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Most Recent: Opinions
Injustice 2, the sequel to NetherRealm Studios’s fantastic Injustice: Gods Among Us, was announced during this year’s E3, and will be released for the PS4 and Xbox One sometime next year. Featuring darker, more brutal versions of the DC Universe’s best heroes and villains, the first game in the series might be one of the best fighting games in recent memory.
That said, there were more than a few missed opportunities with the original character roster. With NetherRealm set to announce two more playable characters at Comic-Con this week, we scoured the DC Universe for heroes and villains we’d like to see in Injustice 2. (more…)
Everyone has their favorite game, and with sequels being as plentiful as they are, there’s a good chance that game is part of a long-running series. The first game was probably great, and maybe the second was even better– but the series will inevitably go off the rails as the sequels and spinoffs pile up. As a fan, it’s easy to see things from one perspective and say we know the best way to return a faltering franchise to its former glory, but now it’s time to prove it.
Today, I’ll be rambling about my own personal favorite series, Resident Evil, the former gold standard for what a survival horror game should be. The scares peaked with a GameCube remake of the original game, before giving way to the more action-oriented Resident Evil 4 shortly thereafter. Things then came to an unfortunate head with Resident Evil 6— a bloated mess of badly-written, non-linear storytelling; Michael Bay-esque action set pieces; and over-complicated gameplay good only for co-op.
Resident Evil 7 is expected to be announced at this year’s E3 Expo, but how can Capcom best resurrect the series? Simple! Take it back to its B-movie roots, and more importantly, bring back the actual horror. What does that mean, you ask warily? Well… (more…)
Rocksteady sent us all on a wild ride back when Batman: Arkham Asylum first launched, finally giving the world a chance to properly squeeze on that rubber cowl and proclaim, “I’m Batman!” Two sequels (and a WB Games Montreal-helmed prequel and an Armature-developed side-scrolling spinoff) later, the future of the series is still very much up in the air now that its original developer has stepped away… or have they? Regardless, it seems likely that someone will continue the legacy of the Bat, but what direction could the series possibly take? Well… I’m glad you asked, hypothetical Internet stranger! (more…)
This morning, I couldn’t sleep. At about 3:30 or 4:00 AM I went online; the first reports of what had happened in Brussels were just coming in. I switched on BBC News and felt like it was 7/7/05 all over again. Commuters and travelers were targeted just going about their day, just as they had been nearly 11 years ago in the London attacks. Not much was known this morning, as it had pretty much just happened, and amidst the chaos, everyone was just trying to get their bearings and get to safety. About the only thing that was known was that it had to be terrorism. Coordinated explosions in crowded public places during peak travel times are not a coincidence. It was terrorism, and someone had intended to hurt and kill people.
Last week, it was Ankara and Istanbul; in December, it was Tell Tamer and San Bernardino; in November, it was Beirut and Paris. Every time it happens, it catches us momentarily off guard, and we think, “Really? This crap is still going on? When is this going to end? Will it ever end?” And the usual societal discourse ensues: the condolences, avowals of justice and solidarity, strategies to prepare for the future. These we expect. This is how we grieve.
What we don’t generally expect is, I don’t know, let’s say, news for a video game whose objective is to target and kill people to be announced just a few hours after a horrible terrorist attack. (more…)
Recently, 2 Player Productions wrapped production on Double Fine Adventure, a documentary series that followed the development of Broken Age. It was revolutionary in the gaming scene, being the only documentary to ever follow a studio developing a game from its conceptualization through its release and aftermath. Before it, the average game player had only ever seen brief snippets of development from single-person games or small indie teams. Double Fine was the first developer to pull back that curtain on game development, a feat arguably more important than its rocketing of Kickstarter into the mainstream, and unquestionably having a bigger impact on the industry and the community than Broken Age itself. If we’re being honest, Double Fine completely mismanaged their Kickstarter funds, and Broken Age isn’t great. But by “showing how the sausage gets made,” as studio founder Tim Schafer put it, Double Fine made their campaign more than worth it, and left a long-lasting contribution to the industry.
Until DFA came out, game development was a mystical secret that no one outside the industry could begin to comprehend. So much of it was mysterious that many who wanted to be in the industry viewed it with rose-tinted glasses: a dream job where they could play all day. All we knew about game development beforehand were the two extremes. There were the developers that talked in interviews about how great it was, coming to work and hanging out with cool people, getting to create great games that everybody loves. We also read the headlines about developers losing their jobs, and studios being shut down. That or it was about developers going mad in “crunch time” having to work 80 hour weeks. In fact, Double Fine gives us a good example with the Tim Schafter episode of G4’s Icons, when he took us briefly behind the scenes of production on Psychonauts.
We never knew what it was really like, not until Double Fine showed us. (more…)
Unlike many in the video game community, I don’t have fond memories of gaming as a child. It wasn’t until I was 13 or 14 when I got a PS2 for Christmas that I got serious about my gaming. Before that, video games were an entirely foreign concept to me, though I did play my sister’s Super Nintendo from time to time. We’d play Super Mario Bros., Donkey Kong Country, and Paperboy 2; it was the only time when we weren’t trying to kill each other. My dad was into games back then too, playing old adventure games like Riven and Myst.
As my interest in gaming grew, so too did my interest in gaming’s history. Time and time again in my halfhearted and aimless research I became aware of the fanboy subculture. In those days, I was a Sony fanboy, but the art of emotionally investing in a multi-million dollar company that didn’t care about its individual customers was more refined in the height of the Sega and Nintendo wars. (more…)
Bethesda’s first-ever E3 Press Conference was chock-full of goodies, from Dishonored: Definite Edition for next generation consoles to a new Doom and its intuitive SnapMap creator. But there was also something else to celebrate during the presentation, as the company’s two biggest announcements, Fallout 4 and Dishonored 2, both offered the choice to play as a female character. And believe it or not, every game showcased by Bethesda will give players that same choice. (more…)
Sony put on an incredible show during this year’s E3 Expo, debuting new IPs from Guerrilla Games and Media Molecule, as well as offering further glimpses at long-awaited titles such as No Man’s Sky from Hello Games and Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End from Naughty Dog. Yet it chose to open its presentation with perhaps the most long-awaited title of all time, The Last Guardian. (more…)