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Long Gone Days: RPG explores war’s emotional impact on soldiers

Camila Gormaz, creator of military RPG Long Gone Days, wanted to explore the life of the soldier, but not through action and gunplay. She focused on the emotional impact that war has on soldiers. …


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Star Wars Battlefront Death Star DLC Includes A Good Ol’ Trench Run

One of the bigger complaints about Star Wars Battlefront is that it keeps combat relatively grounded. Sure, you can strap into an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter, but you couldn't soar into the blackness of space. That's about to change.

In September, EA will release the third of four Star Wars Battlefront DLC packs. The Death Star add-on isn't just a march down the space station's glossy halls. It's a three-part saga that kicks off with an epic space battle around a huge Star Destroyer.

The mission, dubbed Battle Station, begins with the Rebellion attempting to clear the way toward the Death Star by obliterating a Star Destroyer. Waves of Y-Wings will swoop in, bombing the massive ship. The Empire must hold off the fleet for 10 minutes. This segment was much more satisfying than the terrestrial ship battles featured so far. Having more room to maneuver, asteroids to duck behind, and the giant Star Destroyer to dodge was the most fulfilling time I've had in one of Battlefront's starfighters.

Unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to play the other two segments. Following the Star Destroyer fight, the battle goes indoors on foot, where soldiers rush through the space station's corridors in a pitched battle. This section is a great place to try out the two new playable heroes, Chewbacca and Bossk. Finally, the Death Star mission wraps up with one of Star Wars' most iconic moments. You'll have a chance to bullseye an exhaust port in as you fly the Death Star trench in an X-Wing while Vader tries to stop you in his TIE Advanced.

Look for the Death Star DLC next month, with a two-week lead-in for season pass holders. For more, check out our review.

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Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission Shows Promise

The best thing I can say about Criterion's Star Wars Battlefront Rogue One: X-Wing VR mission is that I want a full game of this. I want EA to heap money into rebooting the X-Wing franchise, and this is proof of concept.

Don't expect a technical X-Wing experience from this VR experience, though. The controls and gameplay are pulled directly from Battlefront. Everything begins in a "white room" style introduction area. There, you can move to fixed points around a parked X-Wing. This gives players the opportunity to examine the detailed models that are usually whizzing by during Battlefront matches. Once you "climb" up the ladder into the cockpit, you can fiddle with working buttons. Right now, only one has function, though that will change by launch. Pressing a specific one opens and closes the X-Wing S-Foils.

When ready, you can trigger the mission, which sees Grey Wing on a daring rescue into the heart of an asteroid belt to save a blockade runner under attack from TIE Fighters and a Star Destroyer. This is a pure escort mission, and the Corellian corvette you need to protect has already taken a beating. It's your job to take out as many TIE Fighters as possible before they cripple the corvette. You have the entire blackness of space around you, but this mission feels like it's on flexible rails rather than being a free-flowing dogfight.

The experience is highly cinematic without sacrificing interactivity. We didn't get to play the entire thing, though don't expect a particularly lengthy adventure. Criterion says it hopes to use the X-Wing VR mission as an introduction to PSVR for those that haven't spent too much time wearing a head-mounted display.

There's so much potential here, especially as Criterion is also toying with working cockpit functions. Right now, some cool moments are automated. I wasn't able to manually jump to hyperspace, and S-Foils were automated during battle. Putting those controls in the hands of players when it matters would be fantastic.

Ultimately, my hope is that this finds success and EA greenlights a full game like this. You can get your own taste of flying an X-Wing exclusively with PlayStation VR this holiday; Rogue One: X-Wing VR mission is free to all Battlefront owners.

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Criterion’s Star Wars Battlefront VR Mission Will Be Rogue One-Themed

EA had previously announced Criterion was working on a Battlefront VR X-Wing Mission and had revealed it would be free to anyone who'd bought the game on PlayStation 4, but was otherwise sparse on details.

Today the company announced the mission will be Rogue One-themed. Over on the EA blog, the company interviewed Criterion producer James Svensson about what it's been like to work on the mission, how it became a movie tie-in, and some of the specifics of working with VR.

You can read more about Star Wars Battlefront: VR X-Wing Mission by checking out our E3 2016 preview here. We will have hands-on impressions of the mission later this week from Gamescom.

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Video: How Star Wars: Battlefront was built with real props & locations

Find out how the Star Wars Battlefront team worked to incorporate real-world locations and props from the original Star Wars films. …


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Star Wars’ R2-D2 Actor Kenny Baker Passes Away At Age 81

Kenny Baker, who starred in the first six Star Wars films as the droid R2-D2, recently died after battling a long illness. The British actor rose to fame after his appearance as the robot in the first Star Wars film in 1977. 

Following the debut, he continued to portray the character in following movies such as The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, along with the 1999 to 2005 Star Wars prequels. Outside of his work with Star Wars, he also appeared in films such as The Elephant Man (1980), Time Bandits (1981), and Flash Gordon (1980).

Baker's niece Abigail Shield told The Guardian that he "had a very long and fulfilled life," and that he brought "lots of happiness to people." Baker was just 3-foot-8 and doctors told him he wouldn't live past puberty. He surpassed these obstacles, and first began working in show business through theater and the circus. His rise to fame, however, began with Star Wars. Because of his height, he was small enough to fit inside the droid, which director George Lucas believed would make him perfect for the role.

Baker had been looked after by his nephew, as he suffered with lung problems and was often confined to a wheelchair. Shield told The Guardian that his death was "expected, but it's sad nonetheless."

Game Informer extends its condolences to Baker's family and friends.

[Source: The Guardian, Photo Courtesy of Rory Gilder/Rex Shutterstock via The Guardian]

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens 3D Blu-Ray Contains New Deleted Scenes

The 3D version of Star Wars: The Force Awakens releases on Blu-Ray on November 15, and it offers a suite of new bonus features, including additional deleted scenes. Why these were left off of the original Blu-Ray releases disc is anyone's guess, but I'm hoping Lucasfilm took the time to finish the sequences. The deleted snowspeeder scene on the original disc is comically bad due to the unfinished CGi work.

This disc also contains a commentary track from director J. J. Abrams, which I would love to hear given just how upfront he's been in interviews about the creation of this film. Other exclusive features dive into the film's foley work, costumes, and armory. This Blu-Ray also contains a new conversation with Daisy Ridley and John Boyega.

I hate buying films twice, but…well…I'm a sucker for stuff like this. I don't like doing it, but I gotta see it all. Don't worry, I'll shake my fist in anger at Lucasfilm as I ring up at the checkout.

Below is a clip from the film that Lucasfilm is using to promote the new Blu-Ray release.

 

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Halo Wars 2 Summer Beta Leads To Changes

Earlier this summer, Microsoft invited players to provide feedback for the in-development Halo Wars 2. Today, the publisher and developer Creative Assembly are sharing the fruits of those efforts. 

One of the biggest issues from the beta was connectivity. Those problems have been addressed already. Additionally, Creative Assembly has already started responding to other feedback.

The control scheme has been adjusted, and the team is exploring multiple button configurations. However, that might not be done in time for launch.

Leader powers return in Halo Wars 2, and next time you get your hands on the game they will have improved. Additionally, there will be visual tweaks to bases that more readily reflect their damage status.

Resource requirements for buildings and units has been retooled. This will more evenly ramp up throughout the game. Players will also be able to command a greater number of troops, as the population limit has been increased.

The next Halo Wars 2 beta is scheduled for February 21, 2017. The game will be out on Xbox One and Windows 10 next year. For more, check out our Test Chamber featuring the beta.

[Source: Xbox Wire]

 

Our Take
This kind of feedback following a beta (especially one so early) is a great communication tool. Not only does it inspire people to continue filing bug reports and using the forums, but it evidences care for what the community has to say. I enjoyed the first Halo Wars, and I’m eager to see how the sequel fares (especially since I’ll be able to play with keyboard and mouse). 

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Watch The New Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Trailer

A new trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was unveiled tonight during the Olympics, and you can watch it right here.

Yesterday, we were treated to a 10 second preview of the trailer, which gave a glimpse of the new ship the U-Wing, but now you can watch the full teaser below.

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Rogue One will be in theaters on December 16.

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See 10 Seconds Of New Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Footage

The second official trailer for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story hits during the Olympics tomorrow night, but you can see a few seconds of it now in the trailer's teaser…uh…trailer. The footage is unremarkable, mostly consisting of close-ups of key characters, but we do get our first good look at a new ship: the U-Wing.

Rogue One is just 127 away, opening in theaters on December 16.

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