Warner Bros. Announces New Releases of Best-Sellers

Warner Bros. Interactive has announced two of their upcoming releases, which may look a little familiar to fans of their work.

First up is Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition, which will come to the Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, Steam, and PlayStation 4 on August 28th, 2018. If you missed out on its initial release last year, this version will contain all of the downloadable content, improvements, and other free updates that have come in the time since, including the removal of the controversial loot box system.

“Since Middle-earth: Shadow of War launched, we’ve continually looked at all of the feedback from our fantastic community and our fans, which has inspired us to keep improving the game and ultimately create a version that we are truly proud of,” said Monolith Productions’ Vice President of Creative, Michael de Plater, in a press release. “Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition brings together all of our free content updates and gameplay improvements, along with our Story and Nemesis Expansions, providing the very best experience for players. Whether you’re diving in for the first time or making your return to Middle-earth, there’s never been a better time to walk into Mordor.”

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will feature the main game, along with the full Expansion Pass, including additional story campaigns, missions, playable characters, Orc tribes, weapons, abilities, enemies, a new region and much more.

  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War Main Game
  • Slaughter Tribe Nemesis Expansion
  • Outlaw Tribe Nemesis Expansion
  • Blade of Galadriel Story Expansion
  • Desolation of Mordor Story Expansion

Additionally, Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will bring together a multitude of different enhancements and free content updates, from a richer campaign experience and streamlined post-game Epilogue to new player skins and the complete removal of the market, in addition to hundreds of other improvements since the release of Middle-earth: Shadow of War. A snapshot of the updates available for players includes:

  • Market Closure: Complete removal of the market and microtransactions.
  • Updated Post-Game: Streamlined post-game Epilogue (formerly Shadow Wars) with new narration from Shelob, the Witch-king and Dark Talion, plus new Masks of the Nazgûl player rewards.
  • Nemesis System Enhancements: Numerous improvements bringing further depth to combat encounters and player interactions, along with added traits and behaviors for Orc enemies, more Legendary Orcs to encounter and more ways to get Training Orders.
  • Powering Up: Follower level cap has been increased to 80, enemy Captain level cap has been increased to 85, greater XP rewards, new Prestige skills, upgrades and more.
  • Gear Upgrades: Players can now use Mirian to raise the level of a piece of gear to their current level and use gems to re-roll abilities.
  • Skins: Added player skins for Celebrimbor, Eltariel, Dark Eltariel, Baranor and Serka.
  • Online Pit Fights & Conquests: Added search feature to challenge specific players’ Overlords and fortresses in Friendly Mode.
  • Endless Siege: Added feature to defend fortresses against never-ending waves of Sauron’s forces.
  • Rebellion: Added feature to crush rebel Ologs and Uruks who undermine the Bright Lord.
  • Photo Mode Upgrades: Capture every battle with new filters, frames and textures.
  • Difficulty Levels: Added Brutal and Gravewalker difficulty levels.
  • Player Stats: Added player stats page to track in-game enemy kills, dominations and betrayals.

Middle-earth: Shadow of War Definitive Edition will be available August 28th, 2018 for $79.99 CAD. Note that only the main game will be on the disc if you purchase a physical version, with the remaining content requiring an online connection to download. For more information about the game, be sure to visit the official website.

In addition, fans of the Scribblenauts series can look forward to a new two-in-one release of Scribblenauts Unlimited and Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure as the Scribblenauts Mega Pack for the Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Not only will this include both classic Scribblenauts titles, but bonus content for both games as well.

Scribblenauts Unlimited fosters unlimited creativity, exploration and social elements that create a fun experience for fans of all ages. The game features a huge side-scrolling open world with high-definition, hand-drawn scenery and objects where players can help the game’s hero, Maxwell, solve robust puzzles and challenges by summoning any object they can imagine. Scribblenauts Unlimited has been updated with two new bonus levels, supports online sharing of user-created objects, updates two-player mode, and features a new easy-to-use “sunflower” style text entry system. The new Zed Zeppelin level lets players battle sky pirates and work with crew members to keep the dirigible safe while the new Land of Sweet Hyperbole level allows players to drive around in a candy car and interact with candy neighbors.

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure melds the boundless creativity of Scribblenauts with thousands of DC characters and objects – all drawn in the distinctive Scribblenauts art style. In the game, Maxwell comes to the aid of the mightiest DC Super Heroes BATMAN™, SUPERMAN™ and the rest of the JUSTICE LEAGUE™ as they face the fiercest DC Super-Villains, such as THE JOKER™, LEX LUTHOR™ and SINESTRO™. Fueled by the player’s imagination, where anything they write comes to life, Maxwell must use his magic notebook to summon heroes and tools to stop the villains’ evil schemes and save the universe. In his imaginative and comical quest, he must travel to iconic DC locations such as GOTHAM CITY™, METROPOLIS™, ATLANTIS™ and two new bonus locations, TITANS TOWER, under attack by the formidable demon Trigon, and BELLE REVE, the base of operations for the Task Force X. Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure has also been updated with hundreds of new DC characters, objects and costumes.

The Scribblenauts Mega Pack will arrive on September 18th, 2018 at a price of $49.99 CAD. To learn more about this release, as well as Scribblenauts Showdown, be sure to visit the official website.

Warner Bros. Interactive is holding a contest leading up to the release of Hitman 2 in which you could get into the game. Well, your face, at least.

To prove your worth, you’ll first need to pre-order Hitman 2 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or Steam. This will grant you access to the standalone “Sniper Assassin” mode, which is free to play now in early access. Then you’ll need to register for an IOI account in order to enter the contest.

As Agent 47, you’ll be playing in “solo” mode in the Sniper Assassin mode, and aim for not just your targets, but the high scores via the in-game leaderboards. Upon the competition’s conclusion on November 6th, 2018, those who have managed to net the top score for each respective gaming platform will be determined.

You probably figured this out by it even being mentioned here, but this competition is indeed open to Canadians — minus Quebec:

***PURCHASE NECESSARY. YOU MUST PRE-ORDER THE HITMAN 2 VIDEO GAME PRIOR TO 7:00 AM UNIVERSAL TIME COORDINATED (UTC) ON NOVEMBER 6, 2018 TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CONTEST. Open only to legal residents of the United States of America, Canada (excluding Quebec), Mexico, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands (excluding Dutch Caribbean), Belgium, Australia and New Zealand who are at least 18 years of age and who prior to July 24, 2018 have Internet access, a valid e-mail address, an IOI Account, and either PlayStation® Network, Microsoft PC or Xbox One™ equipment and account. Contest begins on or about 7am UTC on 2018/24/07 and ends 7am UTC on November 6, 2018. Visit https://hitman.com/competition for complete official rules for full details. Void where prohibited or restricted by law. Sponsor: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Inc., 4000 Warner Blvd., Bldg. 160, Burbank, CA 91522 USA.

For further rules and details, be sure to check out the official contest webpage.

Hitman 2 will be available on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam on November 13th, 2018. For more information on the game, visit the official website, or check them out on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitch.

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, The LEGO Group, and TT Games have announced several new updates for LEGO Worlds that will treat you to some new tricks.

The first arrives just in time for All Hallows’ Eve, as Monsters invade the Worlds of LEGO!

This trip down to Monster Town will cost you $3.99, allowing you to partake in scary quests, face (and perhaps flee from) creatures most terrifying, and speed past haunted houses in ghoulish vehicles. Just watch out for delinquent zombies, who are only to happy to treat themselves to your plastic yellow flesh! You’ll have to be extra-tricky to scare them off so you can repair their damage as only a Master Builder can.

And of course, while Halloween may come only once a year, you can enjoy this Monster Pack year-round.

Incidentally, if you decide to go in on the Nintendo Switch version at retail for $39.99, you’ll receive the Monster Pack as well as the previously-released Classic Space Pack, whereas the digital version found for $29.99 in the Nintendo eShop has it available separately, and it’s available for purchase on the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Steam versions.

Next up is a free update which allows you to create and film your videos with the new Camera Car:

One or two players can make use of the vehicle, creating original action scenes or remaking favorite film moments in LEGO style.

Other new features added are covered in this video:

Among the highlights detailed in the press release are The Planner, which allows players to use various materials and pre-built wall types to build their LEGO structures faster and easier than before, while other tools have been upgraded “significantly” so that players’ enjoyment will be maximized. Revised search functionality should help make the Discovery Menu easier to navigate, and new shapes in the Landscape Tool should help improve how players edit their worlds.

If you’re interested in more about the game itself, at least as it initially launched, be sure to check out my review here.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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A long time ago, on a generation of gaming platforms far, far away, Traveller’s Tales developed a new type of LEGO video game which took the six Star Wars movies and reimagined them in a more satirical format. The games appealed to fans of Star Wars young and old, and were met with great success, spawning an ongoing line of similarly-styled LEGO video games for years to come.

Another LEGO Star Wars game would come in 2011, based on The Clone Wars. Following that, however, it was as if millions of fans’ voices suddenly cried out for more and were suddenly silenced.

Until now.

LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens launches on Tuesday, June 28th, 2016 for just about every current platform under the sun: Wii U, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo 3DS, Steam for PC, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and even the PlayStation Vita will soon feel the power of the Force.

As the title implies, the game is based on the recent seventh episode in the popular film series, the first to come under the stewardship of the franchise’s new masters at Disney. More than just the film’s events will be covered, as untold tales building up to what you saw on the big screen will play out as well. What’s more, key members of the film’s cast such as John Boyega (Finn), Adam Driver (Kylo Ren), Harrison Ford (Han Solo), Daisy Ridley (Rey), Oscar Isaac (Poe Dameron), and more have lent their talents to the game, providing new and original dialogue to enjoy.

Oh, and you can also play as BB-8:

A demo is available to download now as well.

To help build anticipation for the launch, publisher Warner Bros. Interactive invited members of the press out to the Rogers Centre in Toronto, where demos of the closely-guarded game could be played on regular televisions as well as the enormous Rogers Centre video board — a feature which Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and Star Wars fan R.A. Dickey took advantage of as he played alongside Emile Burbidge, the newest Chief Play Officer for Toys “R” Us Canada.

Their appearance at the event made sense; Burbidge for the obvious reasons, while Dickey helped represent the marketing push that Warner Bros. Interactive would be making at the stadium with signage around the field, including behind the home plate. The company stated that this was going to be one of their biggest releases of the year, and are quite intent on making sure people are fully aware of it.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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shakedownhawaiimagBrian Provinciano, of the Vancouver-based developer Vblank Entertainment, recently took to the PlayStation.Blog to announce the forthcoming sequel to the studio’s first game, Retro City Rampage.

Titled Shakedown Hawaii, the new game takes place about 30 years after the events of the original. The Player has come out of early retirement to rebuild his corporate empire that has long been neglected. Not only is he equipped with an arsenal of supercharged weapons that are perfect for putting a destructible environment through its paces, but his aesthetic is beefed up as well — we’re talking 16-bit style as rendered by Henk Nieborg, baby.

There isn’t much more to tell at this point in time, except that it’s coming to the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita, with “Nintendo” and Steam releases also planned. Regarding the lack of specifics there, Provinciano said on Facebook:

I haven’t gone into detail of specific platforms yet, other than to say that the current platforms in the trajectory are all ones that the engine is already ported to, is already compliant with platform requirements for (which can take a month per platform to implement) and have already been through console certification. These facts mean that it should be smooth sailing to release a new game on these platforms within a realistic time table. Choosing to release on a new platform with zero paperwork done, zero porting done and zero requirements implemented would be much less predictable. I can’t possibly be any more transparent than that. Don’t read into it any further than that, or assume any sort of fanboy war is at play.

The game will be playable in some form at the PlayStation Experience in San Francisco from December 6th to December 7th. For now, check out the trailer and screenshots, and if you’re not familiar with the predecessor, then check out my review of Retro City Rampage DX on Nintendo 3DS.

David Oxford is a freelance writer of many varied interests. If you’re interested in hiring him, please drop him a line at david.oxford (at) nyteworks.net.

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Some months back, I reviewed Retro City Rampage DX, a “top to bottom reworking” of the original Retro City Rampage that was released on the Nintendo 3DS. As noted there, I’m not normally into the open world crime genre, but this one actually managed to hook me in a way that games such as Grand Theft Auto have not.

Now the time has come for that love to be shared across virtually any non-mobile platform you can think of. The DX version is now available for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation Vita with a triple cross-buy feature, while Steam users can enjoy a double cross-buy for PC and Macintosh. Meanwhile, the WiiWare version (which can be played in the Wii Mode of the Wii U console) has also been updated, and the Xbox 360 will receive its update later this month.

Fun fact: According to Vancouver developer Vblank Entertainment, there was also a limited edition retail version made for the PlayStation 4, but it sold out in one day.

To see what’s new in this version of the game, check out the following trailer:

Following are more platform-specific details:

PlayStation Users

The PS4, PS3 and PS Vita versions of ‘DX’ all sold together as one, 3X Cross Buy! With the 20% OFF PlayStation Plus launch week discount, you’ll get all three for $7.99 ($9.99 without Plus). That’s only around $3 for each platform, and much less than the original RCR’s $14.99 launch price! Owners of the original Retro City Rampage for PS3 and PS Vita can transfer their save games
to the new ‘DX’ version via Cross-Save. The new ‘DX’ version is a separate purchase, but keep in mind that with ‘DX’, you’re getting the PS4 version, a brand new Trophy set and new leaderboards. Owners of the original ‘RCR’ who transfer their save game to ‘DX’ will also earn a shiny elite star next to their score to show off on the leaderboards.

LAST CALL! The original ‘Retro City Rampage’ will be delisted from the PS Store and replaced with ‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ in order to avoid customer confusion. While ‘DX’ includes a mode to play the original ‘RCR’, if for some reason you would prefer the pure original, grab it before it’s too late. If you already own the original ‘RCR’, you not be affected by this. You will still be able to re-download it indefinitely, at any time. The delisting will only prevent new purchases.

PC/MacUsers

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original ‘RCR’ on PC/Steam/Humble Store. The PC and upcoming Mac versions are Cross Buy. The Mac version will be available for free to all who purchase or have purchased the PC version, and vice versa. Steam updates are automatic by default, but DRM-Free customers will need to login to their download page to grab it when it’s available.

Xbox 360 Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on Xbox 360, with all the HD bells and whistles! The only things missing are the remastered screen borders, due to Title Update size restrictions. It still contains the new borders though!

Note: This also marks the debut on Xbox 360 in Australia and New Zealand!

WiiWare Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ will be a free update for owners of the original version on WiiWare. I greatly thank those loyal few of you who’ve showed your support by purchasing RCR on your Wii and Wii U consoles in ‘Wii mode’. This update makes the WiiWare version on par with the other systems, only missing HD video filters and zoom modes. It supports the Wii Remote, Classic Controller and Game Cube Controller, with an optional ‘shake’ gesture exclusive to the Wii Remote.

Note: This also marks the debut on WiiWare in Australia and New Zealand!

Nintendo 3DS Users

‘Retro City Rampage: DX’ is already available for Nintendo 3DS, but don’t worry! You’re not forgotten! Remember that an update will be coming alongside the *new* 3DS which adds support for the new buttons! I have no idea when that will be since the North American/European release date for the system hasn’t been announced, but it’s coming!

Thanks to a tip from our good friend Rhody Tobin, we’re pleased to inform you that this week’s Humble Weekly Bundle has a special focus on games developed in Vancouver, British Columbia. Presented by DigiBC, you get to donate whatever you want for $57 worth of games, with the proceeds going to Child’s Play.

This bundle is syrupy sweet. There are a bunch of cool developers up there in Vancouver. The people at DigiBC introduced us to some awesome developers helping to make British Columbia a center for excellence in gaming, then we proceeded to commence the bundling! Pay what you want for Shank, early access to Boximals Bounce, The Baconing and episodes one and two of Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. If you pay $6 or more, you’ll get everything plus Shank 2 and Plants vs. Zombies Game of the Year Edition*.

Pay what you want. If you bought all of these games separately, it’d cost you up to $57, but we’re letting you name your price.

Available on Steam. Most games in this bundle are available on Steam for Windows with some also available for Mac and Linux. Plants vs. Zombies GOTY Edition is also available on Origin for Windows and Mac. A minimum purchase of $1 is required for access to these games on Steam or Origin. Boximals Bounce is only available DRM-free for Windows, Mac and Linux. Please check the full system requirements prior to purchasing here.

Support Charity. You choose where your money goes: between DigiBC and Child’s Play Charity. If you like this weekly bundle, a tip to Humble Bundle would be greatly appreciated!

From October 16, 2014 to October 23, 2014 for every bundle purchased, Humble Bundle will pay the contribution amount you specified in your purchase, less payment processing fees and taxes, to DigiBC and Child’s Play. For more information about DigiBC and Child’s Play, visit www.digibc.org and www.childsplaycharity.org

You can find out more, such as what people are typically paying for this bundle, what the preferred platforms are, and more over at their home page. In addition, there is a note that a $1 minimum is required in order to get Steam keys.

As of this writing, 15,114 bundles have been sold, with six days, two hours, and four minutes remaining.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment announced that they would be bringing the 1985 arcade classic Gauntlet back with a revival on the PC by way of Steam (as well as the upcoming Steam Machines) this summer. Developing the new title will be Arrowhead Game Studios, who are best known for Magicka.

“To us at Arrowhead, Gauntlet is one of the most defining games from our childhoods, and it’s amazing to be able to work with Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment on a brand new version,” said Arrowhead Chief Executive Officer, Johan Pilestedt, in a press release. “Gauntlet is one of the original and best known video game properties and we are looking forward to creating a fresh, yet true to the original, take on a multiplayer masterpiece.”

Check out the reveal trailer to see what to expect:

The press release boasts innovation on past titles while staying true to the brand’s “legendary” format. As in the past, players choose from one of four different types of player class, each possessing its own strengths and weaknesses. This includes the speedy Elf, the melee-proficient Warrior, the powerful magics of the Wizard, or the heavily armored Valkyrie. “Distinctive play styles, procedural dungeons and an impressive art style keep the gameplay fresh.”

Once a character has been selected, up to four players will fight their way through dungeon chambers to complete challenges and slay the hordes of evil creatures who appear before them. Special items can be obtained to restore health, unlock doors, or simply help the player survive the onslaught of fantasy-based monsters such as ghosts, demons, spiders, sorcerers, and the ever-popular skeleton warriors.

As it turns out, however, Gauntlet is just the beginning as Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment is using it to spearhead an initiative known as WB Games Vault, “a direct-to-digital portfolio that will deliver paid games based on popular Warner Bros. and Midway brands, plus original IP, across multiple digital networks.”

“With Gauntlet we combined the arcade style of the original game with an entirely new look and feature set that includes emergent, local and online four-player gameplay,” said Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Digital Games, David Haddad. “Gauntlet will be the first title in the WB Games Vault portfolio, which will provide us with an opportunity to access emerging talent within the game development community and match unique skills and experience with our extensive library of properties.”

Honestly, it’s as though they’ve read my mind. Ever since Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment purchased Midway, I’ve hoped they wouldn’t just let so much of the intellectual property be relegated to retro collections and anthologies. Many of the company’s older arcade titles seem like they’d fit perfectly in a digital environment such as Steam, mobile, or social gaming. While playing the original Gauntlet and Gauntlet II on Midway Arcade Treasures and Gauntlet Legends with my wife, I’ve frequently said that an updated version of the game with an online component would be perfect, and I’m glad to know someone out there is apparently listening.

On a related note, it wasn’t too long ago that WB Interactive brought a new version of Spy Hunter to the Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Sadly, it wound up being a pretty good game that didn’t get nearly enough attention upon its release. Copies usually go for pretty cheap now, if you can find them, so I recommend grabbing it if you see it.

That said, I’m hoping a new Spy Hunter is on the WB Games Vault “to do” list… along with Joust, Rampage, Defender, Smash TV, Arch Rivals, and NARC (starring the straight edge CM Punk as Max Force, of course).

For more of the new Gauntlet, check out the screens below. You can also visit their website (just the trailer there as of this writing), Like them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

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The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are back, thanks to a new life given by new owner Nickelodeon. There’s a great new cartoon, an accompanying toyline, an unrelated but nevertheless good new comic book from IDW, and an upcoming film produced by Michael Bay which leads to cringing whenever something is said about it.

Well, you can’t win them all.

Naturally, a revival wouldn’t be complete in this day and age without a new video game to go with it, and that’s where Activision steps in.

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The moment has finally arrived, and the winners of the Retro City Rampage contest have been determined! After meeting the qualifications set forth in the contest rules, the following were chosen at random.

Our first winner, Kyle A., will get the opportunity to ironically wreak some 8-bit-styled havoc with a pseudo-Zapper on the PlayStation Network version of the game. On Steam, it will be David C. who will get to hijack Doc Brown’s DeLorean (or a reasonable facsimile thereof) and go on a crime spree across Hill Valley Retro City. And don’t worry about a mix-up, guys: No one else who entered has those initials.

With that settled, I’ll now e-mail the winners their prizes. Thanks to everyone who entered and helped spread the word!

For those of you who like to partake in gaming of the PC persuasion, there is good news: Steam is going Canadian!

Nine titles from various Canadian independent game developers have been compiled into one great, low-cost package. These titles are Capsized, Dungeons of Dredmor, HOARD, Shank, Shank 2, Space Pirates and Zombies, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP, Warp, and Waveform.

Individually, purchasing all of these titles would cost you $79.91 (well, in U.S. dollars… yeah, I know), but as part of this deal, you can get the entire lot for $14.99 (again, USD). What a steal!

To learn more about this package and the games which comprise it, just follow this link.

Doesn’t that look delightful? If you’d like a chance to get your hands on this Canadian-made slice of retro-goodness, then listen up, because I am giving away two codes for Retro City Rampage: One for the PlayStation Network and one for Steam.

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