Game of Thrones: Jon Snow’s Real Name May Have Been Revealed

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HBO and GRRM have yet to confirm its veracity.

The real name of Kit Harington’s Game of Thrones character, Jon Snow, may have been outed online.

Warning: Spoilers for Game of Thrones ahead.

A Reddit post with a leaked image of next month’s Empire Magazine, featuring an interview with Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran), seemingly reveals the true name of Ned Stark’s supposed bastard son: Jaehaerys Targaryen.

The image reads the following: “As we saw in the last episode of season 6, Bran’s psychic time-traveling ‘green sight’ revealed the true nature of Jon’s birth heritage and his real name: Jaehaerys Targaryen.”

In the interview, Wright discusses how Bran, who witnessed Ned’s sister Lyanna Stark giving birth to Jon Snow through his powers, “could change the entire story” in a major way with this newfound information. The name Jaehaerys Targaryen would go in line with a log-running fan theory that Jon Snow is indeed actually a Targaryen and the legendary Prince That Was Promised.

For now, HBO and Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin have neither confirmed nor denied this to be true. Fans will just have to find out for themselves when Game of Thrones: Season 7 premieres Sunday, July 16, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.

For more on Game of Thrones, check out the first full trailer for Season 7 and then take a look at our detailed breakdown of every secret hidden in the footage.

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

E3 2017: Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown is a Multi-Genre Monster Hunter

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Horror-themed PvPvPvE looks great.

I’ll be honest and say that I was not expecting the coolest thing I saw at E3 to be a multiplayer shooter. But it was – even though calling Crytek’s Hunt: Showdown just a “multiplayer shooter” is a massive understatement. Hunt is an intricate blend of an survival shooter, team exploration, and dynamic open-world horror, with just a pinch of a rogue-lite RPG thrown in to boot – and this spooky hodge-podge looks fun as hell.

Set in the late 1800’s, you’ll play each match – which allegedly lasts anywhere from 15 minutes to a half hour, though they could probably go longer –  as a professional monster hunter, contracted to banish some foul evil that’s crept into our plane of existence. While the lore may seem a little fast-and-loose at this stage, it’s a great setup for us to be dropped into the murky Louisiana swamp that serves as the game’s play area. “It’s not a very pristine environment we’re going into,” explains Dennis Schwarz, one of the lead designers on the project, referring to the more romanticized versions of London or American cities we so often see in games set in that time period. “We’re not going where everybody else is going in that era, we’re going into swamps.”

E3 2017: Crytek's Hunt: Showdown is a Multi-Genre Monster Hunter

Once you land in that dark brackish water, the basic gameplay loop is simple: get in, find a monster, kill and banish it, then get out with your bounty. The real difficulty comes from the fact that while exploring the (roughly) square-kilometer map,  you’ll also be fighting lesser beasts, like zombies, giant leeches and more (the most interesting was some poor soul who’d essentially become a living hive for bloodthirsty giant mosquitos) – as well as everyone else in the match with you.

Even if you’ve been to a similar location before, there might be a very different encounter there.

In our demo, the pair of hunters – you can play in teams of two or on your own, and the matchmaking system will put you into matches with up to ten players – spent the first half of the match quietly avoiding any other players they saw in the swamp. Not that this was a requirement, obviously – there were plenty of gunshots ringing out across the map, and our hunters even came perilously close to an explosive dustup between multiple teams while raiding an abandoned supply store.

E3 2017: Crytek's Hunt: Showdown is a Multi-Genre Monster Hunter

Target monsters are randomly decided every time out of an available roster of monsters, and dynamically placed at one of 15 potential locations across the fixed map, which range from dank bogs and swamps to thick woods to open fields and farms. “We experimented in the past with the procedural stuff with Gilded Age,” Schwarz said, referring to randomized tile-based maps of the initial version of Hunt that we saw in 2014. “In the end we went back to what we can do best, which is hand-crafted levels… Even if you’ve been to a similar location before – there might be a very different encounter there.”

Our hunter’s target ended up being a giant spider that had made a nest in an old barn – and it was one of the most terrifying game arachnids I’ve seen in recent memory. Instead of agro-ing like a standard “Giant Spider Boss,” this one behaved… well, like a giant f**king spider.  The barn was dark and dilapidated, and the creature would skitter into, out of and around our flashlight’s beam, using holes in the walls to quickly escape after surprise attacks.

E3 2017: Crytek's Hunt: Showdown is a Multi-Genre Monster Hunter

Once you do kill the creature, you’ll have to banish it. Banishment is a process that takes around one minute to 90 seconds, and during that period, every player in the game is made a ware of your exact location. If you can survive the countdown timer, you’ll be presented with an extraction location. Reach the getaway wagon and you’ll receive a huge payout of cash and XP – but if you die, don’t expect to be getting up any time soon.

In a match, you’re playing as one single hunter on a job. Here, you’re managing a monster-hunting agency.

Hunt: Showdown features permadeth…. Sort of. If your hunter gets killed while on a mission, that’s it – they’re dead. All of their skills and abilities, plus any weapons and gear they had on them are gone forever. That said, that doesn’t mean all of the time and energy you invested into them was done in vain. The game uses what it calls a “Bloodline” system – basically a lore-friendly way of referring to your player profile – to manage your player level, bank the experience that you’d earned before getting killed and recruit different monster hunters as needed.

You might lose a hunter who you’d played with for a long time, but the XP you earned with them will allow you to hire a new hunter with a higher level, whose base stats are much higher than the previous one’s. Different hunters will have different starting bonuses, too – one might come with a powerful sniper rifle, or have the ability to dual-wield pistols, and you can equip and send them into missions as you see fit. Consider it this way: if in-game you’re playing as a hunter assigned to that one contract – when setting up your Bloodline, you’re managing a monster-hunting agency.

E3 2017: Crytek's Hunt: Showdown is a Multi-Genre Monster Hunter

It’s doubtful we’ll see a final version of Hunt: Showdown any time soon – the team has information regarding public testing is “coming soon,” but that could be anywhere from next month to a year from now. Regardless, I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for any announcements – especially if it means I might get to squash that giant spider for myself.

 

JR is an editor at IGN. He’s used to fighting monsters while he writes our wikis, and routinely tweets mean things about them.

The 10 Most Important Stories of E3 2017

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From the Xbox One X price to Metroid Prime 4, here are the biggest stories of this year’s show.

E3 2017 was filled with literally hundreds of games being revealed, receiving release dates, showing off stellar trailers, and displaying extended gameplay sequences. But as you can imagine, it’s easy to miss something amidst the tornado of announcements.

With E3 2017 finally behind us, we wanted to take a second and go through the 10 most important stories to come out of the show.

Xbox One X Name, Price, and Date

Probably the biggest question on all of our minds going into E3 2017 revolved around Microsoft’s Project Scorpio. And to the surprise of none, all was revealed during Microsoft’s Xbox press conference. Project Scorpio is officially the Xbox One X, and will arrive on November 7, 2017. Advertised as the most powerful console ever, the Xbox One X will cost $499, £449, €499, AUD $649, and CAD $599. For everything you need to know about the Xbox One X, from initial rumors to the big E3 2017 coming out party, check out our guide.

Bioware’s Anthem Revealed

E3 2017 started earlier than ever with EA’s conference on Saturday. And while we loved seeing the full reveal of Battlefront 2’s multiplayer, as well as the super-intriguing A Way Out, it was Bioware that surprised us the most with its new game, Anthem. Anthem’s demo displayed an absolutely-gorgeous action-RPG that definitely looks to be the publisher’s answer to what Activision has with Destiny. Fall 2018 can’t come soon enough.

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is Real

Mario + Rabbids was one of the worst kept secrets going into E3. But what surprised us about the Ubisoft/Nintendo collaboration was how deep the strategic battle system seems to be. While the game itself is one of the big 2017 releases for Switch, what’s more telling of this is how Nintendo is becoming more and more open to allowing other developers and publishers to play with their toys. From this to Zelda items in Skyrim on Switch, it seems like the Japanese company is more than ever aware of the potential and reach of its iconic characters, which has all of us super excited for the possibilities.

Spider-Man PS4 Gameplay Reveal

Sony delivered on last year’s awesome promise of an Insomniac Spider-Man game by showcasing an extended demo that proved why the developer was the perfect choice for this game. The sense of humor, acrobatic action, incredible locomotion, and thrilling scenes of sheer heroism pointed to a game that truly understands the source material. Though we won’t be playing the game until 2018, we’re willing to give Sony and Insomniac all the time in the world to deliver a gem.

Skyrim is Back in Several Forms

Apparently 2017 is the new 2011. Bethesda’s Skyrim seemed to pop up in nearly every press conference during E3 in all sorts of different forms. Not only did we get our first real look at Skyrim on Nintendo Switch, complete with amiibo support and Legend of Zelda skins that allow you to transform your Dragonborn into the Hero of Time, but Sony revealed that the massive open-world RPG would be coming to PSVR later this year. I guess this pair will work in tiding us over until the next proper installment in the Elder Scrolls series.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 Lives!

The impossible happened at E3 2017: the ever-elusive Beyond Good and Evil 2 was finally re-revealed, closing out Ubisoft’s stellar press conference. Set a generation before the original, the gorgeous cinematic showcased an intriguing science-fiction world filled with diverse characters, intense action, and the same wit and charm as the original, albeit slightly more mature this time around. For more on the insanely-ambitious project, check out our impressions of the behind-closed-doors presentation we attended.

Metroid Prime 4, Metroid: Samus Returns, Pokemon Switch Announced

While Super Mario Odyssey had a stellar showing at E3 and winning our game of the show award, Nintendo had much more in store for us. Specifically, a trio of announcements that had us in full hype mode. Though Metroid Prime 4 and Pokemon Switch are probably a ways out, knowing that both beloved franchises are coming to 2017’s coolest new console has us incredibly happy. And as if things couldn’t get better, Nintendo unveiled a new 2D Metroid with Samus Returns.

Shadow of the Colossus Remake Revealed

One of the absolute biggest surprises of E3 was the reveal of a full-on Shadow of the Colossus remake for PS4 by Bluepoint, the studio that remastered the game alongside Ico a few years back. Fumito Ueda’s beloved PlayStation 2 classic is one of the most beautiful, emotional, and unforgettable games ever made, but the ambitious experience runs a bit choppy by modern standards. The prospect of revisiting the melancholic journey again, but with all of the performance and visual hiccups smoothed over has us eagerly awaiting its 2018 release.

Original Xbox Backwards Compatibility

Though the Xbox One X was clearly Microsoft’s focus at their conference, it was the news that we’d be getting original Xbox backwards compatibility that got a lot of us in the IGN war room the most excited. Microsoft’s done a fantastic job of continually adding to the library of 360 games that are playable on Xbox One, and going back to the company’s roots is a wonderful move. Revisiting classics like Crimson Skies, Jet Set Radio Future, Jade Empire, Breakdown, and Blinx (okay…not all of them are classics) has us stoked.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 DLC Detailed

At E3, EA clarified the confusing messaging surrounding Star Wars Battlefront 2’s DLC pricing and structure that arose out of Celebration a few months back. Additional maps, modes, and heroes that release after the game launches will be free to all players in the form of season updates, thus avoiding any splintering of the user base. And like other popular shooters such as Overwatch, there’ll be plenty of chances to spend money on cosmetic changes and expedited progression.

Marty Sliva is a Executive Editor at IGN. A girl he was dating once stepped on his PlayStation 4, and now he no longer owns PT. But don’t worry, they broke up. Follow him on Twitter @McBiggitty.

E3 2017: IO Interactive Officially Goes Indie, Gains Full Rights to Hitman IP

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“We will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.”

IO Interactive has officially become an independent studio and acquired the rights to its stealth-action franchise Hitman.

Studio CEO Hakan Abrak shared the news in a post on IO’s official website. “I am proud to announce today that IOI is now officially an independent studio,” he said. “We have successfully concluded our negotiations with Square Enix and have agreed to a management buyout. Crucially, we will keep all of the rights to the Hitman IP.”

Shortly after Square Enix announced its decision to part with IO Interactive, the publisher said it was “negotiating with prospective external investors” to continue to the Hitman series. IO is also the developer behind Kane & Lynch, but there’s currently no word on where that franchise will end up following the split.

With regard to what fans can expect from the future of Hitman, Abrak said IO will share more details about the studio’s plans next week. The developer announced layoffs in May so that IO will “be better equipped for [its] future endeavors.”

Prior to its part from Square Enix, IO had plans to release three seasons of content for Hitman.

Alex Osborn is a freelance writer for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter and subscribe to his YouTube channel.

Arms Review

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Nintendo’s new fighting game proves that with wacky appendages, clever boxing is within reach.

Ditching the more grounded world of Nintendo’s Punch-Out!, Arms is a far wackier take on the boxing genre. It’s an exciting face-off as you weave around incoming fists from afar, looking for that small opening to curve your powered-up glove straight into your foe or leap into the air for perfectly timed grab. Arms is bursting with fast-paced modes and colorful exploding gloves that make every fight a blast, and its stylish lobby system keeps me coming back for more.

As you engage in cartoony fisticuffs with the eponymous stretchable boxing gloves, of which there are many shapes and sizes, the combat of Arms is easy to pick up. You can fight any way you please: with motion-controlled Joy-Con controllers, Pro Controllers, or even a single tilted Joy-Con. The motion-control setup works well enough, since instead of throwing huge punches and tiring yourself out, subtle jabs and tilts will get the job done. Tilting the controllers to move, curve punches, and block does take a bit of getting used to, and I had the tendency to unconsciously move my Joy-Cons at the wrong time. This led me to gravitate more towards the Pro Controller or playing in portable mode, using the analogue stick for precise movements and using triggers instead of buttons to throw punches.

What really matters in every match is movement: if you aren’t constantly strafing and jumping to dodge the projectile-like punches of your adversary, you’ll just be giving the match to your opponent. Rock’em Sock’em Robots, this is not. Equally important is charging up your Arms to deal bigger, elementally enhanced damage, but it’s a risk because pausing to charge can leave you open to attack. There’s a great sense of give and take here: for every move you can make, there’s an equal counter, and the delicate dance of trying to outsmart your competitors can lead to some very tense moments. There’s also plenty of room for surprises, as just one match against a player who effortlessly dodged my attacks had me stopping to rethink my strategies and swapping out my equipped pair of Arms to try a different approach.

Character abilities factor into every matchup. Each of the 10 fighters has two innate abilities, such as Ribbon Girl’s multiple aerial jumps or Spring Man’s deflections. Some of these abilities can lend themselves well to developing new tactics, but others, like the fast-jumping but incredibly slow-dodging Kid Cobra, just feel like they got the short end of the stick.

Wild Arms

The Arms themselves are all distinct enough that you’ll soon be able to spot which ones your rival has equipped and what they are capable of. While traditional Arms like the fiery Toaster are great for straight shots and breaking your opponents grab attempts, wide-arcing attacks from weapons like the Chakram and Thunderbird can flank from the sides.

Even variants of the same weapon type feel more pronounced than a simple reskin.

Most weapons can charge up to deal debilitating effects, although some felt a little more pronounced than others. Sure, having a wind effect to knock a fighter away from a powerup is nice, but not as nice as using electric attacks to completely shut down an opponent and leave them wide open to a grab, which does a ton of damage. Some types are rarer than others – giving them great unique appeal (Helix starts with the only blinding weapon, for instance) and even variants of the same weapon type feel more pronounced than a simple reskin when you compare the ice-encrusted Chilla to the gold-trimmed Bubb that doubles in size when charged.

You’re given access to every type of Arm from the start, but they are locked to specific fighters. If you want to rock a Guardian Arms with Spring Man, for example, be ready to shell out the money earned from fights in a target-hitting minigame for a chance at your desired glove appearing for the right fighter (and you’ll still have to unlock the Guardian again for every other fighter you want to use it with). I was hoping there would be a chance to be surprised with Arms nobody had in their default loadout (thirty Arms is still a pretty diverse selection), but there are some interesting choices to be made mixing a fighter’s abilities with the unlocked Arms of another fighter. Pairing up Ninjara’s quick movements with some of the freezing and electric Arms let me capitalize on his speed that I couldn’t achieve with his default loadout.

Fisticuffs With Friends

If you were worried 1v1 brawling would get boring, Arms does a good job of giving you plenty of alternate modes to choose from – and most every mode can be played solo or split-screen co-op, including the traditional 10-round Grand Prix campaign with scaling difficulty. The 1v100 mode gives you a lesson in endurance as you take on small groups of weak enemies until a final tough opponent. Modes like V-Ball, Hoops, and Skill Shot are nice diversions that are quick and concise, though getting walled off from your opponent by a large obstructing net playing explosive volleyball isn’t as fun or engaging as those that let you antagonize or otherwise go head to head. Getting tethered to another player in team battles was exhilarating, as I worked to defend my buddy from getting grabbed and timed rush attacks with the openings my partner created. That said, having the lock-on view constantly switching between targets on its own without my input got frustrating at times.

Players rarely go too long without being placed or paired up with other fighters.

The mode that really deserves a medal here is Party Match. This online mode transports you to a constantly shifting lobby area that’s almost as fun to watch as it is to take part in. Groups of up to 20 players (10 systems with two players each) are continually shuffled about as the lobby decides who should be matched up in the circles it creates. This means players rarely go too long without being placed or paired up with other fighters, and the lobby adapts to odd numbered groups by making frantic free-for-alls, grouping up against intimidating AI bosses, or letting local players take turns.

Even when I wasn’t in a match, I was hungrily absorbing the clever layout of each fight taking place in the lobby – seeing the health bars drop, rush attacks trigger, and the timer wind down around the circle until the players were jettisoned out of the circle to seek a new match. Ranked Battles offer a little more structure, and I was happy to find friend lobbies offer a lot of customization to pick and choose what kind of matches the lobby would pull us into – including the ability to choose possible stages, modes, and how much prize money was needed to be declared the lobby winner.

Arms  Review
Arms
Choose a fighting champion from around the world, equip your own combination of extendable arms, and then use a mix of button presses and quick hand motions to really take the fight to your opponent.
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On Nintendo Switch

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The Verdict

Arms’ clever take on boxing provides a simple premise with a startling amount of depth for those who would seek to master the stretching appendages. Its rapidly evolving lobby system had me sticking around for “just one more match.” There may not be a lot worth unlocking right now, but planned free updates may just give Arms some additional legs.