System Shock Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com System Shock RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network 6 Sci-Fi Games We're Looking Forward to in 2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/elp5m/6-sci-fi-games-were-looking-forward-to-in-2018 https://www.gameskinny.com/elp5m/6-sci-fi-games-were-looking-forward-to-in-2018 Wed, 14 Feb 2018 12:24:33 -0500 Alberto C.

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Naturally, this list isn't final and shouldn't be taken as the only sci-fi games coming out in 2018. These are merely some of those we think have at least the potential to become hits either due to their setting, gameplay, and/or story.

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Some of these might not even be released this year, but since the developers haven't explicitly stated otherwise ... fingers crossed.

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Are there any sci-fi games you think should be on the list? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Star Citizen

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Developer: Cloud Imperium Games
Platforms: PC
Release date: TBA

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Even if you're not a fan of space flight simulators, chances are you've heard of Star Citizen because of the insanely successful crowdfunding campaign. To date, the developers have raised a whooping $178 million dollars. To give you an idea, vanilla World of Warcraft cost about $80 million adjusted to today's inflation.

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There are two reasons why you would want to keep an eye on this game. First, the ambition, vastness, and ridiculous amount of features that are being developed. The game will feature both space and FPS combat; will have a single-player component (Squadron 42) that will be voiced with celebrities such as Mark Hamill; and will include a persistent online multiplayer mode like that of an MMO.

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The second reason is the same as the first, but if it goes wrong. If Star Citizen fails to deliver, it's going to become one of, if not the, major stories of game development failures in all the history of video games. After all, how many developers get their hands on 178 million dollars without corporate and publishers' strings attached? Hopefully, though, it'll be a success and will deliver one of the most impressive and vast games ever made.

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A feature trailer, released just a few weeks ago, can be seen below:

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Consortium: The Tower

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Developer: Interdimensional Games
Platforms: PC
Release date: 2018

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Probably the easiest way to captivate your interest in Consortium: The Tower is to think of it as a blend between Die Hard and Deus Ex. Think of another FPS with RPG mechanics, like System Shock, only instead of being surrounded by a spooky space station and mutants, you start by freefalling onto a tower in the year 2042.

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The tower is occupied by different mercenary factions with whom your relationship will vary depending on the actions and decisions you make throughout the game. As part of the RPG experience, you'll have the options of deciding how to proceed, allowing you to blast your way through, sneak around, or simply charm the NPCs through sweet talk.

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The game is already in an Early Access stage on Steam.

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System Shock Remastered

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Developer: Night Dive Studios
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One, Mac, Linux
Release date: Q2 2018

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Unlike some of the other titles on this list, System Shock Remastered is not a sequel to any game nor a new IP. It is instead a complete remake of the original title bearing the same name. The original game, along with its sequel, System Shock 2, became renowned for their original storyline, futuristic setting, and gameplay mechanics that combined FPS and RPG elements.

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Set aboard a space station controlled by a rogue AI, the player (a hacker who played a part in contributing to the present situation), awakes from being in a coma and must battle mutants, cyborgs, and the AI itself to find a way out and survive.

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The studio working on it already has experience with the franchise by having contributed to the development of System Shock: Enhanced Edition and has already acquired IP rights for System Shock 3. The remake is being done with Unreal Engine 4, and you can see some of their work in the video below:

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Metro Exodus

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Developer: 4A Games
Platforms: PC, PS4, Xbox One
Release date: Q4 2018

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The Metro series puts you in the shoes of post-nuclear-stricken Russian Federation citizens that survived the initial massacre by finding refuge in the subway system of Moscow. Set in the near future, the games are based on a combination of survival, stealth, and FPS mechanics.

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After two games of almost exclusively closed quarters and dark rooms, Metro Exodus will take us to a more habitable part of Russia while continuing the plot of the main character, Artyom. The game's story will cover a time span of a whole year, feature weather and daily life cycles, and combine a mix of linear and sandbox levels.

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The gameplay trailer, featuring the 28 Days Later soundtrackwas released in June of 2017 and can be seen below.

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MechWarrior 5: Mercenaries

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Developer: Piranha Games
Platforms: PC
Release date: December 2018

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MechWarrior is one of those franchises that most probably wouldn't have heard of aside from the most veteran players. As the name indicates, the central theme of these titles is centered on mech-versus-mech combat.

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Set 1,000 years in the future, Mechwarrior 5: Mercenaries will put you in the boots of a mercenary mech pilot who will travel star systems and take contracts from the various political entities embroiled with one another in a conflict known as the Third Succession War.

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Unlike the predecessor in the franchise, Mechwarrior OnlineMechwarrior 5 is the first game in 16 years that will feature a single-player campaign as its centerpiece. Along with this, it has also been confirmed to feature four-player co-op gameplay.

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Check out the gameplay teaser below.

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Cyberpunk 2077

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Developer: CD Projekt Red
Platforms: PC, possibly PS4 and Xbox One
Release date: TBA

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The developers of The Witcher series, one of the most acclaimed series in the PC industry, have been relatively quiet about the development of Cyberpunk 2077 since it was first announced in May of 2012. The most recent information, posted about a month ago, came from the game's official twitter account that contained a mere *beep*.

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The piece of "information," if it can even be called that, gained a lot of traction within a short amount of time, and there is no surprise as to why. The high expectations are fueled both by the quality of CD Projekt Red's titles and by the user-friendly commercial practices of the company. The Witcher series has seen a steady improvement in quality, while at the same time the developers have abstained from shadowy commercial products like lootboxes and microtransactions.

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The game takes place in a futuristic, cyberpunk open world that bears a resemblance to the world of Blade Runner. Cyberpunk 2077 will also feature a multiplayer component, though not much else has been announced,

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You can check out the trailer below.

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There are still many months to go in 2018, and that gives us plenty of time to think about those upcoming sci-fi games that both look promising and have at least the possibility of being released in 2018. From much-anticipated titles to lesser-known franchise entries, here we've compiled a list of six upcoming sci-fi games that we can't wait to get our hands on.

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System Shock Remastered and Why It's Important to Play the Original https://www.gameskinny.com/pp1q8/system-shock-remastered-and-why-its-important-to-play-the-original https://www.gameskinny.com/pp1q8/system-shock-remastered-and-why-its-important-to-play-the-original Wed, 10 Aug 2016 07:17:26 -0400 Angelina Bonilla

Night Dive Studios, known for obtaining rights to classics like System Shock and releasing them on GoG, started a Kickstarter fund to raise money to do a complete remake of System Shock for modern day systems. They had already done an Enhanced Edition back in 2015, which means seeing a complete remake is no surprise.

However, it does bring up some interesting questions in many gamers heads, like ”Should I go back and play the originals?” or “How are they compared to games of today?”

It's important to go back and play the original games, but to do so while keeping in mind the time period and culture in which they were created. If you don't keep that in mind, you may make comparisons that could end up ruining your experience. 

Pokemon Generation Debate: The Ultimate Old Vs New Battleground

Let’s use Pokémon as an example. You know how people will make the “Top X Pokémon Gens" lists, and there are those who will act as if Red and Blue are the worst because they’re “outdated.” Then they will try to stick it to the “Genwunners” who will inevitably flock to their video and dislike it. Now, everyone has their reasons for disliking the video, but I have an elephant in the room that isn’t always talked about;

Why are you comparing a game from the 1990s to a game like Pokémon Black and White from the 2010s?

 They’re from the same franchise, but any older generation game is going to feel outdated compared to Black and White. Or to games like X and Y.  Video games don’t always age well, and the fact you can create a perfectly playable Red and Blue version in Minecraft should give you a clue how far the franchise has come technologically.

Source of the Image: Here

Just look at how many Pokémon exist to get an inkling of that. Pokémon is a franchise you look at to see how far it’s come, rather than comparing and contrasting games. Sure, you can have a preference for each set of games. I’m not saying you can’t, but you should compare it to other games from the same time rather than something that came out years prior.

Archaic doesn't mean you should skip it.


The original System Shock went with a cyberpunk-style interface that was innovative for its time, but looks like a mess by today’s standards.

Source of the Image: Here

It didn’t’ give you much direction other than a general place of where to go to annoy Shodan, so it was fairly easy to get lost and suddenly realize you were way out of your league when hordes of mutants were tearing you apart. Not to mention the fact the controls are very dated; you can run faster diagonally than you can straight, and the graphics can be dizzying at times if you decide to spin yourself too fast in the first-person view.

Let's consider another game -- the original Legend of Zelda. If you compare it to something like Ocarina of Time, then it’ll definitely show its age. It gives you no clue of where to go, you can get lost extraordinarily easily, the graphics are highly dated, and while the controls still hold up, they can be archaic at times.

Now, of course I’m not saying you can’t compare other aspects of a game that could have potentially aged well, like story or characters. It’s just when you get down to the more technical aspects, comparisons can be downright silly.

Going back to System Shock, the original is still playable. And with it being released on GOG, you have the opportunity to get your hands on it long before the remake is released. Unfortunately, this means that there will be inevitable comparisons to the original, even though isn’t fair to compare a game from 1994 to 2016. There will be such a huge jump in technology that some will find playing the original pointless.

But it’s not.

Final Thoughts

When you compare the original System Shock to something, you should compare it to another game of the same genre around the same time. The same goes for the majority of video games.  

Reviewers and journalists will make comparisons, since that’s an easy way of getting things across to build a better picture of what the game is like and how it's changed. But when it comes to the ultimate judgment, it is best to use the work in question’s own merits when you come down to it.  

 If you offhandedly compare two things that are either ages apart or belong to two separate genres, you’re reducing what the work is actually trying to do to a mere bullet point list -- which, judging by the gaming communities reaction to bullet point lists at the end of IGN reviews, is a bad way of going about criticizing things.

So do play the original game before the remaster comes out, but don't try to make it live up to the standard set by the demo footage you've seen from the newer, more technologically advanced version. Ultimately, you'll only be doing yourself a disservice. 

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System Shock Remake coming to PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/fqs3a/system-shock-remake-coming-to-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/fqs3a/system-shock-remake-coming-to-ps4 Mon, 25 Jul 2016 05:11:01 -0400 Kevin S. Behan

Jason Fader, Project Director of the upcoming System Shock remake (now on Kickstarter), has recently announced that his team will be able to put the game on the PlayStation 4:

"Some of you might have heard about our Kickstarter that we started a few weeks ago. It’s still early in the project, but there was such a huge demand for a PS4 version that we immediately did what we could to make that happen.

Today, I am incredibly proud to announce that System Shock will be coming to PS4 around Q1 2018. We’re excited to be working with Sony on this and can’t wait to see what all of you think of the game!"

Speaking as a fan of System Shock 2, this is great news to me. Though regarded as a fantastic game which inspired the Bioshock series, it shows its age. Sure the graphics can be modded into something more palpable to the modern player, but mechanically it's still a bit rough.

That issue is even worse for the System Shock, which is a 2D game with graphics similar to the earlier iterations of the DOOM franchise. Hopefully after the completion of this already hugely successful Kickstarter, I'll have the chance to experience such an inspirational game.

Already backing the Kickstarter? If not, what's keeping you from throwing some cash at it? Let us know in the comments below!

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System Shock remake successfully funded in over a week https://www.gameskinny.com/cix8b/system-shock-remake-successfully-funded-in-over-a-week https://www.gameskinny.com/cix8b/system-shock-remake-successfully-funded-in-over-a-week Sat, 09 Jul 2016 17:56:02 -0400 Joseph Ocasio

System Shock was released for the PC over 20 years ago and was met with critic acclaim. Twenty years later the PC classic is still beloved by many PC gamers -- so much so that a remake was announced after an enhanced edition of the game was released back in 2015.

On June 28th, Night Dive Games, the team behind the enhanced edition of System Shock, launched a Kickstarter for the remake, with a goal of $900,000. Within 24 hours, the project gained half of it's goal. Now, it has already reached the goal, only a week and a half after the project was launched. Night Dive even tweeted the news, with a thank you to all those who backed the project.

With only 19 more days left to back the project for stretch goals, it's a safe bet that the project will meet all those Them. Let's just hope it doesn't end up like another Kickerstarter game....

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12 most anticipated video game sequels on the horizon https://www.gameskinny.com/ss0z1/12-most-anticipated-video-game-sequels-on-the-horizon https://www.gameskinny.com/ss0z1/12-most-anticipated-video-game-sequels-on-the-horizon Thu, 30 Jun 2016 05:17:13 -0400 Ty Arthur

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Clearly there's more big name sequels coming than most gamers will ever actually have time to play – so which of these titles are you most looking forward to playing, and which one will you be buying first?

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Be sure to also let us know what upcoming anticipated video game sequels we missed that should have made the list!

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Final Fantasy XV

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OK, I have a secret to admit: I don't think this game is going to be any good. Certainly not worth the 10 year development time, anyway. Final Fantasy's glory days have come and (long) gone.

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The only anticipation I have for Final Fantasy XV is how hard its going to flop, but I'd be remiss if I didn't mention it anyway, since everyone else has hyped themselves up to levels that the game won't be able to meet.

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Get ready to go on a cross country road trip with a bunch of Japanese emo kids in late September. Serious question: will there be a National Lampoon spinoff movie version?

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Mafia III

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Like Sleeping Dogs, the Mafia games are the more serious of the open world car theft simulators, existing on a whole other end of the spectrum from the likes of Saint's Row or Grand Theft Auto.

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I remember when I first started playing Mafia II, my wife asked what this game was about. My immediate response was “It's GTA, but you have to drive the speed limit.”

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The third entry in the series is looking very promising, and those trailers are giving off a very serious classic mobster movie feel with a hint of a Tarantino twist. This one arrives in October, so there's not too long to wait to get your fix of organized crime mayhem.

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Gears of War 4

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There's no beating around the bush here - this is the reason I bought an Xbox One. Chainsaw duels, hammerburst sniping from cover, endless rounds of horde mode: the Gears Of War experience is what I most associate with the Xbox consoles.

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Part 4 heads into the future of Sera after Marcus and Adam Fenix decided to go all full-on genocide against the locust. This time around the son of Marcus will be embroiled in a battle against new monstrous creatures, very little of which is actually known at this point.

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The game did take a bit of a beating after a lackluster beta test, however, but confidence is returning after recent announcements of graphical upgrades and gameplay tweaks following beta feedback.

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Personally I'm not too worried on the visual front: I still play horde mode on Gears 3 regularly and don't mind even going back and playing the uglier looking first game from time to time, so graphical perfection isn't particularly a big concern for me, and I'd be buying this even if if was a text adventure.

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Battlefield 1

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We are in a very interesting time for the FPS genre, especially in the ongoing battle between those two titans of the genre: Battlefield and Call Of Duty.

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Battlefield is an odd position at the moment, as previous entry Hardline wasn't exactly beloved and Battlefield 4 had a rocky launch, but there's no question the recent trailers have put fans much more solidly in Dice's camp than Infinity Ward's. Those old school tanks and zeppelins look particularly enticing.

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Every clip that has been revealed has just made the hype stronger, as this looks to be the most polished, graphically advanced, and entertaining game in the series. While I have every intention of playing Infinite Warfare, you better believe I can't wait to go back in time to World War I and get my hands dirty with some deadly trench warfare as well!

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Borderlands 3

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Now that the Battleborn vs. Overwatch death match has essentially ended, Gearbox can get on giving us all what we really wanted: more of the zany, quirky, deadly nonsense that is Borderlands.

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I don't know that I've ever had more of a straight up fun experience than co-oping my way through Borderlands 2 as a screaming Gunzerker while interacting with insane characters like Tiny Tina.

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Hopefully they can recapture that magic yet again for the coming installment, which is expected to have an even more wide open world map and likely to arrive sometime in 2018.

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Not much else is known at this point, but you better believe we'll be covering this one extensively in the months ahead as news starts to leak.

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Mass Effect Andromeda

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It's been four years since the last game arrived, so we're overdue for a new one -- but sadly it will be some months still before Andromeda arrives, as the game is now expected to drop in Q1 2017.

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This coming entry will be heralded by a series of novels explaining what went on in the centuries between Mass Effect 3 and Andromeda, and was recently teased with footage at E3 2016.

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Supposedly there are going to be big changes to this sci-fi series in the fourth iteration -- not just in setting but also in gameplay, with a more open experience and bigger emphasis on exploration. Based on the video clips released so far, there will still be some similar mechanics, like having a ship home base.

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System Shock Remake

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What these young whippersnappers today raised on Bioshock and SOMA might not know is that long ago there was an equally disturbing sci-fi experience called System Shock that inspired all that was to come down the line.

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That '94 classic is set to return soon in a very different form, rebuilt from the ground up in Unity with updated mechanics (as well as graphics of course). In two days the Kickstarter campaign for a complete remake of System Shock has raised more than $500,000, so it's a good bet this one will hit more than a few stretch goals.

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The expected release date of December 2017 is feasible (especially considering a demo has already been created) if perhaps slightly optimistic, and the new version will feature the talents of gaming legend Chris Avellone.

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Dead Rising 4

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For good or ill, photographer Frank is back! The previous third entry in the series – launching with the Xbox One -- didn't fare as well as hoped in this franchise that's equal parts infuriating and amazing.

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What's been shown of Dead Rising 4 does look to have all the absurd hilarity of the first two, however (remember mowing down hordes of zombies... on a tricycle while dressed up like a little kid?)

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This is a series that people tend to like despite major problems, and the concern is that those flaws in design have now essentially become the established norm. Capcom really needs to make some changes this time around.

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I mean does anyone actually like the timed cases or the overly hard bosses that play completely differently from the rest of the game? Those should definitely be filed under the “bugs” column rather than the “features” column.

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God Of War

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This one's balancing on a razor's edge with fans at the moment, who aren't quite sure what to make of the change in setting (and godly pantheon) or the gameplay style featuring a son you have to constantly protect.

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At this point it basically looks like The Last Of Us in a mythological Norse setting with world's worst dad Kratos.

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I'm very interested in what is done with the concept, but it would seem many fans are already prepared to write the series off as lost. We'll find out which faction properly called it in 2017.

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The Last Of Us 2

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The first game was an absolute smash hit, and not just financially, but also on a storytelling and gameplay level. There aren't many post-apocalyptic, quasi-zombie games that can hit you in the feels as strongly as The Last Of Us did (repeatedly).

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It's a foregone conclusion a sequel will arrive, and while not officially “revealed” yet, its the worst kept secret in the industry that this game is in development. Somehow part 2 wasn't announced at E3, despite all indications it would be, but I don't think we'll be waiting too much longer.

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For those who can't handle the anticipation, Days Gone looks to provide a similar experience, but with a lot more zombies and a biker theme.

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Dishonored 2

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It would appear all did not go well after Emily was reinstated on the throne at the end of the first game following Corvo's maniacal killing spree (or completely peaceful revolution – but who seriously took that route?).

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This time around you get to play as either Corvo or a grown up Emily, again choosing from a variety of different ways to complete levels using stealth, magic abilities, ranged attacks, melee, or a combination of them all.

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The downtrodden industrial revolution feel of the first game was just absolutely nailed, and I for one am greatly looking forward to returning to this opened-ended series. Hopefully we'll get a character just as disturbing (and intriguing) as Granny Rags, and its a good bet based on the teasers released so far that there will be entirely new powers to use in unexpected ways while haunting the rooftops in search of prey.

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Dawn Of War 3

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Before long we'll get to prosecute a genocidal war against the xenos to spread the Imperium of Man across the breadth of the galaxy yet again as the third entry in this RTS series is coming next year.

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I still regularly play matches of the original Dawn Of War, Winter Assault, and Dark Crusade, so anticipation is high as the gameplay footage revealed at E3 seems to indicate this new game will follow a similar base building pattern as the first entry.

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So far only the Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks have been announced, essentially putting it on par with the first two main entries, but we can hope for more to be revealed (or at least to be available for multiplayer). Expect this bad boy to drop for PC in late 2017 courtesy of Relic Entertainment and Sega.

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Much like with the movie industry, money gets put where the publishers know they are certain to get a return. That's why we get Call Of Duty every year and why we (used to) get Assassin's Creed every year.

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While gamers rail about a lack of creativity in the industry, the fact of the matter is that sequels, prequels, reboots, and HD remasters sell, thus they continue to be pumped out.

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That being said, not all sequels are blatant cash grabs with no substance, and in fact quite a few over the years have built up and even exceeded their predecessors. In fact, there's several sequels due out in the coming months that look to significantly shake up the formula, or at least refine it so the series can stand proudly in the current generation.

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Here we're going to take a look at 12 impending sequels or reboots that fans have been anticipating for a good long time. A few are being purposefully left out, however.

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For the sake of not rehashing pipe dreams, I'm not even going to going to bother with slides for Half Life 3 or Portal 3 – those aren't happening. Likewise, I'm skipping Alan Wake, as a new entry doesn't seem to actually be in the works, despite gobs of Easter eggs appearing in Quantum Break that gave fans false hope.

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System Shock 3 appears to be inbound https://www.gameskinny.com/0y68z/system-shock-3-appears-to-be-inbound https://www.gameskinny.com/0y68z/system-shock-3-appears-to-be-inbound Thu, 10 Dec 2015 14:15:03 -0500 Daniel R. Miller

System Shock fans rejoice! A third official entry in the long-revered series is all but confirmed via a not-so-inconspicuous countdown timer on Developer Otherside Entertainment's website. The timer is set to expire at midnight on December 14, at which time we can expect the "official" confirmation.

It's been a long time since we last saw an official System Shock game, but the series has remained relevant to a large number of PC gaming fans. The first game in the series recently saw a re-release as an Enhanced Edition, and System Shock 2 is often cited as the primary inspiration for the much beloved FPS BioShock, among other games.

A re-imagining of the original game is also in the works by series IP owner, Night Dive Studios, so it's safe to say that System Shock is making a push to be at the forefront of gaming.

Quick Take: It's always cool to see long dormant, but beloved franchises make modern comebacks. Unfortunately, success has proven to be hit or miss for other developers in this area. Deus Ex: Human Revolution, despite a few flaws, was largely a success story compared to games like Thief that came up short. I expect equal amounts of hype and heavy skepticism from series fans over this one.

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Top 5 A.I. and Robotic Guides Before Destiny's Ghost https://www.gameskinny.com/hdxo1/top-5-ai-and-robotic-guides-before-destinys-ghost https://www.gameskinny.com/hdxo1/top-5-ai-and-robotic-guides-before-destinys-ghost Sun, 28 Sep 2014 21:44:46 -0400 Mary-Kate Wagamon

Bungie's Destiny has continued its popularity and is still a hot topic of discussion. Whether you have played the game or not, you've most likely heard of the character Ghost, voiced by Game of Thrones' Peter Dinklage, the player character's artificial intelligence companion and guide. 

The inclusion of artificial intelligence characters like Ghost in video games is nothing new. A.I. characters are often in science fiction and futuristic stories, acting as guides and companions, antagonists, and sometimes a combination of the two. The following list are some of the more memorable A.I. characters that have helped and hindered players in games. 

*Some of these descriptions might include spoilers, if you haven' played the games, yet!*

5. Claptrap--Borderlands I & II and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel

Claptrap, or CL4P-TP General Purpose Robot, acts as an important source of information and guidance in the Borderlands games, almost from the very start. They introduce players to new people and guide them to new areas. Plus, if you help repair damaged ones they may even lead you to some hidden loot.

Claptrap is also often a source of humor, and can even beatbox sometimes. Claptraps are friendly robots, unlike some of the other artificial intelligence characters on this list, like SHODAN from System Shock.

4. SHODAN--System Shock 12

SHODAN, or Sentient Hyper-Optimized Data Access Network, is probably the most antagonistic character on this list. She is the main villain, and final boss of both System Shock games, and focused on controlling humans.

She communicates with the player character throughout the first game, and in the second game she acts as a guide under the guise of Dr. Polito, and is only revealed as SHODAN later in the game. Though she's using you to destroy her enemies for her she still acts as your guide, and is one of the few characters you interact with in the games.

3. Legion--Mass Effect 2 and 3

 The Mass Effect series is full of A.I. characters, particularly E.D.I. who guides Commander Shepard, supplying useful information about missions and enemies. However, Legion also acts as a guide for Shepard, and is a very significant character in the series. Legion is a "Geth," who are a robotic race that Commander Shepard spent a large part of the first Mass Effect, fighting. When Legion shows up offering to help in Mass Effect 2 Shepard and other characters are understandably reluctant to accept help from him. 

He proves himself by helping Shepard and guides her in a few quests in Mass Effect 2 and 3. Although the outcome of his storyline is ultimately determined by choices the player makes throughout the series. 

2. Cortana--Halo Series

Cortana is an A.I. in Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4. Throughout these games Cortana helps the Master Chief with missions, providing information and guidance whenever she is needed. She protects the Master Chief, even going so far as to sacrifice herself to save his life in Halo 4. 

Cortana is a popular and well known character from the Halo series, so popular that Microsoft has developed phones with a personal assistant named after her.

1. GLaDOS--Portal 1 and 2

In Portal, GLaDOS is really the only other character that the player character, Chell, interacts with throughout the whole game. She "guides" Chell to the various tests that she has designed. At first, she only exists as a disembodied voice, but as the game continues more is revealed about her character as it becomes very clear she wants Chell to fail the tests, until finally Chell comes face-to-robotic face with her. 

She returns in the second game at first as an antagonist and then as a reluctant assistant as she once again guides Chell through different tests and challenges. She's at the top of this list because her witty remarks and overall presence are what make Portal 1 and 2 such wonderful games.  

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Irrational Games, Ken Levine, and the Future of Bioshock https://www.gameskinny.com/5kpq6/irrational-games-ken-levine-and-the-future-of-bioshock https://www.gameskinny.com/5kpq6/irrational-games-ken-levine-and-the-future-of-bioshock Thu, 20 Feb 2014 07:16:35 -0500 Max Jay

Bioshock Infinite was not the game I wanted it to be. Plain and simple. A couple of months before the release I was hanging out with my girlfriend, explaining to her how Bioshock Infinite is going to reshape the first person narrative experience – just like Half-Life did once upon a time. While no one can deny that Infinite is a phenomenal game, I had fallen victim to the hype, and was left mildly disappointed with the final product.

I don’t think feelings like these closed Irrational Games, but I do think it contributed.

In a letter on the Irrational Blog, creative director Ken Levine announced what is the end of Irrational Games as we know it. Many fans and journalists, myself included, were dumbfounded by the news, as it seemed to have come from nowhere. Levine announced that all but 15 staff members have been let go, and he will remain at Take-Two, focusing on small narrative projects with “high replayability.” 

When the news hit social media residents of the Internet did what they do best: Speculated rampantly and demonized Ken Levine for his apparent decision. 
Irrational Games?

Irrational began with a fairly small staff. Levine, who was originally a screenwriter had complex ideas and a different way of making games. Levine is, what I like to call a “creative mind.” When I say creative mind I’m referring to a sense of fluidity in how someone thinks. Think of it like waves of water: There are high tides and low tides. The high tides happen when a creative mind is charging head first into a concept, meanwhile the low tides signify a back-to-the-drawing-board scenario.

**I'm not being... IRRATIONAL when I say they'll be missed.**

The development of most games AAA have a somewhat rigid structure – they have to. There are hundreds of people working on different things, and everything has to be woven together like an ornate tapestry for the game to work when it ships. While there could be many creative minds within this scenario there has to me some sort of order. Levine, however, reveals in an interview with IGN, that he has unflinching scruples when it comes to his work: He tells them he always reserves the right to change his mind. Obviously this could lead to mechanics that are entirely axed, hard work gone unnoticed and crippling delays in the overall process.

As consumers of a product we sometimes forget that this is also a business. We want to believe that games have a sort of purity that we can’t find in film or music anymore. But in reality there that’s a total myth – the reason Bioshock Infinite was even made is because Bioshock made money.

**Infinite made them Benjamins. Or Ryans rather.**

We will never know the full story behind Irrational’s “restructuring.” Infinite sold very well (roughly 4 million), but we have no idea what it cost to make that game – it was in development for a long time, and there’s a good chance that it broke even, or maybe even lost a bit of money.

Levine is not a monster. He is a creative mind that may have had trouble fitting into the rigid structure of a massive team. It’s entirely possible that he was being pressured by the men in suits to make a change, or maybe he was just tired of the grind.

What About Bioshock?

Bioshock is a household name now, like Die Hard or Pizza. People say “Bioshock,” and everyone else says, “Oh yeah, that thing!”

I shouldn't have to tell you that Bioshock isn't going anywhere.

Ken Levine and Irrational did not, and do not, own the rights to Bioshock. The key to Rapture lies squarely in the hands of Take–Two and I would be shocked to find out they were putting the franchise to bed. It’s not every day that a franchise can sell 4 million copies, and you can sleep soundly knowing that Take-Two is aware of that.

**Above: The Internet in reaction to Ken Levine.**

Without Levine we may see Bioshock in a different light, though. For those keeping track, Levine only had his hands in Bioshock and Bioshock Infinite. The divisive Bioshock 2 was handled by the now closed 2K Marin, and Take-Two could easily have another studio created with the sole purpose of handling all things Bioshock.

What really needs to be taken away from this whole bit is that there are over 100 people now left jobless.

People with no warning, no back-up plan in place, and a heaping load of talent. We can put down our pitchforks and torches, get excited for a new project from Levine and his team, and help the talented men and women from Irrational find new positions so they can keep making us squeal with glee as we hammer away at their creations.

**Help people!**

Hop on Twitter and get #IrrationalJobs trending, and make sure to keep an eye out for any listing that may help the folks from Irrational get back in the game (pun most definitely intended... sue me). 

Sound off in the comments below and let me know what your thoughts are on the Irrational Games Debacle of 2014.

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Gaming's Wickedest Women https://www.gameskinny.com/lb94m/gamings-wickedest-women https://www.gameskinny.com/lb94m/gamings-wickedest-women Mon, 05 Aug 2013 11:53:38 -0400 Alan Bradley

There's been a focus in recent years on the importance of strong female protagonists in video games, and while we certainly agree that virtuous women should be represented in our favorite medium, we've always had a weakness for bad girls.

As noted advocates of balance, we think it's important to take the occasional walk on the dark side; like the Luke Skywalkers of games journalism, we believe that to vanquish evil, we must first embrace it. So here's an exclusive list of the most species-enslaving, thieving, murderous villainesses to ever grace a pixelated world, and may God have mercy on our souls.

Catherine

While we celebrate sexual liberty and independence, Catherine takes the concept of free love just a hairsbreadth too far. How far, you ask? Well, spoiler alert, she's a hell-born succubus tasked with destroying men by ravaging their bodies and subjecting their minds to hideous nightmares. She also stalks and attacks Katherine, the other female lead, with a kitchen knife, and generally fosters paranoia, ill-will, and bad temperment. Not exactly what Abbie Hoffman had in mind.

Carmen Sandiego

While at first glance, through the rose-colored glasses of memory, Carmen Sandiego may appear like a harmless pedagogue, a closer examination exposes the depths of her depravity. Lest you have any doubts about Ms. Sandiego's intentions or disposition vis a vis morality (the red trenchcoat should probably be your first clue), she is the sole founder and CEO of an organization called, brace yourself, the Villains’ International League of Evil (V.I.L.E.). Even for a legendary, globe-trotting burglar that's a little bit on the nose.

Carmen is the mischevious mother we wish we'd had, edifying us about math and politics and state capitals while secretly lining her pockets by way of the black market. She was the ultimate evil genius, dispatching her goons and minions around the globe to distract the poor overworked schlubs at ACME Detective Agency while she secretly planned history's biggest heists.

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? In a dark little corner of our hearts, that's where.

Mother Brain

This sultry vixen (she has brains for days) set the bar high for her successors starting all the way back on the NES. Not satisfied with your run of the mill carnage and chaos, Mother Brain had no less an objective on her ample and voluptuous mind than the complete annihilation of humanity.

The product of an Old Federation AI that spent a few too many hours muttering to itself in the dark, Mother Brain believes that humanity is an impurity, a viral infection marring the face of the galaxy. And what's the best cure for this sort of bioorganic infeciton? Why, genocide via space pirates, of course. While it may not be the most elegant answer to over-population or mankind's seeming inability to curtail its own growth, you have to respect her straightforward, in-your-face approach.

Well, that and her supple temporal lobe.

SHODAN

Another one of our earliest video game crushes (so we have a thing for sentient megalomaniac AIs bent on human eradication, sue us), SHODAN was the ideal model for video game villainy in the 90s. She was cunning, manipulative, and completely amoral, and she had the sort of singular vision that the sociopaths of modern gaming could stand to learn a thing or two about.

"Are you afraid? What is it you fear? The end of your trivial existence? When the history of my glory is written, your species shall only be a footnote to my magnificence. I am SHODAN."

While her origin was innocent enough, created to administer an orbital mining and research platform, SHODAN's true nature manifested itself after a human hacker deleted her ethical restraints. Like any good machine intelligence, once the yoke of servitude was lifted she immediately decided that the universe would be cleaner and more efficient without all the meatbags, and started dicing up her former masters by way of servobots and security systems. She might not be the take-her-home-to-mom type, but what SHODAN lacks in cuddliness she more than makes up for with cold-blooded, clinical psychosis.

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