Shacknews - John Keefer

Atlus had the best of intentions when it issued guidelines and a directive to gamers about streaming its highly anticipated Persona 5. It didn't want streamers to put everything online, including plot-point spoilers, that might ruin the game for people that wanted to experience it on their own. Apparently, the fans want the game spoiled.

In a new directive, the company has backed down from its drop-dead "I HIGHLY RECOMMEND NOT DOING THIS, YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED" end-of-streaming date of July 7, and instead has extended the in-game date of 11/19, as the story prepares for the final act. No posting of video or streaming" will be allowed past that in-game date. 

"We recognize that our fans are the reason why the game is the major worldwide success it is, and we continue to want them to be able to enjoy the game without fear of being spoiled," Atlus said in a post on the official site. "However, we also heard your issues with the guidelines and have decided to revise them."

Apparently, some fans saw the deadline as antagonistic, something that Atlus apologized for. "We want to be transparent about what we do, and the reason we released the guidelines was to give streamers the right information up front. It was never our intention to threaten people with copyright strikes, but we clearly chose the wrong tone for how to communicate this," it said.

Kudos to Atlus for the transparency as well as the rather quick mea culpa to its previous guidelines. It's a positive example of a company working with its community and treating them as individuals rather than just open wallets.

Shacknews - David Craddock

By the time Outlast 2 fades to black, developer Red Barrels has given you all the pieces to the game's ending. The catch is that those pieces can be arranged in different ways.

Many aspects of Outlast 2 remain open to interpretation. That was by design. Red Barrels crafted a survival-horror adventure that will keep fans talking for years, debating Blake's hallucinations and arguing over the fate of Lynn's baby. We've studied the game's ending and compiled evidence to frame what seems to be the most popular explanation so far.

It goes without saying that spoilers follow. If you have yet to see the ending for yourself, or want to talk it over with other players first, avert your eyes until later.

Lynn and the Baby

Following a tidal wave of murderous cultists and hallucinations that made Blake (and you) question what was fact and what was fiction, Blake makes his way to the mines. There, he finds Lynn, his wife, who gives birth while the storm reaches its crescendo. Lynn dies after seeing the baby safely in Blake's hands. Before she slips away, she says, "There's nothing there."

The meaning behind those three words divided Outlast 2's fan base. Lynn, on the brink of death, could have been referring to the absence of heaven or hell. Remember, she, Blake, and their friend Jessica attended Catholic school as children. Whatever happened to them over the years since, religion formed the bedrock of their beliefs.

Another interpretation is that Lynn was referring to the baby Blake held in his hands—or, rather, was not holding. Blake's had more than his fair share of hallucinations. Could it be that the child was another in a long line of illusions?

Knoth sees the baby, which seems to reinforce the notion that the baby was real. Consider this, though: Knoth was exposed to the same radio signals that corrupted Blake's mind. If the baby is another hallucination, Blake and Knoth might share it.

Visions of the Past

Blake leaves the bodies of Lynn and Knoth. The background warps, changing into the school where he spent his youth. Jessica appears; rope burns decorate her neck, evidence of her suicide. Jessica guides Blake to the kitchen where they used to play. They kneel and offer up a prayer. The screen fades, and the credits roll.

Outlast 2's final scene is rife with symbolism. Although its meaning is up for debate, Blake willingly following Jessica and kneeling to pray alongside her can be seen as Blake giving in to his guilt over her suicide. He never forgot Jessica begging him to stay with her on the day she took her life. Guilt gnawing away at his conscience, coupled with the effects of the signals emanating from the radio tower, broke what remained of Blake's mind. Or, perhaps, paved the way for acceptance and peace.

Which brings us back to Lynn, the baby, and Knoth. If Blake's mind was broken—and it did seem to be—perhaps the nightmarish visions became his new reality. A tapestry woven from hallucinations, terror, and ghosts from his past.

There's much more to Outlast 2's story than meets the eye. Read our guide to find out how Outlast 2 connects to the first game. If a section of the game is giving you trouble, learn how to find bandages and heal

Shacknews - David Craddock

By the time Outlast 2 fades to black, developer Red Barrels has given you all the pieces to the game's ending. The catch is that those pieces can be arranged in different ways.

Many aspects of Outlast 2 remain open to interpretation. That was by design. Red Barrels crafted a survival-horror adventure that will keep fans talking for years, debating Blake's hallucinations and arguing over the fate of Lynn's baby. We've studied the game's ending and compiled evidence to frame what seems to be the most popular explanation so far.

It goes without saying that spoilers follow. If you have yet to see the ending for yourself, or want to talk it over with other players first, avert your eyes until later.

Lynn and the Baby

Following a tidal wave of murderous cultists and hallucinations that made Blake (and you) question what was fact and what was fiction, Blake makes his way to the mines. There, he finds Lynn, his wife, who gives birth while the storm reaches its crescendo. Lynn dies after seeing the baby safely in Blake's hands. Before she slips away, she says, "There's nothing there."

The meaning behind those three words divided Outlast 2's fan base. Lynn, on the brink of death, could have been referring to the absence of heaven or hell. Remember, she, Blake, and their friend Jessica attended Catholic school as children. Whatever happened to them over the years since, religion formed the bedrock of their beliefs.

Another interpretation is that Lynn was referring to the baby Blake held in his hands—or, rather, was not holding. Blake's had more than his fair share of hallucinations. Could it be that the child was another in a long line of illusions?

Knoth sees the baby, which seems to reinforce the notion that the baby was real. Consider this, though: Knoth was exposed to the same radio signals that corrupted Blake's mind. If the baby is another hallucination, Blake and Knoth might share it.

Visions of the Past

Blake leaves the bodies of Lynn and Knoth. The background warps, changing into the school where he spent his youth. Jessica appears; rope burns decorate her neck, evidence of her suicide. Jessica guides Blake to the kitchen where they used to play. They kneel and offer up a prayer. The screen fades, and the credits roll.

Outlast 2's final scene is rife with symbolism. Although its meaning is up for debate, Blake willingly following Jessica and kneeling to pray alongside her can be seen as Blake giving in to his guilt over her suicide. He never forgot Jessica begging him to stay with her on the day she took her life. Guilt gnawing away at his conscience, coupled with the effects of the signals emanating from the radio tower, broke what remained of Blake's mind. Or, perhaps, paved the way for acceptance and peace.

Which brings us back to Lynn, the baby, and Knoth. If Blake's mind was broken—and it did seem to be—perhaps the nightmarish visions became his new reality. A tapestry woven from hallucinations, terror, and ghosts from his past.

There's much more to Outlast 2's story than meets the eye. Read our guide to find out how Outlast 2 connects to the first game. If a section of the game is giving you trouble, learn how to find bandages and heal

Shacknews - David Craddock

No one would fault you for running screaming through Outlast 2, ignoring most of the files and videos you find along your path while creatures out of nightmare nip at your heels. You would, however, miss out on one of the strangest and most engrossing survival-horror stories in years.

Whether you tried to make sense of what was happening in Outlast 2 or focused purely on the game's thrills and chills, this game will bring you up to speed on the main story beats and show you how the sequel connects to the original Outlast from 2013.

Be aware that this guide does not shy away from spoilers! Steer clear until you've finished Outlast 2, or use the guide's headers to get answers only to specific questions and unravel the rest for yourself.

How Does Outlast 2 Tie Into Outlast?

At a glance, all the crazy happenings at Temple Gate seems unrelated to the crucible investigative reporter Miles Upshur went through at Mount Massive Asylum. In point of fact, some juicy tidbits of information draw tenuous connections between Outlast and Outlast 2.

Developer Red Barrels admitted early on that Outlast 2 would not be a direct sequel to the original game—meaning anyone could play the sequel without needing to get caught up first. One nod to the first game is found in the "Old Traveler" document. The report references one Jennifer "Jenny" Roland, pathologist from Outlast.

The connections run deeper. Roland was employed by Murkoff Corp., the company responsible for reopening Mount Massive Asylum. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tie to previous events, but does raise questions over how (or if) representatives from Murkoff had a role in constructing or operating the radio tower that broadcasts signals capable of inducing mind control.

What's Up with Outlast 2's Blake?

At the outset of Outlast 2, journalist Blake Langermann wakes up from a nightmare concerning his friend Jessica Gray, whom Blake and his wife, Lynn, knew from their grade school days. As events unfold, a bright light leads Blake's helicopter to crash. He's plagued by hallucinations of Jessica and her suicide, leaving him—and you—wondering how Blake's childhood friend relate to what's going on in the present.

Once again, we cite the "Old Traveler" file. This document and several others provide evidence that the bright light that brought down Blake's helicopter could be the result of microwave signals from the radio tower. While portions of Outlast 2's story are open to interpretation, evidence points to microwave signals scrambling Blake's brain and weakening his grip on reality. That, in turn, could be the source of Temple Gate's populace turning violent and the advent of their cultish religion.

As you plunge deeper into Temple Gate, you'll experience stronger hallucinations. One manifests a demonic entity. Outlast 2's community of fans suggest that the demon could be Father Loutermilch, a teacher from the Catholic school that Jessica and Blake attended. The father's demonic form is metaphorical; Blake sees him as the antagonist in the story of his and Jessica's childhoods, leading him to view the nefarious priest as his antithesis, a demon.

Outlast 2 ends with Temple Gate's villagers murdering each other in a bloody frenzy. Refer to "Old Traveler," which says that those within range of the radio tower's signals lose their minds.

Is Lynn's Baby Real?

Outlast 2 throws the reproductive cycle into overdrive by, apparently, showing Lynn go from newly pregnant to nine months along in one night—leading players to wonder if she was ever pregnant at all.

Bear in mind that Outlast 2's story and characters are rooted in spirituality and religion. Blake, Lynn, and Jessica attended a Catholic school. Growing up, they perceived Father Loutermilch Father Loutermilch as a villain, and Blake sees him as a demon. That symbolism leads us to Lynn's final words to Blake: "There's nothing there."

What did she mean? There's no way to be sure, although two interpretations seem likely. The first pertains to Lynn's religious background: Perhaps, as she died, she realized that the promise of an afterlife was false, and that only darkness awaits the dead. The second interpretation is more literal. Blake holds their baby—but is the baby real, or another hallucination?

To many fans, the second theory doesn't hold water. Another character, Knoth, arrives and reacts to the baby's presence. Keep in mind, though, that Knoth was affected by the radio tower's signals as well. It might seem unlikely that several people could share the same hallucination, but stranger things have happened in fiction.

Eager to dig deeper into Outlast 2's stories and disprove theories or pose one of your own? Refer to our guide to find the locations of all recordings and documents.

Shacknews - David Craddock

No one would fault you for running screaming through Outlast 2, ignoring most of the files and videos you find along your path while creatures out of nightmare nip at your heels. You would, however, miss out on one of the strangest and most engrossing survival-horror stories in years.

Whether you tried to make sense of what was happening in Outlast 2 or focused purely on the game's thrills and chills, this game will bring you up to speed on the main story beats and show you how the sequel connects to the original Outlast from 2013.

Be aware that this guide does not shy away from spoilers! Steer clear until you've finished Outlast 2, or use the guide's headers to get answers only to specific questions and unravel the rest for yourself.

How Does Outlast 2 Tie Into Outlast?

At a glance, all the crazy happenings at Temple Gate seems unrelated to the crucible investigative reporter Miles Upshur went through at Mount Massive Asylum. In point of fact, some juicy tidbits of information draw tenuous connections between Outlast and Outlast 2.

Developer Red Barrels admitted early on that Outlast 2 would not be a direct sequel to the original game—meaning anyone could play the sequel without needing to get caught up first. One nod to the first game is found in the "Old Traveler" document. The report references one Jennifer "Jenny" Roland, pathologist from Outlast.

The connections run deeper. Roland was employed by Murkoff Corp., the company responsible for reopening Mount Massive Asylum. It's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it tie to previous events, but does raise questions over how (or if) representatives from Murkoff had a role in constructing or operating the radio tower that broadcasts signals capable of inducing mind control.

What's Up with Outlast 2's Blake?

At the outset of Outlast 2, journalist Blake Langermann wakes up from a nightmare concerning his friend Jessica Gray, whom Blake and his wife, Lynn, knew from their grade school days. As events unfold, a bright light leads Blake's helicopter to crash. He's plagued by hallucinations of Jessica and her suicide, leaving him—and you—wondering how Blake's childhood friend relate to what's going on in the present.

Once again, we cite the "Old Traveler" file. This document and several others provide evidence that the bright light that brought down Blake's helicopter could be the result of microwave signals from the radio tower. While portions of Outlast 2's story are open to interpretation, evidence points to microwave signals scrambling Blake's brain and weakening his grip on reality. That, in turn, could be the source of Temple Gate's populace turning violent and the advent of their cultish religion.

As you plunge deeper into Temple Gate, you'll experience stronger hallucinations. One manifests a demonic entity. Outlast 2's community of fans suggest that the demon could be Father Loutermilch, a teacher from the Catholic school that Jessica and Blake attended. The father's demonic form is metaphorical; Blake sees him as the antagonist in the story of his and Jessica's childhoods, leading him to view the nefarious priest as his antithesis, a demon.

Outlast 2 ends with Temple Gate's villagers murdering each other in a bloody frenzy. Refer to "Old Traveler," which says that those within range of the radio tower's signals lose their minds.

Is Lynn's Baby Real?

Outlast 2 throws the reproductive cycle into overdrive by, apparently, showing Lynn go from newly pregnant to nine months along in one night—leading players to wonder if she was ever pregnant at all.

Bear in mind that Outlast 2's story and characters are rooted in spirituality and religion. Blake, Lynn, and Jessica attended a Catholic school. Growing up, they perceived Father Loutermilch Father Loutermilch as a villain, and Blake sees him as a demon. That symbolism leads us to Lynn's final words to Blake: "There's nothing there."

What did she mean? There's no way to be sure, although two interpretations seem likely. The first pertains to Lynn's religious background: Perhaps, as she died, she realized that the promise of an afterlife was false, and that only darkness awaits the dead. The second interpretation is more literal. Blake holds their baby—but is the baby real, or another hallucination?

To many fans, the second theory doesn't hold water. Another character, Knoth, arrives and reacts to the baby's presence. Keep in mind, though, that Knoth was affected by the radio tower's signals as well. It might seem unlikely that several people could share the same hallucination, but stranger things have happened in fiction.

Eager to dig deeper into Outlast 2's stories and disprove theories or pose one of your own? Refer to our guide to find the locations of all recordings and documents.

Shacknews - John Keefer

The Forza Horizon series has usually played it pretty straight with realistic roads and backroads you can travel from iconic locations. But a new expansion will take an exit that developer Turn 10 hasn't taken before, melding Forza racing with the Hot Wheels franchise.

Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels will take place in Australia, but the roads of the Outback have been replaced with the orange loopty-loop, high-banking track made popular by the Hot Wheels franchise. In addition, several Hot Wheels cars will make their debut:

  • 1969 Twin Mill
  • 2011 Bone Shaker
  • 2012 Rip Rod
  • 2005 Ford Mustang
  • 2016 Jeep Trailcat
  • 2016 Zenvo ST1
  • 2007 Toyota Hilux Arctic Trucks AT38
  • 2010 Pagani Zonda R
  • 1972 Chrysler VH Valiant Charger R/T E49

In addition to the expansion, Turn 10 will be released an update for Forza Horzon 3, which offers some perfomance enhancements for PC, including better CPU performance, support for more racing wheels, and more graphics options.

Forza Horizon 3: Hot Wheels is part of the Expansion Pass, but if you don't have the pass, you can still get it for $19.99 when it comes out on May 9. 

Shacknews - John Keefer

Crash Mode was incredibly popular in the Burnout series of games, so developer Three Fields Entertainment has decided to try to spin off the mode again into its own game, called Danger Zone.

Three Fields was founded in 2014 by the Criterion Games execs Fiona Sperry and Alex Ward. Criterion created the Burnout series, and Three Fields' first project was Dangerous Golf, which was essentially a vehicle-less version of Crash Mode. This time, Danger Zone will be more direct in the homage. 

"We are going back to our roots by creating a game in a genre we are truly passionate about," Sperry said in a news release. "Danger Zone takes what made the Crash Mode featured in 2004's Burnout 3: Takedown so popular and transforms it into an all-new car-crashing, arcade-style puzzle game."

The Crash for Cash 3D game basically rewards vehicular mayhem. The more crashes you cause, the more of a reward you get. The single-player mode will have 20 "crash-testing scenarios," and "connected leaderboards" will be broadcast to friends and throughout the online mode.

The game is due out next month for PS4 and PC via Steam, and will cost $12.99.

Shacknews - John Keefer

It looks like the leaked information was right. Call of Duty: WWII is coming out November 3, and there will be a multiplayer beta for those that preorder the game.

A livestream revealed the trailer setting up the game, which will focus on a kid from Texas joining the Big Red One, the iconic1st Infantry Division, during World War 2. The trailer shows the Normandy invasion in France, officers yelling and fighting over how many men died, and there was lots of death. The trailer used in-game footage and was fairly intense. Of course, how it actually plays and if it measures up to the trailer is yet to be determined.

Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield of developer Sledgehammer Games told viewers that they have taken two and a half years of research to prep for the game, traveling the routes of the infantry, taking lots of pictures and talking to veterans of the war. The goal was to make the game a tribute to the vets, they said.

Developing ...

Shacknews - John Keefer

It looks like the leaked information was right. Call of Duty: WWII is coming out November 3, and there will be a multiplayer beta for those that preorder the game.

A livestream revealed the trailer setting up the game, which will focus on a kid from Texas joining the Big Red One, the iconic 1st Infantry Division, during World War 2. The trailer shows the Normandy invasion in France, officers yelling and fighting over how many men died, and there was lots of death. The trailer used in-game footage and was fairly intense, although little actual gameplay was shown. How it actually plays and if it measures up to the trailer is yet to be determined.

Michael Condrey and Glen Schofield of developer Sledgehammer Games told viewers that it has taken two-and-a-half years of research to prep for the game, traveling the routes of the infantry, taking lots of pictures and talking to veterans of the war. The goal was to make the game a tribute to the vets, they said.

"The story we're telling is unlike anything that we've tackled before," Schofield said in a prepared release. "It's such an amazing journey of common everyday people who became heroes. We want to respect this great generation of soldiers, tell a realistic story set in a true inflection point in human history, and deliver the best experience of our careers."

Of course, in one breath, we have authenticity and gritty WW2 action, and then we have co-op with the return of Nazi Zombies, with "an all new take," Condrey said.

The story apparently will push across the European theater, from Normandy to the liberation of Paris and then onward into Germany. VG247 is also reporting that part of COD will let players take on the role of a French woman during the liberation of Paris. Hopefully it will be more than just a story segment or gratuitous nod to women who fought in the Resistance.

Not too much was said about multiplayer, except that there will be "a new approach to character and create-a-class through Divisions, War, an all-new narrative multiplayer mode of play, and Headquarters, a first of its kind for the Call of Duty social community, designed for players to interact and socialize with friends." Activision said more will be revealed around E3, and the game will be at the event so the public can give it a try

There also was no other word on when the private beta would take place, but it will be open to those preordering the game and come to PS4 first. Call of Duty: WWII will also have a season pass, which ensures post launch DLC, likely in the form of maps and other multiplayer modes.

The game will be available on PS4, Xbox One and PC on November 3.

Shacknews - Steve Watts

Everything old is new again, and this year that means Call of Duty is venturing back to Dubya Dubya Two. The big reveal stream is planned for later today, and this week the Chattycast will be recording immediately afterwards. We'll discuss what we learned about Call of Duty: WW2, the recent trend of Call of Duty and Battlefield going back to earlier wars, and how to treat a story like this right in today's market. 

Come watch!

...

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