Thursday, July 23, 2020

Next Up Hero and Tacoma Free on Epic Games Store Now

Epic Games is giving away PC version of Next Up Hero and Tacoma for this week on Epic Games Store.

As a brilliant marketing strategy to grow their customer base, Epic Games started a trend of giving out at least one free game every week for PC platform on Epic Games Store and intends to keep up their promise throughout 2020.

Epic Store is currently giving away 2018 action game Next Up Hero and 2017 adventure title Tacoma this week that you can claim with a free account to add to your online library anytime before July 30, 8:00 AM PT/10:00 AM EDT.

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Next Up Hero and Tacoma Free on Epic Games Store Now

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Inviting players into a new type of dungeon crawler, Next Up Hero from Digital Continue and Aspyr Media features hand-drawn characters that you can pick to go on quests though hack and slash action until you reach out max stats.

Explore an abandoned, seemingly-empty space station in Tacoma by developer/publisher Fullbright as main character Amy, who is aided by an AI companion to solve mysteries about an unknown crisis its crew-members have faced.

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Although one of the draft from today's freebie lineup has a pending rating on EGS and can be blocked out by Parental Controls feature. So, a second title was added to balance that out for everyone out there, including minor audiences.

Epic Games Store will be offering three lesser known titles for giveaway next week; 20XX, Barony and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery from three different indie developer studios, which will become available on July 30, 2020.

Civilization VI, For Honor and Yakuza Kiwami on Xbox Free Play Days

Free Play Days this weekend brings Civilization VI, For Honor and Yakuza Kiwami for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate members.

To spice up your relaxing days each week, Xbox Free Play Days event brings out some hand-picked free game trials for members of Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate to enjoy over the weekend on their Xbox One consoles.

Starting from July 23, 12:01 AM PDT/3:01 AM EDT, members can head over to Microsoft Store to get access free to download Civilization VI, For Honor and Yakuza Kiwami to keep playing until July 26, 11:59 PM PDT /2:59 AM EDT.

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Civilization VI, For Honor and Yakuza Kiwami on Xbox Free Play Days

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An ultimate empire building simulator, Civilization VI is a turn-based strategy game from Firaxis Games and 2K Games. Extend your reign across the map throughout history and lead your nation to greatness as its supreme leader.

Become a brave Knight, honorable Samurai, vicious Viking or formidable Wu Lin in medieval fighting game For Honor from developer/publisher Ubisoft to pit players into epic battles against fearsome enemies to test your skills.

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A remake of critically-acclaimed original title, Yakuza Kiwami is ultimate Kazuma Kiryu saga featuring expanded cinematic, enhanced gameplay, uncapped framerates, ultra-widescreen support and fan-favorite battle styles of Yakuza 0.

Xbox Free Play Days eventually comes to a close by end of this week but you can keep up having fun by purchasing these titles for exclusive member discount to carry over all of your in-game achievements, gamescores and progress.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

PlayStation Store Summer Sale 2020

Sony is offering up to 60% discounts in Summer Sale 2020 for select PS4 games at PlayStation Store, until August 19, 2020.

To help you beat the heat this year, annual Summer Sale is going live on PlayStation Store today with a great collection of PlayStation 4 games for amazing discounts and they will be on sale until August 19, 23:59 PM PT/2:59 AM EDT.

Although original promotion says that players can save up to 60%, you might find some title on sale for even bigger discount. Depending on your region, PS Store also brings you big selection of movies at a reduced rate on Summer Sale.

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PlayStation Store Summer Sale 2020

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Dragon Ball fans can have dibs on Dragon Ball FighterZ and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 at 84% less rate than usual to experience non-stop fighting action before jumping on board with Dragon Ball Z: Kakarot to become Goku and save 40%.

Some recent releases such as Dreams, Maneater, Persona 5 Royal and Predator: Hunting Grounds will offer you a sweet 25% off. Anime lovers can enjoy a 40% off on both My Hero One's Justice 2 and One Piece: Pirate Warriors 4.

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Fan-favorite games like Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, Death Stranding, Disintegration, Hunt: Showdown, Remnant: From the Ashes, Star Wars Jedi Knight: Jedi Academy and The Legend of Heroes: Trails of Cold Steel are up for 40%.

For half of their original retail price you can get Ancestors: Humankind Odyssey, Blasphemous, Civilization VI, Indivisible, MLB: The Show 20, Oninaki, Resident Evil 2 Remake, Tetris Effect, The Outer Worlds and Warhammer: Vermintide 2.

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Other highlights of Summer Sale are Nioh 2, Red Dead Redemption 2, Resident Evil 3 Remake, Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Also note that some games may leave PlayStation Store earlier than others, so be sure to check their end date.

By the end of this year, Sony Interactive Entertainment will debut a new console generation with launch of PlayStation 5 and considering an end of PS4 lifespan, Summer Sale this year is undoubtedly the most exciting one with best offers.

World War Z: Dronemaster Update Live Now

Dronemaster update for World War Z adds cross-play on all platforms, new missions and weapon skins.

Even after a year of release, co-op zombie shooter title World War Z from developer Saber Interactive and publisher Mad Dog Games continues to grow its community on PC via Epic Games Store, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Saber Interactive has been very frequent and pretty generous with their post-launch free DLC updates for WWZ since launch. Most recently, dev team has added new weapons, missions and more in Dronemaster update for Season 2.

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World War Z: Dronemaster Update Live Now

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A preview of Dronemaster update showcasing its titular player class and notable features is released lately.

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One of the most notable aspects of Dronemaster update is a new playable character class that is equipped with an upgradable drone. This aerial device is designed to aid you in battle and will stun any enemy in close proximity with taser.

Players can customize their personal drone using an expansive perk tree to increase firepower, add a different weapon, use for building defense, to buff allies or you can also charge a suicidal kamikaze attack at an enemy horde from afar.

RELATED: World War Z PvPvZ Mode

Among many other things, WWZ recently introduces full cross-play support across all available platforms. Up until now, cross-play feature was only limited between PC and Xbox One since Sony was hesitant to join a larger community.

Armory of survivors has seen new inclusion of ACW-20, semi-automatic grenade launcher of short-caliber. This one a rare weapon pick-up within World War Z arsenal to clear up massive swarm of zombies but be aware of its friendly fire.

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Combat-Ready Quadrocopter

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A set of in-game characters themed weapon variants are bundled into Signature Weapons Pack DLC, included in GOTY edition or Season Pass. There are essential fixes, perk rebalances, new upgrades and quality of life improvements as well.

World War Z unites survivor community comes together to outlive the dead via cross-play and a new playable class with a personal quadrocopter drone will only improve your collective chance of survival against waves of undead swarms.

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Assassin's Creed Odyssey Only Had Kassandra as Protagonist

Ubisoft originally planned for Kassandra to be the only female protagonist in Assassin's Creed Odyssey.

Despite belonging to stealth-adventure based Assassin's Creed series delved into action role-playing genre with Assassin's Creed Odyssey, where players would have a choice between two playable characters; Alexios and Kassandra.

According to a recent article by Bloomberg reporter Jason Schrier, developer/publisher Ubisoft didn't allow any female characters in lead role of Assassin's Creed games for a while due to an internal mandate that says "Women Don't Sell".

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Assassin's Creed Odyssey Only Had Kassandra as Protagonist

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In past few months, French video game company Ubisoft has been slammed by widespread workplace abuse. While an investigation is currently ongoing, many employees within Ubisoft have reported of an abusive workplace.

Several team members believe such atmosphere has even affected production of Assassin's Creed games in past. Ubisoft had a long-held belief that female protagonists in general doesn't help sell games like traditional male ones.

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Back in 2014, trouble begin with Assassin's Creed Unity when a creative director of Ubisoft was against inclusion of any female characters because "it was really a lot of extra production work" to add animations and clothing for women.

Their next game, Assassin's Creed Syndicate had a script that allowed siblings Jacob and Evie Fyre to have equal screen time. However, changes were made to favor male protagonist Jacob who became the main character of Syndicate.

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Similarly in Assassin's Creed Origins, original plan for Bayek was to be killed off at an early point to focus on his wife Aya. That plan was eventually flipped and Bayek lived to serve as lead playable character for rest of the adventure.

In all instances mentioned above, Ubisoft chief creative officer Serge Hascoët or marketing team has intervened before final release to force developers change story direction to reduce role of female characters or protagonists.

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When working on Assassin's Creed Odyssey, its creative team wanted Kassandra to be only playable character in lead role. Odyssey ended up adding her male sibling Alexios, to allow players a choice to pick between these two.

Ubisoft employees claimed that they often had to distract Hascoët with major compromises to add features that he didn't like to sway his influence from making changes for worse as he was not a fan of cut-scenes or linear storytelling.

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In wake of Serge Hascoët leaving company, Jason Schrier reveals his latest expose on industry practices.

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Serge Hascoët is arguably responsible for cancellation of more than a few promising projects with such meddling. However, his authority within company starts lessening lately after a series of lackluster releases over past few years.

Even though Alexios was forced into Assassin's Creed Odyssey, he actually fits nicely in ancient Greece setting. Ubisoft will also let you choose a male and female version of lead character, Eivor in upcoming Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Spider-Man: Miles Morales Performance Mode Will Run at 4K, 60 FPS

Insomniac confirms Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be running at 4K resolution in 60 FPS on PS5.

A spin-off sequel to Marvel's Spider-Man, upcoming superhero action-adventure game Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales to focus on Brooklyn based teenager Miles Morales taking up his mantle of friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

Given how watching Spidey get into action is a visual treat for fans, developer Insomniac Games announces that Spider-Man: Miles Morales will be playable on PlayStation 5, at 4K resolution and in 60 FPS via an optional Performance Mode.

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Spider-Man: Miles Morales Performance Mode Will Run at 4K, 60 FPS

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Sony Interactive Entertainment allowed their first-party developers to offer players higher frame rate or better resolution. Marvel's Spider-Man was smoothly running at 30 FPS on both PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 4 Pro consoles.

Insomniac has yet to clear out what compromises will be made to get 4K/60 FPS output for Spider-Man: Miles Morales. It could very well be that turning on Performance Mode will disable real-time ray tracing and other rendering effects.

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Insomniac revealed this latest news regarding Spider-Man: Miles Morales on official Twitter account today.

RELATED: Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales to Release in Holiday 2020

Insomniac Games was able to perfectly portray fluidity of Spider-Man swinging through New York City in first game. With newest features of next-gen consoles available, developers surely will be able to up the ante even more this time.

Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales was revealed last month during PlayStation 5 Digital Event, releasing on holiday 2020. Although a standalone game, Miles Morales will explore a relatively smaller premise than its 2018 predecessor title.

Sea of Thieves Crosses 15 Million Players

Rare Studio announces Sea of Thieves to have crossed 15 million players mark since launch back in March 2018.

A few months ago, open-world online action-adventure game Sea of Thieves from developer Rare Studio and publisher Xbox Game Studios celebrated its two years anniversary of release on Windows PC, Xbox Game Pass and Xbox One.

Amassing 5 million players within only six months from back in January 2020, Sea of Thieves has officially crossed 15 million players since two years of its original launch back in 2018 following its recent debut on PC gaming platform Steam.

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Sea of Thieves Crosses 15 Million Players

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Over 3.3M active players have joined to sail the high seas in June 2020, making it one of the biggest month for SoT since launch. Rare Studio and Xbox Game Studios saw record number of player growth over the years following release.

Sea of Thieves has been showing up on most played and top-selling games list on Steam every now and then. Partial credit for this amazing success goes to player community of Steam for purchasing more than 1 million copies so far.

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During its launch week, Sea of Thieves faced major server issues and was heavily criticized for being repetitive. Rare Studio dev team frequently rolled out content and limited time events to keep everyone busy and turned things around.

New players on Sea of Thieves can begin their high-seas adventure with narrative-driven tutorial Maiden Voyage. Or try out your luck at Adventure and Arena modes while getting on broad each month for free content updates.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

No Man's Sky: Desolation Update Live Now

Hello Games lunches fourth major free update Desolation for No Man's Sky, adding derelict freighters and improvements.

In a running cycle, developer/publisher Hello Games is adding more new content to multiplayer action-adventure survival title No Man's Sky frequently to improve overall experience for entire player community via monthly free updates.

New gameplay features are added to NMS this year with release of Cross-Play, Exo Mech and Living Ship free patch. In a surprise announcement, Hello Games revealed launching Desolation update today for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

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No Man's Sky: Desolation Update Live Now

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A recently released mysterious new trailer for No Man's Sky: Desolation update hints at dark story content.

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Latest free update Desolation introduces a number of improvements for combat and space exploration. Discover semi-deactivated derelict freighters with broken security systems and damaged AI drones running rampant all around.

There are large areas inside that are filled with danger with nothing but dim glow emergency lights to navigate through. You are advised to take a crew as rumor has it that you may come across some hostile extraterrestrial creatures.

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Abandoned Derelict Freighters

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Much like No Man's Sky universe, these freighters are all procedurally generated with unique interiors and stories to explore. Travelers may end up discovering or taking out pieces that can later be used as upgrades for their capital ship.

Desolation update has made some changes to enemies and weapon balances for an engaging, fast-paced combat. Such gameplay effects and tweaks are not limited to these abandoned freighters but are available across full game as well.

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Dynamic Combat Experience

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Desolation is the fourth major free update for NMS this year and Hello Games has plans to release more in near future. Other new adjustments include freighter customization, lens flare effects, multiplayer missions and much more.

No Man's Sky has arrived on Xbox Game Pass last month, garnering more than a million new players and with newest addition of cross-play feature has assembled all-time biggest number of players together from different platforms.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light DLC Expansion Delayed

Previous release date for Destiny 2: Beyond Light expansion has been delayed because of COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in June, developer/publisher Bungie revealed plans to add a new trilogy of expansions in Year 4 Season 2 content for free-to-play online multiplayer shooter Destiny 2 to start a new era and first one among them was Beyond Light.

Bungie originally planned to launch Beyond Light DLC expansion on September 22 and reveal more features very soon, which is now been delayed to November 10, 2020 due to working restrictions during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

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Destiny 2: Beyond Light DLC Expansion Delayed

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Even though Bungie is one of the best studios to work remotely under current circumstances, they had to push back next chapter of Destiny 2 by a few more weeks just to meet certain quality standards because of recent challenges.

Beyond Light plans to include new gears, location, missions, raid, weaponry and everything that players expect from its next expansion, which will form the major upcoming D2 story arc alongside its follow-up The Witch Queen and Lightfall.

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For a brief time, Destiny 2 is temporarily removing several activities and locations from game while taking away weekly reward cap on raids for rest of the season, allowing players to grind for best exotic loots as long as they are available.

Recent actions of Bungie are disappointing to some fans but are taken for a better future of D2 players in long run. Previous plans for rumored development of Destiny 3 have been scrapped and are replaced with new content update strategy.

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Beyond Light is coming at a time when majority of D2 player community were longing for a new update after Shadowkeep that would rejuvenate Destiny 2 once again like The Taken King did for original Destiny and there is only months to go.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light will be first DLC expansion to release on both PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. Progress will be shared within two console generation with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One version receiving free upgrade to next-gen.

Torchlight 2 Free on Epic Games Store Now

Epic Games Store is giving away PC version of action RPG dungeon crawler Torchlight II for free in this week's giveaway.

Being pretty generous than usual, Epic Games has offered three free games for PC platform on their digital distribution platform Epic Games Store last week and thus, keeping up a promise of rolling out freebie titles throughout this year.

Ahead of this week, Epic Store announced to giveaway action role-playing dungeon crawler game Torchlight II by developer Runic Games and publisher Perfect World Entertainment for free until July 23, 8:00 AM PT/10:00 AM EDT.

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Torchlight 2 Free on Epic Games Store Now

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Approximately a year ago, Epic Games Store has given away free copies of original Torchlight game and those of you who have thoroughly enjoyed the ride will surely love its award-winning worthy successor that was released in 2012.

Taking heavy inspiration form games like Diablo, gameplay of Torchlight II lets you choose from four playable classes depending on your playstyle and allows you to customize them before you start exploring its open-world solo or in co-op.

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Runic Games did a nice job improving upon its predecessor title and refining overall experience. Even after eight years of its initial launch, sequel to original Torchlight is considered as one of the best top-down action RPGs on PC.

Epic Store has revealed their upcoming giveaway list that includes action dungeon crawler title Next Up Hero from Digital Continue and exploration game Tacoma from Fullbright, which will become available to claim from July 23, 2020.

Ash of Gods: Redemption, Frostpunk and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on Xbox Free Play Days

Free Play Days adds Ash of Gods: Redemption, Frostpunk and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass Ultimate this weekend.

An exciting lineup of free game trials are about to become available on soon on Xbox Free Play Days event for Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscribers to join in and enjoy throughout the weekend on Xbox One console.

Right after signing into your account, head over to Microsoft Store starting from June 16, 12:01 AM PDT to get access to download Ash of Gods: Redemption, Frostpunk and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint for free until June 19, 11:59 PM PDT.

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Ash of Gods: Redemption, Frostpunk and Ghost Recon: Breakpoint on Xbox Free Play Days

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Prepare to face an ancient evil in Ash of Gods: Redemption, a dark fantasy turn-based role-playing game from developer/publisher Aurum Dust that blends tactical combat in its gameplay mechanics while adapting a hand-drawn style.

Set in an alternate reality 19th-century Frostpunk brings an experience of city-building survival game where you take on leadership of a group of surviving humans within a frozen wasteland, courtesy of developer/publisher 11 Bit Studios.

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Fight alongside your brothers in arms and become a Ghost in online tactical shooter Ghost Recon: Breakpoint by developer/publisher Ubisoft. Assemble your four-man fireteam to raid Auroa and take down rogue agent Cole D. Walker.

When your weekend of Xbox Free Play Days event is finally over, grab over these titles from above to purchase for an exclusive member discount to carry over all of your achievements, gamescores and in-game progress to main game.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Tom Holland Shares First Set Photo of Uncharted Movie

Actor Tom Holland shares first set photo of Uncharted movie on Instagram as they finally are about to start filming.

For many years, a live-action movie adaptation based on acclaimed action-adventure video game series Uncharted has been abandoned by several directors and numerous delays but that status quo is most likely to change very soon.

Today, British actor Tom Holland (Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming) has posted a set photo on Instagram, confirming long-delayed Uncharted movie production finally beginning after a global Coronavirus shutdown.

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Tom Holland Shares First Set Photo of Uncharted Movie

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Holland is cast to play the role of a young Nathan Drake in upcoming movie adaptation, which will reportedly be taking inspiration from Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, currently helmed by director Ruben Fleischer (Venom, Zombieland).

Production was supposed to start back in March but was halted only after a day of filming due to COVID-19 outbreak. Now that Coronavirus pandemic is largely brought under control, film production is all set to begin in Berlin very soon.

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Holland recently took Instagram to share an image of his chair on set from filming location that says "Nate".

A post shared by Tom Holland (@tomholland2013) on

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Tom will be joined by actor Mark Wahlberg (Pain & Gain, The Departed) who is rumored to play Drake's mentor Victor "Sully" Sullivan. As a fan of titular series, Tom Holland is excited for his role and is inspired by Wahlberg to get into shape.

Given how Uncharted movie production has a history of delays, Sony Pictures is trying to meet a release date set for next year. However, rushing to meet a deadline for a potential Hollywood blockbuster could turn out to be disastrous as well.