From Spider-Man to Red Dead to a host of innovative battle royale shooters, this fall is teeming with huge game releases. However, thanks to our collective obsession with spoilerphobia, developers are keeping much of their projects under wraps, leaving story-focused players little to base their purchasing decisions on. At least that would be true if I wasn’t about to use my incredible insight to blow the lid of this fall’s biggest games.

Plot predictions may seem like a sorry substitute for concrete facts, but I’ve honed my analytical chops through years of experience. I’ve uncovered mind-blowing video game conspiracies, investigated the decline of modern box art, and even reviewed a purely hypothetical game. Just a few months ago I offered readers a wealth of in-depth Detroit: Become Human plot predictions, which I’m sure will prove true if any of us ever actually plays the game to find out. In other words, my predictions basically ARE concrete facts, so there’s no need to doubt anything else I say from here on out.

With that out of the way, here are my plot predictions for 2018’s biggest games. Well, the games that are left, anyway – predicting the plots of games that are already out would just be stupid.

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

No Man’s Sky Next (July 24)

I actually liked No Man’s Sky when it first came out, which – based on the responses I received from readers at the time – makes me a know-nothing sheeple who is lying to himself in order to cover for an evil mastermind scam artist. And here I thought I just enjoyed chilling out and cruising around the galaxy!

Either way, Hello Games never stopped working on No Man’s Sky, and is releasing a major update for it next week to coincide with the Xbox One launch. What could possibly cause a studio to devote years to the continued development of a game that has brought them nothing but endless scorn from the gaming community?

The answer, I predict, is also the new objective of the game: No Man’s Sky Next will task players with collecting resources and upgrading their ship to get as far away from the internet as humanly possible. Basically, it will be like the reverse of the original game – instead of everyone trying to reach the center of the universe, everyone will be working outwards, away from one another. The new multiplayer component will also factor into this quest – any player you come across will endlessly drone “No Man’s Lie” at you until you finally blast off into the cosmos and isolate yourself in a shack on some icy, unnamed moon. I can’t wait!

We Happy Few (August 10)

This indie project from Compulsion Games has been in development for a number of years, evolving from a fairly simplistic survival roguelike into a more story-driven experience. Unlike other games on the list, we actually know a decent bit about that story – it takes place in a dystopian society where a corrupt government controls its overmedicated citizens through lies and authoritarian tactics. Anyone who questions the government’s actions is swarmed by a mob of brainwashed citizens, which are controlled by A.I. bots and designed to squash any sign of criticism and independent thinking. So what’s the twist, you ask? How about that it’s all based on real-life – WAKE UP PEOPLE, CAN’T YOU SEE WHAT OUR GOVERNMENT IS DO–

Marvel’s Spider-Man (September 7)

*Ahem* moving on. In my opinion (which I’ve been told to reiterate is strictly my own and may not necessarily reflect that of Game Informer), Spider-Man is one of the biggest games of this fall. But while our hands-on time has been promising, we still don’t know a lot about Spider-Man’s story. Or do we?

In an interview from April, Insomniac writer Jon Paquette told us the game won’t focus on the web-slinger’s roots. “We all knew that people have seen the origin story before, right?,” Paquette said. “We know what that teenage Peter Parker is about. We didn’t want to tell a story that had already been told.”

Based on that information, there’s only one plausible scenario: Instead of his origin, Insomniac is focusing on the end of Spider-Man’s life. Just think about it – no one has shown what Spider-Man’s life is like as an old man!

I’m guessing – and by “guessing” I mean declaring beyond a shadow of a doubt – we’ll get a few hours of high-flying adventure before the game fast-forwards to Parker in his 80s. At that point, gameplay will switch to a never-ending series of QTEs to make Spider-Man take his pills, go to the bathroom 10 times a night, and yell at neighborhood kids about how he invented both the Spider-Mobile and pizza.

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Destiny 2: Forsaken (September 4)

Oh crap, I completely forgot about Destiny 2’s new expansion… though to be fair, I think most people did. Anyhow, I actually have no idea what Forsaken’s story is going to be – I mean, they’re killing off the only memorable character the whole damn series has ever had! Seriously, who are they going to focus on? The creepy Smurf guy

My best guess is Bungie is going for some kind of Death of Superman scenario, and he’ll be replaced by 10 more Cayde-6es, leaving fans to guess which is the real one. Hint: It’s whoever is the most annoying.

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Shadow Of The Tomb Raider (September 14)

Hoo boy, Shadow Of The Tomb Raider is another tricky one. What can Lara possibly do that she hasn’t already?

That’s what a layman would ask, anyway. However, the all-too-obvious answer is in the title: Shadow of the Tomb Raider. Clearly, Lara will face her greatest foe yet: Shadow Lara, an evil incarnation of herself who goes around killing everyone in her path and robbing…tombs. Actually, that just sounds like normal Lara, doesn’t it?

Hmm…I’m still stumped. Okay, let’s just brute force this one – there’s going to be some old artifact, a lot of family drama no one really cares about, and Lara will barely survive and lose the treasure at the last minute, but realize she grew as a person instead or something. Tell me I’m wrong!

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Assassin’s Creed Odyssey (October 5)

Oh, this one’s easy – it’s clearly just 300! I mean look at the screen shot, for crying out loud! Wait, what was the plot to 300 anyway?

Let’s see, you probably play as a Spartan and kick some guy down a well. But then you realize you actually kicked the wrong guy down the well, and you have to get him out. So you kick another person in to help him, and so on until the entire town is in the well. Then you just board it up and go on your merry way.

Oh, and at some point there will be a guy in a toga eating grapes. Mark my words.

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (October 12)

Trick question – the game doesn’t have a story! Next!

Okay, okay, I’m guessing Treyarch will still want to come up with some kind of pretense for its battle royale mode, so here goes. Someone – probably that dumb robot Ethan from Infinite Warfare – will create a time-travel device that accidentally sucks up every character from every Call of Duty game ever. Then it spits them all out on Jonathan Irons’ private island (though they’ll probably want to hire a different actor at this point), where they duke it out to see who the best soldiers are. The top 10 advance to the semi-finals, where Captain Price eventually proposes to the overall winner with a rose like on The Bachelor. Man, I kinda want to play that game now…

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Battlefield V (October 19)

I know DICE has said Battlefield V is set in World War II, but we can’t possibly be fighting the Nazis again, can we? We’ve done that a million times! That’s why I’m guessing certain EA’s big game reveal was really just a smokescreen to hide the mother of all video game twists: Battlefield V is actually based on V for Vendetta. You know – the dystopian thriller in which a supremacist regime has taken over the government and oppresses its people through a series of lies and authoritarian tactics, and I CAN’T THINK OF A MORE PERFECT TIME FOR A GAME LIKE THAT CONSIDERING WHA–

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Red Dead Redemption 2 (October 26)

You’ve probably noticed the Rockstar-sized crater around the end of October and beginning of November, and the absence of other game launches is entirely understandable; Red Dead Redemption 2 is easily the most anticipated title of 2018, and other developers are giving its release a wide berth. If all the excitement leaves you wondering what kind of story Rockstar will weave, I’m pretty sure I’ve narrowed it down to the only possible answer – they’re going to take the term “Spaghetti Western” literally.

Here’s my theory: Not only is Arthur Morgan the enforcer of the Van der Linde gang, he’s also the cook (that shot of him with the ladle pretty much proves it, along with everything else I’m about to assert). While Morgan will still be doing a variety of rootin’, tootin’ cowboy activities during the game, his main questline will revolve around finding a new recipe to impress his boss, Dutch. From there, RDR 2 will break down its missions into three main parts, as Morgan learns the fine art of making pasta, a traditional marinara sauce, and – you guessed it – spicy meatballs! True to previous Rockstar games, players will be able to tackle these branching missions in any order they choose, and each will take dozens of hours complete, as Morgan tracks down the necessary ingredients, chefs to teach him how to cook each component, and replacement chefs for when he gets frustrated and shoots the previous ones.

All of this makes perfect sense – people love crafting in video games, and landing a Teen rating from the ESRB would sell even more copies. All Rockstar would have to do is change the blood in the game to spaghetti sauce – they could even make it a collectible that Morgan has to gather in jars after shootouts to improve his cooking skills. Aaand that’s all I’ve got!

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Fallout 76 (I’ll Believe It When I See It November 14)

Ugh, I feel like I peaked early with the spaghetti thing. Anyhow, considering Fallout 76’s name and the fact that it’s a prequel, I feel 100-percent confident that the game is centered entirely on the Third Dalmatian war, which as everyone knows took place in 76 B.C. As everyone also knows, the Third Dalmatian war was waged entirely by dalmatian puppies, and was positively ADORABLE. My current theory (which again is synonymous with “pure fact”) is that players will play as actual dalmatians, and will be able to customize both the shape and placement of their spots in Bethesda’s most in-depth character creator yet. S.P.E.C.I.A.L. perks will include Sad Puppy Eyes, Butt Sniffer, and Yeah He Peed On The Carpet But Wook How Cute He Is!!!

Funny To A Point – Bold Plot Predictions For Fall's Biggest Games

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate (December 7)

What? You want a story for Smash Bros.? It’s just a bunch of stupid Nintendo characters fighting each other! Okay, FINE.

On completely independent missions on opposite sides of the galaxy, Fox McCloud and Samus both travel into blackholes at the exact same time, triggering a cataclysmic explosion that fuses all of the alternate dimensions Nintendo’s characters reside in into one massive, quantum-entangled omniverse – you can blame it all on string theory if you’d like.

Moments after everyone phases into the same existence, Boswer, Ganon, and Ridley team up in an effort to capitalize on the ensuing chaos and take control of the new world. The good guys team up in a Civil War-type scenario to thwart the villains, but in-fighting quickly unravels their efforts; Peach makes googly eyes at Link, which causes that jealous jerk Mario to fly off the handle and start lobbing fireballs at everybody. Meanwhile, Pikachu and the other Pokémon see the kind of freedom Yoshi and the Kongs are afforded, and revolt against their trainers slavers. Little Mac and the Wii Fit Trainer get into a fight about who has the best exercise regimen, the Ice Climbers and King Dedede clash over whose home world is the coldest, and Wolf and the Duck Hunt Dog just start humping like CRAZY. Kirby, Jigglypuff, and Pac-Man spar over who makes the best sphere, while Sonic and Mr. Game & Watch argue about which of them is the lamest. Then everyone else joins in the fight because they’ve got nothing better to do. Happy?!

It has been a long time since DC’s youth-based superhero show Young Justice finished its second season. After surging popularity of the first two seasons on Netflix, DC decided to launch their streaming service with a third season made exclusively for it subtitled Outsiders. From San Diego Comic-con, we get our first look at the new trailer for Young Justice: Outsiders.

The trailer begins with a recap of the previous few seasons, so you might want to skip to 3:00 if you haven’t caught up. If you need a quick refresher, though, it helps to give context to the new footage.

The show’s creators Brandon Vietti, who made the excellent Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Greg Weisman known best for cartoons like Gargoyles and Star Wars Rebels, are returning for the third season but also hope to be around for more. Young Justice: Outsiders will be on DC’s streaming service in 2019.

James Gunn, director of the first two Guardians of the Galaxy movies, has been fired from the third movie by Disney.

Gunn is well-known as an outspoken critic of president Trump and the Republican party and had become much more frequent in his criticism over the last two weeks. This provoked a response from top conservative voices on Twitter such as Jack Posobiec and conservative magazine The Daily Caller, who combed through Gunn’s Twitter feed. Posobiec and others discovered tweets from Gunn dating back ten years where Gunn acted as a provocateur and made offensive jokes.

A favorite taboo subject of Gunn’s was to joke about pedophilia, putting himself as the punchline sometimes cast as the victim and sometimes the rapist. The tweets in question were mostly from 2008 and 2009, but went viral in the last few days. Gunn attempted to delete them, but screenshots were taken and shared alongside calls for Disney to remove Gunn from his executive director position within the Marvel Cinematic Universe brand.

Yesterday, Gunn expressed regret about the old tweets and tweeted out an explanation. “Many people who have followed my career know when I started, I viewed myself as a provocateur, making movies and telling jokes that were outrageous and taboo,” Gunn said. “As I have discussed publicly many times, as I’ve developed as a person, so has my work and my humor.”

Disney seems unmoved by this explanation and fired Gunn today.

“The offensive attitudes and statements discovered on James’ Twitter feed are indefensible and inconsistent with our studio’s values, and we have severed our business relationship with him,” Walt Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn said in a statement released today and given to The Hollywood Reporter.

Gunn was also an executive for this year’s Avengers: Infinity War and next year’s still unnamed follow-up Avengers movie. In the past, Gunn wrote the Warner Bros. and Grasshopper Manufacture game Lollipop Chainsaw.

[Source: The Hollywood Reporter]

If you’re an avid fan of Fortnite, it seems like you’ve heard of Friday Fortnite, the popular weekly stream that features a mixture of well-known competitive players, YouTubers, streamers, and celebrities playing the game. The stream boasts over half a million viewers on average thanks to aggressive and skilled marketing by YouTuber Keemstar and UMG, collaborators on the weekly event. For the first time, however, Keemstar has chosen to cancel Fortnite Friday due to competition from Epic.

Last week, Epic began their own weekly Fortnite show under the title Summer Skirmish. The inaugural episode didn’t go well. Due to the notably high prize pool, the participants had more to lose and ended up playing incredibly conservatively, making for a boring match to watch. The lag on the important match didn’t help, either. Epic vowed to do better and made a last-minute schedule for the second episode for today, July 20.

This conflicts with Fortnite Friday, which alone is a pretty big problem. According to Keemstar, Epic invited all the Fortnite Friday players to ditch their regularly scheduled programming and join Summer Skirmish, which is an even bigger problem. Beyond that, Epic also capped the prize pool for Fortnite Friday at $20,000, while Epic’s own event can go to $500,000. Keemstar says he’s not holding anyone back from having to choose between the two prize pools, so he’s cancelling Fortnite Friday this week.

In a response on Twitter, Keemstar was a lot more blunt.

In a video released on Wednesday, Keemstar explained that his new plan is to reschedule Fortnight Fridays to Sunday, which would presumably provoke a name change and giving up some of the branding. It is unclear if that fixes the issue with the gulf between Fortnite Friday’s prize pool and what Epic allows their own tournaments.

While the two events are similar in that they’re people playing Fortnite, the actual structure is fairly different. In Keemstar’s stream, players simply win or lose in a Team Deathmatch format. Epic changed this up with Summer Skirmish, giving players one point per player kill, five points for winning the match, and a bonus of ten points for achieving 20 kills in during a match. That last one also earns players $10,000 if they can pull it off.

This point system allows Epic to let people play freely and simply count up the point totals at the end of the tournament. Friday Fortnite is a much more rigid bracket structure, outlining a key difference between the two and how players participate in them.

We reached out to Epic for comment, but did not receive anything back at the time of writing.

 

Fortnite is making a lot of people a lot of money, so this was bound to happen. Hopefully Epic and Keemstar/UMG can work something out, because this becoming any more acrimonious will likely end up being a problem for everyone involved.

The Dreaming City is a gorgeous, vibrant world that will act as your endgame hub in Destiny 2: Forsaken. Its colorful sky, spacious caves, and palatial interiors give the impression it was a sort of utopian homeland at some point. But that’s not what it is now.

As you spend time exploring the Dreaming City, you’ll quickly discover it has a literal darker side: The Ascendant Realm. This otherworldly plane of existence is host to the gods the Hive hold allegiance to, as well as Scorn Baron Hiraks, the Mindbender. This world is oppressively dark – the easiest way to navigate it is to follow a string of bright lights that will guide you through the few isolated pieces of terra firma around you. Your adventures in The Ascendant Realm will be among the most challenging in Forsaken, but the rewards will prove worth the trek.

But before you can test yourself in The Ascendant Realm, you must gain the ability to enter it. As you defeat enemies, complete Public Events in the Dreaming City, or test yourself in the Blind Well, enemies will occasionally drop a new kind of consumable item. This item is your key to entering the Ascendant Realm. When you use this item, you’ll be able to see many of the secrets that link the Dreaming City and the Ascendant Realm. You’ll only this ability for a limited time, however, so make sure you have a group and your wits about you before you start hunting.

The first secret observant players will notice are platforms randomly floating around the Dreaming City. These platforms are only visible (and solid) to those who’ve consumed the new item. They will appear in specific spots in the Dreaming City, but their exact locations will vary from week to week. And when you find one platform, you’ll usually find a few more. They’re also perilously thin (think of a stone tablet turned on its side), which means following the trail of platforms to reap the reward at the end will require some light platforming skills.

But the reward at the end of these short platforming challenges will help you progress in the Dreaming City. These platforms can lead to one of several chests, each containing a random assortment of tokens used to access the Blind Well, legendary gear, and possibly more. Gear you gain from these chests won’t be the strongest in the game, but it should work as a stop-gap that will help you out during your early days in The Dreaming City. Bounties you pick up from Petra Venj (the Dreaming City’s faction vendor) will often take you locations where these platforms might emerge; in fact, the first platform we found was right behind her.

Bounties may also hint at another secret these platforms can lead to: Portals to the Ascendant Realm. Only one of these portals will be open per week, so you’ll have to think critically about the hints you’re given to find them in time. Some of these portals are obscurely hidden, while others may jump out at you immediately. And while jumping up the platforms necessary to enter these portals may prove difficult, that’s just the start of your journey.

Inside these portals are Ascendant Challenges – short, self-contained dungeons that will test your puzzle-solving skills as much as your aim. While they’re not as intricate as anything you might find in a raid, these challenges won’t hold your hand, which means it’s up to you to figure them out.

You’re also treading on some thin ice. If you die while inside an Ascendant Challenge, you’re kicked back out to the Dreaming City, which means having to platform your way back up to the entrance. And since the new consumable item is time-limited and caps out at five in your inventory, you’re running on a generous but limited timer.

The actual puzzle of each challenge can vary; most require a mix of combat prowess, platforming skills, and critical thinking. One of the challenges we played had us climbing to the top of an area using a series of tiny, floating islands infected by Darkness Blast traps which threatened to push us off into oblivion. Another required we figure out how to kill a particular boss the right way, and yet another involved more platforming, this time with a focus on remembering when giant, teleporting behemoths will appear so you’re not knocked into the ether by them (remember the platform section of the King’s Fall raid? That’s not too far off). 

And while you can complete Ascendant Challenges on your own, you’ll probably want to bring a fireteam with you, as the enemies inside will prove challenging; if you try to tackle these right after finishing the campaign, you’ll likely be underleveled for them. You might also want the extra brain power; these challenges aren’t lengthy, but your first time through, you’ll need to be observant about how to complete then before running out of elixirs. We were able to finish one in about 10 minutes, but harder challenges may take longer.

Your reward? A piece of powerful loot, which will provide you with a lategame power bump outside of the weekly milestones (most of which will shift to a four-day cycle when Forsaken launches). This, along with the several hidden chests, should give both casual and dedicated players new goals to chase every week – ones off the beaten path and which should make the Dreaming City a location worth exploring.

For more on Destiny 2: Forsaken, like a look at a public event in the Dreaming City, or a closer look at the new repeatable Blind Well activity, make sure to click on the banner below to see all of our Forsaken coverage, and come back throughout the month for more features.

Voldo is as associated with Soulcalibur as Sophitia or Mitsurugi, with his dancing blade style and overall weirdness attracting people to Soul Edge arcade machines since 1995. Now the Italian bodyguard is coming to Soulcalibur VI, much like he did every single other Soulcalibur title, to the surprise of no one but the delight of many.

Check out this video of Voldo in action.

The new design puts a mask on the back of Voldo’s head, making him even more off-putting than ever. Soulcalibur VI launches on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 19.

As the biggest fighting game tournament of the year, Evo acts as a barometer for where the fighting game community’s collective heads are at with the genre. One of the metrics used to see what games the FGC thinks are worth competitive attention is by how many entrants each game has and this year the stats are fairly interesting.

Tweeted by Evo chief Joey Cuellar, also known by his online handle MrWizard, we have the number of entrants for Evo 2018 per game with registration now officially closed.

For those with Twitter embeds blocked, Dragon Ball FighterZ is at 2530 entrants, while Street Fighter V is at 2421 as the next highest game. This makes Dragon Ball FighterZ, the 3v3 cel-shaded anime fighting game from ArcSystemWorks, the most popular fighting game at Evo.

The main reason why this is significant is that this is the first time since at least 2012 that Street Fighter has been dethroned as the biggest game at the show. The classic fighter is the headlining game every year, ending the show and usually bringing in the most well-known names in the fighting game community and a couple of big surprises. This year, it has ceded that title to a Dragon Ball game.

The Twitter account SRK Stats put it into a little bit more context.

Also interesting to note that Super Smash Bros. for Wii U has exactly one more entrant than Super Smash Bros. Melee, the 2001 Gamecube title. This comes after Cuellar has expressed concern over whether Melee will continue to be showcased at Evo beyond this year due to issues with time, overlap, and there already being too many Smash games. With Super Smash Bros. Ultimate coming out this year, it seems like this is certainly the last Evo for the Wii U game and possibly for Melee, as well.

There was also a big dip in the number of Injustice 2 registrants from last year when the game made its debut. With rumors swirling about a new Mortal Kombat game, it might also be Injustice 2’s last year at the event.

Ultimately the numbers are just hints at what the community is heading toward and a new game like Dragon Ball FighterZ has more momentum behind it than an older title like Street Fighter V, which makes complete sense. It will be interesting to see what the landscape looks like next year.

Evo 2018 takes place August 3 – 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

On this week’s episode of The Game Informer Show podcast, we ranked our five favorite arcade games of all time. For an episode that almost exclusively focused on arcades, it’s impossible to ignore the thriving barcade scene and the rising star of the show: Killer Queen. With Killer Queen Black releasing this winter on Nintendo Switch, Steam, and shortly after that on other consoles, it’s a good time to learn the history of the arcade phenomenon. In the excerpt from The GI Show above, Ben Hanson interviews the game’s original creators Nik Mikros and Josh DeBonis as well as Killer Queen Black’s developer Matt Tesch from Liquid Bit.

You can listen to the audio version of the full show by subscribing to the podcast right here.

Although it’s hard to remember a time before Fortnite dominated every headline and Twitch stream, the game is just celebrating its first birthday. 

Starting July 24, players will be able to earn emoticons, sprays, bonus XP and extra bling by doing completing various achievements. There’s also a special questline in the game’s Save the World mode to earn a “Birthday Brigade Ramirez Hero.” 

We recently reviewed Fortnite, but clearly the game shows no signs of slowing down.

 

Our Take:
According to WebMD, a one year old baby has a brain 60% of its normal adult size. This year, it might even learn to walk! 

Everybody loves to see the big hits, especially when they’re delivered by Nashville Predators defenseman and NHL 19 cover star P.K. Subban, but the game is also employing more subtle physical contact due to a new collision system.

The limbs of the target, their tension, and how prepared they are for contact produces different kinds of effects.

But the trailer can also be enjoyed if you just want to see Subban lighting people up and talking about his craft.

For more on the game, check out the trailer talking about the important changes made to the game’s skating engine, as well as the six possibly game-changing elements for NHL 19.

[Source: EA Sports]