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E3 2017: Watch Need For Speed: Payback’s Fast And Furious-Style Gameplay Demo

Following its recent announcement, Electronic Arts has now shown off more of Need for Speed: Payback. During its EA Play press conference, the company showcased a gameplay demo that provides a sense of what to expect from the game.

The demo consisted of a section we saw in the announcement trailer, where the player has to chase down a tractor trailer. A player in a Mustang pursues the truck, which is accompanied by “house enforcers”–a group of vehicles that need to be taken out in order to access the truck itself.

These enforcers are dealt with by slamming into them, which reduces what amounts to a health bar and causes them to flip into the air for a spectacular–if somewhat drawn-out–slow-motion sequence showing their fiery crash. This is reminiscent of the Burnout series, which makes sense given Ghost Games is comprised of many members of ex-Burnout developer Criterion.

With the enforcers dealt with, you’re able to slam into the truck itself, triggering one of a number of cutscenes during this entire sequence. When it’s complete, there’s destruction littered all over the road and you’re able to get close enough to the truck for your passenger (picked up at the gas station) to jump on the semi truck’s trailer and get inside. Moments later, a Koenigsegg comes flying out of the back and control shifts to that character as they make their escape from an arriving police force, which includes a helicopter.

EA had previously said that you would control three different characters, though it wasn’t apparent that this would happen so seamlessly during the course of a single mission. The trailer also drives home what EA meant when it described this as an action driving game, as the heist-style sequence feels like something straight out of a Fast and Furious movie.

Need for Speed: Payback is slated to arrive on November 10 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. For more on EA’s E3 announcements, check out our EA Play liveblog and head over to our E3 hub for all of our coverage.

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E3 2017: EA Reveals A Way Out, New Co-Op Action Game From Brothers Dev

During EA’s E3 2017 press conference, we saw the debut of a new game from Hazelight, which features the creators of Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons. Teased back at The Game Awards in 2014, A Way Out is a co-op-only action/adventure game focusing on the exploits of two escaped cons who have to work in tandem to evade the police and other criminals.

As the first title from Hazelight, which opened back in 2014, the developers of A Way Out have kept the focus on parallel gameplay mechanics from Brothers, yet have upped the ante for this one–including a grittier and darker story to follow. Set in what looks like the ’70s, A Way Out focuses on the story of two convicts who are on the run, and going from prison escape, to getaway chase, to seemingly another caper, the story will follow these two characters as they come to grips with their past, all while trying to stay one step ahead of the law.

Unlike Brothers, however, A Way Out is only playable in co-op with another player. Either through local or online co-op, players will always have another person to experience the game with. During one section, one player with have to drive a getaway vehicle, while another stays in the back to shoot at oncoming vehicles. It looks to be a pretty clever take on the style of gameplay that was present in Brothers, controlling two unique characters with different perspectives, but expanded considerably.

Slated to arrive in early 2018 for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, A Way Out looks to be an exciting and original debut from Hazelight.

We’ll report back with more details on A Way Out in the days ahead. In the meantime, follow along with our EA Play liveblog for all of the other news the company has to share at the event, or watch the livestream here.

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E3 2017: FIFA 18 Spotlights Real And Fictional Stars At EA Play 2017

FIFA 18 was among the games showcased today during EA’s pre-E3 EA Play event. One of the focuses was on a returning fan-favorite mode from last year, The Journey.

FIFA 17 (along with NBA 2K16) are credited for the recent wave of story modes in sports games. It proved to be a success as FIFA 18 will also feature a narrative-driven single-player campaign. Moreover, it continues the journey of the fictional player from the last year’s game, Alex Hunter, a Premier League footballer who looks to emerge from the shadow of his legendary, albeit equally fictional grandfather, Jim Hunter.

The video montage shown at EA Play paints a picture of the growing reputation of Alex, showing a mix fans and cynics among his peers. There are also hints that Alex is seriously considering leaving the Premier League for Major League Soccer and the LA Galaxy.

Other notable FIFA 2018 reveals include:

  • Cristiano Ronaldo’s involvement in the game aside from being the cover athlete. His specific form and play style looks to be authentically captured given the time he’s spent motion capturing his movements specifically for FIFA 18
  • FIFA 18 marks the second year the series will run on the Frostbite engine.
  • Fans can play three days prior to its official launch through early access.
  • Out for PS4, Xbox One, and PC on September 26, 2017.

We’ll report back with more details on FIFA 18 in the days ahead. In the meantime, follow along with our EA Play liveblog for all of the other news the company has to share at the event, or watch the livestream here.

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E3 2017: New Battlefield 1 Maps Coming Soon, Including Those Set At Night

While on stage at EA’s E3 2017 press conference, the developers behind Battlefield 1 unveiled their plans for new content that begins this month. Leading up to the launch of the In The Name of The Tsar expansion this September, EA and DICE aren’t leaving the World War I shooter in the wings, and they’re actively preparing the game for regular updates for Battlefield Premium members.

A total of eight new maps will release over the next few months, including six tied to the Tsar expansion. Two French-themed nighttime maps will debut beginning this month; Nivelle Nights launches in June and will be followed by Prise de Tahure in July.

The Russian-themed expansion In The Name of the Tsar will follow in September. While there is no single-player component, six new maps, including new weapons vehicles, and more will be added. Moreover, the Tsar expansion will also mark the debut of female soldiers for players, which is a first for the series’ multiplayer.

Starting this month, this content rollout is looking to reignite interest in Battlefield 1, leading up to the launch of the expansion in September. For more info on Battlefield 1 and other titles from EA’s press conference, check out GameSpot’s E3 hub for updates about all the latest from EA.

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E3 2017: Madden 18 Trailer Reveals Longshot Story Mode Featuring House Of Cards Actor

Today during EA’s E3 2017 briefing, the publisher released a new trailer for Madden NFL 18, revealing a mode called “Longshot.” A story mode of sorts, Longshot follows an aspiring football player trying to make it to the NFL but having a hard time doing so.

He’s on his last legs and his prospects aren’t looking good. But with the help of a character played by Oscar-winning House of Cards and Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali, players will persevere and grind their way into the highest level of competition.

It looks like college football will be a part of Longshot Mode, as the trailer showed two licensed teams, Oregon and Texas. EA’s NCAA Football series was put on indefinite hiatus years ago after a lawsuit.

Longshot sounds familiar to FIFA’s The Journey mode, which follows an up-and-coming footballer’s journey to the highest level of competition.

Madden 18 launches in August for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. It features New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the cover.

We’ll report back with more details on Madden 18 and its Longshot Mode in the days ahead. In the meantime, follow along with our EA Play liveblog for all of the other news the company has to share at the event, or watch the livestream here.

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Acclaimed Actor Adam West Passes Away Aged 88

Actor Adam West, the star on the classic 1960s Batman TV series, sadly passed away at his home in Los Angeles on Friday 9th June 2017 at the age of 88 following a brief battle with leukemia.

“Our dad always saw himself as The Bright Knight and aspired to make a positive impact on his fans’ lives. He was and always will be our hero,” his family said in a statement.

The kitschy, lighthearted 1966-68 Batman television series, in which Adam portrayed Batman/Bruce Wayne, became a pop culture phenomenon and cemented the Caped Crusader’s campy image for a generation until darker comic book and movie interpretations came along.

Rex Features

The role was so iconic for West that, ultimately, the greatest roles West landed after hanging up his cape and cowl were variations of himself and Batman.

Burt Ward, who played Robin to West’s Batman on the 1966-68 series, said Saturday he was devastated by the passing of his friend and co-star. The two last saw each other about two weeks ago when they traveled to the East Coast together for an autograph show. The duo worked together only for a few years on ABC’s Batman, but their friendship lasted a half-century.

“I am devastated at the loss of one my very dearest friends,” Ward said in a statement. “Adam and I had a special friendship for more than 50 years. We shared some of the most fun times of our lives together. Our families have deep love and respect for each other. This is a terribly unexpected loss of my lifelong friend. I will forever miss him. There are several fine actors who have portrayed Batman in films. In my eyes, there was only one real Batman that is and always will be Adam West. He was truly the Bright Night.”

West became known to a new generation of TV fans through his recurring voice role on Fox’s Family Guy as Mayor Adam West, the leader of Quahog, Rhode Island. West was a regular on the show from 2000 through its most recent season.

Adam West as Mayor Adam West on Family Guy.

Seth Green worked with Ward as a voice actor on Fox’s Family Guy and on Green’s Adult Swim animated comedy Robot Chicken.

“He was a true hero of mine — grew up watching him as Batman, and got the privilege of both working with and directing him,” Green said. “He’s generous and always classy. Very sad to think of the world without our beloved Mayor. How lucky we are he left so much behind.”

Julie Newmar, who co-starred with West and Ward as Catwoman on Batman, echoed Green’s sentiments.

“Stellar, exemplar, a king to the end,” Newmar said. “He was bright, witty and fun to work with. I will miss him in the physical world and savor him always in the world of imagination and creativity. He meant so much to people. A friend said: ‘The father that we wanted.’ That is a great gift, no matter how you live it.”

Adam West as Catman on Fairly OddParents.

West did a wide range of voice-over work, in addition to Family Guy, he also done voice-over work on such shows as Nickelodeon’s Rugrats Captain Blasto (“Superhero Chuckie”), as himself and Catman on The Fairly OddParents (2003-2008), Young Mermaid Man on SpongeBob SquarePants, and on Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken. West also portrayed Principal Kent Schwinger on Nickelodeon’s ’90s live-action series The Adventures of Pete & Pete.

West also revisited the role of Batman in the animated movie Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which reunited him with his former co-stars Burt Ward (Robin) and Julie Newmar (Catwoman). He also voiced the Caped Crusader in its upcoming sequel, Batman vs. Two-Face, co-starring William Shatner as the voice of Harvey “Two-Face” Dent.

Before he donned the cape and cowl, the Washington-born West starred in such films as Robinson Crusoe on Mars and The Young Philadelphians and starred on the TV series The Detectives.

In April 2012, West was honoured with his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

I extend my condolences to Adam West’s loved ones and will always remember the joy his Batman brought to so many of us. Adam West will always be my favourite Batman. Thanks, old chum.

Read more: Adam West Remembered on Social Media: ‘You Were MY Batman’ | Adam West Remembered on Social Media: ‘You Were MY Batman’

Sources: IGN, Gossip On This, Variety (I, II), IMDb, Fairly Odd Parents Wiki, Family Guy Wiki, Pinterest /@Stephanie Lauren Bounds

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With Its Deadline Looming, PaRappa Creator Shows Off New Project Rap Rabbit Concept Video

Project Rap Rabbit is still raising money on Kickstarter, but the team behind the rhythm-based adventure game, slotted for PlayStation 4 and PC, is now giving a first look at gameplay in the concept trailer above.

The video is based on a prototype of the game, but it shows off some of Project Rap Rabbit’s music style and rap mechanics. If it has a familiar feel, that’s because it’s being developed by the creators of classic rhythm games PaRappa The Rapper and Gitaroo Man.

The game follows Toto-Maru, a rabbit meets farm boy, and his sidekick Otama-Maru on their quest to save the world. The planet is becoming an increasingly hostile place, thanks to some nastly looking “overlords,” and the heroes need to create peace by “embracing the strength of music and by using the magic of rhythm and rhyme.” The art style takes players to an alternate world, inspired by 16th century Japan, and promises to blend traditional Japanese artwork and modern rap culture.

The developers have raised roughly US $180,000 of their $1.1 million goal, and with just nine days of fundraising to go it’s looking increasingly unlikely they’ll fundraise successfully. They’ll only receive their Kickstarter funding if they reach their goal by that deadline. As a stretch goal, the team has committed to making a version of the game for Nintendo Switch if they exceed their goal and raise $1.5 million.

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If you’d like to donate or want to read more about how the game’s rap battle dynamics will work, head over to its Kickstarter page, and follow our full coverage here at GameSpot for the latest news on Project Rap Rabbit.

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E3 2017: EA Press Conference Liveblog

E3 2017 doesn’t “officially” start until Tuesday, but the festivities begin today with EA’s press briefing at 12 PM PT. You can watch the stream live here on GameSpot, but if for whatever reason, you can’t watch the show, you can also follow along with us in our liveblog below.

The start times for EA show is June 10 at 12 PM PT (3 PM ET/8 PM GMT), and the publisher has already confirmed several of the games we’ll learn more about, including:

And a lot of content from the presentation has already leaked as well, including some Battlefront II gameplay and information of a possible new IP form Bioware.

Read along below (or head over to our video version) to follow along as everything is announced!

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E3 2017: Xbox One S Price Cut Announced, Starts Tomorrow

Microsoft is cutting the price of the Xbox One S, though it might not be a permanent price drop. Starting on June 11, the day of the Xbox E3 briefing, Microsoft will offer the console for only $250. That’s a price drop of $50, and it brings the system in line with the PS4 Slim’s temporary price cut. It remains to be seen if the Xbox One S price drop is only for a limited time.

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The Xbox E3 2017 briefing is expected to bring news on Project Scorpio, including its official name, price, and release date. We’re also expecting to hear about new games and see more footage of already-announced titles.

The briefing kicks off at 2 PM PT / 5 PM ET on June 11. GameSpot will host a livestream and liveblog for the event, and we’ll also have all the news broken out as it happens.

Microsoft’s E3 briefing will run for 97 minutes, which is longer than usual. Here’s a roundup of the biggest Xbox games we hope to see at the show. Keep checking back with GameSpot for the latest.

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E3 2017: How Can Sony And PlayStation Win?

E3 2017 is upon us, and following a year in which Sony was lauded for its strong E3 showing, there are a wide range of possibilities for what it could have in store this time around. Last year presented us with reveals of Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding, a new God of War, and Insomniac Games’ Spider-Man, demonstrating a strong lineup of PS4 exclusives still to come.

Despite the solid momentum that Sony has generated after two successful conferences, there’s still plenty of room for improvement in how it can remain on top of its E3 game. With its main competitor in Microsoft ready to show off new hardware with Scorpio’s unveiling, the PlayStation brand will need some significant groundswell in order to stay ahead of the pack. Just prior to E3 2017, our editors discussed what Sony needs to show off this year in order to keep its momentum going in the face of some stiff competition.

Do you have your own thoughts and opinions about Sony’s chances at winning E3 2017? Be sure to comment below and have a look at our articles on how Microsoft and Nintendo can come out on top. Check out our hub to follow all of our E3 coverage, which will include everything Sony reveals during its press conference on Monday night.

Continue With The Unexpected Reveals | Tamoor Hussain, UK Editor

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Two of the most memorable E3 moments in recent history were the announcement of Shenmue 3 and the Final Fantasy VII remake. For better or worse, this is the bar Sony has set for itself and what everyone will be expecting it to meet. Fans will want to see a long sought-after sequel given the green light or a dormant franchise make a triumphant return, but equally important is showing that these projects aren’t just flights of fancy. Since their announcements, we’ve seen barely anything from both Shenmue 3 and the Final Fantasy VII remake, and while it has been confirmed that the former won’t be at E3, showing off something substantial from the latter would win Sony some major points. For anything new and exciting, there needs to be something other than a logo on a giant screen, because that doesn’t fly anymore.

Make A Next-Gen PlayStation Announcement | Eddie Makuch, Associate Editor

Sony could bring the house down at E3 this year by officially announcing the next-generation PlayStation that is rumored to launch in 2018. Microsoft has time and again positioned Scorpio as the most powerful console ever made, so it would be particularly dramatic and impactful if Sony could trump Microsoft’s move with a console even more powerful. Interestingly, Sony has said it expects PS4 sales to fall this year for the first time in the console’s life, so that might suggest an announcement about what’s coming next is on tap.

Don’t Leave PSVR Behind | Tony Wilson, Video Producer

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Four letters: PSVR. Games like Resident Evil 7 have proven that virtual reality is a viable way to play full-length major releases, not just short cinematic experiences. There hasn’t necessarily been a shortage of exclusive PSVR titles since launch — Until Dawn: Rush of Blood and Farpoint come to mind — but the headset hasn’t been in the spotlight since its initial reveal. Microsoft and Nintendo have no first-party equivalent to PSVR, so if Sony doubles down on games you truly cannot play anywhere else, it will go a long way to justify (and convince others to get on board with) the $400 purchase.

Introduce Backwards Compatibility | Chris Pereira, News Editor

With Xbox One trailing behind PS4 since the start of this generation, it’s been Microsoft that has rolled out some fan-favorite features. Alongside the recently launched Xbox Game Pass, backwards compatibility has been a major hit. Meanwhile, Sony has relied on its PlayStation Now streaming service and PS2-on-PS4 Classics line as a means for offering the ability to play older games on PS4. While the latter introduces Trophies to games that did not previously have them, the accompanying cost–compared with Xbox One’s backwards compatibility being free if you already own a supported game–makes it less than ideal. There’s clearly room for improvement on this front for Sony.

While Microsoft will heavily tout having the most powerful system at E3, Sony has an opportunity to close the gap on the backwards compatibility front, which may matter to more people. PS1 Classic support on PS4 would be a great start–it lets Sony continue to sell classic games (including to a new group of PS4 owners who may not have owned a PS3, Vita, or PSP) and gives dedicated fans who have already bought these titles the freedom to play them on their current-gen system. Combine this with a way to play PS3 games you already own — and without needing to stream them — and Sony would make a strong demonstration that it’s listening to fans.

Keep The Exclusives Coming | Justin Haywald, Managing Editor

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Sony has done an amazing job of delivering great exclusives; just this year, we’ve already had Horizon Zero Dawn, Gravity Rush 2, Yakuza 0 and Persona 5. Even more have already been revealed, but in the same way that Sony has set a precedent for E3 as the place for unexpected reveals, it also has to keep bringing out new exclusives to one-up the previous year’s show. We’ll definitely see more of the games we already know are on the way: God of War, The Last of Us 2, and Days Gone. But could this also be the show where we see a new Bloodborne, the next project from Guerrilla Games, or some other new, surprising IP? Probably.

Better Support For PS4 Pro Users | Michael Higham, Associate Editor

Sony boasts the PS4 Pro as a 4K gaming machine with significantly more processing power than the standard PS4. It’s nice that we have the option for a faster console if we’re willing to spend a little bit for it, but the implementation of enhancements in games has been spotty since the Pro’s release. While the onus is on developers to take advantage of the stronger hardware, we’ve had inconsistent experiences. For example, Horizon Zero Dawn looks and runs amazingly with HDR and checkerboard 4K, and we also have the option for 1080p with higher frame rates. But Deus Ex: Mankind Divided and Watch Dogs 2 performed worse than they do on the standard PS4 in exchange for a higher resolution, which is disappointing for a premium console.

Sony could lay out a more focused plan of what Pro users will get from games in the future to help manage expectations, and possibly get more people on board with the Pro. This would mean holding developers to a certain standard for Pro enhancements. There could also be a push for more (if not all) games to come with detailed notes on what exactly Pro enhancements offer.

Focus On The Games | Miguel Concepcion, Editor

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Sony’s goal–particularly during the press conferences–should be to not mess with a good thing, namely by prioritizing games, which is how it won the last two E3s. The conference planners have displayed an understanding of how to pace a presser. That includes starting and ending strong and mixing the reveals with big-name properties, franchises with cult followings, and left-field curiosities. Recalling the wholly positive reception of God of War last year, many of the reveals from big-budget productions (e.g. The Last of Us 2, Spider-Man) should benefit from letting the gameplay speak for itself with minimal setup from the presenters.

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E3 2017: Here Are The Giant Posters Outside The Convention Center

E3 2017 is about to begin. As usual, there are massive posters being draped across the Los Angeles Convention Center, the site of E3, and on buildings throughout downtown LA.

GameSpot is now on the ground at E3 and we’ve taken some photos of the huge posters. You can see them in the gallery below, which we’ll keep adding to a the show goes on. The E3 show floor itself is not open yet, but keep checking back with GameSpot for images inside the hall.

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E3 2017 officially runs June 13-15, though the action kicks off today, June 10, with EA’s briefing at 12 PM PT. The show continues with briefings from Microsoft and Bethesda on June 11, with Bethesda and Sony to follow on June 12. Nintendo’s show is slated for June 13.

In other news, Microsoft has confirmed how long its E3 briefing will be, while it looks like BioWare’s new IP will be announced today during EA’s press conference.

For lots more on E3 2017, check out GameSpot’s hub for all of our content.

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‘Nirvana’ A poem by Charles Bukowski, read by Tom Waits / ◕‿◕

‘Nirvana’ A poem by Charles Bukowski, read by Tom Waits

Nirvana by Charles Bukowski
Not much chance, completely cut loose from purpose, he was a young man riding a bus through North Carolina on the way to somewhere and it began to snow and the bus stopped at a little café in the hills and the passengers entered. He sat at the counter with the others, he ordered and the food arrived. The meal was particularly good and the coffee. The waitress was unlike the women he had known. She was unaffected, there was a natural humour which came from her. The fry cook said crazy things. The dishwasher in back, laughed, a good clean pleasant laugh. The young man watched the snow through the windows. He wanted to stay in that café forever. The curious feeling swam through him that everything was beautiful there, that it would always stay beautiful there. Then the bus driver told the passengers that it was time to board. The young man thought, I’ll just stay here, I’ll just stay here. But then he rose and followed the others onto the bus. He found his seat and looked at the café through the bus window. Then the bus moved off, down a curve, downward, out of the hills. The young man looked straight forward. He heard the other passengers speaking of other things, or they were reading or trying to sleep. They had not noticed the magic. The young man put his head to one side, closed his eyes, pretended to sleep. There was nothing else to do. Just to listen to the sound of the engine, the sound of the tires in the snow.

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