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May’s Most Anticipated New Releases

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As the merry month of May dawns again, blockbuster season and televisions second run premieres are upon us. These are a few highlights bursting forth from the genre world via Hollywood, Canada and points beyond this month.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron” (In theaters May 1st)

After a well needed rest from trouncing Loki and the forces of evil, Marvel’s team of uber-heroes return for their next round of clobbering. This time they face off against Ultron, the self-fulfilling android prophecy originally created from adamantium by Hank Pym. Differing from the comics, this new incarnation of Ultron comes to life as a byproduct of Tony Stark’s (Ironman—played by the ever affable Robert Downey Jr.) defensive program designed to bring about world peace. Never saw that twist coming, did we. Will the Avengers be able to defeat this highly adaptive villain in time for the 2018 sequel? Only time will tell. Either way, it will be one of the most exciting new releases of the 2015 blockbuster season.

“Defiance” Season 2 (On Netflix/Amazon Prime May 19th)

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Need to catch up on your “Defiance” backstory before season 3 premieres on June 12th? Check out Netflix and Amazon Prime on May 19th (currently available on Hulu Plus). Keep up to date on the happenings in the independent colony of Defiance and all the Voton-human integration difficulties and the challenges of recolonizing our now alien world.

“Tomorrowland” (In theaters May 22nd)

If you’ve ever set foot inside a Disney theme park, you’re likely familiar with Tomorrowland. Somewhat of a misnomer, this world of tomorrow features the flying cars and robot servants from a future dramatically divergent from our own. The premise for this flick has George Clooney strapping on his sci-fi boots as a would-be inventor who knows a little more than he’s saying about the magical pin which proffers visions of a tomorrow land to a young woman–hence, the film’s namesake. Of course, in the film as in life, many of our ideal tomorrows have, like good intentions, paved the road to a figurative or literal hell.

“Penny Dreadful” Season 2 Premiere (On Showtime May 3rd)

Showtime’s potpourri of gothic supernatural delight begins its second season with the predators becoming the prey. After being forced to destroy his daughter Mina to save Vanessa, the vampires are none-too-pleased with Sir Malcom. As a result, they retaliate against their would-be destroyers. Meanwhile, Dr. Frankenstein continues his diabolical quest to reanimate Brona while under the thumb of his psychotically driven creation.

“San Andreas” (In theaters May 29th)

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This action thriller should keep disaster film fans on clutching their seats. It should also be a little bit of revenge for anyone who’s dealt with rush hour traffic in LA. Likely filled with scads of CGI devastation, this little sleeper of a film follows chopper pilot Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as he tries to rescue his family after The Big One hits California. Expect lots of rubble—and not just the popcorn remnants beneath your feet.

“Extraterrestrial” on Netflix (On Netflix May 12th)

If you missed it before, this 2014 sci-fi/horror film arrives on Netflix this month for your streaming pleasure. Starting from a unique premise, a group of young friends isolated in a wooded cabin are assailed by alien baddies—rather than a man with a mask and a machete. Slasher film tropes may abound, though. Will the jock die in some unseemly fashion while trying to bone the cheerleader? Will the stoner be probed while trying to hook up with the snooty preppy girl who loathes him? There’s only one way to find out: kick back and load up this B-grade fare popcorn fare.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (In theaters May 15th)

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Since taking a breather from the post-apocalypse to make a saccharine pig movie or two (not that there’s anything wrong with that), George Miller returns to the wild and wooly post-apocalyptic Outback. This time he does so without an inebriated, curmudgeonly anti-Semite—at least not as its titular lead (although we may catch a glimpse of the original Max). And this sequel promises to be one of the most action-packed new releases of the season. Miller reputedly shot the film based primarily on storyboards instead of a script. As a result, audiences can expect less dialogue and more dynamic set pieces as a new generation struggles in a world short on oil but long on bondage gear.

“Between” Series Premiere (On Netflix May 21st)

After an enigmatic outbreak decimates everyone over 21 in the burg of Pretty Lake, a pregnant minister’s daughter (played by Jennette McCurdy) struggles to deal with life minus the geriatric set. With six episodes of this Canadian-penned Sci-Fi drama slated for release, as well as a web series featuring yearbook interviews with different high-schoolers, there are plenty of ways to get exposed to the televisual contagion. Just make sure to quarantine yourself with enough beverages and snacks.

With a Creative Writing degree in one hand and an endless curiosity in the other, Andy dabbles in many creative fields. He's published blog posts, articles, hotel copy, fiction, and poetry professionally. Currently he dwells in Austin, TX, with his brilliant and understanding fiancee, Kim.

Gaming

Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years

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Activision has recently announced the establishment of a new studio, Elsewhere Entertainment, located in Warsaw. The studio has been entrusted with the exciting challenge of creating a groundbreaking AAA franchise that will captivate players with its immersive storytelling and innovative gameplay. A significant number of employees were let go by the large corporation after the completion of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard King earlier this year.

According to IGN, Activision made the announcement in a blog post, sharing that the team will be based in Poland with additional resources in the US. The studio has assembled a team of highly skilled individuals who have worked on acclaimed titles such as The Last of Us, Uncharted, The Witcher, Destiny, Far Cry, and Tom Clancy’s The Division.

Activision’s response to IGN’s request for a studio logo or official artwork was rather unconventional. Instead of providing the requested materials, they sent over the Cambridge University dictionary definition of the word “elsewhere.”. However, with a discerning eye, one may catch a glimpse of something lurking in the background. The publication acknowledges that, whatever it may be, it has no connection to Call of Duty. Elsewhere Entertainment has been granted full access to Activision’s extensive resources and cutting-edge tools, enabling them to further enhance their production and development capabilities. We may have to wait a while before we find out what they have in store for us.

Curious about Activision’s latest venture, Elsewhere Entertainment? Opening a new studio after numerous layoffs—is it a tasteless move or simply another harsh reality of the video game industry? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Rockstar Co-Founder Dan Houser is currently working on the development of an exciting new ‘Open World Action-Adventure’ game

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Last year, we reported that Rockstar co-founder Dan Houser had launched a new studio called Absurd Ventures, with the aim of developing original IP for all platforms and formats. The new outfit has recently started development on a game that boasts top-notch combat and third-person action in a variety of game modes.

This information is available, as Eurogamer discovered, from a recent job listing on the developer’s website. The company is looking for more people to join their team and contribute to an “open-world action-adventure game.”. According to Eurogamer, it seems that the project they are working on is still in its early stages. They are currently in the process of hiring for important positions like lead designer, lead gameplay designer, art director, and technical director.

Absurd Venture is dedicated to crafting immersive narrative experiences across a wide range of mediums, such as games, animation, books, graphic novels, live-action, and scripted podcasts. Their mission is to create captivating worlds, compelling characters, and engaging stories that span diverse genres. The former vice president of writing at Rockstar, who co-wrote both Red Dead Redemption games, has recently joined the studio. Additionally, Lazlow Jones, a former writer and producer at Rockstar, has also come on board.

Are you eagerly anticipating what Absurd Ventures has in store for us in the coming years? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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Assassin’s Creed Shadows, the physical version, requires an online connection for installation

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Players who choose to go with a physical copy of the recently announced Assassin’s Creed Shadows will need an Internet connection in order to finish the installation. This is unlikely to pose a problem for most Ubisoft fans, but it does align with a trend that is worth mentioning. It follows a requirement that was initially introduced in 2023’s Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora and will also be the case with the upcoming Star Wars Outlaws.

As reported by VGC, pre-orders for the game are now available, and a notice on the front box art at retailers such as Best Buy and GameStop states: “Internet connection is necessary for game installation.” For Avatar, players had to install a day-one patch before being able to start the game. However, both Shadows and Outlaws come with a warning prominently displayed on the front of the box.

The lack of a clear explanation for this requirement raises concerns about the long-term preservation of the game, particularly if the servers are eventually shut down. In December, Ubisoft made the decision to delist the original The Crew, effectively ending its run. This unfortunate event may not be the last time we see a game meet a similar fate.

What are your thoughts on Ubisoft’s requirement of an online connection for the installation of its flagship games? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

 

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