Kotaku’s Jason Schreier took to Twitter today with some powerful tweets, allegedly confirming the title of Infinity Ward’s 2019 installment of the Call of Duty franchise as “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.” We’re dangerously close to E3, so this reveal was probably due to hit in a few weeks.

While the name may not make a whole lot of sense right now, Schreier also dropped some more information in a followup tweet – that the game is allegedly a “soft reboot”.

 

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What if Red Dead Redemption II was done in the style of The Magnificent Seven? YouTuber USNIM has a channel dedicated to creating film-inspired trailers out of popular video games, and Red Dead Redemption II is the most recent to receive the Hollywood treatment. 

The trailer, inspired by the 2016 blockbuster The Magnificent Seven, perfectly captures tone of the film through scenes and dialogue from the game. USNIM also gave Red Dead Redemption II a Logan-inspired trailer that is a bit more melancholic, showing a different side to the game. Both look like they would make great movies. 

USNIM’s channel is filled with trailers, from a Mission Impossible: Fallout-inspired Uncharted 4 trailer to a Spider-Man: Homecoming-inspired trailer for 2018’s Spider-Man, among others.

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It’s no secret that fans have been clamoring for an N64 Classic to follow Nintendo’s popular NES and SNES Classic consoles. However, YouTuber Madmorda has skipped the 64-bit console and jumped right to the following generation with a “GameCube Classic.”

The miniaturized console actually uses a Wii motherboard, since it’s smaller than the GameCube’s and has backward compatibility. Madmorda then trimmed the motherboard down to the size of a GameBoy Color cartridge, which she details on her blog. The four controller ports are compatible with GameCube controllers through a headphone jack adapter, but the console is also compatible with the Wii U and Switch GameCube adapter through a USB port. There’s also a USB port for game data, serving as the memory card. For the console’s shell, Madmorda found an old gummy candy case in the shape of a GameCube.

The project took around nine months, and the work to fit all of the necessary components into this tiny gummy case is insane. Even the Wii motherboard wasn’t small enough to neatly fit in the case, so Madmorda had to cut parts of it and reassemble it like Frankenstein’s monster.

The final product definitely seems worth the work, however. The tiny console can play any GameCube game without lag, has a working power button, and features an orange LED light showing when the console’s powered on. Nintendo, take notes.

[Source: Madmorda, BitBuilt via Nintendo Life]

Publisher: Gun Media
Developer: Bloober Team
Release: May 28, 2019

Rating: Mature
Reviewed on: PC
Also on:
PlayStation 4, Xbox One

In horror, mystery and uncertainty are useful tools. However, when properly deployed, knowledge and context have even more power to transform simple scares into pure terror. Imagine you’re walking through a haunted house. Doors spring open every few steps, each one hiding a faceless corpse, and in the background you can vaguely hear the singing of a creepy voice. That’s pretty scary. Now imagine that all of those faceless corpses are replaced by the bodies of your friends and family, and the creepy singing is the voice of your first-grade teacher. Suddenly, your personal investment makes predictable horror elements compelling and chilling. This is a lesson Layers of Fear 2 never learns. It may excel at jolting you with quick scares, but the narrative and stakes are so obscure that real horror can’t take root.

This first-person experience sends players through a linear series of corridors and rooms that are ostensibly in a luxury ocean liner – but the aesthetic doesn’t hold its form for long. That’s not a bad thing; like the original Layers of Fear, a big highlight of this sequel is how it toys with your perception of your surroundings. Sometimes you’re in a forest, sometimes you’re in a house, and sometimes you’re in a dreamscape. Doors slam behind you, and when you turn around to check, new hallways appear where blank walls were before. This instability is exciting and the visuals can be striking, producing a few well-designed moments that I won’t spoil here, along with plenty of jump scares.

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If you’re content with the shallow thrills that come from unexpected loud noises and quick flashes of disturbing images, then Layers of Fear 2 might be satisfying. If you want an oppressive atmosphere and creeping dread, those things never quite develop. You control an actor aboard the ship to star in a film, but your unraveling sanity blurs the line between reality and imagination. This setup raises questions I was eager to have answered, but the answers don’t enrich the tension. Instead, you scour the environment for collectibles like drawings and notes, and use those to assemble a fuzzy outline of a narrative – a process that doesn’t arm you with the relevant information at the right times.

Stories don’t always need to be explicitly communicated. Some games benefit from an ambiguous delivery, but Layers of Fear 2 isn’t one of them. It feels like a six-hour trailer for a real game, teasing significance with vague foreshadowing and ominous dialogue like, “There shall be a vast shout. And then, a vaster silence.” But those threads don’t converge in a compelling way, so at moments that seemed important, I was often left wondering what was happening and why. Players can eventually find those answers through new game+ and thorough exploration, but nothing kills a scary moment like relying on after-the-fact clarification to explain why the moment should have felt scarier than it did.

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Beyond that narrative disconnect, Layers of Fear 2 also has some gameplay issues that are far more aggravating than fun. While you’re usually walking and poking around, a half-formed monster chases you at multiple points. These sequences are exercises in learning through failure; you can expect to die several times as you flee, and when you finally escape, it’s with a sense of resignation rather than victory. I was also frustrated by the conclusion, which factors in your actions to determine which of three endings you get. However, when you are making significant choices (or what you are even choosing) is poorly communicated, so the final scenes feel arbitrary – not like the end of a path you’ve decided to travel.

Watching people react to fright can be funny, and the original Layers of Fear found an audience among streamers because of its abundance of jump scares. This sequel has many similar moments, and they are more interesting and paced less aggressively, so players aren’t desensitized so quickly. At the same time, Layers of Fear 2 shares its predecessor’s narrative shortcomings; it drops multiple clues that hint at a unifying story, but the bungled delivery and atmosphere prevented me from connecting to anything beyond the surface scares.

Score: 6

Summary: Layers of Fear 2 may excel at jolting you with quick scares, but the narrative and stakes are so obscure that real horror can’t take root.

Concept: The past and present converge as an actor explores a ship that isn’t bound by the rules of reality

Graphics: Though many rooms and hallways look similar, several areas are gorgeously foreboding

Sound: Creepy effects help the jump-scares land, and the few key voice performers (including “Candyman” star Tony Todd) do good work

Playability: Navigating the world is simple, but environmental interactions (like opening doors) can be inconsistent – which is a problem if you’re being chased by a monster

Entertainment: Surprising moments succeed at sending occasional shivers down your spine, but the game doesn’t bring you deep enough into its world to inspire fear

Replay: Moderate

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When Overwatch first released, there was a big problem people who didn’t play Bastion had where getting Play of the Game was actually pretty hard. Blizzard explained it’s really hard to fix what a computer thinks is cool, so it had to mostly go by numbers. Now it seems like Blizzard is putting the power in your hands by giving players camera tools and the ability to do a replay of the match they were just in.

Announced by Blizzard today, the new feature is given the greatly simplistic name of “Overwatch Replays.” The tools will let you speed up, slow down, change camera angles, spectate specific players, and more. It seems a lot like their spectator tools for the Overwatch League, but now in your hands.

This could be useful if you wanted to know exactly how you managed to die in the chaos of that last match, you’re analyzing your competitive play for weakness, or perhaps you just did a cool or funny thing and want to show your friends using the in-game editing tools. The blog post says not to abuse dramatic slowdown, but I think you should use it as much as you want and set it to a singing chorus. Other people will just have to deal with your creative vision.

The replays are currently on the game’s Portable Test Realm, but will presumably filter out to the main game in time. The feature will be coming to all versions, including the consoles.

Of all the Star Wars licensed titles in video game history, Bioware’s Knights of the Old Republic might be the most venerated. The 2003 RPG put players into a Star Wars universe 4,000 years before the movies and was well-loved for its strong character writing and exploration of the Star Wars mythos. The game is so well-liked that it reportedly influenced director J.J. Abrams during concept meetings for bringing the series back with The Force Awakens.

It makes sense, then, that Disney and Lucasfilm would consider adapting the title as a Star Wars movie. According to a report from BuzzFeed, that’s exactly what they’re doing.

BuzzFeed’s sources report that the movie is currently being written in preparation for next steps. Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, has told reporters that an adaptation is being looked at, but BuzzFeed’s report states that it is currently in active development. The same story identifies Laeta Kalogridis as the writer, who is best know for her work on Shutter IslandAlita: Battle Angel, and the Netflix show Altered Carbon.

Disney recently recoiled a bit after Solo: A Star Wars Story failed to perform at the box office, deeply cutting back the bench of currently scheduled Star Wars title and mostly leaving movies from Game of Thrones showrunners Benioff and Weiss, but still has other announced movies in development. With the decision to back off more planned spinoffs like Solo, a space is left open for a KOTOR movie to come to fruition.

[Source: BuzzFeed]

There aren’t enough animated game trailers out there and I genuinely appreciate that Dead Cells provides them at weirdly regular junctures that are pretty fun. This one is to celebrate the release of the Rise of the Giant DLC, a free semi-expansion that has been available on PC for some time. It’s now on PlayStation 4 and Switch, so players can enjoy the new bosses and new areas it provides.

You can check out the animated trailer below.

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In addition to the trailer and the DLC, Motion Twin has confirmed that Dead Cells has sold two million copies across all systems. This is a pretty unqualified success for Motion Twin, which functions somewhat experimentally as a developer with a flat structure in terms of hierarchy. In absolute terms, two million in the indie market is huge, and speaks to how a critically successful idea can take off.

Dead Cells is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC, and soon mobile platforms. Rise of the Giant will also be coming to Xbox One, but a last minute bug in the certification process delayed the release on that platform, which Motion Twin says will “come a bit later.”

Publisher: Nintendo
Developer: Team Ninja
Release: July 19, 2019
Rating: Rating Pending
Platform: Switch

You might have noticed that we have Marvel fever this month at Game Informer thanks to our cover story of Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, the upcoming Nintendo-published Switch exclusive. We’ve already had a bunch of exclusive features, footage, and discussion of the game, but Nintendo’s also supplying some new trailers, like this one focusing on the X-Men.

You can check out the latest Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 trailer below.

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While we’ve known Wolverine is in the game since its initial reveal trailer at The Game Awards last year, but Marvel’s recent attempts in the last few years to tap down on publicizing the other X-Men made their appearance in Ultimate Alliance 3 somewhat dicey. Thankfully, this trailer confirms that a number of the mutants are making it in, including Nightcrawler and Psylocke.

You can check out our coverage hub of all things Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 right here, which has the roster so far and a few exclusive character reveals like Ms. Marvel and Hawkeye, not to mention our gameplay impressions.

Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3 releases exclusively on the Nintendo Switch on July 19.

The saga of Telltale’s closure, which was done abruptly and without paying severance to its 500 employees, seems to be as episodic as the developer’s games were when they were operating. This time, it looks like expiring licenses have caught up to Telltale’s library and the games are likely to disappear from digital shelves soon, with GOG already announcing this to be the case.

In a statement on GOG’s forums today, the digital distribution store did not mince words about what is happening.

“Sadly, we need to inform you that, due to company’s closure, all the remaining Telltale titles will be delisted from our catalog on Monday, May 27, 10am UTC. The titles are as follows: the Wolf Among Us, Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Hector: Badge of Carnage, the Batman series, Sam & Max series, Puzzle Agent series, Tales from the Borderlands, and Strong Bad’s Cool Game for Attractive People. For everyone who purchased any of said titles prior to delisting, the games will remain in their GOG library.”

Tales from the Borderlands, a collaboration with Gearbox set in the Borderlands universe and has direct ties to the upcoming Borderlands 3, has already been removed. 2K Games has told Eurogamer that they are working to get Tales from the Borderlands back up, but a number of other licensed products are unlikely to have someone in their corner to fight for them to stay up.

While GOG has announced this, it seems exceedingly unlikely that the CDPR-owned store is the only service affected by these expiring licenses. While Valve has not said anything yet, Tales from the Borderlands has also been pulled from Steam, meaning the store is certainly not immune to this.

This is only the remainder of Telltale’s games that are disappearing, as a number of licensed titles like Jurassic Park and Back to the Future disappeared soon after Telltale’s forced liquidation last November. If there are any Telltale games you wanted to get but never had the chance, now is your last opportunity to grab them or hope you can find a physical copy somewhere down the line.

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Game Informer’s Ben Hanson, Suriel Vazquez, Jeff Cork, and Kyle Hilliard talk about Cork’s trip to Mojang to learn about and play Minecraft Earth and Minecraft Dungeons. Then Joe Juba and Javy Gwaltney join the show to talk about Outer Wilds and Observation before diving deep into the history of the Nintendo 3DS by talking about our favorite games like Super Mario 3D Land and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds. In the back half of the show, we’re joined by the vice president and creative director of Marvel Games Bill Rosemann to talk about Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order on the Nintendo Switch. After the credits on this episode, we cut together highlights from the podcast’s long history of talking about the Nintendo 3DS.

You can watch the video above, subscribe and listen to the audio on iTunes or Google Playlisten on SoundCloudstream it on Spotify, or download the MP3 by clicking here. Also, be sure to send your questions to podcast@gameinformer.com for a chance to have them answered on the show.

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.

2:35 – Minecraft/Mojang studio impressions
5:55 – Minecraft Earth hands-on impressions
12:15 – Minecraft Dungeons impressions
23:00 – Outer Wilds
26:00 – Observation
32:30 – Oddest tidbits from the life of the Nintendo 3DS
1:02:30 – Our top 3 most underappreciated games on the 3DS
1:14:50 – Our 3 favorites games on the Nintendo 3DS
1:39:55 – Marvel Games’ vice president & creative director Bill Rosemann interview
2:04:04 – History of Nintendo 3DS discussions on The GI Show