Sega has revealed that Sonic Mania, the lauded latest 2D entry in the Sonic the Hedgehog series, has sold over one million copies.

The news comes from Japanese magazine Famitsu, which announced a Japanese version of Sonic Mania Plus, a re-release of Sonic Mania with new characters and new modes. Within the article, Sega says that Sonic Mania has sold over one million copies worldwide across PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Switch.

Additionally, Sega has confirmed that new Sonic Mania Plus details will come tomorrow, and a second animated short will arrive next week.

[Source: Famitsu]

 

Our Take
The game has almost certainly done well enough for Sega’s investment to be worth it, both in terms of sales and critical response. I feel like a Sonic Mania sequel is basically inevitable.

Most of us are counting down the days until Avengers: Infinity War opens in theaters. Most of us, but maybe not James Cameron, the director and writer of Avatar, Aliens, and many more great films. Cameron is apparently hoping Thanos wins and wipes out the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. While promoting his new documentary show, AMC Visionaries: James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, Cameron said he hopes “we’ll start getting ‘Avenger’ fatigue here pretty soon.” He says this even as someone who appreciates the monstrous story Marvel has built. “Not that I don’t love the movies,” he qualified. “It’s just, come on guys, there are
other stories to tell besides hypogonadal males without families doing
death-defying things for two hours and wrecking cities in the process.
It’s like, ‘Oy!’”

This comment obviously isn’t sitting well with comic book fans, but Marvel Studios’ head Kevin Feige was quick to brush it off. Talking to Vulture, Feige was informed of Cameron’s remarks, which promoted a swift comment of “hypogonadal” followed by a moment to process the comment. Vulture‘s Kyle Buchanan followed it up by saying Cameron enjoys the movies, and Feige latched onto it, clearly not wanting to address Cameron’s comment fully. “He loves the movies,” Feige boasted. “That’s awesome! Wow, James Cameron loves our movies! That’s exciting!” Cameron is currently working on four Avatar sequels. You can take a look at Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction trailer, which features a number of well-respected film creators, below:

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Speaking of Avengers: Infinity War, you may want to put your social-media blinders on until you see it. The press attended various screenings last night (most writers are showering praise upon it), and the public will get a first look at it starting Thursday. Those jerks out there who like ruining things or just want some attention are revealing the big moments and twists from the film. My advice: Play God of War. If you already did that, play it again, or build something cool out of Nintendo’s cardboard experiment, Labo.

In a red-carpet interview with Variety during last night’s Avengers: Infinity War premiere, actor Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, talked a little about joining another long-running, science-fiction film universe. He’s joining fellow Thor Ragnarok actress Tessa Thompson in a new Men in Black film, and credited Thor’s filming for them working together again so quickly. “She’s incredible,” he said. “[She has] a great sense of humor, great heart, a lot of fun. We just had the best time on Thor. Having the opportunity to work together again was a no-brainer.

Hemsworth also said this Men in Black will shake things up a bit. “We’re developing the script now. We’re basically trying to put all of the humor into it, like the previous ones. These are big, big shoes to fill. We’re working our butts off right now to make something pretty epic, and fun. They’re trying to change up the locations to make it feel unique and different to the last ones. I think you may see some different countries possibly. Different cities than you’ve seen before in the previous Men in Black movies.

If for whatever reason you didn’t get around to seeing Ready Player One yet, you can check out the film’s awesome race online right now, courtesy of Warner Bros. Seriously, this race, as over-the-top as it is, is awesome, and should give you a good idea of what to expect from Ready Player One in terms of pop-culture references and the fun they deliver.

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If you have a Vive VR headset and want to get a taste of what it’s like to live in Ready Player One‘s OASIS, definitely check out Rise of the Gunters, an arcade-style shooter that pits your Gunter against an army of IOI Sixers. Rise of the Gunters is developed by Drifter Entertainment and is a part of the free OASIS beta that offers a variety of Ready Player One-inspired avenues of play. Rise of the Gunters’ controls take some getting used to, as the bombardment of incoming fire from all vectors makes it a little difficult to get your bearings, but the effort is worth it as the game delivers a nice rhythm of chaining together kills to create a multiplier that gifts you more coins (the currency from the film).

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Many of us are holding our breath for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the riskiest of the Star Wars films thus far. A young Han Solo doesn’t sit right with many people (me included), but Disney and Lucasfilm are clearly banking on it working. Alden Ehrenreich signed on for three Solo prequel movies, which he let slip in an interview with Esquire. Before you say “I have a bad feeling about this,” actors sometimes sign on for more movies than are ever intended. If Solo is a gargantuan success, then maybe, just maybe we’ll get another one, and a third chapter after that. Odds are it will just be the one film, but Disney has Ehrenreich on contract just in case they decide to pull that sequel trigger.

I’ve had similar reservations for the game Detroit: Become Human. I couldn’t get through Beyond: Two Souls, yet loved Heavy Rain. David Cage and his studio Quantic Dream make fascinating games that apparently hit hard or are complete misses for me. My first taste of Detroit painted it as a miss. I didn’t like the setup and worried about the choices that were offered in the first E3 appearance. Game Informer‘s Kim Wallace recently played two hours of the game, and made it sound like Quantic Dream is heading in the right direction. You can read her entire write up right here.

That’s it for this week, folks. I’ll be back in another seven days with yet another Science-Fiction Weekly.

A demo for Quantic Dream’s latest game, Detroit: Become Human, dropped on the PlayStation Store today, which gave us an excuse to sit in the studio and talk about it. Join Kim, Hanson, and me as I do my best to help solve a tense hostage standoff. Without spoiling anything, don’t get too emotionally invested in our android hero, Connor. 

Detroit is similar to Quantic Dream’s past games, in that players are able to steer the direction of the story through the decisions they make along the way. What sets it apart from Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls is how it surfaces those outcomes to players, pulling back the curtain and revealing the various ways that each chapter in the larger narrative could have played out. As you can see in the episode below, I opted to completely blow it.  

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For more on Detroit: Become Human, be sure to check out Kim’s impressions based on her two hours of hands-on time with it.

Albert Penello, the senior marketing director for Microsoft’s Xbox division, is leaving Microsoft after nearly twenty years with the company.

Penello made the announcement today on Twitter, remarking “Today is a crazy day.”

 

 

We spoke to Penello last year about the Xbox One X and its target audience, which Penello emphasized was for the hardcore gamer. Penello joined Microsoft in October 2000 after a six year stint at Electronic Arts, shepherding the Xbox brand from its infancy to modern day.

 

Our Take
Penello didn’t say where he’s going, but he’s definitely earned a good rest. Hopefully he finds success in whatever venture he pursues next.

During a livestream, Bungie finally detailed most of the changes coming to Destiny 2 with the Warmind expansion, which includes a new campaign, wave-based mode, and changes to PvP.

Mars, the expansion’s new destination, looks similar to how it did in the first Destiny (it is the Red Planet, after all), but Warmind takes players a little further north, near Mars’ ice caps. The single-player campaign focuses on the Warmind Rasputin, a hyper-intelligent AI, which has a large role in Destiny’s lore. Clovis Bray, the fictional corporation which fueled much of the Golden Age technology early in Destiny’s timeline, also plays a large role. Anastasia Bray (a rumored love interest of Rasputin) will act as a companion and vendor for players in Warmind.

Warmind also features a new wave-based activity, Escalation Protocol. It’s designed as a challenging endgame activity, as a response to complaints most of Destiny 2’s endgame wasn’t too challenging. Available only to those who purchase Warmind and similar to public events, Escalation Protocols can be taken on by ad-hoc groups of players wandering around Mars, though players can also activate them manually whenever they want. When activated, waves of enemies will spawn. Each wave has its own bosses, with a final boss capping off the encounters. The final boss will rotate every week, and will offer boss-specific rewards.

The event will also offer new kinds of weapons and gear, including a new shotgun, sniper rifle, and blank with new kinds of perks that help with that activity (similar to raid gear in Destiny). Escalation Protocols also provided some new objectives, such as providing special swords and spears for players to use against their foes. If players manage to complete Escalation Protocol. Waves three and five offer a couple of chests that can spawn vanity items, but defeating the boss will offer the largest reward. Players will have to finish Warmind’s single-player campaign to in order to initiate Escalation Protocols, but anyone with Warmind can tag along for the ride. Of course, there will also be a new Raid Lair for players to tackle as well, though Bungie didn’t reveal any details about what it would entail.

Also detailed are the two big changes coming to PvP: Crucible ranks and private matches. Ranks are split into valor (based mostly on continuing to play and leveling up and can’t go down) and glory (which acts as more competitive ranking that oscillates based on whether you win or lose). Ranks also let you earn new guns, including one unique gun players can earn by ascending to the Fabled glory rank in the Crucible. Other Crucible rewards are also reworked, focusing more on accomplishing specific tasks in multiplayer to gain particular rewards. If a player maxes out their Valor rank, they can reset their rank to earn emblems. Private matches also let you tinker with various map and gameplay settings. Though anyone hopping into a random playlist can play a match in the new Warmind ranks, players will have to own Warmind in private matches.

Bungie also showed off some of the major changes coming to exotic weapons. Fighting Lion is now much stronger, with more ammo and a reliable three-shot burst. Riskrunner now also decreases the amount of damage taken from Arc damage, making it easier to unleash its increased power in PvP. Skyburner’s Oath is now a little flashier, with a new explosive rounds and rounds with an arcing path while firing from the hip that seek nearby targets. Hard Light can now swap damage types on the fly when players hold down the reload button, and ricocheting bullets now deal double damage. Graviton Lance now has a two-shot burst that’s stronger. Crimson is also more consistent, packs more ammo, and has lower time-to-kill and firing cadence to bring it in line with other hand cannons, with a final shot that deals more damage. Sturm and Drang are now a more powerful duo, with Drang giving Sturn extra-powerful overloaded rounds with each kill. These changes coincide with the balance changes from the “Go Fast” update, giving the overall balance more “hard edges” that could hopefully make for more interesting matches.

Of course, the May 8 also brings some other additions, such as an emote wheel, increased vault space, heroic strike modifiers, and Nightfall challenge cards. Warmind and its accompanying update hit on May 8 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

Our Take
Despite not being too happy the climb to max power now takes longer, I’m pretty happy with these additions. Having a new challenging, repeatable activity to chase is cool, as is having a reason to do well in Crucible (even if I’m pretty sure I’ll never get to Fabled). Hopefully the new Raid Lair is cool as well. I was planning to return to Destiny 2 with this update no matter what, but I’m hoping these changes will keep me around for a while.

Daybreak Games has announced that an open beta will be coming to the PlayStation 4 version of H1Z1 in May, giving players a chance to check out the enhancements and tweaks that are coming to the console version of the game.

In addition to adjusting to the controls for console players, Daybreak says it’s reworked the UI and equipment collection, removed crafting, and sped up the overall flow of matches.The game will run at 60 FPS on PlayStation 4 Pro.

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The open beta starts on May 22, but a closed beta begins later this month. You can sign up for that by registering here.

A new trailer for Codemasters’ destructive racing title Onrush gives great details on the game’s vehicle classes and their unique abilities. There’s a tool for every job, and each of the eight classes brings some significant advantages to the table.

Onrush is all about taking out any opponents in your way, but the classes’ abilities go further by enabling gameplay strategies that could make this title about more than just naked aggression. Draining or disabling an opponent’s boost ability, helping nearby teammates in a variety of ways, blinding competitors with your gravestone, and much more give you plenty of options.

For a full list of each of the classes’ particulars head over to the game’s official blog, and be sure to check out the video below.

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[Souce: Codemasters] 

As part of its announcement that pre-orders are now live for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, Bandai Namco has revealed the Steam version of Dark Souls: Prepare to Die Edition will be delisted on May 8 at 4pm Pacific Time.

While most of the changes Remastered makes are quality-of-life improvements, there are also co-op improvements and some slight changes to balance players of the original might want to maintain. If you currently own a copy of the game on Steam you’ll be able to access it for the foreseeable future, but if you’d like to snag a copy of Dark Souls as it was originally released on PC (warts and all), you have two weeks to get on it.

If you’re that kind of player and end up getting the original version before then, you will also receive a 50-percent discount on Remastered. With Prepare to Die on Steam currently at $19.99 and the remaster hitting for $39.99, you can effectively get “both” games for the price of one for a limited time.

Tacoma, the space exploration narrative adventure from the creators of Gone Home, is coming to PlayStation 4 this May.

The title was released last year on Xbox One and PC after initially being announced at The Game Awards in 2014. In Tacoma, players take on the role of an investigator tasked with exploring the abandoned Tacoma space station. Equipped with an augmented reality device, the player can view recorded conversations from different angles and scrubbing through different times to solve puzzles and the greater mystery of what happened on the station.

You can find our review of Tacoma here. You can also find Elise praising Tacoma’s interactive storytelling and giving it the accolade of best graphics for an adventure game last year. Tacoma releases on PlayStation 4 on May 8 with a new commentary mode featuring two hours of commentary from the team.

 

Our Take
I’m a little surprised how small the Xbox exclusivity window on this game was, but it’s good news that more people can play the game. Hopefully it finds more success on PS4.

While the last Venom trailer for Sony’s new Spider-Man universe movie ended without showing the titular symbiote at all, it seems like a new trailer has a look at everyone’s favorite anti-hero.

Footage today, which appears to be from an early preview of a trailer set to air at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, shows a quick clip of Eddie Brock transforming. Brock, who is played by Tom Hardy, holds someone up by the collar and says “We are Venom” while the symbiote face begins forming around him.

 

 

Tom Hardy posted on Instagram that he’s bringing a full trailer to CinemaCon, so this slight tease is all we have until or unless that trailer becomes public. Venom is part of Sony’s attempt at a Spider-Man Cinematic Universe, which is separate from Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, but includes Spider-Man Homecoming. It’s directed by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer and is releasing on October 5.