It's time for tables, ladders, and chairs--oh my! The Raw brand-exclusive event hits the WWE Network at PPV today, and while two of the matches had to be changed because of illness, it ended up being for the better, as Kurt Angle returns to the ring for the first time since 2006.
TLC comes to the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. As of this time, there is one match appearing on the Kickoff Show, which starts one hour prior to the main card. In total, there are seven matches on the card.
Aside from Kurt Angle making his first appearance in over a decade, one of the biggest matches of the night is Finn Balor vs. AJ Styles. Originally, Balor was going to fight Bray Wyatt, but because of an illness, The Demon will take on The Phenomenal One for the first time in WWE. Both men led the New Japan stable Bullet Club prior to coming over to WWE. In addition, TLC is the debut of Asuka, who held the NXT Women's Championship for over 500 days and currently has a win-streak longer than Goldberg, who dominated the late-'90s.
For more, you can check out our TLC 2017 predictions.
The Kickoff Show starts on the WWE Network at 7 PM ET/4 PM PT today, October 22. It's followed by the TLC event itself at 8 PM ET/5 PM PT on the WWE Network.
In case you're not caught up, don't worry; we put the final results in spoiler blocks.
Halo: The Master Chief Collection had a very rocky launch in November 2014. An ambitious game that packages together four Halo games and their multiplayer modes, the game struggled mightily out of the gate, with matchmaking times proving extremely lengthy and in some cases not working at all. Microsoft was quick to address the issues and the experience has improved dramatically. Still, Microsoft sees the issues as a "black eye" for the franchise. Last week, developer 343 announced yet another way it's making it up to fans and sticking with the game. The Master Chief Collection will receive significant updates and improvements over the next year or longer, including an Xbox One X update and a wider update that will "help bring it forward and modernize many of the game's systems to take advantage of Xbox platform advancements since its original launch." It's nice to see Microsoft's commitment to the game, but why did things go so badly at the start? Halo franchise director Frank O'Connor recently addressed that in a lengthy and thorough blog post on Halo Waypoint (via Polygon).
Starting off by saying he's no engineer and is making no excuses for what happened, O'Connor said, "in terms of chicken/egg scenarios, fixing the existing 'vanilla' Xbox One MCC was the Chicken that laid the Xbox One X enhanced version egg." O'Connor suggested that it wasn't always Microsoft's plan to revisit The Master Chief Collection, but there have been a "series of changes to the Xbox architecture," including the OS and back-end networking systems, that have "cracked open an opportunity we've wanted to seize for many, many months now."
O'Connor said the launch of The Master Chief Collection was "one of my lowest ebbs, professionally." He added: "Every angry mail I received, I took to heart. I felt like I had personally let our fans down. I have not spent a single day since the night the game fell down in matchmaking where I didn't think about it."
O'Connor added that one piece of resounding feedback was, "How could you not know that matchmaking was going to break?" The director explained that Microsoft tested the game's matchmaking systems "incorrectly and with some (as we discovered later) faulty assumptions." He added that the testing processes for the game differed from the norm because the games in the package were already tested for balance. Additionally, O'Connor acknowledged that 343 "we made mistakes in some of the scenarios we asked for."
"We had, with the best intentions, created a massive and ambitious project that almost read like a Halo fan's wishlist. As a player, I was incredibly excited. And as an employee, I was proud of the work and effort the team had poured into making this thing so big," O'Connor said.
He added that The Master Chief Collection began as an idea to make Halo 2 HD, and leave it at that, but the idea came later to expand the scope to include the entire Master Chief saga in one package. "And so the project ballooned in scope and scale and ambition. We threw a ton of resources behind it internally and worked with some trusted partners," O'Connor said.
But at launch, the game's matchmaking systems struggled significantly. O'Connor acknowledged that its own multiplayer testing sessions "never got to the kind of scale" that could reflect a live environment.
"So we genuinely didn't know until the day it released, how bad the matchmaking in particular was going to get," he said. "I'm not going to ignore the other bugs, they were real, and important, but the way the UI and matchmaking protocols interacted with each other exacerbated many of the smaller items and amplified a couple of them in unpredictable ways.
"The short version was that for Xbox One we built some of the underlying systems to work on a brand-new platform, which was fundamentally, quite different to both the original consoles the games were designed for. We also had some very new (and frankly these have evolved since then and are now much better) online systems on a new console and made some educated, but (with hindsight) ultimately faulty, assumptions we made during development and testing."
He also offered up an easy-to-understand metaphor for why the matchmaking struggled.
"Each potential player was assigned a kind of 'ticket' which would then grant them entry into a match or session--picture a virtual waiting room at a train station--when the train arrives (a match)--everyone has to board--or the train can't leave," he said. "Issues arose when folks left sessions before games had started that would cause the initial ticket distributions to fail, and that sometimes meant very long wait times for matches as tickets were issued and reissued--especially in countries with lower populations."
O'Connor added that Microsoft made assumptions about how things would work. This was a mistake, and he said Microsoft wants to make sure it doesn't happen again.
"Frankly, we don't assume anything anymore. While we had some valid reasons to believe the game would function properly in the retail environment, we've shifted our development philosophy to basically assume nothing anymore," he said.
Part of this effort going forward is the previously discussed "flighting" program, which is 343's way of enlisting the community to help test updates in a live environment before they are rolled out to everyone. In addition to this, 343's own testing will get "much more rigid."
O'Connor added that he wants people to know how committed 343 has been and continues to be in the area of listening to and responding to feedback.
"Everyone here puts their heart and soul and sweat and tears into building our games," he said. "I can tell you without hesitation that I have never heard someone here dismiss or ignore or belittle complaints. We always take them to heart. It's the internet of course, so sometimes folks take it too far, with threats or other inappropriate reactions, but I'd be lying if I said I didn't understand the anger or disappointment those came from."
You can read O'Connor's full blog post here. If it doesn't answer all of your questions, O'Connor said he plans to write another post in 2018 that will cover an "even more detailed technical breakdown" of what happened, why, and how 343 addressed it. "That's what we owe you--that and a game we can both finally be satisfied with," he said.
With the premiere of Stranger Things Season 2 now just a few days away, Netflix today released the latest poster for the highly anticipated show. The striking and retro-looking poster shows all of the main characters, but most notably highlighted are a dazed-looking Will, Eleven unleashing her powers, and of course, the monster in the back. Vine-covered pumpkins rest in the foreground, potentially in the Upside Down.
Check out the poster for yourself below, and let us know in the comments what secrets you or teases you see in it.
This poster was illustrated by Kyle Lambert, an LA-based illustrator and digital artist who works on the Stranger Things franchise. Some of his other high-profile clients include Disney, Marvel, and Apple, among others.
Stranger Things Season 2 debuts on October 27 and will see the return of David Harbour, Winona Ryder, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, and Noah Schnapp, while Paul Reiser and Sean Astin will join the show in new roles.
It has been confirmed already that Stranger Things will return for Season 3. Initially creators Matt and Ross Duffer stated that Season 4 would be the final one; however, director Shawn Levy suggested that there could be a fifth season. "Hearts were heard breaking in Netflix headquarters when the brothers made four seasons sound like an official end, and I was suddenly getting phone calls from our actors' agents," he told Slashfilm. "The truth is we're definitely going four seasons and there's very much the possibility of a fifth. Beyond that, it becomes I think very unlikely."
With the release of the Nintendo Switch earlier this year and the revamping of its six-year-old handheld, the 3DS, 2017 has undoubtedly been a big year for Nintendo. We're already deep into Nintendo's fall releases, but there's plenty more coming through this fall and holiday season.
In a graphic shared via Facebook, Nintendo details every major release on Switch and 3DS since the end of August. You can get a good peek of it below, or check out all the details a little further down.
We've already seen the latest in the Professor Layton and Yo-Kai Watch series' already hit 3DS, and the releases of crossover title Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle and Fire Emblem Warriors on Switch. But the next few months still have a lot in store, like major Bethesda titles LA Noire, Doom, and Skyrim.
Another title worth keeping your eyes on is co-op puzzle title Snipperclips: Cut it Out, Together! Plus. This expanded version of the game adds 30 new stages. If you're really itching to try something new, RPG Project Octopath Traveler currently has a free demo available in the Eshop. It is slated for full release in 2018.
Like that rash you hate to see but love to scratch, Xur is back. This week, Destiny 2's shadiest salesman is hanging around on Titan and is very easy to find. Simply fire up your PS4 or Xbox One, fast travel to The Rig, and he's a hop, skip, and a jump away from you with new wares to peddle.
Take a look below and you'll find a list of all the Exotic gear Xur has to offer this week--with the usual array of one weapon and three pieces of armor (one per class). We also have images of them, so you can read up on the exact stats they have and see how they might fit into your gameplay style. Alternatively, watch the video above to see us hunt Xur down and show off his stock.
Destiny 2's Trials of the Nine events have been canceled for the next two weeks due to an issue with an emote bug. This is the same bug that caused the high-stepping Monty Python emote to be removed from the in-game store. Developer Bungie has said there's a fix in the works, and that the two week period without Trials of the Nine will allow the studio to test it out and prevent any exploitation of the competitive mode in the meantime.
Following Destiny 2's launch on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in September, the shooter comes to PC on October 24. Bungie has detailed a roadmap for the rollout of endgame activities in the PC version. At launch, players will be able to try the normal or Prestige Nightfall Strikes. A week later, the Raid will go live. For more on Destiny 2, take a look at the list of recent stories below.
Bungie has also detailed Destiny 2's winter activity, which is called The Dawning event. It includes the ability to play hockey at the Farm, and throughout Destiny 2's playable areas there will also be snowballs you can throw at enemies to do damage. Of course, there's also new gear. You can see all the details on Destiny 2's winter event here.
Unlike its predecessor, Destiny 2 will release on PC. Although players have had to wait longer for it, there's not too long left now. Destiny 2 doesn't launch on PC until October 24, and for those of you that didn't pick it up on Xbox One and PS4, the PC version features a variety of improvements and differences compared with its console counterparts. To help you get an idea of what to expect from the PC release of Bungie's hotly anticipated sequel, we've gathered all of the essential details below. Take a look and you'll find detailed information on everything from what's different, to recommended PC hardware specs, and how it works with Blizzard's Battle.net client.
Unfortunately, if you didn't try it already, the Destiny 2 PC beta has already passed. For more on the game, check out our Destiny 2 review. We also have tons of Destiny 2 guides, tips, and tricks for those who have already begun playing on consoles or are simply looking to get a head start on how things will work on PC.
The PC version is confirmed to have release date on October 24, while the Xbox One and PS4 versions are already out, having launched on September 6. Bungie has announced the game's servers will become available at 10 AM PT on October 24, which works out to 1 PM ET / 2 PM BRT / 6 PM BST / and 4 AM the next day in Australia.
In terms of actual playable content, everything is the same on PC--with one exception. Sony's timed-exclusive content for Destiny 2 affects not just Xbox One players, but those on PC. The PS4 version comes with an extra Strike, Crucible map, and some items that will not be available on other platforms for at least one year. There's no precise date for it yet, but after PlayStation-exclusive content in Destiny 1 remained exclusive for longer than expected, Bungie has explicitly stated that this Destiny 2 content will be out by the end of 2018.
While there may be changes made for the final release, Destiny 2's PC beta brought a list of minimum and recommended system specs. Additionally, Bungie provided a list of hardware for those looking to upgrade their systems, with CPU and GPU minimums and recommendations.
Destiny 2 on PC supports 4K resolution and uncapped framerates. There's also ultra-wide screen support and an FOV slider, as well as compatibility with HDR displays. If you have an SLI setup, it will take advantage of that, too. We can go into depth with the beta in the video above, and you can our analysis of how well Destiny 2 runs on PC here. As for settings you can tweak, there's quite a lot to mess around with, including:
The PC version uses a relatively straightforward control scheme, which you can see in the image below. It's worth noting that the controls are completely customizable.
Unfortunately, the game will use peer-to-peer servers. However, this doesn't work quite the same as in the previous game; when Bungie explained why Destiny 2 doesn't use dedicated servers, it noted that you'll never run into a host migration situation.
During our hands-on time with the game, we found the mouse and keyboard support to be a welcome addition. It enhanced the overall feel of multiplayer, though it did seem to make the single-player portions we played easier than we anticipated. You can check out our analysis of the PC beta for a technical look at the game; for further impressions of the PC version, watch the video below.
The PC version of Destiny 2 is shaping up to be a game specifically tuned for the platform. We've got an explainer on every graphics options, as well as some tips on how to improve FPS performance in Destiny 2.
Destiny 2 Review
If you're hoping the game is dramatically different from the original Destiny, you may be in for a disappointment, but those seeking a refined version of that game will likely be pleased. You can read our impressions of the full game on console in our Destiny 2 review diary and Destiny 2 review-in-progress.
Destiny 2 uses Blizzard's desktop app. It's the first game not directly developed by Blizzard to appear on the platform. Activision and Blizzard have changed its name several times recently, but moving forward it will be referred to as Blizzard Battle.net.
Unfortunately, Destiny 1 power, possessions, and Eververse-related items and currency will not transfer over. While your character's appearance will not be abandoned in the sequel for console owners, there's no word if it'll support any kind of transfer from console to PC.
After launching for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in September, Bungie's Destiny 2 comes out for PC on October 24. Bungie has announced the game's exact unlock time and revealed the final PC requirements. Servers will become available at 10 AM PT on October 24, which works out to 1 PM ET / 2 PM BRT / 6 PM BST / and 4 AM the next day in Australia. Check out the map below to find out precisely when Destiny 2 unlocks where you live.
Bungie also today announced the final minimum and recommended specs for Destiny 2, following the preliminary specs from the beta. You need 68 GB of free space to install Destiny 2, while Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 are supported operating systems. You can check out the full minimum and recommended specs in the image below, which Bungie shared in a recent blog post.
The PC version of Destiny 2 will be available at physical retailers and through Blizzard's Battle.net, but not Steam or other digital stores. That's notable because Destiny 2 is the first non-Blizzard game to be offered on Blizzard's PC gaming platform. For more, check out GameSpot's roundup of everything you need to know about Destiny 2 on PC.
Provided you're willing to pre-order the game, you can also get a head start on downloading it. Pre-loading for Destiny 2 on PC has begun on Battle.net. Even on a fast connection, 68 GB will take some time to download, so this ensures you'll be able to jump right into the action on release day.
For those looking for something festive, Destiny 2's new winter activity, which is called The Dawning event, has been revealed. It includes the ability to play hockey at the Farm, and throughout Destiny 2's playable areas there will also be snowballs you can throw at enemies to do damage. Of course, there's also new gear. You can see all the details on Destiny 2's winter event here.
Update: Bungie has replaced this week's Nightfall Strike due to issues players were experiencing with Exodus Crash. For the remainder of the week, you can try your hand at the Nightfall version of Pyramidion. Along with that change, there are also new modifiers in place: Timewarp: Zero Hour (which prevents you from extending the time limit) and Torrent (increasing the rate at which your skills recharge).
Original Story: Every seven days, Destiny 2's weekly reset changes a bunch of variables within the game, from the activities on offer to the rewards available to the items on sale in shops. This week's Nightfall Strike, Exodus Crash, is set in Arcadian Valley, while Eververse have some new gear on offer.
Two modifiers are active in Exodus Crash this week, one of which again offers a way to earn additional time. Timewarp: Rings presents a set of large white circles throughout the mission for you to jump through; each one provides an additional 30 seconds of time to finish the Strike. The other modifier, Prism, rotates through each of the three elements, with the chosen element doing additional damage (and the others doing less than usual). Following the release of a Destiny 2 update last month, this now functions correctly, as the message indicating the chosen element no longer lasts for just a brief moment. Additionally, an on-screen effect helps to highlight when the element changes from one to the next.
In terms of Challenges, Speed of Dark is active as always, which requires you to finish the Strike with at least five minutes remaining. Unbroken tasks you with completing the Strike with fewer than three deaths. And finally, Faster Than Lightning asks your Fireteam to kill nine Shanks with melee attacks before defeating Thaviks.
Exodus Crash in Arcadian Valley has a recommended Power level of at least 240. If you haven't made it to that point, you may want to consider waiting until after you've raised your Power level before grabbing the Nightfall reward, which is Powerful gear. This Nightfall will be available until Destiny 2's next weekly reset, which occurs at 2 AM PT / 5 AM ET / 10 AM BST / 8 PM AET on Tuesday, October 24.
Away from the Nightfall Strike, you can grab a new bundle from Eververse. Costing 2000 Silver, the legendary Golden Sevens bundle contains seven bright Engrams, seven shaders, 500 Bright Dust, and a unique Nothing Gold ship. Take a look at the ship for yourself below. [Update: It appears this bundle is no longer for sale on the Eververse store.]
Plenty more has likely changed for the week, with previous resets offering new Milestones, Challenges, and treasure maps to buy from Cayde. Sadly, the weekly reset also means last week's Iron Banner event is now over. However another event, the Leviathan Prestige Raid, goes live tomorrow, October 18, after it was delayed last week.
Destiny 2's new winter activity, which is called The Dawning event, has also been revealed. It includes the ability to play hockey at the Farm, and throughout Destiny 2's playable areas there will also be snowballs you can throw at enemies to do damage. Of course, there's also new gear. You can see all the details on Destiny 2's winter event here.
We're still digging deep into Destiny 2, but there are some basic things you should know (and habits from the first Destiny you might need to break). Those include not waiting to decrypt Engrams and saving some of your Upgrade Points. You can check out more in our Destiny 2 beginner's guide or our roundup of Destiny 2 guides, tips, and tricks.
In other Destiny 2 news, Bungie has removed the Monty Python-inspired, high-kicking walk emote. Although the developer hasn't officially said why this has been removed, it may have something to do with the emote letting players get into some walled-off, unfinished areas.
Assassin's Creed Origins is the latest entry in the long-running Assassin's Creed franchise. Unlike past games, which continually pushed the ancestor timeline forward, this entry is a prequel. Set in Egypt, you play as Bayek, a warrior whose struggle against the corrupt forces of the time leads him towards becoming the first Assassin.
With the game's release date set for October 27 on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, we've compiled our most important features and gameplay videos detailing everything you need to know about Assassin's Creed Origins. Check back often as we update this article with our in-depth review, guides, additional articles, and videos.
Unlike its predecessors, Assassin's Creed Origins is an action-RPG; it sports a multi-faceted skill tree, damage hit points, and equipment with varying statistics. In addition, everything you do feeds into an overarching progression system that steadily improves your character's strength and abilities over time. For more about the game's mechanics and story, as well as our impressions of it thus far, check out the features below:
For more on Assassin's Creed Origins, check out the news stories below.