There’s been a lot of Overwatch nendoroids, so I assume they must be selling pretty well. There aren’t that many Overwatch nendoroids that are straight psychopaths, though, and that’s where Junkrat comes in.

You can check out the newest nendo in the image gallery above. He comes with his gun, a landmine, and a trap that fits around the feed of other Overwatch nendos.

Pre-orders are going live for the item tomorrow on GoodSmile with an intended release of January. You can get in while the getting’s good, however.

Coming out of E3, you probably heard a lot about the closed-doors Cyberpunk 2077 demo, with our impressions of the game and choosing it as our game of the show from E3. That demo, however, could still be a lot earlier than people think, with CD Projekt Red Adam Kiciński describing it as “not even alpha yet.”

The quote comes from an interview with Polish website, run through Google Translate, where Kiciński described the early state of the demo as “early stages” to explain why the game isn’t being shown to everyone quite yet. “It’s not close to final yet,” Kiciński says.

CD Projekt chief financial officer Piotr Nielubowicz added “This is the most polished part of the game we have now, prepared in some sense to show it to people outside the company.” Nielubowicz also mentioned that, when they do reveal the game to the public at large, they’re doing it in style. The Cyberpunk 2077 marketing budget is much larger than The Witcher 3’s and the studio has been holding on to cash reserves to help market the game.

In the meantime, you can read the new Grind Time, which talks about Cyberpunk 2077 details we didn’t talk about at E3.

[Souce: via PCGamer]


I can understand their reticence, honestly. They showed Witcher 3 with an optimistic view of what they could pull off and the public at large got mad at the downgrades with what was still a very good looking game. They probably want to make sure what they have is what they can deliver.

Game Informer’s Jeff Cork, Joe Juba, and Suriel Vazquez talk about Dontnod’s prequel to Life is Strange 2 called The Awesome Adventures of Captain Spirit and Lumines Remastered. Then intern Derek Swinhart and Javy Gwaltney join the show to talk about Prey’s DLC Mooncrash from Arkane Studios and Javy’s trip to Germany and Kuwait with the USO to play Call of Duty: WWII with real soldiers and learn about playing games on military bases. After some great community emails, Andrew Reiner and Dan tack join the show in an attempt to play the new audio-only game for the Amazon Alexa called Jurassic World Revealed.

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

2:35 – The Awesome Adventures Of Captain Spirit
15:55 – Lumines Remastered

21:15 – Solid Snake in Super Bomberman R
24:00 – Westworld Finale/Mobile (Spoiler-Free)
31:00 – Prey Mooncrash DLC
42:50 – Javy’s Trip With The USO To Visit Kuwait And Germany
1:10:55 – Community Emails
1:54:20 – Jurassic World Revealed Audio Game

Niantic first launched Pokémon Go two years ago and a lot of people marveled at the novelty of capturing Pokémon in the augmented reality of your phone. That novelty quickly wore off for a lot of people, though, as Pokémon just kind of floated in place in front of the camera, causing a lot of Pokémon Go players to simply switch to the virtual capture environment. If this new Occlusion demo from Niantic is any indication, however, AR might become an extremely cool thing for Pokémon Go players to use.

The demo, dubbed Codename: Niantic Occlusion, shows off new tech that allows their AR images to disappear behind objects. Currently, using Pokémon Go as an example, if you are catching a Pikachu on a bus, it just stands there regardless of what you’re looking at. If someone is standing behind Pikachu, but then walks toward the camera, Pikachu stays floating in front. Niantic Occlusion seems to remedy that by showing Pikachu ducking behind things and people in the camera’s view.

Check out the demo video below, which shows the way it currently works, then the way it might one day work with Pikachu, and then with Pikachu and Eevee.

From Niantic’s video description:

The recently acquired Matrix Mill team at Niantic has spent years building and perfecting deep neural networks that can infer information about the surrounding world from one or more cameras. This technology redefines how machines see and understand the 3D world and more importantly, how digital objects can interact with the real elements of it. Using computer vision and deep learning we are able to develop techniques to understand 3D space enabling much more realistic Augmented Reality (AR) interactions than are currently possible. In the above AR experience of Codename: Niantic Occlusion, you can see Pikachu and Eevee weaving through and around different objects in the real world, dodging feet and hiding behind planters. This level of integration into the environment around us is a proof-of-concept that excites us about the future of AR.

It’s not clear if this tech is going to ever be used in Pokémon Go, but it’s certainly an interesting look at future AR tech.


Is it wrong that I am mostly excited to see how many pictures of Pokémon hiding behind people’s shoulders I can take?

After the smashing success and universe-altering events of Avengers: Infinity War, the next film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe zooms in on a smaller scale conflict – literally. Ant-Man and The Wasp hits theaters on July 6, and developer FoxNext is celebrating by introducing the two titular characters, as well as two beloved Guardians of the Galaxy (Star-Lord and Groot), to the playable roster.

Last night, the Ant-Man limited event launched in Marvel Strike Force. Rather than using the template from the Thanos and Deadpool events where you must complete raids with your Alliance to earn orbs, you earn Ant-Man orbs by playing through a mini campaign called “I am the Ant-Man.” Just like the standard campaigns, if you beat the mission without losing a character, you can auto win to farm orb fragments to unlock Ant-Man.

Marvel Strike Force

In addition to a standard attack that steals a positive effect from the target, Ant-Man has powerful special and ultimate abilities. Using his special ability, Ant-Man shrinks to launch an unblockable attack that deals damage and disables the target’s abilities for two turns. Ant-Man’s ultimate ability allows him to turn into Giant-Man to deal damage to all enemies and cast Slow on them. If Wasp is on the team, she gains bonuses from Ant-Man’s attacks as well.

In the coming weeks, FoxNext has announced that Wasp, Groot, and Star-Lord will join the roster of recruitable and playable characters. No word at this time how players will unlock those characters. Prior to these additions, Marvel Strike Force added characters like Cable, Mordo, and Deadpool.


Two of my most anticipated games for the near future are Cyberpunk 2077 and Kingdom Hearts III. These games could not be more different than one another – and that’s part of why I love this genre. We have such a variety of experiences always at our disposal with unique worlds to get lost in, and it’s always interesting to see the genre evolve in different ways through Western and Japanese design. To say the last month has been busy is an understatement, but it’s a good kind of busy. I finally played Kingdom Hearts III for the first time (it’s real!) and then CD Projekt Red unveiled of Cyberpunk 2077 in grand fashion with a 50-minute live demonstration

I’ve been waiting for Kingdom Hearts III for so long, playing every side entry possible and then replaying the series with the HD collections. My wait for Cyberpunk 2077 hasn’t been as long, but knowing CD Projekt had that in its pocket after The Witcher 3 and its expansions had me waiting for any drop of info with enthusiasm. Talking about these games together seems weird, right? On the one hand, I have this series that involves Disney characters and worlds that makes me giddy like a little kid whenever I play it. While on the other hand, my RPG of this generation is hands down The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt, which is gritty, mature, and packed with difficult decisions that haunt you. I have no doubt that these areas of expertise for CD Projekt Red will play into Cyberpunk 2077, but with a different feel. 

The Witcher and Kingdom Hearts are the two series I’ve packed the most time into, so this E3 was particularly exciting. I got to interview director Tetsuya Nomura after all the Kingdom Hearts III reveals, and then I saw Cyberpunk 2077 in action and interviewed quest designer Patrick Mills. This is the part of my job I feel most fortunate for, and getting to write about the games I can’t wait to play is a great privilege. In the E3 rush, you’re up against time, so you have to choose wisely the most important or interesting information to post first. After the show, I usually look back at my interviews and reevaluate what didn’t go live. Often there are still plenty of intriguing details to post, they just aren’t as time sensitive. For this column, I’ve decided to do something different and post some of the answers that I didn’t get a chance to for these two highly anticipated RPGs.

Kingdom Hearts III And Nomura

Kingdom Hearts III And Nomura

I’ve interviewed Tetsuya Nomura two times now, and he loves to make teases and talk directly about the game. My feeling is he enjoys getting fans excited and sharing as much as he can without spoiling the big beats. Discussing a game still in development can be tricky as some of the elements are not finalized. Still, he tends to be as honest as possible when giving details. I appreciate how he always acknowledges when he’s still figuring out a feature, but provides some small info to give you at least an idea of where it’s going. I had a blast chatting with him at E3, as I got to ask him about the Aqua reveal, DLC, and what we still haven’t seen from Kingdom Hearts III. I also got to ask him things I’ve always wondered as a longtime fan of the series. 

The Feedback From The Hands-On Event…

I was curious about the reaction to the first hands-on demo, and if the team is planning on tweaking anything based on feedback. “The event wasn’t really to get feedback from anyone,” Nomura says. “It was to show it to everyone and hope everyone there would spread the word and the details about the game. That being said, I didn’t really go around asking for feedback, but the dev team, myself included, does look at all the comments that are online. It’s not that we will change things just because one person says this or that, but we’ve been constantly testing the game. We’ve been in QA for a while now, so we’re constantly adjusting the game based on that feedback and some of the comments online have been taken into consideration.”

On Sora’s Positivity…

As fans know, Sora always thinks he can find a way to make things better, and a good portion of Kingdom Hearts is about the importance of friendships. Can Sora keep his positive spirit through Kingdom Hearts III? “He is a very bright character in general, but there will be many serious themes with Sora that involve [him] in Kingdom Hearts III,” Nomura says. “There will be a few times where Sora will be on the edge of despair, but because he’s so bright and he has that personality, he quickly brings it back to a neutral state. I think that’s a strength he has, and another strength he has is this trust and believe in others. I think that’s always been what helped him through the storyline and I think that will be another driving factor for him in Kingdom Hearts III.”

Preferred Order For You To Play The Series In… 

One question newcomers often ask is which order they should play the series in now that all the games are out. Birth by Sleep is a prequel, which causes people to wonder if they should start there. Many also ask if they can just skip around and still understand the story. Nomura has his own preference for how he thinks you should play the series. “I would recommend going in order of release date, especially because the story hints at things that will happen in future releases,” he says. “I feel it’s more interesting that way. Of course, that’s not to say you can’t play in chronological order.”

What Goes Into Designing A Keyblade…

We all have our favorite keyblades. Mine are The Seeker, Decisive Pumpkin, and The Kingdom Key. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you unlock a new one. We’ve seen tons of different keyblades through the years and the designs continue to be unique, so I asked Nomura what the process is on creating one of these iconic weapons from the series. “There has always been a designer of the keyblade in the development team and he has been designing keyblades for most of our Kingdom Hearts titles,” Nomura says. “I never told him to do this, but at some point he started bringing me three concept arts for one keyblade and I would select from there what I like. So sometimes I’d be like, ‘I like the tip of this keyblade. Can you keep this? Or I like this grip, can you bring this design to here?’ There are some keyblades I just like at first glance and I’m like this is the one. It seems what he does is takes a lot of different images of the base world. He kind of has a mosaic on his screen and he just selects and chooses what theme or motif he wants to use. That’s the creative process he goes through and I just select from there.”  

On What He’s Most Excited For In III…

It was time to reflect on the fact that Kingdom Hearts III should finally be in fans’ hands on January 29. With development winding down for the long-awaited entry, I was curious what Nomura was most proud of and excited for fans to experience in the game. “There are so many great things to see that it’s really difficult to say [just one thing],” Nomura explains. “I think what we’ve done as an action game with the combat mechanics is just really great, and the story is a culmination of past decade and more. Of course, there are a lot of surprises that are even greater than the Aqua’s surprise [in the Frozen trailer]. But I think I just want to say that the last battle in the game is something I want everyone to see as well as this new original location that I’ve really wanted to create for a long time now. If I had to say just one though, it’d be the last battle.”

CD Projekt Red And Cyberpunk 2077

CD Projekt Red And Cyberpunk 2077

Cyberpunk 2077 is still in a very early phase of development. From my interview with quest designer Patrick Mills, it’s clear the team is still working hard building out the world and the stories within it. We know CD Projekt Red is ambitious and takes time to consider feedback, and E3 was the first time to see people’s reactions. The E3 demo showed lots of promise for CD Projekt Red’s next triple-A project. If you were on our site during E3, you know we got information about romance options, the focus on current-gen consoles, and that a non-violent playthrough is impossible. Here’s some more insight into the direction of the game.  

How It’s Adapting The Tabletop RPG…

While there will be plenty of nods to Mike Pondsmith’s tabletop RPG, CD Projekt Red wants to put its own spin on it, creating something fresh for a modern generation. “We’re doing a lot of world-building with this,” Mills says. “What we’re trying to do is create the feel of Cyberpunk 2020 for a modern audience, so there is a lot of adaptation that’s gone into it.”

That doesn’t mean Pondsmith isn’t involved though. “Mike’s sort of the guru of Cyberpunk and we use him all the time,” Mills says. Mills used the example of how he wanted to use a character from 2020 and consulted with him. “I asked, ‘Who is he? He’s based on a real person so tell me about him.’ We use him for that all the time. We’re not afraid to make changes to the world, but really the core of this, the heart of this, is Mike Pondsmith’s 2020.” To explain the relationship and his involvement a little further for the game. Mills put it like this: “Back in the day when you’d play Cyberpunk 2020 or any pen-and-paper game, you’ve got the game master who sets the rules, and everybody participates in modifying it. And we’ve sort of done the same thing with Cyberpunk 2020. Pondsmith has set the framework for us, and we’ve moved and we’ve worked with him to sort of develop it into something new.” 

Developing something new doesn’t mean forgetting its essence and what was important about it. Pondsmith’s tabletop games touched on politics, painting a bleak future for our world, and CD Projekt Red isn’t shying away from that. “Cyberpunk 2020 was created as a response to the Reagan and Thatcher era,” Mills explains. “Then we all kind of got distracted and decided that that whole image of the future is kitsch, but I don’t know if you’ve turned on the news lately, it wound up coming true. I think it’s more relevant than ever and it’s an interesting task bringing it into the modern era.”

On Quest Types

The Witcher 3 earned plenty of praise for its amazing number of high-quality, in-depth side quests. Whether it was a cool character moment or just a more comical task, they frequently left you satisfied, making them well-crafted content that could compete with the main story. Mills wouldn’t get into particulars for Cyberpunk 2077 but did give an indication that those standards are still in place. “It’s too early to talk about the actual structure of the game or anything like that, but if you look to Witcher 3, I think you have an idea of what we want to do – a very strong main story, but really excellent, well-developed side content as well,” Mills says. “Additionally, those little stories that you see…the little interactions, we consider that one of our greatest strengths. And also the expectation, of course, is we have to deliver that. That’s what we’re aiming for.”

Size Of The World…

The Witcher 3 was CD Projekt Red’s first open-world game and the team went above and beyond for it. Cyberpunk 2077 is also open world, so will we see something similar to The Witcher 3 in terms of size or even bigger? That’s still to be determined. “It’s incredibly hard to answer that question,” Mills says. “We’re still building the world. It’s still a work in progress. We know we have six districts. We roughly know the size of those districts, but even inside the footprint of those districts, we don’t know how many rooms or buildings are going to be explorable, or how many we need to build out. We don’t do any procedural stuff, so it’s all handmade. It will be very, very large, but it will be a distinctly Cyberpunk experience. It won’t feel like the flatness of The Witcher. It’s much more vertical.”

The Decision To Go First-Person

The Witcher was a third-person game, but Cyberpunk 2077 changes things up by being first-person and bringing in shooting mechanics. Mills says he wasn’t surprised by the mixed reaction, but he said there’s a good reason for the swap. “People are expecting us to deliver something very close to The Witcher 3, and we want to give them something as good as The Witcher 3,” Mills explains. “This particular choice was made for a lot of reasons. For one, this is your story; we want you to inhabit V more fully than when you [controlled] Geralt. For instance, you’re controlling Geralt; it’s Geralt’s story and you’re watching his story and guiding him through the story. In this case, it’s your story as you control and inhabit V. That first-person perspective gives you that.”

Mills went on to discuss atmosphere and the verticality of the world. Noting as Geralt if you looked up, nothing was really there. The camera has trouble with that in most third-person games. “When you’re in a big city like [this], in first-person you look up and see those towers above you and feel them bearing down on you. That’s something very difficult to get in third-person. It’s really about immersion.”

That’s a wrap for now. Now that the chaos has died down, this column should be back on its regular schedule. Hopefully, this longer one made up for the break!

Let’s just admit it: Call of Duty campaigns are dumb. They are explosion fueled treks across the world under the guise of a military thriller. Despite their stupidity, I love them. The games are melodramatic, tense, well-paced, and a blast to rip through in an afternoon. You drive, fly, stab, strangle, punch, and generally murder your way through every culture and people you can shake a stick at. You probably even take that stick and shake it so hard somebody dies. The drama is always at its peak, and men are always screaming. At one point, you even pull a knife out of your own chest and throw it in someone’s eye (you couldn’t pay me to make this up). When you kill really good, all your bros slap you on the back or say cool stuff like “tango down” and “confirmed kill” to let you know what a good job you are doing at being a soldier-man. Plus, your codename is always some dumb thing like “Shampoo” or “Toilet Bowl Cleaner.” This is what Call of Duty is best at, letting you go H.A.M. in a place you couldn’t otherwise afford to visit.

We found out recently that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 does not have a campaign, a first for the series. So, let us look back while the warmth of nostalgia keeps our ice-cold hearts from totally freezing and see the best of what past Call of Duty campaigns have to offer.

Crew Expendable
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

You knew, sitting in that helicopter and watching Captain Price stick that cigar underneath his sumptuous, bristly, perfectly symmetrical mustache while lighting that sucker up, that you were in love. While you wish he would take you up in his strong arms, you settle for being part of his elite squad. Your team of talented and handsome soldier men are planning on stealing some nuclear codes from the enemy aboard a cargo ship in the middle of nowhere. Once you sneak aboard, you check your corners like a good boy and hope for a pat on the back from Captain Price. All the while, that weirdo Jason Statham-soundalike Gaz makes sure to remind you all that he keeps a shotgun for close encounters, because he definitely isn’t a psychopath. You get the chance to introduce all the sleepy bad guys to your knife, but the helicopter you rode in on decides to unload on a bunch of the enemies with a minigun, immediately undoing all your hard work. The stuff hits the fan, and you escape from the boat, stumbling around like a drunk with vertigo. In one last action-hero move, you dive impossibly far into the helicopter after running up an 85-degree angle that is slick with ocean water and rain. Just when you think you are done for, the eminently handsome Captain Price fulfills your wishes by catching you in his strong hands and whispers “I’ve got you.” At least I think he does. I blacked out when he touched me.

Helicopter Crashes: Zero, baby!

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

This mission is all about defending Burgertown, because nothing gets you more emotionally invested than defending American corporate consumerism. In fact, the singular obsession that your enemy has with attacking the restaurants around the area is downright disturbing – it’s like they have a disdain for convenience. These burger-haters have to be put to rest, and it is up to you and your squad of rangers, who happened to be randomly driving through the suburbs in a Humvee, to do it. When you and your gun bros aren’t booking it back and forth between the local fast-food joints like a couple of college kids after a weekend bender, you are defending the surrounding area from the Burgertown rooftop. Rushing between the buildings gives the mission a less linear feel, and the varied objectives make it genuinely tense, like micromanaging too many unruly children. To top it all off, you get to shoot down a helicopter! And you aren’t even inside of it!

Helicopter Crashes: One too few.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2

A guy named Soap (not making this up) who you used to play as leads you (now a different guy, named Roach) up a mountain to an enemy camp. It starts with some satisfying quick-time-based climbing and rolls right into a tense stealth segment. Cliffhanger is one of the best showcases of how much variety can be stuffed into a single mission. Once you’ve stealth-murdered them all with a knife – which really is a borderline obsession of yours at this point – you make your way to escape on some snowmobiles. You rip through the woods like two kids who just got the keys to their dad’s convertible and straight send it off a jump that really should obliterate your privates when you land.  Thankfully, you stick the landing with your bits intact, and you and Soap can now share a congratulatory beer, toasting to idiots with dumb names and worse haircuts.

Helicopter Crashes: Probably one somewhere. You for sure blow up a bunch of planes real good.

Call of Duty

In this mission, you don’t have a weapon! What is a Call of Duty mission without a rifle? Turns out, something genuinely intense and epic. Stalingrad starts with you and your fellow soldiers being denied those tasty rifles you crave so much. One of you gets the bullets, the other the rifle. When one man falls, the other picks up his weapon and gets to fighting. The Soviet Union really wasn’t a fan of desertion and makes that clear pretty quickly when your superiors mow down a bunch of your friends for disobeying orders. After that, you are lucky enough to get to storm the shore with your fists! You do carry a rifle clip, and an enterprising soldier could maybe kill a Nazi by throwing one at them, but you aren’t an enterprising soldier. You are Codman. You soldier on (ha!), and follow someone much smarter to safety. It is all spectacle, as you never even fire a gun and it really is just about staring at some other soldier’s back as you follow him. Back then standards were lower, and you could just rip scenes from war movies shot for shot and place them in your game. But hey, Enemy at The Gates was a popular movie and Jude Law is handsome, so Stalingrad ended up being gold.

Helicopter Crashes: There were no helicopters in World War II, you idiot.

Shock and Awe
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

I don’t think anyone hates helicopters as much as Infinity Ward does, and this mission proves my point. You start in one, under the pretense that they are a fun way to quickly move around and rain death on your enemies.  Turns out, they just wanted to pull the rug out from under you, because while you save someone who crashed their helicopter by picking them up in yours, you get nuked and also crash! At the time, it was an insane turn of events for CoD, and was a rare example of a player character getting killed so early on. Eventually the series made it predictable, but it blew everyone away originally (pun intended).

Helicopter Crashes: All of them.

All Ghillied Up
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

In this iconic mission, you get to sneak through Chernobyl as Captain Price when he is only a lieutenant, following the command of his Captain, MacMillan. You. Are. Price. Just let that sink in for a minute. While you can’t look down at your undoubtedly perfect figure (in Modern Warfare you are a pair of disembodied arms), you are definitely allowed to use your imagination. Once you come to after dealing with the realization that you are Price, you follow MacMillan, stealthing through the tall grass, sniping enemies, and generally sneaking your way through the nuclear-encrusted countryside. The mission has a pants-soiling tension to it, especially when you are slowly crawling past a platoon of soldiers and tanks through an open field. Moments like that pepper All Ghillied Up, and being the wonderful and handsome Captain Price in his more formative years is only icing on the cake.

Helicopter Crashes: I was too busy being Price to notice.

Wasn’t that fun? For more serious and relevant Call of Duty coverage, check out Dan Tack’s multiplayer preview and Javy Gwaltney’s amazing feature about soldiers using video games to cope with deployment. 

Blade Strangers, a 2D fighting game made by Studio Saizensen of Code of Princess fame, is releasing on August 28 on Switch, PS4, and PC.

The sprite-based fighter beings together the characters under Studio Saizensen’s banner as well as characters from Cavestory, Binding of Isaac, Mighty Gunvolt, and Shovel Knight. You can check out the release date trailer below.

The game includes a story mode for each character, as well as online battles, tutorials, and a surprising number of features for an indie fighting game.


I am surprised at how good the game looks in motion. I don’t know how good Studio Saizensen is at making fighting games, but I am at least interested.

It is not like Koji Igarashi, made famous for heading Castlevania during its exploratory Metroid-like days, has not been hiding Bloodstained’s lineage and Castlevania influence. Igarashi is going to do what he does best. That comes across in the new story trailer for the game, which pits main character Miriam against the hordes of demons of the night.

Check out the story trailer below.

Miriam is played by Erica Lindberg, who is probably best known as Futaba from Persona 5. Zangetsu, who was the main character in prequel game Curse of the Moon, is voiced by David Hayter of Solid Snake fame. Ray Chase voices Gebel, who you would probably know as Final Fantasy XV’s Noctis.

In addition, the backer demo for Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night released today, so if you backed at a high enough tier for that code, you can give the E3 demo a try. The demo was supposed to come out last week, but was held back due to some bug fixes.

Games these days value robot “feelings” too much. That’s the thesis posed by Blazing Chrome, a sidescrolling robot-blasting romp inspired by games like Contra and Metal Slug. Earlier this year we said it was one of the best games we saw at PAX, and that feeling only continues with this new trailer.

The trailer shows two players riding on hoverbikes, running along a train, getting murdered by a giant flying mech, and more. There’s no platform information yet, but the developers are aiming for a 2018 release. If this vertical slice is anything to go on, the game is looking pretty swell so far. 

More info is on the game’s site, here.