13 Most Epic Video Game Moments of 2016

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Spoiler warning!

2016 was a year full of video game surprises. Beloved franchises took exciting turns, new games wowed us with their brilliance, and we got our first real taste of the wonders of VR.

As the year draws to a close, join us in celebrating some of the epic moments that made 2016 an awesome year for gamers. Be warned, though: major spoilers ahead!

Batman: Arkham VR – Becoming Batman

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Rocksteady’s Batman: Arkham VR let you don the Dark Knight’s suit piece-by-piece, from his infamous cowl to a host of awesome gadgets. Yet it’s the moment after the suit is assembled, when you see yourself reflected in a mirror as the Batman himself, that made us feel like our six-year-old self’s dreams had come true. Arkham VR makes you feel like Batman. And it feels awesome. — Jonathon Dornbush

Battlefield 1 – Taking down a zeppelin

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Battlefield 1’s multiplayer is full of bold, bombastic moments. But without fail, every time a behemoth zeppelin finally gives into the barrage of artillery fire and bursts into flames, you can’t help but stop and watch in awe. It’s an incredible analogy for The Great War itself: this seemingly unstoppable force finally comes crashing down in a symphony of terrible sounds, irreparably changing the landscape below it, and taking the lives of everyone caught in the blast. — Brandin Tyrrel

Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare – Going to space for the first time

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Going into the future is nothing new for the Call of Duty franchise, but Infinite Warfare is the first to truly reach the depths of space. Jackal space battles and asteroid grappling quickly become a common occurrence. But the first time you go from ground to space without ever entering a single loading screen is a campaign-defining moment you shouldn’t miss. — Mark Medina

Dishonored 2 – Clockwork Mansion

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While the original Dishonored was full of beautiful architecture, the shifting walls of Clockwork Mansion takes things to a whole new level. Simply pulling one of the many levers littering the hallways causes staircases to protract as floors break away and walls do flip-flops, transforming the landscape around you. It felt like the kind of spectacle most games would have saved for a finale, easily making it one of the year’s most memorable moments. — Vince Ingenito

Gears of War 4 – Final mech mission

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Last levels usually serve as the ultimate rehash of everything you’ve learned, but Gears of War 4‘s final mission drops you into a shiny new mech and lets you obliterate hordes of Swarm in style. What’s better is that you get to stomp through buildings and brutally execute a Swarmak. — Miranda Sanchez

Inside – The ending sequence

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Inside’s world is confusing, hostile, and terrifyingly beautiful, but not even these things could have prepared us for where it all leads. Breaking into the tank and fusing with the blob inside is exactly the kind of awe-inspiring climax that a game as fantastic as Inside deserved. The frantic chaos and oddly mesmerizing horror of the ensuing sequence is one that we won’t forget anytime soon. — Chloi Rad

The Last Guardian – The crumbling bridge

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The Last Guardian is peppered with awe-inspiring moments of sheer beauty, but the standout comes a few hours into the game. As a bridge crumbles beneath you, you make a desperate leap towards Trico, only to quickly realize that the gap is too far to clear. But as you begin to plummet to what you assume is your demise, your birddog companion does something extraordinary, cementing him as one of the most special characters of 2016. — Marty Sliva

Overwatch – Your first Play of the Game

Every Overwatch player has fond memories of their very first Play of the Game. Sure, the picks can sometimes be a bit odd, but that instant you see your name in big yellow letters slide across the screen is electric. Knowing that a dozen players are watching your exploits, that Overwatch deemed your play the best of the match, is something really special, and the quick hit of validation that’s almost always followed immediately by another match. — Brandin Tyrrel

Pokemon Go – The social phenomenon

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In downtowns and on main streets throughout the world, it seemed like everyone was playing Pokemon Go, and that led to conversations, collaborations, and even competitions with complete strangers. Random people yelling at you was suddenly a good thing as people shared their progress or gathered a crowd to track down that Dratini in the park. No game this year gave us an experience quite like it. — Kallie Plagge

Rez Infinite – Area X

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Rez Infinite captures everything that made the original game such a unique masterpiece, and the phenomenal Area X adds to that brilliantly. This final stage breaks the shackles of the game’s on-rails mechanic, and allows you to fly freely around a massive, gorgeous, trippy space. It’s special when you play through Area X on your television, but downright transcendent on PSVR. — Marty Sliva

Titanfall 2 – Time-warping mission

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Titanfall 2’s incredibly smart time-warping level has you popping back and forth between timelines to move past the locked doors and collapsing hallways of an industrial complex. But the addition of unique enemies in their own timelines means you’re constantly juggling between the two. The result is a frantic, adrenaline-pumping mechanic that is made even more powerful by the fact it’s only ever used for a short time, making it one of the most unforgettable sequences of the year. — Brandin Tyrrel

Uncharted 4 – Crumbling clocktower

One of Uncharted 4’s most memorable set pieces is one you inadvertently destroy: a beautiful, massive clock tower. As you direct Nathan Drake back down after a riveting, puzzle-driven ascent, the tower begins to collapse all around you. The resulting sequence is a thrilling series of death-defying leaps and lucky landings that is as enjoyable to play through as it is to marvel at. Every gear you climbed, every clock face you scurried across transforms from a once-relatively stable platform to a death trap falling in your wake. — Jonathon Dornbush

World of Warcraft: Legion – Opening scenario

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Legion is one of World of Warcraft’s greatest expansions, so it’s only fitting that it kicked off with such a bang. The opening Broken Shore scenario was thematically engaging, mechanically fun and technically impressive. During the event twenty players battle through waves of demonic defenses to establish a foothold in the Broken Isles. Things get much more interesting when it’s revealed that twenty other players from the enemy faction are simultaneously working their way up the beach. The groups’ paths eventually converge, and each take turns facing off against Krosus, WOW’s first multi-faction raid boss. — James Duggan

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

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What to expect through the year 2020.

We are well into Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe at this point, with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange kicking off the latest chapter in the saga of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes (and their friends!). But with 14 films already under its metaphorical belt, Marvel Studios continues to go strong and has films and TV shows officially planned all the way through 2020 (and no doubt the company’s brain trust are already discussing what happens beyond that).

So let’s take a look at what’s up next for the MCU. From Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to Spider-Man: Homecoming, Black Panther, Infinity War, and beyond, check out the following slideshow of all of Marvel Studios’ planned movie and TV projects.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Click through the slideshow for Marvel Studios’ full slate of upcoming movies and TV shows all the way through 2020.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Marvel is 14 films into its run at this point, with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange serving as the start of Phase 3 of the line-up.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be released on May 5, 2017, and sees the return of the original film’s Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket and (Baby) Groot with some new team members as well. It looks like Michael Rooker’s Yondu, Karen Gillan’s Nebula, and newcomer Mantis (Pom Klementieff) will also join the Guardians, while Kurt Russell appears as Star-Lord’s cosmic dad Ego and Elizabeth Debicki plays a mysterious character named Ayesha — a new threat to the team.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Spidey finally arrived in the MCU in Civil War, and now with Homecoming Tom Holland’s new incarnation of the webhead will get his first standalone film. He’ll go up against Michael Keaton’s villainous Vulture, while also facing the perhaps equally perilous life of a high school student. And of course, Peter Parker’s new mentor Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) is also expected to pop up in the film. Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Marvel Team-Up! It’s a tried and true tradition for Marvel Comics to group its characters in one-off adventures, and while the movies have increasingly relied on bringing different heroes into their “standalone” films, Thor: Ragnarok feels like a real jump into this arena as the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) joins the God of Thunder (Chris Hemsworth) for his third movie. And arena is the right word, because Ragnarok (out November 3, 2017) will be in part based on the Planet Hulk comics story that put the green one into alien gladiator combat. Cate Blanchett (Hela), Tessa Thompson (Valkyrie), Jeff Goldblum (Grandmaster) and Karl Urban (Skurge) join Thor regulars Tom Hiddleston, Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Black Panther debuted in Civil War and was an instant hit with fans, which is surely good news for Marvel which had already announced the character’s solo film. Coming on February 16, 2018, the continued adventures of T’Challa, the King of Wakanda, will once again star Chadwick Boseman in the title role. Michael B. Jordan will play the villain Erik Killmonger, with Oscar winner Lupita Nyong’o as love interest Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Winston Duke as M’Baku (also known as Man-Ape in the comics) and Angela Bassett as T’Challa’s mother. Creed’s Ryan Coogler directs the film.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

The Avengers, torn apart in Civil War, will finally return to the spotlight when Avengers: Infinity War is released on May 4, 2018. The question is, which Avengers will headline this film, which is the first of a planned two-parter? Little is know about these sequels, although obviously the long-teased villain Thanos and his quest for the Infinity Stones will finally take center stage in the MCU.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Paul Rudd and Evangeline Lilly will return on July 6, 2018, as Ant-Man and the Wasp, as will the first Ant-Man film’s director Peyton Reed. It remains to be seen where Scott Lang and Hope van Dyne find themselves in the sequel, considering Lang is a fugitive from the law as of Civil War, but at least van Dyne will finally get to put on that Wasp suit.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Captain Marvel is a long ways off with a release planned for March 8, 2019, but the title character (a.k.a. Carol Danvers) has already been cast in Oscar winner Brie Larson (Room). Don’t be surprised, then, if she shows up in another Marvel film like Infinity War prior to this movie. A female director is expected to be hired for Captain Marvel.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

The fourth Avengers film doesn’t have a title yet, but it does have a release date: May 3, 2019. Like Infinity War, this sequel will be directed by Anthony and Joe Russo and written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, the same quartet that gave us Winter Soldier and Civil War. According to Marvel boss Kevin Feige, this movie will be the culmination of everything that began with the first Iron Man in 2008.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

A sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is in the works for July 5, 2019. Spider-Man: Prom maybe?!

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Beyond the fourth Avengers film and Spider-Man 2, at least three other MCU movies already have release dates staked out: May 1, 2020, July 10, 2020 and November 6, 2020. What those titles wind up being is anyone’s guess, but certainly the post-Avengers 4 landscape will be a very different place for Marvel as newer heroes take the forefront and some popular favorites begin to play a smaller role.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

On the MCU TV front, the fourth of the originally announced Marvel Netflix shows will debut on March 17, 2017, with Iron Fist. Finn Jones stars as Danny Rand, a kung-fu expert and wielder of the Iron Fist of the title. Marvel Netflix regulars Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple and Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth will also appear in the show.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist will finally team-up with The Defenders, Marvel and Netflix’s “street-level” version of The Avengers. Sigourney Weaver has been cast as the villain for the series, though we don’t know yet who exactly she’s playing. Expect a ton of other familiar faces to show up as well from the other Marvel Netflix shows when The Defenders arrives later in 2017 (exact date TBD).

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

While an Inhumans movie had been discussed for years, eventually Inhuman characters started to pop up on Agents of Shield. But the most famous of the Inhumans — the Royal Family led by Black Bolt — have never been glimpsed. That will change with this ABC show, which represents a teaming of Marvel and IMAX. The first two episodes of the show will be shot and released theatrically in IMAX in September of 2017 before the full eight-episode show begins airing later that month.

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Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

He made a big impression when he appeared in Season 2 of Daredevil, and now Jon Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle — the Punisher! — is getting a solo series. Deborah Ann Woll will also reprise her role as Karen Page from Daredevil in the series, which will debut sometime in 2017.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Cloak and Dagger have been in development as a potential TV series for quite some time, with Marvel TV EVP Jeph Loeb announcing the project for ABC Family back in 2011. Now the pair look to finally be getting their shot at live-action fame as a 2018 show for Freeform (ABC Family’s new name). Joe Pokaski (Heroes) will produce the show, which will tell the tale of Ty Johnson and Tandy Bowen, two teenagers who acquire unique powers.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

Damage Control is planned as a comedy for ABC which portrays the guys who get stuck cleaning up the mess the heroes of the MCU make during their battles. Ben Karlin (The Colbert Report) will produce the half-hour series.

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show

As for where the MCU goes after Phase 3, it’s anyone’s guess right now. A pilot for Runaways has been ordered by Hulu and could lead to a full series. And characters like Namor, Miles Morales, Moon Knight and Blade are among the thousands of Marvel players who could potentially be developed for the big or small screen. Time will tell where Marvel will go next, but until then… excelsior!

Marvel Cinematic Universe: Every Upcoming Movie and TV Show
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Of course, Marvel has proven in the past that it’s willing to deviate from its release plan when an opportunity arises. When the studio was finally able to make a deal with Sony to share Spider-Man, for example, the schedule was rejiggered a bit to make room for the wallcrawler. Ditto when Ant-Man turned out to be a hit and got a sequel announcement.

Which MCU movies are you most looking forward to? And which characters or titles do you want to see Marvel tackle in live-action next? Let’s discuss in the comments!

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Talk to Senior Editor Scott Collura on Twitter at @ScottCollura.

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

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And the mysterious Ranger’s name revealed.

Coming hot off the heels of the mysterious new Green/White Power Ranger, Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 by writer Kyle Higgins and artist Hendry Prasetya from BOOM! Studios will debut another new type of Power Ranger called Mastodon Sentries.

Take a look:

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Art by Hendry Prasetya. (BOOM! Studios)

As you can see, the militaristic Ranger gets its name from the mantle of the Black Ranger worn by Zack. The Mastadon Sentries make up an army that serves the mysterious new hybrid Ranger, who we now know is named Lord Drakkon. He appears to be some sort of king in a dark dimension that mirrors our own (except for having ruined cities and evil Power Rangers, of course).

“This is a different world—a darker world. In this place, the Power Coins have been used by our dark Ranger to build up an army. So, a militaristic aesthetic, mixed with classic Power Rangers iconography—like Zack’s battle axe—is what we landed on. I have to give massive, massive props to Hendry—he did a ridiculous job on the design,” Higgins told us in an email interview, praising the series artist.

Billy and Tommy were unexpectedly transported to the dark dimension at the end of Issue #9, and we see them meet this new Ranger in the provided preview page (more at the end of this article), but how will Zack react when he eventually sees them?

“Well, there’s nothing like seeing the mantle you’ve proudly worn get warped and corrupted for evil, right? Stay tuned!” Higgins teased.

The debut of the Mastodon Sentry makes Issue #11 even bigger than we already knew. It will also reveal the identity of Lord Drakkon, who worked with Rita Repulsa to (almost) take down the Power Rangers using his Black Dragon Zord.

This also marks the launching point for what Higgins ensures will be a huge year for the series.

“With the reveal of our new, dark Ranger, this world, and the Ranger Sentries that police it… I think it’s safe to say we’re officially hitting our stride on our original goal: doing some new, exciting things with the concept of Power Rangers, playing to the strengths of the monthly comics medium, while staying respectful of what’s come before. Our first year of stories has been building to this one, and really… it’s just the beginning for what we’ve got planned. 2017 is going to be a massive year for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers,” Higgins said.

The FOC for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 is Monday, December 26, so tell your retailer to order you a copy now if you want to snag the debut of this new Ranger. The issue goes on sale in stores and online Wednesday, January 18, 2017.

Check out the full preview of the issue below:

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Cover art by Jamal Campbell.

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Interior art by Hendry Prasetya.

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Interior art by Hendry Prasetya.

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Interior art by Hendry Prasetya.

Militaristic ‘Mastodon Sentry’ to Debut in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11

Interior art by Hendry Prasetya.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers #11 preview
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What do you think of the Mastodon Sentry? Let us know in the comments!

Joshua is IGN’s Comics Editor. If Pokemon, Green Lantern, or Game of Thrones are frequently used words in your vocabulary, you’ll want to follow him on Twitter @JoshuaYehl and IGN.

GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

GTA Online’s holiday event kicks off in full today, as a rare weather event–snow–begins to fall in the world now through Monday to celebrate the holidays, Rockstar Games announced on its blog.

A new Adversary mode has also been released. Titled Juggernaut, this is an “all-out brawl for dominance,” with two players suiting up with heavy armor and a chaingun to become a behemoth.

“In this brutal war between two opposing teams, the Juggernaut is your greatest asset and your only liability,” reads a line from its description.” As an Attacker, you’ll need to flank, swarm and successfully execute the opposing team’s heavily-reinforced Juggernaut–while protecting your own–to take the win. If your team is unable to wipe out the opposition’s Juggernaut in time, Sudden Death rules go into effect and everyone becomes a Juggernaut. First kill wins though, so you’ll want to be aggressive in trying to take first blood.

You can earn doubled GTA$ and RP in the mode now through January 1.

GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

More holiday-themed content has now arrived as well in the form of a custom version of the Pfister Comet that’s been morphed into a “gritty urban dragster suitable for the rough-riding drifters of Los Santos.” You can find the vehicle at Benny’s Original Motor Works.

As mentioned, snow is now falling in Los Santos and Blaine County, continuing through December 26. Also, snowball fights are back. You can press left on the D-pad to collect up to nine snowballs

Additionally, Rockstar announced some holiday presents for GTA Online. Everyone who logs in on Christmas Day (December 25) will receive a unicorn mask (see it below) and some pajamas, either the White Graphic or Blue Check items. Players also receive the following ammunition for loggin in:

  • Fireworks Launcher plus 10 Fireworks rockets
  • Carbine Rifle plus 200 rounds of Ammo
  • Marksman Rifle plus 200 rounds of Ammo
  • Basic Knuckle Dusters
  • 25 Sticky Bombs
  • 25 Grenades
  • 5 Proximity Mines
  • 5 Molotovs
  • Full Snacks
  • Full Armor
GTA 5: New Mode Out Now, Snow Begins to Fall, More Xmas DLC Announced

You don’t have to wait until Christmas to get a gift in GTA Online, however, as Rockstar said people who log in December 23, 24, or 26 will get the Fireworks Launcher and 10 rockets, as well as a t-shirt.

Lastly, Rockstar announced a bonus for select criminal activities; on December 24 and 25 only, you can earn 50% more from the list below:

  • 50% more GTA$ on all Vehicle Exports
  • 50% more GTA$ on all Biker Business Sales
  • 50% more GTA$ on all Special Cargo Deliveries

For more on how other games are celebrating the holidays, check out GameSpot’s roundup.

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Assassin’s Creed Movie Animus Design Could Make It Into the Games

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No arm in that.

Ubisoft is apparently interested in making the Animus device used in the Assassin’s Creed game series more like the one created for its new tie-in movie according to its director and star.

The movie Animus is a far cry from the virtual reality headset/hip lounge chair we’re used to, instead comprising a giant mechanical arm and holographic lights to help represent the genetic memories its accessing in the user.

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“We’re really excited about it,” explained director Justin Kurzel in an interview with IGN. “Actually, Ubisoft were really interested in it. They thought that the potential of it to actually interact as gameplay was really interesting. So they were talking about maybe evolving it even further for possible games for the future.   “They’ve talked very seriously about making the Animus more active, and they were really, really excited by, especially, those scenes where you see Callum fighting [inside it].”

Star Michael Fassbender, who plays both the man in the animus, Callum Lynch, and the man in the Animus, Aguilar, confirmed Kurzel’s comments about Ubisoft’s interest in a separate interview:

“That’s right. That’s great. When you can get cross-pollination going on like that, it’s perfect. That’s really what we were all hoping for.”

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Kurzel also told us exactly why he and his team were forced to invent a whole new Animus for the film:

“Well, when I was introduced to the Animus chair, I kind of instantly just saw that as a problem. Not its design, and not the way it interacts within the game, but I just kind of thought, ‘god, it’s going to be so passive and inert.’

“All you’re you’re going to be doing is cutting back to Michael [Fassbender] sitting there in a chair [laughs]. I could just see myself, like- how many different ways can we shoot Michael in this chair with his eyes fluttering?”

Ubisoft took a year off from making an Assassin’s Creed game in 2016 – the earliest we could see a retooled action-Animus would be the rumoured Assassin’s Creed: Empire. The Assassin’s Creed movie is out now.

Joe Skrebels is IGN’s UK News Editor, and that Animus is pretty close to how he gets into work each day. His dad is an inventor. Follow him on Twitter.