TheWrapGaming – TheWrap https://www.thewrap.com Covering Hollywood Tue, 19 Jun 2018 14:28:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.6 You Can Finally Trade With Your Friends in ‘Pokemon Go,’ 2 Years After Launch https://www.thewrap.com/two-years-later-can-finally-trade-friends-pokemon-go/ https://www.thewrap.com/two-years-later-can-finally-trade-friends-pokemon-go/#respond Mon, 18 Jun 2018 18:00:41 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1953968 For anybody still playing “Pokemon Go” almost two years after its initial release, we have good news: developer Niantic is rolling out a feature to allow players to trade their Pokemon with one another.

It’s a big add, given that trading Pokemon is a key element of the series but has been absent from “Pokemon Go.” The change is rolling out starting this week, and sets up players with a new system that will allow people to become “friends” in the game, and start to earn rewards together. Niantic announced the news on its blog, along with all the ins and outs of how trading will work.

For those who never got in on the fad, “Pokemon Go” is all about catching and collecting virtual monsters called Pokemon. There are hundreds of the little guys, and the gimmick of the game is that you find them scattered around the real world. The game uses location data to log where you are while playing the game, and certain kinds of Pokemon only show up in certain places, like in parks or near bodies of water. Trading makes the collection part a little easier, since you can potentially get rare Pokemon you haven’t found yet from friends who have.

Adding people to your in-game friends list is the first step in trading Pokemon between players, but it’s far from the last — in fact, it doesn’t sound like Niantic is making trading particularly easy. You’ll have to put a lot of work into your friendships to unlock the option of trading your captured Pokemon. The game will include what Niantic is calling a “Friendship Level” for you and friends you’ve added in the game. You can raise it by sending each other gift items you get while playing the game, or in teaming up to do “raids” and “gym battles” in “Pokemon Go,” which are events where you can send your Pokemon to fight other Pokemon.

Like everything in “Pokemon Go,” it sounds like you’ll need to invest a lot of time into the Friends system in order to get what you want. Raising your friend status with specific other players will eventually allow you to trade the rarest Pokemon between each other, provided you’ve earned enough of the in-game currency called “Stardust” for playing. Trading for a Pokemon you haven’t caught on your own will be called a “Special Trade” and is going to be expensive, according to the blog post, and even more so if you and your friends trade the rarest “Legendary” Pokemon. Plus, you can only make one Special Trade per day.

Still, the idea that you can trade Pokemon at all is a big deal for remaining “Pokemon Go” players. The game might not be as big as it was in the summer of 2016 when it first came out and just about everyone was playing, but there are still people walking around and catching Pokemon on their phones. All the recent additions and improvements to the game, along with the friends and trading features, seem like they’ve finally elevated “Pokemon Go” from being an interesting, distracting fad to being a full-fledged game. Too bad players had to wait two years for it to happen.

Related stories from TheWrap:

What is 'Magikarp Jump,' the Latest Pokemon Smartphone Obsession?

14 'Pokemon GO' Memes That Explain the Ongoing Team Feud (Photos)

23 'Pokemon GO' Memes to Help You Understand the New Pokemon Craze (Photos)

All 42 Video Game Movies Ranked, Including 'Tomb Raider' (Photos)

14 Times Video Games Continued the Stories of Movies (Photos)

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‘Stranger Things’ Video Game in the Works at Telltale Games https://www.thewrap.com/stranger-things-video-game-netflix-telltale-games/ https://www.thewrap.com/stranger-things-video-game-netflix-telltale-games/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 23:23:04 +0000 Juliette Verlaque https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1947850 The video game company Telltale Games announced plans to develop a game based on the hit science fiction series “Stranger Things” in partnership with Netflix on Wednesday.

The game will be published to “consoles and computers at a later date,” according to the @telltalegames account on Twitter.

The first season of “Stranger Things” was released in the summer of 2016 to both critical acclaim and overnight popularity. A second season followed in October 2017, and a third season is currently in production. The series was created by the Duffer Brothers, and its cast includes Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Millie Bobby Brown and Finn Wolfhard.

The show has already been made into several video games, including a popular app for iPhone and Android titled “Stranger Things: The Game,” which takes the form of a 16-bit, role-playing retro puzzle game.

Telltale Games was founded in 2004 and is best known for its graphic adventure game series, including a breakout game based on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” as well as series based on “Batman,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Jurassic Park.” The company also announced on Wednesday that they will release a series based on Minecraft in the fall.

Although the company has not released more details on the “Stranger Things” game as of Wednesday afternoon, fans were quick to react to the news with excitement.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Stranger Things' Companion Books Coming This Fall – Prequel About Eleven's Mom to Follow

'Black Panther,' 'Stranger Things' Lead 2018 MTV Movie and TV Awards Nominations

'Stranger Things 3' Production Begins: Cast Returns in Behind-the-Scenes Teaser (Video)

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15 Best Stories Ever Told in the ‘Star Wars’ Universe (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 14:05:59 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1023034 Between the movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you’d be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the “Star Wars” universe, past and present. It’s a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture.

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the “Star Wars” universe.

15. The rise of Admiral Daala in the “Jedi Academy Trilogy”

After “Return of the Jedi” in the version of the “Star Wars” continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like “high admiral” or “warlord” while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so — for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson’s only good contributions to “Star Wars” lore.

14. The Black Fleet Crisis

Not referring to the “Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy” as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in “Star Wars” lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it’s the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you’ve never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It’s a really interesting scenario.

13. Darth Vader’s secret apprentice

The “Star Wars” universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we’ve very rarely gotten the inverse. That made “The Force Unleashed” a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You’re a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

13. Darth Vader’s secret apprentice

The “Star Wars” universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we’ve very rarely gotten the inverse. That made “The Force Unleashed” a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You’re a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

12. “X-Wing Alliance”

You’re Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad’s sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass.

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn’t on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only “Star Wars” space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

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https://www.thewrap.com/top-15-best-stories-ever-told-in-the-star-wars-universe-photos/feed/ 0 With 40 years of movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you'd be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the "Star Wars" universe, past and present. It's a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture. 

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the "Star Wars" universe.

]]>
With 40 years of movies, TV shows, comics, video games, novels and reference books, you'd be hard-pressed to ever run out of stories to read about the "Star Wars" universe, past and present. It's a big universe out there, and every story told in it is connected to all the others. Big stories are told as many different smaller ones, and small stories are told as chunks of a bigger picture. 

These are the best chunks, big or small, in the history of the "Star Wars" universe.

]]>
15. The Rise of Admiral Daala in the "Jedi Academy Trilogy"

After "Return of the Jedi" in the version of the "Star Wars" continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like "high admiral" or "warlord" while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so -- for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson's only good contributions to "Star Wars" lore.

]]>
15. The Rise of Admiral Daala in the "Jedi Academy Trilogy"

After "Return of the Jedi" in the version of the "Star Wars" continuity before Disney bought Lucasfilm, the Empire fractured into a bunch of splinter governments led by self-proclaimed rulers who would make up new titles for themselves like "high admiral" or "warlord" while still maintaining the pretense of Imperial legitimacy. Daala (a woman!) decided to try to bring it back together, and eventually was able to do so -- for a short time at least. Her brilliant machinations were a compelling as hell tale, and one of author Kevin J Anderson's only good contributions to "Star Wars" lore.

]]>
14. The Black Fleet Crisis

This is not referring to the "Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy" as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in "Star Wars" lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it's the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you've never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It's a really interesting scenario.

]]>
14. The Black Fleet Crisis

This is not referring to the "Black Fleet Crisis Trilogy" as a whole, since two of the three main narrative arcs in those books are unrelated to the event in "Star Wars" lore known as the Black Fleet Crisis.

The Crisis is great because it's the sort of cool scifi story that checks a lot of boxes simultaneously. In particular: unknowable alien force you've never heard of, weird galactic political intrigue with lots of backstabs from said alien force, and a grand mystery regarding how those aliens came to power in the first place. It's a really interesting scenario.

]]>
13. Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
13. Darth Vader's Secret Apprentice

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
12. "X-Wing Alliance"

You're Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad's sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass. 

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn't on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only "Star Wars" space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

]]>
12. "X-Wing Alliance"

You're Ace, and you work for your family shipping company. You fly a freighter doing pretty boring things, until your dad's sympathies for the Rebel Alliance come back to bite the whole family in the ass. 

You know how this goes: the Empire brings the hammer down, you join the Rebellion as a fighter pilot. But maybe the entire family isn't on board with facing down the Empire. This is the only "Star Wars" space combat simulator that gives you a personal story, and it turned out to be a great idea.

]]>
11. Admiral Thrawn

Not specifically thinking of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy here, but the story of Thrawn's life as a whole and his lasting legacy in the Expanded Universe. This guy was such a genius that even a decade after his death the plans he'd laid out were threatening to tear apart the fledgling New Republic. His fingerprints are everywhere.

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11. Admiral Thrawn

Not specifically thinking of Timothy Zahn's Thrawn trilogy here, but the story of Thrawn's life as a whole and his lasting legacy in the Expanded Universe. This guy was such a genius that even a decade after his death the plans he'd laid out were threatening to tear apart the fledgling New Republic. His fingerprints are everywhere.

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10. The Battle of Borleaias

Late in the "New Jedi Order," famed Rebel hero Wedge Antilles is charged with holding the planet Borleias from the Yuuzhan Vong, and it's one hell of a thing. Massively outgunned, Wedge pulls a whole lot of seat-of-your-pants gambits out of his ass -- and this pair of books, authored by the late fan favorite Aaron Allston, is full of great and witty dialogue of the sort you just never got from other "Star Wars" authors.

 

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10. The Battle of Borleaias

Late in the "New Jedi Order," famed Rebel hero Wedge Antilles is charged with holding the planet Borleias from the Yuuzhan Vong, and it's one hell of a thing. Massively outgunned, Wedge pulls a whole lot of seat-of-your-pants gambits out of his ass -- and this pair of books, authored by the late fan favorite Aaron Allston, is full of great and witty dialogue of the sort you just never got from other "Star Wars" authors.

 

]]>
9. Wedge and Friends Go to Adumar

As the war against the Empire winds down, Rebel hero Wedge Antilles and pals Tycho, Hobbie and Janso, are sent as diplomats to a newly discovered planet full of people who pretty don't give a shit about anyone who isn't a fighter pilot. If that sounds like a sitcom scenario, that's because it basically is. And it's great,  incessantly funny and very awkward -- a great little side story that's as witty as they get in this universe.

]]>
9. Wedge and Friends Go to Adumar

As the war against the Empire winds down, Rebel hero Wedge Antilles and pals Tycho, Hobbie and Janso, are sent as diplomats to a newly discovered planet full of people who pretty don't give a shit about anyone who isn't a fighter pilot. If that sounds like a sitcom scenario, that's because it basically is. And it's great,  incessantly funny and very awkward -- a great little side story that's as witty as they get in this universe.

]]>
8. Wraith Squadron

The story of the Wraiths, told over three books, is unique among "Star Wars" stories in a lot of ways. It follows famed Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles as he assembles a hybrid starfighter/footsoldier squadron of emotionally unstable washouts -- the idea being that such a group, when given some operational leeway, might approach apparently normal war scenarios in really unpredictable ways, and that's exactly what happens. It's the most human of all the "Star Wars" stories, full of truth.

]]>
8. Wraith Squadron

The story of the Wraiths, told over three books, is unique among "Star Wars" stories in a lot of ways. It follows famed Rebel pilot Wedge Antilles as he assembles a hybrid starfighter/footsoldier squadron of emotionally unstable washouts -- the idea being that such a group, when given some operational leeway, might approach apparently normal war scenarios in really unpredictable ways, and that's exactly what happens. It's the most human of all the "Star Wars" stories, full of truth.

]]>
7. The Tale of the Imperial Agent in "The Old Republic"

Many of the most interesting "Star Wars" stories are those that focus on characters who can't use the Force, and this is one of those. You play as a spy for the Sith Empire (thousands of years before the movies), doing awesome wartime spy stuff. And you get caught up in a galactic conspiracy to destroy both the Republic and Empire -- by a secret society tired of Force-using factions starting all these galaxy-spanning wars. It's a compelling-as-hell hook.

]]>
7. The Tale of the Imperial Agent in "The Old Republic"

Many of the most interesting "Star Wars" stories are those that focus on characters who can't use the Force, and this is one of those. You play as a spy for the Sith Empire (thousands of years before the movies), doing awesome wartime spy stuff. And you get caught up in a galactic conspiracy to destroy both the Republic and Empire -- by a secret society tired of Force-using factions starting all these galaxy-spanning wars. It's a compelling-as-hell hook.

]]>
6. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Revan

Thousands of years before the movies, Revan was a Jedi who led the Republic military against invading Mandalorians -- only to turn to the dark side and wage his own war on the Republic, before turning away from the dark and defeating his own armies. That's the very short, very incomplete version. The story of Revan is thoroughly fascinating and ends up lasting hundreds of years across two video games ("Knights of the Old Republic) and a pile of books and comics.

 

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6. The Rise and Fall and Rise of Revan

Thousands of years before the movies, Revan was a Jedi who led the Republic military against invading Mandalorians -- only to turn to the dark side and wage his own war on the Republic, before turning away from the dark and defeating his own armies. That's the very short, very incomplete version. The story of Revan is thoroughly fascinating and ends up lasting hundreds of years across two video games ("Knights of the Old Republic) and a pile of books and comics.

 

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5. The Jabba's Palace Heist in "Return of the Jedi"

It's become clear in the last few years that a lot of folks never really got what Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie were doing during the first portion of "Return of the Jedi" -- and now we have all these thinkpieces about how it was reckless and haphazard. But no, that shit was an impeccable heist. They had a plan, and they pulled it off flawlessly and in style. 

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5. The Jabba's Palace Heist in "Return of the Jedi"

It's become clear in the last few years that a lot of folks never really got what Luke, Leia, Lando and Chewie were doing during the first portion of "Return of the Jedi" -- and now we have all these thinkpieces about how it was reckless and haphazard. But no, that shit was an impeccable heist. They had a plan, and they pulled it off flawlessly and in style. 

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4. The Dark Wars

This story was told in the video game "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords" -- a former Jedi who was exiled from the Order returns to known space only to find the Jedi gone from civilization and a pair of mysterious Sith lords wreaking havoc all over. It's a rare "Star Wars" noir story, and it's quite a doozy.

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4. The Dark Wars

This story was told in the video game "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords" -- a former Jedi who was exiled from the Order returns to known space only to find the Jedi gone from civilization and a pair of mysterious Sith lords wreaking havoc all over. It's a rare "Star Wars" noir story, and it's quite a doozy.

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3. "Traitor"

In the '90s the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe got really moralistic and stuffy, and "Traitor" was a total refutation of that approach. It's the darkest "Star Wars" story ever written, but it serves a positive agenda in the end: one that asserts that maybe the Force isn't black and white and the Jedi don't need to stand around wondering about the moral implications of every little thing they do. It was a really great change for storytelling in the EU, and it's nice that it appears "The Last Jedi" might take a similar patch.

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3. "Traitor"

In the '90s the "Star Wars" Expanded Universe got really moralistic and stuffy, and "Traitor" was a total refutation of that approach. It's the darkest "Star Wars" story ever written, but it serves a positive agenda in the end: one that asserts that maybe the Force isn't black and white and the Jedi don't need to stand around wondering about the moral implications of every little thing they do. It was a really great change for storytelling in the EU, and it's nice that it appears "The Last Jedi" might take a similar patch.

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2. "Star Wars"

The one that started it all is a silly, not-particularly-well-thought-out movie, but it's tight as hell and covers all the ground it needs to. It establishes a completely new universe so casually, making it feel from the very beginning that this is a real, lived-in place. Everything you need to know about what's going on is right there.

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2. "Star Wars"

The one that started it all is a silly, not-particularly-well-thought-out movie, but it's tight as hell and covers all the ground it needs to. It establishes a completely new universe so casually, making it feel from the very beginning that this is a real, lived-in place. Everything you need to know about what's going on is right there.

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1. "The Empire Strikes Back"

The lesson J.J. Abrams and friends should have learned from "The Empire Strikes Back" widely considered the best "Star Wars" movie, is that you don't make a"Star Wars" movie that stands the test of time by aping previous ones -- you have to go somewhere new. "Empire" functions as a total counter to the first movie, and that's why it's a perfect sequel.

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1. "The Empire Strikes Back"

The lesson J.J. Abrams and friends should have learned from "The Empire Strikes Back" widely considered the best "Star Wars" movie, is that you don't make a"Star Wars" movie that stands the test of time by aping previous ones -- you have to go somewhere new. "Empire" functions as a total counter to the first movie, and that's why it's a perfect sequel.

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Top 13 Best ‘Star Wars’ Video Games Ever (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/top-13-best-star-wars-video-games-ever-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/top-13-best-star-wars-video-games-ever-photos/#respond Fri, 04 May 2018 13:30:12 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1023206 There have been so many “Star Wars” games, and most of them were not good. Hell, some of the ones I list here aren’t good. But they all deliver an experience you can’t get anywhere else, and that’s worthy of some praise.

“Masters of Teras Kasi”

How we haven’t been inundated with “Star Wars” fighting games is anyone’s guess — aside from “Soul Calibur IV” letting you play as Yoda or Darth Vader, “Masters of Teras Kasi” on the original PlayStation console is the only one. And it was the style of fighter that was easy to learn and enjoy, so we remember it fondly.

“Rebel Assault 2”

Not actually good, but still great. It’s a game that defies description because there’s nothing from the past two decades to compare it to. For that reason alone it makes the list.

“Yoda Stories”

This weird and cheap little “Zelda”-esque thing had Yoda sending Luke Skywalker on bite-sized randomly generated missions, and somehow it was extremely engaging.

“Rogue Squadron”

We’d been flying in space battles for years with “X-Wing” and “TIE Fighter,” but “Rogue Squadron” gave us something new bringing our starfighter into a planet’s atmosphere. “Rogue Squadron” was also built to be accessible, which was a pretty new thing for a “Star Wars” game.

“Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast”

If we’re being honest, the beloved “Jedi Knight” video game series is pretty mediocre all the way around. “Jedi Outcast,” though, is the peak as it features the closest we’ve ever gotten to realistic video game lightsaber combat.

“The Force Unleashed”

The “Star Wars” universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we’ve very rarely gotten the inverse. That made “The Force Unleashed” a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader’s secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You’re a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

“The Old Republic”

Bioware attempted to meld their style of story-focused role-playing game with a “World of Warcraft”-style online game, and that was a mistake. But it’s still full of really outstanding “Star Wars” stories that are better than most all of the ones you’d get elsewhere. It’s also funnier than most others.

“Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords”

Obsidian Entertainment created an experience that manages to subvert basically every way “Star Wars” has ever operated, starting with its predecessor. It’s a total downer, every character is in a bad mood, and none of the decisions your character makes will ever be greeted with approval from her master. “There are no right choices” is not the normal “Star Wars” way, and it works perfectly.

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https://www.thewrap.com/top-13-best-star-wars-video-games-ever-photos/feed/ 0 There have been so many "Star Wars" video games in the 40 years since the franchise began, and most of them were not good. Hell, a couple of the ones I list here aren't good. But they all deliver an experience you can't get anywhere else, and that's worthy of some praise.

[contextual-link post_id="977567" title="Also Read" link_title="77 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Characters Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos)" target="_blank"]

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There have been so many "Star Wars" video games in the 40 years since the franchise began, and most of them were not good. Hell, a couple of the ones I list here aren't good. But they all deliver an experience you can't get anywhere else, and that's worthy of some praise.

[contextual-link post_id="977567" title="Also Read" link_title="77 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ Characters Ranked From Worst to Best (Photos)" target="_blank"]

]]>
13. "Rebel Assault 2"

Not actually good, but still great. It's a game that defies description because there's nothing from the past two decades to compare it to. For that reason alone it makes the list.

]]>
13. "Rebel Assault 2"

Not actually good, but still great. It's a game that defies description because there's nothing from the past two decades to compare it to. For that reason alone it makes the list.

]]>
12. "Masters of Teras Kasi"

How we haven't been inundated with "Star Wars" fighting games is anyone's guess -- aside from "Soul Calibur IV" letting you play as Yoda or Darth Vader, "Masters of Teras Kasi" on the original PlayStation console is the only one. And it was the style of fighter that was easy to learn and enjoy, so we remember it fondly.

]]>
12. "Masters of Teras Kasi"

How we haven't been inundated with "Star Wars" fighting games is anyone's guess -- aside from "Soul Calibur IV" letting you play as Yoda or Darth Vader, "Masters of Teras Kasi" on the original PlayStation console is the only one. And it was the style of fighter that was easy to learn and enjoy, so we remember it fondly.

]]>
11. "Yoda Stories"

This weird and cheap little "Zelda"-esque thing had Yoda sending Luke Skywalker on bite-sized randomly generated missions, and somehow it was extremely engaging. We are well overdue for a smartphone version of this thing.

]]>
11. "Yoda Stories"

This weird and cheap little "Zelda"-esque thing had Yoda sending Luke Skywalker on bite-sized randomly generated missions, and somehow it was extremely engaging. We are well overdue for a smartphone version of this thing.

]]>
10. "Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast"

If we're being honest, the beloved "Jedi Knight" video game series is pretty mediocre all the way around. "Jedi Outcast," though, is the peak as it features the closest we've ever gotten to realistic video game lightsaber combat.

]]>
10. "Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast"

If we're being honest, the beloved "Jedi Knight" video game series is pretty mediocre all the way around. "Jedi Outcast," though, is the peak as it features the closest we've ever gotten to realistic video game lightsaber combat.

]]>
9. "The Force Unleashed"

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
9. "The Force Unleashed"

The "Star Wars" universe is full of stories about good apprentices going bad and wreaking havoc on the good guys, but we've very rarely gotten the inverse. That made "The Force Unleashed" a really novel experience. You play as Darth Vader's secret apprentice in the years between the original and prequel trilogies. You're a dark side force user and soldier for the Empire who goes rogue in a really epic way.

]]>
8. "Rogue Squadron"

We'd been flying in space battles for years with "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter," but "Rogue Squadron" gave us something new bringing our starfighter into a planet's atmosphere. "Rogue Squadron" was also built to be accessible, which was a pretty new thing for a "Star Wars" game.

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8. "Rogue Squadron"

We'd been flying in space battles for years with "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter," but "Rogue Squadron" gave us something new bringing our starfighter into a planet's atmosphere. "Rogue Squadron" was also built to be accessible, which was a pretty new thing for a "Star Wars" game.

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7. "X-Wing Alliance"

Develops the minimalistic narrative approach of "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter" and develops it in a great way -- you're still a grunt, as a fighter pilot for the Rebellion, but now you're a named character who has real-life concerns beyond the next confrontation with the Empire.

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7. "X-Wing Alliance"

Develops the minimalistic narrative approach of "X-Wing" and "TIE Fighter" and develops it in a great way -- you're still a grunt, as a fighter pilot for the Rebellion, but now you're a named character who has real-life concerns beyond the next confrontation with the Empire.

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6. "Racer"

There aren't a lot of "Star Wars" racing games, weirdly enough, but "The Phantom Menace" provided the perfect in with its big pod racing sequence. It turned out pod racing translated perfectly to video games.

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6. "Racer"

There aren't a lot of "Star Wars" racing games, weirdly enough, but "The Phantom Menace" provided the perfect in with its big pod racing sequence. It turned out pod racing translated perfectly to video games.

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5. "The Old Republic"

Bioware attempted to meld their style of story-focused role-playing game with a "World of Warcraft"-style online game, and that was a mistake. But it's still full of really outstanding "Star Wars" stories that are better than most all of the ones you'd get elsewhere. It's also funnier than most others.

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5. "The Old Republic"

Bioware attempted to meld their style of story-focused role-playing game with a "World of Warcraft"-style online game, and that was a mistake. But it's still full of really outstanding "Star Wars" stories that are better than most all of the ones you'd get elsewhere. It's also funnier than most others.

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4. "Knights of the Old Republic"

If you're trying to replicate the beats and "feel" of a "Star Wars" movie, you do it like this: with an entirely new cast of characters in a fresh story. "KOTOR" even manages to have a twist as powerful as "I am your father," but without feeling as though it was copying "Empire."

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4. "Knights of the Old Republic"

If you're trying to replicate the beats and "feel" of a "Star Wars" movie, you do it like this: with an entirely new cast of characters in a fresh story. "KOTOR" even manages to have a twist as powerful as "I am your father," but without feeling as though it was copying "Empire."

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3. "Rebellion"

Not a technically great game in the traditional sense, but the first galaxy-scale "Star Wars" strategy game is still a blast. It's also great fuel for the imagination because you can mold the war between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire in whatever way you want.

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3. "Rebellion"

Not a technically great game in the traditional sense, but the first galaxy-scale "Star Wars" strategy game is still a blast. It's also great fuel for the imagination because you can mold the war between the Rebel Alliance and the Empire in whatever way you want.

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2. "TIE Fighter"

It's a great example of minimalistic "Star Wars" storytelling, putting you in the boots of a a mostly anonymous Imperial pilot during the Rebellion period. You're a grunt, but things are happening around you, and it's weirdly enthralling.

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2. "TIE Fighter"

It's a great example of minimalistic "Star Wars" storytelling, putting you in the boots of a a mostly anonymous Imperial pilot during the Rebellion period. You're a grunt, but things are happening around you, and it's weirdly enthralling.

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1. "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords"

Obsidian Entertainment created an experience that manages to subvert basically every way "Star Wars" has ever operated, starting with its predecessor. It's a total downer, every character is in a bad mood, and none of the decisions your character makes will ever be greeted with approval from her master. "There are no right choices" is not the normal "Star Wars" way, and it works perfectly.

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1. "Knights of the Old Republic 2: The Sith Lords"

Obsidian Entertainment created an experience that manages to subvert basically every way "Star Wars" has ever operated, starting with its predecessor. It's a total downer, every character is in a bad mood, and none of the decisions your character makes will ever be greeted with approval from her master. "There are no right choices" is not the normal "Star Wars" way, and it works perfectly.

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Lindsay Lohan Gets Run Down Again in ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Lawsuit https://www.thewrap.com/lindsay-lohan-gets-run-grand-theft-auto-lawsuit/ https://www.thewrap.com/lindsay-lohan-gets-run-grand-theft-auto-lawsuit/#respond Thu, 29 Mar 2018 18:14:28 +0000 Tim Kenneally https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1852591 Sorry, Lindsay Lohan; you’re out of gas in your legal skirmish with the makers of the “Grand Theft Auto” video game line. Again.

Lohan, who initially filed suit against Take Two Interactive Software in 2014, alleging that the character Lacey Jonas from “Grand Theft Auto V” misappropriated her likeness, received bad news on Thursday with an appeals court, which found that the suit was properly dismissed in an earlier court decision.

“The primary questions on this appeal are whether an avatar (that is, a graphical representation of a person, in a video game or like media) may constitute a ‘portrait’ within the meaning of Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51 and, if so, whether the images in question in the video game central to this matter are recognizable as plaintiff,” Thursday’s decision reads. “We conclude a computer generated image may constitute a portrait within the meaning of that law. We also conclude, however, that the subject images are not recognizable as plaintiff, and that the amended complaint, which contains four causes of action for violation of privacy pursuant to Civil Rights Law §§ 50 and 51, was properly dismissed.”

The suit was previously dismissed in 2016 decision from New York Supreme Court.

“Defendants … never referred to Lohan by name or used her actual name in the video game, never used Lohan herself as an actor for the video game, and never used a photograph of Lohan,” the Supreme Court decision found.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Grand Theft Auto' Makers Sued by Psychic Readers Network Over Miss Cleo 'Doppelganger'

Lindsay Lohan's 'Grand Theft Auto V' Lawsuit Gets Dismissed by Supreme Court

Former 'Grand Theft Auto' Producer Sues Rockstar Games for Unpaid Royalties

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All 42 Video Game Movies Ranked, Including ‘Tomb Raider’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/video-game-movies-ranked-worst-best-resident-evil/ https://www.thewrap.com/video-game-movies-ranked-worst-best-resident-evil/#respond Fri, 16 Mar 2018 22:25:03 +0000 Phil Owen and Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1043756 Video game movies have a bad reputation because, well, there are very few that we’d call “good.” At their best, at least so far, the big screen versions of video games have been fun and trashy entertainment. At their worst, however, they’re as bad as anything else we’ve ever seen in a movie theater.

So let’s rank ‘em!

41. “Postal” (2008)

The pinnacle of director Uwe Boll‘s string of horrendous video game movies (he has five that qualify for this list by getting theatrical releases somewhere), but to be fair it’s probably still a better work of art than the game it’s based on.

40. “Alone in the Dark” (2005)

“House of the Dead” briefly tricked us into thinking Uwe Boll was a camp master, but his next video game movie, “Alone in the Dark,” was such an incomprehensible slog that I have never been able to sit all the way through after my first viewing in the theater.

39. “The Wizard” (1989)

Technically this is an adaptation of a novelty video game peripheral, the Nintendo Power Glove, rather than an actual game. And it’s as much of a joke as you’d expect a feature-length ad to be.

38. “The Angry Birds Movie” (2016)

I’m a negative person on principle, but even I was offput by the misanthropy of this kids movie. When men’s rights activists embrace your cartoon, you probably did something wrong.

37. “BloodRayne” (2006)

In 2003, Kristanna Loken looked like she was gonna be somebody when she starred as a Terminator in “Terminator 3.” And then she starred in two Uwe Boll movies, including this travesty.

36. “Silent Hill: Revelations” (2012)

Worse than the first “Silent Hill” movie in every possible way, down to actors who seem incapable of doing facial expressions. Which is bad news, because most of the acting a “Silent Hill” movie demands involves reacting to all the weird things the characters encounter.

35. “Max Payne” (2008)

Most videos games aren’t really suited for film adaptations, but “Max Payne” is an exception as violent melodramatic noir. The movie version goes for that, to its credit, but ultimately it’s just not very good.

34. “Pokemon Heroes” (2003)

This is the fifth “Pokemon” movie. That’s all I have to say about it.

33. “Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li” (2009)
Usually, bad video game movies are the “boring” kind of bad, but the second attempt at a “Street Fighter” movie almost manages to achieve “accidental camp classic” status at some points. But the rest of it, unfortunately, is just an affront to humanity.

32. “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” (2001)
Exactly the sort of half-baked melodramatic garbage you’d expect from the awful “Final Fantasy” series.

 “Assassin’s Creed” (2016)

This is a movie that won’t make a lick of sense if you haven’t played one or two of the games it’s based on. But I have played all of the games, and I found it to be a reasonably entertaining action flick. It’s definitely pretty dumb, though.

“Resident Evil: Extinction” (2007)
This one has zombie birds. I can’t imagine why anybody would dislike that.

“Resident Evil: The Final Chapter” (2017)

Paul W.S. Anderson caps off the “Resident Evil” series by throwing out any and all worries about continuity. Iain Glenn is back from the third movie for a chance to be super ridiculously evil again, and we finally get a reason for this zombie apocalypse. “The Final Chapter” more awesome monster-beat downs and more horrific deaths.

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https://www.thewrap.com/video-game-movies-ranked-worst-best-resident-evil/feed/ 0 Video game movies have a bad reputation because, honestly, there are very few that we'd call actually "good." At their best, at least so far, these big-screen adaptations have been fun and trashy entertainment. At their worst, they're among the worst movies ever made. 

So let's rank 'em!

]]>
Video game movies have a bad reputation because, honestly, there are very few that we'd call actually "good." At their best, at least so far, these big-screen adaptations have been fun and trashy entertainment. At their worst, they're among the worst movies ever made. 

So let's rank 'em!

]]>
42. "Postal" (2008)
The pinnacle of director Uwe Boll's string of horrendous video game movies (he has five that qualify for this list by getting theatrical releases somewhere), but to be fair it's probably still a better work of art than the game it's based on.

]]>
42. "Postal" (2008)
The pinnacle of director Uwe Boll's string of horrendous video game movies (he has five that qualify for this list by getting theatrical releases somewhere), but to be fair it's probably still a better work of art than the game it's based on.

]]>
41. "Alone in the Dark" (2005)
"House of the Dead" briefly tricked us into thinking Uwe Boll was a camp master, but his next video game movie, "Alone in the Dark," was such an incomprehensible slog that I have never been able to sit all the way through it after my first viewing in the theater.

]]>
41. "Alone in the Dark" (2005)
"House of the Dead" briefly tricked us into thinking Uwe Boll was a camp master, but his next video game movie, "Alone in the Dark," was such an incomprehensible slog that I have never been able to sit all the way through it after my first viewing in the theater.

]]>
40. "The Wizard" (1989)
Technically this is an adaptation of a novelty video game peripheral, the Nintendo Power Glove, rather than an actual game. And it's as much of a joke as you'd expect a feature-length ad to be.

]]>
40. "The Wizard" (1989)
Technically this is an adaptation of a novelty video game peripheral, the Nintendo Power Glove, rather than an actual game. And it's as much of a joke as you'd expect a feature-length ad to be.

]]>
39. "The Angry Birds Movie" (2016)
I'm a negative person on principle, but even I was put off by the misanthropy of this kids movie. When neo-Nazis embrace your cartoon, you probably did something wrong.

]]>
39. "The Angry Birds Movie" (2016)
I'm a negative person on principle, but even I was put off by the misanthropy of this kids movie. When neo-Nazis embrace your cartoon, you probably did something wrong.

]]>
38. "BloodRayne" (2006)
In 2003, Kristanna Loken looked like she was gonna be somebody when she starred as a Terminatrix in "Terminator 3." And then she starred in two Uwe Boll movies, including this travesty.

]]>
38. "BloodRayne" (2006)
In 2003, Kristanna Loken looked like she was gonna be somebody when she starred as a Terminatrix in "Terminator 3." And then she starred in two Uwe Boll movies, including this travesty.

]]>
37. "Silent Hill: Revelations" (2012)
Worse than the first "Silent Hill" movie in every possible way, down to actors who seem incapable of making facial expressions. Which is bad news, because most of the acting in a "Silent Hill" movie demands  reacting to all the weird things the characters encounter.

]]>
37. "Silent Hill: Revelations" (2012)
Worse than the first "Silent Hill" movie in every possible way, down to actors who seem incapable of making facial expressions. Which is bad news, because most of the acting in a "Silent Hill" movie demands  reacting to all the weird things the characters encounter.

]]>
36. "Pokemon Heroes" (2003)
This is the fifth "Pokemon" movie. That's all I have to say about it.

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36. "Pokemon Heroes" (2003)
This is the fifth "Pokemon" movie. That's all I have to say about it.

]]>
35. "Max Payne" (2008)
Most videos games aren't really suited for film adaptations, but "Max Payne" is an exception as violent melodramatic noir. To its credit, the movie version goes for that, keying into the game's ideas and vision and broadening it into a visual approach that's generally kind of interesting. It can't quite hold it all together, though.

]]>
35. "Max Payne" (2008)
Most videos games aren't really suited for film adaptations, but "Max Payne" is an exception as violent melodramatic noir. To its credit, the movie version goes for that, keying into the game's ideas and vision and broadening it into a visual approach that's generally kind of interesting. It can't quite hold it all together, though.

]]>
34. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" (2009)
Usually, bad video game movies are the "boring" kind of bad, but the second attempt at a "Street Fighter" movie almost manages to achieve "accidental camp classic" status at some points. But the rest of it, unfortunately, is just an affront to humanity. 

]]>
34. "Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li" (2009)
Usually, bad video game movies are the "boring" kind of bad, but the second attempt at a "Street Fighter" movie almost manages to achieve "accidental camp classic" status at some points. But the rest of it, unfortunately, is just an affront to humanity. 

]]>
33. "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" (2001)
Exactly the sort of half-baked melodramatic garbage you'd expect from the awful "Final Fantasy" series. Though it tried something interesting with CGI animation in the early 2000s, the movie struggles under the weight of a lot of world-building that never gets properly explained, wooden character animations, and dull performances in spite of an all-star cast.

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33. "Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within" (2001)
Exactly the sort of half-baked melodramatic garbage you'd expect from the awful "Final Fantasy" series. Though it tried something interesting with CGI animation in the early 2000s, the movie struggles under the weight of a lot of world-building that never gets properly explained, wooden character animations, and dull performances in spite of an all-star cast.

]]>
32. "Pokemon 4Ever" (2002)
This one has time travel, I think? Look, don't worry about the plot.

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32. "Pokemon 4Ever" (2002)
This one has time travel, I think? Look, don't worry about the plot.

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31. "Need for Speed" (2014)
A story-less racing game franchise like "Need for Speed" should be the easiest kind of game to adapt, because there's actually nothing to adapt. So all you have to do is make a cool car-based action movie. But this movie can't even get that right.

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31. "Need for Speed" (2014)
A story-less racing game franchise like "Need for Speed" should be the easiest kind of game to adapt, because there's actually nothing to adapt. So all you have to do is make a cool car-based action movie. But this movie can't even get that right.

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30. "Pokemon: The Movie 2000: The Power of One" (2000)
I always have trouble remembering which "Pokemon" movie is which, and this one's distracting double colons in the title doesn't help.

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30. "Pokemon: The Movie 2000: The Power of One" (2000)
I always have trouble remembering which "Pokemon" movie is which, and this one's distracting double colons in the title doesn't help.

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29. "Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" (2003)
The follow-up to a pretty OK first movie that felt rushed, "Cradle" basically just tried to copy the first movie but with a lower budget. That's a very video game approach to take, but not a good result.

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29. "Tomb Raider: Cradle of Life" (2003)
The follow-up to a pretty OK first movie that felt rushed, "Cradle" basically just tried to copy the first movie but with a lower budget. That's a very video game approach to take, but not a good result.

]]>
28. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" (1997)
Feels like a cheap knock-off of the first "Mortal Kombat" rather than an actual sequel.

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28. "Mortal Kombat: Annihilation" (1997)
Feels like a cheap knock-off of the first "Mortal Kombat" rather than an actual sequel.

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27. "Hitman" (2007)
Was this even really a movie? It's hard to tell, honestly, considering it felt like half its plot was left on the cutting-room floor.

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27. "Hitman" (2007)
Was this even really a movie? It's hard to tell, honestly, considering it felt like half its plot was left on the cutting-room floor.

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26. "Wing Commander" (1999)
Remember that brief moment when Hollywood wanted to make Freddie Prinze Jr. into a thing? Ironically, he's been pretty good acting in actual video games lately.

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26. "Wing Commander" (1999)
Remember that brief moment when Hollywood wanted to make Freddie Prinze Jr. into a thing? Ironically, he's been pretty good acting in actual video games lately.

]]>
25. "Double Dragon" (1994)
I'm sure someone out there has strong feelings about the "Double Dragon" movie, but I definitely do not. But hey, Scott Wolf.

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25. "Double Dragon" (1994)
I'm sure someone out there has strong feelings about the "Double Dragon" movie, but I definitely do not. But hey, Scott Wolf.

]]>
24. "House of the Dead" (2003)
Of all the Uwe Boll movies on this list, "House of the Dead" is the most watchable because it manages just the right balance of filmmaking ineptitude and inexplicable-yet-funny creative flourishes. In this case, the random splicing of clips from the "House of the Dead" gameplay between shots.

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24. "House of the Dead" (2003)
Of all the Uwe Boll movies on this list, "House of the Dead" is the most watchable because it manages just the right balance of filmmaking ineptitude and inexplicable-yet-funny creative flourishes. In this case, the random splicing of clips from the "House of the Dead" gameplay between shots.

]]>
23. "Warcraft" (2016)
"It's like 'Lord of the Rings' if there weren't any Hobbits to explain everything to," my friend told me after we watched it. Sounds about right, considering it's a barrage of nonsense fantasy concepts that it just assumes the audience already understands. Though the movie achingly recreates in-game locations, anyone who hasn't sunk a whole lot of hours into playing "World of Warcraft" gets left behind by the plot.

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23. "Warcraft" (2016)
"It's like 'Lord of the Rings' if there weren't any Hobbits to explain everything to," my friend told me after we watched it. Sounds about right, considering it's a barrage of nonsense fantasy concepts that it just assumes the audience already understands. Though the movie achingly recreates in-game locations, anyone who hasn't sunk a whole lot of hours into playing "World of Warcraft" gets left behind by the plot.

]]>
22. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (2010)
It's not good, but has Hollywood cred because it's bad in the way that many attempts at summer blockbusters are bad. The video game connection feels incidental, though.

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22. "Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time" (2010)
It's not good, but has Hollywood cred because it's bad in the way that many attempts at summer blockbusters are bad. The video game connection feels incidental, though.

]]>
21. "Pokemon 3: The Movie" (2001)
This is the one where a girl gets a Pokemon to be her dad after her real dad disappears. So it's one of the better ones.

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21. "Pokemon 3: The Movie" (2001)
This is the one where a girl gets a Pokemon to be her dad after her real dad disappears. So it's one of the better ones.

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20. "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" (2008)
Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Ron Perlman, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies. Probably the most amusing fantasy cast you could imagine, turning an Uwe Boll nightmare into something that's extremely watchable ironically. Watchability goes a long way on a list like this where most of the movies are terrible.

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20. "In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale" (2008)
Jason Statham, Ray Liotta, Ron Perlman, Burt Reynolds, Matthew Lillard, Leelee Sobieski, John Rhys-Davies. Probably the most amusing fantasy cast you could imagine, turning an Uwe Boll nightmare into something that's extremely watchable ironically. Watchability goes a long way on a list like this where most of the movies are terrible.

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19. "Ratchet & Clank" (2016)
We finally got to see what it would look like if you took a bunch of random cinematic scenes out of a game and cut them into a movie. And surprisingly, it's not that bad!

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19. "Ratchet & Clank" (2016)
We finally got to see what it would look like if you took a bunch of random cinematic scenes out of a game and cut them into a movie. And surprisingly, it's not that bad!

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18. "Tekken" (2010)
A perfectly OK movie about people beating the crap out of each other, to match a perfectly OK video game series about people beating the crap out of each other.

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18. "Tekken" (2010)
A perfectly OK movie about people beating the crap out of each other, to match a perfectly OK video game series about people beating the crap out of each other.

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17. "Assassin's Creed" (2016)

This is a movie that won't make a lick of sense if you haven't played one or two of the games it's based on. But I have played all of the games, and I found it to be a reasonably entertaining action flick. It's definitely pretty dumb, though.

]]>
17. "Assassin's Creed" (2016)

This is a movie that won't make a lick of sense if you haven't played one or two of the games it's based on. But I have played all of the games, and I found it to be a reasonably entertaining action flick. It's definitely pretty dumb, though.

]]>
16. "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007)
This one has zombie birds. I can't imagine why anybody would dislike that.

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16. "Resident Evil: Extinction" (2007)
This one has zombie birds. I can't imagine why anybody would dislike that.

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15. "Resident Evil" (2002)
Fans of the game series don't like this movie because it doesn't follow the same plot as the source material. But honestly, this movie has a better story than any of the games. And it's one of the better modern zombie movies.

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15. "Resident Evil" (2002)
Fans of the game series don't like this movie because it doesn't follow the same plot as the source material. But honestly, this movie has a better story than any of the games. And it's one of the better modern zombie movies.

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14. "DOA: Dead or Alive" (2007)
One of the rare examples of a live-action video game movie fully embracing its source material. Sure, that source material is trashy and exploitative, but it always came with a wink. This movie comes with about a thousand winks. 

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14. "DOA: Dead or Alive" (2007)
One of the rare examples of a live-action video game movie fully embracing its source material. Sure, that source material is trashy and exploitative, but it always came with a wink. This movie comes with about a thousand winks. 

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13. "Pokemon: The First Movie" (1999)
There's no such thing as a good "Pokemon" movie, but there is such a thing as a "Pokemon" movie that might make you cry. This is that "Pokemon" movie.

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13. "Pokemon: The First Movie" (1999)
There's no such thing as a good "Pokemon" movie, but there is such a thing as a "Pokemon" movie that might make you cry. This is that "Pokemon" movie.

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12. "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001)
Thus far, this is the mainstream ideal for what a video game movie could be: a fun, light action flick that operates as a real movie. It's perfectly enjoyable.

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12. "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" (2001)
Thus far, this is the mainstream ideal for what a video game movie could be: a fun, light action flick that operates as a real movie. It's perfectly enjoyable.

]]>
11. "Hitman: Agent 47" (2015)
As an adaptation of a stealthy game series it's just OK, but as an inventive R-rated action movie it's actually really enjoyable.

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11. "Hitman: Agent 47" (2015)
As an adaptation of a stealthy game series it's just OK, but as an inventive R-rated action movie it's actually really enjoyable.

]]>
10. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004)
The second "Resident Evil" is where the film series found its true identity as delightful trash action pictures rather than horror films. It was a good move, as the film embraces all sorts of weird monsters but turns the franchise into something very different from the source material. It's telling that the games would eventually start to ape the movies.

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10. "Resident Evil: Apocalypse" (2004)
The second "Resident Evil" is where the film series found its true identity as delightful trash action pictures rather than horror films. It was a good move, as the film embraces all sorts of weird monsters but turns the franchise into something very different from the source material. It's telling that the games would eventually start to ape the movies.

]]>
9. "Tomb Raider" (2018)

An adaptation of the game that rebooted the video game franchise, to reboot the movie franchise, has some solidly movie-like source material to work from. It does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of the survivor-focused "Tomb Raider" and has some cool action sequences besides, but a lack of characterization for Lara and a rushed story mean it's just never very memorable.

]]>
9. "Tomb Raider" (2018)

An adaptation of the game that rebooted the video game franchise, to reboot the movie franchise, has some solidly movie-like source material to work from. It does a pretty good job of capturing the spirit of the survivor-focused "Tomb Raider" and has some cool action sequences besides, but a lack of characterization for Lara and a rushed story mean it's just never very memorable.

]]>
8. "Doom" (2005)
When it comes to horror sci-fi action, you could do worse than having The Rock as the bad guy who goes psycho at the end. Much of the movie legitimately hits on some creepy vibes before it careens into a climax that includes a first-person viewpoint sequence that makes you wonder why anyone plays video games at all.

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8. "Doom" (2005)
When it comes to horror sci-fi action, you could do worse than having The Rock as the bad guy who goes psycho at the end. Much of the movie legitimately hits on some creepy vibes before it careens into a climax that includes a first-person viewpoint sequence that makes you wonder why anyone plays video games at all.

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7. "Super Mario Bros." (1993)
Everybody hates this movie, but I'm not sure there's any other way to adapt the "Mario" games than with a dumb comedy like this. Those games don't exactly have normal story elements like "dialogue" or "themes." Anyway, this film works on sheer novelty value alone today, and because of a couple of great performances by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

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7. "Super Mario Bros." (1993)
Everybody hates this movie, but I'm not sure there's any other way to adapt the "Mario" games than with a dumb comedy like this. Those games don't exactly have normal story elements like "dialogue" or "themes." Anyway, this film works on sheer novelty value alone today, and because of a couple of great performances by Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

]]>
6. "Street Fighter" (1994)
It's "Batman: The Movie" meets "Rambo," and somehow it actually works. How? Raul Julia, that's how. As the story's villain, he's having an absolute blast the entire time, with a cast that just as often also leans into their goofy video game characters.

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6. "Street Fighter" (1994)
It's "Batman: The Movie" meets "Rambo," and somehow it actually works. How? Raul Julia, that's how. As the story's villain, he's having an absolute blast the entire time, with a cast that just as often also leans into their goofy video game characters.

]]>
5. "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (2017)

Paul W.S. Anderson caps off the “Resident Evil” series by throwing out any and all worries about continuity. Iain Glenn is back from the third movie for a chance to be super ridiculously evil again, and we finally get a reason for this zombie apocalypse. “The Final Chapter” has more awesome monster-beat downs and more horrific deaths, and it goes crazy in embracing being over-the-top.

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5. "Resident Evil: The Final Chapter" (2017)

Paul W.S. Anderson caps off the “Resident Evil” series by throwing out any and all worries about continuity. Iain Glenn is back from the third movie for a chance to be super ridiculously evil again, and we finally get a reason for this zombie apocalypse. “The Final Chapter” has more awesome monster-beat downs and more horrific deaths, and it goes crazy in embracing being over-the-top.

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4. "Silent Hill" (2006)
One thing video games have going for them above other media is visual inventiveness -- if nothing else, they usually look cool. "Silent Hill" manages to tap into the phenomenal look and tone of the games, while also being a pretty decent movie otherwise -- despite a big boring exposition dump right before the climax.

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4. "Silent Hill" (2006)
One thing video games have going for them above other media is visual inventiveness -- if nothing else, they usually look cool. "Silent Hill" manages to tap into the phenomenal look and tone of the games, while also being a pretty decent movie otherwise -- despite a big boring exposition dump right before the climax.

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3. "Mortal Kombat" (1995)
The '90s were a rough stretch for movies overall, with seemingly every other film being a bad action movie or a bad supernatural thriller. "Mortal Kombat" feels very much like a product of that sort of time, but thankfully it knows exactly what kind of trash it is, and its cast leans into having fun with the underlying weirdness.

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3. "Mortal Kombat" (1995)
The '90s were a rough stretch for movies overall, with seemingly every other film being a bad action movie or a bad supernatural thriller. "Mortal Kombat" feels very much like a product of that sort of time, but thankfully it knows exactly what kind of trash it is, and its cast leans into having fun with the underlying weirdness.

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2. "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010)
Paul W.S. Anderson directed the first "Resident Evil," then left the director's chair to someone else -- until he returned for "Afterlife." There's a marked leap in technical wizardry with this one, turning the franchise from B-level afterthought to B-level greatness. This is a movie that actually makes great use of 3D to look awesome.

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2. "Resident Evil: Afterlife" (2010)
Paul W.S. Anderson directed the first "Resident Evil," then left the director's chair to someone else -- until he returned for "Afterlife." There's a marked leap in technical wizardry with this one, turning the franchise from B-level afterthought to B-level greatness. This is a movie that actually makes great use of 3D to look awesome.

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1. "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012)
It's goofy, gory, excessive action shot absolutely impeccably. A trash masterpiece that doesn't get enough credit for being gorgeous, and an easy choice for the best video game movie ever.

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1. "Resident Evil: Retribution" (2012)
It's goofy, gory, excessive action shot absolutely impeccably. A trash masterpiece that doesn't get enough credit for being gorgeous, and an easy choice for the best video game movie ever.

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‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ Announced on Day of Trump’s Video Game Violence Summit https://www.thewrap.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-trump-violence-video-game/ https://www.thewrap.com/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-trump-violence-video-game/#respond Fri, 09 Mar 2018 15:08:50 +0000 Tony Maglio https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1833885

Start visualizing your Oct. 12 kill-streaks now, gamers: “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” is coming out that day, and we’ve already got footage for it.

Perhaps perfectly, the release date and first teaser for the latest installment of the popular first-person shooter franchise reached the Internet just hours before President Trump’s video game violence summit on Thursday. And if you’re wondering, yes, “Call of Duty” was one of the violent games put on blast by the POTUS during a bloody montage intended to back his stance.

Watch the “Black Ops IIII” teaser above. (Right, they didn’t do “IV,” which would be proper usage of Roman numerals — perhaps Trump has a point about video games melting our minds.)

Readers can watch the aforementioned White House supercut below.

Following the massacre at Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Trump blamed violent video games — not guns — for America’s gun violence problem. Read what transpired at the President’s pow-wow here.

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Move Over, Harry: New Potter Game Puts Hogwarts Girl in the Driver’s Seat (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/move-over-harry-new-potter-game-puts-hogwarts-girl-in-the-drivers-seat-video/ https://www.thewrap.com/move-over-harry-new-potter-game-puts-hogwarts-girl-in-the-drivers-seat-video/#respond Fri, 02 Mar 2018 18:31:25 +0000 Ashley Boucher https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1827387

Another new Harry Potter game is coming out later this year, and it’s positioning itself as the most inclusive Harry Potter property yet.

“Hogwarts Mystery,” developed by Jam City, is the first mobile game in which users can create their own avatar and experience life at Hogwarts as a student.

“This is your Hogwarts story,” the teaser promises.

The teaser for the game features a female Hogwarts student getting her letter, getting sorted into a House (it looks like users actually get to pick Gryffindor, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, or Slytherin), and learning magical spells and meeting new characters along with old favorites.

The game is launching under Portkey Games, which is also behind the game “Wizards Unite,” the game from Pokemon-Go creators Niantic.

You can pre-register to download the game when it launches here.

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‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Explains Some First Order Backstory Ahead of ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-first-orders-plans-last-jedi/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-first-orders-plans-last-jedi/#respond Sun, 17 Dec 2017 00:56:16 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1739933 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the story campaign of the video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” including its newly released chapter, “Resurrection.”)

The newly released “Star Wars: Battlefront II” adds a little something new to the ongoing “Star Wars” saga. The game tells a tale set after “Return of the Jedi,” doing a little bit to fill in some gaps between the original “Star Wars” film trilogy and “The Force Awakens” some 30 years later.

“Battlefront II” tells a story of an Imperial commando squad that’s dispatched around the galaxy to carry out Emperor Palpatine’s final orders, after he’s killed aboard the Death Star. Those orders are called Operation: Cinder, and they’re angled at preserving the Empire’s grip on the galaxy even in the aftermath of a Rebellion victory.

The team responsible for carrying out some of those orders, Inferno Squad, is led by Commander Iden Versio, a special forces commando whose father is an Imperial admiral. Part of Operation: Cinder sends Inferno Squad to the planet Vardos, Versio’s home world and the place where she was trained in a special Imperial officer school. The mission is to locate and transport Versio’s mentor, an alien called Protectorate Gleb, off the planet.

While much of “Star Wars: Battlefront II” and its story concern the war right after “Return of the Jedi,” the bit with Protectorate Gleb doesn’t come up again until the game’s epilogue. That part of the story is years in the future, closer to the time when “The Force Awakens” take place. In the Disney era trilogy, the Empire was defeated by the Rebels, but a new evil army called the First Order has risen to take its place, hoping to resurrect the Empire and its former glory. And Kylo Ren, its lightsaber-wielding, Force-using enforcer, worships Darth Vader.

“Battlefront II” shows how the First Order rose from the remnants of the Empire, apparently working off at least some instructions from Emperor Palpatine that he created before he died. In the epilogue, Kylo Ren travels to one of the planets from the war after “Return of the Jedi,” where he finds Protectorate Gleb and returns her to the First Order. He and Colonel Hask, a former member of Inferno Squad, also discuss the First Order’s plans — something they call “Operation: Resurrection.”

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It originally seemed like Operation: Resurrection might be teasing the First Order’s ultimate plans — and might have something to do with resurrecting Palpatine, a major plot point in the “Star Wars” Expanded Universe novels and comics from before Disney bought Lucasfilm. But we now know that Operation: Resurrection is part of how the First Order became so powerful.

A newly released downloadable chapter for the story of “Battlefront II,” also called “Resurrection,” details what the operation is actually all about. As it turns out “Resurrection” doesn’t refer literally to bringing back Palpatine, but more broadly to rebuilding the Empire’s military might.

As detailed in “Resurrection,” Protectorate Gleb’s job was to kidnap children from various planets, brainwash them, and train them to be First Order stormtroopers. Of course, we know from “The Force Awakens” that this is exactly what happens to Finn — he was stolen from his family and forced to fight. He has no idea where he actually belongs in the galaxy.

To execute the big child kidnapping plan, Gleb enlisted the help of a band of criminal mercenaries. Gleb gathered the First Order’s massive army and trained them into the powerful fighting force they’ve become, “resurrecting” a huge chunk of the former Empire’s militaristic capability.

Apparently the program worked very, very well, until Iden Versio stumbled on it during the “Resurrection” campaign and helped destroy it. By that point, though, the events of “The Force Awakens” were well on their way, and it was already too late.

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Here’s How ‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Sets Up ‘The Last Jedi’ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-links-return-of-the-jedi-force-awakens/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-links-return-of-the-jedi-force-awakens/#respond Sat, 16 Dec 2017 19:49:22 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1740368 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II” and the beginning scene of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”)

“Star Wars” fans have waited as patiently as possible for December to roll around, and with it, the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”

But for fans who want a little more, there’s another “Star Wars” story that’s not a novel or a comic book. “Star Wars: Battlefront II,” a video game in which players take part in some of the biggest battles in the “Star Wars” films as soldiers in the two opposing armies, also includes an original story that’s set between “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens.” It gives something of a window into what happened in the aftermath of the destruction of the Death Star, and the final months of the war with the Empire.

“Battlefront II” follows Inferno Squad, a crack team of Imperial commandos, led by Iden Versio, the daughter of an Imperial admiral. The game more or less starts with the destruction of the Death Star. The remnants of the Imperial fleet flee the battle, and as they’re leaving, Admiral Versio calls Iden to his ship to receive new orders. A recording left by Emperor Palpatine tells the fleet what to do in case of his death — a series of objectives known as Operation: Cinder.

Iden and her squad don’t know what Operation: Cinder is, but they set out to execute parts of it. First, they help secure several special satellites at a shipyard, fighting off a Rebel attack in the process. Inferno Squad doesn’t know what the satellites are for, but they help keep the Rebels at bay long enough so the ship transporting the satellites, an Imperial Star Destroyer called the Dauntless, can get away.

Next, Iden dispatches Del Meeko, one of her Inferno Squad teammates, to a planet called Pillio, to destroy a classified observatory the Emperor had there. Inside are “artifacts” the Empire doesn’t want falling into Rebel hands. While he’s there, though, Del encounters Luke Skywalker. Rather than kill him, Luke saves Del’s life, and the two work together to get into the observatory. When Luke finds what drew him to the location through the Force — an artifact he calls a “compass” — he asks Del to let him have it. Del, already conflicted about the Empire at this point, lets Luke go and the compass go, and destroys the facility.

It seems that compass is likely what led Luke to Ahch-To, the home of the first Jedi temple, where Rey finds him at the end of “The Force Awakens.” The artifact is also an Easter egg in “The Last Jedi.”

Inferno Squad then gets dispatched to Vardos, Iden and her father’s home planet and an Imperial stronghold. As they arrive, Iden sees that the special satellites have been deployed in orbit over the planet, creating deadly storms all over it. Apparently, Operation: Cinder’s goal was to destroy a few planets, even Imperial ones, in order to strike fear into the galaxy and help the Empire reestablish control through terror.

Iden isn’t exactly thrilled that the Empire is attacking its own planet or killing civilians, though. On her mission to retrieve her mentor, an alien named Protectorate Gleb, from Vardos, Iden and Del defy orders by helping civilians escape the planet. The third member of Inferno Squad, Agent Hask, turns against the other two and their defiance of Imperial will. Iden and Del are branded traitors as they escape the planet aboard their ship, the Corvus, and Hask returns Gleb to Admiral Versio’s hands.

With nowhere else to go, Iden, Del and the crew of the Corvus defect to the Rebellion. They eventually enlist, helping to stop the Empire from using its Cinder satellites against Naboo, Emperor Palpatine’s home planet. The Rebels manage to destroy the Cinder satellites and repel the Imperial attack on the ground, saving the planet and everyone on it.

The war finally comes to a head over Jakku in a battle “Star Wars” fans have heard about before — it’s the reason why all that starship wreckage that Rey forages through in “The Force Awakens” ended up on the surface of the planet. Iden and the new Rebel Inferno Squad are a major part of the battle. The Imperial remnant is defeated, but despite her best efforts, Iden can’t convince Admiral Versio to abandon the Empire and save himself as his ship is destroyed. Iden manages to escape the ship, and there’s a suggestion that she and Del start a relationship together as the Battle of Jakku ends.

“Star Wars: Battlefront II” then skips ahead 30 years in an epilogue scene that takes place sometime closer to “The Force Awakens.” In it, the First Order and Kylo Ren have located Del Meeko. Using his Force powers, Kylo Ren delves into Del’s mind in search of information about Luke Skywalker from when Del encountered him years before — suggesting the compass has something to do with the map to Skywalker Kylo is searching for in “The Force Awakens.”

When he finally gets the information he needs, Kylo kills Del. Hask, the former member of Iden’s Inferno Squad and now a First Order officer, to bury the body but leave the ship — ostensibly to lure Iden out of hiding.

Kylo also takes Protectorate Gleb into First Order custody in the epilogue, and mentions something called “Operation: Resurrection.” As noted earlier in the game, Gleb trained Imperial officers and turned them into high-caliber leadership in the Empire before its fall. That cliffhanger is were the main game’s story ends.

But this week, developer DICE and publisher Electronic Arts released a new set of downloadable levels to cap off the story of “Battlefront II,” adding events that run concurrent to the story of “The Force Awakens.” And the new bit of story adds a bit of backstory and setup to “The Last Jedi,” leading right up to the beginning of the film.

The new addition to “Battlefront II” is called “Resurrection,” and picks back up with Iden. We find that she and Del have a daughter, Zay, and that they still hang out with Shriv, their Inferno Squad buddy from their Rebellion days. Shriv is still fighting, however, and has joined up with the Resistance.

When they realize Del is missing, Iden, Zay and Shriv go looking for him, just as Hask expected. They discover what Gleb has been up to all this time: “Operation: Resurrection,” a massive program to kidnap children from their families and brainwash them to be soldiers. That’s what happened to Finn, when he was separated from his family as a child, and it’s how the First Order managed to raise such a huge army.

As Iden, Zay and Shriv pursue Hask, they manage to infiltrate his First Order Star Destroyer. Aboard the ship, Iden searches for any intelligence that might be of use to the Resistance, and stumbles upon the schematics for a massive class of First Order ship: the Dreadnought.

After crippling the Star Destroyer and killing Hask, Iden is wounded and dies. Zay and Shriv manage to escape and get their intelligence to the Resistance, now on the run after the destruction of Starkiller Base. Those schematics are what give Poe Dameron and the rest of the Resistance fleet a chance to take down the Dreadnought at the start of “The Last Jedi.” They know where the ship is vulnerable and how to hit it, allowing the Resistance to destroy the ship before it has a chance to wipe them out.

The “Resurrection” chapter ends with General Leia Organa dispatching the new Inferno Squad, consisting of Shriv and Zay, on one last important mission: Contact the Resistance’s allies hiding in the Outer Rim planets of the galaxy, and implore them for assistance. The game ends with Inferno Squad departing for the Outer Rim. We know that trying to get word to these unnamed allies is a big part of the Resistance’s goals throughout “The Last Jedi,” so it seems both the “Battlefront” games and future movies will be adding to the story on that front.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Star Wars: Battlefront II' Gives Clues About How Luke Skywalker Got to That Planet He Was on in 'The Force Awakens'

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‘Pokemon Go’ Caused Up to $7.3 Billion in Traffic Accident Damages, New Study Says https://www.thewrap.com/pokemon-go-traffic-damage/ https://www.thewrap.com/pokemon-go-traffic-damage/#respond Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:53:27 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1746281 Chasing that elusive Pikachu comes at a high price, apparently.

“Pokemon Go” players wracked up between $2 billion and $7.3 billion in damages last year, according to a recent study from resarchers at Purdue University.

Subtly titled “Death By Pokémon GO,” the study looked at 12,000 accidents in Tippecanoe County, Indiana, and compared them against “Pokestops,” locations where game players could track down their prized digital Pokémon.

The results were alarming: Purdue found a stark 26.5 percent increase in accidents within 100 meters of Pokéstops. Researchers suggested that 134 accidents in Tippecanoe County — including 31 injuries, and two “incremental” deaths — might be pegged to playing “Pokemon Go.”

Between $5 million and $25 million in additional damages hit the county, according to the study. When that one county’s figures were extrapolated nationwide, it reached the billions of dollars in damages and lost potential income from the drivers killed.

The study, spearheaded by Mara Faccio and John J. McConnell, said its numbers were “speculative,” but also added, “however measured, the costs are significant.”

Niantic Labs, the creator of the game, did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

“Pokemon Go” was a phenomenon when it launched during summer 2016, with 65 million people still playing months after its release.

Players chased down artificial reality versions of Pokémon by foot and added them to their virtual collection. The movement was so big it inspired its own $20-t0-enter festival in Chicago this past summer — although it was marred by poor cell service and led to Niantic CEO John Hanke getting booed on stage.

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‘Star Wars: Battlefront II’ Gives Clues About How Luke Skywalker Got to That Planet He Was on in ‘The Force Awakens’ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-luke-skywalker/ https://www.thewrap.com/star-wars-battlefront-ii-luke-skywalker/#respond Tue, 14 Nov 2017 22:37:34 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1739935 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the video game “Star Wars: Battlefront II” and “The Force Awakens.”)

“Star Wars: Battlefront II” is a video game that adds a bit more story that’s been left out of the films so far. Taking place starting at the conclusion of “Return of the Jedi,” “Battlefront II” fills in some of the 30-year gap between the final film of the original trilogy and the start of “The Force Awakens.”

Though it’s not completely illuminating for telling fans what happened between the destruction of the Death Star and the rise of the First Order, “Battlefront II” does give a few hints that might shed some light on what’s happened to Luke Skywalker in the interim between films. At the end of “The Force Awakens,” we know Rey discovers Luke on an uncharted, uninhabited planet called Ahch-To.

Luke apparently went in search of Ahch-To to try to find the first Jedi temple ever built. Why exactly he’s looking for it (we presume it’s something beyond just general curiosity) isn’t clear. But “Battlefront II” provides what’s probably the first step on Luke’s journey, and ties his search for the first Jedi temple to the series’ ultimate villain: Emperor Palpatine.

“Battlefront II” mostly follows the exploits of an Imperial special forces group called Inferno Squad as it carries out the Emperor’s final order, something called Operation: Cinder. In carrying out the operation throughout the course of the game, one of the squad members, Del Meeko, is dispatched to an uninhabited planet called Pillio.

On Pillio, the Emperor had a “classified observatory” filled with “artifacts” that the Empire worries could be used against it by the Rebellion, should the facility be discovered. Del’s job is to secure and then destroy the facility and everything in it. The Imperial expedition to find the observatory is met with some local resistance, however, in the form of gross bugs that spray a kind of quick-hardening amber all over everything. As he and the expedition delve underground to find the observatory, Del is attacked by the bugs and his arm is trapped in the amber, leaving him helpless.

Also on Pillio is Luke Skywalker, who was called to the planet by something he sensed in the Force. He fights his way through the Stormtroopers on the expedition, but when Luke comes across the trapped Del, the Jedi helps him. The two become uneasy allies — Del by this point has already been having second thoughts about the Empire — and work together to get into the observatory.

When they arrive, Luke discovers what he refers to as a “compass,” the object that has been calling to him. He asks Del if he can take it, and Del agrees before destroying the rest of the observatory.

There’s not much more context than that in the game, and Luke never shows up as a character in the story again. But “Battlefront II” is definitely designed to link aspects of the aftermath of “Return of the Jedi” directly to “The Force Awakens.” The game’s epilogue leaps 30 years in the future and concerns Kylo Ren, Luke’s former apprentice and Han Solo and Leia Organa’s son, and gives a few hints about what goals he might be working toward, as well. It shows Kylo interrogating Del in search of information about Skywalker, suggesting Del and Luke’s meeting and the compass found are key to where the Jedi eventually wound up.

What “Battlefront II” makes clear is that whatever was in the Emperor’s observatory — seemingly the compass, since that’s the only thing that wasn’t destroyed — was so important that the Emperor ordered its destruction to be carried out on the event of his death. It’s possible the compass has other uses, but this definitely seems to be the first step on the journey that brings Luke to Ahch-To.

That the compass was so important to the Emperor, and that he was so worried it might fall into the wrong hands, adds some context to Kylo Ren’s actions in “The Force Awakens,” as well. In that movie, the villainous Kylo is obsessively searching for the pieces of a map that would lead to Luke Skywalker. It might be that Kylo is not only interested in destroying Luke as the last member of the Jedi Order, but in stopping him from finding and using whatever it was the Emperor was so keen on keeping out of Rebel hands.

One thing that “Battlefront II” suggests for “The Last Jedi” and “Episode X,” however, is that the Emperor and his plans may have more influence on the new trilogy of films than anyone has yet realized.

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EA Cuts Cost of ‘Star Wars’ Hero Unlocks After Historic Reddit Backlash https://www.thewrap.com/reddit-ea-battlefront-star-wars-hero-unlocks/ https://www.thewrap.com/reddit-ea-battlefront-star-wars-hero-unlocks/#respond Mon, 13 Nov 2017 23:20:57 +0000 Jeremy Fuster https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1739766 After immense backlash from “Star Wars” fans, Electronic Arts announced in a blog post on Monday that it was lowering the cost of unlocking characters in their new game, “Star Wars: Battlefront II.”

In the game, which will be released this week, gamers can earn in-game credits while playing and use them to unlock famous “Star Wars” heroes and villains as playable characters. But when hardcore fans got their hands on the game during the pre-release trial period, they found that some of the most popular characters, like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, cost 60,000 credits to unlock, which one gamer on Reddit calculated would require almost 40 hours of gameplay to earn.

One shortcut around this is to simply buy the in-game credits with real world money in microtransactions, but fans were angry at being forced to either play for dozens of hours to play as the movie characters — a feature that was heavily advertised by EA — or pay even more money on top of what they spent to buy the game. When EA tried to defend the characters’ credit cost in a Reddit post, that post became the most downvoted post in the site’s history with 473,000 downvotes.

Now, EA has announced that credit costs for the characters will be cut by as much as 75 percent, with Luke and Vader now costing just 15,000 credits to unlock while Emperor Palpatine, Chewbacca, and Leia Organa will have their costs dropped from 40,000 to 10,000 credits.

“It’s a big change, and it’s one we can make quickly,” EA said. “It will be live today, with an update that is getting loaded into the game.”

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‘Pokemon GO’ Creators to Release Magical ‘Harry Potter’ Augmented Reality Game https://www.thewrap.com/pokemon-go-creators-to-release-harry-potter-augmented-reality-game/ https://www.thewrap.com/pokemon-go-creators-to-release-harry-potter-augmented-reality-game/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 22:29:11 +0000 Beatrice Verhoeven https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1737420

Niantic and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, the creators behind “Pokemon GO,” are releasing a new augmented reality mobile game inspired by “Harry Potter.”

In the “Harry Potter: Wizards Unite” game, players can go on adventures, learn and cast spells, discover artifacts and encounter legendary beasts and iconic characters from J.K. Rowling’s series as they trot through neighborhoods and cities across the globe.

“At Niantic, our goal is to leverage technology to create real world experiences that help people to discover the wonderful, and often magical parts of the world around them,” John Hanke, founder and CEO of Niantic, Inc., said in a statement. “The beloved Harry Potter stories have captured imaginations worldwide for more than 20 years and soon we’ll turn the fantasy into augmented reality, allowing fans and their friends to become wizards and witches.”

“With this game, we are allowing the passionate, worldwide fan base to experience J.K. Rowling’s deeply powerful and imaginative universe in a new, truly immersive way,” said David Haddad, President, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment.

“It is wonderful to have Niantic’s remarkable augmented reality expertise as we develop this incredibly rich wizarding world for players to explore in their everyday lives.”

Additional details will be announced in 2018. For now, you can stay up to date on the game’s website.

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Activision Sued by Humvee Maker Over ‘Call of Duty’ Franchise https://www.thewrap.com/activision-sued-over-call-of-duty-vehicles-hands-off-our-humvees/ https://www.thewrap.com/activision-sued-over-call-of-duty-vehicles-hands-off-our-humvees/#respond Wed, 08 Nov 2017 19:39:22 +0000 Tim Kenneally https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1737293 AM General has a message for Activision: Don’t tread on our trademarks.

The video game company has been slapped with a lawsuit by Humvee manufacturer AM General, which alleges that Activision is ripping off its intellectual property for the popular “Call of Duty” franchise.

“Defendants’ video games have been successful but only at the expense of AM General and consumers who are deceived into believing that AM General licenses the games or is somehow connected with or involved in the creation of the games,” the lawsuit, filed in federal court in New York on Tuesday, reads. “Defendants have reaped billions of dollars in revenue from their wrongful acts and, in the process, have irreparably harmed AM General by causing significant confusion, expressly misleading the consuming public, and diluting the goodwill and reputation of AM General’s famous marks.”

According to the suit, Activision has infringed the Humvee mark in a number of “Call of Duty” installments, including “Call of Duty: Heroes,” “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and the “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare” line.

“Defendants’ wrongful use of AM General’s intellectual property … in the ‘Call of Duty’ franchise is pervasive, plays a significant role in the gameplay of the infringing Products, and is a key selling feature of the games,” the suit reads.

TheWrap has reached out to Activision for comment.

Alleging trademark infringement and other counts, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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Kumail Nanjiani Gets Chopped in Half on Conan’s ‘Shadow of War’ Clueless Gamer (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/kumail-nanjiani-conan-obrien-clueless-gamer-shadow-war/ https://www.thewrap.com/kumail-nanjiani-conan-obrien-clueless-gamer-shadow-war/#respond Fri, 06 Oct 2017 14:50:31 +0000 Tony Maglio https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1720430

Conan O’Brien sucks at video games, but “Silicon Valley” actor Kumail Nanjiani most certainly does not.

As a matter of fact, the stand-up comedian and gaming fan actually voices a character in the Tuesday release “Shadow of War,” which made him the perfect partner for “Conan’s” latest “Clueless Gamer.”

Oh Thursday, Nanjiani tried to teach O’Brien how to play the action-RPG, though that was pretty much a lost cause. When the “Big Sick” star-writer took the sticks, however, it was a different story.

“It’s like watching Mozart play the piano,” the TBS host said of Nanjiani’s Xbox acumen. “It’s so clear to me that you’ve never been outside.”

And then they got to Kumail’s character, an Orc named Dugz the Agonizer. Weirdly, the game creators did not alter Nanjiani’s voice, which led to a number of excellent burns out of O’Brien.

Nanjiani took the ribbing in stride, even dropping a great Pied Piper joke along the way. Dugz the Agonizer fared about as well, getting chopped in half by the hero’s sword — a perfect metaphor for his voice actor’s TBS late-night roasting.

Watch the video above.

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Marshawn Lynch Returns to Play 'DOOM' on Conan's 'Clueless Gamer' (Video)

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Movies, TV Shows and Games That Were Altered After 9/11 (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/movies-tv-shows-and-games-that-were-altered-after-911-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/movies-tv-shows-and-games-that-were-altered-after-911-photos/#respond Mon, 11 Sep 2017 12:30:06 +0000 Phil Owen https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1226000 After terrorists flew commercial airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing more than 3,000 people, many of the producers of entertainment media we hold dear realized some changes needed to be made. So in the wake of that disaster, these movies, TV shows and video games were all changed in some way to reflect that post-9/11 reality.

“Spider-Man”

An early trailer for the first big-screen version of the webslinger saw him snare a helicopter between the two towers of the World Trade Center. That trailer was pulled. The WTC was scrubbed from the finished film, which was released eight months after 9/11, and a lingering shot of Spidey hanging off a flagpole next to a waving American flag was added.

“Sex and the City” 

The fourth season, set to air beginning January 2002, contained numerous shots of the World Trade Center, all of which were removed. The shot of the towers in the show’s opening credits was also swapped for a shot of the Empire State Building. A snow globe containing the towers was left in, however.

“Lilo & Stitch”

The Disney animated film originally saw Stitch flying a 747 airliner, weaving in and out of a cityscape haphazardly. This sequence was changed so that Stitch flew a spaceship, with the buildings turned into mountains, in attempt to avoid evoking 9/11.

“Big Brother”

Normally, Big Brother contestants are kept in isolation and not told what’s going on in the outside world, but an exception was made after 9/11 because one of the contestants that year, Monica Bailey, had a cousin who died in the World Trade Center.

“The Sopranos”

In the opening credits prior to 9/11, the World Trade Center could be seen in Tony’s rearview mirror, and after 9/11 that shot was altered to remove the towers.

The over-the-top ninja action game was intended to include a sequence in which Shinobi sticks his katana into the outside wall of a skyscraper and then slides down it, after which the building falls apart, but this was removed because producers felt it might evoke memories of 9/11.

“Friends”

The third episode of season 8 originally included a subplot (which you can view here) in which Chandler makes a joke about a bombs at the airport, which leads to he and Monica being detained as they try to leave for their honeymoon, but it was removed.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Hollywood Marks 9/11 With a Very Different Plane Story: 'Sully'

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https://www.thewrap.com/movies-tv-shows-and-games-that-were-altered-after-911-photos/feed/ 0 After terrorists flew airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing more than 3,000 people, many producers of the entertainment media we hold dear realized some changes needed to be made. Here are some of the movies, TV shows and video games that were changed in some way to reflect post-9/11 reality.

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After terrorists flew airliners into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, killing more than 3,000 people, many producers of the entertainment media we hold dear realized some changes needed to be made. Here are some of the movies, TV shows and video games that were changed in some way to reflect post-9/11 reality.

]]>
"Spider-Man"

An early trailer for the first big-screen version of the webslinger saw him snare a helicopter between the two towers of the World Trade Center. That trailer was pulled. The WTC was scrubbed from the finished film, and a lingering shot of Spidey hanging off a flagpole next to a waving American flag was added.

]]>
"Spider-Man"

An early trailer for the first big-screen version of the webslinger saw him snare a helicopter between the two towers of the World Trade Center. That trailer was pulled. The WTC was scrubbed from the finished film, and a lingering shot of Spidey hanging off a flagpole next to a waving American flag was added.

]]>
"Sex and the City" 

The fourth season, set to air beginning January 2002, contained numerous shots of the World Trade Center, all of which were removed. The shot of the towers in the show's opening credits was also swapped for a shot of the Empire State Building. A snow globe containing the towers was left in, however.

]]>
"Sex and the City" 

The fourth season, set to air beginning January 2002, contained numerous shots of the World Trade Center, all of which were removed. The shot of the towers in the show's opening credits was also swapped for a shot of the Empire State Building. A snow globe containing the towers was left in, however.

]]>
"Lilo & Stitch"

The Disney animated film originally saw Stitch flying a 747 airliner, weaving in and out of a cityscape haphazardly. This sequence was changed so that Stitch flew a spaceship, with the buildings turned into mountains.

]]>
"Lilo & Stitch"

The Disney animated film originally saw Stitch flying a 747 airliner, weaving in and out of a cityscape haphazardly. This sequence was changed so that Stitch flew a spaceship, with the buildings turned into mountains.

]]>
"Big Brother"

Normally, Big Brother contestants are kept in isolation and not told what's going on in the outside world. But an exception was made after 9/11 because one of the contestants that year, Monica Bailey, had a cousin who died in the World Trade Center. 

]]>
"Big Brother"

Normally, Big Brother contestants are kept in isolation and not told what's going on in the outside world. But an exception was made after 9/11 because one of the contestants that year, Monica Bailey, had a cousin who died in the World Trade Center. 

]]>
"Grand Theft Auto III"

This game was delayed several weeks because Rockstar Games' office was near Ground Zero, which made wrapping production very difficult. Several small changes were made to the game after 9/11 as well, including the removal of one terrorism-related mission.

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"Grand Theft Auto III"

This game was delayed several weeks because Rockstar Games' office was near Ground Zero, which made wrapping production very difficult. Several small changes were made to the game after 9/11 as well, including the removal of one terrorism-related mission.

]]>
"Men in Black II"

The climax of the film originally featured the World Trade Center pretty heavily, but the film swapped in the Statue of Liberty instead.

]]>
"Men in Black II"

The climax of the film originally featured the World Trade Center pretty heavily, but the film swapped in the Statue of Liberty instead.

]]>
"Spy Game"

In a sort of sensitivity measure, the filmmakers dialed back plumes of smoke in a scene in which a bombing occurred -- the thought being that the thick pillars of smoke would unintentionally evoke 9/11.

]]>
"Spy Game"

In a sort of sensitivity measure, the filmmakers dialed back plumes of smoke in a scene in which a bombing occurred -- the thought being that the thick pillars of smoke would unintentionally evoke 9/11.

]]>
"Friends"

The third episode of season 8 originally included a subplot (which you can view here) in which Chandler makes a joke about a bombs at the airport, which leads to him and Monica being detained as they try to leave for their honeymoon. It was removed.

]]>
"Friends"

The third episode of season 8 originally included a subplot (which you can view here) in which Chandler makes a joke about a bombs at the airport, which leads to him and Monica being detained as they try to leave for their honeymoon. It was removed.

]]>
"Power Rangers Time Force"

Several episodes were changed to remove imagery that might evoke 9/11 or the World Trade Center, including the removal of a speech broadcast by the villain, Ransik, that came off a little like the ones in Osama bin Laden's videos.

]]>
"Power Rangers Time Force"

Several episodes were changed to remove imagery that might evoke 9/11 or the World Trade Center, including the removal of a speech broadcast by the villain, Ransik, that came off a little like the ones in Osama bin Laden's videos.

]]>
"Armageddon"

Released in 1998, Michael Bay's disaster opus shows New York being wrecked by meteors, with iconic landmarks like Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building bearing the brunt of it. A helicopter shot of the aftermath featured the two towers of the World Trade Center smoldering, and it was removed in the broadcast TV version of the movie.

]]>
"Armageddon"

Released in 1998, Michael Bay's disaster opus shows New York being wrecked by meteors, with iconic landmarks like Grand Central Station and the Chrysler Building bearing the brunt of it. A helicopter shot of the aftermath featured the two towers of the World Trade Center smoldering, and it was removed in the broadcast TV version of the movie.

]]>
"Kissing Jessica Stein"

Shots containing the World Trade Center were removed.

]]>
"Kissing Jessica Stein"

Shots containing the World Trade Center were removed.

]]>
"Sesame Street"

The children's series added some thematically related storylines to the first episode to air after 9/11 -- namely, a grease fire at Mr. Hooper's that Elmo finds traumatizing, and Big Bird having to deal with his xenophobic pen pal.

]]>
"Sesame Street"

The children's series added some thematically related storylines to the first episode to air after 9/11 -- namely, a grease fire at Mr. Hooper's that Elmo finds traumatizing, and Big Bird having to deal with his xenophobic pen pal.

]]>
"The Time Machine"

The scene in which large chunks of the moon fell from the sky previously included shots of New York being devastated.

]]>
"The Time Machine"

The scene in which large chunks of the moon fell from the sky previously included shots of New York being devastated.

]]>
"Zoolander"

Shots that had contained the World Trade Center were not cut, but instead the towers themselves were digitally scrubbed from the shots.

]]>
"Zoolander"

Shots that had contained the World Trade Center were not cut, but instead the towers themselves were digitally scrubbed from the shots.

]]>
"The Bourne Identity"

After 9/11, producers had director Doug Liman do reshoots (one of many rounds the film underwent in its troubled production) that would serve to paint the CIA in a less villainous light, though these scenes were not used. 

]]>
"The Bourne Identity"

After 9/11, producers had director Doug Liman do reshoots (one of many rounds the film underwent in its troubled production) that would serve to paint the CIA in a less villainous light, though these scenes were not used. 

]]>
"The Sopranos"

In the opening credits prior to 9/11, the World Trade Center could be seen in Tony's rearview mirror, and after 9/11 that shot was altered to remove the towers.

]]>
"The Sopranos"

In the opening credits prior to 9/11, the World Trade Center could be seen in Tony's rearview mirror, and after 9/11 that shot was altered to remove the towers.

]]>
"Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro"

This video game was supposed to feature a climactic battle between Spidey and Electro atop one of the World Trade Center towers, but the location of the fight was changed.

]]>
"Spider-Man 2: Enter Electro"

This video game was supposed to feature a climactic battle between Spidey and Electro atop one of the World Trade Center towers, but the location of the fight was changed.

]]>
"Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty"

This game removed a sequence in which the Statue of Liberty is destroyed by the bad guys, as well as a shot of the World Trade Center.

]]>
"Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty"

This game removed a sequence in which the Statue of Liberty is destroyed by the bad guys, as well as a shot of the World Trade Center.

]]>
"Serendipity" 

The romantic film removed shots containing the World Trade Center.

]]>
"Serendipity" 

The romantic film removed shots containing the World Trade Center.

]]>
"Shinobi"

The over-the-top ninja action game was intended to include a sequence in which Shinobi sticks his katana into the outside wall of a skyscraper and then slides down it, after which the building falls apart, but this was removed.

]]>
"Shinobi"

The over-the-top ninja action game was intended to include a sequence in which Shinobi sticks his katana into the outside wall of a skyscraper and then slides down it, after which the building falls apart, but this was removed.

]]>
"Transformers: Robots in Disguise"

Several episodes containing large-scale destruction were either drastically re-edited or weren't aired in the U.S.

]]>
"Transformers: Robots in Disguise"

Several episodes containing large-scale destruction were either drastically re-edited or weren't aired in the U.S.

]]>
‘Destiny 2’ Is Just Another Game About Dad Issues (Commentary) https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-just-another-game-dad-issues-commentary/ https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-just-another-game-dad-issues-commentary/#respond Sat, 09 Sep 2017 00:14:39 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1705085 (Note: This post spoils just about all of the “Destiny 2” story campaign, so read at your own risk.)

You wouldn’t think from looking at it that “Destiny 2” is a game about dads. You’d be wrong, though.

It’s an ongoing trend in video games that, broken down far enough, they’re mostly about dads. That’s likely an outgrowth of the people in charge of game development being mostly men, and as that cohort ages, games continue to mirror the things on their minds. Games about saving princesses have morphed into games about protecting daughter figures, and explorations of the issues of having parents and being parents are all over the place in video games. Even this year’s edition of popular football franchise “Madden” features a storyline that stars Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali as the football-playing main character’s dad.

And “Destiny 2” cannot escape the pull of dealing with dad issues, even as it’s also about blasting alien invaders in Earth’s distant future.

The world of “Destiny” is a weird one. In the future, Earth is visited by a huge, benevolent robot called the Traveler, which gives off an energy called Light. That Light is to “Destiny” what the Force is to “Star Wars,” and in the video game, it gives Guardians (the players) superpowers that allow them to die over and over again as they fight aliens, with no lasting repercussions.

But in “Destiny,” the solar system is infested with aliens that want to destroy the Traveler and kill everyone, and the only safe place is the Last City, where most of humanity congregates. Guardians protect the City, hoping one day that the Traveler will wake up from its weird hibernation and restore the solar system to its former glory.

“Destiny 2” starts with a massive invasion of the Last City by the Red Legion, an army of aliens called the Cabal who are led by a dude called Dominus Ghaul. And Ghaul, as it turns out, is trying to steal the Traveler’s Light for himself.

At first, it sounds like Ghaul’s motivations for the invasion and the attack on the Traveler are of the usual Evil Warlord Seeks Power variety. But through various cutscenes in the game, we find out that Ghaul doesn’t actually want power for power’s sake — he wants parental approval.

Ghaul spends much of the game interrogating the Speaker of the Traveler, a Guardian designated as representative and scholar of the giant god-robot. At one point, Ghaul explains his origin story — he was a born a runt, and in the Cabal’s Spartan-like society, that meant that he was ridiculed and tormented by other trainees in the Cabal military, before eventually being cast out as an orphan and left for dead. But instead of dying, Ghaul was taken in by the Consul, another angry, vengeful outsider, who trained Ghaul to become a powerful commander and to help him exact revenge against the Cabal Empire.

Yup, the driving force behind Ghaul’s attack on the city and the Traveler is parental approval.

And Ghaul’s arc in “Destiny 2,” such as it is, has him dealing with dads that are just never satisfied. After torturing and interrogating the Speaker, Ghaul starts to wonder if bullying his way into getting the Light is the wrong approach. He’d rather earn it than get the Light by cheating. But that’s not okay, says the Consul, who wants Ghaul to get on with the whole “becoming a god” thing so he can do what the Consul never could and get his revenge. Like a Little League dad ruining Saturday after Saturday with pop fly drills, the Consul insists on living the successful warlord life vicariously through his adoptive son.

Eventually, Ghaul snaps and kills the Consul.

But Ghaul’s not done with dads. He’s killed and surpassed his own father in a weird Freudian power grab, but now he wants to be judged worthy by the ultimate dad: the Traveler. So he zaps himself with the Light he’s captured and fights the player in the final showdown of the game. You defeat him, of course, but then Ghaul blasts himself with so much Light that he’s basically made of the stuff — and he demands the traveler say it’s proud of him.

At this point, the Traveler — which in “Destiny” lore has been dormant for thousands of years after sacrificing itself to stop an onslaught of evil that nearly destroyed humanity — wakes up to tell Ghaul he’ll never be good enough. And then it vaporizes him.

The sleeping robot dad-god literally wakes up to tell this dude it does not approve of his lifestyle or haircut. That’s cold.

As for what’s going on with the player through all this, well, you could read some dad stuff in there, too. Most of the game is focused on finding and reuniting the leaders of the Vanguard who were scattered in the aftermath of the invasion of the Lost City. Every Guardian other than the player lost their immortality when Ghaul attacked, so for the first time, your leaders in the game — the people who tell you what to do and give you their approval when you successfully do it, your “Destiny” parents — are contemplating their own mortality. Though they’ve split, you eventually convince them to stay together for the kids. They mount a counteroffensive to retake the City, knowing it might actually cost them their lives.

The big difference is, they’re proud of you when you surpass them and save all their lives. They figure out how to have a healthy relationship, and after almost losing everything, the other characters learn not to take their blessings for granted. Well-adjusted parents and children are good, and abusive parental relationships are bad.

It’s easy to miss all this since most of your time in “Destiny 2” is spent gunning down wave after wave of bad guys of a variety of flavors. But that doesn’t mean that in between, you can’t stop to contemplate your own relationship with your own dad, and other dadly possibilities.

Related stories from TheWrap:

You Can Play Soccer On the Farm in 'Destiny 2' Between Shootouts

'Destiny 2': What Do the Ending and Post-Credits Scene Mean?

PSA: You Can Return to the Farm in 'Destiny 2' After Completing the Story

Everything That's Happened in the 'Destiny' Story, Through 'Destiny 2' (Photos)

14 Times Video Games Continued the Stories of Movies (Photos)

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You Can Play Soccer On the Farm in ‘Destiny 2’ Between Shootouts https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-farm-soccer/ https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-farm-soccer/#respond Fri, 08 Sep 2017 00:31:56 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1702386 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the aftermath of the story campaign in “Destiny 2.”)

Players are finally diving into “Destiny 2,” the long-awaited sequel to the video game in which players band together to blast aliens in a sci-fi/fantasy future. The new game is full of changes and adjustments from its predecessor, as well as some interesting secrets — like the weird little soccer field in the game’s new social space, the farm.

The farm is the new social space in “Destiny 2,” where you can congregate with other players between missions. It’s a replacement for the Tower, the old social space from the original “Destiny,” which gets destroyed in the opening moments of the new game. The farm’s a pretty cool replacement, though, with a rustic, back-to-nature feel, and chickens.

But the best part of the new space is definitely the small soccer field located at the far end from where you start when you arrive there. The Tower used to include fun little things where players could mess around, but it had nothing as involved as the soccer field. Players can even improv a quick futbol game, complete with automatic scorekeeping.

The soccer field includes two goals and a ball that appears in the middle. Anybody can wander up and start a pickup game by just walking their character into the ball, and if you manage to kick a goal, you’re rewarded with fireworks springing up to let you know how great you are. The first to score three goals wins, and then the field resets for the next group who might happen by.

Score the last goal, and you get a brief but fun reward. Your character is infused with a red glow for a few seconds and can jump super high. While farm soccer doesn’t affect the rest of “Destiny 2” in any real way, it’s a fun way to waste a few minutes while you wait for your teammates to show up to go zap some extra-terrestrials.

And while the Tower gets rebuilt at the end of the “Destiny 2” story campaign, you can still return to the farm to play soccer. Just fire up the Director and pick Earth — the button to head to the Farm is located in the top right corner.

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‘Destiny 2': What Do the Ending and Post-Credits Scene Mean? https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-ending-post-credits-scene-mean/ https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-2-ending-post-credits-scene-mean/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 23:39:58 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1704023 (Note: This post contains spoilers for the ending of the story campaign of “Destiny 2”.)

The story campaign of “Destiny 2” shakes up the status quo, at least for a little while. After a sneak attack on the Last City, a Cabal faction called the Red Legion very nearly destroys the Guardians, the alien-fighting superheroes “Destiny” players have been controlling for the last three years.

But because “Destiny 2,” like its predecessor, is a massively multiplayer online game that will continue with new story expansions and other content for years down the line, eventually everything gets fixed. In fact, the ending of “Destiny 2” does more than fix the problems — it pushes the story forward in a way that will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the game going forward.

At the end of “Destiny 2,” players fight Dominus Ghaul, the Red Legion commander who led the attack on the City and trapped the Traveler, the huge moon-like robot from which all the game’s players get their power. In the world of “Destiny,” the Traveler has been a godlike benefactor. It showed up centuries before the game’s story started and ushered in a Golden Age for humanity, helping to terraform the solar system and usher in an age of prosperity — and, eventually, being the reason the Guardians exist.

In “Destiny 2,” Ghaul tried to take the Light for himself by force, while also cutting off all the Guardians from it. The main power Guardians have in the game, thanks to the Traveler’s Light, is that they’re immortal — even if they die, their Ghosts can always resurrect them.

For Ghaul, his driving motivation is not just power, but the recognition that he’s worthy of the Light. Only a special few are chosen by the Traveler to receive its power, and Ghaul believes that he deserves it by merit as well as through his evil will. Throughout the game, we see him interrogating the Speaker for the Traveler, the person in “Destiny” whose job is to represent the Traveler, almost like a religious icon. The Speaker tried to convince Ghaul of what he could do to be chosen by the Traveler, but eventually, Ghaul pushed on with his plan to take the Light by force, and the Speaker died during the interrogations.

The final fight with Ghaul sees him using the Light he’s forced out of the Traveler against you, the player, but despite his newfound powers, you still manage to defeat him. He finally infuses himself fully with the stolen Light, becoming a giant glowing liquid Light person, demanding the Traveler take notice.

But the Traveler has other ideas. Before Ghaul can become some sort of all-powerful Light being, the Traveler reacts, blasting a huge wave of Light across Earth. The Light reacts with Ghaul’s goopy Light body and vaporizes him, then continues to spread, restoring all the Guardians throughout the solar system.

That’s actually a huge moment in terms of “Destiny” lore. The Traveler has been dormant for years, which has meant that only the Guardians could fend off threats to humanity and its allies. It’s been a mostly losing battle, with alien invaders taking over whole planets in the solar system.

But the wave of Light means, according to the characters in the story, that the Traveler is finally awake once more. The huge robot was responsible for so much prosperity in the past, and though it’s damaged, it’s sure to have a big impact on the story going forward as well.

After the credits of “Destiny 2,” there’s one last scene that teases what could happen in the future. The wave of Light from the Traveler doesn’t stop at the edge of the solar system — it keeps expanding outward, eventually flowing throughout the entire Milky Way Galaxy and beyond. And eventually, the wave crosses the space between galaxies, where it flows over a group of huge black ships shaped like pyramids. As the music becomes foreboding, those ships apparently start to come alive in reaction to the Light. A new threat approaches, it seems.

It’s the first time we’ve officially seen those pyramid ships in “Destiny,” but it’s not the first time Bungie has mentioned them. They originally popped up in concept art for the first game way back in 2013 — which you can see pictured at the top of this post.

As Mashable reported, “Destiny” writer Joseph Staten and Art Director Chris Barrett showed off the concept art during a presentation at the 2013 Game Developer’s Conference, before the launch of the original game in late 2014. When this particular piece of art popped up, Barrett called them “giant onyx pyramid ships,” but then said, “but … I’m not allowed to talk about those yet. Maybe someday down the road.”

Concept art from 2013 also hinted at five alien races, instead of the four in the game: The Hive, the Cabal, the Fallen and the Vex. There is technically a fifth enemy faction in “Destiny” and “Destiny 2” now, the Taken, but those are technically corrupted former members of the other four races. So a fifth evil alien race could still be in the offing for the future of “Destiny.”

The lore of “Destiny” spends a lot of time talking about the Darkness, an evil force that pursued the Traveler across the universe and eventually attacked the solar system. It’s believed the Traveler basically sacrificed itself to drive away the Darkness in an event called the Collapse, which is why the huge benevolent robot has been dormant ever since. But the “Destiny” lore never explains what exactly the Darkness is, or where it came from.

“Destiny 2” doesn’t include discussion of the Darkness at all, a big change from the previous game. In an interview with Game Informer in June, Game Director Luke Smith said that removal was intentional, since the Darkness isn’t essential to the story of “Destiny 2.” It was probably a response to criticism of the first game’s story, since concepts like the Darkness were opaque and never fully explained.

But Smith also said Bungie does know it owes players an explanation about the Darkness — just not in this game.

So details on those pyramid ships are pretty thin, but fans are already speculating that these pyramid ships could actually be the Darkness, and the burst of the Traveler’s Light seems to have reawakened it, or them. That will undoubtedly be a serious problem for the Guardians in the future.

Related stories from TheWrap:

PSA: You Can Return to the Farm in 'Destiny 2' After Completing the Story

Everything That's Happened in the 'Destiny' Story, Through 'Destiny 2' (Photos)

14 Times Video Games Continued the Stories of Movies (Photos)

The 30 Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked (Photos)

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PSA: You Can Return to the Farm in ‘Destiny 2’ After Completing the Story https://www.thewrap.com/psa-can-return-farm-destiny-2-completing-story/ https://www.thewrap.com/psa-can-return-farm-destiny-2-completing-story/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 23:23:31 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1704289 (Note: This post contains some light spoilers from the story of “Destiny 2”.)

If there’s one good thing to come out of the fall of the Last City at the start of “Destiny 2,” it’s that you get to hang out in the game’s new social area, an extremely peaceful farm.

After everyone flees the City when it’s attacked by the evil Red Legion, you can no longer return to the Tower, the place where players congregate between missions in the original “Destiny.” The replacement is a small refugee camp built in an overgrown farm in Earth’s European Dead Zone.

The Farm is pretty different from the Tower aesthetically, but it’s functionally the same place that players hung out in during their previous stays in “Destiny.” You can visit shops and buy new gear, turn in missions for rewards, and meet up with new players. The farm has a couple of other interesting additions: There’s a soccer field at one end where you can play impromptu matches with other players; and since it’s a farm, it has chickens.

But at the end of the “Destiny 2” story campaign, the Tower is rebuilt and you’re able to return there. All the important characters, like the Vanguard leaders and the major shops, are back at the Tower. And the farm’s spot on the map is replaced by the Tower as well, suggesting you can’t return.

There’s good news, though — you can return to the Farm and hang out with chickens. There’s just not a lot to do there.

Since the Tower is rebuilt and most of the important characters return to it, the farm is pretty empty. There’s only a Postmaster, so you can receive mail, the vaults where you can drop off and pick up your stored items, and a Cryptarch, who can decode engrams you find in the game to turn them into weapons and armor. The soccer field is still there and so are the chickens, but none of the other important people, like the Vanguard, Lord Shaxx, or the Gunsmith remain.

Still, the Farm is a nice place to hang out between missions when you haven’t got much to do. There also are bits of story secreted around the place if you’re willing to search for items that your Ghost can scan, so it’s not a total waste of time to wander around in the little slice of rustic paradise.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Everything That's Happened in the 'Destiny' Story, Through 'Destiny 2' (Photos)

14 Times Video Games Continued the Stories of Movies (Photos)

The 30 Best Video Games of All Time, Ranked (Photos)

'Destiny 2': What Do the Ending and Post-Credits Scene Mean?

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Everything That’s Happened in the ‘Destiny’ Story, Through ‘Destiny 2’ (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-story-destiny-2-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-story-destiny-2-photos/#respond Thu, 07 Sep 2017 21:38:28 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1703812 The arrival of “Destiny 2” brings a new chapter to the hugely popular video game and its extremely dense world of aliens, space travel and magic in the distant future. But if you missed “Destiny” or you just can’t remember all the admittedly confusing stuff that happened in the first three years of the series, we’ve got a rundown that can help. Here’s the entire “Destiny” story, through “Destiny 2.” Warning: Spoilers!

Humans discover the Traveler

Not long into our future, humanity ventures to Mars, where they discover a huge robotic entity they come to call the Traveler. With some kind of amazing magic powers, the Traveler makes it possible to terraform the entire solar system. Technological advancements thanks to the Traveler usher in the Golden Age of humanity, which stretches on for hundreds of years.

The Darkness comes

Then, some time hundreds of years before the game takes place, an unknown evil that chases the Traveler around the universe called the Darkness arrives at Earth. Nobody’s quite sure what happened, but the arrival of the Darkness created chaos and death. The Golden Age ends with a calamity known as the Collapse.

Along with the Darkness, or as part of it, come a bunch of different alien species who invade the solar system. They are the Fallen, a group of technology-worshiping scavengers; the Hive, a crustacean-like race obsessed with death and magic; the Cabal, a militarized empire that subjugate or destroy whole planets; and the Vex, a time-traveling robotic collective that turns planets into giant machines.

Rise of the Guardians

The Traveler manages to fight back the Darkness, but in so doing, goes dormant. Its last act is to create thousands of little floating artificial intelligences called Ghosts. The Ghosts then go out and reanimate dead bodies — weird, admittedly — with the near-magical power of the Traveler, called Light. Those reanimated folks are basically turned into immortal super heroes known as Guardians. (It’s worth noting that Guardians can’t remember their former lives.)

The Guardians’ charge is to use their power to protect the rest of humanity from its alien enemies. In addition to humans, there are two other races in “Destiny” outside of the evil aliens. The Exos are sentient robots that were created to fight wars during the Collapse but have become alive thanks to the Traveler, and the Awoken are a blue-skinned, humanoid alien race of unknown origin.

The Iron Lords

In the years after the Collapse, some of the newly reanimated Guardians don’t do the good guy thing. Instead, they become warlords and try to subjugate the people still alive on Earth. In response, a group of heroic Guardians band together, becoming a group known as the Iron Lords. The seven Iron Lords push back the warlords and protect civilians, until eventually, the other good Guardians and remaining civilians raise a walled city beneath the Traveler. The Last City is the only real safe place left in the solar system, and the Guardians form a militia known as the Vanguard to protect it.

Soon after the creation of the Last City, the Iron Lords encounter a Golden Age technology called SIVA. Known as a “techno-plague,” SIVA is a swarm of nanomachines, or microscopic robots that can affect matter at the molecular level. SIVA corrupts much of the area and life around Russia where it was housed and manufactured, and the Iron Lords come together to destroy the scourge. They attack the underground facility where SIVA is made, but are unable to defeat it. Instead, they sacrifice themselves to seal SIVA away. Only one Iron Lord who takes part in the mission, Lord Saladin, survives.

The Battle of Twilight Gap

Years later, the various disparate factions of the Fallen, known as Houses, band together to attack the City. Lord Saladin leads the defense of the City with the Vanguard at a location known as Twilight Gap. The huge battle sees the permanent deaths of many Guardians, but the Vanguards manage to fight off the Fallen and protect the City.

Assault on the Moon

Sometime after the creation of the Last City, the Vanguard martial an attempt to recapture the Moon, which was overtaken by the Hive after the Collapse. The attempt is an abysmal failure. The powerful Hive Prince Crota leads the Hive forces in defense, wielding a sword that absorbs the Light of Guardians and kills them permanently. After the failed attempt at retaking the Moon, the Vanguard declares the Moon off-limits.

Wake up, Guardian

“Destiny” starts with a Ghost finding the player’s character among the dead in what was formerly Russia. The area is enemy territory controlled by the Fallen, so the player has to fight their way out to find a ship and make it to the City, where they start their life as a Guardian. The player heads back to Russia in hopes of finding a drive for their ship that will let them travel between planets in the solar system. Along the way, they discover nests of the Hive on Earth, suggesting the beginnings of an invasion.

You head to the Moon to gather more information and try to stop the Hive’s plans. While there, you’re contacted by a mysterious Exo Stranger (that’s, uh, her name), who asks you to come to Venus to deal with another threat, should you survive on the Moon. The player manages to fight disrupt the Hive’s rituals and invasion plans, if temporarily.

No time to explain

Arriving on Venus, the player is introduced to the Vex. The scary robots are also creating some kind of plan to take over the solar system, and it’s even scarier than what the Hive is up to. It has something to do with a strange place called the Black Garden, the birthplace of the Vex. The player heads to a section of the Asteroid Belt known as the Reef, where the majority of the Awoken live, to ask for information.

Get your ass to Mars

The Awoken inform the player that the only way to get to the Black Garden, which the Vex have managed to separate out of space and time, is with a piece of one of their robots, called a Gate Lord. The player heads to Mars, which is largely controlled by the Cabal, and battles through them to find and destroy the Gate Lord. Using a piece of it, the player opens a portal to the Black Garden, where the Vex have a chunk of the Darkness that they worship as a god. The player destroys this Black Heart, disrupting the Vex plans and returning Light to the Traveler, finally allowing it to begin healing.

The Dark Below

“The Dark Below” is the first of four expansions released for “Destiny.” After defeating the Vex and restarting the Vanguard’s ability to begin trying to retake the solar system, the player meets Eris Morn. She’s the only survivor of a team that went to the Moon to try to take down Crota, and was trapped in the Moon’s dark tunnels for years. After finally escaping, Eris convinces the player to head to the Moon and stop the Hive bringing about Crota’s return. The player manages to disrupt a ritual to revive Crota. In the expansion’s six-player Raid mission, players managed to summon and kill Crota once and for all.

House of Wolves

The second expansion for “Destiny,” “House of Wolves,” starts in the Reef with the Awoken. Mara Sov, the Awoken queen, previously had a Fallen house that served her: the Wolves, but they escaped. Their leader, Skolas, attempts to unite all the Fallen houses, something that hasn’t happened since the Battle of Twilight Gap. The Awoken ask the player for help, and together they manage to track down Skolas and recapture him.

The Taken King

Expanding on the lore of the Hive, the third “Destiny” expansion, “The Taken King,” centers on Crota’s father, Oryx. One of the original Hive who’s worshipped as a god, Oryx arrives in the solar system in a huge ship called the Dreadnaught, which sports a massive superweapon. After wiping out the Awoken fleet, Oryx starts attacking everyone else in the solar system, using his power to corrupt, or “take” other creatures. The Cabal counterattack, crashing a ship into the Dreadnaught to get troops aboard and attempting to take the ship themselves.

The player eventually manages to board the Dreadnaught as well and stops the Cabal’s plans to destroy it. After disrupting the superweapon so the Vanguard can attack the Dreadnaught, the player manages to defeat Oryx in his physical form. In the expansion’s Raid, “King’s Fall,” the Guardians venture to Oryx’s home, another dimension called the Ascendant Realm, to kill him for good.

Rise of Iron

The last “Destiny” expansion delves into the history of the Iron Lords. On Earth, the Fallen House of Devils discovers the dormant SIVA vault and opens it, using the technology to turn themselves into powerful cyborgs. With the plague loose, parts of Russia are overrun and the SIVA begins to reshape it.

Lord Saladin summons the player to investigate what’s happening. Eventually, the player manages to destroy the SIVA vault, halting the creation of any more of the technological virus. In the “Wrath of the Machine” Raid, players put an end to the SIVA crisis by taking out the Fallen leader who was behind it, a huge cyborg fallen called Aksis.

Finally, “Destiny 2”

That brings us to “Destiny 2,” which begins with a massive invasion of a new faction of the Cabal, called the Red Legion. The army is led by Dominus Ghaul, who has responded to reports from the Cabal in the solar system of how they’re losing their war. He launches a massive sneak attack against the City, and uses a huge ship to “cage” the Traveler and disrupt its Light. Without the Traveler’s Light, Guardians become mortal and lose their special abilities, allowing the Red Legion to nearly wipe out the Vanguard and occupy the Last City.

The player barely escapes death and manages to sneak out of the City. While in the wilderness, the Guardian receives a vision apparently from the Traveler pushing them to find the Shard of the Traveler, a huge chunk of the robot that fell to Earth during the Collapse. Along the way, the player meets Hawthorne, a woman who lived outside the City and has been gathering and helping refugees ever since the attack.

Getting the groove back

Following the vision, the player heads to the Shard, and is reinfused with the Traveler’s Light. That makes them the only immortal Guardian left (although, since there are thousands of players, everyone gets to be The Only Guardian Left). Hawthorne and the player get the refugee camp known as the Farm up and running and establishing a radio relay to help find more people in need.

But when Hawthorne activates the relay, she and the player hear a transmission from Zavala, one of the leaders of the Vanguard, imploring all Guardians to meet on the Saturn moon of Titan to prepare to counterattack the Red Legion. Against Hawthorne’s wishes, the player heads to Titan to meet Zavala.

Guardian Ghaul

Turns out, Ghaul’s villainous master plan is to force the Traveler to give him the power of the Light, which he’ll use to overthrow the Cabal empire and remake it in his image. He captures the ostensible leader of the City, the Speaker for the Traveler, and tortures him to get information about the Traveler.

Attack on Titan

It turns out that Titan wasn’t such a good place to meet up, thanks to the Fallen and the Hive being there first. The player has to help the Vanguard get set up on a giant floating ocean platform, kind of like a huge oil rig. Once the foothold is established, Zavala sends you to connect with the Golden Age artificial intelligence defense network known as the Warmind, in order to find out more about the Red Legion.

Turns out, Ghaul has a ship called the Almighty, which can destroy the sun. Zavala decides it needs to be blown up before the Vanguard can attempt to retake the City, since the Cabal Empire’s war doctrine is to destroy the worlds they can’t take over. He sends the player to find the other two Vanguard leaders, Cayde-6 and Ikora.

Rescuing Cayde

Next, the player heads to Nessus, a minor planet that has re-entered the solar system. That’s where Cayde-6 was believed to have headed. The player finds the Vex there, as well as the Fallen, fighting over the rock. You manage to rescue Cayde from being in a loop between Vex teleporters. He explains he was trying to steal one of those teleporters planning to use it to get close to Ghaul and kill him. With your help, he now has the teleporter he needed, and leaves to meet up with Zavala.

Tracking down Ikora

Ikora is on the Jupiter moon of Io, which is known among the Guardians as the last place touched by the Traveler. She’s gone to try to figure out who and what she is in the absence of the Light. The player manages to convince her to return to the Vanguard when she learns about the Almighty, but she also discovers you can’t just blow up the ship — that’ll take the sun with it. With the player’s help, Ikora gathers information about how to disable with the ship instead.

The final push

With the Vanguard reunited, the plan is to gather everyone together for an assault on the Last City. First, the player steals a Red Legion ship and takes it to the Almighty, executing the plan to disable it. With the weapon destroyed, the Vanguard launches its offensive on the Red Legion, with the player arriving mid-battle to help out. The Vanguard leaders manage to get in place with their teleporter, but are too hurt to take on Ghaul themselves. You wind up doing it instead.

Ghaul has killed the Speaker and manages to use the ship to infuse himself with Light in the final battle, declaring that he is worthy of the Traveler’s gifts. He uses abilities that are pretty similar to some of the Guardians’ superpowers, but eventually, the player puts him down. Ghaul overdoes it with the Light infusion, becoming a huge, drippy font of power. But before he can wreak havoc on everyone who stands against him, the Traveler rebukes him, finally awakening and blasting Light back through the solar system. The Light eradicates Ghaul and gives the Guardians their gifts back, allowing them to push the Red Legion out of the City.

A spookier threat

In the post-credits scene at the end of “Destiny 2,” the Traveler’s released light covers all of Earth. It continues to flow outward, expanding through the solar system, and then through the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond, into the area between galaxies known as dark space. There, the wave of Light flows over a group of black, pyramid-like ships, which start to come alive as soon as they encounter it — suggesting some new enemy of the Traveler is on its way.

The aftermath

Like “Destiny” before it, “Destiny 2” is sure to have more story content added to the game in the future. In fact, there’s already one addition in the pipe: the game’s first Raid, which launches on Sept. 13. Dubbed “Leviathan,” it could deal with some of the loose ends left over from the story, such as the Almighty or the remnants of the Red Legion.

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https://www.thewrap.com/destiny-story-destiny-2-photos/feed/ 0 The arrival of "Destiny 2" brings a new chapter to the hugely popular video game and its extremely dense world of aliens, space travel and magic in the distant future. But if you missed "Destiny" or you just can't remember all the admittedly confusing stuff that happened in the first three years of the series, we've got a rundown that can help. Here's the entire "Destiny" story, through the main story missions of "Destiny 2." Warning: Spoilers!

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The arrival of "Destiny 2" brings a new chapter to the hugely popular video game and its extremely dense world of aliens, space travel and magic in the distant future. But if you missed "Destiny" or you just can't remember all the admittedly confusing stuff that happened in the first three years of the series, we've got a rundown that can help. Here's the entire "Destiny" story, through the main story missions of "Destiny 2." Warning: Spoilers!

]]>
Humans discover the Traveler

Not long into our future, humanity ventures to Mars, where they discover a huge robotic entity from beyond the solar system that they come to call the Traveler. With some kind of amazing magic powers, the Traveler makes it possible to terraform the entire solar system (though it only terraforms a couple planets). Technological advancements thanks to the Traveler usher in the Golden Age of humanity, which stretches on for hundreds of years.

]]>
Humans discover the Traveler

Not long into our future, humanity ventures to Mars, where they discover a huge robotic entity from beyond the solar system that they come to call the Traveler. With some kind of amazing magic powers, the Traveler makes it possible to terraform the entire solar system (though it only terraforms a couple planets). Technological advancements thanks to the Traveler usher in the Golden Age of humanity, which stretches on for hundreds of years.

]]>
The Darkness comes

Then, some time hundreds of years before the game takes place, an unknown evil that chases the Traveler around the universe called the Darkness arrives at Earth. Nobody’s quite sure what happened, but the arrival of the Darkness created chaos and death. The Golden Age ends with a calamity known as the Collapse.

]]>
The Darkness comes

Then, some time hundreds of years before the game takes place, an unknown evil that chases the Traveler around the universe called the Darkness arrives at Earth. Nobody’s quite sure what happened, but the arrival of the Darkness created chaos and death. The Golden Age ends with a calamity known as the Collapse.

]]>
Along with the Darkness, or as part of it, come a bunch of different alien species who invade the solar system. They are the Fallen, a group of technology-worshiping scavengers; the Hive, a crustacean-like race obsessed with death and magic; the Cabal, a militarized empire that subjugate or destroy whole planets; and the Vex, a time-traveling robotic collective that turns planets into giant machines.

]]>
Along with the Darkness, or as part of it, come a bunch of different alien species who invade the solar system. They are the Fallen, a group of technology-worshiping scavengers; the Hive, a crustacean-like race obsessed with death and magic; the Cabal, a militarized empire that subjugate or destroy whole planets; and the Vex, a time-traveling robotic collective that turns planets into giant machines.

]]>
Rise of the Immortals

The Traveler manages to fight back the Darkness, but in so doing, goes dormant. Its last act is to create thousands of little floating artificial intelligences called Ghosts. The Ghosts then go out and reanimate dead bodies — weird, admittedly — with the near-magical power of the Traveler, called Light. Those reanimated folks are basically turned into immortal super heroes who will later come to be known as Guardians.

]]>
Rise of the Immortals

The Traveler manages to fight back the Darkness, but in so doing, goes dormant. Its last act is to create thousands of little floating artificial intelligences called Ghosts. The Ghosts then go out and reanimate dead bodies — weird, admittedly — with the near-magical power of the Traveler, called Light. Those reanimated folks are basically turned into immortal super heroes who will later come to be known as Guardians.

]]>
The Guardians’ charge is to use their power to protect the rest of humanity from its alien enemies. In addition to humans, there are two other races in “Destiny” outside of the evil aliens. The Exos are sentient robots who were created from humans (think the Major from "Ghost in the Shell") that were created to fight wars during the Collapse but have become alive thanks to the Traveler, and the Awoken are a blue-skinned, humanoid alien race of unknown origin.

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The Guardians’ charge is to use their power to protect the rest of humanity from its alien enemies. In addition to humans, there are two other races in “Destiny” outside of the evil aliens. The Exos are sentient robots who were created from humans (think the Major from "Ghost in the Shell") that were created to fight wars during the Collapse but have become alive thanks to the Traveler, and the Awoken are a blue-skinned, humanoid alien race of unknown origin.

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The Iron Lords

In the years after the Collapse, some of the newly reanimated Guardians don’t do the good guy thing. Instead, they become warlords and try to subjugate the people still alive on Earth. In response, a group of heroic Guardians band together, becoming a group known as the Iron Lords. The seven Iron Lords push back the warlords and protect civilians, until eventually, the other good Guardians and remaining civilians raise a walled city beneath the Traveler. The Last City is the only real safe place left in the solar system, and the Guardians form a militia known as the Vanguard to protect it.

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The Iron Lords

In the years after the Collapse, some of the newly reanimated Guardians don’t do the good guy thing. Instead, they become warlords and try to subjugate the people still alive on Earth. In response, a group of heroic Guardians band together, becoming a group known as the Iron Lords. The seven Iron Lords push back the warlords and protect civilians, until eventually, the other good Guardians and remaining civilians raise a walled city beneath the Traveler. The Last City is the only real safe place left in the solar system, and the Guardians form a militia known as the Vanguard to protect it.

]]>
Soon after the creation of the Last City, the Iron Lords encounter a Golden Age technology called SIVA. Known as a “techno-plague,” SIVA is a swarm of nanomachines, or microscopic robots that can affect matter at the molecular level. SIVA corrupts much of the area and life around Russia where it was housed and manufactured, and the Iron Lords come together to destroy the scourge. They attack the underground facility where SIVA is made, but are unable to defeat it. Instead, they sacrifice themselves to seal SIVA away. Only one Iron Lord who takes part in the mission, Lord Saladin, survives.

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Soon after the creation of the Last City, the Iron Lords encounter a Golden Age technology called SIVA. Known as a “techno-plague,” SIVA is a swarm of nanomachines, or microscopic robots that can affect matter at the molecular level. SIVA corrupts much of the area and life around Russia where it was housed and manufactured, and the Iron Lords come together to destroy the scourge. They attack the underground facility where SIVA is made, but are unable to defeat it. Instead, they sacrifice themselves to seal SIVA away. Only one Iron Lord who takes part in the mission, Lord Saladin, survives.

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The Battle of Twilight Gap

Years later, the various disparate factions of the Fallen, known as Houses, band together to attack the City. Lord Saladin leads the defense of the City with the Vanguard at a location known as Twilight Gap. The huge battle sees the permanent deaths of many Guardians, but the Vanguards manage to fight off the Fallen and protect the City.

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The Battle of Twilight Gap

Years later, the various disparate factions of the Fallen, known as Houses, band together to attack the City. Lord Saladin leads the defense of the City with the Vanguard at a location known as Twilight Gap. The huge battle sees the permanent deaths of many Guardians, but the Vanguards manage to fight off the Fallen and protect the City.

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Assault on Luna

Sometime after the creation of the Last City, the Vanguard martial an attempt to recapture the Moon, which was overtaken by the Hive after the Collapse. The attempt is an abysmal failure. The powerful Hive Prince Crota leads the Hive forces in defense, wielding a sword that absorbs the Light of Guardians and kills them permanently. After the failed attempt at retaking the Moon, the Vanguard declares the Moon off-limits to Guardians.

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Assault on Luna

Sometime after the creation of the Last City, the Vanguard martial an attempt to recapture the Moon, which was overtaken by the Hive after the Collapse. The attempt is an abysmal failure. The powerful Hive Prince Crota leads the Hive forces in defense, wielding a sword that absorbs the Light of Guardians and kills them permanently. After the failed attempt at retaking the Moon, the Vanguard declares the Moon off-limits to Guardians.

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Wake up, Guardian

Here's where “Destiny” starts -- with a Ghost finding the player’s character among the dead in what was formerly Russia. The area is enemy territory controlled by the Fallen, so the player has to fight their way out to find a ship and make it to the City, where they start their life as a Guardian. The player heads back to Russia in hopes of finding a drive for their ship that will let them travel between planets in the solar system. Along the way, they discover nests of the Hive on Earth, suggesting the beginnings of an invasion.

]]>
Wake up, Guardian

Here's where “Destiny” starts -- with a Ghost finding the player’s character among the dead in what was formerly Russia. The area is enemy territory controlled by the Fallen, so the player has to fight their way out to find a ship and make it to the City, where they start their life as a Guardian. The player heads back to Russia in hopes of finding a drive for their ship that will let them travel between planets in the solar system. Along the way, they discover nests of the Hive on Earth, suggesting the beginnings of an invasion.

]]>
You head to the Moon to gather more information and try to stop the Hive’s plans. While there, you’re contacted by a mysterious Exo Stranger (that’s, uh, her name), who asks you to come to Venus to deal with another threat, should you survive on the Moon. The player manages to fight disrupt the Hive’s rituals and invasion plans, if temporarily.

]]>
You head to the Moon to gather more information and try to stop the Hive’s plans. While there, you’re contacted by a mysterious Exo Stranger (that’s, uh, her name), who asks you to come to Venus to deal with another threat, should you survive on the Moon. The player manages to fight disrupt the Hive’s rituals and invasion plans, if temporarily.

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No time to explain

Arriving on Venus, the player is introduced to the Vex. The scary robots are also creating some kind of plan to take over the solar system, and it’s even scarier than what the Hive is up to. It has something to do with a strange place called the Black Garden, possibly the extradimensional birthplace of the Vex. The player heads to a section of the Asteroid Belt known as the Reef, where the majority of the Awoken live, to ask for information.

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No time to explain

Arriving on Venus, the player is introduced to the Vex. The scary robots are also creating some kind of plan to take over the solar system, and it’s even scarier than what the Hive is up to. It has something to do with a strange place called the Black Garden, possibly the extradimensional birthplace of the Vex. The player heads to a section of the Asteroid Belt known as the Reef, where the majority of the Awoken live, to ask for information.

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Get your ass to Mars

The Awoken inform the player that the only way to get to the Black Garden, which the Vex have managed to separate out of space and time, is with a piece of one of their robots, called a Gate Lord. The player heads to Mars, which is largely controlled by the Cabal, and battles through them to find and destroy the Gate Lord. Using a piece of it, the player opens a portal to the Black Garden, where the Vex have a chunk of the Darkness that they worship as a god. The player destroys this Black Heart, disrupting the Vex plans and returning Light to the Traveler, finally allowing it to begin healing.

]]>
Get your ass to Mars

The Awoken inform the player that the only way to get to the Black Garden, which the Vex have managed to separate out of space and time, is with a piece of one of their robots, called a Gate Lord. The player heads to Mars, which is largely controlled by the Cabal, and battles through them to find and destroy the Gate Lord. Using a piece of it, the player opens a portal to the Black Garden, where the Vex have a chunk of the Darkness that they worship as a god. The player destroys this Black Heart, disrupting the Vex plans and returning Light to the Traveler, finally allowing it to begin healing.

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The Dark Below

“The Dark Below” is the first of four expansions released for “Destiny.” After defeating the Vex and restarting the Vanguard’s ability to begin trying to retake the solar system, the player meets Eris Morn. She’s the only survivor of a team that went to the Moon to try to take down Crota, and was trapped in the Moon’s dark tunnels for years. After finally escaping, Eris convinces the player to head to the Moon and stop the Hive bringing about Crota’s return. The player manages to disrupt a ritual to revive Crota. In the expansion’s six-player Raid mission, players managed to summon and kill Crota once and for all.

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The Dark Below

“The Dark Below” is the first of four expansions released for “Destiny.” After defeating the Vex and restarting the Vanguard’s ability to begin trying to retake the solar system, the player meets Eris Morn. She’s the only survivor of a team that went to the Moon to try to take down Crota, and was trapped in the Moon’s dark tunnels for years. After finally escaping, Eris convinces the player to head to the Moon and stop the Hive bringing about Crota’s return. The player manages to disrupt a ritual to revive Crota. In the expansion’s six-player Raid mission, players managed to summon and kill Crota once and for all.

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House of Wolves

The second expansion for “Destiny,” “House of Wolves,” starts in the Reef with the Awoken. Mara Sov, the Awoken queen, previously had a Fallen house that served her: the Wolves, but they escaped. Their leader, Skolas, attempts to unite all the Fallen houses, something that hasn’t happened since the Battle of Twilight Gap. The Awoken ask the player for help, and together they manage to track down Skolas and recapture him.

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House of Wolves

The second expansion for “Destiny,” “House of Wolves,” starts in the Reef with the Awoken. Mara Sov, the Awoken queen, previously had a Fallen house that served her: the Wolves, but they escaped. Their leader, Skolas, attempts to unite all the Fallen houses, something that hasn’t happened since the Battle of Twilight Gap. The Awoken ask the player for help, and together they manage to track down Skolas and recapture him.

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The Taken King

Expanding on the lore of the Hive, the third “Destiny” expansion, “The Taken King,” centers on Crota’s father, Oryx. One of the original Hive who’s worshipped as a god, Oryx arrives in the solar system in a huge ship called the Dreadnaught, which sports a massive superweapon. After wiping out the Awoken fleet, Oryx starts attacking everyone else in the solar system, using his power to corrupt, or “take” other creatures. The Cabal counterattack, crashing a ship into the Dreadnaught to get troops aboard and attempting to take the ship themselves.

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The Taken King

Expanding on the lore of the Hive, the third “Destiny” expansion, “The Taken King,” centers on Crota’s father, Oryx. One of the original Hive who’s worshipped as a god, Oryx arrives in the solar system in a huge ship called the Dreadnaught, which sports a massive superweapon. After wiping out the Awoken fleet, Oryx starts attacking everyone else in the solar system, using his power to corrupt, or “take” other creatures. The Cabal counterattack, crashing a ship into the Dreadnaught to get troops aboard and attempting to take the ship themselves.

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The player eventually manages to board the Dreadnaught as well and stops the Cabal’s plans to destroy it. After disrupting the superweapon so the Vanguard can attack the Dreadnaught, the player manages to defeat Oryx in his physical form. In the expansion’s Raid, “King’s Fall,” the Guardians venture to Oryx’s home, another dimension called the Ascendant Realm, to kill him for good.

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The player eventually manages to board the Dreadnaught as well and stops the Cabal’s plans to destroy it. After disrupting the superweapon so the Vanguard can attack the Dreadnaught, the player manages to defeat Oryx in his physical form. In the expansion’s Raid, “King’s Fall,” the Guardians venture to Oryx’s home, another dimension called the Ascendant Realm, to kill him for good.

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Rise of Iron

The last “Destiny” expansion delves into the history of the Iron Lords. On Earth, the Fallen House of Devils discovers the dormant SIVA vault and opens it, using the technology to turn themselves into powerful cyborgs. With the plague loose, parts of Russia are overrun and the SIVA begins to reshape it.

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Rise of Iron

The last “Destiny” expansion delves into the history of the Iron Lords. On Earth, the Fallen House of Devils discovers the dormant SIVA vault and opens it, using the technology to turn themselves into powerful cyborgs. With the plague loose, parts of Russia are overrun and the SIVA begins to reshape it.

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Lord Saladin summons the player to investigate what’s happening. Eventually, the player manages to destroy the SIVA vault, halting the creation of any more of the technological virus. In the “Wrath of the Machine” Raid, players put an end to the SIVA crisis by taking out the Fallen leader who was behind it, a huge cyborg fallen called Aksis.

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Lord Saladin summons the player to investigate what’s happening. Eventually, the player manages to destroy the SIVA vault, halting the creation of any more of the technological virus. In the “Wrath of the Machine” Raid, players put an end to the SIVA crisis by taking out the Fallen leader who was behind it, a huge cyborg fallen called Aksis.

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Finally, “Destiny 2”

That brings us to “Destiny 2,” which begins with a massive invasion of a new faction of the Cabal, called the Red Legion. The army is led by Dominus Ghaul, who has responded to reports from the Cabal in the solar system of how they’re losing their war. He launches a massive sneak attack against the City, and uses a huge ship to “cage” the Traveler and disrupt its Light. Without the Traveler’s Light, Guardians become mortal and lose their special abilities, allowing the Red Legion to nearly wipe out the Vanguard and occupy the Last City.

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Finally, “Destiny 2”

That brings us to “Destiny 2,” which begins with a massive invasion of a new faction of the Cabal, called the Red Legion. The army is led by Dominus Ghaul, who has responded to reports from the Cabal in the solar system of how they’re losing their war. He launches a massive sneak attack against the City, and uses a huge ship to “cage” the Traveler and disrupt its Light. Without the Traveler’s Light, Guardians become mortal and lose their special abilities, allowing the Red Legion to nearly wipe out the Vanguard and occupy the Last City.

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The player barely escapes death and manages to sneak out of the City. While in the wilderness, the Guardian receives a vision apparently from the Traveler pushing them to find the Shard of the Traveler, a huge chunk of the robot that fell to Earth during the Collapse. Along the way, the player meets Hawthorne, a woman who lived outside the City and has been gathering and helping refugees ever since the attack.

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The player barely escapes death and manages to sneak out of the City. While in the wilderness, the Guardian receives a vision apparently from the Traveler pushing them to find the Shard of the Traveler, a huge chunk of the robot that fell to Earth during the Collapse. Along the way, the player meets Hawthorne, a woman who lived outside the City and has been gathering and helping refugees ever since the attack.

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Getting the groove back

Following the vision, the player heads to the Shard, and is reinfused with the Traveler’s Light. That makes them the only immortal Guardian left (although, since there are thousands of players, everyone gets to be The Only Guardian Left). Hawthorne and the player get the refugee camp known as the Farm up and running and establishing a radio relay to help find more people in need.

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Getting the groove back

Following the vision, the player heads to the Shard, and is reinfused with the Traveler’s Light. That makes them the only immortal Guardian left (although, since there are thousands of players, everyone gets to be The Only Guardian Left). Hawthorne and the player get the refugee camp known as the Farm up and running and establishing a radio relay to help find more people in need.

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But when Hawthorne activates the relay, she and the player hear a transmission from Zavala, one of the leaders of the Vanguard, imploring all Guardians to meet on the Saturn moon of Titan to prepare to counterattack the Red Legion. Against Hawthorne’s wishes, the player heads to Titan to meet Zavala.

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But when Hawthorne activates the relay, she and the player hear a transmission from Zavala, one of the leaders of the Vanguard, imploring all Guardians to meet on the Saturn moon of Titan to prepare to counterattack the Red Legion. Against Hawthorne’s wishes, the player heads to Titan to meet Zavala.

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Guardian Ghaul

Turns out, Ghaul’s villainous master plan is to force the Traveler to give him the power of the Light, which he’ll use to overthrow the Cabal empire and remake it in his image. He captures the ostensible leader of the City, the Speaker for the Traveler, and tortures him to get information about the Traveler.

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Guardian Ghaul

Turns out, Ghaul’s villainous master plan is to force the Traveler to give him the power of the Light, which he’ll use to overthrow the Cabal empire and remake it in his image. He captures the ostensible leader of the City, the Speaker for the Traveler, and tortures him to get information about the Traveler.

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Attack on Titan

It turns out that Titan wasn’t such a good place to meet up, thanks to the Fallen and the Hive being there first. The player has to help the Vanguard get set up on a giant floating ocean platform, kind of like a huge oil rig. 

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Attack on Titan

It turns out that Titan wasn’t such a good place to meet up, thanks to the Fallen and the Hive being there first. The player has to help the Vanguard get set up on a giant floating ocean platform, kind of like a huge oil rig. 

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Turns out, Ghaul has a ship called the Almighty, which can destroy the sun. Zavala decides it needs to be blown up before the Vanguard can attempt to retake the City, since the Cabal Empire's war doctrine is to destroy the worlds they can't take over. He sends the player to find the other two Vanguard leaders, Cayde-6 and Ikora.

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Turns out, Ghaul has a ship called the Almighty, which can destroy the sun. Zavala decides it needs to be blown up before the Vanguard can attempt to retake the City, since the Cabal Empire's war doctrine is to destroy the worlds they can't take over. He sends the player to find the other two Vanguard leaders, Cayde-6 and Ikora.

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Rescuing Cayde

Next, the player heads to Nessus, a minor planet that has re-entered the solar system. That’s where Cayde-6 was believed to have headed. The player finds the Vex there, as well as the Fallen, fighting over the rock. You manage to rescue Cayde from being in a loop between Vex teleporters. He explains he was trying to steal one of those teleporters planning to use it to get close to Ghaul and kill him. With your help, he now has the teleporter he needed, and leaves to meet up with Zavala.

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Rescuing Cayde

Next, the player heads to Nessus, a minor planet that has re-entered the solar system. That’s where Cayde-6 was believed to have headed. The player finds the Vex there, as well as the Fallen, fighting over the rock. You manage to rescue Cayde from being in a loop between Vex teleporters. He explains he was trying to steal one of those teleporters planning to use it to get close to Ghaul and kill him. With your help, he now has the teleporter he needed, and leaves to meet up with Zavala.

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Tracking down Ikora

Ikora is on the Jupiter moon of Io, which is known among the Guardians as the last place touched by the Traveler. She’s gone to try to figure out who and what she is in the absence of the Light. The player manages to convince her to return to the Vanguard when she learns about the Almighty, but she also discovers you can't just blow up the ship — that’ll take the sun with it. With the player’s help, Ikora gathers information about how to disable with the ship instead.

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Tracking down Ikora

Ikora is on the Jupiter moon of Io, which is known among the Guardians as the last place touched by the Traveler. She’s gone to try to figure out who and what she is in the absence of the Light. The player manages to convince her to return to the Vanguard when she learns about the Almighty, but she also discovers you can't just blow up the ship — that’ll take the sun with it. With the player’s help, Ikora gathers information about how to disable with the ship instead.

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The final push

With the Vanguard reunited, the plan is to gather everyone together for an assault on the Last City. First, the player steals a Red Legion ship and takes it to the Almighty, executing the plan to disable it. With the weapon destroyed, the Vanguard launches its offensive on the Red Legion, with the player arriving mid-battle to help out. The Vanguard leaders manage to get in place with their teleporter, but are too hurt to take on Ghaul themselves. You wind up doing it instead.

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The final push

With the Vanguard reunited, the plan is to gather everyone together for an assault on the Last City. First, the player steals a Red Legion ship and takes it to the Almighty, executing the plan to disable it. With the weapon destroyed, the Vanguard launches its offensive on the Red Legion, with the player arriving mid-battle to help out. The Vanguard leaders manage to get in place with their teleporter, but are too hurt to take on Ghaul themselves. You wind up doing it instead.

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Ghaul has killed the Speaker and manages to use the ship to infuse himself with Light in the final battle, declaring that he is worthy of the Traveler’s gifts. He uses abilities that are pretty similar to some of the Guardians’ superpowers, but eventually, the player puts him down. Ghaul overdoes it with the Light infusion, becoming a huge, drippy font of power. But before he can wreak havoc on everyone who stands against him, the Traveler rebukes him, finally awakening and blasting Light back through the solar system. The Light eradicates Ghaul and gives the Guardians their gifts back, allowing them to push the Red Legion out of the City.

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Ghaul has killed the Speaker and manages to use the ship to infuse himself with Light in the final battle, declaring that he is worthy of the Traveler’s gifts. He uses abilities that are pretty similar to some of the Guardians’ superpowers, but eventually, the player puts him down. Ghaul overdoes it with the Light infusion, becoming a huge, drippy font of power. But before he can wreak havoc on everyone who stands against him, the Traveler rebukes him, finally awakening and blasting Light back through the solar system. The Light eradicates Ghaul and gives the Guardians their gifts back, allowing them to push the Red Legion out of the City.

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A spookier threat

In the post-credits scene at the end of “Destiny 2,” the Traveler’s released light covers all of Earth. It continues to flow outward, expanding through the solar system, and then through the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond, into the area between galaxies known as dark space. There, the wave of Light flows over a group of black, pyramid-like ships, which start to come alive as soon as they encounter it — suggesting some new enemy of the Traveler is on its way.

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A spookier threat

In the post-credits scene at the end of “Destiny 2,” the Traveler’s released light covers all of Earth. It continues to flow outward, expanding through the solar system, and then through the Milky Way Galaxy and beyond, into the area between galaxies known as dark space. There, the wave of Light flows over a group of black, pyramid-like ships, which start to come alive as soon as they encounter it — suggesting some new enemy of the Traveler is on its way.

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The aftermath

Like “Destiny” before it, “Destiny 2” is sure to have more story content added to the game in the future. In fact, there’s already one addition in the pipe: the game’s first Raid, which launches on Sept. 13. Dubbed “Leviathan,” it could deal with some of the loose ends left over from the story, such as the Almighty or the remnants of the Red Legion.

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The aftermath

Like “Destiny” before it, “Destiny 2” is sure to have more story content added to the game in the future. In fact, there’s already one addition in the pipe: the game’s first Raid, which launches on Sept. 13. Dubbed “Leviathan,” it could deal with some of the loose ends left over from the story, such as the Almighty or the remnants of the Red Legion.

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‘Fox & Friends’ Blames Political Correctness for ‘Super’ Mario Losing Plumber Job (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/fox-and-friends-super-mario-plumber-steve-doocy-nintendo/ https://www.thewrap.com/fox-and-friends-super-mario-plumber-steve-doocy-nintendo/#respond Tue, 05 Sep 2017 14:57:49 +0000 Tony Maglio https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1702144 Nintendo’s “Super” Mario is no longer working in the trades, and that’s got Steve Doocy throwing fireballs.

According to an update the video game and console manufacturer made to the character’s Japanese-language profile, Mario isn’t a plumber anymore, something Jillian Mele brought to the “Fox & Friends” table on Tuesday.

“According to his new Nintendo profile, Mario worked as a plumber, quote, ‘a long time ago,'” she said. “He now focuses on sports and racing.”

Fans want to flush that idea down the pipes — and so does Doocy.

“Why would they make the — is it a political [move]?” he asked. “Is it a PC thing that they’ve decided?”

Watch the “Fox & Friends” video here:

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‘Silicon Valley’ Star Kumail Nanjiani as High-Strung Orc Is Something to Behold (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/p1682572/ https://www.thewrap.com/p1682572/#respond Fri, 28 Jul 2017 13:38:03 +0000 Meriah Doty https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1682572

In case it’s not yet clear, this is not a spoof video. “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani really does portray a hilariously neurotic Orc in the upcoming role-playing video game “Middle-earth: Shadow of War.”

Yes, Nanjiani voices the warrior The Agonizer — and the juxtaposition of his voice and trademark lisp with an otherwise menacing-looking creature is something to behold.

“This guy doesn’t look like me but he sounds like me,” Nanjiani admits in the behind-the-scenes video above.

The game, which serves as a sequel to “Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor,” starts rolling out Oct. 10 on Xbox One X, Xbox One, Windows 10 PC, PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro.

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‘Grand Theft Auto’ Makers Sued by Psychic Readers Network Over Miss Cleo ‘Doppelganger’ https://www.thewrap.com/grand-theft-auto-makers-sued-by-psychic-readers-network-over-miss-cleo-doppelganger/ https://www.thewrap.com/grand-theft-auto-makers-sued-by-psychic-readers-network-over-miss-cleo-doppelganger/#respond Thu, 27 Jul 2017 21:58:00 +0000 Tim Kenneally https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1682354 We bet Rockstar Games didn’t see this coming.

Beloved-but-deceased TV psychic Miss Cleo lives on in videogame form, at least according to a lawsuit filed this week by Psychic Readers Network, which is not at all happy about the alleged resurrection.

According to the lawsuit, which was filed against Takes-Two Interactive Software and Rockstar Games in federal court in Florida on Wednesday, “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” contains a character that’s too similar to Miss Cleo for comfort.

The suit takes issue with the character Auntie Poulet, which according to the lawsuit infringes on the Psychic Readers Network’s copyright on Mis Cleo, “a widely known television informercial psychic, who PRN spent in excess of $100 million promoting.”

“The Defendants’ Auntie Poulet’s similarities to Miss Cleo and her copyrighted attributes are of such a breadth and extraordinary nature that they can only be explained by copying — which is unsurprising given that Defendants hired the actress who performed as Miss Cleo to provide voiceovers, using the same accent as Miss Cleo, for the infringing videogame.”

The alleged similarities go far beyond the accent, the suit contends.

“These striking similarities are more than substantial. In particular, Defendants copied Miss Cleo’s vibrantly colored caftans and turbans, as well as the patois and mysticism of Miss Cleo, in designing and animating her doppelganger Auntie Poulet,” the suit reads. “Both Miss Cleo and Auntie Poulet are said to be trained in Voodoo, have a strong link to the occult, are of Afro-Caribbean origin, and reside in South Florida.”

Youree Dell Harris, the actress who portrayed Miss Cleo in a series of television ad, died at age 53 in 2016 following a battle with cancer.

Alleging copyright infringement and unjust enrichment, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

TheWrap has reached out to Rockstar Games for comment on the lawsuit.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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Marriage Ruins Xbox Gamerscore Champion’s 11-Year Winning Streak https://www.thewrap.com/marriage-ruins-xbox-champion-11-year-winning-streak/ https://www.thewrap.com/marriage-ruins-xbox-champion-11-year-winning-streak/#respond Thu, 06 Jul 2017 20:13:41 +0000 Ashley Eady https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1668881 Love indeed conquers all — including, as it turns out, one prolific gamer’s Xbox ranking. Ray Cox, known by the username “Stallion83,” boasted the highest Xbox gamerscore for 11 years running, until his title was snatched from him while he was on his honeymoon, says Mashable.

Incidentally, a gamerscore is a combined tally of all points Xbox players get from earning achievements on Xbox 360 and Xbox One games. The achievements mark i-game accomplishments like finishing the main storyline or completing all side-activities, while the score lets those who view the gamer’s profile see how much time they’ve put in. (See more here.)

Over the course of his X-box tenure, Cox racked up more than 1.5 million achievement points. Suffice to say, that amounts to thousands of hours of total time spent playing. The score is made even more remarkable by the fact he still found time to date, start a relationship, get engaged and then married.

Looks like the secret is knowing what to prioritize and when to prioritize it or more accurately, knowing when to sacrifice your gamerscore for your honeymoon.

So it is that Cox wasn’t fazed when, on Tuesday, his score was surpassed by Stephen Rowe, known by the username “Smrnov.” When the Xbox Achievements account tweeted the news, Cox responded with this:

Happy marriage!

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‘Fallout 4’ Makers Sued for $1 Million Over Use of ‘The Wanderer’ in ‘Repugnant’ Ads https://www.thewrap.com/fallout-4-lawsuit-zenimax-the-wanderer-dion/ https://www.thewrap.com/fallout-4-lawsuit-zenimax-the-wanderer-dion/#respond Wed, 05 Jul 2017 22:41:11 +0000 Tim Kenneally https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1668437

Dion is heading into a legal face-off with the people behind “Fallout 4.”

Singer/songwriter Dion DiMucci has filed suit against ZeniMax Media over the use of his classic  song “The Wanderer” in ads for the video game, according to court papers obtained by TheWrap.

In the lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, DiMucci says that he never signed off ZeniMax using “The Wanderer” for the “Fallout 4” ads, which the lawsuit calls “repugnant.”

According to the suit, DiMucci entered an agreement via UMG Recordings to license the song for the “Fallout 4” commercials.

However, the suit says, under the agreement DiMucci had the right to separately bargain with ZeniMax for a better rate, and to prohibit the use of the song unless his terms were met first. The suit says that ZeniMax failed to separately bargain with DiMucci, and failed to obtain his advance consent before the commercials ran.

The consent portion is important, the lawsuit says, because the “Fallout 4” ads were “objectionable” due to their violence.

“Defendant’s Commercials were objectionable because they featured repeated homicides in a dark, dystopian landscape, where violence is glorified as sport. The killings and physical violence were not to protect innocent life, but instead were repugnant and morally indefensible images designed to appeal to young consumers,” the lawsuit reads.

Had the terms of the licensing agreement been adhered to, the lawsuit contends, DiMucci could have used his right to refuse consent to persuade ZeniMax “to change the scripts so that, for instance, they instead told the story of a post-apocalyptic struggle for survival without craven violence.

“Alternately, he could have priced into his fee adequate compensation to safeguard himself against the potential loss of goodwill from being associated with the immoral images in Defendant’s scripts,” the suit adds.

The Wrap has reached out to ZeniMax for comment.

The suit seeks general damages “in excess of $1 million.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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In Honor of the SNES Classic, That Time Paul Rudd Was in a Super Nintendo Ad (Video) https://www.thewrap.com/paul-rudd-super-nintendo-snes-classic-ad/ https://www.thewrap.com/paul-rudd-super-nintendo-snes-classic-ad/#respond Tue, 27 Jun 2017 00:09:04 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1663785

The 1990s were something of a golden age for video game advertising. Adjectives like “extreme” were thrown around a lot, and images of TV screens showing amazing things shocked gamers, who were literally getting blown away.

Today, Nintendo announced that later this year, it’ll release the SNES Classic — a mini version of the 1991 hit gaming console Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The announcement of the SNES Classic is giving plenty of people a nostalgic trip to the 1990s and some of the most beloved and well-regarded video games ever made.

But it’s also a great reminder of what the video game landscape was like, including a different era of awesome ads — like the one above.

The ad shows a Super Nintendo hooked up to a giant screen at a drive-in theater, with its amazing video game offerings drawing awestruck people from all over to come witness the Super Nintendo in action.

A bunch of amazing, new SNES titles were promoted, like “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past” and “F-Zero.” It’s almost creepy how prescient the ad is, since many of the games would go on to be some of the best-regarded titles in video games. In fact, several of the games featured in the ad are included in the newly announced SNES Classic.

But the best part is how the ad presents a look into the early career of actor Paul Rudd, who plays the lucky gamer who gets to put hands on the SNES. And featured as the narrator of the ad is the late, great Tony Jay, well-known for his voice acting roles in “Beauty and the Beast” and “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

It might be more than 25 years later, but the games Rudd used to blow the socks off all the kids in the neighborhood are still major draws… just ask everyone who’s excited about Nintendo’s SNES Classic announcement.

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DMG Entertainment Launches eSports Division https://www.thewrap.com/dmg-entertainment-launches-esports-division/ https://www.thewrap.com/dmg-entertainment-launches-esports-division/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 21:13:00 +0000 Matt Pressberg https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1663710 DMG Entertainment has powered up a competitive gaming division, DMG eSports, the company announced Monday. As part of the new division, DMG is investing in and partnering with amateur e-sports league Super League Gaming.

DMG eSports will be integrated across DMG’s other holdings, including movies, TV, comic books, virtual reality, gaming and location-based entertainment. DMG’s deal with Super League Gaming is the first part of the company’s broader international strategy for its e-sports division.

The company’s substantial ties in China are a big part of the arrangement, as Super League Gaming will add expansion teams in Beijing and Shanghai and facilitate international championship matches. The league already has 12 official city teams in the U.S.

“Our inspiration for DMG eSports comes from the extraordinarily committed e-sports fans and community,” DMG CEO Dan Mintz said in a statement. “Their stories drive our unique point-of-view on the industry allowing our strengths in entertainment and technology to deliver fresh and compelling experiences. Partnering with an industry leader like SLG, allows us to open up the world of e-sports to everyone, not just the pros”

“We are thrilled to be working with a tremendous global partner like DMG as we continue to build and grow our community, particularly as e-sports continues to explode in popularity around the world,” Super League Gaming CEO Ann Hand said in the statement. “Our goal is to introduce e-sports to a broader fan base that, until now, was only available to a fraction of the population. With our online and live in-person events, we’re leading the way in bringing amateur gamers into esports in a safe, fun and socially rewarding way. “

Last month, DMG announced that its investment arm, DMG Capital Group, is pooling $300 million into entertainment, tech and media with a focus on the Chinese market. DMG co-produced 2013’s “Iron Man 3,” which made $1.2 billion worldwide, alongside Disney and Marvel. The company’s Chinese division, DMG Yinji, is publicly listed in China with a valuation in excess of $6 billion.

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Nintendo Announces SNES Classic, Another Mini-Console You Probably Won’t Be Able to Buy https://www.thewrap.com/nintendo-announces-snes-classic/ https://www.thewrap.com/nintendo-announces-snes-classic/#respond Mon, 26 Jun 2017 20:15:11 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1663731 Nintendo is back with another tiny version of a piece of its history, and hopefully for fans, a chance to keep that history from repeating itself.

After the success but short supply of the NES Classic earlier this year, Nintendo today announced another miniature release of one of its elder gaming machines. This time, it’s the super-popular 1990s console, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System.

The NES Classic was a tiny version of the 1985 console the Nintendo Entertainment System, but instead of selling separate games, Nintendo packed 30 games in with the tiny machine. The little console blew up the holiday season, with so many people trying to buy one, Nintendo couldn’t keep them stocked.

The SNES Classic takes the same approach — it’s a mini version of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System from 1991, and comes with 21 games saved in the hardware. And Nintendo fans will be hoping the company avoids a repeat of barren shelves and short stock when the console is released this fall.

Like last year’s mini-console, the SNES Classic is pretty impressive. It comes with 21 games, many of them regarded as some of the best ever released — including “The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past,” “Super Metroid,” “Final Fantasy III” (better known as “Final Fantasy VI” in its proper Japanese release order) and “Donkey Kong Country.”

The console also includes “Star Fox II,” a Super Nintendo game that never made it Stateside.

Fans have been hoping and speculating about a “Classic” edition release of the SNES since Nintendo announced the NES Classic last year. The company shipped about 2.3 million NES Classic units, but the demand wound up being its undoing and Nintendo discontinued the mini-console in April.

At the time, Nintendo said the company didn’t have the resources to keep up with demand for the NES Classic. Presumably, that’s because it was thinking about it’s recently released new hardware, the Nintendo Switch, and the SNES Classic.

The fact that Nintendo couldn’t keep up with demand and then promptly canceled the NES Classic is undoubtedly worrying. The SNES is one of the best-regarded gaming consoles ever made. If the NES shocked Nintendo with its demand, the speed at which the SNES flies off shelves is likely to blow a few minds.

The SNES Classic will cost $79.99 and is due to hit store shelves on Sept. 29. Nintendo hasn’t released any information about what retailers will carry the console, however.

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Meet the English Company at the Forefront of Video Game Facial-Recognition Technology https://www.thewrap.com/cubic-motion-facial-recognition/ https://www.thewrap.com/cubic-motion-facial-recognition/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 17:36:56 +0000 Sean Burch https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1661013 The leading company in advanced facial tracking isn’t found in Silicon Valley or Los Angeles’ booming gaming industry, but instead located more than 5,000 miles away in the northern city of Manchester, England.

Cubic Motion is at the forefront of real-time facial tracking, a technology that will eventually span several mediums, but is an especially important step in the evolution of video games.

“Cubic Motion is not a gaming company, not a virtual reality company, not an artificial reality company. We are a computer vision company, who have chosen to participate in the games market,” said Andy Wood, Chairman of Cubic Motion in an interview with TheWrap.

And when it comes to games, Wood knows the industry about as well as anyone. The affable Brit cut his teeth in the gaming business at Activision, before moving on to start a game marketing company — a place where he was involved with 50 top-sellers, including Mortal Kombat and FIFA.

Now at Cubic Motion, Wood and his team of 70 have developed the first tech to follow a human’s facial movements in real-time and translate them into a game setting. It’s an innovation that leads developers from across the world to seek out the Manchester company.

“The paradigm shift for us happened at [the Game Developer Conference] last year, when we were invited to to help Epic Games, to do performance of a real human being driving a computer avatar in a real game world in real-time,” said Wood.

The result was game-changing, with Cubic Motion helping to stage a demo of “Hellblade” with tracking of 200 facial features, right down to the eye movement. Check out the video below for a better look.

With Cubic Motion being the first company to pull this off, it’s easy to see why they’ve worked on major titles like “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered” and “Batman: Arkham VR & Batman: Arkham Knight.” And after a similar demo at Siggraph in 2016, it was awarded the computer graphics convention’s Real-Time Graphics & Interactivity Live Award.

At the same time, Wood sees this tech changing more than the gaming world. The company is on the cusp of a new capital raise that will allow further expansion.

“This is a good time for us to get deeper with the [visual effects] companies and the film companies because there are a number of benefits now to using our tech,” said Wood. “One is that a live action director can direct the [computer graphics] version of the character, so they can talk to the screen rather than the actor or actress, which is great,” he added, also telling TheWrap to stay tuned for more developments in virtual reality.

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‘Super Nintendo World’ at Universal Studios Japan Releases Concept Art (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/concept-art-universal-studios-japans-super-nintendo-world-released/ https://www.thewrap.com/concept-art-universal-studios-japans-super-nintendo-world-released/#respond Tue, 20 Jun 2017 06:02:01 +0000 Ross A. Lincoln https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1660002 Still in development for a 2020 opening at Universal Studios Japan, Super Nintendo World aims to give Nintendo die-hards a live-action taste of the places inhabited by Mario, Link, Zelda, Kirby and more… and presumably never sleep and forget to do all their homework at the same time.

Fans got their first glimpse of what Super Nintendo World might look like, courtesy of several concept art images released on Twitter with permission by Gary Snyder, an adviser on Western media and culture.

The images are still very preliminary, of course. They very much follow the modern Nintendo aesthetic, more like screenshots from unreleased games, but even so, what is hinted at looks ambitious.

For instance, the proposed map of Super Nintendo World suggests how much space at Universal Studios Japan the world will take up.

That’s a lot of territory — at minimum it looks like Nintendo is getting more real estate than “The Simpsons” Springfield.

Of particular interest are the images of Super Nintendo World’s Mario Kart experience. Those of us who’ve been playing various Mario Kart games since cough-ity years ago have long wanted a live-action version of the game.

That’s not exactly on the menu for park attendees, though the park’s sounds fun. Synder hints that it’ll be a moving track ride with augmented reality elements.

The Donkey Kong attraction looks fun too — if the image at the top of this page is any indication.

Fortunately, Osaka park goers won’t be the only fans to experience the attraction. There are plans to re-create the Mario Kart ride at both Universal Studios Hollywood and Orlando, and in Orlando an entirely new themed land built around Nintendo IP is in the works.

See the full set of images below (click to enlarge).

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‘The Walking Dead’ Will Come to Life as Virtual Reality Games https://www.thewrap.com/walking-dead-will-come-life-virtual-reality-games/ https://www.thewrap.com/walking-dead-will-come-life-virtual-reality-games/#respond Wed, 14 Jun 2017 18:15:23 +0000 Matt Pressberg https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1656714 Skybound Entertainment and Skydance Interactive are turning AMC ratings monster “The Walking Dead” into a series of virtual reality games, the companies announced Wednesday at the E3 convention in Los Angeles.

The first game in their multi-title partnership will be called “The Walking Dead,” but it will have a brand new cast of characters and location. Conceptual art from the VR game is shown above.

“The Walking Dead,” consistently one of the top-rated shows on cable, will return for its eighth season in October. The show follows a group of survivors in post-apocalyptic America who battle to survive in a world of zombies and rival groups of survivors.

Skybound, founded by “The Walking Dead” creator Robert Kirkman and David Alpert, produces “The Walking Dead” and its spinoff, “Fear the Walking Dead,” among other projects in film, TV, digital content, comics and live events. The company recently launched a VR game, ‘Giant Cop: Justice Above All,” with partner Other Ocean, while Skydance Interactive’s first VR game, “Archangel,” hits consoles next month.

“Skydance’s ability to build worlds and tell compelling stories matches with our goal to bring ‘The Walking Dead’ fans new narratives and ways to engage with the world Robert Kirkman created, while staying true to his original vision,” Skybound Entertainment CEO David Alpert and Skybound Entertainment Managing Partner Jon Goldman said in a statement. “Skydance Interactive is the ideal partner for the team Dan Murray has created for Skybound Interactive.”

“‘The Walking Dead’ is an iconic phenomenon and it is absolutely thrilling to work with Skybound to bring its incredibly diverse cast of characters, settings, and storylines together into a complete VR game package,” Skydance Media Chief Executive Officer David Ellison and President and Chief Operating Officer Jesse Sisgold said in the statement. “Our goal at Skydance Interactive is to honor the visceral world that Kirkman has created while giving ‘The Walking Dead’s’ fans something to really sink their teeth into with robust games that take the franchise to a completely new level.”

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What is ‘Magikarp Jump,’ the Latest Pokemon Smartphone Obsession? https://www.thewrap.com/what-is-magikarp-jump-pokemon-smartphone-obsession/ https://www.thewrap.com/what-is-magikarp-jump-pokemon-smartphone-obsession/#respond Sun, 28 May 2017 21:45:46 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1646791 There’s a new Pokemon game that’s invading smartphones, following the ludicrous popularity of last summer’s breakout hit, “Pokemon Go.” It’s called “Magikarp Jump,” and there’s a good chance if you’re interested in the gaming world or know Pokemon mega-fans, you might have heard of it.

What you might not have heard is what exactly “Magikarp Jump” is all about.

While it’s a spin-off of the same uber-popular gaming brand as “Pokemon Go,” don’t expect “Magikarp Jump” to have droves of people taking to the streets in search of virtual pikachus and charmanders. The new title falls into more traditional mobile game territory. It trades the “augmented reality” ideas of “Pokemon Go,” which uses your phone’s camera to overlay virtual characters on real-world settings, for a more casual, tap-focused and time-killing design.

For those wondering what people are talking about with this weird new Pokemon fish obsession, here’s a crash course.

The idea of “Magikarp Jump” is to focus on one of the sadder and more maligned Pokemon creatures — the Magikarp, a big, mostly useless fish. In the “Pokemon” world, which revolves around catching creatures known as Pokemon and battling them with other Pokemon trainers, the only thing Magikarp is really good for is “evolving” it into the much more formidable sea serpent Gyarados. In “Pokemon Go,” that means catching about 100 useless Magikarps before players earn the resources they need to get its much better counterpart.

“Magikarp Jump” makes a joke out of the fish’s reputation. It’s based on the idea that the fish, when flopping around on land, is actually a pretty great jumper. So players train Magikarps to compete in jumping competitions, where they can earn prizes that can be used to upgrade their training materials to make even higher-jumping Magikarps.

The basic premise, then, is tapping on stuff to make your Magikarp stronger. “Training” your Magikarp includes grabbing food for your Magikarp as it swims around its pond, and then taking it to training activities where you can tap the screen rapidly to try to get it to work out as hard as possible. Both things increase its JP, or “jump power,” to make it fly ever higher in the air.

The majority of “Magikarp Jump” gameplay is tapping away at food to feed your Pokemon, and bringing it along for training. Like most “free-to-play” games like this and “Pokemon Go,” lots of elements run on timers that make players wait to engage. You can only train your Magikarp three times before you have to wait for “training points” to replenish, for instance.

Once your Magikarp has reached jumping strength, you can take it to compete against other computer-controlled trainers in an attempt to climb the ranks of various leagues. This mostly amounts to preparation — if your Magikarp has higher JP than its opponent, you’ll generally be successful. The trouble is, you don’t know how much JP other Magikarps have until you face them in leaping battle.

Training Magikarps also causes them to “level up” to a certain threshold. It basically means that every Magikarp has a JP ceiling and, once it reaches it, the fish can’t get any better at jumping. When that happens, you automatically compete with your fish until you lose, and then your Magikarp is retired to hang around in your pond while you fish for a newer, better one to train. It goes on and on like that.

The best part of “Magikarp Jump” is its set of “random encounters” that can take place after you take your Magikarp to a training session or a competition. These often include people telling you how great you are and giving you coins that can be spent on increasing the effectiveness of your fish food or training activities. But sometimes, they require important decisions.

In one event, for example, you and your Magikarp come across a tree full of berries. If you let your fish jump up and try to grab one, you can get a major boost to its JP. But there’s risk involved, too. While your fish might nab a berry that makes it stronger, it might also attract a bird that can swoop down and carry off your fish for dinner. Yup. In this kids’ game, your beloved fish Pokemon can get murdered by the laws of nature.

If you’re wondering if “Magikarp Jump” is the new “Pokemon Go”-esque game craze you’re going to be dealing with, either as a breathless fan or as an exasperated observer, the answer is: probably not. Though it’s a fun distraction, it’s pretty unlikely that “Magikarp Jump” is going to take off the way the last “Pokemon” title did. It lacks a lot of the social possibilities that made “Pokemon Go” interesting, as well as the impetus to get out in the real world and play it in real places.

But, at least, if you find yourself waiting in line for a sandwich and see people ahead watching orange fish fly through the air on their phones, you’ll know what’s going on.

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The Best Bridge Between ‘Star Wars’ Trilogies Isn’t ‘Rogue One,’ It’s a Video Game (Commentary) https://www.thewrap.com/force-unleashed-best-star-wars-game-story/ https://www.thewrap.com/force-unleashed-best-star-wars-game-story/#respond Thu, 25 May 2017 20:08:03 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1645255 In “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” Lucasfilm brings together George Lucas’ often-maligned prequel trilogy and his original film, closing a gap somewhat between how the Republic fell and how the Rebellion was born. But it’s not the coolest story to bridge the two sets of films. That honor belongs to a video game.

“Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” isn’t considered “Star Wars” canon in any way now that Disney has taken the helm on the franchise and rebooted the decades of continuity that was built outside the films, but it still turns out some great ideas that flesh out some key characters. And it focuses on something we hadn’t yet seen committed to film: what Darth Vader was doing between trilogies. “Star Wars” fans know that the answer is, vaguely: he was hunting down the last of the Jedi.

“The Force Awakens” starts with that premise, then uses it to explore Vader’s mental state after turning to the Dark Side of the Force cost him everything. On one Jedi extermination mission, when Vader tracks down a Force user, he discovers their child, who is also extremely strong in the Force. Rather than kill the kid, Vader secretly abducts him and begins to train him to be his Sith apprentice. The plan is simple: Together, they’ll kill the Emperor.

This is one of the most interesting tidbits “The Force Unleashed” adds to Vader as we know him from the films. Sith Lords in “Star Wars” are notorious for working together as master and apprentice for a while, before the apprentice, seeking ever more power, overwhelms and kills the master. Then the new master takes on a new apprentice, and the cycle continues. Evil dudes are bad at working well with others, apparently.

That goes double for Darth Vader, who has been so twisted and corrupted by the Emperor — as detailed specifically in “Revenge of the Sith” — that on some level he must hate the guy. So while Vader is exceedingly loyal most of the time, it makes sense he’d be hatching his own plans. We see a little bit of this in “The Empire Strikes Back,” when Vader tries to entice Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to join him, take down the Emperor, and “rule the galaxy as father and son.”

Starkiller, then, is Evil Luke, but he’s also a slave. Vader sends him out on errands in the years before “A New Hope,” specifically to hunt down and kill others of the last few remaining Jedi. About half of the game is about these missions, in which Starkiller zips around with his Imperial pilot friend Juno.

Here’s where it starts to get convoluted in the best, “Star Wars”-iest way. When Starkiller returns from killing his third fugitive Jedi, proving he’s strong enough to help take on the Emperor, Vader betrays him. It seems the Emperor knew about Starkiller all along, and forces Vader to prove his loyalty by killing the apprentice. Vader stabs Starkiller, but he doesn’t die, and winds up in a coma after an Imperial medical droid saves him.

Afterward, when Starkiller awakes, Vader tells him the whole thing was a ruse to throw off the Emperor. He doesn’t even apologize about the coma. Then he orders Starkiller to defect from the Empire and start gathering up the Emperor’s enemies to create an insurrection. That’ll hopefully be distraction enough to create an opening Vader and Starkiller can use.

Starkiller starts to like these folks he’s using for Vader’s purposes, though, and develops something of a moral compass. Just like Vader hates the Emperor, Starkiller hates Vader for torturing him his whole life, and the whole “stabbed with a lightsaber, six-month coma” thing.

Then the twist comes: As Starkiller attends a meeting between the people he’s sought out to discuss actually having a rebellion, who shows up but Darth Vader — and the Emperor. Again!

Turns out, the entire “kill the Emperor” plan by Vader wasn’t Vader’s plan at all — it was the Emperor’s. Vader has been training Starkiller as an ace in the hole, but not to take over. Instead, Emperor Palpatine needed a useful agent who could get all his enemies together in one place. That includes Bail Organa, played by Jimmy Smits in the films, Mon Mothma, Princess Leia, and a fugitive Jedi and brilliant commander called Rahm Kota. Starkiller wasn’t creating a rebellion, he was baiting a trap without knowing it.

Starkiller escapes death again, and travels to the original Death Star, still under construction, where his friends are being held. There, players confront Vader in an awesome battle, and then can either choose to kill him, or leave him and take on the Emperor. Killing Vader means Starkiller becomes the Emperor’s new cyborg apprentice (the “bad” ending). But confronting the Emperor is enough to allow the rebels to escape, with Starkiller sacrificing himself to save his friends.

The people Starkiller brings together are the founders of the Rebel Alliance as seen in the prequels — specifically, Organa and Mon Mothma. (The game adds the defector Juno, plus Kota, who has the military training to help them raise and train an army.) Inspired by his sacrifice, they formally create the Alliance to Restore the Republic.

That’s the best part: Emperor Palpatine’s convoluted plan to gather up and stamp out any resistance to his Empire actually winds up forming the Rebel Alliance. The guy whose idea was to create a Rebellion is the guy the Rebellion ultimately destroys.

It’s a perfect fit in the post-Prequel “Star Wars” franchise, utilizing Palpatine’s penchant for scheming — that’s all he does in the prequels and it’s how he tries to destroy the Rebel Alliance with his giant Death Star trap in “Return of the Jedi” — to create a fascinating plot.

And it fleshes out Darth Vader in a way that little other than “Return of the Jedi” had before that. “The Force Unleashed” bridges the gap between who Vader was before he turned to the Dark Side and who he was after. Seeing him through Starkiller’s experiences, and the horrible stuff Vader does to him, helps solidify him as a terrifying villain, even if Palpatine is ultimately the brains.

We’ll likely never see any more of Starkiller (especially since that name, well-known as Luke Skywalker’s original last name in early drafts of “Star Wars,” has been repurposed as the Starkiller Base of “The Force Awakens”). Darth Vader, meanwhile, is having his story told in comics and novels. And with spin-offs like “Rogue One” and a Han Solo movie in the works, a Vader-centric post-prequels film doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility either.

But for a while there, the formation of the Rebellion could be chalked up to the galaxy’s worst dude’s big Machiavellian plan backfiring spectacularly. And we had a complex, but still super-evil, look at his most loyal servant. After a prequel series showing a conflicted, sometimes whiny Anakin Skywalker, coming up against peak-evil Darth Vader was one of the best “Star Wars” experiences anyone had created.

Of course, it’s fully possible the Disney era will come up with something just as good with the galaxy’s most fearsome heavy breathing bad guy. But it’s a bit of a shame the story of Starkiller has been reduced to a “Star Wars” legend, and it’s still worth checking out.

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Nathan Drake Fans Blast Tom Holland’s ‘Uncharted’ Origin Movie: ‘We’re Getting Uncharted Rugrats!’ https://www.thewrap.com/nathan-drake-fans-blast-tom-hollands-uncharted-origin-movie-getting-uncharted-rugrats/ https://www.thewrap.com/nathan-drake-fans-blast-tom-hollands-uncharted-origin-movie-getting-uncharted-rugrats/#respond Mon, 22 May 2017 18:15:09 +0000 Thom Geier https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1642436 No sooner had Sony announced that it was retooling its big-screen adaptation of the hit video game “Uncharted” to be an origin story starring “Spider-Man: Homecoming” lead Tom Holland than the internet lit up with confusion and disappointment.

Let’s just say the baby-faced 20-year-old British actor is not who many fans imagined would play the grizzled treasure hunter with the perpetual five 0’clock shadow.

“You guys, we’re getting Uncharted Rugrats!!!!!” wrote one internet wag.

While another complained, “Tom Holland’s Nathan Drake in an Uncharted movie? They already made that. It was called The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones.

Shawn Levy is directing the long-in-development adaptation, which was inspired by a sequence in the third version of the famous video game in which Drake first meets professional rogue, Sullivan.

Sony has yet to find a writer for the screenplay, which will be retooled as a prequel. Producers include Charles Roven, Avi Arad, Alex Gartner and Ari Arad.

The first game in the series, a third-person shooter action-adventure was released in 2007.

Read more of the online sniping here.

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Patriots Fans Freak Out Over Tom Brady Becoming Next Victim of Madden Curse https://www.thewrap.com/patriots-fans-freak-out-over-tom-brady-becoming-next-victim-of-madden-curse/ https://www.thewrap.com/patriots-fans-freak-out-over-tom-brady-becoming-next-victim-of-madden-curse/#respond Fri, 12 May 2017 19:26:07 +0000 Debbie Emery https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1636358

The announcement on Friday morning that Tom Brady will grace the cover of EA Sports’ “Madden 18” had NFL fans severely divided.

New England Patriots fans were overcome with crippling fear that the “Madden Curse” would strike their MVP, five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback.

While fans for every other team were overcome with joy … that the “Madden Curse” would strike the Patriots’ MVP, five-time Super Bowl winning quarterback. It’s funny how that happens in the world of sports!

Before you scoff that superstition over a video game (dubbed the G.O.A.T. edition by EA) cover can’t take down Brady, who is undeniably the best quarterback currently in the league — and many claim the best ever — consider the curse’s history.

Most recently, Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski was the “Madden 17” cover star — before the football phenomenon missed the first two games of the 2016 season with a hamstring injury, was limited in his next two games, and then was officially placed on injured reserve on Dec. 3 and headed for his third back surgery following a hard hit against the Seattle Seahawks Week 10.

In fact, nearly all the players honored with the Madden cover over the years have been hit with injuries, poor seasons or inexplicable reasons for their play declining. The victims have included some of the greatest ever to take to the football field, including Shaun Alexander, Michael Vick, Calvin Johnson, Eddie George, Ray Lewis, Richard Sherman, Odell Beckham Jr., Adrian Peterson, Donovan McNabb and Marshall Faulk.

With Brady heading into his 16th season in the NFL and set to turn 40 in August — making him the oldest player to ever be on the Madden cover — Pats fans are legitimately concerned for his safety, while some believe it is a conspiracy led by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.

Tom Brady‘s next two years will determine weather or not the Madden Curse is real. ,” one Twitter user wisely predicated.

“Roger Goodell going to drastic measures to stop Tom Brady, it seems,” another Pats said.

But of course, anyone having to face the reigning Super Bowl champions this season was jubilant. “Watch as Tom Brady destroys the Madden Curse. Being a Jets fan is fun,” one New Yorker tweeted.

“I’m just glad Tom Brady is on the Madden cover so the Broncos are a wrap to win it ,” added a Denver fan.

One person who is determined to reserve the curse is Gronkowski, who asked his followers who they thought should be this year’s cover athlete should be before the news was announced. “Some say I caught the curse, but what do you think?” he asked in an Instagram video… before Gronk Spiking a “Madden 17” game.

It’s time for this year’s @EAMaddenNFL #Madden18 Cover Athlete to be named. Who ya think it is??

A post shared by Rob Gronkowski (@gronk) on

It seems that Brady himself isn’t too worried either. “The ‘Madden NFL 18’ cover is a great honor for me,” he said in a statement. “Especially since I have been playing the game since growing up next to EA headquarters in the Bay Area. I’m not one to believe in curses, so I’m ready to take the challenge head on like always! It doesn’t stand a chance!!!”

The G.O.A.T then went on to smash a mirror and walk under a ladder in an Instagram post. “It’s all good,” he assured Patriots Nation. “We’ve got this.”

“Madden NFL 18” hits shelves on August 25, 2017. Watch the first promo video above and read more pro and anti-Patriots tweets below.

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It’s a Beautiful Day in Twitch’s Neighborhood: All 886 ‘Mister Rogers’ Episodes to Stream https://www.thewrap.com/every-episode-of-mister-rogers-neighborhood-to-air-in-marathon-on-streaming-service-twitch/ https://www.thewrap.com/every-episode-of-mister-rogers-neighborhood-to-air-in-marathon-on-streaming-service-twitch/#respond Thu, 11 May 2017 16:15:07 +0000 Matt Pressberg https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1635032 It’s going to be a beautiful day on the internet May 15, as Twitch will start a 17-day free marathon of all 886 episodes of iconic children’s show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” on the gaming-focused streaming service — including many episodes that have only aired once.

Gamers can slip on their cardigans and kick back starting at noon PT for a marathon viewing experience that runs through June 2, and can be found at www.twitch.tv/misterrogers. Twitch will also run a fundraising campaign during the event to encourage donations to local PBS affiliates, and the marathon will begin with “Mister Rogers” creator Fred Rogers’ Senate testimony about the value of public television, which he gave 48 years ago this month.

“Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” first hit airwaves in 1968 and was beamed into millions of living rooms on PBS for decades, educating generations of children and letting them know people like them just the way they are. Twitch will air every episode in order during its marathon, which will be followed by mini-marathons in following weeks to allow viewers who may have missed the first run to catch up on some episodes.

“From listening to feedback, it became clear that the Twitch community has not only embraced content which goes beyond gaming, they want more of it,” Bill Moorier, Head of Creative at Twitch, said in a statement. “We were drawn to ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ because Fred Rogers was a positive voice in fostering inclusivity and diversity, and, like our streamers, he talked to the viewers as if they were in the room with him. While his show was geared toward children, his messages have universal appeal.”

“Fred Rogers created a blueprint for children’s television that still works today, and his messages of acceptance and inclusion remain just as timeless and relevant as they did when ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ first aired,” Paul Siefken, President and CEO of The Fred Rogers Company, said in the statement. “We are delighted to be working with Twitch to make the show available to fans, as well as reach a whole new whole new audience that did not grow up watching the program.”

“Fred Rogers believed in the boundless potential of all children, and his landmark educational philosophy continues to guide our work today at PBS Kids,” Lesli Rotenberg, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Children’s Media and Education, PBS, said in the statement. “We are excited to bring ‘Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood’ to the Twitch community in this special event, honoring Fred’s legacy, and encouraging fans to support the important work that local PBS stations do to help all children learn and succeed.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

Watch Mister Rogers' Heart-Melting Plea to Save Federal Funding for PBS in 1969 (Video)

From 'Mister Rogers' to 'Zoom': 25 Kids Shows Begging for a Revival (Photos)

Mr. Rogers Remixed: Watch PBS' Hot New Autotuned Video

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‘Homeland’ Producer Keshet International Wants to Make Virtual Reality Game Shows https://www.thewrap.com/homeland-producer-keshet-international-wants-to-make-virtual-reality-game-shows/ https://www.thewrap.com/homeland-producer-keshet-international-wants-to-make-virtual-reality-game-shows/#respond Wed, 26 Apr 2017 01:14:45 +0000 Matt Pressberg https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1617573 At VRLA, the virtual reality expo held in Los Angeles earlier this month, one of the most popular booths belonged to “Racket: Nx,” a squash-type game where audience members could watch the action in the same “virtual space dome” as the players.

But “Racket” wasn’t created by a pure gaming company; instead, it’s from the Israeli firm behind the critically acclaimed drama series “Homeland,” Keshet International. And according to Keshet CEO Alon Shtruzman, entertainment VR is ready to explode — and his company is already working on it.

In a conversation with TheWrap, Shtruzman shed light on some of Keshet’s virtual reality ambitions. They won’t look like “Homeland” — at least not yet — but the future of game shows could involve strapping on a VR headset.

“I think we can see Keshet International developing a VR TV show in maybe 18 months,” Shtruzman said. “‘Racket’ can easily become a TV game show.”

Ziv Rabinovich, Keshet’s head of gaming and interactive, said “Racket” is a “very scalable” product on which the company can bolt on added features and make them VR compatible without too much difficulty, which isn’t the case with more involved scripted narrative shows — at least, not yet.

“If you want to add content and features, production cost-wise it’s going to be relatively easy,” he told TheWrap. “We are doing it so we know. But if you’re doing a narrative 10- to 15-minute huge scene, that’s not happening — it’s not scalable.”

And game shows are hardly the only genre with untapped VR potential, according to Shtruzman. He envisioned the medium being perfect for a sort of choose-your-own-adventure story that could put the viewer directly in the shoes — and body — of the protagonist.

“There’s going to be a few ways to do a story in VR,” he said. “I think the more natural way to do stories in VR is to do a real first person. In VR, you can actually be the detective. I can see a TV show or feature film done in a first-person perspective.”

But even with stories that aren’t necessarily conducive to a first-person format, viewers will be able to experience them in a much more immersive way in VR, Shtruzman said.

“You watch a show like ‘Homeland,’ you don’t participate in the show but you can actually be on location,” he said.

The last buzzy technological advancement in TV and movies, 3D, ended up being mostly a disappointment, as the market for 3D TVs at home proved to be smaller than manufacturers hoped. (Plenty of blockbusters are still shown in 3D theatrically.) But Shtruzman said VR presents an entirely different value proposition than 3D video.

“I see a big difference between 3D and VR,” he said. “I think the level of immersiveness and the look and feel you get in a VR experience is by far more attractive and compelling than 3D.

That being said, virtual reality today is a highly niche field. PC-based VR systems like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift cost hundreds of dollars (not including a high-end gaming PC), and the current state of smartphone VR leaves plenty to be desired in terms of quality. But Shtruzman and Rabinovich believe advances in mobile VR technology — which are on their way — will pave the way for more widespread adoption and a bigger market for VR programming.

“We think mobile will be a key element,” Shtruzman said. “I know mobile technology is a little behind but it’s developing so quickly. A year from now we’ll see a much better experience on mobile devices. The gap between mobile VR and PC VR will be much smaller.”

And as technology catches up, Shtruzman is imagining all the types of shows he’d like to create as VR makes them possible.

“We see storytelling where you watch and interact and actually see inside the story,” Shtruzman said. “And also passive 360 where you sit in your chair and put on the headset. I’m sure that I’m only scratching the iceberg.”

Related stories from TheWrap:

How Virtual Reality Industry Hopes to Take Tech Mainstream

Virtual Reality Firm Upload to Open LA Headquarters in April (Exclusive)

How Virtual Reality Filmmakers Used Brands to Develop a New Skill Set

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14 Times Video Games Continued the Stories of Movies (Photos) https://www.thewrap.com/video-games-continued-movies-photos/ https://www.thewrap.com/video-games-continued-movies-photos/#respond Sun, 23 Apr 2017 19:12:19 +0000 Phil Hornshaw https://www.thewrap.com/?p=1585308 Video games based on movies have a long history of being terrible. But there are a few licensed games that don’t just ride the coattails of successful films, they actually expand and add to them. Here are 12 video games that picked up the torches for stories started on film.

“The Thing” (1982)
John Carpenter’s 1982 horror movie finds a group of scientists trapped in an Antarctic research facility with an alien threat that takes over and imitates them. The film ends with awesome ambiguity: MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Childs (Keith David) staring each other down, neither sure if the other is actually a horrific alien in disguise. Though “The Thing” got a 2011 prequel, there was no answer to the 1982 movie’s final question on film.

“The Thing” (2002)
The video game answered that question when American soldiers return to the camp to find out what happened and face off lots more aliens on the way. They find Childs frozen but apparently human, and MacReady (also human?) comes to the rescue in the end. The game‘s story wasn’t as inspired as the film’s, but it did manage to introduce a system that made characters distrustful of each other, and of the player, forcing you to constantly wonder if your companions were really monsters waiting to pounce.

“Alien” (1979)
There are plenty James Cameron‘s sequel to Ridley Scott’s classic “Alien” puts 57 years between the two movies. The original film saw a group of what were essentially space truckers accidentally picking up a deadly organism after investigating a distress call. At the end of the movie, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the lone survivor, goes to sleep hoping someone will pick her up.

“Alien: Isolation” (2014)
“Alien: Isolation” takes place between the first two “Alien” films, jumping 15 years ahead to tell the story of Ripley’s daughter Amanda. She hunts for evidence of what happened to her mother and her crew, but the search for the Nostromo leads unlucky salvagers to accidentally bring the original alien back to a space station full of people. Amanda discovers the creatures haunted both Ripley women as she fights to survive.

“Ghostbusters” (1984)
Before there was the all-women reboot of “Ghostbusters,” fans hoped for a sequel to the original and its sequel, 1989’s “Ghostbusters II.” Rumors floated around of a “Ghostbusters III” for years before Harold Ramis‘ death in 2014. A third film in the original continuity was not to be, but that doesn’t mean there was never an attempt.

“Ghostbusters: The Video Game” (2009)
The closest thing to the long-awaited “Ghostbusters III” is a video game. Most of the original cast returned to their roles, and Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd helped with the story and script. Players joined the team as a “rookie” fifth ghostbuster, revisiting locations from the movies and exploring a story that continues the first two films.

“The Chronicles of Riddick” (2004)
Vin Diesel turned his character, Richard B. Riddick, from director David Twohy’s sci-fi horror film “Pitch Black” into a franchise with “Chronicles of Riddick.” The murderer-turned-anti-hero got some intricate backstory as he battled a death-worshiping, planet-invading space cult.

“The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay” (2004)
Vin Diesel worked closely with developer Starbreeze on “Escape from Butcher Bay,” a prequel “Pitch Black.” Diesel and Twohy worked on the story for the game, which fills out Riddick’s backstory with the prison break discussed in “Pitch Black.”

“The Matrix Reloaded” (2003)
When the Wachowskis prepared their two sequel movies to 1999’s “The Matrix,” they created an experience that included several media. “The Animatrix” was a series of short films that filled out the story of the world, for instance. The movie also left some things untold with side characters Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong) that could be filled in with the tie-in video game “Enter the Matrix.”

“Enter the Matrix” (2003)
Players took part in the story of “The Matrix Reloaded” by taking on the roles of either Niobe or Ghost. “Enter the Matrix” is full of live-action scenes with the actors, directed by the Wachowskis, that make look and feel like a full expansion of the movie.

“The Warriors” (1979)
Gangs from all over New York attend a giant meet-up where Cyrus, one of the gang’s leaders, proposes that together they outnumber police and could take over the city. When he’s assassinated, the innocent Warriors are blamed, resulting in a night of brawling as the gang fights its way back to its home on Coney Island.

“The Warriors” (2005)
“Grand Theft Auto” developer Rockstar Games created a game based on the 1979 cult classic “The Warriors,” and it’s notable for its fidelity to the original movie. It brings back the original cast to voice their roles again as the Warriors fight their way across New York, and expands backstory of each of the gang’s members.

“Jaws: The Revenge” (1989)
By the time the “Jaws” franchise got to its fourth film, the frightening great white shark was somehow specifically targeting the family of its one-time nemesis, Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). Once you’ve got a monster shark going after literal, premeditated revenge, where do you go from there?

“Jaws Unleashed” (2006)
In “Jaws Unleashed,” you don’t play as the poor residents of Amity, New York, as they fight to get their beach back — you play the shark, bent on eating a variety of corporate folks as they try to set up an oil refinery near the island. Not a great game, but a funny take on the killer shark idea generally.

“Hard Boiled” (1992)
Chow Yun-Fat starred in director John Woo‘s final Hong Kong movie, “Hard Boiled.” The story follows hard-drinking gun-slinging Inspector “Tequila” Yuen as he battles Hong Kong gangsters, and while rumors of a sequel bounced around Hollywood about a decade ago, a film follow-up never materialized.

“Stranglehold” (2007)
John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat teamed up again for “Stranglehold,” the official sequel to “Hard Boiled.” It attempts to translate Woo’s “gun fu” or “bullet ballet” aesthetic from his movies into a video game format. With another sequel to “Hard Boiled” apparently never materializing despite some rumors around 2009, “Strangehold” remains the only official continuation of the film’s story.

“Wanted” (2008)
Based loosely on the comic of the same name, “Wanted” sees white collar office drone Wesley (James McAvoy) suddenly finding out that he’s from a long line of super-killers. Recruited by Fox (Angelina Jolie), he’s brought into the fold of assassins who try to control the flow of human history.

“Wanted: Weapons of Fate” (2009)
The James McAvoy-Angelina Jolie action movie “Wanted” never got a film sequel, but the story was continued in video game form a year after the movie’s release. Jimmi Simpson of “Westworld” fame provided the voice for McAvoy’s character Wesley, with the game bringing more assassins from around the world for him to battle while it fills out the backstory of his father from the movie.

“From Dusk Till Dawn” (1996)
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez’s movie “From Dusk Till Dawn” starts out as a crime film before taking a hard left turn to become a gory vampire flick. It’s become something of a cult classic, spawning a pair of movie sequels and even a series.

“From Dusk Till Dawn” (2001)
Before the film continuations of “From Dusk Till Dawn” was a video game that directly followed the events of the 1996 film. Although it doesn’t employ the likeness or voice of George Clooney, it does follow his character Seth Gecko as he fights off a hoard of vengeance-seeking vampires, this time on a tanker ship for some reason.

“Scarface” (1983)
“Scarface” chronicles the rise of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from street thug to cocaine kingpin. He’s also incredibly paranoid and violent, gunning down friends and family members when he perceives them as turning on him. All of it catches up to Tony in the end, when a kill squad sent by rivals takes Tony down in his mansion.

“Scarface: The World is Yours” (2006)
What if Tony Montana survived the climactic, cocaine-fueled battle in his mansion at the end of 1983’s “Scarface”? That’s where the 2006 video game comes in. The game features Pacino’s likeness for Tony but not his voice — the actor believed his voice had changed too much over the years, so he personally selected Andre Sogliuzzo to take over the role. Other original cast members, including Robert Loggia and Steven Bauer, voiced new characters in the game.

“Back to the Future” (1985)
The original “Back to the Future” trilogy wraps up a pretty cogent story of time travel shenanigans. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) manages to get himself stuck in, and then freed from, 1985, save his son from jail in the future, and rescue Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from certain doom in the Old West. It’s a trilogy that doesn’t really need a sequel, but then again, everyone loves Marty and Doc.

“Back to the Future: The Game” (2010)
Before it made a name for itself with its phenomenal adaptation of “The Walking Dead” comic series, developer Telltale Games continued the story of “Back to the Future” beyond “Part 3.” The video game finds Marty traveling all through Hill Valley’s history, interacting with a young Doc Brown and accidentally altering the course of time to make a totalitarian version of 1985. “Back to the Future” writer Bob Gale helped with the story, but it’s ultimately too messy to make as strong an impression as the films.

“Jurassic Park” (1993)
The classic Steven Spielberg thriller about a corporation, InGen, cloning dinosaurs to create a theme park is a pretty tight story, and its sequels actually take place on a completely different island — the one where InGen had its dino clone factory. The movies don’t revisit the original island until “Jurassic World.”

“Jurassic Park: The Game” (2011)
Telltale took on another movie sequel in video game form with “Jurassic Park: The Game,” a parallel story that takes place at the same time as the original movie. The game follows a minor character from the film, veterinarian Gerry Harding, and the contacts Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) was supposed to give his stolen dinosaur embryos. This sequel is mostly a chance to revisit the 1993 film from a different perspective — and watch dinosaurs eat a few people.

“Aliens” (1986)
James Cameron sequeled Ridley Scott’s “Alien,” jumping 57 years into the future. Instead of a small crew encountering the aliens, a whole colony is taken down and Ripley accompanies a group of marines to the planet to find out what happened. Most of the marines are killed, and fans were famously disappointed when survivors Newt (Carrie Henn) and Hicks (Michael Biehn) were killed off-screen in “Alien 3.”

“Aliens: Colonial Marines” (2013)
Like “Alien: Isolation,” “Aliens: Colonial Marines” adds more story between the existing “Alien” films. The game focuses on the marine rescue team that would have come to save the characters from the film. Of course, the marines find more aliens, plus human bad guys from the Weyland-Yutani corporation, just to make exceedingly sure the game completely misses the point the movie was making. But it does ret-con “Alien 3” to save Hicks from his untimely off-screen death, so it’s not all bad.

]]>
https://www.thewrap.com/video-games-continued-movies-photos/feed/ 0 Video games based on movies have a long history of being terrible. But there are a few licensed games that don't just ride the coattails of successful films, they actually expand and add to them. Here are 12 video games that picked up the torches for stories started on film.

]]>
Video games based on movies have a long history of being terrible. But there are a few licensed games that don't just ride the coattails of successful films, they actually expand and add to them. Here are 12 video games that picked up the torches for stories started on film.

]]>
"The Thing" (1982)
John Carpenter's 1982 horror movie finds a group of scientists trapped in an Antarctic research facility with an alien threat that takes over and imitates them. The film ends with awesome ambiguity: MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Childs (Keith David) staring each other down, neither sure if the other is actually a horrific alien in disguise. "The Thing" got a 2011 prequel, but never a film sequel.

]]>
"The Thing" (1982)
John Carpenter's 1982 horror movie finds a group of scientists trapped in an Antarctic research facility with an alien threat that takes over and imitates them. The film ends with awesome ambiguity: MacReady (Kurt Russell) and Childs (Keith David) staring each other down, neither sure if the other is actually a horrific alien in disguise. "The Thing" got a 2011 prequel, but never a film sequel.

]]>
"The Thing" (2002)
It was a video game that answered the Childs and MacReady question when soldiers appear at the camp to rescue the team. They find Childs frozen but apparently human, and then plenty more Thing monsters to fight (MacReady actually comes to the rescue at the end). The game’s story wasn’t as inspired as the film’s, but it did manage to introduce a system that made characters distrustful of each other - and of the player - forcing you to constantly wonder if your companions were really monsters waiting to pounce.

]]>
"The Thing" (2002)
It was a video game that answered the Childs and MacReady question when soldiers appear at the camp to rescue the team. They find Childs frozen but apparently human, and then plenty more Thing monsters to fight (MacReady actually comes to the rescue at the end). The game’s story wasn’t as inspired as the film’s, but it did manage to introduce a system that made characters distrustful of each other - and of the player - forcing you to constantly wonder if your companions were really monsters waiting to pounce.

]]>
"Alien" (1979)
James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's classic "Alien" puts 57 years between the two movies. The original film saw a group of what were, essentially, space truckers accidentally picking up a deadly organism after investigating a distress call. At the end of the movie, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the lone survivor, goes to sleep hoping someone will pick her up.

]]>
"Alien" (1979)
James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's classic "Alien" puts 57 years between the two movies. The original film saw a group of what were, essentially, space truckers accidentally picking up a deadly organism after investigating a distress call. At the end of the movie, Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver), the lone survivor, goes to sleep hoping someone will pick her up.

]]>
"Alien: Isolation" (2014)
"Alien: Isolation" takes place between the first two "Alien" films, jumping 15 years ahead to tell the story of Ripley's daughter Amanda. She hunts for evidence of what happened to her mother and her crew, but the search for the Nostromo leads unlucky salvagers to accidentally bring the original alien back to a space station full of people. Amanda discovers the creatures haunted both Ripley women, as she fights to survive.

]]>
"Alien: Isolation" (2014)
"Alien: Isolation" takes place between the first two "Alien" films, jumping 15 years ahead to tell the story of Ripley's daughter Amanda. She hunts for evidence of what happened to her mother and her crew, but the search for the Nostromo leads unlucky salvagers to accidentally bring the original alien back to a space station full of people. Amanda discovers the creatures haunted both Ripley women, as she fights to survive.

]]>
"Ghostbusters" (1984)
Before there was the all-women reboot of "Ghostbusters," fans hoped for a sequel to the original and its sequel, 1989's "Ghostbusters II." Rumors floated around of a "Ghostbusters III" for years before Harold Ramis' death in 2014. A third film in the original continuity was not to be, but that doesn't mean there was never an attempt.

]]>
"Ghostbusters" (1984)
Before there was the all-women reboot of "Ghostbusters," fans hoped for a sequel to the original and its sequel, 1989's "Ghostbusters II." Rumors floated around of a "Ghostbusters III" for years before Harold Ramis' death in 2014. A third film in the original continuity was not to be, but that doesn't mean there was never an attempt.

]]>
"Ghostbusters: The Video Game" (2009)
The closest thing to the long-awaited "Ghostbusters III" is a video game. Most of the original cast returned to their roles, and Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd helped with the story and script. Players joined the team as a "rookie" fifth ghostbuster, revisiting locations from the movies and exploring a story that continues the first two films.

]]>
"Ghostbusters: The Video Game" (2009)
The closest thing to the long-awaited "Ghostbusters III" is a video game. Most of the original cast returned to their roles, and Harold Ramis and Dan Aykroyd helped with the story and script. Players joined the team as a "rookie" fifth ghostbuster, revisiting locations from the movies and exploring a story that continues the first two films.

]]>
"The Chronicles of Riddick" (2004)
Vin Diesel turned his character, Richard B. Riddick, from director David Twohy's sci-fi horror film "Pitch Black" into a franchise with "Chronicles of Riddick." The murderer-turned-anti-hero got some intricate backstory, as he battled a death-worshiping, planet-invading space cult.

]]>
"The Chronicles of Riddick" (2004)
Vin Diesel turned his character, Richard B. Riddick, from director David Twohy's sci-fi horror film "Pitch Black" into a franchise with "Chronicles of Riddick." The murderer-turned-anti-hero got some intricate backstory, as he battled a death-worshiping, planet-invading space cult.

]]>
"The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay" (2004)
Vin Diesel worked closely with developer Starbreeze on "Escape from Butcher Bay," a prequel to "Pitch Black." Diesel and Twohy worked on the story for the game, which fills out Riddick's backstory with the prison break discussed in "Pitch Black."

]]>
"The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay" (2004)
Vin Diesel worked closely with developer Starbreeze on "Escape from Butcher Bay," a prequel to "Pitch Black." Diesel and Twohy worked on the story for the game, which fills out Riddick's backstory with the prison break discussed in "Pitch Black."

]]>
"The Matrix Reloaded" (2003)
When the Wachowskis prepared their two sequel movies to 1999's "The Matrix," they created an experience that included several media. "The Animatrix" was a series of short films that filled out the story of the world, for instance. The movie also left some things untold with side characters Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong) that could be filled in with the tie-in video game "Enter the Matrix."

]]>
"The Matrix Reloaded" (2003)
When the Wachowskis prepared their two sequel movies to 1999's "The Matrix," they created an experience that included several media. "The Animatrix" was a series of short films that filled out the story of the world, for instance. The movie also left some things untold with side characters Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Ghost (Anthony Wong) that could be filled in with the tie-in video game "Enter the Matrix."

]]>
"Enter the Matrix" (2003)
Players took part in the story of "The Matrix Reloaded" by taking on the roles of either Niobe or Ghost. "Enter the Matrix" is full of live-action scenes with the actors, directed by the Wachowskis, that look and feel like a full expansion of the movie.

]]>
"Enter the Matrix" (2003)
Players took part in the story of "The Matrix Reloaded" by taking on the roles of either Niobe or Ghost. "Enter the Matrix" is full of live-action scenes with the actors, directed by the Wachowskis, that look and feel like a full expansion of the movie.

]]>
"The Warriors" (1979)
Gangs from all over New York attend a giant meet-up where Cyrus, one of the gang's leaders, proposes that together they outnumber police and could take over the city. When he's assassinated, the innocent Warriors are blamed, resulting in a night of brawling as the gang fights its way back to its home on Coney Island.

]]>
"The Warriors" (1979)
Gangs from all over New York attend a giant meet-up where Cyrus, one of the gang's leaders, proposes that together they outnumber police and could take over the city. When he's assassinated, the innocent Warriors are blamed, resulting in a night of brawling as the gang fights its way back to its home on Coney Island.

]]>
"The Warriors" (2005)
"Grand Theft Auto" developer Rockstar Games created a game based on the 1979 cult classic "The Warriors," and it's notable for its fidelity to the original movie. It brings back the original cast to voice their roles again as the Warriors fight their way across New York, and expands backstory of each of the gang's members.

]]>
"The Warriors" (2005)
"Grand Theft Auto" developer Rockstar Games created a game based on the 1979 cult classic "The Warriors," and it's notable for its fidelity to the original movie. It brings back the original cast to voice their roles again as the Warriors fight their way across New York, and expands backstory of each of the gang's members.

]]>
"Jaws: The Revenge" (1989)
By the time the "Jaws" franchise got to its fourth film, the frightening great white shark was somehow specifically targeting the family of its one-time nemesis, Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). Once you've got a monster shark going after literal, premeditated revenge, where do you go from there?

]]>
"Jaws: The Revenge" (1989)
By the time the "Jaws" franchise got to its fourth film, the frightening great white shark was somehow specifically targeting the family of its one-time nemesis, Chief Brody (Roy Scheider). Once you've got a monster shark going after literal, premeditated revenge, where do you go from there?

]]>
"Jaws Unleashed" (2006)
In "Jaws Unleashed," you don't play as the poor residents of Amity, New York, as they fight to get their beach back -- you play the shark, bent on eating a variety of corporate folks as they try to set up an oil refinery near the island. Not a great game, but a funny take on the killer shark idea.

]]>
"Jaws Unleashed" (2006)
In "Jaws Unleashed," you don't play as the poor residents of Amity, New York, as they fight to get their beach back -- you play the shark, bent on eating a variety of corporate folks as they try to set up an oil refinery near the island. Not a great game, but a funny take on the killer shark idea.

]]>
"Hard Boiled" (1992)
Chow Yun-Fat starred in director John Woo's final Hong Kong movie, "Hard Boiled." The story follows hard-drinking, gun-slinging Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, as he battles Hong Kong gangsters. While rumors of a sequel bounced around Hollywood about a decade ago, a film follow-up never materialized. 

]]>
"Hard Boiled" (1992)
Chow Yun-Fat starred in director John Woo's final Hong Kong movie, "Hard Boiled." The story follows hard-drinking, gun-slinging Inspector "Tequila" Yuen, as he battles Hong Kong gangsters. While rumors of a sequel bounced around Hollywood about a decade ago, a film follow-up never materialized. 

]]>
"Stranglehold" (2007)
John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat teamed up again for "Stranglehold," the official sequel to "Hard Boiled." It attempts to translate Woo's "gun fu" or "bullet ballet" aesthetic from his movies into a video game format. With another sequel to "Hard Boiled" apparently never materializing despite some rumors around 2009, "Strangehold" remains the only official continuation of the film's story.

]]>
"Stranglehold" (2007)
John Woo and Chow Yun-Fat teamed up again for "Stranglehold," the official sequel to "Hard Boiled." It attempts to translate Woo's "gun fu" or "bullet ballet" aesthetic from his movies into a video game format. With another sequel to "Hard Boiled" apparently never materializing despite some rumors around 2009, "Strangehold" remains the only official continuation of the film's story.

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"Wanted" (2008)
Based loosely on the comic of the same name, "Wanted" sees white collar office drone Wesley (James McAvoy) suddenly finding out that he's from a long line of super-killers. Recruited by Fox (Angelina Jolie), he's brought into the fold of assassins who try to control the flow of human history.

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"Wanted" (2008)
Based loosely on the comic of the same name, "Wanted" sees white collar office drone Wesley (James McAvoy) suddenly finding out that he's from a long line of super-killers. Recruited by Fox (Angelina Jolie), he's brought into the fold of assassins who try to control the flow of human history.

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"Wanted: Weapons of Fate" (2009)
"Wanted" never got a film sequel, but the story was continued in video game form a year after the movie's release. Jimmi Simpson of "Westworld" fame provided the voice for McAvoy's character Wesley, with the game bringing more assassins from around the world for him to battle, while it fills out the backstory of his father from the movie.

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"Wanted: Weapons of Fate" (2009)
"Wanted" never got a film sequel, but the story was continued in video game form a year after the movie's release. Jimmi Simpson of "Westworld" fame provided the voice for McAvoy's character Wesley, with the game bringing more assassins from around the world for him to battle, while it fills out the backstory of his father from the movie.

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"From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996)
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's movie "From Dusk Till Dawn" starts out as a crime film before taking a hard left turn to become a gory vampire flick. It's become something of a cult classic, spawning a pair of movie sequels and even a series.

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"From Dusk Till Dawn" (1996)
Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's movie "From Dusk Till Dawn" starts out as a crime film before taking a hard left turn to become a gory vampire flick. It's become something of a cult classic, spawning a pair of movie sequels and even a series.

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"From Dusk Till Dawn" (2001)
Before the film, continuations of "From Dusk Till Dawn" was a video game that directly followed the events of the 1996 film. Although it doesn't employ the likeness or voice of George Clooney, it does follow his character Seth Gecko, as he fights off a hoard of vengeance-seeking vampires, this time on a tanker ship for some reason.

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"From Dusk Till Dawn" (2001)
Before the film, continuations of "From Dusk Till Dawn" was a video game that directly followed the events of the 1996 film. Although it doesn't employ the likeness or voice of George Clooney, it does follow his character Seth Gecko, as he fights off a hoard of vengeance-seeking vampires, this time on a tanker ship for some reason.

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"Scarface" (1983)
"Scarface" chronicles the rise of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from street thug to cocaine kingpin. He's also incredibly paranoid and violent, gunning down friends and family members when he perceives them as turning on him. All of it catches up to Tony in the end, when a kill squad sent by rivals takes Tony down in his mansion.

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"Scarface" (1983)
"Scarface" chronicles the rise of Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Al Pacino) from street thug to cocaine kingpin. He's also incredibly paranoid and violent, gunning down friends and family members when he perceives them as turning on him. All of it catches up to Tony in the end, when a kill squad sent by rivals takes Tony down in his mansion.

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"Scarface: The World is Yours" (2006)
What if Tony Montana survived the climactic, cocaine-fueled battle in his mansion at the end of 1983's "Scarface"? That's where the 2006 video game comes in. The game features Pacino's likeness for Tony but not his voice -- the actor believed his voice had changed too much over the years, so he personally selected Andre Sogliuzzo to take over the role. Other original cast members, including Robert Loggia and Steven Bauer, voiced new characters in the game.

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"Scarface: The World is Yours" (2006)
What if Tony Montana survived the climactic, cocaine-fueled battle in his mansion at the end of 1983's "Scarface"? That's where the 2006 video game comes in. The game features Pacino's likeness for Tony but not his voice -- the actor believed his voice had changed too much over the years, so he personally selected Andre Sogliuzzo to take over the role. Other original cast members, including Robert Loggia and Steven Bauer, voiced new characters in the game.

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"Back to the Future" (1985)
The original "Back to the Future" trilogy wraps up a pretty cogent story of time travel shenanigans. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) manages to get himself stuck in, and then freed from, 1985, save his son from jail in the future, and rescue Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from certain doom in the Old West. It's a trilogy that doesn't really need a sequel, but then again, everyone loves Marty and Doc.

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"Back to the Future" (1985)
The original "Back to the Future" trilogy wraps up a pretty cogent story of time travel shenanigans. Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) manages to get himself stuck in, and then freed from, 1985, save his son from jail in the future, and rescue Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) from certain doom in the Old West. It's a trilogy that doesn't really need a sequel, but then again, everyone loves Marty and Doc.

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"Back to the Future: The Game" (2010)
Before it made a name for itself with its phenomenal adaptation of "The Walking Dead" comic series, developer Telltale Games continued the story of "Back to the Future" beyond "Part 3." The video game finds Marty traveling all through Hill Valley's history, interacting with a young Doc Brown and accidentally altering the course of time to make a totalitarian version of 1985. "Back to the Future" writer Bob Gale helped with the story, but it's ultimately too messy to make as strong an impression as the films.

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"Back to the Future: The Game" (2010)
Before it made a name for itself with its phenomenal adaptation of "The Walking Dead" comic series, developer Telltale Games continued the story of "Back to the Future" beyond "Part 3." The video game finds Marty traveling all through Hill Valley's history, interacting with a young Doc Brown and accidentally altering the course of time to make a totalitarian version of 1985. "Back to the Future" writer Bob Gale helped with the story, but it's ultimately too messy to make as strong an impression as the films.

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"Jurassic Park" (1993)
The classic Steven Spielberg thriller about a corporation, InGen, cloning dinosaurs to create a theme park is a pretty tight story, and its sequels actually take place on a completely different island -- the one where InGen had its dino clone factory. The movies don't revisit the original island until "Jurassic World."

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"Jurassic Park" (1993)
The classic Steven Spielberg thriller about a corporation, InGen, cloning dinosaurs to create a theme park is a pretty tight story, and its sequels actually take place on a completely different island -- the one where InGen had its dino clone factory. The movies don't revisit the original island until "Jurassic World."

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"Jurassic Park: The Game" (2011)
Telltale took on another movie sequel in video game form with "Jurassic Park: The Game," a parallel story that takes place at the same time as the original movie. The game follows a minor character from the film, veterinarian Gerry Harding, and the contacts Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) was supposed to give his stolen dinosaur embryos. This sequel is mostly a chance to revisit the 1993 film from a different perspective -- and watch dinosaurs eat a few people.

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"Jurassic Park: The Game" (2011)
Telltale took on another movie sequel in video game form with "Jurassic Park: The Game," a parallel story that takes place at the same time as the original movie. The game follows a minor character from the film, veterinarian Gerry Harding, and the contacts Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) was supposed to give his stolen dinosaur embryos. This sequel is mostly a chance to revisit the 1993 film from a different perspective -- and watch dinosaurs eat a few people.

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"Aliens" (1986)
In James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's "Alien," instead of a small crew encountering the aliens, a whole colony is taken down, and Ripley accompanies a group of marines to the planet to find out what happened. Most of the marines are killed, and fans were famously disappointed when survivors Newt (Carrie Henn) and Hicks (Michael Biehn) were killed off-screen in "Alien 3."

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"Aliens" (1986)
In James Cameron's sequel to Ridley Scott's "Alien," instead of a small crew encountering the aliens, a whole colony is taken down, and Ripley accompanies a group of marines to the planet to find out what happened. Most of the marines are killed, and fans were famously disappointed when survivors Newt (Carrie Henn) and Hicks (Michael Biehn) were killed off-screen in "Alien 3."

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"Aliens: Colonial Marines" (2013)
Like "Alien: Isolation," "Aliens: Colonial Marines" adds more story between the existing "Alien" films. The game focuses on the marine rescue team that would have come to save the characters from the film. Of course, the marines find more aliens, plus human bad guys from the Weyland-Yutani corporation, just to make exceedingly sure the game completely misses the point the movie was making. But it does retcon "Alien 3" to save Hicks from his untimely off-screen death, so it's not all bad.

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"Aliens: Colonial Marines" (2013)
Like "Alien: Isolation," "Aliens: Colonial Marines" adds more story between the existing "Alien" films. The game focuses on the marine rescue team that would have come to save the characters from the film. Of course, the marines find more aliens, plus human bad guys from the Weyland-Yutani corporation, just to make exceedingly sure the game completely misses the point the movie was making. But it does retcon "Alien 3" to save Hicks from his untimely off-screen death, so it's not all bad.

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