Heavy Rain Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Heavy Rain RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 5 Video Game Worlds that Should be Expanded into Novels https://www.gameskinny.com/w1att/5-video-game-worlds-that-should-be-expanded-into-novels https://www.gameskinny.com/w1att/5-video-game-worlds-that-should-be-expanded-into-novels Wed, 08 Nov 2017 16:35:33 -0500 Lauren Harris

Video game stories and adventures are just as good as any book we’ve read or are currently reading. For some of these games, I think their story should be continued or created into heart-warming and courageous novels. Most video games stories deserve to be written and expressed meticulously to the reader and these are some of the best RPG adventures about survival, mystery, and hardship that should be published in a good book.

Firewatch

Firewatch was one of those first-person RPGs that stayed with me after I completed the game. The intense fear of being by yourself in the Wyoming wilderness with only a walkie-talkie to communicate with your supervisor is a compelling premise. The game really gave you the feeling of actually being the character. Creating a book around Firewatch would be a good way to expand the story and bring out a lot more detail. It would be exciting to display to the reader how scary it can be when you're on your own in the wilderness and highlight the story of survival and friendship found within the game.

Gone Home

This nostalgic mystery exploration game gives you that classic 90's feel. The player returns home after a year overseas. You get home, and no one’s there. This interactive story lets you comb through each part of the house to pick up objects and find clues. You discover the events of the lives of your family members in the items they left behind. A book adaptation for this game would really bring out the story of the characters. It’s a story about discovering one’s self. Books bring out detail in every story, and a book for Gone Home would bring the story to life on another level. This game would be an amazing mystery book for all ages to enjoy.

Heavy Rain

Quantic Dream has created some of the best life-like games that I've ever seen. Their video games should be made into movies if you ask me. Heavy Rain was one of the most emotional games I've ever played.

This action-adventure and cinematic psychological thriller revolves around multiple characters. Each character has different agendas in the story. The player's decisions affect how the game progresses. This could be a good interactive book. This game covers the struggles and consequences associated with the decisions each character has to make. Readers could relate to some of their stories and feel the pain of the result of their actions. The story of Heavy Rain is heartbreaking, but it has profound potential to be written into multiple stories or become one thrilling novel.

Horizon Zero Dawn 

This exciting action/adventure RPG takes place in a vast post-apocalyptic world where deadly machines have taken over what’s left of the ruins. The civilization of humans is primitive and almost extinct. 

The game has great potential as an in-depth fantasy book if written by a good author--someone who can bring the ruins of this once thriving world to life and illustrate that surreal feeling to the readers. The story is an exhilarating action adventure about survival--the struggle to survive and co-exist with machines. Writing a book about this game would be a new chapter to keeping the video game's story alive and it could also build more stories from the game to extend the adventure. 

Infamous:First Light

Sucker Punch created a standalone game which allows the player to control Abagail Walker. Abagail and her brother Brent ran away from home because of an accident in school that involved injuring a student. They both turned to drugs to deal with their struggles, but Brent eventually got clean. He wanted Abigail to get clean as well, so he would hide her stash. He even ended up working for gangs to get enough money to cross the border to Canada by boat.

First Light could be a novel about the struggles that both siblings had to face from society and in their everyday life. Although the story-line of the game was short, it has the potential to become a powerful fantasy novel. This story could be expanded to delve deeper into the characters' lives and show how resourceful they both had to be to survive. The story of this game could definitely be an interesting novel. 

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Everyone has their own opinion about video games and how they’re portrayed in movies. I have to say most movies don’t do the video games they are based upon any justice because they don’t stick to the story or the characters they portray. Extending the story in a good book gives the game life and actually takes the reader on a journey into the life of the characters. We all know books are far better than any movie. So, to create a novel about any of these amazing characters would be an exciting adventure I’d want to be a part of. 

Do you think video games should also become novels? Which video game stories would you like to see in a book? Let’s hear your opinions in the comments below. 

 

 

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Top 5 Comic Book Characters that Deserve Their Own Game https://www.gameskinny.com/gs0ep/top-5-comic-book-characters-that-deserve-their-own-game https://www.gameskinny.com/gs0ep/top-5-comic-book-characters-that-deserve-their-own-game Tue, 10 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Zach Long

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I realize that 4 of 5 are DC heroes, but hey, they deserve some love too. I hope you enjoyed my trip of heroes that I think deserve the proper video game treatment. Maybe with the success of comic book movies, we'll get some great comic book games.

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Let me know in the comments if you agree with my list. If not, who do you think should be included?

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Green Lantern
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Now this is the one I most want to see done well. Green Lantern, in any iteration, is my favorite DC Comics character. Whether it's Hal Jordan and his endless rivalry with Sinestro, or the latest duo of Simon Baz and Jessica Cruz, there are tons of great characters and stories to pull from. Imagine racing through space defending the galaxy from earth and utilizing the all-powerful Lantern Ring.

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Heck, you could pull in all the other Lantern Corps and make a MMO out of it. Let the player choose their preferred color, or allow them to take a quiz to determine what they should play as, since the ring does choose the lantern after all.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/constantine-281cf.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/n/constantine-281cf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146862","description":"
Constantine
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Now this is a bit of an odd choice, I admit, but Constantine makes for a great character. There are tons of great stories you could have too, like the Trinity of Evil storyline. The gameplay would be similar to games like Heavy Rain, solving puzzles using mystical devices. Plus you have a great cast of sidekicks that need his help.

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It's always fun playing a jerk sometimes too.

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Teen Titans
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I realize that this is more a group than it is a single character, but they deserve some video game love. You could have almost any roster. With that, it could bring back the style of the great PS2-era games X-Men Legends and X-Men Legends 2. Give me some online and couch co-op and let me play as Beast Boy, changing from a shark solving a puzzle to a gorilla smashing some baddies.

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You could also have an unlock system where you have to help other members with missions before they become a playable character. Think of all the DLC you could have.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/a/flash-cd03e.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/l/a/flash-cd03e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146859","description":"
The Flash
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Sticking with popular superheroes, The Flash TV series is doing exceptionally well, and this game could play off of that popularity. Sure, it may be a little bit harder to develop this game, but I think it could be great.

You play half the game as crime lab specialist Barry Allen, searching for clues a la L.A. Noire and then, once you have a lead, you race through the city and fight bad guys. You could even have side quests where you help out the fire department and police department throughout Star City. The controls would just need to be slightly tweaked from DC Universe Online and you'd have some great gameplay to boot.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/captain-b28ed.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/a/p/captain-b28ed.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146856","description":"
Captain America
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With the popularity of Marvel movies and war games, the time is ripe for a proper Captain America game. Just think about it; you're in the thick of WWII as a super soldier. You are working your way through a tactical world trying to find Hydra's home base. You can visit classic scenes from the war with new eyes and completely different gameplay from most war games.

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Flip around and throw your shield, throw cars and tanks and use the occasional pistol in a pinch. The mechanics are pretty simple to tweak to make right for the character. That's the only way I want a WWII game to come back, honestly: if you play as Captain America.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-5ab39.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-5ab39.jpg","type":"slide","id":"146857","description":"

Comic books are a great source of visual media. Not only do they have great action scenes and immersive stories, but they often build a vibrant universe all their own.

And what does that mean? It means that many of these universes and stories are perfect for video games. The stories are definitely there to be told, and the mechanics could definitely be worked out, so long as they are made with the passion and skill of an Arkham game (man, doesn't the new Spiderman game look great?)

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So, without further ado, here's our list of the top 5 comic books characters that should have their own game.

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Why "Butterfly Effect" Games are Bullshit https://www.gameskinny.com/a58oi/why-butterfly-effect-games-are-bullshit https://www.gameskinny.com/a58oi/why-butterfly-effect-games-are-bullshit Mon, 08 Aug 2016 13:27:31 -0400 Donald Strohman

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Limited Replayability 

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If you're going to shell out $60 for a brand new game, you'd want to at least get your money's worth out of it's experience right? Well, despite providing some of the most captivating narratives offered in gaming today, you might still not be getting your money's worth.

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Heavy Rain's biggest problem was its limited replayability. No matter what decisions you made, no matter who lived and who died, the villain always stayed the same. Once you've played through the game once, there won't be as much of an appeal to go through the campaign all over again, especially since the mystery behind hunting for the "Origami Killer" will be long gone. And considering that's the entire point of this butterfly effect title, all you're left to do is to see how you can kill off your characters for fun.

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Once you've gotten that ending you were so desperately after, the appeal of "Choose your own adventure" games immediately wares off. Sure, you can pop in the game again and see what you could have done differently, but since it's essentially an interactive movie, things are still going to play out mostly the same. The majority of stories in games go from beginning to end, but they break up those moments with gameplay sections that give freedom to the player to play the game the way they want to. Butterfly effect games don't really do that.

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However, despite the limitations of butterfly effect games, I would love to see more pop up in the near future, so long as developers don't stick to a routine, and actually try to revolutionize the field with age. What once started out as unique and spectacular has slowly devolved into a gimmick thrown about to make it appear that the player is in control, when it's really just the developer jingling keys in front of your face for a few hours. 

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How do you feel about butterfly effect games? How do you think they can be improved in the near future? Be sure to comment and let us know your thoughts!

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There are choices you still can't make

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As mentioned before, endless possibilities aren't realistic for butterfly effect games, but the player should still be given some semblance of control in how they want a narrative to span out. And while Fallout 4 wasn't exactly like fellow butterfly effect titles, it still gave players the option to make choices that would effect the game's ending. At least, a select few options anyway...

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You, as the vault dweller, eventually had to choose a faction to side with. Whether that was the Railroad, The Institute, The Brotherhood of Steel or something else was entirely up to you, but for the sake of context in this argument,I will mention that I chose the Railroad. The final campaign mission involved us liberating synthetic slaves from the wasteland's Institute, which I thought was great. It brought up a valid question of "if a robotic life can think, act, and feel things for itself, does that constitute an individual life?" The Institute said no, but the Railroad said yes. So I was up and ready to take arms and liberate the slaves from their prison!

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However, my problem was when the Railroad suddenly decided to blow up the Institute and effectively kill everyone who happened to be living in it that wasn't a robot. I wanted to choose not to do that, but by that point, it was too late. I couldn't suddenly decide to rebel against the Railroad for wanting to kill innocent civilians who weren't synths, or for that matter, blow up a place that could bring the world back from the brink of the apocalypse. I was given no real free will to decide "I want to free the synthetics, but the Institute must also survive for the betterment of mankind." Nope, the best hope for mankind just blew up right in front of my face. Perfect. 

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This could be chalked up to oversight from Bethesda, but it perfectly showcases how there's still ultimately no free will to play the games however you see fit. You just get a few choices to make, which are ultimately met with a point of no return. And that's very disappointing. Does the Mass Effect 3 ending ring any bells?

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Encourages cheating

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Uh oh. Someone's about to die. It's all up to you, as the player, who gets to survive and who doesn't. Who to choose, who to choose, the timer's running out, you better think fast! Or, you can just pause the game, and look up the results online.

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Why bother making that rash decision yourself, when you can just Google the end results of either decision before choosing it for yourself? Perhaps this isn't always a problem for everyone, at least for the players who decide to live with the results of their actions, but humans are perfectionist creatures that can't handle loosing a dollar out of their pockets one day, you think most people are going to handle being responsible for killing off their favorite game character? 

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But that doesn't necessarily mean you'll get the results you want anyway from cheating. Some games like Infamous and Call of Duty: Black Ops II implement a sort of "choice-less choice" in their campaigns that especially encourage people to look up an action's result online. 

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Within Infamous, main character Cole had to choose between saving his girlfriend or several doctors who could help save the city. If you chose the doctors, your girlfriend died. If you chose your girlfriend, she still dies. You see, the game throws a curve-ball at the player depending on how you play that girlfriend Trish will be one of the seven doctors if you tried to save her, and the person you though was her being someone else entirely. If you save the doctors, Trish isn't among the doctors and dies from your lack of saving her. For lack of a better word, what a gut-punch Sucker Punch! 

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Endless possibilities aren't realistic

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Development teams are only capable of so much. Sure, having endless possibilities to choose from would make for one of the most groundbreaking game experiences to date, but such a task is impossible. The decisions and the results that happen from them aren't left to chance like in the real world, these moments have to be programmed into a game.

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You can't throw caution to the wind and expect anything as a possibility, only so much is actually possible in the world of programming (at least nowadays.) If you make a certain decision in a game, it'll yield a specific result, you can't try the same thing over and over again expecting different things to happen.

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Butterfly effect games are just like a choose your own adventure book, you can only choose so many paths to take, and they're bound to yield similar results regardless of how you get there. It's like waiting in line at the DMV. Go ahead and talk to as many people as you want, but you're still gonna end up with some employee named Desiree who loves making life difficult to those who come her way. 

"},{"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/a/b/u/abutterfly7-86dac.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/a/b/u/abutterfly7-86dac.jpg","type":"slide","id":"129230","description":"

They're essentially "Interactive movies"

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Telltale Games has made a substantial collection of butterfly effect games over the past few years. And as they should, most of their titles showcase excellent storytelling with likable characters often spawned from our favorite franchises (Borderlands, Batman, etc.)  

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However, it's not like every new game they spawn out is absolutely unique in every ways, Telltale Games typically follows a pattern: Plenty of cut scenes and dialogue, with only sparse amount of actual gameplay (that doesn't revolve around choosing what you want your character to say.) Essentially, it's just like watching a movie that just so happens to let you walk do something every now and then. But it all ends up mostly the same towards the end. Your character will still have to face the villain at one point or another, very rarely do butterfly effect games give you any other alternative. 

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We still have yet to see a game that transforms based on the way you interact with the environment. Not by what you choose to say or who you choose to save, but by how you play. Yet, such an idea also leads us to the next big problem with butterfly effect games. 

"},{"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/a/b/u/abutterfly8-8ca58.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/a/b/u/abutterfly8-8ca58.png","type":"slide","id":"129229","description":"

Don't let the title completely fool you. A lot of the games that encompass the format of butterfly effect games are quite excellent. Heavy Rain was the first game of this "your choices matter" experience I had ever played, and to this day it holds a nice place in my memory, thanks to it being such a unique of an experience in my earlier days of gaming. 

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But the idea that the player is given "complete control over how a game ends" is a complete bullshit statement. There's absolutely no way a gamer can decide to do something that breaks the boundaries of a game's narrative, as there's no real way to allow it. It's not like you can decide to say "screw it" in the Mass Effect trilogy and "nope" the hell out of there to find planet Earth. Narratives such as these can be a lucrative experience, without a doubt some have been groundbreaking for that matter, but let's explore some of the inherent problems in butterfly effect games that continue to exist within this booming genre.

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Detroit: Become Human, Spiritual Successor to Heavy Rain, Will Be At E3 https://www.gameskinny.com/3mtcv/detroit-become-human-spiritual-successor-to-heavy-rain-will-be-at-e3 https://www.gameskinny.com/3mtcv/detroit-become-human-spiritual-successor-to-heavy-rain-will-be-at-e3 Sun, 12 Jun 2016 04:17:43 -0400 cactusjudy

Last year at Paris Games Week, we learned that game developer Quantic Dream, famous for its interactive story dramas such as Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, is working on a new PlayStation 4 exclusive titled Detroit: Become Human. This week, we learned through IGN video host Greg Miller that the game will make an appearance at next week's E3 conference. 

Additionally, Quantic Dream co-CEO Guillaume de Foundamière recently tweeted that fans shouldn't miss Sony's E3 press conference, further implying that more information about the game, or perhaps even a trailer or gameplay footage, will be revealed during Sony's conference. 

Detroit: Become Human will follow an android named Kara as she struggles to live among humans -- who still largely regard her kind as practical tools created for humanity's benefit -- in the city of Detroit. The game is based on the developer's 2012 PS3 tech demo Kara. Few other details are known, but it is expected that Detroit will build upon many of the interactive, narrative-based, and cinematic elements of its predecessors. Fans of Quantic Dream's other works would do well to check out Detroit, and follow Sony's E3 press conference for any further information on this heavily-anticipated title. 

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Heavy Rain in PlayStation's forecast https://www.gameskinny.com/geaix/heavy-rain-in-playstations-forecast https://www.gameskinny.com/geaix/heavy-rain-in-playstations-forecast Mon, 29 Feb 2016 18:45:22 -0500 Lad Johnson

It's a good day for PlayStation fans, because Heavy Rain is available on PS4 today. Released in 2010 for PS3, this horror narrative is releasing on PSN digitally in North America. The game has been re-mastered and improved for this launch.

Heavy Rain is an interactive drama published exclusively for PlayStation. The game follows four characters and their interactions with the Origami Killer -- a serial killer who uses periods of extended rainfall to drown his victims. Players use the game pad to make decisions that drive the narrative. The game has several endings, and the main characters can be killed during the story. The film-noir story hasn’t lost its touch over time.

Heavy Rain was critically and commercially successful, selling over three million copies on PS3. Aside from the PS4 version of the game, a film adaptation is in development.

Those who purchase the developer's other title, Beyond: Two Souls, on PSN can download Heavy Rain discounted for $7.99. Heavy Rain is bundled with its first DLC Chronicles 1.

Several new features and improvements come with the PS4 version:

  • Enhanced Audio and visual effects. The game now runs at 1080p with improved lighting and shadows. The DualShock 4 speaker is also utilized while playing as the Entity
  • Highlights at the end of scene compare your choices to other players.
  • The game is playable in chronological order from the start. A fan requested feature for the PS3 version.

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two souls released as a physical combo set in several other territories. I'm not sure why America does not receive a physical version. It is always possible we see a physical release of the title later on. Whether you are rediscovering or playing for the first time, Heavy Rain PS4 looks great.

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Press X to forgive: a rundown of different ways choice and consequences are presented in modern gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/b0jdc/press-x-to-forgive-a-rundown-of-different-ways-choice-and-consequences-are-presented-in-modern-gaming https://www.gameskinny.com/b0jdc/press-x-to-forgive-a-rundown-of-different-ways-choice-and-consequences-are-presented-in-modern-gaming Tue, 23 Feb 2016 06:52:03 -0500 Ty Arthur

One way in which gaming strongly diverges from other forms of entertainment is in the player's ability to change an outcome. Unless you're reading a choose-your-own-adventure book, a novel will always have the same ending each time you read through. It doesn't matter how many times you watch The Departed, Leo will still take a bullet to the head in the elevator every time.

While tabletop roleplaying probably has the widest array of pure possibilities and outcomes, digital computer, console, and mobile titles come in a strong second. Obviously not every game has branching paths – shooters, for instance, are usually set in stone in terms of story – but there are games where the choices you make truly matter and have an impact on the outcome of the storyline.

The original Knights Of The Old Republic comes to mind, with one twist scene in particular. Heavy Rain and The Witcher 2 also had plenty of choices that led to clear changes. Those games which let you decide how the story unfolds tend to be the most satisfying, not to mention that they provide the replay value of making you want to start over again immediately and get a different ending.

Sadly, in many modern era games, choices may seem consequential, but they end up taking you to the same conclusion, and only offer a superficial appearance of choice. Looking back at several recent titles that focused on choices, you can see some very clear differences in game design philosophy with different methods of providing consequences for a player's choices.

It should go without saying there will be spoilers for these games, so read at your own risk!

SOMA

This excellent horror entry – named one of our favorite horror games of 2015 - throws a major wrench into the works by utterly destroying my argument straight off the bat. The choices you make in SOMA absolutely do not matter in any tangible way towards the game's outcome.

These choices are still incredibly effective at making you carefully consider your options and will leave a lasting impression on you long after the credits roll, however. Frictional Games took a very interesting approach to the question of choice, culling out multiple endings in favor of trying to change the viewpoint of the player.

Growing Consequences With Subsequent Choices

A gradual approach is taken here, making each choice more morally gray. In the begging after first arriving at the PATHOS-II station, the game requires you to “kill” a robot who believes he is a person in order to continue on to the next segment. The next time, however, the choice is up to you, with an option presented of turning off a robot or leaving it powered on.

What separates living from non-living?

These choices become more murky and difficult over time – one robot for instance is stuck in a confusing digital hell with no chance of escaping. Is it the right thing to do to mercy kill that robot, or does it matter since it's not really a person? The final entry in this building series of choices then confronts you with killing the one remaining actual flesh and blood human in the all the world.

Player Choices Vs. Character Choices

Another multiple-choice option with no gameplay changes is presented in the form of a company poll not long after main character Simon learns he isn't actually human.

Rather than impacting the ending, this quiz is designed to make the player consider whether the character's life is worth living. That quiz is then later taken a second time by the copy of Simon, who is safely aboard the ark in a digital paradise. While the ending doesn't change, it's a good bet you are going to pick different answers as eden-Simon than trapped underwater-Simon.

Here's where SOMA delivers on the choice and consequence front: it made me actually question what constitutes “human” life. If I'm a copy of a copy in a robotic suit – or even inhabiting a flesh and blood body stolen from a dead person – am I human? Is a digital existence lived inside a satellite floating out in the stars really “human” life at all?

On the flip side of that coin, are the humans corrupted by the monstrous WAU really alive? They are technically human, and their hearts pump blood, but beyond that they barely exist in any appreciable way at all. The choice to turn off the WAU or leave it active does nothing to the game's ending, but it will make you think about the aftereffects of your decision – do the handful of remaining mindless zombies powered by the WAU count as “life?”

Is the copy of the first Simon copy even less human?

Telltale's Game Of Thrones

On the opposite end of the spectrum is any given Telltale game, which is loaded with constant choices that will have varying impacts on later segments of the story. Unfortunately, those consequences don't tend to have nearly the same impact – either on the player's viewpoint or on the outcome of the game's story.

Once the pinnacle of choice-based gaming, Telltale's reputation has taken a hit lately due to the large number of licensed games getting churned out utilizing very similar mechanics, to the point of becoming formulaic. It seems unlikely that streak will be broken in any appreciable way with the upcoming Batman title.

It wasn't always so. The first season of The Walking Dead really caught everyone's attention and managed to hit all the right notes: gameplay, emotional connection, and even the choice and consequence mechanic. In a lamentable downturn, the more recent games have become surprisingly superficial on the choice front, with Game Of Thrones in particular suffering from that issue.

The Illusion Of Choice

I knew things weren't going well straight from the first episode (and actually laughed out loud) when the familiar “he will remember that” notification popped up in the corner of the screen mere seconds before Gregor Forrester met his final demise. Good thing I chose that particular dialog option, huh? I mean, Gregor got to remember my words for all of 20 seconds!

Seriously?!?

Things reached an absurd point where I actually just started picking the most antagonistic, annoying, and hurtful dialog options possible since I knew it wouldn't matter: we'd get to the same place regardless of how I played any given character.

There's one notable point in the story where this doesn't work out however, resulting in most of the Forresters getting sliced up or filled with arrows at a dinner party. Telltale didn't have the guts to let the game continue past that point with the player having to live with that poor choice, however.

During my playthroughs, there only appeared to be two choices that mattered: who you force to become a traitor through your actions, and which brother you save at the end of the fifth episode. The former fell short for me on the story front (the reasons given didn't particularly make sense for this character), but the latter managed to firmly grab my attention. That choice actually changed events and dialog in the ending, making that segment worth playing through a second time.

Despite some redemption in that area at the ending, overall I'd have to say I agree with the recent article concluding that Telltale just simply needs to take a break. To reclaim that former glory, it's time to refresh the formula and come back when they've got something groundbreaking again.

The only choice in this season that mattered

Life Is Strange

This surprise hit made it into several “Game of the Year” picks by our staff and contributors, and for good reason. Taking the idea of a Telltale dialogue style game, Dontnod Entertainment worked the main time travel mechanic directly into the story for a very satisfying blend of style and substance.

While some of the consequences for choices weren't particularly far-reaching (and there's an odd number of times you save a girl from getting hit by flying objects), others have very broad impacts on many different aspects of the story. Consequences of choices like reporting Nathan's gun threat, signing the teacher's petition, and others will make noticeable changes across most of the episodes in season 1.

Making Choices Significant

Besides the larger environments and more in-depth journal entries, one way Life Is Strange distinguishes itself is in how much the game puts you into the role of the main character. Every last detail of a teenage girl's life is laid out here, with the ups and downs and every little nuance presented. A significant amount of time is spent just experiencing her environment and learning the ins and outs of her thought processes. There are truly awkward moments presented alongside uplifting, hilarious, and depressing ones – much like life itself.

Unlike many of the licensed Telltale games that put you in roles which are hard to identify with personally, you will feel like you ARE Max Caulfield, so the choices become more personal. The game forces you to become invested in these characters and their struggles.

Successfully preventing Kate from killing herself, for instance, requires that you remember something written down in the Bible in her room. If you don't remember the information, Kate can die and -- even more critically -- the game lets you go forward with that consequence.

This one's going to kick you straight in the feels, no matter what choices you make

Fallout 4

A long-awaited but definitely flawed game, Fallout 4 follows much in the footsteps of Bethesda's other series when it comes to choices and actual consequences, with some good storytelling alongside plenty of characters and locations you probably won't particularly care about.

One segment that stuck with me was physically traveling through the memories of a man you recently killed. Each room found in his neural pathways lets you discover more about exactly why he became the mercenary he was due to the very bad hand he was dealt in life.

Now experience the terrible childhood of the guy you just killed!

While that was a great way to make you rethink what you'd done, honestly there's not a lot in the way of actual choice that will have big consequences in Fallout 4.

Side A Or Side B?

The main choice, of course, is in which of the four factions to join, resulting in slightly different text in the ending cut scene.

Because of the gameplay style of this open world Fallout entry, you'll probably end up completing most of the side quests for each of the other three factions before going over the choice cliff and fully aligning with one in particular. When played that way, you actually don't miss too much when you make this not-so-fateful choice.

Where the choice of faction seems to really get people motivated and have a strong opinion one way or another is in how it affects your companions. Do you really want to join the synth-hating Brotherhood Of Steel at the expense of the ever-awesome Nick Valentine?

Sure, I'll sign up with the synth-hating bully faction!

Lifeline

This tiny mobile game, and a text-only one at that, actually has one of the best choice and consequence systems around. It is also coupled with a non-traditional mechanic: making you wait real-world time for the next in-game transmission.

While some of the branching options are frivolous, many will completely alter the outcome of the game and determine how close to the full story you get. It's entirely possible to learn NOTHING about why Taylor has crashed or what's actually going on, and the game lets you end it that way (for a full run down on how to get each ending, check out our guide here).

There are endings that get you further into the odd sci-fi/horror elements going on in the background without learning the full truth, and that's something that is frequently missing from choice-based games. Give me the option to have everyone die and then either make me start over and take a different path, or – even better – let the story continue in a totally different direction.

Your choices determine whether Taylor lives or dies

Whether presenting superficial choices in a unique way or actually providing ramifications for actions, it seems like the indie games and the unique, newer franchises are really killing it these days.

The more well-known developers and established series tend to lag behind on this aspect, and the big budget titles like Heavy Rain only seem to come around once in a blue moon (although developer Quantic Dream did recently announce Detroit: Become Human is being developed for the PS4). It would be nice to see developers of all sizes thinking outside the box more in the future so we can get more groundbreaking titles like Life Is Strange and less formulaic ones like Game Of Thrones.

What do you think is best game in terms of choices with actual consequences, and what would you like to see change about choice-based games in the near future?

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Beyond: Two Souls release date confirmed for PlayStation 4 https://www.gameskinny.com/9i2or/beyond-two-souls-release-date-confirmed-for-playstation-4 https://www.gameskinny.com/9i2or/beyond-two-souls-release-date-confirmed-for-playstation-4 Thu, 19 Nov 2015 17:40:31 -0500 tobes325

Beyond: Two Souls has been given a release date of November 24th for PlayStation 4. Fortunately for all the fans, they can be playing the game as soon as next week!

The game will be released as a digital only copy through the PlayStation store, and if you didn't get the chance to play it the first time around then now is a good chance to. There are a few updates to the original PlayStation 3 title that are worth noting -- the graphics have been given an overhaul to reflect the PlayStation 4's hardware, the "Enhanced Experiments" DLC will be included, and there is the option to play the whole game again in chronological order once an initial playthrough has been completed.

The story of Beyond: Two Souls follows Jodie Holmes as she struggles to adjust to life with her supernatural powers. The game stars two of Hollywood's biggest stars, Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, and received lots of critical acclaim upon its original release in 2013. You can watch the launch trailer below.

There is also a nice incentive to purchase Beyond: Two Souls. If you do so, then you will get a discount off Heavy Rain, which will be released digitally on March 1st next year.

Are you a fan of either titles? Perhaps it will be your first time playing them! Let me know in the comments below!

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Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain Remastered Release Date https://www.gameskinny.com/zke20/beyond-two-souls-and-heavy-rain-remastered-release-date https://www.gameskinny.com/zke20/beyond-two-souls-and-heavy-rain-remastered-release-date Wed, 23 Sep 2015 10:23:36 -0400 Jason Green

Were you unable to play Beyond: Two Souls or Heavy Rain when they released? Well, that's okay because now they're coming to PS4!

Quanitic Dreams tweeted out earlier today that both of their titles will be getting a release date announcement very soon, most likely even sooner than expected for this upcoming holiday season. 

Heavy Rain, released in 2010, debuted only on the PS3. It's a gripping and grounded story about a serial killer who abducts children. The player controls four different characters as their lives revolve around the "origami" killer and his criminal behavior. The choices the players make affect the ultimate outcome of the story.

Beyond: Two Souls is Quantic's second PS3 outing and was released in 2013. This game was a lot more supernatural than Heavy Rain, in that it involved ghosts and parallel dimensions. It stars Jodie Holms, a young girl with an extraordinary gift of being able to summon a paranormal entity to help her. Beyond chronicles her life has she uses this power for bad and good, and in typical Quantic fashion the players' choices affect the outcome of the game.

Both Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain and due out on the PS4 very soon. 

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A Game Narrative: The Terrible to The Terrific https://www.gameskinny.com/6ms8b/a-game-narrative-the-terrible-to-the-terrific https://www.gameskinny.com/6ms8b/a-game-narrative-the-terrible-to-the-terrific Sat, 13 Dec 2014 08:28:23 -0500 Pierre Fouquet

A game's narrative is a fancy word for a game's story. This means if you ever see a game which is narrative-driven, or story-driven they are the same thing. A few of the best narrative-driven games are:

  • Portal (as well as great puzzle game).
  • Persona 3 and 4
  • The Walking Dead (Seasons 1 and 2)
  • The Wolf Among Us
  • Fahrenheit (or Indigo Prophecy)
  • Heavy Rain

Let's go on a journey through what makes or breaks a game's narrative, bearing in mind this has nothing to do with gameplay. You can have a terrible narrative, but terrific gameplay.

(Warning contains spoilers for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2Far Cry 3 and an early choice for Telltale's The Walking Dead: Season 1)

What Makes a Narrative...

...Terrible?
A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game...

A terrible narrative can simply be caused by bad writing, or a thin plot, but something that can really cause a narrative to fall apart is incoherence. When the narrative threads jump around with no real relevance to each other can cause you to lose interest, and confusion. You stop caring or simply don't know about what is going to happen, and any cut scenes will be boring. A terrible story specifically reminds you that you are in a video game, and that if there is a man in front of you as you must shoot them, because you must. Why? To advance the story silly.

This is often used in FPS games, specifically Call of Duty: Ghosts. There was no real coherence between actions you perform, the place you are in and the characters behaviours. The locations and set pieces influenced the story instead of both being built around each other. Another example is in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, there is one mission, called Throttle, where you are randomly in a rail shooter, flying a jet through canyons then back on your feet without knowing what had happened.

A screenshot of the mission 'Throttle' in Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare.

A cliché is a pretty terrible to use, especially when linked with the handling of motivations for any characters. One specific example is the strong male hero character has their weak female wife or girlfriend taken or killed. It's overused and really boring, you don't get invested into the characters because they are just always angry or sad, especially when the death of the wife happens before the game even starts.

...Bad?
One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences.

A bad narrative does not break the narrative of the game overall, it simply reminds you that you are playing a game for a split second, after that you then drawn back in. One thing that really bugs me about Call of Duty recently is the amount of near death experiences. It was a novel thing to start with, however it did get tiresome after the rehash of the same ideas in every game. Most of them are so unrealistic, they take you out of the game. In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, during the finale, you get stabbed through the chest. However your character appears not to care, simply pulling the knife out, casually spinning it in his hand, and throwing it with the accuracy and strength of a perfectly healthy man, the knife flies through the air and kills General Shepherd hitting him square in the left eye. It is just simply to far out of reality, and the games fiction. You can take 100s of bullets during gameplay, but one stab or gun shot during a cutscene instantly stops you doing anything until the vital moment.

A perfect throw after pulling a knife out of your chest? I think not.

The story is going so well...suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

The story is getting better, everything is advancing at the perfect pace, the writing is on point, you love all the characters on your side and hate but respect the ones you are fighting. The story is going so well, you feel it reaching the mid section crescendo and you look for the plot twist. Thinking back through each characters backstory trying to spot who will do something stupid or turn on you. The game then reaches the exciting mid section crescendo, suspense and adrenaline are running high then...

Everyone is dead and you win.

Don't you just hate that?

...Good?

I find a good story often has plot twists which do something the wrong way round, they remove interesting and complex characters, and replace them with less interesting and more simplistic characters. Neither character is badly written or voice acted, and both are understandable or relatable. However due to the first character just being so good it leaves the second feeling bland. This happened in Far Cry 3, with Vaas being replaced by Hoyt Volker. If Far Cry 3 had done this the other way round, it would be under the next heading.

Vaas on the left, Hoyt on the right.

Another really good trick that writers use on you is the old bait and switch. You get really invested into one specific character who is your friend, you trust them and they are privy to sensitive information. Then suddenly they turn on you, turns out the whole time they were lying, of course the best writing leaves clues about their intentions, but does not explicitly tell you they are secretly working against you untill a pivotal moment.

...Terrific?
Decision making like this is what games...are pefect for...

Let's now look at the very best narrative games can offer. Not only can games give you the ability to meet engaging characters, who are not just black and white but morally grey. Games can allow you to become this character, to take on the hard decisions they will have to face, Telltale's The Walking Dead is a perfect example of this. Every decision you make you dread, you know that neither is 'good' or 'bad'. They are snap decisions which will always have bad consequences. Decision making like this is what games are best at doing, they are perfect for it and with writing as strong as in The Walking Dead you can really see why.

Who lives and who dies? You pick. Not easy right?

...when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Empathy, the ability to understand or share the emotion someone else is experiencing. It's powerful stuff, when you can make a character the player can empathise with, the feeling of loss, betrayal, anger, sympathy or compassion can then all be projected onto the player, sometimes all at once. Making you, as the player, care about a character will get you invested into the story, then if that character dies (if they take a supporting role) you will feel loss, and maybe anger, then want avenge your fallen comrade. It can also be used on the player character in much the same way. Empathy is a powerful tool, and when wielded well it can create some amazing and powerful moments.

Have you every wondered what makes or breaks a game's narrative? Let me know your thoughts in the comments bellow.

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Games That Utilize Rain For Thrilling Moments https://www.gameskinny.com/vku6t/games-that-utilize-rain-for-thrilling-moments https://www.gameskinny.com/vku6t/games-that-utilize-rain-for-thrilling-moments Mon, 31 Mar 2014 16:07:06 -0400 Xavier's

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Heavy Rain

\n

How could I forget a game with rain in its name? Jokes aside, this experimental title really explored very mature themes of loss, mourning, and a variety of other negative emotions. A brilliant work of fiction, nothing provoked more feelings of duress and turmoil than its frequent rain segments, illustrating the horrors of the Origami Killer and his impact on the helpless victims.

\n

Really exemplifying what can happen when a narrative goes insanely dark, Heavy Rain truly utilizes its rain elements to propel a unique rollercoaster ride of betrayal and grief. 

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ecbca7a3910e932bae90e7266b3c2e95.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ecbca7a3910e932bae90e7266b3c2e95.png","type":"slide","id":"41714","description":"

Pokémon: The Whole Franchise

\n

A legendary franchise which came to power on the small Gameboy, Pokémon has entertained countless people with its brilliant RPG elements and enticing fantasy world.

\n

With exhilarating battles every where you looked, the rain within the game really transformed these creature skirmishes and overall running from gym to gym to a fully functional world that didn't revolve around you, but was its own thriving universe. This gave the player feelings of excitement knowing the story they had entered was much bigger than themselves, adding wonder to your adventure.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/ad4cf51b4780f3af715d27364768a696.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_ad4cf51b4780f3af715d27364768a696.jpg","type":"slide","id":"41713","description":"

Grand Theft Auto 4

\n

Actual car jacking was the least interesting thing to do in this explosive installment of the GTA series. As precipitation graced the fine streets of Liberty City, gamers playing as the eastern European immigrant, Niko, stared in awe around this seemingly alive urban ecosystem they inhabited.

\n

For the first time, we could actually immerse ourselves in this open world sandbox doing a library of activities the way the gamer saw fit. The rain and other elements of the weather only highlighted the grand sense of the game's feel.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/051c39ca65adec1921cffcf9ac8c40bb.png","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_051c39ca65adec1921cffcf9ac8c40bb.png","type":"slide","id":"41711","description":"

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare

\n

Shortly after the popularity of the 7th generation of consoles started to arise, Modern Warfare hit the scene with its amazing narrative, extraordinary graphics, and stellar multiplayer. The real kicker that had gotten me hooked into that game and even console gaming as whole though, was the first operation that Soap, Price, and Gaz embarked on with its gorgeous atmosphere.

\n

This first operation was the first time you actually stopped and payed attention to the weather, as it was extremely intoxicating and vivid. As Price lit his cigarette, it was there with all the shadow effects and rain particles, that it became clear how video games had evolved from simple 2D platformers to blockbuster experiences.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/0618921bbb3007fc8e31a15c184ff77e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_0618921bbb3007fc8e31a15c184ff77e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"41710","description":"

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past

\n

A bit primitive for present-day gamers, I'm sure, but this gem of the '90s really took immersive storytelling to a whole new level in every category imaginable.

\n

A Link to the Past amped up everything in the scenery to bring the sense of emotions you were supposed to feel, including the addition of pixelated rain to drive home the ominous feeling of uncertainty. The game's choice to use rain in its story set a precedent which we still use today.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6bfcee8010e15b40ede1c28d1a2e980e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_6bfcee8010e15b40ede1c28d1a2e980e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"41709","description":"

Well, it's raining where I live. To celebrate the occasion, here's a list of games that showcase rain and use it to trigger profound emotions.

"}]]]>
Really Ubisoft? Why does everything need to be a big franchise? https://www.gameskinny.com/wxdm9/really-ubisoft-why-does-everything-need-to-be-a-big-franchise https://www.gameskinny.com/wxdm9/really-ubisoft-why-does-everything-need-to-be-a-big-franchise Mon, 12 Aug 2013 15:08:49 -0400 StayNoLonger

So most people in the gaming community now know Ubisoft has announced that in the future they are not going to even bother thinking about making a game that does not have the potential to be made into a franchise.

"That's what all our games are about; we won't even start if we don't think we can build a franchise out of it. There's no more fire and forget – it's too expensive."

Tony Key in an interview with [a]ListDaily

 

Not Every Story Needs a Sequel

Does this mean that they are going to continue smothering their IPs with a pillow until there is no life left in them whatsoever? While I personally hope that they pack in endless sequels to Assassin’s Creed because I have really enjoyed those games; I'll admit even I have been getting a bit tired of AC since Revelations.

Some games only require one game to be able to tell their story, and there are some games from Ubisoft, like The Division, which at first glance don’t seem to have much need for a sequel. But Ubisoft’s Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Tony Key, said “It is too expensive"... Really?

 

Budget Vs. Quality

Just because they are making a game does not mean it needs a big AAA budget.

If you look at the overall spending used for The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings next to the marketing cost alone for both Battlefield 3 and Call of Duty it is nearly twenty times as much, not to mention that the graphics in Witcher were absolutely breath taking.

For those whom are interested in the figures, in total the development costs of the vanilla version of Witcher 2 set CD Projekt Red back $7.97 million, whereas the marketing both Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 was budgeted by EA and Activition at around $100 million each, meaning that you could develop the vanilla version of witcher more that ten times before you hit even one of their marketing figures!

Not All or Nothing

I am not saying that all games should be stand alone; different ideas have different levels of story capabilities, and some work well across a franchise. But I feel that Ubisoft is making a mistake - there are games that aren’t franchises which are successful. A good example of standalone games is every game from Quantic Dream, who use writing from David Cage to deliver great games like Omikron: The Nomad Soul and Fahrenheit, which don’t require a sequel, and they are releasing yet another new IP in October, Beyond: Two Souls starring the voice of Ellen Page.

Come on Ubisoft - don't pass up a great game just because it's a challenge.

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This Week on GameSkinny Episode Seven https://www.gameskinny.com/ny7w6/this-week-on-gameskinny-episode-seven https://www.gameskinny.com/ny7w6/this-week-on-gameskinny-episode-seven Wed, 31 Jul 2013 18:18:46 -0400 Rothalack

The articles featured this week, er... week and a half?

So, the beach treated me well! The sun not quite so much... Anyways, that is why you are getting this round up today and it covering a week and a half...ish. I plan to get the next one out this weekend so that I'm back on schedule. Keep up the awesome posts everyone and you might be on the next episode!

To those who made it into this episode, YOU'VE BEEN CALLED OUT MWHAHAHA.

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4 Games That May As Well Admit They're Sex Games https://www.gameskinny.com/7nynn/4-games-that-may-as-well-admit-theyre-sex-games https://www.gameskinny.com/7nynn/4-games-that-may-as-well-admit-theyre-sex-games Thu, 25 Jul 2013 13:17:07 -0400 The_Dorkknight

In this day and age, sex is not as taboo to put in media as it was up until the late 60's. With new mediums of entertainment, it is no surprise that the no-no dance has made its way into video games.

However, it's always funny to hear publishers give the generic statement that the only reason it's in the game is to add to the story. We all know T&A sell, and every time a new GTA comes out, the line of teen boys telling their mothers about how great the game is will always be long. Kid, next time just bring your dad, he gets it. With that said, here are the top four recent games to include some naughty bits with the opposite sex... or same... or aliens?

4. Heavy Rain: The origami killer strikes again... on dat ass.

It should be easier to take a bra off in a game!

A PS3 exclusive, Heavy Rain was a story driven game about a man obsessed with finding a serial killer, but everyone needs a break. Based mostly on quicktime events, one of the major scenes involves two characters undressing each other with the flick of your joystick. As soon as you get through the frustration of getting everything off, (just like in real life) the quicktime event continues. Pounding the triangle button has never been so fun!

3. GTA: San Andreas: I should do this for a living!

Up, up, down, down, L, R, L, R, wait I'm almost there!

The coding in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas was open for the modding community to uncensor the act of having a nice delicious cup of hot coffee with CJ's girlfriend Millie. I think it was nice of her to make sure it was fresh by grinding CJ's beans.

2. God of War series: I guess if it will help me get revenge, I'll do this orgy.

Aphrodite didn't have money when Kratos delivered the pizza. 

Any fan of the God of War series knows its coming. Every game released has had a mini game in it with at least one girl Kratos needs to get through by showing her that he is also the god of love! Even in its portable games a little spice has been added to our heroes climb to Mount Olympus.

1. Mass Effect 3: Commander Shepherd is going to be paying a lot of child support.

Come on, captain, you need to cover your tracks better than that!

If you want to see every form of sex you can have in all the universe, then Mass Effect 3 is your game. Remember, in the game you can choose to be male or female. You can choose sex with the opposite or same gender. Hey, if you're feeling a bit froggy, why not try a few aliens on the way? Either way, with all the choices you have in the game, there is a bit of fun for everyone. As funny as it would be to use, I won't say anything about Uranus... wait... Uranus. I couldn't help myself.

There you have it. Four games that just wouldn't be the same without orgies, hot coffee, and aliens doing it. I know there are plenty more, and would love to see what everyone else comes up with. Go ahead and post other games that just couldn't resist putting a little extra play in gameplay. 

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