Deus Ex: Human Revolution Articles RSS Feed | Deus Ex: Human Revolution RSS Feed on en Launch Media Network Top 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters of All time Tue, 10 Apr 2018 13:40:44 -0400 Edgar Wulf



Devil May Cry 3 (2005)

Twin brother of the game's main protagonist and a highly skilled swordsman, Vergil's movement of his katana, Yamato, is so fast in Devil May Cry 3 that he can deflect incoming bullets with it and, just like his brother, he possesses the ability to transform into a demon form, further improving his speed and strength. These qualities make Vergil a formidable foe in the numerous encounters against him.




This concludes the list. Do you agree with any of the entries? Who would you add? Let us know in the comments below.


If you can't get enough of badass video game characters, then check out this follow-up list. And for more fun compilations such as this one, stay tuned to GameSkinny.


Samus Aran

Metroid (1986)

A bounty hunter best known for providing one of the biggest surprises in gaming history, Metroid's Samus traverses a fictional universe, exploring uncharted planets and tracking down space-pirates. She uses a powerful arm-cannon as her primary weapon and can turn herself into a morph-ball to evade incoming attacks or reach otherwise inaccessible locations. Whenever she defeats a particularly powerful foe in combat, she is able to gain its ability or improve an existing one.



Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999)

Once a vampire and a lieutenant to the most powerful among them -- Kain -- Soul Reaver's Raziel is sent to his death after being considered too threatening to Kain's position in the hierarchy. Stripped of his flesh and aesthetics, Raziel is resurrected by an old god, and now, in a wraith form, his thirst for blood has been replaced by consumption of souls. He's determined to exact revenge on his former comrades and on Kain himself, claiming their powers as his own.


Lara Croft

Tomb Raider (1996)

This young lady needs no introduction; Tomb Raider's Lara is one of the most recognizable characters in gaming. Known for her athleticism, smarts, and signature dual pistols, she has been raiding tombs, uncovering long-lost artifacts, and breaking men's hearts for over two decades. She is skilled at translating ancient scripts and activating complex contraptions, and during combat, she relies on dexterity and stealth rather than brute force.



God of War (2005)

While not exactly the most likable character, God of War's Kratos deserves a spot simply by being a Greek-god-killing machine. His biggest asset is his unquenchable anger, and the many weapons he uses act mostly as stress-balls for him -- something to grip tightly. Should he ever find himself disarmed, he will tear the opponent's head off with his bare hands, which he actually did with Helios'. For Kratos, it was just a normal Monday.


Isaac Clarke

Dead Space (2008)

Not your typical superhero, Dead Space's Isaac Clarke is an engineer who, along with a small crew, finds himself stranded on a seemingly abandoned starship after following its distress signal. Initially armed with nothing but a plasma cutter and, quite possibly, the coolest-looking suit ever made, he must battle through hordes of Necromorphs and uncover the source of their origin, acquiring military-grade weaponry as he traverses the dismal halls of the ship.



The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (2015)

Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon, or simply Ciri, is a carrier of powerful elder blood and, much like the The WItcher 3's protagonist, Geralt, a trained witcher, which makes her a skilled sword fighter. She commands a unique blink ability, which allows her to teleport quickly around enemies and strike from behind. Due to her supernatural abilities, she is being pursued by The Wild Hunt, a group of elves whose intent is to take possession of her powers. Despite the odds, Ciri is able to overcome seemingly insurmountable adversaries, often all on her own.



Final Fantasy X (2001)

An experienced warrior and a guardian to summoner Yuna, one of Final Fantasy X's protagonists, and formerly to her father. Auron carries an oversized katana in one hand and only unsheathes his other arm during combat to add more power behind each strike, which makes him command an intimidating presence even against the most formidable foes. The liquid in his flask, which is probably booze (definitely booze), is often used to ignite the katana for certain special attacks.


Albert Wesker

Resident Evil (1996)

Killed by a tyrant whom he himself helped create, Resident Evil's Wesker survives thanks to a prototype virus circulating in his veins. As a result, he becomes the series' super-villain, possessing incredible speed and strength, and an even greater ego, the combination of which, apparently, allows him to catch incoming missiles with his hands. He never misses an opportunity to mock his opponents and is only willing to spend no more than seven minutes of his precious time to deal with them.


Adam Jensen

Deus Ex: Human Revolution (2011)

After being killed by members of a black ops team during an attack on the company he works for, Deus Ex: Human Revolution's Adam Jensen is brought back to life via advanced body augmentations (even though he didn't ask for it). Armed with resolve and powerful new tools at his disposal -- including various vision enhancements and the ability to turn himself invisible or punch people through walls -- he sets out to uncover the truth behind the attack and take revenge on the group that destroyed his life.


(this is Part 1 of the compilation; for Part 2 follow this link)


The world of games is saturated with varied characters. There are brave, cute, intelligent, strong characters, and then there are badasses -- characters who stand out, whether due to their physical or mental attributes, their manner of speech, or their unique appearance. Regardless, they usually don't require the assistance of others to succeed and can conquer hardships all by themselves, should the need arise. This list features 10 of the most suitable characters in the category, and it was assembled based on the following criteria:

  • Only one character per franchise
  • \n
  • The character must be playable at any point in the particular series or be part of a playable party
  • \n

Each entry will contain the name of the character, the game they first appeared in and its release year, as well as a brief description. Click through to view the characters in alphabetical, not necessarily numerical, order.


Disclaimer: The writer's opinions herein are his own and might not coincide with those of the other 7+ billion people living on Earth.

Play These Shooters to Prepare for Far Cry 5 Sun, 11 Mar 2018 13:46:13 -0400 Sjaak den Heijer


That wraps up our picks for 7 shooters to get you ready for Far Cry 5. If you've got a pick to add to this list, be sure to let us know in the comments. I hope you are all as excited for Far Cry 5 as we are and are able to bear the long wait. In the meantime, don't forget to stay tuned to Gameskinny for more lists and other gaming content.


Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Price: From $9.99-$19.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam


Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360


Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a semi-open-world, first-person shooter that focuses on stealth gameplay and the use of a skill tree with all sorts of unique abilities that completely change the way you play the game. Deus Ex is also very story driven and has a wide variety of dialogue options and multiple endings.  



The Far Cry series has been as successful as it is due to many reasons. One of them is allowing the player to get creative with the way they play the game and create their own play style through a skill tree that lets players unlock unique skills that change the way they play. Deus Ex is no different from that. Both games implement such a skill tree very well and give the player tons of options to make each playthrough entirely different.


These games also allow the player to complete the missions with their chosen set of skills. Your skills decide how you will have to complete that mission and decide the way you have to play the game overall. Almost like a Metroidvania. If you want to see what play style suits you best, be sure to check out Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


Crysis 3


Price: From $9.99-$19.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Origin


Available on: PC, PS3, Xbox 360


Crysis 3 is a first-person shooter that lets you play the game in two ways: either use stealth to take out enemies one by one, or run in guns blazing and cause total mayhem. Most people will know the Crysis games for their graphical capabilities, but don't be fooled -- they are much more than just tech demos.



Crysis 3 is much more contained and linear than Far Cry 5, but both games understand the awesomeness of blending stealth gameplay with awesome firefights. Both games let you decide when you want to try and kill enemies with stealth or when you just want pull out a rocket launcher and start blowing up everything around you.


The two games allow the player to run into a firefight like a maniac by giving them large health pools and abilities that negate damage. Far Cry has quick, on-the-fly healing while Crysis has active armor. On the other side, both games also give the player many options to use stealth, so it's completely up to you how you play the game.


Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain


Price: From $29.99-$49.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam 


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE, PS3, Xbox 360


Metal Gear Solid V is a third-person shooter that emphasizes stealth. The game drops you in a large area to complete your mission, and it's up to you what route you take, which guards you'll silently pass by, and which ones you'll take down. This freedom, combined with a set of awesome mechanics, makes Metal Gear Solid V an awesome stealth experience.



The feeling of freedom in Far Cry when it comes to completing your missions is amazing -- you can approach each mission in countless ways. The same goes for Metal Gear Solid V. It might not be open-world, but the freedom and countless possibilities in achieving your objectives are just as good.


Both games implement stealth flawlessly and give you a multitude of mechanics to work with to stay unnoticed by your enemies. If you want to practice being an unseeable ghost and passing by tough guards like they don't even exist, make sure to try Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain




Price: From $19.99-$39.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE, PS3, Xbox 360


The Borderlands games are first-person shooters that focus on co-op, action-packed gameplay and tons of loot. The Borderlands games are known for their massive amounts of unique guns and their unmatched co-op gameplay that provides countless hours of fun for you and up to three friends.



Far Cry and Borderlands don't seem to have much in common apart from their first-person perspectives, and frankly, they don't share all that many things with each other. However, both games are even better when played in co-op. Playing with friends is usually much more fun than playing alone, and this is definitely true for both Far Cry and Borderlands.


Both games are awesome co-op experiences that emphasize teamwork and the reward of having lots of fun with your friends. If you can't wait to shoot your way through Far Cry 5 with friends, try the Borderlands series to have just as much, if not more, crazy fun!


Tomb Raider


Price: From $19.99-$29.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE, PS3, Xbox 360


Tomb Raider is a semi-open-world, third-person shooter that has a heavy focus on exploration, story, and action-packed gameplay. In Tomb Raider, you'll have to fight through many enemies using everything you have at your disposal, distract enemies with a thrown bottle for a sneaky stealth kill, shoot an explosive barrel to take out a group, and set traps for other incoming enemies. 



Tomb Raider might not have the awesome villains Far Cry has, but apart from that, both games are really similar. They both are story driven and encourage exploration while also having awesome action-packed combat that lets you interact with the environment to create some unforgettable moments.


Story progression is also quite similar. The games both have a clear objective from the start. but achieving the objective is a long way and has several twists and turns to excite and surprise players. If you've never played a Far Cry game before but you do like Tomb Raider, you'll definitely want to play Far Cry 5.


Sniper Elite 4


Price: From $39.99-$49.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE


Sniper Elite 4 is an open-world, third-person shooter set in World War 2. As the title reveals, the game is all about sniping, but on the higher difficulty settings, this is no easy task. You'll have to take many things into consideration, like bullet drop and wind-directions. This game definitely is for the real "sniper elites" among gamers.



From the description, Sniper Elite is nothing like Far Cry 5 ,but with a closer look, the games do share some interesting similarities. Both games are open-world games that use stealth elements, and they both let you approach your mission from many directions.


This gives you the opportunity to find a path to your objective that suits your play-style best but also requires you to adapt whenever things don't turn out the way you intended. This gives both games a lot of replay value and gives the player an opportunity to explore different ways of playing the game.


If you like making up plans on the fly and approaching things from new and interesting ways, be sure to check out Sniper Elite 4


Just Cause 3


Price: From $19.99-$29.99


Buy it on: Amazon & Steam


Available on: PC, PS4, Xbox ONE


Just Cause 3 is an open-world third-person shooter that lets you do whatever you want. The game  throws you on an island with a wide arsenal of deadly tools to unleash total mayhem and chaos. Just Cause 3 also lets you decide whether you want to help the civilians or the bad guys -- it's completely up to you.



Though Far Cry 5 isn't set on an island like most other Far Cry games and Just Cause games are, they both sure let you bring total chaos to all your surroundings. Both game series usually are about two groups who are at war with one another and you find yourself in the middle of their battles.


Even though Far Cry doesn't let you choose a side to fight on, you'll still get to help one side beat the other. Both games definitely allow you to rain down chaos upon your enemies with a wide variety of explosives, weapons, and vehicles all made to obliterate everything in front of you. 


Definitely play Just Cause 3 to prepare yourself for all the explosive action and awesome moments Far Cry 5 is going to bring.


Another Far Cry game is on the horizon, and although it has a new and interesting setting, almost everybody knows what they are getting into with the Far Cry games. However, if you are one of the players who never played a Far Cry game in their lives, we've selected 7 shooters that will let you taste the awesome Far Cry experience and get you ready for the newest installment of Far Cry 5


Top 10 Coolest Mechs in FPS Games Tue, 29 Nov 2016 07:00:01 -0500 Caio Sampaio

1. Adam Jensen (Deus Ex: Human Revolution)

Many games allow you to battle against mechs, some will let you fight alongside with them and others will let you pilot them. What can be better than any of these alternatives? Becoming a mech yourself.


Set in a cyber-punk dystopian future, Deus Ex: Human Revolution players play as Adam Jensen and have the ability to purchase upgrade to enhance his body, using cybernetic implants and microchips.


Through these physical improvements, players can see through walls, fall from any height without injury and even punch through a wall. The protagonist begins the game with a mundane body, but as the story progresses, he becomes a walking tank.


Who needs to deploy a mech on the battlefield, when you can become one yourself?


Which mechs in video games make you feel the most powerful? Let me know in the comments below.

2. Ronin (Titanfall 2)

The developers of the Titanfall franchise found a way to solve the lack of options for players to choose from in the first entry of the series. The second installment of the series contains six different mechs and of them is Ronin.


This robot is the result you get when combining a gladiator and a gigantic robot. Equipped with a sword, it can deliver deadly melee attacks, while it can also use a shotgun to blast its enemies away.


Unlike most mechs that feature machine guns and missiles, making them suitable for medium-long ranged combats, Ronin gives to players the opportunity to get closer and more personal with the enemies.



3. Mech Hitler (Wolfenstein 3D)

In the game that helped to establish the first person shooter genre, players controled an American soldier who had been captured during World War II and taken to castle Wolfenstein. The objective of the game was to escape from the castle, defeating its security guards in the process.


Stopping the possible escape ranked high on the priority list of the Third Reich and when near the exit, players needed to defeat the man who many consider to be the greatest threat this world has ever seen: Adolf Hitler.


Developers figured this was not enough; however, and decided to arm Hitler with a mech suit, equipped with two machine guns.


This encounter will forever be in the memory of the FPS fans from the 90s.

4. Atlas (Titanfall)

The first game of the franchise met an unfortunate end, as the initial crowd dwindled up to the point of leaving most servers in abandonment. One of the reasons for this was the number of Titans available for players to choose, but that does not mean that the few mechs featured in the game were not satisfying.


Above all, one stands out: Atlas.


While the other mechs mandated players to choose from either speed or strength, Atlas was the balance in between.


Presenting players with an equilibrium between agility and force, this mech adapted to nearly every style players could have and this factor made it unique.  

5. Incinerator (Hawken - Early Access)

Currently in Steam Early access, Hawken brings to players an intense first person shooter experience and allows them to step inside a variety of mechs, which players can customize as they wish.


Of all robots players can pick, one stands out: the Incinerator. Capable of delivering damage to several enemies at once, using its weapons to set opponents on fire, while protecting its allies, by absorbing the energy from the attacks of other mechs, this robot is designed to leave a trace of destruction behind.

6. Liberty Prime (Fallout 3)

Fallout 3 presented players with the opportunity to witness one of the greatest combat assets ever seen in a video game. Equipped with an eye laser and tactical nuclear bombs, it can turn the entire battlefield into ashes with the blink of an eye.


Initially built  to fight against the Chinese army, this mech fights alongside the player, in order to storm the wastelands of the post-apocalyptic version of Washington D.C.

7. REV9 Power Armor (F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origin)

The first mech of this list that players actually control. In the F.E.A.R. franchise, players may feel depowered, as they need to take down a legion of supernatural creatures, an army of elite security guards and a battalion of telepathically controlled super soldiers.


There is a moment in the second game of the franchise; however, when all of this changes. As players strap themselves in the cockpit of the REV9 Power Armor, nothing can stop them, as they blast their way through the enemy lines.


Equipped with rockets that can take down several enemies at once and a machine gun, for more precise shooting, this mech can suit the style of each player.

8. Gaige, the Mechromancer and Death Trap (Borderlands 2)

Borderlands 2 makes another appearance in this list with the fifth playable character of the game. Back in High School, Gaige built a robot, named Death Trap to protect her from bullies and once she moved to the wastelands of Pandora, the dynamic duo started to fight a different type of bandit.


Players who chose to play with her were able to summon Death Trap, a small mech capable of attacking enemies with a variety of melee attacks that will keep its master safe from the foes of the wasteland, and from bullies.  

9. The Badassasaurus (Borderlands 2: Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage)

The world of the Borderlands 2 created an unlikely combination of comedy and a first person shooter. Developers achieved the comedic tone of this game through many techniques and one of them consisted of allowing players to face absurd enemies.


This was the case of the final boss of the Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage DLC, where players needed to take down not only a gigantic mech, but also what characters in the game described as a “Giant Goddamn Metal T-Rex”.  Because a giant robot was not deadly enough.

10. Mech Dog (Wolfenstein: Thew New Order)

This installment of the franchise offered players a perspective of how the world could have changed for the worst. In an alternate reality where the Nazis have won World War II, players must fight along with the resistance, in order to claim Earth back from the hands of the Third Reich.


Throughout the journey, players encounter many types of enemies, including the Mech Dog. While it is not very strong, its agility makes it perfect to ambush players that will need to be faster than the machine.


This enemy offers balance in the experience, as most of the enemies are human and move slowly. The mech dog changes that and developers often used it to catch players off-guard, using the old trick of creating patterns and then breaking them. Once players had become accustomed to the normal enemies, the game caught them by surprise, by throwing the mech dog in the combat.




If you are reading this, it means you have an interest in video games. You have probably played games that made you feel powerful, by giving you swords, rifles, grenades and every kind of arm you can imagine (Deus Ex: Mankind Divided allows you to fire a blade out of your arm). Only, nothing beats the sensation of piloting a gigantic robot, as you blast your way through the ones who dare to stand in your way.


Video games are cool already, but by adding mechs, the “coolness factor” is multiplied by a factor of 10.


Either fighting or piloting them, every time you encounter a mech in a game, you know that's the perfect moment to grab a beer and kick some rear. But in a universe full of dazzling machinery, it is hard to pick your favorite one. In order to ease your burden, we have taken that task for you. You are welcome.


We listed the ten coolest mechs featured in first person shooters. Strap in and check them out.

Top 10 Games Set in Political Dystopias Mon, 07 Nov 2016 06:00:01 -0500 Justin Michael


We all know what the best dystopia is though, no not Equilibrium. But 1984, George Orwell's 1949 book, turned movie that released in 1984. Some of these games have come close to matching the detail of 1984, with Deus Ex: Human Revolution coming closest.


What are some games you feel have a dystopian theme? Let me know in the comments below.

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

While many would look at Skyrim as a fantasy RPG the story has a heavy political agenda. You're in a world at the brink of a civil war between the Nords of Skyrim and the Imperial Legion of Cyrodiil. The Jarls of the various holds across Skyrim also have their own agendas and corruption can be found throughout the land in all manners.


As the Dragonborn, you can choose whose side to join, or not join a side at all. The beauty of these types of games is that it does not punish you to remain impartial, even if it does limit your options later down the line.

Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

The Phantom Pain is a game rife with politics and dystopia. For starters, you play as Big Boss, a legendary soldier turned leader of the mercenary outfit Militaires Sans Frontieres (Military Without Borders). You and your men are willing to fight for anyone and anything, as long as the price is right.


The game has a number of controversial topics within it such as child soldiers, blood diamonds, nuclear armament, and unethical human testing. There is also a number of flashbacks to moments of extreme violence from Big Boss' past that breach the topic of PTSD in those who experience the harsh realities of war.

Fallout 3

What could be more of a political dystopia than post-apocalypse Washington D.C.? In Fallout 3 you play as a vault dweller who leaves the safety of the vault to find your father, who leaves the vault without saying a word.


Civilization is doing what it does best in the fallout wastelands -- trying to rebuild and even flourish. Throughout your journey looking for your father, you'll encounter settlements of hopeful wastelanders just trying to survive, raider scum, remnants of the former government, and the Brotherhood of Steel. Along the way you'll make choices that will not only affect you, but the fate of those who call the wastes their home.

Red Faction: Guerrilla

With a word like Guerrilla in the title, you can expect that the game has a certain level of dystopia. In Red Faction: Guerrilla you play as Alec Mason, a simple mining engineer looking to start a new life with his brother mining on Mars. The Earth Defense Force, the main corporation in charge of the mining operations, however, have other plans and kill your brother, who was a member of Red Faction, a resistance movement.

S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Shadow of Chernobyl

Shadow of Chernobyl puts you in the boots of a stalker -- a scavenger mercenary that illegally trades artifacts from "The Zone." There are many other factions in the zone that are vying for control over the artifacts that you'll encounter, some friendly and some that shoot on sight. Who you chose to interact with molds your relations with the other groups in this hostile, unforgiving environment.


Welcome to Rapture, where the people are insane and everything wants to kill you. It wasn't always this way, Rapture used to be a thriving utopia and haven to the social elite removed from the law of the surface world. I mean, what could go wrong?


Everything went wrong.


The population became divided, a resistance grew, and a battle was waged. You just happened to get stuck dealing with the aftermath as Jack, the sole survivor of a plane crash. Given the circumstances wouldn't you rise up against the tyrant running Rapture? Even go so far as to Kill him? Would you kindly...


This list would not be complete without a mention of Dishonored, a game all about political dystopia, deception, and revenge. You are Corvo Attano, bodyguard to the Empress of the Isles and you've been framed for her murder. Throughout the game, you learn more about the coup that made you a scapegoat as you dole out revenge while doing the Loyalists, a resistance group fighting to restore Dunwall to former glory.

Metro 2033

Metro 2033 takes place in post-nuclear Russia and has some very interesting elements of political dystopia. For the most part, society has survived this devastation and is starting to rebuild in the Metro, the subway system that the fortunate few were able to escape the nuclear destruction. However, the peace is dangling precariously in the balance between the rising tensions between the 2 main political factions -- the Fourth Reich and the Red Line, communists who follow Stalinist ideology.

Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor

Shadow of Mordor takes a very interesting approach to political dystopia by looking at the internal struggle for power within the society of the Uruks, the main enemies of the game. As the player, the Gondorian ranger Talion, you can influence the hierarchy of power between the Uruks in a number of different ways. This ranges from assassination, to taking control of a war chieftain's mind and forcing him to do your bidding.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Throughout the Deus Ex series, we play as a character with superhuman abilities at the cost of some of his humanity. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution our main character, Adam Jensen, is the survivor of an attack that killed his girlfriend. His survival came at the price of having the majority of his body augmented with cybernetics and robotics.


Throughout the game, you see just how much of an impact the modification of our bodies with cybernetics has divided the people. The shadowy mega corporations that work behind the scenes use their influence to sow discord, and skew the population's perception on the topic of transhumanism.


A dystopia is a futuristic imagined universe, in which oppressive societal control under the guise of a perfect society is maintained through corporate, bureaucratic, technological, moral, or totalitarian control.


While a terrifying situation to actually find ourselves in, dystopian settings make up the bulk of the societies in games we play and are sometimes the major driving force behind the story. And with a less-than-ideal political election coming up for the US, the notion of creating a political dystopia is becoming more and more prevalent among unhappy voters. 


As such, let's take a look at my top 10 choices for games set in political dystopias.

How the evolution of gaming has influenced the evolution of humanity Fri, 17 Jun 2016 16:01:00 -0400 Jenifyr Kaiser

 In 1602 Shakespeare wrote in his play Hamlet:

“What a piece of work is a man! how noble in reason! how infinite in faculty! in form and moving how express and admirable! in action how like an angel! in apprehension how like a god! the beauty of the world, the paragon of animals—and yet,
to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me.”

Hamlet is commenting on the nobility and beauty of man, but also about his inability to appreciate any of it. This is a key scene in Shakespeare’s play, but it is also a key element in the human condition. Our inability to be satisfied with ourselves, as individuals and as a species, drives us to evolve and grow.

Humans are not the same today as they were in 1602. We may not have grown flippers or extra fingers, but make no mistake, we have evolved and we will continue to do so. Technology has had a huge impact on our evolution in the last hundred years. Believe it or not video games have had a huge impact on technology, and by extension, human evolution.

Where we were

Games have been an integral part of the human experience since the invention of the first board game over 5000 years ago. Senet, pictures of which were found, painted on Egyptian tomb walls, dated back to pre-dynastic times (circa 3100 BC). The rules of the game remain a mystery, but it began a fascination with games that continues today. The evolution of those games is nothing less than astounding.

Over the centuries games have evolved from those simple roots. In 1904, Elizabeth Magie created a game called The Landlord’s Game. Thirty one years later, in 1935, Parker Brothers took this idea and evolved it into the game Monopoly. It took the country by storm. America's love affair with games had begun, and oh what a journey it would be.

The first instance of a video game designed for fun was Tennis for Two designed by William Higinbotham in 1958. It used an oscilloscope screen and cathode ray tubes to display a colored "ball" that could be bounced back and forth across a 2D "net" using controllers connected to the computer. It was designed for fun, but also to show the computing capabilities and the possibility of human interactions with computers. Little did he know how far this idea would go.

Where we are

Computers continued to evolve and change and video games changed right along with them. Micro processing technology was still in it's infancy in 1972 when the arcade game, Pong, was released. Over the next 44 years, games would continue to evolve right alongside humanity. From the first in-home gaming consoles like the Atari 2600 and ColecoVision, to the first personal computers, video games were becoming an integral part of human life.

So, what does any of this have to do with the evolution of humanity? Well, everything!

Oscar Wilde once said:

"Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life."

It's an old expression, but still holds true today. Games and entertainment, the art side of technology, have influenced every aspect of how we live. From how we communicate to how we view the world. Whether that is for better or worse I will leave to the historians, but ultimately we have changed, and that is undeniable. 

According to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA), the U.S computer and video game industry generated $23.5 billion in revenue for 2015. That makes this industry one of the fastest growing markets in the economic landscape today. That kind of boom creates thousands of jobs and affects the financial future of our country. It also reveals something about how we spend our disposable income. We have evolved beyond creatures who simply need to survive, into a species that can create and play in new and amazing ways.

Technology has changed the way we exist in fundamental ways. Access to the internet has given us a global intelligence. Virtually every human, in most major countries, all over the world has access to this network of intelligence via a tiny device that fits in a pocket. When I was a child, we had to go to the library and look up information in a book that was written months, even years before. How was that information kept accurate? The simple answer -- it wasn't, not by today's standards anyways. We have access to an inestimable amount of data as a species and it's all right at our fingertips.

The internet also allows us to play games with other people all over the globe. Imagine that, people sharing entertainment, laughing, communicating, enjoying life and doing it with people they may have never met. It is entirely possible for a Muslim, a Jew, and a Christian to be playing the same game at the same time. A gay person and a straight person might be duking it out in Call of Duty, all the while laughing and having fun and no actual blood being spilled.

Games are connecting us to one another in unprecedented ways. They give us more than just entertainment. They give us hope, joy, and a connection to the world. We are changing and evolving in ways few people take the time to notice. It really is quite amazing.

Where we are going

Video games and technology are advancing hand in hand into the future. In order to make bigger and better games, the computer industry has to make bigger and better processors. That is convenient since Moore's Law states that the number of transistors in a dense integrated circuit doubles approximately every two years. That means that processors continue to get better and faster, year after year.

As technology advances, so does the innovations that affect our evolution as a species. Yes, while cell phones and tablets keep getting better we're much more capable of watching our silly cat videos on the go, but so much more is happening than that.

Prosthetics is a huge industry now and innovation happens constantly in that field. Through the surgical implantation of micro electronics in the brain an amputee can now move prosthetic limbs just by thinking about it. The advances in that field will, one day, change how we see ourselves as a species. Will we ever reach a point where humans with perfectly good limbs will choose to replace them with bionics because they make us stronger and faster? Only time will tell.

This is a theme much explored in the Deus Ex game series. The latest installment, Deus Ex: Human Revolution has inspired a renewed interest in the field, or perhaps a re-doubled interest would be more accurate. Despite the decidedly dystopian tone of the games, people are excited about the possibilities it may predict. After the release of one their gameplay trailers the developers began receiving inquiries from amputees asking to purchase the artificial limbs featured in the game. Sadly they don't make artificial limbs, just video games. 

One company -- Open Bionics is actually working with the game designers to design prosthetic limbs modeled after the one worn by the main character, Adam Jensen. It will eventually be available to anyone at a lower price point than any prosthetic device in history. The company claims they will make the design files open source, so anyone with a 3D printer will be able to make one. (Read more on this in our interview with Open Bionics.)


Virtual reality is another field inspired by gaming, but will advance us as a culture. The practical applications are staggering. Imagine being able to tour Pompeii they way it would have looked before the whole rivers of lava thing happened. We can do that with today's technology. Imagine the first manned mission to mars, being there in the spacecraft with the astronauts as they take off on that adventure. We might be able to see and experience these and many more things. There is a huge difference between reading about history and actually living it.  

Wearable technology like heads-up display glasses and smart watches are making technology more accessible and easier to integrate into our daily lives. Are we one step away from surgical implants that put the tech right into our bodies? Some experts think that is exactly what comes next. While this frightens many people and raises significant ethical questions, there is a group that call themselves "Transhumanists" that embrace this kind of future.

Love it or hate it, fear it or accept it, one thing is certain -- technology has changed our lives and video games have been a huge part of that evolution. Where we go from here is anyone's guess, but you can bet that technology and games will play a major part in our lives for many years to come.  

A Look Back at What Made Resident Evil 4 so Great Fri, 17 Jun 2016 06:30:01 -0400 John Robson

Time for a detailed, nostalgia-invoking trip down memory lane looking at possibly one of the greatest video games ever unleashed upon the world. Let's delve into what made Resident Evil 4 so great, and which games were ultimately influenced by its design decisions, mechanics, features, etc.

What Resident Evil 4 Did Right

Seamless Cinematic Feel

Resident Evil 4 introduced a seamless transition between gameplay and cinematics which, at the time of the game's release, was generally considered legendary among critics. Gone were the classic Resident Evil cut-scenes where characters would magically shift from low-polygonal, fairly lifeless creations to glorious, high-definition realizations of themselves.

Characters in RE4 would always appear exactly the same regardless of whether there were important moments or not. Scenes of intensive moments featuring various characters in quick time events (QTEs) would blend seamlessly between regular cut-scenes and gameplay -- and then back again without a hitch.


The fourth official offering of the series introduced a completely different camera, much to the surprise of long-time fans. Gone were the days of simply aiming in an enemy's general direction and pulling the trigger, or aiming upwards or downwards to deal with flying or crawling adversaries, respectively. This camera hovered slightly behind the protagonist's shoulder at a distance which ingeniously allowed players the full view of the character, while allowing just enough room behind to notice approaching enemies from the rear. Furthermore, when players decided to aim their weapons, the camera zoomed in appropriately, allowing the player a closer look at their potential targets.

Action-orientated Gameplay

The gameplay in this installment was purposely more frantic, featuring opponents who were more intelligent than opponents from earlier offerings in the franchise. Enemies would be in large crowds, occasionally attempting flanking maneuvers, or approaching from multiple entry points; this meant players naturally would need to be cautious and intelligent regarding positioning and advancing in occupied areas.

Weapons were another aspect of this more frenetic approach to combat. Now, for the first time in the series, weapons actually needed to be reloaded in real-time, so, there was no hiding in the menu combining ammunition with the weapon. If players weren't careful, enemies would gleefully throw their weapons, or bash them with their weapons, during these reloading sequences, so timing was absolutely crucial.

Hit Zones

Taking a certain amount of influence from classic first-person shooters, enemies featured different hit zones. Depending on where they were hit, adversaries would react accordingly. So if they're shot in the arms while wielding a sickle, they'd drop it. If enemies were hit in the arms while attacking, that would also temporarily stun them, allowing follow-up attacks. One of the greatest aspects of this hit detection was the ability to actually shoot weapons out of the air once the opponents threw them.

But that wasn't all the hit detection goodness. Shots at an opponent's legs would temporarily immobilize adversaries, knocking them down. The useful aspect of this wasn't simply just enemy immobilization, but the ability to utilize a physical attack like a kick. Headshots were unsurprisingly also available and these also stunned the adversaries, allowing players the opportunity to unleash another completely different attack.

Immersive Aiming

The laser sight was completely different to what players were typically used to. Instead of a conventional aiming reticle, the laser sight was utilized for aiming at opponents. This was an interesting addition that made aiming at opponents more realistic and made players ultimately feel more immersed in the experience. The other positive aspect of this particular feature was the obvious fact there was more room on the screen without any aiming reticles taking up space.

Blending On-screen Prompts with Gameplay

On-screen prompts were another intriguing addition to this fourth Resident Evil and they blended seamlessly with general gameplay; these prompts were notably available for combat actions like kicks, which were utilized after stunning or immobilizing opponents. Prompts were also available during quick time events, and these weren't used too frequently to be suffocating. If the player failed to press the correct button during the former variety of button prompts, the character simply wouldn't perform the correlating action. But, if the player failed to press the appropriate button combinations during the quick time events, they'd unfortunately become intimately familiar with the dreaded game over screen.

Inventory System

The inventory screen, like many mechanics and features in Resident Evil 4 was completely different from the previous series' offerings. Instead of a chocolate bar-like 6-10 slot inventory system, things were now much, much larger, allowing players to utilize a large attaché case for storing copious amounts of equipment. This inventory system was significantly more complex and dynamic, allowing players the opportunity to complete different actions on their stored items.

It was possible to move items around the inventory and rotate them so they were in a preferred order. This was kind of like inventory customization and allowed players to be painstakingly pedantic regarding whether weapons were at the top, or restoratives etc. The inventory system could even be upgraded several times, allowing more impressive weapons to be carried all at once.

(The inventory screen)

Item Attainment

As this chapter of Resident Evil was significantly more action-orientated when compared with previous games, naturally players required more consumables. Fortunately, the game had an ingenious, if slightly unrealistic, way of delivering ammunition when it was needed. Fallen adversaries would often drop the actual bullets needed for the weapons in the protagonist's inventory; this system was perfect for keeping the action going and especially useful when ammunition stocks were depleted.

Health restoratives were also dropped by adversaries; some of these happened just often enough so the player didn't have too many to choose from at any time. Enemies would really only ever drop them if the player was without many restoratives, or if health was particularly low. The genius of this system relates to balancing and keeping the experience challenging.

Weapon Upgrades

Weapon improvements were a completely different addition to the franchise. Sure, in previous installments, there were occasionally weapons parts resulting in more powerful weapons when combined, but now weapons could be improved in a number of different aspects. Weapons could be enhanced in four different ways: firepower, firing speed, reload speed and capacity. What made this system particularly ingenious was the money required for each enhancement. Since every opponent would have a chance of dropping such currency, it made players honestly care about attaining enough for the next upgrade because, deep down, players really knew and cared about such upgrades.

Even better regarding the system was, once the final painstaking improvement was applied, a special upgrade could be applied. This enhancement would either increase damage, capacity or would have other effects. Certain weapons even had their own unique attachments. Sniper rifles could have different scopes attached and several of the smaller weapons even had stocks available for reduced recoil. Customization was a massive thing in Resident Evil 4, and the fact it was only available after various instances in the game meant it wasn't too readily available and things were suitably balanced.

(The Resident Evil 4 weapon upgrade screen)

Health System with Upgrades

The health system also underwent alterations compared to previous iterations in the series. Instead of frequently accessing the inventory screen to discover the character's current condition, there was a constant health reminder featured within the HUD. The health addition to the HUD wasn't too large, either, so most of the screen remained perfectly unobstructed. Another notably useful feature of the health system was the color change which occurred when players took damage. With plenty of health the colour would be green; with around half it would change orange; under 25% health it would be red. The color feature was a useful reminder to keep on top of things, lest players become once again acquainted with the game over screen.

A completely unique feature to the Resident Evil series was the ability to increase the protagonist's health. Instead of the common green and not-so-common red herbs, there were yellow herbs. These herbs, when combined with the aforementioned varieties, would increase the character's health by around a third of a block. As the character's health began at five blocks, this meant it was possible to increase health significantly beyond this amount; the actual increase was 100%, so that meant ten blocks were available in total.

Challenge and Balance Updated Accordingly

One of the greatest aspects of Resident Evil 4 was how everything gradually progressed as the player progressed throughout the game -- in terms of the challenge, specifically. Now, this isn't related the difficulty settings (easy, normal, professional) It's more related to the balancing of the opponent's health, the player's arsenal, how upgraded that arsenal is, and how much health the protagonist possesses. Enemies throughout the beginning were challenging and took a number of shots to defeat, while equipment was somewhat limited preventing players from overpowering the games most basic adversaries.

Gradually as the game progresses additional weapons can be purchased / attained and upgrades can be gradually applied. While this was occurring, enemies with larger health pools were also progressively being introduced providing an essential challenging experience. By the end of the adventure, when all of the greatest weapons were available and nearly fully upgraded, enemies were equally menacing and more numerous. This, in game design terminology, is perfect equilibrium -- or balance, allowing the game to continually be challenging and exciting. Resident Evil 4 certainly scored top marks in this department; there was always just enough power afforded to the player.

The Bosses

Utilizing everything aforementioned above, bosses were also wonderfully done. Occasionally, there would be a QTE to avoid an incoming menacing attack, keeping players on their toes. But bosses were naturally handled using the proper gameplay, and this meant QTEs weren't again too suffocating. The different hit zones were active on the bosses, also, but there were specifically important weak points the player needed to exploit in order to attain maximum damage. This aspect made succeeding at hitting those weak points genuinely satisfying, especially when low on ammunition or on one of the higher difficulty settings available.

(One of the many bosses)

Plausible Enemy Motives

The science behind the motives of the denizens of the creepy Spanish village was relatively plausible. Like cordyceps, a type of fungus which controls certain anthropods and insects, the enemy's behavior was controlled by a parasitical organism, also. This behavior naturally meant the host, the Human, was completely without any means of control, but also meant the parasitical organism could utilize the host's intelligence for violent, tactical behavior -- and also human social preferences as a guarantee for its spread and success within that ecosystem.

The secondary aspect of this particular parasitical organism's behavior related to "hive-mind" behavior, which is basically the ability of several organisms in a group to behave collectively. This behavior is commonly attributed to many insects, like bees, but it also applies at times to larger animals like Wildebeest. And people.  

But science aside, the denizens would also behave collectively, making their motives and actions scientifically credible. Only when the queen parasite, Sadler, issued commands did the denizens respond, and they also violently defended their master from the protagonist as the player progressed. That's completely conceivable insectile behaviour and relates to Ants and Bees, specifically. Resident Evil 4 really was quite scientifically plausible.

Feeling of Isolation

While the fourth official installment was arguably not as fear-invoking as previous offerings in the series, there was definitely a creepiness about the environment the players found themselves within. Featuring archaic, simplistic farming areas at the beginning made the equipment the adversaries were carrying more credible. As the adventure progressed, areas became suitably darker and grandiose as the protagonist ventured into the castles holding the corrupt leaders who were living in luxury while their servants suffered in obscurity, poverty, and subservience.

What Resident Evil 4 achieved remarkably was the essential feeling of isolation amongst the craziness that was the various environments. The protagonist really was almost completely alone, save for the US president's daughter and a few other companions who rarely showed. It tried its best to carry on this tradition of being isolated throughout the experience by minimizing the amount of companionship and increasing the number of adversaries. It was this one man verses an army in the middle of nowhere mentality that made it both a survival horror and a great action experience.

Twists and Turns

Like Mario, where players are tasked with rescuing a princess, the protagonist of this game had to rescue the US President's daughter. Unfortunately for the protagonist and the player, the enemy is remarkably efficient at remaining one step ahead -- and there's an ostensibly endless amount of (seemingly psychic) adversaries in the way.

This meant that your rescue target was always just out of your reach. The occasional reunions were always brief before she was whisked away again by some plot twist. This could be considered a positive frustration, though, because it forced players to carry on with renewed vigor.

Another way the game's plot was profound was how it combined characters from previous installments. It allowed for a certain amount of character development between the characters throughout the game, perhaps answering questions of what characters were occupied with in the time between the past and current events. Ada, for example, returned with her unique mysterious charm and impressive athletic/acrobatic attributes, continuing the story from Resident Evil 2 where both she and the protagonist originally met. Menacing adversaries like Krauser, again having met the protagonist in another Resident Evil instalment, came back into the fold as well.

One final aspect of the storyline was simply how the game manages to make players ultimately determined to reach and defeat the terrible adversaries which are at the heart of the parasitic epidemic. Every cut-scene features several of these characters gloating about being one step ahead and how the protagonist has no conceivable chance of succeeding. The cherry on the cake really was reaching their final locations and wiping the smiles off their faces, even if that sounded moderately anarchistic.

(The characters and enemies featured in the game)

How Resident Evil 4 Influenced Video Games

Looking around the games industry soon after the RE4 release, it was definitely noticeable that the game had a profound impact on many developers and their subsequent creations. Many video games began adopting similar characteristics, mechanics ,and features notable to Resident Evil 4 -- and many were very large, expensive, and successful games or franchises.

In order to demonstrate just how profound an impact the game made on the video game world, let's fire off a list of just a few of the games that features mechanics and features similar to or inspired by Resident Evil 4.

Gears of War Franchise

Looking around at the electronic landscape, Gears of War is a real standout when it comes to the third-person shooter genre -- and it's easy to notice the similarities in the way the camera is used. Like Resident Evil 4, this camera was purposely zoomed out whenever the player was moving and standing still, offering a 360 degree view of the character, and zooming in would then allow a similar over-the-shoulder view.

Another notable similarity in Gears of War was the seamless cinematic feel. Like Resident Evil 4, there was always a steady transition between cut-scenes and all gameplay graphics looked very much the same as any cut-scenes featured.

Hit zones were definitely featured within the franchise as well -- allowing head shots, knock downs, and stuns depending on where the target was hit. Then, just like the survival horror masterpiece, button prompts appeared, allowing finishing attacks known as "executions" to be implemented.

Fallout 3

Fallout 3 is another one where the emphasis was again on the over-the-shoulder third-person camera featured within Resident Evil 4. While the amount of zoom could be adjusted appropriately, allowing players a wider viewing angle of their environment, the default camera zoom was very reminiscent of the one featured with the survival horror classic. Even Todd Howard, Fallout 3's game director, specifically mentioned Resident Evil 4's camera as an influence for Bethesda Softwork's version during a demo.

Dead Space Franchise

If there's any franchise which features the most profound number of similarites with the horror classic, it's definitely the Dead Space franchise. Starting from the beginning, the camera in both its idle state and zoomed in version is practically identical to RE 4's. Another notable similarity, which is a rarity among the games listed here, is the laser sight view. Here, there was a laser which was remarkably similar to Resident Evil 4. While different weapons in Dead Space featured different sights, the influence was obvious.

An even more obvious similarity is naturally the genre -- survival horror. And Dead Space was certainly that. While the genre is obvious, the key likeness was the action-orientated gameplay the franchise featured. Enemies were numerous, relatively intelligent and relentless; they featured a quickness which easily allowed players to reminisce about the action-orientated gameplay of Resident Evil 4. Enemies were also humanoid and changed by a parasitical infestation -- the same as the horror classic.

Another notable connection is related to hit zones. While Dead Space's enemies were defeated by dismemberment, basically the same hit zone stuff existed and adversaries would react according to the location of shots. Larger enemies and bosses featured another similarity; this time they had weak points which the player needed to exploit to be effective. Like Resident Evil 4's bosses, (a la Salazor and Sadler), giant monsters had large yellow areas indicating those weak points.

The final notable likeness is related to the weapon upgrade system in Resident Evil 4. Here, the upgrade system is available for several attributes in weapons and even for the protagonist's armor, increasing health and oxygen amounts.

Other notable franchises/games which featured all the glorious similarities are Mass Effect with its camera and QTEs, The Last of Us with its camera, genre, health gauge and parasitical enemy; and Deus Ex: Human Revolution with its inventory and upgrade systems.

So needless to say, Resident Evilwas a really important game with a lot of great stuff going for it. What made the game so good for you? And what other games do you think were inspired by it? Let me know in the comments!

[Interview] Open Bionics Talk Bionic Arms and their Tag Team with Razer & Deus Ex Devs Fri, 10 Jun 2016 12:31:53 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Open Bionics is a company devoted to making bionic arms more affordable for the estimated 2 million hand amputees worldwide. They create bionic arms are uniquely designed based on the user’s requests, giving them a way to express themselves, as well as having a bionic arm that’s both fashionable and versatile.

Recently, it has been announced that Open Bionics is working with the team behind the reinvigorated Deus Ex series. During their E3 2016 broadcast on June 8, they revealed to the world that they are creating a functional bionic arm which resembles the one worn by Adam Jensen, the main character of the game Deus Ex Human Revolution and its upcoming sequel Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.

They now have a full website up, speaking about the project, but I had a chance to sit down with Samantha Payne from Open Bionics about this project and about the work they’re doing.

GamesSkinny (Angelina Bonilla): How did you come in contact with Eidos Montreal?

Open Bionics (Samantha Payne):  We first came into contact with Deus Ex through social media. We kept being asked by Twitter users to create a Deus Ex arm, at one point there was a mini social media campaign launched by fans to get us to work with Deus Ex. This collaboration is really down to fans we share; people who are interested in gaming, technology, and bionics.

GamesSkinny:  In what way has their work influenced your newest designs?

Payne:  The Deus Ex artists have some serious style. We had a lot of fun working with them and discussing ideas. The Deus Ex design team takes full credit for the aesthetics of the Titan Arm and the Adam Jensen Arm. We took their designs and made them into working prosthetics and robotic display arms.

Image Credited to Eidos Montreal

GamesSkinny: Your company’s goal is to “Change the prosthetic industry by making affordable, functional and beautiful prosthetic devices for amputees.” Do you think that making the arms similar to that of Jensen’s will attract people to it, and will it still be affordable to the 2 million amputees worldwide?

Payne:  Absolutely. Both the Adam Jensen and Titan Arms are fully 3D printed. We use desktop 3D printers, for these arms we used the Ultimaker 2 with a Flex3Drive to create the hands.

These arms are so beautiful they are already attracting fans of the game and people who are not gamers. We’ve already been contacted by a lot of upper-limb amputees asking for one of these arms. We’ve also been asked by gamers to create an arm that is wearable for people with two arms, which is interesting. This collaboration has really got people talking about the desirability of these devices. Before this partnership, it was extremely rare to hear someone with two arms say ‘I wish I had a prosthesis’. Our aim is to offer amputees something they’ll enjoy wearing. We’re challenging attitudes.

GamesSkinny:  In the process of making your arms function as well as they do, you mention that sensors are attached to the wearer’s skin, which pick up muscle movements that control the hand. Could you go more in depth on how that works?

Payne:   Sure. We use standard EMG sensing. This method of controlling myo-electric prosthetics has been around for years. It’s the best way we have at the moment to enable an amputee to be able to move their robotic fingers individually and change the grip mode of the hand. The hand will have six different grip modes, meaning the amputee will have the ability to pick up different shaped objects. For example, by squeezing their forearm muscle, they will be able to move the finger and thumb to perform a pinch grip. If they squeeze again, they can change the grip to close the whole hand. They will also have proportional control. This means they can choose at which speed to close the fingers and open them. This is helpful for picking up small and delicate objects. Instagram videos demonstrate this here and here.

One of the best parts of this collaboration was Deus Ex’s determination to make these arms beautiful and functional. It’s not just a stunt. These arms can actually be used as everyday prosthetics.

Image Credited to Open Bionics

GamesSkinny:  All of your prosthetic arms stand out from the other arms that are on the market right now because they don’t try to blend in. How did you come to that decision? 

Payne:  We have moved on as a society from wanting to blend in. In our parents and grandparents’ time, it was best to be seen as ‘normal’. Now, as a society we value our individuality and uniqueness. We wanted to celebrate our differences and personalities. Why have a human looking arm that doesn’t move if you can have a bionic version in the style of your favorite fashion house or hero?

Amputees have been very open about how slowly attitudes have been changing. For a lot of the older generation, they experienced body-shaming for being different. Now prosthetics are becoming cool and a trendy accessory. People are more open to body differences and more interested in experimenting with their bodies. It makes sense to apply that same experimentation to prosthetics which are just an extension of the body. They’re useful tools, and they can look awesome too.

GamesSkinny:  The design for the Jensen arm is going to be open source, which allows anyone to download the design and create it with their own 3D printer. Why did you choose to make it open source?

Payne: Our aim is to see progress in the field of bionics. Bionic arms exist but they are only available for the wealthy. We want to see more people benefit from this technology and we want to see the technology to advance. The best way to increase accessibility and progression in the field is to open it up to as many people as possible.

Image Credited to Open Bionics

GamesSkinny:  What sort of hurdles have you had to jump over in order to create the bionic arms and make them accessible for millions?

Payne: Mostly it’s time and money. We have a team of five incredibly committed people working on this but the problem is worldwide. We need to get these prosthetics CE marked and FDA approved to start making an impact.

GamesSkinny:  Are you planning on making other kinds of prosthetic limbs in the future, such as legs?

Payne: We’d love to make legs and we are definitely looking into it.

GamesSkinny:  With the partnership between Eidos: Montreal and Razer, has developing the arms gotten easier with all this support behind it now?

Payne:   We could not have done this without Deus Ex and definitely not so quickly. The support has been mind-blowing.

Razer has created a unique experience allowing people with two arms to control a bionic hand. This will hopefully get people thinking about the design of the human hand and how lucky those of us who have them are.

Image Credited to Open Bionics

GamesSkinny:  Could you, in your own words, explain to us what inspired you to make these bionic arms and what you’re planning on doing in the future of this company?

Payne:  We’re inspired by children who are born without hands or who lose hands through accident, illness or war. They’re extremely adaptive but we know through talking with parents that there are some tasks where a prosthesis could be really useful. We also know bullying in schools can still be a problem, so we’d love to be able to offer children these arms that help their classmates see that being limb different is cool. We’re excited to be able to offer our Disney, Star Wars, Marvel, and Deus Ex arms next year.

Image Credited to Open Bionics

GamesSkinny:  You say that you want to show people that these devices in video games and science fiction can become a reality. What is the best part about bringing prosthetic limbs, like Jensen’s, to life for millions of people all around the world?

Payne:  There are so many positives it’s hard to narrow it down. The amazing reaction of amputees has been great to see. We feel like people have been waiting for arms that have an awesome design for ages. So many people are excited by the blurring of lines of reality and fiction and it’s a really exciting to be working in this field. It’s advancing all the time and so quickly.

A big thank you to Open Bionics (Samantha Payne) for taking the time to answer my questions. Check out their website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YoutubePinterest, Tumblr, Linkedin and Google Plus. Open Bionics is changing the world of Bionic arms and Prosthetic Limbs, one arm at a time.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided New Trailer Sun, 29 May 2016 10:08:46 -0400 JessDambach

The publisher Square Enix is really creating a hype around the new game Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - The Mechanical Apartheid coming out on August 23, 2016. In August of 2015 in New York they put up posters as a marketing campaign stating "Keep Our Streets Human!". A month ago a website was created that had several articles for "the purists movement", and this website was for a countdown to May 26th. On May 26th they released a new trailer

Mankind Divided is the sequel to Human Revolution, however, the events take place before Deus Ex. The people were living in harmony and then those with robotic appendages became mind controlled by a biochip, causing them to attack and kill the pure humans. The world is now segregating between the pure humans, and the augmented humans. The augmented people are put into districts similar to concentration camps. Your job is to fix this crazy mess. Good luck.

Some cool features:

  • Hack objects remotely
  • Detachable nano-ceramic blade
  • Protective nanoshield
  • Fist-mounted electro-shock system
  • Augmentation that allows Jensen to tag and take out enemies silently
  • More flexible gunplay
  • New weapon: the Battle Rifle

There are different ways to complete each objective, so I think the coolest thing is that it is possible to play through the entire game without being detected or killing anyone!

The question is: are you that good?

Five songs to get People into Gaming Tue, 07 Jun 2016 00:01:36 -0400 Sagger Khraishi

Ever wanted to convert a non-believer into a video game playing badass? You might be amiss to thinking you simply get them to play a game, but instead, one of the best ways is actually getting this non-believer to listen to a games soundtrack. With that purpose in mind, here are 5 songs you can use to get your friends or family into playing video games.

5. Remember Me


The cool thing about Remember Me is that the music is orchestral but also breaks up into a more digital mix. There is a good reason for that though! When a player first starts the game, you don't have all of your memories intact. As you progress through the game and unlock your memories, the music becomes clearer.

Recommended for: For people who like Aphex Twin's music. Or glitch / trap music.

4. Deus Ex: Human Revolution


Another orchestral soundtrack that doesn't sound like it belongs in a game, which makes it all the more perfect to lure people into playing games. Imagine something along the lines of, "Hey that's a cool song, where can I hear more of it?" Plus it is a great game to boot.

Recommended for: People who enjoy music while they eat. Or soft vocals.

3. Final Fantasy X


Moving away from orchestral and synthetic music, Final Fantasy X has a great music score throughout the entire game. This would probably lean towards appealing to your piano loving friends. If you are familiar with the series, then you can also use other songs from Final Fantasy VII.

Recommended for: Piano lovers.

2. Dragon Age Origins

I love vocals in my music, and Inon Zur is an amazing composer. A friend of mine used the music from this game to bring me into it, which I do not regret. It has started me down a path; from playing the game, to my now ex complaining about how I have a crush on a fictional character (Morgana).

Recommended for: People who enjoy cuddling.

1. Guild Wars 2


While the other games belong to single player games, here is something to bring your friends into MMO's. The vocalist for the song empowers it from the orchestral accompaniment. Most people won't believe that you are listening to game music with this one.

Recommended for: Morning alarm ringtones.

Bonus - League of Legends


If you want other ideas for music, you should check out League of Legends. It isn't every day that they hire artists to create the music for their characters, and you do not need to be a fan of the game to enjoy the music either.

Recommended for: Punks.


While it is not guaranteed to make everyone instantly fall in love with games, music is a powerful way to involve your friends and family into things that they usually wouldn't be interested in -- especially if you find the right tune. You know someone who enjoys Enya? Dragon Age music would be a perfect fit for them. An Avril Lavigne fan might enjoy the League of Legends song "Get Jinxed" (the bonus track just above). And for people who enjoy a wonderful piano composition, they might find their fancy in Final Fantasy music. Just keep an open mind and use your imagination.

Backwards compatibility for Deus Ex: Human Revolution; "we're working to make it happen" Wed, 02 Sep 2015 19:45:34 -0400 Courtney Gamache

Come time in November of 2015, Microsoft plans to implement backwards compatibility with specific games through their new feature added to the Xbox One console. 

The way Microsoft has been choosing these backwards compatibility mode editions is through a poll where the communiy can vote on their choices; and Deus Ex: Human Revolution could be a prime candidate. Microsoft has made it clear that there is no promise for games voted through if they can't make the magic happen, but they are at least paying attention to their customers and their wants.Working towards a large goal

A very promising tweet from Deus Ex's official account is leading to the assumption that Square Enix is working towards making Deus Ex: Human Revolution playable on the Xbox One through the backwards compatibility feature. 

Though Square Enix has their work cut out for them between approval from Microsoft, making it on the backwards compatibility list, and of course converting it to play on the Xbox One; they have a large fanbase behind their games that will help make it a reality. After all, Microsoft does need to cater to the fans when it comes to the backwards compatibility.Would you play Deus Ex: Human Revolution if it came to the Xbox One? Could it be a promising edition to Xbox One's upcoming backwards compatibility feature? Give us your thoughts below!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided release date announced Mon, 31 Aug 2015 10:02:02 -0400 Jason Green

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, the sequel to Human Revolution, now has a release date of February 23, 2016. This date was announced by Square Enix and Edios Montreal. 

Back in April, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided was officially revealed after much anticipation. It takes place in the year 2029, two years after Deus Ex: Human Revolution and builds off of the first games' events. The social interactions between normal humans and augmented humans, ones with cybernetic enhancements, will be put to the test.

Mankind Divided will play in the same stealth/action RPG style its predecessor did. The hero, Adam Jensen, will be dropped into a mission and the player will choose whether to sneak around, avoiding enemies, or face them guns blazing. As in a usual RPG fashion, players will be able to level up Jensen's abilities. 

The collectors edition of Mankind Divided will feature a slew of extra content plus a 48-page art book and 9-inch Adam Jensen statue. More info can be found here

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releases next February for PS4 and Xbox One.

How Metal Gear Solid 4 Influenced the Sci-Fi Military Genre Tue, 09 Jun 2015 12:19:19 -0400 Stan Rezaee

June 12 will mark the seven-year anniversary of when Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots brought closure to the story of Solid Snake and his war against Liquid Snake. Hideo Kojima made a bold decision to rewrite the setup of the stealth action genre while taking players to a distant future that mirrors our destiny.

Looking back now, one has to appreciate the game for not only raising the bar for the genre but for also creating the template used by other science fiction themed stealth and military game that has followed. Games like Call of Duty: Black Ops II, Advanced Warfare, Crysis 2, and Deus Ex: Human Revolution owe their existence to the foundation set by Guns of the Patriots.

Military science fiction is not a new concept to gaming as many titles have borrowed influences from classic works by having players fight in an intergalactic conflict in the distant future. Kojima however took players to a futuristic conflict that is closer to our current era with a moral perspective that was born in the aftermath of the Iraq War.

Looking back seven years later, this is how Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots established the template for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

The Changing Battlefield

In the distant future; the face of war has changed for the worse with the advancement in technology, a volatile geopolitical climate and the need for control. These were among the themes that Kojima explored in Guns of the Patriots. It's granted that the works of James Cameron and Sir Ridley Scott had a major influence, but it was enough for Kojima to create his own story.

Players are taken to a battlefield in the not-too-distant future were the face of war has changed into a mundane routine. Everything has become digital in this new battlefield as soldiers now rely on computer and drones to fight their wars. The introduction of mechs into the battlefield has made the weapons of the future become more automated.  

Players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Guns of the Patriots takes gamers to a world in which warfare has become dominated by mechs and computers while the actions of the soldier are being controlled.To make matters worse is players are introduced to an out of control Military-Industrial Complex that could easily be described as Dwight D. Eisenhower's worst nightmare.

Such a concept was once again explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution followed by Call of Duty: Black Ops II and again in Black Ops III Advanced Warfare. Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Warfare also took players to such a battlefield while Homefront: The Revolution will focus on a conflict between a highly technological advanced North Korea against the American resistance.

While the weapons and gear may be the work of science fiction, most of it's based on technology that is being developed. Tom Clancy has always done his research about the changing military landscape while Treyarch seeked the advise of Oliver North when developing Black Ops II.

Man vs Machine

Expanding more on the theme of controlling the battlefield, the player is presented with the moral quandary over the need for a soldiers freewill in warfare.

Technology has allowed for greater control and optimization on the battlefield while trying to make the concept of the hero obsolete. During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

During the course of the journey, players are taught that heroes will never become obsolete regardless of how the world changes.

That may have been one of the major themes in Guns of the Patriots but it was also the subject of Frank Woods monologue in the premier trailer of Call of Duty: Black Ops II. Both of these traditional warriors express their belief that even in a changing world, technology will never replace the duty of the traditional soldier.

Other titles have taken a different approach into questioning if the technology makes the solider or is it their experience. Snake has always questioned the use of technology in replacing skills that are developed in combat. Players also examine such a philosophical challenges with Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution in a thought provoking journey that pays homage to RoboCop.

The Morality of War and Technology

New technology also brings with it a series of new moral dilemma's that we as humans must always confront. Those moral challenges are made even more difficult when the technology is being used in a military conflict as it opens up a new series of ethical dilemmas one must consider.

Kojima takes gamers to a conflict were everything is under control thanks to nano-machines in the soldiers and ID tags on weapons. Hence the theme of taking away the free will of the soldier and depriving them of the human elements. Is this morally acceptable or a necessary evil to preserve the battlefield? On the more extreme spectrum is Raiden along with the Beauty and the Beast Unit, whose humanity has been stripped away only to be transformed into machine or an emotionless killer.

As storytelling in gaming became stronger, many developers went back to further explore such philosophical challenges. The morality of war and technology was also explored in the Crysis series as humanity tries to replicate Ceph technology. Such a moral dilemma is also explored in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, and the trailer for Call of Duty: Black Ops III also gives hints to such a theme. 

These games paled to how Wolfenstien: The New Order explored the concept by giving such technological power to the Nazi's. At the same time the game explored the atrocities that has made the Third Reich synonymous with evil, as the technology is being used as a tool for the Final Solution.

The Growing Threat Of PMC's

While mercenaries have been around for as long as their has been armed conflict between states, the concept of the Private Military Company (PMC) was created by Sir. David Stirling (founder of the SAS) when he established Watchguard International as a means to provide military training to African and Middle Eastern nations. The need for security during the Iraq War saw PMC's grow to become a major industry and a topic of moral concern.

While games like Mercenaries: Playground of Destruction have glorified PMC's, Kojima has taken a moral objection to the industry by depicting them as the primary adversary in Guns of the Patriots. The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay.

The battlefield of the future requires a professional army that is free of ideology or nationalism while the primary objective is to win just to earn their pay. 

Mercenaries have always been seen as soldiers who lack honor, hence many games have followed Kojima's example by portraying PMC's as a morally bankrupt army. Other examples to look at would be Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, and Crysis 2 which feature PMC's as an antagonist force. 

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the most notable example all thanks to Kevin Spacey monologue on the fallacy of Democracy. The main story focuses on a PMC that has grown to become a military superpower that now aims for global dominance by launching an attack against the United States.

A different example to look at would be Deus Ex: Human Revolution which features a PMC having taken over police duties for several major cities. However who could forget about the mayhem created by CELL in Crysis 2 and 3.

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots was a thought provoking masterpiece that was ahead of its time. Looking back now, one has to appreciate how Hideo Kojima set the foundation for todays military and espionage science fiction games.

Seven Games That Should Have Multiplayer Sat, 16 May 2015 14:00:34 -0400 Elijah Beahm


BioShock: Infinite


Why do I specifically cite the E3 2011 version of Bioshock Infinite? Because a lot of what we see here could easily have worked as a multiplayer mode. Calling up tears that have to go on a recharge timer? Check. Using Vigors more like special grenades than as Plasmids? Check. Massive maps with numerous vantage points, skylines, and destructible pieces (such as the blimp)? Check, check, check.


Bioshock 2: Fall of Rapture had an outstanding multiplayer mode, which is why people still actively play it even though Bioshock 2 released in 2010. The fact the best Irrational Games could come up with for Infinite was a pinball-style tower defense mini-game and a co-op mode (both of which never made it in the final game) is depressing. Granted, I realize my suggested alternative isn't the farthest out of the box.


Really, the Fall of Rapture framework, other than specific mechanics like hacking turrets/vending machines, is just fine as a template here. Narrative provided through the player's apartment and audio diaries works as well in Columbia as it did in Rapture. Unlocking new weapons, vigors, gear, and weapon modifiers fits just fine as a progression system. Even maps with little winks and their own narrative touches is part of what made Fall of Rapture feel like a true Bioshock game, so include similar level design here.


Really, all you are doing is trading mechanics. Instead of hacking, include Skyhooks and skylines to ride. Instead of a Big Daddy suit, either have a random Heavy Hitter that can be triggered, or a one team can use the combat blimp like the Gunship in Call of Duty. Make the levels a bit less cramped and... ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Bioshock Infinite's multiplayer.


Much like with Fallout 4, it's just not that complicated to see a multiplayer mode working. I'm sure something more imaginative could be accomplished in a cooperative space, but that would be limited either in replayability or in the amount of content easily made. For Bioshock, competitive multiplayer works surprisingly well, so I'd say stick with what works.


Is there any game you wish would add multiplayer? Have an alternative idea for the ones mentioned above? Let us know in the comments below!


Alien: Isolation


Back when Alien: Isolation was leaked, it was listed as an Xbox Live game with up to four-player multiplayer. This was the original element that interested some gamers, as the potential there is quite intriguing. While we've seen plenty bombastic Alien Versus Predator multiplayer, we have yet to see a subdued, Damned-style Alien multiplayer experience.


In future Alien: Isolation games, Creative Assembly should really consider testing multiplayer. Co-op was apparently briefly tested, but promptly dropped. What if, instead of co-op, we took the game's highly praised survival mode, and take it to the furthest extreme. What if we make one to three players survivors, who have to achieve goals, whilst another player controls a xenomorph alien - perhaps a little bit similar to Evolve.


Players would need to remain stealthy, and extremely clever. This would be the ultimate test of skill for many players, and every death of a teammate would intensify each players' terror drastically. You could still use your flamethrower to deter the xenomorph, but it will do little more than require it retreat for a time before spawning in a new vent. Your resources, unlike its respawns, would also be limited and would require searching the level.


The best part of this is that the xenomorph would be genuinely unpredictable. Maybe the player controlling the xenomorph is overly aggressive and can be easily avoided due to lack of finesse on their part. Or the xenomorph player decides to toy with players, sneaking up on them when they least expect it, and leaving little hint of its presence.


So as a result, we get the cooperative experience that Alien: Isolation could have had, but also get a competitive multiplayer that touches directly on what makes Alien: Isolation such a great horror game. I, for one, hope we see something like that with whatever Alien: Isolation 2 turns out to be.


Dead Space 4


With word now that Visceral Games' developers are open to a new Dead Space game, it seems appropriate for the series to finally settle what kind of multiplayer it's going to have. The first game was single-player because co-op was proposed too late into development, and the game engine wasn't optimized yet. Later, Dead Space 2 had competitive multiplayer that was great fun, but had limited content and a few balancing issues. Dead Space 3 took the experience cooperative, but also unfortunately fumbled its gameplay by grafting in a weapon crafting system as well.


The next Dead Space game could go in any direction, but what it needs to do is pick one. If it's going to have co-op, then its cramp levels need to better support it. If it's going to have competitive multiplayer, then it either needs to seriously retool (or better yet, drop) the current weapon crafting system.


Either way, tightness of Dead Space 2's shooting will also need to return. Dead Space 3 put more emphasis on splash damage and cones of fire, and this took way too much away from the focus on precisely dismembering enemies.


The competitive multiplayer should still retain the narrative focus (a la Killzone 3's Operations mode) that the original Dead Space 2 multiplayer emulated. Except now, there should be more branching options, and flipped goals. Maybe the necromorphs go on the offensive instead of the humans. If humans fail an objective, why not give them an alternate last-ditch one to save the match and get them back on track? Variety is the key to any multiplayer mode, and it is what Dead Space 4 needs badly if it wants to outdo its predecessors.


A cooperative experience should both include a standard horde mode (seriously, why is it only the mobile Dead Space game that has this?) and a cooperative story mode. Except it shouldn't also be the main campaign, or in any way dramatically impact our single-player experience. No story content locked behind magic co-op doors, Visceral.


Lastly, if we really want to be ambitious and include all the above modes of play, then some kind of united upgrade system (a la Splinter Cell: Blacklist) should be considered. Nothing to the extent of Metal Gear Solid: Peacewalker, where you'd have opponents with vastly better late-game gear. Instead, you'd merely be able to spend in-game currency and upgrades on the game's competitive, cooperative, and single-player unlocks.


So you'd play single-player to unlock extra suits with unique effects, play the competitive mode to grind for upgrade points, and chill with a friend in co-op to experience a cool side story. It all works in unison without stepping on anyone's feet. Here's hoping we see something like that in Dead Space 4.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided


I remember playing Deus Ex: Human Revolution back in 2011, and remarking on how well the mechanics could work in a multiplayer setting if tweaked and rebalanced. Now that Deus Ex: Mankind Divided looks to be doing those very same rebalances and improvements, I really hope we see a multiplayer mode added to the game.


Once again, the game's setting offers perfect potential. With A.R.C., Task Force 29, the Illuminati, and the mysterious hacker group, there are four different factions at play. On top of this, the game has three combat-oriented playstyles that all could work well in a multiplayer setting: hacking, action, and stealth.


Imagine it like a mixture of Aliens Versus Predator, Bioshock 2: Fall of Rapture, and Watch_Dogs. Team One has a hacker who opens access to vents and turns on a remote controlled turret he/she can control from the console. Team Two has a stealthy player who uses the vents to sneak behind lines and take out the hacker. A combat focused player could shoot the stealthy hacker, but then be taken out by Team Two's hacker patching into Team One's turret. It's a perfect Rock-Paper-Scissors effect.


The controls and mechanics are also highly fluid and intuitive. Stealth takedowns could work great, but can only be done if you aren't in a player's line of sight (excluding if you're invisible). Combat takedowns can be done at any time, but leave you vulnerable to being shot -- just like hacking. Items could be looted from your opponents and the environment. The quick select wheel/bar lets you easily access your inventory on the fly. Energy bars keep everything balanced, and encourage using augmentation sparingly.


Levels could actually include lots of twists and turns, and the variety of locales available means each could be visually distinctive. Leveling up would unlock augmentations and other new gameplay options. Players would get at least one loadout for each playstyle, which they could swap between lives. You'd also be able to use any equipment found mid-match, regardless of whether you'd unlocked it yet or not.


The original Deus Ex had a popular multiplayer that even got a Human Revolution-themed mod way back. So let's bring it back in full force, even if some of the fanboys will cry "I NEVER ASKED FOR THIS".


Fallout 4


Co-op in the wasteland, Bethesda. We've made a mod for this in Fallout 3 (and partially in Fallout: New Vegas). It can be completely optional, and players can just let a friend tag along (like in Saints Row games). Seriously, this is even simpler than Assassin's Creed: Syndicate's ability to support multiplayer modes.


You could trade resources between each other, including better gear your partner may have unlocked, like in Borderlands. Also like Borderlands, the combat difficulty could scale for the increase in active players. It would be especially ideal for those who don't normally play hardcore RPGs like Fallout, as their more experienced friends could help them survive the Wasteland.


The most interesting potential, though, is if players have different faction allegiances, and they use these to make new quest branches that otherwise wouldn't be possible. Imagine you and a friend igniting a war, or preventing one, by using your various connections and allegiances. The potential in the game's sandbox is very enticing.


No one really wants a competitive Fallout game, and I honestly can understand that. The series has never been about competition, but survival and personal stories. So let us build stories together, Bethesda, and tear down the wall preventing friends from playing with each other.


Assassin's Creed: Syndicate


Yes, I've already spoken at length about how the exclusion of multiplayer makes very little sense when it comes to Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, but there's more to it than that. The game is just basically begging for a multiplayer of some kind, because of its entire meta-game in the story.


The Assassins and Templars are both running gangs, who are even color-coded. You face off against rival gang leaders in the main story, leading brawls against their goons and finally fighting them one-on-one. Meanwhile, your faction accrues power and influence, gaining new gear and resources. That doesn't sound like a single-player game, that sounds almost like one of those Facebook "strategy" games.


Now I am not saying Assassin's Creed: Syndicate should emulate Facebook -- far from it (please Ubisoft, of all things, do not emulate Facebook). All of the traditional multiplayer modes in past games make way more sense here. Almost every mode makes sense in these circumstances. Wanted, Assassinate, Manhunt, Artifacts, and Wolfpack in particular make way more sense. You need to steal from rival gangs and take out opposing gang leaders. A simpler set-up could not be handed to Ubisoft.


The multiplayer could be heavily integrated with the single-player, and better yet, they could finally make offline variants. Imagine having all the content of past multiplayer titles, but you could also play it against bots in-game. It could even increase mission variety. This is so obvious that it just makes the exclusion all the more disappointing.


Batman: Arkham Knight


The aversion Rocksteady has had with bringing multiplayer to the Batman: Arkham series will remain one of the most profoundly divisive decisions the franchise heads have ever made. Fans have begged to at least have co-op. Even at the end of the line, after Batman: Arkham Origins' Invisible Predator Online clearly proved that playing as the Dynamic Duo can be done right in an online experience. And yet here we all are, looking at another solo experience.


Don't get me wrong - the Arkham games are some of the finest single-player experiences from last-gen, and Arkham Knight will easily be one of the best next-gen games to come. Rocksteady has this formula down to a T. That's why it makes no sense to not try and do some sort of multiplayer. Whether it's a rebalanced and expanded version of the Batman: Arkham Origins multiplayer (which for some of us, was the only redeeming factor of Arkham Origins), or a cooperative experience, we want to see it. 


Imagine solving a Riddler house full of puzzles, combat, and exploration. Almost like a hybrid brawler/dungeon crawler, it would require two players (they could choose between the current cast of challenge mode characters and DLC additions) to navigate the mechanical hell-hole and make it to the other side intact. There could be alternate solutions based on what character you play as, and levels themselves could be randomized, like in Dragon Age: Inquisition.


Both Invisible Predator Online and a co-op mode could even tie into the game's Challenge Mode, which has been a staple of the series and kept many fans digging into the game's nuanced combat mechanics. It makes perfect sense, but it needs the developers to take it seriously.


While some developers might feel that staying away from multiplayer improves a product, there are always games that are solid material for experiences gamers can share. With so many new games coming out, and some promising IPs, there's never been so many divergent and unique multiplayer games and modes. So in the spirit of new frontiers, here are seven titles that should totally give multiplayer a try.

What If We Could Stop Killing Enemies in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? Fri, 01 May 2015 11:02:47 -0400 Elijah Beahm

Often times, with even the most flexible games like Deus Ex, we are faced with a situation in first person games where we must choose to kill a fellow human being in-game. Sometimes it's because the game is scripted that way. Other times it is because they caught is sneaking around a corner. But there's a problem with this traditional "stealth or kill" dicotomy that so many first person games depend upon.

What if there's an alternative to that?

You see, in real life, killing is meant to be the final option. You don't go into an arrest with guns blazing and you don't stop a man from running by headshooting him. Yet, in our shooters, we rarely consider the fact that the act of shooting itself doesn't have to be lethal. We're so used to this "no matter where you shoot, the guy just dies" mentality that we've diluted what real life shooting is like.

Take for instance, the example of Deus Ex: Human Revolution. If you shoot a man in his leg, he doesn't even stumble. All it does is register to the game that you have delivered "X" damage to him. It won't matter if he's a regular human or a cyborg; the reaction is always that of a machine, not a human.

Nope, can't be bothered to just stab/shoot your hands.

Do you know what would happen if you shot a man in the leg in real life? He'd probably lose his footing, maybe grab it in pain, and/or hastily shoot back but has a much higher chance of missing. If you shot him in the arm, he might not be able to even hold a gun properly. He'd be incapable of being a serious threat, and be more busy struggling to survive. He might even beg for his life, if he isn't brave.

So why is it we don't have this kind of "death state" for games? We can simulate an enemy being taken out quietly in a non-lethal fashion, why is a loud and painful means only available in a handful of games, and even then, be limited to essentially the same as a non-lethal takedown. A knockout in Arkham City is just as much a kill as in a shooter, it's just painted differently.

What if instead, in Deus Ex Mankind Divided, we could choose to wound or cripple enemies? For once, a non-lethal playthrough does not require you just use the most overtly PG means of disabling opponents. Instead, you walk the line between protector and vigilante. If Daredevil, Batman, and more can all have a no killing rule, why can't Adam Jensen or any other role playing shooter protagonist do it too?

Given the choice, players finally have to face the reality of what shooting their opponents would mean. 

It lets us frame the concept of taking a person's life as a much more personal and visceral thing, rather than simply taking out an PC. Sure, you can just pop headshots and not ask questions, but you actually have a middleground now. You can be the ghost, or you can be the non-lethal John Wick.

For some, that might be a fun new challenge all to itself. To be so talented that you don't even need to get a killshot could be as enticing and rewarding as to slip through unnoticed. The kinetics and speed would be something brand new yet fit the pacing Eidos' Deus Ex prequels have always aimed for.

They could take a note from Dead Space as well, and make enemy design that emphasize certain weaknesses and strengths in their armor and augmentations. Maybe one guy has armored arms but his knees are exposed. Another is a walking tank, but you can break the armor on his gauntlets and make him drop his gatling gun. The potential offered here would be quite intriguing all on its own.

Now, is this actually going to happen?

Sadly, probably not; but that doesn't mean the notion should be dropped. As our games try harder and harder to be taken seriously, we need to recognize the simpler things that we experience in the real world but not in games.

A bullet sponge enemy is fine for something like Gears of War, but for more sophisticated games, we aught to have more depth and believability to them. Personally, I really look forward to the day I can go through a shooter and not have to kill everyone, but still use my favorite guns. Until then, I'll keep using my stun gun, tranq rifle, and stealth takedowns.

[Image Source: Blogspot, Gamerfront, The Controller Online]

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Announcement Trailer Takes Gamers to 2029 Europe Wed, 08 Apr 2015 11:49:11 -0400 Elijah Beahm

At long last, after four years, we shall finally see what Eidos Montreal has been cooking up with their latest Deus Ex game. Following up as a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, the new game is titled Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (I know, hell of a weird subtitle).

It will take place two years after the events of Human Revolution, with returning protagonist Adam Jensen working with Interpol to take down augmented terrorists with powers as great as his own. All the while, regular augmented civilians are being put under an apartheid, pulling Adam between two different sides and no clear right or wrong.

Want more? Can't handle waiting for Square Enix's next press release? Well good news! We've broken down all the neat details hidden in the game's current coverage, from new augmentations to potential plot threads.

How do you feel about a new Deus Ex game? Should Adam Jensen come back as a protagonist, or should a new protagonist carry the torch? Let us know in the comments below!

Everything We Know About Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (Part 2) Thu, 09 Apr 2015 21:55:40 -0400 Elijah Beahm


We'll keep you posted as more information drops on Eidos Montreal's Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. For now, take a gander at the fantastic announcement CGI trailer Square Enix put out!


Here we see all the organizations at work and being manipulated by the Illuminati. What's curious is that in addition to all the named corporations, an ambiguous triangle symbol is shown. Versalife and Santeau Group are also new as major players, the latter not getting more than a passing mention in Human Revolution. It's unclear what roles all the groups will play, especially seeing as Sarif Industries is technically built around a now illegal product.


This appears to be either Adam Jensen's new apartment/office, or Dr. Talos Rucker's main HQ (judging by Rucker appearing in a screenshot in this location). It's good to see that Mankind Divided will not be abandoning Human Revolution's exposition via environment that added so much personality to its cast of characters.


For instance, you can see a holographic map of the world, with numerous bits and pieces of personal effects shoved into corners. There's an appreciation for the old and the new in the design of the furniture, but the way everything is stacked, indicates a person more concerned with their work than cleanliness.


It's almost certain this screenshot is in either Upper Hengsha or Prague. This is also the same location we saw the first person perspective screenshot in. The stacked living containers and hasty construction indicate it might be an Augment downzone, making this most likely Prague.


Hong Kong and Montreal are both shown as locations still actively under use by the Illuminati in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's trailer. What is intriguing is that in addition to a return to Montreal (another location that got cut short in Human Revolution), Paris is shown alongside them. It's been confirmed that we will be visiting a heavily enforced area in Prague where Augmented humans are being held under guard, so Paris itself may not be out of the question.


The Illuminati themselves will have to be almost entirely new characters though, save for one member shown during the intro cutscene for Human Revolution, so there's a lot of chances for Eidos Montreal to surprise gamers with new associates. Maybe some old friends will come back having aligned with the shadowy group?


This particular clip, which is shown repeatedly in the trailer, hints to a surprising twist in how the game world will open. It may be possible that the ending everyone though Square Enix would ignore is actually the ending the game will open on.


While it would explain why the trailer hints to Adam Jensen still hunting the Illuminati group that plagued him in Human Revolution, it is also a very curious choice. This will also unfortunately mean certain characters from Human Revolution will most definitely not be returning. That's understandable though, as there is probably no way for the game to tell if you chose to kill them, knock them out, or let them live.


As suspected, there are full checkpoints with armored (and armed) riot police and guards. If you look to the right, and note the one guard holding a gun to an augmented human's head, you'll see one of the game's new female enemies. Square Enix has said that there will be both male and female enemies. This to make up for the lack of gender diversity and stereotypical roles most women (save for your pilot, Farid Malik, and two boss characters) had to play in Human Revolution.


As if you couldn't get enough Deus Ex: Mankind Divided -- the official box art has already been revealed. We can see Adam, several armored riot police, Marchenko, some kind of new high speed aircraft, and large robots/mech suit wearing soldiers.


A gateway with ARC graffiti on it. It appears to be a sub level of some kind. It's possible some of the rogue ARC members are hiding in the sewers.


We now know that this man is the person standing next to the terrorist leader in the theater. The way the trailer plays out, it seems he is also responsible for the bus bomb that Jensen responds to in the second city (possibly Prague, which is confirmed as a location).


It's also during this scene we see Adam Jensen's ex-finance Megan, in a flashback from the original announcement trailer from when she was kidnapped. Players who finished Human Revolution know Adam probably has very conflicted feelings over what he discovered about his ex.


This conflict doesn't stop there, as he also protects several augmented civilians from the armored brutes, even shooting up two drones in the process. Perhaps you'll straddle a line between augmentation liberator and human protector?


One of the most exciting new augmentations is hinted right at the end of the trailer. It seems in addition to being able to fire his arm blades as projectiles, moving faster than ever, possibly using guns in lethal takedowns, and a new energy blast (a cyberpunk Haduken, different from the EMP blast), we are getting active dermal armor.


In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, we could get passive dermal armor to take more hits, but even then, Jensen's health was incredibly fragile and limited. It seems Deus Ex: Mankind Divided is aiming to give aggressive players a new edge against normal and augmented opponents alike.


Also, as you' ll notice from some of the ball bearings, the Typhoon area of effect ability from Human Revolution has been converted to a grenade launcher round. Considering this is the same grenade launcher from the last game's DLC, this further supports the idea that you can swap ammo types in guns.


The task force Adam Jensen will head up is called Task Force 29. We now know it is highly unlikely any other augmented humans will be working with Adam, which is probably going to be an isolating experience. The team will be focused on stopping terrorists, and will send Adam all over the world, but there are still lines of moral ambiguity, even for the "good guys" at Interpol.


We also now know that Eliza Cassan, the enigmatic reporter for Picus News will be returning now. In the full trailer, she appears very briefly, giving a report on the terrorist attacks pictured above. She's styling a new look that's sleeker and less detailed, much like Adam Jensen.


Considering she and Jensen were on good terms when Deus Ex: Human Revolution ended, it is possible she will help the player. Those who completed Human Revolution also know that Eliza has a few special secrets that might play into the plot as well.


Say hello to your main antagonist, ladies and gentlemen. Dr. Talos Rucker (pictured in the above in-game screenshot) is the leader of the Augmented Rights Coalition (ARC), who are also treated as a terrorist organization by Interpol. He was humanitarian-aid doctor who is augmented as a result of injuries he received responding to a natural disaster.


Much like William Taggert, the leader of Humanity Front in Human Revolution, he has pulled together a lot of clout amongst his respective people. Also like Taggert, his group makes claims of not using violence to convey their beliefs, but that several members have "gone rogue", including the Russian terrorist Victor Marchenko, who we've already seen in the trailer.


What's additionally intriguing is that it seems Marchenko apparently is something of a gray agent in all of this. Considering Marchenko gets a clear area of real estate


"Marchenko is skeptical of Jensen’s place in this world, asking whether Jensen is a wrench – a derogatory slang term and reference to a tool being wielded by the man." -- Game Informer


It also turns out that there will be two ranged takedown functions added to Jensen's suite of abilities. The stun gun is returning as an actual augmentation now, as you can see here. It will take a moment to charge, but if the CGI trailer is true to the game, we get the bonus of having a slightly longer range than before.


CONFIRMED! This is a new area of effect EMP pulse, which can be viewed in action in the Announcement trailer. It appears to be an enhanced version of the Ground Pound Stun you could use with the Icarus system in Deus Ex: Human Revolution.


It's also during this sequence we see Jensen jumping around wildly. While this may be a trailer-specific upping of the action, there's also the slight possibility we might be able to involve parkour with combat ala Titanfall. We'll have to wait and see if that's the case or not.


We thought we had seen everything Deus Ex: Mankind Divided had to show us, but Square Enix has surprised us today with a brand new trailer and some more info from Game Informer. Here are the new things we've learned about Deus Ex: Mankind Divided! (GIFs courtesy of Outside Xbox)

Everything We Know About Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Tue, 07 Apr 2015 18:34:13 -0400 Elijah Beahm


While this final capture happens before the last one, it has the most new information. This city is clearly not Hengsha, and has several things hidden in plain sight, much like Human Revolution's original CGI trailer. First, right above Jensen's head is a new energy drink, which might be a replacement for the "candybar" energy bars you previously had to consume for energy to pull off more extreme augmented moves. There's also what looks to be either a nightclub or an Interpol station bearing the ad.


Even more curious are two details in the upper left corner. First, there's a bar named "The Bunker", and as I said the last trailer was full of hints, so there's a possibility this bar might actually be important.


The biggest part though, is a banner bearing the words "The Vote" and has both a human and augmented hand alongside one another. It seems the world is voting on if augmentations should become legal again or if they should not be permitted. It's hard to make out the rest of the wording, but it is assured that this Vote is going to be key to some aspect of the current political climate and plot.


That's all we know for now, but come April 9th, Game Informer will be divulging more details. It is confirmed for Xbox One, PS4, and PC, but no release date has been given yet.


While we wait, why not pop down to the comments and tell us how you feel about Adam Jensen's return and a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution? Do you think you could come up with a better title than Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? Let us know in the comments below!


Later into the video, we also see Adam come across a bombed out building in the second city hinted to. He finds a charred hand in the remains, and we get a glimpse of what his new casual look is. He's retaining the trenchcoat, but it's more subdued and detail-less than before, save for the short sleeves to allow him easier mobility with his augment arms.


Here we see Adam Jensen sneaking up on what appears to be the same terrorist, giving a speech in an abandoned theater to a select number of goons. Also note that someone is standing beside the terrorists. From this angle, it looks like either a prisoner in a hood, or a partner with long blonde hair.


Here is our first glimpse at one of the game's augmented terrorists. His name is currently unknown, but he bears a surprising similar appearance to Human Revolution's Iron Bull. While it may be relatively impossible for Iron Bull to return in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, perhaps this new terrorist was a comrade working for the same security firm? He could also, if extenuating circumstances occurred, be Deus Ex: The Fall's protagonist, who is currently left on a cliffhanger. That would be a shocking turn of events though.


Also note that all the indicated incidents appear to be in Europe, further leaving one to wonder if Deus Ex: Mankind Divided will be mainly based on the Eurasian continent, or if the terrorists have merely not struck elsewhere yet.


Another reportedly in-game screenshot from Kanobu, indicating that third person cover view will also remain a feature in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. By all indications, it seems a lot of what worked in Human Revolution will remain. What's in greater question are the changes we'll see.


More concept art, likely either Lower Hengsha or whatever other city is briefly glimpsed in some of the CGI trailer footage. It also looks like either there is some twisted sculpture or a hiding augmented human in the upper left corner, against the tunnel wall.


At first, this image doesn't seem all that significant. The assault rifle's coming back from Human Revolution, big whoop, right? Wrong -- this tells to a key decision in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's design. Originally, as Game Informer reported in one of their previews before release, Human Revolution was going to let you swap ammo types in all guns.


So you could use non-lethal rounds, and yet still whip out your pistol and assault rifle. The concept however was dropped before release. Now it seems that has finally changed, as not only the firing pattern and additional specs, but ammo type are all listed much like in Crysis. There's a possibility we might even see a Crysis style mid-battle gun modification mechanic. I for one, would be all for that.


This also is most certainly Hengsha, from the looks of things. We previously only got to see the ever growing city's topside from within the confines of a single shipyard, but now it seems we'll finally explore the skyscrapers and triads of Hengsha with sunlight instead of neon streetlamps.


While it's far darker and more vacant than you might remember it, this concept art is most definitely Hengsha, China. It appears to be the Lower City half of Hengsha, which is a good bet given what other footage we've been shown of two hypothetical cities that will appear in the game. What's particularly exciting though is what we might see of the Upper City.


While we don't see it in action, we can judge what this new power is by both the Game Informer cover and the aftermath that is included in the video. It appears instead of the violent area of effect attack Jensen had in Human Revolution that would kill all nearby enemies, we might be getting an area of effect stun.


There is also the possibility that given most stealth and non-lethal players used the stun gun, it has been integrated into Jensen's augments. That would save plenty of inventory space for players, but would also mean you might only be able to stun as many people as you have energy bars charged, like in Human Revolution with its "take down" mechanic. Either way, it's exciting to already get a glimpse at one of Jensen's new toys.


This is one of the images leaked by Kanobu, but also appears in clips from the CGI trailer Game Informer hinted at with their video. Here we see the wings again. The Icarus symbolism has been a thing with the Human Revolution storyline since its inception, so that is not surprising. What is, is how this scene ties into one of Jensen's new powers I mentioned. Speaking of which...


This is reportedly an actual in-game screenshot of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, confirming that the game will feature the first person perspective again. We also see the handgun will be making a return, as will the silencer (or possible the armor piercing mod, it's hard to tell which from the image) and the laser sight.


What's interesting is that the nearest enemy in the screenshot doesn't look to be attacking you first thing. Instead he's raising his hand like he wants you to lower your weapon; perhaps there will be additional means to deal with enemy encounters?


The armored officers/mercenaries are also carrying what looks to be a new assault rifle. They are also being flanked by unmanned drones, who you can pretty easily bet will factor into stealth. Perhaps they'll be able to even detect you when you're cloaked.


Also notice how the environment has a wing-shaped set of lights? Well, that's not the only time we see it in the current footage available.


While returning Deus Ex: Human Revolution protagonist Adam Jensen will be working with Interpol, it's not clear if he's a special case or if Interpol has several augmented agents. This will put him in an especially precarious state with the public, seeing as he will be one of the few augmented people allowed to live his life in relative ease.


To make up for your social woes, you will be getting several new augmentations. Invisibility is all but confirmed thanks to the Game Informer trailer, and one new power is hinted at (more on it later).


While I want to avoid spoilers here, anyone who has played the game is well aware that your choices in Deus Ex: Human Revolution's climax have a heavy impact on the future of the human race. While there's no word on how your choices will be addressed, it is safe to say that one ending is probably out of the question.


There's a possibility the game may take a note from Deus Ex: Invisible War and make an amalgam of each ending, which seems likely given that the game opens with a dire scenario for anyone with human augmentations. Interpol has created an apartheid where anyone with augmentations is either working for them, or is being arrested. All human augmentations are illegal, meaning the situation has gone from bad to worse for anyone with an augment.


Adam Jensen is back and ready to kick ass with a shiny new laser fist! After several confusing teasers and the first two days of their three day (oops!) ARG reveal, Square Enix and Eidos Interactive's next Deus Ex game has been revealed.


Trying to make the most out of the blunder by Russian Gaming News outlet Kanobu, Game Informer has revealed it will be running a Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (a title that certainly doesn't roll off the tongue) 12-page cover story.


Between the leaked in-game screenshots, concept art, and the brief coverage trailer Game Informer has posted, we can actually derive a surprising amount about the upcoming game. As a fan of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I gotta say, the future of 2029 looks pretty sweet(ly dystopic).


Update: For Part 2 of our coverage, click here!

Humble Square Enix Bundle Sat, 21 Feb 2015 09:45:28 -0500 Lampstradamus

Humble Bundle is back yet again with another bundle.

This time around Humble Bundle is bringing in another Square Enix bundle (making this their second Square Enix Bundle) and as per the usual, what you get is based on what you want to pay, with proceeds going to the developers and charities.

For the price of 'pay whatever the heck you want' you can get Hitman: Absolution, Supreme Commander 2 and you also get the Hitman GO app for the Android.

If you pay more than the average(which at time of writing is $7.39) then you get 2014's reboot of Thief, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut, and the Kane & Lynch Collection. More games will also come soon.

If you pay $15 then you get Tomb Raider and Sleeping Dogs.

In total, all the titles up for grabs cost $185 but as usual you simply pay for what you want to get.

Two Best Friends Play Nominated for Notable Machinima or Video Series 2014 - Dragon Slayer Awards Thu, 14 Aug 2014 17:32:01 -0400 Chris_Lemus

Guild Launch, GameSkinny’s sister site, is once again opening up the opportunity for gamers to vote in the annual Dragon Slayer Awards. These awards help recognize who provides the best content throughout the gaming community. Not only do the awards feature video games and community management, but gaming video personalities as well. Included in the nomination list for “Notable Machinima or Video Series” includes an unlikely Canadian duo who call themselves “best friends.”

Patrick “Pat” Boivin and Matt are two gaming companions brought together from different backgrounds, but they make up the comical “Two Best Friends Play” series on Machinima. Their experience recording Let’s Play videos has existed across eight seasons since 2011, with 117 thousand followers on YouTube and close to 30 of their videos with over one million hits.

While they feed off of each other’s playful jabs and verbalized thoughts, they are a duo that almost did not happen. Still, they continue to showcase how their separate personalities unite with equal interests in video games.

Matt was looking to record a Kirby’s Epic Yarn Let’s Play video with Woolie Madden, and instead, was recommended to film with Pat. The two bonded after the video was completed, but Pat still eventually admitted to thinking Matt was “a weirdo" upon meeting him for the first time.

These ridiculing remarks are a part of “Angry” Pat’s personality, as he is cynical and pessimistic. While he is constantly fault-finding, he still falls for Matt’s playful antics. When Pat is more negative, Matt brings out his optimistic and silly nature, which naturally promotes an elongated but interesting dialogue as they play video games. Even though Matt seems like the easier going person compared to Pat, he subtlety provides knowledgeable critiques created from his previous experience being a quality assurance video game tester for games such as Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

What is most attractive about the commentary they create from Let’s Play videos is the delicate mix of fun facts, jokes, emotions, playful jabs, and live analysis. Their ideas constantly build on top of each other’s; they never let their material settle until they have traded it back and fourth. This constant game of verbal catch shows how engaged and synchronized they are in trying to either agree or disagree. They are not afraid to laugh at or verbally knock just how different they are when talking to each other or playing video games.

To cast votes for any category or nominee of the Dragon Slayer awards, gamers can go to the promotion tab at Guild Launch’s support section of their site.

One Of My favorite Game Trailers - Deus Ex: Human Revolution Wed, 04 Jun 2014 12:37:32 -0400 Kaelan Otto

This cinematic trailer took me by surprise when it first came out. I remember playing the original Deus Ex game years ago on the PC, but I barely finished it. I almost forgot about the game until Square Enix announced it and released a trailer. This game was great because it was a prequel, a lot of people's memory of the story was pretty vague, and it was great to draw-in some new fans.

When the first trailer was shown at E3 2010, an approximate three-and-a-half minutes, it got a lot of people's attention--including mine. A few months later, Square Enix released a director's cut version of the trailer, running around five minutes long. The extended version had more footage, giving viewers some more details about the story plot and characters--the director's cut version was pretty much better than the original.

The Deus Ex: Human Revolution game trailer was presented like a movie trailer you might see in the theaters. Heck, not only it was good, but it was one the many reasons why so many people got interested. Many of us wouldn't have been surprise if it turned out to be CGI movie, I would've definitely paid money to see that on the big screens.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution was launched back in March 2011, it lived up to the hype, creating a great sci-fi story along with some great character developement. Most of us loved the game, our only gripe with it was that we wish it a bit longer and had allowed us to explore more of the cities, especially Shanghai. Overall, the game was fantastic with a great story arc with an amazing soundtrack that I find myself listening to from time-to-time.

If you haven't played Deus Ex: Human Revolution yet, then I highly recommend you check out the trailer for yourself. The game is available for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, there is also a Wii U version that's available to purchase. If you're a sci-fi fanatic like myself, then you won't be disappointed with this game.  We hope that Square Enix will make a sequel in the near future, so cross your fingers.