Bioshock 2 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Bioshock 2 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network All Bioshock 2 Door Codes: Clinic, Siren Alley, Fontaine Futuristics https://www.gameskinny.com/0mty8/all-bioshock-2-door-codes-clinic-siren-alley-fontaine-futuristics https://www.gameskinny.com/0mty8/all-bioshock-2-door-codes-clinic-siren-alley-fontaine-futuristics Fri, 07 Feb 2020 13:43:10 -0500 Ty Arthur

Bioshock 2 door codes can be a pain in the butt. Whether you're looking for the Clinic code, or the codes for Siren Alley and Fontaine Futuristics, it's better to have a walkthrough at hand than find the keypad combos yourself. Here, we give power to the people playing the remastered version included with the Bioshock Collection

As expected, there are quite a few vexing doors with hard-to-find codes. Many of these guard extra rewards that help on higher difficulties and new game plus. Some stand in the way of finishing the story, and if you're a completionist, others hide audio diaries that add to the game's ending, good or bad. 

Luckily, we've rounded up all of the codes in one place so you won't get stuck anywhere. 

Bioshock 2 Door Codes (Including Minerva's Den)

These are the codes for all of Bioshock 2 and the Minverva's Den DLC. We've also included the items and loot you'll get for unlocking the doors. 

Door Code Location Code Loot
 Adonis Luxury Resort
Plasmid Therapy
 Sauna Room Door  1540  Drill Fuel
 Money
 Audio Diary
 Pauper's Drop
Fontaine Clinics
 Fishbowl Diner Newspaper  0047  Story Progression
 Siren Alley
Plaza Hedone
 The Date Is The Code
 Audio Diary
 1919  Story Progression
 Dionysus Park
Basement Storage
 A Gift From Billy
Audio Diary
 1080 Power to the People Station
Fontaine Futuristics
Plasmid Theater
 Plasmid Showroom Wall  5254 Ammo
Money
Bandages
Careful Hacker 2 Tonic
 Inner Persephone
Holding Wing
 First Two Digits
Audio Diary
 2673  Story Progression
 Inner Persephone
Therapy Wing
 Legs, Mouths, Arms
Audio Diary
 4146 EVE Hypo
First Aid Kit
Money
Ammo
 Operations
Programming
(Minerva's Den)
The Books are the Code
Audio Diary
 2341 Shells
Mini-Turrets
Master Input Console
Money

 

Luckily, none of the doors hide Plasmids, so you could get through the Bioshock 2 only opening the doors blocking story progression. 

Are you playing through the rest of the Bioshock Collection games? Drop us a comment if you need help, and then check out the rest of our Bioshock guides for all three games if you're stuck anywhere:

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Bioshock Celebrates 10 Years with Anniversary Collector's Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/lmt7b/bioshock-celebrates-10-years-with-anniversary-collectors-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/lmt7b/bioshock-celebrates-10-years-with-anniversary-collectors-edition Wed, 08 Nov 2017 12:30:24 -0500 Sarah Elliman

The Bioshock series would have been celebrating its tenth anniversary back in August of this year. To celebrate the occasion 2K have announced an exclusive Collector’s Edition to commemorate the series, available on November 14th. 

The edition will set you back $199.99 and is only available for purchase within the US. You can either buy it directly from 2K’s store or at your local GameStop. The edition will also only be available for PS4 and Xbox One players.

The 10th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will include a copy of the Bioshock: Collection alongside a 11.5-inch statue of Bid Daddy and Little Sister. To celebrate the 10th anniversary, the figurine has been modeled after the original art that was displayed on the first Bioshock cover. The statue will feature Big Daddy’s drill fully motorized and varying light components as well. To further pay homage to the original Bioshock they have added Bid Daddy and Little Sister voice clips directly taken from the game to feature for this statue.

The original Bioshock game was released in August 2007 for PC and Xbox 360, with a PS3 port coming later to the series. Bioshock was praised for its immersive story-telling and interesting combat mechanics. Many critics couldn’t get enough of the game, with IGN’s review praising the game immensely, stating that:

"Bioshock stands as a monolithic example of the convergence of entertaining gameplay and an irresistibly sinister, engrossing storyline that encompasses a lot of multifaceted characters."

The overall score on Metacritic, which comprises of critical reviews, rated Bioshock at 96/100.

Ken Levine was the driving force behind Bioshock, where he was the writer and creative director for the project. In all the games he has involved with, Levine tried to put a sociological tone over the game. The issue of harvesting the Little Sisters or not and the core story are a testament to his style. However, he was not present for the writing or directing of Bioshock 2, but later returned to work on Bioshock Infinite.

Bioshock 2 didn’t receive as much praise as its original counterpart, but was still  nominated for a variety of awards, including a “Best Story” for BAFTA Games Awards. Although nominated a fair number of times, the only coveted award that Bioshock 2 won was from the GANG Awards for the “Best Use of Licensed Music.”

Bioshock Infinite was a return to the extremely high praise that was bestowed upon Bioshock. Infinite not only won a variety of “Best Game” awards, but was nominated and honorably mentioned for many more. Bioshock Infinite sold over 10 million copies and was widely praised by critics.

What do you think of the Bioshock series? Are you going to purchase the Collector's Edition? Let us know in the comments.

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Anew: The Distant Light -- An Intriguing 2D Adventure From Industry Veterans Coming To Kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/9aonc/anew-the-distant-light-an-intriguing-2d-adventure-from-industry-veterans-coming-to-kickstarter https://www.gameskinny.com/9aonc/anew-the-distant-light-an-intriguing-2d-adventure-from-industry-veterans-coming-to-kickstarter Fri, 10 Feb 2017 04:58:19 -0500 Greyson Ditzler

Anew: The Distant Light is a 2D Action-Adventure Metroidvania exploration game planned to launch soon on Kickstarter.

The game revolves around the mysterious story of a child who walks up on an alien planet 20 light years from Earth, who must battle and puzzle his way through a hostile alien environment in order to "carry out a mission of critical importance."

And we're quite interested to learn what that mission is.

According to the game's official Kickstarter page. Anew: The Distant Light will feature a variety of different weapons and gear that are meant to each switch-up the gameplay, and all weapons can be upgraded in order to customize your own personal playstyle.

Anew will follow a classic Metroidvania structure, where the player will unlock new parts of the world as they discover new gear and abilities and grow in strength. This will in turn create new gameplay opportunities when revisiting previous areas.

The environments will also feature a day-to-night cycle, featuring varying atmospheric conditions and weather effects. These will affect the way in which you play the game more than just visibly passing time.

The game will include a hub-world in the form of the ship that you traveled to the alien planet on. As you explore the world, you will find and collect power cells, which will allow you to unlock more rooms inside the ship and increase gameplay options. Players can also pilot giant mechs, shuttles, and tanks as the explore the world, which all open up new combat and explorations possibilities.

The gradually unlocked spaceship hub.

The Kickstarter page also claims that it's, "inspired by classic games like Metroid, Cave Story, and Dark Souls, Anew: The Distant Light will appeal to fans of platforming, combat, exploration, and visual storytelling."

The game is being developed by the newly formed small team of Resonator Games, consisting of veterans of the AAA gaming industry veterans including Jeff Spoonhower, Steve Copeland, and Wilbert Roget II.

The logo for Resonator Games.

Collectively, Resonator members Jeff Spoonhower and Steve Copeland have worked in various positions from animation to gameplay and sound design at a number of high-end AAA developers such as EA, BioWare, Sony Computer Entertainment, Deep Silver, and 2K. Their work includes contributions to the development of Bioshock 2, Borderlands 2, Saints Row 1-4, Spec Ops: The Line, and Uncharted: Golden Abyss. 

The composer at Resonator games, Wilbert Roget II, is a veteran to the industry as well, and has created music for Monkey Island 2, Star Wars: The Old Republic, and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. 

While only a few tracks have been made available to the public so far, what has been shared so far has been quite impressive. The music can range from massively oppressive and action-oriented to calm and emotional, and from the official trailer it seems as though it will be thematically appropriate.

If you're curious about the soundtrack, you can here one of the game's tracks by clicking here.

The last thing to mention must of course be the art style. Resonator Games sought to give Anew a very distinct, and wholly alien aesthetic, and it seems that they have succeeded. The entire game was not just hand-drawn, but apparently "hand-painted" by Jeff Spoonhower, and it shows.

Every environment is loaded with detail, each of them distinct in their atmosphere and setting, as well as a different yet appropriate choices of color-palette, and all of them clearly falling under the same "alien" style that the team was hoping for.  

 A dim and desolate forest-like area.

 A cozy and curious family living room.

 A deadly and sun-baked cavernous location.

Based on what we've seen so far, Anew: The Distant Light looks like a standout member among Kickstarter games, especially with so many 2D competitors in that department. It's a gorgeous, mysterious, and deep-looking adventure that you very well may want to keep your eye on.

Anew: The Distant Light will launch it's campaign on Kickstarter on Tuesday, February 14th, 8 AM Eastern Standard Time.

The game currently has target release date of July 2018 on PC.

You can watch the Kickstarter trailer for Anew: The Distant Light down below:

(Access to the early Kickstarter page and press kit provided by Resonator Games.)

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Sciencing the Shit Out of BioShock Plasmids https://www.gameskinny.com/r4clh/sciencing-the-shit-out-of-bioshock-plasmids https://www.gameskinny.com/r4clh/sciencing-the-shit-out-of-bioshock-plasmids Sun, 09 Oct 2016 16:21:25 -0400 Larry Everett

I cannot express enough how excited I am to talk to you about today’s subject. First off, we are talking about BioShock. I have never been a fan of first person shooters. I thought DOOM, the original, was good, but I knew from that point on that these kinds of games would never be for me. That’s why the Call of Duty and Battlefield series never really intrigued me. I wasn’t even really interested in the Battlefront series, even though I am a huge Star Wars fan and those are good games. No, really, I didn’t want anything to do with them until a friend practically begged me to play BioShock. It really changed the genre for me and apparently for a lot of people.

BioShock proved that you could tell an interesting and impactful story within the mechanics of a first-person shooter. Although there are some choices in the story, I wouldn’t call it a choose-my-adventure type, like BioWare games. But what I found most intriguing about the story was that it didn’t matter if there were actual choices or not, I was still compelled to finish just to see what happened. I guess what I’m saying is that you should play it if you haven’t.

If you haven’t played it yet, I’m not going to spoil anything today, but I’d like to talk about one of the major components to the main character Jack. They are called Plasmids. Essentially, these stimulants give Jack special abilities that humans really wouldn’t have naturally. However, you might be surprised to learn that it’s not the far-fetched science fiction you might think. Let’s take a moment to science the shit out of BioShock’s Plasmids.

ADAM

Let’s first talk about the in-game science behind plasmids and how they work. I should note that this is in-game science, not real life science. It uses elements that don’t exist in the natural world, but there could be re-world corollaries, which I will get into later.

Plasmids are made from a substance called ADAM. This is a genetic modifying substance from a sea slug. The story of Rapture, an underwater city, revolves around the creation, use, and abuse of ADAM. Rapture was intended to be a utopia hidden away from the troubled surface world. However, as you find out rather quickly, it didn’t work out that way. The city is crawling with zombie like people who have clearly lost their minds. It makes for a very frightening setting.

ADAM itself modifies people at the genetic level. The lore of the game states that ingesting or in some fashion injecting the bioluminescent fluid from the ADAM slug will cause a person to regenerate or otherwise heal themselves. It’s said that the substance was first discovered after a dock worker regained use of his hand years after a crippling injury.

Reproducing ADAM

Of course, after that, the demand for ADAM rose higher. It appeared to heal any and all injuries and diseases, but there were side effects, mainly a physical addiction to the drug. A person taking ADAM would need a constant supply of the drug in order to remain healthy and sane. Spoiler alert: that’s where the zombies came from.

The truly nefarious side of ADAM comes from how it’s produced. In order to keep up with the demands of populace of Rapture, the slugs had to be mass produced. This could only be done with a human host, a young girl, to be specific. A girl, about the age 5 to 8, ingested the slug which formed a symbiotic relationship with the host. While the slug is in the girl, ADAM is regurgitated by her and used to produce Plasmids and other genetic modifying products. Yeah, it’s gross on multiple levels.

Plasmids, which are the next step in the genetic modifying drug, don’t just heal people, but also give them special abilities like throwing fire or electricity. I could probably do a whole article on each of the different plasmids and how they do what they do, but tackling the idea of genetic enhancement should be the first stop of this tour.

Cas9 and CRISPR

In what might look like fringe science sits a Cas9, or as they are appropriately called sometimes: Cas9 plasmids. This injection will literally change the genetic code of cells through a genetic editing process that I’ve mentioned before called CRISPR.

To give you an oversimplified version of how Cas9 and CRISPR work I would like to tell you about bacteriophages. This is a virus that infects and replicates itself inside a bacteria. Skipping over the complicated explanation of the process, phages inject their genetic code into the host bacteria and simply take it over, causing the bacteria to change on a genetic level so that the virus can survive and reproduce.

Few bacteria survive this, but when they do they produce a strand of DNA called CRISPR that matches the virus DNA. The protein called Cas9 then examines the DNA of the bacteria and when it finds a match to the infected DNA, it cuts it out and replaces it with the correct DNA. This system is very precise, and to top it all off, it’s programmable. All that has to be done is find the sequence to remove and know the sequence it should be replaced with.

Now we get into the fringe science arena, if somehow we knew the genetic sequence that caused an electric eel to produce it’s shocking properties, it wouldn’t be outside the possibilities of science to give those properties to humans. We aren’t there yet, but maybe someday in the next 50 years we will be.

Circling back to BioShock, if our ADAM sea slugs naturally formed Cas9 plasmids by feeding off or forming a symbiotic relationship with the little girls, then we aren’t too far from the science fiction of BioShock becoming reality.

That’s how I science the shit out of BioShock’s plasmids, but it’s not just one person’s research that keeps science going. It should be tested and retested. What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments.

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Top 5 Halloween Games for Scaredy Cats https://www.gameskinny.com/y41oo/top-5-halloween-games-for-scaredy-cats https://www.gameskinny.com/y41oo/top-5-halloween-games-for-scaredy-cats Sun, 09 Oct 2016 13:28:10 -0400 Cryptastic

The Halloween season is a wonderful time. Leaves are changing colors. The air starts to feel colder. The nights are longer. It's all just fantastic. And to top it all off, Halloween itself is a holiday centered around the concept of fear. Just the thought of that is amazing on its own. Other holidays focus on love, honor, purity, and other happy and fluffy stuff. But Halloween is different. It's special.

Halloween is a great time for video games too. Horror games are a pretty big part of the industry. Entire franchises and companies depend on them. Games like Resident Evil and Silent Hill have become household names. We all know them. We've all seen them. However, not all of us have played them.

It can be fun to be scared. Unfortunately, it's not fun for everyone. A lot of people hate it with a passion and avoid it at all cost. However, it's not fair that they have to miss out on the Halloween festivities. To fix that, we've made a list of games that represent the season without scaring your pants off. Don't worry, scaredy cats, these games are safe to play.

Costume Quest

Costume Quest is a clear choice. The game was one of Double Fine's best titles before they started scamming money from their fans. It takes place on Halloween. Players take control of a group of trick-or-treaters as they get into all kinds of hi-jinks. There's no scary catch here. It's good, clean fun.

One of the things that makes Costume Quest unique is that it is really imaginative. It has a turn based combat system that's simple to use, but it focuses on an interesting concept. During the fights, the kids take on the persona they are dressed as. What was a low-budget knight costume turns into a sparkling set of real armor. And, of course, unique abilities come with the costumes as well.

Costume Quest is a fun, Halloween-themed game with a lot of promise. It has that holiday feel without the terror. There are elements of exploration, quirky story, and funny dialog. Basically, the exact opposite of horror.

Bioshock 2

Now we get into some games that turn up the scare factor. The original Bioshock is a creepy and unsettling experience. Players took control of a lone man as he struggles his way through horrific experiences at the bottom of the ocean. Though it isn't specifically a horror game, it has a lot of frightening moments and a tense atmosphere. One of the most horrifying moments is going up against hulking enemies in emotionless, deep sea diving suits.

What makes the second one different is that players actually take control of one of those hulking, diving suit wearing, monstrosities. This change shifts the entire dynamic. Instead of being a fragile guy surrounded by danger, you pretty much have nothing to fear. You are the thing to fear. This way, you can safely experience all the creepiness that the city of Rapture offers without being scared out of your wits.

With the fear taken out, players are free to experience all the really cool aspects of the Bioshock world. The plasmid powers and collection of weapons are fun to play with. But the biggest plus is getting a first hand look at the intricate lore of Rapture without being distracted by all of that pants-wetting.

Left 4 Dead 2

This time, the name of the game is cooperation. It's much harder to be terrified when you're sharing the experience with your good friends. The Left 4 Dead franchise pits up to four players against hordes of the undead. However, the zombies spend less time spooking you than they do running at you stark raving mad.

Left 4 Dead is absolutely a shooter before it's any kind of horror title. It has spooky music and tense situations, but nothing really terrifying happens. A creature or two may pop up to attack you, but it doesn't ever make you jump. And again, especially if you're playing with friends, it's hard to get all anxious while surrounded by three other allies helping you out.

Pick Left 4 Dead 2 over the original. On top of having more complex levels and weaponry, it fully includes the first game's missions anyway. So you don't miss anything going for the sequel instead of the first title.

Gone Home

Gone Home is a special case. First of all, the less you know about it, the better. The mystery of the game is what holds your attention. Players take control of a college student who visits home to find it completely abandoned. The first piece of evidence you find is a cryptic note apologizing. The entire atmosphere and tone of the game is haunting and alluring at the same time.

What makes Gone Home a great game for scaredy cats is that there are no cheap scares or anything like that. The game is centered around the mystery of what happened and where everybody has gone. Also, you are free to explore at your own pace. When things get a bit too tense, feel free to stop and take a breath. But you won't have trouble picking up and moving on, because the game itself is phenomenal.

Blizzard Games

I know this is a game company and not a single game, but hear me out. Blizzard is really big on including holiday events in their games. Regardless of your game of choice, there is likely some kind of Halloween celebration going on. So whether your preference lies in MOBAs, MMOs, or team-based FPSs, you'll find some Halloween content waiting for you.

Heroes of the Storm has their Hallow's End event complete with character skins. World of Warcraft also has their own Hallow's End celebration. WoW takes things to a whole new level, though. The whole of Azeroth changes to support a huge, seasonal celebration. Players can find themselves bobbing for apples, trick-or-treating, and taking part in all kinds of Halloween events.

This year, Overwatch joins the party. Being its first year, it is uncertain what the season will bring. However, the Summer Games brought a new game mode and Olympic-themed loot boxes. These included unique skins and other goodies that could only be earned during the event. And, of course, they all had something to do with the Olympic theme. Surely, something similar awaits Halloween. Regardless of your taste, Blizzard has a scare-free Halloween experience waiting for you.

When you sit down and really look, there are plenty of Halloween games for scaredy cats. It's true that fear junkies have the monopoly on the games out there, but there are plenty of options out there for all of us. And who knows? Maybe playing enough of these games will give you the courage to play something scary next year. Probably not, but maybe.

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Great Games at a Steal: Grab these discounts before they disappear! https://www.gameskinny.com/c7m4i/great-games-at-a-steal-grab-these-discounts-before-they-disappear https://www.gameskinny.com/c7m4i/great-games-at-a-steal-grab-these-discounts-before-they-disappear Thu, 01 Sep 2016 14:00:01 -0400 Kat De Shields

Buying video games can get pricey, so when a discount comes along it's always worth taking a look. Today, there's a pretty sweet line up for some recent releases and oldies but goodies. Get your collection up to speed or fill in the gaps of your game collection with these discounted titles. 

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 

Normally priced at $59.99, save 18% when you purchase the latest title in the series. Adam Jensen is a real BAMF. 

DOOM 

Scoop up this title at 50% off normal price. At least the price is kind, the game is guaranteed to kick your ass. 

Rocket League 

Rocket League is a crazy popular game. if you haven't had the chance to play this one yet, buy it now at 40% off normal cost. 

Mafia II 

Even though the game is 6 years old, it's still a ton of fun to play. You can purchase a digital download at an 80% discount! 

Sword Art Online: Lost Song 

Explore the world of ALfheim Online at a 25% discount for PS4. 

Mirror's Edge Catalyst

Let's be honest, we all wanted to try parkour after playing Mirror's Edge. If you're still not comfortable leaping from rooftops, pick up this game at a 25% discount. 

XCOM: Enemy Unknown 

Another 80% discount deal, pick up this award-winning game and save Earth from a horrifying alien invasion. 

Saint's Row IV

For $5 (an 83% discount) you can own the game and all the DLC. Wait are you waiting for?

BioShock 2

Now, you can be a Big Daddy for real as you travel through the city of Rapture. You don't have to have Big Daddy bucks though, as the game is available for purchase at an 80% discount. 

BioShock Infinite

More BioShock! More discounts! Pick up the latest game in the series for $6 smackaroos. 80% discounts are amazing. 

Sid Meier's Civilization V

If you don't have this game, you're a disgrace to mankind. Atone for your failings and purchase today for $10. You owe it to humanity.

* * *

I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at commerce@LaunchMediaNetwork.com.

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Bioshock Collection Revealed with an Awesome Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/7c7z5/bioshock-collection-revealed-with-an-awesome-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/7c7z5/bioshock-collection-revealed-with-an-awesome-trailer Fri, 01 Jul 2016 11:03:05 -0400 Dennis Adame

One of the largest series in all of gamingBioshock, is getting a remaster later this year. The collection will include Bioshock, Bioshock 2 and Bioshock Infinite along with any and all downloadable content. That's over $100 worth of content for a mere $60.

You can expect to get your hands on the collection on September 13 of this year.  

One thing to note, Bioshock Infinite will not be remastered for PC because it already looks great. And unfortunately, the multiplayer edition for Bioshock 2 will not be included in the collection. 

On the plus side, however, PC users who already own Bioshock and Bioshock 2 and/or Minerva's Den on Steam will get upgraded to the remastered versions for free

If you have not yet had the chance to experience one of the best game series to come out in the last ten years, now is your chance. You can experience the roller coaster ride of a story in Bioshock, the emotional story of subject Delta in Bioshock 2, and the heroic and thought provoking story of Booker DeWitt in Bioshock Infinite

The collection will also come with some extra features, a video commentary about the creation of Bioshock, a museum of concept art, challenge rooms, Minerva's Den, Trials, Burial at Sea Episode One and Two, Clash in the Clouds and Columbia's Finest Pack (Money, lock picks, gear and two weapon upgrades for Bioshock Infinite).

The Bioshock Collection will be available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on September 13, 2016.

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Bioshock: The Collection Details Revealed By The ESRB https://www.gameskinny.com/ouixy/bioshock-the-collection-details-revealed-by-the-esrb https://www.gameskinny.com/ouixy/bioshock-the-collection-details-revealed-by-the-esrb Sat, 02 Apr 2016 13:49:02 -0400 Eric Levy

After being reviewed by multiple ratings boards -- most recently in Taiwan -- the ESRB has rated Bioshock:  The Collection M for Mature.  Although it has since been removed, Gematsu was able to capture the game's description from the ESRB's website.  While the ESRB goes on to talk about the reasons that warrant an M rating -- such as blood and gore, profanity, depictions of violent and sexual situations, etc. -- there was one paragraph that caught my eye in particular:

This is a collection of three first-person shooters in which players assume the role of characters uncovering the mysteries behind the dystopian societies of Rapture and Columbia. As players explore each city, they use shotguns, machine guns, rivet guns, and rocket launchers to kill mutated citizens and enemy soldiers. Players can also use special powers (e.g., telekinesis, fire blasts, electric bolts) to kill enemies as well as a three-pronged hook to dismember and decapitate them. Large blood-splatter effects occur as enemies are injured; pools of blood can be seen around corpses.

Rapture AND Columbia??  It sounds like we'll be getting all three main games in the collection -- although the awesome box art pretty much confirmed that when it leaked.  

Bioshock:  The Collection is expected to release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.  So the real -- and pretty much only -- question at this point is, why hasn't 2K announced Bioshock:  The Collection yet, and when the heck will they??

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Most Creative Game-Inspired Crochet Projects https://www.gameskinny.com/3sh3x/most-creative-game-inspired-crochet-projects https://www.gameskinny.com/3sh3x/most-creative-game-inspired-crochet-projects Wed, 30 Mar 2016 06:52:51 -0400 ESpalding

Sometimes people love gaming so much that they decide to make tributes to their favourite character, game, or even console. And it's no exception for those who love to crochet. The crochet world is full of tributes and game-inspired designs. It's been hard to pick just a handful of yarny creations to show you, but I've managed to narrow it down to a few awesome creations.

1. Minecraft Blanket

Minecraft

This incredible piece was made by Crafty Ridge Designs. It's the perfect partnership - Minecraft and crochet! I think my favorite block on this blanket is either Enderman or MooShroom.

2. Umbrella Corp Pillow

Resident Evil

Who would have thought that a game such as Resident Evil could inspire someone to make something out of yarn?! Well, that is exactly what happened with KristinaCrochet -- and the result is fantastic!

3. Five Nights at Freddy's Amigurumi toys

Five Nights at Freddy's

Here we have Freddy, Bonnie, Chica and Foxy from the twisted Five Nights at Freddy's, and they have never been cuter! They come from the mind of Deviant artist MilesofCrochet.

4. Haunter hat and scarf set

Pokémon

Even if you don't catch 'em all, at least with this snazzy hat and scarf set from Yarnslinger's Nook, you aren't gonna catch a cold. If Haunter isn't your style, who would you like to dress up warm as?

5. Amigurumi Kirby

Kirby

Any fan of Kirby would be over the moon after receiving this little dude as a gift. Created by Nerdigurumi, they have caught all of Kirby's cuteness in this creation.

6. 2DS Pokéball cover

Pokémon

We don't want our handheld consoles getting scratched or mucky, do we? Icrochetthings must have felt the same way when she created this awesome cover. Obviously, it doesn't have to be just for your 2DS. You could use it to store anything that would fit (3DS maybe?).

7. Triforce Fingerless Mittens

Zelda

Level Up Nerd Apparel really got it right when they designed these Triforce fingerless mittens. Any Zelda fan would love these!

8. NES Controller Blanket

Nintendo

For the retro fans among us, I give you this NES Controller blanket created by My Victoria Rose. I can't believe how incredible it is! They even included the wire. Great detail!

9. Wheatley

Portal 2

Wasn't Wheatley great? Even though he did nearly ruin everything. Gemugurumi's yarny recreation really is lovely. It's a spitting image!

10. Little Sister doll

BioShock 2

This is a pretty creepy doll -- made even more so due to the fact that she is holding an ADAM needle. Shady Creations has made this amazing Little Sister from BioShock 2, and it really captures them in all their gloom.

These are just a tiny proportion of crocheted game-inspired creations out there. Is you could have something made out of yarn from your favorite game, what would it be?

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Bioshock Collection Resurfaces Again https://www.gameskinny.com/hygbd/bioshock-collection-resurfaces-again https://www.gameskinny.com/hygbd/bioshock-collection-resurfaces-again Thu, 17 Mar 2016 13:20:00 -0400 Eric Levy

New information has come to light that may point to a Bioshock collection coming to current-gen consoles -- specifically Xbox One.

XBLA watchdog and Twitter user lifelower found a listing for the game, titled Bioshock: The Collection, on a Taiwanese game ratings website.

This isn't the first time we've heard news of a possible Bioshock collection for current-gen. Back in September 2015, South African site Raru published a listing for the game, but had to take it down soon after. The expected release date on the listing was November 2015, but 2K refused to comment on the situation.

However, while Raru stated the game would be on all current-gen consoles, the listing lifelower found states the game will only be released on Xbox One.

What exactly will be in Bioshock: The Collection?  One can safely assume all three games, considering the (rumored) box art shows off both key Bioshock locations -- Rapture and Columbia. All DLC released with each game will likely be included as well, similar to most remasters released today. 2K, will you kindly do us a favor and officially announce this game?

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More proof that BioShock: The Collection will be coming soon https://www.gameskinny.com/3uvt2/more-proof-that-bioshock-the-collection-will-be-coming-soon https://www.gameskinny.com/3uvt2/more-proof-that-bioshock-the-collection-will-be-coming-soon Mon, 22 Feb 2016 09:42:17 -0500 Alec Pearce

Further evidence has come to light that BioShock: The Collection will be coming to consoles at some point in the near future.

The Brazil Advisory Rating Board has posted a listing for "BioShock: The Collection" for not just current gen consoles: Xbox One and PlayStation 4, but also Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC. This comes after the initial leak from South African retailer, Raru, claimed in September 2015 that the collection would only be coming to current gen consoles.

No official confirmation has been released and subsequently no details have arisen as to the actual contents of the so-called 'collection'. The currently popular but unconfirmed theory is that it will contain the original BioShock, BioShock 2, and BioShock Infinite with all DLC.

Ever since BioShock creators Irrational Games shut down, no future game has been announced for the series which could give strength to the argument of a backwards compatible or even a remastered collection for Xbox One and PS4. 

2K Games will likely release more details at some point in 2016 and you can follow these updates here on GameSkinny.com.

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Sony adds 23 titles to its PlayStation Now service https://www.gameskinny.com/bws0n/sony-adds-23-titles-to-its-playstation-now-service https://www.gameskinny.com/bws0n/sony-adds-23-titles-to-its-playstation-now-service Thu, 14 Jan 2016 14:30:10 -0500 Nick Harshman

Sony has announced that even more PS3 games are making their way to the PlayStation Now streaming service - for those in the UK anyway. Detailed on the PlayStation Blog, Sony indicated that 23 PS3 games are coming to PSN, raising the total to a whopping 150. Those titles include Borderlands 1 and 2, as well as Bioshock 1 and 2.

Here's the full list:

  • Borderlands
  • Borderlands 2
  • BioShock
  • BioShock 2
  • Everybody’s Golf: World Tour
  • Lone Survivor
  • PixelJunk Shooter – Part 2
  • Crash Commando
  • Hamilton’s Great Adventure
  • Knytt Underground
  • When Vikings Attack!
  • Trash Panic
  • Urban Trial Freestyle
  • Bionic Commando Rearmed 2
  • Raiden IV: Overkill
  • Stealth Inc.
  • Sacred Citadel
  • Resident Evil Umbrella Chronicles
  • Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles
  • Proteus
  • Wakeboarding HD
  • MX Vs ATV: Alive
  • Sniper: Ghost Warrior

For the trophy hunters among us, all streamed games come with trophy support, and the trophies you earn will be a part of your collection even after your subscription runs out. 

Sony also teased what we can look forward to next month, listing titles such as Batman: Arkham Asylum and Injustice: Gods Among Us. To better promote PSN, Sony is offering a one week free trial for those interested in the service. 

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You can play Borderlands and Bioshock Games on PlayStation Now https://www.gameskinny.com/5zklq/you-can-play-borderlands-and-bioshock-games-on-playstation-now https://www.gameskinny.com/5zklq/you-can-play-borderlands-and-bioshock-games-on-playstation-now Wed, 02 Dec 2015 19:07:57 -0500 Andrea Koenig

PlayStation Now allows fans to have access to multiple titles (and some of their favorite games) on the latest Sony PlayStation devices through a subscription to an online library. The latest additions this month are games from the BioShock and Borderlands series.

While BioShock Infinite was already in the online library, the subscription service has made the following games available in addition to that:

  • Borderlands - Play as a mercenary on the desolate planet Pandora, collecting powerful alien technology known as The Vault in this modern shooter experience.

  • Borderlands 2 - Play as one of four types of Vault Hunters in various skill classes as you fight through worlds of creatures and ultimately the dashing evil mastermind, Handsome Jack. Arm yourself and friends with weapons as you fight your way through the treasures and terrors of Pandora.

  • BioShock - This first-person story features the discovery of what lay in the wastes of the underwater city of Rapture. Fight intelligent enemies and question your morals in this exciting dystopian world.

  • BioShock 2 - Something has been snatching young children and bringing them back to Rapture. Play as the Big Daddy and travel through the fallen city to chase an unseen foe while searching for answers.

The PlayStation Now Subscription experience offers access to 250 PlayStation-compatible titles and counting. New titles are added to the library every month. You can play them across devices like the PS4, PS3, PS Vita, PSTV, Sony TVs, Samsung TVs, and Blu-Ray players. 

PlayStation has teased special news this weekend from their PlayStation Experience 2015 booth regarding more information following this addition of 2K games to the subscription service.

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4 Awesome video games we'd never want to have happen in real life https://www.gameskinny.com/zcx8c/4-awesome-video-games-wed-never-want-to-have-happen-in-real-life https://www.gameskinny.com/zcx8c/4-awesome-video-games-wed-never-want-to-have-happen-in-real-life Mon, 26 Oct 2015 12:06:17 -0400 Michael Falero

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A Narrated Life, The Stanley Parable

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The sadistic, mind-bending title that introduced a whole gaming generation to the concept of gas-lighting, The Stanley Parable shows us that you don't need a gun to inflict damage upon a person. No, all you need is a pervasive, all-seeing narrator and a lot of patience.

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Not only does the main character Stanley suffer from the narration of his every move, he hears the prediction of what he will do next: which room he will enter, which button he will press, what emotion he will feel. The narrator does this in part to illuminate how Stanley's life is small and routine, and therefore predictable.

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Anyone who played enough of The Stanley Parable probably felt their sense of reality coming undone just the slightest bit. Having one's existence narrated would have the same effect.

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Fortunately, we don't have a constant narration of our life's events going on in our heads just yet. Unfortunately, soul-sucking office work is still a thing.

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Have any suggestions for other games that would lead to untold horror in the real world? Feel free to leave them in the comments below!

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Time Rewind, Life is Strange

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The power to rewind time and undo mistakes seems like a useful tool for every aspect of one's life. Max Caulfield, the main character in Life is Strange, uses her ability to navigate both teenage drama and deadly situations.

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What struck me as I played Life is Strange was that the ability to make and remake life-altering choices tugged at my perfectionist tendencies. I second guessed myself at every turn, always asking, "but what if I did this...?"

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It's exactly the problem that would plague anyone who had this power: we'd anguish over every small decision, wonder if our choice was the right one or if there's still time to go back and try again. Imperfection in our lives becomes unacceptable the moment it becomes optional. We would drive ourselves crazy with the infinite possibilities of our actions.

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Suddenly imperfections don't look all that bad.

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Plasmids/Vigors, The BioShock Series

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They say absolute power corrupts absolutely...and in the BioShock franchise, we see a world where people have given themselves extraordinary power through medicines known as "plasmids" ("vigors" in BioShock Infinite).

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Modification becomes a central part of the tragic story that is Rapture: extreme self-interest and total freedom lead to people losing their minds. Eventually they turn on one another, hoping to survive on the remaining ADAM that powers these weird abilities.

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Future technology won't allow you to attack enemies with live crows, but electric bolts, flaming projectiles, and a sonic boom? Better left to the imagination.

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The Portal Gun, Portal and Portal 2

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Back when we saw the first entry to this series in 2007, gamers all had one collective thought: "it would be so cool to have one of those portal guns."

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The series certainly doesn't shy away from showing us everything it can do: fall into one to gain speed, shoot lasers through it, launch cubes wherever you want them to go...

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Yet, we need only look to Google Image Search to see why people probably couldn't handle a portal gun. Cue the endless stunts posted to YouTube, the dangerous and depraved pranks, and people getting half-stuck in walls.

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Not to mention how horrific Portal 2's orange, blue, and white gels would be as well - the resulting mayhem would be orders of magnitude worse. We can't all share Cave Johnson's high level of regard for safety!

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"Wouldn't it be nice..."

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Occasionally a game comes along that wows us with a cool, groundbreaking feature. It not only gives the game a unique feel, but challenges us to think about our gameplay in a novel way.

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These ideas are so awesome, so iconic, we can't help but think, "wouldn't life be better if I had that?"

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As is the case with many great ideas, the reality is much more complicated. Some useful inventions in games would actually be horrific nightmares in real life. We've put together a few of these games here.

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Note: We're avoiding generally dystopian or post-apocalyptic games in this list, since it's pretty clear having anything from those games come true would be pretty awful. We're aiming for concepts that have at least a slim probability of happening in the real world.

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Bioshock Collection on the Horizon? https://www.gameskinny.com/8wp38/bioshock-collection-on-the-horizon https://www.gameskinny.com/8wp38/bioshock-collection-on-the-horizon Mon, 21 Sep 2015 21:22:43 -0400 Dalton White I

It seems that an online retailer might have, either accidentally or possibly on purpose, leaked details stating that the BioShock series might be joining the Collection bandwagon.

The South African website Raru recently shared some details about the collection during the past weekend. Although the original page was deleted there are copies still existing on the internet.

From the small amount of information provided, this Bioshock Collection may be released on November 27th, 2015 on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. This might coincide with a new series of Bioshock toys being made by Funko.

Big Daddy

Imagine an HD Big Daddy, it would be gruesomely beautiful.

It hasn’t been confirmed to be real, but the hasty erasing of the original page might just be evidence that such a collection is in the works. The question is whether all of the games: Bioshock, Bishock 2 and Bioshock Infinite will be receiving the HD treatment.

The Bioshock series is a wonderful set of games and would make sense to be made into an HD collection, if series like Halo and Uncharted are also making the same decision. Hopefully 2K games will give us some information. So far they have only stated “2K doesn’t respond to rumors or speculation.” This neutral stance may mean that we have something new to look forward to this November.

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Twelve games undeserving of their critical praise https://www.gameskinny.com/574ei/twelve-games-undeserving-of-their-critical-praise https://www.gameskinny.com/574ei/twelve-games-undeserving-of-their-critical-praise Sun, 16 Aug 2015 18:39:02 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

We’ve all been there before. We have been playing a game that was showered with critical acclaim, and while we don’t think the game may necessarily be bad, we wonder, “Why is this getting so much praise?” While this thought may not occur during play time, the thought may have crossed your mind after the end credits roll.

To clarify, I am not claiming these games are awful; some of them are pretty good. This list is a collection of games that caused me to question their critical acclaim while playing them.  With that in mind, let’s get to the good stuff!

Skyrim

I have to give credit where credit is due: Bethesda is great at creating gigantic virtual sandboxes for players to muck about in. The problem is they rarely fill those sandboxes with anything interesting. While Oblivion had many of the same issues as Skyrim, I found Skyrim the more boring and uninteresting of the two. With constantly repeated dungeons, floaty combat, shallow game mechanics, and an overall boring world, Skyrim is more repetitive than the Dick and Jane book series.   

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

I love a good turn-based strategy game; I’m slightly addicted to them. When I heard the venerable XCOM series was receiving a reboot, I was ecstatic. The original games have not aged well; so being able to play an XCOM game with modern design and sensibilities was a tantalizing prospect. While Enemy Unknown was not bad, it had several design issues and a lack of depth found in other turn-based strategy games.

The game can be easily completed by keeping your squad in a phalanx formation and simply abusing Overwatch like it's no one’s business. Once you get your soldiers promoted, they essentially become all-powerful demigods who laugh at the enemy invaders. A combination of individual classes can make most of the game a breeze. The lack of depth was also noticeable.

I celebrate a game becoming more accessible for newcomers, but there are ways to add depth for those who want it without alienating newer players. It’s far from a bad game. I like the veteran series being thrust into the limelight once again, and now we are getting more, but hopefully the forthcoming sequel will rectify some of the issues found in Enemy Unknown.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

To the time of writing this, I have completed nearly every game I have started. I rarely start a game I do not finish unless the game is awful or just drab in every way. Brotherhood is one of those games.

I endured the uneven first game due to the unique setting and experience (Middle East during Medieval times = awesome!), and Assassin’s Creed 2 improved upon the first game in so many ways, giving me what I enjoyed from the first game with less of what I didn’t. So why in the world was Brotherhood so boring? The game doesn’t introduce many new or interesting ideas; the story was snooze worthy; and the game was just monotonous as a whole.

Uncharted 2

I debated including this one. However, after the lovely comments on my last piece where I dared accuse Uncharted 2 of not being as great as people think it is, I couldn’t help but include it here!

Yes, Uncharted 2 in NO way deserves the amount of critical acclaim it has received.

Half-Life 2

I’ve really lost it now, haven’t I? (I assure you I haven’t, or maybe I never had it.) Before you discount this thought, though, let’s talk. Half-Life 2 is a good game, but it is nowhere near the perfection people claim it to be. It’s a small game wrapped in a large tech demo. The game was a vehicle to show what the Source engine could do, and at the time of release, it was impressive. Now, though, not so much.

There are some great moments in the game. Ravenholm was tense and dripping with atmosphere. Experimenting with the gravity gun was satisfying. The upgraded gravity gun was even more satisfying. Between all of those moments, though, there is a lot of filler. The game is filled with a glut of boring vehicle sections, some tedious puzzles, and unnecessary fluff which the later episodic release rectified. It’s still a good game, but there’s a reason many fans are still talking about the original Half-Life over the sequel.

Bioshock Infinite

I’ve argued the case for Bioshock 2 before, but I still find people who think BioShock Infinite is the better game because they like to pretend Bioshock 2 does not exist. Bioshock 2 had large locales to explore, gripping combat, depth of gameplay, and was also fun to play. BioShock Infinite was a corridor shooter that quickly devolved into a monotonous slog towards the endgame.

I almost didn’t finish the game due to how boring and predictable the gameplay and design had become. The story was the only thing keeping me invested in any way.

At least it had great art design!

Fable III

The entire Fable series is built upon a foundation of unfulfilled promises and disappointed players. That said, the first two games managed to be enjoyable, even if they came nowhere near the heights they were projected to reach. With Fable III, Lionhead went one step forward and three large steps backwards.

The most egregious change was the abandonment of a menu system in favor of a hub-like area to access your inventory and such. The result was a confusing and ultimately unnecessary system. The also had a ridiculously simple and unfulfilling combat system that was as shallow as it was bland. A bevy of technical issues and a pointless section towards the end add up to one undeserving game.

Grand Theft Auto 4

It’s boring. Hmmm. Is that not enough? Alright, alright, here ya go!

GTA 4 is full of uninteresting characters populating a dull world with failed attempts at social critique, plagued by poor controls and gameplay. Just play Saints Row instead: the controls are better, it is far from pretentious, and it’s just plain fun to play - something the GTA series has yet to learn.

Arkham Knight

Honestly, this one is a matter of principle. Yes, Warner Bros. should NOT have knowingly released such an obviously unfinished PC port. They are completely at fault for pushing this sorry excuse for a game out the door. But why in the world was the game positively reviewed almost everywhere while an entire section of the playerbase couldn’t even play the damn game they bought?

The shady tactics of WB releasing the now infamous PC port should have affected scores overall. After all, Metacritic scores are one of the only ways to get these AAA publishers to pay attention, listen, and learn from their mistakes.

Telltale Games

I really enjoyed The Wolf Among Us. The Walking Dead: Season One affected me on an emotional level only two other games have. Tales from the Borderlands is shaping up to be a solid surprise too. So why are Telltale’s games on this list? Because of The Walking Dead: Season Two and Game of Thrones.

The Walking Dead: Season Two is the very definition of a disappointing sequel. With weaker writing and plot design coupled with brain-dead character decisions and forced confrontations, the game left a lot to be desired.

As a fan of the books who was interested to see what Telltale would do, I am disappointed Game of Thrones has such a poor design base and is just so uninteresting. So far the game has been extremely predictable and plagued with poor design. Now if they would only start from scratch…

Gears of War 3

Marcus and company land on this list with a, you guessed it!, insipid entry in the beefcake versus meat slabs series. While the entire series could be on this list, I managed to somewhat enjoy the first two titles and complete. Gears of War 3 on the other hand, remains one of those games on my “Do not want to finish list.”

With minimal to no evolution in any way over previous entries, failed attempts at gravitas and drama, and lame firefights, the acclaim heaped onto GoW 3 is puzzling.

Destiny

Checklist for a "meh" game:

  • Repetive gameplay and embodiment of a Skinner box: Check!
  • Bland and lackluster gameplay: Check!
  • Story that reads like a thousand chimps' attempt at a space opera: Check!
  • Inflated expectations due to misleading ads, coverage, and such: Check!
  • Greedy business practices and insuting comments from the devs: Double Check!

And so it goes.

No doubt you completely agree with my list. However, if by some small chance you do not agree with my choices, sound off in the comments! Have I missed a game that in no way deserves the critical acclaim it has received? Make your voice heard as well!

Now go play some better games!

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Nine Things Next-Gen Multiplayer Needs to Succeed https://www.gameskinny.com/2tbct/nine-things-next-gen-multiplayer-needs-to-succeed https://www.gameskinny.com/2tbct/nine-things-next-gen-multiplayer-needs-to-succeed Sat, 18 Jul 2015 15:07:14 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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Multiplayer has been a part of this industry from the start, and its impact can be felt across the spectrum of platforms we play on. Whether you like online gaming or not, we've come a long way, and have a even further journey ahead to travel. Here's hoping developers choose the right path for online gamers.

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Encourage and Grow Your Communities

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This last part is something only a few publishers and developers have done really well. For example, 2K Games managed what seemed almost impossible at the time, and bred a longstanding Bioshock 2 multiplayer community. Between offering assets for wikis, and porting the game out of pocket to Steamworks as Games for Windows Live began shutting down, 2K Games did good by their community.

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They also repeatedly tried to do right by them in terms of DLC. When it seemed like Minerva's Den might not release, they gave out the Protector Trials for free on PC. When they found out they could port it over still, they did, and they kept the Trials DLC completely free regardless. They also gave Minerva's Den for free to anyone who had bought the original, Games for Windows Live version of the game. On top of that, they made all multiplayer DLC free for everyone, and decreased the grind in the progression system so members of the community could regain their ranks quickly in the new Steamworks version.

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This is how you reward a loyal community. You don't treat them like EA did with Dead Space 2, where they never ported any of the DLC, and when it was found some was already on-disc, EA just quietly made a few items and armor sets unlocked for PC users. They never got the Severed DLC campaign (which reportedly never got past pre-Alpha on PC before being cancelled on that platform), nor did they get any of the multiplayer patches.

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Publishers and developers both need to learn from these and other examples, and understand that you don't survive through game sales alone. You need that community who will stick it out years from now. Bioshock 2 is thriving and active on PC after five years. By contrast, no one is playing Dead Space 2 on PC anymore. Consider that fact.

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Scoreboards Don't Count as Multiplayer

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I would think this would go without saying, but judging by the number of games that have tried to use this as a placeholder for real multiplayer, it apparently does not. A scoreboard is fine on its own, but it does not make for great multiplayer. Most people don't care, and often times those who do are more interested in kill/death ratios in Call of Duty than how many Animus Fragments they've found in Assassin's Creed. Let's stop using this as a crutch.

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We Need More User Generated Content

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For a long time, it seemed like modifications were on the way out. Very few games supported mods during the last generation, save for a handful of shooters, and a number of strategy and RPG titles. That is changing though, thanks to a rebound in the focus on user generated content. Even if a game is a completely solo experience, you can play levels or experience new content made by other gamers.

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User generated content is the lifeblood of many older games. Tron 2.0 and Skyrim both got fan expansion packs in the past three years, well after their publishers had moved on. Mods are free DLC that developers don't have to spend a dime on. Whether or not you think mods should be commercially released is another debate, but you can't deny the popularity of modding. Some developers even use mods as ways of finding the best new talent to hire for their next project.

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As development tools become more user-friendly, and in-game toolsets get more powerful, it stands to reason that user generated content needs to be taken more seriously as a means of online content.

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Let Cooperative and Competitive Multiplayer Blur

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The fact cooperative and competitive multiplayer are beginning to blur is a great sign, but there are only a few games that have toyed with this. Dark Souls, DayZ and Watch_Dogs remain the only notable examples, and even this early on, they show promise. Dark Souls in particular has caused many anti-multiplayer gamers to reconsider their stance on the issue, because it put it in a new context.

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Taking competitive play out of instanced matches and making it more like a boss fight puts it in clearer context for those who don't regularly go out and play Domination or Capture the Flag. With the addition of cooperative players helping each side during conflicts, Dark Souls lets the players define the battlefield.

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Watch_Dogs took this a different direction by empowering players with a variety of play styles. Maybe you go and spy on someone or hack their phone in a one on one battle. If you prefer racing, you could take on mobile device users or enter street races. If you like team battles, those are available too. They aren't carted off in some alternate landscape, but instead are present in your game, and have tangible rewards for both offline and online play.

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As we step forward, these types of integrated multiplayer could even tie into grander mechanics. Imagine a world where the Dark Souls invasion system and the Shadow of Mordor nemesis system are combined. The potential is tantalizing, to say the least.

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Think Outside the Box For What Genres Can Have Multiplayer

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A year doesn't go by when I don't hear someone say "[game] doesn't need multiplayer!" Except, did you ever ask yourself what kind of multiplayer that would be like? The XCOM: Enemy Unknown team asked themselves that, and what resulted is a surprisingly popular turn-based RPG style multiplayer that even got a wealth of new maps in the expansion pack Enemy Within.

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The same happened with Mass Effect 3, and later Dragon Age: Inquisition. Perhaps its time we stop saying something shouldn't be done, and start more regularly asking "can this be done, and will it be fun?" Not only does this open the door to new multiplayer games, but it lets mechanics be handled in new ways. Assassin's Creed: Rogue's detection system wouldn't exist without Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood's multiplayer, and similar examples exist across many franchises.

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So let's really push the envelope and see what works. If it fails, then go back to the drawing board; but if it succeeds, then help it grow.

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Truly Dynamic Levels

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Letting us level one building in Battlefield 4 was impressive back on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Now though, with the hardware available to developers, we should be seeing a lot more dynamic elements in levels, and not just in shooters. If anything, more games need to look to some of Sony's more recent games for inspiration.

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Take the airstrip level in Uncharted 3. When the level opens, one team is a plane that is preparing to take off. Meanwhile, the other team is on a set of moving trucks, chasing after it, guns blazing. This leads to some hilarious and awesome moments that only happen because of the players and the level both being equal participants.

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Similarly, PlayStation All-Stars: Battle Royal built itself around levels that would blend between two games. One minute you're in Pappa Rappa, but within minutes, Killzone invades with giant mechs firing on players. Every level did this, and would significantly impact the approach players would take to battles. That isn't even counting smaller dynamic elements players could use to their advantage, like setting off traps or knocking opponents into hazards.

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We need more levels like this. While making a level flood or have half of the map become full of poison gas might seem impressive to some players, we could do so much more. Destiny's raids have randomized, dynamic elements as much as they do scripted ones. Syndicate had different enemy spawns and behavior based on difficulty levels. These are the sorts of things we should aspire to in future multiplayer titles.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/f/24fad593fae40b395a5cb10caeae9b26.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/f/tiny_24fad593fae40b395a5cb10caeae9b26.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75611","description":"

Understand What We Want From Online Co-op

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When I reviewed Sunset Overdrive, the game had an excellent open world that was begging for two player campaign co-op. Instead, it had one of the blandest eight player horde modes ever created. Too many games just tack on online cooperative multiplayer without any consideration of what the mode needs. This weird misunderstanding of what we want in co-op is increasing in frequency, as more and more cooperative games are made.

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First off, we want to play together with like-minded players. This really is what developers should consider first when going forward. Halo: Reach had one of the best matchmaking filters by asking you several general but important questions about how you liked to play Halo This helped like minded gamers to team up easily.

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This should be a default feature in co-op, especially when the co-op is in the main story campaign. If someone is just there for the action, then pair them up with other people there for action. If someone cares about the story, get equally considerate players on board with them.

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We also need goals worth playing for. The point of cooperative multiplayer is that you are working together, towards some end. This is why co-op in campaigns works so well, and why standalone co-op modes that are barely connected with the main game fall apart. Some games like Halo 5: Guardians have been making strides to close the gap and integrate co-op into their stories, but we still have a lot further to go.

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Still, making players work for a narrative goal might get them through once or twice, but we need consistent, enjoyable reasons to bring friends along. We need new tactical options to open up in cooperative shooters. We need new dialogue choices in cooperative RPGs. We need incentive to play in co-op that offers a different experience, without cutting players out of every option. The benefits should be realistic to the player count.

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Online co-op has been evolving at a fast rate, ever since Halo 3 and Borderlands popularized it. Hopefully that means these growing pains can be passed through just as quickly.

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More Content, Not Bigger Battles

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This is another thing that has continually been happening, and is a big issue for multiplayer. Sony was able to get over two hundred players playing together in its game MAG. It was also so dry and visually bland a game that it could have been a PlayStation 2 title in pre-Alpha.

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Some developers have caught on to the idea that more content is better than grander scale, but still are struggling with it. Titanfall offered over twenty maps at launch, and released a bunch of free content updates, but also tried to charge ten dollars for three packs of three new maps. This was a terrible idea, and the game benefitted greatly by just letting everyone have the new maps for free.

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This shouldn't even be news to developers. For years older games like No One Lives Forever and Unreal Tournament offered free map packs and new game modes as updates, not something you had to pay the right to use. Splintering communities with pay walls is one of the worst things you could do in multiplayer.

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If developers want to charge for something, then they should actually take a note from Batman: Arkham Origins and charge for new gear, or better yet, Battlefield 4's shortcuts. I know what you're thinking "but that stuff is the worst!" except, it really isn't. Think about it.

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Consider a world where all content updates are free, so you continually have more and more game to play. Except, since publishers will still want to make something off of the game, they offer new players the ability to catch up in the progression system. They'll still be new to the game and unsure of what gear to use, meaning balance is maintained. All the meanwhile, you've got a consistent stream of new modes and maps to play on.

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As compromises go, this one pays off way more for the core player base than the current model. It'd be awesome if we could just get the content for free, but not all publishers and developers will go for that approach. Still, anything that takes us out of the age of Sanctum and Call of Duty-style paid for DLC is a welcome move towards benefiting the player base.

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Local Co-op

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Yes, this is still a thing, contrary to so many games dropping support for it. Whether it's a desperate bid to optimize (like Halo 5: Guardians) or just cut due to rushed schedule (like Killzone: Shadow Fall), local co-op has been getting the short end of the stick between now and the end years of last-gen. That needs to stop.

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We need local co-op games, and not just 2D games and indie titles. Halo was born on local multiplayer matches, and Star Wars: Battlefront let console gamers play together online without a hitch. Friends could play games together both online and offline, but more and more that feature is excluded, and it hurts consoles in general.

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The more games you can play alongside a friend and enjoy, the more you'd want to have them on your own. It's just not the same experience, swapping the controller back and forth. Yes, you might have over a hundred players on a massive battlefield with AI opponents and amazing scripted moments, but you're failing the oldest mode of multiplayer in existence. Give us a reason to buy a second Xbox One or PlayStation 4 controller.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/b/6bb0685bbbb1ddfa9dae67bc45673f4a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/b/b/tiny_6bb0685bbbb1ddfa9dae67bc45673f4a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75614","description":"

Multiplayer has gone from the only means of play, to a standby feature, and somehow made a huge jump back into "novelty" territory before finally getting its footing again. In the modern gaming era, multiplayer is a huge money maker across consoles, mobile, and PC. Yet, despite years of innovations and experience, the industry seems to have forgotten or failed to realize several things multiplayer gaming needs to really do well.

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Top 10 Stories in Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/05u7y/top-10-stories-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/05u7y/top-10-stories-in-video-games Fri, 12 Jun 2015 20:23:21 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

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1.) Half-life series
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There isn't a game in the world that more people are clamoring for than Half-Life 3.  A lot of that has to do with just how good the world and its narrative are.  One of the most fascinating aspects about the story is how much of a passive rider the player character, Gordon Freeman is.  The entire video game medium is centered around the idea of control, and most of the time, game characters are in control and/or the center of attention.  Gordon Freeman is the exact opposite of those things, and the result is refreshing.  In fact, the story isn't even about Gordon Freeman, but rather about the world around him, and he is simply the vessel that the player experiences the world through.

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What is also compelling about the Half-life experience is how naturally everything unfolds.  There are no interruptions for cut scenes as the story unfolds in front of the player, and Half-life was the one of the first games to really let the player have the freedom to move about the environment as the story unfolded in front of the player. 

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Subtle audio cues also helped to enhance parts of the narrative as well and the biggest example of this is the Combine Soldiers.  The game frequently let the player hear their enemy before seeing them, which worked to further imprint the enemy's importance both in terms gameplay mechanics and what they meant to the world.  Because the game was challenging in its combat, the player became conditioned to feel a sense of dread every time one of these audio cues played.

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What do you think? What are your favorite examples of narrative in games? 

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2.) The Last of Us
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The driving force behind the entire experience of The Last of Us is its narrative.  The game is a character-driven narrative that is quite a linear affair but the all of the extra nooks and crannies keep it from feeling too straight forward.  When the player uncovers these hidden places, the game provides some poignant moments between Joel and Ellie that provide context and insight of the state of the world that really drive the generational differences between someone who lived in the world before (Joel) and one who grew up in the current state of affairs (Ellie).  

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Speaking of Joel and Ellie, they are the very foundation of the game itself, both narratively and mechanically.  The loneliness of the journey, the forced cooperation, and the ugliness of the people and the world around you helps to create an authentic sense of protectiveness over Ellie.  It is very much a journey of you against the world, and every time Ellie is forced to leave the safety of your side for the sake of cooperation, it is an authentically uneasy feeling.  

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While the post-apocalyptic zombie-esque world isn't particularly unique when factoring in The Walking Dead's immense popularity, it is the journey and the interactive delivery of Joel and Ellie's journey across the country that helps set it apart.  The Last of Us is an ever lasting example of the evolution of interactive story telling and will always hold a significant place in gaming history.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/5/0/250268857bda824b82cbf3545aa1ff81.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/5/0/tiny_250268857bda824b82cbf3545aa1ff81.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69287","description":"
3.) The Walking Dead (Telltale Series) 
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Telltale Games has made an entire business around being able to tell quality stories.  But they really didn't take off until they released their first season of their episodic Walking Dead series.  Its popularity isn't derived from the AMC blockbuster series, but employs a style that is closer to the comic books.

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The journey of Lee Everett and Clementine is one of the most compelling arcs ever crafted in interactive narratives.  Despite the fact that there isn't much of a challenge (or game depending on who you talk to), the narrative drives a satisfying set of in game prompts that mean the difference between life and death.  In this zombie apocalypse, death rears its head around every corner and isn't afraid to take your heart strings, rip them out, and throw them in the dirt before stomping them into submission.

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4.) The Witcher Series
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The Witcher series can be tough to get into if you haven't read the books and/or choose to skip the first game.  The series' second entry, Assassin's of Kings more or less assumes you know what is going on from the start and is unapologetic about it.  However, it doesn't take too long to realize that you are dealing with one of the most unique video game narratives around.  Most stories clearly state who is good and who is bad at every turn, but in this universe, it's not that simple.

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It's said that there are two sides to every story and that ideal is the foundation of The Witcher's narrative.  Almost nothing follows the path of "this side is good, this side is bad". In fact almost all of it is bad on some level.  The world operates in shades of grey rather than light versus dark.  Villains are not representations of the Evil Railway Baron trope, instead having legitimate goals that you, yourself might be trying to accomplish had things been different.  

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In fact, Assassin's of Kings offers up a choice between following two different leaders, a murderer fighting for the rights of non-humans and a human trying to uphold the peace, but whose actions are perceived as racist by some.  Neither are good, neither are evil, it all just depends on the player's perspective, much like the world we live in now.  The result is a very believable and grounded story in a high fantasy world.

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5.) BioShock series
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Yes, in many ways, BioShock is basically System Shock 2, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the most compelling and hotly debated stories in the history of interactive narrative.  I mean, would you kindly take a look at that insane timeline of BioShock Infinite.  

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The original BioShock was a master class of its own in balancing functional level design, with a believably lived in space and the events that lead to Rapture's undoing let the combat mechanics fit the story like a glove.  It can be debated that despite its critical appeal, BioShock Infinite never quite achieved the same heights as the original, but it doesn't exclude the fact that the series as a whole tells one of the best stories that video games have ever seen.

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6.) Final Fantasy VII
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It wouldn't be a list of narratively focused games if the semi-divisive Final Fantasy VII wasn't on the list.  

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Of course, this entry is more or less on the "it's cool to hate" spectrum by a lot of Final Fantasy purists.  However, its impact both as a game and as a narrative cannot be denied in terms of its ever lasting legacy.  A lot of that has to do with "the death."  On the outside, it seems kind of silly that one event could make an entire narrative that famous, however it has done just that.  That death of course is everyone's favorite flower girl, Aeris.

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Never have I seen so many gamers live in such denial about one death in a video game.  Even now, coming up on 20 years after the game's initial release, there is a sect of players that are still convinced that there is a legitimate way to bring her back from the dead.  *Spoilers* there isn't.  As much as I love this game and its story, I admit Aeris' death is a bit illogical given the fact that Cloud and Co. should have had at least one Phoenix Down in their back pocket.  Bah, details.

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7.) Metal Gear Solid (PS1)
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Metal Gear Solid on the original PlayStation is widely recognized as one of the greatest games of all time and for good reason.  Despite its relatively short length of 12 hours, it has great story pacing and tight gameplay.  At the time, Metal Gear Solid was renowned for being one of the most cinematic experiences and it was obvious that a lot of care went into trying to be accurate with smaller details, which is a bit ironic considering how super natural many elements of the game are.

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David Hayter's performance as Solid Snake was revolutionary at the time for how good it was, and his voice has since become arguably the most iconic in the industry.  The story humanized a couple of the supposed villains in the game like Sniper Wolf and Psycho Mantis upon their deaths which effectively blurred the lines between the player's side and the antagonist's.  

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Despite the fact that the series has become quite convoluted in its logic over the years, Metal Gear Solid's emphasis and delivery on story telling is in in some ways unmatched even today.  With Hideo Kojima's tenure at Konami looking like it's end is near, it's important to appreciate the impact that the Metal Gear series has had on interactive narrative.

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8.) Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
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Before Mass Effect and Dragon Age's enormous impact on the Western Role Playing game market, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic was BioWare's flagship role-playing franchise.  KOTOR, as it is known, released back in 2003 during the early days of the original Xbox and took place 4,000 years before the Original Star Wars trilogy where a Sith Lord, Darth Malak, the former apprentice of the feared Darth Revan, has commenced a fierce attack on the Jedi Knights with a large armada, forcing them to scatter across the galaxy.  

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Its narrative formula would build the foundation that both the Mass Effect and Dragon Age franchises would come to lean heavily on.  KOTOR featured teams of three allies in combat and had the player travel from planet to planet, finding new allies on each one that represented a different class or class combination.  

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Arguably the biggest reason that KOTOR's narrative is so fondly remembered is the big twist around the halfway point in the game that takes its inspiration from Darth Vader's infamous "I am your father" reveal.  YOU are the villain, Darth Revan.  Before the big reveal, Revan's role is little more than a reference to give context to present events, much like Luke Skywalker's references to his father were.  But once the cat's out of the bag, it revolutionizes the way the player views the entire story in the same way Vader being Luke's father did in Empire Strikes Back.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/c/4/fc4e566369a462d53ff686ef2f16e757.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/c/4/tiny_fc4e566369a462d53ff686ef2f16e757.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69286","description":"
9. ) Minecraft
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Sometimes the best stories in video games aren't directly told to you, but rather the story you tell yourself.  Minecraft accomplishes just that with the personalization, tools and authentic sense of discovery that lies at the heart of the experience.  Imagination is the name of the game, and Minecraft's formula is built to appeal to ours.

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There are so many different ways to play the game, and it all depends on what kind of character the player wants to role play as.  Are you a survivor that washed up on a mysterious land?  Are you a farmer that wants to herd the land's animals?  What about the threats that befall the land?  Do you hide from them at night while planning for the next day? Do you brave the night to slay the monsters for their resources?  How do you deal with hunger?

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Minecraft is the poster child for individual story telling, spawning a whole host of survival adventures that permeate Steam's Early Access page that have evolved on Minecraft's principles.

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10.) Portal Series
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Portal's narrative begins simply enough.  You awaken inside your room in the Aperture Science labs, and are instructed to begin testing by the soft, robotic voice of GLaDOS.  Like the character we inhabit, we follow the instructions without question.  The player has no concept of what is going on outside of the casually comedic tone, the task that is laid out before us and that there's cake at the end (Yum!).  This setup allows us to effortlessly step into the shoes of Chell, the Aperture lab rat.  But as the player progresses, we quickly find out that "The Cake" is a lie. 

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Portal is especially good at tying dialogue into in game accomplishments.  As the player masters more and more puzzles, GLaDOS in turn becomes more and more talkative and goes from being mockingly hilarious to being mockingly cold and murderous (while still being hilarious).  It is this dark comedy that really helps make Portal stand out on its own from the Half-life series in terms of its tone.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/a/62a04134becf02fc77d4aa1ec25eab5b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/2/a/tiny_62a04134becf02fc77d4aa1ec25eab5b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"69272","description":"

Not everybody plays games for story.  And as a result, ludology vs narratology is one of the hottest debates in gaming.  And to be fair, a lot of games tell some pretty crappy and/or cliched stories, and sadly a lot of them are actually trying.  However, there have been some legitimately great stories that have come from the interactive entertainment medium and in many ways their impact is best felt as a video game.  

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These games were chosen on the basis, of not only the quality of the narrative, but how well the story utilizes the mechanics of the interactive medium.  I think it goes without saying that massive story-ruining spoilers follow.  Here are the Top 10 stories in video games.

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Is Single-player Dying? https://www.gameskinny.com/nncce/is-single-player-dying https://www.gameskinny.com/nncce/is-single-player-dying Sun, 07 Jun 2015 08:30:01 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Single-player. It is the original way we played games, and some would say it's the only way.. Now everyone seems to fear its sudden and immediate demise. (Dun dun duuuuunn.) Is this death of solo gaming true? Or are gamers just overreacting (not that that ever happens)?

The short answer is no. The long answer is more complicated.

If you look at it from the solo-only "I don't ever play online" perspective, there are certainly more games where multiplayer has been added. In none of those cases did the single-player die off or get diminished (in fact, often the opposite happened), but the shift is notable and sometimes had an impact on mechanics.

For instance, Dead Space 3's crafting system caused the series to drop its competitive multiplayer and instead be a co-op experience. Mass Effect 3 added new movement systems and a weight system to make it more active and fast-paced during combat. In other cases, the changes would appear in more surprising ways, such as Assassin's Creed: Rogue utilizing ideas from the series' multiplayer.

However, for some, the inclusion of multiplayer of any kind is seen as a downside. For instance, with the Tomb Raider 2013 reboot, all the downloadable content, save for one piece of DLC, was for the game's multiplayer (and even then it was only map packs).

There was no new single-player content planned, so the lack of genuine tombs and puzzles never got addressed. Square Enix went double-down on the experimental half of the game, and when Eidos Montreal failed to deliver, it blew up in their face hard. To the point that apparently, instead of having a competent multiplayer team make the multiplayer as fun as it could be, they dropped it entirely for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

Yet, that's not really the most constructive response either.

While fans were rightfully inflamed to complain about the ludicrous amounts of lag on console, and the terrible controls on PC, the inclusion of multiplayer was perfectly reasonable for Tomb Raider. Co-op even worked marvelously in Lara Croft and The Guardian of Light. If they'd more heavily emphasized the survival elements along with the traps and traversal mechanics, it would have been like The Last of Us' multiplayer 2.0.

Except we'll probably never get that, because fans not open to the multiplayer complained endlessly at its very inclusion.

You see, that's the other side of things.

Most multiplayer gamers didn't blink an eye when Battlefield 3 had single-player. Even reviewers barely took note, and kept looking to the multiplayer. There was no serious harm or foul, just some people who were severely underwhelmed at DICE's idea of a solo Battlefield experience.

You do not see this kind of "I'll just keep playing what I like" attitude whenever a single-player game adds multiplayer. Even when you later find the detractors liking the multiplayer, such as with The Last of Us and Mass Effect 3, they go right back to their stubbornness afterward. Even critics have a habit of doing this, sounding almost astonished when The Last of Us' multiplayer didn't somehow bore them to tears.

No matter what, they almost always use a predictable argument I've learned by heart now. Let's address it, very briefly here.

  • "Multiplayer takes away resources" -- This is, nine times out of ten, completely false. If there isn't a separate internal team to start with, there's an additional developer brought on board. And if you try to say "that's taking budget away", then you seem to have forgotten that the publisher is paying extra to include multiplayer. Unless we're talking about Microsoft and the Phantom Dust reboot, which is actually a case of demanding single-player in a multiplayer-only game. Also, don't forget that too many cooks can spoil a dish (hello, Assassin's Creed: Unity!)



  • "They'll water down the single-player" -- Generally, multiplayer requires an intense understanding of the game's mechanics. In fact, in the cases of Mass Effect 3 and Tomb Raider, multiplayer added new mechanics on top of the base ones. If it feels watered down, then that isn't the multiplayer's fault, but instead the developer going for wider audience appeal across the board.

  • "No one wants [insert game] with multiplayer" -- From a statistical standpoint, that is literally impossible. From a logical standpoint, you are generalizing and/or valuing your opinion over everyone else's. For example, Dead Space 2 added multiplayer because fans wanted it; not that anyone seems to remember that little fact. Other cases include Bioshock 2, Batman: Arkham Origins, and Don't Starve Togther. I'm afraid other people simply don't have your amazing gaming tastes.

And now that we've got those clichéd arguments over with, back to the topic at hand!

There's another angle to this, though. Addition of multiplayer is one thing, but there is growing concern that games are trying to remove any type of single-player mode entirely. The prime reasons for this are games like Titanfall, Evolve, Destiny, Diablo III, and fellow multiplayer-focused games - the argument being that, as multiplayer games continue to make the most money overall, publishers will keep pushing for online-only experiences. Right?

Not necessarily. Evolve and Diablo III can be played offline, and can also be counted alongside Destiny in having a modest (if not sizeable) amount of single-player content. Evolve has a full campaign mode with shifting variables, which still includes the game's lengthy progression system and numerous playable characters. Diablo III may only be offline on consoles, but at least that is an option now after fan outcry.

Some games, like Destiny, are built to be played either alone or together with friends. You can even play Destiny on PlayStation 4 without PlayStation Plus. You just can't party up with anyone, which clearly is not the concern of solo players. Still, it requires an internet connection, and that's a big problem for some gamers.

So, does that mean in the future, we won't be able to game without internet, even in single-player? Maybe... but maybe not.

The actual amount of games you can play offline has grown substantially. Between GOG.com and a number of franchises, there has actually been a growth in single-player games. And some games that used to have multiplayer are dropping it to focus on the single-player experience. Example: for the first time in franchise history, Wolfenstein: The New Order had no multiplayer. Dishonored also had no multiplayer. Neither did Deus Ex: Human Revolution. All were AAA first-person action games, the genre most frequently seen including multiplayer.

How did this madness occur? Well, there was a demand, publishers trusted their developers, and the games were made to fit that demand. Often we hear "the game industry is a business" used as an excuse, but we seem to forget that it also can be in our favor.

People wanted more solo games, so more solo games were greenlit. It's also in a publisher's best interest to not have every game be online-enabled, because that means fewer servers to pay for. Sure, they have more worry about used-game sales, but with digital copies being bought more often, that's becoming less of a concern.

So in the grand scheme of things, are single-player games incredibly at risk? Not really, but there are some things publishers are far too slow with on the uptake when it comes to what we, as their audience, want from them. The same could be said for some gamers though, who are focusing solely on their personal preferences rather than the big picture. None of this happens in a vacuum, and it's hard not to find a reason for most of the decisions and actions that have lead us here.

What do you think: is single-player doomed? Do you take a side in this argument? Or do you think everyone is missing something? Let us know in the comments below!

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10 Sub Par Sequels that Dropped the Ball https://www.gameskinny.com/wz7jy/10-sub-par-sequels-that-dropped-the-ball https://www.gameskinny.com/wz7jy/10-sub-par-sequels-that-dropped-the-ball Mon, 01 Jun 2015 09:09:08 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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Of course, there are plenty of other sub par sequels, but these were the most disappointing to me. Agree with my list? Which games did I forget? Sound off in the comments below!  

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Mass Effect 3

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No list of disappointing sequels would be complete without this entry. The Mass Effect games were enjoyed by players everywhere and met with great reception. So when the third game was announced, needless to say, the game was highly anticipated. Players were wondering how the series would end given the amount of divergence allowed by player choice. BioWare promised the ending would be more than a simple “A, B, or C” choice. In the end, that is exactly what we got.

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The grievances were many: the ending seemed to disregard some choices made by players; lack of closure; plot holes and inconsistencies, among many others. To me, the ending felt rushed and unfulfilling after everything leading up to it. Maybe the reaction and resulting outcry was a bit much, but the resulting fallout stands as a testament to how involved players had become with the series and just how talented BioWare is at storytelling. Maybe they should not make promises regarding endings though for their next games, eh?

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Dragon Age 2

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Dragon Age: Origins was a great throwback to CRPGs of old. With tactical combat, a fantastic narrative filled with great characters, and the terrific tactics system, the game was a treat for all lovers of RPGs. Like most great games, it was not without flaws (some technical and performance issues and subpar graphical fidelity), but the trees could be overlooked for the forest. With

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With Dragon Age 2, you ran into every tree while trying to navigate the forest.

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I was so excited for this one; I preordered it and eagerly awaited it with high expectations. Once I booted up the game, the disappointment seeped in deep. The problem was the game was actually difficult for me to play. I enjoyed the characters you met and could recruit, but everything else could not make me suffer through the game to get to the bits I liked. With more repetitive environments than than Skyrim, a focus on a small setting, simplified combat, and a loose narrative framework that never seemed to go anywhere interesting, it was hard to endure the bloody game just to have conversation with Fenris or Merrill. Sorry my elven friends.

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The Walking Dead: Season Two

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The Walking Dead: Season One was a remarkable game that helped cement Telltale’s reputation for being remarkable storytellers. It was an emotional tale that resonated with players and actually elicited emotional responses from whoever played it. While it was not perfect, the faults were overshadowed by the strengths of the game. With the sequel, the faults were more glaring and harder to overlook.

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Season Two let us down in a number of ways.

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The characters seemed to make dumber decisions than they usually did and the writers also seemed determined to ensure you ended up in certain situations no matter what you did. For me, the worst part was the final conflict between Kenny and Jane. It was a good idea and setup to have the two going at each other, but the way the final fight turned out to be a total letdown. There was one way to make the game end with a poetically bittersweet finale, but the season as a whole was still a disappointment.

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Uncharted 2

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My feelings on the Uncharted series have been documented here before. Uncharted was not a particularly good game, but there was a glimmer of greatness under all the faults the game had. When I began to play the sequel, I had my fingers crossed the game would improve upon the potential of its predecessor and deliver a good or great game. I had high hopes with the opening train sequence, but it went downhill from there.

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Somehow, Drake got even more irritating and smug than before, an impressive feat to accomplish. The story was nonsensical with imprudent characters and unfulfilled potential (poor Chloe). The gameplay and gunplay both got worse. The worst part was the condescending nature of the game itself.

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The hints are delivered in such a patronizing way and the lack of respect for the player with the “Simon Says” ancient “puzzles” was grating beyond all measure. Simply put, the game is a smug mess, much like Nathan Drake. 

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Deus Ex: Invisible War

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Deus Ex was a landmark gaming achievement. Lauded for its open-ended gameplay and world, the game was met with accolades and is considered to this day one of the best games ever released. Needless to say, the sequel had massive shoes to fill.

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Deus Ex: Invisible War is not a bad game by any means, but when you have to follow a legendary act, you get the short end of the stick no matter how good you are (BioShock 2 anyone?). The game was praised for some improvements made upon the original, but also criticized for carrying over some of the original’s faults such as the enemy A.I. and questionable design decisions. To this day, the opinions of players are still split regarding the game. Some love it; some hate it. It still remains a great game, just overshadowed by its big brother.

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BioShock Infinite

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I said before BioShock 2 was a better game than the original, but surely I am crazy when I say BioShock Infinite was disappointing right? No can do, Charlie.

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Yes, the story, while pretentious and up its own arse, was great; the gameplay and design had a lot of issues and unfulfilled potential. The game seemed to take no lessons from BioShock 2. While the previous games had good gunplay and a degree of player freedom when in combat, Infinite was a corridor shooter. Sure, the corridors were large and pretty, but gone was the player freedom from past entries. While we were promised Elizabeth could bring in various objects through rifts during combat to assist Booker in combat, in reality you could only use rifts at certain points to bring in some predetermined objects.

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There was also the gameplay and world dissonance. In Rapture, everything was tied together by narrative and design. Plasmids made sense in the world because they were integrated into the city design and were included in the narrative. In Infinte, plasmids were thrown in simply because it was what people expected from a BioShock title. At the end of the day, Infinite is still a great game, but we should be honest about its faults. 

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Rainbow Six Vegas 2

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Rainbow Six Vegas brought some much-needed life into the tactical shooter series when it released in 2006. With great cooperative play, gadgets to discover, and tons of weapons to use, the game was a fun, tactical romp in Sin City. The sequel was seemingly another case of lazy copy and pasting.

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While some new mechanics were added and the A.I. of your teammates was improved, the sense of déjà vu was strong with this one. It didn’t help that this sequel was also a prequel. While it was still a fun cooperative experience, you couldn’t help but want for more. Now to see what the future holds for Rainbow Six Siege! 

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F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin

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Monolith Productions is on a roll here! F.E.A.R. was a fantastic shooter and a decent horror game to boot. With satisfying gunplay, destructive weapons (Penetrator FTW!), creepy atmosphere, and your slow-mo abilities, the game was great. So what did they do wrong with the sequel? Everything.

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While you once again played a soldier with slow-mo powers, that is where the resemblances to the original end. Gone was the creepy atmosphere and environments to be replaced with uninspired locales (the theater was good though). The A.I. seemed a step down from the original. A convoluted and unfulfilling story was thrown in along with mech armor sequences. This is probably the only time I will ever complain about using mech armor in a game.

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The game was the opposite of the original in nearly every way. And guess what? Spoiler! The game ends with your character being raped by Alma, the creepy girl with supernatural powers who haunts you the entire series. Great way to end a game there!

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Condemned 2: Bloodshot

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Condemned: Criminal Origins recently made my list of criminally underrated games you should play; but, please, skip the sequel. Actually, play the sequel until the last quarter of the game. The last quarter of the game is where the shark gets jumped five times. Consecutively. The game then circles back to the shark, beats the shark to death, and proceeds to eat it.

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Let’s just say the last parts of this game are so ridiculously stupid, they make Adam Sandler movies look like intelligent entertainment.

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What makes the game great is the melee brawling system and the atmosphere. It is rewarding, visceral, and intimate; not an easy feat to achieve. So for some reason, Monolith decided what players needed where more guns than usual resulting in the most boring peek-a-boo game I have played which goes in complete contrast to the entire game you have played to that point. Also, your character gains an ability to scream which can make the heads of your enemies explode…. Like I said, it gets dumb. Such wasted potential.

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Crackdown 2

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The original Crackdown was essentially a superhero sandbox game where you had guns, too. By using your various abilities (jumping, shooting, driving, etc.), you increased your strength in that area and became stronger. Before you knew it, you were leaping buildings in a single bound, outrunning cars, and had cars that could transform into armored tanks. It was mindless fun at its best! So what did the sequel do to mess all of that up? Nothing at all.

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The developers literally changed the bare minimum between the sequel and the original. A stupid story about zombies (of course) was added and that was about it. Sure, there were some minor mission additions or weapons, but on as a whole, Crackdown 2 felt exactly like the first one. In fact, it felt like cheap, rushed DLC that the developers decided qualified as a full-fledged, full-priced release. Needless to say, it was a major disappointment.

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While writing both of my posts on sequels (which were better than the original) I came to realize there are just as many sequels that were disappointments. As with the other sequel lists, I have tried to limit entrants to direct sequels otherwise I could go on for some time (some exceptions may apply). So let’s jump into this well of disappointment and dredge up some painful memories, eh?

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