Valiant Hearts: The Great War Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Valiant Hearts: The Great War RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network E3 2017: Ubisoft Predictions https://www.gameskinny.com/pfv3l/e3-2017-ubisoft-predictions https://www.gameskinny.com/pfv3l/e3-2017-ubisoft-predictions Mon, 12 Jun 2017 13:42:56 -0400 Curtis Dillon

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And there you have our Ubisoft E3 2017 predictions! For all intents and purposes, it seems like it's going to be a pretty great show for the publisher. With several huge games coming in the next year, from South Park to Far Cry, The Crew and Assassin's Creed, there's going to be a lot to show.

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As well as the games we know about, Ubisoft is likely to have several unannounced titles that could steal the show, be it Splinter Cell 2, Child of Light 2, or the brand new IP. It's definitely an exciting year and, considering they've chosen for developers to host the briefing, it seems like games are going to be the focus.

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What do you think Ubisoft is going to show-off? Which game are you most excited for? Let us know in the comments and be sure to check out our other predictions! Until next time, stay tuned to GameSkinny!

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New IP

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Ubisoft can't help but close out it's E3 shows with a new IP we've never heard of. The company has done this every year since Watch Dogs was originally revealed, and more often than not it's a pleasant surprise. I expect this year to be no different.

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Of course, there's no way of telling what the new IP will be for sure, but we've already gotten a big tease. In a fantastic tongue-in-cheek mission in Watch Dogs 2, players sneak into Ubisoft headquarters and steal a new game trailer, then leak it to a games website for a nice fee. This trailer pops-up online and it shows images like the one above; weird spaceships orbiting planets with the tagline: E3_Conf_Video_v03.

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That's as on-the-nose as you can get when it comes to teases. Sources have said the game is indeed real and codenamed "Pioneer", although it was also reported that the game suffered a snag in development. This means the game is not a sure thing to be seen at E3 this year but, given Ubisoft's track record for revealing new IP to close the show, I'd still put money it.

"},{"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/1/4/0/14061870-9fea2.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/1/4/0/14061870-9fea2.jpg","type":"slide","id":"161278","description":"

Far Cry 5

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Back to serious business, and that business is the awesomely-crazy, Far Cry 5! Just to get something out of the way, I do not understand the so-called "controversy" surrounding the game; it seems some people believe Ubisoft is trying to reflect the Donald Trump supporters in the American Mid-West. A notion that is simply ridiculous.

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Far Cry 5 is releasing in the spring of 2018 and it is exciting! The mainline series needed a shake-up after Far Cry 4, and moving to the beautiful plains and mountains of Montana is certainly that. Brandishing Far Cry's signature brand of charismatic cult-leader, black humour, beautiful landscapes, and fanatical action, the new entry in the series is going to be a big deal.

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I would expect Far Cry 5 to almost get as much time at Ubisoft's E3 conference as Assassin's Creed, underlining how important the franchise has become to Ubisoft. I also think it could close the show...were it now for one more surprise announcement!

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UbiArt

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Time for a complete change of pace. UbiArt Framework is a game engine created by Ubisoft to make smaller titles, the likes of which Child of Light and Valiant Hearts emerged!

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Those two titles were genuinely fantastic games and a sequel to Child of Light was confirmed by the developer back in 2015! It's been three years since the original title and I wouldn't be shocked if we seen a trailer for the follow-up. Or so I can hope. For what it's worth, a sequel to Valiant Hearts seems less liekly but no less desired.

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Moreover, we could very well see a brand new title emerge from the UbiArt Framework engine. Valiant Hearts was the last game made by the engine to release on either PS4 or Xbox One, so we're long past due a new title in the beautiful art style.

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Splinter Cell

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Here's something that tends to get predicted every year - well since the last instalment in 2013 - but it's bound to happen at some point.

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Splinter Cell is one of Ubisoft's best-known franchises, with combined sales of nearly 18 million units! The last game in the series was Blacklist for PS3 and XBox 360 in 2013, and therefore plenty of time has passed for a new title to be almost ready to go. Not to mention, a supposed leak said that Sam Fisher's voice actor, Michael Ironside, had been spotted at Ubisoft Toronto.

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In a time when so few stealth games exist, a new Splinter Cell would be a welcome surprise to fans. We'd be very eager to see what a Sam Fisher adventure looks like in 2017 on PS4 and XBox One!

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For Honor/Watch Dogs 2/Ghost Recon: Wildlands

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Let's keep this one short and sweet. In the past year, Ubisoft has released Watch Dogs 2, For Honor, and Ghost Recon: Wildlands. These games have received varying degrees of success but none has set the world on fire.

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Regardless, support for all three of these games is unlikely to be concluded. Watch Dogs 2 has received five different DLC packs already but I wouldn't be surprised to see one more story-based DLC pack shown off at the conference. Despite selling even less than the original, the game has gathered a fan base and Ubisoft will want to show them faith.

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For Honor and Ghost Recon: Wildlands are a different story however. Despite charting well initially, For Honor only sold 1.72 million copies and it was reported this past week that the game has lost a gigantic 95% of its player base. That's horrendous news for Ubisoft but the company will definitely want to try and recoup those losses with some DLC to get fans back on board. Some decent DLC is probably a last throw of the dice for For Honor.

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Ghost Recon: Wildlands on the other hand, sold a little better and has retained a player base. A major expansion for Wildlands just launched, titled "Fallen Ghosts", and has been received well. This makes another expansion for the game this soon unlikely, however I wouldn't be surprised to see a quick trailer for the recent DLC.

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The Crew 2

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The Crew 2 was announced in an earnings call by Ubisoft, then confirmed on Twitter with the new logo. The game is set to release in the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31 2018 - so we can guarantee a showing at E3.

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The Crew released in 2014 to mixed reviews but it did managed to accumulate 10 million registered players, meaning a sequel was fairly inevitable. New features are unknown as of now but it's fair to say that The Crew 2 will have to impress a lot more than its predecessor when it faces competition from the biggest names in the genre: Forza Motorsport 7, Need For Speed: Payback, and Gran Turismo Sport.

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South Park: The Fractured But Whole

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The second South Park game from Ubisoft was revealed two years ago at E3, in what was a fairly unexpected announcement. After suffering two delays, the game is finally ready for release in October.

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We've already seen quite a bit from The Fractured But Whole but I fully expect another trailer, or gameplay demonstration from Ubisoft at E3. Due to the game releasing in a couple of months, Ubisoft will wish to keep it in the minds of everyone and get them excited again. If the sequel is anywhere near as good as The Stick of Truth, we'll be in for a treat come Halloween!

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Assassin's Creed: Origins

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Ubisoft managed to hold the next Assassin's Creed game a secret for longer than usual, but still, the game inevitably leaked before its official announcement. From alleged screenshots to a season pass and even a T-shirt, Assassin's Creed: Origins leaked in some ridiculous ways in the past month.

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Ubisoft's E3 briefing will be the first official showing of the game however, and it's fair to say this is the most anticipated Assassin's Creed in a long time. You can blame Unity, glitches, and repetitive gameplay, but the reality is that fans simply became burnt out on the franchise and needed a break. Well, two years later and we're more than ready.

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Assassin's Creed: Origins is said to take place in Ancient Egypt and star a new protagonist by the name of Bayek. The game is expected to feature redesigned gameplay, vastly improved visuals, horse-riding, and a massive and seamless open-world. All of this and the game is said to be releasing this fall, fitting the usual reveal-to-release schedule for the series. I could be completely wrong but I can see Ubisoft starting the E3 showcase with Assassin's Creed and just addressing the elephant right away.

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Another year and another Ubisoft E3 briefing is at hand! This year will be a little different however because Aisha Tyler will not be hosting. This probably comes as pleasant news to some but a lot of people, myself included, really liked the personality and skill that Tyler brought to the shows.

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Ubisoft has a massive E3 ahead with a lot of exciting new titles coming in the near future. Rather than allow several of it's titles to get leaked, Ubisoft wisely announced a few ahead of time and we'll get to those later in the slideshow. The company has several sequels in the pipeline but each of them has more excitement than usual, not to mention a few surprised we believe may be on the way.

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But enough beating around the bush, let's get on with the predictions and, with any luck, we'll get more than a few right.

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5 of the Best PS4 Games on PlayStation Plus https://www.gameskinny.com/h2k3v/5-of-the-best-ps4-games-on-playstation-plus https://www.gameskinny.com/h2k3v/5-of-the-best-ps4-games-on-playstation-plus Fri, 08 Jul 2016 05:57:31 -0400 Andy Fletcher

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Rocket League
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Rev up your engines and take to the skies in the game that surprised everyone and set itself among the best game of 2015. Introduced onto the PS4 through PS Plus, it grabbed gamers with its frantic paced, adrenaline-filled battles. Easy to pick up but difficult to master, Rocket League is an intensely layered competitive game that veterans have sunk days in, perfecting their aerial hits and goal line clearances.

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The games can be chaotic, as players duke it out 4v4 in a game mode aptly titled Chaos. Or it can be calculated and cooperative in 2v2, sussing out your opponents and striking a winning partnership with your teammate.

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With an ever growing community and developers always looking to give back to their strong fanbase, Rocket League is updated regularly with new maps, new cars, and new game modes like Basketball and Ice Hockey. Even if you weren't fortunate enough to grab this when it was free, it is undoubtedly worthy of a purchase. 

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These are just a handful of the great games PS Plus has to offer, and they are just my personal favorites. Games like Magicka 2, Zombi, NBA 2K16 have also been available for free, covering plenty of different genres. So no matter what games you love playing, PS Plus will have one for you.

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Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition
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A child of the Metroidvania era of gaming, Guacamelee! Super Turbo Championship Edition is a game that doesn't take itself seriously, which is all part of its charm. Littered with references from one of its founders in Metroid to modern games like Journey, Guacamelee! is a game made by developers with a passion for the games they love. In an all-too-familiar story line of rescuing a female love interest from the clutches of a villain, a silent protagonist sets off on a journey to rescue his love and stop the evil forces.

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What sets this game apart from the games it parodies is its brilliant dimension-hopping ability that adds a fresh twist on puzzle solving as well as combat. A clever unlockables system creates shortcuts and new pathways to previously trodden on areas, and each of these unlockables increase your luchador's fighting skills, adding layers of depth as the player explores further into the game.

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For lovers of Metroid and 2D adventure games, Guacamelee is the game for you.

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The Unfinished Swan
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Experience the beautiful world of The Unfinished Swan on PS4. The player enters a book and begins in a blank page, white filling the screen. Firing ink pellets create edges to the world, uncovering corridors, statues, walkways, trees, benches -- a fantastic premise that must be explored. 

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The gameplay changes with each of its four chapters and keeps things fresh. The player begins growing vines to climb on, exploring the darkness, manipulating light as they traverse, constructing shapes within a blueprint, and then exploring a dream world.

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This is another relaxing game to unwind with and an experience not to be passed up. The Unfinished Swan is a must-buy exclusive on the PS4.

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Telltale's The Walking Dead
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Return to the post-apocalypse as Clementine while she continues to survive, though this time without the paternal figure of Lee to protect her. It's a dead-rubber if you haven't played Season One, but those who started Clementine's story on PS3 can continue it on PS4 for free. 

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Filled with the difficult choices and the subsequent serious consequences, The Walking Dead is a Telltale game that always leaves you second guessing your actions.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/l/valiant-hearts-art-cd7e4.png","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/v/a/l/valiant-hearts-art-cd7e4.png","type":"slide","id":"125135","description":"
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
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Step back in time and into the shoes of the heroes from The Great War and experience it for yourself. Valiant Hearts goes back in time and explores the heroes in one of humanity's darkest times. The game tells the story of people from five different nations helping others and trying to reunite with their loved ones.  

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This is a fun game to unwind with or to play on the side of more hardcore games. It's simple side-scrolling adventure/puzzle game cramped with entertaining characters, brimming with humor and personality. 

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The game is a much-needed reminder of the services and sacrifices this brave generation endured to ensure victory, and the game provides information about the war for keen gamers wanting to learn more.

"},{"image":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_360,q_80,w_640/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/u/plus-1a9f9.jpg","thumb":"http://res.cloudinary.com/lmn/image/upload/c_limit,e_sharpen:150,f_auto,fl_lossy,h_85,q_80,w_97/v1/gameskinnyc/p/l/u/plus-1a9f9.jpg","type":"slide","id":"125134","description":"

We all love free stuff. And with PlayStation Plus, each month gamers are given 2-3 games free of charge. The program was a huge success on the PS3, with titles such as Demon's Souls, Bioshock Infinite, Borderlands 2, leading the impressive backlog of games.

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On the surface, the PS4's collection is lackluster in comparison. A severe lack of AAA titles and a vast amount of PS3 cross-buy games have left users underwhelmed with their PS Plus offerings.

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However, Sony has not actually disappointed with the roster on PS4 -- there's just a lot of solid games offered that have been quickly dismissed. Here are some of the best PS Plus titles available for PlayStation 4. If you don't have some of these, I implore you to pick them up. 

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In Valiant Hearts: The Great War, War Makes Men Mad [Review] https://www.gameskinny.com/bex42/in-valiant-hearts-the-great-war-war-makes-men-mad-review https://www.gameskinny.com/bex42/in-valiant-hearts-the-great-war-war-makes-men-mad-review Wed, 30 Mar 2016 06:01:02 -0400 t4mas89

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is an adventure game which was developed by Ubisoft Montpelier and published by Ubisoft. The game was released for PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Android and iOS in the summer of 2014.

The Story

Valiant Hearts: The Great War takes us to World War I in a very interesting perspective. The story revolves around Karl -- a German farmer who is taken to the German army by force -- Karl's father-in-law Emile -- who is taken into the French army -- Anna, a Belgian a battlefield nurse -- Freddie, who joins the French army after the death of his wife -- and Walt, a dog from the German army. The player controls all of them and follows their story through the madness of the war.

While I really liked the story of the game, I have to warn you that though the game looks a bit cartoonish, its story is very dark and full of tears and sorrow. This game is nothing like the typical World War game. It shows how mad mankind could be. I have to say...Ubisoft chose the characters very wisely and they all have very rich backstory. They have different personalities as well, and somehow their story are connected to each other.

The developers used real letters and real stories so this make the whole thing more sad. When I finished the game I was crying like a baby because the ending is one of the most heartbreaking endings that I have seen in a game.

Gameplay

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a 2D side-scrolling adventure game, where you have to control four human characters and sometimes a dog. Gameplay-wise the characters are a bit different, but not too much. Sometimes you have to use the dog because he can reach place where the main human characters can’t go.

There are four chapters, and every chapter has more sections. In every place you have to solve puzzles to progress. The puzzles are a bit repetitive, but there is enough difference between the chapters and the sections so you won’t feel it too much.

The controls are easy and perfectly good for a 2D game.

The game is fairly easy, and it takes around 7-9 hours to complete. There are also collectibles for those who want a little extra something to do. The game doesn’t have a platinum trophy, but the other trophies are very easy to obtain.

Graphics, Sound & Music

As you look at the screenshots, you can see that the graphics are not next gen. Valiant Hearts: The Great War uses Ubiart Frameworks (which was used for Rayman Legends and Child of Light too). So the art style is a bit cartoony. While technically the graphics are not too good, I have to admit that I really liked this style in Child of Light and I think it fits to this game too.

You will forget that the game is technically not next gen as you start playing, because the story and the atmosphere will take you to a very bittersweet adventure. It’s that case again when the creativity wins over the shiny graphics

The sounds and the music are really good, too.

Verdict

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is a very good game. It has a very engaging story which will bring tears to your eyes while you play. This game has heart, so I can recommend it to anyone who wants to have a journey that won’t be forgotten for a long time.

It’s a shame that the game is digital only -- I would buy a package like Child of Light had.

Pros:

  • engaging story
  • wonderful characters
  • based on real events
  • real emotions
  • nice graphics

Cons:

  • simple gameplay
  • short
  • digital only

All in all it’s a wonderful game and I would rate it a 9/10.

More information of the game:

Official Site

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Wikipedia

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Steam

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on PSN

Valiant Hearts: The Great War on Xbox Live

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Far Cry Primal available for early digital download, with free bonus game https://www.gameskinny.com/8bnc5/far-cry-primal-available-for-early-digital-download-with-free-bonus-game https://www.gameskinny.com/8bnc5/far-cry-primal-available-for-early-digital-download-with-free-bonus-game Tue, 02 Feb 2016 12:50:29 -0500 Anson Chan

If you just can't wait to get your hands on a copy of Far Cry Primal, then you're (kind of) in luck. According to Major Nelson, Xbox One users can download their copy of the game before Far Cry Primal's release date of February 23. Obviously, you can't play it until the 23rd, but at least you won't have to wait for anything to play it on the release day. 

Naturally, Far Cry Primal comes in two editions, both with their own pre-order bonuses. The normal edition comes with three bonus missions where you drink some shaman's magical mystical shaman juice to get to play as a mammoth. It also comes with a free copy of Valiant Hearts: The Great War, a 2D adventure puzzle game where you follow the story of various characters (along with a dog) from both sides of World War I.

The Far Cry Primal Apex Edition comes with the magical mystical mammoth missions, a copy of Valiant Hearts: The Great War, and five in-game bonus item packs. These bonus packs include a bloody club made of bone and teeth that cannot be broken by fire or combat (in other words, feel free to bash a large number of skulls in), various crafting recipes and crafting materials, and various animal companions (which are variations of the mammoths, saber-tooth tigers, and owls that you can normally obtain in the game, of course).

Including Valiant Hearts: The Great War as a pre-order bonus is an interesting incentive though, even if it was one of the free games that you could download several month ago. On release, Valiant Hearts received fairly positive review scores with most reviewers praising the art style and story, though the gameplay wasn't considered to be anything revolutionary. 

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Xbox Live Games With Gold for October announced https://www.gameskinny.com/jysf0/xbox-live-games-with-gold-for-october-announced https://www.gameskinny.com/jysf0/xbox-live-games-with-gold-for-october-announced Fri, 25 Sep 2015 07:29:56 -0400 Daniel R. Miller

In a new post on his blog, Major Nelson revealed the games that will be free to Xbox users as a part of the Games with Gold program in October.

On Xbox One, players will be able to download two brilliant indie titles, Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Oct 1-31) and Telltale's The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season (Oct 16-31).

On Xbox 360, users will also get The Walking Dead (Oct 16-31) as well as Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (Oct 1-15).

Both Valiant Hearts and The Walking Dead released to widespread critical acclaim and showcased the value and evolution of indie games as a viable medium, and went on to win various awards for their narrative prowess and compelling gameplay.

Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes was released back in March of 2014 and drew the ire of a number of consumers for its $40 price tag and 2-hour length. That's not to say that Ground Zeroes was a bad game, rather quite the opposite. It gave Metal Gear fans just enough of a taste to get hyped about the recently released Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.

As a whole, this is a pretty solid offering of free games for Xbox users. Ground Zeroes is a bit redundant, since it was already given away to Xbox One users in August of this year though granted, not every Xbox user has upgraded to Xbox One. 

Are you excited or disappointed by the free games heading your way?

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7 games where you get to pet the dog https://www.gameskinny.com/qfv55/7-games-where-you-get-to-pet-the-dog https://www.gameskinny.com/qfv55/7-games-where-you-get-to-pet-the-dog Fri, 18 Sep 2015 11:46:26 -0400 Clint Pereira

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Still itching to read more about dogs? Start by checking out our list of 10 best video game dogs.

\n

Or just leave your favorite video game dog moments in the comments. Sometimes it helps to talk about our issues.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1564b1bc1902b05a26e36f152cddeee1.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/1564b1bc1902b05a26e36f152cddeee1.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6851","description":"

1. Undertale

\n

On second thought, maybe don't pet dogs forever. As Undertale proves, you can take it a little too far. A little petting is fine. Too much petting and you'll break reality.

\n

It's possible that you may have a problem.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d183235c9a1ba0e3d4dcdb7aec361e4a.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/d183235c9a1ba0e3d4dcdb7aec361e4a.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6850","description":"

2. Nintendogs

\n

Drag your dumb cartoon hand all over a puppy's face. Who's a good dog? Answer: all the dogs. Pet every dog forever.

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dba4f85bc57467ed7b6f392172131e7e.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/dba4f85bc57467ed7b6f392172131e7e.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6845","description":"

3. Pokémon X and Y

\n

Dogs are not Pokémon, but some Pokémon are dogs. In Pokemon Amie, you can pet your favorite dog Pokémon like this Lillipup here. D'aaaw!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fc167fa62b643728aa81f056cccb7736.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/fc167fa62b643728aa81f056cccb7736.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6840","description":"

 4. Valiant Hearts: The Great War

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Move over, Call of Duty dog. Here comes Walt the medic dog. You can pet his back or his belly and you even get an achievement for it! He also saves your life on many, many different occassions. What a sweet dobie!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/136f24201d69c9e86585d5650dc0fe24.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/136f24201d69c9e86585d5650dc0fe24.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6839","description":"

5. Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain

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D.D. from MGS 5 is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable dogs in video game history. Snake's a little awkward at petting, though. Maybe not pet with your prosthesis, Snake? Snake?

\n

Snaaaaaake!

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa960be5021b85eb1990b92e19f16e90.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/aa960be5021b85eb1990b92e19f16e90.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6838","description":"

6. Fable 3

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Is petting your dog not enough? Do you want to pick it up off the ground and french kiss it? Uh, okay. If that's really your thing, Fable 3 has you covered. I don't know why it would be, exactly, but this is also a game where you can go around farting on everyone, so yeah...

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Thanks, Peter Molyneux?

"},{"image":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6336ad86d6a439c51c433ac1a92f880b.jpg","thumb":"http://images.gameskinny.com/gameskinny/6336ad86d6a439c51c433ac1a92f880b.jpg","type":"youtube","id":"6837","description":"

7. Final Fantasy VIII

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Sant' Angelo di Roma, or just Angelo, is Rinoa's dog in Final Fantasy VIII. Activate Rinoa's limit breaks to summon the faithful pooch. When Angelo is done healing the party or being used as a dog-powered cannon, Rinoa will reward her with a treat or a pet on the snoot.

"},{"image":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/6/d/c6dcd6ef32c68e7bdd3cb2d6d3c0d37e.jpg","thumb":"http://s3.amazonaws.com/gameskinnyop/c/6/d/tiny_c6dcd6ef32c68e7bdd3cb2d6d3c0d37e.jpg","type":"slide","id":"84215","description":"

Out of the few games with dogs, there are even fewer where you get to interact the animal. In some games, you play as a dog. In others, you use the dog as a tool. Either way, it's agonizing to know that there's a puppy on your screen and you can't give it love.

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To help you cope, here are 7 of the best games where you can pet the dog.

"}]]]>
Trials and Tribulations of Translations: An Interview with Tiago Kern of Synthesis https://www.gameskinny.com/bi02l/trials-and-tribulations-of-translations-an-interview-with-tiago-kern-of-synthesis https://www.gameskinny.com/bi02l/trials-and-tribulations-of-translations-an-interview-with-tiago-kern-of-synthesis Fri, 26 Jun 2015 15:30:01 -0400 OrganisedDinosaur

We often forget that many of our favorite games were developed by foreign studios and scripted in languages other than English. Non-English speakers, however, are far more aware of the work that goes into bringing a game to them from abroad. Translations are a crucial, but not well-understood, aspect of game development. Synthesis is a worldwide group with offices in a dozen countries that focuses on video games localisation.

Tiago Kern, a native Brazilian with a journalism degree and fluency in English, works in the Brazilian office - mainly as a proof-reader and sometimes translator for Synthesis. He sat down with me to discuss this vital aspect of game design.

GS: So how and why did you get into translating, and video game translating in particular?

TK: I've been studying English since I was a child, as my father used to be an English teacher in his youth. I've always liked reading books and playing video games, and - especially with games - we never got the translation for many games in Brazil. In fact, I think I learned a lot of my English just from playing video games in English as I grew up.

I started working with translation informally. I'd offer translation services in the ads of a local newspaper, and that got me my first job as a translator for an Intellectual Property company. I made the move to video game translating some time later when a friend of mine mentioned my name when his teacher asked if he knew someone who played lots of video games and was proficient in English. This teacher must have given my contact information to Synthesis, as I was contacted by them some months later when they were starting to set up their Brazilian team. I had to take tests devised by the company and go through a training phase, and now I've been working for them for almost four years.


Synthesis localizes numerous games for the Brazilian community

GS: What games did you play growing up and what is your overall gaming background prior to translating?

TK: My father got me an Atari system in my early childhood, and from then on I kept playing: I had a NES, then a Mega Drive (Genesis), then a PS1 and so on. I was very fond of the Sonic the Hedgehog games when I was little, but I truly fell in love with video game narratives with Chrono Cross and Legend of Legaia in the PS1. Everyone mentions the Final Fantasy games on the SNES and PS1 as their "gateway" JRPGs, but the first Final Fantasy I completed front to back was actually Final Fantasy X, so I guess I jumped on the bandwagon a little too late.

GS: So first of all just talk me through the basic process of translating a game.

TK: Well, it really depends on the client you're dealing with. We usually receive chunks of text from the game and translate it gradually - as sometimes the full scripts are not even completely written by the time a game's localization process begins. There are usually separate files for the dialogues and script, the menus, the button prompts and everything else. The client usually sends us reference files for us to check and study in order to translate the game, but it's never enough, and the effort that the client puts in to answering our questions (whether they have a fulltime Q&A team or not) is a giant factor for the overall quality of a game's translation.

Once the text that needs to be recorded is fully translated, it is sent to a studio and recorded with Brazilian voice actors. If they make changes to the text during the recording sessions, we are notified and then implement the changes into the game's text (usually this happens due to time constraint and/or lip sync for character lines).

GS: How much freedom do you have when making a translation? Can you make changes that you deem necessary or must you stick to direct translations?

TK: Video game localization infers that you will need to adapt the game to your language and to your country's gaming public. Our goal is to translate the text to the best of our abilities, trying to convey the original message to the Brazilian players, but some things change during the course of localization.

For instance: if there is an acronym in the original game and there's no way we can use the same acronym for a translation in Brazilian Portuguese that retains the same idea, we may change the acronym in the translated game - provided the client says it's fine, of course. The same goes for puns and jokes: some things are impossible to carry over, as English puns will simply not work in Portuguese, so we must come up with a solution - a pun of our own, or an adaptation of the original text with new ideas that will work for Brazilian Portuguese.

Certain things like puns simply can't be translated

GS: I notice that you refer to the work as localizing the game rather than simply translating it. Do cultural differences between Brazil and the game's country of origin ever effect your work?

TK: Not really... During the process of translation for Valiant Hearts, the other languages could offer some real input on their countries' role during WWII, but Brazil remained neutral throughout all of this, only siding with the Allies at the end of the war, so in this particular game we noticed how we have a different background to the other languages in Europe.

What has happened more than once actually which showcases the view of foreigners of Brazil is this: we've been asked to translate games into "Neutral Portuguese", so that it would be a translation for both Brazil and Portugal. But, as it happens, European Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese are completely distinct from each other: from spelling to sentence construction and other aspects.

GS: So if not the cultural changes, what are the biggest challenges that the translation/localization team is faced with?

...people aiming to work with video games localization should not only be translators but also gamers. 

I guess the biggest challenge for a video games translator is to find a solution for tricky scenarios, where the original text is confusing or when it lacks context. Sometimes the same word may be used for six different things in English, so it has six different possible translations in Portuguese, and we get only this word and nothing else to go on. That's one of the reasons why people aiming to work with video game localization should not only be translators but also gamers - if you do not play games, you won't know how some terms are employed within games and will assume they refer to something else. 

It's true. Imagine what could have happened to Batman

GS: So context or lack thereof is probably the biggest challenge the team faces. To what extent do you collaborate with the original writers to combat this? 

TK: There isn't much in the way of the localization team collaborating with the original writers, as the writing process of a game is usually finished before we receive the text to localize. However, the final product of a localized game is certainly the sum of a collaborative work: some clients actually go as far as working with the development team in order to add new text to the game as a way of dealing with localized languages' particular aspects: for instance, if the game allows for character creation, sometimes the game developers will be able to create separate lines that are spoken to or by the male or female characters.

This usually isn't a huge deal in English, but in Latin languages like Portuguese, it is very hard to localize a game where the player can choose to play as a male or female character, since our adjectives will mostly have gender indications. So if the game developers allow for this kind of variation in the localized languages, a female warrior will be guerreira (instead of guerreiro) in Brazilian Portuguese, but if the localisation team has no support from the development team in a game like this, we'd need to go with a neutral term in Portuguese, such as combatente.

GS: What are the biggest project you have worked on and what work are you the most proud of?

I think the projects I'm most proud of are The Witcher III and Child of Light.

TK: Depends on what you'd call "big". I've worked on several projects, some of which I can't even discuss, but I've worked on Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 and CD Projekt RED's The Witcher III: Wild Hunt, which were definitely big games. I think the projects I'm most proud of are The Witcher III and Child of Light. Child of Light was particularly tricky as the original text was comprised of poems that rhymed, so the translation process for this one was a real challenge. 

GS: You worked on the Witcher III from the English text? So the Portuguese has gone through two filters. How does that affect the finished game? Did you consult the Polish original as well?

TK: I worked as a proofreader for The Witcher III, but yeah, we translated the text directly from the English. In the translation files we were given, you could see the English text as well as the original Polish, so if you knew a bit of Polish I guess you could consult the original text - but I doubt anyone from our local translation team in Brazil would speak Polish. I did have the original text translated online once or twice out of curiosity. I've read the three books from The Witcher that were translated from Polish into Brazilian Portuguese (by Tomasz Barcinski), since the books were taken as the main reference we had for the project. That being said, some of the names in the game were changed, as the English version used some different names for characters: for instance, "Dandelion" is "Jaskier" in Polish and in the books, but we used "Dandelion" in the games, just like English.

GS: You mentioned working on Child of Light and its rhyming structure. I have often wondered how things like Shakespeare can be translated. How on earth can you keep both the meaning and the rhyme when localizing the game?

TK: We were told to keep the rhymes as long as it didn’t sacrifice the meaning. We also had length contraints for each line, so it was quite hard to localize this particular game. Sometimes we forgot about the rhymes yes, but I tried to rhyme as much as possible in-game. There are probably very few verses where there are no rhymes in the Brazilian version.

Poetry is particularly difficult to translate

GS: English speakers often forget that translators are even a part of game development. We forget that any Nintendo game we ever play was actually translated from Japanese! How do you think the experience of playing a game is effected by playing it in its non-original language?

TK: I think playing a game in its non-original language is great provided that there was genuine effort in the localization process. Video game localization is kind of a weird thing still: with movies, you get to read the script and sometimes watch the movie, and then translate the dialogue and subtitles; with books, you have the whole thing right there, there are no accompanying visuals; but with games, it all depends on the interaction between the client and the localization company, and on the familiarity that the translation team has with the game's genre and mechanics. Sometimes you get amazing localized versions of games, and sometimes "you must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance..."

GS: "You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!” Any funny stories about mistranslations or anything like that which made it into a game you worked on?

The original text read "Pull the trigger" and the translator inserted a typo in Portuguese so that it read "Aperte o gatinho" ("Pull the kitten").

TK: I've heard stories about terms that have been translated erroneously in games to great comedic effect, but no particular one I can think of right now. However, I do remember that once I was proofreading a batch for a game where the original text read "Pull the trigger" and the translator inserted a typo in Portuguese so that it read "Aperte o gatinho" ("Pull the kitten"). Of course I laughed when I read that, but ultimately I corrected the text.

GS: Do you play the games you translate?

TK: It depends on the game. I'd like to play them all, sure, but most of the time you don't get a free copy of the game you've worked on - although that does happen every now and then. Of course, I'd play the games if they appeal to me. I've played many games where I was part of the localization team. I have not played The Witcher III yet (I ordered it already, but it didn't arrive yet), but I put a lot of effort into this game, so I can't wait to finally play it and see the final results.

Need an excuse to play The Witcher III again? Check out Synthesis' work

GS: Any advice for bi-lingualists out there who might want to get into your line of work?

TK: I find that usually people who wish to work in the localization process for video games are either amazing gamers who know little English or make a lot of mistakes in Brazilian Portuguese... or the other way around: people who speak English perfectly and know how to deal with Brazilian Portuguese grammar and adaptation but who rarely actually sit down and play games.

I think the best advice to hone your translation skills for video game translation is to actually play games both in the original language and in the localized languages: check how they dealt with each issue, see if you can find translation mistakes, pay attention to how text is displayed in the game and what solutions they found for challenging situations. Play games from different genres and see how the tone changes in the language: some games have extremely informal language, others keep their text safe from curse words and slangs.

And finally, take part in localization events, such as LocJam, since that helps a bunch - it helps you get to know people who work in the industry while at the same time you discuss the process of localization, its challenges and practices.

 A huge thank you to Tiago Kern and Synthesis for facilitating the interview. How many of you out there have ever played the same game in more than one language? How aware are you when you play a game that has been translated for you? Comment below to ask Tiago any other questions you may have.

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Weekly Weekend Round-Up: Mar. 6th - Mar. 8th https://www.gameskinny.com/jbx7v/weekly-weekend-round-up-mar-6th-mar-8th https://www.gameskinny.com/jbx7v/weekly-weekend-round-up-mar-6th-mar-8th Fri, 06 Mar 2015 19:52:21 -0500 Eric Nicolai

Players rejoice, yet another weekend of gaming is upon us. We have worked long hours or studied hard to get here and the time has come to relax and enjoy some games. Below is a small list of games that may spark your interest.

Screamride

Screamride seems to be an amazing game that offers much more than just simplistic play. Screamride has multiple game modes to offer different styles of play for individual preference. The styles range from a theme park scream mode, where the player must keep the cart on the tracks while making the riders scream as much as possible, to a destructive mode that plays a little like Angry Birds - without the little pigs.  Also, if deciding between X1 and 360, know that X1 offers a level creator mode to allow for maximum enjoyment.

Rayman Legends

For the players looking for a cheap game to play, this one could be it for some players. Rayman Legends is now free for Xbox One gold subscribers, and could easily be enjoyed this weekend. Rayman is an ongoing series that has captivated players, and this installment is no disappointment at all. Plus with it being free for some players, they can't go wrong.

 

Valiant Hearts

Valiant Hearts is an indie game that I fully intended to get around to buying. Now that it's free on PS4 for Playstation Plus subscribers I had no excuse to not play it. Valiant Hearts is fun, beautiful, and even educational if players take the time to read the facts scattered throughout. 

Whatever games you play this weekend now that there is a wave of big launches nearing us and backlogs usually grow bigger. So, enjoy the long gaming marathons as the weekend passes by. What games will you be playing this weekend? Comment below.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition Wins Game of the Year, but Nintendo Dominates the 2014 Game Awards https://www.gameskinny.com/71655/dragon-age-inquisition-wins-game-of-the-year-but-nintendo-dominates-the-2014-game-awards https://www.gameskinny.com/71655/dragon-age-inquisition-wins-game-of-the-year-but-nintendo-dominates-the-2014-game-awards Sat, 06 Dec 2014 07:59:48 -0500 Esteban Padilla

Awards shows have never really been the strong suit of the video game industry. From G4’s G-Phoria to Spike TV’s VGAs, many have attempted to throw a good end-of-the-year event, and they have failed to draw in the same prestige and large audiences that music and film awards shows do. But that didn’t stop Geoff Keighley from trying.

Without the network support that he previously had from Spike TV hosting the VGAs (now defunct since they retooled the titular event to the more trailer-filled VGX), Keighley decided to personally fund an entirely new gaming awards show. 

Backed by the holy trinity of gaming - Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft - along with a slew of other industry heads, the inaugural Game Awards was set to be a different kind of video game award show, more focused on bringing together developers, journalists, and fans from all aspects of gaming. In fact, the new format allowed for free submissions, giving indie and small developers a chance to really shine alongside the big industry players.

The result: a more intimate evening with video game lovers from all walks of life rubbing shoulders together and enjoying their trade without the slog of sponsorships and blatant pandering seen in other events.

The Big Award of the Night

Dragon Age: Inquisition Gameplay Screenshot

Screenshot of Dragon Age: Inquisition Gameplay, which was voted as the Game of the Year.

The elusive Game of the Year title, went to BioWare’s Dragon Age: Inquisition.  Although the game has been receiving generally positive reviews in its first few weeks of public release, it has been under a fair amount of criticism for its filler content, and was not as highly regarded critically as some of the other contenders, such as Dark Souls II and Bayonetta 2It should be noted that the panel of judges included developers and journalists alike, so maybe BioWare’s solid track record influenced the decision. 

Other games that performed well at the Game Awards include:

  • Hearthstone (Best Mobile/Handheld Game)
  • Far Cry 4 (Best Shooter)
  • Valiant Hearts: The Great War (Best Narrative AND Games for Change awards). 

A full list of the nominees and winners can be found here.

Despite popular fan opinion...

Mario Kart 8 took home both the Best Sports/Racing Game and Best Family Game awards for the evening. 

Nintendo didn’t win the Game of the Year award for Bayonetta 2 or the Best Mobile/Handheld Game award for Super Smash Bros 3DS. But before you start feeling like they were robbed, you should know Nintendo walked away with four awards, including:

  • Best Fighting Game (Super Smash Bros. for Wii U)
  • Best Sports/Racing Game (Mario Kart 8)
  • Best Family Game (Mario Kart 8)
  • Developer of the Year

Special mention should go to the Best Fan Creation and Best Independent Game awards, as they both involved properties closely associated with Nintendo (Twitch Plays Pokémon by Anonymous and Shovel Knight respectively).

As if winning 4 out of the 18 awards available to developers wasn’t enough, Nintendo also took control over the screen time. Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aimé himself was there to do what he does best, which is get us excited about games we’re dying to play already.  Along with opening the evening with footage from Mario Maker (seen here along with every other trailer and footage clip shown at the Game Awards), we were treated to the world gameplay premiere for Code Name: S.T.E.A.M., Nintendo’s new 3DS title that looks like their take on XCOM: Enemy Unknown - if it borrowed some of Borderlands’s aesthetics and threw in a healthy dose of steampunk design choices, that is.  

Eiji Aunuma demonstrating horseriding and exploration gameplay for the Legend of Zelda Wii U title to Shigeru Miyamoto.

As exciting as this was to see, it probably paled in comparison to the headliner event of the evening: the Legend of Zelda for Wii U gameplay footage.  The game is set to be released sometime next year after the Majora’s Mask remake for 3DS and Star Fox Wii U title.

To top it all off, Nintendo finished the event strong with a combined Legend of Zelda music medley involving American rock band Imagine Dragons and the prolific Koji Kondo, who is responsible for just about every iconic Nintendo earworm tune you’ve ever heard.

To top it all off, Nintendo finished the event strong with a combined Legend of Zelda music medley involving American rock band Imagine Dragons and the prolific Koji Kondo, who is responsible for just about every iconic Nintendo earworm tune you’ve ever heard. 

The event signed off with a collaborative acoustic performance of Imagine Dragon’s breakthrough hit “It’s Time,” which really demonstrated the more personal and unorthodox tone of the evening. 

That’s not to say that no one else made a big scene at the Game Awards.

The Metal Gear Online gameplay footage was one of the highlights of the evening.

Several other trailers and games were announced (again, all of them can be found here), including new titles from Gone Home’s creators and Hazelight Studios, well-known for indie darling Brothers: A Tale of Two Songs

We also got to see gameplay footage for Metal Gear Online and The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt (which won Most Anticipated Game that evening). Not to mention everyone’s favorite gamer violinist, Lindsey Stirling, also offered her own musical contribution with her (beautiful) rendition of the Dragon Age: Inquisition theme. 

But being able to open and close the first Game Awards really showed Nintendo’s pull in the gaming industry and their prowess as a titan of gaming.  Good game, Nintendo, good game.

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Coming to iOS https://www.gameskinny.com/qmx7d/valiant-hearts-the-great-war-coming-to-ios https://www.gameskinny.com/qmx7d/valiant-hearts-the-great-war-coming-to-ios Wed, 13 Aug 2014 09:29:16 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

Ubisoft has announced that their latest puzzle-adventure game Valiant Hearts: The Great War is coming to the App Store for iOS on September 4th. It'll offer a unique way to play this dynamic story incorporating the iOS mechanics. The video below gives a demonstration of those physics as compared to PC and console users.

If you haven't had a chance to play it yet, perhaps on your iOS device might be the time to give it go. To read more on Valiant Hearts: The Great War here's a great article or if you're looking for a review turn here--it was rated a 9 out of 10!


Valiant Hearts: The Great War is the story of friendship, love, sacrifice, tragedy, crossed destinies and of a broken love in a world torn apart. In this puzzle-adventure game, you must take on the role of five different characters, including a faithful canine companion, surviving the horrors of the trenches during the Great War by solving puzzles or sneaking through enemy lines. The game is a thoughtful balance between exploration, actions and puzzles; all of these integrated into a stirring story taking place at symbolic World War I locations.

Keep it tuned to GameSkinny for all your news, tips, guides, and reviews.

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Valiant Hearts: The Great War Review https://www.gameskinny.com/ry0gn/valiant-hearts-the-great-war-review https://www.gameskinny.com/ry0gn/valiant-hearts-the-great-war-review Wed, 23 Jul 2014 10:58:56 -0400 Cassie Gotto White

Something many people may not know about me is that I struggle with depression. It’s manageable; some days are worse than others. There are days where I don’t even feel like playing video games. For the past month or so, I’ve been feeling like I’m not enjoying video games anymore. Nothing I’ve been playing has held my interest. I was very disappointed with Watch_Dogs; it was very underwhelming after all the hype I surrounded it with. Then, I tried Valiant Hearts: The Great War and snapped back into reality; I truly love video games and that's why I'm trying to make a career out of writing about them. Valiant Hearts opened my eyes again.

I didn’t know much about Valiant Hearts before playing it. I saw a short trailer for it that got me interested, so I decided to try it. I had no idea just how engrossed in it I would become. This is the first game since The Last of Us where I’ve looked at every item I collected and thoroughly read every diary entry. The story is genuinely interesting, even more so because it’s based on true events. It’s an honest game about the harshness and brutality of war.

It doesn’t task you with killing as many people as possible; it forces you to feel something about war itself, and that’s why it’s a game that will always stand out in my mind.

Valiant Hearts follows five characters reluctantly thrown into the horrors of World War I. They all have a unique story to tell, and most of it will break your heart. There’s no sugar-coating any of this; war is brutal, and you get a glimpse into what it was like to fight in World War I. While fighting beside your brothers in arms, many of them won’t make it out alive.

I think my favorite thing about Valiant Hearts is that as you are progressing through the story, you are prompted to read facts about the event that is currently being reenacted in the game. I would strongly encourage anyone who is interested in history to play this game. If I was a history teacher, I would make it a requirement to play this game. It actually taught me a lot about World War I and the horrors those soldiers were exposed to.

As far as gameplay, you will spend most of your time walking around and solving puzzles in order to move forward. The puzzles are fun, and some are pretty challenging (Don’t worry: The game gives you up to three hints if you get stuck). However, what really drives you to keep playing is the stories of Emile, Freddie, Karl, Anna, and Walt (the adorable, helpful dog). There wasn’t one character that I didn’t love and empathize with in Valiant Hearts. The personal diaries for each of the characters (sans Walt for obvious reasons) give you insight into what these characters are feeling and how they’re dealing with the harshness of war.

There wasn't one character that I didn't love and empathize with in Valiant Hearts.

Many people take a quick look at Valiant Hearts and assume it’s an indie game, and I love that. It’s not in indie game by any means; it was developed by one of the biggest game studios in the world. The fact that a big studio like Ubisoft made a game that has the passion and heart of a game that would come out of a small indie studio is really impressive. It’s refreshing to see big name studios making really special little games.

Valiant Hearts was one of the most special games I’ve played in a long time, and it reminded me why I love video games so much. Ubisoft and other studios should make more games like this. I can’t remember the last time I’ve played a game that was so good that I felt I had to give it a round of applause when the credits rolled (Yes, I literally put down the controller, wiped away my tears, and started clapping like a lunatic).

With a story that keeps you hooked until the end, Valiant Hearts is a game that should not be passed up by anyone who enjoys a good narrative. Ultimately, Valiant Hearts is a story about friendship and love, and it's truly beautiful.

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Ubisoft and Apocalypse Commemorate World War I https://www.gameskinny.com/0zmys/ubisoft-and-apocalypse-commemorate-world-war-i https://www.gameskinny.com/0zmys/ubisoft-and-apocalypse-commemorate-world-war-i Thu, 19 Jun 2014 13:04:29 -0400 Venisia Gonzalez

Ubisoft has announced its association with CC&C of France and IDEACOM INTERNATIONAL of Canada, production agencies specialized in historical productions, as part of the creation team for Valiant Hearts: the Great War. It's an interactive adventure showcasing the graphic power of the UbiArt Framework and putting in motion the lives of touching characters lost in the trenches of World War I.

The partnership allows the development team to utilize the Apocalypse databases, specifically on World War I. This also allows a unique opportunity to enhance the game with significant photographs, providing players with the opportunity to access content, and learn more about this major chapter of history.

 

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is the story of friendship, love, sacrifice, tragedy, crossed destinies and of a broken love in a world torn apart. In Ubisoft's new puzzle-adventure game, you must take on the role of five different characters, including a faithful canine companion, surviving the horrors of the trenches during the Great War by solving puzzles or sneaking through enemy lines. The game is a thoughtful balance between exploration, actions and puzzles; all of these integrated into a stirring story taking place at symbolic World War I locations.

The game will be an animated comic book adventure that delivers a unique emotional tone, art style, and will have players reliving some of WWI's most historical battles like the Battle of the Marne, the Western Front, the Verdun, and the Battle of the Somme while trying to survive these life and death situations, and helping a young German soldier find his love.

The game is set to release on PC, Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS4 and PS3 for $14.99 USD on June 25th. The detailed informational content is available in-game and is conceived as part of the partnership with Apocalyspe, World War I, the iPad and Web app Apocalypse 10 Lives.

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E3 Trailers That Require A Second Look https://www.gameskinny.com/7naru/e3-trailers-that-require-a-second-look https://www.gameskinny.com/7naru/e3-trailers-that-require-a-second-look Wed, 11 Jun 2014 23:23:12 -0400 Landon Sommer

As all the info comes in from E3, it becomes clear: we either expected the trailer and there is nothing to show or we didn't expect a thing and they want to hit us right where it hurts.

I don't have much of a desire towards first person shooter games, but a trailer like Tom Clancy's The Division really makes me consider my gaming choices. Perhaps the guys that direct trailers like these should be tapped for full-length movies instead. While gameplay trailers are available for several of these games, the trailer that really gets you is the cinematic.

The Division

The Division opens with a normal New York city, slowly devolving through the eyes of an apartment, without actually seeing the characters. The incredible "stop-motion" of the trailer tells more in a few minutes than some movies can tell in hours. At the end of it, we are reminded that shooting the bad guys is still a primary focus here, but the trailer was cool.

No Man's Sky

Another stand out has to be No Man's Sky. I still couldn't tell you what the game is really about, but everything about the trailer exudes a world with excellent technology. Your visor can identify most plant and animal life in seconds. The transfer from land to space is nearly seamless. The space combat is the least impressive thing about this trailer as the battle goes back into an atmosphere and shows incredible detail on the rocks and plants flying by.

The game sounds like it will be just as much about the exploration as the combat. If the trailer has proven anything, the exploration will be wonderful.

Valiant Hearts

Valiant Hearts doesn't have a trailer about realistic graphics or a cool interface that so many games push for these days. Instead, it is an experience with an unexpected art style and a sad story told by narrator and a dog. And let me tell you, that poor dog jerks your heart-strings by the end. A trailer like this tells me that the writers behind this project have a solid idea how to put a story together. This kind of trailer promises a much deeper gaming experience than your next shoot 'em up game. 

Assassin's Creed: Unity

Assassin's Creed has always given us an excellent trailer. One of the best parts is learning what time period the Assassins universe wants to portray this time: Unity's story will be set during the French Revolution. The trailer exemplifies the revolution by making the players part of one of the most significant moments in revolution: the storming of the Bastille.

Cinematic trailers keep getting better, but do they serve to just impress us with the newest and shiniest graphics without really showing us the game? An excellent trailer such as the well-known slow-mo Dead Island trailer can truly bring attention to a title that might otherwise fly right by.

Any trailers catch your attention on visuals alone this week?

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Ubisoft Unveils Their New Puzzle-Adventure Game Valiant Hearts: The Great War https://www.gameskinny.com/cunxz/ubisoft-unveils-their-new-puzzle-adventure-game-valiant-hearts-the-great-war https://www.gameskinny.com/cunxz/ubisoft-unveils-their-new-puzzle-adventure-game-valiant-hearts-the-great-war Wed, 07 May 2014 15:27:31 -0400 Kaelan Otto

Friendship, love, sacrifice, and tragedy, the story of crossed destinies and a broken love in a world torn apart. Ubisoft's new puzzle-adventure game Valiant Hearts: The Great War is set during World War I, where you must take the role of five different characters, including a faithful canine companion, and must survive the horrors of the trenches during the Great War by solving puzzles or sneaking through enemy lines.

The story will have players reliving some of WWI's most historical battles like the Battle of the Marne and the Battle of the Somme while trying to survive these life and death situations, and helping a young German soldier find his love. The game is set to release on the Xbox Live store for both Xbox One and Xbox 360, PlayStation Store for both PS4 and PS3 and PC digital download for $14.99 on June 25th, 2014.

The game will be an animated comic book adventure that delivers a unique emotional tone and art style. Whether you're solving puzzles in the green forests of the French countryside, crawling in trenches to sneak pass enemy lines, or avoiding death in snowy fields, the players will revisit some famous WWI locations like Reims and Montfaucon on the Western Front. 

Characters:

Emile

Born on March 12, 1872, in Saulcy-sur-Meurthe, Lorraine. Hes was once married to a Dutch laundress while they both settled down in a dairy farm near Saint-Mihiel. After three years in the quiet life, Emile's wife passes away while giving birth to twins. unfortunately only one of the twins survived, his daughter Marie.

On August 13, 1914, a few days after the declaration of war, Emile was forced to leave his daughter, for he was called-up to serve his country. After his first battle on the Western Front, he ended up being captured by the enemy and became a prisoner of war.

 Freddie

Born on February 27, 1882, in La Place, Louisiana. After beginning a secret affair with Margaret, a white women and daughter of a prominent steamship magnate, he asked for her hand in marriage. The couple then later decided to flee on a cargo ship to La Rochelle, France so that they could both be married.

In 1914, the couple toured through Paris and the French countryside until suddenly, war broke out. Tragically affected by these horrible events, Freddie then enlisted in the French Foreign Legion so that he can seek revenge against the German Regiment for ruining his moments of happiness.

Karl

Born on May 6, 1896, in a small village in Germany near Strasbourg. Educated as a youth, his family's home was cold and conservative, for they were poor. Because of this, Karl had neither the money or inclination for college, so at the age of sixteen, he left home in order to find work in factories and odd farms in Belgium and France.

One year later, Karl decided to stay in a village farm that belonged to Emile near St Mihiel, France. He later fell in love with Marie, Emile's daughter, and the couple ended up having their first child, but unfortunately war broke out and Karl was then asked to leave France.

Anna

Born on December 26, 1891, in the Belgian city of Leper (more commonly known by its French name “Ypres”). Part of an aristocratic family, Anna's father, Paul, was a highly respected pioneer in engineering who later sent her to Paris so that she can complete her studies.

During the following summer, conflict broke out, and Anna then decided to quit school so that she can help in the war effort by working in a munitions factory. Soon after, she then left Paris, once it was discovered, that her father was forced into service by the German Army after the occupation of Ypres.

On September 6, 1914, during the Battle of the Marne (a famous historical WWI moment), Anna was determined to shun her life of entitlement to serve the less fortunate.

Walt

A Doberman Pincher that was raised in a German military kennel and trained to become a Dog Medic for the German Army. Along with the other thirty thousand dogs who served as letter carriers and watch dogs, Walt was loyal and ready to serve like everyone else. 

After being separated from his German owner at the start of the war, Walt will play a key role in Valiant Hearts. With his sense of smell and small size, he'll be able to get through barbed-wired obstacles and crawl in shell holes in order to solve puzzles or avoid enemies.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War, is being developed by Ubisoft Montpellier and will be made with the UbiArt Framework engine. The UbiArt Framework engine was used for previous titles like the Rayman games and Beyond Good & Evil.

UbiArt Framework is what gives the players a beautifully crafted visual experience that is seamless. It's what also made Rayman Legends look so visually stunning.

The engine was specifically designed for artists, allowing as much iteration as possible and to offer powerful graphic and level-design editing tools. It gives the developers tons of flexibility and less time spent on technical aspects so that they can focus more on creating content. 

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The 5 Most Anticipated Indie Games For Next-Gen Consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/ry34t/the-5-most-anticipated-indie-games-for-next-gen-consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/ry34t/the-5-most-anticipated-indie-games-for-next-gen-consoles Tue, 22 Oct 2013 20:25:20 -0400 Coatedpolecat

Out with old, in with the new

Next month a new generation of consoles and games will inhabit our countries and cultures around the world. The attention to indie games has increased in the last couple of years. So much so, that the head of Sony, Jack Tretton thinks a few of the best games will come from independent studios. He says "they come out with a game that maybe doesn't have $100 million, 300-person team polish but is absolute genius." It seems consumers agree, with the astronomical success of Minecraft recently selling 12 million units.

Financially, indie titles are high risk, with low-cost; this allows for more innovation. Indie studio's typically release a game digitally, saving even more money versus shipping a physical product. Considering all the benefits, it's no wonder both Sony and Microsoft are aggressively pursuing  the indie market. The independent studio setup is so appealing even Ubisoft, a AAA publisher and studio, has their hands in the indie pool.

More and more AAA studios are shutting down. Last week, Marin 2K of the recent XCOM: The Bureau: Declassified closed it's doors for good. EA had to re-evaluate it's staff, a.k.a layoffs. With all these mass closings, very talented developers are braving the new world of independent development. This is a trend that's been happening the last couple of years. So, I took a poll with two of my favorite Facebook groups, Podcast Beyond and Podcast Unlocked, to see what indie games they're looking forward to.

The Results Are In

1.Transistor

Transistor is being developed by SuperGiant Games, who recently released a critical and monetary success Bastion. In this adventure you inhabit Red, a singer who has come in contact with Transistor, a powerful and intelligent sword. A group called "The Process" pursue Red in a free-run game with turn-based fighting sequences. This game should be a huge hit in 2014 and will release on both Xboxs, both Playstations (including Vita), and PC.

2. Outlast

Red Barrel Games created Outlast. It's about a Free-lance writer, Miles, who's incapable of using weapons or fighting, aside from a few scripted sequences. His adventure takes place in an insane asylum in some mysterious hills. Outlast hit PC on September 4th, but comes to the Playstation 4 in 2014.

3.The Witness

The Witness is designed, by Jonathan Blow, the same guy who made the multi-million unit selling Braid. The Witness's enviroment sets you on a beautiful island. The unnamed character will solve a series of puzzles while walking around in the first-person point of view. This game seems reminiscent of Myst. Mr. Blow will release his game to PC and Playstation 4 some time in 2014.

4.Valiant Hearts


Valiant Hearts uses the same engine as the recent Rayman Legends and looks stunning. This game takes place in WWI and follows a handful of soldiers and the one thing they have in common, a dog. Ubisoft Montpellier is creating this puzzle/adventure and will release to all platforms in 2014. Yet another unique title I'm looking forward to.

5. Rogue Legacy

Rogue Legacy is a platformer with rogue-like elements to it. Meaning: generation after generation of attempting to reach and kill these 4 bosses, you acquire new skills and abilities. The developing studio, Cellar Door Games, has already seen a release on PC, and will arrive to the Playstation Network (PSN) for PS4, PS3, and PS Vita in 2014.

Back in the day

There's a reason games like Mario, PAC-man, and Metroid stick out in our minds. These game are full of innovation and a genuine passion for the product being made. Indie games are such high quality any more it's almost hard to tell the difference when speaking of sales numbers. Things like Xbox Live Arcade (XBLA), PSN, and Valve's Steam service are really making it easy for these games to get noticed.

Microsoft's Marc Whitten says about the next-gen console: “There’s no longer a section for arcade or a section for indie or things like that. We want all the content to be available on the store on equal footing..."

Don't be "that" guy...

I know I've been enjoying the last decade of increasingly great indie games. If you've been brushing them off to the side or dismissing then you're definitely denying yourself some of the best experiences gaming currently has to offer. Just take a look at the 2012's Game of the Year in most circles - The Walking Dead, a point and click adventure made by an independent studio walked away with that award. 

Your thoughts

What indie games are you looking forward to? What indie titles have you enjoyed up to this point? Sound off in the comments below and let me know.

@Coatedpolecat

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Ubisoft Sets Their Sights On Digital Releases https://www.gameskinny.com/7u7br/ubisoft-sets-their-sights-on-digital-releases https://www.gameskinny.com/7u7br/ubisoft-sets-their-sights-on-digital-releases Mon, 21 Oct 2013 20:38:04 -0400 MyNameIsProjekt

Ubisoft has announced their intent to increase their stake in the digital-title market during their Digital Days event.  Alain Corre, EMEA executive director, announced the company's high ambitions as Ubisoft is hoping to reach a 50 percent share of the publisher's turnover within three-to-four years.

During this announcement, Ubisoft revealed several mobile and digital-only titles such as Child of Light, Trials Frontier and Valiant Hearts: The Great War to help them achieve their goal.  Child of Light and Valiant Hearts: The Great War are both planned for digital releases and Trials Frontier will be a mobile game that is designed to work with its digital counterpart, Trials Fusion.  

 

As a Trials fan, I am excited about a mobile version in Trials Frontier.

These titles will not be the triple-A releases that Ubisoft is known for, but shows Ubisoft's focus on games that they label "indie" and "mini-triple-A experiences." 

"It's more an indie mindset.  To do an indie game is not because you are independent, but it is also something that is about creativity and freedom," said Thomas Paincon, EMEA marketing director for digital publishing.

Ubisoft is also working on developing companion apps that will accompany the company's "triple-A" titles such as the open-world title, Watch Dogs.  Paincon said that companion apps for mobile devices and tablets can act as a gateway for casual gamers, and can even turn their free-to-play experience into them becoming a paying customer.

"We see that as an entry point to the universe.  Because again, right now we are talking about open world for triple-A.  The goal is through this open world we will have a different entry point.  And the goal is to make them as easy as possible," said Paincon.

This could be the strategy that helps Ubisoft expand into the digital world, and it means that triple-A titles will not be limited to just one console.  Triple-A titles will span several different outlets even those outside of gaming.

"It's more an indie mindset.  To do an indie game is not because you are independent, but it is also something that is about creativity and freedom," said Thomas Paincon, EMEA marketing director for digital publishing.

This strategy will also make triple-A titles more viable and cost-efficient for developers given the increasing cost of development, and could also draw more players through different means.

"Digital will represent a lot of different platforms.  We really believe that all the companion apps, all these second-screen features, will also be a lot more present here in the next year," said Paincon. "The next-gen is more digital than ever, so I think that a shift will arrive.  But it will not mean no retail, I don't believe in that.  I think it will always be based around retail.  If you take Minecraft at retail in the UK, they are doing amazingly well... I cannot see the future.  But you can see the frontier between digital-only and triple-A games is thinner..."

What is your opinion on Ubisoft's goal towards the digital gaming market?  Do you foresee them reaching their goal of a 50 percent share in three-to-four years? 

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Ubisoft Tugs the Heartstrings with Valiant Hearts: The Great War https://www.gameskinny.com/rdrsk/ubisoft-tugs-the-heartstrings-with-valiant-hearts-the-great-war https://www.gameskinny.com/rdrsk/ubisoft-tugs-the-heartstrings-with-valiant-hearts-the-great-war Tue, 10 Sep 2013 22:45:24 -0400 Miranda Kirk

Ubisoft announced earlier today one of their many new releases set for the next few months: Valiant Hearts: The Great War.

The Story

The story takes place during WW1 but is definitely not a war game. Once you watch the trailer you see that the game is inspired by letters from the War putting emphasis on the individuals instead of the war itself. You take on the roles of Emile who peels potatoes as a French prisoner of war, Lucky Freddy who is an American soldier, Anna who is a medic on the front lines and George who is a British aviator. All of these characters are aided by a loyal dog companion to help a German soldier named Karl.

 

Valiant Hearts seems to be a very story-driven and emotional game that tells of the human experience of someone at war particularly the stories of the five main characters.

Designed like a comic book

The game is drawn in a comic or graphic novel style. The characters will be tackling themes such as war, loss, love, and desire. The gorgeous artwork of the game conveys such a nostalgic message, the message that war is about individuals as well as the stories behind them.

Valiant Hearts: The Great War is expected to release sometime in 2014 for Xbox and Playstation, both current and next–gen, as well as PC.  A word to the wise: be prepared to pick your heart back up after this one. 

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