E3 2017: Watch 12 Minutes Of Ace Combat 7 Gameplay

Bandai Namco showed off 12 more minutes of gameplay for the next installment in its long-running Ace Combat series, Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown. As you can see from the footage above, the aerial combat sim has never looked better.

Ace Combat 7 is a return to roots of sorts for the series, trading the real-world settings of the more recent installments for the”strangereal” universe of classic Ace Combat games.

Ace Combat 7 was originally slated to arrive later this year, but Bandai Namco recently delayed the title to 2018. The game is coming to PS4, Xbox One, and PC and will feature some exclusive PS4 content in the form of PSVR missions. You can watch Ace Combat director Kazutoki Kono talk more about the title here. For even more on the aerial combat sim, check out our interview with Kono that touches on the importance of recapturing the spirit of the series, among other topics.

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    Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions

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    Woohoo! Three hundred episodes!!

    DOWNLOAD UNLOCKED 300 (Audio version)

    [Editor’s Note: The video version of this episode will be uploaded soon.]

    On this week’s Xbox show, we celebrate our 300th episode from E3 2017 in Los Angeles. It’s our quick-and-dirty reactions to some of the biggest Xbox games and announcements of the week, headlined by the Xbox One X. Enjoy!

    Oh, and Unlocked now has its own snazzy new homepage! Bookmark this: go.ign.com/unlocked

    And we’ve got our own YouTube channel too! Subscribe here: youtube.com/ignunlocked

    DOWNLOAD UNLOCKED 300 (Audio version)

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    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions
    • Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions

    Unlocked Episode 300: Our Xbox E3 Reactions

    All Eyez on Me Review

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    This Tupac Shakur biopic may be appreciated more by his fans than by newbies.

    The legacy of Tupac (or 2Pac) Shakur has been kept alive for more than twenty years since his death, and the long-awaited biopic All Eyez on Me tries hard to separate the controversy from the contradictions in a movie that gets better over its lengthy runtime.

    Prestigious filmmakers like Antoine Fuqua and John Singleton had originally hoped to make the movie, before it got bogged down in years of legal disputes, so the fact this movie even exists is quite remarkable. The producers finally ended up hiring Benny Boom, a director better known for his music videos–most notably for Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent and Akon–than his movies, and he does a decent job trying to encapsulate the life of a complicated artist.

    The main reason his movie gets off to such a rough start is the decision to use the lame framing device of Shakur (played by Demetrius Shipp, Jr.) being interviewed during his 1995 prison sentence, and reflecting back on his life and career up until that point. This immediately gives the film’s first half a far-too overused biopic narrative that rambles through Shakur’s early life like a Wikipedia entry.

    At times, the early part of the film feels more like a TV movie, not being particularly subtle about depicting the white people around Shakur as either clueless (such as his Interscope Records liaisons) or downright evil (just about every police officer shown in the movie).

    Once the story catches up to Shakur in prison and the last two years of his life, things start to get far more interesting, particularly with his controversial involvement with Death Row Records head Suge Knight, as played by Dominic Santana. This is also when it starts to veer away from depicting Shakur as a baby-faced angel, never to blame for his troubles or the violence that follows him everywhere.

    Granted, Benny Boom has a hard act to follow in the 2015 NWA movie Straight Outta Compton and even the 2009 Biggie Smalls movie Notorious. Comparisons will invariably be made to both, having so many characters in common, but it isn’t really fair, since All Eyez on Me is as different a movie as Tupac was as an artist from NWA. This is a film about a creative individual trying to deal with constant adversity, rather than a group of rappers who would inevitably butt heads.

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    Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur in All Eyez on Me.

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    Demetrius Shipp Jr. as Tupac Shakur in All Eyez on Me.

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    All Eyez on Me  Review

    Newcomer Demetrius Shipp, Jr. has the unenviable task of representing Shakur—a role played by Anthony Mackie in Notorious. Shipp not only looks eerily like the late rapper when recreating music videos or his acting roles, but he’s also able to perfectly mimic his mannerisms and way of delivering a phrase. This makes his performance feel like more than just an impression and makes you feel as if you’re watching his real life with its ups and downs.

    The rest of the cast isn’t quite as strong with Danai Gurira (The Walking Dead, Black Panther) as Tupac’s mother Afeni giving an overwrought performance that pales in comparison to Naomie Harris’s similar role in Moonlight. Her character also disappears for a good chunk of the movie, negating the myth about Tupac’s closeness with his mother. In some ways, it’s more entertaining to watch Shakur interact with childhood friend Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham) over a few key points in their respective careers.

    At times, the movie does presume the viewer knows at least a little about Shakur’s life and career, or at least his dealings with Knight and the famed East Coast/West Coast feud with P. Diddy’s Bad Boy Records. That may also be necessary to fully understand what’s happening in the film’s second half. If nothing else, the movie should allow you to fully appreciate the dichotomies within Shakur and his music.

    All Eyez on Me  Review
    All Eyez on Me
    All Eyez on Me tells the true and untold story of prolific rapper, actor, poet and activist Tupac Shakur.

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    The Verdict

    You may need to already have at least a tangential interest in Tupac Shakur in order to appreciate All Eyez on Me, because it starts off in such a traditional way and rather meekly. For non-fans, it might be tough to get through the movie’s first hour and to the “good stuff” contained in the second half. On the other hand, Demetrius Shipp Jr. gives it his all with an impressive performance that’s far more than just an impression. It’s doubtful Shakur’s fans will feel like they wasted their time by watching this movie.

    E3 2017: Call of Cthulhu’s Twist on the Lovecraft Pen-and-Paper RPG is Intriguing

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    “It’s like you’re on an interactive adventure through a Lovecraft novel.”

    “You have to become mad.”

    If there is one promise Cyanide Studio has for players interested in picking up their adaptation of Chaosium’s pen-and-paper RPG Call of Cthulu, it’s that you’re not going to get out of this experience with your sanity. I got to sit through a presentation of the upcoming title during E3 2017, and was charmed by the way it brings both an H.P. Lovecraft-inspired world and the pen-and-paper experience to life.

    You play as private investigator Edward Pierce in the early 1920s. As Pierce, you’re investigating the death of famous artist Sarah Hawkins and her son and husband, after they died in a fire in their home on Darkwater Island. Like all Lovecraft stories, everything in Pierce’s investigation is normal… until it’s not. The more you investigate and find clues, the more that knowledge will affect your decisions later in the game. But as is promised by lead level designer Romain Wiart, Pierce losing his mind is inevitable by the end of your Call of Cthulu experience.

    “The more Pierce investigates, the more he may fall into madness,” said Wiart.

    It’s clear that this is a game Cyanide is making because the developers have a deep love for the Chaosium RPG. Pierce’s stats screen is described as his “skill sheet,” and many of the dialogue tree options are reminiscent of choices a dungeon master would ask you to make. Information is your best weapon to navigate the bizarre setting of Darkwater Island, especially as the game progresses and the player — as well as Pierce — will begin to question what is actually happening and what is just Pierce losing his mind.

    Different facets of Pierce’s “skill sheet” are developed at different stages in the game. In the early chapter, your success at choosing various dialogue tree depends on how well you’ve developed skills like Intimidation and Persuasion. Throughout the 20-or-so hour gameplay experience, Pierce’s “Sanity Gauge” will become integral as he slips further and further into madness by witnessing bizarre, terrifying occurrences he can’t quite explain.

    We saw portions of two chapters of Call of Cthulu: in the first, Pierce is investigating Hawkins Manor, showing how the information you pick up affects your likelihood of discovering clues. He explores the room where the fire in Hawkins Manor took place, using it as evidence to disprove a suspicious police report deeming the Hawkins’ death to be an accident. But first, you need to explore the area around the manor, noting small key details that later inform your ability to discern clues. That’s what helps us discover that the fire was not started by an accident but during a fight, and that the police were inaccurate in determining when the incident took place. Rewarding exploration in this way and making it additionally challenging to take a speedrunning approach through the game is one of the smarter and more intriguing facets of Call of Cthulu’s gameplay.

    In the second, later section of the demo that takes place during Chapter 6, Pierce starts seeing things that don’t quite make sense, like a horrifying creature coming out of one of Sarah Hawkins’ paintings and chasing you through the room. But by Chapter 6, Pierce will have developed phobias like claustrophobia after experiencing traumatizing events, and those phobias will prove debilitating in scenarios such as this one where Pierce’s best solution to survive is to hide in a small, dark closet. While our short demo presentation wasn’t outright scary, I can easily imagine how the cumulative experience of accompanying Pierce’s descent into madness will be personally discomfitting in the way a Lovecraftian story should be.

    By forcing Pierce to experience his phobias, he will start acting out of his own accord — for example, charging out of the closet before suffering a heart attack — and the player will lose their free will with the character. Though I didn’t get hands-on with Call of Cthulu myself, the sanity mechanics (which were adapted from elements of the pen-and-paper RPG) sounds like a really cool way of bringing the descent into madness integral to Lovecraft’s stories to life in a new way.

    And that’s the goal of the experience, according to the developers at Cyanide. “It’s like you’re on an interactive adventure through a Lovecraft novel,” explained Wiart. There are multiple paths the player can take through Pierce’s journey, though some are set. And one way or another, you’re going to have to become mad.

    Terri Schwartz is Editorial Producer at IGN. Talk to her on Twitter at @Terri_Schwartz.

    E3 2017: Xbox Responds to Sony’s Explanation for No PS4 Cross-Play for Minecraft

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    Phil Spencer said Xbox is committed to the safety of all Minecraft players.

    Head of Xbox Phil Spencer doesn’t agree with Sony’s explanation for why there’s no PlayStation 4 cross-play for Minecraft.

    Sony Interactive Entertainment global sales and marketing head Jim Ryan defended PS4’s lack of cross-play support for Minecraft, saying that while Sony has “no philosophical stance against cross-play at all” it’s concerned with its players’ safety on non-PlayStation platforms. In an interview with Giant Bomb, Spencer disagreed, saying Ryan’s comments don’t “seem healthy for anyone.”

    “The fact that somebody would make an assertion that somehow we’re not keeping Minecraft players safe, I found, not only from a Microsoft perspective, but from a game industry perspective…. I don’t know why that has to become the dialogue,” said Spencer.

    Spencer then went on to reassure that the safety of Minecraft players across all platforms, not just on Xbox One, is “incredibly important” to Xbox. “We would never put Minecraft in a place where we felt like we weren’t keeping our players safe,” he said. Despite his disagreement with Sony’s excuse, Spencer reiterated he’s still very much open to changing things.

    This week at E3, Mojang announced the Better Together update for Minecraft, which will unify the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One with the Windows 10 and mobile versions of Minecraft.

    Head over to IGN’s E3 2017 hub to keep up to date with all the big news from this year’s expo.

    Alex Gilyadov is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter