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Friday the 13th: The Game – How to Easily Find a Match on Xbox One

Posted by Steve Barton on May 27, 2017

Yesterday the long anticipated Friday the 13th: The Game launched on consoles, and don’t you know Jason’s first victim was the game’s servers. They were… quite literally… bombarded, nuked, and kaput.

I, like many of you, spent quite a while hitting “Quick Play” over and over again to no avail… but then… a solution became apparent.

While I don’t know what the case is for PS4, I can tell you that on Xbox One all you have to do to get a game is go to the Friday the 13th game hub, tab over to “Looking for Groups,” and BAM! There’s over 100 sessions just waiting for you to join!

Even easier? Just become a member of the “Dread Central Horror Community” on Xbox One under Groups for folks looking for a match ASAP! See you online!

Believe me… once in, the game is NOTHING SHORT OF AWESOME, and this temporary work-around until the servers are all patched up and ready to go really works!

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New Fear the Walking Dead Photos Show Our Survivors in Peril

Posted by Debi Moore on May 27, 2017

“Fear the Walking Dead” Season 3 kicks off a week from tomorrow so AMC is pulling out all the stops to make sure you tune in. On tap today are several new photos that give us a good idea of the troubles our survivors are about to face and also acquaint us with some of the new cast members.

“Fear” is kicking off on Sunday, June 4th, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes. The first half of the season will consist of eight episodes airing over six weeks. In addition to the two-episode season premiere, the mid-season finale will also consist of a double-dose of episodes on Sunday, July 9.

The series is executive produced by showrunner Dave Erickson, Robert Kirkman, Gale Anne Hurd, Greg Nicotero, and David Alpert and stars Kim Dickens as Madison, Cliff Curtis as Travis, Frank Dillane as Nick, Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia, Mercedes Mason as Ofelia, Colman Domingo as Strand, and Danay Garcia as Luciana.

Joining the cast as series regulars for Season 3 are Dayton Callie (“Sons of Anarchy,” “Deadwood”), Daniel Sharman (“The Originals,” “Teen Wolf”), and Sam Underwood (“The Following”), who will play the Otto family, founders of a survivalist organization who prepared for the fall of democracy but didn’t anticipate the rise of the dead, as well as Lisandra Tena (“Chicago P.D.”) as Lola Guerrero.

“Fear the Walking Dead” Season 3 Synopsis:
As “Fear the Walking Dead” returns for Season 3, our families will be brought together in the vibrant and violent ecotone of the U.S.-Mexico Border. International lines done away with following the world’s end, our characters must attempt to rebuild not only society, but family as well.

Madison (Kim Dickens) has reconnected with Travis (Cliff Curtis), her apocalyptic partner, but Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey) has been fractured by her murder of Andres. Madison’s son mere miles from his mother, Nick’s (Frank Dillane) first action as a leader saw Luciana (Danay Garcia) ambushed by an American militia group — the couple escaped death, but Nick no longer feels immortal. Recovering both emotionally and physically, Strand (Colman Domingo) has his sights set on harnessing the new world’s currency, and Ofelia’s (Mercedes Mason) captivity will test her ability to survive and see if she can muster the savagery of her father.

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The Walking Dead: A New Frontier Comes Full Circle When Episode 4 Launches on May 30

Posted by David Gelmini on May 27, 2017

The Walking Dead: A New Frontier has finally come full circle, with the season finale launching on May 30th. Have you been keeping up with the game? If so, read on for the details and official trailer.

Synopsis:
When family is all you have left… how far will you go to protect it?

After society was ripped apart by undead hands, pockets of civilization emerged from the chaos. But at what cost? Can the living be trusted on this new frontier? Telltale’s latest episodic adventure in the world of The Walking Dead is now available on all your favorite devices.

Buy the game: https://telltale.com/store/the-walking-dead-a-new-frontier/
Learn more: https://telltale.com/series/the-walking-dead-a-new-frontier/

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More Preacher Season 2 Images Tease the Mayhem to Come

Posted by Debi Moore on May 27, 2017

“Preacher” is about to hit the road for Season 2, which should make fans of the comic a bit happier than they were during Season 1 since we’re now getting to the meat of the story.  To make sure you’re keeping the show’s June 25th return date in mind, AMC has released another batch of stills, which you can check out right here.

The below images are from both Episode 2.01, “On the Road,” and Episode 2.02 (TBA).

About “Preacher” Season 2:
The critically-acclaimed, supernatural series “Preacher” returns with a two-night event, beginning with the Season 2 premiere on Sunday, June 25th, at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT, followed by the second episode on Monday, June 26th, at 9:00 p.m. ET/PT, in the series’ regular time slot.

“Preacher” Season 2 stars Dominic Cooper, Ruth Negga, Joseph Gilgun, Ian Coletti, Graham McTavish, and new additions Noah Taylor (“Peaky Blinders,” “Game of Thrones”), Pip Torrens (Star Wars: The Force Awakens, My Week with Marilyn), Julie Ann Emery (“Better Call Saul,” “Fargo”), Malcolm Barrett (Dear White People), Justin Prentice (“13 Reasons Why,” “Awkward”), and Ronald Guttman (“Mozart in the Jungle,” “Mad Men”).

Based on the popular cult comic book franchise of the same name, “Preacher” is an absurdly twisted and action-packed thrill ride. When Jesse Custer (Cooper), a small-town preacher with a criminal past, realizes God is absent from Heaven, Jesse sets out to find Him. Along for the ride are Tulip (Negga), Jesse’s volatile true love, and Cassidy (Gilgun), a 119-year-old Irish vampire and Jesse’s best mate. The gang ends up in New Orleans, where they must dodge local gangsters, dangerous secret agents in white suits, and the Saint of Killers, an unstoppable killer cowboy from Hell.

The Sony Pictures Television and AMC Studios co-production was developed for television by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg (Sausage Party, Neighbors 2, Superbad) and showrunner Sam Catlin (“Breaking Bad”). The series is executive produced by Catlin as well as Rogen, Goldberg, and James Weaver for Point Grey Pictures; Neal H. Moritz and Ori Marmur for Original Film; and Vivian Cannon, Jason Netter, Ken F. Levin, Michael Slovis, and the author of the Preacher graphic novel, Garth Ennis.

Preacher Episode 2.02

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Prey (2017 Video Game)

Posted by Ted Hentschke on May 26, 2017

PreyDeveloped by Arkane Studios

Published by Bethesda Softworks

Available on PC, PS4, and Xbox One

Rated M for Mature


You know, I think somewhere out there in the annals of the GameStop preorder listings, I still have $5 on “Prey 2.” The ill-fated bounty hunter space simulator would never see the light of day, falling into development hell when the IP was transferred from 3D Realms to Bethesda Softworks. I was at the Bethesda conference where the newly revived Prey was first announced, and in all honesty the reaction in the room was equal parts excitement, shock, and confusion. The original was a stellar throwback to the 80’s, with a spirit walking Native American protagonist blasting aliens with bombastic weapons and a creative take on the laws of space and gravity. The 2017 Prey looked… really serious. The trailer was all about strange shifting goo monsters and needles in the eye. Gosh, it’s almost like they took the name alone and none of the concepts from the original.

By Arkane’s own admission, that’s actually what happened with Prey. Aside from the name, the only commonality is that you play as an ethnic minority (Asian this time) and that there are in fact aliens attempting to prey on you. But I guess calling it Prey is less messy than what they really want to call it, System Shock 3. Although I hesitate to even call it that. System Shock 2 was a wonderfully diverse and inventive game, worthy of the decades of homages that have followed. While Prey follows the theme of diverse objectives, creative problem solving, and nonlinear exploration, it possesses a unique feel and flow to combat that makes it in a category all its own.

Prey

I guess they also have the gravity bending thing in common, but this time it’s actual space navigation instead of just wacky warp pads.

This is going to be a spoiler review starting now, as it’s just too hard to get into the meat of the game without revealing major plot points. You play as Morgan Yu, one of the top scientists and heads of the TranStar corporation aboard the Talos 1 space station. You quickly find out that you are dual researcher and guinea pig, stuck in a repeated loop of memory loss. As you’re completing another one of your daily cycles, a containment breach of deadly aliens known as the Typhon forces you out of your cozy little loop and into a fight for survival. From there, you are a Gordon Freeman style blank slate silent badass, shotgunning and wrenching your way through alien hordes in an attempt to save mankind.

Prey

Like any good scientist, I can fix this alien infestation with industrial equipment.

Now it all sounds kind of basic, but what makes Prey is the characters that steer the morality straight into a deep and dark grey area. There are no real “good” or “bad” guys, no clear answer as to what is right and wrong. The various characters all have compelling reasons why they think they are right, further complicated by the previous “you” weighing in at various stages of his memory loss. You soon meet January, a mechanical Operator programmed by you for the sole purpose of instructing you to destroy the whole space station. This will kill you and every person aboard, all in service of saving Earth from a Typhon infection. This is your starting point.

It’s a bold and dark way to launch a grand journey. Generally, you’ll start a game with a more hopeful objective like, “defeat the dragon lord and become the goodly king Fantasystan.” Only after you discover the Dark Acolytes or something do you get the, “just kill everyone and start over” quest. But in Prey, you start with that as the end goal. From there, you learn things that will make you question the nature of that mission. Are there people worth saving? More than that, is this station worth saving? And what about the threat to the rest of the world?

Prey

Except for this guy. Definitely not worth saving.

It’s a great way to tell a story, and I appreciate the narrative creativity of how it presents the questions. Unfortunately, it at times boils down to the same kind of “right” and “wrong” dichotomy that we come to expect from games. Helping people is good, turning them into biomatter to upgrade your psychic powers is bad. I mean don’t get me wrong, I’m not in favor of turning people into goo to make my brain lasers just that much more powerful under normal circumstances. But if my plan is to just nuke the station to save the world, isn’t it actually right to give myself that extra edge over the chittering alien hordes? I’m not advocating using babies as munitions. But if it’s me, a dozen babies, and the Lord of Death on a rocket hurtling towards earth, you better bet that I’m loading up my toddler cannon with a full clip.

I was also surprised that a few of Prey’s moral questions didn’t make more of an impact. One of the cooler ones came from the Typhon Neuromods. Now let me take a step back and explain the Neuromods. Rather than gain experience, you advance Morgan’s capabilities by installing Neuromods. For simplicity’s sake, these are skill points that you collect instead of leveling up for. The basic forms of these increase your health, weapon skills, armor, and other “human” stuff. A few hours in, you’ll unlock what amounts to the “magic” trees. These skills range from transforming into objects to lighting things on fire with your mind. These psychic powers are incredibly powerful, and augment your arsenal in devastating ways.

Prey

Can… can I just level up instead please?

Now obviously, blowing things up with psychic powers is hella cool. You’re warned however when you first discover them that these alien mods are dangerous. Not only will the system’s defenses recognize you as a threat and attack, but you run the risk of losing your humanity. So I went through the whole game without installing any of them, expecting some massive alteration to the ending. Aside from a single line praising me for my restraint, my abstinence didn’t do jack shit. Now I’m not one of those assholes expecting every minor decision to massively alter my ending, but come on. You give me a big warning that putting the alien shit in my brain has major consequences, but in the end it all ends the same anyways?

Now I wouldn’t be so salty if the game wasn’t severely lacking without the psychic powers. I was able to beat Prey without any of the cool mind explosions, but the combat leaves much to be desired. There are only 7 weapons in Prey (not counting four different kinds of grenades), only four of which deal damage. You have your wrench, a pistol, a shotgun, and a green laser that makes enemies explode when exposed long enough. You then also have an immobilizing goo gun that also creates platforms, a charging stun gun, and a toy crossbow that you use to push buttons from a distance. So ignoring the nerf gun, you really only have six weapons. Now the shotgun gets the job done, but I got really tired of using it. There’s a lot of staples missing, like some kind of assault rifle, rocket launcher, or sniper rifle. I’m not saying that every game has to follow a set arsenal, and I actually appreciate that Prey did things differently. While I applaud the uniqueness, it didn’t make up for how constrained my combat options felt.

Prey

Maybe I’m expecting too much from life, but I can only electro-zap into shotgun decapitate an alien so many times before I get bored.

I’ve heard some people complain that Prey doesn’t feel really “scary” because of the bright color palate, but that’s dumb. I’m glad for once to have a horror game that I can actually see what’s going on. The basic mimics are pretty weak, but the constant threat that any cup or chair might try to shove tentacles up your nose keeps things tense. Enemies also deal a significant amount of damage, with even the basic dudes taking you down in just a couple psychic blasts. You can get beefy enough through Neuromods to even the odds, but given my love for all things completion I invested much of my early game points into all the various “unlocking” skills. So for about 70% of the game, every encounter was a mad dash to dish out as much damage as I could before the alien electroballs turned me into a lump of squirming flesh. It’s tense, and the constantly constrained inventory and scarce ammo does ramps the engagements up to a constantly pitched fight for survival.

Prey

“Not scary”

Still, the combat limitations and general weirdness of it might turn most gamers off. I’m not about to be so insipid as to suggest that most gamers would prefer space CoD, but even I felt the hurt. It’s interesting to have to swap between a stun gun, distraction grenade, and good ol’ shotgun to take down an enemy, but when that’s every fight it gets tedious. I would have liked more variety in enemies, as even the hardest ones can be dispatched quickly when you learn their weaknesses.

If you’re a fan of open games with a hefty amount of exploration and side content, then Prey is a genuinely unique experience that should not be missed. It’s far from perfect, and for most people I’d recommend Arkane’s other game Dishonored 2 over it. But there’s something charming about Prey that will set it in my heart in a category all its own. To put it in an example, there was a point where I was supposed to fight through a bunch of enemies to get to a console and turn on some elevators in a shuttle bay. I had about a 3000 rounds for my goo gun at this point, and decided to just make my own platforms up instead of turning on the elevator. Turns out, this was a totally viable option. This is the kind of lateral thinking that Prey not only anticipates, but rewards. So if you just want to shoot aliens in space, Prey is too obtuse to deliver. If you like turning into a cup so that you can roll through a vent for a secret pathway, then welcome to Talos 1, Morgan.

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Attention Boston: Go See 47 Meters Down For Free!

Posted by Jonathan Barkan on May 26, 2017

Attention Boston readers! Or anyone in the Boston area! Or anyone willing to make the trip, I suppose… ANYWAYS! We’re teaming up with Entertainment Studios Motion Pictures to give away 50 pairs of tickets to an early screening of 47 Meters Down and all you have to do snag your pair is click RIGHT HERE. The screening is being held Monday, June 12th at the AMC Loews Boston Common at 7pm.

Directed by Johannes Roberts (The Other Side of the Door), the underwater thriller stars Mandy Moore (“This Is Us,” A Walk to Remember), Claire Holt (“The Vampire Diaries,” “The Originals”), Yani Gellman (“Pretty Little Liars,” “The Young and The Restless”), and Matthew Modine (Full Metal Jacket, The Dark Knight Rises).

47 Meters Down comes out June 16th.

Synopsis:
On the rebound after a devastating break-up, Lisa (Mandy Moore) is ready for adventure while on vacation in Mexico. Even still, she needs a little extra persuasion when her daring sister Kate (Claire Holt) suggests they go shark diving with some locals. Once underwater in a protective cage, Lisa and Kate catch a once in a lifetime, face-to-face look at majestic Great Whites. But when their worst fears are realized and the cage breaks away from their boat, they find themselves plummeting to the bottom of the seabed, too deep to radio for help without making themselves vulnerable to the savage sharks, their oxygen supplies rapidly dwindling.

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Tom Hardy Transforms into Venom in Awesome Fan Art

Posted by David Gelmini on May 26, 2017

We’ve still got a long way to go until Sony’s Venom movie hits screens on October 5, 2018, but thanks to a beautiful new piece of fan art from the Twitter account BossLogic, we now have some idea of how Tom Hardy might look as the human host for the Klyntar Symbiote.

Thanks in no small part to the success of Fox’s Deadpool, Venom will carry an R rating.

If you’re wondering how Sony came to be in possession of the Venom character despite Marvel being owned by Disney, it’s because Sony purchased the film rights to Spider-Man and related characters in 1999, before Disney purchased Marvel in 2009. Under the current agreement between the two studios, Sony will be allowed to set their Spider-Man movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe on the condition that they also allow Disney to use the Web-Slinger as a supporting character in their own films. From what we’ve come to understand so far, the Venom movie will be the first installment in a new shared universe featuring Marvel characters already owned by Sony and will not be connected to the MCU. The recently announced Silver Sable and Black Cat film will form part of this new series.

On a more sour note, it’s possible that Sony’s plans for their own Marvel universe could be met with pushback from Disney. As you are probably already aware, Disney are none too pleased that the film rights to the X-Men and the Fantastic Four are both owned by 20th Century Fox. So much so that the House of Mouse has actively been trying to damage the reputation of both superteams. There are too many examples for me to list here, but a few include editing X-Men and Fantastic Four characters out of posters and T-shirts featuring famous Marvel covers (see examples here and here), cancelling the long running Fantastic Four comic series shortly after Fox announced that they were making a new Fantastic Four movie, and minimizing X-Men and Fantastic Four merchandise and not featuring the characters in recent cartoon series and games. It’s also pretty clear that the X-Men vs. Avengers comic was clearly intended to make the mutant superteam seem weak and insignificant compared to the Earth’s Mightiest Heroes. If you want to learn more, you can read some decent articles on the subject here, here, and here.

I could be speculating, but I’m gonna assume that Disney won’t use similar tactics against characters from the Venom movie in fear of upsetting their Spider-Man deal with Sony. In any case, Venom will be directed by Ruben Fleischer.

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Awaken the Shadowman Trailer Has a Thing Against Babies

Posted by Jonathan Barkan on May 26, 2017

A trailer for Gravitas Ventures’ Awaken the Shadowman has been released, and it explains… something? Honestly, it’s not the best cut trailer as it feels very jumpy and scattered. That being said, the titular creature looks rather nice.

Personally, I’ll wait for a better trailer or for good word-of-mouth before I check this one out.

Directed by J.S. Wilson and written by Skyler Caleb and Woodrow Wilson Hancock III, Awaken the Shadowman stars James Zimbardi, Skyler Caleb, and Jean Smart.

Synopsis:
After the mysterious disappearance of their mother, estranged brothers reunite and discover an unknown supernatural force.

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Landing Lake Trailer Is a Surreal, Twisted Phantasmagoria

Posted by Jonathan Barkan on May 26, 2017

A trailer for EuroObscura’s Landing Lake has arrivedm and I can’t tell you what in the Sam Hell is going on! However, I saw some incredibly strange body horror as well as got the feeling that this film is a nightmare come to life, so there is that.

Written and directed by Cesare P. Libardi di K., Landing Lake stars Victoire Vecchierini, Emma Bown, Lee Ravitz, and Franck Assi.

Synopsis:
When a technical team is sent to repair a communication station, they quickly realize that something may be coming from the nearby lake that is affecting their minds. As they lose their inhibitions, their most primal desires take hold. It seems that only one of the team is permitted to bond with the unseen entity and so be reborn in a new body. A terrifying game of strategy ensures not to survive, but rather to die with the promise of life anew.

Landing Lake

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Exclusive: Venture Into the World of Yldiane in This Graphic Novel Excerpt

Posted by Jonathan Barkan on May 26, 2017

Agate RPG is the company that publishes Shadows of Esteren, a tabletop medieval horror RPG (among other platforms) that blends elements of “Game of Thrones” with H.P. Lovecraft’s The Call of Cthulhu. While the project lives mainly on gamers’ tables, the world that has been created has allowed the project to extend into other mediums, such as in comics, a video game, and music.

Today we’ve got an exclusive look at the upcoming 16-page graphic novel Yldiane, which shows the titular character entering a ghost town that is inhabited solely by a talking dog. Yldiane is the sister of Adeliane, who herself is the subject of a new album/tour that is currently on Kickstarter. The album is composed by François Rousselot and features the voice of Clarisse May as Adeliane.

The album will also undergo a tour with confirmed dates being June 3rd at the UK Games Expo as well as at Essen Spiel on October 27th. French and US dates are in the works for 2017/18.

From the Press Release:
Imagined and designed by Studio Agate from Paris, France, Shadows of Esteren features a medieval world with horrific and Gothic overtones in a dark, low fantasy setting. Drawing inspiration from Celtic myths, this universe has a subtle fantastic side hidden under a bleak, realistic surface. As a role-playing game, Shadows of Esteren has received more than a dozen awards for its art, production value, and cartography; earned a silver ENnie Award for Product of the Year; and has thousands of devoted players worldwide.

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