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Crackdown 3 Still Isn’t Ready, According To Xbox Chief

One of the games that was supposed to be a staple exclusive for the Xbox One years ago was Crackdown 3. The game was supposed to usher in the platform of cloud-based gaming to showcase to the world the “power of the cloud.” For most people who understood how the tech worked, it seemed like a pipe dream, and eventually Microsoft abandoned the cloud-based marketing angle for Crackdown 3 and began to revamp it as an over-the-top third-person shooter. After multiple delays, various appearances at E3, and the addition of Terry Crews, Xbox head honcho, Phil Spencer, has confirmed that while the game is still coming along in development, it’s not yet ready for release.

Phil Spencer posted the tweet in response to a user asking about Crackdown 3 as a response to Spencer talking about how good Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey looks running at upscaled 4K on the Xbox One X. Spencer also praised the game developers for really pushing the graphics boundaries with all the upcoming open-world titles coming to the Xbox One X, such as Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption 2, and Playground Games’ Forza Horizon 4.

Some Xbox One owners really wanted to see what Crackdown 3 looked like on the Xbox One, which prompted Spencer to explain how he had played a full build recently and that Cloudgine, Reagent Games and Sumo Digital are making good progress but that more work still needs to be done.

The current release window is set for February, 2019. This was established this past year during E3, when Microsoft moved the release out of the fall of 2018 into the early first quarter of 2019.

The 2019 release came after the game was delayed multiple times, with Microsoft pushing the game back year after year. The company explained that it was still learning and working on understanding and striking the right balance between announcing games and releasing games.

Crackdown 3 was originally announced four years ago at E3. The game was introduced with a cinematic trailer just a year after the Xbox One launched on the market.

Initially, the marketing for the game centered around the inclusion of cloud-based streaming, and Microsoft showcased how the cloud tech would work, with the physics calculations taking place remotely and the information packets being sent to the end-user to update the frames. It seemed like an ambitious way to tie gaming and cloud technology together, but it never really came to full fruition the way Microsoft had marketed it.

Over the years the direction for Crackdown 3 seemed to veer away from relying solely on the cloud-based element and more of the traditional third-person action oriented gameplay began to emerge. We finally got to see a lot more gameplay back in 2017, but it wasn’t really enough to wow gamers. Terry Crews eventually joined the cast and the game seemed to gain a more concrete direction.

Judging by Spencer’s tweet, it appears as if the team is moving ahead with the current direction and will continue to target the February 2019 release.

The Internet Has Already Dumped Bowsette For Indie-Rocker Rosalina

Internet love affairs are a fickle thing and oftentimes a cruel mistress of fate; they come and go like howls on the wind during a chilly winter’s day. They don’t usually last very long and whatever comes to replace what the internet was previously fascinated with is usually just as likely to fall victim to the same sort of juvenile abandonment for which the previous tryst became a victim. That little aphorism seems to ring true for the latest web-based infatuation that is Bowsette. The buxom species-swap from Bowser to a blonde-haired princess — sporting a turtle shell on her back and a black dress — took the gaming fandom by storm, for a spell. It wasn’t too long after the fascination and fan-drawings of Bowsette began to wane did another character swoop in to unassumingly steal the spotlight, and it’s none other than the indie-rocker rendition of Princess Rosalina.

The image originally comes from the book The Art of Mario Odyssey. It was snapped and posted on the Nintendo sub-reddit, where the users fell in love with the image.

It depicts Rosalina as an indie-rocker with a black t-shirt, blue jeans, and a black belt with a rocker bracelet on. She’s handling an acoustic guitar with a long black, cross-shaped earring.

There were a few fan-art drawings popping up on social media after the concept art popped up on Reddit.

There hasn’t quite been a deluge of fan art taking over every timeline or trending in the same way that Bowsette did after the fan-made comic initially appeared following the latest Nintendo Direct, but there are some out there who liked what the concept art depicted and began giving their own interpretation of the character.

Twitter user and digital artist, Benbeau, shared a quick black and white drawing of indie-rocker Rosalina, sitting in her room on a bed with a guitar case in the background.

Of course, most people in the original Reddit thread were asking how and where did this indie-rocker Rosalina fit into Super Mario Odyssey?

It’s a good question, because all throughout the adventure it didn’t seem like there was any place for her. The Switch exclusive only had one place where she might have been a perfect fit, Metro Kingdom. However, Mayor Pauline readily took the spotlight as the singing, dancing, crooning centerpiece of the stage that both highlighted the game’s unique blend of 2D and 3D platforming as well as gave Mario an extra bit of motivation thanks to the theme song playing in the background.

Maybe if Nintendo decides to make a Super Mario Odyssey 2, they can have a Goth Kingdom where Mario can visit Rosalina and her indie rock band, who play a variation of the game’s theme song.

A New Harry Potter Game May Be On The Way

Even though the movie universe for the mainline Harry Potter adventures may have come to an end, there are still spin-offs being made in the Wizarding World to keep the fires lit in the ever-so-popular brand. In recent times we’ve seen a number of new games emerge based on the Harry Potter universe, and for some reason, there seem to be more and more being made. Or, at least according to one leak, it seems like there may be a new game in the works based on the Harry Potter series that one publishing company doesn’t want you to know about.

According to Eurogamer, BBC News reporter Lizo Mzimba scooped a story that there is apparently a new role-playing game in the works that has not been announced yet. It will supposedly be titled Harry Potter: Magic Awakened or Harry Potter: Magic Forever. Mzimba also commented that there could be other games within the Wizarding World on the way themed around Harry Potter.

The scoop from Mzimba followed a post from Eurogamer that broke earlier in the day about footage that leaked online that appeared to confirm that a new Harry Potter game was in the works. The footage was quickly taken down by Warner Bros. shortly after it was posted. It was originally leaked by a Reddit user who claimed to be part of a marketing research test group which was shown the footage as part of a focus group test. Quite naturally, some people called out the user for creating an elaborate hoax, but he claimed that he did not create the test footage.

The video is a minute and 19 seconds long, and the user copied over the description of the game and posted it in the comment thread on Reddit, where it explains that the game is set in the 19th century within J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World. It’s a third-person, open-world, action-RPG that allows you to upgrade your character, and unlock new magic abilities along the way.

Like most games set within Rowling’s universe, you will start the adventure as a new student arriving at Hogwarts, where you’ll attempt to track down and discover the remnants of an ancient power.

The game will supposedly see players journeying through familiar places and brand new locations alike, as well as having the ability to adapt and evolve your wizard into eight different class-types. You’ll be able to create your own character, and choose how they develop throughout the game.

While some accused the user of making all of this up, Eurogamer points out that Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment was quick to block the video on copyright grounds. If it wasn’t real, though, why would Warner Bros. care about it?

Also, there are mirrors of the video floating around that showcase some really high-fidelity animation and physics properties at play, far above what the Xbox One and PS4 are capable of. According to Eurogamer this mystery game is supposedly a year off from release, and if that is the case — and if the CG-quality graphics are anything to go by — it could easily mean that this Harry Potter project could end up being for the PlayStation 5 and whatever the next-gen Xbox will be. This is all assuming that the project is actually in development, of course.

How NCIS Paid Tribute To Reeves After His Death

That seemed to be it for Nick’s story in this episode until he showed up on on the doorstep of Bishop — or “Ellie,” as Nick called her — to sadly reveal that he couldn’t fix his sunglasses, and she finally learned what was up with Nick all episode: the sunglasses he’d accidentally smashed were a gift from Reeves. Drunk and tearful, Nick told Bishop that his missed his buddy, and she admitted that she misses him too. It was a sweet moment between Nick and Bishop as they remembered their fallen friend, and it proved that Reeves is not forgotten. Abby’s departure left the larger hole in the ensemble thanks to her 15 years on the show, but Reeves gave his life and died a hero’s death. He deserves a tribute at least as much as Abby, and we can only hope that his friends continue to remember him.

NCIS’ Newest Star Has Thoughts About That Super-Gross Hot Tub Scene

Warning: spoilers ahead for the second episode of NCIS Season 16.

Now that NCIS is into its sixteenth season on the air, one might think that the show would have run out of new ways to serve up dead bodies. Well, the second episode of Season 16 proved that NCIS is still very good at finding creative methods of killing off characters, and the latest big death was super-gross and involved a dead body in a hot tub. Diona Reasonover, who is the latest addition to the NCIS team as forensic scientist Kasie Hines, shared her thoughts in a chat with CinemaBlend on the super-gross hot tub scene, saying this:

Yes, as it turns out, the NCIS props people used yogurt and red water to show viewers what might happen to a dead body left in a hot tub that turned on with the bubbles and heater enough times to all but ruin any chance of determining time of death. Unlike the kinds of bodies the NCIS agents usually find, this corpse was not simply shot or stabbed or strangled to death. Most bodies are more or less intact for the forensic team to examine; in the case of the hot tub corpse, the body was more of a skeleton stuck in blood-and-flesh soup. No wonder Diona Reasonover was grossed out and not exactly in the mood for food! That can’t be the most delightful to start the day. Pauley Perrette’s advice was wonderful, but it wasn’t about the various uses of yogurt on set!

NCIS handled the death in an entertainingly relatable way. Everybody who encountered the dead body and hot tub flesh soup was completely grossed out both by the look of what was left of him and the smell. Fortunately for those of us sitting comfortably at home, we couldn’t smell anything coming out of the hot tub. The forensic team ultimately had to bring the hot tub full of bones and goop back to NCIS rather than attempt to drain and investigate on the cul-de-sac site of death. Ducky, Jimmy, and Kasie did ultimately gain some insight from all the grossness, so all’s well that ends well, even if it didn’t look or smell great! Nick wasn’t having the easiest time in this episode either, ultimately landing behind bars.

All of this said, Diona Reasonover was excited for viewers to get to see the dead body and fake flesh chunks of yogurt, so it’s safe to say that she fits into NCIS just fine. Reasonover has shared her appreciation for the costume designer at NCIS as well as the props people who build the bodies, and she’s excited to bring a woman in STEM to life on the small screen. As much as fans may have missed Pauley Perrette immediately after she departed as Abby, Kasie is definitely a fitting replacement. Although the characters may struggle to get used to having a new forensic scientist on the scene after a decade and a half of Abby, Kasie will find her place in the team.

You can find new episodes of NCIS with Diona Reasonover on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on CBS. For more important TV dates now and in the not-too-distant future, swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.

Christian Bale Is Unrecognizable As Dick Cheney In First Vice Footage

Between balancing the class of Bruce Wayne and the strength of the Bat in the Dark Knight trilogy, a beer-bellied con man in American Hustle, and a frightening psychopath in American Psycho, Christian Bale is no strange to pulling off incredible transformations. The Academy Award-winning actor seems to have played a role from almost every era in history at 44 years old. The upcoming film Vice is his most unrecognizable yet, as he’s playing politician Dick Cheney, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and the vice president to George W. Bush during his two terms. Ahead of the trailer drop tomorrow, take a look at Bale as Cheney in this teaser:

Writer and director of Vice Adam McKay tweeted out the first look at the biopic focusing on one of the most powerful vice presidents in U.S. history. The short clip briefly reveals Christian Bale as the public figure in a few different stages in his life. He is hardly recognizable and does the job of bringing interest and excitement for the full trailer coming out tomorrow. After the critical and commercial success of The Big Short in 2015, the upcoming film has Bale and McCay collaborating again, this time telling the story of how the vice president’s policies impacted the world. Cheney was heavily involved in the response of the Bush administration after the September 11 attacks, leading to the global war on terror.

Vice will see a variety of transformations from high profile actors, with Amy Adams as Cheney’s wife Lynne, Bill Pullman as former vice president Nelson Rockefeller, Steve Carell as former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Sam Rockwell as former President George W. Bush. The film’s talented ensemble cast will likely make a good case to earn recognition just in time for awards season, as it will see a holiday release. This is Adam McKay’s first directorial endeavor since The Big Short, which took on the true story of a group of investors who bet against the US mortgage market. The film was a Best Picture contender and earned $70 million domestically at the box office.

Adam McKay is best known for iconic comedy films such as Step Brothers and Anchorman, but he has shifted toward gripping audiences with incredible stories in American history. The story of Dick Cheney will interest many, as the politician’s power was incredibly impactful on the world today and contributed to a shift in our culture, views and changes in relations with the Middle East. It seems like the optimum film to open some interesting conversations on United States’ politics, especially concerning the reactions and decisions made after the 9/11 attacks. Vice will come to theaters on December 25, and be sure to look through our 2018 release schedule to learn what other movies are opening before the year is over.

Google’s Project Stream Makes Assassin’s Creed Odyssey Playable In Chrome

Game streaming has been a dream goal for many publishers for many years. Initially, it was OnLive and Gaikai that got the ball rolling, hoping to bring gamers an opportunity to stream their favorite games without the requirement of having expensive console hardware. Things didn’t quite work out for OnLive due to infrastructure issues on the consumer end, and Gaikai was later bought out by Sony and turned into PlayStation Now, which has had its ups and downs in trying to gain a foothold in the streaming space. Well, as the old saying goes, competition breeds progress and Google is looking to get competitive in the game-streaming space. Both Google and Ubisoft have teamed up to offer gamers an opportunity to play Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey without actually needing a high-end PC or home console to do so. Yes, you’ll be able to play the game right from the comfort of your browser, with low-end specs to boot.

In a Google blog post, the company revealed that streaming tech has moved far enough along that now that music and video programming is easily accessible through just about any device, it was time to take a crack at video games… again. The company has been working with the tech that powers Project Stream in order to overcome the technical hurdles that waylaid previous efforts to make game streaming a possibility. This includes testing the new tech with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, which will be playable through Project Stream, for free, starting on October 5th within the Google Chrome browser.

The game will be streamed at the top-end of 1080p at 60 frames per second. As some of you know, such streaming settings for playing a game can be quite taxing, and you even need a pretty decent rig to utilize the game-streaming through the Xbox app on Windows 10 in order to stream Xbox One games to your gaming rig. However, as pointed out in the blog post, the tech Google is working with is aimed at reducing latency down to microseconds and ensuring that there’s no buffer between the user input and the data-reads.

Additionally, the idea is to produce streaming output for the end-user that has no “graphic degradation”. Some of you might notice that when playing games through PlayStation Now or streaming games through the Xbox app on Windows 10, sometimes in order to maintain consistent refresh rates you’ll see the bit-rate lower briefly (or consistently) to compensate for any potential loss of frames or to prevent players from losing stability in play. Google hopes to overcome these issues with Project Stream so that gamers will be able to retain the indulgence of high-end graphics and gameplay provided by some AAA experiences, such as Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey. Ubisoft is also using a similar method to bring the game to the Nintendo Switch, but it’s only going to be available in Japan.

Of course, you will need a rather fast internet connection that supports at least 25 megabits per second, and if you want to participate in the free test starting October 5th, you will need to be at least 18 years of age or older. You can sign-up to be a beta participant over on the Project Stream website.

If you’re accepted into the program, you can look to play-test Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey later this week.

Why The Gifted Doesn’t Feature More Comic Book Locations

Like most comic book shows, although Fox’s The Gifted is inspired by source material, in this case the X-Men comics, creative liberties are taken to ensure these TV adventures stand on their own. One example of this is The Gifted‘s locations, as so far the series has operated in more “real world” settings compared to the comics, movies and video games. With that in mind, when I asked what the thought process was for designing the headquarters for the Inner Circle in Season 2, The Gifted production designer Seth Reed noted how most of the inspiration for designing these sets and locations comes from the characters themselves. As Reed explained during his chat with CinemaBlend:

I would say that in general, we don’t borrow much from the comics that we have all the references, and we have people here that are really very imbued with the material. To some extent we look at Days of Future Past and X-Men: Apocalypse, the two most recent X-Men films. Frankly, most of the inspiration just comes from the characters. I mean, the Frost sisters have blue eyes, they’re very elegant, they’re very clean and sharp in their features. And so is Reeva, our new character who is the head of the Inner Circle. So those characters themselves are the real inspiration for the spaces they inhabit, so that’s why you see this really beautiful architecture, and they tend to have a lot of blue associated with them. So just a very simplistic way, I would say the inspiration is coming directly from the characters.

Needless to say that as long as The Gifted is on the air, it will continue pulling from the larger X-Men mythology in some form or fashion. Nevertheless, there’s definitely more room for The Gifted to chart its own path, particularly concerning where the main characters spend their time. In the case of Reeva and the Frost sisters (a.k.a. the Stepford Cuckoos), who are now leading the Inner Circle after eliminating the Hellfire Club‘s leadership, their looks and appearances went into designing the fancy building where they’re hatching new plans to improve life for mutants everywhere. And it’s not just with the Inner Circle that this approach is used. Seth Reed also told me that the same holds true for the Mutant Underground, which is operating with significantly less resources and has to hide in more average places. Reed continued:

Yes, absolutely. Same exact idea. More earthy colors, more sort of ground level-based places that they’re in. The clinic and their place at the scrap yard and things that are all more normalized. Interesting, but normalized, and not exclusive. Like, they’re out in the middle of the world, so we want to make sure it’s clear that they’re interactive with humans all around, and they’re inhabiting buildings and spaces that humans are in all around them.

Because their previous base, an abandoned bank, was destroyed in the The Gifted Season 1 finale, the Mutant Underground was forced to set up shop elsewhere, with a scrap yard now serving as their new main base, among other areas. Seth Reed added that it’s important for Eclipse, Thunderbird and the rest of the Mutant Underground members to operate under the radar, hence why they’re hanging out in these “normal,” earthy places and doing their best to blend in with the general population. As time goes on, perhaps The Gifted will see its starring players traveling to more places familiar to longtime X-Men comics readers, but for now, the series will keep looking to said players to model its special, original settings after.

The Gifted airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Fox. As for what else is returning/debuting this fall TV season, check out our handy premiere guide for that information.

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See Fenty Beauty’s Nude Stunna Lip Paints on Four Women

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint last year—a bold blue-red shade based off her signature look—she didn’t just drop a red lipstick. Rih went all out with a weightless formula that glides on smooth and dries into a velvety matte finish. The brand flooded Instagram with photos of everyone from Slick Woods to Duckie Thot wearing the color to show how versatile it was. And Rihanna even made her own Insta tutorial for it. Honestly, would you expect anything less?

Which is why it should come as no surprise that now, almost a year later, she’s coming in even hotter with four new additions to the Stunna family. This time they’re nudes for every skin tone. And black—because in Rihanna’s world, you’d better believe that’s a neutral. As Fenty revealed the colors one by one last week, the fan responses came pouring in. Women of color praised Fenty for finally creating a nude in mind for dark skin (a “universal chocolate brown” called Unveil), which the brand says went through rigorous testing to confirm the claim. The black (surprise, surprise) was also met with similar enthusiasm, if not some slight hesitation.

The question, of course, you probably want to know though is if they’re worth the hype. We had four staffers put them to the test. Read on for their honest thoughts.

See Fenty Beauty’s Nude Stunna Lip Paints on 4 Women

When Rihanna launched Fenty Beauty’s Stunna Lip Paint last year—a bold blue-red shade based off her signature look—she didn’t just drop a red lipstick. Rih went all out with a weightless formula that glides on smooth and dries into a velvety matte finish. The brand flooded Instagram with photos of everyone from Slick Woods to Duckie Thot wearing the color to show how versatile it was. And Rihanna even made her own Insta tutorial for it. Honestly, would you expect anything less?

Which is why it should come as no surprise that now, almost a year later, she’s coming in even hotter with four new additions to the Stunna family. This time, they’re nudes for every skin tone. And black—because in Rihanna’s world, you better believe that’s a neutral. As Fenty revealed the colors one by one last week, the fan responses came pouring in. Women of color praised Fenty for finally creating a nude in mind for dark skin (a “universal chocolate brown” called Unveil), which the brand says went through rigorous testing to confirm the claim. The black (surprise, surprise) was also met with similar enthusiasm, if not some slight hesitation.

The question, of course, you probably want to know though is if they’re worth the hype. We had four staffers put them to the test. Read on for their honest thoughts.