man standing nav points, convert on suicide option – all pretty standard stuff.

The other thing we changed was multiple last Spartan standings. Instead of just having a single one every single time, we wanted to make sure you could have a last squad standing so you could have two or three people holding out and get the last man standing bonuses. Although, that did exist in Master Chief Collection, as well.

In the standard upcoming Infection playlist, will the last man standing bonuses be consistent?
Landskov:
It will always be the same thing for each game variant. Since we’re launching with just one version of Infection, it will always be two swipes to kill, increased reload speed, and unlimited ammo.

Junyszek: The last man standing takes two hits as opposed to just one sword hit and he’s done and converted. He actually gets another chance.

For our review of Halo 5: Guardians, head here.

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An Exclusive Look At Dishonored 2′s Breathtaking Concept Art

Concept art usually helps a team dream up a fictional world, but the sketchings and paintings are usually strikingly different from the final digital renderings. Arkane Studios, on the other hand, aims to narrow that gap. The Dishonored franchise has a unique and stylized look, born from its team of visionary artists.

At the beginning of Dishonored 2's development, art director Sébastien Mitton recruited talented artists such as Jean-Luc Monnet, Sergey Kolesov, and Piotr Jablonski. Together this team has produced a wealth of visual inspiration. Here’s a brief taste of some of the team's most impressive works.


The team didn’t seek inspiration from other games. Instead, Arkane looked to master artists in the fields of paintings and sculptures. As part of the character creation process, the team contracted Lucie Minne to mold several physical clay busts, which are now proudly displayed around the office. These busts – as well as several other concept pieces – actually went on display at the Art Ludique in Paris.


This ship is called the Dreadful Wale,
and it is the new hub that players return to after each mission. Your
chosen hero will have their own room, and there are even a few narrative
beats to explore in this hub. The classic paddle steamer served as an
inspiration for the Wale, which is powered by whale oil. Players can go into the engine room and see the mechanics of how it works.


Emily’s
Far Reach ability is more than just a transportation spell; it can be
used to bring enemies and objects to her. This early “storyboard” sketch
shows how the power can be used to perform assassinations on distant
enemies.


Dunwall
had a decidedly U.K. feel, but for the new city of Karnaca, Arkane
found a design that was more in line with southern Europe and the
Mediterranean coast. You’ll notice that many of the buildings have flat
roofs and more ornate windows as is the case in cities like Barcelona.
The team also used reference photos from places like Malibu, Cuba, and
even Arkane’s hometown of Lyon, France while building out the new city.

To help establish an old historic feel for the city of Karnaca, Arkane looked at old photography from different countries from the 1920s. However, the game is set up in a time period that would be roughly equivalent to the Earth’s 1850s. For references, they used websites like Shorpy.com and looked at the work of Augustin Casasola – the founder of Mexico’s first press agency. Even though the game is full of fantastical elements, the city has a grounded feel as if it could be a real place.


The team wanted to infuse the world of Dishonored with its own unique culture and art. Case in point, this striking image from Piotr Jablonski doesn’t imagine a particular scene from the game. Instead, it is a painting that can be found within the game world that depicts a folktale from the Empire.


Karnaca is facing a massive blood fly infestation, which is causing chaos in the city. Players will see posters like this scattered around the city, which helps flesh out the history of the world.


This is an arc pylon, a lethal defensive turret that can disintegrate anyone within a certain range that it doesn’t recognize as an ally.


This spacey concept piece imagines the Void, the alternate dimension where the godlike entity known as the Outsider resides. The Outsider has seen unspeakable horrors and has been trapped in the Void for thousands of years, which has had a significant impact on his mind.

Check in on our Dishonored 2 hub throughout the month for more features like this video profile on Dishonored 2’s gameplay, exclusive
information on Emily
and Corvo's revenge quest, and a breakdown of the powers and weapons at
their disposal. You can access the hub by clicking on the
banner below.

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Prepare For Battleborn’s Release With Our Exclusive Content Hub

Battleborn is out in just a couple days, and a great way to prepare for the release is to look back at our exclusive content hub from our August 2014 cover story.

Click here, or the banner below, to check out our collection of videos, features, and interviews surrounding Battleborn. These include our hands-on preview, an interview about why Gearbox went forward with Battleborn instead of Borderlands 3, and how the development team approaches comedic sci-fi.

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Battleborn releases May 3 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. Check out a trailer here.

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Exclusive Whispers Of The Old Gods Preview: Hearthstone’s Biggest Minion

Hearthstone's upcoming Whispers of the Old Gods expansion promises to shake things up when it drops in late April/early May, and today we have a few amazing cards to share with you, one of which is the biggest minion in Hearthstone history – a massive 30/30 monster that can kill an unarmored full-health hero in a single blow. Of course, getting this titan on the tavern table will be no easy task, but you never know what can happen as players find new ways to clone and tinker with the dangerous Blood of the Ancient One.

Hearthstone lead designer Ben Brode offered us some insight on Blood of the Ancient One and The Ancient One, but first let's take a look at the cards themselves.

While the conditions to get The Ancient One on board may be daunting, that is an unbelievable amount of power – almost a caricature of Hearthstone brute strength, and a dangerous win condition. Ben Brode answered a few questions for us about these upcoming cards.

GI: Can you provide insight into how these two cards were designed?

BB: Blood of the Ancient One – We wanted to give players who like crazy deckbuilding challenges a chance to see if they could get off a truly crazy combo.  It's not easy to sneak two 9-cost minions into play at once, but it seemed like a fun opportunity for creative deckbuilders to explore.  We also knew we wanted massive horrible monsters in Whispers of the Old Gods, and trying to find a way to include a 30/30 minion was a fun challenge for us.  If you can get it to go off, you have a good shot at ending the game.

What do you feel the competitive prospects are (if any) for these cards? 

Blood of the Ancient One is more of a fun deckbuilding challenge with a great story moment than a card that we think will dominate high-level tournaments, but we've had a lot of fun playing the card internally.  I'm excited to see what strategies players will discover for summoning the Ancient One!

How do these two cards fit in with the flavor of the set? 

The Old Gods, even while chained beneath the crust of Azeroth, led massive armies and empowered fearsome generals.  The Ancient One was vanquished long ago, but it's hard to keep the minions of the Old Gods down, and with enough of its blood, you can herald the return of the Old Gods' greatest creation!

How do you feel about creating what is essentially Hearthstone’s biggest minion to date?

Pretty good and pretty scared.  The Ancient One will take a decent amount of planning and setup to pull off, but when it happens, it’s going to be pretty scary.

 

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