Destiny 2 Dawning Baking Recipes Guide: How To Make All Cookies And Get Your Dawning Cheer Sparrow

The Dawning, Destiny 2‘s holiday-themed event, is always all about gift-giving, just like the Halloween-themed Festival of the Lost is about wearing masks. Activities during the December event usually have you finding and giving gifts to the various characters in Destiny 2, and this year those gifts have a different twist–you’re baking treats for all the game’s major characters.

Destiny 2 is, of course, a game about shooting, so most of your confections will be crafted from the bones (and other parts) of your enemies. As you go marauding through the solar system, you’ll gain items you can stick in a special oven in order to make treats. Eva, the character who puts you on your quest, gives you one recipe for cookies, but the rest you have to find through trial and error–unless you have our guide.

Baking all the goods on Eva’s list and giving them to the people around the Tower will net you an Exotic sparrow, as well as a number of Triumphs. The Dawning runs through the month of December, so there may well be more rewards in store as well, in a similar way to how the Murder Mystery quest of the Festival of the Lost turned out to reward players with Thunderlord. Here’s everything you need to know to bake cookies in Destiny 2, as well as the recipes we’ve uncovered so far. We’ll update this list as more information and more recipes become know.

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Get Your Ingredients

The stuff you use to actually make the cookies comes from out in the world and completing various activities. For each batch of cookies, you’ll need three things: a common ingredient, a rare ingredient, and 15 Essence of Dawning.

Killing enemies in the world yields common ingredients based on what kind of enemy you kill; there’s something different for Fallen, Vex, Cabal, Taken, Scorn, and Hive. Rare ingredients drop based on the means of killing enemies. If you use explosives, you might get a Delicious Explosion ingredient; a sword kill could earn you a Sharp Taste. They’re mostly pretty easy to figure out, but a few are a little confusing. Here’s how to get each ingredient.

  • Delicious Explosion: Explosive kills
  • Sharp Flavor: Sword kills
  • Impossible Heat: Solar kills
  • Electric Taste: Arc kills
  • Null Taste: Void kills
  • Flash of Inspiration: Create Orbs of Light
  • Personal Touch: Melee kills
  • Perfect Taste: Precision kills
  • Bullet Spray: SMG and Machine Gun kills
  • Essence of Dawning: Complete activities in the solar system
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Recipes

These are the combinations we’ve found that yield specific cookies. Note that you need 15 Essence of Dawning for each recipe in order to make the oven work. We’ll keep updating this list as more recipes are discovered.

  • Gjallardoodles (deliver to Zavala): Ether Cane, Delicious Explosion
  • Infinite Forest Cakes (deliver to Failsafe): Vex Milk, Impossible Heat
  • Gentleman’s Shortbread (deliver to Devrim Kay): Ether Cane, Perfect Taste
  • Vanilla Blades (deliver to Shaxx): Cabal Oil, Sharp Flavor
  • Radiolarian Pudding (deliver to Asher): Vex Milk, Electric Flavor
  • Eliksni Birdseed (deliver to Hawthorne): Ether Cane, Personal touch
  • Chocolate Ship Cookies (deliver to Holliday): Cabal Oil, Null Taste
  • Telemetry Tapioca (deliver to Banshee-44): Vex Milk, Bullet Spray
  • Traveler Donut Holes (deliver to Ikora): Cabal Oil, Flash of Inspiration
  • Javelin Mooncake (deliver to Ana Bray): Chitin Powder, Sharp Flavor
  • Dark Chocolate Motes (deliver to the Drifter): Taken Butter, Null Flavor
  • Alkane Dragee Cookies (deliver to Sloane): Chitin Powder, Bullet Spray

Don’t Throw Away Your Failures!

If you create a recipe combination that doesn’t work, you’ll get Burned Edge Transit cookies. You’ll lose whatever ingredients you put in, plus your Essence of Dawning that you needed to do the cooking. But just because your cookies are horrible doesn’t mean these are a total loss. You can’t get your lost ingredients back, but you can reclaim the Essence, which is something since every batch of cookies you make costs 15 Essence, and you need to complete activities to get more.

To get your Essence of Dawning back, head to the Tower and talk to the Cryptarch. He’ll accept your burnt cookies as gifts and trade you back 15 Essence–the complete cost of cooking the bad batch. You can then immediately try a new recipe if you’ve got the ingredients, without having to go find a Public Event or some other activity to complete.

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Earning Your Sleigh

To unlock the Dawning Cheer sparrow, you need to make a few specific cookies, as well as 12 batches in total. To unlock it to start, make Vanilla Blades, Chocolate Ship Cookies, and Eliksni Birdseed using the recipes above. Once you’ve delivered them, you’ll unlock the sparrow.

After you’ve got the sparrow, you can set about repairing it to complete a Triumph. We’ll update this section when we figure out the deal there.

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Author: GameSpot

Doctor Strange Director Returning To Head Sequel

Doctor Strange director and co-writer Scott Derrickson is returning to head the movie’s sequel. There are no concrete details for Doctor Strange 2 yet, except that the film will occur after 2019’s Avengers: Endgame during Phase Four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, there’s still a search for a writer for Doctor Strange 2’s script. However, both Benedict Cumberbatch and Benedict Wong, who play Steven Strange and Wong respectfully, will be returning in the sequel. Rachel McAdams, who portrays Christine Palmer, is theorized to be in the sequel as well. The script for Doctor Strange 2 is currently scheduled to be finished by the end of 2019, with production on the film starting in Spring 2020 and the movie releasing in May 2021. Marvel has yet to confirm these details.

Both Peter Parker and Steven Strange met their end in the final moments of 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War, yet the confirmation of Spider-Man: Far From Home and Doctor Strange 2 assures that both heroes will return to life in some way during the events of Endgame. Whether or not that means the same for everyone who disappeared as a result of Thanos’ snap remains to be seen.

The MCU concludes Phase Three in 2019 with Captain Marvel on March 8 and Avengers: Endgame on April 26. 2018 saw the rise of King T’Challa as the new Black Panther, as well as Scott Lang once again donning the Ant-Man suit and partnering with Hope van Dyne, aka Wasp. However, Thanos’ quest to eradicate half of life in the universe was realized in Avengers: Infinity War, which saw half of the Avengers, most of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and many other heroes dissolve into ash. Prior to Nick Fury’s disappearance, he reached out to Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel and Earth’s mightiest superhero. Hopefully her return to her home planet provides the strength the remaining heroes need to fight back against Thanos in Endgame.

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Author: GameSpot

Fallout 76 Patch Notes Detail What’s New In Latest Update

Bethesda has released another big update for Fallout 76. The latest patch weighs in at around 5 GB on PS4 and Xbox One and 3 GB on PC, and it introduces some notable CAMP improvements and SPECIAL respeccing to the game, along with a litany of bug fixes across all platforms.

Foremost, the new update makes it so that small obstructions, such as rocks and small trees, will automatically be cleared out when you build CAMP items near or on top of them. Additionally, Epic has implemented a notification system that will let you know when you log in if your CAMP location is occupied by another player. If you decide to stay in that session, Bethesda says you’ll be able to place your CAMP somewhere else for free. If you opt to join a different session, your CAMP will automatically appear in its original spot if it is unoccupied.

Beyond the CAMP improvements, the new update allows you to respec your SPECIAL once you reach level 51. At that point, you’ll have the option to either unlock a new Perk Card or reallocate one SPECIAL point each time you level up. Bethesda has also added new display options for the PC version, specifically 21:9 resolution support and field of view and depth of field sliders.

Rounding out the latest update is a handful of balance tweaks, as well as a long list of bug fixes. Among other things, the Scorchbeast Queen will now land on the ground more often than before. Super Mutants will also drop gunpowder less frequently, while .308 ammo will now drop in stacks of one to five. You can find the full patch notes on Bethesda’s website; we’ve also included a selection of them below.

Bethesda plans to release at least one more update for Fallout 76 before the year wraps up. As the developer previously outlined, it is aiming to deploy another patch around December 18, which will “focus on stability and other concerns raised by the community.” Then, beginning in early 2019, Bethesda will kick off “a variety of in-game events” in Fallout 76. Each one will be different and will feature some sort of “interesting twist” on the typical Fallout 76 gameplay.

Fallout 76 December 11 Update Patch Notes

Highlights

  • CAMP Construction Improvements: Small obstructions will now be automatically removed when you place objects on top of them, allowing you to more easily build when and where you want.
  • CAMP Placement Improvements: You will now be notified when you log into a world and your current CAMP location is occupied by another player. If you stay in that world, you can place your CAMP back down for free. If you decide not to place your CAMP and join a new world where your space is unoccupied, it will be automatically placed in its original spot.
  • SPECIAL Re-speccing: Upon reaching level 51, and every level thereafter, you’ll be able to choose whether you want to unlock a new Perk Card or reallocate one SPECIAL point.
  • Push-to-Talk: We’ve implemented a push-to-talk hotkey for Voice Chat on PC so that you can decide when to speak up and when to remain silent.
  • New PC Settings: We’ve added Field of View and Depth of Field sliders so that you can further customize your view in-game.
  • 21:9 Resolution Support: On PC, you can catch an even wider view from those gorgeous Appalachian vistas, because Fallout 76 now supports monitors that use 21:9 aspect ratios.

General

  • Performance: Several improvements have been made to in-game performance.
  • Stability: The Fallout 76 game client and servers have received additional stability improvements.

Art

  • Lighting: Exposure values have been adjusted for exterior environments, allowing them to appear brighter in dark conditions.

Balance

  • Loot: .308 Ammo dropped by creatures has been reduced. Players will now receive .308 Ammo in stacks of 1 – 5, rather than up to 12 for a single kill.
  • Loot: Super Mutants will now drop Gunpowder half as often, and the chance for additional loot has been reduced. Caps are guaranteed loot on Super Mutants until level 16.
  • Scorchbeast Queen: Will now land on the ground more often.
  • Workshops: Players no longer gain XP when crafting at a public Workshop.

CAMP, Crafting, and Workshops

NEW — Automatically remove obstructions in CAMPs:

  • Rocks, small trees, and other small objects no longer prevent players from building items in those locations.
  • These obstructions are now automatically removed upon constructing objects and structures in CAMP, such as Foundations.
  • Placing an object to remove an obstruction and then removing that object, will cause that obstruction to reappear after some time or upon logging back in.

NEW — CAMP placement improvements:

  • A notification will now be displayed to players upon logging into a world if their current CAMP location is occupied by someone else.
  • If they to choose remain in that world, they will be able to place their CAMP in a new location for free.
  • Alternatively, if the player decides not to place their CAMP in a new location, and instead joins a new world, their CAMP will be automatically placed back in its original location—provided that spot is unoccupied.

Additional CAMP, Crafting, and Workshop updates:

  • CAMP: The percentage of a CAMP’s Budget that is being taken up by stored items and Blueprints will now appear in the Budget bar.
  • CAMP: While in build mode, players can now toggle the left joystick on controllers, or press “Q” on PC, to switch view between objects that can be built and those that cannot.
  • Windmill: The power produced by the Windmill has been increased from 3 to 12.
  • Workshops: Players can now purchase Atomic Shop items directly from the Workshop menu.

Progression

NEW — SPECIAL Re-speccing:

  • Every time a player levels-up after level 50, they can now choose whether to unlock a new Perk Card or transfer one previously allocated SPECIAL point from one category to another.
    • This change is not retroactive for characters that have already progressed beyond level 50 but will apply to every level-up they achieve going forward.
    • If a player chooses to reallocate a SPECIAL point on leveling-up, they will be unable to select a new Perk Card for that level, and vice-versa.
    • Re-speccing details have also been added to the “Perks” section of the in-game Help menu.

Quests

  • Event Quests: A 15-minute cooldown timer has been added at the end of each Enclave Event Quest.
  • Event Quests: XP reward amounts have been reduced for the following Event Quests:
    • Fertile Soil, Collision Course, Tea Time, Guided Meditation, Distinguished Guests, Battle Bots, Line in the Sand, Protest March, Grafton Day, Patrol Duty, Jailbreak, Back on the Beat, and Feed the People.
    • Additionally, the cooldown timer that begins after starting each of these Events has been increased from 48 minutes to 1 hour and 12 minutes.

UI

NEW — Push-to-Talk Setting (PC):

  • A Push-to-Talk setting has been added for Voice Chat, and is set to the Caps Lock key by default.
    • The “Toggle Always Run” hotkey, which used to be set on Caps Lock, has been moved to the “/” key by default.
    • Both the Caps Lock and “/” hotkeys can be rebound in the Controls Menu.

NEW — Depth of Field Setting (PC):

  • A Depth of Field slider has been added and can be adjusted in the game’s display settings menu.

NEW — Field of View Setting (PC):

  • A Field of View slider has been added and can be adjusted in the game’s display settings menu.
  • The Field of View slider can be adjusted in increments of 5, to a maximum of 120, and a minimum of 70.
  • Note: Field of View will be automatically set to 70 while modifying a character’s appearance but can otherwise be set between the values mentioned above.

NEW — 21:9 Resolution Support (PC):

  • The game client will now automatically detect and apply the correct display resolution for monitors that use 21:9 resolutions.
  • Additionally, various 21:9 resolutions can be selected in the game’s display settings menu.

Additional User Interface Updates:

  • AFK Timer: The timer that disconnects players after a period of inactivity in-game has been increased from 10 to 30 minutes, and the warning prompt will now display 3 minutes, rather than 1 minute, prior to being disconnected.
  • Atomic Shop: Items that have recently been added to the Atomic Shop now display a “New” icon, and new items will now sort to the front of their associated subsections.
  • Atomic Shop: Item subtitles in the Atomic Shop have been moved to the top of item images.
  • Compass: Maximums have been implemented for each type of marker that can appear in the compass, and up to 60 markers in total can be visible at once:
    • Up to 10 markers each for quests, locations, hostile players, and enemies.
    • Up to 8 markers each for neutral players and targeted enemies.
    • Up to 4 markers for teammates.
    • Players can still use their Pip-Boys to toggle tracking off for individual quests if they’d prefer to reduce them amount of quest markers in the compass, and on-screen.

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Author: GameSpot

Aquaman Movie Reviews Roundup: What Do The Critics Think?

Aquaman may have been the unlikeliest member of the Justice League to get his own standalone film before Batman, but the King of Atlantis comes in swinging. While the DC cinematic universe has gained a reputation for being dour and over-serious, Aquaman appears bright, colorful, and boisterous. The critical consensus agrees that while it has some notable issues with plotting and tone, the overall package is satisfyingly wacky.

“There are living, breathing dinosaurs in Aquaman, and they’re maybe the 15th or 20th craziest thing in the movie,” wrote critic Michael Rougeau in GameSpot’s Aquaman review. “It’s not that the plot doesn’t make sense, or that it’s hard to follow. Aquaman is creatively bonkers–the insanity in the movie is a choice that was made, over and over, in every aspect of the film’s creation.”

Read below for a sampling of reviews from around the industry, or check out GameSpot sister site Metacritic for more. Aquaman releases in theaters on December 21.

GameSpot — no score

“Much of Aquaman–more than your average superhero movie, it seems–was taken straight off the pages of comic books, for better or worse. But Aquaman isn’t simply a bunch of remixed comics elements thrown together. It’s a movie with its own over the top, tongue in cheek, inconsistent, massive, irreverent, CGI-soaked tone, aesthetic, and world. And somehow, it works well enough that you’ll be calling Arthur king by the end.” — Michael Rougeau [Full review]

CNET — no score

“Still, this is unexpectedly giddy, fishy fun. Aquaman arrives in theaters alongside Bumblebee and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, making this a good month for charming and compelling family blockbusters. Come on in, the water’s fine.” — Richard Trenholm [Full review]

ET Online — no score

“Then there’s an octopus playing the drums, and somehow that works. Because, at the end of the day, it is a fun movie, full of neon colors and plenty of bubbles and told on an ambitiously large scale. Wan’s creativity in building this world is unending, and it is a blast seeing each new setup brought to life 20,000 leagues under the sea: Mer-people and fish monsters and Stormtrooperesque humanoids, spinning through seascapes that look like gloriously immersive screensavers. More of this!” — John Boone [Full review]

Los Angeles Times — no score

“When you throw in some emotional surprises, that’s a lot of boat for one movie to float, but float is what Aquaman manages to do. Could that be a sequel hovering on the horizon? I wouldn’t be at all surprised.” — Kenneth Turan [Full review]

AV Club — no score

“The problem is that, for all of their cycloid-scale costumes, nacreous architecture, and giant cargo turtles, the Atlanteans aren’t any fun. Black Manta (Yahya Abdul-Mateen II), a high-tech pirate with a grudge against Aquaman and a bug-eyed helmet that shoots plasma beams, makes the bigger impression as an underutilized secondary villain. (He’s Aquaman’s best-known nemesis in the comics.) Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, the most successful of the DC films, had its own problems with dull baddies and stiff, contraction-less exposition delivered by actors in armor. Aquaman needs its smirking, beer-loving, roadie-looking, Chippendale-chested hero–not to save the day, but to remind us that this is stuff is about as goofy as it gets.” — Ignatiy Vishnevetsky [Full review]

US Magazine — 2 Stars (Out Of 4)

“The best I can say about Aquaman–and this is a big compliment–is that it’s first live-action D.C. Comics movie in which a superhero actually appears to be having fun. Batman, Superman, the Suicide Squad, even our beloved Wonder Woman tend to behave as if they just lost their 401(k) savings during the apocalypse. Momoa’s Aquaman is loose and laid-back and good times. Excited audiences all over the world are already hooked by this elusive attribute. I’d rather throw it back in the ocean.” — Mara Reinstein [Full review]

Complex — 2.5 Stars (Out Of 4)

“What I liked most about this movie was its sense of adventure, a genre that’s generally underserved as a subset of superhero and just across film in general. The bulk of this film concerns a capital-q Quest, and when you have an actor as charismatic as Jason (and as game as Amber) on a Quest, then fun is a given. Once Aqua put on his best Club Monaco jet-setting fit, the film really let’s go and somehow the same journey takes him through the Sahara, Italy, on a boat fighting Power Rangers demons and finally, a Crash Bandicoot level. It’s ridiculous, but they sell it, and it’s undeniable if you don’t think hard.” — Khal Davenport [Full review]

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Author: GameSpot

Make Your Own PC Game Bundle: 5 Games For $5

The PC game storefront Green Man Gaming is running a fun promotion that gets you five PC games for $5. The best part is that you can select any five games you want from a selection of over 30 titles. The bad news is that some of the games have already gone out of stock. That means you’d better hurry and assemble your mix-and-match bundle if you want to choose from the cream of the crop.

Some great games are available to choose from. Rage, which normally sells for $10 on GMG, is among the options. It’s a particularly fine choice, seeing as its fast-paced, colorful, violent sequel is launching early next year. Another smart pick is Warhammer: End Times – Vermintide, a Left 4 Dead-style multiplayer game that typically retails for $30.

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Adrift strands you in the cold zero-G environment of outer space. Magicka puts you in control of a wizard with a range of mystical powers looking to stop an evil sorcerer bent on destroying the world. Then there’s Next Up Hero, a colorful dungeon crawler made in the style of the arcade classic Gauntlet. You can find the full list of games available below.

You’ll want to hurry, because the games that are already out of stock include Injustice: Gods Among Us Ultimate Edition, This War of Mine, Crusader Kings 2, and Killing Floor: Complete Pack. If you don’t want to miss your chance to get any other games for almost dirt cheap, hit the Mix and Match page and pick your five soon.

  • Adrift
  • Ballistic Overkill
  • Beat Cop
  • Beyond Eyes
  • The Black Death
  • Dead Age
  • Farenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered
  • Fear 3
  • Frozen Synapse Prime
  • Inner Space
  • Insurgency
  • Magicka
  • Mount & Blade
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Mount & Blade: With Fire and Sord
  • Next Up Hero
  • Peregrin
  • Quarantine
  • Rage
  • Stable Orbit
  • Toybox Turbos
  • War Tech Fighters
  • Warhammer Vermintide: End Times

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Author: GameSpot

Venom Special Features Include An Extended Carnage Scene

Venom arrived digitally on December 11 and is coming to 4K, Blu-ray, and DVD on December 18, and most fans want to know just what special features the home release will include. Is there anything special to get excited for? Well, if you enjoyed seeing Cletus Kasady–the serial killer who eventually bonds with the Carnage symbiote–there’s a much longer cut of that scene.

In the theatrical version of the mid-credit sequence, Eddie Brock (with Venom) heads to San Quentin prison to interview a serial killer, which ends up being Cletus Kasady–played by Woody Harrelson. The whole sequence lasts about 30 seconds before Kasady says, “There’s going to be Carnage.” Get it? He eventually becomes Carnage.

However, on the home release of Venom, there is an extended version of this scene, coming in at three minutes. In this version–much like the original–Brock heads to the prison to interview Kasady. However, this time around, Kasady gets a bit of a monologue. He talks about being a serial killer and delivers some weird dialogue, including this line: “Talk about sucking out their eyeballs. Crunchy on the outside. Gooey on the inside.” Sure. Strangely enough, it actually does a bit to flesh out Harrelson’s portrayal of the character, even though it’s a over-the-top and the dialogue is a bit cheesy. It closes with the same tag as the theatrical cut.

After watching it, you’ll completely understand why the scene was cut down. It’s just a bit too long for a mid-credit sequence, and leaves the viewers with too much new information before the credits finish rolling. Regardless, it’s a nice little addition to the overall special features for fans who are planning on buying the movie.

Venom is available now through digital retailers and will be getting a physical release on December 18, check out our pre-order guide for all the info about the home release, including the special features.

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Author: GameSpot

Rainbow Six Siege Year 4 Pass Now Available

Rainbow Six Siege‘s Operation Wind Bastion update recently arrived on PS4, Xbox One, and PC, marking the end of the game’s third year. Ubisoft still has a lot more content in store for the shooter in 2019, however, including another batch of Operators. With the new season just around the corner, the publisher has already begun offering the Year 4 pass for Siege, and it grants holders some good benefits.

The Year 4 pass is available for purchase on all platforms. Much like previous Siege passes, it costs $30 and entitles players to a number of perks. Chief among them, those who purchase the Year 4 pass will receive seven-day early access to all eight of the new Operators being introduced to Siege in Year 4, and you won’t have to grind for in-game currency in order to unlock them, as you would if you don’t own the pass.

On top of that, Year 4 pass holders will get a handful of exclusive items, including eight uniforms and headgear, as well as the Lava 6 Charm. Owners will also receive 600 bonus R6 credits, along with a few other benefits through January 31, 2020, such as 5% Renown boost and a 10% discount in Siege’s in-game shop.

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As an added bonus, everyone who picks the pass up before March 4, 2019 will get the Volcano Signature weapon skin. Those who own the Year 3 Pass will also receive an additional 600 RS credits when they pick up Year 4’s. You can read more about the season pass on the official Rainbow Six Siege website.

Ubisoft has yet to announce the new Operators coming to Rainbow Six Siege in Year 4, but the recent Operation Wind Bastion update introduced Nomad and Kaid. The former is an Attacker whose primary weapons come with a device that launches wind-powered proximity mines, while the latter is a Defender who’s equipped with deployable electroclaws. Operation Wind Bastion also introduced a new map named Fortress.

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Author: GameSpot

Massive Holiday PS4 Game Sale On PSN (US Only)

Sony has kicked off a truly massive multi-week-long Holiday Sale on PSN. Week 1 is now live, offering discounts on over 1,200 digital games, bundles, and add-ons for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita. Some of the deals will last until January 15, while others are set to end on December 18. And if you’re a PS Plus member, you get an extra discount on many of the games. Here are some of the best deals available right now.

Hitman 2 just launched last month, but it’s already on sale for half price, bringing it down to $30–how about that? It’s a fine game, too, receiving 8/10 in GameSpot’s Hitman 2 review. Another of the year’s biggest games, Monster Hunter World, is discounted to $25, while one of last year’s PS4 exclusives, Gravity Rush 2, is on sale for $12. And if you missed out on Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, you can grab it now for just $8.

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You can get a number of hits from earlier in the PS4’s life cycle for almost nothing during the sale as well. From Software’s gothic masterpiece Bloodborne is down to $7, while another dark, brooding game, Inside, is on sale for $6. And while we’re on the subject of darkness, you can pick up the “rhythm-violence” game Thumper for $6 as well (it’s great in PSVR).

If a kill-crazy animatronic bear sounds like a fun character to spend time with, pick up Danganronpa 1-2 Reload for $20 and Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony for $36. For anyone with fond memories of the mascot platformers of yore, you can pick up Jak and Daxter: The Precursor’s Legacy for $6 or the Spyro + Crash Remastered Game Bundle for $49.50.

You’ll find more of our Holiday Sale picks below, or you can head to the PlayStation Store to see the full, massive list.

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Author: GameSpot

Destiny 2 Server Errors Rendering The Dawning Event Basically Unplayable Right Now

Things haven’t been going great for Bungie and Destiny 2 lately. First, the developer launched The Black Armory, its latest expansion, to much derision when players discovered the new content came in at a pretty high level, forcing them to grind through old content to become strong enough to try the new stuff. Then today, with the launch of its holiday-themed event, The Dawning, and the new items that go with it, Destiny 2 pretty much broke entirely as the game was swamped with connectivity errors.

As of this writing, Bungie has tweeted that it is working on the problem as relates to players receiving error codes WEASEL, CENTIPEDE, GUITAR and CHICKEN (although only Bungie actually knows what those mean). Bungie also wrote that it hopes to have the issue fixed by noon PST.

The errors mostly seem driven by connection drops with the Bungie servers. They’re making it impossible to load into areas of the game. Those who do manage to get on a planet or into the Tower are finding they’re constantly kicked out of the instance by short connection drops, only to be reloaded back at the area’s start. It’s all more or less rendering Destiny 2 unplayable right now.

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That’s a bummer, because the Dawning has some interesting new stuff to do. First and foremost is a big holiday-themed activity that’s about baking cookies for Destiny 2’s various characters, using ingredients gathered from the game world. There are new cosmetic items to earn through playing in the Dawning, which runs through the end of December, and the event marks the return of the Mayhem Crucible playlist, something we haven’t seen in the game since Destiny 1.

There’s also the Black Armory expansion, which has added some new activities and loot for players to chase. In response to criticism, Bungie lowered the level requirements for those activities to make them a bit more accessible to players, but you’ll still need to do some grinding to get strong enough to take on the Black Armory’s forges. The good news is that the guns they produce are generally pretty slick.

We’ll keep you posted as new information about fixes for Destiny 2 becomes available.

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Author: GameSpot

Aquaman Review: Underwater Insanity

It’s hard to describe just how insane Aquaman is. This is a movie with underwater ocean battles whose scope rivals anything seen in Star Wars, where fish people charge into the fray riding giant sharks, seahorses, and even stranger creatures than that. There are living, breathing dinosaurs in Aquaman, and they’re maybe the 15th or 20th craziest thing in the movie. The dinosaurs are mostly used as set dressing in background shots, and nobody–even Aquaman himself, who’s spent most of his life on the surface–ever comments on their existence or acknowledges them at all. There’s too much other stuff going on to devote even one second of dialogue to the fact that, hey, it turns out dinosaurs aren’t extinct after all. Neat.

It’s not that the plot doesn’t make sense, or that it’s hard to follow. Aquaman is creatively bonkers–the insanity in the movie is a choice that was made, over and over, in every aspect of the film’s creation. Atlantean battle armor looks like something the invading Martians would wear in campy mid-century science fiction, while Jason Momoa’s Arthur Curry and Patrick Wilson’s King Orm battle to the death in an underwater stadium that seems to hold millions and millions of people. These are elements that would have probably been toned down and reduced to something less heightened in another superhero movie, but with Aquaman, director James Wan has declared the DCEU the place where comic books movies can just be comic book movies. Overall, that makes the film better, though it has plenty of problems as well.

Aquaman follows Arthur Curry, the titular hero, on his journey to claim his throne and save Atlantis, and maybe the whole world while he’s at it. Aquaman was first properly introduced to the DCEU in last year’s Justice League, and this is the same version of the character we got then: gruff, sarcastic, tough, self-effacing, and irreverent. To some, Momoa’s character was the best part of Justice League, and he’s equally great here. Early on, when Aquaman is saving the crew of a submarine during a scene in which one of the villains, Black Manta, is introduced, there’s a single shot of completely random slow motion. Momoa walks briefly through a cloud of hissing steam while a snarling guitar lick announces his–not his arrival, because it’s in the middle of a fight. It announces that he’s awesome? Moments like that are a recurring thing–they don’t make a lot of sense, but they get the blood pumping.

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Although we already met Aquaman in Justice League, this is definitely an origin story. It starts at the beginning: with lighthouse keeper Tom Curry (Temuera Morrison) finding Nicole Kidman’s Queen Atlanna washed up on the rocks during a storm. They fall in love, have Arthur, and are separated over the course of a couple of voice-over’d minutes that set the breakneck pace for the rest of the movie: Aquaman has no time to dwell on anything besides its massive, complex action scenes. Everything else, from the many lore dumps that lay out Atlantean history to the slow motion shot of Arthur and Mera (Amber Heard) emerging from the ocean with a cover of Toto’s Africa playing in the background, is just an inconvenience that the movie hurries past as it sweeps you along in its mighty current.

The whole thing is buoyed by a couple of extremely stellar performances. Kidman is good as Queen Atlanna, but she’s in the movie only very briefly. Likewise with Morrison as Arthur’s dad–he’s fun, especially during cute scenes like him and Arthur chugging beers together with breakfast (less so when his uncanny digitally de-aged face is delivering cheesy lines like “Up here, we feel [our tears],” but that’s hardly his fault). As Arthur’s trainer and King Orm’s vizier, the always wonderful Willem Dafoe’s Vulko has an important role in the overall narrative, but not much to do in the movie’s actual plot. And Heard is surprisingly flat as Mera–she looks the part, and that clown red wig isan’t actually that bad once you get used to it, but she lacks the grandiosity and the gravitas to deliver the movie’s unendingly cheesy dialogue.

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That’s where Patrick Wilson has her beat in the role of King Orm, and it’s him–along with Momoa–who make Aquaman’s corny script sound good. Picture this scene: A CGI crab person asks King Orm if he expects to be called “king,” and Wilson has to reply, “Not king. Call me”–dramatic pause–“Ocean Master.” It’s so, so silly, but the Conjuring and Watchmen actor delivers every line with a searing intensity matched only by all the underwater lava that somehow exists in this movie. Keep in mind, this is the kind of film where waves crash dramatically and orcas tend to leap gracefully from the water, loud orchestral score crescendoing, whenever characters say something important. Don’t think too hard about it; just enjoy the spectacle.

Besides all the Aquaman-quipping, underwater politics, family drama, and massive battles, there’s a lot more going on in Aquaman. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II has a fleeting but effective turn as villain Black Manta, who you’ll kind of root for even as he destroys half of Sicily trying to get to Arthur. Arthur and Mera also go on this big, Goonies-style side quest in the middle of the movie hunting down an ancient trident that has some kind of unspecified magic water powers that will supposedly help them in some way. It’s here the movie’s biggest plot breakdowns occur, such as when an artifact that supposedly dates back to when the Sahara desert was still an ocean–that’s 7 million years, minimum–leads them directly to some statue in Italy that’s at most, like, 2,000 years old.

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Or there’s the time when Arthur makes an offhand comment about Pinocchio, which Mera has naturally never heard of, and then two scenes later a little girl in a market randomly hands Mera a copy of the book Pinocchio. It’s the kind of gag a writer came up with because they thought it would be cute if Arthur could reference Pinocchio, and Mera could later make fun of him about it. And sure, it is cute–but why would a random little girl hand Mera a copy of the exact book Arthur casually made a reference to earlier that day? Why would that little girl in Sicily even have a copy of Pinocchio with her? Does it matter at all? (No.)

And then there are Aquaman’s completely nutso musical cues. Wan likes to punctuate scene transitions with songs, and while some of these are funny, others are straight up baffling. That’s doubly true when they only last a few seconds–you’re liable to get whiplash from the way this movie jumps around from scene to scene, blasting your ears with different random-sounding songs, changing tones on a dime and never looking back. They aren’t the only strange direction choice; the camera spends a ridiculous amount of time spinning dizzying circles around characters during complex flashbacks that blend seamlessly back into the present day, or zipping around them in impossible ways, because when your CGI budget is apparently infinite, why not? There’s also this incredibly weird thing where four or five different scenes throughout the movie are interrupted out of nowhere by massive explosions, the action literally blowing up quieter scenes of dialogue or exposition, as if to shriek, “No one gives a s*** how long ago Atlantis was founded, go back to the sharks and lasers and battles now!!!!”

Those shrieks are justified–this movie knows what it is. And you have to give credit where it’s due–Aquaman’s underwater universe is incredibly visually creative. The ocean aesthetic permeates every aspect of Atlantean culture, from Mera’s ceremonial jellyfish dress to the warships shaped like squids, eels, whales, and more. Underwater fights like the duel between Arthur and Orm are choreographed in a way that would make no sense on land, taking full advantage of the unusual setting, the characters’ superhuman abilities, and crazy weaponry like magical tridents and hyper-powerful plasma lasers. At one point, we get a brief flash of an octopus absolutely wailing on a giant drum set, and as soon as you have time to process what the hell you’re seeing, it’s gone and on to the next thing. If nothing else, stuff like that will make you eager to re-watch this utterly insane movie.

James Wan has stated that he wanted to make an “action adventure fantasy movie” rather than a superhero movie, and something with a lighter tone than past DCEU films like Batman v. Superman, Man of Steel, and Justice League. In that, he completely succeeded. Much of Aquaman–more than your average superhero movie, it seems–was taken straight off the pages of comic books, for better or worse. But Aquaman isn’t simply a bunch of remixed comics elements thrown together. It’s a movie with its own over the top, tongue in cheek, inconsistent, massive, irreverent, CGI-soaked tone, aesthetic, and world. And somehow, it works well enough that you’ll be calling Arthur king by the end.

The Good The Bad
Incredibly creative visuals Some really uncanny CGI
Massive, impressive action scenes Strange tonal leaps from scene to scene
Generally funny, tongue-in-cheek tone Baffling, jarring musical cues
Stellar performances from Patrick Wilson and Jason Momoa Cheesy dialogue
Underwater scenes look surprisingly good A couple of huge plot holes
A generally insane movie (in a fun way)

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Author: GameSpot