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SYFY WIRE Predator

Gaming: Predator: Hunting Grounds tracks down trailer; Final Fantasy VII breaks sales records; more

By Benjamin Bullard
Tifa Final Fantasy VII Remake

Those three little red dots are triangulating on the release of the next Predator game, which promises to take players through a mission-based tour of three decades’ worth of headhunting movie lore.

Developer IllFonic and Sony are about to touch down with Predator: Hunting Grounds, a multiplayer shooter that puts you in a “fireteam” of up four online players, all with the goal of surviving the Predator’s superior weaponry and thirst for skull trophies. The game’s launch trailer drops you right in a jungle setting that’ll look familiar to any fan of the original 1987 movie, right down to the mirror camouflage and infrared stalking tech.

IllFonic is all in on bringing the distinctive Predator movie world to life in a video game, teasing a setting “that looks and feels completely authentic to the lore of the Predator universe … From the epic Predator theme song to the signature light-bending cloaking and thermal Predator vision, fans of the Predator-verse will revel in both familiar and new canon.”

Your high-stakes game of advanced alien cat and mouse won’t just be confined to one place, either. Hunting Grounds puts your team in “several conflict zones in South America, treacherous, thick with ranging trees and sprawling undergrowth” — perfect for guerrilla soldiers to lie in wait, and even better for the Predator to use the trees to track your movements from above. Get geared up now and stick around for Predator: Hunting Grounds’ April 24 release for PlayStation 4 and PC.

It’s not surprising, but it’s still impressive: Sales for the hugely hyped Final Fantasy VII Remake soared into the clouds in the opening days of the game’s release, outpacing previous PS4-exclusive juggernauts like God of War and Spider-Man to set a new Sony record. Physical copies of Remake have been hard to find in the early going due to the coronavirus disruption — a possible factor in keeping those record-breaking early figures from soaring even higher.

Square Enix tweeted out its thanks to fans for lapping up Remake like sweet Final Fantasy elixir during the game’s launch. For the three-day period between its April 10 release through April 12, FFVII Remake sold 3.5 million copies (counting both digital and physical copies). That outpaces previous PS4-exclusive recordholder Spider-Man, which slung 3.3 million copies, and runner-up God of War, which moved 3.1 million during their same three-day launch windows.

Remake serves up a full game’s worth of content while retelling only the first portion of the original game, which unfolds entirely in the dystopian sci-fi city of Midgar. Square Enix says future installments will flesh out everything that happens after the gang leaves the city in the story from the 1997 original, giving players plenty of incentive for future partings with their hard-earned gil.

Games spending overall has reportedly seen a huge surge as people stay indoors to comply with social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic. Citing data provided by the NPD Group, THR reports that overall spending on games and hardware topped $1.6 billion in March, 36 percent more than same-month spending from a year ago. That figure includes the hot sales from Nintendo’s Animal Crossing: New Horizons, as well as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and Doom Eternal — but it doesn’t include those amped-up numbers from FFVII Remake, which released on April 10.

Finally, it’s time ... time, that is, for Monopoly to get slimed. Hasbro is debuting a Ghostbusters-themed version of its iconic board game this weekend, launching Monopoly: Ghostbusters Edition at online and major retailers nationwide.

The gooey green tour of hot properties in the Ghostbusters edition reimagines the game’s background setting as a sweep “through New York City trying to win Ghostbusting contracts with a game board and artwork based on the original Ghostbusters movie,” according to Hasbro's release.





Monopoly Ghostbusters game box
Monopoly Ghostbusters game board

Of course, it wouldn’t be a proper Ghostbusters crossover without some swag-worthy playing pieces, and that includes mini-sized iconic Ghostbusting gadgets like the PKE meter, Proton Pack, Ecto goggles, and more. Land on the right square, and instead of going to jail, you’ll do battle against movie villains like Slimer, Stay Puft, Library Ghost, and Vinz Clortho.

Put your ghost-hunting skills to work starting this weekend, when Monopoly: Ghostbusters Edition goes on sale for $29.99.