It’s hard to imagine it now, but there was a time when a service like Netflix Streaming was the stuff of science fiction. It’s a repository of motion pictures, available to watch at the push of a button. It’s a magical, wonderful concept, and the only thing that would make it better is if they actually had all the movies you want.
Sci-fi fans might be a little disappointed with Netflix’s offerings nowadays, with many of the best films in the genre completely absent from the service. But if you’re in the mood for sci-fi, fantastical or dystopian, funny or frightening, there is always something worth watching. Undisputed classics, underrated b-movies, family-friendly flicks and ultraviolent action awaits you in our picks for the best sci-fi movies currently streaming on Netflix! (And head over here to find out what’s new to Netflix this month or here for the best horror movies streaming on Netflix right now.)
Overwatch‘s next major PvE event is now live. As a part of the Overwatch Archives series, Retribution takes cues from last year’s Uprising event, pitting four players against an onslaught of AI-controlled enemies in a narrative-focused mission. Detailing one of the last missions conducted by Blackwatch, Retribution is set eight years before the events of the main game, focusing on a doomed operation with McCree, Genji, Moira, and Gabriel Reyes–who would eventually become Reaper.
“Right now the plan is to not have [Retribution] available after [the timed event],” said Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan during a press Q&A. “We are constantly revisiting those types of decisions with some stuff that we’ve done–capture the flag is a good example. In our previous event for Year of the Dog, where we introduced a brand-new map for it, we figured it was evergreen and kept it into the system. So right now the plan is to only have it available for the event for about three weeks.”
Blizzard’s experiments with PvE events have been something that fans have appreciated. Despite being a game with a strong focus on character presentation, style, and personality, the focus remains on its 6v6 multiplayer gameplay–which leaves little room for dedicated storytelling. Still, the developers at Blizzard relish the opportunity to try something different and experiment with new types of gameplay within the infrastructure of its multiplayer design.
“It’s a 6v6 PvP game at its core, but throughout development we’ve had these little exercises that we do–like making the capture the flag mode, Uprising last year, and now Retribution this year–where we really get to explore what kind of gameplay we can have fun with and expand upon what Overwatch is,” said senior VFX artist Rachel Day, who’s previously worked on Diablo III and Starcraft 2. “So making stuff like this PvE content is really just a chance for us to dig in and find other ways for these characters to be fun, the gameplay to be fun, and I think we really succeeded with it. I hope people are really looking forward to it.”
For the developers, making these events works as a way to steadily venture further into Overwatch’s in-game universe–to define aspects of the characters, along with the space they inhabit. While the comics and short films they release online add extra flavor to the overall narrative, the game usually has the final say–and the developers are still trying to figure out just how to express that. Speaking with senior game producer Matthew Hawley, he explained that Overwatch is still very much in its infancy when compared to other Blizzard IPs, and that the hero shooter is still defining itself.
“I think for me, as someone who tends to be more drawn to co-op or story-driven games, and as someone who loves the potential of what the Overwatch universe can be–I think of Overwatch as our Warcraft 1 in terms of what was the story of Warcraft back in the original game, and it was just Orcs and Humans,” said Matthew Hawley. “We’ve sort of dipped our toe in the water with the 6v6 shooter and found that the characters and heroes were very relatable to people, and that’s why we started out doing the story missions like Uprising and Retribution to figure out how to get people who aren’t into the PvP something to offer that tell the stories that we want to tell.”
During the media summit, the developers were clear in stating that fan reactions have been a strong indicator of their successes, and they understand there’s a yearning to have more unusual events and scenarios presented in the game. Still, Overwatch’s game director and de facto face of the series, Kaplan, elaborated further on why Overwatch is going to remain solely PvP oriented game, for the time being.
“I think it’s important to talk about why [it’s a timed event],” he said. “I don’t think players always understand why we don’t want players to have access to it all year, and maybe this is just developer insecurity, but let me give you the reason why we don’t these events to be available all the time. I honestly believe there’s a big difference between creating PvE highly-replayable content that you’re expecting somebody to get hundreds of thousands of hours of gameplay out of versus something that you think can be sustained for a couple weeks. I think what would happen if we put Uprising and Retribution just permanently in the game is that players would find that they needed more out of it. Like a progression system on top of it, or scoring, or items, or players asking when the next mission is. They would want more content [beyond Uprising and Retribution].”
Despite how firm Blizzard is on sticking with keeping the focus on multiplayer gameplay, the developers weren’t opposed entirely to a story mode. With concerns about its present offerings–the Uprising, Retribution, and the Junkenstein events–not being deep enough, Blizzard may someday implement one that fans can sink their teeth into and won’t leave them wanting more. But in their present state, the developers are content with only keeping it around for a limited time.
“At its core, Overwatch is a PvP game, so it’s fun for us to explore PvE,” stated Kaplan. “But as we’ve all worked on Diablo, Starcraft, Warcraft, we’ve worked on a number of PvE games and know what player instincts are gonna be,” he continued. “So if you said this was a year-round evergreen experience, we want to make sure it holds up to that before putting it out there for that length.”
Join Max, Brian and Jonathon to catch up on a week’s worth of PlayStation news! A ton of new info about Insomniac’s Spider-Man has popped up, Spyro The Dragon’s first three games are getting “reignited,” and a bunch of new PSVR games dropped this week.
Hungry for more? Check back on April 12th at 12:01 AM Pacific Time for a special God of War bonus episode, totally spoiler free.
It seems as though everyone’s favorite vertically scrolling shoot ’em up, Ikaruga, will indeed be making its way over to Switch after all – according to a post on Twitter today from developer Treasure. As you can clearly see in the tweet, the team appears to have Ikaruga already running on Switch. But as far as vertical mode goes, Treasure states that they’ll have to do some slight tweaking to make everything work smoothly before launch.
AMC’s new horror show, The Terror, keeps getting scarier. The crews of the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror–two real ships that set out from England in 1845 and disappeared for over 150 years–arrived in the frigid Northern wastes in search of the Northwest Passage. Episode 3 deepens the characters, but it also provides some real horror, with the return of the mythical creature the Tuunbaq.
Please don’t consider it a spoiler that things won’t turn out great for these characters in the end. These real life shipwrecks weren’t discovered until 2014 and 2016, respectively, and their crews had died long ago from cold, starvation, disease, lead poisoning, and cannibalism. Anything that happens in The Terror between the start and that foregone conclusion is just embellishment invented by Dan Simmons, the author of the book on which the show is based, or showrunners David Kajganich and Soo Hugh.
But what embellishments they are. With that in mind, we’re going to keep a running list of all the scariest s*** that goes down in each new episode of The Terror.
Don’t miss our interview feature on how The Terror embraces horror without resorting to jump scares. Now click through to find out what’s new.
If you have a pile of games you’re ready to trade in, you can get extra cash at GameStop for a limited time. Usually when you trade in a game, you can choose to have it paid out as a lower amount of cash or a higher amount of store credit. From now through April 22, however, GameStop is paying out just as much cash as it would store credit.
There are a couple details to note here. It’s only valid at participating stores in the US and Guam, and it’s not valid in California (sorry, folks). You can see a list of the ineligible stores here.
But if you want cash for your trade-ins, now is the time to make the trades. If you don’t want to be surprised by the trade-in value, you can find out how much GameStop pays out here. And if you want to compare the results to other retailers, you can do the same at these links for Amazon and Best Buy.
GameStop has one other trade-in deal going on that could be useful for anyone planning to buy God of War or Nintendo Labo when they launch on April 20. If you put your trade-in credit toward those games, you’ll get up to 40% extra value, depending on your Pro membership level. You can find the details for that deal here.
Extinction has some giant aspirations, but ultimately the action/adventure game for PC, PS4, and Xbox One has fallen short among critics. You play a warrior who sprints up walls, soars through the air, and channels sacred energy to use in your fight against terrifying (and devastatingly powerful) giants to save civilization. The premise may sound awesome, but many felt the gameplay simply didn’t deliver and the story fell flat.
So is Extinction worth a bit of your time nonetheless? It depends on who you ask. Check out some gameplay in the video above and the full review outlook at Metacritic, then read on to see what critics are saying.
- Game: Extinction
- Developer / Publisher: Iron Galaxy / Maximum Games
- Platforms: PS4, Xbox One, PC
- Release date: Out now
- Price: US $60 / £46 / AU $99.95
GameSpot — 4/10
“Extinction shoots itself in the foot time and time again. It’s so frustrating to see its good ideas buried under repetitive missions, a forgettable story, and embarrassing production values for its AAA price. Play one hour of it and you’ve basically done a bit of everything it has to offer; then it’s rinse and repeat for as long as you can bear to stick with it. It’s a frail and monotonous game destined for the bargain bin.” — Peter Brown [Full review]
IGN — 6.6/10
“Extinction is a sword-slinging, monster-decapitating action game that does a decent job of getting the blood pumping and reflexes twitching. The eye-catching, anime-inspired art will even give you some nice scenery to do it all in. It just never rises to be much more than that, and all the while it’s inviting comparisons to other games that do. Extinction lands in that awkward position where, yeah, it’s usually fun – but you’re not really missing anything incredible by giving it a pass.” — TJ Hafer [Full review]
PC Gamer — 58/100
“Extinction is a polished game, from the slick UI to the snappy, responsive controls. Avil can double-jump, glide, and clamber up walls, which makes him feel satisfyingly nimble. And the game maintains a reliably solid frame-rate, even when those hulking ogres shamble into view and start smashing buildings. But there isn’t enough here to justify that £55/$60 price point. The ogres get harder to kill, new enemy types are introduced, and the maps change, slightly, but genuine surprises are few and far between.” — Andy Kelly [Full review]
Destructoid — 6/10
“Extinction is a good blueprint for a more interesting game. I came in excited to slice up some giants, but after the fifth rote exercise I was kind of over it. There are some flashes of brilliance every now and then but the over-reliance on the core energy meter idea keeps it imprisoned in the depths of repetitive arcade territory.” — Chris Carter [Full review]
PlayStation Universe — 4/10
“Extinction is a poor game with great ideas. A lot of the problems it suffers from just shouldn’t be problems in this day and age. Combat looks cool but functions terribly, and the game’s biggest selling point of taking down giant Orcs is ruined by the horrible climbing mechanics and terrible camera. It’s a shame, as I really looked forward to enjoying Extinction until I actually played it. Now I wish I could forget it.” — Garri Bagdasarov [Full review]
Slant Magazine — 2/5
“Extinction never opens up the way it’s clearly supposed to, instead falling into a repetition that makes the game feel every bit as stale as its story concept.” — Steven Scaife [Full review]
Push Square — 6/10
“Extinction had the potential to be something special, but a few too many flaws and frustrations hold it back from true greatness. Despite that, we still think this adventure of epic proportions is very much worth a purchase if the grand scale even slightly grabs your interest.” — Liam Croft [Full review]
EGM Now — 6/10
“Extinction shows a lot of promise, and it sometimes delivers, like when it comes to the engaging, acrobatic combat or the sheer scale of the Ravenii. Unfortunately, the repetitive mission types and gameplay and a clichéd fantasy tale make it feel like a shell of a game. Far from feeling like a full retail release, Extinction feels like one good idea run into the ground until you’re checking your watch, waiting for it to end.” — Michael Goroff [Full review]
So you’ve got yourself a brand new Samsung Galaxy S9 or Galaxy S9+. Now it’s time to complete the package with accessories to help you enjoy your phone even more. From cases and chargers to headphones and smartwatches, take a look at some of the best items to go along with your new Galaxy.