Resident Evil 6 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Resident Evil 6 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 10 Dormant Resident Evil Plots Waiting to Rise From The Dead https://www.gameskinny.com/usi1c/10-dormant-resident-evil-plots-waiting-to-rise-from-the-dead https://www.gameskinny.com/usi1c/10-dormant-resident-evil-plots-waiting-to-rise-from-the-dead Fri, 08 Mar 2019 15:58:30 -0500 Thomas Wilde

On March 22, we’ll be celebrating the 23rd anniversary of the original Resident Evil. That game’s release began an unexpected franchise for Capcom, which went on to span seven direct sequels, 14 spin-offs, and three computer-animated films set in the same universe as the games.

Over the course of those two decades, Resident Evil has become justly infamous for its story. Even the simpler games in the series tend to be a hodgepodge of betrayals, conspiracies, secret government organizations, evil corporations, surreal architecture, mad scientists, and, of course, exploding helicopters.

Explaining the overarching plotline of Resident Evil often sounds like you’re talking about a lost season of 24 that involves a zombie outbreak. It's all further complicated by Capcom's history of, let's say, interesting storytelling decisions.

Surprisingly important background details are often thrown in a file that’s deliberately hard to find, locked behind collectibles, or stuck in Japan-only supplemental materials that don't get officially translated for years afterward, if at all. It’s a degree of deliberate, unnecessary complexity that you usually don’t see outside of American superhero comics.

Much of the time, this goes back to several behind-the-scenes issues at Capcom, particularly early on:

  • many core games go through multiple wildly different versions of themselves during development
  • RE’s head writer, Noboru Sugimura, passed away in 2005
  • the somewhat acrimonious departure of series creator, Shinji Mikami, in 2006
  • multiple creative teams and writers, many of whom don't last for more than one game

Because of the chaos around the series, Resident Evil is littered with abandoned plot arcs, forgotten characters, canceled projects, and untold stories.

However, in the last few years, Capcom has made a distinct effort to mine that history through the newer games in the franchise. Resident Evil 7, in its final couple of hours, connects its storyline to a mysterious organization that was last mentioned in 2000’s Resident Evil: Code Veronica. 

2015’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2 features Moira Burton, who first appeared as a child in an obscure file in the original 1996 Resident Evil, and while 2012’s Resident Evil 6 was a mess, it brought back Sherry Birkin after 13 years.

It’s been a little over a month out from Capcom’s successful remake of Resident Evil 2, and the rumor mill has begun to churn regarding what’s next for the series.

With that in mind, here are 10 of the most potentially interesting plot hooks that could appear in future RE titles, including Resident Evil 8. These are plot points that Capcom has introduced, then proceeded to leave alone for at least a couple of years, if not a decade or more.

Naturally, this article involves major spoilers for many of the games in the Resident Evil series. 

10. “Jenny K”

The first four games in the Resident Evil series are all about dealing with the underground activities of the megacorporation Umbrella, which was a billion-dollar drug company by day, weapons manufacturer by night.

After all four of those games ended with characters walking off into the sunset, promising to bring down Umbrella, it was eventually taken out by a government lawsuit, rather than one last heroic adventure, according to the opening text crawl of Resident Evil 4.

Of course, it wasn’t quite that simple, and several later games dealt with the events that surrounded Umbrella’s closure.

Near the end of Resident Evil 5, you can find Spencer’s Notebook, a file that discusses the measures Spencer took to protect his interests after Umbrella was shut down, which included having the rest of Umbrella’s executives quietly assassinated.

There was one exception: “Jenny K,” who disappeared without a trace.

Every high-ranking Umbrella executive we’ve seen in the series so far has been a billionaire psychopath with a plan for world conquest. Jenny K, whoever and wherever she is, is the last survivor of Umbrella’s original upper echelon, and she could show up again at any time as a new, major player.

9. The Raccoon City Testing Ground



2003’s Resident Evil: Outbreak was at least a few years ahead of its time. It was a four-player cooperative survival horror game, which was mostly held back by the PlayStation 2's technology barrier and janky matchmaking.

Outbreak wasn’t confirmed as part of Resident Evil canon until relatively recently, when a few references to it appeared in RE7, the RE6 prequel manga Marhawa Desire, and the 2019 RE2 remake. Now that we know it definitely is canon, it means that one strange scene in Outbreak is suddenly relevant.

After you complete "Decisions, Decisions," there's a bonus scene after the closing credits. It shows that, a month after the bomb dropped at the end of Resident Evil 3, an unspecified agency has set up a laboratory in the ruins of Raccoon City.

Whoever the organization is, it's conducting tests and has gone to the trouble of making sure its lab doesn’t show up in aerial photographs of the area. As the setting for a back-to-the-beginning plot, this has a lot of promise, particularly since we don’t know who or what was running the lab.

8. Steve Burnside

2000’s Resident Evil: Code Veronica is an interesting sort of mess. It came out on the Dreamcast after a troubled development history, and has a lot of weird quirks that are particular to that period of game design.

Among all of its other missteps, like that glass cannonball "puzzle" near the end, its biggest is arguably Claire’s NPC sidekick, Steve Burnside. A trembling ball of Matrix shout-outs and adolescent angst, with the most Canadian accent this side of Bob & Doug McKenzie, Steve creates almost exactly as many problems as he helps the player solve.

In the end, he’s infected by the ant-derived T-Veronica virus, mutates into a lizard monster, and dies in Claire’s arms.

That’d be it for Steve, except his body is subsequently stolen by Albert Wesker, who tells Claire that there’s a chance Steve might come back from the dead someday, just as Wesker himself had.

That was 19 years ago. Since then, Steve’s name hasn’t come up outside of a flashback level, set during the events of Code Veronica, during 2009’s Darkside Chronicles.

It’s probably safe to assume that Steve got thrown into a meat locker somewhere and forgotten. That being said, HCF, Wesker’s mercenary squad from the same game, was mentioned in Resident Evil 7, and that's far more obscure than Steve was.

It’s also worth mentioning that Steve was infected in late 1998 with a virus that, according to the main plot of Code Veronica, takes a full 15 years to mature, and it’s been longer than that in-universe. Not only could Steve still come back at some point, but he could have bizarre new powers and abilities when he does.

Steve Burnside riding back into the series on top of his giant ant steed, firing a submachinegun into the air with either hand, might be the kind of crazy nonsense he needs to overcome nearly 20 years of fan jokes about how awful he is.

7. Corporate Masterminds

It’s been a plot point in the series for a long time that Umbrella was the leader in the bioweapons industry, but wasn't the only company in the business. There are multiple other companies working with the T-Virus, and their version of corporate warfare usually involved mercenary squads and quiet assassinations.

A lot of these companies have popped up in the series over the years, and they usually end up somehow dismantled by the end of their first appearance.

Resident Evil 5's Tricell is officially dead by the time of Revelations 2, which is set two years later, and the vaccine manufacturer Wilpharma goes out of business after the events of the 2008 film Resident Evil: Degeneration.

Currently, the last identified corporation in the bioweapons black market is a Chinese company called Shen Ya, which was introduced in the 2015 Heavenly Island manga. It had a well-funded paramilitary force working for it, as well as a particularly dangerous undercover agent, although none of them survived the events of the manga.

With mainland China in bad shape following the events of Resident Evil 6, the time may soon come for Shen Ya to consider expansion. There's also the Connections, the criminal syndicate responsible for creating Eveline in Resident Evil 7; "Blue Umbrella," the original Umbrella reincarnated as a black-market weapons dealer, as seen in the notoriously poor Umbrella Corps; and whatever other companies might still be waiting in the wings.

6. The Remnants of the FBC

The Federal Bioterror Commission was the American organization that predated the BSAA, Chris Redfield’s anti-bioweapon task force that first appeared in Resident Evil 5.

In 2011’s Resident Evil: Revelations, it's revealed that the original version of the FBC was basically one step up from park rangers, and was virtually powerless. To fix that, the FBC’s commissioner, Morgan Lansdale, purchased a handful of bioweapons on the black market and duped a small-time terrorist group into using them to take out an entire city in 2004. A year later, and thanks to the ensuing panic, the FBC is a well-funded and respected international task force, with Lansdale as its dictatorial leader.

Thanks to Chris Redfield and Jill Valentine, this is eventually brought to light and Lansdale is sent to jail. The FBC’s assets and personnel get folded into the BSAA, which turns it into the international organization it's become by the start of RE5.

However, in 2015’s Revelations 2, one of the major twists is that Claire’s friend and boss, Neil Fisher, is still loyal to Lansdale. Fisher has a plan to set off another large bioterror event in order to bring back the FBC, and it fails spectacularly.

There’s every chance that Lansdale, wherever he wound up, has a few more obsessed underlings out there, and any one of them might be willing to start another serious outbreak in order to prove that Lansdale was right, bringing about another interwoven plot for a future Resident Evil installment. 

5. The Other Wesker Children

2009’s Resident Evil 5 told the origin story of the series’ primary antagonist, Albert Wesker. It turned out that he was one of 13 children who were products of Umbrella’s secret “Wesker Project,” which was named after its chief researcher. Its goal was to create a more advanced breed of human through a winning combination of brainwashing, child endangerment, and genetic engineering.

The other 12 Weskers were named in RE5’s Lost in Nightmares DLC, including Albert’s “sister” Alex, who would go on to be the villain of 2015’s Resident Evil: Revelations 2.

Since both of the Weskers shown in the series so far are brilliant mad scientists with personal body counts like a natural disaster, it could be inferred that the other Wesker kids would be similarly gifted and/or damaged.

According to Revelations 2, however, the other 11 Wesker kids are all dead. Although that information comes from Alex, a somewhat unreliable narrator, one of the primary characteristics of Weskers is that they don’t stay dead.

After all, Albert famously got his spine clawed out by an angry Tyrant in the very first Resident Evil, and Alex dies twice in Revelations 2.

Therefore, any time Capcom feels like it, they’ve potentially got another 11 backup Weskers on deck, ready to continue their family legacy of smugness and murder for another console generation.

4. The Family

One of the more infamous details of 2012’s Resident Evil 6 is the existence of “The Family,” an international conspiracy that draws its influence and power from financial manipulation. Its primary goal is maintaining the global status quo for the sake of continued profit.

Derek Simmons, one of the major antagonists of RE6, is a member of The Family, and considering the organization’s stated goals, he couldn’t have failed harder on a bet. Not only does he have the U.S. president assassinated as part of a major bioterror attack, but Simmons' girlfriend Carla Radames nearly ends the world just to spit in his face.

The Family is barely a presence in RE6 outside of Simmons, Carla, and a couple of stereotypical Men in Black (the conspiracy-theory version, not the ones from the Will Smith movies), one of whom shoots Carla dead near the end of Chris' game.

As a theoretical “final boss” for the Resident Evil series, however, you couldn’t do much better than The Family. The series has run heavily off of conspiracies and underground organizations since nearly the beginning, and The Family, which is basically the Illuminati with its serial numbers filed off, is depicted as the ultimate conspiracy.

3. The Biosphere

The setting of Resident Evil is an Earth a lot like our own, with much of the same history and culture, a few different nations, a couple of extra cities, and a biosphere that is intensely warped.

From the very first game in the series, the T-Virus has been capable of infecting just about anything organic. We’ve seen it turn humans, crows, dogs, crocodiles, sharks, spiders, insects, bats, elephants, lions, tropical birds, and even plants into zombies, mutants, and monsters.

In1998's Resident Evil 2, there are several files explaining that the mansion from the first game was located in the middle of a national forest. As far as the T-Virus is concerned, that’s one big infection vector, conveniently located somewhere in the American Midwest.

In subsequent games, there have been biohazard incidents involving the T-Virus or one of its derivatives all over the world. Here are just a few instances: 

  • Resident Evil 6 ends with a massive bioterror attack with the C-Virus on the Chinese mainland
  • An ocean liner full of infected humans goes down in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in 2002’s Resident Evil: Dead Aim
  • The wreckage of Terragrigia in the Mediterranean Sea is still heavily contaminated at the start of 2011's Resident Evil: Revelations 
  • the T-Veronica virus is let loose in the South American rainforest during the main story levels in Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles

There’s even a handy map at the start of the Degeneration movie (see above) that highlights 27 separate bioterror attacks spread out across six continents, all before 2005, when the movie takes place.

What this means is that in the Resident Evil universe, the T-Virus and a couple of its later derivatives have been loose in its biosphere for years. Capcom’s already laid the groundwork for monsters or outbreaks to show up virtually anywhere on Earth at any time, without any need for a villain to set them loose.

2. The Umbrella Archives

Several of the scenarios in 2007’s Resident Evil: The Umbrella Chronicles are about Albert Wesker, as he tries, initially fails, and eventually succeeds at stealing the only remaining backup of Umbrella’s cumulative research data.

The next time we see him in series continuity, Wesker is incredibly rich — he has his own personal stealth bomber in Resident Evil 5 — and has been quietly selling bioweaponry to dictators and lunatics around the world.

After his death, however, it’s never been established what happened to Wesker’s archives. This includes the single most valuable thing in Wesker’s arsenal, the P30 drug, which is about as close to an actual super-soldier serum as the series has ever had. It’s why Jill is a mind-controlled superhuman assassin on Wesker’s team in RE5 and Marvel vs. Capcom 3. P30 in particular would be the most valuable bioweapon in the Resident Evil franchise, and it isn’t even close.

The hunt for where Wesker stashed his personal research archives could be fuel for a world-spanning adventure, trying to keep his most dangerous secrets out of the hands of the last people who should have them.

1. Natalia Wesker


Even in the “good ending” of Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Alex Wesker has technically won. Her plan throughout the game is to "test" various survivors to see who would make a good host for a copy of her memories and personality, allowing the terminally ill Alex to cheat death.

While it doesn't quite go according to plan for the original Alex, she does manage to capture 10-year-old Natalia Korda and imprint her personality on Natalia's brain. Six months later, Natalia already has abilities and memories she can't explain, and two years after that, in Revelations 2's epilogue, it seems as if Alex has begun assuming full control.

This plotline would provide the series with a new primary antagonist in the wake of Albert Wesker’s death, and one who’s been growing up in Barry Burton’s household for the last few years. Not only does that imply she'd have a lot of weapons training now, but it means that she's already undercover.

"Natalex" prepared for all of this six months beforehand. She also has substantial financial resources, a brilliant mind, and no scruples whatsoever. Forget all of the conspiracies and monsters: the scariest thing in the Resident Evil franchise as of right now could conceivably be a teenage girl.

Of course, Capcom might decide to ignore any or all of these for another decade or come up with something entirely new. What's impressive, however, is the sheer amount of potential that's still left in the series after all these years.

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Resident Evil 2 Remake and How Capcom Found Its Way https://www.gameskinny.com/o151r/resident-evil-2-remake-and-how-capcom-found-its-way https://www.gameskinny.com/o151r/resident-evil-2-remake-and-how-capcom-found-its-way Tue, 15 Jan 2019 16:24:03 -0500 Joshua Broadwell

Resident Evil is a series with a curious history marked by many highs and lows. However, the upcoming Resident Evil 2 remake looks to keep things consistent, continuing what Capcom established with its excellent Resident Evil 7.

After catapulting to fame during the era of the original PlayStation, the Resident Evil franchise plateaued with the smash hit that was Resident Evil 4. Despite being well-received at the time, this entry showed signs of the series rapidly moving away from what initially made it great.

This continued with Resident Evil 5, which prompted some fans to reflect on the franchise’s move away from survival and horror towards something more akin to Call of Duty, though the entry was also well-regarded after its launch.

Resident Evil 6 followed this trend and failed miserably as a result— at least in terms of satisfying critics and consumers — but there’s more to its failure than just a move away from survival tension. The series had become bloated by that time, with grandiose storylines and farfetched plots that asked players to suspended their disbelief without offering a rewarding return.

The Revelations spin-offs tried correcting these problems, but they still struggled with convoluted plots and mixed gameplay styles.

Finally, Capcom listened to players and delivered Resident Evil 7, the critically acclaimed return to Resident Evil’s survival-horror roots. It’s a fantastic game that manages to recognize the turns that the series took in other entires without being crippled by them.

This led to a self-contained, nail-biting thrill-ride from start to finish. That's a good thing for classic Resident Evil fans, because without the success of Resident Evil 7, there probably wouldn’t be the highly anticipated Resident Evil 2 remake.

Halcyon Days

Survival

The first three Resident Evil games weren’t exactly unique in the survival genre, but it’s the survival elements that make them stand out and propelled the series to fame.

Limited saves, limited space for items and weapons, and very limited ammunition create an incredibly tense atmosphere where players have to weigh each action carefully as they plan for some unknown and deadly future. At times, the games are downright brutal.

It’s a clever method of immersion, making the player think like the character they control. But the old Resident Evil games throw all of that at players at once, and they have tank-like controls that require players to rotate in order to change directions.

Were it not for Capcom executing the atmosphere (complete with excellent pre-rendered backgrounds), horror, action, and survival so well, the controls could have completely ruined the experience. However, as it is, they add to the tension and setting, and they are a significant part of why some fans consider these three to be the best Resident Evil games.

Plot

Any good horror experience requires just enough story, sprinkled with tantalizing mystery, to keep audiences invested and present a good reason for why the events are happening. While tension is really what makes the Resident Evil series scary, the stories they tell offer exactly that.

For example, while Chris and Jill investigate the mysterious Mansion in the original release, they slowly uncover clues as to why these hideous monsters exist to begin with.

Crimson Heads and Cerberus fiends get the blood pumping when they chase your poor tanky characters down a long hallway, but it’s when you figure out that Crimson Head used to be a human experimented on that it all gets a lot creepier, especially when players encounter Lisa Trevor. It’s no Silent Hill, but it’s disturbing nonetheless.

As the series continues, so does its horrifying plot. For instance, events spiral out of control in Resident Evil 2 when the entirety of Raccoon City becomes contaminated, leading to the eventual destruction of the city in Resident Evil 3. All of this death, tragedy, and destruction centers around greed and the desire for power.

Fantastical as it is, the story passes muster because it combines just enough humanity and reality with the obvious video game elements, and, more importantly, it keeps everything under control. The three games take place over a roughly six-month period, and Umbrella and the government take pains to ensure everything remains completely unknown outside the few survivors of the Raccoon City Incident.

A Turn for the Worse?

And then we come to Resident Evil 4.

Leon Kennedy survives chaos and destruction, like any good hero, and he now works as a special agent investigating the kidnapping of the president's daughter by some Spanish cult. Resident Evil 4 turns the series into a kind of James Bond meets the Da Vinci Code plus zombies affair.

The survival is still there, of course, and exploring abandoned, ominous huts and creepy cathedrals has a nice effect. But the plot is a mix of derivative and overly-complicated, introducing a new type of virus (that does the same thing as the T Virus), a new mysterious rival organization (that does the same thing Umbrella did), weird cults, presidential kidnappings, and more.

Resident Evil 5 tries to pick up Resident Evil 4's plot threads and link them to earlier hints at Umbrella’s activities overseas, but, in doing so, it abandons the essential survival element that made Resident Evil, well, Resident Evil.

Sure, the action is exhilarating and lore fans will appreciate the plot expansion, but Capcom got the wrong message here. The company believed fans wanted action games, and it lost sight of its artistic vision.

Pursuing profits meant creating material fans never really asked for to begin with — at least not from Capcom. Innovation took a backseat to pandering, and the company's reputation suffered from it (and from a certain controversy associated with it).

Resident Evil 6 is the culmination of that misguided pursuit. Thematically, it’s a mess, with the four diverging plotlines each using different gameplay styles. None of these offerings are fully developed, and there is very little in the way of horror, grotesque monsters, or puzzles (outside of Ada’s campaign). Basically, it's not even a Resident Evil title.

The plot is even more unbelievable than you’d expect from a horror title. Raccoon City was destroyed, so no one knows what happened, but it’s not very likely that all of the passengers on flights will turn into zombies while multiple international governments collude on some obscure weaponry plot without at least someone getting wind of what’s going on. Not to mention that a president’s daughter turning into a zombie and eating her father is bound to get some attention.

And there’s always that slight impression in the back of your mind that Tom Cruise is going to jump out and save the day during the next cutscene.

Back to Basics

But oh, how Resident Evil 7 changed things.

The game was developed concurrently with the remake of Resident Evil 2, though, of course, 7 came first. That two teams worked on two similar, back-to-basics titles strongly suggests that Capcom got the message about what fans want loud and clear, but without 7’s success, one wonders whether the company would have seen the remake of through to the end.

Longtime fans probably have an idea of why Resident Evil 7 was so successful, but it’s worth breaking down anyway. The most obvious reason is the return of the survival and horror elements, and while inventory management might not be as brutal as before, you still must think carefully about what you’re doing, especially since everything wants to kill you.

Furthermore, Capcom likes to experiment with camera angles, but choosing first-person for 7 was vital for the game’s atmosphere and creating a unique experience. Exploring 7's plantation mansion in third-person — even in HD—would be far too similar to exploring Resident Evil and Resident Evil Zero’s mansions, and it would have repeated Resident Evil 6’s mistake of recycling the Raccoon City Incident.

First-person also increases the horror factor exponentially, both because it’s a new approach and because it makes 7’s setting more intimate.

That level of closeness is what really makes 7 so great, as it creates an overall scarier experience. Wandering the plantation house and grounds while knowing that no one can hear you or save you makes for an incredibly tense experience.

It’s even more tense when the stakes are so personal, with Ethan’s wife’s life in the balance and the terrible choice between Mia and Zoe that players have to make. It's a return to the style of the original three games, as it emphasizes the human element, particularly when players learn how the Molded came to exist and what (and who) Eveline really is.

However, it also allowed Capcom to ignore the tangled mess the House of Umbrella created. RE7 is very much tied to the Umbrella saga, and there are nods to the stories in other games, what with Chris’s connection to Blue Umbrella, but all of that is literally miles away from Ethan.

As with the original, all the player knows is what’s going on in front of them, and the story unfolds as Ethan learns more about Eveline and the Bakers. It doesn’t preclude a grand tale, but it does mean the game is a lot more focused and can tell a better story through its gameplay.

The Next Logical Step

How does that relate to Resident Evil 2’s remake, you might ask? In several ways.

First, Capcom learned to balance innovation with tradition. 7 showed just how much fans wanted survival-horror to return to Resident Evil, and now Capcom seems to understand it’s okay to give horror-driven gameplay back to fans on a regular basis.

It makes sense then to go back to RE2 right afterwards, and it shows fans that the company is serious about what the series will be about from here on. It also offers a chance to expand once again on the formula that made the first (and seventh) so successful: survival.

Notably, 2 is even more of a survival-horror game than 7 or the original Resident Evil, offering higher stakes, more claustrophobic environments, and an ever-present sense of panic about what’s going to happen to the city. Certainly, Resident Evil 2’s remake will pull in even more fans because of this approach and its expanded environment.

Then there's the lessons in gameplay innovations that Capcom learned from 7. Successfully implementing camera and control changes in that entry means that the company now knows how to navigate the difficulties of re-creating Resident Evil 2 for modern players.

Additionally, it also makes it okay for Capcom to reinstitute the third-person angle without feeling like something drastically different had to be done. Innovation can be small-scale and still have impact, and knowing this likely influenced Capcom’s decisions to faithfully reproduce RE2 while making only necessary changes.

7’s story made returning to 2 feasible as well. While engaging, there’s no denying RE2’s plot is a lot simpler than later games, which could have seemed like an odd jump if players went straight from 6 back into 2.

Instead, it’s a logical step, allowing new fans that were drawn in by 7 to uncover the origins of Umbrella and its mutants without having to venture back into the more recent games. The stylistic differences could cause them to completely lose their taste for the series.

Whether the remake would have happened anyway, there’s little doubt that 7’s success ensured Capcom would put as much effort into recapturing the dark grandeur of the series as possible.

Looking Ahead

But then there’s the question of where the series heads from 7 as well, with some fans wanting it to expand like the original release of Resident Evil 2 expanded on the first Resident Evil. Capcom is reportedly keeping an eye on fan responses and is toying with the idea of using urban settings again instead of sticking to exotic, far-flung locales.

That makes RE2 remake an ideal experiment for seeing where the series can go next. Should fans love Raccoon City as much as they once did, it’s likely we’ll see an even better city setting next time.

Regardless, Capcom has learned its lesson. What fans are likely to get from now on is a combination of what sells and what the company wants to create.

It’s a fine line to walk between caving in to consumer demand and still giving developers room to create, but with the Resident Evil 2 remake setting the tone for future installments by leaving Capcom in no doubt as to what sells (and what developers should create), the monster of greed and innovation has, hopefully, been tamed for good.

Most importantly, Resident Evil 7 ensured the remake would be a success from the get-go. Longtime fans might have bought 2 to experience what they once loved, but without 7, it’s unlikely many new people would have given it a try, especially knowing it’s a remake of an older, clunkier game.

Instead of being a one-off return to the glory days of old, the Resident Evil 2 remake is set to take a position as the herald of greater things to come. It marks the transition of one of the best horror game series around back to more horror, more challenges, more intrigue, and most of all, more fun.

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Steam Summer Sale: 20+ Great Online Co-op Games for Less than $10 https://www.gameskinny.com/trd74/steam-summer-sale-20-great-online-co-op-games-for-less-than-10 https://www.gameskinny.com/trd74/steam-summer-sale-20-great-online-co-op-games-for-less-than-10 Sat, 30 Jun 2018 19:32:38 -0400 Ashley Shankle

Steam sales only come around a few times a year and PC gamers everywhere revere them as periods of amazing deals on games and terrible tragedies to their bank accounts.

If your group of friends is anything like mine, getting them all to both agree to and pay for a particular game is harder than herding feral cats. Maybe you're in a similar situation or maybe you're just on the prowl for some cheap multiplayer games. Whatever the case, we've compiled a sizable list to help you out.

All of the games listed below are:

  • Toting online co-op multiplayer for at least two players (most listed feature 4 player or more multiplayer)
  • Less than $10 so they're easy on your wallet

That sounds like a big win to me. Let's choo choo on through, and hopefully find you and your friend(s) a game you can play without stressing too much about cost.

Terraria

Sale price: $4.99
Steam Store link

You'll see this game mentioned on just about every list of co-op games. This co-op sandbox-adventure has loads of content for any group of friends to go to town on. Terraria has stayed on the top played Steam games for 7 years for good reason.

Grim Dawn

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

If you're looking to scratch your ARPG itch, you could do a lot worse than Grim Dawn. Even without the expansion, you can find dozens of hours of whackin' and lootin' in Grim Dawn. If you're not too keen on its darker aesthetic but do want an ARPG, the next option may be more down your alley.

Torchlight 2

Sale price: $4.99
Steam Store link

It may be older than Grim Dawn, but Torchlight 2 still has a lot of staying power if you've never given the game a chance. There is more content to be found in Grim Dawn but Torchlight 2 has a robust array of mods available, including content, quality of life, and classes. This is still a solid buy today in 2018, and it can be modded for up to 8-player multiplayer.

Castle Crashers

Sale price: $4.49
Steam Store link

Another staple co-op game sure to be on pretty much every co-op list, Castle Crashers is the poster boy for co-op beat'em ups. This is an easy one for all ages and kill levels to get into and have fun with.

BattleBlock Theater

Sale price: $4.49
Steam Store link

Another game from The Behemoth, the same studio behind Castle Crashers. BattleBlock Theater's campaign is completely co-op and it also features a healthy selection of hectic PvP modes, for when you want to prove your better than your friends once and for all.

Rocket League

Sale price: $9.99
Steam Store link

Before you say, "Ugh, no. Too mainstream," take a breath and consider Rocket League as a co-op game with a low barrier of entry and a whole lot of speed. Rocket League may not be your first choice, but it's an easy game to get a group of people to agree to hop onto for a quick round.

Risk of Rain

Sale price: $2.49
Steam Store link

Risk of Rain is a co-op game with an unquenchable bloodlust. Though not for everyone due to its extreme difficulty, Risk of Rain is an easy buy for roguelite fans or groups of friends who hate life. It's a hard game and it will knock you down a peg with ease, whether you've got 1 hour or 300 hours worth of gameplay logged.

Beat Hazard

Sale price: $2.99
Steam Store link

This one always seems to slip through the cracks since it's been blessing Steam with its presence for eight years now, but despite its age, Beat Hazard continues to be a recommended purchase for co-op play, providing you and your friend(s) are good at shmups. Beat Hazard lets you use your own music or one of many radio stations to generate enemies, which is what makes this one so unique.

Ultimate Chicken Horse

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

Playing this game with a group of friends is an exercise in sadism. You and up to three other friends will be tasked with creating and completing the stages in Ultimate Chicken Horse, and you can bet at least one (or even all) of you will make them nearly impossible to beat, in the name of being the better platformer player. Ridiculously fun and honestly not as enraging as it sounds.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Sale price: $5.99
Steam Store link

An outlier among the other games in this collection, Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes only requires one person to buy the game. There's a reason for that: Only one player is allowed to see the screen at a time, so only one can directly defuse the bomb. The other players must tell the defuser what to do based on the instructions in the manual.

If it sounds a little convoluted, that's because it is by design. Can you and your friends defuse a bomb? Maybe, maybe not. But you can certainly yell at each other trying.

Don't Starve Together

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

Don't Starve has stood as one of the more accessible survival games over the years, and the multiplayer expansion Don't Starve Together may be an even more enjoyable game than the base with the Reign of Giants expansion. Together contains both, plus the ability to die in the forest with your friends. If -- as in my case -- you tried the original game but didn't enjoy it much, you may still find this fun.

Left 4 Dead 2

Sale price: $1.99
Steam Store link

You may be dissuaded from picking Left 4 Dead 2 up based on its age. It's been out for 11 years now, it seems like everyone's been through the game. Why bother? If you haven't played it yet, this is your reminder to pick up L4D2 to play with your friends. It's still fun to this day, but it's best played with friends. Any community for a decade-old game is bound to be elitist and this game is no exception.

PAYDAY 2

Sale price: $4.99
Steam Store link

If you don't play PAYDAY 2, it's possible the only thing you've heard about it was the hubbub about microtransactions a few years back. It's been a long time since then though, and the game is a solid heister. You don't need to play the first game to dive right into this one and, provided your group can cooperate, there are hours upon hours of heists for you to tackle.

Dungeon of The Endless

Sale price: $2.99
Steam Store link

How about something a little different? Amplitude's Endless universe has expanded this way and that, with "that" being Dungeon of the Endless, a pseudo-tower defense roguelike. In this, players must hoard resources and expand based on the ever-increasing threats of the depth of the dungeon. A single round in this game can take several hours and it is very hard, but if your group's into roguelikes you could do a lot worse.

Borderlands 2

Sale price: $4.99
Steam Store link

Borderlands 2 is another old staple that still holds up today, especially multiplayer. Pushing through this game with friends is satisfying as firefights are intense and the weapon system is a ARPG-style lootfest. Not many games age as well as this one -- you can come back years later and still have a ton of fun.

Golf With Your Friends

Sale price: $3.89
Steam Store link

If you just want a game to pay a little attention to while chatting, this is an easy choice. Golf With Your Friends isn't exactly rolling in content variety and only contains 7 levels with 18 holes, but things are kept fresh through golf ball shapes and game modes. A very easy game to just sit back and play while having a couple beers and a laugh.

Human: Fall Flat

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

How about something a little less-in-your-face about its silliness? We've got some pretty quirky games listed here, but they're all a bit more obvious about it than the cooperative physics-based puzzle solving found in Human: Fall Flat. The one downside here is that there are not a lot of stages, but it's a good deal at this price. 

Project Zomboid

Sale price: $8.99
Steam Store link

Don't let this game's graphics and the year it entered Steam Early Access fool you: Project Zomboid is a fleshed-out survival sandbox with hundreds of potential hours of gameplay, with continued support from its developer as it slowly shambles toward full release. If you and your group can accept the high learning curve, you can have a great time with this game.

Portal 2

Sale price: $1.99
Steam Store link

The Portal games are famous for a lot of reasons and one of those reasons is (Spoilers!) the stellar co-op campaign. If you haven't played Portal 2 and you want a game to play with a friend, you may as well throw the $2 at Valve and see what all the hubbub is about.

Barony

Sale price: $2.24
Steam Store link

An other roguelike to add to the pile, Barony is the closest to a traditional roguelike of any of the games listed here. It looks old, it feels old, and it plays like an old game. That's perfectly fine: You'll be hard-pressed to find another game that takes the classic roguelike formula, turns it 3D and realtime, and allows for online co-op. This one's pretty niche but you're in for a good time if you're comfortable with classic roguelikes.

Endless Legend

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

Though Endless Space is currently also on sale, I would recommend Endless Legend over it for its similarities to the Civilization series and its overall fun factor. This is a more traditional-style 4X game. Expand, form alliances, wage wars -- it's up to you. A worthy strategy addition to most gaming groups on a budget.

Resident Evil 5

Sale price: $4.99
Steam Store link

You don't hear much about Resident Evil 5 or 6 for a few reasons, but none of those reasons equate to them not being fun with friends. Resident Evil 5 is often overlooked in favor of 6 for co-op play because it retains the semi-tank controls found in its predecessor, but if you and a friend can adjust to that control style this is an intense and worthwhile co-op action game.

Resident Evil 6

Sale price: $7.49
Steam Store link

Like its predecessor, Resident Evil 6 is best played with a friend. Unlike its predecessor, it's got more modern, fluid controls and a whole lot of QTEs. This one is over-the-top in about every regard, to the extent I can't help but find it silly each playthrough. If you like classic Resi games, go with 5. If you can't deal with the antiquated controls, go with 6. The decision is as simple as that.

7 Days to Die

Sale price: $8.99
Steam Store link

One of the first titles in the survival game wave that paved the way for games such as Rust and ARK: Survival Evolved, 7 Days to Die still stands as one of the most played games on Steam and is just as fun now as when it came out. As with the two mentioned, 7 Days to Die allows you a great deal of freedom in your efforts to survive. Break, use, and do whatever you want to ensure your survival in a world overrun by over 50 types of zombies.

Orcs Must Die! 2

Sale price: $3.74
Steam Store link

The original Orcs Must Die! set off a chain reaction of action-tower defense clones, some good and some bad, but none really hold up to the sequel. Orcs Must Die! 2 is an improvement over the first game in almost every way, and has the added bonus of online multiplayer. It's easy to get into, easy to wrap your head around, and easy to spend too many hours in.

Tabletop Simulator

Sale price: $9.99
Steam Store link

This is a bit of a strange one since Tabletop Simulator itself isn't a game, but a mini-platform for tabletop gaming. The amount of games available via Tabletop Simulator are nearly endless, making this a fantastic purchase for any static group of friends who have trouble deciding on what to play or want to play board games without having to pick up after themselves.

---

These are definitely not all of the co-op games you can get for under $10 on Steam during this sale, but these are some I can personally recommend. I hope you've found at least one game you find worthy of your Steam library.

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The Story So Far -- The Resident Evil Cast (Part 2) https://www.gameskinny.com/g1v6x/the-story-so-far-the-resident-evil-cast-part-2 https://www.gameskinny.com/g1v6x/the-story-so-far-the-resident-evil-cast-part-2 Fri, 07 Apr 2017 16:00:02 -0400 Shark Tank Gaming

DISCLAIMER: I have tried to keep this piece spoiler free but some of you may not agree that it is. You have been warned.

Welcome back to 'The Story So Far-- The Resident Evil Cast Part 2. In Part 1 to this issue, we went through a fair few characters (21 to be exact) that appeared throughout the Resident Evil series. Their histories throughout the franchise and their current status were discussed but there just wasn't enough room for all of them. Unfortunately, I won't be covering the characters from Resident Evil 7 as I plan on doing a review very soon. Stay tuned for that but as for now, get ready for the remaining 18 characters!

Albert Wesker

Albert began his path to heinous villainy as the leader of S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Squad) 'Alpha' team, acting undercover for the Umbrella corporation back in the first Resident Evil. He is responsible for a large number of squad members' deaths, including 'Delta' squad. Wesker has been the series' antagonist for as long as I can remember and has been one of the coolest, I might add. Never mind that he looks like Neo from The Matrix, Wesker is one messed up dude who is constantly in our heroes' way.

Injecting himself with a prototype virus in Resident EvilWesker was eventually found out and killed by Jill and Chris. He didn't stay dead though, as the virus resurrected him and gave him superhuman powers, such as increased strength. 

Some time afterwards, Wesker planned to betray Umbrella for his own gains (surprise, surprise) and managed to escape from his 'employers'. This prompted a series of attacks to and fro between Umbrella and Wesker, in which he attempted to gain intel and samples of viruses for mass production. Running into Chris and Claire Redfield during one of these instances, his face was badly burned by Chris during a tense fight.

Capturing Jill Valentine later on during the events of Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles, he managed to implant her with a prototype mind-control device, in her cleavage. Hey, Wesker's a man too you know? Using Jill against her former comrade in arms, Chris and newcomer Sheva, they managed to save Jill and bring her back to the light by destroying the implant.

An enemy to almost everyone in the series, Wesker betrays nearly all he comes across in his ultimate desire for power. Returning from the dead time and time again, it seemed he was our enemy forever. Until Chris and Sheva sent rockets flying into his eyes circa Resident Evil 5. We haven't seen him since. It's been kind of lonely...

Current Status: Dead... or is he?

Brad Vickers

'Chickenheart' was so named for abandoning 'Alpha' team at the first sign of trouble back in Resident EvilRunning and leaving his team for dead, how Vickers made it into S.T.A.R.S in the first place is beyond me. We don't hear or see Brad for a while in the series, until the infamous Nemesis catches up with him in Resident Evil 3. 

Trying to escape the city, Jill runs into 'Chickenheart' at the RCPD (Raccoon City Police Department made famous in Resident Evil 2). He explains that Jill needs to get out of the city as there is something monstrous chasing them. Well, speak of the devil and he appears. Brad has one final moment of being an ultimate coward as he cops a bio-engineered tentacle to the face.

Current Status: Dead

Luis Sera

Luis Sera appeared in Resident Evil 4 and was the former researcher for Osmund Saddler. He went against his cult leader and, even though he was a bit of a douche at first, assisted Leon in rescuing Ashley Graham. Together they were successful in stopping the Plaga virus, along with Los Illuminados.

Discontented with the way his superior was using the virus, he contacted a rival party, unknowingly led by Albert Wesker. Ada Wong was also involved as Sera's contact among the rural towns of Spain. When the time came, Sera was unfortunately killed by Osmund via impalement-tentacle to the chest. Before dying however, Luis was able to give Leon and Ashley the Plaga antidote and left all his research. What a nice guy...

Current Status: Dead

Jack Krauser

A hardcore kind of guy, Jack Krauser spent his entire life in the military and mercenary groups, believing that he couldn't function in 'normal' society. He worked alongside Leon in a few missions for the SOCOM initiative but there was always something missing for him. That something (or rather someone), was Albert Wesker.

A man with loyalties even more lenient than Wesker himself, Krauser worked for the antagonist and actually was amazingly loyal. Go figure, right? Jack began to have a certain distrust of fellow operative Ada Wong, and rightly so, as she had been aiding Leon on and off in Resident Evil 4. Sent to deal with Leon as the contact for Ashley's retrieval, the former allies ended up fighting a messy battle. Krauser had mutated his arm into a bulletproof monstrosity (thanks to Wesker) but was eventually defeated, exploding into a disgusting mess.

Current Status: Dead

Codename: HUNK

Whispered and ushered in room corners are tales of an Umbrella security officer so amazing that none actually know if he's real or not. HUNK is basically the stuff of legends for the last 20+ years, starting off as a gimmick and ending up with his own story. One of the (if not the most) popular characters in the Resident Evil franchise.

Beginning as the leader of the ill-fated 'Alpha' team from the U.S.S (Umbrella Security Service), Hunk and his team were responsible for the contamination of Raccoon City in Resident Evil 2. All of his team were massacred, with HUNK being the only one alive. Many successful missions later (with HUNK the only survivor every time) has earned him the nickname, 'Grim Reaper'. 

A playable character in many bonus and side missions, HUNK is definitely a fan favorite, even if emotionally devoid.

Current Status: In the Field

 Josh Stone

Josh is a member of the African sector of the B.S.A.A (Bio-terrorism Security Assessment Alliance), and was responsible for training Sheva Alomar for eight months. Over the course of her training, the two formed a strong bond, in which Stone continually refers to her as the little sister. Just as determined as Sheva to keep bio-weapons out of their continent, Josh fights hard in Resident Evil 5, crossing paths with his former trainee and Chris Redfield.

Many battles ensue during the events of Resident Evil 5, with Stone proving to be a formidable ally and eventual savior. Working with the duo (and his own team of course), Josh manages to assist in almost every fight during this time frame and eventually airlifts Sheva, Chris, and the newly emancipated Jill to freedom. 

Current Status: Unknown

Barry Burton

Fan favorite Barry Burton began his journey way back in the first Resident Evil as S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team's weapons expert and revolver enthusiast. An uneasy history exists between Wesker and Burton, as he was blackmailed by Wesker in the first game to move against his squad mates. Trapped in between a rock and a hard place, Burton did everything in his power to assist his team mates Jill and Chris in solving the mystery to the 'Umbrella mansion'.

Finally turning against Wesker towards the end of Resident Evil, Burton comes clean to his team mates and helps them overcome the odds. We see Barry once again in Resident Evil 3 and since he is a member of S.T.A.R.S, we know that Nemesis is after him as well. During the escapades here, Barry is able to assist Jill and Carlos during their escape attempts and even manages to make it out himself.

Becoming somewhat of a mentor to the Redfield siblings, his daughter Moira became close with them too. Convinced to enlist in the B.S.A.A by Chris, Barry instead became a combat and weapons specialist adviser to the younger recruits, including Chris. 

Fast forward years later and Barry finds his daughter, Moira, kidnapped along with Claire Redfield. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 marks the first time players could actually control Barry as a main character. Working through the asylum of nightmares, Barry was able to navigate the institution and reunite with the duo thanks to a mysterious little girl he met on the beach, Natalia Korda.

Current Status: In the Field

Excella Gionne

Appearing first for a brief time in Resident Evil: Revelations, Excella came from a background of aristocratic, wealthy families who ran the export-import trade around Europe. Not satisfied with her current state (ungrateful much?), Excella joined up with Wesker to fund the creation of the Manjini and Plaga viruses. This was in order to combat the ever increasing roster of the global B.S.A.A. Taking a heavier role come Resident Evil 5, Excella was one of the antagonists in these events, crossing Sheva and Chris more than once.

After trusting Wesker (a huge mistake in this series), he ended up injecting her with the Uruboros virus after he knew she was not compatible. What transpired after was a thing of nightmares. Excella was hideously mutated and was forced to fight against Chris and Sheva. Tough break kid. Such a loss...

Current Status: Dead

Jessica Sherawat

A former member of the F.B.C (Federal Bio-terrorism Comission), Jessica is now a skilled member of the B.S.A.A. Partnered up with Chris during the events of Resident Evil: Revelations, it was later revealed that she was a double-agent working for the infamous Tricell. It seems you really just can't trust anyone in the Resident Evil series. 

Obsessed with her appearance, and very sexual in nature, Jessica uses her sexuality and fashion style to mask her massive insecurities. After the events of Resident Evil: Revelations (and her subsequent reveal as an enemy), Jessica has not been seen since.

Current Status: Unknown

Ada Wong

Another popular, fan favorite in the Resident Evil series, Ada has changed her appearance little since her appearance in Resident Evil 2. This makes her an instantly recognizable character in the universe, whereby a complex relationship with Leon takes hold.

A spy for one of Umbrella's rival companies, Ada is fully capable of navigating the apocalyptic Raccoon City she finds herself in during the events of Resident Evil 2. Sent to retrieve a sample of the T-virus created by William Birkin, Ada grew to actually care for her rival, rookie cop Leon. This gal has 'died' a few times over in the series (how she survived her huge fall at the underground lab is beyond me). However, she manages to surprise players time and again with her appearances.

After living through the events of Resident Evil 2, her and Leon escape Raccoon City only to be reunited by fate in rural Spain. Wesker had recruited Ada to work for a cell named the 3rd Organization. Crossing paths with Leon yet again, Ada was conflicted about her mission in Resident Evil 4. Eventually giving into her emotions, Ada assisted Leon with the Plaga virus, ending the cult, and retrieving Ashley from Los Illuminados. Much to the dismay of Wesker and Krauser, Ada was successful in escaping.

Appearing yet again in Resident Evil 6, Ada crosses paths with Leon once more. These two really can't get away from each other can they? Now working on orders from her assumed partner Derek Simmons (the antagonist in Resident Evil after Wesker died), Ada avoids chase from Chris, Jill, and even Leon himself. This time not letting her feelings get the better of her. Funnily enough, she is still in contact with Wesker up until Chris and Sheva take him out.

Current Status: Unknown

Parker Luciani

Jill Valentine's grizzly partner during the events of Resident Evil: Revelations, Parker was a very likable character. Another member who was originally from the F.B.C, Luciani transferred to the B.S.A.A as he felt he could do more good at this organization. Titled as the organisation's Special Weapons Agent, Luciani was a bad-ass character, taking on the worst of the leech type bio-weapons found all over the Queen Zenobia. After Jessica reveals herself for the traitorous scum she is, Luciani is perceived dead after an explosion. Not to worry though, as he was saved and found washed up on the shores of Malta. Parker continues his illustrious career at the B.S.A.A to this date.

Current Status: In the Field

Keith Lumley

 

A member of the European division of the B.S.A.A, Keith is your typical, womanizing, special forces soldier. Appearing during the events of Resident Evil: Revelations for the first time, his partner is Quint Cetcham. An easily likable character due to his loyalty and honor (who knew?), Lumley eventually comes to learn that his former boss at headquarters is a traitor, causing them to go on a goose-chase. Once they realized that their fellow B.S.A.A agents were not responsible, the duo attacked their former superior and nearly died during the fight. Although they made it out of the explosion (barely), Keith and Quint continue the fight. Lumley became the new leader of the African B.S.A.A, occasionally running into Chris and Sheva during the events of Resident Evil 5.

Current Status: In the Field

Quint Cetcham

If you were wondering who Quint is when he was mentioned above well, this is him. Loyal to the bone with his partner at the B.S.A.A, Keith Lumley, these two are a hard duo not to love. Some of the actual few who were loyal to their organizations and not some traitorous a**holes. Appearing in Resident Evil: Revelations, Quint and Keith manage to take down their superior (who actually happened to be a traitor) and assume his role. Honest soldiers leading honest recruits. It's how it should be done.

Current Status: In the Field

Raymond Vester

The F.B.C must be doing something wrong because they just keep losing agents to the B.S.A.A. I'm surprised that the F.B.C hasn't gotten peeved off at them yet, but I digress. Another complex story much similar to Ada Wong, Raymond is working for the B.S.A.A as a spy against Tricell. This led Raymond to carry out some very questionable orders against Chris and Jill during the events of Resident Evil: Revelations. After gathering as much information against their superior, Langsdale, Raymond saved Luciani's life by jumping in front of Jessica's bullet. The two later escaped the Queen Zenobia but Vester was nowhere to be found. It was later revealed that Jessica and Raymond were actually in fact double-agents for Tricell, attempting to steal a sample of the T-Abyss virus. My head hurts...

Current Status: Unknown

Jake Muller

Jake Muller was a playable character in Resident Evil 6though he wasn't very well received by fans. Your generic tough guy, Jake only cares about himself but during the events of the game he forms a strong friendship with Sherry Birkin. How cliche. Anyhow, a few early theories had stated that he was actually Albert Wesker's son but no one knew for sure. After working as a mercenary in Edonia and being injected with the C-virus beforehand, Jake found he was immune to the effects. This made his blood extremely valuable to the B.S.A.A and other organisations. Sherry was sent in during Resident Evil 6 in order to get Jake out of that bio-weapon war zone. Knowing full well that the agencies only cared for his blood, he claimed he wanted $50 million (US) for the permission to use him. 

During the intense battles that occurred during the time, Jake and Sherry saved each other's lives more than once and towards the end, he was a much nicer guy. Offering his blood to Sherry for only $50 now was a clear indicator. After surviving the Ustanak (a meaner version of the Nemesis project) multiple times, you would hope they were friends. Oh yeah, he is Wesker's son too though he is nothing like his father.

Current Status: Unknown

Piers Nivans

Another tale of heroic bravery and sacrifice, Piers is definitely a soldier we can all look up to. Working as an agent for the B.S.A.A directly under Chris Redfield, Nivans assisted the team during the events of Resident Evil 6. Crossing paths with Leon and Jake during this time, the group fought off countless Javo bio-weapons. Unfortunately, Nivans was infected close to the end of the game and as they were about to secure an escape pod, Piers threw Chris inside. As Piers began to mutate, he ended his own life while he still had some sense left in him. Some leader you are, Chris. Rest in piece friend, we hardly knew ye...

Current Status: Dead

Moira Burton

Moira is fan favorite, Barry Burton's daughter (as if the last name didn't give it away). After the events of the first 4 Resident Evil titles, Moira formed a close relationship to the Redfield siblings, with Barry acting as their mentor. When both Moira and Claire are kidnapped and wake up in an insane institution during Resident Evil: Revelations 2Barry is forced to attempt a rescue mission.

With Claire and Moira on the inside working together to get out, Moira proved herself capable in the nightmare the duo found themselves in. Bio-weapons have really begun to get out of control at this point and Moira uses her sneaking skills to navigate around the asylum. Not one to really use a gun, her weapon of choice is a crowbar, which comes in handy as more than just a club.

After the group reunite and find each other, they escape from the island and continue their close relationship as before. Moira has been safe at home with her father for some time now.

Current Status: Unknown

Natalie Korda

There is no shortage of creepy kids in the Resident Evil series but this kid just takes the cake. I mean look at that picture! Barry finds Natalia on the rocky beach he lands on during his search for Moira and Claire. Natalia plays a big part helping Barry in Resident Evil: Revelations 2 and even has psychic powers to sneak around and see any enemies (bio-weapons) that are in the area. Why this kid would want to sneak around this place is beyond me, but she says she's done it many times. Nothing weird here, right?

Injected with the T-Phobos virus and equipped with a monitor to observe fear and mutations, she is a powerful character in her own right. During the time frame of the game, she manages to meet Moira and Claire, though you later realize that 6 months have passed since the two playable narratives. What a twist.

After learning that Moira was dead, Barry was devastated but continued the mission and tried to escape the island. Alex Wesker, responsible for the new mutations (and also another of Wesker's children) had been stalking them for some time. During a cliff side moment, Alex attacks Barry and Natalia, throwing the former off the cliff and the latter by choking her. After seeing her reflection in Natalia's eyes, she recoils in terror and flees the scene.

Claire later returns to save the day and the group manage to get to safety. As of now, Natalia is an adopted child of Barry Burton, becoming Moira's sister. Oh yeah, she's alive too...

Current Status: Unknown

Alex Wesker

This beautiful creature is Alex Wesker, antagonist and person responsible for all the madness surrounding the events of Resident Evil: Revelations 2. After mutating from being injected with the same T-Phobos virus as Natalia, Alex is a hideous mess who begins stalking the group. Not wanting them to leave the island alive, she attacks the groups time and time again only to be killed by Claire Redfield at the very end of the game. A somewhat sympathetic character, she reminded me of the hunchback of Notre Dame, sort of...

Current Status: Dead

Conclusion

A fantastic series for the past 20+ years, I have played every Resident Evil game out there no matter what console was required. I think I was even one of the few who enjoyed all the spin-offs and gun accessory games Capcom released. It is definitely a confusing and very loosely written franchise but we haven't really questioned much of the story. As I continue to play Resident Evil 7, I'm hoping that my original question is answered. Basically, how is this tied in?

That ends Part 2 of The Story So Far-- The Resident Evil Cast. So what did you think? Did I miss anything in the character descriptions/explanations that you felt warranted a bio? Please leave a comment below!

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The Story So Far -- The Resident Evil Cast (Part 1) https://www.gameskinny.com/q0a46/the-story-so-far-the-resident-evil-cast-part-1 https://www.gameskinny.com/q0a46/the-story-so-far-the-resident-evil-cast-part-1 Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:00:02 -0400 Shark Tank Gaming

Note: I have tried to keep this piece spoiler free but some of you may not agree that it is. You have been warned.

Resident Evil was one of the first games to introduce the feeling of survival-horror, not just horror. The scarce ammo, intense boss fights, overall atmosphere and clunky controls all formed together to create that perfect sense of dread and despair. Dying was common throughout the game, as was solving a plethora of puzzles, but as the series went on the Resident Evil platform moved into more of an action-horror hybrid, leaving little in the way of actual scares (along with the anguish of their fans).

Resident Evil

With Resident Evil 7 released recently, the team at Capcom definitely moved away from their failing formula, opting to go for a first person, survival horror theme in the vein of games such as Amnesia, Outlast and the like. This was a massive divergence from the series and either alienated long time fans or brought them reeling back in. As I was playing, I wondered how the hell this game actually ties into the Resident Evil universe and made me think of how we got to this. Where were our favorite characters from the last 25 years?

These questions eventually led me to go back and play all the Resident Evil games, from start to finish in chronological order. Don't ask me why but I felt like refreshing myself on the characters and stories from the previous games, in hopes that I could notice something that was at least related to the seventh installment. Two days later and I abandoned my current mission in favor of a better article, delving into the characters from the Resident Evil series and where they are now. Don't worry though, I'm still playing through all the games as I type this in hopes of eventually tying in Resident Evil 7...

Resident Evil, Directors CutThe game that started it all, Resident Evil.

Intro

The story starts way up in the Arklay mountains area near Raccoon city where the S.T.A.R.S (Special Tactics and Reconnaissance Squad) members are sent on a mission. This mission was to investigate a series of cannibalistic murders in the locality.

Their leader, Albert Wesker (and one of the most prominent villains in the series), led them to the mission site; the infamous 'Umbrella Mansion'. However, unbeknownst to the team, Wesker was actually in league with the Umbrella corporation and was using the squad as a 'test' of some sort against Umbrella's biological weapons systems. A trained, military squad would determine the efficiency of these bio-weapons. Thus, the Resident Evil story begins.

Billy Cohen

Billy Cohen, Resident Evil

A former marine, Billy used his military expertise to help S.T.A.R.S member Rebecca Chambers escape a bio-weapon infected train that they both found themselves on. Aboard the Elliptical Express, trust between the two is lukewarm at best (since Billy is in Umbrella's custody as a prisoner). However, soon they are left with little choice.

Saving Rebecca's life multiple times garners some modicum of trust between them and after the ensuing chaos in Resident Evil 0, she allowed the former prisoner to go free and flee up into the mountains somewhere.

Current Status: Unknown

Leon Kennedy

Resident Evil, Leon Kennedy

Leon was a fresh-faced, rookie cop who arrived in Raccoon city on his first day to find that the area was completely overrun by zombies. Running into Claire Redfield during the first part of Resident Evil 2, they managed to navigate the city, find out who was responsible, and halted the spread of the G-virus (or did they?).

After this incident, Leon found himself as a special agent in the field working directly for the president. In Resident Evil 4, Leon navigates through towns in rural Spain and uncovers a horrible conspiracy, the bio-weapons were never stopped and have mutated beyond their original intent due to further experimentation.

Knowing that this is his life's calling (having no other experience but to drop bioweapons), Leon returns in Resident Evil 6 and crosses paths with many popular characters including working with Claire's brother, Chris Redfield, on their missions to eradicate this threat (and Umbrella) from the world.

Current Status: In the Field

Claire Redfield

Claire Redfield, Resident Evil

Chris Redfield's little sister arrived in Raccoon city just as Leon was heading to his first day of work in Resident Evil 2. Searching for her brother's whereabouts after the incidents from the original Resident Evil, Claire was roped into helping Leon stop the spread of the G-virus in Raccoon city.

After parting ways with the rookie cop, she was abducted by Umbrella (or was it?) and kept against her will in an undisclosed island location. Finding her way out of this mess was even more dangerous as she wasn't the only prisoner. Finding other prisoners and the ghastly experiments carried out was enough to give Claire her escape push in Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Fortunately, she found her brother even though it seemed as though she never would. Family reunions, am I right?

You'd think that these two incidents would be enough to get Claire to escape somewhere relatively safe and unknown, but our little daredevil just couldn't sit tight with all the bioweapons running loose in the world. The last adventure Claire found herself involved with her brother's friend and squad mate, Barry Burton, while trying to keep his daughter safe.

Waking up in yet another demented prison in Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Claire learns that zombies and the bio-weapons she faced so far are nothing compared to what was being carried out here. Stuff of nightmares...

Current Status: In the Field

Carlos Oliveira

Carlos Oliveira, Resident Evil

A former mercenary and freedom fighter, Carlos was one of the few characters that I actually came to really like in the series (which is a shame that he wasn't used again). Due to his past, Carlos was recruited by Umbrella as a security officer and was deployed with his team to help defend and secure Raccoon city against the zombie outbreak in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Little to their knowledge, they were actually just cannon fodder for the Nemesis project.

As the Nemesis continued to decimate both S.T.A.R.S members and the Umbrella security team, Carlos teams up with Jill Valentine in her attempt to escape the city. During their living nightmare, the duo manage to find a cure for the T-virus just before they escape Raccoon city.

Current Status: Unknown

Steve Burnside

Steve Burnside, Resident Evil

A prisoner on the isolated Umbrella island Claire finds herself on, Steve was a plucky character whom I started to get fond of in Resident Evil: Code Veronica.

Helping Claire solve the mystery to the island and uncovering a sickening plot, with bio-weapons as the basis, Steve suffered the same tragic fate that many have in the Resident Evil series. He was infected with the virus and turned into a horrible, mutated bio-weapon himself. Claire had no choice but to put him down. Sad times.

Current Status: Dead

Sheva Alomar

Sheva Alomar, Resident Evil

Since the events of the first three Resident Evil games, the virus has run rampant across the globe. An elite operation was put together among the world's governments named B.S.A.A (Bioterrorism Security Assessment Alliance).

Working for the African branch of the alliance, Sheva fights to keep bio-weapons out of her continent. In Resident Evil 5Sheva joins up with Chris out in the field, attempting to uncover the reasons behind the current outbreak in Africa.

While collecting pieces of the puzzle and fighting off hordes of much smarter, faster bioweapons, the duo run into an old friend from Chris Redfield's S.T.A.R.S days, Albert Wesker.

Current Status: Unknown

Rebecca Chambers

Rebecca Chambers, Resident Evil

 Rebecca Chambers is the sole survivor of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, in which Jill and Chris found her hiding, terrified, in a closet. After what she had just been through on the Elliptical Express with Billy in Resident Evil 0, you think she would've had more stomach for this kind of thing, but I digress.

Rebecca is a field medic and is capable in her own right, as proven in the prequel to Resident Evil but hasn't really been seen since those two installments. Could she be making a comeback? I highly doubt it...

Current Status: Unknown

Chris Redfield

Chris Redfield, Resident Evil

A brief member of the original S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team, Chris began his life mission to eradicate bio-weapons after the 'Umbrella Mansion' incident. Saving Rebecca's life alongside Jill Valentine and his squad, Chris cleared the threat from the mansion and went on the search for his sister, Claire.

After an intense search, Chris was finally able to locate his sister on an isolated island owned by Umbrella, taking place in the events from Resident Evil: Code Veronica. Due to both his and Claire's efforts (let's not forget poor Steve too), they managed to reunite with each other and escape the island.

After everything he was put through, Chris has a massive chip on his shoulder against Umbrella and bioweapons. He takes the show on the road by enlisting in the B.S.A.A and continues to fight bio-weapons all over the world. There's also been some strange rumors that he was recently spotted in an Umbrella helicopter, assisting some stranger in redneck county. That can't be right though, can it?

Current Status: In the Field

Enrico Marini

Enrico Marini, Resident Evil

Not exactly too much to elaborate on here but Vice-Captain Marini was a member of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team who arrived first at the Umbrella Mansion. We find out that Albert Wesker is responsible for his death in Resident Evil by shooting him.

Current Status: Dead

Richard Aiken

Richard Aiken, Resident Evil

Another member of the S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Richard was attacked by a mutated snake bio-weapon in the Umbrella mansion during the events of Resident Evil. He was poisoned and needed an anti-venom to survive but unfortunately, Jill and Chris didn't make it back in time. Prior to his demise, Richard was the team's radio communication specialist. Alternatively, if you played as Chris, Richard meets his end trying to help Chris fight off carnivorous, mutated sharks. I don't know which one is worse...

Current Status: Dead

Edward Dewey

Edward Dewey, Resident Evil

The helicopter pilot for S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Edward is one of the first to meet his fate when the initial touchdown occurs in Resident Evil. Approaching the dreaded 'Umbrella Mansion' was the last thing Dewey would do and mutated, carnivorous dogs are the last thing he would see.

Current Status: Dead

Forest Speyer

Forest Speyer, Resident Evil

Yet another member of S.T.A.R.S 'Bravo' team, Forest was already found dead in the 'Umbrella Mansion', much to the dismay of 'Alpha' team. They didn't have to wait long for a reunion, however, as Speyer came back from the dead to attack his former team mates as a bioweapon in Resident Evil.

Current Status: Dead

Kenneth Sullivan

Kenneth Sullivan, Resident Evil

Remember the guy that we found a fresh faced zombie eating in the beginning moments of the first Resident Evil? Yeah well, it's this guy. Poor Kenneth was zombie chow straight out of the gate, having been decapitated and eaten by Chris and Jill's first zombie encounter at the 'Umbrella Mansion'.

Current Status: Dead

Joseph Frost

One of the members of the second landing, Frost is the bandanna toting, wannabe bad-ass of S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team. Unfortunately those menacing mutated dogs were still in the area during Resident Evil and after finding Edward Dewey's half eaten corpse, he met his end the exact same way.

Current Status: Dead

Jill Valentine

Originally the explosives expert in S.T.A.R.S 'Alpha' team, Claire has a long and storied history in this franchise. She started her journey with Chris Redfield in Resident Evil, helping to destroy the G-virus and secure the area. After escaping from this initial nightmare, Claire finds that she is trapped in Raccoon City with a determined bioweapon hot on her tail, Nemesis.

She meets up with Carlos Oliveira in Resident Evil 3, during this time the two try to find an escape. The eventual destruction of the Nemesis bio-weapon allows her to obtain her freedom from Raccoon City before it is nuked to all hell.

Founding the global B.S.A.A, Jill retains her hands-on position as field agent and works once again with Chris Redfield to bring down an Umbrella facility in Russia during the events of Resident Evil: Darkside Chronicles. All goes somewhat according to plan before she is kidnapped by Albert Wesker and implanted with a mind control device (in her cleavage). If this wasn't enough, she was then used against Chris and Sheva in Resident Evil 5. The duo managed to not only save their friend without hurting her, but also remove the implant. She carries out a few routine missions with Sheva's mentor, Josh Stone and Chris Redfield yet again.

Sometime after this, Jill hears word that Chris has been kidnapped by a bioterrorist organisation and sets off to help the man that saved her life more than once. Chris is being held aboard the luxury cruise liner, Queen Zenobia, in Resident Evil: Revelations but it turns out that this was a trap set to capture her. Her partner, Parker Luciani, does his best to help Jill in this situation but the evolution of much more powerful, leech type bioweapons infest the ship. During this time, Chris and his new partner, Jessica Sherawat board the same cruise liner in their efforts to locate Jill and figure out what the hell is going on.

Current Status: Unknown

Sherry Birkin

The child of Dr. William and Annette Burkin, Sherry has been involved in the bio-weapon incidents since she was a small child. Appearing for the first time in Resident Evil 2 during Claire's play through, Sherry is more capable than one would think. Not understanding much of what was going on, her father was mutated by the T-virus after Umbrella's security team attempted to execute him. This was the beginning of the end for Raccoon City (and most of the world).

Unfortunately for Sherry, William continued to stalk her and Claire so that he could infect young Sherry (as she was a viable host). The duo escaped from Raccoon City after destroying her 'father' and made it out just in time as the bombing began. While applying an antidote to Sherry's infectious situation, she managed to possess amazing healing properties instead of just turning into a bio-weapon. This allowed her to have a very storied future in the franchise.

After a decade or so of constant experimentation and protection from the U.S government, Sherry was finally able to transfer to the D.S.O (Department of Security Office) where she was an adept and useful agent. Landing in Edonia, Sherry was sent on a mission to find and secure Jake Muller, a mercenary who's blood was absolutely precious. His blood was sought after by the D.S.O due to the fact he had not mutated from the C-Virus he was injected with in Resident Evil 6. Working together to get out of this mutated war zone, Sherry and Jake run into fan favorites Chris Redfield (with the B.S.A.A) and Leon Kennedy as they fight the J'Avo, a new type of C-Virus bio-weapon. After being captured by the enemy and having more experiments carried out on them, Sherry manages to save Jake's life and get them both the hell out of there! A strong friendship grew between the two afterwards.

Current Status: In the Field

Mikhail Victor

Another of Umbrella's security force deployed with Carlos Oliveira and the rest of 'Delta' squad, Mikhail was a fine leader and soldier hailing from the crumbling U.S.S.R. Appearing in Resident Evil 3 meant that his job was to evacuate citizens and help curb the bioweapon threat from Raccoon City. As we all found out from Carlos' story, Umbrella had a much more devious plan in mind. To test out the bioweapon known as Nemesis.

As this monstrosity entered the tram car that the group (and Jill) found themselves in, Mikhail ordered them all to flee while he held off the Nemesis system. Due to his wounds, Mikhail wasn't going anywhere but he managed to pull the pin on his grenade, sacrificing himself for Jill and his squad, buying them more time to escape.

Current Status: Dead

Nikolai Zinoviev

Nikolai was yet another mercenary that was deployed in Raccoon City with Umbrella's 'Delta' security squad back in Resident Evil 3. Even though he is a member of the squad and is helping the others fight off the bioweapon menace, Nikolai was actually a secret member of Umbrella's group, named The Monitors. He already knew what the mission actually was and is ruthless in his mission to let the Nemesis kill off S.T.A.R.S members. Nikolai attempts to fake his death so that the others will leave him alone but fate actually had that in store for him as he is killed (off screen).

Current Status: Dead

Ashley Graham

Ashley is the president's daughter whom Leon Kennedy is sent to retrieve in Resident Evil 4. Kidnapped by a bioweapon terrorist cell, Los Illuminados, Ashley was being held among the towns of rural Spain and later found by Leon mid-game.

During this time, Leon and Ashley attempt to escape the nightmare situation they find themselves in with a new type of bio-weapon infecting the villagers. After learning that they have both been infected with the Plaga virus, the two searched desperately for a vaccine. Ashley continued to be taken away from Leon time and time again, but he was determined and eventually rescued her for good. They also managed to find an antidote and remove the Plaga virus from their bodies.

Current Status: Unknown

Ingrid Hannigan

Ingrid is one of the few characters who actually stays behind the scenes and assists other agents in the field via telecommunications. Appearing in Resident Evil 4 and then later again in Resident Evil 6, it seems that Ingrid is pretty much Leon's go to gal when it comes to radio assistance. A dedicated and honest member of the F.O.S (Field Operations Service), Ingrid does what she can to keep her agents alive in the field and also carries out further reason to her causes, such as finding out more about Simmons (an antagonist from Resident Evil 6).

Current Status: In the Field

That ends Part 1 of The Story So Far -- The Resident Evil Cast. Stay tuned for Part 2 coming very soon where we finish off the remaining, 18 cast members!

So what did you think? Did I miss anything in the character descriptions or explanations? Please leave a comment below!

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Sony Set to Add PS4 Games to PlayStation Now Streaming Service https://www.gameskinny.com/r7xrj/sony-set-to-add-ps4-games-to-playstation-now-streaming-service https://www.gameskinny.com/r7xrj/sony-set-to-add-ps4-games-to-playstation-now-streaming-service Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:46:07 -0400 Jonathan Moore

After three years of providing PlayStation gamers with a robust catalog of last-gen games, Sony is finally bringing PS4 titles to its widely popular PlayStation Now streaming service. Currently, the $20 per month cloud-based application only supports PlayStation 3 games, such as Bioshock Infinite, Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, and Resident Evil 6. But that system exclusivity is set to change in the coming months. 

In a press release from Sony, PlayStation's Senior Marketing Manager Brian Dunn said the company is: 

"...Excited to announce that PS Now’s catalog is set to grow even further, as we’ll be expanding to include a new platform: PlayStation 4 games. All of the games in the service, including PS4 games, will be included with a single PS Now subscription. We’ll share more information as we get closer to launch, so stay tuned."

On top of that, Dunn said that select PlayStation Now users will be randomly chosen in the coming weeks to partake in an upcoming private PS4/PS Now streaming test. This short trial will evaluate the efficacy of the upcoming service changes, while also looking to weed out and eliminate any bugs before launch later this year. 

Sony did not say which PlayStation 4 games would spearhead the launch of PlayStation Now's new streaming catalog. But it's safe to guess some of their most iconic flagship franchises will be somewhere in the mix. 

PlayStation Now is available for the PS4, PS3, PlayStation Vita, and PlayStation TV, as well as Windows PCs and various other third-party devices. 

Stay tuned to GameSkinny for more news and coverage on PlayStation Now. 

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5 Games You Need to Play to Prepare for 2017 Releases https://www.gameskinny.com/kuxr3/5-games-you-need-to-play-to-prepare-for-2017-releases https://www.gameskinny.com/kuxr3/5-games-you-need-to-play-to-prepare-for-2017-releases Mon, 09 Jan 2017 07:00:02 -0500 Naomi N. Lugo

2017 is officially here. While you may still be reeling from the tide of solid releases in 2016, the new game release calendar, unfortunately, just isn’t going to wait.

This year is set to see quite a few sequels and comebacks from major franchises. Below is a list of games that, if you didn’t get a chance to play them the first go-around, you should play right now. If you have played them, you should replay them in anticipation of these new titles.

South Park: The Stick of Truth

In anticipation of South Park: Fractured But Whole

Stick of Truth was exactly what the next gen South Park game needed to be. It’s combat, albeit simple, was fun (the “summons” were definitely a highlight), the humor was very very South Park and it all actually tied into the franchise nicely.

In other words, if you haven’t played this game yet go now! There isn’t really a better time to do so. The Fractured But Whole is slated to come out soon, on March 30. TSoT is a little bit more forgiving to your schedule too since the play time is about 15-20 hours.

Bonus: If you’re not caught up on recent seasons of the show it might be a good idea to start a marathon. At the very least watch season 13 episode 2 and season 14 episodes 11-14. That whole superhero franchise thing definitely seems like it will be a huge part of the new game.

The Resident Evil series

In anticipation of Resident Evil 7: Biohazard

Ok, so you may not have time to play every game in this series, but it might be worth playing one or two to hype yourself for the latest installment. There’s a small window for this one since Resident Evil 7 is supposed to release later this month on Jan. 24.

Through the demo, gamers have been able to see a game that seems to depart from the formula of its siblings. There have been reassurances from Capcom saying that this new game will not completely abandon all that makes the series what it is.

Knowing that tidbit of info, it might be a good idea to venture back into the franchise. Even if it’s just to enjoy the 'amazing' voice acting of the first.

The God of War series

In anticipation of God of War

The reveal of God of War was a highlight of the E3 2016 Sony press conference. The public got a new view of an older and paternal Kratos. A huge development for the character since past games. Big changes are coming to the God of War universe.

Playing the older games of the series would be worth it just to see the progression of the protagonist. Just look at the description for the game on its website:

“With new purpose and his son at his side, Kratos must fight for survival as powerful forces threaten to disrupt the new life he has created..."

The game doesn’t have a solid release date yet but is rumored for late 2017. That’s plenty of time to at least get started on past games.

The Mass Effect Trilogy

In anticipation of Mass Effect: Andromeda

Another game rapidly approaching release in March is the latest in the Mass Effect series, Mass Effect: Andromeda. On March 21, players will be able to explore a whole new galaxy within the Mass Effect universe.

It’s still not entirely known if Commander Shepard will have any sort of role in the game, whether it be through lore or otherwise, what we do know though is through trailers and words from BioWare. A 2015 blog post from the developer reads, “this game is very much a new adventure, taking place far away from and long after the events of the original trilogy.”

Playing the first trilogy before this release might be a good idea not only to catch up on the inner-workings of the game’s world, but this game could signal the start of something completely new. No need to miss out on a solid story line in the hype of the new.

Red Dead Redemption

In anticipation of Red Dead Redemption 2

The original Red Dead Redemption could debatably be called one of the best games of all time. Its beautiful open world is paired with a strong story and a highly personable underdog of a hero.

Fall can’t get here fast enough. The good news is though, you have plenty of time to play the first game. Especially if you never got around to finishing it the first time.

Chances are, the story of the first game is going to play into Red Dead 2, but of course, all the details aren’t out just yet.

What are the games you are playing or replaying to get ready for 2017 releases? What other games should be on the list? I would love to hear your thoughts via the comments below!

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Game Deals: Dark Souls III, Fire Emblem Fates, Resident Evil 6, Dragon Age Inquisition and More! https://www.gameskinny.com/cmyie/game-deals-dark-souls-iii-fire-emblem-fates-resident-evil-6-dragon-age-inquisition-and-more https://www.gameskinny.com/cmyie/game-deals-dark-souls-iii-fire-emblem-fates-resident-evil-6-dragon-age-inquisition-and-more Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:13:40 -0400 Kat De Shields

Now is your chance to stock up on recent releases and classics at a serious discount. Take advantage of some sweet savings and check out the best video game deals of the day. 

Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition 

If you haven't had a chance to play this Lord of the Rings classic yet, then now's the time to buy at 25% off list price. Also available for this price on the Xbox One. 

Resident Evil 6 

Considered to be the most expansive Resident Evil game to date, take advantage of some epic solo and co-op play at 25% off the list price. 

Dark Souls III

If you're looking for a good old-fashioned ass whooping, look no further than Dark Souls III. If you're a rage-quitter or easily frustrated but are curious to try the game, snag it now for 46% off the list price. If your controller doesn't go flying across the room from time to time, we're sure you'll have quite a few moments like the one below. 

Fire Emblem Fates: Conquest 

This wildly popular turn-based strategy game can be yours for 25% off the list price. Face the impossible decision of choosing between your bloodline and the family who raised you and watch the consequences unfold. 

Dragon Age: Inquisition 

At 45% off list price, now's a great time to buy this game if you haven't played it. This is the third installment of an epic role-playing series where the choices you make define your experience. 

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I’m always looking for new awesome products, so please send me your favorites at commerce@LaunchMediaNetwork.com. Also, sign up for our Launch Commerce newsletter to receive the best deals of the week right in your inbox. 

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Steal Their Style: Horror Game Edition https://www.gameskinny.com/oqz3p/steal-their-style-horror-game-edition https://www.gameskinny.com/oqz3p/steal-their-style-horror-game-edition Thu, 22 Sep 2016 10:16:54 -0400 Dani Gosha

Let's be honest -- at one point or another we've wanted to be someone else. Or at least wanted to dress just like them. Shoes, hair, clothes, jewelry. No matter what it was we wanted it, and whether or not they were real or fiction we found ourselves wanting to dress just like them.

Both in life and in games, some people are just naturally more stylish than others -- and in the world of horror games, despite horrific situations there's always a fashionable character to be inspired by.

Whether you're looking for an easy cosplay or want an everyday wearable look, keep reading as you'll be sure to find it in this horror game edition of Steal Their Style.

Steal Alma Wade's Style

F.E.A.R

 

If you're looking for an outfit that says "I'm conservative but I can be a little edgy," F.E.A.R's Alma has a little red dress that's just to die for. This drop waist long sleeve dress is perfect for any body type, not just a woman with a 12 year old's body. Even better, the style and color is perfect for transitioning into the upcoming cooler months. However, despite Alma's ability to strike immediate fear, this look on anyone else might even make a good first impression in a casual style interview (but, you might want to ditch the blood!).

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Steal Eddie Gluskin's Style

Outlast: Whistle Blower

Admittedly, Eddie was a pretty disturbed character but his style for the most part was immaculate. In an asylum of deranged patients -- a good portion of them not even clothed -- Eddie was the best dressed. Much like Gluskin's personality, the all-blue ensemble oozed moody but meticulous. and it's worth stealing. 

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Steal Maria's Look

Silent Hill 2

When it comes to most horror game antagonists, while they are often stylish they are certainly no Maria. Silent Hill 2's Maria is undoubtedly a siren in regards to James' character. Her outfit blatantly screams red light district -- but unfortunately for her, the grey skies and forever fog in Silent Hill certainly isn't a place where her leopard print skirt can be appreciated. We appreciate it, though, and this is why it's a style to steal.

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Steal Leon S. Kennedy's Style

Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil has no shortage of well-tailored characters, but Leon makes the list as he's had quite the stylish upgrade since his appearance within the 4th installment. Gone is the underarmor styled black shirt, and here today is a pop of color in the form of an orange shirt beneath a black button down and trendy moto jacket. This is certainly a wearable look for both cosplay conventions and everyday life.

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Well that's it for this horror game edition. Did you find a look that you plan to steal? Sound off below and let me know who's style you want to steal next!

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What Makes Resident Evil So Great, and Whether Or Not Its Future is a Problem https://www.gameskinny.com/cok90/what-makes-resident-evil-so-great-and-whether-or-not-its-future-is-a-problem https://www.gameskinny.com/cok90/what-makes-resident-evil-so-great-and-whether-or-not-its-future-is-a-problem Mon, 19 Sep 2016 08:00:01 -0400 Rettsu Dansu

E3 2016's Resident Evil 7 trailer is a fantastic example of what I love about that expo. It's the reveal of a game that no one was expecting but are nonetheless excited for -- in such a way that it absolutely blows your mind. Barely anyone expected to see that title at the end of the trailer. The realization that everything you just saw was the new Resident Evil, a main entry in the series that goes back to horror in a way that we want it to, was a fantastic feeling.

Or is it? One of the reasons it was so unexpected was because the type of game shown off in that trailer -- and in the demo. It isn't quite Resident Evil. Despite major changes throughout the whole series, it's always been about biological monsters, not whatever we have so far. Arguably, we could have a situation like in Resident Evil where the enemies are sort of human, before their heads fall off and giant centipedes come out.

What's more important though is the way in which the first part of that trailer, and the demo, present horror. The classic Resident Evils (1, 2, 3, 0 and Code Veronica) create horror through resource management, environment, and atmosphere, while the direction for RE7 seems to be one that focuses on the mystery and the unknown. It's not bad, not bad at all, but it's not what Resi fans want. Capcom has promised that the tone of the demo wasn't particularly representative of the full game, however the second trailer is incredibly similar and hasn't cleared anyone's doubts.

But it's Not All Bad

That being said though, there are a number of things the demo has shown us that I think people don't seem to have noticed. These things connect Resi 7 to previous titles in the series, design wise. So, if you haven't played the demo yet or just haven't noticed them, I'm here to explain to you what these things are.

First, however, I'll need to explain what makes the classic Resident Evil formula so great, to give you an understanding of why it's important that these aspects return.

Dodgy Controls

 

Yes, I just said that. Resi's control scheme is a large factor in how scary it gets, however most people focus on how frustrating it can be.

The original RE games use 'tank controls'. Unlike most games in which you point the joystick in the direction you want your character to move, your character is instead controlled much like a tank. Basically, pushing the stick forward moves your character forward, and pushing sideways rotates your character. You have to first rotate your character before you begin to move.

Now, I could argue that once you get used to it, the controls aren't that clunky, but the obvious question would be 'why can't we just you just have normal controls?'. In my opinion the slightly higher level of concentration required to control your character means that if you get stressed or scared the controls can start to get in the way. Thus increasing your level of stress and fear. However, there is a much more important reason.

Knowing Where You're Going

 

Resident Evil was born in an era in which video games were still figuring out how to give players control over the camera in such a way that movement in 3D works perfectly (arguably, we still are). However, Capcom decided to completely ignore it and gave the player absolutely no control over the camera at all.

Resident Evil's world is portrayed to the player through an interconnected string of static camera angles. The camera rarely moves, however as soon as the player moves out of view the camera changes to a different one somewhere closer to the character.

Tank controls are required in this situation to prevent the player from being disoriented. Consider how this camera would work where the player is allowed the usual control scheme.

Say the player moves left across the screen, the camera angle changes and suddenly 'left' is a completely different direction  in relation to the player. The character would immediately change direction. If you don't understand what I mean, play the first Devil May Cry and you'll find out. In the tense, claustrophobic situations Resi presents, this could ruin things. With  tank controls, forward always means forward no matter what direction we're looking in, and it's easier to determine your character's movements.

 

Enter the Film-Like Horror

So why do we need this type of camera? We need it for horror.

A good horror film creates fear through 'sensory deprivation'. We fear what we can't truly understand, so when a film removes our ability to see the danger it forces us to use all of our senses and focus our attention on the scene in an attempt to figure out what's going on. When we begin to realize that it's difficult to determine where the danger is, where it could come from, or even how dangerous it is, that's when fear starts to settle in.

Resi's camera angles achieve a very similar affect. Enemies usually come from outside of your viewpoint. You can hear them, sometimes even see their shadows, but you aren't allowed to move the camera to see them. It creates this haunting atmosphere that the player becomes immersed in simply because they need to concentrate on every clue the environment offers that danger could be around the corner.

 

Holding Long

However the film techniques used in the original Resident Evil's don't end there. Here's one of my favorite examples:

There's a technique in film called holding long. This term is used the director doesn't end a scene as soon as we think it would. For example, a character leaves a scene and we're left watching the same spot. It causes us to concentrate on the scene and wonder in suspense about what could be happening.

There's a cinefix video that explains this quite nicely.

The remake of the first Resident Evil actually manages to utilize this technique. Not just through a cutscene, but through the gameplay itself.

We have been taught through thousands of films that when important events stop occurring the scene changes. This is why holding long on a shot is effective. Throughout the first couple minutes of Resident Evil we are taught that when we walk out of view, the camera changes. Which is why when this happens, it's weird.

To give you some context, at this point in the game you've seen your first zombie. You're unable to kill it yourself so you feel quite weak. As you explore more of the mansion, you hit a dead end and find a knife. You pick up the knife and turn back, however for some reason you walk right off the screen and nothing happens.

Now this doesn't have quite the same effect, as a gamer would probably assume that the game has some lag or it's frozen. What's really important is what happens next.

Without the player's control, Jill walks backwards into view. This causes the player to question the entire situation, until they see the hand appear from around the corner and they understand what has happened.

This combination of suspense and then release is the essence of horror, but the addition of a disconnect between the player and the game makes you feel helpless and confused. It adds to the suspense as suddenly the game doesn't work how we were taught it should.

What's even better is that this scene has three main purposes: The first is to teach you how to use the knife, it's not easy to get out of there without being grabbed by the zombie and having to use the melee weapon. The second is to teach you that the game will sometimes pull this type of thing on you. The third however, is the most important.

You Are Never Safe

The reason why the appearance of a zombie in that location is truly confusing is the fact that we were backtracking. The player had already been through that hallway, had seen that there were no zombies in the area, and had probably assumed that they were safe.

But a zombie turned up anyway.

Resident Evil is a game about exploring a mansion, hence the term Resident Evil. As you explore you'll be returning to places you've been before in order to solve puzzles. Unlike games like Castlevania Symphony of the Night or Metroid enemies don't usually respawn once you leave the area. Once an enemy is dead, it stays dead. Unless you don't burn the body, in which case you're screwed.

Again, we're taught to think a certain way. Surely when I return to an area I've been to, it should be safe because I killed all the enemies. But no, certain interactions trigger certain events to occur in certain areas.

For example, you defeat a snake boss and pick up a key. You go to use the key somewhere else, returning to a previously explored area. However, this time the windows smash and some more zombies jump in. You never know what could set off an area to have more enemies, and this creates an environment where you feel like anything could come at you at any time.

And this is all emphasised by music. If you never understood how music could create emotion, then play Resident Evil. The safe room music is so superbly done that even though its the safest place in the game, you still feel afraid that something could break in. It's mainly soothing music, but with this creepy undertone that reminds you that while you're safe now, you have to go back out there at some point.

This feeling would mean nothing if Resi's gameplay didn't fit. The areas you explore in each game are metroidvania-like, in which you scour the mansion for things to find, meeting locked doors and enemies along the way. Eventually you'll find a key that allows you to unlock certain doors, requiring you to go back to each area and see where that key works. Let me just say that this is really fun, the feeling when you find a key is like no other. It's a feeling of endless possibility... until you get that message that says the key has no more use and you throw it away.

This design encourages backtracking, which allows the constant fear of danger to take full effect. If we were constantly moving forward then there wouldn't be too much to be afraid of.

However, none of what I just said would be scary if it wasn't for the way that Resident Evil deals with death.

The Death Penalty

I could write an entire article about how video games should penalize you when you die, because in my opinion it's something that's really hard to perfect.

Every fear portrayed in a film usually connects to death. What truly scares us is either being so immersed that it feels like it's happening to us, or that we don't want those characters to die.

This doesn't work in a video game, the developers can't just have you die and end the game altogether. So any fear of the death of your character is immediately removed once you die the first time, and see your character come back to life afterwards. There are only a few games where permanent death works.

Fearing death in a game helps to make the game more immersive. It allows tense situations to be tense for the player. Really, any game could be improved with a proper death penalty. However, horror games require them, because horror games need to generate fear.

So this asks the question of how we penalize the player when they die. The obvious answer, which is what most games use, is to cause the player to lose progress. Either pushing the player back to a checkpoint (pretty ok), back to the start of the level (pretty mean), or back to the last save (even meaner). Dark Souls has its own rather unique method of punishment in which you lose your unused exp, however this doesn't avoid the major problem.

Losing isn't Fun

We play video games to have fun, arguably, and this is where death penalties create issues. There's almost no way to take something away from the player and have them actually enjoy it, it just doesn't work.

The more you take away from the player, the more tense the situation is. Therefore it's almost impossible to create an incredibly tense situation in which the player doesn't feel terrible once they end up dying.

Unless You Cheat

Resident Evil takes the incredibly mean route and forces you to load your last save when you die. This isn't always great because you could forget to save and end up losing hours of progress. What's even meaner, however, is that saving in Resi requires you to use a finite resource, and it isn't too common either. This means that you have to spread out your saves so you don't run out.

Basically, if you die in Resi you have quite a lot to lose. Or do you?

Resident Evil is a game about learning, as I've said before. It's about finding items and using logic (and sometimes just guessing) to find out where you need to use those items. A player who knows what they're doing can finish the game in a couple hours.

What this means, is that even if it was 2 hours since your last save, if you die it would only take you about 10 minutes to get back to where you were. Most of that time you just lost was spent finding where the items are used, now that you have that information you don't waste that time. Not only that, but you know where all the enemies are so there's no need to be cautious.

This -- in a way -- is the best of both worlds. When you're being attacked by enemies, in the heat of the moment all you can think about is the amount of time it's been since your last save, so it's tense. But if you eventually die, it doesn't sting so much because you begin to realize that all you need to do is run to a couple of specific rooms and you'll be back.

This doesn't work for all games, because not all genre's can have this puzzle style implemented. We can't really learn from RE in this retrospect. However, Dark Souls has a similar situation, in which you learn your enemy's patterns and learn how to deal with them better. So perhaps this is just an aspect of good game design.

Fear

 

In my opinion, the way that Resident Evil deals with death is integral to creating fear while playing it. There are a number of things that I haven't mentioned that other people might think are just as important, such as resource management, atmosphere, or zombie dogs. But I don't think any of them would be scary if we weren't actually worried about the death that came along with it.

This is exactly why I think that RE contains examples of good jump scares. It's quite popular recently to hate on jump scares, and with good reason. They're an easy way to make people scared, but they're usually used way too often and with not enough thought put into them.

Here's the problem, a jump scare isn't particularly a "scare", it's more of a simple reaction. It's your body reacting to possible danger by waking up all the muscles, and it's unpleasant. You could argue that it's possible to "fear" a jump scare, but I would say that that's more like the way one would act when they're about to experience pain. This is the same feeling the people abuse to make people go insane through torture.

This could explain why we enjoy watching people play games with jump scares in them, but there isn't as much enjoyment to be had when you play one yourself.

When a jump scare is used in a well directed film, or Resi, it makes us jump, but also creates fear because they have some weight behind it. The appearance of a monster in this fashion is scary because it means that the characters could get killed by it. In RE's case, you yourself have to actually point your gun at them and shoot them. The player jumps not just because the brain is waking up, but because they themselves need to be awake to act.

If a monster enters the shot and leaves for the sake of making you jump, it doesn't really have the same effect.

Onto the Future

2000 words later, let's go back to Resident Evil 7

So RE7 has a lot of fans rather skeptical. The demo and it's trailers appear to give off an atmosphere of general creepyness, cooking pots full of cockroaches, weird men appearing out of nowhere, and a creepy run-down house. This kind of horror is something similar to Silent Hill or a number of horror indie games. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, other than it becoming rather cliche recently. However, it isn't what makes the Resident Evil series unique. But let's look at a number of ways Resi 7 could be returning to the original formula.

First of all, it's rather difficult to tell how RE7 will deal with death. Since the only way to die in the demo is to finish it, there's no way to find that out. However, there's one thing that's rather important that we need to consider.

Welcome to the Family, Son

The first thing you do in the demo is find a tape player, with no tape. Then you progress in the house and find a cupboard, which is locked by a chain. You then reach the end of the house and find pliers.

You use the pliers on the chain, which unlocks the cupboard revealing a tape, and you then use the tape on the tape player.

This might seem really simple, but this means a whole lot. What this indicates is a style of gameplay in which items must be found, and we must backtrack in order to use those items. It's an incredibly simple progression, you simply move forwards then backwards, but if the demo is in any way indicative of the full game, I think this means we'll have that same puzzle style of game with items and exploration.

And This is Really Important

If we have a game that focuses on exploration, then this creates a format for a number of the horror aspects I talked about before. It allows for random enemy placement, and replacement, that creates constant danger. This is something I'm sure other people have picked up on, but it doesn't get the focus it deserves when discussing the game.

And that previous scene isn't even the only hint towards items found through exploration, there's a hidden fuse that opens a door if you do things in a different order. Players have also found an incredibly hidden, albeit useless, axe hidden deep in the demo. This type of gameplay is what truly made Resident Evil for its first five games, and when they dropped it for RE4, that's when the series began to be more and more action focused. To me, the resurgence of this mechanic is what could make Resi 7 more Resident Evil. However, fans do still have their worries.

The First-Person Camera

RE7 is the first main series title to be in first person, and this does create some issues if Capcom really is trying to return to formula. With a completely controllable camera, you lose the camera angles that made the original games so cinematic, and loses an integral part that made the games truly scary.

So how much of an impact will this have on the game? Well it depends on how well Capcom can design the game for fear. There are still ways to create horror with a controllable camera, and there are more ways to create horror in a game than just utilising film techniques.

But this is what made Resident Evil unique. In our current era, there are so many horror games that use the same techniques. Any currently thought of design to make horror has probably already been done to death. Resident Evil is probably the only one to make horror in such a way, and even if it's not the most successful at least it's unique.

So Why Can't we Just Use the Old Way

The obvious reason for why Resi 7 is first person is because it's going to be in VR, third-person games just don't work. But there is a bigger issue.

The majority of people don't like tank controls. They just can't be bothered to wrap their head around a needlessly complex control scheme. In this day and age, when we want Resident Evil to be relevant again, we need to it to appeal to as many people as possible. I know quite a few people who, even though they'd probably love RE, just get frustrated by tank controls.

But as I said before, tank controls and the camera angles work hand in hand, you can't have one without the other. If we remove the tank controls, we have to remove static cameras.

This is exactly what happened with Resi 4, tank controls were removed, and a different camera control scheme was designed. The over the shoulder, 3rd person, camera definitely worked, but it lead towards an action focus. Now, Capcom is probably trying a third time to make this work, with the only camera system they have left to try.

Will it Work?

I'm not particularly at liberty to say, but I think it could work. We haven't truly lost the same sensory deprivation as before. There aren't many enemies in the demo, but you can still hear footsteps and creaks in different rooms as you progress. This is mostly used to creep you out, but it could hint to a later use of sound to indicate the presence of enemies in the full game.

There's also the scene in the demo where one of the characters calls your attention, and you look over to him. Once he's done talking, you look around and realise that the other character, Andre, has dissapeared.

You can still control the camera and watch the other character leave, but a first time player will get distracted and believe that Andre has just mysteriously been taken. It's this kind of design that makes me feel hopeful, as Capcom has used events to move the player's attention, and effectively forced a camera angle in a certain direction.

Most games would probably remove control from the player to show them what they want you to see. This way feels more fluid and immersive, because in a way, it is the player's choice to look in that direction.

The Story

The story is probably the biggest thing people complain about. The generic, Silent Hill-esque atmosphere and the lack of connection to previous games.

There's certainly some slight connection to the series: an umbrella logo in the game, on a helicopter, in a picture, in a hidden room, accessed by playing the demo a second time, and activating a secret (little bit of a stretch).

 

As I stated before, Capcom has said that the plot and tone of the demo isn't representative of the full game. However, despite the first trailer being mostly for the demo, there are some things shown in that trailer that are nowhere to be seen.

There's a montage of clips at the very end that has a certain atmosphere. There's this creepy music and a bunch of unsettling shots of forests and other things. I can't quite put my finger on what exactly the tone is, but I don't feel that it's the same cliche-creepy that we get a lot. It's actually the part of the trailer that intrigued me the most, even before I knew it was Resident Evil 7.

There's also a number of shots where things seem to deteriorate quickly, such as the wolf head. This seems to me like some kind of connection to biology, it might be a stretch, but for me this is what gives me the idea that they won't be ditching Resident Evil's biological roots.

There are a number of things in the second trailer, however, that seem a lot less biological and that create a cliche-creepy tone. The being said, it barely shows us anything. It's possible that this is just an early stage in the game where we first see the enemies we're fighting.

The monster that attacks the player could turn out to be a product of the bio-organic testing Umbrella does, but there's really no way to tell. From what I hear the character in the trailer is one that the player is trying to rescue in the full game, so perhaps the tone of helplessness is only portrayed because that character is truly helpless.

I don't think this is a representation of how the game will turn out, but a representation that Capcom doesn't know how to make trailers.

So Should We Be Worried About Resident Evil 7?

The short answer: probably not.

I mean, we shouldn't be sitting around wondering if a future game will be as good as we want it to. There's better ways to spend our time. There's absolutely no way that we can tell exactly what kind of game Resident Evil 7 will be until we can play it for ourselves, who knows what the entire experience could be like?

But as to whether or not we can predict Resi 7's quality, I think the community's current predictions are a bit too exaggerated. Resident Evil fans have been burnt too many times to be hopeful, and overhyped games have been so frequent recently that any depiction of what your game could be is not going to convince anyone anymore.

I myself am hopeful that Resi 7 will return in some ways to the original formula. It would be nice to see those things return.

Is it a problem that some things are different?

Well, I'd like to say it isn't. We're in an era currently where plenty of developers are trying to return to what their games once were (New Super Mario Bros., Ratchet and Clank), but they aren't trying to improve on that original formula at all. So instead of returning to glory, we get something we've already gotten.

It's actually quite interesting to see Capcom attempt to bring back aspects from the past, but also try to improve on them for a general audience.

And if it turns out to be just like P.T., well then we'll finally get Silent Hills.

 

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These Are DUMBEST Ways Anyone Could Die In A Videogame https://www.gameskinny.com/zc7gk/these-are-dumbest-ways-anyone-could-die-in-a-videogame https://www.gameskinny.com/zc7gk/these-are-dumbest-ways-anyone-could-die-in-a-videogame Tue, 24 May 2016 10:33:26 -0400 Rick Ormsby

Let's take a trip down memory lane with 10 of the most idiotic ways a player can die in a video game. From failing a quick time event to simply standing in the wrong place at the wrong time, there's so many ways a player can become their own worst enemy. While some of these deaths are mindbogglingly frustrating, others are almost brutally enjoyable to watch. 

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Resident Evil 6 Review https://www.gameskinny.com/761u8/resident-evil-6-review https://www.gameskinny.com/761u8/resident-evil-6-review Mon, 04 Apr 2016 11:52:26 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

Resident Evil has changed a lot over the years. Starting off as a survival horrors with its PlayStation One incarnations, it then added more action in it’s 4th installment, and practically went all action with the 5th installment. In an attempt to please both its long time and newer fans, Resident Evil 6 lets you play through 4 different campaigns. The result was one of the most polarizing games made in the past few years. Now, 4 years later, Resident Evil 6 has resurfaced on next gen hardware with some improved visuals, but has time changed this already divisive game?

Story

You play as returning fan-favorite characters Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, and Ada Wong, along with newcomer Jack Muller. It seems that a new Zombie Viral outbreak has occurred, and they all must get to the bottom of what’s going on going on and have to stop it. Each campaign does have its own individual objectives and personal drama, but they ultimately lead to the same end goal.

Resident Evil stories have been known for being an enjoyably ridiculous, B-movie schlock fest, however things are played a bit straighter than past games and it’s kind of enjoyable. Sure, it won’t be remembered as one of the better plots in the series history, but it’s more enjoyable as a big dumb action movie. But, that doesn’t mean everything Resident Evil was lost in the transfer, so be prepare for some cheesy dialog, some over-the-top voice acting, and plot points you can see coming. 

Gameplay           

If you've played any third person shooter, you’ll know what expect in RE 6. The new aiming system might take some time getting used to, but you can change it to the laser pointer from previous games in the option. But be careful, cause you can’t pause the game with this menu. The game also includes a cover system that takes time getting use to, but feels forgettable since you won’t need to using that much. No matter which campaign you play, you’ll always have a partner with you. 

The AI is far more competent than in previous games, and you can still bring a friend along online or at home. Weapons run the typical pistols, shotguns, assault Riffles, and so on, but they’re all fun to use, thanks to some great feedback. The melee system has been upgraded from past games, and it’s more enjoyable, with characters even having a special takedown move that never gets old. The levels you go through are decently varied, and the pacing is solid throughout. Each story will take you around 5-6 hours to beat, and mercenaries return for some fun objective based score attacks.

Each of the 4 campaigns does its best to differentiate itself from the other. Leon's and Ava's campaign harken back more to classic Resident Evil games, with emphasis placed on close, claustrophobic environments. Leon's is a bit more action heavy than Ada’s, but her campaign also features some decent puzzle solving and minor stealth sections. On the other hand, Chris' and Jake’s campaign are more about action than anything else. Jake’s campaign does have a more vehicle sections, and Jake is able to use a rush attack that the other’s can’t use, while Chris’s plays like any third person shooter. 

That being said, each campaign has some enjoyable moments. It’s just that a lot of what Resident Evil 6 does well feels like it was already done much better in a lot of action games released around its time. However, the sequences kind of hold up a bit more, seeing how much more emphasis has been made to making games now are more now continuing to emulate open world games popularized by GTA and Ubisoft's repertoire of titles. It’s actually a bit refreshing to play a more linear focused game with a focus on tightly designed action set pieces.

Still, there are some sections of the game that a badly designed, like an aggressively boring/tedious snow section in Jake's campaign. And some of the games bosses feel a bit more like bullet sponges, and the game could of done a better job of explaining how to beat them. But the good mostly outweighs the bad.

Presentation

Graphically, RE 6 was a good-looking game for its time. Some environments were dark, spooky, and creepy (fitting with the previous installments), and some were more out in the open (like cities, small villages and caverns). It also features some excellent zombie and creature designs.

This remastered version has all that and now runs at 1080p and at a solid 60FPS, leading to a smoother gameplay experience. That being said, the remaster could have fixed some of the textures in some scenes. They already looked blurry before, and they didn’t get much TLC here. The music is solid and the voice acting is mostly solid.

Resident Evil 6 isn’t a bad game; it’s just not that impressive. It’s easy to see why so many where disappointed when it first came out, but if you go in this expecting a fun action game, it’s defiantly worth checking out, especially at only $20. Long time fans, however, will be left wanting more.

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Resident Evil 6 HD is a reminder that this embrassment exsists https://www.gameskinny.com/3dufa/resident-evil-6-hd-is-a-reminder-that-this-embrassment-exsists https://www.gameskinny.com/3dufa/resident-evil-6-hd-is-a-reminder-that-this-embrassment-exsists Tue, 29 Mar 2016 14:20:54 -0400 Stan Rezaee

Resident Evil 6 HD for the PS4 is another attempt by Capcom to convince fans that this was a fun title, but it ends up becoming a sorry way to promote a failure with shinier graphics.

As someone from the Silicon Valley, the tech culture is not embarrassed by failure, as it promotes a plethora of fresh ideas and the results serve as a learning experience. Sadly, Capcom is trying too hard to pretend that Resident Evil 6 was a good title, while missing the point of learning from one's mistake.

Having released Resident Evil HD and Resident Evil 0 HD while working on a remake of Resident Evil 2, it's actually really baffling that Resident Evil 6 would be re-released. Most of the fanbase has already forgiven Capcom, so it's a counter-productive PR move to remind gamers that this installment exists.

The New Evil

As RE6 HD opens, gamers are welcomed to a world where it's common for terrorists to use the bio-organic weapons (that was not a joke, that’s the actual background story). Gamers take on the role of either Chris Redfield, Leon Kennedy, or Jake Muller (illegitimate son of Albert Wesker) as they each try to contain a viral outbreak and stop Neo-Umbrella.

Resident Evil 6 HD features graphics that are a slight improvement over its PS3 predecessor, while including all the DLCs. Unfortunately, those are the only good things about this title.

Compared to the classic stories that have defined the series, the plot of Resident Evil 6 lacks substance, while being so entangled that it becomes a chore trying to figure out what’s happening.

It’s obvious at this point that Capcom is out of ideas -- and instead of starting a new Resident Evil storyline that breaks free from the current arc, they have opted to just keep adding on an unnecessary continuation. Just don’t repeat the mistake of Dino Crisis 3 with “zombies in space”.

Resident Evil: Modern Warfare

Story is just half the problem. The second half is the gameplay, which has abandoned almost all elements that define a horror game. This no longer feels like a survival game, but a fast-paced third-person shooter with “zombies”. It’s a shame that such an iconic series has fallen into the trap of trying to imitate Call of Duty.

Gaming has changed a lot since 1996, but rather than taking advantage of the available resources, Capcom has followed in the footsteps of so many publishers by pandering to the Call of Duty demographic. The result is what feels like a horror game directed by Michael Bay with a fear factor that is the equivalent to a Twilight film.

Finally, the pièce de résistance -- a shoehorned multiplayer gameplay that fails to add anything to the overall experience. While multiplayer adds longevity to most gaming experiences, not every game needs it (Resident Evil being an obvious example). Seriously Capcom, stop trying to make multiplayer Resident Evil happen, it’s never going to happen.

Final Thoughts

Overall, the only thing that has been accomplished by Resident Evil 6 HD for the PS4 is reminding fans (who are hooked to Resident Evil HD and Zero HD) that this game unfortunately exists.

Like The Godfather Pt. III,  this installment is such an embarrassment to the overall series that most fans would prefer to not recognize it as canon.

Did you play Resident Evil 6 HD or the original PS3 version? Let us know what you think of the game.

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Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6 will be coming to Xbox One and PS4 this year https://www.gameskinny.com/5ft4i/resident-evil-4-5-and-6-will-be-coming-to-xbox-one-and-ps4-this-year https://www.gameskinny.com/5ft4i/resident-evil-4-5-and-6-will-be-coming-to-xbox-one-and-ps4-this-year Sat, 27 Feb 2016 09:23:53 -0500 Alec Pearce

Capcom announced recently that both the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be receiving remake editions of Resident Evil 4, 5 and 6.

The news comes just one month after the release of the HD remastered version of Resident Evil 0.

In the description of the trailer, Capcom had this to say about the games:

Play as Leon S. Kennedy in Resident Evil 4 as he battles a multitude of threats to rescue the U.S. President’s daughter.

Jump into Resident Evil 5 solo or co-op as Chris Redfield and Sheva Alomar as they join forces to solve the truth behind a new outbreak.

Experience Resident Evil 6 with a full roster of new and returning characters, as they combat the C-Virus as it threatens humanity on a global scale.

Fans of the series will most likely be rejoicing at the chance to play RE 4 again; which many consider to be the best game of the franchise with its linear, action-driven campaign. However, the co-op focused and may be more attractive to current gen console users who want to play with a friend.

RE 6 will drop on 29th March, followed by RE 5 in Summer 2016 and then RE 4 in Autumn 2016. An official release date for the latter two will most likely be announced at some point later in the year.

Which of the three games are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments section below!

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5 Games that were obviously going to fail https://www.gameskinny.com/dnaxw/5-games-that-were-obviously-going-to-fail https://www.gameskinny.com/dnaxw/5-games-that-were-obviously-going-to-fail Mon, 09 Nov 2015 12:29:45 -0500 Stan Rezaee

There are many reasons why a highly anticipated game will fail. It could be due to an outdated game engine, poor story telling, a toxic work environment, or a few unknown bugs. However when a game fails, it creates a learning experience for both the devlopers and the industry.

Then there are the moments when it was obvious the game was going to be a failure, and yet the development team was oblivious to the red flags. This is due to early criticism, poor source material or just an obvious bad ideas.   

Here are five games that were obviously going to fail but the development team ignored the red flags.

5. 007 Legends

Back in 2012; Activision attempted to honor the 50th anniversary of the James Bond film series by recreating several iconic films within the context of the Daniel Craig era. The premise is that following the events at the beginning of Skyfall, Bond is reflecting back on his legacy as told through recreating five “classic” films.

It appears that Activision had a loose definition of the word “classic” as 3/5th of the game was influenced by the worst Bond films ever. It was a given that On Her Majesty's Secret Service was going to be among the selections, but they had options when it came to picking a movie from the Sir Roger Moore and Pierce Brosnan era. Hence, there should have been no reason why Moonraker and Die Another Day were selected.

The poor source material along with the same Call of Duty gameplay resulted in 007 Legends being panned by critics and gamers. Kind of sad, knowing that EA could make a better James Bond game than Activision.

 

4. Resident Evil 6

Resident Evil was the leader of the horror genre when the original established the foundations for the genre while Resident Evil 4 rebranded the series for a new generation. However, as the series progressed, the horror elements became lost which brings us to Resident Evil 6

When gamers had a chance to play the demo, many were not that impressed. Several critics also felt the same and they shared these thoughts with their readers. The most common complaint was the title had completely abandoned its horror roots for a mindless action game with zombies. Sadly, they were right to warn us to not get this game.

Resident Evil 6 has been panned by both critics and gamers for being the worst game in the series for completely abandoning the survival horror genre. From a laughable plot (involving zombie terrorists) to a shoehorned multiplayer, this was one train wreck of a disaster that everyone but Capcom saw coming.

On the bright-side, the failure of Resident Evil 6 has pushed the series to go back to its survival horror roots. Resident Evil HD was the best selling digital download game of all time while Resident Evil 0 HD is coming in 2016 while a Resident Evil 2 is in the works thanks to popular demand.  

3. Aliens: Colonial Marines

When Aliens: Colonial Marines was announced, many saw it as opportunity to continue one of the greatest stories in the context of gaming. The idea was brilliant, especially following the success of Aliens vs. Predator 2. However, that was back in 2001 and that game got canceled before Gearbox resurrected the project in 2006.

Following the disastrous release of Duke Nukem: Forever, gamers were quick to not get excited over a game that has been in development for almost a decade. However, the guys at Gearbox didn't really learn their lesson when they decided to release another game that had been in development for almost a decade.

It's funny how those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it and Aliens: Colonial Marines just made things worst for Gearbox and Sega. The games failure resulted in Gearbox being sued for false advertising while the Alien series almost became a toxic brand for gaming until Alien: Isolation saved it.

 

2. Reservoir Dogs

Reservoir Dogs is the iconic neo-noir thriller from Quentin Tarantino about a group of criminals trying to figure out what happened following a botched diamond heist. After much debate and attempts at murdering each other, the crew suspects that one of them is an undercover cop. Because they had to use alias at all times, nobody could trust anyone.

Spoiler Alert: Mr. Orange is the cop, this is what happens when you don’t bother to watch an iconic film.

The film has been hailed as one of the greatest crime films on par with The Godfather saga and Goodfellas while being recognized as one of the most iconic Indie films of the '90s. Despite its gritty tone and influence on pop-culture, Reservoir Dogs isn’t a movie that could have been made into a game.

Reservoir Dogs the game is a third-person shooter that adds to the story by focusing on moments that characters only talked about in the film. Oh, and Michael Madsen was the only member of the original cast to return.

The game was panned by critics, gamers and fans of the series for adding nothing unique to one of the greatest crime films. Kind of hard to make a third person shooter based on a film known mostly for its dialogue and a torture scene.

1. Dino Crisis 3

Following the success of Resident Evil, Shinji Mikami attempted to redefine the survival horror genre with Dino Crisis for the PlayStation. The game was a hit and it was followed by the more successful Dino Crisis 2. The series had promise, and Capcom would have had another horror franchise, but then Dino Crisis 3 happened.  

It appeared that Capcom attempted to make a hit game by mimicking the success of the '80s film, Predator. The project started off as a joke about Rocky Balboa fighting a space alien but after it was actually approved, several edits had to made like having the premises crafted into a real story. The result was one of the most iconic Sci-Fi films along with another memorable classic starring Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Capcom decided to do the same thing with the joke about “Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs in Space,” only somebody forgot to edit out the joke part. Instead, they took the joke then shoehorn the premises of Event Horizon followed by adding HAL 9000 that has a legion of mutant dinosaurs and somehow it got approved as a game.

To no surprise, Dino Crisis 3 was panned by both critics and gamers while having effectively killed the series. There had been some talks of resurrecting the series, but so far Capcom has showed no real interest.

What game did you think was going to be an obvious failure? Share your thoughts in the comment section. 

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Why everyone is wrong about Resident Evil 6 https://www.gameskinny.com/55ipv/why-everyone-is-wrong-about-resident-evil-6 https://www.gameskinny.com/55ipv/why-everyone-is-wrong-about-resident-evil-6 Tue, 22 Sep 2015 17:08:28 -0400 S2riker

"Resident Evil has turned into Call of Duty!"

"Capcom ruined the series!"

"We want real survival horror!"

The cries of the Resident Evil faithful have echoed far and wide through the gaming landscape.

If you’re anything like me, this flood of negative fan feedback surrounding the latest numbered entry in the Resident Evil series may have turned you off from ever giving the title a shot.  I decided to change that, so on a whim, I purchased and played through the entirety of the game to form my own opinions. What I discovered was not the train-wreck of a title I had expected, but rather one of the most enjoyable and polished third-person shooter experiences I’ve had in the last gaming generation.

It's certainly not the Resident Evil we grew up with, and though it does contain many thematic references to past games, this is a whole different type of adrenaline rush - up there with some of the craziest action titles around.  Nevertheless, the craftsmanship that permeates every facet of the experience is impossible to ignore - that is, if you can throw out your preconceptions of what the series should be and instead appreciate what Capcom has accomplished here.

It All Starts With The Unique Storytelling

It seems quite fitting that Resident Evil 6’s menu opens with spiders crawling across a web, as a spider web would be the perfect metaphor to describe the game’s complex storytelling.  Capcom has split the complete experience into four distinct campaigns, each containing a classic Resident Evil character paired up with a series newcomer.

The game chronicles these characters through the aftermath of another bioterrorism attack, which fans will recognize as a relatively consistent theme of the series to this point.  However, Resident Evil 6 hits a more serious tone with its writing and character interactions that lends greater believability to the outlandish proceedings.

This is primarily accomplished by the game’s fantastic writing and voice acting. Characters express themselves naturally, without the forced melodrama that many games shoehorn into their cutscenes.  The dialogue also has an air of subtlety and innuendo that showcases each character’s personality in a believable way.  There are no stereotype characters here; rather, these characters have depth, and their motivations aren’t always apparent from the outset.

Many returning characters make an appearance, and I can assume fans will get a kick out of seeing Leon Kennedy, Chris Redfield, Sherry Birkin and other familiar faces working together in this latest adventure.  Not to be outdone, the new faces in Resident Evil 6 fit just as well into Capcom's crazy universe and make an immediate impact in the story.

Character interaction is mostly reserved for cutscenes, which showcase precisely-framed cinematic flair and are especially well-placed throughout the experience- both as effective story revelations and interludes to intense combat scenes.

The Gameplay Lives Up To The Narrative

By separating the adventure into four separate campaigns, Capcom's designers were able to include many different thematic emphases while keeping the play experience cohesive. 

Leon & Helena's campaign centers around a zombie invasion and contains the most environmental throwbacks to Resident Evil's survival horror roots.

Chris & Piers make up the military branch of the protagonists and have a campaign that suitably leans more towards a standard war shooter.  A new breed of infected military rebels called the Jaavo are showcased in this campaign, and they provide a different type of challenge than fighting zombies.

Jake & Sherry’s campaign is where most of Resident Evil 6's more experimental ideas lie.  Stealth sequences make their series debut and work with varying degrees of success. One particularly good area involving their story's primary antagonist arrives about halfway through the campaign. The majority of the game’s driving/chase sequences take place here as well and are consistently exciting.

Ada Wong’s campaign rounds out the collection and serves to tie up loose ends in the story as well as includes a number of clever puzzles and unique twists on scenarios from the other campaigns.

This Is Cooperative Play Done Right

Story intersections play a major role in Resident Evil 6, and these moments provide the most concrete justifications for the game’s focus on cooperative play and online connectivity.  Each campaign can be played solo with an extremely competent AI partner or in co-op with a local or online teammate.  During some parts of each campaign, the characters’ paths separate and one teammate may be asked to cover the other with sniper fire or to control doors and switches blocking the other’s path.

In even cooler moments, two campaigns will intersect and up to four players can work together on a common objective, such as taking down a boss or fighting hordes of enemies.  A new mode called Agent Hunt is included as well, which allows online players the chance to spawn into someone else’s campaign as an enemy and attempt to kill the heroes.  This mode is more of a fun diversion than anything else, and gives the game extra replay value once the campaign is beaten.

The ever-popular Mercenaries mode makes its return to round out the cooperative offerings and has been expanded upon to include a wide assortment of locations from the campaign.  While this time-based multiplayer mode isn’t particularly appealing to me, there is definitely fun to be had if you’re playing with friends - thanks to the solid shooting and melee mechanics.  A number of post-launch DLC packages have expanded the competitive multiplayer aspects of the title as well, but I haven't had the opportunity to test them out.

The overall ambition and scope of the adventure is mind-blowing, and how it all plays so well is a testament to Capcom’s ability to bring together so many disparate gameplay elements and story emphases into a cohesive whole. When you also consider that each campaign has a separate narrative arc and individual finale, then you can further appreciate why I find the title so impressive.  Nowhere during my 22 hours playing the game did I perceive any filler areas artificially padding the game length either, making my playthrough feel brisk despite the game’s appreciable size.

Set-Pieces And Boss Battles Everywhere

Part of the game’s briskness comes from its absolutely incredible set-pieces, which rival anything I’ve seen from similar titles like Uncharted and Gears of War.  While some of the situations border on utter absurdity with the amount of action on screen, they still manage to be engaging due to the game’s consistent pacing and polish.

Boss encounters do pop up on occasion and are mostly handled with impressive spectacle and narrative significance. The designs of each boss are quite stunning and most are battled in multiple stages with set-pieces or cut-scenes separating each part of the encounter.  A couple of criticisms are worth noting, however.  It seemed as though my AI teammate inflicted too much damage to a few of the bosses, slightly robbing me of the sensation that I was taking down a boss by my own actions.  Also, the final boss fights of two of the campaigns felt drawn out to the point of being overkill; shorter fights may have led to each having a larger impact on the player.

A Greatly Expanded Combat Repertoire

What will go down as perhaps the most underappreciated aspect of Resident Evil 6 is its superb combat mechanics.  There is tremendous depth to the movement options, directly addressing one of the series’ biggest complaints. The aptly-dubbed “tank controls”, which prevented a player from aim while moving or strafing, are gone, replaced by a new movement system where characters can strafe, roll, dodge, run, and slide freely.

Melee combat has also been greatly expanded upon and is contextual both with regard to the direct surroundings and enemy status. Often, your character will melee enemies using their own weapons, with unique animations to boot, or they'll slam enemies against nearby walls.  In special cases, the developers have programmed “easter egg” kills that trigger at certain points in the environment.  I encountered one of these during my playthrough involving a microwave oven, and though I won’t describe it and spoil the surprise, suffice to say it was quite unforgettable.

The inventory system in Resident Evil 6 has recieved a major overhaul and has been simplified to make items more accessible during gameplay.  When first picking up the game, however, some of you may become frustrated with the way health is managed, particularly with how quickly your character enters the "downed" state upon getting hit at low health.  Make sure to continually combine herbs into useable health pills and stock them into your life bar to mitigate this and maintain the fun and fluid combat.

Environments And Level Design

Resident Evil 6 is set across three continents and showcases a wide variety of environments and architectural influences.  The constant variation of large cities, small towns and rural areas prevents any one location from growing stale. In typical Resident Evil fashion, more unique locales are also visited to punctuate major turning points in the story.

Having such a wide scope of environments also extends to the game’s level design. While the map layouts typically funnel the player through smaller play spaces to facilitate melee combat, certain areas are quite large and allow the player to flank unsuspecting enemies or snipe from long distance.

In a game whose levels are ripe for exploration, it’s a shame that Resident Evil 6 insists on constantly throwing enemies in front of you nearly every minute.  Areas that would be fun to simply explore sometimes become grating due to the necessity for combat. I suspect Capcom didn’t feel their level design was strong enough to stand on its own without enemies constantly occupying the player’s attention, but I would disagree given the level of detail in each environment .  Fortunately, these moments are isolated to only a few areas in the game and don’t severely detract from the overall experience.

How About The Presentation?

Visually, Resident Evil 6 is a great-looking game with some inconsistencies in its presentation. The lighting technology is stunning and character models are top-notch across the board.  Levels feel alive as well, with tons of environmental effects, light sources and NPCs flooding each scene. Texture detail leaves something to be desired on certain surfaces, though, and some of the more organic environments don’t match the visual quality of their city counterparts.

The sound design is where the game really surprised me.  The film-like orchestral score perfectly compliments the insane action, and while no particular songs are especially memorable, in the context of the experience they work very well to drive the action forward.  Sound effects and ambient sounds from each environment match the music quality beat-for-beat, and as mentioned previously, voice acting is fantastic. 

Playing the game on a moderate-level gaming PC, I can say that the game scales extremely well to older hardware and contains options to lock the framerate and adjust visual effects if performance is an issue.  I cannot speak to console performance, but given the full controller support, high resolutions and potentially unlocked framerate of the PC version, it would absolutely be my recommendation.

A Dramatic Conclusion

Resident Evil 6 is a fantastic title that exceeded all of my expectations given its negative post-release buzz. Its tremendous level of polish and solid mechanics make it a consistent joy to play, and its well-orchestrated storyline illuminates a more serious side of the Resident Evil universe. I would urge any of you who enjoy action games and third-person shooters to play this game, and I think you’ll come away quite impressed.  If you don’t, well, that’s what the comment section is for down below!

(Note: I played this game asynchronously, jumping around chapters to allow the story to unfold chronologically rather than playing through each campaign start to finish before moving on to the next.  I believe this method heightened much of the mystery behind the story as it unfolded, and if any of you are interested in the order I recommend playing through the campaign, please let me know in the comments below.)

 

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Five Game Reboots That Crashed and Failed (But Could Have Made It!) https://www.gameskinny.com/290iv/five-game-reboots-that-crashed-and-failed-but-could-have-made-it https://www.gameskinny.com/290iv/five-game-reboots-that-crashed-and-failed-but-could-have-made-it Wed, 22 Apr 2015 13:08:09 -0400 Elijah Beahm

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Syndicate (2012)

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My feelings on this game are well documented on this site, and just like The Bureau, this is a game effectively throttled by the original game's fanbase.

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It didn't matter that Syndicate basically did Watch_Dogs before Watch_Dogs was a twinkle in Ubisoft's eye. It didn't matter that it was by Starbreeze, who had shown with Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay and The Darkness that they were (and still very much are) a competent developer.

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It was Syndicate, as a shooter -- and those five words doomed the game to being shunned.

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The particular irony to this one is, it did not review badly. Most places had to admit that it was a genuinely good game, even if a few reviewers, like Jim Sterling, found it forgettable. Most scores were around 7 to 8, which is pretty good for a complete series reboot.

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Still, the fanbase insisted it was bad by default, so the game sold terribly. It struggled to break 500,000 units on launch day, and while it still has a trickle of sales now, the damage was done. EA put enough faith in the game's co-op to even remove its Project Ten Dollar from the game, but even that couldn't sway interest. Now it remains one of the highest-polish bargain bin games available.

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The lesson here being, sometimes keeping a closed mind benefits no one.

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If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $9.99 to $19.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6baa4bbf1095dee8d6e8745834b23f8.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b6baa4bbf1095dee8d6e8745834b23f8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5784","description":"

THIEF (2014)

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After Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a lot of people were both curious and dubious of 2014's Thief reboot. While technically this is a "soft reboot" like Resident Evil 6, you wouldn't know it. In fact, the reboot itself was not very clearly defined in a lot of ways until final release.

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Multiple creative teams over the course of several years took the game from first person to third person and then back to first person. There was an experience system for killing and stealing but then fans got upset, so that was cut. There was going to be one huge open world then it became a hub-based game. For some reason, the reboot even chose to focus on the horror aspect the original game had with zombie enemies (sorry, still no dinosaurs).

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What released was not so much a game as a melding of confused elements that had, at times, no coherent connection. This was further complicated by Dishonored, which released a year before and was effectively Thief 2.0 with new ideas on top, and an unfortunately similar tone and style as THIEF. So what few unique elements THIEF had to claim became fewer and fewer.

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THIEF arguably did better than most of the games on this list, though, in spite of its many problems. Square Enix continued to support it post-launch, and even included it recently in its Stealth bundle alongside Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Hitman: Absolution.

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The lesson here being, too many cooks can ruin a great dish.

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If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $29.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7edb9450ba068e0fb1f26582e12e5093.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/7edb9450ba068e0fb1f26582e12e5093.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5783","description":"

Resident Evil 6 (2012)

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While technically Resident Evil 6 is not a hard reset of the Resident Evil franchise, it is for all intents and purposes, a reboot. This is a game made to wipe the slate clean, set up new characters, and drastically shake up the gameplay. How did it do? Well, it sold over eight million copies, but got review scores going as low as 5 to 6 from some critics. It also is decried by a large majority of the Resident Evil fanbase.

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This isn't to say the ideas Resident Evil 6 explored were bad on their own. It tried to incorporate ideas from Dark Souls, Max Payne, and the development team's own unique tweaks to the survival-shooter subgenre. The co-op mechanics were built heavily around replayability and crazy matchmaking meet ups.

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Unfortunately, this also tied to an utterly absurd narrative, and some awfully prolonged final boss fights. Resident Evil 6 is effectively three games in one package, and as a result, the excess of one-off mechanics and confusing decisions left it a directionless mess overall.

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It's hard to tell if Resident Evil 6 is just a case of an intriguing concept stuck to the wrong IP or a genuinely terrible game that only a niche audience would enjoy. Considering the other recent series flop Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, maybe it's best Capcom approach future multiplayer focused entries with greater caution.

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The lesson here being, innovating for innovation's sake isn't what people want. They want innovation that grows and aids your product.

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If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $19.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8228234d2c13b8e072291cb1fc120208.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/8228234d2c13b8e072291cb1fc120208.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5782","description":"

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified (2013)

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It really sucks, to be 2K Marin. No matter how hard they tried, with Bioshock 2, and The Bureau, their work seems destined to always be treated like unwelcome blots on other peoples' franchises. The Bureau was given such a harsh response when originally revealed, that it went through at least one complete redesign before release. Ironically, this redesign in response is what hurt the game in the long run.

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The original concept was to allow you to go in the field as an agent, while retaining all the original game's strategy focus. You'd have to face enemies that would be much harder this time around, requiring you to study them from afar and hope you beat them "next time."

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You would have to make significant gameplay choices, like if you'd convert a miniboss as a temporary deployable unit, or break it down for research. XCOM's base management was still fully included, on top of all this. You'd also still have to manage your soldiers and command them in the field using the similar tactics of the original XCOM. Sounds amazingly fun, doesn't it? Well, please feel free to point that out to the XCOM fanbase.

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What did we get instead? A really fun but nowhere near as innovative prequel TPS-strategy game in the vein of Brothers in Arms meets Mass Effect. The writing was strong and the game itself was decent, but even after the developers bent over backwards to try and cut out what fans perceived as bad choices, a lot of what might have made The Bureau amazing was lost.

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The lesson here being, that sometimes your fanbase isn't the most trustworthy source of input when it comes to game design.

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If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $9.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3d38dca66bcce255857340fe40d68f1e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3d38dca66bcce255857340fe40d68f1e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"5780","description":"

Dark Void (2009)

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Dark Void was an odd choice by Capcom. A NES era shoot-em' up with a quirky old school science fiction backdrop didn't sound like something a lot of gamers would latch onto. So, when Airtight resurrected it, they turned into a hybrid air combat game like Rogue Squadron, and a full 360 degrees third person shooter. Only problem being, the game had to be rushed for release.

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As a result launched with some notable bugs and a fairly short campaign mode. There was also no multiplayer included to compensate for the shortness of the campaign. And, while I will admit that I am one of the few that did find something worthwhile in it, most gamers did not. It reviewed poorly at launch for its limited final product, and despite some additional DLC, Dark Void flopped overall.

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The lesson here being, sometimes just because you have a good idea, doesn't mean people will take your word for it.

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If you'd like to give it a try, it's running an average of $4.99 for PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/5/3/053d8f3ad2fa93c7f8875dd2a332da15.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/0/5/3/tiny_053d8f3ad2fa93c7f8875dd2a332da15.jpg","type":"slide","id":"63918","description":"

We live in an age of reboots, soft reboots, and reimaginings. Sometimes they blow us away... sometimes they really don't do well. Sometimes you get absolute failures like Bomberman: Act Zero or Resident Evil 6. Other times, a good idea comes out, but no one pays interest. Here are five reboots that, whether rightfully or not, barely made it out the door just long enough to have it shut in their face.

"}]]]>
Why Modern "Horror" Games Are Not Scary https://www.gameskinny.com/5cxdo/why-modern-horror-games-are-not-scary https://www.gameskinny.com/5cxdo/why-modern-horror-games-are-not-scary Tue, 24 Mar 2015 07:36:59 -0400 The Soapbox Lord

“They just don’t make them like they used to.”

You hear this a lot when you spend time with an older generation reminiscing about the past and the “good old days.” While the phrase is not always accurate, sometimes it has a fair amount of substance behind it.

Nowhere is this truer than the state of horror games. Horror in gaming has been subject to one of the most interesting and unique evolutions from its roots to its present state. Looking at a game like Haunted House on the Atari 2600, one would never imagine games such as The Evil Within and the Silent Hill series would be birthed from this type of game.

However, when I look at the state of modern horror games, I see a troubling trend: most of these games are not scary or even horror. Worse yet, some are blatant cash grabs made by cynical developers seeking a quick buck. Granted, there are exceptions, but it seems most games released nowadays labeled as “horror” are anything but and deserve those quotation marks. So what happened to our once great genre? I am so glad you asked!

The Rise of Amnesia Imitators

Up until 2010, most gamers had not heard of Frictional Games. While some of us were enjoying their Penumbra series, many people still had no idea about this great studio. On September 8, 2010, this all changed. Amnesia: The Dark Descent was unleashed on an unsuspecting gaming population and proceeded to take the world and YouTube by storm. Hailed as one of the scariest games of all time, Amnesia soon led to a deluge of reaction videos, live streams, and Lets-Players screaming their heads off for the enjoyment of their viewers. This is where the trouble began.

With the success of Amnesia, imitators were inevitable. Whenever something is as remotely successful as Amnesia has been, imitators are drawn to the success like sharks to blood in the water. Like most facsimiles, the games trying to ape Amnesia missed what made the game work in the first place; hence why we now have a glut of horror games where we are unable to defend ourselves.

Many of the imitations simply removed combat from their game because that was all they saw in Amnesia: A game where players could not defend themselves.

In Amnesia, the mechanic fit with the world and the game was made with this design in mind. Many of the imitations simply removed combat from their game because that was all they saw in Amnesia: a game where players could not defend themselves.

But they missed the carefully cultivated atmosphere, the terrifying monsters, and the subtle things the game had which set it apart from others. Five years later, we are still seeing developers trying to copy the success of Amnesia and still failing to grasp why players gravitated towards the game. Instead of trying to make new games and explore new ideas, people are still trying to mimic a game which they do not even understand.

YouTube Fodder Attacks!

Another outcome of Amnesia’s success was the rise in popularity of YouTubers and horror games, specifically reaction videos and let’s plays. Just look at the views on these things, millions of people watched others be scared witless or act terrified as a result of this game. As a result, we have a new blight upon the gaming world, “YouTube fodder.” 

Coined by Jim Sterling, this affectionate term is spot on in describing this new wave of greedy cynicism which has swept gaming. While the popularity of Goat Simulator and Surgeon Simulator videos contributed to this as well, most of this fodder is in the horror genre.

What is YouTube fodder you ask? Simply put, it is a greedy team cobbling together the barest minimum of what can be considered a game and releasing it through Steam with the intent of gaining sales through YouTube videos. (The fact these are even releasing on Steam and in general is a rant for another day.) These are not games. They are the products of developers with no sense of ethics releasing complete drivel.

These are not games. They are the products of developers with no sense of ethics releasing complete drivel. 

Besides being morally questionable, this bunk is ruining horror gaming. It seems every day upon booting up Steam I am greeted by a new “horror” release. All of these releases being labeled as horror ensure quality horror games are harder to find for players who are less-informed. They also burn players out on the same experiences making players wearisome to try more games. Worse yet, these things seem to release nearly every day. No, seriously. Look at Jim Sterling’s channel. The amount of these releases is dumbfounding and terrifying. If these were paper, they would not be worth using to house break your puppy. We need a New Mexico landfill for these abominations.

Jump Scares ‘R’ Us

As I have mentioned before, I think what Scott Cawthon has done with Five Nights at Freddy’s is admirable, and I respect him for it. However, the series is another disturbing trend in the decline of quality horror: jump scares. As long as there has been horror, there have been jump scares. When used masterfully like in Alien, The Thing, or Resident Evil, they can be absolutely terrifying. The problem with FNAF is not the jump scare; it’s that the jump scare is all there is. Yes, the games do build tension and have some atmosphere, but every session of the game is essentially anticipating a jump scare.

See, the game relies on a simple pass/fail mechanic. You either survive the night or you don’t. If you do not, an animatronic eats your face off while screaming at you with the voice of a small child. The core of the game is built around the anticipation of this scare. Without the scare, there is nothing to the game. There is no escaping in a weakened state while trying to fend off monsters while tending to your wounds. No hiding in a nook while watching with bated breath as your pursuers attempt to surmise your location. There is nothing. Jump scares cannot be the foundation of the horror experience; they accentuate it.

Even if you could kill the beast, the knowledge that a perfect predator is constantly tailing you ensures when a jump scare transpires, you jump.

Think about Alien: Isolation. There were times when the xenomorph makes a surprise visit in an attempt to give you a passionate lover’s kiss. These moments are terrifying because you know the monster is constantly hunting you, and you can never truly conquer it. Even if you could kill the beast, the knowledge a perfect predator is constantly tailing you ensures when a jump scare transpires, you jump. Jump scares go hand in hand with other elements of horror to deliver a horrifying experience. Without the rest of the elements, you are left with an incomplete picture; a shadow of what could be.

All Filler, No Substance

While all of the above are serious issues with the horror genre, there is one matter which lies at the core of the problem. Most modern horror games reduce horror to bare scare-tactics and end up being anything but horror. This applies to the AAA and indie scene alike. Now there are exceptions, 2014 saw the release of Alien: Isolation, The Evil Within, and P.T. All of these games were a fine return for horror in the AAA market. While not perfect by any means, each game pursued horror in a unique manner.

As a whole though, the AAA market has all but abandoned true horror and has instead pursued some bizarre action/horror hybrid abomination. The Dead Space series started out with two solid entries, but the third entry devolved into a nonsensical action co-op shooter. With an exception for the recent Resident Evil: Revelations 2, Resident Evil has gone completely down the Michael Bay rabbit hole. Both series started out as tense, atmospheric experiences where survival was paramount and empowerment was scarce. Now they are the complete opposite.

Sadly, this mostly applies to the indie market as well.

Going hand in hand with the YouTube fodder and jump scare trend, most of the recent indie games forgo horror altogether to make the most unintentionally hilarious things this side of The Room and Birdemic. Seriously, go watch some of these things in action. Most of the games even fail to grasp a fundamental understanding of atmosphere, content to have the player wander aimlessly for thirty minutes while throwing random noises and poorly paced jump scares. 

Most of the games even fail to grasp a fundamental understanding of atmosphere, content to have the player wander aimlessly for thirty minutes while throwing random noises and poorly paced jump scares.

In Silent Hill 2, you encounter the town and your first enemy within the first thirty minutes of the game, and by that point, the game has already established a fantastic sense of atmosphere.

The first thirty minutes of The Thing (the original 1982 film, not the poor prequel) has the first major alien encounter and gross out scene, but it also establishes place, characters, and atmosphere with incredible mastery. Most of these newer horror games are not even sure of their identity nor their goal at the thirty-minute mark. Strange noises and plodding around locations with no sense of tension or context does not equal atmosphere. 

The Future

While I sound cynical in this post, I am hopeful for the future of horror games. The year ahead holds several promising games for us horror devotees. Perhaps even more encouraging though, is to see players and some prominent personas and pundits in games media speaking out against some of the more malicious of these practices.

We can expose these games for the shams they are, and we can refuse to give poor horror the money and attention they demand. People are calling out developers and spreading the word about these blatant pandering products, and that is a start.

The future for horror is bright, but we players need to do our part as well.

We need to speak up when we see cynical fodder littering Steam and point out YouTubers who play some of these strictly for the pandering. We need to support the good horror games that do get released, like The Vanishing of Ethan Carter and The Cat Lady.

As the consumers and players, we hold an extreme amount of power in our hands. The trick is to responsibly harness this power to better the gaming landscape and the horror genre. Until then, watch your backs. You never know what lurks in the darkness.

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Top 5 Craziest Video Game Collector's Edition Bundles https://www.gameskinny.com/qvaen/top-5-craziest-video-game-collectors-edition-bundles https://www.gameskinny.com/qvaen/top-5-craziest-video-game-collectors-edition-bundles Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:31:22 -0500 Brian Spaen

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Saints Row IV: The Super Dangerous Wad Wad Edition

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  • Price: $1,000,000
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  • Released: August 23, 2013
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Of course, the same people that brought attacking enemies with giant purple dildos also created the most expensive and bizarre special edition package of all time. For one million bucks, one lucky person would be going on a space flight, would get the full hostage rescue experience, plastic surgery of their choice, a day of spy training, two week-long stays at Dubai and Washington DC (with first-class flights), TWO cars (Lamborghini Gallardo and Toyota Prius), and more.

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It's going to be hard to surpass the insanity of this package, but the most hilarious thing about it is that it all fits the style of Saints Row IV.

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Image credit: Video Gamer

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/3b73c6fa0d4753139cb77a935a963c90.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_3b73c6fa0d4753139cb77a935a963c90.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60133","description":"

Dead Island Riptide: Zombie Bait Edition

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  • Price: $160
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  • Released: April 23, 2013
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This isn't nearly as expensive as the other crazy special editions on this list, but this certainly became one of the most controversial. Announced back in January 2013, a figurine included in Dead Island Riptide was a bloody female torso in an American flag bikini. No full body with a head, arms, or legs -- just the torso.

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What Deep Silver probably attempted to be a conversation starter instead ignited the argument flames of female over-sexualization in video games. They apologized to those that were offended, but the product was still released.

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Image credit: NAG Online

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/b9ff3dd298ada7d0beccd66c5dc61d14.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_b9ff3dd298ada7d0beccd66c5dc61d14.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60132","description":"

Krater: Victor Edition

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  • Price: $10,000
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  • Released: May 30, 2012
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Ever wanted somebody to cook an incredible meal and play a game with you afterwards? Developer Fatshark gave a player a one-time opportunity when they released Krater.

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Game designer Victor Magnuson, who is apparently also a Swedish gourmet chef, would come to the gamer's house regardless of where it was located in the world. Magnuson would cook either a mystery meal or something like Swedish Meatballs or Ester Ore Pretto Pizza, and would later play Krater.

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It's a cool idea, but for $10k, I'd rather just go to a really expensive Italian restaurant and bring my laptop to play Krater on along with my meal.

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Image credit: Joystiq

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/14eca372e1f0c1510fa37d33c60f3fbf.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_14eca372e1f0c1510fa37d33c60f3fbf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60130","description":"

GRID2: Mono Edition

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  • Price: $189,000
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  • Released: May 31, 2013
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Add another collector's edition to the "ripoff" category. This special edition of GRID2 included the game, a PlayStation 3 to play it on, and a brand new car for nearly $200,000. Not too bad at first glance because the car, a BAC Mono, looks pretty damn sweet, right?

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There were 12 of these British supercars delivered to the United States, and they were sold at roughly $130,000. That means the game's decals all over the car are worth nearly $60,000. A paint job that's worth almost half the car? Uhhh...

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Image credit: Top Speed

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/4b2039a076f5690c392a5e6c299a835a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_4b2039a076f5690c392a5e6c299a835a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60129","description":"

Resident Evil 6

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  • Price: $1,300
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  • Released: October 2, 2012
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The list kicks off with arguably one of the biggest ripoffs for a collector's edition. Biohazard 6 (as Resident Evil 6 is known in Japan) had an exclusive package that converted to around $1,300 had it been released in America. It includes the game, four cell phone covers, and a replica jacket that Leon wore during the game.

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Let's break that down. The game was worth $60 brand new and the covers wouldn't be any more than $25 each (and that's overpricing them because of the RE brand). The jacket would essentially be over $1,100. That's insane when looking at how uncomfortable and cheap it looks in pictures and video (start around the 4-minute mark). 

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Image credit: Gamez Mentor

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1ff4baaac4f745fa3fa933c5664cd62a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/tiny_1ff4baaac4f745fa3fa933c5664cd62a.jpg","type":"slide","id":"60128","description":"

Techland released the ~$400,000 Dying Light: My Apocalypse Edition in Europe earlier this week. The insane package included parkour lessons, spending time with the developer, and even a house that was made to survive a real zombie apocalypse. It's one of the craziest video game bundles to be released, and one lucky player is going to enjoy it.

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Before, it was standard to get artbooks, figurines, or a special case that the game is included in. Now it's becoming a trend to figure out what kind of crazy stuff these companies can throw into a collector's edition. For example, Borderlands: The Handsome Edition is getting a real Claptrap.

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Taking away Dying Light's bundle, let's take a look at five other collector's editions that made us all do a double take.

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Image credit: Polygon

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Ludonarrative Dissonance: Why Kane & Lynch is Better Than BioShock Infinite https://www.gameskinny.com/t4sjo/ludonarrative-dissonance-why-kane-lynch-is-better-than-bioshock-infinite https://www.gameskinny.com/t4sjo/ludonarrative-dissonance-why-kane-lynch-is-better-than-bioshock-infinite Fri, 13 Dec 2013 12:55:46 -0500 Brian S

BioShock Infinite is an entertaining game—it’s fantastic. The art direction is superb, the voice acting is some of the best I’ve ever heard, the music is spectacular, and the story is phenomenal.

But is it a good game? Maybe. But not entirely.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, on the other hand, is quite terrible. The characters can’t be related to, the story is jumbled, the controls are mediocre at best, and the game just makes you feel gross after playing it.

But is it a good game? Sure. But not for the reasons you might think.

BioShock Infinite's story of regret and redemption isn't new to games.
For the two people in the gaming community who don’t know, BioShock Infinite tells the story of Booker DeWitt, a remorseful man who is trying to let go of his past actions.

He was terrible person who did terrible things and made many mistakes, all of which he regrets every day. He travels to Columbia, the lost city in the sky, to atone for his sins by bringing a girl, Elizabeth, out of the city to an unknown benefactor. Things don’t go as smoothly as Booker expects, and he is forced to shoot his way through Columbia to get to Elizabeth and then escape the city.

 

In Kane & Lynch: Dead Men, Adam “Kane” Marcus is on the way to death row.

He is a man who has accepted the sins of his past, and is ready to die for the crimes he’s committed. He is a murderer and a horrible, horrible person. The truck he is sitting in gets in a crash, all part of a plan Kane doesn’t know about, and Kane is forced to make his escape with Lynch, another convict from the truck. Kane discovers that the organization of mercenaries he worked with, The7 (pronounced “the seven”), organized the crash. The7 have Kane’s wife and daughter, both of whom want nothing to do with Kane.

Kane has accepted his fate and is ready to die.

The7 accuse Kane of leaving them to die and running with money from a heist, which Kane adamantly denies. Kane, with the help of Lynch, who was working with The7 from the beginning, spends the rest of the story trying to find the money and save his wife and daughter—Kane tries to make one good decision in his life before letting himself die.

The disconnect between story and gameplay is called “ludonarrative dissonance.”

On the surface, neither of these stories really stands out.

Both involve remorseful men who have sordid pasts of murder and regret. The difference between the two games is called “ludonarrative dissonance.” “Ludonarrative dissonance” describes a disconnection between the narrative of a game and the gameplay of that game ("ludo-" meaning "game"). For example, the Batman: Arkham series has Batman, a vastly superior fighter, kicking the crap out of various villains and goons to save the day. In any Resident Evil game, players typically control a special agent as they take down zombie after zombie.

If you look at Batman: Arkham and Resident Evil 6, what happens in the story is what happens in the game—a harmony between the two exists.

Batman continues to be a hero and Leon S. Kennedy continues to be a zombie-killing machine in both the gameplay and the story. In a similar light, Kane & Lynch: Dead Men displays this harmony. Kane is remorseful. Kane is a terrible, terrible human being. Not only does almost everybody he knows tell him this, but he constantly reassures everyone that he really is a bad guy—he’s a villain.

Kane & Lynch was unsuccessful for the most part.

Kane & Lynch: Dead Men received relatively poor reviews, citing its poor controls, somewhat confusing narrative, and unlikable heroes. And, they’re right; the game isn’t that great as far as gameplay goes, and there are some narrative problems. The sequel, Kane & Lynch 2: Dog Days, suffers from the same problems and leave the player feeling gross.

However, the series still manages to forego ludonarrative dissonance and keeps the gameplay the same as the story. According to the story, Kane is a terrible person who does terrible things, and the gameplay reflects and supports that. Furthermore, the "gross feeling" that some players felt after playing the game suggests that the characters being difficult to connect with makes the game that much more effective—it's a story where we don't want the "heroes" to win because they don't deserve it.

Booker is only a good person from a story perspective, not a gameplay perspective.
In Bioshock Infinite, on the other hand, the story suggests that Booker is a reformed person—a man full of regret who will fix his mistakes.

He is a good person, at least according to the story. The gameplay, on the other hand, has Booker killing hundreds of thinking, feeling people. Looking at the game from the viewpoint of any member of the city of Columbia, one would see a psychopath who is killing citizens en masse while kidnapping a girl with superpowers, seemingly for his own selfish reasons. If a random background character from Kane & Lynch looked at Kane, they would see a horrible murderer doing horrible things. There is no dissonance in Kane & Lynch. What you see is what you play.

In one key way, yes, Kane & Lynch succeeds where BioShock Infinite fails.

Is Kane & Lynch a better game than BioShock Infinite?

In one key way, yes, Kane & Lynch succeeds where BioShock Infinite fails. BioShock Infinite has a fantastic narrative—seeing Columbia for the first time is an amazing experience and seeing the emotion in Elizabeth’s face is just incredible—but the shooting gallery gameplay style is at odds with the heartfelt story of regret and redemption.

In truth, BioShock Infinite may have been a better puzzle game, platformer, or movie than it is a game, but that doesn't take away from what the game accomplishes.

Nathan Drake from Uncharted is a good guy too... if you ignore the hundreds upon hundreds of people he kills.

Another example is the Uncharted trilogy on PlayStation 3. According to the story, Nathan Drake is a witty hero who eventually saves the day. He's easily related to and constantly makes clever wise-cracks. He's a good guy... Unless you count how he murders hundreds upon hundreds of people with guns, rocket launchers, explosives, and his bare hands. Nate doesn't even flinch at the concept of killing, except once in Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. The narrative of the series is fantastic, as is the gameplay, but the two are at odds with each other.

Ludonarrative dissonance doesn't necessarily make a game bad.

Ludonarrative dissonance in a game does not make the game bad or unsuccessful (if BioShock Infinite and Uncharted indicate anything), it just makes it flawed.

It’s possible to criticize elements of a game while still enjoying the game as a whole. 2013's Tomb Raider is my favorite adventure game I've ever played, but there is a massive disconnection between Lara's struggle with the concept of killing to survive and her ability to kill the island's seemingly endless supply of angry dudes. Similarly, it's possible to praise a single aspect of a game while the entire game isn't that enjoyable—Kane & Lynch isn't really a fun series and most of the criticism of the series is grounded in truth. But that doesn't take away from the accomplishment of the lack of ludonarrative dissonance present in both games of the series.

Saints Row succeeds where Grand Theft Auto fails.

Saint's Row succeeds where Grand Theft Auto fails in that the story and the gameplay complement each other. The story of Saint's Row, at least Saints Row: The Third and Saint's Row IV, is consistently zany and over-the-top, and the gameplay reflects that. On the other hand, Grand Theft Auto IV and suffer from a massive juxtaposition between the harsh, serious story and the over-the-top stupidity that happens when players run around blowing things up, but that doesn’t take away the merits of the narrative by itself or the act of blowing things up by itself.

It would be nice if more games could strike a balance between gameplay and story so they complement each other in the same way that games such as Portal and even Saint's Row succeed. There's a place for over-the-top shooters like Call of Duty, and there's a place for riveting stories like Alan Wake, but consistency is what will make this work.

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