Deus Ex Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Deus Ex RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Feast Your Ears on the Fascinating Audio Commentary in These 11 Games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:56:02 -0500 Sergey_3847

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Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Alas, Hideo Kojima, the creator of the famous Metal Gear Solid series, never took to the task of recording a single line of developer commentary on his games. However, the fourth game in the series, Guns of the Patriots, includes such a commentary by Ken Imaizumi, the game's producer, Aki Saito, Konami international product manager, and Sean Eyestone, one of the writers.

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This audio commentary is available in the game on Snake's iPod. So if you haven't had the chance to listen to it yet, maybe now's the time.

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---

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What's your favorite developer commentary track? Let us know in the comments below!.

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Grim Fandango Remastered

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Tim Schafer is one of the world's most renowned and consistent game designers. His titles have garnered huge fan followings, and his new games are anticipated by millions of gamers everywhere every year.

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Grim Fandango is definitely one of his finest moments. That's why Sony decided to release a remastered version of the game just a few years ago. It was a great decision to include the developer commentary, too, as it reveals the massive amounts of talent Tim Schafer wields.

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Fortunately, the entire commentary has been leaked online, so grab a pack of popcorn and immerse yourself in the world of mesmerizing game development of Grim Fandango.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11646","description":"

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut

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The Director's Cut of the first Deus Ex introduced a number of revamped gameplay elements, a fantastic series of developer commentaries, and a whole documentary showcasing the behind-the-scenes creation process.

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Even if you've never played the game or have no interest in the Deus Ex series but want to know what it takes to develop a modern AAA title, then be sure to check the entire audio commentary section of the game. Be warned, though, it's long. Seven hours long.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11642","description":"

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2

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This survival horror franchise from Valve was another massive success for the company. So it's no surprise that the dev team opted to provide audio commentary in the same fashion as both Half-Life 2 and the Portal franchise: as interactive nodes that could be activated by players during the gameplay.

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The sequel, which came out only a year later, had the same team record their thoughts on the development process, too, making it one of the most encompassing game design commentaries you will ever hear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11640","description":"

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour

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Here is another cult title from the 90s -- a true blast from the past: the one and only Duke Nukem 3D. The upgraded version of the original title was released just a year ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.

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Allen Blum and Richard Gray, the original designers of the game, return to their progeny and not only deliver additional content to the original game, but also discuss what went into the process of reviving the old files from the ashes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11639","description":"

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

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The very first game that launched the epic Tomb Raider series was released in the mid-90s. Ten years later, Crystal Dynamics released a remastered version of that first game based on the new Legend engine.

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Fast forward to the Tomb Raider: Anniversary bundle, and you'll find game developer commentary featuring Jason Botta, the creative director of the remastered version, and Toby Gard, the original game's lead designer. 

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They discuss each segment of the game as you play through it, and reveal why certain decisions were made in the process of the creation of those particular levels.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11638","description":"

Firewatch

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Firewatch offers a developer commentary as a part of its free DLC, which adds an Audio Tour mode to the game. It's designed in such a way that allows players to pick up audio players in the beginning of the prologue, and then pick up audio cassettes that are placed in special spots throughout the game.

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Each cassette contains a recording from a Firewatch development member who discusses how that particular part of the game was designed. The best thing about this approach is that the recordings are relatively short and don't distract from the actual gameplay too much.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11637","description":"

Portal & Portal 2

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After the smashing success of Half-Life 2, Valve released another title that is considered to be one of the most original game concepts ever devised -- the Portal series.

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As usual, Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, was joined by the development team behind the Portal games and recorded an accompanying audio commentary for the series. In order to access all of the commentary episodes, players must first complete the game. Afterward, the developer commentary mode will be unlocked, offering over a hundred audio segments for your listening pleasure.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11636","description":"

The Last Of Us Remastered

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The Last of Us was a PS3 exclusive and international hit. A year later, it was remastered and ported to the PS4 -- bringing with it developer commentary by Neil Druckmann, creative director, Troy Baker, who plays Joel, and Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie.

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This commentary can be accessed through an in-game menu, which shows all of the game's cutscenes in succession -- with audio commentary on top -- making the experience very similar to watching films with director commentary. 

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Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 3 is undoubtedly the most anticipated sequel to any game ever released. The first two games have set the bar of the quality so high that it will be hard to achieve the same level of intrigue as before.

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However, if you want to know how the development of this incredibly popular series began, then be sure to check the developer commentary of Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 & 2.

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Unfortunately, the development team didn't record commentary for the first game, but there is more than enough material to study from the two episodes of the sequel. Commentary includes anecdotes and behind the scenes stories from team members such as Gabe Newell, Greg Coomer, Jay Stelly, and many more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11632","description":"

BioShock: The Collection

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Every fan of the BioShock series simply ought to have BioShock: The Collection. Not only does it inlcude the remastered versions of all three games, but it also adds to the experience an exciting commentary track from Ken Levine, the series' creative director, and Shawn Robertson, the lead artist. 

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Interestingly, the commentary for Bioshock: The Collection is part of the franchise's world. Throughout each of the stories, players are able to find collectible items that activate new episodes where the developers discuss the design process behind the series.

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The commentary uncovers many previously unknown details about the risks and challenges that the development team had to take in order to deliver one of the most praised video game franchises in history.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173797","description":"

While audio commentary from directors and filmmakers is typical for most Hollywood movies, commentary from video game developers discussing their creative process on a separate audio track attached to your favorite game is relatively new.

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It took some years before game developers decided to adopt the same approach as their Hollywood counterparts. The first game that appeared with such developer commentary was 2000's Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo.

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After that first experiment, other developers also wanted to share their experiences with gamers, and many games followed suit. Here you will find 11 of the most inspiring video game developer commentaries that will not only let you see the the machinations behind your favorite games, but also what drives your favorite developer to keep making great games. 

"}]]]>
The 16 Best Fan-Made Short Films Based on Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ntdj1/the-16-best-fan-made-short-films-based-on-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ntdj1/the-16-best-fan-made-short-films-based-on-video-games Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

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Hell of a DayZ
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People that play DayZ know that the worst enemies in the game are not zombies roaming the wastelands, but the humans, or simply other players. This is also the main plot point of the short film based on DayZ that tells a story of two companions.

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The film clearly shows what usually happens in the world devoid of any honor and conscience, which is probably the best lesson one can get.

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On that note, let's wait and see what else 2017 will bring in terms of video game fan-films, so expect another selection later this year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/736f4de39be17fdd7c320367d3f64cc4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/736f4de39be17fdd7c320367d3f64cc4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10570","description":"
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Shadow
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Here’s another dark re-telling of the familiar story. This time Link meets his dark twin -- the Link’s shadow. The film’s got a few bloody scenes and the whole theme suggests that the bright world of Zelda is not that bright after all.

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It was made by the same team that shot Shadow of Mordor, so there is a certain style to their work -- lots of action in a fantasy-based world. We hope they do more of this stuff in the future ‘cause it does look great.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc118d259e44e5dde688ca81ca79f69a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc118d259e44e5dde688ca81ca79f69a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10569","description":"
Metroid: The Sky Calls
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The Sky Calls is the true successor of such great sci-fi films like Alien and Space Odyssey. It has that undeniable aesthetics of the grim, open space that is as dangerous as it can get.

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There is a lot of CGI in the film, but it’s done very well, and the special saturation effect that resembles the Kodak film strip used in the 70s and 80s makes everything look extra cool.

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If you are a fan of oldschool sci-fi movies, then definitely watch Metroid: The Sky Calls.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/063cce1bab5e0adedfa50d359dde24e0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/063cce1bab5e0adedfa50d359dde24e0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10568","description":"
Sonic the Hedgehog
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Instead of letting a real actor play the part of Sonic, the creators of this fan film decided to go with a full animated character, and probably for the best. The animation looks neat and it blends naturally into the live setting of planet Mobius.

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The film doesn’t try to take a Sonic into some new direction, but shows it the way this character is meant to be -- fast and funny, if even silly at times. However, the danger is real and the stakes are high, so there is more to the story than it seems at first.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e6822fcbc02ade51bf4680d3ab31d50.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e6822fcbc02ade51bf4680d3ab31d50.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10567","description":"
Super Mario: Underworld
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Super Mario in a horror movie? How is this possible? Well, Nukazooka made it possible! It’s a tale with morale that warns all the young kids about the dangers of missing a jump in Super Mario Bros. game, because if that happens, then Mario will go to the most terrifying place -- the Nintendo underworld.

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Anyhow, it’s a really cool concept, it is actually so good that could spawn an entire fan-made video game, but we all know too well that Nintendo will never allow that... but we can always dream, right?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/baa9845b963a8b27160830ca11512797.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/baa9845b963a8b27160830ca11512797.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10566","description":"
Portal: No Escape
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No Escape simply cannot show all the aspects of the original game from Valve, but it does tell a short story from a life of a female prisoner who finds the miraculous handheld portal device.

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It is a very well made short movie, which isn’t surprising, since the creator of the film is Dan Trachtenberg -- the same guy who directed 10 Cloverfield Lane from last year. If you want to see how he came up with his own style of filmmaking, then definitely check out his Portal film.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73f9efc52c7fc7c911ef2a71047be8b6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73f9efc52c7fc7c911ef2a71047be8b6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10565","description":"
Tomb Raider: Croft
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The story of Lara Croft is not only one of the longest-running video game series, but also a movie franchise that spawned two features with Angelina Jolie in the main role and the upcoming reboot with Alicia Vikander.

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Although not a massive undertaking as the above-mentioned Hollywood blockbusters, this fan film is nothing short of amazing. It was inspired by the game that was released in 2013 and incorporates all the stylistic features of it, such as the new look of the main heroine, grim atmosphere, bow and arrows as the main weapon, etc.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2343850d0e4c6af0447b0255c9e9e62a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2343850d0e4c6af0447b0255c9e9e62a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10564","description":"
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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Human Revolution is not a usual fan-made short film -- it’s got a relatively huge budget, it took two years to film... and it looks impressive. The slick design of the game is preserved to a T and the action sequences are perfectly choreographed.

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The actor who plays Adam Jensen, the main protagonist, also served as the editor, writer, and director of the film -- his name is Moe Charif. He is currently working on his full feature film “Exile” that should be out sometime this year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adc5de0375351757c061525cfba19fe9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adc5de0375351757c061525cfba19fe9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10563","description":"
The Splinter Cell
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Ubisoft has two tactical shooters that should make their way into the big cinema sooner or later -- Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. None of them have been actually seriously considered yet, but this fan film made by Atomic Productions is simply staggering.

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The cinematography in the film is mind-blowing and at times even trumps those big Hollywood flicks.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc9e07613b82b978356c3722cc592142.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc9e07613b82b978356c3722cc592142.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10561","description":"
BioShock: The Brothers Rapture
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BioShock series is a perfect candidate for being turned into a few high-budget Hollywood blockbusters with some nice plot. At one point such a movie was greenlit, but due to financial problems and artistic differences it was put on a halt indefinitely.

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Fortunately, there are some really cool short films based on the iconic game. One of them is The Brothers Rapture created by film students from Canada. It tells the story of two brothers who work in the Rapture City and how their experiments lead to some horrific results.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd99b67697f1c1189cec32c267dee514.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd99b67697f1c1189cec32c267dee514.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10560","description":"
The Last of Us: No Escape
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Pocketsquare has made two short films based on The Last of Us thus far, and it looks like it’s not their last one, especially with the announcement of the sequel to TLOU video game.

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The 13-minute long film captures the atmosphere of the game incredibly well. Some of the scenes are gripping and convey a true sense of despair. The sound design plays a huge role in it, and it is clear how much attention the creators paid to the ambience -- these people know what they do.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/31c65b6687504d6d207333332aad2bad.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/31c65b6687504d6d207333332aad2bad.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10559","description":"
Fallout: Nuka Break
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The original short film based on Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas became so popular that the team behind the project decided to turn it into a full-fledged web-series. The first season got huge online very quickly and the Kickstarter campaign was launched to finance Season 2.

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Not only fans were amazed by the quality of the original film and the series, but the representatives of Bethesda themselves gave them two thumbs-up. Later on the Nuka Breaker weapon has been released through a DLC, which was a direct homage to this fan-film.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a9aec8aae923f1e8e87a6c0035d9a53f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a9aec8aae923f1e8e87a6c0035d9a53f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10558","description":"
Red Dead Redemption: Seth's Gold
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Seth’s Gold is a true fan-film made with the money gathered on IndieGoGo from 87 backers that managed to bring in over 8,000 Euro. Although it is based on the RDR video game, the shooting style was inspired by the old westerns, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.

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The people behind the film are two young Spanish filmmakers -- Guillermo de Oliveira and Javier Esteban. They have a few other cool shorts on their YouTube channel, so check them out.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2ed4c54d0f6d1470eac64d8198c694a4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2ed4c54d0f6d1470eac64d8198c694a4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10557","description":"
Watch Dogs
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Ubisoft has in plans of releasing a feature film based on Watch Dogs, but after the flop of the Assassin’s Creed movie, we should all expect more delays and rewrites. There is hope if the production team tries to really ground everything down, instead of imitating the unrealistic approach that works only in video games.

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The good example is the short film presented here that received tons of positive reviews from the community. It was created by Infectious Designer right after the release of the first game, which even spawned several sequels.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/854b7ed1f2babb33b0cd6de5baf62292.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/854b7ed1f2babb33b0cd6de5baf62292.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10556","description":"
Shadow Of Mordor
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This little movie was made in 2014 by Sam and Niko from Corridor Digital with financial support of Warner Bros. Games. The film shows an episode from the story of ranger Talion, who is being chased by a bunch of orcs.

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It features high standards of production, including top-notch make-up, excellent acting, fighting choreography, and some very well-done CGI. The only drawback is the main character’s synthetic wig that looks really cheap, but other than that it’s totally worth a watch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/46a0f0bb87cae12742fefbf807305067.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/46a0f0bb87cae12742fefbf807305067.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10555","description":"
Grand Theft Auto: RISE
\n

There isn’t much story wise in RISE, but the chase scene that takes the two thirds of the film is more than impressive. Gevorg Karensky, the writer and director, created a style that combines both live and video game footage.

\n

The film was so well accepted by the community that it was immediately snatched for the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Sam Gibs from Gizmodo UK said the following about GTA: RISE:

\n
\n

"It blows every other fan-made project I've ever laid eyes on completely out of the water."

\n
"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8c2e4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8c2e4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"153005","description":"

In the last 20 years dozens of Hollywood filmmakers tried to make movies based on video games that would be well-received by the audiences. Unfortunately, only a couple have managed to bring something decent to the world cinemas -- there is a feeling that movies based on video games are cursed.

\n

The very first game character that was brought to life on a blue screen was Super Mario in 1993. The latest one was Assassin’s Creed, which failed both domestically and globally. On the other hand, there is an entire community of amateur filmmakers that make their own short films of video games -- and it is way more successful than you may think.

\n

This selection offers some of the best examples made in the last five years, including fan-made films based on GTA, Watch Dogs, Fallout, The Legend of Zelda, and many, many others. You can watch them all right here without the need to visit the cinemas.

"}]]]>
Release Date Announced For Deus Ex: Mankind Divided DLC: A Criminal Past https://www.gameskinny.com/q3ktn/release-date-announced-for-deus-ex-mankind-divided-dlc-a-criminal-past https://www.gameskinny.com/q3ktn/release-date-announced-for-deus-ex-mankind-divided-dlc-a-criminal-past Wed, 25 Jan 2017 10:31:23 -0500 Michael Llewellyn

Coming via an announcement from the official Deus Ex Mankind Divided website the second story based DLC for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided titled A Criminal Past has just been announced for February 23 2017.

The blog post on the website states the new downloadable content will see you going back in time to one of Adam Jensen's earlier missions for TF29 that is set before the events of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. The mission is to go undercover and infiltrate a high security prison to track down a fellow undercover agent -- who has gone dark -- to retrieve some sensitive information. The new content will introduce new characters along with already established characters from the main game such as Delara Auzenne. 

The blog post promises that Adam Jensen will need to confront a darker side before the mission is done.

The game will be released on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network and other online stores it will also be available as part of the season pass.

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Sciencing the Shit Out of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided's 'Clanks' https://www.gameskinny.com/wvcog/sciencing-the-shit-out-of-deus-ex-mankind-divideds-clanks https://www.gameskinny.com/wvcog/sciencing-the-shit-out-of-deus-ex-mankind-divideds-clanks Fri, 26 Aug 2016 10:00:01 -0400 Larry Everett

The whole series of Deus Ex games, like all good science fiction, brings up a lot of thoughtful questions about the future and technology. However, more importantly, it brings up questions about humanity and how we as a species will deal with possible futures. I will let the story in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided answer the big questions: How will we deal with enhanced humans, will enhanced humans be a threat to those who aren't enhanced, and is there really a divide or are we all still a part of the greater human race.

The question I'm going to answer today might be simpler in scope but is just as difficult to quantify. Unfortunately, I don't have an hours-long video game to help me. Today, I want to know just how close we are to living in a world where augmented humans are the norm.

Cyborgs among us

We all know about prosthetics and other health-rated additions to the human body (like pace-makers). But many people would not consider those augmentations because most are needed to function or survive in our world. To consider them augmented humans or cyborgs is a bit unfair because these augments aren’t wants, but rather necessities.

But we know that some prosthetics can actually enhance the human body, even today. Although Oscar Pistorius is now mostly known as a convicted murderer, before, he was an Olympic athlete. At the time, many people were concerned that his prosthetic legs were giving him an advantage in his races. It’s distinctly possible that he could have run farther and faster than some of the "unaugmented" runners because Pistorius’ legs were thinner and springier than standard human legs. However, the world was assured that those specific legs that Pistorius ran in gave him no such advantage.

Pistorius isn’t the only person who could enhance his body to make himself better by external means. Let’s talk about someone a little closer to Deus Ex’s Adam Jensen. Let’s talk about Amal Graafstra. On his website called DangerousThings.com, Graafstra is called the pioneer of the DIY RFID implantation movement. Simply put, he likes to put microchips in his skin. However, just by looking at Graafstra, you wouldn’t think that he was enhanced in any way, unlike the Jensen, who clearly has cybernetic arms and thingers on his head.

Graafstra’s enhancement are two chips inside tiny capsules inserted under the skin between his thumb and forefinger. These chips have been known to store small bits of data, unlock doors, turn on lights, and many other mundane functions. It’s not remote hacking or long-range communication like Jensen, but perhaps someday it could be -- probably sooner than you’d think.

Everyday augments

There are many people on earth who intentionally modify their body for personal improvement. Grinders (as some are called) and body hackers have their own yearly convention in Austin, TX, every year simply called Body Hacking Con. These DIY augmenters share knowledge ranging from yoga to magnets in your fingertips. However, some body hacks are so commonplace today, that we don’t even think about them being hacks at all.

I would like everyone to check their wrist right now. Many people, maybe even you, wear a pedometer and heart-rate monitor on your wrist, like a FitBit. These little devices are used to enhance our knowledge of our own body. They help us understand what are good and bad habits for us, and hopefully, we use these items to make us better humans.

These technological enhancements to our everyday wear can go far beyond the FitBit. The summer Olympics just introduced us to the NFC ring. This crazy device looks very much like a solid-color ring, and unless people were already familiar with the technology, they wouldn’t know that it was an electronic device. The NFC ring is still in early stages of development, but it functions very similarly to Graafstra’s RFID implant with one major addition. You can open electronic doors and maybe one day turn on lights with it, but right now, McLear Ltd. has a deal with Visa which will allow you to make purchases at local stores in similar ways to Apple Pay on your iPhone.

Will Deus Ex’s world be our world?

We are not far from that world being our own. Most of the enhancements, minus the sentient AI, that you see in the video games are already here, more or less. It’s just a matter of funding and willing victims supporters to step into the machine and have it done to them.

The term “cyborg” was first coined by Manfred Clynes and Nathan S. Kline as a way to describe the enhancements humans would need to survive the rigors of space. At the time, the term was very broad and could include something as simple as protective eyewear, but it’s come to be known as voluntary human enhancement with technology. And if that were as simple as the definition needed to be, then I would say that we are living in a world of cyborgs right now, but as with all things philosophical, it’s not that simple.

I think the key step in saying that we are there -- saying we are living in the Deus Ex world -- is being able to interface with technology directly with our thoughts. We are getting closer everyday, actually. DARPA has high-precision prosthetic arms that respond to pressure and brain activity. So give technology a decade or two, and we will be there. Tread lightly, everyone, deus ex machina is upon us.

That’s how I science the shit out of Deus Ex. Although there wasn’t a lot of hard science in this article, I would still like to know your thoughts. Are we close to having cyborgs among us? Are they already here? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Buying Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/qbrke/deus-ex-mankind-divided-buying-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/qbrke/deus-ex-mankind-divided-buying-guide Tue, 02 Aug 2016 10:07:19 -0400 Sergey_3847

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided continues the story of the world inhabited by mechanically augmented citizens. The events take place two years after the Aug Incident from the previous installment of the game, titled Human Revolution, and features the return of Adam Jensen, an Interpol officer and the game’s protagonist.

The game will be released worldwide on August 23, 2016 for PC, PS4 and Xbox One. The distribution includes four different versions for each platform: Day One Edition, Digital Standard Edition, Digital Deluxe Edition, and Collector’s Edition.

Let’s take a look at all four options and see which one is the best for you.

Collector’s Edition

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector’s Edition

Platform: PC, Xbox One, PS4
Price: $139.99

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector’s Edition is the ultimate edition of the game, which combines all other available editions and adds some cool bonus items. This edition is made for the true fans of the game.

Besides the game itself and all the in-game content, such as patches and DLCs, the Collector’s Edition also includes:

  • Exclusive black and gold "Prism" box.
  • 9” Adam Jensen Figurine that showcases his Titan Shield augmentation in action.
  • Physical 48 Page Titan Art Book demonstrating the incredible art of Deus Ex environments and weaponry.
  • Limited Edition Steelbook that draws parallels between the game’s protagonist and a mythical Greek hero – Icarus.

On top of that, you get a whole set of digital additional content that is also available in the Day One Edition: Covert Agent Pack, Digital OST Sampler, Extra In-Game Mission, and Digital Books.

  • The Covert Agent Pack contains the following:
  • Intruder Gear. If you prefer to take the silent route, the Intruder gear provides you with custom skinned versions of Adam’s trench coat and Pistol from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. Become a ghost in the wind, sneaking past any obstacle without so much as a glance in your direction.
  • Enforcer Gear. Just want to power your way through your opponents? The Enforcer gear contains custom skinned versions of Adam’s Combat Armor and Combat Rifle from Deus Ex: Mankind Divided. This pack will help to get you out of a tight spot, leaving only bullet holes in the wake of your onslaught.
  • Classic Gear. Go back to your roots with the Classic gear, granting you in-game access to Adam’s iconic Combat Armor, Trench Coat, and Revolver from Deus Ex: Human Revolution. No matter the path you choose, you’ll be sure to turn a few heads with your unparalleled style.
  • Digital OST Sampler - Composed by Michael McCann.
  • Extra In-Game Mission

  • The new mission, titled "Desperate Measures," takes place in Prague. Adam Jensen returns to the epicenter of the Ruzicka train station explosion that shattered the city of Prague recently. Your task is to investigate the people behind the attack and their motives. You will be able to use your augmentations and skills as a covert operative in order to unveil the evil culprit responsible for the bombing.
  • The Digital Books include:
    • Mini Artbook
    • Novella
    • Comic book

Day One Edition

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Day One Edition

Platform: Xbox One, PS4
Price: $59.99

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Day One Edition besides the game also includes all the additional digital content, such as Covert Agent Pack, Digital OST Sampler, Extra In-Game Mission, and Digital Books (see the descriptions above).

This special edition is designed for fans who want to play the game as early as possible, hence the Day One tag. It includes all the additional digital content, which grants you a full Deus Ex experience on the very first day of release.

Digital Deluxe Edition

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Digital Deluxe Edition

Platform: PC
Price: $89.98

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Digital Deluxe Edition is the digital replica of Day One Edition (Covert Agent Pack, Digital OST Sampler, Extra In-Game Mission, and Digital Books) with an addition of Season Pass that grants you access to DLCs that will be gradually released in the coming months.

The additional content offered in the Season Pass includes not only the narrative expansions of the game’s lore, but also various new items and features that may significantly boost your gameplay experience.

Digital Standard Edition

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Digital Standard Edition

Platform: PC
Price: $59.99

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Digital Standard Edition is a digital variant of the Day One Edition (Covert Agent Pack, Digital OST Sampler, Extra In-Game Mission, and Digital Books).

The advantage of the Digital version is that you are guaranteed to be able to download and play the game at the day of release. While the physical Day One Edition may not arrive at the day of release and you will have to wait. However, the physical copy is a valuable collector’s item.

So, if you want to play the game as soon as possible, then buy the Digital Standard Edition. And, if you are ready to wait for a day or two, but would like to have a physical copy of the game with that Day One label, then buy the Day One Edition.

New Game Mode

Additionally, all owners of any of the four versions will gain free access to the new live game mode – Breach. It greatly differs from the original game, and is closer to arcade puzzle approach than the stealth shooter of the main game.

In Breach you take on a role of a hacker who uses his skills to breach the most highly secured facilities in the world to obtain valuable data and assets. The difficulty level increases progressively, so every new discovery and every additional XP point will help you progress through the game.

System Requirements

Minimum system requirements for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC version are following:

  • CPU: Core i5-2500K 3.3GHz or Phenom II X4 940
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 660 or Radeon HD 7870
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Win 7 64bit
  • Direct X: DX 11
  • HDD Space: 30 GB

Recommended system requirements for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided PC version are following:

  • CPU: Core i7-3770 4-Core 3.4GHz or FX-8350
  • GPU: GeForce GTX 770 or Radeon R9 290
  • RAM: 8 GB
  • OS: Win 10 64bit
  • Direct X: DX 11
  • HDD Space: 30 GB

Do you plan on purchasing the Deus Ex: Mankind Divided Collector's Edition with all those extra features? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Top Five Franchises That Deserve The Pokemon Go Treatment https://www.gameskinny.com/s3z4x/top-five-franchises-that-deserve-the-pokemon-go-treatment https://www.gameskinny.com/s3z4x/top-five-franchises-that-deserve-the-pokemon-go-treatment Wed, 13 Jul 2016 10:58:29 -0400 ChrisDeCoster

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Sword Art Online
\n

For all the gripes people had about Sword Art Online, it was a neat concept with a lot of potential for interesting gameplay, potential that's still relatively unexplored. An MMO that merges with real life, however, could be a lot of fun. Players could go and do raids in real life, meeting in groups to take on bosses on their smart phones. Given how MMOs are primarily social games, and Pokemon Go has done a great job of bringing people together in finding and catching Pokemon, an AR MMO could be a great opportunity.  

\n

What games would you like to see as AR games?  Let us know in the comments! 

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/u/souls-51077.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/s/o/u/souls-51077.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126782","description":"
Dark Souls
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While there is a Dark Souls mobile game, it's really not worth your time. Another series about exploration and challenge, this could be a more difficult version of Pokemon Go, where the Pokemon are replaced with killer monsters that you have to fight for your life against. Replace the stops with bonfires, and you've got a social game for the hardcore crowd.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-wathmen-6facc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/b/l/a/black-wathmen-6facc.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126779","description":"
The Black Watchmen
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If you (like most people, I presume) haven't heard of The Black Watchmen, I'm really sorry for the amount of time you're about to lose playing this. The Black Watchmen is an Alternate Reality Game, the other kind of ARG, where you take on the role of a government operative dealing with the illegal, paranormal, and otherwise spooky. While the game already bleeds over into the real world quite a lot, tasking the player with editing photos, going to real world locations like payphones and parks, and even dispatching "agents" to follow them if they get too close to the answers, an app that lets them go places to collect intel could help make this game a little easier for the average person to get into.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-1bffd.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/f/a/l/fallout-1bffd.png","type":"slide","id":"126778","description":"
Fallout
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Bethesda RPGs are all about going on a long journey and discovering new areas, and the Fallout franchise in particular does a great job of showing the player a ruined version of America. As someone who spends a lot of time in and around Boston, it's cool (and frightening) to see the ruins of a city you know so well.  While Fallout is no stranger to mobile games, it would be a lot of fun to see a game about building bases in real life. Like Fallout 4, you could scavenge for materials at nearby landmarks and use them to build your base or go out and claim another for your faction, be it Caesar's Legion, the Enclave, or the Brotherhood of Steel. Just so long as I don't keep getting notifications that "another settlement needs my help," I'm down.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-9eec6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/u/deus-9eec6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126777","description":"
Deus Ex
\n

If the game's already about human augmentation, why not augment reality as well? All joking aside, the story and lore of the Deus Ex franchise has always been about shady conspiracies, corporations with hidden agendas, and covert operations, and bringing that into the real world could make for an amazing experience. Imagine a social game like Pokemon Go, but with a cyberpunk backdrop and gameplay based on uncovering intel for your mysterious backers. This could be the perfect game for conspiracy theorists, giving them a chance to live out their crazy fantasies.  

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokego-77e71.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/o/k/pokego-77e71.jpg","type":"slide","id":"126776","description":"

Like it or not, Pokemon Go is on its way to being this year's most popular app, and it has brought the franchise to more people than any mainline-series game ever has. Since it's now the top app on the Apple store and seems likely to stay there, there's no doubt that Pokemon Go will spawn plenty of imitators. Here's a look at five existing franchises that could benefit from a Pokemon Go style augmented reality app.

"}]]]>
How the evolution of gaming has influenced the evolution of humanity https://www.gameskinny.com/7th5r/how-the-evolution-of-gaming-has-influenced-the-evolution-of-humanity https://www.gameskinny.com/7th5r/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.  

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Prosthetics inspired by Deus Ex Coming Next Year https://www.gameskinny.com/efytw/prosthetics-inspired-by-deus-ex-coming-next-year https://www.gameskinny.com/efytw/prosthetics-inspired-by-deus-ex-coming-next-year Thu, 09 Jun 2016 11:12:33 -0400 Noor Sami

The protagonist of Deus Ex has become the rather unexpected inspiration for two new designs of prosthetic arms called Titan Arm and Adam Arm. The team involved in the creation of these prosthetics includes Deus Ex developer Eidos Montreal, hardware manufacturer Razer, and 3D-printed prosthetic arm company Open Bionics. Titan Arm and Adam Arm will be available in 2017 at what the creators call an affordable price. The new bionic prosthetics can be virtually experienced through a special webcam called “Stargazer” developed by Razer.

One of the most interesting points of the development is that anyone will be able to access and use these arms. Eidos and Open Bionics will provide all designs and blueprints for the prosthetics entirely royalty-free.  Adults and children alike will be able to use the prosthetics, as it comes in all sizes.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided dropped a new trailer just two weeks ago. The game will release August 23, 2016. Visit the Augmented Future project website for more information on the Deus Ex prosthetic arms.  

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided New Trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/6qnd8/deus-ex-mankind-divided-new-trailer https://www.gameskinny.com/6qnd8/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?

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10 Decisions That Suck No Matter Which Side You Choose https://www.gameskinny.com/nup9p/10-decisions-that-suck-no-matter-which-side-you-choose https://www.gameskinny.com/nup9p/10-decisions-that-suck-no-matter-which-side-you-choose Tue, 24 May 2016 06:58:49 -0400 Justin White

Games and media in this day and age are all about choice and the moral grey. Is this the right decision? Is it the wrong decision? Is it neither--with a negative outcome either way? This top ten list explores those latter types of decisions and choices, like having to choose which member of your squad will live or die, or whether or not to side with a particular group in a dispute--either way, the outcome will suck for somebody.

WatchMojo.com's top 10 list of the hardest gaming decisions they've had to make will contain spoilers for the following games:

  • Dragon Age II
  • Spec Ops: The Line
  • Fable II
  • Mass Effect
  • Infamous 
  • Fallout: New Vegas
  • Deus Ex
  • Grand Theft Auto IV
  • L.A. Noire
  • The Walking Dead: A Telltale Series

Which choices you had to make haunted to you?

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7 more games that should follow World of Warcraft to Hollywood (with dream casts) https://www.gameskinny.com/jnyme/7-more-games-that-should-follow-world-of-warcraft-to-hollywood-with-dream-casts https://www.gameskinny.com/jnyme/7-more-games-that-should-follow-world-of-warcraft-to-hollywood-with-dream-casts Wed, 11 Nov 2015 06:21:02 -0500 Rob Thubron

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In case you were wondering, there are quite a few video game movies in various stages of productions right now, hence why they weren’t included on this list. Bear in mind that a few are in the very early stage of pre-production but still 'officially' being worked on. Here’s a list of some of them:

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    \n
  • Metal Gear Solid
  • \n
  • Mass Effect
  • \n
  • Deus Ex
  • \n
  • Watch Dogs
  • \n
  • Dead Island
  • \n
  • The Witcher 
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  • Borderlands
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  • Assasins creed
  • \n
  • The Last of Us
  • \n
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What do you think of our list? What other games do you think deserve a spot on here? Let me know in the comments!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/e/8/5e87bb95992179f20d08315aabea8c39.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/e/8/tiny_5e87bb95992179f20d08315aabea8c39.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91377","description":"

1. Dragon Age

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There has already been a Dragon Age animated movie, a YouTube mini-series, and a web series featuring the lovely Felicia Day, but surely now, in an age where Game of Thrones has made it acceptable to talk about dragons and wizards, we deserve a big budget Dragon Age feature.

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A movie adaptation doesn’t need to copy directly from any of the games, but it should feature some of the core elements such as Darkspawn, dragons (duh!), mages, the Chantry, and the Templars. Adding some GoT-style intertwined political storylines would definitely benefit the movie version (we wouldn’t want it to be another Dungeons and Dragons *shudder*), although it would probably do well to ease off on the incest.

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Giving it an R-rating would definitely be the difference between making a Dragon Age that does justice to the source material and creating a cheesy, child-friendly pile of crap. The games are brutal in sections and deal with adult subjects such as racism, class, and duty. Plus, of course, there’s a ton of blood, death and general viscera across the entire series.

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Give this project to a good writer and director, allocate an enormous budget, and you’ve got yourself one of the best video game movies ever made. Should Warcraft do as well as many people expect, don’t be surprised if talk of a live-action Dragon Age feature starts to surface once again.

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Protagonist: As the main character is customizable, it doesn’t need to be a specific actor. Gerard Butler proved in 300 that few people do swordplay, beards, and muscles better than him, so maybe he should get the role.

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Antagonist : Depends on the game on which it is based, but Underworld’s Viktor, Bill Nighy, or Tywin Lannister himself, Charles Dance, would both make a good Corypheus.

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2. Fallout

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There have been a number of previous attempts made at getting the ball rolling on a Fallout movie, including one promising project that was ultimately cancelled. The fact that Bethesda holds a ‘Statement of use’ Fallout movie trademark covering “motion picture films about a post-nuclear apocalyptic world” does give hope that we may one day hear the words “War. War never changes” on the big screen.

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A movie incarnation could use Fallout canon taken from the entire series of games. Post-apocalyptic movies are nearly always popular, and with Mad Max becoming a lot of people's ‘movie of the year,’ as well as Fallout 4’s recent release, Hollywood would do well to ride the momentum and get a Fallout movie into theaters asap.  

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For inspiration, 'Fallout the movie' should look toward Denzel Washington’s awesome The Book of Eli, which shows exactly how to create a post-nuclear world. Of course, it would need to add in the game's famed advanced technology (power armor!), and having some deathclaws and mini-nuke launchers wouldn’t go amiss either.

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Protagonist: Pretty much anyone, really. Well, I don’t think Jim Parsons would fit the role, so maybe not anyone.

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 Do not cast this man!

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Antagonist: Again, it all depends on what lore the movie uses. Although I always thought Neal McDonough (Arrow’s Damien Darhk) would make a great Caesar from New Vegas.

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/1/701152be5f89dac0a965bd161cdbc100.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/0/1/tiny_701152be5f89dac0a965bd161cdbc100.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91373","description":"

3. Dead Space

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Even though there have been two rather good animated movies, Dead Space is ripe for the live-action treatment. In fact, the horror maestro himself and a big fan of the franchise, John Carpenter, has expressed an interest in getting involved in the project.

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A movie adaptation has the potential to be a real stomach-churner, provided it contains the same amount of blood, violence and body horror seen in the game. Carpenter talking the helm would be a great sign - as the man who directed The Thing, he knows plenty about creating scares using horribly mutated monsters.

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Dead Space’s Church of Unitology plot would certainly work well in a movie adaptation, much like it does in the animations. And while it could be based on any (or all) of the games, the USG Ishimura-set first entry would likely be the best option, invoking the same sense of isolation and dread that the original Alien movie managed to do so well.

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Protagonist: It’s probably because of their previous roles in sci-fi movies, but I can imagine either Michael Fassbender or Jim Caviezel taking on the role of Isaac Clarke

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Antagonist: There are a few antagonists in the Dead Space series, but if we’re sticking with the first one then I’d pick True Lies bad guy Art Malik for the role of Dr. Challus Mercer

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/d/e/7de8a301babb639d4ee89b8355e1d092.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/d/e/tiny_7de8a301babb639d4ee89b8355e1d092.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91275","description":"

4. SOMA

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Anyone who has played SOMA will probably be surprised to find that - considering it’s from the team behind Amnesia - the first few hours aren't overly scary. Eventually, you meet the first horrific, shambling monstrosity THAT YOU CAN’T OUTRUN and you end up assuring your dry cleaners that the marks on your pants aren’t what they look like.

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So yeah, SOMA can be a terrifying game, and one that doesn’t rely on too many jump scares in the way Outlast often does. There’s an ever-present sense of dread when playing SOMA, made all the worse by the sense of isolation it instills in the player by being set at the bottom of the ocean.

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Other than the fact it’s a very scary game, SOMA's examination of questions such as ‘what makes us human?’ and ‘is there such thing as a soul?’ could help it become an excellent horror movie that looks beyond the monsters, much like Jacob’s Ladder does.

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Due to the fact it’s impossible to talk too much about certain aspects of the game without giving away major spoilers, I’ll leave off the antagonist/protagonist section for this one.

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5. Bioshock

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A movie adaptation of Bioshock very nearly came into existence (the image above is concept art from the project) but after several attempts to finalize a deal with Universal, creator Ken Levine pulled the plug. Part of the reason was the poor reception suffered by Watchmen; Universal wanted a hard R-rated Bioshock, and after the failure of Zack Snyder’s superhero movie the studio decided to drop the allocated budget from $200 million to £80 million.

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This didn’t sit well with director Gore Verbinski, who subsequently quit the project. Levine wasn’t happy with the replacement director, and so the Bioshock movie was cast into limbo.

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After all this, Verbinski went on to direct the $225 million The Lone Ranger. Turns out even a massive budget, a famed director and Johnny Depp can’t save some things.

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In all fairness, Bioshock would likely be a very difficult movie to make. Verbinski was right about it needing a massive budget, and the movie version would require some good writing to incorporate the themes of choice, religion, socialism, class, etc in order to make it appealing enough to the masses without diluting the essence of what the game is about. But maybe one day all these different production elements will come together and we’ll get the Bioshock movie that fans deserve.

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Protagonist: Assuming it’s based on Infinite’s Booker DeWitt, it’s got to be Mad Men’s Jon Hamm. The actor looks so much like DeWitt you would think the game designers used him as reference material.

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Antagonist: Going with Infinite's Zachary Hale Comstock, I would choose General Zod himself: Michael Shannon. Tall, imposing and with the kind of voice you feel compelled to obey; give Shannon a beard and he’d make a perfect leader of the founders.

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6. Outlast

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The Silent Hill movie is generally regarded as one of the better movies based on video games, but it’s still pretty divisive. Maybe now’s the time to give another horror game the Hollywood treatment?  And few are more worthy than the brilliantly terrifying Outlast.

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If you’re the kind of person who reads all the notes/audio files in these kind of games, you’ll know that Outlast has a deeper plot than most horror titles. Covering stuff such as CIA mind control experiments, Nazi scientists, and some ever-popular body horror themes, the game has the potential to become an excellent modern horror movie. Throw in some of Outlast’s night-vision POV elements, jump scares, and torture porn - and get Eli Roth to direct it - and you’ve got yourself a real horror movie.

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Protagonist: As you never see investigative reporter Miles Upshur’s face, anyone could play him. I think Josh Brolin would do a good job, lending a sense of gravitas alongside his freakishly square face.

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Antagonist: There are a fair few bad guys in the game, but the psychopathic Doctor Richard Trager is one of the most memorable. It’s definitely a role that Marty McFly’s Dad, Crispin Glover, could play – once he shaved his head and stuck on a load of latex.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/d/24d2a1411edae446dff498303a849e9b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/4/d/tiny_24d2a1411edae446dff498303a849e9b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"91264","description":"

7. Life is Strange

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Seeing how Life is Strange is pretty much an interactive movie anyway, adapting it for the big screen shouldn’t be much of a challenge for those involved. This amazing game may be a teenage-girl-with-time-altering-powers simulator, but it can be enjoyed by anyone and is one of the best games around to play with non-gaming partners.

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While the movie version should stick close to the plot, it might not be a good idea to adhere too close - as anyone who has played the series will know what big reveals to expect. In all likelihood, this would be one of those movies from video games that are ‘loosely’ based on the source material, much like Max Payne, but hopefully not as vomit-inducingly bad.

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Protagonist: She’s the right age and can play geeky as well as she plays sassy - Chloe Moretz would be a popular choice for Max Caulfield

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Antagonist: Impossible to go into too much detail here without ruining the game for anyone who hasn’t played it. Let’s just say that Ryan Gosling would be my choice.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/4/f/64fa027ee3c306140b24f09899ab7da6.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/6/4/f/tiny_64fa027ee3c306140b24f09899ab7da6.png","type":"slide","id":"91244","description":"

It seems that some things never change - broken PC ports, war, and terrible movies based on video games, for example. But while Arkham Knight has shown that we PC gamers still occasionally have to endure some mockery from our console cousins, and Fallout 4 continues to lament War’s unchanging nature, the recent Warcraft trailer has given people hope that we may soon see the end of atrocious Hollywood interpretations of video games.  

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Yes, movies based on video games have had a long and, at times, frankly horrific history. If you ignore the animated entries, what titles would be in a top five? In my mind, the original Mortal Kombat is still the best the genre has to offer, so that would leave (very arguably) Silent Hill, Prince of Persia, Tomb Raider and the first Resident Evil; not exactly stellar stuff. Things get much, much worse when you look at the worst examples - Dead or Alive, Double Dragon, House of the Dead, Postal, and, of course, Alone the Dark, a movie that resulted in the 'lord of all that is balls,’ aka Uwe Boll, being charged with crimes against humanity (probably). It took poor Christian Slater 10 years to get his career back on track - thanks to ‘Mr. Robot’ - after this total bilge almost ruined him.

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But back to the matter in hand; seeing as Warcraft does actually look like it will be pretty good, and assuming this trend will continue, what video games should also get the Hollywood treatment? Here’s a list of some titles that would make the transfer seamlessly – unless Uwe gets his grubby hands on them and produces another turd. There are also some suggestions as to who should play the heroes and villains from the games.

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Square Enix promotes Deus Ex fan-made mod https://www.gameskinny.com/jhl2e/square-enix-promotes-deus-ex-fan-made-mod https://www.gameskinny.com/jhl2e/square-enix-promotes-deus-ex-fan-made-mod Sat, 17 Oct 2015 06:45:33 -0400 KaosuDrake

Deus Ex is one of Square Enix’s biggest games, along with Final Fantasy, Dragon Quest, and Kingdom Hearts. Most fan-made creations that are based on Square Enix games get shut down merely days after launching to the public. But everyone is surprised that a fan-made mod, "Revision", is still playable for Deus Ex

The developers of "Revision" commented on how they made this happen:

“All of this lead us to feel extremely cautious- we want to ensure that when we release, there are no potential landmines waiting for us. So we approached Square Enix with the intent of making sure that everything we had planned was going to be fine. They’ve been very helpful and supportive; the processes has gone on longer than anyone anticipated, and we’re taking advantage of the time to implement little fixes and bits of polish that were otherwise slated for the 1.1 update.

On the one hand, we would love to get Revision out the door ASAP. On the other, we’re committed to making sure that we can release it and maintain it in the best possible way, and with as few stumbles as possible.”

It’s a surprise that Square Enix is not only allowing the fan-mod to be published, they are even promoting it. So why is Square Enix being more helpful to this fan-made creation than it has the others in the past? Maybe it’s because at Square Enix, they have an ‘ask them first policy’. If you want to use their content, you should ask first before creating anything, and maybe, just maybe, Square Enix will end up supporting your venture.

Whatever the reason may be, Revision is a phenomenal mod. It doesn't just update the graphics of the 2000 Deus Ex, but also improves the AI, fixes bugs, and even rebalances the game. This should make the game worth going back to and trying out, since the mod is free on Steam. Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition is only $6.99, too. So even if you don't have the game, now is a good time to buy. And with Deus Ex: Mankind Divided releasing on February 23, 2016, it would be a nice way to get into the game series.

Source: Kotaku, Macworld, Gamespot, Polygon, Techno Buffalo, Square Enix Term and Service

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Deus Ex: Revision mod launches today for free, updates classic experience https://www.gameskinny.com/6hlpy/deus-ex-revision-mod-launches-today-for-free-updates-classic-experience https://www.gameskinny.com/6hlpy/deus-ex-revision-mod-launches-today-for-free-updates-classic-experience Tue, 13 Oct 2015 12:03:03 -0400 Samantha Wright

Today, Steam users will be able to get a taste of the new Deus Ex: Revision,  a remake of the original 2000 shooter. Best of all, it's being released for free on Steam!

Caustic Creative, the developer and publisher of the project, updated the textures and models of the original along with redesigning the game's levels and adding a brand new soundtrack for fans to enjoy. It is rumored that all the extra effort is the reasoning behind Square Enix and Edios Montreal authorizing Deus Ex: Revision (the companies even had a press release to promote the game).

The project started in 2008 and it's amazing the project has continued, especially with the approval of Square Enix. 

In order to download the game, you will need to own the original Deus Ex (Revision is technically a mod to the original). However, Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition is a part of Steam's Stealth Sale for 80% off (an amazing $1.39). 

Deus Ex is set in the year 2052, a year where terrorism and disease are rampant. JC Denton, a nanotech-enhanced agent, discovers these are not natural and are being used in a plot to take over the world. The game follows his adventures as he uses combat, hacking, or stealth to progress.

Edios Montreal is planning to release their own Deus Ex game on February 23 for PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The game, entitled Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, is a direct sequel to Deus Ex: Human Revolution.

Be sure to check out the game's website and Steam page if you're interested and let us know what you think of the project in the comments below!

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The 20 cult video games you need to play before you die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die https://www.gameskinny.com/yx47x/the-20-cult-video-games-you-need-to-play-before-you-die Thu, 20 Aug 2015 02:30:01 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

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Ikaruga

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Ikaruga is shoot 'em by Treasure for the PC, Dreamcast (Japan), Nintendo GameCube, and Xbox 360.

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In the nation of Horai, their leader discovered the Ubusunagami Okinokai (Power of the Gods) gaining great power. Calling themselves "The Divine Ones," begins conquering nations until they are challenged by those longing for peace.

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Why you should play
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Ikaruga's combat system is just mind-blowing. It's a polarity mechanic where only the opposite polarity can destroy the enemy. This constant "flipping" while maneuvering your ship, the "Ikaruga," had me on my toes.  It is one of the best shooters I have ever played.

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Verdict

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As previously stated, cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong fan following. Some of the games here weren't always hits at launch and some even gained their 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others. What deems a game as "cult" varies from gamer to gamer and that's okay. It is great to see how gamers impact this industry.

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What did you think of our list? What games would you add? List in the comments. 

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Killing Floor

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Killing Floor is a cooperative zombie, horror, survival FPS by Tripwire Interactive for PC.

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Set in London, England, the Horzine Biotech, a biotechnology company, conducts military experiments involving mass cloning and genetic manipulation. During the process things go very badly and the human subjects begin to exhibit horrific mutations, disfigurement, becoming hostile, and eventually overrun the internal security forces. They escape and begin overrunning the city of London.

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Why you should play
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Where do I begin? Killing Floor has the most realistic weapons of any game I have ever played and I am a gun owner. The gameplay never gets boring no matter how much you play. This isn't a simple zombie survival by any means, oh no.

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"So how did Killing Floor become so successful you ask? It's a really good question but simple to answer, this game is possibly one of the most clever games ever created due to the fact it's not one of the games where you try to get the other side of the level and re-stock on supplies then trying to get to the other side of that level or trying to gather supplies and making gangs and being a total ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ ruining other people's experience with that game." - scud[i]Ö!

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The zombie hordes will ensure death and believe me--they will. Each wave becomes harder than before until meeting the final boss, the Patriarch. In between each wave you can visit the Trader's location which changes with every wave. Players earn money for every kill and for surviving the wave. Use the money to buy: katanas, shotguns, flamethrowers, and more. Select perks at the start of each match for bonuses.

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Killing Floor is deliciously fun and shouldn't be missed.

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Steel Battalion

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Steel Battalion is a Mech-simulator by Capcom for the original Xbox. The game bundles with the controller included. The controller has two control sticks, approximately 40 buttons, and a separate foot pedal.

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The controller lights up at key times, especially when taking damage. The unison lighting effect is to make the player "feel" like they are really taking damage.

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Why you should play
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Steel Battalion is a true sim to first exist on the console. The Mechs acted like real machine and the gameplay feels as close to the real thing as you can get. The controller set up makes you feel like you are in control of the Mech. If you run out of money and don't eject in time--game over! There is no pause button folks... just like real battle.

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Truly immersive game, a must-play.

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Portal

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Portal is a first-person puzzle-platformer by Valve for PC, Xbox 360, and PS3. It was originally bundled with The Orange Box upon release.

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Chell is challenged by GLaDOS, an artificial intelligence (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System), to complete puzzles in the Aperture Science Enrichment Center using a portal gun with the promise of cake upon completion.

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Why you should play
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Portal offers unique gameplay and GLaDOS' dark, dry humor is brilliant. The portal gun is used by creating inter-spatial portals (orange & blue) between two flat planes in order to solve the puzzles. It is amazing, fun, and quite challenging. The test chambers vary in terms of hazards, so be prepared to die--a lot. There are challenge maps and two additional modes are unlocked once the game is completed.

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Valve never anticipated Portal would be such a hit with players and was originally a mod for Half Life 2.

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'Splosion Man

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'Splosion Man is 2.5D action platformer by Twisted Pixel Games for the Xbox 360.

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'​Splosion Man is created by the laboratory Big Science. He is completely made of explosive material. The purpose is to "splode" through the levels of puzzles, traps, and enemies to escape. A splode is a jump which is used to kill enemies, demolish walls, detonate explosive barrels or even trigger other surrounding effects.

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Why you should play
\n

'Splosion Man offers a hefty amount of single-player and 4-player cooperative levels (local or online). Its humor, originality, and simplicity is what makes this classic great. The controls are easy as pie I might add, so there's no difficult combinations to remember. The puzzles are cleverly designed to constantly add new mechanics to the players. It can be challenging but never to the point of frustration or boredom; it's fun. There are so many references to the 1980's that you are sure to be engaged in nostalgic fun.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0797402525db25df7d86672ab8283f72.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6603","description":"

Earthbound

\n

Earthbound aka Mother 2 is an RPG by Ape and HAL Laboratory for the Wii U (originally NES).

\n

Follow Ness and his friends as they travel the world to collect melodies while defeating the evil alien Giygas.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Earthbound has a Lovecraftian theme that is both dark and fun. There are unique elements to this classic game that I found delightful such as the the numbered health wheel and never combating an enemy beyond your limit. It doesn't punish you but still allows you to gain the XP. Give it try.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6ab5d22aead31fab7ddd55ec4204a048.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6602","description":"

Demon's Souls

\n

Demon's Souls is the action RPG by From Software for the PS3 that accumulated more deaths than YouTube has epic fail videos. This is the game that started the Souls series.

\n

The kingdom of Boletaria is being ravaged by a curse. The "Deep Fog" brings forth demons to feast on mortal souls in this dark, fantasy. Brave warriors set out to save the kingdom against this threat.

\n
Why you should play
\n

If you are like me when it comes to playing any series, you have to go to the beginning. Demon's Souls is a testament to decision making all thanks to the auto-save system. Weapon mapping is critical when in combat. Death is cruel... but delicious.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8e7d47c6acf953c6a2dd67eb0b934126.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6601","description":"

Xenoblade Chronicles

\n

Xenoblade Chronicles is a sci-fi RPG by Monolith Soft for the Nintendo Wii.

\n

Follow Shulk and his friends as they search for answers regarding the mysterious "Monado" sword to defend their land from robotic creatures called the Mechon.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Xenoblade is loaded with quests with an MMO similar combat system. The world is grand and gorgeous. Oceans, caves, and swamps can be found scattered throughout. The soundtrack is equally dynamic. It is a game that you'll either love or hate.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/808b575bc26d72baa851e934f5811c23.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6600","description":"

Conker's Bad Fur Day

\n

Conker's Bad Fur Day is a crude adult-oriented, action platformer by Rare for the Nintendo 64.

\n

Take the foul-mouthed squirrel Conker, who has one hell of a bad fur day, through levels based on popular movies, even one made of poo. Yes... poo. Conker goes through all of this just so he can sleep off his hangover.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Conker's Bad Fur Day is a classic full of dark, vulgar humor, puzzles, cigars, booze, and fighting loads of enemies. Do you really need any more reasons?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/272c77ef9f6b60b6d35dcc40687f9eca.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6587","description":"

Catherine

\n

Catherine is an adult adventure puzzle-platformer and dating sim by Atlus for Xbox 360 and PS3.

\n

Catherine weaves a tale of a young man named Vincent as he attempts to come to grips with settling down with his girlfriend Katherine. However, when Vincent gets involved with another young woman named Catherine... all hell breaks loose. This is a game that makes you think twice about being unfaithful.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Catherine is a unique game unlike any other that I have played before. The use of puzzles as nightmares due to Vincent's moral dilemma is the game's core. The anime style is a fantastic and will certainly appeal to fans of the genre.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e8363c5aabc8ad8367c0985509e50767.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6592","description":"

Valkyria Chronicles

\n

Valkyria Chronicles is a tactical RPG by Sega for PS3 and PC.

\n

Set in Europa, similarly to Europe during World War II & the 1930's. The abundance of Ragnite ore has caused the neutral nation of Gallia to come under attack from the Empire; who is currently at war with the Federation. Soldiers of the Federation's 7th Platoon are fighting back to unify the continent under its power.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Valkyria Chronicles has an epic storyline, beautiful graphics engine, a great gameplay system, and loaded with tons of customization. The immersible environments are stunning to boot.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/0/1/tiny_301ac9c1a6057260cb97464e36f7faa7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79243","description":"

Deus Ex: GOTY Edition

\n

Deus Ex: GOTY Edition is cyber-punk theme action RPG by Edios Interactive for PC.

\n

Set in the year 2052, Deus Ex follows JC Denton, an nano-technologically-augmented (UNATCO) agent, as he combats terrorist forces in a world slowly slipping chaos. He then becomes involved in an ancient conspiracy where he encounters groups similar to the Illuminati and the Hong Kong Triads.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Deus Ex: GOTY is an upgraded edition of the original that started a revolution as far as I am concerned. It brought an all-new gameplay to FPS with a real  immersive 3D, first-person perspective. Despite the original launching over 15 years ago, this is still a favorite among gamers.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1cd8502721d80cdccdbd2712c5f553e3.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6596","description":"

Alan Wake

\n

Alan Wake is an episodic psychological survival horror by Remedy Entertainment for Xbox 360 and PC similar to a television series. 

\n

Alan Wake is novelist suffering from a bout of writer's block who must uncover the mystery behind his the disappearance of his wife. However, his best clues come from torn pages of a book that he hasn't written yet.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Alan Wake is a fantastic combination of elements of storyline, television, and game creating an experience loaded with thrills, humor, and scares that is just as fun to play as it is to watch.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/de6ca247cece14d2b761df66511a5cec.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6597","description":"

Mirror's Edge

\n

Mirror's Edge is an action-adventure by DICE and EA for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

\n

Join the free-runner Faith as she works to uncover corporate conspiracies by moving across rooftops, walls, through ventilation shafts, and navigating the environment using parkour.

\n
Why you should play
\n

Mirror's Edge graphics are breathtaking. Once its parkour elements are mastered, Faith's movements are traversed seamlessly. This is a game that words cannot describe, you simply must see to believe. Its expansive environment provides a dynamic setting for the fluid parkour.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c135f70d4e68f2e738dd89d5dee0a9a2.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6590","description":"

Grim Fandango Remastered

\n

Grim Fandango Remastered is an adventure game by LucasArts and Tim Schafer for PC, Mac, PS4, PS Vita, Android, and iOS.

\n

The game combines elements of the Aztec belief of the afterlife with film noir style to create the Land of the Dead. Departed souls, represented as skeleton-like (calaca) figures, must travel to reach their final destination, the Ninth Underworld. The story follows travel agent Manuel "Manny" Calavera as he attempts to save Mercedes "Meche" Colomar.

\n
Why you must play
\n

Grim Fandango Remastered's story, its characters, and humor make it a classic unlike anything else. It truly is one-of-a-kind. You need to pay close attention to things people say, and everything you read and see in order to complete the puzzles. Its stylistic choice to mimic the Mexican paper dolls for the Day of the Dead is wonderful. Even after 17 years from its original launch, this game is still a must-play.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/da43d6c3876d3b25c7dac51fc8dd3a46.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6588","description":"

American McGee's Alice

\n

American McGee's Alice is a third-person horror action by Rogue Entertainment and EA for PC.

\n

The game is an unofficial sequel to Lewis Carroll's Alice novels. Set years after Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, it is dark and Alice is maniacal. After witnessing the death of her family in a blaze, Alice suffers from survivor's guilt and is sent to the Rutledge Asylum when she begins losing her grasp on reality. Her only possession... her stuffed rabbit.

\n
Why you must play
\n

It's a steampunk, Gothic horror with no signs of Disney. A dark, deliciously morbid storyline with an amazing soundtrack. The level design and artwork are so elaborate, you will find yourself mesmerized. I cannot tell you how gorgeous it is. The characters are twisted and The Cheshire Cat delivers some of the most memorable lines to date.

\n
\n

"We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat

\n
\n

There is currently a petition on Change.org requesting that EA make another Alice game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a579f7142167629dbc909bdad61b747a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6586","description":"

Psychonauts

\n

Psychonauts is a fun platformer by Double Fine Productions for PC, Xbox, Xbox 360, PS2, and PS3.

\n

Psychonauts follows Razputin (Raz), a boy with psychic abilities, who runs away from the circus to sneak into a summer camp for those with similar powers to become a "Psychonaut" (spy with psychic abilities).

\n
Why you should play
\n

Psychonauts is a creative game that features fun gameplay, wonderful voice acting, beautiful environment, strange humor, and a great soundtrack. Each character's brain is  a world for Raz to explore. The puzzles are challenging without being too difficult. I love its bizarre cast of characters. They are hilarious and well constructed.

\n

Tim Schafer delivers a fantastic story with the comedic style he's known for. If you love his games, you need to play this one.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa5d568b8ea08565d6b536f1e372f9f7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6585","description":"

Limbo

\n

Limbo is a puzzle-platformer from Playdead for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PS3, PS4, and PC. Its black-and-white theme and lack of dialogue resonate similar to rich film noir. Its artwork speaks of German Expressionism and it is gorgeous.

\n

The darkness hides loads of hazards such as:

\n
    \n
  • lethal bear traps on the forest floor
  • \n
  • deadly monsters hiding in the shadows... giant spiders!!
  • \n
  • glow worms: they attach themselves to the boy's head forcing him to travel in only one direction (I'll let you solve this on your own)
  • \n
\n

The second half features mechanical puzzles and traps that use machinery, electromagnets, and gravity. There is no dialogue or instruction, just the ambient eerie setting in which you must explore while using critical thinking in order to advance. Love it!

\n
Why you should play this
\n

Limbo is intuitive and creative; cold, lonely, and stark. The nameless boy's journey provide a breathtaking experience. The stunning artwork and physics system lend itself to its maze of masterfully crafted puzzles that make every mistake a brutal consequence.

\n

Simply put... it is a perfect and emotionally moving game.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/237865199c7ed86e4174e7327b806a9f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6584","description":"

Amnesia: The Dark Descent

\n

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is a first person survival horror available on PC, Mac, and Linux. It is a game about immersion, discovery, and living through a nightmare made by Frictional Games.

\n

If you are in the darkness too long, witness unsettling events, or stare at monsters, this will reduce Daniel's sanity (which needs to be maintained). If not kept in check, you are in for hallucinations that draw the attention of the monsters. Not fun at all!

\n
Why you should play
\n

Amnesia: The Dark Descent is one of the scariest survival horror games I have played on PC. Its thick atmosphere is terrifying. I love how well the gameplay is crafted. The scares are horrific and memorable. The story unfolds slowly to its unsettling climax. In my opinion it is a must-play, you do not know what you're missing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bca96f9bff4d05b775dabbeb3f20c38b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/bca96f9bff4d05b775dabbeb3f20c38b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6583","description":"

Castle Crashers

\n

Castle Crashers is a side-scrolling 2D beat 'em up game from The Behemoth available on Xbox 360, PS3, PC, and a remastered for Xbox One.

\n

Castle Crashers offers a single-player and up to a 4-player cooperative gameplay either locally or online. Gain experience points, unlock weapons, animal orbs, earn coins, and unlock characters. The melee and weapon combinations are so much fun to use, especially when fighting the giant cat fish (literally... it's a cat) while in battle on the raging river.

\n
Why you should play
\n

There are giant cats, corn, knights, sandwiches, lollipop swords, and... sketches of unicorns.

\n

The art style of Castle Crashers is by no means any indication that it is a G-rated "baby" game. It's Diablo meets princesses that crashed into the World of Dr. Seuss. It is hysterical, fun, and will make you feel like a crazy button-smashing kid again.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/2/9e29b758fec83150e56f3071aea4a4c6.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/e/2/tiny_9e29b758fec83150e56f3071aea4a4c6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"79370","description":"

Hello gamers. If you have ever wondered what cult games should be on your must-play list, GameSkinny has got you covered. We have selected some of the best games to play before you die from PC to console.

\n

Cult games are games that were not widely successful, but maintained a strong and dedicated fan following. Some of the games on this list weren't always hits at launch and some gained 'AAA' status afterwards. Others can be successful, critically acclaimed, but overshadowed by others in the same series or released around the same time. Unconventional elements are a common appeal that will also categorize a game as "cult."

\n

It just goes to show you how much of an impact we as gamers make in this industry. Here's our Top 20!

"}]]]>
Top 10 boss battles worth experiencing for the first time, again https://www.gameskinny.com/o2r56/top-10-boss-battles-worth-experiencing-for-the-first-time-again https://www.gameskinny.com/o2r56/top-10-boss-battles-worth-experiencing-for-the-first-time-again Sat, 18 Jul 2015 12:40:32 -0400 KonstantinMKD

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1. Metal Gear Solid - Psycho Mantis

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This game brought many reasons to feel proud being a gamer, as its artistic value was unprecedented at the time, compared to all of the other forms of media. By exploring military, sci-fi and heavily political themes, Metal Gear Solid cemented the place of video games as a potent way to express yourself, and tell a powerful and coherent story. 

\n

Solid Snake's first mainstream adventure takes place at the invented remote island of Shadow Moses, located near Alaska. And as it so happens, that very island is the place where supernatural occurrences, world-ending acts of terrorism and even cyborg-ninjas, decide to exist all at once. It's an amazing setting for a video game, one that literally wrote the book on the "stealth-action" genre. 

\n

The movie-like aspirations of the developers are strongly evident, even as the game begins. The opening sequence takes place as the credits roll, and after managing to get to the elevator on time, our hero removes his mask, and TA-DAM, the title appears across the screen. It was cute and meaningful at the same time.

\n

Snake's main objectives at first are procuring weapons and items on sight, and learning how to avoid the yellow cons on the radar, presenting the enemies fields of view. It played a lot like a "modern-day Pac-Man", but the excellent enemy AI and the even better stage design, make this game relevant and exciting, even today. 

\n

After finding his footing, Solid Snake searches for the members of the rogue "FOXHOUND" unit, whose goals are strange and terrifying, and contribute a lot to the dark and mysterious atmosphere. Exploring your way through the island's military base, you'll confront them one by one, in originally and creatively envisioned boss battles. 

\n

But, there's one confrontation in particular, that introduced the term "fourth-wall breaking" in gaming, while not sacrificing the pace and fun factor expected with every boss battle. Along comes Psycho Mantis. 

\n

There's some unnerving build-up to this battle, as you hear rumours about some paranormally-gifted member of the terrorist group, and every now and then, Snakes complains about hearing some "music in his head." To make matters even worse, he is accompanied by his potential love interest, the inexperienced rookie, Meryl. So, that makes him twice the vulnerable. 

\n

Psycho Mantis fully exploits Snake's situation, by possessing her and making her try to commit suicide, right there in front of him. You manage to incapacitate her non-lethally, and you face the disturbing floating figure, just when something unexpected happens - your TV malfunctions? It all turns to black, safe for the green letters in the upper corner, saying "VIDEO". You wonder what went wrong with the input, and as you get up in order to try and fix it, you realize the genius of it. It actually says "HIDEO". As in Hideo Kojima, the mastermind behind Metal Gear Solid series. 

\n

it's important to note that, at the time, TV's worked differently in general, and every time you changed the output those green letters did appear, a state of the technology no doubt in line with Kojima's fresh ideas. 

\n

Then, as the screen turns back to normal, the fight continuous as if nothing happened, just as you to come to an unpleasant conclusion - you can't harm him. Nothing works. He always manages to dodge the bullet. Always.

\n

And even more startlingly, your controller behaves somewhat strangely, starting to vibrate with no reason. Then you ask yourself: "Is he possessing the controller as well? How do I fight him now?" As you pull you hair on this most unfortunate turn of events, the codec rings. It's the colonel, your supervisor for this mission. And, he seems to have the solution. 

\n

Change the controller output, from slot 1 to slot 2! You don't believe your eyes, but none the less, get up from the couch again, and change the controller entry point. In real life. That's how you oppose this virtually existing boss. 

\n

And it works. He no longer can "read your mind", so it's only a matter of learning his attack patterns, like in every normal fight (although, he will attempt to read your memory card, once or twice). Still shaken by the thrill, you pull yourself together, and deliver the final blow. 

\n

"Psycho Mantis" as a concept stands firmly on the point that video games are capable of immersing the observer far more so than any movie, upping the fun factor and the overall impression, by much. It also leaves a lot of room for the developers to fully carry complicated messages through their work, and even dare to present notorious or taboo themes. 

\n

Such are implied with the last lines of dialogue we hear from this amazing boss: a statement aimed at the unquestionable nature of all living beings on the earth, to mindlessly reproduce their DNA, pass on their genes, continue their existence...

\n

Oh, Kojima...

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2. God of War II - Lakhesis and Atropos

\n

The second installment of this rage-fueled franchise is hands-down its shiniest moment, as of today. Kratos's quest to end all authority and bestow cold revenge on all who wronged him this time around took excitingly colossal proportions. As new powers were introduced and the main character still remaining the unstoppable killing machine as always, this gem of the PS2 era did a lot for the console by simply reaching it's potential to the fullest.

\n

Beginning not long after the conclusion of the masterful first game, the story proves right away its enthusiasm in exploring new areas and themes. While battling the Colossus of Rhodes, our anti-hero is mortally wounded, just in time so Zeus can take the spot-light, and add even more insult to injury, by depriving Kratos of his powers completely. Diminished as he is, Kratos tries to fight Zeus, but the fiend ruthlessly kills him, and the hands of Hades drag his dying body into the underworld.

\n

But, of course, the story doesn't end there. Luckily,  Kratos does have friends in high places. Being saved by the Titan Gaia, he's new task is shown to him. He should find the Sisters of Fate, and by using their power, travel back in time to the moment when Zeus appeared in front of him in human form, for then and only then, lies his chance of killing The King of Olympus. 

\n

The premise isn't very original, but its scale is most certainly, epic. Majestic creatures of all shapes and kinds take part in this adventure, and by antagonizing and then killing some really powerful entities, Kratos will get closer and closer to ending Zeus, one bloody battle at a time.

\n

The action and combat system are the main stars, besides the story, as by discovering sadistic new ways of combining physical and magical attacks, Kratos will massacre waves and waves of demonic imps, ever so stylishly. And never forget, you can climb the Cyclops body up to his head, and by clawing, deprive him of his sight. It's super satisfying. 

\n

Speaking of satisfaction, one of the last battles in the game will give you tons of it. When encountering two of the sisters, Lakhesis and Atropos, Kratos happily decides to tackle them at once, handicapping himself in a 1v2 match. The sisters are cruel, winged and fanged creatures. Also, continuously teasing him with sexual innuendos isn't very fair.

\n

But,as you work your way around their attacks and manage to land a few good strikes on them (while their breasts react to the blunt force, ever so subtly), they pool a trick on you - they plung you into the past! (Samurai Jack, anyone?)

\n

Then you realize that you are in fact transported near the Aegean sea, at the precise moments when Ares pulled a similar trick on Kratos, during the finale of the first game. It's more than an awesome move, and the developers surely succeeded in raising your blood pressure with that decision. 

\n

You quickly realize that the sisters' plan is to make you lose the battle with Ares, thus preventing Kratos from ever acquiring the power of time-travel. So, you must fend them off as they are basically trying to destroy the very weapon which saved Kratos back then, a mile-long steel blade, doubling as a bridge to a temple. As you witness your former self vanishing into some other dimension with the pre-reigning god of war, this fist-pumping battle decides the outcome of the Fates, and ultimately sentences the demise of the Olympians.

\n

The only weak point of this setting is, obviously, being unable to feel the true ramification and proportions of this fight, if not having finished God of War 1 before. But, if that condition is met, there'll be absolutely nothing to hinder the enjoyment and satisfaction you'll get, when Kratos breaks their bodies in the end. By violently smashing them together. 

\n

Repeatedly. 

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3. MGS 3: Snake Eater - The Boss

\n

After the shocking series of OMFG events that was MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, many long term fans of this beloved franchise were left feeling uncomfortably surprised. Yes, that game managed to be more than just an excellent sequel to probably the best game of the previous generation (by no means an easy task), but it might had taken simply too big of a leap. It was a bold and super-risky move, but many claimed that it also went way too overboard for its own good. 

\n

So, for the third installment of the series, Kojima, of course, at first lied that it's not going to happen, and when he announced it officially, we were all pleased to know that he actually WAS listening to the complaints. The trailers showed that MGS 3 would serve as a prequel for the entire story so far, and we immediately got excited about playing as Big Boss (or Naked Snake) in his prime.

\n

The result was not as unexpected as before, as the story was far less reaching into supernatural or sci-fi territories. As such, it allowed more room for character development, and we got to know these video game icons from every angle, up close and personal. Also, the infamous codec moments this time around were bearably long, and simply didn't distract the action as much. That it a staple of itself, as far Metal Gear games go. 

\n

Snake Eater was breaming with style and more than spot-on spy-themed music, that made us feel as the main characters in a very-high quality movie of the said genre. This game wasn't afraid to show of it's biggest inspirations, as by simple saving the game, we were given quick summaries of famous movies of that particular era (the 60's and 70's), and even comparisons to James Bond. Also, Snake wondered if one day we will be able to star in our own action movies form the comfort of our home. It was just the sort of fourth-wall breaking we've come to expect from the series.

\n

But, what this game did exceptionally well was depicting just what it means to be a soldier, in it's purest form. What it really means to follow the orders of your supervisors, in the name of the country you love. And unconditionally borrow your life for. The story's strongest points are so devastating, it's practically impossible to ignore the flavour this game will leave you with. It's one of those titles where you'll simply fall in love with every second of it. 

\n

The path Snake has to take in order to find his resolve and become the man he is supposed to, is a heartbreaking one. And at the end of it, there were no doubts that we witnessed the whole transformation of this man, John, into the legend that is Big Boss. 

\n

From the beginning of the game, when his mentor, The Boss, reminds Snake of the basics of CQC (close quarters combat), we find ourselves in the eye of the tornado, that is their relationship. It's one that transcends love or admiration - in their eyes, it's all about being the best person that they possibly can. And in their philosophy, such state is achieved by loving your country, and paying your debt towards it with every breath of your life. The exercise of making tough decisions by following the mind mostly, and the heart lastly, is one that sums up their lives, up to that point. 

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That's why the final battle is immensely unbearable, when Snake is often physically unable to do his best, as his emotions can't help but obscure the completion of his mission - kill The Boss. And she can't resist but ask this damned question: "What is gonna be, Snake, loyalty to your country, or loyalty to me?"  It is a dilemma which Snake would have no trouble solving if it was any other human being, except for her. 

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This fight will test the players skills, acquired throughout the game, as the easiest way to finish it is by having mastered that very technique introduced at the beginning of the game - CQC. Taking place at the most epic of epic "final boss" grounds in any video game, the overall scene will slowly bring you to tears. One strike at a time, as the two characters you felt in love with are stuck in a brawl to the death, dictated by their principles only. And staying true to your principles till the very end It's the essence of being the greatest soldier who ever lived. 

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"I gave my life, not for honour, but for you..."

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4. Shadow of the Colossus - Avion

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This game is widely considered to be one of the very best offerings on the PS2, and with good reason. Also, it is considered to be a true manifestation of art in video games, again, with good reason.

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Quite simply, Shadow of the Colossus underlined the importance of "daring to dream", a skill that no game developer should be a stranger to, I believe. It brought unprecedented focus on themes like solitude, beauty and nature. It's the very definition of "art-piece", to the point to, when attempting to describe the feelings which this game brings you, you'll be as successful as when trying to describe the same about any meaningful painting.

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So, I'm just going to quickly lay down the basics here, as trying to discuss what messages this particular game bears, will be criminal to anyone who still hasn't tried it. 

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The protagonist travels to a long forgotten by men and forbidden land, in order to try to save his terminally ill girlfriend (or wife, we are not told clearly). He carries her on a horse, and upon entering a huge temple, is greeted by a ghost-like entity, named Dormin. It agrees to help our hero, if he manages to recollect all of Dormin's soul pieces, now occupying 16 different colossal beings, scattered all around this barren land.

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Yes, the game consists solely of those 16 boss battles, and some travelling between them, yet it delivers an unforgettable experience. It will make you feel utterly alone, as you observe the surrounding ruins, and are overwhelmed by the sudden tonal changes between areas.

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All of the colossi are expertly envisioned and interpreted, and many of them deserve a spot on this list. But, my personal favourite is the fifth colossus. Appearing as a giant bird, this piece of Dormin's soul is nested near a hollow and grey-ish lake. It frequently soars through the sky, shrieking loud, hunting sounds. 

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You'll gaze at this marvellous creature with an open mouth, yet you'll know what you're about to do.  Avion seems unreachable up there, and the full spread of his wings casts an enormous shadow down there, where you are. The scene gives this colossus celestial properties. Although it'll make you sad, you'll eventually figure out how to call it down.

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Few arrows will get Avion's attention, and as the colossal bird set it sights on you and charges, you'll see the surges of energy and wind it generates in it's wake. And as it's giant beak nears it's prey, the adrenaline rush will be palpable. You wait for the right moment, and cunningly grab the fur on his shoulder, not giving it any room to grab you. And then the ride begins.

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Avion will nervously elevate high above the lake, often shaking and doing 360 degrees maneuvers, desperately trying to get rid of you. It'll sense its inevitable end, and there you are, clawing your way through it's weak points and depriving it from his essence. In agony, the humongous bird will put his last shreds of energy into efforts of hurling you down. The landscape will gravitate around it's giant body, but the protagonist's resolve will be greater. 

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As you deliver the final blow, Avion loses it's conscious, and pivots fast downward. The rude landing of it's wight breaks the stillness of the water, and the hero let his grasp lose. He flows in the ever darkened waters, falling in deep sleep. As he awakens, somehow back in the temple, he notices another black shade surrounding him, along with a somewhat darker tint in his hear colour. The world grows more silent. You were successful. Avion is dead.

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Not many video games make you feel absolute, painful silence... 

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5. Silent Hill 2 - Pyramid Head

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 A decade and a half has passed since this horror standard-bearer was unleashed on the world. It hasn't lost any of it's "mojo" as of yet, but no play through ever will be as the first time you wrapped your head around this mystery. It was dark and gloomy, on a whole other different level, even when compared to it's predecessor. Silent Hill 2 also controlled better and had better camera angles overall, so sudden deaths weren't as oft of an occurrence this time. In short, it hadn't any intention of obscuring your progress by placing you in the shoes of an impossible to navigate protagonist. Rest assured, the game's reaction to your inputs (or lack of) wasn't part of it's difficulty. 

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As so, uncovering the true horrors it had to offer and solving it's tough-as-nails puzzles, was a largely more enjoyable experience than in Silent Hill 1. And I'm referring to "enjoyment" in the most broader sense of the word as possible. Yet, you'll hardly find anyone who tried this game, and wasn't drawn to it very quickly. 

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The story of James Sunderland is one subject to many interpretations, as it's psychological and multi-dimensional roots will surely provoke various conclusions by different players. But, overall is a story about grief, and it's ability to completely overwhelm one's mind and personal life, in general. 

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As you stumble upon the town of Silent Hill, you'll question right away the true meaning of the extra-thick layers of fog, present everywhere. It's so thick in fact, that James can't see more than 3-4 feet in front of him. During the day.

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Throughout the course of the game, he'll wander in abandoned houses, graveyards, meat factories and other disturbingly empty places, unaware of his real purpose in Silent Hill, or the revelation this town it's about to bestow on him. The whole story is essentially solving his case, and everything that's happening around him, has more than deep implications and meaning vis-a-vis his consciousness. 

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One time, while trying to decipher a particular puzzle, James stumbles upon a tall figure, with painfully-looking three-angled pointed contraption on it's head. The creature has prominent masculine characteristics, and also, at that moment, is in "conspicuous" position in relation to two other monsters, who are basically contrived of four female legs, each. 

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James shockingly tries to remain undetected, by hiding in some wardrobe. Sensing the disturbance, Pyramid Head tries to uncover what caused it, and as he approaches the wardrobe, James in panic shots few rounds of pistol-fire. Surprisingly, that seems to work, and the monster slowly leaves the scene. 

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However, the encounter I'm referring to in this list follows not long after, when upon entering a suddenly unlocked door, James is greeted by him, again. But, this time Pyramid Head wields an uncomfortably long, rusty sword, and the very sound it makes while dragged on the floor is enough to make you wanna turn the TV off. James will try to exit through the same door, but, of course, it's locked again, seemingly from the outside. 

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The monster slowly walks towards you, scraping with every step, and his attention is not something anyone would wish for. Pyramid Head is really the last person you'll want to be stuck in a room with. He unnervingly follows you around, as you waste all of your ammo on him. Try everything you have if you like, he simply doesn't have pain sensation. He's just one to make you say: "I saw nothing"...

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All jokes aside, this encounter is more than terrifying, and is unbearable mostly because of his appearance. Besides being filthy and blood-sprayed, it's obvious that he endures a lot of pain, as the pyramid on his head clearly crushes his skull and deforms his face. Also, that sword seems to be too heavy even for him, and when he swings it, he puts all of his back in the motion. It feels like one more swing and he must rest, but he prevails on. 

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So, you'll have to ask yourself, is he trying to punish me (and if so, for what?), or causing himself physical pain is his true goal? And you'll also wonder how'd be like to use his sword against him. Thankfully, you'll have that exact opportunity, when somehow James comes in possession of that particular oversized butcher's knife. 

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Hmm, I wonder why, and how that came to be...

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6. Deus Ex - Gunther Hermann 

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This game was a cocktail of various game genres, like FPS, RPG and adventure, all mixed with strong political undertone, threat of terrorism and alien presence. It was also one of the first games where to the player was given the freedom to largely shape the story, by deciding the outcomes of certain confrontations. Deus Ex was revolutionary in many ways. And even today, more than 15 years after it's release, it remains brilliant. 

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The main character, JC (Jesus Christ?!) Denton, is as much of a cocktail (in a sense) as the very game he stars in. He mostly consists of bazillion ultra-tiny nano-machines, who help him with his every-day ordeals. They also allow him superhuman attributes, like super strength, super jump or invisibility, for the cost of bio-energy drained. 

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But, he, after all, isn't a machine, although he'll soon learn to question basic facts which normal humans usually don't ever have to suspect. Facts like who are his parents, and where he grew up, finished school, or even who were his childhood friends. Along with the player, JC embarks on a quest to find out many, many truths, regarding the ever-present "invisible hand" turning the world's economical state, as well as his very self.  

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And how can he answer all those questions, uncover all those mysteries? The best part is that, you get to decide. By killing, not killing, exploring, hacking, swimming, eating, drinking, jumping, stealing, talking, etc. The world was build like a sand-box for all of JC's tools, and the levels were designed specifically for being tackled by a young, heavily mechanized and ignorant, experiment such as him. 

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And, unlike the newer iterations of the franchise (2011's Human Revolution), bosses didn't stray from said principle. In fact, their very hostility is often up to the player, as antagonizing them is not always implied by the story. And more so, even when it does, the nature of the upcoming confrontations is still variable. 

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Such as the feud with Gunther Hermann, the hulking mass of steel, blue veins, and persistent German accent. He starts of as JC's superior, the more experienced, now ageing agent of the organisation UNATCO. He seemingly has no problem with sharing his vast knowledge as a spy with the younger adjutant. You frequently talk with him, hang around with him and share a drink or two. At least in the first hours of the game.

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As so, when it gets clearer and clearer that he will be sent to dispose of you, later on in the game, JC might very well be armed with the ultimate weapon against him. It's just one of the moments when Deus Ex will test how much attention you have been paying so far, and award those who took the time to snuff around more. 

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Because, by doing just that (snuffing around), JC will confirm his thoughts about the state of Hermann's organic-opposed-to-non-organic ratio, and just what that may imply. Of course, being an almost completely mechanized killing machine, in every sense of the word, like Gunther undoubtedly is, has it's perks, and weaknesses also. Crucial weaknesses. Ones who JC can very well incorporate in his MO. Yes, in fact, every machine can be shut down. 

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It was a gentlemen's decision for the developers to stay true till the end in their intention to make the game unique and thus, ever-green. So, instead of having another loud, "half a-robot v. more-than-half a-robot stand-out", players were given the choice to completely avoid this potentially fatal situation. And that was something extraordinary for the time when Deus Ex appeared. 

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"Laputan machine"...

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7. Dark Souls - Four Kings

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This is the very game whose notorious difficulty made it quite the gaming phenomenon when it released back in 2011. Although it is a spiritual successor to the critically acclaimed Demon's Souls, the large amount of spotlight attention and popularity that Dark Souls received, still counts as a surprise. It is one of those games who didn't really need a cunning marketing agenda - it's strongest selling point was the fact that anyone who tasted it, simply couldn't stop talking about it for days and days, to everyone he/she knew. 

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Dark Souls was an obvious continuation of the same game direction taken with the previous title. But, the good folks at FROM Software clearly did "level up" in doing what they do best, between the two games. Everything in Dark feels fresh, organic and significant, even the ideas that were clearly "borrowed" from the previous game. The combat system was unchanged, and with good reason. The eeriness of the world remained prevalent, and also the lore remained mysterious, such as the insignificance of your character.

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But, most importantly, just as before, what Dark Souls had to offer was, in short, an experience of a lifetime. It's no wonder this game so frequently shows up on various "best games of all time" lists. It had no particular flaws word mentioning, and it was down-right masterful in many areas. Most notably, atmosphere and bosses.

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One of the higher points of this dark story, IMO, was the New Londo area, forming a strong, cohesive narrative with the boss battle there, The Four Kings. It is one of those places so thematically vivid and all-absorbing, that you'll find it hard to shake off the uneasiness that will grow on you, even after you put down the controller. It will follow you around, until you beat it. Bested it. See it to the end.

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And that particular area (not unlike the rest of the game) is worth giving the thorough-est of thorough examinations, I guarantee it. Uncovering just what the hell went wrong with New Londo (and there's so much wrong with it), it's one of the most intricate gaming-itches ever. And it's all round-upped perfectly with that boss battle. 

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The abyss (or the nothingness) it's not a place where boss battles are usually held, yet FROM Soft. decided to give us that exact experience. The abyss is seemingly limitless, never-ending and perpetually hungry for more souls, such as yours (and I mean not just the game's currency). It's very existence it's hard to comprehend, but accepting it is pivotal to defeating it. For starters, you'll need a very special ring so it doesn't swallow you whole right away, killing you in the same instant as you approach it. 

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And, just after you manage to successfully find your footing (literally), you'll have to adjust to it. It's more than extremely disorienting. As you begin to wrestle with the camera, you'll notice that you are not the only inhabitant of the Abyss. A grey-winged creature appears in the distance, along with the appropriate boss health bar at the bottom of the screen. And a haunting musical theme, of course. The boss's name is "Four Kings", but there's only one there, right?

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Wrong... As you have a hard time learning his patterns, and failing to avoid his purple-homing-missile-thingy attack, another one sprawls up behind you. And another one. Still, there's only three of them. So naming them "four kings" it's still inaccurate, you'll come to conclude. And you'll die. 

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This battle is a heart-stomping dance of slashes and dodges that you'll have to master, cuz defeating them fast, one by one, it's the only way to stop them from swarming you. And you'll must do that alongside mastering the Abyss. It's a thrill like none felt before. 

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Also, try not to stare at those baby-cradling female ghosts for too long... 

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8. DMC 3: Dante's Awakening - Final showdown with Vergil

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Action games (or ultra-action games, like this one) have always struggled to find a reasonable setting or explanation as to why is there a never-ending wave of enemies, marching towards you and demanding your immediate attention. And this time, it's mostly because this particular pair of Gemini simply can't stand one another. So they send each other invitations for a deadly confrontation, and both of them seem to not give any deeper thought on the matter. They will resolve their "problem", and it will happen soon. And so, we were in for one hell of a ride.

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The most popular sword wielding, half-human, half-devil twins in all gaming, never shone more brightly than in their original feud, in Devil May Cry 3. This game is hands-down one of the few ones that have a perfect combat system, combining timing, skill, precision, and even button-mashing, all to create the perfect playground for the player, one where you'll have hours and hours of fun, long after you've finished the story. It probably is the most definitive example of the ultra-action genre, as we are ever going to get. It is a game where you are limited only by your own imagination. 

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That being said, the story undoubtedly is a strong driving force when you first play the game, and actually pay attention to it. You play as Dante, the less powerful of the two, who basically founds himself not being able to deny his evil twin's series of challenges, only to prove his point, and subdue him. The story then expands into wider areas, like family, honour and friendship, and it becomes one of the game's strongest points. 

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But, the duo remains the most amazing part of the game, mostly because of the game's expert realization of their polar opposite natures. They have completely different and antagonistic views in relation to one another, literally about everything. Basically, they don't agree at all on the subject of what is "cool".

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Dante finds firearms, heavy metal, missile-riding and general badassery to be cool, so he wields modern weapons as well as devil-arms (the game's melee-based weapons). He's also a loud-mouth, has a fiery temper and a cheerful personality. And always wears red.

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Vergil thinks old-school is cool, so he uses magically-conjured flying swords alongside his close-ranged weapons. He doesn't show any particular interest in music. He is also noticeably cold all around. In his speech, his movement, his viewpoints. He likes power, and likes to get more of it by depriving his twin of his own. And of course, Vergil always wears blue. 

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As far as a general breakdown of their characters goes (and I think I nailed it), that's all the game will give you. In the rest of it, you'll get to experience the brawl first hand, as Dante first, and later as Vergil, also. There are three epic fights in the story, and the last one clearly takes the cake. 

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Taking place at no-other than the very hell's gate, the brothers duke it out relentlessly, making the crimson waters around them flow ever more crimson, right into oblivion. It's a blood-boiling duel to the death, that ultimately settles the score between them, and decides the stronger of their widely different fighting styles. It will take the best of both of them, and only one will emerge as the better man. But not without the cost of losing one sibling. It would seem, there is no other way for any of them to win.

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Luckily, devils never cry...

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9. Demon's Souls - Tower Knight

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Demons' Souls was and still is, a revelation of original, fresh ideas in modern gaming. A somewhat underrated gem, which no doubt brought that forgotten hand-sweating excitement back in our couch-related favourite past-time activity. A statement of human endurance and perseverance, this masterpiece impressed many with it's high level of un-forgivingness, but it was its even higher level of memorability that passed the test of time. 

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Also, it introduced a new concept of multi-player experience, one where players from all around the world are able to enter your very game, in order to help you, or more likely, end you (your avatar, that is). As such, that concept successfully made finishing the game a collective accomplishment, cuz it was very probable that helped arrived when you needed it the most. 

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And need it you shall, as you'll face increasingly difficult ordeals, one after another. Imagine passing a narrow bridge filled with many, many enemies armed with swords, spears, shields and crossbows alike. And now imagine a freaking dragon raining fire constantly on top of your head. Yeah. Not the pinkest of situations. And don't forget the intriguing fog door in the distance, laughing as you die again and again, trying to reach it. But, with every death, you drop closer and closer to that threshold. That tiny "progress" you make with every try is the only thing that'll keep you sane. Or so they say.

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And finally, after more tries than you'll ever admit, you'll walk through the gate. The sheer spectacle of what awaits you completely overwhelms your senses. It is a welcoming committee like you've never seen before. And you're dead. And back at the beginning of that whole sections I just described. Think pink.

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This boss is also the first time the game breaks some of its already insane rules - the simple rule that humanoid enemies have humanoid size. The Tower Knight is gigantic, and has a tower for a shield. Also, 30-something normal sized, crossbow-wielding minions. You'll probably notice the amazing boss music for the first time in the game there, as it paints the hopelessness in you perfectly. Your heart will beat real fast, and you'll find it real hard to concentrate in that tornado of adrenaline you were just hurled into... 

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But, you'll eventually find your footing, and you'll also remember your struggle throughout for a long time. Once you man up, there's only one conclusion - this is in fact, the easiest boss in the game. His guards are quickly dispatched, and then you'll focus on his cumbersome feet. Very soon then, he'll stumble on his back, leaving his head exposed for punishment. You'll slowly walk past his sprawling body, all the way to where his undersized head is. He's still breathing, but now you'll make him regret his ways, by bashing his head in.

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And you'll savor every moment of it.

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10. Diablo 2 - Duriel

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Being the unhindered-by-time masterpiece that it is, Diablo 2 brought a lot of fresh ideas to the table, alongside it's deep and engaging skill-tree system. What was merely scratched with the original, this game expanded on, all while never losing it's focus. It had 5 playable classes (7 with the expansion), and all of them were completely different worlds when compared to one another. No, there was no "trifecta" of attack speed, crit hit chance and crit hit damage for all classes, like in some other game I won't even mention. The experience you get while playing this game is thrill-filled and always exciting, and with the many surprises, this game was, and still is, worth replaying multiple times.

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Speaking of surprises, certainly one of the most unpleasant ones ever, in any action RPG, is Duriel, the Act 2 Boss. This abomination will very likely cause terror and even physical fear, when it so startlingly jumps on you from the shadows, leaving you alone in sheer shock. And that question: "LOOKING FOR BAAL?"

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"Yes, Duriel, I was in fact looking for him, but now that I've found you, that's probably not happening" - you'll come to think in fear, as you're being one-shot by this unfriendliest of unfriendly foes. Over and over again. 

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And kudos to whoever at Blizzard North designed this creature. I mean, come on, a monstrous, slimy bug with a cold-oriented powers? A cockroach that freezes it's surrounding area? Probably, because of it's appearance? 

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It will take you a long while to re-collect your courage, I tell you now. But, after giving it some thought, you'll realize that you can simply buy thawing potions from the nearby vendor, gurgle them up as tequilas, stuck up on cold res, have some lemons (why not?) and you're ready for another go. Duriel it's basically a gear check, and doesn't have much hit-points. In fact, he's only scary the first time you face him (yes, it's a male). But what a jump-scare that first date is.

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Oh, Blizzard...

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Boss battles are those infamously devious parts of video games, when one's progress is put to the question of his/her's ability to surmount this newly-presented obstacle. Many a time you will stumble upon such "immovable objects", often when least expected, and you'll need to simply convince the game that you're the "unstoppable force", and strike just as hard back. 

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But, surprisingly, boss battles are often the defining moments that bring you closer with the game, rather than push you away. There are times when video games are considered as good as their weakest boss battle. And there are times when a boss is so well designed, thematically and virtually, that it is the first thing you'll think about when you think of that game, henceforth.

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Certainly, there are boss battles who I'd love to experience freshly again, just to sense the excitement of slowly understanding how to defeat them again, for the first time. Does that makes sense? Well, assuming that medicine will one day very likely come up with a procedure that will be able to remove specific memories of our RAM (so to speak), it can make a lot of sense, indeed. Of course, it's all just wishful thinking now... But, here's to hoping!

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(SPOILERS IF YOU HAVEN'T PLAYED THESE GAMES, DUH!!!)

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What is mainstream culture doing to video games as an art form? https://www.gameskinny.com/n2439/what-is-mainstream-culture-doing-to-video-games-as-an-art-form https://www.gameskinny.com/n2439/what-is-mainstream-culture-doing-to-video-games-as-an-art-form Sun, 12 Jul 2015 17:30:01 -0400 KonstantinMKD

Nowadays, the majority of today's gamers aren't particularly looking for profound emotions and startling, breathtaking discoveries or breakthroughs. Not when they are simply looking to play few hours of DoTA 2, GTA V or Black Ops, and to have a lot of fun during that time. And that's perfectly fine and understandable, considering that it's the raison d'etre of all video games - they are here to entertain us.

Yes, video games provide hours and hours of pure fun and bright, flashing colors - all right there on your PC, TV, or handheld screen, accessible whenever and wherever you want. And more so, since the video game industry crash more than three decades ago, video game developers seem to only get better at what they're doing.

There's an undeniable upward trend in their inception process, marketing agenda, visual and audio quality, story quality, fun factor, and of course, in their ever-increasing popularity. It's more than obvious that the gaming industry is one of the world's most flourishing industries at the moment. Video games managed to become one of the best ways to bring people together, thus becoming an integral part of today's worldwide social and entertainment media.

Not so long ago...

So, let's take a slower, deeper look back at what made our favorite past-time activity what we know and love today. At first, video games were played almost exclusively by fat, nerdy kids, in somewhat gloomy arcades. And that was it. Not really a promising start, certainly not one from which you can easily explain the present situation.

Then, as the generations changed and the hardware upgraded with them, the 90's happened (yeah, I kinda skipped some of the process). Suddenly, we had super-influentual, multi-billion dollar corporations, like Sony and Microsoft, expressing a ton of interest and directing an even bigger chunk of their funds into developing and perfecting gaming. The industry that had been the favorite refuge of 80's nerdy kids. And it was no joke.

Game development teams grew from an average of 15-30 people to a whopping 1,000+ employees. Video game music moved from catchy 8-bit loops of synch harmonics to colossal, orchestrated musical numbers which followed you long after you stopped playing. Suddenly, actors were hired for video game roles, tons of script pages were being written, studios were opened that specialized in motion capture, building-tall advertisements for video games appeared in our cities and cleverly designed, shorter ones were on our TVs. Metal Gear Solid happened, Final Fantasy VII happened, Soul Reaver, Ocarina of Time, Chrono Trigger, Gran Turismo...

It was that decade that buried every illusion of video games being a marginally popular hobby for the unpopular, and brought them all, loudly and shining, into the mainstream.

And you know what the best part is? Video games absolutely deserved their metamorphosis.

And I hope we are all glad that those big names were able to sense "the magic" of what was going on in those gloomy arcades. Video games always had the power to express feelings, thoughts or other sensations in their purest forms, simply by being so palpably welcoming (and welcomingly simple).  They literally have no entry requirements. They capture the player, and once a player has mastered a particular video game's rules, they'll create a personal experience for themselves - far more so than any movie ever can.  

After the big leap

So began the fruit-bearing season, orchestrated by the afore-mentioned titans. Game development gained some genuine attention, and boasted familiar names, both new and old, who found this new enviroment as the perfect ground for producing their magnum opus. Standards rose higher and faster than ever before, and so did the expectations and goals of developers and gamers alike. 

 

Remember what Warren Spector's goal was while producing Deus Ex? To make the game of his dreams.  No more, no less. A goal that would virtually be unreachable if it were any other art form. But, as we all know, Deus Ex was a triumph in every sense of the word. It was the unleashing of genius, expert storytelling, and a display of what kind of quality video games can spit out, given they first swallowed the right ingredients, in the right amount.

But Deus Ex wasn't the first.

Almost at the same time (only a year before, I think), humankind was blessed with another masterpiece of epic proportions - brought to us by the man, Hideo freaking Kojima himself. Metal Gear Solid is, without question, heavily inspired by spy movies and novellas of the sort, but mixed with a "healthy" amount of paranoia and (dare I say) insanity. It was a bold and kinda risky move to combine military themes with the paranormal. But Kojima didn't stop there. He also aimed for a universal message about love, life and human relentlessness. And that it was. It was incredibly unrelenting game, somehow told in a "know it all tone", but with an obvious tendency to make it all the player's own experience by giving them a lot of freedom in how to play the game - something that was completely unexpected and surprising at the time.  

The "mainstream" recognition grows...

The biggest success, however, is that Kojima totally did it again - surprising us all. The sequel demanded our rapt attention, and we were more than happy to comply. The game sarcastically and continuously played internal jokes and pranks with its legendary prequel, taking it all to a level gamers thought implausible before. It was one of the most profound gaming experiences ever.

Case in point: the AI's conversation with the main character near the end of the game. It broke every known standard of "video game-player" interaction, immersed us 110% percent, and managed to provoke questions rarely thought about before.

The inevitable question presented itself: "Can they really do this?"

Indeed, they can, and did. By way of ending this praise of MGS 2: Sons of Liberty, I'll simply state that it was this particular masterpiece of symbolism, post-modernism and masterful action-oriented set-pieces, which officially elevated the medium to its rightful place. Both of the games were featured in the Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The Art of Video Games" exhibition than ran from March 16 to September 30, 2012.

But mainstream culture is hurting the artistic value of games.

It's crystal-clear that this art form shouldn't stagger its triumphant march by setting itself petty goals like "number of units sold". There are some newly formed terms, like "real money in-game micro-transactions" and "competitive gaming" or "eSports" which I consider obsolete. Why? I believe that's not the true nature, nor purpose of video games.

We've long since passed the point where they were supposed to merely "entertain" us, and everyone should acknowledge that. Only this form of art gives complete freedom to the artist to express their wildest dreams. Sadly, that's a fact which is almost completely overlooked these days.

Every video game has the potential to be the most outrageous, unholy union of fantasy, humor, rules (or lack thereof), hysteria, terror, and skill. They all have the potential to give us adrenaline, waves of nerd-gasms, and the long, breathless moments that come from not expecting and yet totally perceiving the impossible. They are the most sui generis form of media, more precisely, they are the most unique form of art and expressionism ever conceived.

That's not to say that I don't find some shining examples and exceptions in today's generations. There are some who nailed the concept of "living nightmare" and "testing human endurance to the limit," and victories that make me immeasurably happy. (Yes, I'm referring to Hidetaka Miyazaki's masterpieces, Demon Souls, Dark Souls and lately, Bloodborne). I just feel that they are too few and too far between in the sea of mediocre that is mainstream gaming. 

With such tools at their disposal, video game developers shouldn't ever consider stop striving to achieve greatness. It has been done before numerous times, and I know there's plenty more where that came from. Developers should always set the highest of goals that they can envision, and show unconditional perseverance in pursuing said goals. It should be their main contribution to the medium. 

And at the end of the day, being overly ambitious isn't a bad thing, right? I mean, when I began to write this article, I merely wanted to write the "video game article to end all video game articles". And look where that brought me :)

]]>
Steam Summer Sale: 15 MORE Games You Need to Wishlist https://www.gameskinny.com/njl1o/steam-summer-sale-15-more-games-you-need-to-wishlist https://www.gameskinny.com/njl1o/steam-summer-sale-15-more-games-you-need-to-wishlist Thu, 11 Jun 2015 07:42:09 -0400 Autumn Fish

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Guard your wallets, for the Steam Summer Sale has arrived at long last!

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Make sure your wishlist is updated this Steam Summer holiday season, you won't want to miss out on those incredible discounts!

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What waits in your Wishlist for the flood of sales to come?
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What is it that you plan to snatch up during the 2015 Steam Summer Sale? Let us know in the comments section below!

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut

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Steam User Rating: 91% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution shares a few certain similarities as Dishonored.

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Every situation you come across can be dealt with in a variety of ways. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, you can gun down your enemies, sneak past them, hack their computers, or use your incredible social skills to talk your way out.

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Wishlist Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Director's Cut if you desire a game with depth and choice. The Steam Summer Sale would be lost without this one.

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Besiege

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Steam User Rating: 98% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Yes, I'm aware it's only 7 US Dollars on the store. The Steam Summer Sale wouldn't be the first time Besiege has received a discount, though.

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This is a game where you build medieval siege engines and unleash them upon the peaceful wonders of the world. Besiege has its own fully fledged physics system and a plethora of parts for your wacky creations of medieval doom.

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Wishlist Besiege if you want to spend a few afternoons trying to destroy hamlets with your war machines.

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Ori and the Blind Forest

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Steam User Rating: 96%

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Ori and the Blind Forest debuted back in March and has since been declared a masterpiece in many respects.

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This is a visually stunning, Metroidvania style platformer with mini-RPG-sprinkles. The artwork and musical scores are nothing short of magical.

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If you enjoy great atmosphere, Metroidvania games and platforming, wishlist Ori and the Blind Forest immediately. You won't want to miss this one during the Steam Summer Sale.

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The Talos Principle

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Steam User Rating: 97%

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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The Talos Principle is an award-winning game that combines challenging, out-of-the-box puzzles with a deeply thought-provoking world and story.

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There is so much attention to detail in The Talos Principle it can feel like your exploring a true, 'abandoned' civilization. The story revolves around a series of moral conflictions and some sort of time-warped universe that has no chronological order of any nature.

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Question everything; and if you excel at that, then you need to wishlist The Talos Principle now before the Steam Summer Sales knocks down your door.

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Freedom Planet

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Steam User Rating: 97% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Need to scratch an old-school itch? Ever hoped to find a Sonic or Megaman game during the Steam Summer Sale?

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Freedom Planet is the tale of a wacky planet that has been invaded by aliens. Three girls step up to the plate to save their home and show those aliens that there's nothing weird with motorcycles that drive up walls.

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Wishlist Freedom Planet now if you want a game that reminds you of the old-school 2D Sonic days; you will lose yourself there.

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Titan Souls

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Steam User Rating: 84% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Titan Souls is an action game where you get to explore a gorgeous 2D world and fight colossal titans.

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You set out on an adventure with a bow and a single arrow to kill every titan in the game. There's not much story to the game, just heart-pounding titan slaying.

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If you liked Shadow of the Colossus and want a new, short game to fill that itch, then wishlist Titan Souls. The 2015 Steam Summer Sale can't get any brighter!

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Grand Theft Auto 5

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Steam User Rating: 81% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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With as long as it took Rockstar to port GTA 5 to the PC, I wouldn't doubt its appearance on the Steam Summer Sale.

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Grand Theft Auto is a series about — no, wait, you should know this: police chases, gang stuff, senseless killings, blowing things up, general mayhem, driving/destroying new and interesting vehicles, more police chases, etc.

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Do you like Grand Theft Auto? Wishlist GTA 5 for those (likely minimal) Steam Summer Sale discounts!

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Starbound

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Steam User Rating: 91% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Since the latest Winter Update, Starbound has really picked up the pace again and is quickly turning into a solid product.

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Terraria comes to mind, but this game has sci-fi written all over it. In Starbound, the universe is yours. You can warp to and explore a large variety of planets with amazing space creatures and alien environments.

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If you still haven't picked up this popular Early Access title, then wishlist away — the Steam Summer Sale is waiting!

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The Witcher 2: Assissins of Kings Enhanced Edition

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Steam User Rating: 89% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Enjoying The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt? Dying for some more Witcher action?

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The Witcher 2: Assissins of Kings is the second game in the series, and the only other one that slightly resembles The Witcher 3. The first game doesn't play very similarly at all.

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Wishlist The Witcher 2 before the Steam Summer Sale starts, and if we're lucky, The Witcher 3 might even get a mini-sale!

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The Banner Saga

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Steam User Rating: 90% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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The Banner Saga is an incredible journey through rough lands and rough times in the world of Vikings.

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In a way, The Banner Saga is the story of a tragedy similar to those found in Beyond: Two Souls or Heavy Rain, with some strategy and turn-based action to get through the combat sequences.

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Don't wishlist The Banner Saga because it reminds you of Fire Emblem or something silly like that. Wish for the experience, and you'll have a great time with this Steam Summer Sale purchase.

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Transistor

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Steam User Rating: 96% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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From the creators of the critically acclaimed Bastion comes another epic narrative adventure: Transistor.

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Transistor plays a lot like its predecessor, with some excellently integrated RPG elements, a new combat system, and a fleshed out sci-fi setting. You play as Red, a singer recently gone mute.

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If you loved Bastion, then Transistor will blow you out of the waters again. Wishlist it or its predecessor for the narrative game experience of a lifetime.

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Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons

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Steam User Rating: 96% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Brothers - A Tale of Two Sons is a short but powerful adventure about a pair of siblings on a journey to save their father.

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This game requires the use of a controller, cleverly using each analogue stick to create interesting, co-op singleplayer gameplay.

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If you like find yourself enjoying powerful experiences in games, such as Gone Home, wishlist Brothers and prepare your heartstrings because they are about to be played.

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Elite: Dangerous

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Steam User Rating: 80% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Excited for Star Citizen and No Man's Sky? Enjoy grindy, huge galactic gameplay? Then have I got a Wishlist contender for you!

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Elite: Dangerous is a gorgeous space game where you take control of your very own spacecraft and work your way up through the ranks. If Elite: Dangerous shows up during the Steam Summer Sale, it's bound to soak up more than a few measly hours of life.

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Borderlands 2

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Steam User Rating: 97% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Speaking of great FPS RPGs, I'd be shocked not to see Borderlands return to the Steam Summer Sale; and with it, Borderlands 2!

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This year has been great for the franchise with Telltale games in progress with Tales from the Borderlands and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel, and while I don't expect a discount on those, the first two games and DLC are fair play!

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Wishlist it and catch those sales, I'll see you in the Borderlands!

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Fallout 3: Game of the Year Edition

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Steam User Rating: 86% Positive

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Wishlist It: Steam Store

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Fallout 4 has finally been confirmed, which means some epic Fallout deals on the Steam Summer Store. The entire Fallout collection is expected to be on-sale, including Fallout 3Fallout: New Vegas, and the classics.

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Ever since Fallout 3, the series has been renown for the amazing integration of RPG elements into a first-person shooter. Not to mention the incredible, open-world post-apocalyptic landscapes.

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If you've skipped over the Fallout series for any reason in the past, the Steam Summer Sale is the time to give it a fair shot!

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The Steam Summer Sale is finally here, and it's Wishlist time. If you haven't already set up your Steam Wishlist in preparation for the sales, now is the most opportune moment to do so.

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As I mentioned in our previous list of games, your Wishlist is the ultimate traveler's guide for the Steam Summer Sale. So long as you have games in your Wishlist, Steam will notify you via email (and the mobile app) whenever something you wish for goes on sale.

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So crack out your Wishlists and get wishing, there's still a mile of ground to cover. These are 15 more games worth holding out on until the Steam Summer Sale starts.

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

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

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Mass Effect 3

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

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

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/0/ff04d474cb22693167168d8f4f2d2d5f.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/f/0/tiny_ff04d474cb22693167168d8f4f2d2d5f.png","type":"slide","id":"67950","description":"

Dragon Age 2

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

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

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

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The Walking Dead: Season Two

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

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Season Two let us down in a number of ways.

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

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Uncharted 2

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

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

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

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Deus Ex: Invisible War

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

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

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BioShock Infinite

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

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

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

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Rainbow Six Vegas 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/6/c/36c97e1eace53db891287704dd7e069f.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/3/6/c/tiny_36c97e1eace53db891287704dd7e069f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67944","description":"

Condemned 2: Bloodshot

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

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

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

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/5/7/75790cd981fe6f12fbba2c60bec40c7d.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/7/5/7/tiny_75790cd981fe6f12fbba2c60bec40c7d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67943","description":"

Crackdown 2

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

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

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/9/d/09d53fae66358aace8661d79b4cd90cf.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/9/d/tiny_09d53fae66358aace8661d79b4cd90cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67955","description":"

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

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Seven Games That Should Have Multiplayer https://www.gameskinny.com/uw41a/seven-games-that-should-have-multiplayer https://www.gameskinny.com/uw41a/seven-games-that-should-have-multiplayer Sat, 16 May 2015 14:00:34 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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BioShock: Infinite

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Alien: Isolation

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Dead Space 4

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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".

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Fallout 4

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Assassin's Creed: Syndicate

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Batman: Arkham Knight

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What If We Could Stop Killing Enemies in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided? https://www.gameskinny.com/eblxq/what-if-we-could-stop-killing-enemies-in-deus-ex-mankind-divided https://www.gameskinny.com/eblxq/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]

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