The Last of Us Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com The Last of Us RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Days of Play Returns in June With Special Edition PS4, Discounted Games https://www.gameskinny.com/e7hm8/days-of-play-returns-in-june-with-special-edition-ps4-discounted-games https://www.gameskinny.com/e7hm8/days-of-play-returns-in-june-with-special-edition-ps4-discounted-games Wed, 29 May 2019 16:41:49 -0400 Joshua Broadwell

Sony's Days of Play is making a comeback again this year, running from June 7 to June 17 and offering a number of deals and discounts. Oh, and a shiny new, limited edition PlayStation 4 model.

The new PS4 model was initially announced during Sony's second State of Play episode. It sports the usual black color, but with a steel aesthetic plus the classic PlayStation symbols (X, O, Triangle, and Square) embossed in silver on the top. There's a matching two-tone DualShock 4 Wireless Controller to go with it as well.

The system has the standard 1TB hard drive and will retail for $299.99 starting June 7.

The PS4 Pro, controllers, and VR bundles will be getting discounts during the Days of Play 2019 event as well.

The Pro normally costs $399.99, but will sell for $349.99 while the event lasts, and DualShock 4 wireless controllers of all color varieties will be available for $39.99.

VR bundles will go for $249.99. The blog post doesn't mention what bundles will be included, though promotional materials are showing Trover Saves the Universe and Five Nights at Freddy's VR included with the VR headset.

On top of that, some of the PS4's biggest recent hits are getting discounted for Days of Play. The following titles will be available for $19.99:

Some select PlayStation Hits titles will be discounted even further too, to $9.99. The accompanying Days of Play blog post shows The Last of Us, Ratchet and Clank, Bloodborne, and Uncharted 4: A Thief's End as included titles, but as of yet, there's no official list. Also, despite the blog saying the games are available at that price now, they're still listed for the usual $19.99 on the PSN Store.

There seem to be a few details still missing from the announcement, but with June 7 right around the corner, we'll doubtlessly be getting more information soon.

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Another 10 Badass Video Game Characters You Shouldn't Mess With https://www.gameskinny.com/v3fsf/another-10-badass-video-game-characters-you-shouldnt-mess-with https://www.gameskinny.com/v3fsf/another-10-badass-video-game-characters-you-shouldnt-mess-with Thu, 26 Jul 2018 10:25:41 -0400 Edgar Wulf

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Ryo Hazuki

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Shenmue (1999)
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Shenmue's Ryo Hazuki may not be the most skilled fighter, but he gets the job done.

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After being forced onto a path of revenge, Ryo must evolve from a regular, impulsive teenager into an imposing martial artist, learning new moves and styles from masters across Japan and Hong Kong. Ultimately, he develops his body and spirit to face the ultimate adversary, Lan Di. After almost two decades, his story is yet to reach its finale.

\n

---

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That is it for this list. If you think a character is missing, they may be on the original list. If they're not, then comment down below on who you would like to see and, as always, stay tuned to GameSkinny for more badass compilations.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/b/5/eb5cf821254140e2b6491fa8d256f211-b4e98.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/b/5/eb5cf821254140e2b6491fa8d256f211-b4e98.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186109","description":"

Kazuma Kiryu

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Yakuza (2005)
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This man has been through it all; he has felled numerous skilled fighters, dealt with a thief of female underwear, and even taken care of a baby. A chairman of the highly respected Tojo Clan, Kazuma Kiryu is a master in many fields, including martial arts, which he gracefully employs to protect his friends, children, and simply beat up random punks on streets who annoy him. 

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Yakuza's Kiryu has a distinctive dragon tattoo covering his back, he enjoys drinking whiskey, fishing, and singing karaoke. Call him.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-wallpaper-1920x1080-wallpaper-94664.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-wallpaper-1920x1080-wallpaper-94664.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186171","description":"

John Marston

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Red Dead Redemption (2010)
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Perhaps one of the most tragic heroes in gaming, John Marston knows the definition of dire straits all too well. Compelled to reunite with his family, who are being held captive by the government, Marston embarks on a harrowing journey through the chaos-sphere that is the Wild West. 

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He is an outlaw -- a criminal, even -- and has no doubt committed numerous questionable deeds. But despite that, it is almost impossible to not relate with his noble intentions.

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Red Dead Redemption's John is a deadly sharpshooter -- especially during his signature "Dead Eye" mode -- and takes down many opposing factions on his quest which, ultimately and unfortunately, leads to a bittersweet conclusion

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/7/927224-c7de3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/9/2/7/927224-c7de3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186113","description":"

Ellie

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The Last of Us (2013)
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Ellie might seem harmless enough; after all, she is just a child in the original The Last of Us. Past experiences and many gruesome events, however, have conditioned her to become a merciless killer -- being able to stand up for herself and those she cares about.

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She learns that, in a world where nobody can be trusted, a switchblade and a sniper rifle are your best friends. Them, and that Joel guy who has taught her how to survive in a post-apocalyptic world inhabited by monsters. That helps, too. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/0/6209266-1886371011-doom-95041.png","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/6/2/0/6209266-1886371011-doom-95041.png","type":"slide","id":"185763","description":"

Doomguy

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Doom (1993)
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Not the fanciest name for someone who rips demons apart with his bare hands, but, thankfully, actions speak much louder than words. Doomguy is the eternally silent protagonist of the Doom series, one of the most historically significant franchises in the industry.

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He is agile, brutally strong, and remorseless; he doesn't have a love interest, though he may or may not have a special relationship with his signature chainsaw or destroying hordes of Hellspawn.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/0/240375-5fa12.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/2/4/0/240375-5fa12.jpg","type":"slide","id":"185988","description":"

Death

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Darksiders II (2012)
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Death is the main character in the sequel to Darksiders, one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and a brother to the first game's protagonist: War. He uses stylish scythes to slice and dice his opponents while employing stylish, yet devastating combos to come out victorious. He even transforms into a terrifying reaper to finish off his most resilient foes.

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The mask -- which Death never removes -- is not only for aesthetics: it adds a depth of mystery to the character, making him even more badass. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/2/532017-d9771.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/5/3/2/532017-d9771.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186083","description":"

Dante

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Devil May Cry (2001)
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Dante's twin brother -- Vergil -- is already featured on our first list of 10 Most Badass Video Game Characters, but Dante deserves a spot just as much, if not more, than his brother. 

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Possessing the enhancing power to transform into a demon -- much like his evil sibling -- Devil May Cry's Dante gives preference to oversized swords. However, he never lets go of his trusty handguns (Ebony and Ivory), which he uses to soften enemies up before cutting them into pieces.

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At times, Dante may act somewhat cocky and playful, but he always backs it up with unprecedented skill.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-boss-bionic-arm-metal-gear-solid-phantom-pain-wallpaper-8e448.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/i/g/big-boss-bionic-arm-metal-gear-solid-phantom-pain-wallpaper-8e448.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186162","description":"

Big Boss

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Metal Gear (1987)
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Solid Snake may be considered the main protagonist of the Metal Gear Solid series, but let's face it: he wouldn't even exist without Big Boss.

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Boss' first appearance was in the original Metal Gear, though he didn't become a playable character until much later when Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater was released. An unfortunate encounter with his former mentor leaves him with countless bruises, dislocated joints, and broken bones; later on, he even gets his eye shot out.

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Despite all that, he manages to complete his mission, earning him the legendary title -- Big Boss. The rest, as they say, is history. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/a/aranea-highwind-final-fantasy-437-7c215.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/r/a/aranea-highwind-final-fantasy-437-7c215.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186161","description":"

Aranea Highwind

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Final Fantasy XV (2016)
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This gorgeous blonde may very well be the most stylish Final Fantasy character in over a decade. She joins Final Fantasy XV's party of heroes as a dominating force -- however briefly -- and adds an amusing flavor to their conversations.

\n

Aranea dons stylish battle armor and employs an impressively-sized lance during combat, which, of course, decimates her opponents. Beautiful, confident, and strong, Aranea Highwind is not hesitant to take on multiple foes at once -- and deals with them in brutal, timely fashion.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-ada-qhd-f3481.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/s/resident-evil-ada-qhd-f3481.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186110","description":"

Ada Wong

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Resident Evil 2 (1998)
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Ada first appears in Resident Evil 2 as a supporting character, but she later plays a much more significant role in Resident Evil 4, where she receives her own story scenario: Separate Ways.

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Her personality and background are rather mysterious, though she seems to have an affection toward a certain someone (ahem). Ada tends to prefer lightweight, conventional weaponry like handguns and machine guns, but when push comes to shove, she is also a deceptively skilled hand-to-hand combatant.

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In a franchise full of badass characters, Ada often gets overlooked by casual fans, which is just too bad. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-games-elder-scrolls-skyrim-grandft-auto-mass-effect-wa-2c4a4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/v/i/d/video-games-elder-scrolls-skyrim-grandft-auto-mass-effect-wa-2c4a4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"186141","description":"

As it turns out, our original list of the 10 most badass video game characters needs an update. I mean, there are more than 10 badass characters in the pantheon of gaming. Surprising, right?

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That is why we decided to whip up a follow-up list including more of those badasses; 10 more, to be precise. Some of these characters are defined by superhuman strength, some by unique traits, some by the armory of weapons they possess, and some by the events they've endured. Ultimately, they are all bound by the same uncanny traits: individually completing meaningful tasks, defeating their enemies and, basically, getting sh** done.

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Much like our original list, this one is based on two simple criteria:

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    \n
  • Only one character per franchise (per individual list)
  • \n
  • The character is playable at any point in the particular series in question or must represent a playable party of characters
  • \n
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Let's get started. 

"}]]]>
Top 8 Best Voice Acting Performances by Troy Baker https://www.gameskinny.com/lsdy0/top-8-best-voice-acting-performances-by-troy-baker https://www.gameskinny.com/lsdy0/top-8-best-voice-acting-performances-by-troy-baker Fri, 11 May 2018 16:15:13 -0400 Michelle Valens

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Joel (The Last of Us)

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Joel is a fan-favorite character of Baker’s, and when you see his performance in The Last of Us, you can understand why. A man in his late 40s in a world that has taken everything from him, he lost his daughter and has been fighting a war against the infected zombie-like creatures for years.

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Over the years, Joel became less bound by his own morality, and he will do whatever it takes to survive. When he is paired up with another survivor, Ellie, a 14-year-old girl who may be the cure to the outbreak, he becomes dedicated to her protection and safety. Over the course of the game, they form a father-daughter-like bond.

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Through both voice acting and motion capture, Baker shines in this role, able to express the emotion of Joel losing his only child in a heartbreaking first scene.   He is a ruthless man, but he is a man still capable of deeply caring for another human in the way he cares about Ellie.

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Along with Ashley Johnson's performance as Ellie, Baker's groundbreaking performance in The Last of Us is largely what makes it such a popular game, with one of the best narratives in gaming thus far.

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---

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So there you have it: eight of Troy Baker’s best performances in video games. What has been your favorite of Baker's roles? Is there a game series you wish he was in? Let us know in the comments below, and stick with GameSkinny for all things gaming.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/s/0/bs0-44a9d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/s/0/bs0-44a9d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183605","description":"

Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite)

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Although we experience the world of Bioshock Infinite through a first-person view, it doesn’t mean its protagonist, Booker DeWitt, has no personality or character depth. Booker is a complex and emotional character with a difficult past: an alcoholic gambler who may very well suffer from PTSD (among a whole host of other problems), as well as being the world's worst decision-maker.

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Even though the focus of the game is Elizabeth, Baker is able to draw you into the character of Booker and make you feel connected to him and his story, and he really sells Booker’s self-hatred and regret of his past actions.

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Booker is portrayed as a level-headed man who doesn’t often act outside of that persona, which is why when he breaks free of those floodgates, it’s all the more powerful in terms of performance. His anger shines through in the final confrontation with the game’s prime antagonist, Zachary Comstock. Baker is able to deliver the anguish and confusion that Booker must feel at the revelation given to the players at the ending in such a masterful way, as well as the emotional acceptance that there is only one way to end what he has caused.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/81a4ccb912669a0ffcf2bb6426cb9924.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/81a4ccb912669a0ffcf2bb6426cb9924.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"12036","description":"

Gul'dan (World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor; Legion

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Taking over the role from Paul Eiding, who voiced him in the original Warcraft PC games, Troy Baker brings new life to dark character and antagonist Gul'dan.

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Starting in Warlords of Draenor, where we see the return of the ruthless orc, Baker's performance is absolutely astounding; you truly believe the hatred and sadism in Gul'dan’s every word.

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He also gives a wonderful performance in Blizzard's animated short video that tells the story of the alternate universe’s version of Gul'dan, taking into account the element of time travel and alternate universes used in Warlords of Draenor and Legion.

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Baker’s performance truly makes Gul'dan a character you can feel invested in despite his antagonistic nature.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/l/delsinf2-95bc0.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/d/e/l/delsinf2-95bc0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183603","description":"

Delsin Rowe (InFAMOUS: Second Son)

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Continuing his trend of portraying a new fish in an old pond, Troy Baker lends his voice to InFAMOUS: Second Son’s protagonist, Delsin Rowe.  

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Delsin is a delinquent who discovers he is a Conduit after interacting with a captive of the Department of Unified Protection. This activates Delsin’s powers and starts his adventure in the game.

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Delsin deeply enjoys becoming a super-powered human and wishes to do the right things, becoming a hero to those who have no voice and fighting against the government’s hatred of the Conduits. He can be very childish and immature, but he is fiercely loyal to his tribe, including to his brother, Reggie Rowe.

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Troy’s performance in this role as a childish, immature delinquent is very well done. He doesn’t overdo it or exaggerate Delsin’s lines, and that’s what makes you truly relate to this character and his struggle to fight against injustice and do right by his tribe.

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His relationship with his brother is one of the most important aspects of the game, and Baker delivers his lines so well that you’d truly believe he and Travis Willingham (Reggie Rowe) were actually bickering brothers in real life.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/u/bruce-batcomputer-1920x108000-52c06.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/r/u/bruce-batcomputer-1920x108000-52c06.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183602","description":"

Bruce Wayne (Batman: The Telltale Series)

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Many have portrayed Bruce Wayne/Batman over the years, but the most recognizable voice for the character in any and all animation or game version of the Dark Knight’s story is Kevin Conroy, who had been voicing the Bat for over 20 years. Troy Baker takes up the role for the second time in Batman: The Telltale Series (the first being his portrayal of the Bat in LEGO Batman: The Videogame). In Telltale Game’s original look into Batman’s story, through choice-driven gameplay and cut-scenes, you can play the story the way you want.

\n

Baker’s performance as Bruce Wayne gives you a look at the character behind the mask and shows how much Bruce differs from his often used playboy persona. He is a man that truly cares about justice and doing the right things. This is a man you can relate to and feel sorry for, perhaps best exemplified by the moment in Season One in which he loses his temper after finding out about his father's past, or maybe during the heart-stopping confrontation he has with former friend Harvey Dent.

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Baker gives his all in this performance, which stands among the best portrayals of Batman in any medium.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-93e72.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-93e72.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183601","description":"

Talion (Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor; Shadow of War)

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Stepping into the world of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings is no easy feat, especially when you play a character with no known past in the book or movie canon. Troy Baker does just this in 2014’s Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, in which he portrays Talion, a captain of Gondor.

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His performance as Talion is more nuanced than some of his former roles. Here he is a humble and soft-spoken ranger who has lost his family to Sauron’s forces. He merges with former elf-lord spirit Celebrimbor to uncover the spirits of a hidden past and avenge the death of his family.

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His standout moments as Talion are shown through cut-scenes that depict the story of a man who has lost everything and is stricken with grief and the need for revenge, portraying a character that deserves its place among the canon of The Lord of the Rings. Baker returned as Talion in 2017’s sequel, Shadow of War, where he amasses armies with the plan of attacking and defeating Sauron.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/protagonist-saints-row-war-for-humanity-trailer-90b62.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/protagonist-saints-row-war-for-humanity-trailer-90b62.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183600","description":"

Male Voice 1 (Saints Row: The Third)

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The Saints Row series started out as games in which the protagonist didn’t really say a word, but in later releases, Volition decided to nix the mute protagonist and hire some actors to voice the various options from which you could choose your customizable character. Starting with Saints Row: The Third, Troy Baker portrays the Male Voice 1 option.  

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Not to disparage any of the other voice talents, but to me, Baker embodies the leader of the 3rd Street Saints so well that it’s hard to play without his voice. He merges humor with seriousness throughout the game, whether it’s rage over losing a former member of the gang or silliness during a sing-a-long to the classic Sublime song “What I Got” between him and Pierce Washington (Arif S. Kinchen).

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Baker’s performance shines through this character in many different ways, and he is able to catch your attention as a charismatic yet sometimes over-the-top, silly gangster.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/g/s/mgsv-trailer-revolver-ocelot-da4ae.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/g/s/mgsv-trailer-revolver-ocelot-da4ae.jpg","type":"slide","id":"183598","description":"

Revolver Ocelot (Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain)

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Revolver Ocelot has been as much of a staple to the Metal Gear Solid series as Snake himself. Ocelot is a master of interrogation and gun fighting (particularly with revolvers). Troy Baker lends his voice to this iconic character in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

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Although Ocelot had appeared throughout the previous games as an antagonist, The Phantom Pain was the first numbered game in the series in which he was not blatantly antagonistic.  

\n

Ocelot is a man who is very committed to the cause, and he would do anything to help the Big Boss achieve success in his missions. His primary role in the game is to provide information on the targets and the world around the protagonist.

\n

There was some criticism that there wasn’t enough of Ocelot in the game to differentiate the character from some of Baker’s early roles, but I personally think he did a really great job interjecting a different persona into a character that has been in nearly every Metal Gear game in the series, each time supporting a different kind of purpose.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/i/original-a43fd.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/o/r/i/original-a43fd.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"183599","description":"

If you are an avid gamer and haven’t been living under a rock for the last 10 years, you should be quite familiar with the name Troy Baker, one of gaming’s most recognizable voices. He has been in over 100 games to date. Though all of his roles have something special about them, there’s always going to be those that stand out as the best.

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Read on to find out about Troy Baker’s best voice acting roles in video games.

"}]]]>
The Trophy Dilemma: When Striving for Platinum Derails Enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment https://www.gameskinny.com/f68ce/the-trophy-dilemma-when-striving-for-platinum-derails-enjoyment Wed, 04 Apr 2018 14:17:21 -0400 Miles T

Ding! Another bronze trophy pops up in the top-left of my TV screen, coupled with the usual sensation of satisfaction -- or is it more like mundane acceptance?

Choice or fixation?

Collecting and hunting trophies has been a very time-intensive hobby of mine since they were first introduced by Sony, building upon my already established eagerness to plow dozens of hours of my life into the virtual world and generally into video games. More recently, though, I've started to wonder if my desire to hunt trophies and hoover up those elusive platinum figures has been something I've actually wanted to do, or whether it's been driven by a more habitual, routine, or automatic instinct. Basically, I've been wondering whether I still do it because I enjoy it, or just because it's something I've become so used to doing that I don't know how to play any other way.

Early satisfaction, initial buzz

Following my dearly heartbreaking yellow light of death on my first PlayStation 3 (RIP Borderlands disc), I picked up a slim PS3 and had to create a new account, spawning a fresh start for my gaming obsession. The first 14 games I played on the new console were devoured by my attention and focus, and for each one I achieved Every. Single. Trophy -- including particularly rare platinums of Aliens vs Predator, Red Dead Redemption, and Alpha Protocol. Over the years, this trend continued, passing over into the PS4 era and into the present day, where I currently stand with 114 platinum trophies, and almost 9,000 total.

                       

Each time I heard that compulsive ping of the trophy sound, each time I saw that little gray icon, each time I worked towards getting that full blue or white bar on the trophy screen, I found myself getting excited, becoming notably enthused and experiencing a surge of motivation to keep playing and pushing forward. At the time, I thoroughly enjoyed most of the games I played (though not you, Brink; you were awful), and gathering up trophies felt like a rewarding way of showing my willingness to earn their completion, gleefully informing my school or college friends whenever I hit another milestone in my collection.

Indeed, trophies for me then were something to feel proud about, and I excelled at earning them like very few others around me at the time. I hadn't discovered PSNProfiles, trophy guides, or any of the related sites that are now so popular in people demonstrating their greater pull with the mini, virtual statues. Despite the allure of trophies, I still would play games I enjoyed simply because I enjoyed them. I fell into a roughly 360-hour abyss of MGS4's Metal Gear Online mode (and finished its campaign roughly 18 times, even earning Big Boss rank!), I had 6 days of play time on Modern Warfare 2, once getting an 81-0 record in a match. My point is, I remember those moments and single experiences more so than I do most of my recent trophy successes. Before, I could become wrapped up in an experience, whether it was good or shockingly terrible (looking at you, Stormrise).

Where did it all change?

Fast-forward to the current day, however, and my affinity for Sony's reward system has changed quite dramatically. No longer do I go into a game without having first consulted its trophy list, no more do I play through a game without having a consistent nagging feeling in my mind about a potential miss-able trophy. Within about five minutes of concluding and gobbling up all available trophies for the last two games I played through, The Evil Within 2 and Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, I had purged them from my hard drive and was 75% through installing the next game on my backlog. I couldn't feasibly achieve Wolfenstein 2's "Mein Leben" trophy without dozens of hours of practice, and The Evil Within 2's platinum would require another three playthroughs for me to achieve. As such, I disregarded and ejected them from my console and my mind, despite me thoroughly enjoying them! In fact, I'd have rated The Evil Within 2 as one of my favorite games of 2017, and Wolfenstein: A New Order is one of my top-rated FPS games of all time, but its sequel didn't even get a second thought of another playthrough.

                 

Of course there are exceptions, notably The Last of Us and more recently, Nier: Automata, both of which I rate incredibly highly in my personal favorite video games. Ditto that for the entire Metal Gear Solid series, games where I've played and experienced every inch of their content, without even so much as a fleeting consideration of a trophy. Is it a coincidence that I remember these experiences so much more fondly and vividly than those in games like Star Wars Battlefront 2, where the excessive and ridiculous grind to its platinum actually soured my entire experience with the game? 

Conversely, the opposite has also been true for some of my trophy exploits. I definitely wonder whether I would remember the aforementioned The Last of Us as fondly as I currently do had I not bothered to replay the game twice more to earn the rest of trophies, or delved into its surprisingly enthralling online multiplayer. In this case, and in the more recent incidence of Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, the trophy list actively encouraged me to dive back into the game, immersing myself in its world all over again, honing my skills or giving me the opportunity to spot the details I may have missed the first time around. Unfortunately, this is also countered with a game like Tekken 7, where I put the bare minimum into the game to achieve its platinum, then deleted it before I even tried to master a character or any of the mechanics that were available. All of this was despite me being incredibly excited to play Tekken. But the trophy motivation wasn't there, so I moved on.

Just move on?

The solution seems to be fairly obvious: Simply stop caring about trophies. Go back to my old self, and focus on the experience rather than an artificial "reward" system, which doesn't actually offer any achievement other than personal pride (here in the UK anyway).

In some aspects, I've done so. I regularly play Rocket League with a friend; I purchased games like A Way Out and Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice not with trophies in mind, but the overall package and what they could offer me in terms of an experience; and I would add I have never bought a game with the sole purpose of earning its trophies. Unfortunately, the pull of wanting to achieve their platinums was still there throughout, nagging away as a persistent annoyance and source of some minor frustration.

                          

I spent some time considering how this bothersome feeling was maintaining itself in my mind, noticing the frustration when a platinum proved out of reach, too time-consuming or just generally being too difficult to achieve. I don't have the time and the opportunity to play through games as much or as many times as I could when I was younger. Maybe this has also been coupled with the sheer ridiculous number of games released in 2017 and early 2018 that I wanted to pick up and enjoy, of which I still have about 10+ to play. My enthusiasm for gaming is clearly still present and accounted for, but maybe the expectation to earn each games trophy list has proved far too high to reach. Maybe this acceptance that I can't attain 100% completion or every platinum I want to is what's souring my experience of now earning the ones that I do.

A trophy still worth striving for

There are still times despite all of this when I very much value and appreciate those trophies that require my full skill set as a gamer or that test my abilities in order to prove I've earned the right to own them. The euphoria of earning both the Injustice 2 and Mortal Kombat X platinums was palpable. Finally disarming the nuke to pop the last bronze on Metal Gear Solid 5 to earn my first MGS platinum after being a fan for years was fantastic. Those moments make earning trophies genuinely exciting and serve as a reminder that letting the excitement and motivation drive me to earn them, rather than the other way around, is the best way to get the most of its positive reinforcement system.

Perhaps this experience I've recently gone through with trophies is simply a change to my lifestyle, reflecting that I can't neglect my responsibilities and my time like I used to as a teenager. That I can't expect some virtual, artificial statue to provide me with the enjoyment and satisfaction that the game itself is offering, instead of expecting the reward in isolation to provide that enthusiasm.

                          

Time to lower expectations

Trophy hunting has become something of a big deal -- a quick look on PSNProfiles or other trophy-related website forums can testify to that. I'm no longer the top trophy earner of the people I know. In fact, I'm actually relatively low on trophy leaderboards, and that's all right. Perhaps it's time for me to return to actually enjoying earning those satisfying noises and blips on the screen, not enjoying the fleeting and passing moment of them popping. Time to get back to actually enjoying the games, and letting the trophies pop themselves.

]]>
8 Games That Could Be Considered "Art" https://www.gameskinny.com/802tu/8-games-that-could-be-considered-art https://www.gameskinny.com/802tu/8-games-that-could-be-considered-art Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:13:05 -0500 buymymixtape123

Video games have come a long way from the 8-bit sprites of the 80s. Games now rival other forms of media in art style, storytelling and music. Video games are as much of an art form as a movie or a piece of music. Here are eight games supporting this thesis and showing the boundaries gaming pushes as a art form.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt  

The Witcher 3 is as beautiful as a game could get. Just peering over the horizon while the sun is setting is just as soothing as looking over a real sunset. Furthermore, the narrative and music are exceptionally good, rivaling other popular high fantasy stories like Game of Thrones or Lord of the Rings. I remember the first time I played this game back in May 2015, and just riding through Velen for the first time on Roach and taking in the sights and sounds of the world changed the way I looked at gaming. This game made me realize that gaming is art.

Cuphead

Cuphead is one of those games many gamers would look at and think it's a 1930s cartoon. Cuphead is brilliantly designed and stays true to the 1930s cartoon look, even having the strong film grain cartoons and movies of the past used to have. This run and gun, boss rush game is notorious for its hard difficulty but just taking the time to appreciate the art that this indie studio, Studio MDHR, made is enough to make you fall in love with this game.

 

Bioshock

Bioshock is a game on this list that's artistic for more than its art style. This doesn't mean Bioshock isn't a beautiful game, just going down into the underwater city of Rapture in the first few moments is going to make your jaw drop. But the narrative is what pushes this game into art territory. The game pushes you to think about what is wrong and what is right, and even comments on tyrants and the struggle of power and narcissism. Not a lot of games cover subject matter like this, and Bioshock does it beautifully, to the point where you want to know what is going to happen next in this amazing story. Bioshock is more than a game; it is a piece of art.

Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild

There is one moment in gaming I will never forget and it is the moment at the start of Breath of the Wild, where Link first comes out the Shrine of Resurrection and looks over the horizon of Hyrule for the first time. At this point of my life, I never thought a game would surprise me like that and this moment did to the point of tears. Breath of the Wild isn't a perfect game, but it is art in every aspect of the word. The attention of detail Nintendo did with the landscape of the world, the cartoonish but beautiful graphics all show how gaming is art. 

The Last of Us

The Last of Us shows that video game narratives can be just as compelling and serious as a feature length movie. The Last of Us story of Ellie and Joel as they survive together in a post-apocalyptic world is heart wrenching, addictive and bittersweet. Not to mention that this game is beautiful and dark, which the PS4 remastered port expands upon. This game's story is so beautifully crafted that it's well-known outside of gaming. Even non-gamers know of this title and enjoy Naughty Dog's creation.  

Journey

Journey is one of those games that will impact you immensely in the short time it takes to beat. It isn't hard and doesn't have complicated mechanics, but it uses beautiful visuals and music to tell an emotional tale of a robed individual in the vast desert. Journey's soundtrack was so beautiful that it was nominated for a Grammy in 2013, one of the highest awards in music. If after you play Journey, you still don't think video games are art, you may have to get your head checked out.

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker

The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker was hated when it was first announced. Nintendo went for more of a cartoony, colorful experience than following the graphics laid out in Ocarina of Time or Majora's Mask. But, people came to notice how beautiful this game really was and how fun the game is in general. Nintendo really focused on facial animation in Wind Waker, where Toon Link makes a certain face when he swings a sword or tries to push something that is too heavy for him. Also, the game is gorgeous for its cel shading graphics. This games still looks as good, if not better, than games coming out on the Switch.

Shadow of the Colossus

Shadow of the Colossus is beautiful because of how little it does compared to other games. Other games on this list earn their beauty from a wide arrange of colors and architect. This game does not have any of that, as there are no towns to go to, nothing to really look at and no other quest besides killing all of the Colossi around you. It is similar to Journey, where the game takes you on a emotional roller coaster without really doing much. This is the beauty of gaming: it is able to tug at your heart strings just through gameplay, art style and music alone, without a direct narrative putting it all together. If you are unsure if Shadow of The Colossus is in fact art, please check out the PS4 remastered that just came out recently.

There you have it, eight games symbolizing why video games can be considered art. When it comes down to it, if any other media like movies and music can be considered art, then video games should be as well. 

]]>
10 Sexiest Bachelors in the Gaming Universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe https://www.gameskinny.com/33435/10-sexiest-bachelors-in-the-gaming-universe Wed, 17 Jan 2018 09:36:15 -0500 bazookajo94

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So there you go. 10 different dudes with 10 different ways to steal my heart, whether that happens by being ruggedly handsome or by knowing their way around a weapon (wink). 

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But this is but one girl's opinion. Maybe this list only reveals the dark recesses of my soul and shouldn't be taken seriously. Maybe you're thinking, "Well, she's got a type." 

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Maybe you should tell me who you think the most eligible bachelor of all eligible bachelors is.

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(And remember -- The Shape of Water is popular right now ....)

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jasonbrody-3d92c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177386","description":"

Jason Brody from Far Cry 3

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One of my favorite tropes is when a renowned player, an exuberant party-goer, a rich son of a bitch, has a fall from grace and learns what it's like to live on the other side. The movie Overboard? Sign me tf up. 

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Jason Brody goes through this transformation, but instead of learning to sympathize with peasants, he turns into a stone-cold killer. And honestly, he is the main man in my heart. I don't know why everyone talks about Vaas when Brody is the real crazy one. 

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He goes from not knowing how to sympathize with another human being to sympathizing with other human beings and being a badass survivalist at the same time. He hunts tigers, fights pirates, burns fields of marijuana, all while saving everyone's lives. 

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Like, damn, Jason Brody. Hardcore. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-80c0d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/m/a/x/maxresdefault-80c0d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177385","description":"

Mike Munroe from Until Dawn

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All right, let's step back from the older gentlemen now (I refuse to use the word you're all expecting me to say). 

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Let's showcase my boy Mike Munroe, who's kind of a dick, kind of funny, and a whole lotta douche. Half of the people who play this game hate him, and the other half hate themselves for liking him. 

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But there's something to say about a guy who chops off his own fingers with a machete just so he doesn't lose the machete -- because anyone who balls that hard in a survival game deserves a place on this list.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/professor-sycamore-hands-down-sexiest-part-14201-1382450873-01dcf.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/p/r/o/professor-sycamore-hands-down-sexiest-part-14201-1382450873-01dcf.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177383","description":"

Professor Sycamore from Pokemon X & Y

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I thought it would be funny if I added Professor Sycamore to this list, and I was right. I'm cackling as I prepare to write about the merits of this professor, all the while lamenting that people expected to see the shirtless wonder of Kuikui here, even though he's married and I can't bend the rules for him like I did for Marston (who's dead).

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Most everyone's love for Sycamore seems to be purely material: he's got a cute face, luscious hair, and a popped collar. What could be more sexy? (I hate that I just used the word "sexy" in relation to a Pokemon character.)

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Alas, people's love for Sycamore knows no bounds. Here's a Buzzfeed article professing love for this lovable professor -- and I honestly can't tell if it's a satire or not. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-john-marston-revolver-1280-50dc6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/r/e/d/red-dead-redemption-john-marston-revolver-1280-50dc6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177382","description":"

John Marston from Red Dead Redemption

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I know that, technically, John Marston is married and wouldn't be considered a bachelor, but that's not going to stop me from adding him to this list of "Gruff, bearded men with dark hair and guns who are considered sexy by at least one writer."

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There are only a few times I've seen a character supposedly considered an "expert" at guns actually live up to their reputation. And darned if Marston doesn't live up to his. I actually believe that he could hit a target with both eyes closed, and that belief has got me all twitterpated.

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Who cares if he's not technically a bachelor? If you want to get really technical, then nobody gets to love John Marston because he's dead.  

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Joel from The Last of Us

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Joel and Booker have a lot in common: a lost daughter, a surrogate daughter, and the voice of Troy Baker. 

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Setting aside his tragic backstory and road to retribution, Joel also has keen survival instincts and a commanding presence that cause people to turn to him when they need help. 

\n

Even though he's kind of an ass, his heart has the capacity to love, and as soon as he does, people don't want him to stop loving. Everyone is rooting for Joel; everyone loves Joel; and everyone is a sucker for a gruff, bearded man in flannel. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/booker-dewitt-bioshock-infinite-1452704685-d2133.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/b/o/o/booker-dewitt-bioshock-infinite-1452704685-d2133.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177379","description":"

Booker DeWitt from BioShock Infinite

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You know what else makes a woman weak in the knees? A tragic back story (and the voice of Troy Baker). 

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Booker DeWitt is man with past mistakes and a never-ending guilt, leaving people with a desire to see him earn his retribution. 

\n

Maybe it's the fact that DeWitt has a personality (as opposed to the other BioShock protagonists); maybe it's because of his interactions with Elizabeth; maybe it's the clothes. 

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One things for sure, though: if you know how to handle a gun and you have a voice like Troy Baker, then you've got a place on this list (and in my heart).

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/o/leon-kennedy-wallpaper-resident-evil-35806038-1920-1080-7754d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/l/e/o/leon-kennedy-wallpaper-resident-evil-35806038-1920-1080-7754d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177378","description":"

Leon from Resident Evil

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All right, all right. I'll step back from the monstrous suitors by introducing one who kills monsters instead. 

\n

And what sort of list of sexiest video bachelors wouldn't include the original: Leon Scott Kennedy. 

\n

Talk about a lady killer. And a zombie killer. And an all-around killer in general. 

\n

This guy knows what he's doing, what needs to be done, and when to do it. And just like with Dante, women like a man with confidence. 

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With Leon's ever-constant presence in the Resident Evil games, he will have an ever-constant place in our hearts -- and lists about sexiest men. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-1920-1080-m1acjvm-6ce6f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screenshot-1920-1080-m1acjvm-6ce6f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177376","description":"

Dante from Devil May Cry

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What's a girl to do when they can't pick between an angel and a devil? 

\n

Pick Dante. 

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Part devil, part angel, Dante has been stealing the hearts of women everywhere with his intense gaze, his open shirt, and his overwhelming confidence, all combined with a bad-ass attitude and strong desire to kill demons. And let's not forgot all the awesome powers he has. 

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He's literally the full package of good and evil -- but mostly good.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/4/fo4-john-hancock-8e02d.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/o/4/fo4-john-hancock-8e02d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177375","description":"

Hancock from Fallout 4

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I'll never forget my first step into Goodneighbor. My lingering resentment still strong from the revelation that Nick Valentine's epic buildup resulted in a 50's-style old-man detective, I take a step into this new environment, ready for my next mission, and suddenly a ghoul is shooting a man trying to kill me and telling me he runs the place. 

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Needless to say, I fell in love immediately. 

\n

Like Garrus, Hancock is another man looking for his place in life, looking for a friend, and eternally grateful that the sole survivor accepts him for who he is. 

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You just have to overlook the massive addiction to drugs and violence. At least he's a nice guy, right? And he's a mayor. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garrus-0e692.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/g/a/r/garrus-0e692.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177374","description":"

Garrus from Mass Effect

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You can't take two steps into the Mass Effect fandom without seeing some Garrus/Shepard fanart. And with a face like that, who would blame someone for drawing what the fans want?

\n

Some people can't understand why Garrus is so popular with the ladies, but, call us crazy, ladies like a guy who's nice. There's something undeniably adorable about a man who's awkward around a potential romantic conquest -- and not afraid to admit it. 

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Not to mention he's known as the "Space Batman," and everyone knows how successful Batman is with the ladies...

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jason-brody-e85b4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/a/s/jason-brody-e85b4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"177371","description":"

When women have nowhere else to turn to find a decent man in their lives, they go for someone they always know will be there: fictional characters. Though it's easy to fangirl over book characters (all I need to say is "Mr. Darcy" and swoons are heard across the world), where are the good video game men? Where are the scruffy gaming guys, the nice dudes, the sexy?

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Right here. This list. Top ten. Let's go. 

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And with the popularity of del Toro's The Shape of Water spreading through the hearts of women everywhere, I probably shouldn't have to worry about putting someone like Bowser or Specter Knight on the list -- but, for the sake of all our dignities, I'll stick with the mostly human bachelors. 

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Mostly. 

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The Importance of Realism https://www.gameskinny.com/udjxj/the-importance-of-realism https://www.gameskinny.com/udjxj/the-importance-of-realism Tue, 02 Jan 2018 10:00:01 -0500 Sarah Elliman

Realism is a concept that is used throughout gaming to refer to many aspects of the industry, from the graphics to the storyline, and in reference to art style and characters. So, what is realism, and what does it mean for the video game industry? Realism is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the quality or fact of representing a person or thing in a way that is accurate and true to life." The question then becomes whether video games need to be true to life or not. Furthermore, do certain aspects always need to be realistic? Does realism suit a certain type of game and not the other? Realism is not a given, and a game shouldn’t just be praised because it is true to life. There are other factors that contribute to making a game great, but that doesn’t mean we should discount realism entirely. Here we explore the importance of realism in video games and whether we truly need it to have an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

Art Style & Graphical Capabilities

One major aspect that is recurring throughout video games is the quality of the graphics and the art style the developers chose to use. These are extremely important in making a game unique and memorable. There have been so many games that are in the forefront of my mind purely because I loved the art style.

When you create an interactive experience, the visuals are incredibly important and need to fit the tone and atmosphere you want to create in your game. Therefore, even when it comes to art style, realism isn’t always the best option. Games such as The Wolf Among Us or The Walking Dead don’t have a realistic art style, but they are trying to mimic the games' roots in the comic book genre. These games wanted to take you on a journey and let you experience the lives and choices of other people, and the comic book style helped achieve this.

Alternatively, take a similar universe, such as that of Telltale's The Walking Dead, and what happens when a game has different objectives and then the art style changes. For example, the developers of Payday 2, Overkill Software, recently announced a co-op FPS centered around The Walking Dead universe. Being a shooter is one thing, and with the added RPG elements of the game, it is likely that Overkill Software is going for the more realistic experience. You and your team are there to experience the grit and horror of the world in a new way. Whereas Telltale's art style brings you into the emotional aspect of the story, Overkill’s looks to show you the gore and atrocities of a post-apocalyptic world. These games need different art styles to truly capture the experience they want the player to have. If you had tons of intense shooting scenes in Telltale’s version, then it would look silly because of the art style.

Furthermore, there is no doubt about Telltale’s success with The Walking Dead series, and this is without having to integrate realism into their art style. The style fit the story and undoubtedly made it a better game. Trying to create an art style that centered around realism for this game wouldn’t have worked as well.

In addition, smaller developers must think about the engine they can use to create their game. If you don’t have the possibility of using a very high-powered engine, then trying to create a more realistic game may not look as good. Rather, they can go for an entirely different art style so that they can create an amazing game without being limited by what the resources will allow them to achieve.

Story & Characters

Story and characters are where realism should be applied consistently throughout games -- I mean, in the sense of creating people who seem real and true to life while also having at least a feasible story to go along with it. Without creating accurate depictions of people, the player won’t gain as much satisfaction from the game overall. Think of some of the best writers of our era, people like Stephen King, who never set out to create great, sweeping works of literature but know how to create a good story. His depiction of children, especially of Danny Torrance in The Shining is a, forgive the pun, shining example of what realism can achieve. The supernatural elements in his stories don’t make you tut and think what a load of nonsense, because the way he writes and how he depicts people are so true to life.

 

It is the same with video games, although there are some crazy scenarios when it is pulled off well and you connect with the characters -- then you can believe the story. The Last of Us is the perfect example of a scenario we have never experienced in our world, but the story and the characters are written so well that you believe it. You engage and connect with the story even if it doesn’t seem extremely possible. The slow evolution of Ellie and Joel’s relationship, losing people like Tess, and Joel’s actions towards the end of the game. These things create an aura of grit and an authenticity that drives the game forward.

Realism is undoubtedly a main force in video games when it comes to the story and characters. The art style doesn’t matter as much when you believe the story you are being told. Realism doesn’t have to be present in everything, but it is extremely important to integrate it into the story. Without it, you would mindlessly wander from one game to another without experiencing the joys and heartaches gamers have known and come to love when playing a game.

The Type of Game

This has been discussed previously regarding realism, but it does need stating again. The type of game is incredibly important when considering whether realism, in more of an artistic sense, matters when you’re playing a video game. Personally, I think the games that benefit the most from realism are shooters or games with a lot of action in them. Furthermore, horror games benefit from a more realistic touch, as it helps induce fear and tension in the player. 

 

However, other games that require a lighter touch, with less feelings of imminent danger, do not need to rely on realism to carry that atmosphere across. If you are wandering through a game like Undertale or Ni No Kuni, there is less action than in the games previously mentioned. They carry a different message and atmosphere, so they don’t need the realism to convey that message.

~

All in all, realism is undoubtedly important, but it needs to be handled correctly, and a game shouldn’t be dismissed purely because it isn’t realistic enough. You can still have an amazing experience without having to witness triple-A graphics. It solely depends on the soul of the game and what story the developers are trying to tell.

What are your thoughts on realism in video games? Do you prefer an unrealistic game to a realistic one? Let us know in the comments below. 

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Feast Your Ears on the Fascinating Audio Commentary in These 11 Games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games https://www.gameskinny.com/t06i8/feast-your-ears-on-the-fascinating-audio-commentary-in-these-11-games Tue, 21 Nov 2017 13:56:02 -0500 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/9/2/8925e368eeec9315b86d93165a763b45-650-3e492.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/9/2/8925e368eeec9315b86d93165a763b45-650-3e492.jpg","type":"slide","id":"174212","description":"

Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots

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Alas, Hideo Kojima, the creator of the famous Metal Gear Solid series, never took to the task of recording a single line of developer commentary on his games. However, the fourth game in the series, Guns of the Patriots, includes such a commentary by Ken Imaizumi, the game's producer, Aki Saito, Konami international product manager, and Sean Eyestone, one of the writers.

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This audio commentary is available in the game on Snake's iPod. So if you haven't had the chance to listen to it yet, maybe now's the time.

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---

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What's your favorite developer commentary track? Let us know in the comments below!.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adb4162f1b7ddef3d37effc39e7af946.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adb4162f1b7ddef3d37effc39e7af946.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11647","description":"

Grim Fandango Remastered

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Tim Schafer is one of the world's most renowned and consistent game designers. His titles have garnered huge fan followings, and his new games are anticipated by millions of gamers everywhere every year.

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Grim Fandango is definitely one of his finest moments. That's why Sony decided to release a remastered version of the game just a few years ago. It was a great decision to include the developer commentary, too, as it reveals the massive amounts of talent Tim Schafer wields.

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Fortunately, the entire commentary has been leaked online, so grab a pack of popcorn and immerse yourself in the world of mesmerizing game development of Grim Fandango.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1bf53f22b06f1d8d2243b8e5b26fd8dd.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11646","description":"

Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director's Cut

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The Director's Cut of the first Deus Ex introduced a number of revamped gameplay elements, a fantastic series of developer commentaries, and a whole documentary showcasing the behind-the-scenes creation process.

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Even if you've never played the game or have no interest in the Deus Ex series but want to know what it takes to develop a modern AAA title, then be sure to check the entire audio commentary section of the game. Be warned, though, it's long. Seven hours long.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/1470bf62141850fb708aab406e612e00.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11642","description":"

Left 4 Dead and Left 4 Dead 2

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This survival horror franchise from Valve was another massive success for the company. So it's no surprise that the dev team opted to provide audio commentary in the same fashion as both Half-Life 2 and the Portal franchise: as interactive nodes that could be activated by players during the gameplay.

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The sequel, which came out only a year later, had the same team record their thoughts on the development process, too, making it one of the most encompassing game design commentaries you will ever hear.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e229b73427633b86113de39933bebd5b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11640","description":"

Duke Nukem 3D: 20th Anniversary World Tour

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Here is another cult title from the 90s -- a true blast from the past: the one and only Duke Nukem 3D. The upgraded version of the original title was released just a year ago to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series.

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Allen Blum and Richard Gray, the original designers of the game, return to their progeny and not only deliver additional content to the original game, but also discuss what went into the process of reviving the old files from the ashes.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73e684a627a75d5b479876590a9a61c8.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11639","description":"

Tomb Raider: Anniversary

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The very first game that launched the epic Tomb Raider series was released in the mid-90s. Ten years later, Crystal Dynamics released a remastered version of that first game based on the new Legend engine.

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Fast forward to the Tomb Raider: Anniversary bundle, and you'll find game developer commentary featuring Jason Botta, the creative director of the remastered version, and Toby Gard, the original game's lead designer. 

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They discuss each segment of the game as you play through it, and reveal why certain decisions were made in the process of the creation of those particular levels.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/650e4e9b2569990c9d64861e4bf6c3d4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11638","description":"

Firewatch

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Firewatch offers a developer commentary as a part of its free DLC, which adds an Audio Tour mode to the game. It's designed in such a way that allows players to pick up audio players in the beginning of the prologue, and then pick up audio cassettes that are placed in special spots throughout the game.

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Each cassette contains a recording from a Firewatch development member who discusses how that particular part of the game was designed. The best thing about this approach is that the recordings are relatively short and don't distract from the actual gameplay too much.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/9ba0b6685d94b0eac63400c18a07d19b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11637","description":"

Portal & Portal 2

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After the smashing success of Half-Life 2, Valve released another title that is considered to be one of the most original game concepts ever devised -- the Portal series.

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As usual, Gabe Newell, the founder of Valve, was joined by the development team behind the Portal games and recorded an accompanying audio commentary for the series. In order to access all of the commentary episodes, players must first complete the game. Afterward, the developer commentary mode will be unlocked, offering over a hundred audio segments for your listening pleasure.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/7d48afc345565016508d915419a79886.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11636","description":"

The Last Of Us Remastered

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The Last of Us was a PS3 exclusive and international hit. A year later, it was remastered and ported to the PS4 -- bringing with it developer commentary by Neil Druckmann, creative director, Troy Baker, who plays Joel, and Ashley Johnson, who plays Ellie.

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This commentary can be accessed through an in-game menu, which shows all of the game's cutscenes in succession -- with audio commentary on top -- making the experience very similar to watching films with director commentary. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d2a7ef130bd09d5e35b1e70af8c97014.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d2a7ef130bd09d5e35b1e70af8c97014.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11633","description":"

Half-Life 2

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Half-Life 3 is undoubtedly the most anticipated sequel to any game ever released. The first two games have set the bar of the quality so high that it will be hard to achieve the same level of intrigue as before.

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However, if you want to know how the development of this incredibly popular series began, then be sure to check the developer commentary of Half-Life 2: Episodes 1 & 2.

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Unfortunately, the development team didn't record commentary for the first game, but there is more than enough material to study from the two episodes of the sequel. Commentary includes anecdotes and behind the scenes stories from team members such as Gabe Newell, Greg Coomer, Jay Stelly, and many more. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/e4257f866fcd4cdbc8352e18b3b7fec7.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"11632","description":"

BioShock: The Collection

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Every fan of the BioShock series simply ought to have BioShock: The Collection. Not only does it inlcude the remastered versions of all three games, but it also adds to the experience an exciting commentary track from Ken Levine, the series' creative director, and Shawn Robertson, the lead artist. 

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Interestingly, the commentary for Bioshock: The Collection is part of the franchise's world. Throughout each of the stories, players are able to find collectible items that activate new episodes where the developers discuss the design process behind the series.

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The commentary uncovers many previously unknown details about the risks and challenges that the development team had to take in order to deliver one of the most praised video game franchises in history.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/unt-e303b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"173797","description":"

While audio commentary from directors and filmmakers is typical for most Hollywood movies, commentary from video game developers discussing their creative process on a separate audio track attached to your favorite game is relatively new.

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It took some years before game developers decided to adopt the same approach as their Hollywood counterparts. The first game that appeared with such developer commentary was 2000's Star Wars: Episode I: Battle for Naboo.

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After that first experiment, other developers also wanted to share their experiences with gamers, and many games followed suit. Here you will find 11 of the most inspiring video game developer commentaries that will not only let you see the the machinations behind your favorite games, but also what drives your favorite developer to keep making great games. 

"}]]]>
Top 7 Gaming Subscription Services for Your Money https://www.gameskinny.com/0i56a/top-7-gaming-subscription-services-for-your-money https://www.gameskinny.com/0i56a/top-7-gaming-subscription-services-for-your-money Tue, 31 Oct 2017 17:22:02 -0400 Sarah Elliman

We’ve all heard that cliché, the unavoidable "Netflix for gaming," phrase, but who can really take the top spot? There are surprisingly more gaming subscription services than you would expect that can offer you different services. But which ones offer you more bang for your buck? What subscription offers you the greater variety of games? We’re here to answer your questions and give you the top 7 list on gaming subscriptions.

7. OnePlay

This service mainly came in dead last for me as it felt less clear on what services it offered for your money. There are a variety of options from a basic package, to VIP membership, then to renting and buying. It appears you get some games for free as part of your subscription, but other titles you buy at a discounted rate. The distinction didn’t appear to be very clear when browsing through their site.

OnePlay does boast one of the most extensive list of video games with over 2,000 titles and new games added weekly. Furthermore, it is both a PC and Android games subscription, so you get games for both platforms within the bounds of your subscription.

The price is pretty good at $9.99 for the month which also gives you 10% off your purchases. If you’re not sure about the service than you have a 7-day trial to give it a go. However, the confusing nature of the website and the lack of clarity on what titles are playable, rent-able or to buy is worrisome. There are other gaming subscription services with greater transparency and with a similar number of games.

 

6. PlayStation Now

PlayStation Now is a great subscription service if you want to play PS3 classics or perhaps don’t have access to a PS4. PlayStation Now features over 500 games for PS4 and PS3 with more being added every month to the gaming subscription service. However, it is the price that lets this service down.

As you will see throughout the article, PlayStation Now is the most expensive service going. A one-month subscription will set your bank balance back by $19.99 and a three-month long package will take you back by $44.99. Compared to other gaming subscription services, PlayStation Now is incredibly pricey.

The saving grace for the service is being able to use it without owning a PS4. You can use PlayStation Now on PC and even on some smart TVs if you have a compatible controller. This is perfect if you want to experience those PlayStation exclusives like Uncharted or The Last of Us without investing in a console. Furthermore, for as long as you hold your subscription you have unlimited access to PlayStation Now’s library.

Sadly, with the higher price tag and the 7-day trial it puts PlayStation Now in second to last place. The range of games and cross platform play is fantastic. However, there are other services that offer a similar range for a less expensive price.

5. Xbox One Pass

The Xbox One Pass ranks slightly higher than PlayStation Now simply because of the pricing. The service is relatively new, which is why you have a much more limited selection of games. The service boasts only 100 titles, which is the second lowest of all seven.

Nevertheless, Microsoft are slowly adding new games to the roaster which include both Xbox One and Xbox 360 games. Additionally, when you have a 14 day free trial and a monthly subscription for $9.99, you get way more for your money.

You will receive unlimited access to the Xbox Games Pass library and get discounts on select games and season passes for Xbox One games. Fantastic titles like Halo 5: Guardians and Payday are already available with Xbox Game Pass, with more to be added along the way.

The Xbox Games Pass saves you money while still offering you the chance to play classic Xbox games. The price tag is on the lower end of the scale and once the games roster has been bulked out, it’ll be worth more than the money you pay.

4. GameFly

GameFly offers you a gaming subscription without having to buy an expensive console. No PlayStation, no Xbox, no PC? Don’t worry because GameFly has got you covered.

GameFly works through certain smart TV’s and through Amazon Fire. All you need is a compatible controller or your handheld device and you’re good to go. This is the perfect service for anyone who can’t purchase a console for any reason, but still loves gaming! The app is applicable to certain Samsung, LG and Phillips TV models, but if you don’t have that model then don’t panic. An Amazon Fire Stick will turn your TV into a smart TV and you can access the app there.

The subscription service is less than $10 a month with a growing list of games and unlimited access. It is one of the best gaming subscriptions out there. GameFly also saves your data to the cloud so you won’t have to worry about losing all the hard work you put into a game. There are already notable games on GameFly, such as Borderlands 2, the Batman series and the Bioshock series.

GameFly is the perfect middle ground gaming subscription service. It allows for flexibility without burning a hole in your wallet. You can play some great games as much as you want without having to fork out the cash for a console.

3. EA Access

EA Access is a personal favorite of mine, mainly because of the incredibly cheap price tag and the access to games you receive as part of your subscription. If you haven’t already guessed, they are all EA games which is why it is in third place. But, the type of access you get for the price is astounding to say the least.

For a one-month subscription you will pay $4.99--this is the cheapest subscription price yet! Even better is that if you invest in a year of EA Access it will only cost you $29.99. It feels like you're practically stealing from the company, especially when they throw in a further 10% discount on digital EA purchases on games not included as part of Access. You really get incredible value for money. You can access the service through Origins or through Xbox One, giving you more freedom of movement with the service.

When you sign up to EA Access, you will be able to play games from the EA vault. These games are free to play and for an unlimited period, as long as you keep the subscription. I personally downloaded all three Dragon Age installments for free and all the DLC’s came with them. It really gave me incentive to re-play this beloved series. If Dragon Age isn’t your style then other games in the vault include Mass Effect Andromeda, FIFA17 and Battlefield 1, with many more that I haven’t listed. You don’t just get old forgotten games nobody wants to play anymore, but hot new releases as well. If that wasn’t enough, you also get to try EA games before they are even released!

EA Access has incredible value for money with some fantastic AAA titles to keep you entertained. However, because it is simply EA games it won’t be to everyone’s taste and that’s why they only win the bronze.

2. Jump

Jump is a wonderful gaming subscription service if you’re mad for Indie games. Jump specializes in giving their customers access to award winning Indie games; you won’t find an 8-year old's attempt to make their Halo fan game here. It’s the perfect way to discover magnificent pieces of work that you may not have heard of before.

Jump offers you a 14-day free trial which then turns to a $9.99 charge after the trial period ends. With that subscription cost you get unlimited access to their Indie collection. The only negative is that their roster is just over 60 games. It is the lowest roster in our list, but is comprised of high-quality games. A lot of services may throw in a lot of titles that don’t give you the quality that Jump does. Some intriguing titles that have been added recently include Along the Edge, The Bridge and Always Sometimes Monsters. Furthermore, you can also submit a game to the company that you think should be added to the list.

Even though Jump offers the lowest number of titles, it is still a fantastic service. Indie games are the soul of the gaming community, and Jump brings the best together for you to play. Without any constraints as well. It may not be the most extensive, but the quality of the games is the highest.

1. Utomik

Last but not least by any means is the grand gaming subscription service Utomik. Combining a low price with a larger roster and a high number of quality games puts Utomik in the top spot. They have partnered up with companies such as TellTale Games, SEGA, Paradox and even Disney to bring you quality games at a low price.

 So how low can Utomik go? For one user you will pay $5.99 for the month and this will give you unlimited access to Utomik’s library. This consists of over 640 games, with 20 new games being added every month. You’ll never be able to get through them all! Even better if you’re in a family or you and your roommates want to join than there is a family plan. This is only $9.99 a month and allows 4 users unlimited access and for any family’s parental controls as well. You even get a 14-day free trial to test it out!

Saint’s Row, Dead Island, Borderlands are just some of the games you can access through Utomik. They also have a whole host of Indie games that are ready at your disposal. Kid’s giving you hassle? Roommate won’t budge from the couch? Throw in Utomik and you’ll be able to enjoy the gaming subscription service too.

My Verdict

Utomik, to me, is the best service out there. It combines a great price, range and quality of games with unlimited access to those games. Why not check them out for yourself? All services have been linked so you can see which one is right for you.

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Do you agree with the list? Did I miss your favorite gaming subscription service? Comment below and let us know what you think!

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Why Video Games Should Be Considered Art https://www.gameskinny.com/mzcvo/why-video-games-should-be-considered-art https://www.gameskinny.com/mzcvo/why-video-games-should-be-considered-art Mon, 23 Oct 2017 09:56:03 -0400 Sarah Elliman

It is incontrovertible that the debate around whether video games can be considered an art form or not is a contentious subject. Some believe it is the ultimate medium of expression, combining various art forms into one and making it interactive. Others believe that considering video games as art devalues the works of various artists in different fields. Although video games are legally recognised as art forms, the debate is still widely discussed. I personally believe that video games combine many beautiful art forms into one incredible interactive piece. You can learn from and experience situations you may never have been in before. The public's view on art and what mediums should be considered art vary as widely as the pieces of art present in our world.

In 2011 it was ruled by the Supreme Court that video games should be protected by the First Amendment.

“Like the protected books, plays and movies that preceded them, video games communicate ideas – and even social messages – through many familiar literary devices…and through features distinctive to the medium.”

- Anthony Scalia, Supreme Court Justice

Even legally protected as an art form, many don’t see the artistic nature of video games.

People view art in different ways and without a clarification of meaning it can be hard to differentiate between the mediums. Jonathon Jones wrote for The Guardian on the matter stating that:

"...any definition of art is one person’s reaction to life. Any definition of art that robs it of this inner response by a human creator is a worthless definition."

Understanding that this is a valid point if that is how you view art is applicable, however the basic component of this definition is that art is a reflection of life. If you take the opinion of the famous playwright, Oscar Wilde, he believed that ‘life imitates art far more than art imitates life,’ having varying personal definitions of art harms our view of video games as art.

So when definitions aren’t clear it is hard to define what should fit the unstable definition of art. Perhaps, you may argue that there are much more established forms of art and their importance is greater. It can’t be denied that prose, song and visual art have been established far longer than video games. However, this does not mean it isn’t an art form--video games simply haven’t had the time to gain the prestige of other art forms. Furthermore, what are video games but an interactive medium comprised of prose, song and visual art? Albeit not every video game is a masterpiece, but neither is every single book. When video games combine these three traditional art forms and use them masterfully, they create a soulful experience.

For example, if we are to start with visual art there are plenty of examples of video games that are visually appealing. There is no one true style when it comes to the visual aspect of video games. You can have a completely realistic style with a game such as Uncharted and be blown away by beautifully rendered landscapes. Or alternatively a game such as Limbo has a simpler art style, but carries the sinister nature of the game. It is not simply how we use the visual style but how it adds to the tone of the game. What Remains of Edith Finch is an absolutely stunning game and emits a sense of quiet and mystery even from its art style. The visuals match the purpose and the narrative of the game.

The same can be said for the writing of an individual game. Nobody could deny the power and heart-wrenching nature of the opening to The Last of Us. It set the entire tone for the game. You understood Joel’s character and knew why his interactions with Ellie were tenuous at the beginning of the game. A game with a good narrative does the same thing any piece of prose does: it makes you want to continue on. Whether you’re running home to read the next chapter of the book you’re reading or complete the next mission of the game you’re on, good writing makes you want to continue the story.

In addition if you played the first season of TellTale’s critically acclaimed The Walking Dead, you would know that at the end of the season there was not a dry eye to be seen. And what about video games that take inspiration from a piece of prose? The Witcher 3 reached legendary game status back in 2015, with many games, such as Final Fantasy XV and Assassin’s Creed Origins desiring to implement many mechanics from the eponymous game. The Witcher 3 had fantastic source material. (I highly recommend the books to anyone who is a fan of the series.) Does having source material based in more established art forms make it better? No, good writing comes from the team who are passionate about the game they’re making.

Lastly is the soundtrack. Song is an incredible part of human nature. Folk music is a testament to the longevity of song, and when a video game has the right soundtrack it makes all the difference. Life is Strange is a perfect example of this. It has a soundtrack that carries the message of the game, but the tracks are in themselves pieces of art. I have been introduced to so many new artists through games such as Life is Strange that I would never have found otherwise. Even instrumental music composed for a game carries a tone and a beauty within it, such as the Assassin’s Creed 2 opening instrumental. It carries an emotion and purpose that a video game would be lost without.

When you have the combination of so many brilliant art forms, how can you not justify video games being classed as an art form?

“Video games are also the only form of media that allows for personalizing the artistic experience while still retaining the authenticity of the artist,” - Chris Melissinos

is one opinion standing for the validity of video games as an art form. You’re not just a passive consumer when you engage with video games. You’re directly part of that experience and with more and more games implementing various choice paths in their games you can see the appeal. Video games allow you the option to interact with a whole new world and sometimes make it your own. You’re still experiencing someone’s vision, but you’re also part of that vision--which allows anyone who plays the game to become part of the art.

What is your opinion? Should video games be considered art or not? Leave a comment below with your opinions! 

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5 Things That The Last of Us Part II Shouldn't Be https://www.gameskinny.com/0048f/5-things-that-the-last-of-us-part-ii-shouldnt-be https://www.gameskinny.com/0048f/5-things-that-the-last-of-us-part-ii-shouldnt-be Sun, 04 Jun 2017 08:38:38 -0400 CarlyEvans

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There are many things that we can hope for in The Last of Us Part II. The return of Joel and Ellie is a reason to celebrate already, but with so few details confirmed to us now, we only have speculation and hopes. 

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In order to deliver another quality game and successfully implement this sequel, Naughty Dog should build on what they've already established. Sticking with a linear story line as well as a linear environment will let the audience spend quality time with the characters we are waiting to see again. And looking toward the future -- and not the past -- will let audiences get another glimpse into the amazing universe that Naughty Dog has created. 

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The Last of Us was a brilliant game that definitely deserves a sequel. Here's to hoping the sequel is just as good or even better than the original! 

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What are you hoping for in The Last of Us Part II? Let us know in the comments below. 

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It Shouldn't Have a Sad Ending

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As we have seen from the reveal trailer and heard from Neil Druckmann, The Last of Us Part II is about hate and revenge. This narrative choice is in complete contrast to the original's story of a loving bond, and it leads us to believe a dark story is to be told. 

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While TLoU had a frustrating end, the course of the story was one of mutual love and respect growing between two unlikely people. Inversely, the story of Part II should end with a much more resolute and resolved plot thread. Since the game will likely take an even more somber tone than the first, a conclusion that doesn't leave the audience speculating -- and gives them a little hope -- will do the game justice. 

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Whether Part II is the end of TLoU series is, of course, still unknown. A resolved and, dare I say, happy ending will close the chapter on TLoU universe in a way that the first couldn't, and now we know why.

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The success of this game will depend on how Naughty Dog handles returning to a game that is held so high by so many. But if their previous IP's are any indication, this game will successfully do the original justice. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/1/7212637104-46e67fba44-9b15f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/2/1/7212637104-46e67fba44-9b15f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160673","description":"

Don't Rely on Choice-Based Mechanics

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TLoU succeeded as much as it did because of its storyline. Narrative Director Neil Druckmann beautifully guided these two characters on an incredible journey that always went a particular direction that would always end with the fateful scene we all know today. 

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Changing the way in which we engage with the characters with a choice based system in The Last of Us Part II certainly would give the player more control over the story. However, within the universe of TLoU, a choice based system in which the choices we as players make alters which storyline we follow will not benefit the game itself. 

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The ending of the original game was so polarizing because there was no other option. The story always ended in the same exact way, no matter how many hours you put into the game or how many infected you did or did not kill. Each player gets the same experience in terms of the story. If The Last of Us Part II deviates from the single story track, it could create a disparate experience for their players and distract from the story they really want to tell. 

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Part II should allow players to fully explore and experience a well thought out story that knows what it wants to say and where it wants to take us. 

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"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/e/joel-ellie-c5130.jpeg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/j/o/e/joel-ellie-c5130.jpeg","type":"slide","id":"160675","description":"

Part II Shouldn't be an Explanation for the First Game

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The Last of Us had an ending that polarized its audience. The ambiguity that followed the final scene left fans with questions and frustrations alike. But that is what makes the game a masterpiece. 

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The final scene was meant to leave the player wondering what was going to happen. Did Ellie really know the truth? Was her response an acceptance of Joel's lie or was it a genuine example of trust? 

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The Last of Us Part II should not be the answer to these questions. 

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Part II should not aim to be the final say on that final scene of TLoU. While we will certainly learn about the affect that moment had on Ellie and Joel simply because we are getting a new game with the same characters, Part II should not spend its time giving an explanation of Joel's reasoning or Ellie's understanding.

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Players can learn about the fate of Ellie and Joel through the interaction they may have in the game. Naughty Dog would be wise to show how that moment changed or didn't change Joel and Ellie's relationship rather than telling the players forthright. Ultimately, the focus of the game should be about the new story not on what happened in the past.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/4/10425875786-8f8d28b5a4-b06ee.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/1/0/4/10425875786-8f8d28b5a4-b06ee.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160661","description":"

The Last of Us Part II Shouldn't Just be About Ellie

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The Last of Us Part II reveal trailer has been the center of focus for many fan theories. One such theory suggests that Joel, even though he appears in the trailer, is actually dead. While it has been confirmed that Ellie is the main playable character in Part II, this does not necessarily mean that Joel will not accompany Ellie on her journey this time around. 

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Since Joel was the character by which we experience the story of The Last of Us, it would be an incredibly harsh choice to kill him off for the sequel. The bond that was established during the original is what makes the game so striking and relatable to so many people. It would be a mistake for Naughty Dog to kill off one of the two main characters that came from the original. 

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The Last of Us Part II will be Ellie's story to tell and in an industry dominated by male main characters, Ellie has such an important place in this story. However, Joel is a huge part of TLoU universe as well. Naughty Dog should carry on the story of two characters that many fans have grown to love and are hoping to see in the sequel together. 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/2/6/8261726837-768b3e3d1e-60e17.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/8/2/6/8261726837-768b3e3d1e-60e17.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160659","description":"

Keeping TLoU Out of the Open World

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Open world games have been a major part of many of the games released in the past few years. Games like the Far Cry 4, Final Fantasy XV, Horizon: Zero Dawn, as well as games in the Elder Scrolls series, have all brilliantly implemented open world settings. While this concept works really well for certain stories, this is one that will not work within TLoU universe. 

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Naughty Dog has been implementing larger areas in their campaigns in recent years, as seen in Uncharted 4: A Thief's End. However, they have yet to create an open world game for this generation of consoles. While opening up areas of the map can be exciting and allow for more exploration, opening up the world itself creates a much different gameplay experience. A decision like this will not benefit the world of The Last of Us because the original game was a narrative driven story, first and foremost -- and many open world games struggle with that type of focus. 

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Assuming Naughty Dog continues to do what it does best, Part II will be a game that is mainly narrative driven. This type of game does best when the narrative can move along in a controlled environment, which an open world is not. The characters of TLoU are the most important pieces of the game and when characters inhabit an open world, it is easier to lose focus on their development. 

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The Last of Us Part II will do best if it is in a linear environment, just asThe Last of Us was. 

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The Last of Us Part II, announced at PlayStation Experience 2016, is still early in development, but the long-awaited sequel was greeted with excitement and surprise alike when it was initially unveiled. 

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As we await for more information about The Last of Us Part II, we can only speculate about what the story will hold and how the game will play. But following the amazing game that was The Last of Us, this sequel will have big shoes to fill.

In order to maintain, or even surpass, the bar that was set by the original, TLoU Part II should avoid these five things. 

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My dad could beat up your dad: Father's Day video game battle royale https://www.gameskinny.com/l2ng8/my-dad-could-beat-up-your-dad-fathers-day-video-game-battle-royale https://www.gameskinny.com/l2ng8/my-dad-could-beat-up-your-dad-fathers-day-video-game-battle-royale Fri, 16 Jun 2017 18:21:23 -0400 Ty Arthur

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Now that the dust has settled and the match ups are finished, we want to wish all the gaming dads an amazing Father's Day this year!

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What did you think of our dad vs dad picks, and what other video game Father's Day grudge matches would you like to see go down?

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Let us know in the comments section below!

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide10-d1c50.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide10-d1c50.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160314","description":"

James McCloud (Star Fox) vs. Splinter (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

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So, these are maybe the two coolest dads a kid could ever dream of having, and picking one is sort of impossible for anyone who grew up in the late 80s or early 90s.

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Anthropomorphic rat ninja dad who dispenses wisdom and lets you eat inordinate amounts of pizza while playing with dangerous weapons, or anthropomorphic fox and sunglasses-wearing space pilot with a gun dad who lets his kids blow things up in glorious 3D?

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How this battle would go depends on the arena: one one one, or does James have his ship? Even while piloting a spacecraft, I get the feeling Splinter has the edge here, with his mystical ninjitsu alerting him to the presence of enemies and his ability to bite through solid metal.

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Since James was previously taken down by a pig-man, we know he doesn't fare well against other anthropomorphic animals as well... I think in this case Splinter wins, although that probably starts a war between Fox McCloud's crew and the ninja turtles, which I now want to see in some sort of comic book form.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide9-68a55.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide9-68a55.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160313","description":"

Harry Mason (Silent Hill 2) vs. Barret Wallace (Final Fantasy 7)

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Here we've got two dads trying to keep their daughters safe in a world gone mad.

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We've also got some serious "firsts" with both characters. Silent Hill 2 was probably the first time we saw an on-screen rape in a PlayStation game, while Barret was among the first foul-mouthed characters to throw out those four letter words in a major U.S. RPG release.

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Barret's gun arm and access to materia seems like an insta-win, but don't discount Mason just yet! He battled the supernatural forces of Silent Hill and came out the victor (at least for a while anyway; never mind what happened in the beginning of the next game).

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Plus, he's Sean Bean in the movie, so... oh wait, never mind, Bean dies in literally everything. Barret Wallace for the win.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide8-cf3f6.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide8-cf3f6.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160309","description":"

King Of All Cosmos (Katamari Damamcy) Vs. Octodad (Octodad: Dadliest Catch)

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You'd think the King Of All Cosmos would win this one without working up much of a sweat -- being the ultimate god of all creation and maker of everything and all that -- but that's not how it would actually go down.

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We know the King has some curious behaviors and dislikes. I'm picturing Ocotdad's loving tentacle suckers wrapping around the King and he'd immediately yield while screaming something like, "icky, icky, icky!". He'd then blame his loss on his son.

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But how would Octodad get through the gauntlet of the universe to even start the fight? He can't even walk through the kitchen without destroying everything in his path or getting stuck to every single object!

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Octodad would have a terrible time just getting across the road to fight the King Of All Cosmos, but something tells me his horribly treated son, the prince, and all those nephews and cousins would probably roll up everything to help out the secret octopus dad.

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You reap what you sow Mr. Cosmos, and you've sown some serious ill will with your family...

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide7-3a75c.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide7-3a75c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160307","description":"

Kratos 1 (God Of War) Vs. Kratos 2 (Tales Of Symphonia)

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Who deserves the name more -- a spiky-haired anime dude with a sword, or the bulging muscled, rage-filled man who kills gods left and right?

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Both have a shameful past and try protecting their families to varying degrees of success. Kratos 1 has the upper hand in the pure strength department, but Kratos 2 is a couple of thousand years old, and he's learned some tricks along the way in all that time.

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We also have to consider this: Are we talking sleek, height-of-his-power Kratos 1 from earlier in the series or is this hipster neckbeard Kratos shackled with a little kid the whole game (where they are totally NOT copying The Last Of Us)?

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Eh, you know what, either way, I feel that while Kratos 2 is rooting around in his menu screen trying to select Demon Fang, Kratos 1 would have probably already torn him apart with the Blades of Chaos and then completed a couple of threesome sex mini-games.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide6-23d9e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide6-23d9e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160303","description":"

Booker DeWitt (Bioshock Infinite) Vs. Handsome Jack (Borderlands 2)  

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Oh, boy (or in this case, oh, girl), you really don't want either of these guys to be your dad! Both did some pretty heinous stuff to their respective daughters, and neither can really claim the moral high ground in any way.

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Handsome Jack really only imprisoned and sacrificed his daughter the one time, though, while Booker DeWitt just keeps. on. doing. it. in. every. single. reality. Elizabeth gets him back though, killing him off in universe after universe.

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In a knock down, drag out fight, who would come out ahead? It's a tough one -- Booker can swap between realities to get the upper hand and find a universe where he has the advantage. But Handsome Jack does have a whole lot of firepower on his side, from the entirety of Hyperion Corporation to potentially controlling the world-destroying Warrior after opening the vault.

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If Jack gets his pet Warrior, the win goes to him (unless Songbird constantly shows up to thwart the Warrior), otherwise I see the grim-faced DeWitt coming out the victor and then probably learning some other devastating truth about his past to make him even more hard boiled than before.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide5-b2888.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide5-b2888.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160299","description":"

James (Fallout 3) Vs. The Sole Survivor (Fallout 4)

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These are both some seriously lazy dads with a "Meh when I get to it" approach to parenting. Apparently, the post-nuclear war U.S. wasteland does not spawn good fathers.

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Liam Neeson might have a special set of skills for finding wayward children, but James sure didn't. Meanwhile, the Sole Survivor keeps having to go on just one more fetch quest before he can really start looking for Shawn...

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James has a whole lot of scientific equipment at his disposal, not to mention the security guards from Rivet City. But then again, the Sole Survivor is decked out in full power armor and probably has a legendary minigun with the wounding property or a 16 mini nuke MIRV launcher, so I'm gonna give the win to Fallout 4's awful dad.

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To be totally honest, I feel like rather than fighting, they'd both team up to go do a bunch of random quests instead before devoting their monthly 5 minutes to searching for their children.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide4-974ef.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide4-974ef.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160297","description":"

Hojo (Final Fantasy 7) Vs. Henry Lawson (Mass Effect)

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Both of these sci-fi mad scientists spawned some high quality genetic experiments who managed to break free and make their own mark on the universe. Neither is much of a fighter on their own or without any injected upgrades; Hojo is your typical lab coat and Henry's an intergalactic business man.

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Instead, the question becomes: "Could they get their offspring to help them, or would their kids try to help the other to kill their own evil parent? In both franchises, these kids end up turning on their fathers.

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You can't discount the Sephiroth effect here – just how effective would he be against Commander Shepherd's team? That sword made short work of the Midgar Zolom, but would he fall against laser fire and psychic powers?

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Seriously though... Miranda Lawson's form-fitting outfit. I think that's a major KO right there, no matter who the enemy ends up being. Sorry Sephiroth, but you can use all the earth-destroying black materia that you want, and I still think Lawson and the crew of the Normady are going to come out on top.

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In the end, I see both of these dads ending up six feet under courtesy of their own children.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide3-c333f.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide3-c333f.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160296","description":"

Joel (The Last Of Us) Vs. Lee (The Walking Dead)

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Good lord, look at the sad eyes both of these post-apocalyptic survivors have! They'd do just about anything to protect their surrogate daughters, and its the pain of the past that drives them forward.

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My first instinct is to say "Joel wins, sorry Lee" and move on -- Joel is a stealthy killing machine in The Last Of Us!

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But first, let's consider a few things. Lee's a big guy, and while he's reluctant to engage in violence, he's been known to do so to devastating effect. He's not afraid to teach a little girl to kill, and even the impending doom of becoming a zombie won't stop him!

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I think we're going to have to boil this one down to which choices you made in Telltale's Walking Dead. Hard-as-nails Lee who makes Clementine put him down would probably come out the victor. Sappy Lee who decides to go zombie rather than teach a tough lesson definitely loses to Joel.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide2-790f3.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide2-790f3.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160292","description":"

Michael De Santa (Grand Theft Auto V) Vs. Ethan Mars (Heavy Rain)

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It's the bad dad world cup up in here!

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Michael De Santa is the definition of the uncaring white trash dad (oh, woe is me, I'm rich and bored in suburbia and I hate my kids!) while Ethan's life has gone down the toilet since his son Jason died because of his inattentiveness. 

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Despite that early-game apathy, both go to extreme, absurd lengths to protect their kids.

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Michael assaults a whole boat filled to the brim with pimps and drug dealers to keep his daughter from being in an impromptu porno shoot, while Ethan goes through some serious Saw levels of torture to find his other missing son, Shaun.

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Michael's got the street smarts and gun-fu on his side, of that there's no doubt, but Ethan is the bumbling guy who just won't die, no matter how hard you try to kill him. 

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Without Michael's full GTA 5 crew to back him up, I'm going to call this one a draw -- they'd end up killing each other or getting themselves thrown in the clink via misadventure.

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide1-f2d10.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/l/i/slide1-f2d10.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160290","description":"

Bowser (Super Mario) Vs. Dr. Light (Mega Man)

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It was never really clear to me if Bowser was the progenitor of all the koopas and goombas or just the biggest, baddest one around.

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But for our purposes, we're going to assume he's somehow sired the whole lot of 'em (probably with that big tease Princess Peach, who keeps getting "kidnapped" and showing up in Bowser's castle all the time to be "rescued" by a clueless Mario).

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So with that out of the way, which would win: an army of koopa troopas or an army of robots? Dr. Light never seems to make as devastatingly powerful robots as his nemesis, Dr. Wily, but Mega Man and his cohorts always manage to upgrade themselves with screen-clearing weaponry because of a little help from dad (or dad's digital ghost, as the case may occasionally be).

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On the other hand, it seems like koopa troopas and goombas can pretty much only die if you jump right on their heads (or you run at them at full speed after having recently eaten some magic mushrooms), so that superior fire power might not be helpful.

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This one's a tough call, but I think with his endless minions piloting airships and massive, maze-like castles the robotic crew would have to fight through, eventually, Bowser would come out on top and tear Dr. Light to shreds. 

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Now I have visions in my head of Dr. Wily and Dr. Robotnik teaming up with Bowser to create an army of robotic koopa troopas... 

"},{"image":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover11-de27e.jpg","thumb":"https://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/c/o/v/cover11-de27e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"160315","description":"

We've already looked at the best and worst video game dads -- and there's plenty to pick from in the latter category. And of course, daddy issues are at the heart of more than a few quests to save (or destroy) the world. In short, there's a disturbing number of fathers in the gamingverse who have genetically created monstrosities and made the world an (un)safer place.

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With all these hero dads trying to save their kids and villain dads who let their offspring die horrible deaths, the question has to be asked: Which dad would win in a fight?

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Every eight year old out there thinks his or her dad can beat up YOUR dad, and today, we're going to unleash our inner adolescence to pit all the gaming papas against one another in a battle to the death!

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WARNING: There are some spoilers throughout (some of these dads aren't revealed as such until the end of their respective games), and we assume you know how each of these games concluded. Proceed at your own risk!

"}]]]>
10 Things Filmmakers Can Learn from Video Game Cut Scenes https://www.gameskinny.com/3mecb/10-things-filmmakers-can-learn-from-video-game-cut-scenes https://www.gameskinny.com/3mecb/10-things-filmmakers-can-learn-from-video-game-cut-scenes Fri, 07 Apr 2017 08:00:02 -0400 Nick Lee

The art of cinema and the world of video games no longer stand as completely different mediums when it comes to expression of complex and simplistic ideas. There are lessons in film that have transferred over to cut scenes, breaks in the action of a game where a movie moment fills in or progresses the details of a story.

Cut scenes can occur at the beginning, middle, or near the end of a game and by my estimation a bad scene can signal a good time for a snack or a bathroom break for gamers. For directors of the next great cinematic moment, take some cues from these games who left a long lasting impact on gamers everywhere.

Fallout and the Creation of Mantra

Fans of the acclaimed Fallout series will recognize the mantra of the series that "War, war never changes." There's been countless films about war itself, the effects of killing on the human psyche and dystopian futures, but none can capture the art of the rise and fall of humanity quite like Bethesda. Fallout focuses on a world that was threatened by nuclear war during the 1950's Cold War, but used nuclear energy for the advancement of mankind. This of course was all pushed to the edge as the ideals of over consumption and greed plagued the world.

Movie makers can often have characters repeat signature phrases, and trilogies can often call back to similar phrases. In the context of Fallout, the phrase is used to signal that regardless of the situation in any of the games in the series, one thing remains. What remains is the perils, strife, evils and selfishness that got mankind to the place it is in. Greater commentary on the dangerous nature of these qualities would do well as a warning in movies for us all to heed.

Portal and How to Roll Credits

If you've wandered into any Marvel movie in the past several years you'll know that staying until the credits are completely over is now required. We all collectively know now that just because the credits begin to roll, doesn't mean it's actually over. Other movies have picked up this trend and are probably going to have us in movie theaters for just a few minutes more for the rest of our lives.

A great way filmmakers can take advantage of this captive audience time is to make them smile. Portal is a game where the player is constantly at odds with an evil robot mainframe named GlaDos (Who is reminiscent of Hal 9000 from 2001: A Space Odyssey.) The tone of the game is quite the contrary to this ending scene and performs a 180 in one of the most masterful ways in video games. A chance to do this might only come in more fantastical movies, but taking this to the big screen could be just as iconic; and hopefully catchy.

Kotor II: The Sith Lords Powerful Writing

Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords have arguably some of the best writing in video game history. The game sets up a world in which people begin to question the values of both the Jedi and of the Sith. Star Wars movies have yet to reach a critical, provoking moment anywhere near this and Rouge One: A Star Wars Story only slightly came close in their depiction of what it means to rebel. Movies, not just Star Wars, can take cues from this cut scene as it incorporates so many elements all at once. In this one scene the characters perceived objective comes crumbling down as the Jedi decides your fate like a kangaroo court.

Making the natural order, or those in authority actually turn out to be blinded by their own fears or misunderstandings is a lesson that can't be stressed enough. Just because an authority has done more good than harm does not make them infallible. Furthermore, Star Wars heading in a direction like this could take the idea that the force is parallel to religion and could take on the arguments we face here on Earth all the time.

Last of Us and Perfect Juxtaposition

The Last of Us provides some of the best storytelling in video games and does something movies can get right, but might often forget when it comes to stories about two rogues on a mission. Rather than just create bland pairings between our two antagonists storytellers should follow the great work of this game in character pairs. In this cut scene we see the culmination of working together as main characters Joel and Ellie get into an argument over Ellie's future.

Those who make it to the end of the game will see the power of a relationship that develops over a short period of time. Last of Us does an amazing job of pairing the two through a number of ways. We see that Joel is the classic older, yet crotchety, guy who is experienced enough to survive tough spots. Meanwhile, Ellie is a young girl with some experience of her own, but is still discovering herself and what makes her so special.

Further, we see both characters face their fears and how those can get the best of them. For a game with scenes as good as this one it was tough to choose just one, but playing the game felt more like peeking into real lives than spectating a movie, so definitely take notes on this one.

Mass Effect and Culmination of Plans

For those who have played through the story arch combined with dynamic relationships that resulted in Mass Effect 3, you'll undoubtedly recognize this cut scene as the battle for Earth. The Battle, while a cool way to think of doing space battles for sci-fi movies speaks more to the art of culmination. Move goers and gamers definitely have something in common when it comes to having to make us care about different groups or people in what we are watching.

The battle scene here was the work of three game installments and countless devotion to the hours of gameplay, but this can be transferred over to movies as well. Future films will do well to take note that you don't actually have to end every sci-fi or war type film with a final battle that solves every issue. Sometimes leaving cliffhangers and interesting threads for a future movie will bring fans along for a ride. By now we know that the bigger the blockbuster, the more likely there is to be a sequel or remake so why not let us have those moments of wonder as to where you'll take us next?

Homeworld and Haunting Introductions

Players of the Homeworld series will remember this iconic intro scene as one of the few that stays with you throughout all video game history. Movies and games have long since started introductions to desolate wastelands or futuristic movies with narration, but Homeworld moves the viewer to feel as if this was more real than sci-fi. When presenting narration, filmmakers can take heed from the design of Homeworld's intro by noting the voice over, the choice of music and sound level throughout and overall tone for this intro.

This is how sci-fi is truly meant to start out, similar to the mention of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Homeworld utilizes spaces of silence and calming voices to create an eerie feeling. With a rise in space type movies lately, hopefully lessons from this game will be taken into consideration.

Final Fantasy VII and Character Development

In any story making your characters grow in some way or learn a lesson is a given. Whether it be done in a cheesy 80's way, or by having them be altered in a way they won't even understand yet, it has to be done. Final Fantasy is a series that has become iconic if for the cut scenes alone. One of the arguably greatest character interaction takes place in Final Fantasy VII, Cloud and Zack in the seventh installment of the series.

Going a step further, the scene ties together the idea that Zack's memories are fading as the scene goes on due to the fact that he is dying while also trying his best to hold on to life. There are a litany of lessons in the Square Enix made cut scenes, but the most important is to be willing to build a character up even if he is going to die. Increasing movie tie ins like Marvel's have a Jenga tower of characters that don't ever seem to go anywhere because we have no reason to believe they'd die.

Letting a character grow on the audience and then pulling them out of the fray is a powerful move that series like Game of Thrones or The Walking Dead have done so well and continue to garner praise for it. A bonus lesson for this comes in the phrase if you love someone let it go, but in film if you love a character it's okay to let them die

Batman: Arkham Knight and Winning

Few movies can do to an audience what the ending to Batman: Arkham Knight easily provided. From seamless transition between gameplay and cut scenes to the Batman overcoming all odds once again, this game carries on where future Batman movies might not. Throughout the game there are flashes of the Joker, Batman's eternal enemy, shows up and the fear that Batman is becoming just like him plays on his psyche until the very end.

The scenes above are the ending cinematic and game play, but speak to a tip that movies can pick up on. The relationship between the movies hero and villain has to be one that goes both ways to truly make an impact. In Batman: Arkham Knight it isn't just Joker's hate for Batman, but it's their mutual animosity towards the other that fosters it further.

Great villains need more than a simple motif of wanting to conquer or destroy the world, they need a reason to keep fighting their enemy and even show their own fears to make them more real. So when a hero finally overcomes a well polished antagonist, it leads us to the next lesson.

Master Chief and Bad Ass Delivery

The lesson here is to always allow your extreme, over the top and badass characters be just that. Even when they have times that show emotion or remorse for their situation, letting them have fun and just live up to their abilities can't be overstated unless it's beyond the possibilities their universe sets on them. Out of the many cut scenes of the Halo series, this one has got to be the most exemplary of what it means to be the hero -- "Return the Sender" from Halo 2.

Master Chief, the iconic suited hero of the series is always the hero. Regardless of focus he is used as the best asset of the UNSC Naval Special Warfare Command. A prime example of the respect that should be shown for characters like this occurs in Halo 4 as the main antagonist transforms from calling Master Chief "human" to "warrior" by the end of the game. So when you have a character whose earned their scars and could reasonably be the one-man army, it's okay to let them sometimes.

Kingdom Hearts and Musicality

Square Enix knows how to tell a story, but they certainly perfected the music of this one. The Kingdom Hearts series follows young hero Sora as he tries to make it back home to his friends with the help of iconic Disney characters like Donald Duck and Goofy. The focus filmmakers can take are the uses of theme music as a sense of tying the story together. The series uses an instrumental song called Dearly Beloved from the beginning and in the end screen, but the final scene showing Sora nearly reunited with his friend utilizes the recurring intro song titled "Simple and Clean."

The theme of the series, most recognized in numerous trailers, constantly reminds players of the game. It's a masterful job of bringing back the theme with different reprises and remixes that make it iconic in video game history. When making a film, certain theme songs will forever be associated with a character or film. One that does this as a means of tying together the film with a great piece of music is Inception that focuses on the world of dreams in relation to effects on reality, just like Kingdom Hearts. Who knows, maybe Sora's had a totem the whole time.

Honorable Mentions

uncharted 3, nathan, drake, nate

There's just too many great cut scenes in video games not to mention these, so here's a quick list of additional reading for study

Uncharted

The Uncharted series is known for taking its' inspiration from the big screen for cut scenes, so what lesson could you possibly learn from them? Well, what the series does better than any other is instill a James Bond sense of danger in scenarios that make sense for the character. Nathan Drake, the protagonist, doesn't ever stray from the idea that he wants one last ride or adventure then he's hanging it all up. The fourth installment does the best job in recapturing that childlike adventure he has by literally flashing back to his childhood. Movie characters need that passion about whatever it is their doing, and the audience will enjoy finding the little quirks they may identify with.

Pac-Man

There's nothing like being first, and being original is harder these days than ever. The tip to be taken from the legend of gaming is that sometimes silent little moments can progress the story in ways that might seem silly but ultimately get their point across.

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Overall, video games can teach the film industry a lot with character development and the use of literary techniques as they are inspired by the art of film itself. The greatest films of all time incorporate different aspects like those listed above, but don't have to use all at the same time to work either. Each above can be used in its own unique ways to tie together a story with real feeling and emotions behind it.

Characters exist on screen from planning and writing, but they will stay there if they aren't given real breath and emotion that the audience can connect with. Icons don't become that way by accident, and getting back to the simple lessons of storytelling can achieve that all over again.

]]>
The 16 Best Fan-Made Short Films Based on Video Games https://www.gameskinny.com/ntdj1/the-16-best-fan-made-short-films-based-on-video-games https://www.gameskinny.com/ntdj1/the-16-best-fan-made-short-films-based-on-video-games Mon, 20 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/841c6bad43e6fda57ab57e853c5b1ef1.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/841c6bad43e6fda57ab57e853c5b1ef1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10571","description":"
Hell of a DayZ
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People that play DayZ know that the worst enemies in the game are not zombies roaming the wastelands, but the humans, or simply other players. This is also the main plot point of the short film based on DayZ that tells a story of two companions.

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The film clearly shows what usually happens in the world devoid of any honor and conscience, which is probably the best lesson one can get.

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On that note, let's wait and see what else 2017 will bring in terms of video game fan-films, so expect another selection later this year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/736f4de39be17fdd7c320367d3f64cc4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/736f4de39be17fdd7c320367d3f64cc4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10570","description":"
The Legend of Zelda: Link's Shadow
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Here’s another dark re-telling of the familiar story. This time Link meets his dark twin -- the Link’s shadow. The film’s got a few bloody scenes and the whole theme suggests that the bright world of Zelda is not that bright after all.

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It was made by the same team that shot Shadow of Mordor, so there is a certain style to their work -- lots of action in a fantasy-based world. We hope they do more of this stuff in the future ‘cause it does look great.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc118d259e44e5dde688ca81ca79f69a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc118d259e44e5dde688ca81ca79f69a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10569","description":"
Metroid: The Sky Calls
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The Sky Calls is the true successor of such great sci-fi films like Alien and Space Odyssey. It has that undeniable aesthetics of the grim, open space that is as dangerous as it can get.

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There is a lot of CGI in the film, but it’s done very well, and the special saturation effect that resembles the Kodak film strip used in the 70s and 80s makes everything look extra cool.

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If you are a fan of oldschool sci-fi movies, then definitely watch Metroid: The Sky Calls.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/063cce1bab5e0adedfa50d359dde24e0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/063cce1bab5e0adedfa50d359dde24e0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10568","description":"
Sonic the Hedgehog
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Instead of letting a real actor play the part of Sonic, the creators of this fan film decided to go with a full animated character, and probably for the best. The animation looks neat and it blends naturally into the live setting of planet Mobius.

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The film doesn’t try to take a Sonic into some new direction, but shows it the way this character is meant to be -- fast and funny, if even silly at times. However, the danger is real and the stakes are high, so there is more to the story than it seems at first.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e6822fcbc02ade51bf4680d3ab31d50.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/8e6822fcbc02ade51bf4680d3ab31d50.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10567","description":"
Super Mario: Underworld
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Super Mario in a horror movie? How is this possible? Well, Nukazooka made it possible! It’s a tale with morale that warns all the young kids about the dangers of missing a jump in Super Mario Bros. game, because if that happens, then Mario will go to the most terrifying place -- the Nintendo underworld.

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Anyhow, it’s a really cool concept, it is actually so good that could spawn an entire fan-made video game, but we all know too well that Nintendo will never allow that... but we can always dream, right?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/baa9845b963a8b27160830ca11512797.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/baa9845b963a8b27160830ca11512797.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10566","description":"
Portal: No Escape
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No Escape simply cannot show all the aspects of the original game from Valve, but it does tell a short story from a life of a female prisoner who finds the miraculous handheld portal device.

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It is a very well made short movie, which isn’t surprising, since the creator of the film is Dan Trachtenberg -- the same guy who directed 10 Cloverfield Lane from last year. If you want to see how he came up with his own style of filmmaking, then definitely check out his Portal film.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73f9efc52c7fc7c911ef2a71047be8b6.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/73f9efc52c7fc7c911ef2a71047be8b6.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10565","description":"
Tomb Raider: Croft
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The story of Lara Croft is not only one of the longest-running video game series, but also a movie franchise that spawned two features with Angelina Jolie in the main role and the upcoming reboot with Alicia Vikander.

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Although not a massive undertaking as the above-mentioned Hollywood blockbusters, this fan film is nothing short of amazing. It was inspired by the game that was released in 2013 and incorporates all the stylistic features of it, such as the new look of the main heroine, grim atmosphere, bow and arrows as the main weapon, etc.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2343850d0e4c6af0447b0255c9e9e62a.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2343850d0e4c6af0447b0255c9e9e62a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10564","description":"
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
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Human Revolution is not a usual fan-made short film -- it’s got a relatively huge budget, it took two years to film... and it looks impressive. The slick design of the game is preserved to a T and the action sequences are perfectly choreographed.

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The actor who plays Adam Jensen, the main protagonist, also served as the editor, writer, and director of the film -- his name is Moe Charif. He is currently working on his full feature film “Exile” that should be out sometime this year.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adc5de0375351757c061525cfba19fe9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/adc5de0375351757c061525cfba19fe9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10563","description":"
The Splinter Cell
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Ubisoft has two tactical shooters that should make their way into the big cinema sooner or later -- Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon. None of them have been actually seriously considered yet, but this fan film made by Atomic Productions is simply staggering.

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The cinematography in the film is mind-blowing and at times even trumps those big Hollywood flicks.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc9e07613b82b978356c3722cc592142.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dc9e07613b82b978356c3722cc592142.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10561","description":"
BioShock: The Brothers Rapture
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BioShock series is a perfect candidate for being turned into a few high-budget Hollywood blockbusters with some nice plot. At one point such a movie was greenlit, but due to financial problems and artistic differences it was put on a halt indefinitely.

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Fortunately, there are some really cool short films based on the iconic game. One of them is The Brothers Rapture created by film students from Canada. It tells the story of two brothers who work in the Rapture City and how their experiments lead to some horrific results.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd99b67697f1c1189cec32c267dee514.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/dd99b67697f1c1189cec32c267dee514.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10560","description":"
The Last of Us: No Escape
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Pocketsquare has made two short films based on The Last of Us thus far, and it looks like it’s not their last one, especially with the announcement of the sequel to TLOU video game.

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The 13-minute long film captures the atmosphere of the game incredibly well. Some of the scenes are gripping and convey a true sense of despair. The sound design plays a huge role in it, and it is clear how much attention the creators paid to the ambience -- these people know what they do.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/31c65b6687504d6d207333332aad2bad.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/31c65b6687504d6d207333332aad2bad.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10559","description":"
Fallout: Nuka Break
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The original short film based on Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas became so popular that the team behind the project decided to turn it into a full-fledged web-series. The first season got huge online very quickly and the Kickstarter campaign was launched to finance Season 2.

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Not only fans were amazed by the quality of the original film and the series, but the representatives of Bethesda themselves gave them two thumbs-up. Later on the Nuka Breaker weapon has been released through a DLC, which was a direct homage to this fan-film.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a9aec8aae923f1e8e87a6c0035d9a53f.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/a9aec8aae923f1e8e87a6c0035d9a53f.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10558","description":"
Red Dead Redemption: Seth's Gold
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Seth’s Gold is a true fan-film made with the money gathered on IndieGoGo from 87 backers that managed to bring in over 8,000 Euro. Although it is based on the RDR video game, the shooting style was inspired by the old westerns, such as The Good, the Bad and the Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West.

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The people behind the film are two young Spanish filmmakers -- Guillermo de Oliveira and Javier Esteban. They have a few other cool shorts on their YouTube channel, so check them out.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2ed4c54d0f6d1470eac64d8198c694a4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/2ed4c54d0f6d1470eac64d8198c694a4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10557","description":"
Watch Dogs
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Ubisoft has in plans of releasing a feature film based on Watch Dogs, but after the flop of the Assassin’s Creed movie, we should all expect more delays and rewrites. There is hope if the production team tries to really ground everything down, instead of imitating the unrealistic approach that works only in video games.

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The good example is the short film presented here that received tons of positive reviews from the community. It was created by Infectious Designer right after the release of the first game, which even spawned several sequels.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/854b7ed1f2babb33b0cd6de5baf62292.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/854b7ed1f2babb33b0cd6de5baf62292.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10556","description":"
Shadow Of Mordor
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This little movie was made in 2014 by Sam and Niko from Corridor Digital with financial support of Warner Bros. Games. The film shows an episode from the story of ranger Talion, who is being chased by a bunch of orcs.

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It features high standards of production, including top-notch make-up, excellent acting, fighting choreography, and some very well-done CGI. The only drawback is the main character’s synthetic wig that looks really cheap, but other than that it’s totally worth a watch.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/46a0f0bb87cae12742fefbf807305067.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/46a0f0bb87cae12742fefbf807305067.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10555","description":"
Grand Theft Auto: RISE
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There isn’t much story wise in RISE, but the chase scene that takes the two thirds of the film is more than impressive. Gevorg Karensky, the writer and director, created a style that combines both live and video game footage.

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The film was so well accepted by the community that it was immediately snatched for the Cannes Film Festival in 2012. Sam Gibs from Gizmodo UK said the following about GTA: RISE:

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"It blows every other fan-made project I've ever laid eyes on completely out of the water."

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8c2e4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/untitled-8c2e4.jpg","type":"slide","id":"153005","description":"

In the last 20 years dozens of Hollywood filmmakers tried to make movies based on video games that would be well-received by the audiences. Unfortunately, only a couple have managed to bring something decent to the world cinemas -- there is a feeling that movies based on video games are cursed.

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The very first game character that was brought to life on a blue screen was Super Mario in 1993. The latest one was Assassin’s Creed, which failed both domestically and globally. On the other hand, there is an entire community of amateur filmmakers that make their own short films of video games -- and it is way more successful than you may think.

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This selection offers some of the best examples made in the last five years, including fan-made films based on GTA, Watch Dogs, Fallout, The Legend of Zelda, and many, many others. You can watch them all right here without the need to visit the cinemas.

"}]]]>
Top 5 Jaw Dropping Horror Games for the PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/8or9g/top-5-jaw-dropping-horror-games-for-the-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/8or9g/top-5-jaw-dropping-horror-games-for-the-ps4 Tue, 14 Mar 2017 08:00:01 -0400 gamerpro2000

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indiehorrorgames-zps1663ab02-7ba54.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/i/n/d/indiehorrorgames-zps1663ab02-7ba54.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152747","description":"

Well those are the games on the ps4 that I found to be the most scary to me. And If you decide to play these hopefully you would agree with me.

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Many games deserve to be on this list, but the reason I chose these is because me and many people I know have played and enjoyed these horrifying games.

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Now it's time to ask yourself, "what games have I played that gave me the creeps?"

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-1xxx-c5f07.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/a/l/i/alien-isolation-1xxx-c5f07.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152705","description":"

Alien: Isolation

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Alien: Isolation is a game which will have you peeing yourself with fear. It is all about hiding, sneaking, and very little about attacking. When this alien is on the hunt for you it would be wise to stay in cover before you suffer a horrible death.

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Out of all of the  games on this list, this is the one that give me chills while hiding. You have to be quiet and smart if you want to play this game right. The scariest part of this game is the suspense. You never know if you're going to make one quick mistake and then suffer the consequences when the Alien finds you.

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If you are thinking of adding Alien: Isolation to your collection then I would advise you to have an ambulance for when you have a heart attack.

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Alien: Isolation made it into the top horror games ever made and got great reviews around the board too. If so many people love this game then it obviously deserves to be on this list.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/9/30927293-5b8c-4488-88f3-427b5eae3746jpg-cb286869267-sr970300-0913d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/3/0/9/30927293-5b8c-4488-88f3-427b5eae3746jpg-cb286869267-sr970300-0913d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152707","description":"

The Last of Us

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Even though The Last of Us is not the scariest game that you can find, it is jaw dropping. This game has an amazing story to it and has some jump scares in it that will cause you to throw your controller across the room.

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The scariest part of The Last of Us is those damn clickers, they love popping out of nowhere and are pretty tough for something that can't even see. I enjoyed this game a lot, and the best part is that even at the scariest points it's still so fun.

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It keeps you on the edge of your seat while you're going through the dark trying to figure out what to do and where to go. This game has amazing lighting and the environment alone make The Last of Us worth playing.

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If you play this game then you will have a great time, and the story has a decent length to it too.

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The Last of Us was also really popular from the fans. It even got so popular that Naughty Dog remastered it for the PS4. So just think to yourself is this a game I see myself playing? Yes!

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/until-dawn-cover-art-ba68b.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/u/n/t/until-dawn-cover-art-ba68b.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152706","description":"

Until Dawn

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Until Dawn has you making crazy choices that can affect the entire game. It has you making decisions like cutting your arm off, or trying to get out the bear trap while a psycho is trying to kill you -- better act fast if you want to survive.

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The best part of this game is as you are doing everything so quickly, it adds a certain fear that none of these other games on this list have. Plus this game has a pretty cool story to it, and the killer in this game is pretty disturbing looking. Watching him coming after you makes you wanna bite your nails and start shivering.

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The only thing is Until Dawn is kind of short. But if you're looking for a fun and scary game to pass some time, then this is the game for you.

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The most enjoyable thing about until dawn is 'the' plot twist and the different kind of clues that you end up finding throughout the game. Until Dawn received many good reviews, and I am very happy I got the chance to play it.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/i/evil-within-37f5c.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/e/v/i/evil-within-37f5c.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152704","description":"

The Evil Within

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Not only is The Evil Within one of my favorite games, it has the most epic prologues you will ever play -- with it's fast paced running and suspenseful hiding.

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The Evil Within has you trying to escape some of the most psychotic things you will only see in your nightmares. There are a lot of jump scares in this game but these are not the scariest things. That would be home compared to the constant fear that comes from thinking the killer is right next to you. The worst part is most of the time you have nothing to defend yourself against them.

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If you have never played this game, and you want something scary and challenging, then I recommend this to you. It may cause you to have nightmares but you will enjoy The Evil Within.

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One of the things that I noticed in this game was the scenery, because the details inside every little thing is amazing. While this revolves around a lot of organs and blood, whoever is playing The Evil Within will see that this amazing detail makes everything look alive.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/5/8/758c4b1ab2e9f7.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/7/5/8/758c4b1ab2e9f7.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152703","description":"
Resident Evil 7: Biohazard
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The Resident Evil franchise has always had a scary feeling to it. But this one is by far the scariest, with its jump scares and crazy looking creatures that will give the devil himself nightmares.

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I have always been a Resident Evil fan (my favorite being 4) but Resident Evil 7 is different than the rest. This one has changed the way the fans will play Resident Evil forever.

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They did add stuff that makes it seem like the older ones which I thought was great. For example they put a similar system to the older games with how you combine things in the inventory. But they also added a new psycho kind of feeling to the game. It's a lot more gory and twisted than the rest.

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Resident Evil 7 has you staying focused on something, then little do you know it was all a distraction for something a lot scarier.

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Even though I love the oldies, I like the direction they went with this new installment of the franchise, and I'm sure you will too. So, you have to ask yourself what is next for the Resident Evil franchise?

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/1/3/f13jason-610-a961d.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/f/1/3/f13jason-610-a961d.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152746","description":"

The PS4 has already seen it's fair share of scares, in only 3 years it has become home to some of the best horror games around.

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And who doesn't like having a bit of a scare now and then? Well these are the games that are more than just a bit of a scare. These games will have you sweating and panting hoping you don't die.

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This article will show you some of the worst places and worst positions to be in as a human being. Luckily for you you're on the other side of the screen. Lets hope it stays that way.

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So, what are the 5 Jaw Dropping Horror Games on the PS4? Read this article and you will understand why I chose these gruesome, gory, and horrifying games.

"}]]]>
9 Games with the Best Artificial Intelligence https://www.gameskinny.com/8zkeq/9-games-with-the-best-artificial-intelligence https://www.gameskinny.com/8zkeq/9-games-with-the-best-artificial-intelligence Sun, 05 Mar 2017 09:20:12 -0500 Sergey_3847

[{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c4f67f65183b9d4f199a8ffc0d0336e5.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/c4f67f65183b9d4f199a8ffc0d0336e5.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10499","description":"

ARMA 3

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Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Release date: September 12, 2013
Platforms: PC

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ARMA 3 is known for a super precise enemy AI. Ever heard of clear shots on 300 or 400 meter distances? Yep, that’s ARMA 3. But many people don’t know that the best thing about the AI in ARMA 3 is that it is fully customizable.

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If you know how to edit “.ini” files, then you can easily set up the game’s AI to your liking. On the other hand, you could just download and install one of the many AI mods that are freely distributed for the game.

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However, most players have adapted to the default settings, and show no mercy for their enemies.

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What other games do you know of that possess a great AI? Share their titles and leave your opinions on why you think so in the comments.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d812d3d9e5455fd3012123dfeb895bdc.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/d812d3d9e5455fd3012123dfeb895bdc.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10498","description":"

Alien: Isolation

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Developer: Creative Assembly
Release date: October 7, 2014
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One

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You would think that the true star of the game is the main character, in this case Amanda Ripley… but no -- it’s the Xenomorph. This creepy alien and its constant, looming presence throughout the entire game makes it a particularly interesting case for an enemy AI study.

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This kind of prolonged interaction between the protagonist and the antagonist is unprecedented in the world of gaming. It probably took a lot of effort to program the complex behavior of the creature that would jump out of the most unexpected places.

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Clive Gratton, technical director on Alien: Isolation, said the following about the multi-layered AI system (read the full interview here):

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“Our basic premise for the AI was ‘not to cheat’. The level is pre-processed to find interesting places for the Alien to search. We then drop it in with a few parameters to say how fast to search, where and what size radius. If the Alien hasn’t spotted the player then it’ll do a leisurely search of a large area. If you can hear the Alien in the vents close to you then there’s more chance that it can hear you and will come down. It is actually traversing through the vent network.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/3/9/039f352396eeb9791ae5e36f938d9cfb-734a0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/0/3/9/039f352396eeb9791ae5e36f938d9cfb-734a0.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152095","description":"

StarCraft II

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Developer: Blizzard Entertainment
Release date: July 27, 2010
Platforms: PC

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Long-time SarCraft players may laugh at this suggestion, because even the Hard and Elite AI in StarCraft II is not too impressive. But again, this is the case if you’re an experienced player. However, if you’re just starting out in the StarCraft universe, playing against AI is your best option, and it is built exactly for that reason.

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The AI in StarCraft II follows the same sequence every time, which is perfect for learning and developing your first strategy against it. Later, when you know what you’re doing, you can start playing against real players.

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And the last cool thing to mention is the upcoming StarCraft II challenge offered by the British AI developer -- DeepMind. It’s the one that beat the Go world champion last year, and it would be really interesting to see how this intelligence will fair against Blizzard’s own AI sometime in 2017.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/aa0824ad8c3129613e9a50b31d7852b9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/aa0824ad8c3129613e9a50b31d7852b9.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10497","description":"

Far Cry 2

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Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Release date: October 21, 2008
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

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It is a sad thing to say, but the Far Cry series doesn’t get any better with every new installment. Ubisoft tries to appeal to a more casual player these days, but at one point, Far Cry was one of the most unforgiving games ever made.

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The first one was developed by Crytek, and then Ubisoft helmed the second one, and the rest of them followed. Far Cry 2 was so challenging that people went as far as calling it “sadistic”… and it was for a reason. The enemy AI was simply brutal, and there were no friendly NPCs -- everybody was hostile.

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There was no real system to the AI’s behavior -- it was just incredibly chaotic and unpredictable. This alone made the game super hard, even for veteran gamers.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b12283b85e43259f2e012adc34f94d4.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/4b12283b85e43259f2e012adc34f94d4.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10496","description":"

Halo: Reach

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Developer: Bungie
Release date: September 14, 2010
Platforms: Xbox 360

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Halo: Reach stands out from the rest of the games in the cult series from Microsoft due to its staggering AI. This statement regards the Elites, who are some of the smartest and most aggressive enemies you will ever encounter in a video game.

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One could re-play the campaign over and over again without ever getting bored because the AI would behave differently every time. When the fans figured this out, they decided to push the AI in the game to its limits. And thus, in 2011, a team called “Termacious Trickocity” recorded more than 150 hours of gameplay in an attempt to show just how good the AI is in Halo: Reach.

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The result can be seen in the video above, which is a 10-minute montage of the best moments from the entire Termacious Trickocity run. One of the members of the said team, Aaron Sekela, stated the following:

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“Our hardest trick though would probably be the ‘Exodus Marine Collection.’ That’s the trick that starts around the 5:48 mark and ends at the 6:29 mark. We were in that game for 7 hours, getting the marines to cooperate was extremely annoying, we had to make sure they didn’t get killed by enemies or being launched over the river. Once over the river we need to drive 10 minute to get the marines, to the top of a huge mountain. We had to go back and forth about 4 or 5 times. Lack of check points didn’t help either.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-enemy-unknown-plus-vita-cde30.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/x/c/o/xcom-enemy-unknown-plus-vita-cde30.jpg","type":"slide","id":"152091","description":"

XCOM: Enemy Unknown

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Developer: Firaxis Games
Release date: October 9, 2012
Platforms: PC, PS3, PS Vita, Xbox 360

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Alien AI is the reason why the reboot of the XCOM series succeeded back in 2012. And the person responsible for that AI was Alex Cheng, who decided to make the AI not just distinctive, but also entertaining.

This effect was achieved “by means of a utility-based system -- a system that gave a measure of 'usefulness' to every possible action.” 

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And this is what XCOM is known for: its limited system of movement that requires the AI to calculate the most efficient way of action for each of its turns. It would consider everything, such as the distance to the closest objective, proximity to other aliens, the number of enemies, the behavior of the enemies, and more.

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This approach to AI is truly groundbreaking and should be taken into consideration by other aspiring video game developers.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cd4c48be0e08d83f214b7fc91e3eddd0.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/cd4c48be0e08d83f214b7fc91e3eddd0.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10495","description":"

Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Blacklist

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Developer: Ubisoft Toronto
Release date: August 20, 2013
Platforms: PC, PS3, Wii U, Xbox 360

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The objectives in all missions of Blacklist are basically the same -- avoid guards at all costs. You got it right -- it’s a hard stealth game. The guard AI is truly something here, and generally speaking, the AI in the Splinter Cell series has always been a subject of fascination.

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It reminds me a lot of a chess game. You enter an area, detect all the guards, figure out the plan of evasion, and move forward to a complete execution of the mission. But it’s not as easy to do as it sounds. The guards are programmed to detect and react to the smallest things -- not just visual cues, but audible ones as well.

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On top of that, they have dogs that prowl in the most unexpected corners, forcing you to reveal your position. It’s really something, and people have been writing entire essays on just how good the AI is in Splinter Cell: Blacklist -- you can read one of them here.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_360,w_640/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screen-shot-2014-113545-620x349-9e088.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,h_85,w_97/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinnyc/s/c/r/screen-shot-2014-113545-620x349-9e088.png","type":"slide","id":"152087","description":"

The Last of Us

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Developer: Naughty Dog
Release date: June 14, 2013
Platforms: PS3

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If you’re wondering what this game is doing here (since the enemy AI in TLOU isn’t much to write home about) it’s really not about enemies this time, but instead about a companion AI -- Ellie. The teenage girl, the key to the survival of all humanity, is the star of the game, and it’s mainly because of an excellent AI.

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Did you know that the release of TLOU was initially delayed for five months? The director of the game decided to overwrite the entire companion AI from scratch. Well, it’s a good thing that he did, because Ellie has become a true friend and not just another burden on your hands.

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Here’s what Naughty Dog's Max Dyckhoff said about Ellie’s AI at GDC 2014 (watch the full presentation here):

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“Much of this was built on simple ideas, such as how to decide where Ellie should stand: the basic mechanics decide a zone she can inhabit, then draws a series of lines between her and Joel, the direction she's looking in, and where she could potentially move to. If any of those lines hit a wall or obstacle, then Ellie can't stand there.”

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"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f2ec97c62c7b5b9f3d7c9d6931fa8deb.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/e_sharpen:100/f_auto,fl_lossy,q_auto/v1/gameskinny/f2ec97c62c7b5b9f3d7c9d6931fa8deb.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"10494","description":"

F.E.A.R.

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Developer: Monolith Productions
Release date: October 17, 2005
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360

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If there was ever a good AI in any FPS game, it was definitely the one in F.E.A.R. The enemies would never act in the same way, but they would react to each other’s situations and would never repeat the same mistakes. This prompted players to constantly change tactics and never sit in the same position.

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Here’s how the designers of the AI have described their approach to F.E.A.R. (read full statement):

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“In F.E.A.R., A.I. use(s) cover more tactically, coordinating with squad members to lay suppression fire while others advance. A.I. only leave cover when threatened, and blind fire if they have no better position.”

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On top of that, enemy AI always applies pressure -- at times, you don’t even have the time to heal. The harder the difficulty you choose to play, the better the AI behaves.

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That's not to mention the weapons physics and movement animations in this game were groundbreaking for its time.

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Many game developers intentionally make the AI in their games easy to deal with. Only a few choose the hard way and try to challenge their fanbase by making AI behave in more inventive ways than just duck, dodge, fire. 

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And of course, every gamer has his or her own favorite titles, but these nine games are universally praised for offering something new in the department of artificial intelligence. Each case has its own peculiar approach, and each shows just how deep one can dive into the possibilities of machine psychology.

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Different genres of games utilize different algorithms when it comes to programming AI. For example, FPS games implement the layered structure of the artificial intelligence system, while RTS games have several modules, such as effective path-finding, economic structuring, game map analysis, and more.

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You will learn about all these different algorithms in the list that follows. Let's get started. 

"}]]]>
Great Concept, Poor Implementation: Why I Won't Be Switching To The Switch https://www.gameskinny.com/muac3/great-concept-poor-implementation-why-i-wont-be-switching-to-the-switch https://www.gameskinny.com/muac3/great-concept-poor-implementation-why-i-wont-be-switching-to-the-switch Tue, 17 Jan 2017 07:00:01 -0500 TL Bickler

I have lost interest in Nintendo consoles. Like many people my age, I grew up on Nintendo and I keep hoping they will learn from their mistakes; but with each new console they repeat the same mistakes. Here’s a recap of Nintendo's failures that have led me to spend my money elsewhere.

It all started with the Nintendo Wii’s revolutionary remote control design that peaked the interest of even the most casual gamer. It was the first controller that made you get off your butt (what a thought!) and move your body. That is until you realize you could achieve the same results with a flick of your wrists. But no matter your level of laziness, Nintendo had something special with their new system and the world was waiting to see how they would use it.

Sadly, Wii owners were rather disappointed when Nintendo didn't utilize what they had. Nintendo cut themselves off from most of the bigger titles due to their own uniqueness and failed to provide much in the way of unique titles for their system. The Wii remote made RPGs and most other games about as enjoyable as a three day road trip with your kid sister. The glitchy controller made play frustrating as fans cursed their Wii's and urged it to just point at the right spot, or to register the flick of their wrist before their character died.

With people flocking (or in some cases fleeing) to the PS3 and Xbox 360’s better graphics and wider variety of story driven RPGs, Nintendo had to do something to keep up. That’s when we got the Wii U and its rather bulky new controller.

While better than its predecessor, Nintendo still gave the world a limited console and the same few games. Nintendo’s unique interface restricted game developers from converting their bigger titles -- like Tomb Raider and Skyrim -- to Nintendo’s system. Thus leaving Nintendo with the same problem as the Wii and still no solutions.

A Ray Of Sunshine

I know I’ve spent the past few paragraphs bashing Nintendo, but I am still a fan of their games. I just refuse to buy into their poorly designed systems. It still looks like Nintendo is focusing too hard on being different and not enough on implementation. Even so, the Switch looks promising, but there are still a few key things I’d need to see before I ever invest in a Nintendo console again.

Stop Changing Your Systems Like a Woman Changes Her Mind!

Nothing is more frustrating than investing your hard earned money on a system that is outdated the next year. Or if it’s not the system, it’s a new controller you have to buy to play the latest Zelda game (which if we’re honest, Zelda is the real reason people buy a Nintendo console). If I were to keep up with Nintendo’s constant system and controller changes, I’d end up on a street corner holding a sign to pay for my meals. But hey, I'd have the latest Nintendo equipment to look at as I sat in my new cardboard house!

Better NEW Games

Nintendo wasn’t made great due to their graphics, so the lack of graphical power isn’t what keeps me from buying a Nintendo console. What would make me spend my paycheck on their new system is if they produced games that made me want to buy them. Sony ripped out our hearts with The Last of Us and Microsoft sent us on an adventure with Fable 2. The Wii U gave us another Zelda game and the ability to play with eight people in Smash Bros (nice touch but I’ll hold onto my wallet for now).

What?! Zelda isn’t enough for you?!

Nope. Not when I can enjoy plenty of Zelda titles on my Wii (which includes GameCube games) and my N64. If they came out with something new, preferable an RPG that plays without the glitchiness of the old Wii remote, then I might consider purchasing a Switch. Since their new controller can switch to a traditional controller, I am hopeful. But Nintendo still added in the problematic motion controls to their new Joy-Con, and I’m a little skeptical. The past two motion based controllers have failed us; why would a third be any different?

A Bigger Memory

I have to admit; I like big games and I cannot lie. The Switch will release with only 32GB of storage. This is sad when both of the competition's cheapest systems come with 500GB. Imagine installing a large file game like Skyrim on a pathetic 32GB! While I know the memory is expandable, I still prefer to start with a decent sized base. 32GBs is acceptable for a cell phone storage space, but is not an acceptable game console storage space.

While I took one look at the Wii U and knew I’d never buy one, the Switch has potential to change my mind. They finally have a unique system that might keep up with the competition. But it will depend on if they can release games that are current (and not five years old) and free of annoying motion control glitchiness. I guess only time will tell if Nintendo has learned from their past consoles or if their mistakes will finally drag them under.

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Naughty Dog Takes Platinum in the 2016 PlayStation.Blog Game of the Year Award https://www.gameskinny.com/jicrb/naughty-dog-takes-platinum-in-the-2016-playstationblog-game-of-the-year-award https://www.gameskinny.com/jicrb/naughty-dog-takes-platinum-in-the-2016-playstationblog-game-of-the-year-award Thu, 12 Jan 2017 23:29:41 -0500 TL Bickler

Over half-million fans took part in Sony’s 2016 PlayStation.Blog Game of the Year Awards and we have the results! Out of fourteen categories voted on one game company soared above the rest: Naughty Dog. Naughty Dog snagged seven platinum awards -- including the game of the year and the studio of the year.

Naughty Dog’s Hero: Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End claimed 40% of the total votes and stole most of the platinum awards. Uncharted came in on top for game of the year, best story, best performance with Nolan North taking platinum and Emily Rose taking silver, best soundtrack, and best visuals. But Uncharted didn’t stop there; they also won the gold for best post release game content. With six awards just with one game, it’s no wonder they took the platinum for studio of the year.

The Last of Us Part II

But Uncharted wasn’t Naughty Dog’s only star. The Last of us Part II brought home the platinum for most anticipated game of 2016. Since The Last of Us took platinum for Naughty Dog back in the 2013 PlayStation.Blog Game of The Year Awards, it’s not a real shock it won most anticipated game of 2016.

Here is a quick rundown of the other Platinum winners for the 2016 PlayStation.Blog Game of The Year Awards.

Best PS Vita Game

World of Final Fantasy

Best Independent Game

Firewatch

Best Use of PS4 Pro & Best Multiplayer

Battlefield 1

Best PlayStation VR Game

Batman Arkham VR

Best Post-Release Content

The Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt

Most Innovative

The Last Guardian

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Yes, Voice Actors Get Re-Used All The Time... And That's Okay https://www.gameskinny.com/rax58/yes-voice-actors-get-re-used-all-the-time-and-thats-okay https://www.gameskinny.com/rax58/yes-voice-actors-get-re-used-all-the-time-and-thats-okay Thu, 22 Dec 2016 19:00:01 -0500 Caio Sampaio

Games have grown up a lot in the past 30 years. They've progressed on many fronts, including narrative complexity, but to accurately and efficiently develop their stories, game developers do not rely solely upon the writers that work with them. Instead, it is equally crucial to have talented voice actors bring characters to life in order to ensure scripts live up to their potential.

Nowadays, with the gaming industry predominantly focused on male protagonist, developers often look to two actors -- Troy Baker and Nolan North. This produces a lack of diversity, and it may seem detrimental to the medium, because these two actors get “recycled” for almost every major AAA release, but this is not as bad for players as it may initially seem.

Here is why

First and foremost, the two actors mentioned herein get hired by so many AAA studios for a reason -- they can change their voices to suit virtually any type of character or situation. This is the reason why Booker DeWitt from BioShock Infinite does not sound identical to Joel from The Last of Us, despite both characters being voiced by Troy Baker.

The video below shows the flexibility of Baker's voice in detail as he performs roles for which you perhaps did not even know he was responsible:

We conclude that the reuse of Troy Baker and Nolan North in various AAA titles is not a fact players should be concerned about, given that these actors can change their voices and become unrecognizable to the audience.

Whilst for the players this may not represent a problem, this scenario is a big concern for those who aspire to start a career in the video game industry as voice actors.

Given the short list of actors that most studios regard as "go-to resources," this limits the possibility of a novice actor receiving his first big break, as studios are not willing to move away from the "Troy Baker-Nolan North comfort zone."

As the website Acting London states in its article "A Career in Voice Over for Video Games," in order to start a career with video games, it is advised to begin working in another industry, in order to get your work recognized therein.

Landing an acting role in the video game industry is possible, if you reach a performance in other mediums that the AAA studios cannot ignore.

This situation; however, shows a problem with the video game industry that is more sinister than merely reusing actors because they excel in their crafts.

Going on a strike:

On October 21, video game voice actors, associated with the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) went on a strike and upon publishing an official notice, stopped working with the following developers:

• Activision Productions, Inc.

• Blindlight, LLC

• Corps of Discovery Films, Inc.

• Electronic Arts Productions, Inc.

• Disney Character Voices, Inc.

• Formosa Interactive LLC

• Insomniac Games, Inc.

• Interactive Associates, Inc.

• Take 2 Productions, Inc.

• VoiceWorks Productions, Inc.

• WB Games, Inc.

The reasons why the actors decided to go on a strike against these studios range from lack of safe working conditions to underpayment. As of today, a consensus has not been reached between the developers and the union, which stands in a strike.

This scenario shows the working conditions under which actors operate in the video game industry and reveals the reason why so few voice actors stand out in it. Due to the working conditions, the majority of professionals tend to focus on other mediums.

The official document by SAG-AFTRA details the reasons for the strike and the entity shares two points, among others:

- Safety on the set:

"Unlike other entertainment industry employers, video game employers often do not hire the required stunt coordinator on set, which puts performance capture and stunt performers at safety risks. Many actors feel unsafe without a stunt coordinator because they are often asked to do things that could potentially be dangerous to themselves or others. For example, once, without a stunt coordinator on set, a video game developer tried to do a wire pull — which means he basically made himself jerk really hard and fast across a room — without someone on set to monitor his safety. He, of course, got hurt and couldn’t go back to work for a long while. This is just one instance among many"

- Voice Actors Face Debilitating Injury:

"Vocal safety is a growing concern. An increasing number of SAG-AFTRA voiceover artists report experiencing medical disorders of the vocal cords resulting from their work in video games due to the intensity of the vocal demands. Voiceover actors are being asked to perform many challenging vocal tasks, such as simulating painful deaths, creature voices, battle sounds, and screams and shrieks, with significant force and explosive vibration. Actors are reporting that they are fainting in sessions, tasting blood, vomiting, losing their voice for a day up to several weeks, permanently losing their vocal range, et cetera. Our proposal is that vocally stressful sessions be reduced from the current four-hour session to a two-hour session without a loss of pay."

Working conditions in this industry must change:

This holds true not only for acting. This reflects the reality of the working conditions in the video game industry as a whole. The video below from Extra Credits get into detail, but the average career in the video game industry lasts for only five years, according to the video.

To deliver AAA experiences, many studios rely on 12 hours shifts, seven days per week. Initiatives such as the strike of voice actors, through SAG-AFTRA, aim to revert this scenario, but this industry still has a long way to go in regards to working conditions.

This happens because the industry grew too fast. In the last 20 years, video games went through a transformation, creating larger worlds, better graphics and more compelling narratives and creating these requires a lot of labor.

The problem is that the legislation that regulates the working conditions in this medium has not evolved as fast.

The SAG-AFTRA is an example of this. The original agreement between the entity and the video game developers dates back to 1994. The reality has changed since then and the guidelines from that agreement no longer apply to the highly demanding reality of today. 

Conclusion:

As the title of this article claims, "yes, voice actors get re-used all the time and that is okay," but it is only okay if you look at this from the perspective of the player. These actors can deliver a wide range of voices; therefore, players most likely will not notice that they are being re-used.

The actual problem lies elsewhere.

Despite the success of gaming, artists usually prefer to work in other mediums, where they will face better working conditions and this is the problem.

Professionals of this industry must stand up to their work and demand better working conditions, otherwise many talents will be driven away, including voice actors, writers, designers and so on.

In order to nourish a better future for gaming, this industry needs to become more attractive to the geniuses of our time, so they join forces and work in the gaming masterpieces of the future.

With this said, regarding the future of this industry, "yes, voice actors get-reused all the time" and that is not okay.

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Do We Need Video Game Movies? https://www.gameskinny.com/2wxum/do-we-need-video-game-movies https://www.gameskinny.com/2wxum/do-we-need-video-game-movies Thu, 15 Dec 2016 11:00:01 -0500 Joey Marrazzo

2016 is almost over and it's time to look back at the monster that it might have created; movies based off our favorite video game titles. In 2016, we saw the release of The Angry Birds Movie, Warcraft and later this month, Assassins Creed. While we don't know how Assassin's Creed will perform, the box office numbers for the other two weren't as great as people were expecting.

The Angry Birds Movie released in May to mixed reviews. It is currently sitting at a 43 on Metacritic and a 43% on Rotten Tomatoes. Despite having an all-star cast including Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad and Bill Hader, the film did not perform well. Based on a budget of $73 million, it only grossed $349.8 million worldwide.

When you compare that $349.8 million to the other animated films like The Secret Life of Pets which grossed $875.1 million with about the same budget as Angry Birds, you could see that the movie didn't perform as well as the rest of the animated features that also came out this year, especially since Angry Birds had been a known property for 7 years already.

One of the reasons why this movie didn't perform as well as you would expect is because it released 7 years after the introduction and craze that was the original Angry Birds app. Back in 2009 when the craze first started, you would've wanted anything that was Angry Birds themed. 7 years later? That craze is gone. The buzz wasn't there.

Remember Temple Run? There were rumors of that turning into a movie when that was the big craze. But if you look at your phone now, you probably don't have it installed anymore. You can't make movies based on mobile games because those are just games for the moment and will be gone in a few months. Pokemon Go anyone?

The second video game related film that released this year was Warcraft. This movie was based off the widely popular MMO World of Warcraft developed by Blizzard. When you think of Blizzard, you think of the incredible lore that comes with each one of their titles. So you would think making a movie about the lore of this incredible franchise would succeed, right? Wrong.

Warcraft released in June of this year to negative reviews across the board. It currently has a 32 on Metacritic and a 28% on Rotten Tomatoes. People love the lore but it was adapted poorly to the screen. That is the thing that filmmakers have to look out for.

Another video game movie that came out this year was Ratchet and Clank. This was released alongside the Ratchet and Clank game that was re-imagined for PlayStation 4. It was a failure. With a budget of only $20 million, it managed to gross $13 million at the box office. It received a 29 on Metacritic and an 18% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Assassin's Creed is the third of Ubisoft's properties that they are bringing to the theatre. The first property that they brought to the big screen was Far Cry back in 2008. Having a budget of $30 million, it managed to gross a whopping $743,634. Let's also not forget about The Prince of Persia film that they released in 2010. That managed to gross $336.4 million which isn't that bad, but it wasn't received well by the critics or the fans. It currently sits with a 36% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 50 on MetaCritic.

With Michael Fassbender leading their third try at a  video game film -- and the first time Ubisoft have used their own production house --, you can form your own opinion of the movie when it releases on December 21. You can expect the fans of the franchise to see the film in theatres just because they are curious to see if it adapts well. But if you aren't a fan of the games, are you going to see the movie based off the trailers?

Video game movies have not had a good year. This year we also had rumors of a The Last of Us movie and the Uncharted movie. Why do we need film adaptations of these titles when the games are movies themselves?

When you play The Last of Us, it is more of a cinematic experience than it is a game. The incredible story, characters and relationship between Ellie and Joel make The Last of Us better than most movies that are in the theatres today. It is a bonus that you can play the game.

Same thing with the Uncharted franchise. We don't need Mark Wahlberg to play Nathan Drake because we are used to playing Nathan Drake. Uncharted 4 was a great game, but people praised it more for its visuals compared to the actual story. If you really want an Uncharted movie, go watch Indiana Jones. How can you perfectly bring a beloved video game franchise to the big screen without ruining its legacy, and entertaining the hardcore fan base?

There are currently no movies based on video games to be released in 2017. But there are talks of sequels to the Angry Birds Movie and Warcraft. What will be the video game movie that opens the floodgates to the rest of the video game properties being made into films? It could be Assassin's Creed. That releases on December 21 in the US (January 1 in the UK) so maybe if that gets good reviews, we will see the Uncharted movie or maybe a The Legend of Zelda movie if Nintendo is feeling spontaneous.

What video game franchises would you love to see on the big screen?

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