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CGMagazine
Zubi Khan

Like any successful franchise, given time, new variations or adaptations of the original are sure to follow. 1988’s anime-dystopian classic, Akira, has been on the table for a live-action reboot since at least, the early 2000s. Flashforward to 2019, and it looks like, the legendary manga turned anime feature will finally get a live-action treatment, with Thor: Ragnarok director, Taika Waititi at the helm.

The multi-faceted and undoubtedly talented, actor and director Taika Waititi, best known for his work on the last Thor film and his acting role in the movie, What We Do in the Shadows (and most recently, the TV offshoot series), is reportedly currently working on a adaptation of the Akira manga, which is slated for release in 2021.

“I always felt like it was something that could do with a unique take,” Waititi said regarding the possibility of a Akira adaption, from his 2017 interview with Screen Rant. “But, I don’t believe the world needs a remake of the anime, I think for me it would be, if there’s any real possibility for doing it, I would really just want to look at an adaptation of the books in a new way.”

1988’s Akira takes place in 2019, our current year, with the Tokyo Olympic Games arena, being a prominent set piece within the film. A live-action adaption of the Akira manga allows the potential of a wealth of cut content, which never made it into the original animated feature, to be included in the new adaptation. Additionally, due to the actual Olympics scheduled for Tokyo in 2020, Waititi has the unique opportunity in being able to draw inspiration from both the manga and the real world.

The live-action Akira manga adaption will see release on May 21, 2021.

The post Neo-Tokyo Explodes in 2021 with Live-Action Akira Adaptation appeared first on CGMagazine.

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Liam Ferguson

After massive fan backlash, the upcoming ‘Sonic the Hedgehog’ movie has been pushed back three months.

Shortly after the Blue Blur’s film trailer was released back in April, director Jeff Fowler tweeted that the production team had heard the fans’ concerns, and would be altering Sonic’s much-maligned new design. Fans with some knowledge of visual effects began to worry that this would force the film’s artists into a several-month-long crunch period, but Fowler has since announced that the studio made the smart decision to delay the movie from November 19th, 2019 to February 14th, 2020.

Taking a little more time to make Sonic just right.#novfxartistswereharmedinthemakingofthismovie pic.twitter.com/gxhu9lhU76

— Jeff Fowler (@fowltown) May 24, 2019

Sonic will be voiced by Ben Schwartz of Parks and Recreation fame, while Dr. Robotnik will be portrayed by Jim Carry. It’s tough to say if we’ll be seeing changes as early as the next trailer, but we’ll most likely get a look at Sonic’s redesign in the next six months.

The post Sonic The Hedgehog Movie Delayed To Change Sonic’s Design, Thank Goodness appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Liam Ferguson

Bioware’s 2003 classic game Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic may be getting a film adaptation.

Buzzfeed reports that Laeta Kalogridis, the writer behind ‘Shutter Island’ and the American film adaptation of ‘Alita: Battle Angel’, is writing for the project. Their sources claim that this could be the first film in a trilogy. At the Star Wars Celebration back in April, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy told MTV News that there was something in the works for KOTOR, but they didn’t know how it would end up. If this trilogy happens, it could pad out the off years of the next mainline ‘Star Wars’ film trilogy well.

Bioware has released many critically acclaimed games, and KOTOR 1 and 2 certainly aren’t the least of them. With a diverse and memorable cast and a bunch of planets to explore, KOTOR showed gamers a good time back in the day, and it continues to for those who are willing to brave the realm of older PC titles. I’ve played enough of KOTOR 1 to know how a trilogy would pan out, and I’m interested to see it happen.

No further news is available, but eyes are definitely on Knights of the Old Republic’s name for the foreseeable future.

The post A Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic Film May Be In Pre-Production appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Joel Couture

The original Layers of Fear was a masterwork of atmosphere, taking the player through a chilling haunted house that refused to obey the rules of reality. Shifting and twisting as it saw fit, the whole world would change behind your turned back, often revealing some new, sinister development as your every step carried you to its frightening conclusion. Sadly, Layers of Fear 2 is but a shadow of its terrifying predecessor.

You play an actor who is on an ocean liner. A director wished to create a film on the ship, and it seems you’ll be obliging them, even when they seem to be a disembodied voice that sometimes gives you direction, sometimes whispers unsettling revelations and horrifying things. Of yeah, and the boat very quickly shifts into a place most discomforting, with reality breaking apart as it did in the previous game.

Layers of Fear 2 tries to use that same sense of shifting reality to make the player feel uneasy, but it doesn’t do as good of a job as the last game. The original was very good at making every path you took feel like the correct one, with the world shifting to carry you through to the next part of the story. In this game, you can take wrong turns. Head down side passageways that don’t lead anywhere (but offer collectibles and the like).

Layers of Fear 2 – Review Screenshot Provided by Gun Media

That doesn’t exactly sound bad, but this means the player can often get tangled up and lost. The way forward isn’t always complicated, but sometimes, it seemed like I wasn’t doing the right things to trigger the correct path to appear, or that those things were unnecessarily complicated to trigger. I would find myself stubbornly looping through areas, striving to figure out which note or object I needed to look at to allow me to move on, rather than smoothly moving ahead. This meant that pacing would often suffer, or that I’d be thinking about how to make the game progress rather than simply feeling my way through the narrative and the game’s frightening locales.

This problem was compounded by the game’s use of baffling puzzles. Periodically, you would have to figure out a combination lock, or find a code to a safe, or fiddle with shadows in a room. None of these seemed to challenge the mind, but were rather solved by playing around with items or looking around the environments. This often meant constant messing about with objects to see which solution worked (the shadow plant puzzle being the most offensive), or just meandering a space until you found a combination written somewhere. These puzzles added little to the engagement, and the sense of being busywork further broke the immersion needed for a good horror atmosphere to work its magic.

Layers of Fear 2 made up for some of this broken atmosphere through getting its chase sequences and monster encounters down well. Unlike past forays from the developer, the chases in this game are tense, terrifying things where you’re left quivering afterwards. The monstrous presence of the game is quite persistent, and often dogs the player through tight areas and challenging mazes. That it’s always right on your heels made for some chilling moments that left the heart pounding.

Layers of Fear 2 – Review Screenshot Provided by Gun Media

That said, these chases sometimes came with confusing rules or means of avoiding the monster. Or the monster would move so quickly that the slightest mix-up with how you played them would result in death. Not that dying can’t increase your feeling of fear in these moments, but dying repeatedly from an overly-challenging chase can break that immersion again. I found myself frustrated after multiple deaths as I tried to figure out some of the rules of these chases, or again, concentrating too hard on how to play the game rather than feeling like I was trying to avoid the monster.

Still, it was lovely to be lost throughout much of the game’s gorgeous corridors. The developers of Layers of Fear 2 excel at creating surreal, nightmarish places within the confines of the ocean liner. The normal halls quickly give way to twisted places lined with disturbing mannequins, or changes that take the player back to childlike memories and haunting visions. It’s beautiful in its horrors, even when you’re aggravated about being lost or unsure what to do.

The story you find within these halls was deliciously tangled. The game constantly teases its truths and meanings, demanding the player put in some thought to figure out what is all going on with your character. However, it does make a bit too much annoying use of hand-written notes, which can get a little ridiculous. People seem to like to write themselves little notes when they’re losing their minds, it seems.

For those who complete the game’s five-ish hours journey quickly, there are collectibles and alternate story paths they can take to give themselves more to pick at. Layers of Fear 2 also lets you choose which chapter you wish to start back on if you want to complete a certain scene or find a hidden item there, which was a nice touch.

Layers of Fear 2 – Review Screenshot Provided by Gun Media

All of these extras and collectibles, while pleasant if you want a longer experience, feel like they derailed the taut, precise horror that the developers had made in the previous Layers of Fear. There’s more items to find, but at the expense of having a single path that flows through the horrors without accidentally losing the player. There’s more choices, but these feel like they cause the meaning of the game to flail and meander. They make for fun play, but weaken the game’s ability to horrify.

Layers of Fear 2 is striking in its unsettling places, and heart-pounding in its moments of disturbing proximity with its monstrosities. However, it is a looser experience than its predecessor, losing the player with busywork puzzles and winding corridors. It’s still worth experiencing, but it is a shame that it is a step back.

The post Layers of Fear 2 Review appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Zubi Khan

Fans of classic Star Trek can get a glimpse into the whereabouts of Jean-Luc Picard, in a brand new teaser trailer for CBS’s, Star Trek: Picard.

With the absence of the iconic Captian Picard from the Star Trek Universe, fans can finally get reacquainted with the legendary hero, who has apparently been spending his days, leisurely working on his family vineyard, making wine, a fitting moment of respite for a man who lost his brother and nephew.

Star Trek: Picard – Official Teaser Trailer - YouTube

Star Trek: Picard continues the exploits of the titular character, following the events of Star Trek: Nemesis, which saw release all the way back in 2002. The teaser itself does not delve too far into what fans should expect, however, just the notion of seeing an iconic hero such as Jean-Luc Picard, reprised by the even greater, Patrick Stewart should be enough of a reason to get long-time fans of Star Trek, excited once again. The last major series to come out set within the massive Star Trek universe was 2017’s Star Trek: Discovery, which is currently still airing through CBS All Access. Discovery is set 10 years prior to the original series, exploring the conflict between the United Klingon Houses and the Federation of Planets.

Star Trek: Picard will premiere sometime in late 2019, exclusively on CBS All Access.

The post Star Trek: Picard Teaser Shares Glimpse into Titular Heroes’ Whereabouts appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Zubi Khan

Fans of DC Universe Online looking for a new way to play their favourite superhero simulator can look forward to the MMORPG, hitting the Nintendo Switch, sometime this Summer 2019.

“Bringing such a massive online game to Nintendo Switch has been a dream come true,” said SJ Mueller, Creative Director of DC Universe Online. “As soon as the Nintendo Switch released, the development team couldn’t help but wonder, what if…? Long story short, we are so excited for players to take their DC experience wherever they go.”

DC Universe Online Coming To Nintendo Switch - YouTube

DCUO first launched all the way back in 2011, since then the popular, DC Comics-inspired MMORPG has been ported to several consoles, including the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, with the Nintendo Switch marking the first time the game will see release in a portable form factor. The game allows players to indulge in over 300, iconic DC characters, exploring legendary locales such as Gotham City, Metropolis, Titans Island, Themyscria and Atlantis. DC Universe Online allows players to explore both their good and bad side, opting to join the likes of Batman or the maniacal Joker.

DC Universe Online is available now for most platforms for a $14.99 monthly subscription fee, with the Nintendo Switch version planned for release sometime this Summer.

The post DC Universe Online Lands on to the Nintendo Switch this Summer appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Zubi Khan

The first, extended teaser for the latest Terminator film, Terminator: Dark Fate has released. The movie takes place two decades after the events of Terminator 2: Judgement Day, with Linda Hamilton reprising her iconic role as Sarah Connor and Arnold Schwarzenegger, as the misunderstood, killing machine.

Terminator: Dark Fate, also sees the return of James Cameron, who is producing the film, alongside David Ellison (Mission Impossible, Annihilation). Tim Miller of Deadpool fame is directing the upcoming sequel, which should at least guarantee for some cool cinematic set pieces.

The trailer for the forthcoming film, shows off the cast, including both Sarah Conner and Schwarzenegger’s Terminator, this time, depicted closer to the real-life actor, than previous installments. Dark Fate takes place right after the events of 1991’s Judgement Day, retconning the events of the numerous sequels that have come out since. Dark Fate will be the first pillar in a set of a new trilogy, dependent on the success of this first film.

Terminator: Dark Fate - Official Teaser Trailer (2019) - Paramount Pictures - YouTube

Like Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Dark Fate, at least in the trailer, seems to feature a liquid-metal Terminator, similar to Robert Patrick’s iconic killer cop. The last Terminator film to see release was in 2015, with Terminator Geneisys, which starred both Arnold Schwarzenegger and Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame, as a younger Sarah Connor.

Terminator: Dark Fate will release on November 1, 2019.

The post Terminator: Dark Fate Heralds the Return of Linda Hamilton’s Sarah Connor in new Trailer appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Zubi Khan

The recent mass walkout over at Riot games, following months of turmoil, seems to have only been the beginning. protesters who lead the initial walk-out, have now, taken further action, petitioning towards proper litigation, in order to get their voices heard.

The initial employee walkout took place on May 6th, which saw over 150 Riot employees march outside of the Los Angeles office. This has since, ushered in the desire for those involved in seeking to end the company’s practice of forced arbitration, which would require workers to internally resolve any outstanding issues, forgoing any outside legal aide.

An organizer behind the walkout reached out to The Verge, in regards to the current situation, stating, “we are appealing to the board to advocate for us. Forced arbitration has been criticized and is being changed at a number of companies.” The petition regarding the issue has been inseminated throughout the company, with the initial plans to take action by Friday, May 23 put on hold, in order to best assess further discourse. An excerpt from the petition, via The Verge, can be read down below:

“Riot has always aspired to be at the cutting edge of game companies, we have also stated that we want to be a world leader in diversity and inclusion. To do both, we need to make shifts not just in our game production, but in our employment practices. Making this change even when there’s a clear cost to the company unequivocally shows Riot’s commitment to changing itself, both to current and future Rioters.”

For those unfamiliar with the Riot Games fiasco, Kotaku put out a report, earlier in 2018, shedding light on a discrimination and sexism scandal that hit the company. The petition in question is in regards to two female employees, against Riot for gender-based discrimination. walkout organizer, Jocelyn Monahan reached out to The Verge, stating,

“This isn’t about being anti-Riot or not wanting to be here, We’re doing this because we deeply believe in Riot’s mission and we love this place and we want to make cool stuff together. And we know that we are part of Riot.”

Monahan went on to talk about how Riot employees are currently indecisive and split on the whole matter, as some feel assured by Riot’s promise to change, while others still want outside mediation.

“There are current employees here who have to come to work and look in the face the person that they have accused publicly of misconduct,” Monahan told The Verge. “There are people here who are suffering currently.” People who are essentially stuck without help, due to ongoing litigation, which Riot currently refuses to accept. It’s an unfortunate situation, particularly for those who have suffered at the hands of the discrimination, however, the traction gained by Monahan and company should pave the way for change. Readers are encouraged to check out the initial report by The Verge.

The post Riot Games Employees Petition for Change, Following Walkout appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Joel Couture

The small town stories I’ve experienced in games tend to revolve around finding the seedy underbelly. Beneath the charming, folksy exterior lies sin and vice. Visual novel World End Syndrome takes a different route, instead focusing on how the people in our lives may be facing challenges we cannot even imagine.

An unnamed high school student transfers to Mihate High, seeking to get away from a bleak past. Despite being solemn and showcasing zero charm, he somehow falls in with a group of young women (and a token annoying creep of a male buddy) through various circumstances. Afterwards, it’s up to you whether you want to try to cozy up with the local rich girl, the secret idol, or your distant cousin (UH?).

Oh yeah, and the town is haunted by a murderous spirit. The Yomibito are undead that look exactly like regular people, except they’re kinda bloodthirsty. And they come back every hundred years. I’m sure you can guess when the last time they showed up.

World End Syndrome – Review Screenshot Provided by Arc System Works

You may be forgiven if you forget about the whole undead thing as you work to meet folks throughout World End Syndrome. To increase your relationships with them, you’ll have to spend your time with them, rather than just make the correct dialogue choices when asked questions. Each day lets you spend your time wherever you like in Mihate Town during morning, afternoon, and night, and if you spend more time with someone, you’ll grow closer as you loan them a friendly ear and help them with their troubles.

Mihate Town gives you an array of places to go, so finding the people you want to hang with isn’t always easy. You can choose from multiple places during each time period, with a variety of classmates and characters to find in all parts of the town. You’ll likely meet a confusing array of folks on your first run at the plot.

You’ll also take in some striking places as well. Mihate Town is a living look at small town Japan, creating a place that feels comfortable and real. Its artists make careful use of slight movements to breathe life into each scene, making each location a treat. It’s all incredibly soothing to take in. The characters look excellent as well, again using small details to make them feel wonderfully real.

World End Syndrome – Review Screenshot Provided by Arc System Works

When you want to focus, World End Syndrome has you covered. The gameuses an interesting save system where it remembers every event you take part in (save for major plot-changing ones), allowing you to reload a save if you didn’t meet someone you wanted to in the place you visited. So, you can reload saves as much as you like until you figure out where the person you want to see is hanging out.

If that sounds like a lot of annoying saves and reloading, it actually helps on future attempts at getting close to someone new. Each time you find someone in World End Syndrome, an indicator will appear on that location for that day/time on each playthrough. As you learn the story and see it from various angles, the game will retain your knowledge and make taking specific routes easier in the future. It’s an extremely welcome system for those who want the game’s full story.

You’ll want this full story for a variety of reasons, too. The game’s datable cast start off appearing stereotypical, but will steadily unveil hidden sides to the player as they spend time together. People who treat you poorly are cast in a different light as you see how their family history, personal lives, and hidden challenges have shaped them into who they are. The game excels at giving each character a reason to act as they do, showcasing some wonderful character development in the process.

This feeling of getting to know these characters comes with a lovely message as well. As you discover why some of these characters are mean or standoffish, you start to understand them. You begin to forgive. The powerful cast serves as a reminder that others are often suffering in silence, and that you don’t know what someone is going through. Its message of giving people the benefit of the doubt, and that sometimes those cruel to you need your kindness the most, was quite touching.

World End Syndrome – Review Screenshot Provided by Arc System Works

As you go through these five stories, you also bring together a truly twisted mystery with a complex, satisfying end. I thought I had guessed it a few times, but the Yomibito presence comes together in a spectacular way in the game’s final act, creating one of the most satisfying stories I’d read in ages. It was well worth working through the game’s entire narrative to reach its conclusion.

Not that World End Syndrome’s story isn’t without its flaws. Your male partner never shows any depth to his creepiness and unwanted come-ons, yet he is treated as a harmless goofball and entertainment, when his behavior should have him rightfully shunned. Likewise, the main character’s own behavior can be a bit creepy and almost stalker-like, yet is rewarded with more attention and attraction in places. The latter happens less frequently, but is still stomach-churning when you see it being rewarded.

You might also feel some discomfort from dating fifteen year olds depending on your own age. Ignoring that fact for the fiction is difficult at 37, but what’s even harder to ignore is the attraction to family members. Your tolerance for these things will definitely affect how much you enjoy World End Syndrome.

World End Syndrome – Review Screenshot Provided by Arc System Works

World End Syndrome offers a gripping mystery about undead and lost folklores, yet also a touching story about the hidden trials of those who suffer in silence. It has great mechanics that flesh out a story that takes place over an entire town, makes it easy for players to work through multiple runs to unveil its secrets, and is filled with characters that make you want to know them better. Despite some uncomfortable moments, it’s a story well-worth taking the time for.

The post World End Syndrom Review appeared first on CGMagazine.

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CGMagazine
Liam Ferguson

Team Ninja’s upcoming Ninja Gaiden/Dark Souls hybrid Nioh 2 is receiving a closed alpha May 24th to June 2nd.

Released in early 2017 for PS4 after having been announced during the PS3 generation, Nioh received massive acclaim as a more actionized Souls-like, going on to sell over 2.5 million copies. The game was famous for how closely the developer worked with and supported the fanbase, and for its much deeper than average combat system. Nioh 2 was announced at E3 2018, but no further word has been said on it until now.

Nioh 2 | Closed Alpha | PS4 - YouTube

Nioh 2 looks to continue in the design footsteps of its predecessor with an in-depth combat system, multiple ways to play, and a focus on the conflict between historical Japanese factions over a Yokai-infested backdrop. New to the series is character customization, including multiple genders, which is shown off here alongside new Yokai transformation and enemy summoning mechanics. The end of the trailer also teases an evil Kodama (little sprites that grant you boons) that will kill you if prompted.

Koei Tecmo will be hosting the closed test for a limited, pre-selected pool of users. There are no plans to expand the alpha at the moment, but if Nioh 2 follows its predecessor’s footsteps, it could have more tests in the future.

The post Nioh 2 Closed Alpha Test Announced With Gameplay Reveal Trailer appeared first on CGMagazine.

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