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Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV is an anime prequel series to the game and the first episode is available now

Square Enix’s epic Final Fantasy XV “Uncovered” event took place a few hours ago, and we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so let’s get right to it…

Final Fantasy XV is one of the biggest games that Square Enix has ever produced, and the publisher plans to create an entire connected universe to go along with it. The first of these side projects is Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV, a five-episode anime series that will serve as a prequel to the game. The first episode is available on YouTube now, and embedded above, and the remaining four episodes will be released throughout the Spring and Summer.

Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV is a new anime series that consists of five standalone episodes that delve into the extraordinary friendships between crown prince Noctis and his three comrades, setting the stage for the adventure players will set out upon in the action-packed RPG.

The Announcement Trailer for Brotherhood Final Fantasy XV can be found after the break, but to get the whole story, you’ll need to see the exclusive sixth episode, which will only be available in Final Fantasy XV’s “Ultimate Collector’s Edition.” (more…)

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Daisy Ridley is “in talks” to play Lara Croft in rebooted Tomb Raider film franchise

tombraiderrebootartAngelina Jolie’s portrayal of famed video game explorer Lara Croft is iconic. But, if you can believe it, almost a generation has gone by since the first Tomb Raider film and a reboot of the film franchise has been in the works since 2011. While there hasn’t been much done in the way of pre-production (there’s no script yet), Daisy Ridley told The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday at the Empire Awards that she has been (to use Hollywood lingo) “in talks” to potentially headline the new movie. That’s right, Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens might be jumping into another popular franchise. Not bad for an actor who until recently was relatively unknown.

Her costar in The Force Awakens, John Boyega (maybe better known as rogue Stormtrooper Finn), even endorsed the idea of Ridley portraying Lara Croft after allegedly playing the most recent Tomb Raider game, 2015’s Rise of the Tomb Raider, and immediately envisioning her in the role. “She should be [Lara Croft],” he said Sunday.

While this is pretty cool news, keep in mind it’s all still up in the air. Ridley stressed she had not been offered the role, so fans of hers should keep their fingers crossed but maybe not hold their collective breath just yet. Things in Hollywood do have a way of falling apart even when there are more concrete plans on the horizon. I’m still holding out for a Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 4. (Not really, but you know. It’s one of the great tragedies of recent cinema, is it not? I ask you!).

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The top Game Design programs in 2016 are at University of Utah, University of Central Florida

universityofutah-logoWith the Game Developers Conference in full swing, the Princeton Review recently published their annual evaluation of Game Design programs for 2016. More than 150 schools were examined by the group, which awarded top honors to the University of Utah (undergraduate) and the University of Central Florida (graduate).

“For students aspiring to work in game design, the 58 schools that made one or both of our 2016 lists offer extraordinary opportunities to learn and to hone one’s talents for a successful career in this burgeoning field,” said Robert Franek, The Princeton Review’s Senior Vice President/Publisher. “The faculties at these schools are outstanding. Their facilities are awesome. And their alumni include legions of the industry’s most prominent game designers, developers, artists, and entrepreneurs.”

In addition to earning the top spot on the undergraduate list, the University of Utah also qualified as the third-best graduate program for Game Design this year. A number of other schools appeared in the top ten on both lists, including the University of Southern California, the Rochester Institute of Technology, Michigan State University, Drexel University, and New York University.

The Princeton Review’s complete ranking can be found after the break. And more information about their survey methodology and how to apply to each of these programs can be found at their website. (more…)

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Hardcore Henry’s second trailer is even more video game-y

I still don’t know what to make of Hardcore Henry, the Sharlto Copley-starring action movie that uses a first-person perspective for its entire runtime. But I do know that it’ll be released on April 8 and that the second trailer gives off an even stronger “VIDEO GAMES!” vibe than the first one.

Watch as Henry mutely… parkours through a construction site… punches out several nameless mooks… cinematically equips a number of different weapons… drops a grenade into a moving vehicle… and rides a motorcycle into a van while spraying machine gun fire in every direction.

I… I got nothing else to say.

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Hardcore Henry is a first-person action film that was probably inspired by video games

I think we can all agree the best part of Doom‘s 2005 film adaptation was the short first-person scene towards the end. Don’t believe me? By all means, watch it again.

This sequence lasts just a few minutes, but could a feature-length film be shot entirely in a first-person perspective? First-time director Ilya Naishuller accepted that challenge in 2014, ultimately raising over $250,000 as part of a successful Indiegogo campaign, and premiering his completed film to rapturous applause at last year’s Toronoto International Film Festvial. Over the weekend, distributor STX Entertainment unveiled a new theatrical trailer and announced that Hardcore Henry will open in theaters on April 8.

Following in the proud tradition of Link, Samus Aran, and Doomguy, the Hardcore Henry of the title is completely mute. Thankfully, his mysterious sidekick, Jimmy (played by Sharlto Copley), is always quick with a quip. And it just gets crazier from there:

You remember nothing. Mainly because you’ve just been brought back from the dead by your wife (Haley Bennett). She tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go get her back. Who’s got her? His name’s Akan (Danila Kozlovsky); he’s a powerful warlord with an army of mercenaries, and a plan for world domination. You’re also in the unfamiliar city of Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. Everyone except for a mysterious British fellow called Jimmy (Sharlto Copley). He may be on your side, but you aren’t sure. If you can survive the insanity, and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity. Good luck, Henry. You’re likely going to need it…

A robotic resurrection… a hero with amnesia… a kidnapped wife… … Hardcore Henry hits all the familiar story beats from some of your favorite games. It also looks ridiculously entertaining. We’ll find out for sure when it opens on April 8.

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TitanFall 2 is very likely getting “a dedicated single-player campaign”

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TitanFall 2 still hasn’t received its official unveiling yet, but Lead Writer Jesse Stern shared some more details about the game with Forbes this past weekend.

First, Stern (or someone connected to Respawn) told Forbes that TitanFall 2 will have “a dedicated single-player campaign” (the original TitanFall was multiplayer-only) and then he delved a bit deeper into the story of “global colonial warfare” that Respawn wants to tell:

“So we are doing our best to deliver a vision of grand global colonial warfare retelling the story of the American Revolution and the American Civil War in space. We imagined the next generation of immigrants moving out to the new frontier of an inhabitable planet. Rather than taking a traditional sci-fi approach to that we wanted to look at how that would happen practically, what the ships would look like and with machines that were designed for excavation and construction, demolition and working the land, and what happens when they are turned into instruments of war.”

In addition to his work on the game, Stern also admitted he’s working with Lionsgate to turn the TitanFall franchise into a television series. “We are trying to find a way to tell a story in the worlds we want to be in and produce in the TV model,” Respawn’s CEO, Vince Zampella, added. Any show with skyscraper-sized mechs duking it out on the battlefield will be very expensive to produce, so it might be a while before we see it.

But if all goes well, EA expects to release TitanFall 2 for the PC, PS4, and Xbox One later this year or sometime in early 2017.

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Warp Zoned’s 2015 Golden Pixel Awards: Honoring Our Favorite Games From Last Year

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The conventional wisdom will tell you that 2015 was a down year for games and that all the good stuff got pushed back to 2016. But how can you trust the conventional wisdom when last year featured a ridiculously entertaining string of good games starring kid squids, gothic hunters, glitchy sci-fi heroes, and the lone survivor of a nuclear war. And all that’s before you dip into the millions of user-created levels from Super Mario Maker.

Yup, we think 2015 was a pretty great year for games, especially the ones that took home some hardware during our annual Golden Pixel Awards… (more…)

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Brett Ratner is making a movie about Tetris creator Alexey Pajitnov’s life

metatop100-tetrisAlexey Pajitnov’s creation of Tetris is going to get the Social Network treatment courtesy of Brett Ratner’s RatPac Entertainment.

According to Tracking Board, the film will portray Pajitnov’s early days at the Soviet Academy of Sciences and his programming work with Dmitry Pavlovsky and Vadim Gerasimov. The film will also focus on the court case that eventually awarded a publishing license for the game to Nintendo. The Tracking Board article even hints at the possibility of some international intrigue as the court case is said to have “threatened to destabilize relationships between governments.”

RatPac Entertainment is currently seeking a screenwriter for the film.

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