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Nintendo

Breath of the Wild’s prequel has time travel, here’s why it matters

Hyrule Warriors: Age of Calamity has a new eShop demo available for download, which gives players a taste of the upcoming hack-and-slash game. While much of the demo has you fighting through droves of Bokoblins, the opening of the demo teases some tantalizing possibilities for the entirety of the game.

In the initial cutscene, Age of Calamity starts up in the future, when Zelda stops Ganon from continuing his rampage on Hyrule. This is notable because technically, Age of Calamity is supposed to be a prequel.

But when Zelda’s power awakens during the cinematic, we see a mini guardian turn on and then suddenly hop into a portal. The portal takes the tyke to the past, where the events of Age of Calamity take place. Time travel is nothing new for the Zelda franchise — in Majora’s Mask, it’s a mechanic unto itself. But the reason this is a curious decision for Age of Calamity is that it means we can’t assume what will happen during the course of the game.

This entire time, fans have thought the prequel would inevitably end in tragedy. After all, in Breath of the Wild, the champions are long-dead. In Age of Calamity, the champions are all alive and gearing up to defend Hyrule from Ganon’s threat.

If time travel is on the table, the developers at Koei Tecmo don’t have to follow the events that lead into Breath of the Wild at all. They could, in fact, just open up a new timeline in which something else happens altogether. Already, by changing the myth tapestry we see at the start of Breath of the Wild, there’s speculation that Age of Calamity might introduce more champions — the original imagery only showed one champion per Divine Beast. Now there’s two! What does it mean? Will the champions win against Ganon this time? Nevermind, of course, that the mini guardian that puts everything into motion doesn’t even exist in Breath of the Wild.

What’s more, data miners who have perused through the game files have found icons belonging to a number of surprising (and spoilery) character inclusions. While these icons could mean anything and don’t necessarily imply we’ll be able to play as these figures, the combination of time travel and their apparent inclusion in the game means that anything is possible.

Buckle up. Age of Calamity, out on Nov. 20 for the Nintendo Switch, may be a ride.

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News

Immersed Now Brings Your Keyboard Into Your Virtual Office

Oculus Quest virtual workspace app Immersed now lets you bring in your real keyboard!

Immersed is an app that lets you and your team bring your monitors into a shared virtual workspace. Uniquely, it even gives you up to 5 extra virtual monitors- something once considered impossible to do performantly with the Windows OS. It’s priced at $15/month/person for a team of up to 4, or $30/month/person for larger teams.

There’s also a free version for solo use, though it’s limited to 1 additional virtual monitor.

Quest headsets have built-in controller-free hand tracking. Immersed has you hold down specific keys with your right index finger so it can place the virtual keyboard at the same relative position. Doing so entails awkwardly peeking through the headset’s nose gap- developers can’t show passthrough mode yet.

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It’s a manual calibration, and you’ll need to recalibrate if you change your Guardian safety boundaries or move the keyboard’s position. It also uses a preset keyboard model, so the non-alphanumeric keys won’t precisely line up unless your keyboard matches the model.

Those minor disclaimers aside, the result feels like the best typing experience in a publicly available VR app. Since you see both the keyboard and your hands you no longer need to touch type. Trying it out in a Quest 2 with the Elite Strap, I could see myself working in Immersed for hours. The virtual monitors feature finally delivers the infinite workspace promised by science fiction.

In a demonstration posted to reddit, Immersed founder Renji Bijoy demonstrated typing at 164 words per minute using this new feature – roughly 4x the average typing speed. Bijoy says that’s about on par with his typing speed outside VR, to be clear.

Companies like Facebook and HTC pitch virtual reality in the long term as a replacement for physical offices. Enabling full-speed text entry is necessary to meet this goal. Finding a VR-native way to type is an area of active exploration, but for the near future bringing the keyboards people already know how to use is likely going to be more practical.

Facebook plans to ship experimental system-level support for a specific Logitech keyboard later this year, using computer vision. That means it shouldn’t need manual calibration and can match the precise key layout- but that keyboard is priced at $60. Right now, today, you can use Immersed with the keyboard you already own.

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PC

This pumpkin carving sim is a real delight

Over the weekend, I got together with friends — via Discord — and carved pumpkins. Each October, I always seem to forget how messy and hard pumpkin carving is; typically, I end up giving up halfway through. This year, I persisted, and actually carved my favorite ghost-type Pokémon into a massive, massive pumpkin. I immediately put it outside so that my neighbors could admire my handiwork.

The next morning, I opened the front door and saw a large squirrel hobbling away from my pumpkin. The Pokémon had been decimated — almost unrecognizable. (The squirrels also ate nearly all the teeth out of my partner’s pumpkin, too.)

Believe it or not, he once had a full set of chompers
Image: Nicole Carpenter/Polygon

Mourning the destruction of my pumpkins, I loaded up A Short Hike developer Adam Robinson-Yu’s Mayor Bones Proudly Presents Ghost Town’s 999th Annual Pumpkin Festival, a pumpkin carving simulation game that he released on Wednesday. I planned to test it out by re-creating the pumpkins we carved over the weekend, but I ended up staying much, much longer. Robinson-Yu’s pumpkin carving tool and pumpkin festival is an absolute delight.

The game is available on Linux, Mac, and Windows PC via itch.io, where it’s offered with a name-your-own-price option. There are two locations, essentially. First is the pumpkin carving station, where you’re able to use two separate tools — a scraper and a knife — to create pumpkin masterpieces. There are a variety of different pumpkin types and colors to choose from, too. Once your pumpkin is finished, you can pop over to the pumpkin festival, which is where other real-life users have already displayed their pumpkins. You can place yours, too.

Image: Adam Robinson-Yu via Polygon

At the festival, you can change lighting — daytime or nighttime — and check out pumpkin creations that were placed by users. Other festival goers hover around in real time with you, all represented on screen as cute white-sheet ghosts.

There are so many fantastic creations at the festival already, and the grounds are just teeming with pumpkins. It feels magical to wander around the yard with strangers. I bobbed and weaved around the screen, trying to communicate with the other player I was wandering with: Come this way! I want to show you my pumpkin.

You’re allowed to place three pumpkins on the server, but can replace old ones if you want. Robinson-Yu said on the pumpkin carver itch.io page that the online festival area will only remain online for “a limited time” — probably until a few weeks after Halloween. However long this game remains up, it’s one you’re going to want to check out. Just like Robinson-Yu’s A Short Hike before it, it’s a true, simple delight.


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eSports

Fortnite: FNCS Chapter 2 – Season 4 NA East Heats And Analysis

Fortnite: Battle Royale’s NA East region is preparing to crown its sixth Fortnite Champion Series (FNCS) winner since Season X.

It comes full circle, too, as Season X introduced trios into the competitive playing field. Last time around, players like Tfue and Symfuhny were still playing Fortnite. A lot has changed since then, and the best players are seemingly better than ever. There has been no shortage of drama since this season began.

More will undoubtedly develop as this weekend’s FNCS Heats and Grand Finals conclude. These trios are competing for a piece of $5 million and the ultra-rare Axe of Champions. Now, let’s look at each heat and highlight some of the key teams to watch for this coming weekend.

Also Read: World Cup Champion Aqua Banned from Fortnite for 14 Days

Heat 1 October 29 – October 30 5 PM EST – 8 PM EST

  • Nobu Tragix, Outcast Snake, cN Simple yt_OW
  • Nobu Divine, XnB2006, Nobu Froppe
  • Fwex2005, SAKEFISHY, rez.
  • Zuky, Nobu Bfo, chucky
  • Noob teyo, Parker, Clamps
  • V0il, OA Rocaine, vsB TeeJay
  • Brew Zzz, APEX FADED YT, APEX TURTSS
  • LIWILL, Liquid GodFiber, Ravz
  • Xurt, sphinx, Pluto
  • Sully, Doniee, 7eoLeo
  • Spike, Enquz, vyrus
  • AS Stonie, LA Cobolt, Discord Seem9966
  • SEN HighSky, A1 Scoped, lil tuexy
  • TSM Zexrow, BBG YUNGCALC, TSM MackWood1x
  • Kawzmik, NorCal Doh, NorCal Swaysuo
  • Okis, OT Inspyre, Fyerd
  • TRNL Silent, 1080, TRNL JIVI
  • Festivalxd, lyejax, GS9 Distrept
  • Maniac, James, youtube dupes
  • Juju, Billz is weird, OmG Me II
  • Ray, spdy, Jarekor
  • Cerbs, problem, Slapiin
  • Happed, Staqi, Spayde OT
  • Moo drinks milk, Depressed Aqua, Why
  • GABE, tahi, sprite
  • LG Jamper, Bugha, C9 Avery
  • Dictator Connor, Plege, Gage is FA
  • cN NUTEMON, SK HEDEMON, cN PREDEMON
  • MSF Claw, Noul, Vanish Agro
  • BBG Kreo, BBG Bucke, TSM Khanada
  • Curix, Hide n Seek, Hudson
  • Kwah, codgenesis, Shaedss
  • 100T Ceice, Ghost Blake, Furious

Also Read: Tfue Explains Why He Quit Fortnite, “I was Digging Myself in a Pit”

Season X Champs Zexrow, MackWood and Calc lead the way out of heat one. They’ve shown success in past trio tournaments, but it’s a new day and age. These three have struggled at times with zones that pull far north away from Craggy Cliffs. Zexrow, MackWood and Calc may need RNG on their side but should qualify either way. It’s just a matter of grinding out enough points.

The uncontested Stark Industries trio of Bugha, Jamper and Avery is yet another outstanding team in this challenging heat. They finished first in series points and qualified three times for heats. That sort of consistency comes from landing at arguably the best POI and rotating effectively until the end game. We should see these three in the Grand Finals.

Bugha’s rival Khanada and teammates Kreo and Bucke are one of the best trios across all regions. They finished with the fifth-most series points and won the first qualifier. This trio will claim Slurpy Swamp with plenty of guaranteed shield and two Marvel Quinjets. Hopefully, we will see some encounters between Khanada and Bugha.

Rounding out the top teams in NA East Heat 1 is Ceice, Blake and Furious. All three of these players struggled to find a steady trio and lucked out with the team they built. They secured their ticket to heats in the final qualifier. Look for them to turn some heads and dominate out of Lazy Lake.

Heat 2 October 29 – October 30 5 PM EST – 8 PM EST

  • Ral, LA Vetta, magnolia
  • A1 Nayht, leo2004, Ved 2005
  • Verzatyl Trizz, Verzatyl Rocco, Verzatyl loupee
  • EXO Eomzo, tetro55, lolSamppA
  • C9 Chap, G2 Coop, OA Whofishy
  • Trevin, Frostyk, kodrr
  • Outcast Trap, Nobu Pozed, GoodGuyNani Tv
  • SEN Aspect, Xoonies, OA npen
  • Cloud, JFree, Dmur
  • Walkman, cozhies, Aminished
  • Nobu PaMstou, Artsy, wCarey
  • Summr, Legedien, NoLimitTyfoon
  • YT CatchingsFN, twitter cozyfa, chay5e
  • Ace1xx, Nef, susscript
  • TNA OliverOG, pulseonix, Larson
  • Strobe, gooshtv, kyrha
  • TNA Deyy, TNA Mero, Reverse2k
  • Slayyz, ChrisChin, Savtona
  • MiVe DEMONCH0, DEMONSITO, DEMONDRITO
  • Vanish Bully, TNA Slick, Outcast Iciev
  • XSET Knight, XSET Shark, XSET Av
  • Stroud, strep, LazarP
  • NOBU APEMON, Nobu Beef-YT, Spooky Kamare
  • TSM Commandment, Liquid Cented, NRG Edgey
  • Leinad, acrian, smarty
  • LA Narwhal, zlem, Vanish Bank
  • Roatdw, kolor, oDxnied
  • MamySr4, Vanish Aperta, spark
  • Zum, skqttles, NRG Ronaldo
  • Xen Kiox, Outc4st fr4t, Pure Ganzo
  • Inqyns, Phix, Oaxie
  • Hardworkpaysoff, FrostedSpy, FrostyJays
  • Skivex, MenaceXV, Euzey

Some hearts will break at the end of heat two. It features five of the top 25 series point earners and some genuinely impressive teams. Commandment, Cented and Edgey are the trio to look at first. They just won the final NA East Qualifier decisively. Without Bugha to contest them, Commandment and his teammates will look to secure a spot in the Grand Finals out of Stark Industries.

The full Team New Age trio of Deyy, Mero and Reverse2k has been a pleasant surprise to watch this season. Reverse struggled to find partners when trios began and landed with two underrated slaying machines. They finished no worse than sixth in any of the three qualifiers, landing at Dirty Docks consistently. Only a handful of teams could stop them at this point.

The low ground masters – XSET Gaming’s Shark, Knight and Av – should be in the running out of heat two as well. They popularized the Fortilla loot path, which encompasses several key areas close to Slurpy Swamp. Although storm surge will be necessary, this combination should be just fine if they stick to their game plan. They will have to fight Cented’s trio and our next trio on the low ground, however.

Rotational genius Chap and controller players Whofishy and Coop will look to ride the Catty Corner area to victory. They only qualified once from placement but have shown their ability to dominate the low ground. It’s never smart to count out Chap, especially after taking second at the Season X Finals. He and his controller teammates are in position for a massive upset.

Heat 3 October 29 – October 30 5 PM EST – 8 PM EST

  • FaZe Funk, XSET Snood, chenkinz
  • Shmexy, 24 Glidez, Vanity zero
  • France, fillipisasian, Vaghue
  • LDamienS, ms13 dany, ETB ETB ETB
  • Nobu Rehan, Clover Plays Osu, Youtube RyzeSZN
  • Kjrop, Capt. Frostymug, Neon
  • FaZe Megga, FaZe Dubs, Liquid Riversan
  • Vanish TIEKKO, YouTube Sucky, piece ctrl woz
  • Joji, TabzG, Kn1pher
  • BBG Haz, paper, chaotic
  • Trashy, Grant Kim, Painful
  • TFC Fuzzy, LA Santhro, Tylarzz
  • Zombie, Han, kburbs
  • NRG Clix, illest, FaZe Bizzle
  • Dwin, eric, edan
  • Sunnyy, whitehat, Threats
  • Ora Bucktee, Death, SRN Zykoma
  • EvanGG, paorha, dustyy
  • Coach Arab, TFC DPChew, TNA Till
  • Jerids, NotStatsy, cryp
  • LG Slackes, Acorn, Vanish Jahq
  • Rubyfied, CrazyGGs, alteu
  • Twitter RPHfn, youtube zyndio, demon mode coxy
  • Drowsy tech tips, ryann, shmeeb
  • SEN Zyfa, C9 nosh, LG Keys
  • RODEO, ecto, aqlx reece
  • Twunti, CoconutGoatz, Twitch Timberz
  • Crumblerr, Nexybtw, Marzz_OW
  • Ghost Nittle, Mikey, Ghost clarityG
  • Bowlcut tyler, pweqy, cqrz
  • Hiro, lonely, alee
  • LittleSpoon42, CerealBowler69, almondmilk24
  • E11 Grazca, Posick, Xccept

Also Read: Benjyfishy’s Trio Accuses World Cup Champ Aqua’s Trio of Stream Sniping During FNCS

Heat three features some heavy hitters and dark horses alike. The discussion begins with Clix, Bizzle and illest. Bizzle’s Doom’s Domain obsession was not working well for him, Megga and Dubs. He wound up back on a team with Clix, and it has paid dividends. Add elimination machine illest into the mix, and you have the makings of a potential FNCS-winning trio. Hopefully, no one decides to challenge them at Sweaty Sands because that team would be making a huge mistake.

Next up is the relatively new trio of Dubs, Megga and Riversan. After the Bizzle experiment fell through, Dubs and Megga added former NA West standout Riversan to complete their team. It was not going so well until week three, where this trio claimed tenth place. They have selected Craggy Cliffs as their drop spot and should reach the finals based purely on talent.

Slackes, Acorn and Jahq have been one of the best trios this season. They’ve managed a Ninja Battles victory and two relatively effortless qualifications into heats. Acorn stated that he and his teammates would land south of Slurpy Swamps and plan to w-key everyone in sight. Teams would be wise to stay clear of that area, given their second-place finish in week three.

The last team I’d like to highlight includes Arena Leaderboard master Marzz and his teammates Nexy and Crumblerr. These three players quietly finished with the 11th most series points. Additionally, they finished ninth in week three. Crumblerr claimed that his trio would land Craggy Cliffs, which will create some drama with Dubs, Megga and Riversan. It will be a sight to see without question.

Also Read: DreamHack Online Open Will Move to Duos Format Beginning in November 

Heat 4 October 29 – October 30 5 PM EST – 8 PM EST

  • TSM Ferrrnando, deal with Sebby, ghost nanoo
  • Vaniity ryze, NastyNate, Trollox
  • Vanish Cazz, curnballswag, OT Pxlarized
  • Chimp, 999 moudy, yung stizzxy
  • Vanguard iKerry, noire, TwitchRianWatson
  • Pelly, malgre, twitch magycgg
  • Aqualix Walk, jwordn, drew
  • Outcast Hunt YT, crunchy, jayth
  • Sparebow, Felix, ohreckz
  • FISH CPC, Pure Brycx, crxspy
  • Klass, LG Eclipsae, Code Crimz
  • Chubs, gg vortex lol, 07 twix
  • TFC Diddy, TFC Sharkman, TFC dankline
  • Atoms 8, loqqty, youtube zypr
  • BBG Ajay, roqz, vyx
  • Twitch Nevify, AG TYMON, Sokez
  • Kippits, crusty, kari
  • Dxrant, HEARTT, Takened
  • NRG Unknown, casqer, smaqcked
  • Zyfin, zany, vizee
  • Vxpers, VOMPY, EBOYCHIUCE
  • CrunchTP, phrag, yusufrr
  • CizLucky, LordNM, Gandhi
  • NRG Zayt, TSM Saf, Liquid STRETCH
  • TNA Hajie, Pandushh, OA NEEQO
  • Jelty, Alliege, vsB pgod
  • VCGO Paris, Hngry, Presto
  • NotBuildz, dev64, yuz64
  • Visxals, Fijex, Ghoul
  • Steelzy, !stats Jelly, zenix
  • Degen, Ajerss, SEN Animal
  • IMP4CT, frot, centrl
  • Evasion, Youtube Avivv, fearfll

Also Read: Confirmed DreamHack Duos – NA East and Europe 

Tournament favorites Zayt, Saf and Stretch lead the way in heat four. What more can we say about this team that people haven’t? They are arguably the best, land at one of the top locations and finished fourth in series points. Zayt, Saf and Stretch all know what it takes to win, but they will have some company at Doom’s Domain. Dxrant, HEARTT and Takened vowed to contest Zayt and the same POI, which could cause problems for both teams.

Unknown, casqer and smqcked have performed well despite the odd grouping. They finished with the eighth-most series points and qualifiers twice for heats. Retail Row will be waiting for them as Unknown looks to move closer toward his second FNCS title. This trio should be on the fast track to the Grand Finals.

The all-Mexico trio of Jelty, pgod and Alliege are a fun trio to highlight. All three of these players possess an insane amount of talent despite playing on high ping. They secured one qualification from placement and drew arguably the most comfortable heat. Jelty and his teammates will join Unknown at Retail Row, so we will get to see some fun early-game engagements.

Ferrrnando, nanolite and Sebby finished qualifiers at number 13 in series points despite earning just one placement qualification. They will land at Dirty Docks with hopes of reaching the finals. Consistency will be critical as it typically is in competitive Fortnite.

That concludes our analysis of NA East Heats. The storylines never fail to impress in this region, and the egos make it even better. All of these teams believe themselves to be the best. There is no question that drama will develop and some friendships may even end. Don’t miss the NA East action beginning on October 29. All heats will coincide.

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Reviews

The Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope Review – Inconsistent Magic

Witchcraft. Doppelgangers. Cenobite-like demons. Evil children. Inescapable fog. Supermassive Games loves to combine horror tropes and create its own spin on them for one big, spine-tingling adventure. It’s part of the studio’s identity and what made Until Dawn such a hit. I always look forward to seeing how the team is going to subvert my expectations. Little Hope is the second standalone entry in Supermassive’s Dark Pictures Anthology, and though it is a step up from Man of Medan, it still falters as much as it succeeds. Little Hope tells a fascinating tale, but lackluster gameplay, predictable scares, and performance issues hold it back from greatness.

This story is completely self-contained, so you don’t need to play Man of Medan to understand it. This fresh break allows Supermassive to explore a new setting, characters, and horror subgenres. For Little Hope, you’re introduced to a New England town of the same name. It has an eerie past connected to the 17th-century witch trials, along with a family from the 1970s that experienced tragedy. When a bus carrying a professor and his group of college students crashes in Little Hope during a detour, you realize more is going on than meets the eye. Not only is a fog preventing you from leaving, but your group also appears connected to the town’s dark history. The new setting immediately pulled me in; not only is it creepy from the start, but the intrigue that holds the mystery together is powerful.

That being said, getting to the story’s best moments takes time and patience. Little Hope is a slow burn, meaning you have a lot of downtime just walking down a foggy path with few clues and boring dialogue. You occasionally go into the sewers, a church, or a factory, but the winding road is the main destination. The journey would probably be more enjoyable if I found the characters intriguing, but it was hard to care about any of them. The problem is they feel more like one-dimensional reactions to a situation rather than being unique people with needs and motivations. It was hard to get a sense of any of them beyond the few traits listed about them when you start the game.

Though the present-day ensemble is uninteresting, their doppelgangers from the past are a different story. They pull you back into their time period to experience the crazy accusations and fear of witchcraft that ran rampant. I loved the tension of these moments, as you see paranoia manifest you begin to question who is to blame for how things unfold (which becomes a big choice you make). It all culminates in a fantastic twist that I won’t spoil, but it is cleverly done and made me approach my second playthrough in a different and exciting way. Changing your decisions on subsequent runs also leads to new scenes and situations, like whether characters proudly show off their relationship, or what form a creature takes. 

I wish the overall gameplay of Little Hope provided the same excitement. Despite having some of the best creature design Supermassive has ever done, Little Hope still can’t capitalize on its terrors. The game tries to unnerve you, attempting its share of jump scares, but they are too predictable and over-the-top to work. Addressing complaints from Man of Medan, Supermassive made some improvements with better indicators for when QTEs are coming, and you can now press a button to walk faster through environments. However, item selection is still finicky, and I had to contend with technical issues like freezes and glitches, especially in co-op.

Speaking of co-op, I had a much better experience playing by myself than I did with someone else – the opposite of my experience with Man of Medan. The story lends itself better to solo play, as co-op allows only certain players to see specific scenes, which makes it difficult to piece together the whole story. Also, if your co-op buddy finishes up their area first when you’re split up, the story moves ahead without giving you time to inspect everything. I experienced crashes, dialogue cutting out, and disconnects, despite both my co-op buddy and I having solid connections. I hope this aspect of the game gets improved after launch, because it gets in the way of following and appreciating the narrative.  

Little Hope is inconsistent, like a witch-in-training still learning how to fully weave a spell. It sets up its story well and keeps you guessing, but the execution is lacking. It needs more variety and interesting things for your characters to do. The action comes too late, and by then, you’re already nodding off. However, seeing the fantastic ending makes putting up with those boring moments a little more bearable.

Little Hope tells a fascinating tale, but lackluster gameplay, predictable scares, and performance issues hold it back from greatness.

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News

Warhammer: Age Of Sigmar – Tempestfall Coming To VR In 2021

Carbon Studio is working on an all-new VR game based on the Warhammer franchise – Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Tempestfall.

Tempestfall’s setting is one of the newer eras of the Warhammer series, trading in 40K’s metal crunch for a more supernatural angle. In the game, players will take on the role of a magic-wielding warrior, a Lord-Arcanum, and battle the ghostly Nighthaunt in the realm of Shyish as part of a taskforce known as the Stormcast Eternals. Expect first-person combat with spooky demonic foes, driven by a gesture-based weapons system players of Carbon’s older games may be familiar with.

Age Of Sigmar Comes To VR

A VR-exclusive developer, Carbon is best known for its spell-casting fantasy series, The Wizards. In its two mainline games, including this year’s The Wizards: Dark Times, players summons mystical shields and toss fireballs or ice arrows by making specific gestures with VR motion controllers. Clearly, Carbon and Games Workshop saw this as a suitable fit for Tempestfall.

“Casting spells with specific hand movements felt natural, and we’re happy to say it will return in Tempestfall, albeit in a slightly different form,” Carbon’s Piotr Gala told UploadVR. “This time we’re going to wield some very powerful weapons, blessed by Sigmar himself.”

One of those weapons is the Tempest Blade, a mighty sword that’s made all the more deadly by the gesture system. Gala explains that players can thrust the sword forward whilst pressing the trigger to charge forth, tearing through multiple enemies. Or you could send out an electric arc shockwave with a horizontal slash.

Tempestfall will also build on other elements introduced in Dark Times. For example, the game offers a full, single-player campaign split across two “large and distinct” regions. You’ll find traversal challenges, including using superhuman strength to remove giant metal gates. Along the way, you’ll also discover artifacts and relics that you can use to upgrade weapons and abilities.

Carbon is aiming to release the game on Oculus Quest and PC VR platforms in 2021. Of course, Tempestfall isn’t the only Warhammer VR game on the way right now; next month sees the launch of Warhammer 40,000: Battle Sister on Quest. It’s a first-person shooter set in the series’ most recognizable universe.

“I think it’s fantastic that both Warhammer Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000 are finally coming to VR,” Gala said of the two. “These universes are incredibly rich in lore, diverse factions, awesome characters, and the tiniest of details making it all more believable. It’s peak power fantasy, and we get to bring it to VR, which is very exciting!”

Will you be checking out Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Temptestfall? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to sign up to our YouTube channel for more!

 

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News

The Netherlands Has Banned Loot Boxes With A Maximum Fine Of €5 Million For Non-Compliance With New Terms

EA will be fined €500,000 a week by the Netherlands Gaming Authority should it continue selling loot boxes via FIFA’s Ultimate Team.

The argument over whether loot boxes in video games should be classed as gambling or not rages on around the world right now. Some countries have already banned the mechanic or made the decision to reclassify it as a form of gambling. However, in other countries, the powers-that-be and the developers they are up against are struggling to find an appropriate definition and subsequent action.

In the UK, for example. Efforts to have loot boxes reclassified ramped up this year after a student blew his life savings on packs playing FIFA’s Ultimate Team. Packs cost in-game currency, which can be bought with real-life cash. It is then a lottery as to the skill level of the players that can be found in those cards.

All three major console platforms now require games to disclose loot box odds to consumers. However, in the Netherlands, further steps have been taken, at least when it comes to FIFA. A ruling was made this week that the Netherlands Gaming Authority will be able to fine EA €500,000 a week, every week until the developer removes loot boxes from FIFA’s Ultimate team.

EA will be fined €250,000 and its Swiss subsidiary will be fined the same, totaling €500,000 per week. EA has three weeks to act before those fines begin. Should it choose to continue selling packs in FIFA’s Ultimate Team in the Netherlands after that point, the fines will begin and be in place for the following ten weeks. That could result in a fine as high as €5 million ($5.8 million) by the time this is all said and done.

EA continues to argue that since FIFA’s packs can only be bought in-game and have no monetary value outside of them, that the mechanic should not be considered gambling. That’s why the publisher plans to appeal the decision. “We are appealing this decision and we seek to avoid a situation impacting the ability of Dutch players to fully experience and enjoy FIFA Ultimate Team,” EA’s Benelux Country Manager, Dirk Scholing told Video Games Chronicle.

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Resident Evil 3 Cloud Version Could Be Coming To Nintendo Switch

Resident Evil 3 could make its way to Nintendo Switch, but not in the way fans might have expected, as it could be the latest in a string of cloud streaming games added to the system.

Capcom’s remakes of Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3 have been big hits for the company, leading to speculation that they will be ported to the Switch at some point. The two games are technically impressive, to the point that many believe the Switch would struggle to run them. However, these games run on the RE Engine, and Capcom has revealed that the upcoming Switch-exclusive Monster Hunter Rise also uses the RE Engine. As such, it’s possible that the Switch could run the Resident Evil remakes, but their visuals wouldn’t be as impressive as they are on PC or other consoles.

Related: Capcom Doesn’t Seem Surprised By Resident Evil 3’s Sales

Nintendo’s recent Mini Direct revealed that Control: Ultimate Edition is now available on Nintendo Switch as a cloud streaming game. This means that one of the most technically demanding games of the current generation can run on the Switch, so long as you have a fast Internet connection. According to Gaming Bolt, users on Resetera datamined Control: Ultimate Edition – Cloud Version’s website, and discovered an image of Resident Evil 3: Cloud Version, suggesting that it is also coming to the Switch in the future.

This wouldn’t be the first time that a modern Resident Evil game is brought to the Switch as a streaming game. It’s currently possible to play Resident Evil 7 as a cloud streaming game on Switch, but only in Japan.

Nintendo has announced that Hitman 3 is also coming to Switch as a cloud streaming game in 2021. It seems that streaming games could be Nintendo’s strategy for the upcoming console generation. The third-party games designed for the PS5 and Xbox Series X will likely be too strenuous for the Switch to handle, but going the streaming route could allow Nintendo to bypass any hardware restrictions. This would limit the Switch’s ability to play these games as handheld titles, but simply having access to big games like Resident Evil 3 is still a major boon for the system.

Next: Resident Evil 3 Remake Sales Pale In Comparison To Predecessor

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AMD Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT, and 6900 XT aim at Nvidia's best

Welcome back to the high end, AMD.

For the first time since the days of the Radeon R9 290X—seven long years ago—AMD’s Radeon group is prepared to unleash enthusiast-level graphics cards that can do battle with Nvidia’s best and brightest. During the company’s second “Where Gaming Begins” event on Wednesday, AMD revealed a trio of Radeon GPUs based on a new RDNA 2 architecture, all armed with “revolutionary Infinity Cache” technology, sky-high clock speeds, and interesting synergies with Ryzen. They take direct aim at Nvidia’s RTX 30-series offerings, culminating in a $999 Radeon RX 6900 XT that seeks to seize the gaming crown from the monstrous $1500 GeForce RTX 3090 when it launches December 8—for $500 less than Nvidia’s beastly GPU costs.

The $579 Radeon RX 6800, meanwhile, will go toe-to-toe with the $500 RTX 3070 releasing tomorrow, and the $649 Radeon RX 6800 XT intends to challenge the $700 RTX 3080. Both launch November 18, about two weeks after AMD’s Ryzen 5000 CPUs hit the streets.

While Nvidia’s recent gaming GPU releases went light with raw memory capacity, opting for an upgrade to faster GDDR6X VRAM instead, AMD equipped every high-end Radeon RX 6000 card with a substantial 16GB of standard GDDR6, plenty to handle 4K gaming well into the future. And while Nvidia’s RTX 3080 and 3090 consume much more power than previous GeForce incarnations, AMD claims it’s achieved its lofty goal of a 50 percent performance-per-watt increase compared to the original RDNA architecture, which makes the Radeon RX 6000-series XT graphics cards less power-hungry than their Nvidia rivals.

Yes, you read that right: Radeon GPUs will need less power than competing GeForce cards. My, how the tables have turned.

We’ll start by diving into the raw specs and performance claims for the Radeon RX 6800, 6800 XT, and 6900 XT, because we know that’s what you’re here for, but stick around afterward when we dig into key changes in the RDNA 2 architecture and new Radeon ecosystem features, like Smart Access Memory that ties into Ryzen 5000 CPUs and AMD’s new Infinity Cache. Those provide crucial additional context for some of the slides you’re about to see.

Radeon RX 6800 vs. GeForce RTX 3070

Let’s start at the more affordable end.

The Radeon RX 6800 packs 60 compute units and a 1,815MHz game clock—90MHz higher than the rival GeForce RTX 3070’s rated Boost speed. More importantly, AMD’s card triumphs in memory capacity, packing a full 16GB of GDDR6 RAM versus the 3070’s 8GB. Nvidia pitched the 3070 as the ultimate 1440p graphics card, but it can do well in 4K games, too. That 8GB memory buffer probably won’t hold up well for 4K gaming as the years go on though, as some games already exceed it. The Radeon RX 6800 won’t suffer the same problem. Nvidia’s card enjoys a slightly lower total board power rating.


Now things are getting interesting. Vendor benchmarks should always be taken with a grain of salt, and you should always wait for independent reviews of pricey hardware, but AMD’s data tends to be reliable—and it shows the Radeon RX 6800 beating the GeForce RTX 3070 across the board here, at both 4K and 1440p resolution. Wow. Radeon chief Scott Herkelman told me that AMD’s lab used identical systems for all tests, changing only the graphics card, and that the company used the best-performing API for a given graphics card in all tests. So if Nvidia’s GPU performed better in a game using DirectX 11, and AMD’s exceled with DX12, these results reflect apex performance.

It’s not quite as cut-and-dry as it looks, however. See that tiny “+Smart Access Memory” next to the Radeon RX 6800’s name at the bottom? This graphs shows AMD performance with that feature active, which can provide an additional performance boost when you drop a Radeon 6000 GPU into a system with a Ryzen 5000 CPU installed. We’ll get into it more later, but these aren’t stock results for the RX 6800.

Radeon RX 6800 XT vs. GeForce RTX 3080

Stepping up the stack, the Radeon RX 6800 XT increases the compute unit count to 72, game clock speeds to a hair over 2GHz, and the total board power to 300 watts. It also offers a roomy 16GB of memory. By comparison, Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 3080 has a Boost clock nearly 300MHz slower (though it tends to run faster in reality) and just 10GB of memory, though it uses the faster GDDR6X variety for more bandwidth. The Radeon RX 6800 XT’s 300W power rating is 20W less than the RTX 3080’s.


In these results, AMD isn’t putting its thumb on the scale with Smart Access Memory. In its stock state, the Radeon RX 6800 XT meets or flat-out beats the GeForce RTX 3080 in 7 of the 10 benchmarks here at 4K resolution, where Nvidia’s card performs its best. Drop the resolution to 1440p, where Nvidia’s Ampere can’t take full advantage of its abundant shaders, and AMD opens its lead even more, triumphing in every game except Division 2 and Resident Evil 3. Hot damn.

Radeon RX 6900 XT vs. GeForce RTX 3090

Now we get to the battle of the (almost) Titans. The Radeon RX 6900 XT packs identical specifications to the Radeon RX 6800 XT except one, boosting the critical compute unit count from 72 to 80. Yes, it still runs over 2GHz, and yes, it still sticks to 300W of total board power—50W less than the power-sucking GeForce RTX 3090.

Nvidia’s marketing for the 3090 revolved around 8K gaming and the card’s massive, creator-friendly 24GB of GDDR6X memory. The company even calls the step-down RTX 3080 its gaming flagship—not the 3090. AMD is keeping the focus on normal gamers with the Radeon RX 6900 XT. This card comes with 16GB of standard GDDR6 memory, just like the other Radeon GPUs revealed today. It’s not as spacious and not as fast as the RTX 3090’s memory, but 16GB of GDDR6 should hold up well for 4K gaming over the long term nonetheless. Opting for a less extreme VRAM setup means AMD can keep the cost of the Radeon RX 6900 XT much lower compared to its rival.

So many people thought this was impossible, but here we are—at least in AMD’s supplied benchmarks. The Radeon RX 6900 XT beats or ties the GeForce RTX 3090 more often than not at 4K, and substantially so in Forza, with all games blowing well past the golden 60-frames-per-second mark even with their highest visual settings enabled.

Note that AMD is tipping the scales again here, and more so than before. Not only is Smart Access Memory active on the Radeon system, but so is Rage, AMD’s new automatic overclocking tool in Radeon Software. A victory is a victory, but you can’t help but wonder how much extra performance those features are adding to the top. A slide you’ll see later shows the duo improving performance by anywhere from 2 to 13 percent depending on the game, with an average uplift of 6.4 percent across eight games.

It’s also worth noting, however, just how much cheaper the Radeon RX 6900 XT is compared to the luxurious GeForce RTX 3090. $500 ain’t chump change.

That’s it as far as the Radeon RX 6000-series graphics cards themselves go. For a deeper look at the RDNA 2 architecture and new features inside AMD’s high-end GPUs—including Rage, Smart Access Memory, and Infinity Cache—keep reading.

RDNA 2 and Infinity Cache

AMD knew that to catch up to Nvidia, its GPUs needed to become much more efficient than they used to be. RDNA 1 achieved a 50-percent power improvement over previous Radeon GPUs, but a large part of the efficiency gains came from moving to the advanced 7nm manufacturing process. The RDNA 2 architecture stays on 7nm, so AMD’s engineers needed to boost its efficiency by another 50 percent in other ways.

It started with the compute units—the beating heart of the GPU. AMD’s graphics chief engineer, Laura Smith, said the company went through the design with a fine-tooth comb to root out inefficiencies: rejiggering data paths, rebalancing pipelines, and (in a page from the Ryzen design handbook) enabling “pervasive fine-grain clock gating,” which is an interesting twist I’m looking forward to hearing more about, as GPUs behave very differently than CPUs. The new compute units are 30 percent more efficient than before, which Smith says is crucial for scaling RDNA up to these enthusiast-class GPUs.

AMD’s engineers also managed to squeeze much higher clock speeds out of RDNA 2 on the performance side of things. Where the Radeon RX 5700 XT sported a 1,755MHz game clock, AMD says the Radeon RX 6800XT and 6900XT should sustain 2,015MHz speeds during gaming, and can even go to 2,250MHz in other tasks. (Smith actually says the Radeon RX 6900 XT’s power-per-watt increase versus RDNA 1 was even higher, at 65 percent.)

But the most intriguing—and mysterious—power gains come from the new 128MB “Infinity Cache” built into the Radeon RX 6000-series. Smith says the Infinity Cache is a high-density design that has its roots in Ryzen’s L3 cache decisions, but rearchitected for Radeon’s gaming needs. Details of what Infinity Cache actually does remain murky, but Smith says it basically allows Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards to deliver twice the memory bandwidth at lower power cost. Including Infinity Cache lets AMD stick to a smaller 256-bit bus for the Radeon RX 6000-series, which provides substantial power savings over moving to the larger bus sizes you normally see in high-end gaming cards. We can’t wait to hear—and test—more.

Ryzen synergy, Rage, and DirectX 12 Ultimate

Hardware can’t run without software, and part of AMD’s presentation was dedicated to showcasing some nifty new capabilities found in Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards. Most intriguing? AMD Smart Access Memory.

Like AMD’s Smart Shift technology in laptops (and the RDNA 2-based PlayStation 5), AMD Smart Access Memory is designed to give you better performance if you’re all-in on AMD’s hardware. If you have both a Ryzen 5000 CPU and a Radeon 6000 GPU in your system, AMD Smart Access Memory gives your CPU access to your graphics card’s full memory buffer, rather than the usual 256MB chunks. That direct communication cuts down on buffering and potential latency. Even though game makers haven’t had a chance to optimize for the closely guarded tech yet, Radeon chief Scott Herkelman told PCWorld that simply flipping this feature and Rage overclocking on simultaneously in AMD’s labs resulted in performance increases across a series of games, with Forza Horizon 4 running 13 percent faster.

Fascinating stuff. As with Infinity Cache, we’re looking forward to seeing deeper details, but several AMD-supplied benchmarks for the Radeon RX 6000 GPUs show results from numerous games with Smart Access Memory active.

AMD’s new cards will also support Microsoft’s upcoming DirectStorage API, which will let your GPU talk directly to your NVMe SSD for vastly improved loading times in games. Getting the various parts of your PC to talk directly rather than flowing through system RAM suddenly seems like the hot new trend for 2021. (Nvidia’s RTX 30-series also supports DirectStorage, using “RTX IO” branding.)

AMD is also spiffing up the one-click overclocking capabilities found in its Radeon Software. Going forward, you’ll find a new “Rage” preset tuning option that applies an automatic overclock tuned to your specific card—a helpful tool indeed for people who just want their games to play as quickly as possible with no headaches. Herkelman told me there are some slight differences compared to the previous automatic overclocking feature offered by Radeon software, but he didn’t get into specifics.

Fun fact: The “Rage” name is a shoutout to a popular line of graphics cards released by ATI in the early days of 3D acceleration, before AMD purchased the company. ATI’s “Fury” moniker made a comeback in graphics card form a few years back, and now Rage will be back on every Radeon-powered PC. I dig it.

Speaking of Radeon Software features, AMD also briefly teased how its existing “Radeon Boost” and “Radeon Anti-Lag” features combine to improve latency in games that demand quick responses, especially when paired with a FreeSync monitor. GeForce cards just gained the Nvidia Reflex suite of latency boosting features, so it’s clear that game responsiveness is becoming a new battleground for graphics card makers.

Finally, like the GeForce RTX 30-series, AMD’s Radeon 6000 graphics cards will be fully DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant. Microsoft calls DX12 “a force multiplier for the entire gaming ecosystem” by unifying an array of new features—mostly ones introduced in Nvidia’s RTX 20-series, but largely ignored by developers—across all PC and next-gen Xbox hardware. “When Xbox Series X releases, there will already be many millions of DX12 Ultimate PC graphics cards in the world with the same feature set, catalyzing a rapid adoption of new features, and when Xbox Series X brings a wave of new console gamers, PC will likewise benefit from this vast surge of new DX12 Ultimate capable hardware,” Microsoft said when announcing the API.

Being DirectX 12 Ultimate-compliant means the Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards will support variable rate shading, mesh shading, sampler feedback, and yes, real-time ray tracing—though AMD didn’t go into details about its hotly anticipated ray tracing implementation.

AMD wasn’t entirely mum, though. Nvidia has a clear lead on ray tracing, and the company’s proprietary Deep Learning Super Sampling (DLSS) plays a big role. The AI upscaling feature leverages the dedicated tensor cores in GeForce GPUs to speed up frame rates, counterbalancing ray tracing’s performance impact—but remember, it’s an Nvidia-proprietary technology. AMD teased a solution of its own as part of the company’s open FidelityFX tools during today’s presentation. Tucked away in the corner of the slide, there was a small box that simply said “Super Resolution.”

Herkelman wouldn’t go into details, but he confirmed to PCWorld that this will be AMD’s open response to Nvidia’s DLSS, designed to work on any graphics hardware—even APUs—and across various platforms, because AMD’s RDNA 2 GPUs also power the next-gen PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles.

That broad adoption of AMD technologies could be an ace in the hole for Radeon’s ray tracing future. The new consoles will be getting off the ground at roughly the same time as the Radeon RX 6000 series, all bearing RDNA 2 GPUs. With the Radeon RX 6000 series, Xbox Series X, and even Nvidia’s RTX 30-series all driving DirectX 12 Ultimate forward in the same time frame as well, AMD is betting that DX12U’s features will become ubiquitous. Everyone is working on the same page now.

RDNA 2 isn’t just for the Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards.

As the graphics chip inside the consoles, AMD’s yet-to-be-revealed ray tracing implementation could become the standard target for game developers despite Nvidia’s two-year lead and impressive proprietary hardware. If AMD’s ray tracing becomes the standard, its open-source “Super Resolution” technology inside of FidelityFX could become the standard as well. DLSS 2.0 is black magic, but it’s locked to Nvidia GPUs on PCs, and requires custom code.

Of course, as with Infinity Cache and AMD Smart Access Memory, it depends on the details. AMD isn’t revealing anything more about Super Resolution today.

Bottom line, though? After seven long years, AMD’s RDNA 2-equipped Radeon RX 6000 graphics cards are finally ready to bring the fight to Nvidia at the very edge of enthusiast-class performance. We’ll need to see if AMD’s lofty claims hold up to scrutiny by independent testers, but we can’t wait to get our hands on these graphics cards. Competition is a wonderful thing—and long overdue at the high end. Welcome back, AMD.

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Liked That? Watch This – Four Scary Movies For Horror Game Fans

A few weeks ago, we published a detailed rundown of what horror games we think you should play this Halloween season. But with no trick or treating this year, you’re going to have a lot of extra time on your hands to be scared. Luckily for you, Game Informer is always here to help. Rather than suggesting horror video games for you to play, this time we’re here to run down some scary movies we think you should watch if you like things that go bump in the night. 

Did you like Friday the 13th: The Game? Check out Sleepaway Camp

It would be too easy to recommend a Friday the 13th movie here. Instead, you should watch the criminally underappreciated Sleepaway Camp. Released in 1983 by director Robert Hiltzik, Sleepaway Camp tells the story of Angela Baker and her stay at Camp Arawak. Angela doesn’t quite fit in and is often bullied by the older kids at camp, or much worse, tried to be taken advantage of by the adults running the camp. Conspicuously, though, all these people die in very, very horrible ways. 

In a lot of ways, Sleepaway Camp is your run-of-the-mill slasher flick. A bunch of kids get up to some trouble, they die horribly, and it’s all pretty cheesy and poorly acted. And you could argue some of the content in Sleepaway Camp has not aged gracefully by 2020 sensibilities (maybe check out Does The Dog Die before watching). On the other hand, there’s an ambition to Sleepaway Camp that sets it apart from other slashers. Coming out in 1983, during the deluge of slashers trying to cash in on the success of 1978’s Halloween, Sleepaway Camp tries to tell a story about being trapped in your own body and feeling uncomfortable in your own skin. As Bartłomiej Paszylk wrote, it’s an “exceptionally bad movie but a very good slasher.” In recent years, the movie has gained a strong cult following and even received some critical reevaluation.

Whether or not Sleepaway Camp pulls any of that off is up to the viewer, but it’s an admirable attempt to do something smarter with a pretty boring genre. Interestingly, Hiltzik has only made two movies: Sleepaway Camp and 2008’s Return to Sleepaway Camp, one of the many films in the series. Hiltzik, who is a New York City lawyer these days, reportedly was unaware the movie even had a following until he was approached to record a commentary for it in 2000. 

The hook of Sleepaway Camp, and the thing that’s always mentioned by its fans, is its shocking ending. And for good reason. It is extremely shocking. I won’t spoil it here, but the sound alone has bothered me ever since I first saw the movie. Count me among the biggest fans of this exceptional bad movie but very good slasher. 

Did you like Outlast? Check out Noroi: The Curse

A dime a dozen and still overpriced, found footage media is everywhere these days. It’s relatively cheap to produce, easy to fill with jump scares, and easy to get bodies in seats. But there are some stand-outs, like the godfathers of the genre, The Blair Witch Project and Cannibal Holocaust. There’s also Noroi: The Curse, which came out in 2005, two years before the first Paranormal Activity blew the genre wide open. 

This once-hard-to-find-outside-of-Japan horror movie is less of a found footage film and more of a scrapbook of different events tied together to tell a sort-of cohesive plot. Using “actual” found footage and that of news broadcasts, live shows, and old documentary footage, Noroi tells the story of Masafumi Kobayashi, a paranormal investigator who has since gone missing after his house burned down, as he looks into paranormal happenings around Tokyo and how they’re connected. It all goes very poorly for Kobayashi. 

Noroi is never overtly scary. It believes in its story enough to allow fear to bubble in its viewer, dragging on, and building a slow burn before its final climax. It’s also unafraid to be bleak. The movie never lets you out of its grips, never giving you a moment of brevity, always holding you down below the surface with it. If you’re not tired of found footage movies, give this one a shot. It’s a genuinely unique take on the genre and has some really disturbing moments that will stick with you.  

Did you like P.T.? Check out The Exorcist III

We couldn’t do this list without including P.T., the “playable teaser” for Hideo Kojima’s now-canceled Silent Hills game. It’s against gamer law, actually. But it gives us a chance to talk about The Exorcist III, the best Exorcist film you’ve never seen. 

What ties P.T. and The Exorcist III together (aside from them both being somewhat about possession) is the persistent sense of dread in each. For the hour or two you play P.T., you are always on edge. From the opening seconds of The Exorcist III, a feeling of anxiety will be in the pit of your stomach, slowly rising as things get worse and worse. It is easily one of the tensest movies ever made. 

Taking place 15 years after the exorcism of Regan MacNeil in The Exorcist, and ignoring the events of Exorcist II: The Heretic, The Exorcist III follows Lieutenant William F. Kinderman, the investigator on the Dennings case in the first movie, as he attempts to solve a series of murders around the Georgetown neighborhood of Washington D.C., the setting for the original film. While fingerprints suggest these murders were perpetrated by different people, the method of murder used matches the killings of The Gemini Killer, Kinderman discovers. The only problem is The Gemini Killer was executed 15 years ago. Or maybe he wasn’t, as it’s revealed a patient in the psychiatric ward of the hospital the movie largely takes place in was found 15 years ago catatonic and amnesic, until one day waking up claiming to be The Gemini Killer. 

It’s not the most coherent plot, and the way the movie shoehorns in a relationship to the events of the original Exorcist movie are largely unneeded. However, once the movie gets going, it never stops. Only the second (and final) movie directed by William Peter Blatty, who wrote The Exorcist novel and film-adapted screenplay, The Exorcist III is a masterclass in restraint and suspension. Murders or violence are rarely shown on-screen, we’re only given brief glimpses of the aftermath and detailed descriptions from characters, such as a body expertly drained of blood or a corpse stuffed full of rosaries. There is also the single best jump scare ever committed to film in this movie. I won’t say anything other than it is horrific. 

Inevitably, The Exorcist III will forever live in the shadow of The Exorcist. And for what it’s worth, I think there’s merit to that. The Exorcist is one of the greatest movies ever made, much less one of the greatest horror movies ever made. But don’t sleep on this sequel! It’s easily available on streaming services and shows a writer-turned-director at the top of his game. 

Did you like The Last of Us Part 2? Check out Lady Vengeance 

Okay, technically not a horror movie, but bear with me. Like The Last of Us Part 2 (which you could argue is also technically not a horror game), Lady Vengeance, as the name implies, is about revenge. And more than that, it’s about the hollowness of revenge and the lengths in which we’re willing to go to exact that vengeance. 

The final part in South Korean director Park Chan-wook’s Vengeance Trilogy, proceeded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, starring Parasite’s Park Dong-jin, and the critically-renowned Oldboy, Lady Vengeance tells the story of Lee Geum-ja as she gets out of prison after being convicted for the kidnapping and murder of a six-year-old boy 13 years earlier (might want to check out Does The Dog Die before watching this one, too). We learn that at one time Dong-jin became a sensation in South Korea because of the young age in which she admitted to committing her crime but has also become a beacon of the effectiveness of prison reform. It’s worth pointing out, Lady Vengeance is full of twists and nothing is what it seems at first. 

Outside of prison, Dong-jin gets to work on her meticulously crafted plan for the revenge and murder of the man who landed her in prison. I’ll stop short of saying anything else about the plot of the movie, but once you find out the true nature of what’s going on in Lady Vengeance, what it lacks in traditional scares it makes up for with the true horror of human nature. 

For me, Lady Vengeance is the standout movie in the Vengeance Trilogy, though they’re all worth watching. It’s a beautiful film, and perhaps Park Chan-wook’s most visually stunning until his 2016 psychosexual drama The Handmaiden. It’s also unafraid to deeply examine human flaws, taking close looks at anger, betrayal, and what we’re willing to do to feel justified in our actions. 

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