Watch the first full trailer for the Sherlock Christmas Special

Sherlock fans… prepare yourselves. The first full-length trailer for the TV show’s Christmas special has landed online and it gave us chills!

Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman reunite as the beloved Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson in an spine-chilling new trailer for the Christmas special, which sees the iconic characters return to Victorian-era England.

The trailer debuted on BBC One last night following the finale of The Great British Bake Off, but if you’ve yet to see it, feast your eyes below…

Wow. As if we weren’t already counting down the days ’til the detective duo were back on our screens!

Fans will be pleased to see series regulars Amanda Abbington and Una Stubbs donning Victorian dress for the special, as well as the appearance of a particular deerstalker, but it’s the dark happenings on the streets of Victorian London, which really gave us goosebumps.

Steven Moffat has been keeping the details of the Christmas special tightly under wraps, but its rumoured that Sherlock will be confronting a ghostly adversary. Has trailer just confirmed this? “We all have a past, Watson.” Sherlock says. “Ghosts, they’re the shadows that define our every sunny day.”

Sherlock will be returning to our TV screens with the Christmas special on BBC One, unsurprisingly, this Christmas.

Phil Spencer says he doesn’t know if Xbox can beat PlayStation

Speaking at the GeekWire 2015 summit, Xbox boss Phil Spencer admitted that he wasn’t sure about how the console wars would shake out this generation. “I don’t know,” Spencer said when asked bluntly if Xbox could beat PlayStation. “They have a huge lead and a great product.”

Well, that sort of honesty was … unexpected.

Spencer continued dropping truth bombs from there. He told an auditorium of attendees that comments made by other higher-ups in the Xbox and Microsoft chain of command near launch had a negative impact on the development team (though he didn’t specify to whom he was referring). “I sit back and I think about an organization of thousands of people– you’re down in the organization and some words and some actions from executives kind of just trash all of the work you’ve done over the last three years, many weekends and nights, and you start to question ‘Why am I doing this?'”

Spencer claimed that since taking his role as head of Xbox, he’s focused on regaining the team’s trust and motivating them to enjoy what they do, pointing to backwards compatibility as one example of what the team can accomplish. And while features like backwards compatibility may help the Xbox One sell more than the PlayStation 4, Spencer said that’s not his ultimate goal. “We’re not motivated by beating Sony, we’re motivated by gaining as many customers as we can.”

“I have to earn every customer,” Spencer said. “My biggest competitor is apathy.”

Game Of Thrones recruits a new disciple of the Lord of Light

The Lord of Light might have lost a follower last season in the form of the fallen Stannis Baratheon, but it sounds as though he’s about to gain one, with Deadline reporting that British actress Melanie Liburd has joined the cast for season 6. She’ll be playing a Red Priestess named Kinvara, and she may have a key part to play as the saga begins to approach its endgame (spoilers ahead).

According to a leaked audition script, the new character is described as a “High Priestess of the Red Temple of Volantis, the Flametruth, the light of wisdom, the first servant of the Lord of the Light”. Kind of a big deal, then, with fans speculating she’ll be heavily involved in seeking out the much-discussed hero of R’hllor, Azor Ahai.

Just who that turns out to be remains to be seen, but naturally there are a whole host of online theories to be expanded upon, with a couple of fan-favourites in the frame to play saviour. Game Of Thrones will return to our screens next spring, with a specific air date yet to be confirmed.

The gameplay footage for Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps is a bit lifeless

Sometimes the unexpected mixture of two disparate things adds up to one great thing. Peanut butter and chocolate. Fries and a milkshake. Pineapple and pizza. Resident Evil and competitive team-based shooters though? That’s the concept behind Capcom’s upcoming Resident Evil: Umbrella Corps for PC and PS4, and … well, take a look at freshly-released gameplay and decide for yourself what you think:

I’m glad that Capcom is allowing their teams to be creative and come up with something that doesn’t feel completely beholden to old-school Resident Evil design (because let’s be honest, eagle emblems and tank controls can stay in the ’90s where they belong), but zombies floating awkwardly on top of terrain and half-hearted eSports commentary isn’t exactly selling me on the premise. As was said in our Tokyo Game Show preview: this doesn’t seem Evil enough.

Here’s all the post-beta Black Ops 3 changes

Betas are really meant to test network code and check things work rather than let people get a free go on something early. That often gets forgotten, so here’s a ton of changes posted by Black Ops 3‘s design director David Vonderhaar following player feedback from the COD beta.

It’s a good mix of major gameplay changes – Black Hat and Rejack are getting an overhaul – and minor tweaks, like adding more detail to the kill cam. And, if you played on PS4, then you should be getting an email soon about an exclusive dynamic theme as a thank you for all the shooting.

Some players were dissatisfied that the Black Hat equipment was too powerful. We agree. Our new hacking mechanic scales the hacking speed based on how close you are to the target, and will require precise aim to hack Scorestreaks in a reasonable time. Time-to-hack has been adjusted upwards across the board to make it more challenging to hack, especially at the higher end of rewards. Hackers now also appear as a red dot on the minimap for the duration of the hack, which, along with VO notifications that a Scorestreak is being hacked, provides players the ability to counter by hunting down the attacker.
• Rejack sparked its fair share of controversy during the Beta for a number of reasons, most of which were valid. Included in that list: putting players into Rejack did not count as a kill, and players were using Rejack to stack Scorestreaks. Now, putting a player into Rejack counts as a kill. Players receive kill credit immediately in-game, on the scoreboard and leaderboard, and in persistent stats. Rejack now also resets all Scorestreak progress so that it cannot be used continuously throughout a match to pad progress towards high-level Scorestreaks.
• We’ve talked a lot about the flinch mechanics during the beta — that’s when getting hit causes your weapon to move out of position. Our improved networking code would sometimes cause bullet flinch to stack, so we put a cap on how much you can flinch while ADS. While you will still flinch when shot, it will be within tighter constraints to keep you closer to your aim.
• We improved the feedback that you have downed your target by including the red “kill marker.” This marker will subtly grow in size with each subsequent hit, turning red upon dealing lethal damage as added reinforcement to confirm the kill.
• During the beta, any downward or backward player movement could make the grenade toss distances feel awkwardly short. This has been adjusted so that player velocity never negatively impacts grenade trajectory. We also tweaked grenade speed and distances.
• Players felt Concussion and Flashbang grenade types were very powerful. While both grenade types need to be in order to stay viable as equipment choices, we reduced the Concussion grenade stun time by 1 second and are now unlocking the Tactical Mask perk (the counter for both Concussion and Flash Bangs) earlier in the progression system at level 13.
• By popular request, we’ve added a “Time in Hill” stat for the scoreboard and leaderboards in the Hardpoint game mode.
• Players did not feel sufficiently rewarded for escorting the robot in Safeguard. Players now receive +25 score for every 3 seconds that they escort the robot toward the enemy base.
• Players wanted additional details about how they were eliminated. The Kill Cam and Final Kill Cam now show what killed you (including weapons, Scorestreaks, Specialist weapons, equipment, etc.) and what perks the player has equipped. Additionally, various weapon-balancing changes were implemented, including to the Razorback and M8A7.

Until Dawn’s terrifying audio experience has a psychopath stalk into your ears

Because you’ve always wanted to know exactly how it sounds to be hunted by something awful in a clown mask. To celebrate us killing off the teens of Until Dawn, Sony and Wimbledon Studios have created a binaural experience that’s, quite frankly, rather terrifying.

Revealed on the PlayStation Blog, the video is fully interactive. Will you hide under the bed or in the wardrobe when the psycho comes knocking? Mmm, just what you need on a Friday morning. Equally horrific choices.

Binaural means an audio experience that replicates the the human ear and as such is significantly better than surround sound. Go on, crank up those headphones…

Destiny: Xur weapons, gear, and location October 9-11. Knucklehead Radar!

Xur, Destiny‘s visiting weekend merchant, cigar aficionado, and dapper man about town, has returned to the Tower to once more throw out Exotic goodies like some kind of hysterical guest at a wedding where the confetti is guns and armour. Time to polish up those Strange Coins (only the shiniest are good enough for a classy gent like Xur) and get over to the Vanguard hall to peruse his wares.

Though actually, maybe don’t rush this week. While Xur has brought along a decent selection, it lacks any real must-haves, and once more presents a total dearth of weapons.

  • An Insurmountable Skullfort (Exotic Titan helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Knucklehead Radar (Exotic Hunter helmet) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Claws of Ahamkara (Exotic Warlock gauntlets) – 13 Strange Coins
  • Legacy Engram (Heavy weapon engram) – 31 Strange Coins
  • Exotic Gauntlets Engram – 19 Strange Coins
  • Three of Coins – 7 Strange Coins

In all, it’s a ‘quite nice’ armour selection, though there’s nothing here this week that 100% demands you give up an Exotic slot. The Insurmountable Skullfort has one of the best armour names in the game, and is pretty useful for Titans who play with a great deal of get-stuck-in momentum, being that it starts you off with pre-loaded melee energy, converts melees into grenade cooldown, and bestows health regen during Storm Fist kills and Orb collection. But it’s not quite essential.

The Knucklehead Radar’s star ability gives you a full radar when scoping any primary weapon. Certainly very useful in the Crucible, especially if you find yourself losing a lot of snap-confrontations, and of course, the helmet’s increased Super energy from PvE kills is undeniably valuable. Though that perk has been appearing on a fair few of The Taken King’s Legendaries, so you probably don’t want to give up an Exotic slot for that one alone. And the Claws of Ahamkara? Not that great, unless you really, really build your game around melees. Its more relevant powers both speed up hand-thwacks and deliver a second charge of your special, souped-up version on every cooldown. Again, a good set-up, and could actually be a room-clearer is you have your Thunderstrike set up to chain lightning, but its value is rather, shall we say, “specific”?

If you’re absolutely adamant that you must buy something this week (maybe you’re trying to wean yourself off a horrific shopping addition by only buying pretend things), the legacy Exotic Heavy engram might be worth a roll, but do bear in mind that you’ll just be using it to fill out your year one Exotics list, and not all of those can be ported over to year two. And Gjallarhorn is staying dead. Don’t kid yourself.

As ever, Xur will only be around for a couple of days, from now until 10am UK / 2am Pacific on Sunday 11 October. After that, he’s gone for another week…

New Apocalypse synopsis reveals Raven will lead the X-Men

The super-team landscape is changing. Not only are the Avengers moving towards an all new lineup, but a newly released synopsis for X-Men: Apocalypse reveals that the X-Men will have a new leader in the forthcoming film. Up until now, James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier has been at the helm, but the synopsis suggests that Jennifer Lawrence’s Raven will soon head up our favourite band of mutants.

“Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshiped as a god,” begins the official blurb. “Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto (Michael Fassbender), to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven (Jennifer Lawrence) with the help of Professor X (James McAvoy) must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”

As first assignments go, it sounds like quite a challenging one for the new leader of the X-Men. It’s not clear just why Xavier has been sidelined, although this might be the beginning of his traditional role as mentor rather than out and out leader. We’ll find out for sure when the film lands in the UK on May 19 2016 and the US on May 27 2016.

Destiny nerfs long-range shotguns in update 2.0.1

Bungie gives with one hand and nerfs with the other. While Destiny patch 2.0.1 will will mark the return of Tess Everis and the rise of ever more dance emotes next week, it will also mean the (temporary) departure of one of the most desirable/overpowered shotgun perks in the Crucible: Shot Package.

The perk, which “narrows pellet spread while aiming,” makes shotguns significantly more effective at range. Shotguns are some of the most powerful weapons in Destiny, but that effectiveness is supposed to be balanced out by the tactical challenge of getting close to an enemy before they shoot you to death – with nearly every popular long-range shotgun sporting Shot Package, players were reliably skirting that drawback and cleaning up in PvP.

As of next week, all Shot Package perks will be replaced with Close and/or Personal, Crowd Control, or Knee Pads, depending on the weapon. Bungie says Shot Package isn’t going away for good, it’s just on “time out” while the studio sorts out what to do with it.

Anything outside spitting distance was already beyond the effective range of my beloved Fourth Horseman – it’s more of a high-speed buckshot funnel than a traditional firearm. But for all those Guardians who were enjoying the best of both worlds thanks to Shot Package, you have my condolences.