Hearthstone’s new free single-player adventure content arrives today, so join us for a deep dive into the heart of the dark forest to take on some new challenges.

The roguelike dungeon crawl design that features deckbuilding from scratch and special cards you can’t find anywhere else debuted in Kobolds and Catacombs, and this new experience gets even wilder.

Completely new hero classes that you can’t play in the standard game forge decks and take on all new enemies and bosses on the road to defeat a powerful boss. If all 4 main bosses are defeated, a final encounter unlocks!

Join Dan Tack, Leo Vader, and Ben Reeves on an epic adventure to slay the evil monsters in Witchwood!

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Nintendo has timed the announcement of their E3 plans this year around their financial briefing, tweeting out information about their show presence at the same time as the briefing.

Earlier this year, Nintendo announced that they would be holding a tournament for skilled players. The Splatoon 2 part of that tournament, a World Championship with teams representing North America, Japan, Europe, and Australia, takes place on Monday, June 11 at the Belasco Theater in Los Angeles. The finals of the tournament take place the next day, but are then immediately followed by a Super Smash Bros. Switch tournament, showcasing the recently announced game.

On Tuesday, June 12, ahead of the Splatoon 2 finals and the Smash Bros. tournament, Nintendo will be holding their E3 showcase once again livestreamed on the internet. Nintendo says that the showcase is for games releasing in 2018 and reiterates that Super Smash Bros. is among the games shown.

As usual, Nintendo Treehouse will stream from the show floor and Nintendo intends to feature third party partners “across several Nintendo activities” through the week.

 

Our Take
Nintendo usually holds, well, pretty much everything close to their chest, so it’s hard to say their E3 announcement plans are indicative of anything beyond where they will be at any given time. Hoping for a number of surprises myself.

Earlier this month, Rockstar confirmed they’d be removing a number of songs from Grand Theft Auto IV due to the ten year licensing deal running out. Today, now that the update has gone live, we know what songs were removed.

The Journey

  • Terry Riley – “A Rainbow in Curved Air” (1969)

  • Gil Scott-Heron – “Home Is Where the Hatred Is” (1971)

  • IF99 – International Funk

  • San Juan Sounds

  • Angel y Khriz – “Ven Báilalo” (2004)

  • Michael Shrieve – “Communique: ‘Approach Spiral'” (1984)

K109 The Studio

  • Tamiko Jones – “Can’t Live Without Your Love” (1979)

  • “Still In Love” by Rose Royce (The Ballad of Gay Tony)

The Classics

  • Marley Marl (feat. Craig G) – Droppin’ Science (1988)

  • Brand Nubian – All for One (1990)

Vladivostok FM

  • Glukoza – “Швайне” [Schweine / Pigs in German] (2005)

  • Seryoga – “King Ring” (2005)

  • Ranetki Girls – “О тебе” [O Tebe / About You] (2006)

  • Ruslana – “Wild Dances” Ukranian FM Version (2004)

  • Kino – “Группа крови” [Gruppa Krovi / Blood Type] (1988)

  • Marakesh – “Ждать” [Zhdat / To Wait] (2006)

  • Zveri – “Квартира” [Kvartira / The Flat] (2006)

  • Oleg Kvasha – “Зеленоглазое такси” Club Remix [Zelenoglazoe * Taksi / Green Eyed Taxi] (2007)

  • Splean – “Линия жизни” [Liniya Zhizni / Lifeline] (2000)

  • Basta – “Мама” [Mama / Mother] (2006)

  • Leningrad – “Никого не жалко” [Nikogo ne Zhalko / A Pity for No One] (2002)

  • Dolphin – “РЭП” (2008)

  • Salvation” by Sucker DJs (The Ballad of Gay Tony)

  • “Music” by Jonathan Peters feat. Maya Azucena (The Ballad of Gay Tony)

  • “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta feat. Kelly Rowland (The Ballad of Gay Tony)

The Vibe 98.8

  • Mtume – “C.O.D. (I’ll Deliver)” (1984)

Radio Broker

  • Ralph Myerz – “The Teacher” (2006)

Liberty Rock Radio

  • The Smashing Pumpkins – “1979” (1995)

  • Stevie Nicks – “Edge of Seventeen” (1981)

  • Electric Light Orchestra – “Evil Woman” (1975)

  • David Bowie – “Fascination” (1975)

  • “Touch Too Much” by AC/DC (The Lost and Damned)

  • “Five To One” by The Doors (The Lost and Damned)

  • “Jane” by Jefferson Starship (The Lost and Damned)

  • “Run To The Hills” by Iron Maiden (The Lost and Damned)

The Beat 102.7

  • Fat Joe (feat. Lil Wayne) – Crackhouse (2008)

  • Papoose – Stylin’ (2008)

L.C.H.C. 

  • “Call from the Grave” by Bathory (The Lost And Damned)

Vice City FM

  • “C’est la Vie” by Robbie Nevil

  • “History” by Mai Tai

  • “Teardrops” by Womack & Womack

  • “Wood Beez (Pray like Aretha Franklin)” by Scritti Politti

  • “You’re the Voice” by John Farnham

 

To compensate, Rockstar added a number of new songs to Vladivostok FM.

Songs Added To Vladivostok FM

  • ALEKSEY BOLSHOY: YA Nenavizhu Karaoke

  • SERYOGA: Mon Ami (ft. Maks Lorens)

  • DELICE: Goryacheye Leto

  • SERYOGA: Dobav’ Skorost

  • RIFFMASTER: Begu (Rancho Song)

  • RIFFMASTER Riffmaster Tony

  • ZHENYA FOKIN: Noch’ju

  • AYVENGO: Underground

  • KIEVELEKTRO: Gulyaj, Slavyane!! (ft. Alyona Vinnitskaya)

  • AYVENGO: Reprezenty

  • SERYOGA: Chiki

It’s unfortunate, and it seems a lot more was removed than added, but unfortunately licensing deals that simply exist forever are not very feasible without paying a fortune for individual songs. At least Rockstar warned people this time, unlike with Vice City and San Andreas, which received abrupt patches changing music without forewarning. If you own the game already and don’t want to get patched, you can avoid doing so on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 by not allowing the game to patch. 

As part of Nintendo’s annual results, the company has announced that their mobile game pursuits will now be in partnership with Cygames, the company behind the wildly successful Granblue Fantasy.

The first game co-developed between the two companies is an action RPG called Draglia Lost. Not much is known beyond the single piece of art released, but Nintendo has said it should be arriving in Japan this summer and everywhere else shortly after.

Also as part of this announcement, Nintendo has confirmed that they have purchased 5% of Cygames’ stocks. This puts Nintendo in the kind of odd position of being a 5% owner of a company that is publishing a PlatinumGames PlayStation 4 title based on Cygames’ IP. Mobile publisher DeNA, Nintendo’s other mobile game partner, owns nearly a quarter of Cygames as well.

Granblue Fantasy, while playable in English through its browser version, has never officially released on mobile phones in America. The game has a lineage of Final Fantasy staff, artists, composers, and designers and has over ten million downloads in Japan. There is also an anime series based on the game.

Dragalia Lost makes the second of two announced mobile titles from Nintendo still yet to be shown, the other being Mario Kart Tour.

[Source: Nintendo]

 

Our Take
I am curious if the relationship with DeNA hasn’t worked out or if Nintendo is gathering various high-profile mobile game producers to try different things. Cygames is a big one, to be sure.

While  some have criticized Microsoft for not growing the Xbox brand, numbers from the company’s latest financial report show growth in the gaming sector.

Microsoft saw an 18 percent uptick in revenue in their gaming division year-over-year, owing the growth to a rise in software sales on the Xbox One, especially among third-parties. This number includes revenue from things like season passes and DLC as well as just outright software.

The Xbox gaming division announced a few years ago that they were going to start measuring their success through engagement with their services, which the company reports is swelling. Xbox Live user numbers raised 13 percent to 59 million across Xbox One, PC, and mobile.

As a result, Microsoft confirmed in their financial reports that the previous year included a big investment in the gaming sector, ending as a major chunk of their total operating expenses. They did not expound on what this was specifically for, so it could be anything from hardware R&D to publishing or marketing deals.

The company as a whole reported profits of $8.9 billion, beating analyst expectations.

[Source: Microsoft]

 

Our Take
I’m very curious to find out what the bump in gaming investment was. Microsoft has been pointing to this year’s E3 as one to watch to see what they’ve been up to, so we might find out sooner than we think.

Game Informer’s Ben Hanson, Kimberley Wallace, and Jeff Cork start the show by debating whether or not David Cage and Quantic Dream can pull off some of the deep and sensitive themes surrounding Detroit: Become Human on PlayStation 4. Kyle Hilliard joins the show to weigh in with his full thoughts on Nintendo Labo’s cardboard adventures, Matt Bertz to talk about the brutal survival/sim Frostpunk from 11 Bit Studios, and Dan Tack stops by to talk about BattleTech and MechWarrior fun. After some great community emails, we kick off a gigantic community discussion about the first half of Sony Santa Monica’s God of War.

You can watch the video below, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Play, or listen to episode 396 on SoundCloud. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show and win a prize by becoming Email of the Week!

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Our thanks to the talented Super Marcato Bros. for The Game Informer Show’s intro song. You can hear more of their original tunes and awesome video game music podcast at their website.

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

2:30 – Detroit: Become Human
20:50 – Valve buys Firewatch’s Campo Santo
25:05 – Special mystery guest
26:20 – Nintendo Labo
45:08 – Frostpunk
57:20 – Battletech
1:03:55 – Community emails
1:40:55 – God of War GI Game Club

Good Smile has opened pre-orders for their newest Nendoroid, the very, very scary Kratos.

Kratos stands tall with his shield and Leviathan Axe, though I am relatively sure if you throw it, it probably can’t be summoned directly back to you. Relatively sure. Like most Nendoroids, you can put on multiple heads for your poses, so you can either get angry Kratos or angry Kratos with his mouth open.

 

 

The figure comes out in October, but preorders are open now.

Spider-Man is an important character to many, and the people creating this game certainly consider themselves among that group. We spoke with the writers and developers of Spider-Man on both the Insomniac and Marvel side to learn their favorite stories, and why they love the character so much.

Jacinda Chew art director
My favorite thing about Spider-Man, in general, is just in every single instance, it’s about him being an underdog, and I think that is something that is relatable. The fact that he is not without his faults and he is always dealing with his personal life. In our game he has Aunt May, a complicated relationship with MJ, and then he has to protect the city as well. I find those stories to be very compelling. It’s something I think Insomniac is good at with Ratchet and Clank and Sunset Overdrive. We love the underdog story.

Christos Gage writer, Marvel
I have a couple. One is The Kid Who Collects Spider-Man, which is like a half of an issue story around 248, but don’t hold me to that, of Amazing Spider-Man. It’s a really moving story about this kid that Spider-Man drops in on who he read about in the newspaper who collects newspaper articles – he’s like the world’s biggest Spider-Man fan and they talk about his career and it’s really fun. It’s this wonderful story of a kid getting to meet his hero and at the end the kid says, “Can you tell me who you really are? I promise I won’t tell anyone,” and Spider-Man says, “You know I really can’t do that,” and the kid says, “Yeah, I understand,” but he pulls off his mask and reveals who he is and then Spider-Man leaves and you see him reading end of this article about the kid and you learn the kid is dying of cancer, and you see Spider-Man crying and it’s a really powerful story. And that to me encapsulated the humanity of Spider-Man really well.

And then there is the classic Steve Ditko and Stan Lee issue 33 where he is trapped under the heavy machinery and he’s in an underwater base that is filling with water and he tries two or three times to get out, but he can’t do it and then he finally does it. Then there is another from when I was kid that’s about Spider-Man fighting the juggernaut, which is an X-Men villain who is literally unstoppable, and he just does not stop Spider-Man is getting his butt handed to him, but he just does not give up. I think that is a crucial aspect of Spider-Man in that he just does not give up. He may not be the strongest; he may not be the toughest; he may not have the most cosmic powers, but he just doesn’t give up. He keeps coming back and trying to do the right thing and I always found that very inspiring.

Bryan Intihar creative director
I think about things like Kraven’s Last Hunt and even things like Back in Black where you can see how strong and angry Spider-Man can be. I was thinking about it and what really resonates with me and there is a story called Spider-Man Blue where it’s a Valentine’s Day and he is thinking back on his relationship with Gwen and what I love about it so much is it’s that moment where it’s as much a Peter Parker story as it is about Spider-Man and that’s something we’re really trying to do here. You really see the relatability and the vulnerability and the heart of the character and that is something, for us, that has been absolutely crucial to get right. It’s some of those examples of something that is really important to me that we’re trying to carry through with this game.

Yuri Lowenthalactor, Spider-Man
It’s been a while since I have connected with the comic books themselves. I would have to say, in my childhood, there is a very special place for the original Ralph Bakshi Spider-Man cartoon because it was so weird! I almost look back at it sometimes like a fever dream thinking, “They couldn’t have possible been telling the weird stories they were telling with Spider-Man as the main character!” So that goes back deep for me. That’s probably, for me deep inside, the seminal Spider-Man, even though as I got older the stories got much more complicated and I started reading the comics and they got darker and more interesting – even with all that, that Spider-Man was my Spider-Man growing up.

Jon Paquette writer, Insomniac
I know people like to rag on the Raimi movies, but let me tell you – there is a love for the character that you can tell is in there. Even in the third one, which admittedly was kind of sh***y. Even there, there is a love and you can feel the boyish charm and love for Spider-Man and for Peter Parker. It’s funny, Bryan and I joke a lot. There is that scene, I think it is in the first movie where Aunt May is having the garage sale and she says, “I believe there is a hero in all of us.” That can be really hokey, especially when you read it on the page it’s really hokey, but there is something about the love for the character that just comes through in those movies. We’re definitely trying to do something like that – not the schmaltzy part of it. We’re definitely a little more adult – but, we all have such a love for the character that that part of the movies is important.

We also read Kraven’s Last Hunt, and that’s such a tour de force of storytelling. Everyone says it is one of their favorite Spider-Man comics and when you back and read it again you realize why, because it is such a well-told story. Honestly, there are not a lot of stories in the games that were that great because a lot of them were movie tie-ins, and I am not going to go and rag on any games, but I don’t know if there was a game that really tried to do a lot with story as opposed to just focusing on game mechanics and that kind of stuff. We weren’t really inspired, story-wise, by too many games, but definitely inspired by the Raimi movies – at least me personally – and the comics. I think everybody on the team has a different answer for that question.

Ted Price president and CEO, Insomniac Games
My favorite aspect is that he shows his human side frequently. Whether it’s in the movies where you see him taking off his mask and being Peter for a little while, or his vulnerability during combat in the latest movies. Actually getting hurt, or seeing his suit getting ripped – those are the kinds of things that make me, personally, interested in Spider-Man as a hero, and I think that’s because we can all identify with the struggles he goes through and the choices he has to make and the fact that he’s not invincible.

Bill Rosemann executive creative director, Marvel Games
He is my number one favorite superhero and character literature. I was lucky to discover him when I was very young. Saw the re-run of the 1960s cartoon when I was like four or five. Walked into my second grade book fair. Picked up … it was Pocket Books. They did a reprint, they did three volumes, they did the first 20 issues and that was it. The switch was flipped and I said, “This is my guy. This is my thing. This is my medium. This is what I love.” I wanted to be Peter Parker. He had a job in the city! He had a moped and got to ride around! He got to go on dates. I want to do that! And he’s Spider-Man! I related to him. This guy looks like me. I relate to what he’s going through. Anyway I could get my Spider-Man – dolls, action figures, cartoons, underoos, and Halloween costumes. He was my guy. Anytime I would move around I would find where the nearest comic shop was. No matter what was going on I would always kept tabs on him so he was this constant denominator in my life and then I got to read the new comics and they started reprinting the older stuff and I got to go back and read all that and fill in the gaps. Now here I am many years later.

To see our entire month of Spider-Man coverage, click the banner below and bookmark our hub. New stories and features are added every couple of days, so check back to learn more about Insomniac’s Spider-Man game for PS4.

Bluehole and PUBG Corp. have spent 2018 getting aggressive about Battlegrounds updates, culminating in one of the game’s biggest updates on PC today.

The latest feature addition is the ability to select which map you want to play, between Erangel and Miramar. Players have preferences for both and can now choose which one they’re in the mood for regardless of where matchmaking wants to send them. There have been tweaks and fixes and make this possible before, but the official map selection should make it a lot easier and not risk any modification to the game.

Players can choose to play exclusively on one map or select multiple maps for the game to randomly choose from. The latter option does not have a lot of novel use right now, with only Erangel and Miramar as available choices, but there is room for the third jungle map currently in testing to be added.

A new weapon has been added to the roster, the SLR. The weapon functions similarly to the SKS, but is a bit more powerful with proportional recoil. A new muscle car, the Mirado, also joins in on the fun, seating a family of four gunmen in their offroad searches for a chicken dinner exclusively in Miramar.

You can find the full patch notes, including the exhaustive list of balancing changes, right here.

 

Our Take
When they announced map picking, I assumed they’d take a long while, but it’s cool that it’s here already. I never really had a problem with Miramar, but a lot of people don’t like it, or might prefer to exclusively play on the upcoming smaller map, so this is a great option.

At CinemaCon, a film-focused convention in Las Vegas, 20th Century FOX has released official synopses for a host of upcoming movies coming from the production company.

The Predator

From the outer reaches of space to the small-town streets of suburbia, the hunt comes home in Shane Black’s explosive reinvention of the Predator series. Now, the universe’s most lethal hunters are stronger, smarter and deadlier than ever before, having genetically upgraded themselves with DNA from other species. When a young boy accidentally triggers their return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race. (September 14)

Deadpool 2

After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Miami’s hottest bartender, while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor – finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World’s Best Lover. (May 18)

The Darkest Minds

When teens mysteriously develop powerful new abilities, they are declared a threat by the government and detained. Sixteen-year-old Ruby, one of the most powerful young people anyone has encountered, escapes her camp and joins a group of runaway teens seeking safe haven. Soon this newfound family realizes that, in a world in which the adults in power have betrayed them, running is not enough and they must wage a resistance, using their collective power to take back control of their future. (August 3)

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bohemian Rhapsody is a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury, who defied stereotypes and shattered convention to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound, their near-implosion as Mercury’s lifestyle spirals out of control, and their triumphant reunion on the eve of Live Aid, where Mercury, facing a life-threatening illness, leads the band in one of the greatest performances in the history of rock music. In the process, cementing the legacy of a band that were always more like a family, and who continue to inspire outsiders, dreamers and music lovers to this day. (November 2)

Alita: Battle Angel

From visionary filmmakers James Cameron (AVATAR) and Robert Rodriguez (SIN CITY), comes ALITA: BATTLE ANGEL, an epic adventure of hope and empowerment. When Alita (Rosa Salazar) awakens with no memory of who she is in a future world she does not recognize, she is taken in by Ido (Christoph Waltz), a compassionate doctor who realizes that somewhere in this abandoned cyborg shell is the heart and soul of a young woman with an extraordinary past. As Alita learns to navigate her new life and the treacherous streets of Iron City, Ido tries to shield her from her mysterious history while her street-smart new friend Hugo (Keean Johnson) offers instead to help trigger her memories. But it is only when the deadly and corrupt forces that run the city come after Alita that she discovers a clue to her past – she has unique fighting abilities that those in power will stop at nothing to control. If she can stay out of their grasp, she could be the key to saving her friends, her family and the world she’s grown to love. (December 21)

[Source: BleedingCool]