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GI Show – Lego Star Wars, XCOM 2, Jesse Schell Interview

The sequel to Firaxis' kickin' sci-fi strategy game, XCOM 2, is the big release of the week and we're psyched to dish about it on this week's episode. Ben Reeves joins us to talk about his arduous trials fighting against his alien overlords. Matt Miller joins us to tell tales of his dog-eat-dog adventures in The Division's treacherous Dark Zone. The perpetually bearded Jeff Cork also offers some insight into Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and how it offers canonical bridges to gaps in the lore. Tim Turi is your host this week as Ben Hanson is out for gruesome reasons that we dive into on the podcast. 

We also return to answer your emails, which spark discussions about cool stuff like whether game reviewers hold rivalries and what awesome shows we've been watching. Jesse Schell of Schell Games also joins us for our final segment to talk about his James Bond-inspired VR game, I Expect You To Die, along with the lowdown on his cancelled Oregon Trail MMO.

Game Club Update: Due to unforeseen circumstances our first GI Game Club powwow about Final Fantasy VII will be delayed until next week. To find out the shocking, visceral reason we had to delay and why Ben Hanson isn't on this episode, you'll have to tune in. For more info on our new Game Club, read our introductory post.

You can listen to episode 285 on SoundCloud by clicking here, or subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes. Also, be sure to send your emails to [email protected] for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

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To jump to a particular point in the discussion, check out the timestamps below…

5:01 – XCOM 2

22:12 – LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

32:46 – The Division Beta

51:10 – The Witness

53:19 – Listener Feedback

1:18:09 – Interview with Jesse Schell of Schell Games

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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.

www.GameInformer.com – The Feed

22cans switches Godus Wars DLC from paid to free after fan outcry

The Godus development debacle continues. Is it possible to finish the game and repair the company’s reputation with fans? …


Gamasutra News

Thought EA had Star Wars locked up? Lego Star Wars says no

The key is likely that EA’s exclusivity deal was for games aimed at a “core gaming audience” — like its Battlefront franchise. …


Gamasutra News

March Cover Revealed – Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens

More than 10 years ago, Traveller's Tales became a household name thanks to its partnership with a toy company and a well-known film franchise. The last Lego Star Wars game came out nearly five years ago, but as fans know, TT Games hasn't been resting on its laurels. The company has worked with some of the biggest names around, creating co-op, family-focused games based on Marvel and DC comics, Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, and more. Now the company is going back to the universe where it all began, with the announcement of Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

We traveled to TT Fusion's offices in England to bring you the exclusive details on the game. While there are plenty of familiar things – the whimsical humor, block-bashing gameplay, and mix of Lego and realistic environments – the team has come up with a few exciting twists. Players can forge their own paths with the new multibuild system, which adds an element of player choice to the brick-building sections. Keeping with The Force Awakens' reliance on blaster action, TT Fusion has introduced new cover-based sections that let you see the ranged battles from a new perspective. 

The most exciting thing about the game, however, is that Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens features not only gameplay based on the movie, but also side content that gives fans background information on how some of those events came into being. Stay tuned for more information on that tantalizing prospect.

To mark the event, we've got a pair of covers, celebrating Rey and the good guys and Kylo Ren and his goons. Click the images to see larger versions of both covers. 

 

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Above: Watch our coverage trailer (or watch and share it on YouTube) to see a tease of the month of exclusive content that can be found at gameinformer.com/forceawakens.

The March issue has much more going on than games with blocks based on blockbusters. If you've been interested in learning more about League of Legends, PC editor Dan Tack has a great guide for beginners who want to start watching tournaments, including the big names and what to look out for. Fighting fans will get a kick out of Brian Shea's Street Fighter V feature, which takes a behind-the-scenes look at some of the characters and what inspired their creation. Hyper Light Drifter has captivated since we first saw it a few years ago, and Kyle Hilliard has an extensive, exclusive look at the retro-styled indie release. And while it might be the slow time of year for games at the moment, spring is going to be busy. Learn about what's ahead in our massive guide to the games of spring.

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Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens arrives on June 28, but you don't have to wait nearly that long to learn more about it. Print subscribers should see their issues arriving in the next week or two, but it will be available later today if you subscribe digitally (available on PC/MaciPadAndroid, and Google Play). You can also get the latest issue through third-party apps on NookKindle, and Zinio starting tomorrow. To switch your print subscription to digital, click here. To create a new subscription to the digital edition, click here.

We've got an entire month of additional Lego coverage, if the 12-page cover story wasn't enough for you. Check out our hub throughout the month for exclusive features and videos, including how it expands the lore of the films, a look at developer TT Fusion, in-depth features on animating the heroes (and villains), and much more. Click the banner below to visit the hub.

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The Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens Digital Issue Is Now Live

If you subscribe to the computer or tablet edition of Game Informer magazine, you can now learn some of the very first details about Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Following today's cover announcement, our digital issue is now live on web browsers and will be coming to iPadAndroid, and Google Play throughout the day. You can download the apps to download the issue by following this link. All four of these digital options are included in a standard subscription

The issue launches tomorrow on our third-party subscription apps including ZinioKindle, and Nook.

Not a digital subscriber yet? Convert your print subscription here or start a new subscription here.

Check out our hub throughout the month for exclusive features and videos, including how it expands the lore of the films, a look at developer TT Fusion, in-depth features on animating the heroes (and villains), and much more. Click the banner below to visit the hub.

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Is A Popular Star Wars Character Joining Rogue One’s Cast?

During its presentation at the Nuremberg Toy Fair LEGO announced a new animated Star Wars feature called The Freemaker Series. However, what's more interesting is the company also announced several new Star Wars sets and had an image for the Rogue One-themed set that might contain a spoiler for the movie.  Last chance to leave before we dip into possible spoiler territory for Rogue One.

Okay! Here's the image from the presentation at the fair:


image credit: PromoBricks

Recognize the ship above the Rogue One set release date reveal? Looks an awful lot like Slave-1, Boba Fett's ship during the original trilogy of films. Could this mean that we might see good some of old Boba before his unfortunate tumble into the sarlacc pit? Rogue One is set before Return Of The Jedi, so he's still around then. Of course, it could be someone else's ship entirely too, though we
haven't really see anyone else piloting Firespray on screen except for
Boba and his father, Jango.

You can compare the differences for yourself. Here's a well lit shot of Slave-1 from Battlefront:

Take notice of the similar wings and tops of the ships in both shots. What say you, readers? Do you think we'll see one of the galaxy's greatest rapscallions in Rogue One? Let us know in the comments.

 

[Source:PromoBricks via TheForce.net]

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One Possible Future For The Star Wars Episode VII Crew

Tired of Star Wars yet? Never. And the content just keeps coming. In fact, some of the best Star Wars fan content is as compelling as the official media. Take for example this motion comic starring Rey, Finn, Poe and BB-8 as they storm a First Order stronghold and confront a nefarious Sith Lord…who turns out to be a familiar face.

Youtube user eldusto84 chopped up the images from Stephen Byrne's comic strip, Star Wars Episode 7.5. …whose identity is not what they expected! If you liked this, you'll probably love the hilarious Kylo Ren sketch from SNL.

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Star Wars Battlefront Update Nerfs Fett

EA has dropped the patch notes for Star Wars Battlefront's January update, and they include a variety of rebalances and tweaks. Players who have grown fond of one of the galaxy's most notorious bounty hunters should brace themselves, as Boba Fett is a little less deadly.

Along with Han Solo, Fett's weapon damage over distance has been lowered. That's not all, however. His missiles no longer lock on, so players will need to pay more attention to aiming. The explosive radius of Fett's wristlaunchers has shrunk from 4 to 2.5 meters, though the area in which it deals out max damage has slightly increased (by .2 meters). Even Slave One has taken a hit, with its health decreasing by 20 percent. In short, he's not quite as powerful as he was before. Look at the bright side: It still beats fumbling your way down into a giant mouth.

Other highlights include Hoth outfits for Luke Skywalker and Solo, which were previously available in a holiday community mission, private-match functionality, daily challenges, and a host of new spawn points and measures to prevent spawn camping. 

For more information on what's coming to Star Wars Battlefront, be sure to take a look at our recent story. It outlines the upcoming maps and more.

And for a complete look at what's changing in the game after the update, you can read the complete patch notes on the following page.

[Source: Star Wars Battlefront]

 

Our Take
Balancing a multiplayer game is critically important, even if it means your favorite character or weapon takes a hit in the process. That doesn't mean that changes like these don't sting, though.


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Here’s What’s Coming To Star Wars Battlefront This Year

Electronic Arts has laid out its plans for upcoming content in Star Wars Battlefront, from free new maps to more info about the season pass. Head in for the full details.

The Expansion packs (covered in the season pass) add the Bespin and Death Star locations, but the specific heroes (Lobot?!), maps, and modes outlined in the pass have not been detailed.

Tomorrow:

  • The Tatooine Survival map (called Raider Camp) will support Blast, Droid Run, Drop Zone, Hero Hunt, and Heroes vs. Villains modes
  • Hoth outfits for Luke and Han (previously unlocked upon completion of the Heroes' Holiday community mission)
  • The ability to create private matches
  • Daily Challenges and Community Events
  • General weapon and mode balancing tweaks.

February:

  • Survival mission on Hoth (map not disclosed)
  • New Hoth multiplayer map supporting Walker Assault, Supremacy, Fighter Squadron, and Turning Point.
  • Turning Point mode available on all maps that currently support Walker Assault and Supremacy.

March:

  • New Endor multiplayer map supporting Walker Assault, Supremacy, and Turning Point. 
  • Tatooine Survival map.

Here are the expansion packs in the Season Pass (text from EA):

  • Star Wars Battlefront Outer Rim (March 2016) – Fight among the factories of Sullust and battle within Jabba the Hutt's palace on Tatooine
  • Star Wars Battlefront Bespin (Summer 2016) – It's hunt or be hunted in this action-packed experience set in the Cloud City of Bespin
  • Star Wars Battlefront Death Star (Fall 2016) – That's no moon! One of the most iconic locations in the Star Wars universe makes its debut in Star Wars Battlefront.
  • Star Wars Battlefront Expansion Pack 4 – Title TBA (Early 2017)

 

Our Take
It's good to know that the season pass' new maps will take place at new locations and not just be on the same planets we've already been playing, but I assume that Cloud City and the Death Star are too small to accommodate the large-scale modes like Walker Assault, etc. Speaking of assumptions, I would have to think the upcoming private matches will be filled with bots as well.

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