Far Cry 4 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Far Cry 4 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network What Happened to Linear Games? And Are They Due a Resurgence? https://www.gameskinny.com/in1ca/what-happened-to-linear-games-and-are-they-due-a-resurgence https://www.gameskinny.com/in1ca/what-happened-to-linear-games-and-are-they-due-a-resurgence Thu, 17 May 2018 14:43:47 -0400 Miles T

The gaming world as we know it today is a very different phenomenon than what it used to be. Today, a large proportion of video games are large-scale, open-world giants with a huge amount of content and massive time sinks for our limited daily hours. A lot of games releasing can average roughly around 30-40 hours of playtime minimum to witness and complete the majority of the their content, and some can frequently eclipse 80-100 hours. While this may seem initially fantastic -- and for many people, it really is -- for others like myself, it’s starting to take a real toll on my enjoyment and satisfaction from playing, despite offering exceptional value for the price.

Most games now are behemoths, requiring a huge amount of commitment of both our time and our energy. Frequently requiring us to dedicate our restricted number of leisure hours, they can be a daunting demand in comparison to a few years ago, a period when games could be enjoyed more leisurely and with less required of us to embrace them. I wanted to explore this shift in how current-gen games have a vastly different design compared to previously, and see if we may be due a resurgence for shorter, more compact and more compelling experiences than we are being exposed to presently.  

The Established Norm

The years between 2007-2013 saw the linear, roughly 8-12 hour video game reach its established peak. Coming fresh off of the heels of the goliath which was Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, the PS3 and Xbox 360 era saw the release of an incredible roster of tight, compact, and relatively short video game experiences. In the span of these six years, we were delivered remarkable adventures in the shape of the BioShock franchise, various Call of Duty campaigns, the Killzone series, God of War 3, the Uncharted series, and even underappreciated gems, such as Vanquish and Spec Ops: The Line, to name but a few.

The end of this time period also saw some of these franchises arguably reach their narrative climax. Take the universally glowing reputation that World at War’s campaign received, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves being considered one of the best games of its generation, BioShock: Infinite with its unforgettable twist ending. Excluding their multiplayer and co-op components for a moment, these games delivered a linear structure of single-player action that I don’t personally feel has been matched since. I still distinctly remember *that* reveal moment at the end of Spec-Ops, so integral to its core concept it was woven into the fabric of its run-time. We as a community still get goosebumps from the simple phrase of “Would you kindly?” and how it dramatically altered our perception of video game autonomy. Even looking towards the hype around Halo 3 to "Finish the Fight" or the moment Dom sacrificed himself in Gears of War 3these were emotive moments that resonate even more strongly because we weren’t bombarded with fluff; we were given handcrafted moments to fondly remember.  

My point is, these games reached the height of their success because of the work and love that was invested into their single-player campaigns. They were relatively short, but they were packed to the rafters with quality and care. Many of these games held as many intimate moments of reflection as they did blockbuster, screen-bursting action sequences. The pacing of the moment-to-moment story was perfected, the development of heroes or villains was rich, the enjoyment of their sequences was unmatched. Then, built on the shoulders of these excellent games came one of the pinnacles of the linear, story-driven experience: The Last of Us.

Each of these games was more than worth the price of admission at the time, usually around $50-$60. They created emotional connections, characters we cared about, and story endings we yearned to see but were disappointed to witness end. Metal Gear Solid 4 was a game that defined the previous generation of consoles for me; it's one of my favorite video games of all time, and at one point, I had finished it on the hardest difficulty in under 4 hours, having replayed it almost 14 times.

So what changed in the intervening period between 2013-2017? Open-world and large-scale video games had definitely existed before then, and arguably, there were even more substandard games then there are now. Some games breaking the 100+ hour mark for completion wasn’t particularly novel, either. However, I believe these were the years that defined the shift from focused, single-player experiences with limited time requirement to the expansion of games in size, costs, and in some cases, even quality.

The Rise of Open World

The release of Fallout 3, which was to be followed by the seismic The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, put into motion the early changing of the metaphorical guard from the aforementioned linear video game into the new, altogether larger, open-world paradigm of video game design. With developers such as Ubisoft and EA seeing the power of the new generation of consoles, bigger and shinier became the new order of the day. Open-world games appeared to flood into the market from 2014 onwards.

Watch_Dogs 1 & 2, The Division, The Witcher 3, Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Syndicate and Rogue, Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 4, Dying Light, Mad Max, Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, Ghost Recon: Wildlands, No Man’s Sky. The list could reach unfathomable lengths. Established open-world franchises flourished as gamers flocked to pick up the next release, clamoring to get the most content for our hard-earned cash. Even traditional series, such as Metal Gear Solid and Ghost Recon weren’t immune to the lure of the open-world design, with The Phantom Pain and Wildlands pursuing this endeavor with differing success. The scale and sheer level of adoration of huge video game landscapes can also be reflected in the game of the year contenders of the last few years: Horizon Zero Dawn, Fallout 4, Assassin’s Creed: Origins, The Witcher 3: Wild HuntThe Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, The Phantom Pain, Final Fantasy XV, and Batman: Arkham Knight were all frequently discussed and deemed worthy of the accolade.

This dramatic change in the way developers approached delivering video games to their audience has been negotiated from a few different perspectives. For example, a larger, more expansive and open map allows for more gameplay opportunities and mission variety. It’s far easier to pack smaller and larger tasks into an overarching map than have to create each one individually within a particular level or restrictive segment. Additionally, the rise in developing, creating, and producing games has been increasing as the popularity of the industry has skyrocketed. Games are now multi-million dollar investments, which means publishers were looking for methods to increase their revenue pool from each product. Open-world games therefore made more sense going forward, as they are much easier to monetize and create paid short-cuts for. The final point I’m going to explore is the notion that linear games and single-player experiences simply became unpopular, no longer the golden child of the industry.

Filling the Quantity With Actual Quality

While many of the previously mentioned game of the year contenders have been outstanding in their own right, with some of them even being a part of my contenders for best games of all time, this shift in design has also brought with it a multitude of issues. The first and most notable problem for me has been the gluttonous implementation of filler content: huge, expansive maps covered in needless icons, utterly pointless and unsatisfying collectibles, side content relying on depressingly boring fetch quests or menial tasks. Grinding has become part of the regular game experience now, filling XP bars to unlock inorganic skill trees. While not as prominent in something like Breath of the Wild or The Witcher, filler content has decimated the enjoyment of potentially excellent games like Watch_Dogs or Wildlands, with some of the worst offenders being Assassin’s Creed Unity and Rogue (really, 200 animus fragments?!). Unnecessary padding had been prevalent in many games beforehand, but the alarming increase in the frequency of it being used had certainly been noticeable.

It would be a fair accusation to say that much of the side material developed for these gargantuan games is largely blubber, the majority proving to be cheaply and sloppily executed. Sadly, this created the significant problem of games having artificially inflated run-times, where the meat and satisfactory course of the main game remain relatively short but are buffered by all the unnecessary busywork. The main story then started to suffer as result -- it’s hard to take the end of the world or the hero’s quest to save a realm seriously when you can run around for 3 hours collecting feathers or completing odd jobs for random NPCs. Who could forget the infamous fetch quest from Dying Light that tasked players with the heroic and immediately urgent task of ... gathering coffee beans.

Personally, I found this busywork started to break my immersion in the world and my empathy with the core cast. For example, when returning to the main quest line in AC: Origins, I could sometimes have forgotten which major figures I was undertaking my Medjay work for by the time I’d finished clearing out those 10 extra side quests I’d unlocked. All of this was relatively forgivable at first; the odd, boring side experience in Fallout 3 or The Witcher could sometimes emphasize just how fantastic much of the content was. But in games like Shadow of War or Wildlands, they’re forced into the main path of progression and diminish what would otherwise have been a compelling experience. This is where I feel the loss of linear experiences hindered some of these more recent games, detracting from the quality of their core gameplay loop and integral story.  

An Open World, an Open Wallet

Filler content didn’t prove to just be a bane towards our time, however; it also became the means through which many of these open-ended and large-scale games began to monetize their designs, alongside multiplayer components. Some means through which games inflated their length was to utilize XP bars, experience points, and branching skill trees that could fill multiple screens. These were far less prominent in the years prior to 2013 -- especially in single-player campaigns for the FPS and third-person action-adventure genres.

The increase in their use allowed the development of microtransactions to speed up player’s progression -- XP boosts, in-game currency double earnings, purchasing top-tier weapons through pre-order deals, or in-game stores all started to become frequent. Normal. Expected. The casual player with extra disposable income had the means at their fingertips (or credit card) to buy their way through the unfulfilling side content. No game in the last few years better exemplified this than Shadow of War, whose final act for many players was a tedious chore to play through, suspiciously designed to cater to those who were willing to unlock their bank account for a quicker ride through. It undercut its core gameplay and diminished people’s satisfaction with what would otherwise have been a brilliant experience.

While it may have made sense from a business perspective for companies to pursue this form of design, it created sandboxes devoid of interesting, quality moments. So many forgettable quests, lost opportunities, and miserable grinding just to reach the next section we actually wanted to see. As a trend, microtransactions are showing little sign of truly slowing down their march, so open-world time-sinks are likely to continue to be the flavor of the day so that some developers can continue to hoover up their profits.

So Linear, So Mainstream

Another reason for why we witnessed an influx in overly indulgent game design around this period was the interesting change in players' expectations and desires from their standard video game experience. Around the time of Skyrim’s release, people became dissatisfied with 8-10 hour, highly structured and restrictive games. Call of Duty single-player offerings became criticized for being too scripted, repeating obvious and done-to-death set pieces, offering bombastic action that had lost its luster because of a lack of agency and choice. Gamers became disillusioned with corridor shooters, funneled action games and bottleneck entertainment that offered little variety. Generally, the linear video game became stale, lacking the fresh ideas that revolutionized the gaming industry and catapulted them to be king of the hill.  

People wanted vast landscapes, freedom of choice in gameplay, and a more casual-friendly sense of easy progression through a video game’s content. It became mainstream to pour vitriol on yet another "Halo clone" or "wannabe Call of Duty," to the extent that many players no longer wished to pursue traditional games. With this in mind, it was the perfect opportunity for teams to create a new “norm” -- and so began the shift in focus.

Freedom of choice and autonomy to play the way we wanted became powerful selling statements on the backs of boxes. Series like Far Cry and singular games like No Man’s Sky offered us a previously unimaginable level of immersion and belief in our own ability to control our fate. It was the perfect foil for the tightly woven and restrictive games that had dominated before them. Pouncing on this newly discovered popularity, open-world games surged to the top of charts and received rave reviews.

Nowadays, we can see that much of this notion of autonomy became something of an illusion. Sure you can take any means of transport to attack an outpost in Wildlands, but why would you when the ground vehicles handle horribly and a helicopter gets you there 10x faster? Of course you can ignore all of these monotonous side quests, but what if I lose out on all the best items in the game? Absolutely, I could choose to scout out a location before laying siege in Mad Max, but what’s the point when it all plays out the same way as it would by steamrolling straight in? This conflict in the game's marketing versus its actual offering created experiences with a void of real engagement. You have choice, but it's an artificial, largely meaningless choice, initially promising but over an extended time, devolving into routine.

Are We Due an Influx of Smaller, Linear Games Again?

Moving into 2018, we’ve already seen a couple of hugely ambitious, time-consuming games be released: Monster Hunter: World and Far Cry 5. What we have also seen, though, has been a weariness towards massive games, with some signs that the linear, more compact model may be finding its audience again.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice was a phenomenal game that took 6-7 hours to complete, one of my contenders for the best game of 2017. Uncharted: The Lost Legacy demonstrated there is still demand, ideas, and quality for the more streamlined experience (excluding chapter 4) that had been opened up somewhat in Uncharted 4. Episodic and story-exclusive games have risen from nearly non-existent to being a prominent genre in the current market, thanks to the appeal and intrinsic quality from titles like Life Is Strange, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture, What Remains of Edith Finch, and many more. We’ve also seen a slight scaling back from traditional open worlds into more refined, open-area focused design, a la the new God of War or NieR: Automata. Resident Evil 7 proved a huge return to form for Capcom, dropping the bloated campaigns of RE6 for a much more deep, nuanced, and terrifying survival-horror experience. Quality and meaning are beginning to find their way back into the medium, and developers are being encouraged to make games that don’t just drain our time but make those spent hours rewarding and satisfying again.

Given the massive shift that occurred in the years between 2013 and 2018, it’s unlikely we’re suddenly going to see a monumental change to the ratio of open-world versus linear games. The extraordinary rise in the level of microtransactions, the ease of creating expansive landscapes with reused assets, and the demand for more casual and approachable progression systems means we will still be forced to endure some games that treat our time as frivolous and expendable.

Finding That Middle Ground

There’s genuine hope for the future and the horizon we have before us, however. Bethesda is supporting brilliant franchises in The Evil Within and Wolfenstein. Later this month will see the release of Detroit: Become Human. We’ve had remakes of classic shorter games like Crash Bandicoot and Shadow of the Colossus, with Spyro due for the spruced-up treatment this year. Call of Duty returned to its narrative roots after the more open-ended Infinite Warfare with WWII. There appears to be demand for the return to the older form of video game, and I think that’s fantastic.

Sometimes, it’s nice to be able to sit down, play a game over a weekend, polish it off, and move on, fondly remembering the brief and exciting time you had with it before progressing on to the next in the long backlog of games. Never overstaying their welcome, they allow developers to craft a well-paced, enthralling game that never insists on making you do things that simply aren’t fun. There’s absolutely a place for massive, extraordinary games that ask you to plow over 50 hours into them -- just see Persona 5 as an example. But sometimes it’s great to have a game which doesn’t require you to put dozens of hours into it to get the full experience.

With Red Dead Redemption 2 around the corner and more AAA games looking to deliver that bang for our money, I hope the industry can find its equilibrium. Too many of either form of video game, or too much emphasis upon one genre, causes over-saturation and a diminishing sense of enjoyment. The gaming world needs variety; it needs linear, story-focused and single-player experiences just as much as it needs another Grand Theft Auto or Far Cry.

It may not necessarily be where the money or the hype is, but it may just be where an audience including myself finds ourselves getting enveloped in memorable narratives all over again. Now, would you kindly grab that controller and get playing?

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The 8 Video Game Villains Who Deserve Their Own Solo Game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game https://www.gameskinny.com/7f040/the-8-video-game-villains-who-deserve-their-own-solo-game Mon, 08 May 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Nick Lee

Certain villains in recent gaming history certainly left their mark on gamers and left us wondering why there isn't a solo game from their perspective. The protagonists in video games always rise to victory, and even anti-heroes get their moments to be a badass for good causes.

The one underserved market in video games, especially in series, is where the villain's point of view is fully seen and respected. So with tons of iconic video game villains, which deserve their own path on the way to victory with gamers at the helm?

Let's find out.

Lusamine

From the game Pokemon Sun and Moon, Lusamine is the president of the Aether Foundation which pledges to protect Pokemon, but their plans are actually much different. Lusamine actually wanted to own Pokemon and gain their power. This extended directly to Pokemon called Ultra Beast; which are legendary Pokemon who reside in another dimension called Ultra Space.

How the deceptive leader came to be is a story that remains unknown, but her rise to power and desire to capture the legendary Pokemon would be quite the adventure for players. A solo game could even explore what would happen during another scheme to create her own version of a Pokemon Utopia as she gains more power, slowly spinning further into wickedness.

Eredin

The Witcher series introduced gamers to the kidnapping King of Aen Elle, Eredin. As the main antagonist of the series, his journey encompasses all three games, and most likely future ones. It wouldn't be hard to imagine a game focused entirely from his perspective due to his presence in each game. Playing as someone called the lord of nightmares would certainly add its' own air of dark deeds that might be uncomfortable at times, but in the world of Witcher, there are plenty of unsavory deeds and challenges to conquer.

The Joker

The infamous villain has certainly appeared in a ton of different media, but in the Arkham series he remains a constant threat, even in death, to the Batman. When players were briefly able to use the Joker in the last series installment, Batman: Arkham Knight, it was a mere taste of what a solo Joker game would look like.

Further, having a game like this would finally answer how he and other villains can set up these elaborate schemes, but still be foiled in the end. While this would be another villain whose dark mind would tempt some gamers to stray away from the game, we can't deny how awesome it would be to play as the clown prince of crime.

Pagan Min

The leader of the Kyrat region in the game Far Cry 4, Pagan Min is an entertaining and, when necessary, ruthless leader. His panic as the players protagonist liberates the region from Min's rule allows for funny moments as he assures his people that all is well. Though the story and action of the game may be more predictable, Min shines as a dynamic villain with origins that were only briefly covered.

A solo game exploring his childhood and upbringing, and ultimately his rise to power, would be a story gamers could enjoy without feeling too guilty about their actions along the way. Similar to the Joker, there would be plenty of witty commentary with Min as the lead.

Rafe Adler

Treasure hunter and Jake Gyllenhal look alike, Rafe first appeared in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End, and would have been an even better villain if his character was more fleshed out. While the most recent antagonist in the Uncharted franchise, his motivations are not unlike main character Nathan Drake's, but take a bitter turn due to revenge.

A game following Rafe's own treasure hunting could be very similar to the main franchise's take or even similar to the upcoming spin off involving Rafe's one time partner Nadine. Playing as a scorned Rafe before or especially after the events of the last game would be one of a vengeful and greedy man, showcasing the other side of treasure hunting in the world of Uncharted.

Dušan Nemic

Appearing in Watch Dogs 2 Dušan Nemic is the head of Blume and controls CTOS 2.0 in the game. A masterful manipulator, he acts as the perfect alternative to the main protagonist Marcus as he uses technology to invade the lives of people without their knowledge. Though he may appear to be the average jerk, Nemic has immense control over the operating system that the protagonists group Dedsec want taken down.

Getting to play as this villain would showcase the duality of technological invasions of privacy best seen in the Watchdogs series. Like Marcus, Nemic is talented, smart, and resourceful and players would be able to see the other side of things while getting to play as him. Further, a solo game would offer a rare glimpse at how the average tech we use in real life can be manipulated by a team of talented individuals for evil.

Steve Haines

For lists like this, choices usually revolve around villains who prove that sometimes it's good to be bad. Unlike those other entries, playing as FIB agent and reality show star Steve Haines from Grand Theft Auto V would prove the good guys aren't always who they appear to be. Haines is a cruel agent who wants results and while he appears ruthless, and sadistic will cower at the first sign of possible defeat.

While players may not have fallen in love with this villain, it's undeniable that the most real and pressing evil is that of lawful evil. The GTA series never lets players dive into the other side of things and focus on a law enforcement perspective. Allowing players the choice to do what's right even though "necessary evils" would be a fun twist on the game, never seen before.

Nergal

Re-released on the WiiU in 2014, Fire Emblem The Blazing Blade, introduced gamers to the dark druid Nergal. A former good guy himself, Nergal created small golden eyed beings to search for power and return it to him for absorption. While a more basic plan for a villain, the character himself is what gives him a place on this list. Through successful completion of side quests, Nergal's true story of trying to save his children as the reason for his initial desire for power are revealed. Sadly for him however, he was lost amidst the darkness and became the classic villain we know today.

An updated game starring him would be centered around his amazing origins and a series of choices that led him down the path to darkness. The solo story could also fill players in on some backstories of popular series characters like Athos and Nabata, who Nergal met before he was evil. 

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While we can agree that sometimes it is good to be bad, video games don't always allow that to shine with their protagonists. Giving the characters listed here a chance to shine in their own game will not only flesh out more of their backstory and motivations, but would be a fun experience for players to see a unique story.

Liberties can be further taken with some villains if they live on as their next plot could always be improved upon after their initial defeat. Gamers would love to not only see things as the hero, but what exactly makes it worth it to be the villain.

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Are Open World Games Becoming Cliche? https://www.gameskinny.com/y83xo/are-open-world-games-becoming-cliche https://www.gameskinny.com/y83xo/are-open-world-games-becoming-cliche Thu, 17 Nov 2016 15:54:54 -0500 StraightEdge434

Open world games allow players to explore every piece of content that there is -- leave no stone unturned! Unlike other games out there, open world games allow for freedom. Taking your time with certain quests, minding your own business by not having to rush to complete the main story, and countless of hours of side content. But, with so many open world games out there, is the whole genre becoming cliche and outdated?

Fallout 4

The answer is no!

Personally, that is definitely not the case. Open world games are great simply because of what they allow players to do. An article written by a fellow writer tells what makes games great, and that can definitely apply to open world games! You are not restricted to just one plot line or storyline! You can do whatever you want. Explore the wilderness or other regions of the game, spend time doing side quests, the possibilities are really endless! Open world games are "open world" for a reason. They allow players to have the freedom of exploration and navigation.

Skyrim: Special Edition

Setting matters!

Whether it's the nuclear wasteland in the Fallout series, or the snowy regions of Skyrim, open world games are appreciated for their landscapes and geographical settings. Players want to explore areas that are visually appealing, and of course, offer great and useful rewards as well! Would you rather visit a place once in any other genre, or unlimited times in an open world game? Setting is what establishes a great open world game. The more beautiful and gorgeous the lands are, the more players want to explore them.

Grand Theft Auto 5

Lots of content!

There is a reason why players put hundreds of hours into open world games. There is  A LOT to discover and find out! Like previously stated, players aren't limited to just the main plot line. Side content and side quests can take up as much of that time as well. I personally have put over 200 hours into the original version of Skyrim simply because there was so much to do (and explore).

It's absolutely fascinating the amount of content open world games pack. You discover a certain location, there is a story to that location. Or, you meet a total stranger during your adventures, and he gives you a quest that might send you to other places in the game. Gamers appreciate side content that allows them to further discover the game. One other example is Witcher 3, because it has an insane amount of content. Monster contracts, multiple geographical landscapes to travel to, Gwent quests, you name it!

 

Far Cry 4

Conclusion

There is a good reason why open world games like Witcher 3, Skyrim, Fallout 4, etc. win so many awards and fan appreciation. Because they are open world games packed with engaging content! A Reddit thread discusses how many hours players have put into Fallout 4 shorty after its release. It's absolutely insane (for a good reason)!

If some might think that open world games are boring, then what will they say about games that pertain to other genres like FPS for example? Walking around and constantly shooting at your proponents might get repetitive over time. Isn't that a cliche as well then (except for Fallout and Far Cry because those are open world)?

Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released next fall. Millions are already looking forward to the title. But, not because of the game itself, but also because of the setting, the content, and the story! 

Open world games will never become a cliche because each one is very unique, different, and offers a totally varying experience every time.

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5 of the Best Voice Actors in Games https://www.gameskinny.com/yqv6h/5-of-the-best-voice-actors-in-games https://www.gameskinny.com/yqv6h/5-of-the-best-voice-actors-in-games Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:58:55 -0400 Aaron Grincewicz

Since I was very young, I recognized certain voices on my favorite shows as being performed by the same person.  As I got older, I learned just how talented these actors are.  One great example is Hank Azaria of The Simpsons, who voices at least a dozen regular characters like, Moe, Chief Wiggum, and The Comic Book Guy. Needless to say, The Simpsons has one of the greatest casts in history. Seth Macfarlane, the creator of Family Guy, is also an insanely versatile voice actor.

As great as those actors are, they are well known. It's often the ones who don't appear on TV that have the longest resumes. For those reasons, and more, I support these actors in the SAG-AFTRA strike.  Some of their voices (like Homer Simpson) pop in my head when I think of just about anything, making it tough to imagine a world without them.  It might seem like an insignificant thing to lose but for me, and many others, they've been a big part of my life. 

In recent years, video games like Call of Duty have started using well-known actors from movies and TV. While this makes the games more like blockbuster movies, there isn't always a guarantee that the actor will give the same Emmy-winning performance in a game as out. Veteran voice actors sometimes don't have the red carpet looks to be motion-captured in games, but they set the bar for the screen actors trying to step into their shoes. So without any further delay, I'll name five of the best voice actors in games today.

#1: John DiMaggio

Games he is best known for; Gears of War series (voice of Marcus Fenix).

Also known for; Futurama (voice of Bender), Adventure Time (voice of Jake the Dog).

"I don't like it when celebrities get voice work. But then again, if I was the producer, I wouldn't want a bunch of no-names doing my show and have to worry about word-of-mouth. I see both sides of the story."

 
 

#2: Jen Taylor

Games she is best known for; Halo franchise (voice of Cortana), Left 4 Dead (voice of Zoey).

 Also known for; the voice of Cortana on Microsoft devices. 

"You know, when I was initially cast, something the guys at Bungie said to me was, 'This character is in your head all the time. She is your best guide and the best aid that you have — the only guide and the only aid really. So we don’t want her to sound naggy, we don’t want her to be a pain.' They wanted her to be like the girl next door, your best friend that you want to hang out with.

And she's that and so much more because she is so smart. Obviously, she knows more than we could possibly know. It's always fun to play a character that is powerful in that way."

 

#3: Mark Hamill 

Games he is best known for; Batman: Arkham series (Voice of The Joker).

Also known for; Star Wars (Luke Skywalker), voice of The Joker in DC Animation.

"I never saw myself as much of an actor. I wanted to be a cartoonist like Charles M. Schulz and create my own world and be able to have a studio at home and not commute and be able to be with my family. I just didn't have the skills to pull that off and so I've gravitated toward theater because I like all of it."

 #4: Troy Baker

Games he is best known for; The Last of Us (voice of Joel), BioShock Infinite (voice of Booker Dewitt), Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain (voice of Ocelot), Far Cry 4 (voice of Pagan Min).

Also know for; Voice of The Joker in several DC Animation productions.

"I don't ever want it to be about me. A friend of mine told me, 'The difference between fame and notoriety is fame is when people know you, and notoriety is when people know your work.' The first one is not respectable, but the second one is, because that leaves a legacy."

  #5: Nolan North

Games he is best known for; Uncharted Series (voice of Nathan Drake), Assassin's Creed Series (voice of Desmond Miles), Shadow Complex (voice of Jason Flemming), Batman: Arkham Series (voice of The Penguin), Destiny (voice of Ghost).

Also known for; General Hospital (Chris Ramsey '97-'03), Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles-Nickelodeon (voice of The Kraang), extensive work with Marvel.

"The Penguin from Batman: Arkham City is a real departure from what I'm most known for. People actually didn't realize it was me. That's the one thing about doing voice over work that people don't realize, and you can interview anybody in this industry, you have to be a good actor as well as having a good voice."

There are several more notable voice actors worthy of mention, but the ones I've listed have the most extensive resumes, acting range, and well-known games.  Their performances often help make the games they are in great.  I should also mention Kevin Conroy (voice of Batman), Tara Strong (voice of Harley Quinn, Twilight Sparkle, etc.), Frank Welker (he has possibly the longest voice acting resume being the voice of Scooby-Doo), and Peter Cullen (voice of Optimus Prime).

Celebrity voice actors are often used to spruce up a marquee, and attract attention, but it's the career voice actors whose names you might not know, that often bring life to the characters they portray.  After reading this article, I hope you'll take notice of the credits from your favorite games, and animation.  You might notice the same names appearing dozens of time, often for more than one voice.

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The 11 Best Horror Mods For All Your Favorite Games https://www.gameskinny.com/esfn9/the-11-best-horror-mods-for-all-your-favorite-games https://www.gameskinny.com/esfn9/the-11-best-horror-mods-for-all-your-favorite-games Mon, 10 Oct 2016 02:00:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

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You may have noticed while scrolling through this list that there was no Fallout 4 entry – that's because we have a whole article devoted just to mods that turn the Boston Commonwealth into a horrific nightmare!

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Have you played any of our picks for the best horror mods, and what scary total conversions would you recommend we try out this Halloween?

"},{"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/m/i/n/minecraftresidentevil-a1ac7.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/m/i/n/minecraftresidentevil-a1ac7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135460","description":"

Minecraft: Resident Evil Mod

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Get It Here!

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We'll finish this list off with a silly little entry that puts all sorts of Resident Evil characters into pixel format for Minecraft! Through this mod you can now interact with characters like Nemesis, craft classic RE items like green and red herbs, etc. It's just plain old goofy fun for a bloody twist on Minecraft world building mechanics.

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"},{"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/k/y/skyrimpuppetking-425c7.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/k/y/skyrimpuppetking-425c7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135459","description":"

Skyrim: The Puppet King

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Get It Here!

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So, we could easily write 10 lists all of just Skyrim horror mods. There's got to b e dozens or even hundreds of them readily available online. This relatively smaller mod is an interesting example that ramps up the creepy factor with all the animated dolls and a staff that lets you craft your own puppet automaton companion.

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"},{"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/n/e/w/newvegashellonearth-86764.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/n/e/w/newvegashellonearth-86764.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135458","description":"

Fallout New Vegas: Hell On Earth

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Get It Here!

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The Fallout games already have some mild horror elements with those irradiated ghouls and man-eating deathclaws, but this mod cranks that up to 11. There's bits of Silent Hill (Pyramid Head even makes an appearance) and all sorts of other horror tropes as the Courier explores new mist-shrouded locations that really do turn the wasteland into hell on earth!

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"},{"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/h/a/l/halflifedearesther-9562d.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/h/a/l/halflifedearesther-9562d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135457","description":"

Half-Life 2: Dear Esther

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Get It Here!

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Both of the Half-Life games have some incredible horror mods, so its hard to pick which ones to list. For Half-Life 2 we'll have to go with Dear Esther, which has a hazy, dream-like quality just dripping with atmosphere. It's much more slow moving than many of the other zombie-focused mods, but well worth experiencing anyway. 

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Cry Of Fear

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Get It Here!

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Originally a Half-Life mod, Cry Of Fear became popular enough it is now available as a free standalone release through Steam. This dark mod has you exploring a mostly-empty city in search of clues for what's going in, in a Silent Hill meets Condemned style.

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"},{"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/h/a/l/halflifeparanoia-b5c7f.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/h/a/l/halflifeparanoia-b5c7f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135455","description":"

Half-Life: Paranoia

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Get It Here!

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The graphics are obviously quite dated at this point, but if you still enjoy playing the original Half-Life, Paranoia is an excellent mod to grab that offers a completely different experience, putting you in the role of a Russian soldier on a mission that will go very haywire.

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"},{"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/u/n/r/unrealkillingfloor-d3176.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/u/n/r/unrealkillingfloor-d3176.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135454","description":"

Unreal Tournament 2004: Killing Floor

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Get It Here!

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Tournament 2004 is easily my personal favorite of the Unreal games, with fantastically ridiculous fast-paced arena combat. There was nothing like the thrill of hearing that announcer yell "dominating!" when you got a wicked kill streak going.

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Killing Floor is a total conversion that drastically shifts style into a single player, modern day experience set in London that strongly pulls from F.E.A.R. 

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"},{"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/u/n/r/unrealtournamenthuanted-d09d4.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/u/n/r/unrealtournamenthuanted-d09d4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135453","description":"

Unreal Tournament 3: The Haunted

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Get It Here!

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It's always interesting to see the level of work and detail modders are able to put into conversions like these, taking action-focused games and massively changing their style and even visuals. The Haunted turns Unreal Tournament 3 into a zombie apocalypse simulator with a serious Resident Evil 4 vibe.

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"},{"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/r/farcry4devilintheswamp-18051.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/f/a/r/farcry4devilintheswamp-18051.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135452","description":"

Far Cry 4: Devil In The Swamp

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Get It Here!

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There are a bunch of horror-focused custom maps that have now been made with the Far Cry 4 level editor, from basically unplayable movie demos to more objective-focused combat entries, and this visual feast is one of the more interesting ones to watch.

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Completely different from the base game's style, Devil In The Swamp is thick on the atmosphere with creepy cabins, bone-strewn floors, bloody walls, and more.

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"},{"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/r/farcryonirica-62dcf.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/f/a/r/farcryonirica-62dcf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135451","description":"

Far Cry: Onirica

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Get It Here!

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Completely changing the color palette and style of Far Cry, Onirica evokes the feel of some of those classic horror titles of the PS1 days, from Nightmare Creatures to Silent Hill.

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"},{"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/c/2/sc2-0a546.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/c/2/sc2-0a546.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135450","description":"

Starcraft 2: Resident Overmind

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Get It Here!

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A creative take on the RTS style of Starcraft 2, this custom map culls out all the base building elements and instead has you playing as one lone space marine. Our down-on-his-luck marine is headed to a military base strangely devoid of life... except for alien monstrosities that leap out of the darkness.

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The camera angles are significantly modified from the base game, which coupled with the flickering darkness really changes the whole atmosphere and vibe of Starcraft to go in a survival horror direction.

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"},{"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/r/o/frontcover-c89e0.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/f/r/o/frontcover-c89e0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"135449","description":"

October is prime time for pulling out the scary games, and we've already been covering the best of the best when it comes to atmospheric horror or straight up jump scares. You don't need to shell any money out for a new horror game if your collection is a little sparse though!

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There are tons of mods available for existing games that take them a genuinely scary direction, from old classics like Half-Life all the way up to newer Far Cry, Elder Scrolls, and Fallout entries.

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These 11 excellent mods all take shooter, strategy, or crafting games and add in a terrifying spin.

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5 games that put players in the role of a guerrilla fighter https://www.gameskinny.com/ip2oq/5-games-that-put-players-in-the-role-of-a-guerrilla-fighter https://www.gameskinny.com/ip2oq/5-games-that-put-players-in-the-role-of-a-guerrilla-fighter Wed, 11 May 2016 09:51:06 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Homefront: The Revolution is set to be released on May 17 and will have gamers once again fighting to liberate America from North Korean occupation. Unlike its predecessor, players will actually wage a guerilla war against a superior army.

One person going against an entire army is not new in gaming, but it's a different experience when players have a sense of being vulnerable. Titles that have made guerrilla warfare part of the gameplay have focused on crippling the enemy, along with boosting the morality of the population.

For those who can't wait to join the resistance, here are five games that best recreate the experiences of fighting in a guerrilla army.

Note: this list focus on titles that not only require players to fight a large army but also cripple their efforts while waging a propaganda war to win the hearts and minds of the population. Hence, simple shooters like the original Homefront will be excluded.

 

5. Freedom Fighters

This 2003 classic not only set the tone for other guerrilla themed video games, but also introduced Red Dawn to a new generation. Freedom Fighters is set in an alternative timeline were the Soviet Union becomes the world power after it won World War II by dropping the atomic bomb on Berlin.

In the present day, the Red Army begins an invasion of America by conquering major cities. Players take on the role of Chris Stone as he works with Isabella Angelina and Mr. Jones to build a resistance army and liberate New York City.

Players must capture key locations and disrepute the occupation as much as possible. At the same time, they must boost the morale of the resistance so that more members are encouraged to join the fight. 

4. Just Cause 3

While previous games in the series have focused on Rico Rodriguez being tasked with toppling dictators, this time he is on a personal mission. Rodriguez returns to his homeland of Medici and reunites with his childhood friend to overthrow the dictatorship of General Sebastiano Di Ravello.

Anyone who played Just Cause 2 will feel right at home while expecting a few major changes. One of those changes is the guerrilla warfare gameplay and setup.

Once again, players will use their grappling hook and parachute combo to wreak havoc on the enemy. Besides completing story objectives, Rodriguez must capture military outposts, acquire better weapons for the resistance, and turn the population against Di Ravello government.

3. Far Cry 4

The fourth game in the series was heavily inspired by the Nepalese Civil War, a 10-year conflict that was fought between Maoist intransigents against the Royalist government and ended with the monarchy being abolished.

The story follows Ajay Ghale as he returns to Kyrat to spread his mother's ashes. The moment he crosses the border, the bus is attacked by the military and he becomes the prisoner of Pagan Min, the nation’s despotic king. He is taken to the Royal Palace, but escapes and joins the Golden Path in their war against the government.

Players must work with the Golden Path to capture key outposts and military facilities. At the same time, they need to boost the morale of the resistance by acquiring resources, rescuing prisoners and disrupting the propaganda.

Ghale is also forced to make choices that will determine the future of what the Golden Path represents.

2. Operation Flashpoint: Resistance 

Both an expansion and prequel to Operation Flashpoint: Cold War Crisis (also known as ArmA: Cold War Crisis), this tactical shooter improved on the original game in every way while introducing a unique experience. 

Inspired by the Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia, player takes on the role of Victor Troska, an ex-SAS operative, who has returned to his homeland of Nogova. However his peaceful life is shattered when the island is invaded by the Soviet Union at the request of the countries Communist Party.

With limited resources and an inexperienced army, Troska must wage an unconventional war against the Red Army. Players must command a small squad to cripple the occupying forces while acquiring resources for the resistance.

1. Red Faction: Guerrilla 

The third game in the Red Faction series returns players to Mars while taking the Geo-Mod technology of the previous games and incorporating it into an open world environment. The result is an unforgettable gaming experience and one of the best titles that puts players in the role of a guerrilla fighter. 

Following the liberation of Mars in the first game, the Earth Defense Force (EDF) has established a new government that is oppressing the population. Players take on the role Alec Mason, who is forced to join the Red Faction when the EDF murdered his brother and labeled him as a terrorist.

Players are tasked with liberating all five sections of Mars by completing a series of key missions while waging a guerilla war against the EDF. At the same time players must demoralize the enemy while boosting the confidence of the resistance.

Freedom Fighters may have established the foundations for the genre but it was Red Faction: Guerrilla that perfected it.

Have you played any of these guerrilla themed games or was there a title that was missed? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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Are good graphics actually ruining games? https://www.gameskinny.com/mev4z/are-good-graphics-actually-ruining-games https://www.gameskinny.com/mev4z/are-good-graphics-actually-ruining-games Fri, 15 Jan 2016 07:20:48 -0500 Engela Snyman

For the gaming industry, graphics and visuals make a grand statement to the budget and over all production value of a game. It's a status symbol for the PC gamer (look what it can do!) and 'buyer's relief' for the console gamer (thank god it can do this). But is our race for better, smoother graphics and textures slowly suffocating the 'game' part out of gaming?

It's a fair question seeing as most people who play games will eagerly point out “Look at those graphics!” and a lot of us seem to think better graphics equal better games. 

Just mentioning Minecraft, Terraria and Don't Starve hammers the counterpoint home quite effectively, though: graphics aren't everything, but we all knew that of course.

We can't really deny the appeal of a good looking game. It takes our experience to that next level, makes it feel all the more realistic, and draws you into a world you would never be able to see otherwise. Star Wars: Battlefront III has some of the best graphics seen to date in a game and hot digitty damn they're beautiful.

Great graphics encourages PC gamers to upgrade computers and helps to sell consoles to the casual gamer. Selling consoles or upgrades for PCs means more games and more money, which adds up to potentially better games, and yet people are still buying broken games on launch – so, what's the problem?

The problem is that graphics can't carry a game, the gameplay does.

Sadly, Star Wars Battlefront III is our example here.

Star Wars Battlefront was created by Pandemic Studios in 2004. It has been an active online game for over 10 years and has generated a dedicated fanbase. Rightfully, these fans were excited for the chance to play an updated and better Battlefront, what they got instead was a beautiful porcelain ball. Pretty to look at, nice to hold but it had no bounce.

DICE clearly put way too many resources into the look of Star Wars Battlefront III and completely forgot to add the actual game. Players are okay with that, and there in lies another problem: we don't seem to care.

 

Developers, designers, and publishers are pushing to better the graphics of games every day because that is what we demand. Graphics get dated very quickly and apart from the initial 'oh my gosh' moment when seeing the details and textures for the first time, the appeal very quickly wears off, and we are left with very pretty but broken games.

Arkham Knight from Rock Steady was rushed to the finish line long before it was ready for it.

The game had glaring story issues as well, and the DLC to date has been underwhelming. But if you ask anyone about the graphics, they'll tell you it's great, amazing and 'the best to date in any Batman game' and for some reason, this seems to excuse the developers for releasing a broken game on PC.

They had to entrust the port to another company because they didn't have the time and it shows. Far Cry 4 also had glaring issues, and despite the very popular The Witcher 3 snagging game of the year, it too had terrible bugs, broken quests and other issues still being reported by gamers.

Are these games even being tested beforehand?

Most games go through beta testing, which is a great way to fix many problems a game might have before launch. It offers players the chance to push the boundaries of the game, to make it crack open and let all the ugly bits fall out for the developers to clean up. But clearly these tests aren't being performed as thoroughly as they used to be, and patches aren't helping.

Patches allow publishers to push for earlier release dates. If the game has a problem on launch, they just release a patch. So, even if we turn our focus away from graphics and push for game-play it probably won't fix the buggy launch issues. But it might just ensure better games.

We need to start reminding the game publishers that at the end of the day that's what they are making, games, not quasi-movies.

But what are the benefits for a game that does not have spectacular visuals? Well for a start, companies will add more to developing a game that is fun which might add to more play time, better variations in items, and maybe even ease out the bugs. But we don't have to drop visuals entirely, there is another way of approaching this.

Instead of focusing on the detail of a game's visual perhaps we could instead focus on the effect that visual has. A lot of graphics today are only stunning or pretty, which is not exactly what we should be going for in games. Graphics should be practical; they should create atmosphere, characters, ambiance and effects that better the experience of the player. This Wars of Mine is a stunning example of simple stylistic graphics that not only create excellent atmosphere but builds the world in the tone it was supposed to be made in.

Immersion has a lot to do with the visual, but it's the smart visuals that pull us in.

It's clear that the graphical aspect of gaming is too far ahead for its coding counterpart. Developers just need to pull on the reigns for a bit. Hold up the graphics so that game design can catch up, having them in sync is much better for gamers and developers alike. There is nothing wrong with letting graphics run a head from time to time, keep pushing those boundaries and make games with excellent graphics - let's just not make that the norm.

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Black "Frye" Day sales: Up to 50% off Ubisoft Merch for AC, Far Cry, and Watch_Dogs https://www.gameskinny.com/mmrs5/black-frye-day-sales-up-to-50-off-ubisoft-merch-for-ac-far-cry-and-watchdogs https://www.gameskinny.com/mmrs5/black-frye-day-sales-up-to-50-off-ubisoft-merch-for-ac-far-cry-and-watchdogs Tue, 24 Nov 2015 05:37:59 -0500 Andrea Koenig

Ubisoft and the Ubi Workshop are already preparing for the upcoming start to holiday shopping as they stock their stores with Ubisoft game merch. Get up to 50% off items and apparel from Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Watch_Dogs series right now.

Three big items available will be from Assassin's Creed Syndicate: both Jacob and Evie hoodies are available for pre-order now. They will be available for a standard price of $94.99. Alongside them, you can pre-order "The Rooks Hat," which is on sale at $19.99.

Here are some highlights of other Assassin's Creed merchandise on sale for Black "Frye" day:

For Fry Cry fans, some highlights on their special merchandise:

And for the Watch_Dogs fans:

These sales are available from now through at least Cyber Monday. For a full list of on-sale and pre-order items from Assassin's Creed, Far Cry, and Watch_Dogs, check out the Ubi Workshop store here.

Following the recent release of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, much of the Ubi Workshop store holds special apparel modeled after outfits the characters wore in-game and accessory merchandise. To see specifically deals from this game, check it out here.

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In-game collectables, how I loath thee https://www.gameskinny.com/dpsvy/in-game-collectables-how-i-loath-thee https://www.gameskinny.com/dpsvy/in-game-collectables-how-i-loath-thee Thu, 24 Sep 2015 11:02:20 -0400 Chelsea Senecal

In-game collectibles have sparked several debates on forums regarding their true merit and purpose. Many gamers feel that they are a gimmick in making the game seem longer, while others find them fun when done right.

After years of considering myself a completionist, I can truly say that collectibles alone have ended that. A few games with fairly easy battles, ridiculously fun mechanics, or engaging stories were cut short of my 100% completion rate due to arbitrary collecting.

While grinding to level is equally annoying (for the often same reasons), it at least serves a purpose to furthering your gameplay. 

Too often we are expected to spend hours mindlessly collecting while developing carpal tunnel or a migraine. However, there are examples of both good and bad collectibles.

The bad: time consuming crap

The first game that comes to mind is Assassin's Creed (and especially Black Flag). It has a cool storylines, interesting gameplay, and at the time, innovative mini-games, like whale hunting. However, those damn Animus fragments... all for a trophy and a cheat. While that sounds like it might be worth it, that's 200 fragments. And in Black Flag, most are on individual little islands with no other incentive to stop there. So, get on you ship, sing a shanty and head to a tiny island, jump off, swim to shore, grab your fragment, swim back to the ship and off to the next island. 100 times.

No thanks. The rewards are kind of cool, however, 200 is a lot and by the time you're finished, it's the end of the game. This was one of the first franchises that actually made me reconsider my completionist tendencies and I'm glad I did because...

Basically, every GTA game hands out trophies/achievements for collectibles. When I was younger and only had one new game a year, I appreciated the "expanded" game - hunting pigeons, stunt jumps, now spaceship parts, whatever. But rarely does the player ever get anything unique or useful. Rockstar likes to throw some cash or weapons your way and if everything is done, here's a trophy. However, to adamantly seek each hidden package as an adult with s*** to do, ain't nobody got time for that. 

The good: world-expanding nuggets

Far Cry 4 has a unique system of collecting where the objects are placed in areas you would go anyway and there aren't a million posters to destroy. Every time you do collect, you get rep that later benefits your gameplay by opening up weapons and tools while it's still relevant. That's fair. 

Wolfenstein is another great example. The structure of the game makes it easy to see what you've collected and what you need. Because the game is set up as levels, and not open world, you can go through the level as many times as needed to find what you're missing. You'll never ask yourself, "Where the hell is that one painting in all of Skyrim?"

Mass Effect's collectors (pun intended) are my favorite. They give you lore and deeper information about your universe. The objects are rarely shoved in your face, there is not a ridiculous amount of them, and there isn't a map showing you exactly where they are. Collecting insignias, finding keepers, and locating Asari writings actually encourage you to explore the areas while learning about the war that you, as the player, were just thrown into.

........

So, you're probably saying, "Just don't get them. No one is forcing you to collect anything. You're just lazy." And that's fair. However, we can't let the game devs off the hook completely. If it's obvious that the collectibles were used to make the game seem longer, then that's not very cool. No one buys Assassin's Creed because they want to play a 40 hour game of I Spy. 

However, if the collectibles actually do, in fact, add depth and engagement to the game without feeling disjointed and half-assed, then that's awesome and I'd gladly hunt down every piece.

What are your most loved and hated collectables?
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Xbox One Bundles expanded through Labor Day https://www.gameskinny.com/0jlrw/xbox-one-bundles-expanded-through-labor-day https://www.gameskinny.com/0jlrw/xbox-one-bundles-expanded-through-labor-day Sat, 05 Sep 2015 12:52:56 -0400 Anthony Jondreau

If you have yet to get your hands on Microsoft’s newest console, Labor Day Weekend might be the time to do it. While the Xbox One has come bundled with Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Unity for a while now, the bundles will be expanded until September 7th. An Xbox One will include Assassin’s Creed: Unity, as well as any one of the games below, the choice of which is up to you.

  • Lego Jurassic World
  • Rory McIlroy PGA Tour
  • Minecraft
  • Batman Arkham Knight 
  • Rare Replay
  • NBA 2K15
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor
  • Destiny
  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt
  • The Elder Scrolls: Online
  • Forza Horizon 2
  • Far Cry 4
  • Borderlands: The Handsome Collection
  • Payday 2: Crimewave Edition

In addition, two bundles will give you a third game. The Madden 16 Bundle comes with Madden 16, AC: Unity, and one of the games above, as well as a year of EA access. The Halo: The Master Chief Collection Bundle includes Halo: The Master Chief Collection, AC: Unity, and one of the games above. You can also get AC: Unity and Black Flag, as well as one of the free games. 

The standard bundle is available for as low as $349.99, while the Madden and Halo bundles will be $399.99.

]]>
The 15 highest-rated PS4 games https://www.gameskinny.com/bdc6n/the-15-highest-rated-ps4-games https://www.gameskinny.com/bdc6n/the-15-highest-rated-ps4-games Fri, 07 Aug 2015 10:58:47 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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So that's the lot! Of course there are many more awesome PS4 games - we never even fell beneath 84%! And that's not counting the PS3 ports and remasters, which help make the PS4's library more and more impressive.

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The best thing about these 15 games is the impressive diversity on display. Last generation bore witness to the rise of digital games and the indie developer, and it's great to see that tradition is continuing and growing with the PS4. So we get games like Batman: Arkham Knight and The Witcher 3 on the same list as Shovel Knight and Rocket League. There's truly something for everyone on the PlayStation 4!

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What games were you surprised to see, or not to see? Personally I thought Infamous: Second Son would have had a place in the top 15, and maybe Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. And what games do you think will make the list in future? Uncharted 4 seems a no-brainer, but what else? Let us know in the comments!

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1. The Witcher 3 - 92%
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This should come as no surprise, because The Witcher 3 is the most breath-taking and immersive RPG ever created. Fun, interesting, beautiful, absolutely huge, and with things to do at every single point of the map, The Witcher 3 is exactly what we'd always wanted from a fantasy RPG.

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You play as Geralt of Rivia on his last adventure, that of finding his loved ones and finally taking down the Wild Hunt. The premise is simple, but the characters make the main quest a delight to play through, and the plethora of side quests, all with an amazing diversity of characters and monsters, make this game hundreds of hours long, but interesting all the way.

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Simply put, The Witcher 3 is the biggest and best game on PS4.

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Its shockingly cohesive world is as beautiful as it is demanding, and it's packed full of mature content that throws you from one emotional response to the next. Its storytelling is superb, its combat is grippingly refined, and its often unforgiving nature only lends itself to a brilliantly rewarding experience.

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                                  - Push Square

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/4/ed43704f9cf90e40a781523ae9b34665.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/d/4/tiny_ed43704f9cf90e40a781523ae9b34665.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75729","description":"
2. Bloodborne - 92%
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Rarely has a game felt like such a descent into madness. That itself is the story of Bloodborne. You play as the silent Hunter, who travels around the town of Yharnam battling the residents-turned-monsters. The premise is simple, but the game gets more bizarre as the story unfolds, and you may find yourself going mad along with it.

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Continuing the challenging template set forth by Demon Souls, From Software created a masterpiece with Bloodborne. Melding together everything that made the Souls games great, Bloodborne makes the action a little faster, adds a gun to parry with, and makes the monsters more than lumbering brutes.

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Bloodborne takes the best of Dark Souls and builds the unrelenting gaming challenge on a prefect foundation - it will test your abilities to the max. The first true must-have exclusive for PS4 is here. 
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      - LEVEL
"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/1/5/5158c24538c22ded88e3769e9fbb2b7d.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/5/1/5/tiny_5158c24538c22ded88e3769e9fbb2b7d.png","type":"slide","id":"75731","description":"
3. Shovel Knight - 91%
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The ultimate love letter to old-school 2D platformers. Shovel Knight is the true evolution of classic games like Mega Man, CastleVania, or Ninja Gaiden. But it isn't a clone or a rip-off, it's its own entity - and a fantastic one at that.

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Not only does Shovel Knight play like the perfect amalgamation of the games mentioned but it looks amazing, has an instant-classic soundtrack, and the PS4 version even features the God of War, Kratos. Shovel Knight begs to be played by gamers, young and old.

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\n

Whether you were weaned on an NES like I was, or don't yet know what you missed in a time before you were born, Shovel Knight is an absolute must-play.

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               -IGN

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/4/a/d4a781ba522429e74b06df0bd3f2a9c1.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/d/4/a/tiny_d4a781ba522429e74b06df0bd3f2a9c1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75733","description":"
4. Dragon Age: Inquisition - 89%
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BioWare breathed new life into the Dragon Age series with Inquisition. As a series that had been waning and never quite reached the heights of rival RPGs, Dragon Age finally reached its potential with the 2014 installment.

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Dragon Age: Inquisiton is an incredibly dense fantasy RPG that took the open world genre to new heights with it's size, lore, characters, and world. Inquisition is easily one of the best RPGs on the PS4.

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\n

With a huge, breathtaking world, an epic story, and choices that leaves a significant mark on the world around you, Dragon Age: Inquisition embodies everything that makes the series so popular.

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                                                                                      - Shack News

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/7/5/a755fea9994d4c113f792ab16a9a7395.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/7/5/tiny_a755fea9994d4c113f792ab16a9a7395.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75734","description":"
5. Batman: Arkham Knight - 87%
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Batman: Arkham Knight has been met with a lot of criticism since its release, and some of it well deserved. However, the criticism is resounding because expectations were so very high, and because we've already had 3 installments, the core gameplay that makes the series so fantastic is overlooked for Arkham Knight's flaws.

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My point is, at its core, Arkham Knight is an amazing game. No one can argue that is a bad game. They may not like it or think it was disappointing, but the game itself is very good. The characters, world, graphics, and gameplay are all phenomenal. The Batmobile controls well and the tank mode similarly is very tight, though it can definitely be argued that it's overused and unbefitting of a Batman game.

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Regardless, Arkham Knight is a great game and one of the best on the PS4. It may not have hit the game of the year highs that the previous two did, but it's still a testament to superhero games and world-building.

\n
\n

...any frustrations I have with Arkham Knight don’t take away from the fact that I was unable to stop playing for four days straight, frequently in awe.

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       - Hyper Magazine

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/f/0/cf059e2dfbe95dc3bd7eace025a29344.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/f/0/tiny_cf059e2dfbe95dc3bd7eace025a29344.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75736","description":"
6. Fifa 14 - 87%
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EA's classic football series debuted on the PS4 with the best entry to date. Fifa 14 brought the near-perfect gameplay that EA has mastered, tightened it even further, and enhanced the graphics. Compared to the series' debut on PS3, this was a real belter.

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We all know what Fifa is and who it's for, so it doesn't take much extrapolation to explain why the series gets better with each entry. However, it's '14 that stands as the best football game on PS4 to date.

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\n

FIFA 14 exudes polish from every pore. It’s a great all-rounder, able to entertain players of all abilities.

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                                                 - DarkStation

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/6/e96f4250fda6f98bacc1064edb01f599.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/9/6/tiny_e96f4250fda6f98bacc1064edb01f599.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75735","description":"
7. OlliOlli 2: Welcome to Olliwood - 86%
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OlliOlli 2 is a skateboarding platformer that is equally frustrating and rewarding. Like its predecessor, OlliOlli 2 doesn't play like any other skateboarding game you've played. It's very tricky, no pun intended.

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The second entry in the series takes the skateboarding from the mean streets to the "Olliwood" hills. You play a variety of cool locations, including some that look like they're right out of Guacamelee. The game is as difficult, if not more, than the original, and well worth picking up if you want something different or skateboard-related.

\n
\n

OlliOlli 2 may be incredibly difficult at times but it is also non stop fun. It takes everything that made the first game great and made it even better.

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                                                                                     - Gaming Nexus

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/a/17a55d470d71a309a4cd045c6f762b6b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/7/a/tiny_17a55d470d71a309a4cd045c6f762b6b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75740","description":"
8. Rocket League - 85%
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Do you like fun? Then Rocket League is for you.

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That's all I really need to say, but I will break it down a bit for anyone who doesn't know about the game or is on the fence. Rocket League is essentially football/soccer with cars. You drive, jump, boost, block, powerslide, and even climb walls in order to score the next all-important goal.

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While the gameplay is where Rocket League excels, especially in online play, the customization of cars is also a ton of fun. You can choose from an array of chasses, patterns, colors, tires, jet streams, hats and flags. So the diversity of cars you see online makes it feel consistently fresh and exciting.

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But to be honest, talking about the game can do it no justice. It's truly something you need to play for yourself to really get. And right now it's free on PS Plus, so join the 4 million others already playing Rocket League.

\n
\n

Rocket League is a pure videogame defined by an excellent mixture of its mechanics. It's extremely fun, addictive, one of the best competitive experiences of this year on PS4.

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                                                   - Atomix

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/c/2eca2f7823c2e1d9cdd35aeca999822b.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/e/c/tiny_2eca2f7823c2e1d9cdd35aeca999822b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75742","description":"
9. Far Cry 4 - 85%
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Far Cry 4 continued the insanity of the previous installment but took it to the Himalayan mountains. The story may not have been as good as that of Far Cry 3 but the same open-world traversal, combat, and quirkiness remained true to the series.

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Paragliding over the hills of Kyrat, taking down outposts, finding masks and letters that shed light on the world, and shooting honey badgers with fire arrows is incredibly fun. And to be honest, if you don't like the sound of that then you wouldn't like Far Cry 4. Ubisoft created another great entry in the series and it's one of the best open-world games on PS4.

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\n

Far Cry 4 pounds out an open-world FPS maelstrom of ridiculousness. It’s always in your face and it’s never afraid to throw numerous and diverse dangers in your path, just to see if you can adapt and survive.

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                                                                                 - PSX Extreme

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/d/4/9d4eb79c1d98967509d6e79cad3a4172.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/9/d/4/tiny_9d4eb79c1d98967509d6e79cad3a4172.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75741","description":"
10. Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions - 85%
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The latest installment in the Geometry Wars series, Dimensions is the best on PS4 and arguably the best of the series. The gameplay is tighter than ever, the color palette and soundtrack assault the senses, and online leaderboards make it addictive.

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Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions is a multi-directional shooter that is as fun and chaotic as it is hypnotic and challenging. Though this kind of game might not be for everyone, if you are a fan you will love what Dimensions has to offer.

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\n

It offers plenty of things for all players, as the Adventure mode draws in new fans, the Classic mode appeals to veterans, and the leaderboards manage to fuel their competitive natures.

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                                                                - Softpedia

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/9/8f924eda3d337d612ee08c5be26a012a.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/f/9/tiny_8f924eda3d337d612ee08c5be26a012a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75739","description":"
11. Super Mega Baseball - 85%
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Here's a game you've probably never even heard of. I will say I'm still shocked that Super Mega Baseball is higher rated than any version of MLB The Show, although The Show '14 did rate at 83. That shows just how good this game is beneath it's cartoonish exterior.

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Not so much about the realism of baseball as it is the sheer fun, Super Mega Baseball offers a jump-in mentality for those who aren't lovers or familiar with baseball, and surprisingly deep complexity for those who do.

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\n

Super Mega Baseball is one of the best baseball games out at the moment. Sure it may not be a licensed game like The Show, but the gameplay is as good as the official MLB game.

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                                                                      - The Sixth Axis

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/d/f/adfe87f85a31339c4c4e3e4d3076692f.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/d/f/tiny_adfe87f85a31339c4c4e3e4d3076692f.png","type":"slide","id":"75737","description":"
12. Battlefield 4 - 85%
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As a launch game, Battlefield 4 really showed what the PS4 and Xbox One were capable of. With the series' trademark online play that incorporates a fairly huge landscape, trucks, jeeps, jets, and "levolutions", Battlefield 4 set the bar for insane war games.

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I'm sure you've seen them by now, but the levolutions are pretty amazing, from falling buildings to dams bursting. They dynamically change the gameplay and give you something to show your friends! The campaign leaves you wanting and the plethora of bugs/online issues were unacceptable, but for a first next-gen outing, this was impressive.

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\n

As the first game to demonstrate the prowess of the Frostbite 3 engine, its explosive debut indicates a promising future for its technology. Gear up and strap in, Battlefield 4 sets the new standard for next-generation multiplayer.

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                   - Game Trailers

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/5/3/153ce0ec171547a618f5d71d63914caa.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/5/3/tiny_153ce0ec171547a618f5d71d63914caa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75738","description":"
13. NBA 2K14 - 85%
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As good as the core gameplay of the NBA 2K series is, the visual fidelity of the first PS4 version was what made it a must play - for everyone. Even if you aren't a fan of basketball, you should check the game out for the graphics alone.

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Another really cool feature of the game, more frequently seen in the WWE series, is MyCareer Mode, which sees you create a player and play a story mode. The mode came equipped with cutscenes and even post-match interviews with real-life personalities. Needless to say, fans had never felt closer to being a real pro-baller.

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\n

...beyond impressive graphics NBA 2K14 keeps touching perfection in terms of gameplay, still as precise as ever, with a game experience still more satisfying due to the very well done AI. You still don't know what game to buy for your PS4 or your Xbox One? Think again.

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                                                                                - Jeux Actu

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/1/a/f1a08187f52bf1d55a602725dc4566b4.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/1/a/tiny_f1a08187f52bf1d55a602725dc4566b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75745","description":"
14. Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor - 84%
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The game that surprised everyone in 2014, Shadow of Mordor deserves a place on any great next-gen games list. With a feature that truly screams "next-gen", Shadow of Mordor made a fairly bland story and world, extremely fun to play.

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You play as Talion, a Ranger of Gondor, who is murdered alongside his family by Sauron and his minions. The basic plot sees you kill every Orc ten times over in your road to revenge. It's really as simple as that, but the gameplay, skill-tree, and much-touted Nemesis System, are the reasons you keep playing Shadow of Mordor for a long time.

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\n

It turns out that Shadow of Mordor is that rarest of things in video game culture - an unexpected knockout punch.

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                                                                      - The Guardian

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/b/c/abc2669fd6bccb2dcb32a2a80c862155.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/b/c/tiny_abc2669fd6bccb2dcb32a2a80c862155.png","type":"slide","id":"75748","description":"
15. Axiom Verge - 84%
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Starting off the list is Axiom Verge, the latest in a long line of MetroidVania games, but Axiom Verge is arguably one of the most faithful to its inspirations.

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You guide a confused scientist around an alien world in order to figure out where you are and what the heck happened. Axiom Verge is very reminiscent of Super Metroid, and shows that there is plenty of life left in the genre yet.

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\n

The exploration loop is incredibly satisfying, and combat feels both tight and adaptable, like a complex dance where the partners both accentuate each others strengths, allowing any weak points to fade into the background.

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                         - DarkStation

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"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/7/f/47f8873eed44f5f9608cb8ad071098ea.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/4/7/f/tiny_47f8873eed44f5f9608cb8ad071098ea.jpg","type":"slide","id":"75728","description":"

We're coming up on the 2 year release of the PS4 (it seems longer than that, doesn't it?). And we thought it high time we celebrate the console and its games. The PlayStation 4 has a ton of games already, many of which are excellent - some even masterpieces, and we wanted to list the very best of the best. These highest rated PS4 games to date, as per Metacritic.

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HD remasters and ports will not be counted. That means The Last of Us Remastered, God of War III, Guacameleee: Super Turbo Championship Edition, Fez, etc. will not make the list.

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The reason behind this is simple, new games are more exciting. If we were to include those games, this list almost be entirely comprised of previously released games. That doesn't reflect the great games only on the PS4. 

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Additionally, when two or more games have the same critical score, which several of them do, we will rank them depending on the higher user score.

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So without further ado, let's just dive in and bear witness to the 15 best games on the PlayStation 4 thus far!

"}]]]>
Troy Baker got Pagan Min role by threatening to kill Ubisoft assistant during audition https://www.gameskinny.com/m6n3h/troy-baker-got-pagan-min-role-by-threatening-to-kill-ubisoft-assistant-during-audition https://www.gameskinny.com/m6n3h/troy-baker-got-pagan-min-role-by-threatening-to-kill-ubisoft-assistant-during-audition Tue, 07 Jul 2015 06:04:04 -0400 Anne-Marie Coyle

Threatening to murder the company’s assistant isn’t the most conventional way to secure employment, but that’s exactly what Troy Baker did to get the role of Pagan Min.

Underground Geek Network posted a video on Youtube of Baker speaking at Indy PopCon 2015 (below).

The prolific voice actor spoke at length, discussing, among other things, his musical career and upcoming game projects.

He also told the audience of the insane audition that led to him becoming the voice of Pagan Min and how he used his creative input to help the team mould the eccentric ruler of Kyrat into the character we see in Far Cry 4.

“When I went in to meet with the team about that, they said ‘whatever you wanna do,’” Baker explained.

Ubisoft was clear, however, that they wanted their charismatic villain to be very distinguished from Batman’s iconic antagonist The Joker, whom Baker previously voiced in Batman: Arkham Origins.

“There were lines and there was a script and that went bye-bye very, very quickly,” Baker told the audience. Halfway through the audition an assistant at Ubisoft interrupted and Baker saw his opportunity to have some fun with the situation and really bring the sadistic dictator to life.

Speaking in typical Min fashion, Baker said, “I’m sorry, who is this? Who is this walking into this room right now? No, no, no, no, don’t leave, sit down.”

The assistant was understandably confused and panicked by the request.

“Have a seat, please,” Baker continued. “Just make yourself comfortable. Would you like some coffee that you brought in? It looks very delicious. Now here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to murder her right in front of you.”

The unorthodox behaviour clearly impressed Ubisoft and presumably left the poor assistant traumatised for life. “And she just starts going 'I don't know,'" recalls Baker, "and meanwhile the team's going ‘This is it! This is the kind of guy that we want!'"

Still in character, Baker had said to the assistant, “So I’m going to peel your face off and put it on my own, it’ll be the most glorious makeover I’ve ever had.”

Head to 21:47 for the clip.

Baker attributes his vast exposure as an actor as the reason he was able to get away with such absurd behaviour, a wise observation as we don’t think threatening the staff is the best way for the average person to spice up an interview.

Ubisoft is known to give actors a large amount of creative input for their characters. Incidentally the character of Vaas, by far the most compelling reason to play Far Cry 3, didn’t even exist until actor Michael Mando’s audition inspired Ubisoft to create the iconic antagonist.

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Bottoms Up: 10 Drinking Games from Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/kqc6o/bottoms-up-10-drinking-games-from-video-games Mon, 01 Jun 2015 17:55:57 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

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There you have it, a new excuse to invite your friends over and play some games (as if you needed another one). Have suggestions for drinks or games to play these with? Sound off in the comments!

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Stay thirsty my friends! 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/a8070c4faaed9187f365390b976568e7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5961","description":"

Confusion - Adventure Games

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Older adventure games are infamous for their obtuse puzzles and hard-to-find key items resulting in extreme pixel hunting. Now that we are adults, let’s replay the most frustrating parts of our childhood like an adult can!

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The Rules:
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Choose an older adventure of your choice (GOG.com has a plethora of great titles) and play. Whenever you encounter some cryptic hints, obtuse instructions, or illogical puzzle, bottoms up! For every five minutes you cannot progress, have another drink!

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The Drink of Choice:
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The peppermint of a Starry Night shot will open your sinuses and maybe help induce an epiphany. I doubt it though. But hey, at least you will be having fun being stuck right? 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/5/ea5e183e98357bc0371a17709dabe146.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/e/a/5/tiny_ea5e183e98357bc0371a17709dabe146.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67523","description":"

Dead Nazis - Wolfenstein: The New Order

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Who doesn’t enjoy Nazi killing? The Nazis have been around since the birth of gaming, but The New Order actually gave us personal reasons to perpetrate violent acts against the Nazi regime. You could play any WW 2 shooter, but why not play the great The New Order?

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The Rules:
\n

A Nazi dies; you drink! Whether the Nazi dies in a cutscene, by your hands or someone else’s, it matters not. All that matters is whenever Nazi blood is shed, bottoms up!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
\n

Why a Dead Nazi of course! Is there a more fitting drink for this? I think not. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/4/1/84130aeadeaf5a497ada20fb351af4aa.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/4/1/tiny_84130aeadeaf5a497ada20fb351af4aa.png","type":"slide","id":"67521","description":"

Tower Time - Ubisoft games

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At this point, Ubisoft games have become so predictable; they can be predicted far in advance of release. A key mechanic of each Ubi game revolves around capturing a watchtower of some sort. This mechanic started in Assassin’s Creed, and has been present in nearly Ubisoft game since. So let’s take advantage of it!

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The Rules:
\n

Boot up the Ubisoft game of your choice. Whenever you capture a watchtower, radio tower, or whatever the hell it’s called now, drink! It doesn’t get much easier than this!

\n
The Drink of Choice:
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 Instead of a bottled drink, mixed drinks would be better for this game. Bloody Marys and Painkillers would be an ideal choice, since this event happens often, but not enough to justify a bottled brew. 

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Bug Hunt - Bethesda games

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Besides creating huge sandbox worlds for players to explore, Bethesda is known for their bugs. Holy crap the bugs are strong with these games. I understand it’s impossible to eliminate every bug in a huge game world, but it seems reasonable to expect less bugs in their games than Starship Troopers.

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The Rules:
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Before you start, you and each of your friends choose a drink. The first person to spot a bug has the other participants take the drink they chose. After each drink, new drinks are chosen and the controller is handed off to another player. Before you know it, you’ll be more interested in finding bugs than treasure.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/0/e/00e4bb81ee66856e76165d58897d7192.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/0/e/tiny_00e4bb81ee66856e76165d58897d7192.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67518","description":"

Witchin’ Time - Bayonetta

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I love Bayonetta. I absolutely love the ridiculous over-the-top nature of the combat and enemy design as well as the nonsensical story. One of the main mechanics is the use of Bayonetta’s hair. She uses her hair to empower her attacks, so powerful attacks leave her with less clothing. Did I mention her clothing is her hair? It’s a bizarre title to be sure.

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The Rules:
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Another simple one here, whenever Bayonetta’s clothing becomes slightly revealing, you drink. Needless to say, you’ll be surprised how many drinks you’ll have downed within the hour.

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The Drink of Choice:
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Again, you’ll want a bottled beverage for this one. If you desire, you can hand off the controller between combat pieces and stages so you can spectate and drink, because spectators must play the game too! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/f/a/0/tiny_fa0cd04c9cbf67dd4a42247c714c9165.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67517","description":"

Hatred - Call of Duty

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We have all been playing a multiplayer game of sorts and then it happens: the toxic player show up. If they aren’t criticizing you for every move you make, they are hurling racist, sexist, and bigoted insults at you and others for no discernible reason except to make everyone as miserable as they are. So why not try to make it slightly enjoyable?

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The Rules:
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I named CoD as the go-to game because of its popularity and notorious community. However, you can play any multiplayer game of your choice. Play as you normally would, or play nice if you are a toxic person. When the toxic players show up and start doing their thing, you drink every time they say something nasty. They called your mother something I can’t repeat here? Drink. Hurled a racist insult at someone on a team? Drink. Criticizing your play style despite your score being higher than theirs? Drink. Soon you’ll be happy to hear them open their mouths and spew their spiel.

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since you’ll be drinking fast and often, you’ll want your favorite bottled beverage for this one. Personally, I would take a Dos Equis Lager, a Smirnoff of some sort, or a chilled cider. The choice is yours to make! If you want to play nasty, you and your friends can alternate deciding the drinks before rounds. This way you can finally get your friends to drink that disgusting oatmeal stout you love. You monster.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/f/8ef3f539073da0901280968b293740de.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/8/e/f/tiny_8ef3f539073da0901280968b293740de.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67516","description":"

Battle Royale or Duel - Rock Band

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Ah Rock Band. It remains one of the greatest party games ever made. So why not use it as a way to show your friends how awesome you are at it?

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The Rules:
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This can be played with as many people as you wish and have the instruments for, or you can rotate. First, the roles of guitarist, drummer, etc. are placed in a hat, and everyone draws a role. Starting with a song of “Easy” difficulty decided by the host, play the song. The person with the highest points decides what the losers drink. The winner of the round also delegates roles for the next song, decides the next song, and the difficulty. Keep playing until you can’t!

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You can also play this with only two people, if you just want to get that one friend inebriated. Rock and roll all nite!

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I Wanna Die - I Wanna be the Guy

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I Wanna Be the Guy is legendary for its unrelenting difficulty that will have even the most veteran players curled into the fetal position and sobbing after a short play session. This is a game that has no rules and constantly breaks the rules of all games you have played. You can die on the bloody map screen for goodness sake!

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The Rules:
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This is as simple as it gets: you die; you drink. Yep, that’s it. Once you explode in a cloud of pixelated blood and gore, bottoms up! If you can last more than ten minutes at this one, I salute you!

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since you will be dying and drinking a lot, you want something deceptively smooth and enjoyable to help calm your nerves after each death. The chocolate milk taste of a Nut’s ‘n’ Berries or the smoothness of a Buttery Nipple. Either way, you’ll at least enjoy the dying, until the next day anyway. 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/b/5/1b5ceaabab2593787516359f3ae99113.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/1/b/5/tiny_1b5ceaabab2593787516359f3ae99113.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67514","description":"

The "F" Bomb - Bulletstorm

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Any chance to write about Bulletstorm is a win in my book. In fact, I just wrote about how awesome it is, and why you should play it! As I mentioned in my piece, the game contains a lot of swear words. A LOT. Enough to make sailors blush and Samuel L. Jackson feel uncomfortable. So how does this translate to a drinking game? Actually, it is quite easy.

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The Rules:
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The rules are really simple. Whenever you hear the “f” word or a variation of uttered by our potty mouth characters, you drink. This includes all characters though, not just our main character. So whenever that enemy curses you and you reply with an equally appalling swear, two drinks to you my friend!

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The Drink of Choice:
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Since swearing is not always a good thing, an ideal drink would be something bitter and not very enjoyable by itself. Tequila neat would probably be the best option, unless you like that nasty stuff, in which case a substitute would need to be found. Before you know it, you’ll have been broken of your own swearing habits!

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/3/a53aaf0dc92e8f23857e21989b7f8cc9.png","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/5/3/tiny_a53aaf0dc92e8f23857e21989b7f8cc9.png","type":"slide","id":"67525","description":"

Errand Boy- Every RPG made

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Everyone’s favorite part of a RPG is when in order to make progress on a quest, we must scratch someone else’s back and do them a favor for some contrived reason. You may be a Grey Warden, a Spectre, a Witcher, or some other powerful character; it does not matter though. At the end of the day, even the most powerful of RPG characters must bow before the power of the errand quest.

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The Rules:
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Any RPG will do. Simply play until you encounter a quest where you must perform an errand for some NPC in order to progress. You must drink upon encountering and accepting the quest and upon completion, this way of playing helps dull the sharp edge of frustration.

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The Drink of Choice:
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There are several shots which could make for an excellent companion to this one. The B-52, Breakfast, and Chocolate Cake shots would be my go-to picks. If you want to play with the grownups though, you could instead use a Three Wise Men or Four Horsemen shots to ensure quick inebriated questing! 

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/6/2c626de145463728c035868fc80e8f19.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/2/c/6/tiny_2c626de145463728c035868fc80e8f19.jpg","type":"slide","id":"67513","description":"

We all love games, but sometimes our video games can also double as other forms of entertainment. I began to wonder, could I come up with some drinking games which are played with video games? Why yes I can! I’m not a big drinker, but I have a drink every now and then. After brainstorming this list though, I think I need to have a party! As always, please game and drink responsibly!

"}]]]>
BAFTA Game Awards 2015: The Winners https://www.gameskinny.com/feued/bafta-game-awards-2015-the-winners https://www.gameskinny.com/feued/bafta-game-awards-2015-the-winners Thu, 19 Mar 2015 18:20:49 -0400 JaydenKieran

Last Thursday (12th March) was the 2015 BAFTA Game Awards, hosted over at Tobacco Dock within the city of London, UK. It was a night of glamor for members of the gaming industry, with game developers, artists, voice actors and fans coming together from across the world to a spectacular event hosted by the brilliant Rufus Hound.

In this article, we'll be reviewing the winners from each award category.

Artistic Achievement

Out of HohokumValiant HeartsMonument ValleyFar Cry 4AC: Unity and Lumino City, it was clear what the winner of this award would be. You guessed it - Lumino City. The game is just brilliantly beautiful. Difficult at times, this puzzle adventure game uses its art to create a smooth experience for the player.

Join us as we learn more about how Lumino City was created.

Game Innovation

The Game Innovation award went to The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, and for very good reason. Now, I don't usually like horror games, but this game is on point. Its first person, story driven, and well... the storyline is just amazing. You play as a detective called Paul who receives a letter from a boy in danger (who happens to be called Ethan Carter), who later goes missing. Paul, with his ability to communicate with the dead, travels through the world of Red Creek Valley to determine the fate of the missing boy.

Read our official review of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter.

Audio Achievement

It's common knowledge that every game needs good audio. We want them to not only be visually appealing, we also want them to be appealing to our ears. The game that won this award nailed that. Alien: Isolation, a horror stealth game which takes place 15 years after the events of the film Alien, and uses original recordings and audio from the actual movie. The audio of Alien: Isolation is not just immersive - it takes you into a whole new realm. It is definitely a worthy winner for such an award. This video by GameSpot shows just how carefully crafted Alien: Isolation's sound engine is.

Take a look at Menachem Rephun's review of Alien: Isolation.

Best British Game and Mobile & Handheld

Funky graphics reminiscent of Fez and great sound design are both features in the winner of these two categories, Monument Valley. Developed over the course of just ten months, Monument Valley keeps you hooked on finishing its puzzles and seeing through its illusions. While the game's length and difficulty isn't a particular strong point, its ability to keep your eyes focused on your iPad screen is just brilliant. It was named as Apple's best iPad game of 2014, and by January this year, it managed to sell a whopping two million copies.

Rich Kovarovic wrote this lovely review of the game.

Multiplayer

Heroes of Warcraft, rejoice! Yes, the winner of the best multiplayer game award is Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a card strategy game developed by Blizzard Entertainment. The concept is simple: take the game World of Warcraft, put the heroes and adventurers from that game into a trading card game, call it 'Hearthstone' and you've got a hit. While it may be a simple idea, its brilliance and ability to evolve with new card sets and expansions make the best multiplayer game of recent years. Even those without experience of playing games like Magic: The Gathering will still get a kick out of this wonderful delight.

Unepitaphed becomes "enthralled by the Hearthstone" in his review.

Music

We could say that Alien: Isolation is worthy of this award, but the crown was stolen from none other than Far Cry 4. Cliff Martinez, Tony Gronick, Jerome Angelot pulled out all the stops to make a brilliant soundtrack for such a great new entry into the Far Cry franchise. There's not much to say other than the work of these three individuals within this game is truly astounding.

Take a peek at our official review of Far Cry 4.

Performer

Every video game needs good voice actors and mo-cap to be a pleasant experience for the player - and that's what this award is all about. The winner is most known for her voice acting role in Disney's animated TV series 'Recess' as Gretchen Grundler, but in recent times has gone on to be the voice of a character from one of the 'greatest video games of all time'. Her name is Ashley Johnson, and she provided the voice and motion capture for Ellie from The Last of Us (and its DLC 'Left Behind'). She is truly deserving of this award and upon accepting it, gave the most emotional speech of the night:

I feel so lucky I got to play Ellie. I'm so proud I got to play a strong female character who isn't sexualized, or a damsel in distress, or even the opposite of that. Ellie is vulnerable and she's kind and she's loyal and she's the girl who probably wouldn't have fit in at school. And at times she was also allowed to be scared. This is for the tomboys, and the misfits, and the weirdos, and the outcasts, and the ones who didn't really fit in. You can sit at my table. Live long and prosper.

See our article on Ellie's impact as a female character.

Story

I may as well just come out with it now. The Last of Us: Left Behind was the winner of this award, and rightfully so. The main story of Left Behind is set three weeks before the main game. It follows Ellie and her friend Riley before Ellie had met Joel. Riley reveals she became a firefly and the pair spend the last moments they are allowed to have together by dancing and having fun. It didn't last too long and soon we are hooked to a side of Ellie we had never experienced before.

Sport

I know what you're thinking. You expect the winner of this particular category to be FIFA, or any other kind of EA Sports game, right? Surprisingly not. Skateboarding game OlliOlli took the crown, a game originally released for the PlayStation Vita. The game follows a very simple control scheming, with only a few buttons actually being needed to play the game to its full extent. The aim is to perform tricks and try to land perfectly without being a complete skateboarding failure. Not my kind of game, but hey, neither is any sport game.

Check out an article we wrote about OlliOlli before its release.

Family

It's time for the game that has had everyone hyped for the last few years. It's strangely addictive, and we're not sure when people will stop making a fuss about it, although Microsoft seem to have big plans after they recently acquired it. It's the game where you can get blown up by a creepy green creature that stealthily creeps up behind you, Minecraft. The game is simple, in fact, the clue is in the name. It has been a hit for a few years now with gameplay videos galore on YouTube and millions of sales. Being acquired by Microsoft means that the game has an opportunity to keep on growing. Although, Microsoft being Microsoft, it could just crash and burn. This particular award actually goes to the console editions of the game, rather than the original PC version. I suppose it's one way of expanding the community.

Ride a minecart all the way to Branden Sumerix' review of Minecraft: Xbox 360 Edition.

Persistent Game

This award was won by no other than the most persistent game in the history of the universe, League of Legends. This multiplayer online battle arena game is one of the most popular in its genre, though more and more competition has started to crop up such as SMITE. League of Legends has a very large competitive scene, with $2.3 million in the prize pool last year. As Bruno Mars would put it, "Hot damn."

Is League of Legends 'just another free-to-play game'?

Original Property

What exactly is an 'original property' award? Every game is 'original property' in one way or another, right? It's got to be. Regardless, Valiant Hearts grabbed this one. Valiant Hearts takes place amidst the first World War, featuring five truly remarkable characters and their stories. You could really feel for and empathize with each character in the game. Not only that, but it's also very educational in the sense that it shows just what the war was like. It's the first time I've actually saw a game manage to capture such a horrifying historical event in a great way. If that's not 'original content', I don't know what is.

Read Endure_and_Survive's review of Valiant Hearts.

Debut Game

Never Alone is the BAFTA award winning debut game of 2015. You play as little girl Nuna and her fox companion, as you solve puzzles to progress the story. The gameplay may not be completely up to scratch, but it is satisfying nonetheless, and definitely a great game to make its debut this year.

Read our official review of Never Alone. Just don't read it... alone.

Game Design

This category had some truly brilliant contenders, from Alien: Isolation to Far Cry 4 and even Hearthstone. But in the end, the winner was, and had to be, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor. I'll be honest, I've not played much of this game but it is extremely pleasing to look at. The graphics are crisp right down to the last detail and the gameplay in Middle-earth is something that I expect from every game. No other game could've competed with the design of this gorgeous game.

Sharard Ray reviewed this game on the PS3.

Ones to Watch

Potentially the trippiest game of all time, Chambara is the winner of the BAFTA Ones to Watch award, in association with Dare to Be Digital. It is a local multiplayer stealth game that only uses two colours in the entire game at any one time. The aim is to camoflauge yourself with the environment in a player versus player duel to the death! It's great fun, if anyone actually uses local multiplayer anymore.

Fellowship

We're almost at the end of our awards, but before we reveal the winner of the greatest BAFTA award, we must first turn our attention to the special recognition 'Fellowship' award. The winner of which, is none other than David Braben. He is the original developer of Elite, and has worked on many games as founder of Frontier Developments, such as Thrillville and Rollercoaster Tycoon. Braben has been developing games since 1982, and his first game Elite has recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. I am absolutely delighted that Braben was chosen to receive this award because he really is a remarkable man who has made such an outstanding contribution to the games industry over the last thirty years.

Best Game

You know what they say... "save the best until last". Here it is, the most prestigious BAFTA Game Award there is - best game. What game will fulfil its Destiny? Oh, sorry, bad joke. Yes, the winner of the award is Destiny, developed by Bungie. Honestly, everyone expected it. Destiny is a first person shooter game, a bit like Call of Duty except... well... its not. Of course, Bungie is the creator of the Halo franchise, and Destiny draws a lot of inspiration from it, from the characters to the classes. The game engine is brilliant and really feels like it is made for next-gen (although we could argue it should now be called 'current gen'). Downloadable content for the game is already available, with more coming this year. It was confirmed in November 2014 that Bungie will be developing a sequel to Destiny, and we're sure it will be just as good as the first!

Look at our official review of Destiny.

And that's it! Another round of game awards have been given out courtesy of the British gaming industry and the event itself was brilliant. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees! You can find highlights of the BAFTA Game Awards 2015 below.

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Weekly Weekend Round-Up: Mar. 13th - Mar. 15th https://www.gameskinny.com/5s4xi/weekly-weekend-round-up-mar-13th-mar-15th https://www.gameskinny.com/5s4xi/weekly-weekend-round-up-mar-13th-mar-15th Fri, 13 Mar 2015 22:09:19 -0400 Eric Nicolai

Although there seems to be a drought of new releases this weekend gamers need to find a way to relax while playing games. This may seem like a task, but time could be spent playing older releases or games that are on sale. This is a small list that may be on the to play list this week.

Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 is a game that has had a lot of successful reviews since the launch. Gamers have recently seen sales through multiple retailers making this a top choice for a recently picked up title. Far Cry 4 has already seen DLC making extra gameplay if you wanted to spend the extra cash. 

Titanfall

Titanfall is a game that a lot of people were not extremely impressed with. However, to celebrate the one year anniversary of the game the season pass is free on the Xbox One, 360, and PC. This will likely bring old players back to the game for at least long enough to explore the new areas and modes that are available. 

Counter Spy

Counter Spy is available on the PS4 as a Playstation Plus title. This game is a nice form of a 2D shooter. It has beautiful elements of 3D implemented into it though. As you scroll through the level you are able to hide behind some over and aim down the aisles that the guards reside in. Players must make their way silently through the levels to avoid raising the defcon level.

Although these games are not overwhelmingly exciting they should at least have a second glance. The weekend may not be too eventful, but this small list is likely to have a game that will have a minor part of a weekend. What will you be playing this weekend? Comment below.

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Far Cry 4 First Impressions: Living off the Land https://www.gameskinny.com/h5347/far-cry-4-first-impressions-living-off-the-land https://www.gameskinny.com/h5347/far-cry-4-first-impressions-living-off-the-land Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:37:22 -0400 Farrel Nobel

I finished Far Cry 3 about 2 weeks before I got Far Cry 4. Now I'm sitting in my room writing this article having played a good 2 hours of Ubisoft's newest game. And since I vividly remember the way Far Cry 3 felt and having just played Far Cry 4, I decided to make this first impressions article.

Kyrat Looks Gorgeous

Obviously there's a new location for the new game. Although I really enjoyed diving through the ocean killing sharks and lurking around the jungle sniping deer in Far Cry 3's famous Rook Island, Kyrat is a much more facinating and breath-taking setting for the new entry. That and, of course, the environments and lighting are all beefed up with new next-gen graphics. 

Along the outposts stationed on steep cliffs and mountains is the breath-taking view of snow-capped peaks and peaceful valleys. All of which is fully explorable. In fact, Kyrat is basically inviting you to get lost in their beautiful yet dangerous setpieces. The environment is more rich with life than Rook Island was. There are more animals to hunt and they're more aggresive and tough to kill. You might come across a group of people that are battling it out in open fire where you can jump it and help. These are the things you can expect when exploring Kyrat and they're a joy to do as well. 

Controls

Breathtaking visuals aside, the controls are basically the same as Far Cry 3. That can be a good thing and a bad thing depending on how you played the previous game. I wish they changed up the controls, stopped making us use the square button all the time. I feel like my square button will break from holding it too long.

There is a new feature where you can drive and shoot at the same time, but this comes at the expense of the old driving control scheme. Instead of using the trigger buttons (R2, L2) the left analog stick is all you need when you drive. It doesn't make the driving, especially sharp turns, feel tight anymore. Thankfully, you can change this setting in the options menu. 

Other than that everything as of how much I played the game is same old same old. Platforming has a new twist to it though which I won't spoil for you guys. Stealth is same, shooting is same as before as well. There is this new feature where you can throw bait that attracts predators so they help you kill bad guys for you. But be careful where you throw it. Throw the bait too close and the predator will end up attacking you instead. So much for discretion. 

Anyways, that's all I can say for the first impressions of Far Cry 4. Overall it's a good experience and I want to go back and explore Kyrat and do the side missions. I will have a full review up some time soon but until then, I can say Far Cry 4 has been a good game so far. 

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What to Buy With Your Tax Refund https://www.gameskinny.com/8rhvm/what-to-buy-with-your-tax-refund https://www.gameskinny.com/8rhvm/what-to-buy-with-your-tax-refund Wed, 11 Mar 2015 05:21:04 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

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Games

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If you're looking to stock up on games, whether it be for the PC, Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo, GameSkinny certainly has lots of reviews to help make some of those decisions a little bit easier. Check out some of these recent releases:

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What ideas do you have in mind? Did you like our suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/083c823e2ee80454d1780d34eaf37b5e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_083c823e2ee80454d1780d34eaf37b5e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60881","description":"

Gaming Chair

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Have you ever dreamt of splurging on the ultimate gaming chair? I know I have! This may be your perfect opportunity to provide yourself with the ultimate companion from the expensive to the even budget friendly variety. There are various types of chairs on the market for kids and adults whether you're on a PC or console. Choosing one for your child may not exactly be suitable for you, so keep that in mind--one size does NOT fit all.

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Amazon is great place to start looking, along with Best Buy, Newegg, Staples, Sears, Target, Walmart, and even bizrate. Shopping online is a great way to shop, check customer reviews, and find the best price that won't give the wallet a heart attack.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/27070d43354ea6dff7f88fd143ad7c33.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_27070d43354ea6dff7f88fd143ad7c33.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60878","description":"

Gaming Keyboard and Mouse

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Well, who doesn't need a great gaming keyboard and mouse? Keyboards like the SteelSeries Apex, Razer BlackWidow Ultimate (2014), Mad Catz S.T.R.I.K.E. TE, and the Roccat Ryos MK Pro are great options.

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When looking for the ultimate mouse, options such as the Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse, Corsair Vengeance M65, Roccat Tyon, SteelSeries Sensei Wireless, and the Razer Ouroboros are pretty sweet.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e5763aa6f9882c6ed46971b0dffd16bd.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e5763aa6f9882c6ed46971b0dffd16bd.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60873","description":"

Gaming Headset

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A killer headset definitely comes in handy when you want to fully immerse yourself in your game. PCmag.com has a great review on their Top Gaming Headsets. On this list you'll find reviews on the Razer Kraken Pro, Skullcandy PLYR 1 Gaming Headset, to the ultimate Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset.

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Here's a great review on the Corsair H1500 Headset by our own D.Slater.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6b4e3d6bfbe3798015e82be9cc680eb3.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6b4e3d6bfbe3798015e82be9cc680eb3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60871","description":"

Gaming Desk

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Perhaps it's time to replace or get a new gaming desk. Sites like Amazon are a great place to start looking for various types of desks to meet your needs and budget. Take a look at some of these extreme gaming desks and these expensive gaming desks if only to dream saying "I wish."

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This Atlantic 33935701 Gaming Desk here is a great option thanks to its features, dimensions, and price of $90.89 with shipping included.

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  • Steel rod frame construction
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  • Cable management system
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  • Fits 27 inch flat panel monitor up to 40 lbs
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  • Charging Station
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  • Speaker trays
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  • Drink holder
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  • Headset holder
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  • 26.5 inches x 50 inches x 40.25 inches; 37.4 lbs.
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"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/80437807ef14373e0e4d1fcc9753009d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_80437807ef14373e0e4d1fcc9753009d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60870","description":"

Wii U

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Getting your hands on the Nintendo Wii U system is always a wonderful idea for the entire family. The Super Mario 3D World Bundle is available at $299.99. It even includes Nintendo Land.

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Don't forget to include extra controllers, Mario Kart 8, and Super Smash Bros. These are a must-have!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/beeab7856c891159630d0cc61b956510.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_beeab7856c891159630d0cc61b956510.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60869","description":"

PlayStation 4

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What about upgrading your PS3 to the PS4 console? Whether purchasing in-store or online directly through Sony, you can get your hands on some great bundles starting at $399.99. Pick from The Last of Us Remastered, Destiny, Far Cry 4, NBA 2K15, or Little Big Planet 3.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/17e40236b23e5df2c9dd740773363c80.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_17e40236b23e5df2c9dd740773363c80.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60868","description":"

Xbox One

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If you haven’t already, how about purchasing an Xbox One console? You can purchase at various stores locally or directly online via Microsoft. Bundles start at $399.99 and up like the Madden NFL 15 without Kinect. The Assassin's Creed Unity and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag bundle with Kinect is $499.99. It also includes Titanfall for a limited time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f5d71a3ecd6ac82cb11b33e765b71162.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f5d71a3ecd6ac82cb11b33e765b71162.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60865","description":"

New PC or Laptop

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Dell has some great deals on Windows 7 PCs and laptops right now on their website where you can customize according to your budget. Deals starting from $379.99 and up on desktops; and $229.99 and up on laptops is not a bad way to go.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7edeaff2379e4785bc066c871d1c70df.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_7edeaff2379e4785bc066c871d1c70df.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60863","description":"

It’s that time of year again for W2s, 1099s, and a trip to H&R Block. If you’re lucky, some of you will get to stay indoors, hop on your trusty computer, and file those taxes online. Not having to pay the IRS is a Godsend and receiving that refund check is like Christmas (or any holiday gift). If you have a kid like me, you’ll even get a Child Tax Credit which will add some extra dollars to that check.

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Throughout the year, so many of us gamers put off buying things we’d love to own for various reasons. Now with tax season in full swing, it’s the perfect time to purchase those long-awaited for items.

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So what should you buy?
"}]]]>
Far Cry 4 Valley of the Yetis DLC Release Date is March 10th https://www.gameskinny.com/rueqi/far-cry-4-valley-of-the-yetis-dlc-release-date-is-march-10th https://www.gameskinny.com/rueqi/far-cry-4-valley-of-the-yetis-dlc-release-date-is-march-10th Thu, 26 Feb 2015 07:23:07 -0500 Stephen F. Johnston

When Far Cry 4 released Ubisoft teased the Season Pass DLC 'Valley of the Yetis'. Valley of the Yetis has now been given a release date of March 10th. So, strap on your mountain boots and get ready to return to the Himalayas!

In the Valley of the Yetis you return to Ajay where he has crashed into a Himalayan ridge. Without shelter players must fend off a cult and then the even more fearsome Yetis. Valley of the Yetis can be played in single-player and co-op mode.

Official Ubisoft Blog:

Valley of the Yetis – A crash landing on a Himalayan ridge finds Ajay fighting for his life in a strange new frozen landscape. Scavenge for tools and upgrade your campsite, while fending off deadly nighttime attacks from a mysterious cult. Explore caves in the area, but watch out for what lurks within. Valley of the Yetis has both single-player and co-op options, so it might be wise to bring a friend along to watch your back.

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Weekly Weekend Round-Up: Feb. 6th - Feb. 8th https://www.gameskinny.com/ijzz8/weekly-weekend-round-up-feb-6th-feb-8th https://www.gameskinny.com/ijzz8/weekly-weekend-round-up-feb-6th-feb-8th Sat, 07 Feb 2015 13:05:07 -0500 Eric Nicolai

Since Dying Light's launch last week, some of us have been busy killing time with that. However, there are some gamers that are waiting for other game launches that are coming soon, especially Evolve next week. To pass the weekend, and maybe the days leading up to that launch, here are some games that could kill the time.

Apotheon

Apotheon is a free download title on the PS4 for the PlayStation Plus members. Although Apotheon may seem to be the less popular of the two free titles, it is still worth the price you have already paid. Apotheon has a play style that is not unlike Metroid, Guacamelee, or any other metroidvania style game. The art of Apotheon is unique in it's style of hieroglyphics. 

 

Yakuza 4

For those of us looking for an old but great game, look no further. Yakuza 4 is now free for PlayStation Plus members on PS3. This game is a great action fighting game that can now be enjoyed for a very fair price. Yakuza 4 had amazing combat controls and was full of action from the beginning to the end. 

 

Far Cry 4

Although this is an older release in terms of game launches, now is a great time to pick up the title. Far Cry 4 is on sale for Xbox Live Gold members at $39.99. When Far Cry 4 launched, there was a lot of hype surrounding it and should not be overlooked at this price. If you are looking for a cheap, newer release, look no more. 

These titles seem to be rather dull when anticipating a huge AAA title like Evolve, but they are at great prices, and they're great games to pass the weekend. What games will you be playing? Comment below.

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Ubisoft Reactivating Questionable Far Cry 4 Keys To Uplay Accounts https://www.gameskinny.com/inr3j/ubisoft-reactivating-questionable-far-cry-4-keys-to-uplay-accounts https://www.gameskinny.com/inr3j/ubisoft-reactivating-questionable-far-cry-4-keys-to-uplay-accounts Tue, 03 Feb 2015 07:34:36 -0500 Ryan Mayle

Last week a good amount of drama happened out of nowhere when it came to Ubisoft, Uplay, and Far Cry 4. This was the sudden removal of Far Cry 4 from many Uplay accounts. (You can read more about it here.)

Many people were upset as it was revealed that a few third-party resellers of Far Cry 4 sold games illegally obtained keys, which in turn flagged user accounts. This led Ubisoft to remove the game from many user's accounts, even if they had purchased the game in a legal fashion. Today over at Game Informer a Ubisoft spokesperson came out to issue a statement on its new stance on the issue.

"After further investigation into the matter of keys that were fraudulently purchased on EA's Origin store, we are reinstating keys for consumers who already had successfully activated and started playing the games,"

This is great news for people who had unknowingly purchased bad copies of Far Cry 4, but the Ubisoft spokesman continued by mentioning that they will continue to not honor illegally obtained keys.

This goes to show you that a great deal on a PC game can still be a sketchy deal. If a deal seems too good to be true, there just might be some illegal activity going on.

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