A Duke Nukem movie is being made and invisible WWE superstar John Cena is in talks to play the titular role, according to a story by Hollywood Reporter.

The movie is being produced by Michael Bay’s production company, Platinum Dunes. At this point, there is no director attached, or even a script. Hollywood Reporter speculates that, once Cena signs on to the vehicle designed for him, a scriptwriter will be tapped to bring the foul-mouthed hero to the silver screen.

Duke has had a rough go of it for the last decade or so, having most recently appeared as a guest character in the HD Remaster of Bulletstorm. His last full fledged game, however, was the maligned Duke Nukem Forever in 2011, a release of the development hell-burdened title was first announced in 1997. 

Duke Nukem first appeared in the game of the same name on in 1991 and later joined the 3D realm with the shock-filled Duke Nukem 3D in 1996.

[Source: Hollywood Reporter]

 

Our Take
I just can’t see John Cena in this role.

Phil Harrison, former executive of Sony, Microsoft, and others has announced that he has accepted a position as vice president and general manager.

Harrison, whose resume includes corporate vice president of Microsoft and vice president of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, is well known as one of the most well-traveled veterans of the gaming industry. After leaving Microsoft Game Studio in 2015, Harrison has found himself at Google.

“Excited to be able to share that today I’ve started a new role as Vice President and GM of Google – and relocating (back) to California,” Harrison tweeted. Harrison was located in California during his role as president of SCE Worldwide Studios.

Google has not officially announced Harrison’s role within the company, suggesting they are not ready to unveil what he is working on. Considering his experience in the gaming industry, Harrison heading up an initiative related to gaming would make a lot of sense within Google.

 

Our Take
In his time in the gaming industry, Harrison has worked for nearly every major manufacturer. Part of me was kind of hoping he would land at Nintendo to just finish the circle.

Many football fans groaned when the New England Patriots pulled off another come-from-behind victory on Sunday night. The Patriots always seem to be a game or two away from a Super Bowl win, and their miraculous win once again came within minutes of what looked like a loss. If your closet isn’t filled with Tom Brady jerseys, the Patriots’ continued success is a long-running nightmare, and the NFL is playing out like Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day.

Overwatch League is two weeks young, yet fans are already bemoaning a team in the same way NFL fans talk about the Patriots. Seoul Dynasty is undefeated this year, winning all four of its matches convincingly. Two other teams, New York Excelsior and London Spitfire, are also undefeated with four wins each, but their successes have been overshadowed by Seoul’s dominance.

Seoul is performing at a high level on both offense and defense, leaving little room for any kind of mistakes or pauses in strategy by rival teams. Seoul is backed by the ridiculous skill of Byung-Sun Kim, who goes by FLETA in the game. Kim has pinpoint accuracy with almost every character he suits up as, whether it’s Widowmaker on the perimeter, Genji up close, or Pharah from the skies. Kim is just one of many stars on Seoul. The spotlight also shines brightly on Je-Hong Ryu (ryujehong), Sang-Beom Byun (Munchkin), and, well, everyone on the team. These players have shown the flexibility to adapt to opponent strategies, whether it’s swapping in a different player from the bench, or switching heroes mid-match. We haven’t seen a strategy that has slowed Seoul for long.

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Seoul is the early frontrunner to win the championship, and may even march through all 20 weeks without a loss. That’s how good they look right now. For fans of other teams, this is certainly a disheartening thing to hear, but it should make you want to watch the games more. What if your team ends up being the one that pulls off the upset victory against Seoul? For that chance alone, the matches against Seoul should hold excitement. Sure, Seoul may end up crushing your hopes in a matter of minutes, but we always love the David vs. Goliath story in sports. So far, all teams going against Seoul look like David without his sling.

Should Blizzard be concerned with Seoul at this point? This Friday’s match between Seoul and New York will be telling. Both teams are undefeated, and if Seoul demolishes them as it has every other team, alarm bells may ring through Overwatch League’s headquarters. Seoul is making it look easy at this point, and that’s the last thing you want to see in a debut league, especially one that is trying to establish itself as the next big esport. Team balance and draft strategies will definitely be looked at if Seoul continues marching.

In the long run, though, the New York Yankees have been great to baseball, and the New England Patriots great to football. As much as you may hate them, they have brought people into the stands to marvel at their talents, or cheer when they finally fall. Seoul, even after just four weeks of play, appears to be that team for Overwatch League. It’ll be fun to see how long their winning streak lasts, and who may end up breaking it. They’re a good problem for the sport to have at this point.

The director of Thor: Ragnarok, Taika Waititi, has been given the green light by FX to produce a pilot for a TV adaptation of his vampire movie What We Do in the Shadows, reports Variety.

Both Waititi and Jemaine Clement, who starred in the comedy Flight of the Conchords and the movie version of What We Do in the Shadows, are on board as executive producers, but both are also still hands-on with the pilot. Waititi is acting as director, while Clement is writing the show. Waititi also starred in the movie version, but there’s no word on whether the two would reprise those roles in the show.

There are no details of how the show will play out, but Waititi has speculated on the idea before, suggesting a TV show would be similar to the movie but take place in America. The movie took the form of a mockumentary about several vampires living together in a house in New Zealand. A sequel, We’re Wolves, was announced but it is unclear when it will begin production.

FX has not ordered a full series, only committing to a pilot so far. Still, after Waititi’s success with Thor: Ragnarok, it is no surprise that doors are being opened for him left and right. Chris Hemsworth has said that he and Waititi are tossing around ideas for Thor 4, even though Hemsworth’s Marvel contract has expired. If Thor 4 does come, hopefully Waititi reprises his role as Korg.

[Source: Variety]

For those planning to pick up Monster Hunter World this Friday, remember to set aside a little time for an important day one update.

Version 1.01 – which weighs in at a relatively lightweight 815 MB – will be available as soon as players boot the game up for the first time. It’s a pretty crucial update, as it not only lets players get content from the servers, but it lets them access multiplayer, which is a pretty important aspect of the game for a lot of hunters.

The update also adds a Gallery mode to rewatch any cutscenes, fixes a few unspecified bugs, and adds a poogie to your central hub area. The poogie is a small big who can be petted with proper timing and will eventually let you pick them up, sniffing out treasure for you as you walk around town.

Monster Hunter World releases on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 26. A PC version has been announced but is not expected until Autumn.

 

Our Take
Luckily, it’s not too big of an update, so hopefully it shouldn’t take players much time at all to download. This is, of course, assuming PSN servers hold up. Considering it’s a pretty big day for game releases, we can just cross our fingers and hope.

Can Nintendo top The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and Super Mario Odyssey in 2018? In terms of game quality, we’ll have to wait and see, but one game on the horizon is just as big, if not bigger than both of these titles. Outside of this juggernaut release, Nintendo’s 2018 lineup currently focuses on cult-classic returns, ports, and characters you may see joining Mario on an adventure.

We left Metroid Prime 4 off of the list since Nintendo has listed it’s release window as TBA, meaning it’s likely looking like a 2019 release, given other games were listed as 2018. We also don’t know what to make of Nintendo Labo as a game at this point. Plenty more Switch games will be announced over the course of 2018, but these are the standout titles so far:

10. Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze
Release: May 4
Nintendo fans were hoping to see a new Donkey Kong title on Switch this year, but a Wii U port of Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze will have to do for now. Nintendo has a great track record of enhancing games when moving them between systems, and Tropical Freeze is sure to be no exception. For people new to the series, this port features a new beginner mode featuring Funky Kong as the playable character. Funky can double-jump, hover, and infinitely roll on land and corkscrew underwater. The game also features local cooperative play, including the ability for both players to use a joy-con.

9. Project: Octopath Traveler
Release: 2018
The team behind Square Enix’s Bravely series has a new story to tell, and it’s only coming to Switch. Project: Octopath Traveler may not have an official name, but players have already vested a couple of hours into it thanks to a lenghty demo released last year. The demo drew mixed results, with some praising the classic design and combat, and others questioning the story and dialogue. No matter where you stand on the demo, the turn-based combat looks fairly deep, and we still have no idea what the stories will be like for the characters that haven’t been revealed. Octopath Traveler is somewhat unique in that it allows players to pick from one of eight characters from the outset of play. No date has been given at this point other than “2018.” For those of you who have your hands full with Xenoblade Chronicles II, we hope it comes a little later in the year.

8. The World Ends With You: Final Mix
Release: 2018
A new epilogue is being added to this beloved Nintendo DS and iOS title, which just happens to be celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. The Switch version features the single-screen format and touch-screen functionality similar to the iOS version, but can also be played with the joy-cons or controller.

7. Kirby Star Allies
Release: March 16
Up to four players can unite in this side-scrolling Kirby adventure. The pink puff can now throw hearts at enemies to recruit them to his cause. Kirby can also wield the elemental properties of wind, fire, water, and electricity to unleash a variety of powers. He can also give the elemental powers to his followers, which can be used for combat or puzzle solving. When a team of four is united, they can come together in various formations, including the shape of a wheel, which can be used to roll at great speeds across the terrain. Kirby Star Allies looks absolutely bonkers, and could be another reason for Nintendo fans to game together.

6. Travis Strikes Again: No More Heroes
Release: 2018
10 years after Travis Touchdown made his debut in No More Heroes, he’s being reacquainted with his creator, Suda51, who hasn’t directed a game since then. Travis Strikes Again takes place seven years after the events of No More Heroes 2, and pits Travis against The Bad, the father of Bad Girl. This sequel will also boast a number of collaborations with indie studios. The trailer for Travis Strikes Again shows ties to Dennaton Games’ Hotline Miami. Following the destruction of a game console called the Death Drive Mk. 2, Travis will be transported to six distinct worlds. In true Suda51 fashion, we’re confused by Travis Strikes Again, but that confusion looks fun and weird as hell. Again, no solid date other than “2018” was given by Nintendo.

5. Yoshi
Release: 2018
Rocky, Creed, Yoshi. As much as we love the idea of Yoshi’s name standing on its own, Nintendo has stated it is just a working title. Each world in this colorful game is designed like miniature dioramas made of cardboard that can be explored right-side up or upside down. Players will be forced to rotate the world to make progress or unearth hidden secrets and paths. The entire adventure can also be played cooperatively

4. Mega Man 11
Release: 2018
Mega Man fans have had a long wait since the Blue Bomber’s last adventure. Fortunately, Capcom hasn’t forgotten how it’s done in the interim. Mega Man 11 might look modern, but it remains true to the series’ roots. Eight new robot masters give Capcom’s adorable blue robot a hearty challenge, but four difficulty modes should make it easier for newcomers to adjust to Mega Man’s traditionally unforgiving action/platforming. Capcom also has one new mysterious mechanic up its sleeve, which we’ll hopefully learn more about later this year.

3. Dark Souls Remastered
Release: May 25
Dark Souls Remastered isn’t exclusive to Switch, but the mobile aspect of this version makes this version the most exciting. We don’t know how Bandai Namco will handle Dark Souls on the go yet, as online functionality is a big part of the experience, but even if it reverts to offline play when a connection isn’t present, questing from a bus or plane should be awesome. The Remastered version features the complete core game along with the Artorias of the Abyss DLC.

2. Bayonetta 1, 2 & 3
Release: February 16 (Bayonetta 1 and 2), TBA (Bayonetta 3)
There’s a chance Switch owners could get their hands on three different Bayonetta games this year. We know ports of Bayonetta 1 and 2 arrive on February 16, but haven’t heard when Bayonetta is slated to release. The gap between February and holiday is sizable, however, giving players (and Nintendo) plenty of time to prepare for the sequel. Bayonetta 1 and 2 are exciting additions to the Switch library, and both will feature Amiibo support, using the Bayonetta figure from the Smash Bros. line.

1. Pokémon

Release: 2018 “or later”

Of all the games on this list, Pokémon Switch has the slimmest chances of coming out this year. An investment report pegged the release window as “2018 or later,” which could literally be anytime. However, we’re willing to bend our own list criteria for the sheer potential of a console Pokémon game. Fans have been dreaming about a supersized monster-catching adventure for decades, and now it’s finally happening! We can’t wait to see how Game Freak incorporates the added horsepower and unique features of the Switch for its next outing – even if it doesn’t happen in 2018. (shot shown from Pokkén Tournament DX)

MLB the Show 18 releases on March 27 on PS4, and it hopes to continue the momentum the franchise has built this console generation. But with online problems still haunting the series and last year introducing story/narrative elements to the Road to the Show mode, there are ways MLB The Show can hone its craft.

IMPLEMENT GAMEPLAY FIXES 
Gameplay is the lifeblood of all titles, and the series needs to keep moving forward in this department. In particular, better situational awareness by players could ensure that gamers get the results they expect. For instance, users have harped on the game’s inability at times to tag runners as well as dropped/passed balls for catchers. The appropriate fielding animations need to be triggered as well so players get throws off quickly.

START ESPORTS INTEGRATION 
While you may or may not be interested in esports, it can be argued that an esports structure raises the bar of a title’s gameplay. Successful integration of esports can give the game’s hardcore, competitive community a defined platform to rigorously test the series’ gameplay on the cutting-edge as they continuously stress and probe the game to find any advantage during matches.

EXPAND ROAD TO THE SHOW  
MLB the Show 17’s introduction of story elements into Road to the Show mode was a nice beginning, but it needs to take clear steps forward here in year two. When we met the developers before MLB 17 they acknowledged that the mode’s story features would take multiple years to implement fully. In particular, we’d like to see your answers during conversations and general attitude count for more with the teams and shape your story beyond just being a playground for your own amusement. Similarly, the game’s story beats need to take into account your actions on the field so you’re appropriately sent up if you’re killing it, for instance.

TWEAK DIAMOND DYNASTY  
The MLB development team at San Diego Studios has done a good job keeping this mode stocked with content throughout the year, but one quality-of-life aspect that users complain about is the need for more lineups to use against the various situations presented throughout the mode. I’d also like to be able to choose my pitcher in games vs. the CPU instead of the random selector. Furthermore, increased customization of uniforms, players, and equipment is always a good thing, and perhaps even – to a point – the stadiums themselves. These will have to restricted so you’re not gaming the system with some crazy park dimensions, but anything approaching a create-a-park in Diamond Dynasty or any other mode would be cool.

FIX ONLINE  
Good online play has proven elusive for the series, with online lag and server problems causing havoc and frustration. It’s a situation that undermines otherwise good modes like Diamond Dynasty and is vital if the series wants to move forward on the earlier esports suggestion.

BUILD OUT RETRO MODE  
San Diego Studio admitted last year’s inclusion of retro Mode was just a toe dip, so hopefully the mode has proven its worth enough that it’s further fleshed out this time around. Retro mode in MLB the Show 17 only had one-off games, so any additions to the mode in 18, whether it’s gameplay or a full team/franchise structure, will be an improvement.

Missed some of the previous Sports Desk entries? Take a look at the past installments via our Hub page by clicking on the banner below.

Have a suggestion or comment? Put it in the comments section below, send me an email, or reach me on twitter at @mattkato.

 

THE TICKER 
A quick rundown of some of the sports news from the week 

Mutant Football League Now Available Digitally For PS4 & Xbox One 
Check out Bertz’s review of the PC version here.

NASCAR Heat 2 Offers 2018 Season Update 
It’s only for the Monster Energy series, but includes new drivers, schedule, and more.

Monster Energy Supercross Adds a Track Editor 
The game is out on February 13.

Tennis World Tour Mo-Cap Behind-the-Scenes Video 

NBA 2K18 & Madden 18 Lead Sports Games For 2017 
The two franchises rank high in the NPD’s yearly sales tabulation.

More UFC 3 Fighter Ratings Revealed 

Rocket League Could Add Cross-Platform Party Support In 2018 

With Far Cry 5’s release just around the corner, Ubisoft finally revealed the recommended PC specs for the cooperative shooter. You can mess with the settings if you want, but the game has an auto-detection system as well that will maximize your performance given your hardware specs. Here is a rundown of the recommended settings:

MINIMUM CONFIGURATION
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only) 
Processor: Intel Core i5-2400 @ 3.1 GHz or AMD FX-6300 @ 3.5 GHz or equivalent 
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 or AMD R9 270 (2GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better) 
RAM: 8GB 
Resolution: 720p 
Video Preset: Low

RECOMMENDED 60 FPS CONFIGURATION
OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8.1, Windows 10 (64-bit versions only) 
Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600 @ 3.2 GHz or equivalent
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 or AMD R9 290X (4GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better) 
RAM: 8GB 
Resolution: 1080p 
Video Preset: High

4K 30 FPS CONFIGURATION
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only) 
Processor:  Intel Core i7-6700 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD Ryzen 5 1600X @ 3.6 GHz or equivalent 
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 or AMD RX Vega 56 (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better) 
RAM: 16GB 
Resolution: 2160p 
Video Preset: High

4K 60 FPS CONFIGURATION
OS: Windows 10 (64-bit version only) 
Processor: Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.0 GHz or AMD Ryzen 7 1700X @ 3.4 GHz or equivalent 
Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 SLI or AMD RX Vega 56 CFX (8GB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0 or better) 
RAM: 16GB 
Resolution: 2160p 
Video Preset: High/Ultra

Far Cry 5 releases for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on March 27. You can learn all about the game by reading some of our previous coverage.

Monster Hunter: World comes out on Friday, January 26th. Our time playing the game so far proves that it’s the most accessible entry in the series, but we understand that it’s intimidating to get into the (still complicated) game on your own. GI Game Club is here to help! Starting on February 1st, we’re going to be diving in deep on the gameplay of Monster Hunter: World in a big community-centered discussion on The Game Informer Show podcast.

For that first episode’s discussion, we’ll be talking about everything up through the low rank hunts in the game. Please send your thoughts (concise, please) on the game’s combat, systems, favorite moments, etc. in to podcast@gameinformer.com. This Game Club will be a bit different in that we won’t be following along and relaying a game’s story beat by beat, we’re focusing on gameplay. The second episode’s discussion will be on all hunts after “low rank” monsters. We’re looking forward to playing through the game alongside y’all!

Click here to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and click here to subscribe to the podcast on Google Play.

To get caught up on previous GI Game Clubs, click through the links to hear us discuss the following games in exhaustive detail: Final Fantasy VIIUncharted 4: A Thief’s EndDeus Ex: Human RevolutionBioShockPokémon Sun and MoonMass Effect Andromeda (sorry), and Portal 1.

Revenge is a lonely pursuit, and Kratos’ exploits in the God of War series usually had him finding and killing deities by himself. That’s changing with his new adventure; Kratos’ son, Atreus, is by his side for this journey. The father/son relationship provides an interesting narrative angle, but raises flags for some fans on the gameplay front. That’s understandable, since years of bad escort quests have left people wary of companions in games.

The team at Santa Monica Studio is aware of those concerns, and this is how the team is working to ensure that Atreus enriches God of War’s gameplay (and doesn’t annoy you).

You don’t babysit Atreus
First and foremost, God of War is not about monitoring Atreus’ health and making sure he stays out of trouble. He navigates by himself and uses a ranged weapon, which means he isn’t likely to charge into dangerous combat situations. Though Atreus is a constant presence, he isn’t a distraction.

“From the beginning, I wanted to make sure we weren’t making an escort-mission game – one where you’re constantly feeling like the A.I. messed you up,” says creative director Cory Barlog.

“You have all the standard stuff you have to deal with – getting in the way, not stealing too much limelight from the hero, making sure they’re not doing things you don’t want them to do,” says lead gameplay engineer Jeet Shroff. “Any kind of typical A.I. development deals with that. There are secondary parts of that: feeling like you constantly have to take care of them, being able to escort them, and all that kind of stuff. We knew we had to deal with that right out of the gate. So focusing a lot on making sure Atreus had a significant supporting role was a big part of establishing that pillar, not so much as a secondary or tertiary thing, but as a key component throughout the entire development.”

Kratos comes first
You control Kratos in God of War, and even though Atreus in a major part of the experience, he doesn’t usurp his father as the key character. Kratos may have a suite of new abilities and powers, but those did not come from a need to accommodate a companion character. In fact, the team designed and iterated on Atreus’ abilities in response to Kratos’ changing repertoire.

“Atreus has grown and evolved so much throughout the development of this project,” Shroff says. “It’s primarily because, to be honest, a lot of what we thought would work never ended up working. What we thought was how a companion character – in this type of environment, with this type of hero – could work made a lot of sense on paper. In development, as the hero evolved and the systems around Kratos started to get fleshed out, Atreus was always being adapted to adjust for that.”

You guide Atreus’ actions
When we play games, we like to be responsible for our own success and failures. One frustration with companion characters is that their behavior is often beyond our control, and they do things we don’t want. In God of War, Atreus does some things automatically, but his most meaningful contributions happen at your discretion.

“Kratos is a god, and clearly doesn’t need help from a child,” Shroff says. “How do we find ways to make Atreus meaningful through autonomous behavior, versus putting things that the player wants to do on a ‘son button’ command?

“Things like keeping combos continuing is something that we felt made a lot of sense autonomously; as you’re playing, all he’s doing is enhancing what you are already doing. But something like stunning an enemy or bringing them down is something that we realized, over time, didn’t make sense to do autonomously. Because that may not be what the player wants, so putting that on to a command button made a lot of sense.”

For more from our month of God of War coverage, click the banner below.