Gears of War 3 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Gears of War 3 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Gears of War 3 Releases On PS3, Kind Of https://www.gameskinny.com/gagbk/gears-of-war-3-releases-on-ps3-kind-of https://www.gameskinny.com/gagbk/gears-of-war-3-releases-on-ps3-kind-of Fri, 21 May 2021 14:07:43 -0400 David Carcasole

A year ago, it was discovered that Gears of War 3, one of the seminal titles in the Xbox exclusive franchise, was used in Unreal Engine 3 testing and made to run on the PlayStation 3.

Now, a year later, that build has been released to the public through Twitter user PixelButts, marking a decade since the build was made and the time a coveted Xbox franchise made its way to a Sony system.

Those keen enough can go download the build here at archive.org, though unfortunately, it's unlikely you'll be able to get it running due to technical constraints.

"Although this data is a decade old and has circulated that whole time, I was the first to get it working," said PixelButts in a follow-up tweet, after stating that they will not be providing any tech support for those looking to grab their Dualshock 3's. 

This build might never have been intended to be seen by the public, and it might have only been part of a test, but it is still an interesting piece of gaming history to see such a staunchly Xbox franchise running on PlayStation hardware.

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This Was the Best Decade in Gaming History, and I Can Prove It https://www.gameskinny.com/w33ve/this-was-the-best-decade-in-gaming-history-and-i-can-prove-it https://www.gameskinny.com/w33ve/this-was-the-best-decade-in-gaming-history-and-i-can-prove-it Sun, 29 Dec 2019 14:27:56 -0500 Ty Arthur

The decade is coming to a close, and while there was controversy — and a few franchises flopped  the last 10 years provided some of the best moments in the history of gaming.

If you lived through the 2010s, you witnessed new, powerful console launches, new developers knocking it out of the park, and new, exciting tech releases from the ill-fated Kinect to the still burgeoning VR field.

All of that and more led to an unforgettable 10 years in gaming that rivaled much of what came before. Don't believe me? Let's take a look back at the industry's defining achievements over the past 10 years.  

The Early 2010s

Certain moments will live forever. Lady Gaga's meat outfit. Rebecca Black's Friday. Kony 2012. The color of that stupid dress. Marriage equality. "But her emails." Leo finally getting that damn Oscar. 

For me, the decade began in earnest when I put GLaDOS into a potato in Portal 2. The combination of humor and disturbing horror sold it as much as the game's top-notch voice acting and rock solid gameplay. That overall package had me sitting in awe, thinking: "Did modern video games just become amazing right this second?" 

Aside from the hilarious legacy of Portal's sequel (which itself will never be a follow-up since Valve sadly can't count to three), the 2010s kicked off in earnest with notable returns from major series featuring big changes. Mass Effect 2 ditched the extraneous RPG elements and somehow came out better for it; Dead Space 2 ramped up the horror and gore of the first game; and, of course, Starcraft 2: Wings Of Liberty arrived with a makeover and revamped multiplayer.

The early 2010s proudly brought the gaming universe a re-tooled horde mode in Gears of War 3, and it's one that stood the test of time. Aside from still holding the title of "one of the least toxic cooperative multiplayer modes" ever made, horde in Gears of War 3 remains the gold standard of multiplayer. Horde is one of the primary reasons why fans return to the Gears series even after the IP switched developers.

While those big-name AAA franchises made their marks, Minecraft became a phenomenon. Mojang's smash hit created an enduring legacy that can't be denied, even if the survival/open-world LEGO mashup has been endlessly emulated. Somehow the pop phenomenon still has hundreds of millions of active players, showing Mojang's vision wasn't just a fluke. 

Between an insane number of skins, seeds, maps, and mods, Minecraft has to be one of the most expansive gaming experiences of all time, and it will probably still be up and running long after we are all dead and gone. As we move into the next decade, we're preparing for Minecraft Dungeons, which could possibly be a game we'll still be talking about in 10 years. Who knows?

      OK, maybe it wouldn't have been the worst
thing if we didn't know about this guy...

Another low-key title that had a bigger impact than many realize — though not Minecraft big — came in the horror genre. 

Amnesia: The Dark Descent kicked off the "defenseless" horror subgenre that has seen the likes of Outlast, Layers of Fear, and Alien: Isolation follow in its footsteps. Although the Amnesia series is now quaint when compared to what came after it, it brought the horror genre to the masses. Why? Because big-name streamers loved it.

Reaction videos to Amnesia's scarier scenes caught on like wildfire, and it's partly to thank for the sudden spike in video game streaming personalities in the early part of the decade. Without Amnesia, it's possible that the likes of PewDiePie and Markiplier might remain relatively unknown.

       It is an absolute tragedy that this didn't catch on.

Despite all of the unexpected successes, there were some "sure things" that ended up nosediving in the early part of the decade. Nintendo — normally a pillar of stability — saw the Wii U ultimately flop, even though the hardware itself had some fantastic applications.

If you haven't experienced Rayman Legends local multiplayer using both the Wii U pad and your television screen, then you missed out on a critical piece of amazing gaming history.

While the Wii U has been consigned to the dust bin, other parts of the early 2010 gaming landscape caught on like wildfire and still haven't gone out.

Though I point blank hated Skyrim, credit must be given where it's due. Bethesda captured the imagination of a generation with that particular Elder Scrolls entry, and Skyrim managed to remain popular enough to see re-release some dozen or so times across multiple consoles throughout the decade.

Without question, Skyrim played a large role in the success of the 2010 console cycle, but it had an even bigger impact on the PC landscape. Simply put, Skyrim is the king of mods, and has born an entire generation of modders that have created some truly fantastic experiences. 

To date, Skyrim has more than 56,000 downloads available on Nexus Mods. Yeah, a lot of them are nude mods, but between the total conversion mods and extremely clever gameplay tweaks, Skyrim can be an amazing game with the right modding.

The mod effect went well past Bethesda's fantasy baby this decade. Other open world games like Red Dead Redemption 2 are getting a slew of mods, but everything from XCOM to the Resident Evil 2 remake are finding extra play time through some pretty genius mods.

While story took a back seat to open-world exploration in Skyrim, storytelling as a whole wasn't left in the dust in this early period of the decade. Plenty of games weren't afraid to go with more mature or unexpected themes, from the devastating opening of The Last Of Us to the mind-bending twist in Bioshock Infinite

Story rich or story lacking, open world or linear, the early part of the 10s was drowning in genre-defining games... but things would take a turn just a few years later. 

The Mid 2010s

         Telltale looking at Telltale and getting ready to pull the trigger       

Has a developer ever risen so quickly and then fallen so far as Telltale? The Wolf Among Us and the first season of The Walking Dead are still hallmarks of interactive storytelling, but sadly, the development team, under immense pressure, faced insurmountable hurdles.

A badly aging engine, lack of new ideas, and overspending on major franchises weighed the dev down by the time Game Of Thrones Season 1 ended. Sadly, things did not improve, and the company shuttered later in the decade. We never got to see the heights this style could have reached if material like Stranger Things, Hellraiser, or True Detective had been made available.

While the Telltale name is currently clawing back from the dead, it appears this new version of the company won't feature the same people (which may be a good thing) and will work on a much smaller scale. Will we ever get anything as compelling as Bigby's murder mystery or Clementine's journey to adulthood? Probably not, but at least we've still got our memories. 

       Goodbye old friend. You will be missed.

Another amazingly bittersweet moment arrived in April 2016 as the beloved Xbox 360 finally met its end. While Games With Gold is still offering up free titles each month and a handful of games are still hitting the platform, production on this console legend officially stopped. If you've still got a 360, be sure to keep hold of it -- because no more are being made! Microsoft managed to bring out the longest-running console cycle in gaming history, lasting more than 10 solid years. 

The next-gen got off to a rocky start not long before the 360 ceased production (remember the horror that was Assassin's Creed Unity?) but the decade's trend of disappointing trilogy conclusions with Dead Space 3 and Mass Effect 3 would come to a shattering and conclusive close with The Witcher 3.

Without question, The Witcher 3 put CD Projekt Red on the map and showed that an open-world RPG could be story-rich and offer more than just endless fetch quests and following map markers. Even more impressively, The Witcher 3 remains one of the very few titles to feature DLC that is easily as strong as the base game.

Considering the many amazing ladies of the series (oh, and Geralt too, I guess) just made the leap to a Netflix Original Series, it seems The Witcher franchise is going to live on for quite some time.

The same time period didn't just see the arrival of some truly great games it also saw a change in how games are developed and the ways in which developers interact with players.

Although the method had been around for some time, it was around the mid-2010s that Early Access started to become a vehicle for on-going development. 

Though Early Access has seen its fair share of hate and has been legitimately abused, it gave us titles as diverse and satisfying as Darkest Dungeon, Slime Rancher, and later, Subnautica. Early Access has shown that supporting developers along the way and allowing tweaks to be made from fan feedback can result in better-finished products.

      Should have called it Baldur's Wind Dale: Temple Of Elemental Torment.

Rising alongside Early Access, the crowd-funding revolution also emerged in the 2010s, giving us an amazing crop of old-school RPGs like Pillars of Eternity and Wasteland 2

Fans wanted classic isometric games utilizing tactical real-time-with-pause or turn-based combat, but publishers just weren't willing to take the risk. They couldn't see that nostalgia equals money. Kickstarter and Indiegogo stepped in.

While Obsidian and InXile got snapped up by Microsoft in 2018 and it would seem are now cranking out some very off-brand console titles we still had a good number of years where fans had the final say on what would get released in those instances.

Kickstarter would later grow to feature revitalized classics such as Shenmue 3 and the Castlevania-adjacent Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night. Whether you asked for a refund and still think its a scam or are eagerly playing along, Star Citizen showed just how massive a crowd funding campaign can become. Somehow its still earning crowd funding revenue, having raked in more than $250 million from fans who know what they want and are willing to pay to get it.

Outside the realm of the typical gaming sphere, a surprising new genre would emerge and make a bigger impact than anyone suspected: absurdist games meant entirely for Let's Plays, reaction vids, and water-cooler talk.

"Classics" like Goat Simulator and Octodad: Dadliest Catch saw gamers re-thinking what truly makes a game great, while also laying the foundation for newer entries like Untitled Goose Game.

The Late 2010s

      Welcome back, Nintendo!

Breath Of The Wild was exactly what Nintendo needed to retake its position near the head of the pack. A major shift in gameplay towards an open-world style gave the Zelda franchise and the Switch a serious shot in the arm.

A brand new design for Nintendo's latest console didn't hurt either, as the combination of permanent home base console and mobile device re-captured the imaginations of gamers. While the controller and movement-based games like 1-2 Switch don't seem to have caught on, Nintendo is still very clearly back into position as console innovator. 

Another open-world game that defined this same period, but on the PlayStation 4, was Horizon Zero Dawn. The combination of old and new styles with a gripping mystery of humanity's past pushed forward by a fiery main character gave many players a reason to stick with the PS4. 

Considering the lauded Red Dead Redemption came out in 2010 and Red Dead Redemption 2 was one of the most highly anticipated titles of 2018, it's clear that the open-world trend has reigned supreme this decade.

One game refutes that claim, though, is Fortnite.

You might love to hate it, but you have to ask yourself: has any other title done more to bring gaming into the public consciousness? When Star Wars and Avengers hold in-game events in Fortnite, I think it's clear we've surpassed fandom boundaries and hit the big time.

The concept of Battle Royale has been around for quite awhile, and one could argue it hit its stride with PUBG not long after getting popular through the DayZ mod to Arma 2. That being said, it wasn't until Fortnite that the term became a household name and a genre giant in its own right. 

The resurgence of Battle Royale aside, Fortnite still plays a major role in live streaming, catapulting it to a previously unknown level of popularity with celebrity appearances and major eSports events. Fortnite managed to hit just about every platform imaginable, including mobile phones, and that's another area of gaming worth looking at that made a huge splash in the '10s.

      Not only is this peak 2010s, I'd argue it was also the
reason the internet was invented

Forget Angry Birds and Candy Crush, because there was an absolute explosion of mobile gaming covering every conceivable genre this decade. Aside from the clear cultural significance, Pokemon Go's launch started the AR craze meant to get gamers off the couch and out into the world of sunlight and exercise.

Even if you didn't care for the change in mechanics from the other monster-collecting titles, Pokemon Go was the gift that just kept on giving, from Pokemoan dildos (yep, they exist) to a Chuck Tingle erotica book, to a news cycle that kept bringing up new insanity every, single day.

While some games got smaller and more mobile, others got larger and more tethered VR broke into the mainstream. The PSVR brought true virtual reality to console gamers for a (sort of) affordable price for the first time.

Meanwhile, a number of dueling PC VR platforms are now pushing the boundaries and getting the tech where it needs to go. Vive and Oculus are currently duking it out, with the Oculus Quest now ditching wires and even the PC entirely for a more liberated experience. We haven't seen the best VR has to offer yet  that's for sure  but what's available today is already impressive.

If virtual worlds are less important to you than the interactions that occur within them, the late 2010s were a time when communities really started coming together through platforms like Twitch and Discord.

While the former popped up in 2011 and the latter in 2015, it hasn't been until recent years that they've really come into their own. Whether a mobile gacha title or a graphics-intensive PC shooter, pretty much every game worth playing has its own Discord community where players help each other out and forge new relationships.

New consoles, new tech, new ways of communicating, and new and returning franchises made this is a decade to remember in gaming history.

Looking Forward to 2020 and Beyond

That all about brings us to the present: 2019 was filled to the brim with major gaming news. Bungie parted with Activision but kept the Destiny series; Blizzard stepped in it with their poor handling of eSports players discussing Chinese democracy protests; and Xbox Game Studios snapped up Double Fine back in August.

On the release front, the tail end of the decade hasn't slouched with top-notch new games in a number of surprising genres. Disco Elysium came out of nowhere, and yeah, it deserves the hype. If you miss Planescape: Torment style text-heavy experiences, you want to play this one. The movie snippet experimentation with Telling Lies is also well worth experiencing and shows gaming can be just as interesting and story-rich as cinema. That's not to mention Netflix's Bandersnatch.

As the year ends, we're seeing more changes to the gaming landscape with monthly game services like Game Pass, PS Now, EA Access, and more coming into prominence. Even the mobile gaming crowd is getting in on the monthly subscription action with Apple Arcade and Google Play Pass. If you want to try out a bunch of games for a low monthly price, there's never been a better time to explore what's available on console, PC, or mobile devices.

Of course, the obvious next step of this digital revolution was the advent of the all-streaming Stadia and XCloud. The effect of those changes is still anyone's guess, but it sure looks like we're barreling towards a digital future with a Netflix style library of games.

As Google and all-streaming services come into the spotlight, the console wars still raged between Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo. The PS4 managed to become the fourth best selling console of all time this gen, and some killer exclusives likely played a big role there. How the PS5 and Xbox Series X stack up against each other still remains to be seen.

Far more happened in this decade than we ever could have covered in one article, and I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me which games and events I missed that made this the best 10 years in gaming history.

For now, it's time to look toward the future, as next-gen consoles are well into development and are expected to arrive next holiday season. Major titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Baldur's Gate 3, and The Last Of Us 2 are mere months away, and we can't wait to see what the next 10 years have in store! 

What were your favorite video game moments from 2010-2019, and do you agree that it was the best decade in gaming history? Sound off in the comments below!

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New Maps Coming in Gears of War 4 First Update https://www.gameskinny.com/nczie/new-maps-coming-in-gears-of-war-4-first-update https://www.gameskinny.com/nczie/new-maps-coming-in-gears-of-war-4-first-update Sun, 30 Oct 2016 15:27:34 -0400 StrongerStrange

Gears of War 4 might only be a month old at this point, but developer The Coalition isn't planning to rest anytime soon. The first title update for this game will be available to download on the November 1st, and with it brings about a few changes in relation to weapon tuning, and improving the general stability across Windows platforms. Butthis is not the only good news coming from this update.

We have two new maps being launched as well -- Checkout and Drydock, both from Gears of War 3. If you don't have a season pass you will have to wait until November 8th to play them, but once downloaded you can play them to your heart's content.

I have fond memories of Checkout, as it was one of the Gears of War 3 beta maps. And to be honest, roadie-running through all the shops and pretending that it's a more extreme version of Supermarket sweep never gets old.

You can check out flythroughs of the maps below:

 

 

Let's hope that we get even more new maps in the future -- though if they want to keep adding old maps I'm fine with that as well.

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The best and worst dads of gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/dvkac/the-best-and-worst-dads-of-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/dvkac/the-best-and-worst-dads-of-gaming Thu, 16 Jun 2016 15:30:01 -0400 Ty Arthur

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That wraps up our rankings of the best and worst father figures from every era and platform of the video game universe. What did you think of our list and who should have made the cut that we missed?

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Here at Gameskinny we'd like to wish a very fond happy Father's Day to all the gaming daddy's out there! What games have you gotten your kids into and are they beating your high scores yet?

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For all the gaming momma's – we didn't forget about you! You get your own list of amazing and terrifying mothers right here.

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King Of All Cosmos – Katamari Damacy

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This hilarious father figure from the Katamari series also previously made our list of the most outrageous and least inspiring quotes in all gaming for his relentlessly negative speech.

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A bumbling creator god, the King frequently accidentally destroys existence, then tasks his kids with fixing everything for him.

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The King definitely doesn't believe in coddling his children, or even giving them any sort of positive reinforcement. I can't tell you how many times I heard the sad music in Beautiful Katamari as the King said “Here's a tip: you can do better!”

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In one instance if you fail a level, he goes on a massive tirade about what a slacker his son the Prince truly is and how sad it is he has such a loser for a son... while he hurls giant pool balls at you!

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Joel – The Last Of Us

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Dang, Joel fights hard to save his daughter in the opening segment of The Last Of Us, but alas, it wasn't meant to be, and she's an early casualty in the end of the world.

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After turning into a hardened killer who does what it takes to survive in a world gone mad, Joel goes even more nuts to protect surrogate daughter Ellie. That dedication to protecting her actually dooms the world, making him the best dad, but perhaps worst human being.

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Sole Survivor – Fallout 4

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Whether the Sole Survivor is a fantastic dad or a really, really bad one sort of depends on how you play, but honestly it's pretty hard to be a good father in this game. Who seriously followed only the main story line quests from beginning to end without doing ANYTHING on the side? 

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Sure, your kid has been kidnapped out of time from a cryogenic facility, but there's lots to do out there in the Commonwealth, and eventually something is going to draw you away.

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Whether it's the lure of caps, all those super needy settlements that Preston Garvey is so excited to tell you about, or maybe even the mysteries to be discovered in Far Harbor, it's a good bet you'll spend some time forgetting all about little Shaun.

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The Lone Wanderer's Dad – Fallout 3

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Who doesn't want Liam Neeson as a dad? I mean, he'd go to crazy lengths to get you back! Although in Fallout 3, he's a lot less of the dad from Taken than a mild mannered scientist trying to make a difference.

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James gives up his scientific pursuits to bring pure water to the wasteland to care for his son in Vault 101. Of course, the lure of science and progress pulls him out of the Vault and onto a new quest, with the Lone Wanderer following in his footsteps as the two go on adventures together across the wasteland.

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In a stunning example of fatherly love, if you blow up Megaton and tell him about it, he totally forgives you. I'm honestly not sure if that's good or bad parenting. Later on in the game, James sacrifices himself so the Lone Wanderer can escape the Enclave soldiers.

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Kratos – God Of War

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You've got to give it to Kratos for really sending some mixed messages and exemplifying both ends of the good/bad spectrum.

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On the one hand, he went on an epic quest to find Ambrosia to save his daughter from plague. On the other, he then subsequently killed his wife and daughter.

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Sure, he was sort of tricked into doing it by Ares, but he still did it, and then spends the rest of the series killing every god he comes across in response.

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Barret Wallace – Final Fantasy 7

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Another non-biological dad, Barret adopts Marlene after Shinra massacres everyone in Corel. He's constantly struggling between wanting to be around his daughter – who by all accounts is turning out to be a polite and pleasant little girl despite her roughshod father – and going off to battle monsters and corporations to save the planet.

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Adam Fenix – Gears Of War

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Although very bad for both humanity and locust (what with engineering the hammer of dawn strikes and then literally killing all locust everywhere), Adam was apparently very good to his son, who felt a fanatical loyalty to Adam.  The Gears hero Marcus ends up spending years in prison when he abandons his post in a doomed attempt save his dad.

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When the two are finally reunited years later in Azura, Adam is more than a little apologetic for all he cost his son. In the upcoming Gears Of War 4 we'll get to find out if Marcus is any better a dad, as his son will be one of the main characters in the next generation.

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Harry Mason – Silent Hill

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Unlike James Sunderland from Silent Hill 2, Harry Mason isn't secretly the antagonist who killed his whole family, so he's already got that going for him.

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In the original Silent Hill that really kicked the survival horror craze into high gear, poor Harry just wants to find his daughter and get the heck out of the creepy city filled with evil monsters and crazy religious zealots.

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He goes through some severe craziness to ultimately achieve his goal and prevent her from being used as a conduit for an evil god. Eventually in Silent Hill 3, Harry actually dies for his daughter.

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Lee Everett – The Walking Dead Season 1

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The first of several non-biological fathers we'll cover, after coming across Clementine during the zombie apocalypse, Lee Everett more than rises to the occasion of raising a little girl who isn't his own.

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From figuring out how to cut hair to finding a way to feed Clementine and even teaching her important life lessons while the world slides into horror, Lee is a hell of a surrogate dad.

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Even in his dying act he toughens up Clementine, making her more prepared for the way the world has become.

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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/d/a/d/dads-e7d21.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/d/a/d/dads-e7d21.jpg","type":"slide","id":"121074","description":"

The fathers of the gaming world are frequently an ill-fated bunch, always either dying to spur their offspring on to save the world, or having their kids die so they embark on revenge missions.

\n

I'm a new father myself, with my beautiful little boy Gannicus Picard Arthur arriving just last week, and there's no doubt gaming will be a big part of our relationship.

\n

The first night I spent with him in the NICU involved explaining when to use the lancer and when to use the hammerburst, the circumstances under which blind fire is a viable tactic, and when its acceptable to leave cover. Hopefully I'll have him rolling d20s as soon as he's big enough to not try swallowing them.

\n

There's been a lot of iconic fathers – both good and bad – in the history of gaming, and here we're going to count down some of the most memorable on both ends of the spectrum.

\n

For the other side of the parenting coin, check out our list of the best and worst moms in gaming instead!

"}]]]>
Remembering the 360: The Must-Have Xbox Exclusives https://www.gameskinny.com/zo1iq/remembering-the-360-the-must-have-xbox-exclusives https://www.gameskinny.com/zo1iq/remembering-the-360-the-must-have-xbox-exclusives Thu, 21 Apr 2016 10:56:00 -0400 Ian Ilano

[{"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/x/b/o/xbox360-console-controller-rhs-rgb-launch2013-kinect-14b92.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/x/b/o/xbox360-console-controller-rhs-rgb-launch2013-kinect-14b92.png","type":"slide","id":"113022","description":"

Conclusion

\n

Like few consoles before it, the Xbox 360 managed to redefine gaming to a growing generation of gamers. It did the unfathomable — the impossible. It managed to completely change the way games were meant to be played.

\n

It wasn't just about the single player experience anymore. The Xbox 360 successfully connected us all to one another. It was the first console that really pioneered the multiplayer experience.

\n

And with it came:

\n
    \n
  • online achievements
  • \n
  • virtual avatars
  • \n
  • a direct messaging system
  • \n
  • and an online store
  • \n
\n

It's a sad day indeed, when one of the generation's most defining consoles comes to an end. But it was bound to happen eventually. The 360's legacy will live on in the future consoles that follow.

\n

Rest in peace, Xbox 360. You'll be missed.

"},{"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/2/5/9/2590223-8539926026-23463-2004d.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/2/5/9/2590223-8539926026-23463-2004d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113020","description":"

Halo 3

\n

And now we come to the "must-have" out of all "must-haves." The epitome of everything Microsoft and Xbox 360. The game that we all know and love — Halo 3. 

\n

The Halo series is arguably Microsoft's most successful video game series. And it makes sense. The setting is amazing, the story is rich, and Master Chief is a total-badass as usual. Halo 3 managed to capture everything we loved about the Halo series and condense it all into one game.

\n
It looked great, it played amazing, and it was fun, both online and offline.
\n

From its memorable multiplayer experiences to its interesting and rich single player storyline, Halo 3 continues to represent everything great the Xbox 360 had to offer. 

\n

The beauty of Halo 3 is that we can all relate to it.

\n

We all have that one game that just made a huge impact on our lives. And to some, Halo 3 is that game. 

\n

\n

Just looking at the picture brings back memories of the better times...

\n

While I did enjoy the single-player experience, playing with online was the big selling point. I remember spending countless hours just messing around in custom lobbies -- connecting with friends and new people, all over some random game. Even now, when I've played more recent and more modern online games, none are able to capture the exact feel and uniqueness present in Halo 3.

\n

Xbox Live servers are still up, and if anything, the multiplayer experience is reason enough to pick it up.

\n

And if it isn't, rest assured that you'll be following Chief in one of the most compelling stories you've experience. It ties in some of the loose questions so perfectly. It's why it's the number one exclusive.

"},{"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/o/r/forzahorizon-screen-5df92.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/o/r/forzahorizon-screen-5df92.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113018","description":"

Forza Horizon 2

\n

Imagine a life where you're not held back by money. You can buy whatever car you want, customize it, and take it out for a spin with your friends.

\n

That's your life in Forza Horizon 2.

\n

The game is just amazing in every single way.

\n
    \n
  • First off, it's visually appealing. The graphics are nothing short of amazing. Every visual, every particle effect is just so crisp and nice. 
  • \n
  • Second, the level of customization is insane. You're free to do whatever you want with your car. You want to keep it tuned to stock standards? Go ahead. Do you want to create a complete eye-sore? Be my guest.
  • \n
  • Third, it's open world. You can take your car from one end of the map to the next, or you can spawn directly onto key locations on the map. The map is, quite literally, your playground.
  • \n
\n

\n

I'm not a fan of the car, but the graphics are something else.

\n
    \n
  • Fourth and lastly, you can cruise alongside friends. It takes racing to a new level. It's all fun and games when you're racing on the track, but things get a bit more personal — and intense — when you hand-build the car yourself. 
  • \n
\n

I spent my days grinding away on Trackmania and Need for Speed. I thought Burnout Paradise was the ultimate open-world car game, but I was wrong. I have since accepted Forza Horizon 2 as my lord and savior, the ultimate car game that is second to none. Thank you Turn 10 Studios.

\n

Thank you.

"},{"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/g/e/a/gears-war-wallpaper-c6a3a.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/g/e/a/gears-war-wallpaper-c6a3a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113019","description":"

Gears of War 3

\n

Now we've come to the "big boy" exclusives. First up comes a game that needs no introduction, a game centered around humanity's last struggle against a horde of mutant humanoid creatures -- Gears of War 3.

\n

Met with critical acclaim upon release, Gears of War 3 successfully wraps up one of the Xbox 360's most recognized series. The game itself brings immersive action and stunning visuals. Seriously, the game looks amazing.

\n

\n

Most games can learn a thing or two from these armor sets.

\n

And one of the most defining elements was its multiplayer. While not as huge as another noteworthy Xbox exclusive, the game's multiplayer experience was indeed fun. I remember the first time I found a Boomshot. I never put the game down after that.

\n

It's stunning graphics, immersive combat, and fun multiplayer make this one of the top exclusive titles.

"},{"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/b/fable2new1-a70ab.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/b/fable2new1-a70ab.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113016","description":"

Fable 2

\n

Fable 2 is an action role-playing game developed by Lionhead Studios. Players will take control of the Hero of Bowerstone, set on a journey to prevent an evil lord from controlling the Spire. 

\n

First things first — which one is better, Fable or Fable 2? It's an age-old debate, and I'm going to end it today.

\n

Fable 2 is better, and here's why it's a must-have exclusive:

\n
    \n
  • a lot more content than the previous game. Fable 1 did not have as much content as this one did. 
  • \n
  • a better story-line. Fable 1's story was very basic and linear. If you wanted a more compelling narrative with interesting character, Fable 2 is the game you should get. 
  • \n
  • better graphics. The visuals are stunning in Fable 2. While I'm a strong advocate against using graphics as a sole reason to buy a game, you can't argue with a comparison shot.
  • \n
  • challenging. If you're more interested in challenging combat, the second one is for you.
  • \n
\n

\n

Would you look at that? It's gorgeous.

\n

Fable 2 is a game that every proud Xbox owner should have in their collection. The game will take you on a cute and whimsical storyline — the likes of which you've never seen before.

"},{"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/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-xbox-360-c27e2.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/t/a/l/tales-vesperia-xbox-360-c27e2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113013","description":"

Tales of Vesperia

\n

Japanese RPGs are some of the greatest games you'll ever play. The music, the gameplay, and the story-line — all of these characteristics are typical of a well-developed JRPG, and make western games pale in comparison. 

\n

Tales of Vesperia is one of the games that has it all.

\n

Developed by Namco Tales Studio, Tales of Vesperia features:

\n
    \n
  • an extremely memorable soundtrack.
  • \n
  • a refreshing combat system.
  • \n
  • and one of the best stories that I've ever experienced.
  • \n
\n

\n

The combat is very dynamic. You're not just staying in one place the whole time.

\n

One of the hardest parts about playing a Japanese RPGs is the appeal. Sometimes, it just doesn't appeal to gamers. Luckily, Tales of Vesperia does it's best to appeal to the western market. It is the first game of the series to offer complete dialogue in English, and feature elements of western RPGs. 

\n

It's one of the games every Xbox 360 owner should buy. You won't regret it.

"},{"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/halowars-1438711884638-1280w-c38ed.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/halowars-1438711884638-1280w-c38ed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113011","description":"

Halo Wars

\n

Because it was completely different from the series' previous installments, the announcement of Halo Wars initially worried some people. Traditionally, it would be a bit weird to find a real-time strategy game on a console. The genre just doesn't work out like it does on a PC. Surprisingly, Halo Wars did.

\n

I'd go as far as to say that Halo Wars is the best RTS game available for a console.

\n

\n

Now, that's an angle I know you haven't seen before.

\n

Ensemble Studios succeeded in creating a game that "felt at home on the console." Halo Wars had solid gameplay, responsive controls, and an entertaining story-line. The game even brings its very own, epic Halo soundtrack.

\n

It's both visually appealing and immersive, and it paints the Halo Universe in a way that we haven't seen it before. All in all, a solid choice.

"},{"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/2/0/7/207359-image10-full-76e97.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/2/0/7/207359-image10-full-76e97.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113023","description":"

Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2

\n

It's funny. Geometry Wars was originally developed as a small project to test out the 360's controller, and now, it turned out to be one of the most addicting games available.

\n

The core concept is simple. Players control space ships and are tasked with avoiding violent polygons hurling towards them. They use the left analog stick to move, and the right to shoot. The goal is to survive for as long as you possibly can.

\n

However, it's not the concept that makes this game stand apart from others, it's how polished it is. Geometry Wars was a decent title, but Bizarre Creations improved all the right areas in Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2.

\n

\n

Take that you filthy abhorrent shapes!

\n
    \n
  • The movement and controls felt so fluid. It just felt "right" in your hands.
  • \n
  • The camera followed you around perfectly. For a game that's so fast-paced and intense, camera placement is crucial.
  • \n
  • The development team included a whole array of game modes. This is for players, like me, who ever got bored of the standard game mode. There was a whopping selection to choose from.
  • \n
\n

Currently, Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 holds the title as "The Best Xbox Live Arcade Game," and while I'm not going to argue with that, I think a better — and more fitting title — would be, the "Best Stress Reliever."

\n

 

"},{"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/2/0/1/20110218011358172637-604e1.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/2/0/1/20110218011358172637-604e1.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113010","description":"

Viva Piñata

\n

Do not be fooled by its childish visuals. Though it initially looks like it caters specifically to kids, Viva Piñata can be a great and memorable experience if you're willing to give it a try.

\n

The game starts with you constructing a farm on an island. As you develop and improve your farm, you soon find the island's fluffy inhabitants flocking to you. The goal of the game is simple: collect as many pinatas as you can. 

\n
Essentially, it's Neko Atsume: Cat Collector on steroids.
\n

One of the best things about this game is the gameplay. It's not an ordinary simulator. You have to cater and watch over the piñatas who come to your farm. They can fight, they can get angry, and some piñatas are so dang picky that obtaining them is near impossible. 

\n
And the best part about it?
\n

There are over 70 unique piñatas to discover. Their uniqueness and individuality is so refreshing that it's incredibly satisfying when you do discover one. People of all ages can enjoy collecting them.

\n

Viva Pinata

\n

A great person once said, "It's so fluffy, I just might die."

\n

Viva Piñata stands as one of those, "hit or miss" type of games. Some will enjoy it, some won't. But it's worth picking up if you ever get the chance. You may be kidding yourself from a great experience otherwise.

"},{"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/c/a/s/castle-crashers00-c90b6.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/c/a/s/castle-crashers00-c90b6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113009","description":"

Castle Crashers

\n

What's a game driven only by the primal desire to hack and slash your way through enemies? A game void of meaningful content and dialogue, but filled to the brim with action-packed adventures and comical sword-play?

\n

Well, the most appropriate answer to that question would be Castle Crashers.

\n
It's nothing short of the ultimate "beat 'em up."
\n

Created by Dan Paladin and Tom Fulp, Castle Crashers closely resembles a modernized 2D arcade game.

\n

If you're looking for a game to kill some time, look no further than this.

\n

Castle Crashers

\n

The environment isn't the only thing visually appealing, look at that monster!

\n

There's no dialogue, and there's barely even a story. Yet still, the action is enough to keep your attention for a good while. Mindless killing alongside friends and family? Come on, what's not to love about that?

"},{"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/i/g/fight-930x52400-08d0f.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/i/g/fight-930x52400-08d0f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113014","description":"

Jade Empire

\n

When you ask someone to name a game made by BioWare, they'll typically jump out and recite one of the usual big three: Knights of the Old Republic, Mass Effect, or Dragon Age. Very few will mention titles like Neverwinter Nights or Baldur's Gate, and even fewer are familiar with Jade Empirea game that I feel deserves more recognition than it was given.

\n

Released in 2005, Jade Empire is a role-playing game that offers players a glimpse into the eastern world. The game itself takes place in ancient China, and it features:

\n
    \n
  • a compelling narrative.
  • \n
  • an interesting and memorable cast of companions.
  • \n
  • and a fun, albeit clunky, combat system.
  • \n
\n

\n

For its time, the game has aged pretty well.

\n

If you're a fan of role-playing games,  it's worth going back and giving Jade Empire a shot. Just don't set your expectations too high. In the end,  it still has its flaws. Regardless, I consider it a classic RPG, definitely worthy enough to stand alongside BioWare's other great works.

"},{"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/x/b/o/xbox-360-logo-81383.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/x/b/o/xbox-360-logo-81383.jpg","type":"slide","id":"113008","description":"

Today is a huge moment for all of us.

\n

Microsoft just announced their plans to retire the Xbox 360. As of now, support for Xbox Live services and servers will continue, but the production of additional console units will come to a permanent stop.

\n

It's a bit sad. Last November marked the console's ten year anniversary, and since it was released, it has had a huge impact on gamers everywhere. As a tribute to the console's long and enduring legacy, I have compiled a list of the top Xbox exclusives that I have personally enjoyed. The list will be composed of some of the best games the console has to offer.

\n

So, if you're looking to pick up an Xbox 360 while supplies last, consider the following titles your "top priority" to play on it. 

"}]]]>
Gears of War Retrospective Part 3: Gears of War 3 https://www.gameskinny.com/mkdmq/gears-of-war-retrospective-part-3-gears-of-war-3 https://www.gameskinny.com/mkdmq/gears-of-war-retrospective-part-3-gears-of-war-3 Mon, 10 Oct 2016 06:00:01 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

After Gears of War 2, fans had to wait 3 years to finish the fight against the Locust. Gears of War 3 wasn't seen until Cliffy B showed off a trailer of Gears 3 on Late night with Jimmy Fallon in 2010. At E3 2010, a live demo was presented, highlighting a section where Marcus and the Delta Squad fight off Locus at Anvil Gate -- an early section of the campaign.

The next demo shown had Marcus, and the members of Delta Squad, battle Lambent enemies on a ship. The presentation even included walkers out of Aliens, and giant boss bigger than anything the series had seen up to that point also made an appearance. In 2011, a closed Beta was made available for people who bought the "Epic" Edition of the shooter Bulletstorm on 360. (Bulletstorm was available on PS3, though no closed beta was made available on that system for obvious reasons). Gears of War 3 finally released on September 27th, 2011.

Gears of War 3 at E3 2011, with guest Ice-T

When creating the Story, Epic hired novelist Karen Traviss to write the third chapter in this iconic series -- she also wrote the tie-in novels. Cliff Bleszinski (Cliffy B) also wanted to make the story more emotional; having a big part being the relationship between Marcus and his father Adam -- Adam Fenix only made small cameo appearances in past installments. Cliffy B and series producer, Rob Ferguson, knew what it was like losing their fathers at young ages, which made it a more personal experience for the two than in previous installments.

Epic also wanted to create a story about survival, as Humanity and the Locust were near their ends. The remaining forces of the C.O.G were scattered and few, barely having enough resources to get by. Remaining civilians were left to fend for themselves and showed more hatred towards the C.O.G than ever before -- given what happened at the end of Gears 2.

A behind the scene's look at Gears 3

The Locust were no different. From fighting their own who turned Lambent, to their major stronghold being in ruins, the old enemies were just as damaged as their human opposition. Survival was the biggest theme of Gears 3, as was closure, with many characters given a proper send off that they deserved.

Gears of War 3 opened where the series began, Marcus being let out of jail. However, instead of going to re-join the C.O.G, Players got to participate in a flashback to when Marcus first lost his dad. Players we playing through the very act that got Marcus arrested and sent to prison in the first place.

Players then learned that this was a dream and Marcus awakes on a ship with the remaining C.O.G forces, 6 months after the events of the last game. Dom has tried to use farming as a way to help cope with the loss of his wife and Anya, who was once relegated to communications, now takes up a lancer with Marcus, Dom, and new member Jace (played by Michael B Jordan). In the meantime, Cole and Baird led a second team consisting of Clay Carmine (Ben and Anthony Carmine's brother), and new character Samantha Byrne (voice by Claudia Black) to get supplies. The C.O.G were visited by former chairman, Prescott, who had abandoned the C.O.G during the 6 month period between Gears 2 and 3. Prescott had information for Marcus in the form of a message from Marcus's Father, Adam Fenix, who was alive and being kept prisoner by the Locust.

But, as they were learning this, they are attacked by the Lambent horde, who brought an enormous beast with them. In order to kill it, Cole and his squad used a crate of Tickers near the bridge to kill the beast, which ultimately exploded. Marcus and his squad survived, but much more were injured or killed. Prescott was mortally wounded, but before his death, he provides Marcus with an encrypted key with the location of a secret base known as Azura where Adam is being held. Leaving some of his Gears to help the survivors, Marcus, Cole, Dom, and Baird take off towards Anvil Gate to seek aid from Col. Hoffman.

After crossing through a Locus infested base and learning the Queen Locust was still alive, Delta Squad managed to get out with a Locust Blimp and even manage to rescue there old friend Dizzy from a nearby base. It was revealed in comics that Dizzy survived his encounter in Gears 2 by Tai forcing Dizzy to leave him. After the rescue, Delta ended up in Anvil and reunites with Hoffman and his daughter, only to find it being attacked by Locust and later Lambent.

After fighting off the two groups, Baird is able to decode the encrypted key and found the location of Azura, but is being protected by a man-made Maelstrom, preventing arrival by air or on sea. Hoffman mentions the location of a submarine in the ruins of Char, a nearby city, but they will need to fuel it up. Dom suggests traveling to Mercy, where an Emulsion filling station was located, but is also the home of Maria, Dom's deceased wife.

Marcus, Dom, Sam, Anya, Jace, and Dizzy went to Mercy to get the gas, while Baird, Cole, and Carmine went to search for reinforcements in Halvo Bay. The events of what happened with Baird, Cole and Carmine would be explained in Gears of War: Judgement, where Cole and Baird reunited with their old friend and former Gears member, Garron Paduk, who aided them in getting the necessary back up they needed. Back with Marcus's Group, they're able to make it to Mercy, but learn that the Emulsion has infected humans and are forced to flee. But as the Locust and Lambent move in, Dom took a nearby tanker and sacrifices himself to save his friends.

The death of Dominic Santiago, Marcus Fenix's best friend 

As the gears moved on, they came across the city of Char in ruins. Stranded now live there, lead by Griffin (voiced by Ice-T), a former Refinery owner who had a strong grudge against the COG. Despite this, he demanded they help him with a shipment that his men were suppose to get but never got, in exchange for some gas... and Dizzy, who they kidnapped. They're successful, but the Locust show up just as they're heading back, destroying the settlement and pissing off Griffin further.

After fighting off Locust and filling up the submarine, Delta ventured to Azura. When they arrive, they're greeted by Adam Fenix, via loudspeaker. He tells them how to shut off the maelstrom devise and reunite with Cole and Baird. When reunited Marcus tells them what happened to Dom, then Delta Squad go off to save Marcus' dad and end the war. Once and for all.

While fighting their way to Adam Fenix, they learn the real purpose of Azura; to keep safe the scientists of Sierra so they can help rebuild Sierra. They even learned that the C.O.G actually met with the Locust to find a way to prevent bloodshed from happening.

After a brief encounter with the Queen, Delta finally makes it to Adam. He tells them that he created a device that would kill the Locust and the Lambent for good and the Locust Queen, named Myrrah, wanted him to fix it so it would only kill the Lambent. While heading there, Delta is once again ambushed by the Queen, who tries to stop them. Delta fights off the Queen and Adam starts up the device. As it starts to take effect, Adam tells Delta that in order to test the machine, he infected himself with Emulsion. As the Machine takes full effect, Adam turns to stone and ash, right in front of Marcus. The Queen returns to boast how pathetic Adam was and Marcus stabs her with Dom's knife, killing her instantly.

The War that humanity had fought for years, was finally over. Marcus laid down his weapons, armor and trademark Do-rag and asked Anya what's left in this world, which Anya answered "tomorrow." This ends the original trilogy by Epic Games.

New in Gears 3

While Gear of War 2 introduced Hoard mode and refined gameplay, Gears of War 3 offered 4-player Campaign Co-Op and Beast mode. This mode acted similar to Hoard mode, but allowed you to play as the Locus. Gears of War 3 also introduced a short story DLC called RAAM Shadows, a prequel that told the story of Zeta Squad, consisting of Gears 1's Kim, Gears 2's Kai, new character Alicia Valera, and Michael Barrick (who fans will know from various comic appearances) as they tried to take back a city from General RAAM.

Gears of War 3 was met with critical acclaim, with a 91 on metacritic and won numerous awards, including best Shooter from IGN, Gamespot, and G4, as well as best 360 game from G4 and best Co-operative game from Gameinfromer. The game sold over 3 million copies within its first week, out selling it's predecessors. It was announced a week later that Gears of War, as a series, grossed over $1 Billion.

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Gears Of War 4 Footage Leak! https://www.gameskinny.com/hy4r8/gears-of-war-4-footage-leak https://www.gameskinny.com/hy4r8/gears-of-war-4-footage-leak Wed, 13 Apr 2016 04:39:42 -0400 JunaeBenne

Hey Gear heads, we’ve got official footage of Gears of War 4 multiplayer. Or rather, we did. Fifteen minutes worth of Gears of War 4 gameplay was leaked recently, showcasing the game's multiplayer mode. The footage was officially leaked on YouTube but quickly got taken down. 

The gameplay appears to show Locust and Coalition going at in in a Team Deathmatch. Characters look a bit more exposed in Gears 4 than they did in Gears 3, because there’s less armor. We’ve already seen the weapons available this time around.

We may not be able to check out the leaked footage anymore, but there's still plenty of video content that's been officially released for us to look at, like this trailer that is supposed to showcase footage from the beta.

There's also footage (below) which was released at E3 2015. It shows the son of the late Marcus Enix. 25 years have passed since the last battle, and there are still things to shoot and destroy.

The Gears of War beta goes live April 18th.

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Six games with the most supportive, least toxic communities https://www.gameskinny.com/fyvfs/six-games-with-the-most-supportive-least-toxic-communities https://www.gameskinny.com/fyvfs/six-games-with-the-most-supportive-least-toxic-communities Mon, 07 Mar 2016 17:22:23 -0500 Ty Arthur

A recent article on the top 5 worst gaming communities got me thinking about my own experiences interacting with players in various genres, from shooters to MOBAs to fantasy MMOs.

There are certain multiplayer games you know ahead of time to just mute-all from the start. Any given Call Of Duty game (or really any popular FPS) is one example. If you don't want to hear a 12-year-old calling you racial slurs and describing what he did to your mother last night, you hit mute as soon as the match gets going.

Aside from the garden variety name-calling, MOBAs in particular tend to have insular communities that are abrasive towards anyone new and learning the ropes. Those games also tend to foster toxicity by how they are designed, with players working against each other as often as they work together.

I've been lucky in that regard on Heroes Of The Storm, and have had a mostly positive experience playing with total strangers. I can't say the same for trying out League Of Legends, where nearly every match is a nightmare of negative players.

Two MOBAs with very different communities

On the opposite side of the spectrum, there exists a burgeoning class of games that specifically revolve around a teamwork experience, like the Oculus Rift indie experiment Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes. The early access title Squad is another interesting example, directly incorporating verbal communication between players into the gameplay and essentially requiring everyone have a headset.

We all know what games to avoid if you don't want to deal with an obnoxious player base, but what games have the most supportive communities? I've found it isn't always restricted to one genre or even platform, with some of my best multiplayer experiences coming on both console and PC in games with player bases both large and small.

As with any online game, your mileage may vary depending on which server or time you play, but in general, these are the games where the communities are worth interacting with and getting to know.

Gears Of War 3 Horde Mode

I'm a big fan of all the games in this series and regularly go back and play each of them, but easily the pinnacle of the Gears experience is horde mode. When you've got a group of players dedicated to hitting wave 50 (or at least making a valiant effort to get up higher in the double digits), this is one the most addicting and straight up fun multiplayer options around.

Despite its age at this point, horde mode in the series' third entry still has a thriving community, and it frequently seems like there's more people playing Gears Of War 3 than the newer Gears Of War: Judgment.

Since you only succeed in horde mode if everyone is working in tandem towards an effective strategy, it's in everyone's best interests to be team players and help each other out. Obnoxious players don't tend to last long here.

Sure, every now and again you might get the person who thinks they know how to play best and assumes everything that goes wrong is everyone else's fault, but for the most part, horde mode is an excellent place to meet other Gears enthusiasts and have a great time.

 

Guild Wars 2

I had the good fortune to jump into Guild Wars 2 early and watch the community grow, and I can say without hesitation this is truly one of the best MMORPGs for newbies. The unique PvE setup of Guild Wars 2 encourages people to work together and doesn't give any particular benefit to standing in the way of another player's success.

As I mentioned in my look at the state of the game today years after launch, there does unfortunately seem to be fewer people logged on these days, but the base that's still there is overall very friendly to new faces. Log in, find an an on-going event, and join the fun. You're pretty much guaranteed to have someone helpfully explaining what players need to be doing in the in the larger, multi-stage boss battles.

When you win a hard fought battle, expect a lot of back-patting from the regulars and invitations to join groups or hook up with a guild. If you have trouble finding hidden points of interests or figuring out how to finish a renown heart location, help is just a chat message away, with only the occasional bout of trash talk clogging up the screen.

Killing Floor

Pretty much the exact opposite of the Left 4 Dead communities, the ultra-gory zed-hunting phenomena that is Killing Floor has an overall excellent player base. Teamwork is an absolute must in this co-op horror FPS, and with many shooters that would normally mean a constant stream of VOIP harassment.

For some reason that doesn't tend to happen as much in Killing Floor, where finding a great team that works well together and helps each other out isn't a tall order at all.

If you've had nothing but awful experiences with Battlefield or COD online, give Killing Floor a few hours of your time and discover what it's like to actually have helpful teammates. The fast-paced dismemberment of demonic zombie creatures is also a hell of a good time to boot.

Kerbal Space Program

This may be the one and only game in the entire world where the reddit community is legitimately nice to one another and the toxicity level is at nearly 0%.

The learning curve on this space engineering simulator is high, and you'd think that might breed elitism and a disdain for those who haven't mastered the mechanics, but somehow the exact opposite occurred here.

Seriously, go to any KSP message board or social networking page and look at how people treat each other. There's more high fiving over minor accomplishments here than anywhere else in all of gaming. Somebody needs to do a scientific study on how this occurred and how it can be replicated with other games.

Destiny

This one comes with a caveat: there absolutely are negatives to be found in the Destiny community. For the most part it's divided into two segments though: people complaining about problems within the game itself, and the fanboys who don't like criticism of the game or developer.

What you'll notice outside those two factions is that people generally aren't attacking each other at all, and the actual in-game experience with a group of friends is solid gold.

When you find a good group to play with who work well together, Destiny absolutely develops a “band of brothers” feel over time, and there are people here making real-world friends for life in raids and strikes.

Lord Of The Rings Online

Unlike with Guild Wars 2, I got into this Tolkien-inspired MMORPG quite late - way past its hey day unfortunately. But I've actually found the reduced player base to be friendly and willing to lend a hand.

LOTRO tends to have a very laid-back community these days, so you are rarely going to experience people screaming at each other on the global chat. And if you ask a question, you'll usually get an excellent answer without people looking down on you.

There's also the bonus here that many players are fanatics for Tolkien or fantasy literature in general, so it's not tough to find someone who wants to chat about anything fantasy related, so making friendship beyond the game itself is a natural and easy extension of exploring Middle Earth.

These six games all have communities worth joining, but there are easily more out there where the level of discourse doesn't devolve into screaming racial slurs.

What games have you had the best online experiences with, and what genres do you think tend to have the most supportive communities?

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Gears of War: A Series Retrospective (Part 1) https://www.gameskinny.com/f2jh3/gears-of-war-a-series-retrospective-part-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/f2jh3/gears-of-war-a-series-retrospective-part-1 Wed, 03 Feb 2016 04:45:57 -0500 Joseph Ocasio

For 10 years, Gears of War has shot, took cover, and chainsawed its way into our hearts. Since its inception, it has become one of the most important franchises for both Microsoft and the third-person shooter genre. In honor of Gears of War's 10th anniversary and its upcoming debut on this generation of consoles, I'm taking a look back at the history of one of the most influential franchises in gaming, along with a bit of my own history with the franchise.

I won't be talking about the novel or comics, since there so much to cover there. So join me on this little project of mine as our journey begins in the early 2000's

Early years

The concept for the game was first conceived around the 2000-2001 as Unreal Warfare. It was much closer to the multiplayer-driven Unreal series, with features like class-based characters and mechs. However, the project was put on hold to focus on the next Unreal Tournament.

When the team came back, the industry was shifting towards more single-player experiences. As a result, the game also changed to focus more on tactical-based shooting. Games like Resident Evil 4, Kill.Switch, and Bionic Commando were influences for both the game's producer, Rod Fergusson, and lead game developer/designer, Cliff Bleszinski.

Original gameplay trailer

Gears of War was first shown off at the Game Developer's Conference in 2005. It also received numerous awards for Game of the Show at E3 2006 from outlets like IGN, 1UPS, and Gamespy.  

Gears of War was released on November 7th, 2006. I was 14 at the time, and had no interest in a 360. However, my cousin told me about Gears, and since my Brother had a 360, I decided to give it a shot and rented the game at Blockbuster. Gears of War would slowly become my biggest obsession for years to come.

First game trailer 

The Tale of Delta Squad

Gears of War told the story of Marcus Fenix. Fenix (voiced by Futurama actor John Dimaggio) was originally a soldier in the Coalition of Order Government, C.O.G for short. He was put on trial as a war criminal and traitor for disobeying orders to save his father. He failed to save his father and prove his innocence and was sentenced to 40 years in Prison.

14 years later, he's broken out by his friend, Dominic Santiago (voiced by Carlos Ferro). He's asked to re-join the C.O.G as a part of Delta Squad, in an effort to search for a device called "The Resonator". It will map all Locus Tunnels so they can use a Lightmass Bomb to kill them all. Along the way, the two meet up with Augustus Cole (voiced by Lester Speight), a former Thrashball Player that goes by "Cole Train", and Damion Baird (voiced by Incredible Hulk Voice actor Fred Tatasciore), a wise-cracking mechanic and engineer.

The game's main heroes. From left to right: Baird, Cole, Marcus, Dom

The group is able to find and activate The Resonator, but are ultimately unsuccessful in their mission. However, they travel to Marcus's home, where his Dad had a map to a larger tunnel system. After fighting off hordes of Locus and a giant Dinosaur-like creature called a Brumak, Marcus and Dom are able to get on the train holding the Lightmass Bomb, defeat General RAAM, upload the necessary data and activate the bomb, striking a blow to the Locus...or did they?

The Gameplay that changed everything

What made Gears of War special was its Cover System. Sure, games like Kill.Switch and Wing Commander used a cover system. But Gears of War's was simple to use, allowing for easy shots to be fired when in cover. It worked so well that every third-person shooter would look to Gears to implement its cover system.

What also made Gears special was its world and characters. Delta Squad oozed testosterone -- with liberal swearing, giant biceps and muscles, and armor to the teeth. This, coupled with its bleak, war-torn world and dark color palette gave Gears of War personality.

Image of Gameplay

Even its weapons stood out. Gears had plenty to offer -- an assault rifle with a chainsaw bayonet called the Signature Lancer, a satellite laser gun called the Hammer of Dawn, one of the best shotguns in gaming, and a lot more.

Gears of War won numerous awards, including Game of the Year, from outlets like Gamespot, Joystick, and the official Xbox Magazine. At the 2007 Interactive Achievement Awards, Gears of War not only won Game of the Year, but it also won Console Game of the Year, Action/Adventure Game of the Year, and Outstanding Achievements in Animation, Art Direction, Visual Engineering, and Online Gameplay.

In 2008, Gears of War set Guinness world records for the industry: it was the first console game to use the Unreal 3 engine, the fastest-selling original Xbox 360 game, and had the first music single to top the charts after promoting a video game.

Gears of War was ported to PC a year later, where it featured new campaign missions and multiplayer maps and modes. The game was remade in 2015, titled Gears of War: Ultimate Edition. This version included graphical enhancements and the campaign missions and multiplayer maps that were exclusive to the PC version.

Come back for Part 2, where we'll talk about the second installment of the series.

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Top 5 Female Characters in Gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/c33bp/top-5-female-characters-in-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/c33bp/top-5-female-characters-in-gaming Tue, 21 Jun 2016 05:23:16 -0400 Dennis Adame

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There you have it! My top 5 female characters in gaming. There are so many great female characters and not all of them could make if on this list. I'm sure in the coming years of gaming we will be graced with many more great female characters.

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What are your top 5 female characters in gaming? Let me know in the comments!

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Image source

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1. Clementine 
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The Walking Dead Season One and Two
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Clementine is the best female character in gaming by a long shot. She has such a hard life. yet she stays so strong and never gives up hope. She has seen her friends, parents, Lee, and many others die right in front of her. But Clementine stays strong through everything she has seen and she always stays positive.

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The girl has a way about her that just makes gamers care about her instantly. She conveys so much emotion through her dialog and her actions that she can even bring you to tears (especially at the end of the first game). Clementine is only a little girl but through the events of the game she has to grow up quick.

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Depending on what the player chooses to do throughout the game her personality will change. She can be both very nice and trusting, or she can be unfriendly, not trust anyone, and send people away. It’s her ability to make people care so much about her that makes her the best character in gaming.

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Honorable Mentions
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  • Chell - Portal 1/2
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  • Rochell - Left 4 Dead 2
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  • Clover - Payday 2
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  • Little Sisters - BioShock 1/2
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2. Lara Croft

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Tomb Raider
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Lara is on this list not only because she is such a strong character, but also because of how important she is to gaming. Lara and the Tomb Raider series have had a huge impact on the gaming industry. Lara is such a strong character -- and she will not let anything get in between her and her treasure, including dinosaurs.

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In the newest Tomb Raider, Laura is speared by rebar within the first ten minutes of the game, and yet she still fights on. She later uses an arrow to cauterize the wound, something a lot of people would have trouble doing. She is one of the biggest characters known in all of gaming and her games are loved by many.

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She does not let anything stop her, and it’s her will and determination that make her such a strong character in gaming.

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3. Elizabeth

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BioShock Infinite
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Elizabeth is one of the best AI characters in gaming. Every time Booker is low on ammo, meds, or dies in battle, she is there to help. She has the ability to open rifts to different time lines, which really comes in handy. She also is a strong character and can at times be Booker's rock throughout the game. They have an instant connection because they are father and daughter, even if they don’t know it.

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Elizabeth is also very smart and she knows a lot about the world. She possesses many skills Booker does not. And she knows so much because she's spent most of her life locked in a library. She makes an escort mission, often hated by gamers, a fun and great gameplay experience.

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It is because of the great AI programming, her knowledge of the world, and the important skills she possesses that she is one of the best females in gaming.

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4. Anya Stroud 

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Gears of War 1/2/3
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Anya Stroud is such an important character in Gears of War, but she doesn’t get the credit she deserves. Anya is the eyes and ears of Delta Squad in the first two games. She tells you where to go, what to do, and how to do it. She then joins the squad in Gears of War 3 and she helps take down the locust. Anya becomes very important to Marcus after the death of Dom ¾ of the way through the game.

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She helps Marcus carry on after the death of his best friend and she helps him and the rest of Delta Squad fight through to the end. She shows Marcus how to turn his sadness at the loss of a friend into a reason to fight even harder against the locust.

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5. Cortana

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Halo 1/2/3/4/5?
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Cortana -- she has changed so much over all the Halo games. Master Chief would not be where he is without her. She helps Chief figure out everything that he needs to do. She is his brains and the force that drives him, and she helps him make the right choices.

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Cortana pushes Chief to be the best that he can be, and when he doubts himself she tells him that he is doing the right thing . When she “dies” in Halo 4, it tears Chief apart because she was such a big part of him and his life; even if she is just AI.

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One of the most important parts of any great game is the lead character. The lead has to be interesting enough for gamers to enjoy them, but not so different that they can't be related to. Players want someone that they can see parts of themselves in -- someone who has seen hardship, someone who is realistic, someone who has good and bad days. Not a perfect person that never does anything wrong and is always praised for everything they do. 

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More and more games that come out now have female characters as their relatable leads, and some of those women are amazing. These characters show that they can be just as strong (if not stronger than) male characters, and they can kick your butt.

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Here are the top 5 female characters in gaming. There are so many great women we could put on here, but not all of them can make it. Is your favorite leading lady on the list? Read on and find out. 

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Gears of War Ultimate trailer pays tribute to iconic "Mad World" soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/tycdg/gears-of-war-ultimate-trailer-pays-tribute-to-iconic-mad-world-soundtrack https://www.gameskinny.com/tycdg/gears-of-war-ultimate-trailer-pays-tribute-to-iconic-mad-world-soundtrack Tue, 18 Aug 2015 09:26:28 -0400 Courtney Gamache

If there was ever a mainstream song to fit a video game, this was it. A Gears of War Ultimate Edition trailer was released earlier today to the famous song "Mad World" by the artist Gary Jules. The trailer itself will give your skin goosebumps with how accurate the music fits the game.

Dating back to 2006

Many fans of the game series, Gears of War might recognize the song "Mad World" from the original release of the game back in 2006. While this Ultimate Edition trailer does pay tribute to the original game's release trailer, Microsoft laid it out very clear stating that it is "one of the most recognizable trailers in gaming:"


The original trailer for comparison

New and Improved

By paying homage to the first game, Microsoft is showing off that the Ultimate Edition has been remastered with 1080p graphics and 60 fps during multiplayer.

Since Gears of War Ultimate Edition is a remake of the first game, it's bound to look more polished than ever, with the technology that has improved during the past near decade since the original release.

Older versions for Free, Xbox One Bundle

When purchasing Gears of War Ultimate Edition, not only did loyal fans of the series get a copy of the remastered edition, but they also got access to the upcoming Gears of War 4 Beta, and free copies of Gears of War 2, Gears of War 3, and Gears of War: Judgement

A special Gears of War Ultimate Edition bundle of the Xbox One is also available for the price-tag of $349. That includes a 500 GB Xbox One console, as well as a single controller and the Gears of War Ultimate Edition game. Perfect for any fan who is lacking the next-gen Xbox One console.

If you are planning to play Gears of War Ultimate Edition, it releases on August 25th for Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Windows PC.

What song would you substitute in for Mad World? I have yet to pick a better song for such an epic trailer. 

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

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

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

Skyrim

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

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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

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

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

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood

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

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

Uncharted 2

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

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

Half-Life 2

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

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

Bioshock Infinite

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

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

At least it had great art design!

Fable III

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

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

Grand Theft Auto 4

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

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

Arkham Knight

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

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

Telltale Games

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

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

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

Gears of War 3

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

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

Destiny

Checklist for a "meh" game:

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

And so it goes.

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

Now go play some better games!

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Black Ops 2 is the most requested game for Xbox Backwards Compatibility https://www.gameskinny.com/nejiv/black-ops-2-is-the-most-requested-game-for-xbox-backwards-compatibility https://www.gameskinny.com/nejiv/black-ops-2-is-the-most-requested-game-for-xbox-backwards-compatibility Thu, 23 Jul 2015 07:25:11 -0400 Michael Slevin

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 has surpassed Red Dead Redemption as the most requested game for Xbox One's backwards compatibility.

The fans have been able to vote on the Xbox 360 games that they want to be able to play on Xbox One, and they have spoken.

Red Dead Redemption had the lead for quite some time, sitting at over 76,000 votes, but Black Ops 2 now has over 78,000 votes.

Other popular games in the voting include Skyrim, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, Halo: Reach, and Gears of War 3.

Xbox One owners are hoping that a handful of these top requested games will be playable upon Backwards Compatibility's release.

I think it is pretty safe to say that at least some of Xbox's first-party titles like Halo and Gears of War will be available upon the service's release.

However, the third-party titles could come with a little bit more uncertainty, as Xbox will need to get third-party devs' permission to emulate their 360 games on Xbox One.

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Top 5 Acts of Sheer Manliness (in games) https://www.gameskinny.com/tf5b9/top-5-acts-of-sheer-manliness-in-games https://www.gameskinny.com/tf5b9/top-5-acts-of-sheer-manliness-in-games Tue, 07 Jul 2015 19:06:27 -0400 Matt Amenda

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1. Kratos Punches Zeus in the Face

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God of War 3
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There is something very special going on when the main character ditches his signature weapons just to wail on his least favorite villain with his bare hands. That's the time when the hero decides to express his loathing in a very personal and intimate way. And there is no better way to do that than a good-old fashioned punch to the face.

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But Kratos was always a "go big or go home" kind of guy. In this case, "home" is "the depths of Hades" and "big" is "punch the King of the Gods in the face until you're blinded by his blood and grey matter".

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He does this on top of Mount Olympus, during the apocalypse, and after brutalizing through virtually every other god and demigod on earth. Except for Aphrodite, whom he had sex with right before impaling her husband with his own blacksmithing equipment. But I would not call any of those other boss fights manly (except for boning Aphrodite, because that's worth bragging about). THIS fight was the manliest because a mortal man decided to take the kill-everything swords off and beat in the skull of Zeus himself with nothing but his fists.

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What do you think? What are the manliest moments in video games? 

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2. Cole Scores a Touchdown with a Bomb

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Gears of War 3
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In a game about huge men eviscerating lizard men with chainsaw machine guns, Augusus Cole stood out as being especially macho. He's ripped, he's loud, he's fearless, and he really loves killing Locust. He has a lot of great moments, but this one tops them all.

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In this scene, he shows us why everybody calls him the "Cole Train" by grabbing a satchel charge, charging through several armed, combustible Lambent, and sticking it on a giant Lament stalk in the endzone and blowing it up. In that one segment, he got to score a touchdown, tackle some aliens, and blow something up. That's three ultimate American dreams accomplished is only a few seconds. Cole is the like the Flash Gordon on the Gears of War universe. God, I love him.

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3. Zangief Wrestles Bears on the way to the Tournament

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Super Street Fighter IV
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OF COURSE he wrestles bears. In Russia, everything is more manly. If their cosmonauts have to fight wolves in Siberia, then they've got to throw something a little more imposing at the Red Cyclone. In this case, huge Russian bears.

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It's all for the children.

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4. Conker Whacks a Giant Robot's Balls off with a Frying Pan

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Conker's Bad Fur Day
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Normally I say taking a shot at a man's special place is a bitch move, but when you're a tiny red squirrel up against a giant boiler-robot you've got to work with what you're dealt. Namely, a literal pair of giant brass balls.

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That vicious ginger bastard dumped raw sewage on the robots head, then pounded the poor guy's over-sized nuggets with a pair of bricks and a frying pan until he fell over and died. That's brutal, man. Note to self: never provoke a squirrel with a hangover.

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4. Snake Escapes a Russian Prison with a Fork

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Metal Gear Solid 3
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As everybody knows, everything is worse is Soviet Russia. That especially applies to the prisons. But this is Snake we're talking about: he spent the whole game before this eating raw animals and killing Spetznaz in the jungle. He sets the manliness bar pretty high by default. So to make things interesting, they tortured him, tore out one of his eyes, took all his stuff, made him shirtless, and gave him nothing but a fork.

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True, he had some other items to work with, but there's something about giving him something so seemingly harmless as a fork that lets you know, immediately, that he is about to do really nasty and awesome with it. And what do you know: Snake breaks out of prison and goes on with his mission like nothing happened. Because that's what Snake does, Smash Bros invitation or no.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/6/6/a66f622d871a8f96289618b86baef1f2.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/a/6/6/tiny_a66f622d871a8f96289618b86baef1f2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"74115","description":"

In video games, you're always going on impossible, violent adventures. But when it comes to determining how manly something is, it has to be more than just violent: it has to be a magical combination of brave, idiotic, and violent. Shooting a zombie isn't enough: you have to do it shirtless with a flamethrower while smoking five cigars as Psychostick drunkenly wails in the background. Because the essence of the male video-game protagonist is glorious stupidity, and there's a lot of bros out there to upstage.

"}]]]>
The Free Xbox Live Gold Games for July https://www.gameskinny.com/7wdny/the-free-xbox-live-gold-games-for-july https://www.gameskinny.com/7wdny/the-free-xbox-live-gold-games-for-july Fri, 26 Jun 2015 03:48:57 -0400 Fireboltz_7795

Xbox Gold members have always enjoyed being able to download free games. Microsoft has done a great job so far in making sure that the games offered are good ones as well, such as Rayman Legends and Child of Light. For the month of July, Microsoft delivers again, bringing four more games that are free for Gold members. There are two for Xbox One and two for Xbox 360.

Xbox One Games

The first one is great, especially if you didn’t buy the Xbox One Assassin’s Creed Bundle. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be available throughout the entire month of July. This game is one of my favorites from the series, and it is beautiful on the Xbox One. The second game is So Many Me, and will be available on July 16th, until August 15th. This very cute platformer is fun and challenging, and it is a must play if you haven’t yet.

Xbox 360 Games

The first for the Xbox 360 group is the traditional Plant vs. Zombies game that got all of us hooked. I think it is better than Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, and is available from July 1st through July 15th. The second game is Gears of War 3, which is just okay. It’s only okay because you really should play the first two before jumping into this game. It is however an excellent game, and it is free all through the month of July. 

What Games Should Come Next?

These offers are great, but I’d like to see plenty more. I want to see Goat Simulator, Rayman Origins, Halo Reach, Limbo, and Fable Anniversary. With Xbox One becoming backwards compatible however, I can see a lot of these games not being offered. The nice thing about that though, is indie games could become more popular as the free games offered. 

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Best 9 Action/Adventure Games https://www.gameskinny.com/gzffr/best-9-actionadventure-games https://www.gameskinny.com/gzffr/best-9-actionadventure-games Tue, 07 Oct 2014 01:54:52 -0400 zoLo567

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Devil May Cry 3
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Very few series have affected me the way that the Devil May Cry series has. From the very first game I have been hooked, and am always looking forward to the next entry in the series. Devil May Cry 3, however, is what I feel to be the best that the franchise has to offer.

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From the story to the game play, Devil May Cry 3 delivers. Out of everything that the game offers though, combat is the star. With plenty of different weapons, and deep combat mechanics, the action is incredibly satisfying. Couple this with great boss fights, the Bloody Palace Mode, and the special edition's addition of another playable character, and you have an action game that sets the standard for the genre.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b179a7a24c597c667002bcc3977e7224.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b179a7a24c597c667002bcc3977e7224.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52578","description":"
Bayonetta
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Few games are as over the top as Bayonetta. But fewer games can match the amazing gameplay and action that the title offers.

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With action in the vein of the Devil May Cry series, Bayonetta's polished gameplay is easy to learn, but surprisingly deep. The mechanics behind the game's combat are satisfying and fun, and the wildness that comes with it help Bayonetta stand out. The game's fast pace, awesome boss battles, and great level design add to what is a complete package, and one of the best action games to date. The game gets a little ridiculous and defines the word 'spectacle', but in Bayonetta's case, this is a good thing.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/f05b26829b1e472a5210148839ee3502.jpeg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_f05b26829b1e472a5210148839ee3502.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"52574","description":"
Batman: Arkham City
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Batman has always been my favorite comic book hero, and I always wanted a game that let me feel like him. Batman: Arkham City was that game.

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Batman: Arkham Asylum is a great game, but Arkham City is even greater. The combat always felt smooth, and it felt good exploring Arkham City as Batman. With an awesome story and plenty of content, Arkham City brought you into Batman's world, and has become not just the best licensed game ever, but one of the greatest of the last generation.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/e35e60fe30644537f410e59194b4133a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_e35e60fe30644537f410e59194b4133a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52610","description":"
Tomb Raider (PS1)
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Lara Croft is an icon in the world of gaming... It all started for her in the original Tomb Raider, which has to be one of the greatest adventures in gaming history.

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Tomb Raider was one of the first adventure games that I had ever played, and has always stuck out as one of the best. The game play at the time had been incredibly inventive, and is still fun to this day. Lara's first adventure took me around the world, and helped give birth to a new era of gaming. It may not have been the first adventure game to ever release, but it is one of the most original and enjoyable titles ever.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6229705eecc9f3218776371fc1f25d52.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6229705eecc9f3218776371fc1f25d52.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52691","description":"
Gears of War 3
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The Gears of War series has been known for its crazy, gritty third-person action. Gears of War 3 was the culmination of the franchise, bringing everything the trilogy had to offer to an amazing finish.

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The hectic gun fighting and action had been nearly perfected by the time the series had reached this point, and the story hit an incredible conclusion. The multiplayer aspects of the game were at their best, and were incredibly fun. Gears of War 3 set the bar for how great a shooter could be, and is one of the greatest must-play action games ever. I do not like very many shooters, but Gears of War 3 is a great exception.

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Shadow of the Colossus
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Very few games have been presented as beautifully as Shadow of the Colossus. The music and art style have helped set the game apart, but the main draw has to definitely be the amazing battles.

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Shadow of the Colossus is unique in that all of the battles are boss battles. And these battles are amazing. Every enemy is massive, and they take more than skill with a sword to take them down. This leads to gamers playing smart and thinking hard as they figure out how to tackle the massive beasts. Very few games have matched what Shadow of the Colossus brought to gaming, and I doubt very many ever will.

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Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando
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Sometimes you get the itch to blow stuff up. Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando will help to satisfy that itch.

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The second game of the series, Going Commando had everything that made the Ratchet and Clank series great. A great sense of humor, awesome level design, great game play, and awesome weapons. It feels satisfying leveling up your weapons to the max and laying waste to everything around you. The game looked great, which only added to the chaos that would sometimes take the screen. Ratchet and Clank: Going Commando was both an amazing action trip, and one of the best games of the PlayStation 2 era.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/c54345509902edfe2f20d2287757084d.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_c54345509902edfe2f20d2287757084d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52580","description":"
Assassin's Creed 2
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Assassin's Creed was groundbreaking when it first released. Assassin's Creed 2 took everything that made the original great, and became one of the greatest action games to ever fall into gamers hands.

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Assassin's Creed 2 did an amazing job depicting the different cities of Italy, and made traversing the rooftops of these areas enjoyable. The game's combat was smooth, and the story of vengeance satisfying. I felt like a badass playing as Ezio, taking out target after target. Assassin's Creed 2 was one of my favorite experiences of the PlayStation 3 era, and one of the best adventures I have taken in a video game. 

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Mirror's Edge
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When I purchased my PlayStation 3, one of the games that I bought with it was Mirror's Edge. Let me just say, that was one of the best purchases at the time.

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Mirror's Edge blew me away. The first person parkour action was unlike anything that I had ever played before, and I loved the challenge that the game brought. It tested my reflexes, and caused me to learn to trust my instincts. Mirror's Edge has always been unlike any other game to ever come out, and was a great example of what the PS3 could do at the time.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ede12b48eec50b289c43d15e569c3baa.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ede12b48eec50b289c43d15e569c3baa.jpg","type":"slide","id":"52553","description":"

I have always had a place in my heart for action and adventure games. I always felt that they offered some of the best game play experiences, and the better games coupled this with amazing stories and narratives. When it comes down to it, the action/adventure genre has to be one of my favorites.

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Here is a list of what I consider to be some of the best action/adventure games that I have ever played.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Hispanic Characters In Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/45yhg/top-5-hispanic-characters-in-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/45yhg/top-5-hispanic-characters-in-video-games Sun, 17 Aug 2014 14:21:18 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Hispanic characters aren’t always represented well in video games. They are there, but they don’t always get the treatment that other groups tend to get. When asked, most people can’t even name a few Hispanic characters, let alone think of any prevalent ones in gaming culture.

However, when they are recognized, even a little bit, it can be seen as a beautiful thing, reminding us that representation is important in video games. Here are the top 5 Hispanic characters in video games.  

5. King  Tekken

King has always been a subject of discussion among players, with his Jaguar Luchador mask being the most striking part of him. Unlike other Luchadors in fighting games, King has a very interesting backstory, and most of the time is fighting in the tournament for the right reasons.

His need to build an Orphanage for the orphans is awfully endearing for a man who looks so intimidating, and his storyline is heartbreaking at times throughout the series. King even died at one point, and one of his precious orphans took up the mantle to become the new King.  For a fighting game character, King has a very good cycle of character development, and it is nice to see a game focus on a male character who is doing something for children rather than normal “Video Game Protagonist” motivations.  

4. Vega  Street Fighter

Ever since Street Fighter Alpha 3, Vega has been a force to be reckoned with when it came to fighters. He’s been an assassin for quite some time, and despite his slightly tragic backstory of his mother dying, Vega is not someone you love as much as he’s someone you’d fear.

He takes great pleasure in murdering those whom he considers ugly, and will not stop until they are permanently taken out of commission. Out of all the villains in the series, next to Bison, he’s the one that has the most notoriety due to his effeminate appearance and sadistic personality. He’s a deadly assassin that will stop at nothing until he gets his way. Vega is one Spanish lover that you should never turn your back on, especially at the risk of being torn asunder by his massive claws.

3. Isabela Keyes  Dead Rising

The only female character on this list, Isabela Keyes is probably one of the best-developed characters in the Dead Rising franchise. A villain at first and an ally later on, Isabela was one of the more well-rounded characters. Out of all the characters on this list, her storyline is probably the most interesting - she’s just not given enough time to explore it fully. 

Her progression overall is very well done and unlike some other female characters that are Hispanic, she actually wasn’t just used as a plot device for the male character to get motivated.  Even if we don’t always know where her allegiances lie, Isabela is a great representation of a morally ambiguous Hispanic woman in a zombie Apocalypse.

2. Dominic Santiago  Gears of War

Dom is one of those characters that just pulls at your heartstrings the entire time you play with him. For being such an absolute beast of a character, Dominic comes off a lot more like a big squishy teddy bear compared to the other characters in Gears Of War. He has the best development out of all the characters in my opinion. When Dominic hurts, you really feel him hurting.

The guy has been through a lot with all the events throughout the Gears series, and just when we think he’s going to get a break, he doesn’t. Dominic added such a great emotional aspect to a game that could have just been about burley men shooting guns. It’s nice to see a male character have such an emotional range, especially in a game pumped full of testosterone as much as Gears of War is.

1. Rico Rodriguez  Just Cause

The Just Cause franchise might just be known as one of the most chaotic sandbox game series ever created, but it wouldn’t be near as fun if it wasn’t for Rico.  His development over the course of two games was interesting, and it was fun to hear how his humor changed throughout the series. 

The comments he makes always end up funny in some way.  It’s just that sort of dry sardonic wit that only works for certain characters do it, and it rolls off Rico’s tongue, giving him such a great demeanor. He comments on so many things, you’d think he’s Let’s Playing his own game. Rico is a great protagonist to such a fun series, and that’s why he’s number one on this list.

---

Hispanic characters still aren’t as well represented as they should be in games. When they're mostly represented by Luchadors, it’s easy to see what issue there may be. Nothing is wrong with Luchadors of course, but it does get annoying that they seem to be in the majority of an already small population of characters.  

It makes matters worse when some people consider characters from adaptations such as Puss and Boots and Bane viable for these sorts of lists. Hopefully, in the future, we will gain more notable Hispanic characters so those characters won’t even come to mind when a Hispanic character is mentioned. 

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Kelly Kelley Explains Why It's Hard For Female Gamers To Join eSports 'Boys Club' https://www.gameskinny.com/ydlph/kelly-kelley-explains-why-its-hard-for-female-gamers-to-join-esports-boys-club https://www.gameskinny.com/ydlph/kelly-kelley-explains-why-its-hard-for-female-gamers-to-join-esports-boys-club Sun, 20 Apr 2014 06:05:14 -0400 John Gaudiosi

LOS ANGELES -- Kelly “Mrs Violence” Kelley is one of the top female pro gamers out there. But she’s currently unemployed, having recently parted ways with Gamespot. Kelley’s shooting skills in games like Gears of War, Battlefield and Call of Duty got the attention of Hollywood. She was a contestant on the Syfy competitive TV series, WCG Ultimate Gamer and won Gamespot's The Controller gaming competition. She’s won many tournaments over the years, establishing herself as one of the top pro female FPS players in the world. Kelley attended the 2014 Call of Duty Championship as a fan and spectator. She talks about the challenges female pros face today despite the rise in popularity of eSports in this exclusive interview.

How have you seen things evolve when it comes to female pro gamers since you got started?

Kelley: “I really didn’t have any women to look up to in the pro gaming department. I always looked up to a guy, but as the years have progressed there’s definitely been a lot more female faces at tournaments and more females trying to be pro gamers, so that’s really good to see because at first it was only me.”

How did you get involved in pro gaming? 

Kelley: “I first got involved in pro gaming when I was real young, around 11 or 12 years old. I watched on the Internet WCG over in Korea. I got to watch a lot of StarCraft. But I actually started in Magic: The Gathering through a card game at my local comics store. I went from competitive card gaming to online gaming with shooters like Rainbow 6, Ghost Recon and Halo.”

Why do you think when you look around here at the Call of Duty Championship there are no female gamers? 

Kelley: “Not a lot of girls are here because there aren’t a lot of opportunities for them.  The guys just look at them immediately and say “no” without even checking out their skill or talent. I find that’s just still the number one reason why girls aren’t on top teams like these.”

I see some that are in more managerial positions, though.

Kelley: “There are a lot of girls that are managers, coaches, marketing and community managers. They get along with so many people, but they’re not being taken super serious enough to compete. So that might be their downfall as well.”

How do you see things evolving when you look ahead?

Kelley: “I see a lot in the new years for eSports. You have Azubu, MLG, League of Legends. There are all these huge names and they’re coming out of the woodwork and they’re just showcasing the best talent. That is just going to put us on the map as far as TV because my ultimate goal is to see eSports on television.”

Like with what World Series of Poker did with ESPN?

Kelley: “Exactly. There are pro poker players that used to be pro StarCraft players, so if they can go from gaming to poker, why can’t gaming go straight to TV like poker did.”

What impact will the large number of female gamers that are out there as eSports continues to grow have in getting females into pro teams?

Kelley: “On a pro level the more girls that come out would just show everyone how serious we are to be taken seriously. Because there’s this misconception that we’re just on this lower level of mentality and that’s not really true. We all want to win. We all want to grind. We all want to be super driven, but at the same time we’re not given the chance. So the more girls that come out and showcase their talent and put on a good respectful show, it will just help everybody. It will help all the other women in the world, in gaming too.”

Do you feel like we would see a separate league for females like we do for the WNBA or do you feel like that at some point an all-girl team will emerge? 

Kelley: “When it comes to an all-female league, we’ve all wanted one and said that we should do that, but at the same time there’s so many girls that are like, ‘I don’t want to play in an all-female league,  I want to play against the best, which are with the boys.’ But unfortunately it’s just so hard to even play against them when you just want to even scrim. They won’t even scrim you because they look at you as a joke because you’re a girl. All in all, it’s just uneven. If you even have the resemblance of a woman, they won’t give you a chance at all.”

When it comes to a competition like a Call of Duty Championship which is open to everyone, do you envision in the future an all-female team being able to get into a tournament like this?

Kelley: “As far as it goes right now, I don’t see an all-female team coming together and collaborating to an extent. They make it for about a month or maybe into one event and then they break up. They lose interest. Family gets in the way. A lot of stuff hinders you, but at the same time you have to grind, you have to show them that you want to do this. You have to play as much as the boys play. I used to play 17 hours a day when I was competing. And I just don’t see four other girls out there right now doing the same thing. It’s really hard to have the ability to do so and to accomplish it.”

It seems like from a sponsorship standpoint that there would be a lot of opportunities for a female video game team to hit a demographic that currently is being ignored in eSports. 

Kelley: “Yeah. I tried doing an all-female team. We got 29th in our first event. That’s technically semi-pro. And within the next two months before the next tournament, we broke up. One player just lost interest. The other one wanted to play StarCraft. So you have to find four super hardcore, dedicated females out there that want to play. Not go out with a boyfriend. You have to want to keep playing all day and night. It doesn’t stop.”

A lot of teams have Gaming Houses and that’s all they do is practice.

Kelley: “Yeah, all gaming, all the time. You wake up and you game all the time. But even someone like me, I was waking up and making videos because I was trying to also brand myself and compete. I was also becoming my own brand ambassador.”

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Cliff Bleszinski Won't be Working on Gears of War Anymore https://www.gameskinny.com/cnqsc/cliff-bleszinski-wont-be-working-on-gears-of-war-anymore https://www.gameskinny.com/cnqsc/cliff-bleszinski-wont-be-working-on-gears-of-war-anymore Mon, 27 Jan 2014 12:40:20 -0500 Nicole Long

Video game designer, and former design director for Epic Games, Cliff Blenszinski announced today on his blog that he will not be working on the next Gears of War.

Microsoft announced earlier today that they have acquired the rights to the Gears of War franchise from Epic Games -- including all existing and future games

Bleszinzki wrote, 

My former employer has sold the Gears of War IP/franchise to Microsoft and my friend Rod Fergusson is going to be working on it. 

I’m not going to move to Vancouver and work on it.

I’m not going to consult on it.

My headspace is in the future now, not the past. I have come to realize that until you give people something new to focus on they will obsess about the past. (good problem to have!)

Black Tusk Studios in Vancouver is now with creating future GoW games.

For the rest of us, this means GoW will remain an Xbox exclusive for the forseeable future.

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Cliff Bleszinski Believes eSports Still Has Some Work To Do https://www.gameskinny.com/jysey/cliff-bleszinski-believes-esports-still-has-some-work-to-do https://www.gameskinny.com/jysey/cliff-bleszinski-believes-esports-still-has-some-work-to-do Fri, 04 Oct 2013 09:54:25 -0400 John Gaudiosi

Major League Gaming (MLG) did a trial run of Gears of War 3 in eSports after its release. Former Epic Games Game Director Cliff Bleszinski is a big fan of eSports. He has attended the Raleigh MLG events over the years and had conversations with Sundance DiGiovanni and others involved in what has become a big part of the gaming culture around the globe today. With his time away from development, he even got hooked on Dota. But for eSports to truly make the next leap into the mainstream, Bleszinski believes some tweaks do need to be made. He offers some advice in this exclusive interview.

What are your thoughts about League of Legends selling out an NBA stadium, Staples Center, for the LCS World Championship?

It is absolutely incredible. I have a personal relationship with this sort of thing because I was in the Nintendo World Championships when I was about 15 years old. It’s taken it that long for it to get to this point, but we knew it was coming sooner or later. That multiplayer competitive gaming is a community. These events are basically expos in their own right.

And these are cyber athletes. That term used to be laughable about ten years ago, but the key often to seeing where things are going in the West is to look to the East. Look at the StarCraft tournaments from however many years ago and how they played in Korea and how these players become rock stars and everybody has a giant endorsement deal. Everyone has such enthusiasm for eSports, but only a few have really cracked the formula. The key is to make an amazingly great gameplay experience and then see if it can translate to being an eSport. You can’t just force it and say, “It’s going to be an eSport game.”

What are your thoughts on the state of eSports today?

My main thing about eSports is not every game is easy to follow. I just started getting into Dota and I can appreciate it for what it is. I haven’t played much League. I was at the MLG’s out here in Raleigh last year and I watched the Mortal Kombat games being played.  I can figure out what’s going on in watching StarCraft. I’m watching League and I’m like, “I got nothing.”

It was such a deep-layered experience. It was just fantastic for competitive gaming, but for your outsider -- you’re not going to get a person who doesn’t fully understand League of Legends sitting down and watching the match there. I think Riot probably knows that. I would love somewhere down the line to find a way to have an eSport – whether it’s camerawork, or broadcast quality, or whatever -- where a person can sit down and appreciate it. Look at football. A person who never even tossed a football can sit down and appreciate a football game. You also can have your friend with a Saints shirt on next to you who’s willing to explain it to you, then it becomes interesting. 

So you want eSports to become more like real sports.

I’ve spent plenty of time this last year down at the coast. I was sitting in a restaurant having dinner and NASCAR was on the TV in the background. As I’m watching it, I’m starting to find it very interesting because these guys are going 200 miles an hour. But it’s even more interesting when you realize there’s safety gear in their peripheral view. I turn to the guy next to me and ask how they know they can change lanes or if somebody’s coming up on them and he explains they have spotters -- people in the stands that verbally tell them whether or not it’s safe, whether or not somebody’s coming up.

First, I thought that was a great idea for a video game as a co-op game mechanic, but second, the fact I relied on the community and a friendly person next to me to explain it a little bit. Similar kinds of things can happen in eSports in regards to influence.  There are some people who actually play the games. I think watchability is one of the main things that we really need to solve when it comes to the majority of eSports to help grow it. If you told people that you’d fill the Staples Center with a video game crowd ten years ago they would laugh you out of the room. I think it’s awesome.

And they did it in just over an hour.

I have friends who have kids who you know they’re playing there. They have the League addiction, so to speak. Some kids don’t even play the game. They just sit and watch YouTube videos of it. That further supports my hypothesis that the better your game is, the more YouTube videos it can yield. It’s kind of funny how that works in 2013 and beyond.

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